Birthday wish list

02 August 2020

I wasn't sure whether to make one of these this year because everything feels so different. But giving presents, planning presents and sending presents brings me so much joy.  So because it's officially Leo season, here's a very home-themed edition of nice things.

HAY has super cute dish sponges (of all things) shaped as rain drops, fish and penguins. Just to make all the washing up a little bit nicer.

Weekend mornings used to be spent heading to yoga but now I look forward to sleeping in and reading a book in bed with a cup of hot tea. So I've been eyeballing pretty pillowcases from Rachel Castle, and love the look of this polka dotted one and garden pillowcase side by side.

I haven't had a polaroid camera since I lived with my parents and love the new mini ones. This year I've wished I've had one to capture all of the in-person catch ups that feel extra fleeting right now. How nice would it be to hang onto a photo of a catch up and give them to friends and family too? This may also be motivated by the fact that I haven't printed a single photo from Tony and my wedding, almost six years ago.

We treated ourselves to some Haigh's Chocolates over Easter and everything we ordered was so good. Especially the honeycomb block and these little marshmallow blocks. In our house I'm always worried when we're out of chocolate (or running low). It's totally chips for Tony!

Scents have never been so soothing to me. Earlier in the year it was anything to mask the smell of bushfire smoke. These days it's more about walking into another room and feeling like you're in a different place or space because of some nice room spray or fresh flowers. And because we're in the final (and probably coldest!) month of winter in Canberra, this nice smelling body oil would be so nice.


Made up baking and two good books

31 July 2020

I love to follow recipes exactly, maybe because there's so much to learn about good cooking. But lately I feel totally fine winging it in the kitchen, which is how we ended up with this apple galette one Sunday night. I found some leftover shortcrust pastry in the freezer (maybe from this summer pie), had half a jar of butterscotch sauce and we always have apples (and lately, ice cream).

We're trying a weekly produce box again, in an attempt to go to the shops less and eat what's in season. It's been the best excuse to consult my cookbooks and make some meals that aren't work related! I've also learnt that this is potato and pumpkin season. I have so many potatoes and am going to make gnocchi tomorrow night.

Normally I try to read books on my Kindle or get them from the library to save money and shelf space but this period (pandemic + job stress) seemed like the very best time to buy Kevin Kwan's new book Sex & Vanity. I remember reading the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy during periods of disruption. I listened to the first book while driving between Wagga Wagga and Canberra when Tony was doing an artist residency here and I was waiting out a restructure at work. I carried the final book of the series, Rich People Problems, to solo dinners in Adelaide, while travelling for work. It kept me company all the way home from Darwin to Canberra. 

I managed to make his latest book last a little over a week and loved how escapist and funny it was. I really hope to watch it as a movie one day. I'm now reading Big Friendship by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, who also host the Call Your Girlfriend podcast. I've never wanted to hold books more than I do in this mostly stay at home time, when it feels like there's very little time spent off screens.

Today has been especially nice because I took the day off work. It still feels strange to take a day off when there's no where to go but I'm really glad I did. This past month has been intense and I needed a day to decompress and not be accountable to anyone. So I slept in, made my own teriyaki sauce (I'm suddenly addicted to Adam Liaw videos and highly recommend this chicken and egg oyakodon) and listened to Michelle Obama's new podcast

A couple of other things to share:

We loved watching Indian Matchmaker on Netflix and maybe got through it too quickly.

Julia Ostro's Italian-inspired sausage tray bake is so comforting. Slightly spicy sausages bake on top of potatoes and a lemony tomato sauce. Here's a video of me demo-ing the recipe

I've been listening to Coronacast most days, it's a 10 minute podcast from the ABC that helps me understand the latest coronavirus news. After listening to a few episodes about masks, I reckon these look good because they have three layers, including one water resistant one. 

We rented Greed last weekend, which stars Steve Coogan and Isla Fisher. It's funny and a bit dark. 

John Lewis wrote this beautiful essay before he died and it was published in the NY Times on the day of his funeral. "Though I am gone, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe."

Also in US politics, AOC's notes that shaped her viral speech this week. "What is there to say to a man who isn't listening?" Her caption on being accountable to herself (and for yourself) stayed with me. 

Have a lovely weekend.


Pretty light

21 July 2020

How are you going this week? I am getting back into work after a few disruptive weeks and it's such a relief to be focussed on making things again. I filmed a food video today, which meant spending most of the morning in our sunny living room and kitchen. It was a small shift from my usual work day routine but a welcome one. I am also ordering face masks, just in case (these are three-layer and not too $$), and going for long evening walks with Tony. It's fresh out there but worth all the layers to be outside and breathe the cold air. I've been saving some things to share:

Jade Zoe's winter playlist for Liminal is poppy and fun. I've been listening to the Japanese cover of Say So on repeat.

One of my favourite columns, Single Women and The Spaces, is back with a lovely tour of a Brooklyn apartment with excellent light and the best plants.

Also in Brooklyn, a little wedding at home.

We recently watched Athlete A on Netflix, a doco about the gymnasts who were abused by Dr Larry Nassar and the reporters who uncovered the story. I hesitated to watch it, knowing it would be chilling, but am very glad I did.

I made my own version of this grain bowl for a weekday lunch. The salad dressing with gochujang, kewpie mayo and soy is genius!

I'm taking a break from sour beers and drinking these smokey colas on weekends instead. Turns out, some nights I just want something fizzy. If you're in Canberra, you can find them at The Essential Ingredient and Blackhearts & Sparrows.

ICYMI: "Please scream inside your heart."

And some excellent ABC Life recipes to share, starting with a vegetarian mushroom miso carbonara. I also love the big flavours of this chicken and cauliflower tray bake that's easy enough for weeknights and fancy enough to serve to friends and family.

Hope you're taking good care.


Rainy days and daytime candles

15 July 2020

I loved the drizzly, cold weather of last Saturday. I put on a piano playlist my brother made and baked a Dutch baby pancake for breakfast. Later, when Tony left to teach a drawing workshop, I lit a daytime candle (such a simple novelty), made banana bread to take to a friend's place, and curled up on the couch to watch a documentary.

Tiny things are changing here. My baby cos lettuce plants have grown their hearts and it cheers me to catch a glimpse of their leaves from the couch.

I stayed up late on Sunday, partly because I started making sourdough late in the day but also because I expected to find out more about my job and whether I'd be keeping it on Monday. Delaying sleep was one way of staying in the in between space where it could still go either way, and when my team was together still. One of my work mates called it a reverse Christmas Eve. So we put on a funny movie from the '80s (highly recommend it) and made this easy butterscotch sauce for our ice cream.

On Monday I found out that I'll very likely keep my job and while it's a huge relief, it's been hard to stand by as good people were told otherwise. I think that's why I don't feel totally settled just yet. I've been hyper alert and distracted in the same afternoon, not too jazzed about food (so weird for me) and waking up some nights at 3am. Still I know I am lucky. I'm doing all of the things to take care of myself - yoga, lunch outside the apartment, walks wherever possible, and I feel a bit better every day. 

My friend Sophie sent me this enormous bouquet of flowers earlier in the week. At first I felt totally undeserving but it's really cheered me up.  It smells of roses and honey and is making our lounge room an even nicer place to be. I noticed this white flower right away, because it looks like it's been made of crepe paper. Sophie says it's a pincushion flower or scabiosa. 

After work today, I lit a candle, cleaned the dishes from breakfast and readied a present for the post. And did a tiny bit of my tax. It felt normal and nice and I'm hoping for more of those days ahead.


Fun stuff!

07 July 2020

Just this week I remembered that morning yoga, a walk (no matter how long/short or what time of day), plus limited time on social media is a recipe for a really nice day. Or a more manageable one at the very least. I've also been reading more, journaling again and planning some upcoming gifts (my most favourite thing).

Despite everything that's going on, I've felt extremely lucky of late. Today I received a parcel from my mum with homemade biscuits and a cute blanket (which happens to be a poncho!). Over the weekend, a thoughtfully chosen audio book popped into my inbox as a gift and my brother sent my favourite burgers round for dinner one night. Life can be very good even when it is a little uncertain. That being said, I am thinking of everyone in Melbourne as lockdown starts again and hope some of the things below can make a challenging time a little more bearable.

To share:

Banana bread just got even better. Julia Ostro did a version for ABC Life with spices, chocolate chunks and a crispy tahini and sugar top. It's going to be my go-to banana bread recipe.

Spike Lee's first film She's Gotta Have It is on Netflix! It was my fave discovery of last week and a really fun watch.

There's a new season of Esther Perel's podcast Where Should We Begin?

Dating Around is back and I've already blitzed my way through the new season. If you've never watched it, it's a Netflix dating show where one person goes on 5 blind dates and gets to choose one 'winner' for a second date. It's extra fun and fast because you don't watch the dates in full - they all take place at the same restaurant so the episode cuts between them.

This is me on a Zoom call.

Alison Roman has restarted her newsletter and it's great. I'm also a fan of Nisha's Internet Tote Bag, which comes out on a Monday and is a very nice way to start the week.

Please keep taking care!


Fresh air and friends

02 July 2020

Our friends Angie and Dave visited us in Canberra at the end of a very emotional week. The afternoon they arrived had been a bit of a cry fest, brought on by exhaustion, shock and the kindness of the people around me.  By the end of their visit I felt a lot calmer and happy too. I am very lucky to have these three in my life (Tony has been endlessly patient and supportive and kind 😭).

We drove out to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve with bags full of bakery goods and went for a couple of different walks, spotting a bettong and a bandicoot in our travels. Winter days in Canberra can be clear and lovely when the sun is out. It helped to be outside with all of its sights and smells after three days of non-stop video meetings and phone calls.

I was a bit nervous about hanging out when things felt so out of control. But I shouldn't have been - I was people I love and trust and was in desperate need of distraction and perspective. Angie and Dave visit us every single year no matter whether we're living in Wagga Wagga (a good 6 hour drive from Sydney) or Canberra. They even let me move in with them once for a job stint in Sydney!

I really wanted to make something slow-cooked for dinner like a leg of lamb but instead we decided to make something low-key so we didn't feel like we had to be home at a particular time to prep. I made a Julia Ostro inspired cheese and prosciutto plate and Tony made fresh pasta for dinner.

At the start of the season I wrote a winter bucket list, inspired by Joy, and baking a lemon delicious was at the top of the list. It's such a sunny dessert and self-saucing :) I used a Ruth Reichl recipe and also recommend a Stephanie Alexander version, which my sister must've introduced me to. It was so lovely and warming.

Angie and Dave's parting gift was a black truffle which totally blew my mind because it's something I never would've bought for myself. We've been infusing eggs and plan to make a truffle pasta this weekend. Luckily, friends and food haven't been cancelled in 2020.


Weird week

28 June 2020

This week was rough. On Wednesday I found out the project I've been working on is coming to an end in its current form. I also learned I'm in a redundancy pool and may lose my job.

It feels very very big and while I won't write too much more about it here (it's a process and I am still processing), it's going to be a key part of my life for the next little while. Please send chocolate 😂

In the meantime I am loving this bunting my niece Maeve made for me. It's currently strung above my desk. I am also wonderfully supported by dear friends, family, and work mates. The texts, calls and emails this week have been overwhelming in the best possible way.

Our friends Angie and Dave were visiting this weekend from Sydney. They brought us so many treats, including doughnuts. Tony and I ate them in bed on Saturday morning after waking up way too early. I'll share some pics of our weekend with them soon - we had so much fun.

Other things to share:

The most recent episode of Reply All is totally wild. It's about BLM in the US and the very strange ways some people are showing their support.

I also loved Wesley and Jenna's special edition of Still Processing via Zoom. They called it 'So Y'all Finally Get It' 🙌

The nicest story about one dude, hundreds of cakes and lockdown in Japan.

And I've also been zoning out with Nadiya's Time To Eat on Netflix. I made butter after watching episode 2 (and it only took me 5 minutes!)


Hello weekend

19 June 2020

Hello and happy weekend! It's been the sunniest week in Canberra, which helps me forget it's winter :) I have mainly baking plans for the days ahead, testing a chocolate and tahini banana bread for work and trying to get back into sourdough again after a few dud loaves. And because restrictions continue to ease in Canberra... I have the house to myself tonight for the first time in ages. I'm going to rent a movie and eat cinnamon doughnut ice cream after a long week. Some things to share:

My sister-in-law recommended Breasts and Eggs, a novel by Mieko Kawakami and I finished it this week. If you're a fan of Haruki Murakami's work I think you'll love it too. It surprised me in so many ways and I'm looking forward to seeking out more of her work.

Loved this 30 minute mellow yoga class, which has plenty of time between poses while still being challenging.

A Reckoning at Bon Appetit is a jaw-dropping episode of The Sporkful podcast.

Also excellent, a special episode of The Daily with culture critic Wesley Morris (love him) and Patti LaBelle.

Thursday night is fast becoming soup and baguette night at our place. This week I made this tomato soup (NY Times), and it was nostalgic and delicious!

SBS OnDemand is screening Zach's Ceremony, a doco that follows Sydney teenager Zach Doomadgee as he prepares for his initiation ceremony, a key part of his Indigenous culture. Get in before it expires on June 28!

Check out Hetty McKinnon's spinach dumplings - the pot sticker element is my favourite. It means the dumplings are both crispy and steamed. It's such a fun cooking project and so yummy.

Highly recommend this essay by Carvell Wallace about parenting black teens through protest and pandemic (NY Times). It's beautiful. Via Jenny, whose blog has been keeping me sane in iso!

Slightly obsessed with Chin Chin's cooking videos.

And not so much a recommendation as an idea. I made my workmate a house-warming playlist this week and it was so much fun! It's also a nice way to get around the mail being slow and no less personal.


Family reunion

15 June 2020

There have been so many milestones as the pandemic restrictions start to ease. There was our overnight trip to Sydney to witness a small wedding, having our first guests round for dinner and being able to meet up with friends again. Last Saturday, it was my family's turn to be together for the first time since Christmas 2018. With my brother back from New York, my parents, youngest brother and his wife making the trip from Sydney, the 12 of us were able to gather in Canberra for lunch.

It was Tony and my first time hosting a big family event and I'm so glad we did it! Space-wise, with a little reconfiguring of our apartment it just worked. My brother brought a trestle table, we used every chair we owned (from dining chairs, IKEA stools, outdoor chairs and our sofa), along with every plate, fork, cup and glass. I was super proud that we could do it - especially without buying anything specific for it other than food and napkins (I almost panic-bought paper plates).

I was a little bit nervous about cooking for a crowd, mainly because we have so little bench space. In the end I made a double batch of Julia Turshen's lasagne (with beef) because I'd made it before and it's magically simple and delicious. I cooked the sauce during my lunch break on Friday, mixed and rolled the pasta on Saturday morning, bought pre-grated cheese to make assembly easier and had everything ready to bake by 11.30am.

My family brought drinks, fresh bread and a big salad, which helped so much. I've only just realised that it makes a lot of sense to choose a main and a dessert from the same cookbook. It was the best excuse to try Julia's 'Happy wife, happy life' chocolate cake, with raspberry jam and sour cream chocolate icing. Not wanting to stress, I baked it the weekend before and froze the cake layers, icing it the night before. After making a wedding cake, icing a two-layer cake that doesn't need to be transported anywhere is a breeze!

The house was so full of life that afternoon and I felt extremely proud that we were able to host. I'm happy to report that my tiny bag of toys is still going strong, with Frozen snap being one of the best $5 additions.

It was a busy weekend - we had my brother Zac and his wife Hannah over for dinner on Thursday night, invited a friend round for coffee on Sunday and then we went out to dinner with my parents on the last night of their stay. Before lockdown, I preferred to do one social thing each weekend - two max. But I've noticed that I have a lot more energy and enthusiasm for any kind of hang out since I've been working at home. I think it's because I'm not tiring myself out commuting to work, packing my lunch, trying to get up early for yoga. It's made so much more brain space for the best stuff.

After everyone went home, we tidied up and ended up eating leftovers by candlelight and Ferrero Rochers on the couch - a gift from my sister. We just happened to have two slices of chocolate cake left over 😉 and I'm so looking forward to tucking into them tonight. This year has had so many emotional highs and lows, but this was one of the really good days.

Emoji pancakes, apple cake, day trip

14 June 2020

I treated myself to a NY Times Cooking subscription the other week (there's only so much screengrabbing you can do), which is how we ended up having buttermilk pancakes for brekkie last Saturday. I hadn't made them before and loved how fluffy they were, we served them emoji-style with a pat of salted butter and plenty of maple syrup.

It's been crazy nice to have two long weekends in a row - enough to make me want to work part-time! There's just enough time for everything from seeing family to sleeping in and trying new recipes.

On Sunday we drove to Bundanoon for the day to have lunch with Tony's family. We appreciate everything now, like a pretty sky on the drive out and the sheer novelty of seeing the horizon from a different perspective. It was a proper Sunday lunch with roast lamb followed by butterfly cakes lovingly made by my mother-in-law and niece.

We've been watching so much good telly lately. We both loved The Last Dance, a Netflix documentary series that follows the Chicago Bulls during Michael Jordan's last season. You don't have to be a basketball fan to really enjoy it, it's got so much in-built drama and characters to bring you into it. Plus the archive footage is amazing, I'd totally forgotten about players like Scotty Pippen!

We also watched mid90s, Jonah Hill's directorial debut. It's a skater movie and a coming-of-age story that's intense and great (and also on Netflix).

I'm starting to appreciate some of the nicer things the pandemic has brought us. I've been able to spend much more time with my family, online in the height of the lockdown and lately IRL. And I'm obsessed with doing yoga in my lounge room instead of a studio. I love doing online classes whenever suits instead of trying to arrange my work week and weekend around classes. It's one thing that's going to stay post-pandemic, which will keep saving me time and money :)

We also ordered make-at-home ramen last weekend which was so much fun!! I developed an obsession with ramen during our years in Wagga Wagga when it was hard to find. Ours was delivered on Saturday morning with super strict instructions for boiling the noodles and reheating the stock.

We are still picnicking in the sun whenever we can - even if it means packing puffer jackets. Last Monday it was salad wraps and apple cinnamon crumble cake, which is magically like apple cake, crumble and pie all in one. It's a new ABC Life recipe with one of the strangest techniques I've ever tried (you grate the butter straight into the tin like cheese) and it's seriously so good.

I'm a new fan of Maggie Beer's cooking demos on Instagram. I made her chicken and barley soup (using this whole poached chicken stock) and it was so full of flavour, especially for so few ingredients.

And I wanted to share a couple of Insta posts from the week, starting with black photographers talking to NPR about what it's been like to document the protests. This little dude and Bridget Brennan joining the panel of Insiders.



07 June 2020

A few Fridays ago I went for a chilly evening walk around the wetlands near our apartment. One of the walking tracks leads to a place called Dairy Road, so you often hear cows along the way and see them too. It makes me feel so far away from my computer and the city :)

I'm starting to feel a lot more confident about going out as more restrictions ease, which brings a certain lightness. Last Saturday we met up with friends in the park to celebrate a birthday. I made a batch of Odette William's vanilla cupcakes with mascarpone icing and packed some candles and matches. The morning fog lifted right after we sang happy birthday and it was so nice to be out in the sun with friends. Also, how sweet are birthdays with kids around? I love watching them delight in the novelty and deliciousness of it all.

That night we also saw my brother and sister-in-law for the first time in over a year. They've recently moved back to Australia from the US and I thought it might feel totally surreal to see them again given the circumstances. Mainly it just felt really nice, with so much to catch up on. Tony made fresh pasta with chilli, bacon and tomato sauce and it felt pretty crazy to be setting the table for guests after months of eating at home, just the two of us.

This week I've been glued to the news and social media once more, watching the Black Lives Matter protests unfold in the US and around the world. I've watched videos of police attacking protestors and the media and felt horrified.  I've also been moved by protestors singing 'Lean on Me' together in Washington and the story of Rahul Dubey, who sheltered protestors fleeing from police after curfew.

Earlier in the week the protests coincided with the end of Reconciliation Week. I was lucky enough to join an Indigenous language lesson at work and it reminded me that there are so many ways we can acknowledge the traditional owners of the land in our everyday lives, from knowing the land you're on (Ngunnawal for me) to learning more about Indigenous history and culture.

I wanted to share two films that I've been thinking about a lot this week. They're both available to rent from an indie Sydney cinema, with profits going to the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW. One is I Am Not Your Negro, a documentary about James Baldwin that helped deepen my understanding of racism in America and the Civil Rights movement. You can also rent The Namatjira Project, a documentary about Indigenous artist Albert Namatjira and his family's fight to reclaim the rights to his work, and the touring theatre show that tells his story.

Good habits return

28 May 2020

I ate a lot of chips at the start of isolation, afternoon tea too. And now I'm suddenly remembering... vegetables 😂 It's like everything's happening in reverse - more and more of my good habits are returning as the city starts to open up. There were a couple of weeks where I'd forget to leave the apartment, maybe because I was so nervous about being outside. Now we're going for walks most days and starting to visit some of our favourite cafes and ice cream shops again. It's small stuff but really nice.

I'm super excited about Movie Night, a way to rent and stream films from my favourite Sydney cinema. Even though I live in Canberra, I often look at what's playing because the curation is always great with a nice mix of indie films, cult classics and docos. I reckon I'll start with either the Ryuichi Sakamoto documentary or Yellow Is Forbidden, which is about a Chinese couture designer.

Being at home for so long has helped me improve little corners of the house. My bedside table no longer has books on, in and under it. Instead it's just a few special-to-me things, some from my time in Wagga Wagga and newer things like a bunch of flowers my sister-in-law dried. It's a nice reminder that things can look good without spending a lot of money.

Most nights I read a couple of instalments of 44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith before bed. I've never read any of his books before (and only realised he was a dude a couple of weeks ago!) and the concept for this book is so unique. Originally the novel was a serialised column in a Scottish newspaper. A new one came out every day, which means you can read a bit of the story every day without too much effort. It's been the nicest way to ease back into reading after a long break.

My friend Irini recommended the book after reading the first instalment of a comic series I've been involved with at work. She's also the reason Tony and I became obsessed with High Fidelity on iView. We watched the first ep after hearing about it on a podcast but didn't love it right away - and I'm so glad we went back and kept watching.

It's been super nice to grow stuff again! A friend at work says it's just nice to care for something and I'm finding that to be very true. I'm also loving chef Roy Choi's posts on Instagram this week from his funny pep talks ("Be the turtle") to dreams of becoming a florist.

Finally, some recipes to share. I made Julia Ostro's pasta e fagioli this week and had forgotten how magical it is. It's super flavoursome for something with a couple of simple ingredients. I also spent Monday testing her newest recipe for ABC Life, peanut butter and chocolate blondies with salted peanuts. It's super delicious.


Seedlings, yoga and takeaway dessert

22 May 2020

This week was a really good one. I've been able to do yoga more regularly (treating myself to a digital subscription has really helped), finish a book and put birthday cards in the post. It's been nice.

In the kitchen, we've been trying to get through our tinned food stash, which has mainly looked like fried rice made with tinned peas, corn and carrots (which makes an easy dish even faster). The lone tin of prunes in syrup has become porridge topping, along with my new favourite thing - bananas grilled in butter.

This weekend I'm going to plant some seedlings for winter - spring onions, English spinach and baby cos lettuce. I bought them from a sweet front yard stall in Canberra, which I stumbled upon while looking into microgreens (this blog post intrigued me). You slide your cash under the front door and pick up a free packet of broad beans on your way out. Aside from the excuse to go somewhere new, I love that the seedlings are grown locally and suited to Canberra's very cold conditions.

We also treated ourselves to fancy desserts this week, something Tony and I used to do when we lived in Sydney. We'd meet in Newtown after dinner, which was halfway between his share house in Chippendale and mine in Lewisham, and find somewhere to eat cake or ice cream. I got a slice of miso chocolate tart with delicious dark cherries and Tony chose the other dessert special, a Basque burnt cheesecake.

And there were lots of family hangs too! I chatted with my parents over a video call and beat my brothers at Monopoly again - during the pandemic we've played almost every week. The game is always fun but so is the video call/hang out. Especially if I win :)

Here are some things to share for your weekend:

I loved Madeline Albright's interview on Death, Sex and Money. It's especially good for the times in a you-can-get-through-it kind of way.

We're making this kimchi, udon and butter dish on repeat. It's fast and super spicy (via Highly Enthused).

I bought some... nice instant coffee, something I never thought I'd be into! I had some sachets from Reuben Hills and they made such a difference when making mini tiramisu, chocolate cookies and a faster version of this coffee and banana smoothie.

We watched The Half of It last weekend on Netflix and it was such a great romantic comedy that ends in a way I didn't expect. It's very heartwarming viewing.

On ABC Life, a satisfying and super quick udon noodle soup from Hetty McKinnon. I love the egg drop in the soup because it's something I grew up with!

I also had the great pleasure of working with illustrator Grace Lee (she appeared on the blog years ago!) on her comic about moving to Japan and finding her feet overseas. It's a six part series and you can read episodes one and two now. There are some very honest and heartbreaking moments coming up. New episodes come out every Thursday.

And a song I've been listening to on repeat.

Catch you next week!


Hello weekend

16 May 2020

For the first time in ages, I have plans for the weekend at home :) I made lazy pastries from Midnight Chicken and spent the morning planting some cuttings while listening to this episode of This American Life that recently won a Pulitzer.

We've eaten a bunch of meals from the freezer lately, so it's been super nice to make something decadent for Saturday dinner again. I've been craving bolognese and was planning to make Marcella Hazan's iconic recipe, until I saw Deb Perelman's version which looked easier to use. Hers has one carrot, instead of two tablespoons of carrot.

Tomorrow, I'll make a mini tiramisu because the start of the week is always easier when there's dessert in the fridge. It's also perfect for the six ladyfinger biscuits we have left in the pantry. And I have plans for outside the house too! I'm going to see my friend Sarah for takeaway coffee! And a walk!

Two other things... this week I watched Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates on Netflix and really enjoyed it. And this recipe for chickpeas in a rich tomato sauce is a new favourite comfort food in our house. It's a decadent meal that feels really good for you too.