Sunday, 23 June 2013

Weekend snaps

Hi everyone,

Hope you've had a slightly more interesting weekend than I have! Now that the exam madness is over (for me, at least), I've had so much more time to sit around and do.... well, nothing. Which isn't necessarily a good thing, because there is always something new that could be learnt, especially in year 12!

This week, I haven't been out to eat so unfortunately, there won't be a review in this post. I did plan to visit E for Ethel, a cute little cafe on Melbourne Street which I've heard a lot about, but my plans fell through so I guess I'll just have to wait for another opportunity to come up for me to pay them a visit.

Rather than not putting up a post this weekend, I thought I'd leave you a few snaps of what I got up to this weekend :)

On Friday night, mum and I went out and bought a stand mixer. I think I'm now pretty well equipped for my quest to perfect macarons!

Also, on Friday night, I prepared roast pork for dinner on Saturday night. When I saw Maggie Beer make her Berkshire pork loin on Masterchef, I knew I had to give it a go! I just followed all the instructions for the roast pork here. On Saturday night, I also prepared some roast veggies before throwing it all in the oven. Give the pork a go if you're interested - it's so worth it.

On Sunday, mum, my sister and I visited Burnside for a very brief shopping trip! My sister and I were excited to see what Zara had in stock for this season and to be honest, it was a bit a disappointing. Nonetheless, we were still able to walk away with some goodies.

 The sight of this tree just makes me sad...

 A stop at Cibo for some Gelati :)
Fruits of the Forest and Mint

 The stores I ended up purchasing from

 Dymocks was having a 3 for 2 sale, so my sister and I got a little excited and walked away with 6 Classics! My inner physics geek is VERY keen to start on The Fabric of the Cosmos. 

If you follow fashion blogs like I do, then you would no doubt recognise this. 
Ah, the famous Zara skort. This was also available in yellow, blue and white (which had unfortunately sold out) but I went with black as it would definitely be the most versatile. Bit too chilly in Adelaide to wear this out right now, though! I think I might have them tailor made in a few other colours for spring. 

I didn't exactly buy this today but I thought I'd show it anyway. I call it my 'grab and go' wallet. It's slightly larger than my iPhone and fits all my essentials: ID, cash, coins and phone. Perfect for quick trips which don't require an entire bag. I picked it up from Collette for only $12.95. It is surprisingly good quality for something so inexpensive, and I like how it's nude and gold because it matches everything!

So, that's about it for my weekend. I'm going out for dinner to celebrate my godfather's birthday next weekend so hopefully I'll be able to do a proper review! Anyway, time to get stuck into my new books :)

Enjoy your week, everyone.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Baked Zucchini Boats

Hi everyone!

Cooking is a hobby which I love and often use to relax and de-stress. I made dinner on the weekend between my exams and decided to make one of my favourite dishes - baked zucchini boats! 
This dish was inspired by something I had a few months ago (posted about here). It's very quick and simple, requiring minimal preparation and would be something great to whip up on a week day or night. 

Oven baked zucchini boats from Zootz 

I improvised this recipe the first time I tried making it and have been adding bits and pieces in along the way as I attempt to make it better! I didn't use kidney beans or as much cheese as the folks at Zootz did. 

Serves 7-8 extra hungry people or 10 people with small appetites :P


10 zucchinis
1 jar of tomato based pasta sauce (I used Leggo's Napoletana)
100g roasted whole red peppers
(I used these)
100g sundried tomatoes
500 beef mince (For a vegetarian option, feel free to substitute with red kidney beans or a variety of vegetables)
2 tsp chopped garlic
150g grated cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

2. Place a large pot of 2-3L of water to boil.

3. Clean and remove the tops of your zucchinis.

4. Keeping your zucchinis whole, place them into the pot of boiling water and cook for approximately 10-15 minutes. Make sure they're not too soft!

5. Meanwhile, slice up your sundried tomatoes and red peppers. Reserve any oil from your sundried tomatoes to use later for extra flavour.

6. Remove the zucchinis from the pot after 10-15 minutes and drain them. Allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting them in half and scooping out the flesh. Line them up in an oven dish.

7. Time to get started on the filling! Add your reserved oil and a little olive oil if necessary into a deep pan on medium to high heat. Add and sautee your garlic. 

8. After the garlic is lightly golden, add in your beef mince and cook for 5-7 minutes.

9.  Once it reaches this stage (above), add the sundried tomatoes and red peppers, and cook for about a minute for all the flavours to infuse. Then, add the tomato sauce and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until the mixture is hot. Season with salt and pepper according to taste and remove from the heat.

10. Divide and spoon the mixture into the prepared zucchini boats and top with some grated cheese.

11.  Place them in the oven until the cheese has melted and has turned golden.

And voila! Serve with sauteed veggies or a light pasta.

Enjoy! :)


Sunday, 16 June 2013

Red Door Bakery

Hi everyone,

Hope you all had a lovely weekend and to all high school/uni students who have upcoming exams, I hope you're all studying extra hard, but don't forget to take some time off to relax and do something fun to reward yourselves!

On Saturday afternoon, mum and I were doing some shopping and on our way home, I suggested we stop by the Red Door Bakery because I'd heard so much about it and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. It was such a gorgeous, sunny afternoon and we were very tempted to have coffee there, but we decided we'd rather bring a whole bunch of goodies home for the rest of the family to try as well.

This is the first place I've visited which actually does suspended coffees. I think it's a lovely idea :) Read more here if you're not familiar with this.

See the empty tray covered in sugary-syrupy-goodness in the top left hand corner? 
That would be because mum and I bought the last few crème brûlée tarts!

Crème brûlée $4.50 each

I've heard so much about these and was super excited to try them! I didn't even edit the pictures of the tarts. They really do look that amazing! 

It was DELICIOUS! The custard is so creamy and there was the perfect amount of vanilla in it. The pastry was just a little bit flakey yet still soft and tasted so good with the custard. Not the entire top was crunchy, but the bits that were tasted fantastic. I definitely recommend this - seriously, go check it out asap!

Pork and Sage $5

This is something else I've heard people rave about so of course I had to pick one up! 

It was SO delicious. The pastry is incredibly tasty - so buttery and flakey! Personally, the filling didn't stand out as much to me as the pastry but it was still delicious. This was my siblings' favourite thing that we brought back. My brother didn't even want to let my sister try some! 
I honestly don't think I'll be able to eat another standard sausage roll again...

Moroccan Eggplant and Lamb $5

I have been loving lamb lately so this caught my attention. 

I loved the flavour of the filling and how you can actually see what the ingredients are. This goes for both rolls - I really liked how you can actually see what you're eating. I really couldn't pick a favourite between the two! Both are worth trying, in my opinion. 

Olive and Rosemary Stick $3.50

Mum picked this one out because she's a fan of olive bread. I didn't love this as much as I thought I would (I'm a HUGE fan of olives!) - the dough was a bit tough for my liking and the olives were so salty. We saved some for dinner and stuck it in the oven, and I think that improved it a little. 

I think this is definitely a place worth visiting. The staff are so friendly and the food is fantastic! I think next time I visit, I will definitely have a coffee as well and dine there, just to get the full experience. I never realised how lovely Queen and Elizabeth Streets actually are - there are so many cute little cafes and boutiques! Can't wait for the next time I visit! And another bonus, it's less than 5 minutes away from my house.
Overall, 9/10.


Red Door Bakery on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Random tidbits from early 2013

Hey everyone,

As you may or may not have noticed, I haven't been posting very much recently. This is because I've been busy studying for my mid year exams which began today! I don't have any exams tomorrow so I'm dedicating some time tonight to my blog. I haven't been out to eat lately because all I want to do is study, so I thought I'd share with you photos I've snapped of my meals while out and about during the first 3-4 months of this year along with very brief reviews.
Enjoy! And I'll try to get a proper post up in about a week.

 Clockwise from top left:
Arizona Green Tea
Dips Platter $15.90
Gnocchi Pollo Pesto $18.90
Insalata Di Agnello $18.90

This was a meal shared between 3 people while on a Sunday afternoon shopping trip during the first term school holidays. The pita bread is definitely one of the best I have EVER tasted! Lightly salted, toasted until piping hot while still crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside - a perfect accompaniment to the delicious dips. My favourite was the olive tapenade. 
The gnocchi was a bit of a let down after the entrée. I found it very 'boring' and very ordinary.
The lamb salad was the dish of the day! The lamb was cooked to perfection and the candy balsamic dressing was oh so good. I absolutely loved the feta - it wasn't too crumbly or salty. I ordered this again to have all to myself in April and it was just as good. Definitely recommend it!

Piatto Ristorante Cafe on Urbanspoon

Iced tea, Tasting platter for 2

This was my first time trying Devour and I was very impressed! I happened to be in Prospect for a Street Fair in March, I think, saw Devour just opening up for the night and quickly dragged my sister and her friend in with me. No matter how much I wrack my brains, I can't seem to remember the flavour of the ice tea. It might have been something along the lines of rose and lychee? 
By memory though, the tasting platter consisted of a white chocolate macaron (blue), black sesame macarons, peanut butter panacotta,  and deep fried donuts with vanilla ice-cream. I enjoyed all elements except the white chocolate macaron - it tasted like nothing. The deep friend donuts were delicious though I could only manage one. The peanut butter panacotta was deliciously rich and I liked the contrast between it and the crunchy salty and sweet crumbs of something which I just can't remember. The black sesame macarons were also delicious! I haven't been back since, so I think another visit is on the agenda.

Devour Dessert Bar on Urbanspoon

This was an evening in January when 2 of my friends and I had a quick Korean dinner together after a UMAT course we did. So I can't remember the exact names of these dishes. I know that the dish in the first photo consisted of pork and vegetables tossed in a spicy sauce. It was tasty but I don't think we'll be ordering again any time soon. The second dish was very well received by us! It consisted of battered and fried chicken pieces atop a bed of salad veggies, drizzled in a tangy lemon sauce. The chicken was crunchy and tasted so good with the lemon sauce. This has been probably our 4th or 5th time dining here at Koba, though probably not our favourite. I really don't know about the authenticity of these dishes - we usually have barbecued meats. I'd probably recommend this mainly for the barbecue option. Remember to order the garlic pork belly if you visit!

KOBA Korean BBQ Restaurant on Urbanspoon

 Latté and salted caramel macaron

Ordered this while resting my feet after running a few errands in town and waiting for my sister to finish up.

From La Petit Macaron on the first floor in the David Jones building.

 Green Tea Matcha Latté

A huge group of us, both guys and girls, visited the Aviary on the evening of the 15th of February after our school formal at 11:30pm. I ordered this to start me off. I wanted something warm to drink because it was quite a cool evening for mid February. It was really powdery. I liked the flavour, just not the texture.

 Lychee Pearl
Lychee ice cream encased in a pink guava granita on a bed of of lychee jelly and vanilla and raspberry swirl custard

This was the special for February, I'm pretty sure, but I found that it's on the regular menu now. I loved the presentation of this as it reminded me of the Peter Gilmore's "Snow Egg". This was my first time at the Aviary and I'd set my expectations pretty high because I've heard so many great things about it. I really liked the idea of this dessert but it really let me down. The lychee ice cream didn't have a distinct lychee flavour, though I did like the pink guava granita surrounding it. But even the flavour of that was too subtle. The lychee jelly had the most strange texture and I really didn't like it so I didn't even bother finishing it. The custard was a bit disastrous - it was far too runny for a custard and just created a bit of a mess at the bottom of the glass. 

 Macarons which I took home and had the day after. I think the flavours were:
Cookies and Cream
Salted Caramel
and I can't remember the final one!

They were delicious and the texture was just right. I'd recommend the macarons here, for sure!

The Aviary Dessert Kitchen on Urbanspoon

From the Sneaky Pickle food truck at Fork on the Road in March.
Left: Tasting platter of fried pickles, pulled pork and coleslaw bun, and pastrami sandwich.
Right: Chilli cheese fries

I don't like pickles on their own or in burgers (pickles in Maccas' cheesburgers as a kid = nightmare!), but battered and dipped in that mayo is a whole other story. They were so delicious! Definitely give them a go if you ever encounter this truck. The pulled pork was very tender and tasty. I'm not a fan of coleslaw though, and there was HEAPSS of it! The pastrami sandwich was also quite tasty - I didn't love it though. The chilli cheese fries were so finger-licking good! I wish it was a bit more chilli, but I still liked it as it is. I believe this is only on the menu at special events, so dig in if you're given the opportunity!

Sneaky Pickle Roaming Food Truck on Urbanspoon

Fresh lemon callebaut mousse, light vanilla sponge, with raspberry centre and finished with white chocolate glaze

 Coffee & Bailey's
White chocolate mousse, fresh ground coffee mousse, sponge finger biscuits soaked with baileys and dark chocolate sponge.

One word for both cakes: HEAVENLY.

My family is obsessed with this place and we absolutely adore their cakes. They're consistently delicious and I can back that up - we've been customers for over 2 years now. I promise you, you won't be disappointed - definitely go and give them a go! Just steer clear of the macarons.... trust me.

Muratti Cakes on Urbanspoon

And finally, some red velvet cupcakes which I baked and decorated for my sister's sweet 16th. I think I did a pretty good job :P

Hope you enjoyed the picture spam!
Much love,