Thursday, 15 August 2013

Flavor of the Month: August

Hello again! This month I'm loving…

Chocolate with fun things in them

Make your own fun-filled goodies with this chocolate mould

Part of my current obsession is the thrill and suspense of never knowing exactly what you are going to find encased in each little brown square. My sister recently sent me some of Cadbury's Milk Rocky Road chocolate as 'study snacks', and if the amount of these I'm having is directly proportional to my success in the upcoming exams, I'm going to ace this year! My favorite ever Cadbury chocolate is Black Forest, precisely for this reason. I love the little jellies in it so much that if I find one I save it and eat them right at the end. That's dedication for you.

The Future

It's a scary thought. The other night I went to a seminar hosted by a university that I could possibly be attending in two and a half years. Two and a half years! That's not a very long time at all. What makes it even more daunting is the fact that I will be leaving home, no matter what university I go to. Life after high school is as hard to imagine as living on the moon… You have a general picture in your head of unidentifiable people floating around in massive white suits, moving very slowly or bounding around moon craters like kangaroos. It's the same for uni, I guess. You see photos, hear stories, read booklets. But you can't yet fully define what being a uni student, what being a Young Adult, is about. You just know that it will be an Experience, unlike anything you've ever done before. And that's pretty exciting.

Sunny Days

We have had  really good spell of weather this past week. Sitting outside in the beaming sunshine is certainly a novelty lately, but one I can soon get used to it with spring just around the corner. It is feeling more and more like the New Season with newborn lambs popping up in the paddocks, clear blue skies and brighter mornings.



On one side of our stove sits a tray holding three bottles. A cork-stoppered glass vessel of canola oil. Olive oil encased in a curvaceous bottle with a fancy top. The label of a square-based flask reads 'Matakana Marc One' while on the other side of the glass - soy sauce. This pretty much defines my family's go-to cuisines. European and Asian. But lately I've been craving something of a different continent. The box-sets we know and love - tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, quesadillas - are simple and satisfying, yet nothing beats the real thing. I'm on the hunt for a tasty, not too high-maintenance mexican lunch or dinner to make this weekend, and satisfy my craving. Any suggestions?


Saturday, 10 August 2013

Vanilla Snap Cookies with Chocolate Ganache and Peppermint Filling

Home-made baking is amazing, and it's even better when its gifted to you from a friend. I love baking for friends, whether it's to celebrate birthdays, accomplishments or just because. Seeing their faces when they open the box, knowing that it was you that lovingly made those sweet treats, that's something special, and far better than going doing to the nearest dairy of supermarket to buy a mass-produced equivalent. Baking something yourself shows you care.

I made these cookies for a friend's 17th birthday. I shaped the cookies using a cookie cutter that she gave me for my last birthday, and when she told me some of her favorite flavors were chocolate and peppermint, I knew exactly what to fill the cookies with.