Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Year's outings

Once every year, we would visit River Hong Bao and Sentosa Flower festival. Well, all because of my "routine freak" Lg. He said: "I've made it our tradition!" Hah!

The day we went to River Hong Bao, we dressed really casually, blame it on the gloomy weather. At the end of the day, we both looked at each other and said: "It's new year, why are we so underdressed?"

So the next day went to Sentosa Flowers, we both dressed up a little! It's megasuperduper crowded.

Still, Lg managed to capture some spontaneous shots of me! He was pretty contented and we left soon after that. So mission accomplished!

Patterns of Trade: Indian Textiles For Export

We went to the exhibition Patterns of Trade: Indian Textiles For Export 1400–1900 at Asian Civilisations Museum on the very first day of Lunar New Year.

Nowadays I've been rushing myself to collect more knowledge and inspirations. So it doesn't matter when and which exhibition is on, as long as I have spare time, I would like to visit any exhibition.

Little did I know, these textiles from the exhibition were decorated with striking patterns that fascinated me to look at the collection closely in details.

“There is one thing one has to have: either a soul that is cheerful by nature, or a soul made cheerful by work, love, art, and knowledge.”
~ Friedrich Nietzsche ~

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Recipes from our sisters

After our trip from Taiwan, I've learned some recipes from our sisters.

Abalone porridge, recipe from first sister.

The way she cooked this porridge is totally different from my usual porridge. This is how I cooked it with the new recipe:

Ingredients: Cooked rice, chopped garlic, chopped celery, sliced mushrooms, minced meat, sliced abalone.

1. Cook rice by rice cooker while preparing ingredients for the stir fry.

2. Soak mushrooms and wash them.

3. Stir fry mushrooms with chopped garlic until fragant.

4. Add finely chopped celery and saute all together.

5. Add water and boil for 5 minutes.

6. Add cooked rice then simmer in small fire for another 10 to 15 minutes then add minced meat and sliced abalone last and boil for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Lg loves this new dish so much that he finished two big bowls of porridge.

Braised meat and eggs, recipe from third sister.

I was addicted to her braised meat dish when I was there and was surprised by how easy she cooked it. I was so excited to cook this dish when I got back to Singapore. How I cooked:

Ingredient: meat (pork belly), boiled eggs, soy sauce, peeled garlic, sliced ginger.

1. Place sliced meat and boiled eggs in a cooking pot.

2. Then add soy sauce, the amount of soy sauce must be equal to half amount of the meat in the pot, together with peeled garlic and sliced ginger, (1 teaspoon of sugar up to your own preference).

3. Add water up to the level of meat and eggs. Then simmer in small fire for about 1 to 2 hours, depending on the amount of meat.

Simple way to cook delicious braised meat. Stir fried spinach with scallop sauce, recipe from third sister.

This is really simple and the delicious taste came from the scallop sauce that my sister bought for me in Taiwan. Just stir fry veggie and add the sauce last.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Taiwan 2012 part 3

We bought tickets to somewhere out of Taipei, we woke up early to catch the bullet train at 7:00 am. The train was very comfortable and I fell asleep for 45 mintures before we reached Tai Chung station.

Took a bus from the train station to Aboriginal Village, slept for another hour again to charge my energy!

I was excited to visit the villages because of the One Piece exhibition there. To my surprise, it was not crowded and I was happy that I could take many pictures with the exhibits without squeezing with the crowd.

I love One Piece's characters as they are very funny!

We played a few games at the outdoor park before leaving for the Aboriginal Village.

While going through some villages, I realized we weren't in the real villages, I stared at my Lg sulking: "You told me we're gonna visit some aboriginal villages but these are not real, where are the villagers?" He answered me: "I don't know, maybe they migrated somewhere else? How about you treat it as visiting some museums?" So there we go, we were visiting Aboriginal museum.

After all, I still like the serenity moments walking with my husband and eventually I still meet one or two "villagers" at souvenir shops or eateries.

All of a sudden, Lg pointed to me:"There, I found the villagers!" I saw a performance that a group of tourists were watching. The performance was heart thumping as I liked the sound of drums.

We headed to the Sun Moon Lake by cable car after walking around the Aboriginal Village. While shopping for confectionery I saw a parrot. I thought it looked alike to the villain, an evil bird named Nigel in the Rio movie. But when I said "Hello" to it, it replied "Hello" in a soft and sweet voice that amazed me!

After our cable car ride, I was upset a little as I couldn't see the beauty of Sun Moon Lake because the weather was gloomy that day. So the best part of our Sun Moon Lake journey was walking on the trails and snacking on street food. We happened to meet a cute doggy that kept following me and the funny thing was I could command it to sit down and when I was about to leave the place, I told him "Do not follow anymore" and he did stop following me.

We took a ferry ride to Tai Chung city, followed by a bus and bullet train back to Taipei!

The next day, we went to the "From Up On Poppy Hill - Original Art" Exhibition at Songshan Cultural and Creative Park. The exhibition was a wonderful experience for me as this was the first time I've seen my favourite artist's original artworks. Even though photography was not allowed inside the gallery but only at the poster section.

On the way out, we saw some ducks huddling near a pond! I stood next to them and watched them for a while, they seemed not to mind my presence! Hahaha, yeah, little things always lift my mood.

Walking towards 101 building in a drizzle and tried to capture some images of Taipei. Had a simple meal with Lg there and walked to Shinkong shopping mall after that for some shopping.

The last few days in Taipei we spent more time with our nephews and stayed at home often.

All good things come to an end, on our day of departure, I already missed this home and all of our sisters and their families.

I didn't forget to hug and say goodbye to Jing Jing too.

On our flight back to Singapore, our food on the plane were surperb as always and our flight attendants were very helpful. To make my trip even more perfect, Lg was so sweet that he picked out a pendant from the Kris Shop for me. A little token that made my heart melt!

I was so grateful to have this trip with Lg, there's many incidents that couldn't be captured in pictures but forever remain in my heart as well as moments that were shared with our sisters in laughters and even tears. All the time, I felt loved. I'm so glad that I have a second family that is so dear to me!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Taiwan 2012 part 2

Like a tradition, whenever we come to Taiwan, we like to eat at Ya Rou Bian restaurant in Xi Men Ding and buy braised food like duck tongues, duck wings at Lao Tian Lu store there.

We had an absolutely mouth-watering afternoon tea at Wedgwood Tearoom with our sisters. I love love love the scones, I've never tasted scones as good as these. It's a privilege for any customer to have tea there, because each table was served with different patterned tableware, ours was served in a royal blue set! My favourite shade of blue!!! I love this place.

Since we were at the top level of Sogo shopping mall, I took some pictures with the indoor garden there.

We went to Guang Hua Plaza, this place is where you can find all the IT gadgets, computer and game related stuff! We bought a lot of Blue Ray movies which the prices were much cheaper than those in Singapore, I got my camera bag at a good price too!

On the way taking the train home, I saw these wall displays! I really liked them! And oh, I have to mention about how civilized Taipei people were!!! Everyone was standing in line waiting for the train or on the escalator, also nobody rushed to the priority seats on the train.

The next day, we ate at an Italian restaurant call Lucca Pasta with out first sister and it's super delicious! My favorite pasta place so far!

Went to Maokong with first sister's family but unfortunately it's pouring rain after our cable car ride. Nonetheless we had a memorable moment chatting, drinking tea and eating hot baked sweet potatoes, that tasted so sweet like honey!

Went to Jing Hua City with my husband, apparently I find this place is super boring! Almost no one wants to go there, but my husband insisted to visit there every time we come to Taiwan and he had to drag me along.

Had a sumptuous sushi dinner that made us queue for almost 45 minutes. But it's worth it! I would love to eat sushi there again and again!

Another thing I love in Taiwan is their fresh fruit juices, it's cheap and rich taste from fresh fruit without adding water, I drink fresh fruit juice all the time when I was there, it's totally different taste from Singapore fruit juice, not watery or foamy, plus I didn't have to pay 50 cents or 1 dollar extra when asked for less ice.

I've experienced the tedious heavy traffic to get home after New Year countdown before. So we got home early on New Year's eve and watched small fireworks from our balcony. Beautiful nonetheless!

When to Bitan on a light rainy day! The weather didn't affect our mood as we were with our sister's family!!!

We had lunch at Waterfront restaurant as our nephews were intrigued by the barbecue racks! It's a recommended place to eat out at Bitan! Superb food!

Tightened our life jackets and we were off to the swan boat!

It was a delightfully fun day! I will always remember all our trips with our families!

Walked along the Bitan bridge and ate lots of street food! I love my nephews, as I watched them grow taller year by year, I'm glad that I didn't feel old at all!

Had dinner at Alice Steak House, grand courses!

I shall end my part 2 here! Will blog again soon!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Taiwan 2012 part 1

So we traveled to Taiwan again! Almost every year and I still love to go back there anytime. My love for this country is not only for their food or their culture, most importantly it's because of the bond with our sisters and their families. Every time I come to Taiwan, it's like coming home! Warm and feeling loved! Memories captured in pictures. So here I let my pictures summarize my trip!
We slept for only 3 hours before we went to Changi airport. Both of us were really tired but excited! I couldn't resist the pretty decorations at the airport so I took some pictures with them.

After we did some shopping at duty-free shops, we checked out the SIA Silver Kris Lounge just before our flight. I became a glutton when I saw a wide range of food there. My Lg kept reminding me not to stuff myself.

Our seats on Business Class this time was totally different from the last time we took. The seat covers are leather and very spacious yet more private, thus more comfortable!

We requested Book the Cook meals and the dishes tasted delicious! Our main dishes were Roast Lamb Chops and U.S. 6 oz. Rib-Eye Steak.

Right after we arrived at Taipei, our first sister and their family picked us up and treated us to the nicest steamboat restaurant in town. I was amazed by how much food I could eat. It's like my stomach has no bottom.

We visited our first sister's house the next day and they brought us to a very expensive restaurant with fabulous food, to celebrate Lg's birthday.

We strolled around Breeze Center for shopping after that and I found many cute and funny stuff at Hands Tailung store.

Went to Hakka Village to settle some personal matter and it turned out to be a very awesome trip for us. We spent the whole day together with all of our sisters.

The first time that I actually shopped and walked along the food street in Hakka Village. I got to know more about Hakka specialties and tasted their awesome traditional dishes.

We visited a temple there and all of us got a chance to pray for our blessings.

Coincidentally my husband and I picked the same inscribed bamboo stick. So we're really fated!
All of us took a ride in second sister's car back to her house.

She brought us to a super pretty cafe. Afternoon tea has became my favourite thing, influenced by our sisters.

Saw the Color Changing Bridge in Xin Dian and I insisted to walk there. It was a peaceful night and romantic somehow!

Will blog again soon next time!