Fragile beauty…

fragile beauty aerobridge

I noticed this girl at the Sibu airport as we were about to board
the plane – this was taken at the aerobridge, her name is Elle and
she’s studying at Swinburne University in Kuching. Her movements
conveys a fragile beauty about her…it was in the way she moved, and
how she reacted when I told her I wanted to take a photo of her –
graceful, and with a hint of fragility, melancholy, even…

Cadbury Buttons minis muffin mix

cadbury buttons muffin mix store

This is Cadbury’s Buttons minis muffin mix – it’s a box that
contains premixed muffins and I liked the chocolate buttons on this
one, so I got a pack of it to do some baking at home. It’s a tradition
of sorts to cook something together with my gf when I come back for
long periods of time.

cadbury buttons minis muffin mix

The Cadbury Buttons mini muffin mix opens up to reveal a large
packet of the chocolate muffin mix, a small bag of Cadbury’s Buttons
minis, and 12 muffin paper holders. I love these self contained muffin
premixes, it has everything you need inside. Just add water. ;)

cadbury buttons minis muffin mix instructions

Well, it’s not as straightforward as that, but it’s not exactly
rocket science either. The back of the box details the steps for making
the muffins (just 5 steps!) and the stuff you need to complete the
recipe, as it were. The instructions require 1 medium sized egg, 45 ml
of milk and vegetable oil (optional). That’s all easily found in the
kitchen…just combine that with the package ingredients and we have
ourselves some chocolate muffins! :)

cadbury choc muffin

This is the prepackaged chocolate muffin mix…it’s the ready-mix-just-add-water type of powder.

cadbury small mini buttons

There’s also a bag of Cadbury Buttons, which I took the liberty of partaking before the actual muffin making process…

cadbury muffin papers

They even thought of including 12 paper muffin holders inside! Nice…

cadbury buttons muffin mix

The first thing we did was to empty the big bag containing the chocolate muffin mix into a bowl…

cadbury buttons muffin mix egg

…and an egg was cracked on top of the chocolate muffin premix after that.

cadbury buttons muffin mix egg milk

I couldn’t find any full cream milk, so I got a small packet of UHT
Low Fat milk and poured about 1/5 (estimated) into the entire mix.

cadbury buttons muffin premix

This is the goo a.k.a. muffin mix that resulted from all the effort exercised above.

cadbury buttons muffin mixer

The bowl was put in the mixer on the highest speed setting for about a minute or so, until the consistency looks about right.

cadbury buttons muffin mixed

Here’s what the Cadbury Buttons minis muffin mix looks like after
the electric mixer treatment – it’s starting to look like proper muffin
mix, nice and thick with a semi-fluid consistency.

cadbury buttons muffin mix buttons

Half of the Cadbury Buttons were emptied into the muffin mix, as per the instructions on the box…

cadbury buttons muffin mix folded

…and a spoon was used to fold the chocolate buttons into the muffin mix.

cadbury buttons muffin mix fill

The paper muffin receptacles were arranged and the final muffin mix
was spooned into them. The first few were filled sparingly, coz I
thought the muffin mix will expand, but then I realized that there’s
too much muffin mix to spare and started filling the rest with more of
the mix.

cadbury buttons muffins filled

The muffins were arranged on a baking tray and the oven was
preheated to 160 degrees Celsius. We forgot to do that earlier, but no
worries, we needed to put the remaining half of the Cadbury’s Buttons
on top of the muffins anyway…

cadbury buttons muffins to bake

…and so we did. You’ll see that there’s only 11 muffins here…I
thought one of the paper muffin cups were missing, but we found it in
the box…after the muffins were done. Oh well. :)

cadbury buttons muffins close up

Anyway, this is what the chocolate muffins look like before it went into the oven.

cadbury buttons muffins in oven

The muffins were sent to their purgatory with the timer set for 15 minutes…

cadbury buttons muffins baking

…and you can see the muffins start to rise after a couple of minutes.

cadbury buttons muffins baked

Finally, I present to you – the baked Cadbury Buttons minis muffins!

cadbury buttons muffins

The muffins tastes great straight out of the oven – it was hot and
chocolaty, with the buttons providing texture to the muffins. It’s
great with a glass of cold milk. :)

Heaven and Earth

heaven and earth store

Heaven and Earth is the interestingly named Jasmine
Green Tea beverage marketed under the Coca-Cola brand. It comes in a
variety of sizes, and I thought the 1500 ml plastic bottles suits the
name best. It retails for slightly higher than the average
non-carbonated, or to be more specific, brewed and bottled tea
offerings out there since it’s an import.

heaven and earth text

Heaven and Earth Jasmine Green Tea is “brewed from
the freshest, premium green tea leaves and infused with the rich flora
aroma of soothing Jasmine flowers”. The literature also goes to explain
the origins and uses of Jasmine flowers and Jasmine tea in relation to
Chinese culture. One interesting piece of information that I noticed is
the note that goes “Today, the Chinese still drink Jasmine tea on daily
basis; and it is the most popular drink in Okinawa, Japan, where plain
Japanese green tea is hardly drunk.”

heaven and earth chinese

That’s news to me…I didn’t know that Jasmine tea is preferred in
Okinawa, Japan instead of green tea. Then again, I’m Chinese, and I
certainly don’t drink Jasmine tea on a monthly basis, much less a daily
basis. ;) It’s an interesting piece of information about the culture in
Okinawa, Japan though and it’s certainly a good enough marketing spiel
to describe Heaven and Earth Jasmine Green Tea, which is a fusion of
Jasmine tea and green tea.

heaven and earth cap

Heaven and Earth Jasmine Green Tea is a great non-carbonated
offering to the large portfolio of Coca-Cola’s offerings. It tastes
surprisingly good and its thirst quenching to boot. I finished the 1500
ml bottle before I knew it. The Heaven and Earth Jasmine Green Tea
manage to combine the two different teas to make an interesting tea
fusion. It’s also sweetened, which adds to the appeal – the sugar
content isn’t cloying, but just right…just like how my grandma used
to put a teaspoon of sugar into the tea when we were young, just before
we came over.

heaven and earth jasmine green tea

Heaven and Earth Jasmine Green Tea will take you to heaven and back!
Well, maybe that’s an overenthusiastic hyperbole, but it’s really good.
:p Best served chilled, and without the disturbing imagery of a 1.5
liter PET bottle positioned in a rather unfortunate orientation on the
lap of some strange guy…

P/S – My gf says I use emoticons too much. I think she’s right. ;)

Fray Bentos Chicken & Mushroom Pie in a can

fray bentos pie can store

I thought I’ve seen everything, but I chanced across a Chicken & Mushroom pie in a flat can
on the shelves of the supermarket (!). It’s by Fray Bentos and the
product is called Chicken & Mushroom Pie. It retails for RM 16.80
and it’s made in England.

fray bentos pie can

The can describes the Chicken & Mushroom pie as having a “New
Improved Recipe” and “Light Puff Pastry”. It’s supposed to contain
“Tender chicken & sliced mushrooms in a delicious creamy sauce
topped with light puff pastry”. I am doubtful that something that came
out of a tin will possess those qualities, but I decided to try it out
anyway.

fray bentos cooking directions

The instructions for the Fray Bentos Chicken & Mushroom Pie (in
a can) is pretty straightforward – just open the lid and chuck it into
an oven for about 20 minutes or so. It’s just like a microwave dinner.
;)

fray bentos pie can open

Unfortunately, opening up the can proved to be a bit of a
challenge…it took two different can openers, a knife and three cuts
(on me) before the can could be pried open. The pie looks interesting
once I managed to get the lid off though – it’s like a soggy mess. It
looks like Spam, even.

fray bentos pie raw

I was interested to see how this would turn into a Chicken and
Mushroom Pie, so the oven was preheated to about 180 degrees Celsius
and the entire open can was put into the oven with the timer set for 25
minutes (it’s a fan assisted oven).

fray bentos pie cook

This is what it looks like after the 25 minutes were up. The crust
wasn’t “golden brown” yet and my girlfriend insisted that it’s not
done, but being the stubborn mule that I am, I insisted on eating a
couple of slices.

fray bentos pie 8

Thus, I took the Chicken and Mushroom Pie out of the oven and sliced it into 8 slices (like a pizza).

fray bentos pie chicken

There are some generous chunks of chicken inside and the pie crust
was flaky, but just on the top layer. It’s sufficiently cooked IMHO,
and I ate two slices before putting it back into the oven for another
10 minutes (coz my gf won’t eat it in that state).

fray bentos pie cooked

This is what it looks like after a total of 35 minutes in the oven.
What did it taste like? It tastes like a soggy reheated pie…out of a
can. :p

minishorts grills sixthseal.com Part Deux

Here’s the questions from minishorts [minishorts.net]:

minishorts phallic theme yes i would fuck him

1 1/2 years down the road, and the new questions are:

1. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?

I’m rather impulsive by nature, and while I wouldn’t like to change
that, I’m told that it should be taken down a peg or two. I’m inclined
to agree, except I kinda like myself the way I am. ;)

2. If you could choose to assassinate someone, anyone, who would it be, why him/her and how would you do it?

Shhh…I’m not supposed to tell, that would be premeditated homicide. :p

3. As a supreme being nearing the borders (if you’re not
already there) of blogtopia, how do you view the current waves in the
blogosphere (Malaysia, mostly)?

I think its great that a lot of Malaysians are starting to take up
blogging now – we’re starting to see a lot of different weblogs from
all sorts of people. I’m sure there’s an audience for all of them.

4. Lessay you’ve been stranded on this island for two
months, and your only friend there is this HOT HOT Brad Pitt lookalike
with Matt McConaughey’s body, and he looks uber shaggable (if you’re a
girl of course). Thing is, you’ve been deprived for hell of a long time
and would be great to feel some muscles clench about you… so would
you, you know… fuck the dude?

Hmm…I am hesitant to linger too much on the question and let the
scenario play out in my mind. I’m afraid of what the answer will be. ;)

FINALLY

5. Do you believe in Michael Jackson?

Guilty!

The first time I did this meme was here [sixthseal.com] and here [castitas.com]. I haven’t come clean about veritas then. :)

Espresso Coffee Shots

espresso coffee shots

I saw some chocolate coated coffee beans at the local import
specialty shop and decided to get some, since I’m working to meet a
deadline before I go back to work on Monday. It’s called Coffee Shots and there’s a variety of different beans available – I got the espresso ones, which goes for RM 6.95 for a 50 g pack.

espresso coffee shots text

The literature goes “Coffee Shots give a lift to your day with a
delicious chocolate coated coffee crunch – ready to eat – anywhere,
anytime. We start with the finest Arabica beans from the South Eastern
regions of Brazil which we carefully sort for color, size and
quantity”. It also adds that “Just like the best espresso (short black)
from Europe, our Espresso Coffee Shots have a vibrant strong taste
giving you just the right pick me up when you need it”.

espresso coffee shots 50g

The 50 g packs have a small amount of the “European style chocolate coated coffee beans” in a bag inside the cardboard wrap.

espresso coffee shots bag

I also got a larger pack of the Espresso Coffee Shots for RM 9.80.

espresso coffee shots bean

The Coffee Shots have a coffee bean inside the chocolate, which
gives it some measure of caffeine content. I’ve been drinking coffee
while munching on these Espresso Coffee Shots the whole day in an
effort to finish up my work before the deadline. Its times like this
that I wish I hadn’t quit methamphetamine. ;)

Excuse me, I’m going back to work – I’ll update again tomorrow.

Little Hanoi

little hanoi

Little Hanoi is a coffee shop that mushroomed up in place of another
coffee shop which has ceased operating some time ago. I just saw this
eatery when I came back to Sibu this time. I went there today with my
girlfriend for lunch. Little Hanoi serves Vietnamese food, with slight
alterations to suit local tastes.

little hanoi pho

This is their pho, which is made with hor fun. The dish is made with good broth (which IMHO dictates the taste of the pho) – clear and satisfying.

little hanoi lime

It is served with half a lime, the likes of which I’ve never seen
before…the patterns in the middle of the lime seems unfamiliar, or
maybe they just sliced the lime diagonally.

little_hanoi_pho_close.jpg

Here’s a closer look at the pho. The hor fun is soft, and the thinly sliced beef in the soup tastes tender too.

little hanoi beef noodles

This is Little Hanoi’s implementation of beef noodles – it comes with thickly sliced carrots and chunks of beef in a thick soup.

little hanoi sea salt

This one is served with half a lime and some sea salt, which goes nicely with the chunks of beef.

little hanoi beef noodles close

Here’s a closer look at the beef noodles…there’s some bean sprouts in there too, to counter balance the taste.

little hanoi spring roll

Finally, we ordered a side dish of deep fried spring rolls. The
coating on this is very unique, and this makes the texture interesting.

Little Hanoi may not be an authentic Vietnamese eating experience,
but it’s a welcome addition to Sibu’s relatively slow growing food
industry.

Hoi Fu Restaurant

hoi fu restaurant

My father celebrates his birthday today and also his retirement day
from the education sector. I’m glad for him coz working in that sector
is often unappreciated and hard work. Well, we went to Hoi Fu
Restaurant for some “home cooked” meals coz my dad has been eating at
restaurants constantly due to his farewell retirement gatherings.

dad bday fern

The first dish that came out is some of the largest ferns (?) I’ve
seen – it’s a staple over here, and the locals call it something that
sounds like “billion”.

dad bday mapo tofu

Ma po tofu (a spicy tofu dish) was the next item on the menu – it’s
great, most places skimp on the chilli to suit local tastes, but I like
my stuff to be hot, hot, hot so I’m glad they didn’t.

dad bday pork

Next, came the clay pot cooked pork leg – it’s salty and delicious,
very nice implementation by Hoi Fu Restaurant. This was the only dish
we didn’t manage to finish though – it’s a family affair, with just my
gf and my parents, and they’re not exactly big eaters.

dad bday prawns

We also ordered a side dish of buttered prawns. It’s not as good as the ones in Kuching, but it’s alright.

dad bday cod

Finally, what meal would be complete without the obligatory fish?
This is steamed cod and it was delicious! I always like the fish
steamed with soy sauce from Chinese restaurants.

dad bday dad mom

Happy Birthday Dad, and Happy Retirement! Now, it’s time for some long due and well deserved rest. :)

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