Head & Heart | March 2016

I know, I know. It’s been a while. I always say this, that I’m sorry (because I am), and you are always kind and forgiving (because you are).

But I’m here now, and we should probably catch up. Are you ready?

 

Head & Heart

What I’ve been grateful for:

  • Opportunity. Although I swore a million times that I’d never go back, I’m currently studying. There are files and textbooks and highlighters and post-it flags piled at my feet (and like any good student, I’m writing this while I procrastinate), and I’m oddly happy about it. My Day Job encouraged me to take the leap – I’m studying a graduate certificate in policy and governance at the Queensland University of Technology – and are really supportive about it all. #auspol #nerd
  • Opportunity 2: I’m off to Sydney for the first time! I’m heading over to check out the MAD conferenceat the freakin’ Opera House, no less! The biggest names in food (Kylie Kwong, David Chang, Massimo Boturra, Rene Redzepi) are talking Tomorrow’s Meal, and I can’t even believe that I’m going to be in that theatre, with so many incredible people. So out of my depth. So excited.
  • My girl gang. Last month, I gathered a bunch of ladies that I truly admire for a whole bunch of different reasons, and told them how incredible they were. Some run small businesses, some are creatives, others educators. They are all fierce, giving, kind and generous, and I wanted them to know each other and connect. It was magical and terrifying and I loved it.

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What I’ve been thinking about:

  • This piece – making friends on Twitter. It sums up my experience – mostly positive, highly educational, and the home of my tribe. I’ve met such wonderful people (mostly women) who I couldn’t live without, and I get to indulge in the things I love the most –  politics, comics and feminism – that would probably have my Facebook crew unfriending me in droves.
  • Youtube. I’m so behind on this whole thing, but I’m into now with gusto. With its plethora of cat and fail videos, there’s also so much to learn. And no, I’m not just talking about make up tutorials (though I love those too), there are so many incredibly smart women talking about really clever things. Karlie Kloss is talking to female entrepreneurs, Estee Lalonde is talking periods and sex, Rosianna Halse Rojas is chatting Shine Theory. It’s something I wish I had growing up, and even at almost 30, it’s still interesting and insightful.

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What I’m excited for:

  • Uh, SYDNEY. Bakeries! Wanderings! Adventures! Sephora! I plan on coming home with a very large box of panna cotta lamingtons from Flour and Stone, I’m going to find Black Star Pastry if it kills me, and I’ve already planned a dinner at Billy Kwong with my folks. Mum wants to spend some time wandering around The Rocks, probably catching the Manly Ferry. Other suggestions? Hit me up, I want to hear them pleaseandthankyou
  • If you, like me, make unholy squealing noises when you see cute fluffy things, then please meet Hicks the bunny. He belongs to my friends Marc and Lou, and I’m obsessed with his thumping paws and fluffy white tail. He’s also a sassy, sulking drama queen. I love/hate him.

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What I’ve been doing:

  • Winning the 4th Annual Office Bake-Off, nbd. It’s funny, everyone in my office is competitive for us, while Alex and I just like baking. This year, I submitted feta and herb biscuits, and a panna cotta tart with lemon curd and freeze-dried raspberry. I was pretty proud of that tart, it was a smushing of recipes and a lot of finger-crossing while hoping for the best. TRIUMPH.
  • Getting behind the Safe Schools program. It kills me that our government can be so cruel to speak about our kids in such a disgusting way, and it’s killing kids to not have access to such a vital program (LGBTQIA youth are six times likely to attempt suicide, and transgender people are 76% more likely. This. Is Not. Okay.). Write to your local Members of Parliament and demand that they support funding to Safe Schools. These kids deserve better.

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What I’ve been reading:

  • The shiny and new Broadsheet Perth. Edited by my friend and all round best guy Max Veehuyzen, it’s a website dedicated to the best in Perth. Now I know you think these are a dime a dozen, but Broadsheet does it better with content written by people who know and love what they do, and photography by the best in the business. There’s no washed-up, ex reality tv wannabes here, just quality writing.
  • This post about chocolate brownies, just in case you didn’t get enough chocolate over the weekend.
  • And this about throwing together a dinner party in under an hour. It’s a pretty excellent reminder to keep things simple, more than anything.
  • I attended the Perth Writer’s Festival last month and picked up a stack of books that I’m trying (and failing) to work through. I learned so much from seeing these women speak, and I can’t recommend their books enough!

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What I’ve been spending money on:

  • One of these La Lune prints from Chi Borello. I’m obsessed with everything she does, I can’t even tell you. I picked it up from La Luna, a rad homeware store in Inglewood, which I can no longer venture into unsupervised.
  • This phone case from Sportsgirl – easily the best $15 I’ve spent this month, because I never developed past being a 13 year old girl. This is why.
  • Breakfast at Satchmo Cafe in North Perth. There’s something I really love about Jewish cooking – the ritual of it, the intrinsic link between food and family, the tradition, and it goes without saying that I was excited when this beautiful café opened near home. It’s a place with energy, with a vibe. On weekends, there’s a band playing in the carpark, other days there’s 1950’s jazz wafting from the speakers. I twisted Rob’s arm into picking the brisket bagel, while I devoured the blueberry blintz, and they offer all kinds of different bagels and biscuits.

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Tell me about your month! What’s news?

 

What I Love | Woman Crush Wednesday

The Internet is a both a blessing and a curse. So often I have days where I end up infuriated, heartbroken and frustrated by the goings on that it’s all I can do to turn off my phone and put it away, rather than throw it into the ocean, never to be seen again.

And then there are days where I scroll through my various social media channels and are met with post after post of little fist bump moments, which makes everything seem possible. Creating beautiful or delicious things, righting wrongs, teaching others or just generally kicking ass and taking names, I’m pretty excited by the amazing work of so many others.

So today, we’re striking out and doing a #womancrushwednesday – a tribute to a bunch of ladies who do work I can’t get enough of. Some I know, some I stalk from afar don’t, but all are women worth knowing.

This Little Pig Went To Market

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The women from This Little Pig Went To Market (sisters Katherine Jess) are here to save your life. Well, kind of.

With life getting busier and busier, This Little Pig makes life just that little bit easier, by delivering simple, good-for-you meal kits to your door that are, most importantly, bloody delicious. Delivered Saturday and Wednesday, and come loaded with gorgeous fresh produce from suppliers like Torres Butchers, Noodle Forum, Duck Duck Mother Goose and Subi Farmers Market. Everything you need (minus a splash of oil here and there) comes in the box, from marinated meats to dressing to finish the dish. All you have to do is throw it all together (with the funny and adorable instructions clearly laid out for you), and nothing takes longer than 40 minutes. The girls are passionate, knowledgeable, friendly and kind – generally all-round lovely humans.

Katie Willcox

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A friend pointed me to Katie Willcox’s movement after a particularly bad day (buying jeans is torture, I swear). In the lead up to bikini body/summer workouts/blah blah blah season, it might be worth checking in from time to time to remind yourself that yes, you are beautiful, worthy, and fucking badass, no matter what you look like. With 86 thousand followers on Instagram, I’m thrilled that her message is getting across to girls (and women) everywhere.

Iron Chef Shellie

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Shellie Froidevaux has an unknown (to her) superpower: to turn me into a starving, drooling mess in about 3 seconds. Don’t believe me? Take a look at her incredible food photography for yourself. Warm, colourful and 100% delicious. Plus, her website is gold – Salted caramel tart, anyone? Don’t pretend you wouldn’t. Oh, and if you’re on Twitter, she regularly live tweets If You Are The One. Hilarious.

Tiah Eckhardt-Delaney

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You probably know Tiah without knowing exactly why you know her. Tiah is the face of Berlei, Frank Body, Wheels and Dollbaby, Honey Birdette and Dita Von Teese and looks like a completely different person every single time, running the gauntlet of girl-next door to full scale minx, from high fashion to Helmut Newton-inspired dream.

She has wealth of experience in the fashion to shoot down any misconceptions about the industry, she doesn’t shy away from either how ridiculous it can be, but also how hard she and others work. She’s perfectly placed to call out the ridiculous double standards when it comes to women, beauty standards, nudity and sexuality.

But what I probably love most about Tiah is that there is straight up and down ZERO bullshit. She’s tough, fiery, honest, funny, and a massive dork. Plus, she’s from Rockingham, so you know she’s completely unfuckwithable.

She’s coming back to town as the face of the Telstra Fashion Festival in September, and you can follow her in Instagram here (milly NSFW).

Pixel Coffee

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Oh, Pixel. You’re an Instagram lover’s dream, with your white and mint tiles, adorable cups, copper details and COLD BREW ON TAP.

Pixel strikes the perfect balance between dishes that are good for you, with gorgeous bits to treat yourself with. But it’s the cake that has my heart (as always), and oh, how I love those cakes.

In a world where cakes are increasingly inspired by Katherine Sabbath or Unbirthday Bakery (and there’s nothing wrong with that, I take inspiration from those ladies), I love Pixel’s simpler, but no less beautiful offerings. It inspires me to life my day-to-day cakes to a higher standard (and the team at work could not be happier).

Go. Eat. Be happy.

K Gets Organised

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You’ve probably seen me talk about Kelsie before – but buckle in, I’m going to do it again.

As someone who still has trouble colouring in the lines at 28, I’m always completely and utterly in awe of anyone with artistic talent. Kelsie has this in spades. I mean, she paints doughnuts on stationery, OF COURSE I’m completely on board for this. She’s so talented and makes the most beautiful things (see my Hole Foods logo – yup, that’s her work too).

PLUS: I’m giving away some of her lovely goods! YOU CAN WIN THINGS! I have a little bundle of gorgeous things worth over $60, including cards, notepads and the ‘Let’s Do This’ case (my favourite!). Just tell me in the comments what’s on your to do list, and a winner will be drawn on 5 August!

So, tell me: who is inspiring you lately?

All images from their respective Instagrams.

Head & Heart | April 2015

So, it’s time for Head & Heart. Check out what everyone else is up to over to Lime Tree Bower (make sure you say hi to Helen!), and join in!

Head & Heart

What I’ve been grateful for:

  • Rob. Today marks six months since we met, and I’m going to save you the mush because I’m sure you don’t want to hear it, but also because I haven’t yet found a way to articulate how magic this is – the difference that good love makes to a person. I’ve spent a long time trying to make myself smaller to fit in relationships that I had no business being in, but this one, this guy teaches me to fly.
    Also, he built me a fort, and it was fucking fantastic.

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  • The office. I work with this amazing team who take the time to teach me things (they also have to explain things to me, a lot). But it’s been fascinating, and I love it.

What I’ve been thinking about:

  • This pie. Hooooly jeebus. Also, Sarah’s cook book is out in September, and I may or may not be counting the days.
  • The older I get, the more I’m becoming al 11 year old boy. My current obsessions include comics, The Avengers, light up sneakers (they come in grown-up now), Jurassic Park and space. HOLD ON TO YOUR BUTTS!

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  • Also, I have a massive crush on John Green. Is that weird? I am a grown-ass woman. But it’s pretty hard not to be completely on board for someone who’s all about educating kids in a way that applies to them, someone who’s compassionate and gives great advice, or is just generally a good guy. #nerdfighter4lyfe
    I may have also watched The Fault in Our Stars by myself on a Saturday night, and then curled up in the foetal position on my lounge room floor and cried for like 10 minutes. Whatever. You can get up to speed here, here and here.

What I’m excited for:

  • One of my all-time favourite comedians is a guy by the name of Daniel Kitson. I saw him last four years ago, and he’s back, playing at the Subi Arts Centre this weekend, and I can’t wait. This is one of my favourite routines, in case you wanted a giggle.

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  • There’s a Medieval Faire this weekend, and I’m bloody excited. Yes, I know, I’m weird. But I love how committed people are to this kind of thing, it’s fantastic.

What I’ve been doing:

  • I was lucky enough to be invited to The Standard in Northbridge to taste their new menu last weekend, and let me provide you the same advice I gave to everyone else I’ve spoken to about it since then – stop what you are doing, and go now. Eat the mushroom doughnuts. And the yellow curry. And the brisket. Oh, and the tartare. But mostly the mushroom doughnuts, which are hands down one of the best things I’ve eaten recently. Read about it here.

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What I’ve been reading:

  • I could tell you that I’ve bought The Fallen Giant or The Fictional Woman, Trigger Warning or Seven Spoons. Things that are smart and interesting, educational and allow me to learn and expand my knowledge. But the thing I’ve been reading most over the last few weeks is Marvel Unlimited. It’s like Netflix for Marvel comics, and it’s bloody fantastic, and I regret nothing. Comics are awesome. Though, for the record, I have bought all of those other books, and I promise I’m going to read them.

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What I’ve been spending money on:

  • I bought this gorgeous piece of art from Alicia Falconer at the Mt Hawthorn markets last weekend, and I’m utterly obsessed. If I had a bigger apartment, I’d have a piece that takes up the whole wall. So gorgeous.
  • This Little Pig Went To Market. I can’t tell you how much of a life saver they are (though I will another day), and I love it. Start of the week saviour.

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Tell me about your month! What’s news?

Snags. Not just for new age guys.

There’s nothing more quintessential than an Aussie barbecue. $2.50 from the sizzle out the front of Bunnings on a Sunday. Difficult to get wrong, and always a favourite.

Sausage. Bun/slice of wondersoft. Onion. Tomato sauce. One wonders how you can improve on a favourite?

Leave it to Justin Bell and his newest venture, Snags and Sons.

Justin, of Jus Burgers fame, has taken the humble hot dog and made it worthy of a meal.

It’s genius, when you think about it. There’s so much more to sausages than the thin, flavourless, made-of-god-knows-what cased sausages from Coles. But a good chorizo, braturst or kransky? Something that we line up for miles at markets or street festivals. So take that sausage, encase it in bakery quality breads. A lashing of sweet caramelized onions. Relishes, chutneys, sauces and mustards. Additions like brie, peppers, rocket or pickles. You’ve turned a backyard snack on its head.

Justin has long championed local produce with Jus Burgers. Everything fresh, all the time. It seems that Snags and Sons is no different, with sausages sourced locally and wherever possible, free range, organic and approved farming methods. Sweets are supplied by Rochelle Adonis, Perth’s dessert queen. Salads and sides are prepared on site.

So, on a Friday night after a hectic working week, I called in.

The table in the corner is surrounded by blokes ready for a night out, the waitress weaving about customers, offering menus and seating those who opt to dine in the small but cozy interior. The chefs were perfectly happy to answer my questions, offering suggestions as there are many options to chose from.

I opted for the Traditional sausage (caramelized onions and ketchup in a baguette) and North African lamb (harissa yoghurt, red peppers, honey, rocket in a baguette).
My standing notoriety of being a little greedy aside; I could quite happily eat a dozen of these things. Harissa can have quite a bite if used liberally, but paired with the yoghurt and lamb gives beautiful warmth to the tongue. Peppers sweeten the deal, and rocket gives additional bite. Perfectly balanced on the palate.

The Traditional sausage is in no way the most exotic thing on the menu. But, the basics are the best place to test the skills of any kitchen. And it was good. Promise.

Snags and Sons is worth a visit. It’s worth several. If for no other reason but to support those who support local providore. However, that’s not even close to being the only reason. It’s good, simple food, done well.

What other reason do you need?

Baking and other addictions

There are other things I enjoy outside of cooking, I promise.

Live music, for one. Drinking an unholy amount of coffee. Paddle boarding. I’m the owner of a weird amount of dinosaur related items. I’m developing a similar collection of anchor themed things. I like homeware shops, full of things that I probably don’t need, but want all the same. Stationary. Military history. Book stores, with their delicate smell of dusty paper. Generally getting out and loving all the awesome things Perth has to offer, especially in the summer months.

Last weekend, I felt an urge to bake.
This was thoroughly stupid, because it was something like 36* outside, and I was cranking up the oven. I may have had to make mercy dashes upstairs to stand under the air-conditioning, then run back downstairs to carry on.
Equally as stupid, as this recipe yielded around 36 biscuits.  Having no housemates at the moment, what the hell am I going to do with that many biscuits?

*lightbulb moment*

Located on Oxford St, are the amazing team at Studio Bomba.
They sell delightful bits and bobs, design and press their own paperwares and provide workshop space for their resident creatives. Oh, and they’re all lovely. They are also the design team behind the upcoming Fringe World festival, which you need to check out. I can’t go in there without coming out again, giddily clutching something that I’ve justified as a need, not a want.
The Bomba team very graciously accepted my biscuit donation, and I left with a very pretty pair of anchor earrings. A win for all concerned!

These cookies are begging for a cup of tea, delicately spiced and sweet, without being overpowering.  If you aren’t a fan of chai tea (shame on you!), don’t worry, I tested them on several non-chai peeps, and they still really enjoyed them.

Plus, I can’t tell you how good they smelled while baking. Heaven.

Chai Spiced Sugar Cookies

Adapted from My Baking Addiction

2 3/4 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line a baking sheet with baking paper; set aside. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl combine sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, allspice and black pepper. Remove 1/4 cup of the sugar-spice mixture, set aside to reserve for rolling the cookies.

3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar-spice mixture until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in the egg and vanilla extract, combine until fully incorporated. Slowly blend in dry ingredients mixing until just combined.

4. Using a small scoop (2 teaspoons) roll dough into balls and then into the reserved sugar-spice mixture. Place dough balls on prepared baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Let stand on baking sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.