Monday, December 24, 2012

Real Food

Hello :) I had a nice morning on this Christmas Eve. I went to this lovely pop up shop in Darlinghurst which...

What a great idea! I stocked up on some organic spelt pasta flour as I bought myself a pasta machine earlier in the year but am yet to use it. Now there's no excuses!

I also bought some honey soaked chai, which sounded amazing & can't wait to have a big pot of chai tomorrow :)

Extra virgin olive from The Little General & Adrian in the background.

I loved the concept of the shop, showcasing quality hand-made products from so many local businesses. There was a fabulous selection of products also including chutneys, jams, rose petal jelly, shortbread, toasted muesli etc! Although today was the final day of trading, you can follow them on facebook

And afterwards we had morning tea at a cafe in Surry Hills called kawa. I had this refreshing mint tea, with green tea & brown sugar in there as well. 

How will you be celebrating Christmas tomorrow? 

Hannah x

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Camping at Bundeena

Hello :) At the beginning of the week I went away camping at Bundeena; a short ferry ride from Cronulla. Myself and 3 good friends spent our days swimming at the beach, reading in the shade, grilling lots of veges on the BBQ, going for walks around the National park & making travel plans for the year ahead. The weather was perfect & it was a great time to go being just before the busyness of school holidays. We had the most peaceful, relaxing and rejuvenating break. Lots of photos were taken, and here's the highlights!

Our tent! 

Having fun assembling the tent!

One friend brought some henna... such a cool idea!

We used the BBQ facilities a lot & here's our first dinner consisting of red onion, eggplant, zucchini and vegetarian sausages. How amazing is the round zucchini in the corner! We stumbled across them at the markets, where we stocked up on supplies the day before.

Sharing our table with a cockatoo. 

On the second day we went & had coffee at a local cafe, which turned into lunch. Here's my omelette, complete with creamy feta and delicious toasted bread. Such a luxury while camping!

We made travel friend Renee and I hope to go to Europe for a month in July :)

Check out these weird little bugs near our tent...hmmm!

Scones, fruit & a little milk for brekky.

Birdseye view of dinner. Grilled veges, toasted bread, chickpea/cucumber/four bean salad, tuna, wine, ginger beer...yummmm!

A little cottage by the sea. They're living the dream!

We relaxed at a small secluded beach just around the corner from the main beach at Bundeena. It was the perfect weather for a swim...

Friends :)

I really enjoyed my quick camping's such an inexpensive & relaxing way to spend a few days.

Do you like to go camping?

Also, have a great Christmas everyone! 

Hannah x

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Favourite Teas

Hello :) Tea is always part of my day. I'll usually drink a cup in the morning, make a pot for a few cups in the afternoon, and another in the evening. Something I love about selling tea at the markets, is I'm not only selling a fabulous product; but it's the ritual as well. I find when I'm busy or stressed, I'll just go to the kitchen and take a few minutes to pick a blend, pop on the kettle, brew, wait and sip.

Some of my favourite teas at the moment include...

Melbourne Breakfast. This one is a robust black tea with a comforting hint of vanilla. Even though I don't drink too much black tea, a cup of this in the morning is nice, and the vanilla touch isn't too sweet, so it's easy to drink.

Iron Buddha Oolong. I'm new to oolong and bought a small amount a few days ago. Oolong, a semi-fermented black tea is in between a black and green tea. I've really been enjoying its subtle earthiness in the evening...

Bo He (field mint). This medicine-grade mint tea is the best I've tried. It has such a bold flavour, and is definitely refreshing and cooling, meaning it's great in summer. Sometimes I make this as an iced tea, and it's delicious, especially with a few sliced strawberries!

I've in fact just come back from the markets, selling the Little China Tea tea range as I usually do. It was a super windy day, so I'm glad to be home, curled up in bed with a big mug of oolong. At the markets I wore these teabags earrings (yep, they're real teabags!), which seemed appropriate for my stall, and they were quite a hit! So fun!

What teas have you been sipping on lately?

Hannah x

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Cauliflower Couscous

Hello :) How has your week been so far? I had a most lovely day swimming at the beach, stopping by Bourke Street bakery for some carrot cake and coffee, and planning a few holidays for the summer. Life is pretty great at the moment! I'm definitely enjoying my break and have a nice balance between work and play.

The meals I've been making lately have been simple as usual, and have made this light cauliflower cous cous a few times in the past few weeks. It's adapted from a yummy cauliflower pesto in the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, a definite favourite already. I have made it as a pesto (basically the same recipe) to have with pasta, but I prefer it as more of a couscous, eaten by itself or as a side.

Recipe: Cauliflower Couscous (adapted from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook)
1-2 small cauliflower heads, trimmed of leaves, cored, and cut into large chunks
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup pine nuts or almonds, toasted and cooled
1/2 cup or so of parmesan cheese
1/3 cup pepitas
Few tablespoons of sun-dried tomatoes, drained if in oil and chopped
1 tablespoon drained capers
Half a bunch of fresh parsley
Generous drizzle of olive oil

1. Pulse half the cauliflower in a food processor until it looks like mixed sizes of couscous. Transfer the cauliflower to a large bowl, and repeat with the second batch, adding it to the same bowl when you are finished.
2. Pulse the garlic, almonds, cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, capers and parsley in the food processor until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs. Transfer to the bowl with cauliflower, add the olive oil, pepitas, a few pinches of salt, and stir until combined.
3. Enjoy on it's own, or you may like it as a pesto or as a salad with lots of green veges. Yummo!

This dish is such a winner! It's light, full of fresh flavours, and best of all... you hardly notice you're eating raw cauliflower. I suggest you make a big batch on a Sunday, for easy lunches during the week.

Enjoy your week! See you soon...

Hannah x

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Buttered Popcorn Cookies

Hello :) I'm back! I have finished exams! And have a recipe to share! From my new cookbook! Can you tell I'm very excited? The cookbook I am talking about is the fancy new Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. I bought it online straightaway as an after exam reward, knowing I'd be making many of her recipes over my (3 month!) break. Yes, I'm on holidays until the end of February. It's a bit ridiculous.

So the first recipe I made was Buttered Popcorn Cookies, the perfect way to celebrate the end of exams with friends...

Recipe: Buttered Popcorn Cookies (adapted from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook)
2 tablespoons (30mL) grapeseed oil
1/4 cup (45grams) popcorn kernals
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 cup (115grams) butter, softened
1/2 cup (95grams) packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup (65grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups (115grams) white spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1. Make popcorn. Pour oil over the bottom of a large saucepan that has a lid, and add the popcorn kernels, shimmying the pan around so the kernals land in one layer. Cover the pot, heat it over medium-high heat, and, once the kernels begin to pop, keep the saucepan moving until all the kernels have popped. This should take 5-7 minutes total. Toss the salt & melted butter over the popcorn, then transfer it to a bowl so that you can fish out any unpopped kernels. You should have about 4 to 4.5 cups. Let cool.
2. Mix dough. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour and baking soda together. Stir the combined dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture. Fold in the cooled popcorn so that it is evenly distributed through the batter. There is lots of popcorn compared to cookie mixture, but it shall work! Don't worry if the popcorn breaks up a bit. The mixed-size pieces are part of the cookies charm.
3. Bake cookies. Scoop heaping-tablespoons-sized mounds 2 inches apart onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are light brown. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for a few minutes to firm up before transferring them to a rack to cool.


Rolling the cookie mixture into little mounds

I was super impressed with these cookies, I mean just look at them!

Crunchy, sweet cookies packed full of popcorn. Scrumptious!

We sat in my garden eating a few each... 

I highly, highly recommend this cookbook. For all those vegetarians out there, there's even a section with vegetarian mains which have some great ideas. I also made her cauliflower pesto linguini and it's excellent and full of flavour. There's plenty of indulgent dessert recipes as well, including a chocolate hazelnut crepe cake. Oh yes! I was so impressed that every dish has beautifully styled photos to accompany, as well as sweet stories.

I hope everyone is having a lovely week. Keep checking back here, there's plenty more posts to come, including feedback on an incredible health conference I went to with my mum recently...

Hannah x

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Week in Food...

Hello :) Here's a glimpse of what I've been eating this week! It's the week before uni exams start, so I've been a bit of a homebody, which involves lots of study, some cooking and tea breaks. I did manage to have a proper break though today and went to Sculptures by the was swell ;) Now onto some foodie snaps...

My sister and I made lots of fresh spring rolls for dinner the other night. They were delicious, especially with the mint from our garden :)

Olives from work :) Here's a mix of Sicilian, kalamata, pitted green and wild Australian ones. I'm quite the olive expert now. 

Wholemeal spaghetti with pesto and smoked trout. I have been adding smoked trout to my meals lately. Boiled eggs and smoked trout on toast has been my breakfast of late.

Brown rice tart. It takes a little while to make, but is worth it. I had the leftovers for good!

Yoghurt with stewed rhubarb is a delicious snack. I've started eating a lot more yoghurt now, and also add chia seeds, almonds and coconut flakes. 

Kale, carrot, beetroot & apple juice. An easy way of using all the veggies we've had in the fridge this week!

And I must show you my favourite broccoli I buy every week. It's from an incredible organic produce stall at EQ markets, and these babies were picked the day before I bought them. It's just so fresh- the best broccoli I've eaten! There's so many small florets, which I roughly chop and steam in the morning, and add olive oil and sea salt. Or I make fritters :)

I hope you've been having a great week! 

Hannah x

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Favourites

Today has been a good day...

I bought the new issue of Kinfolk and am looking forward to some reading and relaxation this weekend :)

 After my usual sandwich routine at Luxe bakery in Newtown I was given a loaf of bread on the house! I chose this delicious sourdough cob. Note to self: go to more cafes on a Friday afternoon!

I wore my favourite Gorman linen pants. I have these in mustard as well, they are just so lovely! 

Just a few things floating my boat. I also finished my fourth semester of uni today (well, except for exams), so I'm off to celebrate!

Hannah x

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

First Mango

Mangoes were 3 for $5 at my local fruit could I resist?!

Have you been enjoying mangoes yet?

Hannah x

Friday, October 19, 2012

Broccoli Parmesan Fritters

Hello :) I've made fritters quite a few times on this blog as they are just so scrumptious! This recipe is no different and combines some of my favourite foods...broccoli, parmesan and garlic all in one yummy mouthful. Broccoli Parmesan Fritters, courtesy of Smitten Kitchen (recipe link). There are so many inspiring dishes on her blog :)

What I love about these fritters is that, as she mentions, there's a lot of broccoli compared to flour. I didn't mash up my broccoli too much and was surprised how well they held together in the pan. As you can see, I served my fritters with some basil pesto. 

Probably the yummiest fritters I've made in a while...

What kinda fritters do you like making? 

Hannah x

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Perfect Chai & Banana Bread

Hello :) Of late I have been brewing lots of chai tea. My mother even expects it now and will knock on my door saying "I'll have some chai when it's ready Hannah". I bought a packet from a lady at the markets who runs the chai tent. So she knows her chai! Her iced chai is amazing on a warm day too. So here's how I brew my chai...

The Perfect Chai
1 cup soy milk
2 cups water
2 teaspoons of chai tea
1 tablespoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

Bring all the ingredients to the boil and reduce the heat & allow to brew for about 5 minutes. 

The ingredients of her chai are: cardamon, cinnamon, cassia bark, black pepper and cloves. I'm a fan of the hint of pepper and always add a sprinkle of sugar and fresh grated ginger as well :)

Do you like making chai? 

Ok, banana bread. Here's a lovely loaf I made the other week. The exciting part of this recipe was the millet (which I didn't actually have any of), but nonetheless it was filled with spice, lots of mashed banana and dried figs which I added. Here's the recipe

Enjoy your Sunday! I took the day off work today to sleep in and make pancakes :) 

Hannah x

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Melbourne Snapshots!

Hello :) In my final Melbourne post I thought I'd show you an assortment of snaps from the trip...

Homemade granola and yoghurt for the mornings that we didn't venture out to the cafe Two Birds One Stone. It was a nice way to save money.

Awesome view from the apartment.

Yummy veggie burger and chips from Grill'd in the city.

We saw the Napoleon exhibition on the first day and it was awesome and very informative.

Dumplings from the Oriental Tea House on Chapel Street. Loved this place, I also highly recommend their Sichuan chicken...mmmmmm...

Chin-ups at the park, as you do.

One night we stayed in and made these delicious burritos. Adrian's signature dish. We may have set the fire alarm off though...

Vanilla and chai macaroons from ganache chocolate. Such a small, sweet indulgence.

A tourist snap.

Yum cha on the final day. Dumplings are my favourite food group.

Speaking of dumplings...has anyone been to the Night Noodle Markets in Hyde park yet? I went last night and it was so good! Apple cider, copious amounts of dumplings and all the pretty lanterns made for a fun dinner! I will be back very soon :)

Hannah x