#Happy2016!

How would you describe your 2015 with 1 word? I still can’t figure out mine.

It was rocky but I had learnt much from it. It made me a better person. My most recent trip to Yogyakarta also changed my life, which I will share the details in the travel series that I am currently writing.

And if you were to choose a word to wish for the life you want for 2016, what would it be?

Have a good 2016, blessed with good health and peace.

Merry Christmas!

2015 happened in a flash, and we are now celebrating Christmas!

Thank you to all who loved me, and stayed by my side through all the good and bad times.

Merry Christmas 2015

Image done with Canva

Merry Christmas to everyone! Stay healthy and smile!

Love, Mavis

Thank God!

For 10 secs, I nearly had a heart attack! I thought I lost my ipad, then I realised I left it in the cooking studio. I called the school, no one picked up. I tried to look for Rena’s phone number (my teacher tonight), only to realise I don’t have it. I wasn’t sure which other instructors are still in the studio, but I thought of Angie, so I called her. Thank goodness she was still there and found my ipad! Really  thankful to her,  and thankful to life. No matter how much bad things happen, there are still good things that we should be grateful for.

PHEW! 

So IN LOVE with Microsoft #OneDrive!

I had some issues with my OneDrive app on my iPad since couple of days ago, so I decided to send a feedback to them about 3 hours ago.

And barely 3 hours later, Microsoft OneDrive team wrote back to me to ask for further details to help me with the troubleshooting. They have impressed me, really efficient and professional!

I started using OneDrive a few months ago when I saw them offering 1TB of free storage. Upon futher exploration, I found out that using their app, I could make changes to my Microsoft documents on my iPad directly. To me this is very useful as I can create and edit documents on the fly, and then send it via email with just a click if necessary. I have connected my gmail to OneDrive, you do not need a microsoft email to set up your account. You can also connect your office email to Microsoft. If you are using the desktop version, you can also connnect your Skype account within Web Outlook. This definitely helps those who use Skype to communicate at work.

Minutes after I sent OneDrive team my reply with what happened exactly, they came back to me with a solution. That was really fast!

I followed their steps, and tadah! Everything is working now! These guys are so awesome.

I’ve tried so many cloud services before, and whenever it comes to technical help and troubleshooting, it has never been as smooth as what I have just experienced. Microsoft OneDrive is something I really strongly recommend. If you are looking for an alternative cloud storage, why not try OneDrive a chance?

我哭了。

我已经很久没有收看新传媒的电视节目了。但是我知道《志在四方2》将在电视上播出,只是不知道确切日期。我很期待这部电视剧,却不知道它已启播。所以我到了Toggle网页,如果已经播出了,我会观赏随选电视。找不到。后来发现原来今晚是首播。

看着,看着。我不知不觉哭了。

我的心情是激动的。我看见了熟悉的工作环境。我看见熟悉的工作模式。我看见熟悉的场景。我看见熟悉的机器。这一切的一切,勾起了许多美丽与难忘的回忆。即使是当年发生紧急状况时的那种焦虑,现在回想起来也是甜蜜的。因为一个简单的梦想,我吃了不少苦,却也成就了许多。因为年少气盛,横冲直撞的态度也让我撞得头破血流。但很庆幸的是每一次的经验都教会了我很多东西。

我以为以前爱看电视是因为工作关系,不过今天我发现爱看电视是我的本性。我还是会目不转睛的锁定荧幕,即使是广告。我毅然决定离开电视圈,往另一个梦想迈进。这是一个很崎岖的道路,充满了荆棘。有时真的感到很疲惫,也很沮丧。不过回想起当年的闯荡电视生涯,我也挣扎了不少,但我最后还是克服所有的困难,也闯出了属于自己的一片天。我通过自己的方式,走出一条属于自己的路。以前能做到,未来也肯定能做到。这未来肯定就在眼前。

我会继续勉励自己。我的未来就掌握在自己的手里。想哭时就尽情的哭。想笑时就尽情的笑吧!

Late night baking: Hot Water (Yudane) Plain Bread

I went shopping at Cold Storage after visiting Whiskey Live at Capella today.

There is a bakery in Plaza Singapura’s Cold Storage. I saw different types of bread, plain loaf, Ciabatta, baguette etc. I couldn’t stop looking at them, but I didn’t want to get them. I’ve stopped buying breads after I’ve learnt how to make them. Not that I wouldn’t buy anymore breads, but nothing too interesting has caught my eye yet.

But the plain loaf reminded me of the one that I’ve learnt in school. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I decided to make one for breakfast. Yes, I’ve decided it’s worth some late night baking for a delicious breakfast.

Before I had my dinner, I made Tangzhong (starter dough).

Tangzhong (Starter dough)

Tangzhong (Starter dough)

According to the recipe, I just need to let the tangzhong sit for 15 mins. However for better results, you can let it sit longer.

The plain loaf I did in ABC Cooking Studio used special flour, Kitano Kaori, and Shirakami Kodama dry yeast. I don’t have them at home, so I replaced it with normal bread flour and instant dry yeast. Kitano Kaori and Kodama dry yeast would give the bread an enhanced flavour. It is okay not to use them. These are rather hard to find ingredients, but you can always get them from Rakuten Global. They carry it in manageable sizes.

Because I had to work in a open kitchen which was quite humid, so I had to knead my dough for a longer period. For this dough, I took about an hour. The kneading time depends on your working environment and water added. I added more water today, because I was told it will make the bread softer.

Dough after first proofing

Dough after first proofing

If you do not have a bread proofer at home, you can always just leave your bread in a corner of your kitchen to let it ferment. For me, I find that fermentation takes place faster inside the microwave. DO NOT preheat your oven or anything. Just let your dough sit inside, and let it grow. I took about an hour for first fermentation. To check for your dough, the size would have at least doubled, and when you do the finger test, the hole remains but springs back partially, you know your dough is ready.

Second proofing

Second proofing

Each time my dough goes into proofing, I will make use of the time to do clean up, and to do some work. After about 40 mins, my bread has grown to at least 1.5 times.

After second proofing

After second proofing

I used the same recipe from school, and it’s meant for 1 loaf. However I realized my bread tin is too small, so I decided to make another smaller one. All you have to do is to split the dough after first fermentation.

After that it’s time to send the bread for baking. It can get a little tricky as different ovens have different temperatures. 2 ovens can be the same brand, same model, but the heat is different.

Hot Water (Yudane) Plain Bread

Hot Water (Yudane) Plain Bread

My loaves didn’t turn out as evenly baked as the one I baked in school. I will need to adjust the temperature of the oven accordingly. Initially I set it too high, so the top part browned too much, too quickly. I then lowered the temperature, which caused the side of the bread to be less brown.

Nonetheless, my bread still smells awesome. It’s now 1.10am, and it’s making me hungry. I can’t wait to wake up in the morning to have it for breakfast! I am sorry if you are waiting for me to share the recipe. I can’t because this is the recipe from ABC Cooking Studio. I will definitely share if it’s my own.

Now that I’ve done plain loaf at home, maybe I should move on to making sourdough next. I’ve been thinking about making sourdough at home for the past week. It’s my favourite bread, and it will be so awesome to make and eat. I am procrastinating because the whole process of making 1 bread can take up to a week, although the end result will be very worth the effort! I should sleep on this idea. I should go to bed now, and look forward to my breakfast!

 

From hello kitty, to little tiger

I was working on my script in the afternoon when an old friend messaged me. We were catching up and the topic of bread making came up.

I’ve recently tried to make Baymax bread for a friend, because that is her favorite character. I took the recipe off Little Miss Bento’s page. The bread ended up looking not too bad. 

The friend I talked to today saw the picture, and asked if I could make Hello Kitty ones. I thought to myself, it shouldn’t be too hard as I can use the same recipe. I just need to shape the bread differently. We joked about how she would buy from me if I could make them.

After dinner I decided I should try making it. I couldn’t wait. But instead of filling the bread with Nutella, I decided to use custard instead. I prefer custard over to Nutella. So I cooked some custard, and left it in the fridge while I knead my dough.

Everything was going according to plan until I had to draw the facial features. Disaster! I have the shape of a hello kitty, but facial features of a little tiger! 😓🙀 

As you can see, the first 2 pictures on the top look pretty decent. But the bottom ones just changed it completely! I guess I was being overly ambitious. I should have stuck to using edible colour ink to draw the features instead of using melted chocolate. I also wanted to add a little flavor to the bread with the chocolate.

Never mind, there is a saying, every failure is a closer step to success. 失败乃成功之母 I will have to try again until I succeed!

I bet my friends will be laughing their heads off when they see the picture. Laugh all you want guys! It’s good to laugh and be happy. I’ll do anything to bring you joy.

Instead of hello kitty, I will have little tigers for breakfast. They are still soft and fluffy with a delicious custard filling. I’ve got some leftover dough so I made a round ball with the smiley face. I’ll tried that piece of bread and it’s very nice. (是好吃的咯!)

If you have any tips on how to make a GOOD hello kitty bread, please feel free to share with me okay? To see more of my baking, you can find them on Instagram at the following hashtag: #mavcbakes

All Progress Takes Place Outside the Comfort Zone

progress and comfort zone

Image source: Canva

It’s been a while since I last met my buddy. It’s always a discovery process to talk to her, I will learn more about myself through our conversations. And the following quote is the conclusion of our meeting today:

If you find yourself stagnant, maybe it’s time to take the leap. Embrace the certainty of uncertainty.

#mavcbakes: the joy of making breads

I’ve never had much experience in making breads until May 2015. I’ve just finished shopping at Kinokuniya Ngee Ann City, and I was on my way down the escalator. I saw this place “ABC Cooking Studio“, and I was drawn to it. At first glance, I saw well-organised cooking stations in a brightly lit environment.

I walked up to the counter and saw some brochures. I saw brochures for bread, cakes and cooking lessons. I stood there for a while, looked through the brochures over and over again. I remember they were running a promotion for their trial classes, and it was the last few days to the end of the promotion. I looked at the prices of the classes, and they were rather pricey. I thought I would just take the trial class for fun, because the package was just too expensive. Since it’s the trial, maybe I should try the bread, and see if I can pick up a skill or two from this lesson.

So the day came, and I had my first bread class. My first breads at ABC Cooking Studio turned out really well, and got me interested in taking a few more lessons.

Left: Cinnamon roll Right: Ham and Mayo bread

Left: Cinnamon roll
Right: Ham and Mayo bread

Me with ham and mayo bread

I first took up the bakers lover package. That consisted of 8 breads and 6 cakes lessons. As I moved on with the different lessons, I began to fall in love with making breads. I was curious in finding out the different ways on making breads. I asked a lot of questions in class, and thankfully I have had very patient instructors to explain to me. Overtime, these instructors became my friends. I am always so happy to be in the studio.

Honey Cinnamon Bread

Honey Cinnamon Bread

The curriculum is such that students must finish all the classes in the basic module, before progressing to the master module. After that, students can decide if they want to take a test to get a license.

Pari Pari Curry Bun I overloaded one of the bread with filling, so my instructor and I got creative. The pig is so cute!

Pari Pari Curry Bun
I overloaded one of the bread with filling, so my instructor and I got creative. The pig is so cute!

me with piggy pari pari

So far I have finished my basic bread classes, and I have just started on my master course. It’s been a wonderful journey with ABC Cooking Studio, although there were minor hiccups along the way. But I know the school is trying their best to meet the needs of all the students, and we need to give them a bit more time.

Practising at home: Earl Grey Bread

Practising at home: Earl Grey Bread

There are a total of 24 breads in the basic module, and it’s impossible for me to list all them here in this post. If you are interested to see what I have done, feel free to search for them on Instagram with the following hashtag: #mavcbakes. Besides bread, you can also find cakes that I’ve learnt with ABC Cooking Studio. I have also signed up for all their basic cakes, all 18 of them, however I still have a couple more to go before completion.

I am so thankful to have started on this bread making journey. I’ve not only picked up a new skill, (which I think I am quite good at!), I’ve also made many new friends.

First bread for master class; Plain Loaf

First bread for master class; Plain Loaf

I am now deeply in love with making breads, and constantly experimenting new recipes on my own. I am always looking for people to exchange recipes with, if you have a love for breads too, please connect with me! I would love to exchange tips and recipes with you!

I shall leave you with a picture to make you drool! 🙂

I made my own breakfast with the plain loaf I baked. :)

I made my own breakfast with the plain loaf I baked. 🙂

My Macbook Air got attacked by MALWARE!

Got attacked by MALWARE!!!

Got attacked by MALWARE!!!

I nearly died from a heart attack. I was doing some research for my work, and realised weird popups in my browsers, and having issues to access some websites.

I knew it was malware, but on my Mac??? Anyway I told myself there must be a way. I need my laptop to function properly so that I can work. I quickly googled for Apple’s helpdesk number, called them up.

I kept praying this call will help me fix my problem. I can’t remember the name of the lady who helped me, but she has been most patient and helpful. My machine is quite old, although running on SSD, but it’s still quite slow.

She guided me through each step, to restarting my Mac in safe mode, downloading the malware removal software, and ultimately solving my problem. Although the call was around 15 minutes, but it felt like forever to me!

I’ve always taken Mac’s stability for granted. “Aiyah, you don’t get attacked by viruses on Mac.”, but it happened. No matter how reliable one product is, it will always welcome detractors. Before my MacbookAir, I have had 2 other laptops, fully loaded with different types of antivirus softwares. However there were still attacked from time to time. Each operation to remove the bugs and rebooting the machine was a NIGHTMARE. Sometimes I even had to send my laptop to the shop for repair, and I would be handicapped for a few days. So when I tried to use my Mac after removing the malware, and it worked, it was a HUGE relief! I would have given her a BEAR HUG if she was next to me!

This is my first heart attack incident with Mac, and I hope it won’t happen again.

I am curious about how Mac gets attacked by malware, can anyone enlighten me?