Thanks to Be @ Home for featuring me in one of their Best of the Web posts!

As mentioned in a couple of previous posts, I was on a boat! Bro and I spent 10 nights on a cruise to New Caledonia with mum and dad – ooh first family holiday in… 10? 15 years? (Yes, Alastair stayed home – wah wah wah.) It was a very relaxing holiday, and it was also dad’s birthday while we were on board. Good times! Here’re some photos…

Cupcake Central

Disclosure: I attended the cupcake masterclass and received cupcakes courtesy of Cupcake Central.

I love the story behind how Cupcake Central came to be. Owner Sheryl Thai was made redundant from her job a couple of years ago and that potentially negative experience kick started her dream of owning a cupcake bakery. Fast forward a couple of years, hundreds of kilos of butter, flour and sugar, a mountain of hard work and dedication, and Sheryl and her boyfriend Tin have recently opened their second cupcake bakery in Melbourne Central (the first is on Glenferrie Road in Hawthorn).


Simon’s Peiking Duck

The Melbourne King of Peking duck, Simon Lay, is well known for his ducky antics. He used to be at Old Kingdom, which I never got around to visiting, and late last year he opened up his own restaurant in Box Hill South – Simon’s Peiking Duck Restaurant (extra i on purpose).

Duck isn’t a favourite meat of mine – in fact, I don’t really like it all that much. Peking duck is a different story though, Peking duck I love. But it has to be done right – the pieces should be mostly crispy skin with only a minimal amount of meat.

Station Hotel 2

PS: Today is my 4th blog birthday!!!1!!1 (Inappropriate use of exclamation marks justified in this situation.) Unlike last year I don’t have cake or candles, but happy blog birthday to me anyway! 😀

The day after our excessive cider consumption at Campari House, Bro, Maria and I wisely booked a day off. We took the opportunity of a free day off work (wheee!) and met for lunch at Station Hotel since we enjoyed our previous visit so much.

Warm apple cake with brandy butterscotch sauce

Cookbook Challenge 2011: Fortnight 13, Dessert
Recipe: Warm apple cake with brandy butterscotch sauce
Cookbook: AWW Bake

How on earth did it become August already? June and July passed by in a blur, and I didn’t spend much (any) time cooking or baking anything blog worthy. Unfortunately, August will be the same – my parents are visiting for a month, and next week we’re ON A BOAT (minus the excessive swearing and auto-tune…).

It’s not good for the blog, but it’s good for me. Because we all know what happens when my mum and dad visit – I get a holiday due to them taking over all the housework and kitchen duties. 😀 And mum really does take over the kitchen – we picked them up on Sunday, and within three hours of them being in the country, she had already planned dinner for the coming three nights.

It’s not all roses though, before their arrival I kill myself cleaning – always a fun way to spend a Saturday! The boys and I scrubbed the house from top to bottom – even fitting in a trip to the tip – but it took me the whole day, to the point where I was still wiping down all the kitchen cupboards at 10pm at night…