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Archive for the ‘Delectables’ Category

Apple Cinnamon Cookies

Advice That Certain People Who Write Essays Would Do Well To Note:

1. It doesn’t matter whether a sociological theorist is “pessimistic” or not, or which year s/he was born in. It does matter, though, that you understand that “rationalisation” relates to disenchantment and bureaucratisation, and not to people thinking logically about their life choices.

2. I’d prefer you wrote about Karl Marx and Max Weber, not Kyle Marx and Max Webber. You see, I’m not entirely sure what the latter two contributed to Sociology. Oh, and Emile Durkheim is a man, although it would be nice if one of the “Founding Fathers” was actually a “Founding Mother”. Sadly, we aren’t allowed to change the sex of people born centuries ago.

3. Want to know what helps you, in a grades-affected manner? Answering the essay question.

4. Want to know what helps me, in a sanity-affected manner? When you get my name right on the cover sheet. (Oh, and my sanity also benefits when you answer the essay question.)

5. Last but not least, cookies help inexorably with the essay-marking process. They might even help with the essay-writing process. I therefore suggest you bake and gobble these up at the earliest convenience.

Apple Cinnamon Cookies

I don’t often bake cookies. For some reason, cookies are associated in my mind with boredom. Too sweet, too crunchy, and lacking in satisfaction. However, whilst flicking through one of my many rarely-used mini Women’s Weekly cookbooks, I found this gem of a recipe.

Sweet but not too sweet, baked a little under the required time so as to retain a soft and almost-doughy interior without losing the crispier exterior, heady in cinnamon and with the faint nutty flavour of oats and whole-wheat flour, these were exactly what I forget cookies can be.

Apple Cinnamon Cookies

That is to say, addictive. Did I eat seven of these between baking them in the afternoon and going to sleep in Skank Bed at night? Possibly. Perhaps. Maybe. Okay, yes.

But they’ve got oats, and fruit, m’kay? So they’re good for me. Possibly. Perhaps. Maybe.

Apple Cinnamon Cookies

Vegan Apple Cinnamon Cookies

Adapted from The Women’s Weekly Biscuits and Slices mini cookbook.
Makes about 15.

The recipe below is for my cut-down-by-a-third-and-adapted version of the original, which purported to make 45 cookies. Whilst I know I could very easily eat 45 cookies over the course of a few days, I also know I’d get horrifically bored by the sameness of them all if I did. Ergo you should be able to double or triple this recipe easily, if you want more cookies in your life. Or if you want to share with other people, instead of sitting by yourself with cookies and ice cream watching old-school romantic movies all afternoon.

  • 1 American tb (15ml) flaxmeal, mixed with 45ml water (or one egg for a non-vegan version)
  • 90g (1/3rd cup + 1tb) brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tb (40ml) canola (or vegetable) oil
  • 2 tsp honey/agave/golden syrup/liquid sweetener
  • 2/3 cup (60g) rolled oats
  • 50g dried apples, chopped
  • 1/3 cup (50g) wholemeal plain flour (or normal plain)
  • 1/4 cup (37g) self-raising flour
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (this was the only part I didn’t cut down, as I used the full tsp of the original recipe for a batter a third the size. Woot cinnamon love!)
  1. Beat brown sugar with combined flaxseed and water with an electric mixer until mixture plumps up a little and lightens a bit in colour (if using an egg, wait for the mix to get significantly lighter in colour).
  2. Stir in (manually, not with the electric mixer) the vanilla essence, oil, and liquid sweetener of your choosing, then the oats, apple, and sifted dry ingredients. Refrigerate for one hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 190°C. Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls and place on lined baking trays. I expected mine to spread more than they did, so if you prefer thinner and crunchier cookies, you might want to press the balls down a little bit.
  4. Bake 9-10 minutes for cookies with a deliciously soft core, or a bit longer if you want them crunchier. Though in all honesty, I don’t know how crunchy these would get. Maybe they never would? All I know is that I love the way mine turned out.

Question Time: Do you have advice for someone that would be safer shared here than with the person him/herself? Vent, my pretties, vent.

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Just a quick one today, folks! Life is suddenly quite busy. Many things to think about and do and remember and be a part of and enjoy. And then there are the essays.

So, here goes (oh, and I hope you appreciate the way I’m humiliating myself by showing you horrible things I’ve eaten in the past. To make myself feel better, please keep in mind that these photos are from my trip to America three years ago).

Things I’ve Done (And Eaten) In My Life That I’ve Felt Really Silly About Afterwards:

1. Climbing really high up a tree at my primary school, getting stuck, and needing a teacher to come and carefully guide me back down whilst I sobbed in panic. (Age: under 10)

Lay's Crab Spice Chips

Maybe it's because I didn't grow up with Crab Spice Seasoning in the cupboard (i.e. what the bollocks is Crab Spice Seasoning?), but these just tasted awful and bitter to me. Postprandial silliness rating: high.

2. Unwrapping a present on Christmas Day to discover a doll I’d desperately hoped for, becoming hysterical with happiness, and then accidentally thanking the wrong grandparent for it in a really over-the-top fashion. (Age: under 9)

French Toast Pop Tart

Another Pop Tart: "French Toast" flavour this time. Slightly better than the Hot Fudge Sundae, but still sickeningly fake and sweet-tasting. Postprandial silliness rating: High.

3. Getting a teensy bit drunky at a sleepover with two friends, accidentally knocking a bowl of almonds to the floor and deciding, in my drunky logic-befuddled state, that the only way to rectify the problem was to eat every single almond off the floor without touching any with my hands. (Age: 15) (Note: This was one of only two times in my life I’ve been legitimately drunky. Now do you see why I prefer to make one beer last for three hours?)

Reese's Crispy Crunchety and shoe

*giggle* In all honesty, this didn't taste awful. Postprandial silliness rating: Moderate, but only because I knew I'd just eaten a candy bar the size of my shoe in under five minutes.

4. Climbing really high up a tree in a friend’s backyard, getting stuck, and needing her mother to come and carefully guide me back down whilst I sobbed in panic. (Age: under 10) (Note: This friend’s mother banned me from ever climbing trees again when under her supervision.)

Stouffer's Stuffed Pepper

Ewww. Stouffer's Stuffed Pepper with Beef and Rice. What was I thinking? Stupid American dorm living. Postprandial silliness rating: Really high.

5. Falling prey to a “sale!” sign and buying a bag of marshmallows at the supermarket, despite the fact that I don’t like marshmallows (except toasted over a bonfire). Then realising that most of these marshmallows were apricot and banana flavoured, which means they were disgusting. (Age: one week ago.) (Note: I went through half a jar of peanut butter just to render the marshmallows edible. Which, in translation, means I ate about a spoonful of peanut butter in tandem with each marshmallow, simply so I couldn’t taste the latter. GENIUS.)

Hershey's S'mores bar

Oooh, tenuous marshmallow link for the win! Postprandial silliness rating: Moderate, because this tasted of nothing but sweet and I'm ashamed to admit I've never had a real s'more.

6. Climbing really high up one of the trees in my own front yard, getting stuck, and needing my dad to come and carefully guide me back down whilst I sobbed in panic. (Age: under 10)

Reese's Brownie

So disappointing. Postprandial silliness rating: High, because this could have been so tasty and was instead dry, insipid, non-peanut-buttery and overall lame.

Moral of this story? I ate a lot of non-awesome foodstuffs when in America in 2007-8. (And a lot of them seem to have been orange-ish in colour?!) 

Oh, and don’t let me anywhere near trees, unless you’re in the mood to play the hero.

Question Time: What have you done and eaten in your life that you’ve felt silly about afterwards?

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A few days ago, I diligently detailed for you the correct procedure for making pavlova for a German. Some of you might have noted that the recipe made three little pavlovas, and yet the German and I are only two. (Two people, that is. Not two pavlovas. I’m certainly not calling myself a pavlova, for while I wouldn’t mind being associated with sweetness, I’d hate to be called hollow inside with a chewy bottom.)

Wow. My mind just went to a really scary image-place. Enough of that. Here’s my detailed timeline for how to eat pavlova like Wayfaring Chocolate.

Caramelised pineapple with sorbet, Flint restaurant

Once upon a time, there was a caramelised pineapple with lemon sorbet dessert at Flint restaurant in Canberra. “Once upon a time” in the sense of “over a year ago” and “has nothing to do with this post”, but shhh. I won’t tell if you won’t.

8:30am: Wake up, buoyed by the fact that at the doctor’s surgery yesterday, you were told to come back in a week’s time, rather than twice weekly as has been the case for the past two months.

8:32am: Look at problem toe and feel heart fall. (I know this isn’t a gory-injuries blog so I’ll avoid going into details, but let’s just say there was a stain of something that rhymes with “glood” on the bandage.)

8:35am: Call doctor’s surgery. Make another appointment, knowing that they probably think you’re a hypochondriac.

9am – 2pm: Alternate marking essays, staring out the window, trying to resist urge to draw on own face with a pen, bursting into spontaneous fragments of angsty Alanis Morisette songs (Ooooo-oooooh, this could get mess-sssssyyyyyy, but you-ooooooo don’t seem to miiiii-iiind), eating, and bursting into spontaneous fragments of that popular recent song you love (I’d like to make myself be-lieeeeeeeeve that planet Eaaaaaaarth tuuuuuuuuurns slooooooooowly). And marking essays. Did I mention the essays? Because there are more of them coming this afternoon.

Roasted pumpkin pine nut salad, Flint Restaurant

Once upon a time etc etc pine nut, feta and roasted pumpkin salad at Flint restaurant etc etc won’t tell if you won’t etc etc.

2:30pm: Slink into doctor’s surgery, where your normal nurse is really ever so kind. She looks at toe, and starts talking about more surgery. Yes, that would be the third round of surgery in less than a year.

2:40pm: Male doctor who is not your actual doctor ambles into room (and I mean ambles. Hands-in-pockets, pelvis-out, shoulders-back, King-Of-The-Domain…) and starts talking in medical jargon, the gist of which seems to be “doesn’t need surgery”.

2:45pm: Nurse pulls out a long grey implement that looks like a giant matchstick and applies silver nitrate to your toe. (I wonder if I’ll make metal detectors go off now? Or if I’ll be lying if I yell “I’m not made of money, you know!” when people ask me to “spare a dollar for the bus cuz” at the interchange?)

3pm onwards: Drive to parents’ place. INTERNET! (I mean, visit my mum.)

Pavolva carob chips

Pavolva prong!

6pm: Arrive home. See lone pavlova in clear Tupperware container above the microwave. Look into pantry of healthy, wholesome dinner ingredients. Look back at lone pavlova in clear Tupperware container above the microwave.

6:01pm: Look into pantry.

6:02pm: Look at pavlova.

6:03pm: Look into pantry.

6:04pm: Reach for pavlova-containing Tupperware container. Open, slip pavlova onto plate.

6:05pm: Look at punnet of strawberries.

6:06pm: Look at packet of chocolate chips.

6:07pm: Look at punnet of strawberries.

6:08pm: Look at packet of chocolate chips.

6:09pm: Open packet of chocolate chips, but decide to make a tacit nod towards “health” by using natural yogurt instead of cream as the intermediary between sugar and sugar.

pavolva with chocolate chips

Ta-daa!

6:10pm: Construct pavlova.

6:20pm: Decide that the use of natural yogurt was inspired, as the tang plays off the super-sweetness of the meringue base brilliantly. Wish there was more. More of everything.

7pm: Realise you should feel guilty about eating pavlova for dinner, and so get off sofa with a sigh and put together a bowl of whole-wheat couscous, chickpeas, baby peas, tahini, and lemon juice.

7:15pm onwards: Watch SeaChange with housemate for the rest of the night because you’re both sick of election talk. (LAURA. How could you ever think Warwick could beat out Max? Nononononono. Don’t you remember the way Max replied with “You, I think”, when you asked him what he wanted, in episode one of season three? You silly woman.)

pavolva with chocolate chips

The end.

And that, my friends, is how you eat pavlova like Wayfaring Chocolate.

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8am: Wake up. Eat breakfast (if you must know, a muffin spread with the last of the crunchy peanut butter, and a bowl of yogurt topped with granola that you should have made yourself instead of buying). Oh, wait. Get dressed, then eat breakfast. Naked muffin eating isn’t so much de rigueur when you live with a friend.

Carrot and Cardamom Muffin

I'm still surprised by how much I enjoy these orange-containing fellows.

9am: Mum arrives to see your finally-decorated room (methinks you won’t be surprised to learn this involves a framed stylistic drawing of a peach and an old-school-French chocolate poster). Ask her whether it’s okay to leave eggs out of the fridge for six hours. She says yes. Forget to take eggs out of fridge.

9:15am: Get driven to doctor’s surgery. Realise you left your glasses at home and things are rather blurry. Awesome mother offers to drive back and get them for you.

9:45am: Finish at doctor’s, rejoin mother in car. Mother hands over glasses, and mentions that she also took two eggs out of the fridge. Big love.

10am: Enter office at uni. INTERNET! (I mean, prepare for tutorials.)

11am: Tutorial. (Happy times.)

12noon: Tutorial. (Happy times.)

1pm: Lunch and various errands.

Salted Caramel Macaron

Okay, I admit it. This wasn't my lunch.

3.30: Home.

3:40: Break egg whites into bowl, then realise you don’t have normal caster sugar. Figure raw caster sugar is pretty much the same thing. (Hint: it isn’t. Moisture = big hollow meringues.)

4ish: Finally finish beating egg whites and sugar to glorious glossy sweet mountain of meringue-y-goodness with electric hand beaters. Dollop meringue onto baking tray in three portions. Pop in oven.

4:05pm: Hover over sink “cleaning” beaters and bowl with spoon and your mouth. Less mess to clean up = clever, right?

4:10pm: Vacuum, clean, tidy.

4:50pm: Realise this still-fairly-new-to-you oven is not so reliable. Meringue is rather brown. Turn oven off, figure The German won’t know any better.

Pavlova meringue

Not quite the colour I was expecting.

5pm: Shower.

5:30pm: Make shepherd’s pie with kangaroo mince. Aussie Aussie Aussie…?

6:30pm: Wait.

7pm: Read a bit.

7:30pm: Wait.

7:45pm: Hello The German!

8pm: Buy wine.

8:15pm: Wine.

8:30pm: Eat shepherd’s pie.

8:45pm: Wine.

Pavlova meringue

Lots of nooks and crannies for cream, though. That's generally a good thing. (If you're into cream.)

9pm: Bring out meringues. Wine makes you admit that they aren’t quite right, instead of allowing you to continue with your earlier plan to pretend all is well. The German laughs about the enormous hollow cave in the middle of each meringue. Stare him down while telling him that they’re “rustic”.

9:05pm: All errors can be hidden with cream, strawberries, and kiwi fruit, right? Even if The German sliced said fruit strangely.

9:10pm: Pavolvas are divinely tasty with the perfect blend of melt-in-the-mouth crust and almost-chewy bottom.

Pavolva with strawberries and kiwi fruit.

Christmas colours! Puuuurty.

9:20pm: Wine.

9:30pm: Try the improvised cake that The German made. Decide lychees, peaches, sour cherries and coconut cream should be added to every cake recipe from now on.

9:40pm: Wine.

9:50pm: Discover mutual peanut butter love.

9:55pm: Wine.

10pm: Do something you never thought you’d do. That is to say, open up your the-company-closed-down-therefore-no-more-can-ever-be-found-one-and-only jar of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Peanut Butter.

PB Loco Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

Also known as crack.

And that, my friends, is how you make pavolva for a German.

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First, I waxed lyrical over my dinner with Helen of Grab Your Fork.

Then, I rhapsodised over the bag of goodies she bequeathed to me.

Now, it’s time to showcase the macarons that came alongside said bag of goodies. I think I should let the treats speak for themselves.

(You can see where this is going, can’t you?)

Chocolate Ganache Macaron Grab Your Fork

Chocolate Ganache Macaron: I’m fairly certain I’m the bee’s knees. Just look at me! I look a bit like a cheeseburger, except instead of being filled with icky meat and sprinkled with sesame seeds, my insides are chocolate and I’m adorned with GOLD FLAKES. Oh, and did I mention that Helen made me?

Salted Caramel Macaron Grab Your Fork

Salted Caramel Macaron: So what? Helen made me too, I also am adorned with gold dust, and I taste AMAZING. Better than you. In fact, I made Hannah realise just how amazing butter can be, simply through my divine, silky, salty-caramel-please-never-end flavourful goodness.

Rosewater Macaron Grab Your Fork

Rosewater Macaron: I know I was everyone’s least favourite, but it’s not my fault. I wasn’t made by Helen, so how could you expect me to taste as good? Plus, being the least-loved macaron in a conglomeration of delightful macarons is hardly the worst label in the world, is it? I mean, I still taste better than tripe.

Chocolate Ganache Macaron Grab Your Fork

Chocolate Ganache Macaron:  I defy you both! I Am Chocolate, Hear Me Roar! Plus, the Housemate really liked me. So there.

Salted Caramel Macaron Grab Your Fork

Salted Caramel Macaron: Yeah, but I also come with chocolate cookie crumbs that make me look like a witch with growths on my face. BEAT THAT.

Chocolate Ganache Macaron Grab Your Fork

Chocolate Ganache Macaron: I will beat that. See how my rich, chocolatey ganache is enveloped by sweet almond meringue biscuit? And how my assertive ganache firmness plays off the delicate crumb of the meringues?

Salted Caramel Macaron Grab Your Fork

Salted Caramel Macaron: That’s all well and good, but each of the four people who were lucky enough to try we macarons thought that I was, by far, the tastiest. I WIN FOREVER.

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I’m fairly certain that my housemate and I were destined to be housemates. We laugh a lot together, act as sounding boards and provide advice for each other when need be, and also know when (and how) to give each other space. Here are just a few recent moments that have reminded me of how well we fit/live together:

1. I’ve been introducing the Housemate to the marvellousness that is Freaks and Geeks, and she’s slowly but surely coming around. The other night, though, we decided to watch Legally Blonde instead.

Towards the end of Legally Blonde, a character called Chutney appears on the witness stand. Unbeknownst to either of us, this character is played by Linda Cardellini, who is none other than Lindsay in Freaks and Geeks.

The moment Chutney/Cardellini appeared on the telly, I gasped, pointed at the screen, and turned to the Housemate. At the exact same moment, the Housemate gasped and pointed at me. For a second we remained frozen in this strange me-Housemate-television–pointing triangular formation, then we both burst into giggles. It’s not the first time such a moment of synchronicity has happened, either.

Sunspire Peanut Butter Chips

Unrelated snackage. Did I open this bag and start eating before thinking of blogging it? Yes. Is the bag all crumbled in this photo as a result? Yes. Do I feel guilty? No.

2. I grin and bear it when she cooks bacon, and she indulges my tendency to get, erm, creative in the kitchen. (Tabasco peanut butter cookies or tasteless flax lumps, anyone?)

Sunspire Peanut Butter Chips

Somehow, these taste both like and completely unlike peanut butter. BUT I LOVE THEM.

3. Despite being embedded (like me) in the discipline of Sociology and, by extension, in the currents of cynicism that such embeddedness entails, the Housemate retains faith in the idea that, ultimately, Good comes to Good and Bad to Bad in this world.

Case in point: last night, we were watching Cruel Intentions (spoiler alert), which she’d never seen before. For those of you who don’t know, Cruel Intentions revolves around Kathryn, who is a nasty piece of work, making a bet with Sebastian, who is also nasty but redeems himself in the end, that the latter can seduce Annette, who is a Good Person. Here’s what went down in our house while watching the movie:

Two thirds through the movie, with Kathryn proving to be increasingly awful, self-serving, and malicious.

The Housemate: Kathryn’s going to die, isn’t she?

Me: I’m not saying a word.

The Housemate: She must. Yes, she’s going to die.

Later on, and Kathryn does more nasty things.

The Housemate: She has to die.

Me: I’m not saying a word.

About 15 minutes before the end of the movie, and Sebastian is fighting with another character on the street while Annette rushes into the traffic to stop them.

The Housemate: Oh, it’s Annette who’s going to die, isn’t it? She’s going to die!

Sebastian pushes Annette away from an oncoming car and gets hit by the car himself, rolling up and over the car before crashing onto the bitumen.

The Housemate: Oh. So it is Kathryn who’s going to die.

Let’s repeat that, shall we?

SEBASTIAN GETS HIT BY A CAR. BY A CAR.

The Housemate: Oh, so it is Kathryn who’s going to die.

Scene switches to Sebastian’s funeral.

The Housemate: Oh.

Me: *laughs and laughs and laughs and laughs*

(I defy you not to love my Housemate a little bit too, after that.)

Sunspire Peanut Butter Chips

Salty and sweet and melty and cute and I can eat dozens in a sitting without caring because they're so darn cute and tiny.

But just in case you think I’m trying to make myself look clever at the Housemate’s expense, take a guess at who the following happened to:

Girl walks to kitchen, wearing her glasses so that she can watch the news whilst getting a snack. Girl takes a spoon, dips it in the peanut butter jar, pops it in her mouth, and simultaneously decides to change out of her jacket and into a jumper.

Girl retains spoon sticking horizontally out from between her lips whilst pulling jumper over her head. Girl suddenly starts making strange clinking and choking noises.

Housemate looks up to see a jumper with naught but curly hair poking out the top flailing around the kitchen.

Yep. Girl = me.

Thomas the Tank Engine Cake

My cousin made this for her two-year-old son's birthday. Isn't it awesome? I'm muchly impressed.

Moral of that story? If you try to pull clothing over your face while you’re wearing glasses and have a spoon sticking out of your mouth, the jumper will push the glasses down your face, the glasses will get caught on the spoon, the spoon handle will get caught on the jumper, and, erm, you might start panicking.

I think that was one of my sexiest moments ever, bar none.  

So you see? The Housemate and I are perfect for each other, what with our abilities to equally tolerate, understand, and entertain each other.

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Almost two weeks ago, I had dinner with the splendiferous, blogosphere-famous, and intrepid[-eater] Helen of Grab Your Fork. On that night, Helen brought me a gift bag brimming with edible delights. I still feel a bit giddy thinking about the moment when she handed me that bag. Because you know what Helen had done? She’d gone back through the myriad comments I’d left on her blog in recent months and had made a note of what I’d mentioned wanting to try/not being able to access in Canberra.

And then she did her best to track such items down for me.

I know, right? Crazy-amazing-kind-generous-amazing. And because I’m thrilled by what Helen so carefully picked out for me, I simply must share it with you all. Are you ready? I think you should probably be ready for some envy. See, if I were you, living out there in Internet-world, looking at what had been given to me… I’d be envious. Just sayin’.

And we’re off!

Assam Laksa Paste and Dosai mix

For years, I’ve wanted to try the sour-spicy-tamarind-pineapple Penang-style assam laksa which, unlike the more well-known Malaysian laksa, doesn’t use coconut milk. To start off with a really clear example of Helen’s amazingness of spirit, she mentioned in an email to me weeks ago that she wanted to bring me assam laksa paste. However, she couldn’t find any in Sydney, so you know what she did? She gave me one of the packets that she’d brought back for herself from Malaysia. I was/am speechless.

Also, she remembered that I’ve never tried dosai, so she gave me a packet mix for that, too. Even more excitingly, it’s gluten-free and vegan!

Pho and Bakuteh mix

Every now and again in my life I go through a Pho phase, during which time the only thing I want to eat at restaurants are big steaming bowls of broth and noodles into which I merrily throw enormous handfuls of herbs, beansprouts, and chilli. Lots of chilli. Now I can have that complex broth at home without having to boil icky bones for a squillion hours first. Hooray!

However, I will have to boil icky bones – wait, no, I mean ribs – for authentic Bakuteh. Methinks this is Grab Your Fork trying to sneakily make me a fan of meat so that she can order crispy pork belly for me when we rendezvous in Sydney in the hopefully-not-too-distant future. She’s a wily one.

Grass Jelly mix, Chai tea, foodie guide to sydney

Vegan grass jelly mix! Super excited about this one. Helen recommends having it with ice cream, which I can definitely see being a winner. If only So Good hadn’t got rid of almost all its different “frozen dessert” flavours in recent years…

Next we have an awesome, authentic chai blend that you add to super strong black tea, and alongside that the guide to Sydney’s Chinatown and Haymarket areas that Helen wrote all the food reviews for. If you’re in Sydney, I recommend picking one of these free guides up. Helen’s got your food-lovin’ back.

Schoc Frankincense chocolate, lotte chocolate

Then, of course, there was chocolate. Japanese chocolate, which is always fun, and also Schoc chocolate! Helen said she didn’t know that I’d recently talked to Vaala on this blog about wanting to try Schoc chocolate, but I think she was simply trying to hide her geniusness.

The last thing I pulled out of the bag had me a hair’s breadth away from hyperventilating. Honestly, I think I blanked out for a second at the restaurant and went to a giggly-squealing happy place. All I can hope is that such a reaction gratified, rather than scared, Helen. Behold!

Kaya

KAYA. Kaya kaya kaya. The coconut pandan custard spread that Malaysians eat for breakfast on toasted white bread with slabs of butter. Helen and I discussed this One True Way of eating kaya, but I’ve since admitted that I may well end up eating it on porridge, because that’s how I roll.

Thing is, I’m so excited by the kaya that I haven’t let myself open it. Mostly, I’m just doing this:

Y’know. Just staring at it lovingly. Sometimes stroking it. (Apologies for the crazy hair)

Oh, and before I go, there was one other AMAZING thing that Helen gave me, but it deserves a post of its own. Still, I can’t help teasing you with it…

Macarons salted caramel ganache rosewater

Oh yes.

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