Monday, December 30, 2013

Holy Basil

finally made the trek down to canley heights. i've been wanting to go for so long, and since my cousin said the one in the city wasn't as good, we decided to trek down south.

waited for about 20mins for a table of 4. called up earlier and they said they didn't take bookings, on the website it said "limited bookings", so i guess that they only took bookings of large tables. we were the 25th group on the list tonight, and there were heaps of people after me. i expected it to be busy, since everyone's on holidays etc. the gelato place next door is also their's, so a lot of couples who didn't mind a different ambience also had dinner there.

originally got seated outside, at the end of the restaurant. so no ambience etc. 
left: lychee fruit shake, right: custard apple fruit shake-$5.90. the guy who gave it to use couldn't tell the difference, and had to ask this other guy...

it got really windy, so we asked them if we could sit inside, and after a while, we could! i noticed that when we were ordering stuff outside, once we pressed it, they came out immediately, and we pressed it a few times when we were outside, so service was really good for outside people. inside, you pressed it, they don't come as often, but they walk past as often since it's not a big restaurant, so that makes up for it. and they did not mess up any orders! even though we kept on adding stuff to our orders and swapped tables.

i had the custard apple. tasted like the fruit. my bro chose, lychee-why would you choose such an artificial taste? yes it does taste like lychee, but with tons of added sugar. the straws are about an inch too short. a lot of people don't bother finishing their drinks-but we did.

thai fried rice w/ lamb-$13.90, roast duck in holy basil plum sauce-$18.90, pad thai w/ chicken-$13.90

should've have ordered the fried rice, but i wanted to try it, it wasn't bad, not too oily, and the lamb wasn't too dried out. the plum sauce was amazing! worth the money. you could see at least 4 whole cinnamon sticks, heaps of star anise and other spices. a packet of about 3 cinnamon sticks cost a few bucks, and the other spices they used isn't cheap, and neither is duck, so i think it's worth the money. kept on having the sauce with my rice. the steamed rice was really good as well. pad thai had more of a chilli kick, but it didn't have any visible chilli flakes. it didn't have tofu and not enough chicken, but it was quite nice (:

soft wheel crab-$17.90 and masaman beef curry-$16.90

the crab was so soft, and not overly seasoned. the one at kinn thai t towers was nice but it was refs on the salty side. the sweet chilli sauce was good, but i dipped my fork into the chilli sauce and that was the chilliest thing i had all night. the curry was good-smelt so lovely! you can see the oil etc in it, but it didn't linger on your lips. i kept on having that sauce with my rice as well. slightly spicy, but a nice spicy (yes, i actually did say that. although for most readers it would not be spicy for you).

infamous holy basil fried ice cream-$13.90

it's just as good as everyone says! the first time i had fried ice cream when i was younger i thought it was amazing. but now i think back, and it wasn't that great. normal ones at chinese places are your spherical doughy balls which heaps of desiccated coconut and dough with soaked oil, and inside the ice cream was already melting by the time you've had your first bite. this is the best so far. the pastry is so thin and the ice cream is so very cold inside. it's quite hard when you cut into it, but the pastry is so thin and delicious. i guess it's ordinary ice cream inside, but the vanilla ice cream didn't feel like the super cheap buffet-style vanilla ice cream. loved the touch of toasted coconut on the side.

my first time shouting my whole family, all those boring hours of filing and picking up phone calls came to use. tonight was so delicious and not too expensive since we did order a lot. or maybe i just felt like i could oder whatever/whenever since i was paying and didn't have to feel too restricted if i was getting the "expensive" stuff. can't believe the year has almost come to an end. twas a good last dinner with the fam tonight (:

900-Frozen and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

first time watching 2 consecutive movies at the cinemas today! don't think i'll do that for a while, unless there are two really good movies i want to see. a movie for technically $6-money well spent!

frozen was sooo good! i love disney, so i might be biased, but it was a really nicely done disney film! i was reading an article on it, about how they had a woman director (who also did wreck it ralph), and a few years ago, there were no woman who directed any disney animations, only men so their views were obviously less feminine and were more based on the traditional princess themes. since a woman directed this, it was more about a woman's point of view and family, rather than prince charming and romance-that was in the background rather than foreground. i thought about it, and then i totally agree! sometimes, they should just let woman direct more animations, although i still love the whole princess and prince happily ever after.

the ice was so pretty! all those blues and some purples (: and elsa's dress <3 i really loved all the songs! could've totally sang along with it, if i could sing, haha. anna's young voice is so cute. some of the storyline i didn't expect. so glad i didn't watch those trailers which summarises the whole movie. since carols in the domain where they mentioned you could get a free download of demi lovato's version of frozen, i've been listening to it on repeat-and now i get the context of it! love that part (: ahh, disney films are so lovely (: even though there were 27mins of ads, there was this 4-5min clip on mickey mouse and the whole gang, never seen it before, but it was enjoyable (: i understand why Better has watched it about 4 times now. nooo tsim sha tsui in hk had disney themed christmas deco this year! last year was pretty (like always) but wasn't disney!

i really wanted to stay for the credits, but then we had another movie to watch...could've stayed for the credits since there were another 27mins of ads, and we already skipped about 20...

i have to admit, i'm not a fan of LOTR at all. i've tried watching a full movie-never finished one. i finished the 1st hobbit last year since i watched it in cinemas. finished a second LOTR film again, it was actually quite enjoyable. good humour and fighting scenes, and "romance" which apparently isn't in the book. i hate cliff-hangers! i can't believe i'm saying this, but i actually can't wait for the 3rd hobbit. last year's hobbit was a record breaking 5.9mil on boxing day, this year 5.4. some parts of gandalf in the deserted place reminded me harry potter and dumbledore trying to find the horcruxes with minimal light.

we get to see frozen a month after the us, but hobbit about 2 weeks after. it's not as bad as it used to be, but we still remain behind america...

used my groupon $3 voucher, so i tried the green tea rock salt and cheese with herbal jelly, normally $5.70
once shaken, it looked like milk tea, but without the milk. the salt and cheese was very subtle, and tasted more like matcha powder, than green tea in ice form.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

impulse bought another pair of sunnies. well not really, they were half priced burberry, and they were for my mum, but i tried them and they fit me. they were also polarised, so i think they were a good price. there's actually some really good deals, like 70% off some sunnies which actually weren't ugly. btw, i think prada's cases for sunnies are the best.

at this rate i can get two "cheap" pairs of sunnies or one expensive pair for free each year. the one i bought today didn't have the signature check pattern...it was a more conservative black frame. maybe next pair i get i should try something more trendy and not black like my last few pairs have been...next pair i shouldn't get polarised-they're good for driving, but you see rainbows when you look at your phone...i totally understand why people say glasses/sunnies are like shoes.

so much cleaning to do. somehow i haven't had time since exams ended. i still haven't filed my stuff since exams...

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas~

remembering the birth of jesus (:

christmas was good this year, even though i wasn't overseas with relatives who have an annual kris kringle and money raffle and people who give out way too many gifts.

this year was again filled with traditional turkey and ham, raw salmon/herby salmon/smoked salmon, oysters, prawns, scallops and bbqs of every type of meat and also heaps more food, and gingerbread (had about 4 types) and other desserts. then there's the home made lemonades, beers, various wines, ciders, juices etc. i don't actually take many photos of food during xmas-just enjoying time spent with family and friends (: christmas is like feast week. continuous eating (: and then the leftovers for another week!

spent boxing day with some of my dad's colleagues family, thought it would be awkward at first since we only see them at the annual xmas dinner, but we actually got along really well! somehow we all have mutual friends. i guess that's because of church. totally satisfied my monopoly deal yearning. played this card game called: the game of mao. it's like uno with additional rules, and you have to figure what the rules are, and if you don't, you get given more cards. i managed to get the rules after 3 rounds! and then silently laughing/face palming at those who couldn't. it's quite a mind-blowing game (:

wasn't expecting much from boxing day sales. only got steak knives lol.

but today i managed to find two perfect pairs of black flats! it's really hard to find flats for me since i have small, narrow feet and my heel at small =/ somehow i always manage to find a good pair of flats at castle towers david jones, and then another pair in a store i wasn't expecting. one was 60 down to 15, this other pair 50 to 25 (: so comfy and satisfied (:

i saw some alright bags/clothing/wallets but then thought, do i really need them? not really. saw some super cheap gifts that i could buy for people next year, but what if their taste changes, or people get group gifts etc...

also, the only thing i bought from t2 before christmas was the only thing in the store discounted after christmas! they don't say it's discounted, but i remembered the price and they also changed it's location. feeling ripped off. i just bought the same thing again, this time half price.

so many people at towers, even more than monday 23rd. managed to find parking quicker this time round. also, was going to go flight centre at towers, until i realised that was the store typo replaced.

thank you dear friends for your prezzies! all so useful and delicious (:

managed to receive less than 10 boxes of chocolates this year-new record! finally a year where we don't have over 10 boxes. maybe will actually finish this lot before next year christmas.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Last Minute Shopping

i knew there would be heaps of people, but i wasn't expecting ~30mins wait for parking.

i think there is so much joy in giving and buying prezzies with your own money (:

i didn't realise towers had a typo "drop in" (quite a small typo) and t2. no free tea though =/

so many people everywhere. decided to buy a new top despite the whole saving money thing...

oh also, drove past towers the other night, and they have these really pretty light/fake grass decorations on the light posts on the main street on the outside. hard to explain, and only saw a tiny bit of it...but from afar, it looked nice (:

walked so much today, just back and forth.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Party

thank you so much Better, Iced Trees and Dandelion for organising, planning, decorating and your generosity! Thanks especially to Dandelion for giving up her home for us to enjoy! loved all your decorations around the place. it was so lovely seeing most people. (:

dining room-loved the decorations 

i think dandelion's house is perfect for parties. the dining rooms is big enough to accommodate everyone sitting. it's starting to feel like christmas (: i think there's less hype this year compared to the high school/primary years.

so blessed to have such amazing friends (: i would love this to be an annual event, but the effort/money/organising will probs be too much...so much unhealthy but good food, and lovely company (:

presents (:

i loved all the wrapping. from Better's funny typo cards, to Nancy's super cute Disney wrapping to Dandelion's silver wrapping and ribbon! i collect wrapping and ribbons (: it's fun collecting ribbons from various packaging rather than trying to find nice ribbons. i really love how Dandelion 's wrapping is so unique and also her cards (: i read your card, so i kinda found out what is inside, but i open prezzies on boxing day, so just have to wait a few more days until i can see what it looks like. also, i want to open Better's prezzie since i know an item i want is useful in there, but that has to wait as well....got my first and probably last candy cane of the year. don't buy candy canes anymore...

i guess going to the carols in the domain can wait another year. if you want a good seat, you need to camp there from 10am. even for fireworks you can start camping at 2pm to get a good seat, but that's cause there are heaps of vantage points for fireworks.

also got to choose a prezzie from work, just simple shortbreads/chocolates. i think i chose the cheapest one-gummy lollies from kmart, but i just wanted the tin...

yday.

noo, i think my time table is going to be manually changed by the school, and yes, i did enrol illegally, but if try to make a legitimate enrolment, i obviously end up with the bad times. i tried to wait to see if people would move their classes around, turns out that even the ok (not good/bad) times are also full. 

i finally feel like i'm on holidays after working 6 days for 3 weeks. even between exams ended and i started helping out at my dad's place, i was still so busy with stuff/going out. i don't remember a day where i just sat at home reading/watching movies/baking. hardly have time to make stuff, and my list of books to read hasn't been touched.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Wet and Wild Take 2

yay, it was a fun day! it was hot, but it actually became cold at night, unlike last time where it was still pretty hot at night. it's more organised this time, like they added more fences/signs around.

side note, my most hated road is the m4. it changes from 4 lanes to 3 to 2 to 3 to 2 to 4 all in a couple hundred of metres. they may as well have 1 lane since if a car breaks down on a 2 lane, only 1 will remain. no wonder why i always hear of massive traffic jams on that road. at least on the great western highway they have a consistent 3 lane, even though there are traffic lights. it also took a good 20mins to get off the exit onto reservoir rd. if i was going straight to wet and wild, i would've taken the exit before. there was just ao much traffic! the traffic wasn't even going to the theme park. it's just stupid signage, like a give way sign at a slightly curved T-junction. why didn't they make some sort of round about. giving way to cars going either direction at 60/70 takes forever....also my mum lied, double demerits start from 20th to 1st, not today. hate double demerits, so much pressure to stay on the limit, and did i ever tell you? i hate braking constantly...it's also not good for the car, but for those other drivers/learners, make sure to not speed. double demerits during xmas through to new years are the worse.

so much more fun with other people. not going to talk about each ride...

it's not as clean as last week though. my skin is pretty sensitive to "dirty" water. it's fine at swimming since it's chlorinated. once when i went camping and we went swimming at a pool at the caravan park, i had these mosquito like patches all over my skin =/ same thing happened once at a beach if the water isn't clean enough. my skin today didn't have patches, but face "exploded"... =/

the "highlight" of the day. waited for the 360 rush, then 1 out of 4 lane/pipes broke down, then the other own broke down, so only two worked (orange and red). last time those broke down and green/blue worked. went on blue last time, so i was fine going on the orange. when i went in, i felt like the water was more "thinned" out, and the kid before me was so scared to go in, and he went in and got stuck and was full screaming-poor kid. so it was my turn, and nek minut, i come to a complete stop at the top (well it felt like the top) of the pipe. but i had i finish the ride! and i never ever gotten stuck before, not even in the GC back in beginning of 2010. and like i've said before, GC ones is just yourself sliding/no board helping you to slide. when i got stuck, i just pushed myself to go back down the loop, but it wasn't fun then since it was slow-as in you can see the slide. the actual ride  is supposed to finish in a few seconds, and you're not supposed to open you eyes and look at the tube-you're supposed to just feel the rush. i'm not light at all, and i've always made it around the loop before. the main problem is that there wasn't enough water pumped through the slide. that's why heaps of people who were over the min 45kg still couldn't make it round the loop since the rush of water was slowing down. felt like they were running out/the pumps were going to break down again.

went on 7/8 things in around 5ish hours. it was about 30min wait for each ride, which wasn't bad, i thought there would be heaps more. i hate walking on those hot tiles/bark all around the park...

it's hard to get a good night picture of the lights unless you're standing on the beach side...

they didn't really check bags. they didn't check faces (don't have a photo on my band yet), and they don't charge parking for now (not that it matters since gold passes have free parking). but there are these mini booths when you exit, they're kinda like mini wooden houses, just no boom gates etc. guess they still have more things to finalise/finish...but if you want free parking for now-go before they install everything.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bohnanza

if there's a chocolate cookie and a non-chocolate one, the chocolate ones always gets finished first. i guest i tried to make a "healthier" option, but not many people went for that =/ oh wells, i guess i can bring some to work.

had more pizza today at Plus Christmas Party. didn't want to eat. sometimes i can just watch people eat good food. today wasn't good food, but it's just the atmosphere and eating and talking with people which is fun (: had three big curry puffs. obviously not as good as Happy Apple's mum's, since her ones had spice and not as big/buttery. these ones were made from puff pastry and had either cheese or heaps of meat, but still yum.

played bonanza most of the night. people have such interesting card games! there was saboteur which i played at plus retreat earlier this year, and then this other card game. then there was this one which had a totem pole and card game which someone explained to me last time, but i never ended up playing.

anyways, bonanza is so fun! sooo good. aim of the game is to plant beans and then you collect coins. there are chilli beans and wax beans and so many other random ones. i ended up coming 2nd out of 5 people. not bad for a first timer haha.

you have to negotiate your cards and it gets so intense. so much thinking and financing, but it's so fun it just makes you (((: it was annoying since the guy before me took forever deciding what to put down...the hard part is that the cards in your hands have to be played in order, so the card on your far right has to be put down, but you can only have two "fields" or type of beans placed down on the table at once. this means you have to swap and negotiate to get rid of cards which are in the way for you to plant in your field. but if you discard, you have to get rid of your highest pile of beans. wow, that sounds confusing, but it's a good game. just like monopoly deal and saboteur. it;s just annoying how a lot of these card games are hard to find and expensive in aus.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

No-Bake Mixed Berries Cheesecake and Cranberry and Cinnamon Cookies

the reason why i bought cream cheese was because philly had a promo ages ago at woolies, where you buy two blocks and you get a free springform pan. and luckily cream cheese can be put into the fridge for a long time, and i finally had the chance to make it yday.

mixed berries and blueberry no-bake cheesecake


don't know who to take the pan base off.

it was harder than i thought. like i didn't bother fully beating the cream cheese and sugar since it kept on getting stuck in the beaters, so you could still see the lumps. don't think i cooled down the gelatine enough. last time i worked with gelatine was around winter, so it cooled down fine, but this time, i think it contributed to not making the mixture smooth. oh well, it still set. and to get lemon juice, i had to squeeze the lemon, the sieve out the seeds, instead gf getting it straight from a bottle. i also need a pallet knife to make a smooth top, but i would rather save that money for other stuff. don't have a food processor or a rolling pin, so i had to do the base by hand #firstworldproblems

it's so creamy. one very fattening cheesecake. only added 1 cup cream instead of 300ml like other recipes. the base was very buttery, even though i added less butter and more biscuits than it suggested. i actually couldn't find the "perfect" recipe, so i just used parts of some recipes. i used digestive/wheat biscuits, should've gone with the unhealthier sweet biscuits, but everything is unhealthy once butter is added. didn't add much sugar, so this cheesecake wasn't sweet, since berries don't have a lot of sugar, only berry flavour. 

wanted to do a more "traditional" no bake cheesecake first time round. i want to make raw cheesecakes, but i'm scared the nuts will scratch the blender. my blender actually comes with a dry mill for nuts, where its this container you use rather than the jug of the blender. but once you blend nuts, all the natural oils come out, so the dry mill becomes wet, and the instructions says it can't be wet...also want to attempt a baked cheesecake, but my pan is coated blue on the outside, not sure if it's bakeable since it came with no care instructions...

i look at recipes and would love to eat the end product, but the amount of fattening and creamy products make me =/ btw, the whole pantry app is amazing! beetroot and apple burgers. too bad i don't have a juicer. i don't like beetroot, like i'll eat it if i have to, but a beetroot and apple juice, and then using the pulp as a burger patty is amazing. i was so close to buying that app, but it's recently become free (:

made christmas cookies for plus christmas party tomorrow! cranberry and cinnamon cookies. i think they're xmas flavours. it's like how white choc is sold out at my local woolies since sunday-white choc is an xmas ingredient used for so many desserts.

i added more vanilla essence and cinnamon needed, but the cinnamon wasn't prominent enough. a lot of recipes says to use 1 tsp of cinnamon, next tie i will know. i had these xmas cutters for over 10 years but never used them until now. they're plastic and don't cut that sharp and took forever to cut out, but still, xmas shapes are fun (: the recipe says to coat them with nuts, but i couldn't be bothered to chop/blender them, and people may be allergic. i already cut down the butter/sugar content, but they were still quite buttery =/ luckily they weren't that sweet. i tried to be healthy with the cranberry.

finding where stuff is in my house/kitchen takes longer than mixing/baking them. 


it's christmas time (:

mad rush to get these baked after work and before dinner time...

Monday, December 16, 2013

more enrolment adventures...

no wonder why i haven't been receiving emails from uni-not even my results, i had to check on the actual page. apparently i'm enrolled as a "staff" so they access their emails from a different link, and not the office 365. so glad i called up IT, now i just have to call up HR to see why i'm a staff not student...

i didn't go work for half a day just so i could enrol. it all went fine up until the last "enrol" button, then it crashed, and then i waited for an hour. and all the good classes were taken. apparently we were supposed to only choose one group (didn't know since i didn't receive any emails, but i asked around), and they could move us manually if we didn't follow the rules. i tried to stick with one group, but sometimes one group of the same number is open, while a tute in another course but same group is closed, so it's so tricky =/ ended up choosing three different groups. hope they don't pick me out and change me. i did kind of pick the leftover ones and not the popular ones which filled up in an instant, but i still tried to compact my timetable. you know what sucks? i have lectures on all the times cbs bible talks are on-hopefully they change the days next year...

enrolment is so stressful. took 1.5 hours. 9am starts all day err day. in the end i had to drop every course, then manually select stuff since the whole same groups thing didn't work, well i guess i could've have stuck to the rules, but then if i did, it would mean more 6pm finishes.

pretty sure they will mark all roles next year, so no "sneaking" into earlier times, or swapping with friends...

made a no-bake cheesecake today. it's more annoying than i thought it would be. no idea how it's going to turn out/taste, since i didn't put a lot of sugar in it. also didn't have the patience to beat the cream cheese until smooth, so the mixture was a tad lumpy...my hand mixer does suck, can't cream things together properly without stuff getting stuck in the beaters the second i turn it on.

Happy Apple's Party

thanks so much happy apple! finally been to your house now (:

there was so much good food, and yes, your mum's curry puffs are the best! no wonder she sells them (: so good, i couldn't help myself...ended up having three....i would've had more if i didn't eat junk food last night at my leader's house.

so nice to see people i haven't seen in so long.

hope you like the tea!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Rayban Adventures #3 and Marayong

finally got my sunnies. didn't bother to clean it with stuff, only polished it. need to adjust them again...i'm glad i got practical sunnies. can actually tell the difference when driving with polarised lenses.

today the optom brought in some south african pastries since her husband is south african. apparently in dural there is this south african patisserie, and to her husband's standard, they aren't bad. don't know what they're called but they were so good! they were kind of gooey in the middle, slightly hard on the outside, twisted and long, but they were so sweet! even with my high sweet tolerance, i thought it was sweet. still ate two though-they were really nice. first time having south african pastries. ahh, just found the name-koeksisters

dad also ordered new glasses. his ones were $1049, but after some discounts and health fund, he still had to pay over $300, it's not that bad compared to the rrp...like it's high quality stuff, branded frame etc. personally, i think branded frames are better than cheap frames. they look better as well.

went to marrying today. never actually hard of it, nor knew that they had a station. driving there, we passed kellyville/parklea area. wow, so many houses being built. there was this one massive patch of land near parklea where the houses/townhouses/duplexes etc look EXACTLY THE SAME. they were all white with some black and grey. alllll the same. heaps more land there with new houses built so close to each other. probably max 3 metres apart. i bet you can talk to the other person in the house next to you since the houses are being built so close together, guess they're trying to save land space whilst maximising house space. gg, those new houses/upcoming houses are going to have soooo much traffic in the future....

went to my bible study leader's house. their house is quite small, but they have one small room filled with his dvd collection. definitely over 100 dvdd, and he said he still had some in the living room, at his parents' house and at school (he works at a school). crazy, iterally every box set. he even has two copies of some boxed sets. all the seasons of lost and heroes (i used to love those shows). disney, horrors, old and new. he can literally start his own hiring business...

we had pizza hut delivery, and we got nice pizza! the crust was white not brown, and soft not chewy. we got spinach and feta (my fav), bacon cheeseburger and chicken deluxe. why did i never order those when i have pizza? then again, we haven't bought fast food pizza in so long. only gourmet or frozen. ate so much junk food and just watched a movie. they're quite a funny couple-the guy is anglo  and the wife asian

my brother's youth group hired a jumping castle to play at church yday night, and it was a themed "castle" jumping castle with stuff inside to play...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mango, Banana and Raspberry Smoothie

whenever i make smoothies, i try to keep the ingredients to a minimal. boost has released some green smoothie recipes, but most of them require over 6 ingredients. i have them all, but sometimes i'm too lazy to get them all together. like coconut water from a coconut, getting it cut and open takes longer than blending the smoothie together.

i need smaller jars/glasses. i have 250ml latter cups, but they're too small for smoothies. 

i love my smoothies thick. today's one was super thick (: 1 mango, 1 frozen banana and a dash of rice milk. there wasn't any almond milk in the fridge, only rice, but i prefer rice milk since sometimes the almond flavour in the almond milk is prominent. 

tried to make a raspberry sorbet. i only used a little bit of raspberry, and it didn't work/bland properly since that small amount fell under the blades of the blender, so it couldn't actually blend the raspberries...but the sourness perfectly balanced the sweetness from the mango and banana.



it was so refreshing (:

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Baking at Better's

finally went to better's house! thank you so much for you hospitality and generosity. the flavoured water was real interesting/nice. loved your pasta and lasagna, need to get myself some of that sauce.

i actually didn't make much. even though i was looking forward to this day, i wasn't in the mood to bake-was way too hot.

tiramisu

looks pretty good (didn't help make, only helped to eat). the tia maria flavour was definitely there. i think i'm pretty decent with alcohol, but the mod worrying thing was that if i get a RBT, and since you can taste the alcohol in it, well then gg. it's different from when you cook with wine since it gets reduced, but this just gets mixed. i don't make these kind of things by myself since it requires too many ingredients which aren't easily found at home.

chocolate macarons! (didn't pipe this batch)


totally underestimated the power of better's new hand mixer. with my one, it takes about 10-15mins to get a glossy finish/peak for the egg whites, since my mixer overheats an then you have to wait for it to cool. her one was so powerful, didn't keep my eye on it, nek min nit, it was over beaten. luckily it didn't split. thus, over beaten egg whites result in a crunchy/crispy shell, but the inside was still soft. we were going to make a salted caramel filling, but ceebs. i've found some easier salted caramel filling recipes without too much effort, haha. i shall attempt some macarons from scratch one day. almond meal was on special last week on coles. my mum rain checked me some, need to remind her to buy it for me (:

Monday, December 9, 2013

Wet and Wild Sydney

had a really bad day today-everything that could've gone wrong went wrong ):

like my brother ditching me, and when i went, all the rides needed to have at least 2 people. there was a whole tower of rides with only 2 people. some were 2,3,4, others were 3,4,5, then only one towers of single riders. i.e., i couldn't go on many. i don't understand how a single child will survive growing up and going on holidays. like if you go on family holidays, who do you have fun with? like as parents grow older, they're les likely to go on roller coasters with you, and you can't always have friends with you on holidays....so glad i have my brother (except for today) to go to theme parks with. my dad used to go on roller coasters with us, but now he's just ceebs.

wasn't going to go, but my mind was set on going to the preview day, and even though it was still quite humid in the arvo, it was good weather to go since there wasn't a lot of sun, not burning hot=less uv rays and no tan. 
entrance




it's really clean, as you would expect. the water and the pools are sooo perfect (for now). same with the toilets, nice and clean. there's actually not much shade there. they have these private cabanas which are from $90 hire per day, but they were free on preview day! did not know until later...but i wouldn't have used it..

since i went to the 5-10pm preview session, it was quite packed with school kids/workers. went around 7.30ish to take photos, but didn't take many in the end. they said the preview days had 1/5 of what they're expecting, but the thing is, i went on a more popular one and it took over 30mins, so when it opens normally, the wait will defs be over an hour per slide...you could see how long the line would be, since for some rides, i already walked up half way to the top, and still had to wait 30mins. from the bottom of the stairs, there are theses fences to the entrance on the line, and the line has a lot of potential to increase in length...

didn't go on much. went on the T5 (tornado something), the green and yellow one. it's pretty fun, and it was pitch black inside, and a few hidden surprises. also went on the 360 rush, but two of them broke when i went. same as gold coast, but the sydney one has this board where you wear it as a back pack so you can slide smoother i guess. i prefer the gold coast one, since it's a more real feeling where you don't need anything to aid you to slide 360. the guy next to me was too light and had to go out through the escape ride. the h2go racers are quite fun. don't know how to make myself go faster. maybe it's just my slow reaction time...

the land (or the amount of empty space) is quite big, but it takes more time to walk from on tower of slides to the other. i like GC since you can run to the other slides/waste less walking time. it feels like GC has more rides since it's more compact. the lights are quite nice at night.

i do have to commend WnW Syd with their My Bands. paperless tickets, cashless money etc. you can scan it to hire a locker/pay for food etc. food is about $20 for a burger, chips and coke-obviously not worth it. you can scan your band before your ride and it links to photos/info on how many times you went on a ride. defs heaps more convenient than a laminated card like in the GC.

so glad i got a season pass. it would probably take me 3 whole days to go on every single ride since there are just so many people. did you know, when i went to the GC, we managed to do one world per day. sea world was for half a day, and then we drove (actually my dad) straight back to syd. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Little Snail

quite a few times i have been so close to buying the group on vouchers for the little snail, luckily i didn't have to waste money. i always walk past it when i walk to The Star. it's because it's entrance isn't on the side facing darling harbour. but it's literally across the road from harbour side shopping centre.

the whole night went by so fast. their mise en place was sooo quick. usually when you have dinner in a western restaurant, their service takes some time, since you'd slowly eat the first course and enjoy/savour it. i eat relatively fast compared to people when i go out, but here, i felt like i had to gobble down my plate since they came quickly to collect plates, and then they handed out the next course quickly as well. everyone ate so fast as well. maybe because i actually had lunch before so i wasn't super hungry...as i result, i didn't have much time to take a nice photo of every plate of food. it was packed, even on a sunday night, but i'm pretty sure most people there had vouchers.




we were on the 2nd level next to the window (:

mocktails-$8.50

i don't remember the names, but the one on the left had a mixture of stuff. the middle one was mango, but it was way too sweet (and i can take more sweet stuff compared to other people), some organic white wine, approx $75 a bottle. i bet the actually price is around 50, but restaurants always up the prices of alcohol. actually not only alcohol, but coke cost $4. i actually didn't have any soft drinks this  year at dad's xmas dinner.

                                                 
"a gentle kiss" cocktail on left-$15, cocktail on the right. it's the same as the one in the previous pic, but this looks nicer with the layers. bro with a strawberry cocktail in the background.

this cocktail was alright, but i prefer wine over cocktails. sometimes cocktails are heavy on the alcohol, but just tastes sweet (luckily this one wasn't). you might as well drink flat soft drink.

                                     
more drinks, hehe.

i calculated that i had at least $50 worth of drinks. the boss was probably eyeing us, ordering so many expensive drinks. that's why i like western restaurants, the drinks menu is more extensive than asian places. on the other table they ordered a jug of this cocktail which looked exactly like oj but with some fruit punch. this kid whose 5 years old thought it was juice and took a sip, and he immediately got drunk and crashed! haha, he actually fainted... such responsible parents....i always think cocktails have more alcohol than normal wine, since they mix it with who knows what....i told my dad before he could tell me that i was going to drink tonight, so he couldn't have as much since he needed to drive. i think i'm ok with alcohol. on quite a few occasions, i've had about 4 drinks and didn't look red and felt clear minded etc. my mum can't, she went to this function when my uncle came over with unlimited drinks, and she couldn't think/walk straight...

snails has been a lifelong thing i've wanted to have, but never had the chance. i remember when my cousin was still in high school, she shouted my mum french and my mum had snails, but i wasn't there to try. after 19 years, i have finally tried snails!
Escargot de Bourgogne
Dozen snails marinated in herb-infused court bouillon, oven baked in garlic butter

the texture kind of reminds me of mussels/sea food, but not as chewy as i imagined. don't know how to properly describe them. they're actually really nice! probably because it's cooked in heaps of herby butter. 
Salt and Pepper Squid
Lightly coated in panko, fried, with petite mesclun and capers and cornichons aioli

my brother doesn't know how to order. i told him not to get this, and he doesn't listen to me. only 4 pieces of squid (they were initially stacked in one tower). not worth it. the aioli was alright, and it was quite light, but still not worth it.

Salmon Roulade
filled with herb cheese mousseline, served with potato nest and passion fruit dressing


only had a little bite of the salmon roulade since there were only three. it was alright, the herb flavour in the cheese wasn't very prominent but it wasn't too heavy either, which was good.

Paté Maison
Armagnac flavoured duck liver pate with marinated champignons, date chutney and port vinaigrette

ordered this for mum since i wanted to try something different to normal day food. when i went to aria, i also chose this duck or goose liver dish, but it was served in this pastry tube thing and really fancy. this was just a cylinder of liver. even though the sauce is pretty, i don't think there was enough. it was served with slices of garlic bread and normal bread, but i think the serving was too big to make it a pleasant liver dish. it had a slight grainy texture. it looks small on the plate, but the plate was massive, so the liver pate in a big portion wasn't that good.

didn't take photos of sides (waste of memory space on my phone). had this chilli, garlic and honey bread. it was so nice! some nice spiciness, herbiness and sweetness. the garlic bread was alright. the fries were really hot, in terms of temperature. the mash wasn't as buttery as other places, but had heaps more garlic, and more creamy.
Magret de Canard
Crispy skin duck breast fillet with wok tossed spinach served with cassis and raspberry sauce

i had the duck, i was looking forward to crispy skin, but mine wasn't so i was disappointed ): maybe because i had to take photos of everything first, and they put the sauce over the skin, so after taking photos of food with both my cameras, the skin would have lost some crispiness. the actual duck meat was good. a nice solid serving. the spinach was alright. the sauce was different but nice.
Cote de Veau
Veal tenderloin with champignon and chardonnay beurre blanc, served with potato croquette and seasonal greens

bro ordered the veal. i told him not to. when it came, he was all like: it has mushrooms!? obviously he didn't read the menu. so he gave it to mum. the veal was average, but the sauce so really good! not too overly creamy. the croquette had such a satisfying crunch! i only had a little bit, but the crunch was prominent. 
Fillet of Beef Tenderloin
Served with potato millefeuille and red wine jus

this was dad's but since the veal had mushrooms, my bro had this. there was quite a tiny piece of steak on it, but then it was very thick. it was cooked to medium as we requested, but i don't think there was enough jus. i finally have tried a proper millefeuille-not bad.
Kangaroo Fillet
(recommend rare) On garlic pommes puree with a Dijon mustard and honey bordelaise sauce

this was my mum's but she gave it to dad. i don't mind rare meat, so eating kangaroo cooked rare was quite enjoyable. kangaroo can easily become very tough once cooked past rare. good serving of sauce and it was really flavourful. 
Classic Crème Caramel

i know this is a very simple dish in terms of technique, but i was really craving a classic french dessert. too bad they didn't have creme brûlée. then again, i was super full at this stage-everyone was. it's probably because the french use a lot of butter in their cooking. or maybe because at this stage, i've had 4 drinks. or maybe because i've had about 3 pieces of largish pieces of bread filled with butter and garlic etc. this dish was just like i expected. of course it's sweet. i can't bear to make it at home since you need cups and cups of sugar. i know the whole dish is full of sugar, but eating it when someone else made it feels better than you making it and seeing in front of you the amount of sugar you put in.
Belgian Chocolate Gateau
With pineapple and coconut candy

this was my dad's but my bro wanted to swap (see what i mean-everything he ordered he saw it and didn't like it). the menu didn't say this had sorbet in it, but my bro is a massive sorbet fan, so once the dish came, he took it off my dad. the gateau reminded me of zumbo's fondant bar, but not as dense. that pineapple candy was very interesting. sorbet quite nice (: not too sweet.
Chef Churned Hazelnut and Praline Ice Cream
On sable breton and Grand Marnier caramel

loved the presentation. got this for mum since she likes those types of biscuits/pastries. the ice cream was really good! the hazelnut bits were candied so it gave more texture.

Warm Sitcky Date Pudding
With butterscotch and French vanilla ice cream


bro originally ordered this but gave it to dad. the butterscotch was too sweet, the vanilla ice cream was also super sweet, and so was the pudding. not enough date flavour and not dense enough to be a pudding imo. this dish overall was very sweet, dad couldn't finish the pudding, and i couldn't help him either... neither could my bro and he is known the have a sweet tooth, well he was super full, he hd heaps of juices and mocktails etc.

chai tea. look at that colour....sooo strong and bitter. it smelt good, but i think the bitterness from the tea overpowered the spices. it wasn't served with milk, but i was so full i couldn't even finish this tea.

after dinner it was handing out christmas presents time ie. the women get some gift and the children get money, hehe. the men don't get anything though =/

harbourside carpark is the weirdest carpark i've been to so far. first time going, but my dad even thought it was weird as well. there is an entrance for cars right next to the restaurant, but that take you to the third level. other entrances takes you to different levels. the carpark is definitely a few hungered metres long. it's not wide, but sooo long. the problem? there is only one lift, and the lift is in the middle pot the carpark. so it you parking on the very far side of the varpark, it would take quite a few minutes to get to the lift. also, the lift only takes you to level four-level of the bridge which goes to harbourside shopping centre. to go back to level 5/the streets outside on pyrmont side, you have to walk up this longish ramp and through the exit where cars come in. 

i guess this place is alright. i was just most excited about the snails and they didn't disappoint!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Rayban Adventures #2

it wasn't as chaotic as last week but i still don't have my sunnies. so another person cleaned them this time, first with this oil/lubricant which was fine, but then with this methanol solution and gg, the gloss finished faded. with pure eucalyptus oil, it was fine. that tree oil from last week apparently has 80% ethanol, so alcohol obviously has a reaction to that gloss finish. so i have to wait another week...

made chia pudding yday. i think it's super healthy-chia seeds and almond milk. it doesn't have any sugar naturally, but i added a teaspoon of manuka honey and a tiny bit of vanilla essence. people said to add 2 tablespoons of honey...my 1tsp wasn't really enough...so i just got some mango which has heaps of natural sugar, a super healthy brekkie (: i was hoping it would have a thicker consistency...maybe i used add some gelatine to it so it can be like mango pudding..


i need a smaller jar...

results were just as expected, horrible. at least i passed everything...my two bet subjects from first sen were my 2 worst this sen. and they were very, very bad...they didn't scale chem as much as i hoped... ): whilst in phys, so much scaling considering i only did 20% of the paper and i guessed the rest. 

people are right. mortal instruments movie was super bad. hardly stuck with the book, and the main character isn't as "hot" as the book describes, he's actually quite ugly. i would say hunger games movie kept with the book about 95% similarity, and they omitted things which weren't important, but mortal instruments is probs less than 20%.

ahh, my head hurts from planning...people are all so busy these days ):

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Berry and Banana Smoothie

things which have no treatment or known cause or prevention are very disheartening. i hope that as modern technology progresses and also future doctors can learn more/discover stuff to solve current insolvable medical situations...

why is my skin so bad...my parents have good skin, but my bro and i....

bought my first thing from kikki k today! only joined their membership because of a $10 voucher. don't think i'll ever buy anything from there again.

so hot today, felt so dizzy.
mixed berries and banana smoothie with almond milk!

i actually started using my blender a few weeks before finals, since there was a period of super hot days. this is one of my healthier recipes (: no added sugar/honey, and since almond milk the one of the healthiest milks (better than normal milk and soy), i think it just adds to the healthiness. also, even if you find quantities on websites etc, they may not always work. think about it, each blender is different, and even 1 banana can range from small to super big. you just have to learn to blend stuff to your preferred consistency. i like my smoothies thick (: i used frozen bananas and berries as they help make it thicker and colder (:

bananas are the best in smoothies. they give a good consistency, and they're also good in milkshakes. btw, never add only banana, almond milk and cinnamon. if you want a banana smoothie, then use full cream milk, or else the almond taste is too dominant over the banana flavour (unless you have an over ripe banana).

i've made quite a few other smoothies, i just haven't been bothered to post them up since it was finals time. also, the amount of bananas or quantities in general also change the colour of the smoothie. more bananas over berries lead to a super pale beigeish pink colour...not the vibrant purple and pink you get form berries. i have stocked up on green smoothie ingredients and they're in the freezer. didn't feel like a green one today though.

in case you missed my snapchat, my collection is almost complete! well in terms of flavours they release to supermarkets.

also have a tub of cheap 4L vanilla ice cream for milkshakes. milkshakes need full cream milk or else you'll never have a good thick milkshake. the problem is, full cream milk and ice cream=fat and loads of sugar. 

plus today was good. we did that part before the crucifixion where judas/peter betrays Him. it's a sunday school story, but then we looked at details where i never paid attention to before. interesting (:

Monday, December 2, 2013

La Collina

helped out with my dad's work today since one of the office people resigned (right before christmas =/ ). bored to death, going to bring a book tomorrow. noo, haven't had time to go library yet ):

dinner with work people. went to an italian restaurant opposite castle mall, but on the further side not towers side. always past it, never pay attention to it. there's a reason why these restaurants are "quite" and far-ish. there were no other customers apart from 2 random people. if we didn't come, they would've not had business. heaps of restaurants there don't even open on monday night. 

food wasn't good, it wasn't worth taking photos of. garlic bread it had a crunch, but i could make it better. 3 trays of pasta. the carbonara wasn't creamy/rich, i've had better home made one. i thought there was only pasta so kind of filled myself up, but then there were alternating plates of meat. i got chicken, person next to be got veal, ended up sharing. but it was pretty basic. dessert was macadamia (actually not that sweet) and choc mint (which i hate) ice cream or profiteroles (they alternated again). i gave the choc mint away, and had the profiteroles which had warm custard and overly sweet choc sauce. had a hot choc as well. the foam on top was nice, but that was about it. it tasted like hot water with a tad of hot choc. trust me, i mixed it, but it didn't help. this place wasn't cheap either (had a quick glance at the chalkboard menu), and it was pretty bad quality for it's price. all castle hill things are expensive. i knew this place was cheap because of it's location, and my instincts proved right.

for the sake of photos, i just took a pic of ice cream.

do you know where they went for xmas dinner last year? ARIA! missed out, so sad. it's because apparently they made good money/heaps of profit last year, but this year they didn't make as much=cheap restaurant. fingers crossed they make more next year and hopefully it'll be back to fine dining. i can't wait for this sunday for good food!

something else that was sad. so the person i got for Kris Kringle works in two stores, and she had to give out two presents, but she only received one. there were about 2 other presents for her to receive, but everyone could only get one (since the person handing them out didn't know the person gave out two prezzies), so my expensive-ish was just packed into a bag with the other spare prezzies ): oh wells, it's better to be prepared with something, i hate going to events empty handed.

my first maxwell and williams cup and first set of wooden letters. i've always wanted the letter "E" but it's just one of those things where you want but have absolutely no purpose but it'll still be cool to it.

last time i didn't put earrings in for 3 months and had to force the earrings in. last time i took out earrings was last month, day of my concert, so my ears haven't had anything i them for a month, and guess what, it actually closed up in one month! ))): like the back part of the ear hole closed. spent half an hour pushing/forcing/manually remaking a hole for the earring to go through. blood everywhere =/ hope i don't get an infection. and this time i used thin earrings instead of thicker ones since i though it would be easier-i thought wrong. it hurt ):

oh, and i hate chasing people for money-even if it's ten bucks. i think people think i'm so stingy, but it's not my money, it's actually my parents...i just don't know how to ask people for money (which they probably forgot about) without sounding stingy =/

why am i so worried about my sunnies not arriving? maybe because i feel like i (well my parents) lost a massive amount of money. i need to worry less.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Ray Ban Adventures

so yday i put the sunnies on hold, and then decided to buy the ray bans today. they have this eucalyptus oil which them clean the sticky stuff from the price labels, but they ran out so they used tree oil. once the person used tree oil, it's supposed to polish it, but instead, it rubbed off the gloss finish on the frame. as i said before, the gloss is $40 more than the matte, but it looks heaps better imo. i already payed for it, and the frame kind of brook i guess, she checked that towers had one and we were headed there anyway and then she said they could do an IBT (internal branch transfer).

off to towers, and their store is so much bigger. sunnies are kept in boxes bundled together, instead of separately in trays. so much more staff as well, was supposed to see them tar, but ended up seeing them today =/ the computer said it had one, but they couldn't find it. then they said to go sunglasses hut and they could ibt to the towers store. found the sunnies at sunglasses hut (it also changed location) and turns out someone rang in earlier to hold that exact pair of sunnies and they would come in to pick it up later. then they told me to go myer and they could also do an ibt. the person there said they did have one earlier, but they just sold it! so sad, back to square one. the original person ended up doing an ibt with other stores far away (heaps of stores also sold out). the sad thing is that i'd have to wait a week for something i've already paid for ): and the ones i put on hold yday were new. like i took them out of their case and no one else touched/tried them on. but if i'm getting a pair from the other side of sydney, then it's not going to be new, new (if that makes sense). 

now i really want those ray bans over burberry. the burberry ones aren't polarised, and i'll probs used them everyday and then it'll be more prone to wear and tear of that special cloth on the frame. ray bans much more practical with the polarised lenses and so much demand for it. usually i try to not get the same thing that other people get, but who knew this particular pair was so popular!? exact tint, size, frame, finish. the more i keep typing this post, the more i really want those sunnies. 

i don't know how i should feel. if i was a regular customer, i would be pissed off. 

also did some christmas shopping. tried on over ten hand creams. surprisingly mixing up the smells weren't too bad. i love complimentary gift wrapping. however, since it's xmas, they don't have those deals where you spend a minimum and get a free product. and i bought i milk frothed! from aldi, haha. it has a two year warranty, but i'm expecting it to not work properly after a year. they re-opened build-a-bear at towers! maybe i can fulfil my childhood dream. i just need to go disneyworld first.

wow, i really hate australia transport (this doesn't have anything to do with today). i'm just comparing it to other countries, and sydney is just so damn expensive and crap.

so much food at church's monthly dinner. actually, there were a lot of potatoes, at least 6 massive trays/dishes people made. there was actually rice left over, usually there isn't enough rice to go around. didn't take any rice home though unlike some other people haha.

didn't get any supps. i either failed or just passed. i hope it's the latter...i know my wam this sem is going to be a depressingly low pass...sometimes you just have this feeling...

busy week this week.