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! 

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?

 

Latest internet food sensation- Nissin chawanmushi

If you are a foodie and constantly looking for great food ideas on social media, I am pretty sure this would have shown up on your newsfeed:

The internet’s latest culinary masterpiece: Cup Noodle Steamed Egg【Taste Test】

Image credit: Rocket News24

Image credit: Rocket News24

I saw this on my newfeed a couple of days ago, and I’ve got friends sharing the link with me as well.

I love cooking, and I love Japanese food and culture! Of course I’ve tried making my own chawanmushi.

Mavis' homemade authentic chawanmushi

Mavis’ homemade authentic chawanmushi

I try to keep my cooking as authentic as possible. I will do everything from scratch, and take no shortcuts. For my version of chawanmushi, I made my own dashi, using dried kelps and bonito. As you can tell from the picture, my chawanmushi was loaded with lots of ingredients, Japanese fish cakes, thinly sliced Japanese mushrooms etc. And to get a nice smooth texture on the top, it takes patience to filter the egg mixture carefully so that you don’t get any trapped air bubbles.

It can take me half a day to cook chawanmushi. The actual cooking time is not long, but there is a lot of waiting time required. Such as to cook the dashi, wait for it cool down, soak the mushrooms in hot water etc. The water used to soak the mushrooms will also be used to cook your chawanmushi, it gives that extra flavour.

As you can tell, it is a lot of effort and time to do a good chawanmushi. So when I saw the article that you can easily make a steamed egg out of leftover Nissin cup noodles soup, I was VERY skeptical. However, it just showed up on my feed OVER  AND OVER AGAIN. And my friends spared no mercy in sending me the link.

I finally decided I shall give this a try, since I do eat quite a fair bit of Nissin cup noodles.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

I felt hungry last night, so I decided to have supper- Chilli Crab Nissin cup noodles. Rocket News24 tried the recipe with Tomyum soup, I shall try with my favourite Chilli Crab flavour.

Chilli Crab Nissin Cup Noodles

My supper- Chilli crab Nissin cup noodles

Added hot water, waiting for the noodles to cook

Added hot water, waiting for the noodles to cook

I was watching my favourite TV series, Mad Men as I ate my supper. Yes, cup noodles and Don Draper. So romantic! <3

Left some soup for my experiment

Left some soup for my experiment

I usually would add an egg into my noodles and eat it together. But for last night, I decided to keep the egg for the experiment. And I had to control myself from finishing the soup.

So I poured the leftover soup into my glass, and added in 2 eggs. (I had quite alot of soup leftover.) Then I sent the glass into the microwave oven. I set the oven temperature to Medium High, and time at 3 mins.

Chilli crab chawanmushi cooking in the oven

Chilli crab chawanmushi cooking in the oven

According to Rocket News24, the time was set at 2 mins 40 secs, and the steamed egg turned out well. The temperature of each and every oven differs, cooking time will differ as well. I was afraid my glass will break under too high temperature, so I set it to Medium High. On the other hand, I was afraid my eggs will undercook, so I set it to 3 mins. However I think 3 mins could be too much time, the top of the eggs turned out rather browned.

Top view of the steamed eggs

Top view of the steamed eggs

You can see there are 2 distinct colours, brown on the top, and cream on the bottom.

Chilli crab flavour chawanmushiCloseup of chawanmushi

If I were to try it again, I might set my oven temperature to medium, and then cook at 3mins, and increase the time accordingly if the bottom of the eggs are not yet cooked. Alternatively, you can add a piece of aluminium foil on the top of the egg halfway through cooking, to prevent the top from browning. I’ve heard too many stories of microwave exploding because of aluminium foil, so I dare not try. I rather play with the cooking times.

So how does it taste like? No surprises. Chilli crab steamed eggs lor.

Close up of the steamed eggs

Close up of the steamed eggs

For someone who loves eggs, Nissin cup noodles, I do quite like this recipe. It’s a quick and easy fix for late night suppers. Minimal washing, and I can accept that. If you love eggs like me, this is one easy recipe you can try. However, this recipe is no way comparable to the REAL chawanmushi. So please lower your expectations!

I have some Indomie instant noodles which I brought back from my last trip to Jakarta. I will try this steam eggs recipe with my Indomie the next time!

Disclaimer: This post is inspired by Rocket News24. All pictures are taken by me unless otherwise stated.

 

Server Migration completed!

I am most grateful to my friend Peiyong for helping me migrate the server! (And also to allow me have my blog on his server! :p)

All the while I have been wanting to do more experiments with my blog. However due to WordPress limitations, there were much restrictions. But with this server migration, I can do much more things now! Previously I tried so hard to implement GA code on my blog, but I couldn’t do it. Unless I upgrade my WordPress account, which I refused paying for.

The downside of not using WordPress as a server anymore is you lose some of the features, such as social sharing functions etc. If you want it back on your blog, you got to insert them manually. For non techies, this can be quite a challenge. (I feel damn paiseh to ask my friend to help me on such small things, he’s done alot for me. I promise, I will bake him cakes and breads as rewards.)

Just want to say it again, THANK YOU Peiyong! 🙂

I GIVE UP!

It takes a lot of courage to say “I GIVE UP!” Sometimes it will mean that you have to open yourself up to many uncertainties. It is terrifying to think of the unknown. Have you ever come to the point of being so sick and tired of something, and you just want to give up? However you can’t bring yourself to make that decision, because you are not sure of what will happen, and you force yourself to press on? I think this is something that all of us can relate to.

As the saying goes, when one door closes, the other doors will open. When your hands are full, you cannot hold on to new things that you want. You got to let go of what’s in your hands, before you can pick other things up.

If you are feeling lost and fed up, maybe it’s time to say “I Give Up!” Give yourself a break, you will find it easier to take a step back and think through what is it that you want.

To thrive in life, you need to know when to let go of certain things. It’s tough and painful, but it’s a necessary evil. Once you let go, you can do the things YOU WANT.

Mark Twain

Day 40: #Celebratelife365

Lunches recently are so much more fun. Have been meeting up with old friends for lunch. Today its with my primary school friend. We were classmates since primary 1, that makes 23 years of friendship. My primary school class is rather close knitted one, we still met up and have gatherings very often after graduation. Right now we have a group chat.

Time always passes by so quickly when you spend it with the right company. We had so much to catch up. An irony that this friend and I stay quite near each other, but we have to meet up in town because our offices are near.

I’m going to ask more friends the next time, and that can be another mini gathering.

#Celebratelife365 #Thrive