Monday, December 31, 2012

Bye Bye 2012, Hello 2013

The end of another year! Wow! Not to be clich├ęd and all, but time does fly when you're having fun. Gaffa and I welcomed in 2012 in Gosport, where Gaffa grew up. Now we're about to end the year in Sydney, the place we call home.

2012 has been a year of ups and downs, like anything. But our close relationship has meant that we've gotten through everything together and come out the other side, a lot stronger.

I hope that 2012 has brought you all many happy memories and that 2013 brings a lot more. Whatever your new year's resolutions are, or your hopes and dreams for the next year, I hope that they come true, or at the very least you have fun trying to achieve them. As they say, it's all about the journey not the final destination!

2013 is going to be a big year for Gaffa and I. We're back from our worldly travels, and we've got our wedding and future together to plan. Not to mention a lot more eating, travelling and diving in store for us to share with you all!!

Just a short recap of 2012, the highlights and my favourite places to eat, travel and dive.

Eat: the three course dinner we has two nights in a row in Dijon, France, pinxtos and tapas in Spain, gelato and home made tirimisu in Italy, food trucks in San Francisco, California, USA, Morimoto's in Napa Valley, California, USA.

Travel: too many to choose from, but the places at the top of my list to revisit (in no particular order) are: Sweden, Spain, Czech Republic, Italy, Austria, California, especially San Francisco.

Dive: the cenotes in Mexico and Zenobia wreck in Cyprus

2013 goals/ideas -

Eat: gluten-free meals, and more healthy foods. Since Gaffa has been seeing his chiropractor and managed to lose over 15kg, we know something's working! And it's the cutting back of gluten, sugar and lactose.

Travel: we'll be travelling to Bali in June for my brother and SIL2B's wedding. Where else? No set plans yet, but there will definitely be some!

Dive: side mount and technical diving. Since coming second in the Dive Rite photo competition, I was rewarded with $500 worth of gear. I decided to add side mount equipment to my current Dive Rite harness and wing set up. Also with my tec diver theory complete, all I need to do now is the dives. And then more photography diving. Since I've been out of the water, I've missed taking underwater photos.

Here's to a happy, healthy and prosperous year ahead!

Enjoy your new years celebrations, whatever you have planned, be safe! 

Gaffa & Winnie 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Easy Coconut Bread

What do you do with a massive bag of dessicated coconut that you only needed about a tablespoon full of for a curry? You make loads of coconut bread with it!

Well that's what I've been doing the past few weeks. Gaffa made one of Jamie's curries which required dessicated coconut. The cheapest at Coles was Coles brand dessicated coconut, but it was 500g of it. So we bought it. I was trying to find stuff to make with it, but couldn't find any decent recipes for coconut cupcakes as they required coconut essence as well and I didn't have any. But then I stumbled upon this very simple coconut bread recipe. So easy that even kids could make it. It's only 4 simple ingredients, mix them all into a bowl and then put it into a lined tin and cook in the oven. Done!

So to keep this post short and sweet, here's the recipe:

1 cup self raising flour
1 cup dessicated coconut
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup of milk

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celcius. Add all the ingredients into a bowl. Using a mixer, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Cook in the oven for 40 minutes. Let it cool. Eat!

I said it was simple, didn't I?!

When all the ingredients are mixed together, it looks like rice pudding, but that's normal. I used gluten free self raising flour as Gaffa's new diet doesn't allow him to have much gluten. I also used stevia instead of regular white sugar; stevia is natural sugar so less calories and better for you. It tastes the same and you can't notice the difference. After it's cooled down, you can have it plain, it's not dry at all. Or if you're feeling adventurous, have it with some butter.

Until next time! :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Flying Business Class

Ahh Business Class, where all cattle class passengers dream of one day being able to afford a plane ticket on. Gaffa and I were lucky enough to be able to experience it on our final flight home after our 14 months away. It was the 'icing on the cake' to end our big adventure, and we took full advantage of it all, seriously who wouldn't?!

Gaffa taking advantage of the welcome drink
We had booked with STA in Portsmouth, our flights from London to San Francisco in May, then a 3 month stop over, and then a flight from San Francisco to Sydney via Los Angeles in August. This was far cheaper than booking the two flights seperately. We were flying domestically from San Francisco to Los Angeles with American Airlines at night and my Uncle Ping dropped us off at the airport with lots of time to spare. According to our arranged tickets, we had about 90 minutes to get from our domestic flight to our international flight. We weren't sure how we were going to do this, but if STA were able to book us on these flights, then surely it would be possible right? WRONG! When we checked in for our SFO-LAX flight, the lady serving us told us that were were not going to make it so she moved us onto a later LAX-SYD flight. We thought she was doing us a favour, but she wasn't. She was just covering her own arse. We found out later, that even this extended stop over time wouldn't of been enough for us to get to our connecting flight.  

The fog in San Francisco did not help, and we left SF a bit later than expected. The pilot made up on the lost time during the flight, however before we arrived in Los Angeles, we were told over the loud speaker that the plane was being redirected to another airport, to refuel.. Huh? Why couldn't we just land at LA? Gaffa and I had a plane to catch!!

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