Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Quick Recipe: Steak with Mash Potatoes and Simple Vegetables

As weird as this sounds, going grocery shopping is one of my favourite past times. Walking through aisles on aisles of colourful fresh produces and packages, comparing prices, finding new brands and products - I could do all these all day long!

One of my resolution for September is to cook more at home and eat less takeaways. Not for any particular reason, it is definitely normal to make a new resolution in the last quarter of the year. I really think 2016 is just going at the speed of light! Whatever happened to the last 7 to 8 months I don't even know, I feel like the new year was just last month.

Rambling aside, the new resolution helps me enjoy more of my favourite past times and the trips to grocery stores have definitely increased in the past few weeks. In the past, the resolution has almost never worked out because I always run out of time to cook my meals from scratch. So, I think it's a good idea to document the successful, quick and easy recipes on my blog. Whether you're a busy bee or just a lazy cook (like me), this recipe is very do-able.

Today, we will start with the fool-proof steak with mash potatoes and simple vegetables:


As for raw ingredients, you will need:
  • Steak, raw and at room temperature (work out the size as you wish)
  • Potatoes
  • Your favourite vegetables (to save time, I use frozen packed vegetables)
The condiments that I use are:
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Mixed herbs (or your other favorite dry condiments)
  • Olive oil
  • Full cream milk (you will only need a few dashes)
  • Instant gravy (optional)
The process are quick and easy, it takes me about 15-20 minutes to prepare this deliciousness:
  1. Boil water in a pot, seasoned with a pinch of salt.
  2. Peel and wash potatoes. Cut them into medium chunks and fork these chunks. You can skip the forks but I find it helps the potatoes to soften to the core a little faster, making it easier to mash.
  3. Boil the potatoes for 15-20 minutes until it is soft.
  4. Meanwhile, brush your steak with olive oil and rub salt, pepper, paprika, and mixed herbs on both sides.
  5. Bring your pan to hot temperature, spray it with a little bit of oil if it is not a non-stick pan.
  6. Grill the steak to medium rare or medium, about 4 minutes on each sides. Flip it regularly to prevent burning. Plate it aside.
  7. Microwave your milk for about 30-40 seconds. 
  8. Once the potatoes are soft, mash them up in a bowl, pour the milk little by little to make sure the mash is smooth and creamy. Plate it aside. (You may also put butter in your mash to make it even more creamy)
  9. Microwave your frozen vegetables, or boil them to your liking. Plate it aside
  10. Lastly, prepare your instant gravy according to the instruction. You can skip this step as you wish.
And there you go, a fresh, very quick and easy plate of juicy steak with mash potatoes and simple vegetables in 10 easy steps ready to eat! Hope this has been helpful to kick start your cooking and let me know if you try this out :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Long Distance Relationship

I would state that I'm the most Pisces and the most hopeless romantic person that you probably will come across, so my opinion might be way too optimistic or does not agree with you. Here goes.

Long distance relationship sucks for all people and no one can say otherwise. I was in one (sort of) and a lot of people who are close to me are (or were) also in one at some point. It is never a good feeling to be away from your loved ones. It is a horrible feeling not being able to see them, hear their voice, hold them whenever you need them or when they need you. Sometimes the daily conversations fell flat. Asking the same question of "How was your day?" and "Did anything special happen today?" might get boring after a while. But the constant rush that you feel whenever you get to see them for however long you can beats all that. It's your own drug.

With all the hardships, it's no wonder that many long distance relationship does not last long. I know a handful that survive and some couple who actually went ahead and get married. Mine was not a successful one, so you might be sceptical about anything that I write down on this post. But if there is anything that I learn from long distance relationships, I would like to share it here so that yours can have more chance to succeed.

1. Manage expectations

Again, I will say that I am a hopeless romantic. I love all the cheesy romantic gestures that you can imagine (as long as it is not bragged about, so PDA is a no no - lucky long distance relationship lowers the chance of that from happening). Your biggest hurdle here is distance, then comes opportunities and money. Surely, you've seen someone posted that they got sent flowers for an anniversary when their partner is away. That is possible, I agree 100%, but nobody is saying that it is easy to do. Say you live in the USA and your partner lives in the UK. Say you're both students, busy and short of money. How are you supposed to pull that off?

During your long distance relationship, you have to lower your expectations. Realise that you both now are leading two lives that does not necessarily intersect in any way. You both have to make the conscious effort to keep at least you and your partner connected. They might be super busy and under a tight deadline that the only thing the two of you can manage is texting for a week. It's totally fine. There will be some low points. But remember that when both of you are not busy, you can Skype with them for as long as you want. Sometimes, I used to leave Skype call on and go about my day, so at least you know they are there. It might not be the most romantic but it's the best you can do now. And you have to be okay with it.

2. Be unconditionally supportive

Not in every little thing, but in most things you do. You might be studying abroad: you feel homesick, you face a lot of stress in a foreign land, you long for familiar faces. You will be complaining a lot and you need attention and support. You crave love from the people you miss the most and you feel like you have all the rights in the world to demand your fair share of that.

You are not entirely right. Of course, of course, you are entitled to love and affection from the people who are supposed to love you. The one thing you have to always keep in mind is: they also face struggles and problems in their daily lives. Maybe it is not as serious or as hard as yours. Nevertheless, they are entitled to their feelings and if they feel stress, you have to realise that it happens from time to time. They cannot be happy all the time, just as you cannot be sad all the time. Just because one of you are having a bad day, does not mean that both your days have to be down. Be sympathetic, be empathetic, but also be supportive. You need them for support, they also need you for support.

3. Don't let it consume your life

You miss them and you want to keep in constant contact with your loved one, understandable, right? But please oh please, do not plan your day around it. Just because you are far from each other, does not mean that you have to accommodate your day around theirs all the time. Give yourself some time to enjoy your life. Be independent, go outside, explore new things. This will enrich you and at the same time make your relationship more interesting as you have more stories to be told.

4. Trust and persevere

Trust them and trust yourself to trust them. If that foundation breaks, you break, and so will the relationship. It will be tiring, but it does not have to be. Keep trying, don't stop.

All of these have to be done by both you and your partner. If one of you stops trying, it might not work anymore. Have an end game, a plan, a time when you will be together again, and make sure that you both work towards it. Make it a purposeful one, a successful one. Good luck!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Seminggu

Aku tidak mencari
Lelah
Setelah gagal berkali-kali
Berhenti
Karena tau hasilnya nanti

Aku enggan memulai.
Pesimis untuk agresif
Tak mau
Mengulang retak lagi
dan lagi.

Kamu berbeda
Tiga jam waktu yang lama
Selalu bersuara
Tertawa, cerita, rahasia

Kamu tak sama
namun familiar
Nyaman

Tersentuh,
terambil dan terenyuh
Kamu

Pergi
Seminggu waktu tak lama
Satu paragraf
Kamu

Masih belum kembali
Aku tak asa
menunggu
Tapi hatiku tak tau
Lelah

19/02/2016

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Overwhelmed

You know that beautiful song by Stevie Wonder? Yeah, that's Overjoyed, not Overwhelmed. 

To be completely honest, feeling overwhelmed is not a good feeling. Firstly, it is incredibly stressful and it feels like there is a hurricane inside your head that you just cannot shake no matter how hard you try. From then on, all other feelings, such as anxiety, sudden euphoria over small things that you can barely count as victory, and the diminishing ability to move everyday come rushing by in ways you never predicted before. 

Thousands, if not millions, of people have constantly preached the younger generation that being an adult sucks so bad. You will never want to grow up. You will regret your childhood wishes when the time comes. Now that I am barely an adult at almost that-Taylor-Swift-song years old, I would have to agree. On the other hand, I don't know why.

Sure, being an adult is freaking stressful. There are a lot of things to take care of and no one would be there to help you because you are supposedly an adult now. On the other hand, I feel like no one has ever prepared me to face the world as we know it as an adult. All the older generation has said to me is that being an adult sucks and it's better to never grow up. How am I supposed to handle adulthood if you pester me with the idea of never growing up?

There is nothing wrong with being young at heart. It's an admirable quality since not a lot of people can get in touch with their childhood-self. I would love to never lose who I was when I was a kid. I was fearless, I wanted to be active and outside for most times, I was diligent, optimistic, and very passionate. I want to be that person again. I want to live my name, to be free with no anxiety, no stress, and no negative thoughts. 

A lot of not knowing, pessimistic thoughts going in and out your head, anxiety, stress. Adulthood. So far. Overwhelmed. 
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