One of the best ways to get a taste of the local street food in Thailand is to head to one of their night markets. Most towns in Phuket have their own markets held on specific days once or twice a week but the biggest night markets are the Phuket Town Night Markets (Talad Tai Rot to the locals). These markets are open on the weekends from 4pm until around 9pm. Unlike a lot of the smaller markets in Phuket, most of the ground surface at these markets is cemented meaning you don’t have to pick your way through the mud. My advice is to get there fairly early as it gets very busy from around 5pm as the sun sets and the weather cools.
I am always a little torn having my homes in a number of places around our vast country. Having lived in Perth for most of my adult life it is obvious that this is the main place I love to call my home. However to add to this, my Mum lives in Adelaide and returning back there to the house I grew up in I get that familiar sensation like I am returning home. To complicate things further, my Dad has lived in Melbourne with my Step mum for nearly twenty years and in many ways staying with them also feels very homely! I often wonder when we eventually return back to London where the Boy and I lived for several years, would this feel like another home to me? How many places can one call home before it starts to get a bit over the top?
We traditionally celebrate Australia Day in our household by throwing a Triple J Hottest 100 countdown pool party. Joined by our close friends we devour lots of good food, drinks a plenty and generally end our night with a short stroll to the end of the street to view the fireworks show. In the ten years we have lived in this house we have only had one year off when I had the misfortune to be rostered on to work.
On the weekend prior to Australia Day this year it was my Hen’s day. It was a fabulous day out in the Swan Valley which turned into a Hen’s night with many of us boogying on the dance floor of Geisha nightclub until the wee hours of the morning. I had an absolutely ball of a time and am so grateful for all that came to the various parts of the day and night to celebrate with me.
I have been eyeing off some bananas in our fruit bowl that have been slowing ripening over the week from golden-yellow through to patchy dark black. As no one seems to be tucking into them any time soon, what better excuse than this to make some coconut flour banana bread. With the wedding only a few short weeks away I am trying hard to avoid any sugar or excessive carbs and to be honest anything too over-processed. I have long known the benefits of using coconut flour extend well beyond the fact that it is gluten free. It is high in fibre, protein and low in carbohydrates meaning it is the perfect ingredient to fluff up my banana bread!
In this recipe I have adapted it to remove any sugars so if you prefer your banana bread sweet, spoon some gooey jam over your hot slice or better still add some honey into the wet ingredients.
It is finally getting close enough to our wedding to start to feel the buzz and excitement and relieved to say I think I am pretty well set. Well, at least for the important stuff!. I have found the perfect dress from Luci Di Bella, I am blessed with two of the most awesome bridesmaids who also have fabulous dresses, I have a choice of stunning Dior or Jimmy Choo bridal shoes and our wedding venue at Andara, Phuket is something dreams are made of. Best of all; I have found the most amazing man who I could have ever wished to marry. Naw, that’s enough gushing for one post I think!
My engagement ring was designed at Linneys; a well-known West Australian jeweller famous for their Broome pearls and Argyle diamonds and it seemed fitting to return there for our wedding bands. We both arrived wide-eyed and smiling as the reality of our big day approaching fast sunk in. We helped each other deliberate over all the beautiful wedding band designs and each ended up selecting ones we both loved.
Christmas is the time of year when the distance that separates me from my family feels the longest. December is our busiest month at work so I can only return back home for the silly season once every few years. This year I had booked our flights well in advance to avoid the last-minute price blow outs; flights across the continent triple in price around this time of year as people arrange to visit their family and friends.
Because we would not be in Perth to join the Boy’s family for Christmas Day, we agreed to celebrate our family lunch the weekend before our departure in a casual pool party affair at our house. However, in the lead up to flying out my work pressures were at boiling point so in order to avoid having a mental breakdown I opted for simple fresh dishes that were bound to please the Boy’s very hungry family!
Eat Drink Blog 2012: Part One | Part Two | Part Three
After spending the afternoon with Dianne Jacob at her food writing workshop, I whizzed back to my Mum’s house, whipped on a frock and headed back out to the Eat Drink Blog Conference dinner at the Hilton Adelaide. I was joined by the rest of the WA “Team”; Ai-Ling from Food Endeavours of the Blue Apocalypse, Michelle from Foodie Cravings and Moni from Gastromony along with some interstate blogging friends.
The Hilton’s Executive Chef Dennis Leslie themed the evening based on a South American fiesta with the idea of making the meal “fun”. It was set out on the terraced pool deck in the open air up high amongst the sky scrapers (well, they are more like just tall buildings in Adelaide!). It was a warm and humid night and the deck was lit up like a Christmas tree with fairy lights.
It never ceases to amaze me how welcoming and friendly the food blogging community is. Here in Perth it is no exception and friendship is made easy through sharing two passions: food and blogging. We all immediately have something to connect over; so when Carolanne from Carol Anne’s Kitchen informed us all that she was moving to South Africa, plans for foodie farewells got well underway.
The first in our series of gatherings brought me back to the lovely Rochelle Adonis for High Tea. It has been nearly a year since I have indulged in her exquisite delights yet the experience remains relatively fresh in my memory. The attention to detail with every single morsel is one you cannot forget easily and she is more than happy to accommodate for us gluten free people. Additionally my ‘no onion’ request due to my fructose malabsorption posed absolutely no problems either.
If you are anything like me and have grown bored of ordering old school basics for breakfast like eggs benedict then head over to Maylands. A decent handful of venues all within close proximity to each other will fulfil your desire for something a bit more original than what you easily could cook up at home. Furthermore they all appear to be very gluten free friendly with a number of options for us allergic types.
Mrs S is one of my favourites amongst these establishments however due to a variety of circumstances we haven’t returned to enjoy her deliciousnesses for over six months! After deciding to finally head back there I got myself in quite a state of excited anticipation. I pre-emptively added to my Sunday run an extra 2 kms to my usual twelve in order to have two guilt free courses for breakfast!
We are not big eaters of classic fast food; I’m talking burgers, pizza, kebabs and the like. Ultimately I prefer much more refined dining but let’s be honest, one simply cannot afford to do that every weekend. At least not on my income. So when we both got a craving for junk, we decided to head to our local V Burger Bar excited about our naughty treat. Last year our initial attempts at visiting this popular place resulted in us being diverted over to Pancho’s Mexican Villa due to a lack of gluten free buns. Now that was some night…..sloppy microwaved food, blistering burns and a scathing retaliation from a fan (or owner) in the wake of my review; the Pancho’s post has certainly become infamous!
Weekend work is part and parcel to many people’s careers including mine and unfortunately this sometimes does result in being unable to attend weekend festivals and other events. The Mundaring Truffle Festival has been one of those missed events for me for several years running so when I realised this time round I had the Sunday rostered off, I jumped at the opportunity to book us tickets. I also bought us entry into one of the ticketed events called “The Truffle and the Riesling”.
Unlike last year where I heard the weather was absolutely atrocious resulting in much of the Festival becoming flooded, this year we couldn’t have asked for anything better. With the sun shining gloriously in a clear blue sky the morning chill dissipated quickly under the warming rays of sunshine. It feels like we are nearly into Spring!
Coffee Pecan Bundt cake, Gluten free
I made this cake for my first participation in Perth’s Clandestine Cake Club. Each monthly meet up has a theme and for July it was “gluten free”. Lucky me…this time I could eat all the cakes!
Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Grease a ring cake pan.
Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together in a large bowl with electric beaters.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Sift together flours, bicarb soda, baking powder and xanthan gum three times or whisk with an egg beater to thoroughly mix together.
Add to egg mixture, alternating with sour cream.
Spread half batter into greased pan.
Spoon prepared filling on top of cake batter being careful not to touch the sides of the pan.
Top with remaining cake batter.
Bake in pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes or when firm to touch.
Via my fellow bloggers on Twitter I recently became aware of a brilliant phenomenon called the Clandestine Cake Club. The CCC was created two years ago by cake lover Lynn Hill in Leeds, UK with the aim to be able to get people together in a relaxed social environment so they could “Bake, Eat and Talk about Cake”.
The concept was to strictly only include cakes; no cupcakes, brownies, pies or tarts are allowed and since its inception it has grown to over 133 groups around the world including Switzerland, Spain, France and Finland.
There is currently only one group in Australia and luckily for us it’s here in Perth! The Perth branch is coordinated by Carolanne from Carolanne’s Kitchen and Jackie from Where the wind blows me. Recent awareness of this group has surged thanks to some awesome publicity in Scoop magazine, on Great about Perth and Agenda City.
I am not originally from Perth having moved here nearly twenty years ago to commence my university degree. During my time at Uni I always imagined I would move back to the East coast. After completing my degree and obtaining a year’s experience in the work force, the Boy and I moved to London for a few years where we played it hard and fast in the big smoke. Returning to Perth a few years later, I found myself really appreciating this beautiful city for what it is and realised that in fact she had become my home. It was at this point my loyalties turned and I became a faithful lover of this sunny city.
In recent years Maylands has become a definite stand out location to visit if you want a decent breakfast. There are so many options to choose from including Piccos Kitchen, Mrs S, Milkd, Sherbet Bake Shop and as I recently discovered; Chapels on Whatley.
The café is actually contained inside a shop selling a variety of imported Asian antique furniture, art and bits and pieces for around your home that they source from a number of countries including Tibet, Mongolia, Japan, China and Vietnam. They have a wide range of over sixty different types of beautiful loose teas to purchase and you can book a tea tasting to try them all if you wish.
Last week’s blogging silence was a result of our world being turned upside-down due to one of our darling little boys falling ill. Like some other couples our age, we don’t have any human children. In fact there is a very good chance that we never will. Instead, our children are two adorable Burmese cats named Rollie and Eddie (or Roland and Edward when they are naughty!). For those who are unaware of the delight of a Burmese – imagine an animal that is somewhere at the half way point between being a dog and a cat! They sit on command for their treats, they always come when called even if they are not hungry, they both sleep under the bed covers with us every night (sometimes with their head on the pillow) and they will be waiting patiently at the door for our return from work. They will alternate between each other being my constant shadow around the house, and are both happiest when their life includes copious amounts of cuddles and company.
My sister’s impromptu and random visit to Perth for New Year’s seemed to keep getting extended longer and longer. Surely she has a job back in Melbourne to return to? My sister and I had partied fairly hard and fast for five days straight leaving us both a bit scattered and sleep deprived. At the end point of all this, both the boy and I had to return to work whilst my sis remained on her indefinite holiday.
The problem is when you are of one of the only poor souls who have to return to work whilst being surrounded by those still in holiday mood; you completely lose your chance to chip away at your own personal sleep debt. Eventually you may find you get a second wind of energy (or be it a third wind, or in this case – I actually think I lost track of the number). The boy had matters made even worse for him by missing out on most of it after contracting a gastro bug that floored him for over five days.
For months I have been bursting out of my skin to get myself to Rochelle Adonis for her acclaimed high tea! So when my love and I attended a boutique little wedding expo at Mosmans recently I was attracted to her stall like a moth to a flame. Her passion and gentle nature increased her appeal to me even more and I immediately decided I wanted to have one of her exquisite cakes for our upcoming engagement party. This provided me with the perfect excuse to organise a girly afternoon out with some friends for the purpose of “engagement cake tasting”.
For us foodies in the know, we are all very thankful to have such a world class pastry chef of this calibre residing here in little Perth. Rochelle grew up in the French Canadian city of Montreal before moving to Sydney to train as a pastry chef. She then moved to London where she worked in an exclusive wedding cake boutique making cakes for the rich and famous including both the British and Saudi Royal families before she moved onto to Vienna to work in the prestigious Hotel Sacher.