Thursday, February 24, 2011

Banana Bread

I'm all for the quick and easy. Banana bread is one of those err.. food that is all that. It's absolutely a no brainer and fool proof.

I had two over ripened bananas yesterday and they had started to look ugly so naturally, I had to do something. Throwing them away was not an option so I chose to make banana bread. This time I used the recipe that called for buttermilk which I made myself from lemon juice and soy milk. Just mix together 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1 cup of soy milk, and voila, you got your vegan buttermilk, baby.

I used the Best Ever Banana Bread recipe from because I don't come up with recipes on my own. Ever. Oh, and I only used 1 cup of white sugar, added palm sugar and ground cinnamon. You can always do your own experiment.

Best Ever Banana Bread


2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup mashed bananas
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Spray one 9x5 inch loaf pan with non-stick spray coating.
Blend together the eggs, buttermilk, oil and bananas.
Sift together the sugar, flour, baking soda and salt. Add to banana mixture and stir in pecans. Mix well.
Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

It came out quite pretty for a banana bread. I wrapped it in foil and put it in the fridge last night and this morning it is still moist and I can taste the banana even better. Oh, and I L-O-V-E the crusts!



Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Adopt, Don't Buy!

I have three dogs right now. They were all adopted from CAP (Citizens for Animal Protection). This is what I wrote to CAP, just to say how I'm grateful that they are doing so much kindness to all those animals and that people should really opt to adopt animals rather than buy. 

These 3 creatures are family now. They are the ones that keep me company while my husband is at work. And damn are they good at doing so and keeping my hands full. Nonetheless, I love these 3 little rascals so very much. Thanks CAP!

More wonderful stories about my 3 dogs can be found here

If you are living in Indonesia, these are links to wonderful shelters with animals in need of forever homes: Jakarta Animal Aid Network, Pondok Pengayom Satwa Ragunan.


Andini, Sausage, Trippy, Olive

Ain't A Leap Year, Baby!

I just realized that there is only 28 days in February! D-oh! That means even shorter time to finish my stories. 

Funny though, it felt like an epiphany. Yes, when I realized that there's only 28 friggin' days in February and that 2011 is not a leap year. Even if it's a leap year, the maximum number of days would only be 29. How in the world could I made up the number 31 in my head? Stupidest moment in 2011 so far. Sigh..

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Short Stories: Update

The deadline is getting really close. I have approximately 1 week to finish my stories and send them to the editor. He/she will then decide if I am right for the short stories project with other fellow short story writers. I am barely breathing here. 

Seriously, I am barely breathing. I have finished one story. Only one story! And right now working on my second which is actually already close to the finish line, but I can't seem to find the perfect ending. My thoughts are scattered everywhere and I feel like I'm neglecting my characters. They are standing there in the story wondering what will become of them.

It is funny how I can just write and write at one point, then just stopped. It is not that I am uninspired, because I am inspired by so many things at the moment and I want to write about them. Then I opened my laptop and found that I cannot write one beautiful, worth-reading sentence. So I re-read everything I managed to write the past week and felt like the story is lack of something. I don't know what.

I might need to take a step back and just have a relaxed attitude toward this situation, don't you think? In the end I want to write stories I like. Stories that I truly treasure, even if the publisher doesn't feel the same way. In the end, I want stories that I write with all of my heart, not just stories I had to finish because there was a deadline.

I will surely try to meet the deadline, but I do not think I want to get drown in the process. Afterall, they are my stories and it is the utmost important that I like them.



Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thursday Pasta: Greek-Style Skillet Supper

I'm not the kind of blogger who cooks and then post the result. One, because it usually turns out ugly or, two, other people might make better version of the food I cook. So yes, it's about self esteem. 

Nonetheless, I was playing around with my iphone applications and found an interesting (plus super easy) pasta recipe. It's called Greek-Style Skillet Supper. So I thought, why not post this one for all of you busy people out there?

I found the recipe on and used the keyword "cinnamon". It is interesting that ground cinnamon is used in the recipe and it really made a whole lot difference.

I used macaroni style pasta, not penne and it still came out great. It was absolutely super easy and quick. The "greek-ness" could easily be identified through the mix of spices and the use of feta cheese. Better yet, you have everything you need in one dish; your carbs, protein and fiber. Yummy!


1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons Oregano Leaves
1 teaspoon Cinnamon, Ground
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) reduced sodium beef broth
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 cups uncooked penne pasta
1 1/2 cups frozen leaf spinach or cut green beans, thawed
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided


1. Cook ground beef and onion in large skillet on medium-high heat until beef is no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Drain fat. Add oregano, cinnamon and garlic powder; mix well.

2. Stir in broth, tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to boil. Stir in pasta. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook 10 minutes or until pasta is nearly tender. Stir in spinach and 1/2 cup of the feta cheese. Cover. Cook 5 minutes longer or until pasta is tender.

3. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup feta cheese. Cover. Let stand 5 minutes.



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

An Easy Wednesday

and creatures of the house. They never fail to make me smile. 

My other dog is relatively big so I was unable to put her on my lap. But you can read and see her here.

Oh, how I love my dogs! 



Monday, February 14, 2011

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Frosted Houston

It's been really really cold this past week. Freezing actually! A winter storm hit some states in the US and luckily Houston was among the least affected. 

Nevertheless, we had to endure hard freeze. Houston was frosted. Drops of rain from the day before turned to ice and roads were extremely icy. People were sent home from schools and work. It was exactly last week on a Thursday and Friday that we stayed inside and did not even think of going outside. The temperature was below 0 Celsius. It was between -6 and -2 Celsius. I am a tropical girl so that was torturing!

Anyway, knowing the hard freeze was coming, I suddenly had the urge to bake a cake. It was pretty random, since I never in my life tried to bake a cake. Well, I was a brownie lady at my campus for a while. I made them myself and people seemed to love them. But brownies are different. They did not need to be fluffy and pretty. Brownies are literally failed cake.

I went looking for a Red Velvet Cake recipe online and I found one here: Red Velvet Cake Recipe. And to not put your hopes too high up, mine was not as pretty as hers. In my defense, I did not use (or own) an electric mixer. My right hand and its muscles went numb after doing all those mixing. Now that we have got that out in the open, let's move along.

My cake came out decent. To be totally honest, it was not moist enough for me. Something was wrong. I like to assume the absence of mixer as the cause. Nonetheless, my husband liked the cake. He kept asking for more. Indeed, it made me very happy. I am determined to make another Red Velvet Cake though. A delicious and melt-in-your mouth Red Velvet Cake.



Tuesday, February 8, 2011


To start this post, I need to point out a few things:
1. I like rock music, but not as much as..
2. My husband. Because the dude LOVES rock music
3. I watch rock concerts because I think they beat any R n B or pop concert by miles
4. I watch rock concerts because I love to hear roaring guitars, banging drums and sick vocals
5. I watch rock concerts because they are always over the top with sound, costume, makeup, stage and lighting
6. Basically, rock concerts rock!
7. And when it comes to rock, I prefer old(er) men. 

So here are pictures from two of the most memorable concerts I went to in Houston. 

KISS held their concert in Woodlands, TX about 5 months ago and Ozzy, the Prince of Darkness held his just last month. KISS was awesome. It was definitely the sickest concert I've ever been to. Ozzy was.. Ozzy. Of course he rocked the stage. It was rad.


Ozzy Osbourne

Rock on!



Bad things have been happening in Indonesia. Last Sunday was one of the worst. A group of Ahmadiyah followers in Cikeusik Village were attacked by a large number of people. The news hit me hard and broke my heart. That is not the Indonesia I know. Who the hell are those people? 

People spat out condemnation, anger, sadness, and condolences on Twitter. I did not know what to say. I didn't even know how to describe what I was feeling. It was surreal. I was speechless, sadden and well.. heartbroken. People died in that ambush. People were killed for their religious belief in the year 2011. TWO-THOUSAND-ELEVEN for God's sake!

That Sunday morning I had my usual yoga class. A class that I love so dearly. A class that always makes me come with a smile on my face no matter how many hours I slept the night before. It was a feel-good class that needs to be embraced with a smile on one's face. I could not do that though. That Sunday was too gloomy with all the news from Indonesia. My heart was still aching and I felt like crying. I didn't though. When I was sure that I couldn't empty my thoughts, be present and blissful, I opted for feeling whatever I was feeling; sad, angry, furious and then I prayed. With every pose and breath, I prayed. I effing prayed! Something that I haven't done in a long time.

The class lasted for 2,5 hours. For 2,5 hours my mind and body were focused on praying. I didn't know what I was saying in the prayer. I might not even said a single word, but my mind went to all those Ahmadiyys over and over again. My heart went to them. And to them I dedicated my Sunday morning yoga. My yoga is spiritual to me and I know that somewhere, somehow, (a) God(s) was listening to my prayer.