Monday, August 27, 2007

Summer's come early?

Not a lot of food to blog about from the weekend just gone. The weather in Melbourne was stunning so even I found it hard to stay inside and cook. Times like these I need a barbecue.
Friday evening started with drinks at the Railway. We ambitiously sat outside but moved in quite quickly. Whilst the weather has been glorious it's also a little chilly when the sun goes down. The railway in South Melbourne is a popular spot for our work drinks and we often eat there too. They have great tapas style bar snacks and we often stock up. This Friday however I was off to S-bo's for tacos then I pottered on home for a quiet Friday.
Saturday was porridge in the sun and a banana smoothie. Can it get any better? Well apparently it can, as I headed to South Melbourne Markets to do the groceries and grabbed one of the famous steamed dim sims for lunch. S-bo then took a break from studying and we had coffee at Provincia. I still can't quite get over how well they make the coffee. I went there for breakfast last week and had gnocchi! For breakfast! It was breakfast gnocchi with mushrooms and chorizo and it was goooood. A totally new concept for me though, has anyone else come across this before? It's great for someone who doesn't eat eggs.

Sunday saw me stupidly throw myself around Albert Park Lake in a fun run. Westie and I have been doing a little running, mainly to control expanding waistlines bound to result from our monthly ironchef lunch. Obviously one can't over-control so we headed to Albert Park village for brunch afterwards. Too exhausted to remember my camera we plonked down at Dundas Place Cafe, sunnies on, and proceeded to order sugary pancakes with cream. Hmmm. Unfortunately the pancakes didn't live up to my expectations. It took a while for brunch to land on our table and when it did the pancakes were overcooked. Crispy and golden had given way to brown and just burnt. Sigh. Service was a little lacksidasical and apparently it's giggle-worthy to forget to serve a bowl of muesli with a spoon. Nevermind, it was so lovely and sunny nothing could break my spirit. That was until Westie and I stood up and our legs confirmed that yes, we had stupidly ran 5 km and were about to pay for it. I went home and slept on the couch.

I was particularly dehydrated and felt horrible. I did manage to venture out for a stroll about 4pm and a pink cupcake from brumbies. I couldn't waste the whole day's sun afterall. With such warm weather it would seem illogical to make soup, but that's what I did. I still have pecorino to use up from the gnocchi. It's too good to waste so I made this hearty pasta, lentil and tomato soup. Please forgive the photos, they were taken with S-bo's phone as my camera went dead just in time (handy that).
I went to bed a very full, happy and sleepy girl.

(The Soup.......
1/4 cup olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
110 g bacon, rind removed and, you guessed it, finely chopped
225 g green or brown lentils
4 vine-ripened tomatoes, skin and seeds removed, chopped
400 g can chopped tomatoes
2 bay leaves
3-4 sprigs of thyme
1.75 L chicken stock
225 g macaroni or other short pasta, cooked
3 tbs chopped fresh parsley
75 g grated parmesan (or pecorino in my case)

Heat oil and add onion, garlic, celery and bacon. Cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes or until vegetables soften. Add the lentils and stir to coat with oil. Add fresh and canned tomatoes and bring to the boil then add bay leaves, thyme and 1.5 L of the stock. Simmer for 40 min or until lentils are cooked. Continue to top with stock to ensure lentils are covered. Stir in the pasta and garnish with parsely and cheese.)


Scaramouche Jones said...

There's a great litte place on Nicholson Street, up around... Carlton North, I think. Can't remember the name, but it has a car inside as deco. Sells great gelati too :)

Ali-K said...

Thanks! I'll have to check it out. Looking forward to lots of gelati as it gets warmer.