The Unblogged Files: December 2013

12/31/2013 07:02:00 PM

Welcome to the final Unblogged Files for 2013! December was really busy - lots of catchups with friends and family; cooking, eating and shopping for Christmas; and all the usual craziness of the festive season! (You've already seen my Christmas post, and the Lobster party).

I cooked at home a little bit this month, and looking over my photos, it seemed I was really in the mood for comfort food. My favourites in the below photo collage are the Swedish meatballs with dill cucumber salad, kohlrabi/spinach and potatoes, and the very German veal schnitzel with potatoes and white asparagus. So lecker!

Top row: Swedish meatballs, cucumber salad, sugared potatoes, kohlrabi and spinach; Roast chicken and vegetables
Middle row: Spaghetti with bacon and garlic; Wagyu burger
Bottom row: Nuggets and chips; Wienerschnitzel with white asparagus, potatoes, cucumber salad

I made a couple of cafe visits, but mainly for quick snacks or workday lunches. Aside from my beloved Beatrix, I think I'm a bit over the whole Melbourne brunch scene at the moment - poached eggs, corn fritters, smashed avocado blah blah blah.

Iced coffee, coke, chips with garlic aioli at Leroy Espresso, 191 Acland Street, St Kilda

Pork belly sandwich at EARL Canteen, 500 Bourke Street, Melbourne

I took a Canadian friend of mine for pork belly at EARL Canteen, and I must admit we were a bit disappointed - whilst the pork itself was both crispy and juicy, the coleslaw didn't fill the whole sandwich, and I preferred the old crunchy baguette to the soft ciabatta they're using now. (Apparently they changed the bread because lots of customers didn't like the crunchy baguette, so I guess you can't please everyone!)

Escargot and Latte from Plantation, Melbourne Central

Peanut Butter Banoffee Pie at Beatrix, 688 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne

I was invited to attend a charity dinner at Radisson Flagstaff Gardens to raise money for the Philippines Typhoon Relief Fund - a very worthy cause and a very delicious dinner!

Beetroot cured ocean trout on potato gribiche and horseradish cream

Serrano jamon wrapped beef tenderloin with baby vegetable 'pot au feu' and parsnip cream

Assiette of chocolate featuring truffe au chocolat, white chocolate ice cream & chocolate brownies

Sandra and I took a wonderful weekend trip to Mornington, staying at the most fabulous B&B, visiting great restaurants and just generally relaxing. It was an expensive weekend, but a lovely lovely treat! Blogposts to come!

St Andrew's Beach

Breakfast at Big Blue Backyard

With all the busy-ness of the month, I ate out a lot more often than normal (yes really!), often grabbing something Cheap and Cheerful when I couldn't be bothered cooking or wanted to catch up with friends.

Tempura Don from Hanaichi, QV

Spring Rolls, Chicken Pho, Beef Pho and Spicy Beef Broth at Thanh Nga Nine, 160 Victoria Street Richmond

Ayam Penyet (flattened chicken) with rice, egg, tempeh and tofu at Bali Bagus, 85 Franklin Street Melbourne

Pork Chop noodle soup at The Booth, 612 Station Street Box Hill

Chicken and vegetable meatballs at Bopha Devi, 27 Rakaia Way Docklands

Classic ramen with shoyu broth and extra egg at Little Ramen Bar, 346 Lt Bourke St Melbourne

Curry chicken with steamed bread; Vegetarian Char Kway Teow, Lychee soda and Milo mocha at Pappa Rich Chadstone

Mango Snow Ice with Crystal Jelly and Popping Pearl at Dessert Story

We went for Korean BBQ at G2 (301 Elizabeth Street Melbourne) with a good friend and his Korean fiancĂ©, and loved it so much that we went back the next week! I'm not very familiar with Korean food in general, and we loved the jap chae, the pork belly and all of the banchan. (Turns out I do like kim chi! Who knew?)

Korean BBQ at G2

There were also some slightly fancier restaurant visits, mainly for end-of-year celebrations with coworkers (N.B. these were all self-funded!)

Saganaki with grilled lemon and honey at Gazi

We went in a big group for lunch at Gazi (2 Exhibition Street, Melbourne). I thought the food was of very high quality, but my fellow diners mentioned that they thought the service was very abrupt and that it didn't seem good value for money (we got a $49 sharing menu). I brought my camera and took photos - would anyone be interested in a full blog post?

Another lunchtime we hit up Captain Melville (34 Franklin Street Melbourne). I had that same fab quinoa salad that I tried on my first visit, and also really really liked the hand cut chips!

Hand-cut chips at Captain Melville

Another night, we had a girly catchup with my work Angels - lovely risotto and polenta at Merchant (495 Collins Street Melbourne), followed by cocktails and desserts at the Market Lane Bar in the Intercontinental Hotel.

Porcini mushroom polenta at Merchant

Espresso martini and cabernet sauvignon at the Market Lane Bar

Churros at the Market Lane Bar

Spice Temple again! Highlights were the bang bang chicken (that sauce!) and the pork belly with smoked tofu. Delicious.

Top Row: Bang bang chicken; Crisp pork belly and smoked tofu with spicy ginger and garlic dressing
Middle row: Handmade egg noodles, Hunan style with smoked bacon and chilli; Stir fried quail and peanuts with steamed egg custard
Bottom row: Chinese broccoli with house made oyster sauce; Caramel chocolate and peanut parfait

We had some food blogger friends over for a fun afternoon tea one weekend, and I made matcha croissants! Blogpost and recipe to come.

Matcha croissants

I did my Christmas food shopping at Prahran Market, fuelled by an excellent coffee from Market Lane Coffee.

Latte from Market Lane

How beautiful are these rainbow radishes?

Rainbow Radishes

I made Hannah from Wayfaring Chocolate's raw vegan brownies and raw vegan blondies - both fabulous, although I preferred the dark cocoa smokiness of the brownies to the blondies. I'm a big fan of chocolate avocado icing, but I think these would be just as delicious without the icing. Perhaps in little balls with added protein powder? I must experiment.

Vegan Blondies and Brownies

And finally, we caught up with some friends for a cheese party - a Cheesemas, if you will. We sat around eating cheese, drinking wine and other fabulous treats. There was a Lot of Cheese! I baked oatcakes too, and will blog the recipe soon.


And that was December! We're just having a quiet one for New Year's Eve. Happy New Year everybody! Here's hoping your 2014 is full of lots of happy memories and delicious moments!

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  1. That's a massive December!! Have a really Happy New Year :)

  2. My goodness what a stunning array of food! Happy New Year and I hope 2014 brings delicious goodies your way Sarah!

  3. Holy fruitballs I made it (somewhat) into one of your epic Unblogged Files posts, which are one of my favourite parts of your blog! Woooot!

    PS I can assure you that the raw brownie mixture does taste incandescent on its own rolled into balls. In fact, that's pretty much the basis of my squillions of no-bake balls/treats/truffles. And yep, protein powder works well! Depending on the protein powder, sometimes you need to add a little more liquid/moist ingredients. But I know you'll figure it all out... and probably make balls that are far tastier than mine. :P (heh. balls.)

  4. HOLY COW, and you are still skinny! haha I must get to Beatrix more this year :D

  5. Wow you've gone out so much this month :) Thank you again for inviting me to the afternoon tea we had so much fun and please please PLEASE blog the match croissants soon please! I'm still dreaming about them!

  6. I'm always lusting over your homecooked meals. They always look amazing! And I can't believe you made matcha croissants! They looked incredible. Happy new year Sarah - here's to an even more delicious year ahead :)



My email address is sarahcooks [at] hotmail [dot] com.