Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Dogs and Christmas presents

Been a long time between updates on how Sam and Rosie are doing. Well, I'm happy to say that they're both fine. Still happy as always and romping around the yard with their toys as usual.

Managed to get them to sit down together for a photo.

Sam and Rosie at play.

Noon and I were up in Sydney on Sunday, we both had a craving for yum-cha and there aren't any decent places to have this in our area. So off we went in the morning, and got there in time for brunch. After filling up on a variety dumplings, spring rolls and buns, we headed off to do a bit of window shopping.

As it turned out, Noon was browsing in a handbag shop and a nice leather bag caught her eye. I decided to get it for her as her Christmas present. Was nice and soft, and large enough to hold all her stuff without being overly bulky.

On an impulse, I also decided to get Noon another, more expensive, present for Christmas. Here's the wrapped box... anyone want to take a guess as to what's inside?

How about a little hint?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Filler post

What does your pooch get up to when you're not home?

No that's not Sam, and it's not Rosie either. Noon and I don't own a dishwasher :)

Credit goes to Richard Miller for sending it through, we enjoyed it and thought you might too.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Not forgotten

I realise that updates and posts to this blog have been few and far between recently. I've not forgotten to write and maintaining this place is still important to me.

It's just that there have been a great many developments happening in my professional life at the moment, with a major change imminent within the next fortnight. These developments have been good for me - in essense I have secured a promotion of sorts, and confirmation in a role in which I wish to develop my skills.

What's not so good is that this has (I believe) precipitated a major shift in the operations of my team of colleagues, all of whom I consider very close and dear friends. This change was forced upon them, and while it may or may not represent an improvement in their professional careers, only time will tell.

I still feel responsible, however, and will have to deal with these feelings over the weekend.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

What the???

Saw this at the supermarket, had to get it! Check out the instructions on the back.

"...an authentic Malay style meal in minutes!"
Hmmm, okay then!

Having trouble finding the proper ingredients to cook it up though, never thought it would be that difficult getting halal pork...

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Pork chops for dinner!

You know how sometimes you just run out of ideas for what to cook for dinner? Happened to us last night. We were scratching our heads trying to figure out whether we felt like eating out or having a meal at home. Noon said we had long beans in the fridge and I remembered watching a cooking show on the telly a few days ago about grilled pork chops on a bed of beans. And so we came up with.... orange marmalade and balsamic glazed pork chops, on a bed of beans and sweet potato mash!

First thing we did was season the chops with a bit of salt and freshly ground black pepper, then seal and brown both sides of the meat on a lightly oiled pan. The glaze/sauce was a mixture of orange juice (2 oranges), orange marmalade (2 tablespoons), brown sugar (1 tablespoon), and a generous dash of aged balsamic vinegar. After the meat was browned, we poured the sauce into the pan and turned the meat to coat. We then left the whole thing to simmer on a very low heat for 40 minutes to reduce the sauce and slightly stew the meat.

We brought Sam and Rosie out for a walk to the park while we waited. When we got back, it was time to get the beans ready. We boiled them whole for just a few minutes...

...before plunging them into iced water to stop them from being overcooked and to retain the bright green colour.

While that was being done, Noon got the sweet potato cooked in the microwave and then proceeded to mashing it up.

And with all that done, it was time to plate up! The beans went on the plate first...

Followed by the sweet potato mash...

And finally the chops went on top, along with a generous drizzle of the now thickened sauce!

Opened up a nice bottle of wine and sat outside on the deck for an al-fresco meal :) The meat was nice and tender, and the sauce was tangy and fruity. Definitely something we will repeat in the future!

Not bad, eh? From not having a clue about what to eat to whipping up a nice little meal for ourselves!