Thursday, 30 August 2012

Things I Love Thursday

This time of year is always pretty crazy for me. Almost all my family has a birthday around now, so, while I should be looking at presents for them, I'm not. I'm being selfish and looking at things that I want. To be fair, it's really only my dad now I have to worry about. Everyone else is sorted. I'm getting my mum the best present ever! But, more on that another time.

Via Sugar Hill Boutique

I love the neckline on this dress!


Via Rings & Tings

Yep. That's a bunny ear ring. 


Via Origin of Style

I really like things with bugs on them. When I was little I used to have this t-shirt with a giant bug on the front, and I really wish that I still had it. 




Aaron showed me this earlier in the week. And I think it's great.

And, lastly, this: http://www.buzzfeed.com/svoip/paris-in-motion-4y59 

That's it for this week! I am 'accidentally' shopping the Asos sale :)

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Family Dinners Make Me Happy

As I've mentioned many, many times before, I have a fantastic family. And my favourite times are when we all get together. Last night was one of those times (minus Sam, as he had to work, BOO!!). All up, there is 14 of us (only 13 there last night, though), and we always have a blast. This is also Jesse's first get together with all of us, and as my boyfriend, not just my best friend, he had a blast!

Mama & Papa

Elena, Tim & Merton

Jesse got angry at me for taking a picture of him looking at his phone

So, I took another one


Toby & Ivy busy playing games


Jacob


I like that Abby is the only one paying attention!

L-R Grace, Toby, Ivy, Abby, Alex, Elena & Tim

So adorable!
It was, as always, an awesome night. I had ribs, and I forgot to photograph them before I stuffed them into my mouth!! And Grace and I shared a sticky date pudding. Delightful! I always come away from these get together's feeling full of love, and totally rejuvenated. I love these guys!

Monday, 27 August 2012

Margaret River Getaway!

This is probably going to be a MASSIVE post. But, I haven't posted in a week, so really, it just makes up for all those missed posts!! Jesse and I skipped town for a few days last week. We headed down to Margaret River. We hadn't actually spent an entire day together since we've been together due to our work schedules, so it was a welcome little break. 

We left Monday morning, while listening to my brothers, mulder, on the radio, and made it to our little chalet about 2pm. 

Cute little reception hutch. You just open it to find out what Chalet you're in!


We stayed at Harmony Forest, which was just lovely. The chalets are all totally secluded, we didn't see or hear anyone else the whole time we were there!! After we had arrived and unpacked, we headed into town to get some food. We wanted to eat at Wino's, but they are closed for a month (!! who does that??) so we ended up at Must. After a drink at the bug wall, we moved into the dining room for some food. Jesse had the steak and I had the ribs. They were nice, but in my opinion, could have been cooked for another few hours. The fat wasn't quite melt in your mouth rended yet, and the meat wasn't quite fall off the bone. The ribs came with a corn polenta mix thing, and corn bread. For dessert, I had to have the Crème brûlée . It was a cinnamon custard, which was nice, but there were bananas on top of the custard, under the sugar, so there wasn't the satisfying crack you get with a proper  Crème brûlée. It was still lovely though. Jesse won the dish of the trip with his Apple tarte tatin though. Man was it good. And the apple crisps, it was like fresh tart apple, but coated in this crisp sugar. yum! Champagne, in the spa, which looks out into the forest was the best way to end the night.

Bug wall at Must





Best. Dish. Ever.


We were up and out early on Tuesday morning. We stopped in at Margaret River Bakery for some breakfast. it was a lovely little bakery, and everything looked just amazing. We enjoyed our coffees and croissants. We headed to Providor, where the passionfruit curd was the bomb. I wish I'd bought some. Then on to Gabrielle chocolatier for some amazing chocolate (seriously, the milk chocolate had all the flavour of proper dark chocolate, but the creaminess of milk chocolate). Then we headed to Happs to catch up with a wine maker friend of Jesses. It was a really lovely way to spend a morning. But, then we were both hungry again, so we stopped in at Cheeky Monkey for some beer and pizza. 

Tasting Plate at Cheeky Monkey

Potato & Chorizo Bombs


We shared a House Monkey pizza (Confit garlic, olive oil, Parmesan & salt), potato & Chorizo bombs, and a beer tasting plate. Then we swung by the venison farm for venison chorizo and salt water taffy. 



Then on to Mammoth cave for a walk through the cave and up the cliff. I love caves, and Jesse had NEVER BEEN TO A CAVE!!! It was really lovely, although my calves were aching the next day! 











We went in to town again for dinner, we hit up Settlers Tavern. Jesse knows the owner, and it was the most welcoming, warming experience ever. She set us up with a table near the fire, and a glass each of her husbands brewed beer. Jesse ordered fish, and I had the burger royale, and it was AMAZING. Soooo much better than the meal we had at Must the night before. Then Karen came and sat with us, and we tasted a few different wines. She talked me into the coffee and chocolate brownie. By then I was nearly in a food coma, and we headed home to rest. 




Wednesday we didn't really know what to do, seeing as we did almost everything the day before! We headed in to Coworamup to go to Candy Cow and to have some breakfast. Then we went to Hay Shed Hill for some tastings, and lunch. We ordered Cured meat plate and 2 cheeses (Marcel Petit Compte Gruyere & Brie Nangis, of course!). 




We had a leisurely lunch, then we headed to Colonial for a beer. 




We decided to head home and spend the afternoon relaxing, and on the drive, we decided to stay in for the rest of the night and stopped to get provisions for dinner. We had another spa, spent the afternoon reading, ate some dinner, watched a movie, and read in bed for a few hours. It was bliss!

Calvados, complete with heart shaped ice


We both woke up early Thursday, and we hit the road. It was a really lovely few days away, but it's always nice to be home. We missed the bunny and the kitty...well I did anyway! Not that they missed us. It seems that the gorgeous Alex and Elena did such a great job looking after them, they didn't even know we were gone!

So, that's why the blog was quiet last week. I'll be back this week, and it will be like I never left!

Friday, 17 August 2012

Food Is Always On My Mind - P'Tite Ardoise Bistro

Once a month, Jesse organises a BYO Wednesday event. Which is basically where a bunch of people get together to eat some food and drink some wine. Usually there is a wine theme, and everyone brings a bottle and we taste it blind. But, this month was a little different. We did a Australian vs French Chardonnay. Jesse picked 8 different chardonnays for us to try. It was super, super fun. 

But, this post is really about where we ate. P'tite Ardoise Bistro in Highgate. It's a little French bistro, and the food was brilliant. All the waitstaff are French, and they have a classic menu, and a daily menu. 

Jesse and I thought we had it all figured out. He was going to order the duck, and I a steak and we would share. It didn't work out that way...oh well!


Twice cooked duck L'orange

Jesse had the Cassoulet


Crème brûlée. I didn't want to share, but I let Jesse have a taste.


I left them a dinosaur
The duck was amazing. Soft, melt off the bone meat, with a crunchy, sticky skin. The orange sauce was lovely, not too overpowering. I probably coulda eaten two serves! Jesse's cassoulet was also lovely. But, really, I just went along for the Crème brûlée. Anyone who knows me well, knows that it's my dessert. If it's on a menu, I will always chose it. Even in France, with all the other pâtisserie to choose, if it's dessert, it has to be Crème brûlée. This one certainly didn't disappoint! It was visually appealing, with the Eiffel Tower biscuit, and the strawberry. The crack was perfect, the sugar wasn't burnt, and the custard was smooth and vanilla-ey. YUM!

I really want to go back to P'tite Ardoise and try the other things on the menu. And eat more Crème brûlée of course!!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Things I Love Thursday

I really love that it's Thursday today. It means that there is only 3 more days until Jesse and I escape down south for 4 days. I simply cannot wait!

Via Asos
I'm a sucker for satchels at the moment. I have one on order from eBay, and I really hope it arrives before I go away!

Via animalswithstuffedanimals.com

I have no words for how adorable this is. Maybe I should get Major Tom a stuffed dinosaur?


Via Sourpuss

I have wanted this ribcage jumper for ages!

Via bitrebels.com

These storm trooper nails are rad

Via Neatoshop
I really really really love this dinosaur container. Really love it.



This is the best YouTube clip I have ever seen. Ever. I wish I had seen it in real life. 


My sister sent me this photo of Toby yesterday, he was lining up the dinosaurs I gave him so they could 'share' his dinner. What a dude! I'm going to have him following in my footsteps in no time! 


And, lastly, I love my new lacy nails. I used the Sally Hansen nail strip thingos. 

That's it for this week! But, if you're a creme brulee lover like myself, look out for tomorrows post!!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Chilli Con Carne

Sunday night was the first opportunity I've had in a little while to cook a meal. And, I decided on Chilli. It's easy to make, and it's some comforting. 

This recipe is for quite a lot of chilli. You can easily half the recipe, and it works just as well.

Ingredients

3 tbsp olive oil
2 small onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 kg beef mince (not the lean stuff, the fatty stuff)
300 ml red wine
2 x 400g cans of diced tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato paste
3 tbsp ground chilli 
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 beef stock cube
salt and pepper 
2 x 400g can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed



Method

Heat the oil in a heavy based pan, and fry the onion and garlic until softened. Increase the heat and add the beef, cook quickly, stirring until the meat is browned.

Reduce the heat and add the wine, tomatoes, tomato paste, chilli, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, Worcestershire sauce and stock cube. Season well with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, clamp on a lid and cook over a gentle heat for at least an hour, stirring every now and again. The mixture should be all rich and thick after an hour. 

Add the kidney beans and cook for a further 10 minutes, uncovered. Serve with rice, or potatoes, or corn chips or tortillas. It's also pretty rad topped with home made guacamole,  and sour cream. 




See, super duper easy chilli. And it's soooo tasty.