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 (Yay! (penguins))
Friday I posted my [livejournal.com profile] kiwifandomsfest fic here.

I also read Rivers of London (also published as Midnight Riot I believe) by Ben Aaronovitch, which is a contemporary fantasy murder mystery set in London. I thought I knew where it was going, but it's a delightful romp and lots of fun, and then it took a right turn and ended up somewhere completely different. The copy I read was borrowed from a friend and I think I might have to buy my own. I'm also looking forward to reading the sequel Moon Over Soho and the third, Whispers Under Ground.

Yesterday, I went out to Indoorpendence, the Ultimate Frisbee development tournament at Te Raupraha Arena in Porirua with my league team, Dirty Creature. We won a couple of games, lost a few, and — importantly — mostly held together as a team for the day. I have no idea how well we did overall, but I understand that [livejournal.com profile] rincewindtvd (one of our A-graders) got male MVP for the tournament, which is excellent. Well done to him!

I had to head off early, though. Unlike previous years, when my work mid-year has been the night before Indoorpendence, this year it was the same day. Different venue from last year too; we were at the Wharewaka this year, and it worked really well for our function, as the band and dancefloor were near the tables, so it was really easy to move back and forth between them.

Wine is one of the things that I have trouble pacing over an evening. I have a certain number of glasses and then it starts tasting funny, so I know I've had enough wine and shouldn't drink anymore of it that night. I hit that point probably around 10 - 10.30pm last night, about when the dancing started and switched to water. Function packed up about midnight, and thirteen or fifteen or so of us headed into town and ended up at the Library bar, where we had a couple of cocktails, and I got home about 2.30am. No hangover, however, due to the spacing of the drinks and the amount of water I drank.

When getting ready, I took one look at my stilettos and decided I couldn't face wearing that type of heel, rummaged in the back of my wardrobe and dug out a pair of old silver shoes with really solid heels that I haven't worn for nearly ten years. Apart from the soles being so slippery that I had to take them off to go up and down our stairs, I was fine. Didn't have to take them off all night, even.

Today I have also been productive. I sorted in date order and put away a pile of filing that I've been stacking up for about two years. Just in case you get the wrong idea, I had previously looked and dealt with it all but put it in a pile instead of putting it in the folders where it belongs. It did take a few hours though.

I also cooked dinner for the first time in about a week. I was home late most nights last week and either [livejournal.com profile] tamarillow and [livejournal.com profile] maudlinrose had cooked or we fended; I didn't have the energy to cook. Tonight, however, was a different story.

Dinner was a roast vegetable red curry that I make once or twice a year. For dessert, I decided to try one of [livejournal.com profile] exiledinpn's favourites: tarte tatin. Like the last version he made, I used the Masterchef NZ recipe. Most of the reviews I read of the recipe indicated that they'd put it on the stove top for less time than recommended and it therefore wasn't as rich.

tarte tatin commentry )

Back to work tomorrow. Bother! How did I manage to put all my low-heeled shoes in for repairs at the same time?
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Neon cupcake)
Long weekend is almost over. Had [livejournal.com profile] callie over on Friday night, discovered that mixing average vodka and apple sourz together for shots improves both, and the resulting hangover took out most of Saturday. Note to self: do not drink good riesling (or good anything else for that matter) before drinking apple sourz or if the drinking is to get drunk.

Haven't done much else over the weekend. Went out for a walk on Sunday, lit the fire a couple of times, did laundry, checked a lot of meta data, cooked a bit...

Actually, I did have another go at getting my preferred sleep cassettte tape digitalised using Audacity, but gave up—for the amount of annoyance getting it right will cause me, I think it'll be better just to pay someone to do it. I have the original, and I won't be able to replace it when it wears out—it was hard enough finding a replacement some eight or nine years ago. New Zealand people, any recommendations?

I read some of the gay romance ebooks I picked up recently (the ones with an actual publisher rather than being self-published with obviously photo-shopped covers). They were terrible and not in the awesome way. I read them anyway. Most of the slash fic I read is better (it's better than most of the harlequins I read too). Maybe some fic writers should branch out.

...and the cooking. Despite my distinct preference for Annabel Langbein's style of cooking (I can only say that the meals are clear, somehow), I've made a couple of things from Tessa Kiros' books and one from Stephanie's Cook's Companion this weekend.

Dinner last night was fish in a chopped tomato/celery/parsley/garlic mixture cooked for an hour and a half or so in the oven. Flavour wasn't as deep as I'd like and you could taste the celery, but hey, food. Doubt I'll make it again, or if I do, I might add some tomato puree or tomato sauce and make it a bit less pure tomato flavour (I'm not a fan of raw tomato or plain cooked tomato).

Dinner tonight was a pie I've made a few times: a rich steak pie that is essentially casseroled for two hours on the stove top before even putting it in the pastry shell. I added carrots and dried mushrooms that had been soaked for half an hour in brandy to the filling mixture. I made the pastry as well. It was excellent and I will have some for lunch tomorrow.

I also made a chocolate cake from Stephanie's Cook's Companion for dessert. I forget its name, but it had a bit of rice flour in it, and has chocolate brandy buttercream icing. Used [livejournal.com profile] maudlinrose's Kenwood Chefette for most of the mixing and it's strange (for one thing the bowl spins, rather than than the beaters rotating and the beaters don't stay up very well when they have mixture on them for another). I don't need to use an actual mixer very often, but when I do I wish the ceramic bowl on mine hadn't cracked (Kenwood no longer makes ceramic bowls and replacing it will be a bitch).

Anyway, the cake: a nice dense chocolate cake with excellent icing. Good with plain yoghurt or cream. Cake's more effort than I can usually be bothered with—it's nice, but nothing spectacular. The icing is really good though (but could have done with more brandy).

Unfortunately, no frisbee tomorrow as it clashes with German. I must go for a walk at lunch to wear it off.
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Neon cupcake)
So it turns out that sometimes I can make chocolatey things that are too rich for eating in one go. I made a chocolate fudgy mousse from Stephanie's Cook's Companion for dessert last night (it a) not having cream, b) not needing cooling then icing, and me not having all the ingreidents for [livejournal.com profile] exiledinpn's flourless chocolate brownies). It doesn't have very many ingredients - chocolate, 4 eggs, unsalted butter and a tiny bit of sugar.

I served it in [livejournal.com profile] maudlinrose's big wine glasses—the ones that hold about half a bottle of wine each. The mousse would have been maybe a quarter of the glass; none of us finished it. Done again, I would serve it in something much smaller to more people, possibly with a tiny amount of vanilla ice cream.

The mousse followed a delicious mushroom risotto. I got a half-full supermarket bag of mushrooms from one of my workmates, so I still have some to play with. Guess what we're having for dinner tomorrow night?

And boosting the signal: LiveJournal's DDoS and Russian Politics. This is why I'm not as enraged about livejournal's outages as I would be otherwise.

If you're thinking about shifting over to dreamwidth, I have a couple of codes to give away—let me know if you're interested.
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Neon cupcake)
I've been a bit distracted with non-internet things the last week or so. Last weekend, after going to play Settlers VI again, I had the bright idea to find, download and start playing Settlers II.

I never got past level 4 of the Roman campaign when I played it as a kid, and I wanted to see if I could manage it now. Sadly, once you get past how pixilated the graphics are, it's proving to be just as addictive as ever. And I have now made it to level 5, so I have already done better than I did the last time I played it. [livejournal.com profile] maudlinrose was going to start playing it, but it is too old for Windows 7 (and I have to fudge a little to play it on XP).

This is pretty much all I did yesterday, aside from doing laundry and cooking dinner. Salmon fillets were on special last week, so we got some when grocery shopping and I cooked it as Mum did at Christmas (did the same salad, too - chickpeas, onion, roasted kumara and potato, wilted spinach, raisins and other stuff). I still really enjoyed it but it could have probably done with five more minutes in the oven. I don't get salmon to play with very often, so next time it will be something else.

For dessert I made [livejournal.com profile] papersky's spiced peach tarts that are based off the description Bujold gives in A Civil Campaign - something else I've been wanting to try. They weren't as spiced as I imagine they should be, and I always envisage tarts as being more flan-like than cake like, but they were still good.

More sweet things today: [livejournal.com profile] purplesparkler came around and made her amazing cinnamon scones that are cooked in butter and sugar. We also had comrademojo and his girl up for a bit this afternoon, too. They didn't stay for dinner though.

Tonight, since [livejournal.com profile] purplesparkler requested something with cheese, I made a family friend's sloppy chicken enchilada recipe— this is essentially a chicken lasagna. It was as excellent as ever (and the taco sauce I improvised worked out well enough too). I remain disturbed by how gluggy creme of chicken and creme of mushroom soups are when taken out of the tin—the creme of chicken soup retains the shape of the tin until squashed.

The other thing that distracted me for a couple of days is now rather funny, but at the time was rather painful. Gaming was at [livejournal.com profile] stephanie_pegg's on Thursday and [livejournal.com profile] purplesparkler and I went over for dinner. I must've shifted back a little far in the second-hand wooden chair, the glue broke on one of the legs, the other leg on that side of the chair snapped off and next thing I know I'm on the floor having banged my head quite hard against the wall and with a sore arm.

Banging my head against the wall meant I had a headache for a couple of days, and the sore arm actually meant I'd caught the underside of my upper left arm on the chair and I now have a bruise the size of my closed hand there. It's all rather dramatic and looks far worse than it actually feels. I figured that all this would be amusing after the headache went away and it is. Accidents happen, I bruise dramatically and it's not like I got concussion or anything from it (and if I had, there's ACC).

The entertaining part is that I can't see the giant bruise unless I'm both raising my arm and looking in a mirror. But I raise my arms to stretch in many other places and the reactions I've been getting...
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Changling 59 (hair and green))
Turns out that none of us particularly care for thai green curry made from the Continental range green curry paste. [livejournal.com profile] tamarillow found it too hot, I found it too sharp and [livejournal.com profile] maudlinrose found it both too hot and too sharp. As such, if anyone local would like a mostly full jar of the paste, it's going free to a good home where it will be willingly consumed. Let me know if you want it.

Fortunately, the green curry wasn't the main part of our meal. I made the thai fishcakes that I've made many times before and decided that I should use up the remaining fish and coconut cream with a just under half mixture. I didn't mind the green curry once I got used to it, but I do prefer red curries.

Today I also made these black pepper biscuits. There's hardly any pepper in them, they were quite fun to make, and I think they would be excellent with chilli instead of black pepper. Oh, and it makes heaps. I must find where I put my print out of the recipe, because I generally try not to use my laptop as a recipe book.

Also I cooked stuff on the bbq both nights, so that makes me happy.

For all that I have managed to cook and bake and do laundry and ironing and whatnot this weekend, I have spent a remarkable amount of time napping. It's been lovely and sunny, so yesterday I napped on and off on the deck in the sun, and today I napped on and off on the floor of the lounge in the sun (until it got too hot). Had hardly any energy yesterday and only a bit more today. I just hope that it doesn't turn into the chest infection that sent one of my authors home on Thursday and kept her off on Friday (at doctor's orders).

There is nothing quite like sliding into fresh clean crisp cotton sheets, unless it's sliding into warm soft fuzzy flannel sheets, and last night I got to do the former. Clean sheets are one of the small joys in life.
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Neon cupcake)
But I have started German at Wellington High (it was the only one that fit my schedule and also the tutor teaches at Vic and at the Goethe Institute), and it is on a Tuesday night, 5:30 - 7:30pm, and that means I don't get home until at least 8:00pm (and that only because I cheat and taxi from the end of Lambton Quay - the extra $30 a fortnight is so worth it).

I made pancakes tonight instead. [livejournal.com profile] tamarillow and I had them for dessert an hour and a half ago; [livejournal.com profile] maudlinrose went to bed instead, for she has the plague. Lemon and brown sugar, mmm.

Dinner, an hour or so before the pancakes was also very good: a green salad with a balsamic vinegar/olive oil/geranium oil dressing; boiled then barbequed corn on the cob; and barbequed pork steak with a red berry sauce. Used up the frozen raspberries from the freezer in a half receipe. It tasted good, but was a bit of a pain to make - if I do it again, I think I'd want to use a full recipe so I don't feel the need to get every single drop of berry sauce when I strain the seeds out...

Am currently reading Guy Gavriel Kay's latest, Under Heaven. Am reasonably impressed so far about half/two thirds of the way in. If he doesn't screw it up, I think it'll end up on my to-buy list.

(this entire post was an excuse to use the new icon)
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Girl with red hair)
So, of course, I have taken the opportunity to do lots of laundry, cooking and baking. I should have done some cleaning, too, but I got distracted (and there's still time).

Dinner last night was barbequed seasoned steak on a bed of boiled green beans mixed red and yellow capsicum stir-fried on the bbq hot plate, topped with a caramelised onion mixture, and boiled then barbequed corn on the cob. It was excellent, and I am finally getting the hang of doing porterhouse steak on the barbeque to our individual preferences (although I think [livejournal.com profile] tamarillow would like hers slight more well-done).

Dinner tonight will be yet more steak that has been marinading in a teriyaki sauce for most of the afternoon, on baked potato, with a side salad of roasted carrots and beetroot. I hope to have made enough of the sauce that I can heat it and pour it over with some of the meat. EDIT: Not enough sauce - in future, I will make extra and cook it on the bbq with the meat. Also, use vegetable oil instead of peanut oil. Continue to use extra pepper. It was very good regardless.

The baking included gingerbread and two batches of the molasses cookies I mentioned the other day. The gingerbread looks glorious and the second batch of the cookies looks good (not quite as amazing as the first batch where the dark brown sugar didn't mix in properly and there were bits visible in the cracks on the top of the cookie).

The first batch of cookies looks fine, but tastes somewhat odd due to my accidentally putting in 1/2c cider vinegar instead of 1/2 tsp cider vinegar (in my defence I was on the phone to my grandma at the time and most of my lactose free recipes use about 1/2c if they use vinegar). I endeavoured to save them by adding extra sugar and flour, but I don't think it worked so well.

They don't taste bad per se, but they're not good. [livejournal.com profile] maudlinrose reckons its the aftertaste. [livejournal.com profile] thesane has suggested icing them, and I might try that - maybe ginger or cinnamon? I don't know. Most likely, they'll be thrown out. Oh well, that happens sometimes.

and just because I can—photos of cicadas )
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.

Food Show

May. 16th, 2010 06:58 pm
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (China Decorates (blue teacup))
[livejournal.com profile] tamarillow and I went to the Food Show today. We got there around 10.00am, about when it started, and left at 1.20pm, having circled the entire stadium once, and gone back to get some very cheap fair trade chocolate.

Between the two of us, we walked away with a very full bag containing:

  • three kinds of hummus for $10;
  • five kinds of deli meats for $10;
  • three kinds of yoghert for $10;
  • three kinds of loose-leaf tea for $20;
  • three kinds of cheese (one of which I was given for going back for a bottle of wine);
  • a pottle of philadelphia light cream which was free;
  • caramelised balsamic vinegar drizzle;
  • a small packet of speckalas (which I should really learn how to make);
  • a small bottle of Indulgence, a 2009 autumn wine;
  • five blocks of scarborough fair fair trade chocolate; and
  • 2x good beeswax and sponge for shoes/wood polishing


Then we came home, with aching legs from standing (but not feet because we wore sensible shoes), cleaned up the kitchen, and I had a cup of tea and watched an episode of White Collar, and then I had enough energy when I made my second cup to put together a tomato soup base, and then the rest of the soup, so we have tomato with white bean and chorizo soup for dinner (with cumin and garlic and smoked paprika for the other flavours), and my preliminary taste tests suggests that it will be awesome and not too plain tomato-flavoured.

Later: dinner eaten, and it was awesome, with a dash of philadelphia cream cheese to cut the tiny amount of chilli a little.

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: 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 [livejournal.com 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 [livejournal.com profile] maudlinrose and myself, since [livejournal.com 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 )

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