Saturday, April 30, 2011


So as much as I try to make everything in my life look neat and orderly..... its not always dinner parties and pretty dresses. Last night I spent the whole evening dancing with drag queens....and had a wonderful time. Sometimes when life gets a wee bit too much you just have to let loose. Forget about all the things you should be doing. Forget about being neat. Forget about everything.

When I woke up this morning I remembered why I don't drink very often. My poor head hurts a lot and I invited lots of people over for dinner tonight. The last thing I feel like doing is cooking, but alas life goes on. I'll probably enjoy it once I start. I'm so addicted.

I realised how dedicated I am to cooking last night when I stumbled in the door at 4am and started making pasta (to soak up the drinks.) Most people stop by McDonnell's or grab a kebab....... but not me. Even in my most drunken state, I feel there is no reason to abandon all class. So I cook up a nice bowl of fettucini. Here is the recipe for you just in case you need it too. It a great through together meal when you can't be bothered doing much cooking (or have had a few drinks.)

Tipsy Fettucini
You will need:
  • You can use whatever you have in your pantry (and just cook as much as you want depending on how hungry you are.)
  • One egg
  • A dash of cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • A handful of cheese (whatever you like best. I used a tasty cheese, but brie would be nice too.)
What to do:
  1. Cook your pasta in salted water till cooked.
  2. Drain reserving about 2tbs of the cooking water still in the pot
  3. Add cheese and cream
  4. Crack in egg
  5. Put back on the stove on very low for 30 seconds (If you have it on high the egg will scramble and be yucky.)
  6. Season
  7. Settle into bed, eat it.
Over the last few weeks I have been having a bit of a rough time. Everyone said moving to Melbourne again would be hard. I accepted this, but didn't really take on board what it meant. Today when I went into the bottle shop to pick up some wine the sales man called me over to the tasting table. He poured me a full glass of red wine to "taste" and wouldn't let me leave the shop until it was finished. It was very kind of him, but I'll I couldn't help but think 'Is it that obvious? Do I look like I need a drink that badly?"

I think some of the problem is that I place such high pressure on myself. Somewhere down the track I got the idea that I am a stradford wife (without the wife part), and I simply can't leave the house without washing my hair, doing my makeup, putting on heels, matching my clothes, and bringing freshly baked goods to whoever I am visiting. I have no idea how this all came about as it is such a dramatic change to how I used to be. I spent most of my teen years in long flowing dresses, messy hair, no makeup, sitting under the stars, fire twirling, drinking bad wine, and talking to dredlocked boys who said thing like "man, I know you wont believe me but last night I totally sighted a space ship. It was so crazy dude, and we were all just tripping out so bad over it."

So what I'm wondering is.....when did I make the change from being some care free hippy into a perfectionist? Last term my teacher handed me a test which was 98%. I looked at him and said "not bad". He was confused by my reaction and asked me why I was worried, because I couldn't get much better. I was worried about that 2% I got wrong.

To be honest I blame pastry...and a german boss I once had. Both demanded for me to be neater and more precise, so in my logic, I decided that if I could make my life look neater, I could make my cooking look neater. So far I'm not sure if its working, as my teacher commented this week that my cookies were too 'rustic.'

So I suppose some things never change.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Having your cake and eating it too.

'You can't have your cake and eat it to!' I always thought this was a silly expression. Why can't you do both? I always believed that you could. I would know, I work at a cake shop. We are aloud to eat as much cake as we like (within reason), but recently I have been learning that this isn't always such a good thing. As the winter calories start to pile on, I've been finding that not only is this saying true, but it applies to my life so perfectly right now. It appears can't follow your dreams, and have enough money. You can't live in an amazing city, and not be homesick. You cant love a boy, and get to keep him. You can't make plans, without being too tired and having to cancel. You cant go on a date, and find out the guy is actually really lovely. You can't always have it all. I'm counteracting some of this by joining the gym next week..........but I have no idea what to do about the rest. I'll work on it and get back to you.

I started school this week, which has been a little tiring but really fun. We have been making some interesting things and I'm learning lots. Today we made lots of different types of biscuits. My favourites where the jam drops. They are so beautiful. I can't wait to make them next time I have friends over. I'll put up the recipe for you this week.

To be honest I've been so consumed with school I've hardly thought about much else. I have been toying with the idea of making a little utube clip of some cooking demonstrations. Like a mini cooking show, just for fun. I'm a wee bit too busy at the moment, but when I get time I might have a play around with it. Let me know any ideas you have, or what you think.

Well I hope your all having a wonderful friday night!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Potato and Leek soup

Today was my first day back at school, and it felt good to be back. I love feeling like I'm actually getting something done, so it was nice to rise before the sun (I know I'm crazy) and head into the city. My local coffee shop owners greeted me with "welcome back" and enquired about my holidays. Its nice to be missed even if it is just by your local coffee shop owners. I felt really good today...not sure if it was the new skinny jeans, but I got several sly smiles from passes by.

Today we worked on soups, stocks and sauces, which isn't overly exciting, but still I got a little thrill as I thought "I'm here! I'm here! I'm actually at cooking school." Its so exciting to be doing what you love. I paired up with a cute Italian boy for my cooking partner today (I knew it was going to be a boring class, and I needed something pretty to look at.) He was so charming and sweet. What is it with Italian boys? I thought I had learnt my lesson by now, but they still make me blush! Part way through the class I got low blood sugar and standing in front of a hot stove for too long made me feel like I was going to faint. I went outside for a minute and sat down to drink some water. When I came back into class I told my cooking partner that I nearly fainted, and bless his heart (his english isn't very good), I think he meant to say "Oh I couldn't have told from looking at you," but instead said "Oh but you looked so perfect!" I melted right there and then into my potato and leek soup.

I'm having a friend over for dinner tonight, so I stopped by work to get some cakes to snack on for desert. Its sometimes so handy working at a boutique cake store.

I'll put up one of the soup recipes we made today. I love it because its super yummy and you don't need a lot of ingredients for it. Its kind of a through together meal you can make if you don't have much time.

Creamy Leep and Potato Soup.
What you will need:
  • One onion diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • One leek diced (only use the white part, as the hard green part doesn't taste any good)
  • 5 washed potatoes diced
  • A knob of butter
  • Chicken stock (you just need enough to cover your vegetables. You can make your own or add a stock cube to water.)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup of cream
What to do:
  1. Dice all your vegetables
  2. Sweat your onion and garlic (this means just cook it on a low heat until it cooks through but dose not take on any colour.
  3. Add your vegetables and continue to sweat. Cook stirring for 10 minutes, until vegetables are semi cooked
  4. Add enough stock to cover the vegetables. Bring to the boil and return to a simmer.
  5. When all your vegetables are cooked, transfer all the soup into a blender and pulse.
  6. Add the cream, and season.
  7. Serve with some nice crunchy bread.

Monday, April 25, 2011

New term

In honour of starting a new term, I decided to get a new hair style. But on a more important note, I also decided to get a new attitude. There is no hiding the fact that I have been particularly moody of late. Not in the "Don't talk to me" kind of way, but more in the "How can I go on?" sort of dramatic funk. I have been whinging and sobbing all over the place about being 'burnt out' and 'in need of a rest' after spending the whole day baking and having long lunches with friends.

It got me to thinking......What is actually wearing me out? About a month ago I had a brief stint of dating an Italian. During this time, I became terribly pretentious and everything became "charming" and "lovely". I no longer drank latte's, I drank Caffe lattes. I no longer ate normal breakfasts, I always had pastries. I wore Chanel everyday, and all my outfits matched. The point of all this is 1)At times I can be such a fool. 2)Never ever date the waiter that works next door to your work and 3) Sometimes a bit of pretentiousness is ok.

Now I'm not suggesting we all go around faking french accents and kissing each other on both cheeks (this is just awkward.) But I am saying......sometimes life can feel really really hard, and when there is no magic at all, its ok to make some. For goodness sake through some glitter in the air and call it fairy dust if its going to make you happy. Its just time to cheer up.

This is my first stint at being alone and single in a new town in a very long time, and it can be hard. Melbourne city can be a hard one to get your head around. Its big and vast, and huge and scary at times. Some days I wake up and I just don't know if I can stand another day tramping around the city in heels, and pretending that I've got it all together. And you know what I do on these days? I paste my biggest "I took home a male model last night" smug smile (sigh...... even if its so very far from true and I spent the night curled up in bed alone with a book) and I pretend the city is mine.

So in all this ramble what I'm trying to say is, do what you want with your life, but please please, do it with a smile and make it magical. Thats my mission for next term.

Land of the living.

Tomorrow I will officially be welcomed back to the land of the living. This means no more getting back into bed after breakfast, no more cancelling everything in order to go to bed early, and no more being cooped up in the house for days on end. Holidays are over, and soon I will be so busy I wont even have time to remember how homesick I have been feeling over the past week. I will be forced to leave the house, and I feel this will be a positive thing. Getting back to pastry school should inspire me enough to get out of this funk I have been in.

All the things that I meant to do over the holidays (get a new phone, get my shoes fixed, sort through all my cooking magazines) still remain undone. Its so hard to do much when Melbourne is so very cold all the time. All I have wanted to do is be a homebody and cook and write. I know its just a season and soon I'll be back to being a social butterfly again, but for now, I just want to stay in bed.

I went to the Victoria Markets today to do my food shopping, but arrived to find them closed. It was a bit of a shame. Tonight I'm going to a dinner party with some new friends. Its so nice to be invited to one after all the years I have spent putting them on for other people.

I only have about another 12 hours of holidays left so I'm going to catch up on watching sex and the city. Have a great rest of your day guys.


This weekend I took a little trip down to Port Melbourne to check out Bellezain, with a couple of friends. The first thing I noticed when I walked into the place was the decor. The place is stunningly beautiful. It looks over the boardwalk and ocean, and the both the outdoor deck and inside eating areas are lovely. I haven't walked into a place in a while where I just though "Wow I LOVE what they have done to this place!" If I could turn it into my living room I would. The walls are covered in amazing wall paper and there are flowers everywhere. Its my style of place, so I was pretty excited to have a peek at the menu and try out the food.

In the last few months the place has been taken over by a gay couple who have a background in wine, the corporate world, and hospitality. So they really know a bit about everything. I had a chat to both of them early on in the night and although they looked tired (opening a restaurant is no picnic ladies and gentlemen) they were still very excited about what they are doing. Its lovely to see owners who a passionate about their business, and so involved with the place.

One of the ladies has spent several years studying wine (yes there is a course for wine lovers who want to study it for years and years), so the wine list is wonderful. I just asked them to send me over their favourites all night, and everything was great.

To be honest I was worried to try the food because I like the place so much I didn't want to be let down. Luckily it was really nice. I had a duck and mushroom risotto, which for some reason so many chefs have trouble pulling off well. It was perfectly cooked (no hard rice and no yucky slushy rice.) and I enjoyed it a lot. They also have a great range of pizza's (I was eyeing off one with figs on it that my friend was eating.)

All in all I liked the place. It was a good night out and I'd defiantly recommend it.

Bellezain on Urbanspoon

Uphill climb.

Today was one of those days where everything felt hard. Getting up in the morning was hard, going to work was hard, working was hard and coming home was hard. I'm not sure quite what it was but sometimes life just feels like an uphill climb. I don't feel like I'm walking through life at times, not even running, just pushing with ten tone weights attached to my legs. I'm still a bit sick this week, and a wee bit stressed about the eminent term approaching. I have to keep reminding myself that its not too serious, and that i'm here because I want to be.

I have personally hand crafted this life and lifestyle for myself (pastry school, writing, good friends, food, and working in a boutique cake shop), now all that is left to do is enjoy it. It can be so easy to forget this at times. I get so caught up in how busy and important it all is, that I forget that I've made my life like this ...........because its what I wanted.

On the up side, Melbourne is starting to feel a bit more like home. I love where I'm living and I've got some really good friends. Real friends too. The sort who want to come to dinner parties, or sit for three hours over lunch to just talk and drink wine.

My cooking has improved a lot also. I'm not sure if I'm actually much better, but I defiantly feel more confident. Recipes that would once scare me now excite me, and I have entered a whole new world of bread making. I just cant make enough things with yeast! Its so very beautiful.

Still a bit lacking in the relationship department (everyone I have spoken to lately is having a man drought though....weird.) This may be my own fault though. I was whinging about it at work recently and one of the girls turned around and said to me "Well Cherry what do you expect? How are you meant to meet a man if you keep spending your saturday nights with gays and drag queens?" (This is really another story for another time I think......but the moral of the story is, you never know who might turn out to be an amazing friend, so don't judge a book by its cover. That statement just worked on soooooo many levels....anyway.) But I'm not minding too much. I'm actually relishing in having my own free time. Most nights I cant think of anything better than cooking a nice dinner and doing some writing.

I hope you all had a lovely Anzac day. I missed marching this year, which made me a bit sad. Have a lovely rest of your long weekend.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Spanish breakfast

Today was another day just like the rest. Except today was Easter. I know that this should be wonderful and lovely and all that, but really it just made me a bit homesick. This time last year I was nearly engaged, and my partner made me an egg hunt around the whole house. Life is so very different now. I worked today and then came home for a rest. I've been feeling a bit sick for the past few days. So I'm just having a quiet night reading the sunday paper, cooking dinner and drinking turkish apple tea. Its good....

School starts back in a few days and I'll be back to the books. Holidays didn't last nearly long enough. I think next holidays if I have the money I might make a little trip to Tasmania. Its so very close, and the ferry that takes you there is only about ten minutes drive from my house. I've heard that they have an amazing food and wine scene, so I'm quite keen to check it out. I love taking little trips away. Especially foodie trips away.

Tonight I cooked one of my favourite breakfast dishes. I change the recipe every time I make it, so i'll just give you a basic one, and you can add or take from it as you like. Its very simple and so tasty. I served mine tonight with the home made bread that I made this week. It was so perfect! The picture really doesn't do it justice. I love this dish because of all the different textures in it. You have the runny egg, crunchy cheese and the thick sauce.

Spanish Breakfast (it serves two hungry people if you serve it with bread)
What you will need:
  • One onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 5 mushrooms
  • I red capsicum
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chilli flakes
  • Half a bunch of dill
  • About one cup of tomato based pasta sauce (I used a wine flavoured one and its perfect)
  • 1/2 cup of cheese
  • I can of can of cannelloni beans
  • two eggs
What to do:
  1. Fry onion and garlic in the bottom of a fry pan until see through.
  2. Add mushrooms (diced) and chilli flakes, cook for 5 minutes
  3. Dice the capsicum quite small, and add.
  4. Once the vegetables are almost cooked add the beans, and tomato sauce.
  5. Let cook for 5 minutes, stirring, and then add the dill
  6. With a wooden spoon make push the mix aside to make two holes. Crack the eggs into the holes and cook on low for 2 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle cheese over the top of the whole dish.
  8. Wrap a tea towel over the handle of the frypan (so it doesn't melt) and place it under the grill with the handle sticking out (again so it doesn't melt.)
  9. Let it cook for about 3 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the egg is cooked to your liking.
  10. Serve with fresh bread.
This is so perfect to share and super yummy.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Russian Easter Bread.

Easter has gone by so quickly, and yesterday I realised that if I didn't get on with my Easter baking soon, I'd miss the whole holiday, and have to wait a whole year to try out all my recipes. I did a bit of research (because I can be a bit nerdy at time) on all the traditional easter food and found this gem. Its a Russian easter bread, and its quite similar to hot cross buns in flavour (spices and dried fruit and what not.) I know it looks intimidating to make, but really it was quite easy. Give it a go, because is so pretty and festive.

You will need:
  • 14g dried yeast
  • 1/3 cup of caster sugar
  • 3 and 1/3 cup plain flour
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup of sultanas
  • Zest of one orange
  • 4 eggs
  • 150ml of milk
  • 60g, soft butter
For the eggs:
  • Four eggs
  • 2 tsp of red food colouring.
What to do:
  1. In a small bowl mix one teaspoon of sugar, and the yeast with 50ml of warm water (don't make the water too hot or it will kill the yeast, just nice and warm.) Leave for 15 minutes until it gets all bubbly.
  2. In a large bowl sift your flour sugar and cinnamon. Add 3 of the eggs (one is used for a glaze later), butter, fruit, zest, milk and bubbly yeast mix.
  3. Give the mix a good stir and then turn out onto a floured surface and knead for five minutes.
  4. Place in a bowl, cover with a tea towel and put somewhere warm to rise. Leave it for about an hour or until its doubled in size
  5. While waiting for this, place your eggs and food die in a pot of cold water, bring to the boil, and then let simmer for 10 minutes. Switch off the heat and leave until the water has cooled.
  6. When the dough has risen enough, punch it in the middle (this is called knocking back the dough) and then separate it into two.
  7. Plat the two pieces of dough and place the loaf on a tray lined with grease proof paper. Cover it with cling wrap and leave in a warm place again for an hour to rise.
  8. It should double in size again! Heat your oven to 190.
  9. Push the coloured eggs into the bread. Beat an egg, and brush over the whole loaf. Cook for 25 minutes, or until....cooked

Friday, April 22, 2011

The life of luxury

Some days (like today) I miss the luxuries of last year (when I wasn't a student.) Now I'm not going to pretend that my life was all peachy last year. I worked very hard, at a very badly run Italian restaurant, sometimes pulling in 14 hour days, and hardly sitting down for a break. There were some really stressful and hard times, but for some reason our brain is hardwired to forget those (I guess because if we remembered all the bad things, all the time, we would just give up on life.) So all I can remember when I think about Noosa is the farmers markets every Sunday, where we would eat pastries, buy food and listen to live music. I think of all the nice restaurants I used to go to, how I knew the owners at many of the cafes so they would never make me pay. I think of the trips off to the mountains to stay in the luxury 'Tree Tops' bed and breakfast with my partner. I think of staying out on my parents farm, eating organic food and swimming in the pool that overlooked paddocks of cows. I think of the time a very infatuated chef set up a table for me and a girlfriend in his kitchen so we could watch him cook, eat food and drink wine all day (for free of course.) I think of a boy who whisked me away to a bed and breakfast for a week, that was owned by the head chef of 'Spirit House' and how we spent hours exploring new pasty shops and buying me new dresses. Sigh.

Melbourne is different from this. There is so much glamour here, but not so much of it is mine. Whenever I was feeling down, living in Noosa, my partner would make me put on all my best clothes and we would go out and "pretend we here rich and on holidays" we would go into all the boutiques we couldn't afford and act like we could.

I guess what I'm learning is...we make our own glamour. I can't eat out every night, so I cook amazing meals at home. I can't afford to eat at boutique pastry shops, but i work at one...and can eat as much cake as I like. We make our own beauty in life. We must decided what we want, and then go get it........but until we have it, its fine to pretend!

I'm missing home this weekend, being Easter and all. All my friends are at the yearly easter music festival I've been going to for years, and my family are together on the farm. I decided instead of feeling sorry for myself, that I'd celebrate in my own way. So I've spent my morning in cafes (flirting with Italian I still haven't learnt my lesson there I guess), and baking.

I did some research on traditional Easter foods and apart from the usual chocolate eggs and hot cross buns, there are some really interesting recipes. I'm making russian easter bread, which is made with fruit and cinnamon, then platted and decorated with coloured eggs on top. Its quite beautiful really. At the moment the dough is sitting on my stove top rising, and my eggs are simmering in red food dye. If it works out well Ill post up the recipe.

I hope your having a happy Easter, and filling it with glamour.

Sette bello

Today I visited my new favourite area in Melbourne called Hardware lane. The place is so very european and you feel like your in Italy not australia as you walk the brick streets and peek in at all the lovely cafes. At night time bands play, and everyone sits out on the footpath eating yummy food and drinking wine.

As today was good friday a friend and I decided to have a long lunch at one of the few places open (I completely forgot everything shut for good friday) called Settebello. I had been meaning to try out the place for ages, as the staff are always ridiculously cute. Last time I walk past one of the waters had a little flirt with me (ok ok they get paid to do it) so I promised myself that I'd have to check it out next time I was in the area. Its right on the corner of the road, and its super cozy. At night time they mainly do tapas, but during the day they have a range of freshly made pizzas, quiches, and salads.

We both had the mushroom and olive quiche with a roasted pumpkin and pine nut salad. The pastry was really yummy and homemade, which I love. I have so much more respect for a place that makes its own pastry, as opposed to buying it in, in bulk. The filling was yummy, but maybe lacking quality. I was suspicious of both the olives and the mushrooms, and thought that they may have been.....from a jar!! I feel that quiche is like a stage, you have your eggs and your pastry, but the filling has to be the show. You don't want to take shortcuts on it, because its the main attraction. So they lost a few points for me there.

There is only a really small wine list, which I sometimes like (if all the wines are good) because it make picking easier. I had a shiraz and it was so lovely, that I had to order a second glass.

For desert we had macaroons, which were divine! Unfortunately I don't think they made them on the premises, but don't quote me on this because I could be wrong. I had raspberry and white chocolate flavour, and my friend had a chocolate one. We were both very pleased! Its such a lovely food trend, and I'm so glad Australia has jumped on board with it along with the rest of Europe. Its such a treat to see little cafes serving them, and I feel they add a pit of class to an establishment.

I liked the place as it was cozy, and perfect for a long lunch on a cold winters day. It didn't have a huge amount of choice, but this was part of the charm. I don't feel you need a huge menu if you do a few things well. It was rustic which I love, but I'd like to see a little bit more quality in the food. The staff were friendly, and it was reasonably cheap. So it's perfect for what we were looking for. I'd give it a 3 our of 5.

Sette Bello on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chai tea

Today I had one of the most perfect days where everything felt right. I woke up and did a bit of writing for a while, and ate some raspberry chocolate sandwiches (raspberries are fruit therefore its still classified as a healthy breakfast.) I got ready for my day and left the house. On my way into the city I was surprised and confused as to why everything was closed, and then I remembered.........Its easter. The whole feel of the day suddenly changed from friday to Good Friday. Its like a Sunday, and has a whole different feel to it.

My plans for the day where to meet a friend in the city and go shopping, but now I realised it was a holiday, these plans just didn't feel right. So instead we decided to go for a long lunch in my new favourite street Hardware lane. It was so lovely and cold and deserted as we walked along the brick streets to get there.

We picked a little place on the corner and sat for hours talking and drinking red wine. I felt so at ease and life just felt right. This is why I moved to melbourne. So I could have long lunches and eat yummy food with amazing people.

Iv'e been very naughty lately and haven't put up any recipes for a few days. My aunty sent me a really love Chai tea recipe this week, and I thought it would be perfect for easter, while your having big family feasts and sitting around talking. Here it is for you...enjoy

Chai Tea:

put 3 cups of water onto boil... add 3 tspns of fresh ginger chopped you an leave the peal on , 1 tspn of asjwan (this is wild celery seed)
2 tspns of fennel
i tspn of cinamon or stick
4 brown cardamon
10 green cardamon
motar and pestle cardamon to break open
4 cloves
bring to a rolling boil
add 3 desert spoons of sugar (you can use honer or jaggerry, this is indian sugar you can buy it in a block ) the sweet is supposed to compliment the bitterness of the spices
then add 2 teabags of nice tea , then add 2 cups of milk , don't wait too long the milk is to bind the tannin so it doesn't get too bitter ... then bring to the boil .. until a nice tan colour ... strain with wire sieve and dink

(p.s. thanks so much for sending it to me aunty Linda!!)

I loved today. Happy good friday everyone!

A modern girls problems.

Last night I stayed in. This is not unusual for me as I really do love to stay at home after dark. But for a change I had plans to go out. I was even excited to go out. I got dressed up. Put on makeup, did my hair and was just about to walk out the door when this voice in my head said "where do you think your going out?" I was surprised by this as obviously I was going out for a few drinks with friends. The voice coughed and said "Really Cherry? with that soar throat? and remember how run down you have been feeling." "Its just a few drinks!!" I replied in my most winey voice possible....we both knew that wasn't true though. As I weighed up the plusses of going out (see my friend, meet some new people, might meet a cute boy!) against the plusses of staying home (bed!!!) I suddenly realised how tired I still am. I sighed, gave into the voice, took a shower and got back into bed with a slice of pear and raspberry cake.

Ok ok, before you get worried I have not turned schizophrenic over night. I have however recently gained a new respect for my limits, as I have learnt that both my body and I have to work together as a team for the next 70 years or so. I must say though, I do resent this. I am envious of the people who have limitless energy and don't have to take nights in to rest, when they would rather be going out.

One of my friends who is also both working and studying full time asked me recently "How are girls like us meant to meet boys? We are so dedicated to having a career that we spend every waking hour at work or school. And then when we get a spare moment off peace the last think we want to do is go out. We put all our energy into a career that we will never meet a man. No boy is going to come knocking on your door looking for us, and we don't have time to find them." This I fear is a real modern day girls problem. Lately a few of my friends have teased me for my 'inconvenient love life' , in that ever boy I have dated recently either works near me or is best friends with a friend, and when things go wrong I still have to see them all the time. Yes yes I'm not stupid I understand it was a bad choice (or choices), but when am I meant to have time to meet anyone else? I don't pick these dates because I know its going to make my life really uncomfortable in a months time, its because they are the only once's I get to meet.

I have rambled on much much too much about dating....and forgotten that this is indeed a food blog. I haven't cooked anything yet today (unless you include a chocolate and raspberry sandwich) and I've just realised that i'm running late for a lunch date with a girl friend. So please send in some recipes. Preferably easter once, but whatever you think is good too.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Loving holidays.

Its so lovely to be able to get up in the morning and have time to drink a few cups of tea. Usually when I wake up my first thoughts are about where I can find the nearest coffee shop, because I can't face the day decaffeinated. I'm so used to waking up while its still dark that it feels like a luxury to rise after the sun. Slowly slowly I can feel my body relaxing. I don't feel as stressed, or like crying every five minutes. I feel......normal. After a whole day at home yesterday it was weird visiting the city today. Everyone was running around, crashing into each other. I was quite relieved to get home and away from it all.

Today I went and visited one of my favourite areas, Brunswick st. Its one of the funkiest places in Melbourne and each time I visit there, I am painfully aware that everyone else is much much cooler than me. Once upon a time, three years ago, this used to quite worry me.......but now I couldn't care less. I know I don't have what it takes to be one of the 'in' crowd in this area (mainly because I like to hold a job at all times, and don't want to maintain a drug habit.......but each to there own.) The place is pretty cool though and filled with amazing cafe's and shops. I saw so many places I wanted to eat out there.

One of my friends and I went to visit a little gourmet fish and chip shop, which was quite yummy! We sat and nibbled and talked, and it was nice to get out of my head for a while and just have a nice girly time. I'll do a little review on the place later today, if you would like to have a read.

On the way home I was feeling a little blue. I bought myself some tulips, to cheer myself up and got on my train. I made a train friend (I love making friends on public transport) and it really cheered me. The world can't be such a bad place after all if you can sit on the train for half an hour and discus the perils of sock shopping with an artist.

Hope your all having lovely days

Oh and I have one last favour to ask....if your reading my blog, would you mind terribly if you pressed the follow button? It just helps out a bit incase donna hay happens to find my blog (because its so very likely) and sees how lots of lovely people follow it, maybe she will give me a job writing for her. Thanks heaps guys.

Hooked.....a restaurant review.

Today I checked out Hooked in Brunswick st. with a good friend of mine. I've don't mind the odd meal of fish and chips and I'm always interested in places that do a bit of a twist on classic meals. The place is really cute, and set up like a vintage beach shack on the inside and has a courtyard out the back. I was pretty keen to try the food as it has been voted 'Healthiest Fish and chip shop' and supposedly has 'the best chips in Melbourne' (by 'The Age' newspaper.) Gourmet traveler also recently reviewed the place....and generally speaking, if its good enough for them its good enough for me.

Everyone eating in the shop seemed to be the normal Brunswick st. crowd (dredlocked, tatooted and laden in vintage attire.) But something I have learnt since moving to Melbourne is, you cant judge a place by is customers. I've eaten some very average meals at places where there are lines out the door.

This however was genuinely quite nice. It was nothing at all like your normal fish and chip shop. All the seafood looked really fresh, and the chips are hand cut. Instead of the normal tomato sauce that one usually puts on their chips you can choose between sweet chilli, salsa Verde, or a nice house made aioli. You can order beer or wine with your meal (this excites me), and they had a really nice range of ciders and organic juices.

I ordered the calamari with house cut chips. To be honest it was a little bit chewy (why oh why do people struggle so much with cooking calamari???) but still quite nice. The chips were really yummy and quite good quality, which was nice. I think 'The Age' was a wee bit generous in saying that they are the best chips in Melbourne. I'm going to go out on a limb here (I'm blushing as I say this because its probably very wrong to support a chain food store over an independent one) and say I think 'Grilled' chip are better.

The whole experience was nice but it was missing one thing. What could it be? I racked my brain for the answer, and it finally came to me. The beach! The place is missing a beach. Growing up on the coast fish and chips just don't feel the same on a roadside. It would have been perfect to eat my meal and look out at the sea after a long swim and sun bake. All the same I like the place, although I'm not sure if I'm necessarily hooked (like the pun? Sorry its horrible I know but I just couldn't help myself.)

Hooked on Urbanspoon

End of the day

Today was lovely...but by the end of it my heart was tired. Still working on all the wreckage of the last few months. I spoke to my first love, and we did the 6 monthly catch up. We talked a lot about love, and how it is one of the main reasons why we do what we do. He had just come through a really rough time, and admitted to me that the only reason he was in such a bad state was because.....he loved a girl. We must, we must, we must soldier on though. Everything in life is telling me this (specifically the fact that I keep having dreams I get back together with my ex and everything goes wrong. I end up having to cross bridges over huge valleys and the bridge is breaking. Another time I had to swim under water for ages without coming up for a idea what it means, but it cant be good.)

All this to say, I was quite happy to see my housemate when she got home. I needed a bit of company. We ate salmon soup with the fresh home made bread I made today and drank red wine. For desert we had apple spice tea (its amazing) and chocolate hot cross buns. After this (and with some very good chats) the world felt better.

Just thought I'd say goodnight to you all. I'm off to lunch with a friend tomorrow to check out a gourmet fish and chip shop in brunswick st. Its been reviewed by a few really good food magazines so I'm quite excited!! I'll let you know how it goes. Goodnight lovely readers. Thanks for reading and letting people know about my means a lot to me. Night.

Hot cross buns.

My blog got a bit of a revamp today. My lovely sister went over it all and fixed everything up. So now its all shiny and new. I on the other hand spent a lot of my day baking. I made hot cross buns and some fresh bread.

I had the whole day purely to myself today. It was really lovely. I had plenty of time to think, and feel. I have such a lovely lifestyle here Melbourne, it sometimes makes me a bit sad that I have no one to share it with. I go to pastry school, live in a beautiful area, work selling cupcakes, have some lovely friends and spend my free time in cafes, cooking and writing. Its such a beautiful life. I feel like I really know how to live. I'm never the last person to leave the party, or out till the sun comes up...but I understand beauty in life. I know how to enjoy all the things that are important and that means a lot to me. Making friends has always been easy for me (because I will talk to anyone) so I'm never really alone. And although some of my dates have been disasters lately, when I meet someone I really care for, I know how to love with all my heart and show it.

I'm looking forward to meeting someone that I can share all this with. I'm learning very very very slowly how to be alone. I don't always enjoy the process. Mostly I'm much to busy to notice...but at times, gosh I hate it.

Today I did a bit of an explore of my new town. I looked in lots of boutiques at things I cant afford. It was nice just to wander around town. For the rest of the week I'll probably catch up with some friends and maybe even go out a night or two. I feel much more rested after today. I still have a bit to get done before term starts back again.

There is a bread maker in my new house so I decided to give it a bit of a go today. It was so wonderful! I couldn't believe how easy it was. I'm so used to making bread from scratch with all the proving, and rising, and knocking back and then again probing and rising. All I had to do was add all the ingredients and press start. The bread came out perfectly, with so little effort. I loved it. I'll probably give it a go making it in the oven too....because I think that sort of thing is fun (weird I know.)

Anyway I made some lovely chocolate chip hot cross buns today, as its Easter and all. Here is the recipe for you. They take a bit of time, but are quite easy, and its just so festive.

Hot cross buns

You will need:
  • 4 cups of plain flour
  • 14g of dried yeast
  • 1/4 cup of caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 and a half cups of dark chocolate chips
  • 40g butter
  • 300ml milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
For the crosses:
  • Half a cup of plain flour
  • 5 tablespoons of water
What to do:
  1. Sift the flour and sugar in together.
  2. Add yeast, eggs, and cinnamon.
  3. In a pot melt butter. Add milk and warm.
  4. Add milk and butter to the flour mix
  5. Add chocolate chips. Stir till mixed
  6. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for five minutes till soft and elastic.
  7. Place in a bowl, cover with a tea towel and put in warm place for an hour and a half or until it had doubled in size.
  8. Knock back the dough (punch it right in the middle) and then roll into 12 little balls. Cover with cling wrap and place aside to double again.
  9. Mix together the flour and water into a paste until smooth.
  10. Use a piping bag (or just cut a corner off a zip lock bag) to make make crosses on top of your buns with the flour mix
  11. Bake in a preheated oven at 190 for 20 to 25 minutes.
  12. Then bit into them while they are still hot and burn all the insides of your mouth...well thats what I did anyway.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Today was one of my first proper days off in a very long time. So I decided to give myself a 'me day', where I could do whatever I wanted (mainly nothing... though with me being some sort of crazy over-achiever, I'd probably spend the day cooking, walking and researching).

I decided to start the day by treating myself and going out to breakfast. A friend of mine recommended a place in town called Bagelicious so I set out to have a look.

As you probably have noticed by now, bagels are the new 'food trend' sweeping the industry. Every single little cafe has now added bagels to their menu's and a few bagel cafes (they just sell bagels) have popped up all over the city. I've read a couple of articles (in the foodie section of the newspaper) about people hating this new trend as they are only "boiled bread and nothing that special".

But this, I say, is not true! I'm totally on board and have whole-heartedly embraced the bagel with its many flavours and toppings. I understand that it may be very American but its also very yummy.

So I was quite excited when I walked into Bagelicious to find such a huge variety of well... bagels. The process is a little confusing the first time, as you order your coffee at one counter, then head to another counter to pick your bagel flavour (and there are so many), next you have to decided on your toppings, and then you are sent back to the counter where you ordered the coffee with a ticket and pay there. Its really hard to decided what to have as there are over ten different flavoured bagels to pick from, both sweet and savoury, and so many different topping options. You can just pick one from the menu or invent one yourself. The toppings include pestos, different flavoured cream cheeses, meats, salads, eggs, and roasted vegetables. I had a sundered tomato bagel filled with pesto, chicken, bacon, cheese and roasted capsicum.

My meal was quite yummy but incredibly greasy! I feel I would have appreciated it a lot more if I was hung over, and wanting to soak up some oily goodness. I think it may have been my own fault though for ordering something with both chicken and bacon on it (I was flustered by all the choices and the ridiculously good looking boys that work there. What do you order that says, "Hi, I'm new in town! I'm single and lovely!".... Uh, not bacon and chicken! But we live and learn). They gave me a little plate of pickles to cut through all the oil, and I must admit I found this quite exciting and ate them all. They do have the novelty thing down that's for sure.

The coffee used is 'Five Seed', which I must admit isn't my favourite. It wasn't incredibly well made either (some people really struggle with making a good soy latte.) But it was drinkable.

I enjoyed the experience, mainly for the novelty. I think I'll defiantly go back to try out a few different flavours before I form a set opinion on the place. There are a few other bagel cafes in the city I'd like to try out as well. So I might do that and then compare. I'll keep you updated on my search for the perfect bagel.

Bagelicious on Urbanspoon


Just recently when my parents came to stay, my mum and I decided to have a little girls night out. We went down Hardware Lane in search of a place to eat and everywhere was packed. It can be quite hectic there at night with all the waiters swooping on you and trying to get you inside for a meal. There were so many old sleazy Italian men hitting on my mum in an attempt to convince us to eat there. I was not at all impressed with this!

Vons was the first place along the street that didn't harass us or plead with us to come in. (It makes me wonder about the quality of the food when the waiter is so desperate to get you inside... shouldn't it just speak for itself?). The setting was quite nice as we were outside and next to one of the bands. (Live music and food go together so nicely!)

The staff were quite disorganised and tried to take our order several times after we had ordered, but they were also friendly and fun. I watched one of the girls give the waitress across the road ballroom dancing lessons while there was a lull. It was very cute.

We ordered the paella to share and it was huge! It was probably enough for three people instead of two. I was a little sceptical of ordering this dish because it is something that either can be done really well or really badly. It was quite good though and I really enjoyed it. All the vegetables were cooked just right and the seafood was lovely. I'm not going to say it was the best meal I ever had, or it was amazingly good, but I did really enjoy it. All the food on the menu looked tasty and honest. (I hope you know what I mean by honest food... Food that is hearty and good.)

For desert we had the creme brulee, which was also quite nice. It was served with a strawberry cumquat which complimented it very nicely. I love having this desert (and making it, for that matter) because its just so pretty. The contrast between the smooth and the crunchy is lovely and if done well it just melts in your mouth.

It was a really nice night out. The sort of place to go with a few girls, or on a little date, when you want to eat something nice but can't be bothered with all that fine dining fiasco. I wouldn't make it my favourite place, but would probably go back again.

Vons Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

A wee bit of time off

I finally have a few days off to enjoy my holidays. I really cant wait because I'm very much in need of a rest. I just want to bake for days and days. I would like to say I'm powering along with so much energy at the moment, but the truth is I'm so very exhausted. I was watching a trailer to a movie this week where this really chic-looking spy looked at her enemy and said, "If you're trying to push me to my breaking point, you will find I don't have one." Gosh I envied her! Imagine that!

So tonight I bought myself a bottle of wine, and I'm just going to wind down and research recipes to try out tomorrow. I have a huge list of things I have been meaning to cook all term, but just haven't had time. I keep buying cooking magazines in the hope I will get a chance to make something out of them, but the stack is growing and I've still been too busy! So I'm very excited for tomorrow!! (and you can look forward to some new recipes too).

My housemate (bless her heart) is cooking me dinner again tonight! I have been so spoilt in this new home. I'm really, really loving it.

So I'm off to enjoy my wine and cook books. Have a lovely night.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Raspberry, Pear and Almond Cake

I have been meaning to make this cake for weeks. I was sitting in Starbucks with a friend and found this recipe. I had to change it a little bit to get it to work just right for me... so here is my version of it. I hope you enjoy. Its super moist and yummy.

Raspberry, Pear and Almond Cake

You will need:
  • Two ripe pears
  • 180g butter
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 100g almond meal
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 200g raspberries (I just used frozen because they are cheaper!)
What to do:
  1. Beat your butter (the butter must be soft to start with) and sugar until light and fluffy, and its no longer grainy.
  2. Whisk your eggs, and then slowly add to your sugar mix
  3. Sift flour and almond meal
  4. In 4 batches slowly add flour and almond meal, stirring between each addition.
  5. Add Milk
  6. Dice pears and add
  7. Add raspberries
  8. Grease and line a circle tin with non stick paper
  9. Put in a preheated oven at 180 and bake for an hour and a quarter.
  10. Let cool and then sprinkle with icing sugar
Its such a pretty little cake. It has a really good 'homey' feel to it. Its the sort of thing you want to serve when friends 'pop over', or if your having a picnic. Hope you enjoy making it as much as I did.

Uninspired by cup cakes

"Wow they are so beautiful!" "Gosh they are so lovely!" I have been hearing this all day. I knew food envy existed (thats what you get when someone orders a better meal than you at a restaurant, and you spend the whole time wishing you got the same thing) but being envious of the attention the food is getting.....thats plane silly! But I'm telling you its hard when your treated like a wall flower all day and hardly talked to while people gush and rave about cakes (specially when the customers are beautiful melbourne boys.)

Today I was the crankiest cup cake seller in the world. I came up with every excuse on why I was moody today.....I was tired, hungry, felt sick, the customers were annoying me, but when it got down to heart is bruised and I just feel a little sad.

On my way home I was feeling awfully sorry for myself. Alas! Poor, poor me! When I got in the door, however, I was greeted by all my housemates who had cooked dinner and bought wine. It was so nice. We all sat around the table and talked and ate. It cheered me up so very much. I love the way food can bring people together and make the world seem so much more friendly.

At the moment I have a raspberry and pear cake baking in the oven. I'll put the recipe up when I get the cake out of the oven and check the consistency. I wasn't sure if maybe it needed more milk in the batter and I'd like to get it perfect for you. So in half an hour, I will be happily sitting in bed munching on some cake and sipping tea. I would have forgotten that the world was mean to me today, and I wont have 'cake envy' anymore.

Have a lovely night.

If McDonald's was hell, Laurent would be Heaven.

This weekend I took a little trip to one of my favourite places in the world... Laurent. I really can't rave about this place enough. If McDonnell's was hell this place would be heaven. It personifies nearly everything I love about food and hospitality. So much care is put into the food and everything tastes amazing. The presentation is amazing and every time I go there I feel like I have stepped into Europe.

For a while when I was living in Camberwell, I made this place my second home. It's the perfect spot to sit on a Sunday morning, read the paper, drink some coffee, and eat pastries (It's also right across the road from boarders and an amazing second hand market). They sell cakes, macaroons, bread, pastries, ice cream and coffee. Everything is divine but you simply must must try the chocolate almond croissants. They are the best I have ever had (and believe me, I have eaten a lot of croissants.)

The food is a little bit expensive, but you wont even think about the prices when you are eating the food. Everything is baked fresh in the mornings and even the ice cream is house made.

I actually went here on my first real date many years ago when I first moved to Melbourne. We ate roasted vegetable baguettes and drank green tea. It was quite romantic. My love of the place outlasted my love of the boy by far, and I've never stopped going back. Whenever life gets a little too much, I make a trip there and just sit for hours. By the time I've left, things usually feel much better.

All I can really say is... you must go there yourself.

Laurent Boulangerie Patisserie on Urbanspoon

Sunday, April 17, 2011

These Days I Only Have One Leg...

As some of you well know....I'm currently dealing with the end of a relationship. The best way to describe the feeling is that I've lost a limb. I have this strange sensation all the time that something is missing, even before I've realised what it is. Something aches but I can never quite locate the pain. Its like my arm fell off.......I can function without it ok, but I'm not sure why I have to. I miss my best friend with all my heart and somedays I just don't know what to do about it. In saying all that though, I'm actually starting to feel a bit stronger in myself. I'm starting to feel like maybe just maybe its going to be ok, and I'll come out the other side super strong and ready to take on the world. Just before we broke up my ex said to me "Cherry if you can learn to be single, I think you can do anything." And you know what? I think he is right.

So I push on. I have no 'game plan' on how to deal with all these emotions. I don't really drink that much these days. I quit smoking a while back. I've been through my rebound stage. So mainly I drink a lot of coffee and eat a lot of cake. I also amerce myself in cooking magazines and try to write as much as possible. Its not the best coping mechanism I know, but give me some time, and I'll sort it all out.

Over the past week my parents have been here and I've had the pleasure of being taken out to dinner a couple of times. Its been so lovely. I've been exploring Hardware Lane in Melbourne which is a really great place to eat. They often have life music at night and lots of deals (such as 2 courses for $30 or two drinks for the price of one.) Its really worth checking out. There is an amazing macaroon shop there which you 'simply must go to'. So very very very beautiful.

This week being easter and all I plan to make some festive treats. Hot cross buns are on the to do list. I'm really excited to make them. I'll post the recipe up for you once I've tested it out. Hope you had a really lovely Sunday. Enjoy the rest of your night.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Salmon Soup... (It's SO Good!)

I promised to put up the recipe for this soup. Its really yummy and simple. Hope you enjoy it.

Salmon Soup

You will need:
  • One big piece of salmon
  • one onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cobs of corn
  • 2 carrots
  • 500ml cream
  • 4 washed potatoes
  • vegetable stock
  • one small tin of canned salmon
  • Half a cup of cheese (Any you like really. You could just use tasty or parmesan, or maybe some brie?)
  • 1 tsp of dried coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chilli flakes
What to do:
  1. Lightly fry your onion and garlic in a large pot.
  2. Peel and dice all your vegetables and add to the pot. Cook for about 5 minutes stirring all the time so it doesn't stick
  3. Add enough stock to cover all the vegetables and bring to the boil
  4. Turn down to low heat, add the herbs, and simmer until vegetables are soft
  5. Dice salmon
  6. Add cream and tinned fish to soup
  7. Turn the soup down very low and add salmon and cheese. Cook for another 2 minutes and then serve right away. Don't forget to taste it for seasoning... It will need some salt and pepper. (Also make sure the soup is down very low when you add the cheese, or it will go lumpy)
So thats what I had for lunch today guys... It's really yummy! I hope you enjoy it.

Girls Night In!

This week I was invited to a dinner party by a lovely lesbian girl that sometimes comes into my work. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to make it with all the moving and packing and what not. Actually this is a lie. All my unpacking is done. I'm on holidays and I have loads of free time. Its just that... well, I've been a little down lately about this whole 'single' thing and going out would require me actually getting out of bed and stop eating easter chocolate. I've been feeling very apathetic lately, and to be honest it's hard at times moving to a new city alone and having to turn up at parties where you know no one. In my state of singleness and self-loathing things were snowballing fast... I decided that I'd probably never meet a nice man. I'd probably never even leave the house for that matter except for school and work. I was being a huge wimp.

I have learnt in life that the most exciting and enriching things happen when you run after, instead of away from, your fears. So off I trotted to the train station with a bottle of very good merlot (I hate to turn up at people's houses empty handed.)

I had a lovely time! We drank wine, talked, and ate some really yummy food. It was nice having someone else cook for me for a change. The host made a whole roast chicken (I love it when people roast chickens. To me its like saying, "I love you enough that I would stick my hand up a bird's bum and put crumbs in it, and then worry about it for an hour and a half desperately hoping it doesn't dry out." True dedication to a meal.)

It was a really fun night. Here's the funny thing about it though... everyone there was gay. As in everyone. I felt so out of place in my sea-foam green silk dress when all the girls were in shorts, and tee's and vests. I was so glad I decided against heels that night. I think the boy sitting next to me was move likely to own a skirt than any of the girls there. (This is not a joke, as he did mention he owned a corset.) It was actually really nice though. I think I made some good friends there. (And I was worried about never leaving home and having a boring life!!!)

I woke up this morning with a killer hangover. It really has been a while since I've drunk that much red wine. I decided to officially have a bed day. I have been so good lately getting all my jobs done, but today it was time to just rest. I cooked up a huge breakfast, and got back in bed with a cup of tea and watched movies. It was lovely. Hope your having a really good saturday too.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Vegie Bar

Last night I took a little trip down to Brunswick street to visit one of my favourites.....The Vegie Bar. I have so many fond memories of the place, so I was quite excited to go. I've had some wonderful and terrible dates at this place. This however is besides the point.

The whole place looks like a converted barn and its covered in posters and information about gigs and events. Its a really indie/arty scene and the people watching is great. The menu is perfect if your vegan as no meat is served and they also cater for people with gluten senstitivites.

I had the gado gado which was nice (if you like vegetables... which I do.) The peanut sauce was really yummy and the vegetables were all cooked well. I went with my mum and dad and they ate a pizza and a salad, which were average.

The drinks list is great as you can choose from a range of organic wines or juices. I had a merlot that was made just out of melbourne and it was delicious.

I really like the place, and I want to love it... but I just cant. As nice as the food is, its really lacking something. Its a bit like the scene there... very cool, but lacking a bit of substance. Considering the prices you do really get what you pay for as the serves are huge and the meals are cheap. It's good but not great. I recommend a visit there, just because its fun; but don't expect an amazing vegetarian meal. The place is continually packed, and I get the feeling that the chefs are just too busy to put much love into the food.

Vegie Bar on Urbanspoon

What to do about love and ice-cream making

Today is my first real day off I've had these holidays. Mainly I have been spending my week working, packing and moving houses, but today I had nothing I had to do. I've been so utterly worn out this week its good to have a rest. I feel so tired I find myself starring into my computer screen not knowing why, and avoiding all social events (you mean people want to meet up after 7pm? But what about bed?)

So I treated myself to a 'me' day. I went to the library, the vic markets, explored the city and now I'm out to lunch. I found a nice little cafe in Hardware lane where I could eat a huge place of chilli prawn linguini and have a good think.

Why am I so tired? (apart from moving to a new city, starting pastry school and working on top of that) I keep wondering? The truth is... love is wearing me out. Its exhausting. The constant "yes, no, on and off" of it all has worn me to a small wisp of a girl and I am learning that I am not a strong tower unmoved by storms. I too can get blown over by the wind and crushed by the hail. To some I'm sure this is very obvious, but to me it came as a surprise. Me in my naive youthfulness truly believed that I could date four (yes i said four) boys in the space of one term, end all those short relationships/flings/whatever they where (because I'm really not sure... still), neatly in time for holidays and not feel a thing! Well, I will just take a moment to tell you now... THIS WAS A VERY STUPID THING TO DO!

Your heart (I have learnt over the past 3 months) is like angeles sauce (the bace used to make ice cream).....very fragile. It needs time and warmth. Too much heat however and you will scramble the eggs in it. Not enough heat and it will never cook. I have scrambled the eggs (of my heart) and I'm now left with this yellow, lumpy, useless mess. So now I must start again from scratch, whisking my sugar and eggs, heating the milk, and this time only cooking it over slowly simmering water.

So for the next few days i will rest and cook and write, until I work out what is to be done about all this. I have some lovely fresh ingredients from the markets (this I must admit cheers me a lot.) I'm going to cook a big salmon and potato soup for dinner tonight. If it works I'll post the recipe up for you.

Tomorrow is Saturday (I'm sure your aware of this) so have a lovely weekend... and be gentle with your hearts!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Starting Fresh... again... and again.

Day one of being completely single...again. I woke with that sad heavy hearted feeling of knowing something is wrong but not remembering what. Slowly it filtered back through my consciousness that there was a reason for the dull pain in my heart, and on top of that I had to move houses today. I hit snooze on my alarm three times and then realised I really did need to get up and get organised.

I started to pack up, my boxes, my heart, my thoughts, my ideas. So much beauty had taken place in this little room. I'd done some deep thinking here, worked on assignments for pastry school, started this very blog, spent a wonderfully beautiful week laughing and eating with a friend all hours of the night, and spent so many lovely mornings in bed reading the paper and drinking coffee.

It's always hard saying goodbye to another town. I had packed up all my food so I took a short walk into town to buy some coffee to brew and a few other ingredients. After a chocolate and raspberry sandwich life didn't feel so lonely. I was so thankful though when my parents arrived to help me move. They had come to stay at just the right time.

We moved all my things and then went out to a lovely little organic cafe for lunch. I had a big serve of salad and it was so so yummy! There seem to be a lot of these lovely little organic places all over the city where you can find really healthy food quite cheaply.

My new room is lovely. I can imagine me cooking some beautiful cakes in this kitchen. I cant wait to settle in and explore the new town. Hope your day is lovely.

Eggplant and Tomato Dip

I'm moving houses tomorrow so I have spent my afternoon "packing up my snail shell". By now I'm a professional mover. Over the past few years I have become so good at it that it only takes a couple of hours to shift from one home to the next. Minimalism is the key! Anything I no longer need I through out. This is a concept I am very good at...but only when it comes to things. When It comes to the heart however, I tend to be a hoarder. Letting go of people I love, and have loved is a weak point of mine. For example I still keep in contact with my first boyfriend of nine years ago. Yes this is weird...but its the way I work(or have worked up until now). I have trouble letting go of the people who have helped shape my life so much up to this point and still love to have their input in my life.

This however stops now (apparently). I am sick of watching myself drag a one year relationships into three years. I am tired of breaking up with people I have already broken up with. But mainly I just don't want to hurt those I hold dearest to me....anymore.

So I'm right at the start again. This is one of the reasons I started this blog. To learn to cook as a single lady, and enjoy it. How I loath the title 'single' though.

So its back to cooking for myself again, something I have completely neglected of late. I'll give it another go. I must press on cooking, writing, loving, caring, even when the world feels a little bit empty.

I'm on holidays now and I plan on using the time to practice recipes, do some writing, sit in cafes, catch up on some reading, and go for long runs. I have pages and pages of recipes I want to try out but just haven't had the time. Hopefully I'll be back in the kitchen before i know it and distracting myself from my bruised heart. Im so tired of my own games..... I need to rest and recover.

So while I pack tonight and think, I'm going to cook myself some dinner out of the scraps of my pantry.

Eggplant and Tomato Dip (because thats all the vegetables I've go left)

You will need:
  • One eggplant
  • One tomato
  • One teaspoon of tahini
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon of chilli flakes
  • 2 tablespoons of natural yoghurt

What to do:
  1. Prick your eggplant all over with a folk, and place it directly onto the oven racks.
  2. Cook for 45 minutes at 180 or until its soft
  3. Dice your tomato, and crush your garlic
  4. When eggplant is cooked carefully lift in from the oven and scoop out its "guts" (Its such a savage word but I kind of like it) Dice.
  5. Then basically just mix everything together.

You could add some fresh herbs to this too. It probably really needs them but as I don't have any I will be going without. Its a pretty rustic dinner, and should be served with corn chips or some yummy turkish. It's probably enough to share between two.....I feel pretty a little low tonight and might just eat it all. Have a beautiful night.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Some Luxury and a Rest for my Heart

The reason there has been no blog for the last few days is because I have been living in luxury. I am now on holidays for two weeks and have been staying in a hotel in the city for the last three nights. When one of my girlfriends found this out she slyly inquired who the lovely man to put me up in a hotel might be......but alas I must confess, I have been staying with my parents. Not that this is in anyway less lovely. Its been really good to see my family and have that support around me.

This term has been an interesting one, and by the end of it I was left feeling worn out...both body and heart. Somethings have worked out so perfectly and somethings have not worked out at all. I feel very empowered at times by the way I made it through such a big move and starting back at study. I feel very strong. At the same time I can feel very small, because one thing that I really really wanted this term, something that made me quite happy, I couldn't have.

All the same I dust of my bruised heart and soldier on (sometimes however all I want to do is through myself to the ground, scream at everyone and have a proper five year old tantrum yelling "Why why cant I have what I want??? why? " Really though imagine if it was socially acceptable for adults to have tantrums. It would feel so damn satisfying). However as one of my good friends once said to me "Cherry you are in Melbourne to cook, who cares about the rest of it. Just do what you are there to do and don't worry." This always cheers me up when things go wrong.

I did a bit of exploring while I was staying in the city this week and found some lovely bakeries. When I have a bit more free time I'll check them out and do some reviews for you. I'll put up some photo's from one I found on little collins st. It's called the Brioche Bakery. I'm yet to try the pastries, but I can vouch for there coffee!

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Rest at Long Last...

I have finally finished my first term at pastry school, and what a crazy term it has been. I feel like so much happened and changed in such a short space of time.
I've made some really lovely friends, and I really like my new job. I had a few really romantic moments (and even if they didn't last very long) they were beautiful.....and we all appreciate beauty. I feel like I've done a lot of soul searching and worked out quite a lot.

My favourite thing I have learnt so far at school is how to work with yeast. Bread and yeast based pastries are such an art form and I really enjoy the process. I love that I'm working with a living organism that must be cared for and treated in a certain way in order to live and grow. I really can't wait to learn more about bread making.

My parents have flown down to visit for my school holidays. Its so nice to see them. We all went out to a restaurant last night in the city to eat mussels and drink wine. It Italian waiter was fussing over us as we were ordering our food, and suddenly I had a revelation. I was not at all charmed by him! Usually I am a sucker for all these lovely European dark haired and dark eyed beauties walking around the city, but I think I have been cured. A short stint of actually dating one of them has put me off for life (ok ok we all know this probably isn't true but let me stay in my little bubble of believing that I'm making progress, and that I wont just melt on the spot when one of them simply looks at me sideways.)

Hopefully over my holidays I'll have a lot more time to cook. I feel bad that I haven't been putting up enough recipes on this blog when it is meant to be a food blog. I've just been so very very busy. Please send in any recipes you have and want me to try out for the blog, or just some you like. Have a lovely weekend.