It’s finally up! It’s a pity that I missed it broadcasted on BFM 89.9 but here’s the podcast!

[BFM launched in September 2008, and is a 24‐hour independent radio station focused on business news and current affairs. Core programmes include the latest business news and stock market reports from Malaysia and other financial centres, interviews with business personalities, financial analysts, entrepreneurs, technologists and marketers.] (From BFM website)

Front and back cover of Nestle Malaysia's yogurt recipe booklet, please note that I only styled the food for the photos on the back cover (left side), and the small photo on the top right of the front cover (right side)

Just want to take this opportunity to wish everyone Merry Christmas! I finally received the photos of some of the dishes I styled for Nestle Malaysia for their plain yogurt recipe booklet a couple of months ago. I have not been able to grab a printed copy, can’t seem to find it in the supermarkets yet! I was told that they will be given away with purchase of Nestle natural yogurt at Jaya Jusco but I went to Jusco at MidValley and did not see it….If anyone sees it, let me know!

(Update: Just managed to get a copy of it today (Dec 26, 2011) at Village Grocer at Bangsar Village, you need to purchase 2 tubs of Nestle natural yogurt (470g) to get a copy of the recipe

Here are some of the pictures, please note that I only prepared and styled the food. Prop styling (even though many of the props are mine) and layout by the Art Director, and photography by another photography studio…There was a lot of effort spent in producing the dishes, photos and design, so I hope you’ll like them!

Enjoy! And have a great Christmas holiday!

French orange & poppy seeds madeleines on antique French cutting board

French orange & poppy seeds madeleines on antique French cutting board

These were brought to my friend Linus’ screening of all Yasmin Ahmad’s TV commecials recently. Yasmin Ahmad was a well known film director in Malaysia who passed away in 2009. Most of the her commercials touched the heart of Malaysians because of the cultural values, love and humour she portrayed in them and we can all relate to our lives as Malaysians. I’ve watched one of her films, Sepet as well.

The screening of the TVCs brought back old memories and very moving at the same time. I didn’t know many of them were shot by her. Rest in peace Yasmin!

Yesterday was International Human Rights Day (December 10, 2011). Some people just shrug their shoulders and say well it’s just another day. Some may say “So what?” But some decided to stand up for their rights as the citizens of Malaysia to say NO to the Public Assembly Bill (see previous blog post for the background of the bill here).

This was the third time on three consecutive Saturdays where a concerned group of people decided to show their dissatisfaction in the open, demonstrating to the authorities who drafted and approved the bill that it is 100% okay for Malaysians to assemble publicly without causing commotion, disruption or safety concerns to the public.

The original event was a flashmob to be staged at KLCC concourse area but KLCC management issued the organizers a legal letter threatening for court injunction should they insist to proceed as they (KLCC management) claimed past two events disrupted their tenants’ business and caused safety concerns to their shoppers (the past two events were not even conducted in the shopping mall)! Though we did not see the rationale as we were merely going to KLCC to shop, then congregate and disperse, we happily abode and decided to shower KLCC management with love.

About a hundred of us turned up, we went shopping and joyfully posed in front of the Christmas trees with the “yellow” items we purchased from KLCC outlets. Despite accusing us for causing business disruption and security concerns, we showed them that we only have good intentions and showing our concerns against the Public Assembly Bill in a loving and safe way.

I decided to make some Christmas cookies and share the love and joy with everyone present. This was the first time I decorated cookies with royal icing and they actually turned out pretty good as a novice. The cookies were only decorated in yellow and white. Yellow is the colour of “Bersih” (Clean in English), a movement created to demand for a clean general election in Malaysia. Tens of thousands of people marched on the streets on July 9 this year, and it was truly a historical movement to be witnessed (I wasn’t there as I flew to Hong Kong on that day 😦 ); and white resembles purity, that we PUREly only want peace and the best for the citizens of Malaysia!

The event went surprisingly well without the interruptions from the management nor the security guards. We shopped for yellow items and posed with the items and our receipts in front of the Christmas trees. We sang “Jingle Bells” and our national anthem. We had our group photos taken and the photos were published in some of the online news portals. (For video of the event, click here.) I happily distributed the cookies among the participants. We made new friends and smiled at everyone even though I didn’t know most of them. And most importantly, we had fun and we’re just a bunch of concerned citizens who happened to be happy shoppers! I felt really patriotic to see Malaysians (and foreigners) of all walks of life and races coming together and do something for the future of Malaysia! Bravo peeps! And see you in all future events! We will do it together and KILL THE BILL!

P.S. The best part was the after-event lunch…sitting down at the same table with Malaysians that I do not know and yet there was such strong sense of solidarity and home-coming feel…We should do this more often!

Click on the photos below to view them large.

Chocolate chip cookies and red bean buns ready to go for the event!

I was really excited and motivated for the event today, but too bad I had to leave 20 minutes after the event started. I got to meet two of my real heroes, A. Samad Said and Lim Kit Siang, and they both ate my cookies!

It was good to see Malaysians regardless of race and age congregate together to stand up for our rights and SAY NO TO THE PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY BILL!! (which in reality, isn’t peaceful at all, because it restricts our rights to assemble in public places, with a whole bunch of rules and restrictions. The Peaceful Assembly Bill bans street demonstrations and was passed on November 29 on BN votes after the opposition Pakatan Rakyat bloc staged a walkout (quoted from Malaysian Insider). For background info of the bill and why we oppose, click here and here) It shows that Malaysians can gather with peace and does not cause any commotion or stir any danger! (*says BOOO!!! to the creators to this law!*)

Since I left early, I just left the red bean buns with them, I hope they didn’t go to waste! I think the cookies were distributed before I left, but when I left the buns were left untouched 😦

But nevermind, it’s the thought that matters! Keep up the good work Chin Huat (key person for this event) and fellow comrades, we won’t give up and I will continue to show my support until the bill is withdrawn!

Here are the photos from the events…Just click on the thumbnails below to turn on slide show…

Cookies for a cause: These will be distributed during the gathering to stand up for freedom to assembly at KLCC park tomorrow afternoon (December 3, 2011, 2 pm)

Calling for action!

Calling all Malaysians, come join me for a walk/picnic to stand up for freedom to assembly at KLCC Park, this Saturday, December 3, 2011, from 2 pm onwards. We will be around the fountain area near Dome Cafe. I would be baking some chocolate chip nutty cookies together with red bean buns to share with everyone! Our National Laureate, A. Samad Said (affectionately known as Pak Samad) will be reciting poems there as well.

Please share this message and stand up for our rights to assembly and say NO to the peaceful assembly bill that has just been passed! KILL THE BILL!

See you there and bring your family and friends! We will show them, even though we may not know each other, we are there for a good cause, we’re all Malaysians, and WE LOVE OUR COUNTRY!!!!

Click here for details of the event.

NOTE: Change of plans…apparently I have to work on that afternoon and slipped my mind, cuz just too gungho about this event that I overlooked my project! But I will still drop by to show my support , share the cookies and buns, then rush off to work!

Roasted chestnuts

As a Chinese, the only ways I eat chestnuts are either in Chinese rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves (zong zi or 粽子),meat stew, or eat as a snack (sugar fried with shells). You can also boil or steam them with the shell.

But I’ve always wanted to photograph them roasted with the shell cut and curled out, the western way. Chestnuts are extremely photogenic, from the photos I’ve seen online. So when I saw them today at the open-air market in Sri Petaling, I just couldn’t resist from buying them to shoot them!

To roast them, all you need to do is to cut a X on the flat surface of the shell into the skin with a sharp paring knife. Then roast them in a shallow baking pan in the oven (160 – 180 C) for about 20 – 30 minutes, until the skin crack open and the flesh is tender.

I find that chestnuts roasted this way taste drier than those boiled or sugar fried, but definitely much much more photogenic and rustic on camera!

Now feast your eyes on these little beauties! (Click on the thumbnails at the bottom on this post to turn on the gallery slideshow)