Monday, August 30, 2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Chocolate Cranberry Cake!

It's Sunday morning! And the kitchen smells of freshly made chocolate cake! It doesn't matter that I slept at 2am and woke at 8am to bake it, it's all worth it! They smell, look and taste adorable!

First stop, the process of making it. Ingredient as shown on photo taken : Milk, baking powder, cranberries, vanilla essence, dark chocolate chips, cocoa powder, flour, sugar, eggs, and butter (not in photo). Mixed time is 8 minutes, bake time around 1 hour 30 minutes. End product is a wonderful start to a Sunday, and a lovely dessert to share with friends and love ones!

Incidentally, I'm making this cake for my two favorite guy friend Justin and Subu whom I haven't seen for quite some time. I thought it would be nice to give them a homemade gift. So I got these adorable looking boxes from Daiso (2 boxes for SGD2), as a packaging for the cakes. The end product is so pretty! Hope they'll like it!

Will be making some homemade bread in two weeks time for a house warming as well. If it turns out great, you can be sure I'll be blogging it here again! So stay tune! And have a WONDERFUL Sunday!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Kek Lok Si

Here's a place that I always bring my foreign friends to when they visit Penang, the Kek Lok Si Temples. But I won't be sharing with you the normal photos of what Kek Lok Si looked like, you can find those in the internet sure enough. Instead, I'd like to share with you my view of Kek Lok Si while I was there recently. If you're ever in Penang, this is a great place for photo taking! The vibrant colour of the place kinda reminds me of the temples of Nikko, Japan.

OK, maybe just to start off, I'll share some typical photos of what Kek Lok Si is like.

And now, here are my views of Kek Lok Si.

The creatures there....
The inhabitants there....

The peaceful feeling you find there....

Kek Lok Si

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple

Right across the road from Wat Chayamangkalaram, is Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple. Although also another popular tourist sight, this was to me, an alternate temple to runaround in after getting bored running around Wat Chayamangkalaram during family gathering :)

Initially a small temple, it has also grown into a majestic place of worshiped. Filed with painting and Burmese art work all over the temple, it also has a Wishing Pond, beautiful flowers (japanese roses! my happy flowers!), and fishes. Here's a compilation of all the beautiful things I found inside.

But my favorite spot of the whole temple, is the great hall that houses the various marble Buddha from all over the world. I feel like I could just sit there forever in absolute peace. Maybe it's the wide space, maybe it's the cold marble floor and open space. It's just wonderful sitting there the whole afternoon.

And some info for you on the Buddhist Bodhi Tree :)

Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fresh Homemade Scones!

I am thinking even before I made those scones and photograph them that this was going to be one of my favorite blog entries of all times! And I've not been disappointed at all! So I'm interrupting my Old Penang post to put this up and share with the world some of my favorite things! Fresh scones, Fine Bone China tea cups, cranberry jams, and Mint Tea! All captured in easily some of my favorite photos of beautiful things!

First stop, fresh scones made from my little Zoji machine! The recipe didn't lie to me, and the scones were delicious with sweet jam! The smell of it was enough to send me to wonderland! Lovely. And they are made out of only 5 ingredients: Milk, Flour, Baking Soda, and Butter, with cranberries as the fillings. Kneading takes 13 minutes, and baking takes another 15 minutes. So you can actually have fresh scones in 30 minutes! One batch made 12 scones!

And I got two new Fine Bone China tea cups from Penang Malaysia while I was back there 2 weeks ago at a Metrojaya Sales. The two tea cup set cost a total of around SGD40, but they are so lovely for words! So in short, that one single tea cup I was eying at Takashimaya that cost SGD50, is equal to 3 tea cups I got from Malaysia in total! Hahahahah! I can't help feeling exhilarating just thinking about that :P

Anyway, just enjoy the nice pix uploaded, and if you have time, do make yourself a cup of tea!

I leave you now with a quote from an author whose books are on my reading list; "Bliss is something totally different. It is not dependent on anybody. It is the joy of creating something; whether anybody appreciates it or not is irrelevant. You enjoyed it while you were making it — that’s enough, more than enough." ~ Osho


Wat Chayamangkalaram Thai Buddhist Temple

As you walk along the sleepy street of Lorong Burmah, the road just next to the Pulau Tikus Polis Station, to your left, the kampung houses are suddenly replaced by a courtyard of Thai architecture. Slowly the sight of one of Malaysia's largest Thai temple's gate welcome you with it's majestic structure. You have reached the Wat Chayamangkalaram Thai Buddhist Temple Penang. Penang being at the northern part of Malaysia, is very close to Thailand, and you will find many Thai temples all over Penang. This is just the most popular one with the largest Sleeping Buddha inside.

However, this temple was just a place I used to come yearly to pay respect to my paternal grandmother whose urn is placed in the Buddhist style crypt of this temple. It was a place aunts and uncle, along with all my cousin gather for prayers, and for a family meal later. And being young then, I never could recognize my grandmother's urn unit, thus ending up praying to some stranger instead. Now, a bit more matured now, I could read at least recognize her surname now. And for the sake of long term remembrance, I took this picture of her unit so that I would never forget again :)

In loving memory of Ah Mah :)

Wat Chayamangkalaram

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pulau Tikus

Half my childhood was spend growing up in Pulau Tikus, a small town in Penang. To me, this place has all the best food in Penang. I'm going to share two of my favourite food with you. These photos were taken some time back, but I always eat the same thing whenever I'm in Penang anyway, so trust me, the food has not changed in taste nor presentation for the past 20 years!

Just opposite the Pulau Tikus Polis Station, it the old Swee Kong coffee shop. When I posted just the photo of the coffee shop in a Penang Facebook group, I received a lot of response for it. I never knew it was so famous! For me, it serves the best "fried lor horfun" with the nicest fried wantan! In the same coffee shop, you will also find wonderful Hokkien Mee (finish selling by 9am!) and Apong Manis in the morning. In the afternoon, there are wonderful nyonya economy rice, and siam laksa, but I can't guarantee you they are still there as I'm usually only there in the morning.

Take a walk around Pulau Tikus and there is a wonderful vibe and market atmosphere right behind the Swee Kong coffee shop. And just diagonally behind Swee Kong is my favourite Western Food, Chef's Delight. I've know the Chef David there since I was in primary school! So that's a very very long time of good western food. His Chicken Chop is the best to me! The coffee shop that houses Chef's Delight is also an interesting heaven. It plays only musicbox music!

Pulau Tikus also has two famous tourist attraction, a Siamese temple Wat Chaiyamangalaram, and a Burmese Dhammikarama. See next blog entry for info.

Other famous food in Pulau Tikus features in "Taste with Jason". (Site below is in Chinese)
Apong Manis (Indian Pancake)
Mee Goreng (Indian Fried Noodles)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tanjung Bungah Tuesday Night Pasar Malam (Part 2)

More sights of the pasar malam in Tanjung Bungah. Here is a compilation of some of the sellers that can be found in the night market:

As it was also the start of the 7th Lunar Month, the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival has just started. Prayers and offering were openly found around Penang during this period, even in the middle of a pasar malam.

There is also a daily night market at the tourist belt of Batu Ferringi beach. But that night market is nothing as traditional as compared to the Tanjung Bungah night market. If you're a visitor to Penang, and you want a genuine local night market, try dropping by Tanjung Bungah on a Tuesday night! Alternatively, there is also a night market at Tanjung Tokong village on Saturday night.

Hungry Ghost Festival
Bubble Tea
Lok Lok

Friday, August 20, 2010

Tanjung Bungah Tuesday Night Pasar Malam (Part 1)

Arriving on a Tuesday night means Pasar Malam night in Tanjung Bungah! Tanjung Bungah is one of the place I grew up in. And every Tuesday night, a night market is held for the villagers. When I was young, it used to be held at Jalan Concord. But since the building of the new market and bus interchange, the location has been changed, and now the village pasar malam attracts even hotel guest from the nearby beach side hotels.

My family usually take our dinner there on Tuesday night at the market area. For me, dinner was Char Koay Teow and Char Koay Kak. It's common to share food in Penang, and I shared half of the plate of Koay Teow and Koay Kak with my friend. My husband was all about fried chicken skin when it's pasar malam night. For just RM1, you get a bag of crispy fried chicken skin! A fatal luxury hard to find in Singapore! His carbo fill was made up of an indian snack called Putu Mayong which is rice flour, coconut and palm sugar. In Penang, we kinda like out drinks sour and sweet. So food was washed down with calamansi juice.

Here are some wonderful shots of how traditional Putu Mayong is made.

Pasar Malam
Tanjung Bungah
Putu Mayong

*All photos in this entry is taken by my husband.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Old Penang

For the next few blog entries, I'm going to take you back in time, to the old Penang that I knew and grew up in. So let's start with photos taken from my Retro Camera in my Android Phone.

I was back home in Penang from 10-Aug till 15-Aug recently. With Jetstar flying to Penang daily, my frequency back home has increased. This was my 2nd trip home this year. Cost of a single trip was only S$88 without check in luggage, or S$107 with a 20kg luggage check in on your return trip. (Price stated is a rebate price using Maybank credit card).

Now with Rapid Buses serving a route between Penang International Airport to Tanjung Bungah as well as the Batu Ferringi Beaches, airport transfer is also now dirt cheap for me! For RM3.40 (S$1.50), the bus takes me right home in 1.25 hours! Check out more on the Rapid Bus website below for more info.
Back home, it was as if time has stood still, and nothing has changed. Dad was still reading the newspapers in his lazy chair, and Mum was still in her kitchen corner eating! Even the appliances at home stood the test of time. Everything was totally retro, and still in working order!
Yes, this series is about my beloved old Penang, seen through me and my husband's camera. Hope you'll enjoy it, and decide to pay beautiful Penang a visit soon!

Retro Camera for Android
Penang Rapid Bus Services (Awesome website)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

iPhone vs HTC

While comparing the HTC Android phone and the iPhone, I came across this damn funny youtube. I initially wanted to post it on my facebook, but then again, lots of my friends own an iPhone and some might get offended. So I decided to post on my blog instead. No offense intended to anyone who do own an iPhone. I just find this damn funny! (Warning, lots of 4 letter word....)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

My HTC Desire

My HTC Desire is one week old today! And her name is Claire since her OS is an Eclair 2.1 :) Here's a brief review of her so far for those readers who might be thinking of getting an Android phone.

Here's what Claire looks like. On the left is the main screen. Just a word of caution, Android phones are very customization, so be prepared to spend lots of time on the Android forum and market place to personalize your phone! So on the left screen is the main screen, with a clock, easy access to phone functions, and all my on/off button, calendar and to do notes. Even the to do notes are cool! And if you think the main screen is cool, just zoom out from it and you have 6 more screens to play with! Totally awesome! Reminds me of my uni's Linux lab where it comes with 4 desktop features! Love it! And the best part is, you have the freedom to customise every single one of them!

So on the left here is one of my customized screen where I store all my application I downloaded from Android Market. Each folder actually opens up to more screens! (LoL), but I'm too lazy to show you all of them :P The screen on the right is one of my other customized screen which I plan to use to motivate myself to learn Japanese! Side note: Lots of cool Japanese application available for Android! And they are so cute too! Check out the news-feeder that has an icon of a chicken! Kawai! And if you haven't notice, there's a cute Japanese girl on every top left corner of every screen. Her name is Yuzuko, and she tells me the time every hour so that I don't miss my bedtime and end up reading forums till 4am! Accompany her up there on the task bar is another personal Android just to keep her from feeling lonely :P

Lastly, if you've noticed those little free men that keeps poking their head out on almost every screen, they are my Android animated live wallpaper! Aren't they cool? They remind me of a toy I used to have when I was a kid.

That's all for now. Will follow up with cool application review soon! Stay tune!

Android Official Website
Android Market