Archive for May, 2011


>There is a saying that is world famous in New Zealand… “You can’t beat Wellington on a good day.”
It’s true! We went to Wellington on Saturday for the Wine and Food Show, which was ok, but I don’t know that we’d go again.
Wellington however, is probably my favourite place in the world. It’s a compact, friendly place. And it’s beautiful. This is the view from our hotel window. The tinted glass makes it look a little dark. Actually it was the most glorious autumn day – the breeze a little cool – but otherwise PERFECT

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>Michele the Bodacious Boomer tagged me!  Eeeek! Now I have to answer some questions and tag eight (8)! new people, who have not already been tagged… I’m not sure I know 8… eek, the pressure…sigh…

Ok, so…
1. Do you think you are hot?
Not unless you count the hot flushes. (Too much information? – well too bad – I didn’t start this!)

2. Upload a photo that you are using right now.
Ahem, using for what exactly? There is the one I am using as a ‘before’ to spur on my new way of eating… and I’m showing no-one that! – no matter how much you tickle me. I’ve tried taking self-portraits to use as a profile shot, but I always look like an ax-murderer (don’t ask me how I know what an ax-murderer looks like), so this is the photo I like most right now…

3. When was the last time you ate chicken?
Tuesday… chicken thighs wrapped in bacon… I am loving this caveman diet. For more information see www.marksdailyapple.com. It sounds crazy, but is really working 🙂

4. What song/songs have you listened to lately?
Abba, greatest hits – as I exercised on my rebounder (rebounders (mini-trampolines) are perfect for me, as I have arthritis in my knee and hip since breaking my ankle in a nasty, twisty two breaks kind of way a few years ago)

5. What were you thinking while doing this?
I hate exercise, I hate exercise, I hate exercise….

6. Do you have any nicknames
I was (nick)named after a race-horse which had a name similar to mine…. and, of course, we looked alike – tall, long skinny legs, flowing auburn hair (NOT! – I’ve never been tall, long legged or skinny in my life!) … but she ran like me… slowly… so we had ONE thing in common. That nickname is my password on lots of stuff – so I can’t tell you.
Rick sometimes calls me Petal – but only when he can’t remember my real name…

7. Tag eight blogger friends

Well I can’t tag Michele… OR Susan…

Ina at http://glutenfreedelightfullydelicious.com
Sleeping Horse at http://sleepinghorse.wordpress.com
Emm at http://mydarlinglemonthyme.blogspot.com
Kim at http://keaslife.blogspot.com
Michelle at http://primaljourney.blogspot.com
Jenny at http://thebloggess.com
Tara at http://teaandcookiesblog.com
Tom at http://tallcloverfarm.com

Ok, so I cheated… some of these are people I stalk – they don’t know me hardly AT ALL, but… I was struggling… really, really struggling

Who is listed at number 1?
Ina – is my much sweeter twin sister. We have the same cat, the same pots and pans… Ina lives in British Colombia, does yoga and blogs about recipes and life. She really is a MUCH nicer person that me, but I love her anyway…

Say something about #5
I don’t really ‘know’ Michelle. She is a young New Zealander who has lost a ton of weight following a pimal/paleo diet – now she is encouraging other people to do the same thing. Check out her latest blog entry which has before and after photos of her friend’s weightloss success… that will be ME soon. But without the photos… 🙂 Inspiring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How did you get to know #3?
Reading a magazine in my doctor’s waiting room, I came to an article about Emm. Emm is a young NZ mum, now living in Perth, Australia (but we won’t hold that against her). Emm writes a beautiful blog about food and life.

How about 4?
I can’t remember how I found Kim. I think she probably made a comment to someone and I stalked her back to her place. We connect because we are both cat ladies. Kim has her own cats, but she still makes the effort to rescue waifs and strays. The world needs more people with Kim’s kindness.

Leave a message for #6
Jenny is a rock star in the blogging world. I’m too in awe of her, to talk to her – though I have (once or twice).  If anyone leaves me a comment I am so thrilled. Sometimes I even get two comments!!! Happy Dance… Jenny gets HUNDREDS of comments… on EACH post! She is awesome, and FUNNY! … and she will never see this 🙂

Have a lovey-dovey message for #2
SH you are a brave girl, sharing your journey as you cope with coeliac disease with such honesty. It isn’t easy. But your learning helps me learn. You have no idea how much I look forward to your posts (and I really hope you don’t stop blogging after the first year!)

Do 7 and 8 have similarities?
Both Tea and Tom are American. Both are sweethearts… both tell great stories and take great photos of their lives and surroundings…
Actually they are completely different. 🙂

TAG! Your turn xxx

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>Found it!


Do you remember how he lost the mouse?…. well I found it….  gaaarrgh! Peg on nose stuff. I guess this would count as Primal?? – NOT that it will be eaten!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Urk.

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Rocket (argula) nearest the camera, and Coriander (Cilantro) and parsley, on a table under the kitchen window. Coriander/parsley have survived having Percy nest his large rear-end on them…

The mint has recovered from a drastic pruning at beginning of Autumn.

They say rosemary grows really well in a place where a woman is in charge…. don’t tell Rick!

We’re hoping for carrots – cats and drainage issues permitting…

NZ native spinach, which has appeared by magic. You pinch out the growing tips and steam it – delicious – with none of the furry teeth feeling that you get with regular spinach.

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>Repeat after me


awwww – look at that face….. (say it in a silly, besotted, catmother voice…)

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>The only way this could get better would be to have it with bacon…

Beurre Blanc
1/4 cup (60 ml) dry white wine
1/4 cup (60ml) white wine vinegar
1/2 a small onion – thinly sliced
4 tsp lemon juice
200g butter – chopped and chilled

Put the wine and vinegar into a small pot and bring to the boil.
Add the onion, season and reduce the heat to low.
Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated – you need to leave about 1 – 2 tbsp.
Add 2 tsp lemon juice then strain – keep the liquid.
Return the liquid to a clean pot and bring back to hot.
Turn the heat down again and whisk in the butter piece by piece – wait until each piece is melted before you add the next – keep whisking.
Add the remaining 2 tsp lemon juice, season to taste and keep warm.

Pan fry your fish in butter.
Serve fish with sauce spooned over. We had ours with zuchinni, Rick had potatoes too.

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>Progress Report

>I’ve been hesitating to write about it – just in case I jinx myself…
I’ve lost 1 inch off my waist and 2kg so far.
I feel great. I’m not the smallest bit hungry, I’m sleeping really well generally (unless the students over the back start shouting at 2am – as they did last night!) and my tummy no longer looks ‘pregnant’.
And as an extra bonus – my elbow and shoulder no longer hurt 🙂 .  I ripped all the muscles in my left arm a couple of years ago when I shifted furniture in order to paint walls. I had physio, but it never really came right – until now. You don’t realise how pain affects you, until it stops – I know, slow learner!! 🙂
The weightloss has been completely painless, and my Mum is interested in giving it a go, so all is good.
I’m taking photos, but doubt they will ever be published! They are a HUGE incentive though 🙂

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>My job is simple

>Answer the knock at the window…

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>3 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
500g lean minced beef
1 garlic clove – finely chopped
1/2 a small onion – finely chopped (or 4 spring onions)
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp coconut cream
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp caster sugar
pinch of salt

Stir sesame seeds in a dry pan over medium heat for a minute, then add the cumin and stir until fragrant.
Put all the other ingredients into a bowl, add the sesame seeds and squoosh well together.
Divide the mix into about 16 portions and form into patties.
Put them in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Cook them for about 3 minutes each side.
Serve with dipping sauce, or just do what we did and pour some sauce over.

Nuoc Cham dipping sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar
3 tbsp water
a garlic clove – finely chopped
1 small red chilli – finely chopped (take the seeds out first)
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp fish sauce
Put the vinegar, sugar and water into a small pot. Bring to the boil, turn it down to a simmer and stir till the sugar dissolves. Let it cool, then add the other ingredients.
Be careful, this stuff is addictive.

Have left-overs for breakfast 🙂

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>Have you tried this yet?

 I keep reading about how fabulous Coconut Oil is, so I bought some… And it is! Such a subtle flavour. Some bloggers have mentioned eating it by the spoonful – I’m not up for that – yet – but I did lick my finger and it is really good stuff. It melts in your mouth like the best Belgian chocolate and doesn’t taste at all oily. I expected it to be a bit like lard, but it isn’t at all.
 I cooked last week’s liver and bacon in it, and I made a date and chocolate and almond and coconut oil thing yesterday (I know I’m dieting, but it was one of those days). I’ll do the recipe tomorrow – Yoshi has helped me eat some steak and is now asleep on my lap. It’s kinda hard to blog around a cat.

This picture was taken in summer, but the effect is the same

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