Tuesday, 30 October 2012

So very busy (and boring!)

Sorry to my loyal readers (all two of you, lol) for my lack of posts lately.  Things have been very busy in my world.  Work is getting crazy - only six weeks to go, YAY!!  It's been no secret that I have struggled with my class this year and I am looking forward to starting fresh next year with a whole new year level (year 1/2).

On the cooking front, nothing has been happening.  I'm not cooking any exciting meals (cheap and easy is my goal right now) and I did attempt the Adriano Zumbo macaron recipe mix and it was a DISASTER.  They LOOKED great, but when removing from the tray, they left their gooey insides behind...  Whoops.  Better luck next time.

In other news...  I managed to purchase 34 bottles of nail polish in the last 7 days.  I don't have any of them yet, they were all ordered online, so it will be like Christmas waiting for them to trickle in with the post.

I am going to P!nk next July when she comes to Oz.  Buying tickets was like an Olympic sport.  Near impossible!  We ended up paying for VIP - which did not come cheap ($420), but I am looking forward to seeing her in concert and spending some time with my awesome friends.

Well, that's it from me.  I will check in again soon, hopefully with some cooking news.

Before I go, here is something that makes me laugh EVERY TIME I look at it...

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Macarons for Dummies

Like most people, I have recently developed a small obsession for macarons (or macaroons).  I think it was when I saw them made on My Kitchen Rules and then watched Adriano Zumbo make them on Masterchef. They are so delicate and PRETTY.

They are also famously difficult to make.  I have read many a blog recounting macaron failures.  Due to this, I have been quite reluctant to attempt to make them.

Then along came this:

Donna Hay has kindly taken all the hard work out of making macarons and put the process into a few easy steps.

When I first saw this box in the supermarket, I was a bit dubious.  Macarons are supposed to be difficult.  How could it possibly work?

Well, the other day, Donna Hay's macaron packet mix was reduced by 50% due to its looming expiry date (obviously others were as dubious as myself, lol).

Read on to see if they were as easy to prepare as the box suggests and to see if they were actually a success...

First I made the chocolate ganache.  The chocolate pieces came in the box, all I had to add was the cream.

Smooth chocolately goodness.

The box came with a powdered egg white mix.  I just had to add warm water and combine with a fork.  Then I used my hand mixer to beat the egg whites to form shiny soft peaks.

The almond meal was next.  Sifted into the egg whites.

After gently combining the almond into the egg whites, the batter is ready to be 'piped'.

Instead of piping, the box reckons you could just place a tablespoon of batter on the tray in a circular form.  I tried piping, but I didn't have a piping nozzle big enough and smooth enough.  My biscuits were HUGE.  Next time, I'm gonna use a macaron template - you just print it out and place under the baking paper.

Once put on the tray, they needed to sit on the bench for 10 minutes to 'dry out'.  Then I put them in the oven.  At this time I was pretty sure they wouldn't turn out...

Then I looked in the oven and saw something that made me smile...

They have FEET!!!!  A very tell-tale sign of the macaron is its feet.

I couldn't believe it.  They were actually working!

While they were about 3x the size they were supposed to be, they actually worked!!  They were crisp on the outside, and soft on the inside and best of all, they were delicious!

So I will definitely be making these again and would recommend you give them a try too.

On the weekend I will be trying Adriano Zumbo's macaron packet mix.  I didn't even know it existed until last night and my sister found it in Woolies today...

Maybe one day I can make something like this...  :p

 Until next time  xx

Wednesday, 10 October 2012


A week ago, I returned from a lovely mini-break to Bali.  Four glorious days and four glorious nights.  This was my first trip to Bali and it did not disappoint.  It was everything I expected it to be.

The weather was perfect.  Our accommodation was AMAZING (upgraded from a one bedroom villa to a two bedroom villa - NOICE!).  The company was fantastic.  All in all, just the thing I needed after a very tiring three terms.

The private pool in our villa

 My first meal in Bali - Maccas...  Delivered!

Yep - we totally indulged in a three hour pampering session

Bali toes!!!

I won't be cooking as many awesome meals for a while.  I'm trying to save some money and work is crazy so I am planning on easy meals - meat and steamfresh.

I'll still be around though, so pop in every now and then.