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A Few of My Favourite Things!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Ah, Melbourne!

Friday, June 23, 2006

My First Half Marathon

What would you think about if you had 2 hours to do nothing but think?

Well, I thought about what a wonderful morning it was to be outside, that I would be going to the Good Food Show that afternoon, about how much I love my wonderful husband who was still in bed and how blessed I was to be able to do this:

Run to the G, Half Marathon

Would I do it again? If you had asked me immediately following, I think it would have been a resounding 'NO'. My left knee was hurting and my left foot was in pain - my overall impression was 'this activity is not good for your joints!'. Five days later, having fully recovered from listening to Kylie Minogue's last album for 45 min straight (accidentally set it on this just before starting and couldn't see menu as IPod was strapped to arm) and from the muscle tightness, I would definitely reconsider that response. Actually, it could almost become addictive...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Fish Head Curry!

Rich Maha specialises in Malaysian, Indian and Sri-Lankan fare from their bain-marie and ala carte menu. Although they have delicious hawker-style offerings, the real attraction for my family has always been the fish head curry for take-away from either the Vermont South or Hawthorn restaurants. We would order it, bring a pot for them to fill then take it home to enjoy (read on to discover why). Discovering that they opened a CBD branch just a few weeks back, I immediately contacted some like-minded friends for a Fish Head Curry night and the responses were fast and furious, mostly with comments like "Yum - count us in!".

Now, this Indian curry smells fantastic and will leave you wanting more but it should come with a warning label! It is a highly confronting meal, especially if you are new to it, as googly-eyed fish with sharp teeth stare out at you from the pot. It is certainly not a dish to have if you are in any way squirmish about real food for true connoisseurs will slurp and suck their way through the bones in search of the flavoursome flesh. I must admit that I much prefer soaking up the rich, orangey and very liquid curry sauce with my roti and satisfying my apetite that way instead. I get all the flavour without the additional labour :-)

To cater for my vegetarian friend, I made a mild dahl and gado-gado. I also made the star fruit chutney from Mangoes and Curry Leaves by Alford & Duguig. I love the presentation of this side dish and the flavour certainly complements the spiciness of the curry.

Rich Maha

Vermont South: Shp 3/ 499 Burwood Hwy, (03) 9887 7663 /(03) 9802 6658

Hawthorn: Hmm, I'm thinking this one may have closed or changed hands as I can't find the address inthe White Pages

Melbourne: Equitable Lane

Monday, June 12, 2006

Buttermilk-Honey Banana Bread

Way back mid-last year, a Paper Chef entry caught my eye and this recipe has been sitting in my 'to try' folder for some time. I love banana bread and would normally use mum's recipe but buttermilk just conjured up such cosy feelings and images for me that I had to try this recipe out...with a few modifications of course!

I used one mashed banana and about 4 dried ones, all chopped up into little pieces, and also added not just dried dates but apricots and sultanas as well. With the additiional dried fruit, I really should have cut out the sugar entirely as it turned out to be just a tad too sweet for my tastes. What a great loaf otherwise though - moist with a good crumb.

Btw, A. loved the sound of buttermilk so much that he considered having it on his cereal but upon tasting a little, found that it not to be rich and creamy as he had imagined, but thin and sour instead!

Buttermilk-Honey Banana Bread

2 eggs, ¾ cup sugar, 1 mashed banana, 1/3 cup buttermilk, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 1 ¾ cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda, ½ tsp salt, 30 g butter, 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup chopped dates, 1/3 cup chopped dried bananas, 1/4 cup dried apricots and sultanas, 1/4 cup walnuts

  1. Beat the eggs with the sugar for about 5 min until thick and light.
  2. Add mashed bananas, buttermilk, walnuts, honey, dried fruit, oil, butter and vanilla.
  3. Add sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  4. Pour batter into loaf tin and bake at 170C for 60 min until top is golden brown.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Almond Crescents: Pancake-Style

Is there to be no end to my culinary disasters? Actually, as much as this one did not work out, it actually did work out in the end.

Have you tried those Greek almond cookies that are shaped like a crescent? Well, A. has been telling me how much he loves these. One of his friend's mum used to make this and they would have it warm from the oven - mmmmm, heavenly. I really wanted to recreate this memory for him so I googled a few recipes and set about making the dough. I really can't remember which recipe I ended up using now, but the dough was so soft that it could not actually be shaped into crescents and I ended up forming quenelles. Into the oven they went and, boy, did they smell fantastic! One look through the window though would have shown you that they melted into puddles so flat that you would have mistaken them for brandy snaps instead of the almond crescents they were meant to be. One bite into the cookies though and we were the ones melting! They actually tasted a lot like brandy snaps and were heavenly served either alone or with a great vanilla icecream, a dessert that A. has named 'Shards of Delight':

Saturday, June 03, 2006

WCB 52: Favourite Plaything

To celebrate one year of WCB, I'm going to share with you Tasha & Bella's favourite plaything. You've seen some of their toys in the previous posts before. You already know that they love to play with bags, to chew on things, to fight with each other, but of ALL the toys that we've ever given to them, they seem to have the most fun with pipecleaners.
This is a kitty tunnel that dad bought them and they really like this too...but not quite as much as the pipecleaners!Celebrate WCB with us here!