the eat week that was

Adjusting to my LOL (lady of leisure) lifestyle with BIT (baby in tow) addition whilst omitting the breastfeeding, nappy changes, nap time and tummy time; one still needs to eat! And looking back at the week that was there have been quite a few lunchtime highlights and with the weekend just one sleep away, I urge you to go, stop by and feast.

Monday; first stop ~ Piato on Blues Point Road, McMahons Point situated amongst the row of shops with the black and white striped awning. Feasting with Lizzy and BIT and roasting in the gorgeous midday sunshine, we were both famished and admittedly coming off the back of dining at a new but oh-so-nasty-n0-go cafe the weekend before (another post altogether about when you know you will never go back somewhere when you leave feeling like you have been ripped off and taken for granted as a customer) and so in other words, we were eager to eat. By 1pm, most of the sidewalk tables laden with sunshine had been taken bar one which we quickly swooped on and with no time to waste with Lizzy in “lunch hour”, orders were placed.

After a short exchange of gossip and a peep and ooh at a sleeping baby, our lunch was ready and laid before us. I had ordered the Saffron Pappardelle and Lizzy had ordered the Homemade Cannelloni. Immediately I was impressed with the generous serving of saffron-tinged pappardelle ribbons accompanied by bite sized chunks of chicken, olives, chorizo and capsicum. The plate was alive with colour and texture and after a sprinkling of freshly cracked pepper, I began to devour it. Meanwhile, Lizzy’s cannelloni had every essence of “homemade” injected in her lunch. Cheese was oozing and bubbling on top and the cannelloni tubes were trying to burst out from underneath the blanket of mozzarella – visibly filled to the brim with a steaming bolognese sauce. Conversation halted and silence emerged between the two of us as lunch was undoubtedly enjoyed and we made a pact to go back!

Wednesday; second stop ~ Bonds Corner Fine Food Cafe on Sailors Bay Road, Northbridge situated just past the golf course. The sunshine was out again under cloudless blue skies, but the wind was more fresh on the skin. With most diners already been and gone by 1.45pm and with their soup and lasagna sold out, I ordered crispy skin salmon on a bed of pea and lemon risotto. Taking a moment to sip my hot cappuccino and loving the shaved chocolate flakes resting on top of the foam, the cafe’s position is bathed in sunlight and warmed my back, making winter not that bad! The salmon arrived shortly after and the plate again was alive before me with the skin golden and crisp to bite into and the risotto was creamy with lemon zest bursts and a smattering of peas. For a cafe slightly off the beaten track and away from the hustle and bustle of the plaza, I loved the personal touch and evident passion for food from this cafe and am bound to be back soon.

Tomorrow I leave for the snow with Mr ELG and BIT and in frosty 2 degree weather, I look forward to apres-ski moments of mugs of hot chocolate, toasted marshmallows, buttered popcorn and having bowls of my freshly made batch of chocolate and hazelnut toasted muesli (see prior post for recipe). I look back on this eat-week-that-was with fond memories and am already thinking about when I can get back to these two hot spots to enjoy, eat and devour more!

Piato @ 123 Blues Point Road, McMahons Point NSW 2060

Bonds Corner Fine Food Cafe @ 2/395 Sailors Bay Road, Northbridge NSW 2067

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Published in: on June 24, 2011 at 2:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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Inspired by Farmer Jo gourmet muesli; decadence emerges on a Sunday morning

On a solo trip to Eveleigh markets one Saturday morning, I walked past the blooming flowers and mountain of meringues, past the grain-fed lamb and skipped over the lemon and garlic oils to find myself in front of a stand of what I initially thought was humble muesli. Farmer Jo was the brand and tubs were stacked up in piles showcasing a couple of different varieties. As a taster, there was a creamy looking apple bircher in tiny cups. As I ate a portion of the soaked muesli I immediately tasted the complexities; the crisp apple flavour with a sour lemony edge. Delicious I thought. However it was the orange and chocolate hazelnut pot of wonder that I walked away with, fascinated by the inevitable decadence that this muesli could bring to my humble mornings. It didn’t let me down and as I tentatively shared some with Mr ELG, I savoured the textures, tastes and fragrance of my morning purchase. I didn’t want the wonder pot to end, with my portions of muesli getting smaller and smaller as the days went on. Unfortunately I couldn’t get back to Eveleigh the next Saturday so the pot sat in my pantry empty. Thankfully the muesli memory lived on.

So this morning with some time up my sleeve as baby rested in his rocker I set out to re-create decadence in a bowl. Using a recipe from this month’s Delicious magazine as a starting point; I was inspired:

ELG’s Sunday decadence in a bowl

2 cups of rolled oats

1 cup shredded coconut

1/3 cup pumpkin seeds

1/3 cup hazelnuts – roughly chopped

1/3 cup almonds – roughly chopped

1/2 cup golden syrup

1 teaspoon cinnamon

200g dark chocolate – roughly chopped

1/3 cup dried apricots – roughly chopped

Pre-heat oven 180 degrees. Combine oats, pumpkin seeds, coconut, nuts and golden syrup together. Spread over a lined baking tray and roast for 15-20 minutes, turning every five minutes for even colour. Once cool, add chocolate and apricots. Serve with chilled milk.

As I got to the end of my bowl slurping the last remnants, the old Coco Pops jingle entered my mind “Just like a chocolate milkshake only crunchy!” The muesli was heaven in a bowl and what’s even better is there’s heaps left over for tomorrow….oh how I love to eat!

Published in: on June 5, 2011 at 7:09 am  Leave a Comment  
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Friday flash: a brownie moment in between autumn rains

Off the back of the wettest May in years and in between the recent Sydney downpours, last week I found myself in the midst of a short and sweet ray of sunshine having a momentous brownie moment. Bought from a newly discovered cafe Store situated on the edge of Camperdown park, this brownie stared me square in the eye and I swear said “eat me now!”

So without further delay, money was exchanged for a Phoenix Cola and Sweet Infinity brownie and sitting on a park bench under a Moreton Bay fig tree, in a ray of sunshine it was a moment to be remembered.

I wonder what moment today’s Sydney sunshine will bring me….Tell me; what will I eat, what will I fall in love with, where will I go?

Store @ 17 Fowler Street, Camperdown NSW 2050

Published in: on June 3, 2011 at 12:31 am  Comments (1)  
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a buttery danger zone just 15 minutes away

At the moment I am often asked “what’s your day like?” Well to be honest, I have never looked at my watch quite so often as around the clock I am responding to a 6-week baby’s needs as he feeds, poos, wees, sleeps and the cycle starts all over again pretty much every 3 hours. The thing I keep telling Mr ELG however is I make good use out of the window. The window of time may only be 5 minutes (if that!) but I am usually effectively doing something with that time and not just sitting idle with my feet up as I used to be able to when time was a-plenty! Now, it’s more like how many things can I do in 15 minutes?

One thing that has recently eaten up 15 minutes of my time is the short and highly addictive walk to La Banette on Glebe Point Road (university end), Glebe. Situated next door to another love of mine; Clipper, La Banette is a quaint yet hustling and bustling patisserie where one (I’m sure I’m not the only one) always has great difficulty deciding on what to buy, how much to buy and what little morsel can I just eat now? Laden on the shelves on the wall are golden sourdough loaves and crisp olive baguettes; lining the shelves at the front windows are mille feuille, chocolate eclairs, lemon pies and creme caramel tarts (just to name a few). Spread across the counter are freshly baked pastries, shiny with glaze and bursting with apricots, apples, plums and cherries. Stocked in the corner are savoury pies and quiches to go ~ for now or tonight in case you work back and don’t feel like ordering takeaway. Coffee can also be ordered which partners any of La Banette’s little delicacies so so well and I have resigned to the fact that it’s a damn fine way to spend 15 minutes!

Oh and the mini pecan pies are delicious with a capital D!

La Banette @ 18 Glebe Point Road, Glebe NSW 2037

Published in: on June 1, 2011 at 8:24 am  Comments (1)  
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