Friday, September 29, 2006

Sugar Overdose a la Choc Mint Cupcakes with Choc Mint Ganache Centres

My boss decided that I had been working super duper hard lately, and so decided to give me a day off :) *wooT*. Anyways, I love to bake, but I rarely get a chance to in the hectic life that is kae, so took today as an opportunity to bake something new.

And what did I decide on? Well, I was flicking through my Biscuits and Slices Book, my Cupcakes Book, my Cheesecake book, and decided I wanted to make a cupcake with a little bit of everything... and so i bring you..

Choc Mint Cupcakes (with Choc Chips) and Choc Mint Ganache Centres... mmm. Chocolate overdose galore :)

Anyways, the recipe was a bit of a mix from everything that I just put together but it turned out pretty well:

Choc Mint Cupcake

1 1/2 Cups Self-Raising Flour
1 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Cocoa Powder
1/3 Cup Dark Choc Bits
1/2 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Water
1 tsp mint essence

Preheat oven to 180'
Mix all ingredients till smooth (its quite a thick mixture) and bake for 20 minutes. If you have an oven like mine where the back is hotter than the front, turn your tray around at 10 minutes.

Choc Mint Ganache
1/2 Cup Dark Choc Bits
1/2 Cup Cream
1/4 Cup Butter
1tsp mint essence

Heat the dark choc bits and butter until melted, and add in cream. Cook cream over low heat.

To make 'em

Take the cupcakes out of the oven and wait till cool.

Cut centre bit of cupcake out

Fill with ganache.

Put centre back in.

Decorate as you please. (I concur that my decoration skill is lacking.. but it makes up in taste)

... Chocolate overload, but OHHH SOOOO GOOOD!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Smorgy's - All You Can Eat

Above: The boat benches that held the food

I went to Smorgy's All You Can Eat Restaurant with some work mates recently. Let me just say that it was one of the worst dining experiences I've had in terms of food.

Above: The really fake looking water fall with stuffed animals hanging off the plastic vines

I had remembered that Smorgy's used to be ok. The food was ok in the past. However, it has only gone downhill ever since. The last time I went, which was quite a while ago, it was already terrible. I tried to convince our lunch organiser, who will not be named as he/she copped enough from everyone afterwards, that Smorgy's was terrible. However, she (oops I mean he/she) said that it was ok the last time she went (oops I meant he/she again, ok you beat it out of me, the culprit was Hien hahaha). So I said I will give it a try and make judgement after.

Above: The radiant expectant mother Hien showing me the cake that even her unborn baby didn't like

Well here is my judgement. It is a totally tacky place with their ultra fake scenery and stuffed animals, with really bad cold food and way too expensive. The food truly was extremely bad. I know I'm a fairly fussy eater, but even the non fussy eaters amongst us couldn't find anything good. Everything was also fairly cold, so must have been sitting in those bain-maries for a while. How can they even do the most basic of things such as roast beef, battered fish and potato salad badly. The local supermarket sell better potato salad in a pre-packaged tub. There was even a little notice on the table saying that they had new chefs. Was that some sort of ironic joke? If it isn't, they should fire the chef. One work mate asked what was in a certain bay maria since there was no label, to which the chef just rudely said "I don't know" and turned and walked away. How could you not know what you're cooking, in a buffet of all places where nothing ever changes.

There was only two minor redeeming things from the experience. Firstly, the view outside via the floor to ceiling glass walls was great. I could see far into the grassy mountainous suburbs.

Above: The view out of the windows

The other small redeeming thing from the whole experience was the desserts. Usually desserts at buffets taste like flour with colouring in it. They had two desserts that were ok and edible at least, three if you count the fresh fruit salad. There was this egg custard type mixture with raisins that I kind of liked. The chocolate mousse also had some chocolate flavour and I didn't mind that either.

Overall Rating: 6/20, I've given 6 points just for the view and desserts. Otherwise, it was totally aweful, from the food to the tacky decorations to the food. Yes the food was really bad, even for buffet standards. Don't waste your hard earned money, go eat at an expensive buffet where you will actually enjoy the food.

Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20: Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Let's do high tea!

Leaf Tea Merchants Cafe

60 Walcott St, Mt Lawley, Perth WA (08) 9471 1105
Shop 1/29 Napoleon St, Cottesloe, Perth WA (08) 9284 3830

A is for ambience: intimate and trendy but unpretentious; perfect for a lazy afternoon or a slack Sunday. Alfresco dining with city skyline views are also on offer.
B is for best thing about this place: the variety - make an afternoon out of it by holding an elaborate high tea party; stretch your legs and indulge in some R&R with a pot of tea and a scone; if you're in an in-between mood, the peckish-worthy dishes will tickle your tummy until you start to giggle with deliciousness. And for those who have a sweet tooth but feel like something different to Dome and Cino's, pick up small cupcake or teacake. If you're like me and not too partial to tea, the fruit chillers and granitas are a refreshing and quench-thirsting option.
C is for cuisine: modern contemporary, cafe-style with snacks as opposed to meals.
D is for dress code: casual but you can girls can get away with a pretty frock. The standard dress ranges from trackies to floaty skirts and heels. Strangely enough, no one bats an eyelid at what you've got on (unless you're in Cottesloe) so don't fret.
E is for entree: not so for high tea; however some people who order from a la carte do start with a scone or a cupcake.
F is for food of course: basic high tea concoctions but whipped up in way like no other - cucumber & cheese tea sandwiches, salmon bites, cheese & sage or pumpkin scones, spinach and lorraine mini quiches, ricotta cheese & bacon mushroom bagels, cajun chicken foccacias , party pies and much more. The sweets and cakes on offer are just delectable and almost too cute to eat! A large variety of teas on offer but strictly no coffees.
G is for great value for money: perhaps slightly overpriced in some respects - a scone sets you back $3.95 however if you opt for a high tea set or even just a snack I think it is worth it in that it will fit you up. The quality of the food itself is impeccable so I personally think it's worth getting into the spirit of the experience.
H is for hip pocket: $3.95 for one scone or $6.95 for two. Tea sandwiches (I always have the shredded chicken & special mayo) are around $7.95 and cheaper for vegetarian varieties. Bagels and foccacias are around $13-$15 and High Tea Sets (as shown in the picture) start at $20 per person. Refreshments & drinks start at $3.95 for a thirst quenching Fruit Chiller (yum!) and up to $6 for a pot of unique tea. Sweets & desserts start at $2 (a small cup cake).
I is for improvements: None, this place is pretty much flawless in generally all respects!
J is for jump for joy because: after you enjoy your Afternoon Tiffin (a savoury high tea set) you can end the day by taking a stroll along the Beaufort Street shopping strip; catching a movie from Planet Video; stopping to Planet books or stock up on groceries from IGA Supa Valu. Oh, the possibilities are endless!
K is for the kind of clientele: 60% maturities 40% young professionals. In particular, the clientele does differ between Cottesloe and Mt Lawley, I have found that there is a smidgen of pretentiousness at Cottesloe, whereas Mt Lawley's Leaf is a true reflection of the laidback lifestyle that is enjoyed in Perth.
L is for location: The Leaf has two locations - Cottesloe (Napoleon St) and Mt Lawley (Walcott St opposite Planet Video). Both cafes are cleverly situated on their respective cafe strips, in close proximity to trendy boutiques and the essentials e.g. post office, pharmacy, supermarket, banks. The Mt Lawley location has sweeping city skyline views which should always be taken advantage of at every opportunity.
M is for mains: as with entrees, the Leaf doesn't offer mains so to speak. If you're feeling ravenous I wouldn't head there otherwise if you're a bit peckish, the foccacias and bagels and salads will suffice. The salads are fresh, drizzled with a delicious array of dressings with quality pieces of chicken tossed in. The high tea sets are a great way to share some goodness, one tea set (as illustrated in the picture above) would serve perhaps two people. Amongst a group, I would recommend ordering a few different high tea sets (one sweet - mostly filled with assorted cupcakes & teacakes; and then a savoury high tea set) just so you don't overdose on sugar or sodium.
N is for nice touch: the flower petals and fortune cookies adorning the high tea sets (refer to photo). Also a feature wall with shelves dedicated to all things tea: you can actually purchase art-deco tea cups and saucers as well as teapots, strainers and tea itself.
O is for opening hours: 9am-6pm seven days a week. I used to always wonder why they didn't open during the evening but obviously high tea doesn't go down too well at night!
P is for presentation: very meticulous and simple yet intimate and classy.
Q is for queues: warning - weekends tend to be very busy! If you're planning a group visit or even for a taste of their high tea sets, bookings are pretty much essential.
R is for restrooms (doesn't everyone rate this??): natural light filters through a clean and well kept restroom. Large mirror is propped on two simple basins. Funny frivolous stuff...
S is for service: Generally attentive, simple cafe-style service, however really friendly & pleasant! Staff are a wealth of knowledge in tea-culture so they will be able to recommend you some excellent options.
T is for tricky: Trying to find parking is a bit of a hassle if you're a novice (both at Cottesloe & Mt Lawley). If you're opting to frequent Mt Lawley's Leaf you can park in the Planet Video carpark - but make sure you park right at the end to avoid narky fines. There is also 'secluded back-parking' located just behind the premises (off Walcott St) which is a nice little area to leave your car. Just be wary of congestion on Walcott Street especially as the Leaf is only a few metres from the intersection.

U is for: unusual dish: Indulging in a cupcake at the Leaf will leave you in amazement as to how small a cupcake can get. Literally the circumference of a twenty cent coin, so much sweet goodness is packed into this delicate concoction. Try the Green Tea Cupcake ($2.95 or so) - so cute you'd want to take pictures!
V is for variety: Excellent - an ample range of vegetarian options as well as those for carnivores. The Leaf have an enormous selection of teas and beverages, as well as sweets and foccacias. There is bound to be something that tickles your tummy!
W is who to take: your bestie or your mother, but definitely not your boyf (he won't appreciate it, sorry girls). In fact, don't bother bringing along any boys at all, they would probably need ten or so scones to fill up - a lot of money for flour and sage!
X is for x-factor: A real niche... it's hard to find a place who does high tea without any pretension. Also, the Leaf is possibly the only place I know where I won't spot a single can of Coca Cola (they just don't stock it) let alone beer. Overall, a trip to the Leaf is a really fun alternative to the usual stock-standard cafes.
Y is for yummy: The shredded chicken & special mayo tea sandwiches ($7.95) available on rye or white bread, are my favourite at the moment. They look like such a small serving but they fill you up very quickly. The 'special mayo' they use is superb!
Z is for zippy-ness: One weekend, it took 20 minutes to receive one scone. However most of the time meals come out reasonably swift and it's usually worth the wait.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Japanese Raw Beef

I have been meaning to post this for a while but never got round to it. A friend works in a Japanese restaurant and I commented to him how I loved their raw beef and that it tasted so good. However, it was so expensive for a tiny bowl and I wished I could make it at home. Well he told me that the secret was all in the sauce, and its extremely easy to make.

Soy Sauce For Japanese Raw Beef
* 1 part soy sauce
* 1 part white vinegar
* a few cloves of peeled garlic

All you do is mix equal parts of regular soy sauce (I used Kikkoman brand) and white vinegar (I used the one with the little girl skipping rope on the bottle) and throw in a few cloves of peeled garlic. Let the mixture mix for at least 24 hours. Then you're ready to use your sauce.

Preparing The Beef
* Use a good cut of beef, such as Porterhouse. Put a pan on high heat with a bit of oil. Brown all sides of the beef quickly and take off and let it cool. Cut the beef into thin strips.

Serving The Beef
* Place a bed of finely sliced white onions on a plate. Layer the beef over it and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Just before you are about to eat it, break a raw egg onto the beef and mix thoroughly. Pour the soy sauce mixture over the whole thing. Grab a mixture of the onions and beef covered in egg and soy sauce and eat all at once. I find you really need to eat the whole mixture to get a variety of flavours swimming around in your mouth. I love the taste of the fresh beef and the smooth texture with the egg followed by the slightly tangy sauce.

Cleanliness is vital in preparing this dish as you are eating raw food, especially the egg. Make sure your utensils, knives, cutting board are all properly cleaned before you use them. Apart from that, enjoy the delicious flavours of the raw beef.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Himalayan Sherpa

On Saturday I went to Himalyan Sherpa on Bridge Road Richmond. I had never had Nepalese food before so was quite excited about it. The restaurant is small but cosy inside. It probably needs a bit more lighting though.

Since there was three of us, we were surprisingly seated at a table for three. Who was the fourth guest, why Buddha of course. This is one of the strangest things I've ever seen. The table was up against this stand that had Buddha and some candles. It felt a bit weird as my friend commented, like we were being watched and had to be careful what we did or said.

As usual, we ordered dishes to share. We got a safe bet in Chicken Curry, a more risky dish in Yak Style Lamb Curry, a rare dish in Goat Curry, Jogi Bhat (Nepalese fried rice) and Roti. I have to say that the food was only average. It was ok but there was nothing different about it, it might as well have been Indian curries, but less spicy, which worked against it I thought. I like curries to be hot and fiery and full of flavour. All the curries here were fairly bland, even the fried rice that looked nice was bland. The roti was too hard and dry. If you love curries, I would recommend that you go to Namaskar India instead. There the prices are cheaper, the curries better, the best entrees and many varieties of delicious bread.

Above: Chicken Curry

Above: Jogi Bhat - Nepalese fried rice

Above: Goat Saag - goat specialty with spinach

Above: Yak Style Lamb Curry - lamb cooked as mountain sherpa's yak curry

For dessert, Himalayan Sherpa didn't really have anything so we headed off to Lygon street and Cafe Trevi for some cake. The Baci cake wasn't that good. The chocolate frosting was way too sweet and hard. The tiramisu was alright, the texture was good but a bit light on the flavour. The Toblerone cheesecake was the best I thought. Just enough chocolate flavour while still tasting like cheesecake.

Above: Baci Cake

Above: Tiramisu

Above: Toblerone Cheesecake

Overall Rating: 10/20, Wasn't bad food but no different to Indian curries, which are more flavoursome and cheaper too. Give it a try if only to say you've tried Nepalese food. Possibly some of the other dishes may be more unique to Nepalese cuisine.

Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20: Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Afrobev's Guide To Eating Out: Frankie And Benny's

Another transfer from my blog to this one. Phil took me to one of favourite places to eat. Frankie And Benny's in Nantgarw.

I must admit to loving the whole Italian American theme of the place and the whole ambience including having them teach you Italian as you go to the loo. But I also find the service to be good and I like the way you can see the chef's actually cooking your meal so you know they have nothing to hide.

I had Chicken Parmagiana which is a whole chicken breast topped with mozzarella cheese and neapolitan sauce and is served with spaghetti and sauteed herb potatoes. Phil opted for the Chicken, bacon and avocado salad while my four year old niece went for the kiddies hamburger and chips. I must admit that although it was good that the food appeared to be lacking that extra something that food from F&B's used to have when I had dined their previously. I think Phil felt the same but it was like there were ingredients missing like some special sauce or something.

Still the ambience and overall feel of the place sort of made up for that lack of something special and I was very close to buying their special CD boxset for £39.99 with all the classics but I doubt Phil would have let me and I still love singing along to 'Amore' when I am eating. Everybody..."When the moon hit's the sky like a big apple pie that's amore!". Just a bit amore salt and bit amore special sauce and you would have been spot on I think.

Afrobev's Ratings:
Food- B- (lacking mama's special sauce I think Francis and Benjamin!)
Ambience- A (you can't beat the overall feel)
Waiter- A- (friendly and quick and even gave the little one a balloon)
Presentation and Price B (cost just over thirty quid two adults and a child to dine)
Overall- B (if the food was tastier it would have got full marks but something wasn't quite right I'm afraid, Phil only commented on how much she liked avocado and didn't go "mmmm" once and that's a big giveaway)

5 things ... I must eat before I die.

Following Sesame in her article, "Five Things I Must Eat Before I Die" our group members thought it should be interesting if we could do an article likewise. We take things so much for granted. I guess, food is often on the minds of people.... which is why even prisoners with death sentences are given their special request for a last meal. Well, here goes my list...

1) My Mom's Nonya Curry Chicken. Presumably Mom learnt from her mother and we learnt from her. This signature hand-me-down secret recipe is a hot favourite with our invited guests. The curry will set your tongue a-dancing in a gentle won't have to do a rock-n-roll, maybe just a cha-cha for the spicyness is just nice. The curry goes well with fresh potatoes and goes well with rice or French loaves.

2) Fried Hokkien Mee cooked by ....drum roll.... Chef Kam Choo Choo.!!! It's my own recipe which I cocoted. As I do not like the fresh yellow noodles that are sold in the market, I cook it with spaghetti which is better in texture. The noodle does not get too soggy. It goes well with my own home-made sambal balachan. I cooked Fried Hokkien Mee for our missionaries in Nepal and each helped themselves to 4 plates.! That gives you the verdict for the taste.

3) My Sister-in-Law's Popular Nasi Lemak is something worth dying for! Her sambal udang, ikan bilis, and fried fish marinated with yellow ginger and spice go well with her rice which has just enough coconut milk. After trying her nasi lemak, all others pale in comparison.

4) Penang Fried Koay Teow. Penang is famous for her koay teow. Of course you have the famous ones which you can find out from the Tourist Promotion Board or from Penangnites themselves. It is no exaggeration to say that you can safely eat Penang Koay Teow anywhere, and it tastes good. I make good Penang Koay Teow myself, but having lived in Singapore, I have modified my cooking a little to suit the taste of my Singaporean friends.

5) Popiah. I can eat tons of it. It tastes so much better than salad. Good Chance Popiah is nice, but of course, nothing is better than home-cooked popiah. Once I was invited by Aunty Irene Lim who threw a popiah party. It was enjoyable to see the guests rolling their own popiah. I wished I had 5 stomachs to bury all those delicious popiahs!!!

Ginger - "7th wonder of the world"

The Creator of this universe has given us so many wonderful herbs and plants.

Recently, my ex-staff Chong shared with me about the wonders of ginger. He and his family eat a few slices of fresh, raw ginger every morning before breakfast and just before bedtime. Chong claimed that ginger helps them to expel wind from the body, hence no one in the family, not even his aged parents have bone aches or arthritis.

Ginger also helps in nausea and vommitting, and even reduces painful menstrual periods. It is also good for treatment of common colds, flu and sore throat.

For those who find it difficult to take raw ginger, they can also use ginger for cooking eg. steamed fish, soups, curries, meat dumplings, etc.
Ginger helps to remove the fishy smell when it is used to steam fish.
Slices of raw ginger with vinegar complement meat dumplings and century eggs.

Since buying preserved ginger from the supermarket is pretty expensive (since I consume lots of it) I have made my own bottle of preserved ginger which readers can also emulate. Here is the recipe.

Preserved ginger (serve with assortment of cold dishes, century eggs and porridge.


1. One kilo of fresh, young, ginger
2. One bottle (half litre of white
3) one teaspoon of sugar
4) half teaspoon of salt


1. Remove skin of ginger and slice
2. Put ginger in bottles and fill up
vinegar, adding some sugar
and salt.
3. Keep airtight for about one
week before consuming.

Gan Chau

Sunday, September 03, 2006

A bit of Jazz for the soul

Whenever I decide to eat out, I go for the standard sashimi / sushi / teppanyaki japanese dinner, fine dining modern aussie, and the stock standard steakhouse. This weekend, I decided that I wanted to try something a little different and so, made my reservations for Saturday night at Riki Blake's here in North Perth.

Riki Blake's is a little cafe restaurant that has in recent months received rave reviews, and was the winner of an STM eating out award. Given these reviews, coupled with the fact that they primarily serve French African cuisine(think moroccan and cajun spices, creole food, mediterranean blends) , and that friday and saturday nights is live jazz night, I hit Riki Blake's with high expectations...

.. and unfortunately, I think those expectations were a bit too high.


The exterior of the place leaves a bit of wanting for the patrons that visit.. especially on a Saturday night. Located in a nook of North Perth away from the trendy cafe streets, Riki Blake's is situated in the middle of what looks very much like a residential street, and so my first impressions were.. well.. not impressed.

The interior is a lot nicer though. The place has a cozy ambience about it, with little candlelight dinner for twos, and a stylish decor throughout. Unfortunately, the seat that I was given was such that I faced the street and so wasn't able to experience the cozy ambience for what it was worth.

The jazz itself was a nice touch. However, given that Friday and Saturday nights are famous for the "live jazz music", and the fact that there is a surcharge for the jazz, I assumed that it would become a real focus of the night. A little to my dismay, the jazz music was more of a background touch than a focal point of entertainment, That is, whilst the saxophonist played some lovely tunes, it would have added more to the night if he was given a bit more recognition and physical presence than in the back corner of the venue.

The food? We ordered the "feast" which included a turkish bread and dips/tapas platter for entree and for mains, a selection of cajun fish, morroccan beef stew, mint salad with yoghurt dressing, white bean salad, spiced chicken, and rice.

The entree was delicious. The selection of dips and tapas was great, and the turkish bread delicious and fresh.

The mains were definitely a feast (had about half of it before being stuffed to the brim) but what let it down was the presentation and the fact that my table was so small, everything was cornered down. Dumped into little bowls much akin to the chinese rice bowls, the presentation of food was somewhat poor. However, the food itself was pretty tasty and aromatic in spices.


I think I went to this place with too many expectations. Had I just expected a standard cafe style restaurant (think Siena's), I would have probably liked it a whole lot more.

Berth Restaurant

Berth restaurant is located on the Promenade in the Newquay strip along the docklands. I dropped by there with my friend Paul for a quick lunch before we went to see the Da Vinci Machines exhibition. Berth looks nice enough and when you go in, it has a modern contemporary feel, with seating on various levels.

Paul ordered the Veal Involtini which contained crumbed veal filled with ham, roasted capsicum and cheese, served with mash and spinach. It tasted very nice and the tangy flavours of the tomato type sauce worked well against the veal.

I decided to order the Twice Cooked Duck with spinach, crispy polenta and a sweet balsamic sauce. The flavour and texture of the duck was very nice, with a crispy skin and tender meat. I liked the sweet balsamic sauce at the beginning, but after eating more and more of it, it started to become a bit too much. The crispy polenta didn't do anything for me, it was bland and tasted funny, guess I will never be a polenta fan.

Service was ok and the meals arrived quite quickly, which was good since we were running short on time. I liked the look of the place as the view out into the harbour was very calming. There was plenty of sunlight streaming in through the mainly glass walls, which made my feel even better. The prices of the dish is quite fair for good food.

Overall Rating: 12/20, Food and service good. Ideal for a lunch or quick meal where you want something decent without being overpriced. The menu looks a bit plain and I probably wouldn't travel all that way out there for a dinner though.

Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20: Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Blog Day 2006 - Retrospective

Well it turns out that yesterday, Thursday 31/8/2006 was actually World Blog Day. What you are supposed to do on World Blog day is recommend five other blogs so that people can enjoy more good blogs. Having just started blogging, I have never heard of this. I did see quite a few people write about it on their blogs. Since I have just started this blog, I didn't even think anyone was reading it, so I rarely check the email to see if there are comments. Apparently our blog has at least one reader, Mandy from Cape Town. Turns out Mandy had linked us, but she had forgotten to send us an email until that day, so I have to do my recommendation a day late. Well here are the recommended links I have chosen on behalf of the whole group since we are spread all over the world and it is very hard to communicate and come up with a group decision.

1. Chez pim is already a very popular blog but I do really like the style of writing from Pim. It's very informative and has loads of great photos. Also, since Pim attends so many different functions, I get to see the glamourous side of the food industry which I don't think I will be able to see in the short term, maybe one day.

2. Grab Your Fork is by Helen who is located in Sydney. Helen blogs very often and her posts are full of great food and photos. Her posts are very down to Earth and about regular averaged priced restaurants and food experiences that are very accessible to anyone.

3. Cream Puffs In Venice is written by Ivonne, who cooks lots and lots of great food. Ivonne's blog is more based around recipes that she cooks and then shares the results with great photos and the recipe details.

4. Dyske is not a food blog but is a great blog well worth a read. Dyske is run by Dyske Suematsu with other contributors. Most of the articles are written by Dyske and cover so many topics. He is very articulate and his views on so many things always makes me think.

5. Management Line is a blog about all issues related to work. It's written by Leon Gattler as part of The Age online newspaper. This blog is a great read for many issues that will be relevant to you and you will come across in your own working careers.

Well that's the first ever Blog Day recommendations from this blog. Hopefully there will be many more to come. Happy Retrospective Blog Day 2006.