January 29, 2010

Sweet Temptations @ Cupcake Chic

Just to demonstrate how "evil" EV can be... Last week, after a scrumptious lunch, she said she had to satisfy her cupcake craving; with full knowledge that I can't have sweets.

She had already declared that she was too full from lunch earlier but when we got to The Curve, she remembered about the little cupcake place just next to Gloria Jeans.

Yep, we checked out Cupcake chic...

No, I did not indulge with her. Only took 2 spoonfuls to taste the cupcakes and frankly, it is just too sickeningly sweet for me. There is only so much sugar, my system can take. After those 2 spoonfuls, I had a sudden craving to do a 20-min run on the elliptical trainer... -_-"


The first cupcake she chose was "Back to Basics". It is a vanilla-based cupcake with vanilla frosting.


The next cupcake EV chose was "Naughty 'n Nice" - a vanilla based cupcake with chocolate frosting. The sugar rice sprinkles completed the dessert.

I'm not a huge fan of cupcakes but if I could have any frosting on top my cupcake, it would have to be a lemon-based frosting. The zesty lemon taste goes pretty well with a moist cupcake base.

Anyway, since I'm not allowed to have any sweets, I can only dream of such desserts.

However, I do enjoy taking photos of these desserts. ;-)

January 27, 2010

So Curious...

I can't believe that the twins are about to turn 5 months old!!

They are both quite adorable now and are very curious about their surroundings.


We don't take them out often as they were not strong enough to sit on their own. Besides, it is quite a hassle to bring the twins out. You have to prepare 2 of everything...

Anyway, on a rare occasion, we brought both of them out for lunch. Charlotte was sleeping, while Olivia was being entertained by a clown in the restaurant. Her Papa was holding on to her while she leaned forward...


Don't let looks deceive you. She was actually very excited with the balloon dog she had. She kept talking to the toy until she fell asleep.

Haha.. So adorable!

January 25, 2010

Healthy Sandwich Options - Turkey Breast

It's the start of another week and almost the end of the 1st month of the 1st new decade of the 2010's.

How is everyone keeping to their diets and resolutions?

Anyway, just to share with you a nice sandwich option for lunch. It is filling and very healthy, provided you use healthy ingredients...


I've used the following ingredients for this sandwich:
- Mayonaise (about 2 teaspoons to spread)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (sprinkle)
- Coral lettuce
- Cherry tomatoes
- 3 slices of turkey breast (small)
- 1 low-fat cheese slice
- 1 wholemeal Mini Pide Loaf (Turkish bread)

Absolutely delicious. It tastes even better if you just toast it in the toaster oven for a few minutes.. ;-)

January 23, 2010

Children of God

Last week was my nieces' baptism!!

Finally, after months of waiting, my sister & bro-in-law got them baptised...

Charlotte being baptised with water after being anointed.

Olivia being baptised with water after being anointed.

Being baptised is just one of the many milestones in life as a child grows up. Soon, both Charlotte and Olivia will go through the rest of the sacraments like First Confession, and First Holy Communion when they are 8 or 9 years old. At that age, both of them will be able to partake with the Mass where they can partake the Body & Blood of Christ.

When both of the twins reach their adulthood at about 16 or 17, they will go through Confirmation where they will fully realize their gifts during baptism, making a commitment to God. They will most likely take 1.5 to 2years to prepare for this as it is a BIG step in their lives.

The twins were fully awake during the celebration and did not cry when the priest poured the Holy Water over their heads. In fact, both of them smiled and laughed when the priest blessed and anointed them!

It is such a joy to see people being baptised, knowing that they will embark on a journey of faith and love with God.

Anyway, I've friends who were baptised as adults and they usually went on "fast track" where they also had Holy Communion & Confirmation at one go. One of my friends also symbolically changed his clothes to wear white once he was baptised to show that he was cleansed from original sin.

Well.. it's a long but fruitful journey in faith for both Charlotte & Olivia now..

January 20, 2010

Diet & Exercise - Linked Soo Closely...

Just a quick post since I've got to start studying some stuff soon.

Over the weekend, I caught up with my mates whom I've not seen in a while. One of whom I've not seen even before the event of 21-Oct-2009.

I was shocked to see my friend lose so much weight in the span of 3-4mths!! She was on some liquid diets and did manage to lose quite a bit of weight but I think she found it hard to lose the 5kg or so to reach her ideal weight.

Then, she started to work out at home on her treadmill and now is about 1kg away from her goal weight. Back in uni, she was a little chubby and had lost quite a bit of weight by sleeping the entire day - essentially skipping most of her meals.

Well, I'm also happy to report that I've lost some more weight too, i.e. I think I may have dropped a couple of kgs too. It's linked to my diet, medication & exercise. Ever since I've cut away about 99% of sugar from my diet, every thing seems to be better.

However, I still have a little bit of high blood pressure despite me cutting off a lot of salt from my diet. The most difficult part is to have a balanced meal when we're not at home, especially when you're out with friends or colleagues. I've tried to ask the hawker or waiter to help me ask the cook to prepare my food with less oil and salt to much avail. Sometimes it works, most often times it doesn't.

Seems that oil & salt are "cheap" for these restaurants/hawkers? Hey... I'm still paying the same price despite them putting less "ingredients" and that contributes to their bottom line & they still don't want to do it??

Anyway, I'm still on my diet & exercise regime. My exercise is getting a bit more intense after my doctors gave me the green light. My strength training has been slow as I've got to start all over again on building them muscles...

January 18, 2010

Going MF-Styley

Don't be alarmed.. My blog title is not a rude term... (^^)

It's just that I decided to try out the MF setting (Manual Focus) on my camera.

For quite some time I've been wondering if I should try to use MF on my pictures since I get quite frustrated with what the AF sets for me at times. The AF would have selected the closest point which would have been Snoopy's butt, a focus point which I did not want.

Anyway, here is the result of my experiment...

Snoopy was busy sunbathing... as usual...

This was taken with the kit-lens (18-55mm). I moved the focus rings manually, using the sharpest point of the lens, right at the middle to focus.

The EXIF data is available by selecting the picture. ;-)

Sometimes, it is worthwhile to go MF.

January 15, 2010

It's FRIDAY!!!!

Smile folks!! It's finally FRIDAY!!!!!


Hope that you folks will enjoy the weekend. Well, it's about 1 month to CNY and so, I'll be going around to take photos of those lovely decorations again. Hmmm.. Wonder if I should get a new lens first before I go around shooting.

Anyway, have a great weekend!!!

January 13, 2010

New York, New York Deli @ IUtama, PJ

Time to post something a little more light-hearted...

Lately I've been posting a lot of pictures on food. LOL!! Well, it was the Christmas season and so, being out and about, one cannot get away from eating out, right? :P

I've been to New York, New York Deli before for a quick bite but I didn't quite indulge in anything sinful unlike what I'm about to share with you folks...

New York, New York is a cafe which provides a slice of "Americana" cuisine, i.e. popular food from the US. Well, the menu serves up a lot of American classics like burgers and hotdogs but also some other American favourites like chilli con carne, fried chicken and ribs.

The cafe is a lot different from Chilli's or TGIF where the selection of items does not have a lot of Texan or Mexican items. In a sense, New York, New York offers a different slice of American Western cuisine.


This is a "disgusting" looking drink but in fact is quite yummy... Well, the "fake" blood definitely suits EV who, being an emotion vampire would find this drink absolutely nourishing...


The name of this drink - Bloody Eyeballs. Yes, EV dug up those eyeballs for me to see. Quite scary to sip a drink where you have 2 eyeballs starring back at you. But for EV, this is a relaxing drink. LOL!!!


Ok... Sinful food here. Prawn fritters. Need I say more? :P

I can't recall if it came with some sauce but the prawns were fresh and sweet. The batter was brilliant too. I only had a few pieces. This was after all, EV's snack before she had her main course (which I forgot to take photos of)


Since my diet was blown to hell... I just ordered the Teriyaki Beef burger. Absolutely delicious with the lettuce and tomato. What was lacking was a pickle and some onions. The portion of fries accompanying the burger was just right. There is only so much carbo we can absorb at one seating!

I cannot recall the price range but it is somewhat between the RM12 - 50, where RM50 gets you a large main meal of steak or ribs. My burger costs just below RM20 which is reasonable as the burger patty was made with real meat and not the generic burger meat you get elsewhere.

Will I go back there again? Definitely YES but will go for some healthier options. ;-)

BTW, the above shots were taken with my 50mm lens... Just love the bokeh...

January 09, 2010

Reactions.. Remember The Sermon On The Mount...

Recent events around KL really saddens me. The cynic in me was convinced that the 1Malaysia idea has become a big joke after reading news on what has happened.

I'm getting all sorts of messages from friends to be careful and not provoke these people, to remove religious artifacts from my car and house.

That got me thinking about how we should react... Then, I recall one particular sermon of Jesus on the mount...

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain, and when he was set down, his disciples came unto him. And opening his mouth he taught them, saying:
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart: they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake:
Be glad and rejoice for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.
~ Matt 5:2-12
Truly, we must pray for calm and sensibility to return to such people. Let us not be afraid this weekend as we go to church to worship God, but instead pray for them. Let us pray for peace to return.


January 05, 2010

Mixed-Herb Roast Chicken @ Home

Since one of my goals this year is to be healthy, I've been on a quest to discover some healthy recipes (low salt, sugar, fat) to cook at home.

This is a simple roast chicken recipe which I've adapted from Jamie Oliver.

  • 1/2 fresh chicken
  • Olive oil (about 2 tablespoons but depends on size of chicken)
  • Dried Mixed Herbs from MacFoods
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • Pepper and Salt (optional)
1. Clean the chicken and pat it to dry.
2. Mix the dried mixed herbs with olive oil, pepper (and salt) and juice of 1/2 a lemon into a bowl. Keep the lemon skin as it can be used for roasting the chicken later. Spread the marinade on the chicken.
3. Leave chicken to marinade for 1-2hours.
4. When ready to roast the chicken in an oven, cut the lemon skin and place on the roasting rack of the oven. Place the chicken on top of the sliced lemons. Do remember to place a tray underneath the rack to catch the drippings from the chicken.
5. Roast at 300F for at least 45 minutes or until the thickest part of the chicken is cooked.
6. Rest the chicken under tin foil before serving.
7. Serve with steamed vegetables and starch of choice.

You may also make a bit of gravy from the drippings provided the excess oil and fat has been discarded first. If you like to make it a bit more spicy, add a bit more cracked black pepper for taste.


I decided to serve my chicken with some steamed broccoli and baked sweet potato. Of course, I removed the skin before I ate... Kekeke...

The chicken is quite different from your average roast chicken which is usually with salt, pepper and honey or malt as the marinade. This roast chicken is fantastic when paired with a tomato-based pasta as well.

Hope you all will try it out soon!

January 04, 2010

Healthy Breakfast Options

The holiday season is about to end. Am sure that everyone is busy with getting the kids/themselves back to school/work.

I've been spending the last couple of days stocking up on my cereal supplies for breakfast. I was looking for a particular brand of cereal as I've got to ensure that there is no added sugar/salt in the cereal. Yes, one has to be more careful with nutrition these days.


I've shared my Dad's breakfast oats recipe previously and of late, I've decided to use skimmed milk instead of water to soak the oats. After adding a variety of fresh fruits with the oats, the results is a very delicious and fulfilling breakfast.


Another variety was to add cereal with sliced almonds and dried fruits on top of the fruits. It sounds quite complicated but in fact, is a very quick and simple breakfast to prepare. Not only that, it is highly nutritious with all the required vitamins and fibre for a good start.


When there is home-baked bread at home, I often like to make toast with it. A recent favourite of mine is to have peanut-butter toast with sliced bananas. The recipe is so simple & quick, I didn't realize why I hadn't thought about it earlier!

The only ingredients required are:
  • Thick slice of wholemeal bread
  • 2 teaspoon of peanut-butter (no added sugar/salt would be best)
  • 1/2 slice of medium-sized banana (not too ripe)
The steps are equally simple:

1. Toast bread.
2. Spread peanut-butter on toast.
3. Slice bananas.
4. Arrange bananas on toast.
5. Eat and enjoy with a glass of cold skimmed milk or hot drink. (^.^)

Have a great start to the week everyone!!!

January 03, 2010

Mini Steamboat Lunch @ Fong Lye, Gardens MidValley

A couple of months back, I met up with my friends for a quick lunch at Gardens, MidValley.

They had been quite interested to see how I was after I got out of the hospital and was about to go back to work.

We met up at my favourite Taiwanese restaurant, Fong Lye.

There's always some sort of a queue in front of Fong Lye and so far, this is perhaps one of the few Taiwanese places I've tried within the Klang Valley. I've been to a few others, including one which has started a chain of restaurants but I've always preferred Fong Lye.


Unfortunately, Fong Lye is a non-halal place as it serves pork dishes. It also has a few wonderful chicken and seafood dishes as well. What I like most about Fong Lye is that the main dish comes with a few side dishes as well.

This time round, we decided to go healthy and had something light to eat for lunch.


The stir-fried kangkung (Morning Glory) with garlic was scrumptious. I did request for less salt and oil but the dish still looks kind of oily. However, it still tasted delicious and goes well with rice.


EV had always been interested in the mini-steamboat and since there were 3 of us sharing, we ordered it to try. The steamboat comes with a variety of seafood - clams, fresh prawns, fish and meat balls. The set also comes with some vegetables and "tang hoon" noodles as well. I did not take much of the seafood but enjoyed the soup immensely as it had the lovely flavour of the seafood and vegetables.

I cannot recall how much the meal was exactly, but it came up to roughly RM60++ in total, which includes drinks for two people.

Hmmm... Now, looking at these photos makes me feel like having Taiwanese food soon... LOL!!

January 01, 2010

01 01 2010

2009 has come and gone. Wonder if it is time to do the accounts? *ahem*...

Altogether, the 2000's was a pretty OK decade. I grew a lot in terms of career, friendships, spiritual and managed to be happy a long the way. There were some angry & sad moments but let's just focus on the positives...

So, should I look back on the past?

Nah... I'll just keep moving forward.

Rusty looking forward... to more treats & toys in 2010

May you continue to move forward in whatever you put your mind towards in this new year... decade...

So, my resolution this year will be somewhat vague but simple...

1. To Be Happier than Ever...
2. To Be Able to Rest More instead of Stress More when needed...
3. To Be More Positive
4. To Spread More Positive-ness (with the help of no.3)
5. To Be Healthier...

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