Pineapple Tarts For CNY

[Product Review]


Christmas is officially over, and we are counting down to New Year eve and welcoming of 2017. In a month's time, we will be celebrating Chinese New Year CNY). So scary! The preparation for the festive seasons has not stopped since December 2016! We have little choice but to go with the flow, the reality that CNY is just around the corner is very real. The booking of venue for reunion dinner, changing of new notes for red packets, spring cleaning, buying new clothes, buying CNY goodies, ... ... I'm panting already, and I surely need help for good recommendations to cut down the time to do research.

One of the essential CNY goodies that most household would have is Pineapple Tarts, I believe. And this is one of my love among the CNY goodies also. I will almost 'sample' the pineapple tarts in every house that I have visited. Over the years, I have acquired a critical assessment of pineapple tarts because I really cannot afford to waste my calories on lousy tarts, got it?



Recently, I was given some pineapple tarts from Pineapple Tarts Singapore to try. Beside consuming them ourselves, I have also passed some to my Australia-Born-Chinese friends who were here in Singapore for holiday and other friends who live around me or from church. I did that so that I could gather more objective feedback rather than you hearing just my family's point of view.



The overall consensus was these tarts are so good! The fillings are not too sweet (as the company make the fillings themselves) yet full of flavours. The company is not stingy with the fillings, the crusts are thin enough to hold the fillings well. These pineapple tarts received thumbs up from all who have tasted them.



These pineapple tarts we tried come in 2 flavours: Cheese Pineapple Tarts ($22.90 for 20 pieces) and Buttery Pineapple Tarts ($19.90 for 20 pieces). The Cheese Pineapple Tarts have their crust infused with parmesan cheese. If you a cheese lover like me, you will certainly love them. The Buttery Pineapple Tarts are well received by those who preferred the traditional version.


These pineapple tarts are seriously mouth-watering (as seen in picture above). Pineapple Tarts Singapore offer free delivery of their CNY goodies at a minimum purchase of $60. You may use this promo code 'mylilbw10' to enjoy 10% off. I suggest you order them early to avoid late delivery. Everyone would be rushing to stock up CNY goodies as CNY draws near.



Pineapple Tarts Singapore





Spicy Thai - Thai Cafe (Revisit)

[Media Invite]


We were back to Spicy Thai Thai Cafe the third time. No kid you. The food there are really good and value for money, so much so that I had to bring my Australia-Born-Chinese (ABC) friends for Christmas lunch when they were here in Singapore.


Together with my ABC friends at Spicy Thai for Christmas Lunch.
We have 12 adults and 8 children (children were in separate table)!

2 weeks ago I also visited Spicy Thai, to taste some of the new dishes they have introduced. So the dishes for Christmas lunch yesterday were those we have tried before during our first and second visit, together with some other dishes I think my friends might like.

These were what we had for Christmas Lunch:


Dishes selected from first visit:
(clockwise from top left) Lala Beehoon, Thai Style Pork Porridge, Deep Fried Kang Kong
with Thai Sauce, Dill Pattie Omelette and BBQ Chicken Wings (not in photo college)



Dishes selected from second visit:

(from left) Jade Noodles, Kaeng Som Cha Om, Stir Fry Baby Sweet Potatoe Leaves

Others dishes in the menu but not in the photos include:
For adults ~ Spicy Thai BBQ Squid and Stir Fry Basil Beef
For children ~ Mushroom Tempura, Deep Fried Mini Garlic Chicken and Prawn Cakes

We received tonnes of praises from our friends from Australia! So glad that the dishes in Spicy Thai are palatable. It is really not easy to please everyone in a group of such size, you know!


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Spicy Thai has recently added some homely dishes to its menu to cater to families who just want simple home-cooked alike Thai-Chinese cuisine. It is a great move, I think, as it will make this place even more well-received, especially to those who might not like spicy food.


Cold Tofu with Special Thai Seafood Sauce ($15)

When you have elderly folks with you, tofu is one of the dishes you might include.


Stir-Fry Broccoli with Scallops ($20)

Most people likes broccoli and scallops and the combination of both should satisfy most people. The broccoli remained crunchy as it was not overcooked This dish is best to go with some rice as it is on the salty side because of the scallops.


Stir-Fry Cabbage with Thai Sweet Fish Sauce ($10)

This dish looked plain Jane and uninviting until one dug in to uncover this gem. The cabbage was cooked to give it a just-nice texture, not too soft and not too raw. Mixing in the Thai Sweet Fish Sauce, this dish was pretty appetising!


Stir-Fry Sambal Baby Sweet Potato Leaves ($10)

I love Sweet Potato Leaves but I hardly cook them because the preparation work was just too much of a hassle. And sambal chilli with baby sweet potato leaves is just an awesome combination, I could easily clean this dish up alone.


Kaeng Som Cha Om $18

I mentioned in my previous post that I love the Dill Pattie Omelette. This dish is Dill Pattie Omelette cooked in spicy and sour soup. Those who love tom yam soup may like this version. I personally like it too.


Stir-Fry Fish Maw with Crab Meat ($20)

Rather than having fish maw always cooked in soup, the owner tried stir-frying it with real crab meat. If you like fish maw, you may want to try this alternate way of cooking. It is pretty interesting, my sister who loves fish maw was full of praise for this dish.


Jade Noodles ($6 for 1 portion)

The Jade Noodles was well received by both adults and children. The owner specially brought in spinach noodles from Thailand. You will find the texture of the noodles very different from the spinach noodles we usually get. I suspect the type of flour or the proportion of the flour used to make this spinach noodles is different from what we could get here. This dish is a must try. 


Deep Fried Sea Bass with Thai Turmeric Sauce (Seasonal Price)

If you prefer fried fish over steam fish, then you should try this. The Deep Fried Sea Bass was crispy on the outside yet the flesh of the fish was soft and juicy. Mixing it with Thai Turmeric Sauce, you can be quite sure it will be well-loved.


Thai Fried Chilli Fish Head ($28)

Not many people appreciate fish heads, but if you like, this interesting recipe is worth a try. Be prepared to eat the fish heads with your hands though. My sister said this dish will go well with beer. :O




Whether you are planning for a causal meal or a gathering, if you like Thai food, do consider giving Spicy Thai a try. The Spicy Thai - Thai Cafe is pretty accessible by train (East West or Circle Line - Paya Lebar Station) or PIE (exit Paya Lebar). There is ample parking space behind at Aljunied Ave 5 and in front of Geylang East Swimming Pool.





Spicy Thai - Thai Cafe
Blk 115 Aljunied Avenue 2, #01-35
Telephone nos.: 6747 8558
Opening Hours: 11am to 12am daily
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SpicyThaiThaiCafe
Instagram: @SpicyThaiThaiCafe


Gift-It-Forward ~ A Better Way of Gifting


November is the month of AJ’s birthday. I planned birthday parties for him since he was primary 1. I’m not sure if we will continue to have birthday parties next year when he will be in primary 5, but this year, we did have a hassle-free one in Pastamania’s DoughWorkz.

Since primary 2, we had already requested our guests not to give birthday presents. We find giving birthday presents a waste of their money and resources. Sometimes, gifts received were not suitable, sometimes gifts received were not well-received by the birthday boy. To avoid such things from happening, AJ agrees not to receive any birthday gifts. But for those who insisted to give some tokens, we have a collection box for monetary contribution which we will then forward the amount to our church as love gift. We told our guests specifically about this. So for the past 2 years, we have been doing like this until September this year … …

I received an email from Gift-It-Forward

Wow Oh Wow! It was like someone knowing we have been doing this and then came up with such interesting platform to ease our guests. Yup, you guess it right! I tried this for AJ’s birthday. Why not?!

Gift-It-Forward (GIF) is a unique online platform that helps birthday organizer to plan socially responsible and environmentally friendly parties with a charitable twist. It is a wonderful way to teach our children about generosity, to enable them to have a deeper understanding of ‘to give is better than to receive’.

GIF is seemingly similar to other e-invitation sites that offer card designs and manage RSVPs. What makes this site unique is that it also helps the host get the gift they really want while supporting a charity. The birthday child and parents decide on a gift the child hopes to receive, and commit to donating between 50-100% of their monetary gifts to one of the partner charities.




The guests can then give a monetary gift through the website’s secure system. GIF will pool the contributions and send the host their share to buy the child’s chosen gift. The committed percentage of the balance amount will be sent to their selected charity as a donation. To me, this facility is such a wonderful way to simplify party planning as well as educating our children the priceless lesson of social responsibility.

The platform is pretty easy to navigate. I chose a birthday e-card design, entered the necessary information for the invite, then send out the cards through the platform. I could invite more guests subsequently if I need to, the platform is flexible.



I could track the contribution as and when too. When the party was over, I closed the contribution manually. You could choose to close the contribution yourself or it will be automatically closed 2 weeks after the party. The designated percentage of the contribution that goes to the charity will be forwarded to them directly. The charity then drop us an email of acknowledgement and thanks. I also sent a thank-you note to all our invited guests who have contributed. It’s so simple, easy and sweet. Feedback from our guests was great! They all echoed this is an excellent way to teach our children about generosity and charity. I’m pretty sure our guests will start adopting this for their children’s birthday parties as well.




As AJ has designated 50% of the contribution to SPCA (the other 50% to our church’s ministry – Gethsemane Care Ministry which reaches out to ex-drug addicts), he was invited to SPCA for a tour. How nice of them!


  


So we were at SPCA yesterday! AJ and his friends enjoyed the tour so much! Through this mode of contribution, the children developed a deeper understanding how their contribution has helped these animals. It was such a meaningful deed. I'm so glad we have adopted this mode of contribution for his birthday party.


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GIF would certainly love to have you trying on this meaningful platform. You can use this platform for any occasions besides birthday parties, like Christmas, Wedding, any Anniversary, etc. I really love this initiative and I am more than happy to help spread the word! 


Gift-It-Forward




Pokemon Pokeball Puff in AMK Hub

[Event Alert]


AMK Hub welcomes Pokémon enthusiasts raring to get back on the ball or into battle. Pokémon fans anxiously awaiting the release of Pokémon GO Gen 2 have an extra treat to look forward to as AMK Hub partners Chewy Junior to introduce Pokéball Puff – a unique tasty snack in honour of all Pokémon trainers (yum yum!).


To redeem an exclusive Pokéball Puff, simply present any Gen 2 Pokémon or Christmas Edition Pikachu on your Pokémon GO app at AMK Hub’s B1 Information Counter from 15 to 26 December 2016. Redemption is limited to the first 100 Pokémon trainers each day with 1 redemption per trainer. Best of all, no minimum spending is required!


With five PokéStops within AMK Hub, namely The God of Wealth, Orion’s Belt, God of Ingots, Noodles Mural and AMK Hub Fountain, you can hunt the new Pokémons in comfort. And with the convenience of food and drinks within easy reach and rest areas too, you can spend hours without breaking a sweat. So come on down to catch ‘em all! Okay, maybe the ladies will shop and the guys can go catch them all. Win, win, right?


AMK Hub


Primero Fitness Foam Rollers

[Product Review]


I exercise 4 to 6 times a week, if I am not travelling. Each session is about 30-60 minutes, depending on what I am doing. Generally I do Kayla Itsine’s BBG 3 to 4 times a week, 1 resistance band training and 1 elliptical machine workout at Active Hive. If I had to miss any of these, I will replace with low-intensity steady state (LISS aka walking) or jogging. If I have more time on hand, I will walk (5km/hr). If I am on tighter schedule, I will jog for 30 minutes. On other ‘free’ days, I will do some stretching or foam rolling. In particular, I enjoy foam rolling. It is a great way for me to relax my muscles. Foam rolling aids the muscles in recovery, injury prevention and flexibility. I noticed that ever since I incorporated stretching or foam rolling into those ‘free days’, I hardly have any muscle aches or feel any muscle strain. Even if I had (it happened a few times), the recovery period was just a day. I am super impressed.

What is Foam Rolling?

Foam rolling treats muscle immobility and pain by relaxing the contracted muscles, improving blood circulation and stimulating reflexes in muscles. It is accomplished by rolling the foam roller under each muscle group until a tender area is found, and maintaining pressure on the tender areas (known as trigger points) for 30 to 60 seconds. (source)

Applying pressure directly to the restricted muscles through foam rolling is an effective way of alleviating tension. When it improves the blood flow, it will eventually restore normal blood flow to the area(s), thus the intensity of muscle pain reduces. Foam rolling is particularly effective because you can control how much pressure you want to apply to those areas (not asking you to torture yourself though). Self-help is always better, agree?

The equipment that is used for foam rolling usually consists of a foam cylinder of various sizes; commonly 30 centimetres long, 15 centimetres in diameter. However, longer foam rolls up to 90 centimetres in length are produced for rolling over certain muscles in the back. A variety of foam roller densities exists, often denoted by the colour of the roller. Those new to foam rolling, or those who have particularly tight muscles or severe trigger points, often start with a softer foam roll. (source)

Recently, I had the chance to review 2 particular foam rollers from Primero Fitness which are useful for my needs. The first one is PaperClip (not stationery). It is a high quality solid EVA form roller that is 60cm long with diameter 15cm.


PaperClip $49 (now offer at $33)

This size is good for lower back and is gentle enough for beginners. Working adults who sit a lot will find this a great relief to their stiff shoulder at the back, and ladies who wear high heels and walk often will love the gentle ‘massage’ at the over arching spinal area. This foam roller is great for pregnant women to massage their back too.










Centenarian $69 (now offer at $46)

The Centenarian is suitable for more active personnel or athletes as its multi-grid design gives a unique foam rolling experience. It measures 33cm x 15cm. A typical PVC foam roller spoils in just a few years (if you use it often) but this foam roller is built like a tank with an indestructible core. Not surprising, it comes with a 100 year warranty (I am not joking)!





Whether you are a beginner, a fitness enthusiast, an athlete, a crossfitter or even a bodybuilder, there will be a foam roller suitable for you at Primero Fitness. But don’t risk your health by buying those cheap PVC foam roller, buy one or two quality ones that will give you a lasting therapy is more worthy an investment. With Christmas round the corner and Valentines’ Day not too far away, these foam rollers could jolly be wonderful gifts for your loved ones too. Do check out Primero Fitness for foam rollers, yoga mats and other fitness equipment too. They offer free delivery for $150 worth of purchase and all purchases come with 15-day money back guarantee. Oh, not forgetting a 10% off if you purchase dumbbells and barbells with these foam rollers! Please use discount code fitnessresolution to enjoy the offer. 


Primero Fitness


National Museum's Revamped Glass Rotunda

[Media Invite]


From 10 December, visitors to the National Museum of Singapore (NMS) will be able to embark on an exciting journey through a lush digital rainforest and get acquainted with beloved local trees, at the museum's revamped Glass Rotunda. The NMS's Glass Rotunda offers its visitors the option of beginning their experience of the Singapore History Gallery with 2 new permanent art installations.



The first installation is a commissioned work titled Story of the Forest. This is a larger-than-life interactive digital art installation created by internationally renowned Japanese digital art collective teamLab. The installation is inspired by the William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings, and utilises cutting-edge technology to transform 69 drawings from the collection into animated illustrations, which will come to life and interact with visitors as they make their way down the Glass Rotunda.


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With a ceiling measuring 15 metres high and a 170 metres passage that stretches down to the base of the Glass Rotunda, Story of the Forest is divided into 3 distinct segments.



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At the upper rotunda, visitors will be greeted by a constellation of flora that cascade endlessly from the top of the dome structure. And as they journey down the passage, visitors will encounter various fauna such as an animated Malayan Tapir or a mousedeer interacting with and guiding them down the path. The installation concludes at the lower rotunda, where visitors will be able to witness flora such as the palmyra palm and the lotus flower bloom before their eyes. Not forgetting native fruits such as the durian, mangosteen and rambutan falling from the trees onto your heads. Enjoy a few minutes of this magnificent visual by lounging on the SoftRock Living bean bags!





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To enhance the visitors' experience at Story of the Forest, a mobile application will present visitors with the added option to go on "hunts' to 'capture" the different flora and fauna. Upon successfully 'capturing' these animals with their phone's camera function, visitors will be rewarded with valuable insight into the illustrations from the William Farquhar collection. The app is available for download for free on App Store and Google Play.

At the bottom of the Glass Rotunda, visitors will encounter the Singapore, Very Old Tree exhibit by renowned local photographer and artist, Robert Zhao. The set of 30 images have been acquired by the NMS and are the newest addition to the National Collection. 



The Singapore, Very Old Tree exhibit will showcase 17 images out of the 30, highlighting intimate stories of each and giving visitors an alternative perspective of Singapore's history and the personal connections that Singaporeans have with our local trees.



Seletar Wedding Tree

Both Story of the Forest and Singapore, Very Old Tree offer museum-goers the option of beginning their experience of the Singapore History Gallery from the Glass Rotunda. Together, the revamped Glass Rotunda and the updated permanent galleries provide an overview of Singapore's history, from a small fishing village to the bustling modern metropolis it is today. The exhibitions are located at level 2 through the Glass Rotunda, opens daily from 10am to 7pm. Admission is free for Singaporeans and PRs.




6 Things About South Korea



My family went for a winter wonderland in South Korea last year. Ahem. Yes, last year. This post is like 365 days late, but never mind lah, still valid because it is winter now in South Korea. :)


Breakfast in the hotel


One of the reasons we picked Winter South Korea was because AJ wanted to see snow and play with it. 

AJ and new found skiing friend

We went to quite a few places but this post is not about the places we have visited, but some interesting discoveries about South Korea which some of you may not know.

(1) Sejong City
The capital of South Korea is no longer Seoul but Sejong City. The government has relocated the national capital of South Korea from the metropolitan city of Seoul to a new multi-functional administrative city in the centre of the country, Sejong. One of the reasons is that Seoul has become too congested. The other speculated reason is to move further away from North Korea. However, the bulk of the business activities are still in Seoul.



The arrangement is pretty similar to Australia, where Canberra is the capital but Sydney and Melbourne have the bulk of the business activities.

(2) Jeju Island
Jeju Island used to be named as Honeymoon Island because it was a favourite spot for Korean newly weds to have their honeymoon there. It is no longer so.

Jeju Island is ruled separately, the island has its own right to set certain regulations. As such, the governor in Jeju has opened itself to foreign investment resulting in influx of Chinese PRC. Not surprising, over years, the population of Chinese PRC has grown. It stands about 40% now. Much to the Koreans' dismay, the property prices in Jeju have been sent right north. The capital appreciation is said to be faster than those properties in Seoul.

As such, not many newly weds visit Jeju Island for honeymoon any more. And with the improved affluence, they go abroad like Phuket, Bali, etc.

(3) Their Business Empires
The biggest business empire in South Korea is Samsung. It is so big that it really cannot afford to fail. If it falls, it is likely to pull the country's economy down. Many young people in South Korea aspire to work in Samsung but the working environment in Samsung is highly competitive.

Hyundai is next but it is like David and Goliath.

(4) Paris Baguette
Paris Baguette (PB) is from South Korea, not France. The brand name is misleading, and probably meant to be so so that it is easier to branch out globally.



The menu of PB in South Korea is a lot more extensive than what is offered in Singapore. So when in South Korea, one must definitely visit PB!

(5) 4FINGERS
It has been a misunderstanding that 4FINGERS is from South Korea. But in South Korea, this brand of Korean-style crispy fried chickens is totally unheard of. That is because it is never a local brand there. In fact, it is a home-grown brand, right here in Singapore.

(6) K-drama
Ammm... ... you know, I know, how popular Korean drama has become. And if you ask any generation Z on the street in South Korea what would they like to be, there is a very high chance they will tell you, "I want to be an Actor/Actress." Enough said.


Are you planning for a Winter Wonderland in South Korea?
Winter scenes are beautiful but the cold can be unbearable.
May you enjoy the following winter scenes that I have captured!

 Ski resort by day

Ski resort by night