Tuesday, 6 November 2018

North West Island 2018


So here I am, back from the chaos of moving and the bliss of holidays. Oh take me back to where the sun was warm, the sand was ouchy and the water was crystal blue. Take me back to North West Island where the only plans anyone had were sunset drinks by the log. *sigh*

What did we do on an island for two weeks with no cars or shops or mobile reception?

We ate like kings and feasted on some of the freshest seafood you can get (lobsters, Spanish mackerel, coral trout and squid to name a few), thought about what we were going to eat next meal, drank espresso martini’s, gin & tonics, red-skin vodka, Alby-coladas and prosecco spiked Pims, floated in noodle seats in crystal clear water, named some turtle friends (Chunk and Tezza), snorkelled for the first time (only a slight panic attack), fed the sharks (yep really), caught a fish, named some bird friends (Trevor and Trish), spotted some incredible marine life (whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles, snorkel-creatures, flying fish, 1000’s of sea slugs, eagle rays jumping, stingrays and lots of fish I don’t know the names of), dodged noddy bird poo, lazed in reclining lounge chairs under beach umbrellas, read Crazy Rich Asians (good holiday read!), nearly ate a poisonous crab (thank goodness for the Telstra tree), made some really great friends, thought and talked about food some more, drank rosĂ© by the sunset log, dreamed of clean feet and conditioned hair, played Bananagrams, went on daily walks around the island, saw the mutton birds land (sorry, Shearwaters), floated some more in our pool noodle seats and didn’t look in a mirror for 2 weeks. It was boss.

Not much more than that to report... TAKE ME BACK!



Chunk.

đź“· A.Wilson

Turtle Recce.


đź“· A. Wilson




Trevor.

The Girls & Sunset Log.

The Boys & Sunset Log.


Saturday, 23 June 2018

Minestrone Veloce from Gennaro's Fast Cook Italian

Hello old friend. I’m sitting here writing this surrounded by boxes and bags waiting for pizza to arrive. We’re moving on Monday you see. Across the road. Yep. All we need to do is walk our belongings out the front door, around the corner and across the road… it’s about 100 metres away. You’d think that would make moving a whole lot easier but I don’t think it will as we are determined to do it all ourselves. We = husband and I. I’ve been packing this week while Tris is away for work and eating my way through the freezer. I’ve found all sorts. Smokey mexican beans, pork and fennel bolognese, peas, edamame, pumpkin soup, two types of dumplings, lots of crusty bread, veggie fried rice and even two portions of minestrone soup that had a dollop of pesto on top and everything. Oh how I loved my past self this week.

Minestrone Veloce | Gennaro's Fast Cook Italian | salt sugar and i

The kitchen was the first thing we started packing and I finished off. I don’t know if that was a good idea but I guess picking the most challenging room first was better than leaving it last and now that it’s completely done, the rest feels like it’ll be a sinch. Only thing is, we still have two nights and I’ve packed everything except two bowls, one plate and a couple of utensils, hence the takeaway tonight.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Coca (Savoury Flatbreads) from Barcelona Cult Recipes

Coca, Savoury Flatbread from Barcelona Cult Recipes by Stephan Mitsch | salt sugar and i

The other week I had some friends over on a friday night and went a little crazy at the fancy grocery store near work buying cheeses and antipasto goodies. I over catered for three but I always seem to over cater when it comes to snacks. I’d rather have too much than not enough, I have nightmares of people leaving hungry.

What do you do with leftovers bits and pieces of an antipasto? sure, you can just eat them as is - delicious! But where’s the adventure in that?

I have also recently been sent a copy of Barcelona Cult Recipes by Stephan Mitsch and as much as I wish I could tell you a story of a time I went to Barcelona and fell in love with a dish and have now recreated it, I can’t. I’ve never been to Barcelona but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate their foods from afar which is what this book really does. The tapas in this book look incredible; croquettes with chorizo, meatballs with peas, pickled anchovies, stuffed potato balls, artichoke chips and stuffed piquillo peppers to name a few. There are definitely a couple recipes which sound a little adventurous for me...baked snails and mushroom stuffed pig’s trotter but the recipe that really caught my eye was the Coca, savoury flatbreads. They use up the leftover bits and pieces (perfect!) and are covered in garlicky herbed olive oil... um, yum.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Camping + One Pan Chicken Laksa


I spoke too soon about feeling the shift, instead Mr-Weather-Man has only confirmed my theory that Sydney gets two seasons. And Summer seems to be lasting forever. I am ready for the cooler nights, ugg boots, track pants, socks and doonas. I've had my last sunburn for the season and I’ve had enough of every time I wash up, sweating like I’ve run a marathon.

Although it was beautiful weather for the Easter long weekend just past, but in saying that, waking up in a hot tent with sunburnt, sandy legs... mmm I think I prefer winter camping where snuggling is mandatory to keep toes warm.

Over the long weekend we camped for two nights, the first on Redhead Beach near Newcastle and the second in Olney State Forest. When we first got to Redhead beach on the Friday it was windy but the water was perfect for a swim, small waves and not too cold and the sun was out in full force, my rash vest (to Tris’ horror) even made an appearance. Setting up our tent was a slight nightmare but after we moved the car as a windbreaker it got easier, however our toilet tent on the spent the entire time folded in on itself making it very difficult to use but better then every other camper seeing my bare bum.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Anna Jones's one-pan pea, lemon & asparagus pasta.


Lets be honest, we don't really get four seasons in Sydney, we get two and a few days of odd change in between. For the past couple of days I've felt the cool change, the shift into Autumn, and I love it. It's cooler at night (Thankgawwd!!) and the days haven't been stifling hot. I've happily (against my waistline) craved more comfort foods, slept with the donna on and even considered turning the oven on to bake rather than avoiding it like the plague. I know this won't last, there are some hot days on the forecast but I am enjoying the shift while it's here and also enjoying the last of summers produce before tomatoes lose their taste and stoned fruit feels like a dream.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Sourdough Bialys from Artisan Sourdough Made Simple.

Meet Babbs.

She’s my sourdough starter and yes, I’ve named her. It’s what you do.

Sourdough Starter | salt sugar and i | Dani Elis

Sourdough Starter | salt sugar and i | Dani Elis

She’s just over a year old and I’ve killed her at least once. Thank goodness she survived her dried cryovaced state and I could resuscitate her.

She’s had a baby or two or three… not sure if her babies are still alive but she is and going stronger than ever before. I’ve found out what food she likes, half good ol’ plain flour and half organic stoneground wholemeal. You see, she’s just a little bit fancy.

Friday, 9 February 2018

January, perspective + Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter.

Blogs are a funny one. You share a part of your life but not all of your life because who wants to read about the crappy stuff. It’s the same with social media, who wants to see a filtered photo of a too cold, sad sandwich (yes sandwiches can be sad) balancing on your knee in a hospital room? The answer is no one. But life does have it’s crappy moments and January, boy oh boy did you have yours. Everything’s different now, for not so great reasons and also, for the best.

We knew it was coming, it just snuck up on us all a little quicker than expected. About two weeks ago we moved my dad into a nursing home to live. He has alzheimer's. He was diagnosed 5 years ago, just before his 63rd birthday. He was too young then and still is. It’s shit. It’s not fair. But it is life I guess. 

I know how lucky I am for everything and everyone I have and I could have kept this to myself and there are things I have kept to myself over the years. It is just part of life now and if I didn’t share it I’d feel weird going on and on about, what sometimes feels like nonsense here, when really some days are just plain shitty. I do also feel weird sharing it but I think it’s good to see both the good and crappy. It’s real. It’s life. And I don't think it's talked about enough.

But in saying that, I scrolled through the photos on my phone last night and it made me realise you’d never have known the year didn’t have the most joyest of beginnings. We just don't take photos of the ok days, it’s the good ones which you find yourself blurting ‘SMILE!’ out at someone and also grinning like an idiot in hopes the other person smiles too. Yes, some days were sadder than others but not every day was bad. January also included a mini-break to Cottesloe in WA for a cousin-in-laws (is that a thing?) wedding where we met up with family who we don’t see nearly enough and I rode a bicycle. Now this may not sound like a big thing for the average joe but I’m so so bad on a bike and it was my idea to hire them. As soon as I said it and everyone agreed I instantly thought, oh crap what have I done!? But I’m getting better and it was so worth the sore bum and all the weird squarks I made trying not to ride into people and parked cars. The views and beaches along the costal bike track are beautiful but pretty sure the cold beer and chicken parama at the end helped too. Oh and there are so many dogs along the way!! I couldn’t appreciate them as much as the others or I’d have fallen off and face planted the path but why doesn’t Sydney have more dog beaches? They should.


Saturday, 30 December 2017

2017 and Gin Pickled Cucumbers.

2017. You had some epic highs and some tough spots. Thank you and good riddance.

I turned 29 just over a week ago. I’m now officially into my last year of my 20’s and in my 30th year of hanging around this world. My birthday is a bit of a non event and I enjoy other people’s birthdays much more. But, I have these lovely, beautiful and pesky friends that organise things for me each year and spoil me so I can’t skip it. I end up having the best time and realise birthdays aren't so terrible in the end. This is a message for future me.

Also, does anyone know where December went??? It came, and is nearly done and I’m still not sure how it all happened. It has flown. I normally bake my little feet off and gift cookies and toffee but this year it seemed hard enough to get a batch of mince pies baked, let alone cookies. I’m still not sure what went wrong except that it has been the most unorganised Christmas/December ever. We didn’t even have a tree up or lights... go on say it. Grinch! Grinchy Grinch Grinch! Yep I am. Instead of baking for people, I made gin pickled cucumbers from The Modern Preserver cookbook that I borrowed from the library. I’m sharing this recipe with you all because I wasn’t organised enough to gift everyone some and they are freaking amazing so you should make them yourself but also for me, to note the recipe down so I can make them again and again. They are sharp, pickley, spicy, zingy and go so so great with cold smoked salmon. If you love pickled things, you will LOVE these.