Monday, May 23, 2011


Im going to be cranking this on the way home... windows down, while I drive along the coast.

Suns out, another day thrown into the wind.

Happy days gang :D

free fair trade coffee!

Well today was a rough day, kids can be lazy and inattentive, and its a hard slog when the kids are feeling rowdy. However I managed to get through the lesson, and am thankfully feeling better hearing about the Fair Trade Coffee pay it forward day going on in NZ.

Basically, wherever Fair Trade coffee is sold, you can pay the coffee forward for the next person in line, or more if youre feeling like sharing the free trade love. A random act of kindness, supporting farmers from developing nations and raising awareness. Click on the link above to see the video about it.

If only kids could be so nice sometimes, to just do something nice, just cos. sigh.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

TED Speeches

An awesome speech by Jamie Oliver regarding the state of food labelling, and attitudes toward food in kids, amongst other things... Worth a watch when you have a second!

Pappardelle w/braised leeks/pangrattato - Jamie at Home

As a part of our organic delivery box we got a leek, and I didnt really fancy making leek and potato soup, which was my first thought (we dont eat leeks often - almost never) but I remember seeing this pasta dish on jamie at home, and thinking it looked good... so i thought id give it a go :) I have the book, but have included a copied and pasted version, heres the link for the recipe (the picture at the bottom is also from that website... again too keen to eat to remember to take pics!).

"I've called this great dish, with its slap-you-round-the-face flavors, "cheat's pappardelle," as you can cheat by cutting your own pappardelle from ready-made fresh lasagne sheets. Pangrattato is a rich bread-crumb mixture originally used by poor people in Italy for giving their food extra flavor when they had no Parmesan cheese.

5 big leeks, outer leaves trimmed back, washed
Olive oil
3 good knobs butter, divided
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
A few sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
A small wineglass white wine
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pint good-quality vegetable or chicken stock
12 slices ham, preferably Parma
2 (8-ounce) packages fresh lasagne sheets
All-purpose flour, for dusting
2 handfuls freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving

For the Pangrattato
1 small handful dried porcini mushrooms
1/2 ciabatta bread, preferably stale, cut into chunks
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 sprig fresh rosemary


Halve the leeks lengthways and cut at an angle into 1/2-inch slices. Heat a wide saucepan, add a splash of oil and a knob of butter, and when you hear a gentle sizzling add the sliced garlic, thyme leaves and leeks. Move the leeks around so every piece gets coated. Pour in the wine, season with pepper and stir in the stock. Cover the leeks with the slices of Parma ham, place a lid on the pan and cook gently for 25 to 30 minutes. Once the leeks are tender, take the pan off the heat.
To make the pangrattato:

Whiz the mushrooms and bread with a pinch of salt and pepper in a food processor until the mixture looks like bread crumbs. Heat a generous glug of olive oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic cloves and the rosemary and cook for a minute, then fry the bread crumbs in the oil until golden and crisp. Keep shaking the pan - don't let the bread crumbs catch on the bottom. Drain on paper towels, discard the rosemary and garlic and allow the bread crumbs to cool.

Bring a big pan of salted water to the boil. Lay the lasagne sheets on a clean working surface and sprinkle with a little flour. Place the sheets on top of each other and slice into 1/2-inch strips. Toss through your fingers to shake out the pappardelle, then cook in the boiling water 2 minutes or until al dente.

Remove the Parma ham from the saucepan, slice up and stir back into the leeks. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in the Parmesan and the rest of the butter. Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the cooking water, and add the pasta to the leeks. Add a little of the cooking water if need be, to give you a silky, smooth sauce. Serve quickly, sprinkled with some pangrattato, extra Parmesan and any leftover thyme tips. Serve the rest of the pangrattato in a bowl on the side."

Well... it was really really good!! as you can see by the reviews on the website with the recipe, everyone has loved it.

I used a stock cube, and it was a touch salty and I used pancetta rather than parma ham (either way, they're both salty) which adds to the saltiness. the leeks were creamy and so tasty, the wine/stock/pancetta combo is a real winner, and so so easy to make. I cooked up 2 pieces of chicken in another pan and then used that pan to cook the breadcrumbs in (bf tends to pout if theres not much meat in things) which was def a good idea as I had cooked up a bit too much spag... oops... the chicken was a great addition though it went perfectly with the dish. I also used marjoram instead of thyme as that was all I had but regardless, it was great. the pangrattato was awesome, my first encounter with dried porcini mushrooms, it was great, so much flavour!!

This is an EASY dish to make, and could easily be a storecupboard standby as it doesnt really require anything too crazy. Have read other reviews saying ppl were going to try it with leftover ham/bacon etc rather than parma ham, and i think theyd all be great. Omit the meat for my vege friends, as it would still be really tasty! A pretty fab, easy meal that I urge you to try if you like leeks!!

chicken wings from heaven!

Chicken Wings With Orange Tomato Glaze - Apples for Jam (Tessa Kiros)

12 Chicken Wings
110 g (3 1/4 oz) Light Brown Sugar
375 ml (13 Fl oz/1 1/2 cups) Fresh Orange Juice
185 ml (6 Fl oz/3/4 cup) Tomato Passata (Pureed Tomatoes)
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

Preheat the oven to 160˚C (315˚F/Gas 2-3). Put the sugar, orange juice, passata, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce in a pan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Spread the chicken wings in a baking dish just large enough to fit them in a single layer and pour the sauce over the top. Bake for 2-2 1/2 hours, basting and turning the pieces over every now and then, until the chicken is crispy and sticky and the sauce is a thick glaze. Serve warm, or even at room temperature.

easy, you pprob have the ingredients in the cupboard already... next time im going to leave out a bit of the sugar and add some orange zest to give it a bit more zing! we added some purple tiger chillies (little baby ones that pack a punch) whole, fresh from the garden, but with the tops cut off and punctured, it let some heat out into the sauce, which was perfect for me, and bf ate the chillies whole (and cried a little bit lol). Had no passata, used whole canned tomatoes (without the juice) just blitzed...

I served it with thinly sliced roast potato chips (that Steve made - delish) and broccoli - would be awesome with a crunchy salad or coleslaw with a zingy dressing to cut thru the sweetness/richness of the sticky marinade... will be making this again, the meat falls off the bones... make it!!

btw I didnt manage to get to get a photo of it... because we just ate them without thinking about it! Ill try to do better next time :D

Monday, May 16, 2011

Little moments that make my world...

a fab playlist from one of my fave music websites, 8tracks. Users log in, submit playlists with at least 8 tracks and you can peruse at your leisure, and find new music!

Do yourself a favour... listen and then discover your own :)

Long time between drinks...

It has been a very long time since I last blogged... I was living in this little town with not much to do really, but work, cook, watch tele and blog. However things have changed ALOT since then!

I was only ever on a temporary contract at my old school but was unsure whether or not I would be asked back - turns out the school had their staffing allocation cut, and no secondary teachers were hired, aside from the core they already had - so now with one less teacher, they're actually a bit understaffed. But oh well, I did a fair bit of relief teaching there which was cool, as well as at another nearby school just outside of Perth, who ended up offering me a whole terms worth of relief for a long service leave cover. Its pretty awesome as Im teaching English and SOSE which Im loving. The English not so much, as its quite specific and upon inspection of what I had planned to teach (with very little direction from the other English teacher - read, none) was told it wasn't good enough at all. However, no one has come in to tell me what I should be doing instead... So I'm just going ahead with what I had planned! The kids are a bit rough sometimes, but Im getting used to them, and them me. They're realising Im here for the whole term and I think they like me :)

Now because of the uncertainty of my work situation this year, and how much relief work I would get, or when/if I would get offered a permanent position, I decided to enrol again at uni, and worst case scenario I could study full time, get Centrelink and at least be able to pay the rent! Turns out I got plenty of relief work but hey, silver lining, Im now studying a Graduate Certificate of Behaviour Management and Im really enjoying it. Im finding the work really interesting, relevant and I feel like my teaching is improving because of it, which obviously makes it alot less stressful day to day! Im actually meant to be writing an assignment now, but the internet is failing me and Im feeling quite uninspired... I churned out alot over the weekend and am struggling to carry it on!

Another new addition to my life - a boyfriend, who I now live with. All happened quite fast - but he's amazing, and were both really happy living together :)

Thats about it for the update on my life at the moment, but Ill write more often and post pics of stuff n things...