January 12, 2008

Starting Over with an Empty kitchen

It's only been less than a week; and I've gone out to purchase necessities for my new pantry. It's stocked up now,still pretty bare and basic.....but just enough to satisfy me; for now.... at least. Hehe.
I have this bad habit of buying too much for my kitchen; thinking of the many uses I'll have for the unnecessary item as I walk down supermarket aisles.
This time; I had to keep in mind that I wouldn't be here for long. I tried my best to only buy what I needed; only in quantities I can handle. I couldn't splurge as much as I usually would want to on cooking utensils and it was fairly difficult trying to decide what were the items I NEEDed..and what I could do without. I wanted EVERYTHING! *greedy grin* I had a go at dinner for myself today anyway. I've been making lots of sandwiches to pack-off for lunch in between classes recently, but it was the first time I actually made a hearty meal for myself in my new kitchen. I had discovered a couple of foreign looking vegetables in the local scene and decided to dunk some into my stew for fun! I'm so excited about tomorrows visit to the markets with my classmates!
One Pot meal for One
1 chorizo sausage sliced
1 can crushed tomatoes
2 sprigs fresh oregano roughly diced
1 full garlic with cloves peeled
3 small onions roughly sliced into thick rings
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup water
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
(hard vegetables of your choice)
I love Carrots; potatoes and pumpkin.
Pepper to taste

Heat oil in a pot with medium heat; add in garlic and sliced chorizo; Stir fry till fragrant and golden. Add in everything else and bring to a boil. Lower stove top heat and simmer for another 8-10 minutes with lid on top. Stir occasionally till hard chopped vegetables are tender and liquid is at desired thickness. Serve with crusty bread or croutons.
I made my own by baking tiny chopped up bread chunks tossed in a swirl of olive oil, light dashes of sea salt and garlic seasoning. Store excess in air tight container after they cool for another night of soup.
I never like to bin out good crusts from delicious bread. There really is so much we can do with offcuts from bread.

Cooking for myself is getting a little more complicated than I had imagined. Back in Sydney; I had my dear girls to feed, and I could buy groceries knowing I'd be using up most of the items within the week.. now.. everything just seems like they're too big a portion for me. As I made my dinner today, I thought about how much I miss cooking for my friends...and it finally hit me real hard how much I'll be missing them during my 6 months here in the US alone. I guess sacrifices must be made when you're focused on what you want to do with your life.

I finally went past my comfort zone of driving the route from class to home this afternoon and ventured off into downtown Orlando. It was the first time Orlando gave me a different perspective of what it had to offer; towering buildings and bustling city life sped by as I drove down the east-west highway in search of an Asian grocer which I was told sold international adapters for my Malaysian appliances. A cool dude working at the electronic store close to the NotterSchool had drawn up a map for me with instructions to get there. He mentioned that it had everything Asian he could imagine. The store was HUGE! Probably the largest Asian grocer I've seen in my life! No kidding. It was a Vietnamese store with a wide range from Japanese ingredients to Chinese, Korean, Thai, Viet and Indian sauces. It sold DVD's, pottery, electronics, fresh food, frozen ingredients. They had INDOmee!! *laughs* The instant noodle lover in me could not resist!
I owe the young chap from Best buy something yummy for leading me there~ I got extremely worried I'd never find Asian groceries as there are almost none at local supermarkets and hardly any within the vicinity of my new home.
I'm lucky this place isn't far from me at all... I found it in less than 15 minutes and drove home an hour later with a car full of goodies and a big fat smile. Yay!

*p.s: Looks like some one is still in a Christmas mood :P. I drove past and thought little Santa-hydrant would make a charming photograph.


Anonymous said...

You must go to the Anthropologie store. They have cute kitchen gadgets! Other well-known stores are Crate & Barrel and Williams-Sonoma. All these 3 stores are at the Mall at Millenia, which I think is close by you.

I'm a sucker at anything pastel- colored -- from my sky-blue mixing bowls, cream colored porcelain measuring spoons, to even my pink Kitchen Aid Electric Stand Mixer.

Have fun decorating your kitchen! I'm sure it'll be great! I totally understand why you like to shop for kitchen tools!

linda said...

wow, just wondering how did you manage to settle down so fast? Did school find accomodation for you?

Rose said...

Hi! Looks like you are settling well in your new home!!

Yan said...

COME AND COOK FOR ME! You know I'll eat anything and everything you make.


Miss you.

ashieBee said...

suyin :))

it looks like u are doing great thereeee. and quite settled already. good for u. takecareeeeee~


SiewlengH said...

I'm posting for the first time after lurking for over a year. Good Luck with your new venture and wish I was closer to hang out. I'd love to know where this Asian store in Orlando is for the next time I head down there to visit my in-laws. Thanks!

Jane of All Trades said...

Just wondered if you have discovered Bed Bath & Beyond and another store called Linen & Things? The are in Orlando as well. You need to keep a look out for Sunday Paper's Ads or sign up on their website for coupons. U can use their coupons to buy things cheaper.. Their coupons are usually 20% off. Just remember that they do take each other's coupon plus they accept expired coupons too.... and even when they say for only 1 item, you can use 10 coupons for 10 items in one transaction. That way maybe it can help you stock up on your kitchen utensils.

Jennyvi said...

hey,Su! where did you get that cute cupcake towels? its the cutest! :)

Wiz said...

You'll make friends cum eaters of your food soon enough. They will plead for your friendship once they found out about your culinary skills!

pinky said...

su yin i miss u too....nice to see ur settling down well..

jwen said...

hey suyin .
Thanks for posting up those recipe.
I'd made some hot choc muffins according to your recipe , and it's seriously nice .


The Cooking Ninja said...

I know what you mean. I have a tendency to buy lots of stuff thinking I'm gonna use it later but I hardly finishes whatever I bought. :(

Good luck with your new adventure :) Your classes sounds very interesting. Have lots of fun.

Anonymous said...

Hi Su Yin,

Glad to see you settling in nicely in Orlando.Have a fantastic experience and look after yourself.

kind regards,

Drifting Cloud said...

Hi Su Yin,

HAHAHA, sound like calling myself, my chinese name also su yin.
Anyway, wish you all the best there. Have fun decorating your kitchen. I love shopping for my kitchen as well when I was staying alone in China last time (though limited choices there).
Do wish I could just resign my job and take up courses in baking and pastry making as well.

Christy said...

Enjoy your life over there...:D
Have fun!!

allyhere said...

Your one pot for one was delicious. Thank you for sharing it with us along with the chicken and strawberries with chocolate sauce and pecans. Too bad the pasta was ruined but the evening was great and we had a blast. Hopefully there will be much more to come.

See you soon. XOXO

Su-Yin -D├ęcorateur said...

anonymous: I've actually been to anthropologie~ they are so Very cool! I've been to the millenia mall; it's lots of fun! Haha Pastel things are my favourites too! But there is one specific colour which i'm generally inclined to getting.. it's RED! I love read! haha I'm dying to get a pink mixer! I wonder if they ever do go on sale!

linda: Nope; i kinda hunted the place down myself! haha my cousin and his wife from new york was here to help me out. It didnt take too long.

rose: Heya! YEap! its nice :)

yan: omg..i miss you so much; wish we could have hup seng crackers all over again. Haha.. I love ya dear. It's been too long that weve been apart from each other. <3<3<3

ashiebee: i will ashie~ thanks for the hug :P

siewlengh: heya~ the asian store is actually on E. COlonial drive when you turn off the I4; it's between the highway exit and executive airport. It's right on the E.Colonial main road. It's where the tiny "vietnamese-street" is in that area. :)

jane": heya~ I've defnitely discovered both of those! they are heaps of fun. I'll look out for the sunday ad coupons.. it's hard to get newspapers currently as I don't have any transport other than my friend maggie! Haha..but when im on my feet again..it's definitely on the to-do list. THanks for the great tips! you've been heaps of help. THanks!

jenny: they sell them at target here..haha it's cool; i have a full matching set! it's totally awesome! haha

wiz: The friends have been adding up; now that the baking has been frequent :P haha

pinky: so nice to hear from you weh :) *sigh* i miss my babies.. <3..you and amrit take care okay... send me msges on msn..

jwen: WOw! it's so nice to hear someone's made something yummy from my recipes! haha..thanks for leaving a message too.. really appreciate it

the cooking ninja: Hey! havnt heard from you in awhile :p haha.. thanks for you good luck wishes.. it's always nice to have comments from the ninja :P

michelle: heya~ thanks heaps! I miss Australia SOOOOO much.. sigh* you have no idea.. it's almost heartbreaking.

drifting cloud: hey~ thats real cool..haha we have the same name! I'm having lots of fun actually; would love to hear more from you; it's never too late to learn more about the things you love.. maybe during retirement? haha

christy: heya! i will! :)

ally: HEYHYE!! THanks for leaving a comment! haha I'm glad you're coming on to see what im up to as well! hehe.. I'll make sure I make a key-lime pie for you guys the next time you come k? :P

chilisugar said...

Hello, it's me Aja'. I just read this post. You're making me homesick! I am going to be away from all living relatives and future husband for 5 months in a foriegn plce u_u. I know exactly how you feel. But now that you have someone to hang out with you will get by better.^ ^