Saturday, July 06, 2013

A return to form

Well, I've been telling myself for about the last two years that I'd blog again. It's been nearly 3 since I've bothered to post anything. I guess I've been a bit distracted...by life, work, a toddler, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, BBC costume dramas, sleep, etc etc.

But I had lunch with my friend Danny the other week, he encourages me to write and he inspires me to write because he always has a 100 things going on but finds time for creative output. Good on ya, Danny! Top level stuff, as they say. Where do you find the limitless energy?!

 I need to jot down when a blog post idea strikes. Because they do quite often. It's usually just a line or a thought and I post it on Facebook instead. 'Likes' as affirmations of being witty or whatever.

A couple of Saturdays ago I was in the kitchen making dinner -- something I don't do often, as that is my husband's domain -- and was like, "When I finish this, I'm going to post on Facebook that I made some awesome enchiladas," (because that's what people do). I was attempting a new recipe I had found on one of my evenings of cruising Pinterest. 

...Pause...

Gulp. 

And there was middle-age staring me down the face: you made a recipe you found on Pinterest. 

Well, it was a pretty good recipe, I might add. I impressed Haydn with the 'avocado cream sauce," which was a bit of a wild card but in a lovely flavourful, yet mild way. 

So, the aforementioned recipe is this: Chicken Vegetable Black Bean Enchiladas with Avocado Cream Sauce.

It took me awhile to make, because while enchilada recipes are usually quite approachable, there is hidden work in the "cooked shredded chicken" part or in the "add mixture to a food processor" item. I got there in the end but Haydn was nearly gnawing off a coaster and G was in a near-bleary cartoon haze. 

I'm so out of practice in being a blogger that I didn't even take a pic of my handiwork. So I'll use the photo from Pinterest that got me hooked into the whole undertaking...and back into blogging.

My enchiladas looked pretty much like these


yours truly, 
middle-aged 'pinner'

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Revolver-esque breakfast


breakfast 2
Originally uploaded by haydnfj
Thanks to my mother's group, I have discovered a wonderful cafe called Revolver. It's in an old general store in Annandale. It's not in a strip of cafes or shops, it just regally sits on a corner on a residential street. And oh what wonderment it holds!

I have neglected taking a pic of the breakfast I love there. I think I am too excited when it arrives to do so. The breakfast is a bunch of things, which is why I love it. I still don't particularly like eggs, so there needs to be much there to hide it. This breakfast includes scrambled eggs, sourdough toast, roast tomatoes, rocket (arugula), something called Danish feta (more creamy texture than regular feta)...and half of an avocado. But not just any avocado. The hollow from the seed is filled with pesto. So simple, but such an extra special little touch.

A couple weekends ago, Haydn came up with his own spin on the Revolver breakfast. Scrambled eggs on toast, chili beans simmered in crushed tomatoes, bacon and...that lovely little avocado + pesto combo.

- chunkytoast

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Thursday morning


reach for the toes
Originally uploaded by haydnfj
A quiet morning here on Carlisle Street. It is soupy humid out. The kind of humid where I put sheets to hang on the line and they just don't dry but stay sort of damp. Georgie seems to have discovered the wonder of her toes recently and is happy to grab them and have her own conversation of gibberish, so I'm perched on the couch and letting her entertain herself.

We might head out to the movies later because I am afraid we could get a bit housebound otherwise. The 'Babes in Arms' session is Eat, Pray, Love, which I don't really have much interest in due to the quasi--not-quite-new-age-self-help nature of the book. It was one of those everyone gushed about because the author went on such a soul searching journey when her marriage broke up. It all sounds rather indulgent if you ask me. But James Franco is in it, so there is that.

I remember Elizabeth Gilbert as a writer for SPIN when I used to subscribe to that in high school and college, before it shrunk and shrunk in size.

We'll see where the day takes us...
- chunkytoast

Monday, August 23, 2010

Reuben bagel at Bagel House, Rozelle


reuben bagel at bagel house
Originally uploaded by haydnfj
As any chunkytoast reader knows, upon my initial arrival in Australia, I was fixated on finding Mexican food. Without a substantial Mexican population, it turns out a country probably doesn't really have an established Mexican restaurant scene. While there still isn't anything of the more casual sitdown dining ilk like Madison's La Hacienda, Chicago's El Tapatio, or Manhattan's El Rey Del Sol (RIP) -- there is a movement in the more Qdoba part of the Mexican spectrum with Guzman and Gomez and a couple of places in Surry Hills that are always jam packed with hipsters/burrito enthusiasts on their way to somehere else..

But I digress...because the point of this post is that I have started to yearn for American diner food instead. Grilled cheese, Club sandwiches, crinkle fries, salads with glugs of Ranch dressing, little runny scoops of coleslaw, and the DILL PICKLE SPEAR. Alas, it is not a garnish here. So sad.

I got my Club sandwich fix (with battered fries!) a month ago at The Olive Cafe in little quaint Tamborine, Queensland. It was glorious. It got me thinking about another great sandwich: the Reuben. I have never been a huge Reuben enthusiast but have from time to time been compelled to order one. I'm not sure if it's the Swiss cheese or the sauerkraut that is the main drawcard but it's usually because of those fixings more than the pastrami.

After Georgie and I hit Monday 'mum and bub' yoga in Balmain, we usually go strolling down Darling Street to try a different coffee place and take a peak in at St Vinnie's and the Salvation Army shop. I have been eying Bagel House for a few weeks and decided to try it today. It's very basic, all take away but with a few tables inside. There are a number of bagel options (sesame, onion, everything) but it seems like there aren't flavored cream cheeses - just plain.

Interestingly, Bagel House has a Reuben 'bagelwich' on the menu. I mulled over the menu options and decided to go for it. And it was a treat. Of course it's not really true deli / diner style but who cares - there are pickles that aren't Gerkins finally! And the Swiss cheese was so melty. The sauerkraut did what it is suppose to do and add a little zing. And the pastrami was good without being piled on too thick. The 'everything' aspect of the bagel was very much to my liking too.

I had Georgie asleep in the Baby Bjorn so I put a napkin over her head so that it wasn't covered in poppy and sesame seeds by the time Mama finished her lunch!

-- chunkytoast

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Flat White in Surry Hills and sunshine in Leichhardt

Just enjoying a bit of quiet time here on a Thursday afternoon. Trying to get nap times carved into the day. It's not very easy if Georgie isn't in her pram or in the Baby Bjorn, but we're getting there.

I'm having a listen to Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago. Haven't listened to it in forever and heard it playing at the cinema this afternoon as we left after seeing Cairo Time. While I think of the album as a winter album because it was recorded in a cabin in Northern Wisconsin during the coldest of months, it is really hitting the spot on a warm, windy afternoon. The doors to the backyard are open and the sun is coming in.

I'm not actually having the pictured flat white as I write, it was a coffee Haydn had on Saturday at a cafe in Surry Hills. I just love it when they do the little flourish in the coffee. I take it to mean there is a genuine barista at the the helm of the espresso machine. Sometimes it might just mean they have that little stenicil/motif tool to pour milk over. I'll go with the former.

Hoping that if nap time gets instituted in increments of longer than 20 minutes, I can get a bit back into the blogging more regularly too. Time to flex some creative muscles, write down some thoughts and put it out there.

-- chunkytoast

Thursday, August 05, 2010

First time at Straddie


walk on the beach
Originally uploaded by haydnfj
Georgie and I have been in Queensland for almost two weeks now while Haydn went to work on the Splendour in the Grass Festival. Haydn's parents have been taking very good care of me and Georgie. We headed to our beloved Stradbroke Island on Monday and Haydn joined us on Tuesday for a few precious days of leisure for him.

I took this picture this afternoon on a nearly deserted beach. In the summer, this stretch of beach is full of walkers, dogs, runners, swimmers, and sand castle builders but in the off-season, it's pretty quiet. The days have been sunny, low 20s C / 70s F and pretty mild. Yesterday we spotted whales in the distance and pairs of dolphins doing summersaults in the waves.

For the pic, Georgie is sporting her "Paris Hilton traveling tracksuit," as a Qantas flight attendant noted, and cuddled up with her Daddy. She falls asleep in the Baby Bjorn on average in 10 minutes. But maybe this time it was the fresh ocean air that lulled her to sleep.

-chunkytoast

Saturday, July 17, 2010

pooped out


pooped out
Originally uploaded by haydnfj
This photo was so funny. We were checking out the old wares at Doug Up On Bourke and Georgie was very well behaved while perusing the library card catalogue cabinets, old school desks, and kitchen bric a brac. As we headed down the stairs to leave, I was behind Haydn and could watch as her eyes went droopy and more droopy til they were closed. Asleep.

This little way she likes to be held we call her Koala or Koalie pose. At 11+ weeks it's the new way to hold her when she needs a cuddle. Works wonders.

-chunkytoast