Aéro Club Paul Tissandier, France

Some wish to climb the highest mountains. Others wish to bungee jump from the tallest towers, or dive into the deepest of all seas.

Everyone seems to have a bucket list in life; I never thought I needed one until I have experienced something this amazing - flying in France!



I have brought back with me immeasurable experiences, knowledge, and new found traits from my first trip out of the country alone. I came back wiser, more self-reliant, and much more determined.
  
Merci, Marc. I would never have gotten to where I am today without your thoughtful and patient guidance.

***
 



My flying experience in the suburbs of Paris was exhilarating.

Flying in a commercial airplane and flying in a 4-seater aircraft are two entirely different experiences. I honestly didn't know what I was going for until the plane was about to take off from the airfield, but by then it was already too late to back out, and there was really nothing much that I could do other than to scream into the headset, helplessly.

Twenty seconds of blood-curdling acceleration down the runway and five long 'Arghhhhhhhhhhhhh's later, we were steadily cruising in the air.



What a view!


The white structure on the top was a famous castle (should have noted its name down)



The aircraft was so old school that we had to rely on a piece of map to navigate (though I am sure modern ones are available too)



The experience was amazing. Got the chance to fly twice using two different routes while I was there. Cannot wait to go back for more!

Enjoy the video! :)

How to Create the Perfect Cheese Platter

Looking for ideas to create the perfect cheese platter? Look no further!

cheese platter ideas
The ideal cheese platter
When I was 9 years old, the only knowledge that I have of cheese was that it comes in slices and is individually wrapped in ugly-looking plastic sheets. It tasted and felt like rubber, but I was too young to be bothered to query the need to put one of those awful things into sandwiches and burgers in restaurants.

As a kid, I have never liked cheese. Maybe it was because it is not popular in the continent which I live in, or I was just totally oblivious to the availability of other types of cheese in the supermarkets. Whatever the reason was, I am very glad that I have moved on from consuming processed cheese to eating only the "real" ones that are healthier, with the absence of preservatives, artificial ingredients, and a crazy amount of salt. (Read more about the comparison of processed versus natural cheese by Tillamook.)


perfect cheese platter

Putting together a cheese plate is a very fun and enjoyable thing to do. It also gives you the opportunity to unleash your creativity and to wow your guests with the choice of components and method of arrangements.


cheese platter ideas
perfect cheese platter

A good cheese platter is best enjoyed during get-togethers or to complement lengthy post-meal conversations. For serial cheese nibblers, anytime is a good time for this plate of delectable goodness. The perfect cheese platter should more or less be comprised of all the following components:

Cheese Platter Ingredients:


cheese platter ideas

  1. Bread
  2. Cheese board & knives
  3. Wine
  4. Nuts
  5. Chutney/Jam
  6. Fruits
  7. Crackers
  8. Pâté
  9. Cured meats
  10. Cheeses

Bread

Cold Storage/Jaya Grocer has the best selection of high quality breads in the entire country. Raisin bread, nutty loafs, sourdough bread, brioche or even baguette - pick the ones that will go well with the cheese in terms of texture and taste. Overwhelmed by choices? You can't go wrong with a fresh loaf of baguette (goes really well with many types of cheese)


Cheese

Selecting the right mix of cheese can make the dining experience an extra memorable one. A cheese platter is usually comprised of three to five types of cheese that are distinguishable in texture and taste (i.e. milky and soft with the pungent, creamy with the firm). My top picks are aged cheddar, Comté, brie, and goat Gouda.

Additional Pointers...

  • Separate all the components. Do not drizzle raspberry jam over the cheese. Avoid letting the cheese soak in the oils from the meat or the olives. The whole idea of a cheese platter is to be able to taste each individual component heartily and pair them according to what you think makes the best match. It isn't like eating rojak/ice kacang.
  • It is said that white wine makes a better accompaniment to cheese as compared to red wine. I do not really know if that is really the case, as I find both equally as gratifying. (Read this article by Telegraph)
  • Cheese knives come in different shapes so use them accordingly to what they were made for. You may find this article from Buzzle helpful.
  • Cheese tastes best at room temperature so allow them to sit wrapped for at least one hour before serving.
 It's time to get cheesy. Bon appétit!

Easy 3-Ingredient Pasta Recipe

It's three in the morning and you have been rolling in bed for the past two hours. You have tried counting sheep, meditating, and have shifted your body to every position you could think of, yet there is still no sign of drowsiness.

I am no doctor, but I personally find that the most therapeutic thing to do during times of insomnia is to cook, eat, have some wine and watch TV. You will not even feel tired when you wake up the next day!

Cooking in the early hours of the morning should be kept simple and speedy, and my favorite dish to make is this extra easy 3-ingredient pasta:

easy pasta recipe

Only three ingredients needed: Linguine, pancetta & fresh parsley

quick pasta recipe
easy pasta recipe


Easy 3-Ingredient Pasta Ingredients:

  • 180gm Linguine
  • 100gm Pancetta, diced
  • Fresh parsley, roughly chopped

Steps:

  1. Cook pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain.
  2. On a heated saucepan, add olive oil. Fry diced pancetta until crispy and browned on the edges.
  3. Toss linguine into the dish and mix well. Pasta should be lightly and thoroughly coated with the pork-fat infused oil from the pan.
  4. Serve with a generous amount of chopped parsley (yums!). Pepper and Parmesan is optional.

quick pasta recipe
easy pasta recipe
quick pasta recipe

Happy cooking!

Guide to Pulau Tioman, Malaysia - Berjaya Tioman Resort


Pulau Tioman is located 32 km off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia in the state of Pahang (it is, however, geographically closer to Johor). The island has eight main villages, and has grown to become a popular scuba diving spot thanks to the dense coral reefs surrounding it.

Getting to Tioman Island

There are two ways of getting into the island:
  • Berjaya Air from Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, Subang/Changi Airport, Singapore
  • Ferry from the Mersing Jetty in Johor

mersing johor
mersing jetty tioman

Drove down to Mersing from KL (took approximately 4.5 hours) to get to the jetty. The journey was surprisingly delightful thanks to the scenic view and wide array of food to try along the way.


mersing jetty johor

Jeti Pelabuhan Mersing located at Jalan Sekakap

how to go to tioman

Return tickets are priced at RM70 per adult. Ferries here do not depart on an hourly basis so do call beforehand to check as to make sure that not too much time is being wasted on waiting.


tioman island malaysia
how to go to tioman

Queuing and waiting can take up to 1.5 hours.

tioman island malaysia

And an additional 2 hours of traveling time *yawn*

Resorts and hotels are scattered around the island so make sure you know where and when to get off (the ferry makes multiple stops once it has reached the island)

***

Berjaya Tioman Resort, Tioman Island

Berjaya Tioman Resort is the only international-standard resort in Pulau Tioman, and I was fortunate enough to have my stay there for a couple of days in one of its deluxe sea-fronting chalets. Once we have alighted from the ferry, we were directed to a mini shuttle bus which transported us to the resort in no more than 15 minutes.

tioman island malaysia


It was an awful start to the very short vacation. It was raining at the jetty, raining throughout the 2-hour ferry ride, and still raining when we have arrived at Tioman. We were hoping to see some sunlight in the evening, but little do we know that we have walked directly into the lair of Indra throughout the entire trip. Well to be honest, it was partially our fault for paying no heed to the weather forecast and relying too much instead on the localized notion that the monsoon season happens only between the months of November to January in Malaysia.

The consequences of our poor planning? Frequent calls for room service and dips in the bath tub (which was surprisingly very enjoyable) and occasional peeks out of the window to say a quick prayer in hope that the rain would finally stop.


tioman island malaysia tioman island malaysia

...but with a room like this, I really didn't mind staying in.

When it stopped raining for 15 minutes (still no sign of the sun, though), we darted to the beach with hopes of seeing the reefs and swimming with the fishes but to our dismay, it really just was not possible to do any that. FML.

Well at least the kids were having fun


Yeap, this was where I was supposed to flaunt my assets in my new bikinis and get tanned.



...And this was where I was supposed to lounge in the most seductive and alluring way possible while stealing glances (and boyfriends).

Yes, none of that happened and my life sucks. Well thank god there was good food to soothe the burn (inside)


Many resorted to spending time by the pool instead
Back to the chalet and ordered more food (...because what else can we actually do?!)


You'll be surprised how much a girl can eat.



This picture was taken while we were waiting for the ferry to bring us back to Johor. Yeap, it was still raining.

Tioman was beautiful..... if I was able to actually see it through the mist and rain. #fml

(Still one of the best trips ever. Thank you)