HME Reminder & The Ultimate Hiking List

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Let me start off by explaining HeartMindEar to you all and my vision…

HeartMindEar is my very own platform to inspire and to be inspired. Since I can remember I have had a large space in my brain dedicated to wanderlust and the endless list I have of places to go in my lifetime. I often daydream of travelling to places far and wide to experience culture and nature.

For many years I have created blogs for thoughts and used them just as outlets rather than using them as outlets AND inputs. In recent times I have realised how important inspiration is, not only receiving inspiration but also giving inspiration. That is why I created HeartMindEar. I have grown from my selfish lust and want to share to inspire rather than ‘look what I am doing/have done’.

HeartMindEar has only began and isn’t something I update as often as a lot of blogs out there, but unfortunately I don’t go exploring and eating out every day as at the moment I am making myself busy with work so I can go on my ultimate European trip in March.

Just a little explanation as to why HeartMindEar is in existence and such a casual one at that for the time being.

This year I discovered the joy of hiking. I discovered just how relaxing and in touch with nature you can get. Just you (or a hiking partner/group) and the terrine. I discovered just how much I appreciate the sounds, the sights, the smells of the natural world and just how much it enlightens your soul, in a healthy way.

For inspiration for my trip recently, I came across a few lists of underrated places to see and food to eat around Europe, then I came across this amazing list and decided that this is what I want to achieve in my lifetime, all thanks to a freelance writer on Lifehack.orgSiobhan Harmer. I wanted to share the list, share the inspiration.

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HME At Home: Cornbread

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The funny thing about corn is as a kid I preferred it over peas, then I hit a stage when I couldn’t even eat it because I hated it so much, now I love it! Although now I prefer peas than corn, but you can’t make tasty snacks out of peas!

Cornbread originated in North American amongst the Native Americans, who used corn (maize) as a base ingredient instead of wheat like the Europeans used. Now days cornbread is a Southern United States dish and is traditionally cooked in a skillet, but there are plenty of other ways to cook it.

In this recipe I have cooked the cornbread in snack sizes so it is easy to bag up and eat on the go!

Recipe below…

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6 Magical Views In America

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It’s no secret that I am a big fan of America and the reason is that each state is completely different to each other. The first time I went to the States was back in 2010/2011 with my family and then I returned at the start of 2014 with two of my uni friends. Both trips very different to the other. I visited some places twice, and saw amazing places.

As I gather inspiration for my European adventure in a few months, finding pictures of incredible of places around Europe.I began to sit back and reminisce some of my favourite views in America, some natural, some man made. As I reminisced I began to feel my feet itching to head back over there and explore EVERY state, which I know won’t be for a few years now, but I can still dream.

Here are 6 views I came across on my American trips…

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EATS: Miss Marples, Sassassfras

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Over the hill and far away lies a little old cottage with a mysterious way.

It was a beautiful day this Tuesday passed and I thought it would be a great day to attempt the 1000 steps situated at the base of the ever beautiful Mt Dandenong. I invited my friend Mel to take on the challenge with me. I pumped myself up too much that I was overwhelmed (and too unfit) to complete it. We got half way and run into a little difficulties with Mel’s health and my fitness, so we gave up and went back down. It’s hard to admit it, but we were happy with our decision. As we got back to my car we decided on heading up Mt Dandenong to explore it a little and find a place to get a bit to eat.

Mt Dandenong is such a beautiful drive, it is also a bit difficult driving up as it is steep and very windy, but nothing can ruin the smell of old bark and native trees. The road goes through beautiful small towns and have scattered all the way up beautiful cottages. Many times as I looked around I thought I was in the old villages in the UK, even though I haven’t been.

Seven kilometers up from where 1000 steps, the base of Mt Dandenong, is lies a sleepy town called Sassassfra. As you drive into this charming town you pass a small strip of shops that remind me of Daylesford. Shops of gifts and therapeutical goodies along with little cafes. Across the road from the nursery sit Miss Marples Tearooms, a dainty little English style cottage that invites you into the world of ‘tea and biscuits’.

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EATS: Vanilla, Oakleigh

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Every Sunday, well most Sunday’s, me and a group of friends try and catch up and explore different cuisines and places to eat. It started off with my friend Mel and I down Glenhuntly Road in Elsternwick for Korean BBQ, something I had never experienced. From then we vowed to try at least once a week to catch up outside of work to experience cuisines we have never really tried. So far we have done Hungarian, Russian and Turkish and a couple weeks ago we ended up, with a few others, in Oakleigh for a spot of dessert. Oakleigh has a massive Greek community, with Eaton Street filled to the brim with Greek cuisine. As soon as I walked down that street at 8.30pm I felt like I was in Greece. Europeans are know for their late dinners, and judging by the busy-ness of the street, dinner barely just started.

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HME At Home: Paella

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I love Spanish food. I love tomato flavours, olives, smokey paprika and the combination of chicken and seafood. This dish is a some-what of an ‘anything goes’ as it is a dish that is made from inspiration rather than a recipe. When I find myself cooking at home, dinner in particular, I want something that is one pan and easy, although there are some times I want to challenge myself. This dish is also a great family dish as it is easy to put in the middle of the table with a baguette being broken as it is passed around. Like any recipe, this one is easy enough to alter to what you like.

Paella is Spain’s national dish with the original recipe consisting of chicken or rabbit, white beans, rice and saffron and rosemary. Over the course of hundreds of years different types of Paella were created from different regions of Spain. As I have observed, Seafood Paella is most loved amongst Australia, serving it in various restaurants, markets and now food trucks.

Here is my take on the Mixed Paella, or ‘Paella Mixta’ (Seafood and Chicken)

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HME at Home: Pork Fried Rice

I have decided I would add a new section to HME as a little insight to my home life in the kitchen. Working as a chef from such a young age has been the best and worst thing I have done in my life. As much as I hate to say it my passion isn’t quite there anymore, to cook not to eat. I appreciate cuisines, I appreciate flavours and experimenting with them, but working in a kitchen and the rush of a busy service isn’t as exciting as it is exhausting as it use to be. I use to love the pressure of getting your section ready, now I am exhausted not only physically but emotionally and mentally. BUT in saying that, I love food experiences. I love the culture behind it, the atmosphere it creates and I also love the passion of other chefs that produce such amazing food. A lot of the time I become so inspired all I want to do is go home and spend a week cooking all the cuisines I can!

Lately I have been inspired to do more cooking at home for two reasons;

  1. Now that I am back living in a share house with people I want to hang out with, and people at home being plentiful, cooking doesn’t seem like a pointless task. Now I don’t have a lot of waste and having to eat the same thing three nights in a row.
  2. With my upcoming travels in sight I have been inspired to cook a little more at home and cook cultural things to get me excited and inspired to not end up going the tourist route.

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Cape Woolamai and When Things Go Wrong

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The other week I finally found sometime to head out on a little day trip and found myself struggling to choose a place to go! After a little research I decided on heading towards Phillip Island to a place called Cape Woolamai, and I am so glad that I did. Not only is the destination beautiful, but I was put in a situation where I learnt to remain calm, something that is important when travelling.

After a month long period of hectic work schedules I felt I needed that day away from the city with just me, myself and I. I can’t express this enough, everyone needs to allow themselves the time to travel alone, even if this mean just spending a day in the car driving away from your home for a few hours. I never thought I would like travelling alone, but since experiencing travelling in groups or with one other person I much prefer the solo road. So I packed a backpack of day essentials and drove down the South Gippsland Highway out of the city. There was a little trouble before arriving to Cape Woolamai but is something I am able to use as a learning curb.

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5 Songs I Love Right Now

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My prime time in discovering what is new in the music world is my very short time in the car to and from work as I listen to Triple J. It is there I use the most incredible app I have ever had, Shazam, to find out these songs I fall in love with at first listen.

**If you don’t have Shazam you best get to you Play store or iTunes store and download it! Not only are you able to find out the song that was playing whilst you browse the supermarket or while waiting in a doctors room, you can also see what is trending in ANY city around the whole world!

So here are 5 songs I really love at the moment!

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