Monthly Archives

October 2011

Greenwich Village Food Tour

October 29, 2011

My friend Peta is not only one of the most thoughtful, beautiful people in the world, she’s also incredibly organised. She’s just generally fabulous, really. I didn’t even think of her skill when I asked Peta to be one of my bridesmaids, but boy has she been helpful these past few months. I am so lucky! What does this have to do with a food tour of Greenwich Village, you ask? I’ll get to that…

My brother Jackson is my Best Man at my upcoming Wedding (a male Maid of Honour, if you will) but he’s not so great with the girly stuff – what did I expect, really? He’s wonderful in other areas though – he found the boys suits & he’ll be all over the music. All my bridesmaids are amazing, Jackson included, but I’m mentioning Peta now because of her incredible organising skills, which have brought me much joy and happiness these past six, seven years we’ve known each other…

Case in point, our recent New York City Trip.

Thanks to Peta us girls did many fun things in NYC, one of which was a Greenwhich Village Food Tour. We decided to do a food tour based on her friend’s recommendation, and I’m so glad we did! You can choose a number of different areas to tour, yet in the end we decided to go with the Greenwich Village one. We were keen to not only sample the food but to immerse ourselves in this funky area – by using the word “funky”, I fear I just outed myself as a foreigner in “The Village”…blast.

And so, one Thursday mid-morning our group of hungry travellers met in Greenwich Village, ready to start touring!

1. Joe’s Pizza was our first stop, for a slice of true New York City Pizza.

Sephra, our tour guide, with the pizza pie! Sephra was just outrageously funny. So dry and witty – one of those naturally hilarious people. Never a dull moment, I tell ya. I could not recommend her enough.

Joe’s is a real institution in NYC, with a longstanding history. I’ve had a lot of good pizza in my time, so I was not blown away by Joe’s, yet his Margherita Pizza slice is truly very yummy.

2. After that we went to Oliviers and Co., where we sampled Basil-Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil (ummmm, yes please) and Truffle Honey (are you serious?? Amazing).

3. Next was a pit stop for Arancini and Sopressa – both quality bites.

4. To wash these first eats down we were introduced to The Manhattan Special Espresso Coffee Soda. It was….amazing. Espresso, sugar, bubbles. I loved it.

I felt a bit buzzed after drinking this beverage (clearly), but that was fine – it gave us energy to last the whole tour 😉 Here we can see (Manhattan Special-induced) blurry Bhey, bright-eyed but still burry vicki, graceful Peta (how did she do that?) and crazy eyed me.

Completely craving that soda now.

Moving on…

All these first bites were located fairly close together, so now it was time for a little walking…

5. Around the corner we stopped off at Centro Vinoteca for some bar food.

Bellinis and our beautiful Bhey.

Prosciutto-wrapped Dates (always such an amazing combination), a little Artichoke and a stuffed Mushroom. Hello delicious bar food. I like you.

6. Dessert time! We headed to an adorable little shop, Milk and Cookies Bakery.

The owner, Tina Casaceli, has released a cookbook and I was so tempted to buy one. Alas, limited bag space loomed over my head. The Angel on my shoulder said to think of my bursting backpack. The Devil said to buy the book. Sometimes I wish I danced with the Devil more.

Our Chocolate Chip Cookie.

These were incredibly sugary, soft, true American-style cookies. 100%. They were even a little too sweet for our Australian taste. But boy, they were delicious. Oh, and they deliver – Bhey was thrilled to learn that in the freezing Winter, warm cookies could be delivered to her doorstep. I do not lie.

A little more walking lead to the skinniest house in NYC…

…and the Friends building!

Below the Friends building is a gorgeous (red!) cafe where they filmed No Reservations. We had brunch here another day – another day, another post.

There are so many beautiful houses in this area! A girl can dream…

7. Murray’s Cheese Shop is filled with delights, beyond a huge range of cheeses to preserves, chocolate and cute little bottled yoghurts.

We were told these were the best tinned tomatoes, used by all the pizza joints for the perfect passata!

We wandered the store for a short while before tasting…CHEESE! They’re mad for Gouda in The States, and I can kind of see why – it’s not too sharp, but creamy and full of flavour. And it has a cool name…Gouda.

8. To end we had a small slice of Cheesecake – at this point I don’t really recall where it was from…too many tastings happening up in here. It was a nice cake, though.


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And that, my friends, concludes our Greenwich Village Food Tour. We had a really fun time and certainly enjoyed some delicious eats. It was not the most memorable food of our NYC visit, as we were really spoilt with amazing food everywhere we went (see this post if you need convincing). Yet it was still absolutely worthwhile, as not only did we delight in yummy local food, we also got to see so much of gorgeous Greenwich Village and learn the history of the area. You all know I’m a big food history geek so I was very happy. Very happy indeed.

Heidi xo

il laboratorio del gelato

October 27, 2011

Just by the name of this shop, “il laboratorio del gelato“, you know that it’s going to be seriously good gelato.

Our friend, Bhey, introduced us to this shop in the Lower East Side, which is very close to her NYC apartment. It’s right near Katz’s Deli, a few doors down, in fact.

I was slightly familiar with il laboratorio del gelato, having read about it on David Lebovitz’s blog (see his posts here and here). I trust him like I trust Heidi Swanson and Clotilde Dusoulier . They’re my gurus. So naturally I was thrilled when we decided to visit…

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After seeing the Statue of Liberty via the Staten Island Ferry, we headed home to get ready for dinner and drinks. On the way we happened to pass il laboratorio del gelato – perfect. It’s never too late or early for gelato…

When I saw this first flavour, I knew I simply had to try it: Fuji Apple Sorbet. Ben is mad for Fuji Apples, so I ordered this for him. And for me too 😉 It was just gorgeous – icy, fresh, and so full of that sweet, natural fuji flavour.

I also selected the Roasted Almond Gelato, which is at the bottom of this little cup. You can kind of see it nestled along the side, below. Ooooooooh holy deliciousness. This was incredibly flavourful – you know when you roast nuts and the flavour really comes out? Well this was completely translated into gelato form.

I was so impressed as to how spot on the flavours were. What they were said to be was exactly what they were. No…they were better. I only wish I got to visit this gem again.

Il laboratorio del gelato – it’s as good as it sounds.

Heidi xo

Sunday Breakfast, Pancakes at Last

October 25, 2011

It’s been far too long since I’ve made pancakes. Far too long. Last Sunday it was time to fix this.

Ben and I went for a morning jog, fuelled by feelings of…I don’t quite know how to describe them…lets just say nervous energy. I’m slowly getting my fitness back after frequently being unwell the past few months. Last year I was really only working in Private Practice, and now I’m working all over the place, including in Hospitals. As a result I’ve been getting sick quite a bit and my fitness has suffered, oh has it suffered. But it’s coming back to me…ever so slowly. I kind of wish it would hurry up a little though, geeze.

On the way home from our jog we picked up the papers. Sunday morning = the papers to me. And then the pancake making began…

Originally I had planned to make my Banana Choc Chip Buttermilk Pancakes but, call me crazy, I wasn’t in the mood for chocolate chips. So instead I used the same recipe but subbed the choc chips for blueberries, and added an extra 1/2 tablespoon of sugar and 2/3 teaspoon of cinnamon to the mix. They were a little gooey inside, possibly just needing a longer time in the pan, so I’ll try again before posting a true recipe. I served them with lemon wedges (for me) and ice-cream (for Ben). And maple syrup. Always maple syrup.

Pancakes were had. Banana Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes. Along with the papers, Gourmet Traveller and Tea. Always Tea.

A short while after breakfast, Ben and I headed down to Red Hill to be with family. The pizza oven was roaring.

It was a nice Sunday, despite it being difficult. I hope you had a lovely day, where ever you were and whatever you were doing. Thanks for all your incredibly lovely comments on my previous post, it is so touching. If I’ve learnt anything from losing my brother it is that life is so short. Live it wholly and be happy. Pancakes, Pizza and Family are a great place to start…

Heidi xo

Intense Cocoa Coffee Cookies for David

October 23, 2011

It’s that time of the year again, that shitty time when it’s so painfully obvious that my brother is no longer with us. David would have been 29 today. This is the forth year that we’ve celebrated his birthday without him. My way of getting through days like today is to distract myself. Yes, it’s nice to remember him…but honestly most of the time that’s just too hard. I’m not there yet. But I can bake for him.

Last year I made David Peanut Butter Cookies for his birthday. They were his favourite as a child.

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Yesterday I made him a different type of cookie, using ingredients that he loved but could not eat as they triggered his severe migraines – chocolate and coffee. They’re intense, definitely intense. Hence I made sure to include that in their name.

If David were alive he would have wanted to eat these. He would have resisted, but he would have wanted them. For years we made him cakes, puddings and crumbles made with apple, banana or citrus…everything but chocolate. Today I’m giving him chocolate.

Happy Birthday, David. Love, Bud xo

Intense Cocoa Coffee Cookies for David


Makes 12 Cookies

Ingredients

1/3 cup Pecans
1 cup Almond Meal
1/2 cup Wholemeal Plain Flour
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons Dutch Cocoa Powder (I use Droste Cocoa)
1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
8 teaspoons Ground Coffee (I use Delta Chicco D’oro Premium Blend Ground Coffee)
Pinch of Salt
1 egg
4 tablespoons softened Light Dairy Spread (I use Devondale Light often in place of butter to reduce the saturated fat content of my recipes)
1/2 cup Low-Fat Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3 tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
1/4 cup Dark Chocolate Chips

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 180 Degrees Celsius, Convection setting. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
2. In a non-stick pan, lightly toast the pecans over low-heat until just fragrant. Take off the heat, roughly chop and set aside.
3. Soften your dairy spread (don’t melt it completely). I soften my spread by placing spoonfuls in a cup, then placing said cup in the sink and surrounding it with hot water (making sure no water gets in the cup). Some may think this is weird, but it’s my method. I soften and melt many things this way – honey, coconut butter, dairy spread, butter… I grew up without a microwave – you learn to get crafty. You could also place the spread in a heatproof bowl over boiling water, but this way you avoid it getting too hot. Once softened to the consistency of a thick soup, remove the cup from the water bath and set aside.
4. Sift the almond meal, wholemeal flour (with the leftover flakes added to the bowl after sifting), cocoa, sugar, baking powder and coffee into a large bowl. Add the salt and whisk to combine.
5. In a separate smaller bowl, beat the egg. Add the softened dairy spread, milk, vanilla extract and maple syrup and stir to combine.
6. Fold the wet ingredients through the dry ingredients. Add the pecans and chocolate chips and gently fold until just combined.
7. Using a tablespoon and a dessert spoon, scoop out a tablespoons of the mixture, place it on the lined baking tray and form a cookie shape. Be sure to space the cookies so that they are at least 3 cm apart. You should get ~12 cookies out of the mixture. Depending on the size of your oven and baking tray, you may need to bake your cookies in two batches.
8. Place your baking tray in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cookies will come out clean. Your cookies will feel a little soft – don’t worry, this is good! Transfer your cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool – the flavour really comes together even more once they’re cool, so be patient, my pretties (mental note: learn to practice what I preach).
9. Enjoy alongside a glass of cold milk. Store in an airtight container.

Heidi xo

Quinoa Corn Fritters

October 21, 2011

I heart corn fritters, oh yes I do. But they have to be made the way I love, with delightful juicy corn kernels positively bursting from the golden, crisp edges. Nothing too cakey and floury. No, I’m not a fan of a spongey fritter. I like mine to be all about the corn. That way each mouthful is full of sweet, juicy goodness. Paired with a side of Boks Bacon (my favourite) and a poached egg and, well that’s just fabulous.

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I created these Quinoa Corn Fritters as part of my work with Melrose. It uses Melrose’s Organic Worcestershire Sauce, which is not only made with beautiful ingredients, but I have finally learnt how to spell “Worcestershire”. Thank you, very much.

I decided to also add Quinoa for a superb nutrient hit, Bam! If you’re not in the know about this grain (which is technically a seed), you should be. You really should. Below are instructions to make it up, and then you can use it in salads, in place of couscous, where ever! It’s a complete protein, full of fibre and vitamins and minerals, low GI and gluten free. I told you, “Bam”, didn’t I?

Don’t be put off by the long method below. It involves cooking the Quinoa, of which you might like to do a big batch (i.e. triple the Quinoa ingredients) and use over a few meals. You’ll only need 1 cup of cooked cooled Quinoa to make your fritters. Another note: don’t be concerned about the “wetness” of the mixture. They come together in the pan, trust me.

You can find Melrose products in Health Food Stores and some supermarkets and Pharmacies. You can also buy them online, but it’s a good idea to check out your local Health Food Store and support small businesses.

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Ben loves these Quinoa Corn Fritters. The italics was absolutely necessary. We have eaten them at breakfast, in salads and on the side of steak and garlic sautéed silverbeet. I agree with Ben, I kind of love them. I hope you do too.

Quinoa Corn Fritters



Makes 10 fritters

Ingredients

For the Quinoa:

½ cup dry Quinoa
½ cup Chicken Stock (or Vegetable Stock if you’re vegetarian)
½ cup Water
* Note: you can cook more quinoa if you wish to have on hand for other purposes i.e. salads. Just double or triple the quantities of quinoa, stock and water as desired.

For the Fritters:

2-3 Corn Cobs, depending on their size. (You are after 390g Corn Kernels, weighed in a bowl after shaving the kernels off the cob with a knife).
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon Melrose Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup cooked, cooled, firmly packed Quinoa
1 egg
3 heaped tablespoons (75g) Wholemeal Plain Flour
½ teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
3 teaspoons Melrose Organic Worcestershire Sauce
2 heaped tablespoons freshly chopped Parsley
A pinch of Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Pepper
3 teaspoons Melrose Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Method

1. First up, cook your quinoa: rinse the dry quinoa under cold water using a fine sieve. Put the quinoa in a pot with the stock and water. Bring it to the boil then let it simmer down for ~15 minutes, adding more water if required. You will know it is cooked when the grain starts to separate and the water is mostly absorbed. Turn off the heat, pop the lid on and let it absorb any remaining water for ~10 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.

2. Next cook your corn: remove the husks and hairs from your corn cobs, then rinse your cobs under water. Place your corn cob on a chopping board, standing up vertically. Using a sharp knife, carefully shave down to remove the corn kernels from the cob. Place the kernels in a bowl on the scales to be weighed (remembering to zero your scale after placing the bowl on top and before adding the corn). Repeat with the remaining corn cobs. Place a large pan over medium-high heat and add 1 teaspoon olive oil. Flick some drops of water onto the pan to check if it’s hot (if the water dances on the pan, it’s ready). Add your corn and crushed garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes until fragrant and the corn begins to turn a vibrant, rich yellow colour. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

3. To form the fritter mixture: along with the corn/garlic mixture add the 1 cup cooked quinoa. Beat the egg in a cup with a fork then add to the mixing bowl. Next add the flour, baking powder (ensure there are no lumps in the baking powder), cumin, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir ingredients together until a wet mixture is formed.

4. To cook the fritter: heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil over low-medium heat. Moisten your hands with water then grab a portion of the mixture (about a heaped tablespoon) and form into a pattie shape. It will be hard to corn and some corn kernels will slip out, but squish it together and do your best to form a pattie shape. They don’t need to be flat and don’t worry, they will bind together and hold, trust me – a few loose kernels breaking away is fine. Pop the fritters into a hot pan one at a time (you will most likely need to do two batches, I cooked five fritters at a time). Cook on one side for 5-6 minutes, until golden brown, then flip the fritters (be confident, don’t fuss with them too much or they may break). Cook for a further 5-6 minutes (or until adequately golden). I then like to flip mine back once more and cook on the original side for a further minute. Remove from the pan when cooked. If cooking a second batch with remaining mixture, heat an extra teaspoon olive oil and cook your remaining fritters as per your first batch.

5. Serve: alongside poached eggs and bacon at breakfast, as part of a salad at lunch, as an appetiser with some sweet chilli dipping sauce or alongside grilled meat or chicken and a big salad at dinner. And always garnish with extra parsley.

Heidi xo

Prune Juice. It’s Not Just for 77 Year Olds.

October 19, 2011

Drinking prune juice is not something you think young folk do, let’s be honest. We tend to associate it with elderly people who are struggling with their bowel motions and need a little help to shift things along…

But why can’t drinking prune juice become cool? Ponder that, my friends.

If I had to pick what juice is the coolest I’d probably say Blood Orange. Maybe because of the word ‘blood’ – it makes it seem dangerous or something. And then there’s Cranberry Juice, the other cool cousin, which makes us think of Urinary Tract Infections…hang on, why is Cranberry Juice cool again? Oh, that’s right, because we also associate it with Vodka & Cranberry Cocktails.

But when it comes to prunes, we think of poo. I’m sorry, but it’s true. And look, you can’t escape that fact (and you wouldn’t want to!) Prunes provide you with a brilliant hit of fibre, which aids in maintaining a healthy bowel and regularity, as well as aiding in lowering cholesterol levels.

Yet prunes also have a lot of other fabulous health benefits, which people need to know about. Why? Because it’s always important to promote good health. And also because I might just feel a little bit sorry for the humble prune. It’s shriveled and has a somewhat moody colour, and so often is it shunned in favour of more fancy fruits. Prunes are certainly not bright and happy looking like blood oranges or cranberries. Let’s give the lovely prune it’s time in the spotlight, what do you say?

In case I haven’t been able to tug on your heart strings to encourage you to increase your prune intake, let’s look at the nutritional benefits…

Fibre


We established that it’s high in fibre before right? Good. It is.

Antioxidants

Prunes are fabulously high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are brilliant substances that are believed to help protect the body against damage and diseases. That’s a real reason to love prunes, peeps!

Vitamins

Prunes are a source of Vitamin A Beta-Carotene, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action. They’re also full of Vitamin C, which is needed for tissue growth and repair.

Minerals

Prunes are a source of iron, which is important for energy production. While it’s important to realise that the body does not absorb plant-based (non-haeme) iron sources, such as prunes, as well as it does meat (haeme) iron sources, especially red meat, prunes can certainly help you boost your iron intake. In addition, to help absorb non-haeme iron it’s best to pair it with vitamin C rich foods. As prunes are naturally rich in Vitamin C, this will help the body to absorb the iron.

They’re also a source of potassium, a mineral that aids in heart health and maintaining blood pressure. In addition, prunes are low in sodium, which is a real bonus for heart health as in today’s society we tend to consume far too much sodium. The potassium content in prunes may also be important in promoting bone health.

Low GI

Another last benefit for you is that prunes are ranked low on the Glycaemic Index Scale, meaning they release their energy slowly into the body. This helps to stabilise your blood sugar levels and keep you full, and that’s just wonderful.

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So there you go, prunes are looking pretty good right about now, aren’t they? I’m writing this post to help promote Sunraysia’s Prune Juice. There is no financial incentive for me, I was simply approached to discuss prunes and agreed. Why? As I said before, it’s always good to encourage people to improve their health. Prunes can offer you a bundle of good nutrition, and Sunraysia’s Prune Juice is made up of 100% prunes – no preservatives, added sugar, artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners. Natural is good.

I also wanted to do this because I really do feel sorry for prunes…for so long they’ve been uncool. And I felt it was about time for them to get a little love.

If you’re keen to give your body some prune love, comment below and you may win a ‘make-over from the inside out’ kit (complete with prune juice, shot glass and loofah gloves) courtesy of Sunraysia and KeepLeft PR. There are two kits to give away and I will announce the winners in one week (Wednesday 26th October). Be sure to include your email details if you are not easily identifiable. This giveaway is open to Australian readers only.

So…I’m keen to hear your thoughts on prunes! Do you eat prunes or are you keen to try them? If you do eat prunes, how do you enjoy them?

Personally I love prunes on top of my porridge, and sometimes I’ll make a little after dinner platter with a couple of prunes, some dark chocolate and a glass of red wine. See…with dark chocolate and wine, prunes can even be sexy! Ok maybe I’ve gone too far…

Heidi xo

Double Batch…Espresso

October 16, 2011

I’ve got a new favourite cafe.

Well, I sort of do. It’s not exactly new – I’ve spoken of the fabulousness that is Batch Espresso before (link). I guess you can say that I’ve rediscovered it these past couple of weeks. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, a rekindling of our romance…it makes me wonder why we ever separated? I blame myself. I was young and foolish.

Last weekend Ben and I went to Batch for lunch. And yesterday we went again, this time for brunch. You could call that a Double Batch…Espresso. I had an early morning meeting yesterday, yet ensured I ate light so as to fit in a proper meal at my beloved Batch. I heart it so.

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Batch do great fresh juices – Fresh Orange and Pineapple perfection right here.

Their Coffee is also supremely delicious, I always enjoy my cup.

And Ben adores their Iced-Coffee!

Yesterday it was all about the Omelettes. Beautiful Free-Range Eggs provide a generous and fluffy sleeping bag for gooey Goats Cheese with Leek and Mushrooms. Served with scrumptious Toasted Sourdough…it’s a beautiful thing. The Prosciutto, Goats Cheese and Basil Omelette is also divine. I had that last week.

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The week before, Ben ordered the Kedgeree, which is curried rice with smoked fish (on this occasion it was snapper and we ordered the side of pickled cabbage). I fell a little in love with this dish. Mum used to make Kedgeree as her ‘quick meal’ when arriving home if she were working late, so it’s a little nostalgic for me. A little nostalgic and a lot of delicious – they’re the best meals, right? I was so close to ordering the Kedgeree again yesterday but my craving for eggs was too strong.

Batch’s menu is positively loaded with super creative gems. They even have Coco Pops on the menu. I know, too cute. Another favourite is the Potato Hash with Cornichons and Corned Beef – possibly due to the fact that I love to say “cornichons”.

So there you go, that’s where my cafe love has been centred at the moment. I’m so pleased to be back in a state of Batch Bliss. I might just make it a Triple Batch

Heidi xo

A-Z Questions – Just to Mix Things Up

October 13, 2011

I’ve been writing a lot of New York City posts lately. And while I absolutely love sharing my travel tales, I also think it’s nice to shake things up a little…

My life has been super busy at the moment. Work is jam-packed, I’m right into all the Wedding details (4 months to go. I’m sorry, but how can that be?) and it’s also my family’s birthday season – we’re all within 6 weeks of each other. Phew! Needless to say I’m a little tired.

And although I have been cooking a lot less due to all the catch ups, meetings and celebrations, any chance I get I’ve been looking to the kitchen as a happy break in all this madness. I’ll slide in, chop and stir, and create a little slice of salvation. It’s nice.

I saw this Questionnaire on my lovely blogging friend Leah’s blog, The Home Empress, and I thought it would be a bit of fun. Leah makes beautiful baked goods and homemade soap, and has recently had a gorgeous baby girl. I think I’m busy now, just wait until I start having children. I cannot even imagine…

Anyway, I thought it would be a bit of fun, and a nice way for you to get to know me a little better beyond my love for food, travel and my family – is there anything more to life? Well I guess we’ll see…

Age: 26 (as of three weeks ago). I share my birthday with Bruce Springsteen and I’m a 1985 baby – who’s with me?

Bed Size: Double?? I’m bad with these types of things. Seriously. Maybe it’s a Queen. Either way, it’s big enough.

Chore I Hate: Dusting. Hate. It. I LOVE vacuuming. Mopping is kind of fun too. Although I say that now (while in a 2 bedroom unit).

Dog: Growing up we had Miniature Schnauzers. They were beautiful. Dion was so placid and believed himself to be human. Matilda did not. She was a nutter. I miss them.

Essential Part of My Day: Stretching in the morning. A cup of strong black tea at breakfast. Breakfast. A phone call to mum. Time with my man.

Favourite Condiment: Oh pretty please, let me have 3: Sea Salt, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Pure Maple Syrup. All so essential, I love them all. Don’t make me choose!

Gold or Silver: White Gold. Not that I really know jewellery. But yes, I believe White Gold to be my favourite.

Height: 168.5cm – I’m proud of that last 0.5cm, can’t leave it off. I’m not a shorty but I’m not what you’d call ‘tall’ either. My mum is very petite, so I’m certainly taller than what people were expecting.

Instruments I Play: I used to play the piano, but sadly I don’t play anymore. My younger brother is a very talented musician, as was my older brother. I tend to just dance to the music, rather than play…

Job Title: Dietitian (APD). It’s a great job. I do a range of work, from Clinical to Aged Care, as well as Private Practice, Healthy Eating/Cooking Presentations, Writing and Recipe Development. I’m sure in a couple of years I’ll be more narrowed in my area of work but right now I have a really varied workload. My favourites, though, are my recipe development work, healthy eating talks, writing and helping clients with weight loss via behaviour change.

Kids: None yet. Give me a few more years…

Lives: Melbourne, in the southern suburbs – kind of on the border of Bayside and South Eastern Suburbs. I would love to be back in Red Hill, where I grew up, but that would mean a rather long work commute for Ben to the city.

Mum’s Name: Karen. She’s the best. We call her Kabbles (sorry mum, but it’s true). Love you, mum. I love how everyone just thinks I’m a mini you…but taller.

Nickname: This really depends on who it is. To my family I’m “Bud” – my older brother, David, gave me that nickname – when I was born I was his little “buddie”. To my friends it might be “Heidz”. To Ben (oh this is embarrassing) “Boogs”. Yep.

Overnight Hospital Stay: Never!

Pet Peeves: Bad Drivers. I spend a bit of time on the road. I see it a lot. So. Many. Idiots.

Quote from a Movie: “I’m a good girl, I am!” – Eliza Doolittle. This was a difficult one, I don’t know why. I’m such a movie fan. I heart My Fair Lady and that’s what came to mind, so there you go. If you haven’t seen this yet, you simply must hire it this weekend. Audrey Hepburn is utterly endearing. “I could have danced all night…”

Right or Left Handed: Right.

Siblings: Jackson, my younger brother, is 21. I struggle to say that I have only one brother. I have two. I’ve only done one post on losing my older brother – Peanut Butter Cookies for David – but I hope to do more. It’s still not so easy to write about. But he sure loved food, especially cheese. And Peanut Butter Cookies.

Time I wake up: 6:30-7am during the week (depending on the day and whether I’m going for a walk), and ~7:30am on weekends. I struggle to sleep in past 8am. I guess I get that from my Dad.

Underwear: I have a lot of Bonds. Just the regular style. Although I must admit, I have my fair share of nude nanna-style undies, which are just so functional under dresses! They’re supremely ugly though.

Vegetables I dislike: Bitter Melon. That’s the only one I can think of. My favourite vegetable is broccoli. I even wrote a post about it. I love it each and every way.

What Makes Me Run Late: Well it used to be Ben, although he’s not so bad these days. Usually it’s when I’m having a day when I take forever to decide on what to wear – you know those days when you’re just not ‘feeling it’. I hate those. That’s when you need a solid, ‘always looks good’ outfit. Just bring it out and Go.

X-Rays I’ve Done: My first was when I fractured my wrist in Grade 4 at a rollerblading party. My friend stayed with me after while everyone went to the movies. We ate McChickens. Then I guess I’ve had some for Dental work. Oh, and when in Thailand two years ago, my foot was incredibly swollen and they had no idea what was going on. So I had an x-ray at a rural Thai hospital – a very interesting experience. Nothing showed up and eventually the foot went back to normal. End of story!

Yummiest Food I Make: Pancakes are always a winner – like these Banana Choc Chip Buttermilk Pancakes (mmmm). Goodness it’s been too long since I’ve made pancakes! I love my pasta and I’m a little in love with my bolognaise. I also have a soft spot for my BFF Brownies. I like most things I make – and that’s because I cook with ingredients I know I love 😉

Zoo Animals: I love going to the zoo! My favourite zoo animals would be the Lions and Tigers. I loved Snow Leopards when I was younger. I’m not a fan of animals that are unhappy and caged up, but I do love seeing happy animals that are safe and…honestly I’m not too sure how it works, are all zoos bad? Ben & I often have zoo dates to Melbourne Zoo or Werribee Zoo.

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Ok, so doing this little Questionnaire has made me crave pancakes, want to watch My Fair Lady and give my family a hug. I hope you found it somewhat entertaining on this lovely day. Bring on the weekend, I say. Clearly I’ll be having pancakes for breakfast.

Heidi xo

Memphis, Times Square and Spice Market. All in One Night. Bam.

October 11, 2011

Memphis

When in New York City you simply must see a Broadway show. It was a given that we would do this. After putting our picks forward my girlfriends and I decided to see Memphis – I was very very excited. And so on the first Thursday night we were in town we dolled ourselves up, red lipstick and all, to see the show.

Clearly we were very excited… It was my first time (apart from Ballet Concerts) wearing Red Lipstick. I kind of liked it. But later on in the night it ended up everywhere…like my arm and my chin. Possibly even my elbow. I think I need lipstick wearing lessons.

Tada!

Memphis is a show about music and love and race in 1950’s Tennessee. It’s packed with lots of dancing, colour and beautiful tunes.

The cast were really vibrant, there were really touching moments and the songs were super catchy. I can see why it’s won some awards, including the 2010 Tony Award for best musical. We ate Twizzlers while we watched – when in Rome…

After the show we freshened up before sneaking a peek at the stage post-show!

Times Square

Then we walked to Times Square to catch a glimpse of the fluorescent madness and tick that nugget off our list. It’s a pretty frightful scene, not a place to linger, that’s for sure. So we took some pics and then high-tailed it to dinner.

Spice Market

We had reservations at Spice Market, upon Peta’s friend’s recommendation.

Spice Market is one of Jean-Georges Vongerichten‘s restaurants, and it’s a really lovely space, with a wooden interior and supreme mood lighting. The Asian-influenced menu is jumping with exciting offerings. It was really difficult to select items, as there was so much choice – in particular a lot of beautiful seafood options.

In the end we shared a whole bunch of delicious appetisers. Behold the slightly moody pictures, which are not at all representative of the happy flavours.

Complementary Papadums with a type of relish,

Egg Rolls,

Broccoli and Corn (beautiful),

Spiced, Crusted Corn Cobs (ridiculous)

and Tuna Tartare (wow)

We also shared Crab Dumplings, which were soft and delightful, and a main of Fish which came with some sort of Green Mousse – I thoroughly disliked this green concoction, so let’s not talk about that…

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The appetisers were the standouts to me, and my girlfriends agree. When you’re in New York City next, I really recommend visiting Spice Market for incredibly delicious, quality bites (which are quite reasonably priced!). You can share some plates with your friends before hitting the bars around the Meatpacking District – that sounds rather great. It’s not exactly a humble district, yet a little pretence never hurt anybody. And with such tasty appetisers nearby…I’m there!

It would also be preferable if you see a Broadway show first. I think it makes the food taste better. Bam.

Heidi xo

Chelsea Market Picnic

October 8, 2011

When you visit Chelsea Market in New York City (note that I’m saying when, not if – as I cannot recommend visiting this city enough), be sure to arrive hungry. And bring your picnic rug. You’re going to need it.

Each nook and cranny of this fabulous factory-style building is filled with beautiful food, from Cheese to Seafood to Cupcakes (oh my!) When I visited Chelsea Market with my girlfriends in August, we just couldn’t get enough. And so we decided that the smart thing to do would be to buy it all and then have a picnic. I kid you not, we bought one of everything in the Market. Well that’s how it seemed, anyway…

We started off our day with Ice-Coffees from the Acai Shack, before catching the Subway to the uber stylish district, Chelsea.

I told you to arrive hungry, didn’t I?…Excellent.

Let the foodie journey begin!

Don’t mind if I do! … The aroma coming out of this cheese shop was surely illegal (in that it was delightfully intoxicating, not stinky). We sampled a little Goats Cheese and then picked up a hunk of Gouda here.

Amy’s Bread is famous in NYC, with a number of locations. We never actually tried anything from here, something else always seemed to pop up and trump it in the deliciousness factor.

It was great to see the Bakers at work though…

Here, at Ronnybrook Farm Dairy, we picked up a bottle of Chocolate Milk – how cute is that?

I was temped by Soup at Lobster Place – such a cute set-up.

We lusted after Elini’s Cupcakes

and bought a teeny tiny Red Velvet Cupcake to share – hey, stomach space was limited. We were all in the “one bite will suffice” frame of mind. And it did.

The market hall was gorgeous, with rich brick walls…

Oh, and this stunning table was in the hall outside a restaurant. I love rustic wooden dining tables…

When in the Fruit and Vegetable Shop, Vicki squeeled in delight, “look, Heidz, Carrot and Ginger Juice!!”…very few people would get so excited about Vegetable Juice. Clearly we’re Dietitians.

I was also incredibly giddy about these Green Almonds, how gorgeous are they?

Pickles! I’m so obsessed. We need more ‘free pickles with sandwiches’ here in Australia, I’m telling you.

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We took our purchases to the nearby 14th Street Park, and ate our Market goodies in the New York City Summer sunshine.

Just three gals… and a whole bunch of food.

In all seriousness, despite appearances, we did not actually buy everything in the Market. Shocking, I know. There were loads more shops and goodies on offer. Although I prefer more ‘produce focussed’ Markets (like the ones I lived for while in Europe) and other Farmers-style Markets, I did (clearly) enjoy Chelsea Market. There are a lot of yummy and funky options, you’ll be sure to find something to please you. Just remember to arrive hungry!

A snippet of our delights: Salad, Gouda, Cupcake, Sushi and Red Bananas!

Some quality bagel action went down. Here we have a Cinnamon Raisin Bagel

and a Plain Bagel, which we enjoyed with a mini tub of Cream Cheese. The plain bagel with cream cheese was one of my picnic favourites. So simple, yet pure perfection.

Cherries. Love.

Cheers. A Chelsea Market Chocolate Milk Cheers.

Heidi xo