Monday, January 25, 2010

The Farmers' Market in Mountain View

I learned about the Farmers' Market from a travelogue series when I was in Singapore a few months ago. It was hosted by Fiona Xue who travelled and recommended some Singapore's restaurants in San Francisco. I fell in love and wanted to visit the Farmers' Market when I moved to California. Unfortunately, we didn't have the opportunity to visit the Farmers' Market since it was located at San Francisco. It was very far from my home in Sunnyvale since we had to drive for an hour to get there.

A month ago, a friend suggested to us to visit the Farmers' Market in Sunnyvale. However, we were extremely busy for the last two months and we had a lot of personal stuff to settle such as finding an apartment, buying furniture, getting a car, registering for social security, applying for driver's licenses, etc. Since everything has been settled now, we have some free time to drive and get to know the places around the neighbourhood on weekends.

After my thorough research on the Internet, we decided to visit the Farmers' Market in Mountain View last Sunday. It starts at 9am and ends at 1pm on Sundays. The Market is located beside the Castro Caltrain station in Mountain View. Although we arrived there at 10:00am, we managed to find some ample parking next to the Market. We could see a crowd of people at the market from the parking area.

I loved the crowd and atmosphere at the Market. It had the similar ambience to the morning/night markets that I had been in, in Malaysia. I noticed that most of the stalls were selling vegetable at the Farmers' Market. There were some stalls selling flowers, fruits, fish, eggs, sausages, Chinese dim sum and baked goods.

In terms of pricing, it was more comparative to supermarkets. The vegetable was fresher and cheaper by a few cents compared to supermarkets. Besides that, we could find different kinds of vegetables offered at the Farmers' Market. It made my life easier to get everything, from the Western and Chinese vegetables such as celery and kai lan, here. Previously, we had to drive to Lucky's/Safeway and Chinese supermarkets for their promotional pricing. It wasted our time and fuel to these supermarkets in order to get the combination of Western and Chinese vegetables.

Now, the Farmers' Market becomes my favourite produce shopping area. I will go to the Farmers' Market this Sunday for my weekend shopping again.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My first attempt baking cupcakes

Few years ago, when we purchased an apartment in Malaysia, we couldn't afford to fork out additional cash in order to renovate a simple kitchen layout for our cooking facility. A simple kitchen layout would cost us at the minimum of RM15k. Yes, it is really a huge amount to us. Majority of new housing in Malaysia are not furnished/packaged with kitchen facilities unlike in the States. If the home owner is rich then she/he does not find it a problem. However, those home owner with tight cash, they will get some tables and stove as an alternative solution.

Since we have kitchen facility provided in our apartment, we fully utilize it from cooking to baking. To start off, I decided to try baking cupcakes as it has the least complicated steps compared to baking normal cakes. After an hour plus spending in the kitchen, my first attempt cupcakes turn out to be like this ..........


These are Vanilla cupcakes filled with Chocolate Ganache and M&Ms. Everything is fine EXCEPT I need to improve on decoration skills. It looks damn horrible :(

Friday, January 8, 2010

Las Vegas trip

Las Vegas is well-known as the sin city. Why? The moment you are about reaching Las Vegas city, you are captured all kinds of advertisements filled with adult entertainment from billboards, posters from hotels, moving vehicles and brochures distribution on the street.

You must be wondered what kind of adult entertainment ... These are some sample of advertisements:




Besides that, there are sexy girls in lingerie dancing on the tables in casinos. Even, there are some sexy girls playing as bankers in some casino outlets. With highly exposed to adult entertainment, I do not find this vacation suitable for children. Believe me, it is not easy to explain to your children ... why "cheh cheh" put on little clothing or show her backside?
If you are thinking for couple's vacation, then this is the right place to travel. Both of you can enjoy free lightling and entertainment inside and outside the hotels apart from watching striptease shows (at minimum of US$120 per person). The free entertainment is available at night only thus, you need to plan well on the trip.
The most attractive place to visit would be along the strips of Las Vegas city. Look for cheap and attractive packages offered by hotels along the strips. You will save a lot of time from travelling when staying along the strips but you may have problems in sleeping with the noises from outside. In terms of food, you do not have to worry much. There are variety of food outlets offered by hotels along the strips. You can find from the cheapest (like food court/fast food outlets) to the most expensive restaurants in exclusive hotels.