I Love Coconuts!

It’s no secret to my family that I LOVE COCONUT. I always have since I was very very young. And I’m talking about 5 years old young. It was all well and good when I was living in Indonesia. Coconuts are everywhere there! When I moved to Australia, I couldn’t enjoy coconuts whenever I want anymore, and when I can, the price is steep!

So over the years I’ve come across several different types of coconuts here.

Bottled Coconut Drink

Bottled Coconut Drink

Cap of Bottled Coconut Drink

Cap of Bottled Coconut Drink

I had heard from a few people that this bottle of coconut drink is really good. The packaging is certainly attractive and I especially love how the cap says “Happiness in a bottle”. However I have to say that this is one of the worst coconut drink I’ve tasted. It’s sweet and does not taste like young coconut. There is “meat” (pulp) in it but it’s hard and very small…

Frozen Coconut from Asian Grocery Store

Frozen Coconut from Asian Grocery Store

This is my favourite on-the-go coconut drink. You get these things from some asian grocery store. We found some at Lucky in North Bridge the other day. You keep these cups in the freezer and there’s instructions on the cup on how to prepare it. What I usually do is put the opened cup in the microwave for about a minute.

There’s also frozen coconut drink that comes in little baggies. I feel like this kind irritates my throat so I stopped buying that.

Real fresh coconut

Real fresh coconut

Nothing beats the actual thing of course so here’s a real fresh coconut. It’s a Thai coconut that you can find in markets and I believe some supermarkets or Asian grocers. They’re still different from the green coconut back home but hey, this is all I got for now!

This particular one was my coconut drink at a restaurant here in Perth, so they opened it for me but it was very pricey. However you can easily buy these coconuts for a lot cheaper ($3 for 2 coconuts rather than the $4.90 coconut in the picture above) at grocery stores and markets and  open it yourself! I admit I tried to open it without instructions and oh dear it didn’t go well at all. However after watching a youtube video, it turned out to be pretty easy 🙂

How to open a coconut? Watch this video:

 

Who else loves coconuts?

Lots of smiles,

-Sita

6 Garlic & Mr. ROnion update + Galaxy Pot!

Hello everyone!

I am back here today with an update on the 6 garlics and Mr. Ronion that I planted about a month ago (view first post here). They’ve all grown really well!

6 Garlics

6 Garlics

I just water them every couple/few days now and I also put in a sprinkle of Epsom Salt. Just cause, I feel like it. Now I am not a plant expert in ANY way. In fact these are probably my first real pots. If anyone have any tips related to any of this please do let me know!

Mr. Ronion

Mr. Ronion

Just about a week ago, my mum decided she wanted me to plant more stuff. I planted more garlics (2 different kinds) and another red onion. We decided to put it all in one pot this time though and I got my little sister to name the whole pot. She named it Galaxy Pot.

Galaxy Pot's plastic knife sign

Galaxy Pot’s plastic knife sign

Internet, meet Galaxy Pot:

Galaxy Pot

Galaxy Pot

Grow plants grow~! That’s all I’m hoping. Maybe we’ll be able to eat these at the end of the year!

Anyway, wishing you a very good week and I’ll post again soon!

 

Lots of smiles,

Sita

Meet 6 Garlic & Mr. ROnion

Hello hello! I hope you are having an awesome weekend so far. I’m just here to quickly introduce you to my 6 garlic and Mr. ROnion!

6 Garlic is a pot of 6 garlic (obviously) and Mr. ROnion is a red onion in a separate pot. I saw so many posts about planting garlic on Pinterest and so I wanted to give it a try.

I’m not much of a green thumb but I thought I’d give planting garlic and onions a go. I’m in to try lots of things at the moment! #YOLO. I’ve just been following a few instructions from the internet. I put them on my patio (with a roof) and water them about twice a week since it is autumn here in the lower half of Australia. I also sprinkled a little tiny bit of Epsom salt on top of it the other day as fertiliser. If anyone has any tips, do let me know!

IMG_2191 IMG_2192

Yes, I am so creative I write details on some extra plastic spoons we had laying around the house from takeaways and such. *sarcasm*

Anyway I will probably write update blogs on these two pots every now and then!

I hope you have a wonderful rest of the weekend!

 

Lots of Smiles,

Sita Carolina

 

Kale Chips

Seasoned Kale in the dehydrator along with other veggies my mum is dehydrating.

Seasoned Kale in the dehydrator along with other veggies my mum is dehydrating.

Recently I found a fitness website called Blogilates. It is getting rather popular on youtube right now with many success stories, healthy recipes, etc posted on their website.

While browsing around the “recipes” section, I found this recipe for Kale Chips and Cassey (the owner and host of Blogilates) said that it tastes like Doritos! And it’s KALE! A super-food  I hear there’s heaps of benefits from eating kale – some a little unbelievable. But if you want you can do a quick search on google or read this.

I gave up eating deep friend around 5 years ago but I still gave in when it comes to potato chips and Doritos until about a year ago. If this recipe is a success, not only can I eat this healthy snack, but I can also share this with my family and promote a healthier diet. So I have high hopes!

Since my family and I were going to go travel for 2 weeks, we had to “clean out” our fridge – meaning buy nothing new and eat what’s there. We still had a bag of kale left and didn’t know what to do with them since that was our first time seeing and buying Kale. So I decided to make kale chips.

Dehydrate at 145 degrees Fahrenheit for a few hours…

I followed Cassey’s recipe except for the fact that we didn’t have any sunflower seeds nor cashews as suggested by the source recipe – we only had peanuts, so we used that instead. After dehydrating them for about 4 hours (we left it a little longer since we were out of the house for a couple of hours to do some last minute shopping for travel) they came out about half the size and super crispy! I think that’s what we’re going for?

The Finished Product

The taste? Um… a little weird… Mine didn’t turn out to taste like Doritos, possibly because we used peanuts. But hey, still edible and pretty yummy.

One thing I found weird in the recipe was that on Cassey’s blog, it says if I use the oven to bake it for 5 minutes, toss then bake for another 5 but on the source recipe that Cassey mentioned, it says to bake for 3-4 hours. What a huge difference! Let me know if any of you tried baking them.

I also had a really hard time trying to figure out what “Nutritional Yeast” was. There was so many warnings saying that it’s different from a brewers’ yeast. I almost used bakers yeast (which I did find very weird) since I thought this was the same thing. Luckily I searched around a bit more and found out that it is definitely not bakers yeast. I searched around some more and found out that there are a few alternative names to “Nutritional Yeast” – Savoury Yeast Flakes is what it’s called here in Australia. Unluckily, my local supermarket didn’t carry it. So I had to go on an adventure to go to a pharmacy (out of all places) at a suburb nearby and got a 200gr packet for AU$14.95 – which is like WHAAAA?? why you so expensive??? 😦

If you are in Perth, Western Australia and looking for nutritional yeast and you are not in a hurry, I definitely suggest to try order them online. I think I saw a 500gr packet for just under $20 and a 200gr packet for about $11. But I was in a hurry, so I bought mine at Pharmacy 777 in Cottesloe.

Anyway, I hope you like my little review of this recipe. It was definitely an adventure trying to find “Nutritional Yeast”. I hope it was useful know how I did mine and maybe (just maybe) inspire you to go eat healthier alternatives to over-processed foods.

Have you tried making Kale Chips? How was yours?

 

Lots of Smiles,

Sita.

Visited after 10 years: Nazar Kebabs & Turkish Bakery

So I’ve lived in Australia for close to 10 years now and aside for the first few weeks, I’ve always lived in this suburb. There is a local Turkish kebab shop in the same complex as our local supermarket here and mum, little sis and I visited the shop last week (finally).

Turkish KebabIt’s amazing the stuff that you go past almost everyday and take for granted. I’m not much a foodie and I don’t know why I’m “reviewing” a food shop but my point is remember to look at what’s in front of you and be thankful for it.

Turkish Kebab-2I ordered a steak kebab with salad. The service was excellent – the people were nice. The food was yummy and the bread was unique – like nothing I’ve tasted on a kebab before – but yum!

As I grew up eating probably about 95% Asian food until I was 18, I need to have “tasty” food. As in, nothing bland. For example, I cannot eat plain noodle or plain rice though I’m fine with plain white bread for some reason. The taste of the kebab in this shop satisfied all three of us though and we will most likely come back.

They have great opening hours too! They don’t close till 9pm – great for those days when you forgot about time and didn’t prepare dinner until it was too late and everyone’s too hungry to cook.

My Order: Steak Kebab with Salad

My Order: Steak Kebab with Salad

I think I need to learn and practice more on how to eat kebabs because I made such a huge mess and ended up with a puddle of sauce along with pieces of steak (which I ate) on my plate 😦 But it was great that they gave us each a plate without us requesting it.

Have you had any similar experiences where you go past something so many times but never stop and enjoy it?

Do share with us below in the comments section!

P.S. sorry for the bad quality photos – only had my phone and it was super dark!

Lots of Smiles,

Sita

Way back to exercising (3): Fitness Evolved 2012 [X-Box 360 + Kinect]

For the past few weeks, I have been using the Fitness Evolved 2012 game on X-Box 360 + Kinect to exercise. I just would like to share with you my thoughts on this.

I started about a week into my beginner yoga program on the free phone app I mentioned in my previous Way Back to exercising post. The activities and workouts on this game is definitely interesting – especially they have yoga and dance “classes” too! 2 of my favourite form of exercise. For the first week or so, I felt muscle pain! The good kind! I used to get this back in my ballet days – every Sunday, without fail, since I had 5 hour classes every Saturday. I knew better not to stop exercising though and the games have definitely motivated me to come back and work out on it almost everyday since.

The game has 4 components: “My Zone”, “Activities”, “Workouts” and “Classes”. My Zone is where your profile, progress, goals, etc are and activities include things like warm-up games, a game simmilar to Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) minus the mat, a running game, skipping rope game, etc. The workouts section is more focused on body parts – like arms, glutes, legs, back, stomach, etc. Classes is what I spend most of my time with – here they have Yoga,

If you know me, you probably know I can not stand running and working out on my own on the machines. Even with a friend next to me, I still feel very bored… These kind of activities on this game does exist but I don’t mind them as much as they tell you what to do, how many reps to go and they set challenges – for example, 20 seconds of high knee running, etc. But I do still prefer doing stuff from their “classes” section. Dancing is more of my forte.

Though I feel a little silly doing this (and so I wouldn’t do this in front of anyone with the exception of family and maaaaybe a few close friends), I love the African Rythm and Bollywood the best! They are so different to any form of dancing I’ve done in the past (well, I did do a little tiny bit of Bollywood for college performances), they are fast paced, works the whole body and I just looooove dancing. The hip-hop however, I was a little disappointed with. The songs are slow and the movements I found to be a little weird – maybe it’s just not my style.

The calorie counter I feel is not at all accurate. I guess this is expected since they didn’t weigh me or even asked me how heavy I was, etc. So I don’t take the counter seriously – I just use it as a guide to measure how much I’ve done that day relative to other days playing it. Anyways, I’m not the type to count calories.

The great thing about this game is that it’s in the comfort of your own home. If you have enough room, you could even do it in your bedroom out of sight of anybody to save yourself some embarrassment (especially for a recently-came-back me). Plus, it’s nowhere as expensive as a gym membership! Especially, if you got this game on a discount. You can find one nowadays for about $40 or even less.

One of the biggest con to this game is that it requires quite a bit of space. I don’t live in a very big house so I do bump into things (or people) sometimes. It is also not protable (well, technically, you could bring the X-Box and Kinnect system with you wherever you go – but that’s such a hassle and waste of space/kilos).

Now it’s been about 2 or 3 weeks since I started. I just play about 4 days a week until the calorie counter says I’ve burnt 100+ calories, depending on how I feel and how much time I had that day. My soreness is gone, my knees and legs are a lot stronger and I feel healthier in general. I like to believe that the exercise is “enhanced” by the giggles me and my family get when I dance. I will definitely continue on using this game.

I know people who have laughed at me when I told them I work out using X-Box. They say I won’t be able to push myself, etc. But I found this to have worked for me better than going to the gym and working out on the machines. I simply found this game motivates me more. So don’t let people get to you! Definitely check this out – maybe try it out? If you have an X-Box, I know you can download a free demo version.

I saw Fitness Evolved 2013 for Wii-U at shops but I have yet to see the X-Box version. When that goes on sale (because I can not justify spending more than $70 on a piece of disc) I will surely try it out.

PS. none of the images in this post are my own nor do they belong to me.

 

Lots of Smiles,

-Sita

My Easter Bunny Buns

First of all, I would like to wish you all a HAPPY EASTER!

It was Good Friday and I decided to make these bunnies from a Honey Bunny Bun recipe I saw on Pinterest. With a little help from both mum and little sis, this is what I achieved.

I like to bake because I feel like my efforts are being rewarded greater than cooking normal meals. For example, you might spend an hour on a main meal and then it gets eaten in 15 mins. However, if I bake, the produce will last for at least a few days. Somehow this makes me feel better. Am I weird?

I don’t bake that often nor am I awesome at it. I have never baked bread before other than a few pizza bases. I didn’t do a lot of things differently to the recipe though I did find a few things weird. First, I didn’t expect the amount of yeast required – 2 table spoons. In the end, I decided to put in the whole 2 table spoons. My mum also thought that it was weird to mix in the oil, sugar, water AND yeast in one go. Though I already did that before she saw and it turned out okay.

I found out only after all the ingredients were mixed that we don’t have a bread dough mixer (the spiral kind, not the cupcake kind). Luckily, mum owns a Thermomix – a neat little kitchen gadget, practically good for anything from making juices, mixing stuff, making soup to even cooking rice, pretty cool huh. So that’s one thing I did differently.

Second thing, mum couldn’t remember where she’d put the honey so we ended up glazing it with golden syrup instead.

Thirdly, I am not very artistic – I tried poking it with chopsticks to create eyes but they ended up looking a little creepy and thought that it would look better without the eyes. So in the end we ended up with 24 faceless bunny buns.

Fourth, I used a fan forced oven so I lowered the heat by 20 degrees Celsius from the recommended temperature and the bread were cooked in less than 10 minutes (a few minutes less than the recommended 11-13 minutes). The recipe is American so it uses Fahrenheit instead. I simply used the Google converter to convert to Celsius- easy peasy.

A Tip: You know bread is ready when it sounds hollow as you tap the bottom of the bread with your nail. Be careful though! It’s HOT!

THE FINISHED PRODUCT:

Sita’s Easter Bunny Buns

FRESH – fresh out of the oven, they taste like heaven. Slightly crunchy on the outside, but still very fluffy on the inside. The taste is similar to that white table bread at fancy restaurants. I was worried that the golden syrup might taste a little weird and yeah honey would have tasted better but this was fine too. A light brush at the top of the bunnies gave them a slight sweet taste but nothing overpowering. Needless to say, I was quite proud of it (being my first bread and all).

NEXT DAY – I was a little disappointed when I picked a bunny up. All the golden syrup have been absorbed and the outside was not crunchy anymore. The inside was less fluffy too. But I guess this was to be expected from a day-old bread. I wonder if I put it in the oven again for a few minutes it would be a little crispy again on the outside? Maybe I should try.

VERDICT – So I like to categorise recipes into 2 piles – worth doing again and not doing again. I also like to put some notes on them so I remember what went wrong last time or what could be improved. This recipe is definitely going into the worth doing again. Not only is it cute, but it’s also very Though next time I’d probably bake this in the morning and maybe just make half the recipe or something (my family doesn’t eat a lot of bread). Also maybe I will get mum to make some soup to go with it. Hmmmm….

So that was my experience with this recipe. Do let me know if you like these kinds of posts where I try out recipes. Of course the taste comments will only be based on my opinion and whoever is around me at the time. Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and read this post!

Lots of Smiles,

Sita