Chocolate surprise cupcakes for RSPCA Cupcake Day

Catcake

So if you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I like animals.

I like dogs, I like goats, I like alpacas, I like capybaras, I like elephants – I LIKE THEM ALL.

And cats too of course, because: cats.

Catspam snuggles

I mean, look at these dumbies of mine. How can I not love them?

So when RSPCA asked if I wanted to become an online ambassador for their upcoming cupcake day, my answer was yes! Who can resist animals, cupcakes and good causes?

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Black sesame chiffon cake

Black sesame chiffon

Hello, the chiffons are back! Did you miss them? (Y/Y.)

Well, I did even if no one else did. :)

After quite a long break, I got back into chiffons with a black sesame version.

Black sesame seeds are the unhulled seeds of the more common white sesame seeds, and are more fragrant and flavoursome. They’re mostly used in East Asian cuisine eg sweet black sesame soup, which is one of my favourite things.

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St Kilda Dispensary

St Kilda Dispensary

St Kilda Dispensary is a sweet cafe on Brighton Road – near the corner of St Kilda Road and Carlisle Street. The name is a reference to the original usage of the building, which was – surprise surprise – a dispensary. The cafe runs over two rooms, and while small it’s really cute inside, with a colour scheme of white and green, and decorated with lots of vintage pharmaceutical and medical items.

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Visit Wangaratta Part 1

Horse

Disclosure: Our visit was courtesy of the Rural City of Wangaratta.

Top reasons to visit Wangaratta:

It’s far enough from Melbourne to feel that you’re actually going somewhere and actually getting away from the city, but not so far you can’t visit in a weekend.
It’s located in North East Victoria, which is a gorgeous part of the state – think alpine valleys, mountains, rivers, wineries and gourmet food producers.
But the best reason – you can tell everyone you’re going to the Wang.

In May, I visited Wangaratta as part of a bloggers’ trip with DD, Taz, Shellie and Veda. Very early one Saturday morning we piled into two cars and left Melbourne for the three hour trip north.

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Ike’s Rack Shack

Hot sauce

Grab your bib friends, tonight’s post is all about ribs.

(Not whoop ass, like the photo might suggest.)

Ike’s Rack Shack is located in the back room of The Beaufort in Carlton and to really emphasise that shack theme, the floor is astro turf, there’s wooden picnic tables, and corrugated iron on the ceiling.

And racks? The menu focus is ribs – racks of ribs.

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Yoghurt Pannacotta Tart

Yoghurt pannacotta tart

Mama H went home this weekend. ;A;

For those not in the know, Mama H had been staying with me for the past two months, which resulted in TWO WHOLE MONTHS of me being thoroughly spoiled. Now that she’s finally gone home, I’m not quite sure I remember how to look after myself.

Needless to say, there was little (zero) cooking from me when Mama was here. Is making dessert considered cooking?

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The Westin: An Eclair Affair

Eclairs

Disclosure: I attended courtesy of The Westin & Q Strategies.

I have been to rather a lot of afternoon teas in the past couple of years, so it’s always nice when I go to one that’s a little bit different.

The Westin is serving An Eclair Affair in the Lobby Lounge every afternoon until 30 June – and the point of difference? Instead of the usual little cakes and sandwiches, the afternoon tea comes with savoury and sweet eclairs. There are still scones (it wouldn’t be afternoon tea without them, right?) with accompanying jam and cream, but the stars on the stand are the eclairs.

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Workshop Brothers

Latte

Here is something you must know if you’re doing an op shop crawl: proper sustenance before you begin is very important.

Because if you do a trip that spans five hours and 15+ shops, you need to make sure your energy levels are up and your treasure spotting senses are on top form.

The last time I did an op show crawl with my opping crew (DD, Shellie and Taz – PS my friends we are overdue for one!), we gathered for breakfast at Workshop Brothers, on DD’s suggestion.

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Harris Coffee

Harris Coffee

Brought to you by Nuffnang and Harris Coffee.

Confession time. Who can’t function without a cup of coffee in the morning?

If I did a poll of people I know, I’m sure the majority would have their hands up. And mine would be high in the air because there’s not much about coffee that I don’t love: the aroma, the flavour, and even just the ritual of it. Coffee is so popular that it’s the second most traded product in the world (behind oil) which is pretty astounding.

In Australia, more people are focussing on having good quality coffee at home. Almost 40% of people in Australia own a device to make coffee at home, whether it’s something simple like a plunger through to a high end espresso machine (source: Roy Morgan).

My home coffee maker of choice is the Aeropress, so I’m always on the hunt for good coffee beans. Price wise it makes more sense to make your own coffee, with a cup costing a fraction of a cafe coffee, but what I like the most is that I can buy beans and make a brew that suits my personal taste.

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