Thursday, 30 December 2010

Korea Winter Discovery 2010 - Phoenix Park Ski Resort

After a fun day at the Everland Outdoor Theme Park(read more HERE), we finally gets to stay in the skiing resort which is one of the highlight for this tour. As we went during the earlier months of Winter, we still can't really sees the whole skiing mountain being covered with thick snow. But despite of the disadvantages, everyone still had a great time catching up with some skiing lesson snowballs fight.

For morning Breakfast we had some simple Western and Korea dishes in Buffet syle together with assorted bread, toast, fresh juice and coffee/tea.

After breakfast, everyone changed into skiing outfit and getting ready to embrace ourselves with beautiful morning view from the "Scenic Gondola Ride" up the snowy mountain.

Breathtaking sights of the downhill view from the top of the snowy mountain. This is also the starting point for those Alpine skiers too.

A group of skiers getting ready for action. At that moment we wished that we could be half as good as them to handle all the turns and jumps.

Our first encounter with the real snowflakes at the top of the snowy mountain.

Although Rey is too young for the actual skiing fun but he did have lots of fun with the sled-riding. And he even complaint that the half day skiing itinerary is too short for him.

Uncle and cousins are training hard to balance their skiing set after the demo session by our tour guide. Guess skiing is not an easy sport after all as we saw a lot of young kids of age below 6 starts learning at such young age with their full gears on.

Lunch was at a small cottage about 8 minutes bus ride away from the skiing park. From the photo you could roughly see that we had some "Assorted Mushroom Hotpot" with shaved meat and the usual accompany sides.

While the rest of the tour mates were enjoying themselves at the "Blue Canyon Water Theme Park", we explored around the small shopping area with a few others and enjoying our afternoon tea-break with Yogurt ice-cream and Starbucks coffee to warm ourselves on the cold weather.

After a relax afternoon at the jacuzzi for the Adults and fun filled excitement at the various pools for the kids. Everyone is so tired and doze off during the an hour plus of bus journey to our dinner destination and hotel.

Dinner: We had "Octopus & Lean Pork" hotplate.



SNACK PREVIEW:



Nami Island, the filming location of popular drama series "Winter Sonata". And we finally experience the downpour of snowflakes and the freezing cold weather of -10 degree in cold winter evening.


Tuesday, 28 December 2010

[New In Town] City Nomads

CityNomads.com is not just a website where people can find great deals in Singapore, it is a social network and community for Singapore’s food and drink lovers. On 16th December 2010, CityNomads has a launched party at Infusion @ Dempsey to celebrate its' official launched.

And on the following day, 17th December 2010 they launched their website which is easy to use with only four main tabs to navigate from such as:- "Today's Promotions, Recent Promotions, How it Works and About City Nomads". Below is a sample of the screen capture for your reference or you could click the link provided to explore more at: http://citynomads.com/


Just like some of the well-known online restaurants and leisure search sites such as inSing, HungryGoWhere and OpenRice_Sg, CityNomads will also organize regular events such as wine tastings, absinthe parties, whisky appreciation, cooking classes and and etc to bring likeminded individuals together.

And on top of the these, CityNomads also promotes Eco-friendly habits with its paperless system. Members will not need to print out any coupons but instead just provide their ID and mobile number for verification.


  There is even an Iphone App (more information HERE) for “Nomads” to help keep track of purchases. For quicker updates and information on CityNomads, you could add them at Facebook(link HERE) or Twitter (link HERE).



Monday, 27 December 2010

Korea Winter Discovery 2010 - Everland Theme Park

Upon returned from Jeju Island we spent almost half a day at this Korea famous outdoor theme park known as "Everland". This park equipped with many different kinds of rides and attractions that are suitable for all ages. In it there is also a safari park in Zoo-Topia area where tourists would get a close up view of the wild animals.

Finally gets to see something familiar and decent for breakfast at one of the cafe known as "Azale" at Jeju, Grand Hotel where we stays during our Jeju stop over.

After breakfast we proceed to our flight back from Jeju International Airport to Gimpo Airport in Seoul.

About an hour bus ride, we transfer the theme park shuttle bus service from the foot of the mountain to the entrance of the Everland theme park. (about 5 - 8 minutes ride)

Everland is opened in 1976 and it is about 1,200,000yd2. It is ranked as the 4th theme park in the world by offering 5 Main Festivals and exciting entertainments all year around.

The T.Express shown in the photos at the back end is the first wooden roller coaster built in 2006 and the largest of any kind in South Korea. The T Express is the 6th longest wooden coaster in the world at 5,838 feet long. It is also the steepest, with the first drop inclined at 77 degrees.
Height requirement: between 130 cm and 195 cm.
Location: European Adventure

Indulge yourself in a bus-ride with close up look with the wild animals in the Safari World tour where you can see rare white Tiger, Black Bear, Elephants and etc.
Location: Zoo-Topia

For kids, Animal Wonder Stage will be a great place for fantastic stage performances featuring Everland's very own animal stars.
Location: Zoo-Topia

There are a lot of small food stalls around the theme park selling all kinds of quick and easy snacks for you to grab along while enjoy your rides. Or you could also explore the food village located at European Adventure. Here we have some popcorn chicken meal from Burger Cafe.
Location: European Adventure

Everland's gorgeous parades at the Carnival Square.
Location: European Adventure

Enjoying our festive train ride around the Four Season Garden.

The Ferris wheel in Magic Land provides a spectacular view of the whole park.
Location: Magic Land

Oriental Restaurant that caters buffet with more than 40 mouthwatering dishes. Look stunning with all the Christmas lighting.
Location: Global Fair

Amazing Christmas lighting at Global Fair area. Since we reached there almost 12pm and we have only around 4.5 hours in the park or so to play those rides. But since we are not those adventure people, most of the rides we did not complete except exploring around the park and accompany my kid for some kid's friendly rides and shows.

For more photos of our adventage in the Everland Theme Park, do click on the link HERE to re-direct to Cuisine Paradise Facebook Fan Page album @ http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=48950&id=116774448333449&ref=mf

Dinner time: Korea BBQ Pork with lettuce wrap and kimchi and etc.



SNACK PREVIEW:



This is the main reason we choose to explore Korea in winter. Stay tune for more updates on the skiing post soon.....


Saturday, 25 December 2010

Roasted Chicken With Brown Rice And Chestnut Stuffing

  Today is Christmas and as a Christian we do value this special and meaning day in December Calender. For the past two years, our church has planned outdoor Christmas Party in the neighbourhood area so that more residents can join us to celebrate this special occasion at the eve of Christmas. So since today is a rest day for family gathering, I decided to try my hand on preparing my very 1st Christmas Lunch.

To be honest, I seldom prepared western dishes because I do not own many of those spices or herbs which we hardly used in our daily Asian cooking. And this Roasted Chicken Lunch that I prepared is also not a fully western dishes too. As when you read the rest of the post, you would notice that I replaced the usual herbs stuffing with brown rice and etc.

Here are some collage photos to show the ingredients and steps on preparing the Brown Rice Stuffing which is quite similar to what I did a few years back on the Baked Pumpkin with Rice Stuffing (link HERE).

Ingredients: (for 1 quantity)
1 Cup of Uncooked Brown Rice Mixture
2 Tablespoons of Frozen Green Peas
6 - 8 Whole Ready to Eat Roasted Chestnuts
1 Tablespoon of Mixed Fried Fruit/Golden Raisin
1 Teaspoon of Minced Garlic
1/2 Teaspoon of Minced Ginger
1/2 Tablespoon of Oil
Seasonings:
Dash of Pepper and Sesame Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Light Soya Sauce

Method:
1. Rinse the rice mixture two to three time then soak in water for about 30 minutes before cooking.(soaking the brown rice prior cooking can decrease the cooking time)
2. Cook the brown rice in rice cooker with the usual method and once it is cooked through stand it rice cooker for another 10 minutes.
3. Next scoop the cooked rice to a place and let it cool off to room temperature while preparing the ingredients for the fried rice and get ready the chicken.
4. When done, preheat a non-stick pan with 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil, saute the minced garlic and ginger till fragrant then drop in green peas and give it a quick stir before adding the cooked brown rice.
5. Use the back of the spatula, loosen all the lumps of the cooked rice till grains are formed.
6. Stir-fry the rest of the ingredients such as chestnut and mixed dried fruits then follow by the seasoning till well mixed.
7. Transfer the rice mixture to a plate while handling the chicken.

Note:-
~ Mix 1/2 cup each of Brown Rice with normal Long Grain Jasmin Rice. (I do encourage you to try brown rice as it will give this dish a very nutty fragrant and taste)

This is the final Brown Rice Stuffing with Chestnut, green peas and dried mixed fruit mixture which is ready to be used. Since this is used as a Christmas theme stuffing you could realise that the colour that I used seems t be circling with green, red, golden and etc. I am sure this would be something new to you as to add dried mixed fruits into rice stuffing.

Here is another set of collage photos showing the ingredients of the roasted vegetables and steps on stuffing the chicken.

Ingredients For Roasted Vegetables: (Serves 4)
1 Medium Carrot, cut into 2cm thick chunks
2 Medium Potato, removed skin and cut into 6 chunks each
300g of Pumpkin, removed skin and cut into chunks
1 Fresh Sweetcorn, cut into 2cm thick ring, halves
Seasonings:
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Peppercorns
1/2 Teaspoon of Dried Chilli Flakes
1/2 Tablespoon roughly chopped Coriander

Method:
1. Mixed all the vegetables together with the seasonings in a bowl and set aside while preparing the chicken.


Since I still have some Seah's Spices available from their complimentary gift (link HERE) set, I decided to use one of this "Seah's Salt-Roasted Chicken Spices" for our Christmas Roast Chicken Lunch. There are two small 20g sachets of spices in each packet where you can roast up to 2 chicken of 600g each.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)
1 20g Sachet of Spices(Seah's Salt-Roasted Chicken Spices)
1 Sakura Chicken, around 1kg size
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
1 Quantity of Prepared Brown Rice Stuffing
Prepared Vegetables Chunks for roasting

Method:
1. Before stuffing the chicken, trim the extra fats, emptied and cleaned the cavity, removed the head, neck and feet. Rinse and pat dry using kitchen paper towel.
2.Next brush the olive oil evenly around the chicken before rubbing the powder spices all over the chicken include the cavity of the chicken and under the skin layers.
3. Scoop the rice stuffing into the cavity and pressed tightly using the back of the spoon until all all or most of the stuffing are used up.
4. Place the stuffed chicken in a baking dish, secure the chicken thighs and wings to its body by using some kitchen string.
5. Arrange the prepared vegetables chunks around the sides of the baking dish and roast in a pre-heat 220 degree roast for about 20 minutes.
6. Remove the baking dish from the oven, quickly brush over another layer of olive oil all around the chicken and also give the veggies a quick toss before putting back to the oven to roast for another 20 minutes.
7. To get that nice and crispy outer skin, you can switch the oven function to fan-force mode on the last 7 - 10 minutes of cooking time.



In about 1 hour time, we could enjoy a hearty Christmas Roasted Chicken Lunch with rice stuffing and mixed veggies at our comfort home without need to eat in rush and wait for the festive season queues in the eateries. You can also re-heat some ready served chicken gravy pack or festive cranberry sauce from the supermarket to go with the roasted chicken.

This photo shows the inner cut of the roasted chicken where you can see the colourful brown rice stuffing in the cavity. The rice is so yummy and fragrant by the spices and juice from the roasted chicken too.

Roasted Chicken will be great to serve with Caesar Salad that consists of the crispy romaine lettuce and croutons which dressed with Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil and etc.You can easily prepared this by getting some fresh romaine lettuce and ready salad dressing pack from local supermarket such as Cold Storage.

This is the 1 person serving portion of our Christmas Lunch. Everyone enjoys this simple and wonderful meal with accompany of white wine and sparking drinks.

Although this year Christmas has almost come to an end in another few hours time but I would still like to wish everyone of my blog readers a wonder and blessed Christmas. Hope you have enjoy this festive season with your loved to ones and Merry Christmas everyone!!!!

And also I am submitting this post to "Aspiring Bakers #2: Christmas! (Dec 2010)", hosted by Passionate About Baking at this link HERE.


Sakae Junior Club - Sushi Making Workshop

Last Friday, 17 December we went for a kids' Sushi Making Workshop organised by Sakae Sushi at one of its' outlets at Causeway Point. Although making sushi is not something new for my boy who loves to help me in the kitchen but from his facial expression I am sure he is having great fun and enjoyable experience with the new friends.

After registration at level one, we are asked to proceed to the Kid's Section at Level 2. From a glance you can see that the venue is well-prepared with kids' friendly sitting area, ingredients and great atmosphere towards kids liking.

This sushi workshop lasted for about an hour plus and all kids get to learn the steps and hands on at how to make Chawanmushi, Tri-Colour Sushi Balls and Cartoon Inari with some assists from their accompany parent(s).

Each and everyone of the kids enjoyed this interesting workshop very much and you could heard laughter almost every few minutes during the whole section. And another encouraging issue is everyone present at the workshop is very co-operative in following instructions which makes everything goes on smooth and enjoyable. Above are the 3 items done by my boy.

After the workshop, each and everyone of us get a set of the Lunch Bento according to our preference choice. For both Adults and Kids, everyone gets  to choose their desire bento set from the pre-ordering menu before the workshop. Since we have two adults we could get to try out both the Salmon and Spicy Chicken Bento while Rey settle for his Fire Engine set.


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