Gingy (aka gingerbread man biscuit)

Christmas is coming soon! Although I have been seeing this at Marks & Spencer way before the spirit of Christmas even began to seep into the atmosphere. I think this is perhaps a permanent and not seasonal item?20131108-091118.jpgI just ate a couple of them earlier on, and although I was never a big fan of gingerbread, I never fail to have it during Christmas season each year. I like the whole Gingerbread Man story and in one of the Shrek movies, I recalled that the Gingerbread Man in it was called Gingy, and it had an almost perennial scowl on its face, haha. But then it was so cute!

The Starbucks in Hong Kong, and I think also Tokyo, serves gingerbread latte, but here in Singapore we only have the Toffee Nut Latte.

Back to the M&S gingerbread men, mini ones, which is such a great idea because they are so easy to just pop into the mouth, instead of those huge-ass ones (like the ones they sell at Coffee Bean) that will probably have to be divided amongst a few persons, one taking each limb and the last two taking the torso and head… which is so cruel. But when I eat a bigger gingerbread man that is how I go about it, limb by limb, with either the head or the torso being the last.

The M&S ones don’t have such a strong taste of the gingerbread in them, which is fine by me, and maybe because I had kept them in the fridge, they were a little tough. But after a couple, I’m a happy camper. ūüôā

spring is here…?

How is it that the weekend passes so quickly, before I can even pause to take a breather?

And it is already March!¬†As I¬†suppose that some other parts of the world welcomes spring and bids adieu to¬†the cold wintry climate, we are dreading the onset of hot humid climate¬†here in Singapore. Over the last week, the¬†temperatures¬†have gotten gradually higher as is the humidity level. Although there are still bouts of¬†storms, the atmosphere isn’t as cool as¬†during December and January for sure. Even most part of February was pretty awesome, except that I hate to be commuting when it’s raining cats and dogs because¬†even with an umbrella, you are bound to get really wet when¬†it rains here.

Again, the weekend saw me being extremely busy, which explains why I don’t usually blog. It isn’t like I have hordes of people to meet, but I just keep myself occupied, gainfully, during the weekend. I did meet up with some friends, some I haven’t seen in more than a year I believe (omg, it has been that long!), and went for Turkish food at Sofra at Shaw Towers. Honestly, I cannot remember its name, because I know it is Shaw-something, but I always cannot recall what’s behind, since in Orchard, there is a Shaw Centre and Shaw Plaza somewhere? The last time I visited Sofra was years ago, although I believe I have been there perhaps at most twice.¬†For it to still be there after so many years, it has¬†to be of a certain standard I gather. We ordered some¬†food to share, including my friend’s highly-demanded hummus and the sesame bread that comes¬†in a big poofy¬†serving. The food¬†that we had, sorry no pictures because it was pretty¬†dimly-lit in the restaurant, which comprised a pide (Turkish pizza), chef’s plate (various mixes of¬†kebab¬†meat), a dish of potato gratin and lamb (cannot recall its name, sultan’s plate or something)¬†and a¬†salad platter (which also had hummus,¬†grilled brinjal amongst¬†others). There was this yogurt drink that my friend ordered, which we were forewarned would be a little salty but my friend didn’t catch that comment, so we were surprised at its taste, like yogurt laced with taste of olives. Weird.

After dinner, we proceeded to Tom’s Palette on the ground floor for ice-cream. It’s a busy store, with people streaming in non-stop in groups. One of my friends mentioned it has grown in size, from a tiny hole-in-the-wall shop to its current size that can accommodate bigger groups of people with proper tables and chairs. They have very interesting ice-cream flavours, including a salted egg yolk (of course I didn’t try it, it is just really weird to have savoury ice-cream don’t you think). I just ordered straight off the look and name of the flavours without testing which is better. They come in sizes of small, medium and large and for each, you can mix up to a maximum of two flavours. I got a small cup for S$3.40 and mixed Earl Grey tea and Rum & Raisin. The Earl Grey is pretty strong, and I got it because I missed Fauchon’s earl grey ice-cream so much, and this came quite close but towards the end it just felt a little much, like it is just strong and intense but nothing else. The Rum & Raisin is good, with very obvious traces of alcohol in it. Most of us stuck to safe flavours, and there was someone who tried an apple rosemary flavour which was not really creamy enough, i.e. it felt more crumbly than creamy. Overall, we think the ice-cream wasn’t too bad but don’t get what the hype about it is about. For S$3.40 for a small cup that is probably just a little more than a scoop of ice-cream, I thought it’s quite pricey, or have I been too out of touch with ice-cream?

Anyway, I got a chocolate gift last Friday! Will try it someday soon I hope, there is still a lot of chocolate lingering in my fridge, most of which I think have already gone past their expiry dates. But where chocolates are concerned, and especially refrigerated ones, I think it is fine to eat them even when expired.¬†Someday if¬†I develop some condition for eating expired food, you all know what’s the cause. ¬†20130304-110628.jpg

le mois de juillet, le premier √©pisode

Today marks the final day of July. Even when it comes to writing, I can get so lazy, because there are some things I would like to share but haven’t found the energy or time to. Time is probably an excuse, the energy reason is more easily justifiable because I still cannot get a good rest.

About half of this month was spent away in the UK where I was there for a project. I guess the easiest way out of the updates would be a summary, and what better way than to do a photo-collage.

whilst waiting for the national rail train to London Waterloo at Wokingham station // view out of my room window of the neighbourhood // view of the room i stayed in for ten nights from the door // along the walk to the office one sunny morning

groceries from marks & spencer that i wished we had here too // the day tickets that took me to london and back that included unlimited rides on the underground // coffee break with a tasteless muffin // favourite meal of the day.. breakfast

dinner at the kaglan pub near the ‘hotel’ // morning coffee break during the weekend at caffe nero // vongole pasta for dinner at jamie’s italian in reading // lunch in the office cafeteria of quiche, tomato salad and peas

first drizzly sunday out at bond street // second sunny sunday out at piccadilly // london eye // trafalgar square

the birthday present for the year // fries with truffle oil and shaved¬†parmesan at jamie’s italian // poached eggs with toast and tomatoes at the modern pantry // bear keychain from harrods at knightsbridge

animal biscuits

I shall take a break from the mind-boggling and eye-popping activity of trawling the web trying to look for a new apartment. Doesn’t help that I somehow seem to be feeling tired every single day that I suspect I might be suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, or it’s just a case of hypochondria like how most of us are wont to be. Nevertheless, I suppose age plays a part too because these days I just cannot muster enough energy to get through a day without thinking that I am going to pass out from fatigue. And yet I am not getting enough sleep because there are just too many things on hand. Which reminds me that I have a test to study for this Saturday. ūüė¶

Marks & Spencer often carries out what I’d think is stock clearance of their confectionery, but that is just good practice on their part to ensure their products are fresh perhaps. Usually the items on offer are not really that near to expiry, maybe about a month or two but they can go for a lower price. Either that the folks at M&S are that big on quality, or it’s a way of making consumers buy more. Generally we would think that we are getting a good deal when there are things bundled together and us having to pay less than before e.g. 2 for $XX. Haven’t we all at some point succumbed to such marketing tricks? I’d say that they work, to a certain extent.

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I am quite the fan of M&S food, ranging from cereals to chips to cookies and the likes. I used to buy their Percy Pigs (does anyone still remember them) when I was in school but these days I think them pigs will be too sweet for my liking. I love their cookies but after a friend told me the other day about the not-so-good effects of consuming too many cookies/biscuits/etc., for the sake of health I think I shall try to cut down on them even though these can be my sustenance when I’m travelling! ūüė¶

So the butter cookies, or the mini animal biscuits pictured above were from one of the promotional buys I made. They are really nice and buttery and cute too might I add. My friend’s daughters love them, I can imagine it because even as an adult it’s fun to reach into the packet and get a little excited at which animal I’m drawing out next. It helps too of course that the taste is light but still with a distinctive buttery fragrance.