Thursday, July 24, 2014

We Are The Best!

Rambling ahead, so beware ! 

When I was 13 coming to 14, I discovered Seattle grunge rock

Needless to say these new musical influences (if you are a child of the 90s I hardly need to list down the bands I am referring to) drastically changed the course of my life and shaped me for what I am today - for reals.

I was a straight A, top 10 (sometimes top 5) student and when this thing happened to me all hell went loose and I could hardly care about school anymore. (sorry, mama.)

I dumped my beloved Seventeen mags, baking books and Enid Blytons and instead went for Kerrang!, Q, Australian Rolling Stone (American Rolling Stone was much too expensive for those high school days) and I idolised The Catcher In The Rye - or really, anything that questioned the mainstream and glorified the marginalised.

I got my mum to buy me a pretty good acoustic guitar and wrote songs incessantly.

One was unmemorably called "Dissect The Froggy" LOL. 

Oh lawd.

As for duds I would shop the mens section of The East India Company (back then in the early 90s this brand was shit hot and was our answer to Banana Republic basic wear). 

Loose black sweaters, loose jeans, fake doc marts, short-short hair.

And when OAG came a'rolling in the mid 90s I was in seventh heaven 'cos finally there was a mainstream local band that UNDERSTOOD :D

Oh... Those angsty days. How I would revisit my 13 going on 14 self and tell her - lonesome, zitty and badly hair-gelled - that everything will turn out OK. 

So what made me recall all these long suppressed forgotten memories ? 

This awesome looking Swedish movie :) 

Two 13 year old punk girls attempt to create a band. 

How I wish my young self could watch it ! 

Were you an angsty grunge post-preteen too ?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Mushroom Chicken Quinoa

Delicious, easy to prepare, homey and healthy :P

Mushroom chicken rice is changed up to mushroom chicken quinoa and the taste is still delightfully spot on.  

The whiff of oyster sauce, ginger and sesame oil permeates the cooked quinoa and the dish is generously dotted with cubed chicken and mushroom slices throughout.

So delish!

For the ultimate yum kick, serve it with sliced birds eye chillies.

Le BF also gives his stamp of approval.

Thanks to Sze Min who shared this amazing recipe :)

Mushroom Chicken Quinoa
Reproduced and adapted without permission from Min's Blog
Serves one generously

1/2 cup quinoa, well rinsed
1 cup water
100g chicken breast fillet
2 dried chinese mushrooms (soak in water and cut into slices)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
4 slices ginger
1 spring onion (chopped)


1/2tsp oyster sauce
1/2tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2tsp dark soy sauce
Pinch of pepper

1. Cut the chicken breast into little bite sized pieces and mix with the marinade for at least one hour.
2. Heat a tiny bit of olive oil or peanut oil in a cast iron pot or pan, fry garlic and ginger till fragrant, add in mushrooms and continue frying.
3. Add in chicken, fry till the chicken starts to change colour. Add in the quinoa.
4. Pour in 1 cup of water, heat til boiling, then lower the temperature to lowest setting and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and cover for 10 minutes. Spread some chopped spring onion before serving.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

College days stir fried pasta - cheap, quick and now made healthier

Quick and easy, simple week night dinner grub I haven't made in years. 

I nowadays stay away from beef and usually eat fish and poultry, but occasionally I still indulge in it.

This is a shoestring budget inspired meal and I cooked this many, many times when I was studying as an alternative to the inevitable instant noodles. 

I would cook a HUGE batch o'pasta and it never got wasted - there would be enough to feed me and my four housemates, and leftovers for breakfast... Lunch... Another dinner... You get my drift ;)

The flavouring of this humble pasta goreng is just chilli paste (cili boh, cili giling) and sweet dark soy sauce (kicap manis). 

Except now I make it much healthier with a few adjustments.

Instead of regular vegetable cooking oil I now only use extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) for my stir fries - it may be expensive but it is one of the more better choices. Read here for more info).

I also replace regular wheat pasta with gluten free corn pasta - slow burning and no bloat carbo option. 

I also use extra lean mince. In the olden days I cooked pasta with the nefarious and mysterious looking tube of "cow meat" from Ramly burger :P

Really delish with some parmesan and sliced sweet baby cucumbers on the side (another improvement - back then no veggie zip) :D :D :D

And oh ya... Meant to be idly chomped on whilst watching some telly :)

College days stir fried pasta, healthy upgrade (Pasta Goreng Daging Simple)
Serves 2

150 grams lean mince
Roughly 120 grams corn pasta spiralis, cooked al dente, rinsed under cold tap water and set aside
1 tablespoon EVOO 
1 big onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tablespoon chilli paste (cili boh, cili giling), more if desired 
1 tablespoon sweet dark soy sauce (I used ABC kicap manis)
Sea salt and white pepper 
1.  Heat up the oil in a wok under medium low heat. 
2. Toss the onions and garlic, stir fry til wilted.
3. Add the mince and stir fry til opaque and no longer pink. 
4. Now add the chilli paste, stir fry it in thoroughly and leave to sizzle for a couple minutes. Then mix the concoction briskly again. 
5. Pour in the kicap manis and add a dash of salt and pepper. Mix it in and have a taste. Add a little more salt if it needs it. I try to keep it low salt myself
6. Your beef mix is now looking deliciously shiny and coated with the soy, sizzling away in the wok. Tip in the pasta. Carefully stir fry it in then lower the heat to the minimum. Leave to sort of bake like that for a minute or so, until the flavours of the beef mix penetrates the pasta a little. Toss the pasta now and again if you are worried about sticking. 
7. Shut off heat. Serve in small bowls (I am in a metal bowl and plate phase hehe) with some parmesan and baby cucumber slices.