Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Yearnings

Le sigh...

So after the big "Three Oh" comes the big "Three One", not with a bang, but a fizzling realisation that the wonder years are really over. And I've got this awful bottomless-bottomful feeling at the pit of my stomach... where do I go from here? What next? Is this it?

My birthdays have almost always been low key... a few friends over for lunch, cake and tea... later on dinner out with friends. My family is so big that their numbers tend to dwarf any invited friends... and the whole thing resembles every other family gathering. I haven't invited relatives over for my birthday for a few years now, but they still drop by for cake and cutlets my mum prepares, "just in case".

I had an absolutely wonderful wedding, but it wasn't a party as such... and while I was the centre of attention (along with Darling) (yay!) I didn't really get to talk to my friends much... once more my relatives dominated the scene. I couldn't even invite some of my friends, even though I wanted to very much.

I've always wanted a big birthday party... lots of friends and balloons and flowers, yummylicious chocolate cake, or a host of cupcakes with fancy sparkling candles to blow out . Wearing a pweety dress and sparkly earrings, and getting compliments, just because I was the birthday girl! Lots of dance music and flashing lights and dancing with Darling and my friends like there'd be no tomorrow.

There are so many people I want to invite... school friends, campus friends, work friends, Bloggers (of course!!) and Darling's mates. I gave into temptation and drafted an invite list... which somehow made my "wanting" a party that much stronger.

Not every day or every year, but just once.

Call it an item on my bucket list, if you like. It's right up there, in big capital letters along with "be a mom", "lose weight" and "stop being a doormat".

Darling, being the total sweetheart that he is, is all set to organise a (belated) birthday bash for me. Does wanting it make me unrealistic, juvenile and a total material girl? Is it mutton acting like lamb? Is it a delayed quaterlife crisis or an early midlife crisis? Would anyone even bother to come?

Sigh... I dunno...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Easy no-egg, no-bake cheesecake


It's been ages since I had a foodie post... and since WikiLeaks has been planning to release my secret recipie, I decided to put this up as a pre-emptive strike.

Note to self: when tall blonde Australian dudes try to hit you up, go easy on the alcohol, since it is desirable to have some secrets remain so.

You will need

150g marie biscuit crumbs (a little less than 2 packets)
80g unsalted butter, melted
250ml whipping cream
250g cream cheese (room temperature)
1/4 cup of sugar (not sure how much that is in grams)
1 tsp vanilla


Method

Mix the butter and the biscuit crumbs. Grease the bottom and the sides of a 8-9 inch cake tray and press the crumb mixture onto the bottom and about an inch up the sides. Put it in the fridge to chill.

Beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth, then set aside. Beating at the lowest speed gives better results as less air is beaten in and the cake is less likely to go "poof" and collapse.

Beat the cream until the legendary "soft peaks" form. Again, beat it on low speed and keep an eye out for the texture... if you beat it too much it will start to granulate and turn into butter!

Fold in the cheese mixture to the cream bit by bit and beat until the mixture has a thick pouring quantity. Pour carefully into the chilled cake tin, making sure you don't dislodge the biscuit crumbs on the sides.

Put it in the fridge for 2-3 hours, cover with a topping of your choice. This time I used the Jagro strawberry topping available in supermarkets, but have also used stewed fresh strawberries and strawberry jam. Put back in the fridge for another couple of hours or overnight.



Serve in generous slices, and enjoy!

Took this to a friend's place a couple of weeks ago... and from the gasps, moans and cries of "I think I just 'gasmed!", could only conclude that the cheesecake exceeded expectations! :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Travel log - Singapore and the Bunny of Abundance


Happy New Year everyone!!


Bunny of abundance


Display, Changi airport


Chinese New Year, that is... the year of the rabbit, which incidentally fell on my birthday. I decided to leave the glomps aside... cheered by the fact that a very very large portion of the world population are making merry with me. Mind you, nothing very merry happened, but I did get 96 birthday wishes via Facebook. Mark Zuckerburg, you rock!

In addition, Darling and I just returned from what is now turning out to be my yearly pilgrimage to Singapore. For a small country, there certainly is a LOT of shopping to be done over there, and fiscal status being marginally healthier than before, I was able to indulge in shoes, clothes and handbags... woot!

What I admire is how much they capitalise on the tiny resources they have and make them into mega attractions. We finally managed to find time to go and watch the much lauded laser show at Sentosa island "Songs of the Sea"... it was lovely, and I've put up a few highlights below. Better, longer videos can be found on Youtube.

video


video
Highlights from the show

As expected, every street corner was decked out for the Chinese New Year, with larger than life bunnies and orange trees thickly covered with real oranges. Did I mention the word shopper's paradise?






The sweet-toothed glut in me succumbed to the luscious cream puffs that called out temptingly from every food court and sweet stall. They were lovely, creamy and very subtly sweetened, unlike ones I have tasted before that would give a person instant hyperglycaemia!


Triple chocolate and blueberry creamcheese puffs...


We also explored our wild side by getting one of D's "happening" friends to introduce us to the Singapore nightlife. So there we were, strolling along Clark Quay on a Friday night, gawking at the skyhigh skirts and thigh high boots adorning the ladies, and the elaborate tattoos on the guys. Suddenly this chap in a white coat, carrying a IV drip stand rushes by us. We both do a double take and then focus on one of the bars, aptly termed the "Clinic". The "chairs" are wheelchairs or hospital bed styled sofas. The lights are the sort you find in the OT... and the drinks well, they are served IN the IV infusion set, which is placed on a stand near the patron's chair, and he sips it through the bit which usually goes into a vein.

Real godayata magic stuff.

The Clinic

My trusty camera failed me just about then, so could get only one photo. Note the guy with the drip set in the left side. More pics and reviews can be found here, and here.

We spent the next few hours in an absolutely packed club, gyrating to some great music... none of that awful house stuff! There were two very spacious rooms on either side of the dance floor, great place to play pool or darts or just chillax when tired of dancing. The smokers were in a nice enclosed area by themselves... something that was much appreciated.

All in all, it was a hectic trip, mostly because it was work related for both of us, and also because we were scurrying to get the maximum stuff (and shopping) done in the limited time available. Thanks to the ready hospitality of my dear friends S and D, we once more had a place to crash in and a great saving as hotels are really very expensive.

Hope you enjoyed the post!