2012 wrap up!
Ahhh the end of the year recap! I want to thank you all for reading my corner of the world, as always it’s been a blast and it just wouldn’t be as fun without you! Thank you for all the comments, emails and lovely messages on Twitter and Facebook, you guys make my world go round 😀 So ready for a time trip? So something I didn’t blog about:
The boy and I went to Fiji at the beginning of the year for an extremely belated honeymoon and it was amazing. Blue skies, even bluer water and the friendliest people ever. Days were filled with alternating swims in the pool or down at the beach and lazy arvo naps. We stayed at Likuliku Resort on an island off the mainland and visited the local villages and schools. Tried the cava ceremony which was a bad idea because I am a lightweight but the food! The food is amazing! The freshest fish we’ve ever had, tropical fruits galore and of course the tasty beverages with paper umbrellas at the beach were a mad plus.
This year there was copious amounts of fried chicken. So much fried chicken but hey that’s never a bad thing! Beschico (Epping), Arisun (Haymarket), Naruone (Sydney), Jazz City Diner (Darlinghurst) are my top pics of the year.
There was a looooot of donuts. I love donuts! I totally want to go on a road trip around USA just eating donuts! For now I’ll make do with awesome donuts in Aus from the American Doughnut Van (QV Markets, Melb), Flour and Stone (Woolloomooloo), Famous Donut Berry Van (Berry) and Walker’s Doughnuts (Melbourne).
Some super quick recipes because we all know life is too short for complicated goodness!
And then there was that time when I thought building a Tim Tam Colosseum would be a piece of cake…
My first ever visit to New Zealand, Cloudy Bay where there was scuba diving, foraging and incredible wines.
The movie Battleship came out. It was both terrible and awesome at the same time and to celebrate we recreated battleship BUT WITH SHOTS haha epic Battleshots is epic!
Aaaand to keep it short and sweet that’s it! By the time you guys read this I’ll be on a lil adventure with the boy to a part of Australia I never would have thought I’d visit so catch me on Instagram and here’s to an incredible 2012 and let’s make 2013 a year to never forget!
Super Easy Gingerbread Men recipe using only 1 bowl
I LOVE GINGERBREAD!!! My most favourite biscuit everrrrr! And of course it has to be the soft chewy type, none of this rock hard business. And oh em gee is Christmas really 2moro? Haven’t done any Christmas baking just yet? Then this recipe is for you! I’ve modified a gingerbread recipe from the awesome Exclusively Food a tad, making it a one bowl recipe and upping the ginger content because I am crazy about ginger and it just makes the whole house smell incredible. Dear Future Suze, triple the recipe!
Teehee my favourite character in Shrek was Gingy so I colour matched the icing as best I could but anyways who’s ready to start baking?
2½ cups plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp mixed spice (ground spice mixture of cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg)
4 tsp ground ginger (Dear Future Suze, when tripling the recipe, use whole packet of 25g ginger)
140g salted butter, softened
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup golden syrup or treacle
1 egg yolk (egg white can be reserved for the icing, combine it with 1⅓ cups of icing sugar)
Packet of royal icing mix (I used this because raw egg white creeps me the hell out)
1. Beat the 140g butter and ½ cup of brown sugar together in a large bowl. Stop the machine occasionally and use a spatula to scrape down the side. Beat until the mixture is creamy- about 7mins.
2. Beat in the egg yolk and the ½ cup golden syrup/treacle until mixture is just combined.
3. Sift in the 2½ cups of flour, 1 tsp bicarb soda, 2 tsp mixed spice and 3 tsp ginger and stir with a wooden spoon until combined (or beat on extremely slow speed.)
4. Divide dough in half and roll each lot between sheets of baking paper to 5mm thick.
Use a gingerbread man cutter and stamp away! If the dough is too soft slide the dough onto baking trays and shove into the fridge for 10mins or until the dough firms up and the gingerbread men are easy to remove without losing any limbs. I use a smallish approx 5cm gingerbread cutter. Preheat oven to 150C for a fan forced oven.
Place gingerbread men 2cm apart and bake one tray at a time for 8mins. If you rolled your dough thinner or if you like them a bit more chewier try baking for 6 mins or watch till edges become golden. And obvs bake longer for a crispier cookie.
Cool cooked biscuits on tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
MY ARMY! Make sure gingerbread have completely cooled before starting to ice. Make icing either by packet mix of by mixing the egg white with 1⅓ icing sugar and transfer to a piping bag or ziplock bag with the corner snipped off.
Not the gumdrop buttons!
This recipe makes about 20 small gingerbread men but I would highly recommend you double it because you won’t be able to stop at eating just one 😀
Merry Christmas! Hope you guys have a safe and awesome holiday!
Street Sliders Food Truck, Parramatta. Come on down to Parramatta where there be sliders galore!
So like, all those food trucks that rolled out earlier this year? I still have not visited a single one! I usually head home straight from work and hardly ever trek out to the city on the weekends but guess what westie peeps? Street Sliders is here to spread the food truck love in Parramatta! Street Sliders is run by brother and sister team Patrice and Nathalie and their launch was over the weekend with their truck parked in Church St Mall drawing curious passer-bys.
The menu is short and sweet for now with 4 sliders available and some sides, shakes and corn. $1 from every slider sold at the launch was donated to their chosen charity Barnardos Gift for Kids which was pretty awesome and they’re hoping to do more with them in the future.
There was a bit of a wait in the queue so the boy and I decided to order one of all the sliders just because 😛 We opted for the Trio Combo ($17) which comes with 3 sliders, a side (we chose the Salad Crunch) and a soft drink. Aaaand the 4th slider by itself ($5.50 each), a strawberry and buttermilk shake ($3) and elote/corn ($3.50).
YARMMMM! Piping hot and slathered in a secret sauce and spice the corn is sprinkled with a shaving of parmesan and kosher salt and is the perfect street food snack.
Helloooo sliders! First up is the Sancho Slider, a juicy patty on a bed of avocado and topped with a jumble of corn, tomato, red onion and coriander. I side step what I think is a pickle and palm it off to Noods who soon realises it was a slice of jalapeno! The Prime slider is my fav, mainly because of the awesome maple-caramelized bacon and melty cheddar cheese. The Brick slider has a fat piece of chicken and it’s the garlic aioli that totally makes it but it’s a close call with the smokey eggplant in the Smoke Slider for my second favourite.
The side of Salad Crunch got upsized to a normal portion rather than a side because of the wait and it was pretty tasty considering you know, it’s a salad 😛
The Street Sliders Truck will be back this Saturday at Church St mall at 5.30pm so get there early if you’re in the area and follow them on Facebook to see where they’re at next!
ChocolateSuze was invited to the launch of Street Sliders
One can never have too much pastry. Dulce Luna Viennoiserie (66 King St, Sydney), opened it’s doors last week to spread the pastry love with their super cute ‘Media Luna’ which are a softer, sweeter pastry in the shape of a croissant.
Sponsored by Nuffnang.
One can never have too much pastry. Dulce Luna Viennoiserie (66 King St, Sydney) opened it’s doors last week to spread the pastry love with their super cute ‘Media Luna’ which are a softer, sweeter pastry in the shape of a croissant served in all Argentine ‘Cafeterias’. I was invited to the launch to try their range and hear from founder Gus Mendez and head chef Herve Boutin.
Located on the corner of King and York St, blink and you may miss this tiny shop! A cabinet filled with Media Luna’s is set against the entrance, perfect to peer into while you decide which flavour to get.
I’m drawn to the Glazed Dulce Luna ($2.50 each), which isn’t as sweet as the shiny glaze suggests. While I do miss the flakiness of a normal croissant, I love how the Dulce Luna pastry is buttery with a surprisingly light texture and doesn’t leave me feeling like I’ve eaten my weight in fat.
I can’t resist the Chocolate Dulce Luna ($3 each) with an oozy chocolate centre or the Raspberry Dulce Luna ($3 each) which was my fave of the lot and sells out by 11am each day!
We get a sneak peek demo with Herve to see the production of the Dulce Lunas with dough that had been proving overnight.
All Dulce Lunas are cut and rolled by hand and it is evident that he loves each and every one as shown with the care he takes as he arranges the newly formed Dulce Luna on the baking tray.
(Photo from Excuse Me Waiter) I attempt to roll a Dulce Luna but uhhh I won’t show you how badly mine looked!
Mmm box of treats! Facebook and Twitter followers of Dulce Luna get discounts for a limited time- 15% off for mixed half dozen box ($12.50) and 15% off for mixed dozen box ($24) till 31st March 2013 so be sure to grab a box for arvo tea!
Last week Mexico Food & Liquor Restaurant (17 Randle St, Surry Hills) finally opened up in the space previously occupied by District Dining. Prepare yourself for the incredible Coffee and Ancho Braised Beef Rib!!!
EDIT: CLOSED OH HAIIIII! 14 days to Christmas you guys!!! Not that I’m counting… but gosh I absolutely cannot wait for the holidays! So anywhos last week Mexico Food & Liquor Restaurant (17 Randle St, Surry Hills) finally opened up in the space previously occupied by District Dining. And yes I know everyone says don’t judge a restaurant that’s just opened blah blah woof woof but when you work less than 50m away I couldn’t resist checking it out for lunch with Ramen Raff and again over the weekend with the boy. And yes I drank that whole carafe of frozen strawberry margarita ($25) by myself cos hey tis the season to be merry 😛
We start with Tostaditas of Crab ($8) presented on the ubiquitous chopping board. The gloriously golden tortilla triangles hold shreds of crab meat and combined with the dollop of creamy apple and green onion mojo makes this snack ridiculously moreish.
Mexico’s Fried Chicken ($12) comes with the tagline “Not to be missed!” so of course it had to be ordered. Visions of a pile of chicken drumsticks or wings covered in a crispy batter had filled our minds but unfortunately a basket of boneless chicken arrives instead, with a breadcrumb-ish exterior and covered in a layer of cumin. It was still tasty though and the 2 chilli warning surprisingly didn’t send me screaming from the room.
Chipotle Lime Ceviche ($14) is an instant hit with Noods who loves all things kingfish. The flavours are fresh, the jumble of capsicum, tomato and garlic chips vies for attention but are ultimately sorted through to get to the kingfish.
I don’t think I could ever be sick of tacos. Tacos make me happy! The Pibil Rubbed Pork Soft Shell Taco ($6) is so packed full of juicy pork, black beans and red cabbage that it requires two hands to pick it up without dropping any of the precious.
The Coffee and Ancho Braised Beef Rib ($16) catches my eye on the specials blackboard and it is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. As soon as the board lands in front of us I just knew it would be the rib of my dreams! The sweet, caramelised edges of tender meat with ribbons of creamy fat was just so satisfying and probably health-sucking but oh man this is one rib you definitely do not want to share! This rib is the reason I returned 2 days later! I hope it remains on the menu for like, FOREVER.
Finger licking deliciousness right Raff?
I would’ve like more cheese in the Roast Eggplant Quesadilla ($12) but it’s stuffed with just the right amount of eggplant and walnut nubbins and a quick schmear of cumin sour cream makes everything right with the world.
There’s only two choices for dessert and being too full for the Chilli Chocolate and Cinnamon Cake ($8), I opt for the Mexican Shortbread Biscuits with Mandarin Curd ($8). The shortbread alone isn’t special but the mandarin curd? WOAH. Creamy and with a citrus zing it is the perfect match with the buttery shortbread.