20 Nov 2013

A little bit about whoopie pies

Miss Shell woke me up with a txt asking if I was doing anything that day.
I said I was going to Newmarket so we scheduled a shopping trip.

"I'll pick you up at 12," she said.
"What! That's half an hour away, I'm still in bed?!"

I didn't have time to have breakfast, so we headed to Whoppie on Nuffield St to use her vouchers! So kind of her to take me.

Whoopie store is right next to Kikki K. It's a small walk-by store with minimal seating and great store display.

They sell whoopie pies, cake pops, milkshakes, whoopie sundaes (which are whoopie pie with ice cream and sauce), coffee and my favorite Harney & Sons tea.
They also do birthday cakes and event catering! Check out their site linked below...

Monday - Friday 9:00am-6pm (Friday till 8pm)
Saturday 9.30am-4:30pm & Sunday 10am - 4:30pm
Nuffield St, next to Kikki K

After seeing their stall at the Foodshow, I've always wanted to try a whoopie pie and this time I had the just the person to go with!
Vanilla bean & Berry, Lemon & Coconut and Multi flavor cake pops for $3.50 ea

From left: Blackcurrant Cinnamon, Jaffa (gluten free), Jam Donut, Peanut Butter Choc Chip, Red Velvet, Chocolate Hazelnut, Banana Walnut & Salted Caramel, Rosewater & Mixed Berry Cream Cheese, Milk Chocolate Ganache & Caramel Popcorn... $5 each

And then they had these mini ones! So cute! I think they were about $3.50 ea
The tea they serve; my favorite brand
We got ours in a cute box
2 cake pops and 2 whoopie pies;
Mixed flavor and Vanilla Bean Berry cake pops and
Chocolate Hazelnut and Banana Walnut & Salted Caramel whoopies

Oh my, I tell you the salted caramel icing in that banana whoopie... so amazing.

I will be back to try their other flavors; Mint Chocolate, Apple Crumble, Pina Colada and Caramel Popcorn.
Oh and those whoopie sundaes...

And to conclude,

I have had a GREAT holiday so far; Thai team commissioning night, Lauren's party, jury service...
Today I am off to Waiheke for a day (spontaneous decision) then starting my new internship at Auckland Transport next week ;)



12 Oct 2013

Twenty One

I turned 21 on 9th October. And I felt very very loved and special all day Wednesday!

I woke up to birthday Snapchats, including this gorgeous one...
thanks kiki <3

Lauren took me out to dinner!

We went to Atico Cocina
A very nice, chilled, comfortable and open South American restaurant at Victoria Park.

Their website is here including their menu and info on function room
The restaurant was one big open room. Brightly decorated, with couches and even a swing seat in the corner and a large bar in the centre.

Our drinks yea! Can't remember what they were called but it was real delicious cocktails.
Sweet and a bit on the strong side
My first cocktail!
Jamaican chicken jerk.
Jerk chicken breast, creole okra, plantain chips with fennel and pineapple slaw.

This is what I had and I tell you, the chips were AMAZING.
Where can I get some more??

I just looked up what plantain was: it is actually a fruit! That looks almost exactly like a banana but does not taste like it at all. So good...
The chicken was spicy however, but it was very tender and oh so juicy.
Lauren's roast pork fillet; Filete de cerdo dulce, the signature dish.
With chorizo stuffing, chilli apple glaze, cassava puree, pico de gallo and watercress.
Again, delicious.

We then went to dessert night with the 2013/ 2014 committed student leaders of Auckland Studentlife.

White choc mudcake, caramel latte and Henry Yeah's strawberry sponge cake.
We each got given a book wrapped in ribbon... and ended up being wrapped in the ribbon ourselves

And I came home to this!! 21 things from my long-time friend, Hayley
It came in a massive box of parcel, gift wrapped and in a NAUTICAL box!!
Lotions, NAUTICAL napkins, chocolate, cupcake lip gloss, notepad, tissue pack, teddy bear and the first key on a bracelet!

Thank you so much
Our little neighbours popped by today and gave me a little gift too!
Purple party eyeshadow and body butter.
A delicate handkerchief all the way from Whangarei

However the first gift of the day was this.
Hand delivered by a man in a formal wear who waited for me at my bus stop
I've wanted this perfume for a while! I LOVE THE SMELL
Thank you... <3
What a beautiful card! Witha  rhyming poem inside too!
I was just looking at those notebooks yesterday!! And I was searching for a day planner yesterday too! Perfect.
Cake tester, sprinkles and cookie cutters <3
Thank you
So sweet and so thoughtful! Thank you
I made Abby write in it too and she was self conscious that her handwriting would spoil the book...
I think her handwriting looks like the printed font.
Along with the Moschino perfume, it came with samples. I thought it was funny; Taylor gave me 'Taylor' by Taylor Swift.
Most surprising: Secret Blessings.
I got told by Abby to go to the locker, and I found these!!
I was so excited when I saw the Lush packet and SO SURPRISED when she got me what I had been wanting since the start of the year! Lip scrub!
Cause after radiation, my mouth and lips go dry really quickly, but I tell you I've used the scrub twice already (tastes so good) and it makes your lips supple and soft.

Can't wait to scoff those macarons as well. I've only ever had the cappuccino ones and they are gooood.

Thank you Secret Blessings. You know who you are (I don't!)
At our group meeting, I was greeted by my engineering boys with sour skittles and Bueno.
How did you guys know Bueno is my favorite chocolate?!
Aww <3 so touched
My long time friend delivered this to my mailbox with a hilarious card that had all the stuff we bonded over during Year 12/ 13 ... dear me
I love... Kikki K!
My family gave me a printed photo album! So nice. I'll show you some time

My brother made me breakfast/ brunch!
 They were nice waffles, even if it did take him an hour to make and he had to wake me up to ask why the mixture was lumpy and if the egg whites were stiff enough :p hahahaha learning curve
And then I heard a "YAAAY" and the first waffle was served!

A couple of you have been asking about the whipped peanut butter.
Thank you Nina for recommending it to me!! It is light, not sticky, slightly denser texture than whipped cream and most importantly doesn't get stuck on the top of your mouth.
I got it from Countdown!

And then Google gave me a birthday greeting ;)

And to conclude,

I am getting an external flash for my Canon 600D courtesy of the parentals
If you have tips on what to purchase/ where to purchase an entry-level flash, let me know please!!


7 Oct 2013

A little bit about lamb and feta meatballs

I don't really eat lamb- like at all. But this one time, Lauren cooked us some lamb and feta meatballs and they were pretty good!
So we had it again and I want to share the very basic, simple recipe that anyone can cook.

I had a hard time choosing the feta. Greek feta, sheep feta, goat feta, cow feta, buffalo feta, traditional feta. WHICH ONE??
Then I thought, since we were having lamb, might as well get sheep feta. It's like eating a whole sheep; the meat and the milk.
All you do: mix the mince and crumbled feta and roll into balls.
Place in an ovenproof dish after frying and pour pasta sauce on top
20 minutes in the oven and it's ready to serve over pasta!

Lamb and feta meatballs

700 gr lamb mince
180-200 gr of feta
oil for frying
500 gr pasta sauce (about one jar)

1. Crumble the feta and mix with mince.
2. Roll into balls and fry in a greased frying pan until browned.
3. Place in an ovenproof dish and pour pasta sauce and season with herbs.
4. Cover and bake at 180C for 30 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente.
6. Serve lamb and feta meatballs over pasta with more cheese.

Serves 4 hungry elisas and laurens

Very very easy recipe that requires little energy. Making you hungry?


And to conclude,

The reason we were lookin pretty is because we were going to Laurie's birthday celebration that night!
1950s theme complete with music to swing dance to!
Strawberry and vanilla cupcakes topped with a jaffa
And we had floats!!

I thoroughly enjoyed myself, especially watching the Webb siblings dance.


7 Sep 2013

A little bit about neenish tarts

Sad story:
I found a recipe to this yum as Choc chunk banana bread to make for jt (cause he loves bananas). And I set aside 3 bananas to brown up. However they took aaages to brown, I even put it in a container with an apple and hid it from sunlight etc and it took like, over a week! When they did become brown enough, I got sick and lost my sense of taste. And when you can't taste, baking and cooking feels pretty useless, you have no idea if it's good or bad, it's like blind baking.
But I'm cured now! However... the bananas turned mouldy :((((

It was so sad.
So today I decided to make neenish tarts for the man instead.

Sorry for the lack of 'making of' photos, I didn't have time to fleet back and forth between my camera and the mixing bowl...

Neenish Tarts 

100g butter
100g sugar
1 egg
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt

4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk
4 Tbsp icing sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 1/2 cups icing sugar
3 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp butter
100g chocolate buttons (I used Cadbury dark chocolate)

PASTRY: 1. Cream butter and sugar
2. Add egg and beat well
3. Sift dry ingredients and add into creamed mixture.
4. Mix well and knead onto a floured board.
5. Using a rolling pin, flatten pastry dough into 5mm thick sheet and use a round cutter to cut out pastry according to the size of the pastry/ muffin tins.
6. Spray pastry/ muffin tins with oil and lightly set each pastry round into the bottom of the tin and prick bases with a fork.
7. Bake at 180C for 12 minutes or until slightly golden.
8. The bases will puff up slightly. When they’re out of the oven, lightly press the base flat with a teaspoon.

FILLING: 1. Combine ingredients into a bowl. Fill cooled bases with a tablespoon of filling, careful not to overfill.

ICING: 1. Sift icing sugar into a bowl.
2. Add milk and butter and stir over a bowl of hot water until well mixed.
3. Ice half the tarts with the white icing.
4. Melt chocolate buttons.
5. Pour into a piping bag and pipe over the remaining half of the tarts.
6. Leave until set.

Just because the chocolate isn't iced on smoothly doesn't mean it don't taste delicious!!

I'm actually really proud of my pastry making. It tastes good and the texture is perfect.
But it was so time and energy consuming (rolling the pastry) next time I will just buy frozen sweet shortcrust pastry from the grocery store.

I hope jt will like these :)

And to conclude,
We went to The Food Truck Garage the other week
Click here for menu
They have delicious, healthy and affordable food. I was so satisfied...

Papple Dog (pork and apple hot dog) $8
Tequila chicken tortillas.
This was aired on the Food Truck show Season 3 Episode 11. The recipe is here

TV1 8pm on Sundays! "Serving NZ's healthiest fast food"

Food truck garage
City Works Depot
90 Wellesley St West
Fri- Sat 11am-10pm
Tues- Thurs, Sun 11am-9pm
Closed Mondays



Untitled #2

Tonight my friend told me about his parents' young love.
His parents started dating when they were 12 years old and got married at 17. Although initially their parents disapproved of their young marriage, they have proved that love is possible no matter what age you are.

They now have 3 kids, almost 30 years into their marriage and still wildly in love ;)

When my friend told us this, all the girls' hearts at the table melted and I was so inspired to write a story...

(suggestion for a title welcome!)

The day the new Year 7s came was exciting. I could see they were nervous. Their unfaded navy polos separated us from them. At recess, we told them middle school was so much harder than primary. The teachers don’t care about you as much. You only get forty five minutes of lunch and fifteen for recess. And there was absolutely no room for crying. At all.
By lunchtime, two girls had cried of homesickness. My group of boys rolled our eyes and barged past them, rugby ball in hand.
“Christopher!” I heard my name being called out crossly.
My teacher was standing in the doorway, frowning. “I saw that you ran into Anna. Apologise to her please.”
I looked at the tiny blonde girl next to her in a pink headband and red puffy eyes from crying. I could feel my friends behind me pause to watch what I would do.
I bit my lip. “Sorry,” I shrugged at her.
She sniffed and nodded ever so timidly.
I ran to my friends and played rugby all lunch time.

The next day, I walked out of my front door with my lunch bag in hand. I turned around to swivel my backpack around when I saw the crying girl from yesterday walking on the sidewalk.
She smiled slowly and said, “You’re in my class.”
I stashed my lunch in my bag, nodded and kept walking ahead of her.

That day I remembered her name.
After school, Anna followed me all the way home. I ran up my driveway and into the house, shutting the door firmly behind me. I couldn’t see Anna through the window, she must’ve kept on walking.

The next week I learnt she lived around the corner from me.

The next month I took out my bike and went for a ride on the streets. Anna was on her yellow bike too.
“Chris!” She called out when she saw me.
Her grin glinted in the afternoon sun as she rode to meet me in the middle of the road.
“You got braces,” I said.
She nodded. “Yeah, do you like them?” She bared her teeth, showing a pink row of metal.
“They hurt. I just got them today.”
“No wonder you weren’t at school.”
“Aw did you miss me?”
I laughed out loud and we biked around the cul de sac street until her mother came out of the house and waved her in.

Just before term break I learnt her mother makes delicious homemade pizza and Anna has a room all to herself.
“I have to share a room with my older brother,” I said as I glanced around her floral room.
“What’s he like?”
“Anthony? He’s in high school and he has a girlfriend.” I stuck my tongue out in disgust.
Anna looked down at her feet.

During term break Anna turned 12 and I gave her a hairclip with a daisy on it.
“My sister helped me choose,” I explained as she turned the hairclip over and over in her hand. I was afraid she might think it was girly of me to buy it.
She flashed me her braces and stuck the clip in her hair.
She reached out squeeze my hand.
She wore it every day that I saw her.

I learnt that her hair turned green in the pool, that she’s a great swimmer and I will not be able to dive as well as her, no matter how many swimming lessons I’d taken.
“You have other things you’re good at,” she shrugged as she dried her blonde- green hair by the poolside.

The next term I learnt that I’m really good at keeping secrets, but Anna... not so much.
We had gone to our classmate’s birthday party and played truth or dare. Afterwards, Anna and I biked home together. Her mother had said to us to come home together safely, so I had to wait for a long time for Anna to finish talking with her friends about lip gloss before we could head home.
It wasn’t dark yet, so Anna was still allowed to play outside and we sat on her front lawn picking grass.
“If I had to do a dare I would have nothing to do with climbing trees or heights.” Anna said decidedly.
“I can climb a tree!” I said. I stood up and approached the tree next to her house.
“Be careful,” she called out after me.
I was careful. But I slipped on the way down, fell off and skinned my knee. Anna shrieked as she ran over to me.
I learnt that her gentle touch on my bloodied knee made me feel warm. Like I would fall off any tree again and again.
Her mother put a gauze over my wound and put the two of us in the backyard where she could supervise us (me) from the kitchen.
“Maybe we shouldn’t do dares,” Anna sighed.
“Okay truths then. But truths are boring!”
“No they’re not…” she paused as she focused on stringing two daisies together. “Who do you like?”

I learnt that the world did not collapse when I told her the truth. And the sweetest sound I have ever heard was Anna repeating my sentence back to me.
“But don’t tell anyone okay?” She whispered before heading inside.

But the next day her friends knew and then the day after, everyone in the class knew. I was proud to call her mine and I dated her for five years.

Year one- I learnt that the first kiss is never perfect. But the feel of her hand in mine is.

Year two- I learnt that when we fight, the guy should always be the first to apologise and the first to wipe away her last tears.

Year three- I learnt that girls always smell nice and they’re too nice to comment on how you smell.

Year four- I learnt that Anna looks absolutely beautiful in a formal dress and I felt awkward and itchy in my first suit.

Year five- I learnt that when you love someone, why wait to marry them?

At seventeen years of age, we found ourselves hand in hand at the altar, Anna’s white gown and my tux were almost covered in rose petals. 
Our parents’ stern, disapproving faces disappeared that day and joyful tears flowed from my mother’s face like I had never seen before.

My first word to Anna was sorry.

I have said it a million times to her in our thirty years of marriage now but the only time I didn’t mean it was when I first bumped into her. I’m glad I did.

6 Sep 2013

A little bit about three course meal at Starry Thai

So it was Lauren and Elisa's date time again...
It's a time where we talk about our dreams, our hopes, our respected men and marriage.

We looked on grabone that day and BOOM three course meal at Starry Thai !
$38 for two people... pretty legit.

Starry Thai
2 Stanley Street
Parnell, Auckland
Monday - Friday Lunch 11.30-3pm 
Monday - Saturday Dinner 6-9:30pm

Entree- spring rolls
and money bags, which are mince pork with thai herbs and peanuts.
Lauren got the snapper with tamarind, chilli and vegetables ($25.50)
And I got the sirloin with mandarin sauce. It had little pieces of mandarin in it.. mmm :)

I asked for it 'well-done' but it actually came out medium-rare. Pretty awks but it was still very delicious.
Dessert was warm sticky rice with coconut cream.

They have this in Indonesia, called 'ketan hitam', and it is one of my well-liked desserts.

I love Thai food!!
It is probably my favorite Asian cuisine. Thai or Japanese...
I'm not a big fan of Asian food but give me Thai any day, I'll say yes.

I thought I'd be bursting after a three course meal, but I was pretty disappointed to find that I could still eat :p But at the same time, satisfied with the meal we just shared and the conversation that took place.
So blessed to have a best friend for eternity that you know you'll see in heaven!

If you ever get the chance to dine at Starry Thai, I recommend the NZ eye fillet with Thai three taste sauce that comes on a flaming hot plate ($29.50). A bit expensive, I know but it seemed very popular!
More than 4 tables ordered it when we dined and it came sizzling on a hot plate, the waitress would then pour a shot of alcohol and light the whole plate up on fire. I could feel the heat as the table next to us ordered one.

And to conclude,
I've been sick with a cold and suspected bronchitis that just got better. But I still can't smell/ taste anything, which is why I have not been baking... I can't taste my food! :( It seriously sucks.


Elisa Hardijanto