Saturday 22 February 2014

To The Nursery I Go!

Our balcony looked a bit bare and I don't like the plants we are growing now. They are mostly ferns... a couple of pots is fine but many pots is unsightly... I want to inject something new, something fresh so to the nursery I go!

Can't grow stuff without them

Another basic - Garden Soil
We have compost so garden soil will do...

Bought seeds
Sunflower - love them!
Basil - just because they are expensive in the supermarket & 
oh-so-difficult to get hold of. In fact, the main reason why I decided to go to the nursery today is because I couldn't get Basil from NTUC! Even the organic ones (more ex) is out of stock!
I need Basil to make some tomatoes with Basil and Aged Balsamic Vinegar. Makes a nice antipasti.

So there you go! I'll update you guys on their progress!

Happy Saturday Y'all!!!

Dreamy C

Saturday 15 February 2014

15th Day of CNY

So yesterday marked the last day of the Lunar New Year. On the Eve, family members gather together for dinner - we call it The Reunion Dinner. On the last day, we come together as a family and celebrate this day called Yuan Xiao. I can't remember the story but you can google it if you are interested. I believe we have glutinous rice balls on this day? I may be wrong... Incidentally, it's also Valentine's Day! Happy belated Yuan Xiao & Valentine's Day to all! Ha ha ha...

I spent my day with dear old Mommy! I brought her to her favorite crab stall for dinner @ Still Road. Yummy yummy yummy...

Mee Goreng
Lovely but it used to be better...
Chef lost money during CNY period? At least that is what Mommy always say... Lose money so no mood to cook!

Kailan with Garlic
Our 1st time trying & I must say it's Good...!
We used to always order Kang Kong.
This is way better than Kang Kong. 
Kailan! You are favored! ^^

Fried You Tiao
This was stuffed with sotong paste.
You can almost never go wrong with this if the Chef handle the fire well...

I present you The Main Star!
Black Pepper Crab
Their black pepper crab is much better than their chilli crab.
We ordered 2 crabs, 1 male & 1 female.
Mommy was disappointed that the female has no egg but then again, good for her! The egg is high in cholestrol & Mommy is a victim of that now - high cholestrol. Go ez there woman...

Total damage? A few bucks short of 100.
I wouldn't really call it a damage. It's money well spent!

As it was the CNY period, not many crabs were available. We were lucky. A few minutes after taking our order, a few customers came & snapped up all the live crabs & it was only 6 plus in the evening!

I saw e Chef while washing my hands & joked that he can now take a rest... 
People came but left when told that no crabs were available.

I will be back!!! =)

Dreamy C

Thai Express @ Junction 8

This is long overdue. I believe this took place last week? My gf & I went to Thai Express for dinner. I was still sick, coughing away but I couldn't be bothered. I need some spicy food & I need it NOW!!! Back then... =)

So we started off with Mango Salad.
Nice, sour and spicy but still within my scope.
The level of spiciness I meant.

What is Thai food w/o Tom Yam Soup?
This is Seafood Tom Yam Soup.
They come in only 1 size which is disappointing as this was definitely not enuf for 2!
Nice & spicy... I like...
More spicy than the Mango Salad.

I had to drown the spiciness with Lime & Sour Plum Juice.
My gf had Coconut drink. She said it was good... mine was gd 2...

Honey Chicken
I no like... can taste honey but chicken was tough.
Would have been better if the chicken was tender.

Some Long Beans
This isn't spicy though you can spot some chillies there.
I like... it goes well with rice.

Spent a few bucks more than 60.
Not bad, will definitely go back again.
Staff weren't alert though...

Too much food & too little exercise will turn you into THIS!
Bwah ha ha...
Not a cat but his tummy I'm referring.
All food & no exercise gives you a spare tyre!

Have a great Sat! Mine is almost ending...

Dreamy C

Wednesday 12 February 2014

Update 12.02.2014

I've been sick for the past few weeks. I finally went to the doctor yesterday and was told that I've bacteria/virus infection. He gave me a small mirror and asked me to look at the top of my throat. I was shocked to see red dots and red lines around it. He said those are bacteria and it's also why I'm having fever at night. It might not be this bad had I made a trip to see him earlier.

As I was sick, I slept with my helper. J couldn't sleep without the air-con and there's no way I can sleep with air-con given my condition. I felt good sleeping with my helper, no air-con for once. I just couldn't tolerate the heat as the hours pass. There's no fan! I wouldn't complain if there's wind but there's none. I wonder what your dream room would be like.

Me? First, I need at least a Queen-sized mattress and a firm one.
2nd, I need pillows which aren't too soft or too hard.
3rd, I need to spray my pillows with lavender from L'occitaine.
4th, I need to apply body cream from Lancome/L'occitaine/Crabtree & Evelyn.
5th, I need to apply the same brand of hand cream.
6th, I need to light some small candles, preferably lavender ones.
7th, I need a fan of speed up to 2 or 3.
8th, I need cotton PJ which are matching.
9th, I need a soft comforter.
10th, I need a big Forever Friends bear.
11th, I need floral/nature mattress, pillow and comforter covers.
12th, I might need a cover for my eyes. You know those offered to you on night flights? I'm thinking of trying to sleep with them on.

Well, I can't think of anything else... Not too luxurious and not that pathetic. I guess my list is just slightly better than the basics. =)

Till then, I'll have to make do w/o the candles, fan, matching PJ, body cream, teddy bear and eye cover.

I hope I recover by tomorrow as this Friday is the last day of Chinese New Year and what better way to end it by having a good meal? =) If I'm still ill, there's no way I can eat all those fried food... =(

As I''m typing this entry out, I'm listening to Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Ray which reminded me of the movie - Gatsby. Such a poor soul to die in such a way. I still don't feel that the woman's worth all the trouble. Oh well...

Mid-week and I'm looking forward to the weekends already. I'm glad Mommy's still alive. She's perhaps the only one who genuinely cares whenever I'm sick or sad. Human beings are hard to fathom at times. She's gone to Johor today with a girlfriend. My Mom's not the type who stays at home and do homely stuff. She's the type who line up her day with programs whenever she has the time for them. Karaoke, dancing, going to Johor, stuff like that. Oh and mahjong! I'm surprised I don't know how to play mahjong when my Mom's a pro at it! So is my granny who passed away some 12 years ago. Boy I miss her...!

Well, that's all for my update and blabbering for today.
I hope you have a great one!

Dreamy C

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Happy Birthday Card No. 14

So I did another card today. Take a look!

The Inside

The sentiment on the front

I did a video on coloring of the horse HERE.

Have a great day y'all!

Dreamy C

Friday 7 February 2014

Yu Sheng / Lo Hei

This is going to be a long blog entry. I'm telling a short story of Yusheng with the help of Wikipedia. See below:

Yusheng, yee sang or yuu sahng (Chinese: 鱼生; pinyin: yúshēng; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: hî-seⁿ or hû-siⁿ), or Prosperity Toss, also known as lo hei (Cantonese for 撈起 or 捞起) is a Teochew-style raw fish salad. It usually consists of strips of raw fish (most commonly salmon), mixed with shredded vegetables and a variety of sauces and condiments, among other ingredients. Yusheng literally means "raw fish" but since "fish ()" is commonly conflated with its homophone "abundance ()", Yúshēng (鱼生) is interpreted as a homophone for Yúshēng (余升) meaning an increase in abundance. Therefore, yusheng is considered a symbol of abundance, prosperity and vigor.

While versions of it are thought to have existed in China, the contemporary version is created and popularised[citation needed] in the 1960s amongst the ethnic Chinese community and its consumption has been associated with Chinese New Year festivities in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.
Origin of Yusheng
Fishermen along the coast of Guangzhou traditionally celebrated Renri, the seventh day of the Chinese New Year, by feasting on their catches.[1] The practice of eating raw fish in thinly sliced strips can be traced back to ancient China through the raw fish or meat dish known as kuai (, kuài). However the present form of yusheng is believed to have started in Chaozhou and Shantou as far back as the Southern Song Dynasty[citation needed].

There is also a legend regarding its originality. It was believed that in south China, a young man and his girlfriend found themselves stranded by bad weather at a temple with nothing to eat but they managed to catch a carp. Chancing upon a bottle of vinegar, they added this to the stripped carp and found it quite appetising.

In Malaya's colonial past, migrants imported this tradition; porridge stalls sold a raw fish dish which is believed to have originated in Jiangmen, Guangdong province that consisted of fish, turnip and carrot strips, which was served with condiments of oil, vinegar and sugar that were mixed in by customers.

Eating Yu Sheng during Chinese New Year is a cultural activity for Chinese living in Singapore and Malaysia, but not so much in other Chinese-populated countries such as Hong Kong, where the practice is almost unheard of. This may be due to the origins of the dish, which was created by 4 master chefs in a Singapore restaurant kitchen way back in 1964, then still part of the Federation of Malaya. It made its debut during Lunar New Year of 1964 in Singapore's Lai Wah Restaurant (Established in Sept. 1963). [[2]] The 4 master chefs were Than Mui Kai (Tham Yu Kai, co-head chef of Lai Wah Restaurant), Lau Yoke Pui (co-head chef of Lai Wah Restaurant), Hooi Kok Wai (Founder of Dragon-Phoenix Restaurant) and Sin Leong (Founder of Sin Leong Restaurant) who, together created that as a symbol of prosperity and good health amongst the Chinese [[3]] . All four Chefs were named as the "Four Heavenly Culinary Kings" of Singapore some 40 years ago for their culinary prowess and ingenuity.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12]

In 1970s, Lai Wah Restaurant started the modern-day method of serving Yu Sheng with a pre-mixed special sauce comprising plum sauce, rice vinegar, kumquat paste and sesame oil --- instead of customers mixing inconsistently-concocted sauce. [[13]]

The dish (Modern Version)[edit]
The yusheng had fish served with daikon (white radish), carrots, red pepper (capsicum), turnips, red pickled ginger, sun-dried oranges, daun limau nipis (key lime leaves), Chinese parsley, chilli, jellyfish, chopped peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, Chinese shrimp crackers (or fried dried shrimp), five spice powder and other ingredients, laced with a sauce using plum sauce, rice vinegar, kumquat paste and sesame oil, for a total of 27 ingredients.[11][14][15] Originally, the dish used raw wolf herring, although in deference to the popular wishes of customers, salmon was later offered as an alternative due to the growing popularity of Salmon.

Yusheng is often served as part of a multi-dish dinner, usually as the appetizer due to its symbolism of "good luck" for the new year. Some would consume it on Renri, the seventh day of the Chinese New Year, although in practice it may be eaten on any convenient day during Chinese New Year (1st to 15th Day).
The base ingredients are first served. The leader amongst the diners or the restaurant server proceeds to add ingredients such as the fish, the crackers and the sauces while saying "auspicious wishes" (吉祥话 or Jíxiáng Huà) as each ingredient is added, typically related to the specific ingredient being added. For example, phrases such as Nian Nian You Yu (年年有余) are uttered as the fish is added, as the word Yu (), which means "surplus" or "abundance", sounds the same as the Chinese word for fish (yu, ).
All diners at the table then stand up and on cue, proceed to toss the shredded ingredients into the air with chopsticks while saying various "auspicious wishes" out loud, or simply "撈起, 撈起". It is believed that the height of the toss reflects the height of the diner's growth in fortunes, thus diners are expected to toss enthusiastically.

Meaning of the ingredients[edit]
When putting the yu sheng on the table offers New Year greetings.
恭喜发财 (Gong Xi Fa Cai) meaning “Congratulations for your wealth” 万事如意 (Wan Shi Ru Yi) meaning “May all your wishes be fulfilled”
The fish is added, symbolising abundance and excess through the year. 年年有余 (Nian Nian You Yu) meaning “Abundance through the year”, as the word "fish" in Mandarin also sounds like "Abundance".
The pomelo or lime is added to the fish, adding luck and auspicious value. 大吉大利 Da Ji Da Li meaning “Good luck and smooth sailing”
Pepper is then dashed over in the hope of attracting more money and valuables. 招财进宝 Zhao Cai Jin Bao meaning “Attract wealth and treasures”
Then oil is poured out, circling the ingredients and encouraging money to flow in from all directions. 一本万利 Yi Ben Wan Li meaning “Make 10,000 times of profit with your capital” 财源广进 Cai Yuan Guang Jin meaning “Numerous sources of wealth”
Carrots are added indicating blessings of good luck. 鸿运当头 Hong Yun Dang Tou meaning “Good luck is approaching”. Carrot (红萝卜) is used as the first character 鸿 also sound like the Chinese character for red.
Then the shredded green radish is placed symbolising eternal youth. 青春常驻 Qing Chun Chang Zhu meaning “Forever young”. Green radish is used as the first character also sound like the Chinese character for green.
After which the shredded white radish is added - prosperity in business and promotion at work. 风生水起 Feng Sheng Shui Qi meaning “Progress at a fast pace” 步步高升 Bu Bu Gao Sheng meaning “Reaching higher level with each step”
The condiments are finally added.
First, peanut crumbs are dusted on the dish, symbolizing a household filled with gold and silver. 金银满屋 Jin Yin Man Wu meaning “Household filled with gold and silver”
Sesame seeds quickly follow symbolising a flourishing business. 生意兴隆 Sheng Yi Xing Long meaning “Prosperity for the business”
Yu Sheng sauce, usually plum sauce, is generously drizzled over everything. 甜甜蜜蜜 Tian Tian Mi Mi Meaning “May life always be sweet”[16]

Deep-fried flour crisps in the shape of golden pillows is then added with wishes that literally the whole floor would be filled with gold. 满地黄金 Man Di Huang Jin meaning “Floor full of gold”

The biggest bowl in glass is where the Yusheng was being contained.

Well, I hope you have a better understanding of Yusheng now. You would be surprised to know that not all Chinese know about this story. I know a little here and there but not all the details. I don't even know what to say when you pour the flour crisps or the sauce etc.!

There will be a video of the action HERE.
Enjoy & wishing you a great day ahead!

Dreamy C

Monday 3 February 2014

3rd Day of CNY

Being a Sunday, I decided to have dinner with Mom before I start work today. My dear brother fell ill and couldn’t join us for dinner. Anyway, here’s what we ate…

We started with Yu Sheng - 1 of our favorites!
Not that good... Very few slices of fish and crackers tasted 'old'.
I'll buy Yu Sheng from NTUC Supermarket on the 7th day of CNY and bring it over to Mom's place.

Vietnam Style Pork Ribs
A bit spicy, nothing fanciful.
Should have ordered the Pai Gu Da Wang instead, also pork ribs but different kind of sauce.

Salted Egg Prawn
Not bad but you'll grow sick of it after the first few pieces...

Sambal Kang Kong
Tasted the best among them all...

That's all I had yesterday. Though food was nothing spectacular, the company was more than spectacular. =)
I'll probably blog about food again on the 7th day and also on the 15th day which is the last day of CNY.

Wishing you a great Monday!!!

Dreamy C

Saturday 1 February 2014

Lancome Genifique Mask

This mask, I talked about it previously. This time round, I'm going to show you 2 photos...

This mask is chockful of 'juice'

1.5 Hours later...
Fits snugly on my face and feels good knowing that all the 'juices' have been absorbed into my skin.

It's a good mask which comes with a hefty price tag.
It cost around 60 to 70 bucks for 3 pieces of mask!
Beauty comes with a price... =)

Done sharing... Have a great one Y'all!

Dreamy C

Outfit for 2nd Day of Lunar New Year (Year 2014), OOTD #16

Take a peek...

Have a great day!

Dreamy C

Dinner on the 1st Day of Lunar New Year

1st day of Lunar New Year, most of the shops are closed for business. The only food available are that from the Malays and Indians. I had wanted to bring Mommy to a place for some nice burgers called Suprette. It has some good reviews and I was looking forward to going. I called and they do open for business on the 1st day. In the end, we didn't go as Mommy's too lazy to travel.

So here we go...

I had 2 of these Cheese Prata.
Prata is mainly made of dough and it taste yummy!
We shared a plate of Beef Kailan and Mommy had Bee Hoon Ikan Bilis.

I also had Mee Tom Yum.
Yes, I CAN be a big eater. =)

Both of us had the same beverage - Teh Halia which really is Ginger Tea.

Hungry already? Ha ha...

Dreamy C

Clothes for My Favorites...

I was walking around Ang Mo Kio Hub aimlessly one day. I was there to look for a right gadget to hold my tablet so I can do recording. No such luck! I ended up with these though...

This bunny... So cute...

How can I ever resist kitties?!?!

Sweet Dress...

That's all I ended up with. Oh, I'm now officially a member of Fox. Ha ha...

Have a great weekend! =)

Dreamy C