My Birthday Week – August 2016

Day 1 – Wednesday

Wednesday is my flamenco day. My teacher is very kind and brings a bottle of bubbles if someone’s birthday falls on the day of the class. The first year I did not know the tradition so I just said thank you and enjoyed the kindness. The second year, it was during a workshop (my favorite La Chica!). When I was leaving, they sang Happy Birthday for me. It was really lovely. This year was my third year at this school, so I thought I should prepare. I brought a bottle to enjoy with my flamenco people. After class, we stayed to have a glass of bubbles. It was a lovely, intimate and relaxing time we spent in the middle of the week.

Day 2 – Thursday

Thursday is my ballet day. I started ballet 6 months ago just to help my dance technique – core strength, balance and furthermore to learn how to turn. To be honest, it is not much fun as I do not know what I am doing in the class…. At least what I can do is not drink at dinner and show up at the class every week. So no glass of bubbles for me this day….. But I was proud of myself for not giving in to the temptation!

Day 3 – Friday

This day was my real birthday. My day started with a chocolate biscuit with salted caramel cream and hot chocolate for morning tea. Not a bad start at all. Dinner was sushi at the best Japanese restaurant here – our home. Tonight the chef was my husband. He visited 2 different fish shops on the way home and got my favorites; Coffin Bay Oysters, Tasmanian Salmon, its head and frame, Canadian Scallops and cooked Tiger Prawns.

We started with Coffin Bay Oysters and a glass of cava as entrée. While I was preparing rice for sushi, he prepared all fish for nigiri sushi. Salmon’s head and frame were salted and went to the oven until they became crispy (200 ◦C for 40 mins). AAAAHHHH! Just loved to surround by real food! To be honest, I strongly believe that we cannot find any better in Perth. By dinner time the table filled with sushi, we opened the second bottle – bubbly red. Yuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm….

Day 4 – Saturday

After cleaning the house and doing the laundry, we went for a bike ride to Kings Park. The wild flowers had started blooming here and there. It was beautiful. At the café, my husband ordered me a cup of maccha latte. It was a lovely gesture from him! After a little bit of nap, we headed to Co-Op Dining (http://co-opdining.com.au/) in East Perth for dinner. The restaurant focuses on local produce which is organic and bio-dynamic (Refer to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodynamic_agriculture). We tried the 5 course degustation with matching wines. All dished were fresh and delicious. I especially liked the first dish – raw vegetables (cauliflower, radish, kabu radish, parsnip) with rhubarb puree and the desert. My husband liked the slow cooked egg yolk with carrot puree topped with puffed buckwheat and garlic chops, and the slow cooked kangaroo tail. The down side was the appearance and décor. Although it was located in a nice area, we could see it was a renovated office. The service was friendly, but not pro. Some were poorly explained (e.g. the first dish was supposed to be eaten by hand but it was not explained, Kabu was introduced as Japanese radish etc). This place was certainly a wonderful bistro, not fine dining though. Having said that, we loved the food and wine. All wines were so nice and unique we had never seen them before.

Day 5 – Sunday

As my husband went to see AFL, I decided to do what I like. A bottle of bubbles was opened at 2pm. I called my mother to chat, ‘line’d with my friends in Japan and watched Osaka’s comedy shows. And most importantly, doing nothing! My husband might call me lazy but why not?! A bottle of bubbles, family and friends and laughing out loud made me happy and was the best way to finish my celebration.

 

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Sushi Christmas Cake – Quirky Christmas @ Secret Cake Club Perth

It is not so long ago that I started baking. I reckon it was 3 years ago. I made a New Year’s Resolution to be able to bake. I have been trying since then.

So, I was so excited when I found “Secret Cake Club Perth”. This club is all about food. People who love cooking, baking and eating bring their own dishes in line with the event theme. On the day of the event, all what we do is eat! And then if there are any left-overs, we can take them home. We can share recipes and ides too. To be honest, I still feel nervous to go to the event and show my baking to the members, however, I really enjoy working on new ideas and expanding my repertoire.

At the most recent event, the theme was “Quirky Christmas”. This was the 3rd event o attended to.  I have not brought any cakes yet ( I does not need to be a cake, buy you know, the club’s name is…). This had to be something strange, unique and funny. I knew what to make straight away.

Sushi Christmas Cake – This is the first cake I brought to the Secret Cake Club. I know this is not baking involved, but, it is Quirky enough isn’t it? Sushi itself is the adaptation from my original Chirashi Sushi recipe so the taste is guaranteed. It looks gorgeous and original. It is also quiet easy to construct.

2015-11-23_16.19.20

Here is the recipe.

Ingredients for 15 cm round cake tin

2 cups of Sushi Rice (see the Chirashi Sushi recipe)

4 slices of Smoked Salmon – roughly chopped

3 slices of Smokes Salmon – for decoration

½ Avocado – sliced, drizzle with lemon juice

Simmered Dried Shiitake Mushroom – roughly chopped

A handful of Rocket Leaves

Scrambled Egg (3 Eggs, 1.5 Teaspoon of Soy Sauce, 1.5 Teaspoon of Sugar, 3 Teaspoon of Milk, A pinch of Salt)

 

Method

Once the Sushi Rice has cooled down and all of the other ingredients are ready, we can start contracting the cake.

  1. Place plastic wrap over the cake tin. Make sure the wrap is much bigger than the tin.
  2. 1st layer – Scrambled Egg. Place Scrambled Egg over the bottom of the tin.
  3. 2nd layer – Sushi Rice. Spread 1/3 of the Sushi Rice over the Egg. Put a little bit of water on your hands when you place he rice, so that the rice does not stick to your hands. Push the rice gently.
  4. 3rd layer – Shiitake Mushroom. Spread the chopped Shiitake over the rice.
  5. 4th layer – Sushi Rice. Spread 1/3 of the Sushi Rice over the Shiitake. Push the rice gently.
  6. 5th layer – Smokes Salmon and Avocado. Place them on the rice nicely.
  7. 6th layer – Sushi Rice. Spread the rest of the Sushi Rice over the Shiitake. Push the rice gently.
  8. Wrap over the surface with plastic wrap and rest it for 1 hour in the fridge.
  9. Take it out from the fringe. Remove the Sushi Cake from the tin by turning it upside down (just like a cake). Remove the wrap.
  10. Make a rose from Smoked Salmon. Cut a slice of Smoked Salmon lengthwise into 3. Roll the smallest slice and then loop others around. Make 3 roses.
  11. Place the roses on top of the Sushi Cake and sprinkle some Rocket Leaves round.2015-11-23_16.19.20

Chirashi Sushi with Smoke Salmon

Chirashi_Sakmon_2[1] Table_setting_2[1]

Serving : 4

Ingredients

For Sushi Rice

2 Cups of Japanese Rice or Sushi Rice or Short Grain Rice (Please use Rice Cooker’s Cup)

15cm x 5cm of Dried Kelp

7 Tablespoon of Rice Vinegar or White Vinegar

2 Tablespoon of Sugar

A pinch of Salt

For Toppings

Simmered Dried Shiitake Mushroom ( Hoshi Shiitake no Nimono)

2 Handful of Rocket

Smoke Salmon – as much as you like

Scrambled Eggs – 2 Eggs, 1 Teaspoon Soy Sauce, 1 Teaspoon of Sugar, A pinch of Salt)

Method

1. Firstly, cook Rice. Put Rice in the Rice Cooker’s removable bowl. Wash the Rice well. Rest the washed Rice in the bowl for about 20 minutes. Add Water slightly below the line of 2 as marked inside of the bowl. Put Kelp on top of the Rice and cook it as you cook Rice normally. After the Rice cooker completes cooking, let it sit for about 30 minutes to steam.

2. Mix Vinegar, Sugar and Salt.

3. Transfer the cooked Rice in a large bowl. Add the Vinegar mixture and mix it whilst the Rice is still hot by using a Rice Paddle. When you mix, try not to squash each grain of Rice. Mix it like you slice it by using the side me the Rice Paddle.

4. Cover it with a kitchen town and cool it down to the temperature that you can handle it easily.

5.  Prepare Toppings, while the Rice Is cooling down.

– Crack Eggs and mix them with Soy Sauce, Sugar and Salt. Make Scrambled Eggs.

– Cut Shiitake into small pieces.

– Cut Smoke Salmon into a bit-size.

– Wash Rocket leaves.

6. It is ready to assemble once the Sushi Rice is cooled down. Spread the Rice on a plate. On top of the Rice, spread Shiitake first then Eggs, Rocket Leaves and Smoke Salmon nicely.

Chirashi_Salmon[1]