Pizza

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Pizza night

Published August 28, 2012 by Mary Jane

Anyways, from time to time Pandabear and I would consider making home made pizza with thermie. It’s quite easy to make the dough in the thermie – just bread flour, water and yeast and then you can freeze the extra dough later. Anyways, for some reason we always ended up rolling the dough into a rectangular shape rather than a circular shape but it’s great for cutting into square pieces. For flavours, usually we make a Hawaiian flavour, supreme and this time we decided to try something different. In Italy we ate this pizza which consist of just potatoes, rosemary and cheese. It was so simple but it was delicious 🙂 So decided to replicate this…I first parboil the potatoes so that when you bake the pizza it will cook faster…grabbed some rosemary from my backyard and topped with some cheese. Here are the photos of our yummy pizza. The last pizza was just a mix of left over ingredients…

A day for myself…

Published October 26, 2010 by Mary Jane

Hello Bloggy friends, hope this post finds you all well. I had a day off work today – yay 🙂 so in the morning I got woken up by Pandabear who needs to go to work. Next time I shall remind him to let me sleep in cos it was only 7am in the morning and I’m already awake! Anyways, I roam around in bed for a little while refusing to get up as I had an appointment around 10am to see my massage girl – Kat. I’ve been feeling rather tense lately as I nearly had a heart attack from work yesterday thinking I’ve lost 3 months of data work that I was working on. Thankfully all is well, I have found the master spreadsheet and didn’t have to kill my work colleague..hehehehe..

So I went for my massage appointment and decided today will be the day that’s for myself and I want this day to be different and spontaneous. Don’t ask me why, I get moments like this and it’s very rare that I would go off and do random things. After a 45min of intense acupuncture, torturing, screaming from pain I felt relaxed and my muscles are now tender again…so off I went and came across this cinema..mmm.. I’ve always wanted to watch Eat, Pray, Love by Julia Roberts so I thought to myself today maybe the day. But then I’ll have to watch the movie by myself how boring, I’ve never watched a movie in the cinema by myself. Then something made me walk into the cinema to check out the time. Wow, it’s screening in about 15-20 min time around 11.30am and it goes till 2pm. The next one won’t be till 2.30pm but the responsible me kicked him and reminded me that I need to go to the post office to post my little niece’s birthday pressie. So I went to the counter and asked how much is the ticket? The nice guy said $9.50 special today! Wow, that’s cheap and I even bought a bottle of water with it. Okies, one ticket to Eat, Pray, Love and I even commented this is my first time watching a movie on my own. The nice guy replied “Well, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it there’s no one to disturb you…”

So I walked into cinema 5 where there’s nobody…ofcourse it’s Tuesday and 11.30am who would watch a movie at this time..except for me…ha! I get to choose my own spot, let my hair down, took my shoes off and it felt as if I own the whole cinema to myself. It did get eerie at times when I heard funny noises but eventually when the movie started screening everything was honky dory!

Wow, I can’t believe I’m watching a movie by myself and there’s nobody around me…and can I just say the whole movie was fantastic, I love Julia Roberts she’s such a natural actress and 1/2 way through the movie I was busting thanks to my bottle of water so I grabbed my handbag and went straight for the bathroom and ran back hoping that I haven’t missed anything. Honestly, by about 1pm I was starving I remembered I didn’t have any lunch so thinking whether I should quickly duck out and grab some popcorns but found a mandarin in my hand bag and started peeling the mandarins and munching on it. It was fantastic! I laughed out loud, cried, clapped, jumped and danced through out the whole movie and wow, it’s great watching a movie all by yourself where you can express your emotions without worrying about people giving you weird stares… I give the movie 9.5 out of 10. The 0.5 point lost goes to the movie been too long, I was still hungry after my mandarin.

So after finishing the movies I know it’s time to go to the post office and on my way there I came across this Italian joint…mmm..that reminds me when Julia Roberts were in Italy she had this huge whole pizza. I felt like pizza and guess what? You guess right I went into the restaurant and sat myself down. Once again, I’ve never eaten alone in a restaurant by myself – I rather grab a takeaway then eating alone in a restaurant and looks like a loner. But, oh well I’m hungry and I wonder what’s it like eating alone in a restaurant. The nice waitress handed me a menu and I said to her what’s your special for your pizza she pointed to Tono Special Pizza – I shall have that. They had an open kitchen so I could see the chef running around by himself making pizza and pastas. Wow, he didn’t have any helpers but then again it was a tiny family restaurant. My tummy started grumbling so I decided to order some garlic bread while waiting for the pizza and for drinks. Usually I go for lemon lime bitters but I saw Chinotto – I’ll try the citrus drink 🙂

The pizza and garlic bread both ended up arriving on my table at the same time, I was starting to regret from being greedy ordering the garlic bread but oh man, can I just tell you how delicious the garlic bread was and the pizza mmm..it was so tasty I scoffed them down using my fingers. I think the waitress is probably thinking this girl looks like she hasn’t eaten for a few days. It was delicious and I didn’t feel guilty eating it even though I was suppose to be on a Jenny Craig diet but I really wanted to have pizza today 🙂 Ofcourse I couldn’t finish it all so I took them home for supper later…

So carrying a box of left over pizzas and some garlic bread I make my way to the post office to post my niece’s birthday present and I even found the cute princess post bag to put the pressie in very happy as not all post office sells these type of bags. So feeling pretty happy while I was queuing up spotted some teddy bears lying in a box…aww…they looked so cute..and yes as most of you guys know I love soft toys even though I have few hundreds of them already…the brown one was staring at me “buy me, I’m ready to come home with you” or was it my own little voice in my head?? Anyways, the temptation was too great and since Pandabear wasn’t next to me to stop me from buying I bought the brown and fluffy teddy home and named him “Cuddly”

Oh I’m so happy that I get to take Cuddly home, he’s now next to me watching me blogging…and oh on my way back I saw the large purse bag sitting on the floor hey…I remember I made Pandabear took a picture of me sitting on top of it during our honey moon…wow some years ago it’s still there. So I took a picture of it…this time not with me on it but some random guy sitting on it…

As crazy as it might sounds I had an awesome day and I should do it more often, wasted a few hours in the cinema which is not usually something I would do and dine in a random restaurant eating alone – as I don’t like to waste time and I need to be constantly doing things and everything I do must be planned…so today was the complete opposite. I love it 🙂 it’s great for the soul and just what I needed to boost my happy cells….I would recommend this to everyone out there who needs a day out for yourself whether it’s too pamper yourself, treat yourself, get away from madness, doing something random anyways it’s what I would call it “a day for myself”

Restaurant Review – Caffe Moretti (Melbourne)

Published September 22, 2010 by Mary Jane

Evening bloggy friends, well I have survived my first day of Jenny Craig food. Yay 🙂 I’m very proud of myself even though I was tempted by some yummy spanish and chinese food when I met up with my friend. I resisted the temptation and it worked! Yay 🙂

Anyways, this particular restaurant was recommended by my sister in law. They have been there a few times and have had quite good food over there. We decided to try out dinner there one night. I was curious to find out whether the restaurant was owned by Italian or whether the chef was Italian. Then, I took a peek inside the kitchen and to my surprise it was all Asians. I was a little disappointed as I was expecting some Italian chefs. Nevermind, let’s hope their Italian version of food is good…

It was rather packed that night, this restaurant seemed really popular. Anyways, we decided to share a few of yummy mains. There was pizza, gnocchi, calamari, and slow cooked pork belly with vegies.

Pizza

Pizza

The pizza was fantastic, generous in the filling and very tasty – they have certainly done well for the pizza – good on you Italian trained Asians…

gnocchi

gnocchi

The gnocchi was also nicely done, very soft and it melts in your mouth. I really liked the gnocchi and the sauce was really creamy and lovely – yum…

Calamari

Calamari

The Calamari was a little disappointing as you can tell straight away the calamari was a little white and it wasn’t deep fried to golden brown. When I tasted the calamari it didn’t have much flavour into it.

Slow cooked pork belly

Slow cooked pork belly

Slow cooked pork belly was disappointing too, it was tender and soft but it had that strong porky taste which puts me off. The crackling wasn’t crispy – I prefer crispy crackling rather than soft and tender fatty crackling. It had enough gravy but the porky taste was just too strong for my liking.

Then it was dessert time…

Bread & butter pudding

Bread & butter pudding

The bread and butter pudding looked really nice, and as I’ve never had one before I was hoping to try it. I was picturing the bread and butter pudding melts in your mouth but it seemed a little hard in texture, compact and quite dense. I’m not sure whether it’s suppose to taste this way. But the flavour is quite nice.

Panacotta

Panacotta

The panacotta was ok, wasn’t fantastic – it was a little grainy to my liking and it didn’t have that wobbly texture…and it didn’t taste that nice with that raspberry jelly.

then there was coffee with a nice “M” pattern on top…that’s nice…

The other time we decided to take away some desserts – and they were fantastic..a variety of small desserts – lemon tart, profiterole, chocolate eclairs and little meringue tart.

Overall, the mains were quite nice and the dessert wasn’t crash hot but our previous take away desserts were divine 🙂 The Asian chefs have done well, just need to improve on the Calamari and pork belly and it’s all good. Here’s my rating:

Dining Experience: 4 star
Food Experience: 4 star
Would I recommend? Yes!

Restaurant Review – Bryndisi Italian Restaurant (San Francisco)

Published June 21, 2010 by Mary Jane

Evening Bloggy Friends, well I’ve had a productive day today thank goodness. Two days ago I was bed ridden sleeping 15+ hours and waking up to eat bland fish porridge and watching episode of Judge Judy & Ready Steady Cook. Today, I listened to my GP and had a day off from work to stay home to rest. Thank God, I am getting better – my tummy is less sore and my appetite is slowly coming back, I even sneakily ate alittle of my salt and pepper squid & cheese bake broccoli left overs from Pandabear’s last night’s dinner. Cos I had my usual fish porridge, I’m on light diet – which consists of plenty of fluid, soup, porridge, no dairy, no sugary food and no fat!! Life is boring without those categories of food, lunch time I found some left over cuts of pumpkin and made myself some pumpkin porridge. Tonight I said to Pandabear I’m so sick of my light diet food of 3 days. He said to me well, why don’t we get some Red Rooster for dinner tonight that way you don’t have to cook and rest more. I got excited my eyes lit up and I was ready for my mayo chicken roll along with some gravy mash potatoes along with a healthy drink of Vitamin Water.

After finishing my dinner, I was regretting it cos my tummy didn’t feel too well. Pandabear was like slow down with your eating you finished your dinner within 15 minutes that’s why your tummy is not feeling too well. So I decided to go upstairs and continue reading a book by Tow Siang Hwa – Foot Prints in the sands of time an autobiography of Dr Tow Siang Hwa’s life and watching an episode of Masterchef. So as I was saying I had a productive day today, feeling better than yesterday I’ve decided not to sleep for 15+ hours today but woke up around 11am and ate some brekkie, washed some loads of washing, contacted GP clinic to see how I can avoid queuing up at Medicare to claim the gap, contacted the Car insurance as the renewal is coming up and it’s so expensive – I saved myself an additional $70 bonus 🙂 and read through the whole book of Foot Prints in the sands of time by Dr Tow Siang Hwa- an inspiring book which I would recommend to all readers. My only questions is there’s not much mention of his kids? I wonder why, I shall ask him myself when he next visit Perth again. 🙂

Anyways, still in the mindset of San Francisco we decided to have a nice Italian meal for our dinner so asked the concierge which Authentic Italian Restaurant would he recommend, he suggested a few and advise us to rock up to this alley of little streets which consists of Italian, Greek and American Bar & Grill restaurants. I was so excited a whole street of Italian, Greek and American Bar & Grill restaurant – how exciting. So we decided to walk there cos it’s only a few blocks, when we got there it was fascinating – neon lights and signs displaying each little restaurants, there were at least 6 restaurants to choose from. So we decided to go through each restaurants to briefly look at their menus. Each restaurants had a staff standing outside giving customers a copy of their restaurant menu. Finally we got to the last restaurant called Bryndisi Cucina Di Mare, a nice lady was showing us their menu which consist of wood fired pizza, pasta and meat dishes. We decided let’s tried this Italian restaurant it was rather packed inside so they sat us down a table of two outside freezing cold. Fortunately they had a heater on outside.

Neon lights & signs

Neon lights & signs


Bryndisi Cucina Di Mare

Bryndisi Cucina Di Mare

okies, so we had a look through our menu, I suggested we must try their woodfire pizzas and grab a pasta to share that should fill our tummy. So the waiter came, he sounded italian so he got us some fresh warm bread rolls – complimentary that’s nice and we get to dip into this awesome spinach olive oil – I was sure there’s another herb in it but was too hungry so I scoffed it down.

bread rolls with spinach olive oil

bread rolls with spinach olive oil

Now when it came to ordering the waiter arrived and asked us what we should have. I went we want a woodfire pizza and a pasta dish, for the woodfired pizza I chose a pizza by the name of Capricciosa – which consists of artichokes, mushrooms, olives, mozzarella, prosciutto and tomato and I asked the waiter “is there a signature pasta dish that you could recommend to us?” he replied “certainly mam, if you like our pasta dish – Linguini Allo Scrigno – which is a pasta baked in a pizza crust which consists of tomatoes and seafood. I was really excited I’ve never had a pasta baked inside a pizza crust – really looking forward to it.

So the pizza arrived first – wow it was huge and the presentation was fantastic, all the fresh ingredients and colour on a thin sliced woodfire pizza, the waiter layered it on top of a wire stand which made it look even more impressive.

Capricciosa Woodfire Pizza

Capricciosa Woodfire Pizza

The Linguini Allo Scrigno shortly followed, and the presentation was amazing. The waiter gently placed the dish on the table.

Linguini Allo Scrigno

Linguini Allo Scrigno

You may be amazed how I could remember the dishe’s names with my fish memory. Well, I wrote them down on my book that’s why! Ha there’s no way I could remember those names. Anyways, the waiter slowly made a cut and the moment he cut it open the steam of fresh seafood aroma rushes into us – it smelt delicious.

Linguini Allo Scrigno cut opened

Linguini Allo Scrigno cut opened

Now I asked the waiter whether we could eat the pizza crust on top, he said ofcourse you can dip them into the sauces and it taste great! So that’s exactly what I did, the pizza crust was crunchy and tasty – not doughy, thin and when you dip them into the pasta sauce it was very flavoursome. However, I had to remind myself not to be carry away with this pizza crust when I had a whole woodfire pizza to finish. So we must be pretty hungry cos both Pandabear and myself managed to finished the whole pizza and our pasta baked dish. The seafood was fantastic fresh, mussels, prawns, fish & scallops were tender not over cooked. I generally don’t like tomato based pasta but the tomato based sauce was infused with the seafood so it gave that extra bit of kick when you eat it. I loved it! Certainly was one of the best pasta dishes I’ve ever eaten. The food waiting time was great, we received our meal within 10-15 minutes. The staff were friendly.

Here’s my ratings:

Dining Experience: 4.5 star
Food Experience: 4.5 star
Would I recommend: Absolutely YES!

When the waiter came back to collect our empty plates he asked us how we went with our dishes – I said “Balisimo” he replied in some Italian I have no clue what it means maybe some where along the lines of ‘That’s great, we hope to see you again’ so before we left I told the girls we really enjoyed our meal and we found out the lady was the owner’s daughter and apparently they own another 2 Italian restaurant down the streets selling different dishes. How bizarre?? Wouldn’t they be competing against each other? Well, perhaps they all got their different signature dishes and specialties, I said I would come back to try another two if I have time and it turned out we didn’t have time…oh well, there’s always next time 🙂

Restaurant Review – Lobsterfest (New York)

Published June 16, 2010 by Mary Jane

Okies, we’ve always walked past this joint with a huge lobster sign hanging from it’s restaurant. I said to Pandabear one of these days we must try out this joint. So at lunch time, we decided to check this place out. You have a choice of either sitting upstairs at the restaurant area or you can sit near the bar and order some drinks. We went for the restaurant upstairs. the waitress was pretty friendly, sat us down and ask for our drink order. Pandabear and I came across this Pineapple smoothie and we’re both like mmm..sounds like so that’s what we ordered…

Pineapple smoothie

Pineapple smoothie

I really didn’t feel too hungry at the time so I said to Pandabear the serving size on the menu sounds large so I’ll just grab a lobster pizza and share the ultimate Lobster meal with him. The waitress then brought some nice savoury scones for us as entrees – that’s very nice of them..it was complimentary.

savoury scones

savoury scones

I was starting to feel a little full from eating the scones – it was pretty tasty – I couldn’t figure out what was the ingredients in the scone but it was buttery and tasty. So afterwards, my lobster pizza came – thank goodness it was thin crust…

Lobster pizza

Lobster pizza

It was really nice…the little pieces of lobster were juicy and the herbs they put was yummy it was also well balanced with some cheese. So it was great 🙂 When Pandabear received his ultimate lobster meal – it was huge!! It had large pieces of lobsters – grilled and panfried and a prawn & lobster creamy sauce fettucine. I had to share some with him there was no way he could have finished all that…

The Ultimate Lobster meal

The Ultimate Lobster meal

Oh and before I forget the crab pancake came too..we totally forgot that we’ve ordered that as well. Thinking to ourselves there’s no way we could finish all of these food..

crab pancake

crab pancake

To be honest, Pandabear’s ultimate lobster meal was a bit disappointing cos the lobster were a little on the dry side – I think they’ve over cooked it. The fettuccine was dry too, it was creamy enough we would have prefer more sauce. So overall, his meal was a little on the disappointing side. However, my lobster pizza and crab meat pancake was great 🙂

We had a tiny squeeze of the dessert and it looks quite tasty – except we couldn’t fit any more food in our tummy otherwise it will explode!! So here’s some pictures of their dessert menu:

Well, overall the food waiting time was pretty quick and the waitress was pretty friendly and nice. Food was ok, nothing spectacular. Here’s my rating:

Dining experience: 4 star
Food experience: 3.5 star
Would I recommend? Yes, even though Pandabear’s meal was disappointing their other dishes were quite nice..so it’s worth checking out their other dishes.

Comfort Food Recipe – Home Made Pizza

Published January 24, 2010 by Mary Jane

Hello there, I love pizza especially home made ones because you can add as much ingredients as you like and remove the ones that you don’t like. Also they taste very fresh different to the pizzas you buy from take away shops. So it is a little hassle to go and buy individual ingredients for the topping but once in a while is well worth it. 🙂

Here it is…

Home Made Pizza

Ingredients

2 cups of plain flour
1 x 8g sachet of dry yeast
1 teaspoon of caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoon of olive oil
3/4 cup of warm water

Instructions

1. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and add oil and water.

2. Mix to a soft dough

3. Knead on a floured surface until soft and elastic

4. Return into the mixing bowl and cover with a glad wrap and leave in a warm spot for 30 mintues and the dough should double in size. My secret is to pop it into a preheated oven that way it warms up quicker.

5. When it has risen, punch the dough once to remove air bubbles.

6. Remove from bowl and knead gently for a few minutes.

7. Roll the dough out to round circles to desired size, thinner = thin crust and thicker = thick crust and add your toppings – my favourites are olives, cheddar cheese, mushrooms, capsicum, bbq chicken. Pandabear loves pineapple, ham and cheese.

8. Pop it in the oven and bake under 180 degrees for about 20-25 minutes or until it’s golden brown and cooked 🙂

It’s delicious, and very easy to make..

Enjoy…

Home Made Pizza

Home Made Pizza