Liebster Award nomination

I am honoured to announce that I have been nominated for a Liebster Award by a fabulous blog I have been following, Life is Like a Dumping. Thank you Gen for the vote of confidence. I tried to find out where this award originated from, but was unable to track down details. It is a great way of getting to know other blogs though.

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Liebster Award: The rules:

  • Post 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Answer the 11 questions made by the person who nominated you.
  • Create 11 questions for the bloggers you pass the award to. Choose 11 bloggers to pass the award to and mention them in your post.
  • Go to their blogs and let them know that they have been nominated.
  • No tag backs.

11 Random Facts About Me:

  1. As much as I am a foodie, my favourite food of all time would have to be Nachos. The version of nachos we are familiar with here in Australia is not authentic Mexican, it’s not glamorous or sophisticated, but the perfect combination of textures and temperatures and my all time favourite.
  2. My favourite ingredient or flavour would have to be lemon. I add it to most things and love the citrus tang it contributes. I try to make sure I use the zest as well as the juice whenever possible. I also freeze zest for later use if it isn’t required for the recipe I am making – frozen lemon zest is great to add to a glass of sparkling mineral water.
  3. I am a pescitarian, in that I eat a vegetarian plus seafood diet.
  4. I am Australian, I was born in Sydney and grew up in the Blue Mountains. I have lived in London for three years.
  5. I have been lucky enough to travel to 31 countries and counting.
  6. My first overseas trip was to visit a friend who was working in the Maldives. The Maldives is an Islamic country made up of lots of clusters of islands. I saw quite a different side of the Maldives to the one most visitors experience, I did spend a bit of time at an amazing resort with the whitest sand and amazing fish, but I also go to explore the capital island Malé, and Villingili, and went on a safari boat for a week travelling to some very remote atolls.
  7. My next trip overseas is to Thailand, which I am lucky enough to have been to before, but my next new destination will be Cuba in November.
  8. I am not sporty but I did get my PADI scuba diving licence in Dahab, Egypt, diving in the red sea.
  9. Seahorses are my favourite animal (and the reason I learnt to dive and have a fish tank).
  10. I had my first job was when I was 14. I worked as a kitchen hand at a local guest house, Pegums (no longer in existence). I quickly progressed from being in charge of the dishwasher to helping with food preparation and being in charge of the deep fryer. My favourite part of the job was plating up dessert, I would always try to plate up extra because I got to take the leftovers home with me (and quite often mum was waiting up to see what was on offer so I would have to share my spoils with her).
  11. I have a fierce sweet tooth, as a result lots of my recipes are sweet. I have been known to be able to polish of a family block of Cadbury chocolate in one sitting, or a mars bar for breakfast when I was younger.

Questions for me from Life is Like a Dumpling:

1. What is your favourite book? Shantaram by Gregory David Robert. I was very daunted when I first picked up this book due to it’s mamoth size, but I felt like I had lost a friend when I finished reading it. If even a fraction of the story actually happened (it is a true story), what an amazing life. One of those books that stays with you long after you’ve finished reading.
2. What is your most memorable dining experience? Lunch at the Fat Duck restaurant in Bray, England, headed up by Heston Blumenthal (at the time ranked as the Best Restaurant in the World). A truly amazing experience, and one I was lucky enough to share with my parents who were visiting me in the UK at the time. I love Heston’s approach to food, although am too daunted to try many of his scientific recipes at home.
3. Favourite cuisine? Mexican. What Australians know to be Mexican food is actually more Tex Mex (nachos is one such dish). I discovered authentic Mexican food when I travelled to Mexico a number of years ago, and love the vibrancy and freshness of authentic mexican food.
4. What is your favourite meal of the day? Dinner time is my favourite meal of the day. I love a lazy weekend breakfast, but during the week breakfast is a bit more of a struggle as I can’t stomach eating first thing when I wake up. Lunch is good, but dinner time is where I unwind from the day and have the chance to be a bit more creative.
5. What is your least favourite food? Within my pescitarian limits, there isn’t much I won’t try or like. Although, I don’t like Vegemite, I can’t even stand the smell of it – very un-Australian I know.
6. Do you prefer cooking for yourself, or others? If I am experimenting I like the freedom of only having to cater for my own tastes, but I do also love to cook for others. My place at the moment is small, but I still have managed to cram quite a crowd in for Easter Sunday lunch or a dinner get-together.
7. Favourite blogs on the internet? Non foodie blogs include Seth’s Blog, Changing What’s NormalUnclutter and The Art of Nonconformity. Foodie blogs include Chocolatesuze, Nosh On It, Greek Vegetarian, Food Stories, Melbourne Food Snob and Chez Chloe.
8. One place you would love to travel to? One place that has been on my list for a while is Cuba. I’ve booked my tickets and will be off in November. I’m not sure about the food in Cuba given it is a communist country and still subject to rationing, but I want to get there before Castro goes (although if you believe some of the conspiracy theories he’s already gone) and everything changes.
9. Casual dining or fine dining? It depends. I love the excuse to dress up and taste amazing food that only fine dining allows. I also love to eat good quality fish and chips on the sand at the beach straight from the paper wrapping with my fingers.
10. Salt or pepper? If I could pick both I would, but if forced to choose, I think it would have to be salt. Salt works wonderfully in sweet or savoury cooking.
11. Spicy food: yes or no? Absolutely yes. I love spicy food. Spicy doesn’t always need to mean hot, but I do like things pimped up in the chilli stakes too. I enjoy learning about the history of spices, for instance nutmeg originated from Indonesia and was responsible for the Spice Wars between the British and Dutch for many years. I also enjoy experimenting with native Australian spices.

I’d like to nominate…

  1. One Wet Foot
  2. The Melbourne Food Snob
  3. Emily Cooks Vegan
  4. Chocolate Suze
  5. Lucy’s Friendly Foods
  6. The Little Loaf
  7. Lemongrass and Ginger
  8. Chez Chloe
  9. Food Stories
  10. Cook Up A Story
  11. Dinner of Herbs

Questions for my Nominees:

  1. Where did you learn or who taught you to cook?
  2. What is your favourite kitchen gadget?
  3. What is your favourite flavour combination?
  4. Sweet or savoury?
  5. What is your most memorable meal and why was it memorable?
  6. What is on your foodie wish list?
  7. What is your secret indulgence dish you cook for yourself when no one else is around?
  8. What is a recipe you can make in your sleep or on auto-pilot?
  9. What ingredients are you experimenting with or inspired by at the moment?
  10. Who is your favourite TV chef or cook and why?
  11. What is your favourite foodie smell?
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