melbourne

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Lunch at Chin Chin. One of the best lunches. Ever.

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Weekend breakfast means pastries. And a jam donut. And caneles. And French butter.

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Spring Street Grocer’s cheese cellar. My version of heaven.

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On the way up to Captains of Industry.

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Solo coffee at Captains of Industry. Totally loving that guy’s jumper.

 

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pear & chai spice muffins

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Winter has well and truly set in. While the mornings are absolutely freezing at the moment, I’m relishing the opportunity to stay in and read. There’s nothing better than smushing myself into the recliner and flicking through Kinfolk, or  my current favourite, Anthology (both can be found at Studio Bomba or online at Magnation). If these magazines indicate anything is that there’s a growing longing for the simpler things in life: staying in, entertaining and enjoying the quiet moments in life. Anyway, here’s my contribution to that. A muffin recipe perfect for Mondays when you can barely make it back into the cubicle: we call them Muffin Mondays.

 

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Pear & Chai Spice Muffins

The chai spice I use is a blend from Gewurzhaus called Raj’s Majestic Chai Masala. It has a warm, comforting cinnamon scent that’s not too strong on the nose. However in lieu, steeping a regular chai tea bag will do.

Makes 6 Texas/jumbo muffins or 12 regular muffins

 

150ml of milk
50 ml of sour cream 
1 black tea bag
1 tsp chai spice
2 pears, peeled
310 gm self raising flour
150 gm caster sugar
pinch of salt
100 gm butter, melted and cooled 
2 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a muffin tin with cases.

In a jug, mix together the sour cream and milk. Warm in the microwave. Add the teabag and stir in the chai spice. Leave to steep for ten minutes while you peel the pears.

Slice the pears and discard the cores, reserving six nice slices for decoration.

Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. 

Add the pears to the flour and toss them around to coat. (This stops the fruit from sinking.)

Discard the tea bag and add the tea milk mixture, butter and eggs to large bowl of flour. Mix the mixture from the outside in, stirring until no streaks of dry flour are visible. Scoop into the muffin tray and top each muffin with a pear slice. Slide into the oven and rotate at the 15 minute mark.

Check the muffins at 25 minutes – they should be firm and spring back when pressed. Remove from the muffin tin and cool on a wire rack.

 

 
 

kyoto

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tokyo

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the old crow

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It was one of those summer days where it wasn’t too hot, nor too windy: just perfect. In what used to be the front yard of an old house on Newcastle Street was where we sat, under dappled sunshine while watching cars momentarily slow and rush off again.

This is The Old Crow, a bastion of soul food that is sometimes thought of as an alternative to the nearby (and always full) Tuckshop Cafe. But it’s more than an alternative. With its rustic vibe and waiters outfitted in the most uncool suspenders known to mankind, The Old Crow also has a menu full of good things to eat, like rye smoked salmon and duck parfait (sounds good, right?).

(Off topic, but every time I hear The Old Crow I think Game of Thrones…)

 

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Slow roasted brisket sandwich, thousand island sauce and fries, 17.

 

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