Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Stalk my Weekend: BBQ, Fascinators and Scooter

I received the train sets that I bought from Singapore through help from my friend on Friday evening. They were pretty expensive for 2 sets of wind up Thomas and Friends trains. Anyway, after spending all that money... D has decided he really really wants a scooter. Mick said let's get him one because it's Christmas. What will i do with the trains?! But look what the boys came home with! This was salvaged from hard rubbish. Mick still has to check it thoroughly but it looks ok so far. D asked if this was someone's rubbish and Mick had to explain recycling to him. :)

La Clinica Cleansing Oil Door Gifts!
On Saturday we had lots of "Aunties" come over to visit. D had been hounding me since 9am if his visitors were coming. When you have bloggers come over, this is what you lay out on the welcome table. Glasses ready for Tequila Sunrises and door gifts of La Clinica Anti-Aging Beautiful Skin Cleansing oils! Everyone was frocked up like they were heading to the races. This is my Races BBQ which evolved into a theme as MadeUpMaiden suggested that we wear fascinators.

Vita from Make Up 4 My Age & Kerri
Alright now left to right we have Norlin (standing) from Baubles, Bubbles, Bags, Ash from Miss Directions, Ling from The Best Beauty Blog, Nalini from Made Up Maiden, Kerri from The Ugly Moments, Me in my yellow Target dress and Emma from Emma Bovary Beauty 
Ok that was a handful of links to do ^^ Phew.. Egg-hausted. So you see that I did end up keeping the Yellow Target dress! We did a KK swap and I had D to help hand out the presents. It was so uber cute!!

Oh hai! I has tongue

Oh hai I is cute
On Sunday, we had split the boys up as D was going to swimming and Pickles could not get a space. So Mick took him out while we were at swimming. This week D wanted me to take him and we were early because he was so excited to go. What do we end up doing? We took selfies. About 5 mins down the road by car, Mick and Pickles were doing the same. Photostream doesn't lie!!! 

This weekend was just exhausting.. much thanks to Mick for organising all the food (or D will say chow chow) for the ladies who came over. All I did was buy the lamb leg and that was epic enough as I left it in the office and left to go home! He pretty much did everything else that day like you know cook me dinner! I shall leave you with my dinner from Saturday night. Leftover Afghan spice rubbed BBQ lamb leg and Roza's Basil Mustard pesto with pasta. This combination was amazeballs. When I first had the Basil Mustard pesto on it's own I thought it was a little weird. But I think this worked really well together.

For disclosure purposes: Roza's Gourmet Sauces did not sponsor this post. La Clinica generously provided me with the cleansing oils which I chose to use as door gifts :) 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Stalk my Noms: Pavlova featuring Bodum Hand Mixer

Ingredients - ignore the toys in background
I honestly thought that I had a post about Pavlovas before but a search suggests otherwise. But this is a fav to do when people come over. It looks impressive but you can prepare the base earlier. Whip the cream topping and prepare the fruit prior to your guests arriving. This is what we Mick did for the Pav.

Ingredients (variations made on Donna Hay's recipe from back of Cornflour box)

4 egg whites
1 cup caster sugar
2 tsp cornflour 
2 tsp white vinegar

250ml cream
Passionfruit pulp (we used tin ... ducks to avoid food bloggers throwing stones at us)

The amazing red Bodum beater and Mum's retro bowls
Preheat the oven to 150C and get whisking. We were kindly armed with the red Bodum beater at KitchenwareDirect.com.au and many thanks to Brad who organised this for us! This is to prove that if you do not have the space in your kitchen for a stand mixer you are still able to make amazing things with a handheld.  Do not let this stop you people! Sometimes I just prefer to use a handheld especially if I am making a recipe that uses small quantity items. It is sometimes overkill to cream 80g of butter with the Kitchenaid. Plus the Bodum range comes in so many pretty colours! I am a big fan of this brand.

Start whisking!
Do you see what I did up there? By posing with the handheld mixer everyone now believes that I made the Pav. YAY!!!

Beat till stiff peaks
Add in the sugar gradually when stiff peaks form. Then beat in shifted cornflour and the vinegar. Make sure you shift the cornflour in as there are big lumps. And beat this in thoroughly. The Bodum mixer has rubber 'feet' at the bottom to stand the mixer on its side. The best feature of this mixer has to be wind up wire. You know how you shove wires into a drawer just to pack the item away? The wire is retractable into the actual mixer. You just wind it back and pull it to unwind when you want to use it again. You just have to admire this design!

Form it upwards and high
Mick likes to form his pav upwards and high. I know some people instruct to have a dip in the centre but he prefers it this way. Don't forget to line your tray please!! Then reduce oven temperature to 120C, bake for an hour and 20minutes. Turn oven off and let the completed pavlova cool completely in the oven.

Break centre portion

D helping with the cream
Then you get yourself a child minion to help with the beating of the cream. No this one is not available for hiring out sorry. The Bodum Hand Mixer has 5 speed settings and we used about a 3 to 4 for the egg whites and lower for the cream. But it did not take long at all. 

Finished! Let's chow down!
The fruit flan on the right was made by Vita. Go check her nails out and convince her to share this recipe! And don't forget to come back for a new Stalk my weekend cos I actually did stuff this weekend.

For disclosure purposes, Kitchenwaredirect.com.au had provided the Red Bodum Bistro Hand Mixer.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cauliflower & Cheese Soup

Cauliflower & Cheese Soup
I had a long time reader ask if I could provide more recipes. Oh Hai long time reader! I have read it and have answered. This is a favourite during winter and it is super cheap to make as well.

It is SO HARD to take decent pictures of my cooking. And I sort of forget quantities as well.

Once again - here are rough estimates with quantities. As I always say to Mick and I drive him nuts - just look at it and add more if you need.

1 head of Cauliflower chopped
Enough water or stock to cover up to half of Cauliflower
Stock cube if you are using water
Half a block of Cream Cheese cut to cubes
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cover and cook cauliflower until it breaks apart easily. You do not want too much water in there and it will look like there is not enough. But the rest of the cauliflower that is not submerged in water will  be steamed so do not worry about it.
Once it is cooked till soft. I blend the cauliflower roughly. Add half a block of cream cheese to this and continue blitzing it into the soup. I put about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of cream to the soup to make it creamier. Add salt and pepper to taste. If you have added too much water at the start, your soup will be thinner.

That picture above is what it looks like before I have finished blending it. When finished it should be a smooth soup :). Top it off with bacon bits or croutons.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Stocking Fillers: Korres Lip Butters Glaze Pack

Top to Bottom: Pomegranate, Raspberry and Jasmine
My Skincare BFF at work bought these for me from Strawberrynet. How cute! Remember my Korres Lip Butter pot post? Well the stuff in the pot is great but the sticky balm bit on finger is yuck when I'm outside on the train or something. So these ones are pretty much perfect.

Left to Right in Sun: Pomegranate, Raspberry and Jasmine
Raspberry was a little thicker than the others and I found that I still had to smooth it out with my finger. But least it eliminated the need for 'digging'. Pomegranate is a sweet colour and quite pigmented. Jasmine is a light pink which is sweet. The 3 tubes come packaged together and would be a great stocking filler.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Stalk my Noms: Jus Burgers South Yarra

Jus Burger: Roo Burger & Cheeseburger
We were recently kindly invited to Jus Burgers in South Yarra to review their yummy burgers. I pretty much won best wife award for 2012 with this review from Mick as he loves burgers so much. Jus Burgers philosophy is simply to source from local producers and do not freeze any of their meat. Sounds pretty good to me! So we made our way down to Chapel Street in South Yarra. Can I just say that I have not been to South Yarra in ages and it was totally funny as I had to sit the boys outside of Condom Kingdom to google the address as I had transposed the digits incorrectly in my memory bank.

Waiting for our burgers!
Mmmm Burgers... The boys shared a Cheeseburger, I had ordered the Roo Burger with Green Chilli Jam and Mick had the Organic Beef. For sides, we had onion rings and a Spanish slaw. Corey suggested we try the organic Cola and not the normal Coca Cola. Mick is now converted and said he can no longer drink normal Coke. The organic Cola is not as acidic and had a stronger Cola flavour. The boys of asked for juice but I told them to have water. :) Are you proud of us Dr Tung? While waiting for our burgers, the boys played with the dinosaur with our order number on it by passing it between them. D asked if he could take it home, thankfully he did not notice when it was taken back by the lovely service staff.

Organic Beef Burger + chips, slaw and green tomato pickle
Onion Rings Spanish Slaw
The onion rings came with aioli that was to die for. The burgers were a meal deal with chips, green tomato pickle and a yummy slaw. I strongly suggest trying the onion rings but the chips -> look at those chips! They are amazing with the aioli dip and pickle! That's D eating his onion ring in the background. 

Pickles did not want his burger which was his loss and clung onto the chips. I really mean it, he held onto two chips and would not give it up even when we got into the car. 

Action at the Front area
The above was the front bar area where the action is, they also have seats outside on the street - it is after all Chapel Street! And a quieter area behind where this picture was taken. Parents with kids would appreciate the back area and there is a wall where kids' drawings are displayed.

D's drawing
Jus Burgers is a child friendly place, don't forget to ask for an activity sheet when you order and crayons. D insisted that his drawing is left on the wall. Pickles did not colour one as he was busy eating his chips and dancing on the bench. 

Jus Burgers
364 Chapel Street, South Yarra (near Cnr of Commercial Road)
(03) 9827 1318

Jus Burgers (South Yarra) on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Shu Uemura Karl Lagerfeld Collaboration

There is nothing better than payday shopping. Nothing. I talk a lot about online shopping but sometimes I just want to go into a physical store. I had a quasi hard week.. another one. Yeah. You must be sick of hearing my hard weeks. So I shall take you straight to Shu Uemura.

I trooped to David Jones because I wanted to mentally purchase all the Louboutins in there and imagine myself walking out with all these new shoes but also because I wanted to look at Shu Uemura. I was told today that they are going to become a concession store from next week onwards and will have a wider range in the DJ CBD store! I went back downstairs to the makeup department to find Shu Uemura. I had to walk around looking a little lost as I had no idea where the Shu Uemura counter was. Don't laugh!

My Goodies!!
My skincare BFF at work said that I am 764.. 7 - beige, 6 is the shade with 9 being lightest and she forgot what the last number was. Anyone care to clarify? And I was very excited to find out that she was quite right! Iris who was at the counter thought I could either be 764 or 774. I went with 774 and it was a perfect match. As Iris was so helpful and applied my makeup with primer and got me a great match, I bought the Face Architect Illuminating foundation without hesitating.

I also bought the Peach Tsuya UV Under Base Mousse which was in the Karl Lagerfeld collection packaging. Big hint if you are after one, run in now and get the Karl packaging as it is the same thing but it is cheaper at $49!

In the meantime check these Karl Lagerfeld Eyeshadow Palettes, these have been reduced in price to $88 recently. I am now hoping that the price I have published here is correct. The mind blanked about what it was before when I opened the palettes... now you see why figures just went over my head here?

This one has my name on it

OMG MakingUpVita is saying gimme gimme gimmeeee

I thought of Vita from Makeup4MyAge immediately when I saw this. I know she has a thing for purple, add glitter in the mix, she's sold.

The comments from the foundation were, it looks like your own skin (colour match) but just better. Mick also thought that I looked different and had makeup on when I got home. He said it looked 'softer'. Woohoo. Can't wait to try this on for the weekend.

So have I tempted you to run out and get those eyeshadow palettes?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Targeting my wallet with $15 shoes!

I received a Target voucher recently for entering Sarah's blog giveaway for $50 Target voucher. I pretty much jumped with joy when she told me that I won as the first prize winner did not respond to her.

So far this is what I bought from Target. These shoes are $15. Yes $15 and this is not a sale price.
They were in the "Youth" shoes section -> so shoot me -> I am mutton dressed as lamb. LOL
But in all seriousness, these are the softest shoes that I have ever worn. Cushie feet are happy feet.

These will go well with your coloured skinny jeans this summer. :) Do not say that I don't love my blog readers. Repeat after me. Target Youth Shoe section.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Giveaway: Nad's First Event was very Hairy

This stuff is edible!
Do you remember Nad's on TV cos I sure do. It was my Uni days and I used to watch Bert on TV when I woke up and was getting ready to walk down the road to Uni - good times living in the city then.

I was Plus Oned by Ling from The Best Beauty Blog for the Nad's World's First event in mid September. Yes ok I am running 2 months behind. To apologise for that. I have goodies for ya ladies... and maybe gentlemen too.

The Melbourne event was held at Grossi Florentino which I must say I have never been! I was so excited about this lunch, I cannot tell you how much! 

Risotto Venere with Moreton Bay Bug
This was delicious. I know it looks like it's covered in something weird and it's black and all that. But seriously this was delicious. Can I say delicious one more time? I am reliving this flavour in my mouth. Hurro cheesey sauce, rice and something crispy and fried? Yeah I'm there!

Castricum Lamb Rack
Amazing lamb racks.. I'm just admiring the lamb again with the goats curd. I need to get out to Yarra Valley Dairy again for some goats cheese!

Look at the nervous hands in pocket pose
This picture says it all... it speaks for itself. HAHAHAH The room was in hysterics in anticipation during the demo. I have to say I did giggle! So if you want to try the World's First Nose Wax - which by the way can be used as a blackhead remover too. Enter my giveaway now!

Hairy Goodies!!!!
The Giveaway Includes:

Nad's Facial Wand Eyebrow shaper AUD$15.99
Nad's Nose Wax for Men & Women AUD$29.95
Nad's Brazilian and Bikini Wax AUD$13.49

To Win: Leave me a comment on which part of your body do you hate removing your hair from and why. Please also leave me an email address so that I can contact you. You can leave it in this format if you wish xxxx (at) domain dot com if you prefer :)

Now that I have your attention -> feel free to like my facebook page and get talking to me there. 

Conditions: Open to Australian Residents only, decisions are final and are judged by myself. This giveaway closes on the 30th November Melbourne midnight.
Winner has 1 week to respond to me on their mailing address and will be redrawn if no response is received. Winner will be announced on this post. 

Winner: The winner is Candice for inheriting her Dad's monobrow! Hope the wax works for you!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How to get kids to eat vegetables

Kids' Veggie patch
I cannot remember at what point D stopped being the baby that ate anything I gave him to picking out the "yucky green stuff". I think it was around 18 months to 2years. He would only selectively eat carrots and peas. Anything remotely green, he would say no. Especially broccoli that we kept adding to his stir fry. He would say no, it is yucky.

On a Tuesday evening I had picked D and Pickles up from their daycare and as usual I read what D had done that day. I read that they harvested broccoli, they cut it up and cooked it. All of the kids ate it. ... I thought in my head erm yeah right no way. Then I saw a picture of D holding something to his mouth and I thought surely not? During the drive home, I asked if he had broccoli. He said yes it's YUMMY and sweet. I nearly fainted in the car. He said there's no more Mummy. I said I would go to the supermarket to get him more broccoli. He said ok Mummy, I come with you.

That week we cooked this noodles with chicken and broccoli. He picked up the broccoli and ate it first. Then rubbed his tummy saying ummmm.. Yummy. I also nearly fainted that time. And again he asked me for beans and some more broccoli.

Next time I saw the girls at D's room, I told them what happened and they were so excited and had said that all the kids tried some except for one boy who strongly refused. They were really happy about this and honestly, so am I. I cannot believe they did this veggie patch and involved the kids in potato planting, carrots, beans, broccoli and cabbage growing.

There you go, that's how you get them to eat their greens!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Stalk my Weekend: Red Spice Road Soumah Yum Cha

On Friday night, it was one of those nights and I badly needed this.. Badly. I had a work call at 7.30pm that was with a very senior person in our business. She apologised it was scheduled at such a bad time for me and said to tell her EA next time and reschedule if required. I honestly did not mind and I just wanted to have a drink. Let me state that I do not drink. 3 years of either being pregnant of breastfeeding means I am a lousy drinker these days. But this went down very well.

Hurro WINE TIME Soumah Savarro
We seem to be eating out a fair bit lately... My bad. I am just uninspired to cook and my Mum was here so we decided to go out on Saturday night. I suddenly remembered that Red Spice Road is now opened in QV. Hello underground parking, hello easy to herd the kids up there. And I knew that the restaurant was big as it replaced the old Duck, Duck, Goose. I have not been back to Red Spice Road with Mick in AGES.

Pork Belly
Those who do not have kids yet, take this opportunity to go out and dine out EVERYWHERE. Those who say that their lives did not change.. ok whatever. It changed mine alright. I now eat at 6pm when the senior citizens start rolling in. I ask what time do you open? And you pretty much book the table right bang when they open. You look around frantic if they do not give you a menu straight away. No I do not want to sit and busk in the ambience. My aim is to get there, eat and run off. Every minute counts before one of them decides they had enough or they are tired and will scream at the top of their voice.

Black Pepper Soft Shell Crab
I bring you back to my dinner. I had the Twice Cooked Lamb Ribs as starter ... I erm scoffed it down before I took a picture. I grabbed it and started tearing the meat off for the boys... so no picture sorry! The Pork belly is pretty much their signature dish. But I also ordered the Soft Shell crab with amazing black pepper. They advise to order one less main dish per number of people if you are orderin ala carte. This is immensely helpful as I had no idea about portion size and tend to over order. The Chinese in me won't give up without ordering too much.

Pulut Hitam or Black Sticky Rice
I won't say that this Pulut Hitam or Black Sticky rice was great. I just ordered it because I wanted Pulut Hitam. It was also $14. I think my friends in Singapore are now about to have a heart attack at the price. But the mangoes were yummy and it hit the spot. I am also amazed that my boys behaved for so long and we managed to have a Starter AND Dessert. It is usually a let's just get to the main part and get out before we are banned. My mum approved of the restaurant so I guess we did alright. LOL

The boys running in QV
Mick took the boys out first so that they could run around. This is the fake lawn outside QV Square. D is trying to show off his breakdancing moves.. I'm not sure how/where this came from. So I was told that the boys were amazing and we are always welcomed back anytime! YAY!!

Gold Leaf Preston Yum Cha
I leave you with my favourite Nom Cha. It has been a long time since I had Yum Cha and I was seriously going mad with people's IG and Twitter about their Nom Bragging at Yum Cha. We went back to Gold Leaf Preston. It was severely good! It hit the spot and D has decided that prawns is his favourite again now. It was 1.30pm which meant the food kept on coming. We did not have to wait for anything to come around. I think I am now converting back to Gold Leaf! I want to state for the record nothing is better than Yum Cha on the weekends!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Claw: Hello Darling 24K

Poppies in time for Remembrance Day
If you recall in this Claw post, I also received 24K from the lovely ladies at Hello Darling. As you recall I am not great at nail art. So for Cup Day week I did lovely pastel nails with gold 24K accents. The above is my attempt at a closeup picture of 24K accents. The glitter are a mixed of small gold scatters and bigger round glitter flecks. This is different to glitters that I have encountered (admittingly not many) which usually does one size of glitters.

The poppies have bloomed in time for Remembrance Day and honestly I had no idea what they were (no surprise) and I did not realise when they started to grow into such a huge bush!

Oh look a foot photo bombed!
Oh LOOK a foot photo bombed! Woohoo.. On my toes is Lime Crime Peaches n' Cream which I purchased from Makeupnet in a share purchase with Vita from Makeup4MyAge. More to come about that purchase :)

Pansies that came back to life
On the glitter fingers was Hopelessly Devoted and the non-glitter fingers was Breakfast in Bed. I shall attempt more 24K accents and will hopefully get better closeups!

So who is a glitter fiend as I am hearing a friend of mine is starting mixing her own polishes and is about to do some wicked glitters! You also need to tell me how on earth you remove them without tearing your hair out?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Stalk my noms: Bistro Vue

Remember that time that I took time off work? No? Well me neither now. So bear in mind it was wintery when we went and I was not just a crazy person wrapping myself up in a big jacket. Bistro Vue was highly recommended by lots of people on Twitter and namely the gorgeous Rita-Marie from La Clinica. I wore my Escada zebra boots circa 2004 or something LOL and my Tory Burch treach with a teal Scanlan & Theodore dress underneath. These boots are so crazy and out there. I used to wear them to work and randoms would come up and touch them, I will still be wearing them when I am 60 and a haggard loony.

Tory Burch Trench and Escada boots
Anyway, as a surprise for Mick I had organised an adult lunch for us. We ran and dumped left the boys at childcare with great enthusiasm. Bear in mind it was winter when we went. He did not know where we were going but of course when I got into the car, I went into the passenger seat as per usual. HAHAH.

Yummy escargots

Soft Shell Crab

Confit Duck

Lamb Shoulder
You know how sometimes you go somewhere and then you order something different from who you are eating with? And then you get food envy? Yeah to combat this, we shared everything. I have to say that I was really loving my first escargot experience. The lamb shoulder was a highlight and I have to admit I was surprised that it was not the confit duck that got me. The soft shell crab was crispy and fresh. Definitely would reorder any of these items.

Chocolate Souffle
I leave you with my half eaten chocolate souffle. I went to Vue De Monde many years ago while pregnant as a last chance get out while you can event with Mick. We were seated near the kitchen pass and I was drooling over the chocolate souffles that kept coming out. We thought that we had ordered that by saying we want the souffle. Well, we didn't get THAT souffle. So this was a pay back. When served they would stab the souffle in the middle, twirl the knife around and pour the chocolate sauce in. The next table had food envy! I really did enjoy my experience in Bistro Vue, it was stress-free dining (not too formal) but formal enough that we felt it was a special outing.

Bistro Vue on Urbanspoon

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