Friday, April 20, 2007

Ticking over, just

Mmmm, I'm a little quiet of late, eh? No excuses except the usual: baby not sleeping at night, busy exhausting days trying to entertain 2 kidlets, gymming as much as possible (getting fit and losing weight, hooray!! 10kg so far) and cooking lots of meals. Oh yeah, and the house renovations, which continue slowly but surely.

Check out the "kitchen" now.

The little box in the corner is the walk-in pantry, and the rest is where the kitchen benches will go, obviously. Maybe 3 weeks until kitchen joinery is installed, yay!!!! It looks unreal (I've seen it at the workshop in Glenorchy) and I'm so excited about how large it's going to be. The rest of the house is coming together as well, slowly. Bathrooms and laundry are other main overhauls, but the entire place is being re-decorated generally, so it's a big job.

I haven't eaten out at all really, apart from a few breakfasts at Machine on a Sat morning and Lansdowne Cafe when I'm in the neighbourhood checking on the builders. I seem to be dining out vicariously through Mum (Rita), sadly, at the moment. I will remedy this soon, I hope.

Some highlights of the last few weeks:

  • soothing organic facial at Sharkra
  • running for 40 mins on the treadmill, and still feeling great
  • fitting into a pair of gorgeous black pants I bought 2 years ago which have always been too small to wear
  • Miss 2yo muttering "fucking Jesus" under her breath (funny, but quite shocking)
  • 5 consecutive hours sleep overnight on Wed evening (thanks Lewis sweetheart, Mumma loves you)
  • creamy yet amazingly low-fat mushroom soup I made
  • new white-goose-down king-sized doona for our bed

Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

White Pepper

Am I the sole remaining fan of this delicious condiment?

I like it so much, I sprinkle it liberally.

And I prefer it to black pepper. It lingers tantalisingly on the palate and has a certain freshness of flavour that I find lacking in it's darker cousin.

Friday, February 16, 2007


Finally got out for breckie again this morning; it's been a while sadly. I have finally conceded that my children are not at good ages for public eating sessions; it's too stressful. So I am restricted (even more) in when I can get out for a review. Plus I'm attempting to lose a few kilos, so over-consumption is not an option.

Anyhow, I remembered Kaos last night during Master 9 months' 3.00am feed, and hatched a plan to meet my sister there for a mid-morning nosh down. I've not been to Kaos for about 2 years, and that was lunch if I recall correctly. I'd heard some mixed feedback about the place, but went with an open mind.

I liked it. The new outdoor eating area is pleasant, if lacking in sun protection. We sat indoors as it was fiercely sunny and we didn't have hats or sunscreen with us. It was 10am and there were a few tables already ensconced - a few couples having coffee, some girls with prams, some singles reading papers.

The breakfast menu was simple but totally adequate: organic muesli, various toasts, waffles with sweet toppings, eggs a few ways. I was sorely tempted by the smashed avocado on rye with somethingorother, and also by the fried haloumi with roast tomatoes, rocket and somethingorother. But in order to review on a level playing field, opted for my usual : the poached eggs. Always a good indicator, I believe, of a great kitchen is an ability to poach to perfection. My sis ordered scrambled with mushies. A long black for yours truly and a chai latte for caffeine-averse sister.

My coffee was Strong. Too strong for me really, but there was no bitterness so I was able to still enjoy it. I just didn't order a second. The chai latte was apparently fantastic ("as good as Oomph's, which is the best" says sis). A requested bottle of water and 2 glasses failed to arrive until further prompting 20 mins later.

My poached eggs were faultless. Great toast. The only minor irritant was that they were served in a shallow bowl, a pet hate of mine as it hinders knife and fork action. The scrambled were disappointing though: my sister complained of them tasting greasy, so I offered to taste test. They were indeed over-oily, in fact buttery as hell. Now I love my butter as much as the next (overweight wo)man, but god knows what the cook was thinking when these eggs were being scrambled. A shame, really.

The service was good. Apart from the oversight with the water, we were visited several times by two friendly floor staff who wished to ensure our visit was pleasant. And indeed it was. The cafe feels a lot roomier now that there is an outdoor room adjacent, and I would not hesitate to take kids along (as long as it wasn't my own 2 feral creatures).

All up, I am eagerly anticipating another visit to a new favourite!!!

Kaos Cafe, Elizabeth St
Score: 7/10

Monday, February 12, 2007

second drawer dilemmas

Here's the ugly fugly kitchen, as promised. In 3 months time it will be living in a shack on the Tasman Peninsula and it's replacement will be providing me with hours of pure joy.
My mum gave Mr Nellie a gift the other day. An egg-poachy gadget she'd spied in Norman & Dann and decided he must own. Now I don't wish to sound like an ungrateful daughter, god forbid, but I have a true aversion to these useless-and-unnecessary-and clutter-up-my-already-overcrowded-second-drawer gadgets. You know the ones?

Given that I am trying to rationalise the kitchen shit and throw out all seldom-used items BEFORE I pack up the old kitchen, the egg-poachy thingamijig is bugging me. Sure, it poaches the eggs well; Mr Nellie cooked me a lovely breakfast on Saturday morning and we agreed the eggs were definitely up to scratch. But it's just as easy to pop the eggs into the water sans gadget, isn't it?

If I could eliminate all the unnecessary clutter in that second drawer, I feel that my life would be changed. I would become less stressed. Less frustrated. More peaceful and calm.

First to go is the novelty potato peeler shaped like a grinning potato. Then the 6 gingerbread person cutters in various sizes: I suspect one might suffice. I also own 6 variants on the bottle-opener theme: ditto. The champagne stopper goes (pointless, as the bottle's always emptied). The whisks too; I never use them and they just get tangled in everything. Dozens of chopsticks, Why? I can never match a pair anyway. A tea strainer. 2x beaters that belong to a mixer I threw out last year. A garlic press I never use as garlic's best crushed under a knife. Weird little pate spatula things someone gave us years ago, never used. Various plastic paraphernalia.
Bugger. Just looked in the drawer below that one and realise it's just as chaotic. The baby drawer contains sippy cups of various brandings and spouts (teats, straws, Thomas Tank Engine, Wiggles, Nemo), dummies, assorted cutlery and plasticware.
This may take some time. So thanks Mum, for the egg poacher.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Kitchen dreams

My baby boy is 9 months old today. He's a gorgeous wee thing; well-nourished I think is the term. A bit like his mother in that regard. So happy birthday Lewis. xx

Mr Nellie took himself out for breckie this morning, bless him, and called me from the office to give me a run down of the event. For some reason he decided to re-visit Cafe Kara, despite having been sadly disappointed in his meal last time. He is a kind soul, my husband, and far more tolerant and forgiving than I. But he will not return to Kara after this morning's effort.

I would never(!) say "I told you so", but his rock-hard poached eggs that arrived nearly an hour after he arrived were somewhat disappointing. Apparently he enjoyed his coffee when it eventually arrived, but any chance of ordering a second was slim.

Ahhh, Mr Nellie, that'll teach ya for going out for breakfast without your good wife (who incidently had a couple of child-free hours this morning, and was perusing new kitchen plans over coffee at Lansdowne Cafe, SOLO).

Our house renovations commence in the next few weeks, so I am excitedly preparing for shifting the family up the hill (we have a house at Neika where we'll spend the next 3 months while the West Hobart residence gets tarted up). I feel like a kid at Christmas just thinking about my lovely new kitchen being built.... finally some bench space, a large pantry, shiny surfaces and an induction cooktop. Cooking might become enjoyable again. I hope so, because since we moved here 10 months ago, it's been painful and depressing negotiating a kitchen with no cupboard space whatsoever, approx a metre of bench and a 2 hob hotplate.

If I'm to be a professional Housewife (as I told Mr Nellie a few months ago) I need an appropriate space for my creative talents and energies. I need multiple sinks, a Liebherr fridge, induction hotplates, swanky oven, a walk-in pantry with a second fridge, you get the gist....

I will post my before and after shots for your viewing pleasure, OK?

Better run, poor birthday boy has been watching the same DVD for past 40 mins while Mother of the Year blogs away......


Friday, January 26, 2007

Just for you, Sophie

Well, Ive been a slack old blogger so far this year, eh?

I don't know if it's just me, or whether my kids are just extra full-on, but by god they wear me out. I am so fatigued most of the time that any more than a passing peruse of a few fave blogs and sites online is impossible. I love reading Foodkitty's tales, and jealously imagine how different my life might be when my kids are teens also: a drive up to the shack at Swansea will be relaxing and spontaneous (instead of ridiculously stressful and involving days of planning and packing, vast quantities of kiddy snacks strewn all over the car, crying babies, loud Wiggles music blaring from the stereo..... you get the idea). Mr Nellie and I will go out for dinner sometimes (wow), we might catch a film, maybe even fly somewhere for a long weekend lying around on a warm beach. The stuff we did PK (pre-kids).

Miss 2yo spent the day today wearing only a Dorothy the Dinosaur necklace and 11 Wiggles bandaids plastered randomly around her little body. The only thing she ate all day was a single sausage. Master 8 months produced a poo of such epic proportions that it justified a dedicated load in the washing machine. These are the issues of my daily existence. It's simply that tragic.

I have been out for breakfast 3 times this year. Twice I went to Machine, which I have previously reviewed and which is my current fave. I went to Retro about 2 weeks ago and experienced the most disappointing breakfast; poached eggs with yolks rock-hard. Inedible. I should have said something, made a polite complaint, you know? I was so sad and disappointed that my hour of "me" time had been wasted on a pair of overcooked eggs. I should have just gone to Machine and ordered the Eggs Royale; I KNOW they will arrive perfectly cooked and the service will be friendly, the coffee good etc. Damn you , Retro.

Like most of Australia, I am committed to getting fitter and losing some weight this year (3 pregnancies in 4 years does not do wonders for one's figure, coupled with a fondness for all things tasty). To this end, I have upped my personal training sessions to 3 per week. This is just killing me at the moment; I have permanently sore and stiff glutes, quads, abs, etc etc The best thing is that my pelvic floor's become strong enough again that I can trust myself to cough and not totally embarrass myself.

What a rambling post. But I feel better now that I've actually written something for 2007. Cheers.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas Breakfast

My mind is turning to the insane day that is commonly known as Christmas. I won't go into any detail of my intense dislike of this time of year. Just know that I feel there is nothing redeeming about it whatsoever apart from providing an excuse to drink a lot of champagne (yeah yeah, I'm still breastfeeding. He can skip a feed or 2 now he's eating solids.) I don't even like receiving gifts, as it's generally just uncomfortable pretending to be thrilled with something you don't want or need. Just gimme the cash if you insist on parting with it, OK?

But I digress. Back to breakfast, woman.

My sister and her husband will join me, Mr Nellie, Miss 2 and Master 7mths for breckie. I have been happily salivating over cookbooks and food magazines looking for inspiration for what to present. And made the lazy-ass decision to do as little as possible.

I have convinced Mr Nellie to poach eggs (he's ace at this, and mum's giving me eggs born within the previous 24 hrs so v.fresh), and I will cook the toast and even butter it. I will also bake some friands (probably raspberry as I have 3 punnets ordered from Hill St Store which will need to be used somewhere). I have 2kg box of cherries ordered from Hill St too, so the obligatory bowl of cherries will sit as the table centrepiece. Mr Nellie, the aspiring barista, will man the KitchenAid coffee machine: (note to self: must get some fresh beans - Jasper free trade - from Hill St on Sun). And some fresh juice.

It probably won't score terribly well on the Breakfast Blog review criteria, but I don't care. I'll be relaxed, surrounded by those that matter the most to me, and hopefully wearing a nice piece of expensive new jewellery courtesy of the Man in Red.

Hope you all have a good one too. Ho Ho Ho.