The Twitter Experiment #twitterexperiment

by Kimba the Twitter Professor... hehe. 


Taking a break from my normal cooking / eating routine... I felt I needed to share my recent #twitterexperiment results on my blog because it is IMPOSSIBLE to fit all these findings within 140 characters!

Recently, I did the #twitterexperiment to find out:
  1. How often people check their Twitter
  2. If they use Twitter to read timelines (and interact) or just to tweet / promote something
Before I go on, here are some facts:
I have 1,234 followers on Twitter and I am following 1,174 people.

I conducted the experiment by tweeting this at 1.00pm:
"If you're reading this tweet, please reply with a nod #twitterexperiment"

> > > Within the first 30 minutes, I got 10 replies.

Then I tweeted again at 1.30pm:
"If you're reading this tweet (and haven't nodded already), please reply with a nod #twitterexperiment"

> > > I got 6 replies.

And then at 2.00pm:
"If you're reading this tweet (and haven't nodded already), please reply with a nod #twitterexperiment > 1 more hour b4 i reveal results!"

> > > I got 4 replies. 

And finally at 2.30pm:
"If you're reading this tweet (and haven't nodded already), please reply with a nod #twitterexperiment > LAST 30 MINUTES!"

> > > I got my last 3 replies.

Before the experiment, I assumed it was impossible for me to expect my 1,234 followers to ALL read my tweets. It was impossible, no way.

Because, if you're like me, if you follow lots of people, you will read tweets only from your lists. That's what I do, and I have less than 100 people in each list... easier for me to keep up.

So, I predicted that because I'm listed in 74 lists, and excluding people who are sleeping (different timezones), busy, not checking tweets, etc... I should have at least 30-40 responses to be realistic.

I got 23 responses in total. Not bad. So I've come to some conclusions based on this experiment.. LISTEN UP!!

Conclusion #1: 
People following >1,000 people only reads timeline WHEN ONLINE, no backtracking. Too many tweets. So if you want their attention, you will need to mention them.

Conclusion #2:
People following <100 people are more likely to read ALL your tweets throughout the day, or when they catch up on tweets at the end of the day.

Conclusion #3:
People following >1,000 people but maintain good lists of <100 per list, are likely to read SOME of your tweets, and ONLY WHEN ONLINE. So they might not reply straightaway, but if they like what you tweet, you'll get a reply like hours even a day later, when they're done "catching up". This is why I get a reply for #twitterexperiment even AFTER the time block of 2 hours is done.

Conclusion #4:
I've sent 4 tweets about the same thing in 2 hours. I've noticed some people (who are following me and I'm following them) tweet even more than I did within those 2 hours, but did not respond. These are the people who ONLY tweet / reply mentions.. but don't read timelines AT ALL. They might: 
  • not feel like it at the time
  • be in a venting mode only
  • just ignored me and not care, lol
  • have not listed me and therefore did not see my tweets

So basically, those are just a few theories based on today's experiment. Just a bit of fun on a Friday afternoon :)

So which conclusion best describes you?


Mystery Freezer / Pantry Challenge

Here's a mouthful: Warm Salt and Pepper Prawn Salad with Tuna, Pasta, Egg and Sweet Corn Mayonnaise topped with Crushed Peanuts


Monday nights. You know how it is to come home after a long day at work, and you are most likely still recovering from your "Monday Blues"? Cooking is probably the last thing most of us would want to do. I felt the same way. Came home, and sat on the couch for a good 10 minutes before deciding to get up and make something for dinner.

I didn't plan to cook anything - so I was faced with my very own "Mystery Freezer / Pantry Challenge". You know the "Mystery Box" challenge in MasterChef, whereby contestants are given ingredients and they are just expected to make the most and best out of it? That was me tonight, presented with random ingredients here and there, and only using what was available without going to the shops to get anything I needed for a recipe.


So here's what I did:

Salt and Pepper Prawns:
Pieces of large prawns, butterflied. Season with mince garlic, salt and pepper. Melt a tsp of butter on a pan and fry / grill the prawns until cooked. Set aside.

Tuna Pasta Salad:
3 handfuls of penne pasta, boiled in salted water. 5 eggs, hard boiled. 2 little cans of Tuna in Sweet Corn & Mayonnaise. Mix cooked pasta with chopped hard boiled eggs and tuna.

To Serve:
Lay a bed of Mediterranean Salad Leaves on a shallow bowl / plate. Top the leaves with Tuna Pasta Salad. Arrange a few Salt and Pepper prawns on top of the Tuna Pasta Salad. Sprinkle some crushed roasted peanuts on top.

I was very happy with what I did! The prawns were delicious, and pasta was fulfilling, and the salad leaves just gave it a refreshing crunch. Will definitely make this again on another weeknight.

Slow Cooked Roast Pork Loin Recipe

Aah, another beautiful Sunday roast dinner. Sundays are my favorite "cooking day" simply because we are often at home on Sunday night to actually have dinner at home, and I also mostly have the whole afternoon to cook if I needed that time. That's why a good, slow cooked roast is often on the menu.

I already have two recipes I consider as my Sunday Roast favorites:
  1. Garlic and Rosemary Slow Cooked Roast Lamb
  2. Roasted Chicken Legs with Herb and Breadcrumb Stuffing
So I already have lamb and chicken, let's add some PORK to my collection!


I call this a Slow Cooked Roast Pork Loin served with Roast Potatoes, Pumpkin and Onion with Green Peas. Oh wait, there is also a GRAVY that needs to be poured onto this dish... but I will save that image for last!


Ingredients:
You will need to go to the butcher's and ask for Rolled Pork Loin... or I suppose you can get these from Coles or any other supermarkets. To prep the meat, you season it generously with salt and pepper. You may also stick some thyme sprigs into the pork loin for added flavor. And don't forget the olive oil

Method:
Basically, place the seasoned pork onto a baking tray and cover with foil. Place into preheated oven at 100C and slowly cook for at least 3 hours. I would go 4 hours if you had the time.

After 3-4 hours, remove the foil and increase heat to 180C and cook for a further 40 minutes (or more if you are not satisfied with the crackling). You should be able to remove the pork from the oven once you're happy with the crispness of your crackling!! Mmmmm... crackling :)


To serve, it is of course up to you how thick / thin you wish to slice it. I went for the thickness of the rope around the rolled pork because it was easy to then also separate the crispy crackling.


Also to serve, steam some green peas in a steamer for approx. 3 minutes - and roast some chopped onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper for approx. 25-30 minutes in 180C heated oven.


And finally, the important element of the gravy. When you remove the foil from the pork after slow roasting for 3-4 hours... you know, just before you crank up the oven heat to 180C? Scoop out some of the juices from the roasting pan which would've "semi-drowned" your pork while it was slow roasting. You should be able to scoop out approx. 250ml of these juices ... well, at least I did anyway!

Then place these juices into a small cooking pot on a low heat stovetop. Add 1 - 2 tbsp of sifted plain flour (depending on your preferred gravy thickness), a tsp of minced garlic, and add water if needed as these juices could get pretty salty due to the generous seasoning of the pork.

Pour the gravy directly onto the meat and potatoes and veggies as you please :)

Wedding at Montsalvat - Part 2

As a continuation from Wedding at Montsalvat - Part 1 on my Photography Blog which featured the beautiful buildings and surroundings of Montsalvat, I thought I'd share Part 2 here on my Food Blog with photos that are more food related. The wedding was indeed a beautiful wedding surrounded by gorgeous buildings and you know what, people have always said that "buffet styled wedding dinners" always fall short... but I am here to prove everyone wrong!

Yes, the wedding reception was a buffet.. but it was an AMAZING buffet.. and you will soon see why. We had a wonderful feast with top quality roast meals and delicious accompaniments. Well done to the team at Montsalvat for not only looking after the bride and groom so well, but also put up such delicious food for us, the guests!!

Cute little wedding bomboniere... :)

As you can see, LEGO is a clear theme... what a gorgeous Lego Wedding Cake!

Aawww... how sweet :)

To start the buffet.. some delicious baked fish!

Delicious accompaniments - roast potatoes, roast vegetables...

Lots of salads to choose from...

These were very yummy salads.

The HAM was superbly delicious!

Here's another look at the buffet table.

And there's MORE food on the other side of the table!

Roast Chicken.. lots of roast chicken..

And the carving of the fish, roast beef and roast pork... man, that roast pork was so delicious I'm cooking it again tonight! Anyway... let's move on to desserts!

 Cafe styled, rich cakes served with fruit and cheese platters!!

Sticky Date Pudding

Rich Chocolate / Almond Cake?

Belgian Chocolate Cake?

Mmm... fruit.

Another look at the dessert buffet table... the slices were proper huge slices of cake so I couldn't taste everything!

So in the end I chose the baked cheesecake (very good choice!) with some fruit. YUM!!

"Apam Balik" / Malaysian Peanut Pancake Recipe

Also known as "Apom Balek", "Ban Chang Kuih", "Bang Chang Kueh", Fluffy Pancakes with Roasted Peanuts and Sesame Seeds... this dish has so many inconsistent naming conventions that I had a tough time deciding the best name to call it for my Blog Title so people would search for it and find it.


Just like the "Pisang Goreng".. this dish holds a lot of childhood memories for me. Where I grew up in a small capital city in Borneo (Kuching), whenever I'm out shopping with my parents - I would every once in a while convince my parents to buy me a snack because I was hungry. "Apam Balik" was one of those snacks readily available from food stalls around a shopping centre. It's basically a really soft, fluffy pancake folded over chopped peanuts, sesame seeds, sugar and butter.

Ever since I've moved to Australia about 5 years ago, I realise I haven't had Apam Balik is absolutely AGESSSS!! In fact, even when I was back in Malaysia for holidays several times now, it never occured to me to go and get some Apam Balik, simply because I have always had such limited time and I was hunting for other food I've been craving for that's harder to replicate and cook myself.

So recently, out of the blue, I had a craving for Apam Balik and thought I'd share with you this recipe:

Batter Ingredients:
330 gm flour
1 1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp instant dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar
3 eggs

Mix the ingredients to form a smooth batter and leave for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, your batter should be light and fluffy, slightly raised and have "popping air holes" that look like this:


Filling Ingredients:
Crushed, roasted peanuts
Toasted Sesame Seeds
Sugar
Butter


Method:

Heat a flat frying pan with a little bit of oil. Pour batter to fill the pan.


Sprinkle peanut and sesame seeds onto the batter, sprinkle sugar on top and dot with butter.


Fold the pancake over and leave it on the pan until it is cooked. Serve hot.

Egg, Bacon & Onion Quiche Recipe


Call it Egg and Bacon Quiche, or Quiche Lorraine, or just a quiche... I have never made quiches before, so I thought it would be a nice change to have something different. In most Aussie households, the quiche is a very common dish. Some people can make quiches with their eyes closed!! But you know what I don't like about traditional quiches? There's always barely enough of that soft, eggy filling to keep me happy!


So tonight I got a little bit generous and made a "tall" quiche so I will have an abundance of filling. The downside to that, is because of its height.. it takes a bit longer to cook. And to balance it nicely between not burning the sides of the pastry and not undercooking the middle of the filling, was a bit tricky. In the end, I sort of compromised. The crust was a bit burnt and filling was a bit undercooked... but firm enough for us to enjoy the taste and texture of the quiche. Of course, I was very happy with the "eggy-ness".

To come up with this recipe, I read various resources e.g. "Symply Too Good To Be True" cookbooks and various recipes on the internet.

In the end, this version of the recipe is what I decided to do and it doesn't quite match all the recipes out there. Again, because of the "tallness" factor I had to add more eggs and milk. Also, the choice of middle bacon is partially influenced by my desire to have a slight "chewy fat" texture coming from the bacon. It's so tasty! Not the healthiest... but this is not a health blog, hehe.

Overall, even though the filling is slightly undercooked and the pastry was too thick, hubby and I thoroughly enjoyed our dinner and I was very happy with the flavor and texture of my quiche.


Ingredients for Pastry:
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1/2 cups self raising flour
1/3 cup full cream milk (for a low fat option, use skim milk)
1 egg white
2 tbsp margarine, melted

Ingredients for Filling:
Cooking Spray
110g middle bacon, sliced
4 whole eggs, plus 2 egg whites
1 1/2 cup milk
3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh parsley finely chopped
1 small onion roughly chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup grated tasty cheese

Method:
  • Preheat oven 180C fan forced.
  • To make pastry: In a large mixing bowl sift both flours. Combine milk and egg white, beat with a fork. Add melted margarine, then add milk mixture to flour and fold together. Leave to one side.


  • To make filling: Coat a small non-stick frypan with cooking spray, fry bacon until browned. Leave to one side. In a medium sized mixing bowl beat eggs and whites for 1 minute using an electric beater. Add milk and beat until blended. Add parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, onion, grated cheese and cooked bacon.
  •  To prepare quiche: On a well-floured surface roll out pastry until fairly thin. Coat a baking tray with cooking spray and press on pastry. Pour egg mixture to reach nearly the top of pastry. Bake for approx. 30-40 minutes or until egg mixture is firm in centre. Serve hot or cold.

Virgin Blue's "What's Your Blackboard Signature Special" Contest

I have recently entered this contest organised by Virgin Blue airline in conjunction with MasterChef's popularity to go in the running to win one of three trips to Sydney for the ultimate culinary experience: dining at Luke Mangan’s Glass with accommodation courtesy of Blue Holidays and Mirvac Hotels and Resorts.

To enter, I had to submit an original recipe to I submitted my Steamed Whole Snapper with Garlic, Butter, Chilli and Lemon dish as it has always been a favorite during my dinner parties and people have always given me really good feedback and comments for this dish!


This contest is open to the public to vote via Facebook. So please login to your Facebook account and vote for me! Winning this culinary trip to Sydney would be a dream come true.... thank you so much for your support. xoxo Kimba.

Whole Suckling Pig @ The Provincial

On Friday night, to celebrate hubby's birthday as well as to get together with family and friends (and celebrate a few other birthdays) I've organised a night out in the city - just the usual dinner, movie and perhaps some poker afterwards. Originally, the plan was to just have dinner at one of the restaurants at Crown which was our central place to meet up. However, thanks to the powerful word of mouth aka Twitter - I've managed to change the plans just slightly and booked a table for 9 at The Provincial Hotel, Fitzroy.

Let me introduce you to the main reason for this change of plan:

Whole. Suckling. Pig.

Ah, but I won't get to that yet.

The night started out with the first round of drinks at Hektor Woodleys, Abbotsford with hubby and his workmates straight after work. By the time we moved on to The Provincial, our guests were already there waiting for us at the bar and having drinks... oops! Sorry we were late guys, hehe.

Just after 7pm, we went to our table at the restaurant / cafe area of The Provincial and were promptly seated by the lovely Valerie - whom I must say took very good care of us throughout the night.

We started off with a selection of entrée platters to share:

House Made Ham Hock, Broad Beans and Fried Mozzarella

This entrée was absolutely amazing. As we were eating, the words "I love the ham" was as if it was on loop. One person said it, then the other. It was quite amusing, haha.

Warm Beetroot and Lentil Salad, Marinated Feta, Walnuts and Burnt Honey Dressing

The next entrée was surprisingly delicious. Now, the reason why I've said "surprisingly" is because I don't like beetroot. I know I know, how can a foodie not like beetroot right? Well, this dish completely changed my mind about beetroot. I thought it was beautiful, and the flavors on this plate mixed so well together and I really must thank The Provincial for serving up such wonderful entrées they were both absolutely DIVINE!

 Now, let's move on to the highlight of the night. Are you ready for this?

The Provincial's Whole Suckling Pig

You will need a minimum of 6 people at $75pp to eat this pig. We had 9 people. We really think we needed 12 people to actually finish the pig. It was sooooo rich! The meat was the most tender I've ever tasted, literally melted in your mouth. The skin was crunchy and crispy and there were lots of FAT. Gee piggie you're a fattie! But obviously the fat contributed to the tenderness of this slow roasted pig and the natural flavors that oozed out of the pig.


The meat was served with mashed potatoes and some greens (I was too busy taking photos to ask specifically) and they were terrific accompaniments. Personally, I would've liked it if the pig was actually seasoned well before roasting - but I understand why it was just cooked naturally to bring out the natural flavors. So I had the salt and pepper closeby at all times, lol. 



The meal was also served with a refreshing pear salad. Very refreshing to go with the richness of the pig.


Most of us even dared and tried the kidneys. I personally didn't get the chance to try it because, well, I was too busy taking photos. But the feedback I got from everyone else was that, it tasted really good BUT wait until the after taste kicks in... !! LOL not sure what they all meant but I'm guessing it's got a fairly strong after taste.


Overall, I was quite happy with the outstanding service from the very kind people at The Provincial. Food was fantastic. When I saw the Dessert Menu, I really wished we could stay for dessert! Unfortunately, we had to rush off to Crown to catch our movie and we were all so very full anyway, making room for dessert was impossible!

The Provincial Hotel on UrbanspoonOh, perhaps we will just have to go back there again. Eat something else that is less likely to fill us up too much, so we can actually indulge in some dessert. But what a meal, truly one of its kind. I would highly recommend you try it!

Please visit www.kimbasphotography.com to see the rest of the photos I took during the night, including pictures of the restaurant.