Monday, January 31, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
I'm warning you now: do not watch without a fire extinguisher nearby.
Friday, January 28, 2011
This is because they make each order a la minute. The guy toasts the youtiao and chopped peanuts over a charcoal grill, while the tiny, stooped-over elderly woman peels the jicama by hand and chops all the fruit. He then mixes the sauce according to your spice specifications (hot or mild), then puts everything in a wooden bowl and tosses it by hand.
It's so humbling to watch these two people quietly at work, executing a dish that they've perfected. Eating it, you taste all of the fresh ingredients, the secret dressing recipe (that's been passed down through the generations), and the earnest dedication of these people to serving the very best version of their prized dish.
Have you tried rojak? If someone put squid in your fruit salad, would you run away screaming, or pick up a fork and dig in?
Thursday, January 27, 2011
I know I'm an old married lady, but I'm so thrilled for the debut of Anthropologie's bridal line, BHLDN. I was mesmerized by the images on the Flash page: the collection looks whimsical, romantic, and gorgeous with at least a handful of bridesmaid dresses that can be adapted for party dresses.
Also mesmerizing? The music accompanying the Flash images, which is Ammina's "What Are We Waiting For?" It's dreamy. Like Sigur Ros on valium.
Are you prancing around in your prettiest heels waiting for Valentine's Day to see the new collection?
My sister, the intrepid reporter, has a new expose out on the newest addition to the food truck phenomena: mobile treats for pets.
Ok, I'm never actually bored by dance. But I caught an episode of Paula Abdul's "Live to Dance" show On Demand, and wow oh wow is it bad. Some of the acts look so under-rehearsed, ill-prepared, and sloppy they'd never make it past the first round of SYTYCD. And even some of the talented acts come off as overly competition-oriented (shiny, sparkly, cheesy).
That being said (and despite their costumes), I kind of dig this group "Twitch" from Florida:
And this sweet ballet duo from San Francisco called "White Tree Fine Art":
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Since it's hot all year long in Singapore, it stands to reason that the most popular Singaporean desserts are served over ice. While I'm not a huge fan of icy desserts, my mom and sister have a seemingly insatiable appetite for this stuff. My mom's favorite is cendol, which is made with coconut milk, shaved ice, palm sugar, and syrup. The funky-looking green substance on top is a jelly made from pandan leaf and rice flour. It's like a more sophisticated, chewier, and more filling snow cone.
My sister, however, loves ice kacang, which is also a dessert that involves shaved ice, flavored syrups, and red bean. As evidenced by these photos, we had a lot of ice kacang. Some places serve it with corn, others with mango or durian, still others with red beans, grass jelly, aloe vera, attap chee (palm nuts), or even ice cream. All, however, begin the same way: with a huge bowl of ice that is freshly shaved off a cylinder (like an icy version of gyro, no?).
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
I've often thought I'd make a good cartoon: I have a cartoonish face (big eyes, smushy nose, buck teeth) and a cartoonish life (I swear an anvil* nearly dropped on my head the other day), and I've got all types of silly schemes I am looking forward to implementing against an evil nemesis.
* Ok, it was a hammer, but close enough.
But since Tom already has Jerry, and Jem the Misfits, I have to satisfy my desire for an illustrated life elsewhere. Our friend's sister, Dina Kantor, made me this sweet illustration based on our favorite wedding photo after I fell in love with the whimsical illustration and photography work on her blog and website.
|Illustration by Dina Kantor (Sam and Gertie Photography)|
Since our third(!) anniversary is coming up, I was thinking of maybe having the illustration printed on canvas or simply framed as part of an anniversary gift -- sort of like this framed version of an illustration Dina created for my sister- and brother-in-law to commemorate the arrival of our niece:
|Image source: Dina Kantor (Sam and Gertie Photography)|
It's pretty awesome, right? (I particularly like how the illustration picked up on all the details important to my BIL and SIL: the framed photo of our parents dancing and the Dylan and Springsteen prints.)
|Image Source: Dina Kantor (Sam and Gertie Photography)|
For her own wedding, Dina created a display of illustrations she made of family wedding photos. It's such a charming and modern take on a traditional concept.
|Image Source: Dina Kantor (Sam and Gertie Photography)|
The most genius touch, though, is that she made a framed illustration of each of her wedding guests, which doubled as favors and escort cards. I so wish we could have had something personal and fun like these instead of the semi-useless tchotchkes we imposed on our guests.
Sigh. Maybe for the next wedding. ;-P I kid, I kid.
What are your favorite personalized gifts? Any additional ideas for third anniversary gifts? (It's supposed to be leather . . . or crystal . . . but I'm not really into either.)
Editor's note: My friend Alisa just pointed out that the upcoming anniversary is my SECOND, not third. Doh! Apparently marriage has broken my brain. The second anniversary gift is cotton, so perhaps I should screen print Dina's illustration on his/her t-shirts and make my husband wear it as punishment for making time stand still?!
A little Jason Mraz, a whole lot of easy breezy gorgeousness. So perfect for a Sunday.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Here's a typical conversation with my resident physician husband when he's post-call.
Me: Dear, wanna help me dig my car out so I can go visit friend X?
Him (groggily): She's hemodynamically stable.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
What I wanted most of all, though, was to have pop tarts. I would pine after them, and I would see them everywhere . . . at the supermarket, in other kids' sack lunches, in advertisements . . . everywhere but my own hot little hands. And that's pretty much Joanne Chang's memory too.
I took the bus to elementary school every day with Linda, my best childhood friend and next-door neighbor. We always sat together in the third row and shared our breakfasts-on-the-go. Most of the time I had buttered toast or a traditional bao (Chinese white steamed bun)—pretty boring. Linda’s mom often sent her with foil-wrapped packets of Pop-Tarts, which I could never get her to trade with me. She shared bites with me occasionally, but I longed to have my own, and I could never convince my mom to buy them. When I started baking professionally, I dreamed of all the things I would offer at my own bakery. Those childhood tarts were high on my list, and I thought if I made them from scratch, they could surpass the packaged supermarket version I remembered. I was right.
Joanne Chang's Homemade Pop Tarts Recipe
This is Ollie. He's 10 weeks old, and his parent's unwisely let me have a photo session with him, which consisted of me spending two hours scheming over how to smuggle him out of their house.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
I'm a little bit obsessed with Tokyo's choreography. This is, with all its flaws, still Perfection.
Friday, January 14, 2011
For some inexplicable reason, I cannot keep a manicure for more than a day: I must be operating heavy tools or doing some serious manual labor in my sleep, because inevitably my nails become chipped and sad looking within hours of a manicure. Recently my fashionista friend Alisa introduced me to the UV gel manicure at the Pyara Aveda Salon in Harvard Square, and I swear it's changed my life.
|Shellac manicure, day 3|
|New manicure, day 1|
P.S. I think I need to moisturize my hands more. My knuckles look like pug faces.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
I, however, like to save room for the unusual, like these kueh pie tee ("top hat") cups we tried at Blue Ginger. The pie tee cups are like crispier, lighter versions of mini pate brisee shells. They are made with rice flour and deep fried in metal molds that have the shape of upside-down cannelles.
In my next installment, sweet snacks and desserts!
A crazy blizzard is keeping sane people indoors today.
Jellyby, however, is neither sane nor a person (though don't tell her that), so she had a blast making snow angels, bounding in and out of the foot-high snow drifts, and peeing on the fresh snow.
With the Totally Rad Lightroom presets, I finally got around to editing some of my non-food photos from Singapore.
|A close-up of the tower at the Hindu temple|
|View of the blue buoys off Marina Bay|
|The Chinese temple|
|A lantern at the Chinese temple|
|The full tower at the Hindu temple|