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Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween peeps!! Celebration of this...occasion? event?....is slowly growing in parts of Oz. When I was doing the 7 Bridges Walk last weekend we passed through some neighbourhoods I haven't visited before and it was great to see some streets really getting into the spirit of Halloween! Decorated houses, kids dressed up (even though it was like the middle of the day =P). Hopefully this will just grow because I remember when I used to live overseas Halloween was one of the funnest times of the year =D. We went to some mad Halloween parties as kids and trick or treating meant actually bringing back bags and bags full of candy, not just a handfull as is sometimes seen in these parts haha.

My part on getting into the Hallowen spirit included pimping up my nails. I decided to make them all different cos I couldn't really decide on one pattern. I started with different base colours for each nail...

Thumb - NYC Lili White
Pointer - Chi Chi Meeting the Mother In Law
Middle - OPI Y'all Come Back Ya Hear
Ring - Ulta 3 Spring Break
Pinky - NYC Black Satin

Then I put a different design on each nail, and all in different complimentary colours =D


The blood drip on the pinkie should have been in red but it didnt show up well when I did it. So I just did it in white (you can see a bit of the red remnants on there).


I think my fav is the witches hats just because of the colour combo. Im seriously conisdering taking the spider off already - I have a borderline phobia of spiders, and even just looking at my thumb makes me shudder a bit =S.


Have fun trick or treating wherever you are in the world!! xx

N2 Extreme Gelato, Haymarket

Anyone who's followed me on Instragram in the last month will know of my obsession with N2. I dunno why I like it so much. Well, actually I do =P - the gelato tastes amazing, the texture is one that I rant on about to anyone who will listen, and the concept still amazes me!

Ooooooo magic!!

I know there have been pleeeeenty of reviews and explanations about N2 Extreme Gelato, but I'll just a write a bit anyways. The reason why this place is so interesting and unique to any other ice creamery or gelato joint is because they freeze their gelato right in front of you using dry ice (liquid nitrogen). It's amazing to watch as they pour the contents of your gelato-to-be into a blender, set the speed, grab a beaker full of steaming dry ice, pour it in, and the gelato magically solidifies. All the while they have quite a few blenders running for all the flavours, and you have all this 'steam' gushing out really making the place look like a wacky science lab (which is the way they've outfitted the place of course). I love it! The novelty hasn't worn out yet for me!



Serving water in beakers! SO CUTE!

Hahaha love the 2nd line! It's so true but =P

I have visited N2 about 5 times in the last month, at least once a week. I think every time I go out for dinner in the city and I feel like something sweet to finish off the night, I rack my brain for ideas, but I know my stomach has already decided on N2. I swear, I know it's gelato but I keep saying ice cream because it actually has the mouth feel of ice cream. I'm not sure how they achieve this though (well, now I do since I read the 'About Us' section of their website =P). People always ask me is it better than Gelato Messina? I know alot of people would say hell no because the flavours at messina are very traditional flavour combinations and a bit more refined than the ones you find at N2 (but the ones at N2 are also really creative)....but given my palette I think I like N2 better *ducks for cover*......, and I believe the texture has alot to do with that. Maybe because I like ice cream better than gelato anyways and N2 remnds me so much of ice cream.


I've tried many of the flavours at N2, and I love how the change the menu every week! Makes it all the more interesting each time (as does the way they present the menu ahahaha - always amusing!). I think my fav so far has been the White Chocolate & Passionfruit - I have never had a better white chocolate gelato/ice cream EVER. I love it. All the pics were taken on different occasions of course, so they all look slightly different...

1st visit - Buttered Popcorn! Obviously I was very impressed

2nd visit - Earl Grey Caramel - Interesting...

3rd visit - Confused Cereal! Inspired by Christina Tosi
(I love her!) Another fav of mine, not sure what was in it but it
tasted good! And loved how they rolled it in cereal hahaha

3rd visit again - Miso Caramel - Intense miso flavour, you
don't need much of the miso topping with each bite of gelato

4th visit - White Chocolate & Passionfruit (Can't really tell there's passionfruit in it in the pic =P), Sour Cream Chocolate (sooo good!) and Murray River Salted Caramel (Could be more intense on the flavour - Messina's is no better)

5th visit (Instagramed! @eesh_89) - White Chocolate & Mixed Berries
(Another hit! You can see the red flecks of the mixed berries a bit lol)
and Mango Sorbet (really refreshing)

The staff are all really friendly as well and soooo adorable! They really reflect the vibe of the place with their labcoats and lensless glasses, and they can be quite cheeky haha. They are so patient and efficient given how many people you get queueing up sometimes, and the process of the gelato prep isn't exactly the quickest.

The scoop size is MASSIVE here, I'm assuming because to freeze the gelato they need to use a decent amount. GREAT value for money at $6, but it's a huge amount so be prepared to either share or come with a bit of room in your stomach (I always do the latter haha). Fear not people, you are still able to try out the flavour before you purchase, just ask at the counter and if the line isn't too long they are happy to oblige :). Beware, one thing to note is this gelato melts fast! Not sure why...

One last crazy wacky lab shot! So cool!!

I can't wait to go back again soon! I know I've tried a few of their flavours but there's so much more to try!!
 Thought I'd give it a break for this week, but I know i can't stay away for too long ahha. Just checked out their website and you can actually submit your own flavour ideas! HOW COOL! Annnnd you can check out some of their ever-changing menus. And also an explanation on why their gelato is sooo smooth and velvety!

N2 Extreme Gelato
43/1 Dixon Street
Sydney NSW 2000
http://n2extremegelato.com.au/

N2 Extreme Gelato on Urbanspoon

=D xx

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

I have an obsession with peanut butter. I blame my parents since they fed me it by the spoonful (literally) since I could eat pretty much. It's really strange since I don't even like nuts (I have heard just how strange this is from anyone who hears both facts about myself =P). Up until recently I refused to eat nuts, I actually told people I COULDN'T eat nuts, and they'd assume I had an allergy or something. Yet I HAD to have peanut butter in my sandwiches (till I was 21 believe it or not) every second day. I just had to. I should probs get my cholesterol checked out eh.


So I've seen this recipe floating around for a while now, in fact it's in my Ben & Jerry's Recipe Book, and ever since I saw the ooey gooey pics on Ellie's blog Almost Bourdain (sadly not being updated anymore), I knew I had to make them one day. And that day finally came, when I saw Reese's Peanut Butter Cups on sale at Golden Banana (my local fruit and veg shop - ironic I know - they also sell marshmallow creme and double-stuffed oreos...wtf) - 3 FOR $2!!! I went crazy. This is also why I love my iPad, which I had on me - I quickly looked up the recipe and figured out how many I'd have to buy (and then some). They were of course on sale because the expiry date was in like a few weeks. Just for all my overseas readers, Reese's is of course an imported brand, sorta exclusively, and so the products are normally on the pricey side. To make these brownies I would have had to spend $50 on the PB cups alone which I could not justify no matter how much I love PB.....TILL NOW! Only cost me like 4 bucks WOOHOO!!

Instgrammmmmmed of course ;) - @eesh_89
(another 'unhealthy' obsession at the moment haha)

Ahhh these brownies are insane warmed up! CRAZY. Super fudgey as the recipe title suggests (It doesn't lie lol). When you take this out of the oven you may think it's undercooked, but once it's cooled you will think otherwise and you will be glad you took it out due to the intense fudginess you will experience. Will feed the soul of any PB addict like myself. They are intense, even I can't eat too much at one time.



Ben & Jerry's Superfudge Brownies with Peanut Butter Cups
Adapted from Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book

Ingredients
112g unsweetened chocolate (I just used dark chocolate)
1/2 cup (112g) butter
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
32 - 35 miniature Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (Mine were King Size, I just chopped them up into quarters)


Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Butter and lightly flour a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

2. Melt the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Let cool in the pan to room temperature. If you're in a hurry, you can quickly cool it in the refrigerator, but be sure it doesn't get solid again.  (NOTE: I just shoved it in the microwave for about 40 secs, stirred it, then microwaved again for about 20 secs - works ery' time ;) )

3. Beat the eggs and salt in a mixing bowl until very fluffy. Gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Fold in the cooled chocolate mixture. Add the flour and fold just until blended. (It is important to fold in the chocolate and flour gently to keep the batter as fluffy as possible.)


4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top.

5. Cut 20 of the cups in half.

6. Arrange them evenly on top of the batter. Lightly press the cups into the batter.

7. Bake about 23 minutes. Place 1 whole peanut butter cup in the middle of each brownie-to-be (Me being impatient I just shoved them wherever haha).

8. Return to the oven and bake 2 minutes. Let cool in the pan completely before cutting.



Enjoy =D xx

Friday, 26 October 2012

Chanel

Last year when I was just starting my nail polish obsession and buying a crap load of nail art supplies, I came across these Chanel decals. I had all these grand plans of what I was gonna do with them, but time went by and I completely forgot about them. A couple of months ago and I was doing a mass clean up of everything and i found them! I have a slight hoarding problem, in that I always save things for a "special" occasions, especially clothes. But I had a YOLO moment and decided to use the decals =P


I started off with a base of China Glaze Liquid Leather. Then I covered with a top coat, and I stuck the decals onto the top coat. I had to do each nail separately instead of putting the top coat on all of them at once otherwise the nails would have dried too quickly for me to put the decals on. I had to put another thick layer of top coat over the decal because they don't sit flush with the nail. It was so hard to prevent them sitting rigid and snagging on everything! These didn't last long for that very reason.


But I reckon this was one of my fav manicures! I loved how simple and classy it was. I was worried it would look tacky but I think these turned out nice!


=D xx

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Night Noodle Markets 2012 - Crave Sydney International Food Festival

Even though the Night Noodle Markets have come and gone for the year, I felt I should share my experience this year, since we actually got a good haul this year! On previous years I’ve attended, we were either busy getting too tipsy to enjoy the food =P, or we just weren’t that hungry. So I made sure I turned up sober and with an empty stomach =P.


I love the Night Noodle Markets, which happen once a year as part of the Crave Sydney International Food Festival, only on during the latter half of the week for about 3 weeks in October. It's a shame they don't operate throughout the week and for the whole month because if they did I defs would have made the trek into the city more than once, just to try all the yummy food on offer (and there's alot!). It's a great opportunity, like many other festivals, to try out the cuisine offered by popular eateries in Sydney, without having to go to the restaurant (which will inevitably happen once you've sampled their food and realise what you've been missing out on hahaa).

We got there just past 7pm and we were anticipating huge queues, but it wasn't that bad actually. And it was really good because the sun was still out,was a really good atmosphere. We started off at New Shanghai for the Pork Buns, as I had been drooling over them on Instagram from the week before. They were really soft and really tasty!



My companions got some Spring Rolls and some Chicken Dumplings from another Chinese stall, which came with the spiciest sauce! Pretty good but a bit oily so we couldn't finish it.



At this point it was getting dark and more crowded, but we were still waiting on another friend and we felt like something sweet. So upon recommendation from mother dearest we headed to Chat Thai. Mum had been going on about these "little round things with sweet stuff in them" from when she went the previous day. Of course, I thought she was talking about doughnuts, but she was in fact talking about Khanom buaing which I had actually sampled on my trip to Thailand earlier in the year. They were quite nice, not as good as the ones from Thailand of course haha. We also got some Coconut Ice Cream which was really refreshing and came with yummy sticky rice, and some Banana Fritters (another delish snack I devoured in Thailand on numerous occasions) which would have benefitted from some sugar or sweet syrup over them, but I still chowed down they are soooo addictive.


Khanom buaing - Sweet thin wafers filled with meringue, candied dried shrimp or egg yolk  and herbs/sesame seeds


We were quite full after this, so we decided to just sit around until our other friend came. It was really nice cos the sun had set and they had turned on all the coloured lights which lit up Hyde Park like a giant Christmas pavilion, and the live music pumping away. It was great!


Once our friend turned up, she was quite hungry so we went to get some more food haha. She got a sort of Dumpling Soup which tasted really good! The broth was heaps flavourful and it was the perfect dish to warm up with since it was sorta cold once the sun set.


After this she was still hungry so we decided to line up for Mamak, even though it was the largest queue. However, the line was moving really fast, so we got the front in about 5 minutes! And it was SO WORTH IT. Omg this is what I mean by you find out what you’ve been missing out on all this time. This tasted SO GOOD. Omg the roti was PERFECT and the curry it came with tasted AMAZING. I need to go to Mamak. I don’t care I have to line up. Well, actually, I do, this food is too good to wait around for 2 hours for when it’s like 3 meters away!


Best of the night!!

After the roti was devoured we decided to take a little break and sat back to soak in the beautiful atmosphere. I love the Night Noodle Markets, I can't wait for next year!!

 =D xx

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

District Dining, Surry Hills

When I heard that District Dining was closing in 2 weeks (however not permanently! They are re-opening with a totally different concept =D ) I just HAD to make a booking, since I HATE missing out on great eateries (I usually hear the news too late, I get totally depressed when I find out places that I really wanted to go to have closed down.....). I managed to find a trusty foodie to accompany me and we headed off on a Wednesday night.

If only I took  picture of the whole menu...or I could have just taken it =P was just a piece of paper meh

Since making the booking I had been ogling the menu the whole week and hyped myself up for the good food that was to come! Normally when I do this, I'm let down somewhat (as I semi-was with Ms G's)....however it was not the case this time!! The food was SO GOOD! When it came to deciding which dishes we wanted we were stuck though =P there was so much I wanted to try! But we managed to pick out some real good ones! It really is a shame I never went here earlier or I would have made the trip several times =(.

Crispy Pig's Ears - Tastes better than it sounds! Like mini pieces of crackling

Wagyu Beef for the Pancakes! Yuuuuumm

Beef Pancake ready to be rolled up! Love the DIY concept!

At this point I was complaining about the lighting (as is always the case) and my friend had the idea to use the light off his phone hahaha, and it worked! So doing this from now on! Even though we probs looked like the biggest dorks.

Kingfish Ceviche - not the best, not much flavour and the chunks of fish were too big =/

Wagyu Beef Tataki - came with the best sauce!! This tasted really good

Pork Neck with Parsnips and some sort of red wine/balsamic vinegar sauce -
The pork was a bit thick but everything tasted really good together

Unfortunately since they have closed I can't see the menu! So my dodgy attempts to describe the dishes will have to do =P. The only dish I didn't take to was the ceviche. The chunks of fish were way too big and I didn't think there was much flavour to it. However, everything else was really good! Loved the Wagyu Pancakes and the Tataki!

Eton Mess - meringue, lemon curd, passionfruit sorbet and violets

My fav defs had to be dessert. O.M.G. I LOVE passionfruit. AND I LOVE meringue. I was in heaven. I would like to recreate this Eton Mess because it's pretty simple....

I really liked it here, it really is a shame they are closing down. I really liked the feel of the place, sorta like an up-market bar, classy but not pretentious. If I came here earlier I guarantee you I would have re-visited on more than one occasion. Hopefully the new concept will be just as good (On the website it's got something about Mexican....hmm interesting!)!

District Dining on Urbanspoon
(Probs no point putting this since it's closing...ah well)

=D xx

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Brioche French Toast

Remember the Brioche Loaf that I made like a week ago? From which I made Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding? Well, i had a bit left from the loaf, and I thought "Hey, why not clog up my arteries some more and make some French Toast?"

So I did.

Lol they look like hash browns eh!! I had relatively think slices =P
And I added some bacon and maple syrup just to give myself diabetes and guarantee a triple bypass.

Hahha, it looked really yummy, but I could only stomach a couple of mouthfuls. Sometimes, when you know all the unhealthy stuff that goes into making these things, no matter how good they look you just can't bring yourself to eat much of it, if any.

Well, I'm not really helping my blog out hey ahha but yea, this does taste amazing. It's just your basic French toast really =).


Brioche French Toast

Ingredients
3-4 slices day-old Brioche (recipe HERE)
300ml milk
3 large eggs
1/6 cup sugar
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
Unsalted butter, for cooking (NOTE: I actually used margarine because that's what I'm used to but you use what you like =) )

Method
1. In a shallow bowl whisk the eggs into the milk until completely incorporate. Add the sugar, vanilla, cinnamon (optional), cocoa powder (optional), and salt.

2. Preheat a griddle or warm large saute pan over medium heat. Warm 1 tbsp butter in the pan until it foams.

3. Lightly soak the bread sliced in the egg mixture. Place the bread slices on the griddle and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining bread, adding butter to the pan as needed.

4. Serve warm with bacon and maple syrup


Enjoy =D xx

Friday, 19 October 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is the official month worldwide for Breast Cancer Awareness. I'm sure nearly everyone out there has been personally affected by breast cancer, if not themselves, but maybe a family memeber or a friend.

The Pink Ribbon Day (Friday 19th - TODAY!) campaign is a great way to raise awareness of this debilitating condition and also celebrate the success we have had in terms of research and development, and the ever-increasing support services provided for patients and their families throughout the whole journey. There is still obviously a very long way to go, and any help is welcome! Volunteering, running your own charity event, getting involved with other events, donating, buying a pink ribbon pin, even just wearing pink to raise awareness!


I decided to do a manicure to sport for Pink Ribbon Day today! Started off with Chi Chi Game On Mole, and used sticky tape to do the white triangles. I painted my ring finger with white polish and then free-handed the pink ribbon on with Game On Mole. I've received alot of compliments for this one and I love telling people it's my small way of raising awareness =). Even the Cancer Council picked up my pic off instagram =D!

Follow me on Instagram @eesh_89

BIG OR SMALL save them ALL! Remember to wear PINK and buy a Pink Ribbon today!

=D xx
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