Year: 2015

Our favourite weekend breakfast

I am a breakfast person. And this basic pancake is a regular during weekends. Nothing fancy, but still putting this up on the blog – hoping that SS would read to see how easy it is and surprise me with a pancake breakfast. One Day. One Fine Day. Shift 2 cups of self raising flour, add in 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder and 1/3 cup caster sugar. Then in a separate jug whisk 2 cups of milk, 1 egg and 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence. Then add this milk mixture to the flour and whisk it well until well combined to make a smooth paste. Add in about 1/2 teaspoon of salt. In the meantime, melt some butter to get about 2 spoons of melted butter. Heat up a frying pan and lightly brush the butter on the pan. Then use a soup ladle to pour batter on the pan. Why soup ladle? Its the most convenient… Wait for bubbles to rise on the pancake…then flip to the other side and cook for about 2 minutes or less or …

Dark Places – Gillian Flynn

I am a sucker for crime stories – fiction or non-fiction and all the drama, the mystery and investigation that surrounds it. I loved Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, so this next book, Dark Places, wasn’t a tough choice for me. Like Gone Girl, I couldn’t put this book down until the very last page. I kept my weekend free, just to finish this book! While the book is a very interesting read, I (unfortunately) keep comparing it to Gone Girl- for obvious reasons. In short, this book is very interesting with loads of mystery but does not supersede Gone Girl. By the way, this book was on the ‘Crime’ shelf at Dymocks. Not the fiction shelf.

Nepalese waa

The blessed ‘waa’ pancake

Nepalese are foodies. Especially the Newar community among the Nepalese – like me. Living away from home, I specially miss mum’s cooking – the spices, the chillies, the curries … So any chance I get, I jump on to making Newari dishes. And one fine day, the blessed“waa” (pronounced as the wa of water) was made in my kitchen. Waa is basically black lentil pancake made with or without minced meat. Back in Nepal, Waa is a delicacy served as a snack or an entree. Its not really a very fancy dish, so that often makes me wonder why its only reserved for special occasion. Anyways, as a reminder to myself and to anyone wanting to attempt it, here is the recipe: Make sure you have these: 1.5 cup split black lentils / urad daal This made about 20 waa 250 gm chicken mince 1 tbsp  each of finely minced ginger and garlic 1 tsp each of coriander and cumin powder 2 – 3 finely chopped green chillies – this really depends on your taste 1/4 cup  finely chopped green coriander 5 – 6 stalks of spring …

The love & hate relationship with the ‘Oscar-Cam’

I have a love hate relationship with this cool IP camera that we have installed at home. I’ll tell you why. Once we decided to leave Oscar out in the backyard while we were away to work, we needed a way to watch him. So on a colleague’s recommendation, SS ordered this IP camera. Its called the Foscam (Model FI9831W). We call it the ‘Oscar-Cam’ 😀 . Its been fitted in a position that allows us an almost 360 view around the garage, where Oscar’s kennel is & the backyard. . And once installed, you can use an app on your smartphone to access the camera or can access via any standard web browser on a PC or MAC. Of course, you need to have internet access. You can rotate the camera around, you can ‘hear’ & ‘speak’ to the other end, you can capture a video or a screenshot. Hey and it even has night vision! I must say, the audio quality isn’t superb but it allows really smooth high definition video transmission. And SS says it was …

A solo weekend in Paris

I was in Paris a couple of weeks back. It was a solo 3 day trip (which I rarely ever do) and boy was it good! I was amazed by the history and beauty in every corner of the street. I mean literally every corner had a bit of art and a story. I took the flight to Paris from London Heathrow. It was a last minute booking and actually worked out to cheaper than taking the Eurostar, which was my initial plan. The flight was just an hour and it saved me from waking up too early in the morning. I hate that. My itinerary: I planned a very strict itinerary for my 3 days and followed it strictly. It might sound strange but I wasn’t too interested in shopping. This was primarily due to the luggage restriction on my flight to Paris from London. No regrets. Some places I toured: Eiffel Tower – Of Course. The queues to the top was ridiculous. Louvre – Saw the Monalisa for real. Notre Dame Cathedral Opera Palais Concorde Montmartre Sacre-coeur Basilica …

Oscar is 10 months!

3 doggie beds, 2 cushions, 4 pairs of bedroom slippers, 3 slippers, 1 shoes, 2 food bowls, 1 leash, 1 tshirt, 2 sweatshirts, 1 sock, 1 roll toilet paper, and uncountable number of toys. Gone. Oscar is 10 months old today. And he weighs 16.5 kilos. He is a strong boy now. And he is truly a part of the family. He has learnt a few commands and also figured out that I am the “soft” one that can be dominated and SS is the “master”. He plans his stubbornness accordingly. You know what I mean? Anyways, I thought I should share some updates on Oscar. One thing that we can’t seem to properly train him on is not to jump. He doesn’t bite, but he will jump and hung, and lick any friends or stranger that approaches him. This behaviour terrifies my little nephew and in fact terrifies us to see this 16 kilo animal get hyper active. Not sure how we will get him trained up on this. Wish us luck.

Nepal is Shaken but not Broken.

I was in Nepal recently – in the capital city. The devastation caused by the quake was heartbreaking but the vibe in Kathmandu is not one of sorrow. Life is bouncing back – at least in the capital. Schools are running. Offices are open. Businesses are open. Sure there are are families whose lives will never be the same. But most have just picked up the pieces left behind and moved on. I took a whole bunch of photos and videos while I was there but unfortunately I lost all the data on my phone – an incident I will probably regret for a long looong loooong time. Here are a few that I shared with my friends that I was able to re-collect: We did not get to venture out beyond the Kathmandu Valley. The monsoon rain was causing more havoc. So I cannot say about the situation beyond the capital city. I read that help has still not reached remote areas. Life there would be completely different. But there are so many local grassroots organisations …

Big Little Lies

Its been a while since I got hold of a good interesting book. And this book ‘Big Little Lies’ was fabulous. I honestly could not keep the book down until I had finished it. In just 3 days, I should add. Everyday, I looked forward to my 50min train commute to/from work, just to catch up on it. If you are into fiction and murder/crime mysteries, this is an absolute smasher. The book circles around women. Mums to be specific. And although I am not a mum, there were many instances that I could completely relate myself to. There were moments where I smiled – involuntarily. There was also a moment when I gave a “whaaaa??” – that was a sincere shocked sound. The book is just very intriguing, till the end.  No wonder its Australia’s No. 1 and a New York Times Bestseller. I am just sad that I don’t have anything else to read on my way to work tomorrow. Better get my hands on something new.

Oscar tired after some training

Oscar is only being his normal self. A puppy.

We called in the professionals last week to help us train Oscar better and get rid of his “bad” behaviour. By bad behaviour I mean running away with socks, getting up on couch, jumping and his many pee episodes. By the end of the one hour session, we were convinced that nothing was a bad behavior and that Oscar is just being his normal self i.e. a little puppy. A puppy from whom we expect a lot. Even though he is only a dog, we want him to understand the human language and behave like a human being. We were getting frustrated about it being so hard to train him. But for the first time, we realised that Oscar must be equally frustrated because he is just not understanding what the heck these human wants him to do. If we don’t train him well and consistently, he will never learn. So basically, we had to train ourselves to train him. Besides learning to use the few basic commands for Sit, Down, Come & calling his name for attention, a …

Our lives (and this blog) has been taken over. Completely.

Its true. Ever since we brought home Oscar, our lives have been completely taken over. SS and I are both movie buffs but we have not watched a movie ever since we have Oscar! No kidding. Both of us were mentally prepared to take on this overwhelming task of bringing home a puppy but I don’t think we were physically prepared. Taking care of a puppy means constant watching. Did he pee? Did he poo? Did be bite? Did he chew? Its endless. It is QUITE a bit of work but while we are helping him grow, in a way, he is helping us too. Here is how. Oscar being handful has made us more active. SS takes him for a run every morning of weekdays. Without Oscar, getting SS out of bed would have been quite a task. I leave work exactly at 5pm. Without Oscar, my work hours would easily extend beyond 5pm. I also avoid any other teleconference meetings from home. I take him for a run/walk after work. Without Oscar, I would have preferred to …