A variety show of life peppered with opinion, outbursts, comedy, cats, travel, music, movies, art, gardening, food, photographs and self-indulgence

An ode to Kale…

I love Kale, it’s not for everyone, but if you do like it you’re lucky because not only is one of the most nutrient rich foods around (with more iron per kilo than beef, more calcium than milk and all the vitamins you can poke a stick at including Vitamin K, A, C, B2, B3, B6, E, as well as antioxidants, magnesium, protein and folate), it’s ridiculously easy to grow (it’s official season is mid-winter through to Spring, but I plant mid-winter and harvest from spring through until the end of Autumn and I don’t find the flavor affected in the slightest) and is incredibly versatile to cook with. 

There’s so many ways to incorporate Kale into your diet from salads, to snacks (everyone knows about Kale Chips right?) , as a side or even part of a cooked pasta dish. 

The two images above are the first two Kale dishes I’ve made this Spring. The one on the left is a kale pasta salad with chickpeas and avocado (and a garlic, olive oil, lemon and cilantro dressing) and on the right is pasta with kale, olives, cherry tomato’s, fresh chili and pine nuts. Cooked in garlic olive oil and then some truffle oil is thrown in when the veggies are added to the pasta and instead of parmesan cheese I seasoned it with smoked paprika. 

If you look up Kale on any recipe site you’ll find thousands of recipes that you can make, amended or be inspired by. 

Kale Tips

1. When eating raw, after chopping massage a small amount of olive oil into the Kale to soften it up. 
2. Steaming Kale is the best way to lock in the nutrients. 
3. When growing Kale it will attract the same kinds of bugs that broccoli does - so be on the look out for cabbage moths. I always net my Kale with very, very fine netting to keep the yuck out. 
4. One of the best salad pairings with Kale are cranberries. 

On Tour - Part Five: Perth

Hotel: The Duxton
Venue: Riverside Theatre, PCEC

My first time visiting Perth and I was only there for 16 hours. I had an hour to spare so I walked up to Hay street, Perth on a Monday night is a ghost town.

The Duxton is a lovely hotel. No pillow menu. No robe. But very nice and comfortable anyway. Great breakfast buffet! The riverside theatre in the convention centre is also a great venue, although being in the middle of a labyrinthine like convention centre it wasnt the most practical. The crowd were great though and the show went off without a hitch. 

Not much else to report except I’m going back for Rotto fest in September because I want to see more of Perth. 

On Tour Part 4 - 20 hours in Radelaide 

Hotel: Intercontinental
Venue: Adelaide Festival Centre, Festival Theatre

I haven’t been to Adelaide since I was 6 years old and that trip was a disaster. I had a parasite in my bowel and spent the good part of two weeks throwing up black sludge that looked not unlike vegemite, which is probably why I don’t eat Vegemite these days. I had 5 hours until I needed to be at the venue and 1 hour worth of work to do. Upon arrival at the hotel (top left) it’s quite clear that nothing much in dear old Radelaide has changed since the early 90s…including the Intercontinental. I was fairly outraged there was no pillow menu - I guess they didn’t have such frivolous things in the 80s when this hotel was no doubt brand spanking new and cutting edge in design. I half expected the staff to still be wearing shoulder pads and for some dramatic scenes to unfold in the lobby bold and the beautiful style. Alas no such things happened and I’m still not entirely certain as to how the hotel keeps its 5 star rating. I went in search of food and found a place in the mall that did veggie dumplings and a dairy free crushed iced smoothie type thing. Then I went and had a nap because what else is there to do in Radelaide on a Sunday afternoon except hang out in the street and maybe get serial killed? Yeah. Nap it was. 

Show was great, audience was well behaved - even older than the middle aged average of the other venues. Unfortunately the stage door was unmanned and they got mobbed leaving the venue (and walking to the hotel, ugh) it did mean I got to see a man miraculously get out of his wheelchair and walk over for a photo. I figured at that point it was time to wrap up this freak show and get the tour party to bed. I had chips from the room service menu because it lacked anything gluten free or veggo…

The next morning I got up at 8am with the intention of going for a jog and grabbing breakfast. I realized it was 3 degrees so I decided against jogging and rugging up and doing a brisk sightseeing walk. Images above. I tried some famous 24 hour pancake parlor as I was told they do gluten free pancakes, they do but they were terrible. 

I’ll come back to Adelaide in Fringe time. I think that’s probably the only time worth visiting. I guess the city saves all its energy for the first few months of the year where they have a ridiculous amount of festivals on. 

On Tour Part 3 - 20 hours in BrisVegas…or Brisbogan, whatever you like to call Brisbane. 

Hotel: The Gambaro
Venue: Lyric Theatre, QPAC 

We got picked up in a party bus. That’s right, Brisbane’s idea of luxury transport is a party bus. Complete with mini-bar and mini-stripper pole. At least the windows were completely tinted I supposed. I didn’t want to touch anything for fear of partyAIDS because lets face it, the kind of people who would hire these vehicles for the purpose that they are intended for…in Queensland…well, lets leave it to your imagination shall we? I’m surprised the seats weren’t stained with fake tan, that’s all I’m saying. 

The Gambaro is Brisbanes newest 5 star hotel. It’s beautiful, although being right on Caxton Street on game night it’s unfortunately situation in the seventh layer of hell. After the show I went downstairs to redeem my free drink and I turned right back around and went to bed because upon entering the lobby I was overwhelmed by the sound of hedonistic bogans having the time of their life. The toiletries and extra touches of the Gambaro were what really made it stand out, from having my name welcome me on the TV, to the T2 teabags and the really really nice toiletries - the Gambaro will definitely get my return business.  

The show was typically fantastic, no Encore because the audience were quite a bit older than usual (older than middle aged!) which I guess is more indicative of the venue than anything else. 

On Tour Part 2 - 18 hours in the nations capital; Canberra

Hotel: Canberra Hyatt
Venue: Canberra Theatre

My love affair with the hotel robe continues. No pillow menu at the Hyatt Canberra, but we were met by enthusiastic staff who told us that the President of Japan had only departed that morning (with no other context). First show of the tour. Sold out. Great crowd. Artist signed, sold a heap of merchandise. The toiletries provided were abundant -a shaving kit AND dental kit. Bonus! Bubble bath - totally had a bubble bath after the show. Then ordered room service - a massive salad and nasi goreng cause I wanted rice and that was all they could give me. The Star didn’t provide the Holy Bible. Canberra provided the holy bible - that in combination with worlds biggest hotel desk and phone right by the toilet tells me that Canberra means business! Great Job Canberra! 

To make to for my lack of content lately, here’s a photo from backstage at The Palms at Crown in Melbourne. Everyone loves a good Burt and Patty Newtown cut out right? 

Stay tuned because I’m writing and scheduling more entries/pieces/blogs from the recent comedy tour I was working on, Splendour in the Grass music festival and other general happenings in my strange sitcom of a life 

Plus I head back to the US on Monday for a few weeks - west coast only, sorry my southern fried lovers in the crescent city limited time schedule and the mojave has been calling. I need to get away, centre and reset this time, no partying or excessive indulgence! (Except for when I see man man on the 18th and two nights of murder city devils on the 21st & 22nd!)

To make to for my lack of content lately, here’s a photo from backstage at The Palms at Crown in Melbourne. Everyone loves a good Burt and Patty Newtown cut out right? 

Stay tuned because I’m writing and scheduling more entries/pieces/blogs from the recent comedy tour I was working on, Splendour in the Grass music festival and other general happenings in my strange sitcom of a life

Plus I head back to the US on Monday for a few weeks - west coast only, sorry my southern fried lovers in the crescent city limited time schedule and the mojave has been calling. I need to get away, centre and reset this time, no partying or excessive indulgence! (Except for when I see man man on the 18th and two nights of murder city devils on the 21st & 22nd!)

On Tour: Part One - Sydney

Hotel: The Darling @ The Star
Venue: The Star (Event Centre)

This happened in July but better late than never right?  

It’s pretty great when a tour starts in your home town, but it’s even better when you also get to stay in a fancy hotel in your hometown and the Darling at The Star is hella fancy! I’ve stayed in 5 star hotels before, but not any that are so new and so modern and so…robotic.

When you enter the room the lights gradually go up and the blinds open revealing amazing floor to ceiling windows. I can’t decide what impresses me the most, the robot technology (everything in the room is operated via the TV and remote including the wake up - you set the room to gradually wake you up with the TV going on softly then louder and curtains opening gradually, right down to setting the temperature for wake up). The minibar scared the shit out of me though, everything was on a timer and if it was removed for 30 seconds it automatically charged to the room. This resulted in a whole bunch of incorrect charges on my room tab, which were immediately refunded so I imagine it’s a rather large problem.

There were two options with the intimacy kit, a hugely over inflated $18 for one condom, massage oils and a blindfold for the basic kit or $24 for the deluxe kit that comes with an adult movie. I can only imagine the types of people who would use that - like Valerie and Brian from the upper North Shore who decided to treat themselves to a dirty weekend away in the city for their 25th wedding anniversary.

I digress

This was not only my first encounter with a pillow menu (hello pillow exactly like the one l have at home) but also where my love affair with hotel robes began. I’ve experienced robes before, but something about sitting in a hotel room, working, in nothing but a robe is a strangely wonderful thing. Kind of like being at home working in your PJS, but better. I tell you what, I got more basic admin work and tedious tasks taken care of while I was on the road than I ever do in the office. I attribute this to robes.

In the middle of the Sydney week we went to Canberra, but I have a separate entry for that. We only had one media commitment (apparently jedward had been in the studio before us!) and the show on Friday night was close to a sell out. I’m pretty sure this show got an encore - I mean fuck, that’s how talented this comedian is, no one gets an encore in comedy! Amazing!

Hummus Scrambled tofu recipe

It’s a rare Sunday that I wake up without a hangover and when I do I’m always motivated to cook some good food to put into body to balance out my poisonous vices. Often it’s a matter of throwing whatever I’ve got growing in the garden or sitting in the fridge together. Since it’s winter the garden is now quite sparse with the exception of some hardy herbs and the last round of veggies. 

Anyway, I digress- I had put the hummus on top of the silken tofu and as I reached for the  tofu I had and idea that could have very well been a complete and disastrous waste of ingredients or culinary genius. It was the latter, luckily! 

Here’s what I put in it:
Silken tofu
Half a tub of hummus 
Two jalapeño chillis 
A handful of basil
Smoked paprika
Cherry tomatoes 
Tsp minced garlic 
Half an avocado 

I mashed up everything with a whisk and fork except the tomato and avocado until it was blended nicely and had an acceptable consistency. I then chucked in the tomatoes and threw it into a lightly oiled frypan for a couple of minutes.

I took it off the heat, mashed half an avo through then served the second half of the avo whole with smoked paprika on top. 

It was delightfully delicious and move been thinking about how delicious it was all day. 

PLUS it’s vegan and gluten free!

Hummus Scrambled tofu recipe

It’s a rare Sunday that I wake up without a hangover and when I do I’m always motivated to cook some good food to put into body to balance out my poisonous vices. Often it’s a matter of throwing whatever I’ve got growing in the garden or sitting in the fridge together. Since it’s winter the garden is now quite sparse with the exception of some hardy herbs and the last round of veggies.

Anyway, I digress- I had put the hummus on top of the silken tofu and as I reached for the tofu I had and idea that could have very well been a complete and disastrous waste of ingredients or culinary genius. It was the latter, luckily!

Here’s what I put in it:
Silken tofu
Half a tub of hummus
Two jalapeño chillis
A handful of basil
Smoked paprika
Cherry tomatoes
Tsp minced garlic
Half an avocado

I mashed up everything with a whisk and fork except the tomato and avocado until it was blended nicely and had an acceptable consistency. I then chucked in the tomatoes and threw it into a lightly oiled frypan for a couple of minutes.

I took it off the heat, mashed half an avo through then served the second half of the avo whole with smoked paprika on top.

It was delightfully delicious and move been thinking about how delicious it was all day.

PLUS it’s vegan and gluten free!