Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Last Post for September: Calories on Menus

Gosh - I just realised how many posts I've made for this month! It's official the month with most posts, averaging at a little over 1 post a day.

Check out this interesting discussion, "Calories on Menus: Is It Good For New York?" at Diet Blog.

I personally think that this is one of the best thing that the government could do to help in reducing obesity rate.

As many of the comments in that post said, it is great to have the option to easily know how much calories are in our food. It helps us in choosing wiser more often. Plus, for others who couldn't care less about the calorie content, the information could easily be ignored (let's get real here - it can't be difficult to ignore small prints of numbers and letters if people can ignore that ugly image of diseases that are put on cigarette packets!).

Oh.. How I wish they would do this in Melbourne!

Yay! Cookbooks Festive!

I just received my new set of big fat thick cookbooks from Doubleday Book Club yesterday. It makes me want to cook more & more & more & more (don't hold me to these words - I don't know how long this feeling will last :P)! :) Yeehee!

Top (Left to Right): 500 Chocolate Delights [Lauren Floodgate]; AWW Cook [Australian Women's Weekly]; The Cook's Companion Second Edition [Stephanie Alexander]
Bottom (Left to Right): Nigella Express [Nigella Lawson]; Gordon Ramsay's Healthy Appetite [Gordon Ramsay]

Along with these ones that I've had for a while and the cupcakes book that I got for my birthday (refer a chatterbox's pensieve: My Birthday Pressies...); they'll make a gorgeous collection when stacks together.
Top (Left to Right): 500 Cupcakes [Fergall Connolly]; Jamie's Dinners [Jamie Oliver]; Cook's Companion [Carole Clements]
Bottom (Left to Right): Simple Essentials: Chocolate [Donna Hay]; Instant Entertaining [Donna Hay]; Cupcakes! [Elinor Klivans]

Now I just need to find a nice shelf to host them and then make sure that I'm making use of them. Hihi hihi :)

-One very excited lady!-

Monday, September 29, 2008


Image Credit: Raymond's Vanilla Slice - Just Fine Food on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Image Credit: Miss marples tearoom1 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Define: Terrine

Last week at my usual book browsing session in Borders, I saw a picture of a Terrine dish in a recipe book. What is a Terrine dish?

According to Wikipedia,
Terrine "is a glazed earthenware (terracotta, French terre cuite) cooking dish with vertical sides and a tightly fitting lid, generally oblong or oval. Modern versions are also made of enameled cast-iron. By extension, the term also refers to food prepared and served in a terrine, mainly game and venison, brawn (head cheese) and pâtés. If it has been pressed and chilled, then turned out for serving in slices, a terrine becomes a pâté, which Julia Child called "a luxurious cold meatloaf"."

Here's an example photo of a terrine dish...
Image Credit: thepassionatecook: Red pepper, aubergine & scamorza terrine - a contribution to WTSIM!

Nice hmm? I like it very much.

Here's another example of a terrine savoury dish, Eel and Foie Gras Terrine Recipe, Rising Star Chef Yosuke Suga, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, New York 2007.

I think it creates an instant oomph and professional look to savoury food. Do you agree?

It definitely also creates a nice look for dessert, check out...
* A La Cuisine!: Coconut Panna Cotta and Pineapple Gelée Terrine (IMBB 9)
* CHOCOLATE TERRINE - recipe by Euros Owen

But in my humble opinion, the terrine dessert does not exude the same oomph as the savoury dish. Maybe because I've seen many terrine dessert in the past, but not savoury dish.

Oh well - just thought I'd share my recent discovery. I'd love to try preparing this type of dish, so I'll definitely be on the look out for a good recipe. :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My Birthday Pressies...

Mango & Passion fruit mousse cake (very yummy indeed) from Ganache Chocolate Cafe with special "SHELVIA" candles from Chin Yee...

Clockwise in the picture starting from the white paper bag:

Goodie bag from Class Cupcake course, Birthday card from the siblings, Betty Crocker Decorating Cakes and Cupcakes, Crazy about Cupcakes - Krystina Castella, a new set of "SHELVIA" candles, cupcake liners & piping tip (from the Class Cupcake goodie bag), Vue de Monde Business Card (which I have praise through my post, "Vue de Monde: The Love Affair") and Birthday card from Shanon...

The pictures from the birthday gathering with the gals (26th Sept 2008) @ Koko Black on Lygon St in Carlton.

The pictures from the family birthday dinner (27th Sept 2008) @ Sichuan Dining Room in Hawthorn...

The pretty & cutely wrapped up "HEART" from Louisa :)

The glamorously packed sleeping robe from Chin Yee :)

Thanks everyone... and thanks for the sweet birthday wishes too! :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Class Cupcake

As part of my birthday present bundle, I get to go to Class Cupcake, a cupcake decorating class. Lots of fun and I've definitely learned a thing or two cool things about the available tools.

These are the ones that I made... (some which I'm extremely embarrassed of, and some which I quite like :D)

Here's my favorite ones of Vida's creations during her demonstration...One day, mine would also look like this... I know it! I have faith in myself! =)

I'm not very proud of the pictures, I think I could have done much better shots. My excuse? The environment and rushing wasn't really made for awesome photo taking experience...

Oh well, that's just means that I'll have to make more cupcakes at home and decorate them for picture taking purposes. Perhaps me and my sis can do it for one of our 'sis nite in' session! :) Oh yeah, that reminds me, check out her decorating results, here! I really like her fish and pig ones. Super cute! :)

PS: But, Yong, Lek, thanks ya!!! =))) Loved the experience!

PS2: Look at this cute cupcake book!!! Amazon.com: Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make: Alan Richardson, Karen Tack: Books. Crazy cute!!!!! Here's the blog to go with the book!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Vue de Monde: The Love Affair

On the night of my 26th birthday; my lovely fiance *giggles* treated me to the extra ordinary Vue de Monde's Gastronomes Menu Gourmand experience...

I can't quite find the words to describe how spectacular the evening and the food was; especially since we got what I believe to be the best seat in the house (right in front of the chef's preparation table) and the last thing I want is to degrade it through ill-fitting words. Hopefully these photos will do a better job (though I'm sure nothing will do the justice of experiencing it)...

The itty-bitty...

AMUSE BOUCHE: "Petite Clair-de-Lune oyster served with a seaweed consommé and grapefruit air"

The 7 magnificent main courses were ...

Open avocado ravioli of smoked salmon and redclaw with watermelon, pumpernickel and Osetra caviar

Classically inspired truffle risotto

5 minute bouillabaisse, tartare of kingfish, buffalo milk skin, finished with aromatic herbs, and a touch of theatre

Parfait of goose liver ‘powdered’, nasturcium leaves, crispy rice and Thai capsicum curry

Marron, poached in an orange Pernod and saffron sauce with smoked clams and fennel

JUS AU VERJUS (Liquid frozen verjus) was served here...
For picture see the bottom left corner of "the itty-bitty" above.

Poached breast and confit leg of chicken with hand made Brussels sprouts and mushroom reduction

Roast duck breast and confit leg with cinnamon and baby turnips

FROMAGE: "Goats curd served with sugared rose petal, rose jelly topped with goats curd ice cream"

SALADE DE FRUIT: "Fruit salad"

PULLET EGGS: "Prune and Armagnac Eggnog; Pistachio Custard; White Chocolate and Orange Mousse"

Here comes the double dessert course...

Passionfruit cream with frangipane sand and passionfruit soufflé

Michel Bras' classic self-saucing Valrhona chocolate biscuit with mocha sauce, coffee and milk powder and iced double cream

Peppermint Tea & Petits-Fours

Handmade chocolates to take home

The close up kitchen view!

Getting tips from the chef...

The look of two very satisfied and happy customers!

PS: Check out Far View on Food « Far Blog - gosh - I want to go on Foodie trip too!!!

Updated on 14th Oct 2008:
I found these very well written posts from a Sydney foodie who had visited Vue de Monde three times.
Steph's Food Journey: Vue de Monde, Little Collins St, Melbourne [January 21, 2006] || Steph's Food Journey: Vue de Monde, Little Collins St, Melbourne [August 18, 2006] || Steph's Food Journey: Vue de Monde, Little Collins St, Melbourne [January 18, 2008]
Thanks, Steph!
Now I know, if I ever got the chance to visit Vue de Monde again, the table that I had and will only take is Table 2!!! :)

My First Photo Competition: Update!

I've received the packet from Canon Photo5 Competition! Look forward to taking some good shots on each of those five little objects. :)

Initial post at: a chatterbox's pensieve: My First Photo Competition!.

Rapeseed Oil? and Cheddar Cheese...

Yes - rapeseed oil! It is not a typo for grapeseed oil.

The recipe that I decided to try last Sunday, Chef Jeenas food recipes: Restaurant Style Chicken Curry Recipe called for Rapeseed Oil as part of the ingredients list. I went to a few shops in the Prahran Market; they all corrected me with suggestion of "grapeseed oil?" instead. Luckily - they didn't have any in stock - so I didn't buy any.

I came home, did a little bit of Googleing and found out through Wikipedia (of course!) that the famous rapeseed oil, is another name for canola oil!!! Geez - what's with this different names for ingredients between countries. First, cilantro (i.e. coriander), now canola oil.

Anyway - happy to learn something new. :) Thought I'd share the information.

On another note, (still food though), my mind has been thinking about this special grated cheddar cheese cake that we used to buy in Jakarta. It looks like this...
(Image credit: About Lala ! - Bolu Keju.)

I'll see if I can squeeze in some time to make this. I'm really craving the taste of that grated Kraft (yes, Kraft! :P) cheddar cheese combined with the sweetness of the caster sugar sprinkles in between.

I could also do with baked grated cheddar cheese pasta of some sort.. I can't find the right recipe though. Actually - I just crave the creamy taste of that cute small swirls of cheddar cheese. Yummmmm... :)


Sunday, September 21, 2008


The Pixar Blog: Programmable WALL-E toy coming!!!

Where can I get oneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee????

Wall-E Robot Toy In Action - Gizmodo Australia

Can I justify spending $190 USD on this? I think so!

Image Credit: FedBlog

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Turning 26!

Image credit: HWTM.

More than ever, I'm grateful for the people in my life; my loving-plus-super-understanding fiancé that I super love, my most-of-the-times-endearing-fun-and-at-times-confusing siblings, my awesome-and-very-cool parents, my best-friends who makes this world a much more beautiful place and other people around me who constantly entertained, challenged and improved me.

One very happy and grateful twenty-six-years-old lady.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I Pleaded Guilty...

"My dear mini ginger bread man,

I'm sorry... Please don't hate me. It was your super delicious cinnamon smell that lure me down the trap of the first bite. Once I started, it was impossible to stop. I can't let you live with missing limbs. That'd be cruel.

Please know that I have really enjoyed your company for the three days that you lasted.

As a token of apology, I have gone and rescue one of your brother from the pool of ginger bread men pool. Nothing would ever replace you in my heart though. This one with the small mole (right next to the mouth - see below picture) will just act as your shrine of remembrance.

I hope you rest in peace in my belly.

Lots of Love,

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Meaning of Life

Shanon introduced me to Steve Pavlina's writing a while ago. I've talked about him too previously in this post, "a chatterbox's pensieve: Steve Pavlina's Interesting Thoughts", that I wrote in Oct 2007. Since then, I've been meaning to complete reading his series of posts, "The Meaning of Life":
* The Meaning of Life: Intro (Jun 2005)
* The Meaning of Life: How Shall We Live? (Jun 2005)
* The Meaning of Life: Discover Your Purpose (Jun 2005)
* The Meaning of Life: From Purpose to Action (Jun 2005)
* The Meaning of Life: Transitioning (Jun 2005)
* The Meaning of Life: Conscious Evolution (Jun 2005)

Today I finally did. Gladly did.

The below paragraph written in his final post of the series is circling around in my head at the moment.
"Consider something as simple as diet. The environmental consequences of the Standard American Diet are severe — to say it wastes resources and pollutes the environment is a gross understatement. The U.S. government subsidizes most of it, which hides the true costs. It takes 18 times as much land to grow the food for someone eating the SAD diet compared to someone eating a vegan-plant based diet. If someone eating the SAD diet were to eat vegan for just one day, they’d save more water than they would by not showering for a year. Your decision to eat a burger for dinner is not merely a health choice — it’s an environmental and political one as well. In fact, virtually anything you might do environmentally or politically in your lifetime is irrelevant compared to the simple decision of what to eat each day. You could devote your entire life to Greenpeace, and it will only amount to a puny fraction of what you’d accomplish by living as a resource-guzzling playboy who happens to be vegetarian."
Note: SAD = Standard American Diet

That is NEWS to me. Seriously.

I know that some people are choosing to be a vegetarian/vegan, but the argument that I've heard has always been the animal loving thing. I totally did not know that it has that massive impact to the environment. I'm not saying that I will now stop eating meat because I know of this environmental impact, but I definitely will consider that option more.

The other thing that it does, is that it makes me realise that there are so many things that I can learn about and then help do to improve the quality of life (for me, for others and for the next generation). If I could think that way, and act accordingly, and then help influence other people to realise these facts; it would make a difference. Wouldn't it?

Anyway - I will give this and my own meaning of life more thought.

Individual Casserole Dish

Image credit: Maxwell & Williams - T.E.L. Import Ltd.

I bought two of these really really cute small Maxwell & Williams White Basics Provence Mini Round Casserole (400ML) at the NAB Staff Shop yesterday. They were on special BIG time! I paid ten bucks for the two (with the lids!!!)! :P

Can't wait to use them! Let's think... What should I cook in them? Mmm... :) Perhaps will try Chef Jeenas food recipes: Easy Baked Chicken Thighs Recipe or perhaps I'll cook Jamie Oliver Tasty Fish Bake again which was so yummy the first time I cooked them.

As a side note, I found this food blog (another one), called Best recipes, foods, travel, photo blog which posts remind me of the sweet old times in Penang (with the cheap yet super yummy food). One of the post reminds me of this annoying thing that I found running around in my apartment when I got back from my holiday Indonesia early this year! Weevils!!! The post is How to get rid of weevils in rice? | Best recipes, foods and travel. It has close up looking pictures of weevils! Ickkk!!! Even the memory of it makes me itchy!!! Grrrrrrrr!!!!

A Good Example ...

... why it's important to have camera on you at all times.
-- Picture taken on corner of Elizabeth St and Collins St. He's promoting Burger Monster which is hidden in the alley way along with the yummy Rich Maha.

How else will you be able to show non-Melbournian what they're missing out on? :P

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I'm Definitely Not The Only One!

There is a massive community of people who love both food and photography out there.. Hmm I wonder why? :P

Check out this delicious website - Photograzing: Share Your Favorite Food Photos and Find Inspiration!I like! BIG TIME!

Monday, September 15, 2008

My Perfect Day...

Inspired by "5 Ways to Get Your Spark Back | Dumb Little Man" post - Steve Errey.

... starts with me waking up feeling fresh and excited. Then I brush my teeth, wash my face and I get change to go out. I'll grab my backpack (which has been packed properly the night before with stuffs for Yoga), dash out the door to be greeted by a bright soft sunshine with nice breeze and walk down to my Bikram Yoga class. When I get there, I'll have enough time to lie down for 5-10 minutes before the class started and then I'll do a complete and rewarding practice session, finish with another lie down - relaxing before showering. Then, I'll walk home and have Uncle Toby's creamy honey oatmeal for breakfast, accompanied with a cup of tea with one packet of Equal.

Now, firm and refresh, I'm ready to face my day. On this perfect day of mine, Shanon has arranged a short trip to the park or the beach for a picnic. Once we get there, we'll have a short stroll while chattering and enjoying the peaceful scenery. Then I'll unpack my camera and starts shooting away, while Shanon skimming through his paper. Not long after, we unpack out scrumptious and prettily prepared food, which I'll then take pictures of as well. After fulfilling our hunger, we'll take another short stroll, only to find this really cosy li'l book shop which also sells mini red velvet cupcake and creamy hot chocolate with very small amount of calorie. Of course we have to stop by and enjoy them! We hang around and read a few books while enjoying our snacks. We then walk back home with a satisfied but not too full belly. Just comfortable.

I will then do a bit of work on sorting the pictures, when I find this really good inspiring post to talk about which goes well with these really nice pictures that I just took today.

Next, I'll go down to the market, find some really cheap and fresh quality ingredients to cook dinner with. On the way back, I found this unique boutique I've never seen before and I bought a very pretty and flattering sundress for next to nothing. There is this person who was giving out fresh creamy white and soft pink roses on the way home. Then, there is this really really good masseuse who's giving out free awesome hour long massage with reflexology (let's pretend it's not a scam - it's MY perfect day after all!). I arrive in my sparkling and neat home with no errands to run, unpack my groceries and then relax on the couch with this good book that I just borrowed from the library.

Feeling all fresh and relax, I started to prepare dinner for us. We had a lovely meal while catching up with my siblings on fun and interesting things that are happening amongst us. We all clean up together and then have a few bites of luscious cakes for dessert. Then, we'll say our goodbyes and I'll cuddled up on the couch with Shanon to watch a DVD (surely a short sweet romantic comedy :P) before going to bed...

Mmmm... What a day... I wish everyday is like this. :D Too much to ask for I guess, considering that if everyday is like this, how am I going to eat?

Updated on 16th September 2008:
Come to think of it, I'm missing one very essential part of a perfect day in this story. Productivity. Sure, I've blogged a little and it does generally gives me a sense of accomplishment, but I think I want something more than that. I'm still working out what it is I want to do though. I'm interested in doing nursing, photography, Interior Design, blogging full time, game programming, or even baking perhaps? (Nope, not baking, I don't think I have the patience and meticulousness!) For now, I just want my perfect day to include an hour or two of me learning something new, growing. :) Perhaps before the visit to the market.

Weekend Cooking Experiment

I tried out the Spiced Rice Recipe - Taste.com.au recipe which I mention in my previous post, "a chatterbox's pensieve: More Food Blogs ..." for Sunday nite dinner.

I cooked them to go with Parmesan-crumbed Baked Fish Recipe - Taste.com.au.

With Shanon's magic presentation rework, it now have the scrumptious look (even if I say so myself *wink*).

Verdict? The crumbs on the fish were quite good, but the fish that I picked was a little on the chewy side once baked. The spiced rice is definitely worth making again though! :D

On a similar note, check out this foodie blog I found recently, "fotocuisine". Like it!