The Story of Bananas

2 05 2012

010. Eat a banana [more info]

Image

Okay, so when I set myself the challenge of eating a banana back in 2010 it didn’t seem like too much of a big deal. I’ve never enjoyed the taste nor texture of a fresh banana, yet will eat them cooked or baked within other foods (I’ve even been known to down a banana fritter on a drunken night out!). So no big deal, right?

Wrong!

This was one of the more difficult challenges and one over eighteen months in the making. As much as I tried to eat a mouthful here and there (even while pregnant), they just weren’t palatable despite knowing how good they were for my body. I wanted to model healthy eating to my son Rowan, and showing him how to eat banana was no exception. So I faked it for a while, here and there, making sounds of enjoyment even though they were anything but. And then came May 2012. I was struck down with food poisoning and was quite ill for a few days and, when my body was ready to start eating solid food again, the only food that didn’t make me feel nauseous at the thought of consuming it was a banana!

So what did I do? The only thing I could do… I listened to my body and ate that banana. Every. last. bite (see above). And do you know what? It was tasty.

Since that day, I’ve probably eaten at least two bananas per week. It was odd in the way that it all came about, but I can consider this goal done. 😉

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Homemade Ice Cream

14 02 2011

014. Learn to make homemade ice cream [more info]

This was a Valentine’s Day project of sorts, as we don’t celebrate this day but wanted to acknowledge our love for each other with something homemade and yummy! Matt and I have been talking about making ice cream for a while now, and we were looking for recipes that didn’t require the use of an ice cream maker (as we don’t have one).

While I can’t recall the exact recipe we used, I remember that it involved fresh strawberries, lashings of fresh cream and milk, along with raw honey as the sweetener. It was a matter of mixing everything in together, putting it into a loaf tin and freezing (with cling wrap pressed over the top/sides of the container to stop it forming a skin). The result was like a very soft ice-cream (a semifreddo?) that could be cut into slices.

It was divine!





Foodie Blogs for November

2 12 2010

017. Try out 50 new recipes (18/50) [more info]

5 new recipe updates since last update –

15. Baked Savoury Crepes (20/10/10)
16. Berry Cheesecake (02/11/10)
17. Sausage & Egg Pie (07/11/10)
18. Cherry & Chocolate Muffins (16/11/10)

#15 - Baked Savoury Crepes (quite fiddly and time-consuming, but went down well with my husband and I. Due to the time involved, I probably wouldn't make them again)

#16 - Berry Cheesecake (Delicious AND easy...did I also mention delicious?? This was made for a Melbourne Cup Day BBQ and everyone loved it. Would love to make it again over Christmas if possible)

#17 - Sausage & egg pie (very basic - line a dish with puff pastry, add mixed vegetables and herbs, sliced cooked sausage and pour egg mixture on top. Cook for 25-30min)

#18 - Cherry & Chocolate Muffins (officially one of the best recipes I've tried as part of Mission 101. Sour morello cherries, dark chocolate chips and cinnamon are added to a basic muffin recipe before being baked for 20min. For added flavour I omitted a little milk and added some cherry juice from the jar instead...yum yum yum!)





Foodie Blog

19 10 2010

017. Try out 50 new recipes (13/50) [more info]

September was my designated ‘month of food’ (ie, the time to try out new recipes). It sort of extended into October by the time I had… well, more time up my sleeve!Here are some of the new dishes I made during the last six weeks:
 

#7 - Chicken parcels with roasted fennel and orange salad

Chicken dish: No recipe (contained ham, cheese, tomato paste and mixed herbs)
Salad dish: From Bowl Food (page 93)

The salad was time-consuming (first roasting the fennel, segmenting the orange and making a dressing) but tasted absolutely delicious! Very complex in flavour and there was (sadly) no leftovers by the time hubby and I finished with it. Mint added a refreshing taste to the salad. The chicken was a tad overcooked, making it dry. The taste was nice, but needed less cooking time if making it again.
Read the rest of this entry »





Because I Love French Toast

11 10 2010

018. Eat French toast in five different cafes (1/5) [more info]

I love French Toast. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside… the perfect balance between sweet and savoury flavours. My husband likes it plain, with salt and pepper – whereas I like mine sweet… honey or maple syrup with bacon. That’s right, bacon. Definitely a niche market, but it’s possible to get it in some cafes and I’ve made it my challenge to try it in at least five different places.

The love affair started when I was in Christchurch, New Zealand in January 2009 when I went to the Honeypot Cafe and nibbled on their french toast, served with lashings of syrup, bacon and a delicious cinnamon butter (not for the faint-hearted!), and I’ve been chasing the dream of an equally-good french toast dish ever since.

This weekend, my husband and I went up to Hall’s Gap (in the Grampians) for a wedding and I sampled french toast at the Black Panther Cafe. Despite waiting over half an hour for my food (given it was a busy Sunday morning brunch service) it was yummy, served with bacon on the side and a little pot of maple syrup. It lacked a certain something that I can’t quite place my finger on, but definitely filled me up (I had to get hubby to help me finish it!)

 





June Updates

30 06 2010

June has been a very busy month, with work and health dominating my life. However, these were just two of the reasons I put together this goal list back in January – so that when the big things in life felt overwhelming, it means time to focus on the smaller things. With that in mind, here are the goals I have been working on and/or finished this month: 

012. Cook with five unfamiliar fruits/vegetables (2/5)
I bought a bunch of radishes during June, and used them as part of a side salad to accompany a chicken and leek pie I’d made (not a new recipe). They were refreshing and I quite liked them. 🙂 

017. Try out 50 new recipes (6/50)
I’ve been learning to make – and have been experimenting with – making quiches. As it is Winter here in Australia, warm meals for dinner are always appreciated! I also invested in a stick blender (with a multitude of attachments!) at the end of May, and it has been a breeze making my own shortcrust pastry (which I’d normally make by hand, rubbing the butter into flour etc). I’ve also learnt the importance of making sure there’s no cracks and/or holes in my pastry… the filling leaks out otherwise, and you lose that lovely eggy-ness! 

Radish side-salad served with my homemade chicken and leek pie

Another new recipe has been parsnip and ginger soup, which I found on Jamie Oliver’s website… absolutely delicious! (I added a can of lentils for some protein; no picture for this dish, it looked pretty unappetising despite its amazing taste) 

028. Attend a teaching conference outside of the compulsory ones
This is a goal I can officially tick off my list! In April (I forgot to post about it during May), I chose to attend the AEU (Australian Education Union) Early Years Conference in the city, along with two hundred other delegates – some of which I recognised. While there was a lot of political propaganda going on (I usually stay out of that kind of thing), it was also quite informative with interesting presenters and a good lunch… food is always important. 😉 

Certificate from a recent conference

029. Get my paperwork ready to start emergency teaching again
Another big tick off the list… in Term 2 (April-June) I completed re-training in Emergency Asthma Management, Anaphylaxis Management and Level II First Aid. I’m just waiting on the certificate for the Asthma training course to come in the mail and all of my paperwork will be ready to go. Since I’m certified and up-to-date, I can consider myself ready to teach on Tuesday/Thursdays for an agency again… however, not quite yet (life is very hectic!). It’s nice to have the option though. 

033. Complete a ‘Learning Journal’ entry every week for a school year
Half a year of journaling is officially complete, with weekly entries being emailed through to the families I work with at the Kindergarten. I’ve also been working on developmental portfolios this year for each child, which has been very time-consuming. This doesn’t impact on my journaling, however. 

047. Get to 10 generations in The Sims 2 (3/10)
Would you still believe despite all my gameplay this year, I’m still on Generation 3? However, since G3 has been rather huge (most families have chosen to have 2-4 children each) the game is expanding exponentially at this point. I think I’m going to have to come up with another strategy to keep this manageable… I’m having lots of fun in the process of playing though. 

Teenagers in Generation 3 doing...well, what teens do best! 😉

048. Read 50 books (3/50)
I finished reading The Locus Awards: Thirty Years of the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy and, while I’d like to individually comment on each of the stories in the anthology, that would be very time-consuming. So I’ll list my top three stand-out stories as: Border Guards (Greg Egan), The Scalehunter’s Beautiful Daughter (Lucius Shepard) and The Day before the Revolution (Ursula K. Le Guin). An honourable mention goes to Even the Queen (Connie Willis) for managing to make women’s periods the subject of science-fiction! 

069. Organise my out-of-season clothing
Done. I unpacked the bags containing Winter clothes and found places for them in my wardrobe, while compressing some of the items I already had in there. Not the ‘space bag’ or clear plastic tub options I’d envisaged, but if it all fits, I’m happy. 😉 

075. Turn the second bedroom into a functioning office/spare room
This has been one of the biggest works-in-progress so far in my Mission! After listing some items on eBay (see below), I’ve cleared some space which will finally allow room for the computer desk in the second bedroom. I also cleaned and cleared away the desk area this afternoon in preparation for disassembling and reassembling over the weekend! Phew, is this actually going to happen?? 

A clean desk in preparation for moving furniture this weekend (hopefully!)

081. Try a new hair colour
Another goal completed this week, I’ve got both blonde AND bright red in my hair now (as well as a fringe – that’s what we call ‘bangs’ here in Australia). Pictures, or it didn’t happen… right? 😉

A new hairstyle and colours for me!

088. Meet five of my online friends in person that I’ve never met before (0/5)
I’ll be meeting a friend on Wednesday night for the first time in person from a blogging community we’re a part of. I’ll be introducing her to some of the other bloggers who live in our city, so hopefully it’s a good night.

094. Sell five things on Ebay (0/5)
I listed four items on eBay this week, with auctions to end on the weekend… fingers crossed that at least some of them sell!

Goal-setting for July:
I endeavour to work on the following – 

005. Complete the ‘50 in 50mm’ challenge
022. Drink 1.5L of water daily for three months (0/3)
031. Re-register for the Validation process
056. Make a photobook out of our New Zealand pictures
067. Clean out the pantry every six months and post the strangest thing found





Chocolate Cheesecake

16 05 2010

017. Try out 50 new recipes (4/50) [more info]

For Mother’s Day last Sunday I made my first-ever cheesecake – a chocolate, Baileys irish cream-infused cheesecake to boot!

The cake was easy to make (though a little pricey after factoring in the cream cheese, dark chocolate and cream – maybe about $15.0o?) but served the purpose well for being an entertaining cake. It tasted restaurant-quality to me, and I had a ball making it (and hubby enjoyed eating it :P).

 

This is the recipe I used (a scan from a favourite recipe book)