Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Dinner And A Movie

It's oh-so-hot, I didn't feel like eating anything in particular, but I felt like cooking. What does one cook in these situations?

Dinner: Vietnamese Chicken Salad
Buy a whole cooked chicken, and shred it finely (best done by hand). Feed the skin to the dog that is going nuts by your feet. Soak some rice vermicelli in hot water, then drain and rinse in cold water. Slice up one echallot, one chili, two cucumbers with the skin on, on the diagonal, halve a handful of grape tomatoes, and add to a large bowl, along with the chicken and vermicelli. Add a handful of finely sliced mint leaves and a handful of coriander. Season to taste with the juice of a whole lime, sesame oil and soy sauce. Stir through and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes, to let the flavours develop.

Perfect summer DIY food

Movie: The Full Monty
Always a favourite so very happy to pick it up for $10 the other week. One of those movies that really works. Robert Carlyle is just great. It's funny, moving, sweet, and watchable over and over again.

Love the accent, too

Monday, January 29, 2007

Australia Day Long Weekend

Viva Australia, especially with weekends like this!

Thursday night: D came over for Turkish pizza and wine before heading over to the barracks for a Barcelona DJs set (since we couldn't get tickets we showed up at 11.30pm when there was free entry only to find a long queue, so we detoured via the bizarre spiegeltent, and headed home). Fun night!
Friday: Came in to sort out more papers to maybe one day finally ever finish my tax. Went to the beach in the late afternoon and made (and ate) pavlova as is my annual tradition.
Saturday: Stayed in bed and read Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, then went to my first ballet class. Wow. I thought it would be a very cruisey beginners class where we would just learn the positions and how to plie. Very wrong. Within minutes we were doing little routines and my seconde being corrected, back prodded, legs weighed on to make my calves stretch further. It was full on. But a great workout and very disciplined. I will want a ballerina's body after this (full wall mirrors and wearing a leotard tends to dent one's self-esteem). Saturday night S and S came over, cooked me a vegie curry (more of that please!) and we polished off a couple of bottles of lovely wine, and watched SATC with chocolate cake. So nice!
Sunday: Long overdue yum cha at East Ocean with the family, and a walk up through the city. Bought a pair of hyper cool tricolor Adidas! In the afternoon/evening was Michelle and Terry's wedding at Star City and what a fun affair that was! Silly hats, masks and wigs were handed out - a great idea! Lots of dancing, good food (rare at a wedding) and laughs with school friends.

There Is A God (OK, There Isn't)

Dylan Moran is coming back! The love of my life is doing another show in March. Two tickets bought quicker than you can say "but hold on isn't Anthony Bourdain the love of your life?"

Saturday, January 27, 2007

This Is Brilliant

"Asked for a table for four, at ANY time in the season (was even willing to sacrifice Glastonbury)".

I just love this stuff: the quest for a table at El Bulli.

"I'll try in the season for last minutes cancellation and if lucky, will get a plane in and out...."

Friday, January 26, 2007

Happy Australia Day

I love starting the day with a bacon and egg Turkish roll and finishing the day with two slices of my annual pavlova bake.
I love that I can go to the beach at 5.15pm.
I love the smell of fish and chips in the air.
I love seeing men carrying slabs of VB the night before.
I love seeing the bogans with their shirts off, like it's the national day when you can get away with it.
I love the tween sluts clogging pubs, hoping to score like it's New Year's Eve.
I love seeing my little niece with an Australia flag temp tattoo.
I love that the weather has been hit or miss the past week but turns out to be a non-stop beauty for Australia Day - perfect blue skies, hot - the exact image when I think Sydney, my little piece of Australia.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I Don't Believe In God

But I do believe there is some kind of power out there.

This morning I was witness to a motorcycle accident. The cyclist kept looping through the air and somehow survived. Seconds beforehand, watching the two bikes in front of me, I was thinking how I really should get my motorcycle license.

There's my answer.

And it's interesting how the instincts kick in. I pulled over and ran to him, as did others, and after calling the ambulance, told him he would be ok. Later he looked up with scared eyes and said, "thank you". I don't know, sometimes people are amazing things.

Why Convince Myself I Can Ever Love Digital?




Monday, January 22, 2007

Love Songs

"Honey you are the sea upon which I float" - Green Eyes, Coldplay
"Tu es la vague, moi, l'ile nue" - Je t'aime, moi non plus, Gainsbourg

Variations sur le meme t'aime...

So Excited, Can't Hide It

I start ballet on Wednesday! I am beyond excited. I studied at the very disciplined Academy Ballet from 4-14, and despite hating some moments - cold, wet wintery mornings and the unpleasant feeling of stepping into muddy puddles in the carpark; my hair pulled back into a bun so tight each strand was strained and the headaches that would come - I loved it. I loved the discipline, I loved the grace, I loved the poise. I loved doing my best. And now, after not finding any schools that did adult ballet, many have sprung up and I've found one near me at the gorgeous Seymour Centre. I went to Salvio's, home of annual clothing and shoe purchases as a little ballerina, and they are still there, still stacked to the ceiling with little boxes, and as they did more than 14 years ago, helped me pick out pink satin ballet shoes, feeling for the toe, and reassured me it was fine to have a black leotard (RAD regulations die hard, after all).

Positions, the barre, correcting the sickle - oh my!

Always the class clown

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Weekend Of Perfection

+ A smashing Tigerlily sale yields 2 hot new bikinis and a hhhot denim dress.
+ The Lou Reed Berlin concert blew my mind. I don't know much Lou Reed, but Kath wanted to see Antony who was doing back-up vocals (and seeing him last year was fantastic, so I was keen to go along). The lyrics of this concept album are stunning and the music made my jaw drop. It was one of those moments of being in the presence of a living legend.
+ A trip down memory lane to Salvio's for ballet shoes, leotard and tights.
+ Lovely lunch with the equally lovely Em.
+ Bronte Beach in the afternoon. Water is ice cold but I can't stay away.
+ Pho and travel planning with D. Ibiza apartment booked ooh yeah!
+ Brunch with I at Lumiere. Great spot, lots of lumiere and for once a nice boss running the joint (French?).
+ Seeing Mij and my heart filled with joy that she is just the best dog ever. She's a gift from whoever knows better.
+ Bronte Beach in the afternoon. Water is even colder at 14C, and it's brilliant, that contrast of heat and ice, enveloping your body.
+ Pre-show dinner at Kabuki Shoroku. God how I love Japanese food, and we chose the wagyu set menu. Divine food for an incredible price ($80 pp). The sashimi melted in the mouth, as did the grilled wagyu. But what I swooned over was those little steamed (or poached?) custards that I've only had the pleasure of sampling at Yoshii years ago, here, filled with mushrooms, prawns and chicken, flavoured delicately with ginger and coriander root. I could eat it every day.
+ Madeleine Peyroux concert at State Theatre, our Christmas present for dad. Quite nice but didn't thrill me, it's background music for cleaning, for cooking.

My favourite, Bronte Beach

Kabuki Shoroku wagyu set menu

Friday, January 19, 2007

Oh, Lou!

Just back from the Lou Reed Berlin concert. Fucking awesome, and I don't say fucking awesome so much (not entirely true). Fucking. Awesome.

And now I've come home, and Safin is playing. Heaven.

OMG How Excitement!

Some like it hot...Filming has begun on what promises to be an intriguing television offering for 2007: a local version of the British TV show The F-Word. Instead of featuring the internationally acclaimed chef Gordon Ramsay, the Channel Seven version has signed up the Sydney celebrity chef Matt Moran. Each week Moran invites three amateur chefs into the kitchen of a new restaurant operating exclusively for the show. The chefs are grouped by profession - from hairdressers and surf lifesavers to surgeons and sports stars - and are guided by Moran as they prepare a three-course meal for 50 hungry customers. So far a group of greengrocers and flight attendants have shot episodes and these are due to screen early next year.

Oh yes, and I just booked a table! $40 for 3 courses - I can't wait!!!


I love/want every. single. thing from APC's summer 07 collection. Especially the short sleeve tunic and the short black tunic dress. Oh god I love the colours and cut.

Sushi. I have been eating sushi every day this week and I know in a week or so I will be craving pasta drenched in cream and bacon but at this moment it is all I want to eat. If I win lotto I will set up a sushi train at Bronte Beach. I can't believe there isn't one already. It's the perfect combo: blissful sun and sea, and pure, clean food.

This week I finally decided whether to get Foxtel or not. I spent way too many hours coming to the conclusion that no, I will not get it. At $80 a month, it's too much for the occassional 5-hour cooking show session. For this amount I can buy all the Melrose Place DVDs I want. Plus, I have no idea how my DVD recorder works, so I'll miss most of the shows. And plus, Telstra are cocks who couldn't care less about customer loyalty, and Optus are idiots.

An email with Sarah reminded me of my ga-ga over Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. I grew up with this fabulous book called Private Pictures, celebrity photographs mostly taken in Europe in the late 70s. I adored that book and my favourite photos were of Brigitte Bardot (gee) and Lizzy and Rich, especially the one of them at Maxim's - she in rich black velvet with a plunging neckline embracing this enormous bust, and graced with the most amazing jewels; him, stuffed and blotto and well, it's been a long night. I've always loved a passionate love affair and their's really is the blueprint. And his voice is my favourite.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I Think I Would Just Sigh And Go To Heaven...

If I woke up to Gordon Ramsay's in-room dining menu at The London...

When staying at a hotel, I would much rather eat breakfast in my room than facing the world at that hour. And only if made by one of Gordon's henchmen.

And I have always wanted to order a really good burger off the in-room dining menu at just-after midnight and eat it amongst supersoft downy sheets, with CNN on and a cute man...

Daydreaming can be quite lovely...

The Queen

I think I'm in the minority when I say that I didn't like it. I completely forgot about it the second we left the cinema. I only really went to see it for Helen Mirren, and well she's just superb in anything. The characters were charicatures, and it was all a bit ridiculous. Favourite bit, that fool of a man, the Duke, popping into (the same) bed, says to her "move over, cabbage". Cabbage!

The real thing: Cabbage and co.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Well We Did It

We started writing a script.

It was a really good session and the first of weekly sittings. The ideas and energy are invigorating.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Merry (Belated) Christmas!

Since we couldn't celebrate Christmas we gathered round at Kath's on Saturday night for Christmas-lite, as we know best: lots of delicious nibblies, chilling out on the couch with the kids and some gift-giving - for mum a beautiful dark tan Filofax, the Damien Leith CD (who woulda thought?) and some lip balms she wanted from the US; for Kath a couple mani/pedi vouchers and an OPI polish; for Jay a He Cooks voucher for a one-day men's cooking class; for Will I took him on Friday afternoon to see the very average Walking With Dinosaurs; and for Bubs her first dollhouse (plastic).

Bye, Rali!

Rali left on Saturday after a three week visit and a fun send off on Friday night. And when I say fun, I say that I'm not drinking again till June. I can't remember much, apart from the basics: a bunch of friends, dinner at the local Thai place with delightful Hunter Valley wines, Jager bombs at various Oxford St bars, then Rali and I down at hell-on-earth for the second time in a week, however their royal highnesses allowed us into Hemmesphere this time which is much more our cup of tea, and where we had "two Grey Goose French martinis and a packet of cigarettes please" before eating 1.5 Quarter Pounders with cheese each (it being so delicious at the time) and cabbing it home in a blur.

What a fun time the past few weeks were. See you soon bella!


Keeping me in my place

Happy days

No more!


"I'm not watching that Anne movie!"

Sunday, January 14, 2007


$67.95 $50.95 sexy red lingerie
$29.95 $14.95 Country Road singlet
$24.95 $19.95 gold metallic Havaianas
$37.95 $29.95 beach kaftan
$7.95 cherry necklace
$77 parking fine

Thursday, January 11, 2007

With A Twist Of Sour

In Paris last year, before the glorious France v Brazil match, N and I stopped at her local bakery to pick up some bread and pastries, including a tarte au citron. She said they made the really lemony tarts here, not the sweet toned-down version most patisseries sell, and that's what she liked: the more pucker-faced sour the better. To be honest lemon tarts would probably be the last pastry I'd chose; I always found them floury, with a fake 'yellow' taste amidst a stone-cold pastry shell. So I nodded along, thinking I'd let N and G enjoy the whole thing.

But I tried it, after the most perfect dinner of tomato salad and cheese and bread and cigarettes, and became hooked. It was sour as a lemon could be (and not to mention the perfect pastry). So, now another addiction where I had to seek same, but would I? when so many inferior versions would surely bump the taste buds askew. I needed that hit, that acidity, that sourness that keeps going when you expect the sweetness to take over. And I did try the odd one here and there; as to be expected sweet and thick and you can keep your 'lemon' tart.

Fast forward to this week, when after a quick stroll on Oxford Street, I passed a greengrocer with beautiful blackberries on sale. Berries being ridiculously expensive here I snapped up a couple of punnets. The first thing I thought of doing with them was mini lemon tarts with a perfect blackberry perched on top. I ate the blackberries - there'll be more - but tonight I made lemon curd. I read all the best recipes, decided on one, knowing my first attempt would either be ok or a disaster, but it was, well, really good. Next time I will try a recipe that's more sour - this is pleasantly sour and sweet at the same time.

Lemon Curd (makes 2 cups), from a recipe by Regina Schrambling.

2 lemons
3/4 cup sugar
4 eggs
5 Tablespoons butter, diced, at room temperatur

Zest both lemons into a bowl with the sugar, and mix. The smell is amazing! Add the eggs and combine with a hand blender or whisk until smooth. Add the juice of the lemons and then the butter. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, makinng sure the bowl doesn't touch the water. Whisk constantly for about 15 minutes, until the mixture thickens, and coats the back of a spoon. There's a moment when it happens and it's brilliant - this pale, duck egg yolk yellow, glossy and thick - and it's joy. Strain though a fine sieve then pop into glass jars, let it cool and refridgerate.

And there are so many more fabulous recipes to try: orange curd, passionfruit curd, with almonds or dark chocolate...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


+ Filofax, red
+ Leopard print bikini (has Ibiza written all over it)
+ Favourite beauty product: Stila Rouge Pot in Water Lily, perfect natural flush
+ Essential sumthin' sumthin' from adultshop
+ Yet another Amazon order

At The Movies

So much to see!

The Valet
Pursuit of Happyness
Miss Potter
Pan's Labyrinth
Notes On A Scandal
Stranger Than Fiction
For Your Consideration
The Last King Of Scotland *maybe*
Heading South *maybe*
Paris, je t'aime (finally)
And lots to see at the French film festival starting 7 March

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Giving It A Go

I started laser hair removal today (underarm, bikini line). It feels like very quick needle pricks and is over with in five minutes. Will update on the progress.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Smiley Face

Reading the delicious D.V. and curling up diagonally in bed when my eyes can't keep open a minute longer.
Saturday night was fun, two girls - one from old days and one new - Jager bombs, trying to find a bar that's open, Hungry Jacks, cute South African boys ("make it stop!"!), the breakdance that never happened. A fun, fun night.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Marie Antoinette

Sweet, silly fluff. There's nothing to say about it - except, it's lovely to look at and the Laduree touch is genius. I would have paid anything to fly to Paris straight afterwards just to lick a macaroon.

And the pugs were awesome

Instead, we had a drink in a too-loud bar, drove down to Harry's for a pie and hot dog, got shooed away by the police, cruised the Kings Cross strip, ended up at hell-on-earth till the wee hours, trying to scam the prick at the lift, playing the pokies and finishing up with a game of 1-10, and only getting to 3.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Dinner At glass

"Darling, Luke Magnan trained with Michel Roux at the Waterside Inn!!".

This line, erotica to any foodie, and so it was that glass that was chosen for a dinner during Rali's visit. I love foodies, it was said last night I should be with someone from the food industry (they work long hours so I would rarely see them, and when I did, it would be to eat and talk about good food and wine, and those that like food and wine must surely be those that like all sensual delights...).

And so off we went last night, Rali, Wayne, Stephen and I, for the six-course, $110 degustation (Stephen the vegetarian option, which was amazing). First of all, can I say how much I love tasting menus, and how much I enjoyed last night: brilliant food in a sexy setting with fun friends - there's not much more that makes me happier. Since most of my friends couldn't care less about food, maybe I should start a dating/friend site:

Amuse-bouche of barely-boiled egg swirled with vanilla cream, topped with roe and gold leaf *FAVOURITE*

Scallop ceviche on top of diced potatoes, with horseradish cream, caviar and chives

Ocean trout confit on pickled cucumbers with fried echalots

Stephen's fig and blue cheese tart was amazing: the smell of warm buttery pastry makes me swoon

Roasted quail with sage farce, confit leg, morel mushroom ragout, mash, sauce soubise

Sumac roasted veal loin roasted fig, sweetbread and fennel salad, cauliflower puree

Forgot to photograph the cheese course, too busy eating.

Espresso parfait topped with marscapone and blueberries

Tonight the girls are dressed, fabulously, by TopShop and Bally (me), Zara and MaxMara (Rali)

And since Zeta was closed, naturally at the busiest time of year, it was down to Marble Bar for a cocktail, and for jumping up onto the bar and channeling 007:

Bridge Climb

Haha we thought it would be a good idea to treat Rali to a Bridge Climb!

Here I am not afraid of heights - white knuckled all the way! Rali and Steve were worried beforehand - and they were fine! Go figure. All in all it was brilliant and exhilirating and I'm very glad we - and I - did it.

There were plenty of funny moments, including:
+ In the changerooms putting on the oh-so-flattering grey jumpsuits. There I am standing in my underwear while the others are almost dressed. "Aren't we supposed to get our kit off?"
+ Me, terrified. Rali: "It's ok darling, I'll take you shopping afterwards".
+ Guide before taking photos: "Stephen, come in from behind Julia". Stephen and I can't help ourselves: "Ooh baby".
+ Hearing and feeling the train underneath me climbing back, and simultaneously taking 20 years off my life, my mouth dropped. Rali now does the funniest impersonation of me -> :-o
+ Staff member undoing our harness belts, joking: "OK everyone, spread 'em". Rali and I are up against the wall spreadeagled. Staff member: "I was only joking girls, amazing how you're the only two that took it seriously!"

Of course, we needed a strong drink afterwards:

The best part of the Bridge climb

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Dinner At Cafe Sydney

What ordering in Sydney has become:

Perusing menus by maglite (which Rali rightly stole) because the bar is too hip to put in lights

Shosh was actually trying to find the light on her mobile so we could read the menu. Yep.

God forbid they should fill em right up

However, slight redemption with these perfect yabbies, served with good mayonnaise

...And baked chocolate and caramel cream with plump vanilla-poached cherries


Happy New Year!