Kueh Talam Ubi Kayu (Steamed Tapioca Cake)

One of my favourite Nonya dessert. Its not sickeningly sweet and has a fragrant whiff of gula melaka (coconut palm sugar). Go wear your aprons right now!

Ingredients (makes a 8″ round deliciously sticky cake)
(bottom layer)
250gm grated tapioca
100gm gula melaka
100gm grated coconut, without skin
50gm tapioca starch, sifted
100ml water
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
(top layer)
400ml coconut milk
50gm rice flour, sifted
pinch of salt
few drops of pandan essence (optional)

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Ebisboshi Shotengai

This multiple concept Japanese food outlet was the only shop at Iluma which I found pretty interesting, other than the artists’ displayed works which dotted the entire mall. Most items on the menu were very value for money, and service was decent. Highly recommended if you long to check out girls trotting around in a French maid get-up. D-man seemed pretty intrigued, although he’ll rather be bitten by a vampire than to admit it. I had the pork belly ramen and it was really lip-smacking, fat-oozingly good.

Having said that you need some wits to actually get anything to eat. First there are 3 different areas of the restaurant you can choose from. One’s a Robotayaki counter, the other’s a hotpot corner and the one we went to was the main market where variety is the best. Apparently too good because we found out there are 5 menus to choose from.

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New Toy

My first medium format toy camera! I will post up the pics once they are developed. Probably only 0.5% of them will turn out visible because I forgot about the film format and kept taking indoor shots. Bleah!
Then again I give thanks everyday that I can remember my own name, let alone nitty gritty stuff like film formats.

I can’t wait to see the pics! I can’t wait I can’t wait I can’t wait!!

Impatient Amateur

ps: did I mention I can’t wait to see the pics?

Lucas’s playmates

A friend had gone to one of my favouritest place on earth for a holiday. And I’m happy to be entrusted with the honorable task of taking care of the furries.
I like pet sitting for friends. Lucas loves it. I think it we both welcome variety in our lives.

Not that Lucas knows exactly what variety is but that’s not the point. Is it?

No, variety is not a key word for a dog. Any dog owner can knows that. Give them the same treat everyday and they still behave like they’ve never seen it before in their lives.

These babies love me. And I love them.

And not because I have a dental bone in my hand. That has absolutely nothing to do with how much they want me.

The Chinese Wedding (Part 1)

So you’ve decided to tie the knot. And unfortunately you have to do the whole Chinese wedding ceremony and banquet shebang. Bless your heart. And lots of luck. Because you are going to need it.

Planning for a Chinese wedding is like organising a WHO meeting. There are preparations, considerations and frustrations before the actual celebrations. The whole event runs in a few phrases and stages:

Stage 1: Date for a suitable number of years. Too short and you’ll be suspected of marrying out of wedlock (and that would seriously damage your reputation if you come from a conservative Chinese family. Forever.).

Stage 2: Arrange for The Meetup. Parents of couple to meet over a meal and talk about The Expectations (usually a bomber, consisting of number of banquet tables required, boxes of wedding cakes desired, amount of dowry and etc). At this point some groom may seriously consider becoming a monk. And I don’t blame him really.

Stage 3: The couple runs around like headless chickens trying to find all the resources for The Wedding of a Lifetime. (or so they wish) They may already be contemplating for a divorce before marrying each other.

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Risk Concepts

Broadly speaking, investors are rewarded for 2 main types of risks that they take – market risk and credit risk:

Market risk
Very simply, market risk refers to risk of price movements of your investments. For example, the risk that share price of Company XYZ will plunge after you’ve bought its shares; or the risk of interest rate going through the roof after you’ve committed to a mortgage on an investment property. Or maybe you’ve converted some Singapore dollars into Australian dollars, and the exchange rate has now moved against your favour – that’s also market risk. If you are someone working in the financial world, one way to measure market risk is using the variance at risk or VaR technique. However, since this column is intended for retail investors who are largely laymen, we shall not be discussing the technique since it involves a great deal of complexity.

It should be noted that given the uncertainty of market directions in general (there is no guarantee that you will get your original capital back), the reward for engaging in market risk – that is, capital gain – typically far exceeds that of credit risk. As we mentioned in the last blog post, high returns normally accompany high risks, low risks low returns.

Many retail investors are familiar with the concept of market risk but few know how to deal with it. Most financial planners would advise that during your younger years, it would make sense to allocate a bigger proportion of your investments in taking market risks such as buying shares; reason being, you would most likely have time to ride out market volatility in the long term (that’s one of the ways to deal with market risk). Likewise, as you advance towards old age, it would make more sense to switch progressively into credit risk-type investments, given that there is limited time to withstand volatility.

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Banana Leaf Boats

Use this pretty and easy to make ornaments to dress up your cakes, pastries and what not. Its very green, literally, and costs next to nothing.
Before using banana leaves, always scald them in boiling water to remove any bacteria or yucky stuff that you won’t want to go near. Wipe the leaves dry and air them a little before cutting them.
Start off by cutting a fairly square piece. You can estimate a square by folding a triangle from the edge.

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