From my travel journal: Coney Island, 2015

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“This morning – a little cold but the wind settled a little. Out to Brooklyn. Actually, Coney Island was the first stop. And it was COLD out on the water! Very quiet in winter, all but abandoned… the snow from the past week still on the sidewalks, slowly turning to grey sludge. It seemed a poorer area, not as well kept, with a lot of high-rise commission home buildings. The closed amusement park area looked so inviting; I’m not sure what it is about abandoned places that feel so inviting to me, but they really are… I just feel comfortable, roaming alone.”

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From my travel journal: New York City, 2015 (2)

Yes, there have been a few of these journal flashbacks lately, but the deeper I get into planning mode for the #👫WorldTour, the more I find myself thinking back over the semi-charmed kinda life I’ve led for the last few years…

On this day, in New York City, I was that silly cliché with tears in my eyes. I couldn’t believe how much things had turned around for me. I couldn’t believe all of the hard work and persistence had paid off. I couldn’t believe where I’d ended up because I didn’t give up. I couldn’t believe I was standing right there…

 

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“Today has been pretty amazing, one of those picture-perfect New York winter days… It’s absolutely freezing, around -7°C, feeling about -15; we left this morning to talk up the west side of Central Park, in the snow! Actual, perfect, powdery white snow. Completely carpeting the city. The park was the most magnificent winter wonderland 🙂 How is this my life right now?!”

Cook this: 6 ingredient chestnut jam thumbprint cookies

Having grown up in a very Italian family, I love roasted chestnuts in winter. Nonno used to make them for us when we were kids, and I loved sitting at their dinner table, digging my little fingers in the split in the shell, peeling the charred layed off those golden little nuggets, and eating them until dad said I couldn’t have any more because I’d be sick. So, when I found St Dalfour at the Good Food and Wine Show a few weeks ago selling chestnut jam, I got more than a little bit excited. I only bought one jar, and have been kicking myself ever since!


I’ve been using a spoonful of it to mix through my porridge, along with a handful of blueberries and a sprinkle of cacao nibs, but I wanted to make something sweet to eat with a cup of tea as it gets colder. I also wanted something quick and easy, that I could make whenever I wanted them without having to get changed out of my PJs to go buy ingredients for. Same base recipe as the lemon cookies I posted a few weeks ago, but the secret ingredient is absolutely the jam – find a way to get your hands on some!!

Ingredients:
– 100g butter, softened
– 100g caster sugar
– 1 egg yolk
– 200g plain flour
– 1 tsp baking powder
– St Dalfour chestnut jam!

 

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 170° and line an oven tray with baking paper.

2. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until thick and creamy, followed by the egg yolk until completely smooth and combined.

3. Stir in the flour and baking powder until combined.

4. Roll the dough into balls (about tablespoon size works well) and space them out on the oven tray.

5. As the recipe might imply, press your thumb into the centre of each cookie to make space for the jam, and drop a little jam in each thumbprint.

6. Bake for 15min, or until golden brown.

From my travel journal: Toronto 2015

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“I quite enjoyed the walk in the cold and the snow, to be honest… I love the cold, I love winter, I love the feeling of defrosting over hot tea and feeling your face tingle in the fresh air.”

Through my eyes: Kyneton Botanical Gardens, Victoria

Kyneton Botanical Gardens

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Carpeted by miraculously still green grass and fallen autumn leaves, the Kyneton Botanical Gardens are beautiful on a winter’s day. Take a walk along the water, sit and read under the trees, relax…

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Through my eyes: Melbourne, June 2016. Winter is coming.

Just a few recent snaps of Melbourne coming into winter this year. Because this city, to me, is at her most beautiful at this time of year; when you’re as likely to get clear blue skies with cotton candy clouds as you are the get misty, foggy days. When you see the cafes lit up with that gorgeous golden glow early in the morning to caffeinate the city workers. When the beautiful winter coats and leather boots start to appear on the streets’ catwalks and leaves the most stunning shades of red and auburn and orange and gold litter the footpaths. When the rain washes it all away and everything becomes clean and new again…

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#TBT: Washington Square Park, New York City

Because I cannot WAIT for winter to hit again! I love rain and cold and grey skies. And we got that in spades here…

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I can’t even remember how we got here. I’d just fallen down some stairs a few days before in the ice and snow and rain of New York and done some torn-rotator-cuff damage to my shoulder. It was so cold, it was grey, it was raining and miserable outside, not many other people were out. I was trudging through the rain in my brown leather boots, pulling my scarf tighter around my neck, my hair was getting wet and I couldn’t have cared less.

Washington Square Park is one of the city’s favourite meeting places, with the arch and the fountain being popular spots for tourists and locals alike. I just thought it was beautiful through the rain on that cold day.

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