It’s funny to think that this time last year, Christina and I were in Croatia celebrating with my family. Perhaps that’s what has pushed us to look seriously about our travel plans for the rest of the year.
We’ve finally firmed up plans for a return visit to Europe next month, and we’ve got a few other things happening up until then too, so watch this space – we’ll soon be back on the road!
In this Weekly Edition, we’ve got birthdays, Mother’s Day, a new restaurant we’re checking out and our favourite Nespresso coffee blends are back for good. Plus, Christina has her TV debut as a fashion model!
We hope you enjoy this Weekly Edition.
Cheers – Jim & Christina xx
It always catches me out, but having my birthday in the second week of May means I’m destined to share it with Mother’s Day in Australia.
In the UK, it’s in March or April depending on when Easter is, and is actually called Mothering Sunday not Mother’s Day. Either way, it was never close to my birthday.
As it is, we’re all having a big day at Christina’s mum’s house. Chris and I have cooked up a storm for today, starting with homemade sausage rolls and these delicious filo pastry ricotta, feta and spinach pastizzi.
The pastizzi are from a recipe on Baby Mac you can find here, though I decided to make my own ricotta – the recipe for that is from Not Quite Nigella.
While we wait for the main course to cook, I get to play with our nephews’ dog Raven, who first featured on our site in 2017 when she was tiny.
Main course is going to be epic. I’ve made the 5-hour roast lamb I made a while ago, which as a dukkah crust that I also made (it’s really easy) and roast potatoes that always go down well.
Among other things, Christina has also made her favourite butternut squash dish she adapted from Baby Mac. It’s delicious and quick to put together.
For dessert, as well as a delicious chocolate cake, which I’ve claimed as my birthday cake, Christina has put together a platter of fruit and old-school lollies.
Strawberry liquorice whips, bananas, chocolate almonds, TimTams and best of all, Violet Crumbles!
We’re all so full by the end of lunch no one moves for a very long time.
Christina and I are quite excited today. We’ve found out that Nespresso have re-released their Barista Creations coffee range. It’s our favourite blend they’ve made so far, and they’ve also released it in classic and Vertuo capsules now too.
The Barista Creations were originally a special edition line, but it was so popular they’ve made it into a permanent option.
Specially blended to work best with milk, these coffees are delicious.
With the samples of the Barista Creations, Nespresso have also sent us this awesome monogrammed barista apron which I shall be sporting every time I whip up a cup of joe from now on!
The coffee in the Barista Creations range comes in different strengths and blends, which impart different flavours when you add milk. In the original capsule range, there are three options: the Chiaro, the Scuro and the Corto.
The Chiaro is a selection of Kenyan and Indonesian beans, and good as a cappuccino or latte, with caramel and sweet biscuit notes.
A blend of Colombian and Ethiopian beans makes the Scuro a more savoury coffee. Milk adds cereal and nuttiness to the profile.
Finally, the robust Corto is perfect as a macchiato with a dash of milk and foam on top like this one. It’s a dark mix of African robusta and arabica beans for intensity and peppery spice.
In the Vertuo range, there are two Barista Creations: the double espresso-sized Bianco Forte and the larger 230ml Bianco Leggero.
Lightly roasted Kenyan and Indonesian arabica beans make the Bianco Forte a coffee of caramel and sweet biscuit notes when you add hot frothed milk.
On the stronger spectrum for flavour, the Bianco Forte is more robust with beans from Colombia and Kenya, so a longer pour with less milk – added cold – balances the flavours well.
We’re really happy this range is now permanently on the Nespresso menu. It’s so cleverly blended and so tasty. And it means we can finally drink the last few capsules we’ve been hanging onto from the special edition release!
You can order your Nespresso Barista Creations capsules online here.
Today, Christina is on television! She’s helping our friend Nikki Parkinson tell the nation about Nikki’s new clothing line that she’s just released.
Nikki runs fashion site (and now clothing label) Styling You, which is geared towards women of all shapes, sizes, heights and proportions.
Quite enjoying Christina’s sassy newsreader pose here!
Just love behind-the-scenes shots like these, don’t you?
Christina is almost ready for her turn on the catwalk, showing off Nikki’s latte faux fur gilet ‘Jill’, the ‘Jude’ mid-wash denim crop jeans and the ‘Cate’ technical shirt.
Nikki’s clothing lines are all named after her friends, and Christina’s proud to have a namesake – the ‘Christina’ animal print skirt.
Modelling with Christina today is the lovely Jo from iCurvy. It’s great that Nikki has chosen her models from her friends in the online beauty and fashion world.
One last photo of the cast and crew of Christina’s TV debut!
Be sure to check out Nikki’s site – Styling You the Label here.
Tonight, Christina and I are back in one of our old neighbourhoods to try out a new restaurant.
Jack and Knife on Stanley Street in Darlinghurst hasn’t been open long, but already feels like it belongs here.
Its enticing range of cocktails gets us started – Christina’s appropriately named ‘Darlinghurst’ is a bohemian mix of Hayman’s sloe gin, fig and vanilla syrup, orange bitters and tonic, while my rum old fashioned is right on the money.
We’ll be running a full review of Jack and Knife soon, so we don’t want to give too much away. I will say that all the food is extremely good and not just because everything is made in house.
Head chef and owner Chris Shannon makes everything from the pastry to the blueberry-infused gin-cured salmon.
The food here is magnificent (I really wasn’t sure about the iceberg wedge but it’s turned out to be one of my favourite dishes), but the wine is at least to the measure of the cuisine.
Chris Shannon clearly has a passion for wine, in particular wine from some of the nation’s smallest wineries. There’s a countdown tally on the wines advertised on the wall telling you how many bottles are left – not just in the restaurant but in the world!
Watch this space for our review of Jack and Knife. In the meantime, don’t be shy. Book yourself a table asap before I get back there and eat everything!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this Weekly Edition. Until next time, cheers!
Jim & Christina xx