Friday, March 31, 2006

Recipe: Peanut Butter Choc cake

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Since I had made a bet about baking a peanut butter cake soooooo I had to practice:

Ingrediants (serves on 1 9 IN pan)

7/8 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3/8 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 cup kopi gao(strong coffee)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 veggie oil
Lots of peanut butter
Choc chip
1 rocher

Step 0 Pre heat oven to 350 F
Step 1 Mix the flour, sugar, powder,soda and cocoa.
Step 2 add in the remaining ingrediants, mix damn well
Step 3 Grease the 9 in baking pan
Step 4 Bake for 30+ mins, use standard brownie test to see if it is done
Step 5 Decorate

Ta da

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Day 72 to 73 - A Baking Mentor

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What an interesting weekend it was (18-19th March). I joined up with Gean, Kaihong, Estee, Kelly and Julia and we drove down to Angela's Place. Angela is a member of Monte Jade, so that was how Gean(NCBV director) got to know her. She is a Singaporean living here in the US with her 2 kids, Grace and JJ. They are really amazing kids. They both do karate, can play instruments and JJ can do poetry (he writes them himself). And still they do things normal kids do, like read, play video games, sibling fights. WOW... and my childhood was void deck soccer and computer games.

Anyway Angela is really a superwomen, she looks after her kids, works at a really impressive job and is AN AMAZING COOK to boot! Her baking skills are amazing, in WOW terms it is lvl 300 artisan cooking with [+15 on gloves of the power cook] <---Epic stuff ! Anyway I took the opportunity to bake 2 things:
1) Chocolate Bread Pudding
2) Angel Cake

Her house is a baker's DREAM, all kinds of equipment, all kinds of ingrediants, even rare extracts and powders!!! WOW WOW WOW!!!

Both turned out pretty ok, just that my angel cake was not as fluffy as intended. Lesson learnt: baking is about being gentle as well, not just taking a whisk and whacking the batter to get a good workout. Sometimes one must be very careful.

Kaihong, Angela, Estee and Gean


Dinner (round 1)

Choc Bread Pudding! yum

My Angel.... errrr rock cake

Friday, March 24, 2006

Day 66 - Green + Beer = St. Pat's Day

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Well the spirit of St Pat's Day is certainly around, roads near my place were blocked while busloads of people in GREEN come to drink beer. Guess what time it was, 9 am in the morning! WOW, who actually drinks beer, gets pretty drunk at 9am!

At work during lunch I also got to try Corned Beef with Cabbage (+1 potato), according to my Boss' wife, its a traditional Irish St. Pat day dish. Too bad I did not have a camera if not I would have a nice photo to post!

Anyway on Sunday we went to watch the St Pat Day parade in Center City, there was a downpour early in the morning, but that definitely did not dampen the mood. The Irish were still parading, dancing and yes, Drinking Beer!

Green Green Green

Irish Dance

Guess what character we posed with


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Ok, I got a msg on my Tag board saying its Qullime Pie and not Key lime Pie, just errr take note of this sign:

I am pretty sure my command of english has not degenerated to a level where I can read the words wrongly. So there we have it, its KEY LIME PIE.
Unless everyone in Keywest got it wrong.

Day 65 - Flower Power

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Went to the Philadelphia flower show... well, the pictures would probably speak for themselves, its was worth the money to see such artistic stuff, even though some of the flowers were starting to wilt as it was near the end of the show ( about 7 days already)

Grp shot, me, cat, deliang, gean, weijia, tzeling, steph and pacey


another grp shot

Ok I am just plain lazy to post all on this blog, just a few... the rest pls go to the photo album to take a look.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Day 62 - Florida Day 7 - Home errrr cold home

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Returning to Philly is a bittersweet thing, ok ok it was just bitter, going back to cold, grey and rather urban Philadelphia. While I do feel re-energized for work and everything else, I will miss the lovely Florida, with all the Sun, the Trees, the Beaches.

bye bye

Oh well, time to think about the next trip

There we go, I finished my florida update!

Day 61 - Florida day 6 - Celebration of Sunset

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Travelled further down south to the southern most region, Key West. Basically the south of Florida are a bunch of islands called Keys, with Key West as the southern most one.

Along the way, we took a pit stop to go snorkelling around the reefs(a nature reserve) are Key Largo. It is a nice experience, the reefs are nice and the fishes do not run away when you approach, they just go about on the own business, which is probably to float/swim around in the water. Its a pity I did not see Nemo(clown fish), but there were many other fishes around. The jellyfished in the water were numerous but pretty harmless, considering how many i ran into. Initially I thought the Jelly fishes were used condoms, and wanted to swat them out of my way. Fortunately, no jellyfishes were hurt as I was able to realise that they are products of nature and not some tryst at high seas. But really, I cannot be blamed for making that mistake, I could not wear my glasses in the water due to the snorkel mask and I have rather bad eyesight(600degrees). With lunch approaching, seeing some fishes really made me hungry, like the Grouper, the first thing to my mind was steamed Grouper served at seafood restaurants. What made matters worst was when a stingray was spotted. OMG BBQ Stingray!!!


Us on the boat

Snorkelling was fun, the weather was nice, water was just right, there was a nice breeze. Although the other 9 ppl beg to differ saying how cold it was. But really it was a nice warm experience, at least for me.

Beach at Keywest

The Southern Most point!(well you probably could read the words anyway)

The highlight of Key West was the Sunset Celebration held at Mallory Square. And why should there be such a celebration? So that people can make tourist dollars of cos! Economics at its finest! The streets had baskers and vendors all vying for attention and more importantly, money.

Me and Peiling trying Counch Fritters, its made of shellfish,scallops etc and batter

A basker at the sunset celebration


The sunset, now THAT was a beautiful sight to behold. Words cannot do it justice. No wonder they have a celebration everyday, to enjoy this wonderful sunset. Or probably cos it makes good economic sense to capatilise on the tourists who come to see this sunset.

To end this amazing day, we tried the famous Key Lime Pie... very very nice, although I was not really a fan of sour stuff. YUM

Remember THAT Carlsberg Ad?

Me and Deliang trying the Key Lime Pie, Steph was urging us to "put on that orgasmic face!!!" =.=

Monday, March 20, 2006

Day 60 - Florida Day 5 - Clothings are Optional

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In the morning, it was a trip up North to a Safari like place, got to see tons of animals and stuff, but screw that, the Highlight was the trip to haulover beach.

Upon entry to Haulover beach, we are greated by a very interesting sign:

Just follow the Sign

Nice Sign

Now after walking up and down the entire stretch of Haulover, what we(it was a grp trip, not just guys) noticed was that the population on the beach are mainly Middle age men. There were some younger and much much fitter looking ones and 2 women. Not exactly what people are hoping for(let's not go there shall we?)

Krispy Kreme Shop/Factory

Ahhhhh a dozen yummy Krispy Kreme doughnuts

BTW No pictures were taken, so do not MSN/Email me about this. Really not Kidding

Note: I know I know I still have not loaded all my Miami photos... I am slow...
BTW There is another florida post below, about the Day At Miami Beach

Monday, March 13, 2006

Special Break - Black magic Choc Cake ver 1.1

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We interrupt the regular florida update to bring to you this special cake report: Disaster strikes Ver 1.1. After a rather successful ver 1.0 (refer to previous post) several critical errors were made to ver 1.1.

Well overall the cake still tasted ok, just that the aesthetics needs to be improved. The recipe was similar to the original black magic choc cake, just that I added in choc chips to the batter to give it more oooooomph. And also i did a whip cream frosting with rocher chocs and strawberries

Lessons learnt:
1) too much baking soda == sides rise too fast
2) Never add cream after baking, leave cake to cool, unfortunately I could not as I was pressed for time
3) More practice for cake designing is needed
4) Get more baking equipment ^^

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Day 59 - Florida Day 4 - NOC Florida the Sun, Sea, Sand and the Business Plan

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NOC Florida - Sun, Sea, Sand and Business Plan

The drive to Miami was a really long one, 220+++ miles, that is longer then the woodbury trip! We only arrived in Miami during the late afternoon.

Almost ran into this truck on our way to Miami (just kidding it is being towed)

Us and our cute car

Scene in florida, check out the Limos!

What do you do when you are in Miami? Hit the beaches of course! Posting pics is probably the best way to describe how enjoyable it was to finally have SUN again, getting a TAN again, building a SANDCASTLE again.

Beach Scene 1

Beach Scene 2

Beach Scene 3

Cool pose

Building a sandcastle is definitely not easy, but its a good thing we have a bunch of engineers around. You need to determine the correct proportion of the various parts to ensure structural integrity(ME and CE comes in but we only got ME), you need to determine the correct water to sand ratio so that the walls and towers will not collapse(yay it give CHE ppl like me a job), you need to determine the optimum way to build ie: which parts of the castle must be constructed first.

Construction in progress

Woot! Its done!

We buried Estee

However the sand on the beach is not that good, with lots of broken shells and some trash, my feet got cut in several places. It really makes you miss the nice, soft, fine sand back in Sentosa.

Grp Photo

Grp shot on the rocks

As we headed off for dinner, I was reminded how much Miami was like Singapore, it was nice and warm, there were lots of trees and some buildings really looked like HDB flats. Dinner was at an area called coconut grove.... which reminded me of Holland V. Just being in Miami can make a person rather homesick ><

Dinner at a Mexican Restaurant

Us and the guy who plays music in the restaurant

Well there is no time to be homesick, there are places to go, things to do!

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