Birthday French Toast

Avalon Airshow - Connie

March in Melbourne is always a busy month. Lots of festivals and major events seem to be scheduled for March – Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Moomba, the Avalon Airshow, the Greek Antipodes Festival, the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival, and the Grand Prix to mention a few.

We didn’t do most things, but we did go to the Avalon Airshow. What’s that? You didn’t realise I was into planes? You thought it was just about the food?

Avalon Airshow - FA-18 Hornet

Well! The truth is that I’m not really into planes. But those of you who know Alastair personally won’t be surprised to hear that he likes them! We picked the worst day to go to the Airshow. It rained – A LOT – in fact the equivalent amount of rain fell that day as during the first two months of this year. And were we prepared? Hell no! We had one umbrella and one plastic backed picnic blanket between four of us. Fortunately the weather cleared for a couple of hours, so it wasn’t a complete washout. For anyone interested in planes and jets, the rest of the photos can be seen at flickr.

Apart from festivals and events, during March there is also Alastair’s birthday and our wedding anniversary.

Birthday French toast

Both were very quiet events this year. For Alastair’s birthday, we celebrated with Birthday French Toast in the morning. Bro and I bought him a joint present this year – an introductory helicopter training flight – a pretty freaking awesome gift for him, if I may say so myself!

Birthday lasagna Birthday lasagna

That evening, dinner was Birthday Lasagne. It’s a tradition – every year Alastair wants lasagne on his birthday. Since it’s easy to whip up, and only a little time consuming, I’m always happy to oblige.

You’ll notice that there’s no mention of birthday cake. I didn’t get around to it this year! Hell, we’re not that into cake anyway, so I figured the Birthday French Toast, awesome present and Birthday Lasagne was enough. (It was!)

Birthday French toast

Birthday French Toast

1 Birthday
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 pieces of thick white bread (preferably day old)
Unsalted butter for the frying pan
Maple syrup, icing sugar and bacon (optional) to serve

In a shallow dish, mix together the eggs, milk, caster sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract.
Melt a good sized pat of butter over medium-high heat in a frying pan.
Dip a slice of bread into the egg mixture, ensuring that the bread is well soaked through.
When the pan is hot, fry the bread on both sides for a couple of minutes or until crisp and golden.
Repeat the dipping and frying for all slices of bread (don’t forget to melt more butter in the pan and be generous with it! It is a birthday after all).
Dust lightly with icing sugar and serve with maple syrup and bacon.
Have a happy birthday!

Wellington: Goody goody gum drops

Wedding buffet

As mentioned in previous posts, in February we spent a long weekend in Welly as our friends Ben and Lisa officially become Benisa.

Goody goody gum drops

Bro flew over earlier and alerted me via sms of the goody goody gum drops ice block. Squeal!!! Goody goody gum drops is a bubble gum flavoured ice cream with chewy gum drops. You used to only be able to get it as a scoop ice cream in dairies or in tubs at the supermarket, but recently some genius had the idea of covering the ice cream in chocolate and putting it on a stick. Seriously, genius.

Goody goody gum drops

Here I am at the train station with my good goody gum drops ice block. The ice block had a good ratio of gum drops versus ice cream – I had about 8 gum drops in that little block. There was always nothing worse than having a scoop of goody goody gum drops with only a couple of gum drops.

It’s small though and it started melting very quickly. I wish I had bought another one. Someone should start importing these into Australia – I would so be there.

Green Tea and Turkish Delight

Green tea and Turkish Delight

Today is my last day of sick leave. It’s back to work and the daily grind tomorrow! My mouth has healed quite well, and I’m pretty much eating normal food again – although I probably should have stuck to soft food for longer. I just couldn’t bear it any longer!

Since it’s my last day lazing about at home, rather than drink my tea out of a mug like I normally do, I decided to use a nice teapot and cup and saucer. I bought them second-hand for peanuts, and I think they’re gorgeous!

Green tea and Turkish Delight

Later, I’ll probably eat a piece or two of Turkish Delight that I purchased yesterday from the South Melbourne Market. It’s nice Turkish Delight, soft and jelly-like, with just a hint of rose. I tried making Turkish Delight once, and it was a hideous, hideous disaster. Lesson learned – not everything is better home made!

Green tea and Turkish Delight

Now, despite the climbing temperature, I’m off to bake a banana cake. The amount of bananas in my freezer is starting to push out all other foods and I need to do something with them!

Cafe Plum 6 (closed) & Penguins!

King Penguins

Last weekend the Boys and I went to see the Penguins! at the Melbourne Aquarium. We got up early and had brunch in the city before heading there.

Brunch was extremely forgettable, so I think I’ll tell you about a couple of past visits to our favourite cafe instead!

A wee while ago, Bro and I had a Saturday brunch with the other KKC members, while Alastair spent the day working.

Cafe Plum

Bro and I both had something that was on the specials board – baked eggs with pepperonata, feta and tomato sauce served with grilled pide ($15.50). It was great! The yolks were still gooey, perfect for dipping the pide in, and the pepperonata was sweetish and slightly tangy.

Cafe Plum

On a different occasion, we went back to Plum for brunch on my birthday. The Boys both had a special – Grecian omelette with roasted tomato, feta and sourdough toast ($14.50). Franco drizzled some chilli oil on top – yummo!

Cafe Plum

The French toast with bacon and maple syrup was amazing, as per usual. It was such a nice way to start my birthday.

King Penguins

Back to the penguins at the Melbourne Aquarium. The Melbourne Aquarium recently completed renovations and opened the Antarctica exhibit, showcasing Gentoo and King Penguins. The ones in my photos are the larger King penguins.

King Penguins

The new penguin enclosure is great. The best part was the wall where you could see the penguins in the water – they swam and darted around, showing off their agility and gracefulness. Penguins are cool!

Read about previous visits to Cafe Plum here.

Cafe Plum
193 Flemington Rd, North Melbourne 3051
Ph: (03) 9329 8867

2008 Orphan’s Xmas with the KKC

KKC Orphan's Xmas

This year, we had our usual Orphan’s Xmas with the Kiwi Kensington Crew – me and the Boys, plus Dany, Scott, Ben, Lisa and honorary member Nate.

Previous years have taught us we never have an appetite for a full meal, so everyone bought a selection of nibbles. As you’ll see, there was a fair amount of food, but considering the small amount of leftovers, we catered rather well.

KKC Orphan's Xmas KKC Orphan's Xmas
KKC Orphan's Xmas KKC Orphan's Xmas

There were ribs, smoked salmon on toasts, devils on horseback (prunes wrapped in bacon) and ham.

KKC Orphan's Xmas KKC Orphan's Xmas
KKC Orphan's Xmas KKC Orphan's Xmas

There were also chicken wings, chicken nuggets, cheese, olives, peperonata, roasted cherry tomatoes, marinated mushrooms, and leek and sundried tomato empanadas. PLUS, there were spicy koftas, a couple of dips, sweet & salty nuts, candied pecans and more cheese (most of which hasn’t been opened and will probably be eaten on NYE!).

KKC Orphan's Xmas KKC Orphan's Xmas
KKC Orphan's Xmas KKC Orphan's Xmas

Moving on to the sweet stuff – gingerbread cookies, cherry tarts, almond crescents, chocolate dipped strawberries, plus fruit (cherries, grapes) and pavlova (not pictured).

KKC Orphan's Xmas

After a couple of rounds of eating, there was “cricket” in the park.

KKC Orphan's Xmas

As well as some board games – Operation and Cranium.

KKC Orphan's Xmas

The mess we created on the floor was VERY impressive. This wasn’t even half of it.

KKC Orphan's Xmas

Hopefully everyone else had a great Xmas too! Recipes for some of our Xmas food to come.

Messy corn, neat corn

Merry Xmas! I hope everyone had a good one. We had our traditional Orphan’s Xmas with the Kiwi Kensington Crew (KKC). There was food and booze aplenty.

At Xmas I was admonished by Dany for not posting the following photo of corn cobs taken at my Birthday BBQ. Since the internet is poorer without it, I’ve finally taken the time to put it up.

See Exhibit A: on the left is corn eaten by a normal person (Alastair) and on the right is corn eaten by Dany.

Messy corn, neat corn
Exhibit A: Messy corn, neat corn

Freaky Amazing, right? It takes talent and dedication to be so neat.

Food round up: Mostly Hobart

It’s time for another round up of food I’ve eaten – mostly from my trip to Hobart with Mum and Dad.

Mures, Upper Deck
Victoria Dock,
Hobart, Tasmania
Phone: (03) 6231 1999

Hobart food

Our first night in Hobart, we wandered around acquainting ourselves with the city. For dinner, we walked down to the waterfront and decided to eat at a seafood restaurant.

I had blue eye fillets, marinated in soy, honey, garlic, and ginger, char grilled and served with stir fried vegetables and potatoes ($31.50). It was okay – not great, not bad.

Hobart food Hobart food

Dad had fish and chips ($29.50), and choose to have his fish grilled. It was served with chips and salad. Mum had the baked blue eye served on borlotti beans, roast zucchini, eggplant and capscium with sweet corn puree and pappa di pomadoro sauce ($33.50).

Mako Seafood
Constitution Dock
Hobart, Tasmania

Hobart food

My Dad seemed to be obsessed with fish so the following night we had fish and chips. We went down to the waterfront again, and ate at Mako Seafood, which is actually a floating two level pontoon. Along with the fried stuff, you can also purchase fresh fish.

I had a mini fish basket – for $8.50 I got a piece of fish, which was trevalla, a prawn, scallop, calamari and small chips.

Hobart food

Mum and Dad shared a fish feast – fish, 2 prawns, 2 calamari, scallop, chips and salad.

Say Cheese
7 Salamanca Square
Hobart, Tasmania
Phone: (03) 6224 2888

Hobart food

On Saturday, after visiting the Salamanca Markets, we stopped for lunch at Say Cheese. I felt like eating bits and pieces, so I ordered an antipasto platter ($23). It was massive! The plate was loaded with cheese, smoked turkey kransky, button mushrooms, smoked octopus, eggplant, peppers, olives, sundried tomatoes, and dolmades.

Hobart food

I also received a large bread roll and crackers. It could’ve easily fed two people. Look how many crackers there were!

Hobart food Hobart food

Fortunately, Mum and Dad had smaller meals so they were able to help me out with mine! Mum had a smoked chicken salad and Dad had a smoked salmon salad.

New Sydney Hotel
87 Bathurst Street
Hobart, Tasmania

Hobart food

Nearing the end of our trip, we had dinner at a random pub. I had a MASSIVE peppered steak pot pie ($20). This thing was seriously gigantic, and it was all big chunks of meat. It was also quite salty, and I only managed half because I got rather tired of eating nothing but meat chunks. The chips were good though.

Hobart food Hobart food Hobart food

Mum had a small seafood and tomato pasta with rocket ($13) while Dad had fish AGAIN. He had the fish of the day ($28). Mum also ordered us a caesar salad ($10) to share – and thank goodness she did! I was grateful for the lettuce to break up the tedium of my pot pie.

Raupo Riverside Café
2 Symons St,
Blenheim, New Zealand
Phone: +64 3 577 8822


In November, Alastair and I also made a quick trip to Blenheim. Last time we were there, we had breakfast at Raupo. On this trip, we found ourselves at a loose end and went to Raupo again for cake and coffee. We had a chocolate torte with white chocolate mousse and raspberries ($7.50). It was a sponge like cake, so wasn’t too heavy, and it was yuuuuuuuum.


We returned again for breakfast on our last day. I wasn’t feeling particularly hungry (I’m not sure what was wrong with me – it’s very unusual!) and just had a couple of mini croissants with butter and jam (normal toast wasn’t on the menu).


Alastair had pancakes with fresh fruit and yoghurt.

That’s it for this edition! I have been a tad slack with posting recently, but I have a couple of half written posts that I will try and finish this weekend.

Melbourne Cup

How we spent Melbourne Cup day yesterday… with beer, bubbles, and sunshine. Thanks to the always lovely Dany for the food and company.

Melbourne Cup BBQ

Melbourne Cup BBQ

Dips, cheese, and mystery meat! (Kabana).

Melbourne Cup BBQ

Four different kinds of meat! (Not pictured are ribs and chicken wings. They’re not pictured because focussing becomes very difficult when I’ve had a drink.)

Melbourne Cup BBQ

Melbourne Cup BBQ

Melbourne Cup BBQ

Nom nom nom.

Melbourne Cup BBQ

Meringue, ice cream and strawberries.

Melbourne Cup BBQ

If one’s in the sun, one must have sunscreen. But… ummm… toddler milk??

Pics from Hobart

Mum and dad went home yesterday morning. We have been exceptionally spoilt during their stay with us so yes, I was sad to see them go, although it was for purely selfish reasons! I’ve had to start doing housework again. Sigh.

Before they left, I considered confiscating their passports, but I’m pretty sure that’s frowned upon in this country.

Still, even though they’re no longer here, we’re still reaping the benefits of their stay. The past couple of nights, dinner has been left overs that they made. Additionally, my freezers are full to bursting with food – containers of dumplings, meat, and more left overs. I will start cooking and baking again soon, but for now I’ll leave you with some of my favourite photos from Hobart.

Kelly steps

Mum about to walk up Kelly’s Steps. These steps were built in 1839 by the adventurer James Kelly to connect Salamanca Place with Battery Point.


Taken in the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. The gardens were lovely. I took A LOT of flower photos.

On the edge

Like this one.

Take off!

We went on an “eco adventure cruise” around Tasman Island. (Yeah, I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean either.) I snapped this Australian gannet taking off after we got too close and disturbed it.

Port Arthur

This is at the Port Arthur Historical site. Port Arthur was established as a convict settlement and soon became Australia’s largest, in operation from 1833 until 1877.

This little piggy went to…

Salamanca Markets

I got back today from a long weekend in Hobart with my parents. The previous weekend Alastair and I spent an unplanned long weekend in Blenheim, NZ.

It’s nice to go away, but it’s also nice to be home. I cooked tonight! There were vegetables! Weeee!

I can’t say that any amazing food has been eaten while away, but perhaps I’ll make you scroll through my photos of Port Arthur, Salamanca Markets and flowers from the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. Sure, it’s not food related, but what kind of food blogger would I be if I wasn’t self indulgent?