Monday, January 27, 2014

Two Weekends

Hello :) I've had two really nice weekends, and thought I'd document them here ... 

Last Saturday morning I went with my sister to Eveleigh markets. Aren't these heirloom carrots pretty?

Piccolo sipping

Still loving my green smoothies !!

We bought extra apples from the market, and I made a spiced apple chutney from The Kinfolk Table. I've decided every few weeks, I'll make a chutney to keep in the fridge- cause they're such a nice thing to have with meat or on a sandwich etc ... Lately chutney + cheese on toast is my favourite thing.

Dinner was organic pork schnitzel with steamed potatoes, radicchio/cos/avo salad and the spiced apple chutney.

And last Sunday, I started again selling Little China Teas at Marrickville markets. My sister helped me set up & had this delicious fritter plate. Yummo.

I've had this undercut for a while, and get it trimmed every few weeks at the markets. High maintenance!

This Saturday I went back to Eveleigh markets. It has one of the best selections of organic vegetables and grass fed meat I reckon- and this time I looked around and compared prices a little more, so found it to be more reasonably priced. Sure it's a bit more yuppie compared to the hipsters at Marrickville though ;)

I baked these scrumptious banana bread muffin tops from Oh She Glows, and so should you !! They are a mix of dates, bananas, oats, coconut oil, choc chips, and that's basically it ... gooey and moreish. This was the muffins before they were baked.

Sunday was Australia Day and we spent the morning in the city wandering around the rocks and walking along the harbour bridge. Time with the fam bam. 

A new book from Mum :)

Does anyone else wear goggles when they chop onions to prevent crying? Just me .... ok.

Monday (today!) was the public holiday and we left early in the morning for a swim at Shark Bay in Neilsen Park, Vaucluse. The water was a little cold but worth the plunge. Such a lovely spot in Sydney. 

Love a sunny afternoon in bed with a book ...

Dinner tonight ... I made these spicy corn fritters topped with pepe saya butter and chili jam, and some haloumi and cucumber on the side. Highly recommend these gluten-free fritters (made with almond meal), although they were a little crumbly. 

How did you spend the long weekend?

Hannah x

Friday, January 17, 2014

Summer dinners ...

Hello :) I have been loving these long summer evenings lately ... they've been falling into a nice routine involving dinner in the garden, tennis watching, and some reading and tea sipping.

My room with a view. 

Of late I have been inspired to be more creative with the dinners I cook. One of the reasons is that I'm mostly on holidays, so there's more time to spend pondering what I shall make for dinner. Another reason is also where I buy my produce from. Buying local and, especially at the markets- where a lot of the people behind the stall have grown the produce themselves - truly does change the way you view your food. It's such an enjoyable way to shop ... filling your basket with vegetables that have literally been harvested the day before. I mean everything tastes just so darn fresh and flavoursome ... and after making that connection I always have more respect and value for the produce. Heidi wrote a brilliant post recently about getting to know your food which I'd encourage you to read as she writes so well on the subject.

My basket of goodies from orange grove markets last week ... organic eggs, sonoma miche (what else?), blueberries, tomatoes, cultured butter (this went in a few days ...) and some more vege.

In saying all this, here are some of my recent dinners. Maybe they'll inspire you to stock up at the markets or your local produce shop this weekend ...

Rice noodle salad. (aka deconstructed rice paper rolls!) This consisted of rice noodles (soaked for a few minutes in boiling water), BBQ chicken, carrots, red cabbage, cucumber, basil & chili jam.

Grass fed lamb steak, coconut curry potatoes and kale/basil pesto.

Flatbread w/ chorizo, broad beans, steam potatoes and roast beetroot/feta dip.

Mozzarella lasagne. There was mince, spinach and mozzarella in the fridge, and so the decision was quite easy !!

Roast tomato/white bean/basil soup with crispy pancetta & haloumi.

Salmon, sugar snaps, soy sauce, sesame seeds & miso.

Lettuce cups with zucchini/red onion/corn & spicy meatballs with chili jam.

Lunch at home ...

I copied a cafe I went to & started popping some cucumber slices in my water. It's super refreshing- try it! Add lemon slices and mint leaves if you wanna be extra fancy ....

Hope you all have a great weekend !! I'm excited about going to Eveleigh markets tomorrow morning. Usually I can't go as I'm working at Orange Grove, but luckily my boss is having an extra long break and I don't start back till February. And on Sunday, after a few months off, I'm back working at Marrickville markets with Little China Teas selling TCM teas/soups. Should be fun!

Hannah x

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Green Smoothie Fun

Hello :) A week or so ago my fancy new blender arrived... yay! I had been thinking of buying one for a while now, but looking at the price of a Vitamix (no way I am paying almost $1000 for one of those !!) probably scared me off. Eventually, after looking at reviews and comparisons for longer than I really wanted to, I decided to buy an omniblend. Just in case you were curious, I paid $305 for the blender (here), which I think is quite reasonable as I am going to be using it most, if not everyday.

Ok, let's talk green smoothies! My main reason for buying the blender was to make daily green smoothies to boost my vegetable and nutrient intake. I have been making them every day for the past week, and have been learning a lot. The first few I made weren't great (too goopy! too much kale!) but now I have a basic recipe which I think works well.

 a basic Green Smoothie recipe- 

3 cos lettuce leaves
1 stalk celery
1/2 cucumber
2-3 kale leaves
1/3 cup coconut milk (with 2 tbsp chia seeds mixed in & left overnight)
1/2 apple
1 tsp barley grass powder
half lemon squeezed
chilled water

some other nice additions-

mint or basil leaves
lime juice
frozen berries
raw cacao
coconut water

I just happened to make a similar one to that yesterday, but it changes- I don't always have that many greens vegetables on hand. Sometimes I add whey protein, if I want it for breakfast (& then maybe some coconut oil too), and I've been experimenting with maca powder too. Ages ago I bought some barley grass powder (which tastes yuck mixed into plain water!) so am glad I can finally start using it disguised in these smoothies.

Also, I've noticed a lot of recipes add at least 2-3 serves of fruit, but personally I try to limit my sugar intake, and if I do eat fruit, I prefer to eat it whole. In saying that, I do usually add 1/2 an apple or 1/2 a frozen banana to sweeten it a little, and coconut milk adds sweetness too. A big squeeze of lemon also gives it a nice bite, and I add plenty of chilled water so it ain't too goopy.

Sarah Wilson also recently wrote an article about why she prefers green smoothies over juices (here) &  I definitely agree with her about the waste thing- juices do have a lot more wastage versus smoothies!

So I'd love to hear your recipes for green smoothies, or maybe even nut milks ??? 

Hannah x

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Spiced Chocolate Mousse & The Kinfolk Table

Hello :) A little belated now ... but I hope everyone had a nice christmas and new years eve !! I'm looking forward to 2014, it's gonna be a good one! Finishing my degree in nutrition and figuring out what the heck I'm gonna do afterwards, overseas travel (currently thinking New Zealand in July), continuing internships/work and other such things. And I just ordered a fancy new blender yesterday, so I'm excited to be one of those people who sip on daily green smoothies. Oh yeah!

Now onto today's topic ...

Kinfolk magazine released a cookbook, which I bought about a month ago. If you like the magazine, I think you'll love the cookbook. There are recipes collected from various bloggers, bakers, writers, artists etc and is separated into different cities which are Brooklyn, Copenhagen, Oregon, Portland and the English countryside. The images of Copenhagen had me wanting to go back straight away! The book is beautifully styled and I have already made a few recipes with great success. 

The first recipe I made was a cucumber & fennel salad. Sure, it's super simple, but is just so darn fresh and summery. You just finely slice some cucumber and fennel, and top with dill, olive oil, lemon zest and the juice of half a lemon. This would be the perfect light lunch, accompanied with some grilled fish perhaps.

Another recipe I have made a few times, is a spiced chocolate mousse, which was contributed by Sarah Britton of my new roots (you're crazy if you haven't bookmarked her blog). For some time, I've seen many mousse recipes with an avocado/raw cacao base, but have never actually made any. Well I ain't going back now! It was super scrumptious, so here's the recipe ... 

But first, how lovely are these photos of Sarah Britton in the cookbook.

Recipe: Spiced Chocolate Mousse (adapted from The Kinfolk Cookbook, recipe by Sarah Britton). Serves 2 (or 4 small portions).

1/4 cup hemp seeds 
2 heaping tablespoons raw cacao powder
1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
1 large banana, frozen and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons raw honey, agave, or pure maple syrup
pinch cayenne
pinch of ground ginger
pinch of sea salt
cold water, as needed

Blend the hemp seeds, cacao, avocado, banana, honey, cayenne, ginger, salt in a blender until smooth. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time to adjust the consistency to taste. Serve immediately. 

Note- the hemp seeds may be replaced by raw almonds, raw cashews, or raw sunflower seeds. Soak the nuts or seeds in water for about 10 minutes or until softened prior to processing with the recipe. 

I had some fun while prepping the mousse ... 

I used sunflower seeds instead of hemp seeds as suggested, and used ground cardamom instead of cayenne. Adding the frozen banana in there is great, because it means you don't have to refrigerate the mixture (like most other recipes suggest) & you have a cool dessert (literally) ready to serve immediately. It's a good idea to keep a few frozen bananas in the freezer for this purpose! Definitely a recipe to bookmark !! You can't even tell there's avocado in there, it just gives it a creamy richness. 

Ok to finish this post, I have a favour to ask. You see, I'm kinda curious to see who reads this blog (is there anyone out there?!), and was hoping you could comment with your name, age, country and maybe your profession or fun fact. It'll be fun reading responses and to see who reads this blog! Thanks so much!

Hannah x