Toy Organization

Ah, yes, look at my stuffed animals. Aren’t they great? Aren’t they grand? All of them, except for Kumagoro (the bunny) and Eeyore (my travelling buddy), were amassed within the last year. Gifts, well, prizes on dates we’ve been on to the arcade. The biggest one was when he tried to sway me into being his girlfriend. I guess it worked, but YMMV.

Only problem with them is that they render half my desk completely useless. Whatever shall I do? A quick trip to Canadian Tire solved the problem quite quickly. Might I mention here that the term ‘quick’ is only relative, and since I’m not at all a handy person, it took me more than an hour and a half to do. 20 minutes were spent debating if the table would hold my weight.

What’s in my arsenal? A replacement hockey net measuring 60 inches by 44 inches (left), golden hooks with a little gate and tiny screws at one end (top middle), anchors for the tiny screws (bottom middle), and a ruler. I only used 2 out of 4 items. Turns out you need a drill to use the anchors, so I quickly tossed those aside. As for the ruler, my arms got tired, so I eyeballed it.

What in the world are we going to do with that, you ask? Little hooks and a hockey net? You don’t even play hockey!

You’re right, I don’t, but bear with me. See, you screw the hooks into the wall! Grand, amazing, it’s great. I ended up using 5 of them.

And then I hung the net on them. (This is your cue.)

Oooohh.

Aaaaahh.

Here, you see the placement of 4 of the hooks.

The teddy bears go inside the pants. Er.. net. I used the fifth hook on the left to create an entrapping flap so that the toys don’t fall forward.

Genius!
As you can see, the hook at the top right seems to have moved! Yes, this is due to the fact that I didn’t use anchors. Therefore, the screw came loose and pulled itself out! Daring bastard.

Now I have room on my desk to do things like this:

Mixa’s been begging me for that painting for years! I finally did it.

Ooh, also at Canadian Tire, I found these cute little hooks that you just push into your drywall. I use them to hang my necklaces on now.

Can you believe, 4 of them for only 2-3$! It’s great.

Anyway, that’s episode one of fixing up the place. Futon should be coming in within the next few weeks, hopefully, and then I’ll actually have furniture. And then maybe, just maybe, you’ll get full pictures of the whole place. Just maybe.

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Apartment Cooking

So, I have been doing some light cooking while at home. Man, do I love a great meal made with my own hands. Well, my own hands and the supermarket. One of the first recipes I made was this tomato-cream one from one of my favourite food bloggers, Ree Drummond. It’s so insanely easy to make, and so insanely delicious to eat, if you’re a fan of rosée ish sauces. Mmm. You basically just cook up some onions and garlic, then pour in some puréed or crushed tomatoes, cook till the tomatoes darken, then pour in some heavy cream. Mix it up, pour in parmesan cheese, and then mix in the noodles. Unfortunately, I don’t have my own photo to add here, too busy devouring. But it turned out more or less like that. So yummy. On non-lent Fridays, I’ll add some chicken breast in for more substance to the pasta, but even plain is good enough.

My first meal, with tomatoes tossed onto me from my friend Zizi after she cut up too much, I made some enchiladas. Just some taco beef and beans inside the tortilla, with melted Monterey Jack and medium Chedder, cilantro, and fresh tomatoes on top.

I do eat quite a bit of pasta, but only because I bought this one never-ending package of fettucini, 900g, and for 1.5 people, it’s lasted me a whole month. This one is an incredibly fresh pasta that is the easiest thing to make. There’s no cooking involved, aside from boiling the pasta. I basically took a bruschetta recipe that an italian mama taught me, but they’re a dime a dozen. It’s only 4 basic ingredients chopped and tossed in together with a bit of olive oil.

  • 2 small Tomatoes
  • 0.5 red onion (they’re sweeter, but you can use any, really. Depends on your preference)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic (a fuckton)
  • 4 leaves of fresh basil
  • Olive Oil
  • Red Wine Vinegar (I decided to add this on a whim, experimenting with your recipes is the fun part!)
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Salt and pepper

First, start boiling your water and cook your pasta. Remember to generously salt your water, as this is the only place you’ll be able to add some flavour to the inside of the pasta.

So, you chop up the first 2 ingredients. I only put a fuckton of garlic because I love garlic, so if you don’t like it, feel free to lessen it, but the garlic really does make a difference. These are the approximate proportions, but really, I go by what ‘looks right.’ If you don’t like that many onions, don’t put that many. The real workers of this recipe are the tomatoes, garlic, and basil. The onions are the least important ingredient, but is still kind of important.

I digress. Chop those first 2 ingredients. Mince the garlic. Chiffonade your basil aka cut it into thin-ish strips. An easy way to do this is to stack the leaves on top of each other, roll them up, and start slicing. Take all of that stuff, throw them together, lube them up with a bit of olive oil and a splash of red wine vinegar. The vinegar is optional. Add some salt and pepper to your liking, then allow this beautiful mixture sit for ten-ish minutes and the flavours will marry each other. A big, beautiful Italian orgy.

Make sure your pasta is cooked to however you like it. Strain the pasta. Let it cool a bit, but not too much. Then mix it all up together. Eat it. Die happy.

I cannot believe that I actually craved Vietnamese food. So I called my parents up to ask them how to make Thit Bo Kho (some beef dish), they explained it to me, and then I went to the grocery store and for some reason, bought pork. Ha! Luckily the recipe was interchangeable. First, I made some molasses-like substance (boiling sugar and water till it turns dark). This process is actually pretty delicate, so I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re clumsy or accident-prone in the kitchen. I basically dissolved a bunch of sugar in water, and then boiled the water out of the mixture. This potion turned into a caramel-like substance and then I put it aside for a bit in a small bowl.

I then boiled the pork to cook it slightly, sliced it up, then browned it in some shallots and garlic. Added some of the molasses, which had hardened slightly, into the pork for flavour and colour. Picked up the small bowl, without realizing that I had JUST poured boiling sugar into it. Boy was it hot. I picked it up with a cloth around it after that. Put in some salt and pepper. Didn’t have Nuoc Mam (fish sauce), but it was alright. It didn’t taste like how my parents made it but it’ll do in a pinch. I also hardboiled some eggs, tossed them into the pork mixture with some water and simmered it for a bit so that it would absorb the flavour of the pork.

The green beans are incredibly easy to make. Look at that heavenly glow. It’s something that my mom makes, and I could eat a whole plate of this by myself. So delicious. First, you cut off the ends of the beans. Wash them. Then blanche them. You just need to get a pot of water to a rapid boil and throw the beans in. The beans will absorb the heat of the water and the bubbles will slow down or stop. Keep them in there until the the rapid boil starts again. It is at this point that you want to drain the beans, they’re going to be so crunch and crispy. ^_^

Mince up some garlic. Throw it into a pan of some sort (people say wok, but I don’t have one so it doesn’t quite matter), with a bit of oil, stir it around for a bit (less than a minute), make sure the garlic doesn’t burn. Toss your green beans in, and stir it around. Careful if your beans are still wet because this might cause your oil to splash back at you. Stir around your beans and garlic. Add salt. Pepper if you like (I’m a pepper kind of girl). You can leave it at that or add some oyster sauce. This is rather salty so you’ll want to serve it with rice. But if you like salt, just eat as is.

Crispy inside-out grilled cheese sandwiches. The recipe (really, it’s just cheese and bread) and how-to is found here at Foodwish’s youtube channel. I highly recommend this. Again, I used the monterey jack and medium chedder that I had in my fridge. I had some slices left of the country loaf, so here’s to using what you’ve got on hand! I paired it with Campbell’s tomato soup, to which I added cream to make it .. uh .. creamier.

Mmm.. so that’s that for this post. I am quite pleased with my recent culinary adventures. Now, I’ve got to plan my next dinner. :D

Hello, Adulthood.

So, I promised some of you photos of my new place, and I do realize it’s a little belated but here it is. It looks very much an old lady’s place, because, well, it is. There’s this Vietnamese woman who’s gone to Vietnam for a few months and is allowing me to stay at her 1 bedroom apartment while she’s gone for a minimal fee. This place is great, it has everything, it’s close to everything, it’s just in a bit of a sketchy neighbourhood, but it’s not mine. I’ve made do with it for now, made myself at home, but this place is just temporary. I’m waiting on a phone call from a new place that I applied for, hopefully I’ll get that place, and it’ll be the first place that I can call my own. My own mailbox. My own shoe rack. Tentative moving out date: April 1/15. Latest, May 1.

Once I moved downtown, I got myself one of those old-fashioned paying jobs that I haven’t had in a long time. It’s so nice to have a cash flow again, and with my student loans in, I feel like my life is in order. I’ve budgeted the money I have now, and it should last me for the next 6 months, and this doesn’t even include my forthcoming student loans or money from work, so I should be set. In the next few weeks, when school is finished, I’ll likely look for a second job to put away for the next school year.

That woman stares at me while I sleep. It's a little unsettling.

Tiger-eyed family stares at me from the other side. At least there's a nice TV that I've put to good use. Doctor Who, all day e'eryday.

A tiny kitchen where all the culinary magic happens. The fridge was so unimaginably dirty, I don't understand how the woman could have lived like that. First thing I did was disassemble the inside and clean that shit out.