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I’m BAAAACCKKK!!!!!

31 Mar

I’m BAAAACCKKK!!!!!

Hey guys,

WOW it’s been SO long since I’ve posted under this account… basically, life got crazy, and I needed some time to look after myself, so this had to take a back seat…

BUT I’m back now, in better health, a better head space, and at a brand new blog (http://ordinarygirlextraordinarydreamer.wordpress.com/) – to any of you who are still out there, thank you and please come visit me at my new address – I’d love to see you all again  : )

Christmas Feasting 2012 :)

27 Dec

Multicultural Inspiration from…

the Christmas table!

 

Merry Christmas everyone!!! A few days late, I know… and I know I’ve not been posting as much as usual, and apologies for that. I won’t be posting as often anymore, I don’t think – I’m pretty busy with work at the moment which really sucks, so it’s getting harder to find time to get into the kitchen. Also, kinda broke at the moment, so not able to do so many restaurant reviews, which also sucks. BUUUUT I couldn’t not share Christmas deliciousnesses with everyone!!

 

So, here’s what we ate for Christmas lunch with my family…

 

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Entrees consisted of…

- prawn, avocado and mango boats

- mini quiches (tomato & parsley, and bacon & parmesan)

- prosciutto wrapped rockmelon

- roast vegetable terrine

- caprese salad

- tuna sashimi

- “Italian sushi”

- fresh bread

- cheese pastry twists

- Ratatouille tarts

- spinach and salmon roullade

- assorted cold meats and anti pasti in oil

 

Then came the mains…

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Lasagne, meats, potatoes and salads… yuummmm!!!

 

And of course, dessert (AKA the best part!)..

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-vanilla pannacotta with pistachio meringue sticks

- chocolate truffles

- chocolate spiders

- pomegranate and chocolate ganache tart (RECIPE TO COME!)

- rocky road tower

- limoncello tiramisu

- little vanilla Christmas tree cakes

- fritelle

- chocolate dipped strawberries

- chocolate tart with praline

 

 

It’s times like this where I’m very thankful for everything I have… not just the amazing food, but also being surrounded by my amazing family. Not everyone is that fortunate, and I know that I’m amongst the lucky ones. To echo dad’s prayer before we ate, we are thankful, and our thoughts, prayers, and love are with those less fortunate. I hope that everyone had a beautiful Christmas, surrounded by your loved ones :) xo

Taste of Melbourne, 2012

2 Dec

Despite the fact I wanted to vomit for the remainder of the day at last year’s Taste of Melbourne, and despite the fact that I’d be out for 12 hours drinking and eating for my birthday on the same day, Taste of Melbourne 2012 was something I looked forward to for months!

 

Much like last years review, I’m not gonna bore you with the details, you can Google them. Here’s the good stuff – what was eaten :D

 

The Botanical's lamb burger with truffled mayo (10 crowns)

The Botanical’s lamb burger with truffled mayo (10 crowns)

 

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Mahjong’s steamed BBQ pork buns (6 crowns)

Sake's chirsachi salad - yuzu dressed sashimi, thin noodles, seasonal leaves and tempura crunch (12 crowns)

Sake’s chirsachi salad – yuzu dressed sashimi, thin noodles, seasonal leaves and tempura crunch (12 crowns)

 

Sake's tonkatsu cups - panko fried pork belly, mustard miso and BBQ sauce in a lettuce cup (8 crowns)

Sake’s tonkatsu cups – panko fried pork belly, mustard miso and BBQ sauce in a lettuce cup (8 crowns)

 

Mamasita's blackeyed bean taco (6 crowns)

Mamasita’s blackeyed bean taco (6 crowns)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Livingroom's beetroot cured salmon with vanilla & lime pickled cucumber, and horseradish cream. (10 crowns)

Livingroom’s beetroot cured salmon with vanilla & lime pickled cucumber, and horseradish cream. (10 crowns)

 

Burch & Purchase's choc chip cookie ice cream

Burch & Purchase’s choc chip cookie ice cream

 

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Libertine's apple & frangipane tart with maple ice cream and candied walnuts (8 crowns)

Libertine’s apple & frangipane tart with maple ice cream and candied walnuts (8 crowns)

 

 

Albert St Food & WIne's Meyer lemon tart (8 crowns)

Albert St Food & Wine’s Meyer lemon tart (8 crowns)

 

 

Another great day of eating and drinking, in the beautiful sunshine at Albert Park lake… life is good :)

 

The Burger Lounge

10 Nov

Multicultural Cuisine of…

Casual Dining

The Burger Lounge
902  Main St,
Eltham
(03) 9431 4500
Visit Website

I honestly don’t know why I haven’t done this earlier, because this is my local burger joint, it’s been around for ages now, and it’s bloody amazing. Apologies for the absurd delay.

So, let’s keep it short and sweet. The Burger Lounge is a little burger place in Eltham, in a busy corner with not a heap of room considering how busy they always are (ok, it’s not that small, but if I had it my way, it would be). It was opened by locals Gerry & Florie after noticing a demand for a healthy take-away option what wasn’t being met. It’s a no booking, first come first serve, wait patiently in line among the noisy, happy masses, and hope that someone vacates their seats before your burger is served.

Sous-Jeff and his mates made it a mission when it first opened a few years ago to try every burger on the menu – from classic beef, to vegetarian, lamb, chicken and seafood, there are 24 burgs to choose from, all served on the most amazing sourdough panini. The burgers are freshly made in the kitchen behind the front counter where you can watch them being constructed, so you know they have nothing to hide, and that always makes the experience heaps better!

While I’ve tried quite a few options, one of my favourites is the classic with cheese, with my own addition of avocado.

On a freshly made, sugar-free, sour-dough bun, loaded with lettuce, tomato, onion, tomato relish, herb aioli (YUMMM!!!!!), melted tasty cheese, a huge chunk of avocado and 100% prime, organic, hormone- and chemical-free beef, there’s not much more to say about it. Delicious, fresh, not greasy or heavy, it’s just a really, really good burger. It fills you up without making you fill sick because everything is so fresh, and those last few bites are kind of depressing because you know it’s about to be all over :(

But, as amazing as the burgers are, I’ve gotta be honest – I think I like to chips better!!

The herbed chips are where it’s all at people, you MUST get some. Now.

You know when you get some chips with your food, and you eat them, most of which are kinda mehh, cooked but not crispy… and you find those one or two super golden and crispy chips, so you save them until last because they’re so darn good? Well imagine a WHOLE bucket of chips like that!!! Smothered in rosemary and sea salt, and they are all golden and crispy and delicious, no soggy chips in sight!!! Ahhhhh it’s a dream!!!

On this particular night, we did actually also get some ice cream (I got Bounty, Sous-Jeff got Snickers) – unfortunately it didn’t last long enough to be photographed, but the ice cream is beautiful too!

If you’re in the area, do yourself a favour and just head down there to try it for yourself – they really are good burgers!

Would rate it 8 out of 10.

The Burger Lounge

Healthy lunches!

2 Nov

Multicultural Cuisine of…

Healthy Eating!

 

Here we go again, summer is coming and I need to stop eating so much crap!

 

Actually, it’s not so much about getting “bikini ready,” it’s more about feeling better – after a few days of eating too much, I always feel kinda crap, so I thought it was time to detox a little and eat some good, wholesome, real food!

 

When I’m working, it’s generally a salad for lunch, but on my days off, I get the time to be a bit more creative :) Here are some of the lunches I’ve had over the last 2 weeks, hopefully they help give you some great ideas on how to re-vamp the lunch line up with something delicious and healthy!

 

Spaghetti with broccolini, peas, prosciutto, and toasted walnuts.

 

Toasted wholemeal bread topped with tuna, spinach, parsley and light tasty cheese

 

Toasted wholemeal bread filled with baby spinach and roast pumpkin & cashew dip.

 

Salad of baby spinach, paprika crusted prawns, tomato, corn kernels, lentils, mixed beans and fresh parsley.

 

What does everyone else do to shake it up a bit when they’ve been eating kinda crappy and feeling a bit sluggish and bleh?!

Eating Sydney: Night Noodle Markets

30 Oct

Multicultural Cuisine of…

Asian

Night Noodle Markets
Hyde Park,
Sydney, NSW
Website


As part of the Crave Sydney International Food Festival this October, Sydney’s Hyde Park welcomed the Night Noodle Markets. With a few bars, dozens of hawker-style food stalls, and live music to keep everyone entertained, this little set up ran every few nights in October, and we were lucky enough to be there for a night of Asian deliciousness!!! Yayyy!

The atmosphere was really incredible – there were people absolutely everywhere, lots of noise, music, laughing, sharing and eating! There were dozens of food stalls there, and I really couldn’t remember all of them…

But it truly looked beautiful, all lit up with multi-coloured lights shining up onto the palm trees, and bright lanterns all over the place lighting the way to the food. People were sitting on picnic rugs, at tables, or just where ever they could find space on the grass. It was a beautiful, warm night, and the crowds were certainly out in force. It reminded me a little of the Queen Vic Night Markets in Melbourne, but had such a different atmosphere being out in the park, I loved it!

The food was absolutely delicious, if I had to pick a favourite… I really couldn’t! Here’s what we tucked into…

Assorted dim sum

Pad Thai

Okonomiyaki

Sticky coconut rice with mango – reminds me of Thailand :) yummmm!!!

It was all delicious, and we really had an awesome time sitting out in the park eating our way around :) Can’t wait until summer market time in Melbourne!!

Zumbo at The Star
80 Pyrmont St,
Pyrmont, NSW
(02) 9810 7318
Website

Eating Sydney: Zumbaron Day & Zumbo’s Dessert Train at The Star

15 Oct

Multicultural Cuisine of…

Dessert

Zumbo at The Star
80 Pyrmont St,
Pyrmont, NSW
(02) 9810 7318
Website

and

Zumbo at Manly
1a/40 East Esplanade,
Manly, NSW
(02) 9810 7318
Website


Too good to be true. It had to be. Sous-Jeff could not have actually told me that we were in Sydney for Zumbaron day. At the new Zumbo shop. That was fully equipped with a dessert train. Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me??!?!

After I’d finished squealing, jumping on our hotel bed and generally acting like a child who’d drunk too much red cordial, I decided that we should probably go check it out. So off we went. On foot. From the middle of the CBD to Pyrmont.

Excited doesn’t quite begin to cover it. I was actually the big kid in the candy store. My poor husband – I probably would have pretended not to know me if I were him. Instead, he stood with the staff and laughed at me. Fair enough. I spied with my little eye, something that looked like a little V8 cake. I got closer. It was. Sous-Jeff knew what to do next…

“a V8 cake, thanks.”

“plastic spoons with that?”

“uhh yes.”

(Little Jess inside her head: “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE CAKE!!!!!!”)

KJNFLKEJRNFKJERNGLKIJRG VFNLSEKARJNGTLAKEJRGNHKLJUHNGVAKERJNAT;LORIJNHG;LOSEJFRNGVAELJN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hands down. The. Best. Cake. I’ve. EVER. Eaten.

And I have eaten a LOT of cake. Oh my goodness… Just can’t be described, so do yourself a favour and just go buy one. Incredible.

The next day was a beautiful, sunny, 32 degrees, so we jumped on a ferry to Manly to enjoy the sunshine. Unfortunately for my waist line, also home to another Zumbo patisserie. After a heap of walking, basking in the sunshine, and a cold cider overlooking the water, lunch was on.

Spaghetti bolognese pie. Yeah. Where the hell does he come up with this stuff?!?! It was delicious, great golden pastry and really, really yummy spag bol. Us Italians know a good spag bol. Sous-Jeff has something spicy – I couldn’t taste it and therefore I didn’t photograph it. My bad – was just too wrapped up with my pie! Oh, and of course, more dessert… Croquembouche.

I gotta be honest; I’m not usually a fan of creamy custardy stuff, but wow.

So, two Zumbo visits down in two days. And more to come! The next morning was the day. Zumbaron Day. That magical day of the year when the new Zumbarons make their debut. Magical. To counteract the sugar overdose we were about the experience, Sous-Jeff suggested we walk from our hotel to Pyrmont again, a little over 2km each direction. Totally worth it. We arrived and joined the line of people already waiting, around an hour before opening time. The closer we got to opening time, the longer the line got. Staff began handing out menus, for us to place our orders. The people in front of us were pretty keen and ordered one of each of the 62 flavours. We weren’t quite as cashed up, so we ordered 16 (I was still determined to eat from the dessert train before heading back to Melbourne, so had to save some money for that!).

The great man made a very brief appearance, unfortunately didn’t stop to say hi to the gathering masses :( That made me a little sad… but he’s a busy man! In a few minutes, we were in and out with our Zumbarons, and took them back to our hotel room to do our best work with them.

From left to right:

Raspberry Shortcake (sickeningly sweet, delicious!)

2 x PB&J (WOW!)

Pandan

Salted Caramel Gianduja (salty sugary goodness)

Olive Oil & Salted Truffle (kinda bland…?)

Mojito (WOWWW!!! Tasted JUST like the cocktail!!!)

Milo

Maple Syrup Pancake (so good!)

Redskin (disturbingly realistic, down to the chewy, stringy filling!)

Cola (actually bubbled in my mouth!)

Carrot Cake (Sous-Jeff says this was the best macaron ever!)

Beer (of course he had to try this one, quite realistic by all accounts!)

Unfortunately, one of the macarons I was most looking forward to was the hamburger one. Ordered and paid for. But we never received it :( That also made me sad…. Zumbo, you owe me a hamburgeraron!!!!

Anyway, another long day (I’d say we walked around 10 – 15km each day) ended back at The Star, where I finally got to get stuck into the dessert train. My dream.

It wasn’t super cheap, but I really didn’t care. We plucked the following off the train, they were all amazing, and I couldn’t really pick a favourite… maybe the cherry coconut…

And the icing on the cake: ordered from the menu, the grilled ice cream sandwich. Grilled sandwich. Filled with ice cream.

This was a huge winner, despite the face I was about ready to throw up by this stage. If another one was placed in front of me, I’d have eaten that too.

Probably don’t need to say much more, I think the photos speak for themselves… absolutely outstanding, sir, I salute you.

Would rate it 10 out of 10.

Adriano Zumbo on Urbanspoon

Adriano Zumbo Pâtissier on Urbanspoon

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