What can I say? I love sweets, in all shapes and sizes! You only live once, so why not indulge once in a while? Or, in my case, most of the time...
For me, this summer has been the Summer of Seafood. I think it actually started last summer when I got quite ill on a road trip and, against all logical thought, all I craved was fat juicy prawns. I dreamed of cracking their thin shell and peeling out the soft white flesh, dipping it in a tangy sauce and gobbling them up. All year, I have been thinking about summer and prawns. Somehow I made it all the way through Christmas and new year without indulging. My family has never done a seafood christmas (a tradition i’m keen to adopt in the future though!) so it wasn’t until the first few weeks of January that I was able to start thinking about when I would be able to get my hands on these little suckers.
I had already planned to go up to Palm Beach for a swim sometime and serendipitously hubs saw a photo on facebook that showed a huge bucket of prawns at a restaurant at Palm Beach. The website and facebook page were sufficiently fun and quirky to warrant a lunch trip to Cranky Fins Holidae Inn. I always plan to go to the beach in the morning as the afternoon summer sun in Australia is so damn strong that I always get burnt no matter how much sunscreen I put on. There is also the added bonus that the beaches always seem less crowded before lunch so its easy to park and there are fewer people in the water which makes frolicking so much more fun! Hubs and I arrived around 11 which gave us enough time for a relaxing swim and a little bit of sunbaking before lunch. Crankys opens at noon so after our swim and sun we sauntered over around and snagged a booth inside.
Bucket of fresh local tiger prawns with salad, cocktail sauce and lemon ($39)
I was so happy when my bucket of tiger prawns came out that I did a little dance in my seat. These were exactly the big fleshy crustaceans that I had been dreaming of all summer. Absolutely delicious! They also came with a light salad and a little pot of that seafood sauce that has no business being so tasty. I think that the huge bucket is supposed to be shared with a group but there was no way anyone other than me was getting to these babies!
While I got to work gleefully cracking open prawn shells, hubs tucked into a fish burger. I’m not really a fan but he wolfed it down and hovered up the chips. I’m pretty sure that is a clear vote of approval! Overall, our lunches were succulent and fresh which is what you need from seafood. The staff were all very friendly and the place had a relaxing vibe which means that we will definitely be back. (I have my eye on a couple of cocktails that I just couldn’t justify having for lunch not to mention the icecream sandwiches!)
1 Beach Road, Palm Beach
Phone: 02 9974 1159
I always feel ambivalent about the last few days of holidays. On the one hand, i’m dreading going back to work and all the last minute prep that I should have done earlier but didn’t. On the other, I know i’ll be reinvigorated by the students that I teach and seeing my creative and passionate colleagues again. But, there is one thing about the beginning of the new school year that always cheers me up (and I know, it is a little bit lame). I love organising my back to school kit. Being all prepared with my shiny new pens and notebooks makes me feel more capable of tackling the year ahead. So my Friday Favourites today focuses on a few things i’ve bought in the sales to prepare me to go back to school/work next week. Also, everything I bought I snapped up during the sales so i’m feeling pretty thrifty! In the aftermath of The Wedding, thrifty is the name of the game.
A few little stationary items from Kikki K
The sales at Kikki K are always pretty good and now that they’re expanded into home wares it’s taken all my strength to stick with just stationary. Of course, I bought all the pink note books as well as the cute little phone case which is super smooth and pretty. Hubs bought me the little leather pencil case for my birthday last year and, while I wont use it for work I will definitely use it for uni as I don’t want to lug my huge work pencil case full of stamps and whiteboard markers all the way to uni and back a few nights a week.
This is a nutella bombolone.
Look at that ooze, that soft, yielding donut.
If you don’t want to go and get one of these babies right now, there is legitimately something wrong with you.
I know that this is an ambitious blog title, especially considering it is on January. Still, I stand by my call. At this little kiosk by the sea I had what i’m calling the dessert of 2015. I love a fancy dessert as much as the next girl but i’m a little bit over the finicky, frippery and mountain of elements that comes with many desserts at the moment. Sometimes less is more and being able to serve up an unquestionably delicious, simple dessert is the best skill in the universe. That’s what happened when hubs and I went to Chiosco by Ormeggio early in the new year.
We had been to Ormeggio for hubs’ birthday the month before and spied the casual dining kiosk across the jetty. We absolutely loved the dinner at Ormeggio (the dishes and cocktails were so damn tasty I didn’t even have the presence of mind to take photos to share with you) especially for celebrating a special occasion and so we thought that the casual nature of Chiosco would be perfect for a normal date night dinner. Damn straight it was.
fritto misto ($16) and daily fish crudo ($18)
As part of my new found commitment to blogging in 2015, I thought I would try to do a regular weekly post that called me out if I reverted to my slack ways and missed it. So today i’m bringing you the inaugural ‘Friday Favourites’ post where I have a chat about something i’m loving each week. This first one is a little bit exciting and close to my heart so I hope you enjoy it! P.S. all the photos on this post were taken by the wonderful Len from I Love Wednesdays. If you need a photographer, she is definitely the one to go with!
I remember meeting up with a friend after going on one of my first dates with my (now) hubs and saying to them “i’m going to marry that man”. I remember my friend looked incredulous and replied “now???” Well, maybe almost ten years later. I knew very early on in our relationship that this was the man that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. He was unlike any other man in my life. He was gentle and thoughtful, fun to talk with and our conversations were often characterised by long discussions about the merits of different methods of bacon preparation. We often spoke long into the night about our dream house with a full time bacon chef and enough garages to house all the vintage cars he wanted to own. Fast forward nine years and, while there was not a ten car garage or bacon chef in sight, all was well with the world when he proposed at sunrise on a quiet little beach that had a special significance to us both.
This is a public service announcement – anyone with who featured the words ‘diet’ or ‘health’ in their 2015 new years resolutions should close this window now. You have been warned.
Told you so.
I love the way that sweets are like fashion. There are staples that we rely on year in and year out. Those desserts that you know are delicious and will never let you down. Your little black dresses and chocolate cakes. Then you have your pretty young things which aren’t quite as chic and timeless but seem to stay popular amongst those who are young at heart. A little like ballerina skirts and desserts in cocktail glasses. And then you have your trends. Split into two categories, the first are those that are definitely fun while they last but often don’t suit the general population and tend to elicit a ‘what was I thinking?’ grimace upon reflection. Think hair mascara, bucket hats, most of the fashion of the 90s, neon and netting. Then there are some trends which, when done properly are possibly the best thing to have ever happened – ombre hair, high waisted shorts and the return of the peplum.
Remember the hit trends in sweets over the past decade? Ridiculously cute and well decorated cupcakes then light and much easier to eat macarons. These delicate desserts gave way to the oily but decadent frankensweet, the cronut (love child of the croissant and the donut. Where would this craziness end?
This year for hubs’ birthday, la nostra famiglia took us out to dinner at Chiswick in Woollahra. I know that this place has been around for ages so i’m sure you’ve all been already but this was a place that we had always driven past and said “oh how pretty, lets go there sometime!” and never really had. I scoped out the menu online to make sure that it wasn’t going to break the bank and it looked like exactly what we were after, nothing too fancy but delicious and well presented. We weren’t disappointed!
We were seated promptly at a roomy table and began with a pitcher of cocktails. I was impressed when they arrived at the table already poured into six glasses complete with fresh garnishes and there was still half a pitcher left over. This was a mix of gin, watermelon, lavender syrup, cucumber and lemon juice and was particularly refreshing during the hot summer evening we found ourselves in. The wait staff were excellent. Often a place is let down by the waiters (or often the management when they cut costs by understaffing then the poor waiters cant help you because they just don’t have the time) but the staff at Chiswick were exemplary. Our waiter was attentive and very helpful when we were trying to figure out if the share plates would feed all of us and which dishes would work best together.