One for the weekend – always gold

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“And back when we were kids
We swore we knew the future
And our words would take us half way ’round the world” – Radical Face, Always Gold.

I can’t help it. I am so darn excited for Melbourne.

I am very proud of my new morning favourite. It’s vegan, and gluten free. And quick to fix. All you need is a minute, and a microwave.

Tabby’s 1 min mornings:

1 Tbsp gluten free pancake mix
1/2 tbsp organic cocoa powder
1/2 tbsp flax seeds
2 tbsp water

Additional – 1/2 tbsp vegan-safe chocolate chips

Mix ingredients well in a microwave safe bowl, and pop it in the microwave for 1 minute.

Top off with the chocolate chips or almonds.

You can do the same, doing away with the chocolate, and instead, topping it off with a good dollop of peanut butter and raspberry syrup. It is surprisingly filling, most certainly satisfying, and easy!

Where food is concerned, its wonderful how simplicity tastes when you marry the right ingredients. One could argue, that they wish for life to be the same.

 

Many a times, I think the human mind complicates things. We are hardly decisive creatures. Though this isn’t an inherent fault of the human condition. For life is essentially dynamic. We are ever changing; from the individual, into society, and back to the individual.

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Nothing is ever set in stone, and life, love and people are ever changing and growing. Accept that this is true, guard your heart, and keep your mind open. Always remember that while you have a certain autonomy in your own choices, remember that you don’t when it comes to other persons. You can however, choose how you conduct yourselves towards them. That is your choice.

 

 

T.

One for the weekend

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(Oz Specialty Coffee, Thomson V Two)

“We are not rich by what we possess but by what we can do without.”
― Immanuel Kant

Here, I end the week on a rather emotional note. While work bites me harder, I remind myself that the sword-smith hammers down hard to make a fine sword. Just when I had thought I had overcome a battle, the challenge of patience and independence presents itself again.

This whine bit aside, I have been reflecting on the socio-economical profile of Home’s poor. In the article by Policymic (link below), the author speaks of the end of the world being man’s own doing.Social stratification being the reason for our demise; unfair distribution of resources leading to overconsumption. Further, it seems health of economy and health of ecology are functionally inverse.

And why you may ask, am I pondering on such issues. This is no less brought about by an encounter I had. Where the idea of currency and money may seem universal, the value of which still so strangely applies differently to different social classes. While some of us willingly and regularly pay 6 dollars for a cup of coffee, to others this is what sustains them through the entire day’s worth of meals. To them the value of S$6 is more than just “6 bucks,” – This is life, this is how they sustain themselves on a daily basis.

While this may seem straight forward, or just merely logical. When you apply this, to say, medical bills. Imagine what S$650 means to someone who sustains themselves on 6 bucks a day. This could mean everything, while to some of us, a new wallet. One too many pairs of shoes, or a meal prepared by a celebrity chef of celebrity status for God knows what reason at a fancy restaurant.

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(Chin Mee Chin Confectionary, 204 East Coast Road)

And if you should join me in pondering about the matter, last weekend I was well-charmed by a certain confectionary shop. One would imagine mothers in their cotton mandarin collar blouses and matching pants, with their little ones seated at marble top wood tables, having kaya toast and kopi for breakfast way back in the 1940s.

While breakfast done this way was not something I grew up with, I totally understand why such places hold a special place in the hearts of Singaporeans. While not entirely unique to the country, the old school charm, the sweet eggy coconut jam and coffee – all it does it offer comfort. Especially so on a Sunday morning.

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(One Man Coffee, 215 Upp Thomson Road – along the same stretch of shophouses along Upp thomson where Old School Delights is)

While the source may be varied, the feeling of comfort is universal, and essential to my sanity, what comfort it is to have brioche, with a runny egg heart, topped with a splatter of cheese and fresh avocado on a rainy afternoon. Housed with Crust Pizza, this new cafe along Upp Thomson is definitely promising. Pictured is the Gas House Toast with bacon jam, and and additional side of avocado.

20140321-224133.jpgLife is short, and while money is at this current time in many ways essential to living, I urge all to seek value over the actual figures of things. The value in your actions and ways, the value in your choices. For in many ways, the value you place in these things reflect how much you value yourself as a human being. Again, with the words of the great Immanuel Kant,

“We are not rich by what we possess but by what we can do without.”

 

 

T.

 

 

Hello Midweek – Sugar, spice and everything nice

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“It is one thing to fall in love. It’s another to feel someone else fall in love with you, and to feel a responsibility towards that love,” – Everyday, David Levithan

With March zipping by, I am not quite sure of what to make of the notion of time anymore. Where does it go, how is it possible that a minute is a steady count of 60 seconds, when months seem to run faster than you can sing your ABCs.

But I am looking forward to April no less. 3 Major life events though it may hardly sound major, but definitely major to me.

1. RAD Intermediate Exam
2. My long and much needed trip to Melbourne (OOYAY)
3. I am turning 25 (screwdissheet)

There is much to say for #1 – For the fact that clearing this exam means that I am eligible to take on my teachers’ training in ballet for both RAD and CSTD, the fact that I am not 25 yet and achieving this, having had trained with a scholars’ program on the last year of my uni life, having taught classes for 5 years now, and the fact that I only started ballet at a very late age of 18. While most girls achieve this at a tender age of 11-13 if they start at 3, I am proud of my hard work at having achieved this in my short 7 years. I owe this to being blessed with an amazing teacher and to having had the opportunity to train under 2 very established teachers/professional dancers. Not only being teachers whom I hold at great respect, they inspire me everyday, to work hard, and to never give up just because I wasn’t trained to dance at a young age.

A little more on #2 and #3 in posts to come. While I urge you, to never give up on your life’s passion, sometimes we do need something a little sweet, a little bitter to keep us on track.

Coffee Syrup
Equal Parts instant coffee, sugar and water. 10 seconds at a time to dissolve all sugar crystals. 1/3 parts (this is 1/3 the amount of 1 part of either ingredient) condensed milk at the end. Store in a clean glass jar. Consume and Enjoy.

While this may sound a little off tangent, I am convinced that seasoned runners have found wisdom from the lengths they have covered and this is why. When hills present themselves along the needed path, a runner is wise to pace him or herself up the hill. While time is precious, giving up is not an option, thus the only way is to take on the hill in his or her own time. For a runner knows, for every uphill struggle, what will soon follow, is a smooth and steady path to the finish line.

Bonne journée,

T.

Sundays with – Baking without an oven

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Disclaimer – I am by no means a baker. This is by no means a recipe blog. But I do enjoy cooking, baking and well, eating on my weekends. Hi5 if you feel the same.

So over the week, in the midst of researching for an upcoming event, I conveniently stumbled upon a number of cooking blogs which I have fallen head over heels in love with; lady and pups, and vegansandra

The thing about cooking – I find this highly relaxing. Yoga, spin, ballet; while these activities leave me feeling good and rids the day’s tension and stress. Cooking simply makes the world turn a brighter shade of gray, leaves me with feeling that though this world may have its downs, there is at least 1 thing that will never fail – Good food. (Thank God!)

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So this a brownie, that doesn’t require an oven. It doesn’t have milk, nor eggs, nor butter, nor flour. Well it uses gluten-free pancake mix, carrots and a whole lot of chocolate! (Unbelievable right?!)

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While I am no baking meister, this recipe was loosely based on Vegan Sarah’s Carrot and Peanut Butter Brownie recipe. Here’s what you need:

Brownie (Used a 7.7 by 3.4 inch bake tin)
50 grams of Gluten-free pancake mix
2 tbsp cocoa powder (I suggest you use a high grade cocoa powder)
2.5 tbsp brown sugar
150 grams of grated raw carrots (this is about 2 medium sized carrrots)
50 grams dairy free baking chocolate (melted)
50ml water
25ml grapeseed oil (you can use sunflower oil)
1.5 tbsp peanut butter (I used Skippy’s 25% Less fat creamy PB)

Add in all the dry ingredients into a bowl, and incorporate the carrots. This is followed by the addition of the peanut butter, oil, water and melted chocolate.
The batter (surprisingly) looks no different from regular brownie batter. Mix well.

Since this does not require an oven, pop the mixture into the microwave for 2.5 minutes, stopping at 1 min and 2 min mark each to give the mixture a stir. You will notice that parts of the mixture will have cooked. This is fine.

After the final 30 seconds, remove from microwave. Stir again, and dump it into a baking tray.

Pop this into a toaster oven to finish off. High heat for 20 minutes, checking on it after 10 minutes just to make sure nothing is burning.

Once that’s done, leave it to cool and its time for the glaze.

Glaze (Or rather, a spread)
50 grams dairy free baking chocolate
1 tbsp peanut butter

Melt this in a microwave, spread over brownies.

You can be playful with this glaze. Choose to use a hazelnut spread, or maybe even leave the peanut butter out and just melt some chocolate, and tossing coconut shavings on top. Whatever you feel like doing for the day.

While these taste amazing and incredibly moist when fresh, pop them in the fridge overnight to get them a tad bit more firm and decadent.

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There you go, gluten free and vegetarian safe brownies WITHOUT an oven! Yes, these are for real.

“She doesn’t want to fight. She’d rather write poetry, make brownies, drink herbal tea and watch the clouds roll by. None of the dragons she knows breathes fire, so she doesn’t either,” – Christina Day

Let’s watch the clouds roll by.

T.

And we meet halfway – C’mon, have a smoothie

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“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” – Buddha

And to find peace, make yourself a smoothie.

Ingredients:

1 small banana
2 tbsp flaxseeds, soaked
8 oz unsweetened soy milk
1 slice of lemon
1 kiwi

Steps:

Soak flaxseeds in hot water. You will notice that in 15minutes, a clear gel forms. No worries, but this is good stuff.

Add all ingredients into blender. Serve over ice.

Sneaky tip:
One trick I found, was to have my fruits diced, and freezed in a zip lock bag the night before. Leave it to thaw slightly before blending, and you have a nice cold smoothie without the ice!

Go forth and conquer the week! While i whip up some more smoothies before the weekend.

T.