eats

DON'T WORRY

DONUT 1Don't worry guys, I'm going to Melbourne at the end of the month so I'll definitely be able to try All Day Donuts. How could I not, after last week's important announcement? I mean, it's not the main reason I'm going, but it's an important part of the weekend. Mostly I'm excited about two full nights and three lovely days in that amazing town with my sister and one of my besties (and neither of their children). I haven't been in years and there is always SO DAMN MUCH happening. It really kicks Sydney's arse when it comes to places to eat and drink and go and shop. I'm taking recommendations for cafes and bars, if you have any to add. And don't think I won't be hitting the new APC store, either... DONUT 2DONUT 3

* Images by Nick Connellan for Broadsheet

FISH

20140414-211951.jpgMy folks came to Sydney for just a day and night this weekend. A last minute trip to ring in my uncle's 50th with him, but enough time for a special lunch with their middle girl before-hand. I'd been wanting to take them somewhere nice for a while, to say thanks for being so all-round, spoil-me-rotten, loving and generous. I'd also been wanting to try North Bondi Fish for months. And since seafood is my dad and my favourite, and the day was a stormy, grey mess, there was really no better place for it. We'd booked for two PM and got the last of the late afternoon rain, some glinty sun on the rough waves and a few glasses of wine at a table near the window. It was stunning. I'd wanted somewhere special and well-done, but not too fussy or fancy, preferably with a view of the water. And Fish was just that and then some. The service was professional but relaxed (my favourite kind), the wine list easy and delicious, and the food - ALL OF IT - so very good. My dad and I started with oysters, a salty mouthful of the ocean, and then we all shared some smoky seared scallops. For mains we had barramundi, chilli and garlic clams and the kingiest king prawns I've seen in a while. We shared broccolini and a big pile of hot chips and my mum and I complained how full and happy we were for the entire 20 minute drive home.

I'd love to see them more often, but there is something nice about an excuse for a lunch like that.

 

PICKLERY

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I stopped by Cornersmith this afternoon for a takeaway latte. It's one of Sydney's most special places - amazing and interesting food, strong coffee, lovely staff and a beautiful little feel, all smooth timber and stone floor and a herb garden in the back. It's also a few streets away from where my family live, so I try and stop by whenever I head out that way. I've been a fan for a long while now. And today I took advantage of their latest venture, a local Picklery, where they make and sell all kinds of pickles and preserves and chutneys. Good, old-fashioned, flavourful season-round eating. And I love pickles!

Firstly, I'm excited to put these guys into a grilled cheese, and just happened to have baked a loaf of bread early this morning so it's kind like the stars are aligning just for my sandwich. I used my favourite bread recipe (well, the only one I ever use because it is so dang easy), but lately I've been feeling inspired to challenge myself further. In matters of bread, I turn to Josey in SF. I love the way this guy writes, and I love the way he loves his bread. And he really knows his bread.

EAT YOUR GREENS

20140312-203726.jpgDon't let all the green in this picture fool you, what I cooked up on Monday night was nothing less than a fatty, cheesy, pile of love. I was having some of my cousins over for beer and cider and catch-ups. Half of them were back from South America, another from Indonesia and me just walked in the door from work (not that I'm jealous). To make up for lost time, I decided to make Ree's 'Fancy Mac'n'Cheese', which is a nice way of saying she jazzed it up with four different cheeses and golly but it worked. I opted out of the bacon, onion and mushrooms she uses because I had vegetarians and really, I just wanted to keep it classic. I served it up with a few bunches of smoky, grilled asparagus and a leaf, green apple and celery salad with my favourite dijon and cider vinegar dressing.

FANCY MAC'N'CHEESE

INGREDIENTS * 1 packet of macaroni * 4 tablespoons of butter * 1/4 cup of flour * 2 cups of milk *  2 eggs, beaten * 1/2 cup of grated parmesan * 1/2 cup of gruyere * 1/2 cup of fontina * a good hand-ful / crumbling of chevre (goat's cheese) * 1/4 cup of bread crumbs

METHOD Pre-heat the oven to 180 and cook the pasta until just undercooked, then drain and set aside. In a large pot (that is oven proof - I used my Le Creuset) melt the butter and whisk in the flour until you have a smooth, creamy paste - you're making a ROUX! Stir for a minute or so and gradually add the milk, stirring continuously. It will take between three and five minutes of constant stirring to thicken and start bubbling. Add some salt and pepper to season (I didn't use much salt, what with all that cheese). Beat the eggs in a small bowl, then slowly add a tablespoon of milk, stirring constantly. Add a couple more at the same pace, then slowly return the egg mixture back to the pot. Be careful here to pour slowly and stir constantly as you don't want the eggs to coddle. Once combined, add in the different cheeses, whisking as you go so the paste remains smooth and creamy. Leave aside a little of the gruyere and fontina for the top. Add in the macaroni and stir until all the pieces have a nice, thick covering of cheese and the texture is consistent. Add the additional cheese and some breadcrumbs to the top and place in the oven to bake for about twenty minutes.

LIKE MINDS

LIKE MINDS 4Like Minds is my kind of thing. It's a little space we found up on the Central Coast, just before Avoca Beach. I suppose it's a cafe / bar, but it was something about the feel of the place that just worked for me. Beautifully paired-back interior with a photography exhibition, a few favourite journals (Kinfolk, Gather, Oh Comely, Saturdays) and other local wares for sale, a nice big shared table, and a team of very sweet and fun staff. We sat outside in what felt like the backyard, on a rug under the shade of a tree, and on picnic tables beside the veggie garden. The food was lovely, the coffee strong and smooth, and my pistachio affogato a total win for the weekend. Others shared lamb pies and ginger sodas, and there was a very sticky looking pineapple, lime and coconut popsicle that proved popular. I'm told they run short courses on permaculture and photography, and host different community nights. Like I said, it was really my kind of thing. Go say hello if you're on the Cenny Coast, eh… LIKE MINDS 5LIKE MINDS 3LIKE MINDS 2LIKE MINDS 6Gosh, would you check out these babes!