week twenty-three

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Marlow: she really isn’t  baby anymore – i think we’ve officially entered toddlerhood. waaaa (actually, for me it’s more of a yay since i think toddlers are much more fun than babies anyway)….

Thatcher: my little sous chef. he just loves the kitchen and anytime there is some measuring or stirring to be done, i can count on mr t to jump right on in there and do and amazing(ly messy) job.

 

week 23/ the 52 project

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feeling just a little bit lucky…

… and a lot old!

when i was twelve years old, my world revolved around the backstreet boys and i was convinced i was going to one day be, mrs nick. carter (insert lovey-eyes here). flash-forward seventeen years and not only have my backstreet boys cds been left unplayed for the better part of a decade and a half, but i can’t even remember all of the bsb’s names – some fan i am.

anyway, when it was announced the backstreet boys were coming to perth to perform my girlfriends and i (all of whom incidentally were once equally convinced that they too would marry nick carter) just had to go and relive our innocent youth. my mum always told me that if i couldn’t say anything night i shouldn’t say anything at all, so i’ll keep my comments on the actual concert short. firstly boys, no-one bought tickets to your concert to hear your new music. sorry, but we were all there to bring backstreet back and i wanted it that way (ha ha, see what i did there…); and secondly, no matter how hot you all were twenty years ago, now that we are all grown-up, there was something intensely awkward about watching 45-year-old men stand up on stage and shimmy their hips like they used to in the old days. let’s just say that by the end of the night my cheeks were aching from all the laughing.

but before our night of awkward, middle-aged shimmying, the girls and i hit up the new kid on the northbridge block – lucky chan’s laundry and noodle bar. i. love. this. place. the cocktails? amazing. the food? to die for. the atmosphere? so much fun. and to top it all off, on our way out we discovered there is a rooftop bar upstairs. we will so totally be back soon. any place that is hidden away behind the facade of an old laundry shop and sells gorgeous, crispy, glutenous, juicy pork belly and oriental cocktails holds a very important place in my heart (and, more importantly, in my stomach).

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^^the sneaky little laundry facade^^

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^^complete with waving kitty cats^^

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^^why yes, little piggy, i think i will partake in one of your glorious beverages or two or four…^^

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^^funky little personalised fortune cookies. an sweet little touch to finish off a great meal^^

week four

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thatcher: love at first bite – whilst grandpa was here, thatcher discovered the joy that is mr whippy (for those of you not familiar with this australian childhood favourite, it is an ice-cream truck that drives around the streets in summer playing greensleeves at high volumes so that the kids can hear it coming and have time to beg their parents for some money).

marlow: not quite love at first bite, but she got there in the end. for the last week or so marrow has been obsessed with solids and we just can’t fill her up. a corn cob (pre-eaten by thatcher) kept her busy for quite a while though…

introducing the newest member of our family…

…trixi the thermomixi!

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she’s been a part of our family for about 3 weeks now and has already become an invaluable member (or so thatch and I think anyway; rod on the other hand only just plucked up the courage to try her out for the first time tonight).

thatch and i are really enjoying our morning green juices full of whole fruits and vegetables and I’m really enjoying being able to cook dinner (or dessert, whatever) whilst having a shower and dicing an onion without sobbing uncontrollably.

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for the love of grilled cheese

imageis there any truer joy than the joy of a perfectly crunchy, perfectly gooey, perfectly perfect toasted cheese sandwich? this may be a slight over exaggeration given that i get somewhat more joy from my family and friends than i do from shovelling my face full of shallow-fried bread and cheese. nonetheless, my love for toasted cheese sandwiches is the single most compelling reason i could never become a carb-free vegan.

in about two months i am probably going to look back on this post and ask myself why on earth I wrote an ode to a grilled cheese sandwich. and the answer is quite simple – dairy and I are in love and nothing can stand between us. we have been in a rather exclusive relationship for the past 34 weeks (yep, just checked my calendar, I am 34 weeks pregnant) and it just satisfies and fulfils me in a way nothing else can. we are meant to be together (at least until little miss in born, anyway). so, as you can see i am infatuated and clearly cannot see reason…

and that is why i was so excited when i walked past toastface grillah and could finally succumb to its irresistible temptation which has been haunting endlessly me for the past six months or so since i first noticed it. this place is right up my alley (see what i did there? huh, huh, huh?) being that it is a funky little café, located down a back alley (and we know how i love anything located down an unassuming alleyway) on barrack street in the city that specialises in – wait for it – toasted sandwiches!!! …heaven, i’m in heaven

i opted for the simple toasted cheddar sandwich and a small coffee, because when it ain’t broke don’t fix it. but if you are a little more ambitious with your toasted sandwich selection there is sure to be something on the menu that will float your boat including the ‘brie & jam’ (which is exactly what the label says along with a little mozzarella for good measure) and the ‘pear grillz’ (blue cheese, pear and lime chutney) among others. the coffee was nothing special – except for the price. where else can you get a flat white for $3.50 in Perth? – but the sandwich, oh the sandwich… the bread was buttery and crispy and crunchy and awesome. the cheese was oozy and gooey and tasty and divine. and really there is little more that can be said about a toasted cheese sandwich is there? but believe me, it was good.

i still cannot fathom the fact that it has taken me so long to sample the wares at toastface grillah and now that i have finally found it, i only have another week and half to enjoy it before i go on leave (leave, can i call it that? i’ll be busy finishing off the renovations, decorating, studying for and sitting exams, looking after thatcher and getting ready for little miss’ arrival). but i am totally sure that in that week and a half i am going to find at least one reason to pop of down and stuff my face with that cheesy bready goodness. t’face grillah, here i come…

chocolate & caramel layered easter cake


for the last few years now it has become a bit of a tradition that over the easter long weekend I make a huge, decadent chocolatey cake that i wouldn’t normally have the time for. this generally means that it involves multiple layers, millions of calories, cream, butter, oodles of sugar and lashings of chocolate, so when i saw this cake on the cover of the Coles Easter magazine I knew what this year’s cake was going to be…

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what you’ll need:

-320g dark chocolate

– 225g butter (at room temperature) + extra 20g

– 1 cup caster sugar

– 9 eggs separated

– 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour

– 1/2 cup brown sugar

-300ml cream

– 600ml thickened cream (whipped)

– 1 1/2 tbs slivered almonds (toasted)

– 1/4 caster sugar

– 150g dark chocolate

 

how to make it:

1. Preheat oven to 170oC. Line and grease 2x round spring-form tins.

2. Melt 220g dark chocolate. Set aside.

3. Beat 225g butter, 1 cup caster sugar and egg yolks until smooth. Beat in melted chocolate. Fold in sifted flour.

4. Beat egg whites to soft peaks. fold into chocolate mixture in 3 batches.

5. Pour 2/3 of the cake mixture into one cake tin and remaining 1/3 into the other tin. Bake both cakes for 20-25 mins, remove the smaller cake and allow to cool, leave the larger cake to cook for a further 20-25 mins. let cakes cool completely.

6. Meanwhile, make the caramel sauce by adding the brown sugar, 20g extra butter and 1/2 cup cream to a saucepan. Heat over medium heat for about 2 minutes until the sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens. Put in fridge to cool.

7. Now, to make the chocolate praline shards for the top of the cake (yummy). Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Start with the praline – add 1/4 cup caster sugar and 2tbs water to saucepan. Heat over medium heat until sugar dissolves then turn heat to high and Allow the sugar syrup to caramelise. Pour the gorgeous amber sugar over the first of the bKing trays and immediately sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Stick the praline in the fridge for a few minutes to set. Once hard, take to it with a hammer (or knife, or any tool of your choosing) and break the praline up into small pieces. Set aside the praline while you melt 150g of dark chocolate. Thinly (2-3mm) spread the melted chocolate over the second baking tray and sprinkle wi half of the praline pieces. leave chocolate to chill in the fridge until you are ready to decorate your cake.

8. The last element to make is the chocolate ganache. Heat the remaining I whipped cream Ina saucepan. Bring to the boil and then pour over the remaining dark chocolate. Leave it to sit for a few minutes and then give mixture a stir. again let it cool.

9. To assemble your masterpiece, split the larger of the two cakes into two even layers. Spread the bottom layer with half of the whipped cream and then half of the caramel sauce. Repeat with the second layer. Place the final layer of cake on top. Spread with the chocolate ganache and decorate with the dark chocolate praline shards.

happy Easter (or birthday, or any day really).

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ah, miss kitty’s you’ve done it again

after our first visit to miss kitty’s saloon a few months ago, rod and I both agreed that we would definitely be back there (it helped that it is only around the corner from our house). having said that, it took until last friday night for us to finally make it back.

rod and I and a few of our friends hit up miss kitty’s for a late dinner and drinks for my birthday and it couldn’t have been a more perfect place! we gorged ourselves on corn fritters and hot wing pancake and ribs and (two serves) of chilli fries and my new favourite miss kitty’s dish – the pork nuggets. I think we may have even had more food than that, but after the staff brought out our free round of birthday shots i fear that my memories of my 28th birthday celebrations are less than clear…

thanks miss kitty’s we love you.

ps. since rod found out that you serve wings for breakfast, it has been everything I could do to keep him from knocking down your door every morning. although, it is his birthday next week, so I may just have to succumb and let him at ’em.

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^^he wasn’t at miss kitty’s, but get him a scoop of bubblegum ice cream and he will forgive you for anything^^

lunch at the tuck shop

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a couple of cold, rainy and miserable fridays ago, godmummy, t and I toddled on down to the tuck shop on newcastle st in northbridge for lunch and a side of gossip.

given the gloomy weather, godmummy and I jumped straight to the pie section of the menu, settling on two beef and stilton pies – mine plain, hers nestled in a bed of mushy minted peas. it was divine. i actually think I used the word delicious over 10 times in less than an hour whenever I thought of that crispy puff pastry filled with a gloriously rich yet delicate filling. the flavour was a perfect winter combination! and all at only $12.50.

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^^even t approved of the pie^^

I will definitely be back to the tuck shop soon (especially since I work around the corner); to be honest I can’t believe I hadn’t made it there earlier. not only was my pie scrumptious, it was accompanied by lovely coffee and brilliant service. it was one of the only places I have ever eaten where the staff were conscious not to put the hot coffee or knives or plates of food within t’s reach. it really is the little things that count.

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mmm, breakfast at sayers

one place you can always guarantee an amazing brunch in perth is sayers in leederville. i have been known to frequent this place on more than the occasional saturday morning.

my standard go-to breakfasts are the coriander + cumin beans tagine (aka sayers’ version of baked beans – amazing) and the oh-so-decadent doughnuts. both of these are choices that daddy arnold approves of because the tagine comes with a gorgeously poached egg on top and i have a slight aversion to eggs, so he always gets my extra egg, and the doughnuts, well, what’s not to love about doughnuts with caramel and banana and ice-cream and chocolate sauce?

this time though, when we got to sayers it was heading towards lunch time, so rather than my standard breakfast fare, I consulted the lunch menu and immediately was drawn to the confit tomato, rocket and feta concoction; three of my most favourite ingredients together. it was superb, as usual.

as i watched almost everyone around me have the most gooey and decadent slices of carrot cake i have ever seen brought out to them, it was all I could not to dive across the cafe face-first onto one of their plates. they looked, and i bet they tasted, magnificent. damn you all and your fast metabolisms!

is there nothing this funky little place can’t make?

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cardigan by seed heritage; t-shirt by bonds baby and jeans by dymples for biq-w.

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