Friday, July 30, 2010

The Power of a Flower

Trudging out to the laundry yesterday in torrential rain, I can't tell you how happy I was to discover the arrival of my first camelia. Having watched my two camelias do very little but sprout leaves and get taller over the past 2 years, I feel positively warm and gooey when I look at my lovely first fleur. It's not particularly big and fluffy, nor it is perfectly white a la the Chanel varieties but it's real and it's mine.

When I last reported on le jardin, I may have mentioned my ceremonial planting of some new white Begonias... or I might not have, can't remember, no brain at the moment. Anyway, no signs of life there yet but stay tuned. And the lemons well they just keep on coming god love them. All this rain is totally their cup of tea.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cool Kids on the Piste

Well I've been hitting the slopes both here in Australia and overseas for a few years now and I noticed a real step up this year in ski chic, and it was the boys leading the way people. I saw so many cool young things getting about the slopes in the most amazing array of ski chic. Largely driven by those uber cool snowboarding kids, the latest looks were all about patterns, print and colour. BIG. LOUD. COLOUR.

I tell you what it certainly made queuing for lifts that much more bearable.

But if you're not of the knuckle-dragging persuasion, and you prefer the more refined method of getting down the hill on two planks not one, there were still some gerat looks to be worn. The best looks incorporated fur, block colour or neutrals and slim line cuts. As far as I'm concerned the pastel should not be seen on the slopes. Never. No need. Come on, get bold, this is your excuse to get a little creative.

As with every season, I am in love with and am coveting pretty much the entire Moncler range... particularly the hot Alpin jacket (shiny cherry puffer with red fox hood, oooh aaah), the Cluny (sporty blue perfect for real skiing) and the Tarn (saucy white sleveless puffer with fox hood). Check out the Moncler site for further inspiration

Monday, July 26, 2010

I'm baaaaack!

Hello to my lovely followers and friends and a very special hello to my visitors from the Russian Federation and USA! I hope you come again soon.

So I've been MIA hanging out in lovely Jindabyne and ripping it up in Perisher. Well when I say ripping it up, ripping up what there was... which was mostly man made snow and a fairly limited selection of terrain but nevertheless, we had fun!

Stay tuned for my snow fashion report along with various upcoming posts including Orsie's baptism and that highly anticipated update on my winter garden. Til then, ciao.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Le jardin d'hiver

This morning Orsie joined me for a spot of green-thumbery in our very overlooked "garden". I gave the camellias a quick prune, fixed up the lemon tree a bit and pulled out some dead herbs which died as a result of too much rain over the last few weeks. The bougainvilleas or bogans as they are fondly referred to in our house, are very much leafless and sad looking, (I'm hoping that they hibernate in the winter) however I can happily report that all is not lost in the winter garden: our parsley is thriving and our lemon tree is fruitful.

I plan on reviving the garden once the renovations are complete. There doesn't seem much point fixing it up a treat when it will be shortly covered in a thick film of dust and rubbish now does there. It's a small space but there's enough room for our BBQ, a little more storage in the form of a cool BBQ unit built in along the western wall and re-planting of all the plants. I'm thinking herbs for la cucina and lots of fragrant and pretty white flowers... ah... it's nice to dream. See lemon tree positively prospering below.

While I'm at it, here are a few pics from my Dad's garden last Winter in lovely Hobart.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Chicken Pie - Domestic Goddess I

Well, it's official. I'm a homemaker. Not only did I darn two pairs of socks on the weekend (seriously, do people even darn anymore?), but last night I baked a pie for dinner. A hearty chicken pie recipe courtesy of my good friend Nigella. Perfect winter fare. Yummo.

It was really easy, largely because I purchased a BBQ chook and used frozen pastry. Easy peasy.

Here's the recipe. And for those who asked for the Ribollita recipe, stay tuned...

Nigella's Easy Chicken Pie
60g Butter
50g Plain Flour
1 chicken stock cube
625 full fat milk
150g frozen peas (I did 1/2 peas, 1/2 corn)
375g cooked chicken
Frozen pastry sheets
1 egg

Melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Whisk in flour and crumbled stock cube. Off the heat add the milk a little at a time, whisking to a smooth paste. When all the milk is incorporated, put back on heat, turn up to medium to high but don't let it boil and stir or whisk constantly for a few minutes to get rid of starch in the flour and make a really thick sauce. Don't stop stirring! Pour the thick white sauce into bowl.

Slip metal baking tray into oven and pre heat to 200C. Put peas in sieve and pour full freshly boiled kettle over peas. Shake off excess water. Get pastry out to defrost. Shred the chicken and mix the peas/corn in with chicken and white sauce.

Line bottom of pie dish with pastry, spoon filling into dish and cover with pastry lids. Baste with egg wash. Put dish on heated baking sheet already in oven and cook til golden brown on top.
Enjoy with fresh green salad and vinaigrette.

Friday, July 02, 2010

I ♥ Pocket Bar


I got out and about last night and hit the streets in search of a little fun with the gorgeous Nicola. We checked out Pocket Bar (cnr. Burton & Crown Sts East Sydney) and impressed we were. Entering through an aluminum roller door, this place smacks of coolness. Pop art graffiti walls, mis matched pre-loved furniture, soft and well worn sofas, exposed brick walls and a very funky soundtrack which included everything from the Beach Boys to Usher.

The friendly, casual and young staff were attentive and offered table service (we love that) and the food list was a little different - they specialise in savoury crepes. But for us, it was all about the french fries. Perfectly crispy, golden brown and soft and potatoey on the inside and served with a slightly garlicky mayo - not quite an aioli but more zingy than your standard mayo. REALLY good. We also sampled the dip plate and the olives (sicilian). Beware they're crazy admission policy. They are only licensed to hold 80 people so even though it doesn't feel full, they'll cut off all new entrants and do the old "one in one out" thing... so if you go, get there earlyish on busy nights.

We had a lovely catch up shooting the breeze about work, digital media, families, babies and most excitingly, I got the full itinerary on Nic's upcoming holiday to Africa. Fabulous, it starts in Nairobi, heads to Kilimanjaro (yes, they're climbing it) and then to safari, then down to Johannesburg and Nic continues on to London to see her family. Sounds lovely doesn't it?

So the Pocket Bar is really fun, it's definitely worth a squiz, in fact there's a little cluster of fab little bars in that strip well worth a look.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Let there be love...

Can someone explain to me the big deal with allowing same sex marriage? We live in a so called civilised society where we teach our children acceptance, love and respect for others. We know that there are heterosexual people, homosexual people, bi sexual people, transexual people and probably more... but we can't accept that two people who love each other may also want to formalise that through marriage? What's the big deal? Surely adults are entitled to make their own decisions on whether they marry.

Why does government feel they need to step in and regulate on this issue? Apparently the new Icelandic PM Johnanna Sigurdaedottir, has just legalised gay marriage there. It's legal in 7 US states, Canada, South Africa, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Mexico City, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. But here in democratic and free Australia, it's not going to happen... yet.

Is it just because that's the way it's always been done? Is Gillard too scared to make such a bold change so early in her new gig? I accept and respect her choice to make public that she doesn't believe in god, but I'm disappointed that she will not revisit Australia's gay marriage laws. Why doesn't she call for public opinion and debate at least?

What do you guys think?