Saturday, December 21, 2013

Four Friends Giveaway Winners Announced!

Hey All,

Thank you for taking part in the Four Friends Giveaway Dining Experience!


Now it is time to announce the winners!

Congratulations to 
Helen (Grab Your Fork) & Brooner!!

Please email me at passionatemae [at] gmail [dot] com your details - your name, email and tell me when would you like to have your giveaway :)

Four Friends Cafe Opens everyday from Monday to Saturday only
Monday to Friday 7.00am - 5.00pm 
Saturday 9.00am to 5.00pm

Located at 5/29 Holtermann Street
Crows Nest, NSW 2065


Don't forget to bring a friend along to share this experience.

You have until the 31st January 2014 to claim your giveaway! 

Happy Christmas and thanks for entering! I hope you will continue to read my blog for more happenings! 

Thanks to Katze from Four Friends cafe for sponsoring this giveaway to my dear readers! :)

Happy Saturday! :)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

My Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas is around the corner...
If you're still thinking of what to get someone, why don't you make something instead?
I have chosen a couple of gift ideas that you could make, and it is quite easy!

There are more ideas if you are thinking of making it for a party!


Happy Gifting! :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Four Friends + A Giveaway!


Last month, my husband and I were invited to taste some chocolate treats at Four Friends Café


It is certainly interesting to know how the name of the cafe came about...

How cute is that macaron's board!


At a closer look, we noticed that they claimed that their chocolates are all handmade, were all organic and did not contain any artificial colours or flavours! That made us even more curious and excited to try them. 


Surprisingly, we've not heard of this place before even though we often go to the area in Crows Nest.


The day we were there, there was a birthday celebration, and it was packed!

So we took our time to check out the store and look at the goodies she had on display!
There were so many truffles to choose from! 


 There were also plenty of teas to choose from too! Look at that, and you can mix and match your tea if you like. Not all the teas are displayed, so if you don't find the one you're looking for, just ask! But I don't think you would have any problem in finding something you want to have, you'll probably have trouble choosing 1 to taste! :) 



So after choosing our drinks, we chose our drinks - we went with Mocha (Pablo & Rusty), Hot chocolate (shaved chocolate with hot milk) and a tea (sorry, I can't remember what I ordered), we went upstairs to wait on the cosy sofas while they prepared our orders.

Katze, came up and brought us these! Seriously, so many truffles, delicious! I ate more than I usually would. My favourite truffle has got to be the Caramelised Almond Clusters. It is different to the ones I've eaten before, it has the right amount of caramelisation to it.


How cute is the Robot!

Then she came with more! The chocolate cake...omg! the chocolate ganache in the middle was just so smooth, it wasn't grainy at all! Those little tarts, lemon and pear flavours, was really good, the fragrance from the pear, has the right balance of sweetness.


Then the drinks came....


We finished almost all of these...and it was just the both of us...


Katze Ting, the owner was there to show us around. She shared with us her story on how Four Friends started. The whole experience was just great, Katze's passion to deliver great food, just shows in her food. 


You can feel the love that has been put into it. 

You can read more about her and her café here. 

Thank you again for sharing your delicious treats with us, Katze!


As we had such a great experience, we would like to share the love by giving 2 lucky readers a chance to dine at Four Friends Café courtesy of Four Friends. Each winner can bring a friend to share this experience with.

Each winner will get a dessert plate for 2 people worth $40.

 This dining experience is valid until the 31st Jan 2014.

[pic from Four Friends FB]

To get a chance to dine at Four Friends Café, please leave a comment below, telling me what would you indulge in during this holiday season and follow me on my Instagram - Passionatemae & Facebook page - Passionatemae if you have not.

Winners will be chosen at random.

Giveaway closes on the 20th December 2013 11.59pm (Sydney time). Winners will be announced the next day. If you're the lucky winner, please email me your details, more info will be up when the announcement goes out.

Giveaway is now CLOSED! Thank you for taking part in this giveaway.

Good luck and Merry Christmas! :)

Friday, December 13, 2013

How to make your very own Blueberry & Strawberry Jam?

It's so so simple to make your own jam!I can't believe I've not been making it more! I've tried making jam once below in the beginning stages of learning to bake, but I overboiled the jam, and it became so sticky and hard, and everytime I had to heat it up a little to use it. Though the taste is good.

I love strawberry jam, I have it almost on everything when I'm having toast, scones, making jam thumbprints and so on.

So the other day, I was shopping for groceries, and I couldn't help but buy some of the blueberries and strawberries to make myself some jam!

I found this recipe online (beantownbaker), but I feel that it needs some slight tweaking.

Wanna try making your own? Check out the recipe below!

All you need are (makes 1 jar):
3/4 cups of sugar
1 small lemon juice & zest
2 1/2 cups of strawberries, quartered (I just put the fruits in a cup and it makes 3 cups in total)
1/2 cups of blueberries (I just put the fruits in a cup and it makes 3 cups in total)

All you need to do are:
1) Put all the sugar, lemon zest, juice in a saucepan and boil over low heat, stirring it until the sugar dissolves.
 
2) Once the sugar has dissolved, add in the fruits and continue to cook until almost all of the fruits boils down. Stirring occasionally.
 
 
3) It takes a little of practice to know when the mixture is ready, if it looks thick like honey texture, it should be good. The mixture will look like it is too runny, but it will set once it cools down.
 
4) Pour into a clean jar and keep it in the fridge once it cools down!
 
 
Happy Jamming! :)
 
 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

How to use a double boiler for your raw eggs and sugar?

Just the other day, I was making Tiramisu, usually I prefer not to have raw eggs in my recipe, so I generally put it over a double boiler. This helps to dissolve my sugar too in the recipe. It helps the mixture from being grainy.

All you need...is a pot and another bowl to put on top of the pot. You can use a metal bowl or a Pyrex bowl like I did.

Have some water on slow boil in the pot, once that's ready, put your bowl of egg yolks and sugar on top of the pot. Make sure to beat it continuously, you don't want to cook the egg.

In my Tiramisu recipe, I make sure that my egg yolks and sugar comes to a ribbon stage. Check out the video, it is just a short clip to show you what it looks like.

video
 
I used this Tiramisu recipe on my blog, it is an old post, so please forgive some poor photos. I omitted the egg whites this time. Will refresh the recipe when I get the chance :)
 
Hope this helps!
 
Enjoy! :)
 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Let's do the Egg Jiggle Dance.

For those who knows me, they know that I LURVEEEE steam egg!
 
What's so special about it, I have no idea, I just love it.
 
I've never tried to make it at home, I've always ordered it when I go out to eat, and it cost a bomb for just steam eggs.
 
So finally, after multiple trials...
 
I've managed to tweak the recipe into my very own.
 
Look at it jiggle!
video

All you need is - feeds 4 unless you love egg so much like me, it's for 1 :) !
4 eggs
6 x 1/4 cup warm water (360ml)
Salt & Pepper
Soy Sauce

1) Prepare your steamer/a pot of water, deep and wide enough for your ramekins to fit in, make sure it doesn't sit directly in the pot, have those steamer racks)
2) Break your eggs in a bowl.
3) Pour the warm water into the eggs while mixing it with a chopstick
4) Add your seasoning (salt, white pepper, soy sauce), it is really up to you, how much flavor you want in them. Pour into your ramekins for steaming.
5) Steam it for 10-12 minutes, or you'll know when it is ready when it jiggles smoothly in the middle.
6) Serve hot, you can sprinkle with some garnish - chopped spring onions too.

Tips - I usually have one chopstick on each side of the pot to hold the lid from completely closing the pot, this helps to prevent the top layer of the egg from bubbling, it will give you a smooth top.
 
Enjoy! :)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Online Book Shoppers

Hey...it has been a while...sorry...I have been so busy...

I had 2 weddings and a honeymoon to plan and work was keeping me pretty occupied too.

Now that's all over, I'll try and update it more regularly okay...

Anyway, I just wanted to know where do you usually buy your books?

As for me, I usually buy them online, as it is way cheaper than getting it at the bookstore...of course it doesn't include those places that has promotions or discounts from time to time like Basement Bookstore in Central Train Station Sydney.

Before I hit BUY online, I usually check out Booko.com to compare the books prices. Booko, makes it easy for me to see how much the book costs, shipping charges and delivery time frame.
 
So far, the 2 online sites that I usually use are www.bookdepository.com and www.betterworldbooks.com . I am sure there are plenty of other websites that might be cheaper. But for me to buy books to be shipped to Australia, these would be my 2 recommended ones.

Though, Amazon's prices are cheaper if you live in the UK or US, I would say Amazon would be better. Previously, when Amazon.co.uk used to have this promotion - free shipping to Australia, by spending more than £25, I used to buy my books from them, but I found that my books often arrives a lil' damaged.

Anyway, check Booko out, it definitely saves you time from checking various sites to compare prices if you're buying online.

Did you also know that Bookdepository is having a 50 books, 50 offers, 25 hours promotion now!?

*This is my own opinion, and I am not paid to do this. I just thought, this would come in handy for you online book shoppers!

Have a good weekend!

Oh oh...on another note, I made my hubby a Nutella Cake for his birthday, similar recipe to this here, but I made some changes.


I use my Instagram pretty regularly, follow me if you want - passionatemae

Tata xxx
Mae

Friday, August 9, 2013

Maggi Stir-Fry Creations

What do you do when you receive a whole bunch of Maggi Stir-Fry Creations in the post?!?
 
COOK them of course!
 
I was lucky to taste them.
 
Seriously, I was pretty impressed with the flavours of these sauces.
 
My favourite has got to be the Sweet Chilli, Ginger & Lemongrass.
 
I love Lemongrass, so this was the 1st I wanted to taste.
 
The Maggi Stir-Fry Creations is a 2 step process; first the Infusion Paste and the Finishing Sauce



It only takes 10-15 minutes to marinate the meat before it's ready to cook. Pretty fast ay...
 
Overall, I was pretty happy, it was easy, quick and delicious! Can't get any better than that.
 
 
You can find them in your local and independent supermarkets at $3.29RRP.
 
It comes in 5 different flavours:
Honey Soy and Garlic
Teriyaki and Sesame
Sweet Chilli, Ginger and Lemongrass
Chinese Five Spice and Soy
Garlic and Ginger Chicken
 
I have also tried the other flavours but the Sweet Chilli, Ginger and Lemongrass is definitely my favourite.
 
Check them out! :)
 
This was part of the Product Talk by Nuffnang - I have received this product in exchange for a review.

Friday, June 28, 2013

I wish for...

Everyone has a list of things that wish to have...this has been on my list for a very long time now, but the reason I've not bought one yet is that..I can't decide on the colour for this Le Creuset! Help me?
 
Orange is bright and nice..while the Blue...I do wished it was more Royal Blue than Dark Blue..
 
Le Creuset Shallow Casserole 26cm
 
 
If you did not know, I am a BIG FAN of Anything Marc by Marc Jacobs!
I saw this bag about a month ago..maybe.
 
Love this colour block bag, how striking is the blue!
Marc by Marc Jacobs Goodbye Columbus Colourblock Bentley Tote
 
Hmm...I shouldn't.....but it's.....
 
Have a nice weekend all! :)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Winter in 6 days time!

HEYYY! :)
How have you all been?
It has been a while ay....
I know I'm sorry.
With the new job and wedding plans, I hardly have any time to blog.
Autumn just came and it's almost gone, how quick!
I've not been baking much, but I still bake here and there. 
Just yesterday, I made some mini churros with nutella dip. YUM! recipe from "Tiny Party Food" book. Recipe was easy, very very similar to making a profiterole.
Lately, I've been trying many different salad recipes too. Trying to keep healthy...yea yea...the wedding is around the corner as well.. :)
I have so much to update. 
I received some products, tried them..and I can't wait to share it with you all. SOON!

Anyway, I update my Instagram pretty often...so if you like, hop on over to Instagram and follow me - Passionatemae :)

Mostly, it's all about food..but there are times it's just about what I see, what's around :)

Catch up soon my dear readers! :)

Have a good Monday!

Monday, April 8, 2013

How to BAKE using the Oven GRILL?


So, a couple of months back, my oven died on me. My usual fan-forced function decided to retire. It was so upsetting, as it meant that I wouldn't be able to bake until I get it fixed. I rang up the technician, and as expected, it cost me a few hundreds to get it fixed. I wasn't prepared to pay that much. To my delight, I realised it was only my fan-forced function that wasn't working, and my other oven functions were still good.

I did not want to pay a few hundreds just to fix one function..so I decided to test myself to bake with the GRILL function.

It worked! All I had to do was to just reduce the time my goodies are in the oven by 5-15 mins depending on what I'm baking. Also, to put a bowl of water in the oven when I'm baking too, as to keep the moisture in my goodies especially cakes/cheesecake but not for cookies. Grill oven tends to dry out your baked goods. As for cookies, I did not have a bowl of water in there, and it turned out just fine :)

Try it! You'll be surprised.

Let me know your experiences, it'll be great to share! :)


Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Taste of Sydney Festival 2013 Giveaway Winners


As much as I would like to giveaway tickets to all of you, but unfortunately there's only 3 pairs of tickets.

 *drum rolls*
Congratulations to  ........................
Julia White - You've won yourself 2 tickets - Enjoy it with Ken!
Snax - You've won yourself 2 tickets - Enjoy it with your partner! 
Panda - You've won yourself 2 ticket! Enjoy it with your hubby!

Please email me your details (name and the day you want to go) latest by 10pm Sydney time 12th March 2013,  so that I know you're aware of this - passionatemae@gmail.com - otherwise new winners will be chosen! Don't wanna waste these awesome tickets ;)!

All your tickets will be available for pick up at the Media Window @ Box Office on the day/session of your choice!



Thursday 14th March       Lunch - Closed           5.30pm – 10.00pm

 Friday 15th March     12.00pm – 4.00pm  5.30pm – 10.00pm

Saturday 16th March   12.00pm – 4.00pm 5.30pm – 9.30pm

Sunday 17th March      12.00pm – 5.00pm     Dinner - Closed


Once again, I would like to thank Jenna from Stellar for generously sponsoring these tickets to my lucky readers!



Friday, March 8, 2013

Taste of Sydney Festival 2013 Tix Giveaway!

Another year has come and gone!

Taste of Sydney Festival is around the corner again.
Do you have tickets yet? If you haven't, you're in luck!

Jenna from Stellar Concept Australia has kindly sponsored 3 tickets to this year's Taste of Sydney Festival to my lucky readers! 

You and a friend will receive tickets that can be used for any one of the days.

Taste of Sydney Festival is held every year! This year it will be held on the 14-17th March 2013 @ Centennial Parklands!

If you love food! It's definitely a MUST go!

Participating Taste of Sydney restaurants includes:
Efendy - Somer Sivrioglu
Popolo - Jacopo Corbetta
The Woods - Hamish Ingham
Ananas Bar & Brasserie - Joerg Tuettelmann
Three Blue Ducks - Darren Robertson
The Cut Bar and Grill – James Knight
Four in Hand / 4Fourteen - Colin Fassnidge
Saké Restaurant & Bar - Shimpei Hatanaka
Jonah's Whale Beach - Peter Ridland
Biota Dining - James Viles
Muse Dining - Troy Rhoades-Brown
Kitchen by Mike - Michael McEnearney
Longrain - Louis Tikaram
Porteno - Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz
Claude’s - Chui Lee Luk

Special appearance, Malaysian Kitchen too!

So I'll be giving away 3 pairs of tickets to my 3 lucky readers that can be used on any one day (Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday)!

All you've got to do is tell me which pop-up restaurant menu are you looking forward to sink in your teeth and who will you be going with?

Hurry, you've got until this Monday 11th March to tell me! Giveaway closes 11.59pm Eastern Time. Winners will be announced on Tuesday 12th March!

Giveaway is now closed! Winners will be announced at 9am Eastern Time on 12th March 2013!

I've also written about my own experience at Taste of Sydney - here.

Good luck! :)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Gong Xi Gong Xi Gong Xi Ni!

Chinese New Year is just around the corner!

How are all your preparations going? Loads to cook and prep?

I wished I was able to bake some cookies for CNY but unfortunately, my oven decided to take a holiday.

Oh well, it's alright, I guess I would just have to find another way to make some other desserts that do not require the oven?

Anyways, here's a list of some of the cookies/dessert that I turn to during this time of year.



Or perhaps some Golden Cornflakes cookies

 Love peanuts, try this Melt in Your Mouth Peanut cookies (recipe from my sifu aka master)

 Want something hot..perhaps some Sweet Peanut Tongsui (Sweet Soup)

 or something different like Sago Gula Melaka (Sago Palm Sugar).

Happy collecting lots and lots of Angpows for those who are unmarried and happy giving Angpows who are married! :)

Gong Hei Fatt Choy...in advance!