Monday, 21 July 2014

KITCHEN | End of Pay Month Stew

The weather has finally taken on a little bit of that winter chill, so what better to do than head into the kitchen for a hearty, winter-warming recipe. This one comes from Elizabeth Hewson, blogger and author of Moving Out and Eating In, one of our favourite recent cook books that inspires us to get up and into the kitchen. Lizzie is currently living and studying in beautiful Italy, you can follow her adventures on her instagram. She kindly shared this recipe with us and we can't wait to try it out for ourselves. 


KITCHEN | End of Pay Month Stew by Elizabeth Hewson

Photo | Lizzie Hewson

I think it’s fair to say that (almost) everybody struggles at the end of pay month no matter what they choose to spend their money on. This is when this little beauty of a dish comes in. Canned beans are cheap. They fill you up, are high in fiber and a great source of protein.  A superfood some would say. You should almost have everything in your pantry for this dish but if not then it won’t cost you more than $10 to buy. Did I mention that this also feeds four hungry people? Feel free to play around with the vegetables in the stew, most things will work here, diced potato is a good addition too. I grow my own herbs so I don’t have to spend money on them but don’t worry too much if you don’t have parsley. It’s just a nice fresh touch that can be easily missed.  I like to use chickpeas and borlotti beans but almost any canned beans do the job.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 carrot, diced
1 zucchini, chopped
2 x 400ml can chopped tomatoes
2 bay leaves
Sea salt
Pinch chilli flakes
1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
¼ cup white wine
1 x 400g can chickpeas, rinsed
1 x 400g can borlotti beans, rinsed
Crusty bread to serve
4 tablespoons of Greek yoghurt (optional)
Chopped parsley to serve (optional)

Method:
Place a casserole dish over medium heat. Add olive oil, onion, garlic and thyme and cook for 3 minutes, or until onion is starting to soften, but not brown.

Add carrot and zucchini and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Add canned tomatoes to the dish along with bay leaves, sea salt, chilli flakes, red wine vinegar and white wine. Cook for 10 minutes until starting to thicken.  Add rinsed and drained chickpeas and borlotti beans and cook for a further 15 minutes.
 
Divide stew into bowls, dollop with a spoonful of yoghurt, sprinkle with parsley and serve with crusty bread.

Read other recipes in the series here.

Monday, 14 July 2014

THIS IS MY CITY | Sherie's Berlin

Berlin is one of those cities in the world we have always wanted to visit but haven't quite made it to yet. We've wanted to go for years, ever since we shared our first guide to Berlin, by Tiffany. And when we learned that our friend Sherie Muijs, shirtmaker par excellence, had moved from Auckland to Berlin, we knew we had to ask her to share her favourite places in her new home. This is Berlin, by Sherie.




one. Best thing about Berlin? It’s relaxed pace.

two. Worst thing about Berlin? It’s relaxed pace.

three. Favourite secret spot? My friends’ rooftop terrace. If you can locate access to a rooftop, the views are a must-see.

 Volkspark Friedrichshain | Sherie Muijs

four. Favourite everyone-knows-it-but-it's-still-good spot? Volkspark Friedrichshain is my local favourite and judging by the amount of people there on a sunny day, boy does everyone know it!

five. What was your newest discovery in Berlin? My most recent discovery is a new wine bar called Briefmarken on Karl-Marx Allee. What about somewhere you've been going forever but can't quite give up? I can’t go past Five Elephants cheesecake. Whether I pick up a slice from their stall at Street Food Thursday or from their café in Kreuzberg, I simply can’t say no!

six. Where is the best place for.... morning coffee/pick-me-up? meal with friends? romantic rendez-vous? late night drink? even later-night boogie? I personally enjoy a coffee from the guys at Passenger on Saturdays at Boxhagner Platz Markets. For a meal with friends, I’ve had a couple of great nights at Kimchi Princess on Skalitzer Straße, and if you’re not shy of a little spice, I highly recommend it. My romantic rendes-vous and late night drink would be at Bar Babette. It’s an old 1960s cosmetic bar and conveniently close to my apartment. I’m yet to experience Berlin’s clubbing scene [I know, I know] but it’s certainly the place to be if you’re looking for a great night out.

 Bar Babette | Sherie Muijs

seven. Where are Berlin's style spots? Where is the best shopping? Nowkoelln Flowmarkt along Maybachufer, held every second Sunday, is where to go for the best finds. It’s also a prime location for people watching!

eight. What is something you can get/read/experience/eat that you can only do in Berlin? Its open-air cinemas, communal gardens and abandoned buildings are all pretty unique.

nine. You can tell a lot about a city from their airport. Describe Berlin’s. There’s almost too much to pack into this question as Berlin has four airports, all reflecting Berlin as a city. Its international airport is slowly emerging and yet to open. There are two smaller airports, one east the other west, as well as Templehof which has now closed-down, welcoming kite surfers, communal gardens and grilling during the summer. It’s quite unique.

 Templehof Airport Park | IheartBerlin

ten. How would your describe Berlin to someone who has never been there before? It is packed full with history, incredibly diverse and constantly under construction.

Read more city guides here.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

IN CONVERSATION | Briony Wright

Briony Wright used to run the Australian edition of Vice and now heads ups the brand new, so fresh i-D Australia. She is funny and clever and whip smart and we knew she would be a fantastic interview subject for our In Conversation Proust questionnaire series. Here are her answers:

Briony Wright | Source

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Being on holiday somewhere warm with our little girl and boy and experiencing new things together. That and a well-made margarita.

What is your greatest fear? 
Dedicated ravers.  


What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Indecision and lack of punctuality.  

What is the trait you most deplore in others? 
 Decisiveness and punctuality.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Nene King.

What is your greatest extravagance?
My perfume hobby. It’s expensive extracting the smells from things apparently.

What is your current state of mind?
Excited, focused and a little bit petrified.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Manners.

Which living person do you most admire?
 Beyond my entire family, all of my amazing friends and anyone helping other people in need and the environment, I’d have to say Terry and Tricia Jones who started i-D magazine 33 years ago. They were fashion trailblazers.

What is your favorite color and flower?
Aqua. Daisies and carnations.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
 I’m never eating/drinking again.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
Decency.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Decency.

When and where were you happiest?
I actually think I’m as happy as I’ve ever been. It’s either age bringing contentment or complacency.

Which talent would you most like to have?
 I really want to be able to play the guitar.

What is your most treasured possession?
My grandma’s engagement ring.

Who are your heroes in real life?
Vivienne Westwood and my brother, Nick, who just gets it done.

Where would you like to live?
In Spain or anywhere they endorse siestas.

What is your favorite song?
Human Nature” by Michael Jackson

What do you value most in your friends?
Their intelligence, sense of humour, kindness and example.

Who are your favorite writers?
There are too many to mention but perhaps Jesse Pearson from Apology when it comes to short-form journalism. He has a beautiful way of weaving a story.

Who are your favorite painters?
Yayoi Kusama, Howard Arkley and my daughter, who just painted me as an adorable ghost.

Who is your heroine of world history?
Aung San Suu Kyi.

Who is your favourite hero of fiction?
Jean Seberg as Patricia in Breathless.

What is your motto?
You get what you give.

You can read more in our In Conversation series here


Monday, 7 July 2014

KITCHEN | Roasted Pineapple + Fennel Toast

Grace has a beautiful blog, a keen eye and a way with words. Her blog A Penchant sums up exactly what we love about food right now: simple, effortless and delicious. When we asked her for a recipe for our site she came back with this, an ode to Sydney's endless summer and a chance to revel in something a little out of the ordinary come breakfast time.

KITCHEN | Roasted Pineapple + Fennel Toast | A Penchant

All photos | Grace Doughty A Penchant

For a long time I worked in a gelateria. It was here that I learnt to be more adventurous with flavours and to experiment with my palette. As a cook I have always been inspired by fresh ingredients, so learning to infuse seasonal fruit and veg with interesting flavours has become my favourite way to cook. 

This dish is a little bit quirky but quietly delicious. The pineapple's sweetness is balanced nicely with the tartness of the yoghurt with the fennel seeds giving a nice crunch of spice. Don't frown though if yoghurt and toast doesn't seem like it will take your fancy, it provides a nice wholesome base and absorbs the flavours really well. 

Ingredients: 4 good size pieces of pineapple, cut into cubes
1/4 cup chopped macadamias
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1/2 cup good quality yoghurt
2cslice s ciabatta
1 atablespoon of a gave to finish 

Method: In a small bowl mix together yoghurt and 1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds. 

In a small saucepan on low heat add pineapple and a squeeze of lemon juice. Lightly fry until pineapple looks golden.

Pop some ciabatta in the toaster and get all your ingredients ready to assemble.

When the toast is done, top with your yoghurt, pineapple, nuts and remaining fennel seeds. Drizzle with some agave and enjoy! 








Wednesday, 2 July 2014

IN CONVERSATION | Megan Morton

 Megan Morton is an interiors stylist and author whose playful and discerning eye is one of the best and most respected in the business. She is also the founder of The School, a local institution that invites people to take classes and learn lessons from a wide variety of artisans and creatives. We've attended a course at The School led by our friend Elise Pioch from Maison Balzac, where we made our own scented candles. That's the kind of inspiring, innovative place The School is, and that's the kind of inspiring, innovative woman Megan is. Read on for our conversation with Megan!


Megan Morton | Photo by Anson Smart

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
The Morton's when we are a fivesome.

What is your greatest fear?
That our youngest baby will eat us all alive.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Sometimes I cry during the trailers of movies because the screen is so big. (I don't watch TV so it's overwhelming for me)

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Hatred, closely followed by stupidity.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
 Millicent Rogers.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Yoga and a palm tree ring by Susie Stenmark, but I have to have my nails especially done to get away with wearing it.

What is your current state of mind?
Hyper.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Patience.

Which living person do you most admire?
Robyn Davidson.

What is your favourite colour and flower?
Klein blue. it's impossible to name a favourite flower, I let the seasons be my flower reason.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
GAAAAAH.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
Awareness of trouser length.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Empathy.

When and where were you happiest?
Yesterday.

Which talent would you most like to have?
The ability to cut my own fringe.

What is your most treasured possession?
A pottery house our eldest daughter made. How they value a house is very different to how we do.

Who are your heroes in real life?
Louise Bourgeois.

Where would you like to live?
Where I live now.

What is your favourite song?
Harder, stronger, faster better.

What do you value most in your friends?
Ability to think the things I like are unlikeable and vice versa.

Who are your favourite writers?
Joan Didion. There is no one better to speak of love, despair and reality.

Who are your favourite painters?
Elizabeth Peyton, Julian Schnabel, Caravaggio, Jean-Baptist-Simeon Chardin.

Who are your heroines of world history?
Mother Mary (as in Jesus' mumma).

Who is your favourite hero of fiction?
Olive Oyl, Moschino's original muse.

What is your motto?
Don't hide your enthusiasm.

Read more in our In Conversation series here.

Monday, 30 June 2014

THIS IS MY CITY | Michelle's Perth

Perth is one of those cities that can instantly get stuck in your head, what with its fantastic weather, its sunny outlook and its vibrant, creative energy. And there was only one person we could turn to for a guide to this most coastal of Australian cities - Michelle. We love Michelle's understated, refined blog A Minute Away from Snowing and at Benah we are such fans of her elegant aesthetic. We knew that her tips for her home town would be perfect. Here is Perth, by Michelle.

Photos | Michelle Lau A Minute Away From Snowing | Featuring Benah Large Zip Pouch

one. Best thing about Perth? The endless summers, the bluest of blue skies, the fact that eternal stretches of unspoilt beaches can be as easy to find as a cup of good coffee in this city, and the way people are here for the downtime than the climb up the corporate ladder.

two. Worst thing about Perth? Our non-existent winters – peonies seem to be an endangered species in Perth, and my coats and boots invariably gather dust every year, because it just doesn't get cold enough! The isolation can also be frustrating - Europe is always two plane trips and a good 20 hours away. Once it took me nearly two days to get from Perth to New York City!

three. Favourite secret spot? Sitting by the window sill at Daily Planet watching the sun go down, and the world go by along Beaufort Street. Ordering the soy chai tea has become an essential part of my rare me-time.

  Soy Chai | Daily Planet

four. Favourite everyone-knows-it-but-it's-still-good spot? Moore and Moore in Fremantle. It's a kooky cafe by day and an arts space by night. Everyone who knows what's good for them will order the avocado on 7 grain toast and sit in the sun-drenched courtyard until the sun goes down. I was also so lucky to be married there, so dropping in for brunch or a coffee these days is my favourite, nostalgic thing to do in Freo.

five. What is your newest discovery in Perth? What about somewhere you've been going forever but can't quite give up? I recently stumbled across The Sweet Remedy - a new corner bakery- whilst wandering aimlessly on my lunch break in Leederville. They've just opened (you can still smell the fresh paint!) and the homemade Panniers are one of the greatest things I've ever eaten. The shopkeepers are also so impossibly lovely - happy to chat for hours if you stay long enough. I plan to return just for the strawberries & cream cupcakes. As for somewhere I've been forever and a day... Sparrow in Highgate. It's the best Indonesian in town and one of the cheapest meals you can get in Perth! The lovely owner there always rounds down your change if you're a regular. It's the little things.

 By the river | East Perth

six. Where is the best place for.... morning coffee/pick-me-up? meal with friends? romantic rendez-vous? late night drink? even later-night boogie? I live across the road from Bossman, so grabbing a morning coffee to wake me up on a lazy Saturday is often the best - and essential - part of my day. For brunch with friends, I can't go past the boiled eggs and buttered soldiers down the road at Mary Street Bakery. There's something really nostalgic about dipping toast soldiers into runny eggs. Date nights with my husband are best spent at this cute, blink-and-you'll-miss-it spaghetti bar called Francoforte. After spending some time in Italy a few months ago, we were delighted to find a place that made us feel like we were dining at a cosy friend's place, devouring the ultimate in comfort food. The guy - Julian - who runs the tiny kitchen isn't a trained chef or anything like that; he was simply taught by his mum at home. I love knowing things like that. As for the rest of the evening, I'm usually in bed by 10pm. I'm such a homebody at heart!

seven. Where are Perth's style spots? Where is the best shopping? I've kept this a secret for so long! But... Adam Heath has my sartorial heart forever. It looks like some sort of intimidating place where lavish ladies who like to lunch shop but it's so unpretentious and beautifully merchandised - I love it equally for window shopping and bargain hunting. I always scour the sales racks first, as it's always laden with Carven, Dries, 3.1 Phillip Lim on any given day. My most recent purchase was a pair of Frame Denim jeans and a Nina Ricci skirt at 70% off.


eight. What is something you can get/read/experience/eat that you can only do in Perth? The Secret Cake Club is something that has always intrigued me. The wait lists are always a mile long but I hope to attend one day! The rules are simple: turn up to a secret location every 4-6 weeks bearing your freshly baked goods, before spending the next two glorious hours swapping baking tips and making new friends. It's kind of like a book club, except that you're swapping books with cake. It's probably the only place in the world where you can have your cake - and be able to eat it too.

nine. You can tell a lot about a city from their airport. Describe Perth's. The past few years have seen more change for our airports than the past thirty, put together. Although it's still very much a work in progress, it's undeniable that real and exciting things are happening and that change - a good change - is coming. There's such an energy in Perth at the moment.


ten. How would your describe Perth to someone who has never been there before? Like a breath of fresh air - quite literally. Here, the days are dreamy and nights are filled with the brightest stars. All you have to do is look a little closer. The one thing living in Perth all my life has taught me is gratitude in finding beauty in ordinary things.

You can read all of our travel guides here.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

IN CONVERSATION | Amanda Bechara

Bread & Circus in Alexandria is the best place. It's a wholefoods canteen without any of the pretentiousness or ridiculousness of other organic eateries, it's a place to linger over lunch, it's a place to bring the whole family, it's a place to treat yourself. It has a freshness, a newness and a uniqueness that is all its own. We love the pink decor, the Mariah Carey soundtrack and the famous lemongrass and ginger chai. Bread & Circus' inimitable founder - Amanda Bechara - has just moved to New York with her fiance and her dog, and has settled in Brooklyn. She's about to start the scouting search for cafe locations in the big city, and we asked her to do a Proust Questionnaire for us. You can read her answers below.

Bread & Circus | 21 Fountain St, Alexandria | All photos by Rachel Kara

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A well made cup of tea. Kyoto.

What is your greatest fear?
That something’s wrong.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
That I am always thinking about what I don’t like in myself.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Hypocrisy, small mindedness.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Augustus Caesar (how embarrassing)

What is your greatest extravagance?
Most things.

What is your current state of mind?
Lets see…

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Friendliness, it never tells you anything about anyone.

Which living person do you most admire?Danny Goldstein.

What is your favorite color and flower?
Dark Dark Blue/Indigo. I like succulents.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Woah. Again, embarrassing.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
Depth.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Depth.




When and where were you happiest?
I had this really epic sleep once.

Which talent would you most like to have?
Being able to ride a bike.

What is your most treasured possession?
My dog!

Who are your heroes in real life?
Me.

Where would you like to live?
Not Alexandria.

What is your favorite song?
At the moment – dreamlover.

What do you value most in your friends?
That they are genuine.

Who are your favorite writers?
Finally! Henry James times ten. Vikram Seth. And Orhan Pamuk – but just for the museum of innocence. Also, Tacitus.

Who are your favorite painters?
I think I like Klimt, but I couldn’t have answered this question last week.

Who are your heroines of world history?
Maybe Queen Elizabeth - but when Cate’s playing her is what I mean.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Fiction is where all of the best people live: Count Laszlo de Almasy, Katherine Cliffton, Catherine Sloper, Muriel Heslop.

What is your motto?
Earl Grey.


Read more in our in conversation series here.