Monday, December 20, 2010

Tumblin' uncontrollably

I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel - my 13-work day marathon is nearly over. I am exhausted and of course I haven't had the time to do much, therefore of course no new posts. However I'm still up for some creativity while slaving for my bank account, so I started a tumblr thingy (what do you call it again?). Make sure you drop by every now and then for some random fun; but of course I'll still be writing properly every time there's some big shit going on. :)

PS: Originally I wanted to call my tumblr tea and toast (because I'm having tea and toast at work all the time), but it was already taken. Check for yourself how creative the owner of that lovely user id is. Whatevs, I came up with something else much cooler haha. Jokes :)

PPS: Polly and I have alread exchanged Christmas presents. I am so touched by her encouragement. Who knows, maybe what she said will happen some day.

Happy holidays! Don't drink too much, and buy proper presents everyone.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

All you can do is hope that lists help when you're busy and broke.

Currently: having breakfast * organic muesli + organic yoghurt + home-made peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

Ok this is random but I gotta say Aldi's organic product range is pretty yummy. Polly and I are so in love with their toasted muesli clusters, and have always been eating their yoghurt with that lovely layer of wildberry jam. And I made peanut butter chocolate chip cookies the other day (again from Curtis Stone's cookbook. But not only because he's hot.); they're super moist and chewy and taste adorable. They lack the cookie crunch, but as long as they taste good... don't you think something different is always nice? :)

I put together my Christmas wishlist - it's probably more of a long-term wish list though (and who knows how long "long" will be). What I might get for myself this Christmas is probably the passport cover haha! And maaaybe a key loop if a nice one comes across - the search for the Marc Jacobs one is a bit of a pain here in Australia. And why the sunnies you ask? Because I'm an idiot and I lost them. I'm too embarrassed to tell you how.

1. Hat * Stussy; seen on
2. Rain boots * Tretorn;
3. Food, Fashion, Friends * book by Fleur Wood;
4. The Creeper sunnies * Sabre;
5. Passport cover * MC Leather; seen on
6. D3100 * Nikon;
7. Bag * seen on
8. Key loop * Marc Jacobs;

I love General Pants Co.'s gift selection, as well as the super mega huge and super duper cute one at Urban Outfitters. Also do I love giving books, and Ariel is my number one choice of bookstore for funky, funny and sweet reads.

And yeah, today is the day of lists. See post title.

To-do's today:
1. Finish writing Christmas cards

2. Write application letter for Student Ambassador

3. Browse for some baking and cooking ideas for this Christmas season. Thinking about giving the macaron challenge a try - I can see myself sweating and suffering from nerve breakdowns in our kitchen already, but they'd make such lovely gifts.

4. Plan the second city day trip for this Saturday. It's my turn this time, and Laurent and I are both poor as ass at the moment, so it has to be a tight budget plan.

5. Cook dinner. I feel like chicken drumsticks and peas haha. Actually we have to wash up first.

To-do's soonish:
1. Browse around Paddington Markets and EQ Village Sunday Market for gifts

2. Silly Season Sale this weekend in Darlinghurst for... more gifts? Oh please don't look at me like that, I've missed out on so many sales already.

3. Try to figure out when Polly and I would have time to pre-celebrate Christmas, since both of us will be working over the holidays. And deciding where to go - current picks are The Tea Room at QVB for high tea, or Friday lunch at Bistrode CBD. We'll be evaluating our choices; hope we'll make it to our date too.

4. Finish up Christmas shopping and get all the presents organised and wrapped. Am working all mornings for the rest of this week so I'll have plenty of time to stroll around the city.

5. Plan for Christmas and New Year's. My roster is quite good for the Christmas holidays but on New Year's Day I have to start work at 6am. At least I wanna see the fireworks (my plan was actually to party properly), but then I'll most likely fall asleep at work. As if anyone's gonna be up before lunch anyway! Grr.

6. Check what's showing at the outdoor Ford Fiesta Moonlight Cinema and plan a sundown picnic + movie night under the stars

7. Update my restaurant check list. There are zillions of restaurants and cafes here in Sydney that I wanna try out - rich times are so not in sight.

8. Start arranging my scrap book. I've been collecting articles on places to go, F&B, interior ideas etc over the years, and have so many websites bookmarked on my browser; I really need to start getting everything together because I'm rather a visual person - it's easier for me to think and plan when everything's in front of me. Clicking through millions of websites at once drives me nuts. 

9. Get Polly and the boys together for hot pot before everyone jets off to holidays. We love it when it's hot and steamy. Even in summer. ;)

10. Speaking of jetting off - I booked my flight ticket to Ho Chi Minh as well. Will also be stopping in Singapore to hang with Benny and enjoy this wonderful country one more time, therefore have to plan what I wanna see/where I wanna go/what I wanna shop for. But of course I'm super thrilled to see my family (especially my sister!) and my friends back home as well - expecting to meet some of my dearest homies. That's why all the shopping!

So. Before I get depressed (because the weather forecast has been "cloudy & isolated showers" all week, and it never rained a drop when I was at work; today I got my day off and it's cloudy and windy.), I'll be on my way to the beach and do all my "jobs" for today down there (except for the cooking and washing up of course) - I haven't been there for a thousand days. Hopefully my Christmas cards won't fly into the ocean.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


It is goddamn busy at work. Nowadays I only got one, maximum two days off a week, and they're always packed with sleeping in, tidying up the flat, groceries shopping, catching up with friends and other things for which there hadn't been enough time. That's exactly why I always got loads and loads of blog material piling up on my computer - if only a day had more than 24 hours. But then again I'd probably just spend more time at work.

Anyway, when Diego was back in town I again made Curtis Stone's Tiramisu. You would never believe how easy it is, and it is so light and fluffy that you will definitely be willing to sacrifice some more of your future half hours to make it again, again and again.

* Combine 2/3 cup of cold strong brewed espresso and 1/2 cup of brandy.

* Fill a saucepan halfway with water; bring to a simmer. Set a shallow bowl on top and beat 4 large egg yolks and 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar in the bowl with a handheld electric mixer for about 4 minutes, until pale and thick. Remove from heat, let it cool for 5 minutes.

* Place 2 cups of mascarpone (around 400g; at room temperature) in a large bowl. Stir in half of the egg yolk to lighten it, then fold in the remaining part.

* In another bowl using clean beaters, beat 2 large egg whites and 1 1/2  tablespoons of sugar with the electric mixer just until stiff peaks form; fold into the mascarpone mixture.

* Spoon a thin layer of the mascarpone mixture over the bottom of a 6 cup trifle bowl (I use a 25-cm square tray). Quickly submerge enough sponge finger biscuits (should be around 20-30 in total) for a layer in the espresso-brandy mixture, and arrange them in a single layer over the mascarpone. Spread more mascarpone mixture over the biscuits, and repeat with the remaining biscuits and mascarpone to form new layers, ending with the mascarpone mixture. Grate some bittersweet chocolate or sift some chocolate powder over the tiramisu. Refrigerate for around 2 hours, until set.
[From "Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone"]

Last Saturday Laurent picked me up from work and took me on a half-day surprise "trip". We went to the MCA to see the Annie Leibovitz exhibition, enjoyed the afternoon sun and the amazing Opera House and Harbour Bridge views from the Botanical Gardens, and had the funnest and bestest dinner ever at Bodega. It's amazing how such a simple day could bring so much joy.

Bodega fish fingers. A dream on toast.

The chefs at Bodega look like sexy rock stars and artists. It was so much fun watching them make the dishes (we had seats at the open kitchen), and they had fun with us too, as we were literally hanging at the bar losing our saliva - everything looked sooo fricken tasty. Even the olive oil that came with the bread tasted like green apple and banana, how cool is that?

Their version of banana split. Nowhere close to a classic one, but sets you into an euphoric state.

Other pleasures...
* Shopping for Christmas presents at Ariel and strolling around Surry Hills and Paddington with Susan.
* Polly's chicken mushroom risotto. I could have it for breakfast now.
* Making thịt kho (mom you should be proud of me!) and muffins in one night and seeing everything vanish.
* Browsing the internet for hours for more Christmas gift ideas. Results in lack of sleep but oh well.
* Looking at pictures of my baby sister, who's effin 1.28m now, and missing her. Can't wait to see her.
* Watching How I Met Your Mother with Laurent and laughing our asses off. I know we're quite a bit behind but epic shows stay epic. Better late than never.

Ok, time to finish up. My uncle and my aunt are coming to see me in Manly today so I have to do the quickest massive clean-up of my life now (because it's 10.30 am already and I have no idea when they're arriving, and our flat looks like a bomb site. Although we just cleaned up this week.), and then I wanted to make some cookies. Will be back soon with my Christmas wish list - I know nobody's gonna help me fulfil my dreams anyway, but I'm just gonna do it for myself so there's something to keep the spirit up at work; people call it goal setting.