Archive for ‘Lifestyle’

October 15, 2014

My Sydney List: Inner West

grounds milkshake

We’re getting ready to pack up our Bondi apartment and head back to New York after four years away. Leaving Sydney will be bittersweet, and there will be a lot I’ll miss – especially living near the beach, the weather and the food. I’ve garnered some favorite restaurants, cafes and bars over the past few years to which I’ve grown very attached. I know I’m going to find myself a little panicked some Friday night in the near future when I get a serious craving for a piadina.

Here is PART 2 of my picks for fresh, fun and exciting places to eat and drink in this stunner of a city. Today we’re diving into the hipster-friendly Inner West – it’s a bit gritter that the east, which I’m always a fan of.


  1. Hartsyard, Newtown

    Go for: the fried chicken, carrots and dessert. Honestly, these guys can do no wrong according to Fabes and I. The food is original, yet comforting and generous and the overall vibe is completely unpretentious, which is special given the caliber and popularity of this place. Great cocktails, outrageous desserts and a really cool wine list.

  2. Salts, Meats and Cheese, Alexandria

    Go for: the clue is in the title. Fancy salts, (mostly) Italian-style cured meats, cheeses and fresh pastas. I love getting picnic goodies here, all you need is some good bread and you’re in business.

  3. Eveleigh Market, Eveleigh

    Go for: the croque madame from Bird Cow Fish and Kylie Kwong’s steamed pork buns.

  4. Bread + Circus, Alexandria

    Go for: the daily salad plate. With super fresh ingredients and 5 different fabulous veggie and grain salads made daily – it’s always a surprise and always delicious. It’s one of my favorite lunches on the planet.

  5. Midnight Special, Newtown

    Go for: a fresh-pressed apple juice and bourbon cocktail. Great music, Newtown-cool bartenders and oh-so sippable cocktails give this bar a welcoming and relaxed vibe. They keep the juicer going all night – you’d be surprised at how much a fresh juice can add to a cocktail.

  6. The Grounds of Alexandria, Alexandria

    Go for: the breakfast and the chocolate milkshake (pictured above being enjoyed by a handsome man). Always busy, the Grounds is a gorgeous complex (calling it a café evokes a small, intimate space – which would be misleading) – they make their own bread, pastries and roast their own coffee all on-site. There are resident chickens, a pig, and a massive outdoor area. We often order from the small breakfast takeaway menu, so we don’t have to join the long wait for a table. I order an avocado toast with tomato, chilli and feta and we find a perch outside somewhere to enjoy the sunshine.

  7. The Animal at the Newtown Pub, Newtown

    Go for: hearty fare and wines on tap. Spit roasted lamb, roast potatoes and the green lentil hummus are all worth the trip. The food is simple and well done. And I happen to think sparkling wine on a cold tap is genius.

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October 4, 2014

My Sydney List: Inner East

bourke street


We’re getting ready to pack up our Bondi apartment and head back to New York after four years away. Leaving Sydney will be bittersweet, and there will be a lot I’ll miss – especially living near the beach, the weather and the food. I’ve garnered some favorite restaurants, cafes and bars over the past few years to which I’ve grown very attached. I know I’m going to find myself a little panicked some Friday night in the near future when I get a serious craving for a piadina.

Here is PART 1 of my picks for fresh, fun and exciting places to eat and drink in this stunner of a city. We start with the Inner East suburbs, where it’s quintessentially Sydney – beautiful, stylish and bustling.

  1. Bourke Street Bakery, Surry Hills

    Go for: pastries. Croissants, tarts and bread are all excellent. Grab a coffee and a little table outside and chill on this quiet corner of Surry Hills (pictured above).

  2. Love, Tilly Devine, Darlinghurst

    Go for: the great wine list, a negroni or an Aperol spritz. I love a place with history, and this little wine bar ­– situated in a back alley of what used to be a very seedy part of town – is named for the notorious madam who ran the show in the 1930s (#boss).
    Also, the small food menu is delightful.

  3. Chiswick, Woollahra

    Go for: the seasonal menu. Australian celebrity chef, Matt Moran’s casual restaurant is a gorgeous space for a long lunch or a special dinner out. The vibrant atmosphere, classic rock vinyl collection and great wine list all create my ideal backdrop for enjoying quality food. The mains intended for sharing and vegetable sides straight from the garden are all highlights. The dessert menu always has something special too.

  4. Golden Age Cinema, Surry Hills

    Go for: a cocktail and a movie. An old Paramount screening room has been given new life as an intimate movie theatre showing a mix of new indie movies and cult classics, with a Madmen-mod cocktail lounge attached. Arrive early to enjoy a drink, snack or dessert at the bar or take your treats into the theatre for a unique cinema experience.

  5. Buffalo Dining Club, Darlinghurst

    Go for: cacio e pepe. With imported Italian ingredients, a cosy and pleasantly raucous ambiance and knowledgeable tattooed waitstaff, this simple menu is one of my faves. They make the cacio e pepe spaghetti table-side by swirling hot pasta around in a large carved-out wheel of Parmesan with heaps of cracked pepper. I’m a sucker for a bit of flair.

  6. Gelato Messina, Darlinghurst, Surry Hills, Bondi

    Go for: top-shelf gelato in inventive and classic flavors. Check the specials board for new weekly creations. Personally, I would like a lifetime supply of the Bounty (a coconut and chocolate chip number) and Banana Split flavors.

June 13, 2013

Things I Love Thursday


Just in case you need a refresher, I’ve decided to make lists for you each week and ramble on about the things that make me happy. You can read more about why I’m compelled to over-share here.

Things I’ve loved about this week:

~ Four-day work weeks

~ I am in love with this hummus. In. love.

~ Weekends up in Queensland

~ Big group dinners and outdoor pizza ovens

~ Dance parties

~ Introducing new friends to old friends

This cocktail looks my kind of amazing

~ Picking out hotels in New Orleans and Air bnb places in New York

~ Baby kale and roasted vegetable salads

~ Talking bride things with my (best) friend that I’ve know since I was 10

~ Planning group dinners in the East Village again – I’ve missed restaurant searches on nymag so much!

~ Looking forward to a quiet weekend at home

June 6, 2013

Things I Love Thursday

fall colors

My brain is focused on travel at the moment. I’m constantly thinking about our trip back to the states in a few weeks and in September and our honeymoon next year. So many good things to think about, plan and pack for!

Here’s what I’m loving on this week:

  • Rainy Sundays that pretty much force you to stay inside and in sweatpants all day.
  • Postcards from friends.
  • Seeing surfers walk to the beach in wetsuits and ugg boots in the mornings. Oh, Australia!
  • Getting our Save the Dates in the mail.
  • These city prints from Etsy and these colorful maps from a shop called I Like Maps on Etsy. I do like maps. I would wallpaper our home with antique maps if I could.
  • Fall colors on the trees.
  • Piadina – like an Italian quesadilla or a really thin crust pizza folded in half. Gorgonzola with speck or spicy salami with provolone.
  • Sydney harbor views and cloudy pub afternoons.
  • Fridays and a whole long weekend ahead.
  • Arrested Development is back!
  • Spirulina drinks in the morning. The energy boost you get from this stuff is amazing. Tastes awful, but it makes you feel so damn good.
  • Finding THE go-to chocolate cake recipe.
  • Wedding planning with Fabes over a glass of wine.
  • Burrata cheese. I want to make this salad ASAP. It will have to be with sun-dried tomatoes at the moment.
  • New sweaters (and on sale, girl!)




May 30, 2013

Things I Love Thursday


I’ve made some good food lately that I’ve been waiting to share with you/haven’t got around to sharing with you yet. Right now, once a week is all I can manage for a full recipe post, but I promise some good ones in the near future.

To make it up to you, I’m trying something new to keep me writing in this space on the (more than once a week) regular.

In addition to my recipe posts, I’ll be sharing my “Things I Love Thursday” list.

Inspired by Gala, I’ve been writing gratitude lists regularly over the past year. They’re usually small things that occur to me over the course of a day that I’m thankful for. (I try to think of them in groups of threes, it’s weird.)

It’s a practice in positivity and enjoyment of the little things that make life great. It makes me feel good and fosters happiness even on a regular old Tuesday.

I thought it would be nice to share some of these things, as they are very often (too often) related to food. But really it’s just about identifying and appreciating the beautiful moments in regular life.

Here’s what I loved about this past week:

*      Croissant missions. Always and forever.

*      April Bloomfield’s porridge oats – the secret is half rolled oats, half steel-cut. Creamy and toothsome and awesome on the cooler mornings we’ve been having.

*      Planning for New York and New Orleans in 4 weeks!

*      The National’s new album, a documentary and an inside look at the band.

*      Weird foggy mornings at the beach.

*      Matt Moran’s fish pie made by Fabes.

*      The fireside table at our local Asian tapas place (doesn’t everyone have one of those?) and their amazing miso soup. The miso’s made in-house and they toss in mushrooms and a scallop or two. Pretty much the best antidote to winter.

*      Heated blankets and nightly chocolate fixes.

*      Modcloth dresses and affordable delivery to Australia.

*      Finding tweaks to everyday things I like to cook to make them better: a little cinnamon in the chili and a lot of dill in the chunky vegetable soup.

January 9, 2013

Spiced Chickpea and Carrot Salad


This salad is brought to you by: the insane heat that blanketed Sydney yesterday and my favorite skirt that’s a little tight after the long holiday season.

Seriously, it was shockingly hot. Like hotter than your average person’s body temperature. Clearly, seeing 43 degrees (109 Fahrenheit) on my phone weather left a big impact on me.

Anyway, turning on the oven wasn’t an option, nor was boiling or simmering anything. I needed something refreshing but also something with substance to get through the mid-day slump.

November 28, 2012

Technical Difficulties and What Else I’ve Been Up To

Byron Bay, NSW

Hi friends.

As you may have guessed from the title, we’re experiencing some technical difficulties over here at Voracious. I have some new recipes to share with you that I’m pretty excited about, but until our computer is revived (fingers crossed) and ready to edit my photos again, it’ll have to wait.

Let’s think of it as a beach getaway for the website (as pictured above) complete with morning swims, barbecued seafood and pina coladas.

In the mean time, here are some photos from my past week of life.

August 13, 2012

12 Things I Learned in This Past Year of Life and a Birthday Cookie Cake

SO! I had a birthday last week.

This sort of thing doesn’t usually get me all introspective, but the past couple of years were pretty big for me… so I feel like I should have something to say for myself.

I lived my dream of quitting my job and traveling Europe with my favorite guy. And at the end of all that, we settled in sunny Australia – very very far from my home, my city and my people.

And while I am not even close to having much of anything figured out…I think I’ve learned a few important (and some unimportant) things this year.

1. I can live in Australia without melting into a puddle of homesickness and tears.

2. Feeling homesick can be really frustrating and tough. Be nice to yourself.

3. A mustache tattoo on one’s index finger is a good omen.

4. I need a dog.

5. Sometimes gelato is an acceptable Saturday lunch.

6. Buy the fancy butter and salt. You won’t regret it.

7. Don’t throw house parties with white carpets and people you don’t know.

8. Magpies are evil winged creatures that are out to get you.

9. I can successfully make a souffle, pulled pork and pavlova.

10. Travel is amazing, but nesting can feel just as rewarding.

11. Regularly counting the small things you’re thankful for can make a big difference.

12. It’s totally OK to make your own birthday cake.

For my birthday this year, I decided to make myself a blondie/cookie cake studded with some of my favorite things: dark chocolate, coconut, banana and pecans bound together with brown sugar and butter. Not a traditional birthday cake, but I couldn’t think of anything more perfect.

Unfortunately final product photos didn’t happen due to late-night overzealous cake consumption. Forgive me, it was my b-day, and I was being selfish.

I was inspired by Joy the Baker’s Banana, Walnut & Chocolate Cookie Cake – she’s got the good looking cookie-cake pics going on too, if that’s something you’re into. Which you probably are. I hope.

Banana, Pecan, Coconut & Chocolate Cookie Cake
(makes 1 8-inch cake)
adapted from Joy the Baker

- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
– 1 cup brown sugar, packed
– 1 large egg
– 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
– 1 ripe banana (mashed)
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1 cup all-purpose flour
– 1 cup spelt flour
– 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
– 1/2 cup large coconut flakes
– 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
– a pinch of sea salt flakes

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and heat oven to 350 F/175 C.

Melt butter in an 8-inch cast iron skillet over medium-low heat.  Stir in sugar  and vanilla extract and remove from heat.  Whisk until thoroughly combined.  Allow mixture to stand and cool for about 5 minutes.  The mixture should not be super hot when the eggs goes in, or the egg will cook.

Add the egg and whisk together until smooth.  The mixture will be glossy and no longer greasy.  Add banana and cinnamon and stir to combine.

Add the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Stir carefully until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated.  Add the chocolate, coconut and pecans and fold together.

Spread mixture across the pan creating a somewhat smooth top. Sprinkle with a few flakes of sea salt. Place in the oven.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until mixture is dry on top, but still slightly soft in the center. Under-cooking this cake is where it’s at! Think over-sized gooey cookie.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes.  Top with ice cream and serve warm.

Here’s to another excellent year of life!

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