Monthly Archives: May 2015

Monday Lifelines

It’s been ages, but here is a little bit of Kaz Cooke. From “The little book of beauty”.

Make lips look bigger by sticking an enlarged colour photo of your lips over the real ones.

Neatness is important. When you shave off your real eyebrows and draw some new skinny ones on with felt-tipped pens, make sure you have had less than five (5) UDL vodka and oranges within the previous one (1) hour.

Blusher should be applied either in big clowny circles or obvious swipes. This means you don’t have to change looks when your eyesight starts to fail.

For truly luminous skin, place a small, battery-operated torch inside your mouth and turn it on.

Get someone to smack you on the back of the head at irregular intervals. It opens up the eyes.

SATURDAY COOKING: ZUCCHINI AND CORN BREAD

Another recipe from the Womens Weekly food magazine ( I have been in a bit of a baking frenzy), this ZUCCHINI AND CORN BREAD is very easy to make and will keep in the fridge for a few days, although it is best eaten on the day it’s made.

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1 medium zucchini (120g)
2 cups (300g) self-raising flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (170g) polenta
1/2 cup (60g) coarsely grated cheddar
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
420g canned corn kernels, rinsed, drained
310g can creamed corn
1/2 cup (125ml) buttermilk
3 eggs
2 tablespoons pinenuts

Method:

    1. Preheat oven to 180°C/ 160°C fan. Oil a 14cm × 23cm loaf pan; line base and sides with baking paper.
    2. Coarsely grate zucchini, place in a sieve; squeeze out excess water, drain well.
    3. Sift flour and salt into a large bowl; stir in polenta, cheese and chilli. Stir in combined zucchini, corn kernels, creamed corn, buttermilk and eggs. Spread mixture into pan; sprinkle with pinenuts.
    4. Bake bread for  2 hours (cover pan with foil if loaf is getting too brown) or until bread sounds hollow when tapped. Stand bread in pan for 5 minutes; turn, top-side up, onto a wire rack to cool.
    5. Eat!

2 hours may seem a lot to bake this bread, but it works well, so stick up to the cooking time. I would add a bit of extra salt and cumin/ smoked paprika/ coriander.

Dag Deals of the week

Well, it’s been ages! So 2 for the price of 1 today!

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Pick of Frozen: can’t make up my mind between the quilt cover set or the cutlery/ plate/ tumbler set. All of it is absolutely ghastly!

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Pick of the day: I could go for the dog food. After all, I have been dreaming of dogs in the last couple of months: one was called Henry, the other Brollie (short for umbrella…). People who know me would say it’s a sign to embrace my inner demons and conquer my fear of pets…
But today, I choose the 1250kg engine crane. A quick inventory of my house shows I don’t have this essential piece of equipment, and I think it would fit nicely in my lounge.

Monday Lifelines

Jokes du jour.

Why is there no aspirin in the jungle?
Because the parrots eat them all.

Phone answering machine message: “If you want marijuana, press the hash key”.

My friend drowned in a bowl of muesli. A strong currant pulled him in.

Police arrested two kids yesterday, one was drinking battery acid, and the other was eating fireworks. They charged one and let the other one off.

HAHAHAHA!

FashionAdvisor: the Eurovision outfit

You may not be aware that Eurovision took place last night in Vienna, Austria. And if this the case, what can I say? Your life must be indeed very dull and boring…
Let me explain: about 40 European countries (including Israel…) compete in a giant song contest, trying to win a shiny trophy. Gigantic stage with enough lights to give epileptic fits to any sane person, performers surrounded by ice skaters and acrobats, wind effects in bouffy hairdos and songs ranging from electro beats to dull ballads to operatic tunes.
And let’s not forget the clothes! Sometimes, I wish I could sing and go on stage and wear one of those glittery feathery diamante plunging neckline dress with a train, a beard and a pair of Viking boots!
Alas, it will never happen. Live on stage. But, if I had had the chance last night, this is what I would have worn to celebrate the one and only participation of Australia in the 60th Eurovision song contest!

Start with a velours coat and a purse.
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Wear a sequin dress.
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Pick the right shoes.
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Accessorise with jewellery.
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Over-accessorise with a hat, sunglasses and a wig.
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Completely go overboard with cheerleader thingies.
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This will give you douze points for sure!

SATURDAY COOKING: SPINACH AND FETTA DAMPER

I found this recipe for SPINACH AND FETTA DAMPER in the latest Womens Weekly food magazine.
I served it to my neighbours with a Moroccan chicken stew (recipe will be posted at a later date) and it lasted about 5 seconds!
Eat it on the day you make it, and it tastes yummy still warm. It will serve 8 little appetites or 4 big ones.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium white onion (150g), chopped finely
300g baby spinach leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 cups (300g) self-raising flour
1/2 cup (80g) wholemeal self-raising flour
50g cold butter, chopped coarsely
1 cup (120g) coarsely grated parmesan
1 cup (250ml) buttermilk
1 egg
60g Danish feta, crumbled

Method:

    1. Heat oil in a large frying pan; cook onion, stirring, until softened. Add washed, drained (not dried) spinach; cook, stirring, until wilted. Remove from heat; when cool enough to handle, squeeze out excess liquid. Combine spinach and herbs in a medium bowl; season.
    2. Preheat oven to 200°C/ 180º fan. Line an oven tray with baking paper.
    3. Sift flours into a large bowl; rub in butter. Stir in half the parmesan. Make a well in the centre; stir in combined buttermilk and egg, mix to a soft, sticky dough.
    4. Knead dough gently on a floured surface until smooth. Press dough into a 20cm × 30cm rectangle. Spread spinach mixture over dough leaving a 2cm strip along one side. Sprinkle remaining parmesan and the feta over spinach. Roll up firmly, from the other long side; place on oven tray.
    5. Using a sharp knife, cut the top of the dough to make eight slices, without cutting all the way through. Brush with a little extra buttermilk.
    6. Bake damper for 40 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Stand for 30 minutes before serving.
    7. Eat!

Make sure you have everything ready before you assemble the damper, much easier that way.
Serve it with a nice soup or a dip.
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Tuesday Lifelines

From “1001 facts that will scare the s#*t out of you”.

And it’s all about food! Of course! But the scary side of it…

Rhubarb leaves contain a high concentration of oxalate, which is poisonous in large doses. The stems contain a lower concentration of oxalate, and also act as a good laxative.

Potatoes contain toxic compounds called glycoalkaloids that cannot be reduced in cooking. Consumption of high doses of glycoalkaloids can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and, in severe cases, death.

Apricot, cherry, and peach pits contain cyanogenetic glycosides, which release cyanide. It would take a huge dose to kill you, but there have been reports of children in Turkey suffering from apricot seed poisoning.

Overconsumption of purine-rich foods like lobster, foie gras, and liver can lead to gout, a type of arthritis. Attacks can last for weeks, and can damage joints, tendons, and other tissues.

Well, this is it!
Thank God, there is still butter, cream, chocolate and wine to make you feel happy and good!

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

SATURDAY COOKING: ASPARAGUS, ZUCCHINI & GOAT’S CHEESE LOAF

This recipe for ASPARAGUS, ZUCCHINI AND GOAT’S CHEESE LOAF is from the spring Coles magazine. Ideal to take away on a picnic or to serve as an entrée.
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1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
3 small zucchini, coarsely grated
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup self-raising flour
5 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup grated cheddar
1/3 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
120g goat’s cheese, broken into pieces

Method:

    1. Preheat oven to 200°C or 180° fan forced. Grease a 21.5cm × 8cm (base measurement) loaf tin. Line the base with baking paper, allowing the sides to overhang.
    2. Cook the asparagus in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 1mn or until bright green. Refresh in iced water, then drain and pat dry with paper towel. Cut a 6cm length from the top of each spear and reserve. Cut the remaining asparagus into 2cm slices.
    3. Combine zucchini, onion, flour, eggs, cheddar, peas, oil, herbs, sliced asparagus and half of the goat’s cheese in a large bowl and season to taste. Spoon into the prepared tin. Decorate with the remaining goat’s cheese and reserved asparagus spears. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin.
    4. Eat!

I used 2 loaf tins to bake this recipe, but you could just bake the whole thing in a round or rectangle glass dish or cake tin.
I squeezed as much liquid as I could of the zucchini (makes a wetter mix otherwise and takes longer to cook). And it took longer than 1 hour to cook in my oven.
I like the freshness of the mint in this recipe, so you could put more and I think you could also have more asparagus in the loaf. I used a mixture of fresh goat’s cheese and goat feta.

Wednesday Lifelines

From ” Løst in Tränšlatioπ” by Charlie Crocker.
About food…

China: Dreaded veal cutlet with potatoes in cream.

Hong Kong: Rainbow trout, fillet streak, popotoes, chocolate mouse.

Vietnam: Pork with fresh garbage.

Japan: Teppan yaki – before your cooked right eyes.

Thailand: Chicken gordon blue, pork shops, eggs scrambling.

French restaurant in Hong Kong, under “cheeses”: Roguefart.