Saturday, 30 April 2011

Say it...with macarons = )

Delicate eggshell-like brittleness from the outside, 
soft meringue feel inside, 
velvety creme center...
then leaves a touch of chewiness that melts in your mouth.

The bells are ringing,
angels singing...
Halleluia! Give me some more!!!

I've discovered these heavenly treats about two years ago, when I ventured the La Renaissance Patisserie at The Rocks-right within the pulse of Sydney. Specializing in the ever brilliant French cakes and pastries made with excellent technique and irresistible goodness, La Renaissance brought me to a place I have never been before...Paris! 

My main purpose was to hunt for a Mother's Day present for mum. But coming out late from work with the evening darkness fast approaching, time was totally out of my grasp! Shopping centers have ended the day's work, so I was left with one last buy a cake. 

To my surprise, the tiny cafe was soo packed and almost about to explode with the hustle and bustle of customers all desperate to get their orders through. Intriguing enough, I took my chances until I managed to squeeze myself in! 

As the crowd gradually eased out, I found myself standing in front of the most magnificent creations I've never seen in my life! Like unique pieces of art exquisitely crafted by geniuses, these remarkable masterpieces are nowhere near the ones I came across before! Just when I thought Red Ribbon was the best, I'd probably be deemed "clueless". Well, I am indeed from the province, and my step into this world of discovery has only just begun! 

It took me ages before I finally made up my mind on what to get. The lady behind the counter was...should I say, trying to keep her patience intact! So, my gorgeous present was finally in the bag...when I could not help but notice these...

Upon curiosity, I picked a couple of flavours--rosewater and pistachio. These round treats were strangers to me until I made that first bite.
For a moment, I felt so levitated.
 I could not fathom the excitement that filled my senses with such delight! 

I fell in love...

The city buzz did not interfere. It was a quiet time with my sweet fantasy.

I've got to say, even Lindt's "Delice" didn't quite get there. I may not have tried any other macarons but my experience from La Renaissance told me, that was how they MUST taste like.

I've seen Masterchef contestants go through hell in making these.
But with egg whites, caster sugar, and almond meal...what else could go wrong???
A sous chef once told me, the actual cooking of macarons in the oven is the critical point. You have to do it right otherwise it's make or break!

If macarons take perfection by experience, what about Adriano Zumbo's macaron tower?
I have not had the guts to make macarons just as yet...but I sure am waiting for the right time to walk into Zumbo's magnificent realm in Balmain!

All I need is time...time to save up. Since it'll be a trek to go up there, I will not allow myself to leave the shop without a whole box!!!

These are my melting moments.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011 bite sizes = )

They say when you feel something special, the poet in you comes out naturally. Not for me! Haha! Well okay, maybe sometimes. But poetry ticks all the boxes for me. Like Shakespeare or any other poet, I've always wished we spoke the same lingo from their era. Genuine, sophisticated, like drama brought to life, and brilliant---music in one's ears!
These are a few pieces I have molded in a contemporary style. Hopefully there will be more to come soon...

Much joy, much laughter
Nothing else could have been better
With your love so tender.


Your smile, your kiss
your embrace...
I would not want to miss.


Love that's tender, love that's true
it could be cheesy
but hey, that's me and you!


Millions of words out there
I chose three
YOU, I, and the LOVE we share.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

A life changing experience...

This is a video of our volunteer project in Costa Rica that my friend Harry has created. I have fallen in love with this place, and the people. A promise I've made, no matter what I will find myself back the future.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Because nothing beats homemade!

Subtle, smooth and creamy + sweet and tart berry

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Raspberry Coulis


The perfect thirst quencher for a beautiful warm weather...
My homemade Lemon Lime & Bitters = )

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Here you go...F o u r A t e F i v e down below!

After about a year since I first came across a great review on a small cafe in Surry Hills that serves "all day breakfast" from the Sydney Weekender, and a frantic search on Google for that one cafe photo print from the paper that was stuck in my head just because I totally forgot the name...I finally found it! Four Ate Five is the small yet "home-y" style cafe I've been raving about! Situated in a young and stylish neighborhood-Surry Hills-it's one of the most popular cafes people love going to. Its name may sound queer, but interesting and easy to remember. It made more sense to me when I saw its street number! Haha! Yes. See, now you know! I've read heaps of great reviews on this place from service, food, coffee, and ambiance. From my experience...I would rate it a dancing 9 out of 10.
 Hungry and...really hungry, my boyfriend and I trekked the steep hill of Crown Street to get here. I swear I had a complete leg workout and felt like an Iron Woman afterwards! So as usual, with our fantastic searching skills, we walked passed it...stood still, curiously studied the street numbers that went on after 485 and wondered where on earth it was! Oh well, that does explain real hunger! Luckily, we didn't go too far from it. Just a few steps backwards...we had a great sigh of relief. The place was just what I pictured it to be, small, comfy, and unique! We were warmly greeted by the waitress and sat us on that spot right next to the window with a beautiful view of Crown Street that was like a runway frequently graced by stylish individuals! Pretty interesting!
Another rather interesting thing about this cafe is this pastry shelf set up right on the glass window and next to the widely opened door. Not entirely hygienic but hey, I eat street food in the Philippines so I guess this one isn't too bad after all! It is as a matter of fact a clever idea to draw customers in, as they are so easily spotted by passersby.

Since it was 11am and we haven't had brekky yet, we were definitely up for a big meal to satisfy our hunger pangs!
Darwin loved his beef burger, and so did I! The patty was really moist and tender. The chips were average, but the beetroot and onion relish gave a surprising kick to it! That sweetness and acidity of beetroot combined with the classic spice of onions burst like a firecracker in my mouth! Superb flavor! 
My Mexican Breakfast was adventure served on a plate! I had a smile on my face when I first eyed upon the massive twin egg on top! Most probably, I've just been one of the hundred that did when they once ordered this. It tasted as good as it looked too! It had bacon cooked beautifully tossed with onions, tomato, mushrooms, avocado, and rocket. There was sourdough topped with flavoursome salsa and of course, Mexican beans! I must say, the paprika gave it a real feisty look! It surely made a whole lotta difference in terms of presentation. With a fairly reasonable price, it looked good, tasted fantastic, and my tummy was well and truly satisfied! 

I am most definitely looking forward to another fruitful trek to this place and be surprised by another meal and perhaps a cup of coffee or tea to go with it. 

Friday, 8 April 2011

Comedy, love, poetic as it can be!

Where art thy words of truthfulness and sincerity in this world of greed and tarnished respect for diversity?
*sigh* A twisted life, methinks. 
Perhaps Shakespeare could bring a bit of sunshine in this theater! 

"It is not the fashion to see the lady the epilogue; but
it is no more unhandsome than to see the lord the prologue. If it
be true that good wine needs no bush, 'tis true that a good play
needs no epilogue. Yet to good wine they do use good bushes; and
good plays prove the better by the help of good epilogues. What a
case am I in then, that am neither a good epilogue, nor cannot
insinuate with you in the behalf of a good play! I am not
furnish'd like a beggar; therefore to beg will not become me. My
way is to conjure you; and I'll begin with the women. I charge
you, O women, for the love you bear to men, to like as much of
this play as please you; and I charge you, O men, for the love
you bear to women- as I perceive by your simp'ring none of you
hates them- that between you and the women the play may please.
If I were a woman, I would kiss as many of you as had beards that
pleas'd me, complexions that lik'd me, and breaths that I defied
not; and, I am sure, as many as have good beards, or good faces,
or sweet breaths, will, for my kind offer, when I make curtsy,
bid me farewell."
Rosalind,  As You Like It

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
~Love Sonnet 18

TAKE, O take those lips away
That so sweetly were forsworn,
And those eyes, the break of day,
Lights that do mislead the morn:
But my kisses bring again,
     Bring again—
Seals of love, but seal’d in vain,
     Seal’d in vain!
~Isabella, Measure for Measure

Sunday, 3 April 2011

The travel bug

There is a whole new world out there to explore! You know what they say, once you've traveled, you can't keep'll always want to travel! Yes, it's the travel bug! And I officially have it!

I would like to walk through timeless history in the city of Prague,

explore the wonders and delve into the rich nature and vibrant culture of South America,

unveil the origin of my ancestors, and indulge in the authentic and scrumptious cuisine of Spain,
Enjoy the warmth of the sun and cool breeze where the sky reflects the color of the sea and home to the fascinating Greek Mythology in Greece.
Discover paradise on earth where baroque architecture is in harmony with  the beauty of nature in Croatia
Turn my dream into reality living a melodious life in Tuscany!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

How 'bout a cuppa tea for you and me?

As the temperature is slowly dropping, I am once again in the season of "hibernation". Delightful pastries and a cup of tea will surely entice the cold's remedy!

Friday, 1 April 2011

Disney favorites

I could never escape the thought of classic childhood films. They are where my imagination began with prince and princess stories, magical and enchanted places far far away, daring sword fights, and promising happy endings.