Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Back To Basic Beef, Tofu & Veggie Combo

Why do things have to be so complicated? It was me an my newly adventurous ass. While you could read all about the good things in my previous post, here are the challenges of a typical day:

- 18:00 speeding off work, got to the nearest train station and boarded the train just right before the door closes, managed to get the last available seat on the train ^_^

- The train would speed off, just missing all the throwing-their-bodies-into-the-departing-train peak hour crowd and the peaceful absence of perverts trying to rub their hands on bootie/boobies

- Reached the market by 18:30, where all the freshest produce and handmade noodles I needed were still amazingly available, magically on sale! All the market dominatrix were either not there or smiling lovingly at me, giving me practical cooking tips and wonderful dinner ideas; vendors were wonderfully friendly, offering me bunches of fresh corriander and red chilli for free (oh my!)

- Reached my flat and the lift was on ground floor, eagerly awaiting me, got to my floor and my neighbor's dog for once would wag his tail in a friendly manner to welcome me back, instead of the normal agressive & violent barks (doesn't he sniff that I am totally a dog person? Or he was just too excited to see me?)

The rice starts cooking at 18:45, no finger was wounded in the preparation of cooking, stove operated smoothly, no sauce was spilled, no pieces of finely chopped garlic fell and got stuck somewhere at the corner, I got the taste right at the first seasoning, all elements of the dishes arranged themselves beautifully on the plate, down to the last piece of garnish..

- The food shots were all at the right angle, got the perfect shot before the fifth take, just as the rice cooker beeps signalling dinner is ready by 19:30

- Sous chef and I inhaled our dinner (yes we do, I personally think any food being chewed more than 3 times became tasteless hihik, not the healthiest thing in the world, I try my best to slow down) and finished dinner before 19:45

- We'd have time digesting dinner while watching Discovery Travel & Living Channel and they are showing Jamie at home (& it is NOT a rerun, yay!) before attending 21:00 body combat class...

- ...where I felt extra energetic: jumping, punching, kicking, kneeing, elbowing, ab crunching and push upping gloriously all the way through the end of the class, and the instructor praising me ever so publicly, endlessly telling me how well I've done..

- and I went home 10 lbs lighter and stayed that way as I didn't get tempted into eating the whole tub of Dreyer's chocolate cake ice cream kept in my freezer


There's hope to achieve all of the above doing this
Back to Basics Dinner of Beef, Tofu and Veggie

- half pound thinly sliced beef (the one normally used for sukiyaki)
- 2 cloves of garlic, 3 cloves of shallot, crushed
- 3 heads of small napa lettuce, sliced into chunks
- 2 tomatoes, each sliced into 8 parts
- 1 or 2 soft tofu, cut into big chunks
- salt, pepper, sugar, a little olive oil

Saute garlic and shallot, throw in all the veggie, add some water, bring to boil, add seasoning, before serving, add tofu and beef, serve with white rice or add noodles. Easy eh?...but in real life...things are different...


- 18:00 while trying to speed off work, that guy from that department just stopped by and went on and on and on unstoppably about...everything in general and nothing in particular while I kept staring at the clock, mumbling impolite answers

- Got to the nearest train station and just missed the train (!!!)

- The train would open and close its doors for more than 3 times in each station as the throwing-their-bodies-into-the-departing-train-peak-hour crowd tried desperately to board the train, and there were perverts drooling on bootie/boobies

- Reached the market late, where all the freshest produce I needed were either gone, or I was left with the seriously damaged yet overpriced ones! All the market dominatrix cut queues, tried to pay the HK$50 using 50cents coins and made rude comments about my choices. I somehow left only with HK$500 note and pissed the vendors into charging me HK$2 for a bunch of spring onions (oh no!)

- Reached my flat and the lift was on the highest floor, with no sign of going down soon, I got to my floor and my neighbor's dog barks with extra violence, his owner shot me a dirty look as if I've violated her

- By 19:00 I realised that the rice cooker's power wasn't plugged, no rice was gonna be cooked anytime soon.

- Due to my blond ambition to produce a complicated dinner, nails got cut, fingers got injured in the preparation, stove failed to turn on, hot water got spilled...into the pieces of finely chopped aromatics. Couldn't get the taste right even after adding seasoning for the 10th of time, all elements of the dishes look so disgustingly weird on the plate. Put up the wrong background color for the pic and it's too late to change, so I'd have to live with it

- Most shots were blurred and I could not find a nice angle, hot steam kept blowing into my camera lens, finally gave up trying to get a pretty shot, and I still need to wait for that late rice (@#$@#!$#@!!!!)

- Sous chef and I extra speedily inhaled our dinner but still finished dinner wayyy after 20:00

- Thus did NOT have enough time digesting dinner, the Discovery Travel & Living Channel was showing yet another boring rerun, we either had to cancel attending 21:00 body combat class, or still attending and

- ...I felt extra sluggish, kept yawning in class and was not up to jumps, my favorite instructor went on a super long holiday and got replaced by someone who utterly sucksssss and kept calling me lazy in front of everyone

- and I went home feeling none the lighter, needed to cheer myself up by polishing off that tube of ice cream T_T

So...yes, it is good to know when to get back to basics sometimes, I might still be able to make it to that class and prevent a major nervous break down^_^


Retno Prihadana said...

Satu mangkok isinya komplit...dan sehat lagi :)

tigerfish said...

You funny girl! I usually just slack and be a couch potato just after dinner! So bad. I am so bad :(

Love your combo- almost like a beef hotpot :p~~~

Peter M said...

Oh Rita, is it really so "push & shove" there? Sometimes you have to confront those days with humour, sarcasm and make the most of it. In the end, you had a comforting hot soup to soothe you.

Little Corner of Mine said...

Love your soup and the beef looks so tender.

noble pig said...

Sounds lovely!

Kevin said...

The soup looks simple and tasty. A quick and simple dinner is often what is called for after a long and troublesome day.

I often have trouble with steam ruining photos. I want to eat it while its hot but I also want to photograph it before I eat it...

Cindy. Lo. said...

What a hearty dish,
I can finish many bowls of rice with this combo!

Jason Ho said...

oh man..sliced beef like these rocks. I love to dip them in a steamboat pot for like 5 secs and dip them in egg yolk before eating...ahhhh yess....

daphne said...

hahaa. that's really funny. Love the soup btw. The beef looks fantastic.

I know how u feel abt the whole exercise part. I have to have my 2-3 times morning or evening runs if not I feel sluggish too.

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Oooh, look at all that marbling on the beef. Delicious!

Mochachocolata Rita said...

hi mba retno...iyah lagi mood yg gampang2 and sehat hehe

hi tigerfish...i wish i could slack and stay at the couch only letting my fingers do all the exercise (clicking remote controller)...but my ass wont fit into my flat if i did so hehe

hi peter...hm yeah, it could get a little rough here, but i love it! down to the bones, i love hong kong!

hi ching...yeah..simple and yummy ^_^

hi noble pig, thanks! :)

hi kevin, i can totally understand the dilemma ^_^

hi cindy, you can eat it with noodles too hehe

hi jason...yeah...a dip of fish sauce, soy, vinegar and chopped chilli would be loooovely!

hi daph, i know u'd understand exactly what i meant hehe

hi wand-chops, yeah! my favorite cut of beef! :)

Ayin said...

iku daginge iso tipis mbok apake ?
syeger kiy nggo udan-2 kyk nek kene

MiNDY said...

waaahh kliatan enak banget.. anything with tofu? count me in :D sayangnya jaraaaaannnggg banget nemu tahu disini :(

Elle said...

Wow, what a day! Dinner looks delicious, though!

beachlover said...

Your beef soup look like Sukiyaki!! YumYum!!

beachlover said...

oh!! btw,you don't mind I link you?

Resto Mariena said...

aduhh ada soup an ama tahu mah pokoknya bikin ngeces..seger nya kerasa apalagi bau taoge yg seger juga hmmmm......

Cynthia said...

You make some absolutely delicious food!

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. Looking forward to seeing you around.

Zen Chef said...

Don't we all have blond ambitions sometimes? haha.. You're hilarious. Life would be wonderful indeed if everything worked out like we wished. I wouldn't get stuck in freakin' traffic for 1 1/2hour for a start! @#$%!!

At least you've got a yummy soup to sooth your soul! :-)

deeTha said...

wah, enak kui Rit, panas2...
marakke ngiler wae

Screamin' Mama said...

Hmmm...I thought the first part was too good to be true! I'm not usually a soup person but your pics looked so yummy.