Thursday, 28 July 2011

no-potato 'potato' salad and barley porridge

hello lovely readers - thanks for your comments on yesterday's post, they always make me smile!

on monday i'm off up north in NSW, taking a 7 hour train trip to get to my destination, where i'll be experiencing an australian country town, rather than beachside. i'm looking forward to seeing new things and meeting new people... and trying new food, as always!

so, now onto my latest eats from the Central Coast - i've been trying out lots of blog recipes this week that have been otherwise piling up in my 'to cook' list for ages:

baked pearl barley porridge - thanks to Scandi Foodie for this recipe, it was gorgeous! i will definitely be cooking it again and again.

chocolate almond cookies - via the spunky coconut, though edited slightly with homemade applesauce rather than honey (which did make them kinda bitter, but i loved them still).

no potato 'potato' salad - via everyday paleo, this was gorgeous! i will be making this repeatedly for the rest of my life, no word of a lie. yum.

so, thanks for catching up with me, i hope you enjoy these recipes!

keep your eyes open for a guest post swap on Monday, it's going to be amazing... make sure to stop by and read, and then hop on over to my guest's blog to find the recipe for the celery flax bread / pizza base - which i know you're all dying to get hold of (and it is incredible, so i won't discourage your enthusiasm!)

currently watching: sister act - so hilarious, love Whoopi in that movie.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

mandarin almond torte and coconut chicken

g'day everyone! 

i'm very excited to be taking part in my first ever WIAW post! thanks to Peas and Crayons for hosting it :)

this week is going by pretty quickly so far - i'm not quite sure how it's already Wednesday, but no matter, i've been busy, so that's a really good thing!

breakfast this morning was a beautiful slice of mandarin almond torte - a recipe that would fit nicely into my breakfast cookbook, which is just wonderful to eat in the morning with a little greek yogurt. it's made with pureed boiled mandarins, and it's really zingy and fresh!

i spent the morning with the social committee from the retirement village going into the mangrove mountains to an orange grove to help pick some of their excess crop. so much fun, and we picked loads! i fell in love with their dog Jinny, who gave me the most welcoming lick on the face... (i really do miss our dog, Bruno, back in England)

for lunch a little pizza on raw celery flax bread (more on this to come soon!), with fennel, apple and cucumber salad and leftover cooked pumpkin and celery tops.

for dinner some cauliflower rice, avocado, and coconut chicken nuggets. i'm loving cauliflower rice at the moment - it's so tasty and easy. all i did was to shred up the cauliflower in the food processor, mix in a little dice red onion, curry powder, paprika, pepper and salt. then i put it in the frying pan with a little butter and cooked it for about 10 minutes covered with a saucepan lid, stirring occasionally. i actually had it for breakfast yesterday too... twas delicious!

this evening i'm going out to meet up with new friends, and i'm really excited to take them some of the oranges i picked today too :)

i hope you all have a great day!

currently watching: indiscreet with ingrid bergman and cary grant - it's so brilliant! i love discovering old movies that are totally classic...

gjetost cheese and avocado mash

g'day! i hope you are all well - the sun is shining once again down under, no more torrential rain (apparently it's been 52 years since they had so much rain in July!), instead blue skies and warm sunshine.

i've been really blessed here in Oz to be living near a store called Harris Farm, which contains loads of weird European foods, as well as lots of local produce and incredible fresh fruit & veg.

well, there's a couple of things that i couldn't resist picking up last time i was there:

gjetost cheese - it's basically caramelised sheep's cheese - sounds gross, but tastes like a sweetie! it's so delicious, and perfect eaten all by eatself straight from the Swedish slicer. naughty, but nice. i'm really not a cheese person, but this reminds me of my Nanna.

proper Swedish crispbread - i've mentioned it in a previous post, but i'm still adoring it. especially with mashed avocado, dill and boiled eggs. and i love the traingular serves!

i've loved Kalles Kaviar for as long as i can remember, and it's beautiful on crispbread or warm toast. of course, with no Ikea down the road, i can't buy Kalles, but i was able to pick up this brilliant creamed cod roe paste - which tastes exactly the same, salty and fishy, yum.

so, there you have it, my treats for the week. it's my firm belief that it's necessary to indulge occasionally in luxurious treats, lest you become boring and normal. so creamed cod roe, triangular crispbread and caramelised Norwegian cheese it is!!

what's your weirdest food favorite?

currently watching: sabrina - an absolute classic (think audrey hepburn, humphrey bogart and william holden all in the same film), which if you've never seen it, you really really should!

Friday, 22 July 2011

thai choko fries with chicken celery stir fry

today's recipe is one i never would have thought i would create before june this year - in fact i'd honestly never even heard of a choko before. have you?

well, if you haven't, then this is what a choko looks like:

it's quite a bland flavour really, and a cross between a courgette, pear and a watermelon. an odd combination, that leaves me quite confused as to quite how to eat and enjoy this vegetable. most people around here don't seem to have eaten them much, apart from as a bulking ingredient in stews or jams. but, i was determined to do something different with them.

and so, without further ado, i present to you:

thai choko fries

i served the choko fries with a chicken, cabbage and celery stir fry with a little more thai paste and some tomatoes. a very tasty dish!

thai choko fries recipe
1 choko
1 tsp thai curry paste
1-2 Tbsp water/stock
a little butter or coconut oil
salt + pepper

1. simply peel and deseed the choko, then cut into fries. 
2. heat up a frying pan with a little butter or coconut oil
3. add the choko and fry for 3-5 minutes.
4. pour in the water or stock and curry paste and cook for a further 3-5 minutes.
5. place on a baking tray and put in a hot oven for 20-30 minutes, until brown and crispy along the edges.

have you ever eaten choko before? and if so, how did you eat them?

currently reading: the guernsey literary and potato peel pie society by mary ann shaffer - it's so good i've already read half of it!

Monday, 18 July 2011

a happy birthday in Sydney!

thanks for the birthday wishes from you all for last week! i had a grand time, enjoying the Australian sunshine and spending time checking out the sights of Sydney. as well as feeling that little bit wiser as i add another year to my age (24 sounds alright doesn't it?)

i started the day with herbed baked eggs and buttered sourdough toast - a simple treat, that i truly love! it was the perfect birthday breakfast for me.

when we arrived in central Sydney we went to the Rocks for a look around, and of course took the very necessary photo in front of the opera house (what trip to Sydney would be complete without it?)

then we took a ferry across to Watson's bay for lunch. it's got a very European vibe, which makes me feel quite at home, and it's astonishingly beautiful.

we had posh fish & chips from the most famous takeaway restaurant on the quay - Doyle's. it was ok, but i ought to have had a big praw salad in retrospect as i felt pretty queasy afterwards...

the view from the top of The Gap was impressive. you can see the harbour bridge and the central buildings - worth the climb up, for sure.

then we took a bus back into the city, via Bondi Beach and a few other southern suburbs. it was a great way to see the city, albeit a little slow (though that suited me fine). the different districts have their own specialities, and i loved to dream of the lives of it's inhabitants. people watching is one of my favorite pastimes - and buses are perfect for practicing this fine art!

i'm really looking forward to going into Sydney again - perhaps to visit some of the markets and food fairs. and trying out some of the restaurants and cafes too!

i hope you are all well :)

currently reading: ani phyo's raw food essentials - i've wanted to read it for ages, to learn new techniques and find ways of experimenting with different ingredients. i am so glad to finally have a copy to read from the library!

Friday, 15 July 2011

fresh paw paw and swedish rye crispbread

the foodie experience in australia continues to be amazing! i'm trying to make sure i test out all the weird and wonderful things whilst i have access to them on this side of the world - to determine what things i enjoy, and learn new recipes.

one of my favorite things about shops here is the array of tropical fruits and asian vegetables you can buy - and i hope i can keep sharing amazing new discoveries with you each post. my only wish is that you could try them too - but we haven't quite reached that star trek level of technology yet!

so, here are my latest eats:

fresh paw paw is such good value, and in perfect ripeness. an absolute pleasure to eat! it's different from papaya, and actually tastes more like custard apple in my opinion - very delicious.

in the absence of anyone with tropical fruit knowhow, i seem to be making it up as i go along, which is great for learning about flavour and texture combinations. so, how to serve fresh paw paw? with honey and yogurt, of course! it was actually really good.

welsh rarebit is good in any country. especially next to a big bowl of cinnamon apple compote with peanut butter and yogurt.

leftover brown rice with capsicum, bacon, mushrrom, celery, onion, egg and cheese. so good. enjoyed whilst copying out recipes from my great aunt's collection of cookbooks and magazines.

in harris farm, they have a brand of swedish rye crispbread that is gorgeous! i love the shape and the crunch and it's also pretty cheap too, which is fab. it's the perfect accompaniment to a dill veggie scramble at breakfast.

in the next post i'm going to share with you photos from my birthday in Sydney central!! yes, that's right, i am now the grand old age of 24 - and so much the wiser for it :)

currently listening to: the a team by ed sheeran - it's grown on me...

ps. i've now got 2,500 subscribers on my alissaevelyn youtube channel! so thanks so much for your support, and there'll be a giveaway running shortly ♥

how to get rid of acne scars

hello lovelies!

i'm back with the next installment (from australia!) of my all about acne series.

there are a couple of different types of acne scarring - hyperpigmentation from mild acne (usually red dots where a blemish has occurred), and proper acne scars from severe acne (ranging from icepick scars to keloidal scarring).

once my acne cleared up in february i was left with hyperpigmentation around my mouth and along my jawline, which is now gone 5 months later! here are my natural and holistic tips to getting rid of acne scarring:

1. patience!
time is absolutely essential - because it takes 1 month for your skin to regenerate, and because the damage is so far down with hyperpigmentation, it'll take much longer for the deepest levels of skin to renew and refresh. so WAIT! there isn't a miracle product or cure better than time.

2. good weekly oil massage
a simple weekly massage with a simple oil like sweet almond or grapeseed can really help boost the circulation to your skin surface, therefore promoting healing. it feels nice too - so give it a go!

3. heat + light
i've mentioned this before - it's important to get out in the sunshine, and to make sure your skin stays at a good functioning temperature. both times i've slept in a cold room i've got acne - and that's probably one of the main causes of it for me. sunshine helps the healing process too!

4. exercise
this will help your skin to heal and balance out because it gets your circulation going - and is probably what helped your acne to heal in the first place! gentle 30 mins of walking is helpful as a start...

5. good acne concealer
i recommend mineral products - disappear by jane iredale is my ultimate favorite, and then lily lolo mineral foundation over the top when the scarring is in it's early stages.

6. anything to encourage good blood flow!
basically, a good diet and lots of fresh air will help oxygen and essential nutrients keep your skin in balance and encourage it to heal quicker.

7. dermatologist visit
for those of you who have suffered from severe acne, and who have waited a good year to see improvement in your scars, i would recommend a visit to a good dermatologist (it'll be worth paying more money in the short term to make sure you get good results first time). they could suggest a simple filler, chemical peel or laser resurfacing to help even the skin tone.

for a greater in depth discussion - check out my yt vid:


Thursday, 14 July 2011

australian perfection?

well, g'day wonderful readers!

today is confession time. my sugar levels have been appalling since being in oz - like seriously bad. and i know exactly the reason why too...lack of exercise, and not being in control of my eating as much as normal.

it's really tricky living in someone else's home and not wanting to be pushy with cooking or be in the kitchen too much. i guess most of the time back in the uk i was a complete control freak over my eating, and all the general household duties i did (dog walking, cooking, cleaning, tidying) helped to keep everything in balance - but here i don't have that, and it's making me and my sugar levels a little crazy. granted i do my own washing, and i cook every other day - but it's not nearly enough.

and you know the other thing, there's nowhere to walk TO, apart from the local superstore, which is just 5 minutes away (in fact i've been up there so many times, i think the security guards are suspicious! - can i tell them that it's the only way i can get good exercise?!)

oz is kinda like america in it's largeness, and everything is so spaced out, people just drive everywhere in their big cars to get around. i think it would be a bit different in the countryside perhaps? anyhow, i don't want to spend money on a gym membership or classes, and there aren't any local gardening groups, or neighbours that need a hand (though i have looked into workaway and wwoofing to get a bit more exercise in).

the bad levels are starting to drive me crazy - and the next step is to up my basal rates again, which to me seems a little like defeat... oh well, i'm going to try more aimless walking around the area, and see how that goes, and try working in a more routine way each day (though even that's difficult when you rely on someone else for car use).

i've also got more of a grip on my food now, even though i'm eating completely differently from my host - which makes me feel kinda awkward. i am so thankful to my mother for being so accepting of my diet, and for coming along on the ride with me.

haha, oh well, i'll get there in the end i suppose! i WILL get this back under control. i will. i will.

i really did naively think that my levels would be perfect when i landed on these sunny shores, but that has not proven to be the case at all. silly silly me.