nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Ladybirds)
I work on level 23 of a 26 story office building near the waterfront. Because there's another road parallel to the one my building is on that is a good seven stories or more above road level by my building, I rarely notice how high I am. Except when I see seagulls gliding below my window. One day I'll get a photo.

Cooked lots over the weekend (I forget what we had for dinner on Saturday night but also boiled a chicken for stock that day, gumbo using some of the stock and shredded chicken for dinner on Sunday), and cooked again tonight. I made this, but forgot to add the parmesan and butter to the polenta, so it wasn't as creamy and was a bit more lemony than I really prefer (I used half a cup of stock and some lemon juice and some water to make the polenta). Oh, and I used pork mince instead of lamb mince.

These things aside, it wasn't too bad. If the polenta was creamier, I think I would have liked it more. The flatmates seemed to like it though.

Note to self: do not leave prepared ingredients by the coffee-maker. You'll forget them.

Last weekend was the annual DCM bookfair. Normally, it's early September, but they had to shift it this year due to the Rugby World Cup and not being able to get a big enough venue during that time period. Worst weather we've ever had for it, I think. It was absolutely freezing. [profile] purplesparkler joined us for her inaugural trip down and we ran into [profile] darthsappho there. Both of them joined us for lunch at Leuven. I managed to get a small pile of Pratchett (for the first time ever) and Pegasus in Space which I was actually looking for, and picked up Connie Willis' To Say Nothing of the Dog, Paul Gallico's The Lovel of Seven Dolls" (which is creepier than I rememebered - and that's saying something!).

Work hasn't been too bad lately. I am gathering all the information I need to give to my responsible partner for my legal exec registration. But somehow it keeps getting put aside so I can do chargable work...

Am still having trouble installing Alice: The Madness Returns on Annabelle. I eventually worked out that I needed to upgrade my system, and figured I'd just go straight to Windows 7, but no, that didn't work. Have finally got XP Service Pack 3 installed (which it should work on) and am still having issues. I'll try again this weekend.

This week I have read two thirds of (and finished) The Bonehunters by Steven Erickson. Reading the Tor commentary is helping me pick out more aspects, although they're a couple of books behind — they've just started House of Chains. I also read Deceiver by C J Cherryh today - big contrast in writing styles!
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Snoopy Christmas)
Exciting news - I'm an aunty! My sister gave birth to my nephew around 8am this morning. He's two weeks early, but already 8lb8oz. Both parents and child are doing well. I haven't received any photos yet, but this is very cool. This is the first nephew/grandchild/great-grandchild in the family.

Today, [ profile] tamarillow and I were on pre-service coffee at church, so after the service we wandered to the Te Aro Community Centre and bought a tree, which was delivered this afternoon. [ profile] maudlinrose has photos of it here. It's in our usual Christmas tree style of decorating, which is to say all the ornaments and tinsel. I also put all my Christmas music on a USB, so the stereo is currently working its way through 1.66GB of Christmas music.

Seeing as I'm out or home late all next week, I volunteered to cook tonight as well. I made a mushroom and red wine sauce to go on the steak (it was yummy), barbequed the steak and the onions, and also made a spicy bean salad (who would have thought that sweet chilli sauce and cumin went together?). The dressing on the salad was a bit to vinegary for me, but [ profile] tamarillow liked it. I think there are plans to turn the salad into quesadilas for dinner tomorrow night.

Dessert was flambeed stone fruit with clove mascapone cream. It was very nice, and it's fun setting things on fire. The fire was cool.

After a not particularly brilliant week, weather-wise, it's been nice to have a day of lots of sunshine. I have left my windows open and the lights off, and it's about the right temperature at the moment.
nishatalitha: image: girl doing a cartwheel on a bench.  ferns in foreground that look like koru (Cartwheel)
Wellington has been gorgeous today. Hot and still - we opened all the windows and doors and only closed them around 8.00pm tonight. I walked down and back to my haircut and colour. I've got a couple of very white patches now; I think it looks quite cool, but the white at the corner of my eye is quite startling. Also, apparently you can get temporary dyes, so I can put in a rinse in a random colour and have it wash out the next day.

This weekend is turning into a foodie weekend. Unlike [ profile] exiledinpn, I'm too lazy to get up early enough to go to a market and buy lots of tomatoes to make my own sun(oven)dried tomatoes or panzella. I wish I was sometimes, but it's just so much effort. Maybe if I wasn't dependent on public transport...

We had [ profile] purplesparkler stay with us last night. Dinner was easy: we bought a chicken at the supermarket, a couple of pestos, a couple of cheeses, and some bread ([ profile] tamarillow's breadmaker died and although the new one arrived this morning, we did not have fresh bread to use), and the foodie part of that was experiementing with creamy cocktails. It also means we now have cherry mariner in the house. I'm not entirely convinced that I like it, but I'd like to find something to do with it.

A few bottles were finished (including the bourbon, which none of us like) and the shelf seems to be getting low, as we now need to buy replacement bottles of gin, brandy, contreau, and frangelico. We're not lushes, honest.

Tonight was the first barbeque of the evening. I burninated my favourite fish fritter recipe and was really pleased with how they turned out - when I next make them inside, I might have to try using the cast-iron frying pan instead of the big heavy aluminum one. Also burninated shrimp marinated in a oyster sauce, ginger and sesame oil mixture. We complimented this with fresh peas and a garden salad and a bottle of moscato d'asti.

Dessert will be pavlova. It's the first one I've made, and I have a feeling that I've overcooked it some. It's the Edmonds receipe (I decided I didn't want to try the Stephanie's Cook's Companion one yet), and I had to use standard sugar instead of caster sugar. We'll see how it turns out. This goes with strawberries and cream. Mmmmm.

The egg yolks have been saved and I think I will mostly use them to make sweet-short pastry. It's almost time to start making Christmas mince-meat tarts. The other thing I need to make tomorrow is chicken stock. We have two carcasses in the freezer and another in the fridge and these should be used up.
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (I have a sign)
This weekend has mostly been about food and the making thereof. We had friends around for tea and scones, followed by dinner last night.

[Unknown site tag] made the scones and I was flicking through assorted cookbooks to try and find a second recipe that didn't use white flour (since we'd run out), and from The Joy of Cooking (1979 edition that used to be my mother's), I found a recipe for corn puffs that we had all the stuff for. Next time, I'll reduce the salt content by half, but they were easy and tasted really good with butter. A make again afternoon tea snack, best served straight out of the oven.

Dinner was the brown rice, butter and parmesan risotto from one of Tessa Kiros' books, with a green salad and lemon curd and ginger souffles. Souffles were done before the ristto, so we had dessert first, as I didn't want them to sink. They turned out pretty well. I've made all these before, so there was nothing exciting about them.

I have also made three batches of my standard shortcrust pastry this weekend, as I also made mini-samosas. They taste delicious dipped in sweet chilli sauce, but are definitely a weekend project, what with the pastry and the rolling and the making up and all. A dozen and a half are currently in the freezer to freeflow before bagging, we have leftovers for lunch tomorrow, and ate them for dinner tonight as well.

As well as all this (as if everything else isn't enough, you say), I attempted lentil cake things, which didn't work out. They're like a really thin fritter, and I just couldn't get it thin enough to fry easily. In the end, I gave up. Oh well, it was worth a go.

As for my other creative arts, I did most of the crossstitch for another Christmas decoration gift, a few stitches on the dragon, and drew most of a page for the book. I take these into work and scan, so eventually I'll post the images before I start stitching and they're gone forever.

Read most of the book on the history of the Bayeux Tapestry which S. loaned me. A tad too art-history for my taste, but interesting nonetheless. I hadn't known previously that the wool was dyed before it was spun, for example.

Started a reread of UnLunDun, and and was distracted into five of the Pangur Ban (the white cat) books that are books [ profile] tamarillow loved when she was a child (this is why I didn't get to frisbee practice on Saturday). I can see why, and if I'd read them as a child, I would have loved them also. Now, I read them, and why, hello, Christian allegory, nice to see you again. Apparently there's a sixth, but [ profile] tamarillow has never found it nor read it.

Also read Pegasus, which is Robin McKinley's new one. It is very much the first half of a book (even more blatantly than Beguliement by Bujold is), and reminds me of Dragonhaven which came out a couple of years ago.

Finished a rewatch of the second half of Princess Tutu since I mainlined it last weekend, and felt the need to take it somewhat more slowly.
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (H2G2 - Style & sense)
My plans for this weekend involved doing as little as possible, and maybe some housework. Accordingly, in the way of vaguely useful things, I have only done the laundry, cleaned up the kitchen (twice) and gone for a walk. Oh, and I've cooked.

Dinner tonight was in reverse order- dessert first (mostly because of timing issues and starting late). Dessert was gingernut and lemon curd souffle, done in four individual ramikins. It was really easy, and really delicious - the base was crumbed gingernut biscuits, and the egg whites had icing sugar and lemon curd mixed in, and all this was cooked for ten minutes in the oven. I look forward to trying the lemon tiramisu from the same photocopied piece of paper that my mother sent me.

Dinner consisted of vegetable samosas. I was going to do garlic wilted bok choy, but I couldn't be bothered in the end. I used a mixture of savoury short and filo pastry, that being both what we had and lacking enough savoury short pastry. It was fairly time consuming - you had to chop the vegetables very finely - and by that, I mean about the size of peas, cook the starchy vegetables, and then make up the samosas and cook then for another twenty minutes or so in the oven. I definitely preferred the savoury short pastry to the filo. One day I am going to use filo pastry that I have not had to defrost first and it is going to be awesome

One option - if we had more freezer space - would be to make them up ahead of time, and then they would only have to be defrosted and cooked. I wouldn't be adverse to doing this, but I think I would need a reason to want to serve them. As it is, I've tried them now, they're good (and there are some left over for breakfast), but really, easier to buy.
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (A lady's armour)
I went and got my photo taken for my passport today. Unsurprisingly, apart from the dangly earrings I was wearing, I look somewhat like a prison guard in it: glasses off, hair back, stripey shirt and all. Still, if that's what the Department of Internal Affairs wants me to use, I can do that.

Before I submit the application, however, I have to get my parents to send me my old one (which expired nearly ten years ago), because that has to be sent in at the same time, and have someone who has known me for over a year witness my photo is who I say I am. I think I'll see if someone at work will be willing to do it.

Work is going along fairly well. I've managed to make enough time to close some files for the first time this year, which means although I've now closed about a dozen, I still have three times that to go. I'm handling more and more of the basic residential and partial acquisitions wwe're doing, including most of the client contact work, and am generally making myself useful, as well as the actual job I'm paid for. I'll get the work balance sorted out eventually.

Dinner tonight was grilled chicken on couscous salad. Marinade on the chicken was roughly crushed coriander and cumin seeds, sesame seeds, zest of a lemon sizzled in some oil, with garam masala, salt and pepper. Used black sesame seeds because we didn't have any white ones, and I think this may have given a slightly smokier flavour. Not that I'm complaining; I really liked the marinade.

The couscous was flavoured with garlic, ginger, curry powder, crushed coriander seeds, salt and pepper sizzled in some oil, with thinly sliced celery, spring onions and chopped dried cranberries. [ profile] maudlinrose preferred the couscous, as did [ profile] tamarillow. I'm not a huge fan of couscous, so while it was nice enough, it was nothing spectacular and I don't think I want the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

I am rather looking forward to the weekend. It's the first weekend for ages I have had at home with nothing planned (apart from a game of frisbee Sunday evening), and I aim to keep it that way and leave the property as little as possible. :D It will be awesome.

There is cooking planned: I have another batch of chicken stock to make and maybe even make chicken noodle soup with it; the brussel sprouts, bacon and chestnuts thing; and possibly even black sesame castella or some other baking. The black sesame castella requires steaming and some thought will be required as to pan sizes.

Might also watch some stuff and do some handwork, even.

Recently, comrade_mojo linked me to the music video of The Baseballs cover of Umbrella. Their music is 1950s rock n roll style covers of contemporary pop songs. I've become rather fond of them, particularly their cover of The Plain White T's Hey there, Delilah. Have a listen, see what you think. They seem to fall into much the same category as Richard Cheese for me - I can't help but smile with frequent foot tapping.

Has anyone ever heard the band A Kiss Goodbye? What are they like? Apparently they opened for Panic! when they were in NZ. Mum was talking about them (her friend's husband manages them) and now I find myself to be vaguely curious.

I stayed up reading far too late last night, so I'm starting to think it's time for a cup of hot chocolate and going to bed.

Day one

Apr. 2nd, 2010 04:51 pm
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Biggles - Sopwith Camel)
I had brussel sprouts for the first time ever last night, and even though I made all sorts of mistakes with dinner last night, I thought they were okay. Dinner was potato rosti, pork steak flavoured with freshly ground pepper and good olive oil, gently fryed, and brussel sprouts with chestnuts and bacon.

By the time we ate last night, I was grumpy because my timing was spectacularly off, my slice of pork wasn't quite as thoroughly cooked as I wanted it to be, and I was concentrating on the other dishes, so the bacon, onions, garlic and some of the brussel sprouts and chestnuts were completely black and stuck to the bottom of the pan. And I managed to get a sliver of chestnut skin jabbed under my thumbnail, so my thumb still hurts.

I haven't failed at cooking this much for ages. That being said, I would make all the above again - only with better timing and possibly stronger complementry flavours on the pork.

The assorted baking and cooking for the weekend has hardly been started. I have made sugar syrup, and that's about it. Believe it or not, the only reason I made sugar syrup is because we couldn't find any to buy. The one time I'd rather buy something than make it... Sugar syrup, it turns out, is agressively clear. Water is just clear, but sugar syrup is agressively so. And the way it flows is quite neat as well. I have a 1.5L bottle and most of an old sundried tomatoes jar of the stuff, so that should be plenty. Does anyone know how long the shelf life is supposed to be?

To do before people get here tomorrow afternoon:
  • make hot cross buns;
  • make tea eggs;
  • make brioche;
  • dust vaccum my room;
  • collect, fold and iron laundry; and
  • clean the bathroom.

I've spent most of the afternoon reading (and getting increasingly annoyed with the music on C4 - have just turned the tv off, so that's better).

This is day one with no coffee. I almost had a cup this morning when I got up, but I went back to bed and dozed instead. I'm starting to feel like I might need one, but shall get a cup of tea instead and maybe do something. Or I could nap. That also sounds pleasant.

I'm not giving up caffeine entirely - I will still be drinking tea, but am trying to cut down on coffee, particularly at work.
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Maidenly delicacy of speech)
Dinner tonight: lightly grilled salmon with black pepper, salt, brown sugar and garam masala flavourings on a bed of Sicilian salad made up of italian parsley, chopped raddishes, sliced baby lebanese cucumbers, chopped capers, thinly sliced spring onion, whole olives and toasted pine nuts with a lemon juice, ground black pepper and olive oil dressing.

It was lovely. The salmon was buttery, sweet and not over-cooked. The salad was quite sharp and a necessary contrast to the salmon. Yet another good recipe from Annabelle Langbein.

I'd make it again, but there are other salmon recipes that I want to try first.

Also, I bought more summer peach tea and chai tea from T-Leaf Tea on Friday. I've been missing the summer peach.

Thanks to the people on the Bujold mailing list and comrademojo, I have now successfully purchased a stereo to stereo plug and have downloaded Audacity, which I now have to learn to use. It was all of $18 for the plug and I would have paid twice that (with some grumbling) for a CD of the tape. I only need it for that one tape...

Still, if the CD player doesn't keep spinning when it stops (like my last one did), it deals with wearing out my tape. I can stick it as many times as necessary on a DVD and it can go through until it stops. If it does spin once it's finished: well, it'll be back to cassette tapes for me.

I am considering my weekend plans - I want more fresh coriander because I often end up using about a cup or so of the leaves in a fortnight and ours keeps going to seed. There is a new Farmer's Market at the Wellington cathedral carpark and I am debating whether I can be bothered getting up early enough to be there around 9.00am and then go to frisbee practice, or go to frisbee practice and see what they have left at the end of the day... All this is, of course, weather dependent.

And there is the Newtown Fair on Sunday.
nishatalitha: image: girl doing a cartwheel on a bench.  ferns in foreground that look like koru (Cartwheel)
I had lunch with comrademojo at the waterfront today. It was full tide and I managed to find a spot on the bottom pavers where I could dangle my legs over the edge, and if I stretched slightly, my toes would be in the water. It was lovely.

My work plans for the afternoon were sidelined by the document management system crashing on my computer; Auckland IT being unable to fix it, meaning I had to wait for Wellington IT to get back from lunch to replace my PC; Wellington IT managing to get the replacement PC up and working, but when doing the necessary tuning discovering that there was too much that needed fixing (because there was something else wrong with the file sharing system interfacing with Word), which meant he had to go off and get a second replacement PC; coming back with the second replacement, installing it, fine-tuning, finding that the file sharing system was still not interfacing with Word correctly; Welington IT calling the person in Auckland IT who deals specifically with that system; that person from Auckland IT spending half an hour on the phone with me and her remoted on to my (second) replacement PC; and finally it was fixed and my computer was working properly again. Better, in fact, than it was working earlier this week.

This took two hours. I got it back at 4.10pm. Still managed to get a bit of work done, but not the bits and pieces I was hoping too.

Really late dinner tonight because I didn't get home until 7.00pm and didn't start cooking until 8.45pm. I learned a lot about how long to cook steak for our individual tastes. Dinner was a light green salad, freshly boiled corn on the cob, and barbequed porterhouse steak with a balsamic red onion sauce. The onion sauce was lovely and I think I'm going to turn the rest of it into tarts with a little bit of the dark ale mustard that is sitting in the fridge.

For future reference: [ profile] maudlinrose's steak was good at 3 minutes a side, but [ profile] tamarillow needs more than twice that, and mine also needs 5 - 6 minutes a side.
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Night)
It has been horribly muggy all day. The temperature is actually quite pleasant, but the humidity is not. Occasionally, it pretended that it might rain, which was a relief, but then it gave up again. It was pretending to rain when I got up this morning, so I didn't walk into work. I wish I had, because it stopped raining shortly after it was too late for me to walk anymore.

Walked home from Wadestown after work instead, decided that it was too hot to cook just yet, and read for a bit instead.

Dinner, when [ profile] tamarillow and I ate about an hour ago, was delicious. We had fresh sweetcorn; a small salad of baby spinach leaves, thinly sliced mushroom, avocado, and a cherry; pan-fried and roasted pork steak, lightly seasoned with pepper on a bed of kumara mash; and a red wine sauce to go over top. Mmmm, it was good.

Porterhouse steaks were on special when we did the grocery shop on Wednesday, so on Monday evening I might use the remains of the sauce on those (maybe lightly grill them on the bbq?), and keep most of the rest of the meal the same, but drop the sweetcorn. As delicious as fresh sweetcorn is, we didn't need it. I'll slice the rest off the cob and stick it in a salad, I think.

I am currently stretched out on the deck wearing a summer dress and my slippers (my feet get cold easily) with the only light coming from my laptop screen. There is a very slight breeze and thus it is almost pleasant. And hey, my cat has just turned up to keep me company.

Kapcon this weekend. I am placed for all of Saturday if I miss third round to allow me time to get ready, like I usually do. However, my costume this year is quite simple, so I might play instead. I'm quite looking forward to the LARP, especially since the faction my character belongs to has spent a bit of time discussing further details of our culture, to flesh it out a bit more.
nishatalitha: image: girl doing a cartwheel on a bench.  ferns in foreground that look like koru (Cartwheel)
I have one more day of holiday and the weekend and then it's back to work for me. Since I finished Perdito Street Station (one of my to-read list these holidays), I clearly haven't been reading anything with a high enough level of mental challenge, as I'm actually starting to look forward to the work.

Not the getting up early, I should note.

I was asked to come into work for a bit this afternoon to do a couple of bits and pieces that could not wait (client needed it by tomorrow). Work will make this time up to me. I also went in last Sunday for a couple of hours (unpaid) to clear my desk some, since it will be crazy-busy when I get back on Monday.

Haven't done much handwork, but have watched a bit of M*A*S*H and random other tv, and read a lot of fic (been working backwards through my delicious account reading anything on it that takes my fancy and deleting some of the to-read tag).

Spent half an hour on the Terrace on the way home today, what with traffic, and got home to find the weather had turned to a light misty attempt at rain. Nonetheless, I refused to be put off my plans for dinner (barbeque) and went ahead regardless and it was good.

Dinner consisted of shrimp in a Cantonese marinade as a starter around 7.30pm for [ profile] maudlinrose and myself, since [ profile] tamarillow was working until 8.00pm; and for mains, once she got home, edamame with a ginger/rice wine vinegar and sugar/sesame oil dipping sauce, chicken on a stick in a thai coridander marinade, mushrooms lightly bbq'd in the remains of the shrimp mariade, plain white rice, and a green salad (well, lettuce, red capsicum and blueberries) with an asian style dressing. We have some leftovers of all except the shrimp.

The Cantonese marinade was perhaps a bit overpowering for the shrimp, but tasty nonetheless - I think it would be better if done as a stirfry and egg noodles mixed in at the end. The edamame dipping sauce is something I really like. The thai-coriander marinade tasted very strongly of the lime juice that was the base and I'm quite glad I added the extra teaspoon of sugar. The other flavours were more noticable when the outside was turning black - something to keep in mind. The aisan style salad dressing tasted a bit strongly of fish sauce (a key ingredient) and I will be interested to try it with a salt-reduced fish sauce when we've finished our current bottle of the stuff.

The various recipes came from a couple of Annabelle Langbein's cookbooks.

I have just finished a mug of hot chocolate which I adulterated with caramel flavouring, about half a teaspoon cinnamon and a quarter teaspoon each of mixed spice and powdered chilli. It was good.

Walked into town most days this week for various reasons and here are assorted pictures:

click for the pretty )
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Doughnut (Garfield))
The latest Healthy Food Guide arrived yesterday or the day before. Today I finally got up courage to open it. Perhaps because it's a December issue and people are more willing to experiment with glazes and starters, some herbs and spices were actually used.

I don't feel angry. I feel sad. I have much better versions of all the recipes that interested me. And the article on catering for special diets (which is something I am somewhat interested in) told me nothing that I didn't already know and play around with.

Mmmm, food

Nov. 8th, 2009 09:20 pm
nishatalitha: image: girl doing a cartwheel on a bench.  ferns in foreground that look like koru (Cartwheel)
I have burninated food for the first time this season. It was good. Dinner was pork marinaded in bought orange and saffron aeoli, shrimp lightly marinaded in thai coriander and chilli dressing, chargrilled orange capsicum, baked potato and garlic bread. It was good.

Ankle and knee are doing much better. I definitely got the nerve somewhere in my knee - there's a patch where the skin in numb. Bruising is showing up on the ankle, but for all the damage and pain, there's remarkably little to show for it. Is this what it's like to not bruise easily?

I spent most of my day sitting on the couch in the lounge marathoning the end of season three Avatar: The Last Airbender. It was pretty good. Now for fic.

We have started planning our menu for Christmas, trying desperately not to overcater. We're not very good at not overcatering. There are so many good ideas for food... I will be making my Gran's cheesecake again, because that cheesecake is a thing of glory.

[ profile] maudlinrose made fudge this evening. It is good.


Oct. 29th, 2009 10:34 pm
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Flower Girl)
I bought a new cookbook last night (Annabel Langbein - Eat Fresh: Cooking Through the Seasons), so tonight I had to make something from it.

Dinner consisted of flash-cooked fresh fish in an asian flavoured marinade (mirin, vinegar, ginger, spring onion, sesame oil etc) on a bed of rice topped with lightly cooked spinach, together with roasted bacon-wrapped asparagus.

The asparagus was very good - it had a little bit of lemon zest for additional flavour, but I wonder what pommegrante molasses would be like instead - and will definitely be made again.

I liked the fish - I felt the flavours were nicely subtle and complementry, but [ profile] maudlinrose and [ profile] tamarillow felt it was a bit unbalanced and could only really taste the ginger and the fish. I didn't really taste the ginger at all. I wonder how using fresh, finely grated ginger would change the taste, or a different fish (I used cod) or using rice vinegar instead of the substituted red wine vinegar...
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Doughnut (Garfield))
Dear New Zealand Healthy Food Guide )

Dear Mum and Dad, particularly Mum, )
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Dozing in the sun - Garfield)
This has been a good weekend. Logan Brown was fantastic as expected and we finished up just after the crowds came in after the rugby. The Hawthorne Lounge was unfortunately closed, we couldn't find Alice, and ended up at Pollux. We were favourably impressed by the bartender who said that there wasn't a cocktail list, but people could say what they were in the mood for and he would come up with something. He did pretty well for us, and the location is convenient (next to the Opera House), so we might well end up there again.

I have made two batches of italian parsley pesto (although the second was a double batch). The first was the Stephanie's Cook's Companion recipe that I like which uses peanuts and peanut oil, fish sauce and palm sugar. The second was the Joy of Cooking recipe, in which I substituted parsley for basil, toasted peanuts for pinenuts (since they're the only nuts we had in the house), and tasty cheese for parmesan. The garlic and olive oil remained the same. It tastes all right, although it may have been better with blanched peanuts, as it also has a very strong peanut flavour. I don't like blanched peanuts, so I toasted them. We now have a jar and a half of each type in the fridge. Bets are open as to whether there will be some left this time next week.

Study has been achieved; I have be reading through my notes on applying for legal aid and the criteria used, as well as the family law stuff.
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Paper cranes)
For all that I managed to rouse myself around noon today, I have been amazingly productive in the kitchen this afternoon. I have made:

  1. Chai tea with a russian caravan base;
  2. Sesame seed coffee cake;
  3. Asian flavoured meatballs for dinner;
  4. Salad and noodles for the rest of dinner; and
  5. Kaffir lime pie (including sweet shortcrust pastry from scratch).

Felt like cooking and figured I may as well get my entire list done while I was in there. It also meant that I ended up dragging the tape deck in there and listening to my favourite mix tape from high school. I'm now trying to recreate this as a playlist on itunes, but lack essential songs such as:

  • J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers - Last Kiss;
  • Russell Morris - Rachel's Coming Home;
  • Herman's Hermits - Silhouettes on the Shade; and
  • Gerry & The Pacemakers - Girl on a Swing.

I'm probably missing others, but those are the ones missing from the side I've listened to again in my room in order to put this together. I also listened my way through Amy Grant's The Collection, which I need to get hold of on CD so I can then listen to it on itunes. I forsee a trip to the library sometime soon.

The not being at my computer for most of the day has defintely helped with the headache. That being said, I'm quite glad I have an eye test tomorrow. I'm getting tired of my eyes hurting all the time.

I hate getting into a new big fandom. It takes so long to read everything that's good - even when just working from recs lists and delicious. And it means that my delicious page is hardly representative of my reading for the past year, let alone for as long as I've been reading fic.
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Reality is overrated)
A meme, because I can )

[ profile] thesane arrived here yesterday around lunchtime and since then we have looked at many many colours of fabric and eventually ended up with a green/purple shot dupion silk for the bridesmaid dresses. It was a much faster process than we expected. Done a bit of other shopping as well.

I have made two batches of standard italian parsley pesto (from the Joy of Cooking cookbook), since the Stephanie's Cook's Companion recipe lasted under a week. This will take even less time to get through, I think. I also made delicious steak pie from one of Tessa Kiros' books last night and there is moroccan apricot lamb cooking in the oven at the moment from my new Alison Lannigan cookbook.

I have also successfully mended clothing; that is, I have sewen on two buttons and started stitching up the leather on my suade coat. There is much more to do on it than I thought before I can patch the lining. Then I have to mend the pocket on my brown coat, possibly the side-seams on my green skirt and then I can get back to the crossstitch. I don't think I can be bothered starting the embroidery on my brown coat, especially since I still need to decide what sort of pattern I want. I almost want to upsize the pansies on the Elizabethan bag [ profile] thesane made me. We'll see.

David Eddings died the other night. Tor has a fairly nice obituary for him on their website. I feel sad at his passing. Along with Anne McCaffrey, his books were the first serious fantasy I read. I think I was in third form at the time - thirteen or fourteen. I bought all I could find second hand and I still have them on my shelves. They were reread this year; get reread every four or five years now. I can see all the things that are wrong with them, but they were still books that began to shape my view of fantasy.
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Claim Innocence - swinging feet in skirt)
Managed to get some things done this weekend that I planned to, but not all. Made the decision on Friday night that I would be better off sleeping in on Saturday morning and thus didn't go to the dawn service or the wreath laying ceremony at the Carillon. Felt better fror the extra sleep, but still required a nap (after a cup of coffee, even!) once [ profile] maudlinrose and I returned from our expedition into town to the Briscoes ANZAC Day sale and bought a set of cotton sheets for my bed for $36.00 down from $89.00, which I'm quite pleased about. Also got milk, as for once ours expired before anyone drank it.

Met up with Comrademojo and got a lift out to his brother's place for the housewarming. Lovely place; caught up with a few frisbee people that I haven't seen for ages, what with the not playing frisbee at the moment, but was falling asleep by 10.30pm and [ profile] knightclubbing and [ profile] queneva very kindly delivered me to my door, rather than to town as I'd asked.

Finally climbed out of bed around 11.00am on this grey, wet and windy Wellington day, fed the cats and then occupied an armchair for another hour and a half with the black fuzzy one curled up on my knee for the greater proportion of that while I read a book.

Eventually, I bestirred myself enough to make experimental!brownie (online dairy-free recipe for tomorrow night), chai tea from scratch and the beginnings of leek and potato soup (have boiled and mashed the potatoes).

It's been a lovely relaxing day. I'm finally starting to feel almost well. Have failed spectacularly at getting my homework done for the school holidays, though. I should do that tonight.

Spice Meme

Feb. 17th, 2009 10:39 pm
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Lettuce)
J from the Bujold ML gives a good collection of spices to people as a wedding gift and kindly gave the list to the listees. I wondered how many we have and how other people's spice collections compared. I'm noting ones we grow and don't have dried, but not otherwise.

Bold what you have, italicise what you want and strike any you've never heard of. Leave a gap and add what you have that's not already on the list.

Allspice berries
Aniseed - well, star anise
Baking Powder
Bay Leaves
Bicarbonate of Soda
Cardamom seeds - and pods
Cardamom powder
Caraway seed

Celery seed
Chili Powder (blend - not ground chilles [that's Cayenne])

Chives - currently growing in the garden
Cloves (ground)
Cloves (whole)
Coriander (ground)
Coriander (whole)

Cream of tartar
Cumin (ground)
Cumin seed

Curry Leaves
Fennel Seed
Chinese Five spices
Garam masala
Ginger (ground)

Herbes de Provence (MUST contain lavender)
Mace (ground)

Mango powder (Amchoor)
Mint - growing
Mustard (ground)
Mustard seeds - brown
Nutmeg (whole)
Nutmeg (ground)

Onion seeds (Kaloni)
Orange zest - tend to zest own
Paprika - preferably smoked
Peppercorns - black

Peppercorns - green
Peppercorns - white
Poppy seed

Sage - growing
Sambar powder
Sesame seeds

Tamarind Paste - it could be fun to experiment with

Cinnamon quills
Tandoori seasoning
Mixed Herbs

We probably have more, but I can't be bothered checking the kitchen. That's not a bad list. I blame the stage we went through where we would buy spices purely because we didn't have them and had never used them...


nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Default)

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