Thursday, January 26, 2006

2 big babies....

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The 2nd Tart attempt.....





Friday, January 20, 2006

The Bao Game

long long time ago.... when MJ was invented, to raise the challenges of playing the game.... penalties were indented to those who "sabo" others by throwing the winning card to a high "points" game.... so the person who throws the winning card to the winner will PAY for ALL!

our first encounter with a BAO game was a dramatic one! lucky i'm not the "carrot-head" hee....

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Rainbows

Do you know that rainbows are a reminder of God's convenant? I've always been in awe whenever a rainbow appears in the skies. Most of the time, we see a tiny fraction of it in the skies and a smile would light up. During CK & Joi's wedding, the whole group of guests saw a huge rainbow that was so so complete, one of the best that I've seen in locally. I recall one of the most beautiful rainbow I've seen was in Cairns, after a long day of white water rafting, on the bus ride back to our hostel, suddenly, in a distant place, a full rainbow appeared! It looked like we were trying to track it down to the pot of gold at the end of it.... I can still remember the warm fuzzy feeling of having the rainbow outside my bus window. ever wondered why it had 7 colors?

God's Covenant With Noah (1 Genesis 9:1-17 NIV)

1 Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. 2 The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. 3 Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

4 "But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. 5 And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man.

6 "Whoever sheds the blood of man,
by man shall his blood be shed;
for in the image of God
has God made man.

7 As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it."

8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 9 "I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth."

12 And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."

17 So God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth."

Monday, January 16, 2006

Pineapple tart recipe

for all those who have been bugging us for it... here it is:

A: Pineapple
1. 250gm of grated pineapple
2. 6tbs sugar
3. 1 cinnamon stick or 2 pandan leaves

method:
1. Pineapple, sugar and cinnamon stick/pandan leaves into a pan
2. cook over low heat till pineapple is cooked and all liquid has evaporated (can smell the frangrance of pineapple with pandan kind, keep stirring to avoid burnt pineapple)
3. leave it to cool.

NOTE: can also buy ready made pineapple material from Phoon Huat etc then can skip the grating step which is very tedious. To cook fresh pineapple till all liquid has evaporated will take about 2hrs. So better buy the ready made ones, it tastes just as good! heh... save time = can make MORe to eat!
Also, with the bought grated kind of pineapple, can do the pandan leaves cooking to add more fragrance to the tarts.

B. Pastry
1. 250gm flour
2. 125gm butter (melted else will take years to finish)
3. 2 egg YOLKS, LIGHTLY beaten (two critical info here... we almost the whole egg! & we kinda beat the eggs up pretty badly)
4. 1tbs COLD water with pinch of salt

method:
1. Sift flour into bowl, rub in butter till mixture like crumbs
2. add egg yolk, water and salt
3. knead to dough (if not sure, just watch how the prata man do it...)
4. roll out about 0.5cm thick, shape with tart cutter
5. place on baking tray, brush a layer of egg white over the pastry and desired amounts of cooled pineapple on top
6. bake in moderate heat 20mins or when got burning smell which ever is sooner.

maybe able to bake in normal toaster kind, just take a longer time and MANY many rounds to finish baking all the dough and pineapple tarts....

The tart cutter can be purchased from NTUC or Phoon Huat got a few sizes:

these are cheap, less than $5 each.

the more "pro" tool is a stainless steel gadget which we invested in:

cost $45 after 5% discount... think they jacked up the prices for CNY!

My Birthday!

My celebrations started at midnight when I recieved my first gift... (actually it was like the 2nd... cos YL & PD aldy gave me a lovely green Fila bag during our Christmas gathering....). Okies then this one was from Ad, its something that we've talked about for years and years... finally its happening!! ha ha ha.... no its not about babies.... (can like that give wan meh?? dun think notty lah)

its 10 lessons of basic Salsa!! Yeah! We'll be having Salsa lessons together!! So exciting! Trust my resourceful Ad to round up enough info and people to get it going... we'll be going to the same place as Dr. Morbid! So fun!! Later, we'll b joined by YL & her beau.... we also have talks about how to convert our tiny 3 room flat into a salsa training room heh.... we must first have the critical mass of people who knows the moves to go and attempt to teach the others hee.... Arnt we turning into a real professional IR more and more???

Went to church since it was a sunday, it was also the Parish Assembly day! spent the entire afternoon listening to the various concerns brought up by different people, it was refreshing to see the different facades of the parish but also abit tiring to keep having re-visiting the same issues. all this while, I had no idea what the "mystery" plan for dinner would be. I was told that we'll be having dinner, dunno where, dunno who, dunno time....

I got suspicious of who the suspects would be for dinner since the bday greetings started pouring in throughout the day.... those who din sms might a part to play in the "mystery" dinner.... hmm... or it could have slipped their minds... cant help it. wont blame them either...

Then, i saw a familiar name on Ad's hp sms inbox!! ha ha ha.... I caught him red-handed!! haha ha... although the Who was answered.... still got the where and time to be determined.... but it was really funny and FUN at the same time. :) thank u dear!

dinner was at a cosy jap diners (Sakae Sushi) on Sentosa Island located on the Siloso Beach. We got a special room for the 7 of us, with cushion seats and leg room under the table kind. Was super fun! Jokes were cracked throughout the entire dinner, I could not decide if was full from the food or from the jokes....

then we adjourned to the Tanjong Beach to be at a super cool bar called KM8. it has a bar area with white cushion seats surrounding a small dip pool which looked so inviting with its blue lightings.... and the beach area where beach benches were long and allows different conformation of seating arrangements. We decided that it was cooler to be closer to the sea by sitting on the beach and the friendly staff pulled two tables and benches together to house the group of 8.

The drinks came and we had the cake... Dr. Morbid was determined to revenge for his bday (we sang a super LOUD bday song in the most awlful sounding tones possible, in the east coast hawker center where he hangs out v v v v often ha ha ha). He convinced Alex and Cav to do the same for me this time... luckily for me, the staff at KM8 were super professional and were not swayed by his ill intentions and their voices totally drown Dr. Morbid's attempts!! =PP na na ni bu bu!


best of all, i got the great company of a bunch of great friends. Thank you all for making the special efforts to come all the way to Sentosa for my celebrations. I had a great time and it was truly memorable. *muaks*
and thanks to Ad for putting it together... *muaks* *muaks*

Saturday, January 14, 2006

1st CUT of the year....

yeah... got my first hair cut! just a large chunk of my hair got chopped off... got a fringe with i'm thrilled with! Thanks Jas for making me look 美美! (pretty pretty) i like!


CNY is in the Air

after two weeks of raining non-stop, the skies finally cleared up. So we took the opportunity of a weekend to explore the streets filled with stalls for CNY. We jio-ed two of our kakis out as well.... since its like their first CNY after 3yrs of being in bitter cold Brussels. But they could only come much later due to work commitments.. so with some time to kill, Ad and I took a LOOONNNGGGG dinner!

At a old favourite hunt, that sells pig soup, salted veggies, minced pork with chestnuts, rice, barley drinks.... for two for only $12! super worth it!


At one of the junctions promoting festive "drinks" besides the usual skimply dressed promotion ladies, there was also a 財神爺 "minister of fortune" all dressed up in red and long beard, almost like the western version of Santa Clause ha ha ha... yeah, they r both dressed in Red with long Beard and mostly with a HUGE tummy. Santa goes "Ho Ho HO" while the 財神爺 goes "財神到!" (good fortune is here). but this 財神爺 is abit shy, he din liked to be photographed, so he ducked behind the beer promo lady while my camera hp was up in the air. Maybe he din wan his day-job bosses to know that he's part-timing?? Later I overheard his conversation with the beer promo lady saying that he was "fast" to duck cameras "Heh Heh" kinda attitude. Did he really think that he was that good looking? It was all in the spirit of CNY to build up the festive mood. If he wasnt ready to be the "spokesperson" of the occassion, maybe he should not be standing there in his custom....


notice the Da Dong signage behind his head? This resturant used to be a open air dim sum shop where my grandfather brings us to have morning tea on saturaday mornings. I can still remember the smell of the yummy push carts of glutinous rice, the face of the waiter-uncle with a white towel over his shoulder; who watched us grow up over the years (mostly in amazement how my grandfather can squeeze 10 grandkids into his Benz... I still wonder about it today... how, just how did we do it??) Its great that the makan place is still around, but the looks, the feel is all different, I doubt if our kids will ever get the chance to enjoy that kind of free & easy atmosphere of having dim sum with abit of occassional chaos as the carts run into each other....

back to CNY mood. We moved along the stalls with moderate crowd, cool spring breeze in the air, definitely a great night to be out on the streets! The usual CNY goodies are seen displayed everywhere, looks like more people are interested in looking then buying hee....

the sweeten preserved fruits like lotus root, plums, dates, part of the teochew tradition.


the preserved meat of pork, duck, part of the northen china tradition to save the best meat for the new year.


auspicious fruit that can only be found during this time of the year, to ursher the new year with good blessings....


cherry red decorations to deck up the house, spice up the colors to kick start the new year with bright colors


this one is one of my favourite goodies! The 年糕 (new yr cake) which also sounds like 年高 which means promotions or growing in the new year. Its some brown sugary thing that we only eat it once a year during our birthday. Yes, on our birthday... (but how to control everyone's birthday which spans throughout the year??) ha ha ha... on the 7th day of the CNY, its called 人日 that means everyone's birthday! Yeah, so you can to celebrate your birthday on the different calenders and onto of that... you get one extra birthday hee... no presents though! Its good enough for me to have this yummy, it hardens over the CNY period, by the 7th day, its hard enough to be sliced into thin slices and stir fry with beaten eggs. The coat of eggs make the whole cake super fragrant!

But this year, we were early at the 大中國 store to buy their lengendary 年糕!

see the stacks and stacks of them by the side? they have all been ORDERED! so much to go!


Yeah, Ad making purchase for our first CNY goody!!! Super cool! They are still using their traditional paperbags with strings as handles.... super nostalgic sia...

as for goofing around... this is also the best time! since the crowd is growing, shopkeepers are too busy to keep an eye on every customer, that leaves us with enough time to try out some of the cute stuff hee... like this?


another colorful feature of CNY are new plants in the house, this year, they have take special efforts to add colors to these:

i still prefer them in their original silvery tone....

Finally, we've reached one of our destinations.... the lengendery baked meat stall...

the normal queue for this stall is about 2-4hours..... but on this cool night, the queue is short and bearable, wonder why....
afterall its

the patron infront of us was curious as to the short queue (see lah, singaporeans like to poke at everything, short queue also not happy.... how to please them??) but thanks to his curiousity, we found out that the queue was short because all their big full size square pieces of pork are GONE! all SOLD out! at 7pm!! ARGHH...... What's left are their corner pieces which sells at 20% cheaper.... and luckily still have Bacon Bak Kua! so good for us, we are in the short short queue, we're still happy with their corner pieces of Bak Kua....

At the counter, the gentlemen who picks up the meat with his tongs and puts them on the weighing scale took our orders and quickly got into action (bet those behind us in the queue was not pleased with our orders...) 4 kg of corner meat and 3x500gm of the bacon bak kua...so 7 packs altogether. While waiting for our meat to be packed, the guys behind also came up and they were foreigners from Thailand! They've in Singapore for the 3rd time and certainly knew what's the BEST bak kua around. =D The cashier uncle overheard our praises for their bak kua to the foreigners and rewarded us with a piece of Bacon Bak Kua straight out of the oven! So happy!


hmm... its getting late... our kakis still trying to make their way here after work... thankfully the cool spring breeze and the beautiful moonlight gave us much comfort....


so while waiting at the traffic junction, managed to capture some CNY lightings and mood which is my hp wallpaper now hee...

but it keeps me wondering why is the dragon so much bigger then the doggies... since its a doggie year soon... hmm....

AHHH... I din know that all these years of eating the bbq squid during the CNY bazzars that its from Korea! ha ha ha... No wonder i eat alot of the same thing in Seoul as well!! (but those in Seoul tasted much nicer! the squid slices were thinner, the baking was with charcoal, adding more flavour to the meat.. yum yum)



Nope the korean fever did not end there with food.... but also with many children's hanbok for sale!!

so cute! I'm sure the real authenic hanboks are far more superior than these in quality, color, workmanships etc and maybe the Koreans will spit on these fake hanboks... but being trend-chasing Singaporeans, I'm sure parents wont mind the difference hee...

So we walk and we walked... ate and ate.... our tour ended at 1am after surveying another innovative feature of the CNY bazzars... the Auctions! heh.... I've great respect of these men who holds the microphone the whole night and manage to coax the crowd into parting with their $$ easier with some crystal ball, crystal dolphin, gold statues, vases.... a real skill i say!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Tarts invasion!


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

HUGO the BOSS!

When a child is name Hugo, you know that he's slated for bigger things.... this young gentlemen of 10months old, is capable of capturing an audience from 5-80years old. He can get a free lift (carry carry lah...) to and fro any destination he desires. Best aspect of it all, he doesnt not need to cry to do it, he just smile and smile and smile and smile.

He's one of the most smiley baby we've ever met, despite time difference from Sweden (his birth place and homeground), he was still lively and awake at 12am our time... during our adults gathering, he'll quietly explore the new place with his roving eyes when he's in his pram.... or walk about on his own when he's on his feet. Never once screamed for attention nor at any discomfort.... not even when his diapers were full of S.H.I.T.

With such big adorable eyes.... he's definitely going to Boss around many of his females in his life hee....


when he got really tired, he found someone whom he can use as his pillow and cushion with the warm hand to pat pat him as comfort...

Ad was as happy and comfy as Hugo was.....

All this while, the bigger boys and girls were having a wild time discussing about politics, social issues, maternity leave, tease at muscle men Wain, laugh about the good old Dai Di times....



We had a great time! Also because Hugo did not fuss about, allowing us to have a truly enjoyable session. Hugo, you're the Boss!

Recounting 2005

I have to recap some of the finer moments of 2005....

the best wrapped gift!


the most memorable deliver journey! baby Aldric! (pic taken when his mama was trying to burp him)


the most LUCKY gift recieved!


the most "professional set of nails" that was attempted

but on the close up, we noticed some sticky tape left behind on the nails as a result of using the "guide" so must remedy it by putting MORE sticky tape over them hee....


the best sis-in-law i have! after their wedding, not only have her discovered her wonderful cooking skills, but also her warmth, her humorous way of life, her simple answers to complicated situations and most of all, her commitment to her family. A real asset to our current fast-paced world where everyone is also so busy to sit down for dinner and have decent conversations about their day or their life. We become like passerbys to even our own siblings. With Joi, we found it more light-hearted to sit around and play simple games like scribble, UNO and even attempted Mahjong! ha ha ha... my parents found it more exciting to coach her then to play it themselves ha ha ha....

This was also the year when i discovered K-culture, independent of Joi, but courtesy of Steph!! besides LDG's Sweet 18 drama, we've been hooked on Full House and even got kids singing their theme songs!

We started (barely lah... but will have MORE) roller bladding also, finally taking out my blades to use.... after 3years of sitting on the shelves, thankfully, can still remember how to roll around without falling down hee.... we'll see how far the blades will take us....

It has been a year filled with fun, joy, love and most of all blessings. We thank all our dearest friends who have made all our wonderful journey in 2005 so special and memorable and also thank you for cushioning lots of our falls. Without you guys, we'll have more bruises.....*wink*

Monday, January 02, 2006

Merry Fa Fa Year Greetings


Hee... in a belated gift exchange session with our usual MJ kakis, they spotted a gift for us that will bring us lots of LUCK! heh... with lots of mini "luck" also! I did a trial test on it... only worked for me and of course the two kakis who bought it. I think Ad needs to spend more time with it... perhaps sleep with it? ha ha ha.

Waking Up in the New Year

In trying to keep some good habits for the new year, I've resolved to wake up early on decent time. Such that more can be achieved during the day. Remembered those sec school days when the day starts before the rest of the family, the tranquility, the sense of peace in the early morning, the smell of the fresh morning dew, the jam-free roads, the familiar faces on the same buses, those were the quiet moments that I truly enjoyed. Armed with school books and my bus-pass, the day start peaceful, quiet, full of hope and anticipation of what is to come.

In Sec 2, we had a girl gang of 4, we were inseparable. My classmate Sharon, a skinny girl who never seems to put on weight no matter how much she ate. She was one funny person whose always smiling, full of sunshine, nothing seems to deter her spirits and you can imagine the amount of naughty tricks we pulled on her hee.... But she's one of the greatest friend I ever had. Self-less, loving, kind, forgiving and most imptly, forgetful?? hee... of the tricks we pulled on her... The other two girls were like the lead of the group, they take turns to bring us out, go to different places, meet their friends, their friend's friend and so our social circle expanded, grew and grew before we knew it, we were equiped with good social skills, good dress sense and good sense of humour. - these are the things that we remember and cherish during schooling days, not the trigo or geog that was taught.

Hee... super diversion from the topic. But coming back, I guess, in our current life-style, it was tougher to find those quiet moments when our minds can sync with the rest of the world and just relax like old times. Adulthood seems to be such a big rush everywhere, meeting datelines, cheonging for projects, trying to make ends meet etc. Maybe we'll be able to find that peaceful feeling again in waking up early in the morning....

and also, i heard lah, dunno, cannot remember from where... that its good for health to wake up early in the morning aka "early bird catches the worm" hee.....