Five Kinds of Yumminess

Am trying out the very first recipe in the Innocent book - Strawberry and Banana Smoothie.

It's my absolute favourite smoothie from Innocent.

Seems pretty easy to whip up. Problem is that to follow the recipe exactly, you need a juicer (for the apple and orange). And after juicing the apple and orange, you will need to strain the juice and add the juice to the rest of the ingredients in the blender.

But I've only got a blender here. And I suspect I'd be too lazy to juice AND strain anyway.

So, what the hey!

Whizz whizz whizz. In the blender they all went.


Brought back fond memories of me greedily drinking half a carton of the ready made smoothies in the UK.

Till the next recipe!


One Gloomy Tuesday Morning...

T'was a rainy Tuesday morning.

I dragged my feet to the bus stop.

I dragged my feet to the office.

I dragged my feet to my cubicle.

And then, on my desk!

A PARCEL! Wrapped up in brown paper and tied with a bit of string!

With cute stickers on it too!

Such a lovely surprise!

With so much cool stuff inside!

More and more cool stuff!

And best of all!

Thank you so much Pui Yan and Desmond! You guys really made my day :)


I Can and I Will

For some inexplicable reason, I am obsessed with detoxing my colon and intestines. Don't ask me why.

I've been reading a few articles recently about colonic irrigation and gallbladder flushing. The amazing results from those pretty-convincing treatments got me quite psyched up. In fact, I was actually envisioning the stuff that might just get flushed out from said body parts.

Till I found out all those so-called detox programmes are a hoax. Needless to say, the revelation left me disappointed.

And then I bought this book.

What better way to detox than with some good old-fashioned, healthy eating. There are 57 1/2 recipes in this book. And I intend to try ALL of them. Yes, even the ones that have beetroots in their ingredient list.

Watch this space for progress.

No, no, no. I won't be waxing lyrical about any contents that get er, flushed out from my system.

I'll just post all smoothies/veggies/fruities that I whip up here for all to see!


Double Ginger Goodness

I love Nigel Slater.

Not only is he a great cook, he's also a brilliant writer. One of my favourite books by Mr Slater, Toast, isn't just a book about food. It's his life story, as remembered through food.

And then there are his recipes. If you take a look at his cookbooks, the first thing that strikes you is just how simple he makes everything sound. When you actually attempt any one of his recipes, "lo and behold" you'll exclaim, the recipes ARE really as easy to do as he says. And the results, more often than not, taste pretty darn good to boot.

So here we are, at Nigel Slater's Double Ginger Cake.

Stem ginger. Brown sugar. Cinnamon. Syrup. In a cake. Need I say more?

An excerpt from Mr Slater's recipe:

"Faintly spicy and mysterious, these dark-crumbed teatime treats are something that appeal more as you get older, like Midsomer Murders and boxes of Quality Street. Part of the intrigue of such cakes is that, despite containing both dense black-brown sugar and heavy golden syrup, they are not at all sweet. As I said, mysterious."

He also writes that the cake tastes better after we've left it to mature for a few days.

The first time I made this cake for some teatime company, there wasn't any left to "mature for a few days".

This second time round, it's for Wandernut. So I've wisely baked the cake a few days in advance, so it gets to her after it has matured.


Earth Hour. Vegetarian Day?

So Earth Hour 2009 has come and gone, amidst much hype.

Hong Kong, 28 March at approximately 8.29pm (or could have been 13 February, 9.24pm for all I know)

Hong Kong, 28 March at approximately 8.31pm

In other news, came across some interesting facts and statistics if everyone in the US were to become vegetarian for just one day.

If everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the U.S. would save:
  • 100 billion gallons of water, enough to supply all the homes in New England for almost 4 months;
  • 1.5 billion pounds of crops otherwise fed to livestock, enough to feed the state of New Mexico for more than a year;
  • 70 million gallons of gas -- enough to fuel all the cars of Canada and Mexico combined with plenty to spare;
  • 3 million acres of land, an area more than twice the size of Delaware;
  • 33 tons of antibiotics

If everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the U.S. would prevent:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 1.2 million tons of CO2, as much as produced by all of France;
  • 3 million tons of soil erosion and $70 million in resulting economic damages;
  • 4.5 million tons of animal excrement;
  • Almost 7 tons of ammonia emissions, a major air pollutant
Amazing, ain't it!

But I do see some drawbacks if an NGO were to implement a vegetarian equivalent of Earth Hour:
  1. There are some people who just cannot give up their meat. By people, I mean mostly guys.
  2. Even if Al Gore were to be an advocate, the word "vegetarian" is for some inexplicable reason too closely linked with Yoko Ono and tree-huggers. Aggressive tree-huggers.
  3. Somehow, Vegetarian Day doesn't sound as catchy and cool as Earth Hour.
Till Earth Hour 2010! And Vegetarian Day 2056.

But if this is anything to go by, we'll all be dead by 2012 anyway. Sorry, was that too morbid?


7 Stages of Happiness / Drunken Stupor

Stage 1: Shock and Denial
One whole bottle? By myself? After 2 beers?
One whole bottle! By myself! After 2 beers!

Stage 2: Pain and Guilt
Oh, the throbbing head. Oh, the empty calories.

Stage 3: Anger and Bargaining
Damn you, my wonderful friends, for presenting me with a lovely, expensive delicious bottle of white wine.

Why? WHY?

Stage 4: Depression, Reflection, Loneliness
Turn your heads away. Leave me alone to burp in peace!

Stage 5: The Upward Turn
Oh, is that an extra bottle of Hoegaarden I see?

Stage 6: Reconstruction and Working Through
Ok, time to drink plenty of water to wash the alcohol away.

Stage 7: Acceptance and Hope
Till next year!


When Advertising People Fall For Their Own Advertising Horseshit

Chinese New Year is a pretty big deal here in Hong Kong. So when we were tasked to work up a Year of the Ox campaign for our client, Hong Kong Disneyland, we pretty much figured they'd pull all stops.

And we were briefed so, too.

Here are some excerpts I wrote* for the long-copy print advertisements:

High levels of festive spirits equal high levels of luck. Find plenty of both at the Park’s most spirited Chinese New Year procession ever! From January 25 at Main Street (3 performances daily), there’ll be a dazzling lineup of color and happiness. Leading the procession is the magnificent golden dragon dance. The good luck dragon is followed by the many traditional symbols of New Year – clouds, Koi fishes, faichun man, Gods of Fortune and others. Next, it’s Mickey as lead Chinese Drummer in the energetic drum show. Behind him are his Disney character friends, welcoming you from above the revolving parade floats. Everyone will be dancing and performing along to an eclectic music score that combines traditional Chinese music and modern beats. Come join the fun, and be there to collect the special lai see that will be given out to everyone!

*heavily edited by client*

Here is the television commercial that was shot for the event:

Looks pretty exciting, right? I mean, holy cow Mickey playing the drums surrounded by all those cool drummers? And that dragon dance? And all that CNY spirit and red packets? Bet you wouldn't want to miss that, right?

Neither did we.

So, one day after a meeting at the Park, the team decided to have lunch there and stay on to watch the oh-so-exciting parade.

This is what we saw:

Pretty ok costumes. Not too bad...

First disappointment: Dragon dance disappointingly not as long as we were told it'd be.

Second disappointment: Is that heart-shaped backdrop doubling as a Valentine's Day float? (Answer: Yes.)

Third disappointment: Only a smattering of aforementioned "dazzling lineup of color and happiness"

Fourth disappointment: Mickey WASN'T playing the drums. He was just tapping the drums along to the beat of the music blasting throughout the Parade.

Fifth disappointment: Yup, those are Mickey's fellow drummers in the "energetic drum show". The number seemed to have decreased by 90%, as compared to the TVC.

Our looks of disappointment on our faces were quite priceless.

What can I say? We were suckered.