Foodnotes

Happy meal #12: Gingerbread run amok!

I’ve always wanted to bake something festive for Christmas and seeing that it’s our little household’s first Christmas, I decided that gingerbread cookies were the way to go.

First things first: I had to pop over to Phoon Huat to pick up some baking supplies. I officially declare that place my favourite bakeware supplier. It is not only a treasure trove but the products are cheaper than what you get outside. Butter for just $2! A pair of cookie cutter for slightly over a dollar! Rolling pins for slightly over a dollar (which I stupidly did not buy)! Thanks to Dr.Low’s recommendation, I went to the Sims Lane outlet which was HUGE. Love.

Next, find the perfect (read: “easy”) recipe. A search on Google and tadah! Found it on Not Quite Nigella.

Butter and brown sugar

Fugly, lumpy dough

The rise of the gingerbread in the oven

Freshly baked (dude at the bottom left seems to have suffered a head injury during baking)

The anonymous gingerbread army

And then after an hour of creative, gleeful artistic endeavour, the final product was ready to be presented to the world:

The Gingerbread Fashion Show

We love it! The cookies were not overly crumbly or sweet – just the perfect touch of spice and sweetness. The only problem I had during the baking was that the dough, with three cups of flour, was too unkneadable. It kept falling apart and in the end, I had to work with small portions to keep it from breaking. Many a gingerbread limb was lost and emergency surgery had to be performed to make the boys and girls whole again.

Oh and added to my woes was the fact that I didn’t have a rolling pin and the Ribena bottle that I had used was utterly useless. I was kneading and pressing and shaping everything with my hands and coupled with my handheld mixer, I was certainly giving my arms a good workout.

Thankfully, east end gets a lot of the monsoon winds at this time of the year and there was a cool breeze circulating in the kitchen. The cats were snoozing in the living room so I could bake in peace, with beautiful Christmas carols playing in the background.

You bet I’m going to be making this again!

The organised chaos

Christmas love

Kittehs feeling Christmasy too

This Christmas is a little different.
I have a husband (well I had one last year too, the same one), a house and two cats.
And I am loving every minute of my life, the good and the bad.
They say that home is where the heart is and right this moment, my heart is with my little family.
I love them so very much, even, no, especially those two furry little feline friends of ours (we will never dare to say that we are their owners because truth be told, I think they pwn us!).

Thanks for reading this little blog (all 20 of you).
It’s been a pleasure and honour to know that there are people! reading! my thoughts!
I just want to thank you all for making this voice heard and for taking the time out to peruse my ramblings.

Have a blessed Christmas and may all your wishes come true!

xx,
yAnn

Two of Us

Feelin’ a lil Christmasy

Remember the tree that I told you about err last month? Well, I can finally share it with you! Husband wanted to do a short little film to celebrate our first Christmas tree (oh, such a milestone haha!) and he’s finally had the time to complete it.

I picked the music and he did the rest. I love how we managed to capture the busybody Coco in action. She’s really, really inquisitive! More than once, we had to pick her off from the branches and set her down somewhere far, far away but she always comes back. Gotta give her points for persistence.

We’re off to do some Christmas shopping. Hope you like the video as much as we do!

The organised chaos

Once upon a time

The carousel had looked so tempting.
The warm glow of the lights, the glee of the children perched upon the wooden horses, the laughter of their parents.
I wanted to take a ride and have the world spinning around me.
But I didn’t.
Because I felt too old and too adult to do it.
Now I wish I had.

When I was a kid, I read voraciously, mostly out of boredom.
Afterall, when you are stuck at home with a mom who worked long hours and a nonchalant sister who didn’t care about what you did, there wasn’t much to do.
But reading was also my escape into a happier world.
And back then, the world frequently ended with “…and they lived happily ever after”.
I should have known better than to place my faith in fairy tales.
Because life as an adult is so much more complex than simply riding into the sunset, basking in joy and warmth.

Photo from my trip to Disneyland Tokyo.

Little Miss Shopaholic

One in garnet, please

One of the sites that I visit regularly is etsy. It’s like a treasure trove of all things beautiful, hand crafted and vintage. Things that I never knew existed or needed – like the helvetica acrylic jewellery – suddenly turned into things that I absolutely craved.

A great find that popped up today was One Garnet Girl. Her work caught my eye because they are so gorgeously hand made and elegantly simple. She hand carves the metal and best of all, she is environmentally conscious and uses recycled materials as much as possible. I love how “raw” the pieces are.

Red light ring, $128 (I so want one of these cos it's my birth stone!)
Red light ring, $128 (I so want one of these cos it's my birth stone!)

Blue Topaz and Argentium Sterling, $188
Blue Topaz and Argentium Sterling, $188 - Love the chunky feel to this ring

London Hue Stacking rings, $106 - Beautifully seamless
London Hue Stacking rings, $106 - Beautifully seamless

Two of Us

Married life #8

So the following conversation took place during dinner between me and Trevor. (You must be wondering, what does Trev have to do with our married life?)

T: (checking out some random boy) Wow he’s cute!
Y: Why do you always go for men with single eyelids?
T: You should be answering that question.
Y: Me? Why?
T: Duh, you married a man with single eyelids.
Y: I did?! (turns to husband) You have single eyelids?
J: …….
Y: OMG, you do have single eyelids! I have never noticed it in the 10 years we have been together!
J: Thanks.

Moral of the story – Marriage is all about discovering new sides to your partner which you have never known about. It’s all about the journey, truly!

In my defense, his eye bags are more noticeable than his eyelids.
In my defense, his eye bags are more noticeable than his eyelids.

Foodnotes, Kitty Tales

Just a gratifying post

Yes, Tokyo Banana is good!
Yes, Tokyo Banana is good!

It’s been a busy week.

Emi Kat has settled into the household nicely. Coco is not too pleased still but it hasn’t stopped her from using Emi’s litter box so we are guessing that they will eventually be good friends. In the meantime, we will have to put up with the occasional hissing and the mad chases down the corridor.

I’m desperately needing sleep so I will leave this space with this funny photo of Coco posing with the box of Tokyo Banana that we brought home from, well, Tokyo.

A banana filling covered with a delicious chocolate cake, this snack didn’t last long in east end! As I snapped the photo, Coco decided to join in the fun too and sat right next to the box. She’s quite the poser, that kitten. But that was pre-Emi days, back when she would “talk” to us and sit down with us as we ate dinner.

My house is full of cat hair, the spare room smells of cat food and the cats are really quite mad. But I wouldn’t trade the joys of having these two idiotic kittens for a cleaner house.

The organised chaos

Happy weekend!

I am so happy the weekend’s here!

We’re going to bring our second kitteh home today and I’m feeling a little nervous. Mr Thick was against the idea – he really just loves the bratty Coco too much – but when he saw how sad I was, he caved and said Two is the maximum! Ah, the power of love. I’m super excited because the kitteh (I haven’t named her yet) is a lap cat and really gorgeous. But if Queen Coco decides she doesn’t like her, it’s Game Over.

Anyway, we’ll see how it goes. Fingers crossed!

Have a great weekend and I hope you spend it with lots of laughter, love and hugs. I certainly got me a free hug when we were in Japan. Can you tell that I miss Japan very, very much?

Photo taken from my Tokyo 1 album here.
My Kyoto-Osaka photos can be found here.

The organised chaos

Tokyo raves: Krispy Kreme

Technically, Krispy Kreme is not something that’s only found in Tokyo but I gotta tell you, it sure made Mr Thick and I happy campers.

We tracked down the Shinjuku store into the fourth day of our trip and I absolutely insisted on buying half a dozen of original glazed donuts for breakfast the next day. To our surprise, the store also had a cafe above it and it overlooked a very nice part of Shinjuku. And as we were picking out the delectable treats, we had another surprise: every customer gets a free original glazed donut! Husband and I were like little children being told we are allowed to eat another chocolate bar.

In the end, as it always happens, we bought way too many donuts than our stomachs could handle and felt a little sick after that. But hey, that was breakfast and lunch combined so I think the calories were well justified. As we sat there in the cosy cafe and sinking our teeth into the sugary, melty deliciousness of Krispy Kreme’s original glazed donuts, I could have sworn that we floated up into the heavens.

Krispy Kreme Shinjuku
Shinjuku Southern Terrace
Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Yoyogi 2-chome

Two of Us

Unintended cruelty

I was randomly surfing the net today when I came across a mommy blog. In her posts, the blogger shared insights on how hard and long a journey she and her husband took before conceiving their twins. And during this time, she wrote, they didn’t tell many friends about their problems and suffered in silence when people questioned them about their lack of children after being married for x number of years.

Besides the pesky “when are you getting married” and “do you have a boyfriend” questions, the other most annoying query to me is “when are you having children”. Of course, if the question was put across to me politely and in a non-intrusive manner, I would give my most honest answer: that, yes, we would really like to have a child next year. But it irks me when the older folks keeps harping on the issue, as well-intended their intentions are.

What if, like the blogger and her husband, we are also having difficulty conceiving? Wouldn’t such a question be like a dashing a sword through our hearts? It wasn’t too long ago that we made that decision but if we had been trying for a while now, aren’t these questions going to make us feel worse than ever?

This is why I don’t like to talk about the stork and its parcel with the parental units. Because until we see that line on the pee stick, the future is still uncertain. And because we have only been married for a year, I don’t see why there should be so much pressure on us to produce a baby, simply because we are the most likely candidates to start a family.

So far, my mom has been great about it. She’s advised me not to delay childbearing, using herself as an example (she had the Sista and I at 30 and 34 respectively, late by her generation’s standards), and then left me alone because she knows how I hate to be nagged at. The in-laws, on the other hand, are understandably more enthusiastic, given that Mr Thick is their youngest son and neither of his two married brothers have children. And it may sound disrespectful but sometimes, I really wish they would drop the case and stop asking these personal questions.

Because I don’t know when we will be able to start a family and it makes me feel miserable and frustrated when people are prying and poking around. There, I’ve said my fear out loud.