You might remember I was on a baking spree a few weeks back and I thought I would do a quick post with the recipe for you all. The original receipe is from my local magazine “The Beast” from a few years back but I have tweaked it over the years and add whatever I have in the pantry that I need to use up such as various nuts like pistachios, almonds and hazelnuts which seem to breed in my cupboard for some reason!
125g butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups plain flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup dessicated coconut
185g choc chips – milk/dark/white
Heat oven to 190 degrees celcius and line baking trays with baking paper.
In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla with electric beaters. Add in the eggs, beating well after each one.
Using a spatula, fold in the sifted flour, baking powder, coconut and chocolate. You can always use more choc chips if you like your biscuits extra decadent, or try a combination of milk and white choc chips.
Roll balls of dough with your hands and place on trays, ensuring there is room for them to spread out. Flatten slightly with the back of a fork.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Cool on a wire rack.
My Europe series continues with my current obsession for all things French with an outline of my short stay in Bordeaux. Well, I can’t wait to get back there as I barely scratched the surface and tasted all the wines on offer!!!
I chose Bordeaux as I was planning to stay in San Sebastian in Spain and it is a short jump to Bordeaux from there, so I drove up with my hubby after Barcelona as this wine region was calling our name.
We stayed at Les Sources de Caudalie which was an amazing hotel and we stayed in their location just away from the main building which is called Chateau de Thil. It seemed the whole of McLaren was staying there with all their drive cars. Unfortunately, due to this we were unable to get into their Michelin star restaurant and other restaurants and bars as I wasn’t organised and booked ahead, oh well, c’est la vie! But we were OK with that as there were so many other places I wanted to try in town so it gave us the incentive to tackle everything that Bordeaux central had on offer.
The first night we went to Belle Campagne, a slow food restaurant specialising in local produce which was an amazing introduction to the region. The tartare de poisson (fish tartare) and the house gnocchi with fennel were fantastic entrees. Then to top it off, we had this amazing milk fed veal for 2 which was huge and we couldn’t look at dessert even though I am addicted to french style desserts.
Breakfast at Chateau de Thil was out of this WORLD with my favourite thing ever – croissants…it was hard to stop at 2 each morning!!
We then headed out to explore the streets of Bordeaux and see the Bordeaux Cathedral and get an Italian style espresso (Black List cafe) and then it was off to a long lunch in town at Garopapilles.
This was perfection, a local restaurant full of Bordeaux locals and no menu you just decide how many courses you feel like and depending on what is in season, the chef builds the menu around that. This was stupendous and they have a bottle shop out the front so after lunch we were able to pick up a bottle to take back to our chateau (ha!) and the lovely staff also recommended a fromagerie (Tout un Fromage) close by to pick up some snacks for an aperitif later that evening as we knew we couldn’t manage dinner as well, after so many beautiful courses.
Early evening after the beautiful lunch at Garopapilles, we organised a tour of the winery that is adjacent to Les Sources de Caudile which was so interesting with some highlights outside of the wine being that they have their own cooper (barrel maker) onsite and the fantastic sculptures throughout the vineyards including their centrepiece of a rabbit by English sculptor Barry Flanagan. Also, we got a exclusive look at their private cellar which was AMAZEBALLS! We went back to our room in the Chateau and had fromage and a white wine from Chateau Haut Lafitte with some red vino that we bought with us and watched the sun go down over the beautiful gardens of Chateau de Thil. A perfect day really!!
Let me know what your French obsessions are in the comments lovelies. Merci beaucoup!!
I recently returned from a fabulous trip to Europe refreshed and ready to face reality (not!).
But seriously, I wanted to do some blog posts (which are long overdue) covering my travels. I regularly get asked for recommendations from family and friends on where to eat, stay, overseas and back here in Australia. I have decided to do a series for my lovely followers on some favourite spots and will do this on a regular basis for all of you looking for recommendations for travel, restaurant, and drinking tips.
Well, Lisbon blew my mind on all levels! I had so much fun and I cannot wait to go back again. It was my first time in Portugal so I thought I would hit Lisbon first up and stayed for 3 nights which was a perfect introduction to this gorgeous country.
I did something here that I NEVER do on holidays, I went to the same restaurant twice!! I found this restaurant in the Louis Vuitton City Guide initially and it was on the same street of the hotel we stayed at (Memmo Principe Real) so after a drive in from Spain we did the touristy thing and went to dinner early on the first night. I had heard there can be a bit of a wait as they don’t take reservations and I WAS HUNGRY!!
A Cevicheria by Chef Kiko (a chef that owns a few restaurants) was beyond words. I was first introduced to ceviche on a trip to Mexico many years ago and have become addicted over the years. I also have the bonus of having a really good friend who’s Peruvian and along with trips to different parts of South America have come to appreciate this dish.
I went there for dinner and then lunch the next day, the produce, staff and the pisco sours were superb and we were looked after like we were locals. It just so happens that the Maitre’d there lived in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney for a few years and met his wife here (who is also from Portugal) and have returned to have their family wedding back home. Also a special shout out to one the wait staff (sorry I don’t have her name), who looked like the Portugese version of Ruby Rose, she alongside all of the staff looked after us and were so professional. I just wished I picked up Chef Kiko’s cookbook. Oh well, another reason to return to Portugal and this fabulous restaurant.
Coffee helps me survive every morning and I make it my priority in every city to find the fab coffee. I found two excellent coffee/breakfast cafes – Fabrica Coffee Roasters (2 locations) and Hello Kristof.
Fabrica roast their own coffee and had fab croissants and amazing Portuguese tarts. Also take home coffee beans (essential) and some great merchandise for gifts. Hello Kristof is a great place to hang out, do some work and have some fab coffee and food. They even had avocado on toast and their pastries were fantastic.
I had to do a Michelin restaurant whilst in Europe, so we decided to hit up Belcanto by Jose Avillez for lunch. This was an experience, it is 2 Michelin star but relaxed and the produce was amazing with some typical Portuguese dishes and ingredients re-worked into works of art. The number of chefs they have to service the number of seats in the restaurant is beyond and you can see the effort they put into the dishes. Jose Avillez has an assortment of restaurants (six in total) and they would be worth checking out based on this experience. We popped into Bairro do Avillez, which is a market (merceria), tavern (taberna) and a seafood restaurant out back in a beautiful open atrium in a casual setting.
Some other fab places to visit:
Tapisco for lunch or dinner for a combination of Spanish tapas and Portuguese Petiscos.
The Time Out Market – got to try some dishes from Seame and renown Portuguese chef, Marlene Viera and take in their fantastic produce market.
Roof top bars – As Lisbon has fantastic panoramic views this is a must. Silk Bar, Park Bar and the The Colonial at Memmo Principe Real (hotel where I stayed at)
By the Wine – amazing wine bar
It was a short stay in this beautiful city and I cannot wait to go back and discover more! Let me know your favourite spots in Portugal and what part of Europe you might want my next travel series to feature.
One of my favourite things about Bondi Beach, while I am down there exercising, is the everchanging art along the wall of the Promenade.
This initiative by Waverley Council dates back to the 1960s with artworks on the Bondi Wall. Artists are chosen for cultural diversity and murals are then turned over every six months approximately.
The murals keep in tune with Bondi’s urban chic vibe and contributes to our unique and vibrant sense of community.
Here’s some examples of the latest offerings. Also, Waverley Council maintains the memorial murals such as “The Girl with a Frangipani in her hair” which memorialises local Chloe Byron killed in the 2002 Bali Bombings and the Anzac Commemorative mural which memorialises the local Bondi diggers killed in the First World War.
What is your favourite mural or street art along the promenade?
It would be fair to say that I love most things Italian, and especially traditional woodfired pizza from the Southern regions of Italy. I had the pleasure of being invited to the opening of Society Di Catania, the new pizzeria and bar in Potts Point last December by the lovely Vittoria, one of the owners.
I have been eating their yummy pizzas for some time now as they are also based in Bondi, and they are a regular delivery meal to my home as they are the BEST delivered pizzas in Bondi Beach. Continue reading →
This is a perfect, easy and quick recipe to make over the Holidays that is good for afternoon tea, a snack or a light dinner. Also you can substitute the vegetables with anything you may have laying around the kitchen that you need to use up.
Now a lot of you lovely people will know from my social media posts that I love coffee and have an addiction that I regularly acknowledge. My home coffee supply is lovingly made by my Bondi Barista (hubby) on this fab Italian Isomac machine we bought from Di Bartoli Coffee in Bondi Junction and we haven’t looked back.
But addicts need their fix between appointments, meetings and in the early morning to get through life so here are my faves off the beaten path in Bondi Beach where the coffee is strong and the vibe is fantastic (in no particular order): Continue reading →
I was recently invited to a pop-up dinner at The Nine Sydney with 121BC and Giorgio da Mario wines. I have been frequenting this chilled establishment for sometime now for lunch, coffee and cocktails, but this was my first opportunity to try it out at night.
Food was by 121BC an amazing enoteca in Surry Hills, and organic natural wines were provided by Giorgio de Maria’s Fun Wines for the night. The Nine had everything I love and enjoy, with a little bit of Italy for the night in Bondi Beach. Continue reading →