Monday, 10 August 2015

Vegetarian dumpling recipe

My favourite Sunday afternoon snack: dumplings. Photo by me, I made the dumplings, my partner made the sauce

I love dumplings. I love it so much that I learned how to make it myself so that I didn’t have to depend on my lovely Chinese friends who can be too busy to satiate my dumpling cravings. But my dumpling journey has been a bumpy one, until recently when I improved my dumpling making skills. I have concluded that I love pan-frying my dumplings with just a little bit of water; it results in crispy bottom and translucent upper part that are just divine. I first got the inspiration from watching one of Poh's shows on ABC, and after trying this method, I'm totally in love with the results (and Poh is such a lovely chef as well, it doesn't hurt...).


Sunday, 26 July 2015

Vegetarian paella

Our favourite vegetarian paella is Remy’s in Malvern, Melbourne. We’ve tried to imitate it countless times and never made it close enough. Until tonight, that is, when we followed Omar Allibhoy’s tips which we modified for a vegetarian twist.

Ingredients (for 2-3 people)

Olive oil
½ onion
½ red onion
1 leek (the white part)
Chopped red and green capsicums (or red chilies if you don’t have capsicums)
Carrots, sliced
Mushrooms, sliced
4 garlic, crushed
Green peas or broad beans or lima beans (or all of these)
Okras, sliced
1 tsp smoked paprika powder
Rosemary and thyme
1 crushed or grated tomato, optional
3 cups of vegetable stocks (I put two blocks of stocks)
500 mg saffron, toasted
Chopped parsley
1 cup of callaspara, bomba or valenciana rice
Lemon wedges to serve

See this video for the original recipe from Omar Allibhoy. Our modified version is below. 

Friday, 3 April 2015

Cinderella reaffirms my belief in dreams, courage and kindness

The 2015 Cinderella movie is the talk in town now, at least in my Icha-town. I’ve seen it once, loved it so much that I plan to see it again tomorrow. But actually, before I went to see it for the first time, I was quite apprehensive.

And it was actually quite difficult not to, these days. What with wars here and there, difficulties to get a permanent job that makes you happy, murders at many places (the Germanwings crash is still in my mind), I have to admit, my psyche was not really cheerful when I entered the cinema last week. 

I was also sceptical about the whole old-fashion (read: 1950s) fairy tale idea. I mean, who got her Prince Charming without doing anything these days? Don’t get me wrong: I love Disney. But I have long decided that my favourite princess is actually Belle, with the Beast as my favourite prince. Beauty and the Beast is my all-time favourite Disney movie that I’ve watched, followed by Alladin (I said so because I have not seen Frozen – yes, sue me. The DVD is on my lounge desk, ready to be viewed after I went to the rental last night). But the old, classical Disney movies? “Meh” is my most passionate answer.

Of course I love the idea of Prince Charming. I love Cinderella’s white ball gown in the 1950s animation (it was white, not blue). I love her sparkling glass slippers; I even had one when I was but a little girl, and I did run around the living room wearing the slippers. But that was my childhood. After I became a woman, a few years after watching Beauty and the Beast, I started rewatching Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty... and I was like... okay... so what is it again that we loved about these movies?

Friday, 6 February 2015

Eulogy for Dad

I dreamt of my dad two nights ago, or perhaps yesterday morning. Dreams, after all, at times come at the end of our sleep, so that must have been yesterday dawn time...

In my dream, he was at a small warung at Benoa, so happened to be where we scattered his ashes last December. He was smiling at me. He said hi, and his voice was clear to me; it was indeed his voice. His humble voice after understanding his mistakes, after learning more about spirituality. He looked sad, as if he was sad to say goodbye, but he knew he needed to go. He had to go to the other dimension for his growth.

And why did Dad have to go to another dimension? Because he passed away late last year, 25 November 2014 at about 15:30 Queensland time. Yes, it was a difficult time for me... but it was relieving as well, knowing that he is now free from pain. Knowing that he is now in peace, albeit a bit sad to leave me, my sister etc. behind.

I’ve thought about posting a eulogy for him after the cremation, which was conducted in Bali on 3 December 2014. I had planned to read the eulogy to the audience during the cremation. But it never happened; it was not in the Balinese tradition to read a eulogy. Too bad, cos I think it would add a layer of personality to the whole tradition.  Since then, I had been meaning to post my eulogy in my blog. I just never made time. The dream tho, seems to suggest that I really should.

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Of laces and intimates...

Image from here
I haven’t posted on this blog for over a year now. Mostly I’ve been using Facebook to post short comments, but never a long one. There’s a reason tho, why I still long for my own personal space, for my FB has been more of a professional page these days. Nothing wrong with it, for it grows my professional life as well. But at times, I do long for a personal space where I can talk about intimate stuffs without having it posted on my wall. Just like when I talk of laces and intimates.

Some random readers might have arrived at this blog looking for shoe size. Some might have then deduced, correctly, that I was a shoe lover. I still am. But these days I’m also an intimate lover. I love wearing matching bras and panties. I love hunting for the pair panties if they are out of stock at the shop. I love washing my bras and panties by hand, taking care that the colours don’t run (it happened earlier this month to my favourite Elle Macpherson plume collection, thanks to a runny pantyhose... and I haven’t forgiven myself for that).
I love installing my bras and panties inside my drawers properly. I love my intimate collections. I now have a policy of keeping the brand tag to remind me what their series name and colour code, so I can look for them again online if they are damaged and I need to replace them.

There’s something lovely and sensual about taking care of your intimate collections. Sexual too, but not necessarily so at all times. It’s like taking care of your most intimate physical self (maybe that’s why they call it “intimates”), which eventually makes you happier and appreciates yourself more. Along with this thought is the proper choice of sizing (many women do not wear the correct bra size) and the proper care of your intimate collection (don’t wash them with runny pantyhose, even of the same colour, for instance...). 

So here I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on the proper choice and care of our intimates based on my personal experience and also from online reading. The tips is mostly about the bras, but to some extent, it also applies to panties. I will also share a thought about my favourite brand. I’m not paid by them in any way. I want to write about this brand because I have been wearing it since 2009 and I still wear it now.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Baking a crispy pizza using a pizza stone

Our homemade vegetarian pizza with three types of cheese
Happy New Year! 

Been a busy start, this 2014, but not without some extra time to cook and explore new recipes. Pizza is one of them. My partner and I had tried to make homemade pizza a few years back, but we weren't happy with the dough. Never got cooked well, even with the use of pizza stone which should result in crispier base.

That was until a few days ago when we decided to open an old recipe book and tried the Super Food Ideas quick pizza dough, wholemeal version. It was okay, but the base was still sticky and wasn't really crispy. Wonder what went wrong again...

We still had half of the pizza dough this morning. So, for lunch, I decided to just use the pizza dough and try again, with more flour this time. It worked. It worked really well, actually, such that I feel the need to share it here.

Read on for the tips to bake a crispy pizza using a pizza stone. At least, I think it works for me...

Modified from Super Food Ideas - April 2007, Page 69
Original Recipe by Janelle Bloom



  • 2 cups plain flour (or 1 cup plain flour and 1 cup wholemeal flour; or 2 cups of wholemeal flour)
  • 8g sachet instant dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


Friday, 15 November 2013

Nicky Wu and Liu Shi Shi are dating!!!

They're finally dating! Pix from Nicky's weibo

Okay, I really need to work my deadlines now, but I just cannot stop myself from doing this:



Nicky Wu Qi Long and Cecilia Liu Shi Shi are dating! Nicky acknowledged this fact on 13 November at 2:06 am (Shanghai time, I think) from his weibo, and Liu Shi Shi confirmed it three minutes later (see this post from Dramamusing). They are officially dating, and they have actually been dating for quite a few months now! And no one, NONE of their fans (including myself) suspected this!

Okay, we hoped, of course. We rooted, of course. But they were never seen together other than in film festivals and awards and promo shoots, so we were like, yeah... never gonna happen (but it would be great if it could...). Totally missed this one news in August 2013 when someone spotted both of them buying ice cream together etc, but I might just dismissed it back then, for fear of getting my hope crushed.

But now apparently, they do!

Immortals of Meluha: the Indonesian translation by Mizan

I received very good news last Tuesday when Bebe, one of my best friends in Bali, told me that The Immortals of Meluha (Book One of the Shiva Trilogy) has been translated to Indonesian by Mizan. Better, the book has been read by her friends who in return became big fans of the Trilogy, or at least its first book. Intrigued, I searched for the book at the local Gramedia at Kuta last Wednesday and was happy to find that it was prominently displayed there. I usually avoid reading the translation because we tend to miss the nuance in the translation, not to mention cases of really bad translations that left me with no choice but sourcing the English versions online. 

I’m glad to report that this is not the case with The Immortals of Meluha. I dare say translator Nur Aini was doing a very good job at this, such that I recommended the book back to Bebe (who had only seen it without purchasing/reading it). I also went to the Denpasar Gramedia today just buy two extra copies. Turns out, they have only four copies left, and I couldn’t find them in the store. The store assistant said that this book is a bestseller, so it runs out quickly. Well, there you go.

So anyway, I thought I’d better give a review of the Indonesian translation of Meluha. Because I’d like my fellow Indonesians who don’t usually read English find this post, from here on I will switch to Indonesian language. But just to give my impression of the book in an English nutshell, I think Mizan (the publisher/translator/distributor) did a good job at translation and re-designing the cover (tho I still think the original cover is very powerful). I’m surprised that we didn’t detect this version earlier tho, for it was first published in April this year. Better late than never, I guess.

Immortals of Meluha: impresi saya

Jadi ceritanya, selama hampir 1.5 tahun saya dan Bebe telah jatuh cinta dengan Shiva Trilogy. Bermula dari bulan Juli 2012 saat saya menemukan buku tersebut online dalam bahasa Inggris, saat sedang keluyuran di dunia maya mencari komik apa saja tentang Shiva. Sebenarnya yang saya pertama temukan adalah YouTube-nya, yang saya muat di sini. Sejak saat itu, saya dan Bebe membaca ketiga buku dalam rentang hampir setahun (paling susah menunggu keluarnya The Oath of the Vayuputra, buku ketiga). Susah juga carinya, karena Amish, walo jagoan marketing, ternyata karena satu dan lain hal tidak menjual bukunya secara luas di luar negeri. Jadinya saya harus mengontak teman saya di India untuk membelikan buku-buku tersebut untuk kami. Untungnya harga buku di India murah banget, jadi kami bisa beli beberapa sekaligus (ada teman kami yang lain yang juga suka).

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Vayuputra review and fanfiction: Difficulties in letting go and moving on

Neelkanth visualised by Amish et al (I have to say that those lips are adorable...)

I have difficulties in letting go, at times. Or moving on, at times. One of the recent examples is Amish’ The Oath of the Vayuputra. Case in the point: I received the book from my dear friend in India in late April, finish it in three days (non-continuous reading due to my schedule), and yet have never been able to sit down and write the review. Until now. Because I am still in denial (yes, it’s not only a river in Egypt… which I will mention again at the end of this review).

Several things made it difficult for me to let go. The ending, for one – and I’m sure I’m not alone in this matter. I read online that a girl still hadn’t been able to let go after two weeks of finishing Vayuputra. Well, I’m into six months after finishing it, and I still cannot let go. There are some nitpicks of course, which made me wish that Amish had somewhat wrote the book rather differently. But the most important thing is the ending. 

So, to make it shorter-ish, I will divide the review into what I love, what I like, and what I dislike (and I wish I could change). Heavy spoilers for those who haven’t read the book yet. 

Monday, 23 September 2013

Kiyoku Yawaku: Okada Masaki's new movie

Been very busy in my real life... But just now, I suddenly missed Okada Masaki. Hence I browsed about him, and found that his new movie Kiyoku Yawaku will have its premiere on 26 October. So happy about it! I hope RED will air it soon in a few months with sub! Or at least I hope I get to see it at Garuda Indonesia...