Monday, March 28, 2011

hopping bambi

So in all honesty, we've been eating in the hotel lounge. A lot. Australia is, to put it mildly, insanely expensive. Our weekend trips are putting us in the hole and we're trying to squirrel away what we can to make up for them.

This means we haven't been delving too deeply into Australian fare. We did plunge in one night in Cairns at a seafood place on the harbor with the fave Aussie fish, the barramundi...

We actually had it again the next day in a restaurant in the rainforest that was much better because it was fresh instead of farmed. It's a clean, white flaky fish, you can see why Aussie's love it. Oh and those sweet potatoes underneath were pure heaven, especially when you've given up sweets for Lent.

We also ate some other true Aussie dishes...

Yes. We ate emu. We ate crocodile. We ate kangaroo. Please bear in mind this was actually before I had even seen a kangaroo and obviously before I fell in love with their gentle little selves. This may be worse than when I ate puffin. At least I didn't hand feed those little guys.

I will say that our guide on Saturday told us that kangaroo was the most humane animal we could eat in Australia since they aren't farmed. They live in the wild, are only hunted to keep their populations in check and it's strictly regulated. So, (justification coming in 3...2...1...) that's like our deer population and deer are pretty cute and I don't feel bad about eating those.

Sometimes it's tough being at the top of the food chain.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


On our first trip to the Big Easy with the international peeps we tried to expose them to as much of the food culture that we could. After some pretty heated discussions regarding the frying of oysters and drinking vodka with breakfast, we finally got them to try some of the staples of New Orlean's cuisine...jambalaya, oysters poboys, shrimp etoufee, catfish, Bloody Mary's, etc.

Of course they all loved it, even the fried oysters.

This year the returnees knew their faves and partook with gusto.

I finally got my beignet, although I ate it too quickly to grab a photo. Actually, I was a little lazy (read: drunk) about taking food photos at all. Which stinks because we had some great food.

Apparently, I only got a pic of my jambalaya lunch...

and some soup...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I dream of Genie this cake.

My Granny-in-law was kind enough to bake my favorite cake for my birthday this year. It's what Southerners refer to as a "lemon cheese cake"...

It isn't a cheesecake in any sense. It is a cheese (space) cake. I have zero idea why they call it that because it is her regular sour cream pound cake layers (aka- pure heaven) iced with homemade lemon curd.

I've been trying to replicate her cakes for almost 9 years to no avail. Like I use the exact same ingredient brands she uses and have even had Julie time how long she does stuff kind of attempts. I've almost got the layers down, but her icings require more skill than I apparently possess. For those who don't know me- I'm pretty freaking skilled in the baking department, meaning her skill level is through the roof.

I've made this cake once and it was pretty close except I screwed up with the cooking temp a little and had minuscule bits of the cooked egg in the icing. It still tasted good, but it wasn't the glassy perfection of curd that she cranks out like it was nothing.

I'm happy to bow down to her superiority though and even more happy that she cares enough to bake me a cake, my very favorite of her insanely delicious repertoire.

I gave up desserts and sweets for Lent. This cake is seriously haunting me right now.