Tag Archives: western

JACKPOT’s eating adventures of late…

Hello readers!

I haven’t been posting regularly for a while now due to a busy schedule so I figured I would pack everything into one post. My eating adventures during last month and the beginning of this month have been really fun as I try to explore and try new and different foods…there’s still so much to try and yet I still feel like I haven’t tried enough of the places in sydney especially all the new brunch spots…I’m sure I’ll get through my ever-growing list soon enough ;P

CORNERSMITH

Mr Muscles and I had a lovely catch up with Miss Baller and Mr Baller over a brunch at Cornersmith. This was my second time visiting this cafe and I was not disappointed. The food is fresh and always uses such great produce that it makes you want to try everything from their menu. The menus have changed since we last visited and I was disappointed to find that they did not sell the same types of jams I purchased from my last visit as I was ready to stock up on more jams and preserves. I definitely know I will be back again and hopefully there will be some more variations of jam for me to try =)

Poached Egg Roll

Poached Egg Roll 2

Poached Egg Roll

Miss Baller and Mr Muscles both ordered the poached egg roll and they both really enjoyed their meals. Mr Muscles had a similar meal the first time we visited Cornersmith but this time the poached roll had sliced radishes, and a mint salad. The ingredients were fresh and the crispy bun contrasted to the crunch of the salad and the softness of the poached egg. Mr Muscles and Miss Baller had no complaints and devoured their meal shortly after.

Poached Eggs on Sourdough

Mr Baller’s Meal: Poached Eggs served with Sourdough Toast, Pickled Beetroot, Buckwheat and Horseradish Labna

Mr Baller decided to order something different from everyone else and opted for the poached eggs served with sourdough toast with an accompaniment of various fresh ingredients. The meal looked really good on the plate with a variation of ingredients so that you could make your own sandwich or top your toast with all the different ingredients on the plate.

Carrot and Hazelnut Loaf Slice

My meal: Purple Carrot, Hazelnut, Ricotta & Honey Loaf Slice

Me being me had to eat something sweet compared to everyone else eating something savoury. Miss Baller pointed out this menu item to me when she was reading the blackboard and immediately I knew I had to order this. The loaf slice was so delicious I wish I had eaten two of them. The purple carrots paired really well with the hazelnuts and the ricotta which it was served with. Each bite crumbled and melted in my mouth and every so often you would get a piece of hazelnut which gave the bread a nice crunch. It was that good, that I decided to eat it more slowly towards the end, only to savour all the flavours. It was such a great meal that I definitely would go back to Cornersmith just to eat this again. And because it had carrots in it, I didn’t feel as guilty consuming it whole but of course anything that tastes this good can’t be good for you ;P

We had a lovely time catching up with this lovely couple, that we have discussed another double date brunch soon…can’t wait! =)

THE WEDGE ESPRESSO

Mr Muscles and I visited the Wedge Espresso in Glebe finally last weekend as I had really wanted to try out their breakfast plate after seeing so many pictures of it on Instagram (this is what I do lately, stalk food pics on Instagram and hope that eventually I’ll get to visit all these awesome cafes in Sydney one by one…here’s hoping ;P).

The Wedge Espresso is quite a small cafe situated in a small narrow street in Glebe close to the Glebe markets. The cafe itself is not set up in the type of setting that a cafe usually is in. This cafe is narrow and long with a few tables and chairs inside with the option of sitting on stools and eating on a bench off the side of the cafe. The cafe is cozy and small but is known for its sandwiches.

Mr Muscles and I got to the cafe around 11:30 and by this time there was one other group in front of us waiting for a table. We waited about 5 minutes and we were able to grab a table inside. Although everyone was ordering sandwiches as it was nearing lunch time, I knew I had to try the breakfast plate. In my mind, I knew I would come back to try the sandwiches again at a later date.

The Wedge Espresso

Wedge Espresso1

Wedge Espresso 2

Wedge Espresso 3

Menu

Food Menu

The Menu

Drinks Menu

Drinks Menu

Breakfast Plate

Breakfast Plate: Avocado, Toast, Tomato & Basil, Boiled Egg, Prosciutto and a Mini Toasted Muesli Cup $14.00

I ordered the breakfast plate and was surprised at the size of it. I think in my mind I had imagined it to be a lot bigger though this did not deter me from trying out the food. The food was nice but difficult to eat as I found myself trying to bite the toast continuously with great difficulty. I think that the toast was just a tad bit too hard for my liking and the extra crispyness made it hard to eat.  The ingredients all went well together but I was hoping for more. The muesli on the otherhand, was a nice bircher style muesli – chai soaked oats, green apple, dates, figs and cinnamon. What I liked about the breakfast plate was that I could try a bit of everything and I was able to create my own toast and its toppings to what I liked. However the difficulty in eating it made me wish I had ordered a sandwich instead. I definitely want to try the smashed egg and ham roll or the poached chicken sandwich on my next visit. I ended the brunch feeling slightly peckish still so Mr Muscles took me to the Glebe Markets where we shared some dessert together there. Dessert always fixes everything! ;P

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Pulled Pork Sandwich: Spring Onion, Mint, Coriander, Plum Sauce and Black Sesame $9.00

Beetroot Salad

Beetroot and Goat’s Curd Salad with Rocket, Walnuts and a Red Wine Vinaigrette $14.00

Mr Muscles ordered a sandwich and a salad on the side. The pulled pork sandwich looked pretty good when it was served in front of Mr Muscles and he was really keen on trying it. Once he bit into it and ate a few bites he didn’t seem to enjoy it as much. He said that the plum sauce seemed to be a bit too sweet which made the sandwich too sweet overall so that that was all he tasted. It really overpowered the pulled pork and the savoury flavour he was expecting. He regretted not ordering the poached chicken sandwich so I’m sure that we will be ordering a few different things next time we visit. The beetroot salad was nice and fresh and a good accompaniment to the sandwich.

Mr Muscles and I left the Wedge Espresso feeling that the food was a bit of a hit and a miss. The food had lovely flavours but nothing that left us wanting more. We definitely will have to try the cafe again to try out all the other sandwich offerings for next time.

KURTOSH

After the Wedge Espresso, we visited the Glebe Markets and found that Kurtosh had a stall there. I was extremely excited as I had read a lot about this and wanted to try the food at their Surry Hills store so I was in luck when we were wandering the markets that we were able to find this. Mr Muscles and I decided to share 1/2 a kurtosh which had roasted hazelnuts on the outside of it. Kurtosh are basically round circular chimney like rolls reminiscent of a donut/bread and baked in a special type of oven. You can get all different types of flavours and toppings such as cinnamon sugar, almonds and even nutella inside the actual kurtosh. We shared the kurtosh as we walked around the Glebe Markets and I wished we had ordered more as it was extremely addictive and we couldn’t stop eating it. It had a nice crisp texture but it was really smooth on the inside like bread and I loved the novelty factor of tearing apart each part of the “chimney”. I didn’t take a picture of the kurtosh we ate because we ate it too quickly…you know me and desserts ;P

The next day I was determined to go and visit the Surry Hills store to buy us some more Kurtosh fresh from the store.

Kurtosh

Kurtosh 1

Kurtosh 2

Kurtosh 3

Kurtosh 4

Kurtosh 5

Kurtosh 6

I was in awe of all the cake slabs and various desserts on offer at Kurtosh that if I wasn’t in a rush I would definitely take my time to see which cakes I would like to try. There were a few cake samples on the top of the counters for customers to try and also some kurtosh samples to try as well if you do not feel like having any of the other desserts.

At Kurtosh, everything is weighted so you can cut as little or as big of a slice of the cakes to your preference. I will definitely be coming back to this cafe to try out their cakes but I was on a mission at this stage and that was just to buy a kurtosh.

The Kurtosh are made fresh to order and the dough is rolled out and placed on a mould to rest there before it is baked in the oven. As soon as you order, the Kurtosh is placed into the oven to bake and once baked, the toppings of your choice are placed on the kurtosh.

Once again I don’t have a picture of my kurtosh (see photo of one I found on the net below) as Mr Muscles and I quickly ate it on the car ride to basketball and back. I did manage to get a few photos of the Kurtosh on display before it has been baked and the ones that have been baked already. Definitely will be back for more Kurtosh soon enough so hopefully more pictures to come ;P

Kurtosh 7

Kurtosh 8

A picture of what the Kurtosh looks like and the one I ordered – a cinnamon sugar Kurtosh…YUM!! ;p

So as you can see, the eating adventures have been plentiful as always…I’m thinking I need to cut back on the sweet food at some point in time…perhaps next time ;P

x

Jackie

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Filed under Brunch, Cafe, Cake, Restaurant, Snacks, Sydney, Western

JACKPOT bakes vegan wheat bran banana muffins

Hello all!

Since it’s Wednesday and we are half way through the week, I thought I would post a recipe from one of my latest baking experiments. I made vegan oat bran muffins last time but was keen to try wheat bran this time as I really like the texture of the muffin that comes from utilising wheat bran in place of some of the flour in the muffin mixture.

I was really happy with the results of my muffin experiment as I kind of just improvised and experimented with what I thought would work well in the muffin and the flavour combinations. The resulting muffins were moist, packed full of goodness from the bananas, wheat bran, coconut oil and sweetened with coconut sugar and a dash of agave nectar. I was surprised at how well these muffins turned out so much so I know that I will be making these again and probably putting in other various fruits in the mixture such as blueberries or strawberries.

The muffins were very light and airy to my surprise as I thought that using wheat bran and wholemeal flour would lead to a really dense and heavy muffin but it was definitely the opposite once I bit into one of the muffins to trial them. The bananas give it a nice sweetness and you can taste a hint of coconut from the sugar and the oil which pairs nicely with the bananas.

I gave these muffins to my dad and sister to sample and I was surprised at how quickly my dad scoffed down the muffin. My sister on the otherhand seemed to think it was a bit too wheaty for her liking as she is used to eating things a lot more sweeter and a lot more indulgent when it comes to desserts and muffins. But the fact that she finished the muffin, means it can’t have been all that bad. I had to stop myself from eating more after I trialled the first muffin after it came out of the oven as it was way past my bedtime…curse my late night baking…I understand now where all these extra calories are coming from ;P

So onto the recipe….

JACKPOT’s Vegan Wheat Bran Banana Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Wheat Bran (you can use oat bran if you can’t find any wheat bran)
  • 1 and 1/4 cup of Wholemeal Spelt Flour
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1-2 tsp of cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 bananas mashed
  • 1 cup of vegan buttermilk (1 cup of almond milk or soy milk with 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 tbsps of coconut oil (I used a bit less as my bananas were quite large and so I subbed the bananas for some of the oil)
  • 1/4 cup of organic coconut sugar
  • 1 dash of agave nectar (can add more if you want your muffins to be sweeter)

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celscius.
  2. Line a muffin tray with muffin liners or coat your muffin tray with oil if you are not using any liners and set aside.
  3. Add the dry ingredients into a large bowl except for the coconut sugar (wheat bran, wholemeal spelt flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt) and combine with a wooden spoon. Set aside.
  4. Mash your bananas in a smaller bowl with a fork until relatively smooth. You can leave a few pieces in there if you want your muffins to have some banana pieces when you bite into it.
  5. Make your vegan buttermilk by measuring a cup of almond milk and adding a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Whisk gently and then let it curdle for a few minutes.
  6. Once the vegan buttermilk has been set, you can add the buttermilk mixture into the mashed bananas bowl.
  7. Add in your coconut oil, coconut sugar and agave nectar into the wet mixture (you can always add more or less sugar depending on your taste buds)
  8. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine with a wooden spoon being carefully not to overmix the batter.
  9. Using an icecream scoop or a spoon, spoon in the mixture into the muffin liners about 3/4’s full.
  10. Place the muffin tray into the oven and bake for around 20-25 minutes or until you see the muffin tops turn a nice golden brown colour.
  11. Take the muffins out of the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
  12. You can freeze the rest of the muffins for an easy go to snack for breakfast or when you are feeling peckish.
  13. Enjoy!

PHOTOS:

Dry Ingredients

Dry Ingredients 2

Mashed Bananas

Wet Mixture

Wet Mixture 2

Wet Mixture 3

Mix Wet and Dry

Muffin Mixture

Muffin Mixture into Lined Muffin Tray

Vegan Wheat Bran Banana Muffins

Vegan Wheat Bran Banana Muffins 2

Close Up Muffin

And as always some random food quotes:

So until next time!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Breakfast, Health Food, Muffins, Recipes, Snacks, Vegan, Western

JACKPOT bakes gluten free and vegan banana and raspberry quinoa muffins

Hello dear readers!

Happy Friday! I’m glad the weekend has finally come around again and cannot wait to have another enjoyable one! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend too! ;P

I thought I’d share with you all one of my recent baking experiments. I recently purchased some quinoa flour (pronounced KEEN-WAH) and wanted to bake some gluten-free muffins after tasting one at the Eveleigh Markets on the weekend. It inspired me to make my own version of a gluten-free muffin which happened to also be vegan as well.

I had some ripe bananas sitting on my bench top and some raspberries in the fridge so decided to make banana and raspberry muffins using the quinoa flour. Quinoa flavour has quite a distinct taste and I think it is more an acquired taste. This first batch of muffins turned out alright in terms of texture and flavours however I definitely think that I needed to add a bit more sweetness to the mixture to counteract the tartness from the raspberries and the strong flavour of the quinoa flavour. I adapted my recipe from Bob’s Red Mill who specialise in various flours (http://www.bobsredmill.com/recipes.php?recipe=7020) but didn’t use any eggs as I was trying to make my muffins vegan as well as gluten-free. I think that I will experiment more with my recipe and tweak it until I get the flavours just right however for a healthy gluten-free and vegan muffin, this wasn’t so bad ;P

JACKPOT’s gluten-free and vegan banana and raspberry quinoa muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of quinoa flour
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1-2 tsps of ground cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of soy milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup of pure maple syrup (you can use 1/2 a cup if you like a sweeter muffin)
  • 3-4 bananas mashed with a fork
  • 1 cup of raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners and set aside.
  3. Mix all your dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt) with a wooden spoon and set aside.
  4. Pour a cup of soy milk into a measuring cup or a small bowl and mix together with the apple cider vinegar to create your vegan buttermilk. Leave it for a few minutes until it curdles.
  5. Add your vegan buttermilk mixture and the rest of the wet ingredients into a small bowl (maple syrup and mashed bananas) and stir to combine.
  6. Pour your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Be careful not to over mix your batter.
  7. Add in the raspberries into your muffin batter and fold them in gently.
  8. Using an ice cream scoop or a large spoon, spoon the batter into the cupcake liners about 3/4’s full.
  9. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. I baked mine for about 25 minutes as my batch seemed to need longer cooking time.
  10. Take your muffins out of the oven and out of the muffin tray and line them on a wire rack to cool.
  11. Enjoy!

Quinoa Flour

Dry Ingredients

Vegan Buttermilk

Mashed Bananas

Wet Ingredients 2

Wet Ingredients 3

Muffin Batter

Muffin Mixture

Muffins

Quinoa Muffins

Quinoa Muffins

Quinoa Muffins

I’ll definitely be experimenting more with quinoa flour and try to get the right consistencies and flavours but for a first attempt I was quite happy with the results. The fact that this muffin is gluten-free, vegan, has no eggs or oil in the mixture and is dairy free is a big bonus =)

So until next time!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Dessert, Gluten Free, Health Food, Healthy, Muffins, Oil Free, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian, Western

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 visits Lox, Stock and Barrel

Hello all!

I visited a new brunch place last Saturday as I’m really keen to try various brunch places to see where the best place to have brunch is. I really wanted to go to this other cafe but as it was full I decided to go to the next cafe on my list, this being Lox, Stock and Barrel which I had seen a few posts about and wanted to see whether this was a worthwhile place to go and have brunch.

Lox, Stock and Barrel is located in Bondi Beach. I’m finding that there are more and more cafes opening up in Bondi and although a lot of them are quite small, these cafes are usually packed full of customers even early in the morning. The cafe offers both breakfast and lunch but since I enjoy breakfast more I’m always wanting to eat breakfast foods whenever I try a new cafe. The cafe also sell freshly baked treats such as brioche scrolls if you’re in the mood to eat something later on and you can take away the bagels as well to eat at home.

Mr Muscles and I got to the cafe around 9 and the place was rather packed but we were in luck as just as we got there a couple were just finishing up so we waited a few minutes to be seated. We were seated on the table facing the window of the cafe as all the other tables inside the cafe were full. It’s quite a small cafe with not a lot of tables so you are more likely to wait for a table if you come a bit later in the morning.

Lox, Stock and Barrel specialise in bagels offering different variations of bagels that are made fresh on the premises and can be eaten fresh or toasted. You can have your bagels as is with some jams or spreads or you can have them with various savoury fillings. They also offer other various dishes for people who aren’t interested in eating bagels such as french toast, porridge, muesli etc.

Sign

Inside

Inside

Breakfast Menu

The Menu

Cutlery

Coffee

Mr Muscles’s coffee

Green Tea

My green tea – loving the teapot!

Hash

Lock’N’Load – hash, smoked lox, lime & creme fraiche dill dressing $5.50 (each)

Mr Muscles was feeling extra hungry so he ordered a side of potato hash which happened to come out before his meal so he decided to eat this first before his main meal. Mr Muscles at first was confused by the flavours on the dish as he ate everything separately to try each part of the dish however once he started to eat all the ingredients together, he really enjoyed the dish and thought that this was a really well thought out dish. Also, the fact that there was some fried potato in this dish, Mr Muscles could not have been more happier with his choice.

Reuben

Reuben – Wagyu Corned Beef, Swiss & Sauerkraut on a Seeds & Spices Bagel $14.00

Mr Muscles decided to order the Reuben for his main meal for breakfast. When the Reuben came out and was displayed in front of him, I could tell he was really happy he chose this dish especially because it looked like a pretty hearty dish and perhaps more for people who are feeling that extra bit hungry. Mr Muscles devoured each bit of his sandwich and kept telling me how much he enjoyed his choice of dish. The bagel was lightly toasted and it went really nicely with the soft wagyu corned beef. Mr Muscles said he would definitely come back to eat this again. Upon finishing off his meal, Mr Muscles felt really full so much so that he skipped lunch later on in the day as he was still full from eating his sandwich. Suffice to say, it was well worth the money!

Inside the Reuben

An inside shot of Mr Muscles’s Reuben

Bagel with Jam and Ricotta

Toasted Plain Bagel with Homemade Jam and Ricotta

I was really confused as what to order from the menu as I wasn’t sure if I wanted something sweet like I usually do or something savoury instead. As this place specialises in bagel I thought that I should order a bagel to see whether they were any good. Unfortunately I had a not so pleasant experience as I ordered a wholemeal bagel to go with jam and ricotta but found out as they placed the dish in front of me that they had given me a plain bagel instead. I told them I ordered a wholemeal one but they said they didn’t have any. If they had told me earlier I might have picked a different bagel. I’m not one to complain so I just stuck with the plain bagel. Unfortunately the plain bagel they gave me was severely burnt on one side so it was really tough to eat and you couldn’t taste the softness of the inner bits of the bagel because of it like other bagels I have eaten. Also as they didn’t ask whether I wanted it fresh or toasted, they gave it to me toasted. I think I’ll have to try the bagels again next time and order them fresh as the toasted bagels was not so appealing. I sat there eating the burnt bagel and the bits that were not so burnt I managed to eat. A not so pleasing experience compared to Mr Muscles who was happy with both his meals.

Mr Muscles knew I wasn’t too happy with my meal so he ordered me a hazelnut and almond brioche scroll to take away to eat after as he knew some sweet food would cheer me up and let me just say it really did. The brioche scroll saved the day and the cafe was redeemed after that.

Brioche Scroll

Hazelnut & Almond Brioche Scroll $4.00

The scroll was really lovely and would have been even better if it was warmed up a bit but I was more than happy to eat it just as it was. The brioche was light and soft compared to the crunch that you got from the hazelnut and almond pieces and the sugar pieces in the centre of the brioche. It was a pretty great scroll and I would have been more than happy to just eat this as my breakfast. Lesson learned is that I should always stick to what I like to eat for breakfast and not diverge away from the norm.

Apart from the bagel mishap, Mr Muscles and I enjoyed our visit at Lox, Stock & Barrel. We will definitely have to go back to try out all the other food items and also to try the other bagels in the hopes that there won’t be the same mishap again.

Lox, Stock & Barrel

140 Glenayr Avenue

Bondi NSW 2026

Ph: (02) 9300 0368

Opening Hours: Open 7 days a week 7am-4pm

Website: http://loxstockandbarrel.com.au/

Until next time everyone!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Bagel, Breakfast, Cafe, Dessert, Pastries, Restaurant, Sandwich, Sydney, Western

JACKPOT celebrates Miss Puff’s 30th at Graze

Hello dear readers!

Hope you all are having a good week so far despite the gloomy weather today!

Just to recap my weekend, Mr Muscles and I were invited to celebrate Miss Puff’s (formerly Miss Pen) 30th birthday at Graze in Pyrmont. I was really excited about this dinner because I hadn’t eaten here before and was really keen to try out all the various dishes on offer which I had read on various blogs. We had told Miss Puff that this restaurant might be a nice place to celebrate her birthday with her friends and so we were happy when she decided to have her dinner there.

The restaurant had given Miss Puff the top floor of the restaurant so that we basically had the top floor to ourselves with a large table in the middle of the room. It was a really nice setup and it was even better as it made the dinner feel a lot more private and intimate. Miss Puff and Mr Kecap Manis Boy chose dishes from the menu before the dinner for everyone to share. They ordered a few entrees, mains and 2 desserts for everyone to share. I was so blown away at how good the food was so much so that I really want to go back again and try the other dishes on the menu. I really enjoyed all the dishes that they chose and usually that doesn’t happen often when I go to a restaurant.

It was great catching up with Miss Puff (who looked lovely on the night by the way) and everyone seemed to really enjoy the night catching up with each other and of course enjoying the food together. Thanks again Miss Puff for inviting us and to Mr Kecap Manis Boy as well for organising the whole night. It was a lot of fun and we can’t wait to catch up again soon!

Setting

Setting 2

Street View

The Food:

Cauliflower Milkshake

Cauliflower Milkshake, Jamon & Cheese Toasty

I have to agree with all the other bloggers and say that this was such an amazing dish! It was rich and decadent yet so moreish that it made you want to keep drinking that cauliflower milkshake (similar to a creamy cauliflower soup) and that toasty was amazing where most of us decided to keep dunking it into the cauliflower milkshake to add more flavour. This was definitely one of the highlights of the night and I could tell that most people were thinking the same because the dishes soon disappeared in a matter of minutes.

Croquettes

Blue swimmer crab croquettes with chilli jam

We were all confused as to what this dish was. I asked people around me and we finally found out that the filling was crab. Besides the confusion at the beginning, once we bit into the croquettes everyone thought it was a really lovely dish. It was nice and crumbly on the exterior of the croquettes and creamy and soft on the inside. Once again, this was another enjoyable dish and I didn’t mind it being deep-fried as it wasn’t overly oily.

Ocean Trout

Wood fired Tasmanian Salmon served with cucumber and lemon myrtle creme fraiche

This was another really stand out dish. Mr Muscles and I both agreed that this was another favourite dish of the night for us. The salmon was served on a black wooden board and I loved the charring on salmon. The salmon had been wonderfully cooked and was quite tender and pink still once you cut into it. It just melted in your mouth with each bite and it left me wanting to eat more. I would definitely order this again next time I come here. Ms S next to me really loved the creme fraiche and thought it paired really well with the fish.

Risotto

Wild Mushroom Risotto with herb chantilly

The Mushroom Risotto was another great dish…rich and decadent but really flavoursome too. It was good we got to share a lot of these dishes as I think that a whole portion would have been too filling so I was happy I got to try a bit of everything and  small serving each time meant there was still room for dessert ;P

Chicken

Local flathead fillets, pan fried with serrano jamon, roasted carrot puree, beans and parsley oil

This was a really well executed dish and I loved the saltiness from the jamon which didn’t overpower the flathead fillets but complimented it really well. The roasted carrot puree was really addictive that I went back for seconds of just the carrots.

Beef

Slow Cooked Wagyu Beef Shin served with a Black Pepper Jus

The slow cooked beef shin was another stand out dish of the night. The beef shin was unbelievably tender and just melted in your mouth with every bite. Each bite was so rich that you could really taste each tender piece and the bits of fat laced within the beef. Obviously not so good for the diet but definitely something to eat for a cheat meal ;P Mr Muscles really enjoyed this dish and thought it was a highlight from the dinner.

Innards

A shot of the innards…look at how tender the beef is!

Pork Belly

Confit of Pork Belly, Almond, Broccollini, Ginger, Orange and Prawn Foam

I didn’t try this dish as I am not a fan of pork belly but the lovers of pork belly on the table seemed to really enjoy the dish.

Truffled Potatoes

Crispy Truffled Potatoes with Parmesan

A dinner isn’t a dinner without some fried potato goodness well more in the case of Mr Muscles who cannot go a week without indulging in some fried potato of some sort whether it be hot chips, wedges or hash browns so you can imagine the look on Mr Muscles face when he saw this dish come out. Suddenly it was as if he had built a second stomach and was eyeing down the potatoes eagerly awaiting his turn to try the truffled potatoes. I assumed they were good as he went back for seconds and thirds ;P

Eton Mess

Eton Mess, Strawberries, Meringue and Double Cream

Although I’m not a fan of cream I didn’t mind this. Usually the Eton Messes I have tried are full of too much cream or way too much meringue but I thought Graze did this dessert really well with a good balance of meringue, cream and strawberries. I didn’t want to fill up on this as I knew there was a second dessert to try and also the birthday cake.

Chocolate Parfait

Iced Chocolate Parfait, Orange Foam and Mint Oil

I really liked this dessert as it wasn’t too heavy. The chocolate parfait paired well together with the oranges and the mint oil. This was a really nice dessert and all the flavours seemed to work well together.

But none of these desserts compared to the actual birthday cake for Miss Puff which was the infamous Gelato Messina’s “Dr Evil’s Magic Mushroom” Cake consisting of dark chocolate gelato, peanut cookies and dulce de leche topped with layers of vanilla cream, chocolate sponge,  a red ganache and white chocolate buttons to finish. The stalk itself is filled with dulce de leche caramel surrounded by dark chocolate gelato. The mushroom then sits on grass made out of popping candy and crushed biscuit…basically a very rich and decadent birthday cake that tasted soooo amazing! Although it was so rich, I found myself wanting more. And the popping candy as the grass was really cleverly done and tasted really nice once we were able to break it apart. It was a great way to end the night with such a delicious cake!

Messina Cake

I hope you had a wonderful time celebrating with your friends Miss Puff! We had a wonderful time celebrating with you and we hope that your birthday was a really memorable one this year! Best wishes xx

Graze

182 Harris Street

Pyrmont NSW 2009

Ph: (02) 9518 5025

Opening Hours: Wed-Sun 5pm-10pm and Fri for Lunch 12pm – 3pm

Website: http://grazepyrmont.com.au/

Until next time everyone!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Birthday, Cake, Dinner, Restaurant, Sydney, Western