Saturday, 12 May 2012

Cafe Review: Beatrix

Eating out has to be my favourite past time. After cooking all week sometimes it is so nice to sit back, relax and let someone else do the hard work. And what better cafe to start with than the positively charming "Beatrix" at North Melbourne.

As they say good things come in small packages and a perfect case in point is Beatrix - a very cosy (read: teeny tiny) and welcoming cafe with an equally small but scrumptious menu. 

The Husband and I visited the Saturday before last just after lunch time. Beatrix was full to the brim but the friendly staff greeted us warmly and before long we were seated. The menu offers 3-4 permanent menu items with daily specials too. The various ciabatta rolls with delish, quality fillings are definitely the way to go.

After a bit of umming and ahhing I chose "The Shakshuka" ciabatta (below) filled with delicious braised capsicum and tomato, feta, mint and a fried egg. I made such a mess wolfing it down but it was totally worth it.

The Husband chose the Bea-L-T with apple aioli and didn't waste anytime polishing it off.

The star attraction of Beatrix is without a doubt their beautiful handmade cakes. The afternoon we visited the cakes on offer included: Mandarin Chiffon Cake, Banana Cream Pies, Lemon Loaf Cake, Lamingtons and Ginger Hula Hoops just to name a few. But my mind was settled the moment I saw the amazing looking Brown Sugar Pavlova topped with cream and fresh strawberries. And it didn't disappoint - The cake was mine!!! The Husband (crazily) announced he was full and didn't want to order one. I then had to fight him off with my fork as he shoveled it in relentlessly. Regrettably we both polished it off before I could take a photo!

688 Queensberry St, North Melbourne 
03 9090 7301
Closed Tuesdays


Friday, 27 April 2012

Work, Life, Unbalanced!

So here we are nearly a month later and no blogs! Sadly my laptop has recently acquired a virus so I am relying on The Husband's computer to which I have very little access. There is not too much news to report as lately it has been all work, work, work leaving little time for home cooking!

Grilled Zucchini, Roast Capsicum, Persian Feta & Basil Omelette

To keep up with my commitment to blog more often I thought I would share some dishes I have been preparing over the last week or so.

Slow Cooked Pork Ribs with BBQ Glaze & Coleslaw

Vegetarian Baked Beans with a Poached Egg

Salami with Green Tomato Relish

Orange & Hazelnut Cake - Served warm with Vanilla Bean Mascarpone

At home - Turkish Sausage Roll with Pomegranate & Feta Salad

Spiced Duck Breast with Orange Sauce

Adrianno Zumbo

The Sun God

Happy 4th Birthday to The Pug! Isn't he handsome?


Sunday, 1 April 2012

A change in seasons

Autumn is my favourite season so I was delighted to return to Australia, post-honeymoon to discover a fresh chill in the air. The leaves have not yet started falling but the mornings and the evenings are definitely getting cooler. At work I am currently experimenting with an updated Autumn menu, saying goodbye to summer fruits and salads and hello fresh soups and comfort foods! Here are some sneak-peaks -

Autumn Fruits - Will be finished with Honey Labne & Candied Pistachios

Butter Fried Potatoes, Roast Capsicum, Chorizo & Sous Vide Egg

Potato & Feta Pancakes with Asparagus, Poached Egg & Cumin Salt

Little Cakes by Little Kate -
My very talented friend Kate made these beauties as samples. They were as delicious as they look!

House made Scones - I use Janelle Bloom's CWA recipe. It works every time!

Our first home cooked meal after our around the world travels. How I missed vegetables!

The Pug on his way home after staying with the In-Laws whilst we were away. He was very excited to be back home and eating human food again!

The Pig xo

Friday, 9 March 2012

Hecticity & Health

So it has been far, far too long since I last blogged, in my defence, life has been crazily chaotic. Since my last entry I have started a new job, moved house, walked down the aisle and travelled on a whirlwind around the world honeymoon. So "The Fiancee" is now "The Husband" and I am making a commitment to blog more often.

Cakes at David Jones Food Hall - Sydney

Over the course of the wedding festivities, I was lucky enough to have some much needed and desperately sought after time with my closest girlfriends. We wined and dined and I was amazed with how beautiful, radiant and happy they were all looking. One thing that stood out to me was the healthy lifestyles they are all leading and the guilt set in! Vintage Bel has been vegetarian for several years now, has a really healthy diet and even inspired her Mum to try vegetarianism, three others are studying nutrition and my other girlfriend is now a lactose free, health guru and at 7 months pregnant looks positively stunning. With all these gorgeous health conscious women around me, I realised I need to make some changes.

Barrenjoey House - Heirloom Tomato, Peach, Buffalo Mozzarella & Marjoram Salad

Now I don't consider my lifestyle to be hugely unhealthy, I'm not much of a drinker, I don't smoke and I do a little exercise when I can squeeze it in but food is my vice and a massive weakness. I had hoped to lose a bit of weight for the big day but as it rapidly approached I lost motivation and put it in the "too hard basket". Meanwhile the Husband, who is normally quite exercise conscious, badly injured ligaments in his ankle and has been out of action for the last two months. This, in addition to eating out constantly over the period of our 6 week honeymoon has led to us both feeling rather frumpy.

French cheese & cured meats - Val d'Isere Night Markets

So we as a newly married couple want to make a commitment to ourselves and to each other to be healthier with our diets and lifestyles. Our goals are to lose a little weight, eat more vegetarian and a wider variety of foods, have less food wastage and save a bit of money from the food budget each week by shopping at the markets. Totally achievable right? Let's hope so!

Lunch with Vintage Bel at Armchair Collective - Beef Burger

Radiccio & Spinach Salad

Ploughman's Lunch Platter

Dessert - Milk Chocolate Caramel Slice, Lemon Curd Tartlet & Chocolate Brownie

P.S. I will add photos to this blog after my return from overseas. I only have the iPad with me and can't work it out for the life of me!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Detox & Dental Surgery

It's been far too long since I first blogged... I hoped to blog again sooner but crazy work hours have prevented me doing so.

Culinarily speaking it has been an interesting few months which started out with a seven day soup detox diet. The diet involved making a very ordinary flavoured soup and consuming this (reluctantly) every day together with fruit & vegetables. I was determined and survived the week, ignoring my loudly growling stomach protesting at the end of each day. The week was a success and I lost 3.5kg,only to have since fallen off the wagon in a spectacular fashion.

          A dish I prepared as a "special" at work - Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks on Mash with Salsa Verde

At home - Stuffed Portobello Mushroom with Feta & Pinenuts

Creamy Vanilla Bean Porridge with Caramelised Apples

Vintage Bel very generously gave The Fiancee & I a gift voucher to Maha Bar & Grill for our Engagement. We visited last Tuesday and indulged in a delicious 8 course degustation. I was so full I could still not contemplate eating 24 hours later, very uncharacteristic behaviour on my part.

Maha Degustation - Salmon encased in Potato Kataifi, Crab in Basil, Corn Custard & White Asparagus

Maha Degustation (My Favourite) - Pork Belly with Potato Puree & Onion Mayonaise

Maha Degustation - Duck with Sous Vide Egg, Mushrooms & Crispy Quinoa

Maha Degustation - Turkish Delight filled Doughnuts with Baklava Ice Cream

Arnie visited the Vet and was required to undertake dental surgery to remove his plaque. Apparently his love for food, together with his flat face and lack of chewing action resulted in the need for surgery. He recovered well and was back to his greedy self that same night. Like his mother, Arnie also needs to lose weight, so together we must get back on the wagon! Wish us luck...

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

An Introduction

Greetings & welcome to my blog! This is me, affectionately known by my Fiancee as "The Pig". I must confess this pet name is not without cause. I am a Chef, food lover and admitedly a Pig (or as the French more lovingly term it, Gourmande). I have been contemplating writing a food blog for sometime now, but after the discovery of my beautiful BF's Blog - Vintage Bel, I have been inspired.

This is Vintage Bel & I.

This is The Pug! His name is Arnie (named after Arnold Schwarzenegger in an attempt to gain approval from the bodybuilder loving Fiancee). Arnie is an overindulged only child. At the age of three, it has generally been agreed that Arnie's jealous streak will not permit me to aquire another Pug sibling for him. Arnie loves food nearly as much as I do and will eat anything with the exception of lettuce & green herbs.

This is my latest breakfast menu addition - Brioche French Toast with Poached Pears, Maple Syrup & Bacon. So far it has been a popular choice!

That's all from me by way of introduction, I look forward to mastering the art of blogging over the coming months.

The Pig xo