I eat so much until people call me Dr. Fish Fish.

Friday, March 28, 2008

What a bloody movie

Friday is my movie night. I usually will jump on a bus, go to the US$1.50 cinema, watch a movie, jump on another bus, go home zzzzzzz.

Today, I am repeating the same thing, but with someone else. We went to have very high calories fried chicken and fries with super buttery toast. What more with 2 glasses of soda. (In U.S., soft drink is commonly called soda. In Michigan, it is called Pops.) Yike!

It was a nice dinner. What supposed to be a group movie evening, turned out to be only me with a new co-worker, J, who has been here 1.5 months ago.

It was my first time went out one-to-one with him. A very likeable guy. An important "element" to balance up the over "Ying" in my work place. LOL We have 8 permanent ladies and 2 temporary ladies and only 3 guys (including my boss). In August, there will be another 3 permanent ladies join in. My boss has 2 daughters. So you see how important it is too have another Yang added.

However, when more "Ying" is surrounding my boss, the more busy he becomes. He has more and more meetings and business trip lately. It is a pretty good thing for us. Somehow, we like to take one of the days when he is away for a good lunch bonding time at Sweet Tomatoes. LOL Of course, we still working hard, even working harder than the time he is in to inspect us. Ehhem!

Ok, I have drifted too far away from my title.

I watched Sweeney Todd tonight with J. I heard from M who said the movie is pretty black. I have well-prepared for bloody scene. Little did I know how bloody it turned up to be.

A knife just cut neck by neck, like how my mom used to slaughter a hen at the backyard of our old house. Those necks just splashed out those liters of blood like what the hen did. Everytime a neck was drew a line by the knife and instantly the blood flew out inches from it, I just have to cover the screen with both of my hands. I just hope J will not be shocked by my over reaction on those bloody scene. My sister can tell you how "dramatic" I can be with "heart pumping" scenes in the movie. She said she can easily get a heart attack from my reaction, not from the movie itself. LOL Paiseh!

I just hope that I will not have nightmare tonight.

Johnny Depp is truly a great actor. It was a bizarre ending, but maybe the best ending for the movie. It started with the knife, it ended with the knife. But what happened to Joanna after that? I am curious.

Oh gosh, this is definitely one of the very bloody movie that I have watched in my life. So many songs, so many meaty pies. Ah~~~ the pies. You just have to watch the movie to know why I say the pies.

Ok, tomorrow I will be going to a Wine and Cheese party. Just no pies pleaseeeeee~~~~

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Challenging Swiss Roll

I am getting more adventurous in baking. LOL

This Tuesday, there will be an international potluck party in my work place. After giving some thought, I decided to challenge a dessert that I love so much while I was in Japan.

Swiss Roll.

Yesterday, I looked through the internet for recipe and chose one that required to use "corn starch". It was a bad starting.

I could not find any soft flour, so I tried to used medium flour instead.

The bad turned worse. What more with milk and butter...

I totally screwed up my first attempt.

The cake was too hard. Before I even able to roll it, it had turned into something like above.

Hard and too dense. :( The good red bean cream inside it did not save the situation much.

Today, I went to the supermarket again, finally I found soft flour. I did not know it is named cake flour here.

I decided to find another recipe.

It was a much easier one. Just three ingredients : 4 large eggs, 40g soft flour and 60g sugar.

After followed the instruction step by step carefully...

Tralala~~~ I was so glad the cake turned out to be thick yet fluffy, like a sponge.

After letting it cooled...

... I tried to put many wedges of strawberry and cream, but it was too thick. LOL

Have to take out half of the strawberry.

The cake was too short, I could only roll one round.

Just enought to cover the filling.

Hehe... I know it is still far from perfect, but at least I am ready to make for real tomorrow's night for the party.

I gave myself 55 points this time.

Let see what will happen tomorrow. ;)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Rule of thumb when buying toilet paper

Hehe... I sent out my Federal Tax File today. If everything ok, I should be able to get back around US$200++.

So good you might say, but the bad part will come later on.

I did a rough calculation on my State Tax, shoosh... I owe US$200++. How can like that? :((

So, I am getting almost US$0 for this year. *butthole!!* (I start to love this word so much, a word I learnt from my secretary. She does not use all those obvious words to curse, so she use the butt to replace another same meaning word. LOL Same for the shoosh, my workplace people use this word to replace another obvious word.)

To make it worse, this year I am started to be treated like a resident, so have to pay another US$300 for the social fee every month. Salary now is even lower than when I just started. Duh~~~

So, to compensate the lost in my pay, I just have to think of all the way to save money.

Almost 90% of my groceries are weekly special item of the week. Discounted 50%, buy one get one free, 10 for US$10...

You rich people out there, you might think there is silly, but for me, it is a significant way for me to lessen my spending. Less money for more value.

Don't play play, sometimes when I am good, I can save 1/3 of the original price.

Like today, went to shop with my co-worker, super happy she taught me two good way of shopping. LOL

Let me share it with you all here.

Toilet paper (in U.S., they prefer to call it bathroom tissue) is expensive here. For regular 24 rolls, usually it is priced around US$8-9. I always get mine during the discounted time. But my co-worker pulled out her handphone and started to use her calculator.

"It is less than 25 cents per roll. My mom said, if one roll is 25 cents and below, it is a good deal. It is the thumb of rule to get it." *fish fish eyes blink blink* Hehe... thank you Mallory, I will definitely put this rule in my shopping rule list next time.

Also, we were buying a Soft Scrub. Guess what, it was supposed to be 2 for US$7.20. But it was on sales, 2 for US$5. Then, she noticed something, "Get US$1 discount instantly".

"Oh~~~ this is a great deal!" Yes, we get another US$1 off. One only for supercheap US$1.50. Geeee... I saved US$2.10. Enough to buy 2 yummilicious oh-so-good Bojangle's legs you know.

Ok... I am done with my stingy side. Good night everybody.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A surprise from Japan

A few days ago, I received a pleasant surprise in my postal box.

It was a letter flew all the way from Japan to me.

I still recognize the writing.

Tralala~~~ it was from my lovely family back in Japan. Looking at this picture just couldn't stop me from smiling. :) My mind flew back to the moment I was with them. We witnessed each other life changes. The bond we formed did not stop after I left Japan, we still keep in touch once or twice per year.

I am the lazy type, usually I prefer to call rather than write them a broken Japanese letter with my ugly writing. LOL

On the other hand, my otosan has such an artistic writing. It is a beautiful caligraphic style.

Note how the Japanese date format. It is Year Month Day.

In Malaysia, it is Day Month Year.

In US, it is Month Day Year.

Hehe... is it confusing?

I do know a friend that being confused by this. LOL Y0u know who you are.

The next letter was a two-page pretty writing from my okasan. Her style is different from my otosan. Hers is more formal, more detailed and writing is alphabet by alphabet. She even marked the page sequence for me.

Either style, I just love them. A great chicken soup for warming up my soul.

But... there was one thing that made me shocked the most.




Holy!! I was very surprised when I saw these came along with my okasan's letter.


I was confused until I read her final part which p/s with,

"お父さんがアメリカに行った時の紙幣 使って下さい" (Direct translation: The money while otosan went to USA, please use.)

Hmmm... what a brave move by okasan. Sending cash in common postal method? The money will definitely be gone if it is in Malaysia.

I was indeed lucky to have the money reached me safe.

Thank you so much otosan and okasan. I really should not receive it, but I will keep it nicely in my red wallet. I will treat it as my Omamori, my AngPau. Hopefully this Omamori will bring more good fortune for me. :D

Now, I promise myself I will send a hand written letter to them once I come back from Quebec. Need to find something nice for them. Be it broken Japanese, ugly hand-writing (especially I have not writing Japanese for a long time)... I am sure they will not mind. (Errr.... will they?)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Yummy foods from home

A few days ago, I received a small package from home.

Among them, I love these the most.

I was totally excited when I saw this.

They looked pretty scrumptious, except slightly smaller in size.

I was full of expectation on them especially since they were labelled with "Anchor and Golden Churn Butter".

Hmmm... I was quite disappointed. The outer layer had a good buttery taste but too bland in saltiness. Worse, it was too stingy on the pineapple jam inside.

:( Oh well, couldn't blame mom as she did not try a single one of it. At least, she will stick to the older choices we used to have.

I was quite suprised with the Kueh Momo though. Although most of them were destroyed in shape, this was one of the better momo that I have eaten. It just melted in my mouth the moment my toungue touched it.

Mom also sent me a pack of Bak Gua. Quite a risky one, glad it went through safely. *wipe cold sweat*

Grilled in oven with medium heat for a few minutes... Oolala~~~ the soft and juicy texture with its salty sweet flavour, no wonder people who know it will just crazy about it.

I have not been having fish maw for quite some time. Mom was kind enough to take time to prefried these for me.

Hehe... I think I am going to use some bird's nest that my mom brought for me last Christmas and cook with the fish maw to make one savoury dish.


Thank you so much mom, I love you~~~

Friday, March 14, 2008

White Day again...

White day is a big day for the guys to reply their love to the girls that have given them prensents on Valentine's.

It is also a day for the male coworkers to repay "Gimu Gifts" to the female coworkers.

However, in U.S., there is no such practice.

One of our female coworker did bring a pleasant surprise to us, without realising that. It was a big favour she did for fish fish who have been missing some of the unique days in Japan.

So, what have she made?

Tralala~~~ heart shape PINK cookies. Buttery, soft, chewy, yummy... Melt in your mouth, warm in your heart.

What can be a better treat than this for such a day?

Thanks! Mallory. Absolutely LOVE them!!

Guys, Happy White Day!! *chu~~~*

Monday, March 10, 2008

Je vais au Québec

Hehe... don't understand the title?

Neither do I. It was actually a French translation from Babel Fish for my English title "I am going to Quebec".

Here is my story. ;)

Last year, my boss showed me two conferences and wanted me to choose either Quebec City or Indianapolis.

Hehe... a choice too obvious for a travelling fish like me, isn't it. In fact, Quebec have been one of the top of my must visit place list back to 6 years ago when I first learnt about it from an exchanging student who studied in the same university as me in Japan. Hearing her describing that city was just like a kid looking at all those scrumptious candies, too irresistible.

After I was accepted to the conference by the judging committee early February, I proceeded to apply for Visiting Visa to Canada in middle to February.

It was actually pretty simple steps. Just read everything they required online, get everything ready, including the fee. Sent the whole package to the Canadian Embassy in Washington with a return envelope and all I had to do was just waiting.

After 3 weeks...

Tralala~~~ my application was approved. Yippie!!!

No one-to-one interview, no long waiting time, I am indeed very impressed with the efficiency of them.

Yes, everybody, I am going to Quebec City for real. The best part, this year is its 400th anniversary celebration, you bet it will be more fun in this oldest city in North America.

I am lucky! *grin*

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Got to love them

There are some very talented people in the place I am working. One of my coworker attended in a culinary school during her early years. Then, she worked in high-end restaurants as a chef and a patisserie. It was a stressful work, she decided to quit and shift her carreer to more industrial oriented.

Still, that did not stop her creativity and passion in culinary art.

From time to time, we have been surprised by her.

Couple days ago, she gave us another pleasant shock again. She always did it in a mysterious way. No exception this time.

All of sudden, out of no where, our snack supplies were added in with this white box.

"EAT ME!!", the box said.

Curiously, as the 1st person to spot this, I decided to open the box.

Oolala~~~ 2 layers of handmade fancy chocolates inside. Each and every choco was different and unique. I could feel the sweet blending or dark chocolate and creamy milk aroma dancing in the air.

I knew it must have been her, which confirmed later.

Who could resist such a great temptation, especially a chocoholic like me!

After quite a while to ponder which one to start with, I chose one of the more simple looking piece. It turned out to be one of the most exotic combination for people who like the bitterness of dark chocolate.

It was a dark chocolate coating with creamy and smooth ganache with a hint of sweet and sour concord grape jam in the core. The jam was the gist, enough to accentuate the dull dark chocolate, yet not overpowering the whole piece balance. One bite that stayed a long good moment in my mouth.

Absolutely fantastic.

Such a moment always make me love the people I am working with more. ^_^ Thank you so much H.

Ehhem... by the way, when is your next surprise? :P