My parents were recently gifted a bounty of plums. Pondering what to do with an abundance of seasonal produce is a lovely thing to think on. Mum and I enjoy our recipe-talk emails, “How about this?”…”I like the ingredients here”…”check out her method”. But these plums, so rich and ripe and romantically toned, how were we to proceed? Mum suggested a cake by Nigel Slater for us to have after brunch one weekend, and after a brief glance at the ingredients list (and the recipe developer), I replied, “Definitely.” Eggs and bacon followed by cake… Yes, definitely.
And when does Nigel Slater ever lead us astray?
When does my mother ever lead us astray?
I’ve spoken about my mum’s kitchen abilities before, but she’s the reason I have kitchen confidence. Because of my mum I know to read a recipe well before cooking (maybe a few similar ones, to gain a deeper understanding of what you’re doing), and then follow my instincts. Mum’s tastes and talent are influenced by her visit to Howqua Dale’s cooking retreat one weekend in the 90’s. This fostered her kitchen confidence and encouraged a love for French provincial-style cooking, which is something we in the family are always grateful for, as mum makes the most divine coq au vin and similar preparations. Mum also knows a good cake recipe when she sees one.
Hence, this beauty.
Today is our 3 year wedding anniversary. 3 years ago we threw a giant party with our parents, got married, drank a lot of limoncello and had the best time with our friends and family, dancing, laughing and eating ice-cream.
As much as February 25th is a special date, Ben and I save our main anniversary celebration for August 29th. On that day in 2001, 16-year-old Ben texted 15-year-old Heidi, asking if she wanted to make it “official”. Yeah I did. That weekend we saw Planet of the Apes at Frankston cinema and held hands the entire time. I wore flared jeans and a Kookai jacket. Gosh we were so young! And here we are, 14.5 years later. Best friends, still holding hands and with slightly better taste in movies. So you see, our 3 year wedding anniversary is really our 14.5 year dating anniversary. Either way, there’s a lot to celebrate.
I recently updated the post I wrote about our wedding day (see here), with condensed sentiments and a few more pictures we recently discovered. We also stumbled across a bunch of photographs from the disposable cameras that were left on tables for people to use. They’re from the dinner onwards and feature a lot of smiles and a lot of dancing. I adore these candid gems. They’re pure love, starting with my smiling folks and ending with my husband and brother… what love.
Happy anniversary, sweets. 3 years is supposed to be the leather anniversary, but I didn’t think about that and instead bought you a pineapple. Let’s get married again.
I have some thoughts, all a bit random. Here they are.
♥ I updated the recipe (and picture) for one of my most favourite dishes – tuna, chilli and lemon pasta. Ben and I have long been obsessed (yes, certifiably obsessed) with this dish, and so it wasn’t a surprise when I wrote about it soon after starting this blog. But over the years I have refined my pasta game, in terms of both ingredients and method, and so it needed revisiting. You can read about thoughts from my 24, soon to be 25, year old brain here (link) and enjoy this recipe that remains a staple in our diet. In fact, the new photo is from just last week.
Ben and I are off to the country today for work, leaving super early. With a bit of a drive ahead of us, I felt it prudent to pack a week’s worth of snacks. We have muesli bars (I will share the recipe soon), mum’s plum cake (I will share the recipe super soon!), celery and carrot sticks, cashews and dried bananas. Water, too. I plan on moving our soundtrack between 80’s classics and 90’s Mariah Carey.
But first, breakfast. Bircher muesli is my favourite on the go breakfast – just grab and go, baby. I prepped this meal yesterday morning before leaving for work, as I like to be organised before my road trips and knew I wouldn’t be home until late (and at that point, all I’d want to do would be to boil some pasta and plonk on the couch to finish Happy Valley – side note, WHOA, that show…). I had some beautiful nectarines to use, so decided to roll with a stone fruit theme, adding my usual oats, chia seeds, milk and yoghurt. Ground cardamom felt appropriate, so I folded some into the mix and went with a little maple syrup for sweetener, as it’s Ben’s favourite. I also prepped some toasted seeds, ready in a container for crunchy morning decoration.
Because it’s still summer! And summer means ice-cream.
Though I adore traditional ice-cream, I appreciate the healthy and instant alternative that is frozen fruit, blitzed into smooth submission. Topping cold berry (or banana) scoops with a rich, cacao stream that hardens upon contact is beyond cool. Have you had ice-magic before? It’s just like that, but better. Man, I loved that topping when I was younger. It was my favourite form of science.
Well, this was a long time coming. Having lived on the Mornington Peninsula for nearly thirty years, I most definitely have some thoughts on the best things to do in my region. The Mornington Peninsula is becoming a really popular spot for holidays and weekend getaways, and this is no surprise to me. I’ve always thought it to be particularly special. I get a lot of emails asking for recommendations on where to eat in my region, so I thought it was high time I put them all in one post.
This is a personal post, for sure. I’m showing you my peninsula, my favourite spots for coffee, breakfast, bread, cakes and wine. I still have a lot to discover, and you won’t find some of the popular tourist spots here because I have either never been, or have been on occasion and find them too busy or they just don’t feel like my peninsula. The following is what makes me happy in my hood.
When I think of the Mornington Peninsula I think of lush grass, dirt roads, the bridle track, heavy tree cover and red mud. I think of Red Hill. Red Hill is home.
♥ I grew up going to the Red Hill Market to visit my grandparents who had a stall selling home-crafted cards and pin cushions. My nana is the definition of crafty. I am not. I am, however, good at eating. It used to be fudge and corn on the cob, these days it’s Red Hill Cheese, Red Hill Muesli and Flinders Sourdough (which I’ll get to later).
♥ Mock Red Hill is a family-run, biodynamic orchard, and they make my most favourite (dry) cider. Their sparkling apple juice is the stuff of dreams. Visit for a tasting, buy your favourites and also some apples.
I made a batch of my nut, seed and oat loaf at the start of January. Slicing thick slabs and wrapping them individually in plastic wrap, then foil, before freezing it all…..it was a smart move.
This nutrient-dense loaf has served me well in the past. With avocado and hummus, or alongside a salad. It slides from the freezer and into the toaster so keenly, the smell of warmed nuts and seeds having the same effect on me as an espresso. This morning I went the way of toasting two slices, spreading a little butter on top and then a assigning one with a mixed berry jam and the other some sharp English cheddar.
I’m really happy with myself this morning.
What did you have for breakfast today?