Friday, 31 August 2012

Spring has Sprung!

We did it! We survived our first Wellington Winter. Kiwis do not follow the lunar calendar when it comes to season changes, so today being September 1st marks the first day of Spring. The temperature has begun to rise a bit in the past few weeks and we have been blessed with a few days of 15° weather these last couple of days. So while I have been enviously creeping all of the summer, patio, and beach photos on Facebook of all you North American friends and family, it's nice to know that our time is coming.

A few weekends back, Kevin's company held their mid-year formal, which is basically a Christmas party in August. But since Christmas is in the middle of summer over here, companies tend to have less formal events like BBQs to celebrate the holidays instead. The theme of the night was "Sparkles" and everyone got decked out to the nines for some dinner, dancing, and of course, an open bar. Unfortunately, I was too busy eating, drinking, and holding a girl's hair back in a bathroom stall to remember to get my own picture taken.

I stand corrected... There is ONE photo that I'm in from that night... 

Last weekend, we joined another couple at Petone's Winter Carnival. A short drive outside the main city, the festival embodied long strip of rides, games, food stalls, and heaps and heaps of people. On the beach, teams spent the entire day building structures that were then set on fire once the sun went down to symbolize the end of Winter and the coming of Spring. Standing near the blazing structures proved a great way to stay warm once the wind picked up and we ended the evening with a beautiful fireworks display.

Now that the weather is starting to warm up, we hope to do some more travelling around the country in the near future. So here's to Spring!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Meatless Mondays 2.0

More tales from the weekday kitchen my little lobsters! But you'll see no seafood on these counters, as I'm back with some delicious Meatless Monday recipes. 

The first time Kevin and I tried to make Vietnamese salad rolls turned out to be a big disaster. I bought some sort of rice paper that fully dissolved in water and it resulted in us making Vietnamese salad instead. How was I to know they would dissolve... the packaging is all in Vietnamese!

Second time around, I went to our local asian goods store and got things down pat. With a scrumptious peanut dipping sauce recipe found here, these are right up there on my list. And it turns out that I am more skilled in rolling salad rolls than my male counterpart. After two rolls, he was fired.

This may look like porridge, but actually was my first attempt at making risotto. After lots of stirring, and stirring, and stirring, it turns out I like mushrooms! This Spinach Feta Risotto is much better than it looks, I promise you.

This meal may not appear to be meat-free, but it is! Spicy Black Bean Burgers are a staple in this household. And the nice thing is that you don't need a BBQ, as these are pan-fried. Add whatever condiments and fixings you choose, and you've got yourself a tasty tea.


Saturday, 4 August 2012

Mid-Year Check In

Welcome back little critters! Just a quick update so you don't think I've forgotten about you... Kevin and I have been in New Zealand for six whole months already! Can you believe it? Time has certainly flown by.

Winter is in full swing here in Wellington, full of blue skies and sunshine. After both suffering from an almost week-long cold virus, it's nice to feel healthy and be able to breathe through my nose again. So yesterday, Kevin took me out for a lovely and most delicious breakfast in at Scorch-O-Rama in Scorching Bay. I don't think I have ever eaten something so darn tasty. I ordered the cinnamon french toast with berry compote and "goop" (custard), and Kevin got the scorch-o-rama-lama-ding-dong. If the title doesn't give it away, it pretty much had every savoury breakfast food on one plate. With a fabulous view, there is really no better way to spend a Saturday morning.

We then spent the evening at the New Zealand International Film Festival where we saw a screening of Shut Up and Play the Hits, a documentary on the final days of LCD Soundsystem. If you have a chance, I highly recommend seeing this. I felt so nostalgic through the entire film and am grateful that Kevin and I were able to share their second last show in our 48-hour whirlwind trip to New York last March. Go see it!

Short and sweet, I know. But I have a lot of reading to do!