Saturday, December 31, 2011

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin

I did my research and found out that muffins are the easiest to bake. I would even consider taking pastry classes at onlinecourses.net to learn some new recipes.

Initially, I wanted to bake a low-fat blueberry muffin from the baking 100 everyday recipe book. But I found this recipe that doesn't require butter at allrecipes.com so I thought of giving it a try.

Here's my modified ingredients for 16 muffins:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:
  • Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • Combine egg, oil, milk and vanilla extract.
  • Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  • Fold in banana and chocolate chips.
  • Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.
  • Bake at 250 degrees for 22-25 minutes or until a cake-tester comes out clean.
  • Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to wire racks.

All set as the timer ticks...

Tada! A little burnt...

Second round was better.

It turned out pretty good. But need more banana the next bake.

Psychologically-satisfied, I'm enjoying my muffin knowing there was no butter but only the best of olive oil.

Now, I'm a proud pastry chef/baker's daughter, who can bake LOL.

Happy baking and a blessed New Year!

P/S: See you next year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Truly Blessed Christmas

At the end of November, Christine ran a Christmas Giveaway contest on The Wanderer's Journal.

Although I had been looking at ovens, I have yet to get it. Nonetheless, I really wanted the book on baking she was giving away to the winners. So, I participated.

I didn't win, initially. But the winner did not claim the prize within 48 hours, hence Christine ran another random number generator. And so I won one of the books on baking!

On the first week of December, Christine posted the book right away and within 2 days, I received it. After looking through, I had placed it on the book shelf. I mean I couldn't do much, I didn't have an oven. I had to settle for no bake chocolate walnut cake and rice cooker carrot cake remember?

Thanks to Christine, I really love the handy book.

If you want free recipes, click over to The Wanderer's Journal. You'll be mesmerised by the pictures and you'll get step by step baking recipes.

Are you wondering what's behind the book in the picture above?

Well, it is a surprise Christmas gift from the hubster.

I literally ripped the wrapper off!

Tada! My very first oven.

I love the oven to bits not just because it is my first oven, but it is a gift well-thought of. The hubster believes in me more than I do myself, and that's the reason I treasure him so very much. He is not just my best friend, he is one person who supports my growth (since I was a teenager until I am an adult today) and pulls me towards my highest potentials.

Anyway, I lifted the book from the shelf and looked through for my first attempt to bake (after more than 6 years of living without an oven). I've picked one and I'm looking forward to the weekend baking. So, come back later to find out how the bake turns out!

Happy holidays and a blessed new year!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Churp Churp Christmas Giveaway

I have accepted the challenge!

This is my virgin participation at Churp Churp. And I'm crossing my fingers hard to be invited for the Christmas Gift Exchange.

Therefore, I am committed to start and/or end your day with a hearty laugh.

The funny video is so hilarious, you'll love to LIKE the video here>>>

You can tweet it and leave a comment too.

It'll be very much appreciated. After all, the path to greatness is together. So feel free to share it with your friends and earn me a few more LIKES.
Churp Churp Christmas Giveaway
Source: Churp Churp Blog
Many thanks in advance and have a blessed holiday celebration!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Wedding Dedication

Yesterday we attended my cousin’s wedding at Evergreen Laurel Hotel, Penang.

To me, it's the wedding of the year! The bride was gorgeously beautiful and the groom was stunningly dashing. And it brought back many fond memories...
2011                                                   1986

I’ve known her my whole life. She has been there since my birth. And the wonderful thing is she is exactly one month older than I am.
On my first birthday, trying to grab Grace's egg
My 3rd birthday, a month after Grace's
We had the same dress in different colours
We went to kindy and graduated together
We went to school (activities) together
We graduated together, though she had always been the smarter one

Many will not grasp or even comprehend my love for Grace. So I thought it would be appropriate to write a poem on our lives growing up together.

Grace, I’ve known you since forever
Ever since the time I can remember
It has now been more than 28 years
Haven’t we had much fun and tears?

As children, we were pretty much inseparable
I looked up to you as a sister and a role model
We shared the deepest secrets and told some lies
We cycled, we explored and we looked at guys

With being playful and mischievous over the time
You’re not just my cousin but my partner in crime
Whenever I was in trouble, there without a doubt
You would always be by my side bailing me out

It has truly been an honour to be at your wedding party
Even the old photos confirm “where Grace is, there is Jamie”
Not only were you my cousin, you were my best friend
And that is what I will be holding on until the very end

Grace and Paris, the ride together is much better
Take each day and cherish your time together
And take time to love and stand for one another
So here is to love, joy and happily ever after

Have a blessed journey as husband and wife!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How To Love And Not Love

A few years ago, I wrote a post on Love and Unloved? whereby I expressed that we cannot possibly un-love after we have fallen in love.

When I have loved, and am loved, I find it very difficult to bid goodbye and to let go. Or maybe it is my choice to say "see you soon" instead. And maybe I choose to hold on to the treasure of memories, not wanting to shelf them behind my mind, collecting dust.

Or for this case, maybe it was my first employment. Maybe it's just me, being me...

Since stepping out, I have been reminiscing the ups and downs we had weathered together, and I have been feeling the pinch for nasty remarks and cold shoulders from this family who strongly propagates love.

Many little memories are still boxed up when we moved, but the few managed to creep out of the box. These things remind me how much I have missed them. And honestly, work didn't seem like any labour at all although we toiled through the evening and sometimes into the wee hours.

A birthday gift from my then division manager,
who has also turned her back on me since my departure.

Some years ago, I have opened my heart to love this family, and I have not learnt nor mastered the skill to close my heart. That is why... three years after the separation, I still have not stop loving them.

I have been loving and hating this family with equal measure. But I am not willing to forget the great times we've shared. I'm not willing to let go, at least not yet for now.

Happy loving your neighbour as yourself!

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Things I Am Thankful For

Since it's Thanksgiving... and oh, Happy Thanksgiving! If you have read my scribbles, I have a Gratitude Journal. As I was looking through, I was pondering on some of the everyday things I cannot live comfortably without.

Writers from before time used the typewriter, today we have the computer. But I cannot imagine a world without pencils or pens, and paper. Don't we see them lying around everyday at work and at home?

I value quietness and I enjoy time alone. But I cannot imagine a world without family and friends, and interaction.  Don't we see them in the kitchen or in front of the tele or their names on our contact list everyday?

Girls sometimes put on a strong face and say 'no' to support offered. But I cannot imagine a world without brassieres and panties. Don't we see them in the mirror everyday?

It has existed ever since the earth was formed. But I cannot imagine a world without nature - the sun and moon, rainbow and stars, animals and trees, mountains and seas. Don't we see them everywhere everyday?

Everything in life is a gift - family, friends, work, joy, giving, gratitude, dreams, love, money, learning, problems and even a single day. In fact, life itself is a gift. I cannot imagine a world without the grace of God, and His love. Don't we inhale His breath of life every second of everyday?

These are the five everyday things I cannot imagine living without.
What are other everyday common things that we might have taken for granted?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

How To Cook Beef And Egg With Rice

In Malaysia, and for most parts of Asia, our staple food is rice.

When I was young, some days, our meals included a small bowl of rice and hot water with soya sauce (as soup). And some good days, we had rice with a few dishes of fish curry or assam prawns, fried chicken and steamed egg, stir-fried veg and in most meals, we had fried beancurd – my mum’s favourite dish.

Growing up, pretty much every meal included rice, which is why I had learned to cook rice instead of noodles (except instant noodles). And I love getting creative with rice meals as you may have read and enjoyed:

At its simplest, beef and egg with rice is so easy to cook and so little time is required! We had a great meal and I hope you will too.

Ingredients to serve 4:
  • 2 cup brown rice
  • 3 medium egg
  • 1 large grounded beef patty, seasoned with soya sauce and black pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, sliced into strips
  • 1 tablespoon rock salt
  • 2 tablespoon soya sauce
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

 Directions:
  1. Rinse and drain rice. Add 1 tablespoon rock salt and cook rice as usual in a rice cooker.
  2. Crack 3 medium eggs, add 2 tablespoon soya sauce and beat with a fork until blended.
  3. When rice is cooked, pour the eggs into the rice cooker and let it sit in the heat.
  4. After about 3 minutes, stir in the grounded beef patty into the rice and press ‘cook’.
  5. When the rice cooker clicked to ‘keep warm’, add in the chopped garlic, sliced ginger and 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil.
  6. Stir well and serve!

You may opt to garnish with chopped spring onions or fried onions (iu chang, in hokkien).

Happy cooking!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Benefits Of Starbucks Card

So, what's with the buzz?

Starbucks Malaysia introduced its new Starbucks Card, a stored value card that offers great convenience for purchases at any Starbucks store nationwide. Functions like a debit card, you can use the Starbucks Card to purchase anything and everything in store - your favourite drink, dad's favourite whole bean coffee or the ever cool tumblers for your son.

What's the benefits of Starbucks Card that had a line of people queuing up at The Curve an hour before the launch, just to redeemed a free preloaded card for the first 100 visitor?


If you didn't get the free preloaded card, it is available for sale at RM20 with RM20 preloaded in the card.  The limited edition Christmas Starbucks Card is selling out fast, or maybe already sold out. But the regular design should very much be still available.

Truly, it is more than just a stored value card because from your very first swipe, you get a complimentary grande handcrafted beverage of your choice. Yes, absolutely free.

When you have purchased any 10 handcrafted beverages OR any tumbler OR any whole cake, you get a complimentary grande handcrafted beverage of your choice.

That's not all, when you have purchased 8 packets of 250g whole bean coffee, you get a complimentary 250g whole bean coffee OR when you have purchased 12-pack VIA® Ready Brew, you get a complimentary 12-pack VIA® Ready Brew.

You can learn more at Starbuck Malaysia - Starbucks Card or follow Starbucks Malaysia facebook for the latest updates.

It is truly the perfect gift for everyone on your list with the gift of great coffee and the amount your choose.

Happy tra-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la!

P/S: Told you I'm already feeling Christmasy.

Monday, November 14, 2011

I Cannot Love You Completely

Copyright All rights reserved by Bible Lock Screens
Because our definition of love is different.
Because our expression of love is different.
Because our expectation of love is different.

Just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to, doesn't mean that they don't love you with all their being.

Often times, we give, expecting to receive the same measure. We labour, expecting the same reward. And likewise, we love, expecting to be loved the same way.

The thing is, if you haven't heard. We are different. God made us uniquely one and only.

I can't love like you. I can't love like Mother Theresa.
And I definitely cannot love like God.

Because we define love differently.
Because we express love differently.
And thus, we just need to accept the different faces of love.

Yesterday's sermon was short but profound. I enjoyed it with so much wisdom, confirmation and self-searching encouragement.

Once again, I'm reminded that we cannot expect to receive full attention from anyone else but God. So don't feel guilty if you're not living up to your parent's dreams for you or your spouse's expectation or your children's demands.

And don't make your parent's life difficult because they have done their best and given more than you thought. And don't give your spouse and children nightmares because they do love you more than you thought.

Give yourself and the people around you a break. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Since no one can please the whole world, so not everyone can please us (the way we want).

So, while I can't love you completely, what I can do is... I can love you the way I know love.

Life is more contented when we turn expectations to acceptance!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

KL Apartments For Rent Or Sale

As the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is the most popular state for expatriates, business people and tourists. The Federal Territory offers the latest and best hotels, premier shopping, tantalising dining and exquisite nightlife. That is why, you will sure find something to do in KL.

Even among the locals, many swarmed to KL city looking for career opportunities or a better life. If you in this city that never sleep in Malaysia and looking for a temporary or permanent residence you can call home, you can find KL apartments at PropWall.

Don’t be surprise to notice the difference – propwall.my (domain name) and propwall.com (website title). Nonetheless, both links to PropWall.

Screenshot from PropWall

What? Did I hear you say there are many similar website?

Let me share with you from my personal opinion how PropWall is different. Honestly.

Firstly, there is so much convenience and at a glance, you’ll know which are the Top Properties, Most Wanted Properties, Recently Updated Properties, Hot Properties For Rent, Hot Properties For Sale and Latest Property Q&A.

Secondly, after browsing the website, I notice that the properties listed are of a certain standard with quality photos, which makes good first impression before the call is made.

Thirdly, PropWall offers over 2,000 property analysis articles, which makes it the largest free property resources website in Malaysia. I personally find the articles very helpful especially in identifying or just to know the property market and in making a better decision is choosing a property, whether for rent or sale.

Don’t believe me?

Check out the ‘Properties’ tab and it will show you the list of properties in Malaysia by rank. You can easily click to review the analysis of the property or see the particular property’s total units for sale or for rent. You can also locate the property on the map button to see if that’s the area that interest you.

Screenshot from PropWall

If you would like to search for a property to rent or buy right away, you’ll find that under ‘Classifieds’ you can easily search for properties by area (various states in Malaysia) or by category (all property types, condominium, house, office, shop, factory and even land!).

Told you PropWall is different, didn’t I?

So, click over to PropWall and you’ll know why I’d recommend it to you, and even to my friends and family members should they be looking for a home in Malaysia.

For now, I’m going to drool over the photos of the beautiful residences featured on PropWall and dream of my dream home.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Luxury Goods. How Do You Define It?

One of the greatest things about being a writer is proofreading. Though it's tedious and sometimes exhausting, one of the satisfactions is that I get to read the entire book beforehand.

Yesterday, I finished proofreading a 49-page review and I read that fish is a luxury good to poor families in Bangladesh.

Can you imagine, something as common as fish or chicken. Pillow or slippers. Or clean air and water. Even as common as a smile, a hug or a companion. Such ordinaries are extra-ordinaries to some people in our family (maybe), community, city, nation and universe.

Reading that line made me pause and say a prayer. Because I remember when we were way younger, or during my parents' younger years, chicken was a once-a-year indulgence during Chinese New Year. Life has been good and today, chicken and fish are among the staple food we enjoy daily.

Now, dictionary.com defines luxury as:
  1. A material object, service, etc conducive to sumptuous living, usually a delicacy, elegance, or refinement of living rather than a necessity.
  2. A pleasure out of the ordinary allowed to oneself.
saving, giving, make a differenceBut in today's materialistic world, luxury is defined as caviar, Italian truffle, or Bugatti, Richard Mille, Cartier, Stuart Weitzman, or exotic vacations, yachting, private-jetting.

Shamefully, I fall into this category. And such reads always remind me that we were once there. And since our lives have changed, it is only fitting that we do even the littlest in our capabilities to make a difference in someone else's life.

And I still love the things from my childhood and days of auld lang syne. You will too if you're an 80s baby.

What is considered a luxury good in your life?
Do you still appreciate the simple and small things in life?
What are you doing to make a difference?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I Have Reached A Conclusion

Yes, that I am a coward. Literally.

I call out for opportunity, and when it is given, I back out.

I wonder if I fear responsibility that comes with the opportunity or I fear failure that creeps in the darkest of corner. It is an answer I'm still searching for.

Source: Cartoon Network Asia

With an opportunity to write a book in my hand, I throw in the towel instead.

In the process of being trained to lead a division, I got cold feet.

When given the Editor weasel, I weaseled out.

If there exists anything at all, this is something, and one thing that is too heavy for me to lift. At least for now.

Although I have reached this conclusion, I am not ready to put a full stop to it. Not yet. Because though I may be a coward, like Courage the cowardly dog, I may exhibit enough fearless ingenuity to protect the ones I love.

For now, I am determined to hunt down the root cause and fix it. And eventually undertake a project that at least, makes a difference, if it not a world changing project.

I'm on the quest to conquering this fear.

What do you fear most? How have you overcome it?

Monday, November 7, 2011

And When We Don't Give Up

Like the rainbow after the storm.
Or the beautiful pottery after meticulous shaping under the potter's hand.
Or diamonds, which are mere black stones, until the stones have been under extreme temperature and pressure to become the most precious gemstone.

When we press on, and when we walk through the loathsome, the difficult, the inconvenient. We come out stronger, wiser and surely, grateful.

Tango first day home, looked good though badly infected by fleas.

Became a professor!

He is always there, waiting for your attention.

Looking dashing, ready to rock the party!

The rugged boy.

Peekaboo!
He's not always serious, he can be very funny too.

Bliss. This picture makes all the efforts worthwhile.

They complete our family.

Happy persevering in anything and everything you do!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

When We Don't Give Up

A note I wrote just weeks after bringing Tango home. Oh how time flies! It has been 6 months...


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Mobile Blog

Introducing the mobile version of jamieywrites at jamieywrites.tumblr.com!

I'd be looking into free article writing services to get even more great posts for my new mobile blog.

It's all about the short and simple. Turning verbal thoughts into writing, and imaginary ideas into inspirations. So if you are an aspiring writer or world changer, then jamieywrites is just your cup of tea.

Follow me in this journey and let’s discover the wonders of writing and making a difference.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I Love London

You know, there is one thing we do not do as Malaysians or as for me, a Penangite. We don't step into a Malaysia souvenir shop or a Penang souvenir shop. At the most, we get something from Royal Selangor Pewters. I mean, why would I? And why would you?

I believe it would be the same in London, New York or anywhere else in the world. The locals tend to turn away from the seemingly chintzy stuff that tourists would buy. Is it because we live here and therefore, don't see their value and the need for them?

A souvenir from London

I have never step foot on the land of the Royals, yet I love everything about England. From its towers to theatres, over and undergrounds, hotels and architecture, the high and low places, pies and teas. Despite all the ugly things about it. What? You didn't think I knew about rough sleeping and other issues too? Well I do.

But you know the greatest is love, don't you? And love blinds us from seeing the bad side of something or someone, and it makes us see only the best in things or people.

Hence, I believe, one day I will inhale the air I have dreamed of, taste the chilling wind I have imagined it would be, sink my toes in the soil I have longed for and experience London the way I have loved it with my heart.

For now... I choose to reminisce the glory of London, the red buses, the telephone boxes and a warm afternoon tea as I watch the rain showers the land with much blessing.

Happy loving the simplest things in life!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hello November

I'll be adding a lot of YES attitude this month of NOvember.

It's all about the positive!

It's very crucial to start your day with the 'pluses' or positive energy because it sets the mood throughout the day. I know among the hardest places to keep your positive-ness is during rush hour or at work, but the best way of getting by is to keep a smile on your face :) Because a smile shows warmth, a welcoming expression, joy and acceptance.

Source: Google image

I believe in the best of people and I believe people will change for the better. It may take some time because after all, change kicks our butts off our comfort seat. And nobody likes that.

So let's give them some time, since we'll need that little extra time to change ourselves.

Happy smiling, every day!

Monday, October 31, 2011

My Abode Was Demolished!

This was my private corner.

Where I eat...

And where I play...

And where I sleep...

The last time I was in my private corner, I amazed mum by leaving my toy standing.

I'm both happy and sad that dad demolished my abode.

Happy that I can be with Pepper.

Sad that I don't have a personal hideaway.

Of course I'm more glad than not.

Check out what Pepper and I did when we were home alone.
video
With lots of love,
Tango

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