Tortue updates

A little eye candy for the day!

He has gone a little fatter and bigger…but even more handsome than when I first got him.

Oh biggie turtle!

And he feeds from my hand too…and lets me rub his chin.

In the dry dock area!

Cute no?

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Hello Diana!

Say hi to Diana!

Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana
* Requires full sunlight
* Keep the soil moderately moist. Ensure it to dry slightly between watering
* Water twice a day

Say hello to Diana! She’s a new addition to my workstation – I already have Umbrella Jane (my umbrella plant who somehow has stopped growing; I ought to transplant her into a bigger pot!) and Sweet Unknowns (another plant – Nil’s gift; don’t really know what she is but o’well… ). I know, my plants are all somehow girls! ^.^

Yes, I do have a lot to take care of at the office, Le Lapin, with Tortue and all but I reckon I’ll need some new positive chi sometime soon! Besides, the pinkish flowers are just great for CNY, no?

Diana's pinkish blooms!

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Domestic goddessness.

I usually don’t talk abut housechores because it’s boring and almost everyone I know hates it. But this bout…this bout started with a little naggy thought in my mind about shoes. Yes, all women ever seem to gush about are shoes.

Now Chinese New Year is fast approaching and I thought I had better get a headstart to clearing out the junk in my room. No, no pictures. I’m still very shy when it comes to taking a full 180 degree plus picture of my room. Say, don’t you notice that after 21, time seems to fly by awfully fast?

Anyway, like I said earlier, it all started with a little push to clear my shoe corner; y’know where one dumps their shoes the moment they enter the room/house? Well, I went from at least six visible pairs to two visible pairs and one (my running shoes) in its good old box. But the moment the shoes disappeared, the shoe mat became rather visible. Gack! I had no idea that I shed hair like a cat!!!!!!!!!!!! The shoe mat definitely had to go but once it did (and before a new one could come in), I realized that my book shelf that laid just in front of the shoe corner need some serious sprucing up.

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Oz Hatfest – Part VII

Revillon Papillottes (pic by Estelle Broyer)
Pic by Estelle Broyer

I know I said I was going to send down seven hats and all that but suddenly I just can’t bring myself to knit anymore hats, having gotten myself busy with Baby Apple and a host of another projects that will be gifts to fiance’s family.

Instead I’ll be sending down some Montelimar nougats and half a bag of les papillottes (French chocolates that can be found only during Christmas and New Year) – two items which I got during my trip to France last December.

Of course there will be other goodies which some people have decided to put together for some of the editors…

My only hope is that the chocolates and nougats will get pass the sniffer without any problems. Maybe I ought to put a note that says…

Dear doggie,

Thanks for a great job done but unfortunately, these are not for doggie consumption.

Please refrain from chowing down on them. They are for a few very lovely people I work with. If they don’t get it, working with them will be a pain.

Thank you for your kind consideration.

The sender.

ps: When I visit Australia and run into you, can I pet you and rub your tummy? You’re just so adorable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1


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(Nutmeg) Ginger cookies snaps

(Nutmeg) Ginger goodness!

Initially I was thinking of making ginger snaps for Chinese New Year but somewhere, somehow along the way, I ended up with dough that was too soft to be rolled out and cut into shapes. After analyzing the recipe, I realised that I was making ginger cookies with a somewhat gingerbread-like recipe/consistency instead. Oh woe to me for failing to decide on the “right” recipe before starting it.

Ginger snaps are somewhat harder when cool and are to be rolled out and cut whereas the recipe I used called for rolling the dough into balls and then flattening them out on the pan – molded cookies, if you will.

(Nutmeg) Ginger cookies snaps
Makes 36 (actually more!)

2 1/4 cups flour (all-purpose flour will do)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup butter, room temp
1/2 cup margarine, room temp
1 egg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/3 cup molasses (or dark treacle)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 – 1/3 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

What to do:

  1. Cream 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter and margarine until light and fluffy. Add egg and continue beating until blended well. Add molasses.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients three times and stir in butter mixture. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat over to 160-180 C. Line pans with wax paper/baking paper.
  4. Place the remaining sugar in a shallow dish. Roll tablespoons of dough into balls and roll balls in the sugar to coat.
  5. Place the balls two inches apart on the prepared sheets and flatten slightly.
  6. Bake till golden around the edges but soft in the middle, 12-15 minutes. Let cookies stand for 5 minutes before transferring to a rake to cool.

Adding dark sticky treacle! Treacle + butter swirls

I totally botched the last step, choosing instead to bake cookies for 15 minutes and NOT letting them stand – just took them out to cool.

Since it has been ages since I last made anything from scratch, I fumbled around and made a few errors changes, namely added 1 to 1/3 teaspoons of nutmeg instead of 1/2 teaspoon as called for in the recipe (hence the weird title) AND dumping in 1 cup of sugar instead of 1/2 cup first (I did scoop up the additional 1/2 cup before creaming it with the butter). Well, I should get used to this since I’ll be making orange-strawberry shortbread checks as well.

Frankly, I was a little nervous. It’s my first time making cookies with anything else but fruit and flavouring. All sorts of things ran through my mind – would it have enough of that gingery taste? Would the overkill of nutmeg totally ruin my dough? Will it be too sweet? Would the treacle make it taste awfully weird?

It turned out to be just fine; a little chewy when warm but oh-so-snappish when cool. The additional nutmeg added a unique touch to an otherwise gingery snap so no complaints there. Thank goodness my experimentations (mistake or otherwise) never fail me! While the aroma is fantastic for the house, I found the cookies a little too sweet for my liking because of the amount of sugar required for rolling those sticky little balls around even though I nearly replaced all white sugar with light brown sugar which is less sweeter. So will definitely have to make a note somewhere to cut out that bit that says “roll balls in sugar”.

I’m still wondering if I should ship off some to Nil – need to find a sturdy-enough yet airtight container that won’t break. We’ll see how it goes. Now it’s off to finish off some knitting!

Oh so snappish!

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There are a lot of things to blog about like…

…my yarn stash which has exploded. I’m not buying anymore yarn or fibres until I get rid of a few bags. My knitting stash corner looks like some storage corner that is bursting at the seams. So far, from what I can recall, I have enough yarn for at least four sweaters/cardigans, four fingerless gloves, tonnes of hats, two shawls and plenty of scarves. *dies*

…being engaged, telling people and adjusting to referring to Nil as my “fiance”. So far, I told my mum (don’t know if she told dad), revealed it on my blog and a couple of other online places, and I can’t recall if people at work or my friends know. I sort of wanted to drop a hint today but somehow, instead of saying “my fiance…”, I ended up with “my boyfriend…” which sort of brings me to my next point.

…I’m kind of ringless and for the sake of being engaged or reminding myself that I’m engaged, I’ve been wearing this sapphire-diamond white gold ring I bought when I was in Australia. I had seen it in the store and I fell in love with it instantly. It’s not very flashy and well, I just thought it would be right for the ocassion. I bought it with the intention of turning it into a promise ring. Nil laughed when I told him that I was wearing a ring I bought for myself to remind me that I’m engaged. Come to think of it, isn’t it weird? O’well…

…my knitting which is going too slow for comfort. I tell myself that it’s because I’m busy with work and all that but in reality, I’m such a slow knitter. Gah. I take forever to finish a scarf instead of two days (or less)…and my baby jacket? Don’t ask. I just need to move faster but how, damnit? How when I get back from work and I just want to curl up under the quilt and dream about Nil? Bah. That man of mine is such a distraction.

…updating my blog. I need to update my blog but frankly I’m lazy. It’s getting tedious and I’m getting pretty fed up of having to constantly update every so often because when I do update, I have to go hunt around for themes, plugins and etc. Not to mention fix up shit when it goes wrong and etc. Sometimes I tell myself that I should just forget about keeping a domain of my own and use free blogging tools. Bleh.

…CNY preparations. There are plenty of kueh kapit, pineapple tarts, orange-lemony shortbread checks and ginger snaps to make. Yes, new additions to my CNY baking endeavours. I’m thinking of sending some to Nil but then again, would he end up getting a box full of crumbs? I don’t know.

Of course, there is work and the usual few annoyances with some people but those things usually don’t really matter. I mean work does but work stays at the office not spread onto my blog. ^.~

I think I’m going to get off now and back to updating this damn blog. BAH.

Bo go ship da by Kim Bum Soo (from Stairway to Heaven)

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