August 29, 2011
Guess what I got sent in the mail!!!! Product talk by Nuffnang is where brands get in touch with Nuffnang and Nuffnang in turn, sends product out to bloggers (like me!) to review!
Cocobella is a new Australian company that bottles pure coconut - and some flavoured - water in convenient tetrapack!
Coconut water contains lots of nutrients and anti-oxidants. Water from young coconuts have very mild flavoured water, and the flavour gets stronger as the coconut matures. Coming from a tropical country, I love the refreshing taste of fresh coconut, and this surprisingly tastes remarkably close to what I remember! I've been looking for suitable and convenient ways to get my coconut fix, and there are some products out there that just taste plain weird.
And simply because I love fresh coconut, Straight Up is my favourite flavour of the lot. It's very light, and it's only 54 calories! I think it's great for a sweet drink fix that's not bad for you.
The Pink Guava is Sean's favourite of the lot, partially cause you can't actually really taste the flavour of the coconut. It's got a nice fruity flavour, but it's more like guava juice rather than coconut juice that's mixed in with some guava.
The Mango is quite similar to the Pink Guava in that you can't really taste the coconut flavour, but the mango is still light and refreshing, and not 'heavy' and saccharine-ly sweet like some other mango juices can be.
And finally, the Pineapple. This one tasted a little odd to me. The pineapple flavour seem to bring out a slightly metallic aftertaste in the coconut water. Not sure though, it could be just me.
Likes: Great refreshing taste, and amazing low in calories! Great for that quick fix in the middle of a dreary afternoon.
Dislikes: I didn't like that the flavoured coconut waters had added sugar - to me most of the fruit that it's paired with has natural sweetness. But, then again, there are quite a few juices out there that have sugar added, so....I'd stick to the Straight Up, which is my favourite anyway!
Cocobella Pure Coconut Water is available at leading supermarkets. Visit Cocobella for more information.
August 15, 2011
Note: This might get mushy. If you are squeamish, then look away.
Happy birthday! First of all, thank you for being my other half. For being the brulee to my creme, the butter to my veggies, the salt to my caramel. I guess what I'm really trying to say is that you make me better. Thank you for providing me the sense of security to allay my worries and anxieties, and dealing with my neuroticism on a regular basis.
I hope that in your 25th year of life - no longer in your early twenties, you're now in your mid-twenties, feel old! - you find contentment. I would wish you happiness, but we all know that with every high, there is a low, so I hope that you find that happy medium, cause that - to me - is where nirvana lies. And I hope that there's no Courtney Love either. (Admit it, you laughed at that bad joke.)
Happy birthday, love.
I love you.
P/S For everyone else who is reading, yes that is a Dice Cake Pop. What can I say? Sean likes his dice.
August 10, 2011
Baegopa (배고파)- I'm hungry - indeed. In fact, I'm always hungry, which is why I was so excited when I got the opportunity to attend a Korean Cooking Class at the Korean Cultural Office!
I attended two of the 8 scheduled classes for the Jul/Aug term, and I must say that I didn't hold that high an expectation for it - most cooking classes that I've been to, save for Cheeky, are demonstration based, and you're not allowed to do very much. This one, however, was FANTASTIC!
First of all, the teacher, Heather Jeong, is so lovely and helpful.
She was ready to answer any questions relating to Korean food and culture, whether they related to the dish we were meant to prepare that day or not.
Speaking of dishes to prepare, we had BBQ Galbi as the main attraction on the first class.
Apparently Australia have really good quality short ribs, and this meat, which is usually braised for maximum tenderness, is nicely marbled and imparts plenty of flavour.
The Koreans have come up with a very ingenious method of cutting the meat so that it cooks quickly and isn't tough to eat!
The short ribs are carefully butterflied so that it folds out into one long strip of meat. This is done by very carefully using a sharp knife to cut in a spiral inwards. This is to ensure that the meat is in as thin a strip as possible, which then shortens the cooking time dramatically.
Then the meat goes off for a soak and marinade!
Apparently the meat tastes better after it's been frozen!! Which works by me, since I am a staunch believer of weekend marinading - doing the grunt work of cooking on the weekend so that yummy meals on a weekday is easy peasy.
And what's a Korean meal without sides!
I've always loved Korean sides, like the spring onion salad, but have never been able to get them quite right. This class not only gives you the chance to sample all these sides, but also allows you to ask the teacher for the recipe!
And as if that wasn't enough of a feast, we also had short ribs on their own, and
some pork belly as well.
As with most tabletop BBQs (great for parties!), we had veggies and such that lighten up each meaty, flavourful mouthful! I really like the Korean style of wrapping meats and condiments in fresh salad leaves that allow you to feel like you're eating a salad without actually eating a salad!
Now you don't think we stopped there did you? All that was one lesson's worth of food, and I chose to pay to attend another one.
This time we made KFC - Korean Fried Chicken! It is so simple, and yet marvellously delicious. You see, maybe the world's got it all wrong. We keep trying to flavour the batter and season the flour...maybe it is as simple as putting a glaze on it!
We made a soy glaze and a chilli sauce for it, and I must say, I'm pretty happy with the results!
Every bite was tasty, crispy, and full of flavour. The coating is super easy too - just some potato starch and plain flour. You can use a mixture of rice flour and corn flour in there too, but personally I just like the starch and plain flour mixture.
Remember the feasting thing? Well, we also made Spicy Pork Tacos!
Using daeji bulgogi, which is Spicy Marinated Pork, we had some rockin' wraps that I could eat all day long.
And the best part is? The dishes that I've learnt from those lessons are not the kind of dishes that I will only make once. Since those classes (it's been about 2 weeks?) I've already got packs of short ribs and pork belly marinading away in the fridge. I've had the adoration of my friends for my awesome chicken wings, and the undying devotion of Sean for the short ribs wrapped in salad leaves. Not that I didn't have it already, but you know, a way to a man's heart and all that.
The lessons cost $70 each, or $50 each if you are a member. It costs $25 to become a member, but if you are going to become a member just for the cooking classes, I would suggest that you check the availability, as the classes are already booked up for the next couple of months. I think Heather, our lovely instructor, is a one-woman Korean-home-cooking invasion! If you think about it, it's like a buffet dinner with recipes AND leftovers to take home!
Awesome isn't it?
And if that wasn't enough to convince you that this cooking class is well worth the time and money, let me leave you with a picture of the BEST LUNCHBOX EVER!
Tammi of Insatiable Munchies attended this Korean cooking class courtesy of the Korean Cultural Office. For more information, please contact the Korean Cultural Office at +61-2-8267-3400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.