Monday, March 29, 2010

I heart MKR and Veronica and Shadi!

I never like following the recipes rigorously step by step. It's not because I don't respect the chef who created the dish but it's much more interesting and fulfilling to add your own touch to the dish. Veronica and Shadi were recently featured on Better Homes and Garden and I fell in love with their grilled Mediterranean vegetable and haloumi salad. So I decided to recreate it with ITF own special touch. Another reason for tampering with the recipe is the fact that I didn't have the haloumi cheese, the red onion and the balsamic vinegar.  The dish turned out fine and I am sure Chef Veronica and Shadi would have been proud of my version.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Let's celebrate Multicultralism with food!

I love my job, my students are great and we celebrate our diverse range of multiculture all the time.  Today was another memorable day.  Students were asked to bring a dish from their own culture to share with their peers.  The students were all very generous and we had such a huge amount of food, I thought we had enough food to feed the whole school for 1 week!  The students and teachers were all very excited to taste the different dishes and I think I ended up filling up my plates 3 or 4 times. 

Monday, March 22, 2010

How an Ugly Toad turned into a Charming Prince

If you love anything pastry and anything steak, then you will love this combination of steak with puff pastry.  It's quick and easy to make and its one of my new favourite comfort food.  I came across this idea one night when I looked into my fridge to see what I was going to cook for dinner.  I had the steak and mushroom in the fridge and I could have simply cooked a steak with mushroom gravy but it seemed so boring and typical.  That's when I remembered I had a packet of leftover puff pastry in the fridge.  Perfect! And dinner will be ready in less than 20 minutes...

So why the silly title! Well, I was going to name it as simply 'Cheesy Steak with Puff Pastry', until this silly title came into my head while I was cooking this dish. Hopefully as you read along, you will agree with my thinking.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A weekend of Alice in Wonderland

As a Gen Y, I fit into the category of no money, no saving and no planning.  However with a bunch of my Gen Y friends, a few spare change, a wedding dress, a bit of planning and a whole bucket of imagination, we managed to transform our weekend  into a fantasy world of Alice in Wonderland. 

A special mention to Miss C*, who volunteered her place for our Alice in Wonderland Set.  She also assigned our characters and with the help of Mrs M* transformed the place into our fantasy world.
Anyone want tea?
Why the mosquito net?

A makeover for Mr Hose
Nothing was left untouched

Good work Mrs M*!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Massive Sushi and Guinness World Record

So why did I put Sushi and Guinness World Record in the same sentence. As you all know sushi is a delicacy from Japan, it's a little rectangular rice ball with some type of topping on top of the rice. You're meant to put the whole sushi into your mouth and savor the flavours of the rice and the topping. However at this particular restaurant, it is almost impossible to put the whole sushi into your mouth. Being the food nerd, I research the Guinness World Record to see if they have found the biggest sushi served at a restaurant. Unfortunately there wasn't such a title which made me sound like a complete loser.

Anyhow, you get the idea that this restaurant serves 'massive' sushi.  When I made the booking, I had to preorder as there was only one chef working tonight.  That was not a big problem for me, as I have eaten here numerous times and remember the menu front to back and back to front.

Salmon Sushi - $3.00 each

Lots of yellow grass and food @ Launceston, Tasmania Day 2

It's a beautiful day, and it was an exciting day for me because my friend left this day for me to take the girls out to eat the best of the best in Launceston. So after many nights (exaggerated a little bit) of research, I was disappointed to find nothing much. People don't seem to blog about the food in Launceston, they talk about the views, the water, the mountains and the fresh air but how about the food!
So with only one 'must go' restaurant, I started to panic about where I was going to take the girls for the rest of the day. The girls were kind, and suggested we go back to Charles St in Launceston because there was a lot of café on that street. So with my head down, we headed to Charles St and settle at a posh looking café named ELAIA.
Sometimes decisions are made so much easier when the place has been awarded numerous awards. In this case, ELAIA has been awarded ‘Best Café Award 2005 and 2006’, so we were confident we found the right place.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Lots of yellow grass and food @ Launceston, Tasmania Day 1

The ticket was cheap, us girls were all kinda free.  So why not? was our motto.  However during our trip we had a lot more why yes moments.

Firstly, our friend missed the flight which is really no big deal unless our friend (who was left behind in Sydney) was the one who planned our whole trip and booked the tours. Lucky our friend managed to book a flight straight away and was able to meet up with us in 3 hours. So we arrived in Launceston, hungry and no idea where to head next. So we went to pick up our hired car which we have booked over the internet already. Disaster strikes again, Thirfty the company we went through apparently did not reserve a car for us. The worse thing was not the fact that we had no hired car but the lady looked at us four girls and suggested a solution, “We have a 3 seater, would you like to take it?” “Er, no thank you” was our reply. So we  desperately tried other companies and somehow we managed to book a car through Budget and everything seem to be back on schedule. Our friend kindly text us our first stop, which was Tantpourtant, a lovely little café in Launceston. When we arrived it was almost 4 o’clock, so they didn’t have much variety left and they were not able to provide salad with the pies. Nevertheless we settled for a mushroom + spinach pie and a smoked salmon pie.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tomato baked Pork with Rice

I love going to this particular restaurant in Parramatta for my serve of tomato baked Pork chop with rice. Unfortunately their pork is extremely fatty and thick with flour coating and so for health reasons I decided to try and cook this dish at home with healthier alternatives. I have tried to recreate this dish many times and it always seems to be missing something in flavour. I tried different types of tomato and I tried different types of tomato sauce but I never seem to be able to hit that right note of flavour. Until last week Mr ITF came across a friend who kindly told him what the secret ingredient was. Believe it or not, it is simply milk. It made a world of difference and the balance of tanginess and richness was just right.