Food blog you should visit

I went down to rowing this morning… It was my daughter’s first day and I’m down to help with the breakfast next week so I thought I should find out what I was supposed to do.

Dippity emerged dripping and happy.

As a first timer she was in a single scull (is that what they are called?) presumably until she can learn not to fall in.

Waiting for the girls to come up for breakfast I caught up with Kathryn who I have known since St Georges’ days.

She has a blog which I will be making a firm favourite.

Family Meal Rescue

And if any family is in need of rescuing, food wise, it’s us.

I am going to try this chicken recipe tomorrow night.

Here’s what it’s supposed to look like:

Proscuitto, spinach, bocconcini roast chicken with roasted tomatoes from Family Meal Rescue

Actually a few of the mums are thinking about learning to row – why should the kids have all the fun?

Hmmm interesting.

Harvesting a good time

Liz Green performed while we ate.

Saturday night we went out to dinner with some close friends at Harvest in Fremantle.

We chose Harvest because it was in our Entertainment Book (so we got a discount) and it was half way between our houses.

And as a bonus – right next to our table – Liz Green sang for us.

Liz was in Perth as part of the One Movement festival this weekend – now that is cool – having the festival come to you!

Liz is from Manchester and her first song was a capella – impressive.

Groover and the Abstar

The food was very fancy.

I had the beef lasagne for an entree – which was steak tartare with a parmesan crunchy top – it might sound… unusual but it tasted delicious.

I liked my venison sausage and black bean casoulet less but it was still very nice.

Groover had the chicken salad with popcorn – I must say the popcorn put me off ordering this but on tasting it – omg – delicious – and the peas tasted fresh from the garden.

That's me and the Evstar

We’re loving the Entertainment book – definitely got my money’s worth – and will probably get one next year too.

Plus you’re encouraged to try new places.

Win win.

Popcorn chicken salad: It tasted a LOT better than it looks... trust me.

Is it worth queuing for Yum Cha?

Yep. I think so.

Yum Cha in Northbridge

I don’t like queuing for food – hell – I don’t even know how to spell it – here’s hoping that’s correct – so when we got to the Northbridge Chinese restaurant on Sunday an hour after opening I was somewhat dismayed to have to get an orange coloured raffle ticket – number 23 – and wait – our clothes steaming in the packed entryway.

Of course I’d rather take my chances and wait at a packed out restaurant than sit down immediately at the half empty one next door…

And the waiting turned out to be good.

First of all it gave us a chance to check out all the food so we knew what we’d go for. Secondly we built up an appetite.

I wanted the veges… to balance all the yummy deep fried stuff… and they were delicious.

Yum Cha in Northbridge

Of course we partook of the steam trolley.

Yum Cha in Northbridge

Boy do the waiters move fast in Yum Cha. What a business model! Bang bang bang – food immediately at your table – before you know it you’ve said yes to three prawn dishes and two pork and something you’re not even sure what it is – or was before it was deep fried in yumminess.

And the tea. I love Chinese tea and Groover had picked up a great tip from Kylie Quong’s TV show. If you want the waiter to refresh your pot – just take the lid off it. Forget trying to catch their eye – you’ve got no chance at the speed they move.

Yum Cha in Northbridge

And suddenly you’re on the street – stuffed to within an inch of your life – wondering what the hell just happened and busting for the loo.

Yum cha on a Sunday morning. You can’t beat it.

Why I hate generic brands

Have you noticed how many “home” brands there are in our major supermarkets these days? Not just the really cheap versions – the old “black and gold” labelled gear – but now a more premium range.

The Select brand from Woolies

In Coles for instance you get their Smart Buy cheap brand… then the You’ll Love Coles brand and a new Coles premium brand.

It’s the same in Woolworths… the cheap brand and the “Select” range.

They are usually substantially cheaper than the other brands.

It’s nasty.

It’s insidious.

And I know it’s mostly the same food.

You\'ll love Coles brand

I remember going to one of the dairy companies to see how they processed milk and seeing the cheddar cheese being chopped into smaller blocks and being wrapped in plastic with several different labels.

That’s right.

The same cheese – just different labels.

So I know it’s most likely the same food but – and this is my sticking point – I don’t like being manipulated by the big corporate supermarkets into squeezing out the smaller manufacturers. The other manufacturers. I just don’t like it.

I buy branded food on principal… my one-woman stand against the corporate giants who will one day ONLY sell “their” food – and then who will get to set the prices?

One guess.

The Food Porn Meme

Thanks to Lightening (and Smokey Mountain Breakdown) for this one.

Here are the really simple rules. Answer each of the five questions. Tag five bloggers you would like to pass the meme to. Have them link back to you and to this post as the source meme.

1. What food do you consider the best β€œdate” food? In other words, what meal or food item do you think is sexiest to eat in the company of someone you would like to look sexy around?

I think you should always start with classic French food. It’s posh but you know what you’re getting and there are rarely any nasty side effects… well, apart from the garlic… The risks of loving on your first date are enough without the prawn jalfrezi repeating on you when activities below the equator (so to speak) have been initiated.

2. What well-known person would you like to share a meal withβ€”with or without clothing. (saying whether or not clothes are involved is optional).

Mr Darcy, no shirt. Is that really a question??

3. What does your perfect breakfast-in-bed look like? (Food AND the details, please. Candles? Music? Flowers? Hot tub? Dancing girls?

Grilled pancetta with crushed roma tomatoes, hand-torn basil on crusty Italian toast. Served with a long black coffee and fresh orange juice, a trashy novel and sans children.

4. What do you consider the best application of whipped cream to be?

On scones with jam… or pavlova… You are after all asking a 6th generation Australian.

5. Oh-God-No, Biff, the yacht is sinking! You are sent to the galley to retrieve the food. What luxury food items do you snatch first? The champagne? The caviar? Smoked Salmon? Truffles? Chocolate? Or something else?

Who took the wine? Own up now! Because I want to share your lifeboat.

You’re it

The Food Pornographer (well… who else?)
Reading Circles
Hot Water
h&b
and James – my Sydney food guide πŸ™‚

Creative Commons License photo credit: Tiago Macambira

Interview with The Food Pornographer

Please go to Aussie Bloggers and check out my interview with The Food Pornographer.

tfp was charming, fun and open to interview and I’m sure you will love getting to know her as I did.

If you like, download an mp3 of our interview, which is only slightly edited. πŸ™‚

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Or check out the youtube video below to see how the tfp photographs the food in front of her.

You can also go to her site to see the photos of the food we ate. Yum!

Swimming upstream against fussy eaters

Groover would say it’s pearls before swine:

Teriyaki Salmon

Of course my little fussbudgets – though professing to be “starving half to death” – weren’t interested in eating it. And he had presented it so beautifully.

Sure, he might do some bad things, but overall he’s a pretty good egg (to keep the foodie theme going). You might say he’s E for Excellent. πŸ™‚

Speaking of which… Babyamore (Trish) nominated my blog as E for Excellent. Thanks Trish. You made my day!

excellent blog

I’d like to pass on this award to some faves of mine: Karen Cheng, h&b, Are Don and Carol Coming?, Dipping into the Blogpond, A Roaming Aussie Mum, Reading Circles, Firstperson Thirdcat, Planning with Kids, Magneto Bold Too, The Beer Card and Three Ring Circus.

Update: I just showed my list to Groover who said:

I like all these acronyms people use for their partners… DH and MPS etc [Kelley what does MPS mean? – cb] – why can’t I have an acronym?

Because your acronym would be as long as your handle.

?

TFOBBTIFTSW*

*The Fat Old Bald Bastard That I’m Forced To Sleep With.

πŸ˜‰
He likes a bit of mean…

Oh and for those of you who caught the salmon reference in the title – here’s a little song: (thanks to Feline for the tip)

Frozen food fiasco

Key West

What has this photo got to do with the tale I’m about to tell. Nothing. But I just love this image taken of a woman in Key West. Look closely and you’ll see she has one “dead eye” open. Neat.

So here’s the thing…

If you noticed that the back fridge door had been left open and everything in it had completely defrosted and had probably been so for more than 24 hours, would you empty it out and chuck all the food away – given that the temperatures were over 35C during the day, or would you, as Groover did, just turn the fridge back on and then casually mention it to me three days later?

I thought so.

Sometimes I wish I was living with you.

Vote for The Food Pornographer

C’mon just the name of the blog has got to get her some points!

TFP is a Perth blogger and has the best photography of food you’re ever likely to see.

She’s been nominated for Best Food Blog in the 2008 Bloggies.

And she’s a Perth girl!

Did I mention TFP’s from Perth?

VOTE HERE!

She inspires me to try and take good food photography… here’s my latest attempt. This is salmon cooked on some kind of wood – I forget now – the chef’s special at Mythos Restaurant at Universal Studios in Orlando. Tasted bloody good too.

Universal Studios

Americans do food well

We went out to lunch yesterday at some restaurant whose name we can’t remember but was just outside Stamford mall – oh yes we went to a mall – and decided that Americans do do food well. Sure the portions are big but the service is great, the food is delicious and the restaurants cosy. On top of that it’s relatively cheap. Groover and I had meals yesterday that would have cost around $20 a plate in Perth for half that.

I can see weight gain could be an issue.

But as well as they do food well, the coffee is lousy.

Trying to explain to someone in Starbucks that what you want is a long expresso style coffee – impossible! Of course saying “a long black” which is what we call it in Australia is out of the question. I am missing my Saeco… πŸ™

In the meantime we’ve experienced another aspect of American culture: The doctor’s surgery. My Orchid Hunter has a very nasty flu. Feverish, heavy cough, sleeping for nearly two days solid – he feels terrible and when you have a houseful of 12 people you want it sorted out quickly.

My sister has found this great doctor. Here’s how it works for her. He charges an annual fee of around US$1500 per child. For that fee you get a doctor who is prepared to see you anytime. This guy will come to their home. He will go with you to specialists. If your kid breaks his arm at school he’ll go to the school and sort it out. He only wants a maximum of 300 patients and that means he can really take care of your child when the child needs him.

For my sister, whose eldest daughter has had needed a lot of medical care, Dr Eric is their lifesaver. And the surgery is a delight! I wanted to be sick and a child again. Check out the photos of the different exam rooms filled with murals and fun lazer lights.

Hugamuga sat on a hippo couch while Dr Eric spoke to him and explained what he was doing. He was so engaging. He did a test for strep throat and told us how it worked – like a pregnancy test – in simple terms that made us understand without making us feel thick. An excellent experience. Brilliant.

Having the whole family in one house is lovely. The house is big enough that we have our own space – indeed my sister – Aussie to the core – calls out “Cooee” to find her kids, and it is nice to have time to make Christmas together.

Christmas Play

The two girls and their Uncle – my bro – have already put on a Christmas play. My sister – must make up a name for her soon – has a little theatre in the basement, and as you can see in the photo below they went to some trouble with their costumes. Poshi Junior is Father Christmas, Bear – her cousin – is Rudolf and Uncle Banana is naughty Vixen.

The best bit was JP throwing her hands up and saying “Poof” whenever she wanted the scene to end. Hilarious. And “Poof” has become the new word of this Christmas.

Today we go to a foodstore where there are singing vegetables. You gotta love America!