Weekend links

29 April 2016

I've been under the weather this week and I'm hoping that a quiet weekend will sort me out. I would love to check out this cute little op shop that's only open for six hours a week and bake a practice cake for next weekend's epic bake off but mainly I'm excited about sleeping in and catching up on a bit of reading. Have a great weekend.

How to buy clothes you'll actually wear.

An exciting list of new-to-me podcasts that are all hosted by women. This interview with Smitten Kitchen's Deb Perelmen was excellent.

The latest season of Girls is (finally) up.

So very true.

This could be just me but here's how to freeze cookie dough properly.

And a thought-provoking and personal interview with NPR's Terry Gross, who shares why she chose not to have kids via Jo.

Aunt life: Buying the winter jumper

28 April 2016

I have a special nephew, my friend Vanessa's son, and this year I chose a thick woollen jumper to keep him warm this winter. It's a new tradition that started accidentally.

Soon after he was born, I stumbled across some hand knitted jumpers at a church hall in Blackheath. I bought a pale purple cardigan for my niece and a striped jumper for my special nephew. The following year my friend Sean bought the winter jumper, and this year I figured it must be my turn again :)

Tony helped me pick this one out, we made a day of it and he made sure I invested in something super warm - and not a cotton jumper with the cute animal face printed on the front. This one looks a little nordic, and I'm looking forward to hearing what he gets up to in it.

I love the idea of buying one special and practical thing and I have a feeling this tradition is going to continue for years.

Food52's Genius recipes

26 April 2016

I just discovered Food52's Genius recipes column, which promises to share recipes that'll change the way you cook. Right now, I have a tomato and vodka pasta sauce bubbling away in the oven and aside from a cookbook there's an entire online archive to work through.

The column is five years old and I stumbled across the column via this episode of Burnt Toast, Food52's podcast. I particularly loved learning that a genius recipe isn't necessarily a simple one, it's more about a dish being worth every minute of your time - from time spent shopping for special ingredients to the prep and clean up.

I've had a few disasters from online recipes and normally pick something from Joy the Baker and Smitten Kitchen because they're so reliable. I'm super excited to have another site to work my way through.

P.S My brother put me onto this recipe for Tartine's country bread and it's really good. If you're interested, he sent me this video tutorial too.

Photo by Food52.

Long weekend links

21 April 2016

Do you have plans for the long weekend? Our friends Angie and Dave are driving down from Sydney on Friday, they're due to arrive late and I'm going to bake cookies. They're bringing their bikes and we're planning to take it easy and eat well. I found so many good things to share this week, I hope you have a lovely weekend:

A meal that changed history.

The cutest cloud soap.

Parenting versus creativity.

In search of the perfect porridge.

Beautiful stories from anonymous people.

Easiest dinner ever.

How popular clothing brands treat their workers.

50 ways to take care of yourself (in the arts) via Alex. I'm all about number 11.

Iconic grooms.

And an article I kept thinking about all week - resume virtues and eulogy virtues via Joy.

Eggplant pasta with lemon and cheese

19 April 2016

This year I'm all about easy homemade food and every now and then I'll be sharing recipes for new staples, starting with this cheesy eggplant pasta (with greens!) that comes from my friend Mel.

One night last year, I went round to Melly's new place for a midweek dinner. She made this cheesy eggplant pasta and opened a bottle of prossecco. It was a simple meal that felt comforting and special. We talked about big things that night and while I'd arrived feeling sad and stuck, I left feeling properly cared for.

Eggplant pasta with lemon, spinach and cheese

You will need:

250g of bow-tie pasta (around half a box)
One medium sized eggplant, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup of olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped (a garlic crusher is your friend here)
15g of butter (or one generous slice)
Two big handfuls of baby spinach, washed and dried
Half a lemon, juiced
1 cup of parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and pepper

Here's how:

Heat the olive oil and the butter in a large frypan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft and fragrant, stirring occasionally. Mix in the eggplant, stirring every five minutes until it's dark and tender.

While you're waiting, cook and drain your pasta.

Add the spinach to the eggplant and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the spinach is wilted, about three minutes. Mix through the pasta, lemon juice and half of the parmesan cheese.

Serve with parmesan cheese, cracked pepper and chilled white wine :)

Cute woollen cardigan

17 April 2016

There's only one winter cardigan in my wardrobe and I wouldn't mind a couple more, especially for my first Canberra winter. I've been window shopping this weekend and adore this one from Gorman because it's super fun and not at all twin-set material. This striped one is pretty too, and they're both 100 per cent wool.

Uniqlo also has this polka dotted merino cardigan thats a little kinder on the bank balance. Last year I invested in a black cashmere jumper and my first ever down jacket to get me through another brisk Wagga winter. Aside from a few new cardigans I'm hoping to add a good pair of gloves and windproof jacket to keep me on my bike as we head into winter.

Weekend links

15 April 2016

How have you been? I've had a surprisingly relaxing week with lots of bike rides, a bit of baking and TV too (I'm a Downton Abbey tragic). I'm planning to make pizza and baked apples this weekend and see one of my favourite Australian photographers give a talk. Here are a few things to share:

Winter overalls.

This episode of Crybabies with Matthew Weiner, creator of Mad Men.

Teen runaway.

Chore dates.

All the things we know.

My latest podcast :)

And just in case you're like me and haven't made baked apples since primary school, I'm going to give this recipe a go.

This year's apple pie

14 April 2016

A couple of years ago I made an apple pie from scratch. It was autumn and it made me feel excited about some of the smaller things that mark the change of season, from the prettiness of fallen leaves to being able to wear my favourite scarf again.

I'd love for it to become an annual ritual only the two times I've made a pie, I've been blown away by how much time it takes. Here's a look at my last pie, a classic apple pie that came out of the oven looking a little freaky.

This year I decided to make a blushing apple pie from a cool Brooklyn pie shop that's owned and run by two sisters. I'd heard about the bakery before (sadly long after our New York honeymoon) and stumbled across the recipe in a stack of Cherry Bombe magazines that my sister-in-law gave me at Easter.

It had two surprise ingredients - half a beetroot and a dash of Angostura bitters - and it made my whole apartment smell like jam. I felt so proud pulling it out of the oven, even if my pie sealing skills need a little work.

I'm not sure if I have another pie in me this season but if I can muster the energy this salted caramel apple pie is next on my list.

Mini house tour

10 April 2016

When we moved to Canberra we had a few frantic days to unpack before we both started work. Over Easter we had time to really sort things out and our little place is feeling just about done. Here's a little look:

Weekend links

08 April 2016

What's on for you this weekend? The cooler weather has made me want to stockpile food - soups, cookies and a few loaves of bread too. I'm also hoping to check out a seasonal food fair and finish a book I've neglected for months. Here are a few fun things to share:

This pretty winter cardi.

Spiked lemonade.

Putting down roots in a small town.

Very lovely baby gifts.

Super easy no knead bread via Vanessa.

A magical face oil.

And how to make Neiman Marcus cookies. I was obsessed with this recipe as a kid.

Artwork by Rosalind Lemoh currently on show at ANCA.

The all-in-one to do list

06 April 2016

Here's an idea I pinched from Tony that's really working for me. Instead of a daily or themed to do lists, I'm chucking everything into one long list. And I'm crossing things off too!

For the last few months Tony's been carrying around a biggish journal where he's been writing down everything he needs to get done - big and small - in one long list. I normally jot things down in my phone as they come to me or think that I'll remember to do certain things naturally (!), so my list is somewhat scattered.

I decided to give Tony's method a try and got so much done in the first week. I still keep my work to do list separate but now have a skinny notebook that's always on me to capture everything else.

Here are a few things that are currently on my list:

Drop a few bags off at the op shop
Buy and send my Dad a birthday present
Assemble the doll's bed I bought for my niece
Change my address with a few places I missed when we moved

P.S My to do notebook is from here. It has a polka dot cover :)

Desktop: Le Tran, Jujubakes

03 April 2016

When Le Tran's daughter Sophia was born, she was determined to make her an amazing cake in time for her first birthday. Four years and another sweet little baby on, Le's cakes are looking pretty spectacular and she now has a growing list of friends and strangers who are keen for a slice.

Weekend links

02 April 2016

This week has been all about staying cosy. I made porridge, pulled out my winter gear and kept exercise to a minimum. Some weeks are meant to be slow :) This weekend we just have tiny things planned - a trip down the road to check out the new ice cream shop and a few little jobs around the house. Here are a few things to help your weekend along:

The prettiest LA food tour.

The sweet history of the annual White House Easter egg roll.

This chat with chef David Chang that covered everything from how Momofuku started out to his very genuine concerns about food sustainability and being a bully via Lee Tran Lam who just interviewed the man himself.

Signing up for this.

Have you seen this Michael Jackson documentary? It was on TV the other night and is eerily compelling.

Leigh Sales and Annabel Crabb have a new series on iView. I haven't had a chance to watch it yet but the e-newsletter is awesome via Jessica.

And this banana and date cake, which was a joy to make and eat :)