Dec 30, 2013

8 The Winter Solstice Glutinous Rice Balls : How I Cheated

Old year out, new year in! Get-togethers and marvelous meals ~ It has me wondering whether I should take it as all good or good-bad. Good because I'm bonding with family and friends. Bad, because I'm getting chubbier.

I guess I should look on the brighter side of things *wink*. I am getting "choo bee-er"! Choobee means cute in Hokkien, by the way.

December and January are my busiest months. Many festivities fall within this period. It begins with the Winter Solstice Festival, is followed by Christmas, then New Year and finally, Chinese New Year. This, not counting Birthdays and .....Valentine's Day, weeks after!

We celebrated the Winter Solstice Festival (DongZhi Festival) with the customary eating of tangyuan (glutinous rice balls). I've always wanted to make my own but never found the time. The festival falls on a date days before Christmas. Perhaps next year.

I celebrated the occasion with a small packet of ready-made ones. We usually pair the glutinous rice balls with sweet syrup boiled of honey rock sugar and ginger.This year, however, is a year of cheats.

Glutinous Rice Balls

"Holy macaroni! You're a genius!"
exclaimed excited Hubby. It's weird and funny at the same time. I don't remember hearing the same vigour in his compliment when I whip up a really drool-worthy luxurious meal. Mmm...

Anyway, I cooked the frozen glutinous rice balls as instructed on the packet and ladled it out into a pretty pink bowl.

Usually, I would boil sweet ginger syrup to go along with it (a family tradition) but I was a little lazy this year. Before I knew it, I reached out to tear open a sachet of my favourite drink. And this is the secret ~ NONA Honey Ginger Drink.

Honey Ginger Drink
I emptied the contents into a cup and added hot water as instructed. It was ready in under a minute. Then, I poured this drink over the cooked glutinous rice balls. Voila! Serve and eat.

Cheating? Hah! Shortcut!
I wonder if anyone else does this...yum stuff, the quick way!

Dec 20, 2013

8 Flenco ~ My New Best Friend

This just in and I can't believe I'm already sharing the news here today. Do I hear sniggers? Yes, I can be really irregular with my posts...often distracted, often out somewhere.

But I rarely miss any of Shirley's posts. I like visiting Luxury Haven because I love variety ~ cooking, new products, home decor, contests, travel and hotels. It is the spice of life! This is like my daily newspaper.

I joined Luxury Haven's Flenco Christmas giveaway the other day and was lucky enough to be blessed with a win. Before this, I had never heard of the brand. 

Check out the packaging. I love it a lot. The product feels great too, a skin rejuvenating body scrub. I'm impressed.

Body Shaper - Olive Dead Sea Scrub

Hah! You could say I've bookmarked Flenco for gifts and personal pampering. Can't wait to try their other products.

In case you're keen to know where I got this, this is the link to the winners list on Luxury Haven: http://www.luxuryhaven.co/2013/12/winners-of-flenco-christmas-hampers-at-luxury-haven.html

Dec 18, 2013

5 Delicious Christmassy Cake

Someone pointed out that it was Christmassy. In my excitement, I hadn't noticed. All I saw was something scrumptious to e-a-t, to ....to share. Good things are meant to be shared. I will not be piling the kilos on alone.  

I collected this cake from PJ Hilton's Caffe Cino last week. It was worth the three times I had to circle the vicinity for a parking lot. Construction, congestion! The town is brimming with development.

You can never go wrong with fresh strawberries on cake!

...how light the frosting, how moist the cake, how cream cheesy the layers...bliss.

I was really thrilled to cut a piece out. It felt like opening a present. I couldn't wait to see what was inside. It was supposed to be a 'rainbow cake' with seven different colours of layering. Instead they gave me something that reflected the season. The smudgy frosting on the cake looks rainbow-coloured. I didn't mind though.  The magic of Christmas has already rubbed off on me. I feel 'joyous'.

Yummy!

A huge piece for me!

Up close and personal with cake.

Alright, that's enough showing off for one day!

PJ Hilton's a great place to hang out. I love the ambiance and am no stranger to the hotel's restaurant, having spent many hours at the buffet corner catching up with friends.

Santa's delivered me an early Christmas / Birthday present. I take this as a countdown to my 40th Birthday which is just around the corner.


Dec 10, 2013

2 The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale - It's the World's Biggest!

It was so BIG in discounts that I was caught in an intense struggle not to overspend. Only at the beginning, that is. Seven heavy books later .... and sore arms, my desire was quelled.

The sale runs on a 24-hour schedule. I admire people who work the graveyard shift. I find it mentally challenging. Mr. Sandman always comes a-calling. Sometimes, he isn't very nice. He makes me snort and snore with all that sand stuck in my nose.

This is the scene at Mines Exhibition Centre, 8am, Sunday. 

The early bird catches the worm

I woke up earlier than usual to beat the crowd and was blessed with a good two-hour of peaceful book hunting. Man was left to his devices. I didn't want to bore him too much by following me around. You see, there was no hint of enthusiasm for this Sunday outing since the night before, when it was made known to him.

I had to laugh when I saw him with a box full of books, twice my load! He was so engrossed that he didn't even notice that his mobile had rung five times!

Books and more books!

The other thing that amused me was when I saw a luggage seller setting up booth just outside the hall. I thought a travel fair was on too but I understood instantly when I walked in to see people pulling bags along the aisle. It's a convenient way for bookworms to carry it all.

I wasn't buying a lot so the light shoulder bag I had brought along suited me well - made it easier to navigate around busy areas.

There is no need to worry too much about it though. The Big Bad Wolf team has it sorted out for customers. They have boxes that you can use to carry your books around. There's also a storage station where you can leave your books.

The loud speaker came on and the voice of a very sleepy announcer blared through the hall.

"Don't leave your boxes on the floor. Keep the aisles clear!"

"Do not bring books you do not wish to purchase to the cashier counter!"


Getting crowded and it isn't even 10am yet!

I left before 11am. There were no long queues at the cashier yet. All in, I had a glorious time.

The entrance..how cool!
I walked away with the best bargains. Just to give you an idea how much I saved ~ I paid RM20 for Nigella Christmas . It costs RM109.90 at my regular book store.

In our car boot:

My stash and ..ahem, Man's stash *roll eyes*

Four for me, three are presents for the family

The sale ends this Sunday!
It's a 24-hour thing, but only for a week. Hurry now!
BBW website : www.bigbadwolfbooks.com

Dec 7, 2013

5 Christmas Tree .... s

I know it looks like I've really gotten carried away this year ...

My Collection of Christmas Trees

At the RM5 store.

Man : Gonna get this for the office. (Picks up small undecorated tree and walks off).

Wife picks out pretty purple tree for the guest room... thinks man should have purchased one with all the baubles on but did not interfere with man's tree quest. She thinks it would be hilarious to see him decorating the tree since he's always Mr. Reluctant at home.

We walked out of the store happily.

An hour later, Man came to his senses. Another small tree with gold baubles was purchased.

And that's how I landed myself with an extra Christmas tree! It would have been a waste to put it away so I dressed it simply with pine cones, a bit of gold and left it as a centerpiece on the dining table.

Before
Today!
This 6ft Christmas tree, on the other hand, has been with us for almost decade. I make little changes to how I decorate the tree year by year. I added two purple masks in 2012. That cost me about seven ringgit. This year, I forked out ten ringgit for two boxes of pink baubles.

I've been dreaming of a pink Christmas for ages but I didn't want to spend a whole lot of money just to change the entire theme of the tree. So I did it in stages...or you could say, in years.

The tree started out with blue and silver decorations. Over the period, purple was added and now pink. I finally have enough to do away with the blue baubles completely.

Dream realised. Mission accomplished. What's next? Gold, I guess *wink*

 

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