Tuesday, April 17

Caviar Pie - simple and moorish

In my time in Manila I have met some wonderful folk and I have eaten some wonderful things, and most of the time these two things intersect.   This is one such dish that I tried at a Thanksgiving dinner last November and the minute I tasted it I knew I HAD to have the recipe.

So I politely demanded (!!) the recipe from Tanya whose Mum had made it.  When that recipe arrived in my inbox, I was soo happy.  And then when I saw how simple it was I couldn't understand why I didn't work it out! So simple, so delicious!

I made it last weekend when we were having a social weekend, I made a double batch because we had two social gatherings - but even if you don't I'm warning you - it's addictive you may want to do it anyway!

Even if you are not a fan of caviar I urge you to try it.   Olivia who doesn't even like fish kept coming back for more and more and more... and more.

Soooo good.  Serve it at your next get together or take it to one.  Go on.. you know you want to.

1 tub philadelphia cream cheese
1 tub sour cream
3 spring onions, finely chopped
10 or so garlic chives, finely chopped
lemon juice
lumpfish caviar

In large ramekins of even teacups, small bowl, whatever you want - line it in cling film, roughly chop up your spring onions, discard ends.

Chop up your garlic chives - good rule of thumb with these if the ends resemble blades of grass, you don't want to eat that bit..

In your food processor, whizz up your spring onion and chives - if you don't have one, chop them up as small as you can.

Add the sour cream and cream cheese.. give it another whizz (again if you don't have a food processor stir very well until well combined - hope your arms are strong!)

Give it a whizz (I did mine for about 20 seconds)

Spoon into your bowls/ramekins and flatten out..  fold over leftover cling wrap to seal on top.

 Refrigerate until you want to use (up to 2 days ahead.

To serve, unwrap the top, turn out onto a plate and top with caviar.. squeeze over some lemon juice.

It doesn't look exciting, but wait til you taste it!

I made a large one in a souffle pan and topped with red caviar! YUM.

How easy can it get!  It certainly is a conversation piece!

Sunday, April 1

20 pics of my day - In Manila

It is staggering how different my life is now to what it was this time last year.  Then, I was busy being the school uniform shop mum, freelance writing, blogging full-time, hanging out with my Nan on Tuesdays, and cooking a lot.

Now, I've traded in my baking pans for suitcases, blogger for MS Visio and Project and my Nan, well her life has changed probably just as much if not more than mine.

To give you a glimpse into a day of my life, one whilst travelling for work, here I am in my home away from home, Manila.   I've grown to love Manila, and believe it or not when I'm away I miss it a little, the people, the food, the culture.   My life in Manila is not a typical Filipino one clearly, I'm a tourist and an expat.  It's a good life for expats here - the shopping is good and dollar is strong.  You get value for money.   But first and foremost the people are lovely.  Courteous, professional and very friendly.  That's what makes The Philippines so wonderful to visit.

So here's a few snapshots from my day:

#1 - Book, I hard get to read ordinarily but I've seen most of the movies on the plane (occupational hazard) so I read Jacey Dugard's biography, halfway through it - harrowing and sad but utterly fascinating.
#2 - Postcards - a colleague of mine sends his son a postcard every day he's away.  I think I could do that if I had 1 child, but 3 it's a bit hard to come up with 3 original things each day but I did do it in New Zealand and I'll send the frills a few this week too.
#3 - Surprises - Paris Hilton has an accessories store in the shopping centre next to my hotel.  It's very pink, black and white.  I didn't venture in as I'm sure there's nothing age or fashion appropriate for me.. I'm an old lady!

#4 - I love the supermarket gawk in foreign countries, but after being here so much I know exactly what I'm going for - cinnamon grahams to bring home, you can buy them by the bucket for P99 - ($1.50).
#5 - I have no idea why but the Starbucks is so much better here.  The signature iced chocolate in Venti size is what I always order, without whipped cream.  It's not as filling as it is in Australia, and the cinnamon rolls, oh my! They are sooo good.
#6 - My hotel has really good bathroom supplies including glycerine AND milk soap, hair ties, tooth brushes, bubblebath - everything.  I think a woman must have had something to do with that.
#7 - Collagen facial.  I try to have a facial every time I visit.  They are brilliant here and with an eyebrow wax comes to $30.  Bargain.  My skin feel sooo smooth.
 8.  Back to my hotel, it's in my favourite chain - and have stayed in the ones in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Beijing, first time here - not disappointed.
9.  Beautiful view from the lobby today where I had lunch.  Great service.
10. My lunch - combination satay - for $12.00
11.  My room, not so shabby.
 #12 - some of my shopping today - it's graduation/back to school season here so stationery is really cheap, stocked up on some pencils and a sturdy sharpener (for 3 girls you have no idea how many we go through!)...
#13 - also stocked up on some Barbie lip gloss etc. for Eloise's birthday party favours. I couldn't resist, we're going to have a 'girlie birthday party' with finger nail painting and hair crimping.  My girls are growing up!
#14 - And of course my Cinnamon Grahams but I couldn't resist a Filipino foodie mag too - this one is about desserts - yay!
#15 - manicure supplies, well priced and needed because I left mine at home! Whoops!
 # 16 something amusing, front page of the Philippine Star, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House!
#17 - Love how they bring your washing in a basket and in tissue paper!
#18 - I get to watch trashy TV - TalkTv is my trashy favourite.
 #19 - Love that even through I'm half a day away, hubby does his best by sending me pics of the day they had without me - this is Olivia and Eloise (Laura is there too) at a birthday party.
#20 - Last but certainly not least - thank goodness for iPads and FaceTime, my favourite part of the day when I get to speak to hubby and the frills.

Sunday baking project: Banana and coconut loaf (or cupcakes!)

Oh my baking days are far and few between but goodness I enjoy them when I can have them!  I whipped this up quickly last Sunday afternoon to use up some bananas that were on the turn.  It was a great afternoon tea and enough for school lunches for the week.

How my frills have missed the homebaked treats!

2 cups self raising flour
1 cup caster sugar
1 1/4 cup dessicated coconut
4 medium sized bananas
1 egg
1 large tin (400ml) coconut cream

Preheat oven to 170 degrees c
In a mixing bowl mix together flour, caster sugar and coconut.
 Slowly add the banana and mix through well.

Add the egg and coconut cream and you will get a thick-ish cake batter

Pour into greased loaf tin (it will do two) or cupcake (this made 10 of those plus 1 loaf tin).

Bake cupcakes for 25 minutes, loaf for 55 minutes.

OK, who is hungry?


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