Monday, 25 February 2013

This week will look a little like this....

  •  The builders are here and are starting our addition. OMG! *faints*.
  •  We wave our 12yo off to camp for the week.
  • I will start making PomPoms to make this
  • my parents are coming over to play~ they live in Adelaide so we don't get to play very often.
  • I continue to help my littlest settle into kindy~ so far not so good :(
  • I will continue with my Clogger to Jogger journey & slowly upping the distance I am running.
  • I will pay bills and more bills
  • I will hide from Melbourne's heat- enough already with the hotness ok?!
  • I will start sanding some old chairs I have and painting them in different bright colours & reupholstering them for the dining table in the new space.
  • I will be measuring up and making a plan
I am super happy to be seeing the burgeoning REAL Fast food scene in Australia.
By this I mean that there seems to be more and more ways to find real food without the preservatives and sugar and fat, that is fast & readily available.
Taco trucks, dumpling houses, noodle bars & the one that I am seeing lots of- Gozleme stands. 

There is often one at the Farmer's Markets.
I LOVE them & often buy one as a snack when we are there. 
I haven't made them before but I had a wee bit of leftover Pizza dough from Friday night pizza and had wrapped it and put it in the fridge.
This recipe was an experiment using the pizza dough as the pastry. It worked well- I am sure it is not entirely authentic but is a good substitute and a great way to use leftovers.

They weren't super pretty - I made them fast (it took about 20 minutes from beginning to end)! but sheesh they tasted SOOOO great.


  • 1 pack Organic frozen spinach
  •  200g pizza dough  (my pizza dough recipe is here)
  • 100g fetta cheese
  • 1/2 spanish onion (or shallot) chopped fine
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 spring onions
  • a good handful fresh coriander
  •  a good handful fresh mint
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • S & P
  • EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
Roll out the pizza dough as finely as possible- mine was paper thin (my favourite Gozleme have super fine pastry) on a well floured bench.

Defrost the spinach.

In a non stick pan gently fry the finely chopped onion till translucent.  Add garlic and fry till fragrant. Add the spinach and stir through well.

Remove from heat and add the fresh herbs & cumin seeds , and S & P. Now crumble the fetta & mix thoroughly.

Divide the dough into equal portions.

Spoon mixture onto each strip leaving enough room to fold the dough over onto itself.

Fold and make sure you seal.

Heat a non stick pan to medium and add a little oil.

Pan fry on each side for about 3-4 minutes or until lightly brown

Serve immediately.

I can. not. stop. listening to Nick Cave's latest album.
and particularly this the dude still has it!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

From Clogger to Jogger

A weird thing has happened to me.

A thing that feels new and exciting.

A thing that I can feel doing me good from the tips of my toes to the inner workings of my being.

It helps me breathe deeper.

See more clearly.

It helps me pause.

At the very end of last year I had started to come out of a blinding fog and was ready.

I was ready to start thinking about making some changes for myself that had been murmuring.

I needed to start giving back to ME.

I made some goals for myself.

Not in a new years resolution kind of way....that never works for me.

I don't like the idea that we kind of wait until a new year comes to reassess things we aren't happy with.

The thing I wanted to give myself the very most was good health.

That was my primary goal.

I am surrounded by people who I love and who love me.

I want to be around.

I want to be able to enjoy it heartily.

That to me is the greatest gift I can give myself.

So.....I set about learning how to jog.

I have watched people jogging forever.

I LOVE watching them.

I LOVE all the different styles.

All the different shapes.

All the different outfits.

So many ways.......

I looked and wished.

And wished a bit harder.

Wished that one day that could be me too.

Then I just decided to get going.

I used an app.

Who knew that a device that sometimes we see as being the very thing that stops us doing exercise could be the very tool that helped me get there?

Over 8 weeks I practised, running a little, walking a little until the running took over the walking.

Every day I would make time for myself - it took 40 minutes of my day- and I would swap my clogs for my jogs.

And then I would hop on my treadmill and just go.

It felt hard.

Really, really hard.

But then something magic happened and my legs just kept going.

I listened to awesome people sharing awesome stuff here and here.

I got to think.



for FOURTY minutes.........




And then this week I graduated.

From Clogger to Jogger.

I am heading towards my goal of feeling healthy.

I have some way to go yet but my mind is set & I know I will get there.

So there you have it............

The tale of How I Turned from Clogger to Jogger in eight weeks.

The other new thing I do for myself every day is to make myself a really lovely brekky.
I am up early and I like to give myself that time.
If you are on Instagram you can find me at gourmetgirlfriend and you can find all of my brekkies at the hashtag #ggbreakfast
I LOVE fritters.
This was todays brekky.
SO good for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Go to it!
(this makes about 10 fritters)

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 carrot
  • 200g Haloumi
  • 1 spring onion
  • 2 tablespoons baby capers
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup SR flour
  • S & P
  • 3 chipotle chillies (i buy the ones in adobe sauce in a can from Casa Iberica
  • 3 tablespoons low fat Greek yoghurt
Grate the zucchini, carrot and haloumi into a large bowl.
Crack the eggs and add the flour.
Chop the spring onion finely and add.
Add S & P and mix through ingredients well.

Add a small amount of oil to a non stick fry pan at medium heat.

Grab a handful of the mix and drop carefully into the pan.  Flatten a little.

Fry gently till  brown - about 5 minutes.

Flip and cook other side till brown.

Serve with Chipotle Yoghurt (simply chop the chipotle chillies and add to yoghurt).

Oh Howe....... I never tire of your voice. Never ever.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

On being open minded

The other day Mr Girlfriend and I had a long and super interesting conversation with our two eldest boys regarding the subject of open-mindedness.

I love listening to my kids ideas.

I love how they articulate their thoughts.

We haven't turned on the TV in weeks.

It is not missed.

Our 12yo in amongst the conversation talked of how he thinks as we get older we get less open minded and more dogmatic in our beliefs.

He went on to say that kids seem to be more curious and wanted to find out different ways whereas older people didn't and tended to just believe one thing.

I think I agree with him.

Do you?

We showed him this video- an old favourite of mine and Mr Girlfriend. It is really worth watching.

I could totally live on Noodles alone.
This is a super quick & super yum dish that is great for a quick lunch or an equally delish dinner.
It is yummy hot or served cold as a salad.

  • soba noodles ( I tend to always have dried soba in the pantry just in case of a Noodle emergency!) 
  • 1 carrot, julienned fine
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 100g sliced wombok cabbage (normal cabbage will do- or any other greens you like!)
  • 200 g firm tofu
  • 1 inch ginger, julienned fine
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • spring onion, sliced fine
  • handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • black sesame seeds
  • chilli (optional)
Prepare Soba noodles as per packet. (while the soba are cooking you can do the frying bit and the noodles should be ready to mix in)

Add the sesame oil to a non stick fry pan on medium heat.
Fry the carrots, wombok, garlic and ginger.
Once just wilted add tofu and take off the heat.

Drain noodles and add to stir fry mix.

Mix well and add the spring onion and coriander (and chilli if using).

Serve into bowls and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Happy Valentines day Lovers....grab your loved one and dance a jig in the kitchen to this (and just quietly...Imagine being sooooo talented at just NINETEEN years of age!!!)~

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Treading water

The new year has begun.

Our World Tour of NZ 2013 is over (pics and stories still to come).

The kids are back at school.

Some at the same school but in different classes, some at a new school with new everything & shiny shiny shoes.

I feel like the new kid too.

So much to take in.

So many corridors to get lost in.

So many important papers for the dog to eat.

So many names to forget.

So very many things.......

I never really expected to get busier as the kids got older.

I missed that memo obviously.

I barely feel as if I have my head above water.

Imagine what it is like for my kids?!

They are ever so good at managing change.

Once again we can learn so very much from them if we stop, watch & listen.

I'm treading water.

Breathing in.

Breathing out.

Over the years I have put way too much into my body and not done anywhere near enough output to balance it.
I am all about health and not about weight. The body image thing has never been a problem for me.
Like lots of people though my health has become a priority.
I want to be around. I LOVE being around!
There is so much goodness and fun to be had!

I am trying really hard to educate myself more on how it all works and still be able to eat all the things I LOVE. Which is pretty much everything!
SO the other day when my eldest asked for a Lamb & Rosemary pie my mind just went into meltdown about how calorie heavy pastry is....and also how DELICIOUS!!!!!
I made it my mission to deliver a Low Calorie option packed with flavour.
I am all for food tasting as good as it possibly can.
I had heard about an idea of replacing pastry with a basic bread dough and wanted to see if it would be any good.
I had made a batch of my Pizza dough (recipe here) and had refrigerated the leftover to arrest the rising & I had a lamb shoulder needing to be cooked (this recipe would also be a great way to use leftover lamb shoulder from my slow cooked souvlaki recipe).
I cooked the shoulder the day before and refrigerated it till the next day (I could also easily remove the fat solids from the stock for extra lean-ness)
SO here is the result. A super delicious, crusty pie of the super tasty variety.
Low in fat without being low on flavour. It has about a THIRD the fat of a regular pie.
I will be using this method again and try with different fillings.


  • 1 lamb shoulder
  • 5 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 4 carrots, chopped into cubes
  • 3 large potatoes, chopped into cubes
  • 1 large onion
  • basic pizza dough (recipe here)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 cups stock
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)
  • S & P
  • oil for brushing

Heat oven to 150C.

Place the Lamb shoulder into a roasting dish and top with a couple of garlic cloves (crushed, a couple of rosemary sprigs & some S & P. No need to add any oil.  Cover tightly with foil and bake at 150C for 3-4 hours.

Remove from oven & set aside. (I did this step the day before and refrigerated it.  This allowed me to remove the fat solids and to use the stock from the pan for the gravy).

Shred the meat off the bone & keep the cooking liquid.

Turn oven temp up to 180C.

Bruch a pie dish with a little oil. Roll out pizza dough so it is big enough to cover your pie dish (I left a little extra for shrinkage) Roll to about 1/2 cm thickness. Make sure you leave enough dough to make a top!

Place carefully into pie dish and blind bake (this means cooking the pastry with no filling in).  I pricked the bottom with a fork and placed dried beans in to prevent from rising. This step makes the super crispy base that we all LOVE!

Place in oven for about 30 minutes or until lightly brown.

Remove and allow to cool while you make the filling.

Brush a non stick pan with oil & gently fry the onion, garlic, potatoes & carrot till soft.

Add the lamb, the remaining rosemary sprigs (take the leaves off the stalk and chop roughly) and the wine and turn up the heat a little.

Cook through for 5 minutes or so, to allow the alcohol to burn off.

Now add the water and seasoning and sprinkle the flour over the top. Stir well to incorporate the flour. Cook for another 5 minutes to allow the flour to cook properly and thicken the gravy.

Add the filling to the pie dish and cover with remaining dough. Cut a little steam hole in the top and brush with egg wash and place back into oven at 180C for about 20 minutes or till top is golden brown.

Remove and serve immediately.  I used a bread knife to cut through the super crispy crust.

Loving the sounds of Tracey Thorn at the moment......this song is gorgeous.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Lollipop Moments

On the weekend my eldest son (14) shared something with me.

I LOVED it so very much.

He was really happy for me to share this message with you too.

I love the idea that we can say or do something at any time that helps enact profound change.

I love the idea that every single one of us DOES have the capacity to be amazing even without knowing it, that we all have value.

I love the idea that we all matter.

I LOVE his idea on leadership.

And I LOVE that my son understood the value of the message.

I hope you watch it and love it too.

Beets are so delish at the moment.
I love them.
I made this marmalade yesterday and am really happy with the citrus tang from the orange.  
It is great on sandwiches, with a steak or just served with cheese & crackers.

  • 1kg beetroot
  • juice and rind of a large orange
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • water to cover
Grate the beets and all ingredients into a saucepan.

Cook over a medium heat until the beet is soft, now turn down to low and simmer slowly, stirring often till jammy (about 45 minutes).

Place into a sterilised jar and refrigerate.  Keeps for several weeks.

I have been enjoying this song.