Menulog, a night in, and a Giveaway!

Being the huge pregnant lady I now am, everything is getting hard. Like everything.

When getting off the couch these days, my body makes noises. I grunt and moan like some sort of wild beast. It is hardly attractive I can assure you.

I am now 33 weeks pregnant and with 7 weeks to go, some days getting myself into the kitchen is just too hard. Home delivery and take away food is becoming more and more prominent on our dinner table

Enter Menulog.com.au a nifty website that allows you to search and book and search nearby restaurants with a click of a button. The website is home to 3500 restaurants with full menu’s, 11,000 specials and over 100,000 restaurant reviews.

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I was contacted by the wonderful people at Menulog to give the service a try and boy am I glad I did. You enter your postcode and up pops all the restaurants nearby that deliver to your suburb. Each has their menu’s listed, with most offering discounts for 1st purchases through Menulog, offers and deals often not found if you contacted the restaurant direct.

Ordering through Menulog is fool proof, and makes it almost too easy if there was such a thing. Log in, select restaurant, order off online menu, pay and almost immediately you receive a sms confirmation of your order and an approximate delivery time.

When I was going through the list of restaurants, we discovered new restaurants I’d never even heard of within a 5km radius and I’ve been living at our current address for 4 years! The hardest part of ordering through Menulog is seriously choosing which restaurant you want food from!

We decided to try somewhere new, and given I am back to eating tomatoes, a good pizza was being craved. I ‘discovered’ Valentine Woodfire Pizza & Café  in nearby Narraweena and boy am I glad we decided to brave a new restaurant instead of going back to our usual.

I am THE WORLDS FUSSIEST PIZZA EATER. EVER. Or so my husband likes to exaggerate and claim. Pizza HAS to be woodfire. It has to be super thin. The type that flops if you tried to hold it. The traditional Napoli type. The base must have that woodfire taste, and be slightly charred underneath but not burnt, overcooked or dry. The toppings must be fresh and generous. I am fussy on pizza base sauce, and garlic quantity. You can see my hesitation in trying somewhere new.

Well, let me tell you. I have found my new local. Not only did the pizza tick all the boxes but it was delivered piping hot within 30 minutes, with a smile and I just can’t wait to eat from Valentines again.

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We ordered 2 pizza’s and an entrée of the Calamari Fritti, served with Lime Aoli, and it was steaming hot, perfectly soft and so Moorish.

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Our pizza’s of choice were the Capricciosa and Misto Mare. Both mouth-watering.

super thin, and slightly charred base, just the way I like it!

super thin, and slightly charred woodfire base, just the way I like it!

If you do live around Sydney’s Northern Beaches, I urge you to try Valentine Woodfire Pizza and Café. What a true local gem!

161 Alfred st, Narraweena NSW 2099.

COMPETITION TIME!

Thanks to the generosity of MenuLog.com.au I have $10 vouchers to give away to 2 lucky winners. All you have to do is ‘like’ GourmetWog and Menulog’s facebook pages then come back here and be sure to comment ‘I don’t feel like cooking tonight’ below. 2 winners will be chosen at random to receive $10 off their next MenuLog order.

T&C’s:Competition is open to all residents of Australia only, the winner will be notified via email and given 48 hours to respond. If no response in this time, a new winner will be drawn.

The winner must ‘like’ both GourmetWog and Menulog’s facebook pages and comment ‘I don’t feel like cooking tonight’ by 5pm Friday 11th July 2014.

Total prize pool is valued at $10 each and is to be used with a local Menulog restaurant of the winner’s choosing (where valid) and cannot be redeemed for cash.

The winner’s details may be forwarded to Menulog for prize distribution.

A voucher code will be emailed to the winner as supplied by Menulog and will be valid for 1 month after winner selection.

The voucher code will be valid for delivery only and balance payments via credit card.

The voucher is valid for one use only.

In My Kitchen – March 2014…and an explanation

This morning I woke up excited at the prospect of blogging again. Hooray, I was going to get in on the first day of Autumn and submit my first blog post in over 6 weeks.

Then I checked the date. The 4th Of March. Oops.

Not sure how, but I convinced myself that today was the 1st. Maybe it’s because it was a short February. Maybe it’s because when you’re at home with a child all day every day you forget what day of the week it is let alone the actual date.

So I owe you all an explanation. You, my fellow loyal readers, and you, my fellow gorgeous blogging friends who I enjoyed frequenting your blogs on a daily basis and lately haven’t been able to do so.

Actually, I’ll tell you what’s in my kitchen this month first, then the explanation.

The In My Kitchen series is all brought to you by Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, a collection of posts from around the world, and a sticky beak into the bloggers kitchen that month. So without further ado,

In my Kitchen: Are pickled Armenian Cucumbers.

armenian cucumber pickles

Armenian Cucumbers are often labelled ‘wild cucumbers’ and have rippled or ribbed textured skin and are deliciously crunchy. I buy it from my local Middle Eastern deli. These pickles are a  wonderful compliment to any meal.

In My Kitchen: Is Indulge Coffee Mocha Ice Cream from Aldi’s.

aldi's coffee mocha indulge ice cream

This would have to be my ultimate indulgence at the moment. The coffee flavour is absolutely gorgeous and actually quite strong like you were sipping on a double espresso. Throughout the ice-cream are large chunks of bitter dark chocolate. My local Aldi’s brings it in weekly and you have to get in quick, it disappears off the shelves in a flash.

In My Kitchen: is Ginger beer.

ginger beer

I got hooked onto ginger beer on the South Pacific cruise we recently travelled on. Ginger is a great way to curb sea sickness or nausea and God knows just how sick I was this time around. We’ve been back a few weeks now but I’ve become accustomed to the taste and my fridge is now nicely stocked with this non alcoholic beverage.

So…..

Pickles, ice-cream and ginger beer….

Have you guessed it?

In My Kitchen: A bun in the oven…

bun in oven

I’m beyond elated to advise we’re expecting our second bubba on the second day of Spring!

Which brings me to explain and apologise to you all.

I apologise for the lack of posting. The truth is I’ve been so lethargic and nauseous this time around, I’d feel like a fraud speaking about food if even the thought of it started to make me gag. I’m 14 weeks along and the nausea has only just started to get better. It was the opposite with my daughter, I had a very easy and problem free pregnancy with her and this around it has been so different. We have been eating out a lot because handling slimy chicken or meat, and then cooking it has made me sick. The smell has made me sick. I’m only just starting to get any thing close to an appetite back and hope that things improve from here.

The 2 weeks on the cruise ship was interesting to say the least. Try combining sea sickness (rough seas leaving and returning to Sydney) with morning sickness when every step you take is some sort of restaurant on a cruise ship. It’s like food is literally thrown in your face on-board. Relax, eat! Relax, eat! Have fun, drink then EAT! Food, food glorious food everywhere you turn but not so fun when you’re feeling green.

The other fun unknown fact about pregnancy is that it makes your eyes dry and often blurry. I haven’t been able to sit at a computer for longer than an half an hour at a time because it makes my eyes hurt. I refuse to take eye drops because during pregnancy something happens to me that my husband refers to as ‘anally retentive’. I refuse all sorts of drugs, paracetamol, antibiotics and in this case eye drops. My theory is ‘just in case’ and regardless of what any doctor or study says that conclude it safe, I just cant bring myself to do it.

So there you go folks. I hope to be back in full spirit and mode soon! I also look forward to sharing this experience with you (the good parts!)

xx

 

 

 

In My Kitchen – December 2013

It’s finally here: summer in Sydney!!  Welcome to the last IMK post for 2013. This series has certainly been fun and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed sharing it with you. It’s all thanks to Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.

In My kitchen: Is Smoked FALKSALT.

FALKSALT smoked sea salt flakes

It’s no secret I love salt. I’d pick savoury over sweet any day of the week and my absolute favourite cocktail of all time has to be the Margarita, salt crusted of course!

I was given this lovely jar of Smoked Salt by FALKSALT  by my gorgeous Sister who just got a job at one of Sydney’s finest deli’s. The salt is imported by Simon Johnson and comes all the way from sunny Cyprus. As soon as you lift the lid, the smoked hickory aroma hits you and I find I have to stop myself from eating the salt crystals as is.

Adding the smoked salt to roast veggies take them to a whole new dimension and it’s amazing how much flavour they contribute.

In My kitchen: Is this hand painted spoon rest from Dubrovnik, Croatia

olive painted spoon rest

I bought this gorgeous spoon rest on our travels throughout Europe many years back. I love the olive design and colour scheme and at only $1 Australian it was a major bargain.

It adds a splash of colour to my dull and beige kitchen

In My Kitchen: Green Tea with Certified Organic Ganoderma

green tea with organic ganoderma

A close friend has become a distributor of Organo Gold products and kindly gave me some samples to try. I had never heard of Ganoderma before and when she explained that it was a cancer fighting mushroom, I was intrigued to say the least. Ganoderma, or Reishi as its known throughout Asia has been used for the promotion of health, longevity and treatment of cancer in traditional Chinese medicine. The tea thankfully tastes very much like any other green tea with no mushroom aftertaste.

In My Kitchen: Hangs this gorgeous Christian art work.

Armenian artwork from 1980

My gorgeous Armenian friend kindly gave me this art work to hang in my house. I don’t know the story behind the artwork but I can clearly see it is a religious piece depicted by the halos and angel wings the two figures. The artwork was purchased by my friends Dad in 1980 in the USSR, current day Armenia and it is very special to my friend as her father has since passed. She went on to marry a kind Muslim man many years ago and requested the artwork be hung in a Christian house where she feels it belongs. I felt very humbled when asked and it hangs proudly in my kitchen, the heart of the house.

In My kitchen: home-grown garlic

homegrown organic purple garlic

My last listing for the IMK 2013 series is very special to me. It was listed on my very first IMK post in April this year and that was garlic. I bought a gorgeous bunch of organic and locally grown garlic from my farmers markets  and was so taken back by its taste I decided to try my luck at planting a couple of cloves. I really do mean a couple, I didn’t want to waste any of my precious garlic and thought I could ‘spare’ 2 cloves. Well, I really do wish I planted more because from those 2 cloves, I just pulled out 2 large bulbs from the garden 7 months later. They are currently drying near my kitchen window and I can’t wait to eat them, raw and in all their glory in garlic dip

homegrown organic purple garlic

Thank you for joining me the last IMK for 2013. My previous entries can be found here.

Garden Share Collective – November 2013

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How is it November already? Unfortunately Sydney has decided to chuck a little tanty and forgo spring, prematurely offering us summer instead. I wish I could be happy about this but given that our street backs onto a National Park and that we are in the midst of a bush fire crisis, a cooler spring would be most welcome. Surely our wildlife and plants must be confused too.

For a quick recap on this series, or if you’re new here (Welcome!), please take a moment to read through these 6 short posts.

I’ve mentioned our bandicoot and possum family before, the bastards who trawl our backyard at night time and eat our plants. Last month I heard a bit of rustling in one of the Camellia bushes we have and there it was. One very cute little possum, munching down a white Camellia flower bud, guilty as charged.

Now, when i saw this little guy, first instinct was to go ‘Awww how cute’ then the reality hit. This was the critter who had not only been eating my flowers, but also the vegetables that were meant for us. My next reaction was to clap my hands really loudly, like if you were trying to shoo away a seagull, but it didn’t scare the little guy. I screamed and clapped loudly again. Nope, nothing. The possum kept eating away on its Camellia bud, completely ignorant to my tactics. I started waving my hands around like a maniac, nothing. I thought maybe the flash on my camera might shy him away. Yeah right.

This little dude was one brave possum. I, however, must have looked like a fruit loop to my neighbours, screaming, clapping and acting like a retard on my front porch.

possum in camelia tree

Here’s that same tree during the day. You can see how close it is to our front door.

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Fortunately though, the bird netting we installed last month has been working at keeping the critters away from our patch. I suppose I can sacrifice a few Camellia flower buds in order for them to stay away from our vegetables!

Our silverbeet:

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and kale…

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We planted some ‘King Purple’ climbing bean seeds and within a few days they were already chasing the sun. They remind me of graceful flamingos

purple king beans

Our String Beans we planted last month have started flowering, however we are yet to see them fruit

french beans

After a long 6 months growing period, we are finally harvesting leeks! We have around 50 still in the ground!

leek plants

We didn’t get much luck again with out carrots, they just seem to grow in the most absurd and deformed shapes. Never mind, my daughter loves pulling them out and having a giggle at the funny shapes.

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It’s taking longer than we originally thought to give our raised pallet garden beds a permanent spot in our garden. Because of our unlevel land and slope, we’re going to have to make a retaining wall to one side and at the back, the raised garden bed is no longer ‘raised’. In order for them to be at the same level and be straight so when we water, the soil doesn’t puddle or slide out, we had to cut into the grass. Hubby is still working of the beds in the front however the back two have are good and ready to go! The plan is to have tomatoes and eggplant’s in the back, and cucumbers and zucchini’s in the front.

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I hope I can have a picture of the finished and final product for you by next month. Our seedlings are crying out to be planted already!

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The leaves on our kipfler potato sack hessian bags started to yellow and die. I thought it was the extreme heat we’ve been experiencing in Sydney (we’ve skipped spring and gone straight for summer!) that killed our plants, but my husband assured me that wasn’t the case and it just meant that the potatoes were trying to tell me they want out! It’s harvest time! I got the scissors out to rip open the bag but it wasn’t necessary, as soon as we tried to lift it onto a wheelbarrow, the hessian sack had completely disintegrated and turned to mush.

potato hessian bags

We managed to lift it somehow and sift through the soil to find these gorgeous little potatoes.

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I was disappointed at our harvest. For some reason I had grand dreams of kilo’s and kilo’s of potatoes and from the 200 grams we planted, we harvested about 1.5kgs worth. This won’t deter me, I might wait for a few of them to sprout, so some more research and try again next month. My Pontiac Potatoes leaves have started to yellow but they’re very much alive still so hopefully in a couple of weeks when I rip open their sacks, we’ll have better luck with them.

kipfler potatoes

Thank you for joining me on another Garden Share Collective post, brought to you by Lizzy at Strayed from the Table.

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Happy Gardening!

In My Kitchen – November 2013

A pinch and a punch, it’s the first day of the month, and you know what that means? It’s time for another round of In My Kitchen, hosted by Celia at Figjamandlimecordial.com

So in my kitchen this month:

lahmajoun box

Lahmajoun

You’d be hard pressed finding an Armenian without a box of lahmajoun in their freezer.

Lahmajoun is a traditional Armenian pizza, with a mince meat, tomato, chilli, smoky paprika and capsicum topping.

Of course home made lahmajoun is always certainly going to better but having a box in the freezer just helps on those dates when you just can’t be bothered. I buy a box of 10 every month for $15 from my local deli and as they’re already precooked and only need to be heated through.

Every Armenian has their own way of eating lahmajoun. I personally like to add tomatoes, gherkins, fresh mint or parsley, and extra chilli sauce. Sometimes a sprinkle of sumac and squeeze of lemon. Wrap it all up like a kebab and devour.

armenian lahmajoun

In My Kitchen:

Anchovies

anchovies in lebanese bread

I know, I know, I’ve just turned off half my viewers but stay with me here.

Anchovies are the bomb. Really. You know how sometimes you get the sweet tooth and hit the lolly jar, well I get the savoury munchies more often and when I do, I reach for the jar of anchovies, wrap a couple up in fresh soft Lebanese bread and smell like an alley cat for the rest of the day. Mmmm

In My Kitchen:

Californian Pomegranates

Californian pomegranate

Another staple in Armenian households worldwide are pomegranates. The pomegranate is the national fruit and is one of the most recognizable symbols in Armenian arts, celebrated for centuries in mythology, religious texts and literature. In Armenian mythology it symbolizes fertility, good fortune, abundance and marriage

I support Australian farmers for all my fruit and vegetables, Aussie beef, Aussie lamb, Aussie chooks and seafood fished from Australian waters. The only exception I make are pomegranates. I find the quality of the Californian variety, far more superior than any grown here. The seeds are fleshier, more tart and sweeter at the same time.

I see celebrity chefs on the screen cut the fruit in half then tap the underside with a wooden spoon to release the seeds. I personally prefer to cut my pomegranate in quarters, and manually pry out the seeds one by one, red juice dribbling down my arms, staining my skin to remind me of the deliciousness I devoured earlier.

Pomegranate Molasses

pomegranate molasses

Pomegranate Molasses is a concentrate of pomegranate juice and not a molasses per se. It is incredibly tart in flavour and makes my absolute favourite salad dressing. Mix equal parts of pomegranate molasses and extra virgin olive oil, half a teaspoon of minced fresh garlic and the juice of half a lemon. Mix well and pour over your favourite salad leaves. Tangy and oh so good, you’ll be fighting your other half to drink the leftover salad dressing straight from the bowl (tell me I’m not the only one that does this?!)

Thanks for stopping by on another addition of IMK 2013. My previous entries can be found here.

xx

Crunchie Baked Kale Falafels.

baked kale falafel

There’s no stopping my Kale plants. They seem to be thriving in their little home and the more we cut them the more the flourish.

We’re eating kale every single day! Honestly, do yourself a favour, get down to your local nursery and buy a punnet of kale. They just doesn’t stop giving.

When I made my Kale Tabouli last month I started to look think of other recipes that I could substitute kale with. I figure if kale could easily replace parsley then why not falafels?

I decided to bake them instead of frying to keep things healthy. Hot out of the oven, they looked good and I teamed them up with a tahini sauce and simple garden salad for the photo, however when it came to the taste test I wasn’t sure If I liked them. They tasted quite ‘grassy’ however teamed up with my Lebanese turnip pickles, cos lettuce leaves, sliced tomatoes, a garlicky tahini sauce and a dash of chilli all wrapped up on Lebanese bread, they made quite a tasty meal and I forgot these falafels were even kale.

Crunchie Baked Kale Falafels.
• 4 cups kale leaves (stems removed)
• 1 400g can chickpeas, rinsed
• 2 garlic cloves
• 2 Tablespoons tahini
• 4 table spoons lemon juice
• 1/2 teaspoon cumin
• 4-5 tablespoons flour
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Small bunch of fresh mint leaves.

Pulse the kale, chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice and cumin in a food processor until it forms a thick paste. Transfer to a bowl and stir through the flour. I added 4 spoons of flour, but if your mix is still wet and not solid enough to form small balls, add more flour.

baked kale falafel

baked kale falafel

Form them into ball like shapes and squish them down a bit to flatten

kale falafel

Pop them into a preheated oven and bake until golden brown
Best eaten hot and crunchy.

baked kale falafel

Basbousa Revani Semolina Cake with Orange Syrup

Basbousa/Revani Semolina Cake with Orange syrup

I love my desserts, especially Middle Eastern desserts.

The one ingredient I hate is Rose Water. Yes, it’s a harsh word, but seriously, I hate, hate hate it!. I just can’t get my head around the taste.

Have you seen the Devondale Milk ad series currently on Australian TV where the man tries a soy milk based drink and pulls the most disgusted face, relishing in the aftertaste? There’s a few different versions, but my favourite one is when his poor daughter enters the room and assumes her idiotic father is pulling faces at her lovely painting.

Here’s the hilarious clip for my overseas friends:

Well, that’s exactly what I end up doing when I taste even a smidgen of rose water. I can’t help it, it’s a reflex! My face distorts, tongue automatically protrudes and stays that way till I change the taste in my mouth.

So what happens is if we’re dining out and I eye some glistening Baklava or Basbousa in the shop window? I have to get hubby to take a lick of the syrup. If he gobbles the piece afterwards in one go, I’ll know it was laden with rose water (well, I have to take his word for it!!)

I’ve had packet of semolina sitting in the cupboard, lonely for a long time. It was time to let it shine with a delicious Semolina Syrup Cake. This recipe is so well known throughout the Wog World with different names depending on where you’re from; Basbousa in Egypt, Namoura in Lebanon, Ravani/Revani in Greece and Semolina Syrup Cake or slice for the rest of us!

Most countries do a version that uses Rose Water in the sugar syrup, however if you’re anything like me and just can’t stand the taste, rose water can easily be substituted for Orange Blossom water or Lemon juice in pretty much all sweets or sugar syrups.

Semolina Cake with Orange Syrup

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 cups fine semolina
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ¾ cup yoghurt (plain)

Syrup

  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • juice of half an orange
  • 2-3 pieces of orange rind. More if you like it zesty!

Preaheat oven to 180 degrees

Start by making the Sugar Syrup by combining the sugar, water and lemon juice and briging it to the boil. Boil rapidly for 5 minutes, reduce the heat to medium and let it reduce for 20 minutes. Stir frequently. Remove from heat and let it completely cool.

orange syrup

To make the cake: In a bowl, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla essence until fluffy. Add the two eggs, one at a time.

Sift the Semolina, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into the creamed butter mix. Fold in the yoghurt until well mixed.

basbousa

Basbousa/Revani Semolina Cake with Orange Syrup

Spread the mixture into a baking paper lined shallow baking dish and bake for 25 – 30minutes. When the cake is golden brown and cooked, run your knife through the cake to make diamond like shapes and gently pour all the cold sugar syrup over the top of the hot cake, and hear it sizzle!

Basbousa/Revani Semolina Cake with Orange Syrup

Serve with some double cream and a cup of tea!

Basbousa/Revani Semolina Cake with Orange Syrup

In My Kitchen – October 2013

Welcome to yet another addition of In My Kitchen, hosted by the lovely Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. As Celia put it, it’s where bloggers from all over the globe join in and visit each other’s kitchens for a cup of tea each month!

In My Kitchen: is Kale. Lots and lots of Kale

Purple Kale plant

Our 12 mature kales plants have gone berserk, producing masses and masses of kale leaves, more than we consume. We’re enjoying green smoothies for breakfast, sautéed kale in garlic and butter as a side dish to every meal, kale chips as snacks. The good news is that we’re not sick of it yet and we’re totally embracing our glut.

In My Kitchen: are these gorgeous Gabriella potatoes.

Gabriella Potatoes

I’ve never heard of ‘Gabriella’ variety potatoes before; their pasty silver brown colour drew me in when I saw them at the Great Roots stall at my local farmers markets. The friendly staff told me they’re a great variety for baking and making chips and sure enough, I baked them they were perfectly crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

In My Kitchen: are this ginormous mint leaves

huge mint leaves

For someone who prides herself on her green thumb and has a ‘plant whisperer’ husband, I’ve never successfully grown mint. Ever. Seriously.

The ‘beginners’ herb that is supposed to grow anywhere and spread like a weed doesn’t grow in our garden. No matter what variety, or potting mix we’ve tried, the leaves start out alright, green and fresh then succumb to rust, rot or curl grubs.

So it was a complete shocker when I found this monster leaf on a stem, growing out of an existing mint pot we thought died weeks earlier. The pot was dirt one minute and these giant leaves the next. Mr Wog said it’s the power of ‘Spring in Sydney’.

In My Kitchen: Bravo Gelato ‘Tall Dark and Tiramisu’ tub.

Bravo Gelato Tiramisu

Many years ago, North Sydney was the place to be. Clubs were pumping and the streets were buzzing after hours. Years before Surry Hills and Kings Cross were trendy. We’d go clubbing North of the Bridge then when the midnight snack munchies kicked in, we’d head down the road, to Bravo Trattoria at Crows Nest and devour tiramisu gelato.

One day we decided to dine in. The owner Mario, came up to me so excited ‘Lisa!! God it’s been a long time, how are you?’!! I had no idea who he was but since he knew my name and remembered me, I went along with it. He pulled up a chair and we sat, talking for a good 10 minutes before he mentioned Italy. At the time, I’d never travelled to the land of pizza and was certain he must be mistaking me for someone else. It was then we both realised that he had met another Lisa who was a dead ringer for me. We both laughed it off and he so sweetly offered us a complimentary cone or cup.

Every time we went back to Bravo’s for gelato he’d greet me with the biggest ‘Hey it’s the other Lisa!! How are you Bella’? We became friends.

Almost a decade later, sitting at work and listening to the radio, the news announced the fatal stabbing of a gelato bar owner. My heart sank when I heard it was Mario Acquaro. I was gutted and couldn’t breathe.

Bravo Trattoria closed down. When it reopened months later it was never the same. New owners, new style, new menu. They painted over the ‘101 pasta flavours’ wall. The crowds disappeared.

What did indeed stay the same were the tall dark flavours of their tiramisu gelato, now available across Australia in tubs. My local greengrocer stocks these 750ml tubs at $11.95, expensive but priceless when the memories come flooding back.

In My Kitchen: There is always Cacciatore Salami

cacciatore salami

What can I say about this oily salami? Smoky, porky and fatty it is an ever present staple in my fridge. Available at most Italian delis. Delizioso.

Slice it thin, pan fry it and crack an egg over it. Breakfast of champions.

In My Kitchen: is a bottle of Bragg apple cider vinegar.

Bragg Apple Cidar Vinegar

The benefits of consuming raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar are well documented. From lowering glucose levels in diabetics, aiding in weight loss, alkalising the body to reducing bloating.

I’d like to emphasise the words raw and unfiltered. Cider vinegars found in supermarket aisles next to the balsamic vinegar and olive oil are not the same.

Certified organic Bragg raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar contains ‘the mother’ which are basically raw enzymes and gut friendly bacteria similar to the ‘mother’ in Kombucha.

I start my day with two tablespoons of Bragg cider vinegar mixed into a glass of cold water. The taste is strong however palatable. You get used to it quickly and even become dependent on it to start the day.

Thank you for joining me on yet another In My Kitchen post.

Previous IMK posts can be found here

Kale Tabouli

kale tabouli

It looks like Tabouli

It smells like Tabouli,

Heck, it even tastes like Tabouli.

But this, my friends, is no ordinary tabouli! You see, it has no parsley.

So what’s that green stuff, I hear you say?

It’s kale! Glorious, raw, antioxidant-rich, superfood craze kale!

Get out of here!

I can hear all the Lebanese population ‘tsk tsk tsk’ me.

My Egyptian born mother is shaking her head in disapproval.

Can a tabouli be made without the main ingredient parsley? Why sure! Why not 

I have a glut of kale at the moment and I’ve found it to be most delicious in its raw form, uncooked and vitamin rich, combined with lemon juice, olive oil and all the other tabouli necessities like bulgur, tomatoes and cucumber, it makes for one very tasty and nutritious lunch.

A while back, I was sent the above hilarious you tube vid for a laugh. Now, every time I open the cupboard and see bulgur staring back at me, I can’t help but do a little tabouli dance.

‘Tabouli, Ta Ta Tabouli, makes me shake, shake shake my booty’

Yes, you know you want to.

Ok, it’s nearly Friday and I’m feeling silly. So grab some kale, shock the Middle Eastern population, sing a little Tabouli jingle and shake your booty.

Kale Tabouli – Serves 2 as a side dish, or one very hungry person for lunch

  • 5 stems kale
  •  2 tomatoes
  •  2 cucumbers
  •  1/3 cup fine bulgur
  •  Small bunch of fresh mint
  •  1-2 juicy lemon
  •  ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  •  1 small clove garlic, finely minced.
  •  Sea salt to taste

Start by placing the dried bulgur to your salad bowl. Top with lemon juice and the olive oil. Leave it aside for 10 minutes until the bulgur has completely absorbed all the lemon juice and oil. Add minced garlic and season with salt.

kale leaf

Remove stalk from kale and only use the leafy part on top.

Remove the stalks completely from the kale. You only want to use the leaves in this recipe.

kale tabouli

Finely chop the kale as small as you can get it so it resembles chopped herbs. Add it to the wet bulgur mix.

Dice tomatoes and cucumbers, and shred the mint. Add to the bowl.

Give it all a good toss, using your hands. Taste for seasoning.

Enjoy and boogie.

kale tabouli

In My Kitchen – September 2013

To say our month of August was busy would be an understatement! Thank god winter is over and spring is finally here! In saying that though, we’ve certainly been blessed with warmer than usual days and very minimal rain.

Here is my September addition to the In My Kitchen series, hosted by Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

In My Kitchen: Is Bulgur

bulgar burghul packet

Bulgur, often spelt bulghur or burghul, is a delicious form of cracked durum wheat, a staple in our cupboards. It is very cheap to buy and has a delicious nutty flavour, perfect in salads like tabouli and rice dishes like mujaddara.

I’ve been making a lot of tabouli recently, we have so much parsley in our yard and the best way to use it up is a healthy lunch time tabouli. Bulgur must be combined with a liquid to allow it to soak its juices and puff up. Many recipes call for it to sit in hot water for a few minutes, but I find the flavour intensifies if it sits in lemon juice instead.

In My Kitchen: is this Fathers Day mug.

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In Australia, we celebrate Fathers Day on the first Sunday of September, not sure why we Aussies are different to the rest of the world, we just do things on our own time?!

The mug was created 2 years ago on Snapfish and was so simple to create, upload photos and arrange them on the mug using their templates.

Mr Wog was quite delighted indeed with his present and has been using it every single day for the last couple of years. Considering how many times it’s been washed, the paint work is still remarkably clear.

In My Kitchen: was this ‘2’ cake I spend 2 hours making.

number 2 shaped cake

We celebrated my beautiful daughters 2nd birthday with a laughter filled BBQ at Davidson Park for the family. The weather was glorious, 8 kilograms of chicken thighs were marinated Wog style in garlic, lemon and oregano and over 60 pork sausages were grilled combining the best of both worlds, Wog and Aussie. My mum made Lebanese style garlic dip and we made kebabs by the water. Spinach and cheese bouregs were enjoyed by all. Shisha’s were lit and the sweet smell of apple tobacco floated through the air. It was your typical Wog BBQ and it was perfect.

I challenged myself to make her birthday cake. I had grand plans of making a ‘2’ cake with a border of chocolate wafers and decorated with smarties. I spend the morning of the BBQ frazzled in the kitchen cutting out a 2 shape from a huge slab of cake. I should have just hired a tin but instead decided to print out a template from the internet, cut it out and shape the cake. It worked but it was time consuming alright!

The cake looked perfect when it left my kitchen but by the time I loaded it into the car and made the 2 minute trip to Davidson Park, I heard the wafers drop one by one like dominoes in the car. My heart sank a little further every time I heard another wafer drop. I drove 40km/h the whole way there in a 70 zone and still couldn’t save it.

When we arrived, over 70% of the chocolate wafers had fallen like toy soldiers. I was so upset but we managed to stand them all upright again the best way we could so that the cake looked half decent for the photos.

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In My Kitchen: Is my drab kitchen

beige kitchen

I thought I’d share my actual kitchen with you. It’s dull, boring and beige. Beige, with beige and a splash of beige. The cupboards, bench top and flooring all blend into one. Clearly I didn’t design this kitchen. We moved into our house 3 years ago and I’ve been nagging my husband daily about how much I don’t like our flooring, bench tops or cupboards. One day (in my dreams) we’ll renovate and I’ll be content in the room I spend most of my time in.

Our bench tops and cupboards are laminate and the flooring is vinyl. Awful. The floor is stained and no matter how many times I mop it, it still looks dirty. The only upside of vinyl flooring is that with an active toddler, we rarely get breakage. Cups literally bounce instead of shattering. One day when I have half a day free, I plan to make my way to Bunnings and buy some new flooring in a contrast colour and vinyl over the vinyl. A total Band-Aid job but it’ll break up the beige. One day, when we can afford to redo the kitchen, we’ll say bye to the vinyl and tile the floors.

In My Kitchen: Is this collection of baby bottles, going into storage  

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Little Miss 2 is a big girl now, and chooses to drink her morning milk with a cup. I can finally put away the collection of Medela baby bottles, teats, and mismatched lids that clutter my cupboards. We plan to have more children so I won’t dispose of them just yet, just store them deep in the back of the pantry, along with the steriliser, breast pump, milk bags and accessories.

Thanks for stopping by on another addition of IMK 2013. My previous entries can be found here.

xx

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On Another note, I was thrilled when Gourmet Wog came in at one shy of the top 50 Sydney Food Blogs collated by Noodlies. 51st from a list of 275 is a pretty good achievement for a blog that’s only been around for 5 months!