Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Why is it that with all the drugs and dramas of Amy Winehouse (who admitedly is talented), Britney, Mishca, Paris (all not that talented really) they survive to grace another cover but someone like Heath Ledger who I have never heard of taking drugs, actually dies.

It's all sounding rather a lot like River Phoenix. Someone young, talented, and much more troubled than they actually let on. The reports say that he was unconscious but still alive when the cleaner and the massage person found him. Wild reports are flying around of packets and packets of pills, research for a role playing a drug addict, secret saddness, years of hidden drug addiction, troubled nights from his role as the Dark Knight in the new Batman movie....

Whatever happened, he was a really really bloody good actor and it sucks that he isn't around anymore. I hope the people in his life get some peace and time to themselves to cope with what has happened, but sadly I seriously doubt that they will. Worst of all I can't say that I won't be devouring every morsel of information that I can find on 'Oh No They Didn't" etc, It's just too sad and wierd not to want to know.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Jenny and the Crane Kites

This is the painting I did yesterday, titled "Jenny and the Crane Kites". I painted the hill and the sky, stuck the rest on with jungle glue, et viola! A painting! Don't use paints much (read never) so was rather impressed with self and the way this one turned out. The girl is there as a placer at the moment, I cut it out of one of my favourite magazines. Will draw my own, when my skillz improve and take her off :P Although this painting is just for my house so I guess its ok to keep her on.


I'm sailing in my very first race tomorrow afternoon, in the three person Darts. Keep an eye on the harbour ya'll, I'm going to win!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

aaayyyiii wanna knoooowww will the rain ever stop???

Above is Voodoo Susan. She made her debut (very briefly) in the Hunter Street Mall today. A lady who works in one of the clothing stalls there is going to email me with orders with her because she thinks she's lovely. So do I ;)

Woke up, having prayed for the rain clouds to miraculously dissolve overnight, to a blustery seemingly wintery day. Packed everything into the car, itself quite a job when the wind keeps blowing the spare wheel closed. Perhaps I should explain that first, then you'll see why its really a two man job on a day like today. My car is a (soon to be unregistered sadly) four wheel drive Kia Sportage. The spare wheel is on a metal limb that fastens over the boot when it is closed, and the latch that opens it is located under the driver's seat. When its windy, like this morning, the wind pushes it closed every time I step away from the car, it then locks, and I have to run around to the front, unlock it, then hold it open with one arm while loading stuff into the boot with the other. I have to find an easier way of doing this :P Anyway, had sorted with my brother that he was going to come to the markets with me. Organised to swing by and pick him up at twenty to nine, so that he could help me unload and run the market stall... but he was still asleep when I was there, "oh f**k" said I, wondering how in the name of god I was going to get everything out of the car, unpacked, minded while I parked the car....

Ugh, I'm frustrated. My sister later told me that I shouldn't swear at them (twas at the situation-honest- not the people) and that he didn't like coming to the markets anyway, blah blah you're a terrible sister etc etc... the time honoured family "NO, you're not pissed off at us, we're pissed off at you!" rinse and repeat

So unpacked, stood nervously under the sort-of cover afforded by the market canvas structures, spray wetting my tiny paper cranes and felt creatures. Fretted, sold one creature, was rescued by the marvellous Case who bought me coffee and Who Weekly, then the rain intensified and my tiny patch of market stall was flooded and inundated... so I gave up, packed up and packed it in and came home to try to dry things out and salvage what I could.

From now on, no more marketing on days that are rainy. Too heartbreaking to see weeks worth of work getting soggy and ruined. Oh so wishing i had vodka to warm myself with :P

Creamy Chicken and Snow Pea Penne

Tenski felt like a creamy pasta dish last night, so here's what was cobbled together...

250g Gluten Free Penne (San Remo)
500g Chicken thigh fillets, cut into small bite size pieces
250g Snow Peas, top and tailed
1 ½ cups of Stock (Vegeta make a selection of gluten free stocks that are excellent)
¾ cup fresh cream
½ cup Parmesan, grated, to garnish

Fill a large saucepan with water, add a pinch of salt and cook the pasta as per the instructions on the packet. If you prepare the rest of the ingredients while this is happening, you should finish roughly as the pasta is al dente. For those of you not yet in the know, al dente means just cooked, because pasta, like the roast I cooked last night, keeps cooking even when you’ve taken it off the burner. Just the residual heat trapped within the food itself is enough to overcook it while it’s left standing, so if you can school yourself to take things off the boil just as they are almost done, then they will be perfect by the time you have everything else together and ready to serve.

Heat a large frying pan to just over medium heat and coat the bottom of the pan with a layer of whichever oil is your favourite to cook with. I love Rice Bran Oil because its very light and the flavour (unlike olive oil) doesn’t dominate whatever you are cooking. Since becoming a Coeliac and eating almost entirely unprocessed foods, I taste so much more. Strong flavours like olive oil and garlic I try to avoid, because they stand over more delicate flavours like snow peas and a beautiful organic chicken. So yes, rice bran oil or something simular for me. Place the chicken in the pan, cook until almost done (slightly golden) then add the stock and reduce the heat a little. You want the stock to bubble away until there is roughly a quarter of what there was at first (watch the tide line) to strengthen the flavour of the chicken. Then add the cream to the stock, to make a light sauce. I then season it in the pan, add the snow peas and pasta, then serve right away.

Let your guests do their own garnishing with parmesan; some people might prefer it without it. Me? I can never have too much cheese, so bring it on!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ooooh I so definitely have to see this show....

I don't know how many of you have seen the science show where they make working models of the human body and then disect them (that isn't how you spell it I know, but I am in a rush)... well it seems I am not the only one who thinks it's cool.... Jamie Oliver likes it too and has used him in his latest tv special:

One of the most amazing parts of the show is when the famous German doctor, Gunther von Hagens, performs an autopsy on a 25-stone man who literally ate himself to death. It's not pretty but I urge you not to turn away because the fascinating insight into what our diets are doing to our insides could inspire you to change your eating habits in a positive way.

Will have to ask the marvellous Ten to find it and download it for me :)


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What's it all about then eh?

Arruuugghhh have one week to pay for public and product liability insurance or I get kicked from the NEIS program. Tried to explain that I need the money from the grant to pay for the insurance, got nowhere.


Hopefully at Friday's markets in the mall I make more than I did last time. Only problem is, instead of being in the main corridor of the mall I'll be in a side alley. Am going to go to the butcher's tomorrow and get some of their paper so I can make massive cranes and hang them out in the proper mall with signs pointing to me. Will also take big scrapbooking paper and do some demonstrations. Most people seem to be able to pick it up once shown.

Trying desperately to believe that this business venture is a good idea. Ten the marvellous boyfriend is so supportive, but my family think I am wasting my time and am never going to make a living from art, toys and origami. Maybe they're right. If I stay on my current path, I'll be artistically fulfilled and able to study disabilities at TAFE but I will have an unregistered car and ever increasing indebtedness to my boyf. Or I could get another admin job, or something in retail and end up frustrated and bored again. Anyone got a magic fixit wand?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Keith and Mary’s 30th Wedding Anniversary Cake

For my parents’ wedding anniversary (Christmas Eve 2007) I cooked a Golden Butter Cake (gluten free and from a packet no less) as per the instructions. Before the icing solidified I decorated it with two silver foil origami cranes and some pearls that I picked up in the ribbon section of Spotlight. Et Viola, very impressive looking celebration cake.

Pan-Fried Salmon with Mango and Avocado Salsa

4 fresh Salmon fillets (or use frozen if you don’t have access to a good fish
2 cups Jasmine rice
1 Avocado (cut into chunks) the riper the better for the fruit in this recipe
1 Mango (cut into chunks)
½ cup finely chopped fresh Mint
2 tbsp lime juice (fresh or from those little squeezy bottles you find at Coles)
8 slivers of fresh Lime to garnish

Pan fry the fillets of Salmon a small amount of oil until the underside is crisp and golden, then turn over too cook the other side. You can cut through the fillet at the thickest point to see if it is cooked through properly (I like my salmon cooked through, I know not everyone does, but try it, at least for this recipe). Because the fillets are going to be taken apart for this recipe anyway, it doesn’t matter if you mess things up while you’re cooking it. Once cooked to your satisfaction, take the fillets out and drain on paper towel, then use a fork to gently pull the salmon apart, removing any bones and separating it into bite size chunks.

While the salmon is cooking, put the rice on to boil and make the salsa. Combine the avocado, mango, lime juice and mint in a bowl and mix together until blended nicely.

When everything is ready, spoon a generous serve of rice onto each plate (or bowl), add the salmon and then spoon the salsa on the top. The point of breaking apart the salmon and serving it with a salsa is to create a harmonized dish. By itself, mango really doesn’t do much for me, but on a fork with avocado, salmon, mint and rice, its bliss. Garnish each dish with a couple of slivers of lime and you have an awesome summer dinner.

Adaption of Neil Perry’s Pan Fried Chicken Breast with Tzatziki from Good Food


4 Chicken Breasts (flattened slightly with a meat mallet and seasoned with sea salt and cracked pepper).
Alfa One 100% Pure Rice Bran Oil
2 tbsp butter (use margarine if you really must)
Baked Kipfler potatoes (see recipe)
Steamed vegetables (beans, carrot, snow peas)
Small tub of Tzatziki (I could make this myself, but the stuff they make at my local IGA is too good not to use).
1 tbsp finely chopped Dill (approx.)

Coat the bottom of a medium sized saucepan in the oil and bring it up to heat (medium). Add the butter and when it has melted and changed to golden brown in colour it’s time to add the chicken breasts. Cook these for about 3 mins before lifting the edge of the chicken with a spatula to check if the underside is browning yet. If so, turn the chicken and cook for another 3 mins. When the chicken is cooked, drain on paper towel. If you’re nervous around chicken, unsure of your own ability to judge it’s readiness, take a piece from the pan and cut it through at it’s thickest to see if it is cooked through.

Divide the chicken onto four plates and spoon a generous portion of tzatziki on the top. Sprinkle the dill on top of this, serve each plate with a portion of steamed vegetables and baked potatoes.

If this is all sounding like a bit too much work you can take the baked potatoes out of the equation. I think that they were included in the original recipe for textural purposes. Boiled potatoes would work almost as well, they just wouldn’t taste as good. Also, if you boil potatoes in a stacked saucepan like I have, then you can add the vegies in the last few minutes. Much less washing up :P

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Top Ten Wierdest Restaurants

Courtesy of the ever amusing Zoo Magazine (I read it for the articles) I came across a very strange little website called Trifter that had been kind enough to publish a list of the top 10 wierd restaurants. My personal favourite? I guess the toilet one pictured above, for sheer gross out value. Not sure that I would be able to eat there though....

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Anthony Bourdain's Pet Hates

Pea soup topped with truffle oil: Truffle oil is the lazy chef's way to add value, by which I mean charge more.

Mesquite-grilled Amish organic free-range chicken, served with Fijian mango chutney and accompanied by foraged mushrooms: It should never take longer to describe your dish than to eat it. Mango chutney was innovative when Bobby Flay did it in 1978. Foraged mushrooms? Amish chicken? Who gives a shit about who picked the mushrooms or if the people who raised the chicken wear bonnets?

Wasabi-crusted salmon with orange-ginger coulis: Unless it's bread, pizza, or pie, it shouldn't have a crust.

Cruelty-free Berkshire pork with shallot reduction and Yukon potato gnocchi: Nobody wants to be cruel, but you did kill the thing—what's cruelty-free about that?

YOU GOT SERVED Anthony BourdainCayenne pepper-infused, freeze-dried chocolate nuggets bathed in marshmallow-star anise foam: There are maybe two or three decent practitioners of molecular gastronomy in the world, so unless your name is Ferran AdriĆ , leave the foam on your latte.

Be sure to sample our selection of flavored salts, and please await the water sommelier: A chef who offers anything other than sea salt probably refers to himself in the third person. When the water sommelier comes over, I reach for my gun.

Chocolate martini: Both chocolate and liquor are good in bars, but ordering them together announces that you don't like or appreciate either. Anyone who requests this drink should also get a T-shirt that says "I am an asshole, please take my money."

Top Ten Cooking instruments @ CHOW

Article is located on the CHOW website:


Some links to come back to later....

Plushie: an interactive design system for plush toys

The Linux free penguin project

Binkley: manufacturer of custom soft toys

Anthony Bourdain articles @ Chow

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Seafood and pesto pizza

GF pizza base (or Phonecian bread- which is a flat bread found in most supermarkets)
Sacla classic pesto
4 Scallops (halved)
6 uncooked prawns of reasonable size
3 rashers of shredded Prosciutto
about five biscuits worth of Brie (cut into small pieces)
Cup of grated mature cheddar and a sprinkling of parmesan
Sea Salt and freshly grated Black Pepper as desired.
The ingredient portions are per pizza.
Very simple recipe to make. Pre-heat the oven to 200c while you prep the ingredients, then slather the base with pesto, scraping off any excess so that a thinner crust does not get to soggy. Scatter all ingredients over the base evenly, then finish with cheese. This can be cooked on a normal oven tray, or a pizza stone (or old terracotta tile) if you want the base to be really crunchy.
For the love of god do NOT open the oven while cooking, so that a steady heat is maintained. Just look through the little window and only remove once the bubbling cheese slows and turns golden brown.
If you really want to spoil yourself, go crack open a bottle of Sav Blanc, best wine EVER for seafood.

Anthony Bourdain article

Found a new website called CHOW, a resource and forum centre for cooks and chefs. There is an interview with Anthony Bourdain there which was (as always) interesting. I found his book 'The Nasty Bits" in the Cook's Hill Bookshop this morning. I was selling books that I didn't want anymore, those read but not to be read again because they really weren't that good.

See the article here: http://www.chow.com/stories/10858

As always, instead of leaving with the full amount of money the books were traded for, I left with new books to read. So there's Nasty Bits and a guide to free and entertaining things to do for Melbourne. Have to prep for our holiday away, we're going to the Big Day Out, never been to that particular festival before. Melbourne I have been to, but it was only for a night to see the Phantom of the Opera, so I think some sightseeing may be in order ;)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year's EveDay Recovery Pasta

This is very rich so only serve it in small portions if you're not into heavy foods ;) Serves 2.

6 shredded rashers of Prosciutto (Don's make a GF version that is awesome)
San Remo GF Fettucine (half pack, cooked as per instructions)
1 chicken breast, cubed and cooked in fry pan
2 soft boiled eggs
About a cup and a half of extra tasty cheddar and parmesan, finely grated
1 tbsp classic pesto (Sacla brand is GF)
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper as per taste

Cook the pasta as per instructions, fry the chicken till lightly golden and soft boil the eggs (about three mins max.). Then mix it all together in a bowl and serve with an egg slightly messily sitting on top.

Tastes spectacular, but don't eat too much of it or you may hate me for making you feel that full :P

Mr Clement

Object of lust for today. Vaguely menancing, they look especially fabulous when there are a whole lot of them together it seems (see website).

Welcoming myself to Blogger

Well, here I am, having wondered where all the crafty people have gone to blog and done a bit of interweb excursioning.
This post was really just to test how easy it is to upload pictures here, and I have to say... its fantastic so far.
So what is this for when I already have an Etsy account and a deviant art space? For rambling mostly ;)