• After seeing a slew of drool worthy photos of gyros served up at George Calombaris’s Jimmy Grants Fitzroy establishment by several Melbournian foodies, I had my sights set on tasting a gyros for myself. And Gyradiko Brisbane on James Street sounded like just the place to do it.

    Gyradiko Brisbane

    After seeing a slew of drool worthy photos of gyros served up at George Calombaris’s Jimmy Grants Fitzroy establishment by several Melbournian foodies, I had my sights set on tasting a gyros for myself. And Gyradiko Brisbane on James Street sounded like just the place to do it.

  • Not to be mistaken for West End’s yakitori joint Bird’s Nest restaurant or Kangaroo Point’s rooftop bar Eagles Nest, Nest Restaurant is a recently launched Asian fusion restaurant that sits within the Roma Street's Transit Centre.

    Nest Restaurant Launch, Roma Street

    Not to be mistaken for West End’s yakitori joint Bird’s Nest restaurant or Kangaroo Point’s rooftop bar Eagles Nest, Nest Restaurant is a recently launched Asian fusion restaurant that sits within the Roma Street’s Transit Centre.

  • There has been an explosion of burger joints in Brisbane – not quite the food trend one might expect after […]

    Burgerfuel, Fortitude Valley

    There has been an explosion of burger joints in Brisbane – not quite the food trend one might expect after […]

  • Eating out can be a bit of a challenge, but we’ve been tackling it by either asking to doggy-bagging the leftovers or sharing one large meal between the two of us. And Ribs and Rumps is the perfect place for the latter.

    Ribs and Rumps, Fortitude Valley

    Eating out can be a bit of a challenge, but we’ve been tackling it by either asking to doggy-bagging the leftovers or sharing one large meal between the two of us. And Ribs and Rumps is the perfect place for the latter.

  • Motto Motto Japanese Kitchen opens in Westfield Garden City to offer more, more!

    Motto Motto Japanese Kitchen – more more!

    Motto Motto Japanese Kitchen opens in Westfield Garden City to offer more, more!

  • The SO had been to Hurricane's Grill on a business trip to Sydney some time ago and wasn’t adverse to the suggestion we should try their Gold Coast location for lunch. Obviously the Sydney outlet had made a decent impression and I had high hopes that a meaty lunch at Hurricane's Grill would satisfy my protein needs.

    Hurricane’s Grill

    The SO had been to Hurricane’s Grill on a business trip to Sydney some time ago and wasn’t adverse to the suggestion we should try their Gold Coast location for lunch. Obviously the Sydney outlet had made a decent impression and I had high hopes that a meaty lunch at Hurricane’s Grill would satisfy my protein needs.

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3

Golden Pig Cooking School: Sourdough and Bread Making Class

The SO asked what I might like for Christmas and I recommended we take a cooking class together. My original motive was to have him pick up more kitchen skills, but he might have seen through my ploy and simply got me a gift voucher to the Golden Pig Cooking School. Oh well…

Golden Pig Cooking School

Golden Pig Cooking School

Just some of the menu items on offer during opening hours

Golden Pig Cooking School

More upcoming classes

Golden Pig Cooking School offer quite a variety of classes, many of which are held on the weekend. I used the voucher to sign up for their recent sourdough and bread making class, seeing as my own attempts have never yielded in a consistent product.

Golden Pig Cooking School

The classroom

Lead by Pernille Larsen, author of ‘One Dough Fifty Breads’, our class of 11 were issued aprons, recipe sheets and confessed to varying levels of bread making experience before diving into the hands-on workshop. We got to make two versions of our choice of sourdough: one with a teaspoon of yeast (which we baked for our dinner) and another that was completely sourdough starter only (to take home to bake), a sourdough rye with grains and seeds (to bake at home), and a jar of our own starter.

Golden Pig Cooking School

One of two large tubs of starter and pre-soaked grains

Golden Pig Cooking School

Making our own starter with plain and rye flour to take home

Golden Pig Cooking School

One portion of bread dough to proof at home

Golden Pig Cooking School

Mixing the dough for seeds and grains rye bread

Golden Pig Cooking School - Proofing the grains and seeds rye bread

Proofing the grains and seeds rye bread

Golden Pig Cooking School

Grains and seeds rye loaves prepared earlier

Golden Pig Cooking School

My spelt sourdough with grains loaf baking in a cast iron dish

Golden Pig Cooking School

My loaf all crusty and perfect, ready for eating

Golden Pig Cooking School

A classmate’s dinner rolls

Golden Pig Cooking School

The assortment of breads by other classmates

The cost of the tuition includes the hands on tuition with everything provided (including a variety of organic flours, pre-soaked grains and nuts), a shared meal that features our own baked breads (antipasto platters with blanched asparagus spears, marinated peppers and mushrooms, tomato and mozzarella with basil, frittata, chorizo slices, cheeses, walnuts, quince paste and grapes), beverages (wine, beer, water, tea, coffee) and a copy of all the recipes.

Golden Pig Cooking School

Antipasto platter to go with the breads for dinner

Golden Pig Cooking School

As a bonus, I got to meet some foodies who happily directed me to check out Flannery’s, an organic supermarket that stocks the selection of plain, wholemeal, rye and spelt flours we used in the class.

It was quite the entertaining evening with plenty of goodies to take home. Now to see if I could get another voucher for my birthday. *wink*

2

Our baby shower

I’ve never been to a baby shower until recently and apparently there are rules about organising them: the main one being someone else has to organise it, preferably a female family member or friend.

Well, screw it. I’m a control freak, so I decided I wanted to organise my own with lots of help from friend Cat.

Our baby shower

We picked out a yellow, grey and white colour scheme to go with the bee motif, created a Facebook event to send out invitations (cuz we’re totally new age yo!) at least a month early as it’s turning out to be a busy time of year for everyone.

To keep things on the cheap, Cat and I made a bunch of things to decorate the backyard of our apartment block. Above is a piece of board I got at a craft store, cut to size of an old picture frame I had lying around and painted with black chalkboard paint to help direct people to the party. Cat also made paper bunting from scrapbooking paper and tissue pom poms that’ll go up on the wall above the baby’s dresser/change table.

Choosing what to serve for afternoon tea was the hardest part of the planning. We opted for easy finger foods in bite-sized portions with lots of vegetarian options, most of which were homemade.

Afternoon Tea Menu
Iced tea (Lupicia’s Supergrade Momo green tea with fresh peach bits)
Iced water with citrus slices
Vegetables sticks (carrot, celery, peppers) with hummus and beetroot dip
Fruit platter (melon, grapes and pineapple)
Mixed salted roasted nuts
Chilli and lime soy crisps
Frittata: pumpkin, spinach, carmelised onion and pine nuts (V)
Mini sausage rolls (provided by Mel Stevens)
Falafel balls with mint yoghurt sauce and tahini sauce
Bruchetta (V) with cherry tomatoes and boccacini
Custard cake
Lemon cupcakes with lemon and vanilla icing

Cat and her sister also spent all night the night before making a surprise for us. They made and decorated these lemon cupcakes themselves and everyone loved them! I couldn’t have any, cuz of my gestational diabetes and I wish I had thought to freeze one for later. But I still loved them!

Our baby shower

Image by Cat Forrester

We invited people to play two games to win prizes. One was baby bingo – players got a random bingo card of words associated with babies and baby presents (eg. rattle, onesie, book, diaper). Then I would open everyone’s gifts and they can strike off any words that apply to the gift until they get a whole row and yell ‘bingo!’. The winner got a bottle of 2012 Pinot Grigio from Samuel’s Gorge, one of our favourite wineries in McClaren Vale (and Australia). Here are the gifts we received – we were floored by how thoughtful and adorable everyone was with these, especially as almost all of them haven’t had kids of their own yet and probably had a hard time picking something out.

Our baby shower

The other game was guessing my waist with a piece of string. Anyone who wanted to play had to cut out a length of string that they thought was the circumference of the widest part of my belly.

EVERYONE guessed much too big (some were almost a metre too long), which was a hoot! The two who came closest were the SO’s mum (cuz she knows my normal dress size and how much weight I’ve put on) and Dave, one of the SO’s best friend who is pretty good with his spatial awareness. Dave won by one inch. The prize was this tower of Ferroro Rocher I hotglued together with 4 boxes of the chocolates. It took me awhile to make the Ferror Rocher tower, but it was totally worth it. Doesn’t it look a little like a golden bee hive?

Our baby shower

And lastly we had onesies and bibs people could decorate.

Our baby shower

I picked up an assortment of onesies in various sizes from Best and Less at 3 for $10. The bibs were $10 for 10 – a real bargain if you’re looking to clothe a baby on the cheap.

Our baby shower

Our baby shower

I also prepped a few fabric squares with double-sided fusing, fabric markers, set up some embroidery threads with needles and printed out some templates to help anyone in need of inspiration. I was surprised how into the activity everyone got and these were the finished ones people did up.

Our baby showerDespite the work involved in pulling the occasion together, I’m really glad we decided to have a baby shower and celebrated the upcoming addition of our little one to the circle of family and friends we are so lucky to have.

If you had or have attended a baby shower, what made it memorable?

 

3

A Hen’s Night at Cork and Chroma

What little I’ve seen of hen’s parties hasn’t been pretty. Whether I have a stick up my bum or am simply too old for my age, pink tutus, sequin sashes, tacky plastic crowns, penis straws, drunken shenanigans, gyrating male flesh and embarrassing games are just not my idea of a good time, especially if photos make their way onto the everlasting abyss of the Internet.

But with that said, I wasn’t the least bit hesitant to attend good friend A’s hen’s party. Tacky has never been her style and she had organised an evening painting (and drinking for those who were able) at the Cork and Chroma in South Brisbane.

A Hen's Night at Cork and Chroma

In case you were wondering, the Cork and Chroma painting class was not a nude study. The raunchiest it got was when participants lick the rim of their wine glass to catch the last drops of their vino.

A Hen's Night at Cork and Chroma

A Hen's Night at Cork and Chroma

On this particular night, the subject was Moonlight Blossoms, but it changes from session to session. Paints to recreate the original were laid out first, but there really wasn’t a limit to what participants could do. The demonstrator dominates the platform to walk everyone step-by-step, offering ideas and suggestions between stages on how to make the paintings unique.

A Hen's Night at Cork and Chroma

My custom Lego Xena wine glass charm

A Hen's Night at Cork and Chroma

Standard issue tools of the trade

I haven’t picked up a paintbrush in decades and it felt strangely satisfying to complete the painting.

A Hen's Night at Cork and Chroma

The selection of paints for the evening’s class

A Hen's Night at Cork and Chroma

Step 1: Paint the background and the moon

A Hen's Night at Cork and Chroma

Step 2: Paint the tree’s silhouette

A Hen's Night at Cork and Chroma

Step 3: Add contrast shading to the tree

A Hen's Night at Cork and Chroma

Step 4: Paint in the foliage or flowers

A Hen's Night at Cork and Chroma

Step 5: I added some contrast for the flowers

A Hen's Night at Cork and Chroma

Step 6: Sign your master piece!

A Hen's Night at Cork and Chroma

It turned out to be such a fun night and everyone got to bring something home at the end as a memento of the occassion. The SO insisted we hang it up in the home, so it now hangs on the wall along one of our narrow corridors. Now I’m wondering whether to join another Cork and Chroma painting class just for fun in the future.

Have you been to a non-stripper hen’s party that was fun?

2

Gyradiko Brisbane

I have a confession to make – I don’t know the difference between a gyros (or is it yiros?), a doner (or is it doner kebab?), a shawarma or a wrap. Aren’t they all the same thing: a piece of flatbread stuffed with assorted vegetables and some kind of protein?

Bask and ridicule in my total ignorance, but after seeing a slew of drool worthy photos of gyros served up at George Calombaris’s Jimmy Grants Fitzroy establishment by several Melbournian foodies, I had my sights set on tasting a gyros for myself.

Did Gyradiko Brisbane hear my dripping salivation or the growling of my tummy? They might have, for they haven’t been open for long before I got wind of them and dragged the SO down to James Street to check them out.

Gyradiko Brisbane

Gyradiko Brisbane

Those who walk the beat down on James Street would remember Happy Little Dumplings used to occupy the narrow shop space Gyradiko Brisbane now resides. Tables and chairs spill out the front doorway with its bright red, yellow and white signage announcing you’ve arrived at Greek street food paradise. The walk of hungry shame past the drinks fridge takes you right up to the order counter, where the giant meats on sticks are gently rotated for even cooking.

The menu was a little Greek (get it?) to me, so I whipped out my iPhone and pointed to an Instagram photo. The staff then helped us with ensuring we got our order right, which were a pork gyros and a chicken souvlaki plate.

Gyradiko Brisbane - Pork gyros with chips. AUD$9.80

Pork gyros with chips. AUD$9.80

Gyradiko Brisbane - Chicken souvlaki (2), Greek salad, pita and tzatziki plate. AUD$15

Chicken souvlaki (2), Greek salad, pita and tzatziki plate. AUD$15

Gyradiko Brisbane

To compare a Gyradiko Brisbane gyros against a corner shop kebab would be – well… an injustice. For one, both the pork and chicken were both succulent and really flavourful, particularly when paired with thick cut crisp fresh vegetables. Even the tzatziki was different – we’re used to the stuff that has a watery consistency more akin to thin liquid soap and is squeezed out of a bottle nozzle, but the stuff Gyradiko Brisbane were dishing out was so thick, it had to be whacked out of the spoon.

And while there’s no shame in the AUD$9.80 gyros, I reckon the plate at AUD$15 is a better deal if you’re dining with two not-starving people. For the additional AUD$6, you get two souvlaki, warmed pita bread (the same used to wrap your gyros, cut into quarters), Greek salad full of chunky fresh tomatoes, cucumber, olives and topped with crumbled feta at the last minute (a nice touch to ensure it doesn’t sit around in the vegetable juices), a whacking dollop of tzatziki and hot chips.

Now how good a deal is that?

 

Gyradiko Brisbane on Urbanspoon

4

101 things in 1001 days: February 2015 update

Banner_101thingstodoin1001days

My 101 things in 1001 days list is not looking good. My last update was back in July – that’s 7 months ago! And we’re already 2 months into 2015.

#7 Make sambal

Remember my recipe for sambal tumis? Here it is again!

#36 Make an official packing list

Now that our baby’s due date is drawing close, I have had to consider what to pack for the hospital. While there are plenty of labour bag lists out there, the midwives have repeatedly stressed that we should bring whatever would make us the most comfortable – no matter how ridiculous, so here’s mine.

For labour

  • Our birth plan and maternity notes
  • Dressing gown
  • Slippers
  • One of the SO’s old large T shirts to wear in labour
  • Massage oil
  • A tennis ball as a massager
  • Lip balm
  • Snacks and drinks
    • Fresh fruit
    • Chilled juice (orange, apple, cranberry)
  • Things to help relax or pass the time (books and iPad)
  • Pillows
  • Toiletries
  • Music

For the SO (the birth partner)

  • 1 pair board shorts
  • 1 change of clothes
  • iPhone with contractions app
  • Camera
  • Snacks and drinks

For after the birth (4 day stay)

  • 1 going-home outfit
  • 2-3 nursing bras
  • 5-6 old panties
  • 5-6 pairs of socks
  • 1 pack maternity pads
  • 1 pack nursing pads
  • 2 pyjamas
  • Toiletries: shampoo, conditioner, soap, moisturizer
  • Towels, hairbrush, toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Medications: hydrocortisone, diprosone, Advantan
  • iPhone charger
  • Laptop with internet dongle

For baby (4 day stay)

  • An infant car seat installed and fitted in the car
  • 1 outfit for the trip home: Bonds Wondersuit onesie and a hat
  • 1 pack nappies, wipes and bags for soiled nappies
  • 5 onesies and singlets for baby to wear in hospital
  • 1 baby blanket
  • 2-3 muslin swaddles
  • 2-3 pairs of socks
  • 2-3 pairs of mittens
  • 2-3 hat

 

#83 Buy a hot glue gun

This cost me $8 on special at Spotlight down in Everton Park. It’s not particularly fancy and it would’ve been great if it had had a light that indicated it was switched on, but whatever. Why did I wait so long to get one?

2015-02-19 Hot glue gun

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