The Unblogged Files: August 2017

9/02/2017 06:56:00 PM

Hello hello! Time for my August Unblogged Files! It feels like just yesterday I was doing my July Unblogged Files. August was so busy at work, and I only managed to publish three blogposts in the month. I haven't been this unproductive, blogwise, since ten years ago, August 2007! And while we're on the pity party, I've also come down with a cold, blergh. Anyway, it's Spring now, and it's the weekend, so that's a plus! Here's hoping the cold goes away soon and that work calms down a bit. In the meantime, it's Unblogged Files time!

Let's look at breakfasts! Often, breakfasts were quickly eaten at my desk - like a purchased pastry, piece of blueberry walnut streusel coffee cake, or Chobani flip (NOT sponsored, I'm just obsessed and can't stop buying them). But a couple of times I did manage to make a proper breakfast, like yogurt and granola, beautifully buff chickpea bruschetta, or porridge. (Also avocado toasts, that you'll see later in this post).

Chickpea bruschetta; Chocolate croissant; Yogurt, fruit and peanut butter granola; Chocolate and pear danish; Chobani Flips; Chia and Oat porridge; Overnight Oats

And in a move that earned her infinite brownie points, Sandra came home one day with a bundle of food for me - all sorts of yummy and healthy food to make sure that I was eating and snacking right, despite long hours, desk breakfasts, and high stress levels. Awww!

Breakfast and Snacking Goodies

The avocado deliveries have started again. Barham avocados are the best! This month, we got both the bacon variety, and the fuerte. (Deliveries were really close together, due to the harvest timings, so there's been a pretty significant amount of avocado eating going on in August).


I've been getting ample opportunity to practise my avocado slicing. (Some of these are breakfasts, and some are lunches).

Avocado montage

For weekday lunches, I ate out more frequently than usual. Here are the highlights!

Clockwise from top left: Crisp pork belly bun at Pho Nom; Nando's; Tempura Udon at GPO Kenzan; Spicy Pork Bimbimbap at Uncle Jung's; Mini Pork Buns at New Shanghai

Clockwise from top left: Ayam Balado at Fat Oma; Beef Bimbimbap at Oriental Spoon 2; Pork and Pâté Banh Mi at Pho Nom; Cheesy Chicken Bulgogi at CJ Lunch Bar; Burgers & Loaded Fries at 8-Bit

Here are some homecooked dinners! Often I ate leftovers, frozen pizzas or went out, but we did manage some proper dinners throughout the month.

Clockwise from top left: Omelette w avocado & toast; Taiwanese Meat Sauce on Rice; Sundried-tomato & cheese stuffed chicken; Eggplant pizzas; Scrambled eggs with spinach & potatoes; Roast veggies and chicken tenderloins

My brother Daniel came to visit from Japan, so there was lots of family time! We had them over for lunch one day, making Nigella's saffron-scented chicken pilaf...

Saffron-Scented Chicken Pilaf

... and a strawberry and blueberry almond crumble for dessert.

Strawberry and Blueberry Almond Crumble

I also caught up with him one night in the city, for dinner and cocktails at Harley House (71 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000). Love their pisco sours and empanadas!

Harley House Dinner

And we also had a family dinner at Mabrown (6/190 Belmore Rd, Balwyn VIC 3103), where we inhaled a platter of their famous quail.

Mabrown Quail

So, my friends Adi and Natalia recently had a baby (the super-cute Isabella, little sister to the adorable Gabby), so we went to their house for a visit. Upon special request of the mum, I made a big batch of chocolate chip cookies! We also got some KFC for dinner, and they eat it with rice and sambel asli chilli sauce, which apparently is how they do it in Indonesia. Delicious - mind blown.

David Lebovitz' salted butter chocolate chip cookies

Friday night drinks at Belleville! (Globe Alley, Melbourne VIC 3000). Y'all know I'm a big fan of their poutine, but also special shout out for their cheeseburger spring rolls and deep-fried cauliflower.


Due to work and general life busy-ness, I tried to avoid events for August... but I managed to sneak one in! This was to TGI Friday's, to try their new Tuesday-special menu featuring TABASCO sauce. (Available on Tuesdays until the end of September). I am all about hot sauce. We had chilli cocktails, TABASCO habanero fajitas and hot wings, but for me the highlight was these ridiculous spicy potato twisters with TABASCO chipotle, drowned in melted cheese sauce. (Hot sauce is great, but it turns out I am also all about the cheese sauce).

Spicy Potato Twisters with TABASCO Chipotle Sauce

And speaking of cheese sauce, another delicious thing we ate was the Jalapeno Mexi-bowl with TABASCO green sauce. It was like a layer of spicy minced beef, topped with melty cheese sauce and fresh salsa, served with hot and crisp corn chips. It was so good, and I'm desperately trying to figure out how to make something similar, to serve at parties (or alone on Friday nights). Watch this space.

Jalapeno Mexi-Bowl with TABASCO Green sauce

Okidoki, so the highlight of August, for me, was an incredibly indulgent weekend away in the Blue Mountains, staying at Spicers Sangoma Retreat. This place had been on my wishlist forever, and Sandra took me there as a birthday gift! Of course I'll blog about it in full, but think: beautiful and luxurious accommodation in gorgeous surroundings, all food and drink included, including free-flowing Veuve Clicquot (wahey) and fabulous multi-course breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Such an amazing treat, and we got some much needed relaxation. Yay!

Coffee, Brownie, Kindle, Snuggly Couch and Fireplace

Here are some coffees and sweet treats from throughout the month.

Clockwise from top left: Market Lane Prahran; Plantation x 2; Olio & Pane + Berry Muffin; Short Stop; Plantation + Cupcake Central cupcakes; The Providore Swan  Bay Farm + Carrot Cake

And speaking of sweet treats, I'd completely forgotten how good Mövenpick ice-cream is! I know here in Australia we're all about the Italian-style gelato, but these Swiss ice-creams are ridiculous. I treated myself to a scoop of mint choc chip while out shopping one day, and was surprised by how clean the flavour was, and the rich and creamy texture punctuated by shards of dark chocolate. (Also delicious are the caramelita flavour and maple walnut).

Mövenpick Mint Choc Chip Ice-Cream

It was my buddy Surya's birthday in August, and to celebrate, we went to Jinda Thai (1-7 Ferguson St, Abbotsford VIC 3067). I can't believe I'd never been here before - everyone raves about it, and with good reason! Every dish was so good! Especially the crepe cakes. But especially the fried fish with tamarind and shallots. Must go back soon.

Jinda Thai

Jinda Thai Crepe Cakes

As I keep reminding you, it's been busy and stressful at work lately, and I was fortunate enough to receive a couple of encouragement gifts from my friends! How lovely! Obviously these are in addition to Sandra's amazing snack package that you saw at the top of this post. (Reminder for us all: let's all look out for our friends and be kind and encouraging!)

The lovely Clarice sent me a care package all the way from France - gorgeous crystallised violets, and a packet of those amazing butter biscuits from Normandy. (You may remember me gushing about them in my "Sweet Treats from Paris" post). I love them so much! Any idea what to do with the crystallised violets? I'm thinking Poires Belle-Hélène.

Care package from Paris

And the also lovely Jenni arranged for a surprise delivery of flowers and espresso martinis to my office! These were a joint gift for me and James (Jenni's boyfriend/my work BFF), who is also under the pump at the moment. How sweet!

Flowers and Espresso Martinis

And finally, the last thing I wanted to show you today was an impromptu dinner I had with my friend An last week. We started with pasta and prosecco at +39 (362 Lt Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000). How impressive does the crab spaghetti look!

Crab Spaghetti at +39

Followed by fancy theatrical cocktails and dessert at Om Nom Kitchen (187 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000), which was surprisingly busy on a cold Wednesday night. The desserts were good, but the cocktails were even better - the Negroni was brought out under a glass cloche with lots of smoke, and An's espresso martini had dry ice poured over it at the table, which made it super cold and crackly. Super theatrical, and they both tasted great too!

Cocktails at Om Nom

That was August! Wow, I really did eat a lot, didn't I? (Says Sarah every month...)

I just wanted to add - I really enjoy taking this time out every month to reflect on the month that's just gone by. I was rushing around everywhere and August went by in such a blur that it really felt like I'd achieved nothing, hadn't done anything fun, and missed out on spending quality time with my friends and family. But looking back, I see that this certainly wasn't the case. Reflection! Gratitude! Happiness! So important.

Plans for September are to take it easy as much as I can, and a couple of hangs with friends. That's about it!

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  1. So much win-that fried quail, chocolate chip cookies and that avocado slicing!

  2. Good post, love this sharing so much, thank you!

  3. I love the idea of having avocado for breakfast. Do you have any recipes, Sarah?

    1. Not for avocado breakfasts! I usually just slice half an avocado, put it on a piece of light rye toast, squeeze of lemon then salt and pepper. Delicious!

  4. Great, thanks for sharing!



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