Apricot and walnut oatmeal cookies

I was given a packet of rolled oats. The first thought I have is oatmeal cookies! I also recently bought a recipe book, titled “Baking cookies & biscuits” by Catherine Atkinson, Valerie Barrett and Joanna Farrow and found “Toffee apple and oat crunchies” recipe. I could not find the website for this recipe. I got this book from Popular Bookstore Bookfest 2013, Singapore. I adapted this recipe with some changes and of course lesser sugar.


Makes about 95 pieces.


227g unsalted butter (1 block of Anchor butter)
350g light brown sugar
2 medium eggs, beaten
150g plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 pinch of salt
500g rolled oats
100g dried apricot, coarsely chopped
100g walnuts, coarsely chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line parchment paper on baking tray.

2. In a big bowl, beat butter to a little soft. Add sugar and continue to beat to creamy. Add beaten egg and mix well until thoroughly combined.

3. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the mixture in #2. Mix in well.

4. Finally, add in the dried apricot and walnuts and stir gently until just combined.


5. Using a small ice cream scoop or measuring spoon (I used 1 tablespoon), place heaps of the mixture well apart on the prepared baking tray. Lightly press the mixture to flatten it.


6. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the centre is set and begin to brown at the edges. Note: You can adjust the timing by +/- 2 minutes for a different texture, softer or little more crunchy. I prefer it a little more crunchy.

7. Remove from oven and leave to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes. Using a thin spatula, transfer the cookies to wire rack to cool completely. Note: The cookies may break or go out of shape if they are transferred immediately after it’s removed from the oven.

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Some of my family say that it’s a little sweet. For a less sweet cookie, change 350g light brown sugar to 270g light brown sugar.


Christmas decoration with felt for cookie jar

I had some felts kept aside for a very long time and I thought to do something with it. While Christmas is coming, let’s do some cookie jar decoration as gifts! You can either buy some cookies or bake them yourself. As for the jar, you can use any type of jar. I bought mine from Ikea.

Here are some of the colours that I have. The few Christmas colours to have are green, red, white, and orange.


You can use any kind of thread depending on how thick you want the outline to be. I choose the normal threads because I prefer to have thinner outlines. If you are not sure what colours to get, you can buy the sewing box which gives you a mixture of colours to use.


Before starting on what deco to do, you can first measure and cut out a round-shape cloth as the top cover of the cookie jar. The size of the circle would depend on how much you want the cloth to cover the jar and where to tie the ribbon. If still unsure, cut a bigger round and snip it smaller when you tie it on the jar.


I got my inspiration randomly from Google and came out with these for my 3 cookie jars. You can see that I did not sew all the borders of the mini cloth to the main cloth and use the threads as part of the decoration like the yellow lines on the Christmas tree. I think it is ok to do that if it is not for heavy usage. Otherwise, the sides will be folded or curve up after a few use.

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This is how it looks on the cookie jar. You can buy any patterned ribbon to tie it on.




High UV protection Buff – The original multifunctional headwear

Few months back, it was the first time I was introduced with this headwear which just look like a normal cloth. It is interesting how useful it is, easy to wash (machine washable) and easy to carry around.

“High UV Protection BUFF® is a seamless, multifunctional tubular accessory ideal for many warm and hot weather activities. Made with Coolmax® Extreme, High UV Protection BUFF® will wick moisture (sweat) away from your skin faster than any other fabric, making it perfect for every outdoor activity under the sun.” (buffwear.com)


This is how small it can be folded. Note: My hand is a little smaller than average.


Buff comes in many types but the most common ones are the ones with UV and non-UV. It is an average of 95% UV protection. Not only that, it comes with polygiene that permanently controls odor. How good can it be, right?


Product name: Emin
Product code: 100088

There are various ways to wear it. You can refer them to the cardboard that comes with the buff. Here they are…



For more information, you can see behind the cardboard (like below) or visit their website at www.buff.eu.


I bought it in Singapore at Outdoor Life, that has 2 outlets. For non UV buff, it’s $30 and for UV, it’s $45.

Outdoor Life Novena
238 Thomson Road #02-60/67 Singapore 307683
Tel: +65 6255 4814

Outdoor Life Wheelock Place
501 Orchard Road #02-18 Singapore 238880
Tel: +65 6235 5928

Outdoor Life sells lots of stuffs for outdoor activities from cycling, hiking, running, etc. You can visit their website at www.outdoorlife.com.sg.




Giddens Ko 九把刀 in Singapore

Incidentally came across a talk event by Giddens Ko 九把刀 at Popular Bookfest at Suntec Singapore on 14 December 2013.


A little of his past work from books to movies was introduced. The movie, You Are the Apple of My Eye, made him more well-known than he already is with his books in Taiwan. This talk focuses on his latest project, a documentary titled “Twelve Nights” 十二夜 which touched me.


This is a documentary on dogs’ life  in one of a shelter home in Taiwan. The dogs’ life has a 12 days limit from the day they were captured to the day they are euthanised if no one were to adopt them. This is how the documentary title comes about. I am looking forward to watch it.

Here’s a preview…



Reaching Christchurch, we first visted one of the famous attraction.

International Antartic Centre

38 Orchard Road  Christchurch Airport 8053, New Zealand
Tel: +64 3 353 7798


Hours: Daily 09:00 – 17:30

Admission: From NZD25 to 65, depending of the attractions you choose to visit

There these much to do
Storm room: Temperature that goes down to -18 degree celcius
Hagglund ride
Penguin viewing and feeding (10:30 and 15:30 only)
4D movie (prepare some tissues)

The town

Seeing the after effects of Christchurch town is really sad. It was once a lively place but now it looks rather desserted.

The Cathedral

A icon in the centre of the town was once beautiful.

Picture source: Google image

But now, it’s sad… and this is the nearest we can be.

The affected areas shaded in red.


Re:Start is an effort rebuild the town supported by Christchurch Earthquake Appeal and it starts here at City Mall with a shopping place made out of containers.



The casino is still proudly standing and was not affected by the earthquake.

Victoria Street, Christchurch Central, Christchurch 8013  New Zealand
Tel: +64 3 365 9999


Food in Christchurch

With the town in rebuilding, there is not much to eat in town. There are restaurants scattered around. If rented a car, take a drive to Riccarton Road. The street has many restaurants from Asian to Western and supermarket.

Accomodation: City Centre Motel

Picture source: City Centre Motel

876 Colombo Street  Christchurch Central, Christchurch 8013, New Zealand
Tel: +64 3 372 9294


Price range: ~NZD60 per person (includes free limited internet usage)