Wednesday, 26 September 2012

There's nothing quite like a quiche...

I sat on the couch surrounded by my fast growing collection of recipe books. Once a month I stay home, turn off the tv and cook myself a proper meal. Usually a dinner and dessert, depending on how I'm feeling... (or how tight my waistband is feeling).

This week was a tight waistband week so I was thinking a light meal with a side salad. The choices were endless, and I didn't really have a preference so I decided it should be something I hadn't made before.

  I picked up another book....
"I've never made a quiche".

So a quiche I made.

I decided on a ricotta and asparagus filling. I do not yet own a quiche dish so I opted for the large tart tray.

Blind baking was new. I cut a sheet of short crust pastry to the size of the tray then after buttering the base I pressed the pastry into the sides.

The inside was then lined with baking paper and, because I don't own pie weights, the inside was filled with some old lentils. Best thing is that if you have enough room in your pantry and enough Tupperware you can keep the baked lentils to use again next time. Don't cook them to eat though. Will not end well.

I prepared the quiche filling, poured it in to my semi baked pastry and after garnishing with some asparagus it went into the oven.

Escaped lentils in the bottom of the tray.

Out came a delicious quiche. Now in hindsight I would have benefitted from blind baking the pastry a little longer so the middle was cooked as well as the outer, or even using less lentils, but I was so paranoid of the edges burning.
It still tastes delicious.

Sweet Sensations... An adventure with Darren Purchese

My most frequently used dessert books...

My long awaited book has arrived. The latest edition to my recipe collection is the new book by Darren Purchese; Sweet Studio.

Now we all know that I am a little biased when it comes to their creations. But they're all so lovely you just can't help but enjoy every experience when you enter the dessert wonderland.

I am very pleased to say that the lemon curd recipe is featured ( I have asked for advice previously on how to fix mine) as well as the salted caramel spread... Yum!

I was also pretty happy to see that a favorite from the dessert night, the avocado mint and cucumber, is featured so I'm thinking it is only a matter of time before it makes it's way onto the "must cook list".

I can't wait to share my triumphs (and set backs) and improve my dessert skills even further. The explosive raspberry marshmallow is beckoning...

I'd better get cooking!!!

Sunday, 2 September 2012


At the beginning of the year I made the voyage over to Europe to see what all the fuss was about. I drove my way around 9 countries and at the end of my 16000 kms am feeling pretty travel savvy. 

Laduree: Champs-Elysees Paris

France: I saw the versailles palace and the Eiffel tower but the real standout for me, the one love I have of France was in the form of a tea house in Paris: Laduree.

Interior: Laduree Tea Rooms
Rue Royal Paris

I could've eaten there everyday (my budget just couldn't have coped).

So naturally the minute I get back, I ordered the two Laduree recipe books.
Guess what arrived today....

Their recipes are pretty fancy. A bit ambitious but I'll give them a whirl. Sometimes it's more fun to see what bizarre concoction you end up with when something doesn't work out than when you get it perfect. I can't wait to try them out.. And tell you all about it.


Happy baking!!!!

Duchess of Spotswood

Went for a drive out to the west during the week and decided to pop in to the "Duchess of Spotswood" a little cafe just past the Westgate bridge.
My first visit was when the duchess had first opened and I had loved the food so I thought it was time to relive the experience.

Duchess of Spotswood.
Hudsons Road, Spotswood VICTORIA

There's a funny charm about the place. Their wooden chairs and decor seem a little vintage which in turn creates a warm and cosy feel to the little establishment. I personally love their oven; if you haven't already, take a peek.. I think it's fantastic.

Yummy beetroot salad!!!

Their menu had changed and although it is a little daunting to read at first (yes, I had to google remoulade) their food is fantastic.
I ordered the beetroot, goats cheese and walnut salad and I don't think I have ever eaten a meal as quickly as I did. This salad was divine, best I've ever had. It had slices of apple and was filled with ingredients that just went so well together.

Lamb Sandwich

The lamb sandwich was just as good. I was impressed.

I was so full after eating that delicious lunch that I did not opt for one of the cakes in the cabinet, but I was almost salivating. I have had cupcakes from there before that were delicious.

If you're around the area you should definitely pop in and give them a try. Although don't have your heart set on what we had because their menu does change frequently.

Duchess of Spotswood on Urbanspoon

Luna 1806 Night Market - Queen Victoria Markets

 I am a huge fan of the Wednesday night markets at Queen Vic in the summer.

What better way to spend a hot night than drinking sangria, eating fantastic cultural food and watching the performers. Not to mention the quirky craft items you can pick up in-between.

This year I attended the winter version and although it is significantly smaller that it's summer counterpart it still packs a punch.
I ate a meatball slider from the meatball company.

I picked up some BBQ chicken and I learnt how to make my own soy candles.
The jewellery there is a lot of fun, especially for me, being a fan of button earrings.

But if your out on a Wednesday night for dinner, I'd recommend a visit to the night market to pick up some fantastic food and see some entertaining shows.

For more information you can jump on their website;