Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Faux Pho

Are you feeling a little sniffly? A little under the weather with a painful sinuses and a sore throat? A bit sick and tired of being sick? Are you feeling so poorly you cannot face dragging yourself out of the house, not even to the local noodle shop for sustenance?  Have I got a soup for you!

The base of this delicious soup is the broth, and the secret to excellent bone broth is long, slow simmering. This takes a long time, but actually is super easy to make - it practically cooks itself leaving you plenty of time to nap on the couch. Plan on eating it tomorrow, and maybe have miso soup in the meantime. Secondly, it is bursting with delicious, healthy goodness that will have you back on your feet in no time.

Faux Pho


  • 1 kilo of chuck steak on the bone, plus extra bones if you like.
  • a few carrots, celery and an onion to make the stock.
  • fresh (not from a jar) garlic, ginger and chili.
  • rice vermicelli
  • fresh bean shoots
  • fresh, chopped spring onions, parsley, coriander, mint.
  • 1 lemon, for squeezing.

  • Chop the chuck steak into largish pieces and set aside, covered, in the fridge. (The good thing about going to an independent butcher is that they will chop it for you) Put all the bones into a hot oven for about 30 minutes, just to brown them. Now put them into the slow cooker or stock pot with the chopped carrots, celery and onion. Fill to the brim with water, set on low, and leave overnight.
  • In the morning, strain your excellent bone stock, return to the slow cooker and add the chuck steak, and roughly chopped ginger. Add in the garlic and chili, finely chopped. Let simmer on low for at least 4 hours, until the meat is falling apart. 
  • Prepare the rice vermicelli according to packet directions. The packet always tells me to soak in hot water, but I find that a few minutes in boiling water gives a more reliable result. 
  • Have your bowls ready! In each bowl, put some vermicelli, a big handful of bean shoots, a big handful of chopped greens. 
  • Remove the large pieces of ginger from the soup, no one wants to eat that! Ladle the meaty broth over the noodles and veggies, squeeze over lemon to taste. 

Ginger will sooth your tummy, lemon and garlic will help to fight any germs, and chili will kick start your body's own ability to process vitamin C. This recipe makes lots of bone broth, which will freeze nicely for next time you are unwell, and you won't have to wait so long for it. The long, slow simmering ensures all of the minerals and nutrients have leached from the bones, enabling you to consume them - this is great for your immune system among many other things. If you'd like to read further on Bone Broth, Sarah Wilson has an excellent article about it here. Sarah Wilson - How to make bone broth and why you should

If you'd like to make some other soups in the meantime, check these out!

Enjoy, and feel better soon

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Technology or Magic? #smartbeauty

This post is not sponsored, it is my submission in the Garnier #smartbeauty competition, as part of the #Kidspot #VoicesOf2014 competition, of which I am one of the top 30 Personal and Parenting Bloggers. Yay me! The prompt I've chosen is 'magic'. You know that as usual, all words and enthusiasm are my own.

OK, you've got me, despite the badge at the bottom I'm not really a Beauty Blogger. But!! Like most non-glamorous ladies the world over, I do like to look after my skin. I was fortunate to inherit decent skin from a mother that was also dedicated to skin care, so I've been cleansing, toning and moisturizing from a young age. As my skin has matured along with me, my needs have changed, and thankfully so have many products on the market. I was lucky enough to have Garnier send me some, including their Garnier Miceller Cleansing Water.

My skin is dryer these days, so what I want from a cleanser is a gentle gentle approach. I want the dirt of the day to lift off by magic. Because my skin is more delicate now, I don't want to have to scrub away at it, I want to be able to use a gentle wiping motion. I don't want my cleanser to leave a residue that needs another product to clean it up. I don't often wear lots of make up, but if I do I don't want to have to use a different makeup remover as well as my regular cleanser. I might have more disposable income these days, but I don't really want to spend it on my skin. Pretty tall order, huh?

Let me tell you, Garnier's Micellar Cleansing Water ticks the boxes on all of these requirements, leaving me with cleaner, happier skin while saving me time and money. Is it magic? Is it technology? Who cares!

Garnier Miceller Cleansing Water is named for Micelles oil molecules, tiny oil molecules that dissolve in water. This means that Garnier Micellar Water feels like a toner, but actually works like the best cleanser ever, picking up impurities, make up and any other residue like some sort of magical cleanser. It works so well you don't need to rub vigorously, leaving your skin perfectly clean and refreshed. It's so gentle it won't dry your skin, leaving you lunging for the moisturizer. It costs around $12 RRP, and one bottle has enough for 200 applications - you do the math, I'm not a mathemagician. I also love that it is not strongly scented, leaving me feel fresh as a daisy.

We talk about getting back to basics all the time, but I am so glad for the magic of technical advances like this!


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What I love about the Jeep Cherokee Sports

Did you know that Northstar Motor Group sponsored ProBlogger accommodation for Redcliffe Style and I this year? Well they did, and not only that, they were generous enough to lend us a Jeep Cherokee Sports to drive to the Gold Coast and back. Thank you Northstar Motor Group, you are the best!

I was so excited when I heard we would be driving a Jeep. I used to own a Jeep and it made me feel like Lara Croft! I was hoping for the big traditional, rugged, off road, giant-wheeled Jeep, but quickly got over my dissapointment when I slid into this stylish ride. It is absolutely luxurious, with all the mod cons and a ton of room.

It was a super comfortable ride, and luckily we didn't get any tickets! The 5 inch touch screen made adjusting the air conditioning and radio very simple, and the park view rear back up camera made reverse parking a breeze. As a passenger on the drive down, my main concern was comfort and I was very comfortable indeed. Plenty of leg room, plenty of cup holders, leather seats, a sober driver - what more could you want?

As a driver on the trip back, let me list the things I particularly loved about the Jeep Cherokee Sports.
  • The fuel economy. If you are like me and watching your budget, you won't want to spend a lot of cash on petrol. The round trip to the Gold Coast took approximately 3 hours, with the air con blasting all the way, and we didn't even use half a tank of petrol. Incredible. I am gobsmacked, and I think Jerry at Northstar Motor Group was a bit surprised himself. 
  • The engine seriously has grunt! I thought I was driving a 6 cylinder at least, but it turns out the 2.4 litre Tiger Shark engine is a 4 cylinder. 
  • It has plenty of space inside but drives like a smaller car. The car I normally drive boats around corners, and my old Jeep had a particularly scary notice on the sun visor warning you not to turn too suddenly, or the car might roll. The Jeep Cherokee Sports was doing U-turns as if it was a little hatch. No more embarrassing 3 point turns at the traffic lights, yay!

Other things that might make you excited are the price, it is only $35k drive away. Something else that might blow your skirt up is the transmission; it has a dual transmission so you can switch from automatic to manual, depending on your mood, the traffic, or the terrain. 

I was sad to leave ProBlogger but excited for the drive back to North Brisbane. Even the hotel valet couldn't believe how much space was in this gorgeous ride! Two giant suitcases, with enough room for more!

Thank you again, Northstar Motor Group!

If you are thinking about upgrading your car to a new or used model, please visit Northstar Motor Group at Kippa Ring. They are super friendly and make the best coffee.

Northstar Motor Group
320 Anzac Avenue, Kippa Ring
(07) 3480 8600 or 1300 894 655

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