Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bambini Wine Room

Image from www.smh.com.au

Ah so i finally paid this intimate wine bar a visit this evening for a quick after work drink with a colleague.Last time a friend and I attempted getting in on a Friday evening,there was queue to get in.Tonight we were lucky to have claimed the last table.
The tiny room is decorated with French provincial furniture,chandeliers and mirrors,and the wall behind the bar is taken up by a massive wine wall.
We were given the menu as soon as we sat down and a plate of complimentary olives,nuts and bread sticks were placed in front of us. I chose a glass of Italian Sangiovese and my friend had a merlot. For snacks we has french fries with aioli and a plate of chorizo sausages which we scoffed.
I only hope more great intimate wine bars like this start opening up in Sydney which we desperately need.This place is pricier than most other bars in Sydney but I will definitely be back.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

I bought a little cookbook called Homecooked a while back and it's full of recipes from everyday Australians,some recipes passed down to them through generations.I was intrigued about the scone recipe with its directions to keep the oven door open the first 5 minutes.The original recipe asks for milk but for some decadence(just in case the raspberry jam and clotted cream later weren't enough)i replaced it with pouring cream.

2 cups self raising flour,sifted
pinch of salt
1 tbs sugar
1 cup milk or cream
1 tsp melted butter
1 egg

Preheat oven to 200 deg C
In a bowl mix the flour,salt and sugar.Combine the milk,butter and egg.Add to the dry ingredients and mix well
Knead 3 times then press out and cut into shapes. Place onto an oven tray and place into oven.
Leave the door open for 5 minutes then close door for 7 minutes.
Serve with raspberry jam and clotted cream.

Dreaming of Paradise-SHF #33

Due to the delay of last months results of Sugar High Friday,i just assumed the next one was delayed.The truth really is that i neglected to check the SHF section of The Domestic Goddess.I only saw it 2 days ago and luckily this month's even was extended by this month's host,AlpineBerry,and she's chosen Tropical Paradise as the theme.
It's not one of the most practical themes for someone in the southern hemisphere where it's winter,all of the tropical fruits are out of season and we've been having more rich foods.When i think of tropical i think of something much lighter especially since you don't have those extra layers to cover in.
At first i thought of limes,they're something i can still find this time of year and they instantly make me think of summer,sipping caprioskas.And since i didn't have much time to think of what to make,i quickly went through some cookbooks and decided on this cake by Bill Granger,i forgot to buy macadamias so just used almonds instead.

Coconut and lime macadamia cake
200g (7 oz) macadamia nuts
40g (1/3 cup) self raising flour
a pinch of salt
6 eggs,separated
165g (3/4 cup) sugar
finely grated zest of 1 lime
45g (1/2 cup) dessicated coconut
lime icing(recipe follows)

Preheat over to 200 deg C or 350 deg F. Place the nuts,flour and salt in a food processor and process until the nuts are ground, Place the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and beat for 3 minutes, or until the mixture is pale and creamy. Fold through the zest and coconut then the nut mixture. Place the egg whites in a clean,dry stainless steel bowl and whisk until stiff peaks form. Using a large metal spoon, fold lightly through the nut batter.

Spread the batter evenly into a 23cm (9 inch) greased or non stick springform cake tin. Bake for 40 minuted or until the cake is lightly

Remove from the oven and leave to sit for 10mins in the tin. Turn the cake out onto a serving plate.Spread the lime icing over the warm cake,allowing it to drizzle down the sides.

Lime icing
125g (1 cup) icing(confectioners) sugar,sifted
2 Tbs lime juice
1 tsp finely grated lime zest

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth and glossy.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Vintage Furniture

Image courtesy of The Vintage Shop

Going through the stockists listing at the back of my Real Living magazine i found
The Vintage Shop here in Sydney.
I have fallen in love with this timber chest of drawers.You could leave it plain and replace the knobs with some gorgeous vintage ones or paint the drawers a beautiful lavender colour,th drawers would look great with a venetian mirror sitting on top,a little boudoir corner for your bedroom.


With the late posting of last month's Sugar High Friday i neglected to notice that July's was due last week.And the theme is something tropical,i can;t believe i forgot about it,imagine all the yummy mango,coconut or pineapple desserts you could make.

Correction:it's been extended until this Monday 30th July,i better start cracking and start looking for something to make.

I was just telling my mother the other day that i am the only person in our family who hasn't caught a cold or the flu this winter and i certainly didn't bother getting the flu vaccine.I'm convinced it's due to the large amounts of tea i have been drinking.My morning ritual is to get up,put on my robe,go out to the kitchen and put the kettle on while i wait for my computer to start up.I've woken up many mornings with a sore throat and by mid morning i feel back to normal thanks to a hot cup of tea,and always brewed in my mint green Beehouse teapot.I bought one a few years ago for a friend and had to buy myself one the next time i found them again, at T2 , oh and have a look at the site ,you can now buy online and there's a little quiz to see what type of tea you would like.Next i'd like to get one of the bigger Beehouse white teapots like this one.
We've had some lovely weather this week,hopefully a sneak peek of the beautiful wather we can expect in just over 4 weeks when spring begins.A friend and I have taken advantage of it and had lunch in the park this week,unfortunately out lunch dates are sometimes spoiled by those ugly ibis birds,with their huge beaks,they're so brazen,you have to keep your food close otherwise they just swoop in and fly off with your lunch.
Today i had to attend a course in another part of the city and i was just around the corner from Clarence street and went to Plan B,a little cafe/takeaway place next to and owned by Becasse which was awarded Best Restaurant last year,The first thing you see when you walk in is an open fridge with a selection of gourmet sandwiches and i opted for the coronation chicken,i didn't know it at the time but just Googled it,it's mostly chicken mixed with curry paste which was first served at the Queen's coronation lunch in 1953.
Wednesday night the girls and I got together over too much champagne and red wine and pizza at Young Alfred,there was so much to catch up on especially since we had Lydia visiting from London,being a school night we had planned to make it an early night but we didn't leave until after 11:30pm,let's just say that we drank so much that i forgot a lot of things that happened by the end of the night,Ouch,wasn't very fun trying to get up for work the next day,some KFC chicken and bacon burger helped though.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Community Theatre

Church door

On Sunday afternoon i made the trek over the bridge to watch a friend perform in Mover Over Mrs Markham as part of the Lane Cover Community Theatre Group.The performances are held in a small church hall.All of the actors were a standout and after the show went back to my friend's place a for a quick dinner and a bottle of chardonnay.It felt very odd going home late on a Sunday evening on the train as I always make Sunday an early night in preparation for the new week ahead.
On Monday morning it was back to the physio for more treatments,but luckily didn't have to have any cupping done,but the pain from the bruising has gone and the bruises are fading,actually i just looked,they are gone.I don't need to go back now for another few weeks and just have to continue doing some stretches.Today i had to sit in a chair all day that had no back support while attending a training session,certainly not the best thing for me but there simply wasn't anything i could do except,sit there and wait for the day to end while having to concentrate on what was being said.

The view from Longueville looking back to the harbour

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Ouch again!

I had mentioned in a previous post about being in pain from yoga,last week i decided to visit the physio as the pain wouldn't go away.The physio says that the pain has been from working at a desk all day and hunching over and the yoga just triggered it as my muscles had to stretch in a way they weren't used to and he's taught me some stretching exercises to start getting my shoulders back again and he says it's very common in a lot of office workers,it definitely doesn't help when companies never replace their chairs or don't care amount ergonomics.
Part of my treatment involved cupping,it's very hard to explain but a vessel shaped like a cup or lightglobe is attached to this little machine he has and it's placed quickly allover your back,and i had some done on the front of my shoulders,it releases hot air and it sucks right onto the skin and pulld it and is meant to get rid of toxins and restore blood circulation.I've heard it hurts less the more times you have it done which sounds better as the thought of having it done over the current bruises scares me.The bruises are hurting less,the following day was the worst and even putting my handbag on my shoulder hurt,but i did enjoy showing off my bruises to everyone.
Am thinking of maybe having a late winter getaway to Melbourne next month,i have been inspired by Raging Yoghurt's recent trip there,and have wanted to go back during the cooler months but as i'm hoping to get a new job not sure about being able to have a long weekend,or maybe i can leave it for September when all city workers are given the day off for the APEC summit.
I'm having yet another quiet weekend just planning on relaxing,reading and watching dvds,even though the sun is out it's still cold,hoping to go and see a frien in a play on the other side of town if i feel ok tomorrow.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Another Tord Boontje gem

One of the latest collections to come from this great designer is the Transglass collection which is made from recycled wine and beer bottles.These pictured above are my favourite from the collection,a carafe and glasses to serve while entertaining during a summer lunch or bbq outside or this lovely simple glass vessel to hold flowers from a beautiful white orchids or simple strands of bamboo.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

It's that time of the weekend Sunday afternoon where you start worrying you haven't done enough on your days off and you have to start getting ready for another working week.I had plans to stay in all weekend but had to go out yesterday otherwise i think i would have exploded.Just a quick trip out and scored some very cheap baking pans and Bodum teacups in the last few days of the sales.
On my return i made some pears with waffles that i adapted from 2 recipes,it's too easy you don't even need a receipe.
I used small corella pears,peel and cut in half or quarters,in a saucepan add cut pears with 50g unsalted butter and stir for about 1 or 2 minutes,then sprinkle about a teaspoon of brown sugar on top and keep stirring until brown and a little softer but make sure they don't burn(this is what happened on myfirst attempt while i walked off).Remove saucepan from heat and add in 2 tablespoons of brandy or similar liquer very carefully,then return saucepan to heat and cook further until soft.
Place waffles on plate and sprinkle with icing sugar,then add pears on top and serve with icecream or cream.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Dinner for One and a Slow Weekend

The great thing about cooking for one is that you can make a snack or what you would normally serve to others as a starter or entree,and call it dinner.
Grab a baguette and cut in slices,spread some goats cheese and top with caramelised mushrooms and sprinkle some rocket on top.
Have had a hectic week at work,on some days i hardly had time to myself to just send a personal email,everyone is under a lot of pressure right now.Am looking forward to a very quiet weekend,have absolutely nothing planned,may make a quick trip to the local library to find a new book,after all the reading i did last month i have taken a break from it the last fortnight and need something new to read.Decided to get something a little different,from the newsagent as well and bought Frankie magazine to read,i've never bought it before and it's quite funky with a little bit of everything,and it came with a set of cards,very cute,will try and remember to take a photo of them.
I've even joined Facebook,i really disliked myspace for some reason so am surprised I've joined the bandwagon.
Looking forward to seeing a friend who arrives from London and planning a girly weekend break out to the Blue Mountains and staying at The Hydro Majestic.

Monday, July 9, 2007

I've made some changes to the layout of this site,and it's all because of the picture in the header.I was inspired by a photo in an old Donna Hay magazine where 2 of the metal pieces from Champagne bottles are lying next to each other undone,at first i took the photo just to see what i could do with it and then i thought,that would be great in the header considering the name of this blog,and the image wouldn't fit in the border on the old format i had and it worked with this one,and now there's a lot more colour on here,i like it.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Ouch and Argh!

I've just spent a very frustrating 1.5 hours trying to make pastry for a lattice style tart and it was very frustrating,i've made pastry so many other times and they turned out fine,this particular one just wasn't working,it was still too wet so i added more flour so it wouldn't stick when rolling it out flat and it would break,i tried to fix it by hand,still nothing apart from hurting my wrists(thy hurt)put it back in the food processor,still nothing,what was meant to be a tart for 8 is now turning into dessert for just 2 as there was so much flour in the end it would just sit there and go nowhere.And on top of that i have a huge cut o my finger from the food processor blade.I think i just need to find a sweet pastry recipe i'm happy with and stick to that,i've now left the pastry in the fridge for 2 hours and i should be much calmer when it's time to continue,the rest of the recipe is the easiest part.
Completed Ikea cabinets

Other than today's episode i've had a lovely calm weekend,finally finished the Ikea cabinets,sat down in front of the heater last night and stuck the decorative paper on,i thought i would have to try a few times and wouldn't get a good fit but it was pretty easy,no panic attacks,The only non calm period was when my sister and nephew visited,i basically now have to put anything precious or dangerous up high on my bookcase when he comes over because he wants to touh everything and will scream if he can't have it,argh,i can't stand him anymore.

Made pizza from scratch last night with roasted capsicum,proscuitto,parmesan and goats cheese,was really good and i love making the pizza base,i recommend using the 00 piza flour from Italy,it even has that authentic pizza base smell.Made a large batch and have frozen pieces to take to work this week.

Beef and Mushroom pie from Aboutlife

I'm also in pain from yoga yesterday morning,it was my first time in ages and my body has just been very stiff lately and i look like an idiot right now having to compleely turn around to look to the left or right,ouch,need to get the heatpack out.
Yesterday morning i made a quick trip to Leichhardt and Rozelle for some groceries and to visit my favourite organic store AboutLife in Rozelle,most things there are organic with a small supply of non organic as well,every neighbourhood needs this place but it isn't cheap so don't go there too often,sat down and enjoyed a lovely lunch before heading home.

Off to watch the Gilmore Girls now.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Tuesday lunch in the park

On Tuesday i invited a friend to join me in the park for lunch,i had brought in some smoked salmon and goats curd from home and bought some bagels and rocket from the DJ Foodhall and we were lucky enough to enjoy what seemed an early spring sunny day which was perfect.

The night before i was invited to what we though would be a quick drink and dinner at
The St James Hotel across the road from work but we also ended up having a few $10 cocktails at Arthouse,although they were lovely it just felt wrong drinking so much on a Monday night.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

This afternoon i finally had the chance to make fig biscotti and made a huge boo boo.I clearly wasn't thinking straight and made the dough into a flat long piece instead of a log,as the recipe stated so when it came to cutting it,it wasn't biscotti,in fact i don't know what i had made,so thre it went straight in the bin.I'm feeling a little sad.

Those are the leftovers from Yum Cha yesterday at Sky Phoenix for Lisa's birthday,many plates were consumed and drinks later in preparation for a big night,i had to leave the rest to travel out to the suburbs for another birthday.

Earlier in the day i attended an open day for The International School of Colour and Design,i've been thinking of a career change and am interested in either the Interior Styling or Colour Design and this school looks like it has many contacts and all courses are part time to suit people who work,and the fees didn't seem as much as many other schools but they did tell us that you have to do a foundation course first which doubles the cost and time.