Monday, April 30, 2012

Burlesque Market, Cherry Blossoms.. OMG! So many things happening here!

Have I ramble on enough about how I can't wait for summer??  

Weekend was quite eventful.  We watched Avengers (yes!!  It's definitely as good as all the reviews out there are saying!  Lots of action as well as humour!  Don't forget to sit there until after the credits have rolled.. as you'll get a little surprise...  We didn't this time, and I'm still kicking myself!)

I've also checked out a Burlesque Market (burlesque, vintage, retro) in Slussen with a friend but we were hugely disappointed.  We were promised performers, lots of bargains and door prizes.  But for 50KR per person, we left with nothing!  The venue was a little overcrowded, and the stage is inside a room, with no windows and when there's a crowd in there..  The smell of BO and the heat was enough to send me back out into the cold!  There was a little refreshment bar, with drinks, yummy croissants, cake slices and rolls, but they were sitting out in the open.. in the overcrowded venue.. I'm sorry to say, I was a little put off from buying..

We only stayed for an hour or so, waiting for the draw, which starts at 2pm and then we left.  So so so disappointed.  The whole area is poorly lighted.  I know they were just in theme with the Burlesque world, but if I can't see what I'm buying, I will not be buying, no matter how much we are encouraged to bargain.  I think there is only a change room, and lots of people were squashed at this 'dead end' trying on clothes..  The good thing about the market is some people were in theme..  (buyers and sellers alike) Gorgeous gorgeous makeup and costumes..  Loads of corsets wearing and lycra mini skirts.  Loads of hair pieces as well!  I wish I have taken more photos!  

One of the sellers.. She's tiny and so cute and looks absolutely gorgeous.. I think she's in some sort of vintage like swim wear, with fish net!  <3
Long post, if you are still interested in reading, click below ;)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

What do teens get up to these days? Meet Yohio, a 16 yr old Swedish boy....

First, there's Venus Angelic a 15 year old youTube living doll.. now there's Yohio a 16 year old Swedish boy who dresses like a doll, look like a doll but sounds like a man.  He speaks perfect English, Swedish and Japanese and a pro with his guitar.

He's apparently really popular with the teenagers in Japan and I have to say, he's mighty cute as well.  Just like an anime character!

I feel old..  Why is it nothing this interesting like this ever happened when I was a teenager??

So cute!  

Just like an anime character!



Check out his single, Sky Limit:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Braised Soy Chicken and eggs Recipe.. Yum!

Firstly, I'm not a cook at all, so, if something I make turn out edible, I'm usually quite happy! ;)

But, not sure what's with me these past few weeks.  I've been using a lot of soy sauce.. hehe

Last week, when I cooked for S and his work colleagues, I made whiskey soy ribs.  Was quite good and I was quite happy they were raving about them and polished every morsel.

Today, I decided to try my hands on braised soy chicken with eggs!  I remembered mum used to make us tau yew bak (braised pork belly) and they were mighty tasty.. but quite fattening.

This is quite simple to make.

These are part of the ingredients:  Clockwise - Rock Sugar, Soy Sauce, Star Anise, Spring Onions, Ginger, Cinnamon Sticks and Garlic

Ingredients:

-  Chicken pieces (I used drumsticks - 600g to 1kg)
-  Boiled eggs (use as many as you want)


Sauce:

-  5 cloves of garlic (peeled and smashed)
-  3  - 4 thick slices of ginger (smashed)
-  3 - 4 spring onions (chopped up 'bout 2cm)
-  1 1/4 cups of soy sauce (1 cup of light soy and 1/2 cup of dark soy) *
-  1 cinnamon stick
-  2 star anise
-  2 tablespoon of rock sugar
- 1 tablespoon of dry sherry or shaoxing wine 
- 4 cups of water (pour more to cover up your chicken)

*  I've only used 1 1/4 cup of soy sauce.  I find the soy sauce here in Stockholm dark and thick..


Method:

Firstly, make sure you have a heavy pot as you'll be letting it sit there for a few hours(le creuset will be fantastic)

Put all the items for the sauce into the pot and leave them to boil

Once they start boiling, put all your chicken pieces into the sauce and turn down to medium heat and let them cook for about 1/2 hour or so and turn off the heat.  

Leave them sitting there for at least 6 hours.  The chicken will continue to cook in the pot (hence it's best to use a heavy pot) and they will be moist and tender when you start eating.

You can cook this in the morning before work and leave them sitting there and they will be ready for you once you return for work in the evening.  Really really simple!

Chicken drumsticks swimming with the cinnamon stick, star anise and spring onions.  They'll sink once they are cooked
Then when you are ready to eat, cook your rice and while waiting for your rice to cook, reheat the chicken on low - medium flame (don't overcook your chicken) and don't forget to put your boiled (peeled) eggs in with the chicken

and the end result?

Voila!  I put loads of sauce with my rice.. Yum yum!
 If you have leftover sauce, don't waste them (they are so tasty).  You can use them to braise more chicken or just use the sauce with rice.

Yum Yum..

Enjoy and if you try this recipe, tell me how you went!

Xx


Monday, April 23, 2012

Model Photography Meetup.. Therese and lit' Erik

Saturday fun!  Despite the cold, we had a blast.  Again, I'm so glad we had Therese as our model!  She's one brave lady who never complained about the cold and happily pose for us wherever we asked her to.

Her little boy, Erik sure adds character to the shots!  What do you think?



The pigeon managed to have a shot!  This is just at the Hotorget Square

"What can I do?"  Little Erik was running around her in circles on the stairs



She models like a pro.. and to think she told us she hated pictures!

I love how she was enjoying the sunshine here for a few seconds..

Beautiful tree..



This might be a bit 'blue' don't you think?  I think I stuffed this up slightly


A gust of wind gave this shot a bit of 'fun' =)

Our brave lady, braving the cold wet ground!  Thankfully, she came with her own blanket ;)

She's quite a beautiful lady, isn't she? =)

Therese and lit' Erik.  Look at his cheeky face!

Mother and Son mucking around

<3  Such genuine love for each other..

He's sooo cheeky! =)


Gorgeous..  What a matching pair!!

Enjoy!

xx

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Model Photography on the weekend..

Brrr..  The weather is driving me insane.  It's not just cold, but wet as well.  Come on, Stockholm.. Give us a bit of sunshine here.. I'm dying for some real Spring/Summer weather.

Had an awesome time on the weekend and went to my first Photography Meetup.  There were approximately 20 of us.  We broke into 3 groups as there were 3 models who decided to join us.  My group had an older woman with her very young son and his pram.  I'm so glad we got her, as the photos turned out great..

I have to say...  Wandering around with heavy coats (I was wearing 3 layers) and a scarf with a heavy SLR camera is actually quite tiring.. but the result was so worth it!  Kudos to her as she braved the cold, wearing a dress during the shoot, and her little heels!

Here's a sneak peak of what I took.  I'll post more up once I've got the OK from her.. =)

This is the stairs near Hotorget..  Love this.  I've never really noticed it.  Makes really great backdrop!

The little kid was quite mischievous.. Once he saw these steps...

He was OFF.. Running all the way up!

Stopped for a little breather...

The cute little face

On the verge of running off again...

Until his mum came running...

Phew!  I wasn't going to run all the way up there to get him!  Not with 3 layers of clothing and a scarf!

We even went to a park.. and I got this little pug to run towards me.  He sure can run!!  So cute!

Was a huge park...   The sun came and went.. but it was still soooo cold!!


Until next time..

xx

Friday, April 20, 2012

Restaurang TVÅ

Restaurang TVÅ
Rörstrandsgatan 9A, 
113 40, 
Stockholm



Myself and a friend were here on Wednesday night.  Did you know you could book via this website - Bookatable and the best part is, there seems to be some sort of specials when you book via this website!  Well, I didn't know.. and now I do! =)


Restaurant Two has a cozy interior and everything is quite dimply lit here.  I'm not sure about most people, but I really hate eating in the dark.  I don't care that dimly lit lights = romantic illusions, where it also enhances people's features and make the average person appear drop dead gorgeous..  I just dislike not being able to see what I eat!


Anyhow, the meals were pretty average, but quite cheap for Stockholm standard.  If you book via the above website, there's a special menu which entitles you to a 3 course meal for 239KR.  You get 2 choices for each course.  For entree, it's either a salad or shrimp toast (really popular here in Sweden) and main was either chicken or salmon and dessert was either sorbet or chocolate truffle 


Starter:  Thickly cut mozarella and tomatoes, with tiny olives and loads of olive oil and basil..  I thought it was quite large for an entree.. and Althea thought the dish was way too oily..  I guess they were too liberated with the olive oil ;)
Main:  'Baked' Salmon fillet with potatoes and vegetables.  I thought the skin folded in half was quite weird..
I flipped the skin back and realised why it has been flipped.. The skin was BADLY BURNED!  No wonder the whole place is so dimly lit.  Another reason why I hate eating in the dark.  You couldn't see what you are eating!!
Tiny little truffle chocolate.. I thought this was the best tasting lot!!  Now I wish they had serve this in a larger amount!
The lemon sorbet was sooooo refreshing.. 


All in all, again for 239KR for a 3 course, it's quite cheap, but the food was not too impressive and the service was slow.  I doubt I'll be back, unless I'm on the prowl for more cheap eat!


The company and the dessert was definitely the highlight for me!  =)


xx

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The English Volunteering Project in Stockholm..

Hello late evenings and .... female companions!  How I have missed thee!

It's been a while since I've ventured out late by myself, so, it was nice when I met up with Althea, a lovely lovely girl I met from my first meetup just last week.

Yesterday was a lovely day..  Waking up noon-ish (I know, I really have to start sleeping and waking up like a normal person!), and meeting up with a bunch of ladies at around 4pm-ish (It's good to see so many ladies in the same boat as me!) 

A little bit about this fortnightly meetup coffee drinking group.  It's being run by Claire Thomas who is trying to set up a project called "The English Volunteering Project".  We meet at 4pm every alternate Wednesdays, at different coffee shops around town.  Just a bunch of ladies, hanging out, talking about life in a foreign country altogether.  There were a mix of Australians, Europeans, Americans, Asian etc..  In short, all expats.  All here because of our husbands/partners.  It's quite interesting some of the stories you hear, but it's also quite frustrating when some just wouldn't shut up about how unfair some things are . e.g.  Not able to get their Personal Number after only being there for 3 weeks... *sigh*  To be fair, even though I've quite enjoyed the group, I left with a slight headache from some of the whingings... How many  'It's not fair!'  'It's so frustrating!' do I have to listen to within that 2 hours. >_<  I'm a bit of a whinger myself, but some just blew me out of the water!  but at least we all speak English!! =))

Anyhow, I digress..  

Having so much freetime in hand, I've tried to occupy it whenever possible.  Lazing around, shopping (window shopping for me mostly as it can get too costly in this city) and basically watching TV does bore you out after a while and let's not forget the cooking experiments I have indulged in, with S being my guinea pig.. Thankfully he's still alive... or is he???? ;p.  I've even meddled with my creative side, trying to make hair accessories, but sitting at home with just yourself for company during the day, sometimes the creative juice do not flow at all.  I need people around me, I need to be inspired...

So, I decided to look around to see if there's any volunteering I can maybe help with.  At least, to be surrounded by people, to be able to converse, either English or to learn a bit of Swedish..  One of the website is:  Volontärbyrån which connects volunteers and non profit organisation with each other.

Except for one page which is in English, giving you information about Claire's project, everything else is in Swedish.  Unless you have automated translation on your PC/laptop, you would not have any idea what all the gibberish is all about, which can lead to utmost frustration in your part..

Anyhow, what  Claire is trying to do is offer English speakers a chance to volunteer their time, without having to be able to speak fluently in Swedish.  The project's goal is to develop an English section in Volontarbyran's website and find volunteering opportunities that can be done in English.

In order to get the project up and running,  they will need some sort of funding.  Details could be found here and they would appreciate your help.  Even a little of something would make a HUGE difference.


Do you want to know more about the project?
Visit their Facebookpage: www.facebook.com/englishvolunteering



Xx

Monday, April 16, 2012

Breakfast ... with pop tarts!!

I found these little beauties at our local ICA where they had a section for American products e.g.  A&W root beer (*does a dance*), all those grotesquely sweet chocolates which I used to love, but thankfully do not crave... and pop tarts!!!

I remembered these back in Australia, but it's been a while since I last consumed them.  There were strawberries, chocolates, blueberries and some other flavour which I could not remember.

Blueberry Toaster Tarts - not really pop tarts, but they have to taste similar right???

I bought a box home and hours later, when I was unpacking my grocery, S caught be caressing the box.. Whoops

So, was majorly excited when I decided to have these for breakfast this morning......  They came in individually wrapped silver foils.  2 tarts in each foil..

Seriously, WTF are these??
Had them toasted lightly and made sure they did not burn... and when I took a bite.. I couldn't really comprehend what I actually had in my mouth..  It took 3 - 4 bites before I decided I...do... not... like... these... one... bit!!!

A few words sprang to mind..  Cardboard like... fowl tasting.. sweet... but in an awful way.. and the beautiful gooey middle shown on the box is VERY misleading..  I could not finish the first tart, but I ended up forcing myself to eat it, and had to hide the other tart in the bin.  How could beautiful sugary goodness become so so bad... ="(

So, whatever you do... DO NOT EVER BUY THESE!!  I'm not sure if the other flavours are just as bad, but these are just particularly awful

Now, I have to find a way of disposing the rest of them without S knowing.. *cries*


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

That long Easter Weekend... Deep Fried Ice Cream

Long Easter weekend... of course it's all about food from myself of town.  We went all the way to Täby , which is all the way up north from where we are.  Apparently, it's the 'Toorak' of Stockholm.  They are a bunch of S's work colleagues and their family...

Lovely place.. so peaceful and quiet... and it snowed as well.. but there were lots of sunshine....  Love their new built house =)

We brought battered up ice cream (for deep fried ice cream!)..  Imagine how panicky we were, as they need to be seriously frozen before you can deep fry them!

As I was asked to provide a recipe...   Here we go!  I hope it makes sense...

I've only made this once before, probably over 10 years ago, so, this has been a while!

To make my version of deep ice cream, these are the ingredients:

  • 2 Litres of vanilla ice cream (make sure they are good quality)
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 egg
  • breadcrumbs/biscuits crumbs (I used marie biscuits)
  • dessicated coconut
  • cinnamon
  • pinch of sugar
  • vegetable oil for deep frying
Scooping them into balls of ice cream.  Check out some of my ingredients in the background! ;)

What I do is make sure that the ice cream is solidly frozen before you start making them into balls.  Then put them straight into the freezer

Make sure you line whatever you use with baking paper as my ice cream got stuck onto that chopping board =P

Secondly, I emptied half a packet of marie biscuits into a plastic bag and proceed to beat the crap out of it, until I get crumbs.  I then sifted them to get really fine crumbs (To be honest, I don't think it matters, as I ran out of the fine crumbs half way, and ended up using pieces of little crumbs as substitute..  They all went pretty quick) into a bowl.

Secondly, in a separate bowl, mix the flour, water and egg together until you get a thick batter.  Put in a pinch of sugar and season it with the cinnamon.  Put this aside.

In another bowl,  sprinkle a tablespoon or two of dessicated coconut.  If not enough, you can keep adding more.

Now, bring out your balls of ice cream again and roll them one by one.   First into the batter, roll it to make sure it's coated.  Then roll the ice cream into the crumbs and make sure it's coated all the way, and lastly, roll it through the dessicated coconut.

Repeat until all the ice creams are done.  Then quickly put them all into the freezer and freeze them for at least 24 hours.  Why?  Because the ice cream need to be solidly frozen as you'll be deep frying them in very very hot oil!


Finished rolling your ice cream and have left over ice cream?  No fear, just dump them into your root beer.. and voila.. you'll get root beer float.. *burps*

The lunch was lovely.  There were lamb chop (so yummy!!!), baked salmon (which I think is the only Swedish item on the menu hehe), potato salad (potato, dried tomatoes, olives, feta cheese...), garden salad (lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and melon pieces) and sauce for the lamb and salmon..
A little bit of this and that on my plate.  My favourite was this sauce for the salmon.  It's a creamy sauce with dill, salmon roe and little shrimps.  Was so yummy, I could drink it.. =)
Then we start deep frying the solidly frozen ice cream, one at a time
To fry the ice cream (again, make sure the ice cream is solidly frozen), heat up the vegetable oil until it's very hot and deep fry each one individually for 5 seconds - Really quick!  Basically, in and out!  The batter will turn golden brown and crispy.  Don't put it in for too long or the ice cream will start melting..

3 ways of knowing when oil is hot enough:

  1. Once the oil starts bubbling, use a wooden spoon/chopstick, dip into the oil and if the oil bubbles quickly, it's hot enough.  But, if very few bubbles pop up, it's not hot enough.  Just wait for a tad longer
  2. Drop a kernel of popcorn into the oil as you heat it.  Once the temperature is around 350 - 360 degrees, the kernel will pop!  Time to start some deep frying!
  3. Drop a cube of bread into the oil, if it rises straight to the surface, it's ready!

Voila!  Nice and golden brown on the outside, it should still be frozen in the inside.  Serve this with syrup.  We used pancake syrup and everyone seems to love it! =)  You can serve them with fresh cut fruits as well..

There were also a lovely and moist carrot cake with cream frosting at the top for dessert.. yumm!  but this post is about the deep fried ice cream.. so, here you go!! =)

Enjoy!

p/s Don't forget to do at least 100 push ups straight after ;)

xx