Sentosa Island – Chinese New Year Decorations at Resorts World {2015 vs. 2016}

Sentosa Island Beach, Singapore Sentosa Boardwalk, Singapore Sentosa Island, Singapore

Well, I think I’ve kept them sitting on my laptop for long enough. I found a bunch of vibrant photos I took during our multiple visits to Sentosa back in January 2015, so I figured: why not compare them with the photos I took at Sentosa just last week? Here, I present to you the Chinese New Year decorations at Resorts World, taken during the year of the goat and the year of the monkey. It’s like a past versus present juxtaposition project! You’ll also find many pictures of the lovely views from Sentosa Boardwalk and Palawan Beach in this gallery. Continue reading “Sentosa Island – Chinese New Year Decorations at Resorts World {2015 vs. 2016}”

Homemade Tang Yuan (Glutinous Rice Dumplings) in Ginger Syrup

Tang Yuan with Peanut Filling

Glutinous rice dumplings, or tang yuan (汤圆), are traditionally snacked on during the Chinese Winter Solstice Festival and on the 15th (final) day of Chinese New Year. It is said that the little balls nestled together in a bowl symbolises family closeness and togetherness – very fitting for reunions and festive gatherings! Continue reading “Homemade Tang Yuan (Glutinous Rice Dumplings) in Ginger Syrup”

Homemade Pineapple Tarts

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This recipe has been moved to our gorgeous new website at milkanddust.com!

Click here to view the full recipe for these delicious Homemade Pineapple Tarts

A couple of weeks ago, James and I made some pineapple tarts to rein in the Year of the Horse (pun fully intended). We spent a good three hours slaving over the stove, making the pineapple jam. Yes, if you’re gonna make the precious jam from scratch, it will take the puréed pineapple a very long time to cook down to a good, viscous consistency that is firm enough to shape. But all the effort paid off and we ended up with some very delicious and – dare I say – authentic pineapple jam, perfect for sitting atop some buttery, melt-in-your-mouth pastry. Continue reading “Homemade Pineapple Tarts”

Buttery Cashew Nut Cookies (腰果饼)

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This Australian summer heat has got us dreaming of cooler months. Every other day, the news tells us of raging bush fires and soaring 40°C+ temperatures around the country. Very depressing indeed. It’s a good thing we live near the coast, so we get cooler breezes. Also, thank god for air-conditioners! Still, the risk of getting sunburnt is disgustingly high when you go outside. Slip, slop, slap that sunscreen on, you guys!

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Seasonal observations aside, Chinese New Year is just over a week away! This year, it falls on the 31st of January and it’ll be the year of the horse. As a kid born in the middle of 1990, this’ll be my lucky year. Yep, I’m a horse. And if you are a horse as well, allow me to share with you what this source says about us: 

“Being born a Horse, there are many contradictions in their character. Horses are proud yet sweet-natured, arrogant yet oddly modest in their approach to love, envious but tolerant, conceited yet humble. They want to belong, yet they are burdened by their need for independence. They need love and crave intimacy yet often feel cornered, pressured. But the truth is, the Horse is an individual, who depends only on their own wits and labour to get what they want.”

Well, believe what you will! I’m sure some people will see the horse in themselves, but I’m sceptical. These are pretty darn broad characteristics anyway, and you could probably argue that anyone and everyone will have exhibited these traits at one point or another in their lives!

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Anyway, we have a recipe for you to celebrate the approaching Chinese New Year. Last year, we featured these amazingly fragrant peanut cookies, which were a huge hit! This year, we ground up some crunchy cashews and made some delectable cashew nut cookies (腰果饼 yāo guǒ bǐng), famously known for their crackly tops and golden glossiness from the obligatory egg wash! They are perfectly sweet and so buttery, crumbly and rich.

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Like most cookies that use nut flours, these crunch delightfully and melt in your mouth soon after. We randomly decided to add some full cream milk powder to the cookies. It is one ingredient that knowledgeable bakers use to give their CNY cookies that sinfully smooth, ultra-melty texture when you bite into them. I think it worked wonderfully for us.

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This recipe has been moved to our gorgeous new website at milkanddust.com!

Click here to view the full recipe for these delicious Buttery Cashew Nut Cookies.

Fragrant Peanut Cookies (花生饼)

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This recipe has been moved to our gorgeous new website at milkanddust.com!

Click here to view the full recipe for these homemade Fragrant Peanut Cookies

First and foremost, we would like to wish all our readers 新年快乐 (xīn nián kuài lè)! In other words: Happy New Year! Of the lunar kind, that is. Now, with Chinese New Year in full swing, who isn’t tempted to try out some intriguing recipes for traditional sweets, cakes and cookies?

Growing up in the Southeast Asian countries of Singapore and Malaysia, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to savour a number of delicious Chinese New Year goodies when the occasion arose. I’ve even had the good fortune of coming home from visiting relatives a few hundred dollars richer every year thanks to all of their ang pow (red packets).

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The Chinese take their food very seriously and many of their dishes and desserts have certain luck-bearing significance. Take, for example, the famous pink-tinted Longevity Buns (寿桃 shòu táo), shaped to look like adorable peaches and eaten by those who aspire to live a long and healthy life. Or the sweet and sticky New Year Cakes (年糕 nián’gāo) made with glutinous rice flour that symbolise promotion or prosperity. Whether one believes in food having the power to bring such good fortune or not, one thing’s for sure: this yearly tradition of celebrating Chinese New Year is a yummy one.

James and I made a batch of these peanut cookies (花生饼 huā shēng bǐng) to kick start our lunar new year. The peanut is an auspicious symbol in Chinese culture. Like noodles, they represent longevity. They are also said to bring about prosperity, stability and good fortune.

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Fragrant Peanut Cookies (花生饼)
a delicious Chinese New Year snack symbolising longevity.

This recipe has been moved to our gorgeous new website at milkanddust.com!

Click here to view the full recipe for these homemade Fragrant Peanut Cookies