Weekend links

28 April 2017

It was properly cold this week, which had me daydreaming about curry. Hopefully I'll get around to making one this weekend. After spending last weekend away, my plans for this one are humble. I'm hoping to visit this cool art installation with Tony and start work on a little gardening project. Here are a few good things:

A favourite cold-weather pasta.

Why near enough is good enough via Joy.

Newlywed and paralysed (sounds tough but it's worth a listen).

A beautiful animated short that my friend Michael recommended.

What podcast should I listen to next? The spreadsheet.

Loved this column about baking.

And speaking of baking, I was too full to try a delicious looking chocolate and coconut cake in Melbourne so I might try and make my own.

Catch you next week!

Four days in Melbourne

26 April 2017

We had the best time in Melbourne. Being in town for four days meant we had enough time to check out the Festival of Photography, spend time with friends and eat well too :) Here are a few highlights:

Soon after we landed, I jumped on a tram to meet my friend Mei Ying for lunch in Collingwood. We ordered big bowls of pork ramen from Shop Ramen and inquired after the sweet pie of the day. When I was in uni, Mei Ying helped me get a job at the tiny Adriano Zumbo patisserie in Sydney, where she had a dessert named in her honour. I used to read her food blog religiously and she gave me a few pointers for our Melbourne stay.

One of her recommendations took us to Good Days in Brunswick, where we had an amazing noodle salad, which came with a pile of crunchy spring rolls. We tried so many new places this trip, and somehow managed to keep most of our meals under $50.

The next day we headed to the National Gallery of Victoria to check out the Festival of Photography. The Patrick Pound exhibition was my favourite. It was made up of found photographs, curated into unusual groupings. One section featured photos where someone's face had been cut, burnt or scratched out. It was both unsettling and mesmerising.

We were in Melbourne so that Tony could install an exhibition at Nicholas Projects, an artist-run-space in the city. The show opened on Friday night and we were stoked that a few friends from Wagga Wagga and Melbourne could come along.

On Saturday I picked up a box of penguin shaped chocolates and caught the train to my friend Danie's house. She served ricotta fritters and salads for lunch and carrot cake for dessert. We spent hours chatting and I left feeling full of creative energy. It was one of the highlights of my stay.

By the time Sunday rolled around, we were ready for a lazy day. We slept in, had breakfast at a cosy cafe in Fitzroy and generally took our time. I wanted one last look at the Patrick Pound show (there's so much to take in) and then we managed to score a table at Chin Chin, without the usual two hour wait. I'm so glad we went!

Here are two more places we really enjoyed, which Mei Ying directed us to. We ate meatball sandwiches at Spring Street Grocer and came back for the gelato before our flight home (I was still talking about my scoop on the plane!). 

D.O.C Pizza and Mozzarella Bar was such a fun place for a late-night dinner, and conveniently close to one of my favourite bookshops. We don't know when we'll be back in town, which makes me glad that we crammed so much goodness into this visit. 

Hope you're travelling well this week! It's pouring here and perfect weather for being home.

All things April

24 April 2017

What are you getting up to in these few days of the month? I have a batch of Anzac cookies in the oven (I'm trying this recipe) and have just started the last season of Girls. Everyone's been saying it's the best season yet.

I finally bought a new fragrance while we were on holidays in Melbourne. I haven't worn perfume for years and this essential oil based fragrance is bright and floral without being too full on. It's my first roll on perfume and I love that it's pocket sized.

I'm going to try Jamie Oliver's chicken in milk, which has been described as "a slightly odd but really fantastic combination that must be tried." Bonus - it's a one pot meal.

And I'm about the finish the first season of How to Be a Girl, a podcast about parenting a transgender child. The host, who uses the pseudonym Marlo Mack, is warm and honest while sharing one of the biggest challenges of her life.

Weekend links

21 April 2017

Hello from Melbourne! Tony has an exhibition opening tonight and we've been bumping into friends and eating lots of great food. How has your week been? I've been trying to avoid all of the Girls spoilers and powering through a spooky novel. Here are a few things to share:

A tiny pause.

My winter splurge.

Salted dark chocolate and coconut bites.

A beautiful weekend.

Adding this Japanese place to my Sydney restaurant list.

Pay what you want (and help save the planet while you're doing it).

Mint choc chip cookies!

Julie Synder on the making of Serial.

And I was feeling a little ordinary this week - these words from Joy perked me right up. Make sure you check out all of the linked posts for maximum perspective :)

Winter face

19 April 2017

After getting into the habit of cycling to work - and showering there too - I've updated my make-up bag. I've narrowed it down to six things: a CC cream that's SPF 30+, an easy-to-use concealer stick, an eyebrow cream with an inbuilt brush, the lightest powder (for my shiny nose), a peachy cream blush and a magical eyelash curler. It feels good to be working with less.

I've also started stashing this hand cream in my bag to combat the cooler and drier days. Lipstick is still a date night/going-to-a-wedding occurrence, I'm working on that :)

P.S Here are two things I'm keen to try - Joni's go-to eyeshadow and mascara.

Meals for cold nights

17 April 2017

Did you cook anything new over the Easter break? While we were sweating our way through summer, I was scrolling through recipes for warming comfort food from a handful of American blogs. I've been saving them for these very months, which are my favourite for cooking... and eating. Here's what I'm planning to try:

Gnocchi with preserved lemon alfredo sauce
Brussel sprout and speck mac and cheese
No boil pasta bake

Broccoli, cheese and potato soup
Spicy roasted vegetable ramen
Taiwanese spicy beef noodle soup

Hearty mains
Tomato-glazed meatloaves with mashed potatoes 
Beef goulash with soft egg noodles (I've never made goulash before!)
Savoury winter cobbler (which happens to be vegan too).

Chocolate blackberry pudding
Pear, ginger and pistachio crumble
Rose apple tart

P.S - Here are my favourite weekday dinners from 2016. Nigella's quick chilli, apricot balsamic chicken with rocket and creamy tortellini with prosciutto and peas are three of the best.

Long weekend links

14 April 2017

Hello! I hope you're relaxing into the long weekend. It's a beautiful day here - the air is crisp, the sky is blue and the sun is out. We're about to ride our bikes into town for coffee and I have the simplest of plans for the days ahead. On today's agenda - making spaghetti bolognese for dinner. That's it :)

Trying out this clever self-watering pot (mine's yellow!).

Baked chicken with mushrooms, cream and thyme.

Design, Instagram and a cult cafe.

"All you did was throw things away."

40 movies about photographers via Garry. I haven't seen a single one and am intrigued by #9.

Sage advice from journalist Jenna Price.

I'm insanely excited about this collection of recipes from Bon Appetit.

And I whizzed through Making Oprah this week - it was such a fun podcast. Next on my list - How to Be a Girl. I'm also keen to check out Terrible, Thanks for Asking.

Have a great Easter!

Sourdough pikelets

12 April 2017

Every now and then I make a pile of sourdough pikelets. We bring out all of the spreads and top them with butter and strawberry jam, Nutella and banana, lemon juice and sugar, and yoghurt and maple syrup. And we almost always have leftovers for breakfast the next day :)

I use a recipe from Sophie Hansen's cookbook, which I've adapted to include some leftover sourdough starter. If you don't have any starter, the recipe will work just fine without it.

Sourdough pikelets 

Serves 4

You will need:
1 cup self-raising flour
1 cup milk
1 egg
Finely grated zest of one lemon
1 tbsp caster sugar
3/4 cup active sourdough starter

Here's how:
Place all of the ingredients into a medium sized bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside for 20 minutes. 

Heat a fry pan on medium-high heat and add a small knob of butter. Cook 2 tablespoons of batter at a time, flipping each pikelet when the surface begins to bubble. 

Keep your growing pile of pikelets in an oven on low heat to keep them warm.

Easter prep

10 April 2017

We've just worked out what we're doing for Easter - we're staying in. Tony's keen to spend a few days in his studio painting and I'm looking forward to chilling out at home. I'm planning to read, watch movies and try out a few new recipes (these brown butter choc chip cookies look so good).

While we'll miss out on a long weekend in the Blue Mountains with Tony's family, we're excited about hosting a few friends for breakfast on Sunday. I'll be serving hot cross buns and Easter eggs and keeping my fingers crossed for nice weather so we can go for a long walk afterwards.

I made a few batches of hot cross buns on the weekend to share with friends. I use a recipe from this book and might tweak it over the long weekend to include choc chips and chai-infused dried fruit. And I'm hoping the Easter bunny brings me this :) Let's hope this week flies by for us all.

Weekend links

07 April 2017

Do you have much on this weekend? My friend Maayan is hosting an Eastover dinner on Saturday (Easter and Passover combined!) and I'm bringing hot cross buns. We're also catching up with Tony's brother who is town for the Canberra marathon and I'm going to try and get a meal or two in the freezer. Here are a few things for the days ahead:

Double chocolate cookies for Easter.

A girls weekend with a twist.

How cute are these DIY face planters?

9 podcast episodes worth discussing (I'm going to start with Making Oprah).

Coconut and jam pudding.

"If you want to talk to me when I'm dead, go to the bench." So glad I listened to this.

This photographer's personal Instagram account is lovely.

And here's a suggestion for an easy Sunday night dinner -  one-pot French onion pasta followed by chewy Nutella cookies and tea :)

Catch you next week.

Creature comforts

06 April 2017

It was properly cold over the weekend and while I'm a little nervous about winter, I'm also really excited about the cosy months ahead. Here are a few things I'd love to gather, starting with this subtly scented candle. My sister-in-law gave me one for Christmas and it's very hygge.

A box of spicy tea to brew in my flask for weekend walks and work days on the road.

The power issue of Salad Days, to keep me strong and motivated during the coldest months.

A bright woollen blanket for nights spent reading on the couch and watching Netflix with Tony.

And a new baking book that promises to re-invent the classics because nothing heats up a small space like having the oven on :) I'll be making apple crumble whenever I can.

Catching up

02 April 2017

We spent the weekend catching up on jobs around the house, which helped clear my head and make room for more creative thoughts. I finished listening to S-Town while running errands (my verdict: it's brilliant, even if I was cynical in parts) and now the pantry is re-stocked and the garden is coming back to life. We even made it to the art school ball.

After a busy March, it was really nice to slow down and take stock. I could feel myself getting a little anxious these past few weeks, going from one thing to the next. But now I'm feeling ready for the month ahead. Tonight I'm making porcini tomato pasta and might watch Julie & Julia if Tony has to head back to the studio.

P.S Here's what we're having for dinner this week: curried lentils and rice, smoky beet burgers and pea and parmesan soup :)