Sunday, October 28, 2012

GIRLS NIGHT OUT

Last night I had a wonderful time catching up with girlfriends and enjoying a night on the town. It seems that all too often, schedules conflict and you find yourself cringing at the fact you've been saying "we must catch up soon" for the greater part of a year. Enough was enough - I was determined to make it this time no matter what. That meant ignoring the irritation and watering that plagued my right eye at the very last minute, making my make-up near impossible to apply. It also meant not allowing a recent "setback" with my nerve entrapment stop me from going to dinner, even if it meant sitting with only one inch of my posterior on the seat to avoid pain. And in all the laughter, stories, cocktails and dancing, I managed to forget anything that had been bothering me and enjoy every wonderful minute with a fabulous bunch of girls. Allow me to run you through some of what we got up to...

We started off with some pre-drinks (as you do) at a room in The Grace Hotel in the CBD.






After lots of wild chatter and attempts to catch up on everything that's been happening in our respective lives, it was time to meet up with the rest of the crew for some traditional Greek fare at The Athenian - a fabulous converted bank building (tall columns and all!) in the heart of the city...





I started with a daiquiri and nibbled at the most incredible fried eggplant and garlic sauce.



Had my appetite been its usual self, I would have ordered this as well. I do enjoy a good serve of souvlaki from time to time!



After dinner it was off to Ivy. I like to go the back way, via Angel Place. This birdcage exhibit always impresses me:


After snapping this pic I had to run to catch up with the others as we headed upstairs to Ivy's Pool Club...



Where we slurped on 'Pink Flamingos'...
...Before wearing out our heels on the dance floor.



My shoes weren't the only thing to wear out that night. Like the carriage that turned into a pumpkin, my voice box took a turn for the worse just after midnight. Thankfully, my prince promptly arrived to ferry me home (and make a pit stop for Indian takeaway on the way). All in all, a brilliant night I won't forget in a hurry!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

THE MOSCOW MULE SLURPEE

According to the gospel of Wikipedia, one of the virtues of the mule is that it is comparatively stronger than a horse of similar size. Like the mule animal, the Moscow Mule has the ability to harbour considerable alcoholic strength, but you wouldn't know it because the ginger and lime does a magical job of disguising the taste of the alcohol. No post-gulp wincing with this dirty concoction! Seeing as it's summer this side of the globe, I thought I'd marry this classic mixer with a quintessential summer beverage, the Slurpee. Behold the Moscow Mule Slurpee!

To fill a 600mL glass, as I have done, you will need:

500mL Ginger Beer, frozen in ice cube trays (you'll need roughly 2 trays)
50-100 mL vodka (remember 50mL is 1.6 standard drinks!)
1-2 limes, squeezed









First of all, you will need to freeze your ginger beer (NOT IN THE BOTTLE!!!) for a few hours, or overnight to make sure they're well and truly frozen.
Once frozen, add the cubes, lime juice and vodka in a blender until the ice is thoroughly crushed.



Pour and serve.




Выпьем за то, чтобы у нас всегда был повод для праздника!
Roughly translated: May we always have a reason for a party! (My Russian readers can feel free to correct me on this one!)

Enjoy responsibly.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

CARROT AND CHICKPEA SALAD

I think we all get a rise out of looking at pictures of all that calorific food porn out there but when it comes to eating some of those sweet creations, I know I can feel a little very guilty afterwards. I also find myself having too much of a good time on the sweet treat merry-go-round - just one ride is not enough. Once I start inviting treats into my diet, they have way of becoming a staple in my daily menu and before I know it, I've gained a couple of terribly unwanted kilograms!

As good as it feels letting junk food pass our lips, nothing feels as good as eating healthily. There's no beating ourselves up afterwards - no feeling like a failure or a piglet and, along with our mind, our bodies thank us for it too.

One of my favourite summer salads is this ever-so-simple carrot and chickpea salad. It's simple, natural and doesn't rely on sugary, calorie-laden dressings to give it taste. To serve 2 as a main or 4 as a side dish, you'll need:

3-4 large carrots, peeled, grated
1 tin of chickpeas, rinsed drain and peeled (to peel, simply squeeze one end of the chickpea and the inside will pop out easily from the skin)
1 lemon juiced
1-2 teaspoons of cumin
1 teaspoon of paprika
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 handful of coriander (cilantro) roughly chopped

Squeeze out any excess juice from the shredded carrot and simply add the rest of the ingredients in no particular order. 





Look at how colourful the ingredients are! All you need to do is mix thoroughly and it's ready to serve.


Easy, guilt-free and full of nutrients that your body needs for good health and warding off disease! 

...What dish makes you feel super healthy?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

WARM, SUNNY AND A TOP OF 30

Today was - and I don't use this description lightly - a cracker of a day. Elsa woke me at the crack of dawn and as we popped outside, we were greeted by summer's warm embrace. Normally, being woken so early leaves me moaning and groaning but today I took it as a blessing - all the more hours to enjoy this spectacular day! I closed my eyes, breathed in the marvellous warm air and decided that today could be nothing other than a day of sun, sand and submerging ourselves in the coolest waters possible.

One of my favourite bays this side of the city is Redleaf Pool, a little gem that most people only learn of by word of mouth and tends not to overcrowd thanks to a lack of nearby parking spaces! The first time I laid eyes on this place was after a couple of years of living in Sydney (yes, I wish I knew about it sooner) and it fast became the only place I wanted to go when the sun was out. I'd even take my uni books down there... and use them to hold my towel in place! Let me show you around... 




Unfortunately, we couldn't take Elsa. 

But you can take all your friends and have a party on the pontoons!



































After almost enough sun, we headed for home, making a drink stop on the way. Little did I know I was about to experience the best thing since ice cream on a hot summers day. Mango frappe, you've won my heart and totally topped off this awesome day!

...What are your favourite things to see/do/eat/drink/experience in summer? Anything I should try?