Thursday, December 29, 2011

CC's Chocolate Cheese Muffins

Waiting to be devoured by anyone interested. =D

2 tsp of vanilla extract
2 tsp of baking powder
2 tsp of baking soda
1 tbsp of brown sugar
4 tbsp of Van Houten dark chocolate powder
1 cup of white flour (I'm using organic cake/pastry flour, but the ones sold in the grocery store would be fine too)
1 cup of soy milk (you can replace it with goat's milk if you wish)
125 gm of Philadelphia cream cheese (fat-free or 1/3 less fat)
Walnut & almond for decoration (optional)

Preheat oven at 175 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes.

In a bowl, whip cream cheese until creamy. Mix vanilla with sugar and chocolate powder until it has been fully dissolved. Pour in the milk and sift the flour and fold. If it's sticky enough that it sticks to the spatula, it's time to pour the mixture into eight muffin cups.

Sprinkle walnut and almonds on top of it. Whack it in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes or until cooked at 160 degree Celsius.

Cool for 10 minutes before serving with a cup of coffee or a spoonful of sour cream.

Tip: If it's bitter, apply some sweetened fruit jam on it.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry, Merry Christmas!

Feliz Navidad Año y Prospero Felicidad!

CC's (Imperfect) Chocolate Cheesecake ... not

Twenty minutes later....


As the title suggests, I had meant to bake a chocolate cheesecake but ended up with chocolate muffins instead. Pfffftttt =.="

And I know; the color looks too dark to be a chocolate muffin but that's because I had doubled the dose of dark chocolate powder. Taste wise, it was edible but I won't dare say that it's tasty. I mean, the bitter taste suited my palate but Mama Carrie ran to the fridge for the blackberry jam to sweeten it up a little.

I don't have the recipe for you all as this was done with loose measurements, but I guess I should draw it up the next time I embark on a baking spree. =D

Christmas In The City

Mama Carrie had us attend both the Chinese and the Vigil Mass and for someone whose fluency in that language is limited, attending it was a struggle as there are not many characters that I can recognize or understand. Vigil Mass was great; the parishioners were surprised that the priest was a guitar player and the music, wow, it was so loud that it encouraged all of us to sing our hearts out!

I don't know; as a young girl, I had always looked forward to the season of Advent and Christmas because my birthday had been around that timing and food. =.+ But not now. I don't really have the mood to rush down to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients - especially the turkey - for the Christmas meal and decorate the tree. My idea of Christmas? A family attending Mass and gathered around the dining table on Christmas Night with turkey and quiche as the main dishes and desserts such as minced pie and fruit pudding complimented with cold red wine, but with a family of two, such meals are too heavy on the stomach.

I hear that Pavilion has one of the best decorations in town, but I instead chose to swing by the malls that are nearer to my place. And that what's I did. The last couple of weeks were spent on window shopping and photography and here are some pictures for you.

It struck me as creative that the management of IPC decorated the mall in this fashion. It's simple yet gorgeous to have that white tree at the corner; it gives a feel of a neighborhood with people inside their houses having last-minute preparations.

The stage, with a tiny "house" for the performers to take a breather

Neighbor #1

Neighbor #2

Neighbor #3

The Swedish believe that Jubilock is an invisible spirit that visits each and every house to check on the Christmas decorations.

I must say that this is one of the best decorations that I've ever seen in this state, but nothing can rival the ones in Singapore, especially in Orchard Road. It looked grand, really. I have Mama Carrie to thank for as she insisted to head to Curve and she was the photographer. Look at her beautiful shots!

One angle of the stage

The stage

Snowflakes in the air!

Christmas Tunnel

Christmas Wreath

I hadn't actually planned on going to Sunway Pyramid but since Mama Carrie had to pick up a couple of things, we had no choice but to drive there. My God, there was so many people in the mall crowding around the concourse taking pictures of themselves and the decorations.

Christmas Tree


Another angle of the reindeer

Another view of the Christmas tree

View from the Ground Floor

Glittered Snowflakes

To be honest, I had read about Empire Gallery's Christmas decorations in The Star and since we had to buy salmon, what a better way than to have dinner there and take pictures of the beautiful angels on trumpets?

Snow Globe

The angels welcoming the coming of Christmas

Hark, the angels sings!

Tall, decorated Christmas tree

Christmas lights

While everyone is flocking the malls for Christmas lunch and/or dinner, I will be lolling around at home with a slice of quiche and watching Christmas programs. I think I shall attempt to bake a chocolate cheesecake too. Let's see how it goes.

Friday, December 23, 2011


If life gives you lemons, make lemonades. Wasn't that what people have been saying about a tough life?

Golden Palm Tree Sea Villas, Bagan Lalang, Sepang

Sitting outside on the balcony with a mug of hot chocolate in one hand and a romance novel in the other and listening to the sound of the waves, there is some feeling of peace and contentment.

To have not been remembered by some is definitely disappointing but expected. I've learned ages ago that it's part and parcel of life to lose friends every 7 years. It's high time that I let that past friendship slip through my fingers and bid it adieu. There's no point in praying for the time to be turned back. It's just impossible to undo something that has been done.

On a night like this, it's nice to have a couple of trusted friends over for desert and a round of girl's talk with nothing held back. Be in the presence of friends, yakking until the wee hours of the morning and catching a late breakfast at the favorite haunt. I don't know how that will work out as I've not given it a shot.

Although I can hear the music from next door, it's still good to be seated here in the peaceful night and gathering thoughts about everything. I'm supposed to be asleep in my bed now at the stroke of midnight but there's a sense of urgency to have this post published.

There will be a Christmas post, alright, but let me sort through the countless photographs that Mama Carrie and I both took. I never knew that Christmas decorations could be so grandeur or simple.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


She had the keys and guided us to the unit. We had chose to rent that particular condo unit because it was fully furnished with modest Ikea furniture and there was an airtight security. Entry was not allowed without both the residents' thumbprints and the access cards. She held the elevator as we housemates lugged our luggage inside.

The Lobby

Credits to Scenic City Catering for the image.

The lecturer had given us the assignment of creating a three-course dinner to be served to students from other courses in the condo's community hall. It was a total mess - inside and outside the kitchen, with tension and profanities running in the air with growing diners ready to pounce on an elephant in hunger.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Random Thing

Rule #1: If you open this or got tagged you take it.
Rule #2: You are NOT ALLOWED to explain ANYTHING unless someone messages you and asks. (Well, the person who tagged me did bend the rule a bit and I'm going to follow suit. xD)

Q: Kissed someone on your friends list? Do you seriously believe that I would?
Q: Been arrested? I know someone who has spent a while behind bars. *shoots a glance*
Q: Do you like someone? Nope.
Q: Held a snake? Hell, never!
Q: Been suspended from school? As far as I can remember, I was an obedient student.
Q: Sang karaoke? Have always wanted to.
Q: Done something you told yourself you wouldn't do? Unfortunately, yes.
Q: Laughed until you started crying? A couple of times.
Q: Caught a snowflake on your tongue? No comment.
Q: Kissed in the rain? No comment.
Q: Sang in the shower? Nope.
Q: Sat on a roof top? Too dangerous.
Q: Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on? Not yet.
Q: Broken a bone? Nope.
Q: Shaved your head? Over my dead body!
Q: Played a prank on someone? Papa Carrie.
Q: Shot a gun? A Smith & Weston? Not yet.
Q: Donated Blood? I wish to...

1. You hung out with? It was a group meal.
2. You texted? Mama Carrie.
3. You were in a car with? Mama Carrie.
4. Went to the movies with? Five months ago?
5. Person you went to shop with? No one.
6. You talked on the phone? Papa Carrie
7. Made you laugh? Bya.
8. You hugged? Big Fat.

1. Sun or moon? Dang, you remind me of I Swear by All 4 One.
2. Winter or Fall? No comment.
3. Left or Right? Right.
4. Sunny or rainy? A mixture of both.
5. Where do you live? In my own world.
6. Club or pub? Club.
7. Are there 1 or 2 people who you can always trust and rely on? Yes.
8. Do you want to get married? Maybe.
9. Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it? Twirl.
10. What time is it? 9.05 PM
11. Are you afraid of commitment? No, why should I?
12. What is your greatest hope/wish? It's a secret.
14. Current mood? I feel ignored...

1. Kissed someone? Nope.
2. Sang? Yeah, to the beat of Someone Like You by Adele.
3. Listened to music? Yes, how can I survive without it?
4. Danced Crazy? Nope.
5. Cried. Nope.
6. Liked someone you can't have? Nope.

25 FIRSTS .....
1.Who was your first prom/formal date? To be honest, I can't remember
2. Who was your first roommate? Big Fat.
3. What alcoholic beverage did you drink when you got drunk the first time? Red wine. Not really.
4. What was your first job? Student.
6. When did you go to your first funeral and viewing? I was too young to remember.
7. Who was your first grade teacher? Mrs. Wong, Ms. Saraswathy.
Where's number eight?
9. Where did you go on your first ride on an airplane? Penang; MAS first class, baybeh!
10. When you snuck out of your house for the first time? Never!
11. Who was your first best friend? Christine?
12. Who was your first Best Friend in high school? I pretty much kept to myself.
13. Where was your first sleepover? In an acquaintance's house in Johor Bahru.
14. Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day? Nobody.
15. Who's wedding were you in the first time you were a Bridesmaid or groomsman? Not yet.
16. What's the first thing you did when you got up this morning? Went to the loo.
17. What was the first concert you went to? Celine Dion.
18. What was the last concert you went to? Avril Lavigne.
20. First celebrity crush? Joe Jonas.

21. Current celebrity crush? None?
22. First crush? None.
23. Current crush? None.
24. First date? None.
25. First time you tied your shoe laces? 7?

Five names you go by:
1. Ciana.
2. Nana.
3. Banana.
4. Rascal.
5. Care Bear?

Three things you are wearing right now:
1. Padini T-shirt.
2. Pink shorts
3. Glasses.

Three things you want very badly at the moment:
1. Food.
2. Music.
3. A good night's sleep.

Three people who will probably fill this out:
1. I know Crystal has filled out a similar one.
2. Those who have stumbled upon this post?
3. Anyone who wants to. I don't really know.

Two things you did last night:
1. Played Scrabble.
2. Faced the ceiling; couldn't sleep.

Two things you ate today:
1. Breakfast.
2. Fruits.

Two people you last talked to on the phone:
(Based on cellphone record)
1. Mama Carrie.
2. Papa Carrie.

Three things you are going to do tomorrow:
1. Go on a travel adventure.
2. Disappear from the online world to take a break.
3. Allow my imagination to run wild.

Two longest car rides:
1. Singapore.
2. Wellington.

Favorite beverages:
1. Water.
2. Most herbal tea.
3. Milk.

Who do you want to beat up very badly now:
None that I can think of.

P.S. May I add that this was shamelessly copied from my Facebook? Don't believe what you read; some aren't just real.

If you know me well, you'll know the fake answers.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Food Review: Kampachi Sunday Brunch Buffet, Hotel Equatorial KL

Since I'm exhausted after spending a whole day with our London-based acquaintances, I shall blog about our recent trip. Since our birthdays had been around the corner, I had made a reservation for two and swung by Hotel Equatorial for their popular and pricey Sunday brunch buffet.

Now, I know that I should have surprised Mama Carrie with a gift, but she doesn't believe in birthday celebrations and gifts unless there is an unlimited amount of money to splash everywhere.

Ask any Kuala Lumpur-based folk about Kampachi Restaurant and chances are that they're familiar with it. In all my years as an infrequent diner, I have not gone for the Saturday buffet dinner and I've heard that it's cheaper and you order your dishes from a menu. Or something like that.

Our table

Although the agreed time was at noon, I was more than fifteen minutes late as Mama Carrie and I were finalizing something in The Star. When I saw the manager and the waitress standing at the menu stand, I had the suspicion that they might have phoned my cell to confirm my reservation but I pushed it aside.

He led me to the designated table and I nodded my thanks. Since Mama Carrie was swiping her credit card for the bread loaves downstairs at the Bistro, I went for the first dish that I could think of, which was sukiyaki.

[Sukiyaki]consists of meat (usually thinly sliced beef) which is slowly cooked or simmered at the table, alongside vegetables and other ingredients, in a shallow iron pot in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar and mirin. Before being eaten, the ingredients are usually dipped in a small bowl of raw, beaten eggs. - Wikipedia

The Malay lady manning the booth has seen me growing from a toddler in a baby chair to a woman of a tender age. While I waited for my portion, I overheard the person next to me asking her young assistant for the buckwheat noodles instead of vermicelli. Since the buckwheat noodles were at the corner, he could have added it to the sukiyaki himself when he's back at his table without anyone knowing.

Top: raw slices of tuna and salmon; middle: soft-shell crab roll; below: part of the many types of sashimi

A big lover of raw fish like Papa Carrie, I satiated my stomach with the sukiyaki before I slithered unnoticed to the sushi bar to pick up some of my favorite items. What you see above in the picture are my favorites.

The soft-shell crab rolls were tasty and unique, and I don't think you can find it in any other Japanese restaurants here. Psst, let me know if there is a second restaurant selling this.

Top: Edamame, cooked immature soy beans; middle: prawn tempura; bottom: vegetable tempura

The edamame was perfect; it was not salty as compared to the frozen ones Mama Carrie has bought from Jusco Mid Valley. I love the texture that if I could buy it from the restaurant, I seriously would.

As with all deep-fried dishes, the prawn tempura was especially tasty when complimented with a bowl of shoyu and a couple of tablespoons of grated radish (which you can find at the grilled fish section).

Warm green tea

Man, this was the best green tea that I ever had. It tasted so fresh like the tea leaves were plucked and brewed just before the buffet.

Grilled Fish - Salmon and Mackerel

Grilled fishes have no seasonings included, but the oil that you see is the Omega-3. It's of no offense to anyone, but those who appreciate raw fish will know that it will taste best on its own.

I'm a fish lover but when Mama Carrie brought a plate back to our table, I wasn't excited about it as I'm so used to filleted fishes that I'm not used to removing the bones.

Mochi (rice cake made from glutinous rice, coated with crushed peanuts)

To me, it was a tad too sweet for my palate but I'm sure other diners would be comfortable with the taste.

I wouldn't mind making this at home, but I've heard from Japanese acquaintances that you need a special machine for it. Sigh.

Dorayaki (Japanese pancakes)

Like the mochi, it was a tad too sweet for my palate. Yes, I could have asked for the peanut butter filling, but I've a fear towards peanut butter as I'm not sure if I'm allergic to it.

If I had eaten only the pastry, it'd have been lovely. Perhaps I could attempt to make this dish one fine day? =D

A bird carved on ice?

One angle of the restaurant

Another angle of the restaurant

Sigh, I suddenly remembered that I forgot to take a picture of the dessert area and more pictures of the restaurant and the buffet lunch. I hope I'll have another chance to take more beautiful pictures if I ever find myself there again.

The rate is at RM 92++ per pax, but I suggest that you give Kampachi a call to find out about the current rates a week before your intended week as it is packed to the brim every week with diners.

Kampachi by Equatorial
Mezzanine Floor,
Hotel Equatorial Kuala Lumpur,
50250 Kuala Lumpur,
Direct Line: 03 - 2101 7777

The restaurant will be closed on 1st April 2012 for three years as Hotel Equatorial will be undergoing an extensive revamp works. The operation of other branches will still be in business.

Mama Carrie had let it slip that we were there for some special occasion to the Malay waitress and it brought us a complimentary cake instead.

Chocolate Truffle Cake
RM 95.00 ++, sold by Étoile Bistro by Equatorial

Never in our lives did we expect it! =)
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