Category Archives: Toast

Jackpot visits Brooklyn Hide

Hello dear readers!

Welcome back to my blog! After a long period of not blogging about my various baking experiments and my new café/restaurant visits, I have finally come back with a new post and I am super excited to be back! I definitely went through a period where I wasn’t sure if I could sustain blogging given my workload and the amount of basketball I have been playing recently but I hope I can keep this up from now on. It’s nearly my one year anniversary of blogging and I would like to continue sharing with all of you Jackpot’s eating adventures and much much more!

The sun came out on Sunday and what a great way to spend the weekend catching up with friends over good food. Miss Baller and Mr Baller wanted to catch up for our occasional Sunday brunch before basketball. Miss Baller and I usually try to find a new place that we all haven’t been to so we can try out the food. I suggested Brooklyn Hide to Miss Baller and immediately at the sound of “bagel”, Miss Baller was in. Miss Baller and I love our bagels – I think there is something about a freshly baked bagel that really gets us excited or freshly baked bread for that matter ;p

Brooklyn Hide’s theme is all about NYC and each menu item on offer is named after a district in New York City: Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Midtown to name a few. Although I’ve never been to New York myself, if this is anything to base the whole NYC theme, I definitely can’t wait to go! Even the atmosphere inside Brooklyn Hide is meant to be reminiscent of Brooklyn. Miss Baller and Mr Baller were recently in NYC, so I’m sure this brought back memories of their trip together.

We got to Brooklyn Hide in Surry Hills around 11am and there was plenty of parking available on the street. The place itself is quite small but cosy. There are a few communal tables available or you can sit beside the window sipping on your coffee and reading the newspaper while you indulge in some bagels. We ordered our meal at the counter and sat on one of the communal tables as there was one free at the time.

I found the staff to be very friendly and easy-going which made the eating experience even more enjoyable.

Brooklyn Hide

Brooklyn Hide1

Brooklyn Hide2

Brooklyn Hide3

Artwork

Counter

Bagels

The display of bagels

Menu

The Menu

Menu 1

Specials of the day

Menu 2

Menu 3

Menu 4

Coffee

How nice does the coffee look!

Green Tea

My sencha green tea

Midtown Bagel

Midtown Bagel – Corned Beef, Gruyère, Sauerkraut, Mustard Mayonnaise (Our Reuben) $10.00

Mr Muscles and Miss Baller both ordered the Midtown Bagel and were both very pleased with their bagel sandwich selection. The bagel itself was very moreish and quite filling but did not leave you feeling too full i.e. there was still room for dessert ;P This was Brooklyn Hide’s take on the Reuben which so many cafes are serving at the moment. This one however was slightly different and of course served in a bagel. Definitely a great take on the Reuben and Mr Muscles seemed very satisfied after.

Brooklyn Hide Bagel

Brooklyn Hide Bagel – Braised Pork, Dill Pickles & Apple Jam $10.00

Mr Baller ordered the Brooklyn Hide Bagel so that Miss Baller could also try a different bagel sandwich. This bagel sandwich looked really great and Mr Baller was not disappointed with his choice.

Bagel with Cream Cheese & Smoked Salmon

Seeded Bagel with Plain Cream Cheese and a side of Smoked Salmon $8.00

I decided to order something different from the group and went with the traditional bagel with cream cheese with a side of smoked salmon. I was really loving the seeded bagel which coincidentally every one of us chose. The toasted bagel was crisp in texture on the exterior but lovely and chewy in the middle. Just how I like my bagels. Also the cream cheese and smoked salmon combo whilst simple choices, paired really well with my bagel selection. I was full but not overly full which of course meant Miss Baller and I could enjoy and indulge in some oh so good but no so good for us cake ;P

I’d definitely come back to Brooklyn Hide to try out their other sandwiches and even their granola.

A great way to chill out and relax on a Sunday while indulging in some yummy bagels – I can’t think of anything better!

Miss Baller and I were keen to get our sugar fix so we dragged our significant others to Kurtosh after to try some cakes and take some home. Thanks again Miss Baller and Mr Baller – always fun hanging out having our ritual Sunday brunch + indulging in dessert…until next time!

Card1

Card

Stay tuned for my Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe ;P

x

Jackie

2 Comments

Filed under Bagel, Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, Lunch, Restaurant, Seeds and Grains, Sydney, Toast, Western

JACKPOT visits Me and Art

Hello readers!

Hope you all are having a great week so far and thank goodness it’s Thursday meaning it’s nearly the end of the week! Looking forward to relaxing on the weekend with some good weather, good food and catching up with friends, celebrating a 1 month for a cute baby girl and of course some basketball in between!

Last weekend I wanted to grab a few things from Thomas Dux in Surry Hills as I do from time to time when I have a chance to stock up on baking ingredients and food for the week ahead. As Mr Muscles and I had not eaten breakfast at this point in time, I thought this would be a good opportunity to check out another café on my list. I love going to vegan cafes to try out the various foods on offer whether it be savoury or sweet food.

My top vegan places in Sydney at the moment are:

  • Sadhana Kitchen – great for breakfast and lunch and of course if you feel like indulging, they do some really great raw cakes
  • Nourishing Quarter – great little dinner place serving fusion Vietnamese food with a modern take on it – love their tofu and quinoa dumplings, their quinoa rice paper rolls and their noodle salad served with crispy tofu and they also do raw cakes here if you are feeling like something a bit more sweet after dinner

I have yet to try Earth to Table in Bondi Junction which I have read many great reviews and am keen to hopefully try this vegan place out on the weekend…blog will follow shortly after of course =)

I’m always worried about taking Mr Muscles to vegan places as I am always worried he will never be full or won’t like what is on offer on the menus. Mr Muscles however happily guided me along the way as we searched for the café. We ended up walking from Thomas Dux a few blocks down in Surry Hills and finally found the café after a nice walk through Surry Hills.

Me and Art is quite a small café with some seating provided outside the café, some tables and chairs found inside the café and out back in their courtyard. As it was a nice day, we decided to sit outside their courtyard and take in the nice weather. It was chilly but the sun was shining and it turned out to be a really nice day.

The café is known for their Japanese artwork which hangs inside the café. I didn’t get to take a picture of this unfortunately but will next time I visit. Apparently these pictures are not just for show and that they are available for purchase for anyone interested with new artwork coming in every few weeks. It’s a very quirky café with even tables that have been sourced by the owner from various places.

The one thing that stood out about this café were the friendly staff who were quick to assist wherever needed. Mr Muscles had no idea what he wanted to drink as he was feeling like some juice and one of the staff decided to make something on the whim from the flavours that Mr Muscles had told them he wanted. It was this attention to detail and their great service that really makes this café different to other cafes we have been to.

Courtyard

Courtyard 2

Courtyard 3

 

Courtyard 4

Menu

Breakfast Menu

Menu

Lunch Menu

Green Tea

Lemon Water

Juice

Mr Muscles Juice – I think this had beetroot, carrot, ginger, apple and other flavours (it was meant to be some sort of detox juice – it was very delicious!)

Avocado Toast

Mr Muscles’ meal: avocado on toast: avocado with special herbs & spices heaped on crunchy sourdough $9.00

Mr Muscles wasn’t feeling too good so decided to get something small to eat. We were both surprised at how generous they were with the avocado which was lovely, ripe and smooth. The sourdough had a nice taste to it with the toast still quite crunchy despite the amount of avocado layered on top of the toast. Mr Muscles really enjoyed the dish however didn’t really care for the ground turmeric which had been sprinkled over the top of the avocado. He felt it overpowered the taste of the avocado and so decided to remove this and eat the rest of it sans turmeric. All in all a very healthy and filling breakfast in which Mr Muscles left feeling rather full.

Buckwheat Pancakes

My meal: cocoa and cinnamon buckwheat pancakes topped with banana, berries, nuts & seeds served with maple syrup and shredded coconut $12.00

I ordered the pancakes as I really can’t say no to pancakes and the fact that these were healthy pancakes…this was already a win win situation to begin with. The pancakes were not as soft as I had imagined but rather a bit more dense as the buckwheat flavour was quite predominant. I couldn’t really taste the cocoa or cinnamon but I found the pancakes really lovely and not too heavy to eat that I managed to finish the whole dish. The banana and the nuts and seeds were a nice side to the dish as you got a bit of crunch, a bit of sweetness from the maple syrup and banana and a bit of tartness from the berries. I felt healthier just by eating this dish. I’ve tried recreating buckwheat pancakes at home but have never been successful. Now that I have tried these pancakes I am on a mission to try and create some wonderful buckwheat pancakes that don’t taste like rubber!

Mr Muscles and I left the café feeling full and satisfied. This café is definitely an up and coming café as I’m sure that more and more people will come to visit as they also serve lunch and if not for the dining experience then to view the lovely art hanging on the walls of the café. I know I’ll be back to try their nachos with tofu cashew sour cream and vegan cheese and of course their vegan pies which I have heard are really good!

Stay tuned for a recipe post…I know it’s been awhile but I’ll be posting one soon…

Here are my recent baking pictures:

Vegan Banana Bread

A new recipe experiment: vegan banana bread made using applesauce – surprisingly turned out better than I expected and the applesauce gave the bread a lovely moist texture

Vegan Chocolate Banana Donuts

Vegan Baked Chocolate Banana Donuts made with spelt flour and coconut sugar

Raw Brownie Balls

Raw Brownie Balls made with raw cacao powder, walnuts and dates

Chocolate and Vanilla Layered Banana Muffins

Vegan Chocolate and Vanilla Layered Banana Muffins made with wholemeal spelt flour and coconut sugar

Mini Vegan Chocolate Cakes

Recipe experimenting with Mini Vegan Chocolate Cakes made with applesauce, spelt flour and coconut sugar – surprisingly tasted light and moist without too much of an applesauce taste

Me and Art

62 Mary Street

Surry Hills NSW 2010

Website: http://meandart-sydney.webs.com/

Until next time!

x

Jackie

2 Comments

Filed under Banana, Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, Dessert, Fruit, Health Food, Healthy, Lunch, Muffins, Pancakes, Recipes, Seeds and Grains, Toast, Vegan, Vegetarian, Western

Jackpot visits Three Blue Ducks

Hello readers!

It’s been awhile since I have visited one of the cafes on my list of cafes I have been wanting to visit. Whilst Three Blue Ducks is nowhere near new, I had been wanting to visit this cafe for ages now and finally a brunch date with Miss Baller and Mr Baller meant that we could all try this new cafe together. Miss Baller and I had talked about a brunch date at Three Blue Ducks for awhile now and finally we were able to pick a date to go which suited everyone.

We all arrived at the cafe around 10:30am on a Saturday and you could tell the cafe was already quite busy with most of the inside tables already full. We were in luck as there were a few tables outside that were available and so we were seated outside the cafe with a nice wooden table and wooden benches. The waitress offered Miss Baller and I a rug to share in case we got cold as it was quite chilly last weekend.

I liked the atmosphere of the cafe, everything seemed so calm and relaxing and Miss Baller and I were discussing how long it had been since we had last visited Bronte besides going to the beach back in our uni days. The cafe is nestled among some local shops and bakeries such as Iggy’s which is famous for their sourdough breads. There was an urban and modern vibe I picked up from the setting of the cafe with painted graffiti walls on the side of the cafe. The weather was very lovely that day and soon we began to feel the sun shining on us which was a nice change from the cold weather.

I had read the menu online and seen many photos on Instagram and various blogs and was keen to try their quinoa and fig bircher but come saturday I was ill with the flu and wanted something a bit warmer. There were more options on the menu once we sat down and read the menu. The online menu only shows a few dishes that they offer so I was pleased to see that there were a lot more options to choose from. I was so tempted to order the pancakes as I love all things pancakes but in the end settled for porridge.

Three Blue Ducks

Wall

Setting

Setting 2

Alley

Painted Walls

Cakes

They sell cakes, toasted muesli and sandwiches to take away or eat in the cafe – apologies about the terrible photo as I was rushing to take a photo before we left. Wouldn’t mind some of that lemon meringue tart!

Menu

The Menu

Carrot and Ginger Juice

Mr Muscles’s Carrot Apple and Ginger Juice

Ginger Cinnamon Tea

My Ginger and Cinnamon Tea

Flat White

Miss Baller’s Coffee

Coddled Eggs

Mr Muscles’s: Coddled Eggs with Chorizo, Pulled Pork and Cannellini Baked Beans $21.50

Mr Muscles ordered the coddled eggs as he wanted to order something different to everyone. It was quite a heavy and rich meal as the chorizo itself was quite rich in flavour and the baked beans were also quite heavy. This is definitely a dish for someone who is feeling rather hungry. Mr Muscles felt so full by the end of the brunch but was satisfied with his meal choice.

Poached Eggs

Mr Baller’s: Poached Eggs, Spinach, Hollandaise Sauce and King Salmon $21.50

Mr Baller decided to order the poached eggs. This dish came with a nice plump serving of salmon which had been wonderfully cooked to create a crispy skin. Although I didn’t try this dish I assumed that he liked this dish as he managed to finish the whole dish. This is always the sign of a well executed dish.

Scrambled Eggs

Miss Baller’s: Scrambled Eggs with Black Sausage, Dill Cucumber Yoghurt Salad and Red Currant Jam $21.50

Miss Baller ordered the scrambled eggs and seemed to thoroughly enjoy her meal. She mentioned that the black sausage was quite flavourful and decadent. The meal itself was beautifully presented on the plate and the texture of the black sausage contrasted significantly against the tomatoes, red currants and the softness of the scrambled eggs.

Porridge

My meal: Black Rice, Tapioca, Quinoa Porridge with Poached Fruit, Yoghurt and Honey $16.00

I was very happy with what I ordered. The black rice, tapioca and quinoa combined so well together and for something that looked rich, it was actually quite light. The sourness from the yoghurt and the sweetness from the poached fruit and honey really paired well with the porridge. This was quite a generous serve as well so I didn’t end up finishing it all but it’s definitely something I would order again. Also this was just what I needed, something warm yet not too heavy. There were also bits of walnuts and nuts throughout the porridge which contrasted against the soft poached fruit. The poached pear was soft and subtly sweet against the tartness of the rhubarb. This meal was rather healthy with all the different grains that I felt good about eating this dish – something that tastes quite indulgent but that is healthy and good for you…definitely a win win situation…or at least I keep telling myself that ;P

I really want to come back and try the orange and yoghurt pancakes and of course the quinoa and fig bircher that I missed out on trying during this first visit. Definitely a cafe that I would love to come back to regularly.

Iggy's

Miss Baller and I couldn’t help but walk into Iggy’s to buy some bread. They had some sample sourdough which we tried and instantly we were swayed to buy some bread. Their sourdough was really delicious and I’m sure that if no one was looking I could have eaten most of the sample bowl. Miss Baller and I both ordered a poppyseed bagel to eat later and halved a sourdough bread stick. The bread is so addictive and I thoroughly enjoyed my bagel which I had for lunch the next day. I will be back for more bread…carbs are my weakness afterall ;P

I don’t have a photo of the bagel and bread we bought as I quickly demolished any evidence of the wonderfully addictive bread ;P

Once again great food and even better company – that’s what I call a good saturday =)

Thanks again Miss Baller and Mr Baller for an awesome brunch date yet again…where to next?

Three Blue Ducks

143 Macpherson St

Bronte NSW 2024

Ph: (02) 9389 0010

Opening Hours:

Tuesday to Friday Breakfast: 7am – 11:30am Lunch: 12pm – 2:30pm and

Saturday/Sunday Breakfast: 7.30am – 11:30am Lunch: 12.00pm – 3:00pm

Dinner (wed, thu, fri, sat) 6pm – 11pm Dinner bookings only

Website: http://www.threeblueducks.com/

Until next time!

x

Jackie

1 Comment

Filed under Bagel, Bakery, Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, Eggs, Health Food, Restaurant, Seeds and Grains, Sydney, Toast, Vegetarian, Western, Yoghurt

JACKPOT visits Brasserie Bread

Hello dear readers!

I hope you all are having a good week so far! I had a nice and relaxing weekend after a long week of work last week despite having to work on the weekend.  As a treat, Mr Muscles took me out for breakfast before I had to start work on Sunday so that I was happily full by the time work commenced and indeed I was…perhaps even more so ;P

I got to choose the place to eat breakfast so I ended up choosing Brasserie Bread as Mr Muscles had never been there before and I had not visited this place in a very long time so I was keen to see if the food still tasted the same from what I remember. We got to the cafe around 9:30 and I was surprised at how busy the place was with many people eating breakfast or lining up to buy bread loaves and pastries that were baked fresh that day. We waited in line for a few minutes for a table and whilst Mr Muscles waited in line, I ventured into the bakery section of the cafe to stare at all the wonderful treats on offer from decadent desserts to drool worthy pastries and to even taste some of the bread samples on offer. Everything was so tasty and it made me want to buy literally everything in the bakery. I made a mental note of all the things I wanted to buy after I finished breakfast…the list was long but I knew I definitely wanted to take something home with me…whether it be a bread loaf or one of their lovely desserts on display.

I wasn’t sure how I was feeling that day…whether I was in the mood to eat sweet food or whether I was in the mood to eat some savoury food but of course as always sweet won the battle and I ended up ordering pancakes ;P

Brasserie Bread

Brasserie Bread Testers

Bread

Bread Rack

Pantry

Kitchen

Bakery

Dessert

Bread Loaves

Garlic Bread

Tarts

Cafe

The Menu

The Menu

Green Tea

My Green Tea

Coffee

Mr Muscles’s Coffee

Smoked Trout and Fetta

Mr Muscles’s Meal: poached eggs with smoked trout and feta on sourdough toast with an extra egg $18.00

Mr Muscles decided to get a savoury dish as he doesn’t have as big a sweet tooth as I do. The dish looked very appealing from first glance and Mr Muscles seemed to enjoy it as he dug into his breakfast. The flavours all worked well together however the ratio of bread to trout to feta was uneven and Mr Muscles said that the feta ended up overpowering the other flavours on the plate. He had hoped that they had given another slice of toast to go with the meal as this would have balanced it all out but nonetheless he thought this was a really nice dish overall.

Sourdough Pancakes

Pancakes

My meal: sourdough pancakes with banana and pure maple syrup $15.00

I naturally leaned towards a sweet meal to start my day and I was not disappointed. My first time visiting Brasserie bread I also ordered the sourdough pancakes but with berry compote which was nice but I felt that the berries were a little on the sour side and I was looking for something a bit more sweet and this time the pancakes were just right. It was such a decadent meal, carb heavy and the oh-so-bad-for-you-but-you-just-can’t-stop-eating-these-delicious-pancakes. I really loved that they had grilled the bananas so that you get that slight char on the bananas and with each bite the bananas just melted in your mouth. The maple syrup added a nice bit of sweetness to the meal that complimented the soft bananas. I didn’t really care for the coconut flakes however so pushed them aside and concentrated on the pancakes. These pancakes definitely sit up there with my other favourite pancakes: Ricotta pancakes from Pyrama, orange pancakes from Cafe Morso, ricotta hotcakes from Bills and the quinoa pancakes from Bread and Circus. I think I should be worried about my pancake obsession…

After breakfast, Mr Muscles and I lined up at the bakery section of the cafe and ended up buying a nice harvest grain loaf – I’ve had this bread before and I really enjoyed it and the fact there were all different kinds of grains and seeds in the bread. I also bought a freshly made sandwich for lunch and a pistachio friand to eat later. I knew I could have bought a lot more but I showed some self-restraint and made another mental note that I would be back for more pancakes and of course more freshly baked goodies!

Stay tuned for my upcoming baking experiment: Gluten Free & Vegan Raspberry and Banana Quinoa Muffins

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Brasserie Bread

1737 Botany Rd

Banksmeadow

NSW 2019

Ph: 1300 966 845

Opening Hours:

Monday to Friday: 7.00am-3.00pm
Saturday and Sunday: 8.00am-2.00pm

Website: http://www.brasseriebread.com.au/

Until next time!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Banana, Breakfast, Cafe, Cake, Eggs, Pancakes, Restaurant, Seeds and Grains, Sydney, Toast, Western

JACKPOT’s visit to Bills and a recipe for healthy banana bran muffins

Hello dear readers!

I apologise for the long delay between blog posts but between extended family visiting from overseas, celebrating mum’s big birthday and getting the flu as well..it’s definitely been a long few weeks and I’m still feeling under the weather…must be the constant cold changes that I’m still not getting used to. I hope I can post more regularly but hopefully you all can wait patiently for everything to go back to normal =)

Since I haven’t blogged in a while, I thought I’d merge a cafe visit and recipe in the same post due to my lack of posting lately.

So as my cousin was visiting from Singapore, my family and I decided to take my cousin to eat breakfast at the infamous “Bills” in Surry Hills. I’m amazed at how packed Bills gets around 9-10am and that the lines are still like this after many many years of being established and with many new cafes opening in Surry Hills. The lines always seem to be quite lengthy but we were lucky to have arrived at a time where a table was available. We were seated next to the window and we had a good view of the street with the sun shining into the cafe. It was a lovely farewell breakfast for my cousin eating scrumptious food while discussing potential trips to visit Singapore sometime soon.

Ricotta Hotcakes

Ricotta Hotcakes, Banana and Honeycomb Butter $19.50

My cousin and I ordered the infamous ricotta hotcakes for our breakfast and I was not disappointed by my choice. Such fluffy joyous soft pillows of goodness demolished in seconds. I wish that there had been many more stacks of pancakes for me to devour but alas I had to settle with the 3 that were served. The hotcakes are a very popular choice at Bills and I saw that most people were ordering this dish on each table. I have always had a massive sweet tooth so I knew that the sweeter option was the best way to go rather than the savoury one although I must admit the scrambled eggs at Bills are quite delicious as well.

Full Breakfast

Full Aussie Breakfast: Scrambled Organic Eggs, Sourdough Toast, Bacon, Roast Tomato, Swiss Mushrooms with a Pork and Fennel Sausage $24.50

Mr Muscles ordered the Full Aussie Breakfast as he prefers savoury food over sweet food. This dish is quite filling with loads of sides to go with the toast and eggs. Mr Muscles soon devoured this dish till there were no remains left. He was satisfied entirely and left the cafe feeling quite full at this stage. The eggs are cooked so well and so very fluffy and was definitely the highlight of this dish.

Me being greedy, noticed some nice looking bran muffins sitting on the table in the middle of the cafe. I knew I wanted to try one so I decided to order one takeaway. The muffin was a ricotta, apple, coconut and bran muffin. At first after hearing the flavours I wasn’t sure how this would taste but after tasting a bit of it, I fell in love with this muffin. It was quite a filling muffin but had a lovely taste to it. I didn’t taste too much of the ricotta but more so the coconut and the bran. After I ate this muffin I knew I wanted to try and replicate the flavours I had tasted in this muffin so hence the recipe post.

I decided to make my own version of Bill’s bran muffins but obviously adapting it to make a bran muffin without using eggs and without using any butter or oil. I was surprised at the results of my muffins and how well they turned out so much so that I’m going to be making another batch quite soon. I didn’t really follow any set recipe as most of it was kind of based on feeling but here is what I used to make healthy banana bran muffins.

HEALTHY BANANA BRAN MUFFINS

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/4 cup of wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 cup of oat bran
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 2 tsps of baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 generous teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of raw organic honey (you can replace this with agave, coconut sugar or another type of sugar substitute to make them vegan)
  • 2 tsps of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of soy milk (I used almond milk)
  • 3-4 ripe bananas mashed (I used 4 bananas)

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Line a muffin tray with muffin liners and set aside.
  3. Mash your bananas in a small bowl using a fork until you have a rather smooth consistency. Doesn’t matter if you still have some small banana pieces left in the mash.
  4. Combine all the dry ingredients (flour, oat bran, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon) into a large bowl with a wooden spoon. Set aside.
  5. Combine all your wet ingredients together (honey, vanilla extract, soy milk and mashed bananas) in a smaller bowl and whisk for a few minutes.
  6. Pour your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients bowl and using your wooden spoon mix the muffin batter till combined. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
  7. Fill each muffin liner using an ice cream scoop or spoon and fill the muffin liners about 2/3’s full.
  8. Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until nicely golden brown on the top.
  9. Take the muffins out of the muffin tray and set on a wire rack to cool.
  10. You can enjoy them as they come out of the oven or freeze them to be eaten later on.
  11. Enjoy!

Mashed Bananas

Oat Bran

Flour Mixture

Dry Ingredients

Dry Ingredients 2

Wet Ingredients

Combining Wet and Dry

Filled Muffin Liners

Baked Muffins

Banana bran muffins

Banana Bran Muffins 2

Banana Bran Muffins 3

Banana bran muffins 4

I loved these muffins and was really surprised at how good these muffins tasted. I think the oat bran gave it a really nice texture and I was even more surprised that they weren’t dry. Usually I have to cook muffins for 25 minutes approximately but these were done in 20 minutes. The batter was also very easy to whip up so hence why I will be making another batch soon. The best thing about these muffins is that they freeze well and you can just heat them up in the morning for quick go to breakfast. You definitely get a lot of fibre and nutrition from the oat bran and the wholemeal spelt flour but the soft bananas and the sweetness from the honey really work well together. I love how this recipe doesn’t use any eggs or oil or butter and yet the result was still really delicious. Also I knew these muffins had to taste somewhat nice as Mr Muscles had 2 in one go and that usually means that he really likes it if he asks for seconds ;P

I thought I’d also share with you all some other photos of my baking experiments over the past few weeks.

Steamed Pandan Sponge Cakes

I made these Steamed Pandan Sponge Cakes for my brother while he is visiting however I think I need to work on the texture as they came out a little dry and there was not enough sweetness to it as my brother mentioned a few times. I will definitely need to keep experimenting further with this recipe.

Anzac Cookies Vegan

I also made these Vegan Anzac Cookies on my day off on Anzac Day however was slightly disappointed as they didn’t really taste of anything. I think using rice syrup instead of the usual golden syrup really changed the taste and the texture of these cookies. There was definitely not enough sweetness in the cookie.

Granola

That same day I also made some of my own granola/toasted muesli filled with plenty of ingredients such as chia seeds, coconut, dried apricots, raw blanched almonds, pumpkin and pepita seeds and of course rolled oats. I used honey this time to sweeten the granola and some coconut oil for baking. I was really happy with how these turned out as it had a lovely crunch and I loved the bits of muesli that had stuck together in the process to make big granola clusters.

So until next time dear readers!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Banana, Biscuits and Cookies, Breakfast, Cafe, Eggs, Granola, Health Food, Muffins, Oil Free, Pancakes, Pandan, Recipes, Restaurant, Snacks, Sydney, Toast, Toasted Muesli, Western

JACKPOT celebrates Easter in Melbourne Part 2

Time for part 2 of my extra long blog post about my Easter in Melbourne.

Miss G and Mr D took us to Lux Bite after lunch so we could have a look at the desserts on offer there. I had read a lot about Lux Bite so I was really eager to check out all their desserts plus their macarons which I had heard were the best in Melbourne. All the desserts looked so intricate that they almost looked too pretty to eat. I could tell that these desserts were nothing but indulgent and rich. I was super sad that by the time we got here I was still so full that I couldn’t fit in any dessert. I’m going to have to come back next time on my next trip down to Melbourne. Everything looked so delicious as I gazed intently on the cabinet full of desserts. Mr Muscles knew deep down that I wanted to try one but I showed some self-restraint and said no this time…I regretted it about 10 minutes later after we walked out of the shop ;P

LuxBite

Lux Bite Quote

Love this quote of theirs – so true! ;P

Desserts

How cute are the Easter Bunny Macarons ;P

Desserts 2

Easter dessert

I really wanted to get this but my stomach was still suffering from a massive food coma =(

Dessert 2

Macarons2

Macaron Dessert

Macarons from Luxbite

Macarons from Luxbite2

Lux Bite’s infamous macarons – how cool does the freckles one look on the very far right hand side – definitely trying one next time!

We visited the Prahran markets for the first time as Miss G and Mr D needed to get a few things from there. Going to the markets was such a wonderful experience and I only wish that there were more markets like this open for longer in Sydney. Most the markets I go to on the weekend usually close early so I never get a chance to go to some of the markets. There were so many stalls at this market ranging from people selling honey, organic foods, a deli, fish and meats, fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, flowers and the like. I honestly probably could have spent a lot longer at this market i.e. all day because there was just so much to look at. And what was even better was at the back of this market, I found an Essential Ingredient where I dragged Mr Muscles with me to go exploring in the shop. I spent ages looking around trying to find new baking equipment and recipe books. In the end I picked up a really cool asian dessert recipe book which I plan to filter through and draw ideas from.

Markets

Honey

Spreads

Eggs

Nuts

Flowers

Deli

Deli

To finish off our Melbourne trip Mr Muscles and I decided to have breakfast at Cumulus Inc the next day as I had really wanted to try one of Melbourne’s popular breakfast/brunch places. We got up quite early so we were the first customers for the day and had preference to sit anywhere in the cafe. The cafe is modern and has a large kitchen where you can view the chefs in the kitchen preparing your food. I had read about this place in many blog posts and was keen to try the crumpets and madeleines that a lot of people had blogged about.

Cumulus Inc

Cumulus Inc Door

Tables and Chairs

Tables and Chairs inside

Interior

Kitchen

The Menu

The Menu

Coffee

Mr Muscles’s Coffee

 

Green Tea

My sencha green tea

Mr Muscles wanted to eat something a lot heartier for breakfast as he had a big night and was feeling under the weather so to speak so he decided to order the beans and egg dish.

Beans and Egg

Grilled Lyonaisse sausage, smoked hock, braised beans and 65/65 egg $19.80

Mr Muscles didn’t really enjoy his breakfast. He thought the food was ok but didn’t really like the sausage they used for the dish. I think he was expecting something different and so it didn’t really satisfy his hunger. Also he thought it was quite a pricey meal for what he got.

I decided to order the crumpets instead of the madeleines as I wanted something slightly savoury and the madeleines take longer to make so I figured I should stick to something that didn’t take too long.

Crumpets

Crumpets close up

House made crumpets, whipped ricotta & rooftop honey $11.00

Honey

Rooftop Honey

Inside of the Crumpet

An inside shot of my crumpets

I was very surprised when my crumpets came out. It looked so different to the crumpets I used to eat when I was a kid that you get from the local supermarket. Not at all soft but rather crunchy on the outside and chewier on the inside. It was a very different experience of eating crumpets. I loved the honey and ricotta as they both paired wonderfully together with the savoury taste of the crumpets to give that slight savoury sweet flavour that I was after. I think I prefer the softer version of these as I thought these had been fried a bit too much in the pan. The crumpets itself were not filling however and Mr Muscles could see I was hungry still so he ordered the granola for him and I to share.

Granola

Toasted Honey Granola & Poached Rhubarb with Vanilla Yoghurt $11.00

I really loved this dish and probably should have ordered this instead of my crumpets as this is my usual go to breakfast when I dine out for breakfast or brunch. The granola had a lovely crunch with various nuts, seeds and sultanas and it paired really well with the yoghurt and the tart flavour of the rhubarb and the sweetness of the strawberries.

I would like to go back to Cumulus to try out their dinner menu as I know this place gets really packed out for dinner. Also, I have yet to try their madeleines with lemon curd so that’s something I will come back for when I have more time.

All in all, it was a great way to spend most of the long weekend before Mr Muscles and I had to work on the Easter Monday. Great catching up with friends, exploring new places to eat and indulging in various foods which meant massive food comas for most of the trip ;P

Prahran Markets

163 Commercial Rd

South Yarra VIC 3141

Ph: (03) 8290 8220

Trading Hours:

Monday Closed
Tuesday 7am – 5pm
Wednesday  Closed
Thursday 7am – 5pm
Friday 7am – 6pm
Saturday 7am – 5pm
Sunday 10am – 3pm

Website: http://www.prahranmarket.com.au

Cumulus Inc.

45 Flinders Ln

Melbourne VIC 3000

Ph: (03) 9650 1445

Trading Hours:

Mon-Fri: 7am-11pm

Sat-Sun: 8am-11pm

Website: http://cumulusinc.com.au/

Until next time Melbourne,

x

Jackie

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Filed under Breakfast, Cafe, Cake, Dessert, Eggs, Fruit, Granola, Markets, Melbourne, Seeds and Grains, Toast, Western, Yoghurt

JACKPOT celebrates Easter in Melbourne Part 1

Hello dear readers!

Hope you are all having a wonderful week so far especially given the Easter long weekend meaning that this week is just a little bit shorter =)

I spent some of my Easter in Melbourne catching up with friends, playing a bit of basketball and of course indulging in various foods. As soon as I stepped into Melbourne it was as if I had gained the capacity of two stomaches and I could eat nearly twice or three times as much as I usually would in Sydney…yes food coma indeed…most times were spent clutching my stomach after over eating and although I knew I was full most of the time, the lure of the oh so yummy desserts on offer in Melbourne pulled me back in each time…I’m definitely guilty as charged when it comes to over eating this Easter…and did I mention Mr Muscles bought me an Easter treat which consisted of Lindt Easter Eggs (one large one and some small ones) which as soon as I received it I devoured most of the large easter egg…damn my sweet tooth again…I never learn for some reason! ;P

I will most likely be splitting this blog post into two parts as I realised I took a lot of photos from my Easter trip in Melbourne so stay tuned for Part 2.

Mr Muscles and I decided to get some dessert on the first night we arrived in Melbourne so we took a nice stroll down to Chinatown in search of some Taiwanese desserts. I wanted to go to Dessert Story as I had heard a lot about this place but as soon as we got there the place was packed and people were queuing outside the place. Dessert Story seems very similar to Meet Fresh offering the usual grass jelly and tofu pudding desserts. As I didn’t want to wait in line, we decided to go searching for other dessert places to kill my sweet tooth craving. Meet Fresh was just down the road but as we passed it, we noticed how busy the lines were as well. I didn’t realise how much of a mission it was to find a dessert place to eat at in Melbourne on Good Friday. Clearly everyone had thought the same thing and wanted to indulge in some dessert on the public holiday hence the masses of people lining up for these asian desserts. In the end Mr Muscles and I found a small Taiwanese dessert place which had a table available so we decided to try it out. I thought the desserts were ok but wasn’t as good as Meet Fresh back in Sydney. The sweet potato and taro balls were not of the same texture or consistency that Meet Fresh tastes like.

Taiwanese Dessert

Mr Muscles ordered Grass Jelly served with Sweet Potato and Taro Glutinous Balls along with Green Tea Jelly and Noodle Jellies.

I was feeling a bit cold from the weather in Melbourne so decided to get a hot dessert instead of an icy one. I chose the silky tofu pudding in ginger soup. I was hoping that this would be similar to what they serve in yum cha but the consistency again wasn’t really there. However it did the job of warming me up. I still rather enjoyed the dessert despite not being what I had expected. It was lovely and gingery. Definitely something I would eat during winter.

Silky Tofu in Ginger Soup

Silky Tofu Pudding in Ginger Soup with Brown Sugar Sprinkled on Top

The next morning, Mr Muscles and I couldn’t quite work out where to have breakfast. Initially we had planned to eat somewhere near the basketball courts for convenience but as we got up relatively early we decided to eat downstairs of the hotel and splurge on a buffet breakfast. Grand Hyatt (Collins Kitchen) have a very lavish buffet breakfast on offer with various foods to suit everyone’s taste buds. I was in awe of all the food and couldn’t quite decide what to eat at times but knew that I wanted to try nearly everything. It’s quite pricey for $40 a person but it’s definitely a one time thing that you have to experience. I can’t even remember the last time I had a proper buffet breakfast but I was happy that we tried this out as this was definitely an indulging weekend for the both of us. Though I started regretting the choice of a buffet breakfast after I started playing basketball not long after as I managed to overeat. My plan was simple: do not overeat (on the basis that I knew I was about to play basketball)…somewhere along the way my plan failed miserably as my stomach got the better of me and everything I saw I just wanted to try…fail indeed…

Thanks Mr Muscles for taking all these photos for me…I felt slightly shy about taking so many photos of the buffet whilst there were cooks looking over each time I had my camera in my hand, so Mr Muscles decided to go around taking photos instead.

Yoghurt

Various brands of yoghurt and Yakult

Juice

The juice table

Bread Station

Various breads to choose from where you can slice the size of bread you want and on the other side there was already pre sliced bread which you can toast and eat with various jams and spreads

Spreads and Jams

Spreads and Jams to go with the breads

Fruit

Various fruit to go with yoghurt or to make your own fruit salad

Eggs

The hot food station with sausages, crispy bacon and a chef who made omelette and eggs whichever way you wanted and with the ingredients of your choice (think he didn’t realise Mr Muscles was trying to take a picture of the hot food station)

Hot Food

Asian Station

This was the Asian food section consisting of steamed dim sims and dumplings and congee which you could make with various toppings.

Condiments

Various toppings to use for congee

Buffet Kitchen

Rice and Eggs

More Asian food: Noodles, Fried Rice and some scrambled eggs which was placed in the Asian section for some reason.

And to my most favourite station of the buffet: DESSERT!

Dessert Station

Pastries

Various danishes and croissants to choose from

Bircher Muesli

Bircher Muesli

Muffins

Muffins!

Biscuits

Freshly baked biscuits

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

Bread

Biscuit Jars

Crunchy Chocolate Biscuits

Almond Tuiles

Almond Tuiles

I started off my buffet breakfast with healthier items to not make me feel so bad when I started to indulge in all the sweet food. I realised that I didn’t eat much savoury food and stuck to all things sweet whilst Mr Muscles chose to eat all savoury foods not indulging in anything sweet.

Yoghurt Bowl

My yoghurt bowl consisting of natural yoghurt, strawberries, pineapple, crunchy nut granola and leatherwood honey

I really loved the do it yourself yoghurt, granola and fruit that I ended up getting 2 servings of this as it was really tasty.

Omelette

Mr Muscles’ made to order omelette

Pancakes

Pancakes made to order topped with maple syrup and cinnamon sugar

I was quite disappointed with my pancakes. They were dry and not very fluffy.

Danish and Croissant

Raspberry Danish and Mini Croissant

I chose the Danish and croissant because it looked quite tasty but upon eating it, I was disappointed as it was again dry =(

Chocolate Hot Cross Bun

Since it was Easter I decided to try their hot cross buns. There were the standard hot cross buns and then a chocolate and cherry one. I decided to go with the chocolate one. Again the bun was quite dry so it made it difficult to eat.

Banana Bread

Banana bread with various biscuits

I loved their banana bread and you had the option of toasting it which really made a difference. It was so good that I was tempted to get another one but since I had eaten so much and had chosen to eat this last I couldn’t fit another one in. The biscuits were really lovely as well with a nice crunch to them. I really adored the almond tuiles and definitely could have gone back for seconds, thirds…but alas food coma was getting the better of me.

I realised I didn’t take too many photos of the savoury food that Mr Muscles ate. He also thought that while there were plenty of options for food at this buffet, the taste of the food was lacking in some areas. It was a bit of a hit and miss with various foods. Mr Muscles tried out some of the Asian foods such as the steamed dumplings and the fried rice. He quite enjoyed the fried rice and he also got a portion of scrambled eggs so that we could share. I quite enjoyed the scrambled eggs and that was perhaps the only savoury thing I ate apart from some bread I sliced for myself and toasted.

I really loved that there was a whole station dedicated to dessert. You could either choose pancakes or waffles. Because my pancakes were dry I wasn’t sure what the waffles would taste like so I didn’t order them. I wish I had chosen waffles instead of pancakes looking back though. Also, I loved that there were various bircher muesli on offer in the cabinet of the dessert station which were presented in glass cups.

The buffet itself was very pretty, very lavish and with so many options, it was hard to try everything without feeling over full. I didn’t even get to try everything and I still felt quite full. All in all it was a good breakfast to start the morning and that yoghurt and fruit with their crunchy granola was really a highlight for me for the buffet =)

After the buffet and basketball we caught up with Miss G and Mr D over lunch. Miss G and Mr D have been living in Melbourne for a while so know the best places to eat. They took us to eat at Two Birds One Stone as Miss G was telling me that they serve a yoghurt pannacotta for breakfast (which is served all day) so I was keen to try this out.

Two Birds One Stone is a lovely little cafe located in a small street in South Yarra. There are tables inside and outside of the cafe and when we got there the cafe was quite busy. We took a seat outside as there was no space inside and each time a waitress would come out with various people’s dishes I was having serious food envy. All the food looked so good and delicious and whilst I wanted to eat something savoury I knew my inner sweet tooth was craving the yoghurt pannacotta so I decided to go with that instead.

cafe

inside cafe

The inside of the cafe

Freshly Baked Muffins

Freshly baked muffins

Cakes

Various cakes on offer – the cheesecake brownie looks awesome!

The Menu

The Menu

Mr D's Coffee

Mr D’s Coffee

Mr Muscles Coffee

Mr Muscles’s Coffee

Ms G's Coffee

Miss G’s Coffee

Info about Coffee

Tasting notes for Miss G’s Coffee

My Green Tea

My White Peony Green Tea

Corn Fritters

Mr Muscles’s meal: Corn Fritters with house smoked salmon, avocado & snow pea tendrils $17.50

Mr Muscles ordered the corn fritters which looked really lovely on the plate. These corn fritters were a little different from the usual type of fritters we have eaten before. The texture was a lot softer instead of the usual crisiper ones that we usually order from other cafes. Mr Muscles enjoyed his meal however he stated that the serving size was rather on the small side and had hoped that there would be more on the plate.

side

Mr Muscles’s side: Ham Hock Beans $4.00

Mr Muscles ordered an extra side of Ham Hock Beans to go with his corn fritters. He enjoyed his side of beans as it was gone not long after he had eaten his first spoonful.

Two Birds Meal

Mr D ordered the Two Birds meal consisting of scrambled eggs on toast with mushrooms, spinach, heirloom tomatoes, homemade sausage and bacon, haloumi, ham hock beans and an extra piece of toast for Miss G.

When the plate came out I was surprised at how large the serving was for this big breakfast. Mr D and Miss G really enjoyed sharing this meal together. Definitely something to eat when you are feeling extra hungry or just want to indulge in some savoury goodness!

Miss G and I both ordered the yoghurt pannacotta and I couldn’t wait to try it out!

Yoghurt Pannacotta

Yoghurt Panna cotta with Kaffir Lime, Fresh Fruit & Nut Cluster $12.50

The yoghurt pannacotta was soooo good! It was like eating dessert but in a bit of a healthier way and that you could eat this for breakfast or lunch. The nut clusters gave it a nice texture compared to the smoothness of the panna cotta and I liked how you could taste the tartness from the yoghurt. In no time at all, I finished the whole dish and had wished there was more but once again, food coma came into play and I was soon clutching my stomach as I felt that I was still quite full from the breakfast but I really couldn’t say no to pannacotta.

I really want to try a lot of the other dishes next time I go back to visit Melbourne…I saw a few customers order the charred polenta with mushrooms and the smashed avocado and feta on toast…definitely something I’m coming back to try!

Thanks Miss G and D for showing us this place…it’s a great find for breakfast, brunch or lunch.

To be continued with a post on the Prahran Markets and a breakfast at Cumulus Inc….so stay tuned!

Collins Kitchen (Grand Hyatt Lobby)

123 Collins Street

Melbourne, VIC 3000

Ph: (03) 9657 1234

Website: http://www.melbourne.grand.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels-melbourne-grand/index.jsp?null

Two Birds One Stone Cafe

12 Claremont Street,

South Yarra VIC 3141

Ph: (03) 9827 1228

Trading Hours: Mon-Fri 7am – 4pm and Weekends 8am – 4pm

Website: http://www.twobirdsonestonecafe.com.au/

So until next time!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, Dessert, Eggs, Fruit, Granola, Lunch, Melbourne, Melbourne, Pancakes, Restaurant, Toast, Waffles, Western, Yoghurt