National Dishes

Hey Dolls,

I recently took a 10 day trip with my brother’s girlfriend, Jessie, to a place so close they joke about its short distance, the beautiful New Zealand. This was my first overseas trip without my parents and it can definitely be listed as a success! New Zealand had never been high on my priorities list of travel destinations but after going I realised it should have been. For somewhere so close it is worth seeing. The scenery is breath taking and the people are so down to earth you feel instantly at home.

The tour we took travelled from the top of the North Island down to the bottom of the South Island, but Jessie and I had limited time and had to finish in Nelson the first town in the South Island. As we travelled we came across many souvenir shops and as we perused the many items we could bring home I kept seeing the same thing. A 50s style tea towel in red, white and yellow, the colours of my kitchen at home, with the picture of a housewife and the recipe of New Zealand’s national dessert. This was the ideal gift for my mum but I needed to clarify one thing with my tour guide. After questioning her about the tea towel I was shocked to know the truth.

New Zealand’s national dessert is PAVLOVA! 

We Australian’s have been living a lie!

(Which also begs the question, what actually is our national dessert? But that can wait for another time.)

Apparently, the Pavlova, although advertised as the Australian national dessert, derived from New Zealand and we are just claiming it as our own. Scandal.

I must admit that I am not the biggest fan of the Pavlova, however I feel much better saying that now that I know it is not originally our national dessert, but I decided I’d try this tea towel recipe I found in light of my recent trip. I made friends, memories and had experiences I’ll never forget and this Pavlova just represents a small part of that and it looks pretty damn good if I do say so myself.

Taking this trip and trying out something new, like my cooking, can seem quite scary but going out of one’s comfort zone and taking risks is what life’s all about. I encourage you all to do something daring this week, even if it’s just trying a food you’ve never tasted or saying hi to a stranger. Enjoy!

Lady Jayy. xo

Food for Thought

Good Afternoon Dolls,

As I was reading through last week’s Herald Sun Sunday magazine the other morning whilst eating my usual bowl of Just Right I came across an article from Steven Poole’s, You Aren’t What You Eat: Fed Up with Gastroculture. Expecting to find an interesting insight about food, cooking or the like, I instead read on to surprisingly find criticisms of the current foodie culture we live in and many of us love.

Steven goes on to describe the stereotypical fanatic response of screaming girls usually found at a ‘One Direction’ concert that now seem to be appearing at Jamie Oliver appearances and Masterchef demonstrations. Whilst the overwhelming audience reaction can seem a little unnecessary and girls on the brink of fainting is overly dramatic I cease to understand why this new found love of food and cooking is a negative?

He says, “We’re living in the Age of Food.”

That might seem a simple statement but the context within the article is dripping with judgement and disapproval. He states, “food festivals are the new rock festivals,” as if he would prefer the youth to be parading around in short shorts and tops that barely cover their breasts, let alone anything else, drinking and doing only God knows what. That’s not to say I have anything against a good music festival, don’t get me wrong I love them, but why is it bad that food festivals are gaining similar popularity?

Before this current foodie obsession begun, and even now, however, I’m sure I could find various different articles that complain about the laziness of Gen Y and how the youth of today no longer help out in the kitchen or around the house like they used to. But as soon as society takes up some of this advice and gets involved in the kitchen again that’s seen as just as bad. We can’t seem to win. Although I personally am not a fan of Junior Masterchef due to the competitive nature thrust upon such young children I think it’s a fantastic opportunity for children to start learning vital skills for the future and experimenting with the different talents they may have.

I was really disappointed in Steven’s perspective because of all the things in the world to complain about, I think the current foodie trend is pretty low on the priority list.

To show him how much his unnecessary complaining affects me, here is another recipe for you to try. This is one of my all time favourite dinners because it’s pretty simple but just by changing an ingredient or flavour it creates a completely new taste sensation. I found this in the Gourmet Garden recipe book for Stir Fry, Rice and Noodles.

The beauty of a stir fry is that you can easily remove certain vegetables that you may not like, such as carrots for me and add those that you do. I’ve linked you to the recipe that I used as a basis but instead of prawns I used chicken, and I also added baby corn, mushrooms and broccoli. But the main thai seasoning remained the same. Never feel scared to add more or less flavouring though to suit your tastes.

Experiment away my friends. 🙂

http://www.gourmetgarden.com/au/recipe/view/Spicy-Prawns-on-Singapore-Noodles

Lady Jayy xo

Baking the Blues Away

Good evening dolls,

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful weekend and are enjoying a lazy Sunday evening as am I. Unfortunately, my weekend hasn’t been the best focussing mainly on assignments and trying to, though unsuccessfully, avoid the dreaded procrastination monster. I was also struck down with a little bit of the Winter blues yesterday which included;

a) a lack of concentration

b) mood swings and

c) the disorganization of any plans

I was left exhausted and restless reminiscing about my childhood as I enjoyed the gentle comedy of The Princess Diaries with my princess of a puppy Ruby.

However, after a long and much needed sleep I woke this morning in a better place ready to channel my inner fifties housewife and bake my blues away. Being the health conscious person I am, with the self control I have, I wanted something a little bit sweet without the added guilt.

What better way to spend a cloudy, cold, winter’s day than indoors baking up a storm and shaking some action to Nova’s daytime tunes in some bangin’ leg warmers? 

I had the kitchen to myself and after finding a delectable recipe for zucchini bread on foodgawker, I was sold. Cakes, slices, muffins and breads that use vegetables are always the underdog; tasting far better than they sound or one expects. It’s also the loophole to getting a daily dose of veggies in. Win win.I’ve done banana bread before but this was a first meeting for zucchini and I in the baking sense but I like a challenge. Bring it on. 

Baking is one of the best ways to zone out and stress less, especially when there’s no deadline or expectations weighing down on the concoctions. Add some tea and tunes and I’m in heaven. The recipe came from the app ‘foodgawker’ on my iPhone which linked me to a food blog where someone else had already tried it out. It got me thinking about how social having a blog can be and how easy it is to stumble upon a common interest with the click of a button.

I know I’m only an amateur and I’m not planning on becoming anything more to be honest. But I think that’s the appeal. It’s what I like about other food blogs when I get my stalk on. They;

  • talk to me on my own level
  • include success and failures and
  • give simple steps

If you want to try out your own baking skills I recommend giving zucchini bread a go. Easy, tasty and healthy! 🙂

Here’s a link to the blog I stole it from but I just used normal salt, not kosher, on the ingredients list.

Better start cleaning up my mess. -.-

Have a good week kids!

Lady Jayy. xo

Hello and Welcome!

Hey hey dolls!

I issue a warm welcome to you who has ventured the limits of the Internet to explore my little blog.

I have to admit I am a blogging virgin, in terms of writing about something I enjoy and aside from the short “blog” responses that we are required to do for uni in relation to subject content. This can be considered the official loss of my “B Plates,” if you will and I appreciate your presence in this matter.

Over the coming weeks I will be utilising this space as an exploration of my own into the magnificent world of cooking, baking and food in general. Over the significant 7 week holiday break I have just encountered between semesters (yes, I am an arts student who is lucky enough not to have any exams) I found myself with a little bit of spare time here and there as a recent life change seemingly opened my calendar right up.

I think my obsession officially started when I decided to make cupcakes for an upcoming friends birthday. Personally, I’m not the biggest sweet tooth and can often be described as a bit of a health freak when it comes to food, however I love it in every form. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. I revel in the ability to create something delicious from just a few ingredients. I can’t help enjoying the happiness that comes from a gesture such as making cupcakes for a friend or letting mum take the night off from being head chef.

Now my mum is no masterchef but she always amazes me with her ability to make a meal with no recipe and no measurements. I don’t know if it’s my personality or my fear of making a mistake but when I cook, I follow the recipe to the T!

This blog is ultimately my desire to learn how to cook more than just cupcakes. I want to try to recreate recipes for every meal of the day, even the sneaky treats, with the help of my iPhone app, ‘FoodGawker.’ I’m not looking to be the next chef anywhere, I just want to try something new and if it tastes good in the process that’s just an added bonus.

I hope when you read my blog you can try to understand some of the fun and enjoyment I’ve had and who knows, it might give you the motivation to try it yourself. 🙂

Lady Jayy. xo