I’m going to give credit to the website where I got this recipe from.
Although I was working with this recipe for an Essential Oil party I thought it would be a right fit to add some Peppermint essential oil. Ingredients:
500g whole raw beetroots (3-4 medium beets)
100g unsalted butter, plus extra for the tin
200g bar plain chocolate (70% cocoa)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 drops of Peppermint essential oil
250g golden caster sugar
100g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
Wear a pair of gloves to stop your hands from staining, then top, tail and peel the beetroot – you’ll need about 400g flesh. Roughly chop and put into a large bowl. Add a splash of water. cover, then microwave on High for 12 mins or until tender.
Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan gas 4. While the beetroot cooks, butter then line a 20 x 30cm traybake or small roasting tin. Roughly chop the chocolate and cut the butter into cubes. Tip the cooked beetroot into a sieve, drain off any excess liquid, then put into a food processor or blender with the chocolate, butter, vanilla and peppermint. Whizz until the mix is as smooth as you can get it. The chocolate and butter will melt as you do this.
Put the sugar and eggs into a large bowl, then beat using an electric hand whisk until thick, pale and foamy, about 2mins. Spoon the beetroot mix into the bowl (it won’t look pretty at this stage, but bear with me), then use a large metal spoon to fold it into the whisked eggs. Try to conserve as much air in the mixture as you can. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder, then gently fold these in to make a smooth batter.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 25mins or until risen all over, with just the merest quiver under the centre of the crust when you shake the pan. Cool completely in the tin, then cut into squares.
So on Tuesday bunch of girlfriends and I went to Yoga Mala for a 7:30 PM two hours aromatherapy yoga session with the renouned Ed Dailey.
A few things that I loved about his energy was that he engaged with his students. He asked questions like how they were feeling today, have they been sleeping ok, what is the most common problems Singaporeans suffer on a day to day basis etc. etc.
From there he decides what would be the best sequence to bring forth to practice. That night as it was a Tuesday evening and people came after work, most people mentioned that they were feeling tense and some said stressed with work. So he decided a sequence that focused on the hip/femur part of the body.
I loved the bit when he would put us thought these torture like postures where we’d sit on the floor heels next to the buttocks. So your knees are really opening up and we’d sit there for 8-10minutes or so (or at least it felt like it). From there he’d talk a little bit more and you’d notice people’s faces would start to contort because they were starting to get really uncomfortable. At this point too the first oil that he placed on the left (receiving hand) was Stress Away.
Then later he’d switch to a down dog to alleviate the discomfort and instantly people breathe a silent sigh of relieve.
Throughout the class it consisted on mostly that, some slightly uncomfortable restorative postures the ease into a more comfortable restorative posture, creating that alleviating of tension and that sigh of relieve from everyone.
Another cool thing we practiced was a lot of group wok. He complained that every time people come into a Yoga class they just fall silent and not interact with others and fall into their own mat and close out everyone from existance. So he changed that and made us do many group stretches which I thought was cool to interact and get hands on with others to help with either getting deeper grounding (by pressing down on feet or on points of the body which he demonstrated) and just the physical contact itself gave some comfort.
The oils he used were very simple. Started off with Stress Away, then it was my favourite for it’s high frequency Idaho Blue Spruce – breathing this in while in Childs Pose. Towards the end we used Lemon. Finally during Savasana we inhaled Joy (I think this is his fabricate)
Lots of great tips taken away from this session. Thank you for the wonderful session Ed and for sharing your wisdom and expressing your quirky personality.
Just a brief word as to why i chose the Young Living essential oils Company as my primary and ONLY choice in using or recommending essential oils. I know that there are very few small and private companies that produce high quality essential oils in the world and it is a matter of sourcing them. Young Living’s essential oils fit perfectly for what i wanted in a product due to their authenticity and guarantee that they are a pure, 100% chemical free (no solvents in distillation either), wild-crafted and organically grown by sustainable and ecological farming practices: that is, they use absolutely no pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or agricultural chemicals of any kind in cultivating and distilling their crops. What a treasure it was for me to find Young Living, a solid 20year old company today who has build a prestigious reputation as well as building many of their own global farms. Some companies have now even mimicked Young Living – using similar messages and formulations – so consumers beware. I finally found essential oils that I did not react to; could trust, apply on my skin, breathe and even ingest them. These essential oils are being used for healing purposes, even in hospitals today, thus their original descriptive word ‘therapeutic’.
D. Gary Young founder of Young Living Company plus grower, harvester and distiller of the Young Living crops, starts with nurturing the soil before planting by using a combination of minerals, organic mulch, manure and enzymes. Today, Young Living owns and operated the largest privately owned organic herb farms in the world now in 9 countries. 12 farms and upholds the prominent “Seed to Seal” distinction in the aromatherapy, essential oil industry. They have shown to have one of the highest standards in the world. All their oil samples are sent to two or up to five independent laboratories for testing, to be sure that they conform to the International (ISO) and (AFNOR) standards for therapeutic-grade essential oils.
But even more powerfully, Young Living set their own high standards of excellence and purity giving a new meaning to genuine, therapeutic grade essential oils – matter of fact D. Gary Young coined the term ‘therapeutic grade essential oils’ back in early 2004. This term was never used beforehand until the founder’s unrivalled expertise on the therapeutic power of the plants as well as his impeccable standards for high quality led to the creation of the world’s largest line of genuine, therapeutic essential oils and blends. Again, consumers beware of mimickers. I like to refer to the Young Living oils as “GTG” (Genuine Therapeutic Grade)!
Obviously, if you can find the same standard of edible and impeccable clean, environmental sustainable essential oils then by all means, go ahead, they will be a great asset to you. There are some small and few companies that do… Make certain that they uphold to this high standard and you, the consumer, are wise to know a number of factors that make that difference, such as: the dedication of their grower; the location of where the plants are grown, method of farming, use of correct species, proper harvesting methods and the skill in distilling the oils, to name a few (much more is described in chapter 6).
Otherwise you will purchase essential oils that will not offer you all the marvellous benefits for skin care outlined in this guidebook. After all, the essential oil quality as nature provided is everything achieving the desired results of heath and glowing, radiant skin.
So I warn the reader once again: Buyer Beware! Quality products will not be found at the department stores, discount store, drug stores and beauty salons as they rarely contain pure essential oils. Many consumers are unaware that many health food store products or other direct selling essential oil companies contain adulterated oils (oils that have been processed with solvents/chemicals or have fillers/volumizers in them). The suggestions made throughout this guidebook apply to the use of Genuine, authentic and non-adulterated; ‘therapeutic’ grade A Essential Oils. I know that I am stressing this fact of ‘purify’ due to the potential ‘risk’ factor to you the buyer.
The company that I prefer to use and suggest to others – Young Living Company – encouraged it’s members or consumers to visit the company’s own and partnered biodynamic herbal or tree farms anywhere in the world. This allows you to become ‘in-touch” with and become “touched-by” the plants and the land. It was the greatest pleasure for me to meet D. Gary Young. president and founder of Young Living with his wife Mary Young. It was even more rewarding to travel with the Young’s while on expeditions in visiting six of the global biodynamic herb farms. On numerous occasions, I witnessed the farming process from planting of the seeds to the final product with D. Gary Young who gave through the detailed explanations. Hence the company has coined the process ‘Seed to Seal’ in claiming their distinction in the world’s production of essential oils.
Today, I consider both Gary and Mary as my dear friends and Kindred Spirits. I have marvelled at D. Gary Young’s honouring and connectedness to commune with the Nature Spirits (in the plants, the animals, the trees) before planting and cutting the trees. Young Living’s commitment to produce the finest and highest quality essential oils is unmatched in the world today. D. Gary Young is sought after for his knowledge and standards by many global markets.
Aromatherapy in ancient times was used for healing, beauty and medicine and considered a most precious substance that was the basis for trade for hundreds of years as evidenced with the Frankincense Trail documentation. You can become empower and also enjoy the miracles that the botanicals offer on so many levels: mental, emotional and spiritual.
Now go to the mirror and see for yourself, who is staring back at you! Are you impressed? Do you have some mind-chatter going on in what you see? Are you pleased with the way you look? Well, the best motivation for change may be in what you see in the mirror.
I sincerely trust that in this guidebook will inspire you to use herbal foods and essential oils, to continue your search and to further seek the treasures that are given to you from the sweet ‘nectar’ of the plants. In Greek and Roman mythology, the drink of the gods was classed ‘nectar’ – the drink that sustained their beauty and immortality. May you be blessed and enriched by the “essence” of the plants.
“May your heart’s garden awakens boom with a hundred flowers.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Bookclub, we have another great book to talk about. Whoop whoop! I’ve managed to finish another book! Only took me a month! No, I’m not a slow reader, I do believe though I’ve got an issue with concentration. Not sure if this is normal for the rest of you but I can read or even speed read but words will only be just words for me and not transform to information in my brain. I think I might have dyslexia but hey, you have to learn to work around such things.
So I write notes down on little post-its and paste them in the book and I end the book I type them out… (Yes, I actually take the time to type it out onto a online notepad where I can read it again to myself, this time it’s my summarised / condensed version of the book) It normally will trigger memory back and in a way helps me to be able to refer to something easily. Have I every told you that I am a organising freak as well. Well there you go!
Back to The Big Leap….
Generally this book is for everyone, because we are all dealing with the same problem in dealing with happiness. You have probably heard many time before this saying being said in so many ways, “The biggest problem that is holding you back is yourself”. We all know it. This book is about that, only the author Gay Hendricks have actually managed to condense it further that it helps you instead of trying to figure out the problem, he has already done that, you just need to learn to actively catch it when it comes. Learning what to catch is in this book. When you know what to catch, it’s a-lot easier to grasp it.
I would recommend this book to everyone, but especially if you are in the space in your life where you are already making active change and need more motivation more encouragement to help you along, this is a book for you. Because you will be stumbling over the same blocks anyone in their pursuit of their dreams will, but being ready and knowing what these blocks will show-up as will make it a lot easier to know that these are just blocks, not game changers that is there to stop you from moving forward. Once you register what they are it’s a lot easier to get through them and push forward.
Oh and if you ever need my notes for any reason. Well it’s here for you.
I though about it. If I should reveal what to me IS the most sacret recipe of all time. When I was searching for someone who could teach me, I found no one who would be willing to reveal their most prized secret to me. It was hard enough to find someone who made a mean plate of Mee Siam let alone someone who made a mediocre place and was willing to share their recipe.
The reason why I’m sharing is because I learned this recipe from the most unlikely suspect. My late Grandmother’s Helper. What’s better still she’s not from here. She’s actually from Myanmar. How she learned this recipe beats me but I’m sure glad she shared it with me and even took the time to help prepare each ingredient for me so that I could have a look at the what the quantity of each was before she loaded it into the pot. So here goes, Mee Siam recipe from Belle to me to you:
x1 can of Knife brand Salted Soya Beans – Blended to a paste
x1 Packet of Garlic Chives (aka Kuchai)
x1 Small Packet of Malabar Chilli Paste (This is not as spicy but gives a nice red chilli color without overloading on the spice)
x3 Tblsp Dry Chilli Paste (In accordance to your spice preference) ~ Click here for recipe
Eggs (x1 per/person) – Hard boiled
Bean Sprouts (your preferred amount)
Lemon (sliced in half for serving with)
Fresh Tofu, cut into cubes and shallow fried
x1 Packet of Bee Hoon. Soak in semi-hot water (prevent it from getting too soft) and set-aside
Salt + Sugar (to your taste)
x1 Tblsp Assam Paste (Look for the brown version not the black) – Mix with a little water and extract the assam juice
We had to deal with the loss of a family member last week. It was the first time where I watched someone take their last breath. The reality of this was surreal that I had to take perspective to what I was witnessing. As she took her last breadth I saw beauty as she lay there on the hospital bed, with her children beside her touching her face, hands, head and hear and down by the foot of the bed are some of her grandchildren, touching her feet, legs. Weeping but at same time saying goodbye to this beloved woman who spent all of her life raising her 14 children.
I always thought that my grandmother was an amazing (crazy!) lady to have had 14 children… and at that time she never had baby monitors, breast pumps, food processors, bugaboo prams and pretty cots. No none of that. My Mom’s early memory of her mother was that she always had a baby in her and one on her at all times. Not to mention she could converse in 4 different languages and till her 93rd Birthday she enjoyed long conversations on the phone.
But the biggest appreciation for her came to me during the days of her funeral. The days after her death brought together 4 generations of families. I look at what my Grandmother sacrificed raising 14 children, which meant no chance for family travel, no fancy restaurant meals, no pretty furniture and comfortable quiet peaceful home, no time to her self… but when I look at at my children I can see now who the real benefactors are.
My Grandparents blessed us with the most precious gift in the world which is the gift of Family. We have family spread out into so many countries around the world. Seeing them all come together to pay their respects their mother and Grandmother I can’t help but notice how amazingly vast we have spread ourselves but at the same time we are all still part of One.
When I brought my children to the wake I was humbled by how my Aunties instantly took on the role of Grandmothers, cousins took the role of Aunties and Uncles and my Nieces and Nephews took the role of Brother or Sister to my kids and vice versa. That is the beauty of our existence and truly God’s blessings for us to understand the vastness of what Love is.
So embrace the people in your family. Give them a call and get complete with each and every one of them. They might be completely different in personality to you but is just a small stone in the ocean to the amounts of benefits
I honestly do not know how I managed to finish a book in less then a month. I tend to think that I do not have any time to read a book let alone finish it. So clearly I am pulling time from the sky and making it happen. Goes to show that you do make time for what you feel is important. I believe reading should be one of them.
If you are in the business of following your passion. Then this book IS a must read. I think I got a whole lot of nuggets from here. I don’t tend to run the highlighter onto my books, (primarily because I borrow most of my books from the library now and therefore that would be wrong) but what I do though is write a whole lot of post-it notes and stick them all over. When I’m done I pull out each note and read them over again because I seriously can’t absorb information just by reading it once (hands up if you can relate).
With this book, I not only read back each note but I made sure to document it for easy reference. In a nutshell this book Grit is not about success though being talented. Yes, some people can acquire success with their talent but for the rest of us, success is achievable through this simple thing called effort. As Will Smith put it quite clearly:
“Die on the treadmill. But if we get on the treadmill together, there’s two things. You’re getting off first, or I’m going to die. It’s really that simple.”
Find your passion and stick to it, work hard at it. Don’t use set-baks as poof that it doesn’t work for you. Banish that thought from your head forever. Instead replace it with the word GRIT! It’s a cool word and you don’t hear it being used very often. Think to yourself that this is the word that you would like be associated with and push forward with effort…. and GET this book! x
This sponge cake recipe is full-proof! I have made it twice already and both with wonderful results!
This is from someone who hardly bakes. Great slices of cake to pack into kids lunch boxes as a special school tea cake to have them thinking of their Mommy. 😉
Taken from The Cake Bible ~ Rose Levy Beranbaum
Ingredients (all in room temperature):
2 tablespoons water
1/5 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 1/3 cups sifted cake flour
1 cup sugar
6 large eggs, separated yolks & whites
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a small bowl combine water, vanilla & lemon zest
Remove 1 tablespoon of the sugar and reserve to beat with the whites
In another smaller bowl which together the flour and 3 tablespoons of the sugar
In a large mixing bowl beat the yolks and the remaining 3/4 cup sugar on high speed for 5minutes or until the mixture is very thick and ribbons with dropped from the beater.
Lower the speed and gradually add the water mixture. Increase to high speed beat for 30 seconds.
Shift the flour mixture over the yolk mixture without mixing in and set aside.
Beat the whites until foamy, add the cream of tartar, and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised.
Beat in reserved 1 tablespoon sugar and beat until very stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly.
Add 1/3 of the whites to the yolk mixture and with a large skimmer or rubber spatula fold until incorporated. Gently fold in the remaining 2 batches.
Pour into the pan. (It will a little more then 1/2 full)
Run a small metal spatula or knife though the batter to prevent air pockets.
Back for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and the cake tester comes out clean.
Suspend the pan tube opening over the neck of a wine or soda bottle well above the counter to allow it to cool completely. (think might take about 1hr)
Loosen the sides with a long metal spatula. Invert onto a wire rack or serving plate. Wrap airtight
This stores for a good 5-6days in the refrigerator or frozen for 2months.
I’ll tell you the truth. I’m not a fan of writhing blog posts but I love posting and editing pictures. I used Photoshop Elements (and I’m still learning) to create this collage of photos. Not overwhelming you with the hundreds of photos I took during this holidays. I’m still debating very hard wether to get the new iPhone 7+ or to invest in a fancy smancy camera. Would love to take more photos to add to my blog and to my children’s private blog page. Any suggestions are welcome. There are so many photo filtering Apps that works well with the iPhone but now with Photoshop Elements I’m practicing fine-tuning some photos myself on my computer.
What have I appreciated most about this holiday… Is quality time with the family. We stayed at the beautiful Seclusions by the Bay. (<— Check out the link). I enjoyed the simple things like making breakfast together as a family, letting Garth tend the manly barbecue for the meats in the evening. Even washing the dishes while listening to spottify (‘your favourite coffeehouse’ playlist) not worrying about planning for the next day. Because the next day will be there and we are still on holiday and therefore no concrete commitments to plan for. Think that was the best feeling ever!
What do we celebrate on International Women’s Day?
All of the above???
Starting from my mother, aunts, grandmother, cousins and girlfriends. They were my first influences, boys were not relatable except for my Dad but he was basically my hero. But these women were my first and primary influences growing up. They were ALL amazeballs! They kick ass especially my mom who worked but yet managed to be there for her family. She was the rock we all sat on in the middle of the shark infested waters ~ Ala Blake Lively in that shark movie. However I grew up a very insecure girl, why? Because society said I wasn’t good enough.
Why are women never treated equal I will never understand. I think it has a-lot to do with insecurity of men. Maybe it’s the same reason why women don’t take stronger stands with supporting one another.
Internation Women’s Day to me is all about women empowering other women. Sharing stories about your struggles doesn’t make you weaker, it makes you human and COURAGES. It opens the door to empathy which then leads to connection.
I’m reading this awesome book by Brené Brown, get your hands on it if you can with a good highlighter. There’s lots of good nuggets in there.
I’ve planted a photo here of my Grandma, my dear friend Chrissie and my Mom. *Note to Self: Take better photos with people’s faces fully in frame!* On that note I’m going to leave you with good thoughts of Love and Kindness.
We’ll it has been a year long hiatus but I’m back! Urban Kandy is now back in business after a long soul searching, praying, contemplating, procrastinating… etc. etc. I really had to detox and re-think my direction. Sure children had been the biggest excuse.. and why not? I’m a mom and I have made them my priority. Now… I’m thinking these kids might soon turn into little spoilt brats if I don’t step back on the mothering and leave them to sort themselves out once in a while and I go for Yoga!
Already back in the grind and smelling the coffee each morning reminds me that the holidays are finally over. I felt a little upset un-decorating my tree but I also felt a sense of excitement to start the new year. I am against resolutions but I do want to take into play all that I’ve learned in 2015 and apply them to this New Year and basically putting one foot in front of the other this time a little wiser then before.
A few things. I have learned:
1) Creating Possibilities.
It is as easy as it sounds. Nothing else is holding me back except for myself. With that in mind I can create anything knowing that nothing external can hold me back. Onward and Upward!
2) Relationships are to be cherished
Despite how different I am from someone else. Understanding that someone’s personality is derived from their life’s circumstances and who am I to judge.
I have come to the realisation that that voice in my head isn’t really me or who I am. So now I can be present to it and learn to control it.
5) Don’t sweat the small stuff
Keep taking the calculated big leaps first then worry about the safe stuff later. I have always avoided the bigger decision out of fear of the unknown. Practice keeping to the integrity of the possibility I’ve created
6) Read more romance novels
As cheesy as some of these stories are it does the trick to help me gravitate to being a more loving wife.