Monday, December 31, 2012

A Wonderful Christmas

This year, SweetTeen insisted that we put up the
Christmas tree. Last year we just had very simple
Christmas decoration in our home.
It has been a very enjoyable Christmas week spent with family. My parents-in-law, hubby's sis plus hubby's brother and family came over for dinner on Christmas day. 

This year I tried my hand at roasting a turkey. I searched the internet for the proper way to do it and the result was quite good judging from the comments by my family members. Hubby learnt how to carve the turkey from YouTube....ahhh, the wonders of the internet!

The turkey came out nice and brown :)
Notice the iPad in the background?
Hubby was watching the step-by-step
video on how to carve a turkey.

Turkey...all carved up and ready to serve.
Our Christmas dinner. I over-estimated the food
and we still have leftovers in the fridge until today!
After dinner it's gift-opening time! I know
we're supposed to open them on 'Boxing Day'
but try to tell that to the very excited kids!
These are some of my presents..notice the
colour scheme? Pretty pastels!
 I suppose it's too late to wish everyone a 'Merry Christmas', so I'll wish you joy and good health in the coming year. May all your wishes come true. 

Happy New Year, everyone!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sleeping Positions, Slipper Positions

Some time ago I read an article about sleeping positions and how it correlates to our personality and also how it affects our health. Since hubby has been complaining about me waking him up with my snoring lately, I decided to look it up on the internet and see whether there's anything I could do to stop my nocturnal symphony.

What I found out about sleeping positions is quite fascinating. A professor by the name of Chris Idzikowski did a study on 1,000 participants and he discovered that there are 6 major positions:

Since I am no expert in sleeping positions, perhaps you could read the details in the article here. All I know is that I usually fall asleep in the 'Yearner' position and wake up in the 'Starfish' position, so does that mean I have a spilt personality? (haha) Actually it only shows why I start snoring in the middle of the night. Now if only I could somehow do it the reverse way, I think my problem would be solved!

Anyway, now that there seems to be a correlation between our personalities and what we do, I'm curious to about the way we take off our slippers when we arrive home?

The red slippers are mine and the pink ones
belong to my daughter, SweetTeen.
This is how we leave our slippers when
we come home.
This is how my son, CoolTeen always
leaves his slippers when
he comes home...!
Perhaps I should do a study on this will be called 'Slipper Positions'!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Got Me An Ice Cream Maker

A few weeks ago, Hubby was browsing the Groupon Malaysia site (in case you're unfamiliar with Groupon, there are some details here.) when he came across an offer for an ice cream maker for RM189, about RM100 off the original price. I have been looking for an ice cream maker since my daughter, SweetTeen, and I fell in love with the very tasty but costly frozen yoghurt from Tutti Frutti and Moo Cow. I figured that it would be much easier on the wallet if I could make my own frozen yoghurt. 

So far I found 2 places that had ice cream makers for sale - Aeon (formerly known as Jusco) and Harvey Norman's. The Kenwood one at Aeon cost around RM230 but was perpetually out of stock and the display set was not in working condition. The De'Longhi one at Harvey Norman's was out of my budget, at around RM1000+.

The Groupon offer was really tempting although I had never heard of that brand and I wasn't sure if we could trust the company to deliver the goods once we pay up, but some friends who had purchased coupons from the Groupon website assured us that the offers are genuine.

So hubby ordered and paid online, and 2 weeks later the parcel arrived (hurray!).

My 'TING' ice cream's actually TWO mini
ice cream machines with 2 separate motors

Churning my first batch of frozen yoghurt
ice cream
Realized that I can't just churn plain yoghurt
with strawberries to make frozen yoghurt
ice cream or else it will just turn out like this...
strawberry milk shake!
Need to add some cream as a base.
The mango yoghurt ice cream turned out better :)
I tried using heavy cream for my chocolate ice cream
but it turned out too rich for my taste. Also not
good for my waistline.
The green tea ice cream had the best texture...
I made custard using milk, sugar and custard powder
and added green tea powder. Pour into the ice cream machine,
churn for an hour, then freeze for 3 hours...yum!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Eat, Eat, Eat In Penang

Took a trip to Penang with my family and parents-in-law plus sis-in-law. It's been ages since we last went there. When my kids were little, they would always look forward to playing on the beach and splashing around in the sea. Now that they have become teenagers, the beach has lost out to the shopping malls.

So this trip was a little different, with us spending a lot of time shopping and looking for good food.

On the way to Penang, we stopped by Ipoh for lunch at Lou Wong, which is famous for its chicken dish.

Now you see it...
and now you don't!
Reached Penang close to 3pm but our hotel rooms weren't ready yet, so we went in search of the famous Penang cendol

Now there's a proper dine-in restaurant at Komtar Walk
although the original stall is still at Lebuh Keng Kwee
off Penang Road
We stayed at the Hotel Sentral Georgetown, a small but cosy and clean place, which was within walking distance of the Komtar building, 2 shopping malls and a lot of places with good food. It's quite amazing what we can find by just travelling around on foot instead of using the car. We were walking past this restaurant when the smell of bak kut teh enticed us. 

Yi Xiang Bak Kut Teh at Macalister Road
Everything is served in dainty little bowls
instead of in a large claypot like what we
have in KL
The next morning we discovered this coffee shop full of customers, which sells fish head beehoon. What we have in KL is fish head beehoon in soup, but this Penang version looks like a plate of fried noodles with delicious chunks of deep fried fish served with a special dipping sauce. 

@ Lorong Baru
Thumbs up for this!
Did some shopping at Prangin Mall, which reminds us of Sungei Wang Plaza back in KL - lots of shops selling shoes and clothes. My son, CoolTeen, managed to get some very nice T-shirts and Bermuda shorts. 

Took a stroll along the beach in the evening
The coffee shops at the Pulau Tikus market has some really cheap and yummy food.
Nyonya kuih at 50 to 60sen a piece.

Couldn't resist the duck noodles...only RM4 a bowl.
Eating at Gurney Drive is a little pricier but
great ambience makes up for it. Haven't had
cockles in a long the sauce that goes with it!
Lovely view of the sunset :)
With each of us having at least one electronic gadget,
this is what happens every night.
 Spent 4 days 3 nights in Penang. Detoured off to Taiping on the way home. My sis-in-law found this little restaurant on the internet, listed as one of the top restaurants to visit up north. The food was good and very cheap!
Restaurant Yut Sun @ Jalan Pasar, Taiping -
Hainanese oriental and western delights

Something unique - Roti Sayur, a thick piece of
Hainanese bread smothered with sauteed vegetables
and topped with a sunny side up egg. Yum!
Chicken chop
We've never eaten so much on a trip before and I think I gained a kilogram or two despite all the walking we did. Will we do this again? Definitely!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Scary Blue Container

The other day I was at Daiso (a shop where all items are priced at RM5), one of my favourite places to browse around, when I came across this pretty blue plastic container.

I tried to open the cover but couldn't although I twisted and pulled at it. So I had to read the instructions pasted at the side of the container. Turns out that there is a release mechanism on the top of the cover that I had to press with a finger which would loosen the cover with a loud 'pop'.

I've read all kinds of instructions in very poor English which usually accompanies products made in some Asian countries, but this one had me almost rolling on the floor with laughter...

In case it's too small to read, it says:
"When you remove the cover, remove it quietly.
What is inside may jump out of it."

Go figure!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Themed Birthday Party

Tinkerbell on the birthday girl's party dress

A close friend of mine celebrated her daughter's 6th birthday with a fairy themed party, so everything was matched to the Tinkerbell colours of lilac and apple green. She asked me to bake her some cupcakes with that theme in mind and a few weeks before the party we looked around the bakeries and cupcake kiosks for ideas.

I could make fondant flowers on a carpet of green icing grass but I just couldn't find a Tinkerbell figurine to place on the cupcake even though I looked in toy shops and searched the baking/party supplies shops all over. The closest I could find were the Princess ones, but princesses were not fairies even though I contemplated on adding little fondant wings to them.

So I decided to make my own. I found a picture of Tinkerbell on the internet, downsized, printed and then laminated it. Yes, we have a home laminating machine because my gadget-loving hubby thought that it might come in handy :)

I used the red velvet cake recipe minus the red colouring, since I don't think a large amount of red colouring is good for kids, even though it's food grade colouring. Here's how they turned out with the help of my daughter, SweetTeen, who patiently made the little flowers while I did the icing.

See Tinkerbell sitting on the cupcake?
I made her small because she's a tiny little 
fairy in the Peter Pan story.
60 cupcakes, all good to go!
Purple and green cutlery, but no purple
food although there was green honeydew!
The birthday girl enjoying herself, dancing to
the beat of Oppa Gangnam Style with her
friend. Her dad said that it became 'Fairy Style'!
It was a small cosy party with kids who came with their parents. Everyone had a good time and I was glad I could make a little girl happy on her birthday.