Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I Heart Rosemary

Several months ago now I bought a bunch of fresh rosemary to use in some cooking. Seeing as how I paid for a bunch but only needed a few leaves I put the rest in a glass with a little water, hoping it'd keep for a while so I could use more. After a week I realised those sprigs hadn't died. After a few months I noticed this:

Look at those roots! This sprig was doing far and away the best - the other two ended up dying. Well now this little guy has his very own pot outside my front door, and so far (touch wood) he's doing well. I've also managed, somehow, to keep some basil and some flat leaf parsley alive on my windowsill. I think there's a large element of luck involved with those, though.

I really do love the types of plants that even I can't kill. My front yard is full of them. Which is a good thing, since I'm the angel of death to all things green and leafy!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Chocolateria San Churro

I did some christmas shopping at Highpoint on the weekend. Thankfully I got in there early so I was mostly done before the crowds REALLY started. But after dealing with people, and spending far too much dollars, I decided I deserved a treat. I've never been to a Chocolateria San Churro cafe before, so figured I could do with some churros and tea.

Are they the best churros I've ever had? No. Even so, they were pretty darned tasty. Warm chocolate sauce and 100s & 1000s helped too :-) I went for the kiddy serve. I'll leave you with some pictures...

Peanut Butter Choc Chip Bikkies

I wanted to make some biscuits (huge surprise there, right?). Actually, I wanted to EAT some biscuits. In particular, I had a hankering for some peanut butter and choc chip biscuits. These little babies were delicious, if I do say so myself (and I do), and they were dead-easy to make. I can't for the life of me remember where on the internet I got the recipe from, as all I have to go on now are my notes in my own nigh-on-inscrutable shorthand. I'll decipher it the best I can for you.

Peanut Butter & Choc Chip Cookies (made at least 2 dozen)
125g softened butter
150g brown sugar
1 lightly beaten egg
1 tsp vanilla
150g peanut butter (the crunchier the better, in my opinion, or if you use smooth, add 50g of chopped nuts. Or add the nuts anyway, it's up to you)
225g plain flour
1 tsp bicarb soda
200g choc chips

Heat the oven to 200C. Cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and beat lightly till combined. Stir through the peanut butter. Fold in the flour. Stir through the choc chips. Make teaspoons-full of dough into balls and place on a baking tray, then flatten slightly with a fork or anything else you like. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden.

I also made a couple with finely diced bacon in them, on request for a friend. I personally didn't try those, as that's a bit out-there for me. I'm not sure how they tasted, I haven't heard much from that friend since! I'm sure the two aren't related though... Actually, we went to a Jeff Martin concert that night and any thoughts of biscuits went clear out of my head. Can you blame me?!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Caffe Macchiato

23 Macedon Road, Templestowe Lower
P: 03 9850 8822

Just west along Manningham Road from one of my favourite restaurants is this little street, and on this street is this little cafe.

I've had coffee here before, but never stopped for some food. We decided on a whim to try it out for breakfast this morning. Sadly, we thought we'd be thwarted at the door, with the place absolutely packed. We were told some tables should be coming up in about 20 minutes, if we were happy to wait. We said we'd go for a walk and see how it went. Well, we'd just reached the top of the street when we heard someone calling out... turning around, it was the waitress! She'd come out of the cafe, seen us, and run up to tell us there was a table free and she'd reserved it for us. How nice was that?

Our orders were taken quite promptly, but delivery of coffee and food was fairly slow. In this case I'm inclined to be a little understanding because, I'm telling you, this place could not fit any more people in. Every seat at every table was occupied, and you have to be prepared for a little wait when things are that busy. Besides, I've been to this cafe when things weren't quite so busy, and had no issues with service then.

To accompany my breakfast I had a hankering for an iced chocolate. I wish I'd been warned about it...

No word of a lie, there must be about half a litre of milk in this glass. And it was yum. Milk, ice cubes, ice cream, drinking chocolate... although it did defeat me and I ended up not being able to finish it.

We each ordered the CM Brekkie - me with scrambled eggs and an extra hash brown, him with poached eggs. I think next time I'll ask for an extra piece of toast, but aside from that this was great. Plenty of shortcut bacon, heaps of soft scrambled eggs, a delicious grilled tomato, and even Worcestershire sauce when I requested it..

I had a look over the rest of the menu and I think I'll need to go back and see what they do with their barramundi. And several of their other menu items had me eager to try them.