Friday, January 31, 2020

Top Malaysian CNY menu- how to feed 15 people using 1hour of cooking

Chinese New Year is a time to feast and celebrate. But are you running out of ideas what to serve your family and guests? Hopefully my post will give you some ideas how to satisfy the hungry stomachs. Without losing your mind over planning and cooking the meals.

Lousang is a good appetizer. Just head to any supermarkets to get a set of lousang ingredients-- it's a combination of crunchy crackers, preserved ginger & carrots, peanuts and sesame. Drizzled with sweet plum sauce, it's a crowd pleaser. It's meant to be tossed and mixed together using chopsticks while uttering CNY greetings such as Gong xi fa cai, huat ar. Just for a good omen.

Some additional healthy ingredients that one can add include salmon sashimi, shredded pomelo, julienned carrot/radish/purple cabbage and even Mandarin oranges. Home made lousang sauce can mean mixing sugar free peanut butter sauce with a small amount of sweet plum sauce.

Steamboat is also very simple to prepare. Precook a pot of soup -- can simply blanch a whole chicken into a pot of water, add in some Chinese cabbage and cut carrots for extra sweetness. I used my Russell Taylor pressure cooker and preset to 5mins pressure. The beauty of this is that I don't have to monitor the cooking and it's automatically kept warm until use. Involve helpful family members such as an enthusiastic eldest boy to wash and prepare fresh ingredients like prawns, red fish/salmon slices, chicken slices, fishball, crabstick, noodles, egg, tofu and green vegetables. Add some tomyum paste or cube in a separate pot for extra variety. Before meal time, just prepare some soup and heat it with a portable stove/hot plate to cook the ingredients. Get some fun cooking together with great bonding time.

The blanched chicken meat can then be sliced and plated as a meat dish. Dip in some home made sauce (fry minced garlic with thinly sliced onion, minced Bentong ginger, minced coriander, some Bentong soy sauce and sesame oil). Garlic chilli sauce will do as well. Serve with some fresh lettuce leaves from our home garden to add some fiber and vitamins. This sauce can also be used for steam prawns with sliced ginger.

One more trick is by catering/prepurchase some cooked dishes-- good choices would be roast chicken, roast whole duck, roast pork (can be served as it is or stir fry with celery or leek), braised pork belly with yam slices. Even Buddha's temptation can also be pre-ordered and froze beforehand-- it's a pot full of sumptous ingredients like shark fin (most are imitated using vermicelli nowadays), fish maw, abalone, shitake mushroom, ham, scallop and sea cucumber. Just reheat for some instant yumminess.

As we celebrated CNY in North Pahang area, we also had the opportunity to feast on the King of fruits from the local estates-- Musang King, Udang Merah and D24. My favourite being Karak Organic Durian.Not to mention juicy jackfruit from the local Sungreen Farm. Alleviate the "heatiness" of the fruit savouring coconut freshly plucked from the tree!

Hopefully this gives you enough tips to satisfy the cravings and hunger pangs this CNY!

Monday, January 20, 2020

Home away from home | Mandarin Oriental Hotel Review

About a month ago, I was very honored to be able to join the World's first Congress on Fall and Postural Instability coorganised by Malaysian Society of Geriatric Medicine and British Geriatrics Society. I am a fulltime general physician working in a tertiary hospital, aspiring to be a full-fledged geriatrician soon. During the 5 day congress, I brought my boys to stay at Mandarin Oriental.

Mandarin Oriental is located strategically just within the KLCC park compound. It is therefore, within walking distance of about 5 minutes to the conference venue (KLCC), as well as KL Suria shopping center. This is the real KL center. At night, an easy stroll will bring us to the KLCC park lakeside which has complimentary water fountain show.

KLCC park also features one of the largest christmas trees in the country every December. Lots of instagrammable moments etched into the memory.

Night time around the area is still bustling with life. We explored Marini's on 57 which is a rooftop bar at KLCC Suria on level 57 serving alcoholic beverage, overlooking the KL twin towers. A great way to spend a few hours enjoying a sip and some snacks.

Mandarin Oriental itself is the epitome of comfort and luxury living- a real home away from home. There is a cosy fireplace with homey yet elegant christmas decorations at the lobby. All guests who signed up to become Fans of MO will also receive a complimentary box of chocolates.

Every morning, those who are in a rush can grab some complimentary coffee (a semi-auto coffee machine with choices of latte, cappuccino and espresso), a bottle of fruit juice, a fruit with a muffin on the go. I thought the management is really thoughtful about that.

The room is spacious with a fluffy King-sized bed and pillows, just opposite to a decent flat screened TV. The lounge area is completed with an office desk and a cosy couch.

Instead of bottled mineral water, the MO group is environmentally friendly by providing RO water in glass bottles which gets changed during room service. Other facilities included tea and coffee making facilities, wardrobe, safe, bathrobes and mini fridge.

The bathroom is in marble, hidden behind wooden doors which opens fanning outwards just like the doors of a wardrobe.

Breakfast service started at 6.30am every morning. The spread has a good variety of Malay, Arabic, Indian, Chinese and Western cuisines. From the Malaysian staple like nasi lemak to chicken rendang, one can also find mouthwatering croissants and danish, as well as North Indian delicacies, various yoghurt and cheese. It has something to offer to different taste buds. Even my choosy eldest boy has fun picking his breakfast for 5 days.

What does Dr Yingzangel think?

This is what I would grade my experience staying at MO hotel!
Comfort 4.5/5
Cleanliness 5/5
Hospitality 4.5/5
Location 5/5
Food 4/5
Price 4.5/5

I would like to say it's great for both work and leisure. The place to rest for a pair of tired feet.

Mandarin Oriental

How to get the glowing look this CNY? | Magika Wellness Products

CNY is just around the corner and I have been in such a holiday mood! But recently stresses at work and the start of a new school term mean that I have very little me time. I have been so exhausted and dehydrated causing skin breakouts and comedones. Gulping down my meals with little time to consume enough water also make my stomach feels bloated and constipated.

The answer to these problems are simple-- get back into the routine. Sleep early. Drink lots of water. Consume high fiber food such as oats, fruits and vegetables like papaya, apples and green leafy vegetables. Avoid smoking and alcohol. But I only have 1 week before CNY arrives!

So these Magika products came just in time to my rescue.

Magika Green Coffee

A coffee lover, I know I have to restrict caffeine intake to 1-2 cups a day. Luckily, Magika green coffee (sourced from Vietnam) contains unroasted coffee beans which means that it contains less caffeine. Besides that, other ingredients like hoodia (from South Africa), Chia seeds (from Chile) and spirulina(from Korea). These superfood contains antioxidants and are rich in fiber, alleviating indigestion. Using fructose, it slows the blood sugar rise for people. For those who have chronic illness, it's better to consult your healthcare professional before trying though. (Magika green coffee is certified to be free of heavy metals and pathogens)

Magika Argan Cleansing Flakes (MACF)

CNY celebration period means more dress ups and dolling ups. Removing makeup is very important to avoid impurities from clogging the pores. MACF is made from 100% natural ingredients like Argan oil, rose essential oil,aloe  vera, honey, lemon, arnica flower and witch hazel. These makes  the cleansing flakes multifunctional- cleansing , hydrating, acne busting, anti-ageing and provides some UV protection. It's also easy to bring around when we are on the go visiting friends and relatives.

Magika official website

Wishing everyone a great celebration ahead!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

How to maintain a healthy diet and weight with Homemade CNY cookies in Kuantan

CNY is approaching! Red lanterns are everywhere and people are handing out red packets. Good food is a must during CNY as well, especially CNY cookies. But how to make sure the waist lines won't be bursting out of the new clothes? These are a few important tips from Dr Yingzangel how to enjoy CNY cookies healthily.

Portion is definitely the key. Instead of finishing half a can of cookies a time, try to spread out to 2 cookies in one go and fill yourself up with a glass of water each time (avoid calorie loaded beverage). Take only good quality food. More does not mean healthier. Instead, consume cookies baked from freshly made ingredients and fillings which often mean homemade instead of mass produced ones.

Try to get more helpings of protein, fresh salad and fruits comparing to fried food or carbohydrate. It helps to fill the stomach for longer to avoid excessive snacking. Also try to stick to your usual sleeping time because late night supper and snacking is notorious for weight gain! Instead of being a couch potato, stand and walk around more this CNY to burn some calories.

This is why I only buy homemade CNY cookies from trusted bakers! These are my secret stash for CNY 2020!

The varieties include
-pineapple tarts
- dark chocolate cookies
- white chocolate cookies
-peanut cookies
-semolina cookies
- almond florentine

All homemade, less sweet and fresh! Healthier but taste equally mouthwatering. Order to make. Not only are they great for our own consumption, they are also awesome gifts for family and friends. 2 cans of cookies fit into a festive box with a convenient handle.

Drooling already? Contact 0189187377 to get your very own healthy CNY cookies.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Christmas at Genting Highlands

We were finally at Genting Highlands last Christmas. It's rare for us to stay out during festive seasons because a good tip to travel with young children is to avoid excessive crowd. And it's definitely ask our first time spending Christmas in Genting!

Since we started the journey late morning, we reached Gohtong Jaya just in time for lunch.

Chuan Kie Restaurant 全记小菜馆
Goh Tong Jaya, 29-30, Jalan Jati 1,
69000 Genting Highlands, Pahang
03-6100 1151

Gohtong Jaya is a popular lunch/dinner spot. It's full of eateries for those who are looking for a sumptous meal without having to splurge. Chuan Kie is one of the must tries if you love Chinese cuisine.

Our lunch menu was
-Braised noodles Hokkien style had a rich caramel gravy, full of the fragrance of fried pork lard and was definitely my children's all time favourite.
-Steam catfish was fresh and the flesh was tender that there was no need for too much flavouring. But the price was a tad high.
-Enoki mushroom tofu was a comfort food. Tofu cubes fried to golden, drizzled with a thickened gravy cooked with julienned carrot and enoki mushroom.

Another half an hours drive and we have reached the largest hotel in the world-- Genting's First World Hotel! This complex also housed Malaysia's only casino, a huge shopping complex, as well as an indoor theme park. The range of food and beverage options was huge- from fast food outlets to high end dining such as the only Burger and Lobster in Malaysia. It is conveniently linked to 2 other hotels by a series of escalators. Bing and Mr husband ventured into the Snow World and had lots of fun playing toboggan but even the boy who really loved the cold had to give up feeling cold despite wearing the additional winter gear provided.

We were here mainly for the outdoor Christmas decorations. It's not easy to find as signage could be confusing. The tip was to follow the direction heading to the Arena of Stars. There was a giant snow globe for people to take photo in (free of charge), outdoor ice skating rink, a real-sized double decker bus (replica of the famous London bus) and lots of food trucks.

First World Plaza
69000 Genting Highlands, Pahang

Our energy was spent by the end of the day. We decided to stay in this newer hotel chains called G-luxe which was about 15minutes drive away from the First World complex.

G-luxe by Gloria
1, Jalan Ion Delemen,
69000 Genting Highlands, Pahang

The Executive Deluxe room at G-luxe was comfortable and spacious with a King sized bed, flat screened TV, a lounge and a small kitchen area with complimentary Aristo coffee and packet drinks. Other facilities included kettle, fridge, safe box and rain shower.

Their breakfast buffet was only at RM35 per pax (start charging for children aged 4 and above). There were a few non conventional options such as dumplings stuffed with chives, fried chicken pao, braised chicken feet along with other standard spread including bread, cereals, Rendang chicken, baked beans, noodles and rice porridge.

After breakfast, it was swimming time! The indoor heated swimming pool was so welcoming to the cool weather with a children pool, an adult pool and a jacuzzi. Be careful not to spend too much time though because the heat can easily make people light headed.

For us who had very energetic children, the indoor playground was such a welcoming place. There was a ball pit, slide sets and a gigantic xylophone. It was clean and neat. We were happy for Yi and Bing to crawl and roll around. They were equally excited.

The 3 main hotel complex under the Gloria group was connected via Sky Garden with lots of instagrammable spots and was definitely a must visit as well!

That summed up our free and easy Christmas 2 days 1 night trip at Genting Highlands. It was definitely family friendly and a great getaway.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Aromatherapy at home | Eucapro skin cleansing products review

Everyone would love their homes to smell good. But I simply can't bear the scent of most synthetic air fresheners. They make my head spin and stomach churn. But the scent of natural essential oils has served me well for years. I first noticed the usefulness of natural aromatherapy during my first pregnancy. Even though I did not have severe morning sickness, I couldn't smell cooking and did have my fair share of nausea. Keeping some essential oils handy for sniffing was useful and safe during pregnancy.

Eucapro has started producing odor removal and disinfecting sprays for a while now. More information about their household products in my previous post here. And we are so excited to introduce you all to Eucapro's shower products range!

What's so unique about Eucapro?

Eucapro products are formulated in Australia mainly using eucalyptus oil. They are

1. Cruelty free
2. Vegan friendly
3. Organic, natural and safe
4. High quality yet affordable
total ingredients (including water and salt) must be organic

The following harmful ingredients are not used in Eucapro products:

1. No parabens- may lead to fertility issues and cancer 

2. No propylene glycol- risk children to breathing and immunity problems 

3. No sulphates (including sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate)- harsh and irritating to the skin

4. No cocamidopropyl betaine- may cause allergies and contact dermatitis

5. No artificial or unnecessary fragrances/colours- may worsen eczema

6.. No synthetic detergents (eg, cocamide DEA/MEA)-may cause cancer

7. No petrochemicals (eg, petrolatum, polysorbates, PEG)- may cause cancer
Potential role as carcinogens, concern over long-term effects on the skin

8. No mineral oils (a.k.a. paraffinum liquidum)- Toxic if ingested, also a skin irritant and allergen with links to cancer

9. No lanolin- toxic if ingested

10. No chlorinated water- irritates and dehydrates skin

11No phthalates - cause allergies and can be harmful to developing foetus

Eucapro Baby Moisturising Bath & Wash
Eucapro Baby Shampoo

These 2 baby products also feature eucalyptus, aloe vera and rosemary oils. Baby Yi has really sensitive skin which tends to become irritated and inflamed especially on his face, neck and private areas even when we wipe off his saliva and change his diapers frequently. It tends to worsen when he is down with a cold. 

After using Eucapro, we realise his skin is much more moisturised and smooth. Eucalyptus and aloe vera soothe his itchy inflamed skin down very well. The tear free formula is a must for all the baby products I use.

Eucapro Family Body Wash- eucalyptus or lavender

Eucalyptus oil has antibacterial properties with effective yet gentle cleansing actions. The lavender version, on the other hand, leaves a long lasting scent on the skin after shower. Both lavender and eucalyptus calm eczematous skin and relieve itch. Mr husband works as a surgeon so he needs to perform surgical hand scrubs- resulting in dry and cracked skin, particularly on his hands. He loves how cooling and soothing the body wash.

Eucapro Moisturized Hand Wash and Family Hair Shampoo

I don't have ezcema but frequent hand washing and the need of using alcohol hand rubs dehydrate my skin. It becomes dry and itchy. After using Eucapro handwash, I'm able to clean my hands and keep them moisturised at all times. Unlike many handwash soaps which strips my hands from moisture and wash away my skincare products. The hair shampoo contains Rosemary, Peppermint, Tea Tree, Olive Oil, and Eucalyptus Oil. This unique blend of essential oils hydrate the scalp and protect the hair from damage due to intense hair styling or coloring. I did not even have to use hair conditioner anymore. This simplifies my hair cleansing regime and there's no more bad hair day!

Eucapro offers such a great range of family skincare products which hydrate the skin and  it's great for sensitive skin. Want to know more? Official links as follow:

Monday, January 6, 2020

Spend in style this CNY using Stylish unisex Josk leather wallet

I am a person who does not believe in branded clothes, bags and shoes. But for wallets, I have to say it is extremely important to get one of good quality. After all, it contains all the essential items like credit cards, identification cards and cash. Many wallets are stylish but lack safety features. Some designs are just not practical due to limited space for cards and notes storage. While others are too bulky and can be a hassle to bring around.

I was elated when I came across Josk wallet. It's proudly made in Malaysia. It has all the features I like- good quality leather, durable, many compartments, anti-RFID at just the right size.

Josk GBR9319 Wallet

I love black wallets because it does not stain easily and is classic as well as elegant. Josk GBR9319 Wallet is made of High-Quality Grade 15 Luxury Cow Leather. It's made of full grain leather- this means the leather has full, complete grain of the hide intact.

Full grain leather is the least processed which makes it long lasting and resistant to wear and tear. It does not tear and usually the stitching fails before the leather.

As full grain leather is much more porous comparing to top grain leather, water tends to get absorbed into the leather- therefore Josk wallet is also treated to make it water resistant. With use, the leather continues to look good, resists scratches because it absorbs oil and form what's called patina to minimise the appearance of defects. Try and wave a lighter against the Josk wallet and it won't catch fire because this is how one recognises real leather. This means if you really like leather, get products made from full grain leather!

Want to know more about leather? Read from JooJoobs.

These are the measurements and specifications for my beloved Josk wallet.

Measurements approx: 10cm (W) X 18.5cm (H)
Measurements approx: 10cm (W) X 8.5cm (H) When Close.

Exterior:1 safe slot for holding most frequently used card such as pass card, parking card, or ID card.

Interior:1 large EXPANDABLE up to 2.5cm compartments which can hold up to 120 currency notes; some credit cards, 6+1 single credit card slot, 1 wide side pockets for more cards, currency notes, receipts &papers.

To me, it has ample of space for all my cards. I used to leave many of my membership cards at home. But I can bring all of them with me now without having a hard time to look through the compartments because they are clearly visible. The anti-RFID feature is a must these days as credit cards with pay wave function make frauds much more frequent.

The simple and elegant design makes Josk wallet a great choice for young professionals like me. It fits into my small sling bag both at work and when I'm traveling. Most of my work clothes do not have pockets therefore I tend to bring a small bag around for essential personal belongings. Josk wallet is versatile and fits my active and hectic lifestyle.

Still can't think of what to get for your loved ones? Whether for birthday or anniversary, Josk is definitely a great choice. Get on to Shopee to grab your own Josk wallet and take advantage their Nationwide free shipping.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Tips for baby led weaning featuring EdisonMama

Baby Yi just turned 1 year old last December! He's been a curious eater, wanting to explore table food as young as 8 months old. Unlike his elder brother, he did not like blended food   and instead showed a lot of interest in things in our plates. Therefore, we practise baby led weaning this time- this means that we let Yi try whatever food he wants and he thinks he can handle.

What type of food is suitable for baby led weaning? Almost anything edible! We usually prepare a portion of table food without salt and sugar because kidneys younger than 1 year old cannot handle these additives. Other things like honey (potentially containing harmful germs) and fresh cow's milk (difficult to digest, not enough iron content) are also not suitable.

There's no strict rules about eggs and nuts, but we tend to avoid nuts and seeds due to choking risk. Try to offer fresh fruits, veggies and meat instead of processed food or fried snacks. The key is to introduce new food at least after 2-3 days so we can detect allergy easily. And to supervise baby Yi closely in case he runs into trouble.

Weaning can be messy. As baby Yi is familiarising himself with utensils, it's important to get those of good quality and designed for weaning. Edison Mama is a famous Japanese brand that produces durable and practical baby products. We love their utensils!

Edison Mama Baby Straw Cup

Baby Yi loves to drink water and soup. Or rather, he really enjoys making a mess with the fluids to our dismay! But Edison Mama Baby Straw Cup comes with an easily sealed lid to minimise spillage. This is especially useful while traveling in car to avoid soiling his car seat. In the early stages, it's preferable to use it with the silicone straw. Later on, it can be easily converted into a cup with lids! Importantly, the cup is made to withstand boiling water. So we can sterilize his cup and make hot beverage.

The cup is suitable for infant aged 6 months and above.

Edison Mama Scoop Plate with Suction

The initial stage of weaning involves exploring finger food. Every baby including baby Yi goes through the stage of throwing things off the high chair. It's a normal developmental  I think many parents will agree with me picking up the bowl every minute during meal time can become fairly exhausting. This is why the brilliant creation of a bowl or plate with suction cups comes by handy. Baby Yi stopped trying to throw his bowl (he tends to do that when he could not reach his food). It's also much easier to gather and scoop food from a lopsided plate with a sloped bottom which can contain soup as well.

Edison Mama Fork & Spoon

This is the top seller in Japan for good reasons. Over a million sets are sold annually. The fork is grooved to make gripping onto noodles an effortless task. The spoon, on the other hand, has a flat edge so scooping becomes much easier. Besides that, the curved handle offers a much stable grip. The set comes with a plastic casing so we can bring them out on the go. Just like other Edison Mama's products, the utensils can be sterilized in boiling water.

Even though baby Yi is only expected to use utensils beyond 18 months old, it's always good to let him try and familiarise himself with them.

I strongly recommend parents who have young children to go onto Mamaland website and grab a few of these useful products because they are real good and practical investments!

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