The Post with the most!

It’s rare for me to write a post that ticks all 3 boxes but here’s a wrap up of yesterday…

EAT – to start with…oven baked sourdough and prosecco, moving onto fresh, clean tastes in salads such as  yummy Insalata Caprese with ripe red thickly cut tomatoes and creamy mozzarella slices, tuna nicoise salad with poached eggs, bresaola with rocket and shaved pecorino, cucumber ribbon, pine nuts and ricotta and warm stuffed eggplant. Pasta was next with a bolognese penne and a seared tuna and parsley orecchiette before mains arrived of seared swordfish with tomatoes, capers and extra virgin olive oil and crispy pork belly accompanied by lemon wedges and rocket. Dessert could not be forgotten and for Mr ELG and I, this was arguably our highlight….Eton mess with dollops of cream, fresh vanilla bean and plump sweet strawberries followed by a selection of cheese; both creamy and hard with pear and crackers. A cappuccino finished me off!

LOVE – family on hand to look after MM (BIT’s new codename aka Mini Mister), sharing a table with 14 closest and dearest pals over a long Sunday summer lunch where conversation flowed, laughter was bursting at the seams, yummy food was there to be divulged and life couldn’t be sweeter.

GO – Cafe Sopra above Fratelli Fresh on Danks Street, Waterloo Sydney. The private room where the Italian feast never stops.

Published in: on January 30, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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New year, new loves!

8 days into the new year and I have a few new loves to share with you.

One of Mr ELG’s Christmas presents this year was the same as every other year that I’ve known him…brand new shirts. This year I bought him an orange and white striped one. With its crisp cotton and the sun kissed look he has from our week at the beach, the look is somewhere between the Amalfi and Lake Como; sophisticated, summer, Sydney. LOVE

BIT needs a new name as I looked at him today and thought “when did my baby grow up?!” Nearly 9 months, he is raring to go and as cheeky as they come. Like a lot of other mums cruising the cityscape; what was once retail therapy for me has quickly become scouting for him in as it excites me to find the latest toys to stimulate and entice him. However despite all the fandangle with wooden versus Fisher Price plastic, walkers versus bouncies, trend after trend after trend; I love that one thing has remained constant throughout the generations and that’s of the simple nursery rhyme. Singing to BIT about incy wincy spider’s wall antics or reciting about the piggys’ adventures while squeezing his little toes one by one has him amused longer than any of his wooden ring towers or colored cotton reels. Humpty Dumpty’s fall, the description of a round old teapot and singing about bus parts when he’s squirming on the nappy change table has an immediate calming effect. So this Christmas for BIT, I bought him a little book of nursery rhymes with all the classic ones included. Albeit it’s not your average golden book but a quirky material book with handles and moving parts and hopefully likes its nursery rhymes will too be passed down a few more generations!

Since meeting Mr ELG, we have been collecting blue and white Cornishware. We try and source the original English TG Green stuff and where failing, have picked up some of the newer pieces too. As we travel and explore; whenever we come across an antique store, Vinnies or bric-and-brac market, my eyes scan the place for the blue and white stripes.  In Tassie while we were honeymooning we found a gorgeous teapot and in Arrowtown, just outside of Queenstown, NZ we found a mixing bowl. For a birthday, one of my gorgeous girlfriends sourced some original egg cups for me so the collection is coming along nicely and growing steadily as we go places. On my kitchen bench, I have a couple of pieces out…a bowl storing grapes and another storing parsley, dill and coriander. I love the country feel it gives the home and the memories they stir whenever I gaze in their direction. LOVE

I’ve just returned from a week away up the coast and “away” time at this time of year means one thing; reading a good book or two if you’re lucky. Henry Porter is the author and A Dying Light is its title and it’s a fabulous read full of suspense, quick page turning and left me thinking afterwards. LOVE

And finally while up at the coast, I took my first swim in the ocean. Lost in my own moment, I love a new year as it stirs something fresh, gives me renewed hope and the thought of clean beginnings. Happy new year everyone!

Meanwhile I’ll keep thinking of a new nickname for BIT…suggestions?

Published in: on January 8, 2012 at 3:42 am  Leave a Comment  
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with Bill and honeycomb butter in mind…

Yesterday I read an article on Bill Granger’s Sydney. In the SMH he spoke about heading to Single Origin Roasters in Surry Hills for a caffeine hit and frequently visiting both Shimbashi Soba in Neutral Bay and the inner city Longrain as he quipped that no place does better Asian food than Sydney, out of Asia. Waking up this morning I was thinking about what defines my Sydney and its characteristics (more to come on that later) and then my mind switched suddenly to thinking about honeycomb butter!

Last NYE, I was house-sitting my sister’s home and while flicking through her big collection of recipe books, I recall coming across a recipe for buttermilk pancakes with honeycomb butter. Weaving it into my menu for NY day, I have never before seen pancakes eaten so quickly before serving up these ones. Cooking for 12 house-guests who had been patiently waiting and slowly starving as I set about cooking in someone else’s kitchen; I heard them all chit chatting about fireworks, good sleeps out of the city and holiday to-do lists. As I served up the pancakes, baked sausages, fried eggs and crispy bacon; they later commented that it was the honeycomb butter that MADE the breakfast. Fast-forward to today and I just knew I had to eat some! I immediately sent Mr ELG with BIT off to the corner store to buy the all important ingredient Violet Crumble. So minus the buttermilk but with fresh ricotta in the fridge and inspired by a bit of Bill Granger, I set out to make his ricotta hotcakes with the all important addition of the honeycomb butter.

Placing the Violet Crumble in a zip-lock bag, I bashed it with a rolling pin so small chunks of the chocolate bar formed and in my beloved Kitchenaid, I whizzed it all up with 100g of unsalted butter and two tablespoons of condensed milk for around two minutes until just combined.



Before cooking the pancake mixture I suddenly remembered that last week on a whim, I had bought a bit of a crazysexycool Herbies spice by the name of “Strawberry Gum” from Chef and the Cook. Looking more like it should be added to a curry rather than pancakes, the label tells me that the finely ground khaki powder comes from the leaves of a native Australian Eucalyptus tree and strangely has the flavour of berries. So sprinkling a teaspoon of the spice in and folding it through, it is not long before Mr ELG and I have a morning feast before us. Finished off with lashings of Canadian maple syrup, some big, fat, luscious strawberries and a huge dollop of the freshly whipped butter, there is a sudden silence at the table and two very satisfied tummies moments later. And yes, that is baby ELG’s tiny hand edging towards the hotcake. I did start him on solids this week and he’s obviously raring to go as rice cereal is just not cutting the mustard!

Bill Granger’s ricotta hotcakes

4 eggs – separated

3/4 cup milk

1 1/3 cup fresh ricotta

1 cup plain flour – sifted

1 tsp baking powder

a pinch of salt


Combine 4 egg yolks, milk and ricotta together. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt together and add to ricotta mixture. Mix until just combined. Whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form and in two batches; fold into ricotta mixture. Add a tsp of Herbies “Strawberry Gum” spice. Heat a pan and swirl it with 25g of butter. Drop two tablespoons of mixture per pancake into pan and cook for a couple of minutes both sides until golden crispy edges have formed. Serve with maple syrup, fresh fruit and honeycomb butter. Enjoy!

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

Published in: on June 24, 2011 at 2:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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