Category Archives: Wholefoods

‘speedo’-ing through sydney.

Hello from Sydney!

(and a belated Merry Christmas)

The night I completed 3 weeks of hard but fulfilling work with a truly fantastic group of giving and fun-filled individuals, I hopped onto a plane heading for Christmas in the land down-under. More specifically, this would be Christmas in Sydney for the first time in 15 years. A relaxing break like this could not have come at a better time!

The most unique part about Christmas in Sydney is the oxymoron of summer and beaches with the iconic white winter Christmas imagery we all know so well. This was really drawn to my attention when someone recently asked me whether it was odd to see ‘tank-top wearing Santas’ in Australia, to which I replied with a “Strangely, I think I may be used to it”.  So, when organising our mandatory catch up with wifey @mighteee, I of course suggested that we embrace this Sydney ‘uniqueness’ and make our way to Bondi Beach.

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granola game.

HELLO THERE!

I must sheepishly confess that this blog really has become an ‘inter-semester’ space.  This semester was one of the most challenging and the thought of blogging was sadly displaced.  Seeing that 2016 is drawing to a close (extremely quickly), it might be apt that writing be added to my the new year’s resolutions list.

As a peace-offering for neglecting this space, I propose a special recipe of sorts on the eve of beginning a three-week internship.  Granola bakes are my go-to therapy when I find time in semester, but more so when the storm of law school has cleared and the holidays have arrived.  There is something rewarding about the strengthening aroma and warmth as the timer ticks away on my beloved toaster oven and the droplets of granola crunch into gift boxes (if not a cereal bowl).  Essentially, #granolaislife.

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‘Foodie Challenge’ Round-Up: Sydney (May/June 2015)

♪♫ Chocolate – The 1975

If one didn’t know any better and happened to scroll through my instagram, they would most likely make the inference that I spent 10 days in Sydney eating and doing nothing else. They wouldn’t be entirely correct but in no way would I say they were completely wrong either. With the days I spent waiting for ‘pending’ or ‘processing’ paperwork, I was determined to meet up with as many of my friends as possible; a corollary of this being the copious amount of coffees and brunches which came into existence.  There really is no better way to catch up with someone than over a relaxing brunch. Additionally, many of my foodie friends were enthusiastically recommending all of the ‘must-try’ hot-spots and dishes which I had better add onto my list before I left. Without further ado, the food ‘log’ shall be revealed…. *inhale*

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Final Sydney Post of 2014: Rushcutters Restaurant and Market Place

A final post on Sydney brunch for 2014…

It took me a significant amount of persuasion in order to convince my Dad to leave his study for a final Sydney brunch together.  After my first dining experience at Rushcutters for a friend’s 21st, the birthday girl herself (Hey Pip!) had me determined to revisit the cafe/restaurant/market place for brunch.


I must admit that I am susceptible to the luring decor and ambience of any dining location.  The high warehouse like ceilings and floor-to-ceiling glass panels created a spacious and almost al-fresco atmosphere.

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Mornings with Ming: Oat Series 2014

The month of June was saturated in copious amounts of studying with specks of excitement as I made a last minute trip to Singapore to celebrate Mumma’s birthday with her and of course visit Lil’ Bro who has less than a week left before graduating from Basic Military Training!

While in Singapore there were many dinners and celebrations of which one was a wedding, thus one could infer that it was indeed a fortunate coincidence that my ‘study vacation’ was abnormally long due to the dear old exam timetabling system.

Fast forwarding through a whirlwind trip, I landed back in Sydney with the prospect of 3rd year exams looming and three weeks of study hibernation clawing me into a draining ordeal.  Only joking, it was not that dramatic but it was a tiring yet productive few weeks.

Over the past two years I have learnt the importance of fueling the brain with the right foods during this time.  Not only does it provide for a productive session but allows me to take a breath, albeit quick.  Time spent in the kitchen in the mornings before a day of study and during lunch hour somehow provides some form therapeutic relief from the technicalities of biochemistry and pharmacology.

Most mornings were filled with warming oats; eaten with pure class straight from the pot.  As they say ‘practice makes perfect’ and I found myself discovering delicious combinations and improving in the ‘art of oats’.   Given the wintery chill enveloping Sydney I would say that this breakfast staple was my survival aid and comfort.

Tips for Oat-Making Beginners

1. The amount of water you use will determine the texture that you achieve
For oats with more ‘chew’ use less liquid and for super creamy oats use more liquid
2. Cook on LOW heat i.e. cook with LOVE
Even if you use less liquid you can still achieve a creamy texture! In addition, you don’t want to burn your oats!
3. If you don’t have milk don’t stress
Using water will still produce a delicious bowl of goodness. In fact, I prefer to use water as my primary liquid and add my milk at the very end. I feel that this retains the fresh taste of the milk but of course it is all up to personal preference.
4. Add in your bananas/apples (fruit of choice) at the beginning and cook together with your oats
This allows your fruits to ‘stew’ and soften, releasing flavours into your oats. I always used to chop up my fruits as a topping, but realised how much flavour was infused via this method.
5. Toppings – anything goes!
I have always loved to add nut butters, but have recently discovered the beauty of Nutella. Lil’ Bro left many tubs behind when he headed off to Singapore so I have been trying to find easy ways of using this delicious treat (other than the obvious toast spread).
Fresh fruits are also great – save some from the fruit you cook with your oats!
Finally, to balance out the soft textures I like to add a sprinkle of granola. At the moment I am very much enjoying the new Woolworth’s Home Brand Orange Granola Clusters and Coconut Macadamia Toasted Granola.
6. Cinnamon and ginger
This warming and comforting combination of spices not only adds to the overall flavour but they also provide numerous health benefits! I always mix these in before I cook the oats.
7. Sweetness can be added in many forms
I love to use dates as a natural sweetener as they provide my digestive system with a good dose of fibre. If dates are not being craved I use honey or maple syrup. I have yet to try adding some good berry jam on top…but there’s another idea!

Favourite Combinations
1. Apple + Date + Peanut Butter
2. Banana + Honey + Nutella/Peanut Butter

Thus comes an end to Mornings with Ming and my 2014 Oat Series!  Hopefully I have not bored you all 🙂

I am now in the antithesis of Sydney winter and back in Singapore!  More posts to come 🙂

If you’re sick of looking at oats, I have provided a photo of toast hehe.

Ming xx

Brunch Bliss

Post-exam period induces the best of moods – the sun just seems to shine a tad brighter as the previous weeks of perpetual mental angst and stress in solitary confinement become distant memories!

Finally given the time to enjoy my weekends for what they are worth, I’ve made it my mission to embrace the sleep ins and engage in my favourite weekend meal with the family…BRUNCH.  I don’t know what it is about this ‘inbetweeners’ meal, but it manages to provide some blissful satisfaction that doesn’t accompany the usual breakfast and lunch.  Maybe it’s the omission of rules; the right to mix the sweet and savoury worlds of pancakes, eggs and pasta into a single meal.

So, my family has been dragged along to a few brunch spots that I’ve had my eye or rather stomach on after trolling through a few of my favourite foodie blogs, chocolatesuze, gastronomous anonymous, he needs food.  I managed to sneak in a few snapshots from Bread and Circus and Youeni Foodstore on my travels.

BREAD AND CIRCUS

Located in the suburb of gentrification, Alexandria, this warehouse café seemed to encapsulate the definition of Sydney’s changing food scene.  From it’s set up to menu, Bread and Circus brings everything back to basics, making its name through biodynamic and organic ingredients in its minimalist and open design kitchen that flows out into the hubabub of the hungry crowd.

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