Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Grazing at Gundaroo - Gundaroo, NSW

There's nothing I love better than going for a little road trip around the Canberra surrounds.  There's so many lovely places to explore, and on this particular fine sunny weekend, it was off to Grazing at Gundaroo

A little country style restaurant, Grazing is a rustic restaurant in a old style building established in 1835. You can even have a wander around their kitchen garden, and pick up cartons of fresh eggs from their chooks.

I wanted to have a sample of their tempting veggie produce, so the vegetarian risotto was a perfect option. Risotto with deliciously sweet garden herb roasted butternut squash and it's puree, toasted pinenuts, sage and Italian parmesan.  I couldn't get enough of this dish!

Almost too pretty to eat was this Turkey dish - roast turkey wing with chorizo, sweetcorn polenta, asparagus, almond and parmesan crumbs and double-chicken reduction. Loved this dish too, the vegetables really shined in this dish, especially the super sweet corn and asparagus. 

Dessert time, and a coffee pick me up in the form of a latte.

Their desserts were absolutely amazing too - must be the awesome fresh produce. This one is the peach tarte tatin - almond infused house made puff pastry and peach tart with honey & vanilla syrup, vanilla ice-cream and pistachio 

Creme brulee - Lavender creme brulee with raspberry sorbet <3
I can imagine how nice and toasty it would be in winter with the fireplace going!

Various products from the region on sale, as well as fresh eggs

I also had a wander around the local shops, love the knick knacks you can only find at these little country town shops


It's about an 1/2 hour drive out of Canberra and well worth a visit.  I'm still dreaming about the peach tarte tatin.... Mmmm

Cork Street
Gundaroo NSW 2620

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Alio Cooking Class - Making bread & pasta!

Last weekend, I attended a cooking class at Alio Restaurant with sugarpuffi and vxdollface, thanks to an awesome voucher deal.

Head chef Ashley Hughes teaching us how to make bread and pasta

Some olives to nibble on with our sparkling wine

Making pasta (he makes it look so easy!)

Yummy garlic and rosemary focaccia - this was SO GOOD, straight out of the oven and dipped in olive oil and 25 year aged balsamic vinegar 

This salad was delicious and so easy to make - with witlof, walnuts, persian feta and pear, such a great salad, the sweet and crunchy pear was highlight

From the pasta class - Rotolo with spinach, ricotta and mushroom, with a burnt butter and sage sauce + chestnuts - amazing!! I made a naughty version of this filling the other night, substituting the pasta for puff pastry instead and baking it in the oven. So easy, yet so tasty!


And to finish off... tiramisu

All the different types of pasta Ashley showed us how to make

I thought this class was quite good, and gave me a few different (relatively simple) ideas to try out at home, and we even got a bonus voucher for the degustation too - $60 so that was a plus! 

Monday, 19 December 2011

Lucerne & Engelberg + Mt Titlis- Switzerland

Switzerland is one of the most stunning countries - beautiful scenery with the Swiss alps as the backdrop, lush green meadows and stunning lakes.

Lake Lucerne in north-central Switzerland
Beautiful residents of Lucerne came to say hi :)

The Chapel Bridge - Kapellbr├╝cke

The oldest wooden footbridge in Europe, this foot bridge spans diagonally across the Reuss River, with pretty fowers all over the railings.


Perfect place to have a coffee and people watch









More cute residents, just hanging out



Lucerne is quite touristy - with the main attraction being the endless high-end watch stores.  Unfortunately I didn't have $$$ to blow on an amazing watch, but I did have a browse at one of the stores (5 levels of designer watches!!) 

I did however, stock up on chocolates and other snacks - check out these cute macarons!


Hazelnut


Mandarin

Raspberry 




 Chocolate overload (if such a thing exists!)







My goodies:




Another thing I loved in Switzerland was going up the alps and hearing all the cow bells on the way up, so adorable!



The Lion Monument 

Mount Titlis






They had these adorable cuckoo clocks everywhere in Switzerland

Movenpick on Mt Titlus