Archive for ‘Out & About’

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

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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.

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.

May 16, 2012

New York Favorites List

I didn’t intend to take a full 3 week vacation from writing…but alas, here I am. Major fail!

I would apologize, but being home for the first time in 8 months was too much fun to feel sorry about. Between catching up with friends, quality time with the family, shopping, going for nostalgic walks in old neighborhoods and eating through all of my favorites, I didn’t leave myself much time for cooking or writing about cooking.

But I’m back! And before I go back to the usual I thought I would share my New York favorites for eating and drinking. These are the things I crave most when I’m gone and are completely essential to any visit when I’m back.

rooftop view

The Met

williamsburg bridge walk with Mr. F

Bagels: What can really be said here? New York has the best bagels of anywhere ever. Hands down. Get involved:
Russ & Daughters
Brooklyn Bagels
Pick a Bagel

everything bagel with vegetable cream cheese

Boozy Brunch: This has become some what of a New York tradition. On Saturday and Sunday many restaurants offer unlimited breakfast cocktails (mimosas, bloody marys, bellinis) either free with the purchase of your meal or for a small fee (usually around $15 for 2 hours of drinking.) It’s a slightly naughty way to spend an afternoon with your girlfriends and it’s always a boisterous good time.
Essex – The menu is a cut above.
Sunburnt Cow (or Sunburnt Calf or Bondi Road) – A NY-Aussie classic.
Yerba Buena – Fantastic South American/Mexican food and killer cocktails.
Tapeo 29 – Flamenco eggs cannot be overlooked.
Poco – Unlimited sangria AND lobster mac and cheese? Whaaat?

Coffee: I don’t know why I feel so endeared to these iconic little Greek coffee cups, but I know I’m not alone because they keep making them. You absolutely can’t drink fancy coffee from these cups, it’s just not done. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t taste awesome. One of my favorite places to get a drip coffee or espresso is:

Juicy Lucy – My drink is cafe con leche. Cafe Bustelo espresso with warmed milk and one sugar. Perfection.

cafe con leche

New York Classic: For the love of God, forget street hot dogs and big pretzels. Pastrami on toasted rye is where it’s at.

Katz’s is a total institution.

A Quality Margarita/Margarita Deal: I am always on the lookout for a good margarita. My criteria are simple: decent tequila, fresh lime juice, easy on the triple sec, on the rocks, lots of salt.

Benny’s Burritos – Always underrated and a personal favorite. Fresh lime juice margaritas are available in sizes ranging from modest to a large beer mug-full. Get them half-priced at one of the two daily happy hours (6-7pm and 10-11pm)

Lobster Roll: Technically a sandwich from Maine, but New York has a few good ones in the running.

Luke’s Lobster – For something that is usually sold for around $25 in New York, Luke’s Lobster has them for a steal ($14) and makes them my favorite way: a tiny bit of mayo on the toasted split bun, with big, generous chunks of sweet lobster drizzled with butter and topped with a celery salt-speckled spice blend.

Date Night Spot: Must have a romantic but fun ambiance, with good food for sharing and great wines. Big life decisions have been made at these locales.

Tapeo 29 – My all-time favorite tapas place. Their sangria is best.
Ten Bells - A tiny bar with lots of nooks for two. Specializing in French organic wines, stinky cheeses and $1 Oyster Happy Hour.

Best 24 Hour Diner: One of the joys of living in New York is that you can get pretty much whatever you want at any time of day.

7A - Breakfast all day. Shouldn’t that be enough? They also have great salads, veggie dishes, sweet potato fries and burgers.

Fresh Seafood/Dad’s Cooking: My dad is the captain of a fishing boat. He has been catching his own fish to eat since he was a boy and takes the quality and preparation very seriously. Because the man is so particular about his seafood, over the years he has made himself into one of the best seafood cooks I know.

Some favorites include: clam sauce, grilled lobster tails, beer battered fish, fish tacos and his newest dish: flounder fillets rolled with spinach and feta.Whatever he cooks, he hits it out of the park. Besides spending time with they guy, this is one of my favorite parts about being home.

Food Lovers Paradise(s):  New York has quite a few venues and events where you have free reign to geek out over tons of amazing eating and buying options in one place.
Hester Street Fair
Chelsea Market

west village

March 26, 2012

Good Things in March

Every day I try to reflect on what I am grateful for.

What topped my list this week:
having things to look forward to
friendly people
date nights
buying a treat for someone else
feeling momentum
rainy Sunday mornings with nowhere to be
warm evenings

Nesting dolls, Fitzroy Melbourne

Stellar croissant at Monsieur Truffe, Collingwood, Melbourne. The raspberry jam was awesome too!

Street view St. Kilda, Melbourne

Savory oatmeal (with avo and mushrooms) and Gourmet Traveller. A cure-all.

Some new additions to our record collection. We scored some deals!

Passion fruit! Be still, my heart.

Dinosaur cutting board, piadina crumbs and two glasses of red. At La Piadina, Bondi

Impromptu Saturday night picnic featuring aged Gouda and my favorite guy.

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November 23, 2011

Wines on Wednesday: Speakeasy

Wines on Wednesday is a new weekly blog feature in the spirit of zany American morning show hosts Kathie Lee and Hoda who sample wines on Wednesday mornings. (Sometimes things get a little crazy…and awkward. But it’s all in good fun!)
There won’t be any inappropriate drinking before noon here (sorry if I got you excited about that) but there will be some sipping and reporting on wine bars and wines I come across. Note: I have almost zero wine knowledge but I enjoy trying new things and a good Malbec. 


This week, we adventure to Speakeasy Bar in Bondi. Situated near the corner of Curlewis and Glenayr, this is one of several small wine bars that have popped up around the ‘hood in the past couple of years. The small wine and tapas bar has a welcoming eclectic decor with cozy couches, several small tables and bench seating at the front window for people watching and catching a breeze.

The wine menu is perfect for someone like me – it provides unpretentious and helpful descriptions of each wine. The captions give you just the right amount of information, like this one for Dusty’s Desire Barossa Valley Shiraz: “smooth and easy like chocolate” Um, sold.

The night we went it was on the chillier, damper side of spring weather – you know, red wine drinking weather.  Mr. F ordered the 06 Bodego Vistalba Corte Malbec Merlot from Agentina, “smooth earth, spice and cherry.” And I had the 08 Pindarie Tempranillo Sangiovese Shiraz Barossa, “we love this blend. smooth & earthy.”

I have been a Malbec fan for the past couple of years. Malbecs sold in the U.S. are nearly always a good deal and a nice red to have on hand. I have had trouble finding them in Australia, especially for the same good value. I was happy Mr. F ordered the blend so I could have a sip. It was really nice, although I would have liked to try a Malbec without the Merlot blend.

In my efforts to educate myself on wines, and Australian wines in particular, I had come across a little article on Aussie Tempranillos. Tempranillo is a type of grape native to the Rioja region in Spain that has taken off in Australia in the past few years. It makes for good fruity flavors with a low acid. I know I liked several of the Rioja region wines we tasted in Spain so I was excited to try the Tempranillo when I saw it on the menu. This blend was lovely, and I was happy I chose it. I will be keeping my eye out for Australian Tempranillos in the future, for sure.

In addition to the thoughtful and copious wine selection at Speakeasy, their tapas menu is not easily overlooked. Nightly specials look particularly enticing and they offer great sharing plates of varying sizes. I have my eye on chorizo with crispy potatoes, thyme and oregano for next time. Yup, we’ll be returning. And often, I predict.

All wines (besides a couple types of sparkling) are sold both by the glass and the bottle. Speakeasy Bar, 83 Curlewis Street Bondi Beach, NSW


November 9, 2011

Bondi’s Top 5 Cheap and Cheerful Dinners

I had never heard the phrase “cheap and cheerful” until I started dating an Australian. When planning a dinner out with friends or as a couple it would be suggested we do something “cheap and cheerful.” If you’re stretched for cashed, or just want to make the occasion casual and fun – cheap and cheerful is the way to go.

As moving is a rather large expense, we have been seeking out some cheap and cheerfuls in our new Bondi neighborhood and, lucky for us, there are a bunch! My criteria here is that each person can get a meal for under $20 and you are able to BYO without a major corkage fee. Bringing your own bottle of wine or a couple of beers can really make the difference between having a proper cheap experience or spending $40-50 per person. And it certainly adds to the cheerful!

Here are our new favorites:

1. Sabbaba, 82 Hall Street
Middle Eastern food – lots of hummus, falafel ($8.90) and tahini. Really fresh and quick. Good outdoor seating.
Go for: the falafel or anything else you’d like to have in a pita (the fish pitas, $9.90, are great too).

2. La Piadina, 106 Glenayr
Flat bread, almost quesadilla-like, pizzas. Really simple menu, and very delicious. It’s super tiny, but if you can snag a couple of seats at the windows or at the small table outside, you’ll be stoked.
Go for: the pancetta, provolone, baby spinach and balsamic glaze ($11) or the speck, sweet gorgonzola and radicchio ($12). Served on wooden boards, they’re perfect for sharing.

3. Fishmongers, 42 Hall Street
In my opinion, Bondi’s best fish and chips. The fish and salads are always fresh and perfectly prepared. Grab one of big tables outside.
Go for: Grilled fish and chips ($15),the salt and pepper calamari with salad, or BBQ octopus. Their specials are usually great too.

4. Nina’s Ploy Thai, 132 Wairoa Ave
A typical cheap Thai joint with solid food. Nina’s can also be accommodating for a big group, if you ring ahead.
Go for: The duck noodle soup – it’s phenomenal and an a steal at $9.

5. Misschu, 178 Campbell Parade
A new-comer, the successful Darlinghurst Vietnamese tuckshop is finally sharing some love with Bondi. Nestled in a little laneway between Campbell Parade and Gould Street, the tuckshop and bar is a perfect spot to chill out if you can snag an outdoor milk crate table and stool.
Go for: the rice paper rolls ($6.50-$13 for 2) – sashimi tuna is the best, dumplings ($6 for 3) and pork buns ($2.20 each)


All of the above offer take away too – so if everyone else is trying to get in on a good deal, you can always take your food down to the beach or the North Bondi grassy knoll for a picnic. What’s better than that?

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