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About Irene

Oh hey there, thanks for stopping by!

I’m a: 17 18 19 year old girl named Irene living in Sydney. I was born in Jakarta, Indonesia but I’m Chinese by origin and migrated to Australia when I was 6. So now I’m just your average Austra-indo-chinese, studying hard (I try, I try…) to get through my second out of five years in uni.
Favourite ingredients: strawberries, pistachios, avocados, cinnamon, lemon, watermelon, white chocolate, taro, green tea. (you will make me a very happy child indeed if you feed me anything with these said ingredients)
What got me into cooking: I was always a keen onlooker when my mum used to make homemade birthday cakes for each family member and ever since I was around 5, I would always be in charge of mixing the cake batter with the hand mixer. For a 5 year old, you could imagine that mixer was pretty damn heavy for my little chubby hands so even though I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the ingredients blend and cool streaks left by the mixer, I would also turn into a typical impatient child asking “Is it done yet?” every minute or so and the answer was also “No!”, followed by my mum taking over the mixing process.Then as I got older, I enjoyed the simple things like making pancakes using the bought bottle of pancake mix, store-brought cake mixes but the results were always pretty bleh, in other words average… So then I ventured on to more exciting things, started looking for recipes online, or tried out some desserts from mum’s recipe collection. Some of my dearest early successes were basic sultana scones, quiches and tiramisu.I would also tread upon amazing blogs which totally blew me away as I realised there are so many other people out there, even my age (and younger!) who share the same passion as me! Then of course, the sudden influx of reality cooking shows like Masterchef definitely got me completely absorbed into the food spiral and there was just no way out. Though I must admit, it’s irritating that cooking now is getting too commercialised and those cooking shows have more drama than cooking in them!

Why I started the blog: I wanted to have a place where I could store all my recipes and pictures, document my successes and failures in cooking and also share them with other keen foodies out there because there’s not a big number of friends that I have who are into baking as I am. Having all your pictures on the web for anyone to see also motivates me to improve on my own photography skills. Other than that, it’s mainly also because of the other food bloggers out there who have really inspired me so much as to convert me from a lurker/reader to this amateur food blogger I am now.

Important things to note: Just like all other food bloggers, I spend a lot of time with my posts and images! I hope I wouldn’t have to encounter anyone copying slabs of my work with or without acknowledgement. You may copy recipes, but always link back to the right source! As for the pictures, it’s good courtesy to ask if you want to use more than one photo- that’ll make both of us happy:)

Random Facts: 
  • I don’t particularly like the skin of apples, and would refuse to eat them without peeling it off first but I’m okay with pears and peaches
  • I really like the colour mint, peach and cobalt blue
  • Sometimes I have days when I feel uncultured/unsociable because I can’t bring myself to enjoy cofee/the only alcohols reaaaally present in my life are kirsch and grand mernier and I use alcohol more often to bake than to drink on its own heh.
  • I can bake anything you want, just not cookies. I can’t bake them, they always turn charcoal black on the bottom. Who knew cookies could be more temperamental than macarons?
  • I secretly wish that I could live in a cool Scandinavian studio/apartment and have it all to myself
  • My friends think it’s cool that I can speak English, Chinese, Indonesian, French and Japanese. But just between you and me, honestly, I think the only language I can speak really really fluently are English and maybe Indonesian.
  • I can clap with one hand, I would show you one day if we get to meet
  • I can’t stand sitting on the same bench as someone who shake their knees. Nup.
  • I’m not a fan of hot drinks, and yes I don’t care if it’s winter, I want my iced chocolate
Wishes: I would so so love to become a part time food photographer/stylist with a main job of nutritionist and be so ridiculously good at making food appealing in front of the camera, like so many of the bloggers in my blog roll. My dream full time job would be a nutritionist and take online orders for cakes/cupcakes/macarons etc part time. And in the future, when I have my own house, I would make sure to have a spacious kitchen, with plenty of bench space and have a massive collection of tableware that I could use in my food photo sessions. And of course, somewhere in the house, I dream of a ‘studio’ with heaps of windows for natural light where I would have these different coloured/textured boards/woods/backgrounds ready at my disposal.
If you have any questions, criticisms, advice, etc etc don’t hesitate to shoot me a message through to: aswoonfulofsugar@gmail.com
-Irene
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January 19, 2014 - 7:10 am

Lindsay - i LOVE that wishes paragraph!!! You have such a great drive. Judging by the photos I’ve seen and reading through your gorgeous blog (which I’m loving!) there’s no doubt in my mind you will completely fulfill that wish list! Keep doing your thing xoxox Lindsay

January 19, 2014 - 5:55 pm

Connie the Cookie Monster - OMG, we’re twins! I’m studying to become a dietitian as well! and my secret life after my dietitian hours would be baking away for private orders such as weddings/corporate events/birthdays. I too want a spacious kitchen in my house! We are pretty much the same person :P

January 21, 2014 - 6:01 am

Irene @ { a swoonful of sugar } - @Lindsay: Aw thanks a ton for the encouragement! I’m always so humbled to find such lovely people around here. That great drive you mention is probably because of readers like you! x

January 21, 2014 - 6:05 am

Irene @ { a swoonful of sugar } - @Connie: Hehe are we? Just twins born a few years apart, I can work with that! Let’s see how we both go after we graduate huh? I hope I won’t start constructing come vegan tofu and kale wedding cake anytime soon haha! :D

July 15, 2014 - 12:24 am

Kelly Cletheroe - It’s so nice to see that there are other teens in the world that don’t drink alcohol!
Loving your blog, and we have so much in common. Just wish I had some friends like you over here in Scotland!
I hope your wishes paragraph comes true for you.
I’ve recently started a little food blog too, check it out at maverickbaking.com :)

July 31, 2014 - 2:32 pm

Jasmine - I’m thinking of starting my own blog and was wondering what you got inspiration for the recipes from. Also, are they completely original and how much do you experiment? Thanks!

August 3, 2014 - 12:31 pm

Irene @ { a swoonful of sugar } - @Jasmine: Hello Jasmine! That’s awesome you’re thinking of starting your own blog. I knew I was hesitant when I first started too! I think the best inspiration for recipes come from reading other food blogs. After all they’re normal people like you and me who can give genuine tips about cooking. In the beginning, I would just stick to one recipe and recreate them exactly as written and post that in my blog. Then, without realising, you’ll slowly start adding your own touches, and make a recipe based on multiple sources… Or if I loved something I ordered for brunch at a cafe, I’d try to make my version of it at home. So try to draw inspiration from every meal you eat and you’ll start to appreciate what flavours go well and experiment accordingly! Hope that helps somewhat.

August 3, 2014 - 12:33 pm

Irene @ { a swoonful of sugar } - @Kelly: Sorry I’ve missed your comment! Thank you so much for stopping by and saying hello :) Always glad to meet other young food bloggers!

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