Monday, December 31, 2012

Vodka Spritz with Cucumber...

Vodka spritz

When the weather is warmer and you are lazing in the sun, you want to keep your cocktails light and refreshing.  For me, it's about using lovely bubbly mineral waters and refreshing garnishes.

Something as quick and simple as this Vodka Spritz with Cucumber is perfect in warm weather and looks like Summer in a glass to me.  It's about using a good quality vodka to make this mix perfect.

I use...

shot of Belvedere vodka
several slices of cucumber
mineral water

Pop all ingredients in a tall glass, combine well with a stirrer (this will bring out the cucumber intensity) and enjoy!  

Things don't need to be complicated, keep the pace slow and easy!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Festive Season Food...

Christmas Nowaks style!
It isn't a party unless there is cheese, kabana and cocktail onions on toothpicks!

We hosted Christmas at our place this year and we kept it pretty low key.  There was only four of us and in many ways, I wanted to have things that everyone loves and also things that we always have at Christmas too... like Mum's wine trifle!

Christmas appetizers are on!
a brunch spread...

We didn't have a breakfast, instead we opted for a brunch of delicious cheese and cold cuts and dips to graze on while having a few glasses of bubbly.  It meant we could all sit around the table together and catch up and laugh.

When cooking for a big or even a small group of people, you want things that are delicious yet don't have you slaving away in the kitchen - away from the fun!  Cheese platters are always loved in our family and it is nice and easy!

@elgatogrande made raspberry sorbet for a palette cleanser between courses! Yum!!! #marimekko
Mark's amazing sorbet shooters.

 We had a simple menu for our Christmas lunch. It meant that we could spend more time together.  It was a combination of delicious bought deli items and special treats that we had prepared earlier on such as the desserts and Mark's amazing home made raspberry sorbet.  We are lucky that our local butcher prepares our chickens butterfly style, so they can go on the BBQ outside, without making an Australian kitchen hot!

the menu...

It was pretty relaxing all in all!  No stress and we weren't left with loads of left overs either!  Naturally we did eat a little too much and none of us ate dinner on Christmas night but I think it was a successful and chilled out Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Gingerbread Trees...


I was getting my festive season bake on this weekend! I love Gingerbread anytime of the year but it is even better at Christmas time. You can find my recipe here.

Gingerbread trees iced...these are my Kris Kringle gift... We have a handmade/ recycled/ regifted policy for work! Naturally I'm a handmade kinda gal!

This year I went with some trees as I was making them for my Kris Kringle gift at work. The team that I am currently sitting with have a recycled, re-gifted or hand made policy for the Kris Kringle which I think is fantastic! Hopefully they will be enjoyed!

UPDATE:  My Kris Kringle recipient guessed that they were from me!!!  They got a thumbs up!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Re-organized Bar...

Some of my cocktail shaker collection...
@elgatogrande started reorganizing our bar... This is just our vermouths and bitters selection!
@belvederevodka anyone?!!!

My husband went on a bizarre cleaning frenzy the other day and re-organized our bar.  It looks so beautiful now.  We organized everything into groups, spirits, vermouths etc so we are all ready to go and make some cocktails.

We stashed away doubles of bottles that we already had to ensure that one bottle would be finished before opening another.  We did also joke that we could almost do a 'Summer' and a 'Winter' bar by stashing away different elements that we only really use in particular seasons... maybe that is getting a little bit excessive though?!

I love our bar, it is quite the feature in our living space and visitors always comment on it.  So now it is dusted, organized and ready for Summer!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Everybody needs Cake Forks...

I bought cake forks today... Yes, I felt I needed them! #laguiole

I was totally won over by these gorgeous Laguiole cake forks that match our cutlery set.  I figured that seeing we are hosting Christmas at our house this year, then we definitely needed cake forks to eat our desserts with!  Aren't they just lovely?!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips...

Delicious kale that became kale chips... Our kale is going crazy!!!
Kale, torn from the stems.

Everyone seems to be on a kale frenzy!  It is one of those superfoods that is meant to be super good for you and it is also pretty easy to grow too.

We planted some kale seeds in our veggie garden a little while back.  They did seem to take a while to really get settled but now we are definitely seeing the 'kale of our labours' and have a fantastic crop of it.

I had seen a few kale chip recipes around but was inspired by someone mentioning about Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips!! Oh my, I love a good salt and vinegar ship and this seems like a much healthier version.

Making some more delicious salt and vinegar kale chips! #urbanfarm
Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips

These are very easy to make but can be a little time consuming.  So how do you make them?!  Well here you go!

  1. Thoroughly rinse your kale and pat dry.
  2. Tear off the leaves, discarding the tough stems and spines.
  3. Place leaves on a baking tray in a single layer, it is important for them not to touch as they won't get crispy.  I line my tray with baking paper too!
  4. Spray leaves with a little olive oil spray and then sprinkle a dash of white vinegar or other vinegar that you like onto the leaves.
  5. bake in a hot oven (about 220 celsius) for about 4 minutes, check and see if they need turning after this or need a little extra time.
  6. Remove, carefully place in a bowl and sprinkle with sea salt.
Depending on how much kale you have, you will need to replenish your trays and continue this process.  Don't worry though, these chips won't last long!  

Monday, November 5, 2012

Making a Meal Out of the Garden...

Shelling homegrown broadbeans.... #urbanfarm
Our life is about shelling broad beans...

Our crops are definitely going off! After coming home to a fairly empty fridge after a trip interstate, we had to attempt to rustle something up for dinner!   My husband Mark (and chief veggie garden grower) rustled up this amazing salad to go with some steaks.  Proudly, everything is from our garden (except for the tomatoes) and was super fresh and delicious.

One hell of a salad!! All home grown (except tomato)   Raddish shoots, white salad onion, broad beans! #urbanfarm
A delicious salad, straight from the garden.

So what is in it?  Well we have:

  • homegrown broad beans
  • homegrown white salad onions
  • homegrown radish sprouts (these are just young radishes, we needed to thin them out anyway so may as well eat them!)
  • and store bought tomatoes
A great salad, very simply dressed with some salt and olive oil, that was very quickly prepared!  Bless our little veggie garden!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Using up our homegrown Kale!

Delicious kale, potato, bacon & quinoa soup! Thanks @gourmetgirlfriend for recipe! I've got so much kale growing at the moment!
soup cooking away...

The kale in our garden has just gone crazy all of a sudden.  We had planted it from seed but it seemed to take a while to really get going but now, it's all about kale.

The other day I felt like a good bowl of soup, something healthy and hearty to warm me up.  I went to the amazing Gourmet Girlfriend's (the lovely Ruth) blog for her kale, potato and quinoa soup recipe.  It's so quick and easy and I can now testify... delicious!!!

I was so stuffing my face that I didn't take a 'cookbook' shot of the soup in a bowl.  But trust me, this recipe is amazing.  Visit Gourmet Girlfiend for more mouth watering recipes!!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pesto Love...

Pesto love
Pesto Love

I have not really been a fan of pesto in the past.  I find the smell of basil pesto a little too overpowering so I've never really gone too crazy about growing basil and making pesto.

Recently we received a huge bunch of lovely organic basil in our weekly fruit and veggie box from Organic Angels.  What was I going to do with it?  Well, I guess when life gives you a bunch of basil, you go and make pesto!

To try and lessen the power of the pesto, I added a good handful of baby spinach to my pesto which gave it a lovely green and made the flavour a bit more subtle.  I know that making pesto is pretty simple but this is what I am using to make mine and to create my Pesto Love!


  • fresh basil leaves
  • fresh baby spinach leaves
  • Parmesan cheese
  • pine nuts
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • good quality olive oil

Give it all a good whiz in the food processor until the flavours and seasonings are to taste and you're happy with the consistency.

I am loving this pesto with some cream on pasta - like a Pasta Genovese style - yum!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Grow Your Own... update

@elgatogrande picked some of our baby spring onions tonight for our salad! #urbanfarmer
Spring onions straight out of the garden.

Our not so little veggie patch in our front yard is going great guns at the moment.

  • We are currently growing:
  • silverbeet
  • spring onions
  • garlic
  • white onions
  • broad beans
  • kale
and our rosemary bush is getting huge!

Our silverbeet just keeps growing! Notice the tiny little beer trap for snails to the left!
the no-kill silverbeet...

It's a whole bunch of 'greens' but there is nothing better than freshly picked greens that you have grown yourself.  They taste so fresh and so sweet! 

Broad beans are flowering! Grow little beans grow!
broad bean flowers.

I can't wait for all these little broad beans to grow!  I'm going to make fresh pasta to have with them... yum!!!
What is everyone else growing at the moment?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Cauliflower and Leek Soup Recipe

Lunch: leek, cauliflower and bacon soup.

Sometimes you make a soup that just tastes amazing!  This was one of those soups.  Inspired by the fact that  there were a bunch of veggies that needed to be used in my fridge, this creamy soup was super tasty!

For this soup I used:
A whole head of cauliflower
2 small leeks, trimmed to white and light green sections
1 small brown onion
4 small potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunky cubes
veggie stock to cover
3 -4 rashers of bacon
olive oil

To serve:
chopped parsley
salt and pepper

How to:
  • lightly sweat down the leeks and onion in a pot with a dollop of olive oil and a little bit of butter.
  • add the chopped cauliflower and potatoes and stir to lightly cook and coat in butter and oil (a couple of minutes)
  • add stock to cover and lightly simmer for approximately 20 minutes.
  • while soup is simmering, cook bacon to your liking.  I tend to grill mine in the full rashers, then chop up afterwards.
  • Use a stick blender to blend to a smooth consistency.  I don't like mine too smooth, but this is up to you!
  • serve in a bowl, top with bacon, chopped parsley and a drizzle of cream.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

This is a great meal with a side of crusty bread or even garlic bread during those super cold months.  Even my husband claimed that this was "more delicious than he thought it was going to be".  Really?!  Yes, he was pleasantly surprised!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Miss Mardi's Drunk on Beer Lamb...

Beer lamb
Miss Mardi's Drunk on Beer Lamb.

Last weekend we hit up the amazing Festival of Lamb in Bendigo. We visited some of the restaurants involved last year but when I saw that they had a tent at the Sheep and Wool Show this year to showcase some cooking demonstrations, I was pretty excited.  One of the demonstrations that caught my eye was a leg of lamb, slow cooked in beer.  I love my slow cooker so this definitely spoke to me!  I gave it a go today but with my own twist, so here is my version inspired by the Festival of Lamb's Ale Lamb, called Miss Mardi's Drunk on Beer Lamb.

You will need for the slow cook:
  • 2 stubbies of good quality boutique like beer.  For this recipe I used James Squire's Nine Tales Amber Ale which is lovely and caramel in colour.
  • A leg of lamb, mine was a small leg, with the bone still in.
  • A few large sprigs of rosemary.
  • one brown onion, peeled and chopped in half.
  • dash of olive oil
  • salt and pepper.

Beer lamb
The beer that went into the slow cooker!

In a pan on the stove, brown the leg of lamb a little in some olive oil.  You want to render off some of the fat. Once browned a little, pop into your slow cooker with the onion and pour in the 2 stubbies of beer, add your rosemary and seasonings.  Cook on a low to medium heat in your slow cooker for about 7 hours.  Don't be tempted to keep lifting the lid and looking!  Just let it do it's thing!  I did turn my lamb once about half way so it definitely got soaked in the beer.

Beer lamb
This is the lamb and seasonings in my slow cooker, right at the start, awaiting to be cooked!

Once cooked, take the lamb out and cover with foil and allow to rest.  Strain the juice from the slow cooker, skimming any fat off and pop into a saucepan and reduce by a third to a half.  I kept the onion from the slow cooker and chopped to add to this reduced sauce.

Reduced sauce tips:

  • allow to boil with out stirring to reduce quicker.
  • I added about 30 mls of port for sweetness along with a tablespoon of brown sugar.
  • thicken with a dash of gravox or cornflour - generally how you would normally thicken your gravy!

Once sauce has thickened and tastes to your liking, you can serve your Drunk on Beer Lamb!

I served ours on a bed of cous cous, with steamed greens and carefully tore the lamb into more manageable pieces and topped with the sauce.  Naturally you should enjoy it with a good quality  beer as well.

A really lovely recipe that you can play with in terms of additional spices and tastes, however for this recipe I wanted to keep true to the beer and allow it to do it's thing.  Trust me, it was super delicious!

A big shout out to the Festival of Lamb people!  The festival occurs in late July, every year.  Also, take time to visit the Bendigo Beer boys who inspired this wonderful marriage of lamb and beer.  They love their craft beers and are about inspiring and educating people about great beers.

Miss Mardi xxx

Friday, July 27, 2012

Yelping and eating hot dogs...

My #yelp name tag for tonight's lovely get together!
My Yelp name badge.

Last night we hit up the most awesome gallery Outre for one of Yelp Melbourne's events.  Even though the weather was pretty miserable in good old Melbourne town, the great art and other Yelpers made it a lovely evening.

Yelp outré event
My Sailor Jerry cup, in front of some gorgeous work at Outre Gallery.

Drinks for the night were from Sailor Jerry Rum.  We had some gorgeous Dark and Stormy cocktails (like a Moscow Mule but with rum!) that were in very cute Sailor Jerry cups.

Yelp outré event
Beef hotdog courtesy of Phat Brats.

We also were treated to some amazing little hotdogs by Phat Brats Hot Dogs.  Mark managed to eat about 4 of them but I was happy with my beef, cabbage and horseradish cream dog, super delicious!  I would suggest checking them out if you are in Melbourne, I think they also do a pretty impressive veggie dog for our non-meat eating friends.

I've been pretty active on Yelp, especially when I am in the USA and have found it incredibly useful over there to bookmark places that I want to check out and also read others reviews.  If you would like to see where I've been visiting and read my reviews you can find me at

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies...

Chocolate chip cookies!

Every now and then, I get a craving for a delicious, sweet and chocolatey choc chip cookie.  It has to be slightly chewy and with a good amount of chocolate chips in it.

Yesterday, I pulled out my Kitchenaid mixer in the morning and whipped up these cookies.  The recipe makes about 36 cookies, maybe a little less, depending on how big you make them.

You will need:
  • 250g butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 & 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
  • 375g chocolate chips, your choice of dark or milk or a combo!

A bit of early morning baking! Choc chip cookies!

 How to!
  1. preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius and prepare oven trays.
  2. beat butter, vanilla and sugars with an electric mixer, you are wanting to cream them together.  When they get going, add the egg and mix until light and fluffy.  
  3. Transfer sugar mixtures to a larger bowl and sift in the flour and bicarb soda.  Do this in 2 batches, working one cup in at a time with a wooden spoon.  The mixture will be quite stiff so you will be giving your arm a work out!
  4. Add the choc chips and mix well.
  5. Roll out tablespoons of the mixture into balls in your hand and place about 5cm apart on trays.  The cookies will spread!  Bake for about 15 minutes.
  6. Carefully cool cookies on trays.  They will be golden around the edge and still a little soft in the middle.
  7. Store in an airtight container, however, they won't last long!
Enjoy these cookies with coffee or just for a sweet treat.  You can play around with the type of chocolate chips or even add in some nuts, have fun with it!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Recipe Remix: Banana Bread...

Banana, pecan & date loaf done!

I have been trying out switching ingredients in some of my favourite recipes, to incorporate some organic or healthier options. I got my hands on some organic coconut sugar recently and have been wanting to try it in some baking. It has a slightly caramel taste which I thought would be perfect for a banana bread!

Coconut sugar

About coconut sugar... The Glycemic Index of coconut sugar is 35 and is classified as a low glycemic index food. It is considered to be healthier than traditional white sugar and brown sugar. It can be used as a 1:1 sugar substitute for coffee, tea, baking, and cooking. Coconut sugar has a high mineral content, being a rich source of potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron. In addition to this it contains Vitamin B1, B2, B3, and B6. When compared to brown sugar, coconut sugar has 36 times the iron, four times the magnesium, and over 10 times the amount of zinc.

So I remixed my original Banana and date loaf to the following!

You will need...
  • 1 1/2 cups of self-raising flour 
  • 1/2 cup of wholemeal plain flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon or nutmeg 
  • 3/4 cup of coconut sugar 
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil 
  • 2 egg whites 
  • 30 mls of water 1/2 cup of almond milk - normal milk if you prefer. 
  • 1/2 cup of chopped pecan nuts 
  • 1/2 cup of chopped dates 2 ripe bananas - up to 3 if they are small. 
This loaf is baked in a loaf pan which will need to be lined and greased. Oven should be preheated to 180 degrees Celsius.

In a mixing bowl, puree the bananas with a fork. Add the other wet ingredients and combine. Add flours, sugar, cinnamon and with a hand mixer on medium speed, combine the ingredients until well mixed. With a spatula, fold the nuts and dates in and pour the mixture into the loaf pan. Bake on 180 degrees Celsius for approximately 55 minutes. Test with a skewer in the middle, if it comes out clean - it's ready!

The taste was lovely and caramel like without the bread being too sweet.  I will definitely be continuing with this base recipe!  Go on, give coconut sugar a try!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Recipe Remix: Choc Chip Hedgehog...

Choc chip hedgehog

I needed to make something quick and delicious for The Biggest Morning Tea to be held at my husbands work.  Yes, I did get a text message from Mark and I knew that he was hoping that I would offer to make something!  (good wife I am - he he!)  Anyway, as we have been super busy during the week I wanted to make something that was quick and no bake but that was full of chocolatey goodness!  This resulted in the Recipe Remix of the standard Hedgehog slice into a Choc Chip Hedgehog!

You can find the original recipe here, it's pretty simple and I was lucky that I had all the ingredients in my pantry.

The only remix for this recipe was to add a good sprinkle of chocolate chips over the top of the slice as soon as it has gone in the pan and quickly push them in with a spoon.  The result is extra chocolatey and a good crunch when you bite the slice!  I find that with this recipe, you can cut the slice into smaller squares as it's a little bit more 'rich' in flavour and texture.  A great little sweet treat with your coffee!

Miss Mardi xxx

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Like a Whiskey Stone...

Yes. I bought whiskey stones to keep my spirits cool, without ice melting and diluting my drink!
Whiskey Stones

I'm an occassional whiskey drinker and when I do drink it, I like it straight up! If you have been reading along at home, you will know my love for a good vodka, again, straight up and chilled.

When I saw these Whiskey Stones in a little shop in San Francisco, my immediate thought was, "well I could use them for my vodka!"  The beauty of these 'stones' that you keep in the freezer, is that they don't dilute your spirits like an ice block would. Genius huh? They also look pretty darn cool in your glass as well.  The chill that they produce is a slow and subtle one.  After reading some research about why you would use a whiskey stone, many people have said that this slow 'chill' allows the spirit to be at a cool temperature but not a cold one, meaning that the oils in the spirit don't get too cold which can lead to a loss of taste and also a harshness in the spirit.  I mean, that makes sense to me.  When you are drinking very expensive and premium spirits that have been lovingly created, you don't want to go and shock it to death with ice!

@belvederevodka intense straight up using a rock to chill it!
Belvedere Intense with Whiskey Stone.

They come in two sizes, small and large.  I got the large ones. You just rinse them off after use, let them dry and I keep them in a lock seal bag in the freezer so they don't become contaminated with other smells or food.  I'm not sure if anyone in Australia is selling them but if you get a chance to try them - do!  I'm quite the fan!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A New Kind of Foodie Magazine...

Bon appetit
cover of one of the issues - Bon Appetit.

I used to be a bit of a Food Magazine freak. I loved flicking through the magazines and drooling over the delicious looking items on display and then feeling inspired to create the array of sweets and savoury dishes. However, over the last few years I've kind of gone off them. I had either found that the recipes included were too simple to create or they included an ingredient list two pages long that I thought, "that's too hard or
too much effort to make".

Bon appetit
Pretty photography...

Though I have found a new magazine that is inspirational, informative and generally just god damn beautiful! My friend in Boston, Anita put me onto it while we were visiting and I was so excited to discover that we could get a subscription via the Ipad (oh yeah, we now read our 'food mags' on the Ipad!) quite cheaply.  Now I can't wait for the little number to flash up on our magazine icon to say that there is the new edition of Bon Appetit Magazine, ready for us to read!

One of the things that I love with the Ipad version is the added videos and pop ups to obtain more information.  They also have the option to read the recipes in a black and white format that is purely text base, making things a little easier in the kitchen. Yep, that's just smart.

Bon appetit
My kinda article - the Salumi Whisperer!

There is also the lack of 'hipster' in the Bon Appetit magazine I would describe it as New York Cool.  It knows it's cool but doesn't need to shove it down our throat.  I love that.

Definitely check out the Bon Appetit website and magazines if you get a chance. The photography is beautiful and the articles inspire greatly. I also love that it isn't purely USA focused, with some great articles about Europe and Asia.  I am now excited about 'foodie mags' again - thanks Bon Appetit!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

OMG... Umami Burger San Francisco...

Umami burger website
Check out the Umami Burger website:

While we were in San Francisco we ventured (and by ventured, I mean took a very long walk!) to Umami Burger.  Mark had heard really good things about this place and it was near the top of our list of burger joints to suss out.  I can tell you know that we were not disappointed!

My 'Manly burger' at umami burger... Super delicious!
My Manly Burger at Umami.

Umami are known for their unusual takes on the burger.  One of their specialities is a burger that has a bacon wrapped scallop as the patty.  It was amazing to see a huge scallop patty instead of the usual beef version.  I had what is known as the 'Manly burger' which was a beer patty, beer-cheddar cheese, salted onion strings and delicious thick cut bacon. Hmmmm.... drooooolllll....

Marks bacon wrapped scallop burger!
Mark's Scallop and Bacon burger.

Naturally Umami have all these special made secret sauces etc on their burgers which make them super delicious too.  What I loved about them was they pretty much tell you that the burgers are what's on the menu.  You can take something off a burger but not add as they have created, what they believe to be specially balanced combinations of burgers, cheese and their special additions.  I love that they stand behind what they make and seriously, the burgers that we got were so delicious with the perfect balance of cheese, sauce and meat that I would trust to go with what's on the menu!  I can see them rolling their eyes at someone trying to mess with the burger system!

'smushed potatoes' : Dutch cream potatoes cooked, smushed & fried! OMG delicious!
smushed potatoes.

The sides were also amazing.  After a few weeks of living on french fries, I decided to mix it up and go with the Smushed potatoes.  They were whole potatoes cooked, smushed a bit, then fried so they were crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.  Kinda like the perfect roasted potato.  It made for a nice change from fries.

Pickle tasting platter
The Pickle Platter!

We also indulged in the Pickle Platter which was a highlight!  It featured a range of pickles, of varying heat and vegetables.  I love pickles so this was a real treat to start off with.  Be warned though, the pickled chilies are HOT!  All of this was washed down with my favourite Portland Maine beer, Allagash.

Umami are a Californian based chain and each restaurant has their own special burgers that they create so if you have the chance to visit a few restaurants, you will get different burger combinations.

Definitely on the list of 'must goes' if you are in San Francisco!  I will be visiting again, next time I'm in the area!

Monday, April 16, 2012

For the Love of a Bloody Mary Oyster Shot!

A dozen bloody Mary oyster shooters!!!!
Bloody Mary Oyster Shooters, a dozen.

As you guys will know, I do love a Bloody Mary.  But what you may not know is that I also love a Bloody Mary style oyster!  While we at the beautiful Heritage Belgian Beer Cafe in Sydney, we totally indulged in a dozen Bloody Mary Oyster shooters.  Oh yeah, we were drinking beer with them too!  Crazy!

Oyster shot
Always combine your Bloody Mary Oyster shooter with a good quality beer!

Like a Bloody Mary, the oyster shooter should use good quality fresh ingredients.  It should also be a bit spicy but not to take away from the fresh oyster too.  And yes, it does have vodka in it like any real Bloody Mary too.  We had a chat to our barman and master of the Bloody Mary Oyster shooters to confirm how he had made them and how much vodka was in the mix.  I think that he was pretty surprised at how quickly we had downed them.  What can I say?  They were delicious and totally hit the spot!  Watch this space for my take on this!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sometimes, Only a Beer Will Do...

Getting my German shandy on!
Lowenbrau beer with lemonade.

We were in Sydney this weekend to check out the latest Kaldor Art Project with Thomas Demand.  It was amazing but that's a whole other story!  I'm not sure if it was the warm weather, the feeling that we were on vacation, or the fact that we flew up straight after work but this weekend was definitely the weekend of BEER!

@elgatogrande drinking his giant beer!
Mark enjoying a very large Leffe at the Heritage Beer Cafe.

While waiting for our flight, we enjoyed several beers prior.  I think both Mark and I when we arrived at the airport said at the same time "I really need a drink!"  and quite a few were enjoyed!  We continued with the beer theme in Sydney by visiting Lowenbrau in the Rocks.  Although it is quite touristy, I love the beer hall atmosphere and their selection of beers.  They also do several versions of 'shandies' which are pretty refreshing on a hot day.  I had the traditional German wheat beer with lemonade and Mark tried a dark beer with coca cola.  Surprisingly good!

Lowenbrau also do pretty amazing pretzels if your after a delicious salty treat.

mardi beer
In my happy place, big beer and checking twitter... yes,  multi-tasking!

We continued on the beer tour by visiting the Heritage Belgian Beer Cafe a little bit down the road. The building and decor are absolutely beautiful and it was a great way to spend a lazy afternoon.  They also have some delicious food treats and we will definitely be back to try their famous muscles which we could see people devouring.

Pretzel at Lowenbrau... with a bite out of it!

So after a weekend of beer, I may check out the Good Beer Week which is coming up in Melbourne in May.  There are lots of great activities and programs for you to sample new brews and also learn a little bit more about the craft. And with this continual unseasonable warm weather that Melbourne is having, lets raise a pint to having more beer!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter...

Bacon and egg breakfast tart.

For most of us, Easter is a long weekend.  Lots of relaxing times and catching up with family and friends.  For me its about cooking some delicious treats and staying inside being cozy, watching films and knitting.

Pjs & hand knitted socks: so comfy! I'm in love with a handknitted merino sock!
lounging in my hand knitted socks.

Although Melbourne's weather has been very up and down, I've still gone towards comfort this weekend in my hand knitted socks and tasty simple treats.

My beautiful bunny by artist Matthew Sleeth! I love our studio visits!

So I hope that you have a wonderful Easter and that it is relaxing with loads of tasty treats too!

You may also find this delicious!

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