Sunday, October 23, 2011

Holidays

Greetings from japan.
S and i are having the greatest time on our second trip to japan so far.
We met up with our friend victor who we met in march after tge earthquake and have enjoyed traditional japanese meals in hidden locations, local karaoke, authentic bathhouse which was a big culture shock and now off to kyoto tonight.
Will have heaps to blog about and share on our return home.



Friday, October 14, 2011

Champagne brunch & Versace lunch

It was my sis in law's hens weekend last Saturday as bridesmaid, it was up to me to plan a special day.

After a few false starts, we finalised the schedule with a champagne brekky, massages at an amazing day spa (Splash if you're wondering), a gourmet lunch at Vie Versace then drinks and a waiter back at my place and on to Broadbeach for dancing.

This whole schedule was put together the week before as

the original plan was a day at the races however due to a lack of numbers and very poor weather forecasted, I came up with the new plan in a day.

The day was a roaring success and here are some brekky and lunch snaps:


Table set for breakfast

Flaschegeist champagne with 24ct gold flakes

Our table at Vie Versace set for celebrations

The duck on risotto

poached chicken salad with walnuts, rock and a cheese dressing


Seared prawns on squid ink gnocchi


Chocolate brownie - it was enormous

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Purple People Eater



Just joking... at least I hope I don't look like the purple people eater!

This is my latest Bridesmaid dress (not the best pics but you get the idea) - my wardrobe is starting to resemble Katherine Heigl's in 27 Dresses but lucky for me, I am now married so don't have to worry about the whole 'always a bridesmaid, never never bride'. I have been a bridesmaid 5 times and a flowergirl once so far.

Its my sister in law's wedding day on Saturday and we had our last fitting today. The dresses were custom made by the same dressmaker who did my sis' and my BM dresses - Shiraz Bridal. I think the dress turned out well and is super comfortable as it was made to measure which usually means no tugging, fiddling or adjusting.

They also did my wedding dress and I cannot recommend Shirley highly enough based on my personal experience with her.

Green Life Pizza Cafe

Not sure if I have ever blogged about The Don or Don Angelos as its actually called - more than likely but not for awhile I imagine. Anyway, The Don is a restaurant that S and his family discovered and introduced me to. Its a family owned authentic Italian restaurant with the most amazing stone fired pizzas and calzones, pastas to die for and your standard beef, veal and chicken mains.

Well sadly, the family that owned it originally went through a divorce and the restaurant was sold. Sadly for us, the food has never been the same and we don't bother going anymore.

So, can you imagine our excitement when my in-laws told us a few days ago they ran into the old owner while grocery shopping and found out he had opened a pizza and pasta cafe out near Mt Nathan along Maudsland Road - only about 20 mins drive from us.

Not one to let the grass grow, I dragged S and the family there for dinner on Sunday night.

Charmingly rustic, like a local cafe in a small Italian village, Green Life Cafe is set in a Garden Centre along the main road and is made up of not much more than a demountable and pergola. There are a few tables including a long communal type one for dining in and its BYO. There are no pretensions about George's new place but the food is as good if not better than I remembered and while we were the only ones dining in on Sunday night, there were a steady stream of people picking up takeaways orders - impressive as its not a known location and has only recently opened.

S, his parents and I shared a fettuccine boscaiola, a garlic cheese bread and a Casabella calzone (chicken breast, mushrooms, ham, salami, spring onion and cheese). The entire meal was only $50 and we left full to the brim with half a calzone for Monday lunches.

If you live on the Gold Coast, I insist you must check out Green Life Cafe - George's pizzas are one of a kind.






The Double Wrap

C and I are avid Mexican food fans - what's not to love... fresh flavours, salsa, sour cream and cheese?

I especially love burritos and enchiladas but am not a huge fan of tacos (the crunchy variety) as they generally break when you are stuffing them or fall apart the instant you bite into them and as a result, end up like a salad on your plate.

But in exciting news, just this past week, C introduced S and I to a new take on the taco.

First of all, she developed with the most amazing recipe for shredded chili beef containing all sorts of secret ingredients (that she later shared with me thankfully).

Then came the special sauce.... Byron Bay Co Jalapeno sauce - spicy of course with a hint of coriander. This sauce absolutely makes the whole meal!

And then the Double Wrap! Genius in my opinion ... I am still in shock that no-one I know has come up with this before.

Take a mini soft tortilla, spread it entirely with sour cream, salsa, guacamole and fine sliver of the aforementioned Jalapeno sauce then fold the soft tortilla around the hard one and stuff with meet, cheese, lettuce & chunky tomato salsa - see what I mean, GENIUS!

The combination of soft and crunchy along with all the other flavours is unbeatable and best of all, the taco stays intact as you eat.