Friday, November 30, 2012

Life lessons 1

I'm not one for me time. It always seems like an amazing idea before I get bored, watch a terrible movie, and end up moping about all the lies Hollywood feeds us...

This week I have been helping out one of my  auntie's by dog sitting her lil' pups and house sitting. It's a great house, like a palace for one with all the perks 35 years of hard work can buy you, so although not a realistic depiction of what my life will be like when I move out it's still pretty fun.

Although I only finished up exams a couple of days ago I have begun to really enjoy my alone time... (read alone as me, two pups, and the kardashians...) It's nice not having any expectations, doing things in your own time. I've become rather responsible. Without prompting I do loads of washing, water the garden, clean up copious amounts of dog poo, and of course it has given me an oportunity to practice my cooking.

Turns out I'm ace at a lamb roast, not so ace at the accompanying potatoes. My salads are getting stellar, pasta is pretty good, and I am handy with nearly turned vegies... grilled zucchini saves the day again!


But mostly, I feel a sense of accomplishment. This feeling is slightly dampened by the fact I paid $200 to do a diet and exercise program of which I have done nothing yet... but still acomplished.

Yesterday, to celebrate my 4 days of freedom before summer school I went to the beach. By myself. I even swam. I felt so relaxed and rejuvinated it totally didn't matter that my entire back was burnt!








Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Study Splurge


A few weeks ago I signed myself up to take part in a fitness challenge in the hopes of developing a long lasting love for athleticism that will nearly match my love of food... you know to balance things out. 

The challenge hasn't started yet, but I decided I should start watching what I eat anyway... then I went to Gowings (twice), and ate hot chips for 6 meals in one week (note I said for not with). To add to this snowballing disaster I am also studying for exams... and we know what that means. Although I have nearly completed all my Christmas shopping without leaving my desk I am aaaalways hungry!

Last night after a pretty pathetic "day" of study, I decided to wallow in self pity and fry me up something tasty!

To make these takes I'd estimate about 15-20 minutes, with prep, cooking and  some cleaning time included. Gather your ingredients and go to town. 
Ingredients: Zucchinni flowers, fetta, mascarpone, parsley, corn flour, plain flour, soda water and possible Parmesan if you are feeling cheeky!

  1. Roughly chop about 50 g of fetta.
  2. Mix it in a bowl with two generously heaped tablespoons of mascarpone and a handful of roughly chopped parsley
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  4. Open up the zucchini flowers as delicately as possible and stuff in the mixtures (I found using my hands was the most efficient, and messiest) - you only need a small teaspoon of filling in each flower leaving a little room at the top to twist the flower close.
  5. In a separate bowl make a tempura batter, which I found by googling, all the recipes are pretty much the same and call for 1/2 cup corn flower, 1/2 cup plain flour, whisked egg, and a cup of chilled soda water, mix the soda water and egg together before adding the dry ingredients - I also grated some Parmesan cheese into the mixture.
  6. Heat a generous amount of oil in a deep fry pan, please not I pan fried not deep fried but the choice is yours - also I would consider baking but I'll have to try it out first and report back to you. 
  7. Dip and fry! Yummy, yummy, yummy
 
I paired these with more fried food, but that wasn't my fault... I promise! They would be also fair well as a meal in themselves or with baked chicken. 

Happy eating! xx

Secret admission: my soda water was not chilled... naughty me.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up

Saturday....

Sunday....
Check out my study hair... HOT!
  Riveting weekend

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Melbourne Cup Lunch at Gowings Bar and Grill!

I cannot begin to describe my excitement when I found out that we were heading to Gowings Bar and Grill for Melbourne Cup! Firstly, it was my first ever Melbourne Cup celebration - due to the bittersweet fact that my exams have not even started yet! and IT WAS AT GOWINGS BAR AND GRILL!!!!!

When you arrive in the hotel you are whisked up to the restaurant by the VERY attentive staff. The lifts have sensors that change music depending on the "crowd," I was soon reminded I was alone when the lift started serenading me with a rendition of "All by myself." Luckily I met up with my friends upon exit to alay that creeping feeling of utter uselessness... you know this one:

After a short tour of the facilities we entered the Gowings Bar and Grill. We started our lunch with some exquisite bubbles and a selection of entrees. Actually, we had all the starters! My favourite by faaar was the House Made Ocean Trout Gravlax Tartare. It was delightfully fresh with the surprising pops of Trout Roe in every mouthful! The Steak Tartare Pasture Fed Ox/Beef was a close second - it was just soooo morish! Although not a starter per se you are offered bread and butter, which I know is a rookie's trap but I love bread so I fall for it every time... anyway side track the butter was actually amazeballs. I mean really it was like cheesy or something, moral of the story it deserves an honorable mention and a picture!


For my main I chose to have something off the grill, partly to be healthy and partly because the waitress recommended it. The meat was lovely and tender and cooked perfectly. As with all more, how shall we say, fine dining(?) restaurants they tend to cook meat a lot pinker than we do at home so I asked for medium which came out to be what I would consider medium-rare, which was exactly what I wanted. The steak itself is served quite bare with cheesy onions (amazing! just don't bank on picking up later on) and condiments such as mustard etc. I paired it with a hand full of shoe string fries, wilted spinach, and the Iceberg, Red Peppers, Ortiz Anchovy, Seeded Mustard Dressing side salad.

I could eat that salad forever! It was fantasticly sour and generally delicious BUT if you don't like anchovies, don't even go there as they provide a fair chunk of the flavour.
Steak with the sides - yummay yummay
Finally we shared a number of desserts. As I'm not a huge sweet eater I settled to taste just one. The German Doughnuts. To be frank you could give me a piping hot cinnamon Dunkin' Donut on a plate and I will cry tears of joy so I was pretty chuffed with this dessert. It looked rustic, home made and most importantly had a the crispy edges. The only thing I missed was a glass of milk for dunking!

Gowings Bar and Grill is lovely but it is not a cheap place you are looking at spending upwards of $51 per person for two courses plus drinks. They also have an extremely limited number of vegetarian options, especially for those of you that don't eat creatures of the sea (although, I'm sure if you called in advance you could get something sorted). 
 
Overall it was a lovely experience. I enjoyed the atmosphere, the decor, and the food. If I could go again I would, but I would order something I couldn't make with ease... The Beef Bouginion! My dinning neighbour gave me a mouthful of hers and tell you me I will be packing away those pennies to try the whole dish! Yummy!

Oh and as you may expect the whole excitement of the Melbourne Cup led to some photos being less than amazing quality but I hope you can still see all the deliciousness!
Happy Eating xx



To catch my most recent culinary adventures head on over to littlelauren.com


Gowings Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Jap's Table Don

I know it's a little unconventional to do two write ups on one place but I have since returned to Jap's Table an embarrassing amount of times and just HAVE to share it with you!

I think, if possible, I am more in love with this little place then I was before. Upon returning - in costume no less, I trialled the rice dishes (or don). 

These little babies set you back $11.50 and are nicely presented like little presents. They arrive in a neat lunch box and half the joy is just anticipating what's under the lid! We tried both the Salmon don and Pork don - delicious!

The salmon is served sashimi style and cool on top of a bed of warm rice with salmon roe. The pork is grilled and fresh with a yummy marinade. Both are amazing! Our friends tried the Yakitori don which is the chicken version which is essentially the yakitori skewers (sans skewer) on a bed of rice!


If you are lucky enough to go when they have Wagyu yakitori order as many as you can! They are gorgeously succulent and tender! 

Rave, rave, rave!

Happy Eating xx


To catch my most recent culinary adventures head on over to littlelauren.com