Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Royal Wedding

Yes, by now you may be sick of hearing about the royal wedding. I will be here to assist you with that. 

What a wedding. Breathtaking to say the least. Kate looked spectacular. Her dress was amazing. As predicted by many, it was designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen and inspired by Grace Kelly, aka the Princess of Monaco.
I thought Pippa's dress was stunning. Loved it. 
Loved the buttons at the back. Such a great cut. Looks like it has been inspired by this Alexander McQueen dress.
Alexander McQueen Pre-Fall 2009

Love this shot. Look at the little bridesmaid in the corner blocking her ears.

Now for the guests...
Princess Ameerah Al Tawil from Saudi Arabia is wearing a custom made Zuhair Muard Couture dress.
Princess Letizia of Asturias wore a dress by Felipe Varela.
Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece wore Chanel
Princess Beatrice wore Valentino
Victoria Beckham wore a dress from her Fall 2011 collection
Kate in a McQueen gown she wore after the ceremony. Wow.
This is hilarious. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Eggplant with Tomato Salsa

My mother is a woman who takes the utmost pride in her cooking. She is very passionate about food. However, in my childhood my favourite foods consisted of fish fingers (I sometimes ate them raw, no really), hot chips and anything sweet, much to her dismay. Needless to say, as I got older my taste changed and with that has come an appreciation for her cooking. In this blog I hope to share many of her recipes. 
This first recipe I'll be sharing is a dish in Arabic called "Badingan Matlee", aka Eggplant with Tomato Salsa.
Recipe from my mother
4 eggplants
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic
2 cans of diced tomatoes 
1 chili, sliced
1 teaspoon of cumin
Parsley for the garnish
1. Slice the eggplant into thin slices long ways. Brush a flat baking tray with oil and place the eggplant on the tray. Brush the olive oil all over the eggplant.
2. Bake the eggplant in the oven until slightly golden. While it is baking, in a saucepan add  a drizzle of oil, the onion and the garlic. Once the garlic and onion have softened and are golden, add the tomatoes. 
3. Once the tomatoes are simmering add the cumin, chili and cracked pepper to taste. Leave to simmer.
4. Once the eggplant has cooked, lay them evenly in the baking dish. Top the eggplant with the tomato mixture to ensure all eggplant is covered by the mixture. Place the dish in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, garnish with the parsley and serve.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Singapore Chilli Prawns

This is one of those great dishes you will want to cook time and time again. I've cooked it a fair few times now and everyone loves it. It is quick and easy to make. It's a recipe from one of my favourite food blogs, Not Quite Nigella. It's recipe from Lorraine from Not Quite Nigella's mother. I've yet to try this with crab but can't wait to try it.

What is one of those dishes you love to make over and over again?
Recipe from Not Quite Nigella Blog
750g prawns, peeled and butterflied (with a slice down the back)
1-2 chillis 
Thumb sized piece of ginger, diced
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons of oil
Spring onions, chopped for the garnish
280ml water
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons tomato sauce
3/4 tablespoon chilli sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3/4 tablespoon white vinegar
Mix 1 1/2 tablespoons corn flour with 2-3 tablespoons of water in another bowl
1 egg, beaten and stirred and added in the final step
Rice to serve
1. Heat wok or frypan on medium to high heat and add 2 teaspoons of oil. Add prawns and fry for one minute. Remove prawns.
2. Fry garlic, chilli and ginger in the wok. Then return prawns to the wok. Next add the sauce ingredients and simmer for one minute. Add in the corn flour mixture to thicken the gravy.
3. Lastly, add in the beaten egg, stir the gravy while adding in the egg. Sprinkle chopped spring onion to the garnish. 
Note: Make sure you have plenty of rice as the sauce is delicious.  

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Zara Sydney Opening Party 19 April 2011

After years of rumours and talks of Zara coming to Australia, Zara finally arrived. Australia is now blessed to join the juggernaut brand's 1700 stores. We are the 78th country to house the brand. Finally, is an understatement. 

I went to the special opening party on Tuesday evening. A friend and I were the very first "customers" to enter the store (let us exclude the PR and media folk who were there earlier today). It started at 6.30pm. We got there at about 6.10pm and were the first in line. 

So what was it like? Brilliant. There was a great selection of clothing. All the basics and classics we love Zara for and the on trend pieces. To my surprise there was a lot of new stock that is currently available in their European stores, namely the bright coloured stock (mainly orange, pink, blue and red) and some winter stock I recall seeing from the Northern hemisphere's previous winter (lots of black and beige). 

The store featured three levels. Ground level featuring the womens collection, lower grand featuring the children's ranges which included baby and TRF (the junior women's range). Lastly level 1 featured the men's collection. 

I must say the prices were reasonable. Such a relief. It is questionable how other Australian retailers will now compete and survive. The market surely must change.  Now there is a reason not to shop online. A reason to actually get into a store. I am already planning my follow up visit next week. With two shipments per week, how can one resist? 

I was a very good girl. Only purchased a couple of items (with a great deal of control). I thought to myself the store isn't going anywhere. Will post separate post about that. Yes, I took lots of photos. Apologies if they're crappy. I was occupied with the excitement and the clothing before my eyes. Forgive me. It was overwhelming. No really it was. I am still in awe. 
Don't forget the official opening is today. The store opens at 9.30am and I believe it closes at 9pm. Happy shopping! :)
Women's level
Love this orange blazer. I was about to purchase it but decided not to. I came to the conclusion that I had too many blazers including bright coloured ones. I live in blazers during the week at work and on the weekend. Help me I have a problem! Back to my story, while I was holding this and deliberating about it, a man with a very thick European accent approached me pointing to the blazer and said to me words to this effect: "This is very big, very popular in Europe at the moment. Straight from the catwalk. You're very smart girl." Something along those lines. At the time I didn't know who this man was. Upon arriving home (thank you SMH) I realised he was none other than Jesus Echevarria, the chief communications officer of Zara. I'm sorry Mr Echevarria I loved the blazer so much but didn't buy it. Something tells me I will be back there for it. Oops!
The staff manning the change rooms. Let me just say the change room on the women's level is great. It looks like it fits at least 20 people, maybe more. 

Men's level

Children's Level
Good night Zara. Let's just say I was there for an awful long time. It was so hard to leave.
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