Archive for the 'Coffee and cake' Category

MKR Sundays

Headed into the city this weekend for some shopping.

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Tried the coffee @Moana (Hay Street mall) which shot coffee lover chills up my spine. Darn it, I thought I had downgraded my caffeine addiction due to the lack of good coffee in East Perth but Moana made me so sad that I’m not working in the city anymore. Moana is a quaint little cafe too, I will be returning.

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Pork Belly ramen from Zen (Subiaco) which we went eons ago because they were the one of two Japanese restaurants in Perth that served uni (sea urchin). Sadly they no longer serve uni and the restaurant was quite disappointing. R found his ramen pretty tasty but Andy thought it was similar to instant noodles (oops).
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Another Gordon Ramsay recipe, Morrocan lamb with sweet potato and raisins. I am surprisingly finding Gordon Ramsay’s recipes quite easy to follow, I should have reduced the stock a lot more and it was a tad too salty, but I can imagine myself doing it again because one pot meals are so handy!

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My foolproof teriyaki chicken and mushrooms with tamagoyaki lunch bento :). Hope the work week goes by quick!

Elies Tent, Venn and Crispy Chicken

This was a couple Saturday nights ago when R had a long day at work and ended up falling asleep once he got home.
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By the time he woke up, it was rather late and we didn’t have many places to choose from. In the end we tried Elies Tent which is a lebanese restaurant in Victoria Park which we’ve passed by many times but never tried. It ended up being a good choice because the restaurant was quiet and we got this corner all to ourselves.
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I spotted a belly dancer  poster on their door and commented to R that we had probably missed the belly dancing since we were so late. But to our delight, at the start of our meal, the vivacious and friendly belly dancer appeared. She was a talented lady too and came by to chat with us later.

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We ordered the Maza for Two banquet ($35 per person) and it was fun when all this spread turned up. Hummus(chickpea) and mutabbal(eggplant) dips and fetta cheese which we had with lebanese bread. I actually enjoyed the mutabbal a lot which had this strong roasted eggplant flavour. We also had falafel which came out piping hot and was very tasty.

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Tabbouleh, which was a refreshing salad but I think they should have added more  ingredients, this one perhaps had too much parsley and not much else.

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Chicken and beef shish kebab. Nothing special but grilled meat on a stick 🙂

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Seasoned rice with shawarma lamb and chicken, the meat pieces were very tender and nicely spiced and lemony. R and I were getting very full by this time.

Would I return to Elies Tent? I’m not sure as I don’t think R is a big fan of Lebanese cuisine, but it was definitely nice to have something out of the ordinary and at a nice, cosy family restaurant.

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Breakfast at Venn’s in the city. I love the high ceilings and secluded feel of this hidden breakfast spot.

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Breakfast at Venn wasn’t great, this mushrooms with poached egg and toast was too salty.

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I probably should have stuck to good ol’ jam and butter with toast.

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We were really unlucky during our last Sunday brekkie hunt. All the places we went to were either closed or too full etc. So somehow we ended up at the popular Tuckshop which only required a 10 minute wait. This was my smoked cod gratin which came with a cheese toasty. The gratin was rich and packed with seafood flavour, rather like a seafood chowder, but a bit heavy for me especially paired with a cheese toasty.

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Lots of fun things happening in the city! I liked their makeshift beach with giant tv screen of rolling waves in the middle of the city.

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We discovered this 360 degrees poultry roaster gadget and couldn’t resist buying it. You know how one side of your roast chickens sticks to the tray and you end up ripping the skin when you try to flip it over? This gadget solves all your non crispy skin problems because it roasts the bird standing up.

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The result of our roast chicken, more crispy skin but the meat wasn’t as tender as usual, maybe I left it too long in the oven to get the full golden brown effect.

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Three kinds of roasted sweet potatoes, they included the normal golden sweet potatoes, my favourite purple skinned white fleshed variety and a new white skinned but purple flesh variety given to us by Gerry, very nice too.
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Baking for our work morning tea, nectarine and almond cake. Tristan’s first birthday party is coming up this weekend so lots of cooking will be involved this weekend. I’m hoping I get well from my bout of migraine and overall dizziness this week, wish me luck!

Daitaoha’s hen afternoon tea @ The Sassy Cookie

It’s been so long since I last blogged that it feels all wrong.

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Roast pork that I made recently. It’s all about pork belly in my household.

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Indonesian dessert of pulut hitam a.k.a. black glutinous rice with coconut cream.

The reason why I haven’t been blogging because it has been completely mad at work. I’ve been so busy that I even forgot about my own hen’s afternoon tea (=*_______*=).

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But luckily I made it  because it was a delicious afternoon tea with some of my favourite girlfriends. Afternoon tea was at The Sassy Cookie ($39 pp), we’ve never noticed it even though it’s right in our neighbourhood because it’s hidden in suburban Vic Park. Can’t start a hen’s afternoon tea without a glass of bubbly and cute cookies right?

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First course was a range of club sandwiches with fillings such as smoked salmon and aioli, chicken, pear and walnut, egg and dill, spinach and herb butter. My favourite was the chicken, pear and walnut.

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Savoury tarts. I tried the parmesan tarts with capsicum, artichoke and mascarpone.

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I am going to try baking scones one day. These mini scones were cranberry scones and date, orange and walnut scones. Came with rose petal butter, orange blossom butter, cranberry conserve, apricot conserve and chantilly cream. I liked the cranberry scones with the cranberry conserve and cream best.

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We all thought that these chocolate tulip petal cheesecakes were very pretty and clever. The apple pie with honey macadamia ice cream was a huge hit with the girls.

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Mixed berry shottie (really berry jellies) with macarons. By this time we were all suffering from sugar overdose and so I found the macarons a tad sweet. Luckily we had a wide selection of flowery and fragrant teas to was down all the sugar.

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Loved the cosiness and decor of The Sassy Cookie. I always enjoy afternoon teas because they’re so girly, fun and best of all, filled with sweet treats :). My hen’s afternoon tea was even better because of all my lovely girlfriends (and my favorite little man who was so good that day and pampered by all the aunties) who attended the event. It was a relaxing celebration, thank you muchly to Jo and Gill for organising, you guys are the best.

The Sassy Cookie Perth
(08) 9361 0979
sue@thesassycookie.com.au
41 Duncan Street
Victoria Park 6100

Day 11 London: Afternoon tea at The Wolseley

It was a much anticipated afternoon tea, just us sisters. Poor baby and Papa Andy were left at home.

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First we went shopping (more like window shopping) at London’s famous Bond Street (New and Old). This shopping street is well known for it’s luxury stores selling designer goods. This is where you go for all the big names.

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This store was our real target of the day.

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The famous and historic luxury hotel The Ritz London.

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Hallways of the Ritz .

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Entrance to The Wolseley. This grand building was built in the 1920s and was originally used as a prestigious car showroom.

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Who knew it would be perfect as a grand tearoom? It was like stepping back in time.

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We were blown away by the  three tiered cake stand laden with delicate pastries, finger sandwiches and scrumptious scones. We all had our individual pots of tea, I had the English breakfast.

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And it wasn’t even just one cake stand, we had two!

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Our scones were kept warm by a food cover. They were the best scones I’ve ever had, lovely crisp crust, not overly dense, warm.

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They were perfect spread with clotted cream and strawberry jam. We actually managed to finish all our scones, and we had half a dozen!

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Dainty finger sandwiches that were so cute and light. If I remember correctly, we had cucumber sandwiches, goat cheese and celery sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches and smoked salmon sandwiches.

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Selection of pastries included the English Battenberg cake (the check pattern cake covered with marzipan), Opera cake (the one with layers), Queen Victoria sponge cake, a raspberry fruit tart, a cheesecake and an eclair.

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All the cakes were delicious (not a fan of the Battenberg though). Jan really liked the fruit tart which had surprisingly light, my favourite was perhaps the Queen Victoria sponge cake which had jam hidden beneath the cream, it was yums.

It was a great outing and we sisters had lots of fun. Definitely one of the highlights of our trip.

The Wolseley
160 Piccadilly
London W1J 9EB
United Kingdom

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We were so stuffed after the afternoon tea but still managed to have mentaiko (spicy cod roe) pasta for dinner. So good. I wish we had mentaiko in Perth! I also wish Jan, Andy and Kaka lived in Perth so that we sisters could have afternoon tea all the time (^_^).

My favourite coffees in the CBD

The weekend started great this morning with a coffee at 868 Gourmet which is just a hop, skip and jump away from home.

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The coffee was quite strong and a little too hot but I still enjoyed it.

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They use 5 senses beans at 868 which is my preferred roaster.

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Before working in the city, my favourite beverage in the world would probably be the Hongkong style milk tea. Actually, I still love my milk teas and chinese teas , but coffee is a firm favourite as well.  There’s lots I miss about being in the city, sometimes it is dicovering a quiet, empty lane hidden in the middle of the hustle and bustle.

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The mix of old and new buildings.

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Checking out the latest restaurants, cafes and shops popping up all over the city. This new coffee shop Basilica opened up during my last week at work in the city along with other shops all located in close vicinity to the impressive BHP Billiton skyscraper. I did try Basilica coffee before I left but it wasn’t fantastic.

I knew that I wanted to do a post on my favourite coffees in the city before leaving. So with Jo’s borrowed camera in hand,  I had a coffee every day for the entire week!

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Tartine was my most frequented coffee joint in the city  since it opened up right below my office building about a year ago. This place not only serves consistently good coffee (they use 5 senses) but have lovely belgian hot chocolates too. The tarts and pastries here are also delectable, with our favourite being their white chocolate and macadamia muffins plus their light brownies.

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The team at  Tartine are always cheery and passionate about their coffee as you can tell by their handwritten smileys on the takeaway cup. Everytime a coffee spills over the top, the barista will say ‘the coffee’s excited to see you!’ The only downside to Tartine, the prices are on the higher side with a large coffee going for $5.50, but to be fair, their large coffees are really quite large!

Tartine
72 St Georges Tce
Perth

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I’ve blogged many times about Velvet and how much I love the coffees at this place. This cafe is what started my love affair with coffee. I still remember my then manager saying ‘there’s this lovely little cafe nearby…’ . Velvet is so popular with the office crowd that the downside is the long wait (around 10 – 15 mins) during rush hour. A normal sight in the morning along King Street is the line of patient caffeine loving folks queing out of the cafe. But trust me, it is worth the wait.

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No matter how busy they are, I can’t really remember a coffee that I’ve had here which hasn’t been good, velvety (pun intended) with gorgeous chocolate notes (they use 5 senses too) at the end. Every time I forget how good a nicely made coffee is, I have a hit of Velvet and my mind just goes ‘ahhh… now I remember’. The coffee prices here have been slowly creeping up too (as is the whole of Perth) with a regular (which is actually quite a small cup) going for $4.20. The service is not particularly friendly but quick and efficient. I only wished they were open on weekends SIGH.

Velvet Espresso
172 St Georges Ter Shop 5
Perth, WA 6000

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Before Tartine opened up, this was also one of my usual haunts. The guys at Ristretto Espresso take their coffee very very seriously., they source and roast their own beans.  Located in the alley of a small arcade, this place is really a ‘hole in the wall’ and not one for a cafe ambience. They have their own fans as well (another branch in Howard Street) and it can be a little wait during peak hours.

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Their coffee prices are also on the higher side but at least you won’t be getting burnt milk here, coffees are strong, smooth and best of all, consistent.

Ristretto Espresso
160 Central Arcade
160 St Georges Terrace
Perth WA 6000

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Greenhouse created a stir in Perth when it opened a few years ago. It was lauded for its innovative design, recycling greenhouse theme. Not to mention the up and coming chef Matt Stone with his award winning menu. But that was back in its hey day, nowadays I hear Greenhouse is still largely popular but the service standards has dropped incredibly.

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Luckily, the coffees here ($4 for regular if I remember correcly) are still consistently good (they use Fiori beans hence a more intense, stronger flavour) and I found myself trekking to Greenhouse quite often despite it being further down the Terrace from my workplace.They also have nice looking savoury muffins and tarts on offer during breakfast and best of all, remains open during the weekends, woohoo!

Greenhouse
100 St Georges Terrace
Perth WA 6000

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I left the best for the last (^____^). The one and only Lowdown. I have to admit, I er.. kinda prefer Velvet coffees *small voice* over Lowdown coffees only because Lowdown uses Fiori beans and I’ve always been partial towards 5 senses which are more mild on my tastebuds. BUT… Lowdown makes the best Fiori coffees in town because their coffees are always excellent, strong and creamy (and the boys make gorgeous latte art too).

When my workplace moved further down the Terrace, my first thought was ‘oh no,further away from Lowdown’. When I was contemplating going back to my old workplace, my first thought was ‘yes! daily Lowdown coffees!’ So why do I love this place so much? It’s the groovy barista brothers whom are not overly cheery but friendly,polite and just so charming. They make the effort of remember every customer’s name, call out ‘thank you xxx’ before handing the customer their coffee with a gentle smile. Good service goes such a long way.

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It’s also their affordable prices, despite being so popular ( downside is the long wait but hey, at least they pump out lovely music over their radio), their prices have never gone up and a regular coffee is $3.50. And such good coffee too SIGH. Plus, their baked muffins are a treat, I love it that they don’t serve the normal apple and cinnamon, but have lovely combinations like lemon and ricotta muffins, dark chocolate and pear muffins. their muffins are always served warm (why don’t Perth cafes do that nowadays?) and have a slight crunch on the exterior but are moist and light on the inside.

Just thinking of Lowdown makes me feel so sad that I’m no longer in the CBD. If only they opened a branch in East Perth or even on the weekends, I would willingly trek into the city every weekend for a Lowdown hit. I’m just glad I was there to witness the arrival and the rise of Lowdown, they deserve the accolades. This is quality coffee and quality service at its best.

Lowdown Espresso
Shop 16a Cloisters Arcade
865 Hay Street

Wake me up when May is over

Sigh, now that the Easter holidays are over, I’m really lacking in mojo in work and in my studies. It doesn’t help that May is crunch time for me, the work environment has never been more depressing, and my studyload is sky high.

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Luckily the Easter hols was a really good break and I managed to cut some to-do chores from my long list. For example, I finally planted some flowers and plants in my garden! My little garden is proudly sporting a lime tree and a dwarf peach tree, I hope they bear fruit in the future :).

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After a hard day of gardening (R not me) in the sun, it’s nice to have a late afternoon snack of instant noodles and an icy cold drink.

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A double date with the cute couple at Chimes and my first try at a Banoffee Pie, bananas and toffee are good match (^_^).

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New lunch bento item, butter chicken with basmati rice, yums. I don’t really like Indian food but butter chicken is one yummy curry.

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Sarawak laksa for Easter. We made a huge pot and freezed most of the stock for future laksa cravings. I am really loving my chest freezer, one of my best buys ever. At least the weekend is here, I must stop procrastinating and work doubly hard at my assignments. Wish me luck!

2 weeks blitz

It’s been more than a week since my last blog post! It definitely wasn’t due to lack of blogging material (I still have so many food places that I haven’t blogged about not to mention the Japan posts which have been overdue for a year *gulp*), I think I’ve just been feeling a little blue due to work. But at least the Easter holidays are almost here! I can’t wait.

This post merges my past two weekend eating. Last last weekend, we went to the trendy Venn for breakfast. I would probably never have discovered Venn (even though it’s so near work) if it wasn’t for Jaso. I don’t know how he finds out about all these up and coming places but he’s a great source of foodie information.

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It’s worth going to Venn just to check out the gorgeous architecture and interior design of the building. The old flour mill factory is split into three stories, the ground level being the art studio, street level being the shop (selling cool and expensive knick knacks) and the bar/cafe, and the second level being an art gallery. I really liked how they made use of the light and the tall ceilings, it was a comfortable and airy space.

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Back to the food, the breakfast menu wasn’t extensive so there wasn’t much to choose from. Both Jaso and HC has the poached eggs on toast which came out looking very healthy and green. Nothing spectacular but not bad at all.

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Calv and I both had the roast beef bagel. I don’t know why, maybe it’s the mysterious hole in the middle, but I really like bagels. This bagel was one of the best bagels I’ve had in Perth, it was soft without being too soft, chewy and yet had a crispy lightly toasted exterior. Cal and I really enjoyed our bagel.

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The coffee was good. Pretty milk patterns are always a plus (^___^). All in all, a good find so thanks for the recommendation Jas.

Venn
16 Queen Street
Perth, WA 6000 Australia

While I usually plan my dinner and lunch venues ahead(this includes checking out the menu and already choosing what I’m going to have), sometimes unplanned foodie adventures can be the best.

The couple Jason and Wendy were the ones that introduced me to Chime. They told us about how they planned to go to Chime restaurant  for lunch, but since it was not open, they ended up heading across the road to Phi Yen for good Vietnamese instead.

It was the exact opposite scenario for us. We headed to Phi Yen for some pho, but the restaurant was busy and the waitresses didn’t bother to serve us. So we headed across the road to Chime for lunch instead! The restaurant itself is located in the newly refurbished Northbridge Hotel, it was a lazy Sunday afternoon and we were the only table besides a couple of ladies enjoying a bottle of wine and a late lunch.

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R had the premium sirloin with mash and pepper sauce. The steak was more medium than medium rare in some places, but otherwise the pepper sauce was tasty with the steak.

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Even before my caramelised pork belly arrived, the two ladies sitting behind us who both ordered the pork belly were already making ‘mmmm’ sounds with every bite. It was quite funny. The asian style pork belly came with yellow turmeric rice and condiments like fried shallots, chilli vinegar sauce. The rice itself wasn’t heavily spiced and lacked taste, but that was fine because the pork belly was richly flavoured, sweet, beautifully caramelized, sticky and chewy. A heavily spiced turmeric rice would have overpowered the taste of the pork belly.

It really was delicious and a sinful indulgence. In hindsight, I think the flavours were a little bit too intense and strong, causing me to feel rather thirsty afterwards, but I could totally understand why the ladies were making ‘mmm’ sounds throughout their meal.

With a buy one main get one main free deal from our entertainment card, it was a great deal and a surprisingly lovely lunch.
Chime Restaurant
210 Lake Street, Northbridge, Western Australia 6003
(cnr Brisbane Street)

marinana

Cooking from last weekend. This was Penne Marinara which I tossed with fish fillets, mussels and prawns.

pork belly

The pork belly from Chimes was so nice that it inspired me to cook pork belly the next day. Mine was nothing like Chimes though and very Malaysian with the usual soy sauce, star anise flavours.

wing

Sometimes simple meals like stir fried broccolli and carrots with grilled chicken wings can be nice for dinner. My chicken wings were marinated with hoisin sauce, honey and five spice powder.

plum

We received a whole bagful of plums during the weekend. Not eating them fast enough, I decided to use them in a dessert tonight, the only problem with Plum Tarte Tatin? They’re not as pretty as Pear tarte tatin or apples.

Two more days to Easter and counting!


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