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TeaThymes.com - A Food & Travel Blog

Welcome to TeaThymes.com!


Welcome to TeaThymes!

Teathymes.com is a food and travel blog based in Sydney, Australia. From here you'll get to see some restaurant reviews, food and travel product reviews and the occasional recipes -all matters of food and drink!






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Sophie is currently looking for potential Guest Writers for content writing/reviewers!

Happy NYE 2013!

HAPPY NEW YEAR FOR 2014!

Hello TeaThymers, 

Wishing you all a very awesome Happy New Year for 2014. Hope it brings you a new fantastic year blessed with happiness and good health. 

For me I can't believe 2013 is wrapping up for me. Time over in the USA is quickly coming to a close & I'm looking forward to being back Down Under in January! 

I can't wait to start up the new year with delicious foodie adventures at the new restaurants and cafes of Sydney as well as trying to keep up to the idea of trying my hand of being more independant for cooking a few things at home since I'm not much of a genius for the kitchen. 

Do you have any resolutions for the new year of 2014 too?

- Sophie.

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Happy Holidays 2013!

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY HOLIDAYS!


Hello TeaThymers,

Wishing you a very magical Christmas holiday period to all of TeaThymes.com's readers and friends of this blog. 

May this season bring you joy and lots and lots of candy canes! 

I am spending my last month of what you could have called it as a 'gap year' (well - as I post this, it's just under two weeks) in the USA working with Disney before I head back over the big blue sea back down under to Australia to begin another year back in Sydney for 2014. 

I plan on resuming blogging - and yes! finally, I'll get to visit and taste all of those deliciously new cafes and Sydney restaurants I keep on reading and seeing online.

See you real soon!

Sophie.

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TeaThyme's 2nd Birthday!


It seems like yesterday that I was celebrating TeaThymes' 1st Birthday and today marks it's 2nd Birthday in the bloggiversary universe!

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Cafe Du Monde, LA, USA

CAFE DU MONDE


Welcome to the Big Easy!

I was so excited to tick New Orleans off my USA to-do list. So far I've been on an interstate journey to New York, Atlanta, North Carolina, Florida and Miami right before visiting the "Big Easy" - which I've soon discovered was a phrase that New Orleans people choose for themselves.

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USA: Miami and Key West Trip!

MIAMI & KEY WEST, FLORIDA


Taking advantage of our days off from work -  the three of us; Miss Naughty, Miss Giggles and I - go for a road trip towards Miami Beach and then a little further down to venture into good ol' Key West.

We leave Orlando and head on over to rent a car for a four hour drive along the highway to get to our hotel over in Miami. We ended up in an awesome boutique hotel along the harbour side called Bal Harbour which proved to be a great spot for shopping and nightlife with clubs that the likes of celebrities such as Paris Hilton would choose to party at.


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Yebisu Izakaya, NSW

YEBISU IZAKAYA


It's been nearly 5 months since I've left Sydney and hopped on a plane for the US to work. There hasn't been much time for me to blog as much as I used to about all the foodie places I have discovered so far in New York and Florida but there are a few I'm slowly whipping up and going to post sooner rather than later!

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Lucky's at NY, USA



Miss Naughty and our friend Bryan decided a while ago that we'd buy tickets to New York during our time in the USA and go for six days, five nights so we could play tourist for under a week and do some sight-seeing of the most iconic New York places it has to offer.

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USA: Disney's Epcot Flower & Garden Food Festival Pt. 1

EPCOT FLOWER & GARDEN FESTIVAL
 PINEAPPLE PROMENADE
LOTUS HOUSE


It's currently looking to be a warm and sunny Spring for Florida at the moment which makes it an opportune time on a day off like yesterday to go venture forth in Disney's Epcot theme park for some fun and 'eat around the world' in Disney's own World Showcase section. Every year during the Flower & Garden Festival there is seasonal food stalls that they have up and running throughout with varied menu's to choose from. This year it runs through March 6th until May 19th, 2013. 

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Earl of Sandwich, FL, USA

EARL OF SANDWICH


All my fellow program comrades have been hyping and talking about this Sandwich store situated in the Downtown Disney area of Orlando for a while now because they're known for their great quality Sandwiches and for not being much of a pinch on the pocket money-wise. I've also grown to love the idea that lunch over in the States could easily be under $10 USD whereas I'd easily spend $15-20+ AUD on a meal back home in Sydney.


On one of my nights off we stumbled upon the nightlife that begins at the Downtown Disney area. Complete with Bowling Alleys, Cafes, Cinema and Cirque du Soleil Downtown has become one of my favourite lesser theme-park-ish spots to hang with Miss Naughty during our nights off.


When we came to buy a sandwich slash sub roll from Earl of Sandwich we where impressed at the branding and the story behind such a successful namesake. It's got a bit of historical concept to it; harping back to the days where Earl's and Duke's weren't a thing of the past and the 4th Earl of a place called Sandwich, Mr. John Montagu was a reknown gambler that often had no time to prepare meals for himself because he was preoccupied with his gaming. To make sure he didn't starve, he'd ask his servants or maids to fetch him two slices of bread and some meat for him to nibble on. Stacked them together and what do you get? A Sandwich! Such a genius thing could perhaps be named after this English gambler after all.


The queues were long as expected for this quick serve outlet and although it is quite a relatively large restaurant it still took us about 15 minutes from the end of the line to their counter for ordering. I opted for their Special Holiday Sandwich which consisted of oven toasted turkey with stuffings, cranberry and mayonnaise with a dollop of warmed gravy inside a toasted roll of bread. The unique part to this was these sandwiches aren't served cold but are hot from the freshly toasted bread and meat varieties you choose.


I also bought myself a huge bowl of their Chicken Ceasar salad that came with field greens and romaine lettuce leaves, shredded cheese, croutons along with chunkier pieces of grilled chicken all of which was dressed generously with Ceasar dressing.


To wash it all down I went with the Lemonade Earl Grey Tea. An addictive citrus and earl grey infused drink that was so refreshing it went down the hatch in a great big gulps. 


Earl of Sandwich on Urbanspoon

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Focus Chinese Restaurant, QLD

FOCUS CHINESE RESTAURANT


You know stuff is gonna be good when you find out that most of the customers are either: 1.) From the same descent as the restaurant's cuisine or 2.) Find out that people from all places, including a table next to us who travel from Brisbane to Surfer's just to dine there. Focus Chinese seems to tick both boxes.

Focus Chinese is a semi-newly sought business which formerly the space was used by a bar/bistro and that may explain the oddly-shaped dining room in the form of a semi circle that overlooks the hotel swimming pool and is open through-out the day dinner into the later hours of the night.



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TGI Fridays, FL, USA

T.G.I FRIDAYS


When I landed in Orlando, Florida back in the first week of January I met up with my new friends that share the same magical journey I am taking for this year - Tony, Chiara and April. After an enduring 15 hour Sydney to Los Angeles plane trip then transit and faire over LA to Orlando, you can definitely say I was worse for wear and in need of rejuvenation. 

At first we set forth in search of dinner at what would soon become "our regular" restaurant since it's such just a brisk walk from the hotel at T.G.I Fridays (Thank God It's Friday). Every morning the restaurant would have had a buffet-style brekky at a cheap price of $8 USD per person which we frequented often all the time eating bagels, french toast, bacon and eggs and seasonal fruits by the plates.


Unfortunately I was feeling terribly unwell and didn't get to stomach much during that dinner outing and kept things simple with a Chicken Noodle Soup served with a side of crackers. The perfect pick-me-up for those (at the time like I was) who just needed a little sustenance before hitting bed and taking down medicine.






Then my friends with the bigger appetites ordered their main course dishes of onion rings deep fried then placed into a juicy beef-bacon burger with fries that were super crispy from the depths of their deep-frier machine back in the kitchen. A generous salad with chicken and nacho chips for April and Tony's choice of a creamy chicken spaghetti made me wish I could have eaten more. 



T.G.I. Friday's on Urbanspoon

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Top 5 Food Safety Tips When Eating at Home


We all know that eating at home will allow you to eat healthier meals than you could consume at most restaurants. However, choosing to eat at home means you must be careful about food safety. You do not have an inspector coming around and letting you know if you are doing things correctly like restaurants do, and you most likely do not have any formal training in how to safely handle food. There are simple food safety tips you can follow to ensure that you handle all foods properly when you choose to eat at home.

1. Always Refrigerate Leftovers Quickly
There is a specific temperature range for food that is often referred to as the temperature danger zone. When foods are between 5 and 60 degrees, bacteria will start to grow much faster. In order to avoid this danger zone, foods should be kept warm and then cooled down quickly. To do this, you need to place foods in the proper container and refrigerate them no more than two hours after they have been taken off the heat.

2.Never Eat Uncooked Eggs
Uncooked eggs can contain salmonella, which can cause food poisoning. Eggs should be stored in the refrigerator and then cooked properly before consumption.

3. Do Not Leave Meats Out to Defrost
It may seem quicker and easier to put meat out on the counter so that it can defrost by the time you are ready to cook, but this can be dangerous and can lead to bacteria contamination. Make sure to allow yourself enough time and defrost the meat in the refrigerator.

4. Wash your Hands
You need to wash your hands often when you are cooking in the kitchen. This includes before and after touching any raw meat, before touching vegetables and after you have finished cooking. In fact, get in the habit of washing your hands as often as possible.

5. Always Follow Temperature Directions
Foods that contain meats and eggs need to be heated up to a specific temperature to kill any bacteria in them. You should consult labels in order to determine how much each type of food must be heated.

Eating at home can be healthier and is also a more cost effective option. You don’t have to be a food safety expert in order to ensure your foods are safe to eat at home. Instead, make sure to follow the tips above and you should not have a problem.

About the Author: Mike Stewart

Mike Stewart
Mike Stewart is the editor of Australian Food Safety News. Based in Brisbane, Mike has an extensive background in food safety and is currently a senior research consultant at the Australian Institute of Food Safety.

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Europe in a Box

EUROPE IN A BOX


So... I'm currently still in America staying in the sunny side of Florida where all the tourists are enjoying the theme parks and attractions Orlando has to offer. It's been such a brilliant opportunity to be working over on this side of the world - I'm loving being overseas and can't wait to start travelling around the USA later on in this year!

Anyways, I write this post today to share with you some new stuff from one of my favourite food bloggers hailing from Sydney; Mademoiselle Slimalicous. Cyndie is a proud franco-australian food blogger who writes plenty of healthy recipes and food facts whilst having great opportunities to win stuff from her fantastic giveaways!

To make matters even more awesome, this week Cyndie has launched Europe in the Box - a service which promotes cultural diversity and celebrates the European-Australian cross-cultural exchange. This service is designed to connect armchair travellers and kitchen adventurers with the flavours of Europe from the comfort of their own homes in Australia through a monthly subscription service packed and delivered straight to your door.

Highlighting several European culinary destinations each month, the subscription service provides an
ever-changing mix of hand-picked gourmet foods and drinks.

And guess what? Becoming a member of Europe in a Box is not only a great way to discover new food but it is also going towards a good cause: a percentage of each sale from Europe in a Box will be donated to All Together Now, the only national charity in Australia that is dedicated to tackling racism
issues.

So guys if your up for some European delights delivered to you monthly then this will be a fantastic, new experience to encounter upon! Check out Europe in a Box today for more information.


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Omeros Bros, QLD

OMEROS BROTHERS




One of the evenings we spent in Queensland led us to stretch our legs away from the hotel room only to walk across a bridge over to the Marina Mirage shopping centre to find dinner a couple minutes later. 

Overlooking the fantastic harbourside waters, the jetties are full of luxury boats that each would cost a fortune to maintain - so much that my eyes are still hurting at seeing the many digits attached at a nearby real estate window that has 'for sale' luxury boats.


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Smoyo, NSW

SMOYรถ FROZEN YOGURT BAR
  

Two years ago I had my first taste of froyo and it wasn't in Australia but in the USA. I was on vacation in Orange County, California and at the time in 2010 froyo was a huge hit during summer break. Franchises like pinkberry and yogurtland were big, offering a great line up of flavours and toppings. I remember having New York Cheesecake flavoured frozen yogurt. Hands down the yogurtland flavour menu is amazeballs and I'm yet to find an Aussie contender similar to their flavoursome offerings.

Then comes late 2012 - the beginning of Aussie froyo mania! Since now everywhere around the city and surrounds it seems that more frozen yogurt places are up and coming for our summer season and I am rejoicing!

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Mos Burger, QLD

MOS BURGER


Walking along Surfer's Paradise not too long ago, we stopped in front of a new franchise that I've not seen before in Sydney. Mos Burger!



Mos Burger is orginally from Japan and has become an international franchise for unique burgers. This intrigued me and I took the moment to try one of their signature burgers - the gourmet wagyu beef burger with a side of chips and drink for around $12. Other burgers on the menu include burgers that are with fillings encased with two thick rice patties instead of the usual bread buns - actual rice that has been compressed down like the size of a thick bun!

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Bubba Gumps, FL, USA

BUBBA GUMPS
Run Forrest Run!

Hello from the fun, sun shining side of Orlando, Florida - my new home for 2013. I arrived on the 5th January and so far have gotten to have some really yummy American foods during my stay around Orlando before starting my work.


We had just spent a good January winter day (which didn't feel that cold at all!) going around Universal Studios' Islands of Adventure which includes attractions such as Marvel superheroes, Dr. Seuss and the main attraction for us being there - the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

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Kofoo Korea Sydney, NSW

KOFOO KOREA SYDNEY


Oppa Gangnam Style! 

The first of it's kind, this upbeat trendy Korean restaurant is going to be a big hit for all you k-pop fans. The music is on trend for those who are in the know beyond PSY. With tunes playing from bands like T-ARA, G-Dragon and T.O.P along with the occasional dance-club mixes it's urban basement-tech ambience is certainly under the cool category. 

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Vanilla Chai Cupcakes

VANILLA CHAI CUPCAKES


This week my sweet tooth lingered for something sugary in cupcake form. I decided to hit up Google for an adaptable recipe for Chai Cupcakes as I'm an avid tea drinker and what better than combine the aromatic spices of Chai ingredients with vanilla into cupcakes for the festive season!

I'm a tad bit infatuated with the idea of Chai teas since I've only just really come across drinking it as a beverage not too long ago. It's origins hail from India and typically is served as a hot spiced up milk black tea. Most supermarkets including the bigger brands offer their own take of the Chai Masala variety being usually a creamy and somewhat warmth bringing drink for the body. 

My first batch includes a little bit of a cheat-sheet approach - decidedly I thought of doing a mixture from scratch sourcing the flours, sugar and butter for it all but when backwards and bought a pre-mix of a local Vanilla cupcake box from the supermarket. 

If you're more inclined to do the cupcake mix from scratch then perhaps adopt this recipe from Taste of Home. 


Adding a tablespoon of cinnamon, clove and ginger to the blending mixture had given me that all spice delciousness. But then the trick is to also add a pinch of white or finely ground black pepper to add that bit or zing to it's flavour palette. The cupcakes themselves on the first try were fantastic with a soft, somewhat moist density that went well with some freshly brewed tea. 

I was so chuffed with my Chai Cupcakes that I made another batch again soon after but this time they were miniature cupcakes with the same amount of mixture, just smaller moulds. They turned out to be great as little treats for when I visited relatives on Boxing Day.


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