Saturday, 31 December 2011

Ampersand Cafe Bookstore, Surry Hills

It is New Years Eve (is it that important that it needs capital letters?) and I am in Sydney. Instead of sitting in the sun at the harbour (behind some fat sweaty guy with an afro hair cut which will block any view at all) waiting in anticipation for some fireworks, I am instead happily sitting at the computer at my friend Alan's house. Alan is currently on a boat in Sydney harbour and I chose to stay home because I do not like parties and parties do not like me. Instead, I choose to blog!

Friday, 30 December 2011

Lucia's Pizzeria & Spaghetti Bar, Adelaide Central Markets

I have heard things about Lucia's; the coffee, the pasta, the atmosphere etc. I walk past Lucia's each Friday evening when I shop at the Adelaide Central Markets and it is always full! Must be good...or at least the chairs must be more comfortable than the public benches. Recently, I decided it was time to see what all the fuss was about.

Monday, 26 December 2011

The Mac Factory, Adelaide

Tucked above the post office on Hutt Street you will find The Mac Factory, Adelaide's first macaron house. I visited the Mac Factory with Mr L, to share with him his first macaron experience. I remember my first macaron experience, at the Tea Room in the Queen Victoria Building, Sydney. I did not think much of the macarons there. I was so eager to try them and my reaction was 'oh...hmmm'. Their scones with jam and cream are fantastic but their macarons failed to impress. If you are after macarons in Adelaide The Mac Factory is the place to be.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Gingernut biscuits

Yes, gingernuts! As a (fat) child, I ate a lot of biscuits; Timtams, those ones with hard sprinkles, Wagon Wheels, jam, chocolate chip, chocolate, Mint Slice, Tiny Teddies... Then there were gingernut biscuits. I liked them but they were always too hard for me to bite through. I felt that if I bit through one I would require medical attention from the evil school dentist and have to wear one of those sleeping koala stickers with the words 'my gums are sleeping'.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Plum and apricot jam coconut slice

This little Christmas grinch is now on annual leave for two weeks! Yay! I am excited; no more being on hold and listing to the awful ATO on hold music, horrible microwaved work lunches and 2-3 hour bus trips each day...well, at least for two weeks:) This is an occasion worthy of some cake and this one involves jam....

There is so much jam in my household. My grandma on one side and my grandpa on the other side of my family both make jam. They're both proud owners of apricot and plums trees and therefore each year pick buckets of fruit to turn into fruity lumpy jam (not that smooth rubbish you find at the supermarket). We are gifted so much jam that my grandparents must think we drink it. If it did not contain equal portions of fruit and sugar, I would drink it.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Spekulatius - Spice biscuits

Today, I present to you Spekulatius biscuits. You have surely eaten them before. They are those biscuits you find in the European food section at the supermarket, packed in a 450-500g packet featuring pretty village scenes on the front. The biscuits themselves are darker than those in the photo above and are in the shape of windmills, houses or other nouns. Spekulatius (or Speculaas in Dutch) are a Dutch biscuit traditionally prepared for St Nicholas Day.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

The Ultimate Apple Cake Mission - December: Apple and ricotta cake

Subtle yet still sweet, soft and juicy, light, appley, wintery, summery...and sometimes, there's struessel topping involved. Oh and do not forget the cream...or ice cream! I believe everyone needs to be able to make an 'ultimate' yet humble cake which can impress people (in my case, an apple cake) and scrambled eggs. The Ultimate Apple Cake Mission will be my very first blog series. The goal, to find my ultimate apple cake of course.

December's apple cake was inspired by the apple and ricotta muffins at the Ride and Fall Temperance Lounge/Galaxy Lartay. The muffins were my first ever dessert incorporating ricotta and I was impressed.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Fruit salad banana cake

I arrived home one day last week and was shocked at what I saw when I stood in the kitchen. On the bench, I saw a black banana, a squishy pear and a clammy apple. YUM! Although such items are most welcome in the compost bin, I felt the need to bake them into a soft banana fruit salad cake. What amazed me though is that I could SEE the fruit on the bench when I walked in. I had an eyes tested on the weekend and in my right eye, I could read the smallest line on the sign. My left eye is a little backwards and could only read the first line, yes, the line with the HUGE letters. I didn't know my eyes were so bad! I am excited about soon receiving  my new glasses:)

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Meet up & afternoon tea at the Bourke Street Bakery

Good morning readers,

I will be in Sydney during the Christmas break and would be delighted to have your company for afternoon tea. Eating cake, pastries and/or tarts is so much more pleasant when you have the company of others:)

If you would like to join me, the details are as follows:
When: Thursday 29 December, 2pm (or 14:00 if you operate in 24 hour time)
Where: Bourke Street Bakery, 633 Bourke Street, Surry Hills, NSW
Meeting point: The light pole on the corner of Bourke Street and Devonshire Street (thank you Google Maps)
What: Afternoon tea of course:)
What to bring: A camera (if you wish to be all 'food blogger-ey') and a hungry stomach

Please let me know if you can join me for some sugary/savoury/carby treats, by writing a comment or sending an email to fruitsaladmixedveg at If there is no interest, I am still likely to go by myself:) Afterall, it has been on my 'to eat at' list for far too long!


Sunday, 11 December 2011

Malteser Cake

I made a lemon of a recipe the other day; a date roll. I may post about it later to make you all aware of the potential disasters surrounding it....but it will just bring back bad memories. I was looking forward to munching on the date roll, but this did not happen. Oh well. In order to cheer myself up (and because I can), I went out for cake, arrived home and then decided to bake a cake.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Tin Cat Cafe, Kent Town

My hobbies: baking and walking. I enjoy walking so much. Each Saturday and Sunday morning I power walk between 4 and 6km. I do it again in the evening. Not only is walking great exercise (I used to be a lazy blob who struggled walking up the street. Now I walk everywhere, which means I can eat cake and not return to my former state of blobiness) but it is great for you mentally. You can relax, think, take in your surroundings, hear the birds and smell the flowers:)

Alan and I walked the Tin Cat Cafe in Kent Town, from South Terrace. Such a nice, 3.5km walk. As we walked, we peeked in shop windows, watched people and felt the cool air on our faces. We approached the Tin Cat Cafe, Entertainment Book card in hand and knew there was the potential for awesomeness: flower boxes, balcony with decorative fencing, lanterns, a pretty window and an old blue chair out the front.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Guest Post by Alan: Adelaide Central Market inspired pesto

Today I present to you my first guest post, kindly written by my dear friend, wine educator and photography tutor, Alan. Believe it or not, these photos were taken in his badly lit kitchen; there is hope for me and my badly lit house after all.

I’ve always been bamboozled by people who buy the simplest of foods in a jar, plastic take-away container or heaven forbid, in an aluminium container. What’s really concerning is that these people have no idea what they are putting in their mouths with all the artificial flavourings and preservatives and what not. From that quick rant, you would have quickly deduced that yes; I am a huge advocate of healthy cooking and eating fresh. There’s no finer pleasure than creating something and getting to enjoy the tastes of your efforts! 

Monday, 5 December 2011

Ride and Fall Temperance Lounge / Galaxy Lartay

I discovered a  rare gem warm bowl of slightly lumpy semolina with sugar sprinkled on top here in Adelaide over the weekend. I am actually writing about a cafe that is so homely and welcoming that it is better to associate it with a bowl of warm semolina than a rare gem. I have driven past this cafe on the bus for the last three weeks and each morning, have noticed a man out the front paining. I walked past the cafe two Saturdays ago and noticed wooden tables, flowers and hand written signs inside. I had to visit!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Zimtsterne - Cinnamon stars

If you visit a German's house during December you're likely to find a big airtight box on the kitchen table, containing an array of wonderful home made Christmas biscuits. Zimtsterne, or cinnamon stars are likely to be amongst the biscuits and they are my favourite:) Team them up with some Kinderpunch/hot orange juice and you're set.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Brasserie Restaurant, Adelaide Hilton, Adelaide

Earlier this year I purchased an Entertainment Book but up until last week I had only used one voucher from it, in order to receive a free icecream! The Brasserie offer in the Entertainment Book allows one to receive a complimentary main when another main of equal or greater value is purchased. Sounds good to me. I like complimentary things for they are my favourite things. I asked my auntie, Auntie W, to dine with me as a sort of birthday tea:)