1. Basil seedling  2. Pretty in pink  3. Kimchi noodles, aka my guilty pleasure  4. Night Noodle Markets  5. Geometric nails  6. My overflowing tea stash  7. Gumshara’s tonkotsu ramen  8. Crazy smoke cloud over Sydney  9. Floral nails  10. Sunny roses  11. Desk essentials  12. Morning sun

Oh, October. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but it’s already that time of year when everything starts blooming, school wraps up and I think… what on earth have I done with my time?! With Christmas just on the horizon it's hard not to feel like I don't have anything to show for the year, especially when I come to the realisation that 2014 is a mere couple of months away. I guess now's too late to get started on those goals I wrote up in January, huh...

So, what exactly did I get up to recently? If my Instagram is anything to go by, my month seemed to have a common denominator of flowers, ramen and nail art. In fact, my friend and I sought out Sydney's Night Noodle Markets a few weeks back and honestly? The food wasn't that great, and the prices were pretty steep compared to what you would get at the respective restaurants. Instead we decided to trek to Gumshara’s Ramen, and oh my god. This will sound ridiculous but their tonkotsu ramen was the most intense I’ve ever had, especially with all that viscous broth! It's definitely not for the fainthearted, but something every ramen enthusiast should try at least once.

Some non-food related obsessions of mine included tea and doing my nails, as per usual. For some reason the chilly days at the beginning of the month were completely out of whack with the season, not that I was complaining! I've never been the outdoorsy type, so any excuse to enjoy a few creature comforts is good in my books. Believe me though, this isn't so advantageous when I'm faced with the prospect of Australia's 'amazing' summer weather, so you'll probably find me lounging under the aircon for the next season or two!

That's about it for this month, so if you're keen on following me on Instagram my username is @manisay. Hope you're enjoying the end of the week, as well as the updated blog layout! I've been itching to change it for awhile now, so any feedback is much appreciated.
Posted by : Mani

change of pace

Glassons shirt, Uniqlo pants, Wandering Souls 'George' sandals, Sally Hansen nail polish strips in 'Girl Power' 

Hold the phone, but am I actually wearing pants for once in my life?! In a nutshell Sydney's weather has been temperamental at best, with some days causing bushfires across the state and others bringing relief in the form of rain, only for the weather to turn on its heels again. The insane winds pretty much had me running for cover when I left the house today, and subsequently resorting to wearing pants that I can rely on not to flip up in the breeze. I forgot how comfy this Uniqlo pair was after picking it up in Hong Kong, and I so regret not buying them in more colours! If you're not keen on the whole leggings-as-pants look, these offer great comfort whilst being thick enough to ward off the fashion police.

Also, can we talk about these sandals I lusted over weeks ago? I finally got my hands on them! Well kind of, I got the exact style for $20 cheaper than their Windsor Smith counterparts, not that it's an amazing deal anyway with all the imitations popping up now. Anyhow, I've said before that I'm not a big fan of sandals, but I love how these give height without compromising my ability to walk properly. Plus my grandma happens to like them, though I'm not sure whether this could be considered a good thing or not...

Anyway, here are some food shots from my aforementioned day trip. I think my dining companion and I can both agree that the food was only so-so, but hey! It was nice to catch up and take in the fresh air for once in our lives. For the past two weeks I've literally had my head stuck in the books and assignments, and even though this semester isn't over yet I can already sense the sweet smell of freedom. Hope you're having a great week so far!
Posted by : Mani

white chocolate terrine

If you ask me, there are two types of people in the world. While bakers like my mum swear by their tried recipes and reuse them religiously, experimental types like me always want to make a different thing each time! So it was pretty uncharacteristic of me to revisit this white chocolate terrine that I made two years ago, but haven't touched since for some bizarre reason. The recipe is from a gifted book, Chocolate: The Food & The Music which you guessed it... incorporates every chocolate recipe you could possibly think of. Needless to say I've never listened to that mysterious CD that comes with it, but the two recipes I've tried so far are amazing! White chocolate doesn't strike everyone's fancy, but I think the strawberry coulis does well to cut through that rich, ice creamy goodness. Read on for the recipe:

Don't be tempted to eat all your chocolate in the process! It's even harder when they look this cute in button form...

Ingredients (serves 8):
2 tbsp granulated sugar
5 tbsp water
300g white chocolate
3 eggs, separated
300mL double cream
1 cup fresh strawberries
Extra ½ cup granulated sugar
Extra ½ cup water

1. Line a loaf tin with foil or cling film, pressing out as many creases as you can.
2. Place the granulated sugar and water in a heavy-based saucepan and heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and boil for 1-2 minutes until syrupy, then remove from the heat.
3. Break the white chocolate into small pieces and stir it into the hot syrup, continuing to stir until the chocolate has melted and combined with the syrup. Let the mixture cool slightly.
4. Beat the egg yolks into the chocolate mixture. Leave to cool completely.
5. Lightly whip the cream until it is just holding its shape, and fold it into the chocolate mixture.
6. Whisk the egg whites in a greasefree bowl until soft peaks form. Fold the whites into the chocolate mixture. Pour into the prepared loaf tin and freeze overnight.
7. For the strawberry coulis, combine the strawberries, extra sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and stir until strawberries are soft. Let cool and transfer to a blender.
8. Purée until smooth, strain, and set aside.
9. To serve, remove the terrine from the freezer about 10-15 minutes before serving. Turn out of the tin and cut into slices. Serve with strawberry coulis and fresh strawberries.

So there it is! The recipe claims to serve eight, but this was way more than enough to feed my family of six. It was also surprisingly simple, especially since I didn't need to mix the ice cream at all once it went in the freezer. I'm still pining over an ice cream machine for some bizarre reason, but until that day arrives I'll probably be making these kinds of desserts to last me through the summer. Anyway, I hope you're having a great week!
Posted by : Mani

living quarters

So, you know when the holidays/weekend rolls around and you conceive a grand plan to get some work done? Well, having been on uni break you'd think I'd have loads of time to be productive (or even update this blog), but nope... if anything it's made me lazier, and completely content with the idea of 'unwinding' and doing nothing all day! I'm not even ashamed to mention how lazy I am, but obviously I need to get my mojo back sooner or later.

Anyway, here are some snippets and a bonus video of my room! Something I did finish this past fortnight was make some subtle changes after a much-needed shopping trip to IKEA, where I finally got a mirror and box for all my makeup. I decided to take advantage of the situation and film while it was still clean and pretty, because it most definitely doesn't look like this anymore... While my room still isn't exactly how I want it, I'm pretty satisfied with its current state! It's amazing how much new quilt covers change a room, especially considering my old ones were a bit tired and grandma-esque (not like that's a bad thing, of course).

By the way, can we talk about my scratch map for a second? I'm ridiculously proud of these dowels that I added to it! After realising that Blu-Tack would never hold the weight of it properly, I thought this would be a better alternative to having a giant frame hanging so close to my bed. It might be worth DIYing all the Frankie posters I have lying around, but then again it's so finicky that I don't know if I can be bothered. Besides, I only have so much wall space that I can devote to posters... Anyway, hope you enjoyed that little tour of my room, and have a great weekend ahead of you!
Posted by : Mani