Sunday, November 27, 2005

Random food from chains for the weekend...

Ever since our blogger dinner, I've been inspired to update here much more often! Woohoo!

Last night I went out clubbing with my friend Georgina, and at about 1:30am, we started getting very hungry.

Me: You hungry?
George: WHAT???
George: YES!
Me: What do you wanna eat?
George: WHAAAAT???
Me: WHAT... DO... YOU... WANNA... EAT?
George: WHAAAAAAT???

Over the racket of hard house music emanating from the speakers next to us, the conversation was going nowhere fast, so I typed all the suggestions for food into my mobile phone to show her.

Stalactites Hungry Jacks KFC Chilli Padi

She wanted Stalactites, which I was very happy with. We were in St. Kilda, but there are some things worth travelling for!! So we left the club, and were heading towards the car, when suddenly... from a flourescently-lit window... we saw a sign...

New! Subway's Beef Teriyaki Sub! 8 grams of fat or less!

... and our minds were changed. So into Subway we went. We decided, cunningly, to purchase one footlong sub and share it, rather than two 6-inchers, thus saving ourselves about $4. Niiiice.

George: One footlong beef teriyaki sub please.
Subway Girl: Toasted?
George: me... Toasted?
Me: Er... yeah.
Subway Girl: Salads?
George: Lettuce, tomato, onion, olives please.
Subway Girl: Do you want cheese?
George: Yes.
Subway Girl: Swiss, tasty or cheddah?
George: Er... Swiss!
Subway Girl: What sauce do you want?

Good God I love ranch dressing. Thank-you to my American hermana Lisa for introducing it to me!

We went and ate our sub in the car, which then smelled unmistakably of onions the next morning. But it was worth it.

Magic Subway

Sub - teriyaki beef, Swiss cheese, American ranch dressing. It's globalisation in a sandwich, and it was fantastic!

The next morning...

This morning, I started work at 11am, and popped down to Mrs. Fields to pick up breakfast, which I ate in the staffroom. I got a latte and a blueberry muffin for $5. It was awesome! It was soft and fluffy on the inside, and full of blueberries. And you know how muffin tops usually rock whilst the bottoms suck in comparison? Not this time! The outside was crusty, even on the bottom. The top was sprinkled with a fab sugary-buttery crust. Insane. So good, in fact, that I immediately had to text message a mate...

This muffin is fucking awesome.

Muffin & Coffee

I hadn't had Mrs. Fields in so long, I'd forgotten how good they are.

At work, one of my co-workers, Michael, had a similar idea, and had gotten an Oreo Brownie, a chocolate chip muffin and a latte for breakfast (from a different shop).

Michael: I love working at Melbourne Central! You can get everything here!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Woohoo! I have proper breakfast food again!


This morning I made "Andy's Fairfield Granola" from Nigella Lawson's Feast. This is one of my favourite recipes, and definitely the one I've made the most often out of Feast. Recently my breakfasts have been quite lackluster... so I'm looking forward to having a good bowlful of healthy deliciousness tomorrow morning.

Me: Hey guys, I'm gonna make the Nigella cereal again.
Dad: Oh yes! Oh yes! Yes yes yes!

One thing, I used malt syrup instead of golden syrup, and I didn't add any sugar at all (the recipe calls for 100g brown sugar, in addition to honey and syrup. I've always found the granola a bit sweet anyway. And this way, even if it's not sweet enough, we can just add more sugar as we eat it.

I think the taste is fine though... Dad's been picking at those trays all day long...

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Blogger Dinner

Well this is the most action Sarah Cooks has seen in a long, long while!

I’ve only just realised that there are quite a few food bloggers in Melbourne who, like myself, are keen on eating and cooking and blogging! Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been getting acquainted with some of these blogs (links to come shortly), and really enjoying reading them.

Tonight I had the opportunity to meet a few of them, Cindy, Ed and Jamie, at an industry dinner at The Trust restaurant on Flinders Lane in the city.

The reason for the event was to celebrate the appointment of Spencer Patrick as the new head chef.

There were delicious canapés, drinks, and a lot of chat.

I didn’t get photos of all the food (because of bad lighting and hunger…), but this is what we tried…

Carpaccio of beef: celeriac remoulade, truffle mayonnaise, parmesan

Parfait of chicken livers: sauternes jelly and toasted brioche

Salmon Roulade

Terrine of ham hock: fried quails egg and pineapple compote

Tempura zucchini flowers: filled with Milawa goats cheese, basil and sauce vierge

And the sweets…

Panna cotta: champagne jelly and poached strawberries

Creme Brulée

Chocolate Soup with a marshmallow raft

Before the dinner, I was working until 7pm, and we’d had a function, which involved, funnily enough, passing around canapés. Usually, after a function, if there’s any food left over (and there always is), we get to scoff it. However, tonight, knowing that a (no doubt vastly superior) canapé dinner was available to me, I refrained from stuffing my face at work. Big mistake! Even though the food at The Trust was delicious, it came in very, very small serves, and not very frequently. So after The Trust, still a bit pekish, we headed down to Supper Inn, in Chinatown. Giggity giggity.

dinner part 3

Crispy Suckling Pig

Gai laan


It was a fun evening, lovely to meet everyone!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

White Layer Cake with Chocolate Chips topped with Peanut Butter Icing

I’m back!

This is only the second non-How to Eat recipe I’ve made during my whole project, and it was worth it!

At the start of the exam period, my Magnolia Bakery cookbooks arrived in the mail from Amazon. They’re soooooo gorgeous! I ordered The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook, More from Magnolia and The Buttercup Bake Shop Cookbook. They’ve got wonderfully decadent American style recipes in them – Red Velvet Cake, Oreo Brownies, Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Pie, Strawberry and Rhubarb Pie, Caramel Apple Pecan Cheesecake… the list goes on.

I had my last exam for the year on Monday, and I decided that I just had to make something out of these books. There’s no way I could wait until after I finish Sarah Discovers How to Eat! However, as I’m still not even half-way through Nigella's book, I have to be very selective about what non-How to Eat recipes I make. There were many tempting photos and delicious-sounding recipes in there, but ultimately, The Buttercup Bake Shop Cookbook’s White Layer Cake with Chocolate Chips topped with Peanut Butter Icing seemed too good to resist. The recipe is designed to be made as one big layer cake, but I chose top make them in cupcake form to distribute amongst my friends at uni who still have exams.

This morning, I made the batter, which is pretty simple. Just cream butter and (a lot!) of sugar, add flour, baking powder, salt, milk and vanilla extract, beating well. After this you fold through some beaten egg whites and chocolate chips. A bonus of doing this recipe meant I finally got to defrost some of the many eggwhites that are sitting, baggied-up, in my freezer.

Bake them for 20 minutes at 180 degrees, and a batch of down-home-goodness is your reward!

Unadorned cupcakes

The icing that they suggest to put with the cake is peanut butter icing. Peanut butter and chocolate is an ambrosial combination - have you tried Baskin Robin's Peanut Butter Chocolate ice-cream?

This icing, like the cupcakes, is also simple to make but you've just got to be careful to make sure you beat it for the appropriate amount of time. One thing, though, Magnolia and Buttercup Bake Shop icing recipes are notoriously sweet, so I didn't put quite as much as stipulated. The recipe asks for 3 cups icing sugar to 1 cup of combined butter and peanut butter. Ahem. I started off with 2 cups of icing sugar, and then added 1/4 cup more at the end, because I was afraid it wouldn't be stiff enough to ice the cupcakes swirlingly.

Anyway, all you've got to do to make the icing is beat butter and peanut butter until creamy, then beat in sifted icing sugar and cocoa powder and milk. Then it's done!


I've got quite a few photos of the cupcakes... and that's because they were gorgeous!

Cupcakes on plate in front of book

I took 5 cupcakes to uni in an ice-cream container, and met up with my friend An for coffee at our favourite cafe. Best coffee on campus, cute baristas, you can't go wrong!

Swirly latte and cupcake

They give you little Tiny Teddy biscuits with your coffee, and I just couldn't resist taking the following picture...

Teddy bear


After we had coffee, An and I headed to the library, where Adri and Giselle were studying - Adri for her Chartered Accountancy and Giselle for some engineering subject. The poor, poor girls. I think they need as much energy as they can get! Good luck guys!


Giselle Studying

There were 7 leftover, and my family and I had them for dessert tonight. They are, indeed, fabulous, and I can totally understand why the Magnolia Bakery has become such a well-recognised food institution! The cake is fragrant, moist and tender crumbed, the icing rich, sweet, full of chocolatey peanut butter goodness, and the perfect complement to the cake.

There's a shitload of icing left over. We're having it on toast for breakfast.