Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Japan!

On our way - playing cards while we wait to go.



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Maki Mono

Today and yesterday I tried Maki Mono in the BNZ foodcourt for lunch. I had yakisoba yesterday and udon today.

The noodles were dissapointing. They tasted like vinegar and didn't seemed fried. So no yaki in the yakisoba.

The udon was much better. I came with a slice of lemon which I didn't like and even though the girl said it
was kitsune udon there was no tofu.  But it was very delicious.

Last day of work tomorrow, then Taupo and Japan!!




Monday, December 19, 2011

Lunch

We went to Finc today for our team Christmas lunch.  I had the soup which was carot and kumara I think. It was ok but had corriander as a garnish which I hate. 

We got cheap tickets to Japan so are going next week.  わくわく!



Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gingerbread House

I had to get the bus to work today because it's our work Christmas party tonight. I walked through the James Cook and saw this HUGE gingerbread house!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

14 December

I'm going to try to blog a pic a day.

Today's pic is Andrew's flatwhite art and my advent calender. Yum! 



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Early afternoon tea

Haven't blogged in ages but just discovered I can from my ph!

Just went and signed the papers for selling the house - feels weird but soon we'll have something bigger and better! Also went and met with dressmaker for wedding dress last night - it's all go at the moment!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cupcakes

Ok, so I think it is pretty well established that I criticize every single thing I cook or bake. 

These aren't an exception and almost ended up in the bin because they taste like dough. 

But they look so cute! The photos don't do them justice even!

First day of my new job tomorrow so these are for morning tea.  Fingers crossed it all goes ok!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Karaage chicken

It's been forever since I last blogged! Tonight's dinner was too delicious not to blog about it. 

We were going to have chicken katsu curry but we had no panko so we made karaage chicken.  I bought Andrew the karaage stuff for Christmas because he was going through a deep frying stage and he never used it until now.

I don't usually have it that much because usually the chicken has skin on it or heaps of fat.  This is my new favourite!

I think I'm going to have to get more organised and start bentoing/making Andrew's lunches again because this would be just as delicious cold.

Dinner was karaage chicken, curry rice and gin, lime and lemonade in my karaoke room glass.


We went to Auckland last month for my friend Sarah's 30th.  Couldn't resit taking a pic of Andrew in front of the bar Andrew Andrew!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

My first ever banana cake!

Sarah and I went out Thursday night so I slept in for awhile yesterday morning.  When I woke up Andrew had tidied the house so when he asked for a banana cake I couldn't say no!

I've never made one before and the last time I saw one was when Andrew's friend Julia made one.  I didn't try any because I was above my goal weight and sticking to my points but it looked delicious so I texted her for the recipe which she emailed through.  Andrew bought a new Samsung galaxy tab in Sydney last week so I used that instead of printing off the recipe.  V cool!!

The recipe is:
Ingredients


½ cup milk
2 eggs
1¼ cups sugar
2 sliced bananas
1t vanilla essence
100g butter













2 cups Flour
1t baking soda
1t baking powder
½t salt

Method
(1) Place first ingredients in food processor and process until smooth.


(2) Mix the remaining ingredients together in a bowl.
(3) Pour the ingredients from the processor over dry ingredients and mix well.

(4) Bake at 180°C for 40-45 minutes.
(5) Leave in tin for 5-10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to fully cool.

My oven is a bit dodgy with cakes so after 45 minutes it didn't seem cooked inside but it was browning on top so I put some grease proof paper over the top and put it back in for five minutes.  After five minutes it still seemed like the batter inside so I turned it up and put it on fan bake.  After that five minutes was up I thought maybe it firms up on cooling or something because it still seemed really moist inside.  Also by then I had too many holes from using the chopstick to check!



I made the mistake of leaving it too long on the wire rack after I iced it, so when I lifted it onto the cake stand the icing cracked a bit.  The icing also sunk into the chopstick holes but I figured that will just add extra taste. 

We didn't end up eating it last night, so had it for breakfast this morning! Yum!
The only thing is the cracks in the icing is more noticeable in day light :( 



This shows how the chocolate dropped through - extra taste!  The cake was delicious!



This was a super easy cake to make.  I've been a bit scared to use my food processor - the only time I've used it was to blend spinach for chicken saag and it was such a mess to clean that I've been put off it.  This was really easy though - it would've taken no time at all if I hadn't been taking the photos.


Last weekend we went to Sydney - this is Andrew's shot of us in front of the Sydney harbour bridge...

He managed to get the Opera House in though.



These birds came and joined us for lunch - one pretty much sat on my head!


Monday, April 4, 2011

First bento in forever!

I decided to make a bento tonight for the first time in ages because I had some left over rice, and because I got some cherry tomatoes out of the planter box which Andrew made me, and because I saw kiwiberries at the supermarket - all good reasons to bento. 

Despite that, I'm not feeling very excited by it.  Hopefully I will be hungry by lunchtime tomorrow!

Rice with salmon furikake, cherry tomatoes out of my garden(!!!), cheese and homemade meatballs (on ham).


Peacherines, mandarin and kiwiberries for dessert!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Oyakodon

I had a last minute brain wave this afternoon and decided oyakodon would be good for dinner.  I've always just made it up as I've gone but I wanted to make it properly since this was the first time I'd made it for Andrew.

Once again, Twitter saved the day with offers of recipes from Mika and Motsukun who had this one.  I went with the one from Mika who very kindly translated it for me which was great because otherwise it would have taken me ages to translate it and we probably still wouldn't have eaten yet!

I usually use my oyakodon pan but I was worried that it was too shallow to make enough for Andrew so I used a really small saucepan for me a smallish one for his one.  I sort of tried to half it because (1) the recipe was for four people and (2) you needed 2 1/2 tablespoons of soy sauce and I only had just under one...  Next time I'll use the proper amount! It was quite watery but as I'm writing this I realised it's because while I halfed the mirin and soy sauce, I still used the normal amount of dashi!).

I was really worried that Andrew wouldn't like this since he didn't like the okonomiyaki I made a couple of weeks ago, but he said it was really good! So, if he liked the watery version he's sure to like the proper one.  He did suggest I add peas to it next time though!!!???

Top left is my normal oyakodon pan (I got it out but decided was too small), then the other two I did use, with the liquid starting to simmer.


Man sized serving...
  

Only slightly small for me...






Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bento4Japan

There's not much I need to say about the Japan earthquake and tsunami as everyone as seen it on tv and in the papers.  Just heart breaking. 

For the Christchurch earthquake I did Run4Christchurch (well, I've made my donation but haven't run yet because of an injury) and for Japan I'm doing Bento4Japan ,which my twitter friend Mils set up.


Please check out our auctions on ebay.com - just search for "Bento4Japan".  All the money from the auctions will go to the Red Cross - we aren't taking the cost of the stuff ourselves out of what we make, so please give as much as possible!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Wellington bento update

Just a small update - I bought some egg moulds (a heart and a star) on the weekend from the Japanese $3 shop in Cuba Mall.  They have quite a few bento things now including the same bento box I got at the Y100 shop in Umeda station in Osaka, little weener cutters so you can make octopus hot dogs and picks for bentos!

They have heaps of Japanese food now too - even ramune lollies and okonomiyaki mix. 

Anyone else know anywhere good in Wellington, or even NZ, for buying bento stuff?

I will post a pic as soon as I try the egg moulds.

Twitter food party and okonomiyaki

This month's twitter food party theme is cookies.  I made gingerbread men the Christmas before last and I may have once made ANZAC biscuits but the gingerbread men were burnt and I'm more just guessing I made ANZAC biscuits, so, I figure I've never really made cookies before. 


Except this one time... Mum and I made cookies when I was three our four (we lived in a house in New Plymouth for only a couple of months while our house was being built so I know pretty much how old I was!).  We used the recipe out of this huge big hard back Sesame Street book - if anyone had it and has the recipe then let me know!!!


Anyway, initially I thought I'd make chocolate chip cookies so used this Nestle toll house cookies recipe.  Then I started thinking a bit more about things and decided to make ANZAC biscuits and used this recipe.  The main reason that I decided to make them was because of the Christchurch earthquake as they are a NZ biscuit. 


Thank you to all my twitter and blogging friends that have asked how I am.  Although felt here, the earthquake was too far away to cause any damage.  I've thought during the week about if or what I'd blog about it.  I can't begin to imagine what it's like for those down there and I feel like whatever I write won't really convey how I feel about it.  It's made me so grateful for everything I have right now though. 


If you want to read about ANZAC biscuits you can read about them here.


I started off with the cookies and got everything out.


 
It was pretty easy - basically just got the dry stuff in one bowl, then in the other I did the wet stuff and then you have to beat in the eggs then mix both bowls together.  The use a tablespoon measuring spoon to get out balls and chuck them on a baking tray.

So now I know - cookies spread! I had to use a knife to gently push them apart...

They look ok though (please note -that is a paper towel roll, NOT toilet paper in the top left of the pic!).


I then got on to the ANZAC biscuits.  First I melted the butter and golden syrup in the microwave.












Then I realised it was almost dinner time and I really needed to get a move on...











I mixed together the dry ingredients.



 
 In my rush I managed to melt the spoon...







Then I popped them in the oven and didn't take a pic until the today of the finished product! The ANZAC biscuits look a big small because the cookies were huge, but even the ANZAC cookies are on the big side!  Andrew's verdict on both were they needed to be crunchier.  I guess since I chose the chewy recipes I can't take that as a bad thing.


As soon as I'd finished the cookies I got started on dinner - okonomiyaki.  Yuuuum.  (Andrew's verdict was "burh" (not sure how to spell that - he did eat it all however...).

I used packet mix and thankfully thanks to Kat and Shirley I realised I'd been a bit of an egg and forgotten the kanji for egg (the irony...).   I used the crepe pan my sister got me for Christmas to cook them. 

I cut each one in half so we could eat half each as we went.  Soooo yum! I got the wrong kind of ginger but still tasted good though!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Waiheke wedding and summer holiday

It's been ages since I've blogged! Actually, I have a new group blog, so have still been blogging, just not here!. 

We went away last weekend for Andrew's brother's wedding.  It was on Waiheke Island so we got to have a little bit of a holiday at the same time as going to the wedding. 

We went up on Wednesday and stayed in Palmerston North with Andrew's friend and his fiance, then drove up to Auckland on Thursday.  We got there just in time for the hen's party which was great. 

Friday we went to visit Sarah and Mitch and then went over to the island. 

Saturday I had time for a run in the morning before the wedding, which was in the afternoon.  The wedding was just fantastic - gorgeous view, such a sweet ceremony (I couldn't stop crying!), dancing and delicious food. 

Sunday we pretty much swam all day with Andrew's family and Adam and Jo's friends, then came home on Monday.  We stopped at Japan Mart at Sylvia Park so I could pick up more bento supplies!

Mt Ruapehu on the drive up.













Driving in to Auckland.



On our way from seeing Sarah and Mitch - Auckland city


Auckland from the ferry to Waiheke


Looking towards Auckland city from the wedding - totally beautiful! 


Andrew and me before the ceremony

Andrew and me during dinner.
 

A pic of the island while we waited for the ferry back to Auckland.



Just a random shot of the cable car in Wellington