Friday, 22 June 2012

Wintery weekend baked beans

The other weekend my sister came to stay and it was a cold blustery weekend. M and I do a cooked breakfast at least one day on the weekend and usually we have eggs, our fave. But this weekend I felt like something a bit different so on Saturday morning I whipped up a big batch of baked beans which was enough for M and I for brekkie on Saturday and then the three of us (including my sister) for brekkie on Sunday.

My baked beans aren’t technically baked as they’re done in the pan on the stove, but ‘baked beans’ has such a good ring to it that I’ll leave it at that. It’s great to have something already prepared when you wake up of a morning, only needing to warm it in a pan and make toast and you have a warm nutritious brekkie.

My baked beans

  • 6-8 rashers of bacon, fat trimmed off and cut into small strips
  • 1 jar of pasta sauce (if you’re against pre-prepared products you can use tinned tomatoes)
  • 2 tins of butter beans, drained and washed (or any beans you want really)
  • 1 large onion, diced finely
  • 1 garlic glove, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (I’d run out so used golden syrup instead)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Fry the bacon until crispy.
  2. Remove from pan and sauté onion and garlic until translucent.
  3. Add cooked bacon and remaining ingredients.
  4. Simmer over low heat 25-35 mins until a good consistency.
  5. Adjust flavours and you’re ready to eat!

Kate eat-drink-dream

Monday, 18 June 2012

Brekkie at Pillar of Salt

I’ve been to Pillar of Salt a few times lately for brekkie and both times have ended up ordering the same thing! The green eggs and ham – poached eggs and smoked ham on a brioche with herby apple cider hollandaise and crunch pieces of granny smith apple. They’re great, and I’m a sucker for eggs Benedict in any form! What initially attracted me to it was the addition of the crispy apple – it sounded unusual but the flavour went so well with the richness of the runny eggs, hollandaise and brioche. My only criticism is that I always end up overeating, the brioche is quite large and I reckon you could actually share one serve.

M had the Southern omelette with creamed corn, coriander, jalapenos and toast. He liked it because it was different and a bit unique (kind of like him). He’s a sucker for anything spicy and it worked surprisingly well.

The venue’s great too, both times I’ve been we’ve ended up sitting at communal tables, but they’re big enough that you don’t feel crowded or uncomfortable. The staff are helpful and the coffee’s great! I wish I lived a bit closer, I’d visit more often!

Kate eat-drink-dream

Pillar of Salt on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Dinner at our local Indian

One of our favourite low key meals out is Indian. We really love a spicy curry and there’s something about eating curries out that I can never quite replicate at home. Café Saffron, the Indian restaurant in Ivanhoe is our favourite local, it’s just 2 minutes down the road from us.

What I love about it is how friendly the owner and staff are, we turned up one wet Friday night with no reservation and they seated us right away. The food here is always good and they have a great selection of vegetarian dishes. I’m particularly partial to the Aaluu Baingan Ki Subz (eggplant and potatoes cooked with tomatoes) and the Baluchi Aalu Mattar (Green peas and potatoes in tomato gravy). This time we decided to try some things we haven’t eaten before as we could be missing other great dishes by always ordering the same!

Our first dish was sizzling chicken served on the hot plate. This was a first for us and we really enjoyed it, the chicken was beautifully tender and had a great spicy flavour. It was a generous portion and good served between 2 as an entrée.

We usually get a veggie curry and a seafood one, this time we had the potato and spinach curry and a prawn curry (apologies, I can't quite remember which one this was) these were great although both fairly mild in ‘hotness’. I think next time I’d ask for the prawn one a little spicier so we could have one mild and one hot curry (most people would probably like this level of spice but M and I like it HOT). I must must must ALWAYS have the garlic naan - yes I know that’s a big emphasis, but these are my favourites. Café Saffron make them so deliciously light and fluffy, just perfect to scoop up juices with your fingers and make a mess.

Always a great friendly meal out at Saffron, just writing this post makes me want some more Indian tonight!

Cafe Saffron on Urbanspoon

Kate eat-drink-dream

Friday, 8 June 2012

M's wine review - 50 Vines Toolern Vale Shiraz 2009

This wine comes from a small boutique producer, just north of Melton in Victoria - Toolern Vale.

We had this wine for dinner at Kate's sisters place. It's not a common label you'll find anywhere, I suspect you might have to get in touch with the winery to buy a bottle.

It's a very nice Shiraz, full bodied, fruity, plenty of length - complete. If you can get your hands on this wine do so! It's great!

Price range $30-$45

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Balmy weekend lunch at Cafe Vue at Heide

A couple of weeks ago we took advantage of one of the last balmy weekends and visited Café Vue at Heide. We’re so lucky to live only a 5 minute drive from the Heide gallery and gardens and don’t make use of it as much as we should. Café Vue was established right next to the gallery a few years ago and M and I have visited a couple of times.

So this balmy Saturday we took a stroll through the beautiful gardens (the veggie garden is such an inspiration) then wandered into Café Vue for a bite. We sat outside as the weather was so mild. M ordered the Vue salad sandwich with ham and I ordered the warm coconut chicken and salad wrap.

I normally love Café Vue’s food (I’m a big fan of the city one on St Kilda Rd) however I’ve gotta say we were a tad disappointed on this occasion. M’s sandwich had all the makings of being great, but the bread was really thick and it made the sandwich dry overall. My ‘warm’ chicken wrap came toasted on the outside but not really warm through. The chicken didn’t have much flavour and overall it was dry. After seeing a man at another table ask for a little bowl of mayo and adding it to his wrap I followed suite. The mayo certainly made it more tasty, but I don’t think you should have to doctor your food quite that much when out in order to make it tasty! The other thing I found odd is that the wrap came with a side of quite oily and thin crisps – they weren’t terribly tasty either.

M and I will definitely continue to visit Café Vue at Heide (I can’t go past the Croque Madame for brekkie) I just know to try ordering something else next time!

Café Vue at Heide on Urbanspoon

Kate eat-drink-dream