Tag Archives: jamie oliver

Weekend Getaway – Kiwi Style

Having not seen our friends, who live a few hours drive away, since the wedding back in January, we decided a little get together was in order. I scoured the NZ holiday house websites and we decided upon this little coastal gem: http://www.holidayhouses.co.nz/properties/2076.asp

A weekend was picked and anticipation ensued. The location of the bach was about half way between us and them so neither of us had to drive nausea inducing, windy coastal roads, yay! As well as L&P and jandals, NZ is kind of famous for narrow, coastal road ways.

We set off last Friday afternoon and after a quick coffee/gas stop and then a grocery stop we were there just after sun set. Joss had lit the fire and we quickly caught up on how everyone was, over a beer. Onemana, where the bach was, is quite tiny. Like, really really tiny, and has only a dairy and a small cafe so with rumbling tummies we jumped in the car and headed ten mins down the road to Whangamata for some fush and chups.

The weekend on the whole was relaxing with fairly good weather. The sun was shining both days but there was a fierce wind and finding a sheltered spot was a bit difficult. It died down on Saturday afternoon just as we had grabbed more beer, ready for the Saturday night, and arrived at the local skate park for the boys to have a play around.

I find it so good for the soul to catch up with old friends, chat about all of life’s little goings ons, relax and unwind while imbibing tasty beers and eating a bit too much food. We’re all in our late twenties/early thirties so having too much to drink and going to bed at 3am wasn’t so much on the agenda. Instead we played board games like Pictionary and Balderdash, and laughed a lot. I love the wholesome, shameless fun that comes with being a bit older and not so consumed with getting shit-faced or laid. Though, those things are still fun 😉

One of the things I looked forward to this trip so much for was because I volunteered to cook for everyone. Another way for us to be all brought together and add to the happy memories of the weekend – plus it’s a bit self indulgent for me to be able to do what I love, for the people I love.

The following photos are of the two breakfasts I cooked (I also cooked on Saturday night which was vegetarian nachos and cauliflower mac and cheese – recipe here – but there are no photos).

The vegetarian version of my infamous breakfast stack (it was meant to have hash browns as well, but they were in the freezer – out of sight, out of mind. A bit sad, but not a total loss by any stretch)

Image

In case you wish to try it at home: corn bread, sauteed spinach with garlic and olive oil, oven roasted mushrooms with herbs, oven roasted tomatoes with salt, pepper and olive oil, haloumi cheese and poached egg. I sometimes add a relish or pesto on the side. This one had pesto which I usually would spread on the corn bread but the kids eating it this time wanted to have the “full corn bread experience” as it was their first time.

This photo is of the non-vege version – just add bacon:

Image

On Sunday, as Scott and I had to leave a bit earlier than a casual brunch allows, I prepared a smoothie to start (no photo) containing banana, sweetened almond milk, soaked walnuts and vanilla – blended. I wanted to strain it to get the larger chunks of walnut that wouldn’t blend (used a stick blender, probably would’ve been better blended with an actual blender) but there wasn’t a strainer. The nuttiness was appreciated anyhow. To accompany (but not compliment) the smoothie, I had already baked a loaf of what I call magic bread AKA The Life Changing Loaf of Bread thanks to the amazing Sarah Britton of “My New Roots” fame. I topped toasted sliced of this bread with cream cheese, capers, smoked salmon and a bit of lemon zest and a small squeeze of lemon juice. Amaze balls!

Image

Suffice to say, there were groans of delight after a filling breakfast, on both days which made me quite a happy lass.

I spent yesterday afternoon trying to keep the goodness of the weekend going with a book in the sun. I even had to slip, slop, slap as the sun was feeling harsh and I have pasty ass skin. Later met my sister for a couple of drinks at a local pub where we hoped to win the “find the joker jackpot” but were unsuccessful. A trip via the supermarket on the way home to grab the weeks eats and home again to whip up some spaghetti alla puttanesca and a toasted caramelised onion and brie sandwich.

Should probably go to the gym after work today… 🙂 I hope you had a lovely weekend, whatever you did.

Sleep, love and cook books

Yesterday was not a good day for me. I was snappy, tired, lacking energy, motivation and the will to carry on. OK  so the last part is a bit dramatic but I am SO over this job and just want it to be over.

I handed in my notice on the 1st of November, making my last day the 30th of November. I have two and a half weeks to go but I have seriously lost the will to do this job. My chair lacks foam cushioning so even just sitting here all day is a pain in the bum! Literally! And my employers are too cheap to invest in a decent chair for me as that was an investment they made quite some time ago and aren’t prepared to invest again any time soon because it’s not in their budget. Their staff are not really in their budget apart from our wages.

Anyway…hating is not helping.

I struggled through the day yesterday, longing to be outside in the glorious sunshine and 21 degrees mother nature was sharing with us. My breakfast smoothie tasted like plastic so I had to throw it out to then eat cornflakes and milk – both “no-no’s” on my paleo list. First fail. Then lunch was no better as the dressing I’m using is starting to taste like poison after having taken sugar out of my diet. This item has sugar in it and it cuts my taste buds! The egg for my lunch salad was not boiled to perfection and parts of it looked like mucus which made me want to gag with every mouthful. Second fail. The rest of the afternoon I felt like snapping at anyone that talked to me; I think I did well not to snap, actually. Small win. When I got home I put on my exercise clothes and prepared to do a Jillian Michaels workout but the computer is old and was struggling as much as I was to work. Third and final fail. So I gave up on that, cooked a piece of bacon and fried an egg, ate it and lay down on the couch, watching Rick Steins Mediterranean Adventures.  I heart that man – always something interesting to say. Though, he does look like a man who could snap at any minute…

An hour later I was asleep. I had slept fine the night before so realistically I shouldn’t have been tired. But I’m SO drained, mentally, physically and emotionally from this job. It’s stealing precious positivity from me and I resent the crap out of it! All I felt like doing yesterday was curling up and going to sleep and forgetting about the world. I don’t know about you, but this sounds like a symptom of depression! I’m not being OTT here, I don’t actually feel depressed but I am stressed which is leading to a bit of a Ctrl+Alt+delete situation. I’ve experienced this before and I get through it to the end but once it’s over, I crash. It’s not pretty.

BUT!!! Silver lining!!! I am married to a bloody rock of a man who has endless patience for my bitching and moaning! I woke up from my nap with him on the other couch, quietly munching on a pear and playing on his smart phone. He had even bought me a wee present – the Jamie Oliver 30 min meal cookbook I’ve wanted for over a year now. Such a gem!! He knew I’d had a bad day and that I’ve hated my job for months so his attempt to cheer me up was in lieu of this. It worked 🙂 I love Jamie Oliver and those 30 min meals are delicious!!! I gave Scott a hug and a kiss and shed a few small tears saying “I’ve had too many bad days lately”.

The nap and the present had me feeling more like myself so I cooked dinner even though it was Scott’s turn. After dinner we went for a walk around the lifestyle blocks that surround our street and when I got home I watched the rest of the Sex and the City movie. A shitty day had turned into quite a nice evening.

Sleep, love and cook books – all so good for the soul.