Monday, October 26, 2009

Court Jester Cafe Brunswick

A visit from Michael's sister Julie called for a visit to my favourite new cafe, Court Jester's in Breese st in Brunswick. The place can be found in a back street behind Sydney Rd opposite a huge construction site. In a warehouse you will find a big open space with one long communal table down the middle with old couches & computer ports scattered around the edges. As well as being a cafe serving fantastic Polish cuisine, the place doubles as an Art Gallery. The guys running the place use recipes handed down in their families to make delicious dishes such as pierogi which I absolutey love & miss oh so much since my Gran died (I am way too lazy to make them myself even though I watched her a thousand times), cabbage rolls, borscht & many others. They do brunch all day & lunch from 11am. I just love the fact that they are so close to me & serve food that is very rare to find out, especially around my area.

This weekend I fancied some eggs so had the poached eggs with marinated avocado, horseradish mayonaise, dench toast & a side of Polish sausgae, another old favourite - fantabulous! Coffee is great, prices are good & they seem to tolerate Chloe running around like a lunatic, there are even old colouring books & jars of textas to amuse the littlies.

Look the place up & pay them a visit, you wont be disappointed I promise.

Happy Birthday Maya

Saturday was Maya's 4th birthday party which was held at Quarries Park in Clifton Hill which I had never even heard of let alone been to before. Great park, HUGE playground that we will be visiting again very soon, Chloe loved it so much that she cried all the way home as she wanted to go back.

Took along some treats for the kids, cupcakes with a rosewater icing & sugar stars & chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing & smarties. Chloe did the smartie decorating & had an excellent time, apparently I am now 'the best' mum. Good fun in the kitchen now that she is interested & wants to help out all the time, let's hope she loves cooking as much as her mum. Anyway I thought all the little girls would go for the cute pink girly cakes but no, everyone pounced on the chocolate, in the end the pink ones were eaten mostly by adults, will keep in mind for the next kids party.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Chocolate Ginger Chews & Strawberry Picking

Here is a photo of the lovely chocolate ginger chews from the latest issue of Donna Hay magazine, minus the sugar coating which I figured they would not need being sweet enough for my taste already. For anyone who loves a choc/ginger combo, these are a hit though the ginger is not all that strong which has some advantages in that little people like them too, disadvantage, little people like them too so less for me. Below is a pic of Chloe after eating a chew picking some fresh strawberries to wash it down with. You cant see our first 2 luscious red stawberries as they are hidden under the foliage, fingers crossed lots more to come. Actually my mum has just built me a strawberry patch by the back french doors with 7 strawberry plants, if that flourishes I will be very happy indeed.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pearl Couscous 2 Ways

I was lucky enough to get my hands on some of the Blu Gourmet Pearl Couscous thanks to Liz over at Haystac. Also included were a bunch of recipes by Gabriel Gate who is endorsing the product. So I thought I would give a couple a go. I have eaten this large sized version of couscous before though have not bought it or cooked with it so was unsure how it would compare to the 'normal' small sized grain. I tried out the Couscous with Peas & Parmesan (above) to have as a side dish & also the Couscous & Vegetable cheesy bake (below) which I thought Chloe would appreciate seeing as that it contained a vegetable she actually loves & consents to eat & one of her favourite foods, cheese!

I loved both dishes & was impressed with the couscous, it had a lovely silky soft texture and it held all of the other ingredients together. In the veggie bake I was worried it would not be substantial enough as a meal on it's own as I would never serve the small couscous in this way yet the increase in size seems to deal with that entirely & it was a satisfying & delicious meal.

In comparing it to the normal couscous I use I would say that they are totally different, the texture, preparation required & even flavour as the smaller version seems to take on more of the flavours it is mixed with and the large seems to have a flavour all of it's own.

I will definitely buy it again & try out some more of the recipes as well as some of my own ideas though it wont replace it's little sister as I feel each has there own place on the menu.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Nice Surprise

Look what I was lucky enough to find in the mail this week. I had sent Michael the link as an idea for a future xmas or bday pressie, he figured he'd forget so bought it there & then for the discounted price of $89.99, yep thats right RRP is $125.00 I believe.

Two of my great loves all combined in the one book, cooking & the garden. The book is huge, over 700 pages full of useful tips on growing a whole lot of fruit & veg plus recipes to cook with each. It's not a book you can flick through from start to finish so I will have fun browsing for now & looking up all of my crop as I harvest & plant for some ideas & new info.

Very inspiring, just from reading the intro I now want to do so much more & a worm farm is now on my xmas list!