Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cavalock and The Cinnamon Melts Reunion

Guess what, the hot McDonald's Cinnamon Melts I had in Japan is finally here! I'm no cinnamon bun expert but it tastes just as sweet and yummy as the one in Japan, so no complaints here. It's only S$2.50, I don't know if it's only available for a limited time or if it's a permanent thing on the menu. But go give it a try Ice!

Here are some shots of the Nespresso in action, get it 'shots'? Hmmm ... so it's basically an idiot-proof coffee machine, and thanks to pitchman George Clooney, it's also become a must buy for greying men with mid-life crisis. Really, before our group started buying them, I kept making fun of the fact that I only see old men hanging around the Nespresso counter. I mean, they look pretty well to do but still, I kept thinking, 'dude, buying that is not going to make you look like George.' You also see more than a few old ang-mo men with their young SPGs there, I mean it's real funny when you eavesdrops them.

But I digress. Got the red Citiz model here. Picked that model cos it's real slim and fits nicely on my kitchen counter. For this morning, I picked the intensity 9 espresso, Arpeggio capsule from the sample pack. It says on the brochure 'Apreggio takes its distinctive character and full body from Central and South American Arabicas. The long roasting allows each aspect to develop into an intense bouquet, conbining roasted, woody, and cocoa notes.'

Popped it in the top lid. Closed it down shut and hit the espresso button, there's also a lungo button for non-espresso capsules. What I did for this morning was heat up half a cup of fresh milk, then fill it up with the coffee.

I hit the espresso button twice through the capsule instead of just once cos I wanted more water and also to make sure that I get all the coffee in there. I dunno if that's recommended or not, but hey! Anyway, this is more of a weekend indulgance kinda thing or when there are guests over, it ain't cheap at bout 90 cents a capsule and I still got (and like) my bottle of instant coffee.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cavalock and The New Coffee Machines

So with tonite's purchase at the Takashimaya Sale, that makes 3 households from the group that now owns an Nespresso coffee machine. You are looking at over one and a half grand worth of coffee stuff in the pix, 2 machines, hundred plus coffee capsules and glass cups and saucers. Geez, so where do I begin? Well, I guess the short version is everyone in the group sort of psyched each other into buying one would be the simplest answer.

I'm actually not that fussy with my coffee at all, really .... not a big fan of Starbucks, prefer kopi tiam kopi, drink instant coffee with a shot of Bailey's in the morning but have since stopped cos the bottle's empty now. <^;^>

Have yet to make myself a cup. Thought of maybe making myself an omelette like the last time, some toast and a new cup of joe over the weekend.

Bought a couple of other cool stuff books from Kinokoniya that I wanna share to any folks out there who like food. First up is 'How to be a better foodie' by Sudi Pigott. Was an impulse buy, saw it going for like only S$11 (with my member 20% discount) and 300 pages full cool food facts, humor like what a foodie should wear, there are no pix though, its all copy. I haven't read everything yet but hey, for 11 bucks, it's good enough for me.

Something else I got from Kino is the manga series Oishinbo. It's one of the best-selling, award-winning manga around. About a cocky young food expert/journalist Yamaoka and his culinary adventures.

Serious yet comical, exhaustively detailed yet endlessly entertaining, Oishinbo is a fascinating, addictive journey through the world of cooking and food culture. Each volume follows Yamaoka and his colleagues through another adventure on their quest for their quest for the Ultimate Menu. Now, the highlights from the hundred-plus volume series have been selected and compiled into A la Carte editions; bite-sized chunks of story arranged by subject that add up to a full-course manga meal.

So far, 3 volumes have already been released. Japanese Cuisine, followed by Sake and the latest on Ramen & Gyoza. These volumes have been flying off the shelf, I kid you not. Every other week when I'm at Kino, I see a full shelf, the next week I'm there, they are almost all gone. Then it's full again BUT another week later ... well, you get the idea.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Cavalock Goes To The Hokkaido Fair

It's that time of the year again when Isetan throws their popular Hokkaido food fair. And this year, they got a little Sapporo beer stand outside the supermarket, right below McD's coffee stand. So what better way to spend a hot afternoon than to drown it with a cup of cold beer?

BTW, their Sapporo 6-pack is cheaper than Cold Storage...

Well, I slipped in on Saturday early afternoon and it was already packed. Lots of cool stuff as expected, very tempting but for my first visit (yes, I intend to return on a weekday when it's way less crowded), I am proud to say that I managed to control myself and didn't spend much.

To be honest, they are all pretty expensive and one way I kinda stopped myself from buying most of them is me telling myself, "Hey, I saw that selling for half the price in Tokyo earlier this year!". Those scallops on sale are great but I don't think I wanna spend that much on them right now.

Almost bought some of the cold Hokkaido milk candies but they were like, only a couple of weeks away from their expiry dates. So passed on those too.

So what did I buy? Some of the stuff I got include this yummy scrambled cheesecake. Thanks Ice for the tip. More pix and a much better write-up here.

More info bout the fair here.

Also bought this bag of dried Wakame seaweed. It looks like a pretty big bag. Hope to do something decent out of it. <^;^>

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Cavalock and The Ugly Omelette

Tried making my first omelette yesterday morning and as you can see that is one ugly, unappetizing-looking omelette! But it tasted great! Was a little soft and runny on the inside, the way I like it. Seriously, I think my dishes suck big time in the looks department but does a pretty decent job in the taste category.

Funny thing is I was gonna make scrambled eggs but changed my mind at the very last minute. CHEESE was the yummy ingredient that made everything better! Hah! Took a cheese slice, ripped it into little pieces and dropped them into the pan while the egg mixture was beginning to set in the pan.

So it's like, beat 2 eggs up, pour them into a hot pan/skillet, let the eggs sit for about 20 seconds and during that time, rip and drop those cheese pieces in, then TRY to turn it over into an omelette. I think I got the ingredients right (I didn't add any salt, actually I forgot!) cos it tasted good, my boo-boo was trying to flip it over into an omelette.

Now for the latest update on the Archie marriage storyline. It's no big secret who he's marrying cos I think by now most news reports have already spoilt it.


"Archie Marries Veronica Part 2: The Wedding": This is it - the issue where Archie fans all over the world pinch themselves to see if they only dreamt last issue's tale about Archie proposing to Veronica! Well, all we can say is prepare to be shell-shocked, because not only did he propose, but in this issue, wedding bells are ringing! This is the unforgettable epic that hurtles readers into Archie's future... and it's a future where Riverdale's favorite rich girl wins his hand in marriage! With Mr. Lodge footing the bill, it's proving to be the most spectacular wedding ever to hit Riverdale... and perhaps the country! The guys all look spiffy in their tuxes, and the girls are gorgeous in their gowns... but just who is Betty's date, Henry? This emotionally-charged tale will tug at your heartstrings as you witness Archie's poignant heart-to-heart talk with Betty before the nuptials, the choked-up parents of the betrothed, and a surprise ending that will leave you speechless! Don't miss the biggest Archie Comics story since the famous "Love Showdown," written by acclaimed superhero movie producer Michael Uslan and rendered by legendary Archie Comics artist Stan Goldberg! You are cordially invited to witness the Archie story of the century, so RSVP by ordering your copy today!

SCRIPT: Michael Uslan
ART: Stan Goldberg
Shipping Date: September 9th, 2009
On Sale at Comic Specialty Shops: September 16th, 2009
On Sale on Newsstands: September 29th, 2009
32-page, full color comic
$2.50 US

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cavalock and A Few of His Favourite Things

The original purpose of this blog was to yak bout stuff I like so I figured it's time for some of my current fav things. Hah! The baby angel pix is something I took and I thought it looks pretty neat, just wanted to share it. Don't worry, there's nothing spooky bout it!

Got this JBL stereo dock for my iTouch a couple of months ago, I luv it. Four speakers in there and its great for listening to all the US morning talk show podcasts and other podcasts that I download everyday. They are sooooo much better than that morning crap we have on our local stations. I take the dock with me when I'm in the kitchen making dinner or baking and the shows just crack me up.

First issue of the new Batman and Robin comic book just out and everyone's going nuts bout it. The reviewers luv it, it's the number one selling comic right now and already into second printing. Completely accessible from the first issue, all you need to know is Bruce Wayne is gone (not dead but no one know that), Dick Grayson is the new Batman and Damian Wayne (Bruce and Talia's love child) is the new Robin. It's the only comic book I'm now buying on a regular basis, try get your hands on it. You won't regret it!

My new pedometer, Personal Trainer: Walking! And it's part of my Nintendo DS, as in I sync it at the end of the day, it spews out a bunch of cool info bout my walking for the day. Like the part where it tells you exactly what time you were walking or sitting on your ass, cos it syncs with your DS internal clock. And I made my first Mii too!

And when it comes to food, I guess it's no big surprise this is my current fav place. 3rd time dining at Tsubohachi in a month, this time with my 'roadtrip' friend. Took some pix of the food I forgot to take the last time.

The sticky pumpkin rice cakes that are just to die for.

Mushroom hotpot, doesn't look like much but it tasted soooo rich and yummy.

Here's something I had for the first time, fried bread sticks with soymilk and ice cream. Very sweet dessert that went down well with my mug, not glass of Sapparo beer.

And finally you just gotta luv those Japanese menus. <^;^>

So what are some of your favourite things? ;)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Cavalock and The (Not-So) Easiest Candy Recipe

When I first saw Martha Stewart did this on TV a week ago, it looked like the easiest candy recipe in the world. You got your savory Ritz crackers and your sweet Wilton Mint Candy Melts. All you need to do is melt the Candy Melts, dip and coat the Ritz crackers with it and that's it! Yummy-looking sweet, savory candy crackers.

Piece of cake eh? Hah! In your dreams, bud! I'm willing to bet first-timers like myself will encounter at least one problem along the way.

First, a little funny story. When I was at the baking shop to get some Wilton Mint Candy Melts, the shop auntie knew exactly what I was gonna do! She said something like, 'oh, you want to do with the Ritz biscuits, like on TV right?'. Wah liao, the show was on a weekday and I was at the shop on a weekend, seems like a whole bunch of people saw the show and are already making the stuff too! I felt like a deer caught in some auntie's headlights when she asked me that, felt like guilty for some strange reason. Was weird, but anyway the shop doesn't have mint melts and I think it's sold out every else, so no Mint for me but I did find some white vanilla choc Candy Melts instead at another shop.

Like I said, making them is real simple, just melt (double boil method), dip or coat them and they are ready to eat.

So what went kinda 'wrong'? For starters, the melted choc is freakin' HOT to use your hands to dip and cover the crackers, even though that's what they did it on TV. So use a small thong or something to hold and dip them in. And make sure your bowl is deep enough for you to dip in too.

Make sure you get an even spread ALL AROUND the cracker, not as easy as it sounds. The melted choc is pretty thick and hard to spread. I still haven't figured this out yet.

And finally, after failing the look test, did it pass the taste test? It did actually, am not saying that just cos it's me making it. Its got that sweet yet savory thing going on. Might be too sweet for some but I'm a sucker for white choc. Bet it would taste better with the minty melts instead.

So basically I make the mistakes so you don't have to make them. <^;^>

Friday, June 05, 2009

Cavalock and The Japanese Cola Wars

Would I try this if I was back in Japan? In a heartbeat! I tried the Zero Coke back there a couple of years ago, gawd, that was a mistake. Anyway the new Green Tea Coke that's coming out in Japan is due this Monday according to Japan Probe.

And guess what, it's out just in time to do battle with this ... the limited edition shiso-flavoured Pepsi out later this month.

Was back at the izakaya, yah I guess you could say it's my new favourite Japanese place now. Went to the place early this time, bout 6.45pm and in the middle of the week. Slowly the crowd started coming and it's pretty much all Japanese crowd again, including I believe, a Japanese food reviewer and his family as in, he's a Japanese guy who's a magazine food reviewer.

Ordered some new stuff this week, like the ray fin appetizer here.

Next was a grilled arabesque. Not as good or as meaty as the spanish mackerel. Had a rice ball too, hey, guy needs his daily carbo.

An interesting drink, shochu with fresh grapefruit juice. Nah, I'll stick to my Sapporo beer.

Now comes the funny part, the dishes that were really, really great... I didn't take pictures of. The pumpkin rice cakes! To die for! Two sticks, two round golden rice cakes on each stick. I guess one of the reasons why I liked them is cos they are quite sweet, like a pumpkin I suppose. The other thing I liked was the mushroom hot pot. Quite a simple dish with the mushrooms, pieces of chicken and cabbage but it just tasted so damn good. There's enough for two servings here.

Told myself, next time I'm there, I'll gonna get the pumpkin rice cakes, the grilled spanish mackerel, the mushroom hot pot, maybe one kind of sashimi and couple of jugs of beer. Damn, that sure sounds like a plan to me.