When I hear the word “milk bar”, it congers up images of a small corner store filled with the essential grocery items and display windows filled with lollies and candy. As a child I would buy a 20cent bag of mixed lollies and it would last me all day. But this milk bar is different.
I was happy to hear that the Bendigo street milk bar was still alive and operating. Many years ago, my mum and auntie used to work a couple of streets down and used to frequent it for lunch. During school holidays, my brother used to work with my mum for a few weeks. My auntie will call their lunch orders ahead and would send my brother down to pick it up. He has fond memories of his regular egg and bacon rolls :)
I had the opportunity to head down with my Little Man for brunch. I was met with friendly staff who were more than happy to help me with the menu.
I started off with a latte and my Little man had a babycino complete with marshmallows.
Since the Little man already had breakfast, he really wanted the brownie that was on display. It was dense and fudgy. So good.
I had the warm breakfast salad. It had salad leaves, bacon, tomatoes, shaved Parmesan, avocado and a poached egg with a lemon and olive oil dressing. It was tasty, fresh and something I can eat over and over again.
They have an outside courtyard, which is accessible through a small hall way to the back door of the cafe. A family were happily eating and chatting away.
I will definitely like to return and try their lunch menu. Their display case of different sandwiches and their specials board menu sounded amazing. The staff were super friendly and the place felt comfortable where you can just sit and have a cup of coffee as the world skipped by.
The Little man and I enjoyed our complimentary meal courtesy of 360 Immerse Agency and Bendigo Street Milk Bar.
I love salads and most of all potato salads. Salads are so easy and versatile because you can make it your own quite easily. You can add or subtract any ingredient you feel like. What I really love about this potato salad is the fresh dressing. It’s a wonderful, light version perfect for a warm evening.
Even though this salad is light, it has substance to stand as a meal on it’s own. My English Hubby is somewhat VERY fond of potatoes and loves any meal that features it. If you wanted you can also add shredded pieces of roast chicken or tuna. However, I’ve kept it vegetarian for my challenge.
2 tbl good white wine
2 tbl chicken stock
250g green beans, blanched for 5 minutes
1/2 cup capers, drained
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 red onion, diced
6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
3 tbl white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp salt
3/4 black pepper
10 tbl good olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped spring onions
2 tbl minced fresh dill
2 tbl minced parsley
2 tbl chopping basil leaves
Boil the potatoes and cook for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain in a colander and cover with a tea towel to allow them to steam for 10 more minutes
Quater the potatoes and place in a bowl. Toss gently with the wine and stock. Allow the liquids to soak into the warm potatoes.
Combine the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper and slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Add to the potatoes
Cook Book : Off the shelf – cooking from the pantry by Donna Hay
I have collected a few Donna Hay books along the way. She has quick easy recipe ideas that you can make during the week or a busy weekend.
I have quite a few cook books that have noodle recipes. Probably because I have a lot of Asian cook books. I decided on this noodle salad with crispy tofu because of a number of reasons. Firstly, It was a weekday and I just finished a busy shift at the shop so I needed something quick and easy, as well as tasty. Secondly, I was looking for a vegetarian dish. We have been having lots of meat and needed change it up a little and finally, I had most ingredients in my pantry and fridge.
I changed the recipe a bit (as I usually do). With salads, it’s easy to change to suit your taste. Instead of going for plain tofu, I opted for satay marinated ones. I thought it would go perfectly as there were peanuts in the salad. Speaking of peanuts, I found some nice hot chilli roasted peanuts, which went perfectly. The dressing was changed too. I found that the amount of sesame oil in the recipe was too much. The smell and taste was too strong and that was all I could taste, so I added more lemon juice and soy sauce. I’ve adjusted the recipe below.
Hubby and I enjoyed this salad. It was perfect for a warm day. It was fresh and had layers of different colours and textures.
400g egg noodles
1/4 cup peanut oil
375g firm tofu, thinly sliced
1 carrot, julienned
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1 cucumber, sliced lengthwise
1/2 tbl sesame oil
3 tbl soy sauce
1 tbl lemon juice
coriander (cilantro) leaves to garnish
Follow instructions on how to cook the noodles on the packet
Heat frying pan over high heat. Add the oil and fry the tofu until crisp (about 5 minutes). Drain.
Make the dressing by combining the dressing ingredients.
To serve, toss the noodles with the tofu, carrots, peanuts and dressing. Place the cucumber on serving plates and top the the salad.
I love this recipe. I first saw this on The Cook and The Chef on the ABC and was really eager to try it. There’s no real cooking involved except of the softening of the vermicelli noodles and the blanching of the cabbage. The dressing that is in the salad is fantastic. There’s a nice balance of sweet, sour and spicy. This is a definite must try in your kitchen!
1/2 bunch rau ram (vietnamese mint)
1/2 bunch coriander
1 carrot jullienned
1/2 bunch mint
1/4 iceberg lettuce sliced finely
1 small packet rice vermicelli noodles
1 savoy cabbage
1/2 long cucumber sliced finely
Snow pea sprouts optional
Celery leaf optional, chopped
1 long red chilli
3 Coriander root
4 tablespoons Fish sauce (just use soy if you are vego)
2 cloves garlic
Blanch cabbage leaves in a pot of boiling salted water just for a minute and cool on a teatowel to drain. They just need to be softed so they are pliable to roll.
Pick the rau ram and mint leaves and chop through the coriander about 3 times including the stalks. Add the cucumber, carrot and iceberg. Mix well. The mix will look like lots of fresh herbs with a few other things in it. That is the beauty of this mix as it is so refreshing.
In a bowl of cold water soak vermicelli noodles until soft. Drain, cover and set aside.
In a mortar and pestle, combine the garlic, chilli, sliced shallot and coriander root and pound together. Add sugar, lime juice and lime and pound together. Add fish sauce and season to taste. This will be chunky, hot sweet, sour and spicey
Place a small amount of the vermicelli noodles in a bowl and a handfull of the vegetables, mix together and dress lightly.
Place a cabbage leaf on your work surface. In the centre of a cabbage leaf add the dressed vermicelli noodles/ vegetables mix. Roll over the edge that is closest to you, then both sides in and roll into a cigar shape. Place on a plate with the fold side down, or secure with a toothpick. Continue with the rest of the mix and cabbage leaves. You can add barbeque tofu, shredded chicken, cooked prawns anything you like really or keep it simple and vegetarian.
Serve on a plate with some chopped chillies in a dish with some of the left over dressing as a dipping sauce.
Today was my daughter Deanna’s first Birthday Party. With the help of loving family, we were able to give Deanna a great night to celebrate the milestone.
There was food aplenty, as you can see.
Of course there was Nandos Chickens; 2 lemon & herb, 1 mild, 1 hot and Nandos Wings
My mum’s Prawn and vegetable lettuce wrap
My mum’s lasagne
Madras Coconut, Chicken & Banana Curry from “Ainsley Harriott’s Gourmet Express 2” page 69 made by me (pictured left) and my mum in law’s Red-peppered beef stir-fry from “Complete Family Cookbook” page 102
Today we headed off to the Good Food & Wine Show at the Exhibition Building in Melbourne. There was an amazing choice of food & wine to taste and purchase; it was a foodies dream :) Below is just a sample of the stalls…