Oh Look, Krill!

Oh don't worry. Whales don't eat clownfish, they eat krill.


All About Coffee

starbucks coffee

As part of the Congo River Art Exhibition, the Asian Civilization Museum, in collaboration with Starbucks Singapore, held a coffee appreciation class. If anyone has read this blog for some time, you’d realise how much I luuurve coffee, so I could not resist the urge and signed up for the class, since there were a limited number of seats available.

This was not the first coffee appreciation class that I’ve been to but it was the first, rather comprehensive one. Starbucks usually does their coffee appreciation classes at their respective outlets and from what I can recall of the last one, I do not think that they did such a region-centric breakdown of the different types of beans


The class was held at the basement of the museum and as we (Sarah, Joelyn and later, Raven Silvers) could smell the freshly brewed coffee all the way from the staircase. We sat down and waited for the class to start, since majority of the attendees were a little late.

tasting

The two Starbucks reps who were there started the class with the origins of the coffee beans. I scored myself a free drink voucher for answering their question which is rather easy once you’ve read this a couple of times.

The best part of the whole thing is of course, the tasting bit. We were told to slurp the coffee, to spray it throughout our mouths and then think of where the taste of the coffee lands on the tongue. One of the ladies who attended could not stop laughing because of the slurping. I think she’s just not used to being a little uncouth in public but for the sake of coffee, she tried her best and I think she started enjoying the coffee tasting after that.

We got to taste coffees made from beans from three different regions, Mexico, Kenya and Sumatra. Out of the three that I tasted, I love the Sumatran coffee the best; it’s full of flavour and not acidic at all and I would gladly drink it black. Since I usually take my coffee with milk and sugar, that’s actually saying a lot.

paired food

We were then introduced to food that pair very well with the different types of coffees; chocolate walnut brownie for the Mexican, grapes fro the Kenyan and the butter almond cake for the Sumatran. Each type of food not only complements the basic taste of the different coffee types but also cuts down on the bitterness. It was amazing how the taste changes slightly when you mix it with the food.

coffee

By the end of the class, all of us would have finished at least half a cup of each type of coffee. I’m not sure about the other attendees but there wasn’t enough caffeine in the coffee I drank to keep me up, so I slept really well that night. After the class, I’m actually considering in investing in a stove-top espresso (or a latte/cappuccino) maker, just so that I can have good coffee everyday.

Some time in March, they’re going to have another event for the Congo River Exhibit. Do check out the Asian Civilisation Museum site for more info.

Advertisements


Friday Foods: Instant Noodles The Way I Like It

I think that instant noodles are the most versatile food I’ve ever come across, after rice that is. You can do so many things with it like frying it all on it’s own, frying it with rice and of course with soup. Instant noodles are my go-to food when everything else doesn’t appeal to my appetite.

Instant noodles, anyone?
viasweethaa

Some brands boasts that it takes only two minutes to cook it but personally, I like the noodles with a lot more ingredients in it than just plain noodles and soup. Here’s how I like it:

Ingredients

1 packet of instant noodles, curry flavour (you can use any flavour you want but I like the spiciness of it)
1 egg
250ml of water
some oil
1 clove of garlic chopped
2 shallots sliced
any kind of vegetables you like and as much as you like, (usually I go with a clutch of what ever greens we have in the house)
a handful of prawns
1 tomato, quartered


Directions

In a pot (duh!), heat up the oil and throw in the garlic and shallots.

Once they’re turning slightly brown, throw in the prawn and the sachet of powder that comes with the noodles.

Stir it around a little, until the prawns are pink.

Add in the water and wait until it boils. Crack in the egg.

Once the egg is cooked, add in the noodles and let it come to a boil.

Add in the veggies and tomato, and simmer for a few minutes.

Serve hot and enjoy.


My First Hen Night

wild girls

At an age when my friends are all getting married and starting a family, I finally get to attend a hen night. It’s not something that, I’m assuming, is commonly practised here since I don’t really have friends who have attended any of such events.

Anyway, my friend P who’s getting married in a couple of months, decided that she needed a break from all the wedding preparations and got us to organise a hen night for her. After a series of mass emails, back and forth, a plan was made and all that was needed was for the bride-to-be to turn up at the agreed place.


We ended up having dinner at the Swensen’s outlet at Marina Square. Even though we had made a reservation, they claimed that we didn’t have one and that was the start of the not so nice evening we had at the outlet. The service left much to be desired and by the end of the dinner, we were glad to pay and leave. I think that the 10% service charge should be optional when you have to endure sub-par service, but I digress.

Back to the story. Before the event, one of the ladies had went out to get some decorations and some mementos for the occasion and we all ended up getting the cute masks and the paper napkins. One of the other ladies had a list of questions were posed to P’s future husband and we’d asked P the same set of questions. At the end of dinner, she managed to answer most of the questions correctly.

sexy

After dinner, we headed down to the Atrium Lounge at Marina Mandarin for drinks and to continue the rest of the questions. The Atrium Lounge was strangely quiet for a Friday night but we weren’t complaining since that meant that we almost had the place to ourselves. While everyone decided on their drinks (they had a promotion on martinis, so you know what most of them had), I settled for my usual lounge/bar/pub drink, a Shirley Temple.

martini lady

As we ordered at list 4 martinis, the lady pushed over a cart of liquor and mixed the drinks in front of us. She was kind enough to allow us to take a picture of her, though the one that I took was blurry.

A little while later, the last member of our little gathering came, bearing cake.

man cake

We had initially wanted to order her a cake in the shape of a man’s, uhm, package but we didn’t want to be over the top with it so we settled for something else. It was a huge cake, and after dinner and all those drinks, we could only eat a tiny bit of the cake, so P had to bring it home with her.

It was a tame affair actually. We mostly sat around, talking and drinking. It was fun. I hoped that P had a great time, as much as the rest of us did. For a first hen night experience, it was great.


Catching Up

Last semester had been hellishly busy for me, what with work and school and a relatively active social life, I barely had time to do things that I used to do, namely, reading. This year though, I feel a little more relaxed and I'm finally able to catch up on a my reading list.

While the semester has started, I do not have any classes to attend this year so I've got more time to spend with my friends and my loved ones, which is way awesome.

Anyway, I've been spending more time reading my piles of comic books that seem to be growing each month. I've gone to the library to borrow a number of graphic novels and works by Jim Butcher, which my friends have highly recommended. I'm slowly going through the pile of half read books on my desk too. As much as I enjoyed the first half of Alfred Russel Wallace's The Malay Archipelago, currently, high fantasy and urban fantasy are grabbing my attention but I promise, I'll go back and read the naturalist's book. Oh and also both Darwin books that I got.

So yes, it's rather wonderful to have some time on my hands before the work, both my day job and school, start to pile up.


My Favourite Time To Visit The Library

Since I’ve been going to the library relatively often these past few weeks, I’ve discovered that the best time to go, at least in my opinion, is early Sunday mornings. The first two hours upon opening, to be exact. That’s when most browsers are either still in bed, at church or at the market, leaving most of the shelved books where they are. This makes finding books a lot easier. The best part of going early is that there are barely an running, screaming children in the fiction section and the isn’t a queue at the customer service counter.

On top of being able to get the books that I want, there are still tables available at the nearby Starbucks outlet near the library. That means, I get coffee, bagels and a book to read. That’s the perfect way to spend my Sunday mornings, in my opinion.

Do you have a favourite time to visit the library?


Friday Foods: Homemade Coney Dog Sauce

I didn’t expect it to be such a hit when I tried out the recipe but it was. Now you don’t have to go all the way to A&W for coney dogs.

Two with everything
via mollyali

Coney Island Chili Dog Sauce

1 pound ground chuck
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 six ounce can tomato paste
1 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
1 tablespoon dried, minced onion
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (heaping)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


Brown ground beef in a skillet, adding onions half way
through. Add minced garlic when meat is nearly done.

Add remaining ingredients; stir well to combine. Simmer over
low heat 15 minutes.

Serve over hot dogs, Coney Island style!

Changes I did when I tested it out: I thought that 2 teaspoons of chilli powder was a wussy amount to use so instead, I added 1½ tablespoons of home-made chilli paste. Also, I omitted the celery seed, the mustard and the Worcestershire sauce.

[via]


Solomon Kane

solomon kane

When I went to watch Solomon Kane last night, I went into the theatre not knowing what to expect. I’d never heard of the movie or the comics and the pulp-fiction that it was based on, so I just settled back and watched.

According to IMDB, the movie is about a man, whose soul is coveted by the Devil for all that he’d done, and tries to redeem himself. A lot like Constantine/Hell Blazer but different.

I didn’t even know who James Purefoy, the actor who plays the main character, was until I did a quick search and realised that he was in Rome and Resident Evil.


Anyway, the opening scene was riveting, with the gratuitous violence, blood, gore and magic. The movie was almost entirely done in muted earth colours, black brown and all shades of mud. It rained through most parts of the movie and it didn’t help that the theatre was cold too. I was shivering a little even with a jacket on.

The movie was actually rather good. The fight scenes were brutal, bloody and not overtly choreographed like in Troy. It was believable that someone could actually fight like that in real life. Some bits of it were predictable but I think that’s because a lot of other stories have the same story formula. The only slight problem that I have with the movie was the ending fight scene but overall, still a good movie.

If you like gratuitous violence, blood, gore, magic and sorcery, watch this movie.