Friday, February 15, 2013

What to do and what not to do in Bali

1. Dont Listen to your driver
2. Don't Assume your driver knows where you want to go
3. Dont Ask your driver to take you to a nice restaurant
4. Don't Ask your driver to take you anywhere nice
5. Dont Tell your driver unnecessary information, it confuses them (can you tell we had fun with drivers)
6. Don't pick up those information phamplets at the airport, rip off
7. If anyone wants to carry your bags or help you jump the queue at the airport or offer you time share - say no thanks.
7. Oh and if they act like they want their wife to get a photo with you for 'happy memories', do assume he is carrying a printer in his bag and he'll want you to buy the photo.
8. Don't start bartering unless you really do want it
9. Don't stop bartering and don't forget your Aussie dollars, they really do love it, they make jewelry for their children.
10. If the shop front has a door or fixed price tags you are best not to barter, but you can ask with a smile 'Ada discount'

11. Research your restaurants, we really were let down by the food
12. If you see something you really like, buy it! You won't see it again even if they appear everywhere on that day
13. Being worried about Bali belly and tummy bugs is overrated. Not once in our 2 weeks did we refuse ice in drinks.
14. The mozzie issue is also overrated, they have mozzie spray everywhere, that's all you need
15. We paid $30 000 for a beach umbrella and 2 chairs. $50 000 for body board hire. Sarongs are good at $30 000/$40 000, We got the bintang singlets for under $30 000 each.
16. Jimbaran Bay - don't ask a driver to take you to "Jimbaran Bay", we were taken to the crap hole end and didn't get the real experience until we went with our instincts and got a driver to take us to the resort end where all the NICE restaurants were. Know where you want to go.
17. Ubud - we stayed about 10 minutes out in a local village. A great experience if you want to live amongst the locals. This suited us fine, just make sure you have a driver at hand.
18. Seminyak - we booked all of our accommodation via Trip Advisor. We were able to book an awesome villa as we were travelling with another couple and could pool our money together. This is a great way to really enjoy living Bali life. It feels like a home away from home.
19. Bali, away from the resorts, is very different to the impression you get of Bali from the resort, so make sure you get out and explore.
20. Lastly, All day tours sound great, but are super tiring especially with kids. And no, they are not a big tour bus with air con and a tour guide telling you lots of information. We got a local driver taking us around with little to no information. Then almost refusing to take us and the kids home because we were tired and didn't want to eat at the tacky Jimbaran Bay restaurant that was the last stop on the 'tour'.

All in all Bali was a great experience though and we will be back one day.

Please note, these are simply the thoughts and advice based on the trip we had travelling with 4 adults and 2 young children in September 2012. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Bacon & Zucchini Slice with Mr Kenwood

I love my food processor. I do.

Most people will have their toaster and kettle living on their kitchen bench but my food processor owns top spot on my kitchen bench. I use my food processor (with all its fantastic attachments) pretty much everyday.

I was bought up with the conception that these 'things' (food processors) were annoying to use. Because, 1) you have to pull the big bulky thing out of a cupboard from a really awkward spot. 2) Then all the clunky attachments, which seem to be annoying. 3) And then the hassle of hand washing all the pieces because that's the way it should be done.

Ah Fooey! All lies. Lies I tell you!

How great to have all my things.... diced, chopped, mixed, grated, sliced, whisked, juiced, blended.... within seconds! And I put it all (except the rubber of the blender) into the dishwasher... no hassle at all!

Jamie Oliver's show 30 Minute Meals specializes in fast meals made specifically using the help of our friend The Beloved Food Processor. I love this cook book and have enjoyed many meals out of it so far... with the help of my trusty friend Mr Kenwood, of course.

I whipped up this delicious bacon and zucchini slice for lunch with the help of Mr Kenwood. He grated the cheese and zucchini, And diced the bacon, onion and garlic. Easy, made in less than 10 minutes. Yum.

375g (or 2 medium) Zucchinis
1 Cup Grated Cheese
1 chopped Onion
5 Rash diced Bacon
1 clove Garlic
5 Eggs
1 Cup SR Flour
Season with Salt & Pepper
Sesame Seeds

Combine all ingredients, stir to combine well.
Pour into a baking dish and sprinkle top with sesame seeds.
Bake for 30-35 mins on 180 degrees C.

OTHER THINGS I use my food processor for:
Onions - to chop or slice onions any time I need too. I have a Tupperware one but I find this so much faster and easier.
Spaghetti bolognaise - to chop onion and capsicum. To grate carrot and zucchini. And finally grate cheese. No need to rinse between processes.
Banana cake - to purée the banana. Works a treat.
Pesto - the whole lot is made here.
Potato bake - in minutes it's in the oven! To finely slice whole potatoes and onions. And once again grating the cheese.
Cakes - some cakes are made partially or completely with the use of my food processor.
Sugar - to make my own castor sugar or icing sugar if I am desperate.

Please let me know if I have inspired you to pull your food processor out and give it a go for a week! They become such a handy tool to have in the kitchen.