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