Weekend links

29 July 2016

It's never happened to me before but I caught another cold just as I was getting better from my last one. So this weekend I'll be laying low, drinks tons of tea and keeping warm. I'm really hoping I'll recover quickly so I can make some bread and ease myself back into exercise, keep your fingers crossed for me! Wishing you a happy weekend:

The New Yorker on Snapchat.

Cold and flu remedies that taste good too.

Extremely cute pinafore dress.

Productive procrastination.

A yummy looking chicken curry (with homemade curry paste).

A French-inspired outfit recipe (that's comfy too).

Cult New York takeaway tried and tested (the pasta!).

We're onto our final winter pumpkin - I tried this pumpkin and sage penne recipe this week, it's vegan so I added parmesan cheese and a splash of cream :)

And a fun story I worked on this week, especially loved producing the podcast.

Aunt life: Unexpected presents

27 July 2016

When I first became an aunt, I found myself buying little presents for my niece all the time. Now I've started to receive a few presents for being an aunt, who knew there was such a thing?

My friend Vanessa gave me the cutest polka dotted overnight bag and a beautiful picture book when she passed through Canberra with her little boy (who was wearing his winter jumper!), and my sister and brother-in-law sent me home from my Sydney stay with the biggest box of fancy soaps and creams.

Speaking of surprise gifts, when I went to the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera show I picked up the catalogue for my sister because I knew she'd love the exhibition but might not get a chance to visit with a tiny baby. And for her little artist, I couldn't resist the Frida Kahlo book from the Little People, Big Dreams series.

And one more aunty thing that I know but sometimes forget - it is so nice to visit nieces and nephews at home. You get to see them in their own environment and they're often the most comfortable and happy. Everybody wins.

Super quick Sydney trip

24 July 2016

We've just come back from a lightning fast trip to Sydney. We stayed for one night and managed to see the Frida Kahlo exhibition, meet my friend's new baby and celebrate my cousin's 21st birthday. Here's a look at what we ate and did:

Weekend links

22 July 2016

It's been a bit of a stop start week, my cold has slowed me down heaps (in body and spirit!) but I think I've turned a corner. Being sick has made me look forward to the most ordinary things - like ordering a pizza and baking a cake - two things that should be fairly easy to tick off this weekend. Just a few things to share, have a lovely few days off:

Date night in.

A beautiful cookbook cover.

Curious about baked oatmeal (has anyone tried it?).

Cool flats.

Busting to read this.

Extra special cheese on toast (and the recipe for Momofuku's pickled shiitakes).

Serious kitchen envy.

And on my to-listen list for the weekend, Lee Tran Lam's interview with Helen from Grab Your Fork.

Raiding the magazine stash

21 July 2016

There's a beautiful book shop at the end of our street that I visit most weekends, just to have a look around. The other week I found a copy of The Kinfolk Table and while I didn't buy it, it was a good reminder to revisit some of the magazines that are already on my bookshelf at home.

So lately I've been doing just that, making note of recipes I want to try (cauliflower and truffle soup please!), along with books and movies that I'd like to track down. Among the stack, there are a few American and European magazines and it's been especially nice to revisit issues that coincide with our current season.

What's in the stack? Old issues of Kinfolk, Fete Press, CherryBombe, Lucky Peach and The Happy Reader. Plus I've just discovered that my local library has just updated its online magazine titles, so I'm reading a few current issues on my iPad.

Resting up

19 July 2016

I went home sick today with a sore throat, achey limbs and the beginnings of a headache.  On my way home I picked up some special tissues (eucalyptus with peppermint and aloe vera!) and stopped into the Vietnamese shop for a giant chicken noodle soup. Now I'm taking it easy and being extra kind to myself.

Little acts make all the difference when you're sick - like changing your sheets before a big afternoon nap, putting on fresh pyjamas and having dinner made for you. I can highly recommend this soup that's packed with veggies, chilli and has raw garlic sprinkled on top, which my friend Sarah says is great for fighting colds. And what's a sick day without a new magazine? I'm flipping through Heirloom Recipes :)

Weekend links

15 July 2016

How was your week? It snowed on Wednesday and we've been hibernating - raiding the freezer for apple pie and ragu and watching a lot of Chef's Table. This weekend I'm keen to check out a special art book sale in town, make another pull apart and squeeze in some exercise too. Have a lovely weekend:

Coconut, cherry and pistachio granola (I've gathered all my ingredients, can't wait to have a go).

Foreign Correspondent's #BlackLivesMatter doco from 2015 is back on iView.

A few thoughts on cooking (and doing the big shop).

And a very cool interview series called The Listener Chain where every guest recommends a new one at the end of their interview. I loved this one which touches on what it's like to be an aunt. Thank you to Rachel for sending it to me :) 

Outgoing birthday presents

12 July 2016

Here are a few items that went in the post last week, destined for two birthday girls. I love putting presents together and wrapping them too. I've recently learnt how to send tiny packages but every now and then something more substantial is required, especially if a birthday's involved.

Lately I've been putting together a collection of things, instead of buying one main item. As a super rough guide, I tend to pick one or two things that make ordinary days feel a bit more special plus one item that's more of a gamble.

For Christina, my sister-in-law, I chose a bottle of Aesop body wash, a bag of my favourite tea-time chocolates and since she's a great reader, my gamble present was a copy of The Spare Room by Helen Garner.

Christina and I both share Haruki Murakami as a favourite author, and we both love non-fiction so I figured sending her one of my favourite books from a new-to-her author might just work. And because she adores birds of all kinds, I dug out this budgie wrapping paper that I had in my stash and found a bright card to match (here's another great one from Kiki.K).

Modest home improvements

10 July 2016

When we were packing up our Wagga house and preparing to move to Canberra, I decided to start saving for a new sofa, a dinner set that matched and maybe a desk and chair too. In the end we added two new bookshelves, a couple of short stools and called it a day. As it turns out, really little things have helped our current place feel like our cosiest home yet:

Last month I won these beautiful wooden coasters from a cute gift shop in town, and each one is a different colour. They look lovely even when they're not in use. I also bought this bright yellow pepper grinder, which happens to go nicely with this cheery napkin holder we found at IKEA.

Since Easter we've been using the Simply Clean range of hand soap and dishwashing liquid (and bathroom spray if I'm being really honest!). I bought it for the scent and and because it's a lot more natural (and environmentally friendly) than the cheaper stuff we were buying at Aldi.

We've switched from shower gel to bar soap for similar reasons :) I've been buying both at the health food store, which sells refills of the Simply Clean range if you bring your own bottle. To make things look a little nicer, I bought a few plain soap dispensers from Muji and replaced our usual bright blue chux with a washable (knitted!) cloth.

And when I had a few days off, I did a pantry stocktake (inspired by Melissa) which was definitely worth the effort. Now everything's stored neatly, nothing is out of date and I've stopped buying multiples of ingredients we already have. Originally I was keen on matching jars but ended up sticking with what we already owned and adding just a few new ones. Things looking a little different is really nice.

We're still thinking about building a little home office but for now we're both happy working on the dining table because it's nice and close to the heater and seems to be working just fine :)

P.S A mini house tour of our Canberra apartment.

Weekend links

08 July 2016

This weekend feels full of possibilities. With nothing pressing to do, I'm hoping to try out a new sourdough recipe, make a big batch of spaghetti and meatballs (maybe this one) and check out the new Greta Gerwig film with Tony (and choc tops). Here are a few good things to share, I hope you're feeling happy and rested:

Travel friendly desserts (for cars and bikes!).

Life at three.

It's good weather for a serious spaghetti carbonara.

A phone case with stickers via Soph.

Tempted to treat myself to this beautiful book.

This interview with Zoe Foster Blake.

Super cute ceramics (with faces).

And I'm part way through Sarah Ferguson's talk about the making of The Killing Season and it's unreal.

P.S I met this pup Barkly on my lunch break :)

Winter lunch prep

06 July 2016

There have been a few tiny shifts at home now that winter has really set in. Our towels spend a lot of time in front of the heater, the alarm is set that little bit later and people keep giving us pumpkins - so many pumpkins.

Currently watching...

05 July 2016

It's been ages since I've had a TV show that I've really followed. Earlier this year Tony and I really got into Master of None and now we're watching another Netflix series - Chef's Table. 

Every episode is an in-depth profile of one chef and I was super keen to check it out after I learnt that the series is directed by David Gelb, who made the beautiful documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Last night we watched an episode about Argentinian chef Francis Mallmann, which has been the highlight of the first season.

Mallmann lives on an isolated island in Patagonia and the way he cooks is pretty wild. He has a team of gypsy chefs who help him cook outdoors - stringing up animals on crucifix style structures in front of fires, burying vegetables in cooking pits and plating up meals in the snow. Here's a little look.

I especially loved this line about life and work: "Today I think we educate kids to be settled in the comfortable chair. You have your job, you have your little car, you have a place to sleep and the dreams are dead. You don't grow on a secure path. All of us should conquer something in life. And it needs a lot of work and it needs a lot of risk."

Side note: This interview with director David Gelb was what prompted me to watch the show :) 

Weekend links

01 July 2016

This week I experimented with setting my alarm five minutes earlier, hoping it would mean I'd have an extra nice breakfast before it was time to leave for work. But it's been so chilly that I slept in every day! I tried :) I'm working election night but on Sunday, Tony and I are going on a burger date at one of our favourite places in town. Can't wait.

Love these denim overalls.

Strawberry Cinnamon Dutch Baby = Saturday breakfast.

A well-worded tribute to Bill Cunningham, may he rest in peace. If you haven't seen it, this doco is well worth a look (it's on iView right now) and he pops up in this one too, which features another NY Times great, the late David Carr.

Interested in this pepperoni pizza.

Good food, beautifully wrapped.

How to wear pyjamas in public.

Genius travel soap via Ebony.

Sticky-date pudding with chocolate.

A sweet introduction to the world's shortest podcast (each episode is 90 seconds!)

Curious about Zoe Foster-Blake's new book because I'm a bit of make-up dunce (and I picked up a bunch of great tips just from flipping through it at the bookstore).

And this week I made chilli for the first time and loved it. I used this super-quick recipe but my friend Sarah and my sister have both mentioned Jamie Oliver's version, so that's on my list to try.