Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Healthy Nut Bars

After a couple of Birthday dinner celebrations and a long weekend of eating (and drinking) I have decided that I need to try to eat a bit healthier for a while. My biggest challenge is snacking on chocolate and chips, so I went on the hunt for a homemade muesli bar recipe (minus the sugar). I found a fantastic blog by a couple in Sweden who write about their healthy vegetarian diet. Although I am not vegetarian (as you would have guessed from the Lamb Blog), I don’t eat meat regularly and am glad to have found a site with plenty of salads and soups!

On Green Kitchen Stories these are called Sticky Nut Bars, but as mine didn’t turn out sticky I am just going to call them Healthy Nut Bars. I have changed the recipe from the original, based on what I had in the pantry. Let me know what flavours you try!

10 fresh dates (try substituting 15 dried dates soaked in water for an hour)
2 tbsp water
2/3 cup organic peanut butter
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup cashew nuts
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 tsp salt

1. Line a lamington pan with baking paper
2. In a saucepan, combine dates, water and peanut butter over a low heat
3. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. The mixture should be quite tacky. Add more nuts if the mixture is too moist or some more water if it is too dry
4. Pour the mixture in the pan, pressing down to an even height
5. Refrigerate for half an hour, before cutting into squares before serving.
6. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge


Sunday, 17 June 2012

Hot Apple Juice

It's winter and it's cold; the season for mulled wine, hot cider and whisky by a warm fire. But what about those times when a non-alcoholic choice is required?
On a recent weekend away to Hobart, Lush and I discovered that a mug of hot apple juice is a great morning tea drink for wandering Salamanca Market. We had ours with a touch of cinnamon, but you could add ginger for a healthy boost.

My version is below, I added some sugar as my juice was a bit sour. This is really a recipe of personal taste, so feel free to tweak away!

1 cup apple juice
1 cinnamon quill
1 tsp brown sugar

1. Put all ingredients in a saucepan and cover with a lid
2. Over a low heat, bring the mixture slowly to a boil
3. Pour into a mug and enjoy

The longer you let it infuse the stronger the spice flavour will come through.


Thursday, 14 June 2012

Sweetness @ Pope Joan

What: Pope Joan
Where: 77/79 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East VIC 3057

All the blogs and food magazines are full of praise for the wonderful breakfast/brunch place Pope Joan and for good reason; it is amazing!

I could spend all day blogging and talking about the cornucopia of food at Pope Joan, but what really took my fancy last month when I was only a little bit hungry in the morning was their homemade Jam Doughnut, with Berry Jam and Cream – YUMMY!

The menu is constantly changing and keeping me guessing (but you can preview their latest menu on the website if you wish to be less surprised in the early hours of the day). I have personally been there several times and amongst my all time favorites are:
  • Coffee, coffee and more coffee (of course)
  • Boiled eggs, soldiers, bacon bits, herb salt
  • Poached eggs w/ whatever they are serving them with this month (never been disappointed)
  • The Cuban Sandwich: pulled pork, pickles n cheese (unbelievable)

Recent recommendations:

  • Heirloom tomatoes roasted, basil, smoked mozzarella rarebit
  • Spanner crab omelette, coriander, chilli salt
Make sure you do try it – you will not be disappointed.
Be warned it's busy, but well worth the wait.


Pope Joan on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Late night dessert?

What: Tom Turtle
Where: 169 Bourke St, Melbourne CBD

Ever had an early dinner out in the CDB, and suddenly it's late and you feel like dessert (or a second dessert)? Well how can you go wrong with ice-cream – especially if it has been frozen into cubes.

Our Order

"ABRAZO" = 2 warm nutella crepes and 8 cubes of decadent ice cream and sorbet flavours:
  • 2 x cookies and cream
  • 1 x cocoa bean
  • 1 x lemon lime & bitters
  • 1 x pear & burnt caramel
  • 1 x raspberry sorbet
  • 1x almond mocha fudge
  • 1 x peanut brittle

Best shared if you are only peckish – with a mug of hot chocolate.


Tom Turtle on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Penny Farthing

What: Penny Farthing Espresso
Where: 206 High Street, Northcote VIC 3070

This adorable little bar/restaurant fits the bill for a chilled night out, close to public transport, great atmosphere and good food.

Named after the Penny-farthing high wheel bicycle – originally named such due to the large front wheel (Penny) and a much smaller rear wheel (farthing)– the restaurant has used a clever play on the words (and its origins in British currency) for their name and menu options.

With a Farthing (the smaller wheel) representing their smaller dishes or entrées, and a Penny (the larger wheel) representing their larger dishes or mains.

Entrée (aka Farthing)

  • White bean & fennel croquettes served with chilli & lime dip
  • Polenta, fig & chevre stacks with black sesame ash & toasted pinenuts
  • Rice flour crepes topped with duck, prosciutto & radicchio, finished with pomegranate kernels

 Main (aka penny)

  • Baked field mushrooms stuffed with ricotta, lemon thyme, olives & sundried tomatoes
  • Confit duck legs on orange & sweet potato puree with beetroots, candied walnuts & coriander


  • Crispy chat potatoes tossed with chives & served with a mint aioli


The best dish of the night was definitely the confit duck leg – WOW!

I have to say I least preferred the mushrooms and polenta – as I thought they were a bit too sweet (rather than savoury) and thus unbalanced to my palate.

I recommend ordering several farthings and penny’s and sharing with friends (plus a bottle of wine of course).


Penny Farthing Espresso on Urbanspoon