Of course it’s Cheese from OCELLO!

Hey All! …

Thank you once again for stopping by. My food-focused self is all about CHEESE today! I love cheese – melted cheese, fresh cheese, aged cheese – all cheese everythang, everyday!

My boyfriend received a birthday voucher to Formaggio Ocello – to which entitled us to have a cheese & matching wine experience – YES PLEASE!
So … the “Exclusive Cheese Experience” package entails:
– A presentation & education by a cheese specialist (envy her job) of Ocello’s history in the Cheese Maturation Room
– 3 cheeses with their 3 matching wines either from an Italian, French, European or Australian Menu.
– Tea or Coffee.
– 20% off discount on purchases made on the same day.
41Formaggio Ocello is a family-owned business specialising in importing and selling cheese from Italy, France & Australia, alongside with many other unique Italian delicacies & groceries PLUS they are also like a mini-cafe … Serving fresh cheese platters, coffee, sweet treats, deli type sandwiches & more! Decor is very rustic, with an organic country feel. We commenced the experience with a “cheese education” in the cool cheese maturation room. My god – was this cheese heaven?! Didn’t know where to look and I have to admit that I was so fascinated by the abundance of cheese.
The chosen ITALIAN cheeses (L-R):
1) Pecorino in Grotta
2) Mixed Milk Robiola
3) Gorgonzola Dolce LatteHere are some photos from the heavenly cheese room … And yes there is finally a photo of me & my brooding Italian boyfriend (not much of a smiler as you can see haha) … It was a real cheese education – although not only just this, but we were also given a of history of the business. As a family-owned business, they take pride in introducing quality products from continents away … After all, just because Australia is so far from everywhere else, it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some fine delicacies. Cheese and other products are flown on a regular basis to their Surry Hills “home” … And they also sell some of their products at the Entertainment Quarter Village Markets every Saturday, 8am-2pm, Growers Markets (Pyrmont) and North Sydney – see their website for more details.Ushered back to our tables, a selection of 3 wines to match the above cheese selection awaits us with a basket of grissini (breadsticks) and Italian flatbread-type crackers. Who would have known that a simple heavenly spread could bring some much happiness!Our cheese expert advised us to leave the blue cheese Gorgonzola (right) for last as it’s the one paired with the sweet wine … Now look at the photo & see how much I wanted Gorgonzola first?! … With its soft, melting-oozing-like texture calling me …

Starting with the Mixed Milk Robiola, paired with a crisp, refreshing fruity white wine: 2012 Cantra’ Soarda, Vespaiolo (Veneto, Italy). This pale mixed-milk cheese is a spreadable rich & creamy type cheese with velvety tones made from cow, sheep & goat’s milk and encased in a soft mould rind. What makes this cheese unique is that it’s very adaptable in taste – depending what you served with this … It was very velvety & rich in taste so for example pairing it on flat crackers, because of the simplicity of this – you could taste the little complexities of the cheese – whereas smearing it on a grissini it gave some extra texture. Also given a small dish of the Chestnut Fruit Mustard – when adding this as an accompaniment, it altered the cheese to become more sweet tasting! Just adding a touch gave it this a slight honey jam-like taste …

Next was the Pecorino, paired with a medium-bodied savoury dark fruited wine: 2012 Prunotto, Barbera a’Alba (Piedmont, Italy). This was a light-yellow-toned cheese – with smooth, hard-textured had a lot of bite – very unique in flavour especially because this one has been coated in hay to mature unique herbaceous undertones. It’s such a shame that you can’t eat the entire coating with hay – it would be very interesting to try but the coating is wax after all. We found that the closer to the rind, the more aged, strong & flavour-filled the cheese is. This is a perfect savoury-style cheese on it’s own paired with a medium-bodied wine … It’s important that the neither the wine or cheese boldly outshine each other …

Lastly … my favourite: Gorgonzola Dolce Latte – HELLO, where have you been all my life?! This is a milder version of this popular blue cheese. “Dolce Latte” meaning “sweet milk” is a smooth, creamy, rich & delicate cheese that really melts in your mouth. It tastes ever bit delightful as much as it looks. Paired with one of the most incredible Italian dessert wine: 2009 La Nicchia, Passito di Pantelleria (Sicily, Italy), this was a match made in wine & cheese heaven … This Italian Passito made from dried muscat grapes it created a sweet, honey taste with apricots – an incredible balance of sweetness without being sickly – it was simply a beautiful wine. When I added a dabble of the Chestnut Fruit Mustard to the Gorgonzola Dolce Latte this was sweet cheese dessert accompaniment – this cheese just gave me wave of wonderfulness!

Finishing up with a coffee & tea beverage, of course I needed dessert on top of the dessert haha … We shared a Blueberry Almond Cake & Panforte Panpepato. The Blueberry & Almond Cake was very moist, buttery with a thin layer of icing (which was sweet enough!) … The nice surprise was hidden the blueberry filling inside! I love the addition of the blueberries on top – it completes the presentation & who doesn’t love fresh blueberries – so simple!

Panforte Panpepato is like a fruit cake – my palate was filled with christmas fruit cake spices and delights … It’s a typical Italian dessert/cake. The consistency is a little bit chewy – they have a wide variety created with different nuts (hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts), dried or glaced fruits (cherries, orange, fig) & flavours such as chocolate. Perfect as a small sweet dish with a glass of wine or coffee … Stayed tuned – I will be blogging more about this dessert later down the track … 2Here are a few more photos of the shop area filled with an abundance of cheese, condiments & groceries from Italy, France, Australia and other parts of Europe. I must admit that I was incredibly overwhelmed with the variety and didn’t know where to look, what to drool over and what to buy!

This is a bag of our purchases for the day: Grissini, Chestnut Mustard, Gorgonzola, 3 Milk Cheese & Truffle Olive Oil … And I also need to mention that you can make purchases online: Ocello Online Shop (Cheese only for Sydney Metro area and hampers/groceries are available Australia-wide)3Please check out Ocello – I guarantee if you are a true lover of cheese (& have a fine appreciation for quality products) you will not be disappointed!

Have a cheese-filled weekend happy people! … Sending you all food-love … Til next post …

Formaggi Ocello
Shop 16/425 Bourke St
Surry Hills NSW 2010
ocello.com.au
CLOSED – every Monday
Tues – Sun open 10am to 6pm

Jen ❤

A Tavola for 2

Ciao a tutti …

Back and it’s mangia time (eating)!!! It’s Italian Feasting time again … I have to admit that my boyfriend being Italian introduced me to a lot from the Italian cuisine … Very often we have pizza but to date we had struggled to find places in Sydney with authentic pasta – and fresh pasta! We had a fabulous recommendation to try A Tavola (Darlinghurst) when visiting Petersons Wines in the Hunter Valley.

Finalmente we made the time to try their cuisine – and especially some freshly made pasta!

On arrival as we entered the restaurant, you can’t help notice the large beautiful marble communal table with large overhanging domed copper/rose gold light fixtures. A Tavola meaning – a communal table for people. families, couples, groups to sit around to share a good meal … Note that there is also a downstairs area with smaller tables for intimate dining. The evening lighting and ambiance is resembles a very similar style of the Italian Wine Bar 121BC.

As we perused the menu, we enjoyed some freshly baked focaccia dipped in olive oil with green chilli … And the baked focaccia … WOW this really brought back memories of my childhood as my father use to buy freshly baked focaccia from a local bakery in Leichhardt – I loved eating it warm …Whilst deciding on what to order, we both enjoyed Campari & Aperol Spritz … Aperol is more for me as I find Campari to be quite a bitter punch in the face … Each to their own! A spritz is a pre-dinner drink (aperitivo) mixed with prosecco (sparkling white wine), Campari or Aperol liquor, mixed with ice & topped with a slice of blood orange.  Drinking such spritz reminds me of beautiful first date memories … Not to mention A Tavola have an extensive bar with a fabulous range of beers & wines.

The Menu Card is very straight forward listing 3 of each: spuntini (small bites), entrees, pasta dishes and salads. In addition, cast your eyes on the ‘Consigli’ blackboard showcasing their specials, usually inspired by local fresh seasonal produce.

To start the feast … We ordered Carpaccio Di Vitello and Olive All’Ascolana.
Carpaccio Di Vitello is a raw thin slice of veal served with thin zucchini slices, shaved parmesan, fried zucchini flowers and truffle mayonnaise. This dish as very light, fresh  and enjoyable – my boyfriend mentioned though that he found the mayonnaise to be a tad overpowering (but truffle is a quite a bold flavour). But for me, I really appreciated the mayonnaise creating extra depth in the overall taste of this dish.

Olive All’Ascolana is a crumbed olive – in this is case, stuffed with type of bolognese mince filling. Usually this type of dish is just crumbed olives fried so it was a nice surprise to have the mince inside!

Shared Mains: Pappardelle al Ragu & Spaghetti Alla Chitarra.

Pappardelle al Ragu … Fresh handmade pasta – need I say more?! It was cooked so perfectly well and had a very delicate melting taste in my mouth. The ragu was cooked to the point that the meat was falling into mouthwatering, soft & tender pieces. They also gave us a generous amount of fresh parmesan cheese to sprinkle all over this hearty dish & it really completes it. According to my Italian boyfriend, this is very authentic – although it’s more common to have the sauce as a mince bolognese, the beef stew is an incredible match to freshly made egg pasta.Spaghetti Alla Chitarra … Once again, freshly made spaghetti with lobster meat chunks and cherry tomatoes – this was my favourite dish of the night. My boyfriend cooks pasta for us often, so i must say that we have struggled to find an Italian restaurant that serves amazing/unique pasta (not a generic blah dish). This is apparently not very traditional to incorporate lobster in a pasta dish (usually vongele or mussels) but the combination of lobster meat (very generous chunks) with cherry tomatoes makes this for a very delicate & delightful dish.
DESSERT TIME … Nothing new when I say we ordered 2 (to try & share). I was incredibly full at this stage BUT it’s my own tradition to end a full eating experience with dessert or sweets of some sort. We decided to order:
* Campari Spritz (this was a special on the board) – which is a dessert inspired by the drink itself. This inventive dessert was a deconstructed Campari Spritz on a plate. The detailing with this dish was very clever from the Campari sorbet to the orange segments – not to mention the gorgeous presentation … A very refreshing dessert to end with – especially on a full tummy!It would be no surprise to know that I selected a chocolate type dessert – even though my jeans were literally were going to burst open haha … Cremino al Cioccolata – deceivingly looks like a cappuccino only that it’s a layered heaven dug by your own spoon. Top layer is a fluffy meringue delight whisked so perfectly … Next layer is a salted caramel mixed with amaretti biscuits … And in the depths below, a hazelnut chocolate fondant to die for!This was Italian fine-dining at it’s best and I will definitely be back to try many more of their specials and other dishes … And HANDS DOWN the best authentic Italian pasta in Sydney.
Til next post … Much food love …

A Tavola (Darlinghurst)
348 Victoria Street
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
(closed Sundays)

Jen ❤

Delightfully Dedes

Ladies and Gents … Welcome back to all my “Fellow Foodies” near and far! Excited to share another food-fun-filled-flaired-fun-post. One of my favourite places to share a beautiful meal is by the water … It’s scenic, relaxing, serene, memorable and of course romantic. Just to set the scene, 14th February is widely known as Valentine’s Day ❤ but for the longest time I have never celebrated on the day for the main reason that it’s my dad’s birthday … I must admit that this has its pros as 1) I love my family 2) I love the idea of not sharing the same “romantic” day with the rest of the world – and celebrate the day after … My lovely sister gave me a gift voucher for my birthday to enjoy a lovely meal at Dedes with bay views.
Dedes is located inside the Sydney Rowing Club.

It was the longest lunch (in a good way) with a filling feast! … Window-table in view, we opened up an Italian bottle of vino.

Entree: Greek salad with eschallot & white anchovies. Very fresh – you just can’t go past a great Greek salad with juicy tomatoes, tasty olives & refreshing cucumbers! Not usually a fan of anchovies but these white ones alongside with the creamy fetta added a delightful saltiness that was well balanced.

Main: Cold & Hot Seafood Platter for 2. This is their signature dish, is as EPIC as it could get and Australian seafood at it’s best. The cold platter had fresh oysters, prawns, marinated octopus with fetta cheese, avocado salad, smoked salmon and seafood sauce. Sorry for all those who are allergic to seafood because this was truly magical! You could tell that everything on this platter was freshly caught that morning – not to mention the size of the prawns & oysters were pretty generous in size.Hot Platter was just as plentiful in size … The platter served – baked barramundi, bbq prawns, calamari, scampi, salt & pepper crayfish tail, beer battered prawns, hand cut chips plus a salad mix (with side sauces). Incredible platter with lots of tastiness – once again the seafood was very fresh but because it was a hot platter, felt like there was so much pressure to each so fast! Everything was cooked so carefully & perfectly without being overcooked or oily – seafood was treated with respect!DESSERT TIME! … We HAD to buy the tasting platter for 2 … A mini platter showcasing their memorable delights! For those who know me well or have read previous posts – I love desserts and if there is a dessert platter on the menu, I will spot it and order it STAT … You can see from all the photos that the presentation was exquisite. Here is the selection …
* Rum baba with blueberry semifreddo, brandy snap (mine & my boyfriend’s favourite)
* Almond milk panna cotta with spiced melon salad, vanilla fairy floss (this had a very Asian inspired taste)
* Chocolate ganache with salted caramel tart, passionfruit ripple ice cream (refreshing & sweet combo)
* Lemon creme brulee with raspberry friand (cake & brulee – yes please!)When in the area or if you feel like heading down the waterside for a lovely dining, unique & special experience, check out Dedes …Til next foodie post … Sending you all lots of food love!

Dedes Restaurant
Sydney Rowing Club
613 Great North Road
Abbotsford NSW 2046
Tel: 02 9712 5503

Jen ❤

Holographic Hues with Sophia Webster

Sophia Webster Shoe fiend is here again … I am obsessed and I just want more … ❤

Yes … Here I go again – it’s an addiction and I don’t know if it will ever end. There are 2 things that I love in shoes: comfort & sexiness. I find that you can never go wrong with a “pump” shoe. The Roka Iridescent Leather & Suede Pumps have taken the “classic pump” one step further by the extending the back towards the lower calf to support the ankle and adding a black & gold wrap around strap. This is what a “pump” and “boot” would look like if they got married – a “pumoot” HAHA!

If I was was a shoe – I would want to look like this! I heart contrasting colours, suede effects and zig-zag holographic surfaces. Pink is one of my fav colours (of course) and black (is just hawt and classic) and aqua/green is a heavenly thin slice of cool.

Once again I loved the unveiling – the signature Sophia Webster cream box – with the glittery ribbon & embossed “Sophia Webster” lettering. Sophia Webster shoes have individual dust bags.

And of course I had to include quite a few photos from various angles … Love these shoes and once my foot is much better, I’ll be def sliding my feet back into these babies once my battered footsie is all better – especially since Autumn is cooling the Sydney weather down.



Purchased these babies from The Outnet on sale a few months ago … Yipeeeee!!
www.sophiawebster.com

So .. Til next time … Til next post … OR til next shoe.

Jen ❤

Have a Berry nice Day!

Hey Folks!

Another food adventure, another post! … Recently headed down the NSW South Coast and I could not resist having my necessary dose from the Sourdough Cafe. It’s one of my favourite places – very cute, very sweet, very rustic & very delightful. Sourdough Cafe is located in the town of Berry around the NSW South Coast – this cafe is known for their homely feel, friendly staff and dishes created by love & local produce.

The decor is very country, farm-house-like, natural, organic looking & shabby chic – love the simplicity.

Sourdough Cafe bakes their own bread daily, rolls their own pastry, selects their own fresh local produce – and you can taste this quality in their dishes. On top of this, their menu is seasonal according to the produce available during the particular time of the year.

After waking up on a lazy sunday, we did the 20 minute drive to Berry. I love BERRY ❤ One of my favourite places and must admit that it has become very touristy especially on the weekends. Nevertheless, the town is quaint, quiet and sweet with the cutest shops, prettiest boutiques, delightful chocolate shops, unique restaurants/eats, chilled homely pubs and the famous Donut Van!!!

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It was BREAKFAST TIME!!! Super excited and we could smell the breakfast delights from the kitchen. Seated outdoors we enjoyed the relaxed setting – with a fresh juice and coffee in hand, we could not wait to enjoy a seriously incredible brekkie.
I ordered: Scrambled eggs with grilled cheese kransky (see below) with a smoked tomato salad & hot sauce. So – YUM!!! The scrambled eggs were so creamy, fluffy & of generous portion! Cheese Kransky (sausage variation with cheese) was cooked perfectly and well enough just to have the cheese slightly melt & ooze – I had pockets of cheese chunks in my mouth with every bite. The salad had a nice, fresh & crunchy texture with bursts of smokiness from the tomatoes. Hands down the best smoked tomatoes I’ve ever had. Hot sauce was indeed hot but I tried breaking off a piece of bread (which I may add was very fresh & had been toasted perfectly) – anyways, I tore off a piece of bread and topped it with eggs, sausage, smokey tomato & hot sauce … HELLO!!! What a combination. It was just a continuous mouthful of morning delight.

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My boyfriend ordered House baked beans with chorizo, poached eggs & sourdough baguette. I managed to have a sneaky taste of this and it was nothing like an average can of baked beans! I have never had enjoyed baked beans because I’ve never tried them homemade. He found the baked beans sauce to be smooth with almost a creamy-like consistency – it didn’t taste generic or processed and also in every bite he tasted – fresh … One very tasty and rustic dish – adding the chorizo gave this the extra spice and hearty meatiness. Like myself, he was obsessed with tastiness of the bread alone and he cracked the poached eggs onto the slices of baguette … the yolks were very spreadable & buttery.FullSizeRender (3)AND now … something sweet – dessert focused! They are known for baking bread and very tantilising treats. Pastry tarts, friands, muffins, teacakes of all sorts … My favourite is the pear & chocolate tart – the pastry has a nice buttery crust, the pear was poached/cooked in a way that it melts into your mouth … And lastly the chocolate creates a well rounded richness – without giving me a toothache. I love this tart so much that I got another one to go!

My boyfriend ordered the Apple Tart but what made this even funnier was I selected his dessert haha … Once again a very tasty apple-type dessert … We found it to have the same tasty pastry with the apples cooked & sliced with delicacy and a light glaze – but not over the top. My boyfriend thought it reminded him of an apple strudel.FullSizeRender (7)FullSizeRender (8)IMG_5604

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If you are ever around Berry, mosey on down to have a homely feed. They do breakfast, lunch AND takeaway – cakes, tarts, bread, coffee, pizza slices … Also like to add – since it’s still FIG season, they made an amazing fig & custard danish!

Berry Sourdough Cafe
23 Prince Alfred Street, Berry

Jen ❤

Challenged by a 1 Metre Pizza @ Bar Surry Hills & Italian Kitchen

1 Couple Vs Pizza … And not just any pizza … a 1 metre pizza!!! There is pizza and then there is enough pizza-to-feed-Sydney! One may ask what would compel a food-obsessed couple to eat so much … well it was inevitable. Most (if not all) of our friends know that we eat – a lot. At my age of 33 I must admit that my metabolism is now moving at a much slower rate, but I do thank my mom’s skinny-Asian genes for gracing me with such luck. I have decided to enjoy it because one day I will balloon into oblivion like a blimp in the sky …

So this was received as a Christmas gift from another food-obsessed couple … and the deets:
Who: myself & my boyfriend Luca
Where: Bar Surry Hills & Italian Village
When: a lazy Friday night
Why: why not?!
The MEAL: 1 metre pizza + 4 x craft beer/cider
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Bar Surry Hills & Italian Village is located inside the Rydges Hotel at the back of Central Station, Sydney. Although it may seem like most of hotel guests can easily pop in, it’s also available for anyone to pop in (I’m guessing the Groupon is to spread the word) – from the local after work crowd, romantic nightcap to having an easy dinner with friends. The menu is Italian-inspired and the bar is lined with bottles of Campari (this is very Italian). They are known for creating and selling their own craft beers & cider on tap! My boyfriend had the “Pale Ale” and described it to be lovely and I ordered a “Cider” that was very easy to drink and refreshing (but not too sweet – perfect balance).
I have to say I like the decor & feel – modern & casual with a hint glam (note the pretty crystal chandeliers) and lots of black with a few items and groceries to give the slight feeling of Italian rustic culture: affettatrice (slicer used for cutting cured meats) salami, cheese, canned tomatoes and much more.
Drinks IMG_5134 IMG_5135Couple Vs 1 Metre Pizza … I was ready for it – actually upon booking the guy told me that there be a lot to eat & he was not joking. 1 metre of pizza-goodness … It literally felt like the never-ending-pizza-story. We were allowed to select 3 toppings:
* Quattro Formaggimozzarella, gorgonzola, crescenza ricotta, basil & shaved parmesan.
* San Danieletomato, mozzarella, rocket, San Daniele proscuitto & shaved parmesan.
* Capricciosa tomato, mozzarella, double smoked leg ham, mushrooms, artichokes & olives.IMG_5137So the race was on … 1 couple Vs 1 very large pizza … Was it possible?! Do we admit defeat before we even start?! I had a “light” vegeterian lunch so by the time this arrived, I was ready for some serious eating. The aroma was tastily divine and haunting my hunger – I could not wait to have the first slice and of course I had to try the Quattro Formaggi. I cannot lie – I love cheese. What’s one step better than cheese?! … uhhh a combination of various melted cheeses. Needless to say, this did not disappoint my hunger. Next I tried a slice of the San Daniele as I always seem to have a hankering for proscuitto these days. In all honesty I never really fancied proscuitto (apart from when I had some in Rome 2013) because it always tasteless, dry & bleh. Clearly I had no idea where or what was good proscuitto in Sydney until my Italian boyfriend opened that world to me. All of a sudden I have become this woman who knows that good proscuitto practically melts in your mouth when it’s sliced perfectly, alongside with the knowledge of the top quality brands. This pizza was fresh in taste but there seemed to be slices of pear or capsicum on top (to this day still unsure of what it was) – although this is not very typical of an Italian pizza, it was an added value to the taste. The Capricciosa was my boyfriend’s favourite – according to him this pizza’s topping was very authentic and we both agreed that it was incredibly delish! Unfortunately we would have preferred the pizza base to be thinner like the style from Naples, however – we clearly enjoyed the 1 metre of goodness as below is the “aftermath.”
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Bar
We had leftovers in tow – we consumed the remainder over the weekend (and decided that we would not have pizza for at least another month) … So head on down and see if you can take on a 1 metre pizza!
28 Albion Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Jen ❤

Caught in Sophia’s Web – Angel Wings … SHOE-A-HOLIC

* Before I get into the shoe-nitty-gritty of everything … Apologies for the silence. For those who know me well, I had a nasty slip & fall on Monday which has resulted that my right foot to be wounded & bandaged AND I’m also on crutches (THE WORSE!). So by “Day 5 (not that i’m counting) I had become a bedridden, painkiller-taking delirious woman chatting to my cat non-stop (AKA Crazy Cat Lady). I hasn’t seen the outside world in days (until this weekend – plus I’m always being chauffered around) and now I find it ironic that I am the SHOE-A-HOLIC who cannot wear my shoes *cries* … But never fear – I am sure in a few weeks time, I’ll be stepping back into some sexy steps!

My name is Jenny & I am a SHOE-A-HOLIC … Unsure when or where my romantic addiction started … It could have been my mom’s influence – after all, she is Filipino and it must be in the genes to follow Imelda Marcos’ collection – which was around 3000 pairs to be exact … OR it could have formed from my Sex & the City/Manolo Blahnik loving gf “Carrie Bradshaw.” It all begun with Instagram 2015 … 1 random photo plus Victoria Secret 2014 show – GOLD WINGS. IMG_5125 Sophia Webster is a British shoe designer who started her career as Nicholas Kirkwood’s assistant & since then has now grown her own colourful & flamboyant range of footwear. I LOVE LOVE LOVE ❤ her style … The rainbow colour scheme complementing each other, the detailing of individual leather stamping, kaleidoscope spectrum, animal-like, material twisting, pretty pinking, holographic patterns, ferocious fur, rainbow exploding designs & more. Firstly, the box – so pretty, simple & delicate – love the glittery ribbon detailing. Secondly, the smell of fresh leather … Yes I know this sounds rather odd but I like the scent of newly crafted leather shoes. Whilst unveiling the shoes, I swore I heard my heart-beating-a-1000-flutters-into-the-sky … TA-DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!IMG_5127 Heaven – they look like heaven! The ANGEL WINGS collection are every bit as beautiful as I imagined. The originally hand-crafted rose gold wings are so pretty & delicate, with a dainty ankle strap. For me, I love little things … Love the solid yet slim-pin-line heel – the Evangeline is my first and not my last pair I will be purchasing from the Sophia Webster collection. Quite frankly I am disappointed I didn’t discover her sooner when I was in London in 2013. So for all you shoe-luvers out there … Take a peek & ready to be mesmerized: www.sophiawebster.com … And let me say that this won’t be the last Sophia Webster post. I Heart Sophia Webster shoes!!! ❤ And I will be walking again … Jen ❤ IMG_5126

Gelato my Burger THEN Nutella my Arancini @ Cremeria De Luca …

Ciao a Tutti!

Welcome back & thanks for stopping by “I am Very Busy” … NEW POST and drumroll please … It’s all about … FOOD!!! I can already hear the sound of rumbling tummies, round of applause & fiery fireworks from near & afar!

One Sunny Saturday afternoon I dragged my boyfriend down to Cremeria De Luca (lucky for me he was a willing participant haha) located in the Inner West area of Five Dock. It’s a cute little place on the corner with rustic decor and knick knack pieces that really remind me of my Sicilian father.
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So there has been all this talk of Gelato Burgers and Nutella-filled-Arancini … And yes you did read that right. Now some people believe marrying savoury-type dishes with sweets is a “no-go” … But hey I say: Don’t knock it until you try it.

Cremeria De Luca is now known for such inventive dishes, alongside with their large range of granita paired with homemade fresh “panna” (cream). What to choose? … Where to start? … How many courses I am allowed to have?! We opted to share the first granita and gelato burger – which really means I ate most of the gelato burger HAHA.

My boyfriend Luca chose a citrus-based granita “Lemon Lime Bitters: – it was so summery & refreshing … AND we also had the “Pina Colada” (pineapple, coconut & panna). I have to admit despite the fact that I have been to Italy twice now (& having a Sicilian father), I have failed to have tried an authentic granita (yes – shame on me!!!). Now my boyfriend is from the North of Italy so it may be slightly different. Luca was all praises: “Compared to the standard granita it was less icy & more juicy… and the cream was amazing! Much better than the industrial one … Less sugary and lighter… Very enjoyable and refreshing”

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NOWGelato Burger (I called this dish my ‘entree’ haha) … The fresh brioche bun is usually filled with “panna” (I opted out as I can’t handle too much dairy), then you can have 1 or 2 scoops of gelato with a generous smear of Nutella … Finalmente topped with a dusting of icing sugar to complete the heavenly masterpiece TA-DAAAAAAA!!! Since it was a super hot day, I decided to try 1 scoop of the delish watermelon gelato. So O.M.G  – I cannot describe the first taste – believe it or not, the combination of Nutella & Watermelon made me want to re-live the first bite on loop. Next time I would travel down the ultimately sinful path with some panna & maybe add more chocolate!

IMG_4928AND … for my MAIN Course – Arancini filled with Nutella … It was an experience to say the least! Yes it was a life changing – especially since it is dessert-related! Dessert is imperative in my life … Having no dessert is like telling me I am not allowed to breathe – this is not an option! So I have grown up eating arancini and in 2013 I spent most of my days in Palermo walking on the street munching on a bolognese arancini whenever I could! Hands down the best arancini experience was in Sicily … So for true Sicilians to open this door here – it was massive news!!! For those who don’t know or have never heard of what it is, arancini is a rice ball stuffed with filling (usually bolognese & gooey mozzarella melted cheese) rolled in breadcrumbs & fried until it’s golden & crunchy.

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So we have a sweet arancini in the form of a dessert … As it approached my way, it was like the dessert gods bringing me my own gold platter. I need to make it clear – arancini is street food – which means you pick it up and eat it with your hands! Please do not offend anyone and ask to use a knife & fork … Experience the true Sicilian tradition 🙂 With a light dusting of icing sugar & the tantalising aroma of nutella, I could not wait to dig in! … After syringing some panna inside, the cold cream melted into the arancini … The first bite: perfect crunch of the golden arancini with the warm rice filling, nutella oozing out & panna dancing into the mix … hungry yet?!

Now if I haven’t made it obvious – I am a visual, colourful person – I like LOTS of photos … So here are more to enjoy!

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To say I enjoyed my afternoon delight is an understatement … Dessert lovers – do yourself a favour & drop down for a well-deserved, indulgent treat. So until next post – stayed tuned folks … I will definitely return to try more gelato flavours, the savoury foods and most likely do the same food spread as all over again! … Grazie Cremeria De Luca! ❤

Cremeria De Luca
84 Ramsay Road, FIVE DOCK
(02) 9712 4606
www.cremeriadeluca.com

Ps – there is also a Cremeria De Luca Pop-up @ The Strand Arcade for those Sydney CBD workers!

Jen ❤

I am Very Busy … with Ban.do

 … being Food & Fashion focused!

When trying to think of a NEW blog name, I was very inspired by my new Ban.do Agenda … SO – here’s the rundown … I often “pencil” people in well in advance (this includes my very patient boyfriend lol) & without fail by the time a particular week rolls in, I am going non-stop back-to-back. Birthdays, Dinners, Lunches, Brunches, Breakfast, Liquid Dinners, Snacks, High Tea, Drinks, Shopping, more Shopping, Food Festivals, Concerts, everything in between & more!

Being half-Filipino & half-Italian, it goes without saying that I am FOOD & FASHION focused – how could I not share my passions with you all. My shoe collection is well on it’s way to rival Imelda Marcos and according to my boyfriend’s friends (& mine) – everyone awaits to see a new Facebook check-in … With the hope of seeing some mouth-watering food delights …

When trawling online I was trying to decide what type of Agenda to buy … Hmmmmmmm  – trusty leather Moleskine? (2 years in a row now) … Pretty Kate Spade?… Refillable Filofax? … I came across Ban.do by chance whilst searching for cool agendas that match my pretty, colourful, busy & fun lifestyle. Needless to say I fell head over heels in love with it! It’s delightfully pretty, spacious and fun. Although it sold out online, I was lucky enough to score one from Ebay.

Check out the super cute pages – each one unique & always puts a smile on my face! Plus they included some cute stickers (yes – how old am I?!) …Ban.do is based in LA & have tons of flair-ish fun products! … They also sell cute bags, accessories, travel mugs, diamond-shaped speakers, jewellery and much more! Check it out online: www.shopbando.com

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MoreAnd so I officially launch my NEW blog – it’s still big-girl-grownup … I’m here to take you on the food+fashion-focused-fun-filled journey … There will be FOOD photos aplenty with reviews, talk of recent SHOE purchases, recipes, photos & quotes that feed my soul plus other great finds. By all means, I ain’t some fashion-guru or chef – but I believe that everyone in this world has their own style & flair to share with the world!

Thanks for reading what shall be the first of many more posts to come & hopefully you can see what really keeps me busy!

❤ Jen x