Sunday, April 29, 2012

shopping the neighbourhood

A few years back I had a longish stint working part-time for a doctor so that I could spend my days off working on a (as yet still unfinished) novel.  It was a really interesting and occasionally very difficult period and it taught me a lot about people and even more about myself. Apart from learning how to deal with hysterical patients over the phone - a useful skill to have in any profession - and a lot more about dermatology than I'd ever want to know, this period of self-imposed financial restriction fundamentally changed the way I think about spending money and the value of things.

I no longer enjoy spending lots of money on clothes or things for our home but instead get a kick out of finding wonderful second hand items; things that have a bit of history and story about them.

So you can imagine the almost unbridled joy with which I sprang out of bed on Saturday morning to head out on my bike and explore Second Hand Saturday, a event organised by our Council where households in our neighbourhood put on a bunch of garage sales on one day.  I got to meet some really nice people and came home with a bunch of fantastic old tupperware, kitchenware and even a great, grey couch, which I scored for $20!

And then I had to have a lie down.

On Sunday, Kristian and I ventured over to the Addison Road Markets, excitement levels still high, to explore the Bower and Reverse Garbage - all very much recommended! We had egg, mushroom and halloumi rolls from the Mr Bacon and Egg stall, surveyed all the wonderful fresh produce and watched dogs playing and kids taking shetland pony rides.

I resisted a few deliciously luring bargains and in the end was satisfied with a triangular loaf of zucchini bread and some $2 measuring cups from the Bower.  A good weekend all round.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

warming on up

Our place was alive with the sounds of merriment the other night as friends gathered to help us officially warm it up. I made guacamole and ginger punch and friends surprised us with gifts and drinks, and, in the case of our Melburnian friends Emma and Sam, with their unexpected presence from across the border - wholly unanticipated and wonderful! A mojito station was quickly established and all I had to do was drink in the deliciousness and crank the oven for hot food, which was consumed at lightning speed, in amongst sparkler displays, nerf gun wars and even a pregnancy announcement from a friend. What a night!


Monday, April 23, 2012


With the Anzac day holiday tomorrow there's definitely a bit of a weekend feeling in the air. We are thinking of having a little barbeque at home and making some Anzac biscuits and settling in to watch an old/new favourite TV show Work of Art. What are your plans? Anyone going to the dawn service or heading out to the pub to play two up?

In the meantime, on this slightly dreary Tuesday afternoon, here are a few peppy songs to get you in the mood for mid-week barbeques and baking...


Thursday, April 19, 2012

this has been the week

A few pictures from a walk I took this week during a brief patch of sunshine. The glimpse I had of the pair of birds flying high above reminded me in a very small way of this wondrous video. It's been a little bit of an emotional rollercoaster of a week, featuring worry of almost ridiculous proportions (the picture of the graffiti seemed to sum up my general sense of indecision) but I'm feeling a lot better this sunny Friday and looking forward to lots of good things: my Dad hopefully coming home from hospital on the weekend, catching up with friends, a party, cooking up a storm and some other new ventures.

During a brief flurry of activity one afternoon I even made some nice cornflake biscuits, which I'm keen to make some more of - this time perhaps with cranberries or sultanas, although with Anzac Day coming up next week I'm sure I'll be making some of those biscuits too.

Afternoon Biscuits (with cornflakes)  
Adapted from Homecooked 

¾ cup plain flour
½ cup cornflakes
1 cup rolled oats
¼ cup desiccated coconut
¾ cup honey
75g butter
75g applesauce
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 Tbs water

Preheat oven to 180°C and grease a large baking tray. 

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. In a small saucepan combine the butter, applesauce, honey and water over medium heat until the butter has melted and the ingredients are all combined. Then stir in the bicarbonate of soda. It will froth up. Don’t be alarmed.  

Pour the foamy mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until combined. The mixture should be firmish but still a touch tacky. If it's looking too firm add a small amount of water, if too tacky - a small amount of flour. Place spoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking trays and press with a fork to flatten slightly. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack before consuming all in one go, as we did.

Wishing you a lovely sunshiney weekend!


Monday, April 9, 2012


A smattering of moments from a wonderfully long Easter break. Don't let the photographs fool you - a
lot more hot cross buns were consumed that it would appear, along with twenty or so cups of tea, fresh figs, banana cake, quesadillas, tuna mornay, potatoes, potatoes, potatoes and soup. I got up ridiculously early almost every day and read books in our garden with cups of coffee, whilst I waited for Kristian to awake.

Instead of having chocolate eggs we made brownies instead and watched the most delightfully quirky British show - Dirk Gently, based on the books by Douglas Adams, which I can highly recommend. It is reassuringly awesome in the manner of most English crime comedy/dramas. 

Hope you had a lovely break and here's to another short week!


Monday, April 2, 2012

firsts and seconds

It was a weekend of firsts:

1st day of April and for about the first time ever I didn't get pranked. I'm pretty gullible and therefore fair game for April fool's jokes but somehow I made it through this year unscathed.

We met friends for lunch at a new cafe in Leichhardt called Wellco which I haven't been to before and which was lovely. Their bacon and egg wrap is pretty special.

 I got up really early on Sunday morning despite gaining a whole hour's worth of sleep from the end of daylight savings. I'm still puzzling over that one.

A big first - I made a birthday cake for my Dad which was pretty much sugar free. It featured my old favourite, black beans (I'm becoming the poster girl for beans lately) and was a surprise hit. Rich as all get out, but yet we still all had seconds. Here is the recipe if you're interested. I'd recommend keeping an eye on the cooking time though, I think mine was a wee bit overcooked.  Excellent with some yogurt and tart berries.

Hope you all had a terrific weekend and a lovely start to April.