Friday, September 30, 2011

Fairtrade Films and East Timor

Did you know East Timor is only 640km from Darwin at the top end of Australia? That's closer then Broome from the cyclone capital and the Big Pineapple from the Big Banana, well almost.  They also drive on the left.

Fairtrade films is a small independent Film company located in Melbourne, Victoria the southern capital of Australia and cultural melting pot.  Founded in 2010 but with a portfolio going back to 1986, their work includes Trafficked - The Reckoning, a film chronicling the search for the man responsible for enslaving a young Thai woman into a Sydney brothel; Trafficked - the original 2004 film about the woman, Ning, at the centre of the enslavement; and being charge of the production in East Timor of Balibo, the film starring Anthony La Paglia as Roger East, the journalist killed whilst investigating the Balibo 5.

Currently Fairtrade films are raising funds for their next project in East Timor- a joint venture with the newly formed Dili Filmworks.  Dili Filmworks is the first film company in East Timor.

The Film titled A Guerra da Beatriz (Beatriz's War) is a love story set in the years following the takeover by Indonesia in 1975 through until Independence in 2002.  This film will be the first feature film produced in East Timor ever.

Help support film making in East Timor by sponsoring the film,  on the Fairtrade film website at

and find out more about the role of film making in the recovery of the World's second newest (South Sudan has enthusiastically grabbed that mantle) and one of the poorest nations (and next door neighbour of Australia) here:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

It's amore

This is a baked pork sausage, cannellini bean and vegetable dish.

6 or so Italian pork sausages (must be pork, and preferably Italian style with fennel)
1 tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 fennel bulb, sliced
2 or 3 roma tomatoes, sliced
white wine vinegar
olive oil
sea salt

Easy Method
Place sliced fennel bulb and tomato in an oven proof dish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with good salt
Bake in hot oven 10 minutes to start the cooking process
While baking the veg, brown the pork snags in hot olive oil
Add browned snagalinis to the fennel/tomato and add your rinsed beans, a little vinegar
Cover with a lid and bake for a further 25-30 minutes until vegetables are nicely cooked, and the beans are all gooey
Serve in a warm bowl with crusty bread and a side salad...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Andy's Spice Mix

Useful in nachos, rice pilafs, middle eastern dishes (with a little ginger and garlic) etc etc

3 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds or powder
1 tbsp sweet paprika
good pinch sea-salt

in a mort and pestle, grind the coriander seeds up with a pinch of salt. Add the cumin seeds (or powder) and the paprika.
The aroma is amaaaaaaaaaaazing

Easy 15 minute tomato salsa

this is so easy, you will wonder why u never made it.  Suits a range of dishes as a side garnish or as the star.

3 ripe skinned tomatoes: drop the tarties into a saucepan of boiling water for 2 or 3 minutes, then drain and the skin slips off
roughly chop.

in the same saucepan, add the now prepared tomatoes, 1 tbsp olive oil or vegie oil, good pinch of sea salt, cracked black pepper and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
meanwhile, chop fresh herbs, parsley, basil or even oregano and add to the tomatoes.
to finish, add a good squeeze of lemon juice, and adjust the sweetness to taste with a little sugar.
if the tomatoes aren't that ripe or lack a little flavour, add 1 tbsp of tomato paste.

so much tastier then shop bought salsa.

Midweek Noshup: Nachos

Nachos are an excellent standby when u don't feel like cooking, or it's a Wednesday.  It's too early in the week to light the barbie and crack a coldie, and it's too late to get away with microwaved leftovers.

My little tasty treat is vegetarian because it's a) healthy b) tasty c) cheap d) all of the above!

1x packet of corn chips (try the healthy ones they taste better)
1x 400g tin of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1x 400g tin of refried beans (despite the name they aren't fried and are actually quite healthy)
handful of tasty cheese, grated
sour cream if you like, regular or light.
2tbsp light vegetable oil

1 jar of tomato salsa, or the easy 15 minute home made. See above recipe
4 tbsp spice mix: you can use a packet, or have a go.  See above!

1. In a fry pan over medium heat, lightly fry the drained kidney beans and spice mix in the oil.
2. Add 1/2 tin of refried beans and a little water, heat thru for a couple of minutes, and mash a few kidney beans up.
3. Assembly: In a bowl or pie dish, place the corn chips, refried beans and top with tomato salsa and tasty cheese. Stick a few corn chips in the top so they stick out like a hedgehog's spikes.
4. Grill under a hot grill until the cheese is melted, and corn chips are lightly toasted
Serve in the middle of the coffee table with sour cream and a slice of lemon to squeeze all over
5. Eat and enjoy :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Paddock full of Utes

Somewhere between the towns of Condobolin, and Parkes New South Wales there is a paddock.  Not just any old paddock, but a paddock of utes.  In true Strine fashion, somebody has planted utilities in and on the ground, in an offbeat send up of Aussie Icons.

Tin sheep

Giddy Up Boys

I'll drink to that