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

29 Comments

  • Reply Emma September 29, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Belated Happy Birthday! x

    Good to be on the same page with baby names 😉

    I love British accents too, I was in heaven when I worked for a British company, so many British colleagues!

    Thanks for sharing your Dad's dough recipe, I've tried several but have not loved any. I'll be trying this one next!

  • Reply CC11 September 29, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Happy Birthday chickee! What a fab day – now I can't wait to turn 27 in November!xx

  • Reply Hannah September 29, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Never never never stop dreaming, my Heidi. You are pure bliss. Happy, happy birthday. May the next 27, and the 27 after that, and the 27 after that (you'll do it) be just as exhilarating and lamb-filled as these 27 have been. xoxo

  • Reply Heidi September 29, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Emma – awesome, let me know how it goes if you do try it!

    CC11 – it's a good age, lovely 🙂

    Hannah – yeah I'll totally do it – and the 27 after THAT 😉 thanks, beautiful girl x

    Heidi xo

  • Reply Sig September 29, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Happy birthday Heidi! 27 sounds like it's going to be a fabulous year after a wonderful start! Have a craving now for wood-fired pizza – will be trying this soon!

  • Reply Iron Chef Shellie September 29, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Just gorgeous Heidi, love the idea of writing what's happening right now so you can reflect in years to come. Truly spoilt! Happy birthday again! xx

  • Reply Blithely Unaware September 29, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Happy birthday effervescent Heidi!
    Totally going to make those ricotta donut thingys while I'm on maternity leave… and finally, FINALLY make the lemon bars!!!!

    Hamish is cooking home made gnocchi tonight with a lamb neck braise, just had a sneaky taste of the braise and it's AMAZING! I've never cooked with lamb neck before but it's so good for a braise and SO cheap ($5 for a kilo!)

    hope you have an exciting, rewarding and surprising 27th year!

    xox

  • Reply leaf (the indolent cook) September 30, 2012 at 12:43 am

    Happy birthday! So much deliciousness. And where you're at right now sounds very, very excellent indeed. 😀

  • Reply Heidi September 30, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Sig – Thanks! & yes, nothing like a good pizza.

    Michele – thank you 🙂

    Blithely Unaware – awe thanks, lady!!! So much. You'll LOVE the doughnuts. And lemon bars. No brainers. Your dinner sounds (& looked) incredible. Thanks for the lamb neck tip, totally keen on it!!

    Leaf – very happy, thanks 🙂

    Heidi xo

  • Reply Not Quite Nigella September 30, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Happy Birthday lovely Heidi!! It sounds like you had a superb one-as you deserve of course! I have made a fish pie based on the recipe by the Boathouse which is known for their pie (they can't take it off the menu) and I have to say that it is the best fish pie I've had. I added scallops and broccolini inside it 😉

  • Reply Emma September 30, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Beautiful post birthday girl that captus a moment in time. I too met Mr Surfer Dude young when I was 19 but wasn't pregnant with our first child til 30. So like you and Ben we had done our fair share of eating, living and travelling. But here's the thing? Indian will be perfect no matter how many mouths you have to feed.

  • Reply Emma September 30, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    That's India! But I'm sure your kids to be will love fish pie and Indian too! Rick Stein has a great fish pie recipe – those Brits do pie and a pint well.

  • Reply Emma September 30, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • Reply KittyCate October 1, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Happy birthday gorgeous lady! Lovelovelove all the food pics, looks amazingly delicious. Totally going to replicate that lemon curd dessert at my next dinner party x

  • Reply Daisy@Nevertoosweet October 1, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Wow what a wonderful way to celebrate your 27th birthday 🙂 you have definitely had an AMAZING can i say that again hehe AMAZING year! Getting married! Going to Europe and also being surrounded by family and friends who love you and not to mention cook you the MOST DELICIOUS food 😀 I'm really late but HAPPY Belated Birthday!

  • Reply Kath (My Funny Little Life) October 1, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Happy belated birthday Heidi! It seems you had a wonderful day! 😀 I hope the next year of your life will bring as much happiness as the last one, and a little more. 🙂 India looks wonderful to look forward to!

    I used to be short-sighted as well and got more and more sensitive towards contact lenses. Glasses make me very nervous, so I got my eyes lasered three years ago, and now I have very good vision. It wasn't an overly nice experience but it was worth it.

  • Reply Hannah October 1, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Happy Birthday Heidi!! (a bit belated!). Such a wonderful, inspiring post to read 🙂 I'd love to make those donuts, they look totally divine.. xx

  • Reply Heidi October 2, 2012 at 6:10 am

    Lorraine – brilliant, thank you! I will look it up 🙂

    Emma – awe thanks for your beautiful words and encouragement, lovely. & for the fish pie recommendation!! xo

    Cate – yay!!

    Daisy – thank you so much! yes it was all just far too amazing!

    Kath – sounds like a good option!!! Worth it in the long run, for sure…thanks 🙂

    Hannah – oh thank you 🙂 & yes, do make them, they are divine!

    Heidi xo

  • Reply The InTolerant Chef October 2, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Happy happy birthday indeed sweetie! It looks like you had the most wonderful day and were spoilt rotten 🙂

  • Reply Yasmeen October 7, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Sorry to be so late to this post – very very happy belated birthday! It sounds like it was a fine one.

    I can't say enough how much this resonated with me, actually. I turned 27 in July and married my sweetheart too (not high school sweetheart, but a lover nonetheless), find myself relishing in the simple and wonderful things about life, and have a newfound powerwalking (so much kinder to my body after knee and back injuries).

    This whole post just made me so very happy for you 🙂

  • Reply Emma October 11, 2012 at 3:23 am

    We tried the dough recipe tonight/ last night.

    It was excellent! Definitely my new go to recipe! It was easier than other recipes I normally use too, all of them required mixing the water/yeast and sugar before adding to the flour, this was just throwing it all in!

    Thankyou to your Dad and thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Reply Heidi October 13, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    InTolerant Chef – oh completely spoilt rotten, thanks!

    Yasmeen – thank you so much, lovely, what a sweet comment. Wow, yes so many similarities. It's a wonderful time 🙂

    Heidi xo

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