Wednesday, 30 December 2009

How to make 'Tang Yuan'

Winter solstice festival came and went. Apparently it's on Dec 22nd every year! And here i was thinking that the day varies according to the cheem Chinese calender where they have to look at the moon or the changing seasons or whatever.Being someone who did not start eating tang yuan until i was in Uni, this is still a rather new festival for me. But once i got started there was no turning back. Back in 3rd year in medical school Ling Yien and Ing Wui suddenly came up with the idea of making loads of Tang Yuan for everyone in our batch and invite everyone over to our very humble abode (there were no chairs for people to sit)to celebrate the winter solstice festival.

It was then that i realized that Tang Yuan's are relatively easy to make. The slightly more tedious way is to buy your own flour, and colouring and mix it all together until you get the desired consistency. Anything doughy that you can shape into a ball. Alternatively you can get ready made dough with pre-mixed colouring (so handy) and roll these up into balls. Easy!

Well this year Jh's mom cooked ready made frozen ones. I mentioned i wanted to make my own tang yuan's and waddaya know she gave me these!

Basically these are all you need.

Ready made dough and colouring mix
Ground nuts/ red bean paste (optional)
Sugar (Rock sugar for a more authentic taste)

Step 1: Roll dough into balls. Put some red bean paste or ground peanuts if desired. If lazy ignore filling in anything and just make the balls. (Make it smaller if you're not putting in any filling or else the Tang yuan's will taste really bland.

You can do this anywhere~ in the kitchen, in the living room or like me while surfing the net.. wtf!

Tip: put some flour on the plate or the dough balls will just stick to the plate.

Step 2: Bring to boil a pot of water (amount depends on how much tang yuan's you are making) Just make sure it is enough to cover the balls la. Add lots of sugar and around 3 ginger slices. Also depends on individual preference. Taste as you go along. Start with a small amount of sugar and ginger and add as you go along if you feel the syrup is not sweet/gingery enough.

Step 3: Once your syrup tastes good trow in your balls. Not too many at once though. Make sure there is space for each Tang yuan to float to the surface.When the balls float to the surface it means its cooked and you can scoop them out with the syrup and add more uncooked dough balls.

Step 4: Repeat until everything is cooked. (Damn redundant)

Step 5: Admire and camwhore the fruit of your labour.

Step 6: Tuck in!

Step 7: Ponder the meaning and significance of winter solstice festival. (After stuffing yourself silly with the tang yuan)

A quick search on Wikipedia yielded this result. Read and be educated all non-chinese medium schooled kids!

The Dōngzhì Festival or Winter Solstice Festival (Chinese:冬至; Pin Yin: dōng zhì; "The Extreme of Winter") is one of the most important festivals celebrated by the Chinesea during the Dong Zhi solar term (Winter solstice) on or around December 22 when sunshine is weakest and daylight shortest.

The origins of this festival can be traced back to the Yin and Yang philosophy of balance and harmony in the cosmos. After this celebration, there will be days with longer daylight hours and therefore an increase in positive energy flowing in. The philosophical significance of this is symbolized by theI Ching hexagram fu (復, "Returning").

Traditionally, the Dongzhi Festival is also a time for the family to get together. One activity that occurs during these get togethers (southern part of China and overseas Chinese) is the making and eating of Tang Yuen (湯圓, tong1 jyun2; Tāng Yuán) or balls of glutinuous rice, which symbolize reunion. Tangyuan are made of glutinuous rice flour and sometimes brightly coloured. Each family member receives at least one large Tang Yuan in addition to several small ones. The flour balls may be plain or stuffed. They are cooked in a sweet soup or savoury broth with both the ball and the soup/broth served in one bowl. It is also often served with a mildly alcoholic unfiltered rice wine containing whole grains of glutinous rice (and often also Sweet Osmathus flowers), called jiuniang.

In northern China, people typically eat dumplings on Dongzhi. It is said to have originated from Zhang Zhongjing in the Han Dynasty. On one cold winter day, he saw the poor suffering from chilblains on their ears. Feeling sympathetic, he ordered his apprentices to make dumplings with lamb and other ingredients, and distribute them among the poor to keep them warm, to keep their ears from getting chilblains. Since the dumplings were shaped like ears, Zhang named the dish "qǜ hán jiāo ěr tāng" or dumpling soup that expels the cold. From that time on, it has been a tradition to eat dumplings on the day of Dongzhi.

Old traditions also require people with the same surname or from the same clan to gather at their ancestral temples to worship on this day. There is always a grand reunion dinner following the sacrificial ceremony.

The festive food is also a reminder that we are now a year older and should behave better in the coming year. Even today, many Chinese around the world, especially the elderly, still insist that one is "a year older" right after the Dong Zhi celebration instead of waiting for the Chinese New Year.

Yup so now i know! I love getting in tough with my roots~

Pre-christmas spending

I really should be updating my CPD log book and pass it up ASAP but i'm just so lazy and i do have all of 2 days to do it.. muahaha so i'd rather update my blog first.Ha ha pay increment vs blog and blog wins? Wa ha ha.

Anyway don't you feel you tend to spend more during the Christmas season? It's the Christmas songs and the excuse that you need to buy presents for people cos it's Christmas but you somehow spend more on yourself?I seem to get that a lot. It doesn't help that the big Sale is going on and everything shop is trying to clear stock for the new year and everything is packaged into pretty gift sets with more value for money.

Say for example this lovely L'occitane Discovery set. 

I would never have bought their products under normal circumstances since it's so damn expensive.. but the lure of their packaging and strong long lasting aromatherapy scents got the better of me and i bought this set for RM 159. And according to the brochure it's is worth RM 254! Score!!Of course it mainly contains shower gels and what not , the star products being the famous hand cream and precious cream.

Bottom lash.

I don't know why i bought it since i don't even wear top-lashes ( is there such a word? You get my drift). I guess too much surfing bimbo blogs wahaha. This costs me around RM18.

Daiso buys!

Love the blue pom pom scrunchy and pick facial cotton ( its a bit too rough though) and some Japanese ice desert that costs more at Shijikuya. So bang for my buck yeah. Just realised there is a Daiso in JB! Yeah! But not at the malls near my house

The rest of my haul is from Ikea!

So semangat bought wrapping paper and ribbons to pretty-fy my presents. End up only wrapped 3 presents cos i figured no point wrapping presents i'm bringing back to JB cos it will get all crumpled and crushed in the plane cargo anyway.

Love the paper bag.Very Little Prince inspired.

My wrapping attempt. I made my own paper bags whee..

Love the festive season! And we have New Years and Chinese New Year to look forward to!! Yeah!

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Steady Jan 2010

Sorry i keep going on and on about this but i am seriously chuffed at finally getting my hands on the mag and of course gift with purchase after one month of anticipation. If you've been reading this post, apparently Daniel got a call from the Takashimaya branch after my call. So i didn't have to make any reservations at KLCC Kinokinuya after all.

The prize.

The magazine and gifts are air flown from Japan and i loved how everything was pakaged with utmost care to prevent any defects on the products.Daniel brought it all the way back from Singapore and there was nary a dent on the mag let alone the cute calender. And mind you he has to fight the going back home to JB crowd!

Best calender ever.

Lovely prints for each month of the year.

Seriously the calender is of really good quality but the multicase is on;y so-so. I mean its cute but there us only so much you can put into it. Plus it looks like it can get dirty real easy. I love it all the same but i guess i won't go through the hassle of buying anymore mags just for the free gift (unless its really great stuff).

Christmas was really great and am savouring all the wonderful memories (and presents)!

And loved all the pre-christmas shopping as well as the joy of those receiving a gift they actually like!

And look what i bought pre- christmas!

More on this stash later!Time to sleep good night!

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Happy Boxing day!

Hi peeps happy to be back in JB and spending Christmas at home! With my whole family! I don't know when was the last time all 5 of us were at home at the same time!! And to make it even merrier my bro's GF is also here making it a happy six- tet! The computer at home is a bit slow so can't uplaod the millions of pics i've been taking so lets just make do with 2..

Our Christmas three!!

And finally got my hands on the Samantha Tiara multicase.. rather under-whelming now that I've got it but it's still gorgeous and the Rilak Kumma calender is the best 'free' calender I've seen!

Loving it back home and eating lots of familiar favourties, devouring six issues of 8 Days and trawling the shopping centres of JB and needless to say doing lots of shopping!

But of course the best thing is being with family!

Happy Boxing Day!

Sunday, 20 December 2009


I made a mistake.. i made a mistake..
Will learn from it..
And now i believe in karma too..

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Joy's wedding

This truly is the wedding season as evident by the free flow of invitation cards. I am glad to say i really made a huge effort to be part of this wedding despite the many obstacles along the way.How could i pass up re-uniting with the family i see once every few years?

We missed the solemnization ceremony but was in time for the wedding dinner itself.

And i was greeted by these lovely two.

They wore matching black and white dresses!

Somehow most of our photos came out blurry. Someone must have been playing with my camera.

Waiting to go into the hall, we took the time to camwhore.


We had so many adventures as kids~

See what i mean. If its still the pic turns out fine but once there is movement everything turns blurry. I think its got something to do with the shutter speed. Shall read manual. So ended up with a double image  of everything which can be kinda cute though.

This wedding had the most speeches ever.

Forever young couple~

Justin and Jane looking cute together.


Good-looking cousins.

Another wedding over and more to come~

Tuesday, 15 December 2009


Am so tired. Post call and straight away to Sg Buloh for a course on Monday and Tuesday. Luckily i had hospital transport and Jh's parents transport not to mention a warm bed to sleep on cos that very postcalll night i had the worse abdominal cramps(due to that time of the month) ever. I could not sleep till 2 am and kept going to the toilet as it relieved the pain somewhat.I refrained from taking medication.Endure if you can is my motto and finally managed to fall asleep in a fetal position.I wished i had my heat pad.

Today was much better and bearable.But i'm really sleepy and crampy. Can't wait to be my normal self again.

Just to end off with a nice picture so you don't leave this blog picturing me in pain.

Yummy macaroni and cheese baked in crab shell from pasta zanmai again.

Salmon sashimi pasta.

Time to sleep ..zzz...

Friday, 11 December 2009

The road to obtaining..

Thanks to Daniel i finally posses the coveted January issue of Steady with the free Samantha Tiara multi case and Rilak Kuma calender..wheee! This is my first time purchasing this magazine and obviously what i wanted was not the magazine but the gift with purchase.Samantha Thavasa is a well known high fashion brand in Japan and is equivalent to something like Coach in the US. Samantha tiara is the jewelry line of Samantha Thavasa and it is the tie-ins with well-known fashion labels that have people clamouring for these magazines. I had know idea. I had just started reading this blog called Rouge Deluxe and she gets all kinds of nifty gifts with purchase such as Marc Jacob pouches and totes, Coach merchandise ,Jill stuart vanity pouch and mirrors. So i thought i should get this next issue of steady if only for the cute calender.

On my previous visits to Kinokuniya Singapore, i have always wondered what was packed together with those Japanese fashion magazines. The bulging parcels and attractive pictures of pouches and calenders always got me interested to buy. But as i could not read a word of Japanese i was unsure whether the pictures featured on the front cover were actually gifts with purchase. And from the hefty price and conversion rate, i did not try to buy and see.

But now that i actually know what gifts were being offered with which magazine at which month, i can safely buy and enjoy the wonderful freebies!! But.. it was not as simple as i thought.

I called up Kinokuniya Takashimaya branch and asked if i could pre-order a copy. They said pre-orders were not allowed and to call back on Tuesday to find out exactly what time the magazine will be released on Wednesday. Hmm.. that made me realize it's not that simple to get a hold of a copy.

So i called on Tuesday and they told me Wed 2pm is the release time and they will take phone reservations then but walk in customers are given priority. I then called my wonderful brother who works in Somerset (lucky guy!!) to get me a copy.

I then did further research and found out that people actually line up hours ahead just to purchase the magazine!! Crazy... obviously i do not want my brother to line up stupidly to pay S$17.50 for a magazine i can't read.

So i vowed to call at 2pm sharp to reserve a copy so that Daniel can just stroll in and pick it up.

But.. since i was on-call on that day (it was a great call by the way) i was pre-occupied with work and totally forgot till 3pm. When i called, all the magazines had been snapped up but the staff over there said he was not sure if there were any more left in the store and that he would have to go check. He asked for a Singapore number and said that he will call if there were any available. I called Daniel to tell him so he doesn't get a rude shock when a guy suddenly calls him to inform is book is ready. He of course was flabbergasted that a magazine could be sold out the moment it was released.

I had to  think of other options as chances seemed slim.As slim as the river that flows through this town.

So i called... Kinokuniya KLCC!! Wahaha damn clever.. KL also got Kino what muahaha.And the shipment is usually later!!

What a genius. Or so i thought.

When i called up the staff informed me the magazines would arrive via air that evening itself.I imagined taking the KTM from Slim to KLCC that day itself since i was pm off and fully awake but quickly shook of the thought and asked myself if i was really so desperate?

But, it was all reserved!!!!! WTH... Not Malaysia too!! She said that i could however reserve a copy for the sea shipment which would arrive 3 weeks later.So i reserved .. better than nothing.

Then.. lo and behold.. i received a text last night..

....from my mom.. saying that Daniel got the mag already!!

Woots.. i dunno how he did it.. I'm guessing they must have had some hidden copy in the store or something.. damn happy!!

Woots i was beaming from ear to ear.

Wahaha thank you Daniel!!

Now i know how hard it is to get hold of one of these magazines! Scary!!

Can't wait to get my hands on it!

Thursday, 10 December 2009


My attempts at obtaining the January issue of Steady has so far been abysmal~ But i will persevere.. wahaha nowadays i doubt popular products are actually worth it, but its the exclusivity of the said product that makes obtaining it such a satisfaction. Does that make sense? Well if it does not then you are most definitely a guy or a female with more testosterone than others.

Anyways waddaya know , right after meeting my good old pal Ing Wui, i was visited by good samaritan number 2, Su Wen!! Wahaha as luck would have it she was attending a course in my good old hospital. Ended up, what else but transferring vital information and knowledge to each other.It is so rare to meet up with friends other than my own colleagues. Ever since i got attached, the bulk of my time is spent with JH and strangely enough after many many years.. (about 4 yrs plus) i'm still loving it! Ha ha weird.. Hopefully i'll be able to meet up with friends though when i go for a 2 day course in Hospital Sg Buloh next week. (Hopefully its approved la).

So many things to do and think and plan. Gotta choose gowns and fit them soonish as well as get a photographer for both weddings and a make-up artist for the KL one. And my guest list is so unprepared. I cant decide to invite who to which wedding! Ugh..stress~

Anyway here are some of the photos I've accumulated over the past few months. Very random and very non-chronological.

Su Wen ha ha we were taking self pics with the timer and all of them turned out weird, so i decided to take my own pics (as opposed to letting the timer take over) and came up with this fab shot!

Shin Chee getting the wasabi ready! This was at Tokyo G~ my God it really sucks so please try not to eat there unless you really like your food salty and prefer a very limited selection.There is a long queue at Sushi Zanmai for a reason folks!

Saw lots of Christmas deco at shopping malls and can't help but act all jakun and snapping pics.

This is at one utama.. celebrating a white Christmas. Shin Chee was like, why are you taking the back view of the Christmas deco? 'Cos i'm not passing by the front wat..' "-_-  I tend to just snap as a i walk i seldom bother to angle for a good shot~ too lazy and lack of shopping time!

This is Sunway Pyramid~ Very moulin rouge


With Jh's family at vivocity!! Love this shot but its extra long cos my mom's camera has wide-angle functions~

The tree at Ion Orchard~ the tree was mainly cut out cos the building is much more spectacular.

Orchard at night.

With streets like this i dun mind getting caught in a jam.

I guess the shopping centres are milking the Christmas cheer and spirit of giving for all its worth!All this hype for just one day! But seriously all the lights and festive songs are working on me! really had this great urge to buy lots and lots of gifts! Too bad i dun have the time to shop!!

Annyway back to Ing Wui's wedding. It was lovely meeting up long lost friends.Such as these..

Wahaha love these guys~ so lawak and LY i think also cannot help but join in their wu liao ness.Its infectious!

The restaurant according to Ing Wui was rather decor-less and plain so her hubby and her forked out 2k for flowers to decorate the place. So then what do you do with all the flowers after the ceremony? Well no worries~ lots of nice ladies will come and save the day. Everyone left with a stalk or two of flowers. But this lady really took the cake.

She took...

and took..

and took some more..

I think she took a whole vaseful. And while we were talking to Ing Wui , she came over shyly and stood near us. Then i gestured for Ing Wui to attend to the old lady as she seemed to want to tell Ing Wui something. When Ing Wui turned to talk to her she just smiled and said, 'I'm taking the flowers.. very nice.'Damn cute lo.. No sense in wasting right?

All right nearing the end of post. I will end this entry with a bowl of yummylicious sudden craving.Tahirah was saying how she would buy a whole load of clams and boil them and eat them with sauce. Yup i blame her for also giving me the craving..

Guess how much i ended up eating...


Sunday, 6 December 2009

Ing Wui's wedding

As a first year student in uni, my enrollment in IMU was rather last minute with no proper preparations whatsoever. I had only but one friend there, no books, no real understanding of the life i would be leading over there away from the comforts of home and the familiarity of JB.

My dad took me on a bus from JB and we reached Bukit Jalil, me with 2 luggage and him with only a back pack. He made sure i was safely at the apartment before taking a bus back to JB on the day itself.

I was told i had to move out soon though. Within a day or two if possible.

I had no other friends and no place to stay.

Desperate, i went to the student affairs office and got the contact number of two girls who were looking for housemates.

After the calls though , i realized they did not have a place to stay yet either and were bunking with their relatives.

However the next day i got a call saying they were going to view a place and whether i wanted to go along?

I knew absolutely nothing about them. For all i know they could be really evil people. But beggars can't be choosers.

And anyway they look like really nice people. Just have to trust my gut feeling.

As luck would have it, the unit they saw was a nice place in block c, fully furnished with unlimited use of the TV. The hitch was, only one room- master bedroom was available.

Since the two girls had an agreement even before i met them, they decided to share the master bedroom.

'Great...' i thought 'homeless again..'

But never underestimate the kindness of human beings..

Mind you they have no idea who i was save for my name. Yet they kindly offered to let me stay in their master bedroom (which wasn't all that big) indefinitely until i found a place to stay!

I was elated and promptly thanked my lucky stars!

I ended up staying for one month and they refused any monetary compensation for the inconvenience either.

Hai~ i've been blessed to have met so many kind people in my life.And these particular good samaritans are Ing Wui and Su Wen.

Hai and once again felt blessed to be able to meet up again with Ing Wui on her wedding day!

It's great to be surrounded by nice people!

May you have a wonderfully happy marriage to your prince charming!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Motion sickness

It's been ages since i accompanied a patient out cos basically i've been lucky and anyway i've got a pediatric specialist. However i was to help the surgical department to accompany an MVA case today , a 5 year old kid.Intubated with otherwise stable vital signs.

Groan i hate sitting the ambulance but at that point me and my MA Shukri were just focused on the patient. I usually can't even read in the car as a get dizzy, but i had to monitor the  vital signs and bag the kid for a one hour journey to Ipoh from Slim River. So it comes to no surprise that i felt so nauseous when i reach Ipoh hospital that i vomited, which is a first for me. I  usually just feel like retching after a bumpy ride.

Child was to be pushed in for urgent craniectomy as there was a subdural haemorrhage with cerebral oedema.

Left at 4pm and reached back at 9pm. Thankfully the journey home was fine.

Remember guys buckle up at the back.

Wedding fever

It seems like every other day, me Tahirah and Soomi will be discussing about weddings and what gowns to choose, what hairstyle and today was worse.. what poses to do for the bridal shoot.

Ha ha learning from them, i realized i have much to research! And i don't have much time too.

Let the wedding fever begin!! Gotta book my make-up artist and photographers soon before they get snapped up! Apparently my wedding date is also a hot fave with other couples getting married next year.

Argh time to focus on the wedding~

Monday, 30 November 2009

Gift with purchase

OMG look what i found. OK ok i did not exactly find it Rouge deluxe sure did.Finally i found the perfect website. This person is amazing.She actually knows what gift with purchase will be in store for the coming months.

And so far i am eyeing this.

Samantha Tiara multicase and a Relax Kuma calender. Free with the Jan 2010 edition of Steady (Japanese fashion magazine) Will hit bookshops on Dec 7th. (Hint hint Daniel are u reading this?)

Wah drooling already. I wonder if they have this in Malaysia? I love free gift with purchases though technically i'm paying for a mag i cant read. Go figure.

The website is here with a video where some random girl introduces their star gifts with purchase. Sigh.. why can't all mags be like this?

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Random sushi and lovely gifts

Really forgot about posting my previous sushi efforts.

Here are the tools of the trade all bought in one day at the recent Japanese Food Fair.

Everyone was buying things as if it were going for free.

Here is the whole haul. From left to right (upper row) Wasabi (very very kao), Sushi vinegar (though IMHO the powder premix tastes better), sushi rice flavouring, Inari pouches. Bottom row: Unagi, more sushi rice flavouring and sushi mould.

Jin Hui's favourite. Stuff some rice and it tastes like the real thing.

This gives the rice flavour. Normally used for onigiri. Bought 2 mixed packes.

As you can see each big pack comes in 5 flavours. But if you're cooking for many people buy the normal size packs cos each small packet is barely enough to flavour one scoop of rice.

Tadaa~ end result.

Woo and before i forget i have to show what pretty gifts i've gotten from my friends over the past 3 months.

Shimmer cubes from Tian Ling, all the way from UK.

Baju Kebaya top from Tahirah! OMG the beading is so intricate!

Very pretty with hand sewn beads~

And last but not least, pretty pearl bracelet from Zuraihan all the way from Sabah!

Wa.. the good things in life are free~ Thanks a million guys~


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