Sunday, May 26, 2013

Graduation + Gradball 2013

It's official: I'm done with high school and am now off duty!
So what does that call for? Celebration of course!
Several days after exams finished, we had graduation and our prom where we wined and dined and enjoyed the freedom of no responsibilities!
After frantically running around Wan Chai looking for a cab to get to L's, I finally found one, put on my makeup, and slipped into my dress the minute I walked through the door.
Once my heart rate leveled, we took the stereotypical house pictures then jetted off to the gradball.
We were surrounded by our close friends and ate a lovely dinner of chicken and lamb.
But I must say, the best dishes served were our friends - everyone look so handsome in their tuxes and simply stunning in their gowns. It's always such a treat dressing up!
They boys tried to put their game faces on...
...but then again, so did we.
But bringing back the seriousness, what would gradball be without at least one selfie!?
It truly was a night to remember and one that will always leave me loving the fairytale lifestyle I've been so blessed to have.
Best wishes to all my fellow graduates!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

You Can Call Me 'The Italian Chef' (With Recipes)

I'm fairly certain my mom has one of the most exciting jobs. She gets to play with food all day and come up with new recipes for Shamrock Catering Group.
Having had some free time after my exam on Friday, she invited me to come along to work and play with food along side Italian chef, Francesco.
He brought along all sorts of goodies to show us new recipes for appetizers and entres.
First up were artichoke hearts wrapped in spec (jamon serrano but with pepper). 
This dish was probably the easiest to do at home.
All you have to do is:
1) Wrap the artichoke hearts in spec
2) Lightly roll them in  flour
3) Pan fry them (turning them every few seconds)
4) Add a dash of white wine in the pan to finish them off
5) Plate up!
The three of us aren't big on dressing plates but we gave it our best shot anyway. We garnished these bad boys with a drizzle of balsamic glaze, basil, and a few cherry tomato halves.
My excitement for this next appetizer was a bit overwhelming and felt a selfie with the chef while he was making it was in order.
These beauts are roasted cherry tomatos filled with mascarpone cheese with shaved truffles topped with a dainty basil leaf and black olive. That simple...and simply delicious too.
I took charge of plating this one up and felt very proud of the outcome...Gordon Ramsey taught me well!
This next hors d'oeuvre is slivered smoked ahi tuna garnished with sliced roasted fennel, oranges, and green olives.
Che bello!
We finished off our hors d'oeuvres and moved onto the two main dishes: a traditional peso pasta garnished with freshly shredded parmesan cheese and cherry tomatos and a savory beetroot relish risotto garnished, again, with fresh parmesan and basil leaves. 
Unfortunately, I was too captivated by Francesco's rapid speed around the kitchen to record (let alone witness) each step taken for these dishes, so no recipes here! 
But if you do fancy a lovely pesto pasta or risotto, I found these two to satisfy your Italian hunger! 

We then moved onto desserts - French pastries. These were pre-bought so all we did was threw them in the oven and enjoyed!
Not to mention the exquisite bread selection the kitchen had; would blow away any carb lover.
All in all it was a wonderful day spent in the kitchen. I walked away not only with a full stomach, but with new recipes to try and new food concepts to explore!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Birthday Shenanigans

If you're my friend on Facebook or follow me on Instagram, you'd have known that Tuesday was my best friend J's birthday.
Unfortunately, I am a social media addict. And no, that's not exactly an exaggeration. I've posted numerous photos on both those accounts (as well as on Vine) and I'm more than 100% sure that I pissed more than one person off...but hey, it's only your friend's birthday once a year; go big or go home!
The birthday babe
Our glorious spread of whatever we could find in J's refrigerator which consisted of grapes, smoked salmon, pita bread, onion and chives cheese spread, several bottles of champagne, and (of course not one, but) two birthday cakes.

For lack of strawberries, L got crafty and added two grapes to each glass of champagne. Need less to say, they didn't taste anywhere near as good as strawberries (hahah it was worth a shot though!).
As I mentioned, we couldn't have just one cake...
...but two!
The first cake was made by J's helper which resembled the consistency and moistness of a poundcake covered in cream cheese pink and white frosting.
But the lovin' didn't stop there. L made the most delicious strawberry chocolate cake I have ever eaten. It was deliciousness stacked on deliciousness; two layers of chocolate cake sandwiched a layer of chocolate frosting and strawberries and rimmed with Kit Kat bars and topped with more fresh strawberries. The minute we all took a bit, we died and went to chocolate lover's heaven (this too is no exaggeration).
And of course no birthday celebration would be complete without a 'Happy Birthday' video. If you follow me on Vine, you'd have seen it already but if not, go ahead and give it a lil' play! Unfortunately, the video was so short I had to cut L's 'happy birthday' wish off hahah but it just captured our crazy nature that much more than if she were able to finish her sentence.
It wasn't until several bottles of champagne were finished that S, D, and L showed up to carry out the rest of the birthday celebrations and we forgot to get a group photo! But they're appearance in this post is in spirit.
All in all, it was a birthday celebration to remember!
With love from JLS xxx

Monday, May 13, 2013

Oh yeah, it's Mama's Day

Although I beg to differ that Mother's day is only one day a year and more like every day, Mother's Day is always a lovely way to enjoy (usually) great weather while smothering (see what I did there?) mum with hugs, kisses, and full on love via breakfast in bed, bouquets of flowers and all the activities she enjoys.
This Mother's Day, however, was spent in the company of my boyfriend's family at dim sum. It was such a lovely change from the Mother's Days in the past but still filled with giggles, stories, and love.

The one unfortunate thing about the day was the picture above. Unfortunately, it was the only picture we took (I really need to start remembering to take more pictures!) and it's not even representative of us. For one, my parents (the two on the far left) abandoned me and traded my side for that of Liam's and his mother's while Papa Sheridan and I hung out together on the right. Secondly, I look like I've been eating dim sum for several consecutive days causing me to feel and appear like a gordita (spanish for as fat as a little partridge). 
Oh well, can't have it all right? I'm just glad the mummys look good...after all, it was their day.

Using the method of 'two birds one stone', here's also my Music Junkie Monday song that fits perfectly with how our Mama's day went! Enjoy and hope you all had a lovely day with your mamas as well.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Bad, Bad Blogger

I should be ashamed of myself, I know. I should be ashamed of my poor attendance on updating you all on what's been going on!
But in all honesty, you haven't missed out on, well, anything. I've been studying like a mad woman for my IB (International Baccalaureate) exams that I'm in the midst of.
"What is a social life?" has been a frequently asked question.
But, I only have 3 more subjects to go after this week so the posts are a'comin'!
But for now, I'll sprinkle you with some Instagram sugar to hold you over until the end of May (the end of school and the return of my social life!).
Recently went back to my original hair color! Although blondes do have fun, I refuse to say they have 'more' ;)
 ....although I do miss my Goldie Locks at times
 But I've got my Golden Girls to keep me happy
 Celebrated S' birthday over a delicious Thai lunch
 And stressed of le boyfriend's surgery on his torn meniscuses and ACL (gotta love the outcomes of playing rugby against the US Navy)
 But took my mind off of it by giving him a bit 'o TLC and indulging in nostalgia of the 7s.
 And have started my fitness regime
In which I'm already seeing great progress
*Story of photo to come*
 And have started eating loads of new kinds of fruits and have fallen in love with my dragon fruit + lemon combo (must give it a try).
 Like i said, I've been a busy bee prepping for my exams so flash cards to the rescue.
Last but not least, I've been enjoying my little free time with L which makes it all seem worth it.

New posts to come - expect a recipe post this weekend and a fitness post in the near future!