Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year's Eve 2006

Steph and I had decided on a home based NYE party, we were sick of the crowds, the 40min wait, the standing, the packed train. Blah Blah Blah (damn we must be getting old) So the ajenda was a late arvo BBQ, cocktails and fireworks on the hill.

Steph and I were in a mad panic trying to remember who was invited, who we told, who was coming, who we forgot, running around picking up fruit, sausages, liqueur, an ice crusher, spirits, limes and ice. We managed pretty well and even squeezed in a YumCha Sess with Serge and Lucia, before a mad rush home to prep garnishes and clean the house.

Serge and Lusia popped by after 2ish to inspect the house and join us on some starting cocktails and a bit of Wii tennis. Then the rest of the party arrived, games started, drinks poured, martinis shaken, never stirred. Everyone else was introduced to the Wii and added as a Mii. Steph manned the BBQ and snags from the local butcher, and Lulu's chicken wings were a hit.

I manned the bar. Focusing mainly on fruit, making mocktails first, then adding the liquer and spirits for the real people. I have found a love for Tequila, especially Screwdrivers, and the Strawberry Dacquiris were divine, normally I hate of rum, but these weren't so bad… maybe because I diluted them so much with fruit and ice.

After the 9.30 fireworks on the plasma, we turned to Pictonary Steph and Andrew had a bonding moment over "Right Wing", then we moved onto Singstar. Whitney Housten " I wanna dance with Somebody" got the blood pumping and Steph and Andrew's redition of Noll's "What about me?" was sung with brutal emotion. (I have the finale on video and Kath has a photo montage...)

A few more songs, laughter and drinks, the clock turned 11.45pm so we headed across the road for fireworks, party poppers, sparklers and some very heady champagne. (The Devil wears Prada) I have to admit that Grant Burge, did some serious damage and knocked everyone's socks off!!! I think we could be declared the rowdiest bunch on the hill.

We taught Kath to rave, Steph had doof doof music on his phone blaring out. The spotlight went out as we watched 6 sets of fireworks go off over the harbour… We even had fireworks going off in the park for us! Excellent! Tho we didn’t see the bridge, the fireworks were great, the atmosphere was wonderfully bubbly.

Next Year's Resolution: NYE 07 - Get a boat and sit under the bridge.

PS: 2007 started off with a hilarious event which will be marked as a highlight and a sign that good and happy things are to come.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Wii net access fixed!

After much turmoil and frustration, I've fixed the inconsistent and slow Wiiconnect24/internet access by turning off Dhcp and manually configuring the IP information manually this has both made updates and Internet access faster and more reliable.

And with that, I hope my Mii's start to mingle :o)

[Wii Post]

IKEA upgrade

Back in Sydney with our prized present from Santa the Wii console (Steph and Eva were very good children this year) We headed straight to Ikea for a bit of furniture upgrade..

Our plasma was looking a bit like a muffin top on our tiny TV unit. Time for a new one and that coffee table… OH that coffee table… well we didn’t get that ideal one I've been dreaming about, but the one we got is a pretty good substitute.

PS: I nearly died when our goodies wouldn't fit in the car... But their delivery service was quick and we had the goods the next day... And when the goods came, the delivery guy's comment was "Wow all your stuff is from Ikea" Now, is a bad or a good point... Either way it will cost us well over a grand to loose the birch look... so its staying!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Hi from the Wii

Just a quick post from our new toy!

Ok, a little geeky but ultra cool. A keyboard would be easier but the pre-emtive text helps.

I'll post a photo shortly...

Posting from the Wii

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Survival of the fittest

Woohoo! We survived another Milbank Christmas *Phew!*

What a crazy 6 days we've had, shopping, more shopping, wineries (Thanks Barossa), food, Christmas Eve feast, Christmas Day Feast, and now the mad pack to head home later tonight.

Now that we've abused our livers, and filled our tummies, we're greatful to my parents for putting up with us for so long, and not to mention feeding us!

We'll do a more comprehensive roundup once we're back home and have ready access to our photos etc.

To all that we didn't get a chance to speak to, Merry Christmas from Eva & I, and no doubt catch up with you all in the days to come over some food (I like the idea of Yum Cha), or a few drinks somewhere.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Turducken

As food bloggers, one must record their gastronomic adventures...

This year we were redoing the Turducken... the proper way.

Thanks to Kris and Rod's Turducken we had followed the advice to stick to 2 recipes for the stuffings. Steph with assistant Eva, garbage disposals - Mandy and Pippa at the ready we whipped out a oyster and sausage stuffing, and a cornbread stuffing,

The making of the stuffing and the Turducken day were very throughly photographed.


A link will be added to a slide show of the action soon.
password: Steph's nickname for this turkducken: Read on...

The stitching and stuffing was rather interesting (being nice here) because the chicken was the same size as the turkey! (They must grow small turkeys in Adelaide, or the butcher had not read Jeffery Stiengarden's entry on the Turducken) The drumsticks had also been removed... so the end product looked rather mutant.

Steph started calling it "frankenturk", I was calling it the crippled turk - with no drumsticks it wasn't going anywhere, but with the thick stitching, "frankenturk" stuck.

It took a good hour to truss, stitch and retruss the monster, and after covering his hands in the fat of 3 birds, stuffing, string, and cotton thread. It will take some serious begging/bribing/pleading before Steph will do this again… I will do it if theres a third person taking the shots i wasn't able to take... but the feeling of wet raw turkey skin is giving me second thoughts...

Despite the frustration at the butchers/turkey/chicken/turkey/cotton/needles the final product was declared delicious and there we can thankfully lay this magnificent beast and its creative journey to rest.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Wine Tasting in the Barossa Valley

Never been before, and its lovely- tho more doggies to pat in McLaren (Lucky for Lusia)

We visited Ross Estate, then Rockford Winery (Alicante Bouchet - Beautiful Rose) and as per usual I got drunk by the 3rd vineyard.
Some of the vineyards we visited: Rockford, Villa Tinto, Henschke. we also saw Saltram, Ross Estate... anymore? I was drunk by the 3rd...

At Villa Tinto which is owned and operated by Diana and Albert Di Palma. They served some beautiful reds, (and reds only) the Mercedes a blend of Cab Sav/Semillon/Shiraz (named after Diane's mother) was totally delicious and we bought a case to share, but their Cab Sav was my undoing... PHOAW! That baby knocked my socks off! The weather was rather brisk, but with my lack of enzymes my body had kicked into overdrive and I was steaming!

Thankfully the next stop was lunch, REAL meat pies and cornish pasties. I found out that Serge has the same dislike for custard as Steph had as they watched Ian polish off a serve of Vanilla Slice - the matching looks of dubious disgust was amusing to observe.

After lunch we travels to the jewel of the crown - the Henchske Vineyards, which are REALLY out of the way! We met the guard dog, who was sleeping on the job, and drank the most delicious wines, I told them about my Henchskes sitting at home, and they thoughtfully gave me a list which told me the optimum years for the each harvest. My '94 and '95 are ready in 2009!! *rubs hands with glee*

Left: Guard Dog at Henschke Right: The Booty
On the way home we passed a really big tree, paused for some quick photos (see photos for reason why) And finally snoozed my wine soaked head all the way home.

Left: Big Tree, some guy lived here with a wife and 16 kids... (Lusia and I were more horrified about popping out that many kids than living in a tree. Right: Good Reason to Hurry

Learnt a new word.. Snozzled. So drunk you're sleepy

That night we went out on the town to catch up with Amber and Rob, it was lovely to see them and give them their much belated hugs and pressies. Then caught up with some of Steph's high school classmates, and found out that he was a tear away at school which is endearing.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

We're on Holiday

We boarded to fly to Adelaide, leaving a very wet and rainy Sydney on the 20th to arrive in beautiful and hot Adelaide on the 20th. Purpose: Relax and spend Christmas with Ian and Elanor (Steph's Parents) along with Serge and his girlfriend Luisa had arrived from London and after more than three years it would be wonderful to see them again! And it was! The food in Adelaide is always the best! We started the week off with a Mango Bonanaza, then Ham Festival, Wine from the Barossa, see next post. Stuffing Day, The final Turducken, Xmas Presents, And a lovely Christmas Lunch at Mark and Sues.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Degenerate! Eva's Kiddies Birthday Party

Well 16th was D-Day… I had with the assistance of Ed, produced an arsenal of Chocolate Chip Crackles, Honey Joys, Frogs in Ponds, Traffic Fruit, Mini Cupcakes, Thai Chicken Wings and Fruit Punch.

Left: I made Ed sort out a box of mini pack M&M's
Right: Frog in Pond and Chocolate Crackles Setting in the fridge.

It was a chance to have that kiddies party I always wanted when I was 5 but never got. Growing up in a Chinese Restaurant Community, Birthday Parties always involved approx 60 people with Jook, Chow Mien, Curry Chicken and a A3 sized black forest cake from the Casino (which no one liked)

Unfortunately the weather looked too ominous to have the party at the Domain with the Carollers. Plus the thought of carrying all those goodies too daunting, and playing pass the parcel on a big picnic rug, amongst clumps of Sydney Families with envious children.

And no kiddies party would be right without a theme cake… So I got myself a fish shaped cake!

Now you know why I got Ed to sort out the M&M's

It was so much fun making, I made cakes for Denzil (6th Dec) and Andrew (7th Dec) who also have birthdays around the same time (Theory: March is a great time for Parents to Conceive…, please post December Babies!) Denzil got a Camera Cake while Andrew got a red (well pinkish) AFL Football Cake. NOTE: Its Sherrin... not Sheridan

These were fun to make!

Also a Kiddies party wouldn't be right without games: SO Pass the Parcel was played, with prizes between the wraps and some dress up things for those fortunate to wear (A relived Jenny and a Lucky Nige!) The other game we had was Pin the Tail on the Dragon. I painted a dragon without a tail and thanks to photocopier and colored paper we had tails to stick on the dragon's tail of which you had an option: Canvas or Denim...

Left: Trevors winning pinning Right: Someone's butt is on fire...

Thank you for all who came, and a surprise visit from Lisa Yee who looked a young as ever!

But a lot of people couldn’t make it with all the Xmas party functions and work piss ups. SO next year it will be the 18th of November… and Readers…. NO EXCUSES!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Migrated

I migrated the blog last night to the new Blogger Beta, looks like I'm going to need to modify the site a little to get things working as they once did.

If there are any problems viewing, please refresh a few times as some of the links may be having some problems.

Looks like it's going to be a late one tonight!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What ins a (chinese) name?

Ever wondered?

well heres the link. Pretty cool, it takes the phonetics of your english name and turns them into something chinese, and adds a bit more thought in chosing the characters so your name doesnt pick characters that combined mean "Honeydew Melon" or "white radish top" and keeps in mind your gender so you wont be lablled "Pretty Peony" if youve got the Y chromo. (not to say some guys wouldnt mind that name ;)

It stuffed up my surname a bit, kept giving me "Cow" as the surname (NOT impressed look) but because it used mandarin phonetics i changed my surname to Wu and got the right deal.So here's my name... First character is Wu (Real surname character - five) and the others are be graceful and fragrant. (HA! YSL eat ya heart out!) Tho the characters Mum and Dad chose for me arent chosen for a meaning rather the were chosen to sound phonetically like my English name just in case i forgot them living in a white world. So i have no cool meaning like the indians.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Its up!!! 30 days to Christmas

Hey Kath! have you put yours up yet?

Rocky Road Dumpling

This is actually quite nice! Both Ed and I approve. (Steph has lost his voice so he not able to give an opinion.)

This dish had 3 parts. Rocky Road, Dumpling Pastry and the Syrup.
Rocky Road
160g chocolate
50g Marshmellows
50g chopped peanuts

Melt the chocolate (i was making soup at the same time so i stuck a bowl in the pot and melted the chocolate)
Toss in the peanuts and the marshmellow, stir and spread out on some baking paper. Leave to set.
Put another piece of baking paper on top and the rocky road out flat.
Chop into thin strips and roll.

Pastry.
Much easier to make than the pastry for Har Kow.

320g Glutinous Rice Flour (green bag)
4T rice flour
340ml water.

Sieve the flours into a bowl, make a well and stir in a bit of water, bit at a time, stirring so that its all mixed in, continue stirring until it turns into a piece of dough (shiny and glossy, but not oily)

Syrup.
40g Ginger
500ml water
1 Tbs brown sugar

grate the ginger then grab all the shreds and squeeze over the pot to extract the juice. Add sugar and water and boil then simmer, check for taste,

Making the tong yuen. (fun part)

And the final product

Very yum. different from normal tong yuens, the chocolate and the ginger are a really nice combo. Steph wouldn't eat my tong yuens (bad boyfriend!) but had the rocky road.. i suppose i should give im a bit of leeway seeing hes sick and all that. Im such a nice girl.

Har Kow

Its yumcha time! I bought a HK yumcha book and was inspired to make Prawn Dumplings!

The recipe is in 2 parts, the pastry and the filling. Filling is easy so ill start with that.

Filling
320g chopped prawn meat
40g pig fat (pink stuff), chopped
40g water chestnuts, chopped
1t salt
1.5t sugar
.25 MSG
2T oil
dash of pepper

Mix it all up and put in the fridge. to wait for the pastry.

Pastry.
160g Tang Flour
160 g Bean Flour
320g water boiling
20g lard

measure out the flours, put the tang flour in the bowl with HALF of the Bean flour (Didnt read propery here and had to restart) Add the boiling water and mix quickly! (get gluggy real fast) when all the flour is mixed into one big goo. Put a tea towel over the bowl for a minute then add the lard and remaining flour. (didnt have lard - used oil instead) mix then knead until glossy.

Combining it all together
Roll sections of the dough into round thin skins, wrap stuffing in them to make shrimp dumplings, place them in the oiled steamer, and steam for 5 mins. eat hot.

Results? Well they didnt look yumcha quality, I dont think i had enough oil in the pastry as it broke easily and therefore had to be quite thick. I didnt have white pepper so i used black and that actually worked.

I'll make again another time...

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Sushi

Jen stayed for dinner and we bought a side of salmon at the Fish Markets, which lead to making Sushi for dinner.

While we were in Hong Kong we visited my favourite store Jusco $10 (which is the equivalent of Hot dollar stores here in Sydney) and picked up a sushi (Futomaki ) mould

Oh this mould is worth every sent of $2 dollars. It sped things up, and no sticky rice fingers! Bonus!

And we also made little finger nigiri sushi. We bought a piece of smoked eel too and even made little nori wrappers! very authentic! :)

With all the rice we called up Pep and Ray to come over and eat, and they brought the most delicious salad along! most divine, good food, great company, it was a delicous gourmet weekend.

Sculptures by the Sea 2006

Seeing it was the last weekend of Sculptures by the Sea, Jen, Steph, Ed and I headed to hot and crowded Bondi Beach for the annual "Admire/Laugh/Bewildering-Walk-Sweat-Burn" event.

Some were good some weren't alot were created by artists that we recognised. and a few we think were repeats. The highlights of the event are below but theres over 300 shots but flickr only allows you to show 200...

He he! Its hot and I'm here

Jen reaching out to help douse the hot fisherman below

err... does that camera work?

"Ah-tee-stick" shots

Sydney Rail System


It looked like cake, so... "Jenny take a bite!"


Ed smiling


Ironic


& Balance it up...


Making Dim Sims

Rah! (note here death of nikon)


Its was a bit warm...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Factory Outlet Shopping

Its summer the buses are out and Kathleen and Lulu joined me on spot of Factory Outlet Shopping.

First stop Hermes! which had moved to Shoes 2000, so the real first stop was Seduce Factory Outlet. Absolutely great for skimpy tops.Then Hermes, which turned out to be a bit of a disappointment, this isnt the French Hermes, but an Australian version. But i picked up an nice handbag anyway.
Then we stopped by Seafolly, Handbag Factory Outlet, Vianne Homeware, Sandler, Sportscraft and Elle.
By then it was 4pm and we were pooped!


My favourite shop was Elle, i picked up this cute little handbag (the extreme opposite of the red briefcase I picked up at Hermes)
The best bargain? A beaded top at Sportscraft for $2 dollars!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Dreaming up a coffee table

Because we do most of our weekday dining on the coffee table... i think we need to get a new one because ours is too small, and out of proportion with our sofas. Also the shelf seems to turn into an black hole, and the remotes are NEVER on the table.

Necessity is the mother of invention as they always say... so why settle for someones design. Our new coffee table will be a 80cm square(steph balks at 1m), no black hole shelf, so you can sit under it. a small drawer for the remotes. and the Pièce de résistance, a sunken circle in the centre, in which a lazy susan could sit in it, flushed. That way we could have our chinese meals in front of the TV, and not miss out on the food on the far side or have to reach over. Now i wonder if i can get some better homes and garden person to make this?

Vegemite update

Authorities probe Vegemite ban reports
Sydney Morning Herald - October 24, 2006
Mystified Australian authorities have launched an investigation into reports Vegemite has been banned from entering the United States.
It seems it was all a bit of a hoax?

US govt denies it's banned Vegemite
Sydney Morning Herald - October 25, 2006
Australians traveling to the US can breathe easy. So can the 100,000 or so Australian expatriates living in America.
This almost reminds me of Nokia phones being used as radar detectors...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

PS3 vs WII

I want both, but not sure about the multi layered...



Favorite Quote: "I'm Cheap and fun"

Plug

Its not often that I get the chance to plug a site that's a great idea, better still, this one's for the girls... 'My Guy Online' caters for buying that special guy in your life a gift for what ever occasion, be it for birthday, kiss and make up, or just because. Not to mention Christmas just around the corner, what more could you want?

Girls, follow the link and you won't be disappointed... a gift for the boy within for all ages!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Who would've thought...

Weird ban... Definitely, I don't understand it

Happy Vegemites? We don't think so
Sunday Hearald Sun 22.10.2006
The bizarre condiment crackdown was prompted because Vegemite has been deemed illegal under US food laws.

The great Aussie icon -- faithfully carried around the world by travellers from Down Under -- contains folate, which under a technicality, the US allows only to be added to breads and cereals.

I wonder if Promite and other variations have been banned also.

Expats throughout the States will be devistated.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Oh God not more!!! YES THERE IS!!!!

While surfing around looking for some bang bang games i came across this on playstation.com.au!!

Yes London Studios has released another gem! and this one sounds good! much better that the dud Athems.
Image from Metacritic.com

Eva is very excited about SingStar Legends. And oh the tracks! Let'em Rip!!!

  • Aretha Franklin - Respect
  • Black Sabbath - Paranoid
  • David Bowie - Life On Mars?
  • Dusty Springfield - Son Of A Preacher Man
  • Elton John - Rocket Man
  • Elvis Presley - Blue Suede Shoes
  • Jackie Wilson - Reet Petite
  • Jimmy Barnes - No Second Prize
  • Jimmy Barnes - Working Class Man (I'm dying to see Steph sing this!!!!)
  • John Farnham - You're The Voice
  • John Lennon - Imagine
  • John Paul Young - Love Is In The Air
  • Johnny Cash - Ring Of Fire
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd - Sweet Home Alabama
  • Madonna - Papa Don't Preach
  • Marvin Gaye - I Heard It Through The Grapevine
  • Midnight Oil - Beds Are Burning
  • Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
  • Pet Shop Boys - Always On My Mind
  • Sam Cooke - Wonderful World
  • Silverchair - Tomorrow
  • The Angels - No Secrets
  • The Easybeats - Friday On My Mind
  • The Jackson 5 - I Want You Back
  • The Monkees - Daydream Believer
  • The Police - Roxanne
  • The Righteous Brothers - Unchained Melody
  • Tina Turner - What's Love Got To Do With It?
  • U2 - Vertigo
  • Whitney Houston - The Greatest Love Of All
Its out 2nd of November! Ive highlighted all the ones I want to sing!! oh God i cant wait!

POST: IT was EXCELLENT! Highlights - Ring of "Fy-re" by Johnny Cash, Whitney's "Greatest Love of All" "Farnzie's "The Voice" This is one of the better Singstar Efforts.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Sik Farn!

Cauliflower, Dai Dau Ngar (Big head Bean Sprouts), Chilli, Garlic, Ham
Dad's Roast Pork

Salty Fish and Pork Mince

Zuchinni Fun See Hot Pot with Dried Shrimp

Chicken and Celery Stir Fry

Shrimp with Dad's Secret Herbs and Spices, Deep Fried

Okay Sik Farn!

Desert: Watermelon and Dodgy Blood Oranges.