Almost cold

22 April 2018


In Canberra, they say you shouldn't turn your heater on until Anzac Day. That's when things are meant to get properly cold... and that's this coming week.

We've been getting ready for winter in lots of little ways. Insulated coffee cups have been ordered, and browsing the wool and heat tech sections of Uniqlo has begun (yesterday I found something called a coatigan!).

We also bought a slow cooker after mulling it over for ages, and borrowing one from my sister to try it out. This cookbook was the clincher, it's filled with meals I really want to eat, and the recipes are designed around an 8-hour work day. Before it, I could only think of meaty things to make like brisket (the best!) and osso bucco, and struggled to find good recipes online. I'm excited to try it out later this week.

We ended up getting this 3.5 litre Crockpot, mainly for its size (it's not crazy big) but also because it's the original slow cooker :) My sister-in-law also recommended one from Target, which is super affordable, and I previously borrowed my sister's Sunbeam.

P.S Here are a handful of recipes that look good - Deb's Korean braised short ribs and this nine-recipe round up.

Hello weekend

19 April 2018


Hello! It's been scone weather this week - chilly but not cold, good for hot drinks and warm snacks. I've been choosing presents and mailing birthday cards this week, and thinking about going for a hike and making Anzac biscuits (this recipe looks easy and good). I hope you have a lovely weekend, whatever you're getting up to! To share:

Grown up chocolate crackles.

15 Modern Love essays by millennials.

Nigella Lawson on cooking as a feminist act.

Very tempted to buy this insulated coffee cup.

The cutest slice of toast!

Would you ever try a shopping ban?

This is so nice :)

Loving this brow pencil.

And here's what I'm planning for dinner next week: baked gnocchi (!!), and mushroom burgers with coriander pesto because we've grown heaps of it. Also on my radar - a 30 minute pasta with all the charm of chicken parm.

P.S My sister's in a book that's coming out soon! Carla wrote a chapter of The Motherhood, which is edited by Jamila Rizvi, and about her experience of life as a new mum. If you're in Canberra, we're going to the launch (and would love to see you there).

My favourite things to do in Sydney: the short stay edition

16 April 2018


Whenever I visit Sydney, there are a million things on my to-do list. But most of my trips are flying ones - overnight stays for a niece or nephew's birthday, an art exhibition, or work. Still, I persevere ;) Here's what I try and squeeze into those super short trips:


A swim somewhere scenic

I used to be all about trying somewhere new to eat, but lately I've realised a swim is the nicest way to start a busy day in Sydney. It also makes the three-hour drive home a lot easier if I've had some sun and exercise.

Outdoor pools are my favourite. The Andrew Boy Charlton pool near the Botanical Gardens is pretty special but it can be a bit tricky to get to. If you're based in the city, there's also the Prince Alfred Park pool in between Redfern and Surry Hills. When we lived in Chippendale (eight years ago now!), I loved Victoria Park pool, and lounging on the grass post-swim.


Breakfast and brunch

I'm a huge fan of Paper Bird in Potts Point for a weekend brunch. They serve an iced filter coffee that tastes like chocolate, and diner classics with an Asian twist :) It's also near this book shop, which stocks some hard-to-find magazines like Cherry Bombe.

If I'm having a quick breakfast on my own, I like Brickfields Bakery in Chippendale. It's in my old neighbourhood, which is full of memories, like the showroom where I spotted my wedding dress in the window.


Lunch and dinner

I became obsessed with ramen after we moved to Wagga Wagga - because I couldn't find it anywhere. The Rising Sun Workshop in Newtown is my favourite place to eat it in Sydney (this place comes a close second). The cafe used to serve ramen for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but have recently started a separate dinner menu.

At the moment, you can order the best dish I've eaten in a long time for eight dollars. It's a version of egg and soldiers made with fluffy Japanese milk bread, and a Vegemite-inspired spread that's seaweed based. I also really love their ginger soda and chocolate and ginger cookies. 

For quick lunches and dinners, I love Boon Cafe in Thai town, for cold coconuts and noodles. We often stay in Airbnbs around Alexandria, which usually means pizza at Da Mario and a short wander down the street to Gelato Messina :) 

Other things

If there's time, we'll usually pop into the MCA to see their latest exhibition. We can usually get a park nearby, and get a quick bite at the Gateway Centre (The Burger Project! Gelato Messina!) before driving home. It's also near Tony's favourite art supplies shop in the Rocks.

I also love to wander around Kinokuniya, during the day there's a Black Star Pastry cafe inside the bookshop. They're also open late, which is nice for a post-work browse.  

Hello weekend

12 April 2018


Guess what? I'm back in Sydney :) Tony and I came down separately for work and we're hanging around to check out the Biennale and maybe this yoga studio too. Being in Sydney these last few weeks has made me a bit nostalgic. I've had coffee in our old neighbourhood and fallen into a few familiar routines - from dessert runs to Newtown (which used to be the halfway point between Tony's share house and mine), to early morning swims at a favourite pool.

When we first moved to Wagga Wagga, I found myself noting all of the things that'd changed whenever we found ourselves back in Sydney. This trip, I've started to get a sense of how much I've changed too. Surprisingly, it's a really nice feeling. Onto some things to share:

Lemon pull apart bread - yum!

The funniest best Instagram account.

The latest season of Alone, A Love Story is out! I'm trying not to rush through it.

Something my old boss used to draw for me all the time.

What is Facebook exactly? Fascinating and funny.

As a kid, I loved the spicy fruit roll biscuits. Deb's posted the recipe for them.

This bonus episode of Making Obama made me so happy!

A beautiful site featuring interviews with Asian-Australians.

Chef's Table: Pastry is here. Especially excited for the Christina Tosi episode.

I'm also listening to the Lady StartUp podcast, after spotting this interview with the co-founders of The Dinner Ladies. I've sent a few of their meals to Sydney friends and family in some not-so-great times, and loved hearing the backstory of their business.

P.S This travel tip still rings true. I'm also on the hunt for a new book - so if you're reading anything great please let me know!

Tiny things

10 April 2018


Lately I've been noticing the small things that brighten my days. Starting a new job could have something to do with it - one week in, things are still daunting and new. Or it might be the shift in seasons. Here area few to share:

The still-warm weather and the chance to wear my favourite summer clothes a few more times.

Leftover Easter eggs to accompany cups of tea :)

Holiday plans - both made and in the works.

It's the best weather for riding to work.

Poke bowls at any time of day. Same goes for cold coconuts.

The chance to read a few pages of my book.

And lastly, the cool air in the early mornings and late at night. It's especially lovely from bed.

I hope April is treating you well!

x

Hello weekend

06 April 2018


Did you have a good week? I've just come back from a trip to Sydney, where I started my new job. It was a busy, nerve-wracking, and exciting week... and now I'm spent. I have the humblest plans for the weekend - making spaghetti and meatballs, raiding my Easter egg stash, and finding time for a face mask and bath. Yay. For your weekend:

The funnest thing I saw this week via Caroline.

A classic birthday cake with chocolate icing.

For anyone starting something new, RadioLab's Jad Abumrad has a name for how you might feel. It's called gut churn.

Louis Theroux's Scientology movie is on iView.

This week I've been obsessed with Mari Andrew and her new book, which was the perfect thing to read before starting a new gig. Three lovely related things: her book launch with cookies, a smile-inducing interview about her life and career to date, plus her daily routine.

A new workmate introduced me to Bodyshock, a podcast that explores how having kids impacts your body and your mind.

And while it's still warm, I've been adding lemon oil to mineral water. A drop per glass does the trick. It's something I picked up from my yoga teacher who recommends this brand of essential oils if you're adding it to food and drinks.

Have a lovely weekend!

Dropping the ball

02 April 2018


When things get busy, I cling to the weirdest things. Lately, it's been cooking and trying to make most things from scratch. It's one of my favourite things to do when I have time but when there other things on, it can be pretty draining.

The other weekend we were going to my sister's place for an early dinner and to play with the kids. I'd planned to make her these peanut butter cups but as the afternoon ticked on, I realised that the whole week had been a little crazy. So instead of trying to make a slightly messy dessert at short notice, I walked down to the shops and bought a box of chocolates and a fancy fizzy drink instead.

Since then, I've been looking for tiny ways to drop the ball and not fuss so much about the little things. Even if they sound really nice in theory :) I'm not the greatest at relaxing but finding little things to miss - like a Saturday morning yoga class - means more time for other important things like sitting in the sun reading my book.

P.S - My cousin is reading Drop the Ball, and I'm curious to give it a try. It's all about expecting a little less from yourself, which sounds pretty good to me.