Delhi Hut Rotorua – Review

Delhi Hut Rotorua

We had date night last night. The Boy stayed over at a mate’s place, which, when you have an ‘only’ means you are home, alone, in one easy sweep. Boom, easy! We thought we’d treat ourselves and go out for dinner (we haven’t done that for months) and go out to a movie. However, the weather was foul, I’d been complaining I was cold all day and the offering at the movies was ‘bah’. “What about takeout from Delhi Hut, that newish veggie Indian place we keep hearing about?” Offered hubby.

Wait, he’s offering to eat vegetarian? And Indian? Two of my favourite ways to eat (but not his?). Done. “Oooh, can we eat in front of the TV and watch a movie?” I countered? Done. Sold. We are old, but happy. Off we went to Rotorua’s Delhi Hut. We got a park straight outside. Off to a good start. I did have gumboots and track pants on just in case we had to walk a long way in the crapola weather:  I’m an old school puddle jumper. I over dressed.

Delhi Hut Rotorua

As quick background, Delhi Hut keeps sneaking up in my Facebook feed. This is always a good sign.  My buddy Cam, our slightly mad, enthusiastic, food-loving vegetarian friend, has been raving about their kai, as have a few other foodie friends. Frankly, I’m ashamed this was our first visit, we should have pulled our fingers out ages ago.

Exec Summary:  The food is fantastic, the service top notch, and, you know what a lover of a good deal I am: We got all of this food for $32 and it’ll feed us again for dinner tonight! So that’s $8 per head for four people (if your maths is a bit pants). Wowser. Last time we got takeaways, it was a Chinese takeout feast (amazeballs, but it was $75 for four peeps: That’s almost dine in bloody prices – so long as everyone drinks water). (more…)

See you in September Book Review

See You In SeptemberSee You In September is Charity Norman’s latest novel. I’ve been waiting for this book to be released for, ages. Now, just in case you missed the memo: I’m a BIG Charity Norman fan and I’ve been checking out stalking Charity’s Facebook page, so eager I was for updates on her writing process of her latest book! I knew that when See You In September came out I’d get it – and write a book review.

Oh. It was worth the wait. I loved See you In September.  It was gripping in a way that was, I must add, slightly disturbing, upsetting, heart-in-the-mouth, captivating, kind of way. Mum read it before me. She enjoyed it too, noting she also used the word ‘disturbing’ to describe it.

But first, some background. I fell madly in love with Charity Norman’s work when I read her cracking book, The Secret Life of Luke Livingstone. If you haven’t read this… Do. It’s the best book I read last year and, funnily enough I had a Facebook message from blog follower Emily, who is currently sunning it up on holiday in Fiji. Emily took The Secret Life of Luke Livingstone with her, on my recommendations. She’s been ignoring her family. She reckons the book is fab too. 

My Review – See You In September

See you in September is the tale of Cassy, a young and intelligent English girl, who is heading on a short break to New Zealand with her boyfriend Hamish, before returning home for her best friend’s wedding. Meanwhile, temporary escapism beckons for Cassy, who feels the the weight of her Dad’s expectations on her shoulders.  Cassy’s Dad Mike, who has his heart in the right place, simply wants the best for his beloved daughter and he is relatively forceful in his ‘encouragement’ of Cassy to achieve a high-flying law career.

Cassy, meanwhile, usual story: Has other hopes and dreams for her life and resents her Dad for putting his sticky beak in, because, you know: What does he know?  A tiff unfolds about this difference of views in the car, en-route to Heathrow Airport. Meanwhile Cassy’s Mum, Diana,  takes on the role of peacekeeper. Diana, incidentally, would do well working for the UN.  Scene set: Tension is rife as Cassy farewells her loving family as she boards the plane bound for En-Zed.

Cassy blew a collective kiss at them. ‘See you in September,’ she said. A throwaway line. Just words, uttered casually by a young woman in a hurry. And then she’d gone.

(more…)

Chicken Pie with Herby Cobbler Topping

I’ve been making this Chicken Pie with Herby Cobbler Topping recipe for so long, I’m struggling to count the number of years to tell you exactly how long I’ve been making it for.

I used to make it for my ‘first family’ which was the family in Wellington that I nannied for when I was at Uni.  It was a crowd-pleaser back then (read, no empty plates) and it still is now: I’ve been dishing this up to my own family (which has the grand sum of three people in it) for 15 years or so (well, hubby and I have been eating it that long… The Boy is only 10). Yeah, it’s an oldie but a goodie this recipe. It’ll be one that’ll go in Lou’s Cookbook on my death bed (in the event anyone is interested…).

This recipe has been pumped out a fair bit lately, as I’ve been doing #shopmypantry. Miss that memo? This was basically a life event (not a first either, I hasten to add).

What is #shopmypantry?  We ran out of cash in our everyday account… Well… I had some time-off due to a bereavement which means = no income (oh, the joys of self employment!). Then, I got paid, which was pretty meagre and then, Ed Sheeran tickets came up for sale.  “Stuff it I thought”. I got tickets.  After that, I realised funds were much lower than desirable, i.e. nearly at zero!  When it came to grocery shopping, I decided “No! Fark using our savings for that, or buying food on credit cards”…. So I did no grocery shopping at all.  None. Zilch. What did we do? We literally ate what was in our pantry and freezer, as it turns out, I’ve got hoarding tendencies and… There was enough food in there to feed us for a week past when I’d have ordinarily gone to the supermarket. I wittered on about this on Facebook and it seems, I inspired others to just eat what they already had.  Excellent!   For the record, we did #shopmypantry last week as well, but I didn’t witter on about it, least my faithful audience thinks “this again? Hasn’t she got new tricks?” (more…)

Avokado Bra Shopping – Gamechanger

avokado bra

Got big boobs? Been bra shopping in Newmarket, Auckland at Avocado? It’s a game changer. 

Such a game changer, one of my dear friends from my Rotorua neighbourhood posse waved a finger at my girls and asked “What’s up with those girls?” My girls, FYI, were proudly on display (if I do say so myself) underneath a particularly clingy t-shirt. Of course, I whipped up my t-shirt, flashed her and said “I’ve got a new bra and it’s ah-mazing”. I’m that kind of friend. No holds barred. No shame. I’ll show you my boobs.

But first, the background. Despite being a shopaholic, the notion of tog, jeans and bra shopping fill me with dread. Togs, nuff said. Jeans,well,  as a 5”1 curvy lass, finding something that fits my smallish waist, yet snugs my large ass whilst allowing me to sit down, and finish at the ankle sans hem amendment, was next to impossible (until JeansWest rescued me with their curve embracer range).

Bra shopping though, that’s next level soul-destroying. You seen I have big DD boobs, a small under-carriage, and I’m on an endless quest for bras with straps that aren’t ‘nana wide’ i.e. that don’t dig in and cause dented shoulders. Also, as someone who had a boob reduction, I have an overhanging bit of, erm, flab, under my arms. This, clearly, needs containing. Then there’s the bra trying on process: To be blunt, witnessing, first-hand my flabby tummy in full flight, knowing I should have gone for more early evening summer walks and turned down that second BBQ sausage… Yeah it’s not fun. Most of the time I’m content with my #inbetweenie* size, eyeballing my jiggly tummy at close range though: Not fun. (more…)

#shopmypantry – A worthwhile experiment

Who’s seen this?  Agh, the irony. Just as I come out of my May spending freeze, Farmers gets fully into bed with MAC: Now you can buy their goodness online. And I find this out in the same week that Kmart go online. Goodness. What a week for retail in NZ.  All we need now is Ikea and Aldi. Why go shopping in Melbourne for a weekend? 

Anyhoo, if you missed the memo, last month we were SKINT as a result of a bunch of unexpected bills and me needing to take nearly two weeks off work in late April, unexpectedly. I’m self unemployed: No annual leave, sick or, in my case, bereavement leave for me. No pity party: Life happened. Shit happens.

In terms of financial survival, I decided we weren’t going to dip into our (relatively modest) savings to live in May: Nope, we were going to live on what pingers we had coming in for the month. You know, like live with what we have got. Even though we all know that’s why God created credit cards. 

For me: I gave myself a stiff talking to: No clothes; No beauty (my two biggest spends); No trips for hubby and I to Liquorland  – a few bottles of craft beer here and there adds up, noting we are not pissheads, anymore. For the family: No takeaways, no coffees, no pub trips, no eating out. Thankfully, as it was hubby’s birthday last month, we’d booked and paid for a weekend away for just the two of us back in April and I had a small stash of cash for some meals out. We, cough, stayed in our motel room for the best part of 24 hours and had free entertainment, LOL. We had budgeted for dinner and breakfast out in Taupo. Dinner was shit (let’s not go there, I can’t even remember what it was called it was that bad) but breakfast was fantastic at the Paddle & Spoon.

(more…)

Cloud Eggs – What the…?

cloud eggs Cloud eggs… What the?

Cloud eggs keep popping up in my Facebook and Instagram feed. Sounds like this is the next best thing since Mecca Cosmetica, The Hobbit, Big Mac, Cronut, Lewis Road Creamery. You get my drift.

I’m usually get a bit titchy with hype. I am usually reluctant to buy in to this. For example, I still haven’t seen LOTR. I am, possibly, one of the last beauty bloggers to purchase the much lusted after Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance eyeshadow palette. I bought my Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette eighteen months after it came out – which was dumb: I should have bought it immediately. It’s that good.  I am told  this is an interesting trait of my personality: I’m good at creating hype. Yet I don’t buy into it. Hmmm.

Cloud eggs

The concept, is: Whisk up the egg whites, make a nest. Bake em’. Place egg yolks into nest. Bake ’em.  I was seriously sceptical – I’m a DIE-HARD poached egg fan and devour these for brekky probably half of the week. Cloud eggs, to my mind, sounded like a bit too much faffing around. Why ruin a good thing? Yes: I’m loyal to my poachies.

You know where this is going: I gave cloud eggs a go.  (more…)

Mother’s Day: Presence not Presents

mother's day presence not presentsI was at the hairdressers this week for a Big Sort Out and, as usual, turned to Facebook to kill some time (my No1 guilty pleasure). Quickly though, my attention waned and I felt myself getting annoyed at all the adverts for Mother’s Day gift ideas. Buy… Buy and MORE buy!   So, in need of distraction, I ditched Facecrack and turned to the pile of magazines that had been left for my browsing pleasure.  Dumb idea: Enter pages and pages of Mother’s Day marketing – in every magazine.  WTF?  Has the build up to Mother’s Day always from the marketers always been like this? Or am I more sensitised to the day honouring a parent, given I lost my Dad last week…? (I sense the answer to the latter is affirmative!).

The thing is, when I think about Mother’s Day, I don’t think about what I want, I think about how I want to feel on the day. Thinking this got me curious: Is it just me?  Or are, in fact, Mums out there hankering after a Kitchen Aid/headphones/eyeshadow palette/car and I’m a bit, well, spesh?

This reflection lead me to do some crude research. I messaged fifteen friends and asked them “What would you like your Mother’s Day to be like?”.   I didn’t ask them what they wanted. I asked a much broader open question.

Their responses? Overwhelming they told me they wanted:

A sleep in. Breakfast in bed. Cuddles from the kids. A day of kids not arguing. A handmade card. To come out of my room and find the house has been cleaned by the fairies. (more…)