Tuesday, July 28, 2009

illustrators i like - part 4

this is marc johns

i smile and think how wonderfully random and original his mind is everytime i see his creations! he also draws on yellow post-it notes with pens and highlighters.

he was actually the first illustrator that inspired me to start these "illustrators i like" posts, but i couldn't choose a favourite from his work so i kept on putting off this entry, even though it was meant to be the first one.

some of the ones i like (out of the EVERY single piece of his work which i also adore!), and a link to his blog post showing pages from his book (now published!):
seriously there's none that i don't find amusing! and i still can't rank them, really. so go to his site and flickr and smile away ;) definitely worth the hour (probably the entire/more) of discovery.


Monday, July 27, 2009

good night.

気をつけて happy holiday-ers!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

cream puffs : )

finally finished making the cream puffs!
mixing the choux pastry was so tiring...paranoid that they would burn or something so was mixing like crazy.

the result: the tart dough on top looked more like a hat than a seamless crunchy attachment. but i thought it gave some extra sweetness which made the soft choux pastry taste better (even though it looked burnt, cos of the sugar granules, you couldn't taste the bitterness) and the filling had extra whipped thickened cream added to it so it was extra light and smoother than the usual choux cream recipes.

didn't fill all the puffs, since we decided pouring the cream on/into them just before la moment de manger (this french is probably very wrong) would be more satisfying x) hehe more creeeeam !


generously filled choux!

yea the tart dough on top looks really burnt, but i assure you they taste normal

ahhhh the soft and flaky pastry

here's the recipe - for 3 dozen or about 60 SMALL (look at the 2nd pic) cream puffs. i prefer bigger ones like the one in market city (called mr puff or something?)

Pastry Cream
makes about 2½ cups

2 cups whole milk
½ cup caster sugar
¾ tsp vanilla essence/extract
pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
¼ cup corn flour/starch
28g unsalted butter, cubed

1. bring milk, ¼ cup sugar, vanilla and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
2. whisk egg yolks, cornstarch, and remaining ¼ cup sugar in a medium bowl.
3. whisking, slowly pour about ½ cup of hot milk mixture into yolk mixture (so to not cook the egg). Slowly add remaining milk mixture until incorporated.
4. Pour mixture back into the saucepan, and cook over medium-high heat, whisking, until it begins to bubble in centre and reaches 71 degree C, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
5. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
6. Add butter; beat on medium speed until butter has melted and mixture has cooled, about 5 minutes.
7. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Just before using, beat on low speed or whisk by hand until smooth.

Tart Dough

84g unsalted butter, softened
½ cup icing sugar
2 large egg yolks
1½ cup plain flour
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp thickened cream

1. Put butter and icing sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until combined, about 2 minutes.
2. Add egg yolks, and mix until combined, about 1 minute.
3. Add 3/4 cup flour, and mix just until flour is incorporated. Add remaining 3/4 cup flour, salt, and cream; mix until just combined, about 1 minute.
4. flatten dough with a rolling pin; wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

Choux Pastry

113g unsalted butter, cubed
1 tsp caster sugar
½ tsp salt
1¼ cups plain flour
4 large eggs (plus 1 large egg white, if necessary)

1. Bring butter, sugar, salt, and 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat.
2. Using a wooden spoon, quickly stir in flour. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly (and quickly), until mixture pulls away from sides and a film forms on bottom of pan, about 3 minutes.
3. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until slightly cooled, about 1 minute.
4. Raise speed to medium; add whole eggs, 1 at a time, until a soft peak forms when batter is touched with your finger. If peak does not form, lightly beat remaining egg white, and mix it into batter a little at a time until it does.

(finally, the actual) Cream Puffs

1 choux pastry recipe
1 tart dough recipe
granulated sugar, for sprinkling on tart dough
1 pastry cream recipe
¾ cup thickened cream
icing sugar, for dusting

1. Line 3 large baking trays with baking paper.
2. Transfer pate a choux to a pastry bag fitted with a 1½cm plain tip, and pipe puffs about 5cm wide. Smooth peaks with a moistened finger, rounding tops to ensure even rising.
3. Freeze (i refrigerated. nothing bad happened) pastry puffs on baking sheets until firm, about 30 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, sprinkle a clean work surface with some granulated sugar, and place tart dough on top of sugar. Sprinkle some sugar over dough, and roll to a scant 1/3cm thick, coating both sides of dough with the sugar to keep it from sticking.
5. Using a 4cm cookie cutter, cut out rounds, and place a round on top of each frozen puff. Return to freezer until firm, at least 15 minutes (didn't do this. again, nothing happened).
6. Preheat oven to 190.5 degree C.

7. Bake puffs until pale golden brown all over, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely on baking sheets on wire racks.

Puffs can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature overnight.

1. Put thickened cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form (quite a while).
2. Mix the pastry cream to soften. Working in 2 batches, fold whipped cream into pastry cream.
3. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a 1¼cm plain tip. Insert tip into bottom of each puff, and fill. Dust with icing sugar.
(or more conveniently, keep the puffs and cream separate until you wanna eat/serve them!)

Cream puffs are best eaten within a few hours; refrigerate in an airtight container.

some of the numbers are weird cos i changed them from the original (US) version from the martha stewart site:
Pastry Cream
Tart Dough
Choux Pastry
Cream Puffs

Friday, July 24, 2009

温泉まんじゅう くん

onsen manju-kun.

what i cannot resist throwing my money away on everytime i go to capitol square.
i spend $5 each time, trying to get the super cute curry manju. obviously i fail since they're so round and the ufo-catcher arm is too small to infiltrate the plushy mountain :(

these pics are from the official site and korichan's blog.

it seems they're acquaintances with the hannari tofu..?

curry-kun on the bottom left! red one is chinese manju-kun

bottom orange one is yuzu manju-kun.


started making the martha stewart cream puffs - the cream filling and tart dough which is gonna go on top of the choux pastry to make it have a crunchy/cookie-like top, hopefully.

yum cha tomorrow! :D

Thursday, July 23, 2009

what i did

actually not that exciting. hahaha

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

avant cards

they're "Australia's only free national postcard advertising company" advertising various products/events/causes. you can find their postcard stands in city centres, schools, libraries, coffee stores (basically anywhere) and browse the new designs which come out monthly : ) i've been collecting them for quite a few years now... all i have to wait for now is to get a room with actual walls to make a collage out of them.

some of my favourites from the e-card section of their website:

aroma festival @ the rocks

suburb with the saturday markets and san churro - the really nice churros & dulche de leche place x)

the newly reprinted popular penguin books

Monday, July 20, 2009


today was a good day :)

had lunch at passionflower since it was a really warm winter's day and the george st store is having $8 dessert deals to celebrate their anniversary!! amazingly only 3 items -the crazily priced $30-$40 ones- aren't included! so ordered 3 things for 3 people. mmmm dessert... never fail to make me smile....
we had: the "superstar" with black sesame (yum-0), sticky rice with actual sticky-rice-y bits (now my 2nd favourite flavour) and taro ice cream, and also mochi with black sesame on the outside which was cho oishi!!

also had waffles (with more ice cream) and banana crepes (and again, plus des glaces)

at sussex centre, there was this new shop, "zakka house", opposite the cat shop (momo) with cute plushies, stationery with cat illustrations so how could i not go in... and bought this diary with super nice illustrations to use for next year! it had a PVC cover and 3 pages of stickers too :D and the korean's translated to proper english as well!

click to zoom (romane)

i'll post about the other cute stuffs later so not too overloaded with pics

then wandered in to the other CD shop on the top level that i've never bought anything from, and finally found HANDSOME SUITS!!!

it's an original DVD from malaysia! (unless the hologram's a fake, but the quality looked real when the guy played it) anyways.

synopsis from nippon cinema:
The Handsome Suit, the new comedy based on a paperback novel written by “SMAP x SMAP” variety show writer Osamu Suzuki will be released on November 1, 2008. The story involves a goofy looking chef named Takuro (Muga Tsukaji) who has never been with a woman in his 33 years. When his mother dies he returns from studying abroad in Italy to take over ownership of her diner, “Kokoro-ya”. Although his food is a hit with the ladies, his face and body are not. He falls in love with a part-time worker at the diner (Keiko Kitagawa) but she’s not attracted to him. One day Takuro enters a men’s wear store and a conspicuously good-looking store manager says he has the perfect suit in mind for him. The suit seems too tight, but as he reaches half an arm through one of the sleeves he’s transformed into a handsome new version of himself (Shosuke Tanihara). Soon his luck with women takes a turn for the better, to say the least

hehe i probably wouldn't notice it if it wasn't written by the SMAPXSMAP skit writer!
and Kokoro-ya happens to be the name of the new Jap restaurant in Maroubra hmmm...

then walked back to city, got updated on Skip Beat! volume 11 in Kino, watched the moon landing debate (ie. whether it happened or not, or "the alleged landing on the alleged moon" discussion xD)with dr. karl kruszelnicki and adam goldstein from sleek geeks. so dr karl went through the 7 (lol) steps of the apollo 13 mission ("inject" astronaut into rocket. fly rocket and go around the earth a bit. fly towards moon, orbit moon a bit, land. do moon activities, collect samples. return back to rocket. fly back. get astronauts out) and the myths like why there weren't any stars in the sky (in the background space), why the flag was moving and why it wasn't straight, how the astronauts' footprints remained after the lunar mobile (or whatever its name is, i forgot) landed, why the astronauts weren't burnt from the earth's nuclear fields (or something like that) when they flew out, were explained. after being brought up by (dr?) adam goldstein and supported by the super dramatic fox8 documentary with green target signs which hovered around the screen with red prehistoric-computer-font which appeared with loud typewriter sound effects and was full of intense drums playing in the background. and after the debate was over, more people believed that it was a hoax. eh?

hunger came.

ate tonkatsu @ miso in world square.


home stuffs

tea cup stool (mocha)

cute vases by j. mendicino (reverie daydream boutique)

bag from glebe markets

Saturday, July 18, 2009

before i forget...

did you know "neanderthal" is pronounced nē-ˈan-dər-tl?! the h is silent!

Friday, July 17, 2009


new addition:
fifi lapin - the most stylish bunny who wears many runway creations

choc chip cookie brownie....

last night i was craving for the Kura fried prawn with tons of yummy rice and a huge mound of mayo so badly i couldn't sleep for like 10 min T___T me wanttt


rediscovered the Bakerella blog!! and there was this droolworthy recipe: chocolate chip cookie dough brownie (with dark chocolate ganache) which is made up of *optus prepaid lady voice* the betty crocker mixes for brownie and choc chip cookie JOINED TOGETHER!!! now either open mouth and salivate or feel your throats closing up from all the richness x___x

from her site:

( ´¬`)

ps. eating sushi and watching HARRY POTTER tonight!!! *weeeeeeeeeee*

Thursday, July 16, 2009

dear readers

whoever you are, even if you stumbled on this website by accident, please don't zoom back off to google just yet - become a signatory of The Prince's Rainforest Project and help raise awareness of the damaging effects of deforestation for everyone and to identify appropriate incentives that will encourage rainforest nations to stop burning down vast areas of valuable forests.

(either click on the link or sign up through the widget i added underneath my links section)


Tropical rainforests absorb nearly a fifth of all man-made CO2 emissions around the world, which helps greatly to minimise the effects of climate change. However, these same rainforests are currently being destroyed at the rate of an area the size of a football pitch every four seconds.

To make matters worse, when the rainforests are burnt down - to clear land for commercial farming or mining, for example - they release all the CO2 that they have stored back into the atmosphere. The alarming scale of this rapid burning of the rainforests around the world means that CO2 emissions from tropical deforestation are actually higher than from the entire global transport sector.

Introduction to the Prince's Rainforest Project

The Prince’s Rainforests Project (PRP) was set up in 2007 by HRH The Prince of Wales following reports from leading climate change experts, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to promote awareness of the urgent need to take action against tropical deforestation.

We are working with governments, businesses and non-profit organisations around the world to find solutions to deforestation - and to find them fast - with the ambition of ‘making the trees worth more alive than dead’.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

facemark party

new link: facemark
japanese emoticons like
壁|(-ι_- )))。。。サササand other crazier ones

Monday, July 13, 2009

false hope.

got a letter from reader's digest that had those 3D magic-eye patterns (like on pay slips) on the outside and with an "URGENT NOTIFICATION" written on it.

it said: we wish to contact you regarding the above $550,000 sweepstakes ID no. ----------. please call us at the above number or visit our website within the next 7 days.

obviously i was like WHAT. HALF A MILLION DOLLARS?! WE DON'T EVEN READ READER'S DIGEST and the mother said 'why did they send this to us? it's supposed to go to ultimo' and then even more panic since i thought someone was missing out on their prize. then i read the letter properly and ultimo was the Reader's Digest's address. and the letter was addressed to the "householder" so basically. nobody won anything.

(what does "sweepstakes" mean?)

yea anyway.
went to the website. and now we're in the draw to win $550,000! it would be good if we win. they also tried to get you to subscribe to be in an additional draw to win a big BMW and another $110,000 but no. i read the fine print. i wonder why they're so generous. didn't know anybody actually reads that magazine..

made black sesame ice cream today :D ie. mixed black sesame powder with vanilla ice cream yummmmm
it's way cheaper too! only $2 for four plentiful packs of sesame powder. which can make a lifetime supply of black sesame ice cream. mmmmmm.

gonna go on a skins marathon now :D borrowed seasons 1 & 2 x)

*update*ahahahahhaha 'sweepstakes' actually means a draw aahhaha.... ahhh vocab let me down....

nodame news ギャボー!

the nodame cantabile movie is coming out this december!! すばらしい!
this time it's gonna be shot in Vienna, and the actor in handsome suits (the one playing the sparkling-teeth character in memories of matsuko) will be in it xD

Sunday, July 12, 2009

quelques choses

mickey mouse ears ring (pixie market)

turntable speaker mixer (urban outfitters)
how cool! lets you 'scratch' and has a headphone jack as well for personal listenin'

penguin mug & notebook (until)

personality socks (chris&ruby)

emergency money box (until)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

biscotti - part 1

warning: 14 photos ahead (click back on your browser if you don't wanna load them)

noticing the camera (the first shot)