Saturday, 17 November 2012

Anniversary in Noosa

We have been in Australia for nearly two months and have been focused on finding work, making it difficult to fit the “Holiday” part of our “Working Holiday” lives. Jess has been working full time and I have become a “lazy houseman” while I look for work. This however did not stop us from an extravagant trip to Noosa to celebrate our 4 year wedding anniversary.
Just hangin' out in the National Park
Noosa is a sleepy beach vacation area on the East coast in Queensland (just North of Brisbane and part of the Sunshine Coast). It is about 1000km from Sydney and an hour and a half by plane. We were excited to get out of town and see a different part of Aus.

It was rainy when we arrived and into the second day but eventually turned around enough to enjoy the beach and National Park.

Alexandria Bay (the unofficial nude beach), where we found these washed up blue jelly fish and no nude beach goers due to the high winds.
The only wildlife we ended up seeing on this trip - a Kookaburra!
Our room was very nice. The only downside was the sound of the young family rooming above us.
Finally, a selection of the food we ate over the weekend.
 It ended up being the perfect getaway spoiling us even more than usual for our anniversary.



Monday, 12 November 2012

NBL Basketball Game

Jess and I have been craving basketball. We do not get the NBA on TV here so the next best thing is the NBL (National Basketball League). The NBL is a “Premier” basketball league operating with eight teams on this end of the world.
We never had the opportunity to see the Breakers play in New Zealand so we were happy to scoop up some cheap tickets to see the Sydney Kings vs. the Adelaide 36’s.
We loved actually seeing a live game and I never pass up a venue that sells beer and hot dogs.
Seeing a live game did curb our craving for basketball but it was a far cry from the NBA. I would argue that watching the University teams at home play is better basketball.
There were maybe two NBA sized/skilled players that would be buried pretty deep on the bench of teams as lowly as the Raptors or Wizards. We did not even see a game dunk…
Despite the level of play we will definitely check out some more games.

Lemon, Lime Sorbet

Continuing my mini Mexican fiesta I decided we needed something that you would easily be able to eat on its own or be able to douse in tequila and make a drink out of it. We also needed something sweet because Jess assures me she would actually die if she didn’t get some kind of treat after dinner. We considered making margaritas but instead settled on Lemon, Lime Sorbet.

I have really been on a roll making simple things that I had never considered making before and Sorbet does not disappoint. Making Sorbet is about as easy as making buttered toast so unless you’re my Dad you can probably do this.  


- 1 cup castor sugar (fine Sugar)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup lemon, lime juice (I topped it up with some lemonade in the fridge because my limes weren’t juicy enough)
- 1 tablespoon lemon, lime zest


Mix water and sugar together in a small pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 mins. Add the juice and zest then pour into a container and put in the freezer. Stir every 30 mins or so until it sets up. After 3 hours or so it is perfect margarita consistency and 4 hours it was perfect Sorbet.  

There is just enough sugar to cut through the acid of the fruit and get rid of the “icy” taste making this the most refreshing snack for a hot summer day. If you a really adventurous rim your glass with salt, pour in tequila and enjoy a mini-margarita for dessert.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Homemade Tortillas

I love most Mexican food and was pretty depressed when I realized that New Zealand and Australia are way behind the curve when it comes to providers of Mexican treats. I did find a bottle of Cholula Hot Sauce at the local market and decided to take matters into my own hands and have a bit of a fiesta by putting Cholula on everything edible.
I had already decided to make Shrimp on the Barbie! and was left to decide what I was going to do with BBQ’d shrimp slathered in Cholula. Years ago when I was in Mexico on a family vacation the absolute best thing I ate was garlicky shrimp wrapped in a flour tortilla sold by this little old lady in any alley between two buildings. Dreaming of that wrap I decided I was going to make shrimp tacos.
My primary concern was that store bought tortilla shells were not going to do my shrimp justice. I also wanted smaller diameter tortillas so that I could justify eating a plateful of them. The only solution would be to venture down the path of making my own Tortillas!
It turns out that it is really easy to churn out amazing flaky soft Tortilla shells with minimal effort and maximum food hero-ness. I vow to never buy Tortillas ever again! I am close to saying that these are the absolute best thing I’ve ever made but I did make a pretty amazing plate of“Ants on a Log” a while ago.
- 3 cups Plain Unbleached Flour
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/3 cup Olive Oil
- ½ - 1 cup Hot Water
Mix flour, salt and baking powder together. Add the olive oil and mix together until it is the consistency of fine crumbs. Add the water and mix until it starts forming a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 min or so.
Divide the dough in to 10-15 balls and roll out into thin discs. Cook at medium/high heat in a dry non-stick skillet. (I used a little oil because our skillet is so crumby). Cook partially on one side, flip and cook fully on the second side then flip back to the first side. This will cook the tortilla more evenly and make it fluffy and flakey.
You can wrap anything in these shells. They would be good with jam and peanut butter or more savory things like the tacos. I think the next time around I will make quesadillas. Enjoy!


Sunday, 4 November 2012

Shrimp on the Barbie!

The combination of travelling to Australia and having a food component to our Blog made this Post mandatory. Every time we talk to anyone at home we hear some version of Paul Hogan’s “…Slip another shrimp on the Barbie” quote from a commercial before his Crocodile Dundee days.

Before NZ and Aus we imagined the people here grilling every meal every day. It turns out the Canadians grill as often as anyone here. The only appreciable difference is that people here grill in public parks surrounded by family and friends. At home it is more common to see some poor husband in the yard wearing snow pants trying to survive long enough to make dinner (usually on a grill big enough to feed the block).

I suppose I cheated because I cooked prawn instead of shrimp. I don’t know the difference between them and only asked for the biggest most alien looking thing that I could throw on the grill.


-          ½ kilogram Large Prawns
-          ½ bottle Cholula hot sauce
-          4 cloves Garlic
-          1 or 2 lemons


Marinade prawns in hot sauce and garlic. Line grill with lemon slices to keep meat from sticking. Grill until you are comfortable that you won’t poison yourself with raw meat. We ended up chopping up the meat and putting it in tacos.

It was good but there is too much work involved in ripping off the tails and heads so I think I’ll just get tails next time.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Grilled Cheese with Rosmary and Gouda

I have recently become obsessed with putting rosemary on everything. I put it on the standard meat and potatoes, but have also been throwing it in sandwiches a wraps and pizzas. The tastiest application of rosemary for me has been the ultra simple “Grilled Cheese” sandwich.

Grilled cheese has been a staple cold weather, hangover, sick remedy that I have always eaten with tomato soup. I always loved when my Mom would whip up a grilled cheese sandwich and a tin of tomato soup. Generally the idea would be to dunk the sandwich in the soup but my aversion to hot (temperature hot) foods always left me eating them separately. I haven’t been sick or drunk so far this week so I don’t really have a reason for the making the sandwich other than as a vessel of transport for eating rosemary. I have also tossed in some anchovies as well making it a real "grown up" sammy.


-          Bread
-          Gouda
-          Rosemary
-          Butter


This sandwich really has no place on a food blog other than I like it (I also had the camera nearby). Butter one side of each piece of bread. Cut the cheese and pile it in the sandwich. Chop the rosemary and sprinkle it throughout the sandwich. Grill on medium heat until the bread is golden and crunchy and the cheese is oozy and melty. Wait to eat until the cheese is a temperature between molten and room… if you can.