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More food…

It is so easy to feel low after seeing a client/patient with depression. It is hard not to be affected by the cases you see and the stories you hear. My placement with the hospital will be done by next week and even though I have my ups and downs there, I can’t help but feel sad that I’m leaving. (well, I’m actually relieved too since I’m not sure how much longer I can stand chasing participants for my research + looking sane in the hospital).

It’s strange, but no matter how many presentations I have given, classes I have taught and groups that I have lead.. I still feel nervous when someone is sitting there and thinking about what marks to give me. Well, I’m telling myself that if an associated professor stammers when giving presentation (but not affecting the quality of it), then I can give myself permission to make blunders too.

So I have been baking and cooking, baking and cooking.. The following are just some samples of what I have been doing.

As per requested by Ruth…

Yogurt Cake-this is so moist, it’s like a butter cake except less sinful!
1 cup of yogurt (any flavour- I like peach and mango, Ski).
3/4 cup of olive oil.
3 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1 cup of caster sugar
3 cups of self-raising flour.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius,
1) Mix yogurt, oil and sugar till combined.
2) Add 3 eggs and mix well. Add vanilla extract.
3) Sift flour in. Fold gently.
4) Pour cake batter into prepared loaf tin. Bake for 35 mins. Cool for 10 mins before taking it off the tin.

Cranberry shortbread
note: thanks to evan for the recipe.

125grms butter softened
100grms icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
180grms flour
1 tbsp custard powder
1/2 tsp salt
handfuls of cranberries.

1) preheat oven 170 degrees c.
2) Rub in butter, icing sugar, vanilla essence, flour and salt till it resembles breadcrumbs.
3)add in cranberries and knead into dough.
3) Place dough in between 2 pieces of baking paper. Roll out. Cut into shapes. Or if you are lazy like me, just shape them into balls and press them flat onto the baking tray.
4) bake for 20 mins till golden brown. Cool before storing.

Shepards Pie (own recipe so parden the rough guide of measurements)

300grams of lean beef mince (or use lamb)
1 diced onion
1 tablespoon of olive oil.
healthy splash of sherry
1 cup of frozen mix veges.
3 tablespoon of worcestershire sauce
salt & pepper.

mashed potato- boil 4 diced potatos. Mashed with 2 tablespoon of lowfat spread (or margarine/butter) and 1 cup of milk.

1) Preheat oven to grill.
2) Heat pan. Add oil. Sweat onions. Add mince. Cook for 3 mins. Stiring constantly. Add worcestershire sauce. Add sherry. Cook for 4 mins. Add frozen veges. Season. Cook till done.
3) Pour into heatproof bowl.
4) Spoon mashed potato on top. Grill for 20 mins (or till done).

Sticky date pudding (ps-one of my fav dessert after molten chocolate pudding!)

300grms dried pited dates
450ml water
1 tsp bicarb soda
100g margarine
100 grms caster sugar
3 eggs
275grms raising flour
1 tsp vanilla essence.

80grams brown sugar
250ml low fat cream
90grams margarine
1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees c.
2) Bring dates and water to boil. Add bicarb soda. Let cool.
3) Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs. Sift flour in. Add date mixture and vanilla essence. Mix. Pour into large dish and bake for 30 mins.
4) To make sauce- put everything into sauce pan and mix well till smooth.
5) Pour sauce over pudding and return to oven for 5 mins.
6) Serve with vanilla icecream!!!

Mum smsed me to say she recieved HD for her first assignment! Yeah! So the frustration during phone calls and patience training pays off. Well, I did tell her that her assignment is fine and she didn’t believe me. There you go. hrmph.


Oat choc chip walnut cookies

This is crispy! Well, I prefer it to be even more crispy but it’s “close” to where I want it to be. The original recipe does not have walnuts but given that I’m quite a nut freak, I decided to add them.

Raisin and choc-chip oat biscuits

½ cup raisins

115g butter or margarine

¼ cup of caster sugar

¼ cup of brown sugar

1 egg

½ tsp vanilla essence

½ tsp ground cinnamon

¾ cup plain flour

1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

¾ cup rolled oats

100g dark choc chips

Handful of crushed walnuts

1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper

2) Place raisins in saucepan and cover with cold water. Heat and Cook-stirring for 2-3mins or until just heated through. Set aside for 5 mins to cool. Drain.

3) Meanwhile, use an electric beater to beat together the butter and combine sugars in a bowl until pale and creamy. Beat in egg, vanilla and cinnamon.

4) Stir in flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder until combined Add the raisins, oats, choc bits and walnuts. Combine.

5) Spoon 1-tablespoonful of mixture onto lined trays. Allow room for spreading. Bake in oven for 18-20 mins or until golden.

Salad ramblings

I begin to think that perhaps I should start bringing my camera around. No wait, maybe I should just place a “post it” on my hand to remember it! I made this lovely easy salad that looks terrific BUT I totally forgot to take a picture of it. It just didn’t occur to me, since I was hungry and all I could think of is to EAT it.

Anyway, here is to recipe if you wish to try it:

serves 2 (or 1 huge bowl for yourself)

2 eggs- omit this if you are pressed for time. Use ham/tuna instead.
packet of gourmet mix leaves or baby spinach leaves(approxi. 150grams)
handful of walnuts-crushed
parmesan cheese
2 tablespoon olive oil

1) Boil eggs for 10 minutes. I like them just cooked. Peel and cut into quarters.
2) Wash and drain salad leaves. Set aside.
3) Heat a small pan with olive oil. Add crushed walnuts. Toast for 3 mins.
4) sprinkle walnuts all over salad leaves
5) add quartered eggs
6) shave some parmesan cheese (or buy those that is already pre-shaved). Sprinkle handful all over the salad.
7) Serve and EAT.

Took me less than 15 minutes to gather them together. I was heating up some left over risotto that I made the other night at the same time too!

It’s a lovely spring day. Warm and sunny. I decided to make use of my legs + wonderful weather and walked instead of taking the bus for part of my trip to the hospital. Walk down to city as well at the end of the day. ahh..

Heading to town to pay for my air tickets back to Singapore tomorrow.

I think God is punishing me for refusing to listen to mum when I was younger. Or maybe it’s his idea of humour. I’m currently editing ALL her assignments + explaining terms to her. She gets frustrated when she couldnt understand it, and then I got frustrated since I needed to draw to explain to her and it’s hard just telling her over the phone! I’m so so proud of her though. She came a long way since her first assignment. It’s so weird having this role reversal thing happening. Go mum go!

Pondering what to bake this weekend…

Another change…

Oops, yet another change in blog design. This reflects more on me I guess- bored and restless at times. On the contrary to what people think, I do like bright colours- not just black!

Perhaps it is also a reflection of how I am feeling or would like to feel. It’s strange. The past few weeks have been the busiest thus far. Phone calls, placement obligations, workshops, emails, interviews, presentation, seminars, manual writing, leading groups, church, research testing and tutoring; work kept coming in. It seems endless. Yet at the peak of it, I crave and enjoy every bit of it. Work, I guess, is becoming more of me. Part of me even. It’s a conflict. I enjoy it yet dread waking up in the morning knowing that it’s another full day ahead.

I spoke very little about my research on this blog. Mainly because it’s an area that very little people knew I’m interested in it. It started of as a research project that my supervisor suggested, but as time goes on, it got deeper than that. Not many people realise the emotional impact of having a skin disorder like rosacea. The pain and struggles that they go through but no one recognised that it is more than just a red face. Literally, this disorder is skin deep. I’m amazed by the response I have been getting (although I am hoping for more) and the support from sufferers over at the eastern states n US.

Ambivalence. Regardless of how much one can enjoy the lessons of research and clinical work, it does get tiring at times. A part of me wish that I can narrow my roles down. I start to crave the normality of the working force, the long days at work but you do recieve annual leave (for aus) + public holidays + weekends + evenings. Given the delicate area that I work in, most places have ‘stress leave’ too. Well, I guess having a stable pay helps as well.

Isn’t it strange? Much as I enjoy what I’m having now, I would also like to get out of here and start having a life again! Yes, a life with more social events, stable pay and a decent job that I enjoy. I’m young but I do not feel young. *If I’m my own therapist, I could either say that is a negative thought that should be change since there isn’t any physical evidence to support that OR accept it as a thought and do not judge it.*

Is it the area that I work in, or does it reflect the next stage of the developmental life cycle?
Perhaps it is abit of both.

Abit of exciting news, I have been allocated a small office spot on campus! It’s nothing flash- with just a small table space with desktop + filing cabinet but HEY! it’s better than nothing. I think the admin lady took pity of me for spending too much time on campus. ;p

So much to update but so little time. Till the next time- have a good week and do give me feedback for this template. =)

Many many thanks to Mr AR who helped me pull this blog design through!