So, DiniBlini, is still a food blog in it’s essence. Just that I haven’t been repping that side of it that hard, recently.
PZ sent me a picture of some amazing risotto she had made a couple of weeks ago – which she had served with what looked like an enticing salad.
Since I’ve never met a salad I don’t like I was all “Hayyyy what’s that? Is it tasty? Can I get the recipe??”
PZ obliged and sent me her version – which I promptly adapted – and messed up.
The first time round I made it, it looked like this:
Which is to say – it was GORGEOUS but I forgot to put sugar in the dressing and left the onions I had marinated in vinegar on the counter and didn’t put it in the salad. I also added the quinoa which I had prepared to make it a full meal on the counter and only added it after I was halfway through. Which made me sad. It also made me hate my counter.
The second day I prepared the salad – I was ready. Onions went in! Honey (I didn’t feel like sugar), went in! Quinoa went in! And it was great. This was a salad on a budget (Let’s face it Chinese cabbage is a lot cheaper than those mixed salad leaves) and it does a body (and wallet) good.
Serves 2 – or 1 hungry girl, twice
1 chicken thigh
1/4 tsp salt
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 – 3/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 head of Chinese cabbage, about 500gm, quartered, cored and cut crosswise into 1/4″ ribbons
1 carrot, peeled and finely shredded
1/2 bunch chopped coriander/cilantro leaves
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1 to 2 chillies, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
Pinch of salt
1 tsp honey
4 Tbsps fish sauce
2 Tbsps lime juice
3 Tbsps water
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
Toss the chicken with a bit of olive oil.
Lay it on the grill bit and bake for 20 to 30 minutes – flipping once halfway through.
Remove from the oven and let cool. Chop into bite sized chunks.
Original recipe: Fill saucepan half full of water, add salt, let the water reach a rolling boil on high heat, and drop in the chicken. When the water bubbles at the edges, remove from the heat, cover tightly and let it stand 20 minutes. Remove the chicken and reserve the stock for another use. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it by hand and let cool to room temperature.
Dressing Pound the chili, garlic and salt into a paste. Scrape into a bowl and add the honey, fish sauce, lime juice and water. Combine well.
Place the sliced onion in a small bowl, add enough white vinegar to cover the slices and let sit for 15 minutes.
Drain the onion, add it to the chicken, along with the cabbage, carrot, coriander/cilantro and quinoa.
Toss the salad with the dressing just before serving.
As I sit here typing this – it’s lunch time and I’m halfway through the day. So far I’ve been doing the daily tasks that I need to complete, I am facing an unexpected finance department complication and I have been adding about one new thing to my to-do list per hour.
I have also decided that this is the best time to question my wardrobe choices, the general direction of my life and of course, where I went wrong in everything I have ever done.
Now this is what you call a weekend hangover.*
When your weekend is SO much fun that the mundanity and actual normalcy of real life makes you feel like there’s something wrong.
Calm down. Drink some very delicious coffee and just slowly get your work done and wrap your head around not being overly excited. It’s not a bad thing. It’s just a thing.
Also remind yourself, the next weekend is only in five days.
* DISCLAIMER: I am not suffering from real hangover, only a weekend hangover brought upon by fun hiking, running, fooding and friending.
So I haven’t been writing because I… just don’t feel like it.
I am / my phone is full of pictures, stories, reviews and more and I… just want to not deal with ANY of it.
I think, my friends, this is what you call a rut. I’m in a creative rut and rather than work it out by myself I have decided to air out my not-so-dirty laundry here.
1. I’m in a rut because after a truly exciting and fun birthday (I dragged out celebrations for about one week because #imworthit) a return to normalcy feels a little too normal. Where is my 10th birthday cake? Why aren’t people randomly hugging me anymore? Does this mean I get no more free wine?
2. I’m a rut because a close friend moved away for her PhD – and I miss her. I used to be able to completely deal with saying goodbye to a friend, especially having moved so much as a kid, but the older I get the more I realize I am not the Tin Man. Which is super annoying.
3. I’m in a rut because I have SO many projects to start on – that I don’t know where to start. Do I re-start my failed scrap booking project? Do I start reading about and implementing the terrifying KonMarie method? Do I finally keep the promise I made to myself and readers to amp up the blog with better photography – using the gazillion props my friends have gifted me over my past two brithdays (IGETTHEHINT).
I feel like I am on the cusp of doing some great stuff and yet something, specifically my mind, is holding me back.
Still I know the only solution to this rut, and to most other problems – imaginary or real – that I might have, is to get my head out of my ass and get on with it.
Actually after writing this, I’m already feeling a little less blocked. Excuse the imagery.
This post is the first time I have gotten a request to write about something specific.
In this case a friend asked me “So when’s your next blog post?”
“I dunno – tomorrow?” (This was yesterday)
“What do you want it to be about?”
“Overcoming crippling feelings of inadequacy?”
As I mulled that over I was all – shit how am I going to write about that? I don’t feel inadequate – like EVER. Remember, I’ve said before that I suffer from hubris?
But then I started thinking – maybe it’s not that I don’t feel inadequate. Maybe it’s that I just don’t think about it enough and I don’t let whatever feelings I have, prevent me from doing anything.
This resilience comes from a having a relatively rough childhood – when you combine doting parents, gullibility and pudginess – you get a combo that bullies cannot resist. For most of my pre-pubescent life I was ridiculed for my weight, was no where close to the cool kids’ table and was generally a try-hard. But in school I did really well. My grades were high, I kissed-ass like no other and the feedback from teachers was nothing short of glowing. I continued in this vein till now, sometimes succeeding in school, sometimes succeeding socially and now I’ve kind of got a place at work and with friends that I really like.
Still sometimes, when I’m faced with a peer who makes more than me or friends in long-standing, stable relationships – I begin to wonder, what’s wrong with me?
I think it might be that very question, that holds me back. If I’m wondering about what’s wrong with me, or as the Internet defines inadequacy – what’s lacking in quality about me or insufficient or wanting, how can I perform or be present and do whatever it is I need to do? If I constantly think I’m not up to the task or not worthy of something – how will I ever achieve it? That’sself-fulfilling prophecies for you – the eternal annoying as hell chicken and egg situation.
So there isn’t any real solution to overcoming feelings of inadequacy. BUT I think it’s important not to let feelings or perceptions of inadequacy cripple you, especially when you need to perform. I have three suggestions for overcoming this:
1. Be confident in yourself and your abilities by doing the work that is needed to be confident. Basically over prepare. This isn’t my advice, this is from Mindy Kaling.
2. I’m not going to go on this you’re totally adequate and you can do anything rant, because if you were able to convince yourself of that you wouldn’t need this. Instead it’s always helpful to me to imagine that most people are like me and also go through bouts of feeling inadequate and are still generally able to make it in their career, love and life. So you don’t have to beat anyone. You just have to join them.
3. Just do whatever it is that you need to do because what’s the worst thing that could happen? If you’re suffering from nerves before a first day or work or need to make a presentation or need courage to text someone, but think you’re not qualified or a shitty public speaker or not hot enough (OH THE STRUGGLE!), let me just ask, “What’s the worse thing that could happen?” In all these scenarios, you could stumble and mess up and be embarrassed as HELL and it really won’t matter – in the grand scheme of things. So get over yourself and get on with it.
What: Tiny, classy, Italian joint in the Duxton area.
Pros: The food is spot-on. We ordered this antipasti which was this gorgeous burrata, rocket and tomato thing and it made me completely forget I had a fake cheese allergy. My pasta (pictured above) was delicious as well, if a little heavy.
Cons: I would not have visited this place – had it been on someone else’s tab (it was my boss – haHA) – that gorgeous antipasti was SGD45 and the pastas are on the pricey side too.
Verdict: I would say, go if someone else is paying – hear me out – the food is good but you can get similar at Pasta Brava AND it’s in a far more charming space.