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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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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EATS: Meatmaiden, Melbourne, Victoria

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Okay, so when people think of going out for dinner in Melbourne and the close surrounding areas most say ‘lets meet up in Lygon street’ or ‘dumplings in Chinatown with BYO’. This is quite general, of coarse, but as an observer and someone who works within the industry that is what I have found many any times. As good as these places are, it just seems like there is nothing new and exciting. These food hotspots are more traditional, which makes sense as it is Chinatown and Little Italy. The best part of going out for dinner is not knowing where you are going or what you even feel like. The streets and places you pass are your inspiration and the right food will pop out in front of you like a jack-in-a-box. Melbourne is one of the food capitals of Australia and has so many up and coming food spots, even spreading out into the suburbs, making people go the distance. In the CBD it is more exploring the little streets, the lane ways, the upstairs and the downstairs of buildings.

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EATS: Itali.co, Sorrento, Victoria

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Boy it has been a busy couple of weeks since being my little road trip to Portsea! Now that I have found some time I can FINALLY update my blog with all my EATS since the road trip.

My road trip to Portsea was only a day trip so there is only so much eating I can do! But unfortunately, I only ate one meal that day as I was too busy hiking mountains, playing on the beach and enjoying the views the Mornington Peninsular has to offer. I’m glad that at 5pm my stomach took over my mind and I searched for a perfect place to satisfy my needs.

After leaving Fort Nepean I ended up driving back to Sorrento. I drove up the main street where I spotted a pub, a couple of pizza places and a couple Asian cuisine places. Nothing really stood out to me, although I should never judge a book by its cover. So I drove back towards to the highway, but before I left the town I spotted an Italian place close to the port where the Sorrento/Queensliff ferry docks. I parked the car and hoped it was open, thank God!

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EATS: Wild Organic Cafe

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This morning I got out of bed reasonably early, 10am, as I start at 3pm today, because I was determined to get back into running. So I made my playlist and headed out. I got to say I was pretty proud of my efforts for jogging as my last one was about 4 or 5 months ago. On the way back I decided I would grab myself a coffee from one of the cafes Ormond Road, Elwood, has to offer, a little treat for my efforts.

I ran to a little cafe on a corner towards the start of the Ormond Road Village, a little cafe called Wild Organic Cafe.

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HME At Home: Sunday BBQ

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This blog I created to share personal experiences, inspiration and things that make me happy. So it will vary on subject, eventually it will include my travels log when I finally head overseas, and one of my favourite things to write about it food and food experiences. Being a chef I like to make food apart of my journey and make a big deal about it. When I was planning my America road trip with my friends for early last year we were discussing places to go, New Orleans came up and we all agreed we wanted to head that way from Austin, mainly for that sweet jazz and antics on Bourborn Street. On the lead up to heading over to the states, all I could talk about was finding the best Gumbo in New Orleans and did intensive research. On our first day of exploring it was a mission to find the place with the best Gumbo, that place was The Gumbo Shop. I was in heaven!

Now a lot of people I talk to about my travels to America, both the times I went, they ask where my favourite place was, its not where you expect…

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EATS: Vineyard, St Kilda

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There is nothing more I love than going out and for breakfast, lunch or dinner with good company. TOday I took advantage of my 3pm start and grabbed a quick bite to eat with my Mum and sister who were visiting the city for the day. As much as I love exploring and finding hidden gems, we stuck to the track and dined on St Kilda’s famous Acland Street, known for its plentiful and old style cake shops. Since time was of the essence, we decided to sit and eat at the Vineyard, situated at the start of Acland Street. As daggy as the decor and stain glass windows are, the vibe of the place is great and is quite pleasent sitting in the ‘grass’ area in the sunshine, which lasted around 20 minutes today.

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