Looking for some inspiration

Posted on February 26, 2013

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My good run of regular posting has come to a rather abrupt end in February, and for once I’m not going to blame it on being busy. Although it has actually been a busy month with Chinese New Year (CNY) celebrations, a going away and numerous birthdays, including my beloved father’s; that hasn’t been the thing that’s prevented me from blogging. My problem is a little more perplexing – I’m totally lacking inspiration.

I’ve eaten out a number of times, but haven’t really felt the desire to review these places. I haven’t been experimenting too much in the kitchen, so that leaves me with little choice of fun recipes to post as well. What to do? If anyone has any requests for places to review or things to try to make, I’m open to suggestions. Whether I have the motivation to take it up is another story…

So consider this a post from a wannabe writer desperately trying to get her mojo back, and in the process provide you with little snippets of what has been keeping me off the net.

A bit like how Christmas has ‘Christmas food’, there are many foods associated with CNY, not just nian gao. For gifting, I love making these Chinese style peanut cookies. They are a peanut lover’s dream. Deliciously crumbly, they just melt in your mouth. The recipe is courtesy of Billy Law (yes, the Masterchef contestant of 2011). He has two versions of this recipe on his blog, but there is very minimal difference between them. They are dead easy to make, the only hard part is making enough to satisfy the demand! This year, I chose to packaged my little treats in little red noodle boxes to gift to family and friends.

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I finally got around to eating at Chin Chin (125 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC). It only took me a lifetime to get to the hippest restaurant in Melbourne. I went for lunch and asked to be ‘fed’. The ‘feed me’ menu costs $66 a head and the stream of food from the kitchen pretty much keeps coming until you say stop. The selection of dishes come at the discretion of the kitchen, but the waitstaff are more than happy to hear your preferences and ensure you get the dishes you want to try. Great value if you can eat a lot, however I think a la carte would work better for me. Chin Chin is definitely an it restaurant, it has the right vibe and good food at a reasonable price. If you haven’t already, put it on your list to try.

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I also got around to making taro ice cream following my pledge to fellow blogger Grace. With its golden hue and the crushed peanut garnish, my version rather looks like peanut butter ice cream instead of taro doesn’t it? Rest assured that the below photo is of taro ice cream! My ice cream doesn’t have the pretty purple hue taro ice creams tend to because I didn’t use colouring or any taro paste, and just added more mashed taro instead. The ice cream still worked out well. It was very rich in taro flavour without being too sweet. Really lovely if you’re a taro lover like myself. This would a great ice cream for the coming cooler autumn months, but it’s probably a touch too rich for Melbourne’s summer. Seriously, downing a serving of thick custard based ice cream with heavy starch through it in 30°C plus heat can leave you feeling a little worse for wear. If you are insistent on trying this ice cream during hot weather, perhaps reduce the amount of egg in the recipe to take some of the richness out.

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And that’s really about it folks. Nothing else worthy of note. March is fast approaching and that means the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is back for the 20th year running (the festival runs from 1st to 17th of March this year). There are numerous events on ranging from the free to the indulgent, have a browse through what’s on and hopefully there will be something that tickles your fancy. And maybe, I will finally find something to write about. Wish me luck!

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Posted in: MissC thoughts