Monday. With a side of bacon.

Monday. With a side of bacon.

On Monday morning I was stopped at an inner city train station when the train guard made a lengthy announcement over the loudspeaker. It was a PSA informing us that we should blame the lady in the fourth carriage (and not CityRail) if any of the 600-odd passengers were late to work. Assumedly she had caused a kerfuffle and held up the train at the station just to get on board. To be honest I didn’t even realise there had been a delay in leaving the station. Such a lovely  greeting to kick off the work week.

Anyway. I caved and got myself a personal blender thanks to a lovely lady on my Instagram (@smeloise – thanks for enabling. Haha). I found out that the George Foreman Mix and Go was on sale at Myer, and after discounts it worked out to be something around the $32 mark. I have to say I’m pretty impressed with it so far. Not only with the blender itself but also with my self motivation in prepping the fruit/veg the night before ready for the next day. Who knew coming up with juice concoctions could be so fun? I’d love to hear your fave juice combos!

George Foreman mix and go

I discovered a new favourite brunch place over the weekend – Three Williams in Redfern. I can’t recommend the French toast enough. Seriously. If you love berries, and yoghurt, and sugar, this is for you. The coffee ain’t half bad either. I’ll be back for more. Oh the ideal time to pop by is probably between 1:30-3:00pm, which is closing time, but if you don’t mind a late lunch, you’ll avoid the queues.

french-toastThe scrambled eggs with a side of crispy bacon is a winner. I didn’t try the tasty pile of chocolate coated doughnuts (I think?) on the counter, but I’m pretty sure they taste good too.

three-williams

I’m off to dream about eating said donuts whilst thinking up some more juice combinations. And potentially consider the inclusion of black or white chia seeds…

Have a great week all!

A blur of a week

A blur of a week

I was pretty restrained for the Priceline sales. I was tempted to buy some Essie polishes (seeing as they were down to $10). I had it in my hand at the check out (you can see I had a bottle in the photo below) before I changed my mind and left it behind. I picked up some Revlon Photoready blush for $10 to have for travel. I hate how grotty the packaging on NARS gets after it’s been thrown around in my bag.

Make up

I’ve also been prepping my travel essentials. I bought  some Jurlique rose mist (which came with some extras) for the plane trip. I’ll be hopping around a couple of different countries so I thought it’d be good to keep hydrated on the flights. Besides which it smells like lolly water. If you have any beauty-travel essentials, I’d love to hear them!

Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree is going up in Martin Place. I absolutely adore the baubles on the tree this year. They’re a pretty pointed star in a hologram pattern. I’m shoving as much Christmas cheer as I can before I leave for overseas. I noticed them putting a ribbon of LED lights around, which makes me think they’ll try to introduce some social media slash Twittering onto the tree. Of course I could be completely wrong. We’ll find out on Thursday!

I paid a visit to Khao Pla on Sunday. I tried the pork ribs (as seen on my Instagram). H ordered a chicken Penang curry (on the left, not too attractive) to get in the mindset for the upcoming trip. It was mild, which was alright. I can imagine the Malaysian dishes will be much, much spicer! We ordered Thai tea ice cream + tapioca + black sticky rice to share. Lovely.

Khao Pla

Anyway!! Back to writing up my pack lists…

Brunching at Kitchen by Mike

Brunching at Kitchen by Mike

The weekends seem few and far between so I don’t really get much done besides bumming around. It always ends up the same story – morning sleep ins where I get little to nothing done, and before I know it, it’s the start of another work week.

Last weekend I managed to squeeze in some terrarium slash random gardening. My last basil plant turned into a flowering dried plant before it died, and as a consequence spread its seeds into surrounding pots. Little basil plants have since shot up, so I decided it was time to re-pot them. I also made another terrarium with some succulents from the garden.

H and I also managed a trip to Kitchen by Mike. Neither of us are morning people, so it is always a late lunch. This time we got the lamb with cous cous, as well as a quarter chicken with an avocado and black bean salad. I love the idea of a half avocado drenched in soy/black bean. It was absolutely moreish and I quickly craved the other half of the avocado. The lamb was so tender and bursting with flavour too. And that harissa sauce. Oh em gee.

Kitchen by Mike

All I can say is that if you haven’t yet been to Kitchen by Mike, you really need to arrange a time to go! They pride themselves on making tasty, wholesome, responsible food from seasonal ingredients. I love how the menu is forever changing. I adore the salads they have.

Kitchen by Mike

And you can’t go past coffee + cake. They have a great assortment of baked goodies, and of course I want to try them all! In this case I settle for a slice of hazelnut cake with some pretty mean chocolate icing. Love.

Kitchen by Mike

In conclusion. I’m still listening to that Mika song from the last post.

Recipe: Cinnamon buns

Recipe: Cinnamon buns

I’ve had a few requests for my cinnamon bun recipe after posting some I made for a friend’s house warming up on Instagram.

To tell you the truth I’ve tried many recipes, but not until recently did I settle on one. It was accidental really. I had buttermilk from a snickers cake I really wanted to try to make (and still do). It was expiring soon so I decided to whip up something relatively quick and easy (well, more so than the crazy snickers cake I aspired to bake).

Anyway, here’s the recipe I keep coming back to time and time again. They produce roughly 60 small fluffy cinnamon rolls.

photo 5

Cinnamon buns (makes approx 60 small rolls)
Ingredients
14g of active dry yeast (you can buy them in 7g sachets at Coles/Woolies)
¼ cup of warm water
1½ cups of buttermilk
½ cup of vegetable oil (I used canola)
4½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt
½ a teaspoon of baking soda
½ cup of butter, melted
1¼ cups of brown sugar

1½ teaspoons of ground cinnamon

Procedure
  1. Put the yeast into a large bowl, and dissolve in warm water. Leave this for ten minutes until it becomes creamy.
  2. Heat the buttermilk until it is just warm to the touch. Be careful not to let it boil! Take the oil and the warm buttermilk and pour into the yeast mixture to combine. cinnamon buns
  3. In another bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking soda. Stir the flour mixture into the liquid one cup at a time until a dough forms.
  4. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead all the lumps out. No need to knead it that much at this stage.
  5. Place it back into a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let it rest for 10 minutes. It should look like this:cinnamon buns
  6. Now to make the cinnamon spread – in another bowl, mix together the melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.cinnamon buns
  7. Take a quarter portion of your dough, place it onto a lightly floured surface and roll out into a large rectangle. I press it out into the rectangle shape I want then roll it out with a rolling pin.
  8. Take the cinnamon mix and spread it evenly onto the rectangle of dough you just rolled out. Roll it up into a log (I like more swirls, so I roll from the shorter side), and be sure to pinch the ends to secure it all in place.
  9. Slice the log into 2.5 cm pieces and place cut side up onto baking paper. Make sure you leave enough space between each roll as they will expand! Depending on how fluffy you want them you can leave them to rest overnight. (I’m too impatient for that so I bake it almost immediately!).Cinnamon buns
  10. Bake them in a 200°C oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown and a lot of gooey! They may not look very attractive when they come out of the oven, but trust me, they will taste amazing!photo 3 copy

I like to top them with some cream cheese icing, which is super simple to whip up whilst your buns are in the oven baking. I just find a generic recipe like this one with butter, icing sugar, Philly cream cheese and vanilla essence. If you wanted to be super fancy you could use some vanilla bean. But either will work!

Enjoy! Xx

Five things

Five things

Another crazy week where I don’t remember a single thing about what just went down. Seriously. I’m glad I take ten jillion photos otherwise I’d forget it all. I’ve been so crazy busy with goodness knows what, but I really had the urge to drop everything and blog tonight. I must do the nails again though. It really annoys me when one peels or chips. Here’s a short summary of this week in five short n’ sweet pics.

ONE. I discovered Cabrito coffee roasters the other day while having lunch at La Lupita. Besides my excitement of having them open in the city (yay new lunch spot!) I quite like the coffee beans they use here. Plus how can you say no to these cute little stamps on the cups! That said, I just Googled ‘cabrito’ and I think it means goat meat. :S:S

cabrito coffee

TWO. H and I took a trip to Le Pub, the Parisian bistro slash pub. We’d been meaning to go for the longest time – he was swayed by the cider pork knuckle for two, so off we went. I loved the interiors and the cutlery. Love love love art deco. I think we’ll be returning as I discovered a voucher for it in the Entertainment Book. Plus the food wasn’t bad at all!

pretty place setting

THREE. I love it when food trucks come as there aren’t that many good food selections down my end of town. This week I was lucky enough to catch EatArtTruck with their amazing kingfish ceviche with corn chips. I heart that mayo. Seriously.

lunch today

FOUR. I really adore Sydney harbour. I love sitting by the foreshore and just people watch. Or this week’s case, birdwatch. This ibis was scrounging around for scraps of food. Although I dislike these birds, I quite like the gradient of the sky in the shot.

ibis

FIVE. I just had to add this in. I frequent Hole in the Wall coffee whenever I’m nearby. They happened to have this adorable chalkboard up outside the little store on King Street. I definitely recommend coffee here if you’re in the area! Made with love. Just how I like it.

IMG_5894

How has your week been?

Five things

Five things

Sydney weather is a bit unpredictable at the moment I never know what to wear so I’ve been wearing a lot of layers and peeling/putting them on as required. I put together my latest five obsessions of the moment, and seemingly they are very cool-weather focused!

ONE. Glasshouse candles are becoming an obsession. Well obsession is probably an understatement. I have about three different variations open around the house. I love them. The mimosa and wild apple scent is my current favourite. I love them so much I decided to make an animated gif out of it.

candle

TWO. My birthday vanilla lamington from My Little Cupcake was TDF. A perfect light cake encased in vanilla frosting and smothered in coconut flakes. Now to try the ones from Flour and Stone to compare. I really should lay off the sugar.

Vanilla lamington

THREE. But wait! More sugar. Banoffee torte from Cafe Sopra. My weakness. I can never say no to a good banoffee torte. Just thinking about it makes me salivate. I love the caramel and biscuit base, and the banana is just a little something extra. Adore the textures.

Banoffee

FOUR. I’m loving the free art exhibitions that run across Sydney. H and I ventured over to 13 rooms down at Walsh Bay. It was my first exposure to performance art. I have to say that it did make me feel a bit uneasy at first, but overall I found it very interesting!

Art exhibitions

FIVE. There isn’t anything better than a lazy Sunday lunch with a glass of wine (or two). Any excuse will do really. It was a cold autumn day and we had pasta and osso bucco. Love.

Lazy Sunday wine lunches

What are you doing to keep warm this season?

Shepherd’s pie with cheesy truffle mash

Shepherd’s pie with cheesy truffle mash

H and I were faced with a dilemma last week – deciding what to do with some beef mince we had frozen a few weeks ago. Initially we had decided on nachos, but after realising I had some potatoes in the pantry, I searched around for a shepherd’s pie recipe. Now I realise traditional shepherd’s pie calls for lamb mince, but I didn’t think beef would hurt much.

I found a recipe by Donna Hay and adapted it a little to suit the beef modification. Plus I added some truffle to it. Who can resist truffle? This is a great recipe for preparing in advance on a weekend, and cooking in a snap on a school night during the week for a quick dinner. I used my piping bag to get pretty little florets on top, but in the end it melted together and didn’t resemble anything like what it used to be. Still pretty tasty despite its appearance.

Shepherd's pie

SHEPHERD’S PIE WITH CHEDDAR MASH
Makes 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 brown onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
500g beef mince
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary/basil/thyme
sea salt and cracked black pepper
1kg dutch cream potatoes, peeled and chopped
¼ cup milk
60g butter
1 cup grated vintage cheddar cheese/mozzarella/parmesan

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over high heat.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, and carrot. Cook for 5 minutes or until softened.
  3. Add the mince and cook for 5 minutes or until browned.
  4. Add the tomato, vinegar, paprika, herbs, salt and pepper and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  5. Place the potato in a saucepan of salted cold water and bring to the boil. Cook for 12 minutes or until tender. Drain and squeeze through a potato ricer to ensure a smooth consistency.
  6. Add the milk and butter, then mash. Add the cheese and salt and mix to combine.
  7. Divide the beef between 4 x 1½-cup capacity ovenproof dishes (or one large dish).
  8. Top with the mash and bake for 25 minutes or until golden. I used a piping bag to get some pretty shapes on it and make it extra crunchy.
  9. Drizzle with truffle oil before serving.

What do you cook in advance for dinner during the week?