29 Jun 2013

A little bit about a date: Station and Chocolate Boutique

I have just finished my 5 exams and it feels so good. As good as dipping a spoon in a nutella jar... mmm...
But not so good when I think of the results :/
It's okay, I've done my best- letting God do the rest!

jt and I celebrated by having a day full of good food..

We went to Station Canteen and Espresso for lunch, famous for their $6 meals
They have a mix of cuisines; Chinese, Italian, European, Thai...
So many people have recommended it to me, and six bucks for a meal at a restaurant? Unheard of! So we went to check it out...
I was starving after my 3 hour morning exam!! I ordered spaghetti bolognese $6 pretty delicious... It hit the spot. But I was still really hungry after that. What is this?! Can anyone explain why I can eat 3 dinners during exams? Is it the stress, is it because studying requires a lot of energy and I'm not eating enough to keep it up? I'm hungry as I write this and I had two servings for dinner...

jt's chicken noodle soup. It smelled so good!!
He said it was to his expectations (and he has high expectations)

I loved the decor and ambience immediately.
The place was well decorated, sunny, airy and had a relaxed feel. I can tell they would get pretty full and busy sometimes!
this is the seating just before the main doors.

Oh and do you know what's awkward? Unisex toilets.
They basically had one bathroom with two cubicles, one for gents one for ladies.
So awkward!!

Anyway, we walked to Parnell afterwards, to the Chocolate Boutique!
My banoffee parfait! Bananas with hokey pokey ice cream, cream, toffee sauce and grated russian fudge.

The Chocolate Boutique is one of my favorite dessert places, I had been looking forward to sharing it with jt.
The selection, the price, the food... To read a previous post about it, click here: The Chocolate Boutique
Chocolate waffle!! Look at that pleased face :) He said it was delicious
You know the food's good when he makes satisfied sounds when he eats :p
It was delicious indeed.

The rest of the day we spent walking to Newmarket, leaving him at a bookstore while I perused the make up and the dresses and stockings... Then we went home and watched Rhys Darby Live DVD and cooked spaghetti bolognese!

It was so yum, I had two big bowls, which is about quadruple the portion I normally eat...
Follow the recipe here, but instead of half a can of water we used a quarter cup of red wine.

jt was well fed today and in turn, it made me feel good about myself!
Girls, feed your men.

And to conclude,

We've been getting into Dynamo: Magician Impossible shows.
I am really into magic and tricks,
Look at his trick here, where he slams a phone into a glass bottle and the cellphone is stuck inside http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4c6s-G6LGEM

I've been youtubing all his tricks, because I can't stand not knowing how the tricks work! Unfortunately, it's not as impressive when they are revealed :p Watch them on youtube! They are mind boggling.


27 Jun 2013

How to: Tim Tam Slam!!

If you've never had a Tim Tam Slam, this will change your life

I's basically using a Tim Tam as a straw to drink your hot chocolate or coffee...

1. Make a cup of coffee, or hot chocolate or whatever you're into. It's much easier if it's in a shallow wide cup.
2. And a packet of Tim Tams! Value pack!!
3. Bite off both ends of the Tim Tams, so you can suck through it
4. Dip one end into the coffee and suck! The Tim Tam will gradually become soft and melty and then pop the whole thing in your mouth :)

Repeat until the whole packet is empty!!!
and if the Tim Tam falls in, allgood! Just use a spoon and you have a super melty soft mocha biscuit in your mouth. Yum

And to conclude,

We went to Grand Park  at ASB Showgrounds for yum cha (it's so popular, there's always a massive line out the door and you only have 40 minutes before you have to vacate your table).

We went as a family with jt and an elderly Irish couple, and my mum ordered 6 durian pancakes and mochi ice cream
we surprised the waitress who didn't think European people love durian. She was like, "they don't like durian eh, maybe just mochi ice cream for them!" Oh no, they love durian.

Elisa (not a durian lover)

22 Jun 2013

Tips on eating at a buffet!! Fortuna restaurant, Skycity

To celebrate my dad's 50th birthday, my mum booked a table for us at Fortuna Buffet Restaurant in Skycity.

It was so embarassing because someone else was having their 50th birthday party there and my dad just stood next to the balloon that had 50 on it and asked us to take a picture...

A friend had given Fortuna glowing reviews, especially the tiramisu dessert served in mini cups "so you can have four!!" Unfortunately, they didn't have tiramisu that day :( 

But for $22.50  all you can eat lunch, it was well worth it.

The place was great, it was relaxed yet had an upper class feel that didn't hold you back from going all out and filling up your plate.

Glazed ham, garlic bread, pizza...
Roasted vegetables, corn on cobb...
the seafood: shrim salad, sushi rice, smoked fish, prawns...
noodle, mushroom and chicken salads...

I started off with soup, there was a choice of either pumpkin or tomato. The pumpkin soup was very nice and not too hot to eat
I then had pizza, baked pasta, glazed ham, three different kinds of salads...

There was so much more food than what you see here, I couldn't take photos of them all cause I was hungry!!
From what I recall, there was also pork, potato chips, pasta dishes...
The dessert... pavlova, cheesecake, jelly, creme caramel, pecan tart, chocolate mousse, brownies, assortment of mini cakes...
Cheese platter, with crackers and dried fruits
I chose a slice of creme caramel, sponge cake, jelly, pecan tart, chocolate mousse...
and these cute cheesecake cups
oh and they had a soft serve ice cream machine with caramel, strawberry and chocolate sauces and a LOLLY JAR
finish off with a coffee...

Tips on eating at a buffet:

- It's not nice to unbutton in the middle of a restaurant! Don't wear clothes that are tight at the waist or non-elastic, such as jeans. :p
- don't go crazy at the sight of various breadrolls and eat three for the entree... not a wise choice. The carbs filled me up too quickly. I love bread and butter too much...
- take a look at everything that's available first, cause you don't wanna be piling your plate up at one station to discover there's another section you haven't seen!
- Fortuna's lunch is 12-3pm. Book for 12 because there was a long line to get your food at 1.30pm
- must book! That place is popular!
- take about 2 tablespoon of each dish, so you can try everything
- drink water because sugar fills you up
- three cups of cheesecake, seriously? I didn't have any more room for the chocolate mousse :(
- go for it.

My brother's technique:

- skip entree, load up on pork and chips
- halfway through your main, grab as many jelly cups as you can, incase someone takes all 100 of them
- go to the toilet
- repeat steps 1-3 as necessary

You know my favorite place in Skycity is watching the casino from the balcony above.
I don't know how the games work but it's fun watching the dealers' non-expressive faces and the gamblers' concentration.

And to conclude,

I've had really nice food dates with jt lately.
Crust Pizza, so delicious...
 Mediterranean lamb and bbq chicken
We actually only ate half for lunch then got full
Students who have Liked their fb page get a 25% discount! 

So one pizza was only like $8, and for us that was lunch and dinner. So much good food...

And while I'm blogging about food, jt's blogging about much more important things; theology and the church leaders' views on the Christianity. The link is here http://abclogical.blogspot.co.nz/

It is very very interesting.



13 Jun 2013

A little bit about a bridal shower

Michelle is the first of my friends to get married, and we threw her a bridal shower!

I follow her blog... I love all things pretty and that includes weddings; she writes extensively on her job as a bridal consultant and to-be-bride journey, this is her latest blog post:

Eleven girls of us in the kitchen produced a lot of food together!
We made brownies...
with an alarming amount of sugar and butter in it :p
they were so fudgy; I loved them!

Ham and egg sandwiches and scones...
and cake pops!

Cake pops are so fancy looking...

This is the woman's blog who first made them, I've been following her inspiring blog for ages. I always check them for new ideas, although I've never really made much from her site; they look too over the top, with ingredients that aren't usually found in nz

Also perplexes me; how does she have that much patience to decorate baking so neatly??

Making cake pops: 
I started with making a vanilla cake, they were from a betty crocker's packet mix, which came with a packet of frosting! So handy cause we needed the frosting to make the cake pops.

Then we crumbled the cake when it was fairly cool, putting it in the fridge to chill and dry up faster, cause it was still moist.

Ydnim then mixed the packet of frosting with the cake crumbs and rolled them into firmly packed balls to be placed in the freezer for roughly half an hour. This is so they firm up.

When they were firm, we melted dark chocolate and placed it in a deep V shaped bowl for easy dipping.
We had two different pop sticks, regular ones and lollipop ones for making mini cake pops.

Now the trickier part...
Dip the end of the stick into the chocolate, covering about a centimetre and insert halfway into a cake ball.
Dip the cake pop vertically and gently tilt to cover the base of the cake balls.

Careful not to move it while dipping, otherwise the stick will detach and you'll be left with a cake ball inside a bowl of chocolate :p

Holding the cake pop with your left hand, gently tap your left wrist so excess chocolate will drip off and you'll be left with a clean even surface.

Add your sprinkles before the chocolate dries and stick on a styrofoam block to set.

We set up a picnic rug outside and had a nice photoshoot with professional photographers

The photographers are from Cue Photography.
They were so great, they captured great moments and are really friendly.
Especially patient when taking a jump photo of 12 girls :p I totally recommend them!
You can view the album of the bridal shower photoshoot by Cue Photography here https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.502670243132865.1073741832.435734303159793&type=1

But this is my favorite photo I took :D

A massive congratulations to Michelle and Richard who got married last Saturday.
The ceremony was beautiful...
Ydnim and leeynaffit performed the most romantic song, A Thousand Years [they have informed me they take bookings. Even advanced ones.] and the bride and groom walked down the aisle at the end to Taylor Swift's Love Story <3

One of many weddings to come!
God bless you two always.

And to conclude,

I got to be part of the engineering revue again this year as a dancer!
To those of you who missed it... You missed out on a great show. We sold out 3 out of 4 shows!!
I had such a great time, became friends with some... interesting people ;) and got to ride a segway for the first time...
Karl Stol (engineers would know him from first year, 121 mechanics paper) was in the revue and he brought along his segway.
Oh my so scary, I screamed so loud when I first got on hahaha... was not prepared for that.


11 Jun 2013

It falls differently

It is the season of engagements... I'm feeling romanticised after attending Michelle's wedding on Saturday, hence the mood of this story...

Usually when I write, I begin with a sentence that I base the story upon.
Sometimes the sentence is something I had said or heard, this particular story began with a sentence that formed in my head "It falls differently"

I hope you like it.
Tell me if you enjoyed it, I'll post more creative writing :)

We were driving in the car to our parents’ farm, the rain making a quiet pitter patter noise against the windows.  I was thinking about nothing in particular when Hayley spoke up from the passenger seat.
“How do you know when you’re in love?”
I blinked, feeling a grin bursting from the inside. “Haha… hmmm why? What’s up?”
Those weren’t her usual questions. Usual would be along the lines of what I do as a job, my recent travels and the people in the cultures I’ve lived amongst. Factual, tangible things.
She shrugged. “I just want to know. What does it feel like?”
I was instantly taken back to one moment years ago when I held your hand as we walked through the park. Ordinary day; backpacks on shoulders, hungry stomachs, worried minds. When I felt a sudden urge to hold you tightly. I squeezed your hand until you complained and began to pull away, but I held tighter, I didn’t want to let go of you.
“It feels like… you have everything right in front of you.”
Hayley frowned. “Whaaaat? How do you know you’re in love?”
I pondered again.  The passing lane ended when I answered her. “It falls differently.”
“What does?”
“The word. Love.”
“How do you mean?” She turned to me, twenty years of wisdom and curiosity in her jet green eyes. We have the same ‘swimming pool eyes’, as you call them.
I scratched my nose, thinking. “When you say ‘I love you’ when you don’t mean it, it feels different on your tongue to when you do mean it.”
She tested it, saying the phrase aloud several times.
“It doesn’t feel like anything special right?”
She shook her head. “What’s it supposed to feel like when you love someone?”
“When you say it to them, it feels complete. Like it’s the end, but also the beginning.”
She frowned at me as I laughed. “Sorry, probably not the answer you were after. Hmmm let me think of another way to put it.”
“How did you know you love Alice?” She asked.
“I just said- I felt like I had everything in front of me.”
“But how does that feel?” She emphasised.
“Like you don’t want to be with anyone else but them… For the rest of your life. Every time you’re with them, you feel content with each other despite your differences. And you wish for endless days with them.”
I thought Hayley had fallen asleep the way she was quiet for a long time. But when she spoke again, she assured me I had made the right decision four months ago.
“She said that too.”
“Alice. She said when she’s with you, she doesn’t want the day to end… Even when you’re in a fight. She said that’s how you know you love the other person.”
We arrived at the farm, I was feeling more sure than ever. Mum greeted me with a tight hug, one that used to make you feel a little envious.
“Finally!” She smiled at me, patting my back. “The rain stops just as the groom arrives. Perfect.”
My words exactly when I saw you at the other end of the aisle.