20 November 2012

Secret Garden

There was no other reason why I tried Secret Garden. The name. I first noticed it in a Central World directory; forgot it, remembered it, forgot it again until last week in Siam Paragon while waiting for doors to open for the Twilight premiere. I'm not sure if this is a branch of the one in Sathon that everyone is talking about. As it appeared right in front of me while I wandered, and because I promised myself I would try the place, I got in. I was imagining a garden setting and a secret door.

Ahhh... too much novel reading. I sorted my order: pomegranate iced tea (which was too sour for my taste), and warm chocolate with vanilla ice cream and strawberry sauce, which I loved.

Coconut milk was evident in the warm chocolate cake. At least that's what I thought and I did enjoy it.

The only thing I didn't quite like were the backless chairs. I had to be seated in one as the couches were for four persons or more. Next time I will invite some friends to try the signature restaurant in Sathorn with me. I heard the decoration style is reminiscent of a lovely English tea room.

19 November 2012

Cooking Extravaganza - a review

In time for the most wonderful time of the year is the release of a Gabby Moms product called Cooking Extravaganza.

This is a special package designed to give you bright ideas to use for something which you and your family and friends will be very much involved in this Christmas season - food, cooking and dining. Author Lorrie Flem has put together 7 e-books and a print book - "What's For Dinner, Mom?" which I reviewed earlier. Here's an overview of the contents:

Bulk Cooking Tips and Tricks. If you are curious about bulk cooking, this will work well with you. It's loaded with how-to's for those who want to try this style of cooking. There hasn't been a need for me, at least not yet, to do bulk cooking, but the tips and tricks here are something to keep just in case I need to.

Fill Em Up. Do you have children who talk of snacking only a few minutes after the table has been cleared? This e-book is filled with delicious, cost-saving and even healthy choices for them. I could be speaking for kids who just can not have enough as when I was one I used to want something pretty sweety after Mama has done the dishes. Now I tend to watch out for the son, as well as nieces and nephews (home for the holidays) who may want something more. This I won't deprive them especially during Christmas!

Lorrie's Favorite Recipes is a fabulous collection of recipes your kids will love. Manicotti, fried chicken, teriyaki, I'm hungry already! We are crazy about fried chicken and certainly trying this out.

Healthy Sanity-Saving Breakfasts. The most important meal of the day and in our case, considerably  neglected on a regular frequency.  This e-book has go to breakfasts that will keep you fed and sane - a double bonus.

Pizza Primer. This one puts me on pizza-excited mode because I have always wanted to learn making homemade pizza and this e-book says how. It will be a nice change from buying it which is all I have ever done regarding pizza besides eating it.

Sensational Salads. They are what they are described - sensational. And it's not just because they are yummy. This e-book tells you how to make your salads more fun. Children who are not fond of salads just might start loving them with the use of salad ideas contained in this e-book.

The Secret of Chocolate Chip Cookies. The popular treat! And a favorite among many. But do we know how to mix them up and make them even better? Check inside this e-book and you could be hearing 'yummee' from delighted mouths.

Seven season-appropriate downloadable e-books in a pack make a great Christmas gift, and don't forget it includes a signed copy of What's For Dinner, Mom? You can also have it as your own helping partner in preparing your holiday spread and inspiration during such a busy time in your kitchen. The applicability of the recipes and cooking ideas go beyond Christmas of course. So get your hands on this fabulous bundle of cookbooks for just $19.97. This is a special offer just for you. See how much you are going to save with purchase details here. If you are ordering for Christmas, please do so by December 12th to receive the print book in time. Additionally you can have more info from the Eternal Encouragement Magazine.

This Gabby Moms product was provided to me free in exchange for my unbiased review.

Banana optimism

In my attempts to eat healthy food regularly, I went looking for something nice to read about the banana I was eating. The quote I found was not exactly to my liking so I thought I would tweak a few words to make it work for me -
When life gives you bananas, you can make smoothie.
Now there's an inspiration! The smoothie you see is one I had from Piri Piri.

Here's a banana smoothie recipe I found on BBC Food Recipes by James Tanner from Ready Steady Cook. I was delightfully surprised at how simple, quick and yummy it sounded.

  • 1 banana, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 pink milk
  • handful of ice
  • 1-2 tbsp honey
Preparation Method
  1. Place the banana, milk, ice and honey in a blender and then blend until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a serving glass and serve at once.
Linking with

    14 November 2012

    12 November 2012

    Running a road race: 15th Amari-BMW midnight run

    Running a road race is not exactly my thing. But I'm curious and willing to try anything new (well, except bungy jumping or serpent curry). On Saturday, October 20th, 2012 more than 5,000 runners joined the 15th Amari Watergate and BMW Thailand Charity Midnight Run. It's the only race in Bangkok held at night which is one appealing factor to many. And I didn't have to pay to run. A friend who works for a major sponsor of the race, Bangkok Hospital, used her professional connection to sort that out for me. Thank you Loreyne.

    We arrived at the assembly point about two hours before midnight, and was it a lot of fun. I was beginning to wonder whether I was running or simply socializing through the chatter, the games, and the photo opp. A quick sprint down Google lane shows the causes that would benefit from the race - Baht for a Better Life Project, Chalerm Prakiat in Lampoon and Baan Gerda in Lopburi. The latter two are schools with a similar purpose - education of children whose HIV-infected parents have passed away.

    There were family teams in the race.  Children were excited to run. Soon they rode on ambulances when they got tired.

    These runners do not know each other; not even speak the same language. I loved observing them being friendly and just having a great time.

    Pre-run and awarding ceremonies were held on this stage at the Amari Watergate premises. The post-race party at Henry J. Beans Bar and Grill reportedly lasted til early Sunday morning.

    12km and 6km distances. I ran about an eighth of 1km, deviated to the right by the former World Trade and walked the rest to the sky train station. I was working Sunday at 8 a.m.

    I learned a few things. Here's hoping I was excused.

    09 November 2012

    Places in Harry Potter

    Sometime ago I answered this question: If you had to choose to live within a novel, which would it be? My answer was -

    Without much ado Harry Potter's Hogwarts! What a place to explore! I'd like to transfigure arrogant Malfoy into a cross-eyed cockroach. *kidding* And when I feel like cutting Snape's class I'll hang out at Hagrid's hut. Then during summers head to The Burrow. As Ron Weasley says, "it's not much, but it's home."

    Let's travel to England. Can you name these places in Harry Potter?

    My favorite places in Harry Potter
    (go left to right for names and photo source links)

    1   Hogwarts the moving staircases and all the magical learning!
    2   Shell Cottage a newly-weds' home must be sweet and lovely
    3   Flourish and Blotts books books and books!
    4   Hogsmeade appeals to the country girl in me
    5   Honeydukes for your sweet tooth
    6   The Leaky Cauldron when one day in Diagon Alley is not enough
    7   The Burrow 'dilapidated and standing only by magic' ah!... wonderful
    8   Florean Fortescue choco raspberry with chopped nuts. yum!
    9   Diagon Alley shop til we drop
    10 Madam Puddifoot is where we will have high tea

    02 November 2012

    Chicago Live in Bangkok

    What is your motivation for watching a concert?

    Chicago goes live in Bangkok on Friday, November 2nd at Impact Arena. These are artists whose work  resonate with many in varied ways. I can't resist seeing them for real. Tickets seemed to be selling fast when I bought mine last month. All those moments listening to their hits years ago... I wonder what kind of emotions will I feel or what memories will come back to me when I watch them tomorrow night.

    Thai Ticket Major, the company that sells tickets to every huge concert and other forms of entertainment in the kingdom, provides info about the American rock band on their site. It is my first time to be acquainted with the names of the band members. Peter Cetera is not on the list. Never mind. I saw him during David Foster's concert last year.  There was also a list of Chicago hits and honestly I am not at all familiar with many of them. But I am hoping to hear them sing You're The Inspiration, Will You Still Love Me, Hard Habit to Break, and Hard to Say I'm Sorry at least. Just these four and I'll be one happy old maid until the next household name concert.

    You know how Google translate is. When I pasted some info in Thai, it showed Toyota Camry (must be the sponsor), World Tour Concert, best American rock band, platinum award, more than 22 albums, crowned Billboard charts, and a line that cracked me up - "all music is perfect music at 40 years old."

    Oh yes... 40s and loving all this rocking!
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