Saturday, January 14, 2012

My Birthday Weekend!!!

Yesterday was my birthday! Traditionally I like to plan as many special things as I can for my birthday. This year I decided to make the whole weekend my own! Here's what I spent my time doing...

- Fun times with the adorable besties!

- Tasty breakfast at Xwray in Fremantle
- Beautiful coffee and delectable juice at The Attic in Fremantle
- Hitting up a bunch of op-shops to start my brand new record collection :)
- Receiving my very first gorgeous Petunia Picklebottom handbag!

- Chilling in the aircon at my family's house
- Chicken schnitzel, cauliflower cheese, potato wedges and salad for dinner (my favourite foods, cooked by my amazing Mum!)
- Double choc strawberry pavlova birthday cake (again, made by my amazing Mum!)

- Buying The Hunger Games for my Kindle
- Receiving shoes, perfume, jewellery and my very first record player from my great family :)
- Sunday morning breakfast with Chris at Betty Blue Bistro on the foreshore
- Birthday present mini-shopping-spree at Rockingham shops, where I scored a couple of Body Shop gifts and some iPod speakers
- FINALLY picking up a replacement Kindle for Chris (his broke a few months ago)

Things left to look forward to today:
- Popcorn, Coke, and The Muppets movie
- Grant Nosworthy speaking at Church

It's a good weekend to turn 26!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Chive and Parmesan Crumbed Lamb Cutlets

It's the middle of the week, and as I mentioned yesterday I've just started a new job. Anything that can make life simple and delicious on a Wednesday night in such circumstances is alright by me. Enter these bad-boys. They may not be pretty, but they pack a tasty punch and are super quick to whip up and serve with a little salad.
Before I go on with the recipe though, I want to talk to you about making your own crumbs. Do it. The beauty of making your own crumbs is that you control the texture, and you know they're fresh. Plus, I just freeze the ends of every loaf of bread that I buy and lightly toast a couple of slices when I need crumbs. This handy tip = free breadcrumbs! My crumbing tool of choice is my mini food processor, officially my most well-used kitchen appliance! Making the crumbs for this recipe was easy - I just tossed all the ingredients in the processor and held the little button down. And look:

Rustic, pretty home-made crumbs! You can still totally make this recipe with store-bought crumbs, it just requires a bit of fine chopping. But I'd still eat it, if you served it to me. Even if your chopping wasn't up to scratch. I'm a terrible chopper.

Anyway, I feel like I've diverted enough. Read on for the recipe!

Chive and Parmesan Crumbed Lamb Cutlets

10 lamb cutlets
1/2 cup plain flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 slices bread, torn into chunks (pref not anything with whole grains in it)
Handful of chives, roughly chopped
1/4 cup parmesan

1. To make crumb coating: Combine bread, chives and parmesan in a food processor. Process until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
2. Put flour on a plate. Place egg in a shallow dish. Spread crumbs on a plate.
3. Crumb the cutlets by covering them with flour, dipping them in the egg, then coating with crumbs. Press the crumbs lightly onto the cutlets to ensure they stay put.
4. Refrigerate cutlets for at least 30 minutes.
5. Heat approx 2cm vegetable oil in a flat pan on medium heat (see note). When oil is hot, cook lamb cutlets (approx 3-4 mins each side or until cooked through).
6. Serve with salad.

My notes:
- Your oil must be at a good heat. If it's spitting, it's too hot and your crumb coating will burn and your cutlets will stay kinda raw. If it doesn't even sizzle when you drop your cutlets in, take them outtttt and let the pan heat up some more, or the cutlets will end up oily and soggy.
- For prettier cutlets than mine, strip all the meat and fat off the part of the bone that you hold. They'll look much daintier. I'm just lazy. Like I said, it's the middle of a big week!

Hope you enjoy this simple and tasty dinner!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My New Year Has Arrived!

I know, technically I'm fashionably late. But today, January 10, really does mark the beginning of a new year for me! So much has happened since I last blogged (December 1, seriously!?) Namely, I quit my crazy theme park job. No more answering phones for the craziest place in Perth! Today I returned to my favourite job that I've ever held, at my Church. So while the first few days of the year were nothing out of the ordinary - working Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, the year has taken a sharp turn in a much better direction. The thing that makes my new job even more exciting is that Chris will be coming on board with me later this month! We'll be working in entirely different fields, and predominantly different buildings, but we'll be co-workers! Yay!

So, happy new year! I've been thinking non-stop about 2012 and all of its promises, and here are a few that I'm personally hoping to see happen...

1. God: He deserves so much more from me than I've given. This year, a life-change needs to be set in motion.

2. Debt-blowing: we have wayyyy too many loans. This year we're seriously focusing on blowing those debts out of the water and getting that little bit closer to financial freedom...

3. Health: I need to catch onto this whole healthy-eating/exercise thing pronto. I want to feel amazing, and I want to be in great shape by the time we think about having babies a few years down the track. Seriously, I need to get my head in the game.

4. Fussy-busting: I'm still growing out of the fussy-eating mindset that I developed as a kid, and each year I like to challenge myself to enjoy a wider range of foods. The last couple of years have seen me master the tomato, the prawn, the olive and the avocado, and this year I'd like to increase my tastes a little more. Maybe conquer a bunch of seafoods? Game meat? Hmmm!

5. Socialise: Since getting married, I've fallen into the trap of spending lots less time with friends. And spending time with my friends is fun. So here's to lots more good times with the amazing people in my life.

6. Craft: I have a whole stinking craft room, and the only reason I've set foot in there at any point over the last year is to hunt for fairy lights, and to store things. Mad. I love craft. I need to do it more.

7. Positivity: I've become jaded over the years. I miss the 18-year-old version of me who was psyched about everything, who didn't get grudgey, who didn't get stressed. She's someone to aspire to.

8. Be intentional: I need to be intentional about spending time and connecting with the people I love (Chris, my family, my friends) rather than taking it for granted that things will fall into place.

9. House-keeping: I'm not the greatest house-keeper, and as a result of this I'm embarrassed to have people in my home. Crazy, since one of my huge loves is entertaining. I need to get in better habits so that I, and my friends, can actually enjoy my home.

10. Dress better: It's time to start putting some effort into my appearance - not just for special occasions or nights out, but for day-to-day life.

Thanks for reading through! I'm hoping this year that my blog can really reflect some of these changes as I bring them about in my life.

In other news, did you know that I turn 26 on Saturday? Old. Old. Old.