Sakura Seasons in SINGAPORE

You do not have to travel all the way to Japan to see the cherry blossoms as the annual sakura flora display returns to Flower Dome (Garden by the Bay) and it will be here only for a limited time (from now till 8 April 2018).

SAKURA MATSURI FLORAL DISPLAY
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2018 – Sun, 8 Apr 2018
Time: 9:00am – 9:00pm
Venue: Flower Dome
**Admission charge to the conservatories applies (purchase tickets here)
Find out more of the display & demonstration here

Went there last Saturday and there was a huge crowd including a number of cosplayers! There’s a special rate for Singaporean and on top of it, if you are holding on to any OCBC credit/debit card, you are entitled to another 15% discount! WOW! It’s way cheaper than flying to JAPAN to catch the Sakura craze (but of course, you can’t compare what you see there over to what you’ll see here, at least for a moment, you feel that you’re in JAPAN)

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There are Japanese-themed elements like tea house and torii gates to match the cherry blossom and also lifelike resin dolls which are the main focus of the display.

According to the website, there are basically 4 blossoms to look out for,

 

  1. PRUNUS ACCOLADE – A popular and prolific cultivar producing abundant pale pink flowers.
  2. PRUNUS YEODENSI – Also known as Yoshino Cherry, this Japanese favourite produces classic white flowers that have five petals.
  3. PRUNUS SNOW FOUNTAIN – This tree has a strongly weeping shape, making the masses of white blooms on its branches look like cascading snow, hence its name.
  4. PRUNUS KIKUSHIDARE – This weeping cherry tree has large, light pink flowers that resemble Chrysanthemums, hence “Kiku” in its name, which means Chrysanthemum in Japanese.

DO YOU KNOW?

Cheery blossoms are divided into four groups based on their number of petals. They typically have five petals, and are known as single flowers, but some cultivars are bred to have many more for a fuller bloom. Semi-double flowers exhibit around 10 to 20 petals, while double flowers boast 25 to 50 petals. The extraodinary kikuzakura, or chrysanthemum cherry flowers, are jam-packed with over 100 petals!

Well, don’t be disappointed that you’re paying to see ONLY cherry blossom as there is still other types of flower display over at the flower dome (which kind of makes your money worth)!

Let me end a photo here with me and MR! Doesn’t it look like we’re in JAPAN? Hahaha..

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Sweet Coco Brownie

This will probably be my last post and my last bake of the year!

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Initially,  I wanted to bake the brownie in Christmas Tree pattern (similar to Starbucks) and pass it to my close friends and colleagues. However, I found out that it’s too much work! Hahahaha, so I decided just to make 1 for my family instead. And even this slab of brownie, I procrastinated for about an hour before really move my butt to the kitchen and start preparing. (Hahaa! I am good at procrastinating.. LOL)

Well, the brownie is not that hard to make and my kid did most of the works and I am there going WAIT, WAIT, LET ME DO FIRST.. >.< I used Dark Chocolate Couverture for the brownie which made it a little chocolatey and I am not too sure if it is because of this, the brownie is a little too sweet although I decrease the sugar. (PS: It still goes VERY well with vanilla ice-cream).

I use the receipt from: Bear Naked Food

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Ingredient (Cuts into 16 square pieces):

  • 250g)unsalted butter – cut into cubes
  • 200 g Dark Chocolate Couverture
  • 3 large eggs (60 g each)
  • 275g golden caster sugar (I reduced to 230 g)
  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 65g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 120 g semi-sweet (50%) chocolate chunks (I’m using chocolate chips)
  • 1 tsp instant coffee powder 
  • A pinch of salt

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven at 160°C/320°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, add in unsalted butter cubes 20171211_183356and dark chocolate and melt in microwave for 1 min. Add in instant coffee powder, stir well and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the sugar and eggs until it doubles the volume, pale and fluffy. Add in cooled chocolate mixture and fold gently with a spatula until combined.
  4. Sift in the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, salt and fold gently until just mixed.
  5. Add in chocolate chunks and give it a final mix. Do not overmix or it’ll become dense.
  6. Pour into a 20 cm x 20 cm greased square tin lined with a non-stick baking paper.
  7. Bake for 40 mins. Pull tin out and gently shake it. If it wobbles in the middle, bake for another 5 mins.
  8. The top should form a shiny, papery crust.
  9. Let it cool completely in the tin before removing. Cut into desired squares and serve as it is or with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.

Capture

 

Our FIRST OctoBurst!

I’m glad that I brought my kid down to Octoburst! at Esplanade last Sunday. Octoburst it’s a children’s festival from 5-8 Oct 2017 (in conjunction to Children’s Day – I guess). I got to know that this isn’t the first Octoburst (why didn’t I know about this last year).

Find out more of Octoburst! here.

There are a series of activities and events and I’m glad that my kid completed most of the activities (as we need to go back home for dinner) and we even went for a musical performances in the Concert Hall!CIMG1719

We count ourselves LUCKY as are there on the FIRST Sunday of the month where Esplanade presents “Beautiful Sunday” where there’s a series of FREE concerts by homegrown music groups and everyone is invited as it’s open to ALL AGES (I’m definitely going every first Sunday from now!). My kid managed to sit there the full hour (with some fidgeting in the mid-way through).

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This year’s Octoburst! features Mother Nature and the environment where they teach you how to use dry leaves to create the mascot’s costumes. The kids are invited to colour on the dry leaves and then pin the leaves on the mascot using a pin.

The kid could also unleash their creativity by using plasticine and different type of beans to  replicate any reptiles or insects (or anything) and display it in the “Nature”. (See my kid’s snake – in blue on the below right picture and the snake’s house)

He then went off to draw the leaves using torch light and magnifying glass to look at vein of the leaf. (He looks like a professional!)

Just opposite of this leaves drawing area is the “My Little Story World” by Berries. There’s a total of 3 stories sharing. The stories were from the top three winners of the Children Chinese Picture Book Creation Contest held by Berries in 2016.

Last but not least, the last activities of the day (and I’m glad that we managed to get a slot for the last slot): “Grow a Garden” by Mrydette where they recycle the water bottle by creating a self-watering mini garden!

That’s how we spent about 3hours in Esplanade last Sunday and I’m looking forward to the next Octoburst!

Till then..~

 

Dumpling from SCRATCH

It’s kind of mind-wrecking when I started to make my own chives dumpling. Knowing how cheap and easy it is to make the dumpling, I was put off by how much those dumplings are selling outside. 50CENTS for a piece of dumpling without much chives! Hahahah.. T-T

I have been craving for chives dumplings for a while so I decided to make it (again) this time – making everything FROM SCRATCH with my KIDDO! Hahhaa.. I have already formed the production line in my head: HIM – rolling the dough to form the skin and ME – wrapping the dumplings.

(This time) I didn’t measure the all the ingredients, I just use estimation.. 😀 But according to the website measurement is as follows.
Recipe (adapted from thewoksoflife):

  • 7 cups all-purpose flour20171001_164323
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 lbs ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 7 cups Chinese chives, chopped finely
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • salt to taste

I added some Shaoxing Hua Tiao Chew for the extra taste

STEPS:

  1. Put the flour in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add the water to the flour and 20171001_151153knead into a smooth dough. (This time, I used a spatula to mix instead of my hand. Previously, I knead it using my hand and it all the dough ended up sticking on my hand). Cover with a damp cloth and let the dough rest for an hour.
  2. While the dough is resting, prepare the filling. Start by adding the oil to a small pot over medium high heat. Heat the oil for about 7 minutes and allow it to cool. This “cooking” of the oil is supposed to bring out a nuttier flavor in the filling. (I find that you could skip this step if you’ve added the sesame oil as the filling gets too oily – too oily for my liking)
  3. Once the oil is cooled, add the ground pork to a large bowl, along with everything else and you’re ready to go! (So here is what the dough looks like, after an hour of “proofing” the dough is ready for rolling – dough in white bowl in the bottom right picture)

Do ensure that you have your hand and table top full of the all-purpose flour as things can get really STICKY. You can see how diligent he is rolling the dough and he doesn’t even want me to help him with it.  After he roll the dough to a big circle shape, I will try to fit in AS MUCH ingredient as I could in the small thin skin and then wrap it up in a BAO shape (sorry guys that it comes in a BAO shape instead of those JIAO ZI shape as it’s easier to wrap as a BAO).

We just REPEAT the same step over till we finished all the ingredients and the dough. Leave the “JIAO ZI BAO” in the freezer for it to harden up before transferring it to ziplock bag (to save space).

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We realized it is definitely CHEAPER and MORE ENJOYABLE to make our own skin but it’s more troublesome because of the rolling. However, my KIDDO enjoyed rolling than using pre-packed skin and I see us making more JIAO ZI using this “ROLLING” skin instead of pre-packed. 😀

If making everything FROM SCRATCH is too STICKY for you, you could click HERE for my post using pre-packed skin.

Till the next batch, we’re thinking to try making MANTOU..

Hidden Area of National Gallery Singapore!

This is [PART 2] of my National Museum Post! Our second visit after we got out annual pass. Well, after you got the annual pass, you tend to just visit a few exhibits in one trip instead of completing all to get most value out of the entrance fee.

Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow exhibition is till 3 September 2017. Do come on down before it’s too late.
Click here for the exhibition overview..

Children’s Biennale (Dreams & Stories) will end on 8 October 2017. Click here for more information..

I got the Children’s Biennale handbook at $5 where there are a few activities worksheet for the kid to do while they visit the galleries. We also got ourselves the tickets to Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow.

Come on and follow us on our National Gallery Singapore journey..

Former Supreme Court Holding Cells
We were just wandering and found out about this holding cells. National Gallery Singapore used to be a Supreme Court which holds key war crimes trials. We were glad that we are able to see how holding cells looked like. Do you notice that the toilet flushes are outside the cells?!?

 

 

The Blue Who Swims All This Way by artist Betty Susiarjo

Under the sea creatures and the displays are all touchable and kids are encouraged to climb into those giant rocks and hug the hanging soft sculpture..

 

 

Keppel Centre for Art Education – Children’s Musuem
Where on will take a glimpse at how ceramics are created and you could design your very own virtual ceramic pots at the interactive station.

 

 

Yayoi Kusama –  Life is the Heart of a Rainbow (Gallery C)
There are 2 exhibits in Gallery C. I was amazed by how the dots, lines will ended up with such colourful artwork. Well, it’s an artwork which could be appreciated by both the young and the old especially The Obileration Room!!
(1) With all my Love for the Tulips I pray forever (2013 – 2017)

 

(2) Life is the Heart of a Rainbow (2017)

 

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Yayoi Kusama –  Narcissus Garden (1966/2017)
I was more captivated by the structure instead of the artwork.. Hahha..

 

 

 

Till then, we’ll be back to National Gallery Singapore as there’s still places we yet to explore.. >.<

 

Sunburn Freeze @ The Rink!

After procrastinating for a few months, we decided to head down to The Rink @ Jcube to Ice Skate after our late morning swim on my off day!

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The Rink is located at 2 Jurong East Central 1, #03-11 JCube, Singapore 6097311
FB: www.facebook.com/therink.sg

It cost us a total of $47.00 for 1 child and 1 adult admission (Per 2-hour session):
20170804_141942 Skating Admission only: $14.00 (adult); $12.00 (child)
– Skate Boots Rental: $3.50 per pair (per 2-hour)
– Gloves: $2 per pair
– Penguin Skating Aid: $10.00 (per 2-hour)

Do check out their website for more prices details..
Website: http://www.therink.sg/


It’s J’s first time to skate so he keep falling down even though he has his Mr Penguin with him. I wasn’t a good skater to begin with so I just followed closely behind him and skate very near to the grab bar just in case I fall.

J was happy even though he fall and he said that his butt was cold! Hahah, it’s great to go ice-skating after having sunburn from the morning swim as the coldness in The Rink cool down the sunburn on the shoulder area.

I saw people doing some really fancy figure skating and got interested in it so I googled about it and found Yuna Kim, a Korean Figure Skater. I’m so looking forward to Pyeongchang Olympics 2018 which is going to take place in February next year! Can’t wait! Intending to go to Korean end of next year during their Autumn period. Shall save money now!

Anyway, back to The Rink ice-skating.. So after 1+ hour of walking on the ice (for him) and slow skating (for me), we decided to call it a day and head home! (We got bored as what we did is just walking around in circles, it’s just like running around a football field/stadium track >.< Maybe cause we aren’t good in ice-skating so we can’t try on different ways of skating)

I had a big blister on both my ankle after the skating session, not too sure what’s that but I realised that I have 2 protruding bone at my ankle area (or don’t know what’s that area..) so no matter it’s ice-skating or inline skating, I will have blister! T-T 

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Speed! National Gallery Singapore

Dropped by National Gallery Singapore (NGS) as I’m not sure where to go after J’s medical appointment this afternoon. Thought that today will be a good time to the polkadot sticker exhibit which everyone posted on their instagram and I’ve missed it the previous visit to NGS as it’s crowded!

We went to only 4 exhibits, but will definitely go again soon as Yayoi Kusama exhibition is till 3 Sep 2017 while the Children’s Biennale is till 8 Oct 2017!

  1. Yayoi Kusama –  Life is the Heart of a Rainbow (Gallery A) 
    This is where you could see Kusama’s “Infinity Nets” painting (didn’t notice) as we head straight to “The Spirits of the Pumplins Descended into the Heavens” where we’ll go to this polkdot room with a huge cube mirror right at the center where one could just climb up the small steps to see the illusion of the artwork using just mirrors! 
  2. Gallery Children’s Biennale – Homogenizing and Transforming World
    There’s lots of balls of all sizes and will change it’s colour and produce some sounds when you touch it..
  3. Gallery Children’s Biennale – The Obliteration Room
    Where you will pay a donation fee of $2 for a sticker sheet and you’re free to paste those colourful stickers all over the exhibits (be it on the fixtures, furniture)
  4. Who’s in the Woods?
    One could colour the animal and then see them come to live on the wall!

Till then, we’ll have another part 2 soon!