Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Qi Change

Has everyone has heard of a sea-change? 

From Wikipedia: 'AAustralian term, ultimately adopted from a term found in Shakespeare's The Tempest which describes a form of human migration that involves individuals abandoning city living in favour of a perceived 'easier life' in rural coastal communities.' 

There are entire communities on Australia's Gold Coast devoted to the 'cause'. The term 'tree change' has also popped up for those who want the relaxed vibe with less sand. 

I would like to introduce you to a new idea- the Qi Change. At its simplest, qi means energy; although there is nothing simple about the Chinese understanding of qi but I won't go into that here. My idea of a Qi change is when people choose to change the way they live, their priorities and therefore where their focus and energy sits, without the migration. It is about people choosing a way of life that is truer to self.
rainbow vineyard australia sky dreams energy storm

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Through a Sparkling Glass

Just a little post today to tell you about the most marvelous wine book.
Through a sparkling glass andrea frost book review wine writing

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Banter, blather and butterscotch {Banter Wine Bar Review}

Long overdue catch-ups call for a delightful lingering place so when I had to make the tough choice of where to go, I was glad that Banter popped into my mind.
banter wine bar glass red wine

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Rhubarb and Pear Crunchle {Recipe}

I am a cruncher. Lolly pops are short-lived with me. I like texture and jaw workouts. Making biscuits? Burn mine a little, don't give me those chewy numbers.

It is getting damn cold in Melbourne, which means crumble weather. But crumbles are often too, well, crumbly. I want crunchle- sweet fruit filling with spicy, textured, crunchy topping. Like dessert granola. Opps, I've just given it away. This is basically an adapted granola recipe (which means it is healthy right?)

I whipped this up when having guests for dinner after working all day and only arriving home half an hour before they were due to arrive. It is that easy.

Let's get started

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Phillip & Peaches

I wrote this three months ago upon hearing about the death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman:

Early Sunday morning Phillip Seymour Hoffman died with a syringe in his arm and empty packs of heroin nearby. Did he mean to overdose? Was it an accident? Was he aware of the possibility he would die and just didn't care? Was he depressed or was he celebrating? We will probably never know. A coroner will perform an autopsy and make conclusions that the media will dissect and people will chat about over Friday night drinks in between admiring haircuts and chastising hemlines. Just another name pronounced with finality.

Phillip's kids will grow up without a dad, perhaps defending him in the schoolyard because his was not an admirable death. But he did have a celebrated life. To most of us he had it all; an acting career, three beautiful children, and recognition of his talent and hard work. From a young age he also had heroin, and as it so often does, heroin won in the end.

I stopped writing because I didn't have the words to express the profound disappointment at another senseless death. Of course I did not know Phillip but his performances were so fiercely intelligent, truthful and raw that I felt like I knew him. I started to write this as an appeal to educate people about the dangers of drugs and express my concern that drug education is not being used the right way.

Friday, 9 May 2014

A little ray of sunshine {Sunrise Indian Restaurant Review}

I am starting to think that Australia needs to go the way of the USA with respect to tipping. For a start, hospitality workers here are not getting adequate compensation for their long hours and late shifts (I have talked about this before), but also the level of service being provided seems to be dropping.

I have had multiple conversations about service lately. Good service is remarked upon as a rare and precious thing. Which it is. I am not terribly picky and I quite like a bit of personality and quirkiness in a waiter/waitress. I don't mind if a waiter doesn't know all the answers or forgets a bit of cutlery from time to time as long as he is friendly and responsive when you try to catch his eye. Food (and wine) are important but service completes the experience.

We had been to Sunrise before and received lovely service from an enthusiastic young waitress, the food was excellent and the atmosphere friendly and casual; we had a fantastic night and vowed to return.

This time we went on a rainy Sunday. There were 3 other tables of diners. We were seated and a plate of papadums appeared instantly with dipping sauces.
pappadum at sunrise indian restaurant

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Photo Day in May

I am a people-watcher. 
There is a lot you can learn about people (and sometimes yourself) by observing others. I am also a terrible eaves-dropper, in that I am exceptionally good at it but feel bad about snooping (well, a little bit bad). There is a bit of a blog-trend at the moment to do 'a photo an hour' posts where you take a photo of something every hour for a day. That's right, people giving you permission to have a snoop into their life!! Generally they are filled with gorgeous pictures of breakfast in bed and cute dogs frolicking. My life is a bit same-samey to do these posts on a regular basis but I do so enjoy having a little snoop into other people's lives, so I though I might do one a year (or something like that) and have a little snippet of what my life looked like at the time. And because I like rhyming I decided to do this on May made sense at the time.

I set my alarm for 6:10 but hit snooze a few times so it was almost 7 by the time I staggered out of bed.

Ted ready for his walk

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Seeking Happiness

Rules for Happiness:
something to do,
someone to love, 
something to hope for.
Immanuel Kant

I think Immanuel  (an 18th century German Philosopher) was onto something. 

Last year my mum told me she was worried about me, that I didn't seem happy. Which was absolutely true, but then I couldn't remember a time when I was happy. I have had a bunch of moments of happiness, but by nature I am not a content person. I am really only at my best when I feel like I am achieving something and have something to strive for. Which is tough when you spend a heck of a lot of time striving but not yet achieving.

That is why, in January, when I heard about 100 Happy Days, I had to give it a go.

My 100 happy days finished on April 25th, which, in Australia (and New Zealand) is ANZAC day, a day of remembrance for those who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. Remembrance for me is about gratitude and respect (that is just where it sits in my head) so this coincidence resonated with me. Practising gratitude is one of the major things that they say ('they' being the ones who know things) brings happiness. 

I stumbled across this graphic the other day

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Dark Chocolate, Raspberry and Brie Grilled Cheese {Week 6 of The Grilled Cheese Transformation}

Twelve week transformations are tough. Twelve weeks is a long time (it is a whole seasons worth, think about how long winter feels!) and priorities can change. As such I will not be continuing with the Grilled Cheese Transformation. Grilled Cheese is not something that should be forced and, I have come to the conclusion that the most enjoyable cheese toasties are the ones you can make with whatever you have lying about in your fridge.

However, I will not leave you without one final grilled cheese extravaganza- The dark chocolate, raspberry and brie grilled cheese by Ambitious Kitchen. Monique's blog is a foodspiration gem with an enormous number of creative recipes for healthy food and a good little dose of really unhealthy but exceptionally delicious recipes (Nutella stuffed brown butter & sea salt chocolate chip cookies anyone?).

Dessert grilled cheese is not something I have considered previously. A major oversight. However, I do suggest that if you are planning one of these for dessert you put a bit of thought into dinner. Plan something light and healthy, like a salad. Don't hoe into one of these sandwiches after a huge plate of pasta, or steak and chips, or you will die. Trust me, I'm a health professional.

You will need:
Sliced bread (we had a lovely spelt sourdough)- lightly buttered on the outside
Raspberries (frozen are fine)
Dark chocolate
Brie (I used triple cream)

Load up your bread