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Archive for June, 2010

10 pet hates…

In no particular order…

1. People constantly pressing the button to cross the road at the lights. Just the once will do.
2. Sunglasses indoors. You wanker.
3. Clients and suppliers not signing off an email with their email signature.
4. Mineral makeup over the top of regular makeup. The idea behind mineral makeup is a) to look as though you aren’t wearing any & b) to eliminate the use of harmful chemicals on your skin. So why would you wear them together?!? Why?
5. Going to do the dishes and the inside of the gloves are wet. Aaargh.
6. Smoking.
7. Pen clickers. Have had to ask an examiner to tell off one of the other students for this before. So irritating.
8. Bad spelling.
9. Girls not getting the heels of their shoes repaired. Click, click, click all through town. Like a goat.
10. “I can understand what you say” automated voice systems. Love the new AAMI ad’s directed at this.

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One of my closest friends (whom I have known since we were born) just recently got engaged. It is quite possible that I am more excited about this wedding than Rebecca herself. Here are some images I’ve collected recently (LOVE the handmade table runner and flower pompoms). Am picturing a lovely garden wedding with sunflowers, recycled paper stationary, fantastic weather and, of course, the most gorgeous bride imaginable!

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In no particular order…
1. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time- Mark Haddon
2. This Charming Man- Marian Keyes
3. The Time Travelers Wife- Audrey Niffenger
4. The Bronze Horseman Trilogy (can’t pick a favourite)- Paullina Simons
5. Lolita- Vladimir Nabokov
6. Perfect Match- Jodi Picoult
7. Mama Mia- Mia Freedman
8. Tully- Paullina Simons
9. Memoirs of a Geisha- Arthur Golden
10. Anybody Out There?-  Marian Keyes

What are yours?

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Jamie Oliver’s Moroccan Lamb with Cous Cous

1 medium red onion
3 ripe tomatoes
a small bunch of fresh parsley
1 fresh red chilli
8 dried apricots
ground cumin
a small handful of pine nuts
1 400g tin of chickpeas
200g couscous
1 lemon
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
250g lamb neck fillet
natural yoghurt or sour cream to serve

Peel and finely chop the onion and chop the tomatoes into chunks. Roughly chop the parsley and stalks, finely chop the chilli and finely slice the apricots. Put the pan on a high heat and add a lug of olive oil. Add onions, chilli,apricots and cook until onions soften slightly. Add 2 teaspoons of cumin, pinch of salt and pepper and the pine nuts and stir.Add tomatoes, most of the parsley and the chickpeas with all the juices and an extra 50ml of water and leave the sauce to bubble away for about 5 mins.

While the sauce is simmering, put the couscous into a bowl and pour in just enough boiling water to cover. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, a good squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil, then cover with foil and leave for 5 to 8 mins. Go back to the sauce and use a spoon to mash it up a bit. When it looks quite saucy add a pinch more salt and pepper and the balsamic vinegar.

Put a second pan on a high heat and let it get really hot. Cut the lamb into 2.5cm pieces. Sprinkle chopping board with cumin and salt and pepper. Move the meat around the board to coat it in the seasoning and push the meat down with hands to flatten the pieces. Add a few lugs of olive oil and lamb to hot pan. Cook for about 2 to 3 mins on each side.

Uncover the cous cous, fluff it up a bit with a fork and put onto plates. Put a few lamb pieces next to it with a nice amount of sauce. Sprinkle with remaining parsley, a dollop of yoghurt or sour cream, a drizzle of olive oil and any meat juices from the pan.

Photo courtesy of Mountain Mike (Flickr).

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So on Saturday night while at home lying about the couch eating Guinness stew in my trackadack wear and flicking through some magazines I discovered that that the amazing ‘Magnolia Square’ craft markets would be taking place at my local racecourse that very next day. Naturally I needed to attend. Now don’t be put off by the name ‘Craft Market’ like some others I told were. It was really just like your regular markets (think Bondi Beach) but with none of that second-hand chain-store carry on (Preloved VINTAGE Sportsgirl singlet from Summer 2002, only $40!) or that handmade Regretsy rubbish. It was all NICE handmade pieces. Lovely organic cottons, gorgeous handmade paper stationary, eco-friendly candles and robust yet pretty little trinkets. I was impressed to say the least!
Here are a few lovely pieces I came across:
1. littlechillies.com.au
2. printspace.com.au
3. angusandceleste.com.au
4. justsmitten.com.au
5. gateuniques.com.au
6. ensparkle.com.au
7. letterfsforcoco.com.au
8. huntandgather.com.au
9. spacecandles.com.au
10. thecupcakewrapperco.com.au

(Check out magnoliasquare.com.au for more images and details on stall holders as well as events dates for the rest of 2010. The next Sydney markets is 12th-14th November)

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