Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A sense of confusion

This wreath has been hanging on our front door since the beginning of autumn (early March). That's kind of sad, seeing as it's a fall style wreath, but winter here kind of feels like a very long, extended autumn, so it seemed okay. I decided it was finally time to make a more spring like wreath and kiss this one good bye. Even though, technically, it still feels right because well, we'll be heading into October soon and isn't October all about these colors? Confusion.
So, I made this wreath for a spring time feeling. I wanted something pretty and cheerful. It was only as I was finishing it and about to hang it on the door that I remembered that Halloween is coming soon and I should have made a wreath for that. Who needs spring colors when it's all about to be black and orange and scary stuff? More confusion.

How can it be that I'm hanging spring inspired wreaths when Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner? It seriously throws me off. I can't remember birthdays anymore, it's all mixed up with the seasons. Holidays, forget it. Total confusion. I've been in Australia for almost 4 years and still haven't worked out a way to make all this confusion feel back in balance. Seriously, what's a girl to do?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dairy free quiche...

I made my first quiche today! Don't laugh, it was a very exciting moment for me! :) I stumbled upon this recipe and was inspired to give it a go. I made a lot of changes though and it turned out super yummy! So, I thought I'd share what I did to make this delicious dinner!

Ingredients I used:

Mushrooms (chopped small)
Onion (diced)
Green pepper (diced)
Bacon (cut in little pieces)
3 eggs
1 cup of coconut milk
2 store bought pie crusts
Salt and pepper
Fresh basil

First, I decided to pre-cook the pie crusts for about 15 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. I poked holes in the crust all over with a fork and in the oven they went. I thought this might help to keep the crusts crispy and not make them soggy. Unfortunately, they don't sell gluten free crusts at the grocery store, so this time around I made it with wheat ones. I'm going to try to hit a specialty shop for gluten free ones the next time I make it.

While the crusts were in the oven, I cooked the bacon a little. I used a bacon similar to back bacon in Canada, so not much fat. Then I added the onion, green pepper and mushrooms to the pan and cooked until the veggies were how I wanted them. I seasoned with salt and pepper.

Once the crusts had come out of the oven, I let them cool a little to crisp them up and then spooned the veggie and bacon mixture equally into the two pans. I'm sure if you made your own crust in a larger pan, you could make just 1 big quiche.

Then I beat the eggs in a bowl and added the coconut milk. I whipped until nice and smooth and then poured it over the mixture in the pan. I put a few pieces of fresh basil on the top and popped them in the oven.

I baked it at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes, or until a fork inserted in the middle came out clean.

I served it pretty much right away with a yummy rocket and spinach salad with goat fetta, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and a herb and olive oil dressing.

Delicious! A definite make again recipe! :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hello, Sunshine!

It really felt like spring this weekend, with temps hitting 21 degrees Celsius, so we hit the beach for a little fun! Jesse was more than willing to tag along. I love the way his tongue is sticking out in this picture:)
I can't tell you how nice it felt to feel the warm sunshine again. I have found winter in Melbourne to be very gloomy, gray, damp and depressing. I think the fact that I haven't been working didn't help, but this weekend I really felt much more like myself. I love that spring finally feels like it's here and there is so much to look forward to in the coming months!
Pretty beach boxes. Lots of people using them today! You should have seen the ice cream shops...super long lines! I guess lots of people are glad to see the sunshine too!
Jesse and I having a play on the beach.
Steve playing Jesse out. He was one tired puppy!

Ah, good ole fish and chips. Gotta love the summery junk food that tastes so good with a cold drink on a sunny, warm day!

Hello, Spring! Boy, am I glad to see you! :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kangaroo Island

Lisa (cousin) and I went to Kangaroo Island for 5 days, we drove up alone the Great Ocean Road, then into South Australia to catch a ferry to Kangaroo Island. I'll post some more details later but here are some pics from the trip....
If you ever come to Australia, or you live here now, please visit this island......take your camping gear, bring some warm clothes and enjoy one of the most amazing places I've been to since moving to Australia....

Steve (loves lamb chops) Dickinson


I've thought for a long time that I should be a vegetarian. A really long time. I'm a serious animal lover and often read things that leave me feeling sick to my stomach over the way animals are treated, particularly chickens and pigs. I won't go into the details but it's very sad and worth knowing if you care about where your food comes from.

The problems with me becoming a vegetarian are... diet consists of a fare bit of meat because there are so many other foods I can't eat due to food sensitivities...

...common meat substitutes like tofu are made of soy, a food that gives me a big tummy ache...

...I have very low iron on a good day and truly need all the iron I can get in my diet...I know there are other foods high in iron, I eat those too! Like I said, I need all the iron I can get! I'm determined to live a life without iron injections, iron infusions and iron supplements.

...I really do like meat. Just being honest.

So, I've concluded being a vegetarian isn't really for me at this stage in my life but I'm thinking there are options, right? I think the idea of Meatless Monday is a great idea, in regards to doing my small part to help with the environment but what about the animals that suffer everywhere so I can buy meat cheap at the grocery store to throw on the bbq? Which has lead me to think it's worth knowing where your meat comes from...

Organic, free range meat is much more expensive but cutting back on meat slightly is an option for me, hence Meatless Monday. So, while I might pay more for organic, free range chicken (for example) from a respected butcher, I would know I'm getting healthier meat for my body (Hello! Have you read about the hormones in chicken??) and supporting a farmer/rancher that respects animals and gives them a good life.

I haven't decided if this is something I want to commit to just yet, so I'm wondering, what are your thoughts?

...How many of you buy organic, free range meat?...

...Do you know a good, respectable butcher in your area?...

...Are you concerned about this at all or haven't really thought about it?...

...Are you a vegetarian?...

I'd love to hear your thoughts! Thanks for reading. I always feel better after blogging my thoughts and getting them out of my head! :)

Photo found here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Time out.

Just want to let you know that I'll be away from this space for the next couple of days. Can you believe that I'm still sick? I went back to the doctor today and I have to repeat both types of antibiotics and start using a puffer for my cough. I have been coughing so hard, I managed to crack (possibly even fracture!) a rib. I didn't even know that was possible but it sure does explain the horrible pain I've been having in my left ribs! Steve and his cousin are away until Tuesday night on a little Aussie adventure (so sad to be missing it!) and I think I'll take advantage of the down time with lots of rest and puppy cuddles. Hopefully, I'll be back next week feeling much more myself! Have a great weekend everyone! xo

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Look who had a birthday last week...

Jesse turned 9 on the 10th of September. They grow up so fast, don't they? It honestly blows my mind that we've had him for 9 years! So much has happened in 9 years, yet it seems to have gone by so fast! Time really is the strangest thing. We love this stinky puppy so much! Yes, I said puppy. He'll always be a puppy to his Mama! We couldn't ask for a dog more suited to us....he's perfect, even when he's not! :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I'm Here! Hello? Hi!

Yes, yes, I'm here! It's been awhile, eh? Oh my, it's a been a crazy couple of weeks since I last posted. I went to Brisbane for a friend's "Hen's Night", as the Aussies say, a.k.a. a bachelorette party. Then, on my last day there, I came down with a terrible flu that left me the sickest I have ever been in my whole entire life! I spent 7 days in bed with a fever (7 days with a fever!) and flu symptoms and today was the first time in over a week (thanks to 2 kinds of antibiotics) that I was able to leave my house and enjoy a little fresh air. Luckily for me, the sun was shining and it was feeling like spring. I'm still not feeling 100% but I'm definitely on the mend! I should have known that making it through an entire Melbourne winter without getting sick would be too good to be true!

Here's a few photos of what's been going on the last little while...
I made my friend, Amy a condom crown for her Hen's Night. The goal was "classy tacky". She wore it very well!
The Hen's party was a great time. Amy was the best looking Bride-to-be on the block! We surprised her with a limo and spent an hour driving around the city, drinking champagne, chatting and playing a silly game that tests how well the bride and groom know each other. Then we settled in at a great venue on the Brisbane waterfront for drinks, food and fireworks, as it happened to be the Brisbane fireworks show that weekend. Good times!
Steve's cousin, Lisa arrived from Canada on the exact same day I got sick. Needless to say, I didn't get to spend much time showing her around! She did a great job exploring the city on her own and when Steve wasn't working, they went looking for kangaroos and other Australian fun...

Lisa is away in Queensland for a few days and then back to Melbourne. I hope to be feeling all better by the time she gets back. It's been wonderful having her around!

That's the update! I promise not to leave you for so long again without warning. I hope that you can forgive my absence more easily than my poor house plants have! :)