Monday, December 31, 2012

8 December 2012 - Legoland Malaysia (Part 1)

I want to end 2012 with a very fun post!

I went to Legoland Malaysia on 8 December 2012 with my family. We went on a tour package that picked us up at Jurong East at about 8.45am. By the time we reached Legoland, it was already past the opening hour at 10am.

Legoland is larger than Universal Studios Singapore. The park is divided 7 themed zones. Due to the crowd and the long waiting time for queues, and also that the place is really large with many rides and activities, we missed 2 themed zones - Land of Adventure & LEGO Technic - entirely.

** The Beginning **

The Beginning is the area at the entrance where there are shops and The Cafe for western snacks. After you walk past The Beginning, you can choose to go left or right. Families with children are *recommended (see note at the end) to turn right towards LEGO City as the rides are more suitable for young children.

As we turned right, we saw this amazing Christmas Tree made up of Lego pieces.

** LEGO City **

Here, my nieces immediately queued up for the Junior Driving School (for 3-5 yrs). For kids older than 6 yrs, they can go for the Driving School with bigger driving area with traffic lights too.

The Boating School is a popular ride with never-ending queue, so we missed it. And they went to The Shipyard which is a playground for children to run around. Note that there is a playground at each themed zone which I like and find it very special. Kids who are not going for the rides can have a place to play and adults can take a rest too. Opposite The Shipyard is the Market Restaurant a good place to have your meals.

Next, we went to take the LEGOLAND Express train which brings us for a scenic ride around the park. The queue is long but the train comes quite frequently and can take in quite many passengers so the waiting time is ok. We also took the LEGO City Airport ride (no photo), which is a spinning ride and you can control the height of the plane. Nothing much actually.

** Imagination **

By then, it was already past lunch time, so we skipped The Land Of Adventure and cut across the Miniland to the Imagination zone for lunch at Pizza Mania.

Outside Pizza Mania, the Imagination zone is lots of fun with many LEGO structures for photo-taking.

But of course, the kids are more interested in this DUPLO Playtown. Let me warn you, if you let your kids enter, it will be very difficult to get them out. Cos it is a very large and sheltered playground with lots of playing area to run, climb, slide and crawl!! It's ok, adults can rest here and away from the sun or rain. It's a bit hot though. There's also another mini train ride the DUPLO Express (no photo).

We finally persuaded them to leave the playground. We wanted to go up the Observation Tower but the queue was scary. The LEGO Studios 4D show had super long queue as well. No choice, we had to miss it and escape the heat at the air-conditioned Build & Test where the kids can build cars to see if it can go fast and build a building and test if it can withstand a simulated earthquake.

** LEGO Kingdoms **

When we finally reached LEGO Kingdoms, it was already 4pm plus. No time! So we split. My older niece went to ride The Dragon rollercoaster and my younger nieces went for a kiddy horse ride. the Royal Joust. We also ride the Merlin's Challenge, a high speed carousel, quite fun to me, at least not as scary as rollercoaster which I won't take. Haha!

Time really really flies here. It was already 5.30pm, and we had 1 hour left as we need to catch our coach back at 6.30pm. We went to the Miniland, a must visit to end the day. I took many many photos, so I shall save everything about the Miniland on my next post.

So to sum up, the kids and me too, enjoyed Legoland very much. We were lucky to have a nice hot weather without rain. Time is really not enough to explore the whole area. I have a feeling that the rides here are pretty short. We need to queue many minutes just for a short 1-5 minutes ride. I think rides at the Universal Studios Singapore are longer and more enjoyable to me. And a *note as stated above, if I were to visit again, once I enter the park, I will go straight towards IMAGINATION to go up the tower and to the 4D show which I really wanted to try. :(

A Happy New Year to everyone!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas with cutout butter cookies!

I have been busy recently with a major spring cleaning to get ready for a repaint in the house in January. So there is not much chance for baking from now till end of January maybe.

But I really want to make use of my new cookie cutters. :P So since it is school holidays now, and my nieces still want to make some Christmas cookies on their own, we make these Christmas butter cookies together for fun.

All these cookies are made by them, with some help from me. I must say they did a great job (they are only 3 years old)! It helps that the cutters are extremely easy to use and the recipe from HHB is also very good as the dough is easy to manage.

Cutout Butter Cookies

Ingredients (about 35 pieces):

100g butter, softened at room temperature
80g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
180g cake flour
20g corn flour

1. Cream butter and sugar till fluffy.
2. Whisk in egg yolk.
3. Fold in sifted flours. Knead to form a dough, wrap and chill for a while.
4. Roll out the dough and cut out cookies with cookie cutters.
5. Bake at 175 deg C for 15 minutes till light golden brown.

Recipe adapted from: HHB

Here I wish everyone:

Merry Christmas and a great year in 2013!!

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Homemade Soymilk with Joyoung

I got my Joyoung soymilk maker finally, with help from someone who went for a trip to China recently. The model we got is DJ11B-D30D. Actually, I'm still quite confused about all the different models. As long as it can make soymilk, I'm quite satisfied. :)

This model belongs to the 植物奶牛 series, a newer model with latest grinding technology and the soy milk produced is extremely thick and appetizing (a reader told me about this). It has functions like dry beans 干豆, soaked beans 湿豆, grains 五谷, juice 果汁, jam 果酱, milk tea 奶茶 and easy washing 轻松洗. It doesn't have rice paste 米糊 but can use grains 五谷 for this. It also doesn't have cream soup 浓汤. I must find out how I can do it.

Before I got my soymilk maker, I saw this book "十三亿人都在喝的神奇养生豆浆" selling at Popular bookstore with discount for members, so I bought it. I will be referring to this book very frequently for recipes using Joyoung maker.

Here's my Homemade Soymilk 黄豆豆浆 using Joyoung for the first time.

Homemade Soymilk 黄豆豆浆
Anti-oxidant, anti-aging 抗氧化,抗衰老

80g soybeans
15g sugar

1. Soak soybean overnight, remove membrane/skin, rinse a few times till clean.
2. Add the soybean into the maker, fill water up to 1000ml mark.
3. Select soaked bean function and start. It takes only 25 minutes.
4. When done, filter the soymilk. Add in 15g sugar, stir till dissolved and serve!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Bake King Open House Demo Classes

Bake King had celebrated their 60th anniversary over the last weekend and I attended 2 of their open house demo classes.

I signed up 2 classes that interest me very much. One is the Chocolate Hokkaido Cupcakes, where we learnt how to bake the chiffon cake and make the pastry cream from instructor Gina Tan. You know I'm very much a chiffon cake fan and it's great to learn more about it. The cake is delicious!

The other is the Ribbon Fondant Cake. I have always wanted to learn more about making fondant cakes but very hesitant to try out. Really learnt a lot from the experienced instructor Tricia Tjhin. See how beautiful the cake is!

I also received their 60th anniversary recipe book and an apron. Plus I got to enjoy a few desserts. It was a very fun day! Thank you Bake King!