27 August 2013

I need YOUR help

It's been a long time between innings for this blog...but I am very much hoping it'll be the beginning of many as I'm soon going to be heading off on a few travels. 
The point of this post?
Just as the title suggests...help! Or in other words, give me all/every idea your brain obtains. 

I borrowed all the books for the library...
...but they aren't overly thrilling.

So here is a list of places I am hoping to get to during my time away...if you know people there who want to hang out with a kiwilas, and/or you know of things to do/eat/explore etc, then please let me know. 
I'll talk about your awesomeness in the blog post I write about it. So, clearly, it's absolutely worth your time.

Thanks in advance y'all...
AUSTRALIA
Canberra
Sydney
Port Macquarie (or somewhere a little further up he coast)
Gold Coast-Brisbane-Sunshine Coast
Tamworth
[               ] (somewhere between Tamworth and Melbourne)

AMERICA
Barbados
Boston
California 
Chicago
Montana
New Orleans 
New York 
Orlando
Rhode Island 
Washington, D.C.

Annddd GO

30 June 2013

Happy Anniversary to ME[lbourne]

One year ago today I moved to Melbourne.
I stepped on a plane early in the morning with every intention of being back in kiwi-land eight weeks later. 
However, as they do, circumstances changed.
The opportunity to live here presented itself once again.
And although my stomach said no, my heart and my head managed to argue their way to a yes. 

The first third of my time consisted of: wintry weather, exploration/orientation of the city, car purchasing, food discoveries, church hopping, a trip to Brisbane, two trips back to NZ and moving three times.
As great as Melbourne was, I yearned for the comfort, smiles and normality of 'home'.

The second third of my time was when a shift in mindset was required. I wasn't a temporary visitor, doing a bit of work and being a tourist.
I was an Australian resident, with a full-time job and bills to pay.
I needed to settle down and focus on being a Melbournian. 
These four months consisted of: finding an amazing church, making wonderful friends, learning the art of living in an oven, choosing and officially supporting a footy team, a continuation of food discoveries, two more trips back to NZ, and feeling properly settled in this foreign land. 

And this final third of my time so far...well...life continues to go through its ups, down and intriguing situations, but I have nothing to complain about (though I still manage to) and I am happy. Properly happy. 
I'm never sure what's next.
I tend to live week to week.
But right now, I'm officially a statistic...
One more kiwi living in Aus.

Just over a year ago I was plodding along in little ol' Aotearoa, attempting to complete a list of culinary must-do's in Auckland, and loving spending time with my beautiful family and friends. 
Suddenly a curve ball was thrown at me. 
I didn't really want to play. 
So I shut my eyes and prayed for the best...

Home run Melbs.

A small insight into Melbourne life

20 June 2013

Summer is here!

Some may say that today is day 21 of winter.
Others may say it's only getting colder from here.

But those people are confused. 

Today is really the first day of summer.
Today is the day when we start saying goodbye to these dark mornings and dark evenings.
Today, we begin our journey towards the glorious creation that is heat.

I welcome you short and ugly June 21.
And now I look forward to the next 71 days of 'winter', as they will be brightened by the fact that summer is actually here.



18 June 2013

My American Dream

A little while ago, when I was unemployed and dreaming of all the things I could do with the money I wasn't earning, I designed my ultimate American Road Trip.

No Route 66
No Pacific Coast Highway
No Great River Road
No Million Dollar Highway

No.

Just one mega trip in which I would see every State (Hawaii and Alaska would have to be flying visits, after the fact), go to every attraction, eat every classic dish/food (unless it involves plastic cheese in a can), and meet every culture America has to offer.

There are two main obstacles in which make this a very difficult task:
#1. The cost...quite clearly it'll be expensive...and I would like to have a friend/companion with me on this journey, so *boom*, I just doubled the price.
#2. The visa. America is a very tricky country to get into for anything other than a short term holiday. And although this is a vacation of sorts, the three month window provided with the travel visa would not be sufficient for this to work. 50 States + numerous things to see in each + 90 days = methinkno.

Nevertheless, it's a thought...it's a goal...and you just never know.

This really is My American Dream

29 May 2013

What is a new dessert recipe I can try that won’t cost too much money in random new ingredients and that Paul will like too...ie. something with chocolate...and not with fruit?

The answer is quite simple.
In fact, there are 2 answers.
And each answer has 2 answers.

#1. Make ice cream.
Beat 500-600ml bottle of cream until slightly thickened.
Beat in 400g can sweetened condensed milk until thickened.
Fold through 1 tsp vanilla essence and 1 packet crushed Oreos.
Freeze.
I realize this isn't the cheapest recipe...but it really is worth every cent

Serve with:

#1.2 Chocolately Choc Choc Crêpes

Ingredients
50g flour
10g cocoa
1½ Tbsp honey
1 egg
Pinch of salt
75ml milk
2 Crunchy Bars (or other chocolate bar of your choice), roughly chopped
25g plain chocolate, melted

Directions
Blend the flour, cocoa, honey, egg, salt and milk in a food processor until smooth and creamy.
Rest the batter in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Melt some butter in a crêpe pan over medium heat.
Add a ladleful of the batter to the pan and swirl to cover the base thinly.
Cook for a minute of two until set on top, then flip to the other side and cook briefly.
Serve the crêpe with chopped Crunchy bar and a drizzling of the melted chocolate.
Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve immediately.

or

#2.2 Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding

Ingredients
60g butter
½ cup milk
¾ cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup self-raising flour
1 Tbsp cocoa
¾ cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp cocoa, extra
2 cups boiling water

Directions
Melt butter and milk together in the microwave.
Stir in the caster sugar and vanilla.
Sift in the flour and cocoa, and mix together.
Pour the mixture into a lightly greased oven-proof dish.
Push the brown sugar and extra cocoa through a sieve to sprinkle evenly over the chocolate mixture.
Gradually pour the boiling water, over the back of a wooden spoon, onto the chocolate mixture.
Bake at 180C for about 50 minutes. 
Eat hot/warm.
Me no have no photo of my own.
So me stole this here photo from ze google.
Question #10 was courtesy of Shannon Freestone




And this here is the final question that was posed in my direction.
So unless anyone else has anything else they would like to know...about life, me, or the correct pronunciation of Whakatane...it's been a pleasure.

28 May 2013

Why has Daniel Vettori grown such a long beard? Is it a religious thing?

In the same way a good friend of mine answered the, “why did you grow a mullet?” question, the answer is: “because it’s ugly”.

The other logical reason is that he gets hungry on the field, and it’s the only inconspicuous place he can hide food.

The final possibility is that he is lazy. Like a woman during winter.


Question #9 was courtesy of Robyn Perkins

27 May 2013

What are ten good reasons why you should move back to NZ?

#1. My beautiful family are there. 
#2. Some amazingly fabulous friends are there.
#3. A wonderful church known as Birkenhead Community Church is there.
#4. It’s pretty.
#5. I like it.
#6. You can say, “There are six pens on the deck” with no confusion.
#7. Mocking Australians works much better.
#8. little & friday
#9. You can fill your puku with kumara cooked by your Whānau
#10. It’s home.

Typical NZ

Question #8 was courtesy of Leodenelle Mathieson

25 May 2013

What would you do if you got to visit the moon for a day?

#1. Take a selfie and post it on Facebook, Twitter AND Instagram. 
#2. Tag myself in the photo, followed by – on the moon
#3. Fly (due to the gravity issue*)
#4. Run...through the air (due to the gravity issue*).
#5. Take photos for google street view.
#6. Search for that American flag.
#7. Dig a hole, and cook me a hangi.
#8. Sleep...in the air (due to the gravity issue*).

*I’m not exactly sure what the issue is…but it seems to involve gravity…and its lack thereof. 


Question #7 was courtesy of Katie Perkins

24 May 2013

Is the BEST thing about being a woman, the prerogative to have a little fun? Oh wo oh oh.


No.

After a ridiculously minimal amount of research, I have found that the best thing about being a woman, is the ability to give birth.
However, not all women can give birth, therefore apparently stripping them of the best thing about being a woman.
Also, through a number of unnamed sources, I've heard that giving birth is the opposite of 'the best'.

So in conclusion, the answer is actually yes.





Question #6 was courtesy of Vanessa Lucas

What is your favourite airport?


It would have to be Auckland International Airport from a few years ago…when McD’s was a full-sized restaurant, the departure area was spacious yet cozy, there was a video screen warning everyone of who was about to come through arrivals, and security was on the lower end of the ‘safe-spectrum’. 
Otherwise it’d be a toss-up between Chicago O’Hare (because you can say it like a Maori) or Seattle-Tacoma (because it brings back beautiful memories of trips with beautiful people). 

Question #5 was, once again, courtesy of Reuben Bradley


23 May 2013

Who is your favourite cousin?

If you’re my cousin, and you’re reading this…YOU are my favourite cousin.

Question #4 was courtesy of Reuben Bradley

22 May 2013

Why have the Canucks failed to win the Stanley Cup in the past four season?


#1. They’re not scoring more goals than their opposition.
#2. They’re not actually that good.
#3. They’ve come to realize their dislike for the cold. And the ice.
#4. This is what some players are doing in their spare time
#5. When playing against teams of such a high caliber as Chicago, it’s virtually impossible to win. 


Question #3 was courtesy of Reuben Bradley

21 May 2013

What is your favourite place to get dessert in North Shore City, Auckland?


If there is one thing I feel appropriate for eating at any time of the day, it would be ice cream.
And if there is one thing better than ice cream, it would be gelato.
Takapuna Beach Café and Store do the absolute-without-a-shadow-of-a-doubt best gelato around.
Perfect for breakfast-dessert, lunch-dessert, dinner-dessert, or morning/afternoon tea/dessert.

They learnt the art of gelato in Italy.
They give generous servings.
They allow two flavours in a ‘one scoop’.
And they’re right on the beach front, in the perfect location to go for a stunning walk in either direction. 




Question #2 was courtesy of Tina Broadbent

20 May 2013

Who is Clara ‘Oswin’ Oswald?


Clara is a female person, with peculiar parents who gave her a middle name ridiculously similar to her last name.

On further research, I also note she is a fictional character in a TV series called Dr Who, which every other person seems to be talking about these days.
Dr Who obviously loves Clara.
But due to her strange middle name he struggles to cope.
Which is why he is called Doctor Who.
Just because.


Question #1 was courtesy of Rebekah Jasper.

18 May 2013

Ask Jo

Welcome to my first (and possibly only) interactive blog post.

I don't have to do anything at this moment.
Everything falls on you.
This is your opportunity to ask me anything.
For example: 
What is it like being a girl?
How do you make calamari round?
Who has influenced your taste in trashy pop music?
What is your political/religious/social opinion on this [very intellectual topic]?
Etc

I promise to answer every question.
If I don't know the answer, I'll make it up.
But above all, I'll avoid saying anything which could later be used as evidence. 

Annddd...GO


16 May 2013

Three Good Things

#1. An unexpected sleep in when I fell asleep whilst in the process of setting my alarm the night before. 

#2. Needing a packet of Digestive biscuits. 
Finding them on special. 
And nabbing he last one. 

#3. And most importantly...my beautiful friend heads to Botswana today to work with kids for almost 6 months. 
Search 'Niki's Botswana Mission Trip' on Facebook if you want to find out a bit more (sorry I can't post link when doing this on my phone).
We (collectively, as a reader of this blog) love and appreciate you Niki! 
Stay safe. 
Stay strong. 
And stay cool.

See?
Three good things.

13 May 2013

App of the Day

I just need to give a shout out to the Coles iPhone app.

Not only does it put your shopping list in order of what aisle the product is down (depending on what store you're going to), but it also scans barcodes so that when your low on something you just scan it to add to your list. 


I'm pretty convinced my nana would have loved this. 

08 May 2013

Love is...

No matter who you are.
No matter where you come from. 
No matter what you've done... 
Or what you're planning to do. 
No matter what you believe...
Or don't believe.

I think we can all agree on one thing.
This is true.
This is awesome. 
And this is what everyone deserves. 

I've waited months for this

A long time ago I ripped out a recipe from a magazine.
I put it in my folder of 'ripped out recipes from magazines'.
I then moved countries. 
But on a trip back to my home land, I plucked out a select few of these recipes to bring back and hopefully attempt at one point or another. 

When I was at the Prahran Market a while ago I got me one beautiful piece of eye fillet.  

It scared me so much I put it in the freezer.
But the other night, I took the plunge, and allowed it to defrost.
After psyching myself up to make this coconut red beef curry after all this time, I got home last night and realised I'd left the recipe [crumpled up on the floor] at work. 

Cool story Jo. 
Thanks. 

Anyway...the whole point of this is that everyrecipe.co.nz commented on a post of mine asking me to sign this blog up to their website. So I did that (hence the rather large everyrecipe icon to the right there) and now I feel I really need to chuck a new recipe up....

Coconut Red Beef Curry
Brush some red curry paste over your beef fillets.
Heat oil in pan on high. 
Cook fillets on all sides until browned. 

Place in oven at 180degrees and cook for 8-15 minutes, depending on size of each piece and how you like your beef cooked. 
Remove from oven, cover and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes. 

Meanwhile, fry 1-2 Tbsp (depending on your taste in spice) red curry paste for a couple of minutes, and then stir in 1 1/2 cups coconut cream, and 3/4 cup chicken stock. 
Allow to simmer for a few minutes and [hopefully] thicken. 

Slice the [perfectly medium-rare] beef.
Place on a plate with green vegetables, and spoon over the desired amount of curry sauce for each.

Voila. 

04 May 2013

The Good Old Days

Remember the days when...

  • Petrol was less than $1 a litre 
  • A 2gb USB cost $30.
  • You'd force yourself to listen to whole albums because you paid good money for it, even though you just wanted one song.
  • Calling people to catch up was normal. And sometimes it would take a while to get in touch because they had to be home.
  • 'Intolerance' was a word used only when describing how one felt about a certain someone else. 


Oh how things have changed...

*
**





*BP NZ just on one particular day in recent times
**Currently on Harvey Normans Australia website