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Showing posts from February, 2012

Valentine's Dinner Menu

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A couple of years ago on Masterchef Australia, the judges set the contestants a challenge to create a romantic meal. I thought it was a great challenge, and I expected to see all sorts of sexy dishes presented as a result. To me the basic ingredients for a romantic meal were obvious. First, choose anything you know has aphrosidiac properties. Chocolate should be what everyone thinks of first. Then oysters second. Then think about the colours of love, red for passion, and chocolate brown for chocolate! And then think of textures. I like lychees because they were introduced to me as the sexiest fruit on the planet, and I couldn't agree more. Then all that's left is to think about your beloved - what does he or she love the most, which, if you presented it, would win you the most favour?

So, given all of that, here is my Valentine's Dinner Menu, which I cooked for my husband. Apologies for the delay - I was so disappointed in the photos for these recipes that I just…

Thieves in the temple

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20 years ago I left Hong Kong, where I had lived for two years. It was an amazing time in my life, and I had never been back, so when I noticed how many years had gone by, I decided it was time for a visit. While I was there I took a trip out to Lantau Island to see the Po Lin Monastery. Originally a single Buddhist temple built in 1924, Po Lin expanded over the years to include other buildings until finally, in 1989, they began construction of a 34 metre high bronze statue of Buddha. Completed in 1993, this has been a major draw card for visitors to the monastery ever since. Of course it was an amazingly spiritual place - particularly since I was there on the second last day of the Chinese New Year period. People were lighting joss sticks, banging bells and drums, and off course paying tribute to the big Buddha , whose presence on the hill was ominous to say the least.

But a highlight for me was partaking of the beautiful vegetarian dumplings made in the monastery's cafe.…