Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Geng Gari Curry from Thai Food Made Easy

I'm coming to you with a problem dear readers. My husband and I are funding our local thai restaurants rent with the amount of takeaway we order. We actually (embarrassingly so) order so much Thai take-away week to week that the driver now knows us and our broken apartment buzzer. And whats more embarrassing... they have an app that records your orders so that every 10th order is free... we've had a few free orders.

Geng Gari Curry | Thai Food Made Easy | salt sugar and i

I can't help it, I freakin' love Thai food. It's one of my all time favourites. The freshness and variety of dishes mmmm just yum. As of last year, it also reminds me of our holiday in Patong where we ate fried rice topped with the perfect fried egg... runny yolk... crispy bottom, every single day. I wish I cooked more thai food at home than I do because as much as I love our takeaway place it's just not as good coming in those plastic boxes as it is piping hot, straight from the wok. But there is a reason for our takeaway problem. I find thai cooking somewhat intimidating. Yes, I'm a food blogger and I just admitted that. Bite me. But honestly, I do and I don't think I'm the only one. I mean, I'm pretty good with the pre-made curry pastes from the supermarket but other than that my thai cooking skills usually involve me botching up a salty stir fry by adding every asian sauce and condiment from the fridge. Sometimes it's great and others... well let just say I don't go back for seconds.

I find Thai flavours complex with the combination of sweet, and sour, and spicy. Sometimes it's the overwhelmingly ginormous ingredient list, that one odd ingredient I can't find ANYWHERE or the 100 bowls for each element that need to be hand washed because I'm still dreaming of owning a dishwasher one day. Maybe these are my excuses that makes me order thai takeaway instead of cooking.

Geng Gari Curry | Thai Food Made Easy | salt sugar and i

But I think it's all about to change... I was recently sent a copy of Thai Food Made Easy by Tom Kime. The recipes in this book look mouthwatering good - the herbs and colours and limes and charred bits! It covers the classics and other's I've not heard of before but look very tempting to try. The ingredient list in each recipe is simple and yes, it still looks like a long list for some but none of the ingredients are mad and you'll find them in your local supermarket easy.

I made Geng Gari Curry a couple of weeks ago when the weather wasn't so summery and it was the perfect warming curry. It was so so good! Such big flavours and not heavy at all. I'd cook the chicken on the BBQ next time and definitely over summer to get those charred edges and serve it with some sort of crunchy salad. We had a big bowl of it on a cool evening with steamed rice and it was seriously better than any thai takeaway I've ever had. I didn't even mind the washing up after.

If you're looking at the photos and two and two aren't matching up, I doubled the recipe below because leftovers are gold in our castle and curry always tastes better the next day.

This book has definitely made me rethink Thai cooking and that a little bit of prep goes a long way for flavour and it doesn't need to be complicated. I will be sharing more from this little gem soon. Maybe the prawn noodle salad with mint and toasted peanuts and the spiced prawn cakes on lemongrass sticks. So good.

Geng Gari Curry | Thai Food Made Easy | salt sugar and i

Geng Gari Curry with Roast Chicken

recipe from Thai Food Made Easy by Tom Kime
Serves 2

A geng gari is a delicious curry with a base of ground toasted spices which add a delicious earthy foundation to the curry. This would work really well as a vegetarian curry with roasted sweet potato and butternut squash.

250g chicken, cut into pieces*
1 portion of Geng gari paste (see below)
100g baby corn**
juice of 2 limes
20 Thai basil leaves, coarsely chopped
2cm piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced into matchsticks
3 spring onions, thinly sliced, to garnish

1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
vegetable oil for cooking

*I used chicken thigh, cut into pieces.
**I added more veggies as I can't help myself

Coarsely crush the coriander and cumin seeds using a mortar and pestle. Drizzle the chicken pieces with a little olive oil, season with salt, black pepper and crushed spices.

Pan-fry or grill the chicken over a medium-high heat for about 10 minutes until golden, caramelised on all sides and cooked through.

Heat the curry paste in a frying pan over medium heat and add the baby corn (**and any other vegetables you'd like to add). Add the lime juice, tamarind pulp and light brown soy sauce along with half the thai basil and ginger.

Taste the curry paste to check the balance of flavours and adjust if needed: it should be hot sour and salty.

Add the chicken to the sauce, garnish with spring onions and remaining basil. Serve with steamed rice as a stand along dish or as an accompaniment to other dishes, such as a crisp salad, vegetable or a rice dish.

Geng Gari Curry Paste

makes 3 portions

3cm piece of ginger, peeled
4 red chillies, seeded
3 lemongrass stems, tough outer leaves removed and stems chopped
6 garlic cloves
3 red onions, chopped
juice of 2 limes

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground tumeric

1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
600ml coconut cream
1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
2 tablespoon light soy sauce

Puree the ginger, chillies, lemongrass, garlic and salt in a food processor or blender to a smooth paste. Add the onions and puree again. Add a little water to help bring it together to form a smooth paste.

Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan over medium-high heat  for 1 minute. Add the ground spices and cook for about 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the purees paste and reduce the heat to low and cook slowly for 25-30 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid sticking, until aromatic.

Add the coconut cream and simmer for about 5 minutes until reduced by half. Add the lime juice, tamarind pulp and light soy sauce, then taste to check the balance of flavours and adjust if needed.

Divide the paste into three portions. It can now be used straight away, kept in the refrigerator for 1 week or in the freezer for 3 months.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Salad Pizza

Salad Pizza. Yep. Salad on pizza. And spoiler... it was freakin' delish.

Firstly, I love a crisp zingy salad to go with my pizza. It cuts through all that decadent melty cheese but most of the time I never end up making a salad and just devour the pizza as is. But this whole Salad Pizza, salad on the pizza. It's a revelation. Fresh, satisfying, zingy, cheesey, even healthy and it's pizza. Who doesn't love pizza?

Salad Pizza | Los Angeles Cult Recipes | salt sugar and i.JPG

You start off by brushing the base with a sort of egg-wash to make the sesame and poppy seeds stick, then smother the base with garlic, onion and mozzarella. Bake until golden then allow to cool, I couldn't wait as usual so mine was still warm. Smoosh over creme fraiche (I used greek yoghurt as thats all we had and it was still delicious) and top with your salad mix thats full of tomatoes, mixed lettuce leaves, feta, onion and dressed in a lemon vinaigrette. Top with avo and there you have it. Salad Pizza.

Salad Pizza | Los Angeles Cult Recipes | salt sugar and i.JPG

Salad Pizza | Los Angeles Cult Recipes | salt sugar and i.JPG

The recipe comes from a cookbook which I was kindly sent call Los Angeles Cult Recipes by Victor Garnier Astorino, it's pretty self explanatory, it's full of iconic recipes from all over LA. From Hollywood Hills to Venice Beach featuring local farmers markets and iconic restaurants. It's not your typical styled cookbook book and has more of a feel like you are flicking through someones holiday snaps. Now, my only experience of Los Angeles is LAX Airport where all I remember is the huge and delicious and huge Cobb Salad I had. You don't get Cobb salad here so this was novelty. Did I mention it was huge? I also don't have any other Cobb Salad to compare this too so if you know of one I should try, I'm up for it. Oh and I also remember taking your shoes off through security and that once you were through security there was next to nothing to eat, see or do. Tip: bring a book.

There are quite a few other recipes I want to get stuck into such as the Cobb Salad, Banh-Mi Chicken Tacos, Vanilla Donuts, Banana Cream Pie, Lobster Roll and Hawaiian Tuna Poke. There is also a few other interesting pizza's in the book... mac and cheese pizza anyone? And it does supply a pizza dough recipe but it requires three days prep and I am not that organised. Instead I ended up using a  recipe from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, called rushed pizza dough. It was great. If you are an organise person, I'd suggest you make the Jim Lahey pizza dough the night or morning before, it really is one of the best homemade ones I've had, yet for some reason I've never shared it with you before now.

Salad Pizza is definitely going to get a working this summer, pizza stone on the BBQ and voila! Pizza oven outside. I am not turning tiny apartment into a sauna this summer (again).

I know the recipes below look long (thats because there is three of them) and a lot of ingredients (thats because there is three of them) but it's not really... because it's three recipes. Pizza, Dressing and Dough. Just do it!

Salad Pizza

recipe from Los Angeles Cult Recipes by Victor Garnier Astorino
(makes 1 x 9 inch pizza)

pizza dough for 1 base (recipe I used below or here or here)
2 eggs
1 small handful poppy seeds
1 small handful sesame seeds
3 or 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
100g grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
75g light creme fraiche (or sour cream)
1 big handful of mixed salad leaves
1 tomato, chunky diced
1/2 white onion, finely sliced*
60g feta cheese, diced
lemon vinaigrette (recipe below)
1/4 avocado, sliced**

*I used 1 whole red onion instead of 1/2 and 1/2.
**only a 1/4?? come on... 1/2 at least!

Preheat your oven to it's highest temperature it goes and if you have a pizza stone, place that in the oven too.

Spread out the pizza dough to about 30cm in diameter. Lightly whisk the eggs in a bowl then brush the entire surface of the pizza, inside and outside of the edges with the whisked eggs. Sprinkle over the poppy seeds, sesame seeds and chopped garlic - they seeds and garlic need to stick to the egg. Sprinkle with mozzarella and finely chopped red onion.

Bake the pizza for 12-15 minutes, the edges should be golden brown. Allow to cool.***

Mix the salad leaves with tomato, white onion and feta. Dress with a couple of tablespoons of lemon vinaigrette. Spread the dressed salad over the cheesy garlicky pizza base and top with avocado slices.

*** I topped my pizza when it was still slightly warm as I am impatient and was hungry. Just meant it needed to be eaten quickly and not sitting around. Delicious!

Lemon Vinaigrette

recipe (slightly adapted) from Los Angeles Cult Recipes by Victor Garnier Astorino
(makes enough for salad pizza and to dress your salads throughout the week)

125ml (1/2 cup) extra virgin olive oil
60ml (1/4 cup) white wine vinegar
1 small bunch curly-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed/minced
45ml fresh lemon juice
30g dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon course salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place everything in a glass jar, put the lid on (make sure it's tight!) and shake shake shake.

Rushed Pizza dough - using a mixer

recipe from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman
makes 1 thin 30cm round pizza

100ml warm water
1 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
200g plain or bread flour, plus more for counter
1 teaspoon table salt
olive oil, for coating bowl

Turn your oven to warm (120C) for 5 minutes, then turn off.

Using an electric mixer, pour the warm water into the bowl of your mixer, sprinkle yeast over the water and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the flour, then salt and mix using your dough hook on a oderate speed until the mixture starts to form a craggy mass. Reduce the speed to love and mix for 5 minutes, letting the dough hook knead the mass until smooth, elastic dough. Remove the dough and wipe out the bowl.

Coast the inside of your wiped out mixing bowl with olive oil, place the dough back in and cover with plastic wrap. Place in previously warmed (turned off) oven, and let it sit for 30 minutes or until doubled. Remove dough from oven (now is a good time to preheat it according to your recipe's instructions).

Turn the dough out onto a floured countertop and roll and/or stretch to fit your baking tray/pizza peel. Your pizza dough is now ready to top with delicious goodies.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Lemon and Poppyseed All-Day Cake... for baby George.

When a friend delivers a scrumptious baby boy you make cake. Just a simple cake. The kind of cake you can eat no matter what time of day it is because I'm told, the days and hours all meld into one.

AND cake is for celebrating and what better reason to celebrate than welcoming a new baby??!

lemon and poppy seed all-day cake | salt sugar and i

When I went over to visit the brand spanking new parents and bubba I brought lemon and poppyseed afternoon cake, still warm from the oven. I knew that morning while I lazily lazed in bed dreaming of food that I wanted to take something, some sort of food as a gift. You see, it's important to always have snacks, and tasty ones at that. I was also sure that the new little one had been keeping them pretty busy so it was something I could do while their arms were newborn full. Never having made this recipe before I was in somewhat risk of turning up empty handed but I was quietly confident (the only one home was Arty so yes... quietly confident) as it's a Julia Turshen recipe and, touch wood, hers always turn out delicious and without drama.

It did not disappoint. Not only was it simple, moist (yes it's ok to use this word) and not too sweet, it was the perfect type of cake to be eaten any time of day, not just afternoon like the recipe says. PLUS, just like Julia says in the intro to the recipe, it's a great one to have up your sleeve. It's up mine now that's for sure. She also throws some spin-offs to the recipe (this is one) so you can swap up the citrus, take out the poppy seeds or add different extracts for whatever might tickle your cake cravings.

lemon and poppy seed all-day cake | salt sugar and i

Now I'm going to say I think it was enjoyed by all... otherwise everyone was very polite and have great poker faces but I'm going to go with the first one and the fact that I enjoyed it so think you would too.

If you know someone who just had a baby I suggest you make this for them. It won't matter what time of day you visit, it can be for breakfast, second breakfast, morning tea, arvo tea or even dessert. And if you don't know anyone who's just had a baby, add this one up your sleeve and make it just because my friends had a baby.

And the new bubba.... he's so delicious. George. Welcome!

lemon and poppy seed all-day cake | salt sugar and i

Lemon and Poppyseed All-Day Cake

recipe from Small Victories by Julia Turshen

120g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
50g (1/2 cup) almond meal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
120ml (1/2 cup) extra virgin olive oil*
100g (1/2 cup) white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 60ml (1/2 cup) fresh lemon juice
icing sugar, for dusting

* I used half extra virgin olive oil and half regular olive oil
** I used raw sugar (it's what we had on hand)

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Butter the bottom and sides of an 8 inch (20cm) round cake tin, then line the bottom with a circle of baking paper and then for good measure, butter the baking paper. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, almond meal, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds. Zest the lemon over this bowl to catch all the zest and any extract oils that come with it.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until the whites and yolks are fully combined. Add the olive oil and granulated sugar and whisk until sugar is dissolved (test by rubbing some of the mixture between two fingers). Whisk in the vanilla and lemon juice. Whisk in the flour mixture.

Pour the batter into your prepared cake tin, making sure you get all the batter out of the bowl. If you have any large air bubbles, hold the tin just a little bit above the counter and then drop it on the counter to eliminate any air bubbles.

Bake until the cake is beautifully golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre come out clean, 25-30 minutes. Transfer the cake, still in its pan, to a wire rack and let cool completely ***. Once cool, use a butter knife to loosen the edges of the cake from the pan and invert onto your work surface. Peel off the baking paper and invert it again, dome side up.

Just before serving, dust with some sifted icing sugar.

***I did not do this, I was impatient and running late. Plus who ever turns their nose up at warm cake??!

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Risi e Suca (Pumpkin & Rice Soup) from Veneto.

A good few weeks ago while everything seemed a little mad I was sent this beautiful book Veneto by Valeria Necchio of the blog Life Love Food. It a beautiful Italian cookbook filled with stories and traditions from the Veneto region in north-eastern Italy. After just flicking through the book I was already making mental notes of everything I wanted to cook and after what feels like a lifetime, I finally got around to sitting down, having a read and making a couple of recipes.

The book is split up into two sections. Part I: 'then' and Part II: 'now'. The 'then' explores family recipes cooked in Valeria's childhood home, the Venetian Countryside by Valeria's grandmothers and mother, some recipes are three generations passed down. The 'now' is all about the foods she makes in her modern Italian kitchen. You'll find recipes where she has drawn from tradition but also modern influences from her travels and current home, London. You don't see the obvious dishes of Italy in this cookbook, instead it explores a region I think that is less well known.

Each recipe in the book has an introduction that gives you tips and a story to the dish. I love when there is more than just a list of ingredients and a method - it makes the whole book much more personal. I love knowing why a recipe's made it in a cookbook, why they make it, who makes it for them and why it's been carried down for generations. I'm a nosey little tosser really!

When I finally picked a recipe, this was no easy task may I just reiterate, it was on a cooler night last week when I was home by myself so the entire book was my oyster without the usual comment of 'is there chicken in it?' *rolls eyes*. This meant I got to choose a recipe that was full of veg and carbs - my favourite! I checked what we had in the fridge and pantry and decided the pumpkin and rice soup which is in Part 1: 'then' would be my dinner. I wanted to cook something I've never made before and this caught my eye. It looks and sounds pretty much like risotto but according to Valencia the difference is the way it's cooked so it's called a soup instead.

It was such a simple recipe I couldn't believe it while I was making it, I kept thinking surely I need to do something else or add something more here but nope. It's a genius way to make risotto .. sorry soup and I completely understand why it's on her mum's list of favourites. I didn't add the optional Italian pork sausage but will next time as the salty savoury-ness of the sausage stirred through would work so great against the sweetness of the pumpkin. Mmmm yum.

Next on the list to make is the prawn and prosecco risotto, baby octopus and potato salad, venetian-style doughnuts and Ice Cream 'drowned' in coffee & Amaretto - umm how decadent do they sound?!

Anyway... here's the recipe incase we get a cold snap this spring or you haven't accepted winter is truly done and dusted and you're living with the air-con set on 18C OR, if you're on the other side of the world to me, it'd be a great fall recipe to make.

Rice and Pumpkin Soup - Risi e Suca

recipe adapted from Veneto by Valeria Necchio
serves 4

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 brown onion, finely chopped
800g pumpkin, peeled and chopped into 3cm chunks
1.5L vegetable or chicken stock
250g risotto rice
100g Italian pork sausage, crumbles (optional)
50g parmesan cheese, finely grated
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

In a wide, heavy-based saucepan, melt the butter and when it's hot and bubbly add the onion and fry on a low heat until translucent, stirring every so often so it doesn't colour. Stir in the pumpkin and cook over a medium heat until the edges of the pumpkin are soft, make sure you stir often so nothing colours.

Pour in the hot stock, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the pumpkin is cooked through and falling apart. Remove from the heat and using a stick blender, blitz until smooth. Season to taste.

Place the pumpkin stock back on a medium heat and once it comes back to the boil, add the rice. You will need to stir quite frequently to avoid the rice sticking to the bottom but you don't need to stand there as a slave to your pot. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the rice feels tender and the soup has thickened and turned dense and creamy.

Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, if you are using the Italian pork sausage in the recipe, fry the crumbled sausage in a dry frying pan until browned and cooked through. Stir into soup at the very end along with the grated parmesan and a fresh grinding of black pepper.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Our Honeymoon.

We didn't jet off straight away after our wedding or should I say drive off. We spent the next day, the Saturday recovering and then Sunday seeing family and friends who had come interstate for our special day. I don't know how they did it but some of them hit the red wine again - crazy!

On the Monday we packed the car and started our drive to Victoria for a night then jumped on the Spirit of Tasmania to explore the island state of Australia.

Tasmania is beautiful.

It actually gets a winter unlike here in Sydney. It was freezing! We packed prepared but I don't think I was ready for how cold it actually would be, I don't remember having a proper winter in a few years. Our first stop after we docked was Cradle Mountain, I loved the wildlife and the snow. It could have snowed a little more and rained a little less but it was still so lovely to get away to somewhere so different than what home is. We then worked our way west to Strahan and camped at Macquarie Heads. We bought a slab of raw Huon Pine that I want to turn into a chopping board as a keep sake - the smell is so powerful in the woodwork shops. Next was Lake St Claire where we were also meant to camp but ended up chickening out (there was torrential rain & we weren't allowed a fire in the camp site) so we bailed and called the local pub who thankfully had a room for us. We woke up to a snow topped car and white flecked gumtrees. It was magical.

Tris tried his hand at trout fishing when we found spots to pull over and ended up getting his fishing lure stuck on branches and went in the freezing water in his undies to retrieve it. I married a crazy man!

We then headed down to see the Gordon Dam and stayed a night a Strathgordon where Google Maps accentuate how big it really is. Next was South to Cockle Creek, spending a night at Finn's Beach which is as far South as you can drive in Australia. It was beautiful there. We tried to catch the southern lights and we think we got a glimpse of them but we're not sure. I really wanted to get one of those amazing photos that plaster the internet but unfortunately I can't spam your instagram feed with amazing images, will have to try next time.

The island off an island, Bruny Island, was our next stop. This place was a favourite of mine, we ate some of the best oysters and cheese I've ever had and tasted some local delicious (expensive) wine and beer. I made Tristan walk 4km to see fairy penguins but I think we were too early for the season but as someone so nicely put it, I did see one  fairy - the one I sat next to at sunset, in the freezing cold, for about an hour while we waited for them to waddle out of the water. Instead, we waddled our butts back down the beach to the car. We then headed to the only pub on the island and had the most epic chicken parama's I've ever had, washed down with local island beer.

Driving through the Huon Valley we had the best apples I've ever eaten - bought for $2, in a wooden shack, on the side of the road. We put in $3 as I felt they weren't getting a good enough deal. Tris also made a tradition for himself throughout our trip - he tried a dim sim at every pit stop not matter how small the town, no matter how dodgy the shop looked, no matter how old the dim sim looked and no matter what time of day it was. I tried one (ok two)... I kind of get it, when they are fresh! But when they've been sitting in the luke warm baine marie since the day before, mmm no thanks. Although, I'm told (by Tris) that it just gives it a more chewy texture... ew... and I married this man!?

We spent a few nights in Hobart doing the tourist thing of wine tasting, whisky tasting, gin tasting, MONA, Mount Wellington and the Salamanca Markets we were on to the east coast next. Wow. It is absolutely stunning. Bright aqua water with white white sandy beaches all up the coast and nothing but sheep around you. We camped in near Wineglass Bay for a night then headed to Bay of Fires for a couple and apart from some very fat possums, a couple of curious but skittish wallaby's and a very fast echidna we were the only ones there. I put my toes in the water for about a total of thirty seconds and they went numb it was so cold. Tris went diving and caught us dinner (crazy!!). We had abalone and some sort of white fish cooked up over the fire with paella and of course gin and tonics. We went to bed with cold toes but warm and full bellies.

I've come to realise a couple of things about camping... cooking outside is actually SO MUCH FUN and I really really dislike drop toilets (although it is better than peeing on your ankles). The thought of sitting over this very deep dark hole that you don't actually want to look down but at the same time you want to make sure nothing is going to bite your bum is not very nice at all and it doesn't help that my mind goes a little nuts and I start thinking of Steven King novels... *shivers*. But back to camp cooking - I wasn't very good at getting the fire going but once it was going it was gold. Tris left me in charge of the fire one night while he fixed our runaway roof top tent and I nearly killed it so I think I need to work on my fire-god skills. Our camp cooking set is top notch now and we've even mastered a couple of recipes, one pot chicken cacciatore and chicken, chorizo and local seafood paella. We need to work on the jaffles... if you like chargrilled aka singed then we're your team.

At this point it was time for us to start heading homewards. We had a night in Launceston where we both enjoyed one of the best hot showers ever had. I sudded up about three times just to get the camp fire smell out of my hair and we slept in a bed that wasn't getting battered by winds AND I didn't have to pee in a deep dark drop toilet. It was a night of bliss and indulgence. The hotel also had free new release movies so Tristan was in heaven with local thai takeaway, movies and trackies. 

We then boarded the Spew-it ... sorry Spirit of Tasmania. The night is a haze after my buffet dinner, 3 travel calms and two sleeping tablets. Yes, my world was spinning slightly when we had to get up at 6am to get off the boat but nothing like good Melbourne coffee and smashed avo to fix a spinning head. Tris drove the whole slog home, no stopping except for a couple of dim sims and petrol. Dinner was sorted too, one of my new mother-in-laws gifted us (at breakfast) with a huge container of homemade family secret recipe dutch croquets and fresh bread. Just needed to pick Arty up and everything was back to normal. Like we'd never left.

What a first adventure!? Can we go back and do it all over again?

... it is nice being back in our own bed with our four-legged fur monster to cuddle, not just my two legged one.

Friday, 22 September 2017

A reflection on our special day.

Ok so I've started this post about four times now and scraped it each time.

I feel like a lot has happened since my last post but then also, not so much. Firstly, I got married. Secondly, we went on a super lovely cold honeymoon to Tasmania. Yes, cold but cold is good snuggle weather remember.

It's an odd feeling once it's all over. A whole years worth of planning and savings all done, dusted, drunk and eaten in a matter of hours. Once the day was done I had a sort of internal lull... I couldn't help thinking of all the small things that didn't go to plan or what I forgot on the day... did I thank everyone, oh dear who did I miss, did I talk to everyone, I should have planned that better... blah blah blah and also worrying if everyone else had a good time rather than if we enjoyed ourselves.

The food on the day was seriously good and I think everyone also enjoyed the booze. The venue told us we were up there in some of there top weddings for the most drinks consumed... oh dear. I think Tris's red wine stained shirt and my splashed dress are evidence of that. Oh and the cake! It was the best wedding cake I've ever eaten and this is not even being bias considering the cake-baker is a good friend of mine (putacakeinit - check her insta!). We had a two tier, white chocolate mud cake, filled with layers of chocolate ganache, iced in vanilla buttercream topped with fresh flowers. It was both beautiful and delicious.

And after having a good three week honeymoon to ponder and go over every minute again and again and again, I realise that our big day was exactly what we wanted - a big party that we got to celebrate with all our closest friends and family. Yes, there were a few hiccups (windiest day in Sydney in three years, terrible DJ, red wine spillages, lost teeth, nerves and sore feet) but without dwelling on the tiny things and remembering what we wanted in the first place - everything was perfect. We couldn't have asked for a more happy and love filled night than what we had.

It's normal to feel a little deflated after right? I mean, all this excitement of wedding and honeymoon and now... back to boring old routine? hmmm...

Oh but can't forget a blurry happy snap from the night...

Thursday, 17 August 2017


This space is mostly about food and I guess, a little about me. Today, it's all about me. Because... I'M GETTING MARRIED TOMORROW! And I'm filled with butterflies of excitement mixed with a couple of nerves but mostly just crazy excitement! I'm going to have a husband (still sounds weird) and I'm going to be a wife (even weirder). I can't wait to marry him. It was 10 years ago, this February that he asked me to be his girlfriend back when he was 17. Mad how time fly's when your with the one you love!!

I remember when my sister, who is nine and a half years older than me got married (11 years ago) I felt like she was so grown up and adult-y. I do not feel grown up or adult-y. But then I never asked if she actually felt grown up or adult-y when she got married or if it was just me being a little sister looking up (as always) to my big sister. Do you ever actually feel adult-y? 

To be honest, this year hasn't been the smoothest of years behind the scenes but tomorrow will be fun. I thought it a bit silly, a big celebration in the midst of crappy life stuff but I think it will be a chance for everyone to just let loose for a night and maybe slightly dramatic but to quote Albus Dumbledore - Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light. Tomorrow will be filled with lights.


Sooooo... I'll see you suckers in 4 weeks when I'm back from my honeymoon where we'll be driving our way around Tasmania, love-drunk. Searching for southern lights, consuming copious amounts of local wine and cheese, snuggling up with a log fire while it snows outside (fingers crossed for snow), finding that outdoor bath that has swarmed instagram and me learning to drive a manual so Tris can drink copious amount of whisky. I'll be posting on Instagram so stay tuned and catch us there!

Until then - I love you and leave you.