Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I took along an unworn eBay purchased Cue dress, my first year of Uni formal Syndicate dress, a never worn red Crossroads skirt, hand me down Alannah Hill and Banana Republic skirts and a Portmans wrap shirt I no longer fit into. I was ready to rock.
The announcement came – Ready, Steady, Swap! and the girls were off. About 100 people raced towards the racks, and grabbed at the first things they could their hands on. Dresses, skirts, tops, jackets, shoes, coats, bags, scarves – everything was for the taking. By swapping six items I was entitled to take six, and within 15 minutes I had made my selection.
I came away with three skirts; Review, Anthea Crawford and Jay Jays; Oakley shorts; Wish strapless top and a gorgeous maxi dress that is unlabelled but so pretty I just had to have it. We heard rumours one girl had snapped up a never been worn Scanlon and Theodore dress, while I had seen a Review strapless number with the tags still attached, RRP $249.
While I was quite happy with my swaps, it occurred to me that the screening process at My Sister’s Wardrobe left a bit to be desired. While they claim to look at each garment carefully and only allow the highest quality and good condition, one could bring in a fairly well worn Valleygirl t-shirt and swap it for an MNG leather coat. This is of course the luck of the swap, and the thrill of never knowing what you might find, however it makes you think about the unfortunate girl who bought in the MNG coat who ends up with the scuffed Mollini sandals.
I also felt the clothes could have been sorted better – perhaps by size, or colour, or style, making it easier for the crowd of ladies to search out at least one thing they had come to find.
Otherwise a good night out, the thrill of not knowing what you might get is a deciding factor in attending these events, but if you are looking for something with a bit more of a guarantee of high quality, attend miss greens wardrobe instead.
In coming weeks there are a few vintage and second hand markets to attend!
Round She Goes Market, Camberwell Civic Centre, Sunday 5th July, 10am ($2 entry)
Take 2 Markets, Hawthorn Town Hall, Sunday 19th July, 10am
or visit My Sister’s Wardrobe Clothing Exchange Vintage Special Event
Wednesday 15th July at Lily Black’s (Meyers Place between Lt Collins and Bourke Street, Spring St end of town) $20
As for food today, really don’t know what to tell you today, except perhaps about the wonderful Lemon muffin I had yesterday from Muffin Break at Collins Place. Muffin Break bake the most amazing Gluten Free varieties, and they are perfect every time.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Donkey: They stink?
Shrek: Yes. No.
Donkey: Oh, they make you cry.
Donkey: Oh, you leave em out in the sun, they get all brown, start sproutin' little white hairs. Shrek: NO. Layers. Onions have layers. Ogres have layers. Onions have layers. You get it? We both have layers. [sighs]
Donkey: Oh, you both have layers. Oh. You know, not everybody like onions.
I don't like onions either, but I do like other things with layers. Like lasagna. I believe it to be a universal truth among my friends that I make the most amazing lasagna going round, however this week a friend made me lasagna and I may just have been knocked off my throne.
With all the buzz about Masterchef, it seems everyone is king of their own kitchen, and more than willing to throw in a few extra ingredients to make a recipe their own.
Traditional lasagna - beef sauce, cheese sauce, pasta sheet - has been overtaken by spinach and ricotta, or chicken and vegetable. My friend added ham and egg. Is there such a thing as a traditional lasagna anymore?
I am interested to hear about how you make your lasagna. Do you make white sauce from scratch, or just throw some shredded cheese between the meat and pasta. Do you add herbs and spices to your meat sauce, do you use fresh pasta or dried? What makes a good lasagna? My original recipe for lasagna came from the back of a box of lasagna pasta sheets! What about yours?
'Stereotypical' Traditional Lasagna
· 250g Instant Lasagna Sheets
· 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
· 60g ham, finely chopped
· 1 medium onion, finely chopped
· 1 carrot, finely chopped
· 1 stick celery, finely chopped
· 1 clove garlic, crushed
· 500g beef mince
· 5 tablespoons tomato paste
· 125ml dry white wine
· 375ml water
· 1 chicken stock cube
· salt, pepper and pinch of nutmeg
· 2 tablespoons butter
· 2 tablespoons plain flour
· 500ml milk
· salt, pepper
· 125g mozzarella cheese (cubed or grated)
Heat oil in a medium saucepan, add ham and cook gently for 3 minutes. Add onion,
carrot, celery and garlic. Cook, stirring, until onion is soft. Add mince and cook stirring,
Stir in tomato paste, wine and water into which stock cube has been dissolved. Season
with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring
Melt butter in medium saucepan, stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes over gentle heat.
Remove from heat and gradually stir in milk. Return to heat and stir until thick and
Season with salt and pepper, add mozzarella and stir over low heat until cheese melts.
Preheat oven to 180ºC.
Pour 125ml meat sauce into base of lightly greased baking dish. Alternate layers of
lasagna, meat and cheese sauces, ending with cheese sauce layer. Sprinkle top with
grated parmesan cheese if desired.
Bake in oven for 35 - 40 minutes. (Test by pricking with fork) Let stand 5 - 10 minutes
(recipe courtesy of www.sanremo.com.au)
Layers in fashion are very popular too, especially in a Melbourne Winter. Thermals, top, jacket, scarf, gloves - all essential for outdoor activity in the cooler months. Sometimes it's not all about big ticket fashion items, but about having in season pieces to team with last seasons basics, and of course, being warm! Target, Kmart and Big W have some fantastic finds this winter, that are just perfect for layering and bringing your summer wardrobe into the new season. Leggings and long sleeve t shirts work with your floral frocks, while knits thrown over singlets and opaque tights under shorts can create new looks on a budget!
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Unfortunately, for the most part, the cheap clothes are exactly that; made in China polyesters that last the season but don’t do anything for our economy or environment.
So what is a fashionista to do? This is the moment savvy entrepreneurial miss green decided to start a clothing exchange and eco-fashion parade, and I attended her second event last night. www.missgreenswardrobe.com.au
9-13 Drewery Lane, Melbourne
A gorgeous, opulent blend of boudoir extravagance meets expensive mansion style décor with subtle lighting and rich colours. The location was perfect, every girl in the house must have felt like a princess with champagne on arrival and the most amazing array of canapés served regularly, starting with oysters and ending with mini donuts several hours later.
As for the event, miss green runs a great show - check in your designer goods to swap on arrival and you will receive playing cards, valued according to the worthiness of your goods. Enjoy the champagne, mix and mingle with Joolz jewellery designer (www.joolz.com.au) and Soul Sisters while enjoying the ambiance of Baroq House.
The fashion show featured Australian Label Farage, www.faragestyle.com.au, and I must say I was impressed. Corporate wear for the professional fashionista, mixed with fun accessories by Melissa Shoes, www.melissaaustralia.com.au, and Apple & Bee, www.appleandbee.com.And after the fun of the affair was over, it was time to swap your preloved designer frock for something new and exciting to hit the town in - it was every girl for herself!
I had the pleasure of meeting the illustrious miss green, and her passion for all things eco-fashion and Australian has given me a renewed confidence in the industry and our future.
I await with anticipation the announcement of the next miss greens wardrobe event, but in the interim, get yourself a ticket to miss greens garden party, part of the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. If last nights event is any indication of things to come, we can expect big things from miss green! http://missgreensgardenparty.blogspot.com
Monday, June 22, 2009
But my internet travels yesterday unveiled many weird and wonderful things that I might not have found otherwise!
When one has a craving for chocolate cake, and no desire to leave the house (or really, to bake) what is one to do? Solution? 5 minute MICROWAVE chocolate cake!
Now, I was massively sceptical at first, who would believe you could make a (half decent) chocolate cake in 5 minutes, using the microwave?
Well I am here to tell you boys and girls, it works! This is possibly the most amazing and dangerous discovery since sliced bread made jam toast so easily accessible.
So, try it tonight for dessert. You won’t be sorry, I promise!
5 Minute Microwave Chocolate Cake for One
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil/butter
Mix the dry ingredients in a large coffee mug (I used the ‘Friends’ style soup mug!)
Add the egg, then the milk and oil. Mix all together. It will resemble cake batter.
Add the splash of vanilla and microwave on high for 3 minutes.
And just like that – Chocolate Cake!
I put maple syrup on mine, but I imagine ice cream and chocolate topping would work a treat as well!
Here are some of my favourites from the Wall Sticker Company, but if you sign here http://www.thewallstickercompany.com.au/, you can get a free sample of your very own!
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Place is pretty authentic, and the food was great. Service a bit odd, for lack of a better word!
282 Yarra Street
Such an awesome sale, and a great cause! I got 2 trench coats, a winter coat (hot pink, divine!), a blazer, 5 dresses, 2 cardigans and a top! Oh, and boots! And how much would you pay for all these, brand new, clothes? Maybe $500? $400? NOPE! $240. Yep thats it! So mark it in your diaries now, November 21st is the Summer Fashion Frenzy, and you can read all about it here http://www.vsk.org.au/
242 Chapel Street
Wayne Cooper oversized knit (as seen on Jennifer Hawkins in the latest catalogues that I got for half price!), State of Georgia over the knee boots, Miss Shop Silver and black earrings, Forever New oversized patent leather clutch, and leather driving gloves. Just awesome and so disappointing to not be in the city to show it off!
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Finding places to eat that cater for my needs never used to be easy, but these days I find most restaurants have little asterisks on the menu stating which items are available for me to eat. Some have more options than others, but at the end of the day I am just grateful that I don’t have to ask the waitress who inevitably has no idea and proceeds to tell you that they don’t add any MSG to their food.
So last night I ventured over to Thornbury for a gluten free treat – Pizza! Past experience has shown me that gluten free pizza generally falls into two categories - bad or worse, however my faith has been restored after my visit to Pizza Farro.
Anyway, everything was fabulous, the décor, the food, the staff and service were just divine and the whole experience has renewed my faith in the gluten free dining experience!
608 High Street, Thornbury
Wed – Sun 5.30pm til late (Dinner)
608 High Street, Thornbury
Wed – Sun 8am til 4pm (Breakfast and Lunch)
And for a spot of amusement on this glorious Melbourne day, have a look at the amusing t-shirts on this website for Coeliacs. www.silly-yak.com/home.htm
This one is my favourite!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Going back to school as a mature aged student can be really daunting. It has thrown up lots of questions though, like, do girls still wear schooldresses in the middle of winter? And, like, is it okay to pass notes in class yet? And most importantly, have they come up with a method of testing our learning that does not, like, involve a test?
Oh, and does everyone still say ‘like’ in the middle of their sentences?
I used to wear knee high school to school, but these days I think thigh high is trendier.
American Apparel do a great selection that you can find here… http://store.americanapparel.com.au/accessories-thigh-highs.html
You may also have read about the controversy surrounding these shots and the models who posed for them. What do you think? Mia Freedman also weighed in on the debate and you can read her blog here…http://tr.im/oKkE
While you are looking thigh high socks and dreaming up excuses like ‘the dog ate my homework’, try some sandwich sushi. Perfect for lunchboxes and blogging alike.
8 slices sandwich white or wholemeal
bread, crusts removed
310g can creamed corn
4 large thin slices double smoked ham
1 small carrot, peeled, grated
1 small Lebanese cucumber, peeled,
cut into long strips
200g can salmon in oil, drained, flaked
2 tablespoons whole-egg mayonnaise
2 to 3 iceberg lettuce leaves, washed,
dried, finely shredded
1 small avocado, cut into long strips
Place bread onto a flat surface. Use a rolling pin to flatten bread slightly. Spread corn over 4 slices, leaving a 2cm strip free of filling along 1 edge. Top with ham, carrot and cucumber. Roll up to enclose filling. Cut each sandwich into 3 rounds.
Place salmon and mayonnaise into a bowl. Mix gently to combine. Arrange lettuce over remaining 4 slices of bread, leaving a 2cm strip free of filling along 1 edge. Top with salmon mixture and avocado. Roll up to enclose filling. Cut each sandwich into 3 rounds.
Wrap all sandwiches in plastic wrap. Store in the fridge until ready to pack into lunch boxes.
Thanks to taste.com for recipe
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The two people I sit closest to at work are also sick. One had yesterday off and the other already left today. Does that make me tough for sticking it out, or stupid for passing up a perfectly good opportunity to be sleeping instead of working?
For the best bed outfits, you can’t go past Peter Alexander, and these pj’s are just sugary sweet for sleeping in. http://tr.im/oCED
And when you are sick, the best thing for it is traditional Chicken Soup.
1.3kg whole chicken
1 brown onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled, chopped
2 large celery stalks, chopped
10 whole black peppercorns
2 dried bay leaves
5 flat-leaf parsley stalks
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium leek, trimmed, halved, washed, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 medium carrot, peeled, diced
2 large celery stalks, diced
1 medium (300g) swede, peeled, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
crusty bread, to serve
Make stock. Wash chicken under cold water. Pat dry with absorbent paper. Trim any excess fat from chicken. Place chicken in a large saucepan. Add onion, carrot, celery, peppercorns, bay leaves and parsley stalks. Pour enough cold water into pan to just cover chicken. Cover with lid. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, partially covered for 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through, skimming surface during cooking. Remove from heat.
Carefully lift chicken from broth. Transfer to a plate. Strain broth through a muslin-lined sieve over a large heatproof bowl. Discard vegetables. Cool stock. Cover, refrigerate overnight.
Meanwhile, remove and discard skin and bones from chicken. Shred chicken. Cover, refrigerate overnight.
Make soup. Remove stock from refrigerator. Skim any fat from surface. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add leek and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until leek is soft. Add carrot, celery and swede. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until celery starts to soften.
Add stock and chicken. Cover saucepan. Increase heat to high. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered for 30 minutes. Add zucchini. Simmer, covered for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat. Stir in chopped parsley. Serve soup with crusty bread.
Hope you are all feeling well, and sleeping soundly!
Thanks to taste.com for recipe
Monday, June 15, 2009
This was the first time I had visited Launceston (ironically it takes me longer to commute to work in the CBD of Melbourne than it does to fly to Tasmania), and I thought it was a quaint little town, reminded me somewhat of Warrandyte in Melbourne's outer east, with a Bourke St Mall running through the centre.
Sadly, my Hawks did not get up at the game yesterday. Off to a flying start, and then the Lions came in and mauled us. It was all very upsetting, and I was ever so grateful that I had shopping, food and coffee to fall back on.
Number 1 best thing about the weekend? The chocolate and raspberry brownie I had at the cafe at Aurora Stadium.
Number 2 best thing about the weekend? The coffee that came with that brownie!
On Saturday night, my aunt and I went to dinner at a cafe bar called The Metz. If you are ever in Launceston, I highly recommend it! 119 John Street Launceston (6331 7277) Had an amazing meal - chicken breast with fetta cheese, served on risotto with a tomato based sauce, just yummy! And there were cocktails! (several of them actually!) I had the Tropical Dream, a midori and vodka based mix that was pretty and super sweet, and definately hit the spot on a cold Tasmanian night.
The cocktail also served to numb my feet after a weekend of walking around in my stiletto knee high boots (remember the 7kg luggage limit? = only one pair of shoes for the whole weekend!!). My tootsies are still a touch on the painful side this morning. So here is a selection of Mr Bianco's finest (and some are on sale!) so that you can find yourself a wonderful pair of boots to walk around Launceston in that might be a bit more comfy than mine.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Ironically I am only allowed to take 7kg of luggage on the plane. My dilemna? There is not enough baggage allowance to enable to me to take enough clothes to a) keep warm, b) look fashionable and c) have options in case I change my mind.
In the spirit of football and winter, todays recipe is for the traditional meat pie, a source of warmth and nutrition (?) at many a footy match! And the perfect accompaniment? A white coat to spill tomato sauce down the front of!! http://www.maxshop.com/au/style/43044/annelisa-funnel-neck-coat/ - hopefully it will keep me warm!
Basic Meat Pie
Preparation Time 30 - 60 minutes
Cooking Time 150 minutes
Ingredients (serves 4)
Plain flour, to dust
375g block frozen puff pastry, thawed (Pampas brand)
Melted butter, to grease
2 (25 x 25cm) sheets ready-rolled frozen shortcrust pastry, thawed (Pampas brand)
1 egg, lightly whisked
700g lean beef blade steak, cut into 3cm cubes
2 tbs plain flour
60ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
1 brown onion, roughly chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled, roughly chopped
1 large celery stick, thickly sliced
310ml (1 1/4 cups) good-quality beef stock
2 tbs finely chopped fresh curly parsley
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
To make beef filling, place beef in a medium bowl, add flour and toss to coat. Heat 2 tbs of oil in a medium heavy-based frying pan over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook, using a wooden spoon to stir often, for 6 minutes or until light brown. Transfer to a medium heatproof bowl. Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining oil to pan. Add onion, carrots and celery, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Return beef to pan with stock, parsley, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour or until beef is tender. Increase heat to medium and cook, uncovered, for a further 10-15 minutes or until sauce is a thick gravy. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Transfer beef filling to a medium heatproof bowl and set aside for 10 minutes. Cover and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to partially cool.
Meanwhile, line a tray with non-stick baking paper. Lightly flour a clean surface and use a rolling pin to roll out puff pastry, rotating occasionally, to a 30cm square 3-4mm thick. Invert a shallow 25cm (top measurement) pie plate on pastry and use a sharp knife to cut pastry 2mm from edge of plate. (Do not drag - the pastry layers may stick together and the edge won't puff into separate crisp layers in the oven.) Lift pastry onto lined tray, cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge until required.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Brush a pie plate with melted butter to grease. Place shortcrust pastry sheets on a clean surface and cut 1 sheet in half. Brush 1 edge of whole sheet with water and lay a half sheet along this edge, overlapping by 1cm. Press to join and smooth out join. Repeat process on an adjacent edge of whole sheet, overlapping ends of half-sheets as well. Gently lift pastry onto greased plate and ease into plate to line. Smooth pastry and press around top rim of plate. Hold plate and rotate while using a small sharp knife at a 45° angle to cut away excess pastry.
Use a fork to prick pastry base evenly about 25 times. Place in fridge for 15 minutes to rest (to help reduce shrinkage during cooking). Blind-bake the pie base before adding filling to ensure it is well cooked and crisp. To do this, place a 30cm square of non-stick baking paper or foil over the pastry and top evenly with about 1 cup of dried beans or rice to stop the pastry from bubbling. Place pie plate on a baking tray and cook in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Carefully remove paper or foil and beans or rice (see note) and bake for a further 8-10 minutes or until golden. Transfer the pie plate to a wire rack and, if necessary, use a clean tea towel to carefully pat down any pastry that has puffed during cooking. Set aside for 15 minutes to cool. Increase oven temperature to 220°C.
Spread cooled filling evenly into base. Remove puff pastry from fridge. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush pie edge with a little cold water. Place puff pastry on top of pie and gently press edges together to seal. (Do not press the outer edge, or it will not puff well during cooking.)
Use a small sharp knife to cut a 4cm cross in pastry centre to allow steam to escape during cooking. Lightly brush top with whisked egg.Place pie on baking tray and bake in oven for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 190°C and cook for a further 20-25 minutes or until well puffed, golden and heated through. If necessary, shield areas of pastry top and edges browning faster than others with pieces of foil. Serve immediately.
Thanks to taste.com for recipe
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The sun might be out now, but this morning the suburbs were covered with a light dusting of snow, and Connex goers had real reason to complain about the delays and cold. Being one of those who catches public transport on days like today, I would like to start by saying that Connex don't do a bad job most of the time. But when they do it wrong, they do it very wrong.
While waiting between East Richmond and Burnley this morning (15 minutes, signal failure), I was pondering where I would rather be and what I would rather be doing. Bed was of course number 1 on my list, followed closely by Hot Chocolate in front of a fire.
But since work calls once again, I now find myself several hours later still wishing I was in bed or in front of a fire. Next best thing? Sharing todays recipe and fab find with you.
Keep those toes warm on wintery Melbourne days with these Whooga Boots!
Arn't they just divine? Your feet will feel like they never got out of bed. And just to turn up the temperature in here a little more, a recipe for the best hot chocolate going...
1L (4 cups) milk
100g good-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
Marshmallows, to serve
Place the milk in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and set aside for 1 minute.
Place 20g of the chocolate in each of four heatproof serving glasses. Pour the hot milk over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate melts and is smooth. Top with marshmallows and sprinkle with the remaining chocolate.
Enjoy and Stay Warm!!
Thanks to taste.com.au for recipes
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Welcome one and all to my fashion and food blog. A recipe and the outfit you should cook it in. Or serve it in. Or eat it in. Whatever takes your fancy!
I'm going to start with something really easy and really yummy.
Peanut Butter and Choc Chip Cookies
1 cup Crunchy Peanut Butter
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Dark Choc Chips
1 tsp bi-carb soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
Mix the Peaunut Butter, Brown Sugar and bicarb soda. Add the egg, and finally the choc chips. The mix will be very sticky! Use a teaspoon to create balls, put these on a greased baking tray and flatten slightly with a fork. Bake in a 180 degree over for 8-10 mins until slightly browned.
Warning - these cookies are addictive!!! The batter tastes like the inside of peanut butter m and m's, while the cookies are just divine yummy!
And of course, while baking, your fashion accessory de jour should be your apron! Saves getting cookie on couture, and has the ability to make you look like you stepped off the film set of Pleasantville
Try these 50s insprired retro aprons from Bunny Maxwell...
Very sweet, and they have matching gloves!
Bring out your inner Betty Crocker (or Martha Stewart...) and have some fun in the kitchen (wearing couture of course!)
Thanks to taste.com.au for recipes