Saturday, May 19, 2007

Muffins tonight?

Knowing that my mum will be flying off to Dubai on Thursday, I had a sudden urge of making muffins. So I said to her "Hey mom, let's make some muffins." She was quite reluctant though cos her sugar level reading was quite high. "Oh come on, you'll be leaving this Thursday so you'll have to show me how you do it." So together we baked so muffins and it turned out pretty well. My mom is the expert when it comes to baking. I have still quite a long way to go as compared to her skills and knowledge in baking. I only excel in the Jello Department but is now slowly trying to learn up the baking skills for future business plan!

Some of the Muffins we baked




I think my muffins looked kinda fat. It was due to the muffin tray I used. Nevertheless, it tastes great... yummy yummy...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Own Label

I've finally finished designing my own label for "Sweet Tooth Delights". It took me some time to come up with the design that represents the brand.

Let me unveil to you...


The new image for Sweet Tooth Delights by eL

Whaddo you think? Me think it's fine.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Difficult Decision

Once, there was this girl whom was FORCED to make a very difficult decision. Much have been going on inside her company and the latest "action" tends to be restructuring of the organisation or "streamlining" (that's what he calls). To her it's all the same. Restructuring or streamlining, someone will bound to benefit from it and someone will not. When there's yin, there must be yang - Universal Rule No. 1. Her immediate boss, the CEO will be retiring soon and a new GM just came over to took over the position. The GM however has no whatsoever experience in handling the nature of the business that she's in which is FMCG (fast moving consumer goods). He's so called recruited by the top management of the public listed corp because her company is one of the subsidiary of a PLC whom also owns many retail shops, departmental stores and also hotel chains in the UK and our country.

To her, he's here for a reason - to force the CEO out of the company by spying on him. This is what you called politics at a higher level because she is very sure that someone up,up,up there is jealous of her boss's achievement in this industry. Moreover, her boss will soon be promoted to the MD level which of course would be an eyesore to someone.

Because she was reporting to the CEO all these while, she has no choice but to make a decision by this afternoon on where would she wants to be. She will soon need to report to either one of the marketing managers whom she thinks are better written off by the company. They are here to suck away everyone's bonuses, make the company looked stupid and of course getting a fairly good pay by doing nothing! If she was to choose to make one improvement that would not only save costs for the company but also do good for all the other colleagues, she would choose to get rid of those two and it'll save the company hundreds of thousands a year. One particular manager has the habit of accumulating inventory which ends up as aging stocks in the warehouses. Then these aging stocks have to be cleared below cost price to avoid total loss and it leads to red figures in the company's P&L. And yet, she still managed to hold a very high position in the company. What an a**-luck she has.

That's why I said that this decision was truly a difficult choice because either choice will lead her nowhere. Either she choose to handle the two house brands or the other two agency brands. House brands have its benefits as it is part of the company's main revenue and it's the company's interests to protect it. On the other hand, agency brands are rigid because every expenditure on A&P need to be approved by the principal.

The decision would have been made simpler if there were no back-stabbing and apple-polishing in the process. However, the back-stabbing was so bad till her back is almost poked-thru in the process. A lot of betrayal and lies had taken place making the office a political battle field whom a small fry like her will be pushed to an unfortunate situation.

The decision is to join the house brand. Since the lady manager as I have described is very much better written off due to her "special abilities", it would be an advantage for her to be reporting under this lady. This is where she can manipulate her to her best advantage. The game has just started. It will definitely be an interesting sight to behold.

That concludes the story of a girl making a difficult choice. Sounds crappy, I think so too....

The above story have no resemblance of whosoever in real life.
It has no intention to hurt or to defame anyone in the above story.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Waiting to be delivered

After weeks of taking a break from making cupcakes, I had to start the cooled down cupcake making machine again. Oh btw, the machine I was talking about is me actually. Straight after orchestra practice this morning, I headed straight to the kitchen and started working on the cupcakes first. After baking two trays of cupcakes, approximately 80 pieces, I continued with the muffins. Emay, my colleague, whom I called Ah Po (simply because she's the oldest among the 3 angels - my boss's assistants) had ordered a box of 49 mini cupcakes and a box of 25 muffins for he sister's birthday on Tuesday. It was meant to be a surprise for her sister. I had spent the past two days sourcing for the right boxes, palm trees and also the cute little umbrellas.

Baking of cupcakes and muffins ended at about 1 o'clock. At about 2 o'clock, I started decorating the cupcakes. Making the buttercream icing was a bit tedious as I have to make sure the texture was right for decoration but at the same time trying to reduce on the amount of icing sugar needed. It was not easy at all because the lack of icing sugar tends to make the icing soft and difficult to shape. I managed to finish everything at 6pm. Lucky my sis cooked spaghetti for dinner. So I had some spaghetti and some conchiglie (about 2 bowls each).... haha did I not mention that I loved spaghetti?

It's almost 9pm now and in less than 12 hours, I'm supposed to get ready to work. What a day?!! Sometimes I feel like to hell with work and I'll just do what I like - cooking, baking and maybe teach some music. That probably earned more than what I'm paid now. What the hell?!!!

Fresh from the Oven

For Emay to send to her sis's office on Tues...

This summer treat is for her family.....

Better go iron some clothes now..................................

Currently feeling : exhausted but satisfied
Song of the moment : If Everyone Cared - Nickelback

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Hello Jello

Besides knowing how to bake pineapple tarts and cupcakes, actually I excel best in the Jello Department. I have started making jellies and agar-agar since high school and until today, I still very much love to make these see-thru sweet delights. They are not only easy to make but pretty to look at after such a hearty dinner.

These are some one my masterpieces that I've managed to capture.

I just love konnyaku jellies not because they have a citrus taste but also the tangy texture.

Yummy Pineapple Tarts

I've always liked pineapple tarts especially when it comes to CNY. But the problem is, it's too expensive and often, it's not up to my standard simply because the pastry is too hard, not buttery and the filling is tasteless. In 2005, I started baking these little indulgence myself. I have an aunt who bakes perfect pineapple tarts in Singapore and it costs as much as S$0.50 per piece, which is 3 years ago! I managed to get hold of that recipe, so I start experimenting and then after a few rounds of trials, me and my mum managed to bake it perfectly.

What was meant to be gifts to my friends and colleagues soon turned into a business. I've received so much orders in 2006 that I have to bake till midnight everyday to fulfill them. The tarts came under the branding "Sweet Tooth Delights" in short STD (not the disease la)! I managed to bake 1000+ tarts and after that I bought myself a new esprit jacket with the money I earned!

Don't they look yummy?

Packed in colourful containesrs - microwave, freezer & diswasher safe

I didn't sell any this year because I was busy preparing for my Europe trip to Germany (for work), and some other countries on my own. It was not totally a bad thing for me as I get to relax during the CNY without the need to bake until midnight again.

Pineappple tarts in conventional red bottle

My mum's delicious and crispy sunflower seed cookies. It tastes great and I can finish half a bottle while watching TV!

More Cupcakes...

Still not satisfied by my attempt at decorating cupcakes, I made more of 'em yesterday. Thinking that it'll be a public holiday on the 1st and 2nd, I took Monday off as well so that I can have a good rest at home. I made these out of a spur of the moment and it turned out quite okay. The buttercream icing was a bit too soft due to lack of icing sugar. Nevertheless, it was still edible-haha!

The spotlight on the cupcake made it looked better. Don't you think so?

Hari Raya is coming. I better make myself prepared.

A box full of happiness and sweet treats.

No, I didn't finish all the cupcakes myself. I shared them. I gave away two boxes of "a box full of happiness" to my music students and then a box to my neighbour. The "not-so-pretty" ones ended up in my stomach. Ouch!

Cupcakes Anyone?

Recently, I've bought a box of muffins for Emily's birthday and boy, it looked so good and too adorable to be eaten. Then it strike me, maybe I should try baking some myself and decorate them. I started with cupcakes, because they are small and simply too cute to be eaten! At first, the decorations did not turn out too well, far from what you see below. But after a few rounds of baking and learning how to squeeze (the icing...what were you thinking about?!!), it gets better.

This is the box of muffins for Emily. Too pretty to be eaten isn't it?

A few days were spent on research - the buttercream icing, the marshmallow fondant and of course the delicious lemon poppy seed cupcakes! Then I went sourcing of ingredients and decorative materials at baking shops in Taman Megah and Shah Alam. Finally, the pictures below showed that I have made some improvement despite being an amateur at cake decorating! Nothing is impossible...when there's a will, there's a way....

eL's creations

A taste of Happy Land anyone?

Perfect for wedding bells....

Your garden won't blossom? Don't worry you can always have a pink blossom-anytime!

The colour of the season- PURPLE

How about a sweet escapism sometimes?

There you have it. eL's homemade cupcakes made with love and determination. Although they don't look pretty and professional, hey at least I've tried my best. Wanna have a bite? Call me.

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