Homemade Basil Pesto

For me, there’s something immensely satisfying about making things from scratch. Firstly, I know what’s in it. Secondly, it always tastes So Much Better.

Pesto is so quick and simple to make yet I must admit, I do buy the jars from the supermarket. They’re convenient but they don’t taste half as good as the real stuff :(

During the week, in the midst of a pasta craving, I decided to make some homemade pesto. Chocolate Queen and Daisy Moo helped out (not that it’s difficult to do, I just like having people to chat with while I’m in the kitchen lol), and we ended up with a quick fabulous meal.

We used a mortar and pestle but of course you could use a food processor :)

Getting it all together

Really easy stuff – basil leaves, olive oil, salt and pine nuts

Smashing it together

One thing I love about mortar and pestles is the smell you get when crush stuff up in them!

It’s ready for cheese!

I usually add some Parmesan, but I’ve seen recipes that ask for Pecorino as well.

The finished product!

I usually only make enough for one sitting, but I imagine you could easily make it in bulk, and store it in a sterilised container with some olive oil on top :)

Pastizzi Café, Newtown

Not too long ago, the word ‘Pastizzi’ would have elicited quite a few puzzled looks. But now, thanks to the Pastizzi Café, Sydneysiders can enjoy a pastizzi with coffee, a pastizzi on the run or perhaps indulge in a pastizzi extravaganza meal.

Pastizzi originate from Maltese cuisine, where they’re usually filled with ricotta or a pea mixture and usually eaten as a snack.

I love pastizzi. I love biting through that golden, flaky pastry and hitting the tasty goodness inside…. And I love their versatility – sweet, savoury, vegetarian, snack, meal…

That being said, it’s probably not a great surprise that I do, in fact, love the Pastizzi Café and do pop in regularly, for a quick snack. Recently, Daisy Moo and I found ourselves buying a few to share after a looong morning of work.

Piping hot!

Chicken and mushroom

Not a flavour I usually get, but it is delicious. The chicken is tender and the mushrooms are juicy and full of flavour – yum!!!

Chilli Con Carne

One of my usual choices, it’s bursting with beef and beans and usually a decent hit of spice.


My favourite hands down. The filling is a divine mixture of meat, carrot, sultanas and egg and although it took a few trips before I first ordered it, I’ve never looked back:)


I love that you can round off a mini meal of pastizzi with…..a sweet pastizzi lol. Apple is a nice one and the people serving always dramatically sprinkle them with icing sugar for you:)

Real fruit inside!

This is only a very small range of pastizzi flavours available; others include spinach and ricotta, salmon and dill, veggie curry, chocolate ricotta and cherry cheese.

Although it is indeed full of pastizzi, there are many other pleasures on offer at the Pastizzi Café. They’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a menu including ravioli, kannoli, mains and desserts such as tiramisu and cake. They also do a decent coffee:)

Pastizzi Café
523 King St
Newtown, NSW, 2042
Phone: (02) 9519 1063

Mini Scone Surprise!!

I love being baked for, which is exactly what happened during the weekend. I emerged mid-morning to find Chocolate Queen baking miniature scones in our kitchen, a great surprise:) It’s been a while since I’ve had scones, the last time being at a high tea in the city. Due to the impromptu-ness of it all, there was no cream, but we had ample jam and butter!!!

Which quickly became

Which very quickly became

What a fabulous way to start the weekend!!!

Spicy Beef Curry by Gordon Ramsay

I’ve recently been given a copy of Gordon Ramsay’s new cookbook – Gordon Ramsay’s Healthy Appetite, Recipes From The f Word as a present. Needless to say, I was thrilled when I opened up the packaging:)

From first glance, the menu inside looks fresh, delicious and yes healthy!! Dispersed among the recipes are useful and correct tidbits on nutrition and healthy cooking ideas, not to mention the obligatory food porn photos:)

Seeing as there’s been quite a bit of chilly rain lately, Herr Moutard and I wanted a hearty, warming meal so decided to make a curry from the cookbook, originally named Spicy Beef Curry.

To clarify, unlike other food blogs, I will not be posting full recipes straight from cookbooks, primarily due to legal reasons. I do however, want to share my experiences and opinions about the recipes I try.

Spicy Beef Curry – From Gordon Ramsay’s Healthy Appetites From the f Word


1. The beef is cut into chunks, seasoned and marinated with yoghurt.

Marinate away!!

2. The spices are toasted and ground in a mortar and pestle.

Mmm fragrant

3. The onions, garlic, ginger were cooked in a pan until the onions are soft

4. The spice mix was added, along with tomato puree, stock and other fresh herbs and green chillies.

5. Finally the beef is added and the entire pot is simmered for 3 – 4 hours, depending on the type of beef used.

It's all in!

3 hours later

6. We served the curry with steamed basmati rice. Another suggestion was to sprinkle the top with fresh coriander.

The verdict:
The curry was delicious! It was rich, spicy and the sauce was simply divine. I won’t deny, the smell wafting from our kitchen meant I was getting very impatient towards the end of 3 hours but it was definitely worth the wait. Despite containing multiple green chillies, it wasn’t as fiery as I had predicted, which was fine by me! Still, I would have preferred if the meat was a touch softer, so maybe we’ll do the full 4 hours next time, but that being said, we still had a fabulous meal!

Won’t you take me to…. Caketown??

I think Caketown is an absolute gem. Without fail I walk out of that closet of a bakery with a mouth-watering, oh-so-satisfying treat. I highly recommend:) The chocolate éclairs are divine, and I wouldn’t say no to one of their meringue pigs either.

After a frantic rush through the rain that seems to be plaguing us these days, Cherries and I decided we deserved a treat, so, damp from rain, ran into our beloved bakery.

Our Rewards

Strawberry tart

A personal favourite of mine. The sweet strawberries sit atop luscious custard, encased by delicate, buttery pastry….mmmmm.


Unsurprisingly, this baby’s called ‘Hedgehog’. Imagine a rich, moist chocolate fudge cake. And imagine sandwiching said cake with the most decadent, sinful chocolate ganache. And then imagine this ganache sandwich being engulfed by even more ganache in the shape of teardrop things. This my friends is the mouthwatering hedgehog:)

Banana Raspberry Pistachio

I’ve never had this one before, and the name only tells me flavours… Upon inspection it appeared to be some sort of cakey thing covered in chocolate and green. Once you have a bite though, it’s an explosion of banana bread and chocolate:)

Lemon Meringue Pie

Being obsessed with all things lemon at the moment, I couldn’t resist this one. Apologies for the mess – it got crushed in the box:( Pretty self explanatory really – lemony goodness, topped with sweet meringue, and there’s that beautiful pastry again.

So that’s only a small snapshot of what Caketown has to offer. If you’re ever in the area, pop in and have a looksee, you won’t be disappointed:)

569 King St
Newtown, NSW, 2042
Phone: (02) 9557 6766

Meringue Pig - Oink Oink!

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