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May 2011

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My first cupcake order, EVER! I made 50 Safari cupcakes for a 1st Birthday Party & these were the results. It took me a few hours over 2 days to make them all (in between working full time in my real job!). The cupcakes are a mix of vanilla & double chocolate. I revamped my recipes this time around & the chocolate cupcakes came out better than EVER. My secret? Sour Cream. Yes, Sour Cream! It is a handy trick that keeps your cupcakes moist!

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I love baking, it relaxes me but I don’t think I could ever bake full time, I’d lose the love I have for it & I never want that to happen. Ever. Nope. Not at all. I’d much rather do the odd mass bake-a-thon <3 [gallery columns="5"]

Fried Sweet Chilli ChickenChinese food. I love it. Plain & Simple. Every since living in Singapore as a kid, I can’t get enough. Trouble is, growing up in Singapore has also made me extremely picky about the type of Chinese food I eat. I detest a lot of the UK Chinese Takeaway’s who serve sticky congealed goo & try pass it off as authentic Chinese food. Luckily, I have a local Chinese Restaurant who serves amazing food but ultimately, I prefer cooking my own using authentic Chinese recipes, that way I know exactly what’s in it & that it’s fresh!

My latest favourite Chinese recipe? A quick & simple Fried Sweet Chilli Chicken originally by Ching-He Huang, one of my favourite Chinese chef’s around at the moment. I edited her recipe a little & below is my edited version. The recipe will also work amazingly well with Prawns which was also a childhood favourite of mine from Singapore, complete with oodles & oodles of chilli sauce!

Ingredients:
4 Chicken breasts, sliced into goujons
4 tbsp Cornflour
2 Egg whites
500 ml Groundnut oil for deep-frying (or use Vegetable as alternative)
1 Pinch of salt and pepper
3 tsp Lazy Garlic (or use 4 garlic cloves, crushed)
3 tsp Minced Ginger (or slice an inch piece of fresh root ginger)
2 Medium Red Chilies
6 tbsp Sweet chilli sauce
2 tbsp Light soy sauce
The juice of 1 Lime

Method:
1. Season the chicken pieces with salt and white pepper. Combine the cornflour and egg whites to make a batter. Heat a wok over a high heat and fill it to one-third of its depth with groundnut oil. Heat the oil to 180°C or until a cube of bread dropped in turns golden brown in 15 seconds and floats to the surface.

2. Dip the chicken slices in the batter, lower into the oil and deep-fry for about 5 minutes until crispy and golden. Lift out using tongs and drain on absorbent kitchen paper. Pour the oil from the wok through a sieve into a heatproof container.

3. To make the sauce, wipe out the wok and heat over a high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the drained oil and, when it starts to smoke, add the garlic, ginger and chilli and stir-fry for a few seconds, then add the chilli sauce, soy sauce and lime juice. Mix well.

4. Return the chicken to the wok and turn to coat in the hot sauce, serve immediately with some white rice. End result? It’s amazing, leaving you wanting more & more!

Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 5 mins
Serves: 2-3 people

Recently, I was sent a product by Nougat London to review. Nougat London was first established in 1990 in London’s West End and the first collection was inspired by the glamour and intrigue of film noir, focusing on the refined elegance of screen sirens of yesteryear. In 2000, the Body to Home range was launched to enable customers to further indulge. 11 years later, the Body to Home range goes from strength strength. Nougat London uses only the finest ingredients to create their products and never test on animals. All products are also manufactured within the UK using traditional manufacturing techniques to ensure the standard of quality.

The product I was sent was a 50ml glass jar of Nurturing Hand Cream in the signature Tuberose & Jasmine fragrance. The signature fragrance “is a delicate floral fragrance with the unique notes of the Tuberose flower and the light fragrance of the white Jasmine blossom. Blending the sweet notes of warm milk and white peach with the richer notes of sandalwood, cedarwood, vanilla & musk”.

When I opened the parcel, I was met by a beautifully designed jar, very simplistic in design. Upon opening the jar, there was a nice subtle fragrance which was not overpowering like some can be. I applied a little onto my hands & instantly noticed that it wasn’t greasy like some hand creams I have previously used. Even though I put a little too much on my hands than was actually needed, it dried in quickly which was great. I used the hand cream on my cuticles as well. I’m now 3 months strong without biting my nails so am trying to do everything possible to keep them looking pretty & resist the urge to nibble! After the cream dried in, it left a nice after smell which I loved. I ended up using the cream on my arms as well (yes I know you are only really supposed to use it on your hands, but where is the harm?!?). I’ve now used the cream for several weeks & have been noticing a difference in the softness of my hands which usually end up as dry as anything after spending the entire day typing away at a computer. It’s also a great size to pop into my handbag as well!

The jar of Nurturing Hand Cream by Nougat London costs £7.00 for the 50ml version & is stocked in upmarket department stores such as John Lewis & Harrods as well as independent boutiques throughout the UK. You can also purchase it online at Nougat’s website.

Because of my crazy working hours, it’s so hard to find the time to actually go out shopping when the shops are open. I finish work at either 4:30, 6:30, 8:30 or Midnight so it’s hard to fit going browsing in shops during my free time when I’d rather catch up on sleep or hang out with family! That’s when Online Shopping is totally handy!

I can spend hours searching online for work clothing, the only problem is, it’s so hard to search for womens clothing online because the way it looks online is rarely how it looks when you actually get it! I’ve found that a few times ordering online from ASOS. things looks amazing online & when I get them, they look terrible on! Saying that, the trousers & little cardigans from them are amazing!

While I was googling (yes I do that A LOT!), I saw an article in the Telegraph about the rise of Online Shopping & the amount of money & how approx 17% of all purchases are Online based which isn’t as much as I would have thought due to the easiness of it but makes you think how far things have come since it really hit the web in 1995 with Amazon.

Anyhoo, back to my Online Shopping adventures…. I’m picky, very picky. I also shop like a guy. If I actually do go into a shop, I’m not one of these girls that would spend hours looking at things. I’d rather be in & out a shop in under 15 minutes. I cannot stand crowds & queues in shops. The whole entire experience would end up with me becoming really grumpy & you really don’t want that! You really really don’t!

Do you prefer Online Shopping over Real Shopping? If so, what are your favourite sites? I need to add to my collection 😛

A few weeks ago, I was sent a necklace by Azuni London to review. When I first heard of the upcoming review, I went to their website to have a little look at the styles of jewellery they have as I’m pretty much picky when it comes to what I accessorise with.

I fell in love with A LOT of their stuff, in particular the Love Wording necklace & the necklace I would eventually be sent which was the Love Scroll in Sterling Silver priced at £89.50.

When I received the necklace, it was inside a cute little shiny blue pouch & wrapped up. I was very careful taking it out & I was paranoid I would snap it or something (I’m clumsy A LOT). I loved the detailing on the pendant, the word LOVE etched on a scroll in Sterling Silver along with the little heart dangling off it. The workmanship is amazing & you can tell by just looking at it that it is a quality piece of jewellery.

I did have a few issues with the necklace though, not with the main pendant in itself but the chain. For me, the chain is too delicate, my paranoia of it snapping is still there plus I’m not the greatest fan of short necklaces, I feel like they are strangling me. I would have loved the necklace even more if the chain was much longer & the pendant dropped just above my chest. That would have made it perfect. But that’s just me!

My mom & sister in law on the other hand couldn’t fault it. I even talked my mom into modelling the necklace for me so I could get a close up shot. It’s handy having her around for reviews LOL

NOTE: Azuni will give a 20% discount to anyone buying anything off their website for the entire month of May. If you quote “ANANYAH” when you call or email them. Grab your favourite items when you still can 😀