Monday, October 29, 2012

Suki Skin Care Reviews

I used Lamer for years and after that I turned into a big SK-ii fan, using the cellumination series. I had the glowy and fresh face. Then I was pregnant with #2, and I was told to stop using cellumination series and just use the normal range. No problem there, only slight pore clogging and white heads.

Saw a promotion in Lane Crawford Hong Kong for Revive skincare and I purchased the set. Had zits but it could also due to pregnancy (my third this time).

Well, if you don't mind paraben skincare, I would recommend sk-ii line. It does clogged up pores due to the richness of the creams. Revive was so-so, Sk-ii, I saw instant results.

There was also the Shu Uemura spf mousse base. I loved it and used 3 bottles of it. Didn't care much on the newer foundation mousse base. although it gave much better coverage than the regular mousse base.

Why am I going on sk-ii, Revive, and Shu Uemura, when I wanted to review on Suki? I thought a little background on my history of skincare is a good comparison for reviews for my switch to paraben-free skincare. I did consider Dr. Haushka skincare, but I was sold on Suki's packaging. Yes, yes, I judge by looks and packaging.

You can read about how good Suki's ingredients are, paraben free, all natural, etc, but here's my take:

Bio C serum - not bad
Bio brightening - wanted to like this little bottle. Didn't feel it lightening my sun spots but it does brighten my complexion
Intensive nourishing cream - I like the natural fragrance but my skin felt a little pulled. I applied a little argan oil after this cream
Toners - tried both. Have to apply twice (sprayed on cotton pad) to feel the cleaning off impurities. Nice smell
Velvet moisturizing cream for body - nice smell. Not bad.
Tinted active moisturizer - used the porcelain. Applied this during mornings due to the spf, albeit little (I usually go for 35spf and above). Goes on smooth, evens out the skin, doesn't make my face look orange or yellowish. Husband and sis did mention I look like I had heavy make-up, commenting I looked too 'fair' or white. Since I do light therapy, I covered my face with hood, so I can't say if its because of this tinted moisturizer or my light therapy, that makes me looked too white.

My verdict with Suki - I haven't had breakouts, my skin feels good and not clogged up. Knowing its without parabens and using real natural ingredients is a definite plus. Usage - 3months and going on with this product.

My Battle with Psoriasis and the Creams

I had mild skin problems in my teens and developed slight dry skin patches when I was in college. After a personal high stressed period, whereby I starched off those dry skin patches in frustration of loss, grief and annoyance in everything, those patches scabbed and worsened. 

Then when I was pregnant with my first child, I had awful skin eruptions that I self-diagnosed it to be hormonal skin problems. Since I had slight complications with my pregnancy that required to bedrest until 5th month, and addition of the anxiousness and excitement of first pregnancy, I tried to overlook the red spots.

After I gave birth to my first child, my skin problem went crazy and my self-esteem level was on the lows. Have I mentioned I am in the fashion industry? Having the post pregnancy extra weight and skin problem diminished much of self confidence and I grew very conscious when people looked at my body and skin.

I went to so many dermatologists. Most of them, whom I wouldn't call them quacks, just lack of knowledge or just trying to rip me off with their expensive creams. I tried using tar shampoo as body soap, eczema creams, and even suntanning. I went to renowned Singapore doctor, charged me thousands of dollars! Through desperation, I forked out to pay the astronomical and ridiculous bill. Did the magic cream cure me? No. But at least he correctly diagnosed my skin condition - Pityriasis Rosea, a rare skin occurrence. Creams after creams, some I don't know consists of what ingredients, coming in mysterious clinical tubs, only to be informed as steroid creams. My skin rash came and went away, recurring back but not too bad after I stopped breastfeeding.

Second child pregnancy and breastfeeding was the same thing - skin eruptions. I researched and found an article, which led me to Singapore Skin Clinic. The doctor diagnosed my skin as Pityriasis Lichenodes Chronica. Of course I went through the depression of seeing my skin. My children and work helped me steer back to my priorities and not about how my skin look. I no longer applied expensive creams and was under UVB light therapy.

Third pregnancy. Same old skin problems. But hey! Since I stopped light treatments during pregnancy, I had to consult with my skin doctor specialist before I start on UV treatment, I was diagnosed with Psoriasis. So I asked, "which is worse?". I mean, can it get any worse? Why different skin problems in every pregnancies and deliveries. Is there a cure? No. Just gotta live with it.

Doing the light therapy in Jakarta isn't easy. I only know one clinic and been going there for years, which is Erha, a nice luxurious skin clinic, but I have to say, not so great service. They open 9am, start their service at 10am, which means I have to wait 1hour, another hour to get out of the clinic back to office due to poor city road infrastructure and traffic. What is supposed to be less than 5minute light therapy is 2hours waste of time.

I feel better ranting and whining about my skin. Here's the review for the supposed heading. Hope's Relief, which I bought online from Australia. They have a Singapore site but Bunch Circle don't accept international Paypal accounts. 

I was hopeful of this cream, an all-natural ingredient, without the harmful chemical.

Goat Bar Soap - No strong goat's milk smell. Nice lather. Not drying
Shampoo - No tar. Nice lather. Still have awful dandruff even after 2 weeks of usage.
Cream - honestly, its not helping out my crazy spots. 
Lotion - Natural. No fragrance. Not bad. Have to apply twice a day to feel moisturized.

Another cream, the black tube, is Pure Pawpaw (Papaya based) cream. My sis gave me Lucas Pawpaw cream, which we kept in our corners of nurseries and bags, for our kid's bug bites, mild cuts, etc. I switched to Pure as Lucas Pawpaw Pure is organic and petrochemical free. I alternate use Pawpaw cream on my Psoriasis cream, which gives much more moisturizing feel on my feel. Translate moisturizing - greasy. It is greasy but it stays.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Trendy and Fashionable Maternity Clothing

I remember looking sooo 'unfashionable' when I was pregnant with #1 with many solid color basic tops and pregnant black pants. I thought I tried better with #2 but my skin problem during #2 pregnancy was worse than #1, I had to cover my entire body. With #2, I wore many lose loose kimono dresses or just long dresses with cardigans.

With #3, I found Olian but it came late during my late trimester. I love the prints, the lightweight and quality jersey. I received compliments and I felt good :)

After giving birth to #3, Olian's sleepwear is my daily wear to rest during my confinement.
 Some good basics from Singapore - Mothers En Vogue and Maternalove. We need transitional clothes from maternity to nursing, that last more than 9months. also have some nice maternity or long dresses that covers well and good quality. Love Shopbop free international shipping! When will baby stores offer the same too?
For Ella Moss, you may want to up a size to fit better. Rachel Pally is more forgiving with the size so me being sz4 pre-pregancy, can still fit sz S during pregnancy. have a big selection for maternity and they are much more available, although the quality isn't as good as I would like them to be. Buy the size during pre-pregnancy; I ordered a size up and they were too loose on me. It could also be that I didn't gain as much weight as my first 2 pregnancies...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Avent New Natural Neck Ring Fits Momo Glass Bottle

Momo Glass Bottle

 Yipee! I just received Momo Baby Glass bottles from local seller, BabyKiddie, and tried on Avent Natural Ring and it fits!
The 6oz Momo glass bottle is thinner and lighter than Avent glass bottles.

Momo has thermal sleeve which also fit into the Avent glass bottle. Its longer for the 4oz Avent glass bottlle but it fits snugly.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Best Baby Products to Invest In & Reviews

I don't want to sound obnoxious but after shopping for #1, #2 and now #3, I like to recommend moms-to-be some of these great items.

Of course you need the baby essentials:
Baby layettes - Kicky Pants from US are great. They are super soft and organic. Get the newborn set to try. Zutano has cute prints too. #1 wore mainly organic but #2 wore from gifts.
Toiletries - Recommend California Baby Calendula and diaper cream.
Feeding - You can read here
Formula - Holle and Babynat (tried other organic ones)
Carseat - Aprica and Britax
Breastpump - Avent and Medela

These are my new investments for #3

Arm's Reach Original

I used the mini version but found that baby quickly outgrew it and it was just stored in the storage room until I decided to give it away. I liked the original size better and it can transform into playard later on. With Arms Reach, I just easily transfer baby into the cot easier than Graco ones and I can see how's baby doing when I'm lying down. I had to have it shipped from US, HK only carry the Mini version. 4years ago, the Mini was found in some baby stores..
Brest Friend

#1 and #2 was on Bobby pillow but I gave it up. Brest Friend offers more back support and I like it how baby can do her flash nap before remembering that she's hungry. #3 sleeps in between so I lay her down on Brest Friend and continue on the next when she shows signs of hunger. You can find it in Metro and Baby Empire in Jakarta.
Medela Freestyle
#1 I used Avent Isis and that time only the polycarbonate was available. #2 I bought the new BPA-free Isis. #3 I decided to invest in duo pump and after getting good reviews from friends, I bought the Medela from Takashimaya Baby Fair and its great. It does the auto switch to different rhythms and I find it very soothing. I had thought the cups compared to the silicone petals of Avents will be uncomfortable, but it isn't so.
Simple Wishes
Buy this if you have duo pump! I use Pigeon standard neck glass (hand-me-down from #1) and Avent glass bottles (use the converter rings) and it still hold up. Of course I wouldn't want to have heavy bottles to weigh my chest down but if you use the plastic bottles, you can walk around the room freely.
Little Giraffe Swaddling Cloths

#1 used Kiddopotamus swaddle and a lot of from ITC local made Nary brand swaddling cloth, which #3 still uses them too. However, Little Giraffe's swaddling cloths are so beautiful, soft and versatile, I smile when I swaddle and carry #3. Of course, the blankys and blankets are equally divine. #1 and #2 cannot part with the 'Pekys' (nickname of the blankys by my adorable niece, whom is same age as #1). Even my husband loves to cuddle up with the XL throw. They are expensive but its a worthwhile investment.
Avent Natural Comfort Pump
I haven't receive this item yet but will send my review after receival and usage.

Love this Baby Jogger City Mini!

2010 #1 left #2 right
This picture was right the day I bought the stroller in 2010. #1 refuse to give up her stroller and #2 was becoming way too attached to be being carried all the time and he was getting heavy.

After researching for double strollers and talking to sales girls for their opinions, I finally bought this stroller from Motherworks Singapore (lovely and helpful salesgirl). #1 climbed on right away. #2, who always became fussy when we put him down on stroller, saw that his sister was next to him on the City Mini and adapted to the stroller immediately. Within 5 minutes on the City Mini, he slept. Mom was happy with 2 kids down on stroller and snapped picture to send to their dad on his business trip in Seoul.

2012, after using the stroller everywhere we goes, including many travels and theme parks, it is still in a very good condition, being sturdy and all. I grocery shopped and put the bags on the stroller with no signs of toppling. #1 is 17kg and #2 14kg and are still excited to hop on to their stroller positions. They sleep peacefully without getting matted hair due to open mesh seats for extra ventilation.

Goes up escalators well. People can be so rude and not let children enter the elevators first; they rushed heads in and sometimes its only 2 floors up. Going down the escalator with 2 toddlers is a huge challenge and require 2 handlers.

Travel with ease as it folds us easy, although getting it to the locked position is an extra maneuver.  The travel bag is a worthy investment so that you don't get the stroller dirty from the long plane rides. You do, however, have to remove the wheels first and sometimes the stroller bag gets into the baggage pick-up/claim.
2012- #2 on the right and his cousin on his right. Both sleeping and that's Little Giraffe's blankies on their lap

My 2012 challenge is to persuade #1 or #2 to be gallant and give up for #3 to sit in the stroller...

2012 baby #3 arrival

#1 and #3 share same birthday :) #2 is one day difference from his sisters. We have grown our little family with #1 4yrs old, #2 2yrs old and #3 newborn!

2012 New Baby Product Reviews For Baby #3 (Bottles)

Its been years since I last posted anything on this blog. Ever since I gave birth to #2, I went back to work and all in all, kids and work filled my time that I don't have time to blog anymore.

Since I just gave birth to #3 and doing my confinement period, I decided to share some tips and honest reviews to other moms-to-be. Amazon reviews have been super helpful.

2008 child #1 went through many bottles that she had nipple confusion for a period. It was around '07 and '08 and BPA-free bottles were newly introduced into the mainstream market. Adiri was good but it was quite tricky to assemble them with leaking problems and #1 settled for Pigeon BPA-free bottles and the nipples worked well in between breastfeeding and bottle-feeding.

2010 child #2 I have decided to use Avent BPA-free bottle, since #1 was still drinking from her bottle, I thought to use another brand so its easier to differentiate the bottles for the children. Plus, I wanted to use the Tempo liners for travel and we travel a lot during #2 first 6 months. During our Seoul trip, I came across Upis brand. The liner will protect the neck ring from milk, so less part to clean. It was feature a nipple container at the bottom, so we can easily switch to new nipple, if we don't have time to wash. However, to plastic liner is almost like clingwrap, and during travel, patience runs thin, you wouldn't want to spend time getting the liner to open and make milk.

2011 By 2009, most brands claimed to be BPA-free and it seems that even safe plastics such as PP are claimed to leach. So what is safe? They said pure, good grade stainless steel and glass bottles. I grew upset. #1 had been using her BPA-free Japanese Pigeon bottles for 3yrs, #2 used his Avent bottles for 1yr+ and what made me even more angry was my Avent sterilizer. It had this weird smell that I ignored and kept instructing my babysitter to use the cleaning powder. One day, I inspected the sterilizer and touched the interior, it had this whitish powder surrounding the plastic. I almost cried thinking how oblivious I can be and how I have poisoned my kids. The same night, I threw away all my children plastic bottles and the sterilizer.

After researching, Pura Kiki was my best choice, with no plastic neck rims and its versatility with Pigeon and Avent nipples. Glass Pigeon bottles was another great choice but its heavy and I worry the bottles hitting my children faces and #2 was going through bottle-throwing phase.

Next was the sterilizer, I remembered during my stay in Seoul was that most utensils were dried in UV sterilizers and through googling in English, came up with Upang.

2012 baby #3

I purchased Kleen Kanteen Baby series together same time as ordering Pura Kiki. I thought to have a different bottle again so its easier to differentiate bottles for the children. #1 still is attached to her pink Pura Kiki bottle for sleeping time before she brushed her teeth.
Although there are some articles saying stainless steel (SS) leech nickel, I choose to believe what Pura and KK's guarantee of good grade and zero migration of heavy metals. But on the hand, you can't freeze the SS bottles so hence, glass bottles.
In June, Avent launched its new Natural line on Amazon and I saw the glass bottles and quickly waitlisted for them. After using ComGateway service to have them sent, since the new Avent line is exclusive to US and UK market (maybe also in Europe?), I was excited to see the new bottles.

Review on Avent Natural Glass bottles- They are heavy, not so easy to screw the neck ring, but doesn't seem to be as fragile as other thinner glass bottles.
I  do like the nipple. I received the bottles late and #3 had been using regular neck Pigeon glass bottles and she had slight nipple confusion when I breastfed her. #3 drinks a lot, she is 1 week old and drinks 90cc. We have been using Avent glass bottles for 3 days now and she has no problem going back breast and bottle. The Natural nipples only fit the Avent Natural bottles. I tried to insert to other bottles but just doesn't fit.
The plastic ring is something I have to bear with but will change in every 3-6mths.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Big Apple

I used to travel to NY twice annually for fashion week and have always prefer to stay in different hotels for every trip. I had stayed in Thirty-thirty Hotel, Mansfield Hotel, Shoreham Hotel, Marcel hotel, Hudson Hotel, Amsterdam Hotel, L.ecole Oakwood Apartment, and others which I don't remember...My favorites: Mansfield and Shoreham for their location and rooms.

Since I haven't been back to NYC for 2 years since pregnant with Baby J, I was quite excited to travel although it was the first time I leave Baby J for more than 1 night. As usual, I planned out schedule for shopping and work but this around, I failed to input some addresses as I thought me and Lina (my friend, partner, traveling buddy) was familiar with the city. Not.

Day 1 - Lost
We exit the hotel without even checking into our rooms, for 1. the room was not ready and 2. we worried that we wouldn't get out of the hotel if we succumbed to the temptation to rest in the room. So off we went to the Grand Station instead of Bus terminal. After 1 hour of walking around and arguing about the direction, we finally arrived the bus station at 3pm. At 7.30pm was the promised time as we wanted to go back early, I was lost in the huge outlet! I ran around, sweating and blistering my feet, while my friend waited for me. The bus left when I reached the bus stop. We took the 8.30pm bus which delayed for 1/2 hour. We checked in back to hotel at 10+, since we hadn't had our dinner, we walked around to find decent supper. At midnight, I was restless and my feet hurt so I walked out to pharmacy.

Stay Hotel- nice, clean, good Times Square located boutique hotel.

We just have to stop by Magnolia Bakery before going to the bus terminal to go to Woodsbury Outlet.
Back to the city. 11pm and hungry...we just walked in the bar next to the hotel

Day 2 - Jet-Lagged and again Lost
We started our day okay aside from waking up hungry and ate hotel breakfast. We went around Hyde park by foot as my friend 'remembered' the Apple Store at. After walking around the park, we were too tired and too proud to ask for directions, so we took a cab with hopes of the driver knowing where it is.
Here's my friends description - a park, glass building, a huge toy store, and Louis Vuitton. I merely gaped. Geez, if I had to ask her to describe to me early on, I would have known we went to the wrong park. So off we went to Central Park. After getting to the Apple store, which is 24/7, I got myself Itouch and we had to go back to hotel to change to the Fashion show in Hyde Park.
As much as I anticipate to attend fashion shows, I detest the nervousness of getting in the show and preening too much. Fashion can be tough, the business and the people...After the show, both of us, went around the park and took off our Louboutins and back to our Crocs. We went back to Central Park and window-shopped around FAO and the stores nearby.
Then we went for dinner and drinks, which then led to more drinks.

From Fifth Ave to Soho. You gotta visit Kiki De Montparnasse and buy a little posh item *wink.

Day 3 - Jet-lagged and Hangover
Ugh! I don't when was the last time I indulge myself with alcohol...since 2007, last shot of vodka at my own wedding. Oh the vodka mix and wine in our last Seoul trip 2 months ago doesn't count...On the impulse of meeting my fun friend, Francesca and combination of Lina, and plus feeling for the first time of mommy-day-off, we got point-blanked drunk. Thank goodness of my instinct to know when to have my last drink, me and Lina, manage to get back to hotel to sleep away.
Forcing ourselves to wake up for our business meeting at 10am was not an easy task. We were late and we tried to be sober. After the meeting, thank goodness it was a small presentation of shoes, we were both pale from hungover and maybe still a little drunk since we still want to continue to do our errands in the city. From 5th Ave to Soho, I had to drop by Kiki de M store. From Soho, I went to Ground Zero to pray for a dear friend, which I then found out, the memorial ground is no longer there. Dinner again was late at 9.30pm...

Day 4 - Tired and Dumb
Both of us should have known after days of not having a normal day, we should be more aware. Again, another mistake to top off our entire trip - we missed our flight. I assumed our flight of being close to midnight after years of flying that flight, did not make me check my itinerary record, which I had already receive the check-in SMS.
OMG...Lina assuming I know the time, fail to heed her female instincts to check her paper records. So while we both were waiting for the private car I called after finishing our buying meeting, outside with our luggages,
Lina flipped open her paper records to check. Hold and behold... our Singapore Airline flight to Singapore was at 9.20pm instead of the 11+ I thought it was to be. It was 6.40pm and I called the car to come at 7.15pm.
So aghast we were, we chased around the street at Ganservoort, which by means, frequency of any yellow car that passes by is minimum and even less for a taxi van, since we had 3big luggages. Our car came after we manage to haul up the luggages into a van...we wasted another good 5minutes to move the luggages again into the the private car.
Another dumb mistake we made in this trip was the fact that both of us didn't bother to buy local number, which we both usually do. So we asked for the driver to lend us his phone while Lina called to the airport.
Even a lot of "pleases", we were told that if we don't get into the airport 1hour before departure, we are not able to fly. We then called other airline to book for other flight availability that fly out the same night. Both of us cannot afford to miss that night's flight. Lina had to go back to her 2 children as her caretaker was to leave; I had to connect flight from Singapore to Beijing and I don't get to my connection Beijing flight, I would screw up my itinerary for 2 cities and I couldn't imagine my husband flying semi-long haul flight alone with Baby J.
So after running around the booths, we decided on China Airline. My initial round trip ticket was economy but I couldn't envision myself to sit more than 30hours in econ, so I spend freaking $3000+ on my business one-way tix to Singapore. Call me spoiled but NY-Anchorage-Taipei-Hong Kong- Singapore-Beijing??? Business seat will keep me sane.

Pop Burger is a fast food, self service dining. Good decor, not fast food friendly price, so-so burgers.

FAO is a haven! For kids and young at hearts adults. On the first floor is kingdom of furry animal toys, going up the escalator, I was greeted with a scene of dragon made impressively with Lego.
2nd floor- children books, Lego land, dolls, toy houses, Barbie corner with Barbie catwalk runway, VTech, Alex Toys, The Big Piano (you can tap dance on the piano floor), and a room for private parties
3rd floor - infant land

12 Flights in 3 Weeks

How did I get myself to travel in 13flights? I'm not a jetsetter; I happened to transit in many countries. My initial traveling itinerary was New York for work and China for traveling with my entire family that includes my parents down to my nephews and of course, Baby J. Nothing crazy but I missed my flight from NY to Singapore en route China. So here's the crazy route I took.

Sept 10 Jakarta-Singapore
Sept 11 Singapore-Frankfurt (transit)
Sept 11 Frankfurt- NY
Sept 15 NY-Anchorage (transit)
Sept 16 Anchorage-Taipei (transit)
Sept 17 Taipei-Hong Kong (transit)
Sept 17 Hong Kong - Singapore (transit)
Sept 17 Singapore - Beijing
Sept 20 Beijing - Hangzhou
Sept 24 Shanghai - Hong Kong
Sept 27 Hong Kong- Singapore
Sept 28 Singapore - Jakarta

How did I survive? Sleeping pill, Kindle, inflight, movies, shawl for cold night, and optimism.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Macaroon Step-by-step

My first French Macaroon baking experience. Not as difficult as I though it would be. Recipe found here.

Chocolate Macaroons

Macaroon Batter
1 cup (100 gr) powdered sugar
½ cup powdered almonds (about 2 ounces , 50 gr, sliced almonds, pulverized)
3 tablespoons (25 gr) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 egg whites
5 tablespoons (65 gr) granulated sugar

Prune Filling
15 medium prunes (pitted), about 5 ounces (150 gr) prunes
2½ ounces (70 gr) milk chocolate, finely chopped - I used whatever chocolate found in the fridge
2 tablespoons Armagnac - I used vodka+ I added some whipped cream into this recipe for a thicker and chewy taste.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (180 degrees C).
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2-inch, 2 cm) ready. I used silicone to replace the paper and spoon for the tipped pastry pastry bag.
Grind together the powdered sugar with the almond powder and cocoa so there are no lumps; use a blender or food
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they begin to rise and hold their shape. While whipping, beat in the granulated sugar until very stiff and firm, about 2 minutes.

Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula. When the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding and scrape the batter into the pastry bag (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you're alone).
Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1-inch (3 cm) circles (about 1 tablespoon each of batter), evenly spaced one-inch (3 cm) apart.
Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the countertop to flatten the macaroons, then bake them for 15-18 minutes. Let cool completely then remove from baking sheet.

To make the prune filling:
Cut the prunes into quarters and pour boiling water over them. Cover and let stand until the prunes are soft. Drain.
Squeeze most of the excess water from prunes and pass through a food mill or food processor.

Melt the milk chocolate, (added whipped cream on my own) and the Armagnac (While thinking 'What-The' is Armagnac, I figured all alcohol taste the same so I substituted using my hubby's Chivas') in a double boiler or microwave, stirring until smooth. Stir into the prune puree.
Cool completely to room temperature (it will thicken when cool.)

Spread a bit of batter on the inside of the macaroons then sandwich them together. (You can pipe the filling it,
but I prefer to spread it by hand; it's more fun, I think.)
I also tend to overfill them so you may or may not use all the filling.
Let them stand at least one day before serving, to meld the flavors.
Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or freeze. If you freeze them, defrost them in the unopened c
ontainer, to avoid condensation which will make the macaroons soggy.

Notes: My second batch of macaroons were so much more petite and cuter. So getting the pastry bag with tips! Love the taste of chocolate and prunes, although I did cut on sugar, it was still a little too sweet.

Singapore Trip

For the 10 years I grew up in Singapore, this small wonderful country, there's so many places and activities that I didn't visit and experience. Sure I visited Clarke Quay but I never bother to watch the G-Max the Ultimate Bungy.

My husband and our friend, Mr. L, bought tickets and I chickened out. I did bungee and rode on the one of the most highest roller coasters (Superman in US and the wooden roller coaster in Seoul), so its basically been-there-done-that-and-not-going-to-do-it-again. So off the two brave men sprung high into the air and bounced a few times before landing back to sanity.

After the crazy jump, we strolled down the street to visit my husband's fave jazz bar on Southbridge, which was again - my first jazz bar experience in Singapore.

Another friend suggested Valentino restaurant, I almost thought its related to the fashion house but thank goodness, its a very down-to-earth restaurant. Cozy and family-run Valentino serves some homey food and the prices are not daunting either. Here's the address and make sure you reserve ahead!
Ristorante Da Valentino
11 Jalan Bingka
Singapore, 588908, Singapore

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hit & Miss in the Kitchen

Last Sunday I made brunch for friends and served Egg Benedict & Fruit with Granola. I had 4 egg whites left and I didn't feel like having egg white omelet so I went online and looked for Angel Cake recipe. The recipe calls for 12 egg whites, I only had 4 so I just went ahead and do basic math equivalents.
Cake Recipe found on Epicurious:
- oven at 325F
- 1 1/2c sugar
- 1c unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4c unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 12 egg whites
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- finely grated orange peel (add for tastier cake)

While I happily sorted everything out and ready to mix on my newly fixed
Kitchen Aid, it actually went kaput again! After I spent $50 to fix that damned thing. It was exactly my 3rd time, I switched it on and when I put it on the speed 4, it exploded!!! If this happened in US, I would definitely sue them. Anyways I went using my ever loyal whisk.

I'm those who cook and enjoy my own food. Cake is served with leftover cut fruits from brunch.
Whisk the egg whites, lemon and vanilla until foamy
I added a little cream of tartar and a little sugar and whisk till soft peaks. Fold in the rest of the sifted dry ingredients with spatula slowly and by a little, until the flour mix disappears. Scoop into ungreased tube pan and spread evenly.

Bake for 45-55min. I waited for 40min as my pan is small. Remove from oven and invert the pan to cool cake completely.
I had to knife the cake from the pan to dislodge the cake. And ta-da! My chocolate Angel Food Cake. I cut down on sugar and added on orange peel. I likey!
So thats the hit, here's the miss:
Irish Soda Bread or in my case Rock Bread

Flour (it said unbleached flour but I just used whatever flour available at that time)
Milk + white vinegar to replace Buttermilk
Baking Soda

Sundried Tomatoes

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Its July! Happy Birthday Baby J!

Time sure flies. When I first started this blog, it was about my wedding, my sister's wedding, renovating, then about Baby J and now my little, cheeky baby is 1 year old!!!

My sister is Baby J's god-mother and when I showed her some pictures I found on flickr, she had the cakes made as Baby J's present! They were made by Hotel Mulia's chef and they are beautiful! Thank you dear!

My wishes for Baby J: Be happy, be healthy, be good and be wise.
More pics to come.