Monday, July 25, 2011

Foodie adventures, out and about:

I haven't posted anything in so long, so I've got lots of shots banked up waiting to be viewed.

A few months back I had one of our semi-regular breakfast meet-ups with A, and this time we went to Milk & Honey in Northbridge.

I ordered the vegetarian plate (not the actual name - can't remember it now, it's been that long) and it was really tasty but HUGE - I couldn't finish it. I hate wasting food, but I just couldn't fit any more in.

I loved the decor - transparent honey-coloured chairs:
Bee wallpaper:

Another new(ish) spot I tried recently is Cantina 663 in Mt Lawley. It's a Spanish-inspired place that I'd love to go back to and try some of the savoury dishes.

I ordered the gingerbread parfait with rhubarb, which ended up being very different to what I expected. It was still tasty, though a bit too much honey flavour for my liking. (I just don't really like honey-flavoured things though - I'm sure the flavours were balanced correctly for those who like honey.)

S got the potato soup. I had a spoonful and it was very tasty:
We spend most of the afternoon looking at knitting books.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The big pile of books that arrived in time for a long weekend. All hail Book Depository.

Knitting & supplies:

My big bag of bargains that I picked up at Spotlight - only a couple of dollars each.
Knitting up a swatch to check the gauge for my cardigan. (I've actually made huge progress on the cardigan since this was taken - shows how long it's been since I posted anything.)
A spot of public knitting in Mt Lawley with S. This is the start of a seed stitch scarf that I have now finished and will be donating to charity.
My pink scarf and S's knitted t-shirt.


I made a chickpea curry from scratch a few weeks ago. I always love using my mortar & pestle and grinding up spices. It feels nicely old-worldy and traditional.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Breakfast at Tiger, Tiger:

A former work colleague and I have taken to catching up over breakfast. (See previous blog on The Greenhouse for our prior catch-up.)

This time round we went to Tiger,Tiger on Murray Street. It definitely paid to get there at about 7:15 and place our order as soon after that there was a steady queue of people for take-away coffees.

We both ordered 'The Tiger' which consisted of two poached eggs on sourdough with avocado and rosamond sauce (which I think was chutney mixed with mayo). It was pretty good and the coffee was great.

One thing that put me off was that the menu states "No variations please. Why? For many, many reasons." What the? Why a chef can't make slight changes to an order when they are making it fresh is beyond me.

Sushi at home:

One of the munchkins' favourite meals they often ask me to make is home-made sushi (norimaki). One of them likes tuna, the other likes chicken, so I always do about six or seven rolls, mixing the two.

Given that I would choose sushi as my last meal were I ever in such a situation, I love that the munchkins love sushi too, so I'm always more than happy to make some up. I also love washing the rice before I cook it - it seems like such an old-worldy thing to do, and I love the tradition of it. (And I collect all the water to put on the garden, so there is no waste either.)

Sushi with sakura cherry blossom decorations for Spring (even though it's Autumn):
The tuna ones:Kewpie mayo and wasabi (as arranged by one of the munchkins):

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Red pretty things:

A few weeks back I was visiting William Topp with a friend, but due to the extreme heat that day, I think I had mild heat stroke when I was in there. As such I wasn't focusing too well, but my subconscious obviously took note, as just the other day I remembered that they sold bangles made out of knitting needles. As fate would have it, they had one red one left, which I promptly had put on hold for collection.

I heart it muchly and it's even better in that there is a llama on the back of the head of the needle.

While I was in the shop, I was taken in by all the other pretty things they sell and had to also have this ampersand brooch:
Ampersands have a special meaning for me, due to it being the name of a monkey in the graphic novel Y the Last Man, and the fact that I have a special Monkey too. (But in my case it's a person, not an actual monkey.)

It's a Kyoto coffee kind of morning.

(White Chocolate) Tim Tam Tarts:

I've already made these tarts once before, but this time I experimented and used white chocolate tim tams for the base and white chocolate buds for the filling. Aside from the fact they got stuck in the tins and came out looking rather squashed, they were very, very tasty indeed.

While overtly sweet, they were lighter (if that word can be used in the context of such things) than the dark chocolate ones. So while you certainly couldn't eat more than one at a time, these weren't quite so sickly. But they were close.

Next time I will round off the hat trick and try them with milk chocolate.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Some recent cooking adventures:

Last night I made baked ricotta with a dried fruit compote. It was healthy and diabetic-friendly, which suited the guests I was feeding. It was a really nice dessert, and very different from what I usually like, given it wasn't chocolatey or extremely sweet. But it was extremely yummy, and I'll definitely make it again. Another bonus was that it was so easy - put the ricotta in the oven on a tray, and stew up dried fruit in water, cinnamon & lemon rind. Plus, as it is served at room temperature, it's perfect to make for a dinner party, as you can do all the work before hand.

Flourless chocolate cake:
This cake is really tasty, but falls apart easily from being so moist, making presentation difficult. I made the cake for a girls' night I hosted, and was very keen to use my "cake" cake plates (which I bought in Kyoto, on a girls' day out - very fitting). Unfortunately I don't have a round cake tin at the moment and hence it was hard to try and cut the cake so that it suited the shape of the plates. But looks aside, the cake was delicious and quickly devoured, particularly when I brought out the raspberries that I initially neglected to put on the plate. The second photo down shows that everything was gobbled up.

Korma Chicken Rissoles:
I made these for a mid-week dinner for the munchkins, but didn't tell them there was korma curry paste in them until after they'd finished eating. I also told them that pappadums were like corn chips. Whatever works, as they both tucked in (though one of them had less gusto than the other). As they both love chicken, and especially chicken meatballs, it wasn't too hard a sell. They were surprised to know they had eaten Indian flavours but were happy enough. Aside from the pappadums which they politely said "just weren't their thing". Which is fine with me - at least they tried them. :-) And the rissoles themselves will definitely be made again, sans pappadums.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Knitting on display:

Cabin Fever cafe (who played host to a craft evening a few weeks ago) were happy for me to knit up some pieces to go on some of their pot plants, as they wanted some decorations to reference the craft night they had (and the ones they plan to have in the future).

I used quite thick yarn so each strip only took about half an hour to make up. I then stitched the ends together while in the cafe, sipping on some genmaicha green tea in the tea cup of my choice.

It's quite exciting to know that some of my work is on public display.

Afterwards I was strolling through town and found some 'yarn bombing'. (See last photo of this post.) Yarn bombing is when someone knits up a piece and decorates public property. While technically littering, most people who do it place the pieces where they will add to the urban environment in a positive way, not in a way that is detrimental to anyone.

Tim Tam Tarts:
Delicious magazine

These were incredibly rich but oh so yummy. The crust is made with a packet of tim tams whizzed in the food processor, then mixed with some melted unsalted butter.

I may have over-cooked them a little (as they weren't setting for ages and then all of a sudden they were really done) but they were still really good. The raspberries helped to balance out the extreme dark chocolate - next time I will try it with milk chocolate. Or as Monkey suggested, white chocolate tim tams and white chocolate filling.

Btw the yellow piles next to the tart are actually vanilla ice-cream, not mashed potato as they appear.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Making pasta from scratch:

So very yum scrum:
Preparing the dried porcini mushrooms for the pasta mix. (I wouldn't bother with this next time.)
My first ever batch of pasta dough:
Rollin', rollin', rollin'
The dough didn't want to go through the cutters beyond what is shown here, so I ended up cutting the rest by hand.
Drying - this shot was taken before the 'pasta disaster' where a lot of it got stuck and ended up on the floor.

The hazelnut pesto was very tasty indeed:

All in all, I voted the pasta experience a success and will be getting the roller out again soon. I will however learn from my rookie mistake of putting all the pasta sheets on top of each other - this lead to sticking and some rather chunky pieces. Never mind - we live and learn. :-)

Sunday breakfasts:

Sausage bites with mushroom scrambled eggs:

Spanish-inspired - eggs, poached in veggie liquids, with chorizo:

Both meals served with pane di casa bread from Brumby's (which has now taken over as my favourite 'fancy' bread - the title used to be held by Brumby's sour dough).

Pretty red capsicums. Just because.