Monthly Archives

April 2013

Bread at The Mill.

April 30, 2013

Breakfast has been particularly inspiring of late. The reason? A little thing called bread.

Bread. Simple, yes, but when made well it is far more than just a humble loaf. When your mind is blown by the craftsmanship of a simple slice, it encourages you to re-evaluate everything you accept in your everyday life. Why shouldn’t our experiences, no matter how basic and mundane and familiar, be exceptional? From your morning coffee, to the cheese in your sandwich. Even your chosen reading material of an evening. We have become so saturated with choice that somehow we find ourselves settling with less than inspiring options with unsettling regularity.

Yet to make a decision to savour and celebrate quality, to act intentionally in this way, is to elevate your everyday happiness, to feed your soul, and to decorate your days…

That’s what I adore about The Mill, one of my new favourite spots in San Francisco. The Mill celebrates bread and coffee. There is less choice on the menu, yet it is all good and wholesome. It’s solid and proud. A slice or loaf, and a cup, is surely fulfilling. And experiencing this wonderment at such a basic level, with bread and milk and beans, encourages you to strive for more things good and wholesome and solid and proud in life.

It’s a powerful thing.

Last Sunday I took Ben to The Mill for a breakfast date. Dark rye with cream cheese for him, country loaf with cinnamon sugar and butter for me. As well as two lattes and a takeaway dark rye loaf (to afford more affectionate morning meals into the week).

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Today, for Wednesday Breakfast Club, my morning meal was most affectionate.

 

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♥ Dark rye toast from The Mill with sunflower seed butter and banana.

♥ Black Tea. Strong.

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What did you have for breakfast today?

 

Heidi xo

Los Angeles Favourites, Part 1

April 28, 2013

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Ahh Los Angeles, I so enjoyed visiting your green smoothie, pie-kissed town. Though we were in LA for just four days, we got to see a nice little snapshot of this addictive city.

I did a little research prior to arriving, following recommendations from those truly in the know (Joy the Baker, lovely Lynn, my Dietitian friends Bhey and Nicole, my foodie friend Sean and my childhood friend George). I was in good hands, I was set, I was ready to roam and revel. And roam and revel we did.

I have a bundle of exciting eats to share with you today, and more to come in part 2. What a spectacular introduction to this USA adventure of ours.

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The farmers markets in LA were excellent, very produce rich. First up was the Hollywood Farmers Market on Sunday. Located right in the heart of Hollywood, I was dubious as to how they could get farm goodness near the walk of fame, however I needn’t have been. The streets were packed with fabulously fresh produce, as well as lots food stalls, juice and coffee.

Market tamale.

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Coffee
was so necessary, as this was our first stop after landing and checking in. I added almond milk and agave to my cup…and I knew I was in LA.

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Philippe the Original. I just loved this joint, lining up and ordering your roast beef sandwich with a side of pickles and coleslaw, getting your tray and then face-planting into said sandwich. It was all kinds of awesome. I went with a root beer specifically so I could say, “one root beer, please”. I was happy. Turns out root beer is just like sarsaparilla, which tastes like childhood to me. Comforting much?


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Pie Hole is everything I could ever want, always and forever.

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We were too late in the day to sample their reportedly divine key lime pie, however we greeted the earl grey pie (oh Lordy) and Mexican chocolate pie (seriously good) with great gusto. I also enjoyed a pomegranate kombucha, which was super refreshing. Ordinarily I’m not a huge kombucha fan. I tend to be in the camp of, “this kombucha tastes like rotten bacteria water left in the sun”, but on this jet-lagged day it just felt right.

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After the market, after Philippe’s and after pie for dinner, we saw the Lakers v Spurs at The Staples Centre. This was a true dream for Ben. Well, seeing the Bulls play would be his ultimate dream but this came pretty close. He was so so happy,  I may have cried seeing him this way. I may have also been extremely jet-lagged…

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Cafe Gratitude is everything you might imagine LA to be – alluring, health conscious, tasty and pretentious. All in one. It’s amazing and embarrassing at the same time. I sampled a few crazy delicious smoothies (including the “I am luscious”, as well as super fresh “I am fulfilled” salads, flax crackers and beans and sprouts and such.

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Now onto something far less wholesome – In-N-Out. We grabbed this obligatory bite on the way to Coachella, and boy was it rad. Yes indeed, I actually quite enjoyed the greasy burger. I have since learnt some tricks when it comes to ordering (from Martyna and other instagram peeps)…


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You can order their fries crispy (I found them to be distinctly bland and blah when ordered regular style), you can order the burger sans bun (with lettuce instead), you can order the onions to be grilled, you can get “animal style” fries with grilled onion and cheese on top (whoa) and you can get a shake neopolitan (chocolate, vanilla and strawberry). Boom.

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What else do we have in LA…oh yes! There was The Hart and the Hunter, which I wrote about in a previous post. You simply must visit and sample their worship-worthy biscuits and good coffee, as well as their gorgeous decor. And their bathroom door.

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A food truck recommendation for you? We liked the lemongrass tofu banh mi from Mandoline Grill. Tasty tasty.
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Canele serves a really beautiful brunch, including this fried farro and egg dish with sriracha. Lovely. Oh, and pop over to Proof Bakery nearby for coffee and pastries.

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For outrageously delicious Thai food, visit Night Market in West Hollywood. It’s the bomb. And they serve one of my most favourite dishes in the world, Pad Grapow.

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And lastly, for this favourites edition, part 1, we have a little nature. Hiking in LA was a treat. We hiked up to the Hollywood sign & also Runyon Canyon on two separate mornings. One cloudy…

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One sparkling…

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Hiking is my most favourite form of exercise, and being able to hike so easily in the city is just brilliant. I wish I had access to this at home. And all this pie and green smoothie business. I could get used to that.

There are more of my Los Angeles favourites to come in part 2, including tips on where we stayed and how we moved around this delicious city.


Heidi xo

 

Coachella

April 26, 2013

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Before last weekend I had never been to a music festival before. Falls? Nope. Port Fairy? Not even. I appreciate music and I love to camp, so I thought it was about time I took myself to a festival. And why not start at the top?

Ben and I are now in California with his business partners/friends for work. And a bit of play, clearly. These guys have been working so hard, it was high time they had a little down time. So after our four days in Los Angeles, Ben and I met the crew and headed to Indio for Coachella.

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Despite struggling with the dichotomous weather (from oppressive desert heat from 7:30am to shivering cold when the sun goes down) we had a blast. We were complete desert camping newbs, and did not bring suitable gear, but that was all part of the fun. Food was expensive but we found some gems amongst the food truck brigade. Oh, and now that we’ve left, I’ve never appreciated a working toilet more. ‘Nuff said.

In terms of music, highlights were Alt J, Jurassic 5, Vintage Trouble, Theophilus London, Major Lazer and Hot Chip. Here are some snaps of our Coachella weekend.

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Farmers Market morning fun.

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Guacamole, corn chips, cucumber and an avocado strawberry smoothie for breakfast with Ben.

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My usual breakfast, an acai bowl topped with fruit and granola.

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Craft time. I made an iphone case, a fan and loads of badges. This was a most excellent idea.

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Doppelgänger.

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I survived on loads of water and coconut water, as well as the occasional magarita.

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The Lime Truck served up scrumptious tuna nachos with pickled vegetables and edamame hummus, and we also ate kale salad. Only in California…

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The best food truck? Surely Kogi, Korean-style tacos. The. Bomb.

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Alt J love Δ

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Shirts high in the air at Major Lazer. And that’s Coachella for you.

Heidi xo

American Nut Butters Up In My Porridge

April 23, 2013

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Hello friends.

We are all settled in our San Francisco apartment and the boys are hard at work. Our home is completely gorgeous, in stark contrast to our digs at Coachella (more on that in my next post). Our area is rocking (we’re in SoMa) and right now I’m sitting, typing in Sightglass Coffee – they craft beautiful coffee and are a one minute walk from our apartment. Damn, I could get used to this.

Let’s talk breakfast. In the interest of saving money, I will not be dining out for three meals a day at the likes of Tartine, Crafstman and Wolves and Boulette’s Larder *sigh*. Rather I will focus my morning meal efforts on humble provisions such as oats and yoghurt, saving my pennies for special occasions.

Yesterday I foraged through supermarket after supermarket, enthralled with the tremendous range of health goods available. It was entirely overwhelming and wonderful and energising and inspiring. I left with three nut butters (don’t judge), a bag of oats (self-serve bins are far cheaper than pre-packaged), milk, yoghurt, ice-cream and a bag of carrots. The essentials.

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This morning I assembled most of these goods into a humble San Francisco breakfast. I sampled the nut butters and had myself a hearty meal in doing so, fueling up for a day of wandering and frolicking and pinching myself.

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♥ Biscoff spread (essentially blended up cookies. In no life will this ever be a nutritious topping, but I had to buy a jar. I just had to. Next up? Trader Joe’s cookie butter)

♥ Trader Joe’s Sunflower Seed Butter (I’ve had sunflower seed butter in Australia and it just tasted rank. Here they add ingredients to make it taste less rank and I did find it delicious, however on the health spectrum it’s not number one).

♥ Barney Butter Bare Almond Butter (“bare” in that it has less added ingredients than the original Barney’s. Delicious, yes, however I’d prefer if the oil used wasn’t palm oil.)

♥ Oats were made simply with rolled oats and 2% milk. Served with a side of vegetable juice.

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What did you have for breakfast today? And any nut butter tips out there? I’m clearly very open to sampling many.
Heidi xo

 

Los Angeles, You’re Awesome

April 21, 2013

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Just a little snapshot of our first four days in California. It’s been foggy then sunny, and all the while elating.

Ben and I stayed in Downtown LA, which was surprisingly awesome, and then moved on to West Hollywood, which was unsurprisingly awesome. Then we headed out to Santa Monica, where we checked out Venice Beach and consumed many delicious beverages.

I’ll be back with recommendations for all the tasty eats we encountered, yes indeed, but right now I’m  busy living it up at Coachella. I’ve crafted a flower crown and no doubt I’ll be drinking coconut water and stalking Alt-J like it’s my full-time job.

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Heidi xo


 

The Hart and the Hunter. Biscuits.

April 16, 2013

Ben and I have been in Los Angeles for a few days now, visiting before we head to Coachella and then onto San Francisco. We’ve spent our days hiking in the Hollywood hills, replenishing with vegan salads and green smoothies, cruising around in our uber cool mustang sensible Nissan rental and insisting on early cocktail hour. It’s pretty rad.

We’ve also been learning about the local cuisine, a job I take terribly seriously. The best biscuits were reported to be found at The Hart and the Hunter, and so I marched there as soon as I could for a buttery bite. Now, you might be thinking that I could not have possibly had these for my Wednesday Breakfast Club because as I publish this post, it is not yet Wednesday in LA. And to that I say, you are correct. This was my Monday breakfast. I got nothing, people. Nothing. But I mean, it’s biscuits! I know you forgive me.

The decor at The Hart and the Hunter is beautiful, with gorgeous wooden tables and ornate chairs, blue tiles and a retro-style wall seat. I adored the floral cushions.

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We ordered a latte and a cappuccino and were overjoyed with how dreamy they were. The Hart and the Hunter use Handsome Coffee Roasters, and make a darn good cup. Who said coffee in America sucks? This was gooooood. Now I just need to have a store like this wherever we go and I’ll be happy.

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♥ For eats we shared the scrumptious smoked trout on toast, which was embellished with capers and pickled onion and parsley and was just lovely. Extra avocado on the side.

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♥ And, of course, we ordered a serve of biscuits, which came with pimento cheese, sugared berries and honey butter. I’ll say that again, honey butter. Yep.

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The biscuits were perfect. Absolutely divine. Bright and buttery and flakey and honest. I adored them. Ben adored them. Usually I hand him a bigger portion of whatever we’re eating. Not these. I split them down the middle, focusing on making it even like my life depended on it.

Although I feel I may have spoilt Ben. His first introduction to biscuits and he went straight to the top, to perfection. He’s keen for biscuits with eggs and a side of American bacon, like what I ate at cookshop in NYC. He’ll get it and I’m sure it’ll be delicious. But I’m also sure it won’t be as scrumptious as Hart and the Hunter’s lovelies.

Wednesday Breakfast Club, LA style. What did you have for breakfast today?

 

Heidi xo

Porridge Pancake with Grilled Figs

April 15, 2013

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Porridge… Oats. I’ve shared my devotion to this wholly wholesome grain with you more than a few times, this is true. And so you might be thinking, “how much longer can you harp on about porridge, Heidi, truly?”. Well, the honest answer is “all day”, but let’s reach a middle ground. I’ll ask you to just indulge me just a little bit longer, as I share with you a new way I’ve been enjoying my oats.

Let’s set things up…

I like a milky porridge, and welcome a generous gluuuuuug of milk with my oats of a morning. This dairy addition helps to keep me full and makes my porridge dreamy creamy. Though some days, this perfect porridge vision just isn’t possible.  Some days, you open the fridge to find that your beloved family have used up most of the milk. Some days, you just have to bless them for their milk loving ways, say “yay” for their bone health, and come up with a different porridge plan.

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Melbourne has been experiencing some very cool, very welcome Autumn weather of late, which has afforded an abundance of new produce. Oh, the thrill of new flavours. My parents were recently gifted a giant bag of fresh figs from a friend’s tree (thank goodness his family are not fig fans). After doing a little dance, mum and I started to plan all the deliciousness we could create with these lovelies. Fig jam, fig tarts, fig pizza, fig cake, fig pie…these sticky beauties are a true favourite in our household.

And so, on this day when my milk portions were rationed and I did not favour a trip to the shops, I created breakfast using porridge in a different way. I created a porridge pancake (which is not dissimilar to my bircher muesli pancake for one). After taking a moment to appreciate this alliteration, I got to work. And then I topped my porridge pancake off with juicy grilled figs, some maple syrup and a spoon of Greek yoghurt. This terribly wholesome pancake is not sweet, and so pairs wonderfully with a tower of beautiful, caramelised figs. All in all, it is a bit of an Autumn dream.

Thanks for being keen on your milk, mum and dad. And for having friends with figs (the best kind of friends).

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Porridge Pancake with Grilled Figs

Serves one

Ingredients

1 1/2 tablespoons Rye Flour (or alternative flour)
1/3 cup Rolled Oats
1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
A pinch of Salt
A pinch of Ground Cinnamon
1 tablespoon Chia Seeds
1.5 tablespoons Water
1/4 cup Milk
1 tablespoon Yoghurt (I enjoy plain Greek yoghurt)
1-2 fresh Figs, sliced (depending on how lucky you are)
Butter, to grease the pan
Extra Greek yoghurt and Pure Maple Syrup, to serve

Method

1. Combine the chia seeds and water in a small cup. Stir and leave to swell for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, sift the rye flour and baking powder into a bowl. Stir in the oats, salt and cinnamon.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the milk and yoghurt, then stir in the chia seed mixture. Fold the wet ingredients through the dry ingredients until just combined.
4. Heat a large non-stick pan over low-medium heat and grease with a little butter. Test to see if the pan is hot by flicking water onto the pan (if it dances on the pan, it’s hot). Ladle the batter onto your hot pan, spreading the mixture out to form one large pancake. Cook for a few minutes until golden brown, then flip and cook for another few minutes until cooked through. Flip the pancake one last time and cook for a final minute on the original side if required.
5. While cooking the pancake, sear the figs for a minute or so on each side until caramelised. Set aside until your pancake is ready.
6. To serve, spoon some Greek yoghurt over your pancake, layer the grilled figs on top and a finish with a drizzle of maple syrup.

Heidi xo

My Favourite Tabbouleh

April 12, 2013
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My husband is a tabbouleh nut. He just loves the stuff and I believe it to be his most favourite salad. Heavy on the parsley and lemon, light on the burghul, thank you very much.

Myself? I’m a caprese salad girl. Especially with gorgeously plump vine-ripened tomatoes and the best buffalo mozzarella you can find. Though I am quite partial to a good tabbouleh, also. And this recipe is indeed very good.

I’ve tried a few tabbouleh recipes in my time, and this one is now a firm favourite. It uses lemon juice to soften the burghul, a method I completely adore. And you mix things by hand, a method I also completely adore.

I just have one question… How on earth do you pronounce “burghul”? It gets me every time. I now resort to mumbling “burrrrrrrrgirl” and I dare say it’s obvious I have no idea what I’m talking about.

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I highly recommend serving this salad with a hearty baguette, ideally filled with leftover pork shoulder ragu, mixed leaves, sliced cucumber and grated parmesan. This is the type of baguette you can really sink your teeth into. You are likely to want to sink your entire face into this baguette, it is so outrageously good.

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Especially when served with a side of tabbouleh, heavy on the parsley and lemon, light on the burghul. Burrrrrrrrgirl. Help?

 

Heidi xo

Raisin Toast with Ben and Peta

April 10, 2013

Ben is here, it’s nice. Having my husband home feels like a novelty, really. Actually I suppose it is, as Ben is off to Sydney again for two days. But for now, he is here. And we have raisin toast.

On this perfect, sunny Wednesday morning, we find ourselves at my friend’s house. Peta is such a darling, her family have let me crash oh so many times this past month. Last night was just one of many sleepovers.

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For breakfast?

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Cinnamon & Raisin Dutch Fruit Loaf with butter

♥ Yoghurt with berries and banana

♥ Tea. Strong, black. Always.

Me in a spoon…

What did you have for breakfast today?

 

Heidi xo

Breakfast Pie

April 7, 2013

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Let’s just all agree that pie for breakfast sounds like a terribly good idea. Yes? Good.

Personally, I enjoy a nutritious breakfast. Most mornings, I need some wholegrains, fruit and yoghurt in my bowl. This selection makes me feel good and helps me to perform spectacularly well in life throughout the day.

You might be thinking that breakfast pie is the antithesis of my wholesome breakfast mantra, but you would, in fact, be wrong. Because, dear friends, this pie is filled with nutritious gems to power you through the day. Isn’t that fabulous? I’m getting in protein, fibre and a bundle of vitamins and minerals, plus some wholesome carbohydrates to help me bounce.

Oh and bounce you will, as this recipe is a certifiably giant serve. I would like to say I intended it to be such an eager portion specifically to allow for sneaky bites from fellow breakfast diners. They’re likely to be completely jealous, you see, and it’s plain kind to share. That’s the rule, right? Sharing is caring.

On the other hand (queue the trumpets), feel free to devour this pie yourself. It will most certainly fuel you up for those days that are completely go, go, go, when you barely have time to stop to eat. You’ll be bouncing to trumpets all day long. As a side note, who are those people who have no time to eat? Mothers, surely. This pie is for mothers. And me.

Breakfast pie. It feels like a treat, yet is entirely wholesome and necessary.

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Breakfast Pie

Serves 1 terribly generously and two more modestly

* Prepare the filling the night before


Ingredients

Filling Ingredients*

1/3 cup Rolled Oats

1 tablespoon Chia Seeds

1 tablespoon Milk

170g thick Greek Yoghurt (I prefer Chobani plain Greek yoghurt for this recipe, as it’s super thick! If using a thinner yoghurt I recommend you use ~130g so the mixture isn’t too runny)

½ tablespoon Pure Maple Syrup

¼ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

Crust Ingredients

¼ cup Almonds (unsalted), roughly chopped

¼ cup Bran (I can’t recommend Vogel’s Ultra Bran enough for crunch & taste)

1 Medjool Date, pitted

½ tablespoon Honey

1-2 teaspoons water

Addition

1 peach (you can use any fruit here, really – apple, pear, banana…even fresh berries (thought never mind the cooking part if using fresh berries))

Method

  1. * Mix the oats, chia seeds, milk, yoghurt, maple and cinnamon in a container and place in the fridge overnight.
  2. In the morning, pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Toast your chopped almonds and bran in the hot oven for ~10 minutes until toasty and fragrant.
  3. In a food processor, pulse the toasted almonds and bran with the pitted date until the date is finely chopped (do not over-blend, you still want some crunchy whole bits). Add the honey and 1 teaspoon water, and pulse to combine. Add more water if necessary but be sure to not create a wet mixture.
  4. Pour out the almond bran mixture and press into a circular pie/tart dish (~13cmx13cm) with a removable base. Alternatively just use any small dish you desire, however you may not get the ‘pretty pie look’ if you can’t remove the sides. Use moist fingers here when pressing the mixture in the dish and up the sides just a touch. The base won’t be too moist and it will crumble, but that’s what you want – a bit of crunch! Just shape it as best you can.
  5. Cook the peach slices in a non-stick pan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes each side until caramelised. Place two thirds of the cooked peach slices on top of the crust. At this point you can remove the sides from your dish so that only the base remains (the crust will be too fragile to remove the base, unless you’re supremely stealth).
  6. Spoon the overnight oat/yoghurt mixture delicately over your peach-lined crust and smooth the sides and surface. Arrange the remaining cooked peach slices over the top and serve.

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Heidi xo