Golden Brown[ies]

What better way to end a lazy Anzac Day catch up BBQ with friends than a decadent, delicious square of Pecan Sour Cream Brownie and a coffee. Literally too easy with the help of my dear Thermi.

A good brownie is a joy. Moist and rich, the simple ingredients add up to more than the sum of their parts.

I’m not a fan of the Anzac biscuit so these are my little salute to the Diggers who have served, and continue to serve, our country. Gracias amigos.

(As this is a Thermomix recipe I’ll only post it if anyone is keen to see it – it’s a variation to the recipe found in “Devil of a Cookbook”…a lovely cookbook fundraising for Tasmanian Devils.)


Warm Bodies

What’s not to love about a zombie rom com. Zombies and romantic comedy are a marriage made in heaven; why someone hasn’t thought of this before is beyond me.

Skeptical? Well don’t be. It works. A good script can work miracles and it does in the case of the sweet, funny, entertaining “Warm Bodies”.

I was hooked the moment I read about it months ago (I’m still deeply perturbed by why us Aussies need to wait months to see international releases on our screens; surely the reels don’t come on slow ships anymore…no wonder pirated downloads are the norm rather than the exception these days). Where was I?

A lovely simple premise: the Romeo and Juliet scenario, in fact the characters are called R and Julie, with added zombies. Who could ask for more?

Yes it goes a little off the mark in the second half. One must suspend belief and accept the lack of logic (ok, ok I still look for the logic, even in zombie movies) to go for the ride. But the sheer brilliance of the first 20 minutes makes it worth the price of admission.

Sweet performances from the surprisingly hot Nicholas Hoult, who you may remember as the little boy in “About A Boy”, and Aussie Teresa Palmer. Unnecessary appearance by John Malcovich. For me the surprising star was Rob Corddry as M.

This is a fun and funny little film you can enjoy with your teens (or your partner, if your partner isn’t a killjoy zombie hater….but I’m not bitter…move along, nothing to see here).

Pulled Pork

All roads seem to lead to Pulled Pork in recent weeks. I seem to have lived a full and interesting life with only an inkling of its existence and suddenly I can’t escape the stuff. Not that I’m complaining.

A couple of weeks ago, while doing one of our regular forensic-style inspections of Costco (well, they do tend to stock new items almost every week so it’s important to carefully peruse each aisle in order not to miss anything interesting and/or delicious) we discovered they were stocking Tony Roma’s Pulled Pork in the freezer section. Big Jay has long been a fan of Mr Roma’s eating establishments after spending many a boozy lunch hour (or three) there during his previous-previous employment.

So of course a box of this mysterious substance was purchased and reheated in Casa DKG. Big Jay loved it. I thought it was OK. Porky goodness in a very rich BBQ sauce. More sauce than meat in this particular instance but what can you expect for nine bucks.

Last Friday night at a particularly enjoyable pre-AFL match (which was not so enjoyable) dinner at the always wonderful Micky’s in Paddington, Big Jay spied, and ordered, the Pulled Pork Burger from their comprehensive burger menu. It looked good and there were many “oohs” and “aahs” both from BJ [do you know I have only just twigged to the deep significance of my beloved’s initials… oh, nevermind] and my boss/friend Mr G who had ordered same.

 If you are keeping track that is two instances of pork of the pulled variety in my orbit within a two week period, whereas previously I had managed to live my entire life without having tasted this gastronomic delight.

Sunday morning I wake up with preparations for Sunday lunch swirling through my addled brain. We were expecting guests for lunch and despite Big Jay’s request for BBQ food stuffs I was not in a BBQ-y mood. Inexplicably my mind turned to Pork. Pulled Pork. I realised that I could not survive another day on this planet without having cooked this dish in my very own kitchen on that very day. It seemed very do-able and after reading through a couple of recipes and recalculating them for a quicker process using my uber userful Fast Slow Cooker my little rancid heart was set on a mile-high Pulled Pork Burger for lunch. I could picture the crusty/fluffy roll, the thick layer of saucy pork, the salad leaves, the pickles and the big dollop of sour cream to soothe the richness.

And the dream became reality. Behold.



1.5 – 2 kg piece of Pork Scotch Fillet (the piece I bought in Costco was called Collar Butt which is probably an Americanism for what we call Scotch Fillet)
2-3 large brown onions, finely sliced
3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
1 small tub of tomato paste or 3-4 Tablespoons
1 400g can of chopped tomatoes
3 bay leaves
3 teaspoons ground corriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3-4 Tablespoons BBQ sauce of choice
3/4 cup of water


(I used an electric Pressure Cooker with searing ability. If you don’t have such a magical device you could use a fry pan or a stove top pressure cooker to sear the meat and cook the sauce prior to pressure cooking. Alternatively you can slow cook the entire dish on Low heat for 8 hours.)

Sear the meat on all sides on medium-high heat in a little oil. My piece of scotch fillet was too long to fit in the cooker so I cut it into two large pieces. Remove the meat and set aside. In the remaining oil cook onions and garlic, stirring often so they don’t burn. Add tomato paste and cook for a few minutes. Add all the other ingredients. Bring to the boil.

Add the meat and turn in the sauce to coat on all sides. Put the lid on the pressure cooker and set to Medium Pressure for 1 hour. If you are going to use your pressure cooker for this dish you may need to set it for 45 minutes and test the “pulling-ness” of the meat. If not quite there you will need to cook for another 20 minutes or so. Pressure cooking is a bit of an art and each pressure cooker has their own quirkiness.

Once the pressure is released you can take out the meat and shred it using two forks, thus the Pulled Pork. Behold.

While I was shredding I heated the sauce and simmered for about 10 minutes to reduce and thicken.

I placed the meat in a bowl and added a few ladel-fulls of the rich sauce and mixed through. I didn’t want it too saucy. I served the leftover sauce in a bowl with a bowl of salad greens, sliced pickles and sour cream.

Sunday afternoon heaven. Praise Porky Pig.

I need a hot shower (for my brain)

Book Review: “Makeup to Breakup: My Life In and Out of KISS” by Peter Criss with Larry Sloman

You can’t unknow the things you know but there are times when I wish you could. I earnestly wish I had never read this book, not because it’s badly written or boring but because it has shattered an illusion I have been living with for the past 35 years.

It’s important to understand how much I loved KISS from about the age of 9 or 10. Circa 1978-1980 they meant everything to me. Their words and music spoke directly to my heart and my yearning pre-pubescent soul. No-one on the planet understood me like these strange men in make up, spandex and monstrous boots.

In those days media was a very different creature to what we know it to be now. Pre-internet, iPhone and 24 hour news cycles us kids relied on TV Week, Tiger Beat (imported), Countdown and the occasional TV news or Sunday paper snippet to keep up to date with our idols. So it took a long time for me to build up any picture of who Paul, Gene, Peter and Ace were as real men.

Even in recent years I still had a very Vaseline-on-the-lens, soft-round-the-edges view of what their reality was. Yes, that whacky Gene had slept with some countless thousands of groupies; yes, Peter and Ace were druggies who’d been kicked out of the band for their bad behaviour. Because I had loved, and had continued to love, them so much I didn’t dwell too much on these distasteful topics. After all, this is what rock stars do, right?

I had read Gene’s autobiography a few years ago and it had provided a few details but was really a very broad brushstroke recollection. Gene is all about the KISS brand, he’s not into allowing the truth to scare away a potential consumer.

I had been alerted to Peter’s book by a colleague at work who is also a massive KISS fan. He had started reading the book, told me to read it and had then left to go on holidays. The next day he sent me this message: “Not sure what the amazon policy is but you should return your copy of Peter Criss. Hang onto your fond memories of the band don’t ruin them discovering the truth”.

If only I had heeded this sage advice. It is one thing to glimpse or suspect the bad behaviour of rock stars, it’s easy to file those stories and rumours under “those crazy boys” or put them down to media exaggeration or simply sweep them under the rug in your conscience. It’s another thing to read the stories in black and white graphic detail and ponder the depravity of a human being who could commit or condone such behaviour in the name of “fun”.

I don’t want to go into particular details. Suffice to say the sorts of things these boys did on tour to entertain themselves is simply disgusting. Not only was their mistreatment of women beyond appalling (sex with willing groupies is one thing, public humiliation and endangering lives is something else altogether) but their drug fuelled destruction of property for entertainment makes me see them in a very different and unflattering light.

Peter is an angry and hard-done-by individual and he uses this book to let rip on those who have done him wrong. He is merciless on Gene especially. Yet he comes across as a whiny victim, a man who is keen to blame those around him for being mean, underhanded and dishonest yet he is blind, or at least dismissive, to his own disgraceful behaviour and complicity in the dire behaviour of those around him.

Particularly offensive to me is his view of himself as a man with a special relationship to God. He seems to have convinced himself that God understands him, is forgiving of his horrendous womanizing while he is married, his drug taking, his prodigious ability to behave badly in any given situation.

I thought I’d be reading a garden variety biography of the man who has long held a special place in my heart; Catman, the man responsible for “Beth” one of my all-time favourite KISS songs, the quiet, mysterious drummer with the enigmatic smile. Instead I am left to deal with a much darker reality than I suspected and the sadness of knowing that I will never reclaim the naive love I have harboured for these men and their music for the past 35 years.

Some things are better left unknown. The truth can and does hurt you.

Getting away

Sometimes it’s the simple act of getting away that does the job. It doesn’t need to be a fancy and/or expensive holiday, just a change of scenery, a change of routine. All that’s needed to clear the brain and recharge the depleted batteries.

These last three days in Port Macquarie with our dear friends the Gs, staying with our dear friends the (other) Gs, who very conveniently purchased a beautiful, spacious home big enough to holiday house us all, has been just such a getaway.

A few days of chatting, walking, eating, drinking coffee and heckling The Voice (judges and contestants alike). There is something so wonderfully comfortable about hanging out with good friends; people who know and love you despite your annoying eccentricities…and you them. The silences are as comfortable and as warm as the conversation.

Our six children have known and played with each other since they were all babies and toddlers and watching their friendships continue and mature is so incredibly pleasurable and rewarding. They are each such different little people yet they are intrinsically bonded through a shared life history and through friendships forged in the sandpit. As I look at our beautiful children together I wish for them the special comfort and happiness of long term friendship.

I am grateful for such friendship in my life. It means so much.

This afternoon we will return to normal life, routine, responsibility. Which is just fine because I have been restored by our little getaway and by some peaceful time with some of my wonderful “besties”. Who could ask for more?

It lives

On 24 June 2005 I dipped my toe into the new and slightly mysterious blogging world. After reading a very funny, moving blog I was inspired to put my own weird and wonderful thoughts out into the cyber world…and The Adventures of Deep Kick Girl Down Under was born. The 899th entry appeared almost exactly a year ago. I didn’t really lose interest and I didn’t stop having an opinion, I just kept meaning to get back to it “one day”. One day just never came. Until today. Deep Kick Girl lives and she’s going to be better, faster, stronger and just bloody well more fabulous than ever. More opinions, more crazy rants, more photos of food which will never appear in a Weight Watchers cookbook, generally more drivel of the kind you’ve known and loved in the past. But now with a little added motivation because, damn it, I love to write and no amount of work, child taxi duties and thankless school-related martyr activities fulfill me in the same way as writing. You might ask what prompted this re-birth. An opportunity which I like to think of as my first “paid” writing job. OK, I’m not actually being paid in cash or any other legal tender but, even better, I am being paid in food and experience. In two weeks’ time I, along with a few other bloggers and writers, am being flown to Kangaroo Island for the KI Feastival (aka the Kangaroo Island Food and Wine Festival). Two days of eating, drinking, sightseeing and generally soaking in the unique beauty and culinary abundance of this amazing Australian holiday spot. What a lucky little Deep Kick Girl am I? So welcome to the new, probably not improved, Deep Kick Girl. I hope you will join me for the next chapter.