Up, up and away. Again.

In a little over a week, I’ll be in Las Vegas. It’s in Nevada, apparently. I’m not sure how this happened – like I’ve mentioned before, PNG did strange things to my brain and now I indulge in bizarre risk-taking behaviour, like sitting on a plane for 13 hours because someone* said hey Inga, wanna go to Vegas?

I’ve never been to the USA before, so I need some tips from my American bloggy friends. Specifically, tip tips. We don’t tip in Australia, and consequently the accepted convention is unfamiliar to me. Who do you tip? How much do you tip? If we’re buying drinks at a club, do you give the tip straight to the bar staff? Who gets the money in tip jars? And if the place is busy, how do they know if you put money in it or not? Do you tip bus drivers? Grocery store staff? Taxi drivers? I’M SO CONFUSED. 

We’re renting a convertible for a couple of days and driving out to Arizona to see that big hole in the ground, which is going to be another learning experience altogether. Trying to find our way out of Vegas on the right (ie. wrong) side of the road is going to be borderline suicidal, but we’re going to mount a video camera onto the dashboard and salvage some amusement out of the experience. I’ll be sure to post the resultant histrionics here.

Any hints or information from the natives will be gratefully received. Sorry in advance, America, we’re gonna raise hell. In an accent no one can understand.

 

*Nikki. It’s always bloody Nikki.

 

Cooking for Idiots 101

Several weeks ago while driving home from work, I had a weird moment. I was thinking about the delicious lamb souvlaki with garlic sauce I was going to pick up for dinner, and all of a sudden an image popped into my head of the poor little lambie that had died to provide my scrumptious takeaway meal, and just like that I became a vegetarian. It’s funny how the brain works sometimes.

So at the risk of spending the rest of my life eating nothing but McDonald’s fries and vodka, I’ve had to learn some new moves in the kitchen. And seeing as everyone in the blogging world is obsessed with food, here is my new favourite winter soup recipe (because for some of us it’s winter right now, you bastards).

Ingredients

  • Wine
  • 1 cup of raw, unsalted cashews
  • 1 cup of canned chickpeas
  • 1 cup of vegetable stock
  • Half an onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped (or 3 if you have an ailing immune system and you’re not planning on pashing anyone tonight)
  • More vegetable stock (maybe 4 cups? I don’t know. Enough to make the various ingredients into liquid.)
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 heads of broccoli
  • A couple of handfuls of spinach

Method

Pour yourself a glass of wine. Refill as necessary.

Combine the cashews, chickpeas and 1 cup of stock, and blend the shit out of it until it resembles the stuff babies spew up down peoples’ backs. Put this to one side; you’ll need it later. That’s why we made it.

Sauté the onions and garlic with a little oil in a saucepan. I don’t actually know what sauté means, but I see it all the time in reference to onions. I think it sounds like a dance move. Hey baby, give me some vodka and I’ll show you my sauté.

Add the rest of the stock to the saucepan, along with the potatoes and carrot. You can leave the skin on – peeling is messy, annoying and unnecessary.

When the potatoes and carrots are soft, throw in the broccoli. Give any broccoli scraps to your rabbit. If you don’t have a rabbit, your life is meaningless and unfulfilled. Go and rescue one from a shelter.  

When the broccoli is soft, throw in the spinach and stir through until wilted. Give some spinach to your rabbit before she goes into cardiac arrest with anticipation.

Blend in batches. It will resemble wheat grass juice, but don’t panic.

Combine the baby spew and wheat grass juice in a saucepan over low heat, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy with a crusty cobb loaf, or for a gluten free option, try having it with wine. In fact, just pour yourself another wine anyway, because you’re awesome.

Happy winter y’all!

Inga XOX