Wednesday, June 19, 2013

guilty eating

One evening, Dan and I spontaneously attempted to make 'chocolate banana ice cream'. We had to freeze the bananas then blend it with a little cocoa and milk until it's the consistency of soft serve. However, we were pretty impatient and didn't wait til the banana was completely frozen... So we ended up with a cocoa banana mousse. It was a bit sickly to eat on it's own so I put it on top of a gingernut biscuit.

The quality of this photo isn't the best. It's difficult to differentiate between the light brown colour of the biscuit and the dark brown creation in the background and there's too much white balance in the background. The pictures and content in my blog aren't perfect either.

I'm quite self-critical in areas of my life, especially with what I eat. Society doesn't really set achievable standards either. In particular, females always chuck around invisible standards of the 'perfect diet'. For example, I could be out with a group of friends having lunch at a cafe. We all order salads but one girl orders chips and gravy. She sees that her choice isn't as 'healthy' as everyone else so makes excuses for herself such as 'Oh I'm just being a phat bat today' or 'I should really eat better like you all'... there's like an invisible standard that salads are the norm and chips are a 'guilty' treat. Should the girl have to feel 'guilty' about it and compare herself to others? I understand that it's not nutritionally healthy to eat chips all the time, but it's about the feeling associated with eating chips. Guilt and like you've done something wrong.

These social dynamics appear in heaps of situations. People (females) at work snack on chocolate and often saying 'oh I'm being bad today'. Screw that. Treats should be a considered a normal part of a healthy diet - it shouldn't be considered a 'bad' thing.

Although I criticise these social norms, I'm definitely not above them when I choose what to eat. I rarely choose to eat chips/gravy or chocolate. But if I do and express how guilty I feel, people around me would say 'oh it's okay, you eat healthy normally and you are skinny so it's okay'... People don't really know what it takes for me to stay skinny. To me, this implies it's okay to eat junk food because I try so so hard to stay skinny by eating small amounts, restricting my diet and exercising when it's thundering.

I'm trying to be more aware of what feeds (pun not intended) my self-critical nature so some day I can eat chips/gravy/chocolate/junk food without feeling an intense amount of guilt.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Far out. It's 8am and I'm already exhausted. I've taken rec leave from work today to attend a few appointments so hopefully I'll squeeze in some time to relax. I don't want to waste my time by meaninglessly staring at Facebook, but watch movies, write in my journal, read etc.

To start off the day, I've made a vegan avocado cocoa spread for my toast. The spread is pretty delicious and is like a healthy version of nutella. I got my mini food processor and whizzed some avocado, cocoa, rice malt syrup, vanilla essence, oat milk to thin the spread and some hazelnuts to give it that Nutella taste that I love. The spread was a bit chunky, but I think it adds character to the spread.

And here I am, sitting next to my warm radiator, blanketed by my night robe. Amazing.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

hot cross buns, hot cross buns

I know its months past Easter but I still want to post up pictures of my favourite hot cross buns from Easter.

I've been living with my current housemates for about one and a half years now. During that time, my male housemate frequently mentions that he gets a free batch of hot cross buns from the Silo Bakery every year as his parents know the owners. For those not familiar with Canberra, the Silo Bakery is quite well known in town for its bread and pastries. Its situated among the popular cafe scene of Kingston.

I'm a bit skeptical of 'popular' eateries. Is it popular because it has a 'unique' brand but the food is actually the same as everything else offered in the area? Is it popular just because its sophisticated for Canberra but in the grand scheme of things (aka v.s. other cities) its actually bland? Is the eatery trying too hard to be cool that it becomes contrived?

I woke up on the Thursday before the Easter weekend and it was a major struggle to get out of bed. I was pleasantly surprised by a package waiting on the kitchen bench - free hot cross buns! They looked kinda rustic.
The hot cross buns were actually really good. There weren't too many sultanas and there was a good balance of spices. The top of the bun was glossed with a nice marinade. And the buns were satisfying - none of the 'just spiced fruit bread' bullshit.
That day, I also tried Woolie's 'sticky date and caramel' hot cross buns for the first time. I was intrigued by the concept but the buns were pretty ugh - bland fruit buns with overpowering hits of tough caramel. 

I remember I ate 2 hot cross buns that day, not doing any exercise and feeling bloated and guilty. I'm probably too hard on myself - I guess I don't eat fruit buns all year round.

black sesame rice paper

I was browsing the Asian grocery stall at the Mawson shops and came across a suspicious looking product. They were like Vietnamese rice paper rolls with black sesame seeds. I'm a huge fan of Asian black sesame dishes so I thought I'd give this a try. Each pack was around $3 and came with 3 sheets - half the quantity of packets of normal rice paper rolls. I prepared them like rice paper rolls by dipping the sheet in very hot water and rolling them up. I was quite intrigued by the texture:

Each sheet was quite thick, became a bit slimy and was very hard to roll up. They were also quite tough and chewy to eat. I soaked the sheets for a bit longer, but even after 10 minutes, they were unpalatable. Makes an interesting looking dish though! Like ants or sea animals swimming?
After some googling, I realised the rice paper was meant to be warmed up in the microwave or in oil, allowing the rice paper to fluff up like a prawn cracker. Whoops and cool! I served them like sang choy bow, using the rice paper as a bowl for marinated veges. Fun and crunchy!

brb, i'm just going to warm up an apple in the microwave

I usually snack on apples at work but since the winter cold has hit Canberra, I haven't really been tempted to bite into the cold crunchiness of apples. Instead of wasting the lot of apples I bought for that week, I needed to adapt... how could I prepare them another way? I realised that work has cooking appliances that actually apply heat to food - amazing! This included microwaves, sandwich presses, toasters and ovens. During a mid week hump hour (1-3pm ish after lunch when my energy usually crashes), I prepared an apple in a microwave safe dish. I cored it, stuffed it with frozen raspberries, popped it in the microwave for around 4 minutes and voila! The raspberries melted creating a moat of juice around the apple that helped stew it. The inside of the microwave was pretty colourful afterwards - it looked like something from the planet Mars decided to have a mental breakdown and splatter everywhere. Nevertheless, with a dollop of natural yoghurt, the baked apple was delicious and homey.
And I tried again another day by chopping up the apples and with mixed spices. The cut up pieces of apple reduced the cooking time by half.
And the name of this blog entry comes from a conversation I had with a colleague, who recently inspired me to get back into food blogging! It helps to be open and honest with the right people.
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