Tag Archives: birthday

25

Boy o boy, the weeks are going fast now… don’t you think? I’ve had the internet back for a while now, so my usual excuses as to why there have been no posts are not going to fly here.

Noted.

It’s almost December! OH MY GOD. It’s seems like just last month I was posting picture of my parents arriving in Sydney. You guys… scary.

Let’s just move on then, shall we? Let’s not talk about Christmas or New Years just yet. I’m not ready for 2013. Actually as far as I’m concerned, it’s still twenty eleven. And besides which, I never gave a birthday update! And now, a month later… I have finally settled into being 25. I have become acquainted with the new editor of my pictures… (hello lover.) And I am finally ready to share some highlights, of which there were many.

We had already gone camping, so my actual birthday was more about cocktails and dinner. As it happened, a friend on mine had some gold class tickets to see Argo, so we started the evening in style. Free drinks, canapes, plush seats (that reclined) and more food served to us mid-movie. Amazeballs. To say the least. If you’ve never gone gold class… you’ve never lived. That may be an over exaggeration, but go with it. Trust me. It’s worth the extra bajillion dollars. (Probably another exaggeration.)

Oh and the movie was good too.

After that, I had a hankering for antipasti so we headed to the Jamie’s Italian restaurant that I had just found out about the day prior. I had googled ‘Sydney restaurants with good anti-pasti’ and guess what I found? I was nervous about having to wait for a table. We were told it would be 30-40 minute wait, but since it was already 9pm our table was ready just minutes after we ordered a cocktail and sat down at the bar. Boom.

The food was delightful! We each had an antipasto platter (veggo for her, meat for him) and one separate dish.

I think Sean had the Italian nachos, which are basically a fried pasta-like nachos thing and I had the roasted red pepper on a chickpea flat bread. So. Good.

The service there was really fast! We were in and out in forty minutes… I almost stole a menu for fun and good times but my better half guilted me out of it. I’m pretty sure Jamie Oliver gets a lot of thieves. And I think he’s ok with it… just for the record.

Anyway, that was my birthday. It is really sad to me that Halloween isn’t a big deal in Australia. In years to come, should I find myself still living in Australia, I need to make a much better effort… or maybe I should just make a pact to be home every year on my birthday. Yeah. that sounds good.

I did carve a pumpkin though… it’s green cause the Grocery stores actually sold out of normal pumpkins. And not cause they are SO popular… but because they only stock 20 per store. That would NEVER happen in Canada. I was appalled and frazzled when on October 30th I could not find a single pumpkin ANYWHERE! Sean saved the day with this green one.

Also pictured, My carrot cake birthday cupcakes! A must-do! I altered the original recipe even further from my last attempt. I really was aiming to cut down the 1.5 cups of oil that the original recipe called for. haha. Anyway, these were great! And I experimented with the icing since last year I found the cream cheese icing was really thin. I’m not a fan of using an entire bag of icing sugar to thicken it up. And I didn’t have to! This version was great. Nice and firm, but delicious! It was sweet enough to even out the not-as-sweet carrot cake. Yum.

After all the festivities and sugar I passed out on the bed with my face planted into a book while letting my nails dry. I had  some serious book shaped sleep creases on my cheek when I woke up.

Good sleep creases mean good birthdays. Obviously.

Aside from my boyfriend going OTT on a present for me… (as per usual. I’m onto you boy…) and all the other bountiful things I received in care-packages from lovely people overseas, one of my very favourite gifts came from a wee Canadian lady who shares my love for Vegetable Shortening Pie Crust. In case you didn’t know, Veggie shortening is next to impossssssssible to find in Australia… but this jazzy lady found a can of Crisco and presented it to me in a bag with many other kitchen goodies. I squealed an unnecessary amount. but actually, it was totally necessary. So the next recipe to grace our presence? An Apple pie of course. Just in case you’re wondering. It was THE BOMB. diggity.

For now: The Carrot Cake cupcakes. I cannot give you the original recipe as that is a family jewel. But here is my adaptation.

Carrot (cup)Cake(s)

2 1/4 c. flour

2 tsp. cinnamin

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 c. carrot (grated)

1 c. coconut

1 can pineapple (crushed)

1 c. walnuts

1 c. rice syrup

1 c. coconut oil

1 flax egg (1 tbsp. ground flax w/3tbsp. water)

3 tsp. vanilla

Mix together the flax egg and let it sit for five minutes to firm up.

Then mix all the wet ingredients in one bowl (flax egg, oil, rice syrup, vanilla).

Separately, mix the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Add the wet ingredients. Then add the remaining ingredients one by one and stir. Just stir until well combined. the batter will be very thick.

You can make two 9 inch cakes or a bunch of cupcakes. I halved the recipe, cause it seriously makes SO MUCH. I had about 8 or 9 cupcakes from half.

Bake in a prepared pan (buttered/floured or with cupcake liners) at 350*F for 40-50 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean.

I will have to re-do my cream cheese icing because i didn’t write it down. IDIOT. sorry! But use any cream cheese icing and try subbing in soy cream cheese if you’re vegan like me. It’s tastes just the same!

 

 

xxx

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November 29, 2012 · 9:24 am

quarter century camp-out!

My Oh My. It has been a while, hasn’t it? So many things have happened! And all while I was disconnected from reality. aka: the internet.

It’s been a rough couple of weeks, that much I can say for sure. And though I find it slightly embarrassing, my life is fully and most definitely reliant on the internet. I live on the OTHER SIDE of this huge world of ours and my family and I can only really communicate via skype and emails. On a side note: why are phone calls still SO expensive? I mean really… when we have unlimited internet for 50 bucks a month… who is the idiot who says that 1 minute of a phonec all costs 4 dollars. Someone should kick that guy.

Anyway, I have been trying my hardest to keep up with the Jones’ from free library internet while struggling with an ever increasing phone bill… which incidentally is actually from internet use (damn you ever-available internet). I have missed TV shows, I have missed skype dates, I have been tardy with my emails and I have been generally out of the loop. All this sucks, and yet I have re-introduced myself to books, cooking and using a computer that doesn’t have a wifi connection. It’s weird. What did I used to do on a internet-less computer? Play Minesweeper? Yep.

So I have yet to share my pictures from the coast, my birthday fun (I’m 25. uh… what?) and some other delicious activities such as PIE making.

Let’s go back. To coastal walks and an angry ocean.

For the celebration of my quarter century birthday, I decided I wanted to get back to nature. Get in touch with the great mother herself and spend some time with a couple of my closest friends.

We planned our meals, we packed our bags, we got on the train and we hiked to the coast, and then some.

Some favourite shots…

burning palms…

A very angry ocean. An ocean that ripped off my bathing suit with one swift and knee buckling wave. I guess she wanted me in my birthday suit. well-played ocean. well-played.

Our sweet and secluded camp-site.

An awesome tree in the middle of a field of shrubs.

My very own Bear Grylls.

Our gluten-free dinner. (the meat was omitted from mine)

My very canadian friend in her very australian hat.

Various levels of excitement for the hike back to civilization.

My birthday was a couple days later… Too many pictures to post right now, but it was a good one. This weekend in nature was exactly what we needed to get away from Sydney, work and the general business of life.

’twas grand.

You may have noticed in these images that I am experimenting with some new post-processing effects and a water-mark that I have yet to perfect. 🙂 New software = lots of new possibilities. Time to get amoungst it!

xxx

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Dinner, lunch, pumpkin and a picnic!

Before the quarter-life crisis came about, I actually had quite a nice weekend celebrating my birthday with some of my favourite people. We had big plans of Halloween costumes and Luna park, but things got sidetracked a bit, so we kept it more low key. It turned out to be a very eventful weekend that revolved mostly around food.

On Saturday evening, a bunch of friends went out and semi-celebrated my birthday and Samantha’s. We had dinner and drinks, probably more drinks than dinner, but it was lovely none the less. We dined at the Deck, overlooking the Sydney Harbour.

The next morning went better than expected (hangover-wise) and I put the icing on the cake (literally).

the CAKE!

Yes. I baked my own birthday cake. But this is only because I have eaten this specific cake for 24 years and ONLY on my birthday. There is no way I was not going to make it. Normally it isn’t vegan, but a couple of tweaks made it absolutely perfect. I need to work on my icing skills, but that’s taken care of thanks to the cupcake decorating course that I recieved as a gift from my boyfriend and his mother. 🙂

We went out for lunch that day to an all vegan Yum Cha restaurant that I had read about in a Sydney guide book. It is hidden in-between a cathedral and an aquatic center in a park in the middle of the city.

bodhi! all vegan delicious-ness

I’d never had Yum Cha before so I was very excited and this spot exceeded all my expectations. The food was so delicious and there was plenty of it! I will definitely be heading back there for some dinner in the near future. I can only imagine how pretty it would be at night with all the twinkle lights and the beautiful surroundings.

Post-lunch we enjoyed the carrot-cake which was just as delicious as I remember it. So moist and sweet.
Once Sean’s family left he got to work on carving the pumpkin. Sean was beyond excited about this particular pumpkin since we had decided to carve a Dracula-like Lego man. It turned out pretty good, and I definitely think we would have been in the running to win a prize had we been in Toronto for the Hicks Annual Pumpkin Carving contest. Such is life though.

his first pumpkin...

The pumpkin made my day. It has since gone moldy sitting in our living room on account of the heat, and also on account of us not wanting to throw it away. Eeep.

birthday brekkie

The next day, my actual birthday, I had to work. To my surprise I received two ginormous bouquets of flowers delivered to my office. One from my parents and one from Sean. Upon bringing them home I spent about 40 minutes trying to find enough vases and enough room to display them throughout the apartment. But that is neither here nor there.

As a very sweet end to my day, Sean scooped me up from work at 5.30pm with a picnic basket in hand complete with crackers, dip, fruit and champagne! Oh… and Chocolate. Lots of chocolate. (4 bars) YUM!

We picnic’d harbour side in a park with a picturesque view of Sydney.

xxx

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