Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Unblogged Files: March 2013

It's time for the Unblogged Files: March 2013! It was, like February, a pleasantly quiet month with lots of friends, family and food. Just the way I like it! Let's roll.

We had a celebratory family dinner at Choi's, in Hawthorn. It was rather fancy, and the food overall was tasty and clearly made of high quality ingredients, although quite expensive, and there were very few other Chinese families around. (It was Hawthorn, after all!) I'm hoping to blog our visit, but in the meantime please enjoy this picture of a bacon and spring onion pancake. It was hot and flaky and very very good.
Spring onion and bacon pancake at Choi's

I tested out the coffee at Prospect Espresso in Camberwell. Coffee was good, and the food going to other tables looked very appetizing (especially the fries!). Def wanna go back for a proper meal!
Cappuccino at Prospect Espresso - $3.80

I enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Abla's with my parents. Again, this is a meal I'm hoping to blog, but for now I'd like to show you my favourite dish: kibbeh nayeh. This is a raw lamb dish, served with mint, raw onions and pita bread. It was so delicious, just like my beloved Bratwurstfilzl.
Kibbeh Nayeh

How early was Easter this year? I haven't eaten a crazy amount of hot cross buns this year, but I've really enjoyed the Hot Cross Buns from Cafe Vue - they have a lovely denseness to them, with lots of rich spices and moist dried fruit.
Hot Cross Buns

I've been cooking more Chinese food this month for quick meals (following Fuchsia Dunlop recipes, obviously, but I've also been improvising a bit and mixing up my flavourings). I really enjoy buckwheat noodles with sesame-chilli sauce, simplified dan-dan mien (I haven't got the preserved vegetables so it's not technically proper dan-dan), and stir-fried potato slivers with chilli and Sichuan pepper. I've never been in the habit of cooking several dishes with rice, Chinese-style, but I'm really developing a taste for it! It's nice to have variety.
Top row: Buckwheat noodles w/ chilli sesame sauce, peanuts and sesame seeds; stir-fried cucumber w/ Sichuan pepper & chilli
Second row: Dainty leftovers, stir-fried cucumber; Dan-Dan mien
Third row: Egg-fried rice, homestyle eggplant, bok-choy in stock, stir-fried beanshoots w/ chives; Dan-Dan mien with bok choy
Fourth row: Dan Dan mien; Stir-fried potato slivers w/ chilli & Sichuan pepper, Dan-Dan flavoured pork mince, stir-fried bok choy w/ chilli and garlic

Speaking of Chinese food, we caught up with the lovely Billy for lunch at Dainty Sichuan one weekend. Mega chilli overload! I can never get over how big the portions at Dainty are - we took leftovers home and were eating them for a week!
Clockwise from top left: Gong Bao chicken; green beans with minced pork, Chongqing chicken, fish-fragrant eggplant; cumin lamb skewers
We had a brunch catch-up with the lovely Daisy and April at Coffeehead in Camberwell. The coffee and company was wonderful, as expected, but I felt a bit bad choosing the venue - the food didn't seem to be as good as normal (although the pulled pork burger was very popular!), and there weren't any sweet items on the menu that day. (Sorry Sugar-Queen Daisy!).
Clockwise from top left:
Pulled pork burger; Yolkporn; Corn fritters; Baked eggs; Pancakes with mushrooms; Fruit salad with yogurt; Latte

That night, we hit up yet another Paul Mathis venue: Firechief Pizzeria, with some other friends. I had been planning to cook, but it was like 38 degrees that day, and my kitchen was boiling hot! No thanks! We wanted to go somewhere with good food, where it would be easy to park, and for which we didn't need a booking. Firechief fit the bill! We shared three pizzas and a bowl of fries between the four of us, which was a perfect amount.
Clockwise from top left:
Margherita d.o.p the authentic - san marzano tomato, bufala mozzarella, fresh basil & extra virgin olive oil - $20.50
Funghi - fior di latte, wood-fired baked mushrooms w porcini, taleggio & fresh parsley - $21.90
Calabria - fior di latte, parmesan, calabrese salami w green olives, chilli & fresh oregano - $21.90
Shoestring fries w rosemary salt flakes - $7.50

Speaking of hot weather, we made the most of one of the last hot days of summer by going to Chelsea Beach and getting some fish & chips. So much love!
Chelsea beach

Fish and Chips

One night, at a loose end in town, we visited Neapoli for dinner. A new restaurant from the same owners of Spring Street Grocer, they serve different pastas, rotating salads and homestyle dishes like chilli con carne (with a deep-fried cornbread stick!). They also do Spring Street Grocer gelati for $3 a scoop. Bargain!
Clockwise from top left:
Chilli con carne; Barley salad; Yogurt gelato; Mango & orange gelato

I dusted off the old blowtorch one night, and made crème brûlée! It's easier than you'd think, and soooo delicious!
Burn baby, burn!

Tap tap crack...

We caught up with April and hubby again, this time in North Melbourne. We'd wanted to go to Beatrix, but they were chockers, so had lunch at nearby Elceed, before returning to Beatrix for cake. Elceed's breakfast dishes were great, and I loved their iced mango green tea!
Clockwise from top left:
Baked eggs with feta, carrot and eggplant kassundi
Poached eggs on sourdough toast w candied prosciutto and feta
Field mushrooms on sourdough w/ balsamic glaze
Corn fritters

Beatrix seems to be crazy busy on Saturdays now that they're closed on Sundays, and a lot of cakes had sold out by the time we'd gotten there. Next time I'll sacrifice my Saturday-morning gym session and go super-early!
Orange chiffon cake with sour cream glaze


I made Nigella's crustless pizza for lunch when I was home sick from work one day and could not even face leaving the house. Doughy yummness.

Nigella's crustless pizza

Just before the long weekend, a lovely coworker of mine shouted us Cupcake Central red velvet cupcakes! My fave!
Red velvet cupcake - $4

And that was March! I feel this post was a bit shorter than normal, because I've been pretty good about blogging things quickly - Captain Melville, the Fig Almond and Pine Nut Tart, my Chocolate Mini-Loaf Nut Cakes and my Miranda Party were all visited/baked/eaten/hosted and blogged in March. I've also got a few completed posts sitting in my drafts and thus not included in this post... stay tuned for Rockwell & Sons, The Mess Hall, White Chocolate and Raspberry Muffins, and a Magic Custard Pudding Cake!

Plans for April - got a few parties and events coming up, but trying to keep my weekends free for relaxation. I know we're in the middle of a long weekend, but I'm already looking forward to Anzac day and my birthday! Yay!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Miranda Party!

The hilarious Miranda Hart!
So as you may or may not be aware, I'm totally obsessed with Miranda (the TV show and the comedian!) If you haven't seen the sitcom, you simply must! Funniest show ever! I love how she's just naturally a funny person, I love the slapstick and the self-deprecating humour, I love the Britishness of it! And of course, the fart jokes! (Heheheheheh). It's not lost on me that Miranda is a female comedian, a female comedian who created, writes and stars in her own sitcom, a wildly successful mainstream one, no less. Totes amazeballs! But mainly I just love her because she is absolutely hilarious.

We've gotten heaps of our friends onto the show (including my cousin, who in turn, spread the Miranda love far and wide when she travelled through Europe last year), and I must have seen the first episode at least a dozen times! I just can't get sick of it.

We were so excited when the third series started in December, and there was a point earlier this year when we literally had two nights a week dedicated to the viewing of Miranda with friends. (Tuesday nights were mini-Miranda marathons for a friend who was catching up on the series, and Wednesday nights we'd have everyone gather at our place to watch the latest episode). Sometimes it became three nights, as I'd have to re-watch certain episodes to pick up things I'd missed because we were laughing too hard.

The logical conclusion of all this? A Miranda party! Essentially this was an excuse for our fellow Miranda-obsessed friends to sit around one afternoon, watching Miranda and eating cake.

Having watched the series so many times, I've started to notice things in the background of the show - like how Miranda (the character) always seems to have a cake or two in her flat, or at least at tin of biscuits or a plate of sweets! And you know, her flat is surprisingly stylish for someone whose shtick is that she's not very chic. My cousin and I often seem to have long discussions about the Miranda world, the characters, the quotes, the storylines. (Like, why didn't Clive know that Gary was back? And what happened to Clive anyway?) I know this is extremely dorky, but I suppose it's too late to be shy now!

At first I had thought I could try to recreate some of the cakes featured in the show, but they all seemed to be big, multi-layered affairs like Victoria sponges with whipped cream and berries, coffee sponge cakes etc. (And yes, I did make a list). Whilst I'm sure they would have tasted heavenly, I didn't want to make so much food that we wouldn't be able to eat it. In the end, I decided to make a selection of Miranda-inspired food, in generous quantities, but in bite sized pieces so we could keep picking at them all afternoon long.

My friends brought savouries and other snacky bits and pieces: cheese, grapes, chocolate Digestives (so very British!), crackers, crisps and so on. (I bloody love crisps!)
The snack table
The party definitely felt like a success - for the first few hours no-one even asked if we could watch TV, but kept hovering around the snack table, or as I like to call it: my "nibble and mingle zone". Some of us even had savoury, moved to sweet... then switched back to savoury! Wild and crazy, I kid you not!

I only made one hot item: a big plate of sausage rolls. (Hehe, "sausage").
Sausage rolls
My sausage rolls are super easy: I just use my favourite pork sausages, cut off and discard the skins, then wrap them up in store-bought puff pastry. I glaze them with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds, then bake them at 200C for 30 minutes. Super yum!

I also made some mini Malteaser muffins (i.e. Nigella's malteaser cake, baked as mini-muffins), which I felt were like a bite-sized version of the many multi-layered cakes in the show.
Malteaser Mini Muffins
No savoury muffins here!
Malteaser Mini Muffin
I also thought Miranda (the character) would appreciate how nipple-tastic they are! Hehehehe. (Ooh! Naughty!)
Malteaser Mini Muffin
I made a batch of coconut macaroons too - not that these have ever been on the show, but I wanted something gluten free for one of my friends who is a coeliac, and having British biscuits in a tin felt very "Miranda". (I also had egg whites in the freezer and coconut in the pantry - winning all around!)
Very tasty, moist little coconut treats. Oh good lord, that's moist! It's a Nigella recipe, definitely worth giving it a go!

The pièce de résistance was a pavlova, (Miranda eats pavlova before partying with Tamara in the episode: "A New Low"), which again, was a gluten free treat we could all enjoy! And even though I said I didn't want a bunch of huge cakes, I thought it would be nice to have one central, large cake. I made it on the morning of the party, and decorated it just before my friends arrived.
I was impressed with how stiff (Ooh.. naughty!) the meringue mixture turned out. Check it out!
Meringue Tower!
I was almost tempted to bake it in the tower shape, but thought a normal cake shape would be more sensible.


Normally I'd slice up the pavlova and serve it on individual plates... but eh, I didn't want to do any more dishes, and we were all friends, and everyone was looking at the pavlova with hungry eyes... we plonked the pavlova on the coffee table, sat around, grabbed a spoon each and dug right in! Communal pavlova!
Digging into the communal pavlova
Miranda: "There's no need to cut that!"
Finally, sugar-satiated and full, we moved the remaining snacks to the coffee table, put another pot of tea on and started watching Miranda. Such fun!
Snack table
Now that I think about it, this party seems to be like a really low-key version of my Mad Men-themed birthday party of 2011!

Do you watch Miranda? Do you have a favourite episode? Favourite character? What's your favourite Miranda moment? Are you team Gary or team Mike? What are your thoughts on themed parties?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Fig, Almond and Pine Nut Tart

Fig, Almond and Pinenut Tart

Instagram, Twitter and all my food magazines seem to be awash with figs right now! Not only are they in season, but they're delicious, and seem to be a lot more accessible than they used to be. I remember a few years ago, only seeing them in markets, and even then they would be quite expensive and difficult to find. (I remember spending quite a bit on them during my How to Eat Project in 2005/2006!) I'm glad they're more easily available now!

As I was sitting down to one of my many fig-and-yogurt-based breakfasts recently, I got to thinking about how good they'd be in a dessert. A tart, to be specific, with a crisp pastry base and a soft almond filling. Then I thought pine nuts and honey would be nice on top. I didn't have a specific recipe or source for inspiration, but I'm sure I've seen similar desserts in many recipe books and magazines over the years, which would have entered my brain through osmosis. It's not a particularly original combination, but an extremely tasty one. Some combinations are classics for a reason!

Fig, Almond and Pine Nut Tart

So, to the tart itself - even though there's a pastry base, the whole thing is very, very easy. The dough for the shortbread pastry is not rolled out, but simply pressed into a pie tin, and the almond filling is just stirred together and poured over the top. Easy! (I used Nigella's Bakewell Slice recipe from Feast as my starting point, adapting it to suit my tin and to include the figs).
Shortbread pastry base
It was a blisteringly hot day when I made these - about 39C from memory - and the pastry dough practically melted as I mixed the butter into the flour with my fingers. Rolling out normal pastry would have been impossible that day, let alone a super-buttery shortbready pastry like this one! After spreading it in the tin, I let it firm up in the freezer before baking it. The base turned out wonderfully crisp and crumbly - I think it'd be a great recipe to use for normal shortbread, or as a base for caramel slice!

...topped with figs...
I cut my figs them in half lengthwise and arranged them over the base - however, I think you could fit more figs in if you cut them in thin wedges (for an idea, take a look at this beautiful pistachio frangipane tart that Thanh instagrammed the other day!)
...with the almond topping and pine nuts...
I just fit all my frangipane mix in the tin, and there was a little overflow - in my recipe below I suggest a deep 20cm pie tin, rather than the shallow one I used above. (With a deeper tin, you could fit more figs in too!)

Baked fig, almond and pine nut tart 
I couldn't believe how good it tasted, for something so easy! Crisp buttery base, soft and moist almond filling, juicy figs, a slight crunch from the pine nuts - all good things! I decorated the tart with thyme flowers just because I thought it looked pretty, but the herbal aroma really went well with the fragrant almond filling. (Prosaically, they're easy to pick off if you don't like the herbal hit!) A dollop of rich double cream is essential.

with double cream

...and a bit of honey too.
and with honey!
Enjoy! How are you enjoying your figs? Any fig suggestions for me before the season ends?

Fig, Almond and Pinenut Tart
Sarah's version of a classic combination
Pastry and filling recipe based on Nigella's Bakewell Slice (Feast)

For the shortbread pastry
115 grams plain flour
30 grams icing sugar
Pinch salt
115 grams butter, very cold and cut into cubes
For the filling
75 grams butter, melted
2 eggs
75 grams caster sugar
75 grams ground almonds
2 tablespoons pine nuts
3-4 figs
To serve: honey, thyme flowers, double cream or ice-cream

Preheat the oven to 180C.
Place the flour, icing sugar, salt and butter into a bowl. Rub the mixture between your fingertips until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Press the mixture into the base of a deep 20cm loose-bottomed pie tin. Place in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up. (Or the freezer if it's really hot outside!)
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
To make the filling, stir together the melted butter, eggs, sugar and almonds.
Slice the figs in whatever style you like, and arrange over the base. Pour over the almond filling and sprinkle with pine nuts.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.
Allow to cool slightly. Drizzle with honey and thyme flowers just before serving. Serve with double cream or ice-cream on the side.
Makes 8 slices.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Garlic and Saffron Prawns

Garlic and Saffron Prawns
When I made this dish, I was so very impressed by how cheap and easy it was, that I enthusiastically tweeted a picture of them, with the caption: "For dinner tonight I made quick&easy saffron garlic prawns. Only $3 for the prawns&feels luxurious!"... only to get a couple of tweet-replies saying that my tweet sounded sponsored or PR-driven. Haha!

It wasn't. I was literally just that excited by the dinner I'd made and wanted everyone to know! I don't often eat prawns, or even cook meals without following a recipe, and was just so pleased with how this off-the-cuff dinner turned out. Those of you who know me will know that it is entirely normal for me to flip out about mundane food things like this and irritate everyone around me with my enthusiasm. (E.g. "My local supermarket has lamb ribs now!", "That cafe near my work is selling cold drip!", "I used pine nuts instead of almonds in a salad and they were amazing!")

Just to be clear: this meal involved no prawn-sponsorships, no shady prawn-tweet incentives, no free prawns from the mysterious prawn people in exchange for positive prawn coverage. (If I were in cahoots with the prawn people, or if I'd gotten free prawns for some reason, I'd just say so! No reason not to!)

I just bought some prawns at the supermarket and cooked them up for dinner.

So, let's look at the meal itself. I simply steamed the prawns in white wine, using pretty much the same method as I do for mussels. Easy easy, fast, and cheap!
Garlic and chilli sizzling away in olive oil
Who doesn't love the smell of garlic sizzling away in a pan?

I added a pinch of saffron to the white wine, enriched the sauce with a little butter at the end, and sprinkled it with parsley to serve. Dee-licious.
Garlic and saffron prawns, lemon wedges, bread roll, rocket

Garlic and saffron prawns, rocket, bread roll, lemon

Garlic and Saffron Prawns
An original recipe by Sarah Cooks

Generous pinch of saffron
1/4 cup dry white wine
Olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 chilli
200 grams shelled raw prawns
Flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Place the saffron in the wine and set aside.
Peel and finely slice the garlic, finely chop the chilli (deseed it if you like).
Place the garlic and oil into a pan that has a tight fitting lid. Place the pan over a medium heat, cooking until the garlic aroma wafts up. Add the chillies and turn the heat to high.
Add the prawns, followed by the saffron and wine, which should sizzle ferociously. Stir around to mix, then clamp on the lid and cook for 2 minutes.
Remove the lid, and remove the prawns to a serving dish with a slotted spoon.
Boil the liquid to reduce and thicken it slightly. Add a little butter if you like, to enrich the sauce. Pour the sauce over the prawns. Sprinkle with pepper and garnish with chopped parsley to finish.
Serve with crusty bread and lemon wedges.
Serves one

Sunday, March 17, 2013


This year I've gotten into the habit of instagramming my breakfasts at home, and I'm really enjoying it! My enthusiasm for these breakfast instagrams seems to be contagious, and they've become the most popular of my pics - thanks for all the comments and "likes", guys!
Blueberries, mango, yogurt, Cappuccino

You see, at the start of the year I set myself a challenge to eat a proper breakfast at home every morning. Prior to this, I'd bring breakfast to work and hurriedly eat it at my desk - this was a cynical ploy that would let me sleep in as long as possible each morning.  However, after a while I realised it wasn't really working for me - I'd inhale my breakfast without really thinking, it would take me ages to properly "wake up" at work, and I'd be distracted for the first part of the morning. Not good! (It's also hard to run for the tram if you've only been out of bed for twenty minutes beforehand!) And whilst my breakfast choices were generally decent - yogurt and fruit mostly, sometimes those Belvita biscuits if I were feeling lazy - I wouldn't really appreciate it, and if I were caught short, I could find myself eating some pretty horrendous and expensive breakfasts. I remember, one particularly frantic morning, having a double espresso and a carrot cupcake with cream cheese icing and feeling jittery for the entire day!

So since the start of the year I've been getting up twenty minutes earlier and preparing myself a nice little breakfast. I've totally been loving it! Apart from actually having something nice to eat, it's been great to have a little five minutes of "me time", preparing myself something nourishing. It's given me heaps more energy and really brightened my mood.

If you sometimes struggle to think of what to have for breakfast, hopefully these pictures will inspire you!

As you can see in the top picture, fruit and yogurt is a favourite combo of mine. I made a big batch of Nigella's chocolate and peanut granola at the start of the year, and enjoyed it sprinkled on my fruit and yogurt.
Yogurt, granola, strawberries, mango, blueberries, Flat White

Yogurt, granola, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries
 This one wasn't a weekday one - Sandra actually made me the below breakfast on New Year's Day, including grinding the coffee beans by hand!
Yogurt, granola, raspberries, Chemex coffee

Yogurt, granola, nectarines, mango, strawberries

Yogurt, granola, blueberries

Yogurt, granola, blueberries

Since I ran out two months ago, I bought more ingredients to make more granola, but I haven't been bothered yet, haha. I do like fruit and yogurt by itself though, especially if I've had a big dinner the night before, or if I have some big eating planned!
Yogurt, blueberries, Cappuccino

Yogurt, mango

Mango yogurt, banana, Long Black

Yogurt, figs, honey

Yogurt, figs, white peach

Yogurt, figs, white peach, Latte

Even though I've been too lazy to make more granola, I find the addition of toasted pine nuts to add a nice little crunch to my morning yogurt!
Yogurt, figs, honey, pine nuts, Tea

Yogurt, figs, pine nuts, honey

Yogurt, raspberries, pine nuts, honey

Yogurt, raspberries, pine nuts, honey, Latte
This one below is a little fancy - again, it wasn't a weekday one, but another special weekend breakfast Sandra made for me! I do love that Chemex coffee...
Grilled figs, yogurt, honey, pistachios, Chemex coffee
I've also recently (as in last week) got into savoury breakfasts with yogurt! Inspired by the smoked salmon yogurt pot at the Chobani Yogurt bar in New York (no, I haven't visited, but I do follow them on Instagram), I tried yogurt with smoked salmon and sliced avocado, drizzled with olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Low carb, high protein and incredibly delicious! After eating it, I was thinking about it all day.
Yogurt, smoked salmon, avocado, olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice

The yogurt in question that I always eat is Chobani 0% - you may remember ages ago I got a massive free sample and went crazy cooking with it (including a yogurt party!) and it's become my favourite yogurt. I buy it all the time (obviously, considering the number of photos you see above!), and I love the fact that it's high in protein, low in fat and gelatin-free. It's also quite savoury - it tastes quite like a labneh or even a fresh cheese.

I see quite a few savoury yogurt breakfasts coming up in the future! Thanh had this yogurt with salami and cornichons for breakfast, which I think would taste great. I'm also thinking it would be good with cucumber, or with dukkah and olive oil - any other ideas, guys??

Ok, so moving on from the yogurt... I went through a bit of a bagel phase at the start of the year. Glicks are my favourite! (I've tried other brands when I couldn't find Glicks at my supermarket and didn't have time to drive out to the bakery itself, but none of them have been as good). I do find bagels a bit heavy as a breakfast so I don't eat them super-often... although on reflection they might not be as filling if I didn't always have them with a milky coffee!
Bagel, cream cheese, cherry jam, Latte

Bagel, smoked salmon and cream cheese, Cappuccino

Bagel, cream cheese, jam, Cappuccino
Continuing on the carb theme, I do often eat toast as well. I like getting proper loaves of artisan bread from a bakery and making fancy toasts...
Toast, cream cheese, smoked salmon
...however I find it really impractical. First, it's a b*tch to slice proper crusty bread! And we never seem to make it through a full loaf before it goes stale so it often goes to waste. (In more organised moments, I slice and freeze this type of bread on the weekend, but it's a bit of a hassle). So usually when I have toast, it's pre-sliced supermarket bread. I prefer the grainy varieties, for nutrition and taste.
Wholemeal seed bread, banana, honey, Tea

Wholemeal seed toast, peanut butter, nutella, mashed banana, Tea

Peanut butter & jam on wholemeal seed bread, Soymilk

Wholemeal seed toast, one with mashed avocado, one with cream cheese and cherry jam, Tea

Wholemeal seed bread, mashed avocado, Cappuccino

Wholemeal seed bread, one with avocado slices; one with cream cheese, smoked salmon and chives; Tea

Wholemeal seed bread, cream cheese, smoked salmon, Latte
I bought some Helga's sandwich thins once ("more sandwich, less bread!") - I thought they might be good for mornings when I wasn't hungry enough for toast, but too hungry for yogurt. I didn't fall in love with them though - they tasted alright but weren't particularly flavoursome, and they were a bit soft, unable to support the weight of the toppings.
Sandwich thins with cream cheese, smoked salmon and chives, Cappuccino
Sandwich thins, one with scrambled egg and chives; one with smoked salmon and a cherry tomato; Espresso

A bread-alternative that I really do like, however, are wraps! I usually just buy supermarket chapatti wraps, and have recently been using proper tortillas from El Cielo. (I got given two massive packets of corn tortillas from the guys at El Cielo, and I'm slowly working my way through them, making delicious tacos and fab Mexican scrambled eggs - any ideas on what to do with tortillas would be greatly appreciated!!)

Wrap, smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, Sriracha, Espresso

Wrap, leftover fritatta, Sriracha, rocket, Tea

Wrap, smoked salmon, avocado, feta, chives, lemon zest

A second picture of the same wrap... because it was SO VERY DELICIOUS

Wrap, smoked salmon, avocado, feta, chives, Cappuccino
(This one had no lemon zest because I ran out. I would totally recommend adding lemon zest because it makes the whole thing taste even better!)

Corn tortilla, my cousin's homemade Mexican salsa verde, scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese and chives, avocado

If I make big breakfasts on the weekend, I'll often keep leftovers for my weekday breakfasts, rather than overeating, or letting them go to waste. (See the fritatta-filled wrap, above!)

I reheated a home-made waffle in the oven for an indulgent breakfast. (It heated in the time I needed to get dressed and do my make-up. Multitasking! Efficiency!)
Liege waffles, strawberries, icing sugar

Ditto my fig and yogurt pancakes...
Fig and yogurt pancakes, honey, Cappuccino

Ditto these German pancakes that Sandra made one Sunday morning...
German pancakes - they're like a Yorkshire pudding, some apple-filled, some plain

German apple pancakes, ice-cream, maple syrup, icing sugar, Chemex coffee
You can see from the Chemex pot in the background that the above pic was from a weekend, but I def ate some of those puffy little pancakes on a weekday too! (Minus the ice-cream, obviously).

And finally... I made Nigella's Scotch Pancakes one weekend...
Scotch pancakes, nutella, lemon, sugar
...and used the leftovers as bases for kinda breakfast canapés.
Scotch pancakes, some with avocado, salt, pepper and lemon juice; some with cream cheese, smoked salmon, chives and pepper; Cappuccino
I wasn't planning to make them look so fancy, but I was pretty proud of those little avocado flower thingies! It put me in an inordinately good mood to have such a pretty breakfast.
Avocado flower!

And we're done! It should come as no surprise that I have a constant supply of yogurt, avocados and smoked salmon in my fridge at any given time, as well as the usual eggs, milk and Nespresso capsules. (A friend of mine joked that I should buy shares in Tassal!) It adds a little bit to the weekly shop, but preparing breakfast at home is so much cheaper (and nicer) than buying equivalent food at a cafe, so I feel the expense is justified. Not to mention all the extra benefits: more energy, relaxation and "me" time, and - let's be honest - getting some Instagram/Twitter love. It totally puts a smile on my face! I'd much rather eat food like this than cereal, which never keep me going throughout the morning, or those soulless little 250ml liquid breakfast drinks you can get at the supermarket.

So - do you eat breakfast? Do you make or buy? What are your favourites? How do you fit it in with your lifestyle? And (importantly) - do you have any suggestions for healthy and tasty breakfasts I can make on a weekday?