Panic kitchen: How to make Japanese soft boiled egg

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Ever wonder how the soft boiled egg that comes along with a bowl of Japanee ramen is made? Them smooth and silky egg white with sweet and savoury runny egg yolk inside… It goes along with basically everything and 10 out of 10 people will go cray cray upon seeing the egg. I even squeaked a little when I saw the egg packed in a in 7-11 Japan. Yup. They sell this kind of stuff in the convenient store. Food technology + business brain = amaze-balls.

Be amazed. *proud to be a Food Scientist*
(Source: http://dearangeloffood.wordpress.com/)

Well anyway, the mystery of the yummylicious egg is solved thanks to the Internet. It only involves several steps and takes less than 30 minutes to complete. I had 3 attempts before getting the almost perfect egg. You’ll see why.

1. First, boil a pot of water. Make sure the water is sufficient to cover 2/3 of the egg.
2. Put the egg into the water once the water is boiled. It is crucial that the egg is to be in room temperature so if you normally keep the eggs in the fridge as I do you’ll have to take it out in prior for “thawing” or else…

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ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

Your egg will start squirting wtf. No kidding. It happened to mine (1st attempt). The egg shell cracked. I guess it has something to do with thermal expansion.

3. Leave the egg in the boiling water for 6 minutes. Remember to move the egg around in the water from time to time.
4. While waiting, prepare a bowl of ice water. Transfer the egg from the pot to the ice water when the time is up. Leave the egg in the ice water for at least 10 minutes.

According to some blogs, apparently 6 minutes is the “golden minute” as shorter or longer than that will result in a half boiled completely-watery egg or a hard boiled egg.
For the 2nd attempt, I forgot to time after I put the egg into the boiling water so I guess I took it out too soon (5 minutes?) and hence getting a half boiled egg. .__.

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My exposed egg white. 囧

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A closer look.

5. After 10 minutes, remove the shell and cut the egg into half.

Voila! Behold! My soft boiled egg after 3 attempts!

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*touched* T____T

Ok perhaps the egg yolk is not as runny as you think but hey I swear the yolk was runny irl!

I’ll get it right the next time anyhow!

Note: This is just a plain soft boiled egg (hanjuku tamago). To achieve the flavourful egg that we normally have with ramen (ajitsuke tamago/nitamago), additional steps must be taken to marinate the egg. Perhaps I’ll talk about it in the future if I ever had the chance to as the ingredients are not easy to get. :/ Till the next time! x

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Things you can do to your hair

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Clockwise from upper left: Waterfall braid (2 strands), waterfall braid (3 strands), fish braid, the French braid.

Having long hair had been my dream when I was a kid since my hair was short for almost 17 years of my life (no kidding) due to some strict rules in my primary and secondary school. I always felt envious when I saw girls with all kinds of fancy braids at church. Few years ago when I finally had chest length hair, I felt that I can finally do something to my boring straight hair but sadly I didn’t know how to braid (except the basic braid of course). ‘Fraid not, there’s a lot of blog/video tutorials available online. Thanks Internet, thanks Youtube.

The first challenging braid I learnt was the classic French braid. It was a torture – my hands were numb, my brain was confused, my fingers had no idea what they were doing… However it is fairly easy once you get the idea. Now that I can braid my hair within 5 minutes, French braid is usually what I do to my hair when I’m too lazy to wash my hair.

If the French braid is too hard for you, 3 strands waterfall braid is your alternative choice. It is simple and easy to master as long as you know how to do a basic braid. I often wear this braid when my fringe annoys me or turns oily.

You can also try 2 strands waterfall braid. Very, very simple and cute plus all the steps are uncomplicated. At the time when the photo above was taken, I was a novice in braiding and my hair was braided by my talented friend Joanne.

Fish braid must be the hardest braid among the mentioned braids above and the other common ones. The steps are confusing not to mention tiring especially when you have thicker hair. But I guess it’s all worth it considering the outcome. In the photo above my hair was braided by another talented friend Dhameera.

Other than all that are mentioned, there’s also the Dutch braid (which is quite similar to the French braid except that the braid is kinda… inside out), ladder braid, bow braid, mermaid braid, etc. Also, instead of braiding just as what is shown in the tutorials, you can also jump outside the box and improvise to spice things up, like doing a side French braid, tying your hair into a bun at the end of the braid instead of letting it down or braid into ponytail. What’s most important is to have fun right!

Anyway, this is my current favourite. Casual and elegant, suitable for any occasion.

I still need more practice though… Oh well, I guess practice is the key to success. Till the next time.

x Jess

My lips collection

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Fine. I’ll admit it. I’m a lipstick hoarder. And I got it from my mama. So technically… It’s not entirely my fault. *self-convincing*
Some of them are gifts while a couple of them were bought by me.
I used to put them on depending on mood and occasion. But around 1 year ago my lips started chapping real bad and it got worse gradually over time – even the area of skin above my upper lip turned dry and “peel-able” (fml). As a result I was force to put on nothing but petroleum jelly and lip balm. Boo. :(
Despite my hesitation, I’ve finally agreed to visit a skin specialist some weeks ago after my parents’ constant persuasion. Hopefully my lips will revert to a healthy and “unpeel-able” state soon.

So here it is. Hmm. Perhaps it’s just a “mini” collection & maybe I’m just a “mini” lipstick hoarder… (Good news? Ngehehe) I have actually mentioned some in my previous posts. Such as Tony Moly Fruit Princess Gloss.

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  1. MAC Cremesheen – “Creme D’nude”
  2. Maybelline Moisture Extreme – “Loving Red” #820
  3. Sephora Rouge Shine – “Soul Mate” #46
  4. Nutrimetics Magix – ”Green Mint“ N2040003
  5. Marvella Karo Chi – #8 (マーベラ リップスティックカロチ)
  6. Silky Girl Moisture Max – “Pink Lady” #02
  7. Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter – “Smoothies” #50
  8. Maybelline Color Sensational – “Coral Pink” CB41
  9. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain -“Precious” #50    
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Swatch under fluorescent light #1.

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Swatch under fluorescent light #2.

You might wonder why #4 is green. Well… It’s a “magic” lipstick and my mom bought it for fun and gave it to me. The sheer transparent colour will turn to pink once it is applied on my lips even though it is colourless on my hand. Again, just for fun and I hardly use it, the colour is awful on me due to my chapped lips.

I got the MAC nude & Silky Girl shocking pink from my friends as gifts, bless their souls. I often use the nude one as a base to create gradient lips. However I felt that MAC was too dry for me (due to my lips condition) while the pink is just… too pink, obviously. Perhaps I can use it for gradient lips too, if I’m feeling… I dunno, pinkish(?).
#2 and #3 are definitely my statement lipsticks while #5, #7 and #9 are simply MLBB. Very big thumbs up for them, they have served me well!

My current favourite is without a doubt, Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter (#7) because it is amazing. It is so moisturising and all the available colours are absolutely gorgeous… Not to mention it’s cheap given that the pigments and hydrating level are so good! I have actually bought “macaroon” too (another colour), sadly it was a little bit too maroon red-ish for my liking and I look horrible with it . Come to think of it, what should I expect? It’s named ma-ca-roon for a good reason even though the colour was only a sheer nude pink shade on my hand when I swatched it at the drug store before purchasing. Perhaps I thought that the name was macaron when I saw it for the first time… My brain’s interpreting skill was unbelievable… If you know what I mean smh. Anyway, so I gave it to my mother and guess what? She loves it. I will most certainly repurchase more but in the other colours once my lips are in good condition to “paint” again.
Did I tell you I’m a lipstick hoarder? While I already own a bunch of lipsticks, lip balms and lip gloss, I’m still eyeing for more… The top 2 lipsticks that are in my purchase list currently are 3CE famous “Daily Lady” and MAC Taupe. Tsk tsk tsk someone please stop me!

Anyhow, this was supposed to be a “what’s in my makeup bag” post but I left some stuff in PJ. Perhaps next time. Till then. x

Only miss the sun when it starts to snow

So I’m on my semester break right now and I have more time at home with my parents.

Mom has been complaining about many things that happened while I’m gone, not that I’m protesting – She has no one to talk to except a friend that comes over to help her with her chores every week. She gurmbles about the dogs, her husband… But one that grabs my attention is what she said about my eldest brother.

I have been away from home for about 4 years now – 1 and a half year over the island for my foundation and 3 years at the capital city for my degree programme. The island is only 1-2 hours journey from home and I returned home on weekends. But the past 3 years have been different. 300+km away from home and not able to go back often, being in a totally unfamiliar surrounding, out of your comfort zone, no warm meals and kind smiles to await you when you return to your “new home”… That has shaped me into a  more independent individual but most importantly, makes me appreciate my parents more. How they love me by showing action rather than telling (typical Asian style), how much money, time and effort they spent on me.

It has been the same with my 2nd elder brother. He left home to pursue a career also at the capital city, met “the one”, married and is currently raising a child together with his wife there rather at his home town. My 2nd elder brother misses my mom’s home-cooked food A LOT – He’s actually 1 step away from breaking into manly tears when we talked about mom’s cooking. Besides, who doesn’t like to be taken care of by people you love, who raised you from a toddler to a full grown man, every day especially when you’re mentally and physically tired and sick?

This emptiness, the feeling of missing your family and your home amplifies when we are away and it expands even further as time goes by. It sucks that you want to be here and there to be a part of something but you can’t because you’re all tied up by responsibilities, duties, etc. I guess it’s right when people say you gain some you lose some. And that Hannah Montana’s “you get the best of both worlds” is just plain fiction (can’t believe I’m quoting Miley Cyrus’ song).

Often I wonder, if I stay at the capital city or even leave for somewhere else in future to “pursue a better life”, will I end up like my 2nd elder brother? And I’m afraid this thought will have a great impact on most of the choices that I have to make in the future.

Right, back to my eldest brother. My eldest brother is married and has 2 adorable kids, he’s an engineer, attends church on Sundays and lives next door. However along with other “complaints”, my mom has also protested that my eldest brother does not wash the dishes after he had his meals, doesn’t appreciate her effort and won’t acknowledge her hard work on taking care of him, doesn’t pay an effort when mom instructs him to do some easy jobs (eg. bring her lunch when she’s lazy to cook or help her to buy some stuff), etc.

I think on this case we all can agree on 1 thing – We often take things for granted, especially when you have been getting it for a long time. You’re used to it, you’re numb to it, you’re coated with it, you don’t have to give extra effort to get it. Does my eldest brother love my mom? Of course he does. But when you’re in a picture, you can’t see the picture from the outside. You get what I mean? I’m sure if he were to spend some time or years away from mom just like me and my 2nd elder brother, he’d appreciate mom as much as we do. It’s like you start to appreciate things less when you are given constantly, no matter it’s love, physical needs, money, Mother Earth… Everything. Just like the song lyrics…

You only need the light when it’s burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go

Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hates the road when you’re missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go

If I told my brother that, he’d probably feel insulted. How can you accuse me of not loving my mother? How can you think that I, on the other end, did nothing to repay our mother? Perhaps he does, in his own ways, but maybe mom doesn’t feel it, or that she’s numb to it too. I’m sure if they spend some time away from each other, they’ll miss and appreciate each other more too. Just like how my mom used to complain that I’m the pain in the arse and that my 2nd elder brother is rebellious and uncontrollable… But now that when we’re just “long term guests” in her house we are the most behaved kids and all. Haa.

I guess what I want to say today is, appreciate your loved ones before they’re gone ‘cuz nothing lasts forever. But hey, we’re only humans. Sometimes we need a couple of harsh lessons before learning the naked ugly truth.

Stila: In The Light

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Stila smudge stick waterproof eye liner – damsel.

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Bad bad swatches without primer on.

Whaddup people? Can’t believe it’s 2014 already! Feels like high school life was just yesterday. God I’m old. Please slow down, time!

Here now, a long overdue post – I’ve actually drafted this ages ago. Procrastination huh? Guilty as charged… To get rid of the habit of deferring and postponing was my new year’s resolution 2 years ago I think. Jeez, I even procrastinate eliminating procrastination…  Unbelievable!

Back to the topic – I’ve been contemplating to buy an eye shadow kit or palette for a long long time. I previously used a Maybelline eye shadow kit but sadly the colour couldn’t stay long on my lids and worst of all, the shimmers even dropped on my cheek. I know – Perhaps I need a primer. But I didn’t feel like wasting RM50 or more on a primer that I’d probably used not more than 10 times in a year since I don’t really put on makeup as often as I thought I would.

Naked was on my to-buy list since forever (by the time I was “considering”, Naked 2 and even 3 were not released yet wtf procrastination) but it was too expensive and way out of my budget even though it contains 12 gorgeous eye colours. However Naked has too many shimmering colours and sadly I’m not really a huge fan of glitters as 1. I prefer an effortless, “less is more” look. Plus, smoky eyes? Totally not my thing, at all. 2. Glitters kinda make my eyes look puffy. 3. Come on, would you seriously use 12 of the available colours? ALL?

So I was at Sephora with my girlfriend a few months ago, and I was struggling to get either Naked Basics Palette ($27) that consists of 6 matte eye colours or a Stila palette as their palettes have received many many great reviews… In the end I got Stila In The Light Palette ($39) and I absolutely love it.

It consists of 10 matte or shimmering eye colours along with an eye liner. Fortunately the shimmers are not too over-the-top and they are not as glittery as I dread they would be.

After few rounds of experimenting with the colours, I now use the colours as follow:

  1. Bare over my lid as a base and to highlight my nose bridge, nose tip, cheek bone & brow bone,
  2. Sunset/Glided gold on my crease,
  3. Sandstone/Luster/Ebony to fill the top of my eyelines,
  4. Kitten to highlight my center lid in the last step,
  5. Sandstone to contour my nose & eyes.

A multi-function palette. How amazing is it?

Besides, the eye liner is wonderful as well. The eye liner is not only long lasting and waterproof. the texture is not too hard that it may hurt my eyes nor too soft to break into pieces while applying. I normally use it to tightline my eyes and the smooth texture makes the application easier and faster. However the downside is that the applicator is flawed – No matter how many times I turned the applicator, the core would just come up a tiny little bit and it was very, very frustrating. I gotta say, the applicator is even worst than a typical drugstore twist-up eye liner. Also, apparently I’m not the only one with this issue after going through Sephora’s product reviews. Boo, what a major let down.

Am thinking of getting Soap & Glory shower gel next… Clean On Me? Or Sugar Crush? :P
Haa! Till the next time dearies. x

 

x Jess

The past 3 months in a nutshell.

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Yes. I’m still alive. Finals were a pain in the arse and am glad it’s finally over. Don’t really care about the results now as what’s past is past. I had a blast on my birthday though. Cakes, surprises, balloons, more cakes & lovely companies. What more can I ask? Very blessed to have what I have right now.

Few more days till 2014. I am never a new year resolution girl ‘cuz I know I won’t achieve anything. But so far what have I achieved this year?

Hmm. Gained a couple pounds, had a relationship, ended a relationship when I realised that I’m not entirely ready yet, conquered the 4th and 5th semester of my tertiary education (jeez, sem 4 feels like eons ago), and lastly but most importantly I’ve made some great friends that brightens my day. So I guess 2013 is pretty good ey?

Fixed my hair a day before Christmas to get ready for a fresh start. The 6th semester will be my last semester in campus as off we go to the career field after that. Can’t really describe how I’m feeling – Anticipation for a new beginning yet fearing the unknown world. Humans, why are you so full of self-contradiction?

Despite all the mixed feelings, now I feel like I have a clearer vision of what I want for my future and hopefully I will make it there. Hell, I must make it there no matter what for my own sake.

Merry Christmas, you. And cheers to a new year & another chance for us to get it right.

x Jess

Home

Am having mid-semester break now hence I’m back at home.
It’s more like a rehab to me. A place for me to stay away from all the distraught thoughts.

And I’ve been doing nothing but reading some Mandarin novels, fanfictions and also… finished watching A:TLA & TLoK (hurray!).
There goes 4 days of my 1 week holiday. Sucks.

Am tying to spend more time with my parents but ended up spending more time with the computer (as usual).
The truth is, I dunno how to. This is just the way we are.
Dad – TV, mom – busy doing something, me – in my bedroom. Or perhaps I should come up with something – time for some family bonding?
Also, mom needs someone to talk to. I’m more a listener/responder than a chitty-chatty but hey, I’m trying.
The other night she told me,

“You know last night when we were talking, daddy counted.”

“He counted the days of us, together. When you were in high school you joined the band and you were at school most of your times. And after that you went to college, you stayed outside. Then you went to KL.”

“The days of you staying by our sides… they aren’t much.”

And then, I felt a tightness in my chest.

x Jess