The absence of The Cereal Diner

I just wanted to post a little update about my long absence on The Cereal Diner. I have recently started a part-time university degree whilst working full-time so have found it rather difficult to find the spare time to dedicate to the Diner. I promise that once I get a little more settled in to the uni/work routine I will start posting again cause I really miss this!

In the mean time, you can still following my random food photos and tweets on Instagram and Twitter.

Thanks for being patient with me.

Vanilla cupcake with dark chocolate & mandarin ganache

Last weekend I had the delight of celebrating my 1 year single anniversary. To celebrate I hosted a dinner party for 20 of my nearest and dearest friends to thank them for all of the support and encouragement they have provided me over the past 12 months.

And wow, what a 12 months it has been. It began with many many lows and self doubts but as the year passed on I began to learn that I am alright and it is a wonderful thing to be single and enjoy my own company and push myself in to zones other than just my comfort. I have learnt that I can achieve anything I want, even in the short time of 12 months. I have changed from a pessimist to an optimist, unhealthy to the healthiest I have ever been, not liking myself to loving myself. But most of all I have taken control of my own life and realised that I am the only one that has this control. Other people can influence your life in the ways which you let them but nobody can control your life other than you.

So, to celebrate me I baked myself a little single serve cupcake and had a little sparkle party. 

Mixed mushroom tart with walnut & gruyère crumble

Today has been a day of moments where I have wanted to give myself a lot of pats on the back. One of those moments was when I whipped up this little beast of a tart and took my first bite. I know not everyone is a fan of mushrooms but I really dig the slippery little suckers. When cooked correctly they are flavoursome and tender. We are lucky to have a strong mushroom industry in Australia which gives us access to lovely little exotic mushroom morsels, like the range that I used for this tart.

Pork cutlet with caramelised fennel & blood orange salad

'Tis the season of blood oranges and fennel and it makes me super happy that these lovely little delights are both at their peak at the same time because by gee whiz do they go well together. The sweetness of the baked fennel with the tart blood orange is a match to be contended with. So start feasting before they become insanely expensive, of poor quality or completely disappear from our shop shelves.

Prosciutto & broad bean fritters

Hi, how are you? How was your weekend? Mine was great guns. I got all domesticated and lady like and baked, cooked, stewed, cleaned and sewed. I was loving getting my lady on as I have been getting my lad on way too much whilst living with 2 boys. Last weekend I realised that I really need to find my inner lady again as I found myself a little bit intoxicated at 1am, sitting on the couch with the boys watching football and eating dirty deep fried bird.

This weekend I decided to whip together a lovely lady lunch for myself whilst performing my domestic duties. These fritters turned out much better than I had anticipated and the honeyed lemon and thyme ricotta was a match made in heaven for these slightly salty fritters. This batter could be used to make any type of fritter. Fritters are a fantastic way to use left over cooked meats and veges, they are quick easy and you generally have all the ingredients at hand. 

Citrus salmon fillet with sesame soba noodles

This fish was freaking delish! So easy but yet so tasty. And soba noodles, I really should use them more often. I think this every time I cook with them but it seems to slip my mind but I won’t let them slip my mind ever again. I love the earthy flavour of the buckwheat used to make the noodles and the firmer texture that it creates. This dish could easily be transformed in to a great vegetarian meal by replacing the salmon with tofu. The soba, salmon and sesame is a perfect little ménage à trois, without the sexy time.

Talking about a perfect little ménage à trois without the sexy time, my two rad housemates are at it again with their radness. Ben and Charlie have just launched their new site The Proust. The Proust is a website that explores the personalities, habits and mannerisms of exceptional people using an adapted version of the Proust questionnaire. And guess who has a little feature on this killer site??? I am so honoured to be included in such a brilliant project and featured alongside some incredible people. You can read my questionnaire here.

Honey & lemon lamb with beetroot couscous

Welcome to the new home of The Cereal Diner! I am beyond happy with my lovely new blogging home which wouldn’t be in existence if it wasn’t for my rad housemate Charlie. You can now also find me on Twitter and Pinterest thanks to my other rad housemate Ben. I pretty much have the best share house ever!

You know when sometimes you dream up something and then try to make it work and it actually works out and it is everything that you hoped and dreamed of? Well I do, because that is exactly what happened to me with this dish. Everything just worked out perfectly and I honestly do not think that I would change a thing. It is super easy and well impressive. Hot pink couscous? Yes please!

Teacup cottage pie

Well I have previously expressed my love of eating things from mugs but now I have added to my love of eating from drinking vessels and have started making things in teacups. I must admit that my teacup is a rather large teacup but little ones work just as well.

I say teacups and mugs should be celebrated and embraced and everything should be enjoyed from them, not just tea and coffee and the occasional wine.

Spiced (but not spicy) pumpkin soup

This pumpkin soup is kind of like the chai tea of soups, it is warming, slightly spiced and super comforting. I am rather fond of it. And even better is that it literally takes under 30 minutes to make. It is the perfect cold winter mid week or lazy Sunday treat.

I would like like to say it is a recipe past down from generation to generation but it isn’t. It was kind of passed down to me by my Dad, Barry. Dad’s pumpkin soup was one of the first things I ever learnt to cook and I remember being super proud that I could make something as simple as pumpkin soup taste super rad. I have made a few changes to the recipe since Dad gave it to me all those years ago but I am pretty happy with the way it is now.

Herb lamb cutlets w/ creamy polenta & kale

This week I thought I would try out some ingredients that I haven’t cooked with before and gee whiz I am rather happy that I did. So on Saturday morning I packed up my new housemates and took them for a little excursion to the local farmer markets at Eveleigh. Whilst strolling around and viewing all the amazing produce on offer I came across some kale which I have been on the hunt for but unable to obtain at the local supermarkets. I read many recipes for this “super food” but I want to experience it for its self so just fried it quickly with a bit of salt and pepper and it is awesome. If you can’t get a hold of any kale I think that using silverbeet or the original kind of spinach (not baby spinach) would achieve a similiar result.

Polenta was next on my list of things I have been wanting to cook but haven’t gotten around to so this week I just did it. And am happy I did it because it is tasty and beyond easy. It literally takes 5 minutes! Now after using it once I think that there are so many possibilities to utilise this corny treat.

This dish is super quick and super impressive. Would be great to cook if you have people over as you just multiple everything below by the number of people you are serving.

So, the moral of today’s story is that you should always try and step out of your comfort zone and try new things because sometimes you might surprise yourself and be quite delighted by the end result and if things don’t work out then at least you can say you tried. I say YAY to new stuff and things.