Friday 28 September 2007

Low-Fat Chocolate Chip Muffins

Don't these babies looked terrific?? Best of all they're low fat! Indulge...

Low-Fat Chocolate Chip Muffins

Low-Fat Chocolate Chip Muffins Mosaic

As I went through the recipe again and again, I noticed there isn't any addition of chocolate chips in there despite the title of the muffin. Hence, I adapted the recipe, adding this and removing that. The texture is little dense but since they're muffin, I guess that was how they were supposed to be like. For myself, I prefer cupcakes' texture as they're lighter and fluffier, nevertheless, these muffins were well received by the recipients or maybe they were polite?

Low-Fat Chocolate Chip Muffins

For muffins:
300g plain flour
25g caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 lightly beaten eggs
115 ml sunflower oil
175 ml low fat milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 handfuls of chocolate chips

For icing:
2 tbsp margerine, softened
175g icing sugar, sieved
30g cocoa powder
4 tbsp low fat milk
A handful of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 175C. Grease 12-cup muffin tin. In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and cocoa with a spoon. In a large bowl, combine eggs, oil, milk and vanilla with electric whisk (I used manual which worked as well) and beat till combined. Add flour mixture and stir till just combined before adding chocolate chips. Do not overmix. Spoon batter into prepared tin. Bake for 20 mins. Remove tin from oven and cool for 5 mins. Then remove muffins and cool on a rack.

In actual fact, I've used the small muffin paper cups which yielded 18-20 muffins (sorry can't recall). They looked terribly cute in them!

For icing, combine all ingredients except milk. Add the milk slowly, beating with electric whisk to make a firm but spreadable mixture. Add in chocolate chips. Spoon the icing onto the cooled muffins.

Adapted from the 500 Cupcakes & Muffins, By Fergal Connolly book (published by PageOne Publishing)

Low-Fat Chocolate Chip Muffins - Minis

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Thursday 27 September 2007

Stir-fried Watercress With Garlic

Stir Fried Watercress

Quickie post again as I'm a bit busy with work. This is a very lame stir-fried vegetable dish but of course I have a few tips to impart here. These watercress are done by heating up some oil in a wok before dumping in a heap of chopped garlic. Fry till fragrant before adding the watercress. Sprinkle in salt to taste and quickly stir till they turned a darker shade. Try not to over cook them. Dish up and serve. It's not necessary to add water as there would be some water that tend to cling to the watercress, well unless your watercress are absolutely very dry.

As watercress grew in water ponds, cleaning them is an arduous task! You'll need to go thru every single leaves and stems to spot for teeny weeny snails. I tried to take some pictures of them but they turned out rather lousy so I can't show them here.

Whilst cleaning, pluck the younger shoots, leaves and stems (make sure into small sections cos it's really fibrous to chew them all in one go); and placed them in one pile for stir frying or make a quick and simple soup (cook them in shortly in ikan bilis (anchovies) stock.

You'll noticed that there will be a lot of "leftovers" ie. the woody and fibrous stems. DO NOT throw these away! Clean them up as well to make a tasty and cooling drink by boiling them a couple of hours with dried/candied honey dates (mutt joe) sweeten with rock sugar if needed. Otherwise, you could also make a nutritious soup by boiling these stems with some meat bones, red dates and dried squid for about 3 hours.

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Wednesday 26 September 2007

Roast Pork "One Pot" Rice


Siew Yuk One pot rice

At times when one is lazy, "one pot" rice using an electrical rice cooker would be the mother of all solutions. Ahhh the wonders of us, Asians, having a rice cooker in almost every household heh... Haha without slaving myself over some hot stoves nor pot, the rice cooker is indeed Lord sent. It's a very versatile electrical item where you can boil water/soup; cook your rice or congee/porridge; use it for steamboat or even bake a cake!!!

As with before where I've made a "One Pot" Rice that have ingredients like chicken, French beans, Chinese sausage, mushroom and black fungus; this time round I have roast pork which I've gotten from my butcher, long beans, dried shitake mushrooms and Chinese sausage.

In order to have an aromatic rice, other than using dried shrimps which I did not use this time, I sliced some shallots and deep fried them till a light golden brown. Remove the shallots from the oil. Keep the oil for other times ie cooking or dribble over noodles or vegetables.

Soak dried shitake mushrooms till soften and slice them up. Chop up a bunch of long beans into even length. Slice up Chinese sausage. Wash up some rice and add in enough water to cook them. Pour in oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Next, add in all the ingredients mentioned earlier. Cook in the rice cooker. Once cooked, continue to let the rice cook thru in the "Keep Warm" function.

Right before serving, stir in a couple dashes of Shaoxing wine, the deep fried shallots and chopped spring onions. Close the lid and let the aromas steep into the rice for about 5 minutes. Serve hot.

I tell you, this rice is so scrummy until hubby and I have seconds which is very rare for me. Even my boiboi ate up in a gusto!

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Tuesday 25 September 2007

Wishing All a Blessed Mid-Autumn Festival

I'm going back to my parents' tonight to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival with my family and my boiboi. I know he can't wait to play with lantern again tonight. Are you guys feasting with your family and friends too?

Wishing all of you a safe and blessed Mid-Autumn Festival.

No write-ups about the festival since I've done so previously. Not much mooncakes to share either since I don't have my digicam with me. Managed to captured these with my phone and they looked lousy since it's taken last night.

These are homemade TeoChew Single Yolk Yam Paste. This type of mooncake is deep fried hence the flaky pastry that spirals around the fillings are crispy and very fragrant. I liked this one cos it's not sweet and has yam, my fave. Have to finish these up quickly though as they tend to turn rancid very fast in our weather.

I've got a couple of photos that were taken last year but not featured here. These flat discs are actually a type of mooncake. Also from the TeoChew clan, these mooncake have flaky pastry as well but baked instead. The one shown here are with red bean paste filling. I've gotten a couple this year and I managed to get my favourite - white lotus paste filling and hubby picked a crystal filling that has candied winter melon. Will take the pics once I opened the package up. This year I got them from Setapak TeoChew Restaurant just as previously. Other than getting this type of pastry during the festival, I could also get hold of them other times from certain places but they sell those from the famous Yong Sheng Confectionery originated from Muar, Johor.

teochew mooncake dau sar01 teochew mooncake dau sar02

My other posts on this festival:
Mid-Autumn Festival 2007: Leisure Mall (Cheras)
Yuan Xiao Festival
Mid-Autumn Festival Part 1: Mid Valley
Mid-Autumn Festival Part 2: Jelly Mooncake
Mid-Autumn Festival Part 3: Leisure Mall
Mid-Autumn Festival Part 4: Shangri-la's Mooncake
Mid-Autumn Festival Part 5: A Date With The Moon
Review: Bakerzins Mini Snowskin Mooncake
Review: Mooncake from Lavender Cake Shop
Mid-Autumn Festival 2004

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Monday 24 September 2007

Review: The Bird Restaurant

Last Saturday, after my sugar high class at The Cooking House, I had dinner with my parents. After deliberating for a long while, my parents suggested to bring us to The Bird Restaurant in Bandar Menjalara which one of my brother had taken them to. I can't help but to say yes since I knew a bunch of floggers are going to have a session here. Actually I've passed by this place countless times and had piqued the curiosity in me due to the decor and ambiance of The Bird. Somehow, it never crossed my mind to note this down even though my brother had mentioned that they're pretty ok.

Please excuse my photos' quality, taken with my W800i, they turned out very lousy due to the low lighting. I'm sans digicam for a while since it had been borrowed. Hence, there won't be any yummy mooncake pics this year as well. The interior of The Bird is of a mismatched of tables and chairs, some with table cloth, some none. Lots of bamboo bird traps and cages were transformed into lampshades. Lined on the bright yellow walls were loads of antiqued and replica posters of Shanghainese pretty lasses, advertisements of the yore, photos of western actors/actress, olden days photos of people from China etc. There's even a water feature at a corner of the restaurant. My dad told me that the owner, Desmond Liew, loves to collect such items.

Bird Restaurant Bird - interior01 Bird - interior02

Since my parents have eaten their single portions before, my mom asked me to pick from the Set Menu. For four adults, the set came at a very reasonable RM53.00. So I went on and pick the limited style of cooking from the menu. I've asked them to recommend not spicy stuff since my hubby is having sore throat.

My boiboi quickly picked a Mango Ice Blended (RM3.00) drink since he noticed there are some colourful toppings but was disappointed when it came with none. I had to pacified him that there were some slices of mangoes on top. Anyway, when this drink came, we nearly have a shock out of our sheer lives since it came huge, and I really meant HUGE! Served in a roughly 12cm diameter flower pot was finely crushed mango flavoured ice topped with lots more pureed mangoes. Absolutely fabulous! My only problem is sucking the ice up with a thin and soft straw.

When this plate of chicken came, I quickly took a couple of photos only to be taken away shortly as there was a mistake. I was told it was Marmite Chicken instead of King Toh Chicken that I've picked. Darn, this chicken looked so good lah!

Bird - interior03 Bird - Mango Iced Blended Bird - Marmite Chicken

Desmond recommended a Kerabu Chicken Feet (RM6.00) which seems to be one of their specialty of the day. This item is not from the set. I quite liked this tangy salad but the chicken skin pieces are a tad too big, can look a bit scary haha... Peppered with loads of firery chili padi which my mom find them a tad too spicy.

The dishes of the set meal started to arrived. Our correct order of King Toh Chicken came finally. Boneless chicken pieces cooked in a thick soy and oyster sauce plus a handful of dried chillies, slightly sweetish and tasted okay only. Maybe because I was offered an eye candy earlier on.... hmmm... The vege dish that I've picked was Romaine Lettuce stir fried with preserved bean curd (foo yue). Enough of wok hei but mom was complaining that they have a lot of chili padi in it.

Bird - Kerabu Chicken Feet Bird - King Toh Chic Bird - Foo Yue Yau Mak

Butter King Fish seems to be one of their specialties as it is sort of like prominently featured in their menu. Deep fried fish soaked in a rich buttery gravy. Tasted great when eaten hot but once it cooled down, it gotten very jelak! So gotta wallop this quickly. Also have chilli padi here!

Next came the squid dish cooked ala Thai basil leaves style. This is the lousiest of the loot with the squid turned out soft and came with a lot of gravy. Tastewise it's quite all right but somehow the cooking method isn't quite ok. The expert mom said something about how they should cook these squid but I was too busy to pay attention plus she also complained about chilli padi in it (my mom loves her son-in-law a lot one, so that explains the complaints hehe). Seems like the chef like to dish out chilli padi freely in all their dishes.

The set meal came with complimentary dessert and for that day Desmond served us homemade cendol. The cendol wowed me!!! The cendol is soft and slippery served with perfectly cooked reddish sago pearls. The coconut milk and gula melaka proportion were nice to me striking a not too sweet balance BUT BUT BUT it came with crushed tubed ice, what a shame. I've pointed this to Desmond and he said they don't have the resources to take care of that as his restaurant have too many dishes to handle. Awww what a pity.

Bird - Butter King Fish Bird - basil leaves squid Bird - complimentary cendol

The food have some hits and misses but I must go back to try their single portion dishes as they have lots of them in their menu or order dishes from the ala carte menu. Two on my must-try list are Laksa Sarawak and Nasi Muhibah! My mom said their nasi lemak has very very good sambal and she simply adores Desmond's way of public relations/customer service. For that alone, my mom will frequent here!

We have 5 bowls of rice (RM5.00), kinda small serving; and we each took a green tea (RM8.00 for 4 pax) upon Desmond's recommendation saying that they added some leaves or I'm not sure what since he didn't disclosed. Very fragrant like jasmine flower, so maybe it could be jasmine but can't confirm. All in I paid RM79.90.

There seems to be a singing competition going on and this Friday is the final. You may give them a call to buy a ticket and do hurry cos I heard they were packed to the brim last Friday. BTW, this place serves halal food (not sure if certified one or not but that's according to Desmond) but did not displayed that all out since they serve beer.

The Bird Restaurant
5 Jalan 3/62D
Medan Putra Business Centre
Bandar Menjalara, Kepong
Tel: 603-6277 1453

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Thursday 20 September 2007

First Attempt With Bagels

I saw these cutesy mini bagels over at Delicious Days and they really won me over. I have been procastinating for some time over bagel making thinking that it must be very difficult until I saw Nicky's recipe. Since I have the ingredients on hand, I embarked on my first attempt in making some bagels.

bagels medley

I didn't do very well cos I've over baked them as they looked kinda pale as I did not brushed egg yolk over them. I thot by baking them slightly longer, the colour would looked more tanned but how wrong I was! When it first came out of the oven, they were hard but crispy just like after toasting them which is not too bad as it's still chewy. However, they turned rock hard the next day, so hard that if I threw one on my wall, it will create a dent on it hehe... I managed to saved those by steaming them for a while and they turned chewy, phew... I need to refine my method again, mainly because I did not knead them enough since my mixer decided to go on holiday. Looks like I could only continue with my bread adventure after my mixer came back from it's holiday.

Loved it nevertheless, when served with cream cheese and smoked salmon.

Bagel - smoked salmon & cream cheese (top) Bagel - smoked salmon & cream cheese

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Wednesday 19 September 2007

Review: Ying Ker Restaurant

Ying Ker Restaurant at The Curve made it on my list even before its opening. I saw the signage during their renovation period. At that time, there weren't that many good eating places at that mall but it's a very different story now. Breaking away from the normal grubs that our fart usually would asked for, this time we forced our way into a Chinese Hakka cuisine place.

I had always wondered why this place is so pack and they even put up a row of chairs outside for waiting patrons. All these while I thought it must be the place is too small to cope with the crowds but oh boy, how wrong I was! I didn't realised there is a huge dining hall further inside this classy restaurant.

Anyhow, we managed to get a table since we were there very early one evening. After browsing thru the menu, there are dishes that could go with rice; single portion order of rice or noodles; and the latest addition of dim sum.

I've asked for the Hakka Minced Pork Noodles (RM10.90) to be shared with my boiboi. The noodles came in a bed of noodles topped with minced meat and two meat patties. Looking very plain but I have to say this is very flavourful, as great as the one at Pudu. The minced meat were a tad too salty since I'm used to bland food but it went well with the noodles. Overall, I did enjoyed this very much.

YK - Hakka Pork Noodles (RM10.90)

Hubby had his favourite Braised Pork (Char Yuk) to be served with a bowl of noodles in soup (RM15.90). The noodles are very very plain indeed but hubby said it was nice to be served with the braised pork. I noticed the portion came with loads of black fungus that I liked. Tastewise, it's comparable to the tasty one at Leung Ya but again a tad too salty for myself.

YK - noodles YK - Braised Pork Served With Noodles (RM15.90)

We ordered a plate of chee cheung fun (rice rolls) filled with carrot and turnip strips (RM5.00) to be shared but my boiboi loves this so much that he whacked almost the whole plate leaving me struggling with my noodles. I managed to grabbed a couple of pieces which I find the rice rolls smooth and the filling have dried shrimps.

YK - CCF (RM5)

Overall, it was pretty pleasant but the prices are generally on a very high side, most likely to fund the expensive looking chopsticks, crockery and renovation heh. All in all, we spent in total RM45.77 in which RM8.00 went for a pot of Puer that came in a very nice purple clay teapot plus 10% service charge and 5% government tax.

Ying Ker Restaurant
Lot 139, 1st Floor
The Curve
Tel: 603-7729 4229

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Tuesday 18 September 2007

Review: Mui Hiong Salt Fish Delicacy


I first read about this Mui Hiong Salt Fish Delicacy in the papers a couple of years ago but somehow never got round to Imbi to check them out even though hubby is a big fan of salted fish. Sad when Lilian even ate here on one of her trips to Kuala Lumpur!!! I told myself I must make it a point to come by but still...

Next I saw the delicious post by Lyrical Lemongrass, wahhh must definitely put this a few ranks up in my long long list of "To Eat". We were determined and went one day but alas the shop was closed! *pout*

Opportunity came again the following week when we arrived at the million dollar question of where to eat one evening, hubby was gamed when I mentioned the salted fish place again. We went round the block twice but can't find any car park but was delighted they were at least opened, anyway, we eventually got into the paid carparks which are aplenty besides Imbi Palace Restaurant. Mui Hiong is located at Medan Imbi, same row as Lo Hong Ka.

Lo hold behold, don't be misled by the plain black and white signboard, elegant Chinese styled marble topped tables and chairs will greet you upon entering the glass door. A lady whom we found out was the wife of propriety, George Lai. She made some recommendation to us and shoot off to the kitchen to hand in our order.

Whilst waiting, we looked around and couldn't helped but to noticed a children playpen beneath the stairs. Hubby was curious and went over to have a look, and he waved me over to check out the cosy pen filled with mattress, toys and telly. There is a little boy came over and hubby held out his palm. The little boy then proceed to place his palm over hubby's... awwww very sweet. We later found out that the little boy is one of George's son, same age as our boiboi but he's autistic. Mrs Lai was surprised at how her son reacted to hubby as she said he's usually very reserved. Many words were exchanged and shared since one of hubby's friend had an autistic child. Mr & Mrs Lai seems frustrated and at all ends but upon hubby's adviced to show more compassion rather than resort to scolding and caning, it was then George realised that he noticed that his son would listen to him whenever he asked him to do things nicely. Well, we hoped we could drop by one day with our boiboi to play with him and see how the child had progressed after his horse riding sessions which is a form of therapy. Wish all is well ;-)

By then our soup came. We ordered a single portion of Ngau Chat Soup upon strongly recommendation from Mrs Lai. Errrmm I know, it sounded a bit foul haha but apparently ngau chat is a type of Chinese herb and not beef part *ahem*, double boiled with a few other Chinese herbs and chicken meat. It's our first and we both loved it. The soup is very ching timm (clear with natural sweetness). Had wanted a second bowl but decided against it, otherwise we would be over stuffed.

MH - ngau 7 soup

We have a Steamed Minced Pork with Yau Yue (dried squid, ) which abosolutely tasted homemade just like Ma's!

MH - steamed minced pork with yau yue

Next came this delicious Stir Fried Bittergourd and Prawns in Salted Eggs. There were 3 HUGE prawns in our portion since we asked to have a smaller portion, otherwise Mrs Lai would have given us 2 prawns each. I guess the prawns were pre-fried before stirring in thinly sliced bittergourd. A thick gravy made out of salted egg yolk is poured all over, stir till melded before serving. We licked and sucked the creamy gravy from the shells before digging into the firm and fresh prawn meat. Who would think prawns, bittergourd and salted eggs could lived under one roof harmoniously??

MH - stir fried bittergourd and prawns in salted eggs

A steamed white pomfret with salted fish was highly recommended by Mrs Lai...

MH - steamed pomfret with salted fish

... but where is the salted fish??? LOL... the treasures were hidden underneath the fish!!! George told us to drizzle the broth onto our rice but aduiii so little broth on the plate which we both fought for them. After tasting the fish, I totally understood why George had placed the salted fish beneath. By doing so, one can taste the natural freshness and sweetness of the fish without marring the taste with the strong and salty salted fish. Ohh how clever!

MH - steamed pomfret with salted fish (underneath)

This restaurant seems very popular as we see the crowds trickling in as the clock ticks and we were told to reserve should we decided to visit on weekends. I guess I know why... the food here not only reminds one of mother's or maybe not, more like hometown (ka hiong) cooking but they're genuinely good.

For the above dishes, two bowls of rice (they used good quality rice which I liked) and a pot of tea, the meal came to RM65.00. Prawn and fish are at market rate.

Mui Hiong Salt Fish Delicacy
4 Jalan Medan Imbi,
Off Jalan Imbi,
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 012-299 3331
Opening Hours: 12 noon - 3.00pm; 6.00pm - 10.00pm
Closed on last Monday and Tuesday of the month

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Monday 17 September 2007

Chocolate Glazed Cupcakes

No inspiration to write... quickie post here.

Chocolate Glazed Cupcakes

Just make a batch of basic cupcakes then melt some dark chocolate with some cream. Cool and refrigerate the chocolate glaze till thickened before slatering them on the cupcakes. Decorate to your heart contents with sprinkles and candies.

Chocolate Glazed Cupcakes Mosaic

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Thursday 13 September 2007

The Onset of Ramadan

Today marks the start of the Muslim month of Ramadhan where eating, drinking, smoking and sexual intercourse are forbidden between dawn (fajr) and sunset (maghrib). At the end of the month, the Muslim will usher in Eid ul-Fitr or most commonly known in Malaysia as Hari Raya Aidil Fitri.

Check out your neighbourhoods or the local papers for Ramadhan bazaars' locations around town. I hope boo_licious will give us all a fantabulous updates on some of these bazaars just like previous years.

Here is a list that I've downloaded from The Star (click on it to expand):


To all my Muslim readers, please come in here after you've buka puasa, otherwise, read with your own risk. :p Selamat Berpuasa.

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Review: Checking Up Zuup Soup Bar Again

Updated 3 November 2011

This restaurant has closed.


Actually I didn't want to post this up since we've been to Zuup numerous times and we've never failed to like their food. This is all Dr Chen's fault (words borrowed from her too). I'm now officially in her Tungku Club! I had promised her to show how my boiboi drink and eat his Tungku Soup which I had previewed yesterday haha... He's so darn cute and funny! He finished up the soup and chomped down the "bowl".

Wat's Biting?

My boiboi, as like other kids of his age, if I ever ask him what he would like to have for his meal especially when we're in a mall, his reply would be either one of these - pasta, burger or pizza (jwmc's faves too)! Being a kiasi parent, I would usually accommodate. This would be better for me rather than having me to persuade him to eat other stuff. That lunch time at 1 Utama was no different especially when it was just me and him. I conveniently took him to Zuup as they would have his two favourite food - soup and pasta.

This round, I opted for the set meal for the two of us that costed RM16.90. The set came with a soup of the day, spaghetti and iced lemon tea. After checking with the staff, they're serving Chicken and Corn Soup. My boiboi doesn't like corn so I asked for his favourite, Wild Mushroom Cappucino and he specifically asked for the soup to come in a bread bowl (RM10.90)!!! On top of that he also wanted a Ribena Soda (RM5.90), sighhh the bad thing about knowing how to read the menu these days!

His Tungku soup came first and he quickly took the cover off and bite on it before I could even take a pic. So I cheated lah by turning the cover around haha... After 3 bites then he put the cover on and asked me to take pic (the one in the first pic). *roll eyes* This soup is of a consistency we both liked, not too thick nor creamy. He almost finished the whole bowl of soup which is pretty huge in my standard. On top of the soup, he whacked half of the bread bowl! Then he licked his fingers too... it was that good!

Zuup - Wild Mushroom Cappucino in Bread Bowl


My Chicken and Corn Soup in a light creamy based is good too but paled in comparison since I quite like mushroom myself. When the spaghetti (darn, I had forgotten it's name) came, I knew it was a big mistake asking for a creamy based one. Not my fault either cos my boiboi picked one. He hardly have 4 bites of his small share of the spaghetti, duh!!!! Next time, I'm gonna decide for him but then I also kiasi he don't eat. How lah??? I tried to stuffed myself as much as I could and left some behind. This spaghetti have sliced sausages and mushrooms, not as creamy as I had before... delicious!

Zuup - Chicken n Corn Soup

Zuup - spaghetti

Zuup Soup Bar
LG 223, Lower Ground Floor,
1 Utama Shopping Centre, Lebuh Bandar Utama,
47800 Petaling Jaya,
Operation Hours: Monday to Sunday From 11:30am to 10:00pm
(There is a 5% Government Tax imposed.)

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Blog Revamping

Hello... I'm in the midst of revamping my blog to make my life a little easier. So do not be alarmed as work is still under construction.

16 Oct 2012