Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bill Granger in Melbourne - Yummy treats

Mango Rice Paper Rolls

I have been very busy and tired. Year 12 have finally left the building. Well until their exams are finished. Yes, Food Technology is the one of the last exams. 

Fish cakes
Chinese custard tarts
Serving food to his guests at the book signing.
Bill Granger
The soup was served on wooden paddles

So, back to the food.
Tonight, the lovely Bill Granger from the cafes in Sydney, Japan and London and the TV shows and books was in town.
His latest book is Bill's Everyday Asian. This is a lovely book with simple and easy recipes.
You don't need thousands of essential Asian ingredients to make the recipes.
I have always loved his simple recipes and they very rarely let me down.
Chicken and sweet corn soup

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Howard's End - DVD & Simpson's on the Strand London

Howard's End  Recently re-released on DVD in Australia. 
What a dream cast. 

I have always loved E.M. Forster's books and  Helena Bonham-Carter has been in several Merchant-Ivory productions.

This is the new cover. It includes the original movie and making of the documentary. I have always loved this movie and I am really pleased it has been released.

 The wonderful Simpson's-in-the Strand is featured in the book and of course the movie. 

I was lucky enough to have breakfast at Simpsons-in-the-Strand in London in the Divan room in December. London was cold and was still recovering from the snow storm.

Kippers for Breakfast - the tiny tomato on the side was an extra  £1.50

Have you ever travelled to a place just because you read about it in a book, saw it in a movie or heard it in a song?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Finally, it is hot in Melbourne. The class room was hot, I taught the noisy class and then later the nice class. I lost my temper with several boys for fighting. The kids could not stop talking. They all enjoyed making Spinach and Ricotta Cheese Triangles.

Sticky Date Cupcake from Great Cakes at South Melbourne Markets

I could easily have consumed this and bought a bottle of wine. Instead, I bought a Kensington Mango and some Red Bean Buns for dinner. Now I feel better. Better get on with the Wedding Bunting.

I promise to show you the finished results on the weekend. 
Back to the gym tomorrow and back on the healthy eating plan. 
The Chihuahua and me are on a diet and the weight is slowly coming off.

Thank goodness, I can do something nice tomorrow for myself and recover on my day off.

Sleep soundly in your bed tonight Gilad.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Giddy up horsey - Hawthorn horses

One of ten life sized horses in Glenferrie Rd Hawthorn.
Carnival Horses for the Spring Racing Carnival

Last week when I headed to Readings in Hawthorn to a book launch, I noticed there were a number of painted horses in the street. They are all painted and on wheels. Some had been stored inside and others were still out enjoying the late spring evening.

I couldn't think why - and then it dawned on me. Melbourne is horse racing crazy at this time of the year. What other city in the world has a public holiday on a horse race. 

Yes, the Melbourne Cup is held every first Tuesday in November.

My Russian grandfather loved the horse races but you will not find me there. The only time I have  
ever been to a horse racing track is for a craft fair. Rosehill, Canterbury and Royal Randwick in Sydney and Caulfield in Melbourne. 

However, I do love the Carousel at Luna Park. Big Niece and the Boy want to go back in the Summer holidays, I will only take them if I can go on the Carousel. Sadly, when we take Year 8 at the end of year it is locked up for school days. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Button collectors fair - Melbourne

What does a crafty girl do on a Saturday in Melbourne when the sun is shining. She has to see as much as possible. Sometimes I visit a local Farmers Market for fresh organic vegetables.

This week I discovered the Notting HIll Neighbourhood House - Stash Busters Market.
Yes, I picked up some lovely doilies. 

Then I headed over to Burwood East to the Button Collectors Fair run annually by the Button Club of Victoria. Lots of collectable buttons and button jewelery was for sale. I paid the small entry fee and was asked by one of the organisers 'How did you find out about the fair'. My reply - ' I read about it on Curly Pops blog'. Organiser- 'what, oh that's too confusing - just put Internet - Sue'.

In the end I decided to buy a small pack of 1940's buttons from 'The Button Lady' who normally has stall at the Camberwell Market.

I was not ready to head home, so my last stop was to head north to Thornbury. 
I had heard of the 'made n thornbury market but had never had an opportunity to visit.
I also recently met the lovely Cathie at the 'Scissor Sharpening' afternoon tea.
 I had tasted one of her gorgeous cup cakes and knew that I would have to try something on her bakery stall. Would I have the goats cheese & sun dried tomato tart or a sweet tart.

The pear tart was my final choice and I was not disappointed.

Vale - Mr.Herman - May you rest in Peace!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Judy Book collection

A collection of books dated from 1923 to the present day 'Judy Moody' Books. 
Yes, my late mother started this collection and I add to it every so often. Most are pre-loved from Opp shops, second hand books shops, EBay and a few new.

Judith, Jude or Judy must be in the title and not the author. My favourites are The Judy Story - The Dog with Six Lives, Judy Lends a hand and Judy and Punch by Ethel Turner (Seven Little Australians author.)

I think I have a total of 32 including one children's book - Called Judy and the Volcano and a few Judy's Annuals. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Brown Owls South of the Yarra - Gocco & cake

Miss Jackson's Cafe St.Kilda Melbourne. 

The lovely Shannon (Twitter - ladygrey7) and Jess did a fantastic demonstration of their 
Gocco machines. As a Technology teacher, I shall have to give them a 10 out of 10.
They were organised, they had done their homework and provided samples of their work.
They had excellent colours to choose and lovely paper to print on. They gave us plenty of notice and told us to bring blank cards to print. I did. 
Shannon (accountant by trade) had even worked out the costs.

Tweet Shannon for her 'cheat sheet'. 

Thank you Shannon and Jess. 
(Next time I would cover the tables with plastic tablecloths)
Shannon demonstrating the use of her Gocco. 

Reads crochet Queen - sorry would not rotate
Jess's bear sketch
Miss Jackon's Cafe looked like a printing press.

Narelle's lovely Donna Hay- Yoghurt Cake - which we all LOVE.
Carried in by the lovely Lisa. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Give away - Japanese embroidery book & Ikea Melbourne

Japanese embroidery book

I have a few Japanese books and on my recent trip to Sydney, I had to make a quick trip into town to visit Kinokinuya. I mean quick because I had big niece (13) and little niece (4) with me.

So the first person to make a comment will get the book and some other goodies from the stash.

Today is my day off and after several loads of washing, cleaning, gardening and vacuuming, I finally went to the new Ikea Springvale  in Melbourne.

The new store in Sydney near the old 'Tempe Tip in St.Peters will be even bigger than the Melbourne store. I believe it will open later in the year.

 Apparently, there are 500 seats in the cafeteria and the store hopes that people will come along and have a meal then shop. I have only ever had a cake and coffee at Ikea. So, I thought I would give it ago.

I would only ever come here during the week. When the whole Super Center opens in late November, it will house at least 20 other large retailers like Harvey Norman, JB Hi Fi and so on.

So I lined up and studied the menu and the display cases. The food is not fancy but there is a range of options and size portions. I chose the kids sized Swedish Meat Balls, Mash & Gravy, Salt and Pepper Squid and a garden salad and Lemon Mrytle Pannacotta for pudding.

Whenever you come across a new Ikea Store, it takes times to discover where things are and this new store is quite confusing at first. There are thousands of places to park and signage is good in spots but not if you take the Warrigal Rd Exit. Once you find it, it is very easy to get out.

The entrance is in the middle of the complex and the Ikea check out and exit is on the Warrigal Rd side of the complex.

Swedish Meat Balls, mash and gravy.- optional Chips - (Kids portion). Quite bland and tasteless.
Salt and Pepper Squid - tasted like KFC
Nice garden salad. 
By far the best -  Lemon Myrtle  Pannacotta (mousse) - I really liked this.
 The cafe is clean and very child friendly with a microwave. They also have really cool tray trolleys. Oh, and if you clear away your own plates, there is a fantastic conveyer belt that carries the tray away to the kitchen scullery. 

Goodbye plates
Needles to say, I not a big fan of Ikea food.  I only really buy small items like bins and candles. I have some small coffee tables. I no longer purchase their furniture. 

I would much prefer to have a Vietnamese Pho or Chinese Yum Cha in Springfield.

I hope you have a good journey. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Book Launch & Bill, Adriano & Luke

The Exotic Rissole by Tanveer Ahmed
This is a lovely book about a first generation Bangladeshi boy and his parents. Tanveer's parents immigrated to Sydney in the 80's and he was educated at Sydney Grammar and Sydney University. 
He has worked as a journalist and is now a practicing psychiatrist.
This is a lovely book and it's nice to see a book about culture and identity from the Asian community in Australia. I have read lots of books from Asian writers from the UK. Tanveer's mother apparently made rissoles to serve at the Sydney launch. 

I love a good book launch, where you get to met the author in person and I used to go to regularly to book launches in Sydney at Gleebooks in Glebe or the State Library.

You can purchase their latest book or just listen to the author and they
will happily sign the book for you. 

I have been to a few in Melbourne at Readings in Hawthorn near Coles.
Often a nice glass of wine is on offer but when they invite a cookbook author
 they also have some food for you to sample ($20 charge).

Last year I went to the Melbourne launch of Kylie Kwong's it-tastes-better and Penguin books kindly sent me some posters for Kylie to sign. These are now in my Home Eco/Food Technology class room.

So when the latest Readings Flyer came through the mail last week, I was delighted to discover these Sydney boys would soon be in town. Well, Bill does come from Melbourne but has been in Sydney for years. So I imagine he still has family here.

Bill Granger

Adriano Zumbo

Luke Nguyen

Yes, I bought tickets to both nights. Imagine Adriano and Luke in one evening.