Kuishinbo~Meow~

I eat so much until people call me Dr. Fish Fish.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Sunny weekend is fantastic

My 4 days in Boston and NY with my Ah Pek was overall good, with some not so tasty twists.

Painful twist - Paid US$35 for less than 2 hours parking in downtown Boston.

Bitter twist - One of the most lousy car we have ever rented, no central lock, manual windown rollers, too much hidden fees, even to drive to other states were being extra charged. Grrrr...

Wet twist - Very very heavy rain on the way from Boston to NY. Ah Pek did a great job to reach the destination safe. Muak!

Pasar malam twist - We just need to go to the Consulate General of Malaysia in NY to feel as though we are at a pasar malam. No kidding!

Arrogant twist - Visited one of the largest outlet mall in USA, nothing impressive as cold and bad weather and we were very lack of time. I went there mainly because it is the only outlet with many branded shops, and I am curious what kind of things they are selling in their outlet. Seriously, they need to re-train their staffs, the so call very high-end brand like Chanel staffs are just too arrogant. Oh, what is with the fetishism of Chanel like to hire cocky obaasan to work in their outlet? Gucci staffs cockiness slightly one rank down, not too bad, still not pleasurable. Or maybe it is the northern people things? I don't remember seeing this kind of attitude in other outlets that I have visited. Even the Coach outlet in Woodbury is more arrogant, but the one that deal with us was nice. If you go to Coach in Woodbury, get Pat!! She is pretty good.

Ok, stop complaining. We did quite a number of awesome things.

Good foods - Had the best clam chowder in Neptune Oyster at Salem Street, Boston. The same restaurant that caused us had diarrhea due to raw oysters. Ouch! The clam chowder was so good that I nearly wanted to lick the plate. Awesome mozzarella and ricotta pizza New York style during a very heavy rain night. My first time with the anchovies in pizza, stinky, salty yet interestingly addictive. Ah Pek had his first Carbonara spaghetti with pancetta and sweet pea. He liked it. Go to Dean's Pizzeria on Greenwich Street if you are interested.

Universities touring - We went to visit Yale University, Harvard Univeristy, MIT, Mount Holyoke College and Smith College. Each university took us around 1 hour. Particularly like the appearance of Yale and Mount Holyoke. MIT too business district-like. Harvard just too convenient to go to NY downtown. Met up with Suet Li in Mount Holyoke College and she gave us a guide around her school campus. Thanks. :)

Road trip - Like any of our trips together, Ah Pek and me like to drive miles and miles to see a place. Not so much on the typical tourist attractions but definitely good foods are must. As usual, he was driving and I was navigating and zzzzing. One day, I will help you with the driving burden. Sorry ah~~~

New passport - At least I don't have to worry about my passport until 2014 now. Super big face in my passport. Yike!

Subway memories - I feel superior when the best option to move around is through public transport. ^_^ Ah pek is not too good in that, and I am paiseh enough to say I am a "pro". Hehe...

I think I will put photos in my facebook instead of here letting the scams finishing up my monthly widthband.

When will I be seeing him again? *sigh*

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

We won!! ^_^

Today we had a potluck dinner. So many yummy foods and I am bloated now.

So, after my 1st try with the chirashizushi, today Xin and me took two hours to prepare it again, with 80% of the ingredients have prepared on Sunday and Monday, except those that needed to prepare on the day.



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We were much more satisfied with this time in term of appearance and the balance of colors. Also, since seaweed and deep fried anchovies were debatable ingredients of like or hate, we decided to pull them out. Alternatively, striped eggs with two different flavors as well as stir fried shimeji mushroom with shoyu were used. I think we made the right decision.

The outcome?

Not only people loved the taste, we also won the 1st prize in the main and side dishes category.
Yippie~~~ what a surprise. Although the $15 gift card was not even enough to cover 1/2 of the money we spent on the ingredients, Xin and me were truly "proud" with the effort we have put in it.

Out of the 6 prizes for the night, 3 of the prizes won by my lab. Tee hee hee...



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Hicran's tabouli is my all time favorite. It is pretty different from the tabouli that uses a lot of parsley, but more on the cracked wheat. Even though the more sour parsley tabouli is pretty nice and healthy, Hicran's definitely winning over that the green tabouli any time.

And... she won the 2nd prize for the main and side dish category. ;)



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Next, Esra's kadayif. She makes very good dessert. I usually don't eat baklava from shop, mainly it is too sweet for my liking, but Esra's baklava, I can eat three pieces.

Today, she decided to make something else, instead of her well-known baklava which she won the 1st prize last year.

Kadayif was her choice and personally, I like kadayif over baklava. The texture of kadayif are unique. Esra make it into a few layers. The first thing she did, was to mix these very fine vermicelli-like pastry with butter so that each strand was infused with the aroma and flavor of butter. Then, at the bottom layer, the kadayif was mixed with sweet syrup, layered with crushed pistachio, then with the baked crispy top layer. (It actually more ingredients than this I believe, but I have very limited knowledge on Turkish cuisines.) Complicated yet complementing each other so well. I love it.

It is a no surrpise she won the 1st prize again this year for the dessert category. You go girl!



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Ah~~~ a gift card has never look this pretty before.

Because we won!

Yatta!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Making chirashizushi for the 1st time

There are many types of sushi in Japan, but not many of them actually widely known outside of the island.

One of them is chirashizushi.

This coming Tuesday, I will attend an international potluck dinner. So, being a bit ambitious, I want to take this chance to introduce a kind of sushi that is not familiar by the American, so I chose chirashizushi. It is literally mean scattered sushi. No wrapping with nori, but colourful like a rainbow and yummy~~~

Tonight, I tried to make it with Xin, so that we will not screw it up on the real day. We decided not to use any ready to use ingredients, and made everything from the scratch.

After more than two hours...



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Tralalala~~~ fish fish and Xin version of chirashizushi.

I know it is not as colorful looking from the surface, which will definitely be improved on the real day.



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However, scooping the inner would show the colourful side of it.

Xin is a very detailed person, so I let her did all the cutting while I did most of the cooking.

The cooked rice was a bit too sticky, so next time will be less water.
The vinegar mixture I made was just right and nice ratio with the rice.
Other ingredients were sweet shiitake mushroom, sweet carrot and sweet bamboo shoot. Each of these took 15 min to cook.
Then, I also made sour lotus root. Deep fried white anchovies. Stir fried "flat" pea (sorry, forgot the real name) and shrimp. Also, surimi crab stick ready to use from the pack. Lastly, topped with striped egg and crushed nori. (Kamaboko was a bit pricey, decided to cancel that).

The three of us (including Xin's hubby) were really happy with the outcome. It was delicious. Although still some room for improvement, I considered it was a success, especially it was my first time.

Oishikatta!

Friday, April 10, 2009

A good deal

While I went to Washington DC last week, I realized how small carry-on luggage was. Measuring at 17" x 12" x 5.5", it is good for 2-day trip, but when it comes to 3-4 days, it becomes too small.

Since I will be heading to the north again next weekends for 4-day, it is time for me to get a bigger carry-on luggage. Something that is big enough for me to put all my "necessities" while small enough to stuck into the head compartment in flight.

I earned $20 Target gift card yesterday eating cheese stixs. Together with my another $20 Target gift card that I earned couple months ago drinking protein beverages, I decided to try my luck in Target.

No luck with the luggage. Either the SwissGear that will cost me $100 or a crappy model that will cost me $20. I have to ditch both.

While my friend was returning her shirt to Old-Navy, I walked to the nearby Marshall to try my luck instead, without giving any high hope.

Bought something you really like when not expecting anything is the best!



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Look what I got! A nice khaki 21" x 14" x 8.5" expandable upright luggage. It is feather weight, just how I like my luggage to be. I also like the accent of the colourful stripes in the middle.



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It is a Tommy Hilfiger. (Yah, I know it is not a Samsonite).


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This luggage is a classic collection of TH, I believe it was a model of 2007, which was why it was in Marshall.

I was juggling between a few before decided on this one, including a couple from Samsonite, priced about the same as this one. At least at the earlier point, I thought that was the case.



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The suggested retail price by TH was $235.



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But Marshall sold it for only $60. Funny how I totally missed out the red tag.

Only when I looked at it the 3rd time, I saw the figure $29. Holly molly... I love it!



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The inner compartments are spacious, not too decorated with unnecessary compartments that will limit the space. My kind of luggage.



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Bonus charm point, the beautiful striped interior. This bright colour just light up my mood whenever I look at it.



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I know I made the right choice when my 5-year ex-luggage looks small beside it.

I am ready to fly. :D

Saikou~~~

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Back from DC

Turned on my computer was the first thing. Talked to the you-know-who over the phone who paid attention more to his audio recording than talking to the "owner". He named himself like another somchai, "owner" says two, he cannot bark one. His self-pitying imagination always amazed me. :/

Brought my notebook, chic-lit, and all the heavy gadget connectors to Maryland and DC for three days, perfectly untouched in my bag. I never learn wise, don't I?

The trip was much tiring than I thought. But our team won. Next step is the National Champion. Cross the fingers.

What have we done there?

First day, 7 hrs to go from Raleigh to Maryland, thanks to the heavy traffic near DC. Saw sakura trees from far and got all excited. Gosh... have I been that long time away from being spoilt with rows and rows of blooming sakuras? -_-""" Dinner was a self-prepared international affair by the organizers. After dinner entertainment was bowling. Two games with a total of 197 points (only). :P Ended the night with a bottle of Smirnoff ice and shouting in the loud-music pub. Went to bed around 1 am.

Day 2 was awaken by the alarm at 7.20 am. Departed to Maryland University at 8 am. A beautiful campus I must say. However, what is with that non-stop strong wind in a bright sunny day? Our team won the competition. All good. The most impressive answer for the day... a perfect answer of a girl for a question of "What is the address of XXX". Very impressive. We just had to clap for her. Lunch were two half sandwich from Panera. Went back to Ramada to dress up and ready to head out again. I was wearing my 2.5-inch wedged boots for 10 hours. A piece of cake for some girls, but not me, so I was indeed proud of myself for surviving the pain. I wore that boots to see sakuras nearby the Potomac River and restaurants trolling. Too rush to appreciate the flowers. Bye bye sakura, although it was less impressive than I thought. Still, the crowds and the flowers reminded me so much of the land of sakuras. I wish I could eat a rice ball under the tree and read a book. Next time, perhaps. The restaurants trolling concept was someting fun, but wrong restaurants and wrong number of people. Or should I say, wrong amount of money. More on that later days. Still, the night was pretty fun. Ended up reaching the hotel around 12.30 am and went to bed around 1 am.

Day 3 was short and simple. Brushed and changed. Ate a crappy hotel breakfast. Ate lunch. Slept and woke up and talked and slept and woke up and talked... repeatedly until reached Raleigh.

This was the last time for me to join and I am glad I did. :)

Tanoshikatta.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Back in action

Hellooooo~~~

Gosh~ Did not realise I have not been updating this blog for more than 1.5 months. Just not motivated to do. Stupid blogspot keep having those spams visiting my photos caused my widthband of my photobucket to exceed the limit even during the middle of the month, so I could not really update my blog with photos. Maybe I should just stick to writing posts for the time being, but I am not good at it. :(

My life have been pretty "boring". Work, home, work, home. Not even to the gym. Very bad.

I need to get a healthier and nicer life in spring. Or else next year cannot "married".

Sent my federal and state tax filing at the same time last week. Federal has to return the money to me and I have to pay the state some money. The one that wanted my money have claimed my check, while I still have not heard a single thing from federal yet. Such a different in efficiency. *sigh* I want my money.

I have been working 15 hr yesterday and 9 hr today because I need to fit 3-day work into 2-day. Tomorrow, I will be going to Washington DC for a "free trip". Free transportation, free accommodation. Time to loosen up a bit.

Only about 4 more months I will be leaving Raleigh for good. Gosh... thinking about it making me panic. So many work to finish by then.

I always notice how I tend to be slower in liking things like a feminine female. Be it loving a guy, putting on lipstick... and lately, falling in love with bags and shoes. LOL

Bags particularly. Googling different bags have overtook my time in playing neopets. I wonder you know who prefers me to get into which one. :P

I should really go to the bed now. It is almost 1.30am, good. Past two nights tried to sleep before 12am, big fail. Struggled on the bed looking at the ceiling.

Hope I can sleep well tonight. Oyasumi.