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Nicole

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Dining with a Stud

I work for a finance company in the Marketing Department. Quite new to Marketing, I'm trying...

...to get as much experience as I can in hopes that I can transfer my skills to either a food or Food Magazine company. In the mean time, I am fueling my passion for food by writing about it which is why I started my blog.

How long have you been a Daring Baker/Daring Cook and what’s your favorite thing about being in the group(s) so far?

I am a brand new member (mid August) and love the fact that there are hundreds of people from all around the world with food passion in common. It’s great to see that people have successes and also failures with their food and everyone’s tips are brilliant.

I feel like the challenges, for me, force me to cook things that I wouldn’t normally, or have wanted to try for a while but never had the drive. With everyone doing the same recipes but different variations, it’s a great way to get inspired and be supported by people who have been through it.

What’s your favorite kitchen gadget? How about your favorite kitchen appliance?

I would have to say my baking mat for kitchen gadget as you can use it for pretty much everything. It’s a bit of a bugger to wash up but when cooking with it, its prefect for those sticky situations.
My favourite appliance is definitely my mixer. I can’t WAIT to get a KitchenAid so once that’s in my house, it will be pride and joy but until then, my dodgy cheap mixer will suffice.

Are you known for making a certain dish or dessert? If so, what is it?

My Adult’s-Only Snickers Tart is usually a winner.

Is there any recipe and/or technique that we haven’t covered yet that you’d really like to make/learn?

I am quite new to the website and haven’t had a chance to look through all the challenges/posts just yet however I would love to learn how to make all the different types of pastry (puff, short, filo, etc). But again, I’m not sure if this has already been covered.

Do you have a favorite movie? Book? Genre of music? Actor? Actress?

I am a big fan of 80’s movies. You can go wrong with a bit of cheese, I think it keeps us all a little geeky at heart and I love that. Top Gun, Cocktail, Dirty Dancing, etc. My ipod is a plethora of music genres at the moment. If I like it, I listen to it.

You’ve just won $5000.00!!! What would you spend it on?

I would pay off my mortgage, buy a KitchenAid and take a foodie trip around Europe with my partner. I am still kicking myself about not trying all the really authentic food over there. I went when I was a little younger and food was basic and just nutrition to me. I developed my love in the past few years and would definitely try everything over there now!

What is the ultimate comfort food to you?

One of my mums stews or my dads cheese toastie. Anything that reminds me of home is comfort food. Its not necessarily about the dish, more about the memories surrounding them.

Which season (Winter, Summer, Spring, Fall) is your favorite.. why?

Spring definitely! The food is amazingly fresh and its not too hot to cook Wink

Other than cooking and/or baking.. what hobbies do you enjoy?

I love going out and experiencing new flavours and cultures. I also love (well I have to due to my ever-growing food habit) going to the gym and started pole dancing for fitness a few years ago which is great fun!

How long have you been blogging? Do you like it? What’s your favorite post you’ve written?

I started my blog about 2-3 months ago and have been trying to perfect it before driving traffic to it. Id say its about ready to go now but at the moment my biggest followers are my friends.

What’s your favorite cookbook for desserts/baking? What’s your favorite cookbook for savory/cooking?

Donna Hay Classics for desserts. Donna has a great way of making the most complicated looking cake pretty effortless. It’s a great crowd pleaser. For savoury, I am slowly making my way through an ever-growing cookbook library to which I affectionately call my “Ney Years Recipe Resolution” where I am going to make one dish out of every book. So far I have done 2. Give me time, I’ll get there Wink

Is there one food that you seriously dislike/hate? If so, which is it and why?

Licorice

What’s your favorite flower and/or plant?

I recently started a mini herb garden on our apartment balcony and am growing bay leaves, thyme, parsley and coriander. Its such a great feeling to know you have those herbs at your fingertips and there are no fertilizers messing with it.

Do you have a favorite local restaurant? If so, why is it your favorite and what kind of food is served there?

Its not my local anymore but we use to love going to Ju-Rin Japanese Restaurant in Crows Nest. The food was always fabulous and the sashimi was always so fresh.

Who taught you how to cook and/or bake?

I am kind of self taught. It was only the past few years that I started cooking for the fun of it. I was never a massive fan of cooking but now get through my working week but deciding what to make on the weekend.

What’s your favorite holiday and why?

My partner and I went to the UK a couple of years ago and I would say it was one of my best. Meeting his friends and family and also experiencing all the great food that England and Scotland have to offer.

Reading any good books lately? Which ones?!

It is with a slight bit of shame that I confess to loving all the Twilight books and read all 4 within a couple of weeks. *hangs head*

You’ve had a rough week. How do you relax after a rough week?

A nice glass of wine, some trashy tv and bake something delicious.

Where is your favorite vacation (holiday) destination?

London

What is your favorite cooking/food related magazine? Why?

Hmmmm I buy every food magazine that comes out each month so it’s hard picking a favourite. It would be tough to choose between Good Food and Masterchef.

Do you have a food addiction?

Cheese!

What did you eat for dinner last night? Did you prepare it or someone else?

I made a chili con last night. Something quick and easy that we ate with some 9 grain sourdough bread I had bought from Adriano Zumbo.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Chocolate. Anything chocolate.

What kind of colors do you like? Pastels? Earth tones? Brights? Neons? Etc.

For my house, earth tones with a splash of colour, for my clothes, monochrome with a splah of colour.

If you had the choice of a free kitchen, bathroom, living room or bedroom makeover – which would you choose and why?

Kitchen. My ultimate kitchen goal is to have a floating bar in them idle, a few ovens on the wall for separate cooking, a massive fridge freezer and all the gadgets I need to whip up a storm!

Do you watch any competitive cooking shows? Like Top Chef or Hell’s Kitchen? If so, which is your favorite and why?

I LOVE Top Chef! I have it on Foxtel IQ and watch it a few times to get the technique tips. In Australia we have just finished Season 2 of Masterchef and its also my obsession when its on.

What’s your favorite “sweet” spice? How about your favorite “savory” spice?

Sweet would be vanilla. Savoury definitely garlic!

If you could eat in any celebrity chef’s restaurant which restaurant would it be, and which chef owns it?

The Fat Duck – Heston Blumethal

What’s your favorite herb to cook or bake with? Do you prefer fresh or dried?

I love Parsley for freshness and am coming around to Coriander for flavour. I think nothing beats fresh herbs but if its something like a stew, I’m happy to use dried.

Is there one recipe on your blog that you would like to share with us? If so, leave the link here.

http://diningwithastud.com/blog/2010/07/29/mediterranean-layered-meatloa...

Do you have a time saving kitchen tip you’d like to share with us?

Make sure you cook so you don’t have to be the one to wash up Wink

You can visit Nicole on her blog Dining with a Stud