What I Love – Peggy Saas Edition

It’s a commonly held belief that with any job, the best thing about it is usually the people you work with. Which would be fantastic, except blogging is a pretty lonely vocation.

I mean, there are certainly perks. There’s no one to steal your lunch from the fridge, Pinterest breaks are certainly encouraged and every day is Pants-Free Friday. But there’s also a distinct lack of team camaraderie when you’re the only person on your team. So what do bloggers do? We make friends with other bloggers, of course.

I had the pleasure of meeting Peggy at Eat Drink Blog 2013, albeit very briefly while madly trying to locate my lost phone and greeting attendees. She was so friendly and wonderful, and I wish I’d been able to spend more time chatting. But since then, I’ve basically stalked her work like a crazy woman, because damn, she’s good. Seriously.

Peggy’s blog is full of incredibly delicious, beautifully photographed recipes. It is definitely not the place you want to go if you’re hungry because it will ruin you and you’ll find yourself hunting down a 24 hour supermarket so you can make Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream at 11:30pm. I mean, not that I did that or anything.

She’s essentially what I hope to be when I grow up and become a real blogger, and I’m thrilled to have her here to share her work and things she loves with you. Say hello, team!

 

What I Love with Peggy Saas

 

Who are you/what do you do?

I’m Peggy, a Perth based photographer and food blogger. I take photos of beautiful things and thread words together about food. I started off photographing food for my blog cake crumbs & beach sand, but now find myself photographing people more and more.

You have so many things in the pipeline! What’s next for you?

Right now I am focusing on the business side of my photography with the intention of freelancing full-time. I am hoping to get into photographing weddings in the near future so am currently establishing couple shoots to get some practice. I am also working on a project to exhibit some of my work following my first showcase at RAW Perth last month. 

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Why Perth?

My parents moved from Finland to Sydney and then wound up in Perth when I was 3 years old. I spent most of my 20s traveling and worked abroad, and honestly, I thought Perth was so boring back then. I hated coming back and only did so to see my family. Fast forward a few years (ok two decades) and I just love the place. I love the diversity, the amazingly supportive creative community and the fact you can drive anywhere within half an hour. In my 20s I wanted to live in Jakarta for its fast pace, the traffic would kill me now!  

What are you looking forward to in 2014?

I had my first photo shoot of the year on the 1st of January, and decided on that day I was going to make this year big. I haven’t stopped yet. I am looking forward to a year full of photo opportunities, a full and abundant blog (which has lacked attention recently due to the increase in photography jobs) and my first wedding shoot in October. It’s going to be a good one! 

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A photo from Peggy’s recent RAW Showcase

What would be your dream food day?

Waking up to a baked breakfast and really good coffee (two cups, I always have two cups), followed by brunch at Moore & Moore Cafe. Maybe then a hotdog at Run Amuk in South Freo with their delicious homemade lemonade, capped off with a seafood platter and cider at sunset. But if we’re talking about fantasy dreaming, a seafood feast on a yacht would do it.  

What’s the best thing you ate recently?

Bronuts from Wild Bakery. Have you tried those things? Deep fried, sugar-coated heaven. (note: these are Bronuts, and she’s not kidding. They will blow your mind.)

What ingredient can’t you get enough of?

Butter. I have it on everything and cook with it daily. I love the stuff. And no ‘lite’ version either, full fat and salted. YUM!

Where do you love to go to eat?

I love Fremantle at the moment. I used to prefer Mt Lawley and didn’t really get the fascination with Fremantle, but I am there now. As for local spots I love Ohnamiya in Applecross and have an obsession with the smoky mice at Clancy’s on Canning Bridge. 

Where do you love to hang out?

I love my ‘hood. Although I am a creature of habit with eating out and tend to gravitate towards the same restaurants near home, so I try to head out to other areas to try different places. I love King St. I was devastated when King St Cafe closed down, I used to spend many Friday afternoons there with my brother eating a lazy lunch with a good glass of wine. I am keen to check out the rest of King St as I know there are some amazing cafes to be tried, but my pining stage hasn’t quite ended yet. That’s the problem with having favourites, if they do close you’re left with a hole to fill. I’m sure with the abundance of amazing spots in Perth I’ll find some place else to love just as much soon.

Have you discovered anything recently (activity, ect.) that you’re enjoying?

I’m always finding new things to enjoy. Most recently I have found that although I hate public speaking I enjoy holding photography workshops. I also didn’t think photographing people would be my thing since I have always loved photographing food more, but I’m finding joy in the things I never considered before. That’s the fun part of being creative, if you put yourself out there you’ll usually be pleasantly and unexpectedly surprised.  

Are you as in love with her as I am yet? You can check out all of her magic here: website, food blog, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter

Mug lovin’

I have many vices.

I’ve come home from dinner with friends on one too many occasions feeling quite ill. Not because there was something wrong with the food, quite the opposite. I come home sick because I ate ALL THE THINGS. That little voice that tells you that you’ve had enough to eat? I don’t have one.

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Of course, this wouldn’t be an issue if I was into salads. I’m not though; my poison is dessert. Panna cotta, mousse, ice cream or gelato, cake or tarts; there’s nothing I don’t love.

So what do you do when you’ve got an insatiable cake craving at 9pm? Sure, you could make a whole cake, but there’s very little chance I wouldn’t eat the whole cake. Plus, there’s no telling my cravings that they have to be patient, because making a whole cake takes an hour.

Enter Mug Cake. Your prayers have been answered; single serve cake in a commercial break!

There are a million recipes for mug cake on the internet, however this one is my favourite. It doesn’t taste eggy, and the consistency is pretty excellent. This recipe serves one, so you can double it where necessary, should you need to share (or just be really hungry. I won’t judge you). Success!

 

2 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

From I am a food blog

1 egg
3 tbsp milk
3 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
3 tbsp flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp chocolate chips
Small splash of vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, icing sugar (optional)

Combine the egg, oil and milk together in your mug. Stir in the dry ingredients until well combined. Add the vanilla and chocolate chips, and give a quick stir.

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Place the mug on a plate as it’s likely to rise a lot, and may spill over – easy cleaning! Whack in the microwave for 2 minutes.

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Leave to cool for a couple of minutes, then serve with a dusting of icing sugar, or like me, with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.

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Better than IKEA

For very brief, fleeting moments this week, it actually felt like Autumn. As a firm lover of blankets, pajamas and generally looking like an Eskimo, you can bet your ass I was excited.

It’s a widely accepted truth that everyone loves IKEA. Even if you hate it, there’s a perverse pleasure of being there, hating everything and everyone and coming out with 14 bags of Diam (which, by the way, is like crack). I, for one, love IKEA, and am the kind of person that can’t go unsupervised. Mostly because I need someone to remind me that I don’t need coat hangers/toys/500 picture frames and a whole new book shelving unit.

Of course, IKEA is also famous for it’s food court. It’s the cheapest feed in the world, why wouldn’t you eat your body weight in meatballs and mousse while you’re there? You’re going to need all the energy you can get when you’re at home and 4 hours into the most confusing bed assembly in the universe. The problem is, you can’t really go there for a meatball fix, lest you come home with a shelving unit, the temptation is far too great.

So here we have it, folks. The recipe that’s going to make your life just that much better. It’s perfect winter comfort food, and it’s also pretty damn easy.
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Better Than IKEA Meatballs

Adapted from The Londoner and Jamie Oliver

a handful of mixed fresh herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley or chives
300g minced pork
300g minced beef
1 large egg
100ml milk
75g dried breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon ground allspice
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
1tbsp mustard
1-2tbsp Worcester sauce
1tsp honey
300ml double cream
Salt n pepper

Roughly chop the fresh herbs. Set aside a pinch for garnish, and then place the rest in a large, deep mixing bowl, big enough for you go get your hands in to. Add the mince, egg, milk, bread crumbs and all spice. Season with salt and pepper, then mix and scrunch together with your hands until thoroughly combined. Roll the mixture into meatballs, place on a plate, cover and refrigerate for an hour to firm up.

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Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the meatballs to the pan and brown all over, about 10 -15 minutes. Transfer the cooked meatballs to a plate and set aside.

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Add the flour to the remaining oil in the pan and stir until it makes a smooth paste. Add the stock and simmer, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan (you want this, they are delicious). Leave to simmer and thicken for a couple of minutes, then add the Worcester Sauce, honey and mustard. Give a good stir, then add the cream. Stir again, then add the meatballs to the pan, and turn to coat. Simmer for a further 5 minutes.

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Serve meatballs and sauce over your favourite carb – this is amazing with pasta, mashed potatoes, couscous or polenta. Sprinkle with reserved herbs.

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If you’re a little on the lazy side, or pushed for time, you can use your favourite flavoured sausages – just remove the meat from their casings, and roll into balls. The flavouring is already in the meat, so you’re good to go!

Taste Perth

I don’t love your standard food and wine festivals.

You know, the ones where people pay their $30 to get in, then go to town on the wine samples, completely forgetting the food section (eating is cheating, duh), then spend the rest of the day running into your ankles with prams. Why can’t you be charged with drink driving while operating a pram?

I had kind of sworn off food and wine shows simply because I couldn’t be bothered navigating the many drunken hoards. When I was invited to the Taste of Perth launch, I figured it was worth a look but had mentally already written it off.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to wholeheartedly admit that I was wrong. Taste of Perth is not your standard food and wine show.

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First of all, it’s not a full day free-for-all. You book yourself in for either a lunch or a dinner sitting. From there, you pick from tasting menus, including mini versions of signature dishes from Perth’s leading restaurants, including Silks, Bistro Guillaume, Lalla Rookh and Greenhouse.

Bistro Guillaume's to-die-for lamb

Bistro Guillaume’s to-die-for lamb

The dishes cost between 6-12 crowns. What are crowns? Crowns are the currency of Taste of Perth. You load up a card with crowns (1 crown = 1 dollar), and then use the card to pay for whatever you eat or drink on the day.

Offerings from El Publico

Offerings from El Publico

Essentially, it’s kind of like a little DIY degustation, down on the river at Langley Park. What’s not to love about that? There are also a heap of producers to meet, classes to take and general cool things happening.

The ‘Taste’ food festival has been running around the world for over 10 years, in 18 cities. In Australia, it’s held in Melbourne, Sydney and Hobart, with this year landing in Perth for the first time. If you need any further signs about Perth’s standing in the food world, this is it!

Lalla Rookh's panna cotta vera, aka my idea of heaven

Lalla Rookh’s panna cotta vera, aka my idea of heaven

What you need to know:
Date: 2-4 May
Buy tickets from: Here, with more info here
Website for further details: tasteofperth.com.au and your various social media here, here and here

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Those summer nights

There are some days where it’s pure torture to drag yourself into the kitchen. Even food bloggers aren’t immune to this.

Maybe it’s 38* outside.
Maybe you’ve had to do a lot of cooking lately.
Maybe you’re just too damn tired, and flopping on the couch with a season of Vikings and a bottle of wine is a much better idea.
Maybe it’s all of these things on the same day (last Monday, if you wanted to know).

These are all perfectly legit reasons to eat from the instant/delivered section of the food pyramid. BUT, if you stay with me, I can present to you a dinner that takes less time and effort to cook than it takes for Chinese to appear on your doorstep, with the added bonus of being good for you. I promise.

Lamb Skewers with Mint Pea and Feta Salad

From Good Food

500g lamb rump
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
Sea salt and black pepper
300g frozen peas
1 bag mixed lettuce greens
1/3 cup torn mint leaves, chopped
1/3 cup parsley leaves, chopped
150g marinated Persian feta
Flatbread, to serve

Dice the lamb into bite size chunks. Toss together in a bowl with oregano, olive oil and salt and pepper, then cover and refrigerate for up to 3 hours. Soak wooden skewers in cold water, if you’re using them, to prevent them from burning.

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When you’re ready to eat, cook the peas in a pot of boiling water until tender (5 minutes, or whatever the packet instructions say). Drain, and refresh in cold water. Add the peas, herbs, greens and feta together and toss to combine.

Heat a bbq or frying pan. Thread the lamb onto the skewers evenly. Grill the skewers for a couple of minutes each side, or until cooked to your liking.

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Serve lamb with salad and flatbread.

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I used the flatbread to make everything into little wraps, because everything tastes better in a wrap. Duh.