Mother’s Day Feast

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Today was Mother’s Day, and to treat Mum I decided to prepare a lovely Sunday lunch that she enjoyed.

As usual, it took way longer to prepare than I expected. I woke up at 9am and immediately started baking, and was going flat out until 1pm when lunch was served.

For the meal I decided to do wine-braised chicken (with white wine, carrots, red onion, rosemary, red grapes and pine nuts), and an asparagus & grilled halloumi salad.

I do enjoy baking, but I’m not too good when it comes to experimenting, so I stuck fast to Jamie Olivers recipes from his cookbook. I’ve found that if you really follow the recipes he gives you will produce delicious meals that taste like they’re actually restaurant quality.

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Wine-braised Chicken

For dessert, I went all out with Mum’s favourite cake – a white chocolate mud cake. I always use the Taste recipe when I make the cake, but I halve the mixture because the amount they prescribe actually makes 2 regular sized cakes (you could definitely stick with the actual quantities and pile the 2 cakes on top of each other with creamy ganache in the middle).

It was a lovely day, and I treated Mum to a mani-pedi voucher at our local salon, to top the day off.

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What do you usually do for mum on Mother’s Day?

xx

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Champagne Pink for the Perfect Mother’s Day

The Cafe that Has it All | Wild Sage

Wild Sage, Cammeray is a bustling brekkie, lunch AND dinner destination that you won’t want to miss. The menu has such a wild range of food options that even the fussiest eaters could find something to appease them. So bring along your pickiest friends, but if that hasn’t got you convinced their relatively – remember we are talking Sydney Lower North Shore guys – cheap prices will.

I went for breakfast with a friend and was amazed at the array of food options. I found it difficult to choose between their sweet chia pod with coconut yogurt/crunchy granola and their savoury ‘Healthy Bowl’. In the end, I decided to splurge and handed over $18.90 for the savoury option which was a delicious fusion of avo, grilled haloumi, quinoa, spinach, poached eggs and a shot that had hints of ginger. It was even tastier than it sounds.

You’ll be sitting in a large open room, with lots of other tables so its a great spot for an event or a large group of people. The restaurant is decorated with colourful artworks and pot plants, hung amongst glass panes.

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For lunch, I recommend their chilli pulled pork slider bun, which is perfectly tender and will satisfy your spicy cravings. Pair that with a sweet beverage from their extensive drinks menu – perhaps their Pineapple/Mint frappe or fresh coconut water served in the shell.

And there’s more. For dinner, dress up and take a special someone to indulge in one of their share plates. I’m a sucker for good seafood so my favourites would have to be the seared scallops with aioli or the King prawns served with steamy garlic bread. I’m going to be honest with you, the mains do get quite pricey as the restaurant becomes more expensive for dinner. But, it will be worth it when, for $32, you can have Wagyu striploin or marinated lamb cutlets.

As much as I want to delve into explaining all the great food options available, it would take too long. Hop onto their swanky website (which is as beautifully crafted as their food) if you have further foodie questions you want answered (http://wildsage.com.au/)

Give this modern Australian cuisine a go, and enjoy a meal out with friends!

xx

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Mahogany brown for contemp0rary Australian food

 

 

 

Fairytale Breakfast Destination

Bread & Circus Wholefoods Canteen combines fairytale and farmers market in Alexandria’s very own Foodie Warehouse. The cafe was just a 15 minute stroll from Erskineville station.

This cafe gives a new meaning to flexitarian, with great brekkie and lunch options that let you unleash your inner vegetarian (with some cheats).

For breakfast, you can choose to indulge in biodynamic eggs flavoured with parmesan, herbs and truffle oil, or treat yourself to their must-have cardamom spiced banana bread. Each meal is around $20, but if you don’t want to break the budget you can get fluffy biodynamic essene bread with avo for $10.

For lunch you can discover roasted beetroot topped with warm goats cheese or keep an eye out for their ‘sandwich boxes’ with preservative free ham or grass-fed sustainable beef. The menu changes daily, so you’ll want to go back again (and again) for more.

Get your coffee fix with their blends that use beans from Columbia and Guatemala. Tea junkies are spoilt with an array of black and herbal delights, my favourite was the Himalayan Earl Grey.

The canteen has a dreamlike feel with its light wood benches and pastel pink walls, which are bountifully decorated with fresh fruits and veggies.

I went with a close friend, and it was the perfect cafe for brunch to catch up, so definitely make a date and enjoy this hidden gem.

xx

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Pastel pink to go with the theme of this sweet spot

What I ate on Christmas Day

I started off the day a little cheekily with a candy cane cookie (Vegan recipe – my friend made them for me) and a T2 Choc Chip Chai with soy milk.

Traditionally my family has celebrated Christmas Day by opening presents in the morning, and then having a large Christmas lunch, which always becomes dinner as well because we all sit around talking into the night. So, in order to make room for the meal to come, I didn’t have much for breakfast and spent time after presents making a Bread Pudding.

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For starters we had assorted cheeses (Camembert, Brie, Cheddar) with biscuits, salami slices, bread sticks, beef jerky sticks, chopped veggies with avocado dip and tomato relish. These were savoured with mulled wine, pina coladas and champagne.

At the main meal there was an array of dishes but I had some smoked ham, roast chicken and prawns. We also had a quinoa, kale and roast beetroot salad that I made.

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By desert I was so full but made room for some bread pudding, a bit of traditional Christmas pudding soaked in Brandy, and a fruit salad with custard/vanilla ice cream.

Despite the food coma overall I had a huge treat myself and such a wonderful day. Merry Christmas! I hope everyone had a lovely day, whether you celebrate Christmas or not.

xx

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Sea Green for a Warm 28˚C Christmas

 

Girls Day Out

It was mum’s 54th birthday last Friday and I wanted to make it super special this year, because over the past few years I have been really busy and stressed around this time and I felt I hadn’t really treated her properly for her birthday in a long time.

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A dash of cyan for a successful day

To make the day memorable, I planned it out well in advance. The morning began with a massage with a local masseuse which I booked a couple of days prior. Mum really values experiences over ‘things’ so I made sure a lot of what I organised gave her a memory rather than something material. After her massage I picked her up and we went to lunch at a French Restaurant (which has a string of great reviews and recommendations) called Le Bouchon. The lunch was even better than I had anticipated, the restaurant is in a cosy hole in the wall setting, but has elegance and style with its walnut coloured wooden tables and gold plated decor. The authenticity of the French cuisine was enhanced as all the waiters were French and went above and beyond to ensure we had a pleasant dining experience. I ordered a Crispy Pork Belly with lentils in a crushed apple sauce, and Mum decided to be a bit more adventurous and got Sauteed Calves Liver with parsnip chips, which to my surprise was actually really tasty. We shared a glass of white House Wine as Mum isn’t a big drinker and enjoyed chatting for a couple of hours.

After lunch, we set off to the shopping mall and I bought her a pair of black leather boots as she has been saying lately that her current pair are a bit worn down. Then we went to a nail salon and I got shellac nails in a light plum colour and mum got a pedicure with a burnt orange polish and a complimentary foot massage. After, Mum headed home and I popped into the grocery store and went shopping for dinner.

For dinner I wanted to go all out and surprise Mum with a multiple course meal, as I’m not a big savoury cook and usually just whip up easy desserts and smoothies. I consulted a traditional English cookbook for recipes that are perfect for the drab and windy weather we have been having recently. For the entree I made corn scones with an avocado and soft cheese topping, garnished with capers and diced bacon. For the main meal we savoured a chicken and leek hotpot with a chickpea and feta salad. Finally for dessert I challenged myself to make an apple and walnut pie with ice-cream. The whole meal actually went really well and Mum loved all of it, which surprised me because something always seems to go awry when I work in a kitchen with lots of things boiling and bubbling and timers constantly going off.

What would a birthday be without presents, as I mentioned earlier Mum isn’t a massive fan of ‘things’ and doesn’t like candles, homewares, perfumes or make up. So, I opted in for a $50 gift card for Dymocks and I spent $100 on a voucher for a high tea for two at the Queen Victoria Building Tea Room (a very elegant and extravagant high tea experience). Overall it was a very successful day and I had so much fun treating Mum and putting effort in to make the day special for her.

xx