News

Bendigo Pipped to the Post by Puckapunyal

Despite scoring three tries to their opponent’s one, the Fighting Miners were narrowly defeated by the Puckapunyal Boars in wet, raining conditions last Saturday.

Lack of discipline when not in possession of the ball cost the Miners dearly as the Puckapunyal goalkicker took every chance offered to him, slotting 5/5 with four penalties and a conversion.

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Bendigo Rugby Season 2010 Draw

The 2010 Country Draw is now available. You may download it here or alternatively from the Miners’ website.

Round 1 kicks off at 3pm against Puckpunyal at home (Shadforth Park, North Bendigo) on May 1st.

You might also like to know that the Fighting Miners have a practice match against Premier Division Side, Melbourne on Saturday April 17th Kick-off at 3pm at Shadforth Park.

Please go along and support.

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NAAFI Tea for Tough Guys Sold to Soft Civvies!

NAAFI Break tea, the only thing keeping the British Army’s front line troops fighting fit (a thinly veiled reference to the controversy surrounding their sub-standard kit), is to be sold to civvies. That’s right, civilians or regular non-serving members of the British public, can now get their laughing gear around it. It’s the first time in their history that the NAAFI has released one of its own brands to the general public.

NAAFI tea
NAAFI tea. It’ll put hairs on your chest!

The reason I decided that this news blog-worthy was twofold. Firstly, and most importantly, it will raise funds for Help for Heroes, the charity which helps injured service personnel and secondly, I grew up on the stuff. You can learn more about Help for Heroes by visiting their site and you can make a donation now by clicking on the h4h image.

help for heroes logo
Click to make a donation now!

NAAFI, the Navy, Army and Air Force Institute, supplies British military personnel throughout the world, with a ‘taste of home’. From a tent within spitting distance of the front line to the plush supermarkets and leisure facilities found on British military garrisons, NAAFI offer all the usual comforts of home such as British bread, biscuits and newspapers, British fish & chips and a traditional British pint. These days the British squaddie can even buy tax-free cars!

NAAFI Break tea has been served to British Forces since 1921 and is said to differ from the average cuppa due to its “premium quality blend that gives a rich, strong taste and a real military flavour”. Now I can’t tell you what that ‘real military flavour’ is precisely, because it has been a while since my last cup but I certainly remember it being full-bodied and not for the faint-hearted. I remember being gently woken by Sgt. Owen and the NCO’s serving us morning tea with a generous measure of Navy Rum to the sound of the regimental band playing Reveille on the square; a festive traditional treat to Parachute Regiment recruits, if my memory serves correct and in stark contrast to the usual screaming and bed tipping which passed for a wake up call on any other day. I would seriously like to reacquaint myself with it if only for nostalgia’s sake – the tea, not the wake-up calls.

NAAFI Break is being sold in branches of the Spar supermarket chain in the UK and 50p from each sale goes to Help for Heroes.

As Long as we Beat the English we Don’t Care

It wasn’t that long ago that the British peoples were spilling each others blood on the battlefield and even though we now coexist under one united banner, (blame the Act of Union) not a great deal has changed . These days Twickenham, Croke Park, Murrayfield and The Millenium Stadium are our battlefields where lines are drawn and blood frequently spilt. But as serious as a rugby union international is, there is nothing but humorous banter between supporters.

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It’s a Baked Bean Pizza But Not as we Know it

If there is a more heinous crime than serving short measures (of beer), it has to be chucking fruit on a bloody pizza.

What a tart!

Pineapple is a prime example of when culinary creativity meets Mr. Stupid Bollocks. Coming in a close second with ways to totally bastardize an otherwise perfectly good pizza, is the desire to load it with meat. But just to clarify, it’s not simply the addition of meat, it’s the apparent need to stack so much of it on. You may as well rip the horns off a cow, shove your ball of dough up its backside and call that a pizza.

Other than ham or perhaps pepperoni, I don’t understand why anyone would saddle the humble pizza with lumps of assorted animal flesh. Don’t get me wrong, I love a steak as much as the next carnivore but the humble pizza is, in my humble opinion, simply not the place for it, it never was and there’s probably a rule about it somewhere.

One exception to the rule however, should be using minted lamb sausage meat with baked beans! Please, control your retching and hear me out.

Not really my pizza!

Do yourselves a favour and buy a shit-load of minted-lamb sausages from the butcher in Strath Village. His web site is bloody awful but his snags are great. Treat yourself to bangers and mash one night but save one or two sausages for the pizza.

Chop and gently fry a small red onion in a little butter and a teaspoon of honey. Squeeze the meat out of the skins and add to the pan, making sure it’s well broken down. I use a potato masher for this. Add ground or crushed black pepper if you are so inclined.

Chuck in 1/3 tin of baked beans and mix together. There’s no need to cook the beans, we’re just making sure everything is well mixed.

Spread your tomato sauce thinly over your dough. You can skip this stage if you like, especially if your meat and beans mixture is quite wet.

Spread your sausage meat and baked bean topping evenly over your pizza base, top with mozzarella and a good pinch of mixed herbs and wack it in the oven until it starts to brown.

I kid ye not, it’s delicious but very, very rich. I only managed a small slice but the great thing is that I can have another slice for lunch and another for supper! There may even be some left over for breakfast!

 

9th Feb is International Pizza Day!

Believe it or not, and I prefer to believe, tomorrow (February 9th) is International Pizza Day!

Have a look at my simple pizza dough recipe or my first ever effort in the shape of Australia!

I’m sure that many would upchuck at the thought of baked bean pizza but take my word for it, it is awesome. The boffins over at Heinz were obviously on to something when they came up with the frozen one.

heinz baked bean pizza
Mmmm…Heinz Baked Bean Pizza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is even a Facebook page dedicated to ‘Bring Back Heinz Baked Bean Pizzas‘!!

These days my kids go wild for my own homemade version. It’s not complicated and any baked beans will do. Spread over your tomato sauce or just tomato paste if you prefer, and top with cheese. The bulk of the cheese is simply cheddar of one sort or another but you can finish it off with a little mozzarella if you like. Sprinkle some mixed herbs over if you like and voila!

So if it’s not baked bean pizza, what’s your favourite?

[poll id=”2“]

 

 

 

 

Chicken Fettuccine with Wild Mushrooms and Gobbledegeek

To give this scrumptious Italian number it’s full name….Peppered Chicken Fettuccine Tossed with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Wild Mushrooms & Spinach. It may very well be known by another name but I’m afraid I have no have no idea what it might be. The original recipe was passed to me by a talented young chef in Bendigo named Adam and so the credit, and thanks, go to him.

You will notice, perhaps with some panic, that I have omitted the proportions. The reason for this is that after making it a few times, I discarded the recipe and made it to taste. For instance, I love mushrooms but the kids balk at their texture and so the amount and the variety will vary. We all adore pesto but it can make the dish a little rich and heavy, so if you have plenty of chicken to go around, cut down on the pesto and vice versa. Experiment by adding and tasting as you go. Add more of what you like and less of what you don’t but don’t go mad otherwise it will become too salty or overly rich.

Referring back to the long-winded title, if you are partial to it, you might like to add more pepper and reduce the amount of pesto. Heck! Leave out the pesto, sun-dried tomatoes and substitute cream and you have yourself a completely different meal!

 

Ingredients

Fettuccine or Tagliatelle
Chicken Breast Fillets
Sun-dried Tomatoes
Mushrooms
Spinach
Pesto
Cracked black pepper
Garlic
Butter
Olive Oil
Parmesan Cheese

 

Method

Start by cooking the pasta in well salted water. This should take between 8 and 10 minutes once the water is boiling, just long enough to let you prepare the rest of the dish.

Slice the chicken into equal pieces and marinate in olive oil and black pepper while you get on with the other stuff.

Slice the mushrooms and cook in an equal butter oil mix. Season and add a little garlic. Personally, I prefer to just heat them through so they remain quite firm but not still crunchy. You can experiment with wild mushrooms and I would suggest Crimini (Cremini, baby bellas, Italian Brown and Portabellini) for their richer, more earthy flavour or for the more adventurous (and if you can get them), Pied de Mouton or Porcini (Penny Buns) but any mushroom imparting earthy or nutty flavours such as Portabello, would be great in this dish. If you manage to get your hands on some good ‘uns, reduce the impact of the other ingredients and make it more about the mushrooms.

cremini mushrooms

Fry the chicken in olive oil, add mushrooms and the sun-dried tomatoes. Add the pesto and garlic. Season to taste. Other than the pasta, the chicken is the only other ingredient you actually cook, everything else simply requires warming through!

Add more olive oil for the sauce. You may leave this step out if you’re not a fan of olive oil but you don’t want it to be too dry.

Drain and add the cooked pasta, toss and add shaved Parmesan. Potato peelers are great for shaving but a standard grater will probably have the necessary grating slot.

Add the spinach, toss and add a knob of butter. If you’re not a big fan of spinach, try it anyway because it’s the marriage of flavours that make this dish so bloody lovely. If you really must, leave out the spinach, it won’t lessen the dish noticeably. You might also like to add lightly toasted pine nuts or even almond slivers.

Serve with shaved Parmesan on top and accompany with a chilly crisp white of your choice.

Perhaps I’ll add a few black olives when I do this next and I must remember to take photos. Here’s one I borrowed but it doesn’t have sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, Parmesan or any chicken for that matter!!

pesto fettucini

Gobbledegeek v The Bendigo BMX Bandits

An unnatural noise outside caught my attention where random wind-related sounds don’t. Given that the missus is working away in Melbourne, I couldn’t wake her to deal with it and so I had little choice but to drag myself out of bed. A sneaky peak out between the blinds revealed some low-life miscreant creeping up the driveway.

Being ever so courageous, I poked my head out of the front door and politely greeted the bugger! Yes, I actually called out “hello?” My God! What was I thinking? I immediately came to my senses and attempted to rescue the awkward (for me at least) situation with some choice expletives but the little sod was obviously so confused and startled by my effeminate (particularly blonde) initial greeting, that he had long since scarpered.

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