Sunday, 3 January 2016

THE Perfect Egg Recipe

For a while, my partner has been snobbing me when it comes to cooking eggs. I've always made sunny-side up for myself in the past, ones with a somewhat crispy border. However, when we first started living together, he wanted the "over-easy" eggs that he was used to. 

I remember my grandparents making these for me as a child, with a tiny splash of soy sauce to complement the eggs. However, I just thought it was rather bothersome to risk breaking the yolk whilst flipping them over, therefore sticking with the sunny-side up option. 

As the years passed, I had a fascination ... an addiction to poached eggs as the "healthy" alternative for breakfast. I liked the fact that it was cooked without butter, had a funky shape but mostly still had the runny yolk I love. 

My partner said he didn't like my sunny-side up eggs, as they did sport rather crispy egg whites and if I were to rush making them, I end up with a bit of runny egg whites too (much to his disgust). Over many failed attempts in making his ideal over-easy eggs, I somewhat gave up and allowed him to take over the cooking of fried eggs. 

It was only recently that I stumbled upon a post on Pinterest, that boasted the perfect "over-easy" egg recipe. Upon further reading, I realised that it wasn't really an over-easy egg, as it wasn't fried on both sides, but it utilized steam to achieve results. With further research, I discovered that it used the Steam-Basted method which I had never heard of before. 

I just had to try this out for myself - like the results to me were the perfect combination of sunny-side, poached, and over-easy all-in-one! How could I not?

My first attempt resulted in this:

I made the mistake of taking off the lid just a little too late, when the white film had already developed on the yolk, and the residual heat overcooked the yolk slightly more than what we were used to. Nevertheless, I had never made an egg looking this good ever. 

The second attempt was perfect, but I was too hungry to take any photos (we devoured ours within minutes), so here's my third:

Dudeee.... just look at that eggy perfection!

My personal preference will always be half-boiled eggs as it brings back great childhood memories. Otherwise, this has now become my next best favorite!

Salt & Pepper (optional; to taste)
Frying pan with a lid

1. Heat up your frying pan on high heat. Melt a tiny bit of butter/margarine/oil. Trust me, you will not need much. 

2. Crack egg(s) into the pan. Reduce heat to medium-high. Wait for the egg whites to cook to a point where it is opaque. 

3. I don't have exact measurements for the water, but I pour just enough to water where it reaches the edges of the egg whites. Cover frying pan with lid. 

 Don't know if you can see, but there's a slight water line if you must use this as an indication. 

Don't judge the over-sized lid. My frying pan did not come with one, so I had a substitute!

4. I highly suggest keeping an eye on the eggs as soon as you pop on the lid. I would say that in a couple of minutes or less, the egg yolk(s) will soon develop the thin white film on the yolk base. If you like your yolk runny (like me), quickly turn off the heat, take off the lid and remove from heat immediately. 

If you like your yolk a slightly bit firmer, wait until the yolk has clouded over and then immediately remove from heat. 

5. Serve immediately. Crack salt & pepper according to your preference. 

My boyfriend's serving. I already had mine when I made his lol. 
Eggs, wedges & Cretons on toast. 

I prefer my eggs on top of smashed avocado toast for a filling, satisfying brekkie! 

Enjoy & bon appetit!

Saturday, 2 January 2016

2016 New Year's Resolution: A Healthier Goal for Body & Soul

Holy Spaghetti Meatball Monster! It's 2016 ALREADY?!

How did the year pass so quickly? Guess time flies when you're a bum stuck in a repeated Ground Hog Day-esque scenario. 

Well, since I don't really have a career goal to look forward to as of yet, guess there are a few goals/old scores to settle this year.

Let's begin:

1. Lose weight: 

"I know, I know..." it's like almost the Number 1 resolution on most people's list, but I've gained a significant amount of weight since 2013. If I were to guess my weight increase and to put it on a graph, it would show a steady inclination with no significant drops whatsoever. 

Ideally, within this year (and this is me being very, very, very optimistic), I'd like to shed 15 kilograms. I actually have no idea how heavy I am now, but if my old clothes are indicators of what I used to weigh then I'm definitely significantly overweight. 

It's also more of a motivator to fit into my old clothes as I'm broke as fuck and fit back into my beloved skinny jeans collection.

To do this, I plan on eating healthier to compensate for the extreme lack of exercise. Pizzas and poutine isn't exactly helping me in any way shape or form. 

Not to mention the gigantic portions of food served here in Quebec. It might seem like a lame excuse, but I have had a "clean-plate" upbringing which makes me hate to leave food uneaten, and therefore I mostly end up stuffing myself way, way over the limit. I normally try to takeaway the leftovers, but then again, in certain scenarios it's either too much of a hassle or the food isn't worth it. 

BUT. I plan on using my new secret weapon.


My new set of kitchen twins which I received as a Christmas gift ... well our Christmas gift, but it's mostly mine to use, because I had been nagging the boyfriend for a good blender since the move to Canada. 

The first thing that came to my attention when scouring the depths of my weaknesses, is the lack of fruits & veggies in my diet. Occasionally, I'll like roast broccoli in the oven, or make a salad, but not enough fruits. Our past attempts on purchasing fruits: buy fruits, leave them on counter forgotten, oh-shit-they-turned-bad, throw in the bin. 

Like a big baby, I know that the only way to force fruits & veg consumption is through physical illusion and disguise. Turn it into a yummy smoothie, and I'll happily consume my daily needs like a toddler who doesn't know any better. Well, I do since I'm the one blending it, but you get the picture. 

The handheld blender is for making home-made soups, as I cannot stand canned soups (with the exception of clam chowder perhaps) and prefer to whizz up a batch of my own. The only thing that might really be unhealthy would be the stock cubes I bought. Still healthier than canned soups nonetheless. 

Smoothies and soups aside, I am aiming on portion control and meal timing. To most, it seems like a no brainer, but I ashamedly have to admit that I'm not a big fan of breakfast and mine mostly consists of two cups of coffee (with a couple of teaspoons each to compensate for taste!) and "brunch" is at like after 1PM. 

Upon one of my Pinterest browsing sessions, I accidentally stumbled upon Mireille Guiliano's French Women Don't Get Fat site, where she was discussing her "Magical Leek Soup", which essentially is leek broth (leek water sounds more appropriate). Unfortunately, it does not sound appealing whatsoever, and I'd rather have drastically cut-down meal portions as to limit myself to leek water and boiled leek as meal replacements (even though it's only meant to be done for like two days). 

However, upon further reading of her other articles, I figured that I liked the whole "quality-over-quantity", which was a personal motto of mine to begin with. Also, this further reading made me face the hard truth that I was in fact drinking not enough water, ate too quickly and meals that are not in proportion to my physical assertion. 

One of her articles has also made me realise that I had forgotten my mother's wise old teaching of slowing down & savoring the meals we eat. If we spent more time appreciating the food we ate, especially if it was of good quality, the less we would eat but yet the more satisfied. 

Anyways, I just figured it's a small baby step to getting my health back on track and I'm not aiming for the impossible.

2. Keep Motivated

I would say that we humans need motivation. I mean, after all, isn't that why we are where we are today? We've always tested and pushed the limits of creativity, innovation, technology, etc., for the sake of bettering ourselves. Even today, there are plenty of innovative ideas out there (Kickstarter and Indiegogo is a great example of redesigned/re-imagined/or simply new ideas, all up for funding).

Admittedly, in the time I've moved to Canada I've lost quite a bit of that spark (if you haven't noticed me ranting). I wouldn't say that it was the hardest time I've spent adjusting to a new place, but it certainly has taken it's toll on me. My mind wasn't or should I say, really isn't in the right place, but that is a subtopic I'll discuss after this.

For me to personally keep motivated, I am planning to force myself (whether I like it or not) to keep myself creative. Whether this means cooking, drawing, using Photoshop, taking photos, simple crafts or just blogging. Most of the time I get a lot of negative thoughts on how pathetic my blog (and my art) is in comparison to those you see on the Internet and I really have to get out of this space and say:

"Fuck it. Who fucking cares? It's my blog/art. If I find it pathetic, then FIX IT."

Success, 99.9%, of the time doesn't just show up the next day without any hard work. Unless you won the lottery, well then, fuck you.

I hope to increase my blog posts as a way to track what I've been doing, so that I've got no excuse. Maybe even increase in readership too? That'll be a nice bonus to my motivation. But if not, I've just got to keep on plugging.

3. Uncluttered Head Space

As briefly mentioned in the subtopic above, my mind isn't in the right place and therefore, keeping myself busy and motivated could be the first step again towards a healthier frame of mind.

I have battled depression in the past during my uni years, however, I sought help and weaned myself off anti-depressants when I knew that I no longer needed them. However, those depressing episodes were different: I was more visibly upset, hurt, felt really hopeless and had thoughts of just simply vanishing off the face of the planet. The anti-depressants prescribed calmed me, essentially numbed down both joy and sadness but it gave me the chance to refocus, or reset my perspective on things. Things got better, and soon my woes were a thing of the past. I graduated, had a job where I was able to work hard and party hard with friends & family.

Now, I don't know if I'm really dealing with depression or whether I've just turned into a very irritable bitch. My sleep pattern has turned for the worse. I had always been an easy sleeper, and was able to handle most noises. Granted, my boyfriend's snoring has had been a problem for over a couple of years now, but I've just noticed an increased sensitivity to his snores. I would not have had normally awaken if I fell asleep first, only to wake to his snores in the wee hours of the morning. So, being the bitch that I am, I elbow him gently, increasing in the hardness if he just doesn't stop to roll over. If I have no patience, I literally start cussing loudly & tossing until he moves.

There's this certain emotional numbness that I cannot exactly describe where situations where I mostly don't give a fuck. Not much joy nor sadness involved, but just extreme snappiness at things where I'd normally keep my cool. There are times where faking excitement is normal in front of the boyfriend's friends & family, as I see it as an extension of courtesy. To show or pretend that I'm happy.

I have to admit that the only time you might see a somewhat genuine glee on my face is when I get to have some retail therapy. Guess I am a materialistic irritable bitch?

Doesn't help that I feel isolated from family & close friends. You know, someone whom you could rant to about everything and anything without having that nagging feeling that you're being judged for what you say. No filter. No, the boyfriend doesn't count cause sometimes you need to rant to someone else other than your significant other.

I cannot it believe it actually took me a while to realise too, that I am actually a bit of a snob? I mean, I don't really care or judge people on what they wear. I only sort of feel snobbish towards the things I perceive as being archaic. Like some of the things I've ranted in my previous post. Also, a little towards people whom I feel like they should.. well.. try new things more. That, or I'm just living in a really bogan/redneck place right now.

Being a bit of a snob also means that I see nothing much that amounts to my satisfaction to way of living. I miss being employed where I am then able to at least fund my lifestyle of fine dining, shopping and travelling. Whereas now, I am an unemployed semi-depressed bum therefore almost falling into the bogan/redneck lifestyle myself.

My weight gain hasn't helped much either. My "exercise" when I was at my skinniest/fittest, was during a time when I was working as a waitress and out partying (dancing at a club is surprisingly a great way to shake off the weight!), and the kilos just kept peeling off without actually exercising. Now that my lifestyle had changed drastically, the lack of body movement meant that the weight kept piling on.

There are times I look in the mirror and was like "Oh my fucking God, Mesha. What have you done to yourself?! You look like a bloody pig!". So yeah, my self-esteem issues plays a role. Hence the reason to lose weight.


If anyone has taken the time to actually read through my ridiculously long resolution, you will realise that I've listed a few things on there that creates a vicious cycle. If you said/thought "Fuck that shit. TL;DR", well I've summarized my main points (although my post was written from a personal perspective):

  • If you're to start a new resolution, keep things simple. I feel like the reason we all mostly fucking quit or eventually give up on our goals is because we sometimes create the fucking impossible. Plan baby steps and that might make it easier to stick through it.
  • It's time to face some of the deeper issues at hand and if it's anything like mine which is a vicious circle, baby steps to break the ring of doom.
  • If you are depressed, please know that you're not alone. Even though I feel isolated and lonely, start a blog (can be private) or a journal. Somewhere to rant. Occupy, and try your darnest to motivate yourself in something else other than the things that makes/made you unhappy. If you have access to a doctor (unlike me), do so, and seek help if you want to be helped. 

Lastly, this is not about saying "I'm giving up all alcohol consumption" or "I'm quitting smoking right now!". Moderation is key, and KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid).