Monday, October 28, 2013

meal planning monday

I did a very, very foolish thing yesterday. Rather than deleting a whole bunch of spam comments I deleted real comments. Waaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh! So sad.

Also, so silly. If you'd left a comment on my last post, to win tix to Glamarama at Newcastle Art Gallery please comment again. I feel so lonely with no comments :(

Now, onto planning.

Monday: tonight hubby and I are off to Sydney to see The Breeders in concert. So excited. It's the 20th anniversary of the release of Last Splash and they're playing the album in it's entirety. I know, I feel old. We're having dinner at our friends' house - while our child is off to spend the night with one of her best buds. Good times.

Tuesday: bbq chicken kebabs, rice salad and green salad tonight.

Wednesday: mince and macaroni bake.

Thursday: Salmon on the bbq - this was a big hit with everyone last week, so I'll be making this a regular. With lots of salads.

Friday: I'm off to the last French Friday movie of the year. I'll just have something to nibble on when we get there. Husband and child can have mexican.

Saturday: I'm going to the opening of Whiteley on Water exhibition at Newcastle Art Gallery this afternoon. Wendy Whiteley is speaking and I think I'll be floating on air. When I come home I'll bring myself back to earth by cooking up a bbq. With salad.

Sunday: slow-roasted pork is something I need. With salads.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

glamarama wrap party - giveaway!

Hey, have you been to see the extraordinary vintage fashion exhibition at Newcastle Art Gallery yet? After Five: Fashions from the Darnell Collection is an absolute must-see. Sadly, it ends on November 10 but excitingly I have TWO TICKETS to giveaway to the Glamarama Wrap Party on Saturday November 9! Taking place from 6 to 9.30pm this party will involve much entertainment, delicious canap├ęs and cocktails from Silo Restaurant and Lounge and the fabulous Bob Downe as host!

There'll also be music from DJ Eoin who'll be spinning tunes from the all the eras represented by the fashions - from the 1920s to today! FUN! 

Want to come? For your chance to win, simply tell me which era you'll come dressed in homage to and why and I shall select a winner.

Will it be the fabulous 40s as epitomised by Dior's New Look?

The flirty 50s? {Oh look, another Dior!}

The sexy 70s? {That Halston, in the middle - to die for}

Excessive 80s perhaps?

So tell me, tell me do. Which era most suits you? 

The winner will be drawn on Wednesday November 6.

To book your tickets {because c'mon, this is a bring a bunch of gal-pals kinda night} call 4974 5111. Tickets are $55 or $50 if you're a member of the Gallery Society. Frock up and be fabulous as there'll also be a vintage photobooth on location so you can take away some cute snaps of the night.

Good luck - and I'll see you there - I've already bought my tickets! {Hey, I've only seen the exhibition four times so far, and I'm a HUGE Bob Downe fan, oh, and a cocktail fan...}

Monday, October 21, 2013

meal planning monday

Who's been a slack blogger? I've been a slack blogger. Sorry. But do you know who's been punished the worst for my slackness? Me, and my family. See, no meal planning for two weeks in a row has led to no real shopping, no real cooking and no enthusiasm. For anything. We've had bbq chicken and salad more times that I can to share. We've had takeaway. We've had lacklustre steak with salad leaves from a bag and a few slices of cucumber and apple added to it. BORING!

So, from today, back into it. Starting.


Monday: I got back from Sydney from a gorgeous party yesterday to welcome friends' gorgeous baby girl to the family. It was so much fun catching up with everyone, and getting lots of cuddles and baby giggles in return. Tonight I have a community meeting to attend, so an easy dinner is called for. I'm going to make a bolognaise ravioli bake.

Tuesday: I have another meeting to attend {I know, some things never change} so it's an early dinner of bbq salmon and lots of lovely salads. I'm finding it tough cooking meals that my gal with her braces is okay to eat. Salmon should be perfect!

Wednesday: pancetta and chicken sausages - made with chicken mince, lemon zest, chilil and parsley and wrapped in pancetta before pan frying. Served with roasted carrot sticks and a green salad.

Thursday: bbq pork cutlets, glazed with mandarine jam before cooking. I'll serve these with an apple and walnut coleslaw - and a beetroot and persian feta green leaf salad.

Friday: hubby and I are off to the Maritime Ball. Can't wait! It's a Pearl Harbour theme - so 1940s and will be held in the glorious Civic Theatre. I'm on the fundraising committee for this one, so there are no surprises for me {well, aside from what I'm going to wear!!!} but I can't wait to see everyone's faces when the curtain comes up on the stage!

Saturday: bookclub in the afternoon, so I'll come home and cook some squid and prawns on the bbq.

Sunday: our first whole weekend home together in yonks - we will hopefully have done HEAPS of work around the house. I shall reward us all with a slow-roasted pork shoulder and a roasted veg salad.

Back into it! YES! And you? What are you eating? Inspire me...

image from

Sunday, October 13, 2013

county dining - it's all about sharing

For quite some time now we've been spoiled in Newcastle with fabulous dining options. Choosing somewhere to eat is tough, and I'm a tough audience. See, when I go out to dinner I want it all. Obviously I want great food: I want something new, something familiar, or something that's cooked in such a way that it brings out all the wows. I also want friendly, fabulous service. I want to be greeted with a smile by staff who make the dinner an even more pleasurable experience. Finally, I want ambiance. I want to take delight in my surroundings.

County Dining takes out the trifecta in exceeding my expectations.

This gorgeous new restaurant is the love child of Heather Moore and Jamie Ryan. And it's a beauty. Set in the historic town of Morpeth, in the old Arnott's Sourdough building, this restaurant welcomes you with open arms from the moment you walk through the historic doors.

The wide veranda completely spans the street and is the ideal setting for a dinner or a long lunch. Details have been minutely attended to. Everything from the chairs, to the napery to the cutlery is something special. You feel like you're about to experience something really special from the moment you approach your table.

The cocktail list is impressive, and overseen by the dashingly bearded Chris Woodger while the wine list by Amanda Cooper is both exciting and comforting.

And the food? Oh my, the food...

I was lucky enough to attend a preview evening, where we were treated to a range of options on the menu. Lucky - as I couldn't have chosen. I wanted EVERYTHING.

This. This was sublime. Venison tartare with a slow cooked egg, hollandaise and crispy pangritata. Oh my word. There is nothing like a well-prepared tartare to really make the most of venison. It's a meat that's delicious served rare - and divine served raw.

The most exciting thing about County Dining is there philosophy of using local, sustainable produce. See this dish above? It uses what is undoubtedly Morpeth's best product - potkin. Sure, it looks like a pumpkin, but it's not. It's the most incredibly delicious pumpkin you ever will eat - especially here at County Dining when it's served with smoked beetroot, hazelnuts and a goat's milk foam.

I thought I'd tried it all when it came to mash. Until I tried mash with bone marrow. Hello heaven! And served in old school enamel baking dishes - just like my nana had. Swoon.

Meals are meant for sharing at County Dining. Check out this incredible dish of duck, mandarin, cabbage and radish served in a massive cast iron enamelled pot. So pretty. So many flavours. So much to love. And to share. What a great concept.

This was probably my favourite thing of the night - an homage to the history of the Historic Arnott Bakehouse is this - the Iced Vovo. Can you believe it? I can't describe the magnificence, you'll just have to trust me that this is probably the best dessert I've ever had (and boy, have I had a few awesome desserts in my life). Every flavour and texture on that plate was designed to tickle tastebuds, take them for a dance, snog them, then tuck them up into bed.

Yep, divine.

Here's that balcony. Isn't it magnificent? What a spot for the newest gem in the Hunter's culinary scene.

And this is the restaurant at night. Have you seen anything prettier? Check out the website for opening hours, menu and more behind their philosophy. And make a trip to Morpeth. I'll be going again. And again. And probably another time.

Friday, October 11, 2013

fab shoes for friday

THESE are my new shoes. Ta Da! I bought them on Monday and the theory was that they'll be my shoes for Paris next year. They've got a wee wedge heel (about 2 inches) but because they have a platform at the front they're virtually flats. And they're RED! Red shoes are the best.

Is there anything more happy-making than red shoes? I think not.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

my weekend: in words and pictures

So, this weekend was the This is Not Art festival {known as TiNA} in Newcastle. Oh boy. So much to see and do. It started off with the opening party on Thursday night at Terrace Bar and didn't stop until late Sunday night. My brain's still buzzing from all the amazingness.

 Where else do you get the chance to see physical theatre performed at iconic locations such as The Mariners Pool at Newcastle Ocean baths?

And then take photos at twilight of this pretty, pretty city. Isn't Newcastle Beach just glorious?

So many fabulous venues such as The Royal Exchange with pretty booths and cute vintage lamps.

And look at this fab chandelier with tea infusers hanging from it. It's in the basement of the Royal Exchange hanging over a retro bar. So cute.

Here's a place I never even knew existed until TiNA came along. It's the United Services Club, also known as the Gun Club. So retro-fabulous.

Lounging in gorgeous leather chesterfields, with glorious vintage prints of the Queen gazing down upon you? Well, why not? A quirky venue really adds something else to an event doesn't it?

Oh, we also went very upper-class and snuck in to the opening of Reserve Wine Bar on Saturday night. Oh my. It's very, very, very swish.

So much to offer in this city of mine.

Now I just need a nap.

Monday, October 07, 2013

and the winner is...

And the lucky winner of the Friday Fashion lunch at Rustica double pass is...

Lipstick and Licorice.


Email me your name and contact details and I'll see you at lunch at Rustica in November.

Thank you to everyone who entered, and thank you Random Number Generator for helping me select the winner with ease.