A Typical Saturday- He Biked, I Learned to Cook Mexican!

Happy February!

Today was a fantastic way to start the month.  The Runner did a VO2 Max/Lactate Threshold test and is busy analysing his results.  He is exceptionally pleased with them and now is just trying to work out how to use them to improve his training.  Husky Long Course is a mere three weeks away and this year he’s either going to get an awesome time or possibly die trying.  He’s had three bad races there in the past three years he’s done the race– a torn Achilles the first year, a crash and a lost watch the second year, and bad cramping last year.  This year we’re hoping the curse has somehow been lifted!

While he was out testing, I was at a Mexican Cooking Class at The Essential Ingredient in Rozelle.  It was a Christmas present from The Runner and it was fantastic!  

First of all, I love that shop, it’s basically a cook’s paradise in Sydney.  They have lots of ingredients and cooking equipment and Le Creuset pots, and Kitchen Aid mixers and all sorts of other kitchen related things.  From obscure ingredients to obscure equipment, if you need it to cook with, they probably have it.

Secondly, the chef, Travis Harvey, who led the class was absolutely fantastic.  He’s just gotten back from filming an SBS series on Mexican Cooking with Peter Kuruvita and his passion and knowledge of Mexican cooking was fantastic!  He was really helpful and gave just the right amount of help but also let us play and cook ourselves.  The food was TO DIE FOR.  Literally, some of the best Mexican food I’ve had in a very long time.  I’m not a fish person, but the fish tacos we made were the best ones I have ever had in my entire life.  We made Baja Beer Battered Fish Tacos and the recipe is here on the SBS website along with 10 of his other Mexican recipes which are related to the show which are on the web as well.  

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Actually, everything we made in our class was tasty.  We made Ceviche with the Snapper that we learned to fillet in class– actually I watched other people learn, I have a thing with dead, whole fish.  (It’s their creepy, dead eyes and the thought of their scaly skin…I shudder just thinking about it).   We served it with tortilla chips and they were beautiful and tasty.

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Also, we made mini spit roast pork tacos with pineapple which were yum!  We learned how to make corn and flour tortillas and various salsas as well.Image

 

I was responsible for making two types of Chicken Tamales- one with salsa verde in banana leaves and the other with salsa roja in corn husks.  And they were fabulous!!!

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Best of all, everything we made were things that I could easily make again.  In fact, I bought a tortilla press, black beans and masa harina and tomorrow I’m going to make vegan tacos from scratch!  I think it should be pretty easy but of course, no cheese or sour cream to go with them but hopefully with guacamole, pico de gallo, and maybe even salsa verde we won’t even care!!

If you’re in Sydney, I highly recommend taking one of his classes-  I would do one again just to eat the delicious food!  You can book for yourself here.

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!