Saturday, April 29, 2006

Recipe: Lemon Cheese Cake ver 1.0

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Well there was a potluck at Gean's place, so I decided to make a quick cheese cake as the Chestnutie contribution..... quick as in 3hrs....

Using most of FL's recipe
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar (I usually put like 3/4 cup)
1 tsp. vanilla
3 tsp. lemon juice 1 tsp. ground lemon peel (can put more if you want)
3 eggs (ran out of eggs from the original 4)

As for the crust, I just decided to use the store bought crust (lazy yea)


Preheat oven to 350F

In a large bowl beat cream cheese until creamy. Whisk(or use medium speed) add sugar gradually, then vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon peel(zest). Blend well.

Add eggs, one at a time and beat at medium speed for ten minutes, until fluffy. Pour into curst.

Put into over, drop the temp to 250F, and wait... and wait... and wait

It will be about 1.5-2hr. It depends on several variables, so check in from time to time. Use the toothpick test.

After baking, cool it for 10-15 min then slowly loosen the crust from the pan and Chill in fridge for 5hrs minimum.

Decorate with canned peaches, strawberries or whatever suits your fancy.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Day 115 - Video smchideos

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I read in the Times about their top 10 viral videos of 2006 (surprise I read so much? gotta thank the long train rides for that). So I thought I would post my own list... but I only can think of like 5 that I really really like.

Rank 5:The internet is for.....
(trust me there is totally NO p0rn whatsoever in the video). The World of Warcraft(WOW) version of the song... very well done I might add. I guess it explains why the internet boomed.

Rank 4:Isuzu Car ad from the 1980s
NO special effects totally stunt driving, read about it on Creed Forums(my WOW guild)

This is probably the most well know WOW video on the internet. I mean for a period of time everyone was going LEEEEEEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOY JJJJJJEEEEEENNNKKINS. Even the gameshow Jeoprady featured a qn on Leeroy Jenkins. The game adventurequest had a part dedicated to Leeroy. Wikipedia sums it all up

Rank 2: Numa Numa
Who can forget the classic video of Numa Numa, this guy(Gary Brolsma) literally has a section dedicated to him on newgrounds, a well know flash portal. He even made the newspapers and magazines... talk about internet fame. Wikepedia entry

Rank 1: Back Dorm Boys
No idea why they were not featured in the Times. These 2 guys Wei Wei (韦炜) and Huang Yi Xin (黄艺馨)are literally stars in China and not to mention all over the internet. They have many versions, lip synching to several backstreetboy songs. I remember reading somewhere that their fame skyrocketed to a point where they will star in an ad with Chinese NBA superstar Yao Ming. Wikipedia Entry

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Recipe: Lemon Cheese Cake (never tried before)

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Well I got this recipe from my friend FL(gaming friend of who knows how many years liao) This is totally lifted off her blog for my archiving and reference for future attempts. Well I will probably buy the premade crust at the grocers (yeah plain lazy). Well finally in a role reversal, the teacher is now the pupil :p

***Lemon Cheesecake ***
1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (I usually use digestives, either the normal one, or the one with oats)
4 Tbs. ground walnuts (I skip this :x too mafan la :x)
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. ground lemon peel (I usually just aga this and put more to bring out the flavour)

1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar (I usually put like 3/4 cup)
1 tsp. vanilla
3 tsp. lemon juice 1 tsp. ground lemon peel (can put more if you want)
4 eggs

Glaze: (I see the ingredients already I get a beeping headache, so I usually skip this and replaced with either canned peaches - sliced and decorate atop, or just blueberry sauce. The topping is really up to you :p)
2 eggs
3/4 Cup sugar
1 tsp. grated orange rind
1 tsp. grated lemon rind
1/4 Cup lemon juice
2 Tbs. orange juice
2 Tbs. butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine crumbs, nuts, sugar and lemon peel. Stir in butter until thoroughly blended. Press mixture firmly against bottom of 9" spring-form pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl beat cream cheese until creamy. At medium speed add sugar gradually, then vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon peel. Blend well.

Add eggs, one at a time and beat at medium speed for ten minutes, until fluffy. Pour into spring-form pan.

Bake at 250°F. for 35 minutes. Turn off heat and cool for 30 minutes in the oven with the door open.

While cheesecake is baking, whisk eggs in a small saucepan until foamy. Combine with sugar, rind, juices & butter in saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth & thickened. Cool. Just before serving, spread evenly over cheesecake.

And there you have it, my *uber* cheesecake.

Day 114 - The world is getting flat

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I was just doing my usual reading of The Economist on the way home from work today when I read the section on media becoming more and more interactive, it is no longer the passive medium we used to know and love. Media has come a pretty long way, from the ancient scribes of egypt and rome, we discovered printing press, which gave us the newspaper. Eventually radio and television came into our lives. Recently, the internet boomed. But one thing remained constant, media was always passive, just giving us infomation.

Only in recent years(about 3-4 I reckon) did we see the rise of interactive media. Think about it, what is one of the most common activity that people do online? They BLOG... yes blog... this is a blog! The interesting thing about blogs is that it is on a personal level, I write what I want, you write what you want, totally unedited. It is this personal level that make blogs so appealing.

There are so many other new interative media on the rise, myspace and facebook are just 2 examples of new social media rising up in the internet, replacing old school stuff like irc and online chat rooms. Recently we have seen the rise of Viral videos, such videos are made common people like you and me, but they gain IMMENSE popularity, spreading like a virus, hence the name viral. The history can be traced back to the DANCING BABY, yes THE dancing baby that you saw in Ally Mcbeal(wonder if people actually remember that show at all). If you want viral videos, youtube and google video are the places to go. Another rising trend is WIKIs!!! Basically wikis are a collection of resources and data on particular topics that were put together not by a small select grp of experts (in the cases of encyclopedias) but by everyone and anyone on the internet. Wikipedia and WOWwiki are my fav wikis. Heck podcasting is the new radio!

Amazing isn't it, new words just pop up into common language, I mean, in 1990s, there was no such word as blog, viral or podcast. If we just step back and take a good look at the big picture, it is AMAZING how far things moved in recent years. Previously the internet was like traditional media, we just "download" infomation. Now, we also "upload" infomation. It is like the new way to spread infomation (or disinfomation), we do not rely on just 1 or 2 major sources, everyone can be a source of infomation!

This kindda reminded me of my first experience with "personal" news reporting. It was sept the 11th.... yes a terrible date... and yes it was the day of 9/11. I was just "trolling"(meaning to just surf around) a gaming forum I used to frequent, when a new thread poped up. "OMG Plane crashes into WTC" it said. This was just 5mins after the first plane hit the twin towers. It was faster then CNA(Channel news asia) in Singapore. Basically, I was reading a 1st hand witness account, not sure where the poster was located, probably in an apartment or office building that could see the whole thing. But every 5 mins there was a "live" update on what he/she saw was going on. That was my first experience with "citizen" reporters, not a nice incident to have that experience, but it definitely etched a deep impression into my brain.

Definitely the world is getting smaller not just in spreading of infomation (the passive internet has done that). But in the way we interact and live our lives. We can now maintain and build social networks with so many ways, be it blogs or websites like myspace. We can easily contact each other via MSN/IM, talk via Skype. Infomation is so readily avaliable on the internet(but not all are true). Even though I live in Philadelphia, I can get this feeling that sometimes, I have not left my friends in Singapore at all. WOW!!!

Ah well, just the rantings of a person who has too much time to think. 1hr+ train rides does give me lots of time to reflect not only on myself, but on the world. SEPTA, even though you do screw up like 40% of the time, and are late 60% of the other, but the train ride is something I really appreciate, it gives me time to stop, think and usually fall asleep.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Recipe: Goli Marble Cake ver 1.0

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Ok, decided to try a variation of the butter cake recipe in my cookbook. Goli (meaning marble, you know the glass spheres you play with when you are young?) Marble cake Ver 1.0!!!

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tbs of baking powder
1 tsp of vanilla

1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
dash of vanilla

Step 1 : Mix Butter and sugar, stir until creamy then add eggs in 1 at a time beating it well.
Step 2: Add in the flour and baking powder and milk, slowly. Stir well
Step 3: Seperate into 3 portions, add 3 drops colouring to 1 (I used red this time round), add 1 tbs of cocao powder and more milk into another. Leave the third one alone.
Step 4: Add the 3 portions in alternately then stir slowly with a skewer or fork. But do not mix till uniform. Just get a swirl.
Step 5: 40 min in a 350F oven with 10 min to cool on a rack.
Step 6: Make the frosting by beating the ingrediants well, spread on the cooled cake. Done!

Before frosting

After Frosting

Day 102 - Hershey Trip

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Today's road trip takes us to the town of Hershey. Now you make as why oh why is the town called Hershey? If you have sufficient knowledge of chocolates, it is the place where everyone's fav hershey kisses and other chocs are made! Its like a trip to Willy Wonka's Chocolate factory, just that in our case it was a free preview >.< Well in anycase here are some shots from the trip(rest will be posted on the photoalbum):

Inside the "preview" tour

Inside the "preview" tour

Inside the "preview" tour

The Kissmobile

Fun shot around the town

For lunch we got to try the yummy hershey's deserts!!!

Kit Kat Kreme Pie (Adrian)

Mix your own Icecream(Pacey)

Volcano (Deliang and Weijia)

And shopping for chocolates at THE place for chocolates:

Nice Caps

5lb bars.... YES those are REAL CHOCS

A nice shopping cart full of our goods

Well after Hershey we had some time left so we travelled around the region exploring, first place we went to was Harrisberg, that is the state capital.... more like some ghost town... not sure why. When we arrived, there was really no one around!

In front of the senate

Senate house notice on the left, there are 6 protesters... poor thing only 6 and no one really cared.. makes no sense to protest when no one is around anyway

Forrest Gump?

Well, sometimes the best roadtrips are the ones with no particular goal, we just drove around and stopped around where we thought was nice. 2 places we stopped were at a memorial dam and some hill with a very nice view.

What was formerly a dam

Me just chilling

View of a small brook created by the dam

Hill with a view

Nice view again

erm just some random thing we ran into

Sometimes.... we just need to travel around, no goal, with just the urge to explore and experience. The things you find can sometimes really surprising and very nice.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Recipe: Tiramisu ver 1.0 (using Ricotta Chese sub)

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Decided to make a recipe I am familar with, a basic tiramisu.

2 egg yolks
2 egg whites
3-4 tbs of Sugar
500g Ricotta cheese (it was a substitute for the usual Mascapone cheese cos I could not find any)
Some Strong coffee (best if there was expresso, but thick coffee works for me)
Some Cocoa powder
Lady Finger biscuits (20+)

Step 1: Beat the whites until you get soft peaks
Step 2: Mix the yolk and sugar, then add the cheese in. Whisk till smooth
Step 3: Fold the whites into the cheese mixture. Fold gently
Step 4: Coat the lady fingers with coffee, place into a tray
Step 5: Dust the first layer of lady fingers with cocoa powder then pour the mixture on top.
Step 6: Repeat 4 and 5
Step 7: Cover tray with foil, leave in fridge for 4 hrs at least
Step 8: Dust the top with more powder for looks

Lesson learnt from this experience: Never use ricotta cheese only, it is simply wrong. I should probably added some heavy cream to smoothen the cheese or just get Mascapone cheese

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Day 100- Seriously man, WTF.... wtf

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After a week of placing this order with it finally arrived, just that I was not around at the time, so the Fed ex guy decided to be funny and hide my package in a SECRET hiding spot.

Yes folks, your eyes are not fooing you!. If the pic was not clear enough, let me clarify, it DOES SAY GARBAGE. The Fedex deliveryman decided it was in his and mine best interest to hide my package in between several garbage bins. I had to CLIMB in and move the bins aside just to get to my objective....

Oh well, at least I got my goods, a nice USB hub! WOOT

Friday, April 14, 2006

Day 95 - Wet Washington

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Ignoring the dire warnings of rain, a grp of us, Chestnuts + Alicia + Kai An + Shamir headed down to Washington DC to enjoy the cherry blossom parade. Unfortunately the skies opened up and well...... water + clothes = wet clothes. So it was a nice wet and cold parade. But the parade was rather nice, lots of pink and stuff, since it was Cherry blossoms. Pacey decided to become pro and brought out his uber Digital SLR camera and tripod attachment. But since it was raining, the camera was in DIRE peril, so Shamir took the job of assistant and carried an umbrella for the camera. I carried the tripod as Pacey was rather encumbered. Kindda reminds me of army, the GPMG gunner (pacey), GPMG assistant with the tripod (me) and the GPMG commander (shamir).

The rain just started to get heavier

Eventually the rain got a bit too heavy and we had to take shelther in the car :(

After the rain subside we went around exploring DC, unfortunately the Full Bloom period was last week so we did not get to see a sea of pink ><

What we were suppose to see

What we saw ><

Oh well at least we got a few nice shots here and there. And we visited several monuements like the Lincon memorial, Washington monuement and the White house. Also we took a trip the to Holocaust musuem. They had several exhibits relating to WWII holocaust and several other instance of genocide going on around the world. To me it was definitely a time for self reflection, wondering why must such problems exists. After all aren't all humans the same? Ok this is probably cliche but if you cut as do we not bleed? If you hit us do we not feel pain?
Ultimately I have no idea why we actually classify people by race like Chinese, Indians etc etc... There are more differences between people within the same "category" then with ppl of different "category". In fact there is only 1 race, the human race. But I guess it will have to take an alien invasion or something for us to recognize that.

White House

The Holocaust Museum

Abe Lincoln

Washington Moneument

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Recipe: Banana Cake ver 1.0

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Ok after doing 2 long posts (Boston Trip and Some photos around Penn and Colmar) I think it is time for another recipe post.

This time round I tried a nice Banana Cake, turned out rather decent, looks like I have breakfast for a few days! yay

1/2 Cup Butter (8oz)
2/3 Cup Sugar or 1 cup if you really really really love sweet
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon of Vanilla
1.5 cups of mashed bananas, about 4-5 (use those very ripe ones)
2/3 cup milk
2.5 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Step 1: Preheat Oven to 350degree F. Next beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time and beat.

Step 2: Add in the flour and milk alternately in small portions, keep folding the mixture with a spatula or spoon.

Step 3: Baking powder, Baking Soda, salt all goes in, mix gently

Step 4: Into the oven for 1 hr, use the usual skewer test. Let it cool for 10 min when it is done

Fresh Banana Cake

Day 92 to 93 - Spring has arrived, around UPenn and work

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Yup Spring has arrived, I took some pics of UPenn and my work place:

Colmar Station

Colmar Station carpark

Penn, outside Towne



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