Some cool stuff that we’ve made/eaten lately.

Dutch Baby! These are so cool. I mean look at those ruffles! Look at that deliciousness! They are also super easy to make. I use this recipe. Dump everything in the blender while you heat the cast iron in the oven. Pour in the mixture, and bake for 15 minutes. Top with whatever you like.

Mi Goreng doughnut from Bistro Morgan. It was filled with chilli chocolate custard, and topped with Mi Goreng glaze, noodles and a sweet chilli drizzle. It was, understandably, weird. A spicy doughnut, lol. The other one was a New Yorker: cheesecake custard filling, passionfruit glaze, cheesecake biscuit crumb. This one was, understandably, normal.

Scott made pavlova for the first time and this is how it came out. O_O Not bad! I like pav. The chewy outside bits are the best.

Just a really delicious salad that I made that I wanted to show off. Perfectly cooked grilled salmon, avo, goat cheese, cucumber, cherry tomato, on rocket with a bit of balasamic vinegar. I could eat this salad over and over.

Homemade almond brittle ice cream in a store bought waffle cone. Actually not my best batch of ice cream, you can kind of see that it came out a bit grainy. This is the second time this has happened and I’m not sure exactly why. Scott thinks it might be because the almond brittle (or cookie dough in the other instance) started to dissolve in the ice cream? I have made some good batches lately though: passionfruit was a big hit.

The worlds most expensive bubble tea. Cheesy mango. Such a gross name, they really should specify that it’s cream cheese, haha. It actually was quite delicious, but man it cost a lot (like $8!!). Why do they use such fancy cups?

Soondubu jjiggae. This is one of my favourite Korean foods. I JUST LOVE SOFT TOFU SO MUCH. So I tried to make it myself at home with our trusty stone bowl! I used this recipe and it turned out fine, although I was hungry about 20 minutes later because it wasn’t much more than a bit of tofu and some water. Next time I will add some kind of seafood, and maybe serve it with a bowl of rice like they do in Korea.

OK no more footy talk for six months. What else have we been up to?

I did another weightlifting competition at the end of August. My back wasn’t great at the time so my coach and I were being pretty conservative. I wasn’t expecting any PBs because I was powering everything, but I went 6/6 and still got a 2 kg PB in snatch and 1 kg PB in clean and jerk! I have another comp coming up in November and it will be interesting to see what I can do if I do full movements.

We got these pretty carrots from Costco. I roasted them whole for about 30 minutes. Then mixed up a 3:2 ratio of balsamic vinegar and honey with a bit of thyme, drizzled the mixture over and broiled them for another 10 minutes, then sprinkled with salt. They turned out like salty-sweet-tangy candy vegetables. So yummy. I especially liked the crispy tips.

Also the Pinch of Yum freezer wild rice soup recipe is magical. I still can’t understand how a recipe can be so easy at prep time and at cook time and still turn out so good! All of her freezer meals are so intriguing. Basically they’re a whole bunch of recipes where you cut up and freeze a bunch of uncooked stuff, and then later pop them straight into your pressure cooker frozen and voila 30 minutes later you have dinner. PS I doubled the recipe and split it into three dinner packs. Also I used brown rice instead of wild rice because wild rice doesn’t exist here. Scott said it tasted like the inside of a chicken pot pie. I will 100% be trying more of these recipes.

This is our new house btw. It’s pretty great other than the lack of insulation. I want to buy one.

The other morning we went to the Tesselaar Tulip Festival with Scott’s mum and aunt. It was alright. They must be making bank because it was very busy and it’s not cheap. I think it would be better if they planted the flowers into cool designs like in Ottawa, but perhaps my standards are a bit high, haha.

I am very pleased to report that my allergies are not a problem any more. I just have to use antihistamine eye drops, antihistamine nasal spray, and a daily antihistamine tablet. Is that too much? I hope not because this is the first spring in like 8 years that I have felt like a normal human.

I trekked out to ALTONA NORTH to go to my old coworkers 30th birthday party. It was nice to catch up with them, I do miss my old EH work pals. Also wow Melbourne is so big it’s like the West and the North could be entirely different cities… I never go there!!

I went on a work wine tour in the Mornington Peninsula with a bunch of techs and nurses and receptionists from medical imaging at my current job. It was very fun and silly. Now I see familiar faces if I have to go to MRI or CT and stuff which is nice.

Myles turned 1 and had a birthday party with 9 trillion kids. He is v cute.

A little while ago Scott’s dad won a gigantic charcoal bbq and several boxes of wine and a bbq lunch party from a liquor store contest that he didn’t even know he entered. They had the lunch on Saturday. A lady came and cooked up like ten different kinds of meat for us, and served it and cleaned up afterwards. What a treat for Scott’s parents. The most hilarious part though? The lady used the regular bbq to cook it, not the prize one hahahahhaa.

This Friday we’re going to Canada!! Just to Vancouver to visit Rosemarie and all our old friends. I can’t wait! I have a very long list of foods I want to eat: Macintosh apples, Jamaican patties, perogies, poutine, yam rolls, Blenz hot chocolate, Smartfood popcorn etc etc. I have to be so strategic about my meals. NO EATING FOODS I CAN GET IN AUSTRALIA.

All for now.

I think the two things that sum up winter in Melbourne are footy, and being able to see your breath inside your house.

What have we been up to over the last few frigid months? A lot!!

Big news #1: I got a new job. A permanent full time job. FINALLY! I’ve been there about six weeks now and it’s been great. It’s much busier than my old job but everyone is very nice and I’m really enjoying it. Plus I don’t have to drive to work any more and have gained back about 2 hours a day with the shorter commute and shorter hours. YAY!

Big news #2: We moved! Our old apartment was for sale and the constant viewings and uncertainty were driving us nuts. We decided to take charge of our lives and found a new place that’s within walking distance to work for both Scott and I. My walk is about 25 minutes, and Scott’s is about 45 minutes. It’s one unit in a group of six on a block.

We love having a lot more space, and being able to hear the rain on the roof, but it’s been FLIPPIN’ FREEZING in here this winter. I don’t think it has any insulation at all, so in the morning when it is 6 degrees outside, it is also 6 degrees inside. There is a very nice gas fireplace in the living room but we obviously can’t run that all night, so it makes for very uncomfortable mornings. Thankfully it’s starting to warm up now so we’re past the worst of it for this year.

Sparkler fail for Jemma’s 30th birthday cake. The Tres Leches cake turned out pretty delicious if I do say so myself, but we could not get the sparklers all lit at the same time and also set off the smoke detector in the process, haha. Forgot to take a picture of the cake in the frenzy. :(

We’ve been skating a few times. Scott is trying to get ready to sign up for the next term of hockey academy. I just skate around in circles and shout things at him every time I pass by, hahaha. BEND YOUR KNEES!!! He is getting better though.

Canada Day was fun. We started the day in a very un-Canadian way with an afternoon footy game. We got free tickets in a promotion where they were trying to introduce the game to newcomers to Australia. I also got two free hats and a scarf! Noice! Melbourne lost by two points though. :((((((((


Then we went to a pub that was throwing a Canada Day party. They had Canadian pizza and wings and poutine, and Canadian Club and Molson and lots more. There was a live band too but they weren’t playing Canadian music?!! I was a bit disappointed in that because I think there are a lot of good Canadian music options. I easily made a ten hour playlist for Scott’s citizenship party back in the day!

A couple weeks ago I cobbled together a porchetta with a giant piece of pork from Costco, and a slab of pork belly. It ended up being ridiculously large so I cut the thing in half and froze half for another time. PS this is our new kitchen. So much space!

It turned out ok but not quite as good as the ones I made in Canada. Perhaps the cut was not really the right kind, or it was just too big. The crackling on top was good, but the inside got a bit dry. My yam fries were extremely limp as well even though I roasted them for ages. Ah well.

Speaking of Costco, I bought a secondhand freezer off Facebook Marketplace so we could buy some stuff in bulk. We put it in the garage. This lot of meat should last us a while!!! :D (Another view of part of the new house btw.)

No pictures but we went out to a really nice sushi place called Shira Nui for my birthday/celebrating getting a new job. We got the omakase which comes with two pieces of nine types of sushi. Everything was very carefully put together and truly yummy. I liked the salmon wrapped in a weird thin transparent seaweed the most. We left stuffed. We’ll definitely have to go back there again some time.


We spent our anniversary weekend cleaning our old apartment. FUN TIMES. Then we went to Crown for dinner, which I already wrote about. We put $5 in the bouncy dice machine thingy and I won on the first bounce!! CASH OUT!!! I am really not a gambler.

Scott went to Sydney for a weekend to set up servers (???) at a new Betty’s Burgers restaurant. He got to extend the trip a couple days and visit Ava and fam, which is nice.


Weightlifting has been… a journey. Months of not very much progress. Then my back started hurting. Debated quitting. Started seeing a physio who is also from my club. Lots of rehab exercises. Back still kinda hurting but he started helping me with a few technique things at training too. Had MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH MOMENT. Lifting started improving dramatically. Temporarily stopped squatting. Back feeling better. New training PBs. Competition coming up next week!!!

Feeling pretty good going into this next comp, although we’re going to be pretty conservative. I think I’ll be powering everything. I might not get any PBs but that’s ok.

(Pic is a result of doing one million actually ok power cleans with a bar with knurling in the middle.)

Jill and Joe came for a visit the other week from Adelaide. We met them for lunch at Milk The Cow for a delicious cheese feast. We had raclette, a cheese board, and the most delicious Grundlegend fondue that came with fortified wine to dip the bread in first. YUMMMMMMMM. Delicious food and great to catch up with them again, as usual.

The Dees had (have??) a fairly good chance of making the finals this year, they just had to win one game out of the three left. Thanks to one of Scott’s friends we got to sit in the MCC section for their best chance, vs. Sydney last weekend. It was a fun day, but unfortunately, Melbs blew it. I am currently watching the second chance game at home, against a much higher ranked team. Melbourne is winning at the moment with one quarter to go but it’d be pretty miraculous if they pulled this off. I think I will have to try and go again next weekend for the last attempt. I really want to see them in the finals for the first time (since I chose them 9 years ago)!!!!!

My allergies have kicked in hardcore so I haven’t done a lot this weekend. I was on call yesterday for the first time at my new hospital but didn’t get called in. Spent most of the time curled up under my enormous blanket in front of the fireplace and tv. It’s hailed about ten times this weekend. #winterinmelbs

**ten minutes later** OMG!!!! DEES WON!!!! Melbourne in the finals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Garlic basil basa skillet with tomato butter sauce and white beans

No-knead olive focaccia

Pinch of Yum and Serious Eats… both very trustworthy food blogs. The fish dish was very tasty, and will be even better once we can get nice summer quality tomatoes. I’m definitely cooking it again. And the focaccia was super easy to make, you just have to remember to start it the day before. I didn’t use pistachios, and only used about half the oil. Scott and I finished the whole loaf in less than 24 hours hahahaha.

Basa rice bowl with corn and avocado salsa, black beans, cheese, sour cream and lime

I was very inspired by a Salsas Mex Club email promoting their bowls. Again I used basa (why is it so cheap?? Wait maybe I don’t want to know…), and made a quick ‘salsa’ with avocado, tomato, corn, red pepper, lots of lime juice, and salt. PS I love my pressure cooker. ~45 minutes for black beans straight from dry, YES.

Lamb korma and sag aloo

I cheated a bit and used a jar of korma sauce from Aldi. But I added a tin of diced tomato to bulk it up. Simmered lamb chunks for about 45 minutes, then added green beans for about 10 minutes. Yum. I don’t cook lamb often, because I’m not very familiar with it, but this one came out super tender and nice. The sag aloo wasn’t great though, which is why I haven’t linked a recipe. I should have parboiled the potato before frying it with the onion and spinach, I think.

Scott has begun experimenting with macarons. The first picture is his first batch. They were vanilla with white chocolate ganache. They got nice feet and lift, but had hollow shells. That can be from over OR under mixing apparently. :/ They tasted very nice. Second batch was lemon flavoured with lemon icing. There were no hollow parts, but they’re kinda flat and funny looking. They were much chewier and denser. Again, taste was very nice.

We’ve watched a couple videos for tips, and have some better recipes to try, so hopefully each batch comes out better and better! Good thing we got a nice big bag of almond meal from Costco. :D

About a month ago I had a very bad case of analysis paralysis. As I often do, I frantically messaged Rosemarie.

She helped me solve all my little problems, and also figure out that in general I need to:

  1. Do more new and scary things.
  2. Meet some more people.
  3. Take more advantage of only working part time while it lasts.

Isn’t she wise.

So I did! I’ve got a few new things on the go at the moment.

First I signed up for a picture framing short course through Scott’s mum’s work. I thought it might be useful because all my cross stitch projects come out in random non-standard sizes, and as a result almost all of my finished stitches are rolled up in a box under my bed instead of displayed.

The first class we learned about materials and cut mat boards, second class we cut more mat board bevels, and foam core and mounted things together. This week we cut the wood for our frames and glued them together, and the last week we cut the glass and put everything together. It was fun! I finished two frames. The instructor is very knowledgeable and gave us a lot of info. The tools to do it on my own would be a bit of an investment though.

Have you ever seen 2.5 kg plates before?? Lol.

Second I joined an Olympic weightlifting club. It is very intense and scary there. Everyone is extremely strong. There are people training for the Commonwealth Games and stuff. The first night I went, THIS GUY was there!! He is so awesome. Anyway so now I have a coach who is teaching me snatch and clean and jerk from scratch. It’s very cheap and I can go as much as I want, which is pretty cool. And everyone I’ve met so far has been very friendly. I think it will be good for me to have some goals again, now that I don’t have skeleton in my life. Hopefully I can do some local competitions at some point.

I also thought maybe I could try and cook more elaborate meals? These were homemade pork and shrimp siu mai. They were yum. I got a library card too so I could get a bunch of fancy cookbooks for some new ideas. Any ideas for labour intensive but not cost intensive meals would be very welcomed! (Just typing that out makes me realize that I should make perogies v soon, especially since they don’t really exist here.) (brb crying)

So life is very busy these days. This is good.

Next weekend I’m going to Adelaide for Cassia’s baby shower. I don’t think they actually expected me to accept the invitation but flights were only $33!!! So… YOLO, I’m going.

And then a couple days after that we go to Ottawa!!! We are very excited to escape the cold here and get some quality family/friends/cottage/Canada time in.

PS fish and chip shop deep fried Mars bars are amazing. We shared a few at work the other day. :D