Whoa, Baby

March 2, 2015

I kind of always thought that pregnant women who expressed repulsion at the thought of vegetables were maybe, possibly, just a little bit exaggerating. How can a capsicum make you want to cry, yet a bag of potato chips bring indescribable joy? I just didn’t get it.

Well, for the past couple of months, the thought of zucchini has made me want to barf. I get it. I’m there. I’m pregnant. Now where the heck are my french fries?

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Plum Spelt Cake

February 28, 2015

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My parents were recently gifted a bounty of plums. Pondering what to do with an abundance of seasonal produce is a lovely thing to think on. Mum and I enjoy our recipe-talk emails, “How about this?”…”I like the ingredients here”…”check out her method”. But these plums, so rich and ripe and romantically toned, how were we to proceed? Mum suggested a cake by Nigel Slater for us to have after brunch one weekend, and after a brief glance at the ingredients list (and the recipe developer), I replied, “Definitely.” Eggs and bacon followed by cake… Yes, definitely.

And when does Nigel Slater ever lead us astray?

When does my mother ever lead us astray?

I’ve spoken about my mum’s kitchen abilities before, but she’s the reason I have kitchen confidence. Because of my mum I know to read a recipe well before cooking (maybe a few similar ones, to gain a deeper understanding of what you’re doing), and then follow my instincts. Mum’s tastes and talent are influenced by her visit to Howqua Dale’s cooking retreat one weekend in the 90’s. This fostered her kitchen confidence and encouraged a love for French provincial-style cooking, which is something we in the family are always grateful for, as mum makes the most divine coq au vin and similar preparations. Mum also knows a good cake recipe when she sees one.

Hence, this beauty.

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Happy Snaps from our Wedding, 3 Years On

February 25, 2015

Today is our 3 year wedding anniversary. 3 years ago we threw a giant party with our parents, got married, drank a lot of limoncello and had the best time with our friends and family, dancing, laughing and eating ice-cream.

As much as February 25th is a special date, Ben and I save our main anniversary celebration for August 29th. On that day in 2001, 16-year-old Ben texted 15-year-old Heidi, asking if she wanted to make it “official”. Yeah I did. That weekend we saw Planet of the Apes at Frankston cinema and held hands the entire time. I wore flared jeans and a Kookai jacket. Gosh we were so young! And here we are, 14.5 years later. Best friends, still holding hands and with slightly better taste in movies. So you see, our 3 year wedding anniversary is really our 14.5 year dating anniversary. Either way, there’s a lot to celebrate.

I recently updated the post I wrote about our wedding day (see here), with condensed sentiments and a few more pictures we recently discovered. We also stumbled across a bunch of photographs from the disposable cameras that were left on tables for people to use. They’re from the dinner onwards and feature a lot of smiles and a lot of dancing. I adore these candid gems. They’re pure love, starting with my smiling folks and ending with my husband and brother… what love.

Happy anniversary, sweets. 3 years is supposed to be the leather anniversary, but I didn’t think about that and instead bought you a pineapple. Let’s get married again.

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Things, lately

February 21, 2015

I have some thoughts, all a bit random. Here they are.

♥ I updated the recipe (and picture) for one of my most favourite dishes – tuna, chilli and lemon pasta. Ben and I have long been obsessed (yes, certifiably obsessed) with this dish, and so it wasn’t a surprise when I wrote about it soon after starting this blog. But over the years I have refined my pasta game, in terms of both ingredients and method, and so it needed revisiting. You can read about thoughts from my 24, soon to be 25, year old brain here (link) and enjoy this recipe that remains a staple in our diet. In fact, the new photo is from just last week.

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Nectarine and Cardamom Bircher Muesli

February 18, 2015

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Road trip!

Ben and I are off to the country today for work, leaving super early. With a bit of a drive ahead of us, I felt it prudent to pack a week’s worth of snacks. We have muesli bars (I will share the recipe soon), mum’s plum cake (I will share the recipe super soon!), celery and carrot sticks, cashews and dried bananas. Water, too. I plan on moving our soundtrack between 80’s classics and 90’s Mariah Carey.

But first, breakfast. Bircher muesli is my favourite on the go breakfast – just grab and go, baby. I prepped this meal yesterday morning before leaving for work, as I like to be organised before my road trips and knew I wouldn’t be home until late (and at that point, all I’d want to do would be to boil some pasta and plonk on the couch to finish Happy Valley – side note, WHOA, that show…). I had some beautiful nectarines to use, so decided to roll with a stone fruit theme, adding my usual oats, chia seeds, milk and yoghurt. Ground cardamom felt appropriate, so I folded some into the mix and went with a little maple syrup for sweetener, as it’s Ben’s favourite. I also prepped some toasted seeds, ready in a container for crunchy morning decoration.
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Quick Raspberry Ice-Cream with Chocolate Ice-Magic

February 14, 2015

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Because it’s still summer! And summer means ice-cream.

Though I adore traditional ice-cream, I appreciate the healthy and instant alternative that is frozen fruit, blitzed into smooth submission. Topping cold berry (or banana) scoops with a rich, cacao stream that hardens upon contact is beyond cool. Have you had ice-magic before? It’s just like that, but better. Man, I loved that topping when I was younger. It was my favourite form of science.

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My favourite places to visit on the Mornington Peninsula

February 8, 2015

Well, this was a long time coming. Having lived on the Mornington Peninsula for nearly thirty years, I most definitely have some thoughts on the best things to do in my region. The Mornington Peninsula is becoming a really popular spot for holidays and weekend getaways, and this is no surprise to me. I’ve always thought it to be particularly special. I get a lot of emails asking for recommendations on where to eat in my region, so I thought it was high time I put them all in one post.

This is a personal post, for sure. I’m showing you my peninsula, my favourite spots for coffee, breakfast, bread, cakes and wine. I still have a lot to discover, and you won’t find some of the popular tourist spots here because I have either never been, or have been on occasion and find them too busy or they just don’t feel like my peninsula. The following is what makes me happy in my hood.

Red Hill

When I think of the Mornington Peninsula I think of lush grass, dirt roads, the bridle track, heavy tree cover and red mud. I think of Red Hill. Red Hill is home.

♥ I grew up going to the Red Hill Market to visit my grandparents who had a stall selling home-crafted cards and pin cushions. My nana is the definition of crafty. I am not. I am, however, good at eating. It used to be fudge and corn on the cob, these days it’s Red Hill Cheese, Red Hill Muesli and Flinders Sourdough (which I’ll get to later).

♥ Mock Red Hill is a family-run, biodynamic orchard, and they make my most favourite (dry) cider. Their sparkling apple juice is the stuff of dreams. Visit for a tasting, buy your favourites and also some apples.

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A smart move

February 4, 2015

I made a batch of my nut, seed and oat loaf at the start of January. Slicing thick slabs and wrapping them individually in plastic wrap, then foil, before freezing it all…..it was a smart move.

This nutrient-dense loaf has served me well in the past. With avocado and hummus, or alongside a salad. It slides from the freezer and into the toaster so keenly, the smell of warmed nuts and seeds having the same effect on me as an espresso. This morning I went the way of toasting two slices, spreading a little butter on top and then a assigning one with a mixed berry jam and the other some sharp English cheddar.

I’m really happy with myself this morning.

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What did you have for breakfast today?

 

Heidi xo

Eggs and Toast

January 31, 2015

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I’ve been craving simple things. With attention directed away from the kitchen more than usual, my oven and pots have had a bit of a rest. The weekend has seen us do a lot of batch cooking, making an overflowing serves of bolognaise with umpteen carrots and celery from Transition Farm. I’ll share our recipe soon. There’s been a few rounds of tuna casserole with spinach thrown in for vegetable measure and I’ll eat this as is, with a side of bread or salt and vinegar potatoes if I can be bothered. Sometimes I boil then grate potatoes, before tossing the starchy shred with capers and lemon juice and making a topping for the baked tuna casserole, creating a fish pie of sorts. Vegetable soup has been made and eaten over days, sometimes with noodles, tamari and sriracha, sometimes with bread and butter. I’ve enjoyed this way of cooking and eating, big batches and repitition.

Breakfasts and lunches have looked quite similar. Avocado on toast, even peanut butter, and yoghurt with granola has made a midday appearance more than once. But my favourite has been eggs and toast.

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Little Women

January 28, 2015

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I’m tearing through my new book (for my speed standards) and don’t want it to end. When I was younger I was besotted with the 1994 film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott‘s Little Women. Oh, I adored The Marchs’ dear little house and longed to spend my days reading books, writing stories and performing in plays with Jo. As a collector of old books it was no surprise that I grabbed a copy (along with Little Men and Jo’s Boys) when I stumbled across it in the op shop, but for some silly reason it has sat on the shelf unopened. For years. And for some sweet reason I decided to change that last week.

Jo and Laurie have been my companions alongside breakfast. And on the weekend I went to the dance with Meg. It’s all coming back to me now, Beth and her piano, Jo’s burnt dress…and I’ve already bought Little Women on itunes so that when I am finished with the fragile pages of my red-covered book I will sit on the couch with a cup of tea and watch my memories. After that I’ll go for the one with Elizabeth Taylor as Amy, and after that the Katharine Hepburn version, both of which are new to me. Something old and something new. It’s nice to be besotted again.

Breakfast this morning was a serve of simple olive oil and maple syrup granola, with tart Greek yoghurt and half a peach. Plus roses from mum’s garden and the Pickwick Portfolio.

What did you have for breakfast today?

Heidi xo