Monthly Archives

September 2012

A Birthday Post

September 29, 2012
Last weekend was my birthday. I am now 27 years old, and it feels pretty great.

27, I feel, is an age where pizza should be involved. Proper, grown-up, wood-fired pizza. So that’s how we celebrated, down in Red Hill with close friends and family.

This past year has been very good to me. I married my high school sweetheart, we went on a dreamy honeymoon across Europe, work is stimulating, I’m falling more and more in love with cooking and gaining more confidence in the kitchen. Really I’m just loving life, and completely loving being married. Being a wife…it’s kind of cool.

To show you where I’m at right now, at 27, I thought I’d share some random tidbits with you. And then I promise to show you lots of pizza pictures and other delights from my birthday last Sunday.

27: where I’m at right now


* I’m buying buckets of cocoa powder, rolled oats, coconut flour, bananas, pumpkin seeds, almonds, cinnamon, butter beans, spinach leaves, asparagus and yoghurt. And lamb. Oh man, I love lamb. These ingredients are my life at present, in various delicious forms.

* The next travel adventure I’m dreaming of is India. I suspect India would be a location best visited before having children (I implore you to correct me if India is, in fact, an easy place to travel with kids). I’m also very keen to visit the USA again so I can spend time with one of my bffs, and of course we always have Asia on the agenda so we can visit family, friends and Baan Dada. Right now these are distant dreams, but I do love to dream…

* I need to have my eyes tested and get some new glasses. I’m short-sighted, it’s annoying. Ben has the same issue and recently snagged some new glasses. They’re fly. Sometimes I find myself so jealous I seriously consider switching my glasses (purple frames and all) with his. It might happen.

* I’m currently reading The Headspace Diet – mindfulness is where it’s at, people. However would love to move onto some fiction soon. There is nothing like getting lost in a good book, curled up on the couch with a cup of tea or cocoa.

 

* I recently took home a gigantic bag of meyer lemons from my parent’s tree. I then freaked out because I had far too many lemons to know what to do with. Right now I’m dressing my salads in lemon juice like there’s no tomorrow, zesting like a mofo and making batches of lemon bars and lemon curd for friends. And I’m still not sick of lemons. It’s love.

* Lately I’ve been loving my morning powerwalks more than ever. They’re invigorating and each time I stride outside I fall even more in love with life. I try to walk at least 4 mornings a week. Sometimes I jog. It’s all wonderful.

* I sometimes (often) daydream about baby names. I have a good list going. Ben and I agree on most of them, although sometimes (often) he informs me that “we cannot call our future baby that, no matter how cute it seems to us, we just can’t”. He’s right, dammit.

* Most nights Ben stays up working and I go to bed at 8:30 with a hot chocolate and watch Call the Midwife or Country House Rescue on our iPad. British accents make me happy.

* Before the weather gets too hot, I’m super keen to knock out a good fish pie. I have never before made one, so I dearly welcome any suggestions or tips.

So that’s where I’m at right now, at 27. This is what’s on my mind. Life is pretty good, I’m a lucky lady.
…..

Let’s have a look at how I spent my birthday, shall we? I’m keen to show you the yummy eats we had.

Birthday Breakfast


Thick Greek yoghurt, berries and coffee. A rather splendid birthday breakfast. Yes, this yoghurt was totally my birthday breakfast treat – some find this amusing, I find it delicious.

 

Birthday Lunch



Ben and I drove down to Red Hill Sunday morning after a jog and breakfast. I then got to roasting nuts while Mum and Dad were busy in the kitchen preparing the rest of lunch. Mum and Dad, as well as my darling brother, Jackson, really spoilt me by having my friends over for lunch. They cooked and organised and cleaned with ease and smiles, and hosted a beautiful day for me. I feel very spoilt, it was just lovely. Thank you, gorgeous family xo


Nibbles. Mini gherkins, dukkah with bread and extra virgin olive oil, olives and sugar and spice candied nuts (I love this recipe, although I always cut the white sugar way down and add more smoked paprika).


 


The sun shone sporadically throughout the day and when it did, it was just lovely.





Although we did have to retreat inside for the main event…

Garden salad and rocket and parmesan salad.



Preserved fig, goats cheese and chicory salad.



Pizza. Margherita, prosciutto and potato, and asparagus with crushed walnuts and egg.


 

Thanks for sharing your recipe, Dad. This came about after much research and many tasty batches. I’m slightly obsessed with Dad’s pizza.


Dad’s Pizza Dough

Makes 6 small or 3 large pizzas.
Ingredients
400g Plain Flour or 00 Flour
8g Dried Yeast
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ teaspoon Salt
250ml Tepid Water

Method

1. Combine the flour, salt, yeast in a bowl.
2. Make a well in the centre and add the water & oil.
3. Mix until it all comes together as a dough – if too wet, add more flour, if too dry, add more water.
4. Knead for ~10 minutes until it becomes elastic & smooth.
5. Cover the mixture in the bowl with a towel or glad wrap & leave for 1hr in a warm place (Dad puts his front of fridge on the floor, where warm air comes out). Refrigerate until needed.
6. When you want to cook your pizza, break off portions of the dough & roll out for use. You can stack up pre-prepared/rolled-out dough with a layer of baking paper in between. Use semonila on your pizza stone to ensure it doesn’t stick. After adding your toppings, your pizzas will take 2-5 minutes to cook depending on the heat in your wood-fired oven (the second batch will take longer). If using a conventional oven, put the heat up to ~220 degrees celsius and cook for a similar length of time.

Birthday Dessert

After lunch, Ben and I snuck away to make a big batch of ricotta doughnuts with cinnamon sugar. We used Nigella Lawson’s Baci Di Ricotta recipe and then rolled them in a mix of cinnamon, white sugar and caster sugar.


These bites are pure bliss. Pure bliss, my friends. Delicate, softly spiced, surely sweet, warm, welcoming pillows.

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Oh, and then came the second dessert. Because that’s what you do on your birthday. Little lemon curd biscuit crumbles.



I made a biscuit base (recipe link – I used only the biscuit recipe and cooked it for longer, covered so as to not over-brown) and lemon curd (recipe link), and then assembled this simple dessert in little jars. I also made a gluten-free biscuit base, as we have a couple of friends with fructose intolerance. I will share that recipe in a coming post.


A few berries…


…and a limoncello shot, to boot. Dad brought out some of his homemade limoncello from the wedding (it was our take-home gift for guests). Cheers.


It was a happy lunch. A happy day.

Birthday Dinner



After all this loveliness, Ben took me out to dinner in the city. We visited Lupino and indulged in some of the best Italian in the city. This restaurant is a firm favourite, and it was a real treat to spend the night with my husband on a birthday date.


And there you have it, a birthday post.

27 feels pretty great.


Heidi xo

Friends Don’t Let Friends Go Home Without a Take-Home Pack

September 26, 2012
Ben and I have this friend. His name is Ben.Ben is wonderful, he’s really into food and creates delicious meals, which we get to devour at our little dinner parties. That’s one of my favourite things about being a grown up – dinner parties. Especially when they involve friends who love food and get just as excited over quality extra virgin olive oil as I do.

Our recent dinner party with Ben involved Ben and I visiting Ben’s house (still with me?), where Ben put on a supremely tasty spread. He’s quite the confident cook, which is really nice. I tend to be in the habit of apologising for meals if I’m unsure of it’s deliciousness – a very unattractive trait, I know. But Ben just serves it up. Yes, I could learn a thing or two from him. And man, does he make a good drunken chicken.

Let’s start with a Dark and Stormy, shall we? Note: Ben adds bitters to his version. It’s delicious, like a lazy sun-drenched afternoon in a cup. Oh yes, please do fill ‘er up.

Drunken Chicken and Bruised Salad, a delightful interplay of flavours that’s downright delicious.

For dessert, Ben made Niel Perry’s Passionfruit Tart. Dessert is a given at our dinner parties. I fear the day I reach for a block of chocolate instead of a pudding or pie…Ben, don’t let that happen, ok? I so adore our fancy-pants approach. Way to start the weekend off right, you know?

Then there was cheese and port, whilst watching The Blues Brothers.


Oh, and Ben always sends us home with a take-home pack, which Ben and I promptly fight over. You can see why I appreciate this friendship, can’t you. Friends don’t let friends go home without a take-home pack.

Heidi xo

Cherry Ripe Coconut Fudge Cake

September 23, 2012


This cake has been a bit of an obsession of mine. A fun little fudgy project that has consumed my kitchen (and belly) for the last few weeks.

You see, I had a yearning to make a cake featuring a favourite ingredient of mine – gloriously intoxicating, fragrant coconut flour. Have you ever used coconut flour? It’s heavenly. You can find it at health food shops and although it’s not super cheap, I find it to be a delicious treat.

With coconut flour on my belly brain I dreamt up a love story between coconut and cocoa. I pictured a dark, dense cake. Rich, luxurious, coconut-cocoa-goodness. I would use melted chocolate and coconut oil. Dreamy.

And so began my adventures in coconut chocolate cake baking.

First I used coconut palm sugar as my sweetener, which was just completely divine. I then tried brown sugar, as it’s a more common ingredient, easier to have on hand. This too yielded a lovely cake, although the flavour felt somewhat muted. And so I turned to honey, adjusted the proportions a little and found the perfect balance. It’s sweet, it’s rich and dense, but not heavy, not sickly. Instead of needing a nap after a slice, I’m inclined to start leaping. And my, isn’t that fabulous for a fudge cake? I think so.

Now, please know that I have nothing against butter, in fact I’m very fond of it. And a little sugar is darn fine too. But I wanted something different from my coconut flour. It’s quite the delicate ingredient, you see, so I was determined to create a cake favouring more wholesome, nutritious ingredients. And so with a little hard/delicious work and many test batches, I find myself blessed with a lovely treat.


Oh, and then I went and put frosting on it. Frosting without added sugar or butter – rather, frosting with greek yoghurt…yeah, I did. Add some cherry jam and coconut sprinkles and you’ve totally got yourself a Cherry Ripe cake. A rather wholesome, fudgy Cherry Ripe cake. Yes indeed. And call me crazy, but the longer this cake stays in the fridge, the more delicious it becomes.

I find this cake to be entirely pleasurable and uplifting. I do indeed want to plough my face into it. It’s love. Cake love.

 
 

Giveaway

As I am so very dearly keen on coconut flour, I’ve decided to do a little giveaway – naturally in honour of coconut flour, but also this cake. And my birthday! Today I turn 27. Happy birthday to me. I’m going to celebrate with friends, family and woodfired pizza. Ricotta doughnuts will also be involved. And later on, I might just celebrate a little more by dipping into my endless supply of Cherry Ripe Coconut Fudge Cake found in my freezer (FYI, without frosting, this cake freezes very well).

To enter this giveaway for a lovely bag of coconut flour, please write a comment below telling me a memory of your most favourite birthday cake ever (one you made, one you ate – whatever you wish, as long as it’s birthday cake). Last year Ben surprised me with mini cupcakes and candles from Little Cupcakes while having dinner with friends at Izakaya Den. Everyone sang happy birthday to me in the restaurant, a lovely act which always makes me turn bright red but I always absolutely adore it. Please email me if your contact details are not clear, so that I can easily contact you if you win. This giveaway is open to Australian readers only. I’ll decide the winner in one week’s time, on the 30th September.


Cherry Ripe Coconut Fudge Cake


Cake Ingredients

150g Coconut Oil (Unrefined, in it’s solid form. I use Melrose brand)
100g quality Dark Chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
1 cup Coconut Flour (from health food stores)
3 tablespoons Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder
1 1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Honey
4 Eggs
1/2 cup Milk
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Frosting Ingredients

100g quality Dark Chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
1/2 tablespoon Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Greek Yoghurt (I use Chobani Plain Non-Fat Greek Yoghurt)
1 heaped tablespoon Cherry Jam (I used St Dalfour Black Cherry Jam)
2 tablespoons Shredded Coconut

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius (convection setting). Grease and line a 22cm round springform cake tin with baking paper.
2. Over a double boiler, melt the coconut oil and chocolate, stirring often until melted. Allow to cool.
3. Sift your dry ingredients (coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt) into a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
4. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the eggs vigorously. Add the vanilla, milk and honey, stirring to combine.
5. Add the cooled, melted coconut oil/chocolate mixture to the dry ingredients and briefly fold through. Add the egg mixture and fold until all the flour is incorporated. Leave for a minute or so to allow the mixture to thicken, then fold once more to ensure there are no lumps.
6. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and then place in the oven and cook for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, rotate the pan then cook for a further 5 minutes. Your cake will be cooked when a skewer inserted in to the middle comes out clean – you still want it fudgy so be careful to not overcook it (best to take it out earlier rather than later, in my opinion). Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, before removing the tin and baking paper, and allowing the cake to cool on a wire rack.
7. Once your cake is cool, assemble your frosting by melting the chocolate over a double boiler, stirring often. Allow to cool a little but keep the bowl over the water with the heat off. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla, then the yoghurt. The mixture will seize a little as you add the yoghurt, just stir firmly to incorporate and turn the heat on to help melt the chocolate again if required. The mixture should end up nice and smooth, and rich brown in colour. Place frosting in the fridge to allow it to thicken.
8. Top the cake with the frosting, smoothing to ensure an even spread. Swirl through the jam, as much or as little as you wish – I favour haphazard, swirly blobs, and then sprinkle the shredded coconut over the top. Slice and serve.

Heidi xo

Giveaway Winner Announcement

Thank you for all your comments – they were just lovely, truly. I read each one with a huge smile on my face and joy in my heart. Who knew how popular Australian Women’s Weekly cakes were?!!

I had to choose KittyCate as the winner, though. A piano cake – that is terribly nostalgic for me and so it instantly sang to my heart. Cate, please email me with your postal address details and a bag of coconut flour will be heading your way!

Thank you all again for your birthday well wishes and beautiful comments.

Heidi xo

Gelato Stop in Lisbon

September 20, 2012

Lisbon. Let’s explore this infectious city one last time, shall we?
I so favour destinations that are effortlessly cool. Lisbon draws you in with it’s elegant nonchalance. With it’s rich history and charming architecture, as well as quality restaurants and exciting bar scene, it’s pretty much my ideal destination. Oh, and it has a castle, too – a full-on, Robin Hood and his Merry Men Castle. See? Effortlessly cool.
All this exploring requires fuel, yes? How about a sweet scoop at Fragoleto Gelato? Sounds marvellous, doesn’t it. This gorgeous gelateria craft their own, quality gelato with pride. Their flavours are energetic, I thoroughly enjoyed the peach and cinnamon. We visited this shop on numerous occasions while in Lisbon and always left with greedy gelato grins.
Gelato. Lisbon. Let’s go back.
Heidi xo

Lisbon Notes

 

Length of stay: 3 days – a good amount of time.

Accommodation

: we stayed at Olissippo Castelo (great online deal) and found it to be a fabulous location (right near the castle, on the hill. All those steps encouraged a ravenous appetite, which was welcome in this delicious city).
Where we ate – see previous posts: Stumbling across Sardines, Dinner, Drinks and Dancing, Tasca da Esquina, Pasteis de Belem and Bonjardim.

Highlights

: wandering around Aflama district, Portuguese tarts at Pasteis de Belem, exploring Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, being upgraded at our hotel then surprised with a bottle of honeymoon champagne, park hopping, spontaneous sardines, cheap taxi rides (really, everything in Lisbon is cheap compared to the rest of Europe), seeing Ben have authentic piri piri chicken, morning runs with stunning city views around the castle, basil and black pepper cocktails and illegally delicious baked octopus. Yeah, there were a lot of highlights in Lisbon.

Baked Octopus Bliss in Lisbon

September 17, 2012

I ate the best octopus in my life in Lisbon. It was insane. Insane.
Pure baked octopus bliss.
I’m feeling a little giddy just thinking about it. That’s weird, I know – it’s food. Or rather, a food memory. But you see, I don’t care, I don’t. Judge me if you will, I just want more of that octopus. Although let’s be honest, you guys totally understand, don’t you? No explanation necessary. It’s a safe place here, my food blog. Thanks for that.
More on the octopus later…


Our last day in Lisbon started with a visit to Mercado da Ribeira, where we marvelled at beautiful produce and bought some fabulously fresh (and cheap – so cheap) fruit. Needless to say I devoured an entire bag of strawberries on this morning.

 

 

For the obligatory caffeine hit, Ben and I visited a bar in the market. Here we scored some tips on what to see in the area alongside our espresso.

 

 

I then satisfied my ever-growing yoghurt craving. I’m a yoghurt fan, this is true, and when travelling I always miss it a little. One week into our trip I was needing some of the good stuff. Ben wanted chocolate milk, like the 27-year-old man he is, so we visited a convenience store and stocked up. Does anyone else get get extremely excited by all the wonderful yoghurt varieties in Europe? We need to get on that here. We then wandered around the area, stumbling into shops every now and then, and just generally revelling in Lisbon’s laid-back fabulousness.

 

Lunch was at Frade dos Mares – only our most favourite restaurant stumble ever. The tapas bar around the corner we had originally planned on visiting was closed, and so we found ourselves at this slightly fancy-pants yet approachable restaurant. Here I ordered the baked octopus, their specialty. And now, back home in Melbourne, sitting on my couch, I find myself giddy at the thought of said octopus.Bread, butters, beer and Ben.

 

 

 

Octopus and rice. Heaven.

 

Salad for good measure.

 

Looking (a little too) lovingly at our waiter as he spoke to me about my baked octopus, on a bed of roasted baby potatoes with crisp roasted garlic and a generous amount of olive oil. Seriously, can you blame me? Look at it, it’s stunning…

 

 

Let’s all take a moment, shall we?

*sigh*

One more Lisbon post to go, then we’re onto Paris. Although I adored reflecting on our time in Lisbon, and cannot wait to visit this engaging city again (and eat more baked octopus, of course), I am awfully excited for our little Parisian affair.

Heidi xo

Stumbling across Sardines

September 14, 2012

Sardines. They’re terribly ugly little fellows, but boy are they scrumptious. And nutritious too, giving you a beautiful hit of valuable omega 3 fatty acids. Thanks for that, my funky little friends…too familiar? Sorry about that. It’s just that I’m relatively new to the sardine party, so I’m a little enamoured. For those of you who cannot move past their blatant, bold fishiness, trust me, I was once like you. But push through, looks aren’t everything. I dearly believe you will one day fall in love with sardines.

While in Lisbon we were treated to some truly delicious seafood, including a lovely big plate of sardines one sunny Wednesday. I’d like to share those beauties with you today…

Ben and I stumbled across a little gem of a place after our initial lunch-spot fell through. In fact many restaurants in Lisbon were randomly closed, and while initially frustrating, this allowed for spontaneous dining experiences, which happened to result in some of the best meals we ate on our entire trip. Our lunch at Churrasqueira O Cofre is an example of this.

We were greeted with the aroma of an eager grill, as rows of hungry diners satisfying their lunch-time appetites. Peering inside, we spotted a long table filled with elderly men engaged in a raucous lunch gathering. Wine glasses, broken bread and the remnants of a well-enjoyed meal were strewn across the table…we knew we had to eat here. It was fate. In my opinion, when it comes to food, you can always trust elderly european men – they sure know their sardines.

Ben and I devoured plates of fresh, grilled sardines and another fleshy fillet – simple, clean perfection, served with boiled, buttered potatoes and a basic salad. There was also bread, soft, lovely bread.

 

 

 

It was a completely unpretentious and completely perfect meal. Oh how I’m pleased we stumbled across these sardines. Simple seafood perfection.

 

We then visited Jardim da Estrela and spent some time lying on the grass. Reading in the park…one of life’s true pleasures. Along with sardines, of course.
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Heidi xo

Dinner, Drinks and Dancing

September 11, 2012

Just a few recommendations if you’re ever in Lisbon. I imagine you’d all like to know where to grab an affordable, delicious, fresh meal. And where end your night with a cocktail or two. So let’s go, we’ve got plans – dinner, drinks and dancing.

Dinner

Check out Cantinho Do Bem Estar for no-fuss traditional seafood. There’s a good variety of quality, fresh seafood dishes on offer. You’re guaranteed a big serve of tasty here, with friendly service.

 

 


We ordered a serve of prawns, which came with a thick mustard-style sauce. Oh, this was yum. For our main we ordered the doyrada, which came adorned with strawberries and little scrumptious potatoes. This fish was absolutely stunning.

 



Drinks


Principal Real has a number of really cool cocktail bars, so we headed there for drinks a few times. I don’t know about you, but relaxing after a day of sightseeing with a fancy-pants drink is my idea of lovely.


Pavilhão Chinês. This place is kitsch cool, although I have no doubt that it would be terrifying after a few drinks. So many dolls, kitsch cool would fast become kitsch creepy.


Champagne with cherry for me.


Pina Colada for Ben, and yes he does like getting caught in the rain.


Cinco Lounge. I like to be surprised with cocktails, hinting at favourite flavours or ingredients and seeing what the bar tender creates. Ben stated he loved lychee, and was presented with the Princess Scarlette. Heh.


I favoured gin and was made an amazing basil and black pepper cocktail. It was like garden in a cup, in the best possible way.

 

Dancing


Ok, I feel I may have mislead you here. Ben and I didn’t actually go out clubbing on our honeymoon. We did, however, dance all the way back to our hotel after those cocktails.

 

 


If you’re not into dancing you can always stroll. I was always down for a stroll when in Lisbon. It’s a spectacular city.



Summer sunsets and sprawling squares.




Dinner, drinks and dancing.

Heidi xo

Tasca da Esquina

September 8, 2012

After Ben surprised me on our wedding day with an outrageously sweet serenade of “My Girl”, I kind of felt like I owed him one on our honeymoon. I felt that publicly serenading him on the plane may be a little less Wedding Singer-style success and a little more, “lady, please sit back down in your seat and refrain from whatever it is you’re trying to do”. So I thought I’d stick with what I knew best to treat Ben. Feeding him.After a little research online into deliciousness, I booked us a table at Tasca da Esquina for our first night in Lisbon. I really felt like I’d tapped into a local gem once we’d taken our seats and glanced over the menu. I may or may not have cheers’d myself when we were poured the first of many sleek drops. I knew I had done good. And I didn’t even have to sing.

The atmosphere at Tasca da Esquina is clean, classy and chilled, with a few jazzed up elements here and there. The waiters are all very friendly and much cooler than I, working their long khaki aprons and crisp shirts like it was nobody’s business. They were also super accommodating to our language barrier. In fact we participated in a little food translation exercise, which I loved. Compared to other European cities Lisbon is not overflowing with tourists, and although most young people spoke very good English, I think Ben and I were somewhat of a novelty.

We participated in a seven course feast of small, exciting, colourful plates. After the fourth course we shared our serves, as suggested by our waiter. It was a truly great meal. And although I’m very aware that I will never be able to match the brilliance of Ben’s surprise serenade, I feel I came kind of close with some crazy good tuna and pork with mushrooms.

Let’s starts at the beginning…

with cheese, olives and bread, naturally.

Over the course of the night, Ben and I tasted many Portuguese wines, and enjoyed every drop.

Chilled melon soup, a lovely way to start the meal. I would never think to make this at home, ever, so it was a real treat. Summer in a bowl, if you will.

Crab salad with homemade crispbread. Lovely.

Little crisp prawn dumplings with a stunning herb drizzle.

Eggy noodles (essentially fried omelette strips) in a rich, buttery sauce. Ultimate comfort food.

Tuna steak with broad beans. Broad beans are a favourite ingredient of mine, and so I was thrilled when these beauties showed up. This dish was pure divinity, everything about it was stellar.

Pork belly with sautéed mushrooms. These mushrooms were absurdly good. Yes, it was absolutely absurd how delicious they were. Usually I’m not a huge fan of pork belly, due to that imposing fat layer inhibiting my personal enjoyment of the meat. But this piece was cooked perfectly, and that fat layer slid right off allowing me to dive into the meat unabashedly.

Cheese with candied walnut crumbles and pumpkin jam. We were getting a little/a lot full at this point, so we only picked at this sweet little plate. I love the idea of a pumpkin jam, although the flavour was a little too subtle for my liking.

And to finish, a little dessert trio: chocolate mousse, creme brûlée and almond foam. A nice sweet bite to end a beautiful meal. I particularly enjoyed the foam (and usually I’m not that impressed with foam – come on people, enough with the foam). But yes, this was a lovely foam, I must admit. Anything almond I tend to adore.

I very much recommend visiting Tasca da Esquina for a meal when in Lisbon. It’s a little bit fancy and more modern than your traditional fare, and it’s darn delicious. And you won’t have to sing on any aeroplanes to impress your love.

Heidi xo

Pastéis de Belém and Lisbon Love

September 4, 2012

When in Lisbon on our honeymoon, I discovered something rather delicious. Something delicate and dreamy. A beautiful bite. Well, I’ll tell you the truth…I didn’t truly discover it. Monks did. Or rather, they created these bites. And then the world discovered them.

So I may be a little late to the party, but this does not make my discovery any less significant. Or less delicious.

The delicate beauties I speek of are Pastéis de Belém, otherwise known as Pastéis de Nata, otherwise known as Portuguese tarts. I was not familiar with these lovelies prior to visiting Lisbon. Oh yes, I had eaten a few dan tats at yum cha in my time, but they’re not the same. Dan Tats are, in my opinion, rather disgusting. Moving on…

There really is only one place to taste Portuguese tarts in Lisbon, and that is the famed Pastéis de Belém. This shop has been making and selling their heavenly tarts since 1837, and the recipe remains unchanged. Why mess with historic perfection?



The base of these tarts are insanely crisp…


…with deliriously flaky pastry layers encasing a light, sweet custard puddle. They were, without a doubt, one of the most delicious, most glorious, favoured bites I have ever eaten. Ben agreed. And then promptly ate three.



Next door to is a stunning Monastery, which we explored before losing ourselves in the city for the rest of the day.


A little Lisbon love for you right now…

 

Oh, and cocktails seem to cost only a few euro in Lisbon. Yes, please. Until next time… I’m off to mix myself a drink and reminisce about those tarts.

Those. Tarts.

Heidi xo