Wednesday, 24 September 2014

In the Vegie Patch - September 2014

A Snow Pear (Pyrus nivalis) in the backyard split in half during those big winds a while ago. It was sad to see the pear go but it did create a new sunny section of the garden. The perfect place to start a vegie patch...

 
Using some pavers that my Pop made, we created a path through the middle of the space leading to my cats, Archie and Villikens, favourite seat.  

In some old chimney pots, I planted some strawberries. In the bigger pot I planted ‘Sweetest’, which is supposed to be exceptionally sweet and low in acid. In the smaller pot I planted ‘Lowanna’, which is high yielding and fruits for a long period. Villikens was showing off for the camera...

Strawberries, Russian Kale and Villikens enjoying the sun...
 
The path is bordered with ‘Salad Days’ lettuce. I chose this variety as they don’t form hearts so the leaves can be picked as needed.

Variegated Thyme between the pavers
 
On the left side of the patch, I planted some Rainbow Beetroot, Spring Onions, and sowed some radishes and dill. I also put in a capsicum plant, ‘Sweet Stuff’, which is high yielding. There is still some more room for some different varieties of vegetables on both sides.

Rainbow Beetroot, Spring Onions, and Lettuce
 
On the right hand side, I have planted Rainbow Silverbeet (Beta Vulgaris). I’ve planted quite a bit of this as my two Princess Parrots, Rex and Ruby, love eating the stalks. Red Russian Kale (Brassica Oleracea), which has a mild, sweet flavour, is also dispersed around the patch.

Silverbeet

I bought some Pizza Thyme (Thymus nummularis) which is quite rampant. The roots in the pot had grown right through into the dirt it was resting upon! I’ve only planted it recently and it has already grown and spread. The leaves smell and taste like a mixture of oregano and thyme which is perfect for Italian cooking.

Pizza Thyme
 
I thought I would try some ‘Red Veined’ Sorrel (Rumex Sanguineus) in a pot to use when I am cooking seafood. The ruby veins make an interesting difference from regular sorrel.

'Red Veined' Sorrel

Also, I have bought some Cat Thyme (Teucrium Marum) which my cats go absolutely bananas for. Forget Catnip, go get your cat some Cat Thyme! It also has lovely reddish purple flowers in the summer. Hopefully my small, struggling plant grows bigger but it keeps getting chewed and smothered by my addicted felines.

Cat Thyme
 
I have some zucchinis and tomatoes to go in soon. Anyway, we will see how everything goes over the coming months...

What are you planting in your vegie patch at the moment?






Monday, 22 September 2014

Cafe Papillon

The caterpillar does all the work, but the butterfly gets all the publicity... or so they say. Whilst I do enjoy visiting Miss Frank, today I thought we should try the ‘butterfly’ over the road, Papillon.



The breakfast menu is available all day with dishes such as ‘Spanish baked beans with chorizo, fried egg and crumbled marinated feta served with soy and quinoa sourdough toast ($14.00)’ and ‘Toasted banana bread served with berry compote and maple syrup mascarpone ($12.00)’. If you are after something smaller, they have a variety of jaffles for $8.00.
 
I decided to have the ‘House made frittata with leafy salad ($10.00)’. The frittata contained smoked salmon, dill and dollops of cream cheese. The frittata was mild in flavour which could have been boosted with some onion or a sharper cheese. However, the side salad was incredibly delicious. The spinach leaves, avocado, feta, and zucchini were nicely dressed. They should definitely put this on their menu as a meal just on its own. Yum!
 
Frittata

 
My dining companion chose the ‘House made savoury quiche with leafy salad ($10.00)’. Again, the quiche was a bit bland. The salad outshone the main element once more.

Savoury Quiche
 
It took quite a long time for our food to arrive considering the number of patrons but the staff were lovely. My latte ($3.60), made with Gigante Coffee beans, was robust in flavour.

Latte
 
I would probably say this cafe is more of a caterpillar than a butterfly but it does have potential...
 

Address: 928 Riversdale Rd, Surrey Hills, VIC

Phone: 0425 768 135

Cafe Papillon on Urbanspoon




Thursday, 11 September 2014

Weekend Away - Bellarine Peninsula Part 2

Breakfast: Day 2 & 3

For breakfast on Sunday, we went to Beaches Café in Queenscliff. It was so good that we also had breakfast there again on Monday!










Their lattes ($3.50) using Jasper coffee were the perfect way to start the day. The first morning I had the ‘Pancakes: two pancakes with maple syrup and ice-cream ($10.00)’. They had the perfect ratio of ice-cream to maple syrup. The fluffy pancakes were cooked evenly and the bonus sliced strawberry added some tartness. 
 
Pancakes

My dining companion chose the ‘Toasted Egg and Bacon Focaccia ($9.50)’. This was also a wonderful breakfast option.

Toasted Egg and Bacon Focaccia
 
The next morning I was ravenous so I picked the ‘Vegetarian Breakfast: Free range eggs, tomato, mushrooms, spinach on thick toast ($13.50)’. This was a very generous breakfast indeed.

Vegetarian Breakfast

My dining companion opted for one of their specials. The ‘B.L.T. with chutney and cheese ($10.00)’. This was even better than yesterday’s breakfast apparently...

B.L.T.
 
Beaches Café is a fantastic cafe to try if you are down in Queenscliff...

 
Address: 84 Hesse St, Queenscliff, VIC

Phone: 03 5258 4470

Beaches Café on Urbanspoon

 
After breakfast, we dropped by the Point Lonsdale Primary School Market which operates on the second Sunday of each month from 9am to 2pm. They had this amazing produce stall that had the cheapest fruit and vegetables. We bought as much as we could fit into the car... I wish this market was closer to home as I would definitely be a regular visitor.

 
 
Then it was off to Portarlington to enjoy the National Celtic Festival. So many talented musicians in the one location... The music was fantastic! The sword fighting was also fun to watch. We spent the day drinking Guinness and enjoying some Celtic cuisine. I did avoid the haggis though... Also, a tip for all the single ladies out there: This festival is packed full of gorgeously rugged Celtic men! So maybe head down to the festival next year with your girlfriends...
 
 


Dinner: Day 2

We booked a table for dinner at the Couta Boat Café at the Queenscliff Inn. The beautiful Inn was built in 1902 and looked very warm and inviting. Well, it was rather on the cool side actually...

 
Anyway, I chose the ‘Point Lonsdale lager battered fish and chips, rocket salad with Grana Padano cheese, confit tomato, balsamic olive oil and aioli ($21.90)’. This was a major disappointment. The frozen chips were undercooked and were quickly avoided. The fish started off okay until I realised that it had not been scaled properly. It wasn’t just one or two scales either. It was huge patches of scales that remained on the fillets! The best part of the meal was the salad which was so much better than the salad from the night before. I ended up having a very healthy meal of just salad...

Fish and Chips




I washed down my fish scales with a Flying Brick Original Cider ($8.00). It was the highlight of the night. It was nice and dry, which I always prefer.

Flying Brick Cider

My dining companion went for the ‘Bouillabaisse: fresh local seafood in a tomato and saffron broth with roasted red pepper rouille croutons ($28.90)’. The dish was quite nice but the mussels were tiny and overcooked.

Bouillabaisse

I think I will head over to the Vue Grand instead next time I am in Queenscliff...

 
Address: 59 Hesse St, Queenscliff, VIC

Phone: 03 5258 4600

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Couta Boat Cafe on Urbanspoon

 


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