Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Wholemeal Pastry

I am so sorry that this has taken so long Jane. You see she asked me for my wholemeal shortcrust pastry recipe and I have been o'so slack, tired and busy. So please forgive me?
In order to show off my pastry skills I decided to make Casey one of his favourites, Apple pie. I know you might consider that Apple pie and Wholemeal pastry so don't go together, but that is definately not the case! The slight nuttiness of the pastry matches really well with the caramelised cinnamony apples. To eat with the pie I made some strawberry cream, it was so yummy! Ok, Ok I will stop blabbing already and give you the recipes :)

Apple Filling
Peel, quarter, de seed then finly slice enough apples to fill your pie dish (my pyrex one took 3 large apples)
In a fry pan melt some butter, add the apples a couple tablespoons of sugar and a few good shakes cinnamon. cook the apples for a couple of minutes until they start to release there juices and they smell alittle caramelly and cinnamony.

Strawberry Cream
Blend 5 large strawberries (or to taste) 100gms of ricotta (fresh!) and some honey or sugar to taste til it is smooth. ( whisky and cinnamon instead of the strawberries would be really good too ;) )

Wholemeal shortcrust pastry
11/2 cups of wholewheat flourpinch of salt
(1 Tablespoon of sugar if for a sweet pie)
1/2 cup of butter, cubed or grated
1 egg, beaten
Ice water

Mix the flour and salt (and sugar if for something sweet). Cut in the butter til the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add a tablespoon of water to the egg and mix into the flour/butter mix, if too dry add alittle more water. The mixture should just come together into a ball.

The egg is not strictly necessary, but it makes the pastry so easy to roll out and it wont crumble apart. (we d on't have the same shortening that you can get in the US). If the pastry is cool still it can be used straight away or can be rested in the fridge before use (well wrapped). The pastry can be used not prebaked (as I did here). In Australian cup sizes (250mls = 1 cup) it makes enough pastry for a bottom and a lattice top. Mixture can be easily doubled etc.... if you increase by abit still only add one egg. (I use large eggs)

Monday, August 29, 2005

IMBB 18 Frying!

When I heard about the fried food required for this month's Is My Blog Burning (IMBB) my head was full of all sorts of fabulous deep fried goodies, Ayam Goreng, Fish and Chips, Donuts. But then I remembered that I have implace a vieto on homemade deep fried goodies, to much fat everywhere and it can only be a sliding slope from there (I mean to deep fried goodnes all the time ;) ). So when I found my Chapati Press last week I new that FRIED BREAD or Chapati would be in my near future and would be perfect for this IMBB! YAY! The recipe/method I used is courtosey of Nupur who lovingly left her longest and most useful comment which contained everything I needed to make this yummy bread! To go with the yummy bread I needed something Indian that was smooth and would be perfect to be picked up with the tender Chapati. I found a recipe for Dudhi Channigewhich was perfect to eat with the Chapati, it was actually not only perfect but delicious and one of the best meals I have made in awhile :).

To make the Chapati I found a HUGE Indian Grocer in Ashfield which had the required 'Atta' flour for $1.30 for a Kilo! The Chapati where very easy to make, whilst I was kneading the dough I was delighted with how smooth and tender the dough became, the dough was alittle wetter than you would normally make it for bread, but as I kneaded I noticed that this was good, I think it also prevented the dough from drying out as I pressed them later on. I made sure to knead the dough til it was really smooth and stretchy which is important when you are trying to make the Chapati really thin later. Whilst I don't yet have a griddle pan I used my Le Creuset Saute dish which when really hot worked really well, I found out that the thinner I could make the dough the better they puffed up. Even if you don't have a Chapati press I would definately recommend making them as they are so easy and delicious.

Thanks Linda for choosing such a yummy theme for IMBB
Chapati Dough( Courtesy of Nupurs comment :) )
Chapati dough is simple enough to make: simply whole wheat flour, pinch of salt and water kneaded together to make a soft smooth-as-a-babys-bottom dough, cover with a damp towel and let it rest for 20-30 minutes, then make golf-ball size balls and roll ( or press) out the chapatis. Bake them over a hot griddle/ frying pan. After dry-roasting the chapati, remove it from the fire and drizzle with a few drops of oil or ghee so it stays soft till it is eaten. Having said that, here are a few notes:
1. The flour that is used for chapatis has a texture coarser than all-purpose flour and finer than the whole wheat flour found in Western groceries. A good idea would be to locate an Indian grocery and buy a package of flour there. It is called "atta".
2. Some people add a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil while kneading the dough to make it more pliable.
3. Authentic chapatis are not merely flat breads, they are LAYERED flat breads. Here is how you could do it. Make a ball of dough. With a rolling pin, roll it out a bit till it is a small circle. Dab some oil all over the circle. Now fold the circle into half and then quarter. Pat this shape into a ball and then press it out into a chapati. what happens is: after cooking , the layers seperate and puff up, helped by the dab of oil between the layers and you get an authentic chapati.

Dudhi Channige
250 gms chana dal
1/2 kg bottlegourd (dudhi) ( I didn't use this I use a chopped sweet potato and a chopped red capsicum)
3 onions, chopped finely
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala
2 cm piece ginger
4 green chillies
2 tomatoes
1 lemon
2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
oil as needed
salt to taste

1 clove garlic
1 red chilli
a pinch of cumin seeds
a pinch of asafoetida
a small piece of ginger, sliced

Heat 2 tbsps oil and fry the onion till golden brown. Add chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, chopped ginger, green chillies and chopped tomatoes. Cook for a few minutes. Add the channa dal and water enough to cook till dal is soft. Peel and cut the bottlegourd into small pieces and add to the dal mixture. When the vegetable is cooked, add the garma masala powder and salt to taste. Squeeze in lemon juice. Heat 2 tbsps oil, fry the whole red chilli, sliced ginger, crushed garlic, asafoetida and cumin seeds. Pour over the dal mixture. Garnish with coriander leaves.

I also had a Cucumber Raita you can find my recipe here

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Vee Vee Mascot

You know how some places see really popular and when you go in and buy the food you think WHY? OH WHY is there a huge line of people and a whole heap of newspaper reviews on the wall when there is a much better, cheaper, friendlier place just down the road? Well that is what happens in Mascot.

Mascot might feel like the middle of nowhere, but there are a few gems located on Botany Road. The First Gem is Vee Vee bakery at 1177 Botany Rd. It might look like there is no one there, well actually there is but this is at 4 pm and not lunch hour. The 2 ladies are nice and polite and modest they were so humble when I asked them if I could take a photograph. Vee Vee sells a few different Bahn Mi, Chicken, Roast Pork, Pork Roll, vegetable, meatball and the most expensive are $3. $3 is .50 c cheaper than the bakery up the road :P apart from that the rolls here are much nicer, crispy and they use there own soy blend and not just Maggi seasoning, which adds to the overall roll experience and they have more counters, which means that they get through there customers much quicker too (and they have tables to sit at). These rolls make a tasty quick lunch and definatly beat the pants off the "larger" competition", if you know who I mean ;).

If you make the journey to try one of these babies make sure after you finish lunch you keep walking down Botany rd to Christophers cake shop and alittle further on is the Indian grocer where I found my Chapati press, you just never know you could get lucky too (they have indian sweets as well).

This post is dedicated to Kirk and all the other food bloggers who search for Bahn Mi Perfection!

WCB 12

WCB 12

Cat food bloggers unite every weekend and share photos of your gorgeous kitties with us!

If you would like to be included, just leave me a comment with your permalink! and add a "weekend cat blogging" tag to your post!

Literary Cat Quote: " It is a very annoying habit of kittens ( Alice had once made the remark ) that, whatever you say to them, they always purr." Lewis Carroll

Look at Kiri, eating his grass in his lovely new outside area... which he loves mind you. He is so funny when he chews on something be it cardboard, grass or your hand he gets this look of intense concentration on his face, too cute!

Last night I had a terrible experiance though, I bought some Lambs fry (liver) for Kiri, he looked at me with a look of "get that stuff away from me" and wouldn't eat it raw. So I chopped it up finely and cooked it. The SMELL! It made me sick to my stomach, I dry retched Blurgh... *shudder* it was gross, disgusting and to make it all much worse Kiri still wouldn't eat it. Then even after the smell left I still couldn't stomach the thought of the lovely scotch fillet steak I had bought for dinner. It is enough to make you a vegertarian! I told my mum, she laughed at me, what sort of a support system is that? She said why do you think I have never cooked it or made you eat it as a child. I ponder this for a moment and was so glad that this was the truth.

Check out the Bollywood edition of WCB at Masak Masak, too cute Boo!
Check out the ever ladylike Tasha at a few of my favourite things
Check out Mathides cute black kitty at Skør i Skralden
Check out Hamlet the first boy in Anne's like over at Anne's Food
Check out the hard working farm boss at Farmgrl fare
Check out Abe and Ike pinning for the outdoors at Restaurant Widow
Check out Grimalkin helping Mummy write at Tigers and Strawberries
Check out Agnes being a sweetie at Kayaksoup
Check out Jack and Miles as babies at My Adventures in the Breadbox
Check out The Cat taking over the blogoshere at Belly-Timber
Check out Tsar exploring in the fridge at Cook and Eat
Check out Gideon learning to become apart of Dagmars' family at A cat in the Kitchen
Check out Luke resting for ust a moment at Sweetnicks
Check out Mrs Beije who posed for her human pet at Pumpkin Pie Bungalow
Check out the 2 furlings over at Kitchenmage

Service Difficulties

Hi Folks
My regular picture hoster is experiencaing highly annoying service difficulties. So if you can't see my lovely photos, it's not you, it's me... well actually it's them :P I hope to return you to my lovely (ahem) photos soon. (All Caseys fault really... who is this hosting provider??? )

I am about to post my WCB photo using blogger photos :) So come on now and participate!

Friday, August 26, 2005


Look what I found today! A Chapati press, for only $15. It is really heavy made of cast iron with 2 stainless steel plates on the inside. Does anyone have any experience with these? I think I must be able to make tortillas with it too *clare chuckles gleefully!*

So if you have any instructions on how to use it or recipes for chapati or tortilla recipes I would be most grateful :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Strawberry Custard Tart

Yum, I was walking past this bakery on King St Newtown when I saw this tart and I just had to get it......


Actually, I had made way to much shortcrust pastry for my Smoked Salmon Quiche and on the weekend I just happened to purchase a set of itty bitty tart pans... and the rest is history, literally hehehe in our tummy's!

Casey really likes Custard and I had some really big Strawberries, so I figured that a strawberry Custard tart would come very naturally.... I do have to admit that I used Custard powder (OMG! what a shocker!) Well, I had used the last of my eggs in the quiche, so sue me :P. Using Custard powder did make this a very easy tart to make though. To replicate the creme patisserie I doubled the amount of custard powder to 4 TBSP to 500 mls of Skim milk, which I cooked til thick (make sure you let it cook out the flour taste) I added a little extra Madagascar vanilla extract and let it cool. I baked off the wholemeal shortcrust in the itty bitty tart pans and when golden I let them cool. I whipped some fresh cream (please no thickened creme!) and mixed it with the creme patisserie and piped it into the tart shells. That's right I said piped. I think that my subconscious may have had alterior motives afoot when it came up with idea... I might have to have words with myself! I had bought some disposable multilix piping bags at the supermarket a few weeks ago and thought I should give them a go, only for YOUR sakes you do understand ? ;) . They worked really well, no mess and I didn't have to wash them. I do have issues with them being disposable, but if I use the rest of the packet within the year I will buy a decent piping bag, how does that sound? I then laid the halved strawberries and laid a dusting of icing sugar over the top.

So how where they? Not to bad if I must say so myself. Definitely much better than 90% of the fruit tarts in local bakeries.... and heaps of fun to make!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Quiche enough for any man

That quiche looks ok doesn't it? Well it definitely tasted even better, It looks really big because I made it in my huge 30 cm (for us anyway ;) ) Pyrex tart pan, because you if you go to the effort make it big enough for 2 meals or at least lunch the next day.

Did I tell you I cooked it in my new oven? Notice that there are no crispy burnt bits. This probably sounds like I am doting a little bit, I know, I know, but I am just so happy it worked so well.

Whenever I make a quiche I just use what ever I fancy at the time or have at hand, so I know it isn't that traditional but they always work out really well. Today I did cheat though because I decided I really wanted some smoked salmon so I went and bought some ;). The other thing I find about them is that they can be too heavy or rich. This can be a good thing, but not for your average nights meal where you don't want to be too concerned about your arteries hardening. So I use skim milk with the eggs, try to use veggies that have been grilled or roasted without too much extra grease and only a little good cheese rather than a ton of 'eh'.

The basic plan is:

Wholemeal Shortcrust pastry

100 gms of smoked salmon
1/2 bunch of dill, chopped
1/2 a punnet of cherry tomatoes sliced in half
1 Kumera(Sweet potato) peeled and thinly sliced and grilled
1 handful of button mushrooms thinly sliced and sated
1 red capsicum, skin blackened and sliced into strips
1 avocado peeled and sliced
1 small Brie sliced
salt and pepper

6 eggs beaten with some skim milk and S&P

Line a 30 cm tart tin with the pastry and prebake at 180 degrees C for 15 mins.

Layer the ingredients with the tomatoes and Brie on the top. Bake in a 200 Degree C oven til set and golden around 30 - 40 mins

*Note* Adjust to suit the size of your pan.

Serve with a simple salad!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

WCB 11

Cat food bloggers unite every weekend and share photos of your gorgeous kitties with us!

If you would like to be included, just leave me a comment with your permalink! and add a "weekend cat blogging" tag to your post!

Doesn't Kiri look happy outside?Kiri loves it outside, and the last 2 times he was right out the back he jumped over the fence. Not Good. Perhaps I should just let him go? Am I holding on to tight, I don't know. So to counter it I have made a alittle (not that little) cat alley for Kiri to safely hang outside in the sun and he LOVES IT! How good is that? (And I don't have to let go just yet)

Literary Cat Quote : "The smallest feline is a masterpiece" Leonardo da Vinci

Check out Bella and Tasha at a few of my favourite things
Check out Kelly at Annes Food
Check out Dagmar's new baby S*Hufflepuffs Gideon Grevé at A Cat in the Kitchen
Check out Smudge at Foodie Farm grl
Check out Alice's Sweet Orange boy Miles at My Daventures in the Breadbox
Check out Indrid having an Emergency Kitten Bath at Tigers & Strawberries
Check out Boo's last picture of her favourite orange kitten! at Masak Masak
Check out Culinary Abe at Restaurant Widow
Check out Tsar lying in his basket at Cook and Eat
Check out Callie and Nick takin' a nap at Sweetnicks

Friday, August 19, 2005

Simple Salmon

Well this is the first savoury dish cooked on my new stove, it is so simple yet perfect. The flavour of the salmon is heightened by an organic raspberry vinegar which was brought on the way back from my recent interlude. The salmon was served with garlicy grilled fennel and just steamed mothers organic broccoli. Perfect. We enjoyed this with a Moondah Brook Verdelo which was the perfect accompaniment.

Garlicy Fennel
Pre heat Griddle Pan tile HOT! Pre heat oven to 200 degrees C
Slice a fennel in half longways (half a fennel per person)
Cut the half into thin wedges
Place the wedges on the griddle pan, when the have marked and just started to juice turn the over. When cooked take them off the heat, keep grilling til all the fennel is cooked.
Finely chop some garlic.
In an oven proof tray lay down a few fennel wedges, sprinkle with garlic, fresh cracked pepper, salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Repeat til all the fennel is in a nice stack. Place in the oven (It will be hot and ready when the salmon is done)

Simple Salmon
Rub the outside of a salmon fillet (150 - 200 gms per person)
Crack fresh black pepper and a sprinkle of salt on the salmon skin.
Place on preheated griddle pan Skin side down. Cook for a couple of minutes thenpick up salmon and rotate by 90 degrees. Leave for a minute then place in the oven on the griddle pan. When the salmon is cooked to your liking (a couple of minutes at most, no more) take the pan out of the oven and place on skin side up on a bed of the garlicy fennel and drizzle with the raspberry vinaigrette emulsion. Serve with the broccoli.

raspberry vinaigrette
Mix raspberry Vinegar, olive oil and S&P to taste, whip to emulsify.

Steam Some broccoli and when tender mix with a tsp of butter a handful of freshly chopped Italian parsley S&P

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

New Oven & Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies

Now I have to say this... Is that Oven sexy or what? I was going to post a contrasting picture with the old heap of crap, but I didn't want to sully that brilliant white goodness, or actually look at that smelly old oven of infinite sadness ever again! I think if I wish to be reminded about it I can just come and read some of my old posts :P This oven might be plain, but it is brand spanking and all mine *muah ha ha ha ha* (Where did that come from? ) At least till we move out .... hehehe

So as you have probably read biscuits, sorry Cookies for you yanks ( I was paid out today by an Aussie friend about calling them cookies today :P) . I needed a very special recipe for this first memorable recipe and since I had the very special packet of Butterscotch morsels care of a very lovely Nic I figured that a fitting use would be in the first batch of competition winning cookies! So I made the Baking by Flavours - Lisa Yockelson Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies. So how did they work out? Need you really ask?(look at the photo) They were perfect (No burnt bits) and crispy and tender and sooooo yummy! The flavour was awesome as well! So all around a perfect first bake, and it was quite suprising to see tht I didn't need to temp surf my oven..... *clare walks off whistling to her self!*

NEW OVEN!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wohoo! New Oven and Rangehood has arrived and the plumber is here to install it. Why? Because it is G A S. It is not that exciting a model but it is brand spanking new!

Here are the results from the poll:

So I am really sorry to say this Jo but I think cookies just managed to win, but only by 1 vote. But I will make the Baklava second (after dinner cooking etc) ok?

I think I am going to make one of the recipes that was sent for me to use with the butterscotch morsels(Thanks nic), which I have been dying to use! YAY! YAY! YAY!

Eat Stuff
What should I make first?






total votes: 72

Monday, August 15, 2005

One Fruity Little Tart!

fruit tart

After my first comment on eatstuff, Clare thought it was time to get off my lazy bum and do my first full post aswell. So here I go with a ricotta and fruit tart Clare and I made to try and recreate a summer feeling in our unheated dining room.

This recipe was really quick and easy, so even computer nerds like me can make it. You kind of need really fresh fruit and ricotta cheese, but you can use packet sweet short crust, like we did here. You really *should* make your own pastry, instead of being lazy like us; it will definately taste better. The fresher the fruit the better, and get fresh Ricotta from the deli. If you use packet Ricotta from the supermarket I will come over to your house and set fire to your kitchen, and that's AFTER you suffered the pain of eating a crappy tart.

Ricotta base for on top of pastry shell
300g *fresh* Ricotta
1 tablespoon honey
*some* orange juice and half an orange worth of rind

Just whip this lot until it looks like whipped cream, adding orange juice while you whip to control the texture you want. Smooth into a pre-baked pastry tart shell and add the fresh fruit that you like. We added Strawberries, navel Orange (nice and sweet), and pasionfruit that we got off our neighbour's overgrown vine.

So go make one now, and if you are "Up Above" enjoy fruit in your summer, while we freeze our bums off "Down Under"

Saturday, August 13, 2005

WCB 10

Cat food bloggers unite every weekend and share photos of your gorgeous kitties with us!

If you would like to be included, just leave me a comment with your permalink! and add a "weekend cat blogging" tag to your post!

Literary Cat Quote: Cats love one so much - more that they will allow. But they have so much wisdom they keep it to themselves. Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

Oh Kiri, how I missed you whilst I was away. When I arrived home, he purred and purred, then smooched louder and more affectionately than ever. Then he fell asleep curled up around my feet.

I will add the tale of my holiday hopefully tonight or in the morning! I missed you guys heaps too, and I can't wait to see what wins the contest, although it looks like baklava is definately in the lead!

Check out Tanuki and Yoshi playing on the huge cat tower at A cat in the kitchen
Check out Meow Meow, Boo's mother at Masak Masak
Check out The Hazards of plating at Bakingsheet
Check out Audrey at Belly Timber
Check out Katterier at Skor i Skralden (Sorry if this is wrong I can't read it! But I am very glad your puddy cat is joining in :) )
Check out Cin's Russian blue's at A few of my favourite things
Check out New Cat in the Cat Cabin at Farmgrl fare
Check out Edith modelling her pink tongue at Annes Food
Check out the pretty Callie at Sweetnicks *new*
Check out the adorable kitten Indrid at Tigers & Strawberies *new*
Check out the 2 cuties at Kitchen Mage *new*

Monday, August 08, 2005

Count down to new oven

So Everyone has heard about the oven of infinite sadness right?

Well can you guess what this ticker is for? Well it is counting down to the delivery date! WOHOO!!!
It might not get installed on that day because..... we have to have a plumber there too. Why? Because it will be gas!!!!!! How cool is this? Too cool if you ask me!
So I don't know what to make first, and I am going away for a couple of days..... so I thought I would put up a poll for what I will make first!!!

Here are the guidelines
1) you can only vote once
2) If you vote for other please leave a comment with what you think I should make!
3) The poll will end sometime on friday my time.

I can't wait to see what you choose!

Have a great week.... I am taking the Camera so there should be lots of photos!

Harry Potter! Eggy breakfast

Ok Everyone you just have to go over to Cook sister and read the round-up... Awesomly done Jeanne :)

Most people don't know this, but I am going to let you in on a little secret. Harry Potter loves to cook, and take photos and blog about his experiences. He doesn't want everyone to know because it is such a muggle thing to do (he is worried that he will be teased) and he is scared that Lord Voldemort or his death eaters will find a way to control him through his blog, perhaps by spamming his comments? Well he isn't sure but now he just can't stop!
The morning after his last success and his huge loss he was feeling too down to make breakfast, this just is not normal, especially since his post for EOMEOTE 9 was due which is run by his old pal Jeanne from Cook Sister. What ever would Harry to do? The house elf Doby decided he should pay a visit to Harry, when he heared about his predicament he knew just what to do. Doby disappeared for a moment and came back with another house elf called Casey. Doby declared that Casey made the best eggy breakfasts at Hogwart's. The best? Harry asked. The best replied Doby. Harry very nicely asked the house elf named Casey if he would make him an eggy breakfast that would be the eggy breakfast to end all eggy breakfasts and then he whispered into his ear can I take a photo of it?. Of course master, Casey replied then disappeared in a poof. Casey reappeared in just a moment and carried the best looking eggy breakfast Harry had ever seen with toast and home roasted espresso what more could Harry ask for? So quick as a flash he pulled out his camera, took a photo and had it back in his cape before anyone knew better. Then Harry tasted the eggy breakfast.... Mushrooms.... mmm fried eggs ...mmm proper bacon... mmm tomatoes ...mmmm toast....mmm coffee. Then Harry thought, I hope Hermoine doesn't find out.

*Note: Harry Potter only recommends the use of organic free range eggs*

Sunday, August 07, 2005

More Aussie biscuits

So what are these biscuits, sorry cookies? Well, that is what I asked myself when I saw them in the Supermarket. Well, they are Tiramusu flavoured cream cookies, and they are pretty good actually. I of course only purchased them so that I could tell you my dear readers if they are any good or not ;).

We had our cup of tea, we ate our cookie and then we both said "Hey these aren't half bad". So I pick up the packet turn it over to look at the nutritional information. 7 gms of fat per 2 cookies!!!! Why oh why oh why Mr Arnott? Surely you can make your new cookies more nutritionally sound. Oh well... I guess I wont be buying these again, unless I think another taste test is in order. HA!

Saturday, August 06, 2005


Cat food bloggers unite every weekend and share photos of your gorgeous kitties with us!

If you would like to be included, just leave me a comment with your permalink! and add a "weekend cat blogging" tag to your post!

Literary Cat Quote: His Friendship is not easily own but is some thing worth having.
Michael Joesph - English Publisher

hmm Kiri sitting there like that... I wonder what is he worried about? Drinking out of the toilet? Walking on the bench? breaking my post plants? Nah he is probably just tired out after a hard core session of fetch!

Check out Kits, who rules Boo's house with an iron paw at Masak Masak
Check out Catgrl and the Cat at Tigers and Strawberries
Check out The scardey cat at the daily vegetable
Check out New Cat in the potting shed at farmgrl fare
Check out the smoochy Ywette at Annes food
Check out another smoochy cat at Belly Timber
check out Bella and Tasha at A few of my favourite things

Friday, August 05, 2005

Vegemite for non Aussies

We're happy little Vegemites

As bright as bright can be.

We all enjoy our Vegemite

For breakfast, lunch, and tea.

Our mother says we're growing

stronger every single week.

Because we love our Vegemite.

We all adore our Vegemite.

It puts a rose in every cheek!

I know that the average non Australian opinion of vegemite is not very high, but I am here to change all that, especially Kirk's (this is for you boy, because he asked for it ; ). I think there are two main reasons for this: 1) because vegemite is made from Yeast extract, 2) When Australians make vegemite for American's they COVER the bread with vegemite, cause that's FUNNY!!! ( Haven't you ever heard of the "little aussie larakin" HA!)

So why eat this stuff? It tastes good, not like chocolate and there is no way that you would spoon it from the jar and secondly because it is good for you! It is high in Vit B, folate, and only 38 kj's per tsp, don't you know ;)

How to make Vegemite toast

1 jar of vegemite
2 slices of bread ( I used Sourdough bread from Rise in Newtown
1 cup of tea

Put kettle on for tea, put toast in toaster. When toast is toasted, generously butter it up, then put alittle on your knife and carefully spread it on the bread. You don't want to put too much on, this is very important! When the tea is made, have the best breakfast, lunch or tea!

*Note* The better the bread and the butter the better the whole experience will be!


I went to the Art Gallery of NSW today to see the Margaret Preston retrospective. Her works are quite useful to photobloggers as she painted alot of really good still lifes... So if you live in Sydney get to the exhibition, it is on til the 23rd of October 2005.

BUT if you go to the Museum, DO NOT GO to the w\Woolloomooloo Bay Hotel for lunch. I had heard it was supposed to be ok, my Mother and Oma had both been there before and been happy but not today. We wanted a warm nourishing lunch, so when we spied the Minestrone soup on the menu we were sold, it was $8 and came with turkish bread. The waiters came to the table carrying 3 large bowls and placed them in front of us, we looked in the bowl and said "What is this?". It was a lot of water red liquid with finely diced capsicum, broccoli and celery, that's it. Well, except for Oma who had a fly! YUCK! We stirred the soup, where is the pasta? Where are the beans? Why is this so watery. We had a mouthful and almost spat it back out, it was that salty. It was totally inedible. Mum took Oma's soup back for her and complained about the fly, she got her money back, when she said it was so salty that it was inedible she received a blank stare. This is when I thought , I am going to blog about this and tell EVERYONE! I don't know why it was so bad... but I know we wont be going back!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Good Tea Bad Tea

With all this talk of Tea that has been going on and I just had to try out some more Matcha candy. Mmmmm Matcha candy right? No Wrong wrong wrong wrong!!!! (this is the bad part, we will get to the good part soon). Firstly I don't think it is Matcha, but instead some really wrong mutated form of powdered Jasmine tea. Now I love jasmine tea, as you will see soon but these candys are from jasmine tea hell! If there is one. YUCK. The only good thing about them was watching Casey's face contort after he tried them LOL! They are weird and really sweet and almost like jasmine perfume on the outside and like green tea and off peanuts on the outside. So please take my advice and if you ever see "Green tea crisp candy" be very very afraid and walk as quickly as you can in the opposite direction, and please under no circumstances put them in your mouth!

So after all this bad tea talk, we should move onto good tea. Jasmine Pearl Tea is very good tea! It is not at the cheap end of the spectrum, we paid $9.90 (AUD) for 100gms and I have seen it for about $13 USD on froogle. But it is really good. Tea leaf buds are picked and scented with jasmine flowers for up to 12 nights then they are hand rolled into the little balls you see in the above picture. The little balls make dosing the tea for your favourite strength very easy too! Once you add the hot water the balls unfurl till you have tea leaf buds in your cup! Very cute. The second cup of tea from the leaves is even better than the first too. So if you are a fan of Jasmine tea try to seek this tea out and give it a try... but you mightn't want to go back ;)

The Tea Roundup has begun at a la cuisine so go check out the 90+ dishes! (Thanks Clement)

*note* I have heard that the tea is really good for you too! (better than normal green tea)

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Warning this is GROSS!

Well, I walked in to the bathroom and.... Wait, stop, hold right there, I don't think I can do this.... actually I suppose there is plenty worse out there Ha!

Well I walked into the bathroom and there is Kiri sitting on the toilet seat, with his head in the toilet bowl. Yep he was drinking toilet water! Now I know Burmese are supposed to be the "dog" cat and he fetches, and walks on lead.. but drinking out of the toilet? That is just going way too far.

Ok, the toilet lid will now stay down. Hmm, where did I put that soap? Kiiirriii come here Kiiiirrriii! good kitty. No, no, no, smooochhes ahhhhhhh run away!!!!!!

Oven of infinite sadness *UPDATE 2*

We have had a phone call from the real estate agents asking for the oven size!!!!! so they can replace it! YIPEEE!!!!!!!!! I hope it wont take too long

Hung Cheung, Marrickville

Hung Cheung Restaurant

Opposite Marrickville Town Hall
338 Marrickville Road
Marrickville NSW 2204

There are days when you just don't feel like going to Chinatown, I know that they are few and far between in my case, but they do occasionally happen. So you need a back up, for what you might ask? Good Chinese food mmmmmm I am not talking about Aussiefied Chinese but something a little more authentic, how authentic I can't guarantee but it has to feel like it!

Well we have found a back up restaurant, they are a little more expensive than there Chinatown counterparts but t hey have a few advantages too. 1) There service is MUCH better, 2) The ease of parking is in a whole different league and 3) They give you cakes!

So where is this mystical, magical place I am talking about? Well it is called Hung Cheung and it is in Marrickville. So what was the food like? Well it was good, the sechuan pork (Casey's pick) was ok, but the Crispy chicken with chilli vinegar sauce was SUPERB! The chicken was so moist and succulent and the portion was huge! The only problem is that there was not enough chilli in the sauce ( I HATE IT WHEN PEOPLE THINK BECAUSE I AM CAUCASION I WANT MY FOOD WITH NO CHILLI AND NOT AUTHENTIC!!!!!!!!!!) ok that's better, but all I had to do was look around and I had a very polite waiter and a bowl of chillis in front of me before I looked down. Didn't I mention the service was good? The special fried rice (casey ALWAYS wants fried rice) was really nice, not greasy, with nice pieces of bbq pork and prawns mmmmmm. So we some how managed to stop eating and ask for the leftovers to be packed up for lunch when we are bought a plate with not only the ubiquitous orange slice but mung bean cakes!!!! and a fresh pot of tea. This was THE PERFECT end to a yummy meal of chicken mmmmmmm.

I have to mention that this was ALOT of food and there was easily enough for leftovers the next day. If you have a group of people who like to share this place would be perfect and make sure to order the chicken ;)

*note* we have been here before and had great salt and pepper squid and steamed eggwhites with seafood. The steamed scallops for an entree (appetiser for the yanks) look great too!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Bushwalk to Marley

Since my country posts were so popular, I decided to put up some pictures of the picnic/bushwalk we went on, on the weekend.

The winter weather has been so beautiful in Sydney, 20 degrees and clear blue skies and no breeze! With weather like this how could you not go for a picnic in the bush? So we packed up the car and drive the 30mins to the Royal National Park. The RNP is located on the southern coastal side of Sydney, it is the oldest NP in Australia and the second oldest in the world after Yellowstone. This is very lucky, because otherwise I could see the mansions on the cliffs already ;) .
The walk we decided to take was Wattamola to Marley beach, this is a 6.5 km round trip. The walk starts off through coastal heathlands, then along the sandstone cliffs finishing up at the beach. It is a relatively easy walk and I recommend all Sydney siders make the trip!

When we got to Marley we had potato salad rolls (Atkins be dammed! LOL) on the beach and they tasted pretty good in the sun. I know everyone has a preferred potato salad recipe and ingredients they like to include but my method is easy and can be used with your favourite flavours.

The trick is to boil the potatoes whole, this prevents them from becoming mushy and absorbing too much water. Whilst they boil, thinly slice some red onion and put it into a large bowl and make your favourite vinaigrette. When the potatoes are boiled take them out of the water and while they are still hot peel and dice them. Put them into the bowl with the onion and pour the vinaigrette onto the hot potatoes. The potatoes will absorb the vinaigrette. The salad can be eaten like this, or when cold some sour cream and any herbs can be stirred through. I made a honey, mustard and orange juice vinaigrette and it worked really well. Casey's boss asked what sort of potatoes I had used, because surely they weren't normal potatoes *grin*.

We were so lucky as all of these natives were in bloom. Whilst many of the Australian flowers are small, they are spectacular or I think so anyway. There was so many flowers in bloom that the air had a heady fragrance, it wasn't like perfume but honey, really rich and sweet with some salt from the sea air. The flower in the top right is a Banksia, whilst it looks small in the photo, the inflouresence was about 30 cms long!

If you would like more information on any of the flowers please leave me a comment and I will help you out.

Not 1 but 2 parcels!

Guess what I woke up to again this morning? BANG! BANG! on the security grill. I sure am starting to like that noise ;)

But today it was not 1 but 2 parcels! My poetry book from Amy and a bag of mexican dried chillis from Alberto!

Well I really don't know what to say except YOU MADE MY DAY!!!!! xxxxx