Monday, April 14, 2014

Smile :)

Originally, I had an essay on decisions penned out. Was it odd, that my posts are so sullen and solemn recently? But you know too, it’s the season.

So I scratched out the entire essay. ‘It’s the season’ is such a poor excuse.

I don’t want to spent too long on this post. Today is going to be fresh, I’ve told myself. Look at the moon tonight! How round and bright it is! Sometimes, we’re so caught up in our own feelings, our own little bubble of depression, that we forget to see the beauty of the nature around us.

I’m going to take some time every day to notice the little things in life. I’m going to be happy at trivial things. I’m going to smile.

Little things like finally getting a fountain pen after a year. Little things like how nice the wind feels tonight. Little things like painting my nail right on the first try. And maybe big things like how I’ve met so many kind people this year.

You should smile too :)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Let's Talk About Competition

Let’s talk about competition.

Interestingly enough, competition is one of my PW (the dreaded ‘A’ Level Project Work) topics and it is also competition season now. If you were following me around this period last year, you’d have seen my post about the annual National Schools Judo Championships.

Last year was a good year. Just like every year we strode into Hougang Secondary School. There would be sitting the judokas from the other competitor schools. The canteen stood familiar and so did the indoor sports hall, with its slightly pasty green floor and specially laid out judo mats, which were undoubtedly the hardest I’d ever felt. The weighing scale would be there on the first and second day of both team and individual events. Judokas would pace around, waiting anxiously to take their weight, waiting anxiously to have their first bite of food and first gulp of water for the day.

Usually, it’d end up with Hwa Chong and Raffles or Nanyang Girls’ High and Raffles in the finals. For years we’d lost many titles to them. You could feel the atmosphere in the hall on the day of finals. Supporters pressed against the barriers to catch a glimpse of the fights. They’d shout and scream, cheering for their schools, reacting to the littlest happenings on the dojo.

Step outside, you’d see the competitors getting ready. Some would have earphones plugged in, drowning out everything to bring calm to their minds. Some would be doing uchikomi. Others, having heart to heart talks. But once in the dojo, everyone would be the same. Scared or not, we put on the façade. Stomp loudly before entering the dojo. That’d scare your opponent. Strut with confidence. That’d give you an edge. Stare at your opponent with cold eyes. That’d bring them down a little. Shout after the ‘hajime’. That’d give you some aura.

Win, and hope you’ve done your school proud.

But if you lose, don’t cry till you’re out of the hall, till your opponents are out of sight and out of ear shot. Don’t cry because it makes you seem weak. Don’t cry, because it ruins the mood. Don’t cry because it affects the later matches.

Don’t cry during or after the prize giving ceremony. Smile for the camera, because a silver, a silver is so good already. Smile for the camera, because people want to look back at the photo a year later and see that the silver was an achievement. But you know, look in the photo a year later, and you see the tears that were waiting to leave your eyes.

Don’t cry when you leave the place. Don’t cry when people ask how it was, because no one needs to be affected by your sadness. Don’t cry when they announce the result at school. They’re proud of you even if you’re not proud of yourself. Don’t cry when your seniors send you messages saying it’s okay even though you know the last thing it is is okay.

I sit here. I’m in front of my computer. I’m crying.

But tomorrow, tomorrow we will stride into Hougang Secondary School. There will be sitting the judokas from the other competitor schools. The canteen will stand familiar and so will the indoor sports hall, with its slightly pasty green floor and specially laid out judo mats, which are undoubtedly the hardest I’ll ever feel. The weighing scale will be there on the first and second day. Judokas will pace around, waiting anxiously to take their weight, waiting anxiously to have their first bite of food and first gulp of water for the day.

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I’ll win, and hope I’ve done my school proud.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Balsamic Roasted Plums

‘Expect problems and eat them for breakfast.’ – Alfred A. Montapert

Coming into Junior College, I expected problems. But of course, I did not expect to eat them for breakfast, though now it seems like plenty a good idea, for I can’t find any way of getting rid of some of my problems.

But of course, problems are rather intangible things. Homework is tangible though – homework is a problem – and I invite you to eat your homework for breakfast. Problems can’t really be eaten for breakfast.

I’d rather have a hearty breakfast of food.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Peanut Butter Crunch Cake Pops

I’m usually not one to eat a cookie unless it’s homemade. And I’m usually not one to make exceptions unless the cookies are really fantastic. And in this case? These cookies were fantastic.

I don’t know about you, but I crave texture. After months of only have soft baked cookies and soft chewy cookies, crispy and crunchy cookies are all I desire. These cookie chips fit the bill perfectly.

Tastes like a Cookie, eats like a ChipTM

Friday, March 14, 2014

Brazilian Cheese Bread

I realise it's been 5 days! Gosh, what have I been doing?

Well, I've been working on bringing you something much better than what we have here now! In just a little while, you should see some downright fantastic changes in this blog (but what, I'm not telling you ;)

In the meantime, head over to The Best Blog Recipes to check out my guest post on Brazilian Cheese Bread :)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

2 Ingredient Nutella Cake

‘I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.’ – Bill Gates

There are so many ways in which one can look at that statement. It is very easy to criticize it, to say that the easy way is not necessarily the best way. Or worse! what if the lazy person does not even get started on the task due to sheer laziness?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Salmon Cheese Muffins with Egg

Light, fluffy and so flavourful with salmon and cheese. It should said that the egg only adds to the flavour and texture of the muffin. Without distracting, of course.

Before anything, I have to apologise. This post is nearly 3 days late, for perfectly ridiculous reasons. I left my sd card at home and my computer in school for two days. Today, I finally brought my computer home. Yes, I am the epitome of forgetfulness, carelessness and dumbness.

On to the post.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Orange Sorbet

Thanks to Chinese New Year (which was about a month ago), the fridge in my home was full of oranges. And by full, I mean two crisper drawers were filled to the brim with mandarin oranges. As much as I loved apples, I never had that many at once.

Most of the oranges were nice, sweet, juicy ones that my parents bought by the case. Perhaps that’s normal in other countries, but in Singapore, no one buys oranges by the case. Except at Chinese New Year. A small minority of the oranges were, however, shriveled and dry and sour and pucker-y.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Butterscotch Blondies

Ooey, gooey, chewy butterscotch blondies. They’re sweet, caramel-y and really rich. I would say the texture’s perfect, the best I’ve made in a long while :)

I would have posted this recipe a while back, but the final product I got last week was hardly appetizing after I removed it from the pan. To save you some stomach lurching, I didn’t take a picture to post it. Due to my own forgetfulness, I did not line the pan with parchment and instead, only greased it.

Of course, if I were simply making blondies, it would have been no issue. But with all the caramel-y butterscotch going into the oven to be melted and heated to such a high temperature, no parchment paper = no butterscotch blondies.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sweetness in a rush

Perhaps I’ve said this too many times these few weeks, but I just have to say it again. Like a broken record: I’m busy.

So busy.

Sometimes it’s really hard to find the time to even make a batch of brownies. That’s a simple 1 hour, right? Nope, I don’t have it sometimes. 


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