Monthly Archives

March 2013

In Cake, Recipe on
March 27, 2013

Lamingtons + Sony Ultrabook [Sponsored Post]

 

 

It’s been awhile since I’ve baked anything, much less blogged about it, but luckily I had a Sony Ultrabook Convertible, powered by Intel, to quickly edit and upload my photos to turn them into this blog post! The Ultrabook was lent to me by  Intel, so sadly, the fun lasted only for a week as I had to return it!!
 

So for those of you who missed the last post, the Sony Ultrabook Convertible is this awesome Ultrabook which can be used as a tablet, or as a laptop when you slide it open! Being ultra-light and thin, you can slip it in your bag like a notepad so it’s super easy to carry around…….and it wakes up in 7 seconds ready for anything (like looking for a recipe when that sudden food craving comes up?). I found that I didn’t need to charge the Ultrabook much as it has a pretty good battery life (enough for three movies!).

 

Although mine just stayed at home with me, it was a heck of a lot easier to carry around the house than my monster of a laptop, and the touchscreen made it much easier to use when carrying around as well! The Intel processors make the Ultrabook amazingly fast which is quite convenient for me when working with photos for blogging. Whether it’s uploading or saving changes on pictures, it’s so fast I don’t even need to resize the photo and I could quickly get transfer or upload files without having to wait minutes as I’d have to on my laptop 🙂 And with anti-theft technology, the Ultrabook keeps files safe so you don’t have to worry about losing them either!

I wasn’t sure as to what photo editing programs worked well with Windows 8 (as this was the first time I’ve used it) so I downloaded the first free photo editing app I found on the app store (Fotor) to edit my pictures with. Although it didn’t have as many functionalities as Photoshop, it did allow me to edit the colours with much ease and I particularly liked the one touch enhance, which auto-corrected the colours with the touch of one button…….though being automatic it didn’t exactly correct the colours perfectly the way I wanted 🙂

I usually hate using the touchpad or mouse buttons on laptops as they make my fingers hurt and I can never quite control them properly so the touchscreen was quite useful even when using the Ultrabook as a laptop, especially selecting where to edit on photos. I did find however, that when browsing the internet, I’d have to zoom in on the page before clicking the links or else my fat fingers would click the wrong thing!

 

And for the lazy people, I downloaded an app called ‘lazy paint’ which helped me change my pictures into paintings in 5 seconds. Pretty cool huh? You can choose the kinds of effects you want and mix and match them to make your own special picture……and the finished product looks super awesome too!

 

So onto the lamingtons- I’ve actually had these pictures for a while but just haven’t had a chance to edit the pictures to write about as my laptop usually takes a while to upload, resize and edit photos. Though once one of my childhood favourites, it’s been a while since I’ve made lamingtons……because they’re so damn messy to make! I had coconut flying everywhere around my kitchen as well as chocolate coated spoon, chopsticks, countertops and floors when I was done but they’re so good it was probably worth it 🙂

I’ve used a simple lamington cake recipe taken from the back of my lamington tin as I was too lazy to find a good sponge cake recipe. The cake itself is not quite as soft as I’d hoped it’d be but it turned out for the better as you can’t have lamingtons which are too soft! I also ran out of the chocolate mixture half way so you’d probably want to double or triple the recipe……unfortunately I ran out of cocoa powder so I improvised with hot chocolate powder instead 😉

 
 
If you’re interested, you might want to head over to Lassoo or JB Hi-Fi to check out the range of Ultrabooks, Ultrabooks with Touch and 2 in 1 Ultrabook Convertibles from Intel. The Good Guys are also running a promotion, with up to $100 back in store credit when you purchase an Ultrabook 🙂
 
In Cake, Recipe on
March 24, 2013

Fancy Chocolate Cake

We aim to live life without regrets, but there are lots of times in my life that I look back and wonder why there are things I didn’t just get done when I had the chance.

Right now for instance, I can look back at my high school days and wonder what on earth I was doing with my time. Perhaps I should have taken more time to participate in more extra-curricular activities, learnt a few more skills or something- just something a bit more useful!

Perhaps I should have actually bothered to learn how to ride my unicycle, instead of trying once and finding it too scary to try again, Then I wouldn’t have a unicycle in my garage collecting dust wondering how awesome it would be to ride it everytime I catch a glimpse of it.


Perhaps I should just have pressed ‘publish’ everytime I finished writing a blog post rather than deleting the whole thing the next day because it sounded silly to me. Then I probably wouldn’t have as many back logs waiting to be posted, many of which will never be published as I would have forgotten about them by the time I write about them.

And perhaps I should have made this cake years ago when I first saw the design in a cake brochure……because the first thought that crossed my head when I finished this cake was “Why didn’t I make this earlier?”

For anyone who’s ever bothered noticing the cakes at Michel’s Patisserie, you may notice that I pretty much copied the design straight from them. It’s a pretty easy cake to make, no fancy decorations involved- just straight sides and a simple icing border which I did manage to screw up but luckily it’s not too noticable.

Now if only I’d made more easy cakes like this earlier…….then I wouldn’t have a huge collection of cake decorating failures!! (:

As per usual, recipe will be up soon (along with the past few ones) as I’m on Easter break soon…..Yay! Hopefully I’ll also be able to fit in some cooking/baking during my week off 🙂 Any suggestions as to what I should make? 

In Café, Dining on
March 19, 2013

Watts on Crown +Sony Ultrabook Review [Sponsored Post]

First week of uni is always quite sad, especially after having gotten used to getting up at 11:30 in the morning and lazing around for most of the day! Luckily for me, the wonderful people at Intel sent me a Sony Ultrabook Convertible to review and brightened up my week! So naturally, I did away with my chunky laptop (for the week anyway) and spent my free time playing with the new toy! Yay!

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m quite dumb when it comes to working with electronic devices so it took me a while to figure out how to open the Ultrabook…..

Now before you start laughing at me, it’s because the screen slides out rather than opening up like my laptop!! What I love about this particular Ultrabook is that it’s touchscreen, so as well as using it as a laptop, you can also use it as a tablet……but with all the functionalities of a computer. And with its Intel processors, it’s super-fast too! 🙂
Being a food blogger, the main thing I was really interested in besides internet browsing of course, was the photo editing functionalities (and the high resolution of the screen definitely helped with that!). I was pretty impressed with a couple of apps I downloaded which made photo editing super easy, allowing me to fix up photos with the touch of a button.

Mocha  at Watts on Crown

As well of plenty of fun ones which turned my pictures into paintings:

Did anyone-else visit this cute rubber ducky in January?? 

Or ones where I could finger paint!!

So I used the Ultrabook to edit the pictures in this post. The food pictures are all from a visit to Watts on Crown- a small cafe in Surry Hills that I visited earlier this year. We came with a voucher for breakfast- at $19 for 2 breakfasts with a drink each, it was excellent value.

As usual, I went for the big breakfast, which included the usual eggs, bacon, sausages, mushrooms, tomatoes and baked beans. Everything was cooked beautifully, and I thought the house baked beans were pretty delicious (completely different to the canned baked beans I’m used to!), though my favourite were definitely the mushrooms!

Anyway that’s all for now- I’ll be back next week with a more detailed review of the Ultrabook!

In Asian, Dining on
March 13, 2013

Mellow Thai, Leichhardt

Salt and Pepper Squid

We love coupon deals because of their amazing value, but of all the restaurants we’ve tried,  there are not many that we would actually go back to, especially if paying full price. Mellow Thai, in Leichardt (an hours drive from home) is probably the first we’ve been (and will continue to go) back to, an unexpected surprise as we’re not that crazy over Thai food.

Watermelon Juice Blend, Thai Iced Tea (Background)

On our first trip, we came with a voucher from Cudo- at $29 for two people, the voucher entitled each of us to a non-alcoholic drink, any entree and main each. And we loved that it meant any entree or main, none of the restrictions we’ve come to expect with these coupon deals.


Of course this naturally lured us towards the pricier options, which we rarely order when paying full price, though we thought the prices on the menu were pretty decent. The drinks menu consisted of plenty of Thai teas and coffees though we preferred the juices, with their plethora of flavours to choose from.

Mango Juice Blend, Lychee Juice Blend (background)
 

The juices were freshly blended, we we notice chunks of watermelon going straight into the blender after ordering. My lychee ‘juice blend’ was a lot more exciting with a couple of unknown ingredients going into the blend. Although lychee isn’t usually one of favorite flavours, this juice was very refreshing and easily the favourite on our table.The mango juice blend is quite smoothie-like and is also good, though  slightly thicker and heavier than the lychee. We also order a Thai lemon tea, with a hint of lime which gives it quite an exotic taste, something I wouldn’t mind getting used to!

Fried Soft-Shell Crab $12

We start off with plenty of deep fried options for entree, and though they were all in nice single serving portions, easily filled us up substantially. We start off with some plenty of deep fried foods- deep fried calamari which is a little boring to be honest, but luckily the deep fried soft-shell crab is anything but. Its a good thing the deep fried soft shell crab is cut into small bite-sized pieces as we all go straight for them when they arrive at our table. Flavoured with plenty of seasoning and a touch of spiciness, they’re anything but healthy and were easily the favorite entree of the night, though with our love for soft shell crab, any dish of soft shell crab would have done fine for us.

Pork Toast $7

My cute pork toasts had quite a resemblance to their prawn counterparts both in looks and in taste, although the texture of the pork was slightly less bouncy than prawns. The vinegar dipping sauce was an interesting addition, as I usually have prawn toasts with mayonnaise, and works surprisingly well with the pork toasts.

Tom Yum Goong $8.90

Soup is also included as entree so we go for the Tom yum soup. We like that it’s not too spicy for our tastes, yet it still manages to be really flavoursome. The flavours are just perfect the way we like Tom Yum soup (which may possibly be different to everyone elses tastes?) and is definitely one of the best we’ve ever had in Sydney. The serving is quite large which is great for sharing!

Black Pepper Lamb Cutlets $23.90

In addition to the typical chicken, beef and seafood options, the menu also offers the option of lamb cutlets for most of their stir fries- an interesting option I think, as I usually have my lamb cutlets grilled. Being a lover of lamb cutlets, I had to choose a stir fry with them and went for the black pepper version which we find has a strong pepper flavour but is much too salty for our tastes. Having lamb cutlets means that the meat comes in huge pieces, something we’re not really used to but we find a welcoming change as the texture of the meat is quite enjoyable.

 
Chilli basil lamb Cutlets $23.90
 
Being one of our favourite thai flavours, we chose the chilli basil stir fry, again choosing lamb cutlets as our choice of meat. The chilli basil is less salty than the black pepper, this one a little more on the sweet side so we find this one more enjoyable. We do find however, that chilli basil works better with the usual beef, chicken or seafood.
 
Fried Barramundi with Green Apple Salad and Chilli Relish $23.9 
(Bpla Todt Nahm Bpla)
 

Perhaps the best thing about being able to order anything off the menu is that we can order the deep fried fish- one of the priciest items on the menu but so worth it! There’s two versions of the deep fried fish, and we go for the apple version, covered in a light sauce, with typical thai flavours of lime, chilli (a little too spicy for our tastes!)and soy. The sliced apples give add a refreshing touch to the dish, though we did at first, think that the combination of apple and fish was a bit weird. The fish meat is removed from bone, and cut into bite-sized chunks before being deep-fried, giving each piece a considerable amount of crunch- a bit too crunchy infact, it makes your mouth hurt 🙂

Garlic And Pepper King prawns $21.90
 

We couldn’t complete the meal without ordering from the chef’s special part of the menu, and we decide on some Garlic and Pepper King Prawns which come as a few large prawns stir fried with plenty of vegetables. We’re a little disappointed that the prawns don’t taste as amazing as they sound on the menu, probably because the prawns themselves don’t absorb much of the flavour, but they were quite enjoyable.

I didn’t take any pictures on our second trip back, but their ‘Yellow Mellow’, a curried soft shell crab dish was absolutely amazing- if you ever visit Mellow Thai, you must try it!!

Mellow Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon