Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cool toy - Automoblox

I saw a few of these at a toy store today and thought they are so cool - definitely on the gift list for when my nephew is old enough! Conceived by industrial designer Patrick Calello, they are wooden toy cars that you build yourself. Learning and play! I would have loved these as a kid. All the details here.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Sadly I couldn't ascertain who the actual author of this is.

Red Lantern, Surry Hills

For my birthday dinner this year we went to The Red Lantern in Surry Hills. As luck would have it, Luke Nguyen was there that night and we were able to have a chat with him - very happy to report he's as lovely in person as on his show. The food was absolutely beautiful - taste, texture, to look at, everything. Sadly the lighting in this restaurant is less than ideal, so apologies for the graininess. We also forgot to photograph our entree, but be assured, the dishes were delightful! Photos courtesy of Ton's sister. It's not a cheap night out, but definitely worth it for a special occasion.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Antique store worth the 1.5hrs drive from Sydney

If you find yourself in Sydney with a day to spare you should do a day trip down to the Southern Highlands and stop off in Berrima. Not only is the country side beautiful, you will also have to stop off for a visit at this magnificent antique store. Loads of kitchenware, clothing, fabrics, and bits and bobs for around the home and great for styling!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Here's a better shot of the antique last in photo 5

Karate Photos

Our dojo participated in a Queensland competition a couple of weeks ago. My photos are now up on the dojo website.

Photography Assignment 1

It's the fourth week of my photography course tonight, and our first assignment is due to be presented. I didn't keep track of time properly, but I guess I spent about 4 hours on these shots on the weekend.
1. I got the letter from an antique store in Surry Hills a few weeks ago.
2. This was a bit of an accidental shot. The rose was from an early date with Ton that I dried out and it's been part of the decor ever since - about 7 years now!! I actually just wanted to use it in the background of shot 1 for a bit of texture, but when I saw how the light fell on it and created that lovely shadow I just snapped away and am really happy with this shot now.
3. I got my name stamp carved in Singapore a couple of years ago, with the rat on top (my Chinese sign), and complete with the red ink pot, I thought it would make an interesting subject.
4. The ring made out of an old spoon, also purchased in Surry Hills, as compared to some other old spoons.
5. I don't think this shot really works but I'll include it anyway. I wanted to utilise the antique shoe last, but somehow in the process it made its way into the background.
6. Technically two separate shots but I did them to be a pair - although I shot them on separate days. It's very hard to photograph glass.

There is no post-production on these shots - the only thing I did was straighten the one with the red drink, but it's STILL a bit wonky, I think. Other than that these are the jpg shots straight from the camera without any tweaking in Camera Raw. (as stipulated in the assignment)

Hope you like, but constructive criticism is always welcome. Seriously. :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Berrima, Southern Highlands, NSW

A few weeks ago we spent a lovely couple of days in the country town Berrima in New South Wales.


Yummy tiramisu at Sugomi in Bulimba. Almost as good as my nan's... ;)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Easy Haloumi-Veg Gnocchi Dinner

We never seem to get home before 8pm these days, so I try to have an arsenal of dinners in my repertoire that are easy and quick after a long day at work and exercise. This super-easy vegetarian dinner takes less than half an hour to cook, and despite its lack of animal protein my other half loves it.
1. Fresh ingredients! I had 3 zucchinis and 3 nice big Swiss Brown Mushrooms, but you can substitute other vegetables that you have handy/you prefer - I know my friend Andrew can't stand mushrooms, so if I was to cook this for him, I'd substitute them for eggplant. One medium red onion - I prefer these to white or brown onions; they are sweeter and less eye-watering. And garlic is a must!
2. Bring water to the boil, add a dash of olive oil, dump store-bought gnocchi into pot. Set timer for approx. 9 minutes.
3. Roughly chop onion, into the fry pan with plenty of oil. Add a dab of honey to caramelise the onions. Cook until golden.
4. I like to chop my vegies into big chunks, so that they still have some bite in the middle and don't go mushy from cooking. Brown zucchini and mushrooms. Add either tomato paste like I did here or chop up a fresh tomato.
5. Chop haloumi into smaller bits; as this is quite salty, I prefer to use the haloumi in small bits to distribute the saltiness, and also so the bits of cheese are cooked through and soft in the middle, whilst being brown and crispy on the outside. A dash of lemon on the raw haloumi prior to cooking if you wish.
6. I use this ingredient in about 90% of my cooking. Some freshly ground nutmeg. Yum. Salt and pepper to taste, and ground paprika if you like. Roughly chopped garlic is a must. I like to add this towards the end so it doesn't cook too much and leaves quite a strong garlic taste. If you're not a garlic fiend like us you should add this in at step 3 or 4.
7. Drain gnocchi, plate up. Garnish with some fresh sweet basil leaves. Done! Eat.