Sunday, January 31, 2010

China Kitchen

China Kitchen
58 High St, Toowong

Back in the day when I used to go to Night in India in Toowong a fair bit, I kept tabs on The Bamboo Shoot next door to it. It was reputed in some circles to be a good Chinese restaurant but I harbored doubts. In any case, it closed down and China Kitchen was established in its place.

I had zero interest in China Kitchen to begin with but then the reviews started coming to me. Most of my friends who had been there said it was 'really good'. I also found out that China Kitchen specializes in Shechuan cuisine which is famous for its numbing spiciness. Being a fan of that style of dish, I decided I was keen after all.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Vegetarian Lasagna

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Vegetarian Lasagna
Home Cooking

I've been very slack with this post. The photos, recipe, act-of-making this dish all date back to new years eve (nearing a month ago). Other posts kept getting in the way...

Left-overs enjoyed with a book

Ok, the real reason is that I suspect this post will take actual effort to compile. The recipe is a self-invention and whilst that is a benefit at the time of cooking (no measuring quantities, just improvise), it's not great when you're referring to memory and need to type out a recipe for your blog. So, I've been lazy.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cafe Siena

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Cafe Siena
Shop 1098, Westfield Shopping Town, Carindale

Everyone loves 2-for-1 deals, especially my parents. Whenever they shop at Woolies in Carindale, they'll religiously check the back of the receipts to see if there's anything good. Cafe Siena frequently offers buy one get one free hot drinks, so much so that you start getting too used to the freebies.

In fact, there have been times (I will admit now) that we were originally couponless but made special grocery shopping trips specifically to get a receipt with the intent of gambling on the chance of acquiring a drinks voucher.

I would hang my head in shame if not for the fact that it's human nature to feel inwardly self-satisfied whenever getting a bargain of ANY SORT. You too. I don't apologize for representing the normal.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bygone days of nothingness

I'm currently reading 'Eat, Pray, Love' by Elizabeth Gilbert and this book SPEAKS to me. Proclaiming that "I can really relate to her" is somewhat of an understatement.

No, I'm not going to give a book review but there IS one concept mentioned in the early chapters that got me thinking and writing this post:

"Bel far niente"

"The beauty of doing nothing"

All my friends would scoff that a statement like the above is rich coming from me since I, more than anyone else on the planet, am constant victim to boredom.

I've explained to many uncomprehending individuals (who are content with doing nothing, or even just one thing at a time) that I frequently would be multitasking: tutoring, chatting, blogging, eating, watching TV and listening to music and yet... STILL BORED.

This was my curse of the holidays.

And the curse has been lifted. When else should I start appreciating nothingness than when uni has commenced and I'm off my feet with chores, errands and stuff to do?

Once again, I've taken to scrawling in my diary lists of tasks and I take great pleasure crossing them off as I go. On Monday, I had even written down 'shower' as a task.

I realized how much it meant to me to have spare time when I spent all of Sunday sleeping. Literally from 10am to 5am on Monday, I was drifting in and out of sleep, leaving bed maybe once just to microwave some food.

Suddenly now, the holidays look good. Why was I complaining?

This post is a small collection of photos representing random bits and pieces of the holidays that were awesome to me. Let it be a tribute, to compensate for my lack of appreciation at the time.

Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Omelet Rolls

Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Omelet Rolls
Home Cooking

Another one from my finger food lunch party... this was a last minute addition to my pre-planned menu. Again, I got the recipe from The Essential Fingerfood cookbook which was my bible for the event.

Even though I threw the components together on the morning (and I can admit the presentation is far from ideal), these tidbits of salmony goodness were uber tasty and I got plenty of compliments.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Seagrass for Dessert

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4/220 Melbourne St, West End

One of my best friends flew off to the States recently. He was one of my 'go to' friends in the event of a crisis and his absence is HUGELY noticeable. Before he took off, we had a dessert farewell in West End. The original plan was to go to Freestyle but the line was huge so we wandered from one end of the street to the other, convinced that something good would catch our attention.

Nope, nothing.

Perhaps we're just very picky?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Uni returns

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Last Monday I dragged myself out of bed to face uni once more. Actually, that's a lie. The first 2 days, I was so hyped on adrenaline I practically leapt out of bed, 1 hr before my alarm was set to go off. Be that as it may, 'drag' is the appropriate term to describe my last few mornings.

Thursday was of particular amusement... I forgot to set my alarm and when I awoke, saw the time was 7:30am (normally, I am moving around by 6). All week, we had it drilled into our heads that time management was crucial and that being late was an automatic fail. For some reason I thought my first patient was at 8am and subsequently fell into a fit of panic. I pulled on whatever pants were lying on the ground (keeping on the top I wore to sleep) and literally RAN to the hotel nearby, praying for a taxi.

Thankfully, a Maxicab was present and so I hopped in and on the way to uni. Somewhere along the way, I realized that it was the LECTURE that started at 8am and that patients weren't until 9.

All the same, that is my close call of the week. Never again.

We're currently dealing with an 8-4 daily schedule, 5 days a week. As a result of this, I'm pretty knackered by the time I get home so I haven't had a lot of time to blog. This will probably be rectified over the weekend.

Cheers and you'll be hearing more from me soon.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Poppy's Basket

Poppy's Basket
166, Grey St, South Brisbane

I went to high school near Southbank so whether the faculty liked it or not, it was the local hang out for us growing up. After school, my girlfriends and I would frequent the artificial beach and accompanying stores. Favorites included the lolly shop, ice-cream store (NZ Natural anyone?) and the obligatory water-front fish and chips.

To this day, I have a soft spot for Southbank. It's the place where I learned to like coffee (I admit that I started by easing myself in with the addition of sugar and/or cocoa powder) and also the location of my first chocolate croissant.

One of my oldest friends for year 8 told me about chocolate croissants at Poppy's. When I revisited that cafe recently, I thought of her.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Discount at Menulog

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I've already blogged about my own Menulog experience. If anyone feels encouraged to give it a go (and I do recommend this), take $10 off your bill!

Menulog Restaurant Delivery Guide
  • Australia's largest restaurant guide (20,000+ restaurants)
  • Order home delivery online (600+ restaurants)
  • Get $10 off on your first delivery order using this voucher code: 2A9E4F
  • Note: Available for participating restaurants only (which display the “accepts vouchers” sign) with a minimum purchase of $20. Valid until Nov. 11, 2010
Like I said, I had a blast ordering from Chop Chop via Menulog. It was a treat getting to wait at home for food to arrive. Epitome of the good life. Have fun ordering.

Fig Jam on Toast

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Fig Jam on Toast
Home Cooking

I lurrrve fresh figs but they're quite seasonal and usually, when spotted, a bit on the expensive side. A couple of weeks back, my mum and I were at a fruit store and I spied punnets of figs for $2. They were really ripe to the point that they had to be eaten on the day but hey, I can manage that. No worries.

Most of the figs were eaten as is but I felt experimental with the remaining fruit so I thought I'd make 'something'. I didn't know what 'something was' until I finished so it was very much a throw together and pray procedure. The end result was tasty though so I'd like to share.

Friday, January 15, 2010

My first Menulog experience - Chop Chop

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Chop Chop via Menulog

Menulog is a web-based company that essentially allows you to order food online. All you do is type in your postcode and you can then see what restaurants/eateries in the region are happy to deliver to your home. You can then place the order and make the payment through Menulog itself, sit back, relax and wait.

I was contacted by a lady from Menulog recently with the offer of placing a discount code on this blog. Well, the certainly piqued a bit of interest. Over the holidays, I have become the epitome of laziness and I shouldn't have to explain how the idea of restaurant food delivered to my door appealed to me.

In the past, I've done searches for deliver to my area but not many are willing to go to such lengths. Ah, the perils of not owning a car (or even having a license).

Chicken and Chutney Sausage Rolls

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Chicken and Chutney Sausage Rolls
Home Cooking

This was another one of my contributions for my lunch party a couple of weeks back. I found the recipe in The Essential Fingerfood cookbook by Murdoch Books (you can preview the book on Google Books here).

Bite shot

My initial batch that was actually presented on the day left a lot to be desired in terms of appearance simply because I was running around like a headless chicken, micromanaging and wishing I had 2 more pairs of hands.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Jo-Jo's on Queen Street

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I was a spontaneous tag-along to a friendly meeting yesterday. A couple of my friends were exchanging tickets to the Big Day Out 2010 and I had nothing on so along I went. We gathered in Queen Street and as I was late, the first suggestion upon my arrival was 'food... we need food'.

There are indecisive people who never know what to eat and it's always 'up to you' or 'you choose'. Others are single-minded and once they have a craving, they know it and will push for it. I fall somewhere in between because I can be very relaxed about what I'm eating but that's not to say there aren't days when I MUST have a certain something.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Spicy Lamb Kofta

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Spicy Lamb Kofta
Home Cooking

I had a little lunch party recently and decided to make some finger food for the occasion. After scanning through my vast collection of cookbooks, I found this recipe in 'The Essential Fingerfood book'.

Some people don't eat lamb (e.g. my mother) but I give myself the green light anyway based on the selfish reason of liking lamb a hell of a lot myself.

Toscani's at Carindale

Toscani's Cafe Bar and Restaurant
Westfield Carindale, 1132 Creek Rd, Carindale

I have a bit of a history at Toscani's. Back in the day (I'm talking early high school), I'd have to be excused from classes to go to orthodontic appointments. Mum would pick me up and afterwards, we'd go to Toscani's for food. My mouth would be all sore from braces being cranked so typically, I'd order a bowl of lunch-sized pasta.

Since then, I haven't really gone back too frequently. This is compounded by the fact that I've moved away from the East-side. My best girlfriend lives there though so when we decided to meet up for a chat recently, Toscani's was the spot of choice.