Friday, February 19, 2010

Inspiration from Real Wedding Friday: Rustic Heaven in Descanso Gardens, LA

Guess who was the mastermind behind this woodsy, organic wedding of Susie and Curtis? It is Beth Helmstetter Events! You have seen her work here too. If you want more inspirations from her, check out her blog.

Save the tree by transforming individual menu card to menu on board - I just love that idea. It makes me feel like home and being 'green'.

Here are other elements I like about this wedding, besides the menu board:
1- Incorporate fresh fruits into centerpieces
(especially locally grown fruits from farmers near you!)
2- Wood benches with cushions lounge area during cocktail hour
3- Wooden customized figurine cake topper
(visit for cake topper from some creative artists!)

Photo Credit: B&G Photography

Alright, my weekend mood is kicking in right now. Hope this simple wedding inspires you to plan your next event. Be it a wedding, bridal shower, birthday party, or a simple friend gathering, I hope you have fun planning it.

Instead of regular Monday to Friday postings, we are going for a spur-of-the-moment posting for next week (we are working on upgrading our blogpost ^.*). See you till them!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Moment-Capture Thursday: London Scenery from The Lens of Jenny Sun

When you have a moment to relax and traveling around with your loved one, where would you go? At this moment of time, I just want to take my own sweet time grab a cup of hot chocolate (always a comfort drink for me during winter time) and enjoy the spectacular scenery with my loved one.

Jenny Sun had her work/travel moment to London last month and here are some of my favorite shots as seen on her photography blog.

Hope you enjoy the day in wherever you are right now ^.*

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Epicurean Wednesday: Miniature Burgers & Fries

Who doesn't love burger and fries? Some may not like it, but majority love it! I consider myself a health-conscious person, I hardly eat fast food (such as McD, KFC, etc). It does not mean I dislike it; just that it is a 'splurge' for me once in a while, not always. I still love fries!

Photo Credit: Rustic Vineyard Wedding in Santa Ynez Wine Country via Inspired By This, photographed by Leigh Miller Photography

Burgers and fries are definitely comfort food for many Americans. I wonder if people will serve burger and fries at their wedding reception. So I decided to do research on this topic to answer the call to my curiosity.

Surprisingly, serving fast food isn't a newbie at wedding! Not only serving fast food, there are people chose to get hitch at fast food chain too! Also, there was a couple in England served GIANT burger at their wedding reception! And yet, some creative bakers turn burger into 'cupcake'! They are definitely people who can think outside the box.

Couple's McDonald's Wedding Reception

An article featured on BBC News (UK)
August 6, 2002

A bride and groom held their wedding reception with a happy meal at their local McDonalds.

Giant Wedding Burger

An article posted by Robyn Lee via
Serious September 22, 2008

Tom and Kerry Watts of Poringland, England, served a 19 kilograms (42 lbs) cheeseburger at their wedding reception made by American restaurant, Zaks.

Ingredients of giant burger:
400oz Beef Patty
5kg Bun

12 Iceberg Lettuces
12 Onions
30 Tomatoes
48 slices of Dill Pickle
2kg Cheese
1litre Ketchup
1litre Mayonnaise

For those of you who reside outside of US, you may go to BBC News or click here to watch the video featuring the giant wedding burger.

'Burger' Cupcakes

Lisa Smiley
Lisa's secret recipe:
Vanilla Cupcake - as Bun
Chocolate Cupcake - as Meat Patty
Coconut Flakes - as Lettuce
Colored Frosting - as Ketchup and Mustard

Aren't they creative?! Do you have your creative creation to share with me? Please do not hesitate to shoot me an email at yourmoment{at}gmail{dot}com.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Perfect Blooms and Decor Tuesday: Matching White Bouquets and Boutonnieres

The trend to dressing up bridesmaids in different styles is getting more and more popular nowadays. Part of the reasons is the awareness of different personalities of bridesmaids (they have their own fashion style and preference). More brides fall towards the idea of having their bridesmaids to choose their own style, as long as they are all under the same shade of color that matches the wedding theme (I am sure your bridesmaids will thank you a million because you are being such an understanding and caring bride!).

But what if you are a bride who would like your bridesmaids to dress in same style and yet would like to retain their personalities in certain extent (such as holding their favorite bouquet)? Sure you can.

Amy Burke Designs, a wedding floral design company based in South San Francisco, CA. The talented Amy Burke designed the following matching bouquets and boutonnieres. Every bridesmaid carries a different bouquet and their partner wears a matching boutonniere. Isn't it pretty and unique?! I love it!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Fashionista Monday

Drama Queen out there...please get ready with MARCHESA Spring 2010 Ready-to-Wear collection I am going to show you today.

As you want some dramatic shoulder embellishment (or with sleeves) on your special day. We have got you a floral-like single-shoulder flow-y white long gown with a black sash, a peachy feather-like sleeves long gown, and a puffy draped-sleeves on gold short dress.

Want something else that gives you a feminine and Grecian look? Check out these gorgeous gowns from MARCHESA Spring 2010 Ready-to-Wear collection.

Photo Credit: 1-2-3

Here are three gowns for real drama queens - The ORIGAMI Gown

Photo Credit: 4-5-6

Lastly, I would like to wish all my fellow readers a Happy Chinese New Year (2nd day of Lunar New Year)!

Friday, February 12, 2010

All About Chinese New Year in Malaysia: Series 5 (The End)

Yu Sheng

It literally means "raw fish" in Mandarin is a must-have traditional dish during Chinese New Year. For those who are new to this dish, you may consider it as an Asian-style salad with various shredded vegetables and top with assorted spices, slices of raw fish (commonly used: salmon or mackerel) and sweet-and-sour plum sauce. Each ingredient is well thought of because there is a corresponding auspicious meaning behind it. I will explain it at the end of today's blog post.

Yu Sheng usually served as an appetizer and is consumed throughout the 15-day CNY celebration, especially on the seventh day of CNY which known as Ren Ri 人 日 (meaning everyone's birthday). I love this dish VERY much and I wish I could have it every day during CNY. To satisfy my cravings, my dad will usually get our family an order of Yu Sheng from restaurant for our family reunion dinner on CNY eve every year! Thanks daddy, I love you!

Below, you will learn more about the origin of
Yu Sheng.
(I found this on an article written by Bonny Tan via National Library Board Singapore.)

It is believed that Yusheng has its origins in Southern China. Legend has it that a young man and his girlfriend found themselves stranded by bad weather at a temple with nothing to eat but a carp they had caught. Chancing upon a bottle of vinegar, they added this to the stripped carp and found it quite appetizing.

Today's colorful version of
Yusheng and the practice of eating it on the seventh day of Chinese New Year appear to be unique to Malaysia and Singapore. Four local chefs are credited for developing Yusheng as we know it today. They named the dish "Lucky Raw Fish" and popularized it as a New Year delicacy. The chefs are Lau Yeok Pui and Tham Yui Kai, master chefs at Lai Wah Restaurant along Jalan Besar, and their good friends Sin Leong and Hooi Kok Wai. They had previously been colleagues at the Cathay Restaurant at Cathay Building.

The following rituals and meanings of Yu Sheng is also part of the article written by Bonny Tan years ago.

Yusheng is deemed auspicious because of its homonymic quality - yu means "fish" but enunciated appropriately, it also means "abundance", while sheng literally means "raw" but enunciated appropriately, it means "life". Thus Yusheng implies "abundance of wealth and long life". In Cantonese, it is known as lo sheng with lo also meaning "tossing up good fortune". The tossing action is called lo hei, which means to "rise" (hei), again a reference to a thriving business and thus its popularity with businessmen during the New Year.

Steps to prepare and toss

Step 1: All at the table offer New Year greetings.
Gong Xi Fa Cai 恭喜发财 meaning "congratulations for your wealth" or Wan Shi Ru Yi 万事如意 meaning "may all your wishes be fulfilled".

Step 2: Fish, symbolizing abundance or excess through the year, is added.
Nian Nian You Yu 年年有余 and You Yu You Sheng.

Step 3:
The pomelo is added over the fish, adding both luck and auspicious value.
Da Ji Da Li 大吉大利
Pepper is then dashed over the ingredients in the hope of attracting more money and valuables.
Zhao Cai Jin Bao 招财进宝
Then oil is poured, circling the ingredients to increase all profits 10,000 times and to encourage money to flow in from all directions.
Yi Ben Wan Li 一本万利 and Cai Yuan Guang Jin 财源广进
Step 4:
Carrots are added to the fish, indicating blessings of good luck.
Hong Yun Dang Tou 鸿运当头
Then the shredded green radish is placed on the fish, symbolizing eternal youth.
Qing Chun Chang Zhu 青春常驻
Next, the shredded white radish is added for prosperity in business and promotion at work.
Feng Sheng Shui Qi 风声水起 and Bu Bu Gao Sheng 步步高升

Step 5:
The condiments are finally added. First, peanut crumbs are dusted on the dish, symbolizing a household filled with gold and silver. As an icon of longevity, peanuts also symbolize eternal youth.
Jin Yin Man Wu 金银满屋
Sesame seeds quickly follow symbolizing a flourishing business.
Sheng Yi Xin Long 生意兴隆
Deep fried flour crisps in the shape of golden pillows are then added with wishes that literally translate to mean the whole floor would be filled with gold.
Pian Di Huang Jin 遍地黄金
Step 6: (last step)
All toss the salad an auspicious seven times with loud shouts of
lo hei and other auspicious New Year wishes.
Lo hei which is Cantonese for "tossing luck".

The ingredients are mixed by pushing them toward the center, and encouragement to push on the good luck of all at the table.

As you are interested to try making your own version of Yu Sheng at home, here is a homemade recipe by Wiffy as featured at her Noob Cook Blog.

Yu Sheng Recipe

Ingredients: (Serves 2*)
*Note from Wiffy:
The ingredients are for two, but it can easily serve up to 4 since it is just an appetizer salad. Feel free to double up for 4, triple for 6, etc. The amount of ingredients, especially the grated vegetables, is just a rough guide. Feel free to grate as much vegetables to your liking. Some
Yu Sheng comes with a mountain pile of white radish, carrots and cucumbers.

(A) Main Cast - consists of 8 main ingredients (8 is an auspicious number for Chinese)
1 Carrot, skin peeled
1 White radish (daikon), skin peeled
1 Cucumber
2 Tablespoons Japanese red pickled ginger
1 Pomelo, peeled and sacs separated, about 50g
1 Packet of Pok Chui crackers (can be substituted with fried wanton wrap)
Red and green yam strips (made with 1 yam, red and green food coloring, and vegetable oil for deep frying)

(B) Supporting Cast
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 Tablespoon roasted peanuts, chopped finely (or crushed using mortar and pestle)
1 Teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 Teaspoon cinnamon powder
A small dash of Chinese white ground pepper
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

(C) Sauce
2.5 Tablespoons Chinese plum sauce
1 Teaspoon sesame oil
1 Tablespoon of hot water to achieve the consistency of sauce to your liking

(D) Raw fish
Salmon sashimi slices (traditionally raw mackerel used) and/or abalone slices

(E) Tools
- A special vegetable peeler with "teeth" or julienne slicer or mandoline for shredding vegetables quickly and finely to long thin strips.
- A round plate for assembling the main ingredients as roundness symbolizes fullness.


(A) Main Cast
1. Pat dry carrot, white radish and cucumber after washing. Using a special vegetable peeler slicing each vegetable into long thin strips.
2. To prepare yam (see step-by-step photo below). Slice off the yam skin and then using peeler slicing yam into long thin strips. Divide yam into two equal portions in two separate bowls. Using a short straw, pick up a few drops of red food coloring and dye one bowl of yam red. Use another straw, dye the other bowl of yam green. Leave them to dry for a while. Heat up some vegetable oil in a wok, when the oil is hot enough turn it down to medium, add red yam first and deep fry for about 3 minutes. Remove and drain on a plate. Repeat for green yam. It is important that the oil is hot enough but not too hot or else the yam will become too crispy. Set them aside.
3. Lastly, arrange all the ingredients on a round plate.

(B) Supporting Cast
1. Toast sesame seeds, heat up a dry pan or wok, and then add sesame seeds. Use a spatula to stir the sesame seeds evenly and toast till sesame seeds are in nice golden brown.
2. Arrange the ingredients in a separate shallow dishes.

(C) Sauce and Raw Fish
1. To prepare the sauce, just add everything in a small bowl and mix till evenly dissolved.
2. Arrange the raw fish on a separate plate. If using mackerel, you may want to marinade the fish slices with some ginger juice because some people find it more "fishy" than salmon.

TA-DA...the end result - Homemade
Yu Sheng

For tossing
Yu Sheng, you may follow the steps and their corresponding rituals as mentioned on Bonny Tan's article above.

Learning the origin and meaning behind Yu Sheng is interesting and made me appreciate the dish more. I hope it goes the same to you too. Happy making your own version of Yu Sheng at home or go out and have one at the restaurant this coming Chinese New Year (Year of Tiger)!

Yours Moment, hereby, wishing all her blog readers a prosperous Chinese New Year and a sweet Valentine's Day. (Both celebrations fall on the same day this year, coincidentally ^.*)

Enjoy with your family, friends, and valentine. See you next week!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

All About Chinese New Year in Malaysia: Series 4

Almost every Chinese special occasion/festival in Malaysia is related to food. For instance, we have moon cakes during Mid-Autumn Festival and dumplings (粽子) during Dragon Boat Festival. So what are the special dishes for Chinese New Year Celebration?

There are too many that I would like to show you, therefore, I categorized them into a few categories such as Cookies, Fruits, and Reunion Dinner.

Most dishes and fruits for the celebration are symbolic of good fortune and happiness.

Mandarin Oranges:
Represent wealth and good fortune
Symbolizes prosperity (It sounds like 'ong' in Hokkien, meaning prosperous.)
Symbolizes a safe and smooth year ahead ('ping an' 平安)
Symbolizes abundance ('loke yau' in Cantonese, 'yau' sounds like the Cantonese word for abundance.)
Represent abundance (It pronounces as 'yu' in Mandarin; sounds similar to Chinese word for plenty.)
Represent longevity
Tong Sui:
Symbolizes sweet relationship with family, partner, or friends.
It is time for pictures and cookies recipe!

Variety of CNY Cookies:
Kuih Kapit, Kuih Bangkit, Pineapple Rolls (my favorite!), Cornflake Cookies, Peanut Butter Cookies, Rossy ('Bee Nest'), Peanut Puffs, Fried Arrowhead (Ngaku), and Chicken Floss Rolls.

First Row (from left): Kuih Kapit from here and here, Kuih Bangkit from Nyonya Food, Pineapple Rolls from Nyonya Food
Second Row: Cornflake Cookies from Rasa Malaysia, Peanut Cookies from The Food Site, Rossy ('Bee Nest', '蜜蜂窝') from Boonage
Third Row: Peanut Puffs ('Kok Chai') from Beachlover Kitchen, Fried Ngaku Chips from Penang Tua Pui, Chicken Floss Rolls from Jo's Deli & Bakery

Here are three cookies recipe to share: (I shall try it next time!)

1. Cornflake Cookies by Y3K Magazine (Malaysia)

2. Pineapple Rolls recipe from Nyonya Food

3. Kuih Bangkit by Nyonya Food

First Row (from left): Auspicious Apples from Soy and Pepper Blog, Pineapples from this blog, Pomelos from here
Second Row: Kumquats from this blog as well, Mandarin Oranges as seen here

Are you ready for the VERY IMPORTANT DINNER - REUNION DINNER on Chinese New Year Eve? Yummy!

First Row (from left): Fried Fish with Soy Sauce from Rasa Malaysia, Seafood Hot Pot from here, Buttered Prawns from Wander Lust Food Travel Blog
Second Row: Drunken Chicken from Rasa Malaysia, Bok Choy with Oyster Sauce from Rasa Malaysia
Third Row: Lotus Root Soup from Rasa Malaysia, Longan Tong Sui from Rasa Malaysia, Loh Han Zhai (Vegetarian) from Food 4tots, Longevity Noodles from here, Red Bean Paste Pancakes from Rasa Malaysia

2 more days to Chinese New Year Eve.
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

All About Chinese New Year in Malaysia: Series 3

It's all about Chinese New Year Flowers and Lanterns Decor + a DIY Tabletop Decor by Wishing Tree!

Let's see what I have got for you today =)

A beautiful Chinese New Year decor at Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas; as seen in Pam's life blog (Style: modern with traditional red)

Clockwise from left: Chinese Lanterns from The Erraticist, Red Chinese Lanterns from Blognya Jingga, Chinese Lanterns as seen here.

Get creative with CNY ang pao (red packets)!

Homemade Lanterns by Julian Morin

More Homemade Ang Pao Lanterns from HS Lim's Origami Page

When it comes to flowers/plants, the followings are the popular ones during CNY because they each symbolizing special meaning.

Plum Blossom - symbolizes luck
Gladiolus - symbolizes strength and success
Peony - symbolizes prosperity and as an omen of good fortune and a happy marriage
Birds of Paradise - represents joyfulness
Money Tree - brings good fortune and luck to those who place it in their home and office
Kumquat - symbolizes prosperity
Lucky Bamboo - is believed to bring good luck and fortune to its owner or recipient

From left: Plum Flowers via here, Chinese Plum Blossom from Locky's English Playground blog

From left: Gladiolus Arrangement from Plant Rex, Vase of Pink and Fuchsia Peonies from Bridge Water Gardens, Birds of Paradise in Vase by Gifts Florist (Singapore)

From left: Money Tree by Eastern Leaf, Kumquat Tree as seen in Locky's English Playground blog, Trellis Lucky Bamboo by Eastern Leaf

Here, I am going to end today's blog post by showing you a simple DIY CNY Tabletop Decor. This DIY project was prepared by Wishing Tree Floral Design Studio (Malaysia). Thank you for sharing, Wishing Tree!

Three more days to Reunion Dinner (my husband and I will take off to Nebraska and celebrate CNY with our friends this Friday night)!! Woohoo, I am so excited!!