Sunday, April 18, 2010

we made it safely to New Zealand!

So the last week has been amazing and busy. We have made our way up and down the East coast of Australia; we started in Sydney and went around that area staying in a few different places, then up to Brisbane (about a 12 hours drive, we flew though) stayed with my friend from high school, Patty, went all around the Brisbane area (not to surfer's paradise unfortunately). Then from Brisbane we flew up to Cairns (which would be like an 18 hour drive) we stayed there a few days, which is around the area that we dove the Great Barrier Reef and made our way through the rainforest, then bake down to Brisbane, and back down to Sydney, a few more days on the beach in the Manly area, and now in New Zealand. I try to stay low maintenance, but I'm still a girl. It would still be nice to have my own bathroom and not constantly be travelling, just so that I can pull myself together once in a while, but other than that, the trip is amazing. We have somehow managed to plan all the days when sunshine is needed on days with sunshine, and days where it's not needed, there has been rain. According to the weather and just our first first hours here, the New Zealand air is much colder, but I'm very much looking forward to making our way around the country. We rented a car (the four of us, Martin, Myself, Daniel and Jeremy) and are planning on driving around a majority of the South Island (which is where most of the sites are). Driving on the opposite side of the road will be interesting, luckily Martin is the designated driver of the trip, so I don't have much to worry about.

Well, I've been trying for about an hour to upload a few pictures and it's just not gonna happen. They haven't really hopped on the fast and free internet train out here, or anywhere we've been. So uploading pictures to the blog is a little difficult, but I did put lots of pictures on facebook. We love and miss everybody. Congrats again to Ry and Mel!! (they had baby boy #4 yesterday).

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Welcome Welcome :)

I just wanted to welcome all of my recently new visitors!! Foodgawker is a wonderful site, and I'm happy to be able to share some of my recipes with you. For my regular friends and family, I have recently been introduced to the absolutely amazing website foodgawker.

It's a recipe sharing site, and I have had quite a few submissions accepted! The submissions are based on the photography, so if you visit the site you will see lovely food styling and then you can visit the sites where they came from for the recipe. It's just a wonderful thing!

Oh, and Martin and I are loving Australia!! We are in Brisbane right now staying with my friend Patty, and just having a wonderful time. Tomorrow afternoon we fly to Cairns (pronounced Cans, ya, it's weird) where the weather and surroundings are going to be similar to that of the coasts of central america (southern mexico or guatemala) so very hot and humid!! We plan to dive the Great Barrier Reef and all that, so I'll keep you updated! If you have facebook you can check out my pictures there!

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Friday, April 9, 2010

lovin the beaches!!


So we left the Sydney area and have been staying in Manly with Katie Hay (a friend of Martin's from way back when) and we are having a great time! Today was our third day at the beach and we couldn't love it more. The water is warmer than the bay area for sure, and crystal clear and the beaches are clean and gorgeous. Last night we went to an amazing Tapas restaurant, I can't wait to get home and recreate some of the recipes, and then went to ben and jerry's, which is new to the area. A pint of icecream, which we normally buy for about 2 50 or 3$ at safeway cost 12 dollars!! Prices are a little crazy here, it might just be close to Sydney, we'll see if it's all over. But a soda can is 3$, a candy bar is 2$, and you can't get refills anywhere!! Tax is included in almost everything too. So anytime we order something to eat it seems a little more expensive than it really is, because the bill doesn't change with tax, but we can't wait to get up to Brisbane. My friend Patty (from highschool) lives up there and she's picking us up from the airport and we're staying with her for 2 nights and hopefully will get a good feel for the area, then we fly up to Cairns, where we will hopefully dive the Great Barrier Reef!! More details and pictures to come!! We love and miss you!!

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

We made it safely to Sydney!!

We don't have a lot of internet access here in Sydney, and it's always a little slow. But we're having a great time! After going to bed yesterday at 4 pm because of the screwy time change 16 hour flight and what not.. we woke up around midnight with nothing to do.. so we watched a little tv, tried to go back to bed.. woke up at 4 am, more tv, went to the gym once open at 5 30, went to the pool, showered, found breakfast and internet! thank you starbucks, and now off to have an awesome day. Who would've thought we could get all that done before noon! (actually 11, which is what time it is now). Sydney is 5 hours earlier than Ca, but the next day.. if that makes sense.. So it's 11 am on wednesday here.. but 4 pm on tuesday (I think) where you are. Pretty weird.

I'll put up a few pictures here and there but probably not too many until I get back, unless you can check facebook, I have a few more up there. We love and miss family and friends :)

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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Banana Nut Streusel Muffins


2 c. brown sugar
½ c. shortening
½ c. butter
4 eggs
3 1/2 c. flour
2 t. baking soda
5 mashed bananas

Streusel Topping

½ c. butter (at room temperature, or microwave for about 15 seconds)
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. flour
2 c. pecans or walnuts (chopped)

Cream sugar, butter, and shortening. Add eggs, mix well, and make sure to scrap the bottom of the bowl. Add flour, and baking soda, mix until combined. Then add bananas. Set this mixture aside.

For the streusel topping, cream butter and sugar together (the butter should be very soft). Add flour and combine completely, the mixture should look like a crumble. With your hands mix in the chopped nuts. You want to have some texture to the streusel, so with your hands you can clump it together while mixing. Add just over half the streusel to the muffin mixture and lightly fold in. There should be waves of streusel in the mixture, you do not want to over mix this!!

Scoop the muffin mixture into the liners, going about 2/3 up. This recipe should make about 3 dozen muffins (but on the smaller side). Or you can make 2 dozen, and make a loaf with the remaining, which is what I do. Sprinkle the remaining streusel on top of the muffins generously. You can pat it down slightly to make sure it sticks.

Bake at 350 for about 18 minutes, if your oven tends to burn, bake at 325. When the muffins are done a toothpick will come out clean. Make sure to not overcook them, they’re much more delicious when still moist.

For a loaf, cook at 325 for close to 45 minutes.




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