July Favourites: Food, Shows & Apps
Can you believe it’s already August? Soon, 2020 will be behind us, and we can get started on all our plans that got derailed due to this pandemic. For me, it’s house-hunting. Right before the pandemic started, my husband and I went house-hunting almost every weekend. We’re first time (aspiring) home buyers, and we hope to continue our search once things settle down. But till then, let’s savour the simple things that bring us joy.
1. The Curry Lover’s Cookbook by Mridula Baljekar
You know those cookbooks that you’ve had at home for years and years, and they’re now practically part of the family inheritance? Well, this book is kind of like that.
Just the other day, I was feeling a little bored and I wanted to do a little cooking. Inspired to try something new, I looked through this book to find an interesting recipe. That’s when I came across the ‘King Prawn Korma’.
The picture looked tempting, and we had all the ingredients needed to whip up this dish. So, I got started! What attracted me to this dish, other than the beautiful picture, was the method used to make this curry. You basically blitz everything up to form a thick, luscious gravy, cook it with some spices, throw in the prawns, and you’re done!
The recipe didn’t call for loads of chopping, crying (onion, ergh), or sautéing. In other words, it appealed to my lazy side. True enough, this dish was pretty quick to make and it was tasty too! But of course, as my husband would say, I can never follow a recipe exactly. I have itchy fingers and I always want to throw in something extra.
So, I jotted down my additions in the book for future reference. I know this is highly controversial; some would say scribbling on such books is a no-no. But I like the idea of passing down this book to my kids one day with personal notes jotted down all throughout. It’ll sort of be their version of the Potions textbook with scribblings by the Half Blood Prince. Only difference is my notes probably won’t be much help.
My love affair with tiramisu started last year when my husband and I visited Rome. I went to Rome expecting to eat gelato every day. Instead, I fell hopelessly in love with the rich, creamy dessert that is tiramisu and I had it with almost every meal for the one week we were there.
I love cheese-based desserts – cheesecake, cheese tarts, red velvet cakes with cream cheese frosting. This, however, is extra special because it combines my two favourites: cheese and coffee. With delicious layers of ladyfingers dipped in coffee, and mascarpone cheese, tiramisu is indeed heaven in a tall glass for me.
Recently, over the last two months or so, the lockdown in Malaysia has been relaxed, and we’re able to visit eateries while taking precautions such as social distancing and wearing face masks. A few weeks ago, my husband and I went out for date night and when it came time for dessert, guess what we ordered? Tiramisu, of course!
Topped with roasted hazelnuts, the small jar of tiramisu brought me back to Rome for a little while. Food is amazing, isn’t it? It’s ability to transport us through time and space back to a distant memory has always intrigued me.
As I’m writing this, I find myself craving for tiramisu yet again. I expect a baking experiment will soon commence in our kitchen 😉
I’m a sucker for anything horror! Despite being a scaredy-cat, I love the genre. It’s thrilling and you never know what to expect next.
In July, I came across this five-episode Indian horror series on Netflix and it was pretty interesting! Basically, the female lead (Jenny) returns to her grandfather’s house in Goa after many years and mysterious things start to take place.
If you’re into the horror genre, do check it out. With five episodes, it’s perfect for binge-watching on a Saturday afternoon. The final episode has a few loose ends, which will hopefully be addressed in season 2. A quick Google search reveals that the show hasn’t been officially renewed for another season yet. It’s still a pretty good watch regardless, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed!
2. The Politician
This is another show I stumbled across on Netflix. To be honest, I only started watching this comedy-drama for one reason: it stars Ben Platt, a singer I adore who has the voice of an angel.
After watching this show, I’ve come to realise that he’s also a very good actor! The show is about Payton Hobart (played by Ben Platt) who aspires to be President of the United States one day. In season one, we see him in high school running for student body president. Season two explores his political career after graduating from high school. Hobart is extremely ambitious, and he’s willing to do almost anything to succeed politically.
Some scenes are ridiculously funny simply because it makes you think, “Really? All this to become student body president in high school?” Although the political drama in this high school election seems unbelievable and borderline insane, it sort of emphasises how much Hobart wants to win and how far he’s willing to go to do it.
The dialogue is smart and funny, the characters are well portrayed by the actors, and overall the show is pretty darn good, but my favourite part of The Politician has got to be Ben Platt’s singing. You can’t have someone with his voice on the show and not have him sing! That would be a crime! He sings (wonderfully) in a number of episodes and that’s definitely the icing on the cake for me.
Everyone has their own way to relax and unwind – going for walks, taking a nap, cooking, baking, dancing, painting, and others. I, on the other hand, watch Japanese lifestyle vloggers, namely Nami and Rhea Y.
These are silent vlogs, except for some soothing background music, with English captions. The vloggers go about their day, usually sharing their kitchen adventures or day out exploring the city. There’s something so soothing about these videos. Sometimes I watch a video or two before going to bed just to feel relaxed and ready for sleep.
I love how these vloggers make simple yet scrumptious dishes and take the effort to make the presentation look good even if they’re the only ones dining. That is self-love! To make and present food in a lovely way just for yourself. Recently, I’ve been trying to do the same with breakfast. Instead of some quick oats or cereal, I’ve been spending a little more time to make satisfying breakfasts like toast, egg and sausage, or french toast.
Usually, I would avoid such breakfasts, opting for something quick, because I felt it was too time-consuming. But I’m starting to realise that it’s do-able! And that’s coming from me – a not-so morning person who desperately needs coffee to wake her up, and gets overwhelmed by too many dishes in the sink! Waking up a little earlier than I used to allows me to enjoy breakfast and some ‘me time’ before I get started on other chores.
If you’re looking for some relaxing content, do check this out. These lovely vloggers remind us that simple things can bring great joy.
I’ve spoken about Todoist in another blog post called To-Do Lists: Why they’re beneficial & 3 apps to get you started, but I’ve recently discovered an additional feature that makes me love this app even more!
Todoist is my go-to organisation tool for planning my week. It has a simple and clean user interface that I absolutely adore! I’ve been using the app on my phone all this while, but a few weeks ago, I learned that I can I download the app on my laptop too! Click here to check it out.
If you connect to Todoist with your Google/Apple account, you can then sync the app on your phone with your laptop. I can amend my to-do list on the phone and it reflects on my laptop as well, and vice versa. I’m totally in love with this feature!
Yes, it might be rather ordinary these days given that most apps and tools function seamlessly across different devices, but I love how much value we can get from this free app. Sure, a number of cool features are only available for Premium users, but the free version is still very sleek and useful.
So those are some things that made my July a little extra special. I hope you had a safe July and I wish you a happy August ahead!