About a year ago, my sister made the astonishing decision to become a vegetarian. I remember when she first broke the news, I immediately thought tofu + steamed vegetables = boring, and wondered how quickly she’d get over it. But ever since then, she has admirably committed to life sans meat. Though she still eats seafood and the occasional bit of chicken, she’s maintained an inspiring vegetarian lifestyle with such ingenuity that has shut me up and taught me a thing or two about vegetarian cooking (follow her on Instagram).
Cheesy frittata, stuffed with spokes of asparagus, earthy mushrooms, and sweet onion
Now I’ve gotten used the idea, I’ve started cooking vegetarian whenever my sister comes over. My repertoire is hardly as inventive as hers, but one of my favourites has got to be this delicious oven-baked frittata (eggs!) filled with some of my favourite veggies (mushrooms! asparagus!), smothered in gruyere and parmesan cheeses (yes please!!). No wonder it tastes so good… =)
Happy Chinese New Year! Over the weekend, I had the privilege of hosting a small dinner with family and friends, giving me a great excuse to whip up something Chinese.
Though I have significant Chinese heritage, I’m not very experienced in traditional Asian cooking techniques. Don’t get me wrong: I love eating Chinese… for me it’s right up there with sleep-ins, massages and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. But I must admit I’ve always found cooking Chinese cuisine a little intimidating. Yes, that’s right… (an Australian bred) Chinese-Filipino woman scared of Chinese cooking.
Just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, Geelong was the first stop on our adventure to the Twelve Apostles. At the time, the only thing I knew about Geelong was that it had an AFL team. However, as we pulled into Pakington Street for some groceries and a quick bite to eat, we were about to discover a whole lot more than we anticipated about this thriving port city.
Welcome to Geelong!
We cruised into the mainstreet in our rental car on a sunny Saturday morning, to find it bustling with people doing their shopping, catching up over lazy brunch, or simply just kicking back and taking it easy. As busy at it was, we found the pace to be nowhere near as frantic as the Sydney suburban hubs we’re used to. In fact, everywhere we ventured, we noticed a distinctively relaxed vibe about the whole place. So much so that we suspected all these people were really tourists on holiday, just like we were. But on closer inspection we found the vast majority to be local Geelongites just going about their weekend, as per usual, with a laid-back and carefree attitude that was positively refreshing. I could really get use to this!
My favourite cafe at the moment is in Parramatta. It’s nowhere near my work, it’s a forty minute drive from home, yet I’m hooked on Circa Espresso. Why? Reminiscent of the hip café vibe in Melbourne, this cool place has set the standard for cafe culture in western Sydney.
Circa Espresso, Parramatta