Friday, March 29, 2013

The Gift Bag

I helped out a friend last year putting together some signage for a charity event he was doing. I did very little, I think I just taped up some signs to a frame. But he brought back a Ralph Lauren bag from a trip to New York as a thank you. So very not necessary, but very much appreciated.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Guess What?

Two years, two months and thirteen days after the floods took our little home, we were handed the keys to our brand new (and very high) home. It's been a long and sometimes hard slog, but we are very grateful to be on our way back into a place we can call home.

Personally, the last 803 days have taught me an awful lot. Gratitude, appreciation, patience, name a few. While it's something I feel I've been strong enough to get through, I don't think it's been fair on Josh. In his final year of primary school and the first year of high school, we've moved three times to three different suburbs while he still had to deal with his Dad's place also going under in the flood. But he's been an absolute trooper and it's fantastic to see him excited about having his own room again.

There's been so many people that have helped along the way. From those who came to clean up after the flood, to those who've helped out with professional advice and those who've just just lent an ear, I'm so grateful for it all and planning the gratitude party already.


Monday, March 25, 2013

The Wedding

Oh just the most beautiful and sweet wedding I've ever attended. Gorgeous weather, serene setting, lovely wine, divine food, good friends and most importantly, a loved up bride and groom saying "I do" in front of all the people they hold dear. It's really what a wedding is all about and was just the loveliest and the most fun!

My risotto stuffed mushroom entree
(everyone else has beef or pork belly)
Toasting the happy couple
(Moscato and sauvignon blanc) 
The wedding cake (whole)

The wedding cake (cut)

The photos the next day painted a picture of descent into tipsy celebration.

Before the wedding - sober

A few drinks with friends...

After a few more drinks...

Miranda and I...gone

A big hearty congrats to the happy couple. What a beautiful start to your life together. You sure put on a good party!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Pre-Buck's Dinner on the Coast

Q1 from the 35th floor

Q1 Lobby while I'm at Jac's wedding, he'll be at a buck's night down the coast for his best friend. They decided on a pre-buck's night dinner for everyone, which really is just a 'forgive us for what we are about to do' dinner. I'm not an idiot ;-P

I guess if you're going to try and appease us, you'd best take us to one that's been awarded a Chef's Hat, somewhere like say, Rock Salt Modern Dining.

It was awesome fun going down the coast for the night, staying at Q1, everyone sans children for the weekend. The food DIVINE, the service was great and the atmosphere was surprisingly pretty casual.

Roast Scallops, Herb Gnocchi, Sweet Corn Puree,
Forest Mushrooms, Porcini Cappuccino

Ocean Trout with Sea Scallops, Caviar and Peas
on Cauliflower Puree

Pannacotta with poached pear and lemon curd cigar

I got a drunken text the next night and a brief run down and probably sanitised version the morning after.  I guess what happens on bucks nights stays on bucks night. Lucky the memory of this meal was enough to tide me over for a while. Oh, and I was too busy eating and drinking myself at Jac's wedding.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pre-Wedding High Tea

Awww there's only a few days left until Jac's wedding and we held a surprise pre-wedding high tea for her last day at work as a single woman.

The gorgeous thing about a vintage high tea theme is that everyone can bring a mish mash of crockery and it all just looks beautiful together.

I'm thinking I might start a collection of mis matched vintage crockery from op shops and secondhand stores for when I have high teas at home.

Everything was so delicious and home made. Divine cherry ripe slices, mini triangle sandwiches and decadent white chocolate cake. My contribution was the cupcakes. I made the first batch and forgot to add one of the cups of flour. It sunk in the middle and looked terrible (but weirdly tasted ok). Luckily I had enough ingredients for a second batch because as usual I'd left it till almost 11pm to start. LOVE midnight baking!

Bahaha, Kirty couldn't make the party because she was in Sydney so we stuck her head on a stick and she managed to photobomb an awful lot of photos. 

Can't wait for this wedding. I LOOOOOVE weddings!! This one will be so much fun! I picked up my dress yesterday, ready to party! :-)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hoppy Easter

This is going to end so badly.

Every Easter my Mum sends us an Easter care package of BULK easter eggs. I'm talking packets and packets of them! It's seriously chocolate heaven. They're supposed to be for Josh and also for my brother and I to share amongst the five godchildren we have between us. My three godchildren are on the Gold Coast. The eggs have never made it there.

I have a wedding to go to this weekend and another in a couple of weeks and simply MUST fit into the dress I've bought for both. So right now, the eggs and I are in a Mexican stand off.

This is going to end so badly.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Japanese BBQ!

Veggies BBQing nicely...

I knew about Korean BBQ (and that's next on my gastronomic list) but I didn't know about Japanese BBQ!!!

It's novel and delicious! Win win! Nonbei Sake and BBQ in the Valley was where I lost my Japanese BBQ virginity, celebrating at a birthday party and eating BBQ deliciousness!

Salmon Sashimi
This was the salmon capriccio which WASN'T put on the BBQ, proving you don't have to cook everything here. Super fresh and looking glossy, it actually seemed pretty good value for what it was.

Wagyu Beef
There were 2 vegetarians in the party so this wagyu beef was not for us. The boys tell us it was delicious though. Will take their word for it.

Japanese BBQ seriously rocks!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Coffee Art

There was the sweetest barista over at Blue Sky Coffee when I caught up with my fab friend Robin Lyons from Simplicite. How cute is this coffee he made?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Vietnamese dinner with my bro

Had Vietnamese for dinner with my brother last night at Thanh Quyên in Darra. I asked for tofu rice paper rolls. How weird does this look? I don't think this is a regular on their menu. It tasted OK though.  Still prefer the ones at Happy Little Dumplings. My baby brother had the lemon chicken. He said his was great.

Karina the Yogi

I used to be a hardcore yoga fan, religiously going three times a week. Then I can't remember what happened, I think I moved away from my favourite yoga studio and then my motivation just petered off.

So as a result I think it's been almost three years since I've been to a class. Shocking! Now that I'm back in the area though, I've started going again and I wish I'd never left!!

A friend of my owns the studio which is a hot yoga studio - yep - warmed up with far infrared rays so you SWEAT!! It's awesome!

I missed the beginner class last night so took the next one, which was the intermediate class. Probably my first mistake. I just thought it meant that you could keep up, I didn't realise that most of the people there knew all the poses and moves by name and that some of the poses were, ahem, a little more advanced.

It was like they were speaking another language so I was always five seconds behind, craning my neck to look at the instructor to see what pose he was talking about. Embarrassingly I fell over a number of times and would probably have preferred if I never saw the instructor again, however he's my neighbour so there's no avoiding that.

I still felt awesome afterwards. I might just stick to my beginner class next time though.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Dumpling Making Night!

I was at Sunnybank late the other night (just for something different) and walked past a Chinese restaurant after closing. Sitting by the window were four people in animated conversation, making dumplings for the next day. I wondered if it was a family business as they were laughing and joking with each other and it reminded me of times at my Grandmother's home, when all the Aunties would make batches of wontons.

I was so inspired I wanted to go home and make dumplings all night. I didn't, but I did pick up some ingredients for the next night.

When I (finally) move into my new house I'm so going to gather all my foodie friends around the breakfast bar to make dumplings and then have a dumpling feast. In the meantime I had to contend with creating in my little kitchen.

We made tofu ones with water chestnuts, ginger, shitake mushrooms, bamboo shoots and shallots. There were also prawns ones for the non vegetarians. Steamed in the little bamboo steamers and served simply with soy and chilli sauce.

Sooo authentic!

I had so many ingredients left over so next are a salute to my dear Grandmother...and my stomach.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Last Supper

The girls and I had our last dinner before Jacqui's wedding and rather than our usual South Bank address we decided on Gerard's Bistro in New Farm. A few foodies had recommended it and it was a good choice!

It had a real 70s feel about it with wall wood panelling, polished concrete and retro patterned chairs. Cosy and intimate. Perfect for a last dinner as an unmarried group.

I'm so loving this share plate trend. We shared 2 vego plates, the spiced cauliflower and whole smoked eggplant and the girls also ordered the wagyu hangar and lamb loin. It looked and tasted amazing and pretty reasonably priced, especially as everyone was talking about how expensive it was. I think maybe it was when it opened and perhaps changed its menu to suit the market. I don't think Brisbane quite has the scene to support too many fine dining establishments.

Next dinner....Jac's wedding!! SOOOO excited!!!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Straight from the oven

Home made banana bread.
Warm, straight from the oven.
You're welcome ;-P

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Dining in the land of the giants

I've been hanging out way too much in Sunnybank lately and now I'm so accustomed to the massive servings at super cheap prices I'm struggling to go back to the "real" dining prices in the non-Sunnybank precincts.

Having said that, I do realise that Australia has some of the most expensive food and dining prices in the world and Sunnybank prices are probably on par or even expensive compared to Asian countries.

Still, behold, dining in the land of the giants.

Seriously, how big is this vegetarian laksa from Little Singapore? Noooo way in the world could I finish it, so I doggy bagged it and had it for lunch for the next two days. Cost? $10.90. Soooo cheap!! I was with four other guys from work and only one finished their meal. #AwesomeValue.

Me taking a photo of Matt taking a photo of his Supreme Mango Crushed Ice from Meet Fresh. This  was taken before he started but after he'd finished it looked exactly the same. He hardly made a dent in it and just ended up with an ice cream headache.

Another perfect dress?

*Sigh* found another perfect dress for the wedding. All sparkly and pretty. No do NOT need more clothes!!!

Friday, March 1, 2013

An eating day in the life of...

Some days are just good eating days...

Sushi at Sushi Mura. I felt so dirty cheating on our regular Sushi Station, but this was so fresh and cheap (not that Sushi Station isn't). Sometimes you just have to spice things up a bit.

Gelato from Sugo Mi Groceria in Oxford Street. The salted caramel is THE BEST!!

And then grab a decadence cupcake from the Oxford Street Bakery, it's Friday? Chocoately mudcake cupcake AND a macaron on top?? Sweetness!!

And then catch up with friends for drinks and dinner at Matt Moran's new Riverbar & Kitchen on Eagles Street overlooking the Brisbane River and the gorgeous Story Bridge. Ahhh....a perfect Friday.