Tag Archives: Feast

Merry Christmas – My Dearest Readers :)

 

Merry Christmas My Dearest Readers :) I hope you had an amazing day with all your loved ones may it be family or friends :D I’m sorry for being so quiet this week, but Mr Bao and I have been so busy preparing our first ever Christmas party! Usually we are in Hong Kong and celebrating with family, but this year we are on own own in Melbourne. So i decided to take matters into my own hands and organise our own party :D

Christmas Feast!

Christmas Feast!

This is the Christmas Feast! I have never seen so much food in our little apartment! HAHAHA! It took us more than 2 days to do all the cooking and the preparation started 3 days before! And I also got a lot of help from my wonderful guests (my dear friends) who brought a dish YAY!

Krik carving the turkey ~

Krik carving the turkey ~

I am SUPER annoyed :( That I didn’t take a close up of our two MAIN dishes the Roast Turkey with apple and pork stuffing and the Marmalade Maple Glazed Ham >_< But you can see Kirk carving the turkey in the picture above ~ Mr Bao and I are SO happy with the turkey! It was super moist! Thanks to Heston’s recipe where we brined the turkey in salt water the night before. And Margaret Fulton’s pork and apple stuffing is the BEST!

Mr Bao carving the BEAST LOL

Mr Bao carving the BEAST LOL

I am calling the ham ‘The Beast’ it was huge! Weighing 5kgs I could barely lift it up and put it onto the roasting pans. It had a maple marmalade glaze which was sweet but had a slight bitterness from the marmalade to cut through the sweetness from the maple syrup :) We had SO much of it left lol

Smoked salmon, cream cheese on crackers

Smoked salmon, cream cheese on crackers

As entrees and nibbles, I made smoked salmon with cream cheese on crackers ~ these are super easy and quick to make and quite delicious too :) I was going to bake wonton wrappers and use them as little cases but ran out of wonton wrappers at home damnnn >_<

 

Pancetta Pasta Salad

Pancetta Pasta Salad

Yue my colleague was so worried that we weren’t going to have enough food or ‘carb-loaded’ food :P that I bought him a loaf of bread lol (on the left from Christmas Feast picture) and also made a pancetta pasta salad with broccolini and a creamy and tangy mayonnaise.
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Julz and Kirk had to come save my salad dressing :P As I put way too much lemon juice and it was super ‘tart’… lol so they had to help by adding more mayonnaise and mustard oh and some salt hehe

Potato Salad

Potato Salad

Julz brought a potato salad :) Another carb-loaded salad for Yue and also a vegetarian dish for Miss Dd as she’s a vegetarian ~ This was super creamy and yum! We also made mushroom and halloumi cheese skewers for her but once again was too busy eating and forgot to take pictures hehe.

Miss Dd brought a fruit platter

Fruit platter

Miss Dd brought over a fruit platter, it looks super pretty and perfect to help digest all the food the turkey and ham hehe

Adriano Zumbo's Mirror Cake with homemade macarons

Adriano Zumbo’s Mirror Cake with homemade macarons

I delegated the desserts to Kirk :) He’s the professional and I simply didn’t have the time with all the other preparations ~ He made Adriano Zumbo’s Mirror Cake from the cake mix which you can get from Woolworths :D It’s super rich and moist and with a sweet glaze! LOVE IT but not many people could eat it as they were all so full from the Turkey!

Raspberry and coconut seme fredo with pistachio praline topped with chocolate

Raspberry and coconut semi fredo with pistachio praline topped with chocolate

There was another dessert which was much lighter ~ it was a like a semi fredo with a coconut mousse, raspberry coconut merengue with chocolate pearls and pistachio praline. This was a lovely dessert but sorry Kirk just not my type of dessert, it was simply too light and fruity and really hahaha needed some sort of sugar :P But hey that’s just me hehe the other guests seems to love it :D

Beechworth Bakery Beesting

Beechworth Bakery Beesting

I was SO SO SO happy when Thanh (I Eat Therefore I Am) confirmed that he could come to our Christmas party ~ Thanh is another friend that I have met through blogging and we get along so well! He’s also an amazing baker too so do check out his blog when you have time! He had just come back from a weekend away in Ballarat and stopped by the Beechworth Bakery and bought a large BEESTING! YAY! It was one of the first places I had blogged about. I absolutely adore this beesting, which is two sweet buns with delicious vanilla custard sandwiched between! Seriously AMAZING!

My Chocolate Cupcakes with a surprise

My Chocolate Cupcakes with a surprise

I didn’t have time to make desserts but managed to wake up at 7am to bake these chocolate cupcakes with a surprise for my friends to take home with them :)

Surprise inside is a Ferrero Roche!

The surprise! 

And the little surprise is a Ferrero Roche inside the cupcake!!! :) I’ve been meaning to make these for the longest time but have forgotten about them lol so I thought Christmas would be the best time to do it! I mean who doesn’t like Ferrero Roches? :D

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Now a party wouldn’t be complete without desserts right? But another thing we must have are drinks :) Thanks Yue who provided us with all the drinks we could possible need or want! He brought soft drink, juice, iced tea, wine and beer!

Sangria

Sangria

So I decided to make a Sangria with all the drinks Yue bought over :) It was funny the first jar I made was too ‘strong’ then the second jar was too ‘weak’ so I ended up doubling the amount of vodka :P no no I’m not an alcoholic, I just like my drinks learning towards the ‘stronger’ side heh

Vodka Jelly

Vodka Jelly

I also made Orange and Strawberry Vodka Jellies!!! These are super easy to make and I think perfect for any party :) They’re very pretty too, once again everyone thought they were too strong but I only put 90ml of vodka and 360ml of water hahaha what do you think My Dear Readers of this vodka to water ratio?

 

Mr Bao got mini speakers ~

Mr Bao got mini speakers ~

We also had a Kris Kringle :) Mr Bao got Yue’s present which was a mini portable speaker ~ Perfect for Mr Bao and he likes to play music where ever he goes.

Vietnamese Coffee Filter Set :)

Vietnamese Coffee Filter Set :)

While I got Julz’ present which was Luke Nguyen’s Vietnamese coffee filter set! Seriously one of the best KK presents I have received :) I really like Vietnamese coffee because of their use of condense milk, so this would be a wonderful addition to our kitchen. Thank you Julz.

Mah Jong time!

Mah Jong time!

Hahaha after having all that food and drinks it was time for MAH JONG what Asians do best :P I’m still a beginner so I was on the other table, while the experts were sitting at this table ~

Pick Up Sticks

Pick Up Sticks

We also used Julz present (from me) which were Pick Up Sticks! I knew this was going to be a great KK present as we can use it immediately hehe ~ This game looks so much easier than it actually is! It also brings back childhood memories, did you use to play as a kid? :)

That sums up our first ever Christmas party :D I am super duper happy with everything ~ there were a few mishaps but overall it was an amazing night! I need thank Mr Bao heaps! He is an absolute HERO! He did all the prep work and without him, we wouldn’t have had a turkey or ham which are the stars of our Christmas Feast! Also to all my friends who came thank you for bringing a dish and helping out! Hope you all had a good time and next time please DO NOT DRIVE so we can drink even more hahaha

I hope you also had an amazing Christmas and may Santa spoil you rotten and you get all the presents you want tomorrow! xoxo

 

Market Feast – Eat Drink Blog 3 Part 3

This is the final part of my Eat Drink Blog 3 posts :) I’m feeling a little sad…reminiscing all the good times I’ve had with my fellow food bloggers, it’s just a shame that we wont get the chance to meet up as often as we would like to. But at least we are able to look back on these photos and look forward to the next time we meet!

The first day (Part 1 and 2) of our conference was just full of eating, drinking and talking :P but the next day was when the real conference began. It was going to be a pretty full on day because most bloggers had to rush off and catch the 7pm flight back home.

Red Door Bakery pastries and bread

EDB was very kind and had organised breakfast for delegates as it was a pretty early 8:30am start, we were provided with an array of pastries and breads from Red Door Bakery. I was super excited about trying the pastries as I had put Red Door Bakery on my ‘to-go’ list but knew I wouldn’t have the time to go, so it was a win win situation YAY! I had the orange marmalade danish and it was everything a good Danish should be, the pastry was puffy and flakey and with the orange marmalade it was just NOMMY!

dianne

Dianne Jacob acclaimed writer

Source: Diannej.com

It was then followed by Dianne’s workshop, where she went through her thoughts and opinions about food bloggers. I was very excited about meeting Dianne, as I have been meaning to purchase her book ‘Will Write For Food’. Now I’m definitely going to buy it ~ she gave us an overview of her experience with food bloggers, and she said she has seen a massive influx in the number of food bloggers in the past 5 years. A couple of years ago there were probably 40,000 food blogs, but this figure is no longer accurate. Dianne also mentioned that competition amongst food bloggers have also increased, therefore, its important to have good quality content on your blog~ I’m worried…I talk too much randomness to my blog posts hahaha

jules clancy

Jules Clancy from The Stone Soup

Source: The Stone Soup 

I then chose to attend the Blog Design workshop by Jules Clancy (The Stone Soup), it was a wonderful workshop as I have been interested in redoing my blog design, but haven’t had the time or expertise. These are the key points I got from Jules’ talk :)

Key Points
- Need to decide on an objective for the blog, what do you want people to focus on when they visit your blog
- Make it easy for Readers to find recipes and reviews
- Must easier to read posts with a white background and black writing
- Use narrower columns to help Readers quickly skim through the post
- Research has shown that the first time we look at a website is the top left corner

After attending this workshop… I really think I need a new blog designnnnnnnnnn can anyone please help me? :P Pretty please! It’s so complicated hahaha

Chef Nick preparing the seafood paella~

Time seriously just flew by and it was then time for lunch ~ no one knew what we were going to have for lunch, so we were all surprised when we walked downstairs back into the Central Market. The market is closed on Sundays but a number of stalls had opened up just for us to create a Market Feast!

Seafood Paella

Everything smelt and looked fantastic but the ginormous seafood paella was the show stopper :) I’ve never seen such a large paella pan in my life! I got a small serve and it was so delicious! The seafood gave it a sweet kind of flavour, while the chorizo was smokey and full of flavour.

San Jose products

More San Jose ham, chorizo and salami! You might remember San Jose from part 1, where we got to met San Jose and his partner turing the Central Market tour.

San Jose Ham

We also got to sample Vegas poultries pandan chicken :) I love the subtle pandan flavour the chicken pieces had and would really like to take some home with me if I could, because it’ll be the best after work dinner dish ~

Vegas Pandan Chicken

We also got to sample some of O’Connells Meats, I don’t think we got to meet them during our Central Market tour, but they were offering the most exquisite ham I have had :) It was warm, smokey and seriously AMAZING flavours! This is seriously the best ham to serve at any Christmas party.

Never ending chocolate fountain ~

Dessert was covered by Providore, another chocolate fountain? YES PLEASE! I can seriously contemplating getting one of those plastic mini chocolate fountains and put one at home so I’ll also have a never ending supply of chocolate :P

My lunch :P

I practically just sampled, the savoury dishes, instead this was my lunch lol pancake with strawberries drenched in chocolate sauce and topped with chocolate gelato :) Life couldn’t get any better!

I really wished we had more time to eat even more food, but we were only a very tight schedule. So we were rushed back into the Central Market Kitchen for the next lot presentations~ Next up was Geoff Kwito, the web entrepreneur and SEO guru. I really wished I had the chance to talk to him more, to pick his brain about SEO. He explained SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) very well and also gave us many hints and tips on how to optimise it to increase our hits.

Key Points
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is important and inevitable
- Keywords are important, include them in the title and in the post
- Google will not rank your blog very high if it does not have good content
- Share the love, link back to each other :) The more links you have, Google will believe you are a quality blog
- Google does not recognise images, therefore, it is important to name them something relevant

These are a only a few things I learnt from Geoff’s presentation, for more Julie from I Dream In Chocolate recently did a post about SEO check it out ~

Afternoon tea – from The Cupcake Table

As we were all paying attention to the presentation, I saw on the corner of my eye, Natasha (The Playing House) who is also part of the EDB committee set up a table in the corner with our afternoon tea. It was like a little girls birthday party and definitely made me grin from ear to ear ~

So much to choose from!

I had a lot of trouble deciding what I wanted! I simply wanted to try everything there ~ I did manage to try the cakepops are they were so delicious! Fudgey and soft cake centres covered in chocolate then the crunch from the 100s and 1000s hehe yum yum yum!

Caramel Popcorn Cupcake

I couldn’t go past the caramel popcorn cupcake and then were AWESOME! Let me repeat that AWESOME! It was this soft, sticky and sweet caramel cupcake with a caramel filling, topped with caramel popcorn that was so crunchy and YUM! The cupcake was SOOOOOOO good, I couldn’t help but ask Natasha for the recipe, and she has been so kind to share with me :) I’m going to try making them ASAP and once I succeed, I will post about it :D

Christie from Fig and Cherry

Source: Fig and Cherry

The last presentation I wanted to share with you would be Q&A about Ethics and Working with PRs, with George Ujvary (The Foodologist)Ed Charles (Tomato) and Christie Connolly (Fig and Cherry). I was most excited about meeting Christie in person as I follow her blog and love the simple yet tasty recipes she shares, I also like stalking her blog because Poppy her daughter is SUPER adorable :)  I thought this topic was very interesting and important topic for food bloggers, especially since more and more food companies and restaurants are now using food bloggers to help promote and sell their products.

Key Points:
Always be honest with your Readers and also be transparent and disclose when products/meals are paid for
- Decide what products you will accept and review that fits with your blog
- Decide whether you will charge and how much
- Public Relation companies do not usually have a budget, marketing firms usually have a budget and are able to sponsor bloggers

I think these tips were great and very useful, as I think it’s very important as a food blogger to be honest and disclose when products or meals have been paid for. I think Readers have the right to know and shouldn’t be misled to think that the meals were paid for individually when it wasn’t ~

Now that concludes my EDB 3 food bloggers conference :) I am going to cherish this experience for the rest of my life ~ I had the chance to meet all these fantastic bloggers and people in the food and beverage industry, be able to taste all the fresh produce and delicious dishes and most importantly learn how to be a better food blogger :D And that is to be honest with Readers and write good quality and intersting content!

Would also like to say a HUGE thank you to Christina (The Hungry Australia) and Amanda (Lamb, Ears and Honey) co-chairs of the EDB event and everyone else on the committee Natasha (The Playing House), Celeste (Travelling in Mary Jane), Erin (She Cooks She Gardens), Alex (Eating Adelaide) and Kristy (The Natural Foodie).

I’m really hoping to go to EDB again next year with all my fellow Melbourne bloggers and also catch up with all the wonderful and talented bloggers I met this year :)

For a recap of EDB 3, Simon (Simon Food Favourites) has done a brilliant video ~ I love re-watching it hehe :)

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