Thursday, August 21, 2014

Savour Peony Jade’s Award-Winning Mooncakes 2014

My early memories of the Mid-Autumn Festival 中秋節 are those spent in the neighbourhood park - parading our candle-lit paper (or celophane) lanterns, lighting up the parameters of the playground with small candles and gathering at my Grandma's home to enjoy pomelo and mooncakes while admiring the rounder, larger than usual moon. Though the festival carries no religious significance, we try to preserve the cultural tradition of lanterns and mooncakes in our family as part of our Chinese inheritance.

Celebrating Mid-Autumn (circa 2012)

To celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival (which falls on 8 Sept this year), Peony Jade’s culinary team led by Chef Wong (the original creator from the now defunct Crown Prince Hotel) is proud to present a range of mooncakes that marries tradition and innovation.  Each mooncake is made fresh daily, with no artificial flavourings, stabilizers or preservatives. The snowskin range even features a fusion of the finest ingredients, from Japan Kochi Yuzu, Valrohna chocolate to Black Thorn Durian from Penang.

Our Family's All-Time Favorite - Teochew Flaky Yam Mooncakes

Of all the mooncakes available, our favourite is Peony Jade's signature light-as-air flaky skin  Teochew 'Orh Ni' Mooncake with Premium Fragrant Golden Pumpkin and Single Egg Yolk 潮洲酥皮金瓜芋泥单黃月饼 ($33 for 2pc / $59 for 4pc).  The pastry is handmade painstakingly layer by layer; it's crisp, fragrant and not over cloyingly sweet. In fact, if you warm it up for a few seconds (in the microwave) before consumption,  the rich yam filling literally melts in your mouth. As Teochews, this is a MUST-BUY, MUST-EAT every year.

Thin, flaky pastry encrusting soft, velvety yam paste - heavenly!

For those who prefer the traditional baked mooncakes, you can enjoy Peony Jade's healthier selection with low sugar (and less guilt!):

  • Low Sugar Baked Mooncake with Premium Mother of Pearl White Lotus Paste & Single Yolk 皇牌纯正单黃珍珠白莲蓉月饼 ($35 for 2pc/ $59 for 4pc)
  • Baked Mooncake with Premium Jin Hua Ham and Assorted Nuts 玉河皇牌金华火腿月饼 ($34 for 2pc/ $60 for 4pc) and
  • Premium Mother of Pearl White Lotus Paste with Macadamia Nuts & Double Yolk 皇牌纯正夏果双黃珍珠白莲蓉月饼 ($35 for 2pc/ $62 for 4pc).

Peony Jade's Traditional Baked Mooncakes with Low Sugar
Do you like them with yolk or without?

For Snowskin Mooncakes fans, try the Peony Jade's 4 Heavenly Flavours 玉河畔天皇四果宝 ($64 for 4 pc). Fruit lovers will adore these decadent desserts:
  • Top Grade Pure Mao Shan Wang Durian Mooncake in Organic Pandan Snowskin 玉河畔 皇牌 100% 纯正猫山王榴莲有机香兰冰皮月饼, 
  • Snowskin Kochi Yuzu & Apple Cream Cheese Mooncake 顶级日本柚子, 苹果芝士月饼,
  • Snowskin Soursop Mooncake 红毛榴莲月饼, and
  • Snowskin Premium Cempedak Mooncake 净金蜜冰皮月饼 

Mao Shan Wang Durian Mooncakes  - so so good, one box is not enough!
    Soursop, Yuzu and Chempedak - refreshing bursts of flavours in every bite!

    No one in the market has shown quite the high standard in craft and consistency in the quality that Peony Jade does, be it the freshness, choice ingredients or uncompromising quality control. Whether you are buying for your family or blessing your friends, neighbours and relatives, call Peony Jade’s mooncake hotline at 6659 4159, 6659 4918 & 6659 4161, or log-on to their websites stated below to place your orders. We've bought a few boxes for gifting with a 15% discount using DBS / Citibank cards.

    15 July to 28 Aug 2014
    Online purchase: http://www.pjmooncakes.com and http://www.peonyjade.com

    15 July to 8 September 2014
    Onsite purchase at Peony Jade Restaurants (Keppel Club and Clarke Quay)

    7 August to 8 September 2014
    Onsite purchase at 14 roadshows (including the Takashimaya Mooncake Fair)

    FESTIVE GIVEAWAY

    To reward our faithful readers, Peony Jade has generously sponsored 3 boxes of Mooncakes (see flavours below) for 3 lucky PrincessDanaDiaries readers (1 box each).

    A box of
    Mini Snowskin (BanoChoc) Chocolate Salted Caramel Glaze Banana and Walnuts Mooncake  
    迷你冰皮咸焦糖香蕉朱古 立核桃月饼 (S$49 for 8 pieces)

    This playful pairing of the bitter dark Valrhona chocolate and naturally sweet Del Monte banana is well balanced by salted caramel and the crunchy walnuts – definitely an instant hit with children and adults alike.

    2 boxes of
    Mini Snowskin Fragrant Honey Williams Pears, Organic Apricot and Raspberry Mooncake  
    迷你冰皮顶级威 廉梨子, 有机杏子, 山莓月饼 (S$49 for 8 pieces). 

    The delicate lush floral flavour and fragrance of Williams pears imported from France, is contrasted with the tart organic fresh apricot from France and raspberry from California that promises to awake your senses with its burst of zing.
     

    To take part in this Mid-Autumn Festive Giveaway, simply follow the steps below:

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    This giveaway ends midnight of Friday, 29 August 2014. All winners will be notified by email and you've to collect the Mooncakes from Peony Jade@Keppel Club.  Each household is limited to 1 winner. All the best and have a Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!


    Disclaimer: We thank Peony Jade for sending us two boxes of Mooncakes for the purposes of this review and for sponsoring the giveaway for our readers.  All opinions are as usual ours.  

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

    Disney 'The 7D' Premiers in Singapore!

    A brand new cartoon on Disney Channel this Sept. holidays!

    Hi-ho, hi-ho, Disney has produced a brand new original animation series featuring radically new versions of Snow White’s Seven Dwarfs. Slated to premiere in Singapore on Disney Channel (StarHub Ch312 / SingTel mio TV Ch234)  at 11am on 7th September 2014, the series is called The 7D.  It is a comedic take on the world of Seven Dwarfs, this time in a contemporary storybook world designed for viewers age 2-7 and their families.

    Dana is a big Disney animation fan.  She enjoys the adventures of Phineas and Ferb, the kind-hearted vet, Doc McStuffins and the lovable Princess, Sofia the First.  So imagine her excitement when she was invited to the media preview of The 7D last Friday!

    Where the story begins...

    The 7D takes place in the whimsical world of Jollywood, where the wacky Queen Delightful relies on her seven dwarfs, The 7D (Happy, Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Dopey, Grumpy and Doc) to keep peace and order in the kingdom.  Standing in their way are two clumsy villains, Grim Gloom and his  novice witch wife, Hildy Gloom, who are constantly plotting to take over the kingdom by stealing the magical jewels in the 7D’s mine. When summoned by the Bing Bong Bell (a magical bell which Queen Delightful uses to call upon The 7D), the seven brave little heroes never fails to save the day.

    Queen Delightful and her faithful 7D
    The villainous Glooms

    Each half-hour episode promises two short eleven-minute stories of the 7D foiling the Gloom's attempts with much comedic mayhem.  In the premiere episode, "Long, Long Winter/Itsy Bitsy Spider Fighters," the 7D rescue the villagers of Jollywood from an eternal winter spell that the Glooms have cast on the kingdom and help Queen Delightful rid the castle of a pesky spider.

    Which is your favorite among the 7D?

    The show also features a stellar voice cast such as Jay Leno, playing a crystal ball, Whoopi Goldberg as a magic mirror and Kelly Osbourne as Hildy Gloom.  Judging from the happy faces at the media screening, The 7D is going to be a big hit. It's different, it's fresh, it's comical and to borrow a phrase from Disney, "it’s a whole new world!” Join us as we count down to the debut of The 7D on Disney Channel (StarHub Ch312 / SingTel mio TV Ch234) at 11am on 7th September 2014.

    The 7D, specially adapted for children aged 2 to 7!

    Visit Disney Channel Asia's website for an interactive game - The 7D Dwarf Track Builder and to watch exclusive 7D video previews!

     

    Disclaimer: We attended the media preview of The 7D. All images (except the group photo) belong to Disney Channel Asia.

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

    3M LED5000 Task Lamp: Sleek, Stylish and Saves your Eyes!

    3M's newest task lamp - the 3M LED5000

    Over the last year or so, I suddenly discovered that I have developed Presbyopia. In short, due to aging, I now need reading glasses to correct my 'long-sightedness'.

    I’ve never had to wear spectacles all my life. This, like many other good habits, I owe it to my strict mother who insists that we adopt good eye care practices. So imagine my dismay when I discovered that I now need to wear spectacles to read even the product labels on supermarket shelves or to complete a proper text message without making embarrassing spelling errors. What an inconvenience!

    The truth is that while Presbyopia comes with age and can’t be avoided, Myopia (or shortsightedness), can. Sadly, Singapore is infamous for having one of the world’s highest number of myopia sufferers - a whopping 80% of the population to be exact.

    Minimalistic and sleek task lamp for any home use...

    Even sadder still is that some of these Myopia sufferers are children who have to bear with the inconvenience of wearing spectacles daily (practically for their entire lives) whereas parents have to bear the costs of regular eye checkups and replacement of spectacles and lens as they grow.

    Myopia can be prevented if good eye care habits are practiced. These include:

    1) ensuring there is sufficient lighting in the room where you read, write or type.
    2) selecting books that have non-reflective pages with large printed letters.
    3) maintaining a 30-40cm distance between your eyes and the book and minimum 2m from the TV.
    4) taking your eyes off the book or the screen every 30mins or 1 hour to give your eyes sufficient rest.
    5) utilizing a good task lamp in addition to indoor lighting to distribute the light evenly which may otherwise cause physiological effects like eye strains, dizziness and headaches.

    Use it to complement ambient ceiling light to provide adequate lighting for kids...

    The 3M LED 5000 is a LED task lamp that combines the latest LED technology with 3M’s proprietary Polarizing Light Filter. It is sleek, lightweight and stylish with a coloured textured wood finish. The LED technology has proven to be long lasting (40,000 hours on average use, that’s about 20 years life span!), emits very little heat and virtually flicker-free (reducing eye tiredness).  Combined with 3M’s Polarizing Filter technology, the 3M LED 5000 cuts glare by 80% as it converts harmful rays into optimal lighting source. 

    Source: 3M

    The 3M LED 5000 has 5 levels of light intensity (ranging from 90 lux to 880 lux luminance) for users to select according to their preferences and tasks (see chart below for the minimum lighting levels).  The varying degree of light emission in the 3M LED 5000 allows users the flexibility to select the most optimum lighting level when engaging in different activities or functioning in different environments - a feature not commonly found in other desk lights.

    Source: 3M
    The 3M LED5000 effectively reduces glare and gives virtually flicker-free light..

    The sleek, minimalist design allows the lamp to blend in and sit handsomely next to any contemporary furnishing in our space-starved homes. It is also lightweight with touch-sensor controls safe even for young children to operate.

    Portable enough to be used anywhere: from study desk to dining table to the piano...
    On or off...the LED 5000 is an eye turner with it's sleek design.

    Our eyes are an integral part of us. Without proper eye care, our family members might inadvertently face the prospects of protracted costs (and inconveniences) of having to contend with worsening eyesight and reliance on spectacles/contact lenses.  For that reason alone, a good task lamp is a worthwhile investment for every home. 

    The 3M LED5000 is now available at all Best Denki and Popular Bookstores at SGD$239. Check out the 3M Polarising Light FB page for more information on roadshows where you enjoy 15% off the entire 3M LED Task Light range and win FREE Spin & Win 3M premiums with every purchase.

    Black or White, it gives good light.


    Disclaimer: We received a 3M LED5000 for the purposes of this review. No monetary compensation was received. All photos and opinions are, as usual, ours unless otherwise stated.

    Sunday, August 17, 2014

    Kaleidoscope of Colours at The Singapore Garden Festival 2014

    Asia's biggest flower and garden show, Singapore Garden Festival (新加坡花园节) is back this year, bigger and better, presenting a dazzling kaleidoscope of colors, creativity and floral beauty to our tiny island. Held for the 1st time on the sprawling grounds of Gardens by the Bay, visitors can adore Asia's finest orchids, spend a relaxing day in the beautifully primed gardens lined with amazing floral installations, shop for your gardening needs and attend horticultural talks and other hands-on activities.

    Singapore Garden Festival, held at GBTB for the 1st time!
    Glorious morning sight...

    With over 2 hectares (about 4 football fields) of award-winning flower designers from all over the world showcasing their impressive landscape creations and a vibrant marketplace, the Singapore Garden Festival, presented in the following 7 zones, is family event not-to-be-missed:  

    1. Landscape and Fantasy Gardens - Spectacular 'Best of Show' creations by local and top award-winning designers from renowned garden shows around the world.

    British landscape artist, Andy Sturgeon’s Full Circle installation...

    2. Floral Windows to the World - An enchanting display of flowers, creatively and delicately designed by celebrated local and international floral designers.

     Budding nature photographer...
    Whimsical trees dressed in colourful tights, reminds me of the Truffulas in Dr. Seuss' The Lorax!

    3. Balcony Gardens - Colourful displays that gives visitors inspirations to transform their own balconies into a soothing personal retreat.

    4. Miniature Gardens - Create something you might not have the space or time to do in your own backyard and make garden fantasies come to life.

     Daddy's hand-held macro shots...
    My fav shades of white and green...
    Juvenile blossom...

    5. Orchid Extravaganza - Step inside the Flower Dome and you're in orchids heaven with 18,000 orchid plants all under one roof. The Orchid Kaleidoscope showcases a variety of orchids on a 10m tall structure — the largest ever built within the Dome.

    Orchids in all shapes, sizes and colours!
     Stunning displays...
     These made me smile...
    An award-winning breed, how exquisite!

    6. Garden Fiesta  - Amazing performances, culinary art, floral arrangement demonstrations and fun activities for kids, check out the SGF2014 programme for timings.

    7. Vibrant Marketplace - Shopping under one roof at the Gardens - a multitude of plants and gardening related products are on sale here. We scored a beautiful blue pea plant for S$6.50!

    Our early Saturday outing to the Singapore Garden Festival left us so in awe of God's marvellous creations. We only wish we had more time so we can finish touring all the exhibits.  If you're a nature lover (like us), don't miss it!

     Phalaenopsis heaven!
    Step into the 10m-tall Orchid Kaleidoscope!
    In the magical garden...

    SINGAPORE GARDEN FESTIVAL 2014

    Entrance at The Meadows

    Where: The Meadows in Gardens by the Bay

    When: 16 to 24 August 2014, 10am to 10pm

    Admission: 

    Entry to the Singapore Garden Festival includes entry into the Flower Dome.

    Time needed: Be prepared to spend minimum 4 hours to explore the festival at a leisurely pace. We were there from 8.30am to 1.30pm and only managed to cover half of the exhibits.  Visit on a weekday or in the evenings to avoid the crowds. 

    Directions:

    GBTB - an oasis in our garden city

    Take the exit A from Marina Bay MRT station then the bus 400. Alight at the 4th stop.

    Take the exit B from Bayfront MRT station and follow the underground link that will lead you to Dragonfly Bridge directly in the Gardens.

    If you walk from Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, cross the Lions Bridge on level 4 which will lead you to Dragonfly Bridge into the Gardens.

    Info: Go to www.singaporegardenfestival.com

    Map of the SGF 2014

    COLOURS PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION

    Bring your camera when you visit Singapore Garden Festival 2014. Submit your photos taken with the theme “Colours” by 7 September and you could win attractive prizes from Canon! 

    Submit your entries via the SGF Facebook here. Results will be out in end September.  Have fun!

    For more details, click here