Non-stick Grill

The other day, I was killing some time on Pinterest and something caught my eye in the feed.

“How to make your grill non-stick”

It had a picture of a hand holding something on top of a BBQ grill. What I thought the hand was holding was half of a lemon! And I thought, “Really… lemon juice on a BBQ grill… Interesting… wonder how and why it works… lets check it out”

So I went into the post to get a closer view… only to realize that it was half an onion.

This is one tip that I won’t be trying to see if it works.

Just another day in our Life With No Onions.

Life With No Onions

If you would like to see the post that I am referencing to – here it is: Skip to my Lou

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Thanksgiving

This past weekend in Canada they celebrated Thanksgiving.

Traditionally, Thanksgiving in Canada is more about giving thanks for the harvest season than it is a story of the pilgrims arriving.

These days, Thanksgiving involves a gathering of family and friends, sharing things that you are thankful for and a feast that includes turkey and pumpkin pie!

After spending five years in Canada and seeing a few varieties on how this weekend is celebrated, it quickly became one of my favourite holidays. It is a holiday that brings people closer and gives you time for reflection. It’s almost impossible to feel down after celebrating Thanksgiving.

Even though we made the bold jump across the oceans back to my homeland, we are still linked strongly to Canada. So this year I wasn’t going to let Thanksgiving pass without us recreating our own Aussie version. This tradition wasn’t going to die in our lives.

Now… to decide on the feast:

Turkey
Mashed Potatoes
Stuffing
Carrots
Cranberry Sauce
Gravy
Bread Rolls – the fresh fluffy one!
Pumpkin Pie
Apple Pie… or maybe a Crumble..

That looks like a good traditional Thanksgiving feast. But that didn’t come easy. I couldn’t find a turkey anywhere… you can’t just buy pumpkin pie off the shelf (or canned pumpkin filling to make one)… even the cranberry sauce I couldn’t find (only to later realize that I was looking in the wrong section at the supermarket!).

So… we found a frozen turkey breast roll which was great because you didn’t have to deal with bones at all! The only down side was that it didn’t taste as good as the real thing! I bought pumpkin and made a pie from scratch… I even got cranberries and made a cranberry sauce!

This was a first for me – creating a whole Thanksgiving feast. I made up my own recipe for the stuffing and the cranberry sauce. I whipped together the desserts like I was a professional – even though this was the second time I’ve made pumpkin pie in my life!

The guests arrived, the feast was devoured – with plenty of leftovers of course. Thanks was given and laughter was shared. As friends and family, we gathered… we upheld the tradition of thanksgiving and have established a tradition of our own to continue.

But next year… I will make more pumpkin pie!

Things that I am thankful for:
1. A chance to Skype with Cam’s family while they were
enjoying their Canadian Thanksgiving feast.
2. Being back in Australia and enjoying restful and rejuvenating days.
3. Friends who have opened up their home to us
and allowed us to make it our home.
4. The privilege of knowing a beautiful soul that was tragically
taken away from us too soon. *
5. The beach.
6. Chocolate.

Sausage & Cranberry Stuffing

10-12 slices of Bread
8 Sausages
2 Carrots
½ stick of Celery
1 tablespoon Garlic Salt
1 teaspoon Parsley
½ cup dried Cranberries
1 cup Chicken (or vegetable) Stock

Roughly dice bread into cubes. Lay on a baking tray and cook in moderate oven until they resemble croutons – approx. 15-20 minutes. Finely slice and dice carrots and celery. In frying pan, cook sausages. Remove sausages from pan. Add carrots and celery to frypan and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cut sausages into smaller pieces. Return sausages to frypan, add seasoning and cook for a further 2 minutes. Season more if desired!

In a baking dish, place bread cubes. Pour sausage and vegetable mixture on top. Add cranberries. Mix well. Pour over stock. Bake in oven at 180°C / 350°F for 1 hour.

Note: I used beef and garlic sausages for additional flavour – but feel free to use whatever sausages are your favourite. Also – for onion lovers, add a finely diced onion in with the carrots and celery.

* In the lead up to the Thanksgiving weekend, I heard of some tragic news. On Friday morning in Melbourne, a 22 year old woman was shot and died at the scene. I happened to know this woman. She was killed by her ex boyfriend who has been charged with her murder. I was her leader at a camp for several years. There were four girls that were affectionately known as ‘my girls’ to me… she was one of them. I kept in touch with them after each camp and looked forward to the next camp and leading them again. It has been 10 years since I last lead them on a camp. And I have watched her grown into a beautiful woman. We kept in touch, not frequently, but thanks to Facebook we were connected. I was blessed to have her as a part of my life.

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Insomnia

Once again the Insomnia bug has hit me.

So I leave the comfort of my warm bed, crawl out quietly as to not disturb the night owl that attempts to sleep beside me and here I sit in the living room, lights dimmed and wide awake.

It’s always nights like these that I wish for one of two things – or realistically, one thing, but I would be happy if I could accomplish 2 when 1 isn’t attainable!
1. That I could fall asleep
2. That I could be productive if I have to be awake!

Alas, if 1. can’t happen, it generally means that 2. can’t happen because I’ll either be too loud and wake up those fortunate enough to sleep… or because my head is too fuzzy and blurred to do anything productive!

So instead…
I try to read: I got 4 pages in before I had to stop. Focus was waning. And once you have read the same sentence 8 times and think that you need to read it again… you know its’ time to quit!
I check my emails: Nothing new.
I look at Facebook: Two minutes later…
I see if there are any new YouTube Video’s to watch: No new ones, 10 minutes of browsing

I then think… “I should be productive”
Dishes: Too loud
Cleaning: Too loud
Photo Editing: Big computer in bedroom. It would be too loud to get it
Emails: Do I have anyone I need to write too? I am coherent enough to try?
Blog: Here  I am. Writing absolutely nothing important or productive… but hopefully, it’s causing my brain to fatigue more and soon I shall be able to join the land of sleep!

But for now… I might see what good things can be found of Pinterest. Or watch some Vines.

And – Happy Saturday morning to my Canadian friends!

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Burger Time!

Today I share with you, what is probably going to be the first of many unfortunate onion story!

My husband and I had a meeting today just before lunch. By the end of the meeting we both were thinking of replenishing our thirst and hunger so we decided to go to the plaza and get some lunch before heading home.

So we went to check out a place that we have heard about lots. We looked at the menu and couldn’t see that there would be too many issues. It was only burgers after-all.

“Lean beef patty with cheese, salad, relish & herbed mayo on a traditional bun”

Doesn’t that sound good? In true Aussie style, I upgraded to a burger with egg , bacon & beetroot too! But for Cam, he kept it simple.

We ordered, making sure that the ‘salad’ was just a fancy word for lettuce and that it would include no onion.

We made our way to our seats with our drinks and waited for the burgers to arrive.

A few minutes later, our burgers arrived. I should have taken a photo – because there was just no way that I was going to fit that burger in my mouth, let alone hold it without the contents spilling! I didn’t win any graceful eating awards with this one! I think by the time I got to my 10th bite, I managed to find the actual patty!

However, on Cam’s third bite… a resounding “Oh no, this isn’t good” was exclaimed! And he opened it up to reveal onion chunks in the relish! But it was too late. Not much could be done by this point. We scrapped off as much as we could but that was about all we could do. Oh, and take an antihistamine to hopefully counter react some of the onion contamination.

The moral of the story: We now have learnt that relish will most likely contain onions. And when we return to this restaurant, it’ll be relish free burgers for Cam!

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A Story Is Told…

I have come to believe that food and story telling go hand in hand.

How often do you find yourself out for dinner with friends? Catching up over a steaming hot cup of coffee (or in my case, hot chocolate)? Sitting at the park, at the beach, in the backyard or on the deck, with a sandwich in hand and a loved one close by? Or gathered around the table with family or friends… sharing in food… sharing your stories?

My guess is that happens on a daily basis.

Food and stories go hand in hand. 

Looking back on some key moments that have happened in my life – not one of them didn’t involve food in some form. From weddings to birthdays, anniversaries to funerals, graduations to promotions, not one has been celebrated without food. And all of these have stories.

I could tell you about the time that I was in Thailand and we were on Ko Phi Phi Island during the World Cup… late nights hanging out watching the fire dancers or big screens playing soccer games, at beach parties… and hamburgers, always hamburgers! Or when we went to Cambodia and saw the temples near Siem Reap and at the end of each day, we would go to at least three restaurants – one for drinks, one for mains and one for desserts – just to soak up as much of the culture as we could. I could go on…

This is why I want you to know a story behind every recipe I share. I want you to know the essence behind the recipe, the reason why it is a favourite or a new discovery to share. This is why I want to share life as we know it without onions and the amusement that comes with it.

Food. The invitation for stories to be created.

Not only do food and stories go hand in hand… friendship, food and stories go hand in hand.

And so it begins…

After a year hiatus from my other blog… I thought that I would start a fresh. This blog is going to focus on a few different things. Food will be a HUGE component of this blog… is it named Life With No Onions after all!

My husband has an onion allergy – hence the blogs name – and here I would like to explore our life as we rework, reshape and find amusement in life as we now know it. So if you would like to join us on this ride… feel free to come along!

Life With No Onions