Sunday, May 25, 2008

Eggs of GOD

I had grand plans for this week's recipe. A request had been put in for soup, and soup it was going to be. I was all set to do a piece on my long and loving history with the butternut pumpkin (culminating in a certain topless dancing incident), but then Mummy dearest completely failed to pick me up from uni on Friday, leaving me abandoned and facing a fancy dinner at Manuka with Tom's family (down from Israel, no less) wearing a man's cardigan.

I just wanna let that resonate for a moment...a man's cardigan.

Fortunately, Erin saved the day with a sassy sparkling grey number (thanks again, doll) and I avoided giving the entire nation of Israel grave misconceptions about the quality and class of Australian women. The butternut pumpkin situation, however, went unsalvaged.

Luckily, this story (if you could call it that) has a happy ending. I rediscovered THE MOST FABULOUS EGGS RECIPE EVER to share on this lazy Sunday. In a true moment of culinary genius, I reconstructed this a few months ago from a picture I saw in an Israeli cookbook of Tom's. Now, I don't like to toot my own horn, but let me tell you, readers, I should have been Israeli. All it took was a quick google search for Israel's favourite spices, and a bit of experimentation, and voila! This recipe is spectacular. And the whole garnish with fetta and mint thing? Completely my own invention (and probably likely to enduce head shakes of dismay from actual Israelis). Part of the super-awesomeness of this recipe lies in the fact that it is perfectly appropriate for any meal - breakfast, lunch, dinner, or 4 in the afternoon as I proved today. The eggs kind of half fry, half poach, half steam (in my world you can have 3 halves) in the tomato mixture, giving them an especially creamy, divine texture. Turns out being vegetarian (slash vegequarian-who-eats-chicken-on-occasion) isn't so bad after all.

Loosely Israeli Tomato-Egg Pan (Shakshouka)

One of the few advantages of still living at home is that I have all kinds of exotic spices at hand, but I recognise that you may have to make some small trips to get the ingredients for this recipe. Seriously, though, it's still totally worth it. Trust me.

Oh, and while I've only used 2 eggs here, there is no good reason why you couldn't try cooking 4, keeping the other measurements the same. People would just end up with slightly less sauce each.

Serves one very greedy person, or two of only moderate greed.

2 happy free range eggs
400gm tin of crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
the seeds from 4 cardamom pods
2 teaspoons harissa*
2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
2 bay leaves
a squeeze of lemon
crumbled fetta, for garnish
torn mint leaves, for garnish
chunky toast or toasted pita, to serve

1. Using a mortar and pestle, grind all the spices till finer, but certainly not a powder.
2. Mix this spice mixture with the harissa, garlic and a touch of salt and pepper to create a deliciously fragrant paste. It should look a little like this:

3. Coat a medium sized pan (don't go too large or the sauce won't be thick enough to cook the eggs in later) with olive oil, and over medium heat fry the paste for a minute or so until slightly golden and overpoweringly fragrant.
4. Add the tin of tomatoes, bay leaves and a squeeze of lemon. At this stage you may like to taste the mixture, and if you decide you want it a touch more piquant add a little more harissa (I know I did). Cook over medium heat for a few minutes, until it is slightly thickened and the canned tomatoey taste is gone.
5. Make a hole in the sauce on one side of the pan, and crack an egg into it. Repeat on the other side.
6. Cover the pan with a lid (or foil if you don't have one), and, keeping the tomatoes going at a moderate simmer, allow the eggs to cook. If you'd like to have the eggs with toast (and why wouldn't you?) then this is a good time to start toastin'. The eggs should take about 3 minutes, but best to check a little earlier. They're cooked when there is no longer transparent white stuff on the top (der).
7. Serve your eggs on chunky toast which you have drizzled with olive oil (toasted pita, I'd imagine, would also be delicious), and scatter over the fetta and mint. If you're lucky enough to have a mother who buys fancy marinated fetta with sumac and pinenuts, use that (in case you haven't noticed, I'm a little bit bitter about still living at home):

A wedge of lemon goes nicely on the side, too.
8. Eat immediately. Do not waste time trying to take the perfect photograph, failing miserably and letting it all get cold as your commited blogger did.

* Harissa is a middle eastern chilli paste type thing. You can buy it from most fancy supermarkets or delis. If you really, really can't find it substitute with some other variety of chilli - dried, fresh, in paste form, whatever, but it won't be the same.

And just cause it seemed kinda appropriate (plus the bit where he says: "Okay Rob, play guitar now, brother" is pure genius):

The Eggs - Government Administrator

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Give it to me Antony (uh huh, uh huh).

I have been a big fan of Antony Hegarty for quite some time. In fact, selling my ticket to see him at the State Theatre back in 2006 currently holds top spot in my five biggest musical blunders.

It seems the blogging world has gone a little nuts recently over his latest act Hercules and Love Affair, and rightly so. They are currently rocking my socks off. So instead of raving about H&LA like these guys do, and these guys do, and hell, just about every other trendy net-press, i'm declaring my love for Antony in the form of a carefully crafted ode to Antony mix. Excellent.

As you'll see gorgeous readers, i've included stuff from his work with the Johnsons, two of my favourite Hercules and Love Affair tracts, some beautiful collaborations and a pretty crazy-awesome cover.

Beautiful Boyz- Coco Rosie (ft. our man of the moment).

All there is to tell- Reuben Butchart (ft. Antony- uh huh, uh huh).

Dull Flame of Desire- Bjork (ft. Antony-smantony).

And to conclude this post i found this hilarious Antony/Bjork related news article.

PS- Sorry, links to songs are fixed now...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Faces of Vegetable, Collectives of Animals and Cats Gone Wild...

Two of my lovers, Animal Collective and Ratatat have some new material buzzing happily around the music world.
Here are some highlights, accompanied by the magnificent work of Kahn & Selesnick from the Greenman series ( you MUST check them out. I really mean it this time).

A lot of really lame people have whinged that the new Animal Collective EP Water Curses is too much of a regression to be credible, and doesn't capture the innovation of Strawberry Jam and blah blahdy blah. To them I say, "balderdash!". This track is delicious. It represents everything I love about Animal Collective, and everything they were prior to the rather overated and mildly irritating Strawberry Jam. Pure joy.

Animal Collective - Water Curses

And, because you've all been so good, an extra special rarity:

Animal Collective - Little Girl (I Don't Need) (Live)

Ratatat are so fuckin' cool. Really, I can't find worlds cool enough to do them justice. The world 'cool' surely doesn't do it. Maybe 'boss'. I've heard that thrown around in hipster circles a bit lately. Anyway, whatever the new word for cool is, Ratatat embody it better than any other band out there right now. This is off their upcoming release LP3.

Ratatat - Shiller

All time fave:

Ratatat - Wildcat

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Procrastination: The Art Of.

Due to increasing pressure from a variety of sources (you know who you all are) I am posting. Also, I have this increasing fear that I am going to become the third brother of Hanson. You know, the one no one ever found hot and happily forgot like the plate of leftovers rotting in the back of your fridge (that reminds me, need to clean my fridge). I think his name was Boring, or Lacklustre. I can't quite remember, it's been so long since he did anything.

Considering I am currently meant to be writing an essay on Fred Williams and am obviously not, I thought I would share some of my favourite ways to procrastinate. I'm sure some of you will already use these tried and tested methods, but hopefully there will be a few you had not considered.

1. Facebook
So sad, but the bane of many a student's and worker's life. I am actually struggling to remember how I procrastinated before Facebook, I think MySpace held top position for awhile, but before that? Who knows, maybe I actually did work then. The worst part is when you are so determined not to study that you end up stalking people you don't know, will never meet and people whose lives you don't even find that interesting to begin with.

2. Drink tea
It is amazing how it can take thirty minutes to an hour to make that perfect cup of tea when one is meant to be doing something else.

3. Dressing up
This one could double up on my list of Favourite Things To Do Anytime. Now readers don't think I mean the kinky kind of dressing up. Huh, no way. That would be way more interesting than what I actually mean. Which is trying on my clothes to create weird and wacky outfits, that unfortunately I sometimes do wear outside of my room and my house. Much to the dismay of my mother and possibly my friends. Dressing up was one of favourite things to do as a kid and my sister and I had this kick arse dress up box (which in fact I still have and use quite a lot for parties). My Great Aunt ran a boarding school, so we had costumes from the plays the school put on as well as crazy masks. I guess there is a lot of nostalgia involved with my love of dressing up as well.

4. Watching the Disney Channel / TCM
Yeah...embarrassing. We only have a couple of Pay TV channels and these one's are my favourites and really quite excellent for procrastination as there is always something kind of good on during the day. Sometimes I forget this goes on the Internet and people actually read it. Shame.

5. Writing lists
In an effort to distract myself from how unorganised my essay and everything related to my Uni life is, I like to organise the rest of my life and that is through writing a lot of lists. 'Things to do' is a popular list title. Usually that list will consist of, '1. Essay, you procrastinating twat'. Other popular entries include; cleaning my room; sorting out my wardrobe, which seems to have slowly encompassed my entire room, my sister's room and the spare room; return those videotapes; sort out my life, generally. Needless to say none of these things ever get done.

One last thing, just want to share this pic from The Sartorialist, whom I love and is also great for procrastination.

This picture totally inspires me today, not for the actual outfit itself (although I desperately want those shoes), but for the complete confidence she has combining all the elements together and her strong use of colour, especially the flashes of red. I am not usually a fan of leopard print, but somehow it works here with the floral skirt. You may disagree, feel free to in fact. We love comments here at Number One Millionaire. Incidentally, this is a photo of Michelle Jank, the Australian designer who just launched her first collection in several years at Australian Fashion Week recently. She also has a lust worthy jewellery line which sells at the famous Colette boutique in Paris.

Til next month! And happy procrastinating.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

An Ode to Winter.

Winter invokes a range of emotions within me. I despise being cold, a fact that is made all the worse by my perpetually chilled hands. But as much as i loathe the dull pain of sub zero degree air, i adore snuggling in bed reading a good book by candle light, dark hot chocolate, and the pitter-patter of rain gently tapping on the window. For me this is a time for introspection and gentle inner warmth.

This is a mix of quiet, pretty songs to listen to late at night when safe and warm, snuggled in bed with the company of bitter-sweet memories.

Yours warm and content in her bed,

Thursday, May 15, 2008

moments of melting orange and passionfruit

So it's been a while between meals, and ever concerned for the wellfare of our imagined creepy fan out there, I thought it best to post another recipe. To be honest, I've been cooking so much lately that the last thing I felt like was talking, let alone writing about it...but then I thought to myself, I thought, "Jub Jub..." (yes, in my imagination I like to call myself Jub Jub), "Jub Jub, food makes people happy. Melting moments make people happy. Melting moments of ORANGE and PASSIONFRUIT make people well near euphoric." And you know what, dear readers? I was right. I mean, just look at the expressions on Jaimie and Diana's faces...

That's the kind of joy only a very particular combination of secret ingredients can evoke. Secret ingredients I've theived from the internet and will share only with you, dearly beloved.

Orange and Passionfruit Melting Moments (adapted from Gourmet Traveller)


Orange Biscuts:
250 gm softened unsalted butter
80 gm icing sugar, sifted
finely greated rind of 1 orange
1 tsp vanilla extract (or, if you're feeling CRAZY, possibly a fraction more)
75 gm cornflour
225gm plain flour (sifted)

Passionfruit Icing:
275 gm icing sugar, sifted
100 gm cold unsalted butter, finely chopped
2 tbsp passionfruit pulp, or the juice of about 2 average passionfruits


1. Preheat oven to yer standard 180C
2. Using an electric mixer (or a very strong man), beat butter and sugar till it is light, fluffy, and makes you feel warm and fuzzy.
3. add orange rind and vanilla and beat until combined
4. add sifted flours and a touch of salt (ie 1/2 tsp) and stir to form a soft dough using a spoon of wood.
5. form little balls of around 1/2 tablespoon in size, place 5cm apart on greased or baking paper-lined oven trays, flatten slightly then press with a fork to achieve a sliming groved effect.
6. Bake in your preheated oven for a mere 5 (!) minutes.
7. transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
8. when (and only when) step 7 is complete, begin to make the dreamy passionfruit icing. It helps if you imagine yourself to be an angel in heaven, like on those Philladelpia cream cheese adds. Honestly, this adds to the flavour, irrefutably.
9. whip butter untill kinda lighter and creamier with an electric mixer.
10. add sugar, beat until combined and light and fluffy.
11. add passionfruit, beat until combined. I respect that during this step you may feel the need to free yourself from the shackles of conventional cookery, toss off your wings and abandon all instruction and measurement. I know I did. Just make sure you don't listen to your gentleman friend (whom you know that, while cute, is inevitably ALWAYS wrong) and make an icing which is slightly too runny resulting in messy biscuts later on. The mixture should be thick. Thicker than you would ordinarily consider natural.
12. sandwich biscuts together with 2 tsp of icing, using a piping bag for a fancy frilly affect, if desired.
13. sprinkle with a fairy dust like coating of icing sugar, to further the heavenly metaphor, if desired.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Some advice for gorgeous fellow blushers.

You’re out for coffee with a new friend/ a potential romantic partner/ ex-play thing. You are having a witty-intellectual conversation about whatever happens to be ‘in Vogue’ at that particular moment in time and space. All is going well, you are presenting your self beautifully until that dreaded moment when the conversation takes a turn to something that may make you feel a little awkward or embarrassed.

You feel a strange heat radiating from under the collar of your shirt. It starts moving up your neck. Suddenly your ears are burning, then it’s all over red rover. Your face, ears and neck are all shining with the most magnificent blush produced since Jennifer Aniston walked in on Brad and Angelina doing the dirty.

5 Ways to stop your self blushing to the colour of your last period when you’re with people that should be in awe of your coolness.

1. When you feel the ‘red shame’ slowly (or sometimes terrifyingly quickly) rising to embarrassment, think of one really humiliating thing you know about the other person. This will leave you feeling superior and the need to blush will have been extinguished. If blushing is a serious problem for you, try not to leave the house with out this vital information. If you don’t know anything that bad about the person, you obviously don’t know them well enough and therefore shouldn’t care what they think of you, voila! Another bushing moment averted!

2. Blushing is a reaction to a situation that makes you feel awkward and acutely aware of your self. So, if you feel yourself blushing yell loudly, ‘Musical café!’ Grab hold of your coffee-date’s arm and force them to run across to the next café with you. Then exclaim your rapture at the fact you both managed to secure seats and are therefore both winners, a fact that should be celebrated by ordering another coffee. I guarantee that you will no longer be the one blushing.

3. Blushing isn’t embarrassing or awkward when the other person can’t see you. So I suggest you throw something liquid and hot at said coffee-date’s eyes. Nothing like a bit of scalding to take the focus away from your uncomfortable blush.

4. Fire! Oh my God! There’s a FIRE!!!!! What do you mean where? Under your seat you fool! Holy Calamity! Run!

5. If it’s too late and your blush is so pronounced that it’s impossible to do anything to distract your coffee-date from the heat radiating from your face, I suggest that you swear vigorously and explain that the coffee you are drinking must have preservative ‘B-lush:1000’ and that if you don’t get home and inject your adrenaline right this minute you’ll fall in a heap and possibly die. When all else fails, flat out lie about it.

Social Theory and Yo'Mama

The other day, while researching for my thesis, I came upon the following reference and thought it too good not to share:

Sometimes I think I might actually love Anthropology.

Monday, May 12, 2008

sharing pictures and music

I'm not ordinarily so big on remixes. Perhaps it is because I am bombarded with the latest 'bangers' on a daily basis by a certain DJing gentlman friend of mine, or perhaps it's because, ultimately, most of them are just not all that fun. The Avalanches remix of I'm a Cuckoo and the Boyz Noise Remix of My Moon My Man have got to be my two all time favorite exceptions, and lately this very colourful El Guincho remix of AIH has seen me wiggling around in my desk chair like a hummingbird, if hummingbirds were to wiggle. It sounds hardly anything like the original, wherein (I think) lies the appeal.

Architecture In Helsinki - Like it or Not (El Guincho Remix)

I beleive this is off the upcoming Architecture in Helsinki Like it Or Not EP

Photograph by Jonathan West, from the beautiful Vice Fashion Shoot Higher than the Clouds

Man, I have been loving Dodos with all of my Pitchfork Best New Music stalking self lately. The percusion in particular on this piece is divine. Their whole new album Visiter is excellent. Beautifully organic and interesting, with crazy dramatic screamy bits interspersed with sparse folksy soundscapes. I love that kind of shit.

Dodos - The Season

Cartoon by Renee French

Not much to say about this one. I just really, like, love it. So joyus.

Yeasayer - Wait for the Summer

Visit/buy Yeasayer here.

Illustration by Henry Holiday from Lewis Carroll's wonderful The Hunting of the Snark

Man, Thee Oh Sees are like some totally crazy version of the B52s warped into the fifties, but actually from RIGHT NOW. They make me want to march really fast on the spot. Faster than physically possible.

Thee Oh Sees - Grease 2

Photograph by Jake Dow-Smith

This song just epitomises what alt. country/folk should be. Simple, melodic, deep. Best heard during a dusk that looks just like the image above.

Fleet Foxes - Mykonos

Visit/buy Fleet Foxes here.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Such A Lovely Thing

My dearest readers,

Last year my top six favourite albums were as follows; 'Random Spirit Lover', 'Strawberry Jam', 'In Rainbows', 'Mice Parade' (ST), 'Night Falls Over Kortedala' and 'How It Ends' by DeVotchka.

In the faithful words of Wikipedia, "DeVotchKa are a four piece multi-instrumental and vocal ensemble that fuses Romani, Greek, Slavic, Bolero, Mariachi (and many more styles) music with American punk and folk roots."

Oh how DeVotchka warm my cold heart! I bought 'How It Ends' last year on a particularly bleak day in July. It was a Friday afternoon and to perfectly compliment my mood it was sleeting. I was convinced my then crush had slept with a mysterious (and horrible) lady the previous night when i had made the unusual decision to stay in, be responsible and get some uni work finished. On that dismal afternoon 'How It Ends' brought me warmth, comfort and hope. For me this album is one of those coincidental pieces of art that somehow manages to perfectly reflect a particular time and phase in my life. It also helped me realise my inner belly dancer, but that my loves is a story for another time.

Based on my love of their last album i was naturally pretty excited to get hold of 'A Mad And Faithful Telling', DeVotchka's most recent creation. In fact dear readers, i was so excited i may have let out an embarrassing squeal at Landspeed when i saw it waiting on the shelf. I bought it home to help with cleaning my putrid room and thus far i've been wonderfully impressed, though i admit it's taken several listens.

Here are two of my favourite songs from last year's 'How it Ends'.

-This song would probably make it on my list of 'all time favourite songs'.

-This song has never failed to make me happy.

Here are two of my current favourites from this year's 'A Mad And Faithful Telling'.

-This track is worth listening to just to hear the melody progression at the 3.12 minute mark. It's beautiful.

-Phoah! Listen to this a few times through and hopefully you'll understand.

Much love,


*I'm moving on from being a ladette! Now i'm just an overworked, stressed and ridiculously tired rehab worker. I've had an appalling week at work.