Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Tentatively Excavating Rozelle

No more rambling this time, only a short diatribe that hopes against hope that 2015 will prove itself to be more superior to last. 

Rozelle was a bit a disappointing but that was probably courtesy to Christmas with many probably preferring the company of loved ones rather than prickly customers. It began with the intention of hurling money at vendors at the Rozelle Market but it was rather lacklustre, still, there a few places we thought worthy of a bit of poking around. 

Raw Zucchini Pasta with sundried tomato and basil pesto ($16)
Basil Risotto with mushrooms ($16)
Raw Carrot Cake and Raw Caramel and Chocolate Fudge Slice ($8 ea)
First stop to energise, Ungaro Raw! And it did not disappoint. How did it not disappoint? Even my very carnivorous sister enjoyed it.

Ungaro Raw 
656 Darling Street, Rozelle

At the consignment store next door. Clean, organised and airy. The perfect way to gently introduce the concept of thrifting to beginners before you ruthlessly hurl them into a rat's nest and watch them fend for themselves.

I thought this was an interesting concept, a clothes store twixt with a hair salon. Come in looking for rediscovery, leave with a reinvented look and new wardrobe.

Pretty Bird 
650 Darling Street, Rozelle

A great collection of kaftans and bohemian. More geared towards maturer women. 

Life Adorned 
624 Darling Street, Rozelle 

A collector of eclectic with full awareness that balance must be established with timeless elements to allow your style to transcend through time itself. 

Quirkee Birds 
620 Darling Street, Rozelle 

Spoils for the day. which I, for the life of me can't recall the price of each individual item, but I beleve they all ranged from $7-15. The shirt above remind me of a rainbow popsicle, who knows, it might be my first foray into fairy kei or cult party.



Saturday, 20 December 2014

Vegan No Churn Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cake


You will not believe this, but as I was making this, rather than spew expletives as profusely as steam during a frosty morning, I was filled with marvel. This is vegan? This is .. easy? This is quick? Clearly, my mind could not keep up. But then I had a spoon and it quietened. Sorcery. Vegan desserts seem to centre around two things as their foundation, cashews or coconut. Not only am I opped to blitzing tiny nuggets of gold in my blender and praying to whatever deity is up there that I did not screw it up, I seemed to possess tremendous misfortune at playing coconut roulette. What do you mean a can of coconut milk is meant to solidify after an overnight refrigeration? Be very wary of the ingredients list. If it contains a stabiliser, it will not whip. This site was a good place to gauge the varying effects of coconut creams. I'm still yet to strike the proverbial gold, but for now, I'm content with the reassurance that it does work. 

Enough about that. Let's talk about the star here. A vegan, no churn peanut butter ice cream layered between brownies and topped with a vegan chocolate fudge sauce. I'm just as surprised and impressed as you are. Yes, it does have a hint of coconut to it, but I will take this over spending ludicrous amounts on nuts when a can of this costs $2. Yes, you can use a singular can. No, it is not the slightest bit icy. Yes, it is ridiculously creamy. Yes, it sets immensely quickly. Yes, it is extremely adaptable. Chocolate? Melt some in or stir in that cacao powder! Cookie dough? Uh, is that a question? Salted caramel? Do it. Although to keep it vegan you'd have to make some via dates and yes, eating my words again, it's actually pretty good. I used a bag of dates that cost me $2 instead of medjool dates and it turned out fine. Better than fine. Vegan desserts that don't hurt my wallet. Victory. You can suck it every overpriced healthy cafe in Sydney. And whilst I have no intention (for now anyway) of converting to veganism, I tend to call back on it for a lighter variation of desserts. Whew. Okay.

Vegan No Churn Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cake

Brownie base (Double recipe for layer cake, make sure you use a springform pan for easy assembly!)

No churn peanut butter ice cream 

2 cans coconut milk or cream chilled overnight

1/2 - 2/3 cup peanut or any nut butter
200g pitted dates (if not soft or sticky, soak in warm water for 10 minutes)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Churn pitted dates in a food processor until smooth by adding hot water a little at a time until a paste forms. Empty cans into a mixing bowl and whip until creamy and smooth. Add peanut butter, vanilla and half of date paste and whip until fully incorporated. Taste and adjust by adding more peanut butter or date paste.

To assemble, pour over brownie layer, repeat. Freeze for several hours.

Chocolate fudge sauce 

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup coconut milk/cream
Pinch of salt

Same rule applies here with chocolate, gently melt both over double boiler, stirring until smooth and allow to cool to room temperature before drizzling.

You could say that this was .. a piece of cake.



Monday, 15 December 2014

Excavating Bondi

Sydney's sky had split in half this past fortnight, like a celestial dam, ruthlessly drenching anything under its domain. But come Sunday, it was blissfully clear and living up to its name. Bondi is a culture very much shaped by its beach, there are more healthier options available and its fashion possesses a type of floatiness and unapologetic splashes of colour. I myself, was here for the Bondi Markets which are held every Sunday, finally. After almost half a year of half hearted plans, I finally left my footprint. 

Like every market, there's a thrumming energy both from the vendors and the people excitedly checking out their wares. Especially since Christmas is approaching, there's no shortage of unique gifts for loved ones. Personally, I venture into markets specifically for girls who are clearing out their wardrobes for more extravagant purchases, thus making them more willing to part with their belongings at a more sweeter price rather than to scope out the wares of up and coming designers. Bondi's markets aren't as large as Rozelle and Glebe, but it's worth the visit, especially for the beach, the smorgasbord of healthy restaurants and its own beach derived fashion. 

I was feeling discouraged until I happened across the back of the markets where two groups of girls were selling off their wardrobe castoffs. Thank god. But like I mentioned earlier, there were more at Rozelle and Glebe. 

Bondi Markets 
Every Sunday 
Bondi Beach Public School, Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach 

After excavating the Markets, I carried myself to the boutiques that dotted Bondi. Fashion in Sydney typically revolves around shades of monochrome, and silhouettes that play with structure and with an emphasis on denims. I myself, prefer anything that is delightfully quirky, whether it be its patterns or shape and anything that plays with classic elements with a subtle twist. So you can see why most of the style offered by Sydney designers aren't my cup of proverbial tea.

124 Roscoe & Gould St, Bondi Beach 

Eh, please forgive me but I seem to have had a bout of forgetfulness and forgot to take a picture of the shop front and name... But if you ever visit Bondi, all of these stores are within walking distance of each other. Predictably, I'm drawn to the pastel shades and their feminine grace. 

This place is the one stop place for everything designer, whether it be for Rag & Bone denim, Jeffrey Campbell shoes, Alexander Wang... you can breathe easily knowing it'll be here. Have to say, I touched a pair of $1000 pants for the first time in my life that day. Helmut Lang. Leather. Was sorely tempted to try them out in order to say now I know what it feels like to be wearing 500 on each leg but didn't want to risk stretching it haha. 

11/178 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach 

Housing many designers under its umbrella, allow it to cater to a wide myriad of styles that would typically clash with one another. But as it dips its brush into the same colour palette, it would lend itself to tentative attempts of foraying into other styles with a surefire safety net. In additon to this, it also carries furniture, lifestyle, homewares and beauty products. 

Shop 4, 95 Gould St, Bondi Beach 

I'm not entirely sure if this is the actual name of the store or if the charity store had commandeered it. I would say this sits between a consignment and a thrift store. Home to more designer labels but at  a more friendlier price. Nevertheless, it's worth checking out especially since it's located in a more wealthier suburb. 

Charity store, open Tuesday and Sunday 
5 Hall St, Bondi Beach 

This store alone captures the very essence of Bondi which is very bohemian and eclectic. 

In Between Tangerine
80 Gould St, Bondi Beach 

Now doesn't this seem familiar? A Bondi branch! It seems almost redundant taking photos of vintage stores but then again, how can I deny you from experiencing something so aesthetically pleasing?

u turn recycled fashion 
10 Hall St, Bondi Beach

Another place that is the epitome of Bondi.Very colourful with loose kaftans and generally everything loose so that it dances in the breeze. 

Bombardment of kaleidoscopic patterns without compromising comfort. As mentioned, the key elements to Bondi.

Shop 4, 87 Gould St, Bondi Beach

Sportsgirl Jeans ($8, Charity Shop), Sunglasses, Mirror Belt, Floral Playsuit, Zara Gold Stud Collar Shirt, Floral Short Sleeve Chiffon Top, Cat Eye Sunglasses (all $5 each at Bondi Markets), Princess Highway Collar Top ($7, Vinnies)

My spoils for the day! I have to say, I'm feeling a bit smug. Not only did I purchase my first pair of cat eye sunglasses for only $5 as well as the floral playsuit, it is remarkably similar to the ones I lusted over here from Miss Brown Vintage which were selling for $60! I might change the buttons on it so that they're a bit more subtly striking. I'm beginning to see why the girl was willing to part with the Zara button up (still with tags!) as it is impossible. In insists on unbuttoning itself at the 2nd button and there are stains left behind from the gold buttons. But hey, they're tiny gold skulls so.. we'll see. Another smug purchase were the Sportsgirl denim as I have been looking everywhere for the perfect pair of boyfriend jeans which didn't insist on costing $60-200. $8! Plus, they're high waisted and the prettiest periwinkle and they're perfect. 

I think there's only three more places to go on my list.. better knock them down quick before I jet off to Japan and Korea for a more accurate comparison! Just under a month to go, jesus, and we know this month is going to fly by!