The BEST Vietnamese Spring Rolls Recipe evarrrr!!! :D

So every time I create a recipe how-to post, I just HAVE to include that it’s the “Best xxx recipe evarrrr” because it so totally is! If I didn’t think so, I wouldn’t feel obliged to share it. :P

If you didn’t already know, my boyfriend Sam is half-Vietnamese, and half-Chinese. But I just think of him as only Vietnamese because his whole family follows the Vietnamese culture, they speak, eat and look like viets, not Chinese, so his Chinese ethnicity is sort of invalid in my opinion.

Now, I don’t eat a lot of Vietnamese food, I generally prefer Thai food as they’re similar but Thai is more tangy and spicy. The one Vietnamese food I really like is Vietnamese spring rolls, the fried ones – not the fresh ones! And Sam happens to make this REALLY well.

This is what I’m talking about!!!! It looks so deliciously crispy and golden brown omg ♥

For every single occasion, be it a house party, chinese new year, etc.. people will always ask one question: “Is Sam making his famous spring rolls?”

My relatives will not stop hounding him until he fries up a whole big batch for them! Mind you, they don’t eat 10, or 20 of these. When Sam makes a batch of these, 50 is the minimum amount he’ll make, and they are ALWAYS snapped up… There are no leftovers whatsoever!!! I’ve seen people fight for the last piece on the plate hahaha. Word of warning, when you cook this, it’ll all be gone before you know it.

This dish will be unlike any spring rolls you’ve ever had before.

When I think of spring rolls sold outside, I would never order them. I would think they’re too oily, just full of lousy vegetables, and a waste of carbs and money in general. These however, will blow your mind. They’re crazily addictive because they’re perfectly sized, small enough to make you want to pop another, and another into your mouth. It’s not too filling, although they are hearty – normally I have at least 10 of these for dinner. The SUCCESS to this dish is the sauce that comes along with it – without the sauce it’s good, but nothing to rave about. However dunk it in Sam’s secret recipe sauce (not so secret now!) and it becomes the best thing ever!!!

So I’m about to begin teaching you guys how to make this, however..

I do want to make this very clear that this recipe is 100% original, not “inspired” from recipes taken from other cook books or websites. Sam wanted me to credit his mother for these as he grew up eating a very similar dish she cooked, but he’s made some slight modifications since then. If you do make these or want to share the recipe / pictures online (even after altering it), do remember to credit and link back to this entry. It took me awhile to convince Sam to give me the recipe to share with you guys, so please use with integrity. :)


Let’s rock and roll!!!


YOU WILL NEED:

Main Ingredients

♥ — 200g chopped minced pork (if you’re muslim, try this with minced beef!!!)
♥ — 200g chopped fresh prawns, de-shelled and de-veined
♥ — 100g grated carrots, wrung (squeezed) dry
♥ — 150g cooked bee hoon / rice vermicelli
♥ — 150g diced shitake mushrooms

♥ — 4 cloves diced garlic
♥ — 1 small onion or half a large onion diced

♥ — 1 egg
♥ — 2 tablespoons fish sauce
♥ — 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
♥ — 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
♥ — 3 teaspoons of salt
♥ — A pinch of MSG / flavor enhancer (you can leave this out if you want, but a lil bit never hurt!)

Extras

♥ — Spring rolls pastry, defrosted (NOT the fresh, rice paper type. I use this, available at NTUC)
♥ — 1 egg white (you will need this for wrapping the spring rolls)

Sauce

♥ — 1/2 cup water
♥ — 2 tablespoons fish sauce
♥ — 2 tablespoons white sugar
♥ — 1 tablespoon white vinegar
♥ — 2 tablespoons lemon juice
♥ — Juice of 1 Calamansi
♥ — Half a chilli padi, cut up (use a whole chilli padi if you like it super spicy, or 1/4 if you have low spice tolerance, but don’t put none at all if you can help it!)


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Step 1: Combine all the main ingredients together in a big bowl!

Here’s Sam doing the dirty job for me. Well somebody has to be holding the camera, right? It’s not truly authentic unless it’s made by a Vietnamese!! Lol… kidding.

(actually I’m not, but yeah. :P)

After combining all your ingredients it should look like this!

Yeah, it’s not pretty or gourmet, but it’s yummy nevertheless. Honestly, the measurements are pretty forgiving, so you don’t have to go nuts trying to measure all the ingredients so accurately… and I think it’s pretty much impossible to mess up because of how straightforward it is. If you manage to screw this up, sorry honey, you have no business in the kitchen, time to learn dancing or juggling instead.

Now, that’s the easy part about this recipe. Who can’t dice a few mushrooms and grate a few carrots then combine them? The difficult bit will probably be learning how to roll your spring rolls nicely. If you don’t do this properly, your spring rolls will either be 1) Ugly 2) Tastes yucky due to weird texture 3) Not as appealing as it could be.

I took the liberty of taking Step-By-Step pictures of how Sam does it, so follow these instructions carefully!

1) Get a big tray for working on, and place a sheet of the spring roll pastry in front of you, in a diamond-shaped position.

2) Spoon a decent sized amount of your spring roll mixture and place it 3/4 down your pastry. You want a small amount of filling, no more than half a tablespoon (or use the above to gauge!).

3) Take the end of your pastry…

4) And fold it over the filling, as shown above.

5) Fold it across from one side

6) Now do the other side! …I hope you’re good at origami, haha. I kinda suck at this because I was never good at symmetry.

7) Take some egg white and spread it across the area which the finger is pointing at. This will keep your spring roll from unfolding involuntarily.

8) Now to finish it up, roll it all the way up from the bottom! Do not roll it too tightly, or loosely. Sam tells me the less you think about how you’re doing this, the better it will probably turn out.

If you do it too tight, your pastry will loop around the mixture too many times and will not be as crispy as it should be when fried.

9) When you have something like this, you’re done! Yay, congratulations, you just rolled your first spring roll! :D

It’s actually pretty fun… for the first 20, at least. Then it gets tiresome. Now the awesome part about this recipe is that you can keep the rest of the spring rolls that you think you can’t finish in the freezer for a long time. I’d recommend keeping it for a week or two tops, but according to Sam, his mum kept it for months. LOL. Make sure you keep it in an air-tight container.

Now, how do you fry the spring rolls? Well I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you how to fry stuff. Pour a generous amount of oil into your frying pan (shallow fry if you’re health conscious, deep fry if you don’t care), wait for the oil to become really hot (otherwise it won’t be crispy), then fry your spring rolls until a gorgeous golden brown color, while turning it on both sides constantly!!! How long your frying time takes depends on how big you rolled the spring rolls and how much oil / how hot your oil is. It’s not rocket science, you can figure it out :)

And wait! Just when you thought we were done, we still have the sauce to make!!!

Refer to my “WHAT YOU’LL NEED” list above, and scroll to the Sauce section. Combine all the ingredients, Sam threw in some leftover grated carrot to boost how the sauce looks and popped a whole calamansi into the bowl.

This sauce is DA BOMBDIGGITY. You won’t be “dipping” your spring roll in the sauce, you’ll be dunking it in to say the least, most people leave their spring roll “swimming” in the sauce for a good few seconds, lol!

This is the p.e.r.f.e.c.t.i.o.n you should get if you’ve followed this recipe correctly!!!!!!! ♥_♥

Sooo crispy and such a gorgeous medley of flavors! Prawny and meaty with just the right amount of vegetables to complement all the textures and flavors. Burly men will not scoff at these because they are hearty and filling, despite how they look. I want some now even though I just em yesterday, oh gee.

This is less than 1/4 of what we fried yesterday – this recipe makes A LOT of spring rolls, more than 50!! (remember, they freeze well)

The spring roll pastry packet I bought had 50 sheets of pastry and we ran out of pastry before we could finish using up the filling. I highly recommend these for parties because the ingredients are cheap (estimated cost for today’s recipe is $10 or less and could be the dinner of 4 hungry people) and they’re easy to make in big batches! Or definitely make these if you wanna impress your boyfriend / girlfriend’s family.. I have a feeling it especially appeals to middle-aged Asians (and ang mohs!)

Although I’m sure anyone would love these tasty bites because I’ve offered them to my nearing-80-year-old grandmother and my little neighbor who is less than 10 and everyone who’s ever tried them has thoroughly enjoyed them!

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Happy rolling your spring rolls guys!!!

Let me know how these turned out for you and the responses from people who are going to eat it! I’ll positively chop my head off if you don’t get raves, haha. Sam, and his mama, would be so proud of their family recipe. :)

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess

The best Spinach Feta Quiche Evarrr!!

Hi!!!

I’m back to share another recipe :D!! This time it’s savory food and not dessert because some of you requested for dinner recipes instead, however this is still baked in an oven. I love shoving food in the oven, it’s so fuss free.

Today’s recipe is named The best Spinach Feta Quiche Evarrr!!!!… although I haven’t really had a lot of Spinach Quiches outside, so… I’m not sure if it really is THE BESTEST BEST one out there. LOL. But I loved it. And Sam said it’s reallyyy good. So this is definitely worth trying!

I was craving for something creamy, something cheesy and with spinach… VOILA!!!

Idea of spinach quiche came into mind, and in a matter of hours, my idea materialized.


….Isn’t it beautiful?! :’)

Disclaimer: This recipe is SUPER DUPER CHEESY. And crazy sinful. Which is why it’s so good. It’s an explosion of flavors in the mouth!!! Do not attempt this if you’re a mild eater.

I’m a huge cheese fan and I found this super delicious. So if you love cheese, this is an orgasm in the mouth, quite literally. n___n But if you don’t, stay away. It’s so rich and filled to the brim with 2 types of cheese, how can you go wrong?! You mix spinach + cheese + bacon and you get a pretty much fail-proof recipe.

This recipe is quite forgiving, so you don’t have to use exact measurements or ingredients for the filling, you can adjust here and there as you please, and it’ll still turn out fine. You will realize later my recipe quite agar agar one but just HAVE FAITH ok LOL. The ingredients list looks quite long but the actual preparation time takes less than 30 minutes, so do not be intimidated.

Let’s get started!!


YOU WILL NEED:

8″ round baking pan for baking the quiche in

Non-stick cooking spray / baking paper to line the tin

♥ — 3 tablespoons of butter (for frying of the ingredients)
♥ — 3 cloves garlic, diced
♥ — 1 onion, chopped

♥ — A lot of chopped fresh spinach. I don’t know the exact measurements for this (how to measure spinach?!) but you can look at the picture above. Maybe 3-4 cups worth? For me I bought 2 bunches from NTUC Fairprice and used it all.

♥ — 2 cups of chopped mushrooms of your choice. I used portobello mushrooms because I think I am atas. LOL you can use brown mushrooms too, but no shiitake / brown / chinese mushrooms. Angmoh shrooms only.

♥ — 3/4 cup of Feta Cheese. (I went nuts and put in 1 big cup lol so mine was ultimate cheesy)
♥ — 6 slices of Cheddar Cheese
♥ — 4 eggs, beaten
♥ — 3/4 cup milk
♥ — 4 tablespoons of sliced sundried tomatoes pieces (or to taste)
♥ — Half a cup of real bacon bits or fry up some real bacon (If you don’t want this to be a vegetarian meal. I used bacon bits)
♥ — 2 and a half tablespoons of self-raising flour
♥ — Paprika & coriander for garnishing
♥ — Pepper to your own taste (This is a salty recipe from all the cheese, so no salt required)
♥ — Herbs to your own taste. I used 1 teaspoon each of dill weed and parsley.
♥ — Breadcrumbs


—- Optional Part—

♥ — 8 inch unbaked deep dish pie crust (I skipped this part. I don’t actually like pie crusts, but if you like more carbs and crust in your quiche then go ahead and add this.)



Step 1:
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Melt the butter in a frying pan, and combine the Spinach, Mushrooms, Onions, and Garlic.

Fry and sautee in medium-high heat until the water oozing out from the spinach and mushrooms have completely dried up.



Step 2:
Turn off the heat, then add in the sundried tomatoes and crumbled feta cheese to the spinach mixture. No need to cook this, just mix well.

My quiche turned out slightly soggier than I would’ve liked because I didn’t fry my spinach and mushrooms for long enough for all the water to be absorbed. It was delish nonetheless, but you don’t wanna make the same mistake I did! I’m sure it would be perfect otherwise.



Step 3:
Line your baking tin with baking paper or spray non-stick cooking spray on the bottom, then pour in and spread out the spinach mixture evenly.



Step 4:
Place bacon bits / fried bacon, cheddar slices and bread crumbs on top of spinach mixture. Save a few slices of cheddar cheese for later. I didn’t actually measure the bread crumbs and it doesn’t matter. I reached into the bag and sprinkled liberally.

I know it doesn’t look so very appetizing right now, but JUST YOU WAIT AND SEE. ^.^



Step 5:
In a bowl, mix the eggs, milk, and flour well. Make sure there are no lumps.



Step 6:
Pour over spinach mixture, then bake at 200 degrees C for 20 minutes, then place remaining cheddar cheese slices on top and sprinkle with more breadcrumbs, then cook for another 15 minutes, or until it’s done.

You know it’s done when your quiche is no longer wobbly and has a nice solid-ish texture. You can poke a toothpick in after about 30 minutes to check on it.

If you’d read my Brownie Recipe Tutorial, you would know all about how baking time can be different for everyone.


WHEN YOU ARE DONE…

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This is all the glory you’ll end up with!!!!!!



♥ ♥ ♥

Sprinkle with paprika and garnish with coriander straight after you take your quiche out of the oven to achieve this GORGEOUS color. :D

Allow it to stand and cool in the baking tin for at least 15 minutes before serving. You don’t wanna serve your quiche piping hot, you want to have it only relatively warm because that’s when the flavors are at its best.



POW WOW!!!! It’s ridiculous, I know.

Definitely a lot more photogenic when sliced up than my brownies were. The spinach and mushrooms give the quiche a nice veggie bite and every spoonful of quiche was overflowing with gooey, melty cheese that made me go like this: …..:’)

So rich, so creamy, sooo goood wtffffff. Sam confirm wanna marry me please. If I didn’t have to watch my weight, I’d make this again. And again… Three quarters of my 8″ quiche was GONE in 20 minutes.

My auntie was visiting that day and after 2 generous slices, she said, “I’d finish all the leftovers if I didn’t have to let other people try it.”

….For a first attempt. ;)

If you guys have any questions, feedback on how yours turned out, or requests for future recipe how-to’s, leave me a comment! Hope yours will turn out equally fabulous and good luck!!


ENJOY!!!!!!

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess

Merry Christmas! And a Happy New Year

As I’m typing this, it’s officially 1/01/2011!

A NEW YEAR HAS BEGUN,
and today is the first day.

Makes me feel like I should be doing something crazily memorable or important but all I am doing is cooking bolognese pasta and blogging at the same time :P

How was everyone’s New Year’s Eve?

Sam and I spent it playing wii, cooking Irish Lamb Stew for a cozy candlelit dinner (best stew I’ve ever had!) and then driving into town to catch the fireworks!!

It’s already the New Year and I haven’t blogged about Christmas in 2010 yet, so

Here I go!!!

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Christmas 2010 was probably the best Christmas I’ve had thus far in my 18 years of life.

Undoubtedly it wasn’t as “magical” as the X’mas I had in Disney World, Orlando last last year, but it was magical in its own way!!!

My family’s not really the sort to celebrate X’mas with each other, usually we have our own plans with our own friends but this year, I was determined to get everyone together and have a nice home cooked X’mas dinner together followed by fun classic board games afterwards!

Sweet corn, mushrooms and cauliflower buttered and seasoned with salt and pepper!

I didn’t have time to take pics of the cooked food so here’s some raw food pics for ya hahaha

Dunno how you guys spent your X’mas afternoon, but I spent mine marinating pork belly and skinning potatoes :3


Roasted whole chicken!!!
With mustard herby marinade, garlic, onions, and a whole buncha other stuff!

Mmmm this was one of my family’s fav dishes that day. I love cooking stuff in the oven, it’s honestly a fail-proof method. I’m not a big fan of oily food, but I don’t like my food that dry either, so the oven is THE solution!

First of all, it’s fuss-free. You preheat the oven, set it to a certain temperature, season and marinate the food then pop it in – DONE. Only need to check back on it when it’s close to being cooked. No fire to watch over, no splattering hot oil to burn yourself on… ♥

I’m NOT a fan of using the gas stove because I always imagine it exploding in my face (seriously) and I don’t like fire and I don’t like gas and did I mention explosions already??

Whether I’m baking desserts, or cooking fish / chicken / pork / whatever, anything that comes out of the oven always comes out PERFECT :D

Tender, juicy and absolutely flavourful!

Roasted potatoes!!!

Ok last of uncooked food pictures lol. We also had grilled pork belly, baked salmon, mashed taters, honey baked ham with cherry tomatoes.. and stuff I don’t remember…

Besides savoury food, we also made sure to have pretty-looking sweets!!! ^.^

Sam and I made this on X’mas Eve! Everyone say HAI to my Gingerbread House!!

What is X’mas without a gingerbread house sitting beside the X’mas tree?! It is 100% edible, home made to the very first and last degree.

We are definitely rockin’ the kitchen recently!

Teehee so cute!!


I’m gonna show you guys how to do this,
step-by-step at the end of this post!

Even though X’mas is already over, it’s still SUPER fun to make with family and friends (not forgetting yummy) plus it doesn’t have to be X’mas themed – just make it as happy looking and colorful as possible :)

Christmas presents under our X’mas tree – the pile has grown quite a bit since the last time I twitpic-ed it!

I was so excited for everyone to open their presents after X’mas dinner – we spent the entire day shopping for the most appropriate well-thought out gifts that everyone needed / wanted and I think it paid off after seeing their reactions when ripping open the wrapping paper.

If I’m gonna give someone a X’mas present, imma make sure they REALLY like it. I don’t believe in giving half-assed gifts such as bath shower gels set or a bottle of wine..

Gee, unless your gift recipient is a soap junkie or an wine enthusiast, can your gift get any more mundane and insincere? Might as well not give anything!!

Even a hand made card is much better.

Pretty decorations that are still hanging around my house!!

The silver beaded chain is actually a $2 necklace I bought from Bangkok, LOL I just hung some extra ornaments on it and taped it up coz my X’mas tree was already overflowing with ornaments and we had some spare ones.

My roast chicken a-roasting!!!

AND IT IS DONE!

Are you hungry now? Coz I know I am!

Sorry for the majority of no-flash, yellowish poor quality photos in this post. Since it was X’mas I didn’t wanna make everyone pretentiously pose for the camera often or have bright flashes going off in their faces too much, so most of these shots are candid snaps taken in like 2 seconds!

And dinner is SERVED, ladies and gentlemen!!!

…I know, I need to work on my food presentation more :3

I find that most of the food I cook tastes really yummy but also looks doubtfully unappetizing. Which is quite sad since I know how food looks plays a huge part on whether you feel like eating it or not.

Perhaps that’s why I enjoy baking so much too.. it allows me to be creative and make my desserts look pretty!

Makes up for the ugly food haha.

I was afraid there might be too much food for 7 people at first, but it turned out to be the exact amount we needed.

We had a bit of leftovers after everyone had their grand fill, but that was ok because I relished everything and had the leftovers for supper later on :P

Let us feast!!!!!

After a hearty dinner, wii + taboo + uno stacko + monopoly + unwrapping of presents awaits us!!

The whole X’mas day I had Christmas carols playing from our stereo.. I really miss walking around the house and hearing X’mas bells ringing through the rooms.

How is it that it’s been barely a week since X’mas was over and I’m already missing it so much?

But first, dessert!!!

Was gonna bake a traditional log cake but Janice got a complimentary one from MBS Sweet Spot so that was settled.


♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥Christmas gang!!


Thanks to these people, I had HEAPS of fun on Christmas :’)

This picture is missing my maid, who was taking the picture for us lol. Did I mention I have a new maid yet?? I can’t remember.. Anyway she’s totally sweet + hardworking and so much better than all my previous ones!!

I know the pics are sooo pixelated but they were really TOO dark before I edited them, so after I brightened them they went all pixel spaz on me D:


Grawrrrrrr monster sista!!111

Me, momma and kukubird ♥ :’)

Every time I look at pictures with 3 of us in it I feel a little bewildered. Why do I NOT look like them at all, when my mum and bro look so alike?

Was I really picked up from the dustbin?? T_T

Kukubird and mother kuku bird LOL

Janice has the widest, toothiest, brightest winsome smile ever. So cute!

Me and Sam have been spending a lot of time with Jan and my bro recently.. Like almost every single day we’d be doing stuff together, like playing games, going out for movies, they even brought me to Nana (which I didn’t like all that much.. I hate clubs) and cooking together.

I thought that once my brother got a new gf we’d be spending much lesser time together than we already were before but to my surprise, we’re now closer than ever!! Funny how relationships don’t bring just 2 people together, sometimes they bring the whole family together.

My mom loves going out with Sam and I too!! I miss my mommy, speaking of her :(

She’s in Spain with Uncle John right now and I am TOTALLYYYYY jealous. I wonder if I’d ever get the chance to go there!!

Hope she buys back amazing souvenirs for me hehe :]

Even though I don’t go on all her trips with her, she ALWAYS buys back tonsa goodies!!

Cute picture of my mum with the biggest laughing smile on her face ♥ ♥

Spot my killer whale “Jessica” cup on the table and Janice’s home made jelly pieces!

And possibly the most anticipated event that surrounds Christmas…

PRESENT OPENING TIMEEEEEE!!

Hehe they were so meticulous about not ruining our carefully wrapped presents it was funny looking at them trying not to rip the wrapper. For me I love shredding my presents wrapping paper into tiny pieces :P

Like AHHHHHHHHHH PRESENT *jumps on it and rips it to pieces like a human paper shredder*

Lol @ my mum and UJ’s expressions!

I got UJ a bright turquoise / teal-ish metallic skinny tie from River Island – Uber sleek! I knew he would never get himself such a bold colored tie, so I figured someone needs to give him a wardrobe revamp.. hahaha

I got my mum a thick black fluffy winter coat from Zara – very fashionable chic and will keep her warm in Spain, because Sam and I overheard her talking about how cold it would be in Spain during winter plus how she lacked enough winter clothes!!

UJ helping Mum to put on the coat…

I’m glad she appreciated what we picked out for her!!! She’s very picky about her clothing and her style is quite unpredictable so I was taking a big risk by buying her winter clothing – if she didn’t like it, that would be a lot of money wasted.

She was all-smiles throughout the night.

Jer and Jan with their presents!!!

I got Jeremy a long sleeved casual smart navy blue shirt from River Island because he is damn vain (I LOVE RIVER ISLAND their style is immaculately top notch)

Janice received a Victoria’s Secret candy-cane themed shower gel (my gift is not insincere ok she always stays over at our place and runs out of soap in our bathroom AND she loves Victoria’s Secret)

We also got her a Marc Jacobs hot pink make up pouch (which she is now using!! yay) and a mad bling navy-blue-and-silver striped sequin dress from Forever 21!

Was kinda difficult to find her size for clothing, she’s not even an XS.. she’s like an XXS or something!

Oh yea *insert random funny moment here*

After Janice gave me my wrapped present, she called me into my bro’s room coz she forgot to wrap up a box of Wilton’s silicon heart shaped baking cups. As she was handing me the box I happily said, “Awww thank you!! It’s very nice”

And I wanted to give her a thumbs up……..

BUT I ACCIDENTALLY GAVE HER THE MIDDLE FINGER.

LOL don’t ask me why the hell I did that, anyway when I gave her the middle finger instead of a thumbs up she looked at me like “:O?!” and I was like OMG sorry I mean

*puts middle finger down and lifts index finger up instead in panic*

HAHAHAH how stupid can I be!!!

Apparently very very extremely unthinkably stupid.

Anyway I got lucky the third time and finally gave her a thumbs up on my third try but by that time she and my brother were laughing so hard at me!!! I guess I’m much more used to giving the middle finger than a thumbs up so when I lifted my hand up it was a natural reaction.


FML
and F Janice’s L for receiving a middle finger for giving me a X’mas present.

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Lastly, I got my maid two bling bracelets plus a silver heart shaped + key necklace.

As you can tell, the girls got the better end of the deal for presents haha. I guess it’s just cuz girls are so much easier to buy for!!

Mum giving Sammy boy a present :P

And it’s a set of 3 different Levi’s t-shirts!!! They’re simple but very nice, the cutting fits Sam so nicely.

Look at that ear-to-ear grin on his cheeky face!

Actually everyone just looks so happy in this set of photos, that’s why I love them so much! I think I’ll go print some of these photos soon.

Momma opening her present from Jan…. what could it be?!?!

Ta-dah!!! A pair of dazzling Swarovski earrings!

And doesn’t she look gorgeous? :)

My present from Uncle John!!!!

Stunning white gold plated necklace with precious stones!! I HEART this shade of pink! ♥

TY UJ!!

Mum gave me a bottle of Coco Chanel parfum (say it like the French do :P) and a bright Magenta silk bag from DKNY. So so pretty!!!!!

Me pretending to give a surprised face epic phail.

How annoying is my expression?? Even I wanna smack myself!! Janice got me jewelry too :)

Mum and UJ with our 6 foot tall X’mas tree :) Yes my mum’s super tall, that’s where I got my genes from!

Sam and I in our living room with our $2 santa Daiso hats hehehehehehe


I can’t stop smiling whenever I look at these pictures!!

Hahahaha I just had to do the freelance model syndrome right-hand-on-hip-stick-out-your-chest-and-cross-your-legs pose. It’s ridiculously vain!

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After everyone’s presents were unwrapped and kept away, we took out the board games to play!!

I thought we could watch a DVD or something but finally decided board games would be the best since we haven’t played board games well.. since like ever.

And I just HAD to go out and buy my favourite classic games – Taboo and Uno Stacko!!! But Taboo is so expensive omg it’s like 50 bucks.

Janice beeping my mum coz she said the wrong word ahaha

No words to describe this picture.. just LOL

Tryna describe something to Sam but he never gets it!!!

Look at his stupid face he’s like “WTF is this bitch sayin?!”

By the time this 3rd picture was taken he’s like “ARGHHHH what is it godaaammiitt!!!!”

And I’m just like “-___-”

LOLOLOL

My mum cracked up sooo much it was hilarious to see her try explaining something to UJ but failing and getting super frustrated afterwards!

I remember there was once it was my turn to describe and my mum’s turn to guess my word, and my word was “Affection” so I said

“Ok mum, since you are my mother, I want a lot of _________ what from you??”

She immediately replied “MONEY!” very loudly.

T____________T

FML x 9325932791275175.

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Another classic moment was when Janice had to describe her word to my brother and she said, “My in front is very what?”

My bro’s reply: “Flat.”


LOLOL

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2 hours of Taboo later, we played a round of Uno Stacko before going to sleep! By this time it was already past midnight.

They are so evil purposely making the top as unbalanced as possible!! I’m feeling a bit bitter since I was the loser in the end hahaha and my forfeit was to dance in front of all of them.

Nothing like good old fashioned board games fun!! Had all of us shrieking like little girls by the end of the night. Christmas brings out the kid in everyone ♥

They took a video of my silly epic dancing, but no way am I gonna post it on my blog!! I look positively retarded. At least more than a few good chuckles came out of that!

I can’t dance even if my life depended on it @_@

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It was nighty night after that!

Completely exhausted after all that screaming and laughing and cooking and eating. Sam and I were sitting on the couch after everyone had went to bed, just looking at our Christmas tree….

When we decided to play with sparkles and he tried to be a flaming stuntsman :P

We went to sleep soon after!!

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And that was how I spent my Christmas!!!

I couldn’t have imagined a better X’mas night with my family.

It wasn’t perfect of course, but it didn’t have to be, because nothing ever is truly perfect.

Perfection to me is making the darnest best out of what you already have and having a whale of a time while doing so, not chasing after idealistic fairytales.

All I know is, being light headed with happiness is definitely a good thing.. and it’s enough for me :)

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Now, read on if you wanna know how to make a Gingerbread House like mine!!

First off, you’ll need to buy groceries because these recipes call for quite a lot of ingredients.

Get the gingerbread house recipe HERE

And the royal icing “glue” recipe HERE

Allrecipes.com is my favourite recipe website!!! Easy navigation, simply layout, clear-cut instructions, trustworthy reviews and recipes plus it comes with pictures. And it’s free.

It is awesome.

Ok, first follow the recipes above, and you can continue with further instructions from here!

You will need to make the gingerbread recipe batch about 2-3 times before you get enough to make a decent sized gingerbread house. We made 2 batches of both gingerbread and icing recipe and it turned out just the right amount.

You don’t have to follow the recipe EXACTLY (like how it calls for 2 teaspoons molasses or whatever that is) because people tweak recipes all the time.

I added chocolate powder and cinnamon to my gingerbread recipe to make it much yummier!!

Your gingerbread mixture should look something like this after mixing. It may seem a little dry, but you’ll need to knead it with your hands!

Now you need to decide how big you want your gingerbread house to be. You’ll have to draw and cut out your own stencils, either using baking paper or just normal paper!

Make one long width for the sides of your house, and an even longer stencil for your roof, and a short one for the front of your house! If this sounds confusing and if you’ve no idea how to construct a simple house you can google for online stencils where you can simply print it out :D

After kneading, roll a chunk of dough onto a baking paper lined surfance and use a rolling pin dusted with flour to carefully roll out a thin sheet of gingerbread.

Use a knife to trade the outlines of your stencils!

And next, my ingenious idea – tracking brick patterns onto your unbaked dough with a knife!!!

You don’t see brick patterns at all on other gingerbread houses on Google images but I think it adds a lovely feel to the whole thing :)

Once your gingerbread pieces have been baked (we baked at 13 mins each at 180 degrees) and cooled, you can now start constructing your gingerbread house!

Put your icing into a large piping bag, and start piping the “glue” for your gingerbread house to stick onto!

Pipe ON the edges of the walls, pipe inside and outside, every single edged surface basically!!!

Make sure your icing is crazy thick and sticky – if your icing isn’t good, your gingerbread house is sure to crumble and all your efforts will be wasted.

A different angle to show you guys how I piped every single edge with thick chunks of icing to make the structure steady enough to stand on its own.

While the icing is drying, you’ll need to hold the pieces in place with your hands for a couple of minutes first.

Don’t worry about doing it neatly or if icing is dripping everywhere – the icing is meant to look like snow, so a little mess is just fine!

Here my gingerbread house is almost complete, after putting on the roofs it’s ready for decoration, yay!!!! ^.^

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VOILA!!!!!!!!!!

My gingerbread house in its full gloryyyyyy! Almost too cute to eat. (it’s still uneaten as of now)

It looks so magnificent just sitting on my living room table, completing the whole festive look! :)

You can buy all the stuff I used to decorate my gingerbread house from the supermarket. Marshmallow candies, M&Ms, and go CRAAAAAAAZY with the icing!!!!

Doesn’t the dripping icing really look like falling snow?

A sprinkle of icing sugar also adds the final snow flake touch to it!

Impress your guests, family, friends and anyone who sees it!!!

Everyone will be so tempted to pick off little parts of it to eat :)

I would’ve posted this recipe to share with you guys before X’mas was actually over, but we only made this on X’mas Eve as an impromptu idea!


Nonetheless, I hope you guys like it.

I know I love it!

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Happy New Year everyone!!!!!

I’m not sure if I am ready for 2011 just yet but I’m sure it will be one heck of a year for me. 2010 seemed to have just passed me by…. it went by wayyyy too fast!!!

It’s almost scary.

This year I’m going to be 19, and the next I will be 20!! Crap.

I hope you guys have a fabulous year ahead of you and will continue staying with me and going through this journey of life together, I love my sweet dear readers! ♥

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess
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