instaweek | my week instagram

How’s everyone’s Easter break?
I’ve been loving the extra long four day weekend spent at home in a love bubble with Jay and Harley.

The week past was full of cramming work in before the holidays, getting my healthy eating back on track and catching up with family & friends.
The only low is that Jay’s Dad’s cancer is back; in his liver this time around which means intensive chemo starting next week. We’re focusing on sending good thoughts and lots of love his way.

IMG_20130325_062903IMG_20130326_094347starting the week off right; early morning jog & a green smoothie

IMG_20130326_203721 Tuesday night: Jay with Daddy & Mummy Williams; his parents

IMG_20130327_201952 Mid week drinks with the girls at a funky new “secret bar” called The Baxter Inn. It’s tough to find but once you’re there you won’t want to leave!

IMG_20130328_195222 since the imminent demise of google reader, I’ve gone all BlogLovin….

IMG_20130328_081216 another green smoothie

IMG_20130330_104145 and another! this time in my new carry container from rawblend.com.au

IMG_20130328_222542 Throw-back-Thursday; my BFF Gracie (left) & me circa 2004

IMG_20130330_152057 cooking up a barbie

IMG_20130329_131832 Friday Flowers on my table

IMG_20130329_090648 “wake up Mummy, it’s walkies time!” Harley says…

IMG_20130329_131556 Good Friday chillin in our crib…

IMG_20130329_143111 Try getting this stick back!

IMG_20130329_165823 Easter treats; hot cross buns & French Earl Grey tea (my favourite!)

IMG_20130329_234053 remembering our Paris trip….I want to go back!

IMG_20130330_184452 Date night; Old Fashioned fun at The Baxter Inn (I just HAD to take Jay!)

IMG_20130330_215429 and later on date night; Hoopla under the Big Top in Darling Harbour. It was super fun but a little weird when the trapeze artist got the shits with her clothing and took off her top mid-way through the routine! Flying boobies with the flying trapeze!

IMG_20130331_102120 Look what I got to wake up to this morning! Jay made me pancakes!!!
Gluten & wheat free pancakes too! Isn’t he grand…

IMG_20130331_111049 Ain’t it true!

Happy Easter Sunday xx

signature2 - melly xox[follow me http://instagram.com/thisismelly]

chicken, sweet potato & pinenut frittata | recipe

IMG_20130324_161957 Chicken, sweet potato, mushroom & pinenut tartlet

IMG_20130324_175843 Chicken, mushroom, pinenut & sage tartlet

I got inspired to do some last weekend for the week’s meals ahead! Here is the recipe for my original creation!

CHICKEN, SWEET POTATO & PINENUT FRITTATA

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup light cream
  • ½ cup grated cheese (Havarti is good)
  • 1 large sweet potato; cut into cubes & roasted in the oven
  • 1 medium chicken breast; cut into cubes & pan fried til cooked
  • 6 large button mushrooms; diced
  • Handful flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tbs pinenuts; lightly toasted
  • Sea salt & cracked pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp rosemary or Italian herbs
  • 1.5 sheets store bought low-fat shortcrust pastry; thawed
  • Cooking spray oil

TOOLS

  • 20 inch frittata pan
  • Large baking tray
  • Baking weights (or rice)
  • Baking paper

METHOD

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/356°F (fan-forced). Spray the frittata pan with cooking oil and line with the shortcrust pastry. Top with baking paper and weigh down with baking weights (or rice). Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes (until there is a hint of golden). Remove from oven, remove weights/rice and cook for another 5-10 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and when cooled, remove from tin and place on a large baking tray. Turn the oven down to 120°C/248°F (fan-forced).

baking

Lightly whisk the eggs then stir in the cream & cheese. Add the salt, pepper & rosemary/herbs. Scatter the cooked ingredients (chicken, sweet potato & pinenuts) and the mushrooms in the prepared tart shell then pour over the wet mix. Randomly push the parsley into the mixture and top with pinenuts.

Bake in the oven (120°C/248°F) for 30 minutes.

[variation: top with sage before baking the filled tart in the oven with butter pan fried sage]

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serve with salad for a perfect meal!

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And good news! My recipe is going to be featured on the Project Cookbook blog!

Enjoy! 

signature - melly xox

sunday at the grounds

You wouldn’t know it’s autumn with the summer weather Sydney’s been having! Today was the perfect Sunday morning to wander The Grounds.

The Grounds cafe (without the 5000 people that are usually in attendance!)
The Grounds cafe (without the 5000 people that are usually in attendance!)

[pic via]

In the mostly-industrial suburb of Alexandria, The Grounds is an awesome purpose built functional cafe-slash-garden. There are chickens, randomly placed raised garden beds of herbs and other edible plants and more waitstaff than you could possibly imagine. They roast their own coffee, bake their own bread & make their own pastries. The smell of freshly sugared jam & caramel filled donuts are almost too much to bare!
Plus there’s Kevin Bacon’s House which is where the little pig Kevin lives!

It opens at 8am and the queue starts immediately. When we arrive at 10am it’s a 40 minute wait for table service, so we get take-away coffee, fruit salad and bacon & eggs brioche instead. We wander the grounds and this is what we saw:IMG_20130324_113949 kitchen garden
lemonade & fruit stand
bacon & egg brioche cart

IMG_20130324_114128 gardens, chicken coop & Kevin Bacon this cutest little pig sleeping in the sun
(Harley even pokes his head through the fence to say hello to Kevin Bacon but since he doesn’t smell like bacon he doesn’t know what to do!)

IMG_20130324_113131 really really really good coffee

IMG_20130324_124330fruit salad, yoghurt & toasted muesli

IMG_20130324_113542 Harley being cute and fluffy

20130324124541876 the basil plants are insane!!!
and check out that little wooden kid’s play house!

IMG_20130324_113313 the fresh flower cart

The food is OK but it’s the space that is amazing.
You could drop a geodesic dome over The Grounds and quite happily survive the Zombie Apocalypse or a nuclear war here. Go for coolness but stay for the coffee….seven bean house roasted blend which is seriously good.

The Grounds | 7A, 2 Huntley St, Alexandria
boo for no bookings

hiding the eggs

Right up until my younger brother moved out of home and interstate (about 5 years ago at the age of 25), every Easter Mum would hide chocolate eggs around the backyard for us to find on Easter Sunday morning. It never gets old no matter how old you do!

Easter is my favourite holiday; we get 4 days off work, there are hot-cross buns and an abundance of chocolate, it usually rains but there is always one perfect day of sun to picnic by the water. New movies come out at the theater and it’s just a great time to spend with loved ones; relaxing & eating!

This year will be a little different; my brother in still away and my Mum & Stepdad are also away on a working holiday around Australia. So for the long Easter weekend Jay, Harley & I will just chill out on our own. Maybe I’ll hide doggy easter egg treats (not chocolate of course!) around the house for Harley to find…

In the meantime, I found some gorgeous little Etsy things for all the other kids out there!

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we’re all superheroes

I must admit I’m a bit of a joiner.

I’ll join sports teams, books clubs, Instagram challenges, cooking competitions, even a really long line at a public toilet but most of all I’m a sucker to join a good cause.

I recently let my Greenpeace membership lapse and we’ve been a supporter of UNHCR’s Refugee Emergency Relief Aid for a long time but Earth Hour is one of my favourite good causes. Not only is it an altruistic way to help reduce your carbon footprint by cutting down on something as simple as electricity in your home for an hour+, but it gives me an excuse to turn all the appliances & lights off and indulge in a romantic candlelight night!

earthhour

So why don’t you join the Earth Hour revolution which hits this weekend on Saturday 23rd March at 8.30pm? And in preparation I’ve thought of a few things we can do as individuals to help minimise our impact on mother nature and her glorious blue planet…

  1. take your own shopping bags when buying groceries; in Australian over 4 billion (yes BILLION) plastic bags are used per year and the majority end up in landfill or worse, in the ocean. If you think of those numbers as 10 million new plastic bags per day or each of us using 200 plastic bags each per year it puts it in perspective that we aren’t thinking of our impact on the limited landfill area or poor little sea turtles that could suffocate from eating plastic bags which they mistake as jellyfish. There are so many cute & fashionable alternatives to the plastic bag that why wouldn’t you do this simple swap? anyahindmarsh [via]
  2. use fans instead of aircons or turn your aircon up 1°c; Living in Australia in summer is akin to visiting hell on baking day. It’s hot. We need our aircon but all it takes is to put it up a degree or so just to take the load off.
  3. don’t buy bottled water. for goodness sake, we’re a lazy & unsustainable bunch! water costs less than 1c per litre from the tap and we go and pay 3000% increase & create tonnes of plastic landfill by buying bottled water. There are so many cool reusable bottles to carry around with you. This is why initiatives such as Tap™ are so wonderful. bottles[that’s mine in the middle!]
  4. swap out your lightbulbs; with energy saving bulbs. Not only are you helping the environment and saving on your electricity bill, you also get to watch your partner up on a ladder doing sexy handyman (or handywoman) tasks! Score!
  5. keep it clean with environmentally friendly detergents; to say I’m a clean freak would be an understatement. My house is well kept (even Harley is the cleanest doggy you’ll ever meet) and up until about 6 months ago bleach was my favourite cleaner of choice, until my BFF Gracie told me of the wonders of vinegar & baking soda! It’s bathroom chemistry you never experienced in high school science class! Super cheap, effective and friendly to our waterways!
  6. ditch the junkmail; I.hate.junk.mail. It’s 2013 and we have something called the internet. Get one of those little stickers you put on your letter box to stop those pesky wastes of paper and ridiculous & unnecessary destruction of trees. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA [via]
  7. Meatfree Mondays; as my friend Tam likes to remind anyone who’ll listen, that meat is murder. Although she’ll be occassionaly persuaded to eat a juicy steak, like, once a year! For those of us who aren’t generally vegetarians/vegans/et al, Meat free Monday is all we can handle! See her comments below for stats on exessive carbon monoxide from farting animals! But on a more serious note, people on our planet eat way to much meat that isn’t sustainably farmed. I’m more for cutting down on the quantity and eating quality – meat farmed from animals raised in as natural state as possible (get rid of grain feed beef, it is terrible for their well being and only stick to grass farmed animals) including chicken & their eggs that are certified free-range, pigs that can be ‘piggy’ in mud baths and fish that are sustainably caught in the wild. You pay a bit extra but if you cut down on the portion size and frequency then it’s better for everyone; you, the animals & the earth. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA [via]
  8. It’s a matter of integrity; buying local produce from farmers markets and farmers co-ops. Unless we want our future to resemble Demolition Man (remember the only restaurant they had was Taco Bell?!) with widespread globalisation taking over our availability & personal choice of produce & products if we let multinationals drive/bully small business out. Buying from growers markets & co-ops also means the food is fresher and in season. It’s good to know where it comes from! 
    my local Pyrmont Grower's Markets
    my local Pyrmont Grower’s Markets

      [via]

♦♦♦♦♦

I hope these tips remind you that any act of environmentalism, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, really helps.
After all small acts can create big change!

Now go forth and procure candles for your romantic Saturday night in!

x♥x