The Unblogged Files: November 2015

12/07/2015 08:01:00 AM

Hi everybody! Time for my November Unblogged Files!

November was a fun and busy (but not crazy) month - woohoo. Very exciting, I got a bunch of fab new cookbooks! (Thank-you Sandra for buying these for me!)

New cookbooks!

I've been ridiculously excited about Simply Nigella! I've been cooking quite a bit from that, and plan to do a round-up post soon. The Spice Temple cookbook is just beautiful, and has the exact same feel as the restaurant (which, as you'll know, is one of my favourite restaurants ever!) It's obviously quite cheffy and technique driven, so I don't think I'll be cooking from it much (if at all), but it is gorgeous and I have enjoyed reading it. Jamie Oliver's Everyday Superfood has lots of great practical, healthy recipes. (See below for pictures of his protein toast, which I've been enjoying for breakfast).

And speaking of breakfasts...

Jamie's superfood protein toast was really good! It's based on almond meal, chickpea flour, yeast and lots of eggs, is gluten free and extremely filling. I find that two thin slices with a topping keep me full well past lunchtime.

Jamie Oliver's Superfood protein toast with avocado, cottage cheese & chives, cottage cheese & banana, cottage cheese & blueberries

I also enjoyed my glut of avocados on regular toast as well. (I've finally finished this month's shipment, and I'm grateful that there's a break until Christmas!)


And of course, there were açaí bowls, overnight oats and yogurt and granola.

Clockwise from top left: Overnight oats, Açaí bowl x 4; Yogurt and granola

I was pretty good at bringing lunch to work this month - my new thing (and thank-you Sandra for the idea and for preparing them most of the time!) is a tupperware of fresh vegetables, served with hummus and / or tuna. It's cheap, gives me lots of vitamins, and doesn't leave me in a carb-induced stupor for the rest of the afternoon. Yay. Another option for hungrier days is the tinned tuna with one of those single-serve microwave brown rice sachets (don't judge, just love) and whatever veggies I can find in the fridge.

Veggies, dip, tuna

I bought a couple of work lunches as well - Grill'd, Nando's, Simmer Huang. (Simmer Huang, amazingly, has no queues any more and is super easy to get into).

Top left: Chips platter at Grill'd, Grill'd Burger
Bottom left: Nando's extra hot quarter chicken with peri-peri chips
Bottom right: Braised pork ribs at Simmer Huang (319 Swanston Street, Melbourne, VIC. Australia 3000)

There were quite a few homecooked dinners this month (and this month I actually cooked some of them myself, and didn't just leave it all to Sandra - yay!) Most of them were Simply Nigella recipes, so I'll save those for my round-up post.

Top left: Massive salad! Top right: Crudités and dip, avocado lettuce wraps
Middle left: Crudités and dip, avocado lettuce wraps; Middle right: Avocado and pizza shapes
Bottom left: Mushroom risotto & massive salad; Bottom right: Roast turkey, red cabbage and criss-cross potatoes

We also did a Humburger (789 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn VIC 3122) run one night, when we were too tired and lazy to cook. I like their plain Hum burger burger the best!

2 x Hum burgers, fries & disco fries (with housemade cheese wizz and BBQ sauce)

My folks took us to King's Jade (9 Village Ave, East Doncaster, VIC 3109) for dinner one night, and OMG it was delicious! Their crispy roast pork (siew yoke) was the best I've had in a long time! And their crispy fried noodles with beef was really great as well.

King's Jade (9 Village Avenue, Doncaster East, VIC 3109)

We did a couple of fancy dinners too... one was the full seven-course degustation with matching wines at ESP Estelle by Scott Pickett (245 High Street, Northcote VIC 3070), for my friend An's birthday, which was amazing! Blogpost to come, but for now, check out this gorgeous raspberry soufflé!

Raspberry Souffle

Another night, we took my friend Adri to The Town Mouse (312 Drummond Street, Carlton VIC 3053) for her birthday. I promise to blog it this time!

Lime posset with green apple, dill and matcha - $16

Did a couple of cafe visits this month - memorable dishes were the Rueben bagel at Manchester Press (8 Rankins Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000)...

Rueben Bagel at Manchester Press

... and the pea, mint and feta fritters with chorizo, poached eggs and hollandaise at Three One 2 One (424 Bridge Road, Richmond VIC, 3121).

Pea, mint and feta fritters with chorizo, poached eggs and hollandaise

The relentless targeted advertising on Facebook worked, so one night we did a Yo-Chi run! I got one of their açaí smoochis - with house made granola, açaí (proper purée, not powder - I looked), banana, coconut water and coconut froyo. It was deeeeelicious. The butterscotch froyo was also ridiculously delicious. It's been a coupe of years since I was last obsessed with Yo-Chi (see January 2013 Unblogged Files for proof!) - I fear the addiction is coming back!

Açaí smoochi, butterscotch fro-yo

I attended quite a few invited events in November...

The first was the Taste of Melbourne Opening Night Gala, which was a fun evening with canapes, champagne, cocktails, and the most ridiculous cheese buffet by Milk the Cow.

Taste of Melbourne Opening Night Gala

And speaking of excellent cheese, the next day I went to a lovely lunch in the cheese cave of Spring Street Grocer - this was a media lunch for European Cheeses, an EU-financed campaign to promote French cheese around the world. So much cheese. So much delicious.

European Cheese Media Lunch

One sunny Saturday morning, I attended a Wine Food Farmgate Garden Party in the Botanic Garden - a picnic lunch showcasing food, wine and produce from the Mornington Peninsula's Wine Food Farmgate trail.

Mornington Peninsula Garden Party

And finally, I also went to the launch of Luxbite's Christmas range. I adore LuxBite's cakes and tarts, so I was mega-excited about this event! All the Christmas cakes were delicious, but their gold macarons with salted peanut caramel and chocolate coated puffed rice were incredible!

LuxBite Christmas Launch

My coworker Jess had a birthday this month, and I offered to bake her a cake. She read through my blog and chose... The Jimbo Cake! That's a banana and choc chip cake, with fresh banana in the middle and peanut butter cream cheese frosting. I forgot how much I love this cake! (And yes, for the day it was re-named the "Jess Cake").

The "Jess" Cake

And last Sunday, Sandra surprised me with an awesome breakfast in bed. Hooray!

Breakfast in bed

Plans for December: work trip to Western Australia, a couple of events, a fancy dinner or two, hosting an afternoon tea for some friends, and CHRISTMAS!

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  1. That raspberry souffle. Such height! And woohoo looking forward to seeing your food pics from WA :)



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