A lovely friend recently introduced me to the credit-card draining website Beautiful Spaces. A lot of ooohing and aaaahing soon commenced and I honestly don’t know where to start! So many colourful objects to brighten up your home. Should I buy the Pantone pots for my blossoming herb garden? The delicate bird shaped sugar cubes for my tea? Or the coloured sugar for my baking decorations?
This coloured sugar will surely brighten up the dreariest of afternoons – a spoonful of fushia sugar stirred through your tea or sprinkled on a vanilla cupcake.
These sugar hearts are almost too cute to use! But would be perfect for a special occasion like a high tea or engagement party.
And beautiful Solifleur vases
It was a walk down memory lane on Saturday 17th March for a one-off special event as part of March into Merivale. Held at Ms G’s, chefs Dan Hong and Jowett Yu took the nostalgic concept of the humble milk bar and created delicious and unique dishes.
Yuzu slushee (left), Green Iced Tea and Good Morning Vietnam cocktails (right)
Despite it being barely noon and nursing a wee hangover, cocktails were ordered! Our set menu included Ms G’s Famous Yuzu Slushee (normally $14). It contained Limoncello, Russian Standard vodka, yuzu juice and Regan’s orange bitters. Intensely citrusy and fresh, these cocktails were downed quickly by my friends and I and we soon were ordering more! Our next cocktail orders included Green Iced Tea which was un-freaking-believable and contained Zubrowka vodka, Cloud & Mist tea, grapefruit bitters, green apple and mint. I could drink this forever. The girls both ordered Good Morning Vietnam which featured Shochu, raspberries, lime, palm sugar, Vietnamese mint and soda. A little too sweet for my personal tastes but delicious nonetheless.
Potato scallop and kransky, tomato vinaigrette
Our first course arrives as an homage to the humble potato scallop. This version features raw scallops covered in crumbled potato chips, slices of delicious kransky sausage and dressed with a tomato vinaigrette. I am not a fan of seafood (the texture, the smell, oh god) but I am making an effort to be adventurous and gave it a try. It was surprisingly tasty :)
Chiko roll and chicken dim sim
The chiko roll and dim sim were definitely a step up in quality from the usual milk bar fare! Tasty and comforting, they both hit the spot.
Uh-oh more seafood! These prawns were butterflied and covered with crushed Burger Rings, nacho cheese Doritos and chicken Twisties - genius! I nibbled each one but of course the seafood aversion crept up on me again.
Mini Aussie burgers with home-made fries
The burger was a winner with all of us – a delicious meat patty topped with onion, tomato, lettuce, the quintessentially Aussie beetroot, plus bacon and a fried quail’s egg on a buttery brioche bun. The twice-cooked home-made fries were divine and I was glad they arrived in a small cup otherwise I would have made myself sick!
Monaco Bar x Golden Gaytime
Saving the best for last… dessert of course! This Monaco Bar x Golden Gaytime was AMAZING. It featured vanilla bean and toffee ice cream and drizzles of caramel sauce sandwiched between 2 layers of chocolate brownie, finished off with a generous sprinkle of biscuit crumbs. This dish elicited moans around the table and we had to stop ourselves from licking our plates. A decadent finish to an amazing meal.
Happy St Patricks Day for tomorrow everyone! I wanted to bake a festive cupcake to celebrate and settled on a green velvet cupcake. To make it a little more Irish I added Baileys Irish Cream to my cream cheese icing and wow, it tasted amazing!
- 120g butter (room temperature)
- 2 eggs
- 1⅓ cups caster sugar
- 4 tsp cocoa
- 4 tsp green food colouring
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 240ml buttermilk (or add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to normal milk)
- 2½ cups plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tsp white wine vinegar
- 4-5 cups sifted icing sugar
- 100g butter at room temperature
- 250g cream cheese at room temperature
- 4-6 tbsps Baileys Irish Cream (to taste)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake papers.
- Cream the butter, sugar and eggs until light and fluffy.
- In a separate bowl mix the vanilla extract, cocoa powder and green food colouring into a paste. Add the paste to the creamed mixture.
- Add half the buttermilk and mix until combined, followed by half of the flour and baking powder. Mix until incorporated and then add the remainder of the buttermilk and flour and mix thoroughly.
- Add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and white wine vinegar and continue mixing for another 5 minutes until combined.
- Spoon the mixture into prepared muffin tin and fill approximately ¾ full.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the cupcakes slightly spring back when touched.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool slightly in their tin before turning out onto a wire rack
- Cream the butter and icing sugar together until well mixed.
- Add the cream cheese in cubes slowly until incorporated.
- Add in Baileys. Continue mixing for 5 minutes until the icing is light and fluffy.
- Spoon icing into a piping bag and pipe swirls onto the cooled cupcakes.
Taste of Sydney was held last weekend and it was a delicious, expensive and fun time! After a rocky start (Thursday’s session was washed out after torrential rain), Taste opened officially on the Friday. I attended Saturday night (late – not good for photographing but I tried) and I of course ate way too much food and waddled out very happy indeed.
I was first greeted by a lovely suckling pig slowly rotating on the spit courtesy of Four in Hand.
Here is my piggy dish from Four in Hand – roast suckling pig, coleslaw, onion rings and hot sauce. Delicious and well balanced, I just wished there was some crackle to accompany the pig (but then again I always wish for crackle).
Our next stop was the miniature artisan frankfurter chilli dog from Charlie & Co. Both the hotdog and chips were delicious and perfectly cooked, and I liked the pesto served with the dog. I also ate an amazing wagyu beef slider from Charlie but I demolished it before photographing it. Oops. Terrible food blogger.
Gingerbread from Gingerbread Folk! Unfortunately my gingerman did not survive the trip home in my handbag and was decapitated!
Next on our food trail was A Tavola with a traditional house made casareccia pasta with slow cooked veal, pork and chicken ragu. My friend raved and moaned over this dish. I tried a mouthful and despite not really liking pasta (I know, I know..) it was divine.
I spent a LOT of time at Sweetness the Patisserie (are you surprised?) ooing and aahing over the products. The macaroons looked gorgeous in all their pastel glory. I bought a tasting bag which I photographed at home due to poor light (scroll down for more dessert delights).
Quarter 21 provided me with a Hokey Pokey Icecream sandwich. The sandwich itself was delicious but I found the subtle flavours overpowered by the candied lemon on top.
Not the most photogenic dish, but this Murray Valley pork belly with prunes and char-grilled silver beet from L’Etoile was amazingly rich and tasty. BUT NO CRACKLE AGAIN WHAT THE HELL?! I also tried their (overpriced) single apple cinnamon donut. It was delicious but one donut for 10 crowns? Really?
Still on the subject of pork, I tried to taste Longrain’s crisp pork belly, pickled daikon and chilli jam in a sweet roll dish but they were all sold out! Sad face! I have had pork belly at Longrain several times and it’s always amazing.
We were completely stuffed by this point but we wandered past the cakes by Manna from Heaven and couldn’t resist getting a tasting box.
Caramel, chocolate, passionfruit and lemon polenta – they all received rave reviews!
The next day I photographed my Sweetness swag with better light. These blackberry and vanilla swirled home made marshmallows were to die for!
At the front we have dark chocolate dipped caramels (AMAZING. I ate 4), a red velvet whoopie pie (underwhelming), white chocolate rocky road (my housemate raved about it but alas I couldn’t touch it as it was full of almonds) and of course those amazing marshmallows!
And the last item in the tasting bag was a cake pop – I have never tried one before and this was delicious! It was dark chocolate with what tasted like a bitter strawberry coating. Amazing. I will have to try my hand at cake pops and whoopie pies in the near future.
Better hit the gym after all this feasting! ;)
Wow! I highly recommend you go and subscribe to her blog, her work is amazing. Thank me later.
Happy International Women’s Day everyone!
Earlier in the week I had the pleasure of attending an AGDA (Australian Graphic Design Association) event entitled “Pink is the New Blue – Where the hell are all the women?”
I listed to Zoe Pollitt (Co-founder, Eskimo), Linda Jukic (Creative Director, Moon), Jacqueline Morony (Creative Director, Generation Alliance) and Yolanda Vega (Founder and CEO, Australian Womens’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry) speak and was beyond inspired by these talented and successful women.
It was interesting listening to other people’s stories – one girl was recently told by her (female) teacher at uni that she would have a tough time finding a job when she graduates as she is of child bearing age (!!). I personally have been told by a few guys that they didn’t see me as a threat because when they are going for creative director roles, I will be off having babies. Nice.
I have touched on the subject of gender inequality in graphic design before in this post. I also have a Girls in Design category on my blog that currently features Jessica Hische and Gemma O’Brien - I have many, many more amazing and inspiring women to add to this section so stay tuned.
Go give your mum, sister, girlfriend or grandma a big hug and tell them they are awesome.
My apartment is still in shambles – boxes everywhere, IKEA furniture semi-assembled, clothes stuffed in garbage bags…. And I can’t find my cupcake baking trays. Disaster! So as I can’t currently bake (and I am going a little stir crazy from baking withdrawls) I will have to satisfy my dessert obsession by looking at delightful baking images online (thank god for Pinterest).
♥ I want to get better at piping roses (good thing I am enrolled in a cupcake decorating course!)
♥ Loving these gorgeous heart shaped cookies. Great gift idea for a birthday or engagement.
♥ I need to make more desserts in jars! Looks sweet and is easily transportable. Win win :)
♥ I must try and make a white chocolate cheesecake that hopefully looks half as good as this divine specimen
♥ HOMEMADE SNICKERS BAR. Need I say more?
♥ Stunning layers of different shades of pink cake. Also loving the bunting decoration.
♥ Beautifully made and styled dessert table. I would be more than happy to have this at my next party!
♥ Cupcakes baked in ice-cream cones – genius!
♥ And finally, quite possibly the most beautifully piped cookies I have ever seen.
I am inspired and armed with a whole load of new recipes and techniques to test out. Keep an eye out for my results once the kitchen is officially up and running again!
Wow 2012, it’s only the end of February and you have by far been the most exciting, busy, stressful, terrifying, inspiring and amazing year to date. Lots of exciting things I can’t share with you just yet, but for now here is just a glimpse of what has been going on as of late, courtesy of Instagram.
♥ Seeing Amiina play live at the Spiegeltent
♥ Lots of amazing concerts including SBTRKT and Röyksopp (omg)
♥ I finally picked up the keys to my new apartment, but had no time to move as I was teaching my first baking class!
♥ Went to a Henna party and had the most intricately designed motifs piped onto my hand
♥ Wore a sari for the first time (loved it) as I was the maid of honour at an Indian wedding!
♥ Dashed off to the Hunter Valley for part 2 of the wedding
♥ Stayed in the most gorgeous room in a cottage at the Hunter
♥ Managed to find a few quick moments of relaxation with scenic cups of tea and lolly stores
♥ Squinted at amazing sunrises through champagne hangovers
♥ Dashed home from the Hunter to madly pack my life into boxes as quickly as possible. Enjoyed my new balcony and popped some celebratory Moët with my new roomie!
It doesn’t look like things are going to slow down any time soon. Work is busy, freelance offers are coming in left right and centre, my apartment is full of boxes and bubble wrap and my diary is overflowing with exciting events. As they say, it never rains it pours :)
After lusting over Audrey Kawasaki’s work for years and seeing her exhibition back in 2010, I finally purchased my first print last night!
Where I Rest is still availale to purchase on Audrey’s site here
Audrey’s work is both innocent and erotic, combining the styles of Japanese manga and Art Noveau. She paints with oil paints directly onto wood, letting the pattern of the grain show through. The imagery she uses in her paintings is hauntingly beautiful and I can’t wait to add more to my collection!
For more examples of her work check out her site at www.audrey-kawasaki.com
Last Thursday I had the pleasure of attending the launch party of March into Merivale. The food was amazing and the champagne flowed freely and I waddled out very happy indeed!
Ash St was decorated with hanging stars to set the party mood.
Semi-nude models clutching fruit and veges were scattered around the event. I felt a little sorry for them haha!
After giving up on fighting the crowds through Ash St we went upstairs to survey the scene and plan our food attack (we didn’t want to waste precious stomach space!)
There were two huge bowls of paella being frantically served up at the Beresford Hotel stand.
And several whole pigs at the Bistrode stand!
Gorgeous plates of wagyu beef and sushi from Sushi-E
My first stop was at Bistrode. I got spit roast melanda park pig with raw fennel and lemon dressing and a Wagyu Beef pie with homemade bistrode ketchup. The pork was mind-numbingly amazing and don’t even get me started on that piece of crackle. The wagyu beef pie was also delicious but after the temporary pork coma I was in it didn’t come close.
Next stop was the Beresford Hotel when I got a cone of classic panzarotti in three different flavours – it was basically deep fried pizza! Very moreish but I wish the filling to dough ratio was more balanced.
My next food stop was Felix, with a delicious lamb pie, sauteed mushrooms and tarragon jus. It was decadently divine and very moist inside. I could have eaten 5!
My highlight of the evening was from Ms G’s - sang choy bao of cheeseburger springroll with potato chip mayonnaise. Seriously guys, I had a major foodgasm from eating this. WOW.
To finish off the evening, dessert of course! The signature pavlova with strawberries and passionfruit from Mad Cow was absolutely delicious with the right balance of sweetness and tartness.
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