Embarrassing crushes (where most of my readers will run away)

Inspired by Xenia’s wedding post over at Collar City Brownstone (check out Xenia’s home, it’s beautiful) I decided to make a blog post about some of the celebrity crushes I’ve had throughout my life.  I’m sure I’ve left lots out, which is probably a good thing.  In a sort of rough chronological order, I present the following.  I’ve decided not to include any text because when I started typing, I realised I was making up really pathetic excuses.

EDIT:  I forgot to mention that I wasn’t going to put names in, so you guys could guess!  But I’ll put the names in at the bottom, from top to bottom  🙂

crush8

crush9

crush14

crush20

crush19

crush21

crush22

crush32

crush25

crush1

crush23

crush2

crush7

crush12

crush13

crush26

PNO_189351_U2

crush28

crush11

crush30

crush29

crush16

crush24

crush31

crush10

crush18

crush27

crush3

Rapper LL Cool J Barechested Wearing a Crown

crush6

crush4

ANSWERS!

1) Christopher Reeve as Superman

2) Michael Jackson in the Thriller era.  I had a Billie Jean windcheater (sweater)

3) Kim Hughes, Australian cricketer

4) … Grizzly Adams.

5) A constipated Kenny Rogers.  I thought he was soooo handsome.

6) Michael Landon as Pa.  Then that Highway To Heaven show.  I must have inherited this from my mum, she loved him too from Bonanza days.

7) Alby Mangels (that’s for the Aussies here!)

8) Barry Gibb.  You may be noticing a theme of big hair and beards here but mercifully, no photo of Santa Claus.

9) Yul Brynner.  Etc etc etc.

10) Ralph Macchio in Karate Kid days.

11) Alex Papps in The Henderson Kids (a good Aussie drama for young adults).  Carry on, togeeeeether, every step of the waaaay…

12) Patrick Swayze.  I was on the Swayze bandwagon before Dirty Dancing, thank you!

13) Bros.  Either twin, I wasn’t fussy.

14) Simon LeBon and his hair.

15) George Michael.  Poor Andrew Ridgley never got a look in.

16) Timothy Dalton as Prince Barron in Flash (Ah-ahh) Gordon.

17) Bono (and I still think he’s gorgeous).

18) Nik Kershaw.  Did you know The Riddle was just random ramblings according to Nik, because he needed to get the melody right?  But then it took off and people around the world are still trying to come up with meanings and Nik is all “there is no meaning!”

19) Johnny Depp from 21 Jumpstreet..  I’m not a fan of his these days.  The modern Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was one of the worst movies and casting I’ve ever seen.  I couldn’t get over how bad that movie was.

20) Tim Finn from Split Enz, who didn’t always look like that.  He’s so handsome, see?

21) The singer from Men Without Hats.  I never knew his name.  Oh hang on, Wikipedia says Ivan Doroschuk.

22) Michael J Fox!

23) Joey from Degrassi.  If I went to Degrassi High I would probably have been picked on for that.

24) Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones (yes he looked better dressed like this).

25) Carl Sagan– a worthy crush!

26) Axl Rose.  I think it was the whole bad boy thing, which is quite lame now.

27) Freddie Mercury.  Did you know his real name was Farrokh Bulsara?

28) Patrick Stewart.  Brilliant actor and what a voice!

29) LL Cool J.  He’s just gorgeous.  I saw him on Sesame Street rapping “it’s addition, you don’t need to be a mathematician, add em add em add em addem up” once and let me tell you there is no better way to start your morning!  This lady loves Cool J!

30) Christopher Eccelston.  Superb actor.

31) Lupe Fiasco.  I was very taken with his song/video “Bitch Bad” (don’t let the title fool you!)

I completely forgot one of my big crushes and you guys have to guess this one:

Yay, I never have to make my own tortillas again!

You may have read about my disaster making tortillas where I embarrassed myself. I still want to make my own, seeing as I spent money on a tortilla press, but I decided to head to La Tortilleria in Kensington with my sister to sample their offerings and perhaps walk away with a stack of authentic tortillas.

There’s a small table with samples when you walk in:

lat3

We decided to order some guacamole and tortilla chips, plus the vegan chorizo quesadilla each (with vegan cheese)… I forgot to take a photo before eating some:

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I was a bit surprised that the quesadilla was snack size and was disappointed that the filling was the bare minimum  😦 If you go there expecting a big size, you’ll be disappointed… and you may not like the $4.50 price tag.

I spoke to one of the staff and she told me they grind the corn themselves and they’re the only people in Australia who make tortillas this way.  I was told I could take photos of the food but not any of the equipment, which is fair enough.  You can see the tortillas being made behind a window (rather, being cranked through a machine).

I bought some tortillas to take home as I’d prefer to make my own fillings.  If only my family were crazy about taco nights!

lat1 lat2

La Tortilleria is located at 72 Stubbs Street, Kensington.  The seating area is very small but there is an area out the back I believe.  Shortly after we arrived, lots of people rolled up (it was a weekend). http://latortilleria.com.au/

What I Ate (and got rid of, including food disasters) This Past Week or So

This past fortnight has been decluttering time.  About once a year I do one of those big declutters and my front hallway is filled with boxes of stuff to get rid of.  Then over the year I seem to accumulate enough stuff so that the process is repeated again twelve months later.  And I always say WHERE? HOW? WHY DO WE ACCUMULATE SO.MUCH.STUFF???

I’ve been reading some home organisation books and websites to get inspiration.  I honestly can not sit down to do work, or meal plan, or even craft activities with the kids if I don’t have a large cleared table or surface to work on.  If the kids are trying to do schoolwork, stuff around them distracts them.  I find it very distracting too. I’ve also been reading about minimalist homes and take my hat off to people who do it and do it well.  But I’m guilty of liking stuff too much and I have lots of little knick knack dust gatherers that I’d never part with.

Anyway, I’ve been ruthless with getting rid of stuff and here’s the list of what has been given away, donated, eBayed or binned:

– a drawer’s worth of kitchen utensils.  Goodbye, silicon pancake shaper thingies in the shape of a circle and a star.  Goodbye wooden ginger grater that I never used.  Goodbye metal template thingies that sit over a mug of hot chocolate so you can create pretty shapes with sprinklings of cocoa.  Goodbye metallic contraption where I don’t even know what the heck you were.

– slow cooker.  I barely used it before I was vegan.  Now it’s not worth keeping as nobody eats the vegan stuff I’d cook in it! My sister in law will be getting this one 🙂

– a big box of about 30 plastic coathangers.  I use those velvetty/felt lined thin coathangers that take up less space in the wardrobe.  They do make a bit of a difference.

– nappies and assorted baby items.  These are going to my niece.

– lots of Arthur’s clothing and shoes that no longer fit him, or that he just never wore.  I give things like this to St. Kilda Mums.  They’re a great organisation, please consider giving them your unwanted baby/kids goods!  Please also consider casting your vote for St Kilda Mums to help them win $5000 that will be put towards providing essential items for babies and children experiencing hardship, so they have a safe, warm place to sleep: http://sunsuperdreams.com.au/dream/view/providing-a-safe-place-to-sleep

– food serving stuff.  A melamine food container I never used that just took up space and a metal platter that has always been a pain to store.  A faux silver serving dish engraved with “thanks for your work”– it was a gift to my sister when she finished her two week year 10 work experience at a pharmacy.  She passed it on to me and now it’s time to go.  But as I type I feel like keeping it.

– mini food chopper: Used once.  I use a knife or food processor most of the time so this has been given to my sister.

– clothing.  Lots of stuff I no longer wear is heading to the op shop or Fitted For Work, another charity I recommend you consider if you have work/business attire to get rid of.

– shoes.  A few pairs that seemed like a good idea when I bought them but highly uncomfortable after wearing them for ten minutes.

– books. On their way to the op shops.

– paper stuff.  I went through the drawer where I throw in warranties and instruction manuals.  I found manuals for electricals I got rid of ages ago.  I found the manual for the microwave and now know how to use the power level setting instead of randomly punching numbers and hoping I get the sequence right.

In addition to physical clutter, I’ve also tried to cut down on the mental clutter.  For such a long time now I’ve toyed with the idea of no longer reading the news.  All it takes is for me to see an article, or even a headline, that then causes me to feel upset/depressed/sick– things relating to children (particularly those with special needs) or animals being hurt is enough to kill my mood, cause trouble sleeping and all sorts of other stressful stuff.  I’m very sensitive to all that.  A couple of weeks ago I read one such article that affected me so badly that we changed the configuration of our internet servers to block my access to the popular news sites (I never watch tv news or listen to the radio much so that wasn’t a problem).  I found that all the bad news I was reading really began to take its toll.  I also unsubscribed from various online services and Facebook pages to reduce the mental clutter and stress triggers even more.  Do I really need to be subscribed to a dozen recipe services when I barely read them?  Nope!  I always wanted to stay on top of world news and current affairs, but when so much of that is just bad news, I’m happy to skip it.  I figure I’ll find out about things anyway but at least I won’t load up news sites and be confronted with distressing images or headlines first thing in the morning.

Okay, so here’s a look at what I’ve been eating this fortnight or so.  Oh my gosh you guys, lots of disasters.  And I swear I don’t eat crap all the time.  I’ve been pretty sick with a bad cold so my appetite wasn’t the best.  In an effort to start using up food supplies instead of shopping for more, I made the ‘Chesapeake Crab Cakes’ from Vegan Brunch.  There was vegan mayo in the fridge that had to be consumed soon as well as tempeh that had been in the freezer for too long.  I used half the tempeh called for and subbed the rest with chickpeas.  The kids didn’t like the cakes at all and I don’t think I’d ever make them for myself.  I still can’t bring myself to like tempeh enough to buy it again and I don’t like mayo in such quantities:

crabcakes

For Mothers Day, I received some items from Vege2Go on Lygon Street in Brunswick.  I got the pear and blueberry quinoa breakfast.  This was okay as I’m not crazy about quinoa and only eat it because it’s a good source of plant protein (remember folks, you absolutely do not need to eat animals for protein, you can get more than enough from plants.  I believe Harvard and Cornell U will tell you so).  The sweetness was just right in that it wasn’t too sweet at all.  If you love quinoa I’m sure you’ll like this.  I served mine with some stewed plums made by my mother in law, with plums from her tree:

quinoaplums

I also received Vege2go’s hazelnut tiramisu.  On first tasting, I thought hmmm there’s something about this that makes me think it should not be called tiramisu.  A couple of bites in and I was really enjoying it.  It was hard work not eating it all in one sitting:

vege2gotiramisu

The Vege2go coconut lemon slice was an absolute winner.  I love anything that has lemon and coconut in it.  I really hope I find a recipe for something like this because it would absolutely win over the people who don’t believe desserts can be made without egg or dairy:

vege2golemoncoconutslice

Finally, I received the Vege2go lasagna.  This was nice too but I could easily make one similar myself.  Still, it was nice to have a few meals out of this for myself without having to cook anything.  Note the microwave splatter pattern:

vege2golasagna

The family wanted pizza one night so I asked the local place if they could make a vegan pizza.  They did, but it was pretty bland:

veganpizza

For Mothers Day, I treated myself to a movie (Star Trek: Into Darkness).  I have not been to the cinema in years (I’m not including taking Arthur to see The Croods, I’m talking about films I want to see).  Beforehand, I killed some time eating this from Little India, located in the food court at the Crown complex. Little India is in a few food courts around town, I blogged about another Little India outlet here:

littleindialunch

While I was sick I felt like eating something hot and spicy so I made Black Pepper Tofu that I’ve blogged about before and ate it with rice:

blackpeppertofu

For one late breakfast I had the leftovers from Magic Mint:

magicmintleftovers

I visited the lovely Cafe Sarabella again and came away with a vegan laksa and rice:

laksarice

I tried the Jerk Chickpeas from Dreena Burton’s ‘Let Them Eat Vegan’.  The kids and husband, as expected, didn’t like them but they never eat chickpeas.  I thought they were okay, although allspice is one of those things I’m really on the fence about:

jerkchickpeas

I decided I would try to make my own corn tortillas.  I found the packet of maize flour that has been sitting in the cupboard for a year and the best before date was two days ago.  Now this will tell you what a hack I am.  I have a metal tortilla press I bought months ago but haven’t used yet.  I thought you put the tortilla dough in it, squash it down and have the whole thing sitting on the stove over a flame.  Thank goodness I used the recipe from ‘Vegan Eats World’ where Terri mentions using plastic wrap.  And I thought oh… that must mean the tortilla press is not supposed to get hot.  NO VEGANOPOULOUS. NO.  It’s just a tortilla press.  Anyway, I made up the mixture and did this:

tortilla1

Step 2.  Give it a squish, open, and let out an expletive. More photography for blog:

tortilla2

Fry it anyway, just to see what it tastes like:

tortilla3

… and realise it tastes disgusting.  Go to google, type in “is maize flour the same as masa harina” then read lots of comments saying  NO THEY’RE NOT.  Throw dough in the bin.

Here’s a picture of DeeW’s dinner.  Macro brand curry corn pumpkin puffs (she doesn’t like them, Arthur does) and vegies (she likes them, Arthur doesn’t):

deewdinner

After ballet class, Husband sometimes takes DeeW to buy some avocado maki hand rolls.  They picked up a couple for me.  They’re not very fresh looking:

avocadomaki

I made blueberry breakfast muffins with buckwheat flour I ground myself (in the blender of course).  They weren’t very sweet which is fine with me but Arthur wasn’t that thrilled:

blueberrybuckwheat

I found a vegan mushroom pie in the freezer.  It was okay but I don’t really like to eat stuff like this.  Even as an omni I was never in to the meat pie thing.  There’s a reason why meat pies are called ‘gristle ‘n gravy’.  I’m so glad that being vegan means I will no longer have to bite in to something hard in a meat pie and wonder which bit of the animal it is:

veganmushroompie

Another disaster.  I made the lovely Mac-Oh-Geez recipe from one of Dreena Burton’s fantastic books.  Everything went great until I tasted it.  And realised the rice milk I used was obviously the sweetened variety.  The kids said it was awful and I agreed.  Sorry Dreena, next time I will read the plant milk carton and use the unsweetened variety like your recipes states.  I’m certain it is a fantastic recipe with the right milk:

pastabake

I love roasted hazelnuts and lately my breakfast has been a smoothie made with frozen bananas, cacao, plant milk and hazelnuts:

chochazelnut


I went in to the city as well during the week. Here are some photos taken around the Flagstaff area in Melbourne, where you’ll find the law courts and the lovely Flagstaff Gardens:

city2

city3

city4

city1

This is the lobby of the Hellenic Museum:

hellenic1

One of the old trams in Melbourne:

oldtram

No, this isn’t the wild Australian bush.  It’s in the eastern suburbs somewhere:
eastbush

This week I am going to try and create menu plans based on what I already have.  I just read a post over at Happy Herbivore where a reader says she made every recipe from Happy Herbivore Abroad and that her family were all on board.  I suppose I shouldn’t have a defeatist mindset but I really don’t think my family would go along with something like that.  Both kids and Husband have food related sensitivities, as I’ve mentioned before, that qualify them as very fussy eaters.  This is really difficult for me sometimes, as I can rarely cook one meal that everyone will eat.  Naturally, we all agree on dessert but in terms of nutritious meals, it’s incredibly challenging and I’m often struggling to keep my head above water there.  It’s crazy, having to cook separate meals.  So I’m constantly having to try different recipes in the hopes both kids will like them.  If I can get both Arthur and DeeW to like the same meal, that’s a big problem solved right there.  With Husband, at least he can eat the same thing for days in a row so if I make something he likes, or he makes something himself, that problem is solved.

Well, when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, right?  I may never have a table setting like this, where I serve up vegies in lovely serving dishes and the kids argue over who gets the leafy greens first:

family-dinner

but I’m trying lots of different recipes and I’m sure I’ll find more the kids like.  Tomorrow’s plan is chickpea flour pikelets with vegies– the ingredients are chickpea (besan) flour, water, seasonings and whatever grated veg I can come up with.  On the plus side, the kids are willing to try more stuff!

Cornutopia Taco Van at Preston Market

I was at Preston Market the other day (hello vegan donuts!) and, by some amazing coincidence, I was really hungry.  I was thinking about what to eat when I looked up and saw this:

cornutopia1

A food truck!  A Mexican food truck! I am yet to try one of the food trucks around Melbourne.  Can you believe it?  I had fifteen minutes to myself to do a quick bit of shopping.  I used ten of those fifteen minutes to buy something from Cornutopia.

I asked if there were vegan options and was told that certainly, I could have things made vegan.  I needed something I could eat while walking so I opted for a vegan burrito.  It was filled with corn, beans, lettuce, a lovely rice with a lemon or lime tang and homemade chipotle sauce.   It would have been nice to sit at the chairs and tables provided but I had to get back to the family waiting in the car.  So here’s a messy action photo:

cornutopia2

I managed to eat half and left the rest for later in the day as it was very filling.  It cost $10 which I think is the same price as the meat tacos.  I was kinda hoping the non-meat taco would be cheaper.  It was delicious but I do feel $10 was a bit too much.  That may make me sound stingy but… you know.  It’s just that I can put this together myself, with home made tortillas, for much less.  Still, it was something nice to try in that “I’m gonna pop some food, I got 20 dollars in my pockeeeet” child free fifteen minutes of quiet way, before the “where are the donuts I want a donut where’s my donut HIS DONUT IS BIGGER THAN MINE I WANT A BIGGER ONE THAN HE HAS” onslaught.

Cornutopia rocks up to the Preston Market but check their facebook and twitter pages for updates on their location. http://www.cornutopia.com.au

Dinner at Magic Mint, Moonee Ponds

Husband and I had a day to ourselves without children.  We had a social event that went on for most of the day and by the time we left and drove the hour long journey home, we were pretty hungry.  We had our anniversary recently but didn’t do anything for it so tonight we had a sortof belated anniversary dinner.

We were passing through Moonee Ponds on the way home so I suggested we check out Magic Mint as we were both in the mood for Indian food.  Google told us Magic Mint were open tonight and there were options for omnis and vegans alike.  Sounds good!

magicmint4

Being Sunday, and very cold outside, only a few tables were taken.  That doesn’t bother me, it often means you get your food sooner!  After some discussion with a helpful member of staff, I ordered the onion bhaji and vegie pakora for our entree– the helpful woman confirmed that these were not cooked in oil used for egg/dairy/animal dishes.

I got a bit of a surprise when the onion bhaji came out because the onion bhaji I’ve had were more strips of onion as opposed to ball shapes.  I was soon bowled over by how tasty these were and perfectly cooked, with lovely subtle fennel flavours:

magicmint2

The veg pakora were also a nice surprise as there were different types and every one was delicious:

magicmint1

As you can see, there were a lot in the entrees for two people.  Whoops.  For my main I ordered the mixed vegetable curry with rice.  This was fantastic.  That’s all I can say really.  Faaaantastic.  And proof that veg curries can be bursting with flavour:

magicmint3

I was so stuffed from the entree that I ended taking three bhaji home and my leftover veg curry is currently sitting in the fridge too.  Husband ordered his omni meal and was happy with it.

Service was really helpful and friendly.  I think Magic Mint has become my new favourite Indian restaurant!

magicmint5

Magic Mint is located at 9 Hall Street in Moonee Ponds.  http://www.magicmint.com.au/