2014 Roundup

It’s been quite the year, with lots going on and a lot of time spent travelling, skiing and just living life in general, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for blogging! I say every year that I hope to blog more, but I guess it’s not a bad thing that I’m spending more time living life rather than writing about it. There’s still plenty of blog posts in the pipeline though, and with 2014 almost done and dusted, it’s time to revisit some of my favourite moments from the year.

Peach picking at Pine Crest Orchard, Bilpin
Peach picking at Pine Crest Orchard, Bilpin

I kicked off the year with something I’d always wanted to do – fruit picking! Sir D and I spent the day in Bilpin picking some of my favourite stone fruits and eating pies at roadside diners. It was a great day out and something I’d definitely recommend.

Mini-don set at the Nijo Markets, Sapporo
Mini-don set at the Nijo Markets, Sapporo

In April, I visited Japan for the first time and realised that I would never, ever get sick of Japanese food.

Kakuni ramen at Meijinbou,  Sapporo
Kakuni ramen at Meijinbou, Sapporo

We ate sushi, ramen, yakitori, takoyaki, okonomiyaki, onigiri and perfectly constructed cakes day in and day out and I never got sick of it. The bigger problem was deciding what to eat and having enough meals to fit everything in!

Chocolate strawberry shortcake from Le Tao, Otaru
Chocolate strawberry shortcake from Le Tao, Otaru

And yes it’s true… we’re going back again in March 2015! We’re spending most of our time skiing in Niseko but don’t forget that days of falling over skiing can work up a hearty appetite…

Raw deep sea prawns, prawn oil, walnuts, okahijiki, 1 year old preserved lemon, saishikomi soy from Ume Restaurant, Surry Hills
Raw deep sea prawns, prawn oil, walnuts, okahijiki, 1 year old preserved lemon, saishikomi soy from Ume Restaurant, Surry Hills

I discovered a new (well, new to me at least) Japanese restaurant that blew our socks off… and re-visited some old favourites.

Smoked meats from the Black Betty smoker at The Oxford Tavern, Petersham
Smoked meats from the Black Betty smoker at The Oxford Tavern, Petersham

Meat’s always been popular, but this year saw the rise of low ‘n’ slow, smoked meats, served Southern BBQ style. We stuffed ourselves into meat comas with meat from the Black Betty smoker at The Oxford Tavern. There’s much brisket, smoked chicken, ribs and pulled pork deliciousness to be had.

Hundreds and thousands from Li'l Darlin', Surry Hills
Hundreds and thousands from Li’l Darlin’, Surry Hills

We checked out some cool bars, including one that literally opened a few days ago. And I discovered that I’m starting to move away from sweet fruity drinks and learning to appreciate whisky (of all things! I blame Sir D).

A choc pot from The Choc Pot, Burwood
A choc pot from The Choc Pot, Burwood

Of course, the year wouldn’t be complete without some dessert! You guys probably know by now that I pretty much love all desserts. But I think I’m a bit of a chocoholic at heart (though doughnuts still make me a bit weak at the knees…) so a chocolate feast at The Choc Pot was right up my alley.

Chocolate fondant at Manta Restaurant, Woolloomooloo
Chocolate fondant at Manta Restaurant, Woolloomooloo

Then there was that amazingly oozy chocolate fondant

And Messina. Always Messina.

My first ever chiffon cake
My first ever chiffon cake

I did a bit of dessert-making myself this year foraying into the world of chiffon cakes, which I had a slight obsession with for a couple of weeks, churning out multiple cakes that Sir D and I unashamedly demolished between the two of us.

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Christmas time also brought out the baker in me with not one but two desserts!

Boxing day dessert of white nectarine tart with vanilla bean creme patissiere

A photo posted by Jacq (@jacq_in_a_box) on

And that brings us to the end of yet another year, with lots of eating done and probably more exercising required. Wishing you guys a happy new year and hoping that 2015 brings more happiness and deliciousness to you all!

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