Welcome to adobo-down-under!

Musings. Family. Food. Stories. Cooking. Recipes. Eating. A recipe journal. From simple Filipino dishes to challenging recipes and exciting gastronomical failures. This is for my girls to look back on for comfort, memories, laughs, love and lots of food!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Foodie meets Maccas, Carrie meets Manolo Blahnik

I consider myself a foodie - a food enthusiast who takes on culinary challenges as adventures. I like trying on new cuisines, eating at new places. Straying away from the normal and experimenting with the new. That's me - a free spirit who once upon a time thought that I will be one day be swept away from my feet by a knight in shining armour (Well ok, I was swept off my feet. But not in shining armour. More like khaki shorts and polo shirt and some Marlborough Lights and San Miguel Beer) and still believe that there are indeed pots of gold at the end of every rainbow. With the little knowledge and skills I have about food I try to pass on and share with you guys. We cook and bake together, try samplings at the supermarket, and as much as we can, eat at proper restaurants. As a foodie, I try and enjoy food as much as creating the dish itself. Even though I have not dived into a lot of vegetable and salad dishes, we have tried several other cuisines at home with great success, but with a small following. It doesn't always get a thumbs up from the younger judges, but Hubby loves whatever I cook. And to prove that, when I'm too lazy to cook, he will only take 2 routes: either KFC or McDonald's. At home, his tastes are simple. Its either what I have cooked and prepared or: Filipino store favourites of tinned sardines, dried herring (tuyo) or smoked mackarel, salted eggs or even plain rice with drips of soy sauce. My hubby is the no nonsense-plain-hamburger-kind-of-guy. No need for cheese or lettuce. Plain as it is.

How did this happen? When I'm craving for Tom Yum Gung, he's content with a McDonald's hamburger. When I'd like to get my hands on some Gourmet pizza with greek lamb, tatziki and olives for topping, he'd rather drive to the nearest KFC and get some hot and spicy chicken. This simple taste shows in his lack for enthusiasm to even try to cook. Hmm. Let me see. He did try to make some pancakes from the supermarket variety and managed to make every single pancake look like crumpled card board - not that it tasted like one. He does try an occasional fried rice and can manage to heat some hotdogs in the microwave and fry some bacon and eggs. When I told him about my trip to Adriano Zumbo's Cafe Chocolat, he shrugged and asked who he was and what a macarron is? He doesn't get to watch Masterchef, that's why. He also did not share my excitement when I explained the gastronimical play of Zumbo's creations when in the palate. Homer? Is that you? Would you rather have a doughnut?

We are complete opposites when it comes to food but share the enthusiasm to EAT. Which makes a lazy Friday dinner easy. Its a matter of who calls who first!

While the girls also enjoy hubby's fastfood choices, I think I am slowly pulling Bianca away from the boring to the exciting. Last week, their tutor group went out to dinner to a Thai restaurant. Asked what she can have that's not spicy? I recommended the Pad Thai which she loved immensely. It will take more effort and coercion to convert an old dog but it is every bit fun and exciting. We're starting with Curtis Stone Masterchef recipes from Coles!


While in the subject of food and eating, I recently literally came across The Essential Ingredient shop in Rozelle. Crossing Darling Street from Balmain, there it was. I was with Tita Chacha and we dropped by and said hello to the bright and colourful display of my dream-Kitchenaid-stand mixer, arranged in complementing fashion across the window. We went in and I was like Carrie Bradshaw in an upscale Manhattan shoe shop. In awe and mesmerized by the variety of tools and equipments, ingredients, condiments, massive blocks of dark chocolate couveture, icing mixtures and heaps more. Everytime I come into a food-deli-kitchen-equipment-shop, I manage to get something not necessarily needed in the next decade or so. I did buy something useful for the next 7 days and managed to control myself from purchasing anymore gadgets that will only see the light of day in the next century. But Carrie will definitely be back.

Meantime, with the school holidays looming like the cumulonimbus clouds over Sydney, it was time to check up on some old favourites that's great for a winter afternoon tea or coffee. Sister requested a masterclass on a Sunday and we baked some cinnamon rolls which I have already tried here. It turned out better than the first time, but I reckon it still needs to be perfected. Which can only happen if we bake it regularly.

We also tried another round of David Lebovitz Easy Jam Tart using bottles of jams in the refrigerator relegated to the back corner for what seemed like ages - orange marmalade and mango-passionfruit jam. Turned out quite alright with enough pastry to for topping compared to the previous attempt here . Still too sweet for my taste. But isn't that why its classified as dessert?

Let's see. What else can we try? I'm dreaming of Donna Hay's chocolate mousse cake and some winter comfort in DH's oregano and garlic roasted lamb. I'm thinking meringue, that long-ago mentioned quiche. Maybe experiment with some bi-carbonate of soda to make some honeycomb and the most procrastinated dish of all - pavlova! Did I say winter makes me hungry?

No dramas as I have the best kitchen helpers and an excellent recipe tester in hubby. I'm just glad Maccas and KFC don't offer delivery service.

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