Saturday, August 23, 2014

68 Days.

I started the countdown at 218 days, and now its at 68. My level of excitement is slowly increasing. The number of checklists I have drafted is increasing as well.

Clothes I Need to Buy.
Stuffs I Need to Buy.
What to Pack in my Hand Luggage.
Questions on Istanbul.
Pre-Trip To-Do.
What I Will Eat There.
What I Will Do There.

And so on.

Do not misunderstand me, because I ... well, I realllly enjoy writing out these lists. I wrote out the 3rd one while at a seminar few days ago and decided that one must definitely pack a snack in case of emergencies. 

Snacks in Hanis' Hand Luggage Ideas.

A bar of chocolate.
A tupperware of sliced bread.
A can of tuna spread.
A can of Pringles.
And a zip locked bag of something healthy.

Yesterday, I submitted my application for the holiday. 9 days in total, from 30th Oct right till 11th Nov. It was approved few hours later and made it a bit easier for me to breathe.

Now, the things I should do in the next 69 days:

1. Get vaccinations for flu as it will be winter then.
2. Obtain a coat.
3. Shoes.
4. Find out what to bring to airport to get ticket. - Recheck ticket details.
5. Phone roaming.
6. Visa charges.
7. Make a list of questions to ask.

Which reminds me of a list I haven't written.

Things to Do 10 Days Before

Which probably would made up of:

Print directions.
Print tickets.
Download map app.
Download Turkish language app.
Buy paracetamol/anything to do with possible minor pain/discomfort.

But yes. I'm really excited for this. Its like the butterflies you get days leading to the first date with that dream guy of yours. 

68 days, do be easy to me.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Food Cravings

1. Time: Around brunch time of Monday.
Location: Office desk.

So, here I am fasting on a day that feels so miserable for 3 reasons. One: My tummy and back hurts. Two: Signs of an asthma attack an hour ago. Three: I am hungry.

Because of the way my tummy is hurting, soup comes to mind. Hot yummy soup that comes from a Campbell tin. Yes, I am hopeless against those.

I then remembered that there is a can of Seafood Chowder at home.

My Top 3 Campbell Soups

i. Potato and mushroom soup.
ii. Seafood chowder.
iii. Potato soup.

And do you know what goes best with a warm bowl of soup? Garlic bread.

Hanis' Garlic Bread

Melt some butter (baking butter if you can) and mix with minced/chopped garlic and dry herbs.

Note: Do add the garlic bit by bit because you do not want the taste to bite down.

Brush on your choice of bread, stack sideways together and wrap in foil, with a small opening on top.

Pop into an oven (140-150 Celcius) for about 20 minutes to make it fragant, warm and soft with a hint of crisp on top.

Now, imagine dipping a piece of that bread into the thick, warm soup before eating it.

My tummy just grumbled.

2. Time: Around tea time on Monday
Location: Office desk.

I have a container of red sauce in the fridge. Its still there because it had the misfortune of being a bit salty. Yesterday, I used some to make lazy pizzas.

Lazy Pizzas

Using the garlic bread recipe, toast the bread slices in the oven on one side. Flip over, cover with red sauce, chopped mushroom/tomatoes/capsicum/any deli meat of your choice.

Sprinkle generously with your choice of cheese.

Pop back in oven for 15 minutes at 150 Celcius. Or until the cheese melt and bread is a bit crisp.

But today, I wanted nachos. You know, with those tortilla chips buried under the sauce, chopped tomatoes and capsicum. And all hidden away under melted cheese and enjoyed with sour cream.

My tummy just grumbled.

Of course, you can buy a tortilla wrap and just cut those into tiny pieces and cook in the oven for 30 minutes at 120 Celcius until they become crispy. Voila'!

Now just put them in an oven proof dish, put some sauce and chosen vegetables and grate cheese all over it.

I figure the oven should be around 150 Celcius until the cheese ooze and melt.

You can always choose what to put in the oven:

i. Tortilla chips with melted cheese, to dip into sauce and condiments.

ii. Vegetables sprinkled on top of baked nachos.

Its 19 minutes till work ends, and I know what Mama has prepared for the feast (More like dinner).

Beef noodle soup.

Bits of beef, tripe with juicy fatty parts cooked in a clear soup with some spices. The soup and beef are eaten with glass noodles and rice cubes.

Condiments: Fried tofu, chopped fresh herbs, crispy fried shallots,some green veges and dollops of a sauce made from blended bird pepper, soy sauce and lime juice.

It would be hot, spicy, succulent and so so tasty.

2 more hours to go till I can break my fast.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Hanis' Lunches

In an effort to be healthier and save money, I bring my own lunch every Monday to Thursday. Not on Friday because I usually have lunch with friends then.

Sometimes, I bring breakfast as well but somehow I lack the interest to think what to cook for breakfast because somewhere in my mind I keep thinking eggs and bacon.

People been asking me how I manage to bring packed, healthy-ish food for lunch and 90% of the initial conversation goes like this:

"Oh, you bring lunch from home?"

"Yeap *takes a bite*"

"You live with your parents, right?"


"So lucky, your mother cooks for you. That's why you can bring food from home."


"Its hard working and then going back to cook."

"Actually, I cooked all of the packed lunches."

"No way."

"I do,"

"Does your mom not cook?"

The last question is such an insult. Perhaps these people (mostly women in their 30's with a handful of kids at home) grew up in a dictator's kitchen where you may only eat what the Mother made.

Mama cooks, nearly every day unless its the weekend (where the parents tend to go out and leave the children to fend for themselves) or when she is sick/tired/not in the mood.

I do eat, what she cook. And if I don't feel like eating, I am free to cook what I want, provided that I clean up every single surface used.

Sometimes, I even cook for the family.

Once people finally accepts that it is I who made the lunches, they'll ask me how do I manage to.

Basically by planning ahead, cook in batches and keep the menu interesting.

Okay, there are way more details that deserve their own posts. Hence, the birth of:


What you can expect:
-When to Plan
-When to Cook
-Healthier-ish Replacements 101
-Cooking in Batches
-Multi Task Dish
-Cooking Up Excitement
-Recipes here and there.

Not that there's many, but still perhaps enough to give you at least couple of weeks(8 days worth) of unique lunches.


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