Cooking, Renovations and Fun Stuff

Friday, May 27, 2011

Slowly Coming Together

Monday
Ordered our new oven
LG 600mm freestanding electric oven with gas cooktop

Tuesday
Our new dishwasher was delivered
Bosch, from Appliances Online

Wednesday
Lined up plumber, electrician and benchtop installation for week starting 6 June.

Thursday
Our new tap was delivered
Aquaport tap with built-in filter

Friday
In contact with draftsman about drawing up plans for the permit to take out a structural wall (I should have done this earlier).

Saturday
The ducted heating vent in our kitchen is being moved.

Related Posts
Exciting Plans
Kitchen Benches and Cabinets
Visiting the Kitchen Designer
Second-Hand Kitchen Cabinets
Cabinets - tick
Preparing for New Kitchen Colour
Test Colour
Taking the Breakfast Bar Out
Taking the Pantry Out
Taking the Rangehood Out
Recent Work on the Kitchen

Monday, May 23, 2011

SKINS A400 Review

A while back the people at SKINS sent me some gear to try out.
SKINS A400 Women's Compression 3/4 Tights

I trained for one week with without them, choosing three non-consecutive sessions I knew would give my legs grief:
1. a full-body weights session including pull throughs and split squats (12-rep sets)
2. a full-body weights session including squats and Romanian deadlifts (12-rep sets)
3. a 45-minute run including hills

Straight after doing my first weights session my glutes felt shaky. Twelve hours after I could start to feel DOMs in my hamstrings. Twenty-four hours after, DOMs had well and truly set in to my hamstrings, which ‘grabbed’ every time I moved. Forty-eight hours after I still had DOMs and it was time to train again. The second session didn't seem to have as much effect, possibly because the exercises were a similar style to the ones I had done in the first session and my muscles had adapted already.

The run hurt in a different way - tiredness in my quads and calves afterwards, then painful aching in my quads the next day. In a way, this was worse than the pain in my hamstrings, because they ached constantly, whether I moved or not.

I had a break from training for a couple of weeks while I was renovating, then I replicated the training sessions wearing the SKINS A400 Women's Compression 3/4 Tights.

After not training for a couple of weeks, I expected to feel similar effects from my weight-training sessions. Indeed, straight after doing my first weights session my glutes felt shaky. I decided to wear the tights for the rest of the day after training. Twelve hours after I could start to feel DOMs in my hamstrings. I decided to sleep in the tights. Twenty-four hours after, the DOMs in my hamstrings was only marginally worse, and forty-eight hours after it had diminished and I was ready to train again. So an improvement on the results without the tights. Once again, the second session didn't seem to have as much effect.

The run was where I noticed the biggest difference though. My legs didn’t tire as quickly, and even though I got changed out of the tights straight after my run, my legs didn’t feel as tired after the run as they did in the session without the tights. They next day there was no painful aching in my quads. One of the first things I noticed when putting the tights on was that they were quite firm around the knees, and I think that this compression effect made a big difference in helping my legs during and after the run.

I’ve worn the compression tights several times since for my runs, and would be happy to recommend them to others for the same purpose.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Recent Work on the Kitchen

Taking the skirting boards out where some of the new cabinets are going to go (the ducted heating vent will be moved)

Sanding and painting the timber kickboards that are going under the cabinets (the plan is timber floorboards, Dulux Antique White USA kickboards and cabinets, and timber benchtops)

Related posts
Exciting Plans
Kitchen Benches and Cabinets
Visiting the Kitchen Designer
Second-Hand Kitchen Cabinets
Cabinets - tick
Preparing for New Kitchen Colour
Test Colour
Taking the Breakfast Bar Out
Taking the Pantry Out
Taking the Rangehood Out

A Cockatoo Enjoying Our Apples

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Awesome Weekend

Some of the food we ate over the weekend

back left: piquillo pepper stuffed with tuna salad, fetta salsa
back right: spanish chorizo manolete, guernica peppers
front: ceviche of yellow tail kingfish, orange blossom, lime


grilled octopus, soya marinated scallops, pork crumble, olive oil puree


slow roasted lamb shoulder, israeli couscous salad


Chilled new season pea soup with spanner crab, blood orange and salmon caviar


Scallop 'pasta', jamon and finger lime


Marron, witlof and vanilla


Caramelised black kingfish, braised pork belly ravioli, shimeji mushrooms and parsnip puree


Baked aged Gympie goat's cheese, brioche and local figs

I particularly liked the ceviche of king fish and the soy marinated scallops (so tender), the israeli couscous (bigger and rounder than normal couscous - great texture), the pea soup (the crab in it was nice but I loved the pop of the caviar), the marron (freshwater crayfish, which I hadn't tried before - it has a similar texture to a balmain bug), the parsnip puree (I'm going to try replicating this at home) and the goat's cheese and figs (great combination).

Friday, May 13, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Just finished editing a 120,000-word chapter on Sydney and New South Wales for Lonely Planet. I am taking a well-deserved four-day weekend with my hubby to celebrate our anniversary. We have been together 17 years today. We got married on our 10-year anniversary.


Pics: Thurtell Photography

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Back in Business!

Had a bit of drama on Monday morning. Turned on my laptop and it wouldn't do anything. Turns out my hard drive was damaged (don't know how, as it was working fine on Sunday night). I had a couple of days of panic as I had been a bit lax in backing files up recently and was worried about losing 19 hours of work (that I REALLY didn't want to have to do again) and a few months' worth of photos. Luckily the tech guy at the shop I bought the laptop from was able to recover all my files, and then replaced the hard drive. Big PHEW!

Now I have about four days' worth of work to catch up on...

And just to be on the safe side, I've bought an HP Simple Save external hard drive for my laptop - it just plugs in via a USB and automatically backs up my files any time my computer is idle for more than five minutes.