Archive | July 2013

Indian curried chicken rice

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I saw this recipe on the Taste website a week or so ago and thought it sounded delicious. It’s very easy to make and took just 50 minuntes for the stock to be absorbed by the rice, leaving it nice and fluffy. The rice is also the perfect leftover side accompaniment.

1kg chicken thigh cutlets, skin removed
2 tablespoons mild Indian curry paste (I used Korma)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 brown onion, chopped
1 1/4 cups white long-grain rice
1/3 cup sultanas
1 granny smith apple, cut into 2cm pieces
1 medium tomato, cut into 1cm pieces
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
Fresh coriander leaves and plain
Natural yoghurt, to serve

Step 1
Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan-forced. Place chicken and curry paste in a large glass or ceramic bowl. Stir to coat chicken.

Step 2
Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken, in batches, turning, for 4 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a plate.

Step 3
Add onion to pan. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until softened. Add rice. Stir for 1 to 2 minutes or until rice is coated. Stir in sultanas, apple and tomato. Transfer mixture to a 10 cupcapacity, 25cm (base) round ovenproof dish. Arrange chicken over rice, pressing down gently. Pour over stock. Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until rice is tender and chicken cooked through.

Step 4
Top with coriander. Serve with yoghurt.

Recipe from http://www.taste.com.au

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Before and after the dish went into the oven.

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Walhalla: Goldfields Rail Trail

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The volunteer-run rail trail runs from Walhalla to Thomson (and eventually it is hoped to run to the town of Erica). Volunteers have raised money to rebuild and keep the trains running. It’s a shortish journey but goes through some spectacular bushland. In some parts you are only centimetres from the rocks as the train flys past.
In particular I loved the two bridges we crossed.

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One of the volunteers giving the go-ahead for the train to start it’s journey to Thomson.

Walhalla: Long Tunnel Extended Gold Mine Tour

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The mine was opened in 1863, closed when they couldn’t find gold then re-opened in 1871 by the Long Tunnel Gold Company who found gold in the opposite direction. With new technology they were able to build a large machine chamber supporting three huge Cornish boilers, ventilation shafts and flumes whilst sinking the main shaft, that eventually reached a depth of over 900 metres. That enabled the mine to become the second most productive mine in the area. Between 1871 and 1911 they found 13,695kg of gold.

Nowadays you can take a guided tour for around an hour. We were taken 300m underground (a rather scary proposition) to see the workings of the mine and the rather primitive tools that were used to mine for the gold. We were assured the mine had undergone a substantial safety upgrade recently. Once I got over my worries about being that far below ground I enjoyed the tour. On the other side of the carpark is a small museum with photos of the miners and the conditions they used to work in. The tour is really interesting and I would recommend it to anyone interested in those sorts of things.

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The entrance to the mine.

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The Lobby Lounge, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Melbourne

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A few weeks ago I had to go to the city for a meeting so my friend and I decided to have dinner before the meeting started. I wanted to go to Collins Kitchen in the Grand Hyatt but they don’t open until 6pm and our meeting was to begin at 6.30pm. The lady suggested the Lobby Lounge because that’s open from breakfast to late.

The menu is very good for a lobby lounge. Very extensive. We both found it difficult to decide until my friend came across the section where you make your own meal. I chose to have an entree size piece of salmon with garlic aioli and Asian greens. My friend got the same thing but with King prawns instead however hers arrived with a dark sauce, possibly teriyaki. We both loved our meals. They were really light and tasty. When it came to choosing wine I couldn’t go past the Chandon sparkling wine (can’t remember which variety).

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After our meeting we decided to go back to the lounge for dessert because we had things to discuss. We decided to try the share plate that gave us three of the items on the dessert menu. However we were told the chef had advised we could have 4 choices so with some help from the waitress we decided on the four below. My favourite was the Baileys cake (second from right) and a close runner-up was the Sorbet (far left).

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Lobby Lounge on Urbanspoon

When Liverpool came to town

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Last night I was one of 95.446 people lucky enough to have been able to be at the Liverpool v Melbourne Victory friendly game at the MCG, normally the home of cricket and Aussie Rules Football. I say lucky because I almost missed out on getting tickets and was almost in tears at work trying to refresh the order screen, hoping more tickets would magically appear on the screen. I was so happy and excited when they did. The match sold out in around 30 minutes.

Fast forward to last night. I bought a ticket for my Mum as a birthday present. We were also lucky to get good seats on level 2A behind the goals so we had a great view up the pitch to the goals at the other end. There were many goosebump moments, especially when almost everyone stood up to sing You’ll Never Walk Alone.

It was a dream come true to watch my EPL team, Liverpool play against my Aussie team, Melbourne Victory. It was hard to decide who to go for. I was cheering both teams but was really proud of the way Victory stood up to Liverpool. It’s still around 10 weeks until the start of the A-League but Victory were still very well-prepared. That’s despite some of our best players playing for Australia, including my favourite player, Archie Thompson.

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Walhalla

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Walhalla is a tiny town deep in Gippsland in eastern Victoria. A former gold-mining town, it’s claim to fame is as the last town in Victoria to be connected to the electricity grid in 1998. In it’s hey day, Walhalla had a population of around 2,500 but these days there are only about 20 residents. A lot of people have holiday homes in the area though.

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The area around Walhalla is so mountainous they had to build the cemetery into the hill. It’s a very steep 20 min walk up to the cemetery. We didn’t have time to walk up there but I’m told it’s really interesting.

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