I bought this Sunbeam Mixmaster Compact Pro mixer in the Boxing Day sales and finally took it for a spin the other day.
Naturally there was butter involved.
Turns out the mixer is hopeless: the beaters don't reach the sides or bottom of the bowl, and all the batter just gets stuck in them. No wonder it was on sale.
The mixer part is detachable so you can use it as a normal hand mixer as well as a standing one, so I tried that and managed okay. But I'm taking it back, because if I'm going to make do with a poor quality hand mixer I'd rather use a $12 Kmart one and put the extra cash toward a Kitchen Aid.
Bad form Sunbeam.
Luckily I had the following with which to console myself:
Emily came over on Sunday and I made this prawn pasta for our dinner. She was really sweet saying how much she liked it so I thought I'd share the recipe because it's a super easy dinner that you can make with things you already have on hand. (Assuming you have raw prawns on hand. Which I do.)
Pasta (spaghetti is nicest)
Peeled raw prawns (I get these frozen in kilo bags from the fishmonger at Southgate)
Chilli flakes (or fresh if you prefer)
Salt and pepper
1. Put your pasta on to cook
2. Heat a bit of olive oil in a frying pan. Throw in the garlic, about a teaspoon, then put the prawns in and sprinkle a bit of chilli plus salt and pepper to taste. Stir it around for a while.
3. When the prawns are approaching cooked, add your wine, cream, some juice from the lemon and some extra olive oil. Just add a bit at a time and stir it as you go until it's nicely combined and reduced. Don't use too much! You only want to end up with maybe a tablespoon of liquid per person.
4. Hopefully by now your pasta is cooked, so drain it and - SECRET INGREDIENT TIME - mix a bit of butter through it.
5. Chuck the pasta into the frying pan, wiggle the pan about and pretend you're Jamie Oliver, then mix it with a spoon or tongs so it actually gets combined. If your pan's not big enough for all your pasta, just put everything in a large bowl and stir.
6. Gobble it all up.
*This would be good with other seafood e.g. smoked salmon if you had it, and you could also add some fresh or frozen spinach if you were so inclined or maybe some little tomatoes.
*If you don't have wine you could use vodka, or chicken stock, or just leave it out. I buy UHT cream in a carton so I always have some in the pantry and you should too.
*Invite a kind friend over to share it so she will say lovely things about your cooking.
I have Delayed Sleep-Phase Disorder, which is a fancy way of saying I should have been an owl as I am pretty much nocturnal, so I have historically been pretty rubbish at falling asleep (but good at sleeping the morning away once I do).
The routine of full time work is much more conducive to "normal" sleep patterns than uni (as is the fact that my work doesn't generally come home with me like assignments and study obviously would), so I've had more success with my sleep over the past few months. But lately I seem to have traded one sleep disorder for another and right now I am suffering from what can only be described as insomnia.
I woke up super early this morning and couldn't get back to sleep, so it's no surprise I came home exhausted (the post-work cocktails may have contributed...) and was fast asleep by ten. What is a surprise is that at one thirty I was wide awake. Grrr.
On the bright side, these sleepless nights give me lots more time to think about interesting things. Let's discuss.
Thrift. I scored a couple of good work dresses (Cue and David Lawrence, both black, one in need of some alterations) from Vincenzo's at Miranda not long ago, and when I went back the other day I found a sequinned Country Road cardi that I am looking forward to wearing. I also have my eye on a big mirror from Hurstville Vincenzo's ($10!!) so I can turn my chest of drawers into a dressing table.
Travel. Long-time readers will know all about my friend Meg (50% of long-time readers are my friend Meg - hello!). She's gone to Russia! How fabulous! My Mum and Nana are in England right now (hello if you are reading!) and my sister (who does not read my blog, ouch) is about to go to Thailand with her beau. I want to go on holidays too! Where shall I go, Reader? How can I get rich quick to finance it?
Tapas. Lately I'm consumed with this idea of making tapas at home. But not like buying lots of fancy ingredients to make complicated authentic recipes - I just want to whip up my own version with whatever's lying around. Patatas Bravas would be easy but apart from that all I can think of is to cook everything in garlic and olive oil. Which is pretty much how I roll with savoury cooking.
This post was brought to you by the letter T and the number 45, which is about how many hours I've been tossing and turning for.
I am trying very hard right now to recommit to Thrift. We drifted apart for a while but I'm ready to settle down now and get serious about saving my money.
In pursuit of this I recently gave up my search for a new pair of boots and had the broken heel on my old Court Couture "Pearly" boots fixed. It cost $17.50 and the guy even polished them for me, they came up a treat!
On one hand it seems crazy to spend that much money on two tiny pieces of rubber, especially when the boots were only $69 in the shop. On the other, it is still cheaper and less wasteful than buying a brand new pair - and anyway, I couldn't find any that weren't miles too big around the calves.
Does anyone else have this problem? I'm not confused with intentionally slouchy boots either - I'm talking about smart fitted boots that are so loose I look like a toddler in Daddy's wellies. I am certain I don't have abnormally skinny calves so why is this always the case?
Anyway I am delighted to have some boots in rotation again!
I celebrated by wearing them with fleece tights and my Plus Size Top dress last night to eat pho at The Meridian in Hurstville.
It wasn't as good as the pho in Vietnam, but I liked it anyway. It got me thinking about whether it is necessarily better for food to be "authentic"...
In other thrift news here's what I wore to work on Wednesday: a black wrap dress purchased from Dotti in 2005 for $60.
It was a lot for me to spend on a dress when I was 15 (it's a lot for me to spend on a dress now!) but I wanted something nice to wear on a date. The boyfriend wasn't much chop but the dress turned out to be The One. I can wear it anywhere, with anything, it's as comfy as all get out and it's still standing - and fitting! - after eight years. What's not to love?
Today for work I wore a Barbie watch my Dad bought for me in Europe circa 1997 and this jade bangle James's parents gave me for my 21st. It's from Hong Kong.
A wise woman once said that the only thing separating us from the animals is our ability to accessorise. I'm inclined to agree.
So guess what, a while ago I moved out of my parents' house and into an apartment! (ETA: Sorry, I just realised these pictures have come out really dodgy, I'm not sure why.)
James lives in it too.
It has two bedrooms but I can't show you the second one - it's called the Reading Room but right now it's actually the Making A Mess Of Papers While I Set Up A Filing System Room.
I love the timber floors, the spacious living area (I designated a DANCE FLOOR, you guys!) and the fact that it's on a corner, so we have heaps of windows to let the afternoon sun in and two balconies, so we can have BBQs on one while our laundry hangs hidden on the other.
I don't love the lack of gas and air conditioning, but them's the breaks I guess.
We actually moved in on the Easter Weekend. Giant thanks to all the wonderful people who gave up the time and/or vehicles to help us move in, we are eternally grateful!