Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Moving house & international travel break

September came and went in a flash. We packed up and moved (still here in Sydney), then unpacked to repack and fly to Europe for a three-week stay in England and France.This trip was chock-full of family events, quick visits with friends, work for me, and a flying 48-hour sojourn to Paris for just the two of us to celebrate our wedding anniversary taking place when both of us were in the same country for the first time (not to mention work for me in London and Cambridge). Although not a relaxing vacation, it was a treasured time, and we got to catch up with lots of people we love, visit places we know well, and also see some new things together.

In Paris, the hubs was delighted to dine on snails, horse, wood pigeon, pigs' trotters, cheese, etc...
I ate enough pastries to tide me over till we're there next....

We enjoyed a beautiful anniversary meal at Le Timbre (highly recommended). And we loved wandering around the left bank, visiting the places where the writer ex-pats of the 1920s lived, ate, drank, and worked.

Back in Australia, and October has come and gone just as quickly. The new apartment is fully unpacked and mostly organized, and I'm getting the hang of the new kitchen arrangement and older/smaller-model oven/stovetop. We've hosted our first international guests in our new place (brother and sister-in-law!), and are looking forward to seeing some more friends and family come through Sydney in the next few months.

When they came to stay with us, my wonderful brother and sister-in-law brought me the cookbook for their favorite bakery in San Francisco, Miette. I road tested some of the cake and frosting recipes last weekend to make cupcakes for a barbeque (Sydney summer is on the horizon!), and they were a huge success.  More complicated than your typical cake recipe, they involved steps such as pressing the ingredients through a sieve after having mixed together the cake batter-- a step that produced an incredibly even and tender crumb in an already deep, dark, delicious chocolate cake recipe. The European buttercream recipe was perfect, and worked beautifully with creative stir-ins for a range of flavors (chocolate-orange-bourbon; strawberry-vodka; margarita; and cappuccino). Look for Miette-inspired recipes to come.
Recipe post to follow this weekend, but just wanted to round up the many events that have delayed posting over the last few weeks. Happy end-of-October, all, don't eat too much candy on the 31st.