April 25, 2016

presto pesto

i cooked again! because i had to. well, because i felt like it.
or most probably because my brother dropped by on a Saturday night and he was too lazy to get takeout pizza LOL.

well anyway, i made this. as usual recipe came from one of those Tasty videos on Facebook.

Garlic Chicken Pesto Pasta

1 tablespoon oil
2 chicken breasts, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped garlic, chopped
½ tablespoon salt
½ tablespoon black pepper (i used white pepper)
¾ cup thickened cream (the recipe called for heavy cream but i dunno where the heck do i find that)
½ cup parmesan cheese
¼ cup pesto
3 cups penne pasta, cooked and drained
¾ cup cherry tomatoes, halved (the more the merrier)

1. Heat the oil in a pan. Combine the chicken, garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook until chicken is browned.
2. Mix in the heavy cream, parmesan cheese, and pesto, stirring until evenly combined.
3. Bring to a boil and cook for about five to seven minutes.
4. Toss in the pasta and cherry tomatoes, stirring until evenly coated.
5. To serve, sprinkle parmesan cheese and basil on top.

i substituted penne pasta with shell pasta because i wasn't really a fan of penne, but i didn't expect the shell pasta to be so huge when cooked. and i totally skipped step #5 because i served it directly from the pot bahahahhaha.

Dinara eats anything i make. my brother said it lacked some greens, but i didn't know what sort of greens i could add into the recipe. my brother-in-law enjoyed it but he sorta balked when i said i dumped in parmesan into the mix. he eats clean these days, lol. the husband as expected didn't like it, he's more of a bolognaise fan when it comes to pasta.

but nothing beats rice! on Sunday the husband lost his mind and ordered fish! he never eats fish. if he does, he'll only eat 1/18th of the fish, and guess who's the lucky person that gets to finish the remaining portion? =D~~~

ss19 favorite

April 21, 2016

out darn spot

out damn spot, out i say.

the Before photo

the way it goes with rented units, whenever your tenant vacates the unit, you're bound to encounter every situation imaginable - child-decorated walls, hobs that literally haven't seen the light of day, junk left behind enough to fill a lorry (bak kata bibik), roach-infestation (this is the worst), and of course, spill stains. my carpet (as you see in photo) spotted a very obvious stain, its origins i am unsure of. so instead of paying a bomb to get it cleaned professionally, i decided to take it upon myself to get the stain out.

i purchased one of those commercial carpet cleaners from Ace Hardware. there were quite a number to choose from, so i randomly grabbed one of the shelf. i chose the Spot Shot Instant Carpet Stain Remover. you should clean stains immediately before they set, but they mentioned on the label that it could work on older stains, so this was a win compared to the other products (apart from the price of course. cleaning agents are pricey!).

i also googled 'how to remove old carpet stain'. i got an interesting number of results, but most of them recommended more or less the same household ingredients to attack ancient stains:

- baking soda,
- dish washing liquid,
- vinegar.

baking soda and vinegar

i had nothing to lose. the stain was visible at the bottom part of the carpet anyway. don't ask me what's the difference between the normal vinegar and distilled vinegar, i simply grabbed the cheapest option.

i tried cleaning the stain with the commercial carpet cleaner first. i was supposed to spray the solution onto the stain, let it set first then only start dabbing the carpet with a white cloth to absorb the stain. i guess a got a little carried away, i kinda saturated the carpet with the solution, bahahahahah.

i didn't see any immediate difference to the stain, so i proceeded with the vinegar mixture. like cooking, i ended up agak2-ing (if there ever is a word lol) the amount of ingredients to mix together - a tablespoon each (or probably more) of baking soda, dish washing liquid, vinegar and four times water.

i sprinkled (a LOT OF) baking soda onto the stain first, supposedly to let it absorb into the stain. then i dipped my trusty Rubbermaid scrubbing brush into the solution and started attacking the stain. some people claims the mixture began to create suds, but mine didn't really become soapy because of the baking soda, and i ended up dumping the whole vinegar-mixture onto the carpet until it seeped through the other side, hahahaha. better is more, don't you think? =D

when you're finally done scrubbing, you take a clean washcloth to blot the carpet until all the liquid on the carpet is absorbed. i practically drenched the carpet, remember, so guess how much blotting was needed?

once you think you're done (or if you give up flexing your hand muscles), you can choose to repeat the whole process or simply let it dry and see whether your ingenious methods work or not. i got impatient and used my Rainbow vacuum cleaner (since 2011, our most useful purchase to-date, if you ignore the price tag that came with it) to help with the air-drying process, and then left the carpet near my unit windows to let it continue drying (my windows get abundant morning sun daily).

here's the After:

the After photo. pretty impressive

i would say that i did a pretty impressive job, if i may say so myself. bahahahhahahaha. close up i wouldn't say that the stain disappeared completely but it's far less noticeable now, and you won't really notice it unless you purposely take a closer look. anyway, that's fine with me. like i said, right side up you don't even notice the stain anyway.

#lilocleans #lilocleansnever #purposelythrewthathashtagin

April 1, 2016

applying for Indian visa

if you plan to travel to India, please don't be ignorant like i was and not know that this country requires a visa for you to enter. unlike some countries, India does not offer visa upon arrival. i was really lucky that someone thought to ask the husband about it, because it takes 3 working days for your visa to be processed. any day later and i wouldn't have been able to go for this trip. also, i was lucky that i had a friend who had recently traveled to India so knew what i needed to do beforehand.

if you would like to save time and money, you can download your Indian Visa application online here. if you choose to let them fill it up for you, they charge you a hefty amount of RM20. one downside about this online application is that if you made a boo-boo after you've submitted your application, you're gonna have to retype everything again T_T. supporting documents include your flight ticket, as well as a copy of your passport. you can choose to photocopy your documents at the visa centre, but the charges are steep.

my friend advised me to have my photograph taken at the centre itself, because they seem to have quite strict photo requirements. they even had signs posted on the walls saying that 'all passport photos taken at the store next door will not be accepted'. frankly i assume they want to make an extra buck (it costs RM20 for four passport photos) but i'd just like to think of it as convenience to have a photo booth in the centre itself, so i wouldn't have to think about where to get my photo taken in case you forgot to bring one.

i got a bit lost looking for the parking entrance. luckily nadia had already told me where to park (i always get so riled up looking for parking). parking fee at the Dataran is pricey, so if you have a better idea please do let me know. anyway, when i arrived it was just a little after 9am, and there was a line forming in front of the visa centre. you'd think that you might be stuck here for some hours applying for the visa, but surprisingly everything was pretty smooth. when i entered the centre, i was ushered to the reception counter, where they checked your documents, and then they told me to go line up at counter 6. that's where you make payment for any services rendered ie. to fill up your application form, to take your photo, etc.

i didn't bring any photos with me, so after making payment i headed over to the far end of the room towards the photo booth to wait my turn. i didn't have to wait for long. into the photo booth you go -> sit -> smile -> ta-da! lol. i think you get three tries in case you didn't like how your photo turned out. i was happy with mine on the first try (i'd rather not jinx it haha).

counter 14 onwards was where you have your application typed out for you if you didn't fill it up online. the officers will fill up the form while you dictate the information that needs to be filled. in my opinion these officers might make mistakes filling up your form if they don't hear you clearly so i greatly recommend for you to fill up your form online to save time. BUT! you must ensure that the name entered in the application tallies with the name in your passport, binti and all. or else they'll make you fill up a new form again. bahahahahah.

after all that is done, they will check that you have all the necessary documents attached. you will need to sign in two places and stick your photos onto the application (they need only two copies). then you line up at another counter to submit everything. at this counter, they will take your biometrics, and ask you to stand away from the counter and look into a camera (to record what you look like i think haha). the lady asked me to use hand sanitizer because she couldn't get a good biometrics read T____T.

and then you have to pay the visa free of RM189.60 (inclusive of gst). finish! they hand you a receipt, and you come back in three working days to collect your visa.

simple, no? the whole process took me barely an hour to get done. the only lining up i had to do were at the counters, but i didn't need to wait long. simple pimple!

so. you thinking of visiting India now? =D

well anyway i had to cancel my trip because the husband's prior flight from Phuket got delayed two hours (due to kerosakan kapal and bad weather), they only touched down in KL twenty minutes before the next takeoff. so they called in standby crew, and i was all packed with nowhere to go. haha.

oh well. if anyone is going to India within the next 6 months, don't forget to invite me!