Had a reasonably quiet weekend.  Stu has been sick since last week, so didn't go out Friday night.  

Saturday was the club AGM, but we only went out for it and came home again after.  I cooked duck for dinner and we watched The China Syndrome, which Stu had never seen.

Today Stu studied and I did jigsaws.  Correction.  The same jigsaw, just the other side.  All will be revealed soon.  And housework.  Always housework.  And started setting up another blog for all my Australian holidays (since I'm scanning all my old holiday photos and would be good to get some of them online).  Tonight I did a lamb roast (we have sooo much food in the fridge it's not funny) and we watched Highlander.  I don't think we've actually seen it since we went to Scotland in 2010.  Been theres! :)

Crap. We won.

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No thanks to DC, Duncan, Aquila, Neil and Ben, we won the damned trivia night tonight.  Which means we need to run the next damned one.



On a lighter note, I came home with three bottles of wine :)


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So we just had a lovely long weekend in Queensland (longer post to follow soon).  We were both inspired to eat better.  For Stu, he's trying to be more strict about low fodmap.  For me I'm trying to be more strict about sodium.  At least for a week or two to see if it makes any difference to my blood pressure.  To that end, we went shopping tonight, mostly for our own food.  And then I came home and cooked.  A kilo of chicken thighs, a scotch fillet steak, rice, mushrooms, potatoes, frozen veggies, and snacks.  I was cooking all fricken night.  Blerf.  At least I won't have to cook again til the weekend.

Had a pretty quiet weekend.  Stu was mostly just working on his uni assignments.  We did watch a couple of movies though - both I got on Bluray very cheap.  There was Les Miserables, and Ghostbusters.

I once saw an amateur stage production of Les Miserables and had absolutely no idea what was going on.  So seeing it as a movie was quite helpful and it was easy enough to follow that way.  I quite enjoyed it, but it was very *long* and towards the end I'm like, guys you really could cut that song length down a bit.. 

And Ghostbusters I haven't seen since *at least* before 2002 - probably a good while before that, so could easily be twenty years since I last saw it.  It's a bit silly and dated, but not nearly as much as I thought it could be.  Fun times.

And we're still eating those damned beans.

21. Again.

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Twenty One. Again.

Today I turned twenty one again. Supposedly now I should know the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. Or some such nonsense.

Last weekend when the little brother was here, he asked me about the photos he'd just sent me - photos he'd just had scanned of my 21st birthday. I did actually have the originals of the prints, which I'd scanned a couple of years ago. But it was still fun, and I said it was actually pretty scary how many of the things in the photo I still had. Then he said I should recreate the photo. I laughed, but then had a think about it, and for the most part decided it wouldn't be too hard to do.

So over the past few days I've collected together all that remains of my 21st birthday presents, as well as some of the other things in my room at the time.

Here they are!


21 again


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On Saturday night we were helping the catering for a club night, and the sweetie decided to do a white bean and ham hock soup.  Except I did most of the preparation.  Which was fine.  And it was pretty well received.  Except there were two kilos of beans and we maybe used a third of them.

So Sunday I went shopping for a bunch of ingredients for a cassoulet.  I'd never cooked one before and I think it turned out ok.  There's a good seven or eight meals of leftovers from that.

Tonight we thought we'd keep it simple - just beans, a big tin of diced tomatoes, and cheese.  Except after an hour the beans were still crunchy.  So they stayed in another hour.  By which time the cheese was pretty much burnt.  So it was a fairly epic failure.  And a meals' worth of leftovers.

Tomorrow I'm thinking using up the other tin of tomatoes, but have them going in the slow cooker all day.  We'll see if that works out any better.  There'll be leftovers for sure from that.

Four nights in a row of beans.  With many meals of leftovers.

And I don't even like beans.


Edit from Tuesday night:
I put the rest of the beans in the slow cooker with another big tin of tomato and some herbs and cheese and put it on low all day.  When we got home the beans were still crunchy.
Plus we'd had a big lunch and didn't feel much like dinner.  So I turned up to high for a few hours.  I had salad and cheese for dinner.  The sweetie had cassoulet.
At least all the damned beans are cooked now.

Of Mice and Men

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On Friday night I went along with Kit and Ben to see Of Mice and Men.

But let me backup a minute.

A few months ago I was looking at Kit's bookshelf and happened across the book by John Steinbeck.  I'd never read it before.  Never even knew the story.  So I borrowed it and read it a little while ago.  Like I said I knew nothing about the story.  I *did* know that Warner Bros cartoons referenced it ("Of Rice and Hen" anyone?). 

So I'm a few pages into the book and it's like I'm watching a Warner Bros cartoon.  Lennie sounded *exactly* like a cartoon.  I swear, whenever Lennie said anything it was with the voice of Mel Blanc.  

Seriously.  Listen to these.





So having only just read the book, I was quite surprised to find the play was almost identical to the book.  Except the dude who played Lennie should have been bigger ;)

Also, amazingly, my legs didn't play up during the show.  But I attribute that to the glass of champagne I had just before going in, and another one at intermission.

Not much

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Haven't been doing too much.  Had a very quiet weekend.  The sweetie was doing uni reading all weekend.  I organised and sorted and played UT2004.  Made potato bake for dinner Saturday night and turkey and roast veggies Sunday night.  And I made (well attempted to make) a lemon meringue pie.  It needs a bit of refinement though.  Still, it tasted good.

Today I was dreading having to deal with vendor support but in the end I just didn't "go there" for all but one of my open tickets and just got some other bits and pieces done.

Yeah not much else.



Biscuit Base:

¼ cup rolled oats, processed til fine

1/3 cup SR flour

¼ cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1/3 cup desiccated coconut

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

60g butter, melted


Preheat oven to 180C

Line base and sides of 20cm x 20cm baking tray with baking paper

Mix oats, flour, sugar, coconut and cocoa powder

Mix in melted butter

Bake for 10 minutes

Caramel Filling:

395g can sweetened condensed milk

1/3 cup golden syrup

30g butter, cubed


In a saucepan, mix condensed milk, golden syrup and butter

Bring to boil, then simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened

Pour over biscuit base

Bake for 15 minutes, then cool

Chocolate Topping:

180g block white chocolate

2 tbsp oil

Melt chocolate and oil together

Pour on top of caramel mix

Refrigerate for an hour, then slice

Options and Notes

Adapted from Women's Weekly Squares & Slices

 Cocoa in the biscuit base is optional, doesn't really make any difference



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395g can sweetened condensed milk

180g block white chocolate

Rolled oats

SR flour

Brown sugar

Desiccated coconut

Cocoa powder

Golden syrup


So that's my official recipe, which I now have printed out.  I adapted this to fit nicely into my square baking tray which is 20cm x 20cm. 

And here's the pictorial story .. :)

Everything laid out
White chocolate caramel slice

Mostly measured out
White chocolate caramel slice

The dry ingredients and the butter for the biscuit base.  I use a food processor to blitz the rolled oats and coconut until fine.  You could achieve a similar effect with a packet of biscuits, but I think this has less salt so would rather do it this way.
White chocolate caramel slice

The caramel filling is simple - just sweetened condensed milk, golden syrup and butter
White chocolate caramel slice

The base pressed into my baking tray.  Cook that up for ten minutes
White chocolate caramel slice

Mix in all the filling ingredients
White chocolate caramel slice

Simmer for a few minutes til it thickens a bit
White chocolate caramel slice

Pour over the cooked biscuit base, then bake this for fifteen minutes
White chocolate caramel slice

After baking, allow to cool.
White chocolate caramel slice

This is with the chocolate topping.  The oil helps keep the chocolate soft and not super brittle.  I think I overdid the red/green colour correction here.
White chocolate caramel slice

And underdid the red/green colour correction here.  It takes probably at least an hour for the chocolate to set, depending on how much you let the filling cool before topping it.
White chocolate caramel slice

I really should make more effort at my food photography.  Like made this nicely squared off... 
White chocolate caramel slice

Oh well.  It still tastes pretty awesome :)

ok well I wasn't really.  But I did realise I'd never blogged that we went to a SMWS tasting evening on June 30.  Five different whiskies to try, as well as food (sort of) matched with it.  Lovely evening.

Lake Burley Griffin, moon

National Library

SMWS tasting

Kazza's "Boring Life Of a Geek" aka BLOG

IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

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