1. Sausage Carbonara

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/pasta-recipes/linguine-alla-carbonara-di-salsiccia

2. Birthday Cupcakes

http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/polka-dot-cupcakes?backto=true&backtourl=/photogallery/birthday-cupcakes#slide_1

3. Snowman Cupcakes

http://www.marthastewart.com/article/snowman-cupcakes?backto=true&backtourl=/photogallery/year-round-cupcakes#slide_1

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Márquez.

I had this book for quite a long time on the shelf of my book case but I never got a chance to read it. The day before, I flipped open the pages of the fresh, untouched book, and by yesterday, I had finished it.

This is a basic plot summary: As teenagers, Florentino and Fermina develop feelings for each other but are soon disturbed by the latter’s father. He forbids the two from seeing each other ever again but they maintain their relationship by exchanging letters. Soon, Fermina herself realizes that their love for each other was actually an illsuion and she refuses to see him. A few years later, she marries a wealthy doctor – Dr.Juvenal Urbino. Florenzo is devastated but he firmly believes that one day, he will get back together with his former lover. After fifty-one years, nine months and four days, Dr. Urbino dies and Florenzo comes to visit the widow at her husband’s funeral in an attempt to win back the heart of his childhood lover.

Just like Fermina Daza’s ever-changing love and hate towards Florentino Ariza, I had mixed feelings about this book. Although it was a timeless love story and I’m sure that audiences of all generations could relate to it, the pace of the book was very slow. I felt as if I could run back and forth around Korea before the story would move forward. There were also some inappropriate scenes on Florentino’s part. Overall, I would only recommend this book to you if you have time enough in your hands as it is quite a long read and it takes a lot of patience from closing the book and moving on to another.


March 11th, 2010

Finally! After our arrival in Beijing, we went to Greenpeace China, an international NGO that focuses on environmental issues such as national and international global warming, deforestation, overfishing, commercial whaling and nuclear power. We then went to the US Embassy at the American Center for Educational Exchange (ACEE) where the public relations officer gave us a short presentation on the relationship between the two countries. After listening to her wonderful presentation, we went to eat Beijing Duck. It was awesome and the taste was very different from what I ate in Korea. There were many ways to eat it. You could eat it by dipping the duck into the sugar or dipping it in the soy sauce and wrapping it up with a small and thin pancake.

After dinner, we arrived at the Yanxiang hotel. All of us were very disappointed as the hotel was very small and dirty. However, our disappointment shifted away when we saw Starbucks and the supermarket next to our hotel! All of us bought a lot of goodies that we couldn’t buy in Seoul; Cadbury chocolates, Recesses, salt and vinegar chips, dorritoes and Airheads :D. We then headed to our own rooms, and I was placed with Sarah B. and Heejae C. Our curfew was at 10:30 PM but we moved around rooms to revise and edit our peer’s resolutions. We then fell asleep while sharing scary stories. : S

March 12th, 2010

The next day, we arrived at the Beijing Crowne Plaza for our first day of the BEIMUN conference. After we were done hearing the Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General, president of the GA, Dr. Burchell, etc. speak, the choir and orchestra of the International School of Beijing kindly sang and played their music for us. We were then asked to chill around as they had to set up the rooms. In this conference, there were many more assemblies than what they had in Seoul Model UN. Last time, we had only one General Assembly, but this time, we had so many people that we had 3 General Assemblies. We also had a Youth Assembly, where the delegates decided upon an important issue and raised money during the 3 days of conferences for that cause. Jenny J. (U.S.A), Jaeook L.(Madagascar), and I (Afghanistan) were placed in General Assembly 1 where we had to debate upon resolutions regarding four issues. During our one hour of free time, we ate ice cream, peach pie and hot dogs. Soon, we were asked to come in again and we started our opening speeches. It was very boring as each speaker talks around 40 seconds and there were about a 100 people in our room. After the first 40 minutes of opening speeches, we were sent out to lobby amongst ourselves, meaning that it was time for each individual to try to main-submit their own resolution by getting the approval of at least 15 other delegates. The chair gave us 3 hours to work on it so after we were done, we had so much free time left. We wandered around other assemblies and found out that Sarah B., Dino K. and Yura J. successfully main-submitted their resos! :D. During our free time, we did a lot of things.. we ate more food, we found that a girl from SIS and a boy from another school were fighting over who should main-submit. (It became a real commotion but in the end, the girl got to main submit! 🙂 ),I broke a plastic chair because of my weight, we met other people that we knew and didn’t know before. After 5:00 PM, the chair dismissed us by saying that the conference was done for the day. Our team then went to the hotel, left our stuff and went to a Thai restaurant. We ordered fried rice with pineapples, Pad Thai, diced chicken and so much more. For our table, there were six people and we ordered five dishes. We paid 164 yuan, about 27,000 won. It was so cheap! If we were to eat the same amount of food in Korea, we would have to pay at least 80,000 won…. yum yum!

March 13th, 2010

Today was the “real” start of the conference. We had eight hours to debate upon four resolutions but only two passed ];

There are many steps a resolution has to go through in order to get it main-submitted. First, as aforementioned, it has to get the approval of 15 other delegates,with the approval that it is “debateable”. Then, we discuss of it for an hour or two. During that time, delegates make for or against speeches of the resolution and submit amendments for any changes that a delegate wants to make . When the alloted time is elapsed, we then go into voting procedure where all delegates have to vote for,against or abstain. If the majority of the votes are for the resolution, it passes or vice versa. Abstaining means when you are neither for or against, thus sitting out of voting. There are very many strong delegates that make incredible for or against speeches that can affect the outcome of your own resolution. Because of this, not only is it hard to main-submit a resolution, in fact, it is harder for a resolution to actually pass. Despite this, Yura and Dino’s resolutions passed so it was very honorable for them :).

After debating, we went to a Chinese restaurant near our hotel again and ate Beijing Duck and fried rice again! 😀

March 14th, 2010

Today was already the last day of our BEIMUN conference. ]; We headed towards the Crowne Plaza at 8:00 AM and we continued our discussion on the issues of: 1) the privatization of war through the use of private security and other companies, 2) peace, security, and reunification of the Korean Peninsula, 3) conventional arms control at the regional and sub-regional levels, 4)promotion of multilateralism in the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. We had eight resolutions main-submitted by eight different delegates but unfortunately, only two passed. Honestly, after talking with other people in our forum in between debates, we all agreed that it was so much different from our previous experiences in SEOMUN. Everyone was very disrespectful towards other delegates, tossed out random and inappropriate jokes, disobeyed the chair and passed around unnecessary notes, making the admin staff (the person who goes around and delivers notes) very tired. After we were finished with our resolutions, we had lunch and then we went to the General Assembly Plenary session, a short one hour conference for all three General Assemblies. Each assembly had 164 delegates each so there were at least 492 delegates in total in this session. After 35 minutes of debate, there was a short speech from the president of the General Assembly, the International Court Justice and the Secretary General of BEIMUN. We went out of the hotel and found that it was …snowing! 😀 So we took the bus and went to see the “Flying Acrobatics Show” at the Chaoyang Theater where there were men and women, just like in a circus that each showed off their amazing abilities. Bending their bodies in every way, non-stop cartwheels, endless bicycle tricks, and much much more. Although they made some mistakes during their performance, overall, it was just like what we always see in Chinese movies dealing with circuses. Everyone’s hands were so red after the continuous clapping.

We then went a big local shopping mall where there were many fast brands such as Mango, UNIQLO, Nike, Adidas and so much more. We then went to eat at a Chinese restaurant. While we were shopping at this mall, many others went to a building next door that sold fakes of Abercrombie, Hollister and Ed Hardy. We took such a long time to eat dinner so we didn’t have the chance to visit there but many of my friends were satisfied with what they bought and of their successful bargaining.

March 15th, 2010

Everyone was sad in the morning as we already missed BEIMUN. However, we didn’t have any time to lose as our flight was at 7:00 PM and our advisors were so eager to give us a tour of the city. First, we had a tour of a Hutong, a small alley way where there were old, traditional Chinese houses. We went around the small village by a carriage- a man pedaled for two each. Even though the houses were similar in style to what you can find around Kyung Bok Goong, the main difference was that all the houses were painted in bright red- a symbolic color that shoos evil and devilish spirits. Even all the people had big red patches of red on their arms. We then went to the Temple of Heaven, a Chinese temple for praying to God. Because of the snow from the previous day, all of us nearly freezed to death as it was insanely cold. Finally, we went to Wangfujing, a very large shopping center where they sold all kinds of clothing brands that don’t sell in Korea. Still, none of us actually bought anything because we had no money left after spending it all on Nick’s Mart, a food store where they sold American chips and candies. We still bought an Oreo slushie from Dairy Queen 😀 Yum Yum! Our driver then drove us to the airport where we had time to shop and finish up our homework. 🙂 Bye bye Beijing!

Overall, this experience was very new for me. Every time I realize this but for me, each and every MUN conference has this special and distinct feeling. I know that despite all the dirty shower stalls, irritating smoke and scary-sounding Chinese, I’m going to miss Beijing, our conference and my new friends. During the past two days, I encountered many different types of debaters, people from all around the world, including Dubai, Egypt, the Phillipines and New Delhi. BEIMUN was an amazing experience for me and I’m so thankful that I got to attend this year, and I hope to continue to do so in the following  years. Meanwhile, I can’t wait for our weekly club meetings and soon-to-come conferences :]

Credits to Eric P.

Credits to Ms.Boyle

I can’t believe it’s already March! Time really does seem to fly by. To add on to that, this month’s going to go by really quickly for me.

Our first official soccer game was the day before, with a game against TCIS. We failed miserably. 7:0. The he boy’s soccer team barely managed to draw a tie. I missed all this because of my foot and I can’t play for three weeks. Great. Today’s game is at SAHS, and tomorrow’s a home game against OSAN. Also tomorrow, Jenny J and I will be going to KAIAC for forensics – duo acting, performing the Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. I’m really nervous right now as I’m writing this as it’s our first piece for both of us and we’re also novices in acting. We really have some major gaps left for improvement right now and I seriously don’t know what to do. The next week, after a game against SFS at home, our MUN team will be traveling to Beijing to attend the BEIMUN conference. Luckily, Jenny, a sophomore guy and I are all placed at the same committee so hopefully it won’t be as intimidating than to be alone. (Hopefully, I’ll have a change to take pictures of Chinese food as well! :D). Following that, we have a choir concert, two more away games and finally, we have spring break! My mom and I will be going to Angkor Wat, a temple in Cambodia and Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. When I come back, it’s April! Very frequently, my friends and I drool about our lives in kindergarten when we had KIS reads.. oops! naptime.. and we didn’t have to worry anything about homework/quizzes/tests but it all bursts into bubbles when the teacher wakes us up by “and you have to read and take notes on page blah blah by tomorrow”. Sigh.

Now on to the good news, amidst the hectic schedule, over the weekend, I had the privilege to spare myself some time to make a tuna sandwich. 😀 I also made a plan on what to bake/cook so stay tuned! 🙂

Ingredients: 500 ml of milk, salt, 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, a sieve and a strainer.

Today, I was searching the internet for recipies when I came across Naver Kitchen,a Korean site where users can upload their recipies for others to share. There were thousands, but only one caught my eye-  cottage cheese!

Squeezing out the lemon juice! ;o

Double-boil the milk at about 27oC. For the milk to heat up, the water underneath has to boil first. Make sure you do NOT boil the milk!

Add a bit of salt. More of it if you want the cheese to be salty, and less of it if you want it to be sweet. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and the milk will separate to form the curd and the whey.

Yay! The whey is the liquid and the curd is the blub of milk.

Strain the milk through a seive and put it in the fridge to cool. Enjoy! 😀

 

Cooking jeon for Lunar New Year! 😀

 

Part of the reason this became my first baking experience was because I was so lazy to pack and decorate the store-bought chocolates I planned to give the day before Febuary 14th, Valentine’s Day. At school, I felt a pang of guilt when Christine handed me her home-made chocolates. Afterwards, I re-thought  about the task for which the special day was created: to give out choc-related sweets to friends/families that you care about. The moment I got home I flipped  through my cookbook until I  found something simple and easy (or so I thought..)- chocolate chip cookies! I skimmed through the entire recipe and I regret for not  filming my facial expression. I went from 🙂 to :O to :X after seeing the never-ending list of ingredients and machines you needed to invest on to bake such simple cookies. But, I wasn’t stopping. After reading it again, some words sounded familiar to me: flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Wait, did I read it correctly? Sugar? there were two types of sugar, granulated sugar and dark brown sugar. Wait a minute, weren’t there only white sugar for baking cakes and brown sugar for horses? But after some recounting of the movie Ratatouille and Julie & Julia, I was once again up and ready to go. After a few rummaging, poking and digging around the kitchen, I finally gathered all the necessary materials plus a happy grin on my face.

Photo of the cookbook

Ingredients: 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder,1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter at room temperature 1/4 cup vegetable shortening 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1 egg 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, 2 large baking sheets, aluminum foil

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line two baking sheets with aluminum foil.

2. In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt together. Mix thoroughly.

3. In a larger mixing bowl, combine butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar and beat it with an electric mixer until it becomes smooth. Then, add the egg.

4. Add flour mixture and chocolate chips

5. With a table spoon, drop the batter into mounds on the baking sheets, spacing each about 1 1/2 inches apart

6. Bake for about 12-14 minutes

7. Yay! Take them out of the oven.

8. Wrap them!

😀

Some pictures of amazing cookies! 😀

P.S:  http://diamondsfordessert.blogspot.com/ is excellent for recipes and http://prettyfoods.tumblr.com/ for food pictures!