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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Singapore Adventure: Xin Nian Kuai Le!

Happy Chinese New Year! May we all have a prosperous Year of the Ox ahead.
- o0o -
Today, I had my college friends over for lunch. Why? Well, there are a couple of reasons...
(1) We've been here at our Marsiling flat for over a year now and they haven't seen our place yet.
(2) I want to show off my newly-acquired cooking skills.
(3) A little Chinese New Year celebration.
(4) For a long overdue catch up.
(5) To celebrate my recent change in "status". ^_^
I served Pancit Canton, Meatballs, Buttered Garlic Shrimp, and Barbecued Pork Chops. For dessert, I made some Leche Flan (my tried and tested recipe, of course!) Pipay brought some bibingka, it was very nice. Though they didn't openly admit my cooking is good, the several rounds they took around the buffet table gave them away. :P (You did enjoy my cooking, right?)
Their visit was short but definitely sweet. We didn't even get to snap photos, or try our new Wii game (House of the Dead 2 & 3), or belt a couple of songs out with our new Magic Sing (Wow Concerto 2009 Edition).
But what we did do is browse through our Baguio Adventure Scrapbook, a trip we took in 2003). Lanie and April, you seriously need to come out clean... No more secrets to Dave and Aldwin... Hahaha....
Looking forward to seeing my girlfriends again. Speaking of which... Mae, Egay, Jing, I miss you!!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Malaysia Adventure: Day Two - Touring the City

Photos taken during our KL City Tour. We went to the different popular tourist spots within KL. The Handicraft Center, the King's Palace, the National Museum, the War Memorial, the National Mosque, and the Independence Square. The places we visited are interesting. Specially the National Museum which almost caused our tour scheduled to be delayed since we have spent more time there than allocated.
Also after the city tour, we also made quick stops to different "pasalubong shops". The leather shop, the batik shop, and the chocolate shop. We brought back to the hotel plenty of shopping bags! Hehehe... And of course, tons of scrapbook-worthy photos. ^_^




Saturday, January 17, 2009

Malaysia Adventure: Day One - Conclusion

After dinner, we have successfully managed to find our way back. Again taking the same train lines as we did on the way to the mall. An interesting poster on the train wall caught our eye.

And yes, we are still in KL. :P

With me in the photo is a poster promoting "Uniquely Singapore". On the poster is the Marina Bay overview in the night time. Wonderful, is it not?

But before we went back into the hotel, we again made a quick trip to the mall just right beside it. I cannot recollect the name of the mall exactly... Was it "The Mall" or something?? Yeah... I think it is named "The Mall" (look closely at the name of the building in the photo).

Okay, back at the hotel to get some much needed relaxation and sleep. We need to get up early the following day to make it on time for the City Tour we have booked. Pick up time for the tour was at 0930 hours, and if we want to enjoy the buffet breakfast, we need to be up early, non-negotiable! ^_^

Some more snaps before finally concluding Day One of our Malaysia adventure.

Hotel Entrance


The floor map of the hotel is quite unique. From the entrance, you won't immediately be greeted by the Concierge or the Reception Desks. You still have to take the lift to the 9th floor where the Hotel Lobby is actually located. So this photo was taken at the entrance of the hotel on the ground floor near the lifts hall.

Hotel Lobby
The 9th floor is where the real happening is. ^_^

When we entered the hotel's spacious lobby, music from the piano is playing. It appears that on the evenings, the guests are serenaded with some soft, soothing music. The lighting was fantastic and the position of the piano under the wide dome at the center of the lobby is just so picture perfect! If I remember correctly, the song playing was "The Way You Look Tonight". Aww... so romantic!



The staircase was pleading to have it's photo taken with me, so I gave in. :P

I snapped this photo of my Cookie out of fun. I love you my Cookie for being such a good sport. Mwah! :-*

Our Suite

More snaps of our room, now from the other side. I told you it was spacious. ^_^



We spent the rest of the evening watching Hitch on Star Movies. Then, it was time for bed.
It was a fantastic Day One in KL. Good night!


Malaysia Adventure: Day One - Catching Up

Another great thing of being in KL is getting to see a friend after quite a while. A little catch up and some great new memories to take back home when the visit is over. Memories just enough to last until the next rendezvous.

Mun played host to the Cookies while at KL. She gave us some tips on which nice places to visit and how to get around KL by maximizing the convenience of their train system. Also, the day of our flight, she sent us the news that flight scheduled to land at the LCCT might be delayed due to the small fire that broke out in the airport that same morning. For all these great help, the Cookies are so very thankful.

Oh, and did I mention she took us out to a wonderful dinner of Malaysian dishes at Madam Kwan's in the new Pavillion Mall? ^_^



We had King Prawns, Chicken Curry, Vegetables with Beancurd, Fried Rice, Char Kuay Teow, and delicious classic ice lemon tea. It was indeed a feast! And we did finish the whole flair! But the best part of the meeting was definitely the conversation.
(It was actually Mun's idea that I take a photo of the food as she's been an avid reader of the Cookie Adventures blog. ^_^)

Here is a quick snap of us girls. My Cookie took the photo. The background is the entrance of the restaurant where we had our dinner.

After dinner, we explored a bit of the mall. The boutiques were not so different from what the Singapore Malls have. But in Malaysia, they have Parksons. It is the more popular of the departmental stores there.

Being a weekend, the mall was a bit crowded. And with the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations, the mall was all dressed up for the occasion. Trees with cherry blooms lined the stairs leading to the mall atrium. It was eye candy indeed!


As we set out for the mall exit, we chanced upon the Golden Ox display. There were plenty of people taking photos. But we just need to have this photo and so we squeezed ourselves in. No regrets, it was a great photo, taken by Mun. It's our only photo together in Malaysia taken by a third party. ^_^




Malaysia Adventure: Day One - Finding Our Way

10 Jan 09, Saturday
0100 HRS

The Cookies landed at the LCCT of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Air Asia flight AK128 was 2 hours delayed due to the small fire at the LCCT in the morning. The waiting was actually longer than the actual flight time which only took 45 minutes from Singapore to the Malaysian capital.

At the terminal, our Airport to Hotel transfer is already waiting. From LCCT, it took another hour drive to The Legend Hotel located at Jalan Putra.

1108. That was our room number. We ordered from room service as we were famished from the long wait at the airport in Singapore. Grilled Chicken Salad and Fish and Chips FTW! Perfect ending to a very long Friday.


1000 HRS

The Cookies are self-confessed sleepyheads. Naturally, Saturday started pretty late. A buffet breakfast at the Hotel Restaurant, that we almost missed, which was followed by a quick visit to the hotel facilities - the Fitness Center and the Pool. The pool area had a fantastic view of the KLCC and the KL Tower.


1400 HRS

It's time to look around the neighbourhood. The location of our hotel was pretty convenient - a shopping mall just right outside. We went it and got on with the shopping. Only small items, of course. Shopping we can also get at Singapore. :P

Then a late lunch at the Secret Recipe. Yes, there is Secret Recipe in KL, also, Auntie Anne's, Starbucks, Giordano, McDonald's. It didn't feel like we were out of SG at all! :D





1600 HRS

It was a quite humid day and so, we opted to just book a KL City Tour for the next day at the Hotel Concierge instead of attempting to go on our own. So we were back at our room and decided on a photo shoot.

The room was quite homey, comfortable, well furnished but still spacious. The windows were broad but didn't have an extraordinary view. The KLCC and KL Tower were exactly 90 degrees from where our room was facing. Tough luck!




1800 HRS

Time to get moving. A little exploring the elaborate KL train system. We were off to meet our friend Mun. She is a former colleague at my last job in the Philippines. In my first year at Singapore, she came down to meet us. And now it's our turn to pay her a visit!

She gave us directions how to get to the Raja Chulan monorail station where the new Pavillion Mall is located. We were meeting her for dinner and some catch up. ^_^ To get there, we had to make two train rides. It was quite an adventure! But I must admit, KL's train system is definitely more complex than SG's Purple, Red, and Green lines!

On our way to the next train platform, we had to cross this bridge. The highway looked something like we have in Manila - EDSA to be exact. We large billboards and busy traffic. Also, there's an interesting building which looked similar to Australia's Opera House. Later we learned that it was actually KL's National Theater. Cool, huh?



Monday, January 12, 2009

Malaysia Adventure: Destinee

Something wonderful happened over the weekend, which the Cookies spent in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where we celebrated our 3rd year together. ^_^


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Singapore Adventure: Say What?

I have had this photo for quite sometime now. It took me a while to decide whether to post it here or not. And honestly, until now, I am still unsure if it's just me or if it really is a crime against the English language. ^_^
Just sharing a little laugh for the new year.

Happy New Year!!! :D
-o0o-
The underground crossing from the SMRT Dhoby Ghaut Station (Red Line) to The Atrium was out of service for around a month of the last quarter of 2008. And when it reopened in late November, the walls were still boarded up. Probably some construction work is still going on. And on the walls, this sign was posted.



"TEMPORARY HOARDING DO NOT LEAN"
Say What?!?!?!


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Singapore Adventure: Happy New Year Cookies

We have managed to keep awake for the countdown to the new year with a little help from the telecast of the Marina Bay Countdown on Mediacorp 5. It was satisfactorily entertaining, but still not as engaging compared to the countdown shows we have in the Philippines. :P

For Noche Buena, I served Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Barbecued Pork Liempo, Boiled Ground Nuts and Corn on the Cob, and Leche Flan for dessert. It was not a big feast, but we all went welcomed 2009 with full bellies and happy tastebuds. :D

First day of 2009 and I thought of doing another of my kitchen experiments - Happy New Year Chocolate Chip Cookies. With my (almost) trusty toaster oven, I whipped up cookie recipe I got off the internet and just crossed my fingers hoping the finished product is (at least) edible. And it is, surprisingly. I just need to do some work around with the baking time.



INGREDIENTS:

2 2/3 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup butter softened
2/3 cup white sugar
1 1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
chocolate chips

PROCEDURE:

1. Mix the first 4 ingredients.
2. In another bowl, mix the butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla extract. Blend them well.
3. Fold in the flour mixture.
4. When everything is folded in, add the chocolate chips.
5. Spoon into cookie sheet. Leave some space to let the cookies rise.
6. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Shorter baking time makes chewy cookies.
Happy New Year! ^_^