Salvos to Parterre

I've been asked by a few people if I'm retiring from the blog world because of my posts slowing down lately. I promise you I'm not, it's just the film is taking up a lot of my time - and I'm not one to blog about something unless I'm feeling pretty excited about sharing it with you. To be honest, my days are being filled with lugging, driving, fun sourcing, and lots of office work/ filling in purchase orders... but the following did brighten my day:
I love it when I spot accidental (or purposeful) styling in op shops - I spotted these glass canisters against the ageing wall of Salvos Brookvale today.

The very un-styled bed at Parterre was so lovely in all it's 'n0-poufed cushions' glory.

The Slurpee while on the road - just in case any of you have forgotten how damn good these are. See you back here soon.

- Briar


Esther's Canape

I hope you are all having a great week. As promised - below is my sister's recipe for Vietnamese Pork Balls. I have been having flavour flashbacks all week. As you will read, the recipe is a little time consuming - but it's the worth it, your guests will love them.

500g lean pork, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup shallots, minced
1/4 cup garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
ground black pepper to taste
50 grams pork fat, minced
peanut oil
2 tablespoons roasted rice powder (see directions below)2 cups soft rice vermicelli
large handful of finely chopped mushrooms
2 tablespoons nuoc mam (fish sauce)
Method: Whisk together the shallots, garlic, fish sauce, sugar and pepper. Add pork, soft rice vermicelli, finely chopped mushrooms and coat well. Cover and marinate at least 1 hour (or up to 24) in the fridge. When you’re ready to make the balls, place the meat in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up. Using a food processor, whiz the pork fat into a paste. Add pork and process until you have a sort of pasty ball. Add the roasted rice powder and process to combine. Lightly oil a large plate and your hands, and form smaller sized pork balls. Grill over medium high heat–you’ll want to have a nice sear before turning, but once all sides are seared, lower heat a bit to cook through.

The sauce (the best part) was a basic Vietnamese dipping sauce - 10 tablespoons of fish sauce, 10 tablespoons white sugar, 7 tablespoons of lime juice, 1 crushed garlic and a large red chilli, seeded and finely chopped. Blend with freshly roasted peanuts to make it even more delicious.
*To make the roasted rice powder: Take about 1/4 cup of jasmine rice and dry roast it over medium high heat in a saute pan. You’ll need to toss it around a lot to prevent burning. The end result should be a nice golden puffy rice. Once cooled, process in a food processor or coffee/spice grinder until powdery.


Vietnam in Annandale

A few birthdays in the family and a sister and brother in law who have just returned from Vietnam called for a feast on Saturday night fit for (Vietnamese) royalty. My sister has always been a mighty fine cook/entertainer, but she certainly stepped it up a notch yesterday.

The rain miraculously disappeared and we were able to sit in the garden as dusk fell.

First course was rice paper rolls - seen here with napkins made by my Mum (using patchwork squares from Spotlight), and place names courtesy of my little niece.

I'm going to get this recipe from my sister to share with you - you all need these meat balls in your life at your next party.

The food kept on coming...and coming. I have to say, Vietnamese cuisine is up there with my favourite food - I love the fresh, light ingredients used. After seeing my sister's holiday snaps, it's definitely a country on the 'to visit' wish list. I hope you all had a lovely weekend.



Who remembers visiting Australia's Wonderland back in the 80's? The handful of visits I had as a kid gave me some of my favourite memories. I just loved those rides. A family friend gave me this old photo from there recently, and I want to find a frame for it. I love the get-up my older sisters and I are in, and I imagine we are looking at the height allowance board to see if shorty can make it on the roller coaster. Bring back Wonderland, I say.

Six year old me would have loved this bottle of beads too - I couldn't resist them from the bargain bin at Spotlight recently. Now, what to do with them?

The first mango leading up to Summer always puts a smile on my face - and this one on Monday was no exception.

How tragic is this? The brown blob to the left is actually my first attempt at a scone. I'm serious. The recipe (I clearly don't know how to follow) was from Angel Adoree's 'how to host' book. Angel talks about everything from chicken sandwiches to DIY bunting...and it's a good read. I hope you are all having a lovely week.



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