Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Cupboard Mushrooms and Backyard Bok Choy!

For my birthday this year (which was in May . . . yes, I'm still that far behind), I told people who asked that I wanted things that would grow or facilitate growing and so got amazing books, gardening tools, seeds and plants. Thanks, peeps!

Here is my first post of things I've grown in our backyard (and cupboard, in this case).

Siobhan, Robin & M got me a "grow your own mushrooms" kit which I have set up in old linen cupboard. After a couple of weeks, I have mushrooms!

mushie cluster

The kit I was given is half button mushrooms, half portobellos and I only have white button mushrooms so far but, boy howdy, they are TASTY!

mushie picking

They grow super fast once they are up and it is so much fun to open a cupboard and have something you've grown yourself!

mushie picked

The lovely S&D over at Vegan About Town gave me bok choy and spring onion seedlings which grew like great guns. I used the bok choy in stir fry and as steamed greens with other dinners. So good!

Homegrown Bok Choy 1

Again, it was amazing to be all "I'll just nip out to the backyard and grab some greens for dinner" which, I know makes me an insufferable city person but I am trying to grow more of our food. We just reinvigorated our herbs this weekend.

Homegrown Bok Choy 2

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Red Star Cafe, Daylesford

water pumped from the mineral spring

Back in July, Esther and I went to Daylesford for the weekend. It was my birthday present from my family and it was filled with amazing food, relaxing, cider and crafts. NICE.
Above is the mineral spring we happened upon when trying to find the cidery and we drank from and everything.

On the sunday, we went to Hepburn Springs and had lunch at a place we'd only ever had coffee at before: The Red Star Cafe.

We had the Ploughman's Lunch which had some bread, cheese and pickles (as you'd expect) as well as a big salad with a really tasty dressing, a little frittata and the MOST AMAZING RELISH EVER.

Ploughmans @ Red Star Cafe

The only disappointment on the plate (and, even then, it wasn't really that disappointing) was the bread which I wish had been a nice chewy sourdough. Despite that, this was a great lunch and the sort of thing I love to eat.

We also shared the Vego Tart which, after months, I have no recollection of the flavours: feta and something?!

Tasty but overshadowed by the MOST AMAZING RELISH EVER; so much so that the relish is in pride of place in the photo.

A vego tart of some sort @ Red Star Cafe

The service was friendly and fun, the food was tasty and there was a good selection of things for the vego i.e. me. We will definitely go again next time we are up that way.

We then, on the spur of the moment, decided to go to the lavender farm nearby. Lavandula was, actual facts!, the best thing ever. I got all persnickety about having to pay to go in — I believe it was $4 or something ridiculous like that so who knows why I was hesitant — but it was worth every cent. It was just nice to walk around, play some petanque and look at the beautiful gardens.

sajee at the lavender farm

Red Star Cafe
115 Main Rd
Hepburn Springs VIC 3461
(03) 5348 2297

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Four Things (take 2)

I wrote a long-winded and detailed post but it was eaten! Here is the quicker version of a bunch of stuff I made.

1. Cauliflower & Caramelised Onion Tart (from smitten kitchen)

Cauliflower & Caramelised Onion Tart 3

So delicious. So easy.

Cauliflower & Caramelised Onion Tart 2

The pastry was flaky and tasty, the filling was the sort of things that dreams are made of and it was all easy enough to make quickly after work. Do it.

2. Franken-brownies

Franken-brownies 1

Or, what happens when you decide to add other foodstuffs to brownies.

NW: gummi bears

NE: mini M&Ms

SE: mini marshmallows

SW: turkish delight

Franken-brownies 3

Science was the winner. Also, turkish delight.

3. Chocolate Banana Bread

Banana Bread

I love bananas. Just not in things.

Until now. This recipe has changed my banana bread-related life. I am now the kind of person who makes banana bread regularly.

4. Pickled Carrots

Pickled Carrots 1

We get a fruit & vegie box from Organic Angels once a week and, sometimes, we end up with an excess of stuff. I generally use a bunch of carrots during a week but we always seem to have more. They multiply in the fridge. I needed to take action.

Pickled Carrots 2

I decided on pickled carrots using this recipe from David Lebovitz but instead of fennel, I used coriander and cumin seeds and some peppercorns. SO GOOD OMG.