Friday, May 27, 2011

Japan Part 2

I am running out of ideas on this post....
Will write short notes on these pictures....

Breathtaking views to enjoy while we skied away.....

It was soooooo cold up on the slopes...

Happy New Year!!!
People were at the temple making wishes to their Japanese god.....

Getting their car 'blessed' by this scary looking man in a green robe.
I hope he was blessing it....not performing an exorcism :P

Washing their hands outside the temple before going into the temple

In Otaru... where its famous for glassware and musical boxes.
This has sooooooo many musical boxes. I regret now not buying one.

I would have bought this one... 2 dahschunds playing the violin and the flute
* Back to Hokkaido again???? Yes pleaseeeeeeeeeeee

Yupe..... i got sucked into buying a Burberry Blue Label scarf.
I bought it only because its exclusive to Japan... :p

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Remembering Japan (Part 1)

Its been a little over a year ago when the hubby and I visited Hokkaido, Japan. Sapporo and the other towns we visited were blanketed in fresh snow. Only a few days ago there was this heartbreaking earthquake/tsunami at Sendai (north east of Japan?). Its more of a mountain/agricultural area..and the damage is devastating. We didn't go there but the news of it certainly made me sad. I can't bear to watch anymore of the news on television....

Anyhow, lets go back to the happier side of this post. Now where was I? Oh ya...there was a lot a lot a lot of snow when were there in January. It was actually new years when we were there.

We experienced all forms of snow:
1) Light, soft and fluffy snow...gently falling on your face.

2) Heavy, piercing..OMG get me outta here snow

We went skiing...and I must say its the best snow! Soft powdery snow... We skied on snow that were fresh...and no one has skied before us. Falling over (which did not happen too frequently :P) was comfortable :P because it was like falling on fluffy cushions. The scenery was very picturesque. Too bad the ski trip was a little too short. We were on a tour from HK and no one wanted to ski except us. So we had only the morning to ski, and by noon....we had to do compulsory 'shopping'/'sight-seeing' stuff.

Me and my snow angel. Bringme back to the snow!

We went to some mini bear zoo. This is the part I do not agree...they kept bears and raccoons in some enclosed area out in the open in the middle of winter. Tourists like us will then buy apples or whatever to feed them. I thought bears we supposed to be hibernating in winter? These poor animals were doing tricks to make us feed them. I have to say I fell in love with a few..ehhee... because he/she was too cute. Check out the photos below. Which one is the cutest?

Of course we ate and ate. How can one go to Japan and not stuff their face with their cuisine? Boy did we eat. Seafood is abundant in Hokkaido. There must be some form of growth hormone in the sea of Hokkaido. The size of the prawns, crabs, scallops, abalone are like XXL compared to the ones we find back in Australia, Malaysia and HK.

One thing I didn't enjoy was the way it was cooked (or lack of..). We were adviced to eat them all raw...... I can eat raw stuff but not everything...every meal. Not in the middle of winter when it is 1 degree outside. Sometimes there is a shabu-shabu style meal but still...where is my stir-fry crab with XO sauce served on a bed of noodles? I have Chinese blood flowing in I love my stir-fry :P Yeah too much raw stuff on this trip. I gave up on raw stuff one lunch and ordered a Tonkatsu Bento. MmmMMm crispy deep fried pork.

We did eat some non-raw stuff too.. We had some ramen.
My ramen chef cooking away...and my lovely buttery Hokkaido ramen..mmMMmm.
Dinner is complete with Sapporo beer on tap ^^

Of course the Japanese McDonald. Joe's mum told us we had to eat their prawn burger. Hmm nothing special..... Maybe it had to do with us trying to gobble it down quickly while we were there because our eyes and noses were burningfrom the cigarette smoke. Smoking is allowed indoors in Japan.All these ladies were puffing away in McD. EWWwww......

I didn't get to do any clothes shopping in Hokkaido :( The one thing I did get though was a Blue Label Burberry scarf. Since Blue Label is exclusive to Japan, I had to get one :) The tour didn't allow us much time to do retail shopping.

Oh yea, I did buy another thing...I bought a Le Creuset Round 24cm (Wasabi Colour). The tour guide was SHOCKED that we were going to lug a pot home. He said he's never ever seen someone buy that :) What can I say? I'm special. Also, the Wasabi range is only available in Japan. Good purchase! (oh it was on sale too). I love cooking with it........ So pretty :)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Next Post: Japan Trip 2010 !

This one is a special request by Audrey :)
* I need to find the photos :P
Embarrassing Moments
(image by Garance Dore)

This happened in 2010 April/May when I was shopping in HK with the husband and the mother-in-law. We were hunting for a bag for Joe's aunt who resides in Malaysia. So we were browsing in Salvatore Ferragamo @ TST. When suddenly a beautiful bag caught my eye sitting there on the side table next to the shoes. I quickly walked over....picked it up and admired it and thought:

"Gee... this display bag is kinda heavy. Its so beautiful. Since when did Ferragamo make a Hermes Birkin bag look-a-like?"

Sales lady: "Excuse Miss, this bag belongs to the lady trying on her shoes over there"

-______________________- """"""""

ZOMG...I was so red faced...... And yes my husband saw me doing the crazy deed. I had to dash quickly back to the bag section...and pretended that never happened. Thank goodness the onwer of the bag did not see me.......

Thats why I put up a picture drawn by Garance Dore of a lady carrying a Birkin.

Welcoming 2011...the year of the Rabbit

We didnt spend the lunar new year in Malaysia or in Hong Kong due to work commitments. So we had to celebrate it in Australia with our buddies. I've never really cooked a CNY meal so this year, it was my attempt No.1. Its not a very traditional FooChow CNY meal but it still feeds 4 people :P

1) Roast duck (this was a take-away dish)

2) Steamed osyters with XO sauce..mmMm

3) Steamed Snapper with lots of garlic and scallions

4) Stewed Abalone (everyone liked it except me)

5) Crispy Pork Belly

6) Braised mushrooms with scallops

7) Spinach with Goji berries in Superior sauce

8) Red bean soup with mochi (sesame paste fillings)

It was a coincidence that we had 8 dishes. I just realised it while doing this post! Does that mean we'll be '8' for the rest of the year? :P

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Trying to Grow again..

Introducing my mini garden ...
1) The hardy herbs (Mrs Rosemary, Mrs Thyme and Mr Spring Onion)
If they die.... I will never attempt to plant again....

2) Japanese roses / a.k.a 9 a.m flowers (according to my grandparents)
They look a lot better now (this was taken 3 wks ago)

3) ???? They just looked cute so I got them from Bunnings :P

4) The bravest thing I've ever planted... Baby Snow Peas!
They are about 30 cm now and have started flowering ^^

Monday, March 07, 2011

Joining the Work Force..

(Barbie Dentist 1997
image from google-images)

Van has finally started working in 2011. But some (i.e the husband) will argue that working 3 days a week is slack). Hahaa...yea it is a bit slack but working 4 days a week in the place I;m working is considered full time already. They didn't have enough rooms to give me 4 days. So I'm not arguing :) Work is good so far....and everyone is nice. The boss is willing to give guidance anytime and that is a bonus.

I bought a similar barbie gift for my dear friend. I'm glad she absolutely adores it. Phew!!! Otherwise she'd think I've gone cuckoo in the head for buying her a toy as a birthday pressie. I wonder is it in her surgery or at home? I would put mine in the surgery...but I guess kids might smother it will they germs......

Talking about barbie dolls, I've only had ONE barbie during my entire childhood. She had long wavy blonde hair but over the years it straightened out and turned a bit brassy. And of course I gave her a haircut! I gave her a BOB..and why didn't it grow back???

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ooh La La...My Bison Pot & Carrots...

The last photo was edited to give an antique/rustic feel.... do you like it?

The main reason for this post was to show the ginseng like carrots the hubbie took home from work. A nurse at the clinic had a huge harvest last week so she was giving them away.... They look too cute to be eaten.... Maybe I should replant them? Will they grow more baby carrots? Haha I doubt it......

Most of my friends would know that I can't grow anything. I can even kill cactus. And up til today I still have the dried cactus sitting on my kitchen bench....I don't want to believe that I killed I'm just gonna pretend that the cactus/cacti are still alive :)
FYI: All my herbs die too (even rosemary)

The only things that thrive in our garden are the things planted by our gardener i.e everything. Anything else we put in..... it goes to vegie heaven....

Hmmm actually we do have one thing that survived. Our Olive tree....but I think it only survived because my gardener transplanted it into the ground...otherwise I think it would have been short lived too....

Lesson learnt so to get the gardener to plant it and look after it. No potted plants in the house unless its plastic... :P