What I’m Reading – Blogs

I’ve always been a prolific online blog reader, so much so that my gigantic Feedly list regularly throws me daily targets of 500+ articles to get through. This is daunting to say the least but luckily my speed reading skills acquired through my lacklustre law degree has come in handy.

I follow over 50 food blogs alone, and sometimes the visuals do meld together into a sea of indistinguishable food porn, especially with the larger compilation sites like Serious Eats, Eater and Food52. This is why sometimes it’s really enjoyable to read individual sites which have a unique and individual tone.

The following are of many which inspire me, fill me with awe, and occasionally impart a generous dose of envy. And often it’s all three emotions at once.

Manger

Reading Manger late at night you often wonder where the hell you went wrong in your own life. I mean…Mimi Thorisson just paints the perfect life in blog form. She’s beautiful, her kids are beautiful and they all live a seemingly wistful & charming life in provincial France with amazing produce, food and gorgeous neighbours. Did I mention everything (including the photography) is so fucking beautiful it hurts?  If I were to grow up again, Thorisson would be my hero-woman. Gwyneth Paltrow can only wish she had so much style.

Manger

Lady and Pups

If reading Manger has got you all bitter and jaded about your own life then this blog is the antidote. Get angry, get even and get cooking. Often food and lifestyle blogs nowadays get lost in a sea of ethereal hipsterdom (which moi is guilty of also) so it’s refreshing when you encounter something which isn’t afraid to go bold or go home. The Lady of this site punches you in the face with her food, photography and writing. The sass is as biting as is the generous use of spices and after every recipe I’m craving a post-coital cigarette (and I don’t even smoke). It’s definitely a FUCK JEAH! blog.

pups

Two Red Bowls

Considering TRB started their blog a month before I did last year, Bowl #1 is testament to that hard work and perseverance equal the makings of a successful blog. Unlike yours truly who generally just fluffs about on this blog, TRB updates regularly, involves herself in the community and has a keen sense of direction for TRB. What’s also inspiring to see is the evolution of her styling and photography skills.  Every time I need a kick up the bum to post something, it usually comes after reading TRB latest post.

Clinton St Baking Company Pancakes, for Verily Magazine

Alana Bread

A fellow Australian, Alana covers both dining out in Sydney and her own recipes. She has such a keen eye on capturing the mood and tone when covering eating establishments and I love the variety on her blog. She also shoots for Broadsheet which is fast becoming the go to online hipster foodie hangout for Sydneysiders and Melbournians. I’d love to pick her photography brain whilst simultaneously hanging out at some hip new opening in Surry hills (Sydney lyfe YO!)

Alana Bread

Sole Exploration #2 – Nike Vapor 8 Tour

Welcome to another edition of Sole Exploration, today we delve into my extensive tennis shoe collection. I like <3 tennis… I play a lot of tennis, and I’ve purchased a lot of tennis shoes. Probably more than I’ll ever need, but I guess it’s handy to be able to chart my tennis development through my sneakers? (Okay who am I kidding, they’re really my way of esoterically charting Roger Federer’s career)

Nike Vapor 8 Tour

#2 – Nike Vapor 8 Tour – White/Yellow

WhereTennis Warehouse Europe

When – January 2011

Did You Know? – These are the kicks that Roger Federer sported during the spring season of 2011 in particular at the 2011 Australian Open. They are also the only Nike Vapors I own which sport the RF monogram. It was unusual for a pair of Vapors to be mass sold with an RF logo, usually they’re kept for special Nike Stores at say the US Open.

The Good – Slightly more stable with a wider heel base than the Vapor 7s and more flexible than the plasticky Vapor 6s. Plus the yellow is totally FETCH.

The Bad – Unfortunately I didn’t really get a chance to wear these puppies very much. I almost broke my ankle going for a routine inside out forehand one Saturday and I became wary of these shoes ever since. And once the uber comfy Vapor 9s came out, these were ditched to be backyard shoes, which made me super sad because I had the most awesome yellow, anthracite & white kit to go with it.

Photographic Mood – London Drizzle

Nike Vapor 8 Tour

Nike Vapor 8 Tour

Nike Vapor 8 Tour

Epic Post Xmas Lunch Feast – Part 1 – Entree

Well well, I’ve been sitting on this lunch feast for 3 months because of the mammoth task of cataloguing everything I cooked and prepared. The issue is if I sit on it any longer I’m going to absolutely forget what I actually did, curse my laziness for not actually taking notes when coming up with recipes. But it was still an awesomely fun, sun filled day! And good company with good food and drink is pretty much all you need in life really….well until you run out of money for the food I guess. This is also the first lifestyle type shoot I’ve done. It was ridiculously tricky trying to get the requisite shots whilst all the food was sitting there with hungry guests circling the table. But without time to style, think or plan very much, it was all a little haphazard, but a lot of lessons learnt for next time I think.

The main theme of the day was Pulled Pork Tacos so I went a little Mexican chic with everything else. Here are the starters.

  • Moscato Jug
  • Tortilla Chips with Pico De Gallo (Salsa Fresca) & Guacamole
  • Baked Corn with Lime Butter

Post Christmas Lunch Feast

Moscato Jug

large handful of mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)
large handful of mint
1/2 lime (sliced thin)
1 bottle of Moscato (Or Prosecco)
Lemonade to top up

Moscato is a lovely sweet, effervescent wine with a beautiful fruity aroma, perfect for light summer cocktails. But be careful because this is so easy to drink that in a blink of an eye the entire jug will be gone.

Lightly Mull the berries, mint and lime together, pour in the moscato and top up the jug with lemonade and copious amounts of ice. Mix well and serve.

Post Christmas Lunch Feast

Post Christmas Lunch Feast

Pico De Gallo (Salsa Fresca)

(yields 1 medium bowl)
1/2 medium spanish onion
1 jalapeño
1 handful coriander
3 medium tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste

Finely dice the spanish onion and the jalapeno and add to a mixing bowl. Remove the seeds from the tomato, dice and add to the bowl. Finely chop the coriander and add to the mixture with the oil, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Post Christmas Lunch Feast

Guacamole

(yields 1 medium bowl)
2 ripe avocados
1/4 Spanish onion (finely diced)
1/2 tomato (seeds removed and finely diced)
juice of 1/2 lime
salt and pepper to taste

Remove the avocado flesh into a mixing bowl. Roughly mash with a fork, and then add onion, tomato, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Either serve immediately or cover with glad wrap to prevent oxidation.

Post Christmas Lunch Feast

Post Christmas Lunch Feast

Baked Corn with Lime Butter

4 corn cobs (cut in half)
2 tablespoons salted butter
zest of 1 lime
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 180C/356F

Soften the butter and add the lime zest. Cover each corn cob with the butter mixture. Then season with salt and pepper. Individually wrap each cob with foil. Then them all in a baking dish.

Bake for 20-30min or until corn is cooked through. This is a non-messy way of doing the corn because I was lazy and didn’t want to clean the grill pan. But if you don’t mind the mess and the cleanup then by all means grill or BBQ the corn to get a nice char flavour and then top with the lime butter.

Check out Part 2 – The Main Event

Pulled Pork Tacos with Apple Slaw, Pickles & Mustard Mayo

Pulled Pork Tacos

Sole Exploration #1 – Clarks Originals Desert Boot

One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them.

Harper Lee

Welcome to my new short term photography/style series … Sole Exploration, where I take a more stylistic approach in exploring my collection of esoteric sneakers, boots and other incredibly utilitarian but seemingly still special footwear.

I’ve developed quite a sneaker collection over the years. I still blame it on the fact that I didn’t get my first pair of Nikes till I was about 12. Yes there were special and I wore the crap out of them. But growing up with my fair share of 2nd hand shoes, getting a new pair of sweet kicks (usually with the ubiquitous tick) signified my ascension into middle class affluence. Mark Twain once said that “Clothes make the man, Naked people have little or no influence on society.” Would it be wrong to say that shoes maketh the woman? After all it’s become a running joke that handbags and shoes are what keep the female-centric fashion industry financially viable.

Where other women collect bags, jewellery and clothes from overseas department stores, I always seem to come back with more sneakers and more recently boots which creates a bit of a space problem. As I welcome in new recruits, I often have to say goodbye to old friends, and thus to old stories and experiences. So this series is essentially a mediation on mood and memories.

Clarks Originals Desert Boot in Brown Leather
Clarks Originals Desert Boot in Brown Leather

#1 – Clarks Originals Desert Boot in Brown Leather

WhereUrban Outfitters

When – February 2014

Why – I’ve always wanted a pair of classic Clarks desert boots. Utilitarian yet still chic, they’re perfect for dressing down, or even slightly up.  The crepe sole makes for a forgiving stride and the tough leather upper feels like it will weather hundreds of damp and dewy mornings.

Did You Know? – Clarks is a brand synonymous with school shoes in Australia. Every new school year you’d trudge off to your local school shoe reseller, and get measured for a pair of fugtastic black school shoes. Why? I don’t bloody know, maybe it’s a way to make the yoof toe the line (ha) and stop running about or something. So it was to my absolute surprise when I discovered the Clarks Originals range, their history and the cool stuff they were producing. I like my stuff functional yet very urban street in style. So Clarks is definitely up my alley these days, great way to suppress the horrid memories of the school uniforms of yore.

The Bad – Slightly narrow in the forefoot. I got a 0.5 size smaller than my usual because they were the only ones in stock, which has meant a very painful pressure point on the 1st metatasal as the leather bends into the foot during each step. Much disappoint as I will have to wear this pair gingerly until the leather gets broken in.

Photographic Mood – Marlboro man circa 1979.

Clarks Originals Desert Boot in Brown Leather

clarks desert sole