Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Forever21 pretty, mixed-media beads necklace

On our honeymoon in Singapore I went a little bit nutso in Forever21 in the accessories department. One of my purchases was this super cute necklace made of big, mismatched, vintage feel beads - some copper metal, some faceted clear plastic, some fabric covered (my faves!) and a few pearls for good measure. Love! 

This is my first outing with the super pretty necklace, and I'm pretty pleased with how it dressed up a pink polo top. Pretty pretty, right?  

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Belgian Beer Cafe

The weather on the weekend was so lovely and spring-time-ish, we decided to walk to the Belgian Beer Cafe to enjoy the sunshine and a few ciders. 
I couldn't resist taking photos of some of the blossoms we walked past on our way: 

I don't know what this tree is but the blossoms are so pretty! 
I don't know what this one is either, but so many blossoms!!! And such beautiful spring-time sky! 

The outside space was crazy busy - not a seat or a piece of grass free for us, so we did the logical thing and joined the incredibly long line for the bar to order drinks! 

We tried the Rekorderlig Apple Cider and the Monteith's Apple and Pear ciders.

The Monteith's was perfectly decent, but there wasn't a great depth of flavour in either the pear or the apple, in fact, the two ciders tasted pretty similar. The Rekorderlig, however, was just delicious. Incredibly fruity but still clean and not overly sweet, and frighteningly easy to drink. According to their website, Rekorderlig is "Made from Pure Swedish spring water that runs directly under the brewery in Vimmerby Sweden". It is also officially my new favourite drink, and just in time for summer! I was super happy to discover that Dan Murphy stocks Rekorderlig, but tragically only the Apple and Pear varieties, not the delicious sounding Strawberry & Lime *pout* 

We also had some of the traditional Belgian Frites and Mayonnaise, but they were so moorish they were all gone before I took a pic of them! 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

It's never too late to set resolutions

Inspired by my dear friend Emily over at Emily is now I have decided I need to make some resolutions. Indeed I am resolved to make resolutions. Surely this is redundant...? 
Anyway. I'm going to keep the list short and try to keep my goals achievable and measurable rather than inspirational and lofty, because I'll be taking stock at the end of the year and seeing how well I've done. I'm going to break it down into categories to keep my scientific brain satisfied. 

1) Post to this blog at least once a week...
2) ...preferably with a photo to keep things interesting and to keep me taking photos
Work and study: 
3) Submit two more articles for publication before the end of the year 
4) Read all the popular non-fiction (ie, not proper scholarly publication level) obesity, food and ethics books I've bought but not read yet 
Health and wellness: 
5) Attend at least five exercise classes per week: yoga, pilates, zumba, spin, pump
6) Eat mostly whole foods  
Environment & Ethics: 
7) Purchase the most ethically produced meat and animal products we can source and go veggo when there are no ethical meat options available 
8) Where possible, shop at Farmer's markets. Aim to visit a Farmer's market once a month as a starting point. 
Family & Friends
9) Stay in touch with my brothers more. Even just a text message, but some form of contact at least once a month to start with. 
10) Send Christmas cards to overseas & interstate friends

Wish me luck! 

Monday, October 04, 2010

Peanut Butter Brownies

Confession time. I freaking love peanut butter. With a depth of passion that it is indecent for a woman to love a spread. I think it came to a head when I travelled to the US with my favourite Aunt, Maggie when I was ten and discovered that Americans have an entirely different relationship with PB than Aussies. There were peanut butter M&Ms, Reese's Pieces and many other permutations of the creamy, nutty spread that I hadn't even known I was missing in Australia. Sadly I had to adapt to life without Butterfingers et al, but my Mum indulged my peanut butter obsession with a Women's Weekly recipe, Peanut Butter Crinkles. Those biscuits are just delicious with the right amount of creamy nutty goodness offset with a little lemon zest and they have been a favourite since I was a little kid. But woman can not live by Crinkles alone. I need more and various ways to satisfy my peanut butter cravings! Fortunately I have discovered a new food blog, and already sunk many hours in to drooling over the gorgeous food p0rn photography and delicious recipes. This one in particular piqued my interest, enough to get my butt off the couch and into the kitchen: 
Smitten Kitchen, peanut butter brownies Thank-you, Deb of Smitten Kitchen. 

Peanut Butter Choc Chip Brownies
Adapted very slightly from Smitten Kitchen (mainly for ease of converting Imperial to Metric, and because I'm a bit slack and didn't read the recipe properly)

250g butter, softened in microwave
1 3/4 cups caster sugar
1 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy because I like it on my toast, but next time would definitely go creamy) 
2 large free-range eggs
2 cups of plain flour
250g chocolate chips (I used dark, but would give milk a go next time) 

To make brownies: 
Preheat oven to 180 celsius. Grease a 20cm x 30cm baking pan, then line with baking paper and grease the paper. 
Use electric mixer to beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add peanut butter and beat until incorporated. Beat in eggs, then add choc chips and stir until combined. Add flour and stir until just combined.  
Spread batter into baking dish, smoothing the top with a spatula or damp hands.  
Bake until brownies are golden brown and a bit puffy - mine only took 30 minutes and were already getting a bit overly golden on the edges. 
I let mine cool in the pan overnight, but I think I would have been better to cut them to size after an hour of cooling. 

Straight out of the oven - edges looking a bit brown...
Ooh, look at that cross-section with all those choc chips! 
All cut up and ready to eat!