22 January 2008

A new stove

My new stove

Old stove

My 1960's kitchen has a new stove! On Christmas Eve my old oven door broke. DH and I rushed into town and bought a large George Foreman roaster to fit the Christmas turkey. I have a small George and I love him, so now I have a large one I can cook two chickens or a whole leg of lamb or a turkey in him if I need to.

We knew we wouldn't be able to get an electrician before Christmas, so George gave us time to choose a new stove and organise the installation.

My new Westinghouse is here. It has a fan forced oven, separate griller, automatic timer and a beautiful ceramic glass cooktop. I re-painted the white around the kitchen cupboards and DH put all new nice shiny knobs on the cupboards for me and I almost have a new kitchen!

Of course the stove is too nice and new and clean to ever cook on it or in it, so I will just admire it for a few days and have takeaway.

Only joking!! I have cooked some vegies on top and I am using the oven tonight.

I do keep dusting it and polishing it. I realised today that I have NEVER had a new stove before, so I am very happy.

16 January 2008

Silver rings and lovely smells

It's funny how our tastes change - not only with food - but in other ways as well. I have always been a "gold person". Silver jewellery hasn't ever really appealed to me - until now. I have a lovely new silver and purple pendant and two new silver and purple rings. They aren't precious stones, but they are very pretty and I love them.

Now I would like a silver watch with a silver sparkly band and a silver bracelet. (Hints to DH for my birthday in May)

I also have a new favourite perfume

Burberry Brit Sheer - a beautiful perfume that I received from my employers for Christmas.

A younger version of the original Burberry Brit. Playful and vibrant, the fragrance embodies the youthful spirit of Burberry Brit. With a fresh and natural ‘joie de vivre’, the Brit Sheer girl has a passion for adventure and romance.Burberry Brit Sheer is a fresh, fruity floral fragrance. The sparkling top notes of bright yuzu and mandarin are uplifted by pineapple leaves, luscious lychee and grapes. The body reveals an airy and floral mix of peony, peach blossom, sweet pea with just a hint of nashi. The fragrance dries to a luminous veil of white musk and creamy amyris wood.
- It is a very mild fragrance - there isn't much musk luckily - as I don't like musk or vanilla smells

14 January 2008

Mountain Bread

White bread and rolls had been creeping back in my daily food intake. The more bread I eat, the more I want. I decided to try these wraps instead and I really like them. I usually fill one full of salad and a dash of light cream cheese.
The other night I made some lovely baked chicken parcels:
1/2 a wrap
1 chicken thigh fillet
1 teaspoon cranberry sauce
sprinkle of grated parmesan.
Top the chicken with cranberry sauce and cheese. Place the chicken on the wrap and carefully roll into a parcel. Place on baking tray lined with baking paper and bake in 200 degree oven for 35 minutes.
Delish! Just tastes like really thin pastry around the chicken.
Thanks for all your comments about my mushroom problem. I will let you know what the Dr says, when I go. In the meantime, I am VERY careful what I eat when I go out.
We had a lovely time at the Wedding on Saturday. Danced the night away - very good exercise!

08 January 2008

Reaction to mushrooms

This is quite a long story, but I would like to know if anyone out there has had the same thing happen to them, or whether you know someone that this has happened to:

Episode 1:

Earlier this year I went to a food and wine fest. DH and I drank a bottle of wine between us (which isn't unusual) and I ate tempura mushrooms(which I hadn't eaten before - I have eaten button mushrooms from the supermarket, but not often).

About half an hour later I was completely out of it. I don't remember what I said to people, I don't remember the band we were listening to. I remember not being able to find the toilets by myself and DH guided me there and waited for ages until I came out. I don't know what I did while I was in there. I remember all the trees in the park seemed to be swaying weirdly and everything else was in slow motion. I wasn't sick, we walked home, but I felt very ill all the next day.

Now this may just sound like a person who was intoxicated. I kept telling everyone that I really felt that I had a reaction to the mushrooms. Probably a reaction to mushrooms, combined with alcohol, combined with my BP medication?

"Sure" they said - "You were just drunk". I have been "drunk", I have been "Tipsy" and I have never felt like that before. I have never taken recreational drugs. I need to take medications for blood pressure and have never believed in taking drugs just for "fun".

Episode 2:

In December we had a Christmas Dinner for my work at an exclusive restaurant in town. It was a "tasting". No choice of menu - just 8 or so small courses of "exotic" foods and the appropriate wine to go with each course. I didn't have the wine. I know I can't mix my drinks without suffering a blinding headache, so it just isn't worth it. I had about 4 Vodka and sodas - I have had quite a few more than that in one evening and been fine afterwards.

Three of the courses contained mushrooms. The first mushroom course contained Shiitake mushrooms - I ate them. The second one was a scallop on top of a portabello mushroom - I gave that mushroom to DH. The third course had a creamy sauce - which I ate - I later found out it was a mushroom cream.

About half an hour later I felt hot. I asked my friend from work to come outside for some fresh air and a chat. We went out and I suddenly felt very faint and ill.

The next thing I remember is having hallucinations of some sort of creatures. I'm not sure how long it went on for - it seemed quite a while - like some sort of weird dream.

I then felt a bit better and said "let's go in now. I think I am OK" - "No you aren't" my friend said - "you have vomited all over yourself and your eyes were rolling and staring at me, but you couldn't see me - it looked like you were having a fit!" My pulse was racing and I was white as a sheet.

She had been too scared to leave me and had stopped me choking while I was unconscious. She then went inside and came back out with DH and a Doctor and nurse from our medical practice. I was OK by then, but I felt very drained.

We went home and I showered and washed my clothes. That night I couldn't close my eyes all night. I was OK, but I was so hyper. The next day I didn't feel like I had a hangover - I just felt completely drained and I felt that way for about a week. I tried to see my own GP, but as it was the week before Christmas - she was booked out - and I didn't want to explain it all to someone else. I have worked with her and known her for years and she knows this is not a normal experience for me.

Needless to say, I am very wary of going out for meals and I will be very careful what I eat in future. It was a very nasty experience and I believe it was a severe reaction to mushrooms.

What do you think?

04 January 2008

A new toy

Among other things that I have bought lately is this pasta maker. I made my own pasta with this no egg recipe that I found:

1 cup of plain flour
1 cup of Semolina
1/2 a cup of water

Mix flours together gently by hand. Transer to a bench lined with baking paper. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and gradually add the water. I mix it in by hand.A knife can be used to mix the dough. The dough should not be sticky. If it is, add a little more flour. If too dry, add a little water.

I used my new pasta machine, so I simply broke the mixture into three pieces and fed them through the machine as per the instructions. you could knead by hand, but it takes ages.

It was great fun! I spread the pasta out on baking paper and kept in the fridge until I was ready to cook it. It keeps for a few days in the fridge or can be frozen.


I chopped up some lovely ripe tomatoes
Added 1 tomato paste sachet
black pepper
a sprinkle of salt and sugar

and cooked gently in saucepan till soft. Added chopped basil, thyme and mint and poured on my cooked pasta. (I had cooked the pasta in boiling salted water with a tiny splash of olive oil, for about three minutes - al dente) Topped with a sprinkle of parmesan - Yummo!!!!

Probably more of a winter dish - but I was anxious to use my new toy. I can make flat pieces for lasagne, long flat pasta (fettucini)or long skinny round pasta (spaghetti).

Another day I cooked some pasta and then topped it with large cooked prawns, a dash of oyster sauce, a dash of sweet chilli sauce and a dash of soy sauce - Yummo too!!!

01 January 2008

Happy 2008!!!!

Happy New Year everyone. I hope you have a wonderful, happy, healthy 2008.

Christmas was lovely. Full of family (some via visits,some via webcam), fun and food (a little too much of the latter, but that will be rectified in the coming weeks).

DH and I stayed home last night, but we are celebrating the New Year tonight and going out for a lovely dinner and overnight stay.

We will then be on a strict no alcohol, healthy food, lots of exercise two weeks as we have an important Wedding to attend and we are both growing out of our new wedding outfits.

Hope to catch up with blogging soon.