Maitland Aroma Festival

August 17, 2014 · 5 comments

Maitland Aroma Festival
Minion Cake-Pops, by the local TAFE

Went up to the Maitland Aroma Festival yesterday to wander and sample some coffee, chocolate, wine and other delicious local yums.

The Wine

Maitland Aroma Festival

It was one of those occasions where you buy your sampling plastic glass ($5) and then pay $2 for a 50mL sample, or $5 for a full glass. I don’t mine buying the cup, because they make a really handy addition to my non-breakable wine glass stash!

We sampled wine from three wineries – Tulloch Wines, Macquariedale Organic Wines, and Peppertree Wines.

Maitland Aroma Festival

The Tulloch Shiraz went down well, as is to be expected ;)

Maitland Aroma Festival

We then tried a Shiraz and a Merlot from Macquariedale Organic Wines… Again, two delicious drops – we’re not normally Merlot drinkers, so this we a nice smooth surprise :)

Maitland Aroma Festival

Which we enjoyed with cumin and cayenne squid with lime aioli ($15) from the Twine Restaurant stall.

Maitland Aroma Festival

The final drop of the day was one more Shiraz, this time from Peppertree wines.

Maitland Aroma Festival

Other Drink Samples

Maitland Aroma Festival

This was supposedly also a coffee and chocolate fest, but I only sampled coffee from Peaberrys (all the rest were simply stalls selling coffee and hot choc) – but they had three sorts on offer!

Maitland Aroma Festival

The pour over hot filter was my favourite, it was really smooth and not at all harsh.

Maitland Aroma Festival

Cold filter was just STRANGE. I don’t understand it. it wasn’t bad or anything, but I think my palate isn’t wanky enough to appreciate it :p

Maitland Aroma Festival

And the traditional espresso (with or without milk). Certainly Peaberrys is on my list of “yes I’ll go to that cafe” coffees. (Like Sprocket, Campos and Toby’s Estate.

Maitland Aroma Festival

Energy drinks were the next order of the day. XS Energy had their low calorie drinks and protein products to try….

The Berry drink was sickly sweet, the citrus nice enough, and the original just tasted like RedBull. Their choc protein bars had that strange texture of all protein bars, as did their protein drinks (I tried the latte flavour).

Maitland Aroma Festival

Then it was Ginger Beer time. The Grumpy’s Ginger Beer has a nice bite to it, with a hint of chili apparently that I couldn’t taste. It was certainly a cold drink that can warm up your insides!

Maitland Aroma Festival

Speaking of warming – the Kiss O Fire chili butterscotch liqueur was at the festival too. I’ve tried the plain butterscotch before – I love it and think it was be great over icecream ;) I left the chili one for the others, who liked it :) Something different for the Christmas hamper?

And What Else Did We Try?

Maitland Aroma Festival

Well, following on from the ideas for Xmas… I tried a the Pudding Lane Macadamia and Brndy pudding log. I’ve not thought to put macadamias into a Xmas pudding or cake, but maybe… I DO love macadamias!

Maitland Aroma Festival

The peanut brittle cookie from Cookie Bazaar had just the right amount of chew :)

Maitland Aroma Festival

I’m told the Cake Pops the TAFE was making were worth the wait. They’re certainly cute!!

Maitland Aroma Festival

We each had our favourite nougats from Nougat Limar…but mine was the pistachio and cranberry :)

Maitland Aroma Festival

Olives were sampled from The Really Stuffed Olive Co.… I did like the garlic, and the others liked the chili…but they can’t beat my favourite garlic olives from Mr Cheese at The Old Bus Depot Markets in Canberra.

Maitland Aroma Festival

Simply Stirred had sooo many things to try I can’t remember them all – except this Raspberry and Vanilla Balsamic. Wow! Certainly something different!

Maitland Aroma Festival

Tar10′s chutneys and marmalades were varied and delish – I liked this blood orange one, and there was also a lime marmalade that mmmmmm!

It was a great day out – but it didn’t stop me from making mulled wine and eating blue cheese when we got home!!

Mulled Wine

(The Festival is still on til 4pm today in Maitland if you’re keen!)



How many steps do you think you did today?

1000? 3000? One-million?

For most office workers it’s only around 3,000.
Why not aim higher and put those steps to good use?

Steptember is a fun way to become more active and raise much needed funds for people with cerebral palsy and their families.

Given how terrible the City2Surf was, I think that upping my steps and activity more generally will help my poor legs and body remember what it’s like to MOVE a lot more regularly! And if I’m accountable to my team of four people, then that’s even more encouragement!

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy is a physical disability that affects movement and posture.

Cerebral palsy (CP) is an umbrella term that refers to a group of disorders affecting a person’s ability to move. It is a permanent life-long condition, but generally does not worsen over time. It is due to damage to the developing brain either during pregnancy or shortly after birth.

Cerebral palsy affects people in different ways and can affect body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance.

Did you know, Cerebral Palsy is the most common physical disability in childhood?

For more information on cerebral palsy please visit

Want to join in? You do it in teams of four, with entry $25 for adults, and $10 for kids – this include a pedometer sent to your door. The aim is for around 10,000 steps a day (bonus points for extra activities like team sports and running) from Sept 3 to Sept 30. You can do it!

Register now or find out more at


This week’s HelloFresh box has a lot of pleasers – Thyme, lemon, feta and, of course, garlic.

Sure to be a winner.

Lemon Thyme Chicken with Pumpkin and Feta Couscous

First up we have the Lemon Thyme Chicken with Pumpkin and Feta Couscous. Omg win!

Lemon Thyme Chicken with Pumpkin and Feta Couscous

Let’s just say Thyme is Bruce’s favourite not-so-secret ingredient, and lemon is mine. And just add in some salty Australian feta and fresh garlic!!! :)

Lemon Thyme Chicken with Pumpkin and Feta Couscous

Wish I could have marinated it for longer, but the box arrived at 6:25pm (the expected delivery windownis 12-6pm for Newcastle)… so straight to it! (Better than last week that wasn’t here til 6:45pm. I think we’re the last house before the delivery guy kits the highway back to Sydney for a sleep).

Ginger Beef Stir-Fry

Wednesday was a Ginger Beef Stir-fry (which I get let marinate for the afternoon!)

Ginger Beef Stir-Fry

I added a carrot cos we had some in the fridge, and substituted honey for the sugar. Used sesame oil in the pan (only thought of it after the marinade was done), and the usual tamari instead of soy because that’s what I own…. Yum!

Roasted Eggplant and Pinenut Pasta

Finally on Thursday night we had the vegetarian dish – Roasted Eggplant (Aubergine) and Pine Nut Pasta.

Roasted Eggplant and Pinenut Pasta

Again, my little heart couldn’t not fiddle a little – I added a few cloves of garlic to the roast tomato and eggplant, and juice from half a lemon to the final mix (they’d sent me an extra lemon, so why not?!)

Roasted Eggplant and Pinenut Pasta

Plus I got to use the teeny tiny frypan for the pine nuts!


Unfortunately I didn’t order a box for next week, but I think it might be a chance to try some of the other recipes that are in the 5 day boxes that always look so good – like the lemon and caper baked fish!! mmmm

(and use my discount code if you do sign up to HelloFreshR3CDUQ for $30 off your first box!)


Roast Duck

I was put in charge of finding a dinner spot the night before the City2Surf on the weekend.

I went with Emperor’s Garden BBQ, because I know I liked it, and oped my family could find things they wold like too! I of course went with the traditional roast duck :)

Garlic King Prawns
Dad went with the Garlic King Prawns…

Beef with Blackbean sauce
My sister, the Beef with Blackbean

Drunken Chicken
and Mum couldn’t get past the Drunken Chicken.

Moore girls!Did it
Pre and Post (Dogecoin!)

We all manged to finish… I beat my sister by two seconds even though she queued for the loos for 20 mins!!! , and yes, I was sore!!

(Must get back to running!!!)



And yes, I can believe it.


While the time has flown, you’ve grown into such a little girl – I think you were a toddler for a brief few months my little niece.

Ez and Li Sharing

You love your brother to an extreme, and he loves you back even if he does want a break sometimes!

Ez fashionista

You have an affinity for pink that is purely from within your glittery self!

xxxxxxxx Love you always!!!



We got our second box from HelloFresh last week (and are currently awaiting this week’s delivery!) after enjoying the first one and we were again pleased with the results!


The prawns we fresh from Nelson Bay with other fresh ingredients to go with them. I would have added a little more lemon myself, I felt it needed a little more of a sauce to go with the noodles, but the top was delish!




The chicken was yummy and spicy – very glad that I had sour cream on hand to dampen the heat. We threw some fresh capsicum from Mum’s garden into the side salad because we had it :)


@HelloFresh #MintyRisotto

The risotto was a nice comfort food that I had after I got home from the City2Surf (never again will I do 14kms without training!). Again, we added to it – there were some leftover mushrooms in the fridge so we used them up, adding them in early with the onion.


We even had leftovers to have with steak last night!

(you can still use my code R3CDUQ to get $30 off your first box at HelloFresh!)


On Phone Interviews

August 8, 2014 · 0 comments

Hell Hole Wine
Hell Hole??

I had two job interviews by telephone yesterday, and just lined up a couple more for the coming weeks today.

The one I had first up went well, but I didn’t get the contract…. we’ll see about the other one.

Stasi Museum
Stasi Musem Phone East Germany

I both like and hate phone interviews. One thing is, they seem to expect better answers. You get chances to clarify, but then they don’t get to see whether you’re shaking in your boots or not.

Awesomely modern phone
Old Parliament House Phone, Canberra

Have you ever done a phone interview for a job? What was better and what was worse than F2F?


Product Talk by Nuffnang

Uncle Toby's Oats QuickOats 90-Second Sachets

I was sent a couple of boxes of Uncle Toby’s Quick Oats Sachets via Nuffnang to have a try of and tell you about.

Uncle Toby's Oats QuickOats 90-Second Sachets
Creamy Honey. With extra sugar cos they weren’t for me

I’ve been eating oats in winter forever. I’ll put it up front, that I prefer just getting plain oats or plain quickoats and doing them in the microwave with milk and (preferably brown) sugar. But since the world is all about convenience, I’ve had these sorts of things sitting in my draw at work for a post gym breakfast or a warm afternoon snack.

Uncle Toby's Oats QuickOats 90-Second Sachets

So, what do I like about these and their flavours?

I like the built in measuring cup on the sachet! No more guesstimating or rummaging for a certain cup measure to add the milk with. After that you only need to stir and whack it in the microwave for 90 seconds. Easy peasy.

Uncle Toby's Oats QuickOats 90-Second Sachets

Apple and Cinnamon was my favourite flavour. But then, cinnamon is great, right?

Uncle Toby's Oats QuickOats 90-Second Sachets

The apple and honey was the boring one… it needed way more apple to be able to notice it under the honey. If I’d had apples on hand, I probbly would have put half an apples worth of slices on it.

Uncle Toby's Oats QuickOats 90-Second Sachets

The raspberry highlights in the last one was a pleasant surprise.

So, how do you cook your oats? Does something easy like this appeal to you?


Munchies Belmont

Popped out for lunch today, and ended up in the main street of Belmont…

Munchies Belmont

How cheap are these burgers? I got the “plain” beef burger for $5.50 (below) and Bruce got the “Malibu” gourmet burger with a home made chicken schnitzel for $10. Standard salad toppings were a given on both and the meats were awesome :)

Munchies Belmont

Munchies Belmont


Munchies Sandwich Bar
592 Pacific Hwy,
Belmont NSW 2280
(02) 4947 7212

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Mini Moo Cards!

Lookies! I got new bloggy business cards from Moo!

Purple and more purple,

Plus my niece recognised my avatar as moi ;)

Edit: There is now Moo Australia with cheaper shipping for you!