Ten Things In The Last 2 Weeks…

Do you ever get the feeling that time has somehow slipped into overdrive and that each week is actually going even faster than the one before?   I do.  That’s the feeling I have right now.

I can’t believe how quickly time has passing and that it’s already April!

My plan to blog weekly with updates on what we’ve been cooking and eating, well frankly, it’s fallen a bit behind.   2 weeks behind to be exact.   We’ve had a lot of cooking adventures since then- but the time has passed in the blink of an eye!

I’ll try to summarise but so much tasty stuff has happened and I feel like I’ve conquered a few culinary mountains.

Continue reading

What We Ate Last Week: Sweet Cheeses, Do you even KUNG PAO???- February 13th-20th

Well, it was Valentine’s Day week, and let me be brutally honest- I fell in love this week.  I have a new restaurant crush and I can’t wait to see it again.  I’ll explain

Saturday- Feb 13th– I met my crush.  I had read about a new restaurant during the week in Broadsheet and it sounded too good to be true.  A mythical place that played good music, served champagne with fried chicken, and sold limited edition sneakers…. What the?  You mean I can leave my house in comfy shoes and drink champagne?  Sign me up- do not pass go, do not phone a friend, I’m already on my way.  I mean, not that I ever would buy limited edition sneakers, but I love my Chuck Taylors and my Superstars.  But seriously, who cares about sneakers- Champagne and fried chicken. Continue reading

What We Ate This Week: January 27th- February 4th- the best potatoes ever

 

So after all the excitement of tennis and tasty food in Melbourne, this week has been a bit, well boring.   Boring can be good.  We’ve been back to our normal routine this week (except for The Runner working ridiculously late nights and having a birthday on the horizon), but we’ve mostly been eating at home and cooking at home too. Continue reading

What We Ate This Week- Pasta, Melbourne, Tennis and More!

So you may want to grab a cup of tea before you start reading, while the East Coast of the US has been freezing under a blanket of snow, we’ve been eating.  In the last 10 days, we’ve been eating and drinking- A LOT- and it’s all been pretty amazing.  So make yourself comfortable, this is a longer than normal post.

We’ve been in Melbourne for the last few days watching tennis and trying out the local restaurant scene- and the food down there is amazing!  I can honestly say in the last week, I’ve had two of the best meals ever- one in Sydney and one in Melbourne.   It’s been a great food week! Continue reading

Hello Sweet ’16!

There are still just under 12 hours left in 2015, but I wanted to get in early with my greetings for a Happy 2016!

I’ve made my resolutions already and I’m busy preparing for a New Year’s Day brunch (as you do- or as I do really).  But mostly, I’m looking forward to 2016 and hope you are too.

Looking back on 2015, it was exactly the year that I needed.  The last 3 years have been full of the highest highs and the lowest low, so 2015 was a great year to just be.  I settled into a new job which I love (not as much as maybe winning the lottery and not working at all but….), visited three new countries that I’d never been to before (yes, I’m counting Dubai despite not leaving the airport), I tried to learn German (that did NOT go as well as I hoped) and kept doing many of the things that I love doing- cooking, pole dancing (despite breaking my toe early in the year), reading (32 books this year- just shy of my goal of 35), and of course, writing.  It was our first full year of marriage and a year that The Runner and I both learned a lot about ourselves- including resilience and patience (for me, more than him- he has the patience of the Saint of Patience).   I even had a surprise visit from The Mom.  Overall, it was a great year!

Tomorrow, we’ll start 2016 exactly how I hope it continues- with food and friends.  We’re hosting a New Year’s Day brunch filled with foods that will bring good luck and good fortune in the New Year (according to the internet!)

So, we’re having:

Whiskey, Marmalade and Mustard Glazed Ham– because in many cultures eating pork on New Year’s Day symbolizes progress, wealth and prosperity.

Manu Fieldel’s Lentil Salad– according to Italian tradition they look like coins and represent wealth.

Kale Salad– in the American tradition eating greens on New Year’s Day guarantees prosperity in the New Year.

Pete Evans’ Fig, basil, buffalo mozzarella, and balsamic salad– Eating many fruits are considered lucky and figs are a symbol of fertility

Dinner:  A Love Story’s Peanut Noodle Salad– Noodles in several Asian cultures represent long life.

Cornbread– its golden colour is said to bring gold (or wealth) in the New Year

Smitten Kitchen’s Tres Leches Cake– Tres leches cake because I’ve always wanted to make one, and a round cake because in many cultures round cakes represent the cyclical nature of life- I’m even going to bake a coin into it for extra good fortune for someone.

Nigella Lawson’s Pomegranate and Prosecco JellyPomegranate’s seeds are meant to signify abundance and prosperity

Smitten Kitchen’s Fairy Tale of New York for after- I made a double batch to take to a 2nd Christmas dinner that we never made it to, so we have a LOT to get through!

So fingers crossed, with this menu, set 2016 to be delicious, abundant, healthy, wealthy and fun!

Happy New Year Everyone!

 

 

Sunday baking…salted caramel brownies

Really, there’s not a lot to say except that I baked brownies for the second Sunday in a row…. In a row!

Let’s not make this a habit….although I’ve worked out that I can bribe one of my work colleagues with brownies, so I may be baking more and more.

This week’s edition…. Donna Hay’s 80th issue cover recipe:  salted caramel brownies.   

The caramel layer is still setting in the fridge so I’m not sure how they are but the caramel got The Runner’s tick of approval!  (And I got to use the candy thermometer I bought ages ago on sale!). We’ll salt in the morning so fingers crossed they will look like the cover!

   
    
    
    
    
 

Something Old, Something New…

Recently I dug out the first issue of Delicious Magazine that I ever bought.  The October 2002 edition.  I did this because I wanted to see how much has changed foodwise since I arrived in Australia nearly 13 years ago.  It might seem like quite a random thing to do but recently I received the 80th issue of Donna Hay Magazine and I thought it called for a stroll down memory lane.  And so off we go!

October 2002 doesn’t seem like that long ago on one hand, but on the other hand it is a lifetime ago.  In October 2002, I had been in Australia for less than 4 months, I lived in Bondi, I didn’t work.   I had my days relatively free to study and cook.  I don’t think I did that much cooking back then, but to be honest, it’s hard to remember now.  What do people do when they don’t work—what did I do all day when I didn’t work?  I suppose it’s then that 2002 seems like a long, forgotten time ago.

Looking back at the magazine, 2002 really was ages ago.  First of all, the magazine was $4.95- it’s now $7.50.  There’s an ad for Jamie Oliver’s book, “The Return of the Naked Chef” and he looks like a child.  He’s thin, he’s young, he’s the Jamie Oliver that everyone loved before he discovered his soapbox.

The food itself is- well, it’s not too different but it’s clearly from a time before Masterchef.   The ingredients are all pretty straight forward, as are the techniques.  There’s a recipe for White Wine Spritzer and for Asparagus on sticks.  It’s approachable- unlike this month’s magazine where many recipes should be started a day in advance and the phrase “you will need a kitchen blowtorch” appears at least once (I’m looking at you mile high chocolate meringue pie and “Caramelised White chocolate ice cream and brownie sandwiches.)

The celebrity guest of the magazine is Ainsley Harriott- who according to his Wikipedia page, hasn’t done much recently but who you may remember from Ready Steady Cook in the UK.

Most interesting to me, was the section on Jelly (jell-o for the American readers!)  It was only just before the Mom left that we were talking about my grandmother making elaborate Jello moulds involving all sorts of ingredients and how you never see them anymore.   How fortuitous then, that I’ve happened across a 13 year old magazine with an article on jelly moulds.  It must mean that it’s time for a jelly (jell-o) revival!  The only question now is which will I choose- the somewhat tame Fresh Strawberry jelly?  Chocolate Jelly with Praline?  Mango and Vanilla Marble Jelly?  Honeycomb Jelly?  Gin & Tonic Jelly with Macerated Fruits?  Or the Tia Maria Jelly with Chocolate Cream?  My first choice would be the Tia Maria, however only one of us likes coffee in the house it looks like we’ll be going for the fresh strawberry jelly or the chocolate jelly with praline.

Unfortunately, the culinary delights of 2002 are a bit lacking and there aren’t too many things that I’m jumping out at me to cook this week so I’ve decided to fast forward back to this month’s Delicious to find a main course!  There actually is a lot to choose from, but for some reason the Pollo Tinto (Red Wine and Chocolate Chicken) stood out for Sunday dinner….I think it will pair nicely with the Chocolate Jelly and Praline!

To stay with the theme of old and new this week, I’ll also be making Oven Roasted Sriracha Pork Chops with Asian Greens from this month’s Donna Hay and Pan fried Veal with soft polenta and blue cheese from my earliest edition of the magazine—June 2007!