Friday, September 30, 2011

Fat Free Friday Thanks to Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute Meals

Ok this is going to be a quickie, but it's one I had to share.  I was out shopping yesterday and picked up Jamie Oliver's, Jamie's 30 Minute Meals.....a little late to the party, I know, but wow this is a great book.  I actually adapted one of his recipes last night, as I didn't have all the ingredients.  I only had a good look at the book once I got home.  Oh what I could have cooked if I had shopped while I was out.  I also forgot to take photos of the meal I made....what a hopeless blogger, but it is school holidays here and I have other things on my mind.  So you'll have to put up with the wonderful photography of David Loftus from the book....... here goes.

Mr Beach House loved the fish and let me tell you, even though I think he is easy to cook for, as he eats most things..... he will also let you know if it's not nice.  But his actual words were 'restuarant quality darl'.

So the only bit of this 30 minute meal I made, was the Asian Style Salmon on page 188 and I had to use what I had, but believe me this is one I am adding to my Week Night Wonder series.  That is the 10-15 recipes I rotate every 2 weeks or so that I don't have to think too hard about.  But who knows, with Jamie's new book the 10-15 may turn into 30-40, as I think I'm in love.

Anyhoo this is what I did with the adaptation.

Asian Style Salmon
2cm piece of fresh ginger peeled
1 clove garlic peeled, cause I was only feeding 2 people not 4
1/2  brown onion roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
Juice of 1 lemon..... Jamie uses 2 limes
2 Atlantic salmon cutlets.  Jamie used skin on fillets, but remember I had to go with what I had.
Chinese Five Spice powder

Pre heat oven to 180 C or 350 F.  Wizz the first 5 ingredients into a liquid paste.  Place salmon cutlets into a small baking dish so they fit together quite snugly, although mine weren't quite as snug as Jamie's.  Place half the paste mixture on top of the Salmon and rub into the fish.  Turn the fish over and repeat with the remainder of the mixture.  Sprinkle a small amount of the Chinese Five Spice Powder on to the Salmon.  This spice in my opinion, made the dish, so don't leave this one out.  You don't need much, but it complimented  the salmon amazingly.
Place the baking dish on the top shelf and set timer to 18 minutes.  The fish came out perfectly moist and just cooked through.  I don't like rare salmon in the middle.  I mean if I want to eat sushi, I'll buy some.

I served this with baked sweet potato, which I had been baking for 20 minutes before I even decided to make Jamie's dish, so that's how quick his meals are to put together.  I also blanched some asparagus and made a small green salad.

Now I know this post is partially titled Fat Free Friday and you are all probably saying to yourself, that Salmon is not fat free and of course you are right.  But these are good fats that can help with weight loss, as they are nutrient dense and high in protein, which is filling.  As you may be aware, I recently disgraced myself on the ski slopes and have decided to lose 10-15 kilos as a result.  Well the good news is, I have lost 4 kgs in 2 weeks by cutting out alcohol and coffee, all sweets and eating less carbs and more protein and salads.

The lovely Mel from Georgica Pond left me a comment recently that she took a different approach and this is what she did to loose 14kg

Well, talking diets - I lost 14kg in about 4 months last year, after having my daughter. I did it with a combination of Optifast shakes for morning and/or lunch, sashimi for lunch, and pretty much no carbs at all. However I refused to give up alcohol and coffee as they are my two favourites and just included them in my daily calorie count. And it worked a treat, because I stuck with it and got down to a size 6 from a 14. I used an app on my iphone called Fitness Pal which helped me count and track calories and was the best thing for keeping me accountable and in control because while you think you're not eating much, it all adds up and before you know it you're well over your daily limit. This helped me be strict and disciplined and it sure worked. Good Luck!

I have tried the shakes but unfortunately for me I like food too much.  I like alcohol and coffee too, but am prepared to give it up 'til I loose the weight.  Do you have any weight loss tips for me?
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

On the Streets of Sydney

It's school holidays here in Sydney, so there's not much blogging going on at the Beach House.  Although I did have a great cane lounge side of the road coup yesterday, but that's for another blog.

These shots were taken on a recent trip to the city with the Beach House Brats.  There's so much to do in this town.  This day we did the Police and Justice Museum and the Spring Flower display at David Jones.  We also caught up with these fantastic indigenous musicians at the Quay. 

A spot of lunch in the Botanical Gardens  was also on the agenda, so the kidlets  could run wild.

This is the Rose Garden, a favourite Sydneysider's wedding ceremony location.

David Jones is a beautiful store in the heart of Sydney's shopping district.  Each year it does a magnificent Spring display of flowers.  Mr Beach House wasn't keen, but this is one show I don't like to miss.  This year did not disappoint.  Lots of beautiful Australian natives.

The Melbourne Cup, the horse race that stops the nation, is coming up on the first Tuesday in November, so the millinery department was buzzing and bulging with Spring colour.

I bumped into this cute group of international students, who appear very much to like their designer bags. One way to individualise a school uniform., I guess.

I just thought this woman looked very attractive.

I wonder what he's thinking.  You can see he has is army pants on so I know he's in awe of this guy.

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

What $25 million will buy in Palm Beach Sydney

This lovely home has just come to market in Palm Beach.  If recent sales are any indication, on a square metre basis it would actually be valued at $38,000,000.  In fact, a block of land much smaller than this one on the same street sold for $20,000,000 at the height of the boom....suffice to say they demolished the house and it is still a hole in the ground some 3-4 years later.  Those prices make the sale of Kalua a relative bargain.

Nicole Kidman and John Cleese have both rented this property at Christmas time, so it has pedigree.  The link for serious players is below.

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Life's a Beach in Photo Shop

Well it's a wet Saturday afternoon in Sydney town.  I've locked myself into the media room in attempt to get some peace.  But it's not happening.  I've just sorted out a kiddo fight and I have to tell you it's doing my head in.  When Mr Beach House rang me earlier in the day I said 'I'm going out as soon as you get home'.  He was OK with that, but the movie I was going to escape to, is a drive accross town.  So I am still here.

Entertaining myself with a little photo editing.  I love the edgy tones you can get with the Picnik program.   The little shade circles emanating from the crucifix are interesting.....probably the glass dome, but who knows....we need some divine intervention around here.  As the world goes to hell in a hand basket financially this weekend....boat building has never been slower.  But there is one upside this week, I can literally pull my belt in tighter.  To say I was mildly disgusted with the lactic overload that my body experienced on last week's little skiing trip is putting it very mildly.  I have decided I need to loose at least 10 kilos before next years trip.  I have gone a bit radical and given up the booze, chocolate and am consuming a few less carbs and low and behold I seem a little more svelte by the end of this week.  It's only a start, but watch this space, as I really do feel it's now or never.

I know what my problem is, have done for years. I am very scared of being hungry, but I am feeling the fear and doing it anyway. What have I got to lose except a spare tyre or two?

On another bright note, this is Mr Beach House's bouquet of the week. He assures me it was the budget pack. Not sure what he means by that, except that they might only last a few days, but he is sweet to bring them to me after ten years of marriage. If only I could get my kids to smarten up a little, things would be rosy. I do love them so very much.....not sure if my standards are too high, but there are going to be a few changes around here next week. It's school holidays, so let see how we go!!!!!

Hope you are having a great weekend.  Oh and by the way I've got the facebook like button going on over in my side bar.  I'm conducting an experiment for about a week and if no one hits it, I'll take it down.  I know it's complete hassle cause you have to sign in but hit it if you care to.  I'll understand if you don't though as I rarely do.
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Blue and White Tablescape and a Question for You

As today is the real start to Spring, I flung open the French Doors, tidied up the front porch and set the table in blue and white.  In hindsight, I should have ironed the table cloth, but other than that, I think the results are very pretty.

I am particularly loving the little vintage bottles at each place setting, with little sprigs of lavender.

The ribbon napkin holders are a thrifty addition, which mean you can change the colour scheme easily and for next to nothing.

The pretty blue and white centre piece with silk hydrangeas, was a thrift find at our local fete.  You remember the one where I entered the chocolate cake baking competition.  Read about that here if you want to know how I went.

I've been considering for some time now that I might paint the furniture on my porch white.  It would definitely freshen and brighten the look out there, but I have no intention of painting the boards white, so I am wondering how it would go.

Like all of us, I relish your comments so let me know what you think?  White or leave it as is?  I definately need some art work out there above the seat.  Now there the possibilities are endless. Driftwood, coastal vintage poster.......any suggestions?

Hope you are all having a great week
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Beach Cottage White

Hi All
I had planned to style, shoot and blog about a blue and white tablescape today, but the Beach House Brat rang me from school to say he was getting an award at assembly this afternoon and was I coming?  'Yes of course I am coming darling boy....what do you think I am a forgetful shrew who would rather foof around the house preening in the dining room, than coming and watching you receive an award.  All the while sitting through yet another one of those school assemblies, where the guy sitting next to me has to sing the second verse of the National Anthem at the top of his voice that is never generally sung in Australia and no one knows anyway.  Yes my darling of course I'm coming.'

Well I went and I must say they had all the best bits the school offers on show today and I don't know why but the medley of Queen songs played by one of the school bands made me well up, as did the school song.  Not sure why, but there you go!

The Beach House Brat then convinced me to sign him out for the afternoon.....because 'Everyone else is doing it mum'.......  I relented, but the fact that he has just missed a week of school cause of our ski trip did not sit so well with me.  But a little boy hugging me and crying into my belly button in the playground just sucker punched me!!!!  I said yes as long as he read Club Penguin for 15 minutes before he did anything else....which, God love him, he has just duly executed.

Anyway the up shot is that I am not bringing you the blue and white tablescape, but rather this gorgeous little white beach cottage that oozes casual beach cottage style.  An all white house is just a dream for me, but I love to look in any case.  This one looks like there are kids involved with this tepee in a playroom.  And don't forget to check out the bunk room in the last shot.  I would love one of theses in my beach house.

The large light fittings are also my kinda thing.
This gorgeous home is currently for sale in Palm Beach.  Click here for more info if you like.

Hope you are all having a great week.

Postscript:  I got around to the blue and white tablescaping and also made over my porch.  You can see that here if you like.
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