Happy Birthday To Me!

I was super lucky last week and got to have two of the best meals ever.  Well, it was my birthday which is always my favorite time of year, mainly because it’s great to get close friends in the same room at the same time.  This year’s birthday lunch was at ACME.  It was wonderful, 15 of my closest girlfriends and I enjoying a delicious meal together.  As I’ve mentioned before ACME is a fantastic Sydney restaurant and I highly recommend it if you’re in town.

However, as wonderful as my birthday lunch was, the highlight was my birthday dinner.  It wasn’t just a highlight of my birthday, it was probably the highlight of my year (or even decade of food).  It crossed off a major tick on my Foodie Bucket List and was one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten.   As it should be—we went to Sepia- and had all 12 courses- with matching wines.

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Ten Things In The Last 2 Weeks…

Do you ever get the feeling that time has somehow slipped into overdrive and that each week is actually going even faster than the one before?   I do.  That’s the feeling I have right now.

I can’t believe how quickly time has passing and that it’s already April!

My plan to blog weekly with updates on what we’ve been cooking and eating, well frankly, it’s fallen a bit behind.   2 weeks behind to be exact.   We’ve had a lot of cooking adventures since then- but the time has passed in the blink of an eye!

I’ll try to summarise but so much tasty stuff has happened and I feel like I’ve conquered a few culinary mountains.

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What We Ate- Feb 5th-12th- Happy Birthday Runner!


So, this week was a big week of birthday celebrations.

We kicked off the party on Friday night at a new restaurant in Surry Hills called Master.  It was tasty, trendy, and very unconventional.   As with most fancy restaurants these days, it was all share plates- which is nice for dinner for two, but can be a downer in a group.  Luckily, it was just The Runner and I.  We had quite a few different dishes- most were delicious and totally off the wall. Continue reading

Happy birthday Mom!

Happy birthday to my amazing mother! I know it’s quite cliche to think your mother is amazing and I know I’m super biased but my mother actually is amazing.

She’s an inspiration to me and has been to others as well. She taught me so much about cooking, entertaining and life in general and made me the person I am today. She is the only other person I know who would plan a dinner party for their own birthday where they do most of the cooking.

When I was 8 and made her a macaroni necklace for Mother’s Day she pretended she loved it as much as anything I could have bought from the store- I was housebound with chicken pox and couldn’t get her a real present. I don’t think she actually wore it but hopefully she didn’t cook it either!

She knows what knife to use with what cheese and can still do a debutante bow. She and her classmates went on a hunger strike in college as a protest and always made sure I wrote thank you notes. She cancelled a meeting at the White House to give birth to me. She knows exactly what to say when I call her crying even today and can comfort me even 10,000 miles away. She’s been a huge help wedding planning even though we don’t always agree- she’s almost always right but there’s no way I’ll admit that to her face. In short, she’s the perfect mom and every year I appreciate her more and more.

Happy birthday mom! I hope your day is as special as you are, I love you!




So, I’m 33 now, I’ve been 33 for a whole 33 hours nearly- well less really if you take into account time zones and things like that, but either way you slice it, it’s happened. In my mind, I’m officially a grown up age.

32 was always the age of no return for me- my parents were both 32 when I was born so I’ve always felt it was the age when I would be a grown up, the age where I would be a “fully formed adult”. Well, I was right in a lot of ways, 32 was a big year and the year I grew up a lot and experienced grief and loss and uncertainty and I guess all of those things I suppose makes you into an adult no matter when you experience them whether its 18, 25, 32 or 42.

But here I am, 33, the morning after the night before if you will. 33 will be a good year, a banner year. I already know this even though I don’t know all of what it has in store.

My actual 33rd birthday was quite good- I tried on my first wedding dress, quite a magical moment in the wedding planning process. I did my best “Say Yes to the Dress” impersonation, “this is NOT my dress”- I could barely stand up under layers of fluff- ick! The Runner and I had dinner at Chiswick in Woollahra and I had my first Bombe Alaska- yum!!!!!! It might not be a dessert you can order on an airplane but it was yum! I was given a cupcake at work, missed out on Ben and Jerry’s Free Cone Day but I’ve managed to pick up a cold/flu. Much like life, my day was full of ups and downs.

I’m not complaining, I’m 33 and grown up enough to take the good with the bad! Here’s to a good year and thanks for all the birthday wishes!

Happy Birthday Runner!!!!!!!!!

We’re celebrating The Runner’s 33rd birthday this weekend!  In true style, he’s biking 150 kilometers this morning before his birthday drinks this afternoon.

We had dinner at Universal on Thursday night– my advice, go for dessert!  Skip the overpriced, undersized entree/mains and go straight for the dessert.  I had the Madame Pompadour and it was delish– the other two courses I had were meh!  I’m glad we go to go before it closes down in April but I can’t say it was the best foodie experience I’ve ever had….. on the other hand, I did have food envy from the diners next door at Jazz City Milk Bar and Phamish!  

We also checked out a new local cafe, x74.  Now that was fantastic!  Really yummy steak sandwich and really lovely service as well.

It’s a gorgeous Sunny day here in Sydney and soon we’re off to drinks at The Glenmore!  I’m looking forward to some popcorn chicken– and maybe a pulled pork roll!  YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!

I lied

So I sort of lied when I said that not much was going on a week or so
ago. That’s definitely not true- it’s just that all the stuff that’s
going on is pretty normal, boring stuff. I guess it’s called everyday
life. But there’s so much of it going on that I forgot this is a Sunday
Dinner week and I’m cooking from “Omg, I Can Eat That” by Jane Kennedy.

Don’t worry, it’s not what you think, the recipes are basically
healthier versions of foods that are traditionally really fatty. I made
Dukkah crusted Lamb and spicy pumpkin during the week and it was pretty
good. For Sunday, I’m tossing up between chicken and Leek Piemakins and
Thai Beef Curry.

So what has been going on? The Runner is preparing for his first big
race of the season in Huskisson, in Jervis bay so he’s up running and
biking most mornings. I’m a bit nervous about the race to be honest
since he’s injured himself progressively worse each year that he’s done
it. The first year it was a hamstring, then last year he came off his
bike at speed and wound up bruised and bloodied. He finished the race
though but it looked as though someone had taken a cheese grater to him.
It’s coming up in a few weeks so more on that later. He also did a
VO2max test a few weeks ago- some sort of test of how fit he is. He was
pretty chuffed with the results. I don’t really get it but I read the
report, scratched my head and told him I was proud of him. His
birthday is next week so wish him happy birthday if you happen to see
him. I Love birthdays– my own mainly, but his is always good fun too,
once I sort out the what to get him dilemma. He wants running shoes
(snore!) We’re going to dinner at Universal, a restaurant here in Sydney
which is apparently closing down in April so we figured we should go
sooner rather than later and then celebrating his actual birthday with a
wedding (not ours).

What else? I’m working, and finally into the habit of getting up every
single morning again (even in the rain) and working all day. I wish
someone had told me when I was younger how much better school is than
work– wait, I think my mom did but I didn’t believe her at the time.
Seriously, kids have it made! School from 9-3, then summer vacation,
days off, snow days, recess– what was I thinking growing up???

I made a Chinese New Year resolution (I’m only calling it that because I
made it closer to February 1st than January 1st) to get up and go to the
gym every Thursday morning. I’m not a morning person so wish me luck,
it’s been two weeks in a row, well really only 1 so we’ll see what
happens in the next few weeks. I’ve been struggling to read the book
Les Miserables but have given up (nearly) in favor of Words With Friends
on the bus. And when I say struggling, the stupid book is 1600 pages on
the Kindle and Victor Hugo spends 90 pages explaining the Battle of
Waterloo battlefield and how empty and bare a room is. I love reading,
but seriously this is enough to test my patience. We finally have a
working oven, which I’m getting reacquainted with, and a newly organised
kitchen- so now I have no excuses! I even found all the parts of my
KitchenAid mixer, including the fruit and vegetable strainer that I’ve
never used. Don’t ask but when I bought it, I saw myself making — ok
to be honest I have no idea what. But now, that I’ve found it, so help
me god, I will use it for something — eventually, I hope. So that’s
pretty much it, after everything that’s happened recently, I feel like
things are more or less settling back into normal again.

Happy February everyone!

Ps: please keep my little niece in your thoughts, the poor little
pumpkin is in hospital at the moment and even though she’s full of
smiles it’s no fun and she has her aunt a bit worried!