Food and this blog has bought me a lot of happiness in the past year, its a hobby I ever knew I had and now I want to make it more than just a hobby, I want it to be a life style.
In four days time I will finish my job in post production, after nearly 5 years in London I'm taking 3 months off over summer and Im exploring. Exploring in terms of the things in my life that make me happy. What possibilities are there for me now I finally have time to myself, to say yes to some of the exciting opportunities I've had offered through doing this blog so far. I hope we can keep doing brunch clubs and baking cupcakes and enjoying food with our friends for ever because its the thing that makes me the most happy in life.
I'll be spending a month of my time off home visiting Australia and New Zealand. There will be coffee, brunch, modern fusion food and the best Thai food out of Thailand in Sydney. Christchurch is all about spending time with my family and generally giving the city a hug after the horrible earthquakes they have suffered recently. My favourite little bar, the Wunderbar in Lytteton will re open when Im there, so many happy memories seeing gigs there when I was younger. Im very pleased they're able to open again after the earthquake devastated Lyttelton in February.
After than I'm back over to this side of the world spending 2 months in one of my most favourite places, Barcelona. Something about that city fills me with happiness. Its the sunshine, the laid back life style, warm coastal air, old cobblestone streets, wonderful architecture and of course the food!
As a good bye to my friends in London Nick and I hosted a Spanish themed pot luck dinner. A friend has lent me a great book called Tapas of San Sebastian. Nick called it inspirational and we made 5 or 6 tapas along with a Paella and ice cream. If anyone has been to San Sebastian on the Northern Coast of Spain you'll know its famous for its many bars and the best tapas in Spain. Each page of the book illustrates the 3 best dishes from each Tapas bar in San Sebastian with exceptionally simple instructions on how to make the dishes and photos to accompany.
From De Beauvoir Deli in Islington we got some fantastic Brindisa Chorizo (from Brindisa in Borough market) This chorizo is a little more expensive than most but you must buy it if you're making a Chorizo dish, its wonderful and you will taste the difference compared to any supermarket brands.
I made Riojanito, simple pastry cases which I blind baked then filled with diced chorizo and topped with a quails egg then baked again. They tasted like a mini bacon and egg pies.
Pimentos (Red peppers) stuffed with ricotta and olives
Meat balls made with bread crumbs, chilli, onion, garlic and egg
Tapenade verde oliva with anchovy and ricotta
Brenjena y pimentos, aubergine dip with sweet red peppers on toast
Brocheta de champis, button mushrooms and lardon kebabs
From our amazing foody friends
Claire's Strong Sangria (no Spanish feast is complete without it)
Jaimes croquetas filled with ham and béchamel
Maries Tortilla de patata & chorizo
Mels amazing Spanish nouvelle cuisine, mini pork &; mushroom burgers with chorizo rosti
As we ate our way through the tapas Nick was still creating his pis de resistance, the Paella. We used the recipe from the Fernandez and Leluu blog following their lead. Mussels, squid, king prawns & chicken. Nick had his own chicken and fish stock which made it extra delicious.
I spent most of the day making saffron and pistachio frozen yoghurt and it went perfectly with most amazing Spanish celebration tart courtesy of Matt. This was proper patisserie quality dessert. Unbelievable.
Plenty of the ice cream left over, I've just had some now and its even better the next day. I LOVE yoghurt helado and I can't wait to eat it every day in the hot Spanish sun.
Thanks to everyone for their contributions, we had a fabulous night of food and friends, it leaves me feeling so good. I will miss everyone while I'm away but I looking forward to posting lots of food from home and away. Can't wait to get to Bills cafe in Surry Hills Sydney and eat the corn fritters than inspired us to start our brunch club. My first stop in Barcelona will be the La Boqueria market on Las Ramblas to sample some of the fresh seafood and produce. Many more posts to come, including maybe a brunch club Spanish styles.
Hasta La Vista!