Updates

Since I forgot I had a blog and just continued to read everyone else’s, I think I’ll just do a blanket-keep-you-up-to-speed-post.

  • Last month I finally sent out the invites for our wedding
  • We found a photographer, band and caterer (sigh of relief)
  • I really need to buy my wedding shoes, and get a haircut
  • I have a shiny new contract job that runs up until the wedding. *SQUEE*
  • My best friend/sister will be living in Oz for a year, starting in 3 weeks, because she is AWESOME.
  • I had one of the most disgusting colds ever, and I’m just finally getting over it
  • I found crispix at Woolies, so I snatched a box and immediately made puppy chow. My stomach and self control regret this decision. My tastebuds do not.
  • I also found “Campfire Marshmallows” at Target. They are, in fact, shaped like American marshmallows, as well as smell the same. Sometimes I get ridiculously excited about small things. Sometimes I’m also a five year old.
  • I really need to do a post on pizza with beercrust, because it’s one of my specialties. Also one of the few times I make everything from scratch.

Not a lot has happened, you see. Hardly any photos have been taken. Except my birthday Long Island Iced Tea. So how about I post that beauty? Take care, all.

liit

Crunch Time

Good morning! It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

I just polished off a bowl of oatmeal and two cups of coffee. Flax in oatmeal makes it SO filling… At least, that’s how it makes me feel. I like the different texture it gives oatmeal. I dressed the beast with some brown sugar, mom style. Ever have days when the thought of warmed peanut butter makes you gag? Probably not, but I do.

The weekend was full of crunches: TONS of apples, honey corn, cabbage salad, pita pocket sandwiches with seriously fresh spinach and sprouts, our 4wd scraping its innards on rocks (ouch?) and lots of this stuff:

trail mix

crunch, crunch, crunch

I also discovered that grapes are not the best fruit to try to eat when off-roading. You can imagine why.

Looking forward to lunch, as I’ve been promised a very delicious sandwich “bigger than my head”.

What do you like to pack on daytrip picnics? I prefer pitas, and packing the fixings separately!

Zucchini Fever

Traditionally, zucchini is a vegetable thrown into pastas, or crumbed and fried by the slice the way my family likes to cook it. Though I tend to use mostly my grandma’s recipes, I do like to throw in a bit of variation every now and again. As a general rule, I always double if not triple the amount of vanilla in recipes. I absolutely adore the taste of vanilla, and use it in everything I possibly can.

shredded zucchini

Earlier this week I began to crave banana bread, but seeing as my other half is allergic to the fruit (insert sad face here) and the Brisbane disaster wiped out the majority of the great bananas, selling the damaged fruit at a steep $11/kg (double sad face) I dusted off my grandma’s recipe for Zucchini Bread.

zucchini bread

you're no banana bread, but you sure are as perfectly moist and delicious.

Zucchini Bread

  •  3 eggs – beaten
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 c oil
  • 2 c zucchini (about 2 medium zucchini) – peeled and grated
  • 2 ¼ c flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 c chopped walnuts (optional)

Beat eggs. Add sugar, oil and zucchini, and beat with mixer. Then add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, vanilla and walnuts. Line two loaf pans with wax paper, and spray with oil. Pour equal amounts into pans and bake 1 hour 10 min at 350°F.

While I was grating the zucchini, I had an idea for making them into hash browns. It also helped that I had mistakenly bought twice the amount of zucchini I needed, and thought of ways to not waste the poor things. This morning I woke up craving hash browns and got creative.

zucchini hash browns

if you want to try something different one morning, these are pretty tasty.

Zucchini Hash Browns

  •  2 c peeled and shredded zucchini (I only had just under 1.5, but suggest more in the future.)
  • 1 T chopped onion
  • 1 egg
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • a bit of oil, for frying

Shred zucchini onto stack of paper towels to get rid of excess moisture. (You’ll want them to be similar in texture to shredded potatoes.) Add in onion, egg, salt & pepper and mix thoroughly. Heat oil in pan on medium high – high heat. Add mixture to pan, and fry until golden brown.

And, because I am a true American, I had a bit of ketchup alongside the meal.

Go ahead, try it!

Taco Tuesday

One of the saddest moments of my week was this:

broken mug

but you were my FAVORITE mug! :(

As I was putting dishes away, my favorite mug shattered out from my hand. No injuries on my part. In fact, it was quite boggling how it happened in the first place. Now I’m left with thick mugs to drink tea from. *tear* Life goes on. The good news is:

taco fixins

well hello, my beauties. (please ignore the gross white balance - lighting is awful sometimes.)

TACOS! I haven’t had one in ages, so I gathered the ingredients, put together the BEST guacamole I’ve ever made. (and I make a darn good one, for the record!) The key secret is to use a clove of garlic the size of your head. No lie – this thing was 4 large cloves PUT TOGETHER. Golf ball sized, if you will. Anyway, some overripe lime juice, lots of coriander (cilantro), s&p, red onion, and roma tomato makes the perfect dip. It has rightfully taken place of the sour cream I used to adore.

guacamole

so fresh.

My tacos tend to include guac, salsa, black beans, tons of red pepper, a few pieces of seasoned chicken, lots of lettuce, and tons of this stuff:

smokey hot sauce

smokey, hot, and spicy. just how I like it.

Beautiful hot sauce we bought at the Easter Show! It has a real smokey bbq’d flavor, and I’m going to put it on everything from here on out. Be prepared. Seconds before my hands and face were covered, I documented this delicacy.

taco

*drool*

I did take pictures of the full Easter lunch I prepared. (and the first ham I’ve ever baked on my own!) I plan to post them at another time, considering I just flooded you with tons of photos.

Do you have a favorite mug? (Mine tend to be the gifts people give me – It’s almost as though they know how much I enjoy coffee. :D)

Also, hot sauce fans, what’s your poison? I use to love tobasco, but I’ve definitely branched out!

Long Weekend Ahead

Whoa – I’ve been so lazy at posting. I’m sorry everyone (who am I kidding- I don’t know if anyone reads this blog. But in case anyone is reading out there, I sincerely apologize!)

I’ve eaten more hot cross buns in the last two months than I have in my entire life. (I’m not so sure I actually had one until I got to Oz.) Like raisin toast, they’re sweet and dense, most deserving of the margarine & cinnamon/sugar treatment. I’ve also been crunching away at the cereal I’ve become obsessed with – topped with nuts, dried cranberries, sultanas, or any mixture of the three!

We had a family dinner (Passaic) on Monday, which was mostly comprised of foods I’ve never tasted. Herring I am used to (hello, Scandinavian heritage.) It’s the chopped liver and matzoh(sp?) that I’ve never tried! While they were very different, I’m not sure I would have ever found the desire to try liver pate on my own. That said, I ALWAYS try new foods whenever they’re presented. (As long as they’re absent in dairy, of course.)

Tuesday night I made a pumpkin (squash) soup. Fried an onion and garlic in vegan butter, then added roasted pumpkin, followed by chicken stock. It was the best soup I’ve ever made. Even more delicious was the same soup the next night. Make this now!

  • 1 small onion
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1/4 kent pumpkin (something like a butter squash, but any will suffice)
  • 3 C chicken broth (or vegetable, whatever floats your boat.)
  • a little salt & pepper

Cut pumpkin into 1/2″ slices. Slice a decent amount of your thumb in this attempt. Roast pumpkin at 200°C for about 40 minutes, flipping them over at 20 minutes. Begin chopping onion with goggles, as they are extra strong this time of year. Realize you don’t have goggles, and begin to chop away, bawling with swollen eyes. Crush garlic. Realize you forgot your timer on your pumpkin, so just poke at it with a fork every 15 minutes. Take out pumpkin when it no longer fights the fork. Let cool down enough to peel skin away. Burn fingers from impatience. Fry onions and garlic in butter, then add squash. Add chicken broth until sufficiently soupy. Use immersion blender to smooth soup.

It looked pretty much like this. (click for source)

Even though I didn’t get a true photo, I promise that it is the creamiest, most delicious recipe for pumpkin soup you’ll ever find.

Do you have any plans for the long weekend? We’re going to the Royal Easter Show (similar to county fair).

Marinara Sunday

Ahhhh! It’s been almost a week since I last posted! I was barely even able to read blogs, let alone post! No worries, I have a few images to share. I baked all of Friday night. (Most of it, anyway!) And decided on molasses cookies. Sweet, delicious, gingery, molasses cookies, with a top secret family recipe. (It doesn’t need to be top secret, just email me if you want it.)

gingery, crunchy and cakey. just how i like them.

Somehow this recipe made 66 cookies. I don’t even know. I measured them small, so they’re all about 2 inches in diameter, perfect for snacking. It’s a good thing they went along to a family gathering, or I would have eaten the majority of them by now.

just try to have only one.

For the past few Sundays, we’ve made marinaras. This week, it was moved to Tuesday. No worries, however, as it was still as tasty as usual. We went to Faros Bros on Monday, which still reigns the best fish market we’ve found here. For $15, I left with two of the most massive tuna steaks, 6 mussels, 115 g of shelled prawns, and a squid tube.

The tuna was made Monday night, with a lovely sweet chilli marinade I picked up from my sister-in-law-to-be. I paired it with a sweet and savory broccoli salad.

Since both of us prefer slices of garlic toast over noodles, we picked up a loaf of fresh bread to go with the sauce. I have a standard recipe for marinara, which never fails me. The key is to find the perfect chilli. Winston stood by, supervising our cooking. (We got him from a chef who was in the process of moving interstate – he loves to lay on the kitchen floor while we cook.)

white wine is key.

It’s date night, and I’m going to go see if I can rustle up a nice outfit. Autumn, you’re pretty, but you send such a chill through my bones. I know you’re only going to leave me for Winter. Leggings it is.

Now, I’m about to have a giant mug of coffee and yet another molasses cookie.

Definitely a Lucky Day.

I’m so tempted to invest in a pedometer. The good news is that I’m pretty sure I walked 5 miles today. The bad news it that I was only in flip-flops. Poor poor arches.

While wandering the city and exploring the shops in Newtown, I discovered a grocery store that carries Karo syrup(!) *squeal*  Now I know it’s not healthy. I also know that it was never meant to be healthy! But it does put me at ease knowing I can make Special K Bars for any occasion I deem fitting of the peanutty goodness. I’ve tried using Golden Syrup (which tastes like honey without the floral notes – or a burnt/dark version of Karo Syrup.) It also opens up options of several other recipes. It may also be a staggering $7/16oz bottle. Worth it.

Another benefit of living here is the amazing variety of restaurants. Especially Sushi Trains. I’m pretty sure there is one place in the whole of the Dakotas that sells sushi, the extent of which involves California rolls. This afternoon I partook in the enjoyment of salmon, tuna, and avocado rolls (they’re in season here – NOM!)

Since I have no idea why they didn’t fill me up very much, I didn’t hesitate when I saw the Tofu Ice Cream that the Vegans Choice Grocery offers. No dairy, and it actually tastes like real ice cream. In fact, it’s so good it should be named Vice Cream. (sorry for the fuzzy picture – thanks phone, for letting me down.)

Goji Berry Coconut & Chocolate Tofu Ice Cream: I want to eat you every day, dear deliciousness.

While in Newtown, I went on a hunt for Nutritional Yeast. The cult following has me curious as to its “cheesy” taste, and I want in on the secret! Alas, I found none. Just brewers yeast – which is not the same thing according to Google.

Earlier I stopped to grab some supplies for dinner, and ended up getting a free sample variety pack from the grocery store at the end of my trip. Say what? I think that I can officially call this the luckiest day ever. Did I mention how much I adore free things? I usually collect hotel pens like crazy.

Tonight we’re grillin’ salmon along with some cabbage salad. What a day.

Anyone else tried Tofu Ice Cream? It’s so different to (better than) soy!

Daylight Spendings

This weekend was one of the best in a long time. Saturday morning began with a massive cup of coffee and apple pie crepes. I intended on making a whipped coconut cream, but even after a night in the fridge, it was still entirely liquid. So instead of using milk in the recipe, we used said coconut cream. I chopped up two apples and cooked them with a simple sugar/cinnamon/water syrup for a topping. No pictures came about in this entire process, as the only style we eat pancakes/crepes in involves standing in the kitchen and eating them while they’re hot, one at a time. They were also so delicious that I probably would have inhaled my camera if it got in the way.

We tried out an Indian restaurant for dinner, but didn’t want to seem suspicious, as we’re in the market for caterers at the moment. When the waiter found out I was DF, he was super accommodating (I rarely tell waiters I’m DF since I can usually find foods that avoid it.)

Here in Oz, daylight savings was this weekend. (Fall back? YES PLEASE!) With another hour of sleep to spend, we went to Ikea. It is now I shall let you in on a little secret: there is NO possibility of leaving Ikea in less than 3 hours. It’s a proven fact. For $1.49/bowl however, it’s totally worth it. Or the nice and heavy $8 rolling pin. I also could not leave without the lingonberry jam. Worth it worth it worth it.

We came home to make a marinara with squid and prawns with bruschetta garlic toast. I’m not a fan of noodles, they always seem to get left behind. I also made a variation of Caprioscas.

Now I’m just crunchin on some cereal, and scouting jobs.

Uncle Toby, how do you do it?

How was your weekend? Do you feel the need to tell every waiter about your allergies?

Meet Winston

 

Winston says hello.

Winston is our new kitten. And by new, I mean that we got him a couple weeks ago, from his previous owner set to move interstate. He has the personality of a dog – meaning he likes to be in the same room as the humans whenever possible, doesn’t use claws, and meows (read: whines) constantly when we lock him out of our room at night.

Aww, my first blog post!

Welcome to the world, my little bloglet! I’ll be detailing random tidbits of life here, including but not limited to: traveling, music selections, various foods I’ve created or purchased, designs/designers I enjoy, my cat Winston, and anything else I deem blogworthy.

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