Tag Archives: photography

these bagels. they are everything…

HEY! hi. I’m still here.

What’s happening? How are yas?

Yeah, I’m good. Thanks.

So, the last couple weeks have been super fun! Super Duper! We’ve been sippin’ wine, and dressing like fools, and camping! CAMPING! More on that to come. 🙂 Oh also, if you are interested… I launched a website. A photography one. How ’bout that? I am based in Sydney, as you may know, and am taking bookings for portraits & events. Take a gander. 😉 Baby/toddler portraits are my specialty! www.chicksphotography.com

This weekend though… this weekend my jazzy lady friend, Sam, & I made Bagels.

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DSC_8765Get. Excited. Lord knows I was.

I have never made anything that brought me so much joy when it worked out. Oh my good god this was exciting.

DSC_8775These were Montreal Style bagels, boiled in honey sweetened water and baked to perfection. And I do mean that. They were perfect.

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Montreal Style Bagels

Ingredients
1 1/2 c. warm water
1 packet active dry yeast
1 tsp granulated sugar
2 tsp salt
3 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 c. honey
2 c. unbleached all purpose flour
2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. extra flour for kneading

For boiling:
1 tbsp baking soda
1/3 cup honey

Toppings:
What ever you like, I usedCaraway seeds, garlic flakes, sesame seeds, poppy seeds & salt for my everything bagels.
I also made some with just poppy seeds.

In a large bowl, stir together the warm water and the packet of yeast. Cover and allow to sit for about 5 minutes while the yeast activates. Add the sugar, salt, & oil into the yeast mixture and whisk until combined.

Now add 1 c. of flour into the mixture and stir until combined. Slowly add the reamining cups of flour and mix until mostly combined. The mixture might not be holding together too well, but that is a-ok.

Dump the dough onto a floured surface and start kneading for 10 minutes. The dough should feel start to feel elastic and smooth. Allow the dough to rise for thiry minutes, covered.

NOW! Slice the dough into 16-18 equal parts and roll each to create lengths of about 6-8 inches. Form each length into a cirle and squeeze the dough together to secure. Set each circle aside and allow them to rise for another 20 minutes. While they are rising, bring a large pot of water to a boil and dissolve your honey and baking soda. After the mixture is boiling, reduce it to a simmer. You should probably preheat the oven at this time to 475*F.

Add the bagels to the water two at a time and let them cook for 1 minute per side. Now, you can drop each bagel in your bowl of toppings and coat one side. Place each coated bagel on a baking sheet.

Once you have boiled each bagel, bake them at 475*F for 10 minutes and then flip them and bake for 5 more minutes. The colour should be very rich and golden. Careful not to let the seeds burn.

No need to let them cool (much). Eat them warm… they are amazing.DSC_8782If I was home right now in Canada, I would probably make these for Father’s Day. Since my Dad is so Rad.

It rhymes and therefore it is true.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, DADDIO!

Now here are some pics of when my parents were in Australia. This first one just makes me laugh cause it’s a selfie which I think is awesome. And I mean… how many of us have taken the accidentally zoomed in selfie? Everyone, don’t lie. Priceless.

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This second one is us havin a fam-din at Jamie’s Italian! aka the best place to eat EVA.

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And this gem is of me and my dad! 🙂

IMG_1398Have a lovely day all you Dads.

Much love to my Grandpa too.

Can’t forget Watson.

xxx

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Breads, Breakfast

long weekends & lenses

Who doesn’t love a long weekend?

Sometimes… you just want to get away for a long weekend, but maybe you took too long to decide what you wanted to do and now all the b&b’s are booked up and all the campgrounds are overflowing with children because the long weekend also coincides with school holidays. Yeah, so ‘getting away’ will be more stressful then it is relaxing.

So what do you do in that instance? You just drive someplace nice and the sleep in your car. obviously.

It didn’t take too much convincing… Sean and I decided that the only way to have a hassle free weekend away would be to stuff a bunch of pillows in the back of the car, open up that sunroof and crack a bottle or wine.

Or drink exactly one half glass before it starts pouring down rain at which point you shut all the doors and sunroofs, tip out your wine and just go to sleep.

So that’s what we did.

DSC_7807Hey, hot damn! We are two cray-zay kids.

We went car camping! Up to Port Stephens to check out the sand dunes that I have visited once before…

DSC_7823Check out those endless blue skies!

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We may have tried to glide down the dunes on a body board. It mostly did not work. But we DID find this cool Goana track in the sand.

And then look what happened this past weekend! I bought a new lens!
DSC_8122Here is how ridiculously wide this lens is…

DSC_8132It’s a professional selfie yo. And this bad boy with make your arms look SUPER long and slightly anorexic. AWESOME! (kidding)

DSC_8143YAY FOR WIDE LENSES!

this post was essentially useless… but I just wanted to share some pics and good times!

xxx

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Travel

blueberry scones

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I get into grooves a lot. Grooves… or habits. Habits or routines. Routines… or slightly OCD behaviour.

Like that period in my life during high school when it took me 30 minutes to complete my extensive bed time routine, which involved the opening and closing and locking and double checking of every door in my house.

Like that time from kindergarten to grade 4 when I cried everyday before school.

Like that time when I compulsively saved every cent to buy a wiener dog.

These grooves/habits/routines apply to my eating as well.

Like that time when I ate only Just Right breakfast cereal –  for every meal. I craved it so bad… it was… Just Right. And here’s the kicker – I ate it dry. Yeah no milk for this girl. I would pour literally two cups of cereal in a ziploc bag with a spoon and take it to work for dinner. This went on for months. And then one day I just wasn’t eating it anymore. Haven’t had any since, actually. (Put on list of things to do for when I visit Toronto)

And then there was that time I only ate avocado on toast with tomato. Oh wait… that one is still going on.

And of course there was that summer that I made scones like every three days. That was by popular demand though. The demand from Sean.

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Anyway, it seems like I get into routines but then I drop them suddenly without reason and never look back. I haven’t made scones in what feels like forever. So this recipe had to happen.

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It should happen for you too regardless of your current food routines.

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Sean loves it when I stack my food.

Blueberry Scones
adapted from here

1 1/2 c. white flour
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. raw sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 c. coconut milk
1 c. blueberries

Preheat oven to 425*F. Sift the flour together with the baking powder and then mix in the salt and sugar. Now add cold coconut milk and mix until just combined. Fold in the blueberries or fruit of choice and gather the dough into a loose ball. Turn dough onto a floured surface and form into a circle or square or rectangle or whatever about 3/4 inch thick and cut out 8-10 scones in whatever shape you please, traingles, circles, it don’t matter. Brush some extra coconut milk on top and sprinkle with extra sugar.

Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake for 15 minutes – 20 minutes or until golden brown.

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xxx

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Breakfast

Anzac Biscuits

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So. Tomorrow is Anzac Day; a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand. We honour and remember all the Australian & New Zealand Army Corps. A.N.Z.A.C.

There is a dawn service and I will be attending. At dawn. AKA: Really early in the morning on a Public Holiday.

I’m not complaining… I’m just sayin’ these cookies might help with the early morning wake up. And they will be a welcome addition to the morning coffee. You see, on ANZAC day in stead of putting milk in your coffee… you put rum. Or maybe both. I’m not sure what that’s all about but it’s what they do here, and who am I to question tradition? They also play a game called Two Up at 2pm that is (and get this…) ONLY legal on Anzac Day. The game consists of heavy betting over the results of two coins being tossed at one time.

What a country.

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As an honourary Australian, I have taken it upon myself to bake the cookie that has taken the ANZAC name. Apparently these Anzac Biscuits were often sent to soldiers abroad by their wives. The cookies keep very well and didn’t spoil during transportation overseas.

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I made a couple batches of these. I’m not sure if I’ve got them exactly right yet either. Some people like the really crunchy, some like them chewy. It is a national debate of sorts. These are more on the soft and chewy side. But with a bit longer baking time, they had a crisp exterior.

You should bake them! And Remember some ANZACS. 🙂

Traditional (Vegan) Anzac Biscuits

1 1/4 c. flour1 c. oats
1/2 c. raw caster sugar
3/4 c. cup shredded or desicated coconut
2 tbsp golden syrup
150g nutlex (or other butter substitute – earth balance etc)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tbsp. boiling water

Preheat your oven to 170*C. Mix all the dry ingredients first, flour, oats, coconut & sugar.

Heat up the golden syrup and butter on medium in a small saucepan until fully melted and combined. Now mix the baking soda and 1 1/2 tbsp of boiling water in a separate small bowl. Combine the two mixtures (be careful as it will foam up quite a bit). Make sure you have removed the butter mixture from the heat when you do this.

No add the wet to the dry and combine well. Place tablespoons of the mixture on a lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

 

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x

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Cookies

camping equals…

Guess what is happening this weekend!!! CAMPING!

YAYAYAAYAYYAYAYY!

And you know what that means? Well, as evidenced here and here… it means GRANOLA!

OH delicious, crunchy granola that I always seem to burn. Or make healthier than is necessary and thus never adding quite enough sugar or sweetness. This time I have GOT YOU!

NAILED IT.

one hammer, one nail. totally nailed it, you guys.DSC_9850

I didn’t even follow a recipe. Nor do I remember all of my exact measurements, but it is goooood stuff.

Here is the most accurate recollection of ingredients that I can put together. I kinda just threw everything in a bowl, but these were the vague measurements.

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Best Granola EVA

dry:

2 c. oats
1 c. rice crispies
1 c. puffed millet
1 c. coconut flakes
2 tbsp. sesame seeds
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 c. sunflower seeds
1/4 c. almonds chopped
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c. dried apple chopped
1/4 c. craisins
1/4 c. raisins

wet:

1/3 c. coconut oil
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. brown rice syrup
1 tsp vanilla

Really all you do is the mix the dry (minus the fruit) and mix the wet, then combine. Spread over two baking sheets and bake for 25 minutes at 325*F flipping the granola once or twice. Allow to cool (if you can) before adding the fruit.

ENJOY!

x

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Breakfast

blueberry muffin segue

How does someone make the transition from a solid month of total regression back into being a teenager (waking up after ten, staying in pyjamas all day and doing nothing, eating other people’s groceries) to re-entering the real world. A world which is literally (and figuratively) one entire globe away from teenager regression. A world that involves work and buying groceries, doing laundry and checking flour for moths.

Where is the instruction booklet for that transition? Because I am having a bit of trouble with it.

I think I read somewhere that you should start by making muffins. Well, no. Actually, that is a lie. But it would have make a great segue into this muffin recipe I’m about to post.

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Muffins help somewhere along the way. I’m sure of that.

Blueberry Muffins
Adapted from this beautiful blog I just discovered.

1 c. whole wheat flour

1 c. all purpose flour

4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 c. raw sugar

1 c. oat milk (or any non-dairy)

3 tbsp mushed banana

1 lemon, zested

1 c. fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line a 12 inch muffin pan with liners. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugars, baking powder and salt. Create a well and add the milk 1/2 cup at a time. Mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Mix in lemon zest, vanilla and banana and stir until fully combined. Gently fold in blueberries, try not to over mix muffin batter.

Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling about 3/4 full. Bake muffins for 22 – 25 minutes until fully baked.

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Eat. Feel better.

xxx

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Muffins

25

Boy o boy, the weeks are going fast now… don’t you think? I’ve had the internet back for a while now, so my usual excuses as to why there have been no posts are not going to fly here.

Noted.

It’s almost December! OH MY GOD. It’s seems like just last month I was posting picture of my parents arriving in Sydney. You guys… scary.

Let’s just move on then, shall we? Let’s not talk about Christmas or New Years just yet. I’m not ready for 2013. Actually as far as I’m concerned, it’s still twenty eleven. And besides which, I never gave a birthday update! And now, a month later… I have finally settled into being 25. I have become acquainted with the new editor of my pictures… (hello lover.) And I am finally ready to share some highlights, of which there were many.

We had already gone camping, so my actual birthday was more about cocktails and dinner. As it happened, a friend on mine had some gold class tickets to see Argo, so we started the evening in style. Free drinks, canapes, plush seats (that reclined) and more food served to us mid-movie. Amazeballs. To say the least. If you’ve never gone gold class… you’ve never lived. That may be an over exaggeration, but go with it. Trust me. It’s worth the extra bajillion dollars. (Probably another exaggeration.)

Oh and the movie was good too.

After that, I had a hankering for antipasti so we headed to the Jamie’s Italian restaurant that I had just found out about the day prior. I had googled ‘Sydney restaurants with good anti-pasti’ and guess what I found? I was nervous about having to wait for a table. We were told it would be 30-40 minute wait, but since it was already 9pm our table was ready just minutes after we ordered a cocktail and sat down at the bar. Boom.

The food was delightful! We each had an antipasto platter (veggo for her, meat for him) and one separate dish.

I think Sean had the Italian nachos, which are basically a fried pasta-like nachos thing and I had the roasted red pepper on a chickpea flat bread. So. Good.

The service there was really fast! We were in and out in forty minutes… I almost stole a menu for fun and good times but my better half guilted me out of it. I’m pretty sure Jamie Oliver gets a lot of thieves. And I think he’s ok with it… just for the record.

Anyway, that was my birthday. It is really sad to me that Halloween isn’t a big deal in Australia. In years to come, should I find myself still living in Australia, I need to make a much better effort… or maybe I should just make a pact to be home every year on my birthday. Yeah. that sounds good.

I did carve a pumpkin though… it’s green cause the Grocery stores actually sold out of normal pumpkins. And not cause they are SO popular… but because they only stock 20 per store. That would NEVER happen in Canada. I was appalled and frazzled when on October 30th I could not find a single pumpkin ANYWHERE! Sean saved the day with this green one.

Also pictured, My carrot cake birthday cupcakes! A must-do! I altered the original recipe even further from my last attempt. I really was aiming to cut down the 1.5 cups of oil that the original recipe called for. haha. Anyway, these were great! And I experimented with the icing since last year I found the cream cheese icing was really thin. I’m not a fan of using an entire bag of icing sugar to thicken it up. And I didn’t have to! This version was great. Nice and firm, but delicious! It was sweet enough to even out the not-as-sweet carrot cake. Yum.

After all the festivities and sugar I passed out on the bed with my face planted into a book while letting my nails dry. I had  some serious book shaped sleep creases on my cheek when I woke up.

Good sleep creases mean good birthdays. Obviously.

Aside from my boyfriend going OTT on a present for me… (as per usual. I’m onto you boy…) and all the other bountiful things I received in care-packages from lovely people overseas, one of my very favourite gifts came from a wee Canadian lady who shares my love for Vegetable Shortening Pie Crust. In case you didn’t know, Veggie shortening is next to impossssssssible to find in Australia… but this jazzy lady found a can of Crisco and presented it to me in a bag with many other kitchen goodies. I squealed an unnecessary amount. but actually, it was totally necessary. So the next recipe to grace our presence? An Apple pie of course. Just in case you’re wondering. It was THE BOMB. diggity.

For now: The Carrot Cake cupcakes. I cannot give you the original recipe as that is a family jewel. But here is my adaptation.

Carrot (cup)Cake(s)

2 1/4 c. flour

2 tsp. cinnamin

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 c. carrot (grated)

1 c. coconut

1 can pineapple (crushed)

1 c. walnuts

1 c. rice syrup

1 c. coconut oil

1 flax egg (1 tbsp. ground flax w/3tbsp. water)

3 tsp. vanilla

Mix together the flax egg and let it sit for five minutes to firm up.

Then mix all the wet ingredients in one bowl (flax egg, oil, rice syrup, vanilla).

Separately, mix the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Add the wet ingredients. Then add the remaining ingredients one by one and stir. Just stir until well combined. the batter will be very thick.

You can make two 9 inch cakes or a bunch of cupcakes. I halved the recipe, cause it seriously makes SO MUCH. I had about 8 or 9 cupcakes from half.

Bake in a prepared pan (buttered/floured or with cupcake liners) at 350*F for 40-50 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean.

I will have to re-do my cream cheese icing because i didn’t write it down. IDIOT. sorry! But use any cream cheese icing and try subbing in soy cream cheese if you’re vegan like me. It’s tastes just the same!

 

 

xxx

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November 29, 2012 · 9:24 am