salads

All posts tagged salads

Great Ocean Road Trip (Melbourne)

Published January 6, 2011 by Mary Jane

Afternoon Bloggy Friends, hope this post finds you all well. I’m feeling a little on the crappy side, got home last night with a really sore throat – No! It’s one of the symptoms I often get when I’m coming down with a cold. So while Pandabear was reading the bible to me, I fell asleep this was around 8.30pm and then I woke up around 10pm feeling really warm, slightly high temperature so took some panadol and attempt to go back to bed. Unfortunately, I couldn’t – tossing and turning didn’t go to bed till 4am in the morning so had to call into work sick. Since I’m a contractor, I only get paid for rocking up to work – I didn’t feel too bad calling in sick today. So I thought I’ll take this opportunity to update my post to keep me awake from sleeping during day time so that I can sleep well at night time 🙂

Anyways, I’ve mentioned before my Mummy and my little Sis recently paid us a visit while we were in Melbourne for a week and we decided to take them to the Great Ocean Road Trip. It’s famous for it’s beautiful and amazing 12 Apostle Rocks view and the Ocean. So here’s some shots taken with our road trip drive…

What’s a road trip without a snack, here’s one of my favourite snacks – we had quite a few but this stood out by far 🙂

Came across rolls of hays on the green grass field, from far they looked like brown animals until we got closer and realised they were actually rolls of hays (very interesting)

Then I spotted lots of brown MooMoos (aka Cows) – they seemed so carefree! Strolling around in the green grass field chewing some hay. The scenery was beautiful 🙂

Our first stop over was at Lorne where we decided to have fish and chips for lunch 🙂 The fish and chips joint was a casual dining place – I guess famous for their fish and chips. When we walked into the restaurant, I was entertained by it’s wall decorations of different fish and sardines and their cute fish menu sign boards 🙂 There were 3 handsome fella standing at the counter and you’ll get occasional tanned and toned looking blokes with their tops off arriving for lunch from the beach (not that I was checking them out – LOL). The whole ambiance of the restaurant was casual and relaxing kinda reminds me of cottesloe beach back home in Perth.

We decided to share between the four of us. Some seafood platter with salads, that was really nice – it had a snapper, prawns and calamari to go with the salads. The serving size was a little on the small, but it was tasty. We also had some servings of fish with scallops and calamari separately with some tartar sauce and they served large portions of chips separately which was nice. Overall the food was pretty good, the only criticism I had was that when we reached to the bottom of the salad – it was frozen!! I mean we could have gone back and told them to provide us some more salad but we ate most of it already and just left behind some frozen lettuce and capsicum.

seafood platter with salads

seafood platter with salads

After our fish and chips lunch it was time to hit the road and continue driving to reach our destination of Great Ocean Road! It was sure a windy road along the hill sides but the views are absolutely amazing and breath taking. Here’s one of the amazing and wonderful shot along our road trip…

It took us a few hours of driving along the windy hills and we had to take occasional stops by the petrol station to recover from the dizziness and nausea from billions of turns around sharp corners. We eventually arrived at the 12 Apostles!

We were told the viewing point or look out closes at 5pm and we had 15 minutes to quickly get down and climb along the bridges to view the amazing 12 Apostles. It started to drizzle with rain and the sky was looking very cloudy indeed. We were hoping that it will only remain as drizzle as we didn’t have any umbrellas with us, apart from my hood! It was well worth the drive, the rocks were amazing – a great demonstration of God’s creation. We were trying to count all the rocks but it didn’t add up to 12?! Then we realised there were really smaller ones hidden behind the bigger rocks so all in all it should add up to 12 – hence the 12 Apostles! Here’s some of the shots of the amazing rocks by the ocean side…

Thank goodness the rain started to clear and we were able to walk along the bridges to take photos and view the amazing 12 apostles and it was time to head back home, the sky started to look really gloomy and cloudy and it we made it back to our car with rain started to pour!

It was time to head to checked into our hotel – Comfort Inn in Apollo Bay and have some dinner there…

To be continued…

Weight Loss Journey – Gym, Gym and Gym

Published August 11, 2010 by Mary Jane

Anyways, as I’ve mentioned earlier that I wanted to shed at least 20kgs and hopefully my goal is to be able to do it within 6 months! This is going to be hard as I’m not going to get any professional help but going to go with the DIY weight loss program. To start I must set some realistic goals.

1. Make up a food journal entry each day so I can monitor what I eat – I’m too lazy to calories counting and it make eating very miserable! Eat plenty of fruits and vegies and especially salads and smaller portions too!
2. Exercise at least for 45 minutes
3. No snacking, and for supper only eat fruits or yogurt only and maybe nuts as well but if I’m feeling hungry drink a glass of water instead..
4. Weigh myself every 2 weeks to see whether I have lost any weight as suppose to weighing every day – cos our weight fluctuate from day day…

Food diary
-brekkie – 2 piece of whole meal toast with peanut butter and a cup of milo
-lunch – went out with friends and had korean lunch – BAD! BAD! but to compensate for not eating salads for lunch I will have to eat healthier for dinner
-Dinner – stir fried bok choy with some pork mince and a small portion of yogurt for dessert

Gym
-Treadmill for 20 min
-Bicycle rides for 20 min
-warm ups and cool down for 5 minutes

Day 2 – Jamie’s Cook book Challenge – Mayonnaise

Published August 10, 2010 by Mary Jane

Have I ever mentioned before that one of my favourite sauces in the whole wide world is Mayonnaise – especially the Japanese Mayonnaise which comes in a soft tube with a red cap on?? I love that mayonnaise – I can eat a whole tube just by itself..um..maybe not that bad, but definitely in with sushi, rice, eggs, potato salads, and the list goes on. So my next cook book challenge from Jamie is making Mayonnaise – yeah i know some of you are probably thinking what? She can’t even make Mayonnaise from scratch. Yup and I’m not ashamed of it either – I just buy them from Asian grocery store why would I make them from scratch?? Anyways, this prove to be a challenge when I read how much olive oil it has to go in.

My friend came over today and I’ve decided to whip up this Mayonnaise with her. I proudly took out a recent gadget purchase in Melbourne – drum rolls… yup it’s the StickMaster from Sunbeam! I’ve always wanted one and saw them on Masterchef and it was love at first sight. A combination of a stick which crushes things, a large 1L beaker for measurements, and a small food processor along with detachable whisk! It’s a must to have!

My gadget

My gadget

Now my friend and I were working along with each other and I got her to read out the instructions while I proceed to whip up this mayonnaise, so it was clear that one person need to do the whisking and the other person is to continuously trickle the olive oil and then the last step to season with black pepper/salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Sounds easy enough? Wrong…it was an epic failure. I’ve measured out 500ml worth of olive oil and started dripping it into the food processor which my friend would press the button and off it goes. But for some reason the mixture doesn’t seem to thicken up!!

our thin and dilute looking mayo

our thin and dilute looking mayo

After staring at the miserable mixture, we persisted on whisking for a longer period of time hoping it would become creamy and more like mayonnaise rather than a salad dressing. However, no matter how long we whisked it looks the same, runny like a salad dressing. By this time, the little Maryann inside was jumping up and down screaming and kicking ‘why doesn’t this mixture work?? Why Jamie why??’ but on the outside she appeared calm and said why don’t we start preparing our lunch? Yes, food will drown your miserable sorrow away!! So we prepared a wholesome salad with our mayo failed salad dressing hehehehe and served with my left over spaghetti meat ball pasta.

our wholesome salad lunch

our wholesome salad lunch

Now, after the epic failure of trying to whip up a creamy mayonnaise I quietly put the failed mayonnaise back into the fridge and went for shopping and later got home was still devastated why my mayonnaise won’t work by that time my friend has left and I’m left with my failed mayonnaise. So I went back to the fridge, got it out and started whisking it again. Unfortunately, this time the mixture has split badly!!! NO!! So it’s time to hit the cook book and read the instructions carefully, I found out that Jamie mentioned for the first time mayonnaise makers please ensure you substitute some olive oil with some vegetable oil just incase it fails then you don’t waste your olive oil. Doh!! I have used my 100% extra virgin olive oil!! NO!!!

Anyways, proceed on reading and at least was a little comforted that my mayonnaise won’t work out for the first time. So I started from scratch again grabbed my egg york and a dab of dijon mustard seed and this time rather than measuring 500ml worth of olive oil, I just drizzled little bits of olive oil at a time. And guess what? Amazing thing happened, the consistency started to become creamy yay!! Now I was starting to get a little cheeky and stared at my failed mayonnaise why don’t I pour a little bit of this into my mixture and I did! It still turned out to be mayonnaise hooray!! Maryann jumps up and down and screams out to Pandabear – My mayonnaise works!!

Now, I’ve decided since my mayonnaise is a success let’s not waste my failed mayonnaise mixture I’ll keep it inside my fridge and I’ll make a new batch from it hehehehe..

from failed mayo to success mayo

from failed mayo to success mayo

So to all the cooks out there, please don’t give up when your first time recipe doesn’t work – persist on and you’ll reap the reward. Sweet sweet reward 🙂

Cook book challenge success? Absolutely!!

Day 1 – Jamie’s Cook book Challenge – Salads

Published August 9, 2010 by Mary Jane

Evening bloggy friends, hope this blog finds you all well. Anyways, I had a really productive day. Pandabear went off to work early in the morning for an orientation, so I forced myself out of bed around 9.30am which is a record time cos I’ve been sleeping in nearly all of last week. Anyways, email & facebook in the morning and then hitting the gym for an hour then came home and started the first day of my cook book challenge. I love Jamie Oliver, he’s such an inspirational chef and when I opened his cook book it turned my attention to salad dressing – up you’ve heard it salad dressing which is such a coincidence cos I’m sort of trying to shed some pounds and making salad dressing would be great 🙂

Anyways, his tips of washing vegies – I bought myself some cos lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, avocados and cucumbers. So following his tip of washing vegies and storing them in the fridge. I started washing the cos lettuce in the sink:

cos lettuce in the sink

cos lettuce in the sink

Now, to store the vegies Jamie recommended keeping your leaves in the fridge or in a bowl under a damp cloth until you use them. I didn’t have a damp cloth so I substituted with a damp paper towel.

my cos lettuce leaves & tomato in the fridge

my cos lettuce leaves & tomato in the fridge

Now, I started observing some different salad dressings recipes – they seemed pretty easy enough, main ingredients are extra virgin olive oil and some acidity ingredients such as lemon/orange and spices such as cloves/oregano/star anise. So I ended up making 4 tubs of salad dressings which would last me for weeks 🙂 first salad dressing was a lemon oil dressing…

ingredients for lemon oil dressing

ingredients for lemon oil dressing

It was easy, mixing all the ingredients together, Jamie said to grab some jam jars – I couldn’t find suitable jam jars and the containers I found are quite expensive so abit of substitution is using plastic round tub containers and after placing a lid on, I madly shake the container so that the oil and lemon juice will emulsify 🙂

Lemon oil dressing

Lemon oil dressing

I had a little taste and added more salt/pepper to balance the dressing out – it was delicious and very simple.

Next dressing was balsamic vinegar dressing…

ingredients for balsamic vinegar dressing

ingredients for balsamic vinegar dressing

This dressing is just as easy, mix both balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil together and I balanced it out with some salt/pepper. Delicious!

Balsamic vinegar dressing

Balsamic vinegar dressing

Next is Sicilian dressing which has more ingredients – acidity such as lemon juice and orange juice, spice – dried oregano and extra virgin olive oil…

ingredients for Sicilian dressing

ingredients for Sicilian dressing

and mix them altogether, you get Sicilian dressing a little sweeter than lemon oil dressing as it’s got the orange juice and a bit of kick with the spice of dried oregano 🙂

Sicilian dressing

Sicilian dressing

and last dressing I made is spiced vinegar dressing which is quite interesting I pour some white wine vinegar into a pot and chucked in some cloves and star anise and boil it until it reduced to 1/2 and wait for it to cool down and add extra virgin olive oil and balance it out with salt/pepper. The aroma of star anise and cloves were fantastic!

Ingredients for Spiced Vinegar Dressing

Ingredients for Spiced Vinegar Dressing

and the final product…

Spiced vinegar dressing

Spiced vinegar dressing

Anyways, after I’ve finished all the salad dressings – I’ve labelled them all and put them into the fridge – wow here’s my months supply of salad dressings!! Why would I even consider the bottled of salad dressings from the supermarket. These salad dressings from Jamie’s cook book are brilliant….no more bottled salad dressings for me!

my lovely dressings in the fridge

my lovely dressings in the fridge

now time to make myself a wholesome salad using one of my salad dressings – I choose lemon oil dressing… and the left over orange juice and lemon juice – I made them into a cup of tangy juice so that nothing goes to waste 🙂

My wholesome salad

My wholesome salad

for dinner, I showed Pandabear all my salad dressings and also made a plate of meat balls spaguetti accompanied by a nice bowl of salad – for dressing I used the balsamic dressing and it was delicious!

my dinner

my dinner

Cook book challenge success? Absolutely!!