Archive for September, 2011


It’s a cyst!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nothing to worry about at all 🙂

He is home, has had a huge feast and is curled up asleep.

Thank you to everyone for your kind thoughts and best wishes XXXOOO

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We had friends around for dinner the other day. The Rugby World Cup is on in NZ and The All Blacks were playing Japan – so we wanted the dinner to have a Japanese ‘flavour’.

I also wanted something I could make ahead and the crock-pot is perfect for that.

3kg Oxtail (brown it if you want – the caramelization does taste good, but I couldn’t be bothered), 1 cup fresh ginger cut into matchsticks (yes, that is a LOT of ginger – I used this toy to cut the matchsticks:

My friend Kyoko’s mother sent it from Japan for me. They are now available here and are worth looking for  – I use it ALL the time), 1 cup gluten-free soy sauce – or tamari, 1/2 cup sake and 1/2 cup mirin (you can get both of these at the supermarket).

Bung everything into the crockpot. Add a little gluten-free stock and cook for a few hours.

Turn it off, leave it to cool and fridge overnight.

Next morning, take the fat off (there was HEAPS) and re-heat in the crock.

When it is done it will be falling-off-the-bone good. I served it with the bones (they are GREAT to suck) – if you need to be a bit posh, you can take the meat off the bones. We had mashed potatoes into which I had mixed 3 tsp of wasabi paste and a salad of pickled carrots.

I forgot to take photos.

There were six of us, and I had leftovers the next-day.

This is the dining room before the candles were lit… I’m struggling here folks… 3 1/2 hours before I can get Yoshi…

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This recipe has been lurking in my files for ages. Why ‘Miami Spice’ – I have no idea – perhaps someone can tell me? The chicken was good though 🙂

Chicken pieces dusted with gluten-free flour – goldened up in the pan, using some oil (or home-made ghee – can you see me shining my halo??)

Add 1/4 cup orange juice, 1 tsp diced chilli and 1/4 cup coconut cream. Simmer gently till cooked through (or bake in the oven till Masterchef Australia finishes on tv).

Serve topped with chopped, fresh coriander and grated orange zest on top.


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Ina and Me

My blogging sister Ina and I are starting to freak each other out. We have a very lot in common… if Ina has dimples, I will be asking my parents some SERIOUS questions…

Like, when dad said he had a choice of country (when he emigrated as a 16 year old from England [16!]) he always told us he chose New Zealand because it was the furthest away from his family in England… he could’ve gone to Canada instead… did he stop there on the way???

Like, when you told me you got me from the bears… (who got me from the wolves…. who got me from the gypsies… none of whom wanted me, so the parents took me…) was Ina already adopted? because she is taller and much sweeter than me…

She makes great food too. Ina posted this chicken recipe recently. I wanted to  make it and didn’t read through to see it should marinate 8 – 10 hours. I can report it tastes great even after 3 hours…

http://glutenfreedelightfullydelicious.com/  check out her Ginger Lime Sesame Marinade

Thanks Ina XXXOOO

I took Yoshi back to the vet this morning. I had to chase him to get him into his cage… he knew SOMETHING was happening, though I had been so careful to stick to the usual morning routine…

So, his stress levels were high and he shook all the way there. Poor little sod.

5 hours until I can go get him.

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If this is an example of Greek food – I like it! I already like Greek salad – the kind with tomaotes and cucumber and olives and feta cheese…. and I used to like baklava – in the pre-celiac, pre-paleo days… and my friend Vanda makes a marvelous moussaka, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised that I like this, right?

I made triple this recipe in the crock-pot. I used the last of Boris-steak which had proved just too well exercised to eat as a grilled steak. Slow cooked – he is delicious. Thank you Boris – you are much appreciated.

As an aside – I am thrilled to hear that Bull-fighting has been banned in one area of Spain. Torturing a creature for ‘entertainment’ makes me sick to my stomach. All beasties deserve to live as Boris did (in my humble opinion).

1KG beef – cut into bits, onions – small or big, 20ml red wine vinegar, 150ml red wine, cinnamon stick, 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ground cloves and ground cumin, 1 bay leaf, 3 cloves garlic – peeled and sliced, 1 tbsp tomato paste, 400g tinned tomatoes in their own juice – chopped, 1 tbsp brown sugar, salt and pepper.

Pile all this into your crock-pot, add some water or stock – not too much – unless you like lots of gravy (which I do – you can thicken it when it is cooked)

Turn the crockpot on and go and do other stuff.

Come home later to luscious smells. Cook a pile of cauliflower and broccoli, thicken the beef if necessary.

Eat – try to stop self from making mmmm-mmmmm noises. 🙂

Put left-overs into pottles and freeze for those days when you just can’t be bothered…


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After dinner, Yoshi comes and curls up on my knee. He stays there until he decides it’s bed-time. Stroking him last night, I found a lump. And immediately began to worry.

Worrying is what I do best. I have some experience of cats with lumps.

Bella had a lump on her elbow. They amputated her arm, having assured us it was the only lump they could find. She recovered really well.

Then the lumps came back.

Six months after the first lump appeared, she died – riddled with cancer.

 She was the sweetest little girl, and I can’t bear the idea of the same thing happening to Yoshi.

I took him to the vet this morning…. and we couldn’t find the lump!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He has to go back to the vet next week to get his teeth cleaned – that’ll teach him to worry the mama!

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New Zealander’s play with funny-shaped balls. Like this one:


I don’t really like rugby… though there are some good bits…

Last Friday, The All Blacks (NZ’s team [called that because they wear a black uniform – usually]) played Japan.

We usually get together with friends when there is a big game on – we have dinner and watch the game together. It was  my turn, so I cooked Japanese style food – starting with Okonomiyaki – which is a Japanese-style pizza. It is nothing like pizza, and I made little ones – which would scandalize the very traditional Japanese people, but which are much easier to cook and eat.

You combine finely shredded cabbage, a raw egg and some flour (I used a mix of rice and potato flour) and water into a pancake-type dough. You can add bacon, pork, chicken, shrimp, and any other shredded vegetable you want. I added some finely shredded pickled ginger (but grated, fresh ginger is also really good). Then you fry them until golden and cooked inside

Then you top them first with a special Japanese bbq sauce (which is not gluten-free, so I googled it and found a great recipe at this beautiful blog: http://from-japan-with-love.blogspot.com/2010/06/homemade-gluten-free-okonomiyaki.html)

THEN you put on squiggles of Japanese mayonnaise (the Kewpie brand from the International section of the supermarket is gluten-free)

THEN you sprinkle on some flakes of shaved, dried Bonito fish. It is really worth getting these (from the International section again), because they make nice little fritters, into something quite special.

They went down really well. New Zealand won the game 🙂

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The day before yesterday it was spring… briefly…

This is as close as they get, without trying to kill each other...

… look carefully, you will see Percy’s furry tummy.

The plants in pots are on their way…

... though Yoshi thinks the carrots need thinning, so he helps by sleeping in them...

The coriandercilantro and parsley have done really well, and this is our second crop of rocket/arugula

and the Tarragon which I over-wintered in the shade-house has survived and is shooting for the third year. I want to make lots of tarragon butter this summer…

And the first of the tomato seedlings has been re-potted into bigger pots and have been moved from the tv room to the shade-house. We have a bazillion more seedlings still watching tv with us… they especially enjoyed looking at the sparkly dresses on The Emmy Awards…

Yesterday it was winter again. Today we have more rain. I did a rain-dance to send some to Houston, Texas… apparently it worked – Michele says it’s raining there too… 🙂


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Plug in the Stars

My very dear friend Susan posted this today:



I just wanted her to know. I’ve plugged mine in. XXXOOO

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Random Visitors

I’ve had a few recently. I suspect some of them  may have meandered over to ‘visit’ my favourite people…

I think it is because of comments I made to this post, http://glutenfreegirl.com/warm-brown-rice-and-grilled-vegetable-salad/

Please take the time to read it. It is worth remembering, there are strange, sad people in this world.

I consider myself hugely lucky to have made some friends here, who have become very special to me. And I do not regret for one minute, the comments I made to Shauna – but I’m sorry if they have found you, through me.

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people move our souls to dance. Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon. They stay in our lives for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.”

You people make my soul dance.

Thank you. XXXOOO



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