What is a Foodie?

One of my problems is self confidence, always worrying about what people think and whether I will step on someone’s toes. It’s a tough battle in my head. Starting a blog was a huge leap for me. It’s a public platform where you openly invite people in your mind something that I do not like doing. The fear of being judged affects me so much that I run the risk of going into a genuine panic attack….not pretty…. but it’s a working progress.

For a while I was calling myself a Foodie but then I stopped when I asked my husband to define the term Foodie. He says that when he thinks of Foodies, he thinks of food snobs who think that they are better than the rest of society and won’t eat common food. I disagree. When I think of being a Foodie, I think it means a food LOVER and it just depends on that certain person what kind of food they like….but just not fast food?? hhhmm…yea maybe it means a food snob.. With this ticking over my mind, I started thinking whether it was a bad thing to be a foodie but also because I also like the occasional fast food…… then I snapped out of it and just thought to myself ‘bugger it, I like gourmet food, so what…’ and why it the world am I over thinking this? Ah yea that’s right, I am an over thinker…

Foodie has become such  popular term that I won’t be surprised that if they start making more descriptive titles for foodies, like gourmet foodies, comfort food foodies, demi foodie, bi foodie (love of gourmet & fast food).

In summary – I am a Foodie, a non-snobby Foodie….and love it.

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Salted Caramel Mocha

Salted Caramel Mocha
Salted Caramel Mocha

This week my husband and I are on a tight budget which means, no dining out or over indulging in food….fine…hmph..

After our  healthy budget dinner of skippy steaks and roast veg I really really REALLY wanted dessert but the problem was I did not want anything time consuming. Juliet went to bed early with no fuss tonight so I wanted to make good use of it and enjoy sitting on the couch for a while.

My husband then suggested something – Salted Caramel Mocha. hhhhmmm….I ran through the ingredients in my head to see what I already had:

Salted caramel, check! cream, check! coffee, check! dark chocolate, check! AAARRRGGGHHH!! Best idea EEEVVEEERRR!!!

This is so simple to make especially if you already have salted caramel in your pantry or fridge but otherwise, just make a fresh batch. Salted caramel sauce is actually dead easy to make and you won’t regret making it. It keeps well when stored in a clean and air tight container for at least 2 weeks I believe.

The Salted Caramel Mocha that we had tonight comes from Jamie Oliver’s collection, I adjusted the measurements to suit me so feel free to either do the same or follow the measurements exactly. On the website there is a video of a guy making it if you’re not too confident with any components of the recipe. however I assure you, this is so easy and worth the trouble if you are a fan of salted caramel and mocha. The recipe I wrote down is for 1 serve, just double it for 2 (it’s obvious but thought I should note that).

I used 2 pods of coffee for the coffee part and added some additional hot water to make up approximately 1500ml of coffee, if I added another pod of coffee I think I would have given myself a heart attack. I love coffee but I have my limits too. I suppose you can use strong instant coffee if you don’t have a coffee machine or filter coffee but I think it definitely will affect the flavour.

Just as suggested in Jamie Oliver’s recipe, I too would also recommend only having this on a sometimes basis, perhaps on a cheat day?

Salted Caramel Mocha (serves 1)

Ingredients

• 1.5 tblspn salted caramel sauce

• 120  -150 ml of freshly brewed coffee –  2 pods and added some hot water

• 3 teaspoons of shaved dark chocolate

• cream

~~~

If you know that you will be taking a photo of this after you make it, I strongly suggest using a glass that holds about 180ml of liquid but if you don’t care about the end appearance then use any ol glass, mug, jar, watevs.

First start off with the shaved chocolate and then add the freshly brewed coffee.

Jamie Oliver’s recipe suggests to allow the coffee to settle a little, I didn’t bother waiting and added the salted caramel  pretty much straight after.

I did wait for a teeny tiny bit before I layered the cream on top. If you’re a pro you would be able to confidently pour cream directly on the side but if you’re a little unco like me, I like to layer cream with the aid of a trusty metal spoon. How I layer the cream is by pouring some on a small ramekin and then I pour it on the back of the spoon to slowly pour on top of the mocha.

To finish off the mocha, drizzle some salted caramel sauce and top with shaved chocolate. Enjoy!  xx

Instagramming it

Is Instagramming  a term? Who knows…I initially wanted to just start a blog but then I realised how time consuming it was and thought I would start an Instagram food account which I fell in love with. It’s so much easier and I don’t have to say much to get my point across.

I read through my blog posts or anything I type up in general and find that I get stuck and do not know how to express myself which sucks. My husband suggested that I start reading books to expand my vocal and to improve my writing skills. I thought What a great idea!!! So I went and bought a book that day…..it’s been almost 2 weeks, I don’t even know where that book has gone. I barely have enough time during the day to sit and try writing a post. I think I have over committed.

to be continued, hopefully I would have been able to start my new book by my next post.

Ube Pancakes

ubepancakes

Don’t you hate it when you think that you have come up with something new and different only to google it and it comes up with a thousand hits? Ugh…i HATE that!

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, I thought to myself ooh…I can make UBE pancakes, that’s different…”

BUT if I don’t look at anyone’s sites then I can say that I came up with my own recipe right?….right?…hpmh…I don’t know how this whole thing works..

Ube Pancake IngredientsI already had all the ingredients to make pancakes – flour, baking soda, egg, sugar and the pantry is stocked with Ube flavouring last time I made an Ube Chiffon Cake, only thing missing was the actual Ube. For those that do not know, Ube is purple yam. You can buy this at Asian stores in the form of either frozen grated ube, Ube powder or the ready to eat variety Ube. On it’s own, it’s pretty disgusting I think.

I prefer to work with the Filipino frozen grated Ube but unfortunately the only one I could get a hold of at the closest Asian store was from….dang I can’t remember which country it was from. Anyhow, what I find is that Filipino Ube has a more attractive darker purple colour to it and it also has a drier solid consistency, this one I bought was bright purple and was quite liquidy….I don’t know,

Different colour and consistency to Filipino Ube
Different colour and consistency to Filipino Ube

I’m going to be heading out to buy the Filipino Ube and try these pancakes again and see the difference in taste.

In between looking after the baby and trying to make up the pancakes – I finally had some Filipino purple pancakes! Next pancake project –  Matcha Pancakes.

Ube Pancakes
Ube Pancakes

Little Alley Cafe

I tried writing up this post about a million times now. I’m trying really hard to just type as I would speak but I find myself going into this typing rhythm where the more sensible and serious version of me takes over. Very similar to  my job interview persona or something but I can’t be TOO much of myself when I type, otherwise every sentence would probably have the word “like” in it like a million times.

LAC1The other morning, my little one missed her morning nap but I really needed to get out of the house to get ingredients for that night’s dinner. The shops are only a 10 minute drive  but I really really  needed for her to sleep. There is this meme where it shows Gizmo and a Gremlin that describes a child with and without a nap – this is the perfect description my little bundle of joy (or terror if she hasn’t slept), it was important that she gets in a couple of naps during the day.

Anyway, so to fix my dilemma of the missing nap I thought perhaps I go for a little drive so she can catch some Z’s in the car and this way I can get a decent latte while out. After searching trusty Instagram, I found myself being instructed by Samsung Siri  on the M5 highway and 25 minutes later, I was in Narwee and parked right in front of Little Alley  Cafe.

Located right next to Narwee station and I had a little train station envy. The train station I live in doesn’t have a cafe near it.

IMG_0535

It wasn’t busy when I got there which made me a little wary but nonetheless, I still unpacked and set up the pram and made my way in, after all, why would the Instagram photos lie??

The cafe itself is cozy and the staff on shift were super friendly. They scored bonus points when they greeted both me and my little daughter….and more mega points when they were making her smile from the counter.

IMG_0537Little Alley Cafe‘s menu is small to match the little kitchen bar. Out of curiosity, I ordered the first thing that caught my eye, Chilli Bacon Pasta. The pasta is served with poached eggs on top which I have to say I have never ever had or thought of…..and I loved it! I wish I went there with someone else so that I could also try the other dishes, oh well…I’m just going to have to come back.

IMG_0544I am surprised that they weren’t busy during the weekend, they serve up a single origin blend ” Yee-Hah”  and as you can see there is some love that goes into it from the barista.

For the parents, the cafe has one bathroom which has disabled persons access so easy to wheel in a pram. Unfortunately, there are is no change table facilities, better stick to diaper changes in the car boot.IMG_0548
Parking is off street, Mon to Friday (8am to 6pm) and Saturday (8.30am to 12pm), I can’t remember how the time limit though, sorry.

I spoke with the staff and they informed me that the cafe has only been open for about 5 – 6 months. No doubt that once word gets out in the area about this little gem, I will not find it as easy to park my car in the weekend or get a table.

See you again soon Little Alley Cafe. Loved the food, coffee and service.

Wicks Park Cafe

I look forward to the 1 day a week that my husband has off work, not only so that we can spend some family time together but also so he can drive when we go out for brunch or lunch. I am much better at writing than I am at reverse parallel parking….that’s how bad my reversing skills areWPC1

We took the opportunity to venture out a little further on his day off since we were already making a pit stop at Ikea to buy a high chair for our little one. We’ve started introducing solids to our little trainee Foodie and after googling and comparing different high chairs, we just decided to go for a simple high chair, no fancy reclining or declining features, just a simple high chair. I’m still a novice mum with a lot to learn but one thing I have learned is that there is such a thing as being over cautious and over doing it. The amount of info and different equipment for babies are overwhelmingWPC2

7 minutes down the road from Ikea, Tempe is Wicks Park Cafe and again times like this, I was so happy that I wasn’t driving. Not only were we lucky to get a park right near the cafe but the only way to park was to reverse parallel park. I would rather park and walk 10 blocks down than spend a whole day trying to reverse into a car park.

First thing I noticed when we walked in Wicks Park Cafe was the floor space, it was spacious enough to wheel our pram in and that the whole place had room for more than 1 pram but I don’t think this place would be suitable for a large mothers’ group with multiple strollers. It had that industrial feel to it that you see in the trendy cafes that oozes the “we make great coffee” vibe.  Even the staff had a certain air about them, friendly and their relaxed but helpful attitude matched the ambience. It was almost as if they were employed specifically to be cool.WPC4

They offer breakfast all day and additional lunch items after 11am. I chose the Roasted Field Mushroom while my husband was drawn to the lamb shanks. He is a sucker for lamb shanks and one of his favourite dishes to cook at home is Lamb Shank Rogan Josh. He has the case of the FIG JAM when it comes to cooking lamb shanks.

WPC3After I took my obligatory food photos, my husband was finally allowed to start his lunch.  They tasted just as good as it looked, I only wish that I took my time to eat it. They serve Double Roasters Coffee and it is made with love. I could have easily have had at least 5 lattes while we were there.

Since I started dining out with the little one, I realised that I started looking out for parents room and change table facilities. I’m actually surprised by how many places do not have any change table facilities. Wicks Park Cafe has a very clea unisex bathroom but there was a table that could be used as a change table! You have know idea how happy this made me!WPC5

Wicks Park Cafe , you won me over with your cool vibe, great food and fantastic coffee. But I love you guys even more because parents with bubs have a place here.

Out of 5 stars, I give –

starstarstarstar

Wicks Park Cafe

A: 199 Victoria Road, Sydney 2004

T: 9518 0771

Open :  6am – 4pm

Other Info:

Street Parking  |  Table in bathroom can be used as change table  |  Room for pram  | Takes Bookings

Happy Birthday

Is it strange that I still find myself thinking that my mum will walk out her old bedroom? Arms crossed just to tell me how cold it is and ask why I am still awake? It has been almost 3 years since she passed away and I still cannot get used to her not being around.

I asked my husband whether this type of feeling is considered normal, his reply to me was “What IS normal?” – this made perfect sense of course since there is no standard grieving process.

It was mum’s birthday on Saturday, I don’t actually know how old she is and I very rarely  think about how old she would have been. It’s been a habit that I never mention her age. I still remember wishing her a happy birthday when she turned 43, that was the day she told me that from that day, she wanted me to stop counting.

Black Rice Seafood Paella
Black Rice Seafood Paella

In honour of her birthday, my husband and I had dinner at home and had seafood paella, a dish she loved. Many apologies to the traditional paella lovers out there but I had to make some slight modifications to this dish to try and healthify it. In place of the usual white paella rice, black rice was used and broad beans were also added. I am not a nutritionist so I don’t actually know how much difference having black rice makes but I feel less guilty eating it so I am going to just run with the idea that it is heaps better health wise.

All in all, I loved this dish. my only regret is the broad beans. I learned that night that my husband is quite sensitive to the effects of broad beans, let’s just say that I should have worn a gas mask to bed that evening.

Ube and Macapuno Cake
Ube Macapuno Cake

And of course, a birthday isn’t a birthday without cake right? I made an Ube Macapuno cake for her birthday. Though she didn’t have a sweet tooth, this was the cake that I made that she liked the most.

Her 3rd birthday in heaven, still as tough for me as the first. I personally believe that with any loss especially that of a loved one, it doesn’t get easier but you learn how to live your day without them and you get better with coping. Happy birthday mum, I’m sure if there was a social committee up in heaven you would be heavily involved and organised a party that involves dancing. Love you.