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Six Months without Diet Coke

by Fiona on July 15, 2011 · 3 comments

Now what?


3 months without Diet Coke

by Fiona on April 15, 2011 · 24 comments

I know! Not quite sure how I’ve managed (probably the increase in coffee??? ) but my theory is, surely coffee is better for me than diet coke? Surely?

Can I make another three months? :D


**Warning – Food porn ahead!**

There’s a new Indian restaurant in the next suburb, and my boyfriend decided to spoil me with a meal there last night – The Grand Pavilion, known for their authentic and delicious Indian and Indo-chinese meals on the Central Coast, has just opened a location in Warners Bay.

I suppose I start from the start!

Pappadams  and raita

It took us forever to order – because there are so many options on the menu…. Old favourites and new (to us) twists and variations. All sounding delicious. We didn’t order it, but the $35.90 per head banquet for 2 or more is AMAZING value for entrees, mains (which are all Gluten free btw), sides and desserts. Next time, Gadget, next time.

So we settled on our order, and were presented with complementary poppadoms, along with a mild and spicy mint sauce (raita would be what I called the milk youghurt one) while Bruce went back to the car for our bottle of $7 Aldi Shiraz (amazingly smooth btw) because they are BYO only ($3/head). There is the usual Coke brand and Lassi selection for drinks.

one road shiraz aldi

And then it was onto the entree – The Veg Grilled Platter for 2 – $18.50

the grand pavilion entree veg grilled platter

This impressive creation came out on a sizzling plate, with veges adorning and enhancing it (it you have room – eat the sizzled up capsicum and other veges. Wow!)

Onion Bhaji and tandoori mushroon

First we had the Onion Bhaji and Tandoori Mushroom, which both had a little kick as far as I was concerned! Great texture on the Bhaji, and the mushroom was a different twist for me, with sooo many flavours!

vegetarian seekj kebab  paneer tikka

Next, because they were under the other two, were the Vegetarian Seekh Kebab (the vege sausage thingy) and the Paneer Tikka. Wow, I loved the two of them – the paneer had a nice marinade and was cooked to perfection, and the Kebab was so full or herbs and flavours I nearly fainted with joy.

(and then, we rested, while our mains were prepared)

We chose two meals from the Chef’s special mains, and we were blown away. Both we “mild” heat wise, but the combination of spices and cooking style was enough to have me eating way more than I should.

The Grand Pavilion - Masala Lamb Shanks

The Lamb Shank Masala is, according to the menu – “Lamb shanks cooked int Indian style with special spices until the meat in tender and falling off the bone”. Wow. These were amazing. The meat inside was purple and so soft and melty! I half-heard the owner/chef explain to the table beside me the process they go through cooking these, and yes, worth every cent! – $23.90

masala lamb shank indian danger mouse

(not the classiest way, but omg they were delicious!!!)

Mughlai Chicken

The other dish we selected was the “Mughlai Chicken” – Tr traditional cashew nut, almond based sauce flavoured with cardamom, cloves and bay leaf with a touch of fresh cream. This was also melt in the mouth stuff… My unsophisticated palate likened it to butter chicken but without the tomato and all the damn sugar. but, for sure, this was a milk chicken curry that was actually full of flavour.

mughlai chicken

Oh and there was a hardboiled egg in it!

We also had rice and naan (but of course!) but given my level of stuffed-ness from the entrees I had a little bit of both, not much.

The meal and service were amazing – and the British girl next to us proclaimed it to be the only real Indian food she’s had since moving to Australia. We will have to go there many times again!

The Grand Pavilion
452 The Esplanade
Warners Bay
NSW 2282
(02) 4948 0092


A (mostly) Vegan Christmas Feast

by Fiona on February 5, 2015 · 0 comments


We headed to Canberra for Xmas this year, to help people move house and to be with Bruce’s family. There are two vegans and a vegetarian in the household, so the menu for Christmas lunch was an array of delicious salads, some chicken and feta for us meat eaters, and fruit salad and pavlova for dessert. A deliciously healthy and filling meal that made for awesome leftovers!!!

potato salad
Potato Salad (vegan)

noodle salad
Crispy Noodle Salad (vegan)

Coleslaw (vegan)

garden salad
Garden Salad with Olives (vegan)

vegan sausage roll
Vegan “Sausage” Roll. WAY better than the usual grey meat.

Chicken. I had to shred these BBQ chooks because noone else in the kitchen would touch them. I really don’t like stuffing or that ewie chicken jelly.

Tasty tasty salty feta.

fruit salad
Fruit salad. Yummy Yummy.

pavlova with mango and blueberries and cream

cards against humanity
That evening, those aged over 13 played cards against humanity…. interesting explaining to your bf’s son what “bukakke” is… But a super fun game!

A delicious Xmas. I’ve always had a salad based Xmas lunch – it’s the Irwin side of the family way – so really enjoyed this!

Om nom nom.

Oh and I got Diet Coke for xmas! Twice!

diet coke



Headsup hangover relief

It’s party season!

(or Friday, up to you)

So you’re likely to have a few more than usual….

And, wake up feeling it, because, none of us are 19 anymore.

We try different things, hair of the dog, diet coke and bbq chicken, blue Gatorade (HAS to be blue)

Here’s something else to try – HeadUp Relief.

Four (rather large – poor Bruce had a little trouble swallowing them) pills of vitamins, taken before bed, to help your body deal with the alcoholic onslaught.

I’d recommend more water with them than I had, but wanna try them yourself?

Lemme know YOUR sure fire hangover cure (seriously, I need more ideas!) and you could win some of these babies to try. Along with a stubby holder and bottle opener to encourage the drunking! Yay! (2 winners, gonna be in Australia)

(and a hat and a squishy brain stress ball to throw at anyone who irritates you mid-hangover)

Use the Rafflecopter. Closes Dec 17 so you have it for Xmas :p

a Rafflecopter giveaway



by Fiona on December 4, 2014 · 9 comments


EXCUSE THE ALL CAPS, but it’s a very exciting time here!


I’ve out up my tree, wanna see?

purple tree

Giant microbes….

mas fae



Old and new decorations


The Flying Spaghetti Monster.

secret santa

Secret santa gifties

peppa pig advent calendar

My VERY OWN Peppa Pig advent calendar.

Ez and Li Elves

Ez and Li Elves

Diet coke xmas

And the gift of caffeine.

Bring on Xmas!


Recent Yums!

by Fiona on November 23, 2014 · 0 comments

only organic
Ez loved the Only Organic tube foods I brought home from the Bloggers’ Brunch :)

only organic

Two elk cider
Two Elk Cider

cold cocktails
Cold drinks on a hot not yet summer day

frozen coke
$1 Frozen Coke

Getting home delivery the day before pension day via Menulog using money that was in my paypal from blogging gigs.

hans meats
Eating the Hans Oliving cocktail franks coldfrom the fridge, one at a time for snacks.

light and crispy shapes
Light & Crispy Shapes

Shortbreads from Brumby’s

bake in bag fish
Woolie’s marinade bake in the bag fish

fish and chips
With chips.

salmon and lettuce sandwich
Salmon and Lettuce sandwiches on fresh white bread

eating grapes with chopsticks
Ice cold grapes with chop sticks!


Classic Australian Chicken, a very “Aussie” ad, and the current Red Rooster

October 16, 2014

Now, you can have Red Red Reddy Red Rooster in your head. Please inflict this image of 1980s Aussies eating chicken with pride on your family and friends. As a part of a Social Soup promotion, I received a $35 voucher to spend at Red Rooster. We bought one of the new Chicken Caesar roll […]

4 comments Read the full post →

31 – a rolling celebration of eating, drinking and being merry

July 28, 2013

I actually don’t have too many photos from my birthday celebrations, as I had a number of late nights, where my phone battery died before meal or home time. I can say it’a been a lovely week of turning 31, and surrounding myself with people who are awesomeness. Let’s start with a couple of days […]

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esc – calm in a can (+WIN a case of 12 cans)

esc June 22, 2012

What? it looks like and energy drink? And it’s meant to CALM me down rather than leave me hyped up all night on the dancefloor? AND it has 50 calories per can (which is like eating an apple), I can buy it online and it tastes reasonable? What? Oh yeah, too hyper, let’s drink a […]

8 comments Read the full post →

Going Caffeine-Free for a Month. For Charity. And for my 30 before 30.

Coffee in Syros, Greece May 28, 2012

So. I’m biting the bullet. Aiming to tick off another Thirty before 30 item. Elizabeth has dangled the carrot of a $50 donation to the Steve Waugh Foundation if I succeed. I can do it right? No black tea, or coffees. Til the end of the financial year. At least I’ve cut out diet coke […]

17 comments Read the full post →