An Exercise In Trivial Pursuits

Fatshion, Food & Frivolities – Life in Las Vegas & Singapore


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Christmas 2014 at Happ Home

If you haven’t figured, Happ Home is where I live with T and Max. And we celebrated Christmas in advance here because we are flying off to New York for actual Christmas with T’s family. Also we had some of my family visiting with us too! It was supposed to be a small affair like it was last year with my mum and sisters – 5 of us. But we had the great fortune to have my uncle Gable’s family share this occasion with us while they holidayed stateside!

When we found out earlier in the week that my uncle and his family might visit, I got all excited. My sister Rachel, who arrived more than a week ago, got to start the work with me! We planned the Christmas menu, shopped for food and GIFTS! I think that’s my favourite part. It’s not easy buying suitable gifts for everyone but when you manage to get a good one that people appreciate, it’s so much more fun! I’m glad I live close to lots of good shops!

For the actual dinner, food prep began on Friday afternoon. I made a KFC-style coleslaw, baked a chocolate bundt cake and some thumbprint cookies. It came in very handy when I discovered that my husband bought me a really fancy KitchenAid Professional series stand mixer! Wheeee!

On Saturday morning itself, we glazed the cake and filled the thumbprint cookies with homemade fudge. Then in the afternoon, everyone pitched in to help with the rest.

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I would like to take credit for all the food but it wasn’t me at all. We made most of the food from scratch except for the bone-in glazed ham, shrimp cocktail and the delicious Gardein vegan roast.

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I think the meal was made so much more enjoyable being shared with family – the conversations and the laughter. It was the very first time Happ Home had so many guests all at once and I loved every minute!

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Then to round off the night, we adjourned downstairs for a 2nd round of laughs with a very hilarious Christmas gift exchange. Our cousins Shawn, Scott and Sarah, as well as uncle Gable and Aunty Jenny had 2 gifts each as well! It wouldn’t be as fun if all our guests weren’t participating!

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And that was the second ever Christmas dinner hosted at Happ Home, done and dusted.

How was yours?


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Fat-shionista #578

IMG_7634Stripes and polka dots. Clashing prints, always okay in my books.

What I’m wearing today:

Dress: Neon Pink and White striped dungaree dress from TOPSHOP

Top: Black/White polka dot top from UNIQLO x Lulu Guinness

Accessories: Black bow headband with skull & crossbones from FOREVER21; Bronze folded spectacles (a gift from my pals Mylene and Jon)

Footwear: Purple sparkly pleather ballet flats from STEVE MADDEN

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Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Chinese Dumplings in Soup

IMG_6873This is my vegetarian tofu version of Shui Jiao, the larger cousin of the more common Wanton (aka wan tan or won ton). These Chinese dumplings are traditionally served in a light clear broth and that’s what I did here. Other than swopping out minced pork and prawns for tofu, nothing’s changed. T and I had it both boiled in hot soup as well as deep fried – we love them equally much!

Vegetarian Chinese Dumplings in Soup

Serves 2-4 (makes about 15) Prep Time: 15 minutes. Cooking Time: 15 minutes.

1 block of extra firm tofu (pressed dry)

5 water chestnuts

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 cup cilantro

1 egg

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons corn starch

1 cube of vegetable stock for broth

5 cups of water

15 – 20 Wanton wrappers (Pre-made in a packet)

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Method:

1. Chop up the water chestnuts and tofu into mince. Then add it to a medium mixing bowl.

2. Add garlic, cilantro, egg, sesame oil, soy sauce, pepper and only 1 tablespoon of corn starch.

3. Mix all the ingredients in the bowl thoroughly to make the filling.

4. Mix 1 tablespoon of corn starch and 2 tablespoons of water to form the sealing agent for the dumpling skins.

5. Bring water and the vegetable stock to boil while you fill the Wanton wrappers (if you use a premix liquid stock, then there’s no need for water).

6. Take 1 generous teaspoon of the filling and put it in the centre of the dry Wanton wrappers.

6. To seal, dab a pinkie finger in the starch mixture and trace the border of the wrapper. Fold and press firmly.

7. Drop the completed dumplings into the boiling water. Put in a few at a time to prevent crowding. I use a medium sized pot so I put in about 3 to 5 each time.

8. When the dumplings start to float, they are about done. Let them cook for a little while longer before removing them. I usually dish them out into the serving bowls.

9. Once all the dumplings are cooked, you can pour the boiling broth over the dumplings in their serving bowl and garnish to serve. Some people use clear boiling water and keep the soup broth separate but I don’t think it is necessary.

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That’s it! Enjoy your hot Chinese Dumplings aka Shui Jiao.

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Fat-shionista #564

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This is the only 2nd time I’ve worn this dress since I bought at the post-holidays sale in January this year. My sisters and I were shopping at the H&M sale in Town Square (Las Vegas) and we basically bought more than 15 pieces for like $200 or so. This dress was $15 and I liked it enough because of the starry galaxy print but not enough to buy it without the encouraging of my sisters *koffkoff* If you ladies know what I mean…

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What I’m wearing today:

Dress: Black starry print dress from H&M

Accessories: Grey Chinese knot necklace from 2014happy5866 on eBay

Bag: Grey bag with leatherette bow from BERSHKA

Footwear: Black strappy peeptoe heels from KIMCHI BLUE (Urban Outfitters)


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Fat-shionista #562

IMG_6456Just a quick one today. Sometimes, it’s not about what fancy new things one is wearing – it really is what I wear on a daily basis. I love band t-shirts and I wear them VERY OFTEN. And oh yes, how can we forget – favourite necklace of the moment again! Woohoo!!

What I’m wearing today:

Top: Japanese band TOE t-shirt

Accessories: Brown pleather belt from STEVE MADDEN; Pink bangle from SONIA RYKIEL POUR H&M

Bottom: Barnswallow Cuffed-Twill Boyfriend shorts from OLD NAVY

Bag: Beige bag with black trimmings and pink bow from BETSEY JOHNSON

Footwear: Purple sparkly ballet flats from STEVE MADDEN

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Fat-shionista #550

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So I’ve been asked why I’m always so happy in my pictures and I’m glad that people enjoy looking at me being all overtly jubilant because life can suck… You know? And nobody really wants to see a sullen picture of me. Some people have problems with their resting bitch face whereas I have a resting sad face. I actually look like I’m in pain when I’m not smiling. HAHAHA! Also, as I’ve mentioned before, wastedfashion is only a small part of my personal life. There are so many facets to it. (Just so you know, my husband forces me to read The Feeling Good Handbook…)

If there’s a secret or a tip behind taking crazy pictures like mine, it’s to play some music, dance (or sing) to it and take your photos early in the day before anyone can ruin your mood. Heh…

Onward with day uhmm… 4? 5? 6? of the unwashed denim shorts

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What I’m wearing today:

Top: Navy My Melody top with back bow detail from UNIQLO X SANRIO

Outerwear: Red & blue plaid shirt from H&M L.O.G.G.

Accessories: Brown faux leather belt from STEVE MADDEN

Bag: Grey studs and skulls cross body bag from GORGEOUSLAND on eBay

Bottoms: Light blue cuffed denim shorts from OLD NAVY

Footwear: Women’s Fastpack Paceline Mid Hiking Boot from TIMBERLAND


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Meatless Monday: Braised Tofu & Eggs

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Hello! I hope some of you have tried my recipes! Please tell me if you do and if you have ways of improving them.

This is a modified recipe that I used a long time ago to make braised pork belly in Soy Sauce (Tau Yew Bak). I no longer eat pork but still crave that slightly caramelly taste of this sauce. Today’s recipe is essentially Vegetarian Tau Yew Bak or Tau Yew Bak no Bak. Heehee… *Tau Yew is soy sauce. Bak refers to flesh or meat (in this instance, pork).

This braising method is easy and fuss free. I’m using dark soy sauce because it produces a darker sauce though milder in taste (less salty) compared to light soy. But otherwise it’s about the same as regular soy sauce. If you don’t have dark soy, regular soy will do too. Add a total of 5 tablespoons of light soy instead. It’ll be equally salty but lighter in colour.

What I like about this modified recipe is that, it’s fast and easy to make, yet still satisfies my craving. I love braise sauces over plain steamed rice – my kind of comfort food.IMG_2531

Braised Tofu & Eggs (Vegetarian Tau Yew Bak)

Serves 2 -4. Prep time: 5 minutes. Cooking time: 45 minutes.

3 cups water

4 hard boiled eggs

4 garlic cloves (smashed with the back of a knife to release flavour)

4 tbsp dark soy sauce

3 tbsp light soy sauce

3 tbsp brown sugar

Salt & pepper to taste

1/2 block of tofu (cut into small rectangular pieces)

1 stick of cinnamon

2 star anise

3 cloves

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Method:

1. Heat up a pot with 3 cups of water and bring to boil then lower heat.

2. Add tofu, garlic, soy sauces, brown sugar, soy sauce, cinnamon, cloves and star anise. Then stir  gently to mix everything.

3. Bring to a boil then add peeled hard boiled eggs.

4. Lower the heat to medium and braise for 15 minutes.

5. Turn the heat to lowest for another 25 – 30 minutes.

6. Serve with steamed rice.

And there you have it – vegetarian tau yew bak aka braised tofu and eggs!