Monday, 27 August 2007

An Outback Birthday

After being in Broken Hill for the past week, I’ve been impressed by the indomitable spirit of the wonderful city. The vibrant earthy colours and magical light of the landscape have drawn many film makers and artists here.

BH is the longest continuous mining operation in Australia and the largest single source of lead, silver and zinc ore.
Sandeep came down to Broken Hill to visit Khobe and me. It so happens that his birthday is on the 10th of August. Just 3 days before mine.

We met a lovely couple up here in Broken Hill, Paul and Sharon. Sharon is a superb cook I must say. I’ve picked up a few cooking tricks from her while being there. Paul is a very chatty bloke with a heart of gold. He never fails to entertain us.
They’re very down to earth and sincere. It’s quite hard to find people like that in the big cities. You’re always wary of people and their intentions. I used to trust people a lot very easily and had to learn the hard way when I came to live on my own here. No parent to protect you and to give their judgments about people. Like they say, Mother’s are ALWAYS right.

It wasn’t long till Sharon found out that it was my birthday and she insisted on making me a birthday cake.

If you’ve been a loyal follower of my blog, you’ll know my perception on chocolate has to be perfect! The cake was divine! Not too rich, moist and perfect!
Of course I couldn’t resist not getting the recipe from here.
Moist Double Chocolate cake
125g, butter, chopped
¾ cups (180ml) water
2 tablespoon cocoa
100g dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup (220g) sugar
¾ cup (110g) self-raising flour
½ cup (75g) plain flour
1 egg

1. Grease deep 20cm round cake pan, line base and side with baking paper.
2. Place butter, water, cocoa, chocolate and sugar in medium saucepan, stir over heart, without boiling, until sugar is dissolved; cool to room temperature.
3. Stir flours and egg into mixture, pour into prepared pan
4. Bake in moderately slow oven about 1 hour.
5. Stand 5 minutes before turning onto wire rack to cool
6. If desired, split cold cake, fill and top with chocolate fudge frosting.
Chocolate Fudge Frosting
45g unsalted butter
2 tbs water
¼ cup (55g) castor sugar
¾ cup (120g) icing sugar mixture
2 tbs cocoa

1.Combine butter, water and castor sugar in small saucepan, stir over heat, without boiling, until sugar is dissolved.

2.Sift icing sugar and cocoa into small heatproof bowl, gradually stir in hot butter mixture; cover, refrigerate until thick.

3.beat with wooden spoon until mixture is smooth and spreadable.
If y If u're looking for a easy and yummy recipe, give this a go!

Friday, 17 August 2007

A night to Remember

Being an eager fetus in my mother’s womb, I decided to pop out 2 months earlier and on the 13th of August. Meanwhile, in another labour room after all the puffing and screaming, my dear friend Jun came in to the world 2 days later on the 15th of August. Of course from a different mother!

As our friendship slowly developed in the past 5 years here in Adelaide, I came to know a young lady of great strength of will and character. Being Leo’s we have the same taste and mind you that’s good taste *hehe* and similar principles in life. We’ve been celebrating our birthdays together almost every year.

This year, the verdict was to go to a cozy-chilled back place where we can let our hair down and relax. No pish-posh place where we need to control our loud voices and where Hooi Wen needs to control her hyper excited self.

We decided to go to Tap Inn which is a pub+ dinning bistro. The reason for our choice of place was to try out their tapas from their extensive tapas menu. Tap Inn has 54 tapas on their menu to try from!

As usual we kinda went overboard..... We tried at least 2-3 from each category. The seafood tapas were our favourites for the night.

Since the night was still young, we headed off to Boho’s, the local bohemian retreat, for some cocktails.

I absolutely love the deco of the bar. With can-can mannequin dancers and trapeze artistes hanging from the ceiling, you’re one step closer to having a Paris Moulin Rouge extravaganza!

After hearing so much about absinthe thrills, we grabbed the opportunity to do so. My vote was to try the flaming fairy which is a blend of French absinthe, apple and cinnamon. Read the line again! Do you see the word APPLE….NOW you know why I wanted to try it.

We were in the spirit of internationalism and after trying something from France we wanted something from Germany. The Black forest cocktail was a creation of Chambord and chocolate with not to forget cherries!

Bombay Sweetness which was a mix of Bombay sapphire gin, apple, elderflower was on our must have list.

After Boho bar, if you think we called it a night, you’re WRONG! We wanted to experience the sights and sounds of Adelaide at night. We headed to Windy point to enjoy the spectacular view of Adelaide and to remind us that Adelaide is not just a rectangular box as what people perceive it to be.

Being born on an Island with water all around you every corner you turn, guess where our next stop was just so that we could feel closer to home?? Glenelg!! After being so caught up in our “what’s been happening throughout the week and in life” session we forgot about our presents!

Being really helpful friends, we decided to help give Dave a BIG hint on Jun’s unconditional love for Tiffany and Co jewellery. Hooi Wen came up with the brilliant idea of wrapping up Jun’s present in T&C colour themes. Boy, did she find that highly amusing.

And being a cooking and baking freak I made life so easy for them on what to get for me.
“ How to be a domestic goddess” by Nigella Lawson was my gift from them with BIG hints that they’ve been deprived of good food.

It was a night to remember with my 2 dearest girlfriends I must say with deep dark secrets being revealed more and more as the night went by. Cheers girls!

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Farwell to civilization + Birthday Celebration

Ever since I moved out of my student hostel into a house, I always never failed to find excuses to have dinner parties in my house. Leaving civilization for Broken Hill for a 3 week rural placement was my excuse this time.

I decided I wanted something different from my normal main meal cookouts and opted to have a cocktail party with lots of finger food for everyone!

It was a household team effort in preparing the food with lots of laughter, gossip and criticism.
I was so excited the whole week on what to prepare and to my dismay the list kept growing longer and longer *Sigh*

Finally, I decided on the following master pieces *hehe*
Curry puffs and Asparagus wrapped with Prosciutto

Tandoori Chicken on Cucumber with mint chutney

Bacon and cheese baby potato bites

Baguette topped with prawns and sun-dried tomato pesto

Lamb Kheema( meatballs)

Cheese Sticks

Honey soy chicken wings

Smoked salmon on mini toast

Mini pizzas

Sausage rolls


Fruit tarts filled with nutella

Chocolate Mousse

Mars bar slice

Jo and Mon came up with a list of cocktails and shots to make to keep us going for the night.

Jason was the bar man for the night

and he had a few assistants.

To add to the fun, we entertained ourselves with a few games. Sandeep was the games master for the night.

One of the games that we played was to make someone in the circle laugh by saying "Baby if you love me won't you please smile?”

They can play with that player's hair or whisper in their ear or act loving or anything that will get them to laugh. The player being sat on must say "Baby I love ya but I just can't smile" without laughing or even cracking a smile.

Everyone was really sporting that night hence it made the games very exciting and thrilling.

I was surprised with a birthday cake by all my friends that night.

My friends know my fancy for anything with apple in it and got me a German apple cheesecake.

It wasn’t a normal cheesecake mind you. The apple wasn’t in the filling of the cheesecake but it was in the topping of the cake. I really enjoyed it and to my surprise it tasted much better the next day ;)

It was a fun filled nite, with all the guests having having eaten their fill and sated their hunger pangs, drunk the nectar of the gods and getting all merry. The end after all justifies the means, and hence our effort was put to good use :)

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Foodie blogroll

I've recently joined the foodieblog roll.There are soooo many food blogs out there..its amazing!This Blogroll is especially designed for people who have a passion for food. If you have a blog about food, whether you cook it, or just like to talk about it, this blogroll is for you! It will be our way to create a community of Foodies!The more blogs the merrier!!! So if you're interested, click here.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Hearty Winter Soup

It's been a pretty rough winter here in Adelaide this year. I hate the cold..HATE HATE HATE it! When i first came to Australia, people kept telling me that i'll get used to the cold..but guess what?? It's been nearly 5 years and i still dread it. But like the famous quote goes, if u can't beat them, join them!

It's the middle of winter and to tell u the truth I'm finding it almost impossible to remember how it feels like to just sit and enjoy a nice novel in the cool embrace of a shaded tree sheltering me from the sun's heat.

I scurried home from the hospital yesterday in the dreadful rain and all i wanted was a nice bowl of soup. I had lots of potatoes left in my fridge and purchased a stalk of leek from the market on the weekend and decided to make a nice bowl of potato and leek soup. I'm new to making soups. Coming from a tropical country where all you do most of the time is to indulge your self in something icy cold, having something hot to keep you warm never crosses your mind even a tiny little bit!

It's really easy and very satisfying i must say. I kinda just made the recipe up and didn't quite follow a specific recipe.

serves 1

3 potatoes cut into cubes
1 stalk of leek
1 small onion
250ml chicken stock
pinch of crushed pepper
salt to taste
1/4 cup milk/cream
2 tablespoons of butter

1. Chop the leek length wise to get rid of the grit. Wash it properly.
2. Add the butter and saute your onions and leek for about 5 mins/ till onions turn brown.
3. Add in your chicken stock and potato. I cooked my potato in the microwave for about 5 mins to speed things up.
4. Leave to boil for about 15 mins, once potato is soft, add pepper, salt and milk
5. Lastly, if you want your potatoes to be mashed up, blend your soup in the blender.

Bon Appetit!!