A Visit to the City and Delicious Summer Recipes.

What a busy week we have had – last week I took Michaela into the city to catch up with a friend of hers from New Zealand. Our plan was to catch the train in as parking in the city is ridiculously expensive ($19 an hour in the parking garages). We arrived at the train station and could find no parking – time was moving on as our train would be coming soon so I drove up the pavement and parked (legally or illegally I’m not sure). We ran for our train and discovered that we could not cross the tracks – the gates had been closed. So we stood and watched our train pull in and then leave us on the side of the crossing. The first time I have ever caught a train in Melbourne and I go and miss it. Since we had agreed upon a time to meet we decided to drive in and pray for parking. We arrived with 10 minutes to spare but then proceeded to drive around in circles for another 40 minutes looking for parking. When you don’t know a city it can be very frustrating trying to get around – too many one ways and nasty hook turns ( a crazy turning system in Melbourne city). I ended up in a section of town that had numerous hook turns. A hook turn is when you want to turn right at a traffic light but it has a special sign which indicates that you move over to the extreme left and wait in the intersection so that all other traffic passes you on the right. When your light turns red you then proceed to turn right ahead of the traffic that now has a green light. Yes as I am typing this I realize you are completely confused – don’t worry I have done hook turns and I am still confused!! When I ended up behind a car in the left lane I initially was yelling at him under my breath because he had just stopped. Turns out the poor guy was at a hook turn intersection and I hadn’t noticed the signage. Now I had no choice but to do the turn as well. When it was time to go he took off with me following but some STUPID pedestrian who was crossing on a red light ran in front of him causing me to almost rear-end the car in front.

Hami sent us a text saying “How’s the city?”

Michaela responded, “Missed our train so had to drive in and now can’t find anywhere to park.”

Hami – “Oh Boy! Hope you come right”

Michaela- “At least Mum is learning to do hook turns and her swearing is coming along nicely.”

Hami – “what fun!”

Yes the text messages say it all. Finally I found some parking and we got there – note to self – NEVER MISS THE TRAIN!!!

Anyway once I had calmed down I actually enjoyed myself – I haven’t really been to the city much and it was nice to see things. Michaela took us to a place called Hosier Lane – this lane is famous and grafitti artists are allowed to paint on the walls.

Then we saw this willow sculpture that was built at Federation Square – quite impressive. I love the old architecture that sits so well amongst the new skyscrapers. Flinders Station (where we were supposed to catch the train to) is a lovely old building too.

Then of course the Botannic Gardens sit in the middle of the city and the Yarra River runs through the city too.

Once I got over the stress of driving there I actually enjoyed myself.

A couple of days later I had to do it all again as Hami and his mate were running in the City2sea marathon. This time I was prepared – I knew where I was going so it was all good.

One more exam tomorrow and Michaela is finished school forever. Wow time has flown!!

I am loving eating the fresh veggies out of our garden – things are growing so well and we have had some lovely salads. even our newest family member Sparkles (the guinea pig) loves all the salad scraps.

Tonight I made dinner that was a hit with the family.

Delicious Rice Salad

  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 red capsicum chopped.
  • parsley chopped (I didn’t have any so I chopped silverbeet finely)
  • Spring onion chopped.
  • 150g roasted almonds – toasted them on a tray in the oven
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Dressing – 3/4 cup sunflower oil, 4 Tbsp soy sauce ( I like the sweet soy sauce), 2 Tbsp lemon juice, add some garlic (I just used minced garlic) – Mix together

Mix all ingredients together and add sauce – Toss – it tastes great warm or cold.

Bocconcino and spinach stuffed Chicken Breasts

  • Chicken breasts
  • Bocconcino Cheese
  • Spinach chopped finely
  • Pasta Sauce ( Dolmio or any brand you like)

Cut your breasts open and put in a layer of pasta sauce topped with sliced Bocconcino cheese and spinach. Season with salt and pepper. Close up the breast with toothpicks or string. Heat a pan till hot. Brown chicken on each side then place in oven proof dish. Bake at 180 degrees until chicken is tender.

Top your rice with the chicken – a delicious meal.


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