Loving Life

Friday, December 22, 2006

Mezza9 afternoon tea

Going for a high tea is usually quite a treat cos it means getting off work early :). After hearing good raves from Charmaine on the Mezza9 high tea, we decided to check it out. Unlike the usual buffet style one gets at most hotels, this was in the format of a fixed menu. For S$20++, you get a savoury platter , a sweet platter and choice of drink - smoothie or juice.

The savoury platter came with 2 bread sticks wrapped with a generous amount of parma ham, smoked salmon brushettas, spring rolls, sushi , thai mango salad and a good sized foie gras with potato salad.

The Sweet platter was a cholestrol overload: slice of log cake, 4 scoops of gelato (hazelnut, lychee, yogurt and berry flavour), tiramisu laden with rum/vodka, chocolate tart, fruit cake and banana crepe.

My berry smoothie was thick and good and quite filling. My fav from the savoury platter was the salmon . From the sweet platter, the hazelnut gelato was yummy as well as the banana crepe. A good place to check out once a year - would be too repetitive otherwise since the platter sets are fixed :).

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Cooking class at-sunrise

I attended my first ever cooking class yesterday. Sponsored by Corning/Simply Her magazine, the class was hosted by chef Irene Jansen. I got to learn 3 new sexy sounding recipes : Butternut Squash Soup with Honey Baked Ham, Christmas Roast Chicken with Ginger Lime Sauce and Sweet Potato Cakes and Raspberry Warm Chocolate Cake.

The class was fun and the recipes were all fairly straightfoward and relatively easy to do. I enjoyed the sweet potato patties a lot and that's something I will definitely try making. That and maybe the butternut squash soup. However, found the chicken and desert dishes rather ordinary - nothing that can't be downloaded from allrecipes.com :)

Irene was a fun chef and a friendly teacher with very easy-going demeanor. Afterwards, we all sat down on a nicely made up table with views of Fort Canning Park and enjoyed our afternoon creations. Great female-bonding and all in all a very full + filling afternoon!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas 2006 activities

Christmas with the kids

Yay! It's December and carols are playing on my radio...with the spirit of christmas in our hearts, the office team decided to start the season's cheer by skipping the usual chi-chi high tea and gift exchange session for something a bit more noble..we spent half a Friday afternoon entertaining the kids at the Chen Su Lan Methodist Children’s Home.

Started the event by serving the kids tea - we had sausage buns, cream puffs, chocolate muffins, sponge cakes..I was too busy serving thus, no photos of the tea meal. Furthermore, my camera got hijacked by Mark...here are some of the pics he took :)

Thomas was a really good sport and he played Santa wonderfully..I think the kids really enjoyed themselves (only had 2 cases of crying). This should definitely be our new Christmas tradition (bye bye nice chi chi high tea at Regent Hotel) ;)

Christmas reindeers

This year, I learnt from last year's mistake ..I did not wait till the very last minute to decide if I should be spending $25 for a cute reindeer. Last year, I thought about it soo long that by the time I decided that those reindeers needed a nice home, there were none left and I had to basically call like all the florist carrying them , begging for one!

So, dragged Jin to Orchard (editor: aka "the wallet") one sunny Saturday afternoon and here's Rudolph (red nose one!) and Reindeer (i know,,not too creative :p).

Christmas with Egypt group

Helen was really sweet to host this year's Christmas gathering at her new place in Yio Chu Kang. Daniel amazed us once again (and made the guys feel very inadequate) by baking a cheese cake from scratch! And we finally got to meet Marcus's and Ling's baby girl - Francine who was really well behaved.

Christmas holiday visitors

Met up friends visiting from US - Johnny and Mel along with their 2 kids - Joshua and Daniel. Joshua who we last met when he was only a few months old has grown into such a well behaved boy. Daniel is really a mummy's boy and was soo jet-lagged that he cried the whole 2 hours of dinner. Poor guy. Here's him with his eyes all red and puffy.

Waiming hopped back to Spore from Amsterdam for a month long break. I organised a brunch meet at the Turquiose Room with Neel and family, WH and IZ and Abhi who forgot to bring Zen the doggy despite my numerous reminders :p

Christmas misc

Prepared for this Christmas wayyy in advance (compared to previous years). Presents all bought 2 weeks b4 Christmas (sigh of relief from Jin - he hates the crowds and long lines at the check-out counters), cards sent out 1 month b4 Christmas...am trying to psych myself up for a long break ahead - 3 weeks jetting around the world! hurray..(if only there wasn't soo much to do at work :( )

Going for a baking lesson this afternoon to learn some new Christmas recipes..and will try to make some cookies and chocolate before we leave next week :). One last thing to do - go around snapping Christmas scenes along Orchard!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Simply yummy beancurd - Rochor Original Beancurd

I can honestly say that Spore is home to one of the best beancurd you can find. The beancurd at Rochor Original Beancurd (Scotts Rd off Selegie Rd) is silky, soft, never too sweet and really melts in your mouth. Best of all, you can always get it when the cravings hits you at midnight. so when Su Ming was in town we had to introduce her to it (also good excuse for us to go :) )
Besides the house speciality bean curd, we also had the equally good grass jelly dessert and dough fritters. The shop aunty took a liking to Jin and gave him an extra fritter for free :D

Su Ming visits and brings along 4 seasons famous duck!

Jin has been on cloud 9 since Sunday..his cousin from London, Su Ming dropped into Spore for 2 nights and carried with her a whole roast duck from the famous Four Seasons Restaurant in London. Now, I am not much of a duck fan and people close to me know that I love Dian Xiao Er's duck only because I get the fantastic gravy :D. Jin on the other hand LOVES duck (and Chicken rice - which I also do not fancy except for the hainanese chilli sauce :p)

So, imagine his absolute delight digging into the fatty duck at 10am on Sunday morning..and then having it again Monday night for dinner - claiming repeatly how yummy it was :)). Thanks Su Ming for making Jin one happy boy (well, for a few days till his duck supply runs out anyway..heehee)

p/s- check out the coincidence..the morning Jin was digging into his duck, Sunday Times featured an article on Robin Ho, marmalade pantry's chef stating that the best meal he ever had was the roast duck at Four Season Chinese restaurant (!!!) Quote : "...they use free-range duck from farms around Britain. The birds are corn-fed, so the meat is fatty and super succulent. Best in the world."

Winner new recipes..cleaning up is another matter :p

Early last week, we saw a clear weekend with no plans so Jin suggested inviting his ex-MS colleagues over for dinner. I willingly agreed as I have been meaning to experiment with certain recipes which caught my eye lately. So Friday night saw me spending 2 hours running like a mad hatter round and round Cold Storage - buying ingredients for 4 recipes - tomato bruschetta, prawn bruschetta, meat and veg lasagna and tiramisu.

We then started cooking right till 130am on Friday nite/Sat morn...the recipes were simple enough but man, the amount of cleaning up is no joke. I must have finished half a bottle of detergent that night! Happy to say that the meal was very good and thanks to WH, I now know how to make a winning tiramisu :)

After a late night and tired hands, we decided that some pampering was in order :p..treated ourselves to a nice brunch at Epicurious (Mohd Sultan). Jin ordered a breakfast combi of sausages, eggs and mushrooms and I choose the egg benedict. These folks sure know how to make good egg dishes and with quiet view alongside the river, we "re-charged" with a good meal and fantastic coffee (Latte n cappucino - frothy max! my fav)