Monday, December 29, 2008
1/2 cup milk
3 slices bread, crumbled (toast lightly and blend in food processor)
1 kilogram minced beef (can substitute with pork)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped parsley (can substitute with other herbs - fresh herbs preferred but if not availble, can use dried herbs)
1 clove garlic, smashed, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
In a medium bowl, beat eggs lightly; add milk and bread and let stand for about 5 minutes. Add minced beef, onion, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper; mix gently until well blended. Shape into about 24 meatballs, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place meatballs in a generously greased large shallow baking pan. Bake meatballs at 220°C for 25 minutes.
If you wish to serve spaghetti with the meatball, you can whip up this classic tomato sauce to accompany the spaghetti. In my earlier days, I used to buy the spaghetti sauce in a jar. Then J & I "outgrew" the tomato-based sauce and moved on to olio. Since I discovered this simple recipe, we have re-discovered our taste for this classic sauce.
1 kilogram ripe plum tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup snipped fresh basil, oregano, or parsley
Peel, seed, and finely chop the fresh plum tomatoes. Or, if you're lazy, like me, skip the first 2 steps. Heat oil over medium heat, sauté onion until tender. When it just begins to turn golden, add remaining sauce ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt, if necessary.
Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain. Serve spaghetti topped with meatballs in sauce; sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.
Friday, December 19, 2008
We were there on a Monday night, which happens to be their Southern Night with live music. We were there early but the place was already packed. Fortunately, we managed to get a spot at the bar. Do make reservations if you plan to visit to avoid any disappointments.
J opted for the Country Style Pork Ribs whilst I had the Creole Seafood Jambalaya. The pork ribs were so flavourful and melts in your mouth. It was definitely better than the one we had in New York city! I've never tasted Jambalaya before and I was not disapppointed. The seafood- shrimps, scallops, mussels were so fresh. Cooked together with chorizo and wild rice in seafood stock, it was a meal to be had! The cornbread...Yummy!
We were really full after our main meals but we were told that the desserts were delicious and should not be missed. So, we ordered the Slow Ass Ginger Spice Apple Cake (which was highly recommended) and the Dark Chocolate Capuccino Mousse (I can't resist anything with dark chocolate). I'm glad we heeded the advice as the desserts were absolutely wonderful!
We really enjoyed our meal at the Simply Red. Not only did we meet talented Chef Sam Izzo (we were amazed at how young she was), we also enjoyed great conversation with the bartender and the gentleman we sat next to at the bar. Good food, great conversation - an unforgettable experience all round.
Simply Red Bistro
7448 Rte 153, Ovid, NY 14521
607 532 9401 ext 111
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Nor is it about presents
Jesus is the reason
For the Christmas season
Every mall is decked with bright cheery Christmas trees and decorations. Crowds of shoppers doing their last minute Christmas shopping. We dream of turkey and pudding, and wonder about the presents we'll be getting under the Christmas tree. While it is wonderful to exchange presents and cards and spend time catching up with family and friends, let us remember that Jesus is the reason for the season. It was this time more than 2000 years ago when a baby boy was born to a virgin, a gift from God to His people - a Saviour to redeem us from our sins.
Friday, December 12, 2008
I was in tears when I saw the press conference two days ago. Here was a man who have just lost his loved ones to a tragic accident. No one would blame him if he demanded for justice and accountability from the authorities. Yet he did no such thing. Instead he exhibited such compassion for the pilot and deep belief in God. May God's grace and comfort hold him up in this time of sorrow.
A psalm of David.
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
"When I admire the wonder of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the Creator"
After witnessing the other night's smiling moon phenomenon and many beautiful sunsets, I can't help but be reminded once again about how great God is. I am in awe.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
However, if there is a show that you really want to catch and the shows are really good or are fairly new, then chances of getting tickets at the TKTS booth are slim or non-existent (for e.g. Wicked and Lion King). Thanks to a friend, we managed to get Lion King tickets from the Minskoff theatre at full price. At least, we didn't have to pay a premium from third party websites. The Lion King was awesome - right down from the creative animal costumes to the jungle props to the world-class music (who can forget the haunting tune of Elton John's "Circle of Life"). Lion King was worth the top dollar paid!
In New York city, there are 2 TKTS booths:
1) Times Square - Located "under the red steps" In Father Duffy Square on
Broadway and 47th Street.Sells day-of-performance tickets only
2) South Street Seaport - Located at the corner of Front and John Streets, near the rear of the Resnick/ Prudential Building at 199 Water Street. Sells tickets to evening performances on the day of the performance, and matinee tickets the day before.
Although, it's located downtown, we went to the South Street Seaport as the booth opens at 11am whilst the Times Square booth only opens at 3pm. Do go earlier as the queue usually starts before the booth opens. Be prepared with a couple of show options because you don't know what shows will be on sale that day.
However, there is still a good selection of shows on sale. We managed to get really good seats (on the 3rd row) for Hair Spray. We were so close we could see the sweat on the faces of the performers. The show was very entertaining. There were groovy dance moves and catchy tunes. We found ourselves tapping our feet and rooting for Tracy Turnblad (everyone loves to see the underdog succeed)!
I really wanted to catch Mama Mia. Unfortunately, there were no available discount tickets on the days we went to the TKTS booth. That's the luck of the draw. Fortunately, Mama Mia (the London production) is coming to Malaysia in December. So, I will get to see it after all - at full price. Still, there are some things worth splurging on!
Sunday, November 9, 2008
I was just in Seoul and was inspired to share a Korean proverb. Blogs are a classic example of this proverb. Words on our blogs traverse across continents and time differences!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
United Nations Statue Of Liberty
All forms of water transportation
Fancy a cruise???
How about a ferry across to Staten Island???
Friday, October 24, 2008
I guess it's true. It's usually the women who grapple with this issue, especially if they have kids. Maybe it's in the genetic make-up of a woman, or perhaps it's due to society's expectation of a woman's role in the family. Whatever the reason, I believe each woman has to choose her own path.
I have known women with children who work full time and known others who gave up their careers to look after their children. Some have gone back to work after their children are grown. They have struggled to re-learn skills and acquire new skills before re-joining the workforce. Some countries have a system in place to assist these women. In other countries, you have to do it on your own.
It's tough. But women have prevailed. Eleanor Roosevelt puts it aptly when she said "A woman is like a teabag. You never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water"
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
1) Get Out
Getting out of the house once a day is a great way to energize yourself and prevent boredom.
Comment: It is easy to be be stuck at your desk when it's a busy period. I'm glad that I have Kess. Going for walks with her gets me out of the house twice a day for exercise.
Keep your work place separate from the rest of the house. By keeping the area you work out of sight, it is easier to relax when you're not working. It also prevents family members from picking things up or moving projects you could be working on.
Comment: This tip was the reason why I decided to designate a separate room as my home office as opposed to working in the living or dining room. Besides, it also helps put me in a working frame of mind without the distraction of the TV.
3) Take Short Breaks
By taking a few minutes off to load laundry, read the papers or do the dishes, you will be able to relax and come back refreshed.
Comment: Taking short breaks applies whether you work in an office or at home. Our brains and body needs a short break to recharge. Of course, the infamous long tea breaks typically associated with certain organisations does not fall into this category.
Decide on number of acceptable hours to work each day and stick with it.
Comment: I agree that one should be disciplined, especially when working from home. However, the beauty of working from home is having the flexibility. So, if something else pops up, I would just make up for it another time - as long as I can meet my deadline. One just need to be sensible with time management.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Last week, I was busy reorganising my study to become a proper home office. This required planning the most efficient work area and acquiring new bookcases for filing. At the end, I felt a satisfaction knowing that the time spent organising was well spent.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
A little bit of history
View of Central Park
Friday, October 3, 2008
"He has made everything beautiful in its time..."
God's timing is always perfect. Just as I was ready to end my self-gifted sabbatical, He provided me the job that I was looking for. Now, I'm working from home and am happy that I don't have to get stuck in traffic commuting to work. Truly He has made everything beautiful in its time!
Sunday, September 21, 2008
1) Macy's Herald Square
After one full day of traipsing from 1 outlet to another, it was so good to be able to relax at the Inn at Stony Creek, a bed and breakfast located in Warwick, about 20 minutes drive from Woodbury (for more pictures, read my post on bed and breakfasts) . We just kicked off our shoes, sat on the porch and enjoyed nature's bright fire-fly show and listened to the symphony of crickets. Then, we headed up to our cosy room in this lovingly restored historical farmhouse for a well-deserved rest. The next morning, we were treated to a scrumptious breakfast of oven-baked french toast and sausage patties. What a lovely way to end a shopping spree!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Following through my last post on our visit to Philea Home, I wanted to share a quote on giving. Giving isn't just about money. It's also giving of our love and time. In the busy world we live in, we are sometimes so preoccupied with getting more. Sometimes it feeds itself, the more we get, the more we want. And in the quest of making a living, we forget to make a life. We have no time and energy to give to our loved ones, let alone strangers. So, take a step back to reflect and make a life by giving.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
We spent the afternoon singing songs and playing games with the kids. They had so much fun (we did too, despite the sweltering afternoon heat) and thrived on the attention. After the activities, we had cakes for tea, another special treat for them. By then, their curiosities got the better of them. They couldn't resist peeking into the bag of goodies we had lined up by the door. As each bag had a name, they were looking to see which bag was theirs...Kids will be kids! When we called each child individually, it was a pleasure to see the sheer joy in their faces as they came up to receive their goody bag.
Truly, it is more blessed to give than to receive. We went with the intention to bless the children. In the end, we were the ones who were blessed.
My friend Doris captured some amazing shots of the children. Check out her post on our visit to Philea.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
John C. Maxwell
How true it is that action speaks louder than words. How sad it is that a majority of our political leaders have yet to learn this truth...
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
It all started on late Sunday night when we heard mewing coming from the airwell up on our roof. We also heard a thudding sound as if someone (or something) was knocking against the door of the airwell. Needless to say, it wasn't a restful night...
The next morning, we heard the mewing again. This time, it sounded desparate. Obviously, the kitty couldn't figure out how to get off the roof (typical!) We had to do something. Hubby had to go off to work. I wasn't brave enough to climb up the stairwell. What was I to do? My neighbour suggested I call the Bomba (Malay word for firemen). They sent a team within 20 minutes. I was amazed at their efficiency!
They came equipped with their animal pole and thick leather gloves. Had a quick chat with the friendly firefighters and found out that cat rescues from the roof are a common occurence. Sometimes when the firefighters show up, the cats decide to "rescue themselves"...Since there was silence, they thought that this may be the case. But they were good sports and went up to check anyway.
They found one frightened and angry kitten, hiding behind the water tank. It must have found its way through a gap and couldn't get out again. Now I understand why they had thick gloves. The lil' kitty was spitting, snarling and scratching like crazy! Mid-way, the frightened kitty poo-ed, leaving a trail of poo in my home! Sigh...
It wasn't pleasant cleaning up the poo and wiping my floor throroughly with disinfectant. It cost us money to call in the pest control to fumigate the roof against fleas (our neighbour's home was infested with fleas after a cat gave birth on their roof). We didn't want to risk flea bites.
But, we were grateful to the men in red. Often times, we don't think very highly of public service. This team of firefighters did a wonderful job rescuing the kitten. Not only that, they performed this public service cheerfully! Well done, to our Malaysian firefighters!
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
One of the unique aspects of NYC is the firefighters. We never failed to see the fire engines whizzing past every single day (and night) we were there. They're kept really busy!
Tribute to the brave firefighters who perished in the line of duty
New York is truly an amazing city! There are so many facets to this fascinating city, which I'm sure the locals can attest to. As a visitor, I am glad to have tasted a glimpse of NY life, if only for a few days.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Everyone makes mistakes. But, if we learn from our mistakes, then we become "experienced" people!
Friday, August 29, 2008
How do you know if you would enjoy staying at a bed and breakfast?
- You love meeting new people. Apart from meeting the host, usually, you would have breakfast together with other guests at the dining table. At the end of breakfast, you'll be amazed at how much you've learnt about the other guests.
- You appreciate old houses. Most B&Bs are restored old homes and lovingly furnished with antiques.
- You cherish the personal touch. Each room is unique. The better B&Bs will also provide chocolates and toiletries.
- You want to go local. The hosts are more than happy to recommend local places to visit and local restaurants for dining. We have not been dissapointed by the recommendations!
- You don't mind walking up stairs with your luggage (or if you're lazy like us, leave your suitcases in the car and just bring up a small overnight bag).
- You relish a good cooked breakfast. When we were in New York, we really enjoyed the cooked breakfasts served in the B&Bs. (The complimentary bagel and cream cheese served in some motels pales in comparison. Some hotels don't even provide complimentary breakfast)
Breakfast Menu - Inn at Stony Creek, Warwick, New York
B&Bs are not for those who:
- Require room service.
- Want to sleep in or leave early (Most B&Bs serve breakfast between 8.30-9.00am).
- Want to party all night.
- Prefer to keep to themselves.
- Must have a television. Not all B&Bs have television and cable. So, if you're a TV die-hard fan, check first.