May 27, 2006

Montreal Trip Continued

As for the rest of my Montreal trip, it was quite uneventful. Saturday my family went out for breakfast at this tiny place called Chez Dusty's, then went to Simons for 45 minutes (enough time to browse but not to try anything on), went up to the Mont-Royal cemetary (the rainy weather had miraculously opened up to sunny skies right when we got there and disappeared when we started to leave), and dinner in Chinatown with relatives, including my dad's cousin, who I haven't seen in like a decade. After dinner, we went over to my dad's cousin's place south of Montreal in Brossard, which was an area I had never ever been before. It was aweseome to actually see the skyline of Montreal across the river as I never enter or exit the city from that direction. The neighbourhoods in Brosssard turned out to be really nice- reminded me of the houses back in Kanata. We got a grand tour of the house and played some pool, and found out my uncle is actually quite the pool shark.

We went home Sunday afternoon after a 2-hour shopping spree at Simons. Halfway through the drive, we hit construction that caused huge traffic backups, so my dad took us on a scenic detour along the 1000 Islands Parkway. There were tiny islands dotted along the river that were big enough only for a house. How cool would it be to live on a house island? Boat in the summer, walk along the ice in the winter. I wonder whether they have cottages there to rent out in the summer.

Posted by mich at 12:08 AM | dreams [0]

May 26, 2006

Food Poisoned :X

On Wednesday evening I went out to dinner at East before heading to the TSO's Salute to the Tonys performance. Our seats were on the main floor so they were pretty close to the stage. The show was great and the conductor turned out to be a hilarious character who played along with the singers' antics. I'm not sure if I was a big fan of all the vocals though... sometimes they seemed to take away from the orchestra. The soprano singer was absolutely awful, and none of the singers or the choir could sing in sync (but I must say, the baritone and tenor were amazing singers on their own).

In the middle of the night, I woke up feeling reeeaaallly sick. At first I thought I was terribly dehydrated so I had some sips of water. But no. This was something bad. I ended up having to run to the bathroom throughout the night and morning until my stomach completely emptied itself out. It left me so exhausted I ended up sleeping most of the afternoon away. And what did I have for dinner? Just a simple dish of satay tofu and veggies... not even meat. I'm never going back to East again (and neither should you)!

Tonight I attended my very first baseball game. The game was... *yawn*, but I had a good time just chatting with Cass and attempting to be part of a wave. The Jays were actually winning, but I needed to leave early because my stomach was still in a bit of pain. On a day where I couldn't eat anything, I was surrounded by food stalls selling fries, pizza, ice cream... *drool* Waaaaah :( I ended up just eating half a sandwich consisting of lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber but my grinding stomach later made me realize that raw veggies are much harder to digest than meat (which I was trying to avoid).

Posted by mich at 11:29 PM | dreams [0]

May 20, 2006

A la belle province

I'm spending my Victoria Day long weekend here in Montreal, where it's cold and dreary. My parents and I left the house at 11am, but had to run errands first before actually hitting the road at 11:45. We got into the city at 6pm and my parents decided that they wanted to stop over at my aunt's house to check out the living conditions (my aunt and uncle pretty much live with my cousins in Boston now so the place rests unoccupied). Well, it turned out that my dad missed the highway exit to my aunt's place so we continued further to the next ramp. Everything after that was a scene of madness. Since my dad hasn't been back in the Laval area in a while, his sense of direction got a bit rusty. Then add in a new townhouse development/village and you've got a family hitting dead-ends left, right, and centre trying to get out of the maze. After 20-30 minutes of driving around the mini-village, we finally found an exit to the main road after asking a resident. We started heading in the right direction towards Henri-Bourassa but my dad underestimated the actual distance of the street to reach the intersection, so he turned around thinking that we had been going the wrong way. I kept insisting we consult our antiquated map from 1990, and it was only after we backtracked past where we had originally started that we realized we were initially heading the right way all along. We wasted an hour wandering around and ended up just skipping my aunt's place and going straight to my sister's. *haaaiiii*

For dinner I convinced my parents to try out the Spanish restaurant La Sala Rosa that I went to last month. This time we ordered garlic shrimp (not as tasty as last time), potato and onion omelette, chicken and seafood paella, and this evening's special of grilled quail in honey with onions and grapes. I was a big fan of the quail, omelette, and flan that we had for dessert. It turned out that the paella comes with a salad and flan, yet the first time I went we never got any flan; we were cheated! I don't think I've ever had flan that amazing before... I even considered ordering another one. *oink oink* But really, the flan wasn't that big and it was shared between the 4 of us. And on the last piece that my sister and I were splitting, she claimed I didn't cut it properly in half, so in her attempt to even things out, my half went flying across the table! Oh what a waste!!

I finally uploaded my pictures of my trips to Ottawa during Winterlude and Montreal during Easter here.

Posted by mich at 10:26 PM | dreams [0]

May 18, 2006

From the New World

Just came back from watching the Toronto Symphony Orchestra's performance called From the New World with Christina. It featured string pieces by Brahms, Joachim, and Dvorak. Although I wasn't familiar with most of the pieces, I was still impressed by all the intricate details coming together as a whole. It's truly remarkable to think how a composer can create a musical piece for *every single* instrument.

Before the symphony I had Indian dinner with Christian and Christina at Babur. Oh man, put those two together and you've got a recipe for giggles and hi-jinx and... making Michelle play victim, as usual. o_O

My latest time-wasting obsession is My Heritage. You basically upload a picture of yourself and they run a face recognition algorithm to match you with a bunch of celebrities that look like you. And yours truly's top matches were GUYS. WTH!! First of all... what's up with the dudes, and second, there were barely any Asians. Here are my top matches: Aki Hakala (some Finnish drummer?), a Bee Gee, the lead singer of Linkin Park, Larry King, Elton John, Eddie Murphy....?!?! Someone please tell me they're as baffled as I am!

Posted by mich at 11:52 PM | dreams [0]

May 17, 2006

Hardcore Dodgeballer

On Monday our dodgeball team had a 9:30pm game all the way over by Yorkdale Mall. We usually play at Bloor/Dufferin in a nice big gymnasium. This time however, our gym was about half the length of our normal one. Balls were crashing against the walls at a million miles per hour. Needless to say, I was quite scared when watching the other teams play before us. Since only 2 girls on our team showed up that night, both of us had to play every single game (at least 2 girls have to play a game). Couldn't even break for more than 5 minutes... boy, was I exhausted. >_< Now I have some scrapes and bruises on my knees to tend to, waaah.

Last night I went to the ROM for a lecture titled "In the Skin of a Building" that discusses the importance of a building's envelope to the overall design and how it supports the architecture's programme. They had representatives from 3 architectural firms taking about their designs for the ROM Crystal, U of T's Pharmacy Building, and U of T's Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research. It was a pretty enlightening presentation from the U of T building designers, but the lifeless ROM guys almost put me to sleep talking about construction building materials and showing pictures of freakin' steel rods and bolts being installed.

Hm, how was my weekend? Saturday night I went to Sam's birthday party at his condo, then headed downtown at 10:30 pm for Christian's friends' Jack & Jill party. I tried my hand at blackjack and won a bunch of hands, wooo! Much better luck here than in Las Vegas, haha. On Sunday I built my IKEA Malm Drawer all by myself!!! I also wielded a hammer without any supervision, yup yup! I'm so proud of myself! *beams* But I just realized last night as I was trying to fit in my top drawer that they gave me wrong screws for that one drawer and now it won't fit into the drawer opening. Now I have to go back to IKEA to get the proper ones from them. Oh well, now I can also pick up a Benno CD Tower and some more Lant chips (yum). That night for Mother's Day I took out my whole family for dinner at Restoran Malaysia, where we had an appetizer platter, golden chicken curry, roti, beef rendang, and pad thai. And O.M.G. my dad actually said the food was "okay la!"... no complaints, it's a miracle!

Posted by mich at 10:55 PM | dreams [0]

May 11, 2006

Lovin' My New Skirt

<-- Look how cute! I'm still in disbelief over how much I had splurged for this skirt, but all the compliments I've been getting for it kind of justify the purchase :P Now I need to find some cute matching shoes to go with it, perhaps these super comfy Lacoste ones. Hopefully Sandra can help me find cheaper ones over in HK! :D

I finally put my Home and Garden Cookbook to use and tried the Basil Chicken in Coconut-Curry Sauce last Saturday. I had put in too much curry powder and sugar rendering it too spicy, yet without too much flavour. I gave it another go this evening and it turned out a bit better; I added lots of salt to bring out flavour, but I was a bit short on the curry powder and coconut milk. Third time's a charm I guess? The previous evening I had Salad King's famous Golden Curry, and I must say, my own curry paled in comparison :( My mission now is to figure out the secret to making curry like Salad King.

This week I also went to see the Boygroove play/musical with Christian, Justine, and Janine. It was my second time seeing it, but it was still hilarious nonetheless with a few new bits added. Definitely recommended! *thumbs up*

Basil Chicken in Coconut-Curry Sauce

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 large red onion, chopped (1 cup)
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and finley chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 13 1/2- or 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
a tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablesppons snipped fresh basil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 cups hot cooked rice

1. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces. Place chicken in a medium bowl. In a small bowl stir together the curry powder, salt, black pepper, and chili powder. Sprinkle spice mixture over chicken, tossing to coat evenly. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours to allow spices to penetrate meat.

2. In a large nonstick wok or skillet cook and stir onion, garlic, and jalepeno peppers in hot oil over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Remove onion mixture from wok. Add halk of the chicken to wok. Cook and stire for 3 ot 4 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken from wok. (If necessary, add additional oil.) Cook remaining chicken as above; remove from wok.

4. Combine coconut milk and cornstarch. Carefully add to wok. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Return chicken and onion mixture to wok. Stir in basil and ginger. Cook and stir about 2 minutes more until heated through. Serve over hot rice.

Posted by mich at 10:29 PM | dreams [1]

May 3, 2006

Milk Poisoning

So it turns out that my unwellness last Wednesday was stomach flu from drinking spoiled milk. How could I have managed to drink a cup of bad milk without even noticing you ask? It was becuase I used the milk in a strawberry banana smoothie I had made for breakfast. Right after I drank it I developed stomach pains, but I only figured it was attributed to my fast drinking. After I got to work I realized that I had a mild flu; my body was going from hot to cold and back to hot again. I really didn't believe that it could have been a result of my smoothie...how could it have turned ou so bad? But on Saturday morning when I opened the carton and smelled inside, the reek of sour milk said it all. And it wasn't even expired yet! I can't believe I actually ingested that, yuck.

And now boys and girls, the moral of the story is: do not buy Nielson milk! It goes bad, fast. I used to always get the bagged Nielson milk but when the milk always turned pasty and lumpy before I even got to opening the 3rd bag, I thought it was an issue with bagged milk. Then after switching to Natrel cartons I never had a problem with spoiled milk... until I got a Nielson carton because all the Natrels were gone. And look what happened.

Posted by mich at 10:25 PM | dreams [0]