Wednesday, March 31, 2010


What is it about trust? I think I have too much of it.

I guess I usually like to see the best in people and think that they would not violate it. Sometimes that doesn't hold true.

Conclusion? Be careful who you trust.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

No. 44 - Eat At 50 New Eateries (38/50)

Yet another weekend in the country where we decided to eat. Again.

Went to Sam Miranda in Oxley, which is a fairly large winery about half an hour from Benalla.

Lunch was pleasant. Managed to get quite tipsy with just 2 glasses of wine.

Too bad the warm weather isn't going to last much longer.

Monday, March 29, 2010

No. 44 - Eat At 50 New Eateries (37/50)

Was in Shepparton and was told that Teller was one of the best places to have dinner in the area. Didn't go there for dinner but managed to try out their lunch menu.

Food was good - particularly the fig salad. There's something about figs that I'm absolutely obsessed with lately - especially when it's cooked in a savoury context.

Only 13 more restaurants to visit and I'll be able to tick this item off! Actually, I've probably already hit the target - the problem is that I don't actually review the smaller ones that I feel aren't worth mentioning. I mean, do I really have to mention that ate at a new takeaway store unless it's mind blowingly awesome?

Probably not.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

On The Lookout

I have managed to really busy myself over the past week. As a result, I've been feeling a lot more energetic and just generally more cheerful.

Have therefore concluded that if I perpetually have interesting things to do I do not have time to wallow in any form of destructive behaviour.

Seeing that I have just finished doing a whole lot of cooking, I thought I'd take a break from the kitchen and explore other possible options to keep myself occupied.

Have concluded I don't want to do any form of hobby that involves

  • collecting things - what am I supposed to do with said collected items? Hate clutter!
  • making things - what am I supposed to do with the finished products?
That leaves me with either things involved with

  • food
  • physical activity - Exercise? Dance? Meditation?
  • artistic expression - Photography? Writing? Music?
  • reading
Somehow nothing seems to have struck my fancy. 

Picked up my housemate's flute for about 10 minutes and very quickly got very bored.

Hope some inspiration comes to me soon.

Friday, March 26, 2010

It is almost April.

True to my quarterly self assessment, I have sat down and tried to draw some conclusions about the first 3 months of this year.

I think the lesson I have been taught this trimester is...


Accepting that sometimes life doesn't go as planned, but that doesn't make you a failure. Accepting that sometimes you have to do things you don't like doing, but that is the pathway to the things that you do like. Accepting that some things can't be done on your own, but there are plenty of others that can be.

Goals for the next trimester?

The same as my resolution I suppose - try to make the best of everything and be happy no matter what life throws at me. 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Madagascar Magic

More fantastically detailed cakes.

This was an extremely chocolate-y cake - one 1cm slice was enough to send you to sugar heaven and not return for a good while.

Setting the cake into a 120 dollar mold. Seriously, being a home baker has way too many limitations.

Glazing the log.

Finishing touches.

Monday, March 22, 2010

My Weekend In The Country

For the past few weeks, I have not been in the country for my weekends. Even when I am in the country I never stay in town - I head to some other country town to see what's going on there.

This weekend, we decided to visit a friend in Shepparton. Saw a jigsaw puzzle sitting around in her home and before you knew it, we were hard at work.

It's a 750 piece puzzle of the Sydney Harbour. Several times I wanted to just quit - the colors all looked the same. However, we persevered and 3 and a half hours later, we finished it!

My accomplishment of the day.

For Real

So after years of baking for pleasure, I actually baked a batch of cupcakes and actually got paid actual money for them.

It is a very proud moment for me. If I had slots left in my 101 list to fill, this would have been one of them.

Therefore, I'm going to have to set up another list so that I don't forget all the things that I'm proud of for now.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mini Golf

The last time I mini-golfed was in Daylesford last year. Decided to do it again when we were in Auckland.

I'm not the best of golfers, sad to say. Individual shots are of people who managed to get hole in ones.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Continuing with the cakes that I made during the 2 day course I attended at Savour.

Making the chocolate decorations - I wish I had a tub full of tempered chocolate just sitting around all day at home.

Making the brownie bases and adding the caramelised banana. Topped off with coffee flavoured mousse.

Glazing the cake with caramel chocolate glaze.

Adding on the decorations on the side - white chocolate with crocodie skin print.

Finishing touches.

This cake wasn't that spectacular - someone forgot to add sugar into the coffee mousse. As a result, the cake came out very bitter. However, it still looked really good.

Friday, March 19, 2010

No. 44 - Eat At 50 New Eateries (36/50)

One of my childhood friends visited Melbourne and I had the honor of showing them around.

Brought them to my favourite haunts - Koko Black and Cacao. Can never go wrong with them.

Disregard the San Churro chai latte - that was with another friend that I met up with just to have a catch up session.

Brought them for dinner at Scusami on Southbank.

We had an amazing table - really good view. Unfortunately, the same can't be said about the food. Very mediocre - I will not dine there again.

In all, I had a really good time meeting up with friends who weren't at all connected to the dental world for once. Because yes, the vast majority of my friends now are dentists. Not that there's anything wrong with that - but sometimes it's nice to have an entire conversation that has absolutely nothing to do with teeth. Very refreshing.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Relationships Are Like Shoe Shopping

I've been cleaning out my shoe closet. The more time I spent sorting things out and deciding if the particular pair gets to stay or leave, I realized that shoe shopping has many similarities to relationships.

Firstly, you have to know what shoe you want. Then again, sometimes you walk into a shoe shop looking for flats and end up falling in love with a pair of heels. You never know.

Secondly, you never really know when you're going to meet the perfect shoe. In fact, the more you search for it the more it evades you. Then one fine day when you're shopping for something completely unrelated, it shows up.

Thirdly, once you actually see the perfect shoe, you have to pray they have your size. What does it matter if it's the most awesome shoe ever if it's too small/big? It is not meant to be.

Fourthly, it's all good in the shoe shop, you decide to pay up for it and bring it home. There still isn't a guarantee. Because a week later when you put it on and walk 1 block down the street, they can start to really hurt.

Three options - you can stick it out and eventually you break them in and become one of your favourites, or you can stick it out until you realize that it's futile. No amount of breaking in, thick socks, plasters and various other tricks is going to stop the shoe creating a bloody, blistery mess of your feet. Or you can give up after the first try for fear that the bloody blistery mess is going to be the eventual outcome.

Sometimes the shoe is so perfect in appearance one decides that some blisters and tears are worth the trouble. But eventually you realize it's too high a price to pay. So you take it off, take a photo of it and sell it on eBay - hoping the future owner has better luck.

And then you go shoe shopping again.

Landed Property

I used to long for a home with land. You know, a lovely garden... a long sweeping driveway up to the house....

Forget it.

All I have is a front and back yard and the maintenance is getting on my nerves.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

No. 44 - Eat At 50 New Eateries (34-35/50)

More food.

That's all I do when I travel - think about the next meal.

Breakfast overlooking the bay in Auckland. Yummy.

6 course degustation at French Cafe. Food was really good - one of the best meals of my life. Was particularly taken by their beetroot on caramelised onion and pastry combo.

I've very unfortunately gained back all the weight I lost during my bout of anxiety. What a shame.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I have a lot of things.

Starting to wonder how I'm going to transport all my belongings when I move next year.

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Kiwi Friend's Wedding

The wedding invitations have started to arrive. This was the first one that I have actually accepted.

While waiting for the wedding to commence, we decided to take some photos at the venue.

What are we doing? We're trying to copy the poses of the cherubs or... stone people or whatever.

We were trying to speculate who would be next out of our crowd to head down the aisle. The sad truth is that we are all so definitely single it could be anyone.

Or no one.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


I've been thinking a lot and I've come to conclude that what I need and want most now in my life is wisdom.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I used to be perfectly happy being alone. In fact, I almost welcomed it.

I liked the stillness of the house and the freedom to do whatever I wanted when I wanted without having to worry about what other people thought.

Now I dread it.

One night in Benalla alone and I'm already wishing I headed down with my housemate.

The house is too still. Too quiet. Leaving too much time for crazy thoughts.

I'm lonely.

On the plus side, Melbourne tomorrow. Just have to get through tonight.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fruit Tart

I've been slowly upgrading the ingredients that I use in my baking.

The first thing I upgraded was the chocolate I used - and what a huge difference it makes. Sure, it costs an arm and a leg, but it's amazing!

Of course, that pretty much means that baking is becoming a pretty expensive hobby. What with the equipment, the ingredients, the time...

Anyway, have recently decided to upgrade my butter as well.

This is the first time I'm baking with Lurpak butter.

Fruit tart with some chocolate ganache at the base.

No. 44 - Eat At 50 New Eateries (33/50)

We woke up bright and early on Saturday and headed off to Waiheke Island, where we decided to rent bicycles and cycle around the island.

Another first for me - the last time I was on a bicycle I was probably 10 years old. However, after a shaky start we were all good to go. Except... the island was mostly uphill when we cycled inland and after a while, we were so tired we decided to just push our bikes up the steep inclines. Much easier than riding.

Finally somehow managed to cycle to Cable Bay Vineyard - which had a spectacular view from the restaurant. Luck smiled on us again - I had made the mistake of assuming that Cable Bay was on the mainland and had booked lunch there for Sunday - only to discover it was right here on Waiheke Island!

Me: Is it possible to get a table for 4 today?
Waitress: I'm sorry, we're all booked out.
Me: Ohh...weelll... could you cancel our booking for tomorrow then? I made a huge mistake... I thought this vineyard was on the mainland! Was looking forward to eating here... and we just cycled up that hill..... *sob story continued*
Waitress: Let me see what I can do for you.

2 minutes later, we were seated at a table.

Food was amazing. One of the best meals I've ever had.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My Luck Filled Weekend Part 1

I went to Auckland last weekend.

If there was one word to describe my weekend - it would be... lucky.

To be perfectly fair, if we had more foresight and planning, perhaps we wouldn't need luck. But disorganized we were and thus luck was needed.

Firstly, we didn't decide where we were going to park our car when we went to Auckland. See, the thing is, we go down to Melbourne all the time. Thus everything should be straightforward enough - what's so complicated?

So when we approached the airport...

Housemate: So, where are we going to park the car?
Me: Uh... long term parking I guess? I know it's cheaper if we don't park in the airport but I don't think I can be bothered looking for the alternatives.
Housemate: Yea... so.. outdoor or indoor?
Me: Oh... outdoor will be fine... I mean, what's going to happen, right?

A hailstorm in Melbourne's going to happen, that's what!!!!

Very very happily and fortunately, it didn't hail where my car was. :D

Secondly, we didn't really decide if we were going to rent a car or just take public transport/taxi around Auckland. After much thought we decided that renting a car was probably going to be the best idea. Problem was, we arrived at Auckland at 1 a.m. on a Friday night. There weren't really many options.

Avis: We do have one car left. But it's small.
Us: Small's okay.
Avis: You need to be 25 to rent a car.
Me: Weelll.. I'm 25. (A mere 2-3 weeks after my 25th birthday)
Avis:Oh...another thing. This car has a manual transmission.
Me: ....I can drive manual.....I think...

So we got into the car and I gave myself a refresher course in manual driving in the car park. One may liken it to riding a bicycle - you never forget. Last time I drove a manual car would probably be at least 4-5 years ago.

Did I mention how many steep hills there were in Auckland City?!?!!

Anyway, was very proud of myself. So much so I'm putting this into my 101 list.

No. 80 - Drive in a foreign country.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Pecan Tart

For a long time I've wanted to make a pecan tart. After the fresh fig tart, I got into 'tart mode' and decided to continue in the same vein.

I really enjoyed making it. One arranges the pecans at the base of the tart and then pour the liquid in, submerging the pecans.

And then.... they float up to the surface very gently, in perfect symmetry. A joy to watch.

Loved it - although next time I'll probably put less treacle in.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Fresh Fig Tart

One of the dental assistants at work brought in a bag of figs and innocently offered me one.

I went into a ramble about how I've always wanted to make a fig tart but never had enough figs to do it. Before I knew it she gave me a whole bag of them.

Dashed home and churned this out of my kitchen before anyone could stop me.

This is the 26th new recipe out of the 50 on my 101 list.

It's very simple, really. Just a shortcrust pastry base topped with fresh figs and a drizzle of honey. 20 minutes in the oven and that was it.

It was excellent, even if I do say so myself.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Bought Season 1 of One Tree Hill.

I have too much time on my hands - that's why.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I've been oversleeping for the past few weeks.

I guess when I have nothing to do I just lie in bed and read and before I know it I turn over and go to sleep.

And when I wake up in the morning I think... 'Why bother getting up when there's nothing to really do?"

Anyway, I think I should snap out of it and start doing more productive things with my time instead of just sleeping it away.

Bought a few more toys for my kitchen. Shall start experimenting soon.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Macaron Tower

I should really have waited for an occasion to build this - but decided now's a good time as ever to do it.

I love macarons. Shame they're such fiddly delicate temperamental little things.

Monday, March 1, 2010

210 seconds

After experimenting for less than half an hour the answer came to me.

To perfectly half boil an extra large egg straight out of the fridge, one should put it into simmering water for exactly 210 seconds - or 3.5 minutes.

Mystery solved.
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