Pumpkin Soup

The pumpkin soup I made for dinner was really delicious. And just like the one that I used to dream of as a little girl on a mountain that felt that winter chill.

1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil, 1 chopped onion, 1 leek, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, 3 cups chicken stock, 1kg peeled pumpkin, 300ml thickened cream.

It really was so very straight forward and I’m sure not worthy of a blog, but simply sauteing the vegetables then adding the stock and pumpkin and blitzing when soft and adding the cream very last but oh so important minute.

I also added caramelized red onions, which I hadn’t done before but were so stupidly easy. Brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, water and red onion in a small non stick saucepan for as long as they take (it took mine about half an hour). I literally did not touch them. I should have been making these delicious little babies for my whole entire life but at least I have the rest of my whole entire life to make them now.

I also made a bruschetta (pronounced with a K people a K) which I made up but had peeled zucchini which I just pan fried for about a minute, capers, mint, truffle oil, lemon rind and buffalo mozarella. For the first time ever I did the bread on a griddle pan and it made a real difference and if I shut my eyes I was in Italy which was a very nice place to be and a place I would actually quite like to be on this cold winters night.

 

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Tasty (or not so) Tuesday

I’ve decided for the blog of 31, when my brain can’t find words I’ll keep a food diary. Because I love food. And eating. And Masterchef. (And also because it keeps getting to this time of day and I haven’t written anything and I get a bit panicked because I need to start a banking of blog posts.)

Two slices bread with fresh tomato and Vegemite. Luke warm tea (in order to skull while having 2.3 minutes to get ready for work). Short black coffee.

Soy latte. Boiled egg with salt salt pepper pepper.

Wrap. Slaw, ham, mayo. Delicious but small, too small.

Savoys and cheese. (Can ya tell I work in a hospital?).

Toast with slaw. Soda stream bubbles.

Pumpkin soup with caramelized onion. Zucchini, mint and buffalo mozzarella bruschetta. (No shit, and I made it all from scratch).

Innocent Bystander Pinot Noir. Black chocolate with almonds.

 

Mice in Town for the Town Mouse

29th of April 2017

Yesterday we celebrated April birthdays with some seriously delicious feasting at The Town Mouse in Carlton.

It was so nice to be back with the hipsters and the academics. And I must go back soon for Ti Amo pasta and bread with the cool kids.

Lunch a was delicious and a real treat.

Oysters came with a vinaigrette granita. They were Tasmanian oysters and delicious, and cold. Very importantly cold. The granita made them colder which I thought was a clever little trick because oysters that aren’t cold give me the serious creeps.

Whipped cod roe with Radishes. It was so beautifully and simply presented and the cod roe was the perfect salty dressing to the crunchy little radishes.

Raw king fish came with zucchini and lovage (which I googled and is a perennial plant).

The fennel and calamari salad was a little heaped pile of treasure with a buttermilk dressing. I loved it. I wish I could make it.

We had the John Dory which had a buttery maple syrup dressing along with sugar snaps and a roasted cabbage that was quite literally one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. Slow roasted with prunes, apple and Parmesan. It was like a cabbage cauliflower cheese for grown ups.

We then had sheep’s milk blue cheese (can you believe we could squish it into our full little bellies!?) with cold brew coffee and I quite simply could have sat in there eating for the rest of the week.

 

 

 

Fish stew and red wine

28 April 2017

31 was excellent. The day of turning 31.

There’s a hood in Geelong I don’t really know, but there’s nothing like discovering a hood that’s new. So given it’s the new location of one of my BFF we set about eating and drinking it.

We settled into Bistro Plume where we shared a new Live Wire Pinot Noir with chicken liver parfait, blue cheese and figs and honey and then fish stew. (Which was a 10/10 and surrounded by fennel and beans and tomato and dill.) A special birthday chocolate fondant with vanilla bean ice cream topped it all off in a very lip smacking kinda way. The blue cheese and honey was especially delicious. I think because the honey was just right.

Richie cooked us all pasta for dinner and we sat around the fire switching quickly between laughing and story telling and snoozing and snuggling. The perfect type of April 27 night.

The gang asked what I would do for 31, I told them I would blog every day. They laughed and thought  loudly to themselves “ANOTHER FREAKIN’ BLOG?!” which I could hear.

Just the inspiration I needed…

Josef Chromy

It’s a lucky girl who spent her childhood summers by the beach on the North East Coast of Tasmania. School teachers didn’t believe it was where you had really been when you came back to term one as brown as a berry, and the water may indeed be a little chilly but we missed Tasmania and it’s treats, eats, green grasses and driftwood when Territory living.

So a week between nursey-pursey career pathways (I’m swapping private hospital vests for public hospital scrubs) and school holidays for R meant that there are seven whole days for Tasmanian Time! (Yipppppeeeeeeee.)

The itinerary is very food, family, friend, food and wine focused.

When we landed on Sunday, after a beautiful wedding at Trunk the night before (the mineral water on the Jetstar flight was guzzled.) We were taken to lunch at the Josef Chromy restaurant. What a TREAT.

The space is beautiful, looking out to the vines I felt that I was in one of the beautiful Margaret River wineries, the sun was shining and the water off the lake was absolutely sparkling, people were wandering around the gardens and there were people with small people picnicking on the lawns.

The wait staff made us feel welcome and balanced formality and chill exceptionally.

We shared a bottle of the Josef Chromy Pinot Gris, which was dry, crisp and reasonably priced (but I won’t pretend to be a wine guru just yet.)

I had three Angassi oysters, which I really do think were the best oysters I have ever had. They were perfectly shucked, freezing cold, juicy and plump and served on a bet of salt with thyme and lemon. The walnut bread with unsalted house made butter was simple and beautiful.

I had the baked market fish, which was Trevally. It was served with a warm cider emulsion, mussels, leeks, apple, hazelnut, ginger and pearl barley. It was so perfect and a fresh and satisfying combination of flavours, the pickled ginger was the ingredient that brought the flavours together.

R had the Miso glazed Trout, which was served with autumn roots, a slow egg, forbidden rice and chicken broth, when asked he states it “was delicious” when asked to elaborate he informs me it was “clean and simple.”

We shared the warm carrot cake, which was served with warm butter sauce, leatherwood honey, white chocolate and orange marmalade. It was also exceptional. The coffee was the only thing that wasn’t perfect, but that’s ok because we are Melbourne coffee creeps so all soy lattes and short blacks served outside Victoria are under what is probably too harsh scrutiny.

This amazing lunch started a beautiful week of eating and treating in my mother’s motherland and I think may have sparked a dangerous (but delightful) ritual of lunch at Josef Chromy when you land in Launceston after what seems to be a 45 second flight from Melbourne.

Josef Chromy: 370 Relbia Road. Relbia Tasmania. www.josefchromey.com.au

*There are no photos because I was far too busy gobbling and guzzling. I solemnly swear to improve on this rather crucial element to food blogging…*

Ruffy Produce Store

The seasons are something that take on different meanings between Territory living and Southern styling. Whilst the beautiful Territory offers wet season storms and dry season sunshine that is almost as blissful as they come, the changing leaves, green grass and snow capped mountains of the Victorian High Country always make me glad I’m home.

Driving through the glorious greens between Mansfield and Ruffy on the weekend, up and down the rolling hills we couldn’t help but ooo and aaa at the beautiful calves (whilst also rapidly repressing memories of Vitello Tonnato) and marvel at the blossom when suddenly, and as if by magic, we found ourselves at the The Ruffy Produce Store.

Beneath the protective branches of the Oak Trees we sat and had a really delicious breakfast. The Ruffy Produce Store is at 26 Nolans Road Ruffy; you’ll see the cars.

I had the Spicy Eggs, avocado and chili on house made ciabatta which was absolutely (and must admit, a little surprisingly) perfect with poached eggs and spices. My pals ordered corn and zucchini fritters (that didn’t taste as if they had one teeny itty bitty of flour) with haloumi and poached eggs that were fresh, flavorsome and wholesome. The soy latte hit the spot.

There were beautiful looking sweet treats (like green tea sponge with green tea cream, lemon slice, rosewater and pistachio meringues) on display, and perfect looking take home treats bottled and ready for the road.

Eating and treating at the Ruffy Produce Store was a Sunday delight, made even better with the whiffs of fresh air and cold crisp sunshine.

Pizza Bar

Pizza Bar opened a year after we had left lovely West Town Geelong and this little lass thinks it is to be applauded for contributing to the ‘cool’ (I’m sure an extremely uncool word) vibe of Pakington Street.
Lad and I went for date night on a warmish Summer night last week, but I had been there not so long ago with my family. When I went with La Famiglia we needed some good Italian loving (after visiting a sick friend) and it provided the warm and relaxed space which when combined with pizza and wine eased some heart ache. I don’t think just everywhere can do this.
Lad and I agreed that it will be an excellent Winter date night, it’s particularly cosy and intimate and with the glow of the wood fired oven, rather WARM.
Our pizzas were great, the bases are perfect, simple, and importantly (well I think importantly) thin. We had ‘the free range chicken pizza’, with chicken, lemon, bacon, sage and pine nuts and ‘the shaved proscuitto’ with prosciutto, tomato, chilli, fior de latte, roquette and anchovy oil. We also had the white anchovy salad, with shaved fennel, fresh orange, white balsamic and black pepper dressing. The salad had a few too many anchovies, but that was my fault- I ordered it to accompany the pizza and it should be a treat to be had on it’s own. The “Pasta Bar Board” was empty, but I suppose you should really be having pizza at ‘Pizza Bar’ anyway.

Pizza Bar is at 240 Pakington Street Geelong West.