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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bling Rocks

As tomorrow is the bling party, I am plotting my outfit. Tempted as I was, I did not buy anything to wear. Well correction, I did not buy anything because I could not find the red wig to go with the red bling top I already own.

I did however come across some really bling rings along the way. At first glance, they were god awful to look at, extremely tacky and cheap. Perfect for a theme party but I passed.

There was this one shop that had all the cheapo bling rings out on display and tucked in a dark corner was a black velvet box. Upon closer inspection, I found some nicer bling rings and the shopkeeper said they were made from swarovski crystals. One particular ring stood out and it was a chunky thick band with a rather engorged starfish encrusted with silver and gold crystals. Quite a stunner. Anyway, I didn't buy it and am now having second thoughts.

The ring obviously made a deep impression on me and I went online to look for swarovski jewellery and I found these.


And this Swarovski necklace for Prada.


Which one do you like?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Tara!!

I hope I got the date right. Izzit 16th or 18th?

Well anyhow, see you next week in S. Here is a cherry cupcake for you.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Gabby at 18 Days

My sister sent me some pics of Gabby. Yesterday, she was 18 days old.

Precious.

During the week I am in S, it will be her first month birthday and most parents give out mini cakes and boiled eggs to friends and family. Not sure if my sister plans to do so but we might organise a photo taking session for them and my parents right in the comfort of their home.

JJ Photography specializes in maternity and newborns and their photos are extremely thoughtful I think. Here are some shots from their gallery.




The package includes them setting up backgrounds and bring professional equipment to the house and spending up to 3 hours. This is great because babies have their own schedules.

The photographer will also include parents, grandparents and even pets into the portfolio. S has a hyperactive chihuahua, I would like to see them deal with Mika.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Saturday - Nov 14th Tamerlane Concept

We awaited J's presentation of Tamerlane concept with a mixture of excitement and butterflies. He was coming to see us to discuss his design vision and we had no idea of what to expect, except of what we knew of him already. That he was a artisan architect, who is keen on creating interesting spaces using simple materials like concrete and brick.

The meeting took place in our home over Saturday dinner around 7.30pm and I made some curry samosas as a pre dinner snack and J. Oliver's roast duck in plums for the main.

Our dining table was cleared for him to talk about the drawings and he had even made a styrofoam model complete with foliage and removable roof! I was intrigued.


To say the least, after his speech and being the model and drawings, we could not be happier. T was overjoyed and we loved every aspect of the concept. What a relief !!


The land faces the Indian Ocean and is sloping gently downwards up to one point where there is a cliff face that drops down to the beach.

As you enter onto the land from the back, you will enter the house by walking on its roof. The grassy patch you stand on will be a roof grass garden and to enter the house, one walks down a flight of steps not unlike entering a basement.

So you go from light to dark and at the bottom of the stairs, you are confronted by a narrow and straight corridor and as you continue on this path, you will pass a door on your left ie, the first bedroom. The corridor slops downwards gently and you pass the door of the second bedroom. and the corridor now widens out to a foyer where you will now for the first time, see the sea.

As you climb down from the foyer, you enter the biggest room in the house, the living space. It contains the couch, dining table and a bar area. There are no walls in this room, only a 12 feet ceiling above you and coconut trunks as pillars that hold the structure up. The living space is fronted by a deck then grassy area and beyond that the pool.

The bar area is unique as it is a counter space that connects the indoor to the outdoor. J plans to create stepping stones that lead from the bar counter outdoors to the final destination, the barbeque!!


Of the living room is a passage leading to two other rooms, the master bedroom and the TV room. There are courtyards in all the rooms so there are trees within living spaces. There will be plenty of space for you guys when you come to visit!

His genius however was yet to be revealed. The grassy roof includes a added feature, a structure not unlike a diving board or a raised platform. This segment is inclined upwards so it is higher than the rest of the roof and thus higher than any part of the house. The view will be unparalleled, perfect spot to nurse that sundowner cocktail.



Pretty cool.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Coffee


It's almost the weekend again. I am on my laptop nursing a cuppa with a breakfast of peanut butter sandwich.

It's Friday the 13th today.................. anyway, some flowers to get everyone going.


J, the architect is coming over here for dinner tomorrow to talk about his designs, so hopefully I will have something to show you guys next week. I am planning a small dinner so I will be looking through the recipe books again this afternoon to see what grabs me.

For now, I am just reading the news on some fav websites, The Guardian and The ST for local updates. Sometimes I check up on AJ's website where T has started blogging about politics and business. His entry a few days ago was very short but it pointed me to another website that had interesting facts about his birth country. Anyway, for those who are interested, here's the link.

Have a good weekend ladies!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

World Best Restaurants 2009

The result for the this year's World's Best 100 restaurants are out and for the 5th year running, El Bulli is the winner.

The Fat Duck in London took second place and the third is some Danish restaurant.

I scrolled down the list of 100 and at no 34, is Singapore's Iggy! I haven't been but tried to once, they have very limited seating and reservations are at least 24 hours.

Les Amis also made the list at 60. Australia's Tetsuya was at no 17 and did I hear, they might be opening a branch when the casinos open?

Anyway, as I pored over the list, I was trying to recall the name of a french restaurant that I had a really brillant dinner in. It was in 2005 and it was in a small town near the Pyrenees but I cannot recall where exactly. Very frustrating. I do remember that it was at that dinner, I realised that eating was total experience and at that point, I begin to pay more attention to food and cooking.

I so wished I wrote a journal to note these memorable dates/ places down, like Z does. My memory is so lousy I can't remember what I did last week. Thankfully with the blog now, I can go back and relive the moments.

So for the record, here are some of the places I enjoyed when we were in NZ earlier this year.

Best burger ever. Arrowtown Bakery and Cafe. They are supposed to be famous for the pies but the burger blew me away.


Best lunch with stunning view was Mt Difficulty


And I only had the antipasti platter. It was insanely good. And with that view, we didn't want to leave.


Best breakfast and coffee strangely was at a chain coffee shop called Joe's Garage.

I had the same breakfast 2 days running, "the sweetie", crispy bacon and fried egg in a toasted bun. Simple but world best. The bbq sauce and some strange cream coloured sauce that they provide at the tables, makes the breakfast bun messy but oh so good.


(pic from here)

Best pizza in a nowhere town, Twizel - Shawty's

Best dinner - La Toscana and The Fat Duck in Te Anau.

:) Now the memories are immortalized.

Finger licking good

The last time I tasted bbq pork ribs was probably at Tony Romas near Orchard Towers and that was many moons ago. I felt a sudden craving for it and wanted to try making it on my own.

A few weeks ago, some AFC program taught viewers to make blackening spice that can used for seafood or meat. Its origin is cajun and the mixture was not complicated, merely a medley of your regular spices with various salts. I prepared a batch mixing ginger powder, garlic powder, celery salt, coriander seeds, mustard etc.

Different people have different blackening spice concoctions like this one from southernfood.about.com
Ingredients:
  • 2 teaspoons ground paprika
  • 4 teaspoons dried leaf thyme
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, or to your taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
I just use whatever is available and made enough to store in a small canister. Sometimes when I have no clue as to what to make for dinner, I rub this stuff on any meat or fish and grill it. It never fails to please.

For my ribs, I used the same spice but added brown sugar and cinnamon. Normally one has to marinate the ribs overnight but I didn't bother. I was craving some ribs today not tomorrow.

First the rubbing and some cut onions and peppers that will cook along with the ribs in the oven. The oven has been preheated to 150 degrees celsius.


Then in a pot a tiny bit of oil, I sear the meat. The pot is used instead of a pan because I would put the whole thing with its lid into the oven.


After a couple of minutes browning, the ribs were removed and the onions and peppers go in.


When the onions have softened slightly, I added a tin of tomatoes which immediately starts sizzling.


The ribs go back in and then the whole pot sits in the warm oven for 2.5 hours.


At the 2 hour mark, I tested the meat and it was falling off the bone already. The meat was removed and laid to rest while I made homemade beans as a side.

Left over yellow zucchini and a tin of kidney beans were warmed together with a little bit of garlic and oil.


The tomato-y juices that were cooking with the ribs were added to the beans and I sploshed tobasco in, to make things a little spicier.


Finally a little fresh red cabbage and carrot salad completed the dinner. This photo looks terrible, I really have to brush up on food styling.


It was heavenly though. I can't ever become a vegetarian, meat like this tastes too good.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bling It On

Tis the season to be hammered lalalala- lala-la-la............!

My friend is throwing the first party of the season next Friday. The theme is Bling Bling and my mind is reeling with ideas already. I am going to dress T up as a gangsta rap-star ( unbeknown to him of course) and I will go as a tranny.

Today as I was browsing in the Lucky Plaza equivalent in KL, I chanced upon 2 floors of boutiques that stock clothes I swear that only either pimps or those at Top Ten would frequent. Perrrrfect !!

T would need a giant bling belt buckle and there were so many to choose from too.

Money talks?

The classic skull

My personal favourite - the diamante pistol, it comes in a silver, black or gold.

But this I suspect would be T's choice though.

An LED belt buckle which you can customize by typing in your name or a rude word. You can see it now couldn't you? ( Head shaking ). Compared to the above choices which cost between RM 45 - 60, it is the most expensive at RM 99 ( small) or RM 198 ( large), I think it is a waste of money but we'll see.

For me, I am searching for a OTT sequinned dress in some ghastly colour, some false eye lashes, boots and maybe ( and i am very tempted ) a candy pink wig.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Evolution Peter Hoe

Peter Hoe is a homegrown brand in Malaysia, a designer who has the coolest retail space around. Over at Chinatown, in the old Lee Rubber Building, he stocks classy but not expensivehomewares, tufted cushions and quilts in beautiful fabrics, silver candleholders and such.

When Z and D were in KL months back, we spent hours there poring over the vast space and came away with tons of stuff. Peter is smart, there is also a cafe in one corner that serves up simple but hearty salads, pasta and KL's top quiches. You could eat lunch or have a coffee while you think of excuses to buy that silver platter that you don't need.

I visit at least 4 times a year to check out the new merchandise. This time I spotted some winners.

An Indian wool scarf in blue waves. RM 149


A silver letter opener in a classy black gift box RM 69


Cherry Blossom Baby blanket in navy with a lime green underside. RM 169


The baby blanket comes with its own bag.


Now if you see anything you like, let me know, I can do a shop for you.

Weekend Brunch

Faced with boredom, I decided to try out some new recipes. We managed to round up some friends to come over for sunday brunch so that they could be tasters.

I spent all saturday doing prep work so that solved the boredom issue. As usual, halfway through the work, I ask myself if it was worth the effort. But I ploughed on and the results I think were pretty good.

I made

  • smoked salmon spring rolls with sweet and sour dipping sauce,
  • Indonesian Spicy chicken,
  • Citrus salad on avocado shells
  • Three bean salad and
  • Desserts were store bought from a patisserie in Shangri-la hotel. A fruit topped vanilla and walnut cake. ( wanted coffee cakes but none available)

As for the drinks, we set up a bloody mary station and made homemade tomato juice by roasting then pulsing fresh roma tomatoes. It was tasty.

Forgot to put the jug of juice out for this photo.

Our friends brought around some drinks too and it's Savanna cider, which is of 6% alcohol. I had half a bottle and was tipsy ! C had 3 bottles of it and did not waver. Amazing these South Africans. Apparently, it is her choice of poison, give her a glass of wine and she's off her rocks.

Now to plan for a christmas party. It's only 6 weeks away people!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Happy Friday !

It's the weekend again!

Played a round of golf with Ambat who was in town today. He came with C for the weekend and he managed to sneak away for a game with me.

It was looking rather bleak this morning with the rain but we braved it and got a little wet during the front nine but it eased after a few holes.


Tonight we are going to meet up at La Bodega in Bangsar for a few drinks and then they will probaby have an early night. Me and T will be going over to G's later for a masked party.

We don't have masks but I cut holes out in 2 brown paper bags to put over our heads haha.

Have a brillant weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

OMG

Z and D, you might remember having char kway teow at the sidewalk cafe next to my condo unit? Well I always enjoyed the convenience of having takeaway food just steps away from my apartment.

And not long ago, I blogged about the van lady who brings you groceries twice a week. So I thought, life is pretty cushy as it is but it got even better hah!

They opened a spa next to the sidewalk cafe !! A balinese spa that opens from 11am til 11pm!!! Now only if they open a mani/pedi service, I never have to leave home !!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Life Organiser

Came across a new shop in Ion, Singapore last week. A stationery shop boasting clinical white shelves stocked with colour coded book binders, diaries and all sorts of paper related paraphanelia.

The bright white lights from the shop sucked me in and soon I was drooling over the possibilities of colour coding my life, arranging my priorities by date and hue, never forgetting a birthdate, labelling my pickle jars ( like real) and so on.

This Aussie company Kikki-K, newly launched in Singapore offers notepads for meal planning, to files for the wedding planner, christmas shopping, all your bills and receipts, recipes, to lists for shopping, to-do, to-eat etc etc.

This is the weekly meal planner pad that you can rip off afterwards.


The food type stickers that you see here come separate. Useful for cookbooks.


I guess it can be really useful, besides sometimes it is useful to keep paperwork in line especially when you need to claim that dental bill or produce the warranty card for the broken oven. I have a box that I stuff all sorts of receipts and warranty cards into and it is a disgrace because I can never find anything.

However after half hour of fussing over which folder to purchase, I gave up. It was exactly here where I was looking at 2010 diaries, when I got a call from mum that Gabrielle was born!

I guess so thats why I decided to buy something - to commemorate the occasion.


This book records all my friends and family birthdates and addresses. The calendar is not year stamped so I don't have to keep copying the dates whenever I change a diary. The book also holds several cool segments like the favorites and shops and restaurants.


I think I will write down gift ideas in the Fav segment so I never run out of ideas. I guess I can always depend on FB to tell me when my friends' birthdays are but I like the old fashion way of writing things down....... hmm getting old I think.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Baby Gabrielle


My niece, Gabrielle Phang Mei Xing ( beautiful heart) was born last Thursday, Oct 29th at 1.17pm ( as it happens, it is also my sister's home address ! Block 117 !! Coincidence ?!?! ) in Gleneagles Hospital.

Both mother and baby are doing well, in fact, my sister was still glowing after the birth and she took to breastfeeding like a duck to water. Bravo!


Talk to the hand !

Last week, we spent a few days in Singapore anticipating the birth of the baby. Had some time to spend with Z, L and D.

For the first time in years, we sat down for dinner and on a school night. As D only finished work at 8pm, L and Z met me for pre-dinner cocktails at Le Carillon de L'√Āngelus.

24 Ann Siang Road
Singapore

Tel: 6225 2897

I have never been to this joint and was pleasantly surprised as it was like walking into a bar in Paris. The dark wood floors paired with ornate light fixtures created an intimate atmosphere. Vintage french advertisements adorned the walls and there is also a basement with a pool table. Great for a group.

( found the only photo online by mediasushi)

We sat indoors on the few armchairs and were offered black olives with our wine of choice. You could spend a long time selecting your wine as the list is extensive. We picked a white that was quite nice and it was $78 during happy hour for the bottle. The food menu consisted of cold cuts and cheeses so it would be a great spot for a casual dinner.

After polishing up the bottle, it was time for dinner and D had booked a table at Otto.

This Italian has been around but now with a new executive chef who used to be at Pontini. Z ordered a pasta with white truffles and it said on the menu that one would get 30g of the delicacy. When she was served, the chef appeared with a digital weighing machine and the white gold and started to weigh it. I made a remark ( can't remember what ) and he shaved some onto my dish too haha!

Food was great and after stuffing our faces, we went off to Beaujolais for more... off course.