California Food Odyssey

Today hubbie and I had yummy naughty American food! Most of this trip we have been having two meals a day – lunch and dinner. We just haven’t been getting up early enough, or had to rush to get to where we were going, like Legoland or Seasworld! But today I set my alarm so we could have breakfast!

Hubbie has been in Berkeley for 6 weeks now, setting up an administration office for his business. So he had scoped out lots of good eating places. About a month ago he sent through a picture of his breakfast – bacon and pancakes! That is one American Food Oddity (e.g. peanut butter and jelly or potato crisps with every lunch order (even cafes)) that we like! So off we went to ‘La Note’ in Berkeley – and we even had to wait 15 minutes for a table!

I had scrambled eggs, crispy bacon and crème fraîche pancakes! Hubbie had the same but with raspberry pancakes. They were amazing!

Michelle's Labyrinth Michelle's Labyrinth

As you know I am a little obsessed with pie! So I googled the best pie places in San Francisco and dragged hubbie along for lunch. The pie place was not exactly close to our hotel, so after a downhill walk, a trolley ride and the a horrendous uphill walk we made it to ‘Mission Pie’. I’d already scanned the menu and knew I was going to order Banana Cream Pie if it was available. Hubbie had Chicken Pot Pie… All I can say is YUM!!!

Michelle's Labyrinth

Michelle's Labyrinth

Michelle's LabyrinthThen tonight we went to the baseball! Our first game – San Francisco Giants vs Oakland Athletics. We had awesome seats and the Giants won! YAY! I was going to get a hot dog, but when it came to order I decided to brave a Spicy Chili Dog – OMG it was amazing! The sausage was to die for, the chili [American English] was okay, not as good as my chilli [British English] con carne, but still good. But it was terribly messy! I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Michelle's Labyrinth

Michelle's LabyrinthTrying to control the mess –>

 

 

 

 

 

Hubbie got a AnguMichelle's Labyrinths Beef Burger, which was okay… Messy too from the look of his shorts – that yellow mustard went everywhere!!  :-)

 

So that was our naughty food day – thankfully San Francisco is hilly to help burn it off! More pie tomorrow I think :)

 

 

Easy As Pie

I think you’ll all be impressed with the pie challenge progress I have made. I think I have actually made more than one a week though, so I have stopped making them – I could feel myself putting weight on, which is definitely not a good thing. It is bad enough when it sneakily appears… but when you feel it…

The next pie I made was for my hubbieMichelle's Labyrinth on Valentine’s Day. I asked him what sort of pie he would like and the response was “I like Lamingtons”… Helpful… I could have bopped him, but instead I just accepted it and said I would see what I can do. Over the next couple of days I let my mind absorb the request and figured I could make a vanilla cheesecake and add Lamingtons to it. So that is exactly what I did. Michelle's Labyrinth

I created my own Lamington Cheesecake Pie! I made a biscuit case and covered it with Lamingtons (mainly the chocolate and coconut; my puppies and I ate the sponge). Then I mixed some Lamington chocolate part into the cheese mixture. Then covered the Lamington base and let it set. Easy!

I thought the Lamington Cheesecake Pie turned out pretty good. Hubbie departed to the U.S.A. a day later, so I took the rest of the pie to a card party and they really seemed to enjoy it.Michelle's Labyrinth

One of my lovely friends who reads this blog asked for “Pie, Me oh My!” So we set a lunch date… which her Dad ruined! I had my heart set on making her Peach Cobbler, and since I was in the zone of making it, I did so even though our lunch date was cancelled! I took it to Wednesday cards instead and it went down very well.

I had Peach Cobbler inMichelle's Labyrinth Atlanta last year and I wasn’t all that impressed. Peaches are the official state fruit of Georgia (where Atlanta resides), so I was expecting big things. One thing I remember was that the peaches seemed to be canned peaches…  When I think of peaches I always start singing Peaches by The Presidents of the United States of America…

“Peaches come in a can, they were put there byMichelle's Labyrinth a man, in a factory down town. If I had my way, I would eat peaches every day….
Moving to the country, going to eat a lot of peaches!
Moving to the country, going to eat a lot of peaches!”

I used the recipe for Peach Cobbler from my Pushing Daisies booklet. The recipe used canned peaches! Maybe that is how they do come! :) And I must say that my Peach Cobbler tasted better than the one I had in Atlanta! In the picture above with the pie in the oven you can see the edge of a blue dish. I made a mini Peach Cobbler for hubbie and myself. It was probably 11pm when it came out of the oven and hubbie said he would have a taste, since it was too late to eat. Next thing we know we have devoured the mini-pie and are considering tucking into the pie that was for the card party – if I hadn’t told the lady that runs cards I was bringing Peach Cobbler, I think we could have damaged it – it was mouthwatering right out of the oven!Michelle's Labyrinth

The next pie I made was a Michelle's LabyrinthBlackberry and Custard pie. I had blackberries in the cupboard, so googled blackberry pies. I was also curious how the custard would turn out, as I thought you made custard with powder – shows you how often I have made custard! Custard was made of was eggs, sour cream, flour and  sugar – easy! Hence why I chose this pie.

Michelle's Labyrinth

 

 

 

 

 

I served the pie right out of the ovenMichelle's Labyrinth for my friend (the one that missed the Peach Cobbler) and it was pretty yummy! But I had it cold after dinner that night and YUM-MO!!! The best cold pie I have ever had :) So I don’t think anyone else got to taste that pie – I kept the rest all for myself! Hope my friend was happy with her “Pie, Me oh My!

Michelle's Labyrinth

I googled the quote “easy as pie”, just to make sure I had the expression right, and Wikipedia said that the “idiom does not refer to the making of a pie, but rather to the act of consuming a pie (“as easy as eating a pie”)”, but from my experience so far, making pie is easy! They never take too long to prepare (as long as you have the ingredients, but surely that goes without saying), and then you pop them in the oven and they are done. You don’t even have to make your own pastry if you are strapped for time, just buy some frozen short-crust pastry and that will do the trick. I think we need to make/eat more pie and stop making life so difficult!

I am sure my hubbie will be happy to hear I said making pie was easy! Check out my tumblr page for the recipes of the pies above! http://michelleslabyrinth.tumblr.com/

Stay tuned for another blog on the rest of my pies!

 

 

 

Birthday With A Difference

It was my birthday last Saturday and I celebrated it a little differently than usual. I have been known to have birthday weeks, especially when we were in Kalgoorlie as I had a Kalgoorlie birthday, then a Perth birthday with my family and then another Perth birthday with old friends. Over the past 15 years hubbie and I have been together, I have woken up next to him all except one year; I was in Perth and flew back to Kalgoorlie early on my birthday… But this is the first year I haven’t even seen hubbie at all :( He is in U.S.A. for work… but I did Skype him at 12:30am on my birthday to ensure he was the first person to wish me Happy Birthday!!

I then spent my birthday and theJason Momoa following day volunteering at Oz Comic Con, the first time it has been to Perth! What is Comic Con? I have been surprised how many people have asked me that. I thought it was common knowledge. Or maybe I have just seen more Sci-Fi shows/movies than the usual person and picked up what Comic Con was… Comic Con is a fan convention (or con!) in which fans of comics, fantasy and sci-fi books, TV shows and movies gather to hold programs and meet experts and famous personalities, among other things. Since 2008 Supanova has been coming to Perth, but now we have two big conventions in town!

The big draw cards of our first Oz Comic Eddie McClintock_2Con were William Shatner (James T. Kirk, captain of the USS Enterprise i.e. Star Trek and also Boston Legal) and Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver and Star Gate SG-1). There were other stars such as Patricia Quinn (The Rocky Horror Picture Show), Eddie McClintock (Warehouse 13 – my autograph to the right and photo below), Jason Momoa (Star Gate: Atlantis and Game of Thrones – my autograph above) and Callum Blue (Dead Like Me, The Tudors and Smallville – photos and autographs below). So I was extremely excited, and so were 27,000 other Perthians!

 

Callum Blue_3I really wanted to see Richard Dean Anderson and Callum Blue. Growing up I was a big MacGyver fan and among a million others, couldn’t wait to own a Swiss Army knife! Last year at Supanova I got Callum Blue’s autograph and oh my god is he a most beautiful person. Stunning blue eyes, infectious laugh and he is so personable and takes time to chat to everyone. So when I heard he was coming to Perth again, I wanted (desperately?!) to have a photo with him!

 

Michelle's LabyrinthI was volunteering with my youngest sister and we were helping ‘man’ a shop. So each day for 12 very long feet-hurting hours we sold lots and lots of Disney paraphernalia, autographed photos, framed autographed pictures and other bits and pieces. I managed to sneak away (I pulled “It’s my birthday” card!) and get a photo with MacGyver. Basically the photo experience was “My name is Michelle”, “Hello Michelle”, flash and then me: “Thank you so much!”. Mr Anderson was super popular and I didn’t get my autograph until around 6:30pm. I was third last in the queue. I asked if he would write Happy Birthday on my photo, to which his personal assistant said “no personalisation”, but Richard was super sweet and started writing ‘Happy Birthday’, to which I went “ahhhh, that’s so sweet”. He then asked who it was for and I said “Michelle”. He then looked up and asked “Is it your birthday today”, and I said yes… to which he said “Happy Birthday!”. He was something like the fifth person to say Happy Birthday to me in person!!!

Sunday was super mad. A couple of OzMichelle's Labyrinth Comic Con organisers said that Sunday would be slower than Saturday… but I don’t think they know Perth that well! After some desperate “can I go get a photo” questions etc, I got a photo with Eddie McClintock (to the right). And then I went to get two photos (it was my birthday weekend after all) with Callum Blue. I walked into Callum Blue’s booth and said “I get two photos with you”, to which he replied “We’ll have to do something special for the second one.”. We took the normal one and he said “So what should we do?”, I said “I don’t know, poke our tongues out or something?”. He said “Narh, lets pose for a kiss”. Now I can be a bit of a giggle pot when started and I just laughed. We posed and I swear it was long enough for a photo, so I pulled away cracking up (and doubling over)… but no, we had to pose again! The photo was taken and Callum said he had to check it out, to which he laughed and said I must be a good actor!!!Michelle's Labyrinth

Later on I lined up to get my autographs with Callum and then Eddie. As I said Callum chit-chats. I was about fifteenth in line, but I was waiting for over half an hour. My feet were killing me by this stage, so I was leaning from side to side trying to get my weight off my feet. After many sweet-talked fans it was my turn. He laughed when he saw my photo and said to his assistant that it was his favourite photo of the day. I said I had smsed my husband about it and his response was “Yay!”, and I didn’t know what that meant. He said that I should tell him we slipped some tongue in after the photograph. I laughed and said something along the lines off that he was in the states at the moment so he wouldn’t know. To which Callum said “F-k him, lets nick off then!”… more of my laughter followed. Callum handed me my photos and said “Great snog!” in his English accent…. More laughter. I was on cloud nine. Best birthday ever!!!

Michelle's Labyrinth

My parents also came to Oz Comic Con on Sunday and were there for 6 hours!! Mum got a photo and autograph with William Shatner (she loves him off Boston Legal) and they also saw the R.D.A. (Richard Dean Anderson) and William Shatner panels. They thought the panels were great. Dad was beaming after seeing R.D.A. He said he was so funny. Apparently R.D.A. glanced over his shoulder and saw himself on the big projector screen and said “oh my god, I am old and fat”! He apologised for the weight, saying he had had a couple of operations over the past year or so on his foot and leg, and just couldn’t exercise to shift it. He then tugged on his hair and said “This? This is just me being lazy”…. I love it!!

After some house cleaning and chill-axingMichelle's Labyrinth on Monday, I went to visit my folks in the hills on Tuesday. It was the puppies first visit to the grandparents! After the struggle of me getting them in the car by myself including two escapees and one near miss; the drive there was a success. Meeting their cousins Leo (German Shepherd) and Daisy (West Highland Terrier) was also a success! Except for Macbeth (less than 3kgs) and Leo (over 60kgs) had a couple of growls – Macbeth’s instigation. Had my Mum in fits of laughter!!!

I made my birthday cake this year. Actually the cake was supposed to be my first Christmas Cake and was made in November. But I had so much cake last year that I didn’t fancy it. So after many top ups of brandy, I iced my cake last week. A layer of  marzipan stuck on by apricot jam, and then some Royal Icing the next day. The recipe I made was my Mum’s. It came from a recipe book Dad gave to her in September 1971 (Marguerite Patten’s Every Day Cook Book in colour)! We are not sure why Dad gave it to her, as the month has no significance, but maybe it was to help her cooking out. Well she was only 16! And kudos to Dad, because Mum is an amazing cook! (I’ll post the recipe on my Tumblr site tomorrow if you’re interested http://michelleslabyrinth.tumblr.com/)

Michelle's LabyrinthSo to ensure my cake looked like a birthday cake I added blue dragons and blue flowers!!!! I love my birthday cake :-)Michelle's Labyrinth

It was a wonderful different birthday. Thank you to all the smses, voice messages and messages on Facebook. Oh, and I did make a little purchase on my birthday with my birthday money from my Grandparents… Signed Supernatural Season 7 framed photo. Yay! My birthday filled with all my favourite boys!!Michelle's Labyrinth

One more thing, I have been enjoying Season 1 of Dead Like Me again, and Mandy Patinkin enjoyed a piece of Key Lime Pie in the ‘Pilot’… I see/hear pie everywhere now! A couple of pie blogs will follow soon :)

Last thing – sorry for my dodgy photos. I took them with my iPhone. Was too lazy to go upstairs and scan my photos. That and I want to keep the best quality of the originals just for me :)

Hubbie from Berkley, California says hi to all my blog fans :-)

 

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