A just-for-fun Christmas list

14 November 2018

I love gift giving, especially at Christmas. But for the first time in a very long time, I haven't gone overboard shopping for it, and don't plan too. My family will be in Canberra for Christmas this year - including my brother and his wife all the way from London. Because we haven't all spent the holiday together for years (at least three!), we're just excited to be in the same city and country.

But just for fun, here's my annual wish list of things big and small that'd be fun to open on Christmas Day. Starting with these snacking containers for summer picnics, or a stainless steel bento with built in dividers!

A pair of high-rise yoga leggings from Girlfriend Collective, which come in the best colours. A couple of girls at my yoga studio have them and really rate them. A tie-up shirt would be lovely for practice (and weekends) too.

What is a Christmas list without a cookbook? I have my eye on Alison Roman's Dining In. She's formerly of Bon Appetit magazine, and now writes for the NY Times. I'm also all about eating in! Annabel Crabb's latest looks good too. I love this description, "Hosting your friends is not about showing off; it is about delighting others."

Abbi Jacobson's book looks like the perfect summer read, Lily Allen's too. I would also like a copy of Ta-Nehisi Coate's book of essays that cover the Obama presidency. I borrowed a copy from the library earlier this year, and while it wasn't an easy read, I learnt a lot from it.

And something fancy - vineyard glamping, complete with a basket of pastries for breakfast the next morning. Just not while the snakes are out!

P.S - one of the best Christmas gifts I ever received was a box of mangoes from my uncle Mark. There must've been 20 mangoes in there, just for Tony and I, and they were right at their peak.

Hello weekend

09 November 2018

I am settling in for a long weekend... one that I made myself :) It'll be a little holiday at home. I'm hoping to make it to a Sunday night yin class (my new obsessions), try this mushroom carbonara (it has no pasta but still looks great!), and have plans to go swimming with friends. For your weekend: 

My new girl crush is Alison Roman. And I haven't even made her famous cookies yet!

"I'm 34 and at a point where instead of thinking of what I have done I often, unfortunately, think about the things I haven't done yet." Curious to read Abbi Jacobson's new book.

This mini episode of Hurry Slowly was the best way to start my Thursday. I'm actually planning to re-listen to it soon. It's all about being kinder to yourself, and not always having a plan.

Plus, an easy frittata with peas, eggs and cheese. I've made this for dinner and for work lunches, which means I just need to try it out for breakfast. Might do it tomorrow morning :) 

Have the best weekend!


Emergency snack - tuna crackers with pickles and cheese

05 November 2018

I get hungry very quickly. During the week, I'm limited to the fruit and nuts I take to work but on weekends and just before dinner, I love being able to fix a snack with more ingredients at my disposal.

On high rotation at the moment, greek yoghurt with mangoes and golden syrup (hooray for mango season!), and a tuna cracker with cottage cheese, pickled onions and pepper, which always tides me over til the next meal. On toast, it makes a decent lunch or late night dinner. And the pickled onions make it seem fancy enough to serve as a starter to guests.

Tuna cracker with pickles and cheese

You'll need:

Crackers, any kind will do or a thick slice of bread.
Cottage cheese or ricotta
Tuna in olive oil, drained
Pickled red onion, I use this recipe

Here's how:

Spread cottage cheese over your cracker or slice of toast and then crumble some tuna on top. Top with pickled onions and freshly cracked pepper and enjoy.

Hello weekend

02 November 2018

Hello! I am freshly back from Sydney where I was lucky enough to see friends for dinner, sample a rooftop yoga studio, eat an amazing matcha ice cream sandwich... and go to work! On my final day in the office, there was a surprise Q&A with Rukmini Callimachi from the Caliphate podcast. I loved hearing about the making of the podcast, and of course, her voice IRL.

As always, after a few nights away, I'm stoked to be home in time for the weekend. I'll be going to the markets, cooking something from scratch and reading. To share for your weekend:

This Canberra Instagrammer, who is responsible for my current obsession with this wilderness hotel.

The Layers style podcast is back!

Keen to try these mini chocolate pavlovas.

Trail mix cookies with some sweet thoughts on making your own magic.

Do you read birth stories? I'll always have a read if it's written by a woman I follow online. It's such a privilege to read their accounts and experiences. This week I read this story from Heidi, about the birth of her son Walt. I admire her intuition and trust in her own body.

We had our first properly hot day in Canberra on Thursday. So it could be time to have a go at homemade ice magic!

And because we've finished watching Salt Fat Acid Heat and I miss it, I've been eagerly consuming lots of Samin Nosrat content! This beauty interview was especially nice, and I love the photo from the trolley scene at the very end. I'm also listening to Lee Tran Lam's interview with her, which is pretty delightful.

Chat soon!


A new favourite podcast

29 October 2018

What kinds of podcasts are you enjoying at the moment? Lately I've been really into interview shows, especially the kinds that perk me up, no matter what time of day I'm listening. For the last two weeks, my go-to podcast has been Unstyled by Refinery 29.

It's hosted by Christine Barberich, who is a wonderful, clever and empathetic interviewer. She chats to a super diverse range of women about their working lives, covering everything from career trajectories to daily routines. I first tuned in after hearing about an interview with Hanya Yanagihara, author of A Little Life. Since then I've been cherry picking episodes, including this one with Jenna Lyons of J. Crew fame, an interview with Laura Brown, the Australian editor of US In Style magazine, and a chat with Busy Phillips ahead of the launch of her late night talk show.

I only recognise a handful of guests but have since learnt that that doesn't matter. The conversations are heartfelt and wide ranging, and magically I always feel more positive about my day after listening.

Unstyled isn't a new podcast (it's been going since late 2016) but it's new to me, which means there's a decent back catalogue of episodes to work through. Here's hoping I don't burn through them too quickly :)

P.S Another interview show I've been loving (along with Tony) is Without Fail. While I don't have any hard and fast career goals, I'm fascinated by how people build their careers and all of the little choices (and set backs) that happen along the way.

Hello weekend

26 October 2018

I'm spending a good chunk of my week in Sydney from Tuesday, which means... no meal prep is required this weekend! Instead, we might go see Beautiful Boy or A Star is Born at the movies. We also have my parents and brother visiting from Sydney, and we're going out to eat cake. Here are some things to share:

The salad dressing from this Cup of Jo post is truly great.

Also via Jo, I thoroughly enjoyed Chrissy Teigen's most recent Vogue interview. "I think it’s funny when people are like, 'I love how you just don’t give a fuck.' I’m like, 'Oh my God. I give so many fucks.' I want to be liked."

I stumbled across the Ask Mimi series on The Sporkful earlier this week, just when I needed a good laugh. It features 92-year-old (!!!) Mimi Shearton, who was the first female food critic for The New York Times. She answers audience questions about food and life with brutal honesty. There are two more episodes to come.

Mini confession - I go to bed really early, and the exact time I start getting ready for bed is said to be ideal. (For context, my alarm goes off at 5.40am).

Are you watching Salt Fat Acid Heat on Netflix? We only have one episode to go! Love this idea that the series is the antidote to viral cooking videos.

And this week's ABC Life recipe is a fave - cheesy mushroom quesadillas that make dinner extra fun. I tested the recipe right after watching the Mexican episode of Salt Fat Acid Heat, which meant I attempted all of the homemade salsas. They add about half an hour to the dish, and make it a bit more finicky, but taste-wise, it was totally worth it.

Thanks always for reading :)

A mini office pantry

21 October 2018

During the week I eat the bulk of my meals at work, usually breakfast and lunch with a million snacks in between. Years ago, when I worked shifts in a digital newsroom, I found this fact super depressing. But these days, I don't mind it.

Because I head straight to the office from yoga four days a week, I shower and eat my breakfast there before getting into the day. I look forward to flicking through blogs in the morning while I eat my breakfast, it's a tiny pocket of me time before things really kick off.

But lately I've found myself cramming all sorts of condiments, spreads and snacks into tiny containers at night ready for the next day. Or taking a jar of peanut butter to work and then lugging it back home on the bus. It made me realise that if I had a few nicer-than-average staples at work, packing lunch would be a bit easier, and my work days more delicious too.

Just in case working makes you hungry too, here's what's currently in my office pantry (which is actually just a plastic tray that sits on a bookshelf):

Fancy peanut butter - for morning toast, and emergency snacks spread on crackers on bananas.

Nice tea - I drink English Breakfast mid morning and then switch to tumeric for the afternoon.

Honey - to drizzle on top of porridge or add to tea if I have a scratchy throat.

A salt & pepper grinder - to replace the ziplock bag of sea salt and pepper that I've had in a drawer!

Chilli flakes - for avocado toast, and to spice up leftovers when I have them.

Muesli - for backup breakfasts or an afternoon snack with yoghurt or milk.

A jar of cookies - every now and then, for morale :)

And two other things... I bought myself a bowl and brought a nice plate from home that I keep with my food stuff because crockery (along with cutlery) in general is almost impossible to find in an office kitchen. Plus, food is more delicious when it's not straight out of a container :)

P.S - We're having lentils with roasted tomatoes and horseradish for lunches this week, Swedish apple cake from Lunch Lady magazine for snacks, along with fruit and yoghurt.