Christmas in October

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose. Sigh. Tis the season to be jolly again. But though Christmas is already in the Philippine air - here in Malaysia, it still feels like summer everywhere.

Gah. I am so bad at rhyming. But oh well. I tend to rhyme when melancholia decides to creep into my system.

I'm not going home this December. For the second year in a row. I'm not so sure if I should get used to that. Why am I not going home? Passport and visa issues, people. It's always that. If it were up to me, I could cough up some cash for plane tickets, but what good will flight tickets do me if I won't even be able to get past the check in counters anyway?

But, if it's any consolation, I did get to experience the Christmas cheer in my hometown. Tada! Christmas decors, yo!

It's so Christmassy!*

For those who have been to Baguio City, you'll recognize this as the perennial interior of the very cozy Forest House. The resto has been one of my family's favorite dinner spots ever since Ma and Pa stumbled upon the place last October 2010. We've been going there for special meals - like welcome meals, despedida meals, birthday meals - ever since. If you can't tell from Ma's photos page, we love that place very much.

I can never get the spelling right. FOREST House.

This Forest House dinner was extra special because it was the first dinner that I had with A and my family. And it was our first dinner together in my hometown. Wee. It was a nice treat. I mean, after being cramped inside a bus for eight hours with only one siopao and one mineral water bottle each, I should say it was a very, very, very nice treat.

Look, it's Finn the Human!

They ordered for us since we got stuck in traffic somewhere after Binalonan. We got out of the bus and into a taxi a couple of minutes before nine and it was a good thing the restaurant was gracious enough to let us stay though it was already near closing time. Ma had caldereta (lamb), Pa had ox tongue, Finn-the-human-slash-Johnny-Depp had salmon, A had chicken kebabs with herbs, and I had chicken in wine sauce. Everything was delish! We all shared food with one another. We didn't have our usual "donation plate" but that didn't stop us from letting the others have a taste of our orders.

Yummy food!

It was an awesome dinner. And it did feel like Christmas, with the freezing cold weather (I wanted to wear gloves!) and the festive decorations. They even had a Christmas tree with presents piled underneath!

With all these warm memories as my tapau, who am I then to feel sad and melancholy during this yuletide season?

Lezbe happy!

*Photo credit goes to Mother dear. ^_^

Get Your Cray On

Crayon Burgers. Who would have thought such things existed? Well, they do. You can find them in SS15 Subang Jaya, Selangor, a couple of twists and turns away from Sunway Pyramid.

My officemates one day decided to be more adventurous with food. I think we got too tired of eating the same old things from the cafeteria upstairs. Thus our journey to Crayon Burger, the first product of that decision.


Apparently, Malaysians have been caught up in a burger craze. Burger joints have recently been popping up all over KL, Subang Jaya, Petaling Jaya and who knows where else. Crayon Burger contributes color to the furor by giving foodies a range of naturally tinted, thick, mouthwatering burgers to choose from. Are you bored of plain brown burger buns? At Crayon Burger, you have the shades of white, black, green, pink, and - though we didn't catch it in the menu - red as your options.

With so many odd buns to choose from, where were we supposed to start? Well I started with what they said was one of the best sellers on the list: The Zombie Burger. 


Zombie Burgers come in charcoal carbs with black poppy seeds. This one had Swiss cheese, juicy beef patties, and - I'm really bad with food -  I forgot what else. It was a really messy meal! Tall with lots of sauce. But I thought it was yum, though some of my friends thought the bun was quite dry. The buns were thick so I guess that may be a reason why. Well I enjoyed the fries and the cheesy sauce.

The zombie made my hands shake
and made the picture blurred!

I had to hand it to Crayon Burger for their creativity. Their burgers had pretty bizarre names - Zombie Burger, The Boss, Diablo, Frying Nemo... Seriously. And guess what? Though they could have given it a more peculiar name, they even had Peanut Butter and Bacon Burger (peanut butter, jam, bacon, meat patties - wow). I might try that one next time. 

Aside from their crazy names and crazy creations, they also had crazy decorations. They have graffiti walls where people left their marks with colored chalk. It was cool and added character. Though I think it might fit the theme better if they had actual crayons. Perhaps the wall could be covered with plain white writable or peel-able wallpaper? Then the crayon thing could fit in more nicely.

But I did like the artistry and originality:

Where to write?

I used invisible chalk.

Crayon Burger is an interesting place. It's quite pricey though - RM15 and above for a burger and an additional RM5 to make it a set. I think people will keep coming back just to try what the other burger colors and combinations taste like.

So. Who wants to "get your cray on"?

Baking Adventures

A sweet friend has recently offered to teach us how to bake. She took up baking lessons last year and wanted to continue practicing the saccharine-filled craft. For some reason, she thought of us and felt it would be nice to ask if we'd like to learn how to make yum treats with her as well.

Hmmm. Baking. Cookies. Cakes. Cupcakes. I'm in! I am definitely in!

We've had two sessions so far. First we learned how to make Green Tea Financiers.

Aren't they yum?

Then, some weeks afterwards, we learned how to make Moist Devil's Chocolate Cupcakes.

Even yummier!

Before this, most of my baking consisted of adding eggs, water, and milk to ready-made cake and cookie mixes. But now I learned to make everything from scratch.

Our sensei taught us how to weigh individual ingredients. She taught us how to sift, to fold, to put dollops of whipped cream on top of cupcakes - I'd say that the past two sessions were chock full of fun learning experiences.

We're going to make Halloween treats this October (Or November, depending on how our schedule goes). I'm excited for that!

So now my list of dream house necessities is getting longer. In addition to having a music studio, library, and balcony, I'm going to make sure we get an oven as well. Here's to baking!

Batter up.

For the Love of Books and Literature

Before we went coffee-hunting last week, we actually went library-hunting first. I had decided to go on a literary world tour and my book-loving aunt suggested I go find a library in my area. I thought that was a very good idea. So, since we had actually passed by the Perpustakaan Negara (National Library) when we got lost after our Philharmonic adventure, we decided to go check the book house out last Saturday.

The Perpustakaan Negara is found along Jalan Tun Razak (the same road I use going to KLCC from my place). But, if you are coming from the south of KL like us, you have to make a U-turn after the Kuala Lumpur Heart Institute because the library is found on the "wrong side" of the road.

The library looks like a museum from the outside - it's so pointy! They have three main buildings/towers: 1) Anjung Bestari (Google translates this as "smart porch"! haha!) where the information counter is found; 2) Menara Pusat Maklumat Malaysiana (Malaysian collections?); and 3) Wisma Sejarah where the information lady told us the borrowing process is done.

Yeah, the perpustakaan is so tourist-friendly, I know. Everything's in Bahasa Melayu and I don't think there were any English translations around.

Well, we only got as far as Level 4 in the Anjung Bestari. We didn't go any further because, there, I found my version of heaven: literature from different countries! Oh yeah!

Philippine Lit

Chick Lit

Short Stories Galore

We failed to ask if there was a membership fee. I've still got a lot of things lined up for this last quarter so I couldn't afford too many distractions (nooooooo - I mean I'd probably spend all my weekends there in the library and wouldn't get anything done, so there). Next year, next year.

Stuff I remembered about the library: flip flops, shorts, short skirts, singlets, and spaghetti straps aren't allowed inside (dress decently yo). Parking is free if you park in the uncovered areas and the tandas might be cleaner inside.

I'll see you again next year, perpustakaan!