Saturday 29 January 2011

Ottolenghi's Apple and Olive Oil Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Layer cakes are like wow.  Like double decker buses, cakes are just plain cooler with more levels.

Layer cakes are really not my strong point.  Not. At. All.

Layer cakes are my nemesis.

If the middle frosting isn't squishing out all over the show, it's the cake layers that slide all over each other refusing to line up.  Like when you put the wrong ends of two magnets together.  Utter cake fail.

But then I see the beautiful pictures of other bakers' majestic multi-layered marvels on foodbuzz, tastespotting and foodgawker; and over time the anguish and heartache of previous cake fails is forgotten and that urge to attempt the impossible creeps in again: the irrepressible urge to make a layered cake.

So when it was my mother-in-law-to-be's birthday, the layer cake fairy once again whispered in my ear and I found myself trawling the web for choc-free layer cake recipes.

Enter Ottolenghi's Apple and Olive Oil Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Monday 24 January 2011

Black & Blue Weekend: Black Swan & Blue cheese and pear salad with honey roasted walnuts

{Blue: honey roasted walnuts for the salad}


We watched the movie Black Swan with Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis in the weekend.  Absolutely mesmerizing - amazing acting, beautiful costumes...but it was just plain creepy.  No scrub that - it was frrrrrreaky.

I am definitely not a scary movie fan.  The Sixth Sense gave me nightmares for weeks.  But having danced for most of my childhood, I couldn't resist a ballet movie.  The dancing, the costumes, the Tchaikovsky score - it was both hauntingly beautiful and gave us major heebie geebies.

Oh and did I mention the clothes? Bring back ballet chic baby.

{Jacket love - via}


This weekend I also made Blue Cheese and Pear Salad with Honey Roasted Walnuts and a Honey
Mustard White Wine Vinaigrette
for C's dad's bday party.  God, I love this salad!  What a combo...creamy pungent blue cheese, sweet crunchy walnuts and crisp fresh pear.  What's not to love?

AND it took all of 15 minutes to make max. Just throw it all together...instant deliciousness.

Friday 21 January 2011

Foodie highlights from Sri Lanka: Part 2

{grilled whole mackerel by the beach at Unawatuna}

6. Grilled Fish

This was a stunning dish.  Sitting in a wee Jamaican themed restaurant right on the beach at Unawatuna, and I mean right on the beach, the water literally under our feet as we sat on the deck.  We were treated to the very freshest fish, caught that morning by the fishermen sitting on poles over the next bay.  It was grilled in banana leaves and topped with a coconutty, garlicy sauce with melt-in-your-mouth shallots and chopped tomatoes.  Heavenly.  One of the best fish dishes I've tried in a long time.  Have been scouring the net for recipes but to no avail so if you know how to make this pretty pretty please share the recipe!!!

This place, called the Bong Chili Spice Cafe also did mean mojitos.  Yes, mojitos at lunch time...why not?!

Thursday 13 January 2011

Foodie highlights from Sri Lanka: Part 1

{pineapple and chilli at Galle Face}

Honey, I'm home...

Sri Lanka was one of those places I never thought I'd go to.  But boy oh boy am I glad I did.  The food was incredible, the landscape breathtaking and most of all the people were truly amazing.  Massive smiles everywhere you went.  Tuk tuk drivers that said you're welcome when you said no thank you.  It really was a piece of paradise.

{the crew at a beach in Yala National Park}
I took over a thousand photos on our two week holiday but instead of boring you with a typical post holiday slide show (which my very lucky family members will have to sit through) I thought I'd give you the Top 10 Foodie Highlights from Sri Lanka.

Wednesday 5 January 2011

Onion Bhajis and Spicy Tamarind Chutney

C's folks have the best neighbours ever.  The next door neighbours are a family from Fiji who are always super warm, kind and generous.  Need a cup of sugar? Of course!  Need someone to feed the cat while we're away? Not a problem.  AND we often get to scoff absolutely delicious plates of indian cooking brought around by the ever-smiling Pawati.  Talk about neighbourly perks.

The latest dish we sampled was Pawati's spinach pakoras with tamarind chutney.  Ah-mazing.  They literally flew off the plate.  They were so good, we almost coming to blows fighting for the last couple.

Of course, what does ever good cook do after tasting amazing food? Why, google some recipes of course!  I have yet to interrogate Pawati for her fabulous pakora recipe (all in good time my friends) but I did try my hand at some google researched recipes for Onion Bhajis with Spicy Tamarind Chutney.


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