June 24, 2012
Friday night we had our friend, Ben, around for dinner. Ben and I met at uni and we’ve recently bonded over a mutual love of food. A month or so ago Ben invited my Ben and I over for a beautiful meal. He made us his spaghetti bolognaise (and sent us off with take-home packs and the recipe!) and his mum’s chocolate self-saucing pudding (recipe given as well, score!). Veuve was involved. And Anchorman. It was all-round fabulous.

Naturally we were keen to return the favour. And so last Friday I started on some slow-cooked beef. Slow-cooked beef is my happy recipe right now. I could eat it for days.

This time around I made Rick Stein’s slow-cooked beef cheeks (recipe link), however used regular chuck beef rather than cheeks. Ooooh how I adore slow-cooked beef cheek though. Yes, next time I shall get me some cheeks.

Olive sourdough with dukkah and olives to start.

Followed by the slow-cooked beef. I loved the strong flavours in this dish. Juniper berries and cloves., together with the beef and wine and other ingredients, created a sort of rich, delicious tango. I found this dish to be quite romantic and a touch exotic. This slow-cooked loveliness was served with mashed potato and green beans.

For dessert, we had my beloved Connoisseur vanilla ice-cream with freshly baked chocolate-chip cookies. These beauties were baked by my gorgeous friend Vicki. Not only did she bring me cookies for our afternoon tea date, she saved me from making dessert on this busy Friday.

I love you, Vicki.

During the evening we toasted to travel plans and Ben’s upcoming birthday. And our new toaster. That’s right, we now own a toaster. Clearly my proclamation of our lack of toaster ownership in my previous post was a good idea, as Ben turned up on our doorstep with a brand new toaster as a Wedding present. Thanks, Ben, you’re awesome.


Saturday morning, after a walk to buy coffees and La Madre sourdough, we used the toaster. It was fabulous.

Ben made scrambled eggs with creme fraiche and juiced oranges, while I cooked us some garlic mushrooms.

Oh and we made toast. In our toaster.

It’s the little things, like making toast, that make me smile on a fuss-free Saturday. Goodbye, oven toast.

Heidi xo
  • Ben C June 24, 2012 at 8:11 am

    I attest to the the true awesomeness of this beef. It was amazing. Ben mashes a mean potato as well.. and the take home pack was JUST what I needed for dinner last night.

  • Emma - Living through our renovations... June 24, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Slow cooked beef, what a perfect winter meal!

    WOOHOoooooo you have a toaster! Excellent addition to your home! x

  • Oh, Natalie.. June 24, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Haha – congratulations on the toaster! Once you toast, you never go back…. or something like that.

  • Michelle Chin June 24, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Ah, i love simple toast too but i own no toaster. So i just dry pan fry it. 🙂

  • Kari June 24, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Ah, the simple delights of a toaster! I rarely use ours (and it is second hand and the bit you push down no longer has a handle, so you just push the bare stem 😛 ) but I would no doubt miss it if it wasn't there. Sounds like a great gift, and a great night!

  • mamacino June 24, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Miss Heidi…was so excited to be reading my new cookbook…Hungry, by Guy Mirrabella when I happened to see that he CREDITS YOU for his wonderful pancakes!!! I was so excited! I felt like I knew you personally, lol….can't wait to visit his cafe one day…might have to take the ferry and come visit x

  • Heidi June 24, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Ben C – so happy to hear that 🙂 thanks again xo

    Emma – oh yeah! Super happy 🙂

    Natalie – hahaha love it.

    Michelle – that's a brilliant idea!

    Kari – yes indeed!

    Mamacino – naw yay! yes was super touched about that, so lovely. It's a really great cafe, you must give it a go!!

    Heidi xo

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella June 24, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    A friend that brings a nice toaster for a wedding gift is definitely deserved of a lovely meal such as this! 😀 And I wonder if people now don't buy toasters because of the joke of married couples getting multiple toasters? 🙂

  • Iron Chef Shellie June 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    nawwww <3 bonding over a love of food is always a good thing. I slow cooked beef cheeks this weekend :)

    Yay for a toaster!!

  • Heavenly Ingredients June 25, 2012 at 9:20 am

    I was so tempted to make your beef cheeks today, then I realised it would mean staying home all afternoon! As much as I would love to….

  • Sig June 25, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    What a wonderful meal! I'm really tempted to get a slow cooker for these chilly winter nights and make something similarly magical!

    Hahah oh man..for our wedding we actually DID get MULTIPLE toasters. The cliche is true.

    But anyways, here's a toast to TOAST! 😀

  • Heidi June 25, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Lorraine – yes we're kind of against trend, aren't we 🙂

    Michele – mmmmm slow cooked beef cheeks are just so darn good.

    Laura – yes it is a bit of a commitment. Next time!!

    Sig – how funny! I'll toast to that 🙂

    Heidi xo

  • Hannah June 25, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    I'm not sure if many other people in this world could actually describe beef in a way that makes me want it, Heidi, you magic creature.

    As for me, having moved out of my house-sitting gig at my parents' place, I'm back to the griller toast!

  • onika June 26, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    yunm yum yum!!!
    i love slow cooked anything! so so good

    can you help me find a healthy banana cake recipe!? i'm stumped and want to use up my narnies tonight 🙁

    that toast looks so good…. damn you! xx

  • Heidi June 27, 2012 at 7:18 am

    Hannah – griller toast! Fond memories 🙂

    Onika – I hope you found one, lovely! I need to get my banana bread on, sorry I couldn't help!

    Heidi xo

  • The InTolerant Chef June 27, 2012 at 10:01 am

    What a great friend, meal and weekend! You have it all girlfriend!

  • Daisy@Nevertoosweet June 30, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    I love good friends 🙂 Mr Bao and I need to get a toaster too ~ can't wait getting really sick of not having a toaster lol