Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fine Garage Dining

I've been a huge fan of the Food Truck show, so when I found out there was going to be a Food Truck restaurant opening not far from the university, the temptation was too much. This was the second time I've been to the Food Truck Garage but a first for the friends I went with. They don't do reservations since it's more of a takeaway - fast food eating experience but HEALTHY. The waiting list was getting longer and longer even after we arrived and waited for our table for six starving students.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Chocolate Chip Pick-Me-Up

Chocolate chip pick-me-up in the form of a cookie is what you need midweek. Seriously, the sugary moist nibbly cookie can ease any stressful situation or momentary panic. The recipe has been a guarded secret passed between good friends which evolved from a Chelsea's Cookbook recipe. One slight change to the recipe made it better and morish. I've yet to acquire a copy of this book and it's definitely on the christmas list. Hopefully I can find it in a secondbook shop or charity shop sometime soon...nom...!

Little and Friday

Food. Good food, isn't hard to find when you are surrounded by foodies. One of the picks was Little and Friday Cafe and I glad to have skipped breakfast (woke up too late again) and feasted on lunch. A bunch of us all squished into one car and went on a food adventure.

The little cafe is situated within Martha's fabric shop in New Market, which is not hard to find but parking can be a bit of a hassle due its popularity. As we waited for our delicious choices to grace our table, I want around and had a look at the fabrics. Each as intricate and detailed in design as the baking on display. I wasn't sure why I picked the chocolate hazelnut muffin, but it looked gorgeous and I was already feasting with my eyes.
Many of the delicious morsels can be found in the Little and Friday recipe book.  I gave the banana muffin recipe a go and it was divine! (I even attempted making the caramel and cream cheese icing... sadly they weren't as easy as I thought.) Now I know what I want for my birthday... *wink*

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Improv Pasta: Creamy Chicken Pasta

When the weekend comes around, it usually means its my turn to be in the kitchen. I'm only left with random vegetables that are left over before the next big shop, so what's left all goes into the pasta sauce... which is why it's called "Surprise Pasta" since it's never the same, thought this time would be a good opportunity to write something down. The final result is usually a mixture of western and eastern influences. Big part of it is the improvisation of the ingredient list and make do with what I have. Today, lunch is Creamy Chicken Pasta.

A quick raid of the fridge produced some sorry looking ingrediants. Most recipes calls for chicken stock which I cheated with using instant chicken soup.

 Part One - Making the roux/white sauce
1. Butter and flour in a sauce pan and cook off the flour, careful not to burn the mixture.
2. Take sauce pan off the stove and slowly whisk in the milk before returning pan back onto the stove to thicken.
3. Once thicken add pepper and salt to taste.
4. Add and stir in the cream and take off the stove and set aside for now.

 Part Two - Pasta prep
5. In a large pot add salt to boiling water before adding the pasta.
6. Once cooked, reserve half a cup of the pasta water.
7. Drain the water and run pasta under cold water to stop the cooking process and set aside.

 Part Three - Finishing the sauce/pasta
8. In a sauce pan, first fry the garlic and carrot in some oil until golden.
9. Add the bok choy, pepper and courgette and add  1tsp of sugar, salt and pepper to taste and lightly fry.
10. Pour in the chicken soup and soak the chicken. Leave to simmer/reduce.
11. Pour in white sauce and and bring to a light boil.
12. Pour remaining pasta water into the pasta pot before pouring in the sauce.
That's all to it! If the sauce is a little thin, mix 1 tbsp of cornflour to 2 tbsp of old water and add to sauce in step 11. This should be able to satisfy up to 4-5 people with everyone getting a big bowl of pasta each.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

DIY Mountain Pillow

We've reached the age where we think late night visits, tea drinking, moching eating while listening to Frank Ocean (♫ ♪ Channel Orange - Lost) is a cool activity. (not to mention pigging out on a large box of ferreo rocher.) It's pretty nice to chat about random thing with friends, especially close, intimate ones where you can say just about anything without having the feeling of being judged. It also shows that you really don't have to get drunk to have a good time (although a small glass of alcohol wouldn't harm any soul). 

We have an unopened bottle of merlot sitting in the cupboard, I've been meaning to try out a nice old mulled wine recipe. Who says you can only drink mulled wines during Christmas? Or live in Europe? I say screw conventions, It's getting cold over here in the southern hemisphere, we have wind here too and rain. I need to have some to warm myself. I saw this recipe on Frankie magazine that looks pretty simple and delicious, I will give it a go when I come around to making it.

Anyways, I've gone completely out of topic for this post. So the other day, I was just casually browsing Pinterest looking for a cool DIY (I was in the mood for some serious crafting) and I came across this tutorial for making this awesome looking mountain pillow. If you guys are interested, the tutorial can be found here.

I think it really adds a little whimsical ambience into your home. If you can't find the materials they've described, you can always opt for something similar. Who says it has to be exactly the same? By all means you can make your mountain green. We went for polar fleece because they are nice and soft when you hug it and plus they were on sale lol. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Time waits for no one

Yesterday I was watching 時をかける少女 The Girl Who Leapt Through Time", an animated adaption of the popular novel by the Japanese writer Yasutaka Tsutsui, directed by Mamoru HosodaI've watched this a couple of times now, and I never get sick of it, because it's one of my favourite Japanese animations of all time along with "Summer Wars" (don't get me started on how much I love Studio Ghibli). 

♫ ♪ Moonrise Kingdom - Cuckoo

"Time waits for no one"

Is a line that was written on the black board in the science lab which was later discovered by the protagonist Makoto Konno. It's ironic the way time is presented on a watch with hands that move constantly in a loop, always passing the same numbers, but In reality time never repeats itself, it's linear, like a one way train running on a infinite track heading to nowhere, stopping for no one but we are all passengers riding on it. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Road trips are best taken late in the afternoon

Easter Sunday means family time. It's one of the few days in the year when my Mum isn't running the shop and the whole family goes somewhere for the day. The rule is that the location must be a distance of 50km or more from our house and preferably outside Auckland. After some serious procrastination in the morning, within 5 minutes it was decided that we were going to explore the Karangahake Gorge Reserve. There was only 5 hours of daylight left, so we all piled into The Whale and loaded up the GPS (which was horrendously out of date and did not account for all the road work that was happening EVERYWHERE).

One camera between two photography enthusiasts. Not a good idea.
Credit to Papazhou for taking some of the photos and for not sharing the camera.