| weekend |

It’s been 11 days since I tore 2 ligaments in my ankle.

Today I went outside!!! Into the real world, with real people and real interactions that didn’t involve my physio! Yay! Being inside, with my foot up has seriously been messing with my chi. Today I managed with just one crutch, so I’ll see how that went later this evening with the swelling.

Yesterday, for #flashbackfriday on Instagram I posted this picture of my brother & I with our Dad in 1986. It was during the 2 years we travelled around Australia in our caravan.
I was ‘home schooled’ but basically the ‘school of nature’ was my teacher!
During these 2 years I did an Indigenous Walkabout, I ate snake and other weird foods, I went on a crocodile hunt, rode camels in the desert, caught game fish all up the western Australian coast, learnt how to cook what we caught or hunted, met a myriad of people from all walks of life and had the most amazing experiences that I still think back on today.

Looking back, it was probably the best thing my parents ever did for me.

(R-L) Dad, Juz & me
(R-L) Dad, Juz & me

I also received some Instagram prints in the mail from Social PS. These are going on my fridge!

IMG_20130830_123214

We (I really mean Jay) washed our filthy hound.

squeaky clean Harley
squeaky clean Harley

And dressed him in Jay’s Knights jersey!IMG_20130831_184505

Saturday

After running early errands we went to brunch in Glebe.
Delicious.

pancakes with fruit, maple syrup & icecream!
pancakes with fruit, maple syrup & icecream!

Then to the park to give Harley a run with the frisbee. Jay’s been teaching him to catch it on the fly; he’s doing so well! He caught 5 in mid-air today!IMG_20130831_133203

my boys! Jay & Harley
my boys! Jay & Harley
Harley & me
Harley & me

The Sydney weather has been perfection. Today, the official last day of winter, was mid-20°Cs, sun shining and just beautiful. We got home about mid-afternoon and spent some quality time on the balcony in the sunshine.

a nice crisp drop from Tasmania
a nice crisp drop from Tasmania
winter sunshine in my apartment
winter sunshine in my apartment
evening snack time!
evening snack time!

After all these pictures of alcohol…..let’s drop a gear and talk about my brother…

He’s been doing well in rehab. It’s officially 5 weeks, so next weekend he’ll be able to make phone-calls on Saturdays.

We’ve been regularly getting 2 letters a week. It’s been really interesting and encouraging to see his progress through his written word. For the first few weeks there was this desperation in his writing; constantly fretting and worrying about ‘things‘; minor things like wanting money for cigarettes, lollies & chocolate, postage stamps, etc. But over the last few weeks there has been clarity in his thoughts and a lot more honesty and a lot less fretting over ‘stuff’.

He’s in for a full 12 months, so it’s going to be a long, tough road, but for the first time I’m actually feeling confident that this just might work.

my brother 2 days before entering rehab for drug & alcohol dependency
my brother 2 days before entering rehab for drug & alcohol dependency

Anyway, I hope you are all having a fabulous weekend.
We’ve ordered Lebanese for dinner, which should be arriving any moment! 
We’re going to eat baba gannouche, felafel, tabouli & fried cauliflower and watch Robert De Niro & John Travolta in ‘Killing Season’ on DVD.

Namaste my lovely peeps,

signature - melly xox

kitchen | moroccan spiced roast chicken & cauliflower barley salad

This recipe just dropped into my inbox and it looks too delicious not to share!

It’s a beautiful, seasonally transitional dish, perfect for a long lazy weekend lunch or relaxing evening meal. Who can go past the fragrant Morrocan spices? I certainly cant!

timthumbMoroccan Spiced Roast Chicken with Cauliflower & Barley Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch saffron threads
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • ½ tbsp sea salt flakes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.6kg whole chicken, halved
  • 1½ cups barley
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 small head cauliflower, sliced
  • 1 red onion, thickly sliced
  • ½ cup green Sicilian olives
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 spring onions, sliced

For the dressing:

  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tsp honey
  • ⅔ cup parsley leaves

Method:

To make the green tahini dressing, place tahini, oil, water, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, honey, salt and freshly ground black pepper in the bowl of a small food processor. Process until combined.

Add parsley leaves and process until just combined.
Set aside.

Place cumin, coriander, paprika, cinnamon, saffron, chilli, salt and olive oil in a bowl and mix well to create a paste.  Rub the paste into the chicken halves and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place barley and chicken stock into a deep oven tray and bake for 30 minutes.

Add cauliflower, onion, olives and chicken halves to the pan. Increase the oven temperature to 200°C and roast for a further 40 minutes or until chicken is tender.

Stir parsley and spring onions through the barley and cauliflower mix.

Serve the barley and cauliflower salad with the Morrocan spiced roast chicken and tahini dressing on the side.

Serves 4

***

courtesy of Mindfood Magazine.

 

waiting sucks

So this morning I fell down a flight of stairs at the park on my jog with Harley.

My ankle is the size of a grapefruit and I’m starting to go purple from all the bruising. THEN, while flat on my back, ankle iced & elevated, I find out that Monday night’s (Aussie time) episode of True Blood was the season 6 finale!

Kick a girl in the arse why don’t you world.

TrueBlood_Vs_Twilight

I’ve long since come to terms that the show is so far off base from the books; “it’s like a thing from another tax bracket”. But series creator Alan Ball is a genius when it comes to keeping the show’s fans entertained through the off-season.

Released last year, True Blood: Eats, Drinks and Bites from Bon Temps is a cook book designed to take you into the culinary heart of southern cooking.

po8qmrr7wo

Alan Ball grew up in Georgia on a steady diet of “fried food, stuff that was stewed within an inch of its life, everything was full of salt … and it was delicious.” I’m fairly certain if you cooked regularly from this book you’d end up looking like Hoyt’s Mama! It doesn’t sound like it’s for the health conscious but the idea of cooking fried chicken from Merlotte’s, Sookie’s Grandma’s pecan pie or a blood thirsty cocktail from Fangtasia sounds pretty fun!

retreat

I realise how fortunate I am to have such good loving friends.

This post isn’t about all of them but two of them in particular; The Jacksons.

I’ll have you know I’m one of those sickening couples; high school sweethearts with the same best friends since way back when.

I was friends with Ian before I knew my husband Jay. Our friendship bonded over teenage angst and rebellion; think Nirvana and life conversations. We’ve grown & matured since then but still have an incredible comfortableness within our friendship. He’s like my brother. And fortunately he happens to be my husband’s best friend.

Jay & Ian
Friday night shenanigans; Jay & Ian

As it so happens, Ian also married a high-school sweetheart, someone whom, even though we went to the same school, I wasn’t friends with until about 7 years ago. Janine is this incredible woman; happy, beautiful and smart with an abundance of positive & passionate energy that I just find absolutely joyful. I had an epiphany the other day that she’s one of my best friends (something which I find too childish to tell her!).

I’m gushing, I know, but after a wonderful weekend filled with deep & meaningful conversations, lots of laughs, swapping of intellectual ideas and just enjoying each other’s company with good food & wine, I’m thankful to count them as people who I love & cherish.

We started Friday night with drinks at Baxter Inn followed by dinner at Almond Bar.

Old Fashioneds @ Baxter
Old Fashioneds @ Baxter
the super sweet Jacksons
the super sweet Jacksons
doing what I do best...posing while I drink Old Fashioneds
doing what I do best…posing while I drink Old Fashions
my love Jay
my love Jay wondering where his drink is!
trio of dips @ Almond Bar
trio of dips @ Almond Bar
Mixed Platter to share @ Almond Bar
Mixed Platter to share @ Almond Bar

Ian & Neen stayed Friday night and we switched houses Saturday. Jay & I drove the 1 hour drive out west towards the Blue Mountains to their gorgeous mountain hideaway.

Casa de Jackson
Casa de Jackson
sunning ourselves on the porch
sunning ourselves on the porch
tall gum trees
tall gum trees
Harley
Harley
amidst the Aussie bush
amidst the Aussie bush

We lay in the unseasonably warm sun, drinking hot chocolate and reading. Later we drove 20 minutes up into the mountains to Wentworth to visit the German bakery (pretzels & pies!). Saturday night we ate suburban Chinese takeaway and watched the All Blacks vs Wallabies in front of the open fire.

cozy fireplace
cozy fireplace

Today (Sunday) we went for a long bush walk; perfectly rejuvenating for busy city dwellers.

man & beast; Jay & Harley overlooking the gully
man & beast; Jay & Harley overlooking the gully
the view; Blue Mountains
the view; Blue Mountains
Harley the cavoodle
Harley the cavoodle

Now we’re back at home readying ourselves for another busy work week.

I hope you all had a wonderful relaxing weekend.

signature - melly xox

the dirty grimy eccentric artistic underbelly of sydney

Convict gaol, Royal Navy shipbuilding & dockyard and reformatory girls school turned World-Heritage listed cultural arts centre. Cockatoo Island was off limits to the public for over a 100 years but what we lost in time we now make up for in awesomeness!
Spectacular harbour views, repurposed industrial buildings, street-food, holiday-feel makeshift bars, accommodation from camping to ‘glamping’ and holiday houses, a harbour swimming beach and tennis courts, there is so much to see and do and it’s only a 10 minute ferry ride from Circular Quay.

On Saturday, Jay & I spent a fabulous day exploring the island in the middle of Sydney harbour and playing with the exhibits as part of the emerging artists Underbelly Arts festival.

IMG_20130804_164448IMG_20130804_164544festival cheerleaders!IMG_20130804_164511IMG_20130804_164625IMG_20130804_164744IMG_20130804_164837IMG_20130803_174432IMG_20130803_144522interactive participation was a key part of the exhibits and in one of them Jay got to blindfold me while his hands were bound and we had to work together to ‘save a survivor’ from a zombie apocalypse! IMG_20130804_162550IMG_20130804_162951IMG_20130804_162918IMG_20130804_162800I had a turn at operated real-life ‘Rock em Sock em’ robots!
(that’s the artist on the left and the human-robots in the red & green)IMG_20130804_162518installations made from lollies!IMG_20130804_162450IMG_20130804_162625IMG_20130804_162658industrial revolution!IMG_20130804_163117IMG_20130804_163255tunnels that run through the centre of the IslandIMG_20130804_163037IMG_20130804_163811IMG_20130804_163336glampingIMG_20130804_163613IMG_20130803_143553IMG_20130803_143936IMG_20130803_161958gorgeous wattleIMG_20130803_143303IMG_20130803_162804IMG_20130804_163728Fergie said it best; g-l-a-m-o-r-o-u-s! Hot chips & sparkling wine!IMG_20130804_163432IMG_20130804_164041perfect sunset on the ferry ride homeIMG_20130803_172547IMG_20130804_164252IMG_20130803_172916Sydney icons; Harbour Bridge & Opera HouseIMG_20130803_165021