It’s not (just) ANZAC Day, it’s (also) bacon and eggs day…

April 30, 2007 at 11:13 am | Posted in All, Australia, Family, Glorious Food | 2 Comments

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I have drafted this on Thursday last week but was not able to post as I have been busy and I don’t really feel a hundred percent this past week. I get so tired so quickly and my motivation to even go to work is near zero. Zilch.

April 25 is a special occasion for Australia. Officially nmaed ANZAC Day in 1916, the date commemorates the landing of the Australia and New Zealand troops in Gallipoli during the World War 1. More here on ANZAC Day.

Commemorative services are held at dawn across the nation. Ex-servicemen and women meet and join the marches throughout the major cities and many other smaller centres.

And since ANZAC DAy is a public holiday, that meant no work and no work means sleeping in. πŸ™‚ I felt sluggish when I woke up at 9’ish and was craving for bacon and eggs. Shane was watching NHL Ice Hockey playoffs Vancouver vs Dallas. I joined him and started blabbering about bacon and eggs. I kept bugging him to go to the supermarket but of course he can’t be bothered. If hockey is on, he is glued to the TV. Nothing else matters. Bugger. I dont’ want to go myself so I had to wait until hockey finishes.

After a looong wait, he did go to the supermarket only to come back empty handed. The shops were closed and won’t open until 1:00 in the afternoon. (In respect to the ANZACs, shops remain close until midday.) We called mum to check if she has some but unfortunately she doesn’t have bacon, only eggs. She suggested McDonald’sor even the milk bar. (A milk bar is actually a convenient store like 7-Eleven but is called such becasue it used to sell just milk. The name just lived on). Oh yes, Maccas. They must be open today. Even fire does not stop them. Shane said we try the milk bar first but I didn’t want to cook now, just drive to Maccas.

Off we drove to the nearest McDonald’s. Whaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh! We’re 15 minutes too late. Breakfast is over! Darn. I need to have that bacon and eggs, and now. Our only chance now is the milk bar. Another five minutes of me whinging in the car and Shane was in the milk bar. He came out with a sheepish smile carrying a bag of eggs and bacon. The bacon was the last ration too. Whew!

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Adelaide Escapade

April 12, 2007 at 10:22 pm | Posted in All, Australia, Blogging, Environment, Glorious Food, Life et al, Travel | 4 Comments

A last minute decision led us to Adelaide, South Australia during the Easter break. Our original plan was to go to the Great Ocean Road. Brad, hubby’s brother suggested we drive to Adelaide instead. (It would be difficult to book a plane anyway, too late.) As I haven’t been to SA, I jumped on the idea. And since we will be driving, we could also make a few stops along the way and take in the scenery of country Victoria and South Australia. Shane is driving.

On Thursday, I was all over the internet looking for accommodation. Thanks to needitnow we were able to secure hotel rooms at reasonable prices. I couldn’t get accommodation for three consecutive nights in one hotel so I had to make two hotel bookings.

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Adelaide, SA is about 700 kms from Melbourne so we expected the drive to be between 7 to 8 hours. We left Melbourne at elevenish on Friday and got to the hotel at around 6:30 pm. Not too bad considering the roads were a bit busy. We were not the only ones who made last minute plans, you know.

We stayed at All Seasons Meridien for the first and last night. The second night was at Chifley at South Terrace.

All Seasons Meridien is in North Adelaide and its facilities include a swimming pool, spa and sauna. The bar/restaurant was good but a bit too pricey for me though I loved the omelette with bacon, cheese and tomato they served for breakie. Yum yum.

welcome.jpgChifley at South Terrace is located in the city. Our room was a bit smaller. There was also a pool and a gym. And the most important of all, great customer service. We were pleasantly surprised to see our names in a welcome board in the reception area. Very personalised. We liked the idea that we are actually thinking of doing the same in Dad’s motel in Euroa. Also, the staff were all friendly and very accommodating.

We spent the whole Saturday exploring Adelaide and its sub-urbs. Adelaide is a beautiful city with a laid back lifestyle. People seemed relaxed.We wandered around the city and later went to Glenelg.

What I noticed about Adelaide is that the sub-urbs are just 10-15 minutes away from the CBD. Another thing, there’s not much rubbish bins in the city but the surroundings are clean and you can rarely find rubbish in the streets. The bins are like 2 kilometres away from from each other. I found this out the hard way. While walking to the casino during the night, I picked up rubbish (softdrink cup) to put to the bin. Seeing the place so clean, I felt compelled to pick it up. We have already been walking for a while but I didn’t find a bi at all unitl we got to the casino. *Sigh* I sort of regretted picking up that rubbish. I was just trying to be a good citizen. Hehe.

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Sunday was spent driving to places outside Adelaide. We drove to Mount Lofty, Handorf and to the Barossa Valley for a bit of wine tasting. Handorf is a beautiful place with lots of character in it. It is a very popular place for tourists. We are not really wine drinkers so we only stopped in one place for wine tasting. Chateau Dorrien is not a very popular wine maker but they have this sweet white wine, a Reisling, which we really liked. At $15 per bottle, I bought two. It was a bit of an adventure going back to the city. We didn’t have printed map with us and we followed my Navman but the bloody navigator took us to a dirt road. We had to go back trace our route and start all over again.

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A cup of chai or two or three, keeps my blues away from me

March 28, 2007 at 2:20 pm | Posted in All, Blogging, Glorious Food, Health | 1 Comment

when you wake up in the morning; here’s something to get you going
a cup or two of special chai ; a big smile, oh don’t be shy
smell the aroma of the brew; feel the warmth embrace you
look forward to the day ahead; go for your life, take the lead.

Chai.

My mother-in-law introduced me to this delightful tea. At first I was a bit sceptic (as always) because I know this is a variety of Indian tea. But it turned out very pleasing. Now I am a convert.

As opppose to what I knew (that chai is an Indian tea variety, pardon the ignorant in me) πŸ™‚ , the term ‘chai’ actually means tea in some South Asian countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc.. and in the Middle East. Well, it does sound like tsaa, the Tagalog term for tea which was consequently taken from cha, the Chinese term.

Chai is typically prepared by boiling loose tea leaves in a pot with milk, spices and sweetener. Probably the most popular variety is the Indian Spice Tea – which comprises rich black tea, heavy milk and a combination of spices and sweetener. The most common spices used are cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, cloves and pepper. The sweetener which can either be sugar, molasses or honey is a must to bring out the flavor of the spices. The spices produce aroma with warming and soothing effect.

After having dinner with friends last Saturday, we went to a cafe for a night cap. I was pleasantly surprised to see Chai Latte in their drinks menu. From behind the counter, I could smell the aroma of some chai brewing. There were tempting gelatis of all flavors but the chai latte won me. I just couldn’t resist it. I suddenly forgot the study about milk and tea not being good together. πŸ™‚

It’s goodbye cafe latte for now, hello chai latte.

Chocolate Mousse Recipe

February 4, 2007 at 11:43 pm | Posted in All, Glorious Food | Leave a comment

This recipe is not my original creation. Rather this is my improved version of two recipes, one I had found on the net and one from a book my mum-in-law gave me. I have combined the two by adding/increasing some ingredients while reducing some.I have made this a few times now. Shane just loves it, it doesn’t last long in the fridge.

Ingredients:

250 gm dark chocolate
3 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup white sugar (for a sweeter taste, add 2 tbsp)
1 1/4 cup cold thickened cream
3 tbsp Grand Marnier (available in small bottles @ 6.89/btl in Safeway or Coles liquor shop)
(The original recipe called for 1/4 c but I found it too strong)
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Procedure:

Cut the chocolate and butter into small pieces and place in a bowl. Heat water (do not boil) and set bowl of mixed chocolate & butter on top of it to melt, stirring occasionally. When completely melted, remove from heat and beat or stir until smooth. Return to the heat and add egg yolks one at a time, stirring well after each one. Remove from heat.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peak forms. Add 2 tbsp of the sugar and beat until stiff. Would be wise to use an electric mixer when beating.

In another bowl, beat the cream until it becomes frothy. Add the remaining sugar, the Grand Marnier and the lemon juice and continue beating until it holds soft peaks.

Fold the egg whites in the chocolate mixture until no white specks appear. Gradually add the whipped cream and fold until well blended.

Transfer in small bowls and refrigerate until well chilled. I would recommend to wait at least 24 hours before eating so that the flavor has already settled.

Optional: top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings when serving.

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