Sunday, March 29, 2009

It's The Tart Week

Sweet and cute tarts to please your eyes and tastebuds...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cream Puffs and The Gank!

Another week of puffing the pastry :).

Saturday, March 21, 2009


We all know what CSI TV series is all about, a team of CSI division solving "fancy" (well you can call it fancy or extravagant considering the amount of brutality thrown in the murder scenes especially in the later seasons) murder cases with their hi-tech gadgets and scientific methods. Well, Voice is definitely inspired by CSI as this dorama is too (you'll see a CSI tribute in one of the student's room), about revealing the last moments of the dead, which they call it the 'voice' of the dead, and bringing closure to those who are left behind.

There are differences between CSI and Voice. I'm a fan of CSI series. But Voice certainly makes me see CSI genre from a different angle.

Like CSI, most of Voice's cases start with the case of unsolved death. The victim died in the quiet manner, often with not even a blood splatter, unlike what we often see in CSI. And it's not about drug dealer or some serial killer running rampant. The deceased are often ordinary people like us, with family who wonder why they die that way and the team of the university forensic medicine try to solve the mystery and give them understanding to what had happened that led to the tragic ends. You are unlikely to find murder cases in Voice and definitely no serial killer or anything fancy in CSI genre manner.

While CSI shows us all the technology available to extract DNA etc, Voice does not show anything hi-tech or eye-popping gadgets in it. At most, they will show the starting of an autopsy and no blood, inner parts pulled apart at all. What they found out is all discussed in their conversation with very little of charts and DNA test results graphic that we are used to see in CSI.

But what will pull us to watch Voice and keep watching it, is the story. In CSI, we are often too fascinated with the capability of the CSI team to reveal the crime that we forget about the victim. In Voice, the team focus themselves towards the victim, what's the story behind their deaths. Daiki explores the mystery by talking to the victim's loved ones, searching the surroundings and finally putting together all the puzzle and coming up with the story of the last moments of the decease.

A reminder, this is J-Dorama. If you like to see any actions involved, go back to watching CSI and CSI-Miami. Voice will definitely jerk your tears away. I started crying every time I watch the episode especially after episode 3. You'll be touched with all those heart warming stories ranging from the love of a husband, the sacrifice of a mother or the loyalty of a friend that unfortunately leads the unwanted ends.

For Dorama fans, this dorama is definitely a must watch! And off course, because this is a J-dorama, you'll find the faces all look familiar. That's right! Daiki is Mine from Nodame Cantabille; and Ryousuke is Nakatsu from Hanakimi. You'll also see Teppei in Nodame and Hanei in Kamen Rider. This is the world of J-dorama, yeah!

FYI, the OST is by GReeeeN. It's very uplifting to hear this song after each of episode closure. A very smart compact dorama, especially in this moment of economy downturn!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Another Round of Puff Pastry...

Another week of puff pastry. This time we did it in the French way. Easier than the Brit method, but alas, we had to do it with butter, which was another different story. From top to the bottom are: Cream Horne or Canolli, Fruit Slice and Napoleon:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

American Idol Season 8 - Finally...

Yes, finally, a season with stiffer and tougher competition. This season is much better than previous seasons.. I mean last season was OK, well, only because I like David Archuleta... not really fond of the winner, David Cook though he's also good.
But this season, finally, so many good contestants with good vocals and good performance. Off course I have my own favorites like Allison, Adam, Scott and Danny. Lil is very good, too. As you can see, the list is so long! A bit disappointed with Jorge, though he put out a good show last week. This time, the bar is raised higher so they all need to be at their very best every single show, which is far better entertainment for all of us, which is what I'm looking for. Worth to follow... and look forward to next week's show :D.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Scrapped Princess

I just finished watching this oldies anime (2003), Scrapped Princess, yesterday. It's been in my watching list for quite few years. It gets published again on the online streaming sites probably because the license just expired. But, I'm more than happy to watch it.

This is why I love anime. Scrapped Princess is an adventure journey of the Scrapped Princess, Pacifica Cassul, and her foster siblings, Shannon and Raquel. Like any other fantasy anime, the journey involves mythical creatures such as dragons, magic chants, time space continuum, and off course, knights and swordsmans. However, like any other anime, it's not just a shallow story of adventure for kids. I find that this anime actually arguing lots of deep rooted questions about faith, religion, and humanity.

In Scrapped Princess, the majority religion is Mausser faith. The Mausser faith believes in its Gods. But what happen if the Gods that they have their faith in are not actually Gods? In the anime, the humans later are thorn into several groups; those who follow the faith blindly including the Scrapped Princess false prophesy, those who are starting questioning the faith itself, and those who are not believing in the Mausser from the beginning. The anime lays out points of argument to the point that no body has the right answers. We are only humans. In the end we need something to keep hoping. For example, though Raquel doesn't believe in Mausser, in the end, she screams to God for help to save Pacifica.

Set aside the bigger picture, let's take a look at Pacifica Callus character. Though she's pictured as a girl who practically can't do anything right without her oniichan and oneechan, Pacifica is a very strong character considering the burden that she carries as the Scrapped Princess. Questions like why people try to kill her when she does nothing wrong, why people has to die because of her (lots of people, literally), why there are people who are willing to die protecting her, is her fate already been set or can she lead her own fate are being argued again and again throughout the anime. In reality, this is similar to questions that we often face when we are dealing with our lives. Why he/she hurt me, why people are so cruel, what did I do to deserve this? Sounds familiar?

And like in Scrapped Princess, it depicts that human can't live alone. The way Pacifica relies and works together with her siblings and people she meets throughout her journey, is the same way as we need support from our families and friends. Without them, we won't be able to be who we are now. Often helping hands from stranger could encourage and give us strength to go on in our journey of life.

Humanity is also another topic that been conveyed in this anime. If humans are so despicable, should God pour down the punishment and wipe out the entire humanity? There're always good and bad people in this world. Greed is one of human traits. But so is love. Which one should prevail?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Puff Pastry

My first practical training in the baking school. Today we made puff pastry. The good thing about puff pastry is that we can make lots of kinds of variation out of the same piece of dough. Even the scrap dough is very useful to make yummy snacks. Though the prospect of me getting slimmer at this stage is greatly diminishing, one just got to try what one makes, correct?

So without further ado, here are the result of today's labor of love:

In order by row from left to right (Fruit purse, Apple Turnover, Tuna Pastry, Palmier)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Double Choco Chip Muffin

March 09 is started with the sweet aroma of double choco muffin coming out from my oven. Baked to perfection, the muffins are so round and fluffy! I literally cannot hide my joy when these cute muffins come out smoking from the oven.

Fairly easy to make. Basically you just substitute 20gr out of your total flour with coco powder and instead of 1 cup of dry fruits, add on 1 cup of choco chips and fold all together... If only baking hotel cakes is this easy...