Wrap It Up

.


.

Guys, we are in the middle of the year already. How heartbreaking 2020 is so far, huh? IT REALLY DOES :(

.


.

There is one verse I’ll always keep in mind if I’m in the middle of a bad situation: “Do not lose hope, nor be sad” – Qur’an 3:139. Even though it is really hard this time on all aspecs of life, globally, please do not lose hope. We are all in this together. I’m sometimes wondering to all plans I’ve had this year that most are need to be postposed and some are even cancelled. I wonder how long we have to be patient again to face our normal life back (or a new normal, as they call it).

Staying at home from the end of March and now I’m in June, holy moly! how fast. During the first days of the period, I was afraid of how would I manage myself in boredom. Some interesting ideas were in the sky: “You have time to play around with new recipes, take photographs and write more on the blog!.”, “Time for Netflix would be longer! Yes! Bonus: stay late and wake up late too.”, “Updating your portfolio must be inside your list!.”, “Decorate your room, probably repaint your wall into grey!.”, “Get your acrylic paint and start creating creative pieces of stuff!.”, “Back to IELTS online, sharpen your English!.”, “Don’t forget to exercise your basic German, see, it was a good thing you brought your Kursbuch und Arbeitsbuch!.”, etc, etc.

Facts: I did some of those activities even though hey! it wasn’t that easy. Sometimes your system has to adjust to the new situation and condition when mostly, bed is screaming louder than working table. Youtube was more pleasing than my books. As if boredom was just flying around your body, looking at the ceiling wondering when everything would be back to normal was such a daily activity. Checking what I have left in my account to survive (if you’re still working and having an income don’t forget to be grateful!), trying to look for something else to do just to let your system won’t be so bored and stuck. But here I am – as I supposed to fly back to Indonesia on early April but never know when will I go – feeling better with the new adjusted system. I know I had spent so much during stay-at-home, I know there are still a few personal things I have to accomplish, going back to the office twice-thrice a week as we’ve started back to the business slowly, I know I have to let some plans go, but again I must remember one thing: health is the priority, and I thank God for that. Also, for my beloved people over there.

I one time scrolled on Twitter during those days when everyone had started working from home and found there was one thing that seemed like a new habit: buying stuff online just because of endless boredom and ended with things they didn’t actually need. I thank God that kind of trap didn’t come to me as I know I love spending on food and nice things. To be honest, if you ask me if I have something I’d love to purchase online, two things: Airpods (Pro) and a cake mixer. The first is O-Mai-Gah stuff I’d love to have after I did borrow the one my flatmate has. I do think it’s not a bad idea to get one but I realise during this time, it could be wiser not to spend some money on a luxury. Two, I’ve been dying to start baking again, the fact that I have more time at home and wondering the smell of fresh buttery banana cake in the air from my oven, it could be something that makes me happier. But for myself? I’ve kept my faith for not to buy just a mixer but KitchenAid Artisan. Guys, I love nice things, but thankfully I’m happy being wise to myself at the moment. I’ll keep my dream mixer in mind but for now, I’d love to share a simple recipe yet super yummy you can try at home.

.


.

.


.

Here is a super easy recipe you can try when there is a free time at home. Trust me it’s yummy.

Bonus: you don’t need to worry about hygiene and anything about the fat cause you have the control when you cook at home.

.


.

Be generous with the chicken!

What A Friday Morning

 


.

Everything went normal like usual, I played my playlist through Allure, left it loudly so I could still listen to it from my room even the door was closed.

.


There was something unpleasant happened to me days ago. I woke up from eight hours of sleep, even though I was still feeling so sleepy, I got up and went to the kitchen. I took my cutting board and went straight with an idea that was in my head from the night before. I had seasoned two chicken legs and continued making the sauce from the chicken broth by adding more red onion, chopped tomatoes, basic spices and curry powder. I like to plan what I cook even sometimes an idea pops out during the cooking process. I prefer to spend not more than an hour every morning if I cook the main food plus condiments, okay, if I have to do everything from scratch I will allow myself to spend an hour plus. That counts including packing the food, cleaning my kitchen station and washing utensils.

The curry sauce was done, I only had two chicken legs to be fried but I saw a leftover batter. Fried chicken legs with curry sauce weren’t complete for lunch, my mind said. At the same time, I didn’t want to waste ingredients because hello, I had spent money like crazy on food. It was a wiser version of me when I only took one medium size carrot, dice-cut, added chopped leak and red pepper, red onion and seasoned with basic spice plus crayfish. Everything went to the leftover batter and started frying.

Carrot fritters were done but my brain thought of something when I saw leftover spaghetti I cooked the day before. If I had to blame myself for spending more time at the kitchen, I would blame Masterchef Canada for giving me different kind of ideas, I spend my evening on Youtube watching different ideas on food through the competition these daysThis means I would become weaker in terms of saving cause my ideas are flying as well as my money. I wanted to deep fry the spaghetti and turned it to be something crunchy. I took some with a fork and put it in the same oil I used for the fritters. First one was okay, the third one gave me a surprise when the pan accidentally fell and boom! The hot frying oil kissed my left foot, near my ankle to be exact. I ran to the bathroom and took toothpaste. No no, something wrong, I shouldn’t have spread it on my skin so I put my tap on and let the running water chilled it out. I was worried like crazy because I knew what would my skin be after sometimes. I felt the same peppery feel in my left thumb, on my tight too, and eh some marks on the inner shin. Okay, I was done.

My hand was shaking looking for what was the best first aid to do on Google, options: cold milk, a mixture of honey and cumin, or aloe vera. The last one I didn’t have in the kitchen. I tried washing my leg with very cold milk also spreading honey plus cumin with hopes it won’t make my skin as terrible as I thought it would be, even though I knew it was useless. What a Friday morning. Even though one of my colleagues helped me to burst the blisters with a syringe and a purple liquid – I don’t remember the name –  that Friday at the office, but I still went to the hospital the day after in the afternoon for more professional treatment. Even the swollen part of my foot was reduced but got one injection, blisters were burst, cleaned and wrapped with a bandage, two different pills I must take in the morning and evening, were enough to make myself felt better. When the doctor said it would take six weeks for my skin to be back to normal, I had no choice but wishing it could be faster. Ah, at least I didn’t let myself see how he did burst the blisters because truly, I hate the hospital.

It’s been seven days and my left foot is still “uh” every time I manage walking. It shows progress but the open skin is the one that’s bit painful. I hope it will heal faster than it should be, I want my skin back :). Well, I knew I thought about that carelessness sometimes but lesson learned. Safety first, health is the priority in life, isn’t it? I know I’m managing my feet for now but it won’t stop me cooking. I’ll take sometimes to slow myself down not to cook every morning. I know it gets crazier since I started watching Masterchef. It makes me crave for more and more to cook something different every morning which I could just cook once for two days before that.

I would like to share some photographs of West African dishes I tried lately. Deep frying isn’t my style – which you would find easily in Africa, just like in South East Asia – but it was interesting when I could achieve the food as close as it should be. I need to learn more, I know, but knowing different techniques and tastes like Nigerian Jollof Rice and Coconut Rice, will enrich my cooking skill. Next time, I’ll share the ingredients and the step-by-step when I could achieve creamier taste in the coconut rice because this one below wasn’t close as I wanted even though overall, it tasted so good. The curry sauce was on point and I was proud of it.


.

Coconut Rice Served with Curry Fried Chicken and Fried Plantain, and Coconut Brown Plantain with Strawberries.

.



.

Jollof Rice Served with Coriander Infused Beef and Fried Plantain, Minimalist Coleslaw for the Condiment, and Butterscotch Almond Plantain for the Dessert.

.


Lazy Breakfast


When I was checking the date I took these photographs, I gasped a bit, ten days ago?


~

I actually woke up with a will to make my day happier. That morning was cold after rain but thank God, the sunshine came through my windows. Of course I dreamt to be on the bed for a whole day but again, no free lunch.

 

.

I do love preparing my breakfast like a normal human being. If I have to leave my apartment for work outside like 2 to 3 days you could imagine how bad I have to manage my meal. As long as I have a nine-to-six schedule that day, I’ll start building my mood with a cup of hot coffee, decent breakfast, favorite songs on my playlist called Morning Boosters.

.

Exceptionally Need To Be Back To The Right Track

.

Hello from Surabaya!

I have been back to Indonesia for hold on, it’s been two weeks? Ouch. Even though I realize I have used my time these past fourteen days wisely, if I may say (yes, have sort some of important things out already, still a bunch need to be done), I still feel time flies too fast every time I’m here.

This time around, my time would be a little longer. I have some plans and things to do and hopefully all could be done before I go back. I’m excited to be here early this year but somehow feeling a bit worry when come back to work and I have a longer time to spend over there without any vacations. But I think, it’s better for me to just live every single days and put those worries aside till the time to face it has come. Oh, I’m not totally off from work anyway. I’m still active working for office via online from wherever I am (If I may say, this is such a trial working remotely. Let’s see how it works).

Don’t be puzzled with that too-long foreword and the title which doesn’t have a connection. I ain’t gonna share my days in Indonesia this time but such a throwback to some breakfast scenes instead. There are two differences I have to admit between my breakfast in Lagos and in Surabaya. One: this might be counted as a good news: it is easier to find breakfast in Surabaya, I don’t need to cook by myself, it’s easy finding affordable yummy Indonesian food ofc, but bad news: I’ve been lulled by the easiness and somehow it makes me lazy, since most of Indonesian food (those yummy ones) aren’t that healthy (oily, fried, what else?) it drives me nonchalantly to forget about fruits, chia, flaxseed, and those fancy ones. The last one is bad. If in Lagos I work like crazy, nine to six plus over night most of the times, come back home very late, wake up early preparing breakfast, and always spending money for berries like “I don’t care how much” as a revenge from junk food eaten at venues, in Surabaya I really have to be back to the right track.

Perhaps, I have to open my eyes wider to balance my lifestyle: still enjoying those yummy Indonesian food (what else to do when you’re back to your own country and been waiting for a long time to enjoy your native food, hm?) and starting my day with healthy-fruity-breakfast. I exceptionally need to be back on the right track like yesterday.

Here are some breakfast scenes I documented months ago.

.


Scene 1

Colorful salad with strawberry, mango, avocado, carrot, lettuce, sweet corn and boiled chicken breast; dressing made from fresh lemon + chili sauce + brown sugar and very little white vinegar, sprinkled with chia and flaxseed. Eaten with plain yogurt + blueberry + raspberry and almonds plus black coffee {Perhaps it doesn’t sound right eating salad with coffee isn’t it? but truly drinking coffee every morning is particular for me}


Scene 2

Slices of strawberries, mango, banana, frozen blackberry and raspberry, almonds, dried coconut on top of plain yogurt sprinkled with chia and flaxseed; sunny side-up with chili flakes and tortilla chips; cheese soft baguette. Eaten with Swiss roll (oh I bought it at bakery ofc) with some cheese crackers and coffee milk

.


Scene 3

Blueberry and overnight strawberry soaked in palm sugar served on top of plain yogurt with dried coconut and chia seed; granola; three minutes boiled eggs with mustard green served with seasoned shredded chicken breast; grapefruits; fresh beetroot ~ ginger ~ apple  ~ carrot juice

.


.

Funny enough by looking at those scenes above makes me miss my room there. From all scenes you could see one same thing; how I managed my very small working table for breakfast. Sometimes it’s still tidy with MacBook on the table when having breakfast and answering emails, surfing on Pinterest, and some blog-walking at the same time. Sometimes when I find bright morning light falls in, I pretend having a real breakfast on a real dining table by moving stuffs and spreading a cotton fabric on it like what you could see on scene 2. At the apartment there is a dining table when sometimes I sit and eat with housemates but mostly I prefer to enjoy my food in my room. It’s more comfortable and private and yes, nobody’s watching when I need to stand on my chair for some breakfast shots.

As Simple As This Asparagus


How easy but tasty. You just need a minute stir-frying with olive oil, that’s it…


.

I pretty love to wake up on Sunday morning with a warm sunshine through my window, blue sky but not too bright. It makes me feel more relax than wake up with gloomy rainy morning like today. It was pouring last night and the grey sky is lasted till I’m writing this sentence. I don’t mind to be honest cause I woke up early with my latest morning ritual (read: playing fav songs loud with Harman Kardon mini speaker).

It’s 10.45am here and I’m literally having my second cup of black coffee with chocolate cookies. Still listening some favorite songs wishing my Sunday is moving slowly. I never make my breakfast, thinking something easy like the one I had few days ago, just some asparagus. One minute stir-fried served with omelette, sprinkled with chili flakes and pomegranate.

.


 

Brunch With Avo


Just wanted to share some photographs of a brunch I had Sunday last week.


Few slices of avo on top of baguette with mayo and sautéed king prawns. Also, milky avo puree and dice-cutted avo in lettuce plus sweet corn plus cheddar salad. The way I love to enjoy this kind of brunch is taking it slowly on Sunday on the bed. In fact, this was shot on top of my bed using a DIY grey board from a side table.

.

 

Hey Sushi

.


“On my way to my apartment this evening, I scrolled pictures and played some videos in my iPhone from trips to Turkey and Japan”


..

It’s such a thing I always do every time I miss those vacation moments. I smiled few times watching cheesy videos I recorded at Haneda Airport with Luís, a video recorded when I had lunch with my best friends, or the one Saf sent me when we were in Istanbul. It’s a good thing technology helps us rewind those moments in the past even only on the screen. I should record more in the future cause it feels much more alive than a picture :)

When I kept scrolling on the gallery, my fingers stopped at these pictures, and it was raining a bit in my mouth. Look at that ramen! Imagine had a super power taking it from my screen and had it for dinner :(

Brunch At Home


“I actually woke up right. It’s Sunday…”


.

When I have no events on the weekend, I prefer to pretend my Saturday night at home is endless. Sleep late is allowed, of course, cause wake up late on Sunday sounds right! When I was watching a movie on the bed last night, I was thinking to sleep late but felt asleep cause one, the movie’s such a boring one and second, I was kinda tired after editing few pictures for an upcoming post (still, an archive from Istanbul last year). I don’t watch TV, I prefer watching either movie scenes on YouTube or some favorite movies over and over again like Argo, Me Before You, Million Dollar Arm or La La Land from my MacBook.

This morning I woke up as if it was Monday: on time, straight working on my clothes (ironing, what else?), cleaning my room, and then brunch scene session with a multi-grain croissant, granola with pome, hello berries it’s been while, quinoa chips, kiwi and grapefruit. My morning is definitely not complete without a cup of coffee.

.



Talking about movie, the one that stole my attention recently is Call Me By Your Name. Not because it’s scored 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, but the movie itself is such a masterpiece imho. Timmy’s acting is amazing, the scenes shot in northern Italy on the eighties are to die for: the wardrobes, lighting, locations, angles! I never watch a whole movie but some scenes on YouTube.

Even though I had no idea why Armie Hammer didn’t get a nomination for Best Supporting Actor on upcoming Oscar (this sounds like a snub huh, like how crazy Divide by Ed Sheeran didn’t even get a nomination for Best Album Grammy 2018, holy shit!), but I’d be so glad if this movie wins Oscar or perhaps a lucky star drops for Timothée Chalamet!

Packed And Go…

One thing I’ve been trying to do recently is managing my time to cook three different meals at the same time. I tried once last week when I cooked a bit late (sure, it was exhausting cause I did it after I had a long day) and found that it saved my time a lot. I ate different meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner and lasted for two/three days. Tho it was a bit “managed-managed” (I promise, it was a bit hard to do cause I like spending money for food) but truly, it saved much of my time. I didn’t have to cook every time I get home cause what I needed was to warm manually on the pan (I have no microwave in the moment :|).

Another thing I’m trying to do is saving my time for breakfast without losing the essence of it. Cause you know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And sometimes when I wake up from a looooong day and take my coffee slowly on the bed with few times Call It What You Want from my iPad, a pack of fruitful breakfast is all I need. Take a shower, spray Blue de Chanel and off I go…

I was so stoked I could speak with Judith, my best friend whose birthday is today! She spent a beautiful day with a sunset in Catalunya…she told me before we ended our phone call, “I’d see a friend I met in Japan this Christmas Azis…we’ll see in Morocco” oh, should I pack my backpack and run from here that day…:P