2 Guns

Sunday, September 29, 2013

As summer in the US comes to a close, we see less interesting movies premiering in the cinemas. Nevertheless, WL & I still needed our occasional dose of movies as entertainment. Given the freedom to choose, I picked 2 Guns for our movie outing.

Two A-list Hollywood actors, Denzel Washington & Mark Wahlberg frontlines the movie as undercover DEA agent, Trench & undercover Naval Intelligence Officer, Stigman respectively. Neither of them are aware that they are going undercover with individual motives. When their attempt to infiltrate a Mexican drug cartel & recover millions of dollars took a wrong turn, they are suddenly disavowed by their own superiors. Even people from each team were sent to "do whatever is necessary" to silence both agents.

I'm sure the rest of the scenes are pretty predictable with gun shots, car chases & vulgarity ensued when both agents survived the earlier attack. The movie seemed enjoyable at first because there are many witty one liners (even though vulgar) which are hilarious. However, the fun factor quickly diminished because character development & storyline is weak. It is rather disturbing to see the men (in the movies) acting particular violent.

In general, the movie is enjoyable in its own way but I don't think I can't stand another movie with similar antics. Movies with similar characteristics is surely soulless & lacks many substance to keep the audience glued for the next hour. If I were you, I wouldn't even bother about paying for the tickets to watch.

Pic courtesy of MoviePosterDB.com

Passionate About Pastries

Sunday, September 15, 2013

In the month of September, one class organised by At 19 Culinary Studio caught my attention - Passionate About Pastries. The subject matter speaks volume of my great interest & undying love for pastries. I booked my seat immediately without hesitation. It turned out the instructor will only be teaching 2 recipes for the day. Oh well... *shrugs*

The first pastry is called banana & apple turnover. First, we lined the baking tray with parchment paper & preheated the oven to 180°C. Then, we started preparing the filling by mixing together chopped apples, bananas, lemons & cinnamon powder. Sugar is omitted until the last step before the scooping the filling into the pastry. This is to apples oxidizing too quickly & juice seeping out from the apples too quickly.

Next, we mixed the sugar & orange rind in a separate bowl. On a floured surface, we rolled out the square puff pastry. Now is the time to combine the orange sugar mix with the fruit fillings prepared earlier. Small scoops of filling is placed in the centre of the rolled puff pastry & folded diagonally to one corner, making a triangular turnover. To seal the edges, we pressed the puff pastry firmly or for a neater finishing, we can use a fork to do the trick. Once all the puff pastry is filled up, they are placed on the baking tray. Each pastry is brushed with egg yolk & orange sugar for the extra glaze & crunch.

Finally, bake the puff pastry for 15-20 mins until puffed & well browned. Let the pastry cool on the wire rack.

The next recipe is cheese, thyme & wild mushroom tart. What a long name! Let's just call it mushroom tart. As usual, the over is preheated to 180°C while the baking tray is lined with parchment paper. Then, we washed & sliced the mushroom thinly. The sliced mushroom is then sauteed with chopped garlic, dried thyme & some olive oil. While stirring, add in Worchester sauce & some lemon juice. Follow up with salt & pepper to taste. Set aside to cool.

Similarly, the puff pastry square is rolled on a floured surface. Scoop some mushroom topping into the centre. Pinch the side edge of the pastry to form a tart shape. Sprinkle some thyme & cheddar cheese on top, finishing off with some drizzle of olive oil over the topping. Brush the side of the pastry with egg yolk & bake them for 15-20 mins until well browned.

The banana-apple turnover is looks good & taste delicious but a little sweet so there's room for tweaking to suit my taste buds. Honestly, I wasn't too thrilled about the presentation for mushroom tart. Most of us failed to form a perfect tart shape using the method taught by the instructor. As a result, the tart ended up looking like a pillow. It would've been neater if we insert the pastry into tart shells/tin. Taste wise, I wouldn't opt for for cheddar cheese as topping because it's too salty & overpower the mushroom. I will need to look for another recipe.