Sunday, 31 March 2013

marion grasby's singapore noodles

So here it is, Singapore Noodles from Marion's Kitchen range. Took me awhile to get to this one as it didn't seem all the supermarkets stocked it but thanks to Woolies and their weekly specials, nabbed this one up and voila - I've now tried out the entire range.

Here it is - signature yellow packaging which the boy remarks is a little hard to read.

Follow the simple steps on the packet and 20 minutes later, you have a wokful of noodles. (FYI: We had chicken thigh, green beans and chinese cabbage in our version of Singapore Noodles)

Noodles ready to serve.

Best eaten fresh. The boy took some for work the next day but ends up being a little soupy.

And my final verdict - to be honest, probably my least favourite from the entire range but for a quick 20 minute meal, you really can't ask for much more.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

la cachette @ mitchell rd., erskineville

There's days when I have to admit I'm getting old; and usually I feel it more so when it's yet another younger cousins birthday; gone are the days when they were children and are now actually starting uni and doing all those grown up things; where did the time go? Happy Birthday cousin C!

This birthday called for a brunch celebration at La Cachette in Erskineville. Recently under new management and just happens so to be the auntie and uncle team of my one of my younger cousin's girlfriend. They're serving up Toby Estate coffee which is already a win.

The big breakfast which is a hearty feed and a great way to start the day.

Having had a bite to eat that morning, I opted for a lunch selection and went for the Chicken & Vegetable Pie. Looked good when it was sitting in the cabinet as a whole pie and tasted even better on my plate. Sources tell me that the pies are home mad so well worth a try.

Great place to start the weekend and excited to see what new items they bring to the menu in the coming months. Erskineville is conveniently placed for those who want to head out to Marrickville for one of their famous pork rolls; which is exactly what we did afterwards!

Monday, 25 March 2013

element6 cafe @ ryedale rd., west ryde

It's been awhile since I've been inspired by a local cafe and there's certainly plenty of inspiration to be found at element6 cafe at West Ryde. Let's start with the decor; slightly grungy x vintage x cute design, I absolutely love it! And when it comes to the menu on offer, it's most certainly paired to match!

Sultan's surprise (pomegranate juice with freshly squeezed orange juice) and an iced coffee served in cute glass jar mugs.

People lined up over lunchtime either trying to grab a table or grabbing coffees on the go. Big love for the keep cup mugs sitting behind the counter.

On the lunch menu is this pulled pork and cabbage on a roll. A most generous serving and tasty too.

Otherwise the chorizo & rocket on a roll isn't too shabby a choice either.

My selection for the day though was the Reuben; half of it will probably fill you up and arguably one of the stand outs on the menu.

As my friend A puts, you can't miss the cafe. It's pretty much the only thing you'll find on Ryedale road when you come out of the station and well, I was hesitant about putting up this post; I'm not too keen on too many people finding out about it just yet but then again, it's too good not to post about it!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

adriano zumbo's choc mud mirror cake

So I call myself a baker, but occasionally I do cheat a little and stick with the packet mixes and really, they're not half bad. When Adriano Zumbo launched his range, I was all too quick to snap them up and lo and behold, the mightly Choc Mud Mirror Cake.

After 60 minutes of baking in a 160 degree oven.

How sexy does this cake look when it's turned upside down.

The mirror glaze adds that wow factor to this cake. Though I urge you not to lick at the glaze on its own - it doesn't taste all that chocolately, nor like much really.

Clearly what you see on the pack is what you get.

You'll need to set aside a good hour and a half to make this one (in true Zumbo style) but you'll be happy with the result. The cake is quite light to eat which was probably the only thing I was surprised about - was thinking it would be more like a mud cake; more dense and chocolatey. My cousin gifted me a second box of this which I'm all too happy to make again - might add some raspberries to it though.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

armory wharf cafe @ jamieson st., newington

This is my second visit to Armory Wharf Cafe; first time was with my bestie for a much needed catch up and second time, with the hubby after yet another week of house-hunting and making those important decisions in life. Armory Wharf Cafe is one of those places to rest and recoup and they serve up some top nosh too!

There's seating both inside and out. We called 30 minutes prior to make a booking and suggest you do so too because turning up expecting a table will probably have you sent away for a good half hour to forty minutes before a table might be ready.

One of the highlights on the menu are these jugs of sodas - here we have the Blood Orange & Cardamon (about 4 glasses of soda in one jug); refreshing and not all that sweet.

A steak sandwich for the boy.

 And the prawn baguette for myself.

A little overcast whilst we were eating but very grateful that the skies held up till we finished.

There's a huge park with some awesome play equipment just by the cafe (one of those places which I wished I had kids so I could actually play on the equipment myself without being called weird). Plenty of parking also and bike hire for those keen for an afternoon activity; though the boy and I started contemplating whether we might actually be able to ride all the way from home here (though sinking into a meal here overlooking the view might just make it a bit harder to get all the way back!)

marion grasby's san choi bow

So by now you know about my fascination with the Marion's Kitchen range so let's cut to the chase, her 'San Choi Bow' is pretty awesome. All you need to add is some minced pork, washed chinese cabbage leaves, sliced spring onion and you have a cracker of a meal.

I thought this was the last one I had to try in her range but alas no, I have one more post to come on her Singapore Noodles.

The finished product in about 20 minutes. If you were having people over, this would make a great starter and honestly, this isn't your regular meal out of jar, it actually tastes like you've cooked it from scratch.

Technically all her packet mixes are meant to serve 4 but when you have two hungry people in the house, it's really not all that hard to finish this between the two of you.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

marion grasby's pad thai

It seems Coles and Woolies have been taking turns to put Marion Grasby's Kitchen Selection on special and between the two supermarkets, I've managed to scoop up the rest of the range which I was hoping to try.  It's actually not that expensive at full price but you know me, I do love a good bargain! Introducing my new favourite from the range - Marion's Pad Thai.

Pad Thai in it's signature red packaging. Everything except for the meat/seafood, egg, spring onion and lime wedges come inside this tiny pack.

We've been breaking in our wok and safe to say, after cooking most days, the wok is nicely sealed and no longer sticks anymore! There's something about cooking in a wok that makes Asian food taste that bit more authentic, I think it's what Chinese people called 'wok air'.

Takes less than 20 minutes to prep and cook this for dinner which is perfect for those days when I'm running home and don't have too much time to cook and trying to be good and not eat take out.

The final product looks pretty authentic to me!

Really enjoyed this one and even had enough for the boy and I to take work the next day. I really do enjoy cooking from scratch but some days, this is a real treat (cuts down the time and tastes absolutely perfect). A thumbs up to Marion Grasby on this one!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

raspberry & cream muffins

If I were to ever open up a cafe, these muffins would be there at the top of the menu; perfectly moist, decadently sweet and just that slight bit of crunch when they come out of the oven - what more could you ask for?

All muffins are best enjoyed with a cup of tea.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line a 12 hole muffin tin. In a large bowl, sift together 310g plain flour, 185g caster sugar, 1 tbsp baking powder and 1/8 tsp salt. Melt 100g unsalted butter and combine with 2 eggs, 100mL milk and 190mL double cream. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients until just moistened. Gently fold in 250g frozen raspberries and spoon into the prepared tin.

Bake for about 25 minutes until well risen and golden and the tops spring back slightly when gently pressed.

Haven't made muffins in awhile but have to say, they're still my favourite cake in the world!