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?

 

So this is Christmas | 2015 Gift Guide

Someone keeps telling me that Christmas is only 6 more Fridays away. How did that happen?! I promise myself every year that this one, I’ll be better organised. And what do you know? I’m not. You probably aren’t either, so at least we are in this together.

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

I had so much fun compiling last year’s guide and there are SO MANY amazing new businesses that have popped up in the last 12 months, that I’m doing it again!

You can check out last year’s guide here.

The Herb Cart

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I read about Michael Ballentine’s adorable cart a couple of weeks ago, and I can’t stop thinking about how clever it is – kitchen ready herbs in biodegradable cups. How cute is that? He’ll be at this weekend’s Beaufort Street Festival, if you want to stop by and check out his chives.

La Luna

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A brand new addition to the already awesome Beaufort Street, La Luna has captured my attention with our shared love of all things astronomy. There is a gorgeous range of homewares, jewellery, and books. I’m obsessed with the copper fairy lights and artwork by Chi Borello.

Hampton The Label

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This is some seriously luxe lounge wear. There’s little I love more than a lazy day in my pajamas, but when you can look this damn gorgeous while you’re at it? I firmly believe in having nice things to make yourself feel beautiful, even when you’re sleeping, and I don’t think there’s anyone who does it better.

They’re also stocked by Clique Arcade, who I LOVE.

Strange Lane

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I love the girls at Strange Lane for their slightly out-of-the-box range, and hilarious, body positive Instagram (they try to use size 10-12 models). Their ‘Okay but first, coffee’ tee has my name allll over it.

Floral State

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Floral State has quickly become my favourite florist for their bright, cheerful posies. As a bonus, they come in a lovely jar, so you don’t have to worry about them wilting in the heat! Order before 11am for same day delivery.

WPN Wear

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Perth lad Daniel Jones has developed an awesome range of men’s active wear, for those who go hard. For all those Crossfit junkie out there, the extra stretch shorts look like a winner! There’s also a Kickstarter, if you’re out to stretch your dollar further.

Get Ya Fix

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If you’re one of the many asking Santa for a bike this Christmas, the guys from Get Ya Fix have you covered. Stocking beautiful fixies, the guys will kit you up while you carb-load in their rather excellent cafe.

Once Upon A Run

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West Coast Fever badass Shae Brown and her West Coast Eagle husband Mitch Brown have developed a line of awesome activewear that looks so good, I almost want to take up running. Almost. There is also a ‘push up’ store at Claremont Quarter.

Maslow & Co

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Subscription boxes are the gift that keeps on giving, and the beautiful new start-up Maslow & Co are no exception. Bi-monthly beauty boxes full of Australian goodness? Sign me up!
Note: You can buy just one as a gift

Sweet Little Box 

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Sweet Little Box is another subscription, but this one delivers you (almost) everything you need to make delectable baked goods, and then decorate it like a pro. I have a box due any day now, and I can’t wait!
Note: You can buy just one as a gift.

Olly’s Box

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Why should your four-legged friend miss out? The team from Olly’s Box deliver you a stash of awesome doggie treats, toys and accessories. Best of all, part proceeds go to dog shelters and charities across the country. P.S. Their Instagram feed? Full of adorable puppies. Get on that.
Note: You can buy just one as a gift.

Monstrositea

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Did you know that everyone’s oh-shit-back-up gift T2 is owned by Woolies? Because they are. So, if you want to love local, I firmly get behind Katherine’s gorgeous venture. Monstrositea have a special Christmas tin this year, where you can order a black/green or herbal tin (or a bit of everything, if you’re unsure) with a strainer, to have all your bases covered. They also offer some of my favourite packaging. Easy!

Also check out this piece on all the upcoming summer awesome. Perhaps your friends and family might like tickets to the Rooftop Cinema? The Lion King? Piaf?

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There are also PLENTY of upcoming markets:

If there are other events or businesses I should know about/include, PLEASE put them in the comments!

All images via their respective Instagrams, and links to websites are in bold.

What I Love | Brendan Owens Edition

Guys, I’m about to introduce you to someone pretty bloody special.

Everyone, meet Brendan Owens. Brendan is someone who’s work (read: brownies) is something I admire greatly (read: eat often). BUT, the man does more than a kick ass brownie.

I can’t stress to you enough how brilliant it is to have someone of this calibre kicking around town. I don’t know about you, but I like my sweets a little bit fun. What makes Brendan interesting is that he’s trained under the people who matter in the pastry scene, so he’s got all of those beautiful classic elements down, but he’s also kept a rough edge which keeps it from being boring.

I met Brendan during his tenure at The Flour Factory – if you follow me in Instagram, you saw me eating macarons and lemon curd tarts for breakfast most days. You can find him now at Rochelle Adonis in Highgate, creating dishes for what I’m pretty sure is a rite of passage for women of Perth – their signature (and incredible) high tea.

What I Love – Brendan Owens Edition

Image via Scoop Magazine

Image via Scoop Magazine

Who are you/what do you do?

My name is Brendan Owens, and I’m a pastry chef from Perth. I’ve worked at 2am Dessert Bar and 2am Lab in Singapore under Janice Wong, and more recently was the head pastry chef for Vue de Monde in Melbourne between 2012-2014. My previous record in Perth sits with The Weld Club for my apprenticeship, as well as Restaurant Amuse, Rochelle Adonis Cakes and Confections, and Mrs S Cafe.

Why Perth?

Originally my stomping ground, but I had to leave. Otherwise, you will get stuck in the same routine and kitchens. The travel and experience of international and high-end kitchens are the only way to find out who and what you want to be behind the stoves. The Perth food scene has always been a little behind, but these days it has made a massive change and is finding its feet; becoming the city is should be, with the food and bar scene it needs. We have the best weather and lifestyle, so that also swayed the decision to come home.

Image via Brendan's Instagram

Image via Brendan’s Instagram

What/who inspires you?

Depends on the day, really! I have a fair focus on street art, I like to randomly select colours and then attach flavours which end up on the testing table, adding additions like smoke, nitro and ice. Mentors are always having some form of inspiration and impact on style for me. As a rule, I want to work with the best in my field. These people are legends in their own right:

  1. Janice Wong from 2am Dessert Bar/Alinea
  2. Andres Lara
  3. Anthony Hart from Don’t Lose Your Temper/ex Vue executive pastry chef & Press Club/Alinea
  4. Rochelle Adonis

On a daily basis, I make something with their influence – kind of like the old angel/devil on each shoulder. Of course, there are other big players in the pastry world that I follow – Stupak, Underwood, Raquel, Khan, Campbell.

Your dream food day?

No truffles, caviar or anything wanky! It can vary, from being in Singapore, searching for the best chicken rice, to doing a pub crawl with Shannon Bennett and the lads from Modernist Cuisine and Chef Steps through Seattle, starting at 8pm and ending up at some pizza joint at 4am.

The best food day that I hardly remember though, was my leaving lunch from Vue de Monde. I was with 3 great friends, there was 15 courses, 20 wines, 16 negronis… Lunch started at 12:30pm, finished at 6pm, then we sat in the bar on those negronis with bar snacks, finally finishing up at 400 Gradi with 6 margherita pizzas.

What ingredient makes everything better?

Valrhona Opalys 33% White

Image via Brendan's Instagram

Image via Brendan’s Instagram

What’s the best thing you ate recently?

An impromptu barbecue at a fellow chef’s house, consisting of dry aged wagu over bichutan charcoal and kipflers with bernaise… Totally bogan but done super classy. And beers.

Where do you love to go to eat? 

For an amazing dinner: Clarkes of North Beach. Clarky does the food I love to eat, Wayne knows how to respect good wine and the rest of the team out there are pushing on, day in, day out. For a great pub: Wayside Inn, South Melbourne. Just good, honest pub food, a full restaurant with an empty bar. I didn’t get it when I went in there the first time, but I did when I left though. For a wonderful café: Mrs. S.

Where do you love to hang out?

Generally on a weekend, in the early morning I’ll be chasing a wave either in Perth or down south with the lads. Surfing is a past time and a lifestyle. Otherwise, Bunnings. For some reason, I always find myself there. Usually the sausage sizzle after the beach leads me to Bunnings, and then to the sprinkler aisle or something.

Brendan at work - Image via Rochelle Adonis Instagram

Brendan at work – Image via Rochelle Adonis Instagram

What’s your favourite thing right now?

MAPLE BACON + PRETZEL + SALTED CARAMEL DOUGHNUTS (Bri note: I tried one of these, and they were incredible. Worth being obsessed over!)

What are you looking forward to?

I have a couple of short trips lined up to Melbourne, Sydney, Singapore and Tokyo coming up, so they are playing quite heavily on my research for eating drinking and who I’m catching up with.

Head & Heart | February

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:

Support. Last week was one of those weeks. It was manic busy, incredibly stressful, and just hard. Find your tribe. They make your world better.

 The person who’s responsible for this. It’s my new standard for mind blowing adorable.

The person who sent me this, because this is pretty much going to happen, and he doesn’t find that weird about me.

Grown up

 

What I’ve been thinking about:

Doughnuts. Because, always doughnuts. What would be your dream flavour?

Love this post (and all of her work) by Elise from I Fucking Love Science to celebrate the really cool discoveries by women in science that you probably didn’t know anything about. Fuck yeah!

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What I’m excited for:

RAIN. Please, please, please, please, please, rain.

Stationery. I was given some gorgeous stuff by Kelsie from K Gets Organised, and I’m pretty sure she’s unleashed my inner monster. I need pads! books! pens!

The new Avengers movie. I’m a massive nut for Marvel, and I’m pretty sure 100 of these views are from me alone. 7 weeks to go!

The Good Food Month Night Noodle Market. Photos from the events over East flood my Instagram when it’s on, and my jealousy knows no bounds. I’m pretty keen to see what the guys from Lucky Chan’s can do in the lead up to their opening, as well as stuffing my face with Low Key Chow House’s mantou buns (which is the best thing on their menu). It runs from 18-29 March, from 5pm on weekdays and 4pm on weekends, in the Perth Cultural Centre (around the Library and Art Gallery). The event is free, and dishes cost less than $14. Woooo!

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New Openings:

  • Max + Sons
    The gorgeous, light-filled coffee shop that is just what 140 William needed! They serve 5 Senses coffee (using a gorgeous Synesso machine) and doughnuts by my dough-bros at Top Dup.
  •  Asado
    I attended their launch recently, and was impressed by their beautiful space, the quality of their meat (I tend to walk into barbecue joints with slightly low expectations, because it’s hard to get right) and the lovely attitude of their staff. I haven’t had a chance to get back, but I assure you, it’s on the cards.
  • The Old Laundry
    A new haunt on Angove Street. I haven’t gotten there yet, but I’ve heard lovely things from multiple sources.
  •  Sauma
    A pretty gorgeous Indian restaurant on the corner of William and Francis Streets (next to Lot 20), Sauma is a welcome addition to one of my favorite strips. I hear the servings are veeeery generous, so take a group to get a good taste of the menu.
  • The Modern Eatery
    Some seriously fancy looking Japanese has come to Freo. Check out Miss Eats a Lot for her review.

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What I’ve been doing:

The recent long weekend saw me down south (I’m sticking to my promise of more time out), which was amazing as always. Vasse Felix. Morries Anytime. UGH, FANTASTIC. From here on in, I’m putting miso butter on everything.

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I finally won my office bake-off. I’ve been competing against Alex from Little Red’s Cupcakes for 3 years, and at long last, I am triumphant. My savoury dish kinda sucked, but panna cotta lamingtons saved the day! You can get the recipe here, and it’s bloody fantastic. It’s not hard at all, you just have to be organised.

My new day job has a more political skew, and has introduced me to my new addiction: Parliamentary Question Time. It’s like your favourite reality TV soap opera. I love it. There’s yelling and petty name calling and it’s amazing.

I’m only 1 million years too late, but The West Wing. I love you, CJ. And Rob Lowe.

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 What I’ve been reading:

The Obsession issue of Lucky Peach. This piece on making gnocchi is a beautiful read.

I’ve got my hands on copies of Bad Feminist and Trigger Warning. I’m going to build a pillow fort and hide for a couple of days while I devour them.

This post from my friend Michelle at Foodie Cravings.

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What I’ve been spending money on:

Of course, I came home from my weekend down south laden with goodies from Providore, the Margaret River Chocolate Factory, Bahen and Co and Olio Bello.

Flowers from Debra Hayes Floral.

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I swear, I start nesting in the lead up to winter. I’m all about homewares right now. Blankets! Pillows! Vases! A Cup of Chic is responsible for most of my current lust list.

More Cards Against Humanity (I bought booster packs), because I love this game. From Planet Books, if you’re looking.

 

Tell me about your month. What’s news?

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?

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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What I Love – Michael Munroe Edition

A couple of years ago, I stumbled across a news article on my morning commute to work. Something about a new coffee shop opening in the Perth CBD, with a super fancy machine? My regular café was closed and I was desperate for coffee, so the finer details were a little lost on me.

One foot inside Standing Room Only, and I realised I wasn’t in Kansas any more. These guys take their Third Wave coffee very seriously.

Syphons, cold drips, pour-overs and filters all become very easy to understand because Michael and his team take the time to make things very, very simple. Nothing is too much trouble for these guys – trust me, I rocked up prior to their lunch rush with 6 food bloggers, their cameras and a million questions during Eat Drink Blog last year, and not a eyelid was batted. The girls came away with a heart full of caffeine-induced palpitations and a brain full of knowledge.

And if all of these things still isn’t your jam – they’re not going to scoff at you should you order a latte with 2 sugars – they’re all about the love.

Putting it as simply as I know how – I’d get behind anything Michael puts his name to. It’s all good.

What I Love with Michael Munroe

 

Who are you/what do you do?
I am Michael Munroe and I am the Head of Coffee for Addison & Steele Specialty Coffee (North Perth) and Standing Room Only (CBD).
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Image: Michael Munroe Twitter

Why Perth?
While most may look to Melbourne in search for delicious coffee (and they maybe somewhat right) what I love about Perth is that it is up and coming. There is so much potential for this city and it’s hospitality industry. It is truly exciting to be part of that.
Addison & Steele

Addison & Steele

Where did your love of coffee come from? 
Throughout my last couple years of school I worked a Sunday job at my parents café (now ex-café). Here I got a taste of cafe work and began to be exposed to making coffee. It got pretty exciting and I found myself searching the city for delicious coffee to experience and interesting people to learn from. After school I moved to Melbourne and scored a job with Sensory Lab and was exposed to a whole new world of coffee I had never seen. I tasted my first incredible coffee (Syphon with Panama Don Pachi Geisha) and fell in love at that moment. If I could wake up everyday and make something that tasted this delicious, then life was going to pretty sweet…. pun intended.
 
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You just placed 3rd in the Australian Brewers Championship (high five!) –  How do you feel about Perth’s growing coffee scene? 
During this competition I spent a solid week working with and learning from the incredible team at Small Batch Coffee Company. They exposed me to what they were doing and how they were thinking (coffee wise) in Melbourne. What I loved was how involved the public were interested and involved.
Right now Perth has some great baristas, managers and coffee institutions and I feel they are all somewhat taken for granted. We are producing some great coffee in some beautiful cafes, and as soon as we get the involvement with more of the public and they accept they don’t need to go all the way to Melbourne for good coffee we are going to have a thriving scene just like Melbourne. (I would like to note that this is a generalisation and I want to send shout outs to all our awesome customers at both shops who continue to support our business and ideas!)
I also believe that as soon as mainstream media decides to support its own city and all that it has to offer rather than focusing on dramatised pricing figures and other related negatives, the growth of our industry will be unstoppable!
Overall Perth is showing great potential to become the next coffee destination, I am excited for more people to get involved with our industry resulting in a flourishing caffeinated scene!
Your dream food day?
A day in Mexico. Eating delicious, raw food, drinking tequila and taking siestas. Couldn’t ask for a better day.
What’s the best thing you ate recently?
Probably the Beef Short Rib or Duck Bao I had at Melbourne’s new restaurant ‘Supernormal’. It was delicious, and Heston Blumenthal who was sitting next to us seemed happy with it!
 
Where do you love to go to eat?
El Publico I believe is doing some of the best Mexican food in Australia right now and I never turn down an outing there. The food is delicious, the tequila list is stella and service is top notch. Oh and it’s a 2 minute walk from me. Winning.
Where do you love to hang out?
You’ll find me slinging shots at Addison & Steele most days of the week, we also do a lot of staff training and public tastings so I am there a lot. And I love it. Coffee, beautiful fit out, great staff and customers – the ultimate hangout.
 
What’s your favourite thing right now?
My VST Refractometer. It’s a coffee nerds most useful tool. Basically it reads a sample of my brewed coffee and helps me work how much I am extracting from the coffee. I can then adjust my recipe to make sure and I am not over or under extracting and instead hitting the desired sweet spot.
What inspires you?
The idea of being the best I can be. Obviously there are people and events in the coffee industry (and outside of it) that inspire me but in the end this is all channeled to being the best I can be. This is applied both in career and personal life.
What are you looking forward to in 2014? 
I the beginning of the year I declared this was going to be a huge year. Already at nearly the halfway point it has been hectic and so much has happened. Some of the things I am looking forward to now include roasting our own coffee at Addison & Steele (happening soon!), competitions in November and new hospitality institutes opening!
Want to know more? Check out this post from Juji Chews and these beautiful photos from DineWhitMe and Wildest of Dreams.
 Addison and Steele also debuted a new menu last week well worth checking out!