Monday, July 30, 2007

winter warmer.

here's a recipe for a really yum soup that warms the belly and melts the heart. it's so bloody easy too, which i love. i'm not bad in the kitchen, even if i do say so myself, but if there's any easier way then your's truly is more than likely going to take it. you can change the vegetables to whatever you have in the fridge. they don't say that in donna hay!

roughly chop some kumara and red onion. place in baking dish and drizzle with 'good' olive oil. roast until soft and slightly crisp. in the saucepan put a quick drip of olive oil and garlic. add baked onion and kumara, vegetable stock, cumin & curry (teaspoon each) and fresh parsely. boil and then whiz until smooth. add one shredded zucchini to soup. top with toasted almonds and yoghurt. serve with dipping bread. yum!

Monday, July 23, 2007

food glorious food.

considering i suffered a bad dose of 'middle ear imbalance' it's no wonder that over the last few days the only thing i have truly been able to enjoy, is food. yum. love it. lets start with the conference. on our second night, and when the floor was really starting to sway, we ventured to a japanese restaurant. i dont usually eat anything i swim next to, so i ended up sitting on the vegie table. it was all good though. they served up a scrumptious meal complete with juggling spices, drum-like utensils and basketball inspired servings. they call it 'teppanyaki', i call it good old fashioned fun. check out our chef in action.

his name was Romeo. and it would be true to say that i fell in love. any man that can accurately throw food directly into my mouth has to be a keeper.

here's a close up of some tofu, just cause i can.

here lou and i get serious about all things vegetarian. if you're interested in supporting local artists who hand make furniture and design pieces with love, sweat and sheer dedication, check out lou's fella Sandy's website. he's well talented!

moving on from there. i caught a little virgin blue bus back to wet, windy melbourne. how i love thee. she was nasty upon my arrival but before long she has welcomed be back into her warm cultural arms. cut to Mecca Bah.

sitting pretty on the waters edge of docklands mecca bah promises new culinary experience for all! being pro veggie i opted for the sweet potato falafels (crunchy and zesty in one) and turkish pizza with zucchini, fresh mint, lemon zest and cheese (bang, bang, bang - that's how each of these flavours exposes themselves to your taste buds)

a delightful glass or two of rose and my little middle ear imbalance is beginning to feel less like a medical problem and more like an inebriated one. thanks tini and elisa for such a lovely night. you're both too cute!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

out of office.

you may have noticed a slight absence of late. i'm away. with the fairies. no, not really. i am in queensland on my work conference. yep versace hotel bitches! (thank you one girl) i love it. unfortunately, after necking some pretty colourful drinks on thursday night i awoke friday morning with a rather serious viral middle ear thingy. it makes me all lightheaded and dizzy. i thought it was the alcohol!

anyhow. went to the doctor and he gave me magic pills and now i think i can survive the rest of the weekend. its been all good wine, japanese food, bar tabs, serious work stuff and mammoth laughs. expect a somewhat weiry em.s back on blog as of monday. no doubt i should have something worthy of writing about. must go now...and lie by the pool.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

when maggie met ned.

well, it promised to be a very busy weekend. not only were ben and i off to see a band play in dusty meeniyan town hall, but we were also going to be re-uniting maggie with her long lost brother ned.

let's start with the concert. bens mum and dad own a farm in east gippsland. at present all that sits on the land is a handmade shack complete with roaring fire. i love it there. nothing but books, red wine and fresh air. in the still of the night, the only noise your chilly ears can hear is the occasional grunt of a hereford. *bliss*. i digress. anywho, the concert was held in meeniyan (around 30 minutes from the farm). the town hall has rows of tables inside and you can bring your own food and wine. the night is spent listening to good music, eating good food and drinking (hopefully) good wine. i have had the pleasure of seeing harry manx and dallas frasca there. good stuff.

the next morning was particularly foggy. all the dogs had slept in the cars that night so we let them out early for a little run around. this was the first moment that maggie and ned met. there wasn't much in the way of 'golden moments', they simply smelt each others butt, detecting some faint memory and trotted off to roll in cow shit somewhere. in way of looks, you can see that ned's farm friendly coat is much longer than maggie's inner city trim. however, there is something about their eyes that's very familiar.

maggie stands charge. she's such a control freak!

now onto my sewing machine. due to the big weekend, i only had last night to have a nudge at it. i decided to give a top a crack, see if i couldnt whip something joyful up. here is my first attempt. a crowl neck top with bell sleeves. made with love and frustration - the best mix!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

the happy shopper.

ok, i'm going to let you in on a little secret. now if i disclose this information you must, and i repeat must, promise to keep it to yourself. i have grave fears that if too many people find out about my addiction my supplies will dwindle.

here goes. tucked away in the leafy suburb of greensborough is a mammoth op shop called savers. there. i said it. savers has to be my favourite shop hands down. i have stumbled upon a delightful array of vintage clothing that have naturally become some of my favourite wardrobe peices. last night was no exception. i had a real corker!

let's start with material. as i will be getting my little sewing machine back tomorrow i really couldnt help myself. some of these will be used for pillow cases for our beach house and some i will attempt to make clothes from.

i love the softness of these colours. i thought the patterned one was a particulary good find.

hoping to make a nice beachy pillow case out of the stripey one and a winter skirt out of the brown. of course, 'hoping' is the operative word in that sentence!

check out these bags of fun. one was full of zips for $2.99 and one was full of thread for $3.99 - man, was i a happy camper!

and finally some patterns. all for 69c each. i grabbed a few dress patterns and some tops. i'm hoping i can now live up to my own expectations and create something worth blogging about. for some really lovely finished products that are good to buy now, visit onegirl - she makes super, super nice stuff in her craft room in kingsville. and she's way nice.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

sewing machine.

a few weeks ago i bought a busted up sewing machine from a tiny little op shop in rye. i loved her instantly! (the sewing machine that is, and if i was at all honest, the old lady who sold it to me too) but when i got my new love home she died. why oh why did my sewing machine die? did it have anything to do with the fact that she was over 40 years old and had a cracked back?

i moaned and groaned to my mother the next day. she nonchalantly informed me that she had a spare sewing machine downstairs, alive and kicking! i left her in a cloud of dust and glee and leaped stairs to find my new love. she was divine. still old and crabby, but chugging along none-the-less. i dropped her off at a sewing machine store in rosebud with my mate eddie...

'what's the craic eddie? can she still perform?'

'her timings out', he informed me, 'but she as good as gold otherwise. let me get her spruced up and back to you in a week'.

that week is now nearly up. my baby awaits me, freshly dusted, in the back of eddies store. i long to go and pick her up, but work and its commitments hold me back. on saturday morning, as the sun throws her rays onto blair gowrie bay, maggie and i shall putter down nepean highway to eddies store and get her. a few weeks after that, you can expect to see pictures of my crafts....

in the mean time, visit my friend steve poltz. he wrote a humorous song about sewing machines and sang it to me* in toronto, canada.

*when i say me, what i really mean is the entire venue.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

the human snow plough

we woke up saturday to the hustle and bustle of one very busy weekend. we needed to pack dogs and gather wait, make that pack bags and gathers dogs...for our roadtrip to ruffy in northern victoria. we were meeting up with ben's family at the ruffy produce store for the birthday lunch of about 5 people. there may have been more people turning a year older at that table than people there to help them celebrate! of course we brought our little maggie. rascal that she is. she hung her head out the window most of way, eyeballing kangaroos and attempting to smell the earth. that's home country for maggie, and i was worried she may want to quit our caulfield digs for the lush green grass of home...

lunch at the ruffy produce store was wonderful. this quaint cafe has all the homestyle trimmings, such as warm muffins, just-sealed jars of produce and the robust aroma of coffee. when you enter the store, the open fire dances playfully, inviting you to feel right at home. and you immediately do. our lunch consisted of two mixed platters made heavy with fresh pesto, crumbly cheese, peppery roquette and dark, juicy olives. there was also warm turkish bread and olive oil - and all local produce! for my mains i had polenta & spinach tart followed by the yummiest handmade chocolate brownie (still moist in the middle) and a strong espresso. divine!

after lunch it was back to bens sisters house at the foot of mount buller. there was a strong chill in the air, so we loaded the fire with wood and settled in for a quiet night. the next morning we woke and started layering our clothes. yep. em was going skiing! i have to admit right here and now that i am not much of a skiier. In fact, i have only been skiing once, at mount hotham, over 10 years ago. that particular experience consisted of me making it down the mountain only once before sliding my weary self through the pubs doors and straight up to the bar. here i remained for the rest of the trip. but not today. not this time! nope, i had ben there to keep me focused. and focused i was!

after a few quick pointers from, i began my first decent as the human snow plough (skis pointing inwards and knees bent) down a run called 'the family run'. anyone who might have seen me would have thought those ruby red cheeks were the result of fresh cold air and gentle exercise. they would have been wrong. it was more to do with mouth-drying mortification that 6 yr old kids were better skiiers than yours truly. i didn't let it rock me though. i picked myself up, time after time after time again and managed to get my turning under some form of control. just when i started to get confident i stopped suddenly on the mountain, took a quick look around to see if anyone had noticed my newly perfected skills and then horrifically realised that i was now going backwards - bridget jones style - and i was helpless to stop me!

needless to say today i have a VERY sore body. it hurts to walk, to nod and sometimes to swallow. not nice. imagine what might have happened if i had taken ben's advice and moved away from 'the family run' and tried the 'shakey knees' run instead?!? thanks anyway, but i think i might just stick to the snow ploughing for now :)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

pretty pictures at pixar.

for those who havent been, you must visit federation square. this is the cultural centre of melbourne inner city and is currently hosting the pixar exhibition . i had the pleasure of hugging a cup of coffee and viewing said exhibition this morning...

i have to say that i wasnt expecting it to be as good as it was. *sigh* for anyone who has seen even one pixar film (toy story, finding nemo, a bugs life) this showcase it sure to delight. take a walk through and learn how this team of creative muscle hash and rehash ideas, characters, locations, storylines and colours until they fall upon the type of movie that we can watch over and over again. it is the pain staking process that brought us characters like Dori (finding nemo). loveable, likeable and undeniably human-like. the type of character we will remember forever because they warm us with their wit and comfort us with their good nature.

this is an excellent family day out. take the kids. they will love the moving animations, the familiar characters and the interactive activities. two thumbs up!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

going lentil.

when i was studying acting at swinburne uni all those years ago, i made friends with a vegan. she kinda rubbed off on me. not literally, like she didnt side-swipe me or anything. what i mean to say is her morals rubbed off on me. i took on board the no meat thing, which wasnt hard considering i was had an aversion to anything too bloody, and so started my love affair with vegetarian food.

enter 'lentil as anything'. tucked away in a small, clustered row of shops in the heart of st kilda, lentil as anything is the brain child of Shanaka Fernando. this restaurant is not-for-profit. that means that you pay whatever you feel the meal is worth or whatever you can afford. if you have the experiences I've had at lentil as anything, you will be more than delighted to pay a cute sum for your yum vegetarian tucka.

last night it was two HUGE platters of potato and pea curry, beetroot curry, pumpkin curry, cous cous, brown rice, salad and the most amazing mushrooms i think my taste buds have ever had the pleasure of caressing. sure, the meal took a total of 45 minutes to reach our table, but when you take just a moment to understand what they are trying to achieve in that dimly lit restaurant, you really dont mind at all.

but hey, dont just take my word for it. read a review or two

Monday, July 2, 2007

trashy irish gold.

well, just finished another marian keyes book. have to say that every now and then i don't mind indulging in the tripe and trivia of a romantic comedy. it helps to break up the heavy weight of 'a short history of the world' (which, by the way, is anything but short!).

this chick book started out wonderfully. it was full of humour, pain, friendship, loss and deception. (as much as a marian keyes can be) however as the plot trudged along i felt it getting a little tired. painful in fact. aul marian lost her momentum is my guess. she must have been getting the 'ah hem' from her publisher to hurry things up and subsequently patted an ending together, wrapped it in brown paper and string, and sent it off via courier. ah well. it did its job anyway. i was pleasantly and warmly distracted for just a few weeks.

right. now back to 'a short history'. where were we? oh, yes, thats right....the nomads have just stopped walking and miraculously found religion...