Monday, June 28, 2010

Who brings all the sand?

Me acuerdo que hace muchos anos un nenito conocido (no me acuerdo por que lado pero si recuerdo la anecdota) fue a la playa por primera vez y sorprendido por la inmensidad del mar y la playa inocentemente pregunto: mama y quien trae toda la arena?
Recuerdo reirme por la inocencia del nino y pensar como puede uno responder semejante pregunta. Ayer caminando por la playa en la bahia, en Beaumaris, me topo con estas bolsas llenas de arena a la orilla del mar...lo primero que pense fue "quien trae toda la arena?" Pero la respuesta estaba clavada en un poste. El cartel leia: "bolsas de arena ecologicas seran instaladas en la playa para alentar el proceso de erosion..." Viste pense yo: el pibito tenia razon.

I remember years ago a little kid (I don't remember exactly who he was but I do remember the anecdote) went to the beach for the first time and suprised by the immensity of the ocean and the beach turned to his mum and innocently asked: Mum, who brings all the sand?
I remember laughing at his innocence and think how does one respond to such a question.Yesterday walking along the bay, in Beaumaris, I came across these bags filled with sand at the edge of the first thought was "who brings all the sand?" But the answer was pinned against a post. It read: "eco-sand bags will be installed in Beaumaris to stop the process of erosion..." The kid was right: someone does bring all the sand.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Happy Birthday to me

Yesterday was my birthday. I can't believe how quickly this year has gone. I think that it was a year of ups and downs, but overall I can say I am happy. I wish my health was better, but I have nobody but myself to blame for it. I suppose this cake is like a testimony of my major weakness: food. I love eating. I enjoy getting together with friends or family and share a plate of food. I love cooking and making yummy things, so it has been difficult to stop eating, even though I should have. My best friend at work loves food too, so we are not a good combination when it comes to diets, we are always breaking each other's will power (although we don't have much of that!). I have plans and maybe I can put it here in writing so I won't conveniently forget. I will make a change in my bad eating habits this year, I have to and I will. Next year from today I will be healthier.
I had a great birthday, my son prepared breakfast for me and together with Ricardo they gave me a really nice present and beautiful cards. I am now the proud owner of the complete series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It is so nice to finally own that. It is one of my favourite TV series, so well crafted, written, acted and directed. It will be a joy to watch all 7 seasons again.
I also got a bottle of my favourite perfume: Flower by Kenzo, a new crafty "mate" from my friends Miriam and Horacio, an Argentinian flag and a necklace from them as well. I got another bottle of perfume from my sister in law, a beautiful salad set (glass bowl, spoon and oil bottle) from my friend Linda, a necklace from my birthday buddy and a lovely platter from Kristie. Anna gave me a set of pots and I absolutely loved them all!
I made home-made pizza and my husband made me this delicious and perfect cake!!!! He spent so much time making it so smooth and aligned and it tasted delicious. I know it was made with love cause I could taste it. Thank you to all my friends for making my day so special.

Ayer fue mi cumpleanos, no puedo creer que rapido se paso este ano. Fue un ano de altibajos, pero puedo decir que en balance fue uno feliz. Me gustaria estar mejor de salud, pero no tengo nadie a quien culpar de eso. Solo a mi misma. Supongo que esta torta es un testimonio a mi mayor debilidad: la comida. Me encanta comer. Disfruto juntarme con amigos o familia y compartir un plato de comida. Me gusta cocinar y preparar cosas deliciosas. Asique ha sido dificil dejar de comer. Mi mejor amiga en el trabajo es como yo, le encanta comer asique entre las dos nos es muy dificil hacer dietas. Este ano quiero producir un cambio en me manera de comer y tratar de lograr una vida un poco mas saludable. Asique lo pongo aca en escrito para que no se me olvide convenientemente.
Tuve un cumple muy lindo, mi hijito me preparo un desayuno riquisimo y mi marido una torta riquisima y perfecta. La hizo con mucho amor y dedicacion. Ric y Anton me regalaron la coleccion de una de mis series favoritas: Buffy the vampire slayer. Esa serie nos acompano por anos y me va a encantar ver sus siete temporadas otra vez. Tambien me regalaron una botella de mi perfume favorito Flower by Kenzo. Mi cunada me regalo otro perfume, mi amiga Linda una ensaladera de vidrio con cucharas y botella para poner el aceite, Miriam y Horacio me regalaron un mate hermoso, una bandera Argentina y un collar y otras companeras del trabajo me ragalaron una fuente y unas vasijas. Gracias a mis amigos y familia por hacerme pasar un dia hermoso.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Nice Cafe on the Beach

Yesterday I gathered all my energy and embarked on a long bike ride from Bourke Road in Camberwell to Port Melbourne. It was a good day...not too cold, sunny but a little windy. When I am not riding I love a little bit of wind. I remember when I was in highschool I used to love going to the roof of my house (terrace) and stand feeling the wind in my face...I guess it has to do with that feeling of freedom. Windy days were my favourite. Now when it's windy, especially if I am riding, I think of how much harder it is to get where you want to go. Headwind is the worst. My bike felt like it was glued to the concrete, it was hard to move it forward. My only hope was to get wind in favour on the way back, however it doesn't work like that as the wind has a mind of its own. I pumped my tires and that helped a little. Traffic was bad. Cars everywhere and people doing stupid things, parked cars were also crazy opening and closing doors, getting into cars or coming out of them the ignorant way (that is without caring who comes behind). Finally once we crossed over the Yarra river things settled and I enjoyed the ride more. The music in my ipod was shuffling from Piazzola to The Decemberists and I enjoyed a variety of moods. Once in Port Melbourne, I wanted to find this cafe that I saw once on our way back from St Kilda. It is sort of in between St. Kilda and Port Melbourne and it sits right on the beach. It was further than I thought but we found it. It was 4 O'clock and it was about to close!!! I really find it so annoying that beautiful places close so early on a Saturday or Sunday...why? What a weird thing it is. It's like everyone is afraid of the sunset. Can you imagine how nice it would be to sit at this place facing the ocean and see the sunset while you have a drink? Anyway we had our coffee but it wasn't as enjoyable as the noise of the closing of business made the atmosphere a rushed and unsettling one. I really would like to see this multicultural Australia embrace the nocturnal habits of Europe and South America, only to be able to enjoy a drink at the beach or a coffee at night without having to worry about the watch.

Ayer tome coraje y embarque en una bicicleteada larga desde Bourke Road hasta Port Melbourne. El tiempo estaba lindo, no muy frio y soleado pero un poco ventoso. Cuando no estoy en la bici, me gusta un poquito de viento. Me acuerdo cuando estaba en la secundaria me encantaba subirme a la terraza y sentir el viento en mi cara. Supongo que eso tiene que ver con ese sentimiento de libertad. Dias ventosos eran mis favoritos. Ahora cuando esta ventoso, especialmete si estoy en la bici, solo pienso en cuanto mas dificil se hace llegar a donde queres ir. Viento en contra es lo peor. Mi bici parecia pegada al asfalto y era dificil moverme. Mi unica esperanza es que a la vuelta el viento este a favor, pero nunca pasa porque el viento tiene sus propias ideas. Le puse aire a mis ruedas y eso mejoro un poco la situacion. El trafico era un desastre, autos en todos lados y gente metiendose y saliendo de autos estacionados sin mirar quien viene atras. Una vez que cruzamos el Yarra la cosa mejoro y el camino fue mas disfrutable. La musica en mi ipod variaba de Piazzola a Los Decemberists y disfrute de una variedad de animos. Una vez en Port Melbourne queria encontrar este cafecito que una vez vi sobre la playa. Resulto mas lejos de lo que pensaba entre St Kilda y Port Melbourne. Llegamos a eso de las 4 y el lugar estaba por cerrar. Como puede ser que un lugar tan lindo sobre la playa cierre tan temprano un Sabado o un Domingo? Es como que tienen miedo del anochecer. Tomamos un cappuccino y comi una medialuna calentita con mermelada pero no fue muy lindo porque escuchaba como estaban empacando y limpiando para cerrar. Me gustaria que Australia abrace las costumbres europeas o sudamericanas y los cafes permanezcan abiertos hasta tarde para disfrutar un atarder mirando el mar y bebiendo un cafecito calentito sin preocuparme de mirar el reloj.

Caramel and chocolate cheesecake

Here is the recipe in English for those of you who want to try it:

250 g plain chocolate biscuits (Choc. Ripple)
125g butter, melted
2 tablespoon brown sugar
20g butter, extra
300ml thickened cream
50g milk eating chocolate, chopped finely
3 teaspoons gelatine
1/4 cup (60ml) water
2x250 g packets cream cheese, softened (I used Philly)
1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
3x60g Mars Bars, chopped finely + an extra one for decoration

1. Blend or process biscuits until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add butter; process until just combined. Press biscuit evenly over base and side of 20cm springform tin, place on tray; refrigerate about 30 min or until firm.

2. Meanwhile, make butterscotch sauce; combine brown sugar, extra butter and 2 tablespoons of the cream in small saucepan. Stir over low heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves.

3 Make chocolate sauce; combine chocolate and another 2 tablespoons of the cream in another small saucepan; stir over low heat until chocolate melts.

4. Sprinkle gelatine over the water is small heatproof jug; stand jug in small saucepan of simmering water, stir until gelatine dissolves. Cool 5 minutes.

5. Beat cream cheese and caster sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer until smooth. Beat remaining cream in small bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form. Stir gelatine mixture into cream cheese mixture with Mars Bars; fold in cream.

6. Pour half of the cream cheese mixture into crumb crust; drizzle half of the butterscotch and chocolate sauces over cream cheese mixture. Pull skewer backwards and forwards through mixture to create marbled effect. Repeat with remaining cream cheese mixture and sauces. Refrigerate about 3 hours or until set.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Soccer Fever

Llego el mundial de futbol y con el la fiebre. Es gracioso, nunca sigo el futbol ni ningun deporte en realidad. No me interesan los equipos, ni las copas sudamericanas, europeas o asiaticas. No sigo ningun partido. Pero eso si, cada 4 anos me agarra la fiebre del mundial y lo sigo a muerte. Miro partidos, madrugo o me acuesto a cualquier hora para ver jugar ciertos equipos (Argentina, Australia y Espana especialmente, pero tambien miro otros: Italia, Brasil, Inglaterra...digamos que lo equipos principales. Este ano la fiebre sumo decoracion en el cuerpo...hasta ahora solo las unas: una mano para cada pais que llevo en el corazon. Si tuviera tres manos pintaria la tercera de Espana.
En Australia casi nadie sigue al football. Aca llaman football a "Australian Rules Football". Yo odio el footy. Es un deporte brutal y los equipos hacen cientos de goles por partido. Para mi no hay anticipacion, no hay estrategia. Son 19 jugadores corriendo como locos y saltando uno arriba del otro. Los postes estan tan separados que cualquiera que tiene una pierna pude hacer un gol y aparte los jugadores corren con la pelota en la mano. No deberia llamarse Handball? En fin, me gusta apoyar al verdadero football porque no es el deporte de las masas. Si estuviera en Argentina odiaria el mundial y me saturaria del futbol incesante, es mas, yo solia odiarlo y seguro apoyaria al Australian Rules Football.

The World Cup is here and with it comes the fever. It's funny. I never follow the football, not any other sport for that matter. I don't care about teams, players, the South American, European or Asiatic cups. I don't follow the matches. But, every 4 years, come the World Cup I get the cup fever and I follow it through. I watch matches, get up early or go to bed late to watch certain teams play, especially Argentina, Australia or Spain, but I also watch other main matches like Italy, France, Brazil, England. This year to celebrate I added a little bit of body art...only the fingernails: one hand for each country I have in my heart. If I had three hands, I would paint the third red and yellow for Spain.
In Australia hardly anybody follows the "soccer". Here, "footy" (Austrlian Rules football) is the main sport. I hate footy. It's a brutal sport and teams score hundreds of points in every match. To me there is no anticipation, no strategy...just 19 players running like crazy and jumping on top of each other...the goal posts are so far apart that anybody with a leg can score and besides they run with the ball in their hands...shouldn't that be called "handball"? Anyway I like supporting soccer (the real football) because it's not the mass' sport. If I were in Argentina I would be so sick of football that I would probably hate it. I used to.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Torta de queso y Mars Bars

A pedido de Maria Belen aca va la receta.

Para hacer esta torta se necesita:

250 g de galletitas de chocolate
125 g de manteca derretida
2 cucharadas soperas de azucar marron
20g de manteca extra
300 ml de crema
50 g de chocolate cortado en pedacitos
3 cucharaditas de gelatina sin sabor
1/4 taza (60ml) de agua
2x250g de queso philadelphia batido
1/2 taza (110g) de azucar blanca finita
3x60g barras de chocolate Mars cortado en rodajas finitas y un poco extra para decorar


1. Procesar las galletitas dulces en la licuadora hasta que se hagan migas. Agregar la manteca y combinar hasta que se haga una masa. Apretar la masa en una tortera preferentemente esas que son facil de desmoldar (ya que esta torta no se hornea). (yo enmanteque y enharine la horma y ademas puse papel manteca alrededor pero no en la base). Poner en la heladera para enfriar approximadamente 30 minutos.

2. Mientras tanto hacer la salsa butterscotch: combinar el azucar negra, la manteca extra y 2 cucharadas de la crema en una olla pequena; revolver sobre fuego lento, sin hervir hasta que el azucar se disuelve. Retirar del fuego y dejar a un costado.

3. Hacer la salsa de chocolate: combinar el chocolate y otras 2 cucharadas de crema en otra ollita y revolver sobre fuego lento hasta que el chocolate se derrite. Dejar a un costado.

4. Poner el agua en un recipiente a bano maria y espolvorear la gelatina hasta que esta se disuelva. Enfriar 5 minutos.

5. Batir el queso y el azucar finito (caster sugar) en un bowl con batidora electrica hasta que se pone cremoso (yo le agregue un par de cucharadas de crema para ablandarlo mas rapido). Batir la crema que queda en otro bowl hasta que este a punto. Agregar la gelatina al queso con los pedacitos de chocolate Mars y agregar la crema. Mezclar la crema suavemente con el queso.

6. Verter la mitad de esta mezcla sobre la base de galletitas, agregar la mitad de la salsa Butterschotch y la mitad de la salsa de chocolate y con un escarbadiente moverla para adelate y atras para lograr un efecto marmolado. Repertir el proceso con los restantes ingredientes y decorar con la Mars bar extra. Refrigerar por 3 horas antes de servir.

7. Disfrutenla!!! Es para chuparse los dedos.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cake Galore

Inspired by the long weekend and the cold-gray weekend I decided to make this delicious Mars bars cheesecake. The recipe was handed down to me by a co-worker who made the cake for Dart Friday and birthday celebration. It's a cheesecake that looks too rich, but surprisingly isn't. I was worried cause my experiences with home made cheesecakes hadn't been good in the past. I hate following recipes. I find that it is easier to improvise and it allows for my creativity to flow. Following recipes it's like doing homework. I have to concentrate and am not quite prepared for the utensils demands. There is always something that I don't have or that I don't want to use...anyway despite these inconveniences the cake turned out fantastic and I enjoyed it. It's not a cake that I will make too often but it's one to add to the collection of cakes. I can put the recipe up if anyone is interested in making it.

Inspirada por el fin de semana largo y por los dias grises y frios decide hacer esta deliciosa torta de queso y chocolate Mars. La receta me la paso un companero del trabajo que la hizo para uno de nuestros Viernes de dardos y para celebrar el cumpleanos de otro companero. Es una torta que luce demasiado empalagosa, pero sorprendentemente no lo es. Me preocupaba un poco hacerla porque mis pasadas experiencias con tortas de queso no han sido muy positivas. Odio seguir recetas. Me gusta mucho mas improvisar y agregar mi creatividad a las comidas que preparo. Seguir recetas es como estar haciendo la tarea. Me tengo que concentrar y nunca estoy preparada para la demanda de utensillos. Siempre hay alguno que no tengo o que no quiero usar...A pesar de todas estas inconveniencias, la torta resulto fantastica y la disfrute. No es una torta que voy a hacer seguido pero es una que agrego a mi coleccion de tortas. Si alguien quiere saber la receta, avisenme y la subo.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Winter Lorne

After a few weekends deliberating if the weather was nice enough to go to Lorne, this Saturday we made up our minds and decided to go. When we got up the morning presented itself nice enough. Cold, but not extremely and dry. The sun kept creeping out behind the clouds so it looked like a good day to go. There was nothing much to prepare since we were not going to sunbake, surf or sit at the beach, just a few jumpers, camera and wallets. We left at about 10 O'clock and drove through the city. Not very smart. Traffic was horrendous in Alexandra Parade, but we managed to get through it without too much stress knowing that on the other side paradise was waiting.
The trip was nice, we listened to the new album from Laura Veirs "July Flames". It is such a beautiful album, sweet and reminiscent of Summer. The trip was quick, I suppose there is less traffic going to the Ocean Road in Winter. I would have liked a bit more sunshine, especially when we hit the ocean, because I love when the sun brings out the blues and turquoises of the sea, however yesterday the sun hid and the ocean looked pale, messy and cold.
Just after Urquhart Bluff it started to spit. The wipers pushed the water out of the windscreen as we slowed down in the curvy mountainous path and we emerged on the other side, just a few minutes from Lorne, in full rain.
We walked to the beach cafe to have a warm cuppa, but after making our way through the puddles it was "closed for a private function", so we stood there for a while waiting for the pouring rain to stop so we could at least walk back to the car. Whilst there, we watched a few surfers that dare the cold to surf what were perfect waves, clean, curly and big. There was nothing else to do that eat and shop. So we started with a cappuccino and pastry in a really cool place underneath the backpackers hotel. The whole menu was in Spanish! Once our tummies were warm we strolled down to the shops and looked at everything! We bought a couple of things, then had fish and chips of course. Where else do fish and chips taste better than at the beach. Just after that the rain stopped and we made our way to pier, it was very cold then but at least the sun was out, just before we started to come back.