Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Carrot Walnut cake

Last weekend my wife made carrot walnut cake.

This by far must be the easiest cake to make. Ever. (i swear)
You'll probably bang you head when you look at the instructions.

So let's start with the pictures first, shall we?




Nice right?

- Walnuts 200g, chopped and toasted
- Grated carrots 200g
- Raisins 100g
- 3 eggs
- Butter 200g
- Baking powder 1 tsp
- Baking soda 1 tsp
- Cinnamon powder 1 tsp
- Brown sugar 100g
- Salt 1 tsp

1) Toss everything into the Breadmaker ™.
2) Set to program 9.
3) Start.
4) Wait for 1.5 hours while the Breadmaker ™ does its job.
5) Done. Take out. Let is cool. Eat.

See, easy right?

The cake was moist and soft, similar to the texture of banana cakes, mix fruit cakes, etc.

Even after a few days, it won't dry up but will remain pretty much the same from when it came out from the oven (of course not hot anymore la)

Definitely a fav for me.

Krispy Kreme 1st prize winner - 65 hours wait

Would you wait 65 hours under the heat and rain, just to get doughnuts??!?!

A follow-up from my earlier post.

Well, apparently that is what took Joey Tham to get that 1st prize, 1 year supply of doughnuts (1236 doughnuts to be exact)

She and her friends banded together to claim the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th prize in a sweep-all fashion. (fuyoh, no give chance at all)

I thought people would start camping at 6:00 AM that morning.
Or worst, start the night before at 10:00 PM.

But who knew they would be crazy enough to start camping since Friday evening.
That totally blew the competition away.

Which makes me wonder, how did they decide to give Joey the 1st prize anyway?
I mean, they basically camp there together, so i would assumed all of them spent the same amount of time there.

Well, it is their piece of the doughnut, so congrats to them. May the doughnut force be in your stomach with you.

Krispy Kreme lovers on 65-hour vigil to win 1,236 doughnuts
by Isaac Hiew

Berjaya Corporation Executive Director
Datuk Francis Lee presenting grand prize
to SMK Seri Suria student Joey Tham
Li-Yen the "Gold Ticket" of winning a
year's supply of free Krispy Kreme
Original Glaze doughnuts for being the
very first Malaysian Customer of Krispy

KUALA LUMPUR (April 27, 2009):
When Joey Tham and her friends heard about Kripsy Kreme Doughnuts’s offer of a year’s supply for the first customer at its flagship outlet’s inaugural opening at Berjaya Times Square, they decided to give their best shot.

Tham and her friends, Alex Leong, Bilal Ahmee, Vincent Chen, Liang Jo Yi and Nicholas Yap, all 17, all from Ulu Langat then put into action a plan to win.

The plan led to them camping in front of the store for 65 hours since 5pm last Friday, fighting off mosquitoes at night and bearing the heat during the day and even missing their baths, -- taking turns to zealously guard their position at the head of the queue while waiting for the iconic Hot Light to be turned on for the first time today.

It was well worth the wait. Their patience and tenacity paid off. The school-mates won to top six prizes offered by Krispy Kreme for the first 300 customers, sweeping the Gold, Silver, Bronze tickets and three others, which will give them a total haul of 1,236 free doughnuts.

The Gold Ticket entitles the winner to free supply of one dozen fresh Krispy Kreme Original Glazed doughnuts per week for a year, while the silver ticket awards a dozen doughnuts for 26 weeks and the bronze, for 13 weeks.

The fourth to the 100th place customers a dozen doughnuts free for four weeks while the 101st to 300th customer received a special Krispy Kreme mug.

Read the rest

Would you have been that stupid done that?

MAS Let's Go Now contest

I am sure many are aware of the on-going MAS Let's Go Now contest that had been running for the past few weeks.

The requirements are simple: submit a photo related to that week's theme, and write an interesting/witty caption for it. The top 5 pic will be selected by the panel of judges and is open for public voting.

Captivating prizes as below, for each of the waves:


  • Wave 1 four (4) days three (3) nights holiday package for two (2) to Bangkok
  • Wave 2 five (5) days four (4) nights holiday package for two (2) to Perth
  • Wave 3 five (5) days four (4) nights holiday package for two (2) to Delhi
  • Wave 4 five (5) days four (4) nights holiday package for two (2) to Beijing
  • Wave 5 six (6) days four (4) nights holiday package for two (2) to London
  • Wave 6 six (6) days four (4) nights holiday package for two (2) to Rome
I have earmarked this contest ever since i saw it on the newspaper, but upon further understanding of the terms and conditions, i have decided to forgo the entry for wave 1, basically to observe the quality of the contest submission.

And besides, who wants to go to Bangkok anyway, at least not for the time being.

So wave 1 ended on 21 Apr 09, and i decided to check out the competition from the contest page above.
And for the first 10 minutes i was staring blankly into the screen, wondering where are the 5 finalists' pictures open for voting.

See if you could tell me where to click.


No? Yeah, i figured so.

Then only i realized that the Vote link will only appear on the subsequent pages, eg. after you click on the Stories or Terms and Conditions link.
So.... no Vote link from the Main page, but got link from the sub pages.

Hm. Is that an easter egg?

Ok, fine. Then you click on the Vote link and it requires that you login (or create a MyStar account if you don't already have one) first.

Then comes the voting page.
You see 5 pictures relating to the that week's theme.

But wait, spot anything missing?


Where are those witty and interesting captions that were supposed to go with those great pics?
Are we just voting based on the pictures alone?
Are those captions merely to get into the finals?
For the panel of judges' eyes only?

Man, die lah. Like that how to check out the competition?

Friday, 24 April 2009

Ayam Penyet AP

Yesterday, after we went visiting to a friend's place at Kelana Jaya, we were looking for a place to have our dinner. Initially we planned to go back to Kota Kemuning to grab a bit at NTS, but then i remembered reading about the Ayam Penyet shop from KY and had wanted to try that for a long time.

So off we went towards Sunway Mentari and tried to locate the shop. After a while we got to the shop and saw the familiar signboard (i didn't take a picture of the shop's signboard lah, go to KY's post to see it lo).

They have an outdoor area (for smoking customers i guess), but of course we took our seats at the aircon area.

We ordered:

Ayam penyet RM 7.00
The chicken was deep fried, and of course the bones have been smashed (hence the name ayam penyet) resulting in soft and tender meat that does not stick to the bones. I was surprised at how easily the meat was pulled apart from the chicken at the slightest touch. And despite being super deep fried, it was not at all dry, but my wife did complained that the whole meal was a tad dry. I had to agree to that.


Lele penyet (cat fish) RM 6.50
Another deep fried dish, but the fish was tender and moist. Though it was a tad small, but the succulent flesh made up for the lack of meat. Needless to say, every bite needs to be treasured.
But of course, i doubt the fish was hammer-smashed since the fish's back bone was still intact.


Terung penyet (brinjal/eggplant) RM 2.50
Another amazing dish, the brinjal was deep fried to perfecting without feeling dry. The flesh were soft and easily pulled apart with the fork. Something you can never replicate in your kitchen (unless you have a heavy duty industrial cooker at home hehehehe).


And 2 plates of white rice.

Every dish comes with a piece of fried beancurd and tempeh, boiled kangkung, cucumbers, raw cabbage and sambal. And those crispy bits. The more the better. :)

And the sambal was too spicy for me (but then again, i can't eat spicy food if it was to save my life) but my wife could take a little of it.

And about the comment on the dish being too dry, thats because there was no gravy accompanying those dishes. Unless you mean the sambal, which we can't really take in.

Damaged for around RM 20.00 for the both of us.
An eye opening meal nevertheless.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Who wants a Camry?

Well, who doesn't?


Excerpt from The Star

Perak to auction off Camrys

IPOH: The Perak state government will auction off the 16 Toyota Camry 2.4 cars that were used by the former executive councillors under the previous coalition government.

According to a tender notice sent to the advertising division of a Malay daily here yesterday, the auction would be held from May 4 to 18.

The tender statement issued by the Perak State Secretariat yesterday said the auction would be carried out at the car park of the Bangunan Perak Darul Ridzuan here, from 9.30am until 4pm.

The statement said the vehicles could be bought either in bulk or individually at the reserve price of RM148,000 each. A brand new Camry 2.4 costs RM170,000.

The cars, with registration numbers AGS10, AFD11, AFD22, AFD33, AFD55, AFD66, AFD77, AFD88, AFD99, AFD333, AFD999, AFF33, AFF88, AFF99, AGS828 and AEU606, were all registered on Jan 9, this year.

The statement also said that all the cars were bought new and used between one and two months with low mileage and were under three-year warranty by the manufacturer.

Anyone intending to buy the cars must submit their offer before noon on May 18. — Bernama

Starting from RM148,000 each!
Dateline before May 18, so start collecting your funds now.

On another note, next thing you'll hear is the BN reps will start buying back Proton Perdanas for their official use, with the pretext of support the buy Malaysia campaign.

Then when the maintenance bills start piling high, and when investigated, they will probably blame back Proton for such a high-maintenance car, yadda, yadda, yadda, and then change it back to a fleet of Camrys.

Or worst still if they decides to change to Mercedes Benz cars!

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Sakae Sushi - Spot the Errors, Spot the Bugs

Last Sunday, my wife and i decided to splurge a little and have a good meal of sushi.
After all, sushi is her favourite and we haven't had any for a long time.

So off we went, heading straight to Sunway Pyramid. We decided to go to Sakae Sushi instead of the usual Sushi King.

Once we got there, we were seated after a short wait, and when we got to our seat, my wife immediately grabbed 4 red plates off the kaiten belt (fuyoh, i have never seen her move that fast while doing housework hehehe).

So i warned her not to be too hasty, in order for us to maximize our culinary experience, we have to carefully select what we would eat (each red plate costs RM 5.90 dammit!).

Note to self: Money is everything

But one thing i noticed is that the Ajitsuke Idako (Seasoned baby octopus) and Chuka Hotate (Seasoned scallop wings) that we took was bigger portion compared to those from Sushi King. And i mean around 20% more. For those 2 dishes, Sushi King also priced them at RM 6.00 i think.

So once we polished off what was on the table, it was time for us to order more. So we browse through the menu on the screen, and confirmed our order.

And then we waited.

And waited.

So while waiting, we basically had nothing much to do, so we were scrutinizing the order application program on the screen.

And then we saw this.


Can you spot the error?

The button should say "View Confirmed Order", right?
Confirmed as in past tense mah.

And then we clicked the button and saw this.


Fuyoh, same mistake again?

Or, we haven't really confirmed our order?
Maybe that's why our order have not arrived.

Or, they haven't even catch the tuna, let alone serve it! *sic*

We tried to look for another button to finally confirm our order (if we had not done so) but could not find any.
So it couldn't be our mistake right?

My wife asked me to snap some pictures and post it on my blog. hahahaha.

After waiting for like what seemed to be eternity (oklah, it was more like 10-15 freakin long minutes), we decided to click the "Call for Help" button for assistance.

Barely a few seconds after that, our order came.

Shit, later that waiter who responded to the "Call for Help" will think that we were fooling around.

Anyway, we quickly make short work of the Maguro (Tuna) and Tako (Octopus) and decided to order some more. So we placed our next order for Tobiko (Flying fish roe sushi) and had another good laugh at the grammatic mistake again.

And then we waited.

And waited.

Damn, not again.

After another agonizing 10 minutes, we decided to utilize the "Call for Help" button again.
And lo and behold, barely a few seconds after that, our order came.

Deja vu?

So in the end, we had some good food at a good price, dealt with the slow service, and some laughs over the English proficiency (i thought such big corporations would have higher standards).

And also some bugs.


DSC00062 copy

Monday, 20 April 2009

Ghost on my chest - Shocking true story

On one quiet night, you were sleeping soundly like a baby. Everything was calm and peaceful. You might even be having a sweet dream which you were enjoying.

All of a sudden, you felt a huge pressure being placed on your chest area. You were jolted awake due to this, and your senses tried to make sense of your surrounding. You eyes opened and scouted the room, revealing the familiar sight of your own bedroom. You ears listened intensely for anything unusual, but heard nothing.

That was when you tried to sit up, to wipe the sweat off your forehead, when you realize that you can't move. Your arms, legs, your whole body, all paralyzed. You clinched your fist, but realized that it is not responding. All your muscles refused to follow your command.

The pressure on your chest gets stronger, and you struggle to breath. You tried hard to gasp for air but can't. You tried to scream, but nothing comes out. You knew you screamed with all your might, but no sound was heard. You heart beats faster as you began to feel a presence around you. Something sinister is lurking in the dark, you can't see it clearly. But you KNOW someone is there, looking at you struggling.

The harder you struggle, the harder the pressure gets. You were almost out of air. Your mind wanders around, thinking what was going on. And then your body began to move again. And you sat up in bed, sweating all over and wondering....

Is a ghost really sitting on your chest?


Well, not really.

I have had such encounters during the past. I am sure many have had them.

The earliest i remembered was when we were still staying in the old house in Subang Jaya. I should have been around 17 or 18 in age. That night when i had this, i was scared shit. It was the most horrendous nightmare i ever had. Because it was a first encounter, i had no idea what was going on. Did we really had ghosts in the house? I told my parents, but of course they just brush it off as a dream.

I then had a second encounter the next few days. Shit. 2 times within the same week. Bad huh? Still same as the first time, i woke up sweating like crazy, and could not sleep afterwards.

That was when i had enough. I knew i need to know what is going on. Remember those horror stories your friends told you before about ghost babies sitting on your chest, or bouncing up and down on your chest? I am sure many would logically think that is the cause of the misery. But of course i was skeptical and hit the Internet for answers.

That was when i found out something called Sleep Paralysis.
The descriptions, symptoms, signs all seemed to point to this.

Sleep Paralysis happens because you suddenly woke up while you still are in REM state, which your body has been paralyzed so that you don't act out as in your dreams (imagine giving a flying kick to your partner, in case you were dreaming of a kung fu action scene hehehehe). So basically your brain suddenly becomes lucid so you are aware of whats going on in your surroundings, but just can't move. That is the cause of your fear.

Realizing this, the next time i had sleep paralysis, i did not put up a struggle, but instead just try to relax and let it pass. I know that i am not really short of breath, so i did not really struggle for air. And just bear with the pressure on the chest, and take slow and deep breaths, to remain calm. And after a while, you begin to feel your body again, and it ends.

And the sinister phantom in the darkness, i would imagine that to be the Devil himself.

"Well, just ignore him" i told myself.

And the next time he visited me, we had tea together.

So, suffice to say, the Devil himself is no longer an issue to me.

But yesterday i had sleep paralysis again. And i woke up sweating all over.
And after that i did not managed to get much sleep.
I was too afraid and kept waking up to check my surroundings.

Why you asked?


Cos female ghosts in red dress scares the shit out of me!

Share your stories.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Picture Post - Cup cakes

My wife made cup cakes last weekend.
So before we start to eat them, i had to borrow them to take pictures first.

Remember, pictures comes first. Hunger is always second.


Cup cakes are easy to make and really challenges your creativity.
Imagine almost any decorations can be made for every theme, with the sky as the limit.


Now close your eyes and imagine chomping onto a clown.


The full assembly line. :)


Friday, 17 April 2009

Oh no, another by-election!

Found out yesterday that we will have another by-election.

Excerpt from TheStar.com.my

Penang Speaker confirms receiving copy of letter from Penanti assemblyman

GEORGE TOWN: Voters in Penanti state constituency in Seberang Perai will go through another by-election in under eight months.

Former Penang Deputy Chief Minister (DCM) 1 Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin, who is assemblyman for the state seat located in Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency which had a by-election on Aug 26, quit as assemblyman yesterday.

Penang Speaker Abdul Halim Hussin confirmed receiving a faxed copy of Mohammad Fairus’ resignation letter but refused to reveal who the letter was from.

“We will inform the Election Commission (EC) as soon as possible,” he said, when asked to confirm that the Penanti seat had been vacated, adding that he would provide more details today.......

What's up with the politics nowadays?
We have had one too many by-election burdens recently.

The first one was feverish and exciting.
The second one was ok.
Then the next got tiresome. (yeah, we all know who will win anyway)
Then another seemed to dragged on and on.
And now, not another one?!?!?!

It seems like we get a by-election for almost every imaginable reason.

Someone died. By-election.
Someone resigned to make way for husband. By-election.
Someone was about to be charged with corruption. Resign and fled country. By-election.
Someone resigned. By-election.
Someone caught with compromising pictures. Almost resigned but did not. Almost by-election.

Whats next?

Someone took your parking spot. By-election?
Someone honk you on the road. By-election?
Someone resigns and go sell char kway teow. By-election?
Someone puff smoke in your face. By-election?

Man, what the heck am i talking? *brain freeze*

Ok, so that's not the end of the story.
Fairus somore threaten PKR not to main-main with him, else he will expose the juicy details on the internal operations of PKR.

Hm, i bet now the BN folks are getting ready the popcorn to enjoy the show.


Wednesday, 15 April 2009

The Fish Lesson - What do you learn from it?

Was forum browsing at Photo Malaysia when i saw something interesting and would like to share.
Source from here:

A Fish Lesson
You heard of the FISH Philosophy ... now there is a fresh fish lesson.

The Japanese have always loved fresh fish. But the waters close to Japan have not held many fish for decades. So to feed the Japanese population, fishing boats got bigger and went farther than ever. The farther the fishermen went, the longer it took to bring in the fish. If the return trip took more than a few days, the fish were not fresh. The Japanese did not like the taste.

To solve this problem, fishing companies installed freezers on their boats. They would catch the fish and freeze them at sea. Freezers allowed the boats to go farther and stay longer. However, the Japanese could taste the difference between fresh and frozen and they did not like frozen fish. The frozen fish brought a lower price.

So fishing companies installed fish tanks. They would catch the fish and stuff them in the tanks, fin to fin. After a little thrashing around, the fish stopped moving. They were tired and dull, but alive. Unfortunately, the Japanese could still taste the difference. Because the fish did not move for days, they lost their fresh-fish taste. The Japanese preferred the lively taste of fresh fish, not sluggish fish. So how did Japanese fishing companies solve this problem? How do they get fresh-tasting fish to Japan? If you were consulting the fish industry, what would you recommend?

How Japanese Fish Stay Fresh:

To keep the fish tasting fresh, the Japanese fishing companies still put the fish in the tanks. But now they add a small shark to each tank. The shark eats a few fish, but most of the fish arrive in a very lively state. The fish are challenged.


Have you realized that some of us are also living in a pond but most of the time tired & dull? So we need a SHARK in our life to keep us awake and moving. Basically in our lives, sharks are new challenges to keep us active and taste better.....The more intelligent, persistent and competent you are, the more you enjoy a challenge. If your challenges are the correct size, and if you are steadily conquering those challenges, you are Conqueror. You think of your challenges and get energized. You are excited to try new solutions. You have fun and you are alive!

Ok, after reading the above, what are your thoughts?

I myself have to fully agreed with the lesson above. We need competition to get better. Knowing that someone else out there could challenge your status quo, you will put up more of a fight. We strive to do better, in order to avoid being eliminated.

If we take out the competition, then we get above our heads and lose focus. Then we slack.
We get comfortable and refuse to work harder. Thats how we just die off silently.

I am sure this is the general sentiment. Pretty much of common sense if you ask me.
True to the Survival of the Fittest school of thought.

But of course there are always exceptions in life.


The more competition it is exposed to, the weaker it gets.
And simply just die off silently.

Krispy Kreme Donuts - First in line?


Was reading the newspaper and saw that Krispy Kreme is coming to Malaysia. Well, i heard the rumours a couple of months back, but i guess this time is it certain.
And it is opening on the 27th Apr 2009 at Berjaya Times Square.

And whats the big deal with donuts huh? We have J.CO, Big Apple, etc, all trying to stuff us silly to make us fat Malaysians? hehehehe

Excerpt from TheStar.com.my

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts to open store in Berjaya and Mega mall


Doughnut chain plans second outlet in Mid Valley by May

KUALA LUMPUR: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, a well-known US brand, will open its first flagship store in Berjaya Times Square on April 27.

Berjaya Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Berjaya Corp Bhd, is the operator of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts chain in Malaysia.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc international marketing manager Carlo Fajardo said the company planned to open the second outlet in Mid Valley Megamall in May.

“The investment per outlet varies from RM500,000 to RM1mil depending on the store concept and location. Our target locations are shopping malls, transportation hubs, office buildings and colleges,” he told StarBiz.

The 1,600-sq-ft full-service Krispy Kreme store in Berjaya Times Square will feature the “Doughnut Theatre” where customers can watch the doughnut-making process.

“The store’s doughnut-making machine can produce and glaze nearly 18,000 doughnuts a day.

“We will give away the ‘Golden Ticket’ prize to our first customer in line to purchase a dozen Krispy Kreme Original Glazed doughnuts when the door opens at 10am on April 27,” he said.

The winner will win a year’s supply of Original Glazed doughnuts.

Fajardo said the company was optimistic on the demand for its products as more potential customers were exposed to the brand.

“We are confident that our customers will find our doughnuts and coffee are able to satisfy their needs. Hence, we are bullish that we will win a fair share of sales in the doughnut category in the local market,” he said.

Krispy Kreme appealed to consumers from a wide cross-section of ages, educational background, income and lifestyles, he said.

He added: “We look forward to accelerating our growth in Malaysia. We are sampling 6,000 boxes of a dozen each of Hot Original Glazed doughnuts in the Klang Valley and nearby communities to share the Krispy Kreme experience.”

Krispy Kreme will offer 16 varieties of doughnuts and two types of coffee in Malaysia.

So I went online and checked out their homepage and saw this.


Get there early and get these rewards:

1st Customer - Get Golden Ticket - ONE YEAR Supply
2nd Customer - Get Silver Ticket - 6 Months Supply
3rd Customer - Get Bronze Ticket - 3 Months Supply
4th - 100th Customer- Get 1 Month Supply
101th -300th Customer - Get A Cup of Coffee

Fuyoh, its on a Monday, and i bet people will be camping there from at least 7.00 AM onwards, so for those folks who works in that area, be prepared for traffic jam hehehehe...

I can imagine the trail of human traffic jam leading up to the Krispy Kreme store that morning.

Its almost like the last minute rush to pay your traffic summons, but instead with more passion and kiasu-ness (can win a years supply of donuts woh, the winner sure eat until fat fat)


Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Dragon-i RM 1 Chicken - The Great Con

I am sure everyone has heard of the fantastic Dragon-i offer of late.
Its on every blog, on radio, in the newspaper, etc.

This looks familiar? I bet it does.

So, just pay RM 1 for a whole chicken, right?
Just go in, and order 1 chicken, with 4 white rice. And 4 plain water.
Sounds good?

Well, if you think so, then read on.

Last Saturday, we (4 of us) decided to give this a try at the Sunway Pyramid outlet.
Being ever so kiasu (hehehehe) we reached the outlet at around 5.30 PM, thus ensuring a chicken for us (of course must go early lah, limited while stocks last mah). We went in at around 5.45 PM, and told the waitress that we wanted to try the RM 1 chicken, so she punched in our table order at exactly 6 PM, so we had to wait a while.

We had no expectations, so when the chicken arrived, it was a pleasant surprise. Visually appealing and it was tasty to boot. Certainly no shortcuts were taken in spite of the cheap price tag. 2 thumbs up on that.


The chicken was, erm, not to say it was huge, its not even a normal sized chicken, but i won't call it small either. Nah, judge it for yourself.


Such a dish itself would cost about RM 25 at least.

The four of us would have a hearty meal for less than RM 10.00, or even less than RM 5.00. (yippie kay yay)
Sounds like a good deal hoh?


Check out our bill that night.


Fuyoh, RM 63.85

If you are thinking, "Of course lah, you ordered so many things", here is a reality check:

- Wet towels x4 = RM 4.00
- Tidbits (Nam Yee peanuts) = RM 1.00
- Chinese tea x2 = RM 4.00
- Soya bean x1 = RM 3.50
- Rice x5 = RM 5.00 (small portion and no ISO, so need to add rice)
- RM 1 Chicken = RM1.00
- Tax (5% Gov 10% Service) = RM 8.33
- Beancurd (Vege) = RM 18.00
- Glutten (Vege) = RM 18.00

Half of the cost was for things we don't need, like the wet towels, tidbits, drinks, tax, etc, but could not be avoided.
Now i think you can begin to see why i named the title of the post as such.
Cos once you get inside the shop, be prepared to fork out RM 20-25 minimum.

So what happened to the "1 chicken, 4 white rice, 4 plain water" strategy?
I don't know if anyone will be able to pull that off, but i sure know i can't. Paiseh mah.

Let me know if anyone managed to pull that off ya, i'll add you into my 5 cents Hall of Fame.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Cooking Demo 19 Apr 2009

My wife and her friends are organizing another cooking demo at my place at Kemuning Utama this coming Sunday.

Place: Kemuning Bayu, Kemuning Utama
Date: 19 Apr 2009 (Sunday)
Time: 2 PM to 4 PM

We will be making:
- Carrot cake
- Chiffon cake
- Man Tou (steamed bun)
- Fatt Gou (steamed cupcakes)
- etc.

It's free and you don't need to prepare anything.
Just come, learn and meet new friends.

Anyone interested?
Drop a comment for more details.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Lunch Box

Just came back from having lunch with my wife.
Today she has to replace Ms. Book, who is still on maternity leave, so my wife will need to teach her students in the morning as well (my wife teaches piano part time).

Her class starts in the morning at 9.45 AM up to evening at 4.30 PM, with lunch break at 11.45 AM. So instead of buying lunch for her or she having lunch herself, i have decided to save money cos i am so kamsiap show my love by whipping up a lunch box so we can eat together.



The lunch box consists of these goodies:
- Plain rice
- Sausages (her fav)
- Scrambled eggs
- Sayur manis (just found out the name from market. anyone knows what it is called in English?)
- Nam Yee pork with black fungus (leftover from dad, who still refuses to let me in on the secret. Bah, i'll try to replicate it someday)

Ok, time to do the dishes and clean the house (the perils of a house husband).

Friday, 10 April 2009

Picture Post - Guadalajara, Mexico

Every once in a while i get to travel to Guadalajara in Mexico for business purposes. Mexico is halfway around the world from Malaysia, so you can imagine the 30-hour flight journey there.

Well, not all 30 hours are actual flight time, but only around 23 are (i think the new SIA direct flights to LA are much faster nowadays), the rest being the transit time. Normally i fly from KL -> Amsterdam -> LA -> Guadalajara. Or KL -> Japan/Taiwan/Korea -> LA -> Guadalajara. Transit time might range from 4-8 hours, so planning ahead is vital to ensure you are occupied for those waiting times.

One of the most anticipated thing is of course the on-flight movies (Yippie kay yay!) where i get to catch the latest blockbuster movies that i have not watched yet, which roughly means every freakin' movie available cos i don't believe in going to the cinema except for super super blockbuster movies. Watching movies should be on HBO. That's what i paid Astro for.

So imagine how many movies i get to watch on a 22-hours flight hohohohoh...
Ok, sharing some pictures of beautiful Guadalajara.

Picture Perfect (almost)

I declare this place...

I Walk Alone

Ring of Guadalajara

Ancient Pathway

View more pictures from my Flickr set.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

My Photographic Journey

For as long as i could remember, i have always been fascinated with photography.

The thought of packing up everything you own into a small backpack and go globetrotting, capturing and sharing the sights of the world and the people you meet.
Or going front line into a war zone armed with only the camera, capturing the most realistic sight of the horrors of war, and making it back in one piece to submit the award winning picture to the publisher.
Or going head to head with a king cobra in a life or death situation to capture the precise moment when it pounces into the camera.
Or be surrounded by a bevy of beauties in a fashion shootout, capturing the essence of timeless beauty in the designer gowns. (I think i was more inclined towards this hahaha).

I could still remember clearly my first exposure to a camera, the first time touching and be fascinated by such an amazing tool.
The camera in question was my cousins' from Singapore. Long long time back they came visiting to Malaysia and brought the camera (actually that was the only time they brought the camera over).

I was still in primary school (can't remember actual age) at that time so handling the heavy camera was a task itself, but there was a feeling of empowerment, a sense of satisfaction (or maybe that was just my inflated ego. hey pretty girl, look here!) but at that time i knew that i would be interested in something called photography (well, at that age i probably couldn't even spell photography but you get my driff).

They taught me how to correctly hold a SLR (which by the way needs one hand to support the lens), how to load/unload the film (yeah, it was back in those film days), change lens, etc.

After that short encounter, i never did gain access to a camera for a while as the family could not afford one. Sometimes when we go on holidays, we would borrow a camera from relatives to take the vacation pictures. That was as far as i got to touch a camera.

All that changed until one fateful day while the family was holidaying at Sunway lagoon.
Again, we were camera-less so the night before when i lit up the joss stick to offer my wish list to God, i prayed that somehow magically a camera would suddenly appear, thereby allowing us to finally take our own vacation pictures.

Ok, that was not the actual wish. the actual wish was for us to strike a lottery winning 1 million ringgit.

But surprisingly that night the inner core of the joss stick did not break (normally they just turn to ashes) and according to some urban legend, if that happens, then your wish would come true. (yippie kay yay!)

Ok, it is safe to assume that we didn't strike the lottery the next day. Or the next. Or anytime soon. Else i won't writing this blog and trying to earn a living.

So the next day we were having fun at Sunway lagoon, playing our hearts out (this was when i was still in secondary school). Lo and behold, at one of those rides (if i remembered correct, it was that ride with the spinning cups) someone left their camera on board.

Being the responsible family, we looked around to see if anyone was seaching for the camera. We paused for a short time (yeah, for like 5 seconds), wondering if the owner will come back and claim the camera, before we quickly took possession of it (yippie kay yay!).

Anyway, we got out of the ride, took the camera out from the camera pouch and lo and behold, it was a Canon compact film camera (i knew i should have prayed harder for a SLR hehehe).

That camera became my cherished treasure that accompanied me through alot. During family vacations, during special moments, during my oversea travels, it has captured a big part of our lives.

But of course developing the films is a pain, and very very expensive, so don't get me started on that. Whoever invented digital photography should be given a Nobel prize.

Ok, enough of text for today (wouldn't be surprised if you developed bloodshot eyes by now).
Here are some pictures taken with the film camera, developed and digitally scanned for your viewing pleasure.

Family vacation, Genting Highlands

Family vacation, Putrajaya

Cousin's graduation ceremony

My graduation ceremony

Collegemates during graduation

Ex-company, Sufsys gang

Business trips, Minnesota

Business trips, Minnesota, 4th of July celebration

Business trips, Chinatown San Francisco

Business trips, San Francisco

Monday, 6 April 2009

Vegetable Pau

Last Saturday night, my wife and i found some time to make some vegetable pau to bring over for Ching Ming on Sunday morning. The process was fun but somewhat time consuming.

Here are some simple pictorial instructions.

First, to make the vegetable fillings, get some sengkuang, water chestnut and carrots.
And soak some mushrooms if you have some laying nearby. These add flavours to the end product.

Once washed and peeled (please ignore the sloppy job above hehehehe), then grate them into fine strips. This step requires some hard work and patience, trust me on that. And yeah, it could get a little messy too.

Anyway, you should get something like this.

Once you have everything ready, stir fry the vegetables and the mushrooms with oyster sauce and dark soy sauce. Of course, this is to taste, so you can judge this yourself.
As for me, i like mine salty, very hamsap hehehehe

Once you feel the filling is good enough, set it aside.
Now time to work on the dough.

Get the ingredients ready: Pau flour, plain flour, sugar, corn oil, a dash of salt.
The Pau flour could be easily purchased at your local convenience stall.

Pour all the ingredients into the Breadmaker ™ and wait for it to knead the dough.
Yes, if you are wondering, in this day and age, we don't need to manually knead the dough.

With our hands.

Just toss everything into the Breadmaker ™ and with a press of a button, everything will be done for you in 30 minutes.

And voila!

Perfectly kneaded dough to start making the pau.
The texture feels like abit like Play Doh (for those of you with a luxurious childhood) or plasticine (for those poorer people like myself with a not-so luxurious childhood)

Ok, now is the time to get your hands dirty.

As my lovely wife demonstrates below, divide the dough into smaller lumps (depends on how big you want your pau to be, either xiao long pau or Yip Chee Mei Tai pau, whichever tickles your fancy).

Then use a rolling pin to flatten the dough consistently. Or you could do this by hand.
That is if you have been training under a pastry chef for the past decade.
Else i would still suggest you go with the rolling pin.

Then, scoop up some vegetable fillings and place it in the middle of the dough.


Then slowly fold the dough edges back into the center, covering the fillings so that they get encased within the dough.
If you are having trouble with this step, good luck.
All i can offer you is a picture of my lovely wife doing it.


Got it? Easy right?

Ok, let's move on.

So the end product you should be getting would look like this. We still did not managed to get the correct way to twist the pau (you know how the pau at restaurants have those pleats, looks very professional), so if you have any tips, please let me know.


Once done, they are off to the steamer.



Our Elba 3-tier steamer can only manage 21 pau at one go.
Pop them in there for 20 minutes.

We had to switch the trays periodically as bottom tray gets hot and moist faster than the top, so switching them will make the steaming more consistent (not liked it mattered anyway, since everything will get cooked all the same. just do it cos you will feel more professional, knowing that you have followed the steps explained here hehehehe).

Oh, did i warned you on the burning steam?
Yeah, apparently playing with steam is a big no-no if you are below the age of 18. And if you are above 65.
I still have the scars from this to show, if you are curious.

Ok, enough crap talking.

Once the steaming is done, carefully remove the pau from the steamer. Remember the pau is freakin' hot (felt like picking up molten lava, some burning scars is inevitable here, so get ready some hand gel or toothpaste)

Place all the pau on a tray to let them cool down. We made around 35 pau this time.


There you go, simple steps to make vegetable pau.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

Lastly, i'll leave you with a close up shot of the final product.


Happy pau making.