Head & Heart | January

Oh hey team!

So, we’re back to Head & Heart. Check out what everyone else is up to over at Helarious, and join in!

 

What I’ve been grateful for:

People who eat my doughnuts. I try not to talk the doughnut stuff here because I kind of feel like they should be separate, but I spend my Saturday mornings blushing furiously when people come down to the markets and tell me that they made the trip just for doughnuts after seeing them on Instagram. And then they come back later to tell me how much they loved them. It’s a weird and amazing thing to have something you make enjoyed by people, and I can’t tell you how grateful I am for that feedback and support. You guys are awesome.

They say that some of the hardest things in life are moving house, the end of a relationship and leaving/starting a new job. I did all of these things in 3 months. And you know what? I couldn’t be happier. While it’s a terrible cliché, this year is truly a fresh start, and I’m really really really excited. Life is good.

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What I’ve been thinking about:

Feeling guilty when getting something that I want comes at the expense of someone else’s dreams. My best friend is coming home from London this week, which, as you can imagine, I’m ecstatic about… Except it came at the cost of his plans having not worked out. Is it a girl thing that I feel bad about this? Does this happen to other people? It’s not my fault, obviously, but I feel bad that my joy is coming at the expense of his sadness. STOP IT, GIRL BRAIN.

Planning. I have a full time 9-5. I have my Saturday morning markets with doughnut commitments, which is incredibly time consuming. I blog (not as much as I should, but you know what I mean). I work really hard, and I love what I do, but I promised myself more time out this year. I ended last year exhausted. Hell, I didn’t have any time off over Christmas, so I’m still kind of exhausted. So, I’ve promised myself more holidays and time out this year. Which means planning, which any list-maker will tell you is half the fun. Pinterest boards! Spreadsheets! Research! Wheeeeeee! Please tell me I’m not the only one that likes planning that much? Guys? Anyone? Buller?

Popcorn.
You heard me, popcorn. One of my neighbours must be going through a phase or something because the smell of it has been wafting through my windows every day this week. I NEED IT. Thankfully, Buzzfeed in all it’s listicle glory, has us covered. If you’re obsessed like me, there are recipes here, here and here. I’m also going to continue harassing the guys from The Flour Factory for the recipe for the popcorn they were dishing up at the launch of The Sherry last month. It was porky and smokey and salty and I would put a ring on it if I could.

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What I’m excited for:

Tis’ the season for awesome. There are SO MANY Fringe shows (and associated pop-up bars) to fill your nights with awesome, and PIAF is just around the corner.

In particular, The Giants appeal to both my inner grown up (where the hell are they hiding them in the city?!?!) and child (giant toys! SQUEAL) alike.

There are new restaurant openings every other day! Trying to keep up with them all is really hard, so I’ll try and list them for you in this space

  • Myaree is finally getting REAL coffee (THANK GOD) in the form of Grouch & Co, and not a moment too soon!
  • Eamon Sullivan opened May Street Larder, his third venue. You’ll see many an Instagram from this place in the coming weeks, but what you need to know is: COCO WHIP. Probiotics and coconut water, and that’s it. Now, it pains me greatly to say this, but it’s actually pretty damn tasty. The menu also features great salads (you’ll be trying to replicate them at home), various meats (rotisserie chicken, pork belly ect) and house made everything. You’ll love it.

 

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What I’ve been doing:

I loved Everything Unknown down at Cottesloe Beach for the Fringe Festival – a swift punch in the feels, both happy and sad. If you go, try and time your visit for sunset, because it only adds to the spectacular. And then you too can eat the delicious scallops and whitebait from Cott & Co, which is exactly what I did.

Aside from that, life has been pretty low key. And low key time for me means a LOT of movies. Now, if you haven’t seen it already, I MUST insist that you stop what you’re doing and watch The Book of Life IMMEDIATELY. Don’t worry that it’s animated or looks like a kid’s film, it’s bloody fantastic. I recommended it to my movie-loving friend Nat, and we’ve been texting and giggling about it ever since. Jaaaaaaaaaaaoooquuuin!!!!!!!!!!

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 What I’ve been reading:

Finally got my hands on Sugar Rush by Johnny Iuzzini (thank YOU First Edition in Freo – support local, independent book sellers), and it’s as good as I hoped. A great book on basics and technique for dessert newbies, with plenty of good ideas for non-newbies to expand on. VERY excited to cook from it, you’ll be seeing some recipes soon!

While I’m not reading it yet, I’m counting down the minutes until I can bury myself in Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman – perhaps I can tell you about it next month?

On a less fun note, this story completely breaks my heart. Anita shows extraordinary strength in the face of the kind of threats that would have most of us unplugging our computers and moving to Antarctica (not because there are fewer idiots there, but because they may be less likely to find her, break into her home and kill her), and I salute her. Parents, make sure you monitor your kids online activity, and raise them to be good people. We need less of this.


 

What I’ve been spending money on:

This bag, which is printed with my favourite life philosophy. I picked mine up from Meg and Wally in West Leedy, which is full of rather delightful things, and smells like HEAVEN.

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Mini Easter eggs. I know, I know, I hate myself too. I feel a violent disdain for supermarkets stocking anything Easter this early… But tiny Easter Eggs are also my favourite. I buy them by the bag full and stuff them into brownies and cookies, or even just leave them in the freezer for when it’s hot. I’m a bad person.

 

Please, fill me in on what happening witchu! How are things?

She’s my… |Bourbon Cherry Pie

It’s no secret that one of my favourite things about summer is eating myself sick on stone fruit. I spend all winter dreaming of grilled peaches, poached nectarines and tiny plums

So, when my market was selling cartons of cherries before Christmas, I went a little crazy. Let’s be honest, I don’t make great choices under pressure. What I really wanted, was the recipe for Varnish on King’s Cherry Whiskey Sour, which is probably my favourite cocktail of all time. Sadly, Jamie isn’t giving up the goods, so I settled for putting that cocktail into pie form which was probably just as delicious, and with slightly fewer next-day regrets.

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Pie is a kind of dish that you walk away from feeling accomplished. No one can ever accuse you of it coming from a box, or ‘cheating’ in any way. From having to pit the cherries, to wait for the dough to chill, you earn this pie every step of the way. Should you have any worries that it’s a lot of effort for nought, let me assure you that the final result is nothing short of completely worth it.

Yeah, you bet I played Warren on repeat while I make this sucker. There was hip swaying, and kitchen dancing, and a rollicking good time was had by all (me). In fact, I heartily suggest that you do the same.

 

Vanilla Bourbon Cherry Pie

From Half Baked Harvest

1.3 kilos fresh cherries, pitted (I really only had about 900g, which was fine)
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons cornflour
1/4 cup bourbon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, seeds removed from the pod
zest from 1 lemon
1 egg, beaten
demerara sugar or granulated sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

 

Make your favourite pastry recipe – mine is this one from Smitten Kitchen, and it’s perfect. It’s pretty much foolproof, so if you’re a beginner, it’s a great place to start.

Once dough is chilled, let it sit on your bench for 5 minutes or so to soften enough to be rolled. Grease/butter a 22cm/9-inch pie dish, and heat your oven to 220 degrees C.

On a floured bench top, roll out one half of the dough to a 30cm/12 inch round. Very carefully, lift it into your pie dish. Trim any excess dough from around the edges, then prick the base all over with a fork.

Roll out the second half of the dough on a floured bench in to a 30cm/12 inch round. Transfer onto baking paper.

To decorate the crust: now, it’s up to you how you do this – you can punch stars or holes into the crust, or cut it into strips and go the traditional weave crust – be creative, this is the fun part! If you’d like ideas, check out here. Once done, place the dough in the fridge to firm up.

Add the cherries, sugar, cornflour, bourbon, vanilla and lemon zest in a large bowl, and toss them together to make sure it’s really well combined. Scrape the fruit and all the delicious juices into the pie dish.

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Carefully place your pie crust over the pie and remove the baking paper. Crimp the bottom and top crusts together to seal in all the goodness, then brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

Whack the whole thing back in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm.

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When ready to bake, place the pie dish on a baking tray (this catches any spills when the pie bubbles up and makes your oven easier to clean – trust me on this), and bake for around 30 minutes, until the crust is golden. Reduce the temperature to 180 degrees C, and bake for another 50-60 minutes to get the juices bubbling.

Leave to cool on a wire rack for a good 4 hours before tucking in, and serve with cream or vanilla ice cream.

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What I Love | eatmeetswest edition

This is the last post for 2014!

I’d like to take a second to thank every single one of you for stopping by and lending me your ears. Or eyes. I’m not sure how this works.

In the interest of reflection, here are the things I’m particularly grateful for in 2014:

  • The email I got from my blog-host thing (I don’t really sure how that works either) informs me that I’m read in 90 countries, which might have made me cry a little bit. I can’t even name 90 countries, so this blows my mind.
  • I’m grateful to have had the chance to travel to Brisbane for Eat Drink Blog this year (where I followed Sarah from The Sugar Hit around like a creep and she was very nice about it), where I got to eat some really cool stuff and hang out with my blogger buddies. Always a great time.
  • Also super grateful to my beautiful friend Natalie for letting me use her home in Melbourne as a base while I stalked the city for doughnuts.
  • Those of you who visited Jus Burgers to try my Cubano burger! There will be a post next year with the recipe, if you want to make them yourselves. Thank you Laura for teeing it up x
  • Friends, family, and anyone who’s prepared to share a meal with me (and lets me sneak photos in even though they’re starving). You let me do what I do.
  • You. Yes, you. You’re looking particularly smashing today, just in case no one has told you. Keep that up.

 

So, I guess it’s time for me to answer the questions I put to so many others this year! Whelp.

What I Love – eatmeetswest edition

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Who are you/what do you do?
I’m Bri and I write this here blog. eatmeetswest is three(!!!) years old, which blows my mind a little bit.
I also sling crumpets for Mr Drummond’s Foods at the Subi Farmers Markets on a Saturday morning, where I’m also responsible for Hole Food Doughnuts.
 
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My Cubano at Jus Burgers

Why Perth?
Oh my god, why not? Perth is almost unrecognisable to what is was 5 years ago. There’s room for improvement, as there is anywhere, but I’m so proud of how far it’s come and the badass people who are making things happen here.
I love Perth’s beaches and laid back atmosphere, and that those things probably go hand in hand.
I love that if you drive 3 hours in any direction, you’re almost in another universe.
definitely love our world class produce (and that I get to eat it).
I love the pelicans that sit on top of the street lights on the freeway when I drive home to Freo. They make me happy.
I think it’s fantastic that we call our sea breeze The Doctor, because it makes everything better on a hot day.
I love that so many activities around town are dog friendly, because it means I get to cuddle puppies. A LOT.
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CBD Sunsets

 What inspires you?
I know that this is something that everyone says, but I’m incredibly blessed to be surrounded with extraordinary people, determined to make a change, or just showcase the amazing things that WA has to offer that we’ve simply overlooked.

On a personal level, I’m particularly inspired on the regular by Jacqui, Ai-LingMax VeenhuyzenMax Brearley and David; their passion for the things they do is nothing short of incredible, and I can’t believe they even know my name.

I’m also one of those people who spends waaaay too much time on The Internet. That helps with the inspiring and distracting in equal measure. If it wasn’t for the internet, how would I know about Katherine Sabbath?
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Sophie Zalokar at the launch of her book, Food of the Southern Forrests


Your dream food day?
For starters, it probably kicks off at 11am, because I like a bit of a sleep in!
Breakfast would be either banana crepes from Toast in East Perth, or breakfast panna cotta from Mrs S in Mayland.
Morning tea would be Mac-clairs from The Flour Factory, nursed by coffee from Addison & Steele (the espresso tonic is spectacular. Thanks Toby and Michael!).
Lunch is definitely dim sum at Northbridge Chinese Restaurant, because I would eat xiao long bao until the end of days. I LOVE DUMPLINGS. I’d probably need a nap after that.
Dinner would be a home-cooked affair. I have some friends who are seriously talented with a smoker, so it’s likely to be a Texas barbecue style thing, lost of ribs and slow cooked meats, a lot of sharing. I’d offer to do the dishes, being as how I didn’t cook!
If it’s a dream food day, then I’m probably heading back to Singapore’s 2am Dessert Bar for another hit of their dish Yellow, which was made up of corn, in 5 different ways. It was amazing. If you’re out that way, I definitely recommend you visit!
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Cocktails at Darling Supper Club

What’s the best thing you ate recently?
 I’m pretty crazy about Gusto Gelato in Leederville right now. I was all for the Gutso (peanut butter), but I’ve just discovered the Brittle Sweet Symphony, which is almond brittle and honey gelato, and I can’t get enough of it. I fucking love ice cream.
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Ice cream in Brisbane

Where do you love to go to eat? 
There’s no bad day that dinner at Lalla Rookh can’t fit with bone marrow and pasta. This is a scientific fact.
My ultimate comfort food is BBQ pork wanton noodle soup from Viet Hoa in Northbridge. Cheap, fast and more food than I can comfortably eat (though I do it anyway).
My favourite, super low-key breakfast can be found at Ley St Cafe. I first heard about Adam’s milkshakes on Reddit, and can confirm (as a milkshake junkie) that they’re some of the best in Perth. Adam makes all of his own flavours from scratch, no bought syrups here! Also, the maple bacon and eggs on today are consistently fantastic.
Russell Blakie on cocktail duty at Must Winebar

Russell Blakie on cocktail duty at Must Winebar

Where do you love to hang out?

Varnish on King. I love a whisky sour almost as much as I love manager Jamie Passmore’s dance moves. Also the bar’s mascot is a stuffed beaver named Justin, of which the jokes just write themselves.

My girlfriends and I recently had our pre-Christmas catch up at The Flour Factory, where I drank 3 of their lemony cocktails, and I’d quite happily drink 300 more.

Freo always calls to me when I want to be somewhere that feels like home. This year, I loved The Banker, Lenny the Ox, Little Lefroys, The Mantle and Bread in Common.

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Scott Bridger, head chef at Bib & Tucker

What’s your favourite thing right now?
 Netflix. What?! I’m a girl of simple pleasures. Those simple pleasures include watching Stephen Amell do chin-ups on Arrow.
I love paddle boarding. I’m pretty keen to get out on the water again, who wants to come?
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What are you looking forward to?

I just bought Mr Hong, which is a bit of a must-have cook book for lovers of dude food or the Australian food scene. My first goal for next year is to master one of his signature dishes, Stoner’s Delight, so, you know, God help me.

The Perth Fringe World Festival!

Getting down south to visit Taste of Balingup (Katrina Lane is a genius) and Foragers Kitchen (so is Sophie).

More doughnuts. Always more doughnuts.

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Kane at Dapper Jack

Thank you again for all of your support this year, and I can’t wait to make you fried cheese pie in 2015!

Stay safe, happy and awesome xx

Don’t forget, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Say hey!

Image via The Neon Burrow Instagram

So this is Christmas | 2014 Gift Guide

It’s here. Are you ready?

You’ve probably seen the posters up in windows, maybe being shared on Facebook, on why it’s so important to shop local, particularly at this time of year. Shopping local helps pay rent and mortgages, buys kids new shoes and school fees, literally puts food on the table – not buying a CEO from Amazon an extra week skiing in the south of France (even though I hear it’s really nice there this time of year).

Image via Jasmine Dowling Instagram

Image via Jasmine Dowling Instagram

As I spend FAR too much time on the internet, I’ve pulled together some of my favourite local businesses and their fabulous wares for you so you don’t have to (spend too much time on the internet, that is).

Ready to get started?

Studio Bomba

 

Image via Studio Bomba Instagram

Image via Studio Bomba Instagram

I am utterly shameless in my love for all things Studio Bomba. You can visit their Oxford street abode, have coffee and nibbles from the delightful Kane at Dapper Jack (I love a man in a bow tie, can you tell?), then browse their carefully curated delights in the Bomba shop and On A Whim clothing. AND, if you’re particularly pressed for time, they have just opened up an online store! Could it be any simpler? I particularly love their cards, which have me in stitches, the candles which smell like heaven, and their vintage inspired toy section.

 

Gipsy Boy Boutique

Image via Gipsy Boy Instagram

Image via Gipsy Boy Instagram

Sister team Bekki and Kacie are delivering the goods for our friends in the north! Stocking the much sought-after Nina Marlena skulls (seriously, good luck finding an Atlas skull anywhere), Bahen & Co chocolate, and the most gorgeous collection of vintage teacups, there’s nothing not to love! Kacie and I have been friends for several years, and I can 100% vouch for her ability to pick out the perfect vintage finds. Also, if you’re looking for an outfit for your various Christmas shennanians, they stock Finders Keepers, Evil Twin, Mink Pink, The Fifth Label, and Somedays Lovin, as well as Zanerobe for the fellas. If you get a little peckish, they also have an excellent café to fuel your decision-making process (the answer is yes, you should buy it in every colour).

 

Little Posy Co

 

Image via Little Posy Co Instagram

Image via Little Posy Co Instagram

I’ve hoped this idea would take off for ages; a 4 or 10 week subscription of beautiful flowers delivered to your door for $30 per week. The posies are simple, rustic and utterly charming, and it’s something that would make any lady in your life smile. Details of their Christmas offer can be found here.

 

Zolich

Image via Zolich Instagram

Image via Zolich Instagram

Samantha and Kelly Flemming are another awesome sister duo, specialising is spectacular statement jewellery.  You can shop online or at their MANY 6160 store (which is where I picked up some gorgeous rings as a present to myself on the weekend. I’m not even sorry), which is worth a visit to bask in the general beauty of their stone pieces alone.

 

The Neon Burrow

Image via The Neon Burrow Instagram

Image via The Neon Burrow Instagram

If you’ve got an eye for details, or perhaps a fashion addict sister or girlfriend to buy for, The Neon Burrow has you covered! From gorgeous silk scarves, colourful statement necklaces, funky tennis shoes, to homewares, there isn’t much they don’t stock! I  personally love the delicate rings from Deer Ruby and totes from Briggs & Boots

 

Angove Street Collective

Image via Debra Hayes Florist Instagram

Image via Debra Hayes Floral Instagram

Angove Street in North Perth has a treasure in this space – the Perth Upmarket markets that you love have a physical store for you to hunt for treasures! There are also flowers by Debra Hayes, gifts for gents (Status Anxiety wallets are my favourite, I highly recommend them) and a café that stocks juices from Pure Glow Cleanse, if you wanted a sneaky taste before committing to one of their cleanses.

 

Monstrositea

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Image via Monstrositea Instagram

 

You may remember Katherine from our chat a little earlier this year – if there is a tea lover in your life, there is no better way to indulge their daily ritual than with a subscription! They also have a gorgeous shop full of accessories and favourite specialty teas, which is worth a visit if you want to curate a special tea themed gift.

 

Micrology Coffee Roasters

 

Image via MCR Instagram

Image via MCR Instagram

If you’re a coffee junkie, then you should already be familiar with the lads from Micrology – they can be spotted out and about at festivals locally, and generally kicking ass and taking names as in independent coffee roaster. They too offer subscriptions, as well as a shop stocked with all the good kit – Chemex cups, drippers, Aeropress, Hario cold press, and Uppercup reusable cups (someone please buy me one, they’re gorgeous!). You can check out their Instagram for brew-spiration.

 

Welly’s Wonders

Image via Welly's Wonders facebook

Image via Welly’s Wonders facebook

love Welly’s Wonders! If you’ve got little tykes to buy for, look no further than the utterly gorgeous illustrations by husband and wife duo, Adam and Demelza Haines. Adam is a disgustingly talented illustrator (he worked for freakin’ Lucasfilm and Disney!), and Demelza is well, a force to be reckoned with – and the author of their first book! Full disclosure, Demelza has been a friend of mine for many years, which really only makes me happier to tell anyone who will listen about her wares. I have an influx of friends due next year, and they will ALL be getting a copy of Jenkins the Hare to read to their bubs, because he’s bloody adorable.

 

Should you require further inspiration, check out:

 

Please, if you know other events or if there are local businesses you love, throw them in the comments to share the love!

Happy shopping!

Bri xx

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Ain’t no one got time for that| Banoffee Pavlova

Pot lucks and picnics, dinner parties and barbecues, shindigs and hootenannies. There’s a myriad of pre-Christmas catch-ups in the pipeline for all of us, so in the interest of being prepared (and also greedy) I’m lining up a couple of crowd-pleasing recipes for you to keep in your back pocket!

First up, Banoffee Pavlova.

Pavlova is pretty traditional at this time of year. I mean, why WOULDN’T you take complete advantage off all of that beautiful seasonal fruit? Uh, because everything is made better with cream and caramel, and fruit makes it almost look like healthy, and you know I ain’t got time for that. Obviously.

I made this a couple of weeks ago for a food bloggers picnic (Thanks Bryton for organising!), and good gravy, it was tasty. You know you’re onto a winner when no one could resist eating dessert first!

Meringue remains a current obsession of mine, which is fuelled by the fact that my gas oven is basically a furnace, running faaaar too hot to bake pavlova properly. Every time I make one, it doesn’t fails, which infuriates me, which gives me a steely resolve to get the next one right, which then fails, rinse, repeat. If you’re having some trouble with your pavlovas, I found this to be really helpful with troubleshooting.

Hell, if you get really stuck, you can buy a pavlova and just throw this together… Though, as always, making your own is a thousand times more satisfying. Trust me on this, a well-made meringue is a thing of great beauty.

 

 

Banoffee Pavlova

300g caster sugar
5 large egg whites

2-3 medium sized ripe bananas, sliced
250g tub mascarpone
½ cup whipping cream
½ – ¾ cup caramel sauce, approx (I used El Asador dulce de leche, but you can make your own, or even use Top N Fill in a pinch)
2 Crunchie/Violet Crumble or Flake bars, crushed

 

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Spread the sugar over the tray in an even layer, then bake for 5 minutes to melt the edges.

Place the egg whites in a bowl and whisk on low (either with a freestanding mixer or electric beater) until they froth up a little bit, then increase the speed and beat until stiff peaks form. Remove the sugar from the oven, turn the temperature down to 100°C and leave the door open a little to help cool the oven down. With the mixer on high, add a spoonful of sugar to the egg mixture at a time. Once sugar is combined, continue whisking for a further 5 minutes until stiff, smooth and glossy.

Carefully spoon the meringue onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper (I split mine into two), making a little well in the middle. Bake for two hours, then turn off the oven and leave to cool completely.

When ready to serve, combine the mascarpone and whipping cream, and whip together until it forms soft peaks. Spoon half of the cream over each pavlova, then top with 1 sliced banana, half the caramel sauce (there’s no such thing as too much caramel, so if you need more, use more!) and 1 crumbled Crunchie/Flake bar. VERY carefully place one pavlova on top of the other, and serve.

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Image via @brytontaylor Instagram

 

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Head & Heart | October

Oh hey team!

So, we’re back to Head & Heart. Check out what everyone else is up to over at Helarious, and join in!

Please, fill me in on what happening witchu! How are things?

 

What I’ve been grateful for

So, the last time I wrote this post, I was fresh from a break up and kind of licking my wounds a little bit. But 8 weeks later, I feel good. Like, really good. So, I’m thankful for my awesome friends that make life better, a city that’s providing me endless incredible things to do, and a home to retreat to when I can’t be bothered doing any of it.

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Makin’ doughnuts. My Saturday morning market time slinging crumpets with Wade is something I always look forward to, and when one of my favourite customers posted this photo of her kids going to town on these… That’s what I get out of bed for.

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What I’ve been thinking about

Cake. I’m following some ridiculously talented baking people in Instagram, and I’m inspired to lift my game. Let’s do this!

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Summer adventures. I’m trying to cajole my friends into rock climbing, paddle boarding, hikes… Who even am I?
Also, do you have any ideas for activities? Lay them on me.

Lewie, Edweina, Levon – this shit is getting out of hand. Come home. I miss you. (3 of my most treasured friends are off travelling the world and generally being awesome. I’m selfish, and want them to come home. I’m fine with that)

 

What I’m excited for

Friday sees me in Kalgoorlie for the weekend, visiting of my favourite people. Is it weird that I’m just as excited for the train ride as I am the adventures at the other end? The train ride is 7 hours each was, and I have a whole heap of The Walking Dead, plus Amy Pohler’s new book to get through, with zero internet reception. Bliss.

What I’ve been doing

Sneaking into The Flour Factory at every chance I get! In the morning, their bakery section kills me. Mac-lairs are my current obsession, and I can’t get enough of them. At night, Lambchetta is what you want. Honestly, if they filled up a giant bowl with it, I’d eat it like popcorn. Also, try the Wallaby hot dog. It’s brilliant. Head chef Matthew Carulei is nailing it over there.  (This isn’t sponsored, I just really love baked goods and salty, delicious meat products. You’re welcome)

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Watching an unholy amount of Arrow – and not just for the gratuitous shots of Stephen Amell exercising without a shirt on. Netflix is slowly ruining my life. I love it.

Crying in the foetal position on my lounge room floor after finally watching The Fault in Our Stars. I knew what was coming, and it sucker punched me anyway. THANKS JOHN GREEN.

 

What I’ve been reading

Re-reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman – it’s just as good as I remember. Ugh, I love that man.

Also madly flicking through food magazines, looking for recipe inspiration for the million ‘Let’s catch up before Christmas!’ events that pop up. There are so many!

This piece on why Australia hates Starbucks. Love it.

 

What I’ve been listening to

In line with my current need to feel good, it’s all super upbeat and dancey. Quite loving the new Calvin Harris, he’s a great pick me up when I’m tired.

I’m with Dave Grohl – Royal Blood might just save rock n roll.

Actually, I’d love more new music – can you recommend something? HALP.

 

What I’ve been spending money on

I’m trying really hard to be organised for Christmas – it’s 6 weeks away, how did that happen?!
Would writing a post about awesome potential presents be something that would help you out?

Um, can we take a moment to talk about how much I love Gusto Gelato in Leederville? Brilliant. The Gusto (it has peanut butter in it) is something I could quite happily eat an entire tub of, to myself, with zero regrets. Get thee there, if you haven’t already.

 

Unrelated:

I found this photo of a puppy on Pinterest, and I can’t get over how adorable he is. Take a moment.

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Slow decent into madness| Pollo Con Salsa

And so begins the slow decent into end-of-year madness. There’s people to see, parties to attend, shopping to do, and nowhere near enough time to do it all. Why do we do it to ourselves?!

How do you handle this time of year?
Are you a list person?
Did you start buying Christmas presents in June?
Do you promise yourself every year that this will be the one where you’re organised, only to find yourself 3 days out from the big day having a meltdown in Myer? Yeah, no, me neither.

With all the demands on your time that come with this time of year, you’re going to want some recipes that aren’t too taxing on the effort front, right? Right.

This recipe comes from one of my favourite books this year – The Feast Goes On, from The Monday Morning Cooking Club. If you see it, pick up a copy. It’s so full of really comforting recipes, kind of like a food hug, that it will be a book that you go back to again and again. I’m waiting for an excuse to make the insanely magical but also filthy fried cheese pie.

You heard me.

Fried.

Cheese.

Pie.

But until that day, there’s this. A great, family friendly dinner, that’s ready in an hour. This is the kind of thing you’ll find yourself eating weekly for it’s sheer simplicity and adaptability. Throw in whatever’s in your fridge, you can’t go wrong. You’re welcome.

 

Pollo Con Salsa

From The Monday Morning Cooking Club

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large red capsicum, thinly sliced
8 skinless chicken thighs
500ml chicken stock
400g tin diced tomatoes
1 large handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

 

Heat the oil over medium heat. In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, then add the onion and cook until soft, stirring, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and capsicum and continue to stir for a further 5 minutes, until the capsicum softens. Scrape from the pan and set aside. Add the chicken to the pan and brown well on both sides.

Add the onion and capsicum back to the pan, then add the stock. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Stir in the tomatoes and parsley, season, then cook for another 15 minutes until slightly thickened.

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Serve with your favourite carb.

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This would be great with rice or mash, but I couldn’t say no to Israeli couscous.

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