Archive | March 2011

A-Z Blog Challenge

Me, being the big blogging procrastinator I am (I still have half written drafts yet to be published from months ago), signed up for the A-Z Challenge a few days ago spontaneously.

Why, you ask? I’m not sure myself. It might be exactly what I need to get back to blogging more often. Either that, or make me never want to write another blog post in my life. We’ll see.

What is it? Bloggers participating are supposed to post something on their respective blog every day in April except for Sundays.  In doing this you will have 26 blog posts–one for each letter of the alphabet and each day your post is supposed to involve the letter of the alphabet for that day.

Will I really post every day for a month? We’ll see. I hope so!

I think the biggest challenge for me (even more than actually posting everyday) will be keeping the integrity of my blog already. As in, not to just post for the heck of posting… but to have blog posts that actually make sense and seem as if I would have written them anyways.

Are you participating?

By the way, is it a bad sign that I still don’t know what I’m writing about for tomorrow?

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

The Versatile Blogger Award

Ms. Blasé nominated me for a blog award about two weeks ago and I completely got caught up in everything! It just caught my eye in my inbox as I was clearing my way through it so I’m posting about it right now before I give myself the chance to put it off again.

Thanks for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award! And I apologize for taking so long!

Anyhow, I am supposed to share seven things about me. Wasn’t that one of the most difficult things you had to do for introductions in school? How am I supposed to share 22 years of life in said amount without talking about the generic stuff!

Here’s what I just came up with:

  1. I love love LOVE the color purple. As if you couldn’t tell by my blog that’s all purple. My room is purple too!
  2. I was born in Pakistan. Grew up in Canada. And now reside in the U.S. Talk about confusing! 🙂
  3. Until the eighth grade, I was absolutely positive that I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. So much that at every family get together or when my younger cousins came over, I would play school with them, teaching them what I was learning then in school. Can you imagine teaching a kid five or so years younger than you what you are learning when you are in elementary school?
  4. Then in the eighth grade, in my history class we discussed the constitution in great lengths. I could not be more interested! I immediately became more and more interested in the law. I remember I went home that day and researched online as much as I could. Soon, studying law and becoming a constitutional lawyer was something I aspired to do. Let’s see what happens with this one.
  5. I met two U.S. presidents in two consecutive days. In my own state! One of them came to my university.
  6. I love politics and ESPECIALLY elections! Click here to see what our living room looked like for the 2008 Presidential Election night. It’s never the same and oh so intense.
  7. In sixth grade, I got the Principal Award (I think that’s what it was called) for having the best grades in my entire middle school (sixth, seventh, and eighth grade). We had an assembly for the awards and after all the other awards were called like the honor roll (for everyone who got all A’s I believe it was) I started crying because I thought I did bad in school for the first time in my life. I was so upset with myself that I completely missed the whole introduction about the principal award and the only thing I heard was my name and then applause and my whole class smiling and urging me to go up to accept the award.

By the way, crying should have been a number on it’s own – I am the most sensitive person I know! I cry about everything — happy, sad, whatever.

Thanks Ms. Blasé! It was a nice way to reflect back!

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

BBQ in 38 Degrees

Call me crazy, but we just BBQed right now. I believe it was around 38 degrees outside… but who cares? Certainly not me 🙂

Doesn’t it look delicious? I marinated the chicken yesterday during Earth Hour  🙂

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Earth Hour 2011 Follow up

The candle below was the only “light” we had on in our whole house during Earth Hour earlier today.

And you know what? It was great.

Not only because it felt nice to do our small share for our planet… but because all four of us sat around in the family room (in the dark) and talked about old memories and such.

I mean, come on, how often do you do that?

It was like for an hour, everything else was put on a stand-still, and… it was just nice.

You know what else I did? I marinated chicken to BBQ tomorrow. Yes, in March. I’ve been craving it for a while, so figured why not? 🙂

So did you take part in Earth Hour? What did you do? I’d love to hear about (and even see pictures) if you posted some.

 P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Earth Hour 2011

Don’t forget to take part in Earth Hour tomorrow March 26th, 2011 at 8:30 P.M.

What’s Earth Hour you ask?

It started in 2007 in Australia (and I’ve been blogging about it since 2008!) and basically what happens is people turn off their lights for one hour. What for? Well, Climate change. A year later, it became a global thing.

So tell me, how do you plan on participating in Earth Hour?

 P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

What’s For Dinner: Singaporean Rice

Singaporean Rice. Delicious, but literally has everything but the kitchen sink in it.
It’s great for parties because it makes a large quantity at once [or feeds someone who loves this for a few days]. I’m warning you now there are a lot [and I mean A LOT] of steps to put this together, but they are all easy steps.
Here’s the recipe for one large tray of Singaporean Rice Noodles:
For the chicken, you need:

  • 1 pound of [boneless] chicken, cut into tiny bite size pieces
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ginger powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons of apple cider] vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup of tomato ketchup

To make the chicken:

  1. Marinate your chicken with all the ingredients for the chicken [listed above].
  2. Cook over low to low-medium heat. Set aside.

For the vegetable portion, you need:

  • 1/2 cabbage shredded thinly
  • 2 bell peppers long 1/2 inch strips [I like using varing color combinations]
  • 3-4 green onions chopped
  • shredded carrots [or carrots cut into strips if you can’t find any]
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

To put together the vegetable portion:

  1. Heat oil to [stir fry]. Start off with carrots, and then add cabbage, green onions and bell peppers.
  2. Add soy sauce, salt, and black pepper. Mix. Set aside.

Note: stir fry the vegetables quickly because you want the veggies to stay crispy. Make sure you don’t over fry.

Next, the rice noodles:
  1. Boil or let soak in warm water a pack of rice noodles (found in international/ethnic aisle of your grocery store) [by following the directions on box]. When I first started making this, the box usually instructed to boil but nowadays most just tell you to soak– and I find the texture better this way anyhow. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Once it is boiled, let it sit for a little bit and then stir fry the noodles. Set aside.

Tip: try using a brand of rice noodles that tell you to just soak the rice noodles in warm water, like I do, because I find that it works better and are much easier to work with. The ones I used to boil, I found that they stuck together when it came time to stir fry them.

For the rice:
  1. Cook about 3 cups of rice. Drain the water.
  2. Stir fry the rice. While stir frying the rice, add black pepper to taste and a little bit of soy sauce. Set aside.

For the sauce:

You need:
  • Mayonnaise
  • Ketchup
  • Black pepper
  • Chili powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Garlic Powder

To make the sauce:

  1. Take 2 parts of mayonnaise for every 1 part of ketchup. So if you take 1 cup mayo take 1/2 cup ketchup.
  2. Add in the other seasonings, and mix well. The color should be of a pink tint.
  3. Set aside.
I make extra. Not only do I mix it into the dish, but serve alongside because some people like it with more sauce than others.

Finally, finally, finally: you are ready to put it together! Exhausted, yet?

  1. In a [large] dish, add in the different layers.
  2. I add the rice at the bottom, then add in the chicken. Next, I put the vegetables on top, followed by the rice noodles. Finally, add the sauce.
For presentation purposes, I like to serve with the different layers. But for easiness — I do mix all the layers ahead of time sometimes.

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

Tsunami Survival Video

Did you guys watch this?

Literally as they seek shelter and try to get on a higher ground level, the tsunami waves come crashing under them as if it was a scene out of a movie.

Just think of those who weren’t as lucky. But at the same time it’s nice to see strangers helping strangers, isn’t it?

 P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

March Madness

Are you guys into the March Madness craze?

I’m DEFINITELY not. I watch none of the games. I don’t care who wins.

But for several years now, I have filled out the bracket for the heck of it…. using my method. You know what that is?

As I go through the bracket, I look at the names of both teams in a game… and choose which ever name sounds better. Ingenious, no?

Go ahead and shake your head in disbelief but two years ago my method led my bracket to be more accurate than BOTH of my brothers. You know, the ones that live off of sports and would probably watch all 16 games in a day at the same time if it was possible. Overall, my method leads to me to do pretty well each year.

This year, my oldest brother told me all of the mascots too to “help” me. That better not have had a negative effect on my streak is all I’m saying. 🙂

Anyhow, here’s my bracket that I filled out on Tuesday:

The only team I didn’t pick on purpose was St. Johns… because of how Rutgers (my alma mater) was ripped off in the game against them.

FYI, for the final score (for the tie breaker)… I totally just pulled out random numbers.

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

9.0 Earthquake

If a 8.9 9.0 earthquake isn’t a wakeup call for you, I don’t know what will be one. The devastation that the earthquake and the consequential tsunami has caused is going to take many many years to rebuild.

The videos, pictures, first person reports are heart-breaking to say the least.

I’ve embedded just of those below:

I don’t know whether natural disasters like major earthquakes are happening more often now or whether we just hear more about them now because of technological advances, but either way – it’s a real eye opener.

What makes this one even worse is that it’s not just a natural disaster that is of a worry to people, but the consequences of nuclear plants that is leaking radiation too as a result of the significantly large earthquake.

Google has set up a Crisis Response page, so head over there to see how you can help.

My mom’s cousin actually resides in Japan with his wife, but fortunately their area was not affected.

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan.

 P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Random Thoughts

You know, lately, I have’t posted much because… well… I don’t really know what to write about. I LOVE writing, don’t get me wrong… but there isn’t much to talk about when what you do day in and day out is look for a job, study for the GRE’s from time to time and have WAY too much free time in between.

Because let’s face it… it’s boring.

I think I’ve mentioned before that until now, I always had just a busy schedule and was always on the go which is why this is annoying me (if that is even the right word to describe this) so much more probably. I went from taking a full load of courses and then some plus working part time on the side to now where it is the complete opposite which is driving me ABSOLUTELY CRAZY. I want need to find a job ASAP.

At least I have a few things to look forward to this week to alleviate this feeling of… annoyance?

Isn’t it funny? When you have a hectic schedule, all you want is some free time. When you have the free time, you don’t want it. Where’s the perfect balance in between the two?!

Anyhow, I’m holding a giveaway over here so head over and enter!

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.