allthingseurope:
Villeconin, France (by Denis Trente-Huittessan)

Simply Stunning!!

allthingseurope:

Villeconin, France (by Denis Trente-Huittessan)

Simply Stunning!!

ammonition:

designersof
A little lunch inspiration….
Steamed fish with garlic and spring onion sauce accompanied with a salad of carrot, cabbage, musclun & zucchini with sesame dressing.

A little lunch inspiration….
Steamed fish with garlic and spring onion sauce accompanied with a salad of carrot, cabbage, musclun & zucchini with sesame dressing.

Cafe Review - Three Bags Full

This last Saturday hubby and I rolled out of bed and trekked down to Three Bags Full for a breakfast date together.  I have to admit up front, breakfast is one of my favourite things to do, there is something about having someone cook you a wonderful meal up front to start the day on.  When they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day – this is the kind of breakfast they refer to. 

On entering, well squeezing, through the front door we had our names added to a ‘list’ and were told we were looking at a 10-15 minute wait.  We had already anticipated this as we wandered in at peak Saturday morning time so we were pleased it was only that long.

We ordered coffees and I opted for the vegetarian smashed avocado while hubby went for the big breakfast.  10 minutes later coffee was being placed in front of me and ‘flat white’ uttered.  Slightly confused I advised I didn’t order a flat white. The waitress tried to find the owner for a ‘weak flat while’ and I realised that my latte had been incorrectly made.  I offered to take the flat white not overly fussed about a bit of lost foam.  The waitress was most apologetic and offered several times for me to be made another correct coffee.  I declined, as I dislike waste and really did not mind either way.  She thanked me and handed me the mug topped with some impressive artwork.

Breakfast arrived.  It was impressive at first sight.  My smashed avocado was mixed with chunks of smooth white creamy feta and topped with a drizzle of olive oil and pepitas served on two slices of toast.  The avocado was cold – fresh out of the fridge, which was so refreshing and just how I like it.  It combined so well with the warm crispy toast underneath.  The ‘Big Breakfast’ was equally impressive.  Two perfectly poached eggs, rashes of bacon, which tasted as though it had been smoked with flavour before being cooked, mushrooms, tomato, spinach, toast and the unusual accompaniments of a cheese kransky and relish.  A second coffee and this time I received the latte I ordered and could taste the difference in flavour and the texture.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable.

Other than the food being more than great I loved the atmosphere of TBF, there were people of all demographics, families with small children, families with grown up children and grandparents along for the feast too, girls catch ups, couples post run and a few dog walkers loitering outside on the couple of tables lining the pavement.  The décor was brilliant - different and unique but quite functional.  Large tables big enough for parties to share and not feel they are dining with strangers.  Although it felt young and fashionable inside it also was suitable for an older audience who would not appreciate dim lit rooms and over powering music.  

So 4 lattes and two meals later we were looking at a bill of approx. $50 which is becoming fairly standard for breakfasts these days.  Well worth it in my opinion.  Hubby and I both agree TBF shot to #1 on our breakfast hit list winning in all categories; service, atmosphere, food and coffee. 

Here is a link to their current menu as at July 14.  Check it out and get yourself there for  a delightful morning shared with friends.

http://www.threebagsfullcafe.com.au/pulsepro/data/img/uploads/Menu_-_April_2012.pdf

There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.

Just don’t tell me their not real!

Last night after coming home from work I was quietly devastated to discover it was only Wednesday night and not Thursday as initially thought.  Then I remembered my favourite show, Offspring, was on.  It was the season final.  One win for the day!

Now after a particularly down couple of days I found that after watching said episode my heart was filled with more joy than I had experienced in the previous week.  Interesting.  Here were fake people who I didn’t even know running around on screen professing their love for one another and issues being resolved left right and centre to tie up the season nicely and I was so happy at the end I could not stop smiling.  I questioned my feelings - why exactly did I feel so joyful over a tv show?  However, I was not alone.  All over facebook people were cheering for Patrick and Nina, finally together after episodes of fighting and mixed messages and confusion.  People applauded the writers, made comments on their status such as “Patrick and Nina finally together, how it should be”.  Should it?  Will anyone’s world collapse if they are not?  I doubt it!  But the reality is we are so emotionally invested into the lives of these characters we feel we personally know them.  Example in point, Edward Cullen from Twilight – I know I dread to bring it up as I have never read the books myself (a personal boycott stance) yet I remember listening to people on the radio go on and on about how this character from the book was the new love of their life, that they felt their real life boyfriend would never measure up – WHAT!? Are you mad? That may be an extreme example but in keeping with the book theme two words; Christian. Grey.  I see people reading 50 Shades of Grey everywhere I turn and this particular character has caused so much commotion that he has made light news and morning programs.  One particular reader even confessed to me “I feel like he is my book boyfriend”.  There has been many an example on tv too, I’m thinking Aiden & Carrie or Big & Carrie (SATC), Rachel & Ross (Friends), Doug & Carol (E.R), Derrick & Meredith (Grey’s Anatomy), Chuck & Blair (Gossip Girl),  honestly the list could go on and I’m not even going to bring up movies!

So is it that we just can’t say no to a good love story?  Is it that we want to hope that happy endings do exist?  Or because for just once we want things to be less complicated and not worry about the details and be ‘perfect’?  I’m wondering if we invest so much into these characters because we are afraid to invest in real life people who can let us down.  But for now, I’m letting myself be swept up in the hype of it all and feel the Joy for Nina and Patrick (in Offspring – keep up!) and the pregnancy and believe its going to all work out perfectly ….at least for the first three episodes of the next season ;)

Is it a soap or reality TV?

Not that I watched the entire episode last night but reading up on its development in the paper today got me thinking about the content of Packed to the Rafters latest story line.
There are new possible love interests for both Julie and Dave, a married couple. Yes that is right, possible love interests. Dave, running his own electrical business now has a young woman working for him while Julie has returned to the workforce and has sudden chemistry with her new boss.
Of course we were all shocked to discover it was Dave who kissed his employee when all along its been Julie and her boss who have been dancing around whatever it is they have.
My first thought was, ‘typical, it’s the guy!’ Then – ‘I shouldn’t think like that, why should it always be the guy?’ then ‘Hang on, these people are married, no one should be cheating!’
So it got me thinking: here we are, all loving this wholesome family drama with a husband and wife who have always been presented as such a strong couple with a great marriage that withstands its trials and suddenly it doesn’t. So is it normal? Is it what we want? Do we want to see the perfect couple to believe it exists? Do we really want reality on our tv’s? Or do we still just want to get lost in a modern version of our fairytales of old?

Off to the shops to grab a few ingredients and home to give the new Slow Cooker a workout, stay tuned for the results.
First Recipe….. Beef Bourguignon. Mmmmm 

Off to the shops to grab a few ingredients and home to give the new Slow Cooker a workout, stay tuned for the results.

First Recipe….. Beef Bourguignon. Mmmmm 

Dedicated to my beautiful friend Julia especially for today xox

Dedicated to my beautiful friend Julia especially for today xox

Fine Dining

I have decided to add in a new segment on a regularly random basis and share a recipe that I particularly love with you.  While these recipes are not ‘fine dining’ as you may know, white table clothes, suited up waiters, un-prounouncable menu items they are certainly fine as in

fine; choice, excellent or admirable”

I hope you get a chance to test this one out and enjoy it as much as I did.  This was great to share with the family at Easter time cooked over a gas flame out on the barbecue.  Now, with the cooler weather upon us, it also makes a great dinner party starter or light meal after a big lunch.

Moules Marinieres (Mussels in White Wine or Fisherman’s Style Mussels)

Ingredients

1 tbs extra virgin olive oil

8 shallots, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, crushed

1/2 cup (125ml) dry white wine

1/2 cup (125ml) fish stock

2kg black mussels, scrubbed, debearded

50g butter

2 tbs thickened cream

1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

French fries and crusty bread, to serve

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add the wine and stock. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until sauce reduces slightly.

  2. Add the mussels to the pan and cook, covered, shaking the pan occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the mussels open and are cooked through.

  3. Strain the mussels, reserving the liquid. Set mussels aside, covered to keep warm. Return the sauce to the pan and bring to the boil. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until sauce reduces by half. Reduce heat to low and whisk in the butter and cream. Remove from heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

  4. Place the mussels in serving bowls and pour over the sauce. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately with french fries and crusty bread. 

(Source: taste.com.au)

WTC1 …. on the rise. (Taken during May 2012)

WTC1 …. on the rise. (Taken during May 2012)

Time Saving…. all about the time and dish saving

At a recent catch up with a friend, she admitted that when it comes to mornings its all about time saving.  I agreed with her as a non-morning person myself, anything to save a minute here or there.  She went on to explain that she froths her milk for her latte in the mug she drinks it from.  I laughed.  She said “I froth the milk in the cup, then let the shot run straight in and wa-lah! only one dish dirtied”  I was fascinated.  I also hate doing dishes and loved that she has been not only time efficient but dish efficient too!

So the other morning while running late for work but deciding to put my health first and have a quick breakfast I thought of my friend and ate my scrambled eggs straight from the pan, no plate needed.  Time efficient and dish saving.  I was so chuffed with myself and my ‘outside-the-box’ thinking that I secretly can’t wait to catch up again and swap more time saving tips.

My latest shoe purchase… Hot pink suede ankle boots! Currently in the process of planning their first outing :)

My latest shoe purchase… Hot pink suede ankle boots! Currently in the process of planning their first outing :)

"Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy" - Anne Frank