Enough

Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts (27 April 2017)


‘e·nough’

One word that not many of us tell ourselves. I know I haven’t been updating this space much and some of you might think I’ve gotten too busy with my life that I no longer write. That’s not the case. The real reason is that I’ve been having difficulties penning down my cluttered thoughts and I haven’t been getting much sleep to begin with. It doesn’t even help that my body crashed multiple of times which explains the sore throat, pounding fevers etc. So it brings me back to typing this very post right now as I sit here hoping this cup of camomile tea will aid with my sleep tonight.

I have people telling me that my words have inspired them but honestly, I’m not perfect. One of the hardest thing I struggle with is telling myself that I am enough. Not the kind of ‘enough’ that people expect me to be but more so of the kind of ‘enough’ that I know I am. They say that you are your harshest judge and I really am very harsh with myself.

People can tell you that you’re beautiful 100 times a day and if you still don’t believe it, that is the worst. So every day, I do something called “My Little Daily Enoughs” which is something I tell myself at the end of the day. Here are some of my few :

  1. You’ve done enough for today. You did your best in these 24 hours and the next 24 hours are for you to do more
  2. To someone, you’re beautiful enough.
  3. You are enough.

Everyone has their own definitions and versions of ‘being enough’. What I learned is that your flaws are stitched with good intentions. What I also learned is that you should look at the person that loves you the most and try putting yourself in that person’s shoes to see what you look like in their eyes. I do that sometimes with my mum. I do wonder what it is like for her to love such a difficult emotionally wrecked up daughter like me and not a day in my entire life where she complains and dreads about loving me. Bit by bit, I learn to love myself because of how my mother loves me.

If your partner is having a tough time loving himself/herself, do me a favour but love that person more because everyone deserves to end the day knowing that he/she is more than enough. Take it from a person who went to different countries & states just to slowly mend herself with whatever ability and skills she bears. It wasn’t a pretty sight because I was scared to the point where I would cry, waiting in the train to arrive, for I couldn’t hold myself together any longer. Here’s something to remember, if there comes a split second of the day where your insecurities got the better side of you, take a deep breath and feel your heart beating for a bit.

The heart that pumps life to your soul and every part of your living being ; it is doing more than enough for you. I know it’s easier said than done because the brain does have the loudest voice when it comes to things. What is important is that at the end of every day you know that you’re still breathing, that itself is a victory of its own. Small victories which are better than nothing at all. Remember, you really are enough ❤️

 

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Chocolate Banana & Avocado Bread

Today, I woke up with the determination that I will successfully make one a banana and avocado loaf. I have left over Lindt 90% dark chocolate so I thought, ‘Why not put chocolate in it too’. I had a slight panic when I realized I didn’t have my measuring cups with me until I saw a good ol’ coffee cup. Yes, I used a coffee cup for measurements because I didn’t have measuring cups but please kindly do use measuring cups for accuracy. As I was creating this recipe mentally, I was thinking about the measurements and fitting all my estimations into them. Thank God that it turned out well.

I was also thinking whether kids would like it as I’m a swimming teacher. I’ve been trying my best to gain my appetite back after losing it for these past couple of weeks. So what a better way to treat kids with clean eats by making your own bread and spreading the little joy.  Ladies and gents, I hereby present…

CHOCOLATE BANANA & AVOCADO BREAD RECIPE

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of flour (all purpose or gluten free if you prefer)
  • 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour (If you don’t have this, just use plain flour)
  • 3 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe medium bananas (mashed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 large avocado (mashed)
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar (you can use honey or agave nectar ; you can use 8 teaspoons of sugar if you don’t want it to be too sweet)
  • 3 squares of 90% Lindt dark chocolate (roughly chopped)

INSTURCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line your bread pan with parchment paper or grease it with butter.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the avocado and sugar until light and fluffy with a whisk or a fork.
  3. Add in the mashed banana, vanilla extract and eggs and mix it into the creamed avocado.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon powder, and salt together.
  5. Combine the dry mixture with the avocado mixture until it’s thick.
  6. Add the roughly chopped chocolate into the mixture.
  7. Transfer the mixture into your bread pan.
  8. Bake at 180°C for 35-45 minutes or a toothpick inserted in comes out clean. If the top gets brown faster, cover it with foil until the bread is completely baked.
  9. Cool the loaf completely before enjoying!

 

Tada! All done! I hope you get to try out this recipe and tell me what you think about it. Tip when it comes to cooking/baking, have a little faith in yourself. Trust me, I don’t create recipes because I’m good at it. It takes a lot of failures for me to perfect one recipe or to be confident enough to just wing it in the kitchen. I really hope you enjoy making this as much as I did. The end result was worth it 🙂

The Tincture of Ameliorating.

This message was sent by another university classmate of mine last Tuesday. We’re just acquaintances so you could imagine how touched I was when I read this message she sent me through Instagram. Our conversation then proceeded to where I found out that her heart is currently in pain. Within the next few seconds, I said a silent prayer with a hope that at least she’ll fell less hurt.  Sofia, I’m glad my words cheered you up 🙂

They say pain changes you but they never say how it changes you. When I fell apart, my legs gave way as I collapsed on the floor breaking down. One time, I cried so hard that all my mother could do was just rub my back as she held me with all the might while I stained her shirt with my tears. You know what’s the most terrifying thing ever? Being scared of yourself. To me, there’s nothing scarier than to be afraid of yourself when you look at your own reflection asking yourself what happened to you. To hit that far below rock bottom was beyond hell. My heart ran out of love and my soul was torn apart in ways I didn’t know how to mend it back. The hurt my heart was going through was so painful that I could physically feel the pain.

I loaded my car and I went for a solo getaway. On that Saturday morning of the getaway, I sat on a long board (the one for surfing, not for skateboarding) and I watched the sunrise as I was floating in sea with my legs knee-deep in the cold sea water. I closed my eyes and I started telling myself quietly :

‘You will learn to love again. You are capable of love.’

It was then I realized that it will actually be alright. Yes, not now but in time, it will. Truthfully, I wish I had a manual that would tell me how to mend a broken soul because it’ll be so much easier. The only thing I know is that there’s a certain type of beauty in our souls and within our hearts. With given time, whatever that once caused the pain will no longer hurt. All you just have to do are 3 things :

  1. Don’t rush things. Let the heart and soul do heal by their own.
  2. Don’t suppress the feeling because numbing the pain will only make it worse afterwards.
  3. Believe in yourself.

I began trusting myself a little bit more after everything. As I laid on that long board and floating at sea, I placed my hands on my chest and felt my heart beating. The beating that told me I would make it out alive through this pain. I’m not going to lie and hide the fact that there are days where I lose my composure and cry. But you know what’s the most courageous thing? It’s when on those dark days, you still accept yourself for who you are. People look at me and they wonder how do I do it. Well, love is the key. I still continued to give love. I became more kind and gentle especially with myself.

Cry, if you must ; and smile when you’re happy. You’re entitled to feel whatever you feel and no one should ever make you feel that whatever you’re feeling is wrong.  3.5 years of teaching kids how to swim have taught me the essence of forgiveness and the joy of being kind. We grew up in a society where people think love is cruel but hey, that heart that you walk around with? It not only pumps life to your entire body but it feeds your soul with love. It heals your physical and emotional wounds. It’s not evil and it’s definitely not cruel. Sure, your previous relationship didn’t work out but that doesn’t mean you’re incapable of loving again.

You got to do you. You want to hike up the Himalayas? Do it. You want to just stay in bed and read for the entire day? Do it. Do things that you love and bring bliss to your heart and soul. Yes you’re scarred but I truly believe that everything you go through in life is stitched together with really good intentions. Let yourself heal and then when you’re ready, you’ll love again. Above all else, believe in yourself. You really have to. Do it for you. Trust that heart of yours for eventually it will mend and your soul will be okay again. 

 

 

 

All visuals and words belong to Win W.™ unless stated otherwise.

 

The Cheating Shakshuka

This is going to make up for next week’s recipe posting as I’ll be having exams. Ever since my oven has broken down, I had to stick to food that requires no baking. This morning, I took a short-cut into making Shakshouka! Plus, this is very versatile and so inexpensive as well!

A little information about this dish : It is a very popular dish in the Middle East countries. This dish is made up of poached/baked eggs in a tomato sauce . You can spice it up with Harissa (a hot chilli paste) and cumin too. I had this dish once in a cafe and paid a high price for it. I ended up researching different recipes and make do with that I had in the fridge. Originally, this dish is a little spicy and it uses bell peppers (capsicums) but I didn’t have bell peppers, I used one large mushroom instead. So what does an oven-less person like me do if I want to “bake” this dish? I cover it up using a large stainless steel plate or you can use aluminium foil. I used a plate because it was much easier to lift off.

HERE’S MY CHEATING SHASHOUKA RECIPE! (Note : this is based on a one person’s portion)

Ingredient :

215 grams of tomato purée
3 table spoons of water
2 table spoons of olive oil
1 – 2 tea spoons of brown sugar (This is to even out the sourness in the purée ; you could add more if you wish)
A pinch of salt
A pinch of pepper (black or white pepper)
A pinch of chili powder (optional)
A pinch of paprika (optional)
A pinch of cumin (optional)
1 egg (You can add more eggs if you wish)
1 red onion (peeled and sliced into strips of halves)
1 clove of garlic (peeled and chopped)
1 large king oyster mushroom (patted dry and sliced into thin strips)

Parsley or coriander for garnish.

 

Instructions :

  1. In a pan (I used a non-stick pan as I don’t have a skillet pan), add olive oil, garlic, sliced mushroom strips and onion strips. Sauté until onion strips are slightly soft.
  2. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Mix it for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add in the tomato purée, water and sugar. Season it with paprika, cumin and chili powder, if using. Stir the mixture and let it simmer for 2 minutes.
  4. Make a little crater in the middle of pan and add in the egg.
  5. Using a stainless steel plate (or aluminium foil), cover the pan and wait for 4 – 6 minutes until the egg is cooked.
  6. Turn off the stove, remove the cover.
  7.  Garnish and serve it with bread or toasted pita bread or tortilla.

Tip : If you like your egg yolk to be runny, you can turn off the stove and remove the cover at about 3 minutes. The egg white takes the fastest to cook.

 

 

All visuals and words belong to Win W.™ unless stated otherwise.