Monthly Archives

January 2012

Friends, Barbecue, Australia.

January 30, 2012

How was everyone’s Australia Day? This year Ben and I decided to take true advantage of the public holiday and host an Australia Day Barbecue. We absolutely love having friends over, and I can tell we’re going to be doing a lot of hosting in the future. With themes. Themes are good.

Our theme on this day, despite it being Australia Day, appeared to be deliciousness, as opposed to the more topical ‘all things Australiana’. But that was fine, people were happy. Plus, there was certainly some Australia love going on…

Nothing says you’re proud to be Australian like balloons, let’s be honest.

It was a load of fun hanging out in our little backyard with friends, feasting and drinking, and eagerly counting down the Triple J Hottest 100. It was nice, really nice.

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Salty Dogs to start, which are made of grapefruit juice and vodka, plus a salt-rimmed glass (recipe link). Usually I do enjoy a rimmed glass, however I wasn’t in love with the salt addition here. I think I’d prefer a plain glass, an unseasoned dog, if you will. A salt-rim is so pretty, though, like delicate little crystals hanging from your glass.

Sometimes aesthetics outweigh taste…

We also nibbled on sliced Watermelon,

Chicnuts (love),

and Olives.

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After a little while it was time to cook, starting with…

Mushrooms and Meat!

We also had Corn. Favourite.

We slathered the corn in Ben’s Chilli Butter, which was highly praised. He simply melted light dairy spread in a pan then added diced birdseye chilli. It certainly packed a punch. We agreed that some fresh lime juice would have been nice too.

Yum.

Potato Prep. I had three trays of these babies on my kitchen floor, raised by bricks – pre-cooked, ready to be re-heated, which worked quite well.

Salt and Vinegar Potatoes (recipe link). Favourite.

Peta’s beautiful Rocket, Pear and Walnut Salad.

My Farro, Chickpea and Kale Salad with Roasted Purple Carrots and Goats Cheese (recipe to come!).

Lovely.

Yeah, feeling a little guilty that we didn’t buy VB, but sometimes taste outweighs patriotism…

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I was quite happy with how the countdown turned out, especially with the large number of local acts highlighted. Go Australian music! It was nice to reminisce on the music of this past year and hear so many fabulous songs in one looooong hit.

It’s a humble little space we have out back, and I’m quite in love with it. It was really lovely spending the evening chilling out there.

Hang on, what’s that you say? It’s time for something sweet? Sure thing.

Watermelon, Raspberry and Mint Popsicles. Well, more like little popsicle niblets. I had trouble releasing these icy babies from their kung-fu grip casings. I suppose it serves me right for grabbing super cheap moulds at the last minute. And clearly I need to research ‘popsicle releasing techniques’. No-body likes a popsicle niblet. Although my friends were still complimentary, enjoying the refreshing, fruity flavour. I’ll post a recipe shortly, once I figure out how to release them nicely and get a pretty picture. Everyone likes a pretty picture.

We also snacked on Dark Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries. Mmmmmm, such a winner, thanks, Amy.

And lastly, Lamingtons. I’m so pleased that Jess brought these Patriotic Poppets. They went down a treat and I felt very Australian indeed.

Friends, Barbecue, Australia. All things wonderful.

Heidi xo

Smoked Salmon, Crème Fraîche and Tarragon Pasta in Red Hill

January 26, 2012

Last weekend Ben and I headed down to Red Hill for a Simple Sunday Session. It had been a whole month since we’d been down, which is absurd. Far too long.

Dusty roads and sunshine.

Simple Lunch Fare

After arriving at my parents’ house we promptly settled in for a spot of lunch outside. It was a glorious, dramatically sunny day. It truly felt like Summer.

We grazed on Caprese Salad, Olive Bread, Mum and Dad’s homemade Chutney, leftover thinly sliced Roast Beef and Dad’s homemade Fetta.

With local Apple Cider.

I don’t mind if I do!

A Sublime Swim

After lunch Ben and I ducked out for a swim at Point Leo beach. It was placid and peaceful and so completely what I needed. I implore you all to take advantage of the Summer while it’s here and embrace the beauty that is diving into the salty sea. Ahhhh it’s sublime. I remember spending entire days at the beach during the Summer, playing with friends, swimming and catching ten (read: one) metre waves until every inch of my being was utterly exhausted. I miss that.

I need more beach in my life.

Salmon for Supper

After our swim we did a little Wedding planning with the folks. This coming weekend we’re on for a bit of a Wedding Working Bee, all fun little tasks like cutting name tags, making signs and getting our music playlist together. No doubt we’ll be fuelled by more deliciousness.

For dinner, Mum and Dad made a beautiful pasta dish. It’s now firmly favoured in my mind as the dish for a weekend or dinner party treat. The flavours were gorgeous, and it was supremely light. You know how some dishes just sit so nicely? Yes. True soul food.

Smoked Salmon, Crème Fraîche and Tarragon Pasta (recipe link).

Mum and Dad used half the quantity of crème fraîche (which was more than enough!) and they were brilliantly generous with the tarragon. And as a final touch, they topped this beautiful dish with some dill. Lovely. Oh, and they used this pasta below, after a recommendation from some true Italian foodies. It was perfection. Pappardelle makes my heart sing.

Spoons were required for a final scoop of Wedding Eats research

I think we’ve found what we’re looking for, however I think I’d best continue my research. Just to make sure I’m absolutely certain…

Heidi xo

Weekend Breakfast Snapshot

January 23, 2012

Here, have some pancakes. It’s Monday and I have the sneaking suspicion they might make things a little easier on you.

How was your weekend? Mine was rather great, thank you. The Wedding countdown continues (less than 5 weeks to go) and Saturday we spent part of the day at Chadstone searching for a few goodies. We also met up with my parents and Dad bought himself a Wedding Day outfit. I’m beyond impressed, he looks so damn cool and classy. Dad’s not a shopper, he’s just not. And even though he was utterly out of his comfort zone, he found himself a new jacket, a pair of pants, a belt and a shirt. Bam. Well done, Dad. Ben and I ended our Saturday at The Australian Open with friends, watching Serena Willaims and then Leyton Hewitt play on centre court and progress to the next round. T’was quite awesome.

But first…first we made pancakes. Well, actually, first we went to the gym. Ben and I seem to have started the year off brilliantly – our Mount Buller getaway really put us in a beautiful, healthy space and we’re feeling super fit and energetic. Don’t you love that?

Ok enough already, here you go… your pancakes. Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes.

You’re welcome.

I fell in love with Heidi Swanson’s recipe for Buttermilk Pancakes nearly two years ago (recipe link), and it is still very dear to my heart. I omit the butter and add a dash more buttermilk when making my version, however, and I don’t add quite so much sugar. I’ve only once made the blueberry syrup, instead I tend to gravitate towards Pure Maple Syrup and fresh fruit as a topping. Ben likes his with Ice-Cream. He’s such an ice-cream freak. Give him ice-cream for breakfast and he’s happy. Me? I love these pancakes.

They’re pretty great, lovelies, get on them. Buttermilk continues to rock my world. Oh, and Mum and Dad, I took these roses from the clinic when at work last Wednesday. I hope that’s ok. I might do the same this week too…just so you know.

My new love, Russian Caravan Tea. It tastes a little dirty, so it was not love and first cup. But this rich, gritty brew has grown on me, and now I find myself frequently craving a cup.

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If you’re not such a pancake lover, a) What’s wrong with you, b) Let me present you with offerings from our Sunday spread, maybe you’ll find something there that grabs your fancy and c) I apologise for my tone in point a). That wasn’t nice.

Boiled Egg

and *the best* Rainbow Raspberry Jam for her…

Omelette with Spinach Leaves, Cherry Tomatoes and Parmesan for him.

Both with Rye Toast, both with Berries and both with the Sunday papers.

There you go, my weekend breakfast snapshot. How about yourself? Did you delight in anything particularly delectable this past weekend?

Heidi xo

Diner Girls

January 20, 2012

Was it really 6 months ago that I went to The States? Apparently so. This trip really blew me away. It was so fabulous, so full of wonder and excitement, new sights, tastes and sounds…it all feels like a dream. I was so fortunate to meet up with two groups of beautiful, beloved girlfriends on this trip, spend two incredible weeks in New York City, and also be part of a dream Wedding. I also had some blissful alone time – four long, glorious days in San Francisco, where every step took me from one delectable bite to the next. Lucky.

You know how they say that some things are too good to be true? Well sometimes it feels as though that is what happened here, as it can all easily become a blur. A blissful blur, but a blur nonetheless. Whenever I feel this way I look at my pictures, I settle in to my couch and scroll back over my blog posts. And then, in a brilliant, frenetic rush, it all comes flooding back. Those surreal, foggy images instantly sharpen and I’m there. I’m back. It’s real. And it’s fabulous.

These next pictures bring me particular joy. It feels right to end my USA posts on this note. With me and my Diner Girls.

Two days before Denita and Tim’s New Hampshire Wedding, we went out to a Diner to celebrate Denita’s birthday. Our little contingent of Australians prompted the venue choice, no surprises there. We were so well taken care of, American friends were phenomenally accommodating to all our whims and wishes, even when they appeared to be a little mundane and somewhat perplexing – like our excitement at seeing a chipmunk whilst eating pumpkin ice-cream (I know, I know, it’s far too terrifically American to handle!). And to us eager Aussies this was a truly fantastical moment. For on this beloved night we became Diner Girls. Well, for one meal anyway.

Malted Milkshakes

Cherry Cokes

Cheeseburgers and Fries

The novelty factor was unabashedly high.

Harriet and her girlfriend, Marilyn.

Embarrassing De with a “Happy Birthday” chorus.

We turned up thrilled for the experience, we were certainly not expecting a five star meal. Yet the food was surprisingly good – not at all as greasy as I had imagined. How happy I was. I had tried my first real onion ring, I sat in a booth and sipped a malted milkshake, and for one hour I was in a Diner with my girls. We were Diner Girls.

If only I had room left for pie. Oh well, I’ll guess I’ll just have to visit The States again soon. So I can get myself that slice of pie…

Heidi xo

A Little French Brunch at Madame SouSou

January 17, 2012

Is there a happier way to start the weekend than meeting girlfriends for brunch? Giggling and gas-bagging over glorious coffee and eggy goodies? I think not.

My girls and I have placed particular importance on brunch and dinner dates recently, as in six weeks time Peta is moving to France. Of this, I am completely supportive, yet at the same time I am completely sad to see her go. I am also endlessly envious. France? Really, Peta? It’s too much. It’s just far too fantastic.

So where should three ladies brunch in anticipation of one of them leaving for France? Madame SouSou, of course.

Oui, Madame!

As soon as I saw the darling cane French Café-style chairs in neat little rows out the front of Madame SouSou, I felt like I was back in Paris. It truly is a beautiful sight, one that sends my heart aflutter. As I stepped through the double doors and onto the classic black and white checkered floors, I positively new I was back in Paris. It’s terribly charming.

Anyone who loves Paris will find the decor absolutely intoxicating. Allow yourself to sink into the sublime setting and you’ll truly feel as though you’ve been transported to the City of Lights, just casually grabbing a coffee and croissant before heading out for a spot of shopping and frolicking in the Jardin Du Luxembourg. So it’s best to dress nicely while visiting Madame SouSou. You’d hate to find yourself unkempt in Paris. Tsk tsk..

Lovely Coffee, silky smooth skinny latte.

French Toast for all three of us…

Pain Perdu: Almond, Raisin, Chocolate Brioche with Poached Pear and Fromage Blanc. This was divine – soft and balanced, with the sweet, cinnamon-kissed flavour of an escargot pastry and the creamy, yielding texture of a bread and butter pudding.

Heavenly.

I cannot wait to have another little French brunch at Madame SouSou. And after further perusing the menu I’m lusting after a French dinner…just a little Bistro love one of these nights. A little taste of Paris, perhaps. Yes I think so.

Oui, Madame.

Heidi xo

A Little Wedding Planning Peek

January 14, 2012

I’m all Wedding at the moment. It’s all I can think about. But in a good way. I’m just so excited. In six weeks time my man and I will be getting married. Six weeks.

At the moment we’re shopping around for wholesale florists. I’m lusting after cream flowers, a pre-requisite being nothing ridiculously expensive. We’re pretty open to whatever will look lovely. The above flowers are just a bunch I picked up at Prahran Market, they’re not Wedding inspiration. I just love having fresh flowers in the house, that’s all. We are thinking possibly a few different style of blooms at the Wedding, including white hydrangeas (we’re aware they wilt easily in heat and require water!). Any flower suggestions are very welcome, please send them our way. I know Ben is absolutely itching to know what blooms we’ll settle on…

No, really, Ben is wonderful. I’m so lucky to have a partner actually interested in all the details. Perhaps it’s easy for him because we truly are just throwing a big party, full of everything that we love.

I will share all the details after the wedding, which is six weeks away, remember? Six. Yeah, I have a lot to do. Luckily I am surrounded by my gorgeous man, supremely beautiful, supportive bridesmaids and friends, positively perfect parents and truly wonderful future in-laws to help me out. I’m so spoilt. But you know what? They’re all so genuinely happy to help, and truly seem just as excited for the festivities ahead. And we have a lot to look forward to! Starting with our Hens and Bucks nights, then onto some girly fun like a Kitchen Tea and a Bridesmaids Sleepover (bridal movie night!). And then of course the Wedding, as well as a small Brunch the following day…

I’m just so incredibly excited I can hardly contain it.

Time for some pictures? I thought so. Here’s a snapshot for you. Only a little wedding planning peek because I don’t want to spoil anything for my friends and family attending. But here we go nonetheless, a fun little look…

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Our Save the Dates, created by the lovely and talented Vicky. She’s only into small jobs at the moment, it’s not something she does a lot of. So we were incredibly lucky. I find them to be very adorable.

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Our Wedding Invitations, also printed by Vicky, all packaged-up, and with a little sweet inside to boot. We handed most of these out to save on costs. I’ll show you what they looked like after the wedding – otherwise I’d have to cover up the details and, well, that would just be nowhere near as pretty. And what’s the point then?

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There will be many Jars at this Wedding, that’s for sure. I bought 90 jars off the divine Merowyn from Blithely Unaware. I feel comforted by the fact that there will be so many lovely jars to fill with beautiful flowers and candles. Pretty pretty pretty.

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There will be lots of Brown String…seriously, I seem to be planning on using it everywhere.

There will also be Candy. Naturally.

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My Wedding Shoes. Simple, pretty flats.

These flats are from Witchery, and I know quite a few people who have them. I’ve been trying to wear them in so they’re super comfy on the big day. I always wanted to wear flats because although Ben is a good 6cm taller than me, I feel that heels often make me feel a bit too tall. Nothing against girls who are taller than their man, I’m just going with what makes me comfortable.

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Our Planing Board, complete with codes and spelling mistakes. It’s helpful and cute at the same time. What’s not to love?

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So that’s where we’re at. After flowers, perfecting the menu will be on my mind – the good stuff. Mum, Ben and I are also busy scouring op shops for certain goodies. And I have a full hair trial on the 6th, which I am incredibly thrilled about. I was previously thinking of wearing my hair half up, however now I’m dreaming of an elegant ‘up do’. We’ll see. I quite often fall asleep planning my wedding hair…And then I think of the food. The good stuff.

I hope you enjoyed this little snapshot. I wish I could show you more, but I’m afraid you’ll have to wait a little longer. Just six weeks, remember? Ok, I need to stop tormenting myself with this countdown.

Heidi xo

A New York City Love Affair

January 11, 2012

What can I say? New York, you’re beautiful.

I was not prepared to fall this far in love with New York City. And so fast. But it happened. It happened and I don’t quite know how to get it out of my mind.

It’s not an unrequited love, New York was incredibly warm and generous with it’s affection. It enveloped me with it’s charm, perpetually teasing me, enticing me to stay and leaving me with no doubt about it’s true feelings.

Yet it is a love that is separated by a grand distance. It’s not like it could never be…one day in the future maybe we’ll be together. But for now, I’ll have to settle on these memories. Snapshots of a beautiful time, my Summer romance with New York City. I will forever be in a New York State of Mind. And that’s just fabulous.

Heidi xo

NYC Mash-Up

January 9, 2012

What to do with random snapshots of your NYC travels that don’t quite warrant their own post yet you’re positively itching to share?

Put them all together in one post and give it a flashy name. So here you go, my NYC Mash-Up! Bam.

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Porchetta Rolls and Key Lime Pie at The Brooklyn Flea. A fabulous market full of cheap vintage finds – definitely visit this market when you’re in NYC. And eat pork and pie.

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Lunch at the Taco Truck… I long for more quality Mexican here in Melbourne – we do have Mamasita and Bluecorn, but we need more, people! Definitely smaller joints like this. This Fish Taco was delicious!

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Mac and Cheese and Home. Dim lighting so no pics but definitely worth a visit for homely (he he) Southern fare.

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Takeaway mixed salads at Wholefoods! Terribly overpriced but terribly delicious and fresh.

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Grabbing a Taco at Snack Dragon, a little hole in the wall joint, before seeing a Poetry Slam (wow, amazing).

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Brunch at Pastis. As you do. I had granola and yoghurt, not memorable hence no pics. Perhaps I should have been more adventurous with my order. But the interior was just gorgeous, see?

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Pinkberry! We need more frozen yoghurt in Melbourne. Or at least, a great shop closer to me… Can someone please fix this problem?

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Pork Buns at Momofoku. All the rage right now. Honestly, very likely too much information about to be shared, but the fatty meat was just too much for my system to handle. Yep. I can appreciate that they’re well made with beautiful technique and flavours. But yes. I’ll leave it at that.

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Wholewheat Pancakes at The Little Owl (aka the cafe below the Friends building and where No Reservations was filmed). This was my second last day in NYC. We dragged everyone out of bed early for pancakes, french toast and home fries (which are just cubes of potato, fried). Little Owl is a really cute place.

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Late night dancing and Cheerios. Cereal never tasted so good.

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Ben and Jerry‘s Taste Testing. All vastly different opinions, but Chubby Hubby gets my vote.

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Jazz at Cornelia Street Cafe in The Village followed by dinner at The Spotted Pig. The Jazz was fantastic, a real highlight. And the dinner was great too, from what I can recall… I had a delicious calamari salad, which photographed very poorly due to the non-existant lighting inside. I believe we also ate pie but that may have been a dream…

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A little bit of a random mash-up, but a lot of awesome memories for us girls and I hope it provided some entertainment for you, lovely readers who indulge my food ramblings and travel nostalgia. Only one more NYC post to go. I don’t think I’m ready to say goodbye…

Heidi xo

Chilled Breakfast Pudding

January 6, 2012

Fact: It’s Summer.

Fact: Pudding is delicious.

Fact: In Summer, pudding should be chilled.

In case my astonishingly articulate above three facts weren’t convincing enough for you, let me present my Chilled Breakfast Pudding. This recipe is completely self-indulgent, made with ingredients that I love and adore. Hence it was a dream to create for Melrose…and sample… many, many times. You know, just to make sure it was perfect.

So yes, it is made solely with ingredients I love. But it is also very nourishing, which is why I knew it was a keeper, one to share. That makes me feel less self-indulgent. And I did show some restraint, I didn’t include my beloved nut butter in the recipe. But now that I mention it, I totally could…

Chilled Breakfast Pudding is popping up on my breakfast table more and more these days. This makes me happy. I particularly favour this pudding after a workout, when my cheeks are still flushed ruby red from morning exercise. Yes, it’s chilling effect is very welcomed then.

While this pudding is confidently nourishing, naturally flavourful and refreshing, it’s also a bit different, possibly using some ingredients you’re not familiar with. If coconut oil is foreign to you, I’ll give you a crash course right now (just FYI, “coconut oil” is when it’s in it’s liquid state, “coconut butter” is when it’s in it’s solid state. Same same, but different). Oh, and go for the unrefined coconut oil. The refined stuff is more for cosmetic use, and does not have the coconut flavour.

Nutritionally, coconut oil is high in Saturated Fat, and yes this is the bad fat. However the fat in coconut oil metabolised more efficiently than regular Saturated Fats (such as fatty meats and butter) – this is related to the length of the fatty acid chains. Many dietitians are anti coconut oil because, when it comes down to it, it’s still a Saturated Fat. And this is true. My view is this; having a very healthy diet overall, I feel fine to use it in small amounts every now and then. I would not go about using multiple tablespoons a day, which certain supermodels profess to doing, yet a drizzle here and there on salads or in a smoothie is fine by me. Use it sparingly.

Ok, now to the practicalities. Unless your kitchen is very warm, your coconut oil is likely to be in it’s solid state. So to allow it to liquefy, I sit the jar in a cup of hot water. Soon enough you’ll be able to get a liquid portion out of the jar.

What’s fabulous about coconut oil is that when you drizzle the liquid on something cold (like this pudding), it solidifies and turns rock hard – just like Ice-Magic! Remember Ice-Magic? Ahhhh childhood memories… It also helps to place the bowl in the freezer for a few minutes, to help this solidifying process along and get better results. It’s a lot of fun, and the texture change makes the eating process even more enjoyable. I love to play with my food.

Now the other ingredients: chia seeds swell when combined with liquid, so they’re really in their prime here, helping to create a delightful pudding texture. Rolled oats and flaxmeal provide a bundle of beautiful nutrients including fibre to help keep you full. I’ve said it before, but get rid of quick oats – nutritionally, rolled really are superior.

And there you have it!

Feel free to play around with the recipe to suit your preferences. You may like to add more oats and chia seeds if you like a thicker pudding. You might like to stir your flaxmeal through with the oats at the beginning rather than having a portion on top. I just love the flavour of flax, so that is why I left it on top.

All in all, I am rather in love with this recipe. It refreshes like nothing else, is truly nourishing and leaves me with a feeling of brightness and life. That’s totally my kind of recipe.

Chilled Breakfast Pudding

* This recipe requires a Blender and a pre-frozen Banana. For the frozen banana, peel and wrap a ripe banana in glad wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours before using. I always keep a few in my freezer, they’re great in smoothies and of course, this recipe!

Serves 1

Ingredients

1 Frozen Banana
3-4 tablespoons Low-Fat Vanilla Yoghurt (larger bananas will require more yoghurt, smaller ones will require less)
2 teaspoons Chia Seeds
1 ½ tablespoons Rolled Oats
1 tablespoon Melrose Organic Golden Flaxmeal
1/3 cup Berries (fresh or defrosted from frozen)
½ tablespoon Melrose Organic Coconut Oil (in it’s liquid state)

Method

1. Unwrap and then thinly slice your frozen banana. Add it to the blender along with 2 tablespoons of the yoghurt. Be careful to not add too much yoghurt to begin with, as adding too much will result in a thinner mixture. Blend (you might need to stop the blender and stir the ingredients to get it blending smoothly). Add your extra tablespoon of yoghurt, stir and then blend again. Blend until smooth (adding a fourth tablespoon of yoghurt if you need to). Once the mixture is smooth and thick, pour into a small, deep bowl (allowing room to add ingredients on top).
2. Add the chia seeds and rolled oats to the banana/yoghurt mixture, stir to combine. Pop the bowl in the freezer to chill for 10 minutes.
3. While the pudding is chilling, place your jar of coconut oil in a bowl of hot water – this will help the oil to move from a solid to liquid state (do not microwave it!).
4. After 10 minutes, remove your chilled pudding from the freezer. Top it with the flaxmeal and berries, then drizzle the liquid coconut oil over the top. Place your bowl in the freezer for 2 more minutes, to allow the hard shell to form. Enjoy!

Heidi xo

Mount Buller Getaway

January 4, 2012

How was everyone’s New Years Eve? I hope you all snagged a little time for fun with loved ones.

Ben and I were lucky enough to spend the long weekend at Mount Buller with my girlfriend and her man – he has an apartment up there, and it turned out to be the perfect spot for a mini getaway. How lucky are we?

Three days and three nights of nothing but chilling out with friends, beautiful views, reading, hiking, cooking, watching movies and fashioning helmets out of watermelons.

It was completely wonderful and completely what I was craving. Thanks George and Alex, you’re beyond amazing.

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Is there anything better than waking up in the morning and straight away diving into a cup of tea and a book? I don’t think so.

Saturday morning. Yoghurt, Rolled Oats, Banana. The Snowman. George and Alex have both read this book, and so I was keenly exclaiming details to them whenever anything juicy happened. Book obsessions are such fun to share.

Walking up to the Summit.

Many people believe George and I to be twins, or at the very least, Sisters. Teachers would always mix us up and we’d be sent home with the other’s report cards. We’ve known each other since we were babies. She’s one of my bridesmaids and, well, she’s pretty fantastic.

It may be my recent obsession with BBC adaptations of Jane Austen novels, but I truly felt like I was strolling the English countryside in 1795 – getting, as they say, some ever so beneficial exercise. Except whilst wearing leggings. Not quite 1795 attire.

We went on two hikes during our stay. Neither too strenuous for an outstanding length of time, yet always beautiful.

Saturday Afternoon. Never wanting to leave this spot.

New Years Eve Celebrations.

Learning how to play Big 2. Often losing, sometimes winning, always competitive.

Vita-Weat Crackers, Smoked Almonds, Chicnuts.

Pimm’s.

BBQ. Salad with Goats Cheese, Corn on the cob, Mushrooms, Salt and Vinegar Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes, as well as butterflied Lamb.

Did you know it’s good luck to make Watermelon Helmets on New Years Eve?

True story.

But maybe don’t look that up.

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New Years Day.

Potato Rosti, Scrambled Eggs and Avocado. A sign of good things to come in 2012? Why, yes, I believe so.

Picnicing by the River. Stream? Creek. No, river.

Slippery rocks, a fairly strong current, a rock throwing contest (George won) and completely divine, cooling water. Bliss? Yes, bliss.

Salad Sandwich: avocado, cucumber, tomato, spinach leaves, leftover sweet potato rounds and goats cheese. On Multigrain.

And my book. Naturally.

Back at the apartment, all that watermelon was put to great use. A Watermelon, Vodka, Mint Cocktail with a touch of Ginger Beer. Bravo, Alex.

Plus some Gin-Spiked, Mint-Dressed Watermelon Cubes. Too cute.

Dinner. Pasta with Tomato, Garlic, Basil and Mascarpone Sauce. Red Wine. Happy.

Drunken, Caramelised Banana with Chocolate Liqueur and Mascarpone. A random kitchen experiment due to George’s sweet craving.

Movie. Bed. Sleep. Slumber. Rest.

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Milk run in the morning.

Breakfast on the balcony. Yogurt, Rolled Oats, Watermelon. Never ending watermelon.

Tea.

I could stay here forever.

But alas…

I was lured to the car and away from the magical mountain by the promise of a Frosty Fruit.

Lunch. Moroccan Lamb Pie in Yarck on the way home. The Tea Rooms in Yarck are supposed to be excellent, just FYI.

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Home

. Swimming in the sea. My skin was given that rejuvenating salt-kissed bath it so craved. Summer. 2012. An incredible start to the year. Excitement.

Heidi xo