Roast pork loin with cous cous and prune stuffing

Pork loin

Ohhhh look it’s a cooking post. It’s been a while – because gasp – I’ve barely been cooking anything decent.

In fact, this roast pork is from Christmas lunch. Shameful, I know.

Yes, I don’t know what’s going on either. I’m just being lazy. Fortunately I’ve been stocking the freezer with plenty of prepared meals (shhhh they’re fancy ones, okay) so at least Alastair isn’t going hungry.

Personally I’d be happy with toast every day if I didn’t get nagged to eat proper food. Toast is great. Toast is the best food. Toast & me 5ever.

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Grey Goose: Taste by Appointment at Saint Crispin

Saint Crispin

Disclosure: Alastair and I attended courtesy of Grey Goose and f4 Consulting.

A few weeks ago, Alastair and I found ourselves in Collingwood, climbing possibly the steepest stairs in Melbourne to Saint Crispin’s private dining room.

The way up wasn’t much of a problem, but I did have a slight concern about how we would fare on the way down, considering we were there for Taste By Appointment, an evening created by Grey Goose to explore our personal tastes through a dinner and cocktail crafting class.

(Spoiler: the way down was absolutely fine, because the night was all rather classy and quite educational.)

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NZ: Nelson – Harbour Light Bistro

Restaurant view

Hello! We return to sunny, lovely, Nelson where on one of the evenings Annette and Terry took Alastair and I out to dinner.

This was our view during the night.

Oh Nelson, stop it.

We were at Harbour Lights Bistro, located on the waterfront (as you can probably tell from that photo) and it used to be a dairy (milkbar for the non-kiwis) before being converted into a restaurant. That view is wasted on a dairy, so I dare say it was a good change.

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MFWF: Flavours of Asia at Caulfield Racecourse

Wonderbao

Disclosure: I attended the previous courtesy of Melbourne Racing Club

March is almost upon us – and you know what that means – it’s Melbourne Food and Wine Festival time! It officially kicks off on 27 February, and one of the first events happening is the Flavours of Asia Market Festival at the Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes Day at the Caulfield Racecourse.

On Thursday I attended a preview of the event. On the actual day, vendors will include Hammer & Tong, Hoy Pinoy, Wonderbao, Overdosa, Lankan Tucker, Uncle, Gogi and Eat the Chicken (menu at the bottom of this post) and a few of them were at the preview event to show us a sample of their food.

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Frying Colours

Table

In mid-January my parents came over for a brief visit. Unlike their usual 4-6 week stays, on this occasion it was only for a week. They were meant to have a relative with them, and I was tasked with organising a restaurant for dinner, with the usual ‘just book anything, anything is fine’. At the last minute our relative pulled out of the trip, but mum and dad ended up coming anyway.

I had booked a table at Frying Colours in Kensington Village. When Ma arrived, she asked me where I’d booked, saying suspiciously: “It’s not Chinese, is it?”

“No, it’s Korean.”

“Okay good.” (Yes, my Chinese mother doesn’t like Chinese food, something that she feels the need to remind me, not like I would forget being her daughter and all.) Then this was followed up by: “It’s not Korean bbq, is it? I don’t like bbq.”

Sometimes finding a place to eat out can be very trying!

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Don’t Tell Charles

Don't Tell Charles

I found out about Don’t Tell Charles thanks to a bicycle.

Really, a bicycle.

Normal signage is so pervasive that it’s easy to ignore. But Don’t Tell Charles (DTC) advertised themselves on a bicycle propped on a lamp post – and it totally worked!

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Olive oil poached salmon

Olive oil poached salmon

Disclosure: Sponsored by Olive Oils from Spain.

Guess how many varieties of olives there are in Spain?

50? 100? 200? Keep going.

There are actually more than 260 varieties, and this is only one of the reasons Spain is the WorldLeader in Olive Oil: producing, commercialising, and exporting this wide variety. From all those olives, different Olive Oils can be produced, resulting in a huge range of Olive Oils with different aromas, flavours and uses.

I took the opportunity recently to use Olive Oils from Spain in a dish where a high quality and properly stored Olive Oil is incredibly important as the cooking medium – Olive Oil poached salmon.

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Black Forest Chiffon Cake *

Black Forest Chiffon

Hello!

Look at my pretty cake – isn’t it beautiful?

This was the cake I baked for Christmas lunch: a black forest chiffon cake (black forest in the loosest sense of the word). The cake itself was a chocolate chiffon (but of course), cut into two layers, and then filled with whipped cream and jarred cherries. The outside was coated with more whipped cream.

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Ascot Food Store

Ascot Food Store

In October, Alastair and I will have been living in our place for ten years.

Ten years!

When we first moved in, the cafe scene around this area wasn’t particularly amazing (though to be fair, I can barely remember what I did before Xmas, so maybe it’s just my memory playing tricks on me) however that’s changed in the past few years with some great cafes opening up.

Despite this, we seem to keep going back to the same places rather than seeking out new ones. I do try and push us out of our rut every now and again, and just before Xmas this meant we ended up having breakfast at Ascot Food Store.

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