Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Cheese & W(h)ine

September 13, 2011

A MAO Inhibitor nightmare.

Tyramine and ex-veganism aside, I love a good party.

Or evening get together.

Or random gathering.

Or predrinks.

Or afternoon nibbles.

Or wine & snack by myself…

Jo Goddard from Cup of Jo has a handy guide to creating the perfect cheese board.

I think a good platter needs a soft and a crumbly cheese, always a blue, a little pile of dried fruit (apple slices, apricots, raisons) and a little pile of nuts (walnuts, cashews, pecans) and some fresh fruit (apple, pear slices, strawberries, grapes). Crackers optional.

But what you really need is five or more friends (at least), copious amounts of wine in crystal cut glasses (50 cents each at your nearest op shop), and more food than you really need. And always a bowl of olives. With pits. Good olives.

Then talk shit and shove food in your face whilst shrieking and talking over the top of each other and cackling at the hilarious things you all say. Get all the hideous hospital stories off your chest. Spill a bit of wine in the kitchen.

Repeat at least fortnightly.

We have been.

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Speaking of margaritas…

September 10, 2011

Oh snap.

Frozen Margaritas

September 10, 2011

…should be first line treatment for pharyngitis.

Just saying.

 

*Scripts can be filled here

e. e. cummings

April 5, 2010

…was probably a

procastinator

which i relate to {wholeheartedly}

because i am easily led

into worlds

of

beauty

colour

comfort

i am lost {hopelessly} in

images of worn cotton pillows

vintage bunting

cake platters

straw…

berries

lemon tarts

fresh produce piled high at sunday farmers markets {oh the sunlight

through the lens}

toddlers dancing at birthday parties

lollybags

tulle

bicycles {with baskets}

steaming japanese noodles

pot plants

crystal vases

old photos

{above}

et cetera

be

cause {frankly}

colorectal

malig…

nancy

{just} does

n’t

do it for me

{right now}.

The Fragrant Harbour

June 11, 2009

 

Prince Edward Market

Prince Edward Market

Tai O

Looking up at Tai O

 

From the Star Ferry

From the Star Ferry

Seeing as I don’t love my camera at the moment, I’ve found some shots that where taken when we still used to get on. When it actually took photos when I pressed down on the button!

Lately, we’ve both been missing Hong Kong. We’re thinking of going back in December, after nearly four years to where we met/fell in love/wandered through wetfloor markets/had excess of yum cha at Nam Shan/ weekly indian at Chungking Mansions/caught buses out to Stanley/sang bad karaoke/learnt rude cantonese easily/took six months say our home address properly/spent ridiculous amount of time on escalators/finally made the fruit + veg stall lady who we bought food from EVERYDAY smile/discovered seven different types of food poisoning/ran riot in Lan Kwai Fong/drank chrysanthemum tea at 2am with roommates/marveled at the MTR/watched the light show at 8pm/met each others parents who were coincidently visiting at the same time/spent hours wandering around alleys/got lost in megasupershopping malls/ did the cliched Ikea litmus test for relationships/had rooftop picnics/decided not to say goodbye. 

It’ll be a fitting 4th anniversary if we get our act together + actually book tickets. If we do, I’ve already worked out what I’m having for dinner every night we’d be there.

Reasons why I keep dutchboy around…

June 11, 2009

choc_chip_cookies_2

#1 he makes double batches of chocolate chip biscuits during my exam lead up. 

I really wish I had a decent camera so I didn’t have to google images for this picture. This photo does nothing to represent the decadent chocolateyness that was inside dutchboy’s biscuits. He chopped up a whole block of Whittakers dark chocolate* coasely, then folded the fine shavings of chocolate left on the chopping board through the dough so the entire biscuit had tiny chocolate flecks. I don’t dig the chocolate chip ‘nibs’. Never have. They look unnatural + why the frig don’t they melt? Don’t trust them. Plus, I can’t find any dairy-free dark chocolate chips around here even if I did want weird non-melting nibs. 

These were amazing. For someone who had never made biscuits before (yeah…I know? what the) he did an incredible job. He used the recipe of the front cover shot of The Joy of Vegan Baking,  whose author may receive an emotional email from me in a few weeks about how her biscuits got me through exams…

mmm. 

*their dark range is vegan (except the dark caramel) + cheap + comes in fabulous retro gold wrapping. come on. how awesome?

Food for thought

April 4, 2009

img_vert_mcdougalls2

I’ve read a lot about Dr John McDougall. He interests me a lot, aside from the fact that his profile shots with Mrs McDougall belong hung above the fireplace of a woodlands house, or in a 1970’s winter fashion catalogue.

He runs a 10 day live in program in California aiming to reverse chronic disease. Amongst other things, McDougall advocates that nutrition is one of the most effective ways to prevent and treat heart disease (and cops it from cardiovascular surgeons who are losing their bypass patients to him).  His successful ‘Star McDougallers’ are real life endorsements for the removal of animal products in the diets of CHD patients. The whole testimonial thing is a bit creepy but that’s probably just an American thing. The style of filming, set design and editing is a little bit too “Hi, I’m Troy McClure“. Get RID of the red velvet curtain in the background. 

In my opinion the people who would benefit from this kind of dietary change are the most unlikely to go to a health retreat. While I like his concept, the marketing seems wrong to me. The market segment that needs this info the most are low income earners, with busy lifestyles and poor nutritional knowledge. They are not going to spend 10 days in a health retreat. They need this packaged in a way that makes sense and has value to them.  Processed, prepackaged food is expensive. Meat and animal products are expensive. Grains and legumes are cheap.  Fresh fruit and vegetables are cheap. 

Having heart disease is expensive.

Not having heart disease is cheap. 

There are a lot of people that can be reached if a product or service breaks convention with its advertising. The success of the Skinny Bitch series can be attributed to:

  • the lack of the word “Vegan” in the title
  • the chick lit style cover
  • a paparazzi photo of Victoria Beckham emerging from a shop clutching the book

If the authors of the Skinny Bitch series had titled their books “Vegan Fare” and used cover art of an kitchen bench laden with fruits and vegetables they would have significantly reduced their audience. I think the McDougall program is doing great things with their diet vs drugs philosophy (peas vs pills, oatmeal vs obesity, cabbage vs CABG), but they haven’t broken convention enough with the way they spread their message. It’s possible that their methods of communication mean that they’re only preaching to the converted (and the willing to be converted). 

I’d like to see the MacDougalls cut loose a little. 

Vegan Lemon Curd Tart

February 2, 2009

imgp19341 I love lemon tart, but last time I made it was when I still used eggs and I haven’t been up to making lemony curdy tarty things the vegan way in case they were ‘orrible + upsetting. 

But yesterday I took my hungover self to the kitchen + finally attacked the Lemon Bars from The Joy Of Vegan Baking. Because my hungover state prevented me from leaving the house (or making sudden movements in general) I made do with what we had. 

Despite how ‘orrible my photo is these were great. Lemony curdy goodness. I reduced the sugar, increased the lemon, + doubled the quantities of filling to make it more like a cheesecake thickness. 

Crust

bunch of stale sugar biscuits, smooshed into crumbs

few tablespoons of Nuttelex 

Filling

1 cup of silken tofu

1 1/2 cups of sugar

200ml of lemon juice

4 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons of cornflour

 

Preheat oven to 180 C. Mix crust ingredients together and press into lined dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until browned. Blend all ingredients in blender or processor until frothy. Pour filling into baked crusts and bake for 30 minutes or until filling is set (eg. doesn’t wobble when you move dish).

Bitchtastic Brownies

January 28, 2009

Bitchtastic Brownies Skinny Bitch in the Kitch is one of the books my mum bought + I secretly hoped she would tire of, therefore passing it on to me. But no such luck. She loves it and uses it so regularly the Bitchtastic brownie recipe has to be read through cocoa smeared fingerprints. 

So I bought my own damn copy + went to crazy town with the cocoa. I should have doubled the recipe, like mum does, because there is nothing resembling chocolatey goodness left in our house now. 

Copyright and respect for the genius of this book prevents me from sharing the recipe. But seriously, if interested, you should buy this book. It’s around $22. My only gripe is it’s heavy on the vegan cheese + faux meats that are more easily found in the USA.

I made a clean break with cheese. I live without it rather than screw with my head by eating substitutes that don’t taste anything like my beloved creamy blue or the crumbly Mersey Valley original vintage club cheddar (I stumbled across Cheezly faux cheddar today + apart from the disappointment I knew would come, I just couldn’t stomach handing over $8.95 for 100g of soy cheese). It’s okay though. Cheese + I broke up so that’s that. 

But the brownies, they were fabulous.

Sinterklaas

December 5, 2008

 

photo by Michael Zappa

photo by Michael Zappa

The 5th of december is Sinterklaas in the Netherlands.  In november, Sinterklaas sails in his boat from Spain (because thats where he lives…of course) with Zwarte Piet, his ‘moorish friend/servant’ (I had misgivings about the political correctness of ‘Black Pete’ but dutchboy assures me he’s dark from “cleaning chimneys…” uh huh).  This event is filmed by television stations and broadcast on the news so the kids really believe it. Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet spend the time before december 5th frequenting shopping malls and city centres, carrying bags of tiny spiced biscuits that Zwarte Piet chucks at children. Literally. When I spent winter there a few years ago we were pelted with biscuits everywhere we went. It hurt. Kids love it.

On the night  of Sinterklaas, presents are exchanged and I’m pretty sure this is where western countries get ‘secret santa’ from. A few weeks before, each person in the family pulls a name out of a hat and they have to get a present and wrap it in a meaningful way that represents the person receiving the gift. This involves sticky tape, glue, hammers, nails, carpet squares etc. The wrapping of the present is almost more important than the present. A poem is written about the person’s year, detailing all the embarrassing and good things they have done, signed from Sinterklaas & Zwarte Piet. If the kids are still young then they aren’t in on the-name-in-the-hat business – its all just Sinterklaas’ doing. They also leave their clogs by the fireplace and receive little gifts or chocolate in the days leading up to the 5th. It’s really sweet. Christmas is left as a family occasion with good food. 

I thought the whole thing was really bizarre when I first experienced it (I may have been a bit cranky about the unexpected public biscuit pelting…) but then I realised that the story of Santa Claus is even stranger. Santa Claus, being derived from Sinterklaas, lives at the North Pole, has a sleigh that travels through time zones, flying reindeer, and the ability to squeeze down chimneys despite being re-he-heally fat. At least Sinterklaas has a boat, a real place of origin, and is polite enough to knock at a sociable hour.

We celebrated pakjesavond (present night) for the dutchboy at home with lots of fried dutch food and opening of presents his mum sent us. We *ate* the biscuits. I know, I know. So untraditional.

Happy Sinterklaas.