2012 Roundup

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First of all, I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas! I mentioned in my previous post that I was hosting a Christmas meal at my place, so here’s a few snaps of some of the food that was devoured.

Clockwise from top left: Prawn, mango and avocado salad (made by mother dearest); Roast prime rib of beef with glazed carrots and beans; Chocolate cherry pavlova; Strawberry and mint tiramisu

It’s hard to believe that we’re already at the end of another year. At the start of 2012, I remember thinking how long this year was going to be, but looking back now, it feels like it’s flown by. I’ve finished off my Masters degree, learned to ski and fell in love with it, and bought our first car (and learned to drive manual!). It’s been a busy year so at times this blog got a little neglected, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t plenty of delicious food!
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Christmas Shortbread

Only 4 more sleeps til Christmas! The lead up to Christmas can be stressful and crazy – especially when shopping centres are packed and it takes half an hour to even get into the carpark – but I think it makes me appreciate Christmas even more, since it’s usually quite a relaxing time for me.

The thing I love most about Christmas is the gathering of family and friends to share a meal and exchange gifts. This year, I’m hosting a Christmas Eve dinner at my place, which is sure to involve lots of mayhem in the kitchen! I’ve tried to be organised though by making some things in advance, like this Christmas shortbread.

This recipe is super easy to make, and are perfect as little treats to go with a tea or coffee after a meal, or wrapped up as take-home gifts for guests. I took a regular shortbread recipe and injected some festive cheer into it by turning half of the dough into cranberry and white chocolate shortbread, and the other half into green tea shortbread.

I love the contrasting colours of the two shortbreads together. They also have quite different flavours with the cranberry and white chocolate being sweeter with pops of tartness from the cranberry, and the green tea shortbread being ever so slightly bitter. Regardless, they are both delicious, and I think they will become part of my regular Christmas baking routine from now on!

I hope everyone has a fabulous Christmas! May you stuff your bellies full of tasty food and may Santa make all your Christmas wishes come true :) Continue reading Christmas Shortbread

Dulce Luna Viennoiserie, Sydney

Sponsored by Nuffnang

Pastries. Delicious, buttery pastries. I have this dream of going to Paris and eating a freshly baked pastry from a different patisserie every day. I don’t think my waistline and arteries would approve, but I’m sure my tastebuds would! Until I can make it to France, I’ll have to seek out pastries and croissants in Sydney.

Dulce Luna, a hole-in-the-wall store on York St definitely fits the bill, dishing out thousands of gorgeous, glistening pastries every day – just like the ones above. I attended the launch of Dulce Luna, where we were able to find out more about the pastries on offer, and do a bit of taste test as well.

So what is a Dulce Luna? Gus Mendez, founder of Dulce Luna, explains that they are a product influenced by many different parts of the world, including the French croissant, the Italian cornetti and the Argentinean media luna (half moon) from where the product gets its name.

Clockwise from top left: creme patisserie – $3; raspberry – $3; ham, cheese and bechamel – $3.50; dulce de leche – $3
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Ippudo, Sydney

The latest global phenomenon to hit the shores of Sydney is Ippudo, located on level 5 of Westfield Sydney. Before, Sydneysiders were queueing up for Laduree’s pretty macarons, but now it’s all about the ramen. We visited on a weeknight but still had to wait for around 30 minutes. Thankfully, there is a bar out the front and the bartenders are more than happy for you to order drinks and bar snacks while you wait.

Ippudo pork bun – $4
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Puntino Trattoria, Woolloomooloo

If you’re a cheese lover and you haven’t tried burrata yet, you are seriously missing out. Inside this plump, knotted ball of cheese is cream and soft mozzarella that oozes out once it is cut into. It is rich, creamy and oh so delicious! The promise of burrata and wood-fired oven pizza is what drew us to Puntino Trattoria, which is hidden away on the Woolloomooloo side of Crown Street.

Cacio di cavallo – $16.90

We’re being treated tonight with a multitude of cheeses and treats from the wood-fired oven, starting with the smoked provolone that is baked in the wood-fired oven with shaved black truffle. The truffle aroma hits as soon as it lands on the table, and we use the tongs to take a piece of the melty, stretchy cheese and eat it with the accompanying bread.

Calzone ai formaggi – $10 (left) and calamari in padella – $16 (right)

Other entrees that we sample also include the calzone ai formaggi – a wood-fired pizza folded over with mozzarella, parmesan and garlic – and a simple but delicious flash friend calamari with lemon and garlic. The calamari pieces are especially good as they are slightly tangy from the lemon and very tender.

Mozzarella degustazione platter – $15.50pp (min 2 ppl)
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