Friday, December 30, 2005

Skier chez Argentière

Heya, hope all of you all had a good Christmas! I survived skiing and the crazy Boxing day sale, so be prepared for a LONGG post. I just got back from a week of skiing in Argentière, France, and it was FUN FUN FUN! Going with such a large group made it even more exciting when we met other students from Oxford, Bath, Manchester and Citi University on the same trip.

Argentière is situated 8km above Chamonix, a charming and quaint village at 1250m. It's at the heart of the Mont Blanc alpine area in the French Alps, which is the highest mountain in western Europe at 4808m above sea level!

We stayed with UCPA Argentière, and it was already snowing when we first arrived, marking a crazy start to the holiday with snowball fights... :) Here's a snapshot taken from the balcony of our hostel, just like a fairy tale snow kingdom, don't you think? The court you see in the picture is an ice skating rink :D

Upon arrival, we had the day off as we arrived in the afternoon. Hence, we went to Chamonix town to search for lunch. It's strange when all restaurants or food outlets closes after 2pm or so, when nowadays people's eating patterns changed drastically probably due to different sleeping habits. We were adviced to go to Chamonix as there is a McDonald's there apparently, and they don't close all day (obviously). Talk about globalization, I still find the idea of a McD's on the alps unbelievable... Here are some pics we took, and 2 monkeys called Herman and Grace jumpin' in the air of snow ;P

At Chamonix, most of us opted for the ideal lunch menu, crêpe! I definitely had chocolate overdose that day as I shared both the crêpe with chocolate, ice cream and whipped cream + chocolate sponge with custard with a friend. Variety is after all, the spice of life ... =P

Anyways, after that we explored the lil' town and I found something amusing ... But one question first, 'What do you get on Nutella's 40th anniversary?' To keep you in suspense, I shall only tell you the answer at the end of this post. =P No cheating! Give yourself 3 tries only!

Next few days were basically skiing with an instructor. Wee Ben, Hong Hsien, Josephine and I were in the same group with a few other French students and 2 Brits who had initial skiing experiences. Think the highlight of the trip was when I/we accidentally skiied down a black slope... TWICE. It's a long story...

The first time occured when we were directed to go back ourselves by the ski instructor Laurent, when he had to search for one of the members who went missing at La Flegere. Daredevil Wee Ben, who led the team back, happened to have a bad sense of direction, and just took whichever slope that seems to lead downwards. Lisa (one of the Brits) and I began to notice something amiss as the slope we were skiiing seemed narrow, winding and a little too difficult for a blue slope. For your info, ski slopes are rated according to difficulty, green/blue/red/black in ascending order of difficulty. I looked for signs and noticed 'Le Praz' in BLACK, which is basically a slope for pro skiiers. *Sweat* LOL. We looked at each other, stunned. Oh heck, there's no other way down and we were already halfway down the 5km slope. So off we skiied and were knackered by the end of the journey, and no one knew it was a black till we told them at the bottom of the slope! Lisa calls Wee Ben a lunatic from then on, but it feels good to finally do a black one, it wasn't too bad and the adrenaline rush was worth it ;)

Second time was on Wednesday where we had half day off and most of us went to ski at La Flegere again. It was just Wee Ben and I as it was easier to ski in smaller groups and we lost Josephine midway as she turned into another direction and we couldn't locate her. So being a 'blur sotong' who followed a bigger 'blur sotong', both of us tried a new red slope, which probably was a big mistake as it was an ungroomed red slope, i.e. a black equivalent. >_< bumpy rocks all the way. It took us almost 2 hours because it was quite scary. I crashed infinite times with skis flying, hence spent almost an hour to wear my skis on a slope and not losing my balance. Quite a creepy experience, and it was a very tiring one as we had to brake non-stop as it was steep and bumpy. But yeap we survived it again and this was a more satisfying experience than the last. Moral of the story: do not follow most ski routes that Wee Ben takes, LOL ;D

So days just breezed pass, like all happy days always do. We played Bridge almost every night and other board games, I learnt how to (sort of) play contract bridge too! Very interesting... On the last day, we all went sight seeing and take pics of Mont Blanc. Taking the cable car up from Aiguille Du Midi, it was FREEZING cold at -30 Celcius with strong winds. Only managed to take a few shots before my fingers became frozen ladies fingers :P But it was really beautiful, and we saw Mont Blanc too, misty and mysterious, from a distance away.

So that's the summary about the ski trip, enjoy the pictures!

P.S- By the way, the answer to the Nutella question was even MORE Nutella!

I think this was probably 4kg or something, forgot to check the weight. ;)

Anyways, have a Happy New Year everyone!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Food Personality

You Are Mexican Food

Spicy yet dependable.
You pull punches, but people still love you.

You Are Mud Pie

You're the perfect combo of flavor and depth
Those who like you give into their impulses

Pesto Pizza

Adventurous and hedonistic.
You live for new experiences and tastes
And you're not the type to have your pizza the same way twice
If they can put it on pizza, you're up for trying it!

Things to do when you're bored :P Mexican cuisine, mud pie and pesto pizza, hehe
Amazing that how they can come up with these random descriptions! LOL
So what kind of food are you?
Do take the quiz and tell me, I'm just curious at how many types of food they are in this quiz from pizza to pies to pastas ... :)

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Chill out

"What's your holiday plans like?" my housemates asked me.

"Oh, I'm going to ski in France for a week, spending Christmas in London, joining the mad boxing Day sales, ........*long pause*........ hmm other than that, nothing much, no concrete plans yet." I answered.

Note that doing 'nothing much' had been my plan for the past few days. It's just wonderful sitting around, tidying up your room, leisure reading, watching movies, going out, you name it, anything BUT work! :)

Loads have happened since, with Selwyn Snowball being the highlight, and basically hanging out with housemates before they go home for Christmas.

This picture is taken at the Snowball with Adam, Mike and Jo. It was hilarious since there was a false alarm for fire and we have to evacuate out to the lawn. Being Cambridge with their no-stepping-on-the-grass law (except for the Masters and Fellows), this was like the brilliant opportunity to set your foot (or rather, heels) on the nicely mowed lawn for once. The poor gardener will freak when he sees the artwork done by the high heels ploughing the ground the next day...

This was our mini Christmas party last night, opening Christmas crackers given to us by Claire. This is no ordinary cracker for sure, to zoom in to what I'm holding in my hand :

I never knew they had BAILEYS Christmas crackers! It's a nice surprise especially when it pops up once you pull the crackers, without breaking cause its in a plastic bottle. Someone had the random idea of it being made from glass and so you have to concentrate and catch your BAILEYS before it breaks once it falls to the ground... *smacks forehead*

Monday, November 28, 2005

End of Term :)


Don't know exactly why I said that, probably just because the term is finally coming to an end! =) I just flunked my French listening test, but strangely enough I just laughed and find it hillarious because I could just imagine how much fun and laughter the teacher will have when she reads her student's (or rather, specifically mine) answer. Goodness, French people do speak fast... and they said Malaysian's do that! My housemates once thought I was speaking my native language when I was speaking to my Malaysian friends in ENGLISH! Well, I guess its the same for everyone learning foreign languages.

This term certainly has been a crazy one, I'm finally done with my post as a Treasurer with the Malaysian society. Yet it has been good fun and craziness to the brink with us always doing things last minute and just challenging ourselves at a higher level. From the Malaysian Feast till Malaysian Night, it was more fun than work really, with so many hillarious moments shared together.

This is the committee member at work, battling with tons of garlic,minced meat and brocolli's. That's only some of the amount of food that was needed to feed 210 people!

And this is the Pandan sista's, didn't mommy tell you NOT to play with food? :P

Anyways I fiddled with my Photoshop and here I present you da A team. Truly. ;)

Top row: President Sui Seng with his classic smile, Sin Yi the superwoman secretary, Yi Jin our clown and webmaster, me the Treasurer, and Alvin a.k.a Sporty Spice (:P, I meant officer).

2nd row: Irene our creative Entz director, Mr Welfare Shen Han, Ash the 'spammer' publicity officer, Hasli our dear PG rep, and of course the next Nigella Lawson, Lay Ping.

I will miss our slacker meetings for sure, it's been amazing working with you guys! Anyways, let's toast to welcome the holidays!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Yes and No.
Yes its Flower 4, and No its not the Taiwanese band from Meteor Garden (though I must admit I enjoyed Meteor Garden I).
Phew, finally back online after 1 week when my computer crashed.
This photo should explain everything.... :D

Everyone, meet 'F4' (from left to right):

Winter, Spring, Autumn, Summer! (darn, we should have stood according to seasons... :P)

Think it was my bizzare idea to dress up before the cold sets in, and so happen all of us have floral themed dresses for the 'Fantastic 5' birthday formal! The Newhall formal was organized by Ash and Rachel who both have their birthdays on 31st Oct, and since there was so many bdays within the next 10 days, 5 of us decided to celebrate it all in one go :)

Here are the 5 bday people: Ash, Rachel, me, David and Alvin. Amazing night, good food and enhanced my art of pennying, and most of all the great company :D. It was good to see everyone halfway through the term, it just amazes you when you realize how long you haven't seen someone since the term just whizzes by like the speed of light. Looking forward to the holidays now for sure...

Anyways, we had a posher version of bangers and mash for main course, its VENISON sausages! Haven't had them before, but was really nice with a stronger taste than ordinary sausages, would definitely go very well with paella. By the way have you all wondered what happens when you mix wine with sugar, spice and everything nice?

Yeap, my partnerS in crime (you know who you are!) seasoned Suresh's wine with a lil' salt, sugar and pepper before pennying it without him realizing LOL! But he said it wasn't TOO bad...

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The 20's Club

Welcome to the 20's Club!!!

Should I be :)? :I? or :( ? today?
Ok, let's start with the bad news...

:( ---> I felt like a dumbass in supervision just now as I just wasn't focusing on what he was saying, or hmm.. even in lectures halfway through the term? Not a good sign ...

:I ---> Losing the freedom to write my age beginning with the number 1... and have to get used to 2's. Not sure if its a good or bad thing... *deep in thought* Sign of old age? Sign of maturity? Glass Half full? Half empty? Come to think of it, when exactly is the adult age? You say you're grown up when you reach 18, yet it happens again when its 20, AND 21, but I suppose after 21 there's no more bit of teenager-ness that you could probably use as an excuse anymore... LOL

:) ---> There's plenty to be happy about for sure! Receiving visits from Alvin and Ash past midnight (talking bout Monty Pyton :D), countless birthday wishes and emails/msn's/phone calls, cards & presents.. CAKES, CAKES and CAKES (toast to obesity! LOL)! No kidding, 3 cakes! Okay, actually its sort of 4 of them really:

The first one, from best friend Shiun Haur, which arrived a teeny bit too early (he forgot the daylight saving thing, so UK is 8 hours behind), at 11pm. But nontheless cool and authentic, digitized version, which you see at the top of the page.

Time for cake 2, a lucious choc one from Thornton's:

Courtesy of the usual 'gang', THANKS lots, it was a powerful chocalate-y dose, which scored a 6.5 on the deadly sins scale :P Ok, I created that randomly, well since Scoville is the unit measurement for hotness of chillies, named after a German scientist apparently...HMm.. maybe we should call it the Lee scale :P, i.e. a measurement of the 'sinfulness' of chocolate desserts, combining scientific calculations of calorie contents, plus % of cocoa and bittersweetness, and qualitative ones like sugar high/happiness after consumption. Okay, this idea shall be cast aside for a moment for further R&D. :)

3rd one from dear Jo, my housemate:
Simple, down to earth and yummy spongecake with butter icing (left pic)! :D ---> scoring 6.5 as well on the Lee scale! Woohoo! I had 20 candles sticking there, thanks to Pete and Mike, who got it all set, bright and burning for me before the birthday song ... Andy got me a pretty little cake from M&S too! :D
Thanks everyone for making my birthday celebration SUCH a special one this year! Really appreciate it! *hugz* :)

Monday, October 31, 2005

Monday Blues

It's the mid of 4th week already, and on a Monday morning, 30 minutes before lecture, here I am blogging bout the Monday blues.. :D
Just wondering if Monday blues still hit most of you all in university?
Hmm.. seems like my favorite days are Fridays and Saturdays, but by Saturday night the slight feeling of Monday blues starts too creep in. Is that early or what?
But does it really matter anyways? I just have 2 hours of lectures today, yet weekends I usually have to rush my work in for Mondays.
But if you refer back to my first statement, then why would I enjoy weekends more if I have to work longer hours?
NO, this does NOT imply I'm a nerd, LOL :) Maybe I just like the flexibility of time and perhaps the so called 'thrill'/'positive stress' that comes with my usual 'rushing-to-finish-that-essay' sessions.
Yikes, I'm late for lectures, that's the way to start a Monday! ;P

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Designer Desserts!!!

Health issues aside, don't you sometimes just wonder why on earth people have appetizers and should just replace them with desserts, and have desserts before and after a meal? LOL :D

Okay, maybe that's a little overboard, or rather I'm on sugar high now, but that's just a random thought.

Recently, I attended a college reunion party at a hotel and was served these funky desserts. Tiny, classy and perfectly crafted, that's all you need so you can try a variety without adding a spare tyre to your waist! :)

Check THESE out!

1st Picture:
Clockwise from left:
Chocolate coated strawberries, Hazelnut cheese cake, mini choc cake with strawberry, green tea mousse, pear tart and assorted fruits.

2nd Picture (not too visible)
Front row, left to right:
Lobster bisque in a cup, choc coated strawberries and chocolate stick with caramelized sugar!

The chef must have been a real genius to create miniature versions of desserts, you can imagine that I went a few rounds to just try all of range he has served! Even my first course was desserts, haha :P

Saturday, September 24, 2005

The D.D. Affair

Muahahah :P , isn't he cute? My all time favourite Disney character Donald Duck !

I went to Hong Kong for a visit and did a Disneyland trip as well to check out the hype. It's a tiny mini Disneyland really, and I wasn't really impressed with the rides, though it can be argued that I probably grew out of it, but I have to give credit to those who did the excellent landscaping for the AdventureLand especially. Leafy trees, lakes, and even a tree house for a Bali-like ambiance fits well with the occasional late afternoon breeze and chocolate ice cream :) Even the Space Mountain roller coaster ride, wasn't challenging or exciting enough for 13 year old teens as I overheard one of them saying so. Looks like for now it really is just a kids wonderland, but as its just at the baby stage, lets not be too critical and hope for more fun rides in future expansions!

Anyways, just mention HK's food scene and the word 'dim sum' will definitely appear in people's mind, and of course I didn't miss the chance to have my fair share of that! Being too engrossed in eating, I forgot to take pics of those, however here's another photo on the 'little eats' or 'xiao chi' (snacks/tidbits) in typical HK 'char chan teng's' (coffee shops):

Egg tarts, Po Loh Pau, Char Siew Pastry and Century egg pastry with lotus paste. YUMz!

It's my first taste of the authentic Po Loh pau of HK after watching it on TVB series for years, its basically a freshly baked bun with orange-y custard filling. Not bad but I still like others better like char siew pastry cause I'm a self confessed pastry addict though I know its not the healthiest thing around! LOL :) It's not often you get good pastries around too as some are just thick and tastes starchy, not like these crisp flaky ones I had. Looking forward to check out more Asian cuisine next time during my summer holidays... ;)

Saturday, August 20, 2005

New Kid on the Blog!

Hi all!

Just decided to join the bloggers bandwagon, especially after reading so many creative and inspiring food blogs online. Having accumulated a large collection of food pictures thanks to the habit of food photo takings acquired during my travels , I thought why not utilize them and share it online with everyone? :D

Feel free to leave your comments as I hope you all enjoy my posts and pics!