22 September 2011

One thing I don’t like…and many things I love

All I am going to say about this ‘thing I don’t like’ is: Oxfam – you need to have less annoying people working for you.

So on to better and more lovely things in life. Here is a quick/short list of things I love:
The sun
People singing out loud to their iPod while walking their dog in the sun/warmth
My friends
My family
My new found appreciation of PB&J
Cute children saying cute things
My new txt-language word GOL (Giggle Out Loud)
The addition of chocolate to main meals
The fact that my only legitimate blog follower (besides my mother) is getting married in 10 weeks and 2 days
The All Blacks
The Irish
Laughing at awkward moments

That’s all for now.
Off to meet the old sister for a bit of dinner (at a restaurant/bar that may not exist…should be interesting).

17 September 2011

Once upon a time...I went to Paris

This blog is called food travel life, yet so far I have sufficiently avoided the travel section. This is all about to change with a look back in time...a time when I went to Paris (*say it in French accent to reinforce its coolness*).

As an Au Pair to a wonderful family in the USA I got to experience a lot of amazing things. And when the question "would you like to come to Paris with us" was posed to me, my un-hesitated, yet slightly shocked response was, "yes please". And then on November 24, 2009 I left Washington, DC for a Thanksgiving vacation of a life time (especially due to the fact that this was in fact, the first Thanksgiving of my lifetime).

Now, I don't mean to gloat...but THIS is where we stayed.
It really is as amazing as you are thinking it must have been.
And my days looked a little something like this:

Wake up in my room
Go for a wander
Breakfast delivered to my room
Go out with the fam
We stroll
We experience
We see
We eat
We eat again

We see just a little bit more
And then we go back ‘home’ and have amazing chefs prepare us dinner or we go out and eat soufflés for both dinner and dessert.

So yea. That was cool.

12 September 2011

No comment. And that was off the record.

Last Friday was the beginning of the 2011 Rugby World Cup in little ol’ New Zealand. As a volunteer I had to be at Eden Park by 2:45pm (5 1/2 hours prior to Opening Ceremony), but due to circumstances in which I have absolutely no opinion (and if asked my reply would be a resounding "no comment", followed by an "that was off the record" just in case) I did not make it until 3:20pm.

The next 7 hours then looked a little something like this:
·         Nothing to do.
·         Get told to do something.
·         Get told I do not need to do that said something.
·         Go for a wander around the stadium.
·         Still nothing to do.
·         Start going for another wander.
·         Get given a job in which I must escort people to different parts of the stadium (despite the fact that I don't know where anything is and I am very much stereotypical-woman in my map reading abilities).
·         Get given a radio because I'm very talented at pretending to know what I am doing, and I must be contactable at all times.
·         Act very much like secret service due to my earpiece constantly falling out so the only way to listen in is to have hand by ear and walk briskly.
·         Am given code name.
·         Forget my code name.
·         Eat dinner whilst listening to the voices in my head say things such as, "there is a bin on fire".
·         Remove radio.
·         Walk around park; sit in poncy seats with tables and watch opening ceremony.
·         Get asked questions from the public like, "where are the nearest toilets?"...*scan surrounding area quickly*..."just over there ma'am" [excellent knowledge of park amenities].
·         Watch game from various vantage points around stadium.
·         Referee blows whistle for full time.
·         Run to the train (bearing in mind that I do not run...I tend to walk...for beautiful) and get on the first one [*hi five* thank you].
·         Walk through a trashed downtown Auckland (trash being a literal word) and get to Victoria Park.
·         All buses are full.
·         Mother comes and collects me.
·         Cheers.

Just 5 1/2 weeks to go.

More photo's will be available on Facebook at some time in the forseeable future

06 September 2011

If you can’t decide, make them both. And other news.

So the other night I had more chicken than I needed. But I also have more recipes than I’ll ever need. So I figured I might as well use all the meat and do two recipes. Yes, that does mean two dinners. But I love dinner, so why not?

Did the meals work well together? No.
Did the meals taste good? Yes.
Would my execution of the dish be Master Chef worthy? No.
Would my execution of the dish be relatively humorous? Yes.
Would everyone like eating two completely dinners on the same plate? No.
Would my mother like them? Yes.

So what was for dinner?

                                Chicken and Pasta with Tomato       Creamy Chicken and
                                            & Basil Pesto                             Spinach Curry

And in other [BREAKING] news, the Takapuna Beach Front Gelato Palour (not its official name) has done something spectacular…they have made what was the best gelato around, even better. They have gone from charging $4.50 for a one flavour one scoop (which was always their incredible lemon curd and yoghurt) to charging $4.50 for a two flavour one scoop (which allows the remarkably delicious licorice to be included).

03 September 2011

It’s a Double Down kinda world out there

When I moved to the States 2½ years ago I knew I would be in for a bit of a culture shock. But I had prepared myself and felt confident that most revelations would cause little to be alarmed about…“they’re just different”, I’d tell myself.

When the Double Down was announced I thought I would have been horrified, but in fact, I was simply amused. Like I’d always said…different.

The KFC website describes the Double down as ‘two Original Recipe KFC pieces of boneless chicken with two pieces of bacon, two slices of Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheese and the Colonel’s sauce’. It sounded interestingly edible.

However, due to unforeseen circumstances I had to be leaving the USA before it was first sold in April 2010. It would seem that would have made no difference anyway, as just over a year later the Double Down found its way to New Zealand shores, yet for the 5 weeks it was here I did not partake in the purchasing or eating of one.

I’d seen a few friends with them and they never looked like the advertised version. At best, they looked something like…

In the months following kiwi’s going gaga over this so called sandwich, I devised a plan to make it my own. I spent approximately five minutes drawing up a plan…

A simple and reasonably quick dish was then made. It goes a little something like this:
1.       Make sauce
Ø  Combine ¼ cup mayonnaise, 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 Tbsp honey, 2 tsp lemon juice, 1 clove crushed garlic and some pepper together) and set aside in fridge.
2.       Prepare chicken
Ø  Slice chicken breasts in half length ways.
Ø  Sprinkle a touch of salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and cayenne pepper on both sides of chicken pieces.
Ø  Dip chicken in a beaten egg.
Ø  Lightly coat chicken in flour.
3.       Prepare all other ingredients
Ø  Slice large thin pieces of mozzarella cheese.
Ø  Slice large thin pieces of tasty cheese.
Ø  Cook bacon strips between paper towels in microwave until crispy.
4.       Pour oil (rice bran, canola or similar) in a large pot to cover the base about ½ cm high and turn on heat to med-high.
5.       Cook the chicken until both sides are crispy and golden and it is cooked through.
6.       Place one half chicken breast on a plate, top with all the fillings (bacon, cheeses and honey mustard mayonnaise), and place other chicken breast half on top.
7.       Get a serviette at the ready, pick it up with your hands and eat.

And yes, as always, there was still room for dessert.