Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Farmed Table

Hello :) Last Saturday I went  to a great little pop up restaurant in Surry Hills called The Farmed Table. Every few weeks, the region where the food is sourced changes. When Adrian and I went, the Hawkesbury and Hunter region were showcased, and the food sourced direct from farmers, producers and artisans within a 50km radius. Yep, everything except the salt and pepper is locally sourced! My kinda place. 

The menu is set at $55 per person, or $80 per person with wines - and is excellent value considering  how beautiful the food was. There were two shared starters, as well as two individual mains and one dessert. I didn't take photos of the starters (ha you'd think as a seasoned food blogger I don't get hesitant taking food photos in public, but oh I do!), but they were lovely ... we had leek, with grilled romanesco cauliflower and shaved lemons and shaved cabbage, with smoked pumpkin, roasted chilli and cows feta. 

The first individual main was hawkesbury whitebait with sweet corn, foraged sea plants and cured mullet roe. So very delicious - the foraged sea plants had a lovely flavour !

The other main was redgate farm duck with kohlrabi, wild weeds (sowthistle, turnip weed), citrus and crispy cavolo nero. The duck was ahhhmazing - so tender and delicious !!!

And for dessert (took a photo halfway through eating, sorry!) ... strawberries, rhubarb, sabayon (creamy italian dessert made with egg yolks, sugar and wine) and a fennel meringue. Lovely flavour combination, and loved the pop of fennel from the meringue. 

I love little pop up restaurants like this, with the focus on showcasing local, seasonable and sustainable produce (reminds me of The Eat In we went to last year). It was a cosy space, with only 20 or so seats, so I'd advise booking in advance! I'd want to go back just for the duck ... 

Hannah x

Monday, June 23, 2014

Mindful Monday: A New Series

Hello :) I am happy to say that as of last week I've practically finished my nutrition degree (except for one sneaky subject next year) and now have plenty of time for blogging! In terms of what I'll do with my life for the next little while I'm just thinking about the short-term, which includes hopefully getting a job during the week to save some pennies for my Europe trip in November! At this stage I'm not sure what kind of work I'd like to do with my degree, but I'm sure that will sort itself out ...

A perfect rose from our front garden ...

A topic I have been thinking about lately, is the topic of mindfulness. You see, during the semester I completed a nutrition research subject where we each chose a topic of interest from a list, and conducted a literature review on the matter- collating different journal articles and writing about our finds and potential significance. Well I scanned the list and found a topic looking at the mindful eating approach for overweight / obese women, and really enjoyed researching and understanding the psychological components of obesity.

My research found that perhaps knowing how to lose weight (i.e. eating well and exercising regularly) is not the only key to long-term weight loss, but part of a holistic approach, which incorporates behavioural and cognitive training too. It is said that when we cultivate a greater acceptance and awareness of the present moment, automatic thoughts can be replaced by healthier and more conscious responses.

Mindfulness can be described in many ways, and is usually described as paying close and conscious attention to the present moment, eating with intent and understanding how our different emotions can affect consequential thoughts and behaviour. It's funny, after researching the topic I keep seeing it mentioned in blogposts, newspaper articles and in magazines ... so I've taken this as a sign to understand more about this topic, and begin a new series on this blog called Mindful Monday.

A pretty bunch of radishes straight from the farmer.

I'm no expert on the matter, so I thought a weekly blogpost would prompt me to learn more about this. Mindfulness is quite a broad topic and can include things like yoga, meditation, learning where your food comes from, slowing down, disconnecting, setting an intention etc. To kick things off this week I thought I'd share some other links that I've noticed which talk about this topic. And of course, I would love your thoughts .... is mindfulness something you think about? Has practicing yoga or meditation allowed you to become more mindful? ...

- A little article about mindfulness in the workplace (here)
- Jacqui Lewis, a vedic meditation teacher wrote a great piece on mindful eating (here)
- Heidi, one of my favourite bloggers has a series called my mindful kitchen, where she talks about her experiences of working on a farm and connecting with local producers. It's brilliant! See (here)

Taking a break from study last week with a lovely lunch and some sexy crocs ...

Hannah x

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Quinoa + Lemon Anzac Biscuits

Hello :) I have had a few major assignments to complete in the past few weeks and hence decided to become a little absent from blog land. But I am back! And with a cookbook review - so keep reading cause there's a lovely biscuit recipe after I ramble for a bit longer ...

I have been following Emma's blog my darling lemon thyme for quite some time now, and was very excited when her cookbook was recently released! Over the years I've made a few recipes almost routinely such as her eggplant curry (so easy to make midweek!) and rhubarb & lemon cake- all scrumptious! Emma is a former chef and the recipes in her cookbook, as with her blog are sans gluten, dairy (mostly) and are vegetarian, but are packed with flavour and always work.

The book !

Being a gluten-free cookbook, I've been having fun at the food co-op and buying a little bit of brown rice, quinoa, chickpea and some other unusual flours (well unusual for myself!) Most of the recipes use a few flours combined with a starch (tapioca/potato) - and I've found buying from a bulk co-op is great because you can buy just a little of each and it ain't too pricey.

Here are some recipes I have made in the past two months ...

Banana pancakes made with buckwheat/almond/brown rice flour.

Carrot, apple and ginger muffins.

A puffed millet slice - so so yum!! Perfect for the lunchbox too.

Blueberry and banana breakfast muffins. 

Chia pudding. Lovely to mix up the night before for a quick and sustaining brekky.

Now I am lucky enough to share one of my favourite recipes of hers so far from the cookbook - I hope you enjoy them as much as I do !!!

Recipe: Quinoa & Lemon Anzac Biscuits (reproduced with full permission)
1 cup (100g) quinoa flakes
1/2 cup (70g) brown rice flour
1/3 cup (40g) quinoa flour
1 cup (200g) unrefined sugar
3/4 cup (75g) desiccated coconut
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
125g butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup or runny honey
1 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius (or 335 fahrenheit). Grease and line two baking trays with baking paper. Place quinoa flakes, brown rice flour, quinoa flour, sugar, coconut and lemon zest in a bowl. Melt butter and golden syrup together in a small pan over medium heat. Mix baking soda with 2 tablespoons boiling water and add to the dry ingredients along with the melted butter mixture. Mix well with a wooden spoon or clean hands.

Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls, squeezing the mixture together if it seems crumbly. Slightly flatten and place 2-3cm apart on baking trays. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cookies have risen, then fallen and become dark golden brown in colour. Remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store airtight for up to 4-5 days. Makes 30.

Here's how mine turned out ... I've made them at least four times now, and they always taste super scrumptious and wholesome and lemony. I've served them to quite a few people too - and you'd never know there was quinoa flakes and flour in there! 

© My Darling Lemon Thyme
By Emma Galloway
Published by HarperCollins New Zealand

Hope you are all having a great week :)

Hannah x