29 Jul 2012

A little bit about confectionery

Has anyone been to the American store in Mt Wellington?
Martha's Backyard imports all sorts of American food brands, soaps, clothing, kitchen stuff. It's right next to Hannah's clearance store, in the complex with Harvey Norman and Rebel sport. Pen and I went there, and I was like, whooahh

Pop tarts!
 Peanut butter chocolate chips!!
 These marshmallows were humongous
 I really wanted these to make s'mores and hot chocolate. . .
 Coconut m&m's
There were so many other flavours
 Make hot chocolate out of this !! 
Next to it is pumpkin pie filling in a jar
A lot of American recipes I've found uses marshmallow creme for icings etc. This is what they were talking about. . . Apparently you can eat it just by itself
 Pie crust! Why don't they sell these in Countdown?
 Syrup in cute bottles :D
 Sugar free syrup? . . .so what is it made of?
 THIS looked interesting. Peanut butter and jelly in a jar
 Pez! Nostalgia much
Reese's peanut butter cups comes in miniatures! peanut butter + chocolate = best combination
Calci and I have made our own peanut butter cups, they were delicious.
I want to make them into cheesecake cupcakes, brownie cups. . .
 I don't know what these are for
 Pebbles and rocks

 Cinnamon candy. Yum?
Edible lego.
Because many times I have tried biting lego. . .
This chocolate bar was really something. Chocolate, pretzels, peanut butter, caramel and peanuts.

Pretzel M&M's, not too special I thought.
(I finished the packet last week. Today I moved my bed and two of these fell at my feet... guilty. )
 Whatchamacallit. Chocolate, peanut crisps and caramel
I was eating that one in class. . .

The thing is it was all so expensive. I wanted to experiment and make chocolate peanut butter chip cookies, mint m&m's on cake, marshmallow cupcakes. So if anyone is going to America. . .

And to conclude, Pen got given some amazing tea. I'm not a tea drinker, but this!
This was absolutely heavenly.
cinnamon and vanilla.

Does anyone know where I can get this tea? 

28 Jul 2012

A little bit about dumplings on Dominion Road

After a night of this. . .
"Hi this is Elisa from Student Life. . . free magazine? . . . Look out for the asian girl with black hair and glasses. Ha I'm joking, I'll wear bright pink shoes."

And this. . .
"An nyoung ha seh yo."

And this. . . 
"I won't listen to your phone conversation, I promise."

We went to this. . .

The place is called New Flavour, 541 Dominion Rd near the Dominion and Balmoral road intersection, open 5pm-3am.

We went with Lauren after church and calling night. Even though she had made deliciously hearty pumpkin soup with bacon before church, we could still eat. A lot.

Toffee with kumara.

So yummy! Interesting combination right? But it works. The toffee was sticky, hot and sweet, drizzled over fried kumara.

My personal favourite would be the brown sugar pancakes.
It's a dense pancake with sweet syrup inside.

But we came here for the dumplings! Beef and onion, 20 for $9.
And it even comes in troll faces. . .
Would I come here again? Yes. For the countless times I've gotten hungry at midnight and 24/7 McDonalds across the road does not tempt.
Order the: Dumplings; pork, beef, chicken, steamed or fried. Definitely try the toffee kumara.

Food is flavoursome (and free Chinese tea, which apparently is $1 a cup in Chch :O ), opens late and so cheap. But it's a small place and gets busy, might have to try your luck.

And to conclude... Calci is going to the Langham for buffet.
I am so jealous. One day. . .
One day someone will take me for high tea or dinner...


27 Jul 2012

A little bit about lasagne

Lasagne (or lasagna) is one of my favourite dishes to make. It's simple, hearty and delicious.

There are 3 main parts; the bolognese sauce, the bechamel white sauce then layer it all together.

I use two cans of Wattie's Pasta Sauce which comes in a variation of flavours. I chose Chunky summer vegetables and the tomato and capsicum one. Then you do the trick of filling one half of a can with water and pouring it into the sauce. Not only does the water help to make the desired consistency, but you also get the last bit of the sauce out.

When the sauce is thick and comes to the boil, it's done! This may take 20 minutes, then season it well with salt and pepper.

The bechamel sauce is just butter, flour and milk. When it thickens, add grated cheese then season with herbs.
I like to add a bit of herbs, so I put a good pinch of everything in my white sauce, along with generous seasoning of salt and white pepper.

Layer it up! I use fresh lasagne sheets, available in the chilled ready- food aisle, near the yoghurt and bacon. The sheets can be cut to fit your lasagne dish.
First the lasagne sheet.
Then the bolognese sauce.
Then the bechamel.
Rinse, lather, repeat. Until all the sauces are finished and the top layer is a lasagne sheet. Leave extra bechamel sauce for the very top, more than the other layers to make the lasagne moist. Top with a generous sprinkling of grated cheese.

1 onion, finely chopped
400-500 g beef mince
2 cans pasta sauce
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 can water
salt and pepper

Heat oil in a pan and soften the onion. 
Cook and brown the mince then add the sauces.
Stir together and season well.
When sauce thickens and comes to the boil, take it off the heat.

Bechamel sauce (White sauce)
50g butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp mustard powder
2 cups milk
1 cup grated cheese
salt and pepper to season

Melt butter in a pot.
Add flour and mustard powder. Stir quickly to combine.
Add milk and stir continuously so sauce is thick and comes to the boil.
Take off the heat and add cheese, stir until the cheese melts.
Season well.

After alternating layers of lasagne, bolognese and bechamel in a greased dish, bake at 180C for approximately 40 minutes or until top is golden. Stand for 10 minutes then serve. Lauren thinks it's better if you make this a day ahead, refrigerate then microwave individual servings. This is so the lasagne firms up and won't fall apart. I think she may be right.
I have leftover bolognese sauce which could be served with spaghetti or make into nachos, but I'm thinking tacos tomorrow.

And to conclude, I have to do welding as part of my engineering degree.

 Look how well I started out !!!

I really do not enjoy it.