Our anniversary: Cardboard apartment, Christmas pudding, Murano glass charm

godiva craft apartment

My dear gave me a really *wonderful* present during our anniversary. It so happens that our anniversary also falls on Christmas so I had two gifts! She made this apartment out of craft paper and cardboard on a Godiva chocolate box base I had given her.

vows exchange

The entire creation is very intricate – there’s a lot of detail to everything, including a vow exchange, appropriately put inside a recycled Pandora charm box. <3

mailbox

It’s very beautiful and creative, and the Godiva box used as a base is a bit of an inside thing. She had given me the *cover* the previous month and now it’s a set with the *base*. I had originally given it to her as a trilogy of premium chocolates. Haha!

cardboard apartment

The gift is actually a MasterChef Australia dinner @ the apartment. Geddit? She got 4 x RM 50 worth of vouchers from winning a contest – thus, the apartment inside a cardboard apartment. :D The questionable thing about the vouchers it that they state that each one can be used on a per table, per meal basis. I thought that was a bit dodgy – this was the first prize of the contest!

christmas present

She had already known about the set dinner, it’s something we both like since we watched Season 5 together. She was prepared to pay the rest of the balance and use just a RM 50 voucher due to the rules but it turns out that the supervisor accepted all the vouchers, so that’s good.

chocolate covered pretzels

I also got a box of chocolate pretzels as a Christmas gift! :D

secret candy surprise

This is something that stems out of when she always used to cook for me. I’ll eat from her Tupperware boxes, wash them, and fill them with “secret candy surprises” so when she opens them, she’ll see her favorite candy as a gesture of thanks.

murano charm

I got her something that had always been missing from her Pandora bracelet, which is a Murano glass bead charm! She had originally mentioned that it seems a bit uncomfortable and clunky but I had seen her looking at it in the brochures so I got her a nice pink and purple one!

christmas anniversary

I also got a cute, red box to keep the charm inside. I found it while browsing through the Christmas stuff aisles and thought it would be nice to hide the charm in since I always seem to give her the same thing each anniversary. Heh. I also bought a tiny card to write a message to her.

christmas mini pudding

Pandora also sent me a RM 50 voucher for being a Pandora Club Member. Unfortunately, I had listed that I wanted to cash it in at Paradigm Mall instead of TCM and it expired on the 31st December 2013 so I didn’t get to use it at all!

pandora murano charm

I also got her another charm as a Christmas present – thus, this is the anniversary where she got two charms instead of one! I got her a Christmas tree charm so she’ll remember that this is our anniversary which coincided with Christmas! smirk

boiling christmas pudding

It was quite late when we did our gift exchange and I had bought a small Christmas pudding just for this dual-celebration.

christmas pudding

The mini pudding is quite nifty, you just need to dump the entire packaging into boiling water for 20 minutes! The wrapper is heatproof and it warms up the Christmas pudding nicely. It tastes good – there’s lots of brandy inside (thus the Tidak Halal sticker) and just the right portion for two.

loving

We had it with a scoop of ice cream to end the night with. I’m lucky to have you dear! Thanks for the thoughtful and loving MasterChef dinner anniversary gift and the house which you built. *hugs*

Honeymoon Dessert in Hong Kong

honeymoon dessert

Honeymoon Dessert is a vast enterprise in Hong Kong with franchises all over the country specializing in one thing only – desserts! It’s like 7-Eleven over there, you can’t walk a couple of blocks without seeing a branch. Seriously!

honeymoon dessert hong kong

We went to check out the very popular Honeymoon Dessert at the World Trade Centre in Causeway Bay. I’ve heard good things about their signature mango pudding desserts and would love to see how it measures up to my personal benchmark – Mango Tango in Bangkok.

honeymoon dessert mango sago

Mango Sago (HKD 26)
This is what the waitress recommended. It’s their flagship dessert and it’s pretty basic – fresh mango cubes with sago. It’s about RM 10, which is surprisingly cheap. The price for a drink at one of Honeymoon Dessert’s competitors – Hui Lau Shan Healthy Dessert runs for about the same price.

honeymoon dessert mango sago pudding

Honeymoon Dessert does a pretty good rendition of the Mango Sago dessert – it tastes light yet creamy with a tart and sweet mango overtone but it can’t beat the mango desserts from Bangkok.

honeymoon dessert mango sago black sesame

Mango Sago with Black Sesame Ice Cream (HKD 36)
Jeanie had this for her dessert. Well, it’s not technically dessert since we dropped by Honeymoon Dessert right before dinner. Heh. I really liked her order. The black sesame ice cream adds a whole new dimension to the humble mango sago dessert.

honeymoon dessert mango sago black sesame ice cream

You can taste the rich notes of the melted black sesame ice cream and the crunch of the sesame adds to the texture of the dessert. The whole is much better than the sum of its parts. The mango comes served as an entire diced half fruit too. Highly recommended.

honeymoon dessert egg pudding

Honeymoon Egg Pudding (HKD 5)
There was a promotion going on where you can get an egg pudding for just HKD 5 (RM 2) if your order exceeds HKD 50 and we went for it. It comes served in a real egg shell, which makes a lot of sense considering the dessert shop would use a lot of fresh eggs. It’s a traditional egg pudding with caramel on top. It’s creamy, warm and sweet. Delicious!

honeymoon dessert hk

Honeymoon Dessert lives up to its hype…kinda. It’s comes across as a bit overrated but that stems from expectations being pushed to an unreasonable (and unreachable) standard. With hindsight, it’s not a bad place to relax and order from the plethora of desserts options – be sure to drop by when you’re in Hong Kong and see what the fuss is all about.

Project Bleeding Heart: Heart shaped pudding with real human blood

Project Bleeding Heart started off innocently enough – my girlfriend found a heart shaped sugar piece on top of a cookie during Hari Raya and (forcibly) inserted it into my mouth, saying that she has metaphorically given her heart to me. Thus, I was coerced to reciprocate in kind and she insisted on me personally making an edible heart for her during our second monthsary.

ingredients

I guess she didn’t know how far I would go. Be careful what you wish for…you just might get it. ;)

You will need:

Field Song Egg Pudding Powder
Arnott’s Tim Tam Love Potions – Chocolate Mud
“It’s love at first bite”
Arnott’s Tim Tam Crush – Mocha Hazelnut
“It’s one Crush that’s sure to end in love…”
Nestle Reduced Fat Cream
Nestle Milo Grab N Go can
Win Vokda Ice Purple XS
Heart shaped molds

Optional:
Razor blade
A few drops of blood from your veins

no heart

The first challenge was getting the heart shaped mold. It was much more difficult than I thought. Heart shaped molds should be everywhere, right? It’s just about the most common design! I thought it would be everywhere. Unfortunately, actually finding a heart shaped mold took us to three (3) different places, to no avail. We found molds in the shape of stars, triangles, circles, and even weird oblique designs…but no hearts.

big heart

The closest we got was this HUGE heart shaped non-stick baking pan…a bit of an overkill for this project. Plus, I don’t think I would be able to bleed enough to fill the pan. I would probably pass out from blood loss or something before the colossal pan filled up.

barbie

We finally managed to get two (admittedly) cheesy Barbie knockoffs molds from a Chinese specialty import outlet (the retail industry prefers the technical term “Cina Mari shop”). It’s made of melamine infused plastic and has a Barbie look-alike imprint, but it was heart shaped and for all intents and purposes, it was sufficient for the single-use, disposable nature of the project.

tim tams

The Arnott’s Tim Tams were procured in New Zealand. My sister just came back and brought back a box of the stuff. I went for the two romance-themed special edition Tim Tams for the project. Tim Tam Love Potions and Tim Tam Crush (as in infatuation, not demolish) are limited edition Tim Tams that I decided to use as a garnish for the pudding.

process

The directions for making the egg pudding were pretty straightforward – the contents of the packet is to be mixed into 500 ml of boiling water and stirred for an unspecified time. I just poured in a little more than a small 500 ml mineral water bottle (to compensate for evaporation) into a saucepan and added in the pudding mixture when it started boiling. The mixture was stirred for about a minute or so before I turned off the heat.

creamy blood

Next, comes the interesting part. I took a razor blade and made a small incision on my left hand at a particularly juicy vein and allowed the blood to drip into the Nestle Reduced Fat Cream – the topping for the pudding. This is of course, rather unorthodox (not to mention unsanitary for consumers who are not already exchanging bodily fluids with you ;)) so it’s a highly optional step.

blood harvest

I also took the liberty of scooping up more blood from the gash and managed to harvest about half a tablespoon of the red stuff in total.

topping

The blood is mixed into the cream by folding it with a spoon before adding a bit of Milo Grab N Go (a RTD – Ready To Drink malt concoction) for flavoring. The cream will acquire a tinge of pink before turning a chocolate hue. The cream topping is set aside…

pour mold

…while the pudding mixture is poured into the heart shaped molds and left at room temperature for 15 minutes. Field Song Egg Pudding Powder sets extremely rapidly. It started solidifying after just a minute in the mold. It still requires refrigeration though, so we transferred it to the fridge and left it in there for 30 minutes.

dallop

The egg pudding turned out to be a perfect heart shape! =D It came out easily from the mold due to the high density of the pudding. It just plopped down when the mold was upended. I added several dollops of the patented Bleeding Heart Topping (TM) on top and garnished it with Arnott’s Tim Tams.

project bleeding heart

This is Project Bleeding Heart – made with blood, sweat and (manly) tears. ;)

Italiano's Pizza and Pasta review

italianos kuching

Italiano’s Pizza and Pasta is an authentic Italian eating
establishment located at Abell Road in Kuching. The place is owned by
an Italian and it’s been in operation for quite a while, and with a
reputation for authentic Italian food to boot (no pun intended).

italianos interior

The interior of the place is nicely done, there is a lot of wood
based furniture and a large replica of the outline of Italy strung
together with cloth with the colors of the Italian flag on the ceiling.

italianos napkin

Italiano’s has a set lunch promotion going on for RM 9.90, with a
choice of four different main dishes. I went there for lunch just now
with my co-workers Penny and Mancy. We each ordered a different main so
we could try the different variations.

italianos waitress

The person in charge of our table was friendly and attentive – the
service at Italiano’s Pizza and Pasta is great, and the waitress was
kind enough to accommodate unusual requests like customers asking to
take photos of her. ;)

italianos soup

The meal started with the soup of the day – it’s a tomato based
creamy soup, with mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower,
carrots and various other ingredients. It’s a hearty soup, nice and
filling.

italianos pizza

This is one of the mains that we ordered. Pizza Margherita
is described as “pizza bread baked with tomato sauce and cheese”. It
has a thin base and is unlike the topping piled American style pizzas.
This is a more authentic Italian pizza with just tomato sauce, cheese
and herbs. It’s great – I give this two thumbs up!

italianos risotto

The second main dish that we shared is Risotto Francheska
which the menu bills as “Italiano’s style tomato rice cooked with
tomato sauce and vegetables”. I liked this dish as well; the risotto is
rich and creamy, with a lingering aftertaste.

italianos pene

The last main that we ordered is Pene Arabiata,
which is “short tube pasta cooked with tomato, dry chilly, olives, and
garlic in tomato sauce”. This is a spicy dish, and that always scores
points with me. It tastes good and it’s always fun to stab penne rigate
with a fork. ;)

italianos mirela

I wanted to order tiramisu, unfortunately Italiano’s were out, so
Mirela recommended another dessert. At least, that’s how I remember the
spelling as she enunciated it out for me. She’s not from Italy, as I
assumed, but is of Bosnian origin. She’s really friendly, and has this
fragile beauty about her…but I digress, we should be talking about
food.

italianos pudding

This is the pudding type dessert that Mirela (pronounced MIER-la)
recommended. I don’t know what it’s made of, but it’s very creamy, with
a melt-in-your-mouth texture and a sweet aftertaste. It’s has cherry
sauce and chocolate drizzled over it, but it’s not cloyingly sweet, it
manages to allow the creamy taste to dominate the pudding. It’s
wonderful.

Italiano’s Pizza and Pasta comes highly recommended from me. The
food is good, the ambience is warm, and the service is great. You can’t
go wrong with Italiano’s if you’re looking for authentic Italian food
in Kuching.

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