• Pig’s Ear Wine and Grill is not quite the posh romantic restaurant for a date night, but it certainly looked swanky with its handcrafted spotted gum furniture, green rendering on the wall and copper curtains, which to some might exude rich elegance that would spot on in a really nice bed and breakfast in England.

    Pig’s Ear Wine and Grill in Indooroopilly

    Pig’s Ear Wine and Grill is not quite the posh romantic restaurant for a date night, but it certainly looked swanky with its handcrafted spotted gum furniture, green rendering on the wall and copper curtains, which to some might exude rich elegance that would spot on in a really nice bed and breakfast in England.

  • While my parents were visiting from Singapore, I discovered they had to have sliced bread – not toast – for […]

    Little Loco on Merthyr Road, New Farm

    While my parents were visiting from Singapore, I discovered they had to have sliced bread – not toast – for […]

  • As luck would have it, I received an invitation to check out Boom Boom Burger, a new establishment on the Gold Coast at the same time we had to drive my parents to the Gold Coast airport to catch their return flight.

    Boom Boom Burger on Surfers Paradise

    As luck would have it, I received an invitation to check out Boom Boom Burger, a new establishment on the Gold Coast at the same time we had to drive my parents to the Gold Coast airport to catch their return flight.

  • We must have passed Little Greek Taverna a hundred times over the years whenever we venture into West End, but have never tried them out. When we finally made it to Little Greek Taverna, we came away wondering why the hell we stayed away for as long as we did.

    Little Greek Taverna in South Brisbane

    We must have passed Little Greek Taverna a hundred times over the years whenever we venture into West End, but have never tried them out. When we finally made it to Little Greek Taverna, we came away wondering why the hell we stayed away for as long as we did.

  • If you haven't tried Korean Fried Chicken, you are really missing out. Korean Fried Chicken is apparently a huge part of modern South Korean culture and is cooked twice, so the batter is crunchier and less greasy. They also use smaller and younger chickens, resulting in a far more tender product. So where did we go for our Korean Fried Chicken that night? Kyochon Chicken on Beenleigh Road in Sunnybank Hills.

    Kyochon Chicken

    If you haven’t tried Korean Fried Chicken, you are really missing out. Korean Fried Chicken is apparently a huge part of modern South Korean culture and is cooked twice, so the batter is crunchier and less greasy. They also use smaller and younger chickens, resulting in a far more tender product. So where did we go for our Korean Fried Chicken that night? Kyochon Chicken on Beenleigh Road in Sunnybank Hills.

  • Bucci Restaurant recently celebrated its 3rd birthday and launched a new quick and casual lunch menu, which I was invited to sample. No more excuses!

    Bucci Restaurant’s new lunch menu

    Bucci Restaurant recently celebrated its 3rd birthday and launched a new quick and casual lunch menu, which I was invited to sample. No more excuses!

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2

Fishtales & Golden Pig present Fisherman’s Club

After my amazing Golden Pig Cooking School sourdough and bread making class, I signed up for the Golden Pig mailing list and recently received notification about their upcoming event on Monday, July 13.

Fisherman's Club

I wish I could go, because I LOVE seafood. But our oceans and waterways are suffering under our relentless fishing practices and unforgivable rate of pollution. And I wish I could say fish farming is a sustainable alternative, but there are numerous reports about the industrialised practices employed in that sector that result in a less-than-ideal product. This class sounds like a fantastic way to learn more about where our seafood comes from.

Unfortunately it’s a long class (with alcohol) and we won’t be bottle feeding Bubby yet. Instead I’m sharing the love, so if you attend, I might live vicariously through you.

Disclaimer: I have not received any compensation to share this event from either organisers. I just wanted to share a potentially wonderful evening of food, wine and sharing that’s being put on by some wonderful people.

2

Five tips for travelling with a baby

Some rights reserved by Lars Plougmann (Flickr)

Some rights reserved by Lars Plougmann (Flickr)

Our little family have been on the road since early this month for the SO’s conference and it’s finally good to be home. Living out of a suitcase, especially with a baby in tow gets tiring.

But we’ve learnt a couple of things!

 

1. Flying with a baby is not as bad as you might think

Traveling with a breastfed baby is a lot easier than a bottle-fed one. Fussy baby? Pop out your boob and enjoy the silence. Plus they’ll stay put wherever they are – they won’t run up and down the plane.

Just remember to book seats with the bassinet. And ask for the bassinet to be set up, even if you don’t plan to put the baby in it. The extra room to dump blankets, spare diapers and wet wipes for the next change is always good.

 

2. Babywear as much as you can

Even if you’re bringing a pram on your travels (as we did), babywear if your baby is up for it. Attractions may not be pram friendly, so travel as light as possible.

Also not a reason you’d normally consider to babywear, but there is a safety aspect as well. Walking back from a museum, I saw 3 youth jump out of a car to throw a glass bottle at and aggressively harass a middle aged man across the small street I was on. I was incredibly grateful I was babywearing, because if shit hit the fan, I could have ditched the pram and leg it to safety.

 

3. Be flexible with your itinerary

Admit it – baby is the boss of you and won’t necessarily go with the program. Don’t attempt to visit 4 attractions spread over the entire city if your baby needs feeding every 2-3 hours, because you’re just going to stress yourself out. Pad out everything time-wise and be ready to just let things go if it doesn’t pan out.

 

4. Pack more than you need

Being on the road means you’re in unfamiliar territory and you might not have amenities close by, so pack extra diapers, wet wipes, a spare set of clothes for baby and you… just in case of spews, leaks and explosive shits.

 

5. Book the right room

Having the whole family stuck in the same room can mean no one will get any sleep. If you can afford it, consider booking a suite or connecting rooms. We thankfully got a room upgrade that offered a connecting room that was a living space, which served as well when baby needed soothing or changing during night.

Also designate a baby-changing station in the room with a box of wipes, a changing pad and a bunch of diapers. That way, you won’t be scrambling for the diaper bag when that first change is needed.

 

Have you traveled with a baby before? What are your tips for traveling with a baby?

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1

Are you happy?

20150604Bubby

Since I’ve become a mother, I’ve been inundated with questions from family, friends and strangers alike.

How was the birth? What was the birth like? Was it natural/caesarean/drug free/with drugs?

How’s the baby? Is he feeding well? Are you breastfeeding?

How are you feeling? Are you eating well? Are you getting any sleep?

How is your husband coping? Is he being supportive?

Are you adjusting to motherhood?

With the majority of our friends currently child-free, the curiosity is understandable. And we appreciate the concern laced in the questions from family.

But only one person asked the question that answers all the others.

When this question was asked, I was  surrounded by my fertility specialist’s team of nurses and admin staff. I was introducing our 7-week old baby to the man responsible for bringing him into being and after the obligatory ‘what’s his name?’ etc, he turned and looked into my eyes.

“Are you happy?”

When the quest to start a family has been as long and as difficult as ours, disappointment, sorrow and despair are your constant companions. You cannot escape them – they cling in the background while you’re preoccupied with work and life, and spring forth when you’re alone at home, lying in bed in the dark or having lunch surrounded by pram-pushing families. It slowly gnaws at your soul and a lot of tears spilt, until you either learn to let them go or the situation changes.

Yet for those who pursue the dream of a family with children, they hold and nurse a precious kernel of hope. I’d imagine those in the fertility industry help carry that burden – and they see far too many have that hope dashed.

The SO and I are incredibly lucky and blessed to be in a country that enables us to pursue many avenues to start our family, as well as to have one of the state’s best medical teams supporting us in that dream. That was why I was adamant that I brought Bubby to see them – to show them what their work meant to our family.

Overwhelmed with gratitude and respect, I held back tears as I held Bubby close to answer: “Yes.”

With a gentle smile, he patted my shoulder and headed back into his little office.

1

Pig’s Ear Wine and Grill in Indooroopilly

We don’t often visit Indooroopilly Shopping Centre since we moved back to Brisbane, but in the last year or so, it has undergone quite the revival. Even the Pig ‘N’ Whistle has been revamped with its new Pig’s Ear Wine and Grill restaurant, which recently opened its doors with the capacity to seat 260 people and a large repurposed kitchen.

Pig’s Ear Wine and Grill is not quite the posh romantic restaurant for a date night, but it certainly looked swanky with its handcrafted spotted gum furniture, green rendering on the wall and copper curtains, which to some might exude rich elegance that would spot on in a really nice bed and breakfast in England.

As for the menu, it’s a bit of a mixed bunch including steaks from the grill, pizzas and desserts. The variety of options makes it ideal for groups, but apparently we were given the normal Pig ‘N’ Whistle menu rather than the new one.

Pig's Ear - BBQ BEEF SHORT RIBS with chunky chips, coleslaw, crispy onion. AUD$34

BBQ BEEF SHORT RIBS with chunky chips, coleslaw, crispy onion. AUD$34

The SO wanted to rip into some meat and saw another table with the BBQ beef short ribs. The ribs were falling off the bone and oh so tender. While the chips were… well, chips… I was much more interested in the crispy onions. Sliced super thin and deep fried into crispy goodness, I could probably chow down on a bucket of this as a snack.

Pig's Ear - MIDDLESBOROUGH PARMO with cheesy béchamel, chunky chips, garden salad. AUD$25

MIDDLESBOROUGH PARMO with cheesy béchamel, chunky chips, garden salad. AUD$25

I haven’t had a chicken parma or schnitzel in years, and for some reason I decided to break that streak. What came out was HUGE, crunchy crumbed chicken, smothered in bechamel sauce that had a golden baked crust. The Middlesborough Parmo portion was so big, I didn’t touch the chips.

Apparently Pig’s Ear Wine and Grill also boasts an impressive 2,500 bottle wine cellar at the rear of the restaurant, as well as wine taps of Jacqueline’s Ridge Sauvignon Blanc, Mohua Pinot Noir and two other blends. Unfortunately I was pregnant at our visit and had to pass on sampling their selection. Maybe next time?

 

Click to add a blog post for Pig 'N' Whistle Indooroopilly on Zomato

10

The Garden Share Collective: No Space? Grow Sprouts!

So you live in an apartment and don’t have any space for a garden. You can still grow your own food! I finally found a use for the empty glass jars I’ve been collecting and they provide me with fresh home-grown food – recycle them into sprouting jars!

I found sprouting kits going for AUD$30-50+ at health food shops and just couldn’t bring myself to spend that kind of money on more plastic. Instead I found this quick tutorial and this one to turn empty glass jars into inexpensive and rather pretty sprouting jars.

Growing beansprouts

Any jar would do, as long as you clean and sterilise them properly. These jars were originally store bought sundried tomatoes, jams, pickles and salsa.

Growing beansprouts

If you don’t have a drill to make the holes in the cap, use a garlic net to go over the mouth of the jar. Onion nets tend to have much larger holes, so will probably only help for large peas. Secure the net with a rubber band and turn the jar over into a cup, small bowl or plate. This method works just as well, especially if you’re concerned about metal fragments or rust. If you’re sprouting smaller seeds/beans, try a coarse muslin cloth cover instead.

To sprout, you soak the dried beans and seeds for 12 to 24 hours. The water might get a little icky, but at the end of the soak, you drain it all out into your potted plants (don’t waste water, right?). Give it a good rinse and drain before leaving it alone for the next 8 hours. Rinse, drain and repeat every 8-12 hours for about 3 days to a week to harvest crunchy sprouts for your next salad.

Here are mung bean sprouts, which will sprout very well after a 12-hour soak. Pick up a bag of these cheap from your local Asian foodstore and grow your own beansprouts for stirfries or to add to Asian soups!

Growing beansprouts

Growing beansprouts

Growing beansprouts

This one is a mix of pea shoots and fenugreek seeds from Diggers. These need a 24-hour soak to really get going.

Growing beansprouts

Growing beansprouts

Growing beansprouts

Once everything has sprouted to the length you desire (3 days is a good start for salads, a week if you want add them to soups), you can pour all the water out, give them a rinse and store in the fridge to make the batch last the next couple of days.

Honestly, this is the easiest and quickest gardening ever! And you can do it any time of the year.

Do you sprout your own shoots? What do you sprout and where do you source your seeds? Do you use saved glass jars too?

 

TheGardenShareCollective150pixThis blogpost is part of the Garden Share Collective, a group of bloggers who share their vegetable patches, container gardens and the herbs they grow on their window sills.

Got a balcony or small space garden and care to share its progress? Join us at the Garden Share Collective.

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