Friday, March 30, 2012

My Ginger Cousin...

On Saturday morning, Liam headed off to work whilst I skipped gym class in favour of a lie in.  It's not my fault!  Bed is so comfy, it's near impossible to leave. 

I had booked a vet appointment though, so I eventually had to drag my oversized bottom out of bed and rouse the furries from their slumber. 

Mitzi was due for her vaccinations, and since we were heading along I decided to bring little Peanut in tow to get her tail checked out.  My cousin, Megan, who has recently come back to Australia for a 5 month stay, decided to accompany us and take care of Peanut.  I'm sure she regretted it fairly soon, as her now urine-soaked cardigan will attest to! What can I say? Peanut is not quite as fond of adventures as Bruce was!

Megan is, as our family kindly puts, of a very special kind...  Although she is a seemingly bright, Oxford-educated young lady, there are many occasions where she (self-admittedly!) fails at life.

This is one of those occasions! 

So, here's how the story goes... Megan is deathly afraid of blood and needles.  Miraculously, she soldiered on through Mitzi's vaccination like a trooper (it was just your standard injection, and the dog didn't even flinch).  Peanut's consultation comes and goes, and in my mind all is fine and dandy!

Not so.  I pay the exhorbitant vet bill, and turn to walk out of the clinic.  Half way out, I turn around to make sure Megs is behind me, and I see her steadying herself on the door.  A meek "I don't feel so good" escapes her lips and she scurries to sit down on one of the waiting room chairs.  I head off in search of a sugary drink and some food to help her.  It seems to do the trick, and we leave the vet, leaving the episode behind us.  Right?

Wrong.  Once we reach the car, I put Mitzi in the back seat and Megan climbs into the front with Peanut.  Clever Megan places her can of Coke onto the dashboard, and forgets all about it. Forgotten, that is, until it comes sliding off the dashboard and crashing down in a huge puddle of fizz on her lap!


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Weekend Full of Food

I was looking through my photos over the weekend, and realised that they were almost all of food!  So much for going on a diet. I have still yet to lose those extra holiday kilos, but finding the motivation to do so is proving to be a challenge! A hearty meal wins every time...

We kicked off Friday night by meeting friends for dinner.  I have been going to this restaurant since high school, and I almost always get the same dish!  It never fails to disappoint.  On this particular night, I was clearly feeling rather adventurous and decided to choose something different. I opted for the ribeye pork with creamy rosemary sauce instead. Luckily, it was a good choice!

Liam ordered the stonegrill steak - you get your choice of meat, and it comes out raw on a sizzling hot stone.  You then basically have to cook every bite of meat to your liking.  The smell that comes from it is absolutely heavenly! My friend G had never heard of the stonegrill concept before, and the look of terror on her face when the waiter brought her out her chicken raw was absolutely priceless!

After a vet debacle (separate post coming!) Saturday morning, Liam returned home from work and we tried to work out what we felt like for lunch.  At that moment, my mother posted a photo on Facebook, and my mind was made up!

My cousin decided that salmon handrolls would do the job, and although that would have been a healthier, more diet-conscious option for me, I knew exactly what I wanted! The beef teriyaki bento box is a steal at $8.50, so I decided to splurge and get an extra seafood salad to share with Liam. 
He chose another not-so healthy option in the form of a deep fried seafood bento box

After lunch, my mind went straight from food to... what else but yet more food?! I headed on a mission to the supermarket, getting all the ingredients together for dinner.  My Aunt is visiting from Malaysia, and adores a good home cooked meal so I promised to make her some of my favourite meals as a trade-off for the massage and meals she treated me to while I was overseas!

 Baked potatoes.  So simple to prepare, and a dish that invokes childhood memories of bike rides around the park with my father.  Every weekend he used to take me and my little pink bicycle down to a local bike track, and would follow me down the path until we arrived back where our car was parked.  Not too far away, there was always a van selling baked potatoes and each week after our ride my dad would treat us to a large potato with all the trimmings.  I remember sitting there each week with a large styrofoam box full of fluffy potato oozing with cheese;  the freshness of sour cream and the crunch of coleslaw in my mouth. 

Although my Aunt may not share the same memories as me, she now has a new-found love for baked potatoes in common! Between 7 of us, we manager to polish off 10 monster sized potatoes!
After all that nomming, you'd think the last thing on my mind would be food, right?  Wrong.

On Sunday, as I watched my mum prepare Monday's lunch for everyone, my mind was mulling over preparation for the second meal I'd promised my Aunt.

But before we talk about that, there are many reasons why my mother is amazing.  This registers only a fraction of the wonderful way in which she cares for her family, but is something to be grateful for nonetheless!  Here we have lovingly prepared salami rolls, with cream cheese, tuscan antipasto mix, and salad, all ready to take to work.  5 rolls, one each for myself, my brother, my dad, my cousin and lucky Liam! Biting into this is a surefire way to alleviate the symptoms of Monday-itis! I don't tell her nearly enough, but gosh I love my mum! <3

Anyway... back to Sunday dinner!

Moroccan spiced lamb, served with tzatziki, vegetable cous cous, tater tots and a rocket and spinach salad. One of my go-to meals.  So easy to prepare, but a winner with everyone!

Peppery chunks of meat, paired with tangy tzatziki sauce.  Fluffy cous cous flavoured with fresh vegetables, and the crunch of piping hot potato gems. YUM.

However after being treated to a luxurious hour long massage - one of the best I'd ever had - I still didn't feel like I'd fully repaid my dues to my Aunt yet.  Cue dessert.

Banoffee pie.  In my mind, I don't think that there's any debt that banoffee pie wouldn't be able to pay back.  Whilst I'm not sure my credit card company would share the same view if I tried to pay my statement with a slice of pie, I will still stand by the fact that this treat is worth a million dollars!

Crunchy biscuit base, gooey caramel toffee layer, a healthy (!) fruit hit in the form of sliced bananas, a dousing of chantilly whipped cream, and a sprinkling of chocolate curls. Honestly, what's NOT to love?!

So... after an indulgent weekend, it appears that my need to go on a diet is greater than ever

Friday, March 23, 2012

An Appointment with Dr Fish!

I'm trying to find the time to go through all my holiday pictures to share with you, but there are so many I just don't know where to start! Between multiple cameras and iPhone shots, it's a task in itself to just collate all the images! I thought I'd start with sharing an interesting experience with you...

The streets of Siem Reap are lined with sign after sign for Dr Fish. Our friend Mark always jokes "Those Cambodians give out PHDs like nobody's business - everyone's a dr!" haha. Also known as a fish massage, there are pools of water which are filled with hundreds and thousands of fish of varying sizes - all eager and ready to consume any dead areas of skin you might have!

Although I'd had a fish massage on a previous trip to Phuket, the difference between this was the sheer size of the fish! The fish in Phuket were tiny little tadpole sized things, but when I looked at the creatures swimming around in the water in Siem Reap I freaked!

Liam and I decided that we had to try it though. There are many places offering all sorts of deals; even throwing in a free beverage to sweeten the deal. However if that doesn't work for you, you can barter and bargain your way to a satisfactory price! We were given a rate of $2 for an hour, but decided that we only wanted 20 minutes for $1 each. Little did I know it would take the better part of 20 minutes for me to actually get my feet into the water!

We settle down with mocktails, and prepare ourselves. I actually requested cocktails, but clearly my cousin thought it was far too early in the morning, and ordered these delightfully fruity drinks instead!

Here's Liam, preparing to dip his toes into the water. You only need to dangle your feet slightly over the water, and they come swarming! Although you can't see it all that clearly, that is the Mother of All Grimaces (no, not the big purple monster!) on his face.

He bravely plunges his feet into the water!

I, on the other hand, spend the next 10 minutes just hovering over the water, and squealing my little heart out every time a fish approaches my little toesies!

But I get there eventually...


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

(not so) Wordless Wednesday : Brucey Boy

This Wordless Wednesday post is not quite so "wordless", but I think a few words are necessary.

On a bit of a sad note - our dear boy Bruce passed away while we were on holiday.

He was the most darling little thing, and used to love nothing more than a cuddle.  He'd lie on his back, tucked up in the crook of my elbow while I tickled his tummy or scratched under his chin.  He had no fear, and would even show Rocket who was boss, despite being only a fraction of the size of his opponent! I bet he's off having a brave adventure in Ratty Heaven right now!

So, I'd like to dedicate this (not so) Wordless Wednesday's post to a moment of silence for my brave boy, Bruce!  You were more than "just a pet" to us.  You brought us lots of entertainment, many laughs, endless cuddles, unconditional love, and constant companionship.  We'll always be grateful for what you brought to our lives, and we'll never forget you. 

Rest in Peace, little man.

Wordless Wednesday happens here, here, here, here, here and here

Monday, March 19, 2012

Back to Reality!

I'm baaaaaack!

Hope you have all been well over the last month, and been behaving yourselves! ;)

Isn't it funny how long the weeks just before a holiday seem to drag on... yet when you're finally reached that moment, they fly by and are over before you know it!

We had a lovely trip. Over-indulged in far too much food, saw some amazing sights, and spent some quality time by the pool sipping delicious cocktails.

Will post some trip updates and lots of pictures soon! xx