Where in the world have i been the last three and a bit months? I've been around, but i won't go into all the gory details. Just the important bits, i promise.
Got ma hair did.
That's me on the right with my lovely friend Brit on the left. I've been hanging out for a change and fringe forever, so after scoring a pretty sweet voucher off the internet i finally went ahead and got the damn thing cut and it was the best decision EVER, i don't miss my birds nest hair one bit. I also got all the colours dyed out of it too, my hair looks like chocolate. Nom.
I jetted up to Darwin for the first time.
Spomey's Mum, Dad and various siblings all live there and his sister Sally was getting married so we went up there for five days. It was wonderful to finally meet all the Stranges in their natural habitat. Darwin is something else, it's so tiny! Beautiful beaches that you can't go one because you may get eaten by a crocodile! The afternoon wedding was absolutely gorgeous, on the lawns of the casino, it overlooked the beach meaning that they were married right as the sun started to set. The reception was amazing with a candy wonderland set up as you walked in. We were given a hotel room in the casino for the night by Sally, which was a perfect end to a lovely holiday.
Spomes and his beautiful sister.
AMAZING candy wonderland. It stretched for three long tables!
I got my wisdom teeth removed! (pictured here with Nurse Minnie on Day two, slightly swollen and completely out of my head on pain killers)
FINALLY. After at least three solid months of the most horrible toothaches one could imagine, infections, sleepless nights and kilos of pain killers, i was put to sleep and awoke minus a heap of teeth. All in all, it wasn't that bad. I was scared because i've never been under before but it was over quicker than i expected and i spent a week propped up in bed eating nothing but jelly, ice-cream and wonderful custard. Now I'm completely healed and my teeth are better than ever. I strongly recommend getting it done even if you have the slightest twinge. NOTHING is worse than a toothache.
It's like heaven on earth. There were eight of us all together that road tripped down. Scott and I were only able to get the weekend free but it was the most relaxing and wonderful three days ever. All the food there is completely delicious, they have a 23 hour bakery. A 23 HOUR BAKERY. Meaning i could get baked goods at anytime of the day or night. Ridiculous. Beautiful beaches, beautiful people, beautiful Byron. Such a cruisy, lazy, dreamy place.
One of the many feast i had.
Just Jarrod and a LLAMA!
Our group and a very suspicious blue drink.
Last but not least,
Harry Potter. The end of an era. The release of Deathly Hallows pt2 meant the end of all things Harry for me and the subject of my next post because it deserves one of its very own. I'll be back very soon.
This afternoon I experimented in making some homemade cat food for my little fur-children. The Spomes and I are amazed at how much dry food the fatties go through in a week (it's expensive stuff too) and I've been feeling guilty because I don't believe that a 100 percent dry food diet is very good for them.
Upon researching this topic I realised that every cat person has their own opinion on what is the best diet for a cat. They will quickly let you know that you are a terrible, horrible and cruel person if you don't follow their instructions and that your cat will die a long and painful death from bad dieting and neglect. HARRUMPH. Fuck that. I immediately scratched turning to cat-nuts for advice and researched what kinds of raw foods are the most beneficial to a cat, what they need for a balanced diet and how much I should give them. I then picked a few ingredients and started cooking.
Taurine is an essential dietary requirement for a cat, without it they simply can not survive. All packet pet food comes already injected with a nice dose so I needed to find a meat that was Taurine-rich so I wasn't depriving them of anything. Cue chicken livers. Ugly, blobby chicken livers. Ugh. Taurine rich and absolutely disgusting. That was ingredient number one (about a kilos worth). I also bought a whole, raw chicken carcass, one bag of brown rice, two zucchini, three carrots, one bag of peas, one bag of green beans, three garlic cloves, one sweet potato and some dried rosemary.
Here's what I did.
Boiled the rice until cooked and set aside to cool. Chopped and steamed the potato, carrot, garlic, peas,beans and zucchini until they are slightly cooked then whizzed them through a food processor until they were pureed. Hack the chicken carcass - bones and all - to smaller pieces. Puree the meat as much as you can in a processor and then mix everything together. Tub them up into serves of two (i have two cats) and freeze them. It was easy peasy but REALLY messy.
I didn't take a photo but they look pretty much like this -
but with more greenery.
Oh and the cats LOVE it.
I've already started introducing it into their diet.
If been feeling a little bit BLERG and large amount of EURGH this last week or so. I've been working so very hard at my job and running the ridiculously busy day, or string of endless days as it would seem, as well as i can. I'm also learning a more managerial side of things and as fun and challenging as that is, it's tough being the new person at work and then suddenly being shot up to a higher position than that of people that have been there for years. Working with fifteen women can be tough! I feel a wee bit run down and a wee bit sad. I'm hoping this weekend will perk things up a bit. I plan for baked goods and a girly day with Diana to cheer myself up. I'd also like a haircut. It's funny how little things can alter your mood. I'm betting i'll be a picture of cheeriness and joy next time i blog.
Spomes and I picked up some uber cheap cobs last week so we made some AMAZING corn on the cob for dinner. Now I'm addicted to the stuff, like the great broccoli phase of 2010, i only have eyes for sweet corn (on the cob is a must). I just want to eat mountains of the stuff. It's so delicious i secretly wish that it would be on my plate every dinner time.
I try to balance this corn business with copious amounts of chocolate, of course. Ahhh Chocolate. It makes me so happy. Even the teensiest amount after a crappy day has the ability to turn me from a snarling beast to an angel. Just a whiff of the stuff makes me swoon. At the moment I'm embracing the fact that Easter is celebrated in stores from January and only eating wonderful Easter chocolate. There is something about those Cadbury bunnies that i can't get enough of. I need to find out what makes Easter chocolate so scrumptious. Then i need to find the nearest gym and pay for my lack of strength and willpower.
On another note, little Louie is all settled in. He and Minette seem to adore each other and when they are not thundering around the house like idiots, they are in a neat, little kitten pile on the end of our bed. It's heavenly having them both around. I also promise more recipes, i've got some strawberries and rhubarb that are asking to be made into something delicious.
I've been a little distracted lately and there is only one real reason why.
Meet my little man, Louie.
We adopted him from the RSPCA Flood Appeal adoption drive over the weekend and I think he may just be perfect. He is three months old and a biiiig boy. He is the same size as our seven month old Minette, so he is going to be a whopper when he is older. So far, he is the perfect cat. He's so chilled out, he doesn't care about a thing in the world except cuddles and food. What more could we want?
Sunday morning snuggles in bed with Minnie are the best.
I felt the need for some sweet, baked goods and settled on creating a bunch of little danishes.
Here's what i did. Ingredients.
three granny smith apples
one cup of frozen raspberries
one cup of sultanas
one 600ml carton of vanilla custard (or you can make your own)
one tablespoon ground cinnamon
one tablespoon mixed spice
one tablespoon nutmeg
quarter of a cup of caster sugar
6 sheets of puff pastry (or make your own)
egg and milk for wash
quarter of a cup of icing sugar and a few teaspoons of warm water for icing
Peel and core the apples, slice into thin pieces. Mix cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg and sugar together in a small bowl. Cut puff pastry into quarters. In the middle of each square, place a few strips of apple, some raspberries and sultanas. Dribble some custard over the fruit and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mix. Bring two opposite corners of the pastry together and secure with a toothpick. Brush over with egg wash.
Once all of your pastries are assembled, cook in a medium-hot oven until pastry is puffed and browned. Mix icing sugar and water together to form a runny icing mixture and drizzle across danishes. Sprinkle with more of the cinnamon sugar and enjoy.
Easy and so very delicious. I made extra to freeze for when Spomes and I want a lazy, sweet treat.
Also also found this gem in the cooking aisle of Woolworth's. I'm going to make it for Sleeve's birthday as he is a Harry nerd like me. It's a package mix (shame) so I'll be adding extra bit's and pieces to make it even more delicious.
Mother and Father Strange are in the house, Yall. They are here from Darwin for a little visit.
(Yes. Mr S' last name is actually Strange <3 )
Spomes is a perfect blend of the two of them, but he does have all of his fathers mannerisms and habits and his Mum's sense of humour. It's a bit freaking adorable.
Minette of course has been entertaining them while we have been at work. Here is her new full time favourite position. This is the chair that was supposed to be my reading chair. One day i'll get my own chair.
On another note, i've been feeling at itch for Cat number 2. I said that i'd wait until Minnie was at least 8 months old before i brought another kitty into her house but i found this amazing site called Brisbane Valley Cat Rescue and now my willpower is going downhill. I really want to adopt an older male cat, i've had dreams of a big tom cat protecting the house (the cat i've been dribbling over is called Timmy, he's that beautiful white boy that'd 12 months old). It's very lucky that i've spent the last four weeks without work and that my bank balance contains nothing but tumbleweeds or i could be in a dangerous situation. I'm back at work now and i've given myself a month to get myself straight financially, then it's cat-time again!!
This was one of the many jars of delicious that I whipped up for my Christmas gifts. This spicy little devil suits just about everything. I've had reports of people spreading it on sausages, using it as a salsa with nachos, cooking it through a pasta sauce and Spomes even puts it on his sandwiches. It's handy when you need to give your food a little kick.
Here's how I rolled.
2 kg green capsicums
250 ml white wine vinegar
900g white sugar
4 tbs green chilli
Depending on what tickles your fancy, you can switch the green capsicum and green chilli for the red version of each for a slightly sweeter version.
Chop, chop. chop all your capsicums.
Then chop, chop, chop all your chilli's. (Seeded or not, it's entirely up to you, the seeds give the chutney a great little kick which compliments the coolness of the capsicums but if you are not a fan of mega spice, take the seeds away.)
Place all ingredients, minus the 'jamsetta' in a nice big pot over a medium heat. Stir constantly until sugar has dissolved. Bring mixture to a full, rolling boil and add the 'jamsetta', cook for a further five minutes.
Now if you like, pour all ingredients into a food processor and give it a whizz. I only do this because I was giving the chutney as a gift and wanted everything to look super neat. If it's just for home use, skip this part - It only makes more mess!
Spoon the mixture into hot, sterilized jars and seal. Turn the jars upside down for one minute then back around again and place in a cupboard, or area away from sunlight to settle and cool.
REALLY GO AWAY NOW. Your presence is not appreciated any more.
This is the road that is around the corner from us. It will usually flood in the smallest of rains but in the last few days it's been something else. Mr S and I went around the corner this afternoon to investigate and now the sun is shining, there is no water in sight. Bardon has just been put on a 'Watch list' according the ABC news, but so far, we are fine. Today we went to Rosalie to investigate rumours that our favourite burger place is under water, they were true.
It was horrible watching people jamming all their worldly belongings into cars and trailers and leaving. Spomes has been given the week off work due to all the power being out in the CBD, so we are basically sitting around watching the News. Tonight there is a group of us going to help fill sand bags and volunteer in any way we can, I've also registered us on the RSPCA website to foster any animals that need a temporary home. I found out this morning that Minette's shelter is under water.
Hopefully these rains bugger off so we can start fixing this mess.
Well. I can certainly say that i was spoilt rotten on Christmas day by friends and family alike.
Mr S and I celebrated Christmas number one together in our little house. It was a nice change from dashing off interstate for family commitments. We also has our newest addition to celebrate with.
Man that cat loves tinsel. She managed to pull over the tree four times. Even when we had hoisted it up onto a table.
From Scott I received Mastering the Art of French cooking, both volumes. Something i have dreamed about for a long time.
This very, VERY special box set of Harry Potter books. They have an original set of artwork on the covers and they come with their own spiffy box. Le sigh.
He also gave me this awesome Magneto & Fluffy Ducks print. It speaks for itself really.
And a pussy cat teapot from T2.
But the cherry on top of my Christmas cake was this Hogwarts Acceptance Letter he had made for me. It comes with it's own little leather envelope and Hogwarts wax seal. It is even addressed to me and has my name on the letter. There is a possibility i may of cried when i opened it. It is my most current treasured possession.
We had a glorious Christmas lunch with Spomeys family in an beautiful apartment overlooking Roma street station and parklands. Then we had a bunch of our friends over to our place (with plates of their left-overs) for a relaxing Christmas night.
I made some Festive Fudge for the occasion.
The next morning i jetted off to FREEZING COLD Melbourne for more serious family feasting. My Uncle dressed up as a Christmas elf and distributed all of our presents.
Christmas. The time of triple puddings.
I have introduce my Mother's new little man. This handsome devil is George. He woke me up with some serious headbutts and a bed shaking purr. What a charmer.
From my wonderful Mum and Step Father I got some sweet Heston Blumenthal DVD's. I'm obsessed with molecular gastronomy because of this man. He is a mad scientist, but you can eat his creations! I bought a cookbook of his once then realised i lacked the scientific laboratory required to create one of his meals perfectly so i gave up and because content with his television shows.
HAIRSPRAY TICKETS. MNEEP.
The brother bought me a sweet pamper pack from Endota, thus cementing his position as GREATEST BROTHER IN THE HISTORY OF BROTHERKIND.
and from my beautiful friends there were home made marmalade's, robot tea towels, comedy dvd's, mini chocolate puddings and a TIME TURNER.....