It feels good to finally cross off another item from my mental list of restaurants to go to. Justin North’s Etch has long been one of those restaurants that I’ve heard about, read about and drooled over but I’ve never had the opportunity to dine at. Tonight we’re celebrating Sir D’s new job with dinner at Etch in the quirky dining room adjoining the Intercontinental Hotel.
We decide to go with the degustation menu which includes 6 courses for $85 (now $90 I believe) or $125 for 6 courses plus matched wines (now $135). Not long after ordering, the first course arrives and it’s a beautiful dish of Petuna ocean trout which has been cured in beetroot to give it a pink hue. This is served with baby beetroot and baby radish, a streak of beetroot puree and a quenelle of horseradish cream to give the dish a nice kick.
Yesterday I made these peanut butter biscuits for a very special friend of mine. Here he is.
Meet Max. He’s a Shih Tzu and unfortunately he’s Sir D’s, not mine. I’ve had my fair share of pets in the past but my mum has never let me have a dog, saying that she and my dad would have to end up taking care of it, and that if I want one so badly, I can get one when I move into my own place. So I’ve had to make do with other people’s dogs and Max is one that I get to see quite frequently.
Max turns 11 this year and although we know he was born in April, we don’t know the exact date. So we sort of just assigned him to have his birthday on April Fool’s Day. He is a little bit foolish sometimes – he gets overly excited whenever anyone in the family comes home and grabs his plush toy and starts galloping excitedly around the house, veering around the corners a little too sharply and stacking it face first onto the tiles. But he’s a resilient fellow, and he just gets right back up and starts running around again.
I found out last year that he loves cookies (especially gingerbread!) so I thought I’d make him a batch of home made dog biscuits this year. I found a few peanut butter dog biscuit recipes on the interwebs and combined them together to make these biscuits, and drizzled them with a little bit of white chocolate. And yes, white chocolate is safe for dogs to eat since it only contains trace amounts of theobromine, the substance that is toxic to dogs.
These biscuits aren’t just for our four-legged friends, humans can eat them too! In fact, I tried a few of them when they came out of the oven – they’re a little bit bland since they don’t have any added sugar (only some honey) but they taste peanutty and I actually quite like the texture of them. And my unsuspecting dad ate a biscuit when he got home from work without knowing they were supposed to be dog biscuits and didn’t think there was anything wrong with them.
I haven’t had a chance to give these to Max for him to try but I hope he likes them! The tell-tale sign of him enjoying his food is when he licks his nose after eating, like this: