Sunday, October 31, 2010

Risotto

Teen and I have been watching this awesome new show from Jamie Oliver - Food Escapes. He travels around (mostly Europe) and learns about local cooking techniques, demonstrates a few of his own twists on their recipes, and shows a bit of the local culture. It's also shot very nicely which adds to it's appeal. There are some really cool shows here that I don't think we get back home, this being one of them.

Anyhow, when he traveled to Venice he cooked some amazing risottos and we had to try. I have never made risotto, nor had Teen, and we've heard from all the cooking shows that it's easy to mess up so I was a little nervous about how we'd do. We managed to pull it off (well Teen did most of the tending to it while I cooked the chicken and the toppings). The main thing about risotto is that it requires a lot of attention, almost constant stirring and adding stock every minute for about 17 minutes. It turned out great, we added it to the tomato and basil I cooked, then added the rest to the artichokes. Two delicious risottos and some chicken, yum yum!

We didn't take pictures because we were starving and scarfed it all down. I recommend!

Rainforest Photos

For those of you not on facebook, here are the photos from the rainforest hike.










Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Two Years

Last Saturday marked the two year anniversary for Teen and I! Who would've thought we'd be spending it trudging through a rain forest in Singapore. But we did. And it was amazing.

In the Northern Central area of Singapore is a rainforest. As with most places in Singapore it's clean, well maintained and pretty safe. It is part of a reservoir/water conservation plan to restore and improve waterways for Singaporeans and it's various species. We started off at a very nice 'stretching zone', a covered wooden courtyard filled with yogis, drink stands, bathrooms and information about the area.

We bought some well needed water and headed out for the 11km hike, which was estimated to take 4-5 hours. At first we were passing through a man-made lake, which was pretty cool because a ton of kayakers and long boat paddlers were practicing through the center of it. We walked around the side of the lake and entered the rain forest.

Though the hike wasn't especially hard (absolutely no comparison to the Chief or the Grind, this was mild incline/decline only). At the start of the trail head, we were suddenly approached by a monkey, who was quite curious of Teen's pop. Moments later about 5 others emerged. I'm not gonna lie, I was worried. The big one came close to Teen and followed her as she threw away the pop, after which it settled down. I took some video and photos which I'll add in soon (I'm at work, because I can't seem to find any time to post and decided to just do it now).

There was an adorable baby that sat directly in front of a woman, staring up at her. This was amazing, I'd never been so close to wild monkeys before. The other hikers told us they were safe, but not to feed them. We continued on. At first we heard a lot of thunder and considered heading back, but it blew over and the day remained comfortably overcast. At first trail runners were passing us frequently, making us feel very out of shape, but once we got further in they decreased in numbers and we were, for the most part, alone.

We saw a flying squirrel jump out of a tree and glide towards us. Later we reached a suspension bridge on the canopy level of the forest and got to see out with an amazing view. Much of the hike turned into wooden boardwalks and up/down stairs as we continued to see wildlife. A large monitor lizard was devouring a dead monkey. We aren't sure if he killed the monkey or not, but I like to think he did. I almost stepped on a snake of unknown variety. Teen insists it didn't bite me, and since I'm still around days later, she is probably right. We also saw a family of turtles swimming by the lake shore nearing the end of our journey, as well as another adorable family of monkeys, with EXTRA babies this time. We were both quite tired after the 3.5 hours that it ended up taking us, but it was an awesome experience. If anyone tries to tell you there's nothing to do in Singapore, by golly, they'd be wrong.

11 weeks down, 45 to go! Maybe I shouldn't count so often, it'll feel like longer...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Night Lights

Phew, another long week goes by. Fridays arrive more quickly each week, and I'm always looking forward to them! I had to work late/do schoolwork almost every night this week, so I was very happy to leave work on time and go check out more of Singapore.

We went downtown with Rob, Janette and Janette's mom (who likes to prod and tease me in typical Aussie fashion, calling me 'hungry Jenn' because apparently I'm always eating... but I can tell she really likes me, especially when I ousted her of a cheers session because she didn't have the green beer we all had). All in good fun!

We went downtown to check out iLight, a light show in the harbour. It ended up not being especially amazing light show wise, but was a beautiful night and the city looked awesome. We had a nice meal before heading out to the show in a yaletown-esque part of town, filled with a ton of expats, it actually felt like home.




This photo by Teen.

I've started a new game I like to call kick the cockroach. Teen is very fearful of them, so yesterday on the train platform when she screamed and hopped away from one, I kicked it swiftly onto the tracks, much to my satisfaction.

Later in the evening, while on the pier, Rob noticed a cockroach down the platform. I ran at it full speed, kicking mightily, and the cockroach flew astray and landed on a man's foot, quickly speeding up his leg. While everyone else watched with their jaws dropped, I proceeded to turn and run away as fast as possible.

This game is getting better every day.

So it was all in all a successful Friday night! Today Teen is off for her working interview as an event planner, GOOD LUCK TEEN! I will be doing some homework for a few hours before meeting up with Bradley for an ice-skating break at the arena a few MRT stops away. I have been told the ice is terrible, bumpy, and has a layer of water on it. I really hope I don't fall down.


The pier where I kicked the cockroach.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Best Video Ever

This rivals the cuteness of the sloth sanctuary. Thanks, Durka, for showing me this video. I introduce, the slow loris:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9f-6jygRJk

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Palau Ubin

For your viewing pleasure:

*The video quality was better, then I tried to make it small enough to fit on vimeo and this happened... I'm terrible at video conversion.

Palau Ubin - Singapore from teen chan on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Return of the Blogi

I'm back! Sorry for my hiatus, I was very busy the past couple weeks due to SCHOOL starting back up. Sigh. Sometimes I don't know why I do this to myself. I love school, and I love work, but work + school = less free time for other fun times. I will really try to be more diligent, even if it's a short post.

This weekend, however, I got my schoolwork done on Saturday so I had last night and today to play! This weekend has been quite full, in fact. On Friday, we went downstairs to the local pub after work for a few beers with the crew. Teen joined, as per usual. Janette's mom has been in town the last week, so Rob, Teen and I went and joined them for some infamous Singapore Chili Crab.

We went to a local seafood establishment to chow down, for a more expensive dinner than I had expected. We ended up paying about $45 each but at least we had some delicious chili crab AND black pepper crab.

We then wandered around and found the wake board park, which is open at night as well. It's basically a large man-made lake with a pulley system attached to ropes which you hang on to and they drag you around. There are some sweet jumps on it as well; watch out for future entries of me bailing hard at the wake board park.

After I finished my school yesterday, we met up with Rob, Janette and mom yet again! This time for some delicious Laksa, chocolate cupcake deliciousness, and to top it all off, a viewing of Eat Pray Love (which only just now opened in Singapore). I did enjoy the movie, but not as much as the book as is usually the case. I probably enjoyed it slightly less than the chocolate... but it was gooood chocolate.

I intended on having a bunch of photos to go along with this, but as usual technology has thwarted my plans. I decided to shoot on my photos raw this weekend, and then of course we didn't have a codec we needed for photoshop to open the files. Then Teen's computer decided that it has extreme protection and wouldn't let us download winrar which we needed to download the codec. The end result is that I'm now downloading photoshop on my computer, but it isn't done yet.

The GOOD news; I edited a very dramatic cut of our trip to Palau Ubin, a nearby island we went bike riding on today, which will be available for your viewing pleasure shortly!

Happy Thanksgiving to you guys, hope you had a turkey-blast with a side of ladled goodness.