Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Review of Saffron on Kellets

It's tricky, when you want curry in Rowville.

You either have to be prepared to go to Dandenong, or you have to be willing to drive to Glen Waverley, or Springvale, or Knox. I'm yet to find somewhere that does it really well within a ten minute radius - which was why I was so excited to see Saffron on Kellets show up on my radar. Curry - thank goodness - not going home empty-handed to a hungry Khocolateman.

Hm.

First warning sign should have been the sign out the front advertising curry - and PIES. I like curry. I like pies. But not together. And it did make me think twice, but I persevered, and went in to order. Got butter chicken and paratha, and a biryani and vindaloo for the Khocolateman. Standard wait, a little on the pricey side - but being one of few curry joints in the area, I'll give them that.

They glad-wrapped their takeaway containers. Massive kudos guys and ladies - NOTHING worse than curry spilling and staining your car upholstery. Believe me, I know.


Paratha and Butter Chicken Close-Up

The butter chicken, when I got it home, was good. Almondy, buttery, chickeny - could have done with a smidge more meat and a smidge less sauce and garlic, but hey, it was edible. The paratha could have done with being cooked a bit longer - it was a bit underdone and doughy. The taste was okay.

The vindaloo tasted almost pickly - way too sour, and not hot enough. I wasn't a fan, and neither was the Khocolateman. The Biryani I didn't try but it left the Khocolateman cold as he said the rice was a little crunchy, and the flavour just not quite up to what he is used to, either from home or from a restaurant.

Overall? Service was fine, but nothing special. The food was definitely not one we'll be repeating, especially for that price, but I can understand why it might appeal to others who aren't partial to the same style of Indian cooking we prefer.

Click to add a blog post for Saffron on Kelletts on Zomato

Naked Truth Addict Chapter 3

Welcome to another chapter from 'Tales from a Naked Truth Addict'!

This Sunday I treated myself to a couple of the small bars of chocolate and eked them out over the course of a few days. Each bar was $2.


PG - Coffee beans and popping candy milk choc bar - 40g

Milk chocolate and coffee, win. Popping candy, not so much. Couldn't really taste/sense the popping bits - not sure if there weren't any in the mix, or if they were overpowered by the flavours of the coffee and the chocolate, or the texture of the inside. Nice, but not a favourite.


Trust Me - Puffed Quinoa, Almonds and Blueberry Milk Choc Bar - 44g

I love the fact that with the quinoa, and the blueberries, and the almonds, you can almost pretend this is healthy! Yummo. The different textures and subtle flavours of the add-ins made this one a total winner in my book - definitely best as a milk chocolate one.


Sweetie Pie - Lemon Coconut Cream Pie White Choc Bar - 41g

I was trying to find this for a week before I finally located one! Obviously a popular choice, and I can tell why. The flavour in this one is totally different to the other chocolates in the Naked Truth Addict range; white chocolate is obviously sweeter than milk or dark, but the hint of citrus stops it from becoming overpoweringly sacharine-sweet.

Not a bad haul at all! As a side note, don't you love how these photos make the little bars look much, much bigger? A chocaholic's dream, without the bigger calories!

Monday, 29 June 2015

Bushy Park aka Revenge of the Giant Watermelon

Not really revenge. In fact, anything but. It was actually a pretty sweet as experience.

When you knit, you learn to see cafes a little bit differently. Aside from the obvious good food, drink and service, a good cafe will give you space to spread out a bit, and won't kick you out two minutes after your last coffee, because they recognise that forcing you to do that in the middle of a conversation/pattern repeat will not earn you another visit from a customer.

We've met up a few times at the Bushy Park Cafe in Wantirna. It's next to the wholesale fruit and veg place, so very convenient for those who also need to pick up a few bits and bobs for home, about two minutes from the Eastlink (High Street Road exit). It opened about a year or so ago, and in that time has changed only in that there are now fibro busts of various animals mounted to the walls, and a giant Leonardo the Ninja Turtle and a kangaroo holding a slice of watermelon outside as you enter. The menu is extensive, affordable, and clearly posted both on a table menu and a board above the counter.

I usually have their chai (very standard, but good price for a big thick mug of it). I'd had friands and desserty things here before, but on this visit I hadn't had breakfast and it was nearly lunchtime - so I ordered the spinach, bacon, scrambled eggs and toast. It took a grand total of about five minutes to land on my table! My knitting buddy wasn't so lucky - the computer lost her order so her wait was closer to half an hour by the time they'd apologised and re-entered it.


Brunch with ma knittaz

The eggs were creamy. This is what mostly stands out from the meal. The eggs weren't dry, or stringly, or lumpy - they were creamy. They smooshed nicely onto the toast, and there was enough to cover almost both slices of bread. The bacon was good; about three decent middle rashers cooked to somewhere between warm and oily and crunchy. I liked the tomatoes, too - just cooked enough to have that change in flavour kick in. Sadly, the only thing I wasn't a big fan of - and I usually love - was the spinach, which was a bit oily, and had been heated, but not really wilted. Still, when mixed with other things (like the tomatoes) and with a bit of salt and pepper added, it was easily edible.

We were there for three hours, and I got lots of knitting done, and it was lovely to catch up with JobieKnit as she wasn't able to make it on Thursday. Not once did we feel pressure to leave, even though we had both eaten and finished our drinks within the first two hours of our stay. The service was impeccable, and the whole place felt clean and fresh, and warm thanks to overhead heaters. I'd definitely hit it up again.

Click to add a blog post for Bushy Park Cafe on Zomato

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Two Brothers Cafe, Mitcham

Another one of those mornings where I forgot my breakfast, and in this last week of term, man was I tired. Enter Two Brothers in Mitcham.

I'd been past it on a few occasions and thought, gee, sure would be nice to have time to stop there one morning. Time I did not have, but motive I certainly did, so I pulled in for a chai (nice and hot, and hit the spot nicely so early in the morning). I ordered the Eggs Rangeview to take away, and it came neatly boxed with a nice thick chunky slice of toast slathered in ripe avocado, substantial quantities of bacon, and two beautifully poached eggs, with a serving of hollandaise sauce on the side.


This is what we call an appropriate amount of bacon

Even as a take away breakfast, this REALLY hit the spot. I hate it when places are stingy with the bacon, but Two Brothers does not commit this sin and as a result I will be back for more of their cuisine, and soon. I ended up leaving half the bread with its avocado until morning tea as life got in the way of finishing breakfast in one hit, and it was GOOD, all soft and squishy. A couple of students sidled up sniffing the air like a pack of hungry vegetarian wolves, and told me my morning tea smelt awesome. Major stamp of approval!

Click to add a blog post for Two Brothers on Zomato

IComLeavWe June 2015

You may have noticed a little apricot-coloured icon with a beagle-like looking dog on it on my page. That's for IComLeavWe, or International Comment Leaving Week, a monthly event in blogland that everyone should try at least once. Or twice. Or regularly, if you decide you like it. I know I do.

This will be my second month participating in IComLeavWe. Hosted by the fabulous ladies behind Stirrup Queens, the idea is to leave five comments a day from the 21st to the 28th of the month on blogs either from the blogroll or from your daily blog hop (and let's face it, who doesn't have a blog hop in this day and age?). You also have to reply to a comment on your blog each day - though this can be tricky, since last month there were days that no-one commented on mine, so I made up for it by commenting on an extra blog. It all works out in the end =)

This month, the participants are quite diverse - there are those who blog about family, children, and parenthood, but also writing, encouragement, and books. I really looked forward to participating.

If you're interested in signing up for the next IComLeavWe, keep checking back on the Stirrup Queens website for when the logo changes colour and you can put your blog down for July!

Friday, 26 June 2015

Boom Gate Cafe, Mitcham

I'm fairly epic at forgetting my lunch. It happens about once a fortnight which, when you think about it, is relatively often. Prior to blogging everything that went down my gullet, my go-to was Subway (cheap, easy, and predictable). The bonus to now being on a mission to evangelise about my passion - good food (among other things) - is that I force myself to try new places and new things. The Boom Gate Cafe is one of them.

Mitcham Station underwent a pretty major redevelopment about a year and a half ago. They got rid of the level crossing, and dropped the station complex below ground level, and extended the parking, and generally made it about a million times more desirable for people to use the station and its surrounds. There were also new apartment blocks going in for about a three-street radius around the station, which changed the demographic quite considerably (and not in a good way, for my industry, but that's another story).

The Boom Gate Cafe opened up around then, I think - or maybe refurbished and reopened? Either way, suddenly a flier arrived in the staff room, and ever since then I'd idly wondered where it was. Car broke down, now I drop the Khocolateman off, and I see it every day. Forgot my lunch on Friday. You see where this is going.

I walked in, and automatically I was like, this place feels like the kind of joint you'd want to sit in to write. If it was open after school, I'd make a habit of doing that one afternoon a week. It's that kind of a joint. I got a big smile and a greeting from one of the ladies behind the counter, who asked how I'd come by the cafe. You can tell she knows her customers by name and is genuinely glad to see them! So far, so good.


Boom: Breakfast in a Burrito, Baby

I ordered a chai, a breakfast burrito, and a sandwich for lunch. The chai was a powder job, but that was as far as the criticism could go - the breakfast burrito, which I nuked when I got to work, was packed full of scrambled egg, cheese, salsa-esque tomato stuff, and a metric butt-tonne of chorizo. I was amazed. Usually, if they're gonna skimp on something, it's the meat. Not this burrito, baby. This was breakfast with a bang. Hoo-hah - I could face the day.


Unlikely-Looking Gravity-defying Sandwich of Awesome
At lunch time, I was on first aid duty and I can tell you, on Fridays, that is not my favourite duty to be doing. You have to eat on the run, so I bolted from classroom to kitchen, put my turkish bread with chicken, avocado, cheese, and a smidgen of flavoured SOMETHING REALLY GOOD on the sandwich press, marked two books, fixed a bumped head, came back to find my sandwich all yummy and crispy on the outside and warm and gooey in the middle. Everyone else was salivating; I was enjoying it too much to share! The best part: it didn't fall apart as it went from press to plate to mouth, from kitchen to office to staff room. The sign of a perfectly constructed turkish bread sandwich, right there.

Boom. I'll be back, Boom Gate Cafe. And you should think about opening after school one afternoon a week so I can come and write and feel all cosmpolitan.

Boom Gate Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Dough Works at Dandenong Markets

We live not too far from the Dandenong Market. It's an awesome place comprising of three main sheds - one for deli/meat/bakery, one for fruit and veg and a food court, and one for clothing and miscellaneous goods like cheap toys, pet goods, electronics, books, etc. The other big drawcard? $1 for 3 hours of parking (and free parking on Sunsdays), which as far as I'm aware is unheard of anywhere else in Melbourne. Another time I'll talk about my favourite vendors at the market - today I'm talking about breakfast.


Burek and Churros - Breakfast of Market Champions

I hit up Dough Works on my way out. They have kebabs, which I've had before and LOVED - I believe I may have even sent a slightly incoherent message to the Khocolateman extolling its virtues - but I'd never had their burek and I didn't even know they sold churros, so this seemed like a good opportunity to explore other menu options.

I chose a chicken, spinach, and feta burek. It was a pretty decent size, and totally stuffed. A little expensive at $8, but it was quick, tasty, and not greasy at all - so I guess you pay for quality, right?

While waiting for my mini churros pack (16 mini churros and chocolate dipping sauce for $5!), the guy making coffee told one of the customers 'Try it. If you don't love it, I'll make you another one.' I've never heard a barista say that before! But boy, did it make the crowd waiting smile. The customer informed him that she was hard to please, and it was good, and there was a visible uptick in mood in those awaiting their caffeine hit.

The churros were GOOOOOD. Not too greasy, just the right amount of cinnamon sugar, and yummy warm chocolate dipping sauce. Amazing value at just $5, which totally balanced out my umming and ahhing about the burek.

One thing you may not realise - Dough Works is actually two food trucks, sitting back to back in the food court. The burek one fronts onto the seating area, and the churros one fronts onto the fruit and veg area, and is a little more tucked away. According to the market website, they're owned by the same family. Both come highly recommended!

Click to add a blog post for Dough Works Cafe on Zomato

Swap-Bot - Digital Photo Scavenger Hunt - June

So I'm doing the Digital Photo Email Scavenger Hunt again in June, so I thought I'd post my responses to the prompts here as well as emailing them. They were fun ideas again this month and I really enjoyed participating.

1 - Something with a nautical theme


This was an unusual one! I've been cleaning up my loft (attic-y bit where I keep all my art and craft stuff), and I found two knitted fish! They will go in the project bag with the other 110-something fish I've knitted for the tessellation blanket I'm working on at the moment. Every little fish counts!

2 - A photo that includes your country's flag


We have a flagpole at school that the students are responsible for raising and lowering the flag on each day. Recently, some mosaics made by the art teacher and her students have been put up behind it, so I hope you don't mind but I've put in a couple of photos of those, too, as they're pretty cool.

Some of the murals

3 - A basket with several items in it


I have a collection of tealight candles and melts in the kitchen for when I'm studying at the bench. My favourite melts are by Bubba B and Sweet P (check them out on facebook - they have such unusual fragrances available!), and my absolute all time favourite is their coconut cream one. Yum!

4 - Something you cannot get through the day without


My dog, Dalek. Every, single day is easier because he is in the house. He is a point of constancy for me, and an excellent snuggler, no matter what time it is. I wouldn't know what to do without him.

5 - Something older than you are


These are the Mikimoto pearls I inherited from my paternal grandmother. My grandfather bought them for her in Japan in the 1950s when he was touring with the Australian Rugby Union team as their manager. I wore the set on my wedding day as I have a total thing for pearls.

6 - Something that is primarily pastel colors


I finished up for the semester at my second job this last weekend, and have taken six months' leave to finish some study. I was presented with a beautiful little bouquet of flowers in my club's colours (yellow) - mixed with that pretty pale green it is a simply lovely arrangement!

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Paesano International Buffet, Wheelers Hill

We forgot to have breakfast on Saturday. Whoops. We then took Dalek to the dog park to play with Kovu, Hoss, and Nash in subzero temperatures, so by the time we got home, we were cold and HUNGRY.

Cue a call from Auntie Spanx to hail us for brunch. We were hungry. We talked her into early lunch.

It's been a while since we went to Paesano International Buffet. It's not far from where we live, it's affordable ($30 per person for lunch today) and it is CLEAN. Like, spotless. I like that about a buffet - so many aren't, and I find that just revolting.


Main Plates

Today was a no seafood day, which was fine as they had more than enough out for us to choose from. I started with the sushi and seaweed salad, and a decent helping of wasabi, before moving on to the meats and cheeses and spud salad with capers, and then having a plate of 'everything else I hadn't already tried but wanted to' - clams in XO sauce, ricotta and spinach cannelloni (BIG improvement on last time I had it there!), samosas and calamari.


Dessert and Specially Prepared Plates

The desserts were much better than I remember - my favourite was the caramel slice, and the apricot balls, but the cheesecakes were much more moist than usual, so that was an added bonus. The only one the jury is still out on is the gluten-free orange cake, which tasted like grainy marmalade, but it still wasn't terrible. Almond meal isn't a bad base at all.

Before we left, Auntie Spanx and I went halves on a plate of teppanyaki squid and a mini pizza with bacon, shrooms, spinach, and extra cheese. A LOT of garlic on both, but hey, the Khocolateman doesn't mind so why not make the most of it!

Overall, I've gotta say that Paesano impressed me more than usual today. It was a little quieter than usual, my plates came to about $7 each, the servers were really lovely (as always) and the parents present kept their small ones near them so there was no gross dipping the fingers in the chocolate fountain like I've seen before. Clean, nice selection of food, and a very pleasant atmosphere.

Click to add a blog post for Paesano International Buffet on Zomato

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Naked Truth Addict Chapter 2

So this Naked Truth chocolate is becoming a bit of an obsession of mine. I've given myself a proviso - I can have it twice a week: once on Sundays, when I do the shopping, and once on Thursdays, when the ladies and I get together to knit.

At least that's what I'm telling myself. Not sure if the willpower will hold out!

I present to you - last Thursday night's tastings:


Cocoa dusted milk chocolate almonds, chocolate covered coffee beans, and summer gelato jubes.

The cocoa dusted milk chocolate almonds, entitled Take It Off, were yummy. They were solid without being too hard to bite, and the cocoa dusting stopped the very adequate amount of milk chocolate from becoming too sickeningly sweet.

The chocolate covered coffee beans - Rise and Grind! - were dusted with a layer of icing sugar or something very similar. It was nice-tasting, but the Khocolateman's keyboard looked like it had been dusted for prints afterwards! These were not bad, either.

Dreggles brought the 'My Heart Melts' - aka the summer gelato jubes - and they were YUMMY. Everyone liked them - they were chocolatey on the outside and had the Naked Truth's signature distinctive flavour in the jubes without the tooth-rotting sweetness that lots of others had. These were definitely the Rowville SnB pick of the week!

You may have also noticed I snuck in one of those yummy $2 40g bars of chocolate, too - this one was raspberry cheesecake flavoured. The raspberry wasn't so strong a flavour as the cheesecake, which blended well with the chocolate both consistency-wise (nice chocolatey crunch bit outside and cheesecake consistency inside).

Stay tuned for my next tasting review!

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Sunday Yum Cha at Dragon Boat, Knox Ozone

Sooo it was last Sunday. Still no Crazy Wing for me, as the Khocolateman's stomach wasn't feeling brilliantly game towards digesting chilli, but he did feel like yum cha, so we hit up Dragon Boat at Knox Ozone.

It was busy, being about 12:30 when we got there, but we were shown right to a table. I was a little worried we might be missed by the trolleys, as we were towards the side and up against the wall, but I needn't have panicked - it was a-okay. The reviews had mentioned that this was a very 'anglo' yum cha and they were right, to an extent - there weren't too many of the really adventurous dishes floating around (about the most out there one that came past was tripe) but we could (and did) ask for our usual serving of chicken feet and that was pretty awesome.


Yum Cha Goodness

The picks from our dishes for me were the pepper honey pork, which I hadn't had before, but which was sticky and tender and not gristly or fatty. The chicken feet are always our go-to, and here they were done in a more savoury sauce - maybe closer to a black bean than a sweet one, with some chilli as a garnish. They were, as always, finger licking good (heehee. see what I did there??). We also had the requisite BBQ pork buns, which were okay, and fried dumplings, which were a little dry. The Khocolateman tried the satay dumplings, which he said were very subtly satay, and we both tried the pork roll, which was good, despite its gelatinous sauce.

The service was very efficient, and all the servers were working with smiles on their faces (which was a nice contrast to our usual Yum Cha hangout!). They do a discount if you pay in cash - I didn't, but our bill only came to about $60 for all our dishes (including our special chicken feet!) and our drinks, so that was pretty reasonable. Click to add a blog post for Dragon Boat on Zomato

Friday, 19 June 2015

YOMG Glen Waverley

Friday night was a bit of a weird one. I went to Glen Waverley intending to have Crazy Wing chicken for dinner, but as timing would have it, the Khocolateman was on his way from the city earlier than I expected so I thought what the hell, I'll have dessert first. Ah yes, I know - YOMG.

It was REALLY busy, but because I was just having frozen yoghurt, I was ushered down the back to the dessert bar without having to wait. I went past some amazing mains and entrees, though, so I'll definitely have to go back to add to this review as they looked too good to ignore.

A lovely young lady came to explain how the whole shebang worked, and I was offered a taste of any yoghurts I wanted to try - not just a midgy spoonful but an actual mini cup - so I sampled the tart original frozen yoghurt and the salted caramel flavoured one. They had about six or eight flavours to choose from - aside from the ones I had, there was also matcha, chocolate, and a berry one. As they charge based just on the weight of your cup at the end, I ended up getting half an half of each of the ones I tried, and then topped it with a bunch of yummy toppings. Never one to shy away from unusual flavours, I shovelled on the fresh cut strawberries, 100% raspberry puree, white chia seeds, YOMG crumble, lychee popping jellies, lemon curd, caramel, and brownie bits. They had about another thirty or so toppings that I didn't choose, including passionfruit pulp, a huge selections of nuts and 'healthy' things, chocolate bits, etc.


Mmmmm froyo

I took notes on all of the toppings I did have (!) so here's the verdict on each one:

Diced Strawberries - not too crunchy, not too soggy.
100% Raspberry puree - overpowering in spots.
Lychee Popping Jellies - SOOOO yum!
YOMG Crumble - not well labelled (for a nut allergy ridden soul like myself) but nicely textured.
White Chia Seeds - GREAT idea, added a nice crunch.
Warm Caramel - warm but meh.
Lemon Curd - too jelly like but good taste.
Brownie - really good, and perfect size for a yoghurt cup.

Altogether, my order cost just over $7. It was well worth it - and it was YUMMY to boot, when all those flavours were mooshed together! The perfect start to dinner-done-backwards.

Click to add a blog post for YOMG on Zomato

Kimchi Hut at Glen Waverley

It's freezing cold in Melbourne at the moment. Kind of like being in Seoul in November, but without the promise of pretty snow in December. As a result, I've had a craving for chicken and chilli recently. In particular, I wanted dalkgalbi, but this is a rare delicacy to find, so I was prepared for the worst when I headed to Glen Waverley for my shiktang fix!

I had my 27th birthday at Kimchi Hut, so I'd had their galbi (barbecue) before, but this time I was after takeaway. It's pretty much impossible to do barbecue as takeaway so I settled for other favourites instead. They had cheese ddeokkbokki (rice noodles, glass noodles, a boiled egg, reconstituted fish by-product otherwise known as odeng, not sure what we call it in English, all covered in hot gravy-consistency chilli-based sauce, and cheese) so I ordered that, steamed dumplings, and takoyaki (the latter being an afterthought, as I had to pay on card and it had to be over $30).


Korean street food, Gleny style

The ddeokkbokki was awesome. It was a huge bowl, more than enough for dinner that night and lunch the next day. The sauce was tangy and not too soupy (I can't stand it when it's too liquidy), and mixed with the cheese made a mouthful of hot, gooey awesome. The texture of the japchae (glass noodles) contrasted nicely with the ddeokk (rice noodles). There was just enough odeng to be interesting without it getting to be overpowering.


Pretty little mandus

The mandu were okay. Very pretty, and a little blah, as I'm pretty sure they were a frozen job, but they were better than those awful ones I had in the city at that place on Flinders Street, so definitely not terrible. The chilli soy sauce went a long way to remind me of what they should taste like.


Takoyummies!

Ah, takoyaki. I used to eat them every Saturday for lunch at the food court across the road from Aeon when I lived in Toyohashi. Second only to okonomiyaki in my list of most-loved Japanese foods. See the issue here though? Japanese food... Korean restaurant. Ah well. These takoyaki weren't bad. I've been to Osaka, where takoyaki originates from, and visited the takoyaki museum for dinner, so maybe I'm a bit hard to please, but the ratio of squidly bits to dough was way out, and the sauce wasn't the usual mayo and BBQ-esque concoction with bonito flakes, so it was a bit different, but not in a bad way. I think it was some kind of seafood sauce? Not too bad.

General verdict? Kimchi Hut is pretty good. Good range, good service, clean, and reasonably priced. Totally recommend the cheese ddeokbokki when you're Seoul sick and freezing your behind off in Melbourne! Get on it!

Click to add a blog post for Kimchi Hut on Zomato

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Swap-Bot - Let Me Recommend a Book...

You may have noticed a widget on the blog which tracks what I've read on GoodReads. I love reading. Really, really love it. I wish I had more hours in the day so I could read more for pleasure, and less for work - a lot of what I read at the moment is for study. This new 'recommend a book' swap on Swap-Bot has made me think a bit more critically about what I'm reading for pleasure, and what I could recommend to others from my current reading material.

Title:And God Created The Au Pair
Author: Pascale Smets and Benedicte Newland
Synopsis: Written as a series of emails, mostly between two sisters and a couple of their friends, it tells of their day-to-day life with multiple children, alternately useful and pointless husbands, renovations going on, overseas moves, and holidays to exotic places.
Why I Like It: It uses incredibly deadpan humour to write about what some would find to be quite stressful situations, and had me laughing out loud, even on the third/fourth/tenth read.

And another one, just in case you don't like my first choice:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Rp-iziekL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Title: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Author: Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Synopsis: Written as a series of letters and telegrams between an authoress and her correspondents after World War Two. She finds herself compelled to visit a group of them and is drawn into their lives as they piece their existence back together after occupation by the German forces.
Why I Like It: It is written so poignantly as to move one to tears (sometimes of mirth, and sometimes of sadness) in places, and it highlights a part of the war that many of us are unaware of if we did not grow up in England, learning English history.

And one last one, on the off chance the other two aren't your cup of tea:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51trMvTOPgL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Title: Julie and Julia
Author: Julie Powell
Synopsis: A disenchanted administrator for a government agency decides to blog her way through Julia Childs' Mastering The Art of French Cooking in a year. It follows her through apartment mishaps, subway disasters, a steady trickle of unusual visitors, and the ups and downs of a relationship.
Why I Like It: Ugh, as much as I hate to admit it, her story reminds me of my life. I blog, not because of a wish for posterity, but because I want to write, and this is a good way to make me do it every day, and because it allows me a little tiny window of escapism from life beyond the keyboard. Much like Julie, my little readership doesn't want to read about the negative so we both write to focus on the good stuff going on in life as well.

Oliver's Real Food, Eastlink

When I used to live in Newcastle and would drive home to Sydney on weekends, I'd usually stop at the twin servos in Wyong to visit Oliver's. This is back in 2006, when it was still quite new, and everyone was a bit wary of the new kid on the block who had the audacity to challenge McDonalds in their monopoly on feeding hungry motorists. They had these amazing pita pockets, and I ruined at least two tops by fumbling while trying to lick the aioli out of its little tub while driving. Damn you, grease spots on good clothes.

SO EXCITED was I when I saw that Oliver's Real Food was opening at the twin servos on the Eastlink at Scoresby. I don't take the motorway very often, but rushing to work on Saturday I thought 'Why not?' and pulled in to get me some goodness and a little taste of nostalgia to boot.

Oliver's Real Food presents itself well in the mini-food-court type thing behind the servo. It's clean and bright and has music to listen to (unlike Maccas). The ladies who served me were very smiley and pleasant, and the owner touched base with me as well (he was sitting at the table across from me, and saw me taking photos of my food, and wanted to make sure everything was alright! talk about good service).

I ordered the Chocanana Smoothie, steamed edamame, and an all-day breakfast pocket. More expensive than Maccas (but in the long run I figure it will save me money on health care costs - at least that's my line and I'm sticking to it!) but didn't break the bank.


Mmmmm smoothie goodness...

The Chocanana Smoothie came out cold and creamy - really thick and really rich, but not overpoweringly so. The banana was obviously frozen but real - I usually hate finding bits of banana in my smoothie, but this was a-okay as it was a little softer than when you use unripe fresh bananas. I'd totally get it again.


Edamame, edadaddy, edababy

The edamame were NUMEROUS. Great value as you get a massive cup for $3.90. I didn't finish all of mine at the restaurant but took them with me and finished them in the car. Perfect snack for road tripping - I'll have to get some and cook them for when we go away at the end of the year.


Breakfast majesty... at noon.

The piece de la resistance was my all-day breakfast pocket. In a crunchy pita wrap, they managed to pack bacon, tomato, egg and potato - and I slathered on the aioli, I can tell you that. No leaving any to get on my work top this time. It was YUM. Not too salty, but enough taste to satisfy the tongue buds. Filling, flavoursome, healthy - my insides left feeling incredibly positive about my experience with Oliver's Real Food.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Review of Create Your Taste at McDonald's Stud Park

I got my burger lunch with the Khocolateman after all! We hit up McDonalds last weekend so we could do the Create Your Taste thing together. It was a beautiful day outside and we figured that had to be a good omen.

WRONG.

This is the first review I've ever done where I didn't like the place we went. I'm not generally a fussy person, but I do like restaurants (from fast food joints all the way through to fine dining venues) to be clean. This McDonalds was not clean. It was really busy, sure, but it the beginning of the lunch hour rush and it was still grubby, like it hadn't been cleaned up that day. And the 'barista' behind the McCafe counter was sliding bottles of milk along the floor to move them. Maybe my OHS is off, but I wouldn't have thought that was particularly hygienic practice. Strike One.

The create your taste menu machine touch screen thing ran out of receipt paper and didn't print the Khocolateman's order that has to be pegged to your little bistro clip thing so they know whose burger is whose. No problem, he went and told the manager and was assured he'd still get his burger. Except he nearly didn't, because when we hailed the confused-looking young lady who couldn't find 107 when she came out with 107's burger took one look at my receipt clipped to the table, and very firmly told us no, that wasn't ours. She took it back to the kitchen, and the Khocolateman went to explain AGAIN to the manager. She then came out and very tritely placed the burger on the table, muttered a curt 'sorry', and stalked off. Strike Two.

Fortunately, that's where the strikes stop, because we built the burgers, so we knew they were going to be good. Remember my dilemma about whether to do the shrooms, because they might make the burger leak? Yeah, I was right. They did. All over my top. BUT they were a good source of protein, and they tasted good anyway. Otherwise I kept most of my stuff the same. Brioche bun, crispy bacon, colby jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, long pickles, jalapanos, herb aioli, guacamole. It was GOOD. This time I ordered a medium meal, and I got the chips served in the little basket. Yay for presentation!


Mmmm burger drippy goodness on its little wooden platter.

Create Your Taste Burger = win. Stud Park Maccas = not so much.

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Monday, 15 June 2015

Dark Horse on the Brit

I forgot my lunch one morning last week so I popped into Britannia Mall in Mitcham to grab something to substitute, and decided on Dark Horse on the Brit. I picked a turkish roll from the cabinet near the counter, and I ordered a chai latte, too, because it was infernally cold (oh the irony of that statement), and also picked out a muffin for my morning tea, as a treat.

Sounds good, doesn't it?


Exhibit A: The Chai

Unfortunately, the chai was rather sickening and I suspect it came from a powder rather than brewed tea with milk. I've been spoilt recently with some really good chai, so it was unfortunate I came to this particular juncture in my chai-drinking journey when I did.


Exhibit B: Innards of a Turkey Turkish

The turkish roll was okay. Swiss cheese, turkey roll, cranberry, and spanish onion. I heated it up on the sandwich press in the kitchen, but it was still a bit dry, and there was way too much onion in proportion to the cheese and turkey.


I can kinda see how you could mistake that for a raisin...
The muffin. Oh, the muffin. I asked what kind it was, and was told cinnamon and raisin (I think it was cinnamon - it was definitely raisin and something, and being a darkish colour I thought hooray, maybe a whole wheat or an oat base, I'm getting something sorta-maybe-kinda healthy into me). I bit into it... to find it had large discs of chocolate all the way through it - white and milk. Usually, I have no objection to chocolate. But when I buy something expecting it is not chocolate, I expect it to be... not chocolate. Hmm.

Overall, Dark Horse on the Brit was okay, but nothing special for its takeaways. It's possible it's better for eat-in options, but I don't recommend them as a back-up lunch-ordering joint.

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Sunday, 14 June 2015

The Orsome Orchid!

Remember I told you about my zigote? It has a friend - a long, graceful orchid given to me at the same time as the zigote, by a lovely parent in my class. I was quite worried about it for a while, as it had two long stems and one died, but the other hung in there and has three lovely buds which have been keeping me in suspense since the middle of May as I wondered when they would flower...

Voila!

Isn't it beautiful? I am now looking to re-pot both the zigote and the orchid, but I don't want them to get too big, or they will have to move from the kitchen counter where they currently reside (and have flourished for twelve months!). If you have any tips for re-potting my pretty flowers, please let me know - I am desperate not to kill them after they have lasted for so long!

Swap-Bot - ESG: Music Scavenger Hunt

My latest Swap-Bot swap was through the Electronic Swaps group. You may have gathered by now that I'm quite fond of scavenger hunts...? This was one set up as a music scavenger hunt, and I had a great time hunting down YouTube clips to embed for each one. It was, funnily enough, one of the more difficult scavenger hunts I've done online!

1. Song that always makes you a bit teary-eyed - Hero by Enrique Iglesias

2. Love song written about something other than a person - Is This The Way To Amarillo by Tony Christie

3. Love song written before 1960 - Once You Lose Your Heart from Me and My Girl (1937)

4. Song that includes the sounds of a banjo or ukulele - Man of Constant Sorrow by the Soggy Bottom Boys

5. Love song to a child - Isn't She Lovely by Stevie Wonder

6. Song popular in the 60s - Blackbird by The Beatles

7. Song popular in the 70s - You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate

8. Song popular in the 80s - We Didn't Start The Fire by Billy Joel

9. A song you don’t think everyone has heard that you love (eg. likely hasn’t been played on pop radio) - One Perfect Day by Lydia Denker

10. A song with a female name in the title - Breakfast at Tiffany's by Deep Blue Something

11. A song with a male name in the title - Uncle John From Jamaica by the Vengaboys

12. A song that includes the word “kiss” in the title - Kiss the Bride by Elton John

13. A song that includes the word “goodbye” in the title - Goodbye Love from the OBC Rent Soundtrack

14. A song you’d like played at your funeral - With or Without You by Hamish Cowan

15. A song you like to slow-dance to - When You Say Nothing At All by Ronan Keating

Friday, 12 June 2015

Swap-Bot - My Favourite Recipe

Our ESG co-ordinator is hosting a My Favourite Recipe swap on Swap-Bot at the moment, so I thought I'd share mine here. I had to dig around a bit as I've shared most of my favourite easy recipes over a couple of posts quite recently, but this is how I make the best, easiest omelette ever.


Ingredients before: two eggs, five mushrooms (sliced), five baby tomatoes (sliced), and a massive handful of spinach leaves.

You will also need oil (if your pan is not Teflon/stone, or if it is scratched), salt, pepper, and cheese.

Put a tablespoon of oil in a fry pan, and add your mushrooms and tomatoes. Cook until they've both started to go brown. Add the spinach, and cook all til the spinach has wilted. Season with salt and pepper.


Good lookin' omelette cookin'

While all that is cooking, crack two eggs into your cup blender, and a sprinkle of salt, and blend them until they are frothy. Pour them over the vegetables, and wait until when you tip the pan slightly, none of the egg is runny. Flip over and cook for about thirty seconds, then flip it onto a plate. Sprinkle one half with cheese, and fold so the cheese can melt.


The Omelette of Vegetable Doom (and by doom I mean it is doomed to my digestion

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Tea Time!

The cold weather really gets to me, much as I'm sure it gets to lots of others, too, around this time of year.

I grew up drinking copious quantities of tea, especially in the colder months, and this year is no exception.

Because I've been ill (four times in the last three months, by my count), I've been drinking a lot of green tea with lemon and honey. Sometimes, I put a chamomile teabag in as well, and the combination of sweet, sour, and soothing is just what the doctor ordered.


My giant teacup of green tea and chamomile, freshly-squeezed lemon, and mixed-blossom honey.

Cheers!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Dalek and Friends II

We spent an hour or two at the off-leash dog park today with the Khocolateman and his mum.

Dalek made some new friends, including Nash and Hoss, the rescue greyhounds belonging to a friend of mine from work.


Dalek likes his tall new buddies.

It was very windy but that didn't bother the dogs, who raced around after random tennis balls, jumped on each other and each others' owners (!), and chased each other around, and around, and around! Dalek was soooo happy!

We'll be back again soon!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Mahn Doo for Mee!

Some of you know I spent a few years in my early twenties teaching English in South Korea. I came home in 2010, and every so often get what I refer to as 'Seoul-sick', where I really miss certain things about living in the ROK. I'll write about them bit by bit - but one of the biggies is food. It is damn hard to find good Korean restaurant/takeaway food in Australia! In particular, it's hard to find good ddeokkmandugukk (dumpling and rice cake soup, eaten at Seollal or Lunar New Year every year), which is my favourite, as many places make it with too much onion and not much else to flavour the broth, and the deokk tastes like frozen cardboard.

Imagine my delight when I discovered a review for Mahn Doo on The Bake-a-nista. I wasn't disappointed.


Mmmmm... mandu, banchan, and pajang...

I found myself in the city with time and an appetite to kill before Natalie Faye's gig, so I hit Mahn Doo up. I ordered pajang (vegetable pancake) and ddeokkmanduguk (dumpling and rice cake soup). The servings were ENORMOUS! I didn't finish all the pajang but took it home (I was also sneaky and emptied the rest of the sauce into my takeaway container as it was just right - not too spicy, not too salty - and pajang's not pajang without the sauce). I did put a sizable dent in my soup, finishing all the mandu, all the ddeokk, all the meat and veggies and most of the broth. It was AMAZEBALLS. Both dishes were easily the best Korean food I've had here in Australia. It was also reasonably priced - I paid $35 total. I'll definitely be back to try their dol sot bibimbap and haemul pajang next holidays!

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Sunday, 7 June 2015

Naked Truth Chocolate

So a while back, I was surfin' the supermarket aisles, trying to find something to quench that insatiable sugar dragon, and I found myself in front of a new display in Coles. It was a whole shelf, from top to bottom, of things that didn't quite look like normal confectionery - plain packaging, and see-through wrapping so you could see the product itself.

I was intrigued. And thrilled when someone brought a packet of their Passionfruit Babies with Bellies to knitting later that week.

This weekend, while looking for a particular kind of chocolate covered nut for the Khocolateman (if you can come up with a good pun for that one, comment below - trust me, most of them went through my head as I struggled on through my quest), I came across the same display in a different Coles. This time, with a bit more time up my sleeve, I carefully selected four items to share between myself and the Khocolateman. All of them had smart names, and something a bit different about them.


Packaged and ready to go...

I made a little tasting plate for each of us, and set down to indulge in my dessert-before-dinner. First up was the Jam Doughnut Milk Choc Bar. I think this was my favourite - milk chocolate wrapped around a soft, jam-flavoured, cinnamon-sprinkled centre. Sweet, but not nauseatingly so.

Next down the hatch were the white dusted toffee apple almonds. They were a good mix of flavours - apple and toffee - and I could sense the crunchy almond bits as I bit down. The Khocolateman said these were one of his two favourites - mine, not so much. Not that there was anything not good about them - I just liked the others better.

Then came the white chocolate with raspberry and balsamic block. This was the other of the Khocolateman's favourites - he liked the white chocolate (!) and the dried raspberry bits gave it a nice kick to balance it out to be not too sweet (and it makes the top look sparkly - what could be better??).

Last were the passionfruit and yoghurt double troubles. These were my other favourites. I've had other jubey things from Naked Truth before and found them to be a little bland, but not these. I think it was the yoghurt flavouring - it gave it just enough bite to be interesting without being overpowering. They were soft and squishy, rather than being hard and crusty like many jubes are when they come out of the packet.


Our tasting plates before

Looking forward to trying their fig and macadamia milk chocolate, and their lemon chocolate as well. I really hope this ends up expanding to Woolies so I can just make one stop to shop, otherwise I'm going to have to make the switch to Coles again!

Review of Blue Fish, Sydney

This was written nearly a year ago when we went to Sydney to visit my family. The Khocolateman and I had a lovely day in the city together before we flew home.

We came here over the Christmas holidays with the KhocolateMan's brother when we came up to visit my family. Darling Harbour appears to be being gutted since then, with the 2000 Olympic statue gone, the big water spiral gone and a new convention centre about to be built. It feels a bit soulless at the moment, but Blue Fish is just as laid back now as it was then, and the food is just as good!

We remembered the servings being quite large, so we chose carefully this time - BBQ wings Louisiana style and traditional bruschetta to start, whole fried snapper for the Khocolateman and the fisherman's basket for me.

I also ordered a Sailor's Mojito. I like mojitos in general, so it isn't hard to keep me happy with this one. It was a little more tangy than usual, not so sweet but still nice and minty. Despite it being the middle of August it was warm in Sydney so a Mojito really hit the spot, refreshing me nicely after a warm train trip.


Ahoy, me 'jito.

The entrees were quick to arrive. The bruschetta bread was nice and soft (I have issues with really crunchy, too chunky bread so this was good) and the diced tomato was really juicy. I would have liked to see a bit more basil and some onion in the mix, but the Khocolateman definitely liked it as it was.

The buffalo wings were really good. Spicy without being overpowering, they were piping hot when they got to the table. The accompanying blue cheese dressing was creamy and you didn't need a lot to get that blue cheesy flavour coming through as you bit into the fleshy bit of the drum.


Fancy Nibbles

The fisherman's basic had a delicious scallop that I didn't want to end (why are scallops so small?? Someone needs to breed really big scallops that you can order like a steak) and a small whiting fillet which was soft and fell apart as my fork touched it. Not too oily either. The calamari was lightly battered - almost a katsu-type batter, rather than the traditional beer or tempura. Same went for the prawn cocktails - two-bite portions lightly battered. Both of these were pretty stock-standard. Then there was a piece of grilled squid which was amaaaazing, full of that yummy smokey flavour and tender to eat. Finally, the piece de la resistance - a grilled prawn so big it's head was the length of my little finger. It was flavoursome and well-cooked (a shade on the tough side, but better to be safe than sorry with seafood). All up, very satisfying - I skipped the chips as the seafood was more than enough for me.


Moreton Bay Bat Bug?


The Everlasting Scallop Dilemma

We enjoyed our lunch thoroughly, and would return again in a heartbeat.

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Review of Sushi of Masuya, Sydney

I wrote this nearly a year ago when we went to Sydney for the weekend to visit my family. Apologies for the lack of photos.

We decided to have Japanese for dinner before the show after we saw Matsuya just around the corner from the Capitol Theatre. They squeezed us in without a booking, so we felt pretty lucky as the place was jumping and was obviously heavy on the reservations for a Saturday night.

We had a salad and the teriyaki vegetables to green us up. We got the salmon on ice - the KhocolateMan's favourite - as well as the chicken katsu, teriyaki salmon and a wagyu beef fillet.

The beef fillet was good, but I'm a bit spoilt by Steak Ministry so it didn't really stand out at the table for me. Two of our table liked it enough to get a second serving, and it came with mashed radish, diced spud and broccoli which people said provided a nice range of textures on the plate.

The katsu brought back memories of Korea - it was definitely better than the chain restaurant bits that I used to have over there. The batter was fresh and crunchy, and the meat well cooked yet tender. It was served with the typical side of cabbage and weird pinkish sauce.

The real stand out at the table for both the Khocolateman and I was the salmon on ice. The cuts were perfect - generous bite sized slices of salmony goodness. It was served with soy and wasabi which complemented the flavour of the sashimi. It was melt-in-your mouth awesome. One of the best sashimi cuts I've had in Australia.

We had a lovely bottle of semillon with the meal, generous glasses providing the ideal opportunity to cut loose and get a bit of a buzz on to kick off a night of fun. Click to add a blog post for Sushi of Masuya on Zomato

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Freaky Fractals

One of my favourite units to teach is the one I do on Fibonacci. Do you remember doing that at school? Maybe you did, if you had a teacher who loved making her kids go "????WHU?" over maths and the environment. Or maybe you had a teacher who had a thing about number patterns, or ferns, or seashells, or pineapples.

For those of you who aren't familiar with fabulous Fibonacci and his number sequence, and how they relate to fractals, here is my favourite video about it:


Ah yes. Weird wumpy things and snuggled up slug cats.

This is the first in a series of three videos Vi Hart has done about Fractals and Fibonacci. I really like them, and so do my students, though some find the speed of her speech a bit overwhelming.

Why does this come up now, when I'm not teaching fractals? Well, three reasons. One, I'm preparing to sort my collection of GAT resources, and on my laptop, there are many a document showing how fractals can be used in art, and where you can find them in nature. Two, I'll be teaching about the Fractal Foundation's triangleathon later this term, and I want to show the other videos so I went for a bit of a refresher. Three, recently someone posted a 'Fractial Art' (sic) Pinterest board swap on Swap-Bot, and I wanted to share a couple of my favourite pins.


Sapling Cross-Section, Ancient Tree, Julia.

The first is a macrophotograph of a sapling's cross-section, pinned from Beyond The Human Eye. I like the way the straight bits and the round bits are interconnected (don't you just love my precise vocabulary?).

The second is a fantasy picture of an ancient tree, pinned from Wandering Pixie's Tumblr, where it was linked from a insanproject's Tumblr. I love the mystical, fantastical quality of this picture. It reminds me of an Enid Blyton book.

The third is a digitally manipulated graphic entitled 'Julia' by pinkal09 on DeviantArt. I think my favourite part about this is the way all those shades of warm colours work together to create such a delicate pattern. It reminds me of an aerial shot of girls dancing in rose-coloured full-circle skirts.

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610...

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Review of the Maccas Create-Your-Taste Experience at McDonalds

I've been seeing the signs go up for this, and the ads on TV and the radio worked - I wanted to try this Subway-choice-esque burger experience. Initially, I was hoping for a date night with the Khocolateman, but this week has been insane so I treated myself to lunch on the way to work on Saturday.


Ordering and waiting

I had researched the choices before I went in (you can find the ingredients on their website here). I decided on a Brioche bun, with Colby Jack cheese, guacamole, crispy bacon, jalapenos, long sliced pickles, lettuce, tomato, and herb aioli. I was debating getting the grilled shrooms and grilled onion, but figured my burger was going to be gargantuan enough.


Oh man... look at all its majesty

The verdict on McDonalds Vermont: I had the first ever memorable experience with McDonalds staff members - in a positive way! They had one lady making sure people knew what to do with the touch screens, and I was served by two lovely waitstaff who brought my meal to the table. They were all unfailingly polite and pleasant. It was as clean as a McDonalds is expected to be, and I got psyched out by a baby at the next table who was fixated on watching me eat my burger. Poor parents! Nothing was going to dissuade him, not even a box of tic tacs to use as a maraca.

The verdict on the Create Your Taste menu: I freaking loved it. It tasted like a burger from an independent cafe, not something mass produced. The bun was squishy and not too moist, even with guacamole. Great taste combination (well done me). You can see from the innards shot that everything was fresh and warm, and you can take my word for it that the textures together were amazeballs. I'd totally do it again.

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Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Review of 2Pocket Fair Trade

2Pocket is tucked away on Little Lonsdale Street, not far from Melbourne Central. They sell everything fair trade - giftwares, coffee, and chocolate - and all for a very reasonable price. I had a chai latte while I was there - which definitely did not come from a packet, and was deliciously strong for a chai brewed from actual leaf tea - and also a cup of green tea with rose and moscato. It was easily the best green tea I've ever had - again, a good strong flavour without being bitter, maybe because of the rose and moscato?


Chai and chocolate

While I was there, I also tried some of their Alter Ego fair trade chocolate - one with quinoa (nice and crunchy, a bit like toasted rice bubbles), one with toffee (kind of like popping candy chocolate but without the popping sensation), and one with sea salt (nice, but a bit too understated for me). I'd totes buy more of it if 2Pocket was closer to home - they had heaps of flavours, and I'm planning on going back there to try a different selection next time I'm in the city to study. I think it might maybe become my favourite place to hang on the holidays!

A friend of mine, natalie.faye, recently launched her first album there. Natalie is one of the biggest-hearted, forgiving, gracious people I know, and as a co-worker she has been incredibly encouraging over the last few years when the tough times have rolled around. ANYWAY - she launched her first album, 'Home', in May at 2Pocket. I went along for the evening and really enjoyed listening to her very soulful, gracefully composed and beautifully performed music. It was wonderful to see her making a dream come true.

I'd totally recommend both checking out Natalie's music and 2Pocket's beverages and chocolate (in an ideal world, listening to her music WHILE consuming 2Pocket's beverages and chocolate would be the aim)! Trust me when I say, you'll mellow out entirely (even with the caffeine coursing through your veins!).

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The Virus and Pizza Soup

It was bound to happen. The day I was due to get my flu shot at school, where was I? In bed with a viral infection. Well done, immune system. Good timing.

It was my second day of the Whole 30 and I was absolutely bound and determined not to do the eat-all-the-unhealthy-food thing, as they make a very good point - 'Your body feels stressed out after eating bad food when it's healthy, so why add to the stress when it's sick?' I went hunting for recipes to make for when you have a viral blegh thing, and found this little beauty - Pizza Soup, from The Clothes Make The Girl. This was the best recipe I found as I really didn't feel like chicken soup, but something with a bit more kick (am I the only one who likes chili and citrus and the like when I'm sick??).


The Ingredients Before

Instead of just sticking to the basics, I figured the more veggies I could pack in the better, so I used the broccoli like she suggested, but I also added a handful of sliced mushrooms, two sliced baby eggplants (from our garden, so I knew it was going to be good!), four chilies from the present I got from one of my students, and half an onion. I also skipped the broth, and used 600ml of water with salt and pepper.


The Soup After

It was amazing. I had about half a cup (not much appetite still), but even with that little bit, my nose cleared up (for about half an hour), my head stopped swimming (I think the chili sent it into shock), and I didn't feel quite so washed out any more.

What's your go-to food when you're sick? Share your ideas with me!

Monday, 1 June 2015

Dalek and Friends

Tonight, our friend Sim came over with her Belgian Shepherd, Kovu.

The last time Dalek and Kovu met was over the summer, and Kovu was about half Dalek's size. This time, well, see for yourself.


Kovu and Dalek in a rare moment of composure. Dalek is struggling to keep his feet underneath him on the floorboards!

The two of them spent the better part of two hours chasing each other around the dining room table, with one of them holding a kong and the other 'trying' to get it, and Kovu taught Dalek how to wrestle, all while Sim and I watched them and chatted over a leisurely cuppa.

A very nice way to spend the bitingly cold first evening of winter!