Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Random Tumbling Thoughts

It's been a busy month so far, so here's a quick rundown of stuff that been going on:

My kids and I spent some time with my sister and parents in Vancouver, BC.  I have to say, that's one beautiful city. The lush green parks, clean beaches (right in the city), and awesome transportation options (public or otherwise), made the experience simply lovely.  It is refreshing to be in a city with a citizenry that seems kinder, and simply nicer, in the way they do and say things. Plus, I discovered my new favorite cocktail, the Caesar!



In July, I submitted the first page of my current work-in-progress to Kathy Temean's Free Fall Friday Critique feature.  The agent critiquing was Jenny Bent of The Bent Agency. My piece was one of those chosen for the feature. You can read the submissions and Ms. Bent's critiques here. Needless to say, I am feeling very encouraged.

I got hooked on the TV show, The Killing.  Thank God for Netflix, really.  There's no way I could've waited days in between episodes.  I am about to complete the very last season.  No spoilers please! 

I joined my very first book club.  The first book we read was The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.  The second one was We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.  I wasn't able to attend the discussion for the second book, but all I can say about the book is, "Whoa."  The next book is Prep: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfeld.

Yesterday, author, Sarah McCarry, wrote this piece on her blog.  I felt the need to share it here because this is a prime example of writing that I find so powerful. Such moving words, with a voice I find so compelling. It all seems so deeply personal and makes me wonder what she is going through at this time. I hope all is well with her.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Inspiration Sunday




Sunset Glow by Curtis Simmons via 500px

Shown here under CC By-NC 3.0

This prompt is yours to draw inspiration from. If you use it, and decide to post the resulting piece on your blog, or other online forum that hosts your writing, let me know in the comments section. I'll make   sure to drop by and share my thoughts.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Inspiration Sunday



Title and Artist Unknown, found on wallpapersget.com (website now defunct).

This prompt is yours to draw inspiration from. If you use it, and decide to post the resulting piece on your blog, or other online forum that hosts your writing, let me know in the comments section. I'll make   sure to drop by and share my thoughts.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Inspiration Sunday




I Have Your Soul, by Jeminafredriika via Deviant Art.

This prompt is yours to draw inspiration from. If you use it, and decide to post the resulting piece on your blog, or other online forum that hosts your writing, let me know in the comments section. I'll make   sure to drop by and share my thoughts.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bitter Gourd Saute with Scrambled Eggs

I have a quick and easy non-meat recipe for you today. Be warned however, this is not for the faint of heart.  While familiar to Asians, this vegetable/fruit is not something you'll regularly find in your local Shoprite.  I give you, the Ampalaya (bitter gourd/ bitter melon).



As a child, I used to dread the warty-looking vegetable/fruit that lurked in a Pinakbet, a local dish of sauteed eggplant, okra, squash, and green snake beans with shrimp paste.  Tasting just as it sounds, the gourd's extremely bitter taste would send me sputtering in to the sink, trying to wash the taste out of my mouth.

As an adult, I've acquired a taste for it.  I've since learned how to prepare it so the bitter taste doesn't overpower everything.  Also, bitter gourd is said to help lower blood sugar levels and alleviate stomach and kidney ailments.

Over the weekend, my uncle gifted me with a couple bitter gourds from his home vegetable patch.  Yay for home gardens! I couldn't wait to get home to make dinner with them.


Bitter Gourd Saute with Scrambled Eggs

1 whole bitter gourd, prepared as provided below
1 tablespoon coarse salt
2 cups water, separated in to two cups
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 white onion, chopped
4-5 cherry tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons chicken broth
2 eggs, scrambled as desired
salt and pepper, to taste

  1. To prepare bitter gourd, cut off both ends, then slice the gourd through, lengthwise.  With a spoon, scrape out the white pith and seeds and discard.  Slice the gourd across into thin slices. 
  2. Place the sliced gourd into a non-reactive bowl, and generously sprinkle the salt over the gourd slices, then pour in the first cup of water.  Let sit for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Drain the water, then add the second cup and soak for another 10 to 15 minutes. Drain again.
  4. In a large non-stick skillet, saute the garlic, onion and tomatoes until soft.
  5. Add the gourd on top of saute mixture, but do not stir.  Add chicken broth and lower heat to medium. Cook covered for about 10 minutes.  The bitter gourd will be soft when cooked.
  6. Toss the items in the pan. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss again.
  7. Transfer cooked vegetables onto a serving platter and top with the scrambled eggs.
  8. Serve immediately with steamed rice. 
Cooking Tips:
  1. Use the soaking time in Steps 2 and 3 to prepare the other items in the recipe, like chopping the other vegetables or making the scrambled the eggs, or steaming the rice. Soaking the sliced gourd helps to draw out the bitter taste.  
  2. Not stirring the gourd in the pan, helps to keep the remaining bitterness from overpowering the whole dish. 
  3. The younger the bitter gourd, the less bitter it is.
I dare my non-Asian friends to try this. Let me know how you make out.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Inspiration Sunday




Abandoned Village in Russia, found via reddit.


This prompt is yours to draw inspiration from. If you use it, and decide to post the resulting piece on your blog, or other online forum that hosts your writing, let me know in the comments section. I'll make   sure to drop by and share my thoughts.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Inspiration Sunday


Artist Unknown, found on weheartit.

This prompt is yours to draw inspiration from. If you use it, and decide to post the resulting piece on your blog, or other online forum that hosts your writing, let me know in the comments section. I'll make   sure to drop by and share my thoughts.