Monthly Archives: May 2012

DIY Tray – Mother’s Day Gift Idea

When I think of Mother’s Day, I think of breakfast in bed for mums.

I know it may not be the most creative idea in the book but it is my idea of pampering my mum. So if you wish to make something more than just a card (and why not throw in a breakfast in bed?), hopefully this DIY tray will be an inspiration. I love the fact you can double the tray as a “greeting card” by adding the things you want to say to her on Mother’s Day on the tray. Don’t you just love making customised items?

DIY Tray

What you need:-

  • Floater photo frame (I used a collage floater photo frame which holds 3 10x15cm/4×6 inches)
  • Fabric (I used unwanted quilting fabric bought from a thrift st0re)
  • Scissors
  • Ball point pen
  • Marker Paper
  • Cellophane Tape (or double sided tape or glue)
  • Doilies paper

{Photo A- An overview of a floater photo frame}

Let’s start:-

(1) Remove the backing  board, mat board, sample photos and glass. Use the backing board as a guide, outline the fabric with a pen. Use a scissor to cut according to the outline. Set aside. (2) Place the backing board back to where the glass used to be (on photo A, it is the upper section of the frame). (3) Place the fabric which you’ve just cut up. (4) Arrange the doilies papers on the fabric according to your preference. Once you are happy with their positions, use a double sided tape or glue or in my case, I folded the cellophane tape like the picture above, secure the doilies paper on the fabric. (4) Write the message you want on the doilies paper. Then place the glass on top to cover backing board, fabric and doilies paper. (5) Bend the clips around the frame to secure the glass. Hope you all have a fabulous time with your mums tomorrow! :)

{I love you, Mum!}

 

 

   

[Recreation - Out & About] An Afternoon in Bathurst, NSW

{Vintage style lamp posts dot the city roads}

I resided in Bathurst for a year before moving back to Orange. Bathurst has eventually grown on me especially it has specialty shops that are not available in Orange. Plus, there’s Target in Bathurst. I love shopping in Target and it kinda sucks to drive 40 minutes just to shop in Target from Orange. But I suppose for city dwellers, 40 minutes drive from point A to B is no big deal. So please forgive me for being spoilt by the traffic-jam-free-and-everything-is-so-close-together-in-regional-towns lifestyle.

Anyway, two Saturdays ago, my beloved had to attend a work conference in Bathurst and I volunteered to accompany him with the desire of revisiting my favourite spots in Bathurst.

{The Begonia House in Machattie Park}

{I couldn’t resist to check out what’s new in The Naked Bud – a treasure trove of retro and vintage items and cloting.}

{Shops filled with partyware and decorative items have never failed to make me happy.  The Party Table is a place where I seek inspiration for styling my food photos. I love how the partyware is organised by various themes and colours. I love everything the shop has to offer, like a child in a candy store. And of course, I couldn’t help but to bring some chic napkins and girly baking cases home with me. :)}

{If you want a place to rest your tired soles and re-energised after hours of wandering around, The Hub is the place to be. Hip and modern decor, decent prices and most importantly great food – I thoroughly enjoy my vegetable plate with tempura tofu and haloumi. To quench my thirst, I’ve ordered the fruit juice of the day – apple and cranberry juice – and it was refreshing!}

{The sweet ending of the trip was the Annie’s ice cream parlour. When I was living in Bathurst, getting a small tub of homemade macademia ice cream used to be my Friday after-work routine.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find an ice cream shop in Orange that could rival Annie’s. Oh, and they make really good ice cream cakes too!}

  • The Naked Bud – to see more of their vintage goods, please check out the Facebook page here.
  • The Party Table – check out their online store and blog over here.
  • The Hub – check out the latest update from their Facebook page here.

Thanks for your hospitality and letting me take photos in your shops! :)

 

Dear readers, this is not a sponsored post. I did not received any remuneration (or compensation) in any shape or form for these special features.

   

Rainbow Chard, Kale & Quinoa Salad

In my last post I talked about not feel like making salad as a side dish. After all, I am one-dish kind of girl especially during the week days.

So today, I’m going to present you with my one-dish salad as a main. This may not look like a big meal but it is surprisingly filling. It could be the quinoa or the beefy portobello mushrooms or the hearty kale and chard or all of the above that makes this an ideal standalone dish.

{The rainbow chard and kale was from my friend’s vegetable patch. Don’t you think bright colour trend is not limited to only fashion? :P}

Rainbow Chard, Kale & Quinoa Salad

(A generous serving for one person)

Ingredients:-

  • A bunch of rainbow chard and kale mix – about 7 stalks, washed, trimed and removed the fibrous ends
  • 3 large portobello mushrooms, clean by using a paper towel
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • A pinch of chilli flakes
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • 1/4 cup of uncooked quinoa & 1/2 cup of boiling water
  • 2 eggs *optional*
  • Salt to taste

 Let’s do it:-

(1) Add quinoa and boiling water into a small pot and cook over high heat. When the mixture is boiling, lower the heat to the lowest and let it simmer until the water is almost absorbed by the quinoa. Turn off the heat and let the quinoa sit until water is fully absorbed. (To make salad preparation a bit easier, I prefer this to be done ahead before making the salad.) (2) Finely chop garlic and slice portobello mushrooms. Set aside. (3) Slice the chard and kale. Separate the stalk and the leaves. (4) In a pan over medium heat, add garlic and chilli flakes with some olive oil. (5) When the garlic begins to sizzle, add mushrooms and stir to combine for a minute. Mushrooms tend to absorb oil so add more olive oil to moisten. (6) Add the stalk bits to the mushroom mixture. Cook until the stalk bits are slightly tender. Do this over low heat (7) Add the leaf bits and saute until tender over low heat. Set aside while you start to cook a sunny side up omelette. (8) To serve, spoon the chard-kale mixture onto a plate, followed by quinoa and topped with an omelette.

Note – There’s some water from washing the vegetables and while cooking the mushrooms and chard over low heat, the mushrooms oozed some of their juices.  Therefore, I didn’t need to add water while sauteing the vegetables.

   

Smoked Salmon, Avocado and Rocket (Arugula) Salad

I have a regular guest to my house who is quite a healthy eater. Every time I have her over for dinner, she will offer to help me in kitchen while scanning my stove and kitchen benchtop to get an indication what I’ve prepared for the night. I couldn’t help but to notice our kitchen conversation was beginning to sound like a broken record:

Healthy eater: “Errr, where is the salad?”

Me: “Uhh-sorry, I don’t have salad but we can eat some fruits as dessert to make up?” While pointing my index finger in the direction of my fruit basket with a sly smile. ;)

Oh gosh, somehow my reply sounded pretty rude in text. Thankfully, I am really good friends with her which in some ways, warrant me a generous degree of freedom of expression. ;) Talk about taking things for granted huh?

Salad-making is by no mean a difficult task. I have to blame it on the lazy bug that lives inside me for the past few weeeks. However, being active in blogging lately has also made me a tad more elaborate in meal preparation. Although there is no requirement that a food blogger has to make his/her meal very fancy every day, I do want to make every meal counts. Last weekend, in addition to my usual one pot dish (it was a chicken and potato curry), I’ve made smoked salmon, rocket and avocado salad as a starter. For the first time in weeks, we didn’t sound like a broken record. And it’s kinda nice. :D

Smoked Salmon, Avocado and Rocket (Arugula) Salad

(I think it’s good for 3 people as starters; 1 person as a main with some leftovers)

Ingredients:-

  • Rocket leaves (arugula), about 60g (2 oz)
  • An avocado
  • 1/2 of a full sized lebanese cucumber
  • 100g (3 oz) smoked salmon (I used Tassal brand)
  • 1 tbsps sesame seeds

Dressing (measure to taste):-

  • 1 lime
  • about 1/2 cup of olive oil (adjust to your preference)
  • Salt to taste
  • A drop of sesame oil *optional*

Let’s do it:

(1) In a small dry pan, toast 1 tbsp of sesame seeds over medium flame until lightly brown. Set aside. (2) Wash and dry the rocket leaves. Set aside. (3) Slice cucumber. Set aside. (4) Halve a lime and squeeze the juice into a small bowl. Then add olive oil, sesame oil (if using), salt to taste and  1/2 tbsp of the toasted sesame seeds.  Whisk until it emulsifies. (5) In a salad bowl, add rocket leaves, cucumber and hand torn smoked salmon. (6) Use an avocado slicer to slice the avocado. To avoid the avocado from turning brown, I  dip slices of the avocado in the dressing and add into the salad bowl.  Scatter the remaning toasted sesame seeds as a finishing touch. (7) Serve with the dressing separately.