Hello weekend

17 October 2019

This week, even more than most, has been about cooking all of the things. Salted tahini choc chip cookies, a big Thai green curry from scratch, late night nut bars that remind me of caramel slice. After a few weeks of feeling all over the shop, it's super nice to be full of energy again :) I currently have zero plans for the weekend (aside from making Diana Henry's chicken with feta, dill, lemon and potatoes and maybe an apple crumble, for comfort) and will see what unfolds:

For anyone (everyone?) who's read Three Women, Lisa Taddeo's episode of How To Fail is pretty satisfying.

Given how excellent her brownie recipe is, I'm now seriously considering trying out Meera Sodha's peanut butter and jam blondies.

I'm a sometimes fan of The Cut on Tuesdays podcast (mainly the eps where editor Stella Bugbee hosts), and especially enjoyed this interview with Nora McInerny, host of Terrible, Thanks for Asking. 

My friend made this pomegranate cake with mascarpone and yoghurt icing and it was beautiful and delicious.

In amongst all of the baked goods this week, we've become big fans of the banana oat smoothie in Heidi's beautiful book. Here's a similar recipe from her blog.

And a piece that perfectly explains my love for Bon Appetit's Claire Saffitz.

Have the nicest weekend!


Hello weekend

11 October 2019

How did you go with daylight savings this week? I had no idea an hour could make such a difference. Cheering me up at the end of the day has been this super dense dark chocolate and miso brownie. It happens to be vegan, is great with ice cream and tastes restaurant-quality. I'm all about cafe pop-ups at the moment and this weekend we're heading to a fish and chip night at a fave brunch spot. I'd also like to try this monthly burger night :) Have a lovely weekend, here are some nice things to share:

An old school chocolate mousse. I also love this one from fancy supermarkets!

Everything Madeleine Dore learned from completing The Artist's Way.

I want to own this cookbook for the cover alone.

A mini-seasonal refresh for the home sounds lovely and doable.

Crispy mushrooms with white beans and kale looks so good.

Did you listen to the Start Up podcast when it first came out? I'm excited to listen to the final chapter, about how the company was acquired by Spotify.

Lovely (small) things to try to make your days more creative, productive and satisfying.

And a creamy vegetarian lasagne with zucchini, leeks and peas from Heidi Sze. I'm currently reading her first book and it is lovely, even if you're not a mum. It's full of healthy recipes, kind words on practicing self compassion and gentle reminders to move your body as much as you can.


Hello weekend

04 October 2019

This week had so many small highlights - a new cookbook, my best ever homemade pizza (our house smelt like a pizzeria afterwards!), a long after work walk, plus plenty of time with friends over coffee, breakfast and orange wine. I feel like it bodes well for the long weekend :) Tonight we're heading to a fave cafe that has just started doing nights. And while I loved spending a few sunny days in Sydney, it's always nice to be home. To share this week:

Crushing on this light and bright West Hollywood apartment.

Diane Keaton is on Instagram! And writes all of her captions in caps.

I listened to the pasta special of Highly Enthused and made the spaghetti al limone. As promised, it was the best supper for one.

I bought my very first Diana Henry cookbook this week, to inspire simpler weeknight dinners.

Kate Berry's daily routine (and a peak inside her super sweet home).

And a strawberry shortcake recipe just in time for the long weekend. It's from Julia Ostro and it is buttery, creamy and sweet - basically the perfect kind of afternoon tea.

P.S I bought a painting! A few weekends ago, I found a Sally M. Nangala Munda work that moved me and it was delivered at the end of last week. I stumbled across her depictions of  town camp life on a trip to Sydney in June. I am stoked to own my very own piece.

Spring long weekend plans

29 September 2019

It may still be Sunday afternoon but I'm already day dreaming about the long weekend that's right around the corner. My parents and brother will be in town to hang out and celebrate my niece's sixth birthday. We've talked about a fish and chip picnic by the lake, a trip to a late night Indonesian diner and we almost always end up at the local gelato shop - because my dad loves it.

My favourite thing to do on a long weekend (or any weekend really) is try a new and slightly more decadent recipe. Next weekend I'm planning to make braised beef short ribs and rice and serve an apple crisp with ice cream for dessert.

If you're planning an extra yummy meal too, I can highly recommend Ottolenghi's chicken marbella (roast chicken with dates, olives and capters) and baked saffron rice. I made both this weekend and we ate them in our friend's sunny backyard.

The best thing about this meal is that you can do most of the prep ahead of time - I marinated the chicken for the full two recommended days, turning it every now and then. The rice bakes in 25 minutes (and has onion, plenty of garlic and saffron) and stays warm, so you can easily bake it before the chicken and pack up both if you're heading to a picnic. It meant we could have a decent Sunday sleep in, blueberry bagels and coffee for brekkie before getting a start on the rice and then roasting the chicken. We were out of the house before 12!

Other plans for next weekend... getting stuck into Three Women (my library reserve finally came good) and a lakeside walk with friends from yoga (with a pit stop for homemade salted miso brownies). The only thing left to do is get through the working week ;) I'll be heading back to Sydney for a couple of days, which has been the best excuse to make a booking at Bella Brutta for pizza.

Have a lovely week!


Hello weekend

27 September 2019

After spending last weekend and much of this week recovering from a cold, I feel extra ready to soak up the sun, catch up with friends  and just be a bit more normal. On Sunday, we're making lunch with friends and planning the menu around Jewish new year. I'm making Chicken Marbella from Ottolenghi's book Simple, which my brother Derrick has made and loved. I'll be making a big pot of baked saffron rice too. Onto some good things to share:

A hand cream that smells of smoke and not flowers.

Current obsession: these strangely soothing Instagram dance videos.

Super excited to try Adam Liaw's five mushroom pasta next week, as recommended by Irini.

Lindsay Cameron Wilson's food writing always transports me to another place. I savoured her thoughts on marriage and coffee.

The behind the scenes of the Harvey Weinstein investigation episode of Fresh Air is fascinating, disturbing and well worth a listen. Via The High Low.

I'm reading A Half Baked Idea by Olivia Potts atm and every chapter ends with a recipe. A banana cake with Rolo cake sounds pretty genius to me.

Finally, an actually easy quiche from ABC Life with goats' cheese and asparagus. The filling is so wonderfully silky and I can see that this recipe is going to be so easy to adapt and play with.


Swedish apple pie

24 September 2019

My friend Andy introduced me to Swedish apple pie a few months ago and I've been hassling her for the recipe ever since. It's as comforting as a double crust apple pie (my favourite) but without the effort - it only takes 15 minutes to assemble. In my mind, that makes it a perfect weekday dessert and just the thing for this in between period as we transition from winter to spring (it snowed in Canberra just last week!). Here's a slightly tinkered version of Andy's recipe.

Swedish Apple Pie
Serves 4-6

You'll need:
4-6 Granny Smith apples, peel still on and cut into 3cm cubes
125g unsalted butter (half a block), cold and cut into cubes
125g caster sugar (1/2 cup)
125g plain flour (1 cup and 2 Tbsp)
Vanilla ice cream, to serve

Here's how:
Preheat your oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a 24cm pie dish or baking dish with butter.

Wash and core your apples before chopping them into cubes that are around 3cm in size. Put these directly into your pie dish as you go - until it's almost full. You may only need 4-5 apples.

Make the pie crust by adding the sugar and flour to a medium sized bowl and lightly whisking to combine. Add the cubes of cold butter, pinching it into the flour mixture to incorporate. Once a dough starts to form, bring it together with your hands and lightly knead it. Roll it into a ball and then move it onto a floured surface. If you have time to rest it in the fridge for 20-30 minutes, it might be sturdier to work with, and give you a smoother pie topping. I am never this patient.

Dust a rolling pin with flour and then carefully roll the dough until it's about 0.5-1cm thick and slightly bigger than your baking dish. It's a crumbly dough so you might have to stop midway to dust it with a bit more flour. When you're happy with the thickness, gently drape it over the apple mixture. If it breaks (mine always does), you can do it in pieces, tucking the apple in around the edges, and gently pressing the dough down to meld if it's become more of a patchwork crust.

At this point you could rest it in the fridge if you're making it in advance. You could also brush it with some egg wash and a sprinkling of raw sugar for extra crunch. It's also fine to go into the oven as is. Bake for 40-45 minutes on the middle shelf until it's golden brown and smelling great. Enjoy with ice cream!

Hello weekend

20 September 2019

I hope you've had a good week! The cold that's been sneaking up on me this past few days has finally hit, so I'm resting up and planning to make a favourite chicken noodle soup for dinner. It's a Nigel Slater recipe from his Kitchen Diaries cookbook with plenty of noodles, herbs and lemon. I am also craving... rocky road and chocolate-coated pretzels, which are my new favourite thing to buy from bulk foods stores :) For your weekend:

The latest season of Terrace House is here! The show is back in Tokyo. I'm four episodes in and am already hooked. It's moving much quicker than the previous series and some of the new housemates are great.

I'm loving this pretty Instagram account for food inspo and home styling ideas. Imogene's Sydney apartment is lovely too.

A new-to-me food site with super cute pantry tours!

Good statements for women to practice via Kellie.

And there's nothing like your fave diary coming online for 2020 to confirm that the year really is flying by. Thinking of choosing cornflower blue!

Have the best weekend X