Saturday, November 27, 2010

52 Recipes - October & November

OK so now another update with those recipes...October & November

4.10 40 Pesto - Maggies Harvest (Maggie Beare) Pasta
11.10 41 Fruit Tarts - French Cookbook (JC) Baking
18.10 42 Eton Mess - The internet (bookmarked) Desert
25.10 43 Raspb white choc.muffins - Donna Hay Baking

1.11 44 Stuffed Vegetables - The internet (bookmarked) Vegetable
8.11 45 Peach Melba - Nigella Lawson Desert
15.11 46 Passionfruit Curd - The Cooks Companion Baking
22.11 47 Red Velvet Cupcakes - The internet (bookmarked) Baking
29.11 48 Borscht - Naomi Soup

6.12 49 Coulibiac - Naomi Fish/Pie

A lot of Baking in the last few months...I will need to give the red Velvet cupcakes another go as I substituted sour cream for buttermilk ( I know mental). The Raspberry and white chocolate muffins worked a treat, and finally a recipe from the Domestic Goddess herself actually working and tasting fabulous ( in fact Peach Melba is becoming a regular dessert at Riversdale Road) . I have found as much as I love NIgella her recipes are a bit crap.

On a side note another couple and ourselves have been doing theme dinner monthly ( or when we remember) hence the recent Russian dishes...I must say Coulibiac is a fantastic Salmon & Mushroom Pie and was filling( I was worried it would not be enough). Spanish night was still the best for me ( paella & Churros - whats not to love).

So my final 3 are reserved for Xmas theme...thinking of Christmas tarts but unsure of the other 2...maybe a roasted duck with cherries...actually I haven't made egg nog either so best I read up on my Fanny Cradock and get back to you all in December.

Friday, October 29, 2010

La Concorde

This is the cake I have been raving about for the last few months. This cake was created for the launch of the Concorde Jet back in the 1970's. I have never (baked) or eaten a better chocolate cake. Hands down.
Basically it is discs of chocolate meringue, sandwiched with the richest of chocolate mousse then decorated with broken sticks of meringue. It is layered, rich and all chocolate to the bank.
Perfectly good by itself, however I like it with a raspberry coulis ( don't add too much sugar in the coulis - the tartness of the raspberry is wonderfully with the richness of the chocolate) and whipped cream (somehow it enhances the cake more).
Now as I do not have the permission to give the recipe I was given class (I simply haven't asked Le Chef) I have posted a recipe link I found on a public site which is good:-
What I do recommend is that you use the best quality dutch cocoa ( DON'T SKIMP - its expensive but you will thank me) free range eggs (why are people still using battery when free range is only a few dollars more - think of those poor chickens) and the best quality dark chocolate (couverture hands down - again DON'T SKIMP on the chocolate). The recipe link also includes vanilla (this is optional).I found the times I have baked it post cooking class I have run out of meringue sticks - so don't use a big nozzle on the piping bag.
Oh and only ever make this cake for company. Just reading the amount of butter, chocolate and eggs in this cake could make you gain weight - But you can get 8 to 10 serves out of this delight and then the butter/choc ratio is nothing. Well almost nothing.
Only 2 months to go - 9 recipes - for November and for 4 December. I will try to only do Xmas related ones in December...Well try that is.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

52 Recipes - June to September

Ok so I was VERY shabby in blog entries after returning from the big trip...the holiday is now a memory. But not shabby with keeping up with an update is needed to fill you all in... ( classified as date/recipe title/source & type - for all you foodies and hungry masses)


7.6 23 Berry Bundt Cake - The internet (bookmarked) Baking
14.6 24 Fish Stock - Comfort Food (Gary M) Stock
21.6 25 Paella - Margaret Fulton Spanish
28.6 26 Spanish Donuts - Gourmet Traveller (Jun 2010) Baking

5.7 27 Roasted Carrot soup - Gourmet Traveller (Jun 2010) Soup
12.7 28 Oxtail Bolognaise - Comfort Food (Gary M) Pasta
19.7 29 Prawn Cocktail - Gourmet Traveller (Jan 2010) Seafood/Entree
26.7 30 Duck Liver Pate - French Cooking Class Entree/Starter

2.8 31 Caramelised Onion Relish - French Cooking Class Relish
9.8 32 Confit of Duck - French Cooking Class Meat
16.8 33 Duck & Pear Salad - French Cooking Class Entree
23.8 34 Fricassee of Chicken - French Cooking Class Meat/Main
30.8 35 Fresh Pasta - French Cooking Class Pasta

6.9 36 La Concorde (Cake) - French Cooking Class Baking
13.9 37 Lamb Ragu - The internet (bookmarked) Pasta
20.9 38 Chocolate Chip Cookies - The internet (bookmarked) Baking
27.9 39 Chilli Jam - The internet (bookmarked) Relish

Ok so no recipes during the big trip... I was ahead of myself and I made up for it at cooking class. It was a fantastic day - we made 8 new recipes all fabulous and got to eat them at the end of the day!) It was that good I’m going back in feb (that was the earliest class I could get into!)

The best recipe of the day ( of the year to be more exact) was the La Concorde – the most amazing chocolate cake I have ever made...I will be making it next weekend for Sunday Lunch desert ( Andy’s dad is visiting from out of town) – and will reveal the recipe for the BEST chocolate cake...EVER.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Mashups for today - I'm Back/The party's over

Hello God it's me Brett. I'm back in business.

OK so I have been back in OZ since September...the holiday was 'just too marvellous for words' [as in the song - I blame the Glee for all this singing dear reader]. Having just over 2 months off from work to travel and to have time out has been fantastic, thank god for Long service leave. I was told during my travels that only OZ and dear old New Zealand offer this to long term employees globally! OMG I so thought it was an English thing that we copied. And if I stay for another 4 years with the same employer I get another month off. HA.

Alas its 6:30am and I'm back to work today. I slept OK but kept waking up every few hours. I was getting my gym bag packed last night and I was ironing clothes for today. It felt like I was heading back to school after Summer holidays - Whoa whoa I gotta go ...back to school [Grease 2 for those magical lyrics]. Jesus that was almost 20 years ago. I got an email recently from an old school friend to prepare for the 20 year reunion next year [I didn't go to the 10 year one because...actually I cant remember the reason now]. I'm still not 100% sure I want to go to this one either but I have many months to decide.

I have caught up on many a recipe ( I'm actually a few weeks ahead and more excited than ever) and I have all the lovely pics to upload and bore you with the trip [insert any song from the The road to ...movies here] I do feel very much rested and going back to work today isn't so much a chore, rather than its time.
So It's time to wind up the masquerade - Just make your mind up the piper must be paid
The piper? He's about 4th on the list after our trip. Thankfully he plays a sweet tune. Unlike the credit card statement.
X b

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Au Revior...for now

No I havent thrown in the towel as I've been quiet of late. I'm still blogging but no posts in August as we are off tomorrow around the world. We are packed & ready so having quiet nesting time before departure early tomorrow to Sydney then the globe.

See you all in September. Take care.

X b

Monday, July 05, 2010

We've only got for 4 weeks (until) to see the world

OK so world stars Madonna and Justin we ain’t. However, we may be world travellers in a few weeks.

We have been planning this holiday for...well months really. We started discussing it well over a year or so ago. Perhaps even longer. I have 2 months of long service waiting and we hadn’t had an overseas trip since Andy’s 40Th birthday. I always wanted to use one month for travelling and one month for house stuff [assumption was that we would have bought a house by then, however with the spiralling cost of real estate in this country has been obscene to say the least that has not yet come to fruition]. However the plan is going to be seen through anyhow. I have so many odds and ends to do around the home...let alone some time just to put my feet up for a bit and do...well sweet fuck all really. But before all that lovely slothy house DVD marathon gets cracking the world is waiting to be seen.

So deciding on taking a holiday wasn’t the issue. Where to go was. We always said we wanted to see USA – and agreed upon San Francisco, Las Vegas and NYC. Lovely. Gay town, party town then the capital of the world. Lovely. Then we decided to say fuck it and continue to Europe. Now this meant some planning and negotiation. Which country? Which city? Which tour? I had already travelled to London, Paris and Italy. Now I liked Italy but want to see another part of the continent.

UK was clearly number one on the list. Catching up with old friends in London, and going off to Wales to see [meet for the first time] Andy’s family. There is just something about that island nation I actually feel at home there. It must have been all the expats and BBC shows I have known all my life in OZ. Oh and the shopping is quite good.

Andy wanted to see Paris again [his description of it in when her visited in the 1980’s was it stank of piss and everyone was rude] as it has changed so much since. Although I loved it when I visited in 2005 but I did have a reservation seeing it again this trip [only as I wanted to see go there for my 40Th birthday in a few years time] but the thought of seeing the beautiful boulevards, buildings and Boulangeries again was of course too much to refuse. And this time I would see it in summer not autumn. Je suis heureux !

But where to next. I had to convince Andrew to visit Croatia to see my where my family is from. From Dubrovnik to Spilt and the islands that surround. I have no expectation as I have never been but everyone says it’s amazing...Andrew was pleasantly surprised when friends showed him pictures of a French Riviera style waterfront of Split [ he thought Croatia being a former eastern bloc country would be similar to the land of Borat, I have corrected him Dragie!].

Last stop was easily agreed upon. Bali for a week in a Villa and doing less than nothing. Well nothing will include cocktails, pool, tunes and food. And sun sun sun [ Especially after my very expensive visit to the Dermatologist who said I have good skin, no cancers and generally tan well – well some trade off for losing my hair!]

But this trip is not just about a sunny holiday. It’s about having a break from the mundane of everyday life, getting in touch with ourselves and each other, our family roots, our mates and seeing more of this great planet we inhabit. And now the winter seems to be getting colder, the days dragging and all I can think about is the trip. Why is it always like this the closer to a big trip. Now just to get through these last few and [painfully] long weeks. So will be worth the wait.

X b

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Jesus I’m sick of the soccer/football/world game etc. Well sick of the focus that the Australian Press is giving the Socceroos currently.

Australia -this goes out to you. You don’t have to be the best of every fucking sport on the planet. And yes that means the soccer too. Who cares if the Tim Cahill got a red, yellow, black or puce card by a referee. We are not going to win the World Cup anyway. Germany, Italy UK – well any European country have a chance to win as it is their choice sporte le mode.

We are obsessed with sport in this country. And we get really upset & pissed off when we don’t win every form of sport. There is a reason why we don’t win every sport. For example take the Winter Olympics. We have a great big desert as our Centre (and most of the continent) neither the Alps nor the Aspen are anywhere to be skied. And we complain when it’s colder than 15C. By Apparently snow usually needs below zero to stop from melting. Let alone the whines when it rains. Stephen Bradbury one of our first and few Winter Olympics Gold medallists won because the other 4 got silly and fell over each other before the finishing line. So that’s the Snow sports out for us.

Next let’s rule out the running and the athletics. USA is King here and is not going to be beaten. Except by the occasional African nation who run in their bare feet (and the rest of the world are glad that the US of A lost). Too much media has already been given to that revolting Jana – Pit-bull…er… Pitman. And she’s crap anyway as she has a gammy knee. So stop the track and field please. Oh and don’t even get me started on the wrestling or the boxing, weights and all that. Russia and China does that far too well. We simply don’t.

I live in a nation sports obsessed even though clearly I’m not. I’m not unpatriotic and yet I am regularly crucified (especially at work) if I have a dig at the OZ sport obsession. I will admit though that diving, swimming and the other water sports (don’t be dirty) we are quite good at. Oh and the cycling we can do. The beachy sporty stuff too (but with all that coast line that we are also so obsessed with we would be a bit rubbish if we didn’t use it). Apparently not too bad at the occasional shooting and some odd sports (not the curling thank god, I mean really anyone can sweep up love) and that’s good too.

But Australia, repeat after me, we are not going to win the world cup. Now breathe. See not so bad. We are still alive and kicking. Not drowning just waving (if you prefer the swimming reference). The boys will do the best they can - Lucas and Tim and the lads will look hot wearing their shorts and kicking a goal in South Africa (eventually) - but we are not going to win the world cup. Now with all that extra energy let’s have a crack at supporting the Arts in this land of ours. Now there’s a team that could do with our support. Not the running or the (roll of the eyes) curling. Or similar.

Saying that - I’m not ruling out support and cheers for the ice-skating though. But maybe that shows how gay I am rather than sports obsessed.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Eurovision 2010...Post Script

Well its over for another year. And these schmucks [pictured] hosted the event! Well the girl on the right was actually good. The other one was mainly questionable and the Blondie twit in the middle really 'shared the moment' that he was a twit with a rather massive head. Too massive even for our wide screen TV.

But before you hear me become Rant Mcranty from Ranty town, the actual production and overall look of this years competition wasn't too bad. Especially the start [rather impressed with all the bubble graphics] and unlike previous host countries who use the night as a tourism promotion between songs this year, they simply used a shot of the capital of the country about to sing with the fans. A pleasant change from seeing landmarks, forests and [rather awful] beaches. But alas I digress.

Highlights included the gatecrasher who managed to dance while Spain was [rather dismal circus themed] singing, Serbia ugly bizarre song and singer, the pretty man from Israel [ song wasn't too bad seeing it was sung in Hebrew], Albania's surprise dance song [it was good - that was the surprise - and didn't sound like a song from Albania's hit musical 'Gypsy Olga and her magic Tractor'] and Romania delivering a great dance hit and finishing 3rd!

Yes my predictions were a bit crap there. Germany did win, but my other predictions finished in the top 10. And poor Iceland came 19th! It was a shock and dismay that Denmark came 5th [truly poor duet] and the less spoken about Turkey and Azerbaijan [ I had to spell that out 6 times] the better. The UK finished last. Shame Brits shame. Even Belarus beat you.

Aha but that is the Eurovision wheel of fortune! Or lack thereof you may say. Berlin next year and unlike this years rather good production from Norway, I am preying for a return for Eurovision from the past decades - complete with cheesy presenters telling poor jokes, shots of Hamburg looking dull and dancing girls on Mini Brandenburg gates with beer steins and lederhosens. Well I can prey. X b

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Spoiler Alert...Eurovision 2010...The Winner

Well the odd underweight singer with the indy whine from Germany with 'Satellite' wins the 2010 Eurovision. The Favourite wins again...I finally see a pattern emerging. Watch her on the below link [if you want].

All the campery will be played out tonight on SBS and full review of the sharing the magic of the moment etc etc etc will be posted later.

X b

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Eurovision 2010...The Grand final(ists)

So the semi's have been sung....they really did give there all [bless em] and now only the grand final remains...the lucky line up are as follows:-

01- Azerbaijan Safura
Drip Drop
02- Spain
Daniel Diges Algo Pequeñito
03- Norway Didrik Solli-Tangen My Heart Is Yours
04- Moldova Sunstroke Prjct & Olia Tira Run Away
05- Cyprus Jon Lilygreen&The Islanders
Life Looks Better In Spring
06- Bosnia&Herzegovina
Vukašin Brajić Thunder And Lightning
07- Belgium Tom Dice Me And My Guitar
08- Serbia Milan Stanković
Ovo Je Balkan
09- Belarus
3+2 Butterflies
10- Ireland Niamh Kavanagh
It's For You
11- Greece
Giorgos Alkaios & Friends OPA
12- United Kingdom Josh That Sounds Good To Me
13- Georgia Sofia Nizharadze Shine
14- Turkey maNga We Could Be The Same
15- Albania Juliana Pasha It's All About You
16- Iceland Hera Björk Je Ne Sais Quoi
17- Ukraine Alyosha Sweet People
18- France Jessy Matador
Allez Olla Olé
19- Romania
Paula Seling & Ovi Playing With Fire
20- Russia Peter Nalitch & Friends Lost And Forgotten
21- Armenia Eva Rivas Apricot Stone
22- Germany Lena Satellite
23- Portugal Filipa Azevedo
Há Dias Assim
24- Israel
Harel Skaat Milim
25- Denmark Chanée & N'evergreen In A Moment Like This.
Poor Malta...I was suprised she was pipped at the post over [the Blonde haired ugly poofy from] Serbia but I digress. It is Eurovision after all...Olso must be wetting its panties over the grand final tonight [plus the fact its been how long since a grand final held in Western Europe].
So here are my top 5 predictions for Eurovision 2010

1- Germany Lena Satellite
2- Georgia Sofia Nizharadze Shine
3- Armenia Eva Rivas Apricot Stone
4- Greece Giorgos Alkaios & Friends OPA
5- Iceland Hera Björk Je Ne Sais Quoi
I dont like Apricot Stone and LOATH OPA however they have beern extremely popular with the Euro Folk. As much as I want Romania's playing with fire to end in the top 5 I dont think it will. But thankfully UK & Ireland wont either.
Oh well one more sleep and its over for another year...Andrew breathes a large sign of relief.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

More Eurovision - Winner predictor gadget

Oh so unexpected by Big Google - I just found this this nifty little tool for the 2010 Eurovision Winner predictor gadget - v.excited.

Currently listing as at 20th Of May:- ( oh yes links to clips on YouTube too dear reader - just click on the name of the singer since the bastards stopped the linking - still mad)

1 Germany -
Lena - Saterlite - 354
2 Georgia -
Sofia Nizharadze - Shine - 233
3 Malta -
Thea Garrett - My Dream - 119
4 Poland -
Marcin Mroziński - Legenda - 115
5 Sweden -
Anna Bergendahl - This Is My Life -115
6 Romania -
Paula Seling & Ovi - Playing With Fire - 96
7 France -
Jessy Matador - Allez, Ola, Ole - 91
8 Greece -
Giorgos Alkaios & Friends - OPA! - 89
9 Azerbaijan -
Safura - Drip, Drop - 86
10 Estonia -
Malcolm Lincoln - Siren - 71

Now lets break this down...

1 - As mentioned, Germany is gagging to win...since well the 1950's really and they take this SERIOUSLY. They would be very happy with this so far. [have Google shares gone up in Deutchland I vunder?]
2 - Good to see my pick Shine is number 2 ( I also predicted the no.2 last year so I'm sorry Georgia if I have already put the mockers on the competition).
3 - Malta's not bad - reminds me of an Olympic theme song mixed with a Bond theme.
4 - Poland - crap song but he's a cutie.
5 - Sweden, always good for a pop song.
6 - Also a favourite of mine and hoping that Romania, usually submitting usual crapola finishes in the top 5. Bless.
7 - Like a french Usher come Jamaican pretty man.
8 - Well Greece really OPA? Could they not come up with anything else (must be the economic crisis clearly affecting song titles as well as debt).
9 & 10 - well when your 9 & 10th its a bit like 90th and 100th really.

And you can also list the losers... Belgium, Lithuania & Switzerland so far [more usual suspects, well they have nice chocolate and views of the water].

And you get the predictor to your blog via Google search - too easy. Thanks BB...errr Google.

Monday, May 17, 2010

52 Recipes - April & May

Goodness we have been 'busy cookin' a plenty... just a quick update

5.4 14 Rabbit & Mushroom Pie - Gourmet Traveller (Apr 2010)
12.4 15 Potato Gratin - The internet
19.4 16 Pork Cassoulet - The internet
26.4 17 Lemon Curd - The Cooks Companion

3.5 18 Welsh cakes - A &B special
10.5 19 Walnut & espresso cake - Gourmet Traveller (May 2010)
17.5 20 Lemon Meringue Cake - Nigella Lawson
24.5 21 Duck L’Orange - The internet
31.5 22 Reine de Saba - Julia Childs

I know that its still the middle of May and we have gone over but as we are away for 5 weeks in August we need to get ahead of ourselves or the NY resolution of 52 recipes wont be reached. And there is nothing I hate more than not finishing something...ooh it drives me insane.

Im quitre happy it is going well however I think my pants need letting out. Or the installation of an elastic bands. Otherwise I'm, as my grandmother would say, very 'healthy darling'( she would saw drougie as this is Croatian for darling but I digress). And it is rather cold in Melbourne at the moment. Unsure what to try next, thinking another slow cooked all in one number (a treat and a half in this cold season). Maybe some italian? Mmmm pasta...mmm cheese...mmm size 36 by june ( Noooooooooooooooo!).

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Eurovision 2010...need I say more

Well I thought it was time for a Eurovision Blog Entry. God knows I’m overdue. Still not over those You Tube bastards not allowing links to blogs but you can’t fight City hall. Especially when that City Hall is Google…but I digress.

Now I’m not sure if the sombre economic air of Europe has influenced this year’s contestants…but it’s not that crazy crap-tacular that you normally get. Sure old Eastern European entries are still a bit laughable [’ll get to that shortly] but overall its very contained and normal. Yes I’m aghast too dear reader. This year its very like a European ‘Idol’ – it’s ballads & serious pop. And everyone is so fucking young. No oldies (well only a few) – this is geared up for gen Y full stop this year. Haircuts & 80’s styling optional.

‘Share the moment’ is theme dujour in Oslo this year. I’m not sure who will be sharing the moment – well Italy, Austria, Hungary, Czech republic, Monaco & Luxembourg have decided not share anyhow and stay at home. Bully to you. However the rest of Europe will be sharing on the last weekend of May.

So my hot, not so hot, highlights & hits awards for 2010 are as follows:-

Don’t understand what your singing about award goes to Finland, Serbia, Spain & The Netherlands have decided to sing in their native tongue. Not really a good move in an international song contest when the language of Europe is…oh that’s right English. Not Finnish love. Never that.

Just got it wrong award goes to:- Russia, Serbia, Spain & Slovenia. Yes likely and repeat offenders here. Now Russia is singing in English but has decided to place their version of Simon & Garfunkel folk. Lovely. Serbia has an ugly poofy with the worst hydrogen peroxide blonde bob wearing a white Sgt Peppers jacket singing in Serbian. Goody. Spain decided to submit a Ginger singing a folky fairground tune. Marvellous. And finally Slovenia is a rock meets folk ditty wearing traditional costumes with a song similar to a car hitting a freight train. Enough! But real shame is that these are the only ones who really got it wrong this year. Shame and disappointment Europe. Shame and disappointment.

Lets hide a shit song with a pretty distraction award goes to:- Now Israel, Norway, Poland & UK have very very pretty lads this year. Israel is especially hot. But their songs are quite simply - Shit. Well there is definitely a career in gay porn for these handsome contestants post Oslo.

Now the highlights.

Estonia – Siren - this is a surprise as they usually lay a pretty ugly duckling – the song is very Paul McCartney in manner of ‘Wings’ and not too bad.

Georgia – Shine – now this one is one of my favourite – in ballad like style to Iceland entry last year with ‘ Is it true’ which came 2nd . Not bad for a former Soviet state.

Germany – Satellite – no this is not my cup of tea but it’s probably one of the most unique songs of the competition so it rates a mention. And Germany is gagging for a win.

Romania – Playing with fire – Again another surprise from a country usually famous for dictators and bad bad songs. I’m not sure how this is going to fare but the chorus is catchy and who doesn’t love a boy & girl pop duet.

Iceland – Je Ne Sais Quoi – Now this is one is my favourite of the competition. It’s your great euro trash dance song with even a French title of the Chorus – you’ll be hearing in this in any gay club in Europe this summer. Song by a rather large and not so pretty lass but a hit none the less.

Now for those in OZ dear SBS is broadcasting 'Countdown To Eurovision' specials on May 14th and May 21st at 4pm, including "The A to Z of Eurovision" – including the most memorable ( and not so memorable) moments of previous Eurovision. Now that’s the Eurovision of my youth I remember so well. Those were the days.

Needing more Eurovision -

Saturday, April 24, 2010

You Tube...No Tube

Well here I am every year planning to share the high, well really the low lights of Eurovision. Imagine my surprise when I go to ol’ faithful You tube to find the top finalists of this craptacular song competition only to find out this [one woman show alert]...

You Tube no longer shares with blogger...yes dear reader blogger who is owned by Google who also owns You tube...have decided to not pursue the sharing arrangements of clips. Makes sense [yes Google that sense not Adsense you constantly sending me emails about].

Now why is this is? You can still link to Facebook, Twitter and the suchlike. That’s handy to bloggers. Are Google foreseeing a future without blogs due to these popular social networking sites? Or have they decided to start this ball rolling...[lights brighten centre stage]

So what does this mean? Google now is so huge it has the financial power and might of a Super Power. It’s that scary. Ok so I was impressed when they told China recently that they were removing Government based blocks for searches – Google used its power for good. But this? Why remove the linking to You Tube? And I might add, no explanation why just informing that they were removing it. More like China then you care to admit hey Google?

Ok so Im being a tad dramatic. Ta Da. [Exit stage left, music crescendos].

Needless to say I have not only been pissed off by this news but have lost a bit of motivation to post...hence my slovenly silence. Now I could just find another site that allows me to link to blogger...Daily motion for example. Trouble is that the content compared to You tube is of a lesser quality. And you know quality is word dujour when it comes to Eurovision.

So I will stop the rant and hope that another clip site will resolve my current dilemma. And when you think about the poor folks in China I need to shut up. As its not dilemma more than a diva dummy spit. [End Scene].

Thursday, April 01, 2010

52 Recipes - March

A quick update on the recipes.
Ok so now March is down and dusted....

1.3 9 Sago Gula Melaka - Food Safari (Season 2)
8.3 10 Slow Cooked Greek Lamb - The internet
15.3 11 Olive fetta & onion tart - The internet
22.3 12 Orange sugar puffs - Gorgeous Cakes Cookbook
29.3 13 Hot Cross Buns - Gourmet Traveller (Apr 2010)

Just baked the buns today - and they were a triumph!

Andy and I ate 4 straight out of the oven - OMG why I havent made these sooner!

Now for APR ( Planned)
5.4 14 Rabbit & Mushroom Pie - Gourmet Traveller (Apr 2010)
12.4 15 Potato Gratin - The internet

These are both for a dinner with friends on Saturday night....and yes I will be taking pictures!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

You Tube:'Sneaky Gays

A sneak peak of the next season of GLEE - esp like the many mentioned word swish

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A day in my life - an ebay experience.

I have been a great fan of ebay – selling and buying - and not had any issues. However my recent ebay purchase went like this...

Found item...watched item until last day of auction [I have been looking for similar item for last few months and all go for way too much].

Item in last day – came in and bid like crazy – won item! Paid under what I thought it would have gone for – brilliant.

Sent email for address for courier to collect [it was furniture] and informed the seller I paid via PayPal. She refunded it and said could I pay via bank account instead. PayPal did not debit me – not a problem.

Paid into bank account and emailed her. She confirmed address & she recommended a courier to use. I then organised the suggested Courier and agreed on a price. Too easy.

That was Monday - Delivery Wednesday. And now starts the drama.

Courier calls me this morning and lost address. Gave address again. Ok.

Bank calls me. PayPal have debited account and did I know that I am now overdrawn? Apologised to bank manager [my bank still believes in service ] I then transfer funds to cover. Not ok.

Courier calls me again. Seller not at home. I inform them they are 30 mins early. Courier said that they are busy so they thought they would get there early. I inform them again I was told 10-12 pick up and suggested that they call their office to sort out as I informed seller of this. Getting tetchy now.

Leave a message for seller. So not good right now.

I call PayPal. After 10 mins in an automated service designed to try a patience of a saint I speak to a disinterested agent called ‘Patrick’ [Prick would have been more fitting] who informs me that seller had no right to refund payment until she received it. And this is my problem? And anyway I would have to wait for 5 working days to appear in my Pay Pal account. Once appeared I can request to withdraw the funds from my PayPal account I now have to wait for a further 5 working days [ so 2 weeks minimum] before I can have the money back into my account. And no nothing can be done. I thank Patrick for his assistance and tell him that if he showed some empathy to customers they would be much easier to speak to and possibly his job could be easier too. Quite furious right now.

Courier calls again. They have waited until 10:05am and still no one at home. They are leaving and if I want to reorganise to call the office. I do. Owner of courier business give ME a frosty reception and states that he simply can’t do another trip to sellers today. Nor the rest of week. Possibly late next week IF an opening becomes available. I inform him I will call him back. I don’t.
I email seller to reschedule for later this week – maybe the weekend. No response.

I call another courier to get quote. Firstly I am informed that I have called the wrong department and given a new number. Then promptly disconnected. I call new number. Better automated voice and get through to agent. She can’t help me but takes my details and someone will call back soon. I ask when? Soon she repeats. I wait.

I make a coffee and contemplate why you can’t buy vallium over the counter anymore. It’s also the first time in 4 years I want to light up a cigarette and pretend I’m Baby Jane Hudson when I’m speaking to these phone incompetents. If anything just to practice my Bette.

So I try the seller again. She answers. She overslept and missed the whole thing. I tell her my morning and she apologises profusely and tells me she will drop in off within 2 hours. She sounds genuine. I thank her and say a Hail Mary just in case. Im not even Catholic.

Well she did. And she could not have been nicer about. She called the 1st courier to explain it was her issue and didn’t even take petrol money.

So I have my item which looks fantastic [ it is vintage post war Danish buffet for the Dining Room] and have saved on courier costs. Will eventually get my other money back.

Moral of this tale – PAYPAL are cunts but sellers on ebays are not. In fact this one was fabulous.

X b

Ps- Oh yeah 2nd courier company still has not called me back. But you guessed that already.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

52 weeks

Well now its February I decided to come clean about my new year’s resolution

Firstly I haven’t broken it!

Secondly I chose it as it specifically so I couldn’t break it. Naturally.

Thirdly it’s not shocking, dirty, drug or sex related, climbing Mt Everest or building an Ark [Jesus I tried that when i was about 8 with Lego and let me tell you it didn’t work then] nor am I trying to be more spiritual, find religion, give up a vice nor loving thy neighbour more [Even though one of the guys to our left is a bit hot I don’t thing Andy would appreciate my spying on the hot neighbour].

And the thing is that after collecting so many cookbooks over the years -16 at last count, 18 months worth of the Gourmet Traveller [ The OZ foodies bible] & a folder of cut out, scribbled on and given to – recipes, I thought it was time for action.

So my resolution was to try a new recipe per week for 2010. Period.

Criteria was simple – it must be something new I haven’t cooked before, sourced from anywhere & I must have at least 52 completed by 31st of Dec 2010. Yes I was a bit inspired by Julia & Julie but not inspired enough to do every day – Well I would if I didn’t have to work! Also these are the dry runs of what will be appearing on the menu for dinner parties at Casa del a Riversdale this year.

So here’s what I prepared [earlier] to date (with source):-

4.1 1 - Lobster Thermidor - The internet
11.1 2 - Indian Lamb kebabs - ‘Indian in 6’
18.1 3 - Lamb Kofta - The internet
25.1 4 - Pea & Prawn Linguini - ‘Gourmet Traveller Simple’

1.2 5 - Berry Trifle - A & B special [ made up this one]
8.2 6 - Tandoori Chicken - ‘Indian in 6’
15.2 7 - Dahl with Spinach - ‘Indian in 6’
21.2 8 – Spanakopita (planned) - Gourmet Traveller (march 2010)

So I think I have covered classics, Indian & Greek so far. Lobster Thermidor has indeed splendid & a marvellous start. All the Indian recipes were amazing [without burning our mouths] NB - less liquid with the Dahl, darl. I think Greek food hits the spot with my love affair with Lamb. Planning to roast a whole leg Greek style soon. μεγάλος!

I have decided that throughout the year I will be updating with my progress to date – no dear reader this is not becoming a foodie blog [There is much a rumbling with Eurovision 2010 to be had next month!] but I thought a new series just for ‘010- I will also take any suggestions or recipes sent from anyone– however nothing too unusual (I’m not eating insects, testicles etc) however would be open to different styles to push my cooking boundaries.

Email me recipes at

[title your email recipe].

X b

Monday, February 08, 2010

You gotta have pride

So on Sunday it was pride march in Melbourne town - more of the Midsumma madness. Andy & I sent our regrets as we were gardening that day. Before you say why we were not in attendance I figured I can miss a gay march after being out of the closet for almost 20 years [this year readers] & seen a few sights in that 20 years in the community & I didn’t need to go and see more. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the march with the many groups represented such as the bears nor PFLAG/dykes on bikes/gay parents/mature men nudists [wearing g’s no less – or they’ll get arrested] nor a support group for trannies of Dimboola or lesbian separatists Baptist church [Ah[Wo]men!]- Its just that they represent groups that I don’t relate to.

So it’s only apt that I was reading a blog article titled Create a Unifying Term for the Community in the Queers united blog [ ] basically calling for a united name for the GLBTIQA – Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Questioning ( I know - how the fuck did that one get in - NB some know this as Queer but in OZ its Questioning) and Asexual. Why don’t we just call it GLBTIQASupercalifragilisticexpialidociousfuckingstupidname community as the adding of the letters has become too ridiculous for...words.

Now I totally agree with one unified name for the community however where do you start? Queer on the face of it seems to fit the bill but it’s just too queer for words and too 1970’s. Same with those nicknames of ‘Nancy’ &‘Mary’ as they are old ladies names now. Faggot rhymes with maggot too much & poofs reeks of the 1960’s Carry on Films [actually I don’t mind that one really as you can make it poofie, poofta, wooly woofter, woofter & my latest poofer however even I concede that this may be a bit of a setback for the community at large]. Bent really means you're a criminal. Friends of Dorothy missed the bus ride years ago or should I say the house ride. Queen refers to her majesty [we are NOT a republic yet]. Funny, that way inclined & effeminate is just that & let’s face it gay really refers to homosexual men. Well all I have mentioned do relate to gay men as gay men even when being oppressed need to have the spotlight[s].

Maybe then it’s time we split the community into groups instead of unifying. Do lesbians & gays really need or want to share the dinner table? Do transsexuals really want asexuals sharing their upstairs/downstairs flat too? Do bisexuals want to mix with intersexes over cocktails & canapes? And where do we put the "questionables" – give them a map to Gaytown with a exit back to Normalville when they have had enough? Let alone all the others we are yet to include? In this global community is it not time that we have enough players to stand alone? You would think so if you trawl through all those specific groups in Face book - Stick to your own kind day say I ? Or Do I.

Before declaring that I’m becoming a gay separatist on the Isle of Brett the Gay Poofer Gardener bar & grill theme park I was drawn back to an Aesop tale – The Bundle of sticks from the 6th century [ taken from From ]

AN OLD man on the point of death summoned his sons around him to give them some parting advice. He ordered his servants to bring in a faggot of sticks, and said to his eldest son: “Break it.” The son strained and strained, but with all his efforts was unable to break the Bundle. The other sons also tried, but none of them was successful. “Untie the faggots,” said the father, “and each of you take a stick.” When they had done so, he called out to them: “Now, break,” and each stick was easily broken. “You see my meaning,” said their father.

Interesting as it mentions ‘broken faggots’ and the moral being how united we stand but divided we fall. There is a real need for the community to still march down the street affirming our identity while accepting our diversity too.

I think we need more time on the name. Now that’s a conversation for the 21st century - Oh Boy/girl/ladyboy/unassigned !

Saturday, February 06, 2010

You Tube:Girls Aloud - The Promise

Yes I know this is old. Yes I know its girls aloud and yes its bad BAD pop. But I saw it the other day and the video is so heaven - The stylists had a field day with this - ENJOY!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

T dance and the snappy happy crowd

Well Midsumma's T-dance was a boon this year - yes the weather was far better last year [storm clouds were toying with us all afternoon and into the evening] - but the company was as just as thrilling. The line up was pretty good too. I do remember seeing Inaya Day for only a brief moment but clearly I was losing track of time. Especially given the days celebrations [Carnival and the entire Midsumma festival can be very taxing]. The patrons, like previous years, were great. Well in the paid area anyway.

Now having accquired the iphone very recently [as with every other poof in the park] everyone was a bit snap happy. And my photos were not the best. However a rather lovely young man called Oliver we all met was was taking pics of all and sundry. He managed to snap a very nice one of us [I'm on the end in the aqua/teal/insert affected colour here].

Well it turns out this young man is a photographer [in between his day job in our airways] and has a rather wonderful blog himself called FLY FROM NEARBY - as he states in the description - A photo blog of my first 365 days of being a non-smoker.I take a photo every day, of anything and anyone. He regularly updates the blog with new and very interesting snaps. Each one is a snapshot of his life. Hard day in the office.They are bizarre, interesting and rather wonderful pictures. These are just a sample.
Oliver is clearly inspired by his mates.
I love this - its like a marathon runner tossed it in when arriving at the beach. And here is Oliver with the Satorialist no less. Patron & apprentice?

Skater vs urban chic?
And The girls at T- dance - this one made it in! Lucy, Claire and the English gals. This snap summed up the day very well for me. Thankfully he wasn't taking snaps of us at the end of the night. Well at least the light is more forgiving then.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Blogs to check out

Hello and welcome to 2010 [I'm still trying to say 20-10 a opposed to two thousand and ten - its taking longer than expected] - Just a few blog links that I have been enjoying lately over my holidays that I want to share:-

I do believe I came with a hat -

This is fabulous - an old school etiquette site for living in 2010 - Especially like the tag line - One gentleman's guide to not getting thrown out, not throwing up and how to throw a party! I must have him around for dinner - I just hope the linen will be pressed enough!

One fine gay -

This blog is a day to day adventures of a gay man in the Manchester UK - Its funny, cute and well written - love a rant from a scouce who enjoys a shant. Oh and the play on words title is v.clever.

Project 76 -

Another UK gay blog gem - especially like his posts to do with Dr Who, UK food ( chips and other fried varieties) and all about UK Telly - v good. Oh and he have 76 in the title [which is somewhat a joke between myself and Tonzy but I digress] which is always good.

And finally...

Deep Dish -

This is heaven - Retro TV/Music/Film rants with shots of hot men - all I need now is a 12 inch disco remix/poolside/sunglasses/cocktail and whoosh I'm away!

Speaking of which - I'm off to T-dance this afternoon and V.excited - hopefully it won't rain.

X b

Saturday, January 09, 2010

You tube: Flash Mob Dance in Melbourne

As part of Summer Fun in the City - City Of Melbourne organised a Flash Mob for Bourke St Mall - I was only in the audience not a participant - its a shame that the video does show it was almost the entire length of the mall itself.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


This is was my Sunday - City Beach (Perth Western Australia)
And this my monday ( same beach) ...back home on today. The beach was...awesome.