Tuesday, December 25, 2012


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Candied spiced almonds and cashews, exactly like what they sell at German Christmas markets, that I made and wrapped for Christmas presents.
I hope everyone is having a great Christmas, mine certainly has been. Tomorrow I'm off to Melbourne for a few days, then to Lismore/ Byron Bay for New Year's Eve + a few days. Please let me know of any must visit places (cafes, shops, sights) that you might know in either Melbourne or Byron!

Sunday, December 16, 2012


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I was a bit of a grinch last year. Because all of my family (bar immediate) live in another country, it has sometimes felt like Christmas lost some of its charm when we moved. Last year I had just arrived back from Vietnam before Christmas, so I had some excuse as to why I didn't bother getting a lot of people gifts. It was still quite embarrassing being empty-handed when they handed you a beautifully wrapped, thoughtful present. On the other hand, I really hate the commercialisation of Christmas (especially in Australia - sorry), the crazy post-Christmas debt putting strain on families and the environmental effects of buying masses of highly manufactured, low-quality gifts produced in (often ethically questionable) factories overseas and all the waste it produces - all these things taking away from what Christmas should really be about.
This year I will be getting gifts, but be putting thought into what I buy. With a lot of my friends, we've decided to go for a nice meal instead of getting each other presents. I also loved Katie's Edible Gift Ideas article in this month's Delicious magazine (yours truly holding the box of meringues - famous, right?) and am planning to make a big batch of maple & cinnamon roasted nuts to give to work friends. And because that doesn't leave my other-than-for-Europe savings quite depleted, I can afford to buy those few close friends and family decent gifts that won't be long-forgotten by next Christmas.

PS. Photos from a recent batch of Christmas cakes I made. I think there's definitely mixed thoughts about this traditional cake, especially since so many people seem to really not like the ingredients that make up a big part of it - glacé cherries, mixed peel and raisins. I belonged to this school of thought until I recently had some of the best Christmas cake I ever tasted and tried to recreate it. I won't include a recipe as I'm sure a a google search will provide you with one, but my tips would be to leave out the mixed peel (who actually likes it?) - use dried apricots instead, be heavy-handed with the brandy when soaking the raisins as well as pouring some over once baked (boozy cake = delicious cake) and not to be afraid of including lots more ginger, mixed spice and cinnamon than a recipe might recommend.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Crepe & Coffee Co

2nd l&f_4 2nd l&f_3 l&f-13 Extras - 1 l&f-6 bw Toast - Wholemeal Sourdough Cookie - Health Nutta Coffee - Flat White Coffee - Hot Chocolate Tea - Good Morning Tea - Peace Quiet Specials - Pineapple Mint Frappe Milkshake - Chocolate Specials - Iced Chocolate Crepe - Nut Butt

A few months ago I took some product photos for The Crepe & Coffee Co, a lovely little cafe in Redfern, Sydney. To take 100+ photos, all in my mid-semester break, seemed like a really daunting task at first and thinking back the whole week that I spent there still seems like a bit of a blur. A really delicious, coffee and fresh juice-fueled blur. It's right near Redfern station, the staff are all really friendly and they really do do a mean crepe. My picks: the salmon or nutmeg butter (add banana) crepes, chorizo breakfast hotpot and some of the best coffee I've had (big call) - a really great Columbian single origin roast.

The Crepe & Coffee Co.
60 Regent Street Redfern, Sydney, Australia 2016

Thursday, December 6, 2012





These are really yummy, easy and both are no-bake; perfect, old-fashioned summery petit fours.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


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'CLEAN UP HARD DRIVE'. It's been on my to-do list for about a year, and having finally started to sort through it now, I've spent most of today trawling through forgotten photos - I guess that's what happens now that we hardly bother to print photos anymore.
I visited Norway in their Summer, and even though we were meant to be at the hottest time of the year, I only remember wearing short sleeves twice throughout my whole stay. You don't visit Norway for the cities, as clean and designerly as Oslo is (I preferred Bergen though), the nature is what you spend your time and expensive kroner on. At best you hire a car and allow at least 4 weeks to do a loop through the whole country, staying in huts (camping too risky due to unpredictable weather) and allowing time to go through the side roads, admiring the fjords and taking time to get tips off the friendly locals, who are nearly always happy to talk and practise their perfect (!) English.
I think I was reading Girl with the Dragon Tattoo during this trip and I remember deciding that if I was ever going to write a book, a hut on the edge of a fjord or a quaint seaside village in Norway is where I'd do so. I'd never heard a quietness like I heard in Norway (wanky thing to say, but true). We weren't quite far north enough for the northern lights, but I remember that it wouldn't be dark for more than 4 hours each night, and I was glad for the 3am sunrise that tricked my body into waking so I could appreciate the beautiful light (before making my way to bed again). If you ever get the chance (and money - think Sydney prices times five), visit Norway.