2014-10-31

Ocean Palace (Star Cruises Libra Chinese Cuisine)

“Going on Cruises trip, meaning you would gain weight if you didn’t watch out your diet. “ There were 3 inclusive restaurants; Four Seasons (Western Cuisine), Ocean Palace(Chinese Cuisine) and Mariners Buffet( International Buffet - Pork and Lard Free) that you could dine everything for free.

There were also 3 Ala Carte restaurants; Blue Lagoon, Taipan(Cantonese and Nyonya Cuisine), Spices Restaurant (Malay Cuisine) with moderate charges applied.

Me, a forever weight watcher has already trying hard to lose some weight before boarding the cruises. Anay TM had also given lots of information on food that I could find on board. Though there had no overnight oats that I eat every day, there were always two types of yogurt found on breakfast. I savored 2 full bowls of yogurts. I would also make myself a plate of ceasar salad with lots of vegetable and fruit. This eating habit made me go poo poo twice a day. Muahaha!

Besides, I made time to run and swim. Phewww! I didn’t gain any weight for staying active as usual. 

PIL prefer Chinese food, me actually running between two restaurants on Deck 4. Smart me, I would go to western restaurant eat yogurt and salad, then only I returned to Chinese restaurant for dim sum and other dishes. May be running from restaurant to restaurant could help burning some calories too. You can try, hehehe!

 All these food pictures were taken from Ocean Palace (Chinese Cuisine). I like the glutinous rice (loh mai kai) and Ang Ku Kueh there very much.
Day 1: Breakfast - Dim sum( Char Siew Pao and Siew Mai )
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2014-10-25

Pumpkin mantou fever

I always wanted to make mantou (Chinee bun), but then I did not have the courage until only recently. I worried that my mantou (馒头)will turn out to be "sek tou" (石头).

When I tried for the first time, I made the swiss roll shape pumpkin mantou, My girls loved them. I felt motivated, and I kept on trying.
Second times, I made different shapes of  mantou. Croissant, flower, rose and triangle shapes, and I still used pumpkin and purple sweet potatoes, because both of them can give the natural sweetness.


Next time, I must learn to put different fillings inside the mantou.


I made many, thank Goodness my princesses love them. I gave some of these mantou to my PIL and my colleagues too.


I personally heart these rose pumpkin mantou the most. They were just soft and fluffy, and I did not need to steam them again when I ate on the next day.

Pumpkin Rose Buns 南瓜玫瑰形馒头
*makes 10 buns
(Recipe source is taken from Sonia A.K.A. Nasi Lemak Lover)
90g mashed pumpkin
25g fresh milk
1/2tsp instant yeast
200g plain flour
35g sugar (reduce to 25g if you prefer less sweet)
20g corn oil

Method


  1. Add all ingredients in a mixing bowl then combine well and knead till smooth. Set aside to rest for 15mins.
  2. Weight the dough into 15g each and roll into ball. Roll out 5 pieces into round thin shape, and roll a small piece of dough like a small log (two ends smaller).
  3. Layer the rolled out pieces of dough so that they overlap each other. Place a chopstick in the middle and press down lightly over the layered circles of dough, to secure in place. Put the log-shaped piece of dough at the end of circle of dough.
  4. Roll up the pieces by holding at the middle of dough, then halve the dough using a knife.
  5. Place the wrapped dough cut side down on a paper. Repeat for the rest of the dough.
  6. Put the rose shaped buns in a steamer, and leave to rise for 20mins.
  7. Bring water to a boil in a steamer. Steam the rose buns over high heat for 15 minutes.

This post is linked to the event Little Thumbs Up (Oct 2014 Event: PUMPKIN) organised by  Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY)  and hosted by  Eileen (Eileen's Diary).

Pumpkin white fungus dessert

I love pumpkin. I love pumpkin in everything. I am attracted to all types of pumpkin recipes. Pumpkin goes well in almost everything. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin dessert, pumpkin cake, pumpkin soup, pumpkin noodle, pumpkin bun -- the lists are endless, and endlessly mouthwatering.

It's Halloween this Friday, and the reasons to celebrate with more pumpkin cooking.

Besides, pumpkin is packed with some powerful healthy perks -- like keeping heart health, vision, waistline and skin in check, as long as reducing additional sugar, that is.

Let me know how you find pumpkins in the comments!

Whenever I went to market, I would come back with at least a slice of pumpkin. This pumpkin dessert that I boiled last weekend is my top favorite.  Only 4 ingredients, white fungus, lotus seeds and pumpkin. A little bit of rock sugar for taste.

Recipe Source - Kimmy - Cooking Pleasure
(I amended the recipe slightly) 
Ingredients
20 gm white fungus - soaked, washed and break into florets
200 gm pumpkin - peeled and cut into small pieces
20 red dates
20 lotus seeds (optional)
3 pieces pandan leaves - washed and knotted
2000 ml water
90 gm rock sugar to taste
  1. Bring water to boil with white fungus.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Add in lotus seeds and red dates.  Cook for another 20 minutes.
  3. Lastly add in the pumpkin and pandan leaves.  Cook for a further 15 minutes until pumpkin is soft.  Add in sugar to taste.
  4. Dish up to serve warm or chilled.

This post is linked to the event Little Thumbs Up (Oct 2014 Event: PUMPKIN) organised by  Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY)  and hosted by  Eileen (Eileen's Diary).

2014-10-17

Last day on Star Cruises Libra

We had actually booked Krabi tour package for my PIL. Due to the violent storm, strong wind and heavy rain, the cruises captain decided to cancel all the tours in Krabi. All passengers were remained in the ship until the cruises crew distributed new navigator on  updated schedule.
Luckily, the cruises crew is well-trained and experienced. They came out with unplanned games and programs to keep all passengers entertained. My girls were having fun in the games, they even took part in the ping pong competition.

We were too free when the pool and jacuzzi were now back to the public. We had to create some fun by mimicking our dear blogger friend, SK doing his signature pose in most of his solo travel pictures. Look at the picture, April and May got it almost right, and my hands and legs coordination was totally disaster. T___T

JAM (Jin, April and May) were doing the comedy version of Titanic pose. Muahahaha!

 
Again, April and May were doing Uncle SK's pose. You can see they had so much fun doing the pose. Thank to you, SK!

We also joined the Gala Dinner. We booked Ocean Palace, the Chinese cuisine. We got to take picture with the Captain and cruises crew while walking red carpet . All the crew were so well-dressed on that evening, as it was the farewell dinner to all of us. They would invite the passengers to dance with them in their Stardust Lounge. We were also given a glass of free beers/wines/fruit punch/soft drinks while enjoying "simply the best" show.

I want to praise the crew whom we met on the cruises. They were so friendly, helpful and warm to everyone. I managed to take pictures with some of them before we left the ship.

We didn't spend much in our cruises trip, because we didn't take the Phuket tour package and the Krabi tour was cancelled. We only spent on 2 bottles of wines and 3 copies of photos which were taken by the professional when we boarded the ship and with the Captain. The total damage is RM 300.

Other than the fun, the joy, the memories, and perhaps the fat, we also brought back some souvenirs which were given by Star Cruises during the couple games and children games.

We miss our cruises trip so much, JAMY (Jin, April, May and Yannie) wish that we can go on cruises again in future.

Thank you Anay, TM (Twilight Man) for the heads up that he gave to me on his recent cruises trip. 

2014-10-15

Super Star Cruises Libra 2014 - Part 2

Day 2, Starcruises Libra sailed to Phuket, Thailand. Due to the bad weather, many passengers suffered from sea sick, including my MIL.

We didn't follow any tour when ship parked at Phuket port. We let MIL rest in the cabin until she felt much better to join us for a walk at the market just outside the ship.
Yours truly posing with the gorgeous Libra.

That is a must to snap many pictures at the top desk.
Yours truly posing in new swimwear before having the courage to dip inside the very cold pool water.

Look at us, we had the whole pool to ourselves. We were like swimming in our own ship.

*Fantasy mode on* This is my private ship, if you happen to see anyone in the background. That is my cruises crew.

We swam from end to end in the pool. I allowed the coldness of water to burn some calories of what I ate in the breakfast buffet and lunch buffet.

Again, we had the whole jacuzzi hot tubs to ourselves. Shiokalingam!

There are two jacuzzi, one with warm water  at body temperature and another one with water that is hotter.

That is all for my part 2, it showed how we fully utilized the whole pool and jacuzzi to ourselves. We enjoyed swimming in the pool and soaking in  the jacuzzi very much, especially when everyone was out for Phuket tour. This privacy didn't last long, the crowd returned at dinner.

I will conclude my whole cruises trip in Part 3. Thanks for reading. 

2014-10-03

Starcruises Libra 2014 - Part 1

On September school break, we went for my long awaiting cruises trips from Penang to Phuket and Krabi. We had actually thought of going on cruises a few years ago. Finally, we materialized a travel wish this year. Happy!
We drove to Penang Port at noon. Other than our small family of 4, this time we took my parents in law along for the cruises.
Once boarding Starcruises Libra, a trio group band consists of a singer and 2 guitarists welcomed us with many lovely English songs at lobby. Sometimes, there was a pianist playing us nice and soothing music that would make us forget about the nausea when seasick.
We checked in to our cabins at desk 7. 3 cabins for 6 of us. April and May didn't find their room small but rather cute. lol!
We had some light refreshment and a quick shower before heading to the emergency drill at desk 6.
The cruises Entertainment and Event manager gave us information on the subsequent programs, that would happen on next two days, it covered Phuket and Krabi tours .
There was a welcome BBQ party for all of us at the pool side. Oh boy! It was just day 1 and we were served with lots of food that as tasty as it was from heaven. I like fruit and dessert the most. Slurp!
Later in the evening, it was show time. The show includes magic shows, acrobatic displays and fascinating dances and songs. April and May liked the magic show very much, We later signed them up for the magic class. The magic class was taught by the magician (in the picture above) . He and his wife are from California, USA. They were here with the cruises since January this year. 

Tell you what, every night there was also supper served to us before we wanted to call it a day.
Therefore, I woke up the next day, the first place I visited was the gym. I still ran my 9km for an hour there because I wanted to bring back only the beautiful memory and not the fat. Though I had the whole gym to myself, I didn't really like it as the room temperature was too cold for me to sweat all out ( I had actually set the air-con temperature to the highest).

Please stay tuned for the part 2, you would think that I had boarded my private ship.