I’m on holidays at the moment, and everyone’s been asking me, where are you going? Etc etc etc…thing is, usually, I do go somewhere, short trip overseas, interstate, anything…but this time, I’ve taken two weeks off just to relax and it has been excellent. I really recommend it to everyone…I’ve honestly enjoyed every single day of it, I’m already dreading having to go back to work.
I’ve been eating out heaps! After Koh-Ya, I also went to Food and Soul, which I thought was alright, the service was friendly and familiar, with the chef/owner Terry seating us and explaining to us his dishes, very generous servings, but perhaps not as refined. I went Yum Cha with some girlfriends of mine and I had lots of my favourite dish, that is the rice noodle rolls with the BBQ pork and the sweet soy sauce. My family’s favourite story is always me eating 4 plates of these when I was 4 years old, my grandmother egging me on before throwing up all over the carpet in the restaurant, nice.
Then there was my nephew’s 3rd birthday where was a veritable feast of vietnamese betal leaves wrapped pork, BBQ sambal sting ray, my brother-in-law’s very delicious vietnamese pork chops, honey and chicken sausauges from the helpful and friendly butchers at Sunnybank Plaza, homemade coleslaw and loads of other stuff. I’d spent all day on Saturday baking a cake for my nephew. I wanted to do something interesting, so I decided on a basil scented cake with brown butter frosting (a recipe I saw on Not Quite Nigella) but the recipe didn’t work – she’d made cupcakes, I’d wanted to make a whole cake. The cake was an absolute disaster with the outside crispy and biscuity – quite delicious really, and the inside, sloppy, tasted pretty good though. I had to start all over again, but I’d run out of basil, so I used vanilla bean instead, which ended up being moist and delicious with the crusty top and sides.
I also decided to try my hand at macarons (that’s macarons – ONE O). Macaroons is made with a base of coconut, and macarons is usually made with a base of almonds, one is English and one is French (so Wikipedia tells me). My macarons were plain macarons with white chocolate and raspberry ganache and they were lovely and crispy. They were full of almond flavour and were chewy. They even had a frilly foot on it! Although I blame the lopsidedness of the macaroons on my sister’s dodgy oven. A few tips that were given that I believe helped my mild success with my first attempt at macarons:
– I used old egg whites (left out of the fridge overnight – pre-cracked into a container, I saved the yolks to make creme brulee – check out my creme brulee entry for the update)
– I let my macarons sit for at least an hour before I baked them which allowed them to develop a crust
– Drawing circles on the parchment and then flipping them over helped me pipe similar sized macarons – though when I didn’t flip them over, I got pencil marks on the bottem of my macarons…not good.
– With a wet finger, I flattened the tip of my macarons so they were smooth on the top (although I also did a batch with the pointy top and I quite like the billowy look to them).
During my holiday, my sister and I spent a very busy day at the coast starting with a window shop at a huge kitchenware store – I could’ve spent hours there but our bellies and the beach called out to us. We went to Food Fantasy and the highlight was surprisingly the boozy spaghetti bolognaise, I also really enjoyed the white chocolate mousse, very good value at $12.50 each (ultilising the Entertainment Card). We went to the beach, and then went to Ikea, where we both stocked up on their Swedish Meatballs then ended up at an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet at Sunnypark (only Wednesdays). There were sushi with fresh salmon, tuna, tempura, ebikatus, okonomiyaki, desserts, salads but overall, I wasn’t overly enthused. Give me Hanaichi kaiten sushi anytime.
All that I’ve described has only been my weekend, and the first day of my holidays…definitely more to come…