Holiday Notes #2 Montserrat + Manresa

While staying in Barcelona with my parents, we made a visit to the popular Christian pilgrimage sites in Montserrat and Manresa. After advice from a barista in a Barcelona café, we weren’t required to buy tickets in advance, all we had to do was go to the station and buy a ticket from the machine – too easy! It’s a popular spot for Barcelonian’s to go for a picnic on a nice day, so the trains run regularly. Continue reading

Holiday Notes #1 Madrid + Barcelona

It is now a couple of months since I got back from my 5 week trip in Europe, and I am constantly reminiscing about the wonderful food and lifestyle I enjoyed every day there. Being busy back at work, it is nice to think back to my trip, try and recreate dishes that I had during my travels and start thinking about where to next!

Everyone seems to ask ‘So what was the highlight? Where was your favourite place?’, but I really can’t answer that question. I had so many great moments each in Madrid, Barcelona, Uzés, Milan and Venice, which I will share with you. Of course nearly all of these involve food, but there are a couple of other things too! Continue reading

Cured, Manly

Another new restaurant has made its way onto Market Lane, bringing a new but simple concept – cheese, cured meats and wine, with a focus on local, organic and free-range produce. Cured solves your mid-week/Friday night dilemma of not wanting to cook, presenting a relaxed, casual atmosphere in which to enjoy life’s simple pleasures (cheese and wine, of course…).

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Kepos Street Kitchen, Redfern

I only need to see the words tahini, falafel and figs on a menu and I’m sold. To me, Mediterranean style food is perfectly balanced and utterly delicious, always bursting with fresh flavours like lemon, pomegranate molasses and lots of fresh herbs. After falling in love with this, I suppose, ‘modern’ Mediterranean food from eating at Ottolenghi and Honey & Co. in London and feasting in the Marais area of Paris, discovering Kepos Street Kitchen has been so exciting and heart-warmingly reminiscent of my travels.

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A Guide to Melbourne #2

Once again I found myself down in Melbourne for a long weekend, a trip now seeming to have become a bi-annual ritual. I can’t place my finger on one exact point as to why I love Melbourne, but I think I can narrow it down to three things: the book shops, the art & craft scene, and the incredible selection of restaurants and cafes in the streets and laneways of the CBD & beyond.
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Kale Stem Pesto

I have been devouring the latest issue of Cherrybombe Magazine, Issue No. 6 ‘Eat My Words’, with coffee stains and sticky finger prints already gracing a few of the pages. I hope that you know & cherish this magazine, or if not I hope you come to after reading this. I purchased the latest issue from my one and only shop for all the best food magazines, MagNation, on a trip to Melbourne, and within a few days I had read Cherrybombe from front to back and given most of the recipes a go. The recipe that caught my attention instantly was a Kale Stem Pesto from an article interviewing Emily Ryder Simoness, the executive director of SPACE, an artists’ retreat located in upstate New York which features an organic garden used to create delicious, seasonal food for guests. SPACE’s approach to food resonates strongly with me so I knew this recipe was going to be something special.

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Bare Naked Bowls, Manly

Market Lane has become the new café haven of Manly over the past few years, with two local institutions, Fika Swedish Kitchen and Market Lane Café, sitting on either side of Manly Library. But now the holy trinity has been formed, with the latest edition of Bare Naked Bowls. Unlike the usual Manly café menu of poached eggs, avocado toast, muesli and various baked goods (which I am all very fond of), Bare Naked Bowls has brought a new and highly anticipated concept to the Manly food scene – delicious, healthy superfoods with a focus on local produce, nutrition and doing good, with 10% of Bare Naked Bowls profits going towards International Brothers and Sisters House, a charity that supports orphaned children in developing nations. Needless to say, both the local and broader-Sydney response has been overwhelming, with people pouring in from early in the morning to well into the afternoon and others placing in their takeaway orders to enjoy on the beachfront. The most popular menu item are their range of Acai bowls, but other menu items include muesli or chia breakfast bowls, superfood smoothies, salads, raw vegan desserts and coffee/tea. Continue reading

Pocket Pizza, Manly

A new restaurant has popped up on Whistler Street in Manly, and it’s already a local favourite! Creating a very NYC Little Italy vibe just off Manly Corso, Pocket Pizza is a cosy joint with red and white tablecloths, neon signage, exposed brickwork, succulent plants and black & white photographs streaming the walls. The highlight though is, of course, the food! Not only do Pocket Pizza pump out fresh, delicious pizza, but they also make some of the best salads and desserts! Gluten-free options are also aplenty which makes makes dining out in a group that much easier. Perfect for lunch or dinner, I recommend eating in to soak up the atmosphere and good tunes or taking away to the beachfront or harbour side.

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Frying Pan Turkish Flatbreads with Spoon Salad

I’ve cooked a few recipes from Anna Jones’ new cookbook ‘A Modern Way to Cook’, and this recipe is the best so far! It’s the kind of dish that uses only everyday, pantry staples so can be whipped up rather simply without a trip to the shops. After making flatbreads from scratch for the first time using this very basic recipe, I don’t think I’ll ever buy store-bought ones again, and I’m sure you will agree once you try these light, fluffy and flavoursome flatbreads. I chose to use Greek yogurt as opposed to warm water and it was so delicious I think I’ll stick to it every time. The flatbreads are perfectly complemented by the slowly cooked onions, peppers & mint which become such a lovely and sweet concoction. Anna suggests crumbling a little feta cheese on top before serving, which I did, and this worked so well and added a nice hint of saltiness and creaminess.

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