August 27, 2011

the middle day in Melbourne

toasted granola, hot chai, tram rides, rose street markets, rich cheesy arrancini balls, happy hour, and a whole lotta lamb...

we had a good time on saturday.
i think this was my favourite part of where we stayed...the restaurant cumulus inc. was only two doors down from our apartment block. we went there each morning for a delicious breakfast feasting and on saturday night for an unbelievable dinner (see bottom of post).
we scoured the shelves of this second-hand bookstore for probably an hour, unawares of time as it passed by, with trams, cars, bicycles and people passing outside. it was worth the 'we'll have a look' stop. from the grumpy old woman captaining the store, to the 'leave bags at front counter!' signs (which we disobediently ignored), this was a great experience that saturday morning. it was restorative, as i stood reading poetry from Harwood, Kipling, Browning and the likes. I did some bargaining and walked out with two leather-bound glories of Browning and Kipling.
my lunch - dense, rich aranccini balls with parmesan and sicilian olives
we walked up flinders lane on saturday night about a quarter to eight, dreaming of what cumulus inc. became in the evening was beyond all we imagined (too much?)! the atmosphere was electric, noisy in an intoxicating way. we placed our name, ordered some wine from spain and waited. not bothered at all that we had to stand and watch as diners chatted and laughed while enjoying their meals. our time came, we were escorted to the bar...the kitchen bar. we had front row seats to the magic and mastery of the kitchen. we watched, as an apprentice copped it from 'the boss', the one with the metaphorically bigger white hat. we ordered...venturing toward a shoulder of slow roasted lamb. a whole shoulder. we also requested a side of broccoli to balance the carnivorous main. when they arrived, we were coy yet was i going to attack this piece of meat? well i just asked - the head chef i think. he was helpful. we enjoyed our succulent, moist and dangerously flavoursome little lamby. (i apologise if you are a vegatarian, but i am clearly not.) i only ate the greens so i didn't feel so bad, but they too were extraordinary. who would have thought that a crispy anchovy and caper crumb would go so perfectly with broccoli? i now know. with another glass of red we stuffed ourselves full, finding more and more tender meat on the bone, that we had to, in the end, leave some. our stomachs were so miserly compared to that cut of meat. it felt a little wasteful, but we had done well.

as we waddled home, down the street about 20 metres, we were so content. content of a day exploring Brunswick st, eating delicious food and chatting along the way.


August 22, 2011

an early morning it was...

we left home for our journey south to melbourne town around 4 am...eek - it was quite horrible. but it did give us a whole day to walk and explore the National Gallery of Victoria, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Federation Square, Swanston Street and Collins St. it was a huge day, which saw me needing a little afternoon respite in our apartment room (which was a beautifully stripped back and renovated place with exposed brickwork and concrete ceilings).

the width of my grin on friday afternoon, while exploring the mastery of australian and international artists, was incredible. i felt so elated strolling the gallery, soaking in all the colour, scale and shape that i was surrounded by. i was a little naughty and snapped some sneaky shots...
that evening, after my aforementioned rest, we did some shopping - i bought some silk, ceramics and confectionary - then we journeyed to the famous Martini Bar and enjoyed the finest martinis. it was such a beautiful atmosphere as we sat by the large glass window, near the fire, and watched the people bustle around below us on Swantston street.
that was our first day. fun.


p.s. you know how i said we were having those family photos, well - we had them. have a peek. i'll leave you to it

August 21, 2011

stories to tell...

do i have some stories for you!

i had a wonderful trip down to melbourne last weekend to shop, eat and drink with a dear friend. i'll fill you in over a few installments. for now, here is a mere peek of what we got up to...
that right there, my dear friends, is THE most amazing toasted granola i have ever eaten. i can't explain its goodness to its full extent...i'll leave your minds to imagine the crunchy, toasty sweetness that it was.


August 7, 2011

and so, winter returns...

that sunshine i was telling you about, and the warm spring scented air - well this morning we awoke to a sad and noticeable change. there were heavy grey skies out the top window and damp on the ground from the early morning rain. it was a sad change, but not unreasonable considering we are in the tale-end of winter, but a little welcome today.

looking back at my day; i quite enjoyed the lazy sleep-in, the joint grocery shop, the sweat from my afternoon yoga class and staying home this evening listening to the rain fall outside. a lot of rain is quite dreary, but it's nice to have a little every now and again.

what did you do today? how do you fancy a little precipitation?


August 5, 2011

smoothie recipe

as per request....

so it goes a little like this; i rush a smoothie together 5 minutes after i'm supposed to be out the door on the way to work. so, please forgive the ambiguity of measurements and ingredients. its all very flexible anyway...i mean, c'mon - its only a smoothie.

all you need is a stick mixer and large cup to mix in, then a cup to serve in. (see aforeposted picture of my new smoothie has insulated walls for heat/cold and is the perfect weight in the hand, with a beautiful blue lid)

a couple of tbsp of cooked quinoa (necessary morning grains - its handy to have a batch cooked in the fridge for each mornings smoothie delight)
a couple of tbsp of natural yoghurt
a cup of frozen berries
a small handful of fresh strawbs
a cup of milk
1 - 2 tbsp of honey (i do like it sweet) - you have to work to make sure the quinoa isn't too overpowering in the mix...i'm sure fresh berries would help that.

i just wizz, pour and run and out the door!


August 4, 2011

cold weather/warm weather

we've had a few changes in weather of late, around my neck of the woods...

we had torrential rain for, say, 8 days straight. it was out wettest July, in along time. that was followed by chilly winds and cold nights. we had the heaters on for at least a week straight...(eeek, i don't want to see that energy bill). BUT - for the last 5 days, the sun has been shining, and bringing warm spring-scented air with it. i even had a little too much sun on my shoulders last saturday...what a treat.

in light of this new sunshine and new warm weather (which, by the way is forecast to end soon...) i have a new breakfast tradition. instead of eating a bowl of wintery of warm porrige to fight the cold - i've traded in my bowl for a travel cup...of berry smoothie! i know - seems too early to be having chilly berry smoothie's this time of the year but i can't get enough!
i still fit in my morning grains, by adding quinoa to the smoothie with yoghurt, berries (frozen and fresh), milk and a little honey...(ok, a lot! i like it sweet)

what are you having for breakfast?