The Unblogged Files: April 2014

5/03/2014 05:06:00 PM

Hey hey everybody! Unblogged Files time! So, as those of you who follow me on Instagram will know, the second half of April was full of birthday celebrations as I turned thirty on Wednesday! Yay! I didn't have a big party, but rather tried to have a few fun foodie catchups with friends and family in small groups... which ended up being a bit more epic than I anticipated. You guessed it, I'll be doing a separate birthday round-up post shortly, hehe. When I went through the photos in my phone, I initially thought I might not have enough material for a non-birthday related Unblogged Files for April, but I was wrong! There are heaps of foodie things to share with you! So let's go!


Top Left: Bircher Muesli; Bottom Left: Mashed broadbeans on rye toast with poached egg & chemex coffee
Top right: 3-Grain oatmeal (quinoa, rye, oats) w LSA, coconut sugar & raspberries
Middle right: Egg-fried brown rice
Bottom right: Quest bar, Chobani, raspberries PB2

Top left: 3-grain oatmeal (oats, rye, quinoa) with honeyed ricotta & raspberries
Top right: Omelette with tomato, ham, gruyere, parmesan & chives, buttered rye toast
Bottom left: 3-grain porridge (oats, rye quinoa); Bottom middle: Wholegrain pancakes
Bottom right: Buckwheat crepes with sauteed apples & coconut yogurt

I attended a complimentary media event at TGI Fridays, the launch of their Stacked Burgers. Cheeky midweek cocktails for the win! The burgers are available until the thirteenth of May, and my favourites were the New York Deli Burger (the one with the pickle in the photo), and the Chicken Mushroom Chicken burger (top right), which was a riff on that Chicken Mushroom Chicken dish they used to do that I LOVED when I was a kid! Aah.. memories.

TGIF Stacked Burgers Launch

I did just a little baking this month: my beloved madeleines au miel...

Madeleines au Miel

...and a batch of milk chocolate chip rye cookies, from the Comme Un Lait Fraise blog.

Milk chocolate and rye cookies

You know, I felt like I was being lazy, eating out and getting takeaway heaps this month, but it turns out I actually cooked a lot of dinners at home! Go me.

There were some pasta dishes... all very delicious. (I just realised these were all from Nigella! Recipes are linked in the photo caption.)
Left: Pasta with garlic oil and pancetta
Top right: pasta risotto with peas and pancetta
Bottom right:Big pasta with mushrooms, garlic and thyme

I also enjoyed some comfort food - toasties, veggie and lentil soup, chicken stew with mashed potatoes and a German favourite of crepes with asparagus, ham and hollandaise sauce.

Top left: Ham, tomato and gruyere toastie
Bottom left: Ham, gruyere and chive toastie, vegetable and lentil soup
Top right: Mashed potato with chicken and capsicum stew
Bottom right: Buckwheat crepes, asparagus, ham and hollandaise sauce

... and some easy quick dinners made an appearance too.

Top left: Stirfried beans with minced pork (Fuchsia Dunlop recipe from Sichuan Cookery)
Top right: Chilli beef on rice
Bottom left: Pan-fried salmon, tomato salad, grilled zucchini salad
Bottom right: Lamb curry with pilaf

And one night I splashed out and made fillet steak with cauliflower cheese, baked potatoes, sour cream and chives. Amaze!

Fillet steak, baked potatoes with sour cream and chives, cauliflower cheese

I attended a really great sake tasting class at Chef's Armoury. (N.B. it was a complimentary class organised for bloggers). It was hosted by the very knowledgable and enthusiastic Leigh Hudson, whose aim is to get us thinking of sake like we think of wine - individual, unique, varied.

Sake, sake and knives

He guided us through a tasting of six different sakes, explaining the different types of sake, different production methods, and food matching. It was a really fun and informative night - thank-you to Fiona from Zilla and Brook for the invite!

Nibbles and dinner at the Sake Class

Chef's Armoury sells a great range of sakes and, crucially, have lots of information and descriptions in English for those of you who are keen on sake but can't read Japanese. They also sell Japanese cookware, knives and cookbooks, and host knife skill classes. I haven't tried the knife skill classes, but my foodie friend Amelia completely independently booked herself in for one last year, and said it was great.

And you know something cool? I was Instagramming from the class, saying how much I want some of those amazing Japanese knives... and my dad who happened to be in Nagoya at the time, saw it and texted me asking if I wanted anything! I'm so lucky! Check out these amazing gifts my parents brought back for me from Japan: super sharp, fully forged, knifes, two gorgeous sake sets, and (non sake or knife related but still totally awesome) a box of petits fours and biscuits from Henri Charpentier. Squeee!

Top left: Japanese kitchen knives
Top right: Sake set with cute turtle and crane
Bottom right: Assorted biscuits from Henri Charpentier
Bottom left: gold leaf sake set

Of course, April means Easter. I don't ever really OD on chocolate eggs, but I did enjoy a few treats over the long weekend! I loved these hot cross buns from Cafe Vue! The chocolate hot cross buns were super intense, with loads of chocolate chips and cloves, and the spelt and cranberry ones were deliciously hearty. Yum.

Cafe Vue hot cross buns

And I also loved these hot cross bun flavoured chocolates from Chocolatier. (Yes, we bought a box of 48. Eep!) Don't worry, they're not all finished yet!

Chocolatier Choccies

As I mentioned above, we did eat out and get takeaway a bit this month, due to general life busyness - some better than others - here are some of my favourites.

Classic ramen with shio broth and extra egg at Little Ramen Bar, (346 Lt Bourke Street, Melbourne 3000)

Handmade broad noodles with chilli oil and beef at Noodle Kingdom, (264 Swanston Street Melbourne 3000)

Small chicken pho with Vietnamese iced coffee at I Love Pho Pheonix, (349 Victoria Street Abbotsford 3067)

So that is my (non-birthday related) Unblogged Files for April! You can look forward to my birthday round up and five million birthday posts, haha. I would like May to be a bit quieter, but there's already a lot of stuff planned - dinners, a weekend trip to regional Victoria (a thrilling birthday present!) and more.

I'll leave you today with a picture of my bro and I from on my fourth birthday. Apparently it was international siblings day in the middle of April, and he happens to be visiting from Japan right now, so it seemed appropriate. Hooray! Siblings!

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  1. I'm so glad that I'm off to dinner now because I'm ravenously hungry but for things like hot cross buns and Easter eggs after seeing this! :P

  2. So glad I've just had dinner! Coz all those photos looks amazing! Please cook me breakfast one day! LOL

    Also those gifts from your parents looks amazing! :D

  3. Oh my gosh you and your brother are so cute together! Love the photo!!

  4. wow! all those yummy food.

  5. Happy birthday Sarah, and welcome to the 30-something club! How cute are you and your bro? :)

  6. Happy Birthday dear Sarah! Love your pressies, lucky girl!

  7. Looks like an excellent month of eating - happy birthday!

    I was overseas for most of April so missed the hot cross buns...so those hot cross bun chocolates have me drooling!



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