Monday, July 30, 2007

My Dream Kitchen

I want them all!!

Ooooooh! Look how gorgeous all those gadgets look!! KitchenAid do have the most brilliant stuff, don't u think? I wish I have lots of dosh to spare to buy those lovely but why-oh-why-so-expensive beauties. I can just imagine how cool my kitchen will look with them adorning it. Then everyone will call me the It Girl with Cool (with capital C) Kitchen. Haha...

The Red Beauty

I always dream of having the kitchen like Jamie's or Nigella's. I want like the one shown on Just Jamie (i think. Can't remember as he's got many shows). Anyways, it's one with stainless steel (or is it aluminium? I still can't really tell the diff between these 2 metals) counters, not the wooden one. Although wooden is supposedly better, but cleaning up and maintaining it would be a hassle, I suppose. Then I want it to be in white or off-white tone, REALLY spacious and has HUGE windows that allow lots of sunlight to come in, with lots of potted herb plants by the windows. And of course, complete with either KitchenAid and/or Cuisinart appliances and other cool kitchen accessories - WMF pots n pans, Le Creuset french oven.... u get the drift. You see, since my kitchen is white/off-white, the stuff in it must be colourful to make it look cheery =D

Oh, altho I dun really care about my pots and pans, I am quite particular about knives. Blunt knives really get on my nerves. So it'll be superb if I have a set of those Henckels (or any other good quality) knives. I would also love to equip it with a mean-looking high-quality stainless steel oven. Aah! I think if my dream comes true, I wouldn't mind sleeping in the kitchen. Tee hee....

Another room in the house that I'm quite particular about is the bathroom. I'm very very particular about it. Whenever I check in to a hotel (or any place), the bathroom will be the first one that I check out. You know, when you're doing your, you'd want it to be done in a place right, cuz the transaction isn't always smooth-sailing.

I love watching MTV cribs and checking out those stars' bathrooms. Man, some of them even have like a plasma TV, no actually there were 2, one in front of the toilet and another beside the bathtub, a fireplace, a huge bathtub, a shower place that has water spray embedded all over the wall and many other stuff. The full-marbled bathroom was like 2 to 3 times the size of my bedroom. Hmm I wouldn't mind sleeping in there either :P

Hee... ok this post is soo random, but I do really really want those fab KitchenAid (or Cuisinart) gadgets. You know, my b'day is in 4 and a half months. So ....*coughhintcough*.... you know what to do ;);)

Btw, ONE MORE DAY TO END OF INTERNSHIP!!!! hurryhurryhurryhurry!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hanazakari no Kimitachi e [花ざかりの君たちへ]

As I've mentioned I'm just so addicted to J-drama that I've turned into.......Doramon! haha.... not doraemon mind u, its d.o.r.a.m.o.n - Dorama monster. I'm just devouring any J-drama that comes my way.

Okay okay, not that bad yet, but i can't stop. If only I don't need sleep, I think i can just keep watching. Hmmm maybe I should write reviews of those I've watched. But that will take waaay too much time cuz I've wathced too many and so far, the recent one that I've watched is Hana Yori Dango 2. The rest are quite old. Think the oldest is GTO. But that's classic man. GREAT TEACHER ONIZUKA! Who can forget him?

Neways, I've gotta write review on this one that I'm currently watching (I may review HYD later). It's called Hanazakari no Kimitachi e (Lit. "For You in Full Blossom") with the tagline "Ikemen Paradise" (Hotties Paradise). Also known as Hana Kimi.

It's based on a popular manga of the same name by Nakajo Hisaya, which has already been dramatized in Taiwan (titled Hua Yang Shao Nian Shao Nu) with Wu Zun and Ella as the main characters. While for the Japan ver, it's Oguri Shun and Horikita Maki. I haven't watched the Taiwan version but heard the Japan version is waaay better. I don't have to watch to agree. I mean Wu Zun compared to Oguri Shun?! Do i hear a resounding "Duuuuhhh!"? And tho I'm no fan of Horikita, she's fits the image better than Ella. Ella looks too much like a boy. haha...

It's the most highly anticipated drama of the year with the first episode achieving a rating of 15.9% viewership and second ep 16.8%. And that's only in Japan. It started airing on July 3 and there will be 12 eps.

Anyways, the story goes like this:
Horikita plays the protagonist Ashiya Mizuki (Horikita), a Japanese girl in the U.S. who one day sees the young athlete Sano Izumi (Oguri) compete in the high jump on television. She begins to idolize him, and decides to move to Japan to attend the same school as him. However, Izumi goes to an all-boys school, so Mizuki disguises herself as a boy to achieve her dream of being with her idol.

Ashiya Mizuki, Sano Izumi (Don't lyk his hairstyle here :S)

He looks much better here (and in Hana Yori Dango)
The school, Ohsaka Gakuen, is a school where they accept students based on their looks instead of grades. Thus, the tagline "Ikemen Paradise". It really fits, I must say. From the first ep, there's an overload of the hot, the cool and the cute. There are even the weirdos, but still hot/cute.

The Ikemen Paradise!

The plot is usually filled with humor and situations that put all characters involved into uncomfortable places. Additional characters include Nakatsu Shuichi (Ikuta Toma), Sano's good friend and a soccer player,who is confused over his attraction to Mizuki. His confusion makes a hilarious character. The gender-bending nature of this series gives for many amusing hi-jinx and a lot of laughter.

To be honest, the initial reason for watching this show is cuz Oguri is in it. First saw him in Gokusen. Didn't think much of him. But then I started watching his dramas, and boy i must say he's a real talented n versatile actor. From a weak, bully-target middle schooler in GTO, to a half-deaf, thus speech-impaired boy in Summer Snow, to a desperate virgin in Stand Up!! and a rebellious high-schooler in Gokusen and many many other characters in other shows, he's definitely my current fav actor.

(Warning: May have a bit of spoiler from here onwards)

But.... I love love love Hana Kimi cuz its definitely not ur ordinary drama. Love the manga-styled framing, the exaggerated characters and the ever-brightly colored scenes. Okay, mayb the first ep wasn't that nice yet, and they shud've focused a bit on the main characters instead of juz throwing at us all the ikemen (me no complaints tho'). But with each episode, they let us on more on each character.

Of all the ikemen,I totally fall in love with Nakatsu (sorry Oguri). Ikuta plays him really well. The show becomes more.... alive whenever he comes into the scene. He's soo funny. I re-play the scene when he said "ore wa homo ja nai" (I'm not a homo) and others for lyk a gazillion times.

Then, there's the super hot, playboy dorm head Nanba Minami and his ever-so faithful fan (aka gayboy) Senri Nakao. Nakao is so cute, esp whenever he tries to attract Nanba's attention. He initially hates Mizuki for being 'cuter' than him. There's also the adorable weirdo (aka ghostboy) Kayashima Taiki. He totally surprised me in ep 5 with his ..... erm, just watch it. Then of course, I A.D.O.R.E Yuujiroh, the golden retriever.

Nanba-senpai and gayboy

Kawaii ghostboy :)

Even the OST of this show are soo addictive. Opening is by one of my fav Orange Range, and ending is by Otsuka Ai. Wasn't my usual cup of tea, but the more i listen the more i love them. Went straight to my repeat playlist.

I wanna say more, but erm dun wanna be a spoiler lah. Just watch it. I dun recommend this show just cuz its filled with the ikemen but cuz its really entertaining. If ur looking for a funny, happy, exaggerated (tho a bit brainless) show, ur in for a smashin' good time. I re-play each ep for at least twice, up to 5 times. haha.... And it gets better with each ep. I can't wait for ep 6!!

More pics!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


It's not really her bday yet, but since we already celebrated it yesterday, i should juz post it up. and it's not really mashimaro, as u might've guessed. It's the pet name for our darling statz farm family member, Viny!

She's gonna be 20 this coming July 29. sigh... so young. haha... Neways, she treated us to New York New York at Citylink mall yesterday. Heard the resto got some bad critics - the food not nice, overpriced, slow service blah blah blah... but of course, I didn't tell her that. She's so nice to treat us already.

Actually i really like the open concept theme and the brightly colored place. Moreover we got to sit on the 'cave', which is like a tiny room but no door. It was comfortable yet hip. A great place to hang out. The menu, though, is just like any other western resto, like Cafe Cartel or Billy Bombers.

So we ordered 4 main courses and an appetizer for the 5 of us cuz the we saw that the serving is quite big. We could always order more if not enough. We were toying with the idea of ordering the 8-inch burger, which supposedly could order 4 people. But i think it's a good thing we didn't cuz we saw someone else's and it was huge, but looked 'dry' and the bread looked thick. Atkins dieter could die of carb overload. haha...

Erm i forgot to take note of the names and the prices, but if I remember correctly they are as stated.

Juicy Beef Burger - $??

BBQ Ribs - $14.90

Bratwurst wrapped in Bacon and Cheese - $10.90

Pasta in Carbonara Sauce with Half Spring Chicken -$??

Fiery Cheese Balls - $5.90

Despite the initial skepticism, overall the food and service was good. Food bit slow to come, but guess cuz the place was packed. So sad I couldn't eat the BBQ ribs. I was about to dig in when they told me it was pork :( It sure looked appetising. Btw, it kinda look like a thick ba kwa (bbqed minced pork), doesn't it? They told me it tasted really good. The meat was tender and it wasn't too sweet. I had to really summon my power of determination to resist to sweet temptation (pun intended). The burger was quite nice. I liked the beef patty which was thick, juicy and tender. The bratwurst was alright. The bacon and chesse looked real good and crispy, but too bad I couldn't eat them either. They all came with either potato wedges and chips. Both were hot and crispy, but the chips were too salty.

The pasta on the other hand was really delish. I dig the sauce carbonara sauce. The chicken wasn't too sweet and was really good. Siska, despite telling us repeatedly that she was sick of pasta in cream sauce when we were ordering, enjoyed it as much as the rest of us did. The cheese balls was quite a disappointment. They were too oily and didn't have much flavor except for the slight spicyness. I couldn't even taste the cheese. So even though i'm a cheese and potato lover, they still didn't go down smoothly.

Tee hee...

Bday girl with Niu Niu

We were tellin her that the teddy should be named. We were just jokin when we said since we just ate at NYNY we should name it nyny, but in the end our newest family member is really called Niu Niu ('niu' means cow in mandarin :P)

Our happy Statz Farm Family

The cake was actually brownies, topped with chocolate frosting and decorated with white choc chips. I was askin the bday girl if she liked cupcakes or brownies better. Of course she answered brownies. I thought of doing cupcakes cuz there would be more room for pretty decorations. But so glad she really liked the brownies =D

And trust Theo to come up with the "FREN101" Course Outline for the bday girl. He really has the most 'jayuz' (indo slang for lame) idea.

Told ya choc is such a great happy-mood maker. See how euphoric they are? Who needs alcohol?

Playing scrabble with the brownie pieces. LOL..

It was a fab night with good food and great company. Thanks for the treat, mashimaro. And Happy B'day! *chuuuuu*

Gasp! 1.30 am alr?? I got work tmr. dang! Guess i'll upload the rest of the pics tmr...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Yong Tau Foo

Had a really nice lunch today... Went with Viny, Val and other PWC interns to eat at this yong tau foo shop. It's one of the shophouses located at the small street opposite the PWC building. I think it's Amoy St. I forgot to look at the shop name but shouldn't have a problem finding it cuz it's got big banner saying, "Yong Tau Foo with Special Sauce".

It's real nice cuz it's different from the normal kind which u can get from any food court. The yong tau foo here are all fried and then drenched with brown sauce. The noodle is the thick white rice noodle (usu for Laksa) and also drenched in the same brown sauce (i think). The sauce is really tasty. Also, considering I don't like oily food, even though all are fried, I don't find it very oily.

U get 6 items + noodles for $4 or 8 items for $5. Although it's slightly more expensive than normal, the pieces are quite big I was really stuffed. I couldn't even finish the noodle.

Val said she knows lots of good eating places. And she said she's going to bring us to this nice japanese resto. Can't wait :)

Edit: I found a place nearer to my office that sells similar thing. It's at the basement of the Chevron House at Raffles Place. It's a mini foodcourt called Select. Lots ppl go there to eat the yong tau foo. It's nice too, but I prefer the one at Amoy St.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Bloomin' Brilliant Brownies

After experimenting with quite a number of brownie recipes, I still couldn't find one that would give me the kind of brownies that I have in mind (sth like the Secret Recipe one, or made by Aunt Civera). I like it kinda fudgy but not too fudgy that it become too chewy.

I don't quite like the one from Edmund's (located at SMU Kopitiam). That's what I mean by too chewy. The one from the cake shop Royals is too dry and cakey, it doesn't deserve to be called brownies. The one from Brownies Factory at Taka (I've only tried the normal one tho) is too sweet. But according to Cheryl, the Double Fudge Brownie (or sth lyk tt) is really nice. I should try that some time.

Anyways, I wasn't planning to give up. So I google for more brownie recipes and I stumbled upon Jamie Oliver's website. Dang, why didn't I think of his website. So stoops of me. I've visited Nigella and Martha's webbies for recipes before but didn't think of Jamie's. My idol Jamie. How could I forget him? *shakes head*

But better late than never. Actually, I was a bit apprehensive when trying out this recipe, firstly cuz the amount of choc that goes into it is like really A LOT and requires more ingredients than usual (as in the qty). So if I failed, it'll be quite a waste. And, the amount of flour is like really little, I couldn't help but wonder if there was a typo. However, in the end I brazed myself to try it out.

First glitch, I forgot to use double boil when melting the butter and choc and it got a bit burned. Second glitch, I forgot to whisk the egg beforehand and I've already mixed all the other ingredients. I don't know what happend but after returning from whisking the egg, the batter became super sticky I had to use alot of effort to mix the egg in. At that point, I thought, "That's it. Another failure."

But well, since I've started might as well finish it. And am I glad I didn't throw the batter away. It turned out PERFECTO! Well maybe not totally perfect perfect, but it was really brilliant! It was fudgy and super chocolatey. My sis who until now refuses to take more than 2 bites of what I've baked (she's real picky) totally fell in love with this brunette beauty. She even told me that I shouldn't share it with my friends so she could eat all. My bro who doesn't really have a sweet tooth also said it was really nice and asked for seconds and brought it to his office to share. I was sooo happy! =D

So yea, here's the recipe.

Bloomin' Brilliant Brownies
from Jamie Oliver's webbie

What's in it:
250g unsalted butter
200g dark Fairtrade chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken up
optional: 75g dried sour cherries
optional: 50g chopped nuts
80g cocoa powder, sifted
65g plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
360g caster sugar
4 large free-range or organic eggs
optional: zest of 1 orange
optional: 250ml crème fraîche

How to concoct it:
Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Line a 25cm square baking tin with greaseproof paper. In a large bowl over some simmering water, melt the butter and the chocolate and mix until smooth. Add the cherries and nuts, if you’re using them, and stir together. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and sugar, then add this to the chocolate, cherry and nut mixture. Stir together well. Beat the eggs and mix in until you have a silky consistency.

Pour your brownie mix into the baking tray, and place in the oven for around 25 minutes. You don’t want to overcook them so, unlike cakes, you don’t want a skewer to come out all clean. The brownies should be slightly springy on the outside but still gooey in the middle. Allow to cool in the tray, then carefully transfer to a large chopping board and cut into chunky squares. These make a fantastic dessert served with a dollop of crème fraîche mixed with some orange zest.
With chopped Brazil nuts
Since the pans that I have are smaller than the required one, i split them up to 2 pans. But I still I think u shud get a bigger one that the one mentioned. Cuz after splitting the batter (it's not exactly halved) I found the thickeness is just nice. Unless u like ur brownies to be real thick.

Pure and simple :)

Oh almost forgot, I found that my brownies always got a 'cave'! It's always lhappen (this time the other pan was alright tho). Any idea why?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Cereal with Chocolate?!

All those baking are really making me fat cuz I ended up devouring most of the stuff. Having a 8.30 to 6 job is not helping either. Such sedentary jobs are really not good for a girl's tummy. Sigh... So i decided to lessen my carb intake and really work out after my internship. Seriously. But, this afternoon while accompanying my parents shopping at Marks & Spencer, I saw these 2 on sale...

Oat crunch, I really like and they're quite common. But with chocolate clusters? Now that I've never seen, or tried. And it has milk, white and dark chocolate altogether. Oh yumm! I think that will make a fab breakfast. Moreover, chocolates are endorphine-enducing and endorphines are feel-good hormones. So theoretically, you'll start the day in a good mood. How great is that?

But but but... I'm sposed to be on a low-carb diet. So should it be the healthier Strawberry & Almond Crunch, or the no-so-healthy but happy-mood-making Triple Chocolate Crunch?

Well, I guess my choice was pretty obvious. Who cares if ur healthy but ur miserable, right? And besides, dark choc are good for health too. And I decided to buy just 1 box, so it wasn't that bad. And.... whatever, I like choc, diet can wait. HAHA!

Guess what, I totally didn't regret my decision. They sure aren't stingy with the choc. And it's good quality choc, I can tell. 3 cheers for a happy breakfast!!

Some fruits to lessen the guilt