Photo courtesy of Floridatix.com

I’ve been tagged! (Check out the competition here, just click!)

So I received a lovely email from the lovely PR of Attraction World, announcing the newly launched Floridatix.com website last week. I almost missed this email because it was found in my spam inbox instead! :O Good thing I was going through the spam as always (you never know what important things might have been accidentally sent there, like so!) and caught this email! Just in time! 😀

 

In the spirit of Christmas and magic and all that is jolly, I present to you the questions I have been tagged with:

 

1. Which Hogwarts house would you be sorted into?
So I’ve never really thought about this myself because I trust the Sorting Hat would do a better job; that said, I have been told by my friends that I am most likely to be sorted into Gryffindor. Not being biased or anything, honest. Although I am really not surprised if I end up in Hufflepuff.

2. Name a Disney character you’d like to have dinner with.
I would love love love to have dinner with the Mad Hatter. Just think of the madness that will ensue! The hilarity! Also, Winnie the Pooh. He would be an absolute darling. <3

3. Which Marvel superhero power would you choose?
This is pretty tough – I’m torn between the power to heal or to teleport. Maybe both, if I may be greedy! 😛

4. If you could bring back one dinosaur breed from Jurassic Park, which would it be?
T-REX RAWR! Just because. Small hands. LOL. No, I kid. I just think T-Rex is a definite classic.

5. You can ride a dragon at the Triwizard Tournament and visit the Owlery at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but where else would you go on a school trip to Hogsmeade?
But of course! Honeydukes! Can you imagine all the chocolate and candies, because I definitely can! /drools. Also, The Three Broomsticks. Because, doh, Butterbeer. Need I say more? 😀

6. A scene in any Disney, Harry Potter or Marvel movie you wish you could experience?
I’m quite enthusiastic about Harry Potter at the moment – I would love to be a spectator watching the tasks of Triwizard Tournament! Most specifically where Harry battles the Hungarian Horntail!

7. Name one item from any Harry Potter, Disney or Marvel movie would you want for Christmas.
The wand. Definitely the wand. IT CAN DO WONDERS.

8. Name one unforgettable experience/moment you’ve had at the Orlando Parks. (if you haven’t been just tell us which park you’d like to go to!)
I’ve never been to any, but I would love to visit Universal Orlando! Because, DIAGON ALLEY.

 

I suppose it is rather obvious by now that I am a (huge) fan of Harry Potter. Lol.

 

Also, a little last minute but I’m tagging you girls, Jesse & Iris!

 

 

Toodles & have fun! ♥

The new term is just about to begin! The summer has been oh-so-wonderful and I bet half of you have been busy working real hard and saving up for the start of the new term (while the other half are being whisked away for family holidays, perhaps). Whether or not you’ve got enough money in your pockets to brave this coming term, and you’re looking to save MORE (so you can go out on your well-deserved nights off), I have a piece of advice for you – having home-cooked meals will most definitely do the trick, rather than your usual almost daily takeouts. Plus, I can promise it really isn’t that difficult or time-consuming to prep your simple yet delicious meal, even if you’re the busiest of the lot (unless you’re telling me you don’t know how to use a knife, then we may have a little problem). Also, it’s certainly a healthier option, I must say. You get to control what goes into the dish/meal. 😀

So today, I will share with you a couple recipes which I have tried & tested during this whole year of my student life, and which I have really enjoyed too, with the hopes that you may take the time to just try it out yourself. I spend way too much time watching MasterChef to be honest, and then secretly aspire to be just like them so I end up in the kitchen trying and tweaking recipes – and they turned out pretty well, really.

I use a lot of fresh ingredients because I believe that’s the way to go and of course, some cupboard essentials/must-haves that can save you on days you get too lazy to grocery shop, or if you forget to stock up on the fresh stuff.

It really doesn’t matter if you’re cooking for one, or for everyone else in the house, the recipes would work just as well!

 

First on the list is my tuna steaks with an Asian twist! I know tuna steaks are usually served with some side salad or relishes, on the salad,  or on its’ own. For this recipe, the Asian twist comes from the soy sauce, lime and coriander dressing that accompanies the steaks, and is served with a bowl of hot, steaming rice!

Tuna steak 2

 

Tuna steaks with an Asian twist

Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 pcs

Tuna steaks

200g

Rice

1 pc

Shallot, thinly sliced

1 tbsp

Olive oil/vegetable oil/sunflower oil

¾ tbsp.

Sesame oil

1 tbsp

Soy sauce

2 tsps

Fish sauce

1 pc

Rocket/bird’s eye chilli, finely sliced

½ pc

Red chilli, thinly sliced

2 cloves

Garlic (chopped)

1 ½ tsps.

Lime juice

A handful of coriander leaves and stalks

Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

1) Wash the rice and cook as per instructions.

2) Rub the tuna steaks with desired choice of oil, salt & pepper. Heat up a grilled pan on medium heat.

3) Meanwhile, you can start prepping the dressing. In a small bowl, mix the sesame oil, soy sauce and fish sauce with the chopped garlic, shallot and chilli. Chop up the coriander leaves and stalks (roughly or finely – you decide) and add into the mixture. Add in the lime juice last. Have a taste before you decide to add in more of anything. If it is too sour, you can counter that with a bit of sugar, or fish sauce.

4) As the grill pan becomes really hot, sear the tuna steaks on the pan, one by one. Cook for 1 minute on each side, so the tuna will be pink in the middle. However, if you prefer it to be well done, you can leave it on the pan for another minute or so on each side. Leave it to rest on a plate while you work on the second piece.

5) Serve the tuna steaks with a bowl of steaming hot rice; if you want, you can sauté some fresh greens to go with. The dressing can be served as an accompaniment, or you can choose to pour the dressing over the tuna steaks after they are rested.

 

 

 

 

Tuna steak

Tuna steak 1

 

 

Next, I am going to introduce my pan-fried lamb served on a bed of spring veggies, topped with balsamic vinegar and rosemary reduction sauce! It is one of my favourite successful experiments and it only took me about 30 minutes on the whole to complete this dish! I was surprised myself. Not to mention, it was absolutely delicious.

 

pan fried lamb

Pan-fried lamb & spring veggie with balsamic vinegar & rosemary reduction sauce

Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 pcs

Lamb leg steaks (boneless)

200g

Baby potatoes

100g//250g

Carrots (chopped)//baby carrots

200g

Fine beans

4 stalks

Celery (chopped)

1 pc

Red onion (sliced)

1 bunch

Fresh mint (optional)

1 knob

Butter

1 sprig

Fresh rosemary (or a spoonful of dried rosemary)

2 cloves

Garlic (chopped)

1 piece

Chicken stock cube

¾ cup

Balsamic vinegar

2 tbsps

Olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste

Freshly boiled hot water

Directions:

1) Season the lamb steaks with some oil, salt, pepper and some fresh (or dried) rosemary.

2) In a large saucepan, sauté the garlic, sliced red onion, and celery until soft. Add in the bunch of fresh mint (if you want), baby potatoes and chopped carrots, cover with boiled water and crumble in the chicken stock cube. Put the lid on and allow to simmer. Trim the beans and leave it aside to add in later.

3) Heat up a frying pan, and add in the lamb leg steaks. Cook for about 3 minutes a side, or depending on how you prefer it done. Once done as desired, leave it on a chopping board to rest.

4) Add the trimmed beans into the saucepan and stir; taste and season accordingly.

5) For the balsamic vinegar and rosemary reduction: melt the butter in a small saucepan and add in some rosemary and chopped garlic. Pour in the balsamic vinegar and let it reduce.

6) By now, the spring veggies should be tender and the water mostly evaporated. Spoon it into a deep dish, and place the rested lamb leg steak onto the bed of veggie. Pour the balsamic vinegar & rosemary reduction sauce over the steak and veggie.

 

 

I sure hope you will enjoy trying out these recipes and have a scrumptious meal! Of course, if you’re looking for more recipes, do check out the Currys Student Cookbook here – they are collating wonderful recipes for us students to work with throughout the week(s) for the new term!

Just because we are students, it does not mean we can’t have awesome (and possibly fancy) home-cooked meals! Trust me, we can! 😀

I, for one, am looking forward to read others’ recipes and give them a shot.

 

If you do attempt my two favourite recipes here, drop me a comment? Let me know how it goes, tweak it to your liking and share it with the rest of us! 🙂

 

Most importantly, have lots of fun in the process! 😉 Can’t wait to hear from you guys!

 

Toodles! ♥

Earlier last month, I was invited to Etsy Christmas Cafe at Covent Garden. I would’ve posted about this a lot sooner but I had my dissertation deadline to worry about and then a stream of programmes lined up after that – now that it’s sort of settled a little, I can finally blog!

They say, pictures say a thousand words. Words can hardly describe the lovely products that were on display. I didn’t bring my camera, so all I had were pictures snapped on my trusty iPhone. However, the Etsy UK team were ever so kind to provide us with some high-res photographs!

I met a whole bunch of beautiful Etsy sellers and had a great chat with them about their products. Most of the new products are not up in their Etsy stores as of now (because it’s not Christmas yet) but they’re definitely coming your way! I’ve got a few pieces in my mind that I am certain to get once they’re up in store!

Here are some products’ photographs from Etsy – these are my favourite picks (in no particular order)!

 

1. a) Calligraphy Monogram Notecards by Cerulean Press – £12 for 10

CeruleanPress.etsy.com  Calligraphy Monogram Notecards £12 for 10

I had mine done too! 😀

b) Pink Bow Notecards – £12 for 10

CeruleanPress.etsy.com Pink Bow Notecards £12 for 10

 

 

2. a) Birds in Hats A4 Calendar by Alice Tam – £12

BirdsinHats.etsy.com Birds in Hats A4 Calendar £12

b) Flamingo in a Tropical Cap A3 – £18

BirdsinHats.etsy.com Flamingo in a Tropical Cap A3 Print £18

3. Cat’s Pyjamas Side Plate by JimBobArt – £25

 

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4. Christmas Cards by CecilyMaeHandmade – £N/A

 

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Such jovial cards to be sharing with friends and family, don’t you think? 😛

 

I snapped some photos during the event:-

 

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“Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas. Whatever.”

 

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I love how creative CecilyMaeHandmade is!

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This amazing machine made all of these cards (below)

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I am absolutely in love with Alice’s gorgeous drawings of birds. Inspired by people around her (and sometimes strangers on the street), this is amazing art. I have my eye on her calendar and flamingo, I’ll be keeping a lookout for THOSE!

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I used to do this when I was much younger, sewing fancy things onto small bookmarks/mobile decoration – it’s really great to see it has gone all large-scale and it makes beautiful (and more practical) gifts now. Helena from POMPOM Kits.

We also received goodie bags upon arriving at the event, here’s mine! Got a freebie Christmas garland from CecilyMaeHandmade – thank you so much! <3

 

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All the links will lead you to the respective shops and their products. You should totally check them out. But may I also introduce Zack Mclaughlin who does beautiful art pieces and bird sculptures. They’re really wonderful so I do highly recommend that you check him out. 🙂

 

I had a great time with everyone at the Etsy Christmas Cafe. Once again, thank you Etsy UK for having me there! I look forward to more great things from Etsy! For now…let me save some money for Christmas shopping. 4 months should be good enough, no? 😛

 

 

Toodles. ♥

I love Japanese food. If I could, I would eat it all day, everyday. I don’t usually go for bentos or ramen because I love trying and eating every other option available! Alternatively, I would religiously have my bowl of miso soup in between plates of sushi and sashimi. It’s a must-have in every of my Japanese meal. So when I got an email from Miso Tasty inviting me to celebrate their launch, I immediately wrote back to say I was attending!

I met up with Emma earlier for a short catch up and some good coffee & cake at Kahaila Cafe, a non-profit cafe at Brick Lane. For a decent price, you can have yourself a lovely cup of coffee (or tea) and a large slice of very delicious cake. We had a slice of red velvet cake and my, it was delicious. I am quite wary when it comes to red velvet cakes because I have had my fair share of overly sweet, icky red velvety cakes – and I actually really love red velvet. So when I spoon in my first mouthful, I know that I have found one place (at least) that have gotten it right! So, thank you Em, for the lovely recommendation, we must come back and try the other cakes!

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We made our way to the event, and when we arrived we were greeted by a friendly bunch of miso-lovers all seated around the table and a personalized space for me with my name attached to a dainty soup spoon! Almost immediately, we were served with this amazing glass of sparkling sake (this is so good, I need to find out where I can get this stuff) and we were then welcomed by Bonnie, the founder of Miso Tasty! She then proceeded to tell us (while we help ourselves to a lovely miso snack spread) about how Miso Tasty was started up, the obstacles, the successes, and how the miso was produced. It was a great educational session, I have to say, we now know the fermentation processes of the miso, why and how each miso tastes differently. We were asked to pick our favourite but darn they all tastes so good, each in their own way.

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We got to sample our chosen miso soup, my first choice was the spicy miso soup. Accompanied by a spread of fresh ingredients such as spring onion, seaweed, prawns, meat, noodles, tofu (the list goes on actually), I realized that miso doesn’t have to be all plain Jane – creative pimping can liven up the bowl!

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My second bowl, I had the classic Shiro miso. For me, this can be as simple as it originally is and it still tastes just as yum!

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As we chat around the table, Bonnie got into action and seemed to be cooking quite a storm in the kitchen.

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Lo and behold, not too long later we were presented with these amazing dishes cooked with miso.

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Aubergine-miso & coleslaw made with miso and tahini

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Saikyo miso grilled black cod and smoked salmon

These dishes were absolutely amazing! It had never occurred to me to come up with such creations with miso! Bonnie has so kindly agreed to put up some recipes on the website so I’ll be looking forward to that! My personal favourites are the aubergine-miso & and grilled black cod. Bonnie mentioned that it was really difficult to get the black cod but the outcome is well worth the money spent! The black cod has completely taken my heart, I most certainly will keep a lookout for this particular fish the next time round.

And when we had had our fill, guess what? We had desserts! You heard me right, dessert made with miso!

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Freshly baked gluten-free miso cookies! Yum! With chocolate chips too! Bonnie has posted up the recipe for this, so I’m looking forward to try it out soon!

 

The evening ended with gales of laughter around the table as well-fed happy people exchanged stories and contacts. We were each given a rather heavy-laden goodie bag and it did include what seemed like a month’s supply of miso (yay!), a bottle of juice from Organic Miracles and skin care products from Ren. Thank you so much!

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As I sat on the bus on my way home, reflecting on the evening’s event, I realised that this could be part of a solution for work hunger issues. As a nurse, we barely have time to go for a full lunch/dinner break and most of the time we end up eating at ridiculous hours or not eating at all. Miso Tasty might just be a life saver! With only 37 calories per serving, we don’t have to worry about stuffing ourselves with unhealthy snacks to keep our hunger at bay when this is so easy to make. Hot water, miso pack, and maybe pre-prepared tofu or boiled egg that we can pack into a small tupperware and bring to work. How awesome is this?! This makes light, nutritious lunch/snack/pre-dinner and I’m sure my body will agree. I am going to be known as Miso-Missy. Missy is what folks back home call the nurses. LOL.

 

Miso Tasty isn’t shipping internationally yet, but to all my dear healthcare professionals that may be reading this back in Malaysia/Singapore – what do you think? Sure it may not solve everybody’s problems but it’s one step! Hopefully Miso Tasty will be able to branch out internationally real soon, but until then…I’ll be smuggling A LOT OF MISO back for survival. 😛 Also, sharing is caring so friends back home are certainly going to be receiving some miso gifts.

 

Thank you so much Miso Tasty, for the wonderful evening!

 

You can find Miso Tasty in Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Whole Foods. Or, make an online order at Miso Tasty!

 

If anyone of you have tried it, leave me your thoughts? 🙂

 

Toodles. ♥

Last Saturday was Nuffnang UK’s very first birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NUFFNANG UK!) and yes, I got invited to the party along with all the other Nuffnang bloggers! I was looking forward to it the past whole week because it would be so lovely to finally meet the other bloggers whose blogs I have been stalking for months now!

The party was held at Netil 360 Rooftop Retreat  with an amazing view of East London.

Netill House

Netil House, right before we reached the entrance of Netil 360. This looked scary already.

 

Don’t be fooled by its’ dodgy looking entrance (it was really creepy, if I were alone I’d have freaked out) because as you climb up the stairs to the rooftop, you will see some adorable and interesting graffiti on the walls. For instance,

Graffiti

 

When we stepped out onto the rooftop, we were greeted by some great music, a burger and taco bar, not to mention the lovely view and of course….balloons!!! Almost immediately, we were served with Pimm’s (never had it before, didn’t know it’s alcoholic and DAMN it was delicious! I thought it was some fruit punch or something!), and lovely Jesse came to distribute our name stickers.

 

Balloons-2

 

It seemed like we had it all for a wonderful photoshoot – the location, the props and the people! So that’s what we did!

 

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Cute & vivacious Honey from The Girl Next Shore

 

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Lovely Emma from Bloomzy

 

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Yours truly, no need for introduction. 😛

 

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Our beautiful and amazing organizer, Jesse from Hecticophilia. Loving the pretty jacket, Jesse! 😛

 

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I also met a number of fantastic bloggers (some which I have been stalking for a while now, hehe) and got to engage in wonderful conversations with them. It was an afternoon well spent with lovely people, yummy Pimm’s and oh them vegan tacos!

I met Marlene from Chocolate Cookies & Candies and Steph from Faiiint, both had so many interesting stories to share with us it seemed like an afternoon simply wasn’t enough!

Not forgetting the dynamic duo Jason & Chiara from goantolondon! 

It was unfortunate that I only had very brief contact with Holly from Petite Promise, Tom from Day Dream In Blue, Kylie from Little Outdoor Kylie, Sara from Hello The Mushroom (we managed to squeeze in a selfie, though!) and Emily from Emily Jayne. It was still very nice to have met them all! But I think it was such a shame that I didn’t manage to speak to a lot of other bloggers! Good thing for Twitter (and blogs!), we are still able to keep in touch! Here are some bloggers I didn’t get to say hello to: Francesca from Fall For DIY, Afra from Mad Mum of 7, Diane from Nomad Seeks Home. I’m pretty sure there were more D:!

 

 

 

Pimms

THIS DRINK! WHAT IS IN THIS DRINK YUMMMMM.

 

Tacos

These tacos were really good!

 

Victoria Yum

Headed down to Netil Market to scour for some sweet treats by Victoria Yum!

 

Besides the joy of meeting new people, it was also wonderful to see some familiar faces again! Angela from The Awkward Blog was there, Iris from Whatever Gets You Through The Day was sporting a lovely blue top to support Italy in that evening’s football match, and of course prosecco loving Sarah from The Prosecco Diaries who posted a lovely write up of the birthday party as well (featuring moi in some awkward laughing and props handling in the photoshoot).

 

 

All in all, a big thank you to the Nuffnang UK team for such a wonderful party! We had so much fun, we wished it didn’t have to end so quickly! Most certainly, I will be looking forward to more future events and catching up with fellow blogger buddies! Until then, we will be Twittering and blogs-hopping. 😀

 

 

Toodles! ♥