Sunday, June 22

bake a cake

So, more than a month ago, after my sissy and I bought our mom an oven, I gathered the ingredients to make Sylvia Tan's flourless chocolate cake. It's a fail-proof recipe -- if you heed her warning towards the end -- I've used many times before which is 10 years old and I finally found time to bake it today.

It calls for nine eggs, separated into yolks and whites.

A bag of Hershey's semi-sweet chocolate chips and one-and-half blocks of butter (not pictured because they look even worse than the chocolate chips, which also look quite bad).

Whip the egg whites first into stiff peaks (again, bad photo, so that step is not shown) and set aside. Then, in a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks.

Add one and half cups of caster sugar and mix well.

Oh yes, in the meantime, melt the butter and chocolate chips in the microwave for about four minutes and let the unphotogenic mixture cool. Then add it to the egg yolks and sugar and mix well. Last step is to fold in the egg whites.

Bake in the middle of a 160 deg C oven for 50 minutes in a lined baking tin. Do not, I repeat, do not remove the confection from the oven when it goes ding, no matter how awesome the smell is. Let the cake cool completely, or you will end up with a squidgy texture inside (which is what happened to us).

See where the cake has sort of collapsed onto itself and formed some sort of muffin top? It isn't very pretty. But it sure is yummy!

(I wish I have more patience and time to style the ingredients and final product with colourful plates, flowers, placemats, etc. But we just really wanted to dig in after all that hard work.)

In non-domestic-goddess-wannabe-related news, I finally could not stand not being able to turn my head to the left (due to a stiff neck and tense shoulder) any longer, and went for tui na after putting it off for months.

Not 10 minutes into the torture, I was moaning, "Hen tong!" to the therapist and tears were streaming down my cheeks.

More than nine hours later now, my back and neck feel like a gang of gangsters had beaten me with big sticks -- instead of one unarmed Chinese woman with very strong fingers and elbows.

I've signed up for nine more torture sessions. It hurt so good.

Tuesday, June 17

swirl goes to work

It's a tea party -- with non-imaginary cakes! -- and you're all invited!

We're launching Swirl's latest collection of work wear.

Here's a sneak preview.

We absolutely adore the illustrations of our elf, Priscilla. And the photos by Rory and poses by Joyce are super, we love them so much.

So do drop by Swirl this Saturday, 21 June, at 2pm.

You can take a closer look at our new designs at Swirl.

Hope to see you!

Thursday, June 12

default face

I believe this is my "default face". You know, sort of like when you go into screen-saver mode on the bus. It's the face you have on when you are NOT:

a. chattering overly loudly to your colleagues over lunch at Pasta de Waraku (and doing the excited seal clap when food actually arrives)
b. engrossed in Criminal Minds or Numbers or Bones or Mythbusters (yes, I'm a big geek)
c. pretending to pay attention during meetings and hoping the boss doesn't call on you (and then nattering in wide-eyed terror something like "I agree with what XXX just said")
d. riveted by some tale your date just regaled you with (Hasn't happened for a while now. Date? What date? Oh, I don't really like dried fruit)

The story behind my extremely bored face is on my twin's blog. She's also the one who captured the ennui of that night (and my red shoes) so perfectly with this photo.

Tuesday, June 10

how much is that doggie in the window?

I've always wanted to take this photo, but somehow it looked cuter in my head.

Friday, June 6

day 10 or year 5, depending how you look at it

A mundane photo overly processed to look arty.

But there is a story behind this boring shot of a hospital waiting room.

Today, after more than five years of battling a mystery ailment known as livedoid vasculitis -- which left me almost bedridden for months, with horrendous scars and a healthy respect for pain -- my doctor finally told me I was in remission.

I don't have to see these pink chairs again until my next check-up in one year's time.

P.S. Day 10 refers to my progress in Project 365.

P.P.S. I want to spruce up my blog with a squeaky clean layout. Anyone has free templates? Or better, anyone wants to volunteer to do it for me?

Sunday, June 1

heung gong again

Back in Hong Kong for work. Tried to sneak in some time to source for fabric and take photos, but actual work and continuous drizzle got in the way.

Ah Sir, what you looking at? [Even though I was at the scene, I couldn't spot any crime.]

The bare-bodied man knew I had stuck my head inside and was frantically trying to tweak my aperture to shoot him at work in that super moody lighting, but he pretended not to notice. I was too shy to continue, so only have this one semi-presentable shot. I have absolutely no knack for shooting people.

I walked past two old men, shirts half opened, sitting in a doorway playing chess. I tried to ask them in broken Cantonese if I could shoot them and got rudely shouted at. "Ying meh ying!" yelled the grumpier one nearer to me. "Mo ying ah!" Perhaps if I had pleaded with the less grumpy one, I would have got the shot. So I take photos of inanimate objects instead.

Rained every single day. The spot in the middle is a fat drop of rain I got on my precious lens after pointing it skywards. But this is my fave shot of the lot anyway.