France (south)

I’m back to my travel posts~! 😀

This time, I’m doing southern France, so around Nice and including a few pictures and notes about Èze, St. Tropez, Cannes [obviously known for the Cannes Festival] and Grasse, all of which are part of the French Riviera (Côte d’Azur).

Here’s a map of the French Riviera  [cr. Wikipedia]

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Malaysia (food)

So, I know I should make a proper one, AND I WILL, but I don’t have the photos on my computer (wayyyyy too much memory, so they’re on an external hard-drive) but, BMU has been dead the past few days, so here I’ll do a mini post of:

*drum roll* Malaysia’s food!!!

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Monaco, Europe

Hai~

So, even though I have a SAC tomorrow, I’m actually finding that I really enjoy making these kind of posts (as I discover wordpress hahaha) and, since I have the motivation to, I’m going to post more ^^

Today I’ll be talking about the Monaco (the smallest country in the world besides the Vatican City XD)

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Bolivia (intro)

So… I just figured out that maybe, for next time, I’ll include a little introduction to each country before going into my own travels and putting in pictures and so on

SO, I’ll just make a second post for Bolivia for now, and include an introduction next time, since it’s a little late hahaha

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Bolivia, South America

hello hello~

I’ve been nudged by Helix and Vine to actually contibute to this blog, and I think I’ll help out in the travel section, since I do travel quite a bit and can actually post something

Before I begin: I’m going by the net-name ennie ^^

I’ll be posting a few pictures on a different country, maybe once a month or something? I won’t set myself to a constant date yet, but I’ll try none the less 😀

Without further ado, today’s country is BOLIVIA, South America

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Short crust pastry and jam tarts!

Hello World!

So as you may have noticed… I kinda let down on Cocktail Monday and Recipe Thursday… This is due to the fact that I have been a little bit busy… And away from the internet. After my last post, I made my way to Paris… where I didn’t have any internet… or access to a kitchen… or the energy to cook anything anyway… Paris was amazing and beautiful and everything everyone dreams it to be! Then onward to England, a stint through Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, and then a short stay with family in Holland.

So I made my way back home here in Melbourne… and then 2 days later it was Chinese New Year! So that was two days PACKED with family, friends and food… With the likes of, dumplings, lobster, bamboo shoots, sea cucumber, oysters, vegies, duck, pork, chicken, abalone, prawns… I could go on… It’s safe to say we ate more than Christmas and New Year combined… But my GOD it was amazing.

So here we are on this Thursday afternoon… Which also happens to be Australia Day! So Happy Australia Day everyone! I hope you’ve thrown some snags on the barbie and shared a tinnie with your mates (translation: I hope you’ve cooked some sausages on the barbecue and shared a can of beer with friends) I will be partaking in festivities later by making a pavlova (like a big meringue) but for now, I’m going to share with you a very simple, sweet shortcrust pastry recipe – which is easily turned into a jam tart 🙂

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry: 

  • 400g plain flour
  • 160g butter
  • 40g lard (optional, you can just use 200g butter)
  • 100g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • a pinch of salt

You can make this by hand… Which is very simple, or you can blend it, which takes about 2 seconds to do…

By hand, you rub the butter and lard into the flour, salt and sugar, using a machine, you just blend until you have fine sand.

Next, add the eggs, mix and kneed until you have the consistency of pastry. Before using, the pastry should be left in the fridge for at least an hour, but today I was sneaky and used the pastry after 40mins…

And that makes 750g of pastry.

So that’s the pastry, now you can very easily turn this into a jam tart, by simply rolling the pastry, and filling the tart with jam, today I made a strawberry jam one and an apricot jam one… Basically put the tart in around 180 degrees Celcius (I don’t actually know what temperature it was as our oven’s temperatures were burnt off…) and they took about 30ish mins to cook!

What you want is for the jam to boil in the tart, and once the pastry is cooked through and golden brown you can take the tarts out to cool…

So that was about… 3 hours ago… There are no tarts left… I was going to take a photo and show you… But when I went to take the photo, I was told they’d all been eaten. At least they were a success!

Happy Cooking!

xx Vine

Hello again from an alien planet.

So… I’m in New York. Like New York, New York. America. This place is kind of an alien planet. Hence the title. This may not be short.

It’s been a while… Sorry. I was cut of from internet for the week. You see, I was on a boat. A really big boat called the Queen Mary 2. For seven days. Yeah.

I compare it to people who like camping. You give up some of your creature comforts to do something different and fun. The difference being that while campers are carrying huge tents and wearing good strong boots, I’m wearing huge ball-gowns and carrying lots of make-up around. Everything else: the same. You have to get along with the people you’re stuck with and may have to sacrifice some technology. As a ‘kid’, I get to go to the kids area. Meaning I have access to thousands of video games, movies and LEGO!!! So much fun. I also get to meet the others. And by others I mean 4 or 5 English kids who are all from completely different areas of England, so they all act and talk differently. Apart from that, it’s just all fancy dinners and dancing. Dinner is a social event where you dress up and be nice or get kicked out. Delightful.

Unfortunately, the trip was rough. I was quite sick for one day. My mother was sick for two. And due to the roughness, my phone was *cough* misplaced… I freaking lost my phone on the Atlantic Ocean. Wonderful.

So I’m in New York now and it is just weird. The people are kind of intimidating, the whole idea of tipping is confusing, the food is just plain odd and this list could go on and on. Generally, it’s an interesting place. Creepily similar to my hometown. Today was the first day it has actually been cold. 1 degrees celsius. Yay. (that wasn’t sarcasm or anything. I like the cold. Really.) It may snow in a few days. Fingers crossed.

By the way, HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!!! Hope everyone back home had a nice Christmas. I’ve still got an hour to go before December 25th. It’s a lie-in day for us. No going out. Just lots of terrible food (MARSHMALLOWS!!!) and the Doctor Who Christmas Special. Hope you, possibly imaginary reader, have a fantastic time in your celebrations and a Happy New Year. My present to you is this ridiculously long blog and a promise that I will not do it again.

Lots of love,

Helix

P.S Thank you to everyone who checked out the Christmas Santacon video I posted a while ago. There won’t be anything like it again soon, as my camera and editing software was all on my phone. Which is lost. Forever… Anyway, thanks.

Shopping!

Yesterday we went to Avignon again… For more shopping, this time I came back with new shoes – I am very pleased with my purchase, after this return I also have more presents! I am truly grateful I stopped myself from buying a book last time, as my luggage would be overweight… (it was a book on cocktails and it was amazing but must have weighed at least a kilo, it’s okay though, I wrote down the ISBN so I can look it up on the net)

Avignon is very beautiful, it has the old city wall still intact and is truly a sight!

Yesterday afternoon we put together the ‘créche’ which is a little model of a small town and the baby Jesus’ birth with Mary, Joseph, the three Kings, peasants, hunters, a fisherman, the man who lives in the windmill… I could go on

So, with 3-4 days to Christmas (depending on where you live) I hope everyone is happy and doing something fun with the people who are imortant to them!

xx Vine