Archive | City Life RSS for this section

No Bake Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese
Mac and Cheese

I think the last time I had Mac and Cheese was when I was in a school cafeteria, at least five years ago.  It’s not really a dish that’s served in Hong Kong – it’s more likely to be found as a pasta dish with a creamy sauce that combines five different cheeses.

So on Saturday night, I attempted to make a no-bake mac and cheese dish from this recipe. I’m still a beginner chef when it comes to savoury foods, so I figured I would modify the recipe and use cheaper cheese options. The result was fabulous, with a sauce that wasn’t too creamy or too cheesy. I skipped the cornstarch for a runnier texture as well as the bread crumbs to keep cooking time under 30 minutes and served up a simple dish of veggies on the side.

Easy Macaroni and Cheese Recipe – modified ingredients
2 cups of elbow macaroni
1 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup of milk
1.5 cups of Cheddar cheese (shredded)
1 cup of Gruyere cheese (sliced as I couldn’t find my grater)


Taking a month-long break…

Happy holidays! Hope everyone had a very merry christmas filled with joyous festivities and plenty of good weather!

taking a break
Image source

You may have noticed that I’ve been absent on the blog for a few weeks. I’ve been deperately busy in the office and trying to quit my job at the same time, unpacking and moving things around in my new home … a busy, busy bee! My eczema is still, and I think will always be, an issue. I just hope I can control it so that eventually the flare ups are fewer and much farther apart. I started this blog because I wanted a place to vent, to document how my eczema was progressing, and a place to jot down my thoughts as I still try and figure out routines that will please both my eczema and me! (And yep, in that order. Maybe my eczema before myself…) I do still plan on blogging about eczema but for the time being, I need to take a break and catch up on other things before I can dedicate more time to the blog. You can still catch me on Twitter and Pinterest (I’m always Pinning away as I’m figuring out how to organise my new home).

I hope you all have a very happy holiday and I wish you the very best of skin health in 2012! See you in February!

Photos of Taiwan IV: In Food

I’m not at all a foodie but I love to take pictures of food. Food photography, when done right, makes my mouth water so much more than actual food does, and so I love to try and capture a good shot. I think it’s also a great way to practice using my camera, with macro functions and bokeh.

Everyone says there’s a ton of delicious food in Taiwan but I find that unless you know where to go, it’s hard to find something “authentic”. I think that’s true for most holidays, unless you happen to be in a busy area. We were in a real rush for most of the trip, trying to catch trains and buses and so were just glad to be able to pick up any food at all. I may hate major brands (Starbucks!) for chewing up the Mom and Pop stores but I have to admit they’re a life saver when I’m in an unfamiliar place and in a rush.

bibimbap kaohsiung
Yup. I had korean food in Taiwan! Bibimbap.

Shin ramen. Always reliable, especially at night, at a convenience store in the middle of nowhere!


Love the chalk menu!

Dumplings. My all-time favourite food!

Hotel breakfast. I get really hungry in the mornings.

Just to had to throw these in. So lively!

kids in taiwanballroom dancing in kaohsiung

Photos of Taiwan III: Tainan and Taipei

I promised to post the rest of my trip to Taiwan and here they are! I pretty much finishd up Kaohsiung in a day so we headed to Tainan to see the countryside and also spent half a day in Taipei.

Outside Kaohsiung train station.

Leaving Kaohsiung train station, and on route to Tainan.

I love train stations. Xinying station in Tainan.

Xinyi District. Lots of finance buildings and the most “urban” place I saw on the whole trip!

Taipei 101 and a sleeping Buddha.

Photos of Taiwan II: Kaohsiung by Night

Incredible graffiti by the pier. The entire pier area is done up as an art centre. The graffiti almost looks like chalk, but it’s not. The surface is very smooth so I’m not quite sure what material it is.

As soon as the evening rolled around, Kaohsiung came alive. The city is so quiet during the day, but it’s bustling at night. Where do the people hide during the day? Pier 2, the art hub, was by far my favourite time in the city. The bright colours and creative artwork under the street lights immediately transport you to another world. So magical!

. A doorway in the shape of a door! Very cool indeed.

The Love River at night.

Fireworks at the end of an Adidas Fitness event.

Photos of Taiwan I: Kaohsiung by Day

View from hotel.

Finally managed to sort through, resize and upload photos from my weekend getaway for sharing. Here’s the first of a few posts of Taiwan. The plan was actually just to head to Kaohsiung but I think we pretty much exhausted Taiwan’s second largest city after walking around for eight hours. Kaohsiung, and Taiwan generally, is so different to what I had in mind (mostly to what I’ve seen on Taiwanese dramas). It’s not at all urban and reminds me very much of Hong Kong in the 70s, or present-day Guangdong. The city is so quaint and the Taiwanese people are so charming. I’m so happy it was a relaxing trip and that it completely cleared up my eczema!

Park outside Kaohsiung Cultural Centre. Looks like a magical forest.

Beautiful, sunny, sunny weather and palm-tree-looking trees. I can’t get LA out of my head when I see this picture, even though it’s nowhere near the same.

The carpark needed some decorating…

Tons of Japanese influences in Taiwan. Not sure what this cat is doing here though.

The Love River is one of the main attractions in Kaohsiung and is particularly pretty at night. I didn’t feel the romance though, but it was a spectacular view.

View from Kaohsiung 85 Building, tallest building in Kaohsiung. Such an incredibly dense city.

Back From My Weekend Getaway and Eczema Free!

View from train to Tainan

I’m back from my weekend getaway to Taiwan and I’m excited to share photos, as soon as I have time to upload them this weekend! The trip was relaxing, spent wandering around the old cities and travelling by trains to Tainan and Taipei. Taiwan is generally a lot less urban than what I had expected – for some reason I had the idea that it would be more similar to Hong Kong and Seoul.

The best part of the trip, aside from coming back completely relaxed? It’s that I’m eczema free! YAY! This is usually what happens to me when I step outside of Hong Kong for more than a few days. I was eczema free when I lived in Toronto; my eczema cleared up within 48 hours after I landed in London, Antwerp and Seoul. Who knows why? I chalk it up to me being allergic to something in the air in Hong Kong. But this is my home and although I’ve thought about it many times, I wouldn’t move out of the city just for my eczema. Or maybe I would, but my eczema isn’t so severe that it’s driving me out of Hong Kong yet. Whenever I arrive back into the city, my eczema-free state usually lasts for an hour and sometimes up to 48 hours. I’ve currently been back in the city for 72 hours and I’m still relatively eczema-free. My dry skin is a little bit itchy (humidity levels are down to 60% again) but aside from that, I have no rashes. I will be busting out the last of my tank tops and strapless dresses for this Indian Summer because I can finally show some skin and I’m so glad I can do so before winter gets here in a few weeks!

How’s everyone’s eczema doing?

The Weekend, in Food

The weekend is already here but I just wanted to share snaps of some delicious bites from last weekend.

Pizza from Cafe O
Comfort food – the best remedy after a long, long week. Pizza from Cafe O.

Hansung Co Korean menu
Nothing beats Korean. I love the typography on Hansung Co’s menu, just as much as their food!

apple tart from Portobello
Next best thing to apple pie – apple tart with vanilla ice cream. This one’s from Portobello.

broccoli and mushrooms
Delicious Chinese dinner with family. Broccoli and mushrooms with a sprinkle of conpoy.

Hope you all have a great weekend ahead!

Blue Monday, Not Monday Blues

I’m a little behind on my GOOD Document Your Life challenge this month, but not to fear! Tomorrow is a new day and hopefully I’ll actually manage to see something that I can snap a picture of. Besides food that is, because I have tons of those pictures already.

I had a horrible, horrible Monday in the office and didn’t manage to leave til after 8pm. Nothing went right, there were angry words exchanged within teams and everyone just seemed super angry and frustrated yesterday. Just one of those days I suppose. I got home, grabbed a quick TV dinner with Zooey Deschanel in New Girl and immediately felt better. I needed a pick-me-up!

Something New
GOOD Document Your Life Challenge – Day 5: Something New. Just a few days after Halloween and the first signs of Christmas are up already! This Christmas tree outside my neighbourhood Starbucks put an instant smile on my face.”

Something Funny
GOOD Document Your Life Challenge – Day 8: Something Funny. I saw this message outside a cafe in Central and thought it was hilarious. So true too!

New Girl
Shot from New Girl TV show. Zooey Deschanel plays a quirky “adorkable” kindergarten teacher who likes to sing while making everyone feel embarrassed. Almost reminds me a bit of myself, but seriously, the storyline is just quirky enough that I got an immediate happy-high-five vibe after watching.

Edited to add:

How could I forget this? I must have watched this video five times in a row and was dying from laughing. Oh these adorable kids!

GOOD 30 Day Challenge: Document Your Life – Day 1

Streetstyle: Luxury to the max in Hong Kong. What’s going on with the shoes and the cracked eggs?

I started this blog in the summer when I was going through a really uncomfortable period of eczema, as a way to get my thoughts and feelings about the skin condition across. While that’s still what I want to blog about the most – everything about eczema from dealing with it daily, to letting out some frustrations with the constant itching and self-esteem issues it brings, and also eczema in the news and tips – I wanted to add something new. For the month of November, I’m going to try GOOD’s Document Your Life challenge! In addition to the eczema updates of course.

GOOD, one of my all-time favourite websites, is running a photo challenge for the month of November. Titled Document Your Life, GOOD dishes out a daily challenge to snap a photo of something cool, funny or weird as a way to capture life’s moments. This is the perfect opportunity to force everyone to stop and smell the flowers, as well as for me to get practicing on my new camera! Yay!

Because of the issues with time difference (I’m twelve hours ahead), it makes the whole posting on their site / Tweeting pictures in time a little bit difficult. So instead, I’m just going to share my pictures here (because posting everyday at this job is already tough enough). I’m a few days late but here are the images from November 1, topic: Street Style.

GOOD 01a
Pink! Wicked! I actually thought about getting a similar version (Olympus EP-3), but the interchangable lens is bit of a hassle.

GOOD 01c
An ad for