Would you look at that serenity?!
This glorious location is Wisemans Ferry along the Hawkesbury River, and it was the destination of our short break the weekend before last, with Amanda and her husband. Only an hour from Sydney, it felt like we were worlds away – it was perfect for some much needed R&R. So peaceful and quiet, with beautiful scenery and rows of trees with green, amber and gold leaves. I found a new appreciation for autumn’s beauty this weekend.
Over the 3 day stay we relaxed, the guys played golf, Amanda worked out, and I lazed around… We had an ordinary dinner at a restaurant on night 1 (which ended with a very small crème brûlée that we think used custard out of a carton), but a great pub meal on night 2. Bistros are so reliable! We also spent 4 hours fishing off a small boat, but despite our best efforts we came back empty-handed.
Pork & Brussels Sprouts
Following our ordinary dinner on the Friday night (which was over-cooked oven roasted pork) we felt the need to make amends with this fine meat, and purchased a few pork fillets for weeknight dinners.
Being the dork I am, I suggested we each cook pork for dinner in our own way over 2 nights – a His & Hers Mini-Porkfest if you will ;)
Alongside the pork on my night was the return of my most hated vegetable of my childhood: Brussels sprouts. The animosity felt towards this little green thing is unfair really. My colleague Emma said they remind her of shriveled Barbie heads! Can you believe that?! ;)
My hatred towards the humble B sprout ended last year when I had them as a side dish at Rockpool Bar & Grill. Gone were the offensive, boiled green things! Instead I discovered fresh green sauteed delights – with a helping of speck for good measure.
So here’s the Taste recipe I used (yeah, I needed a recipe for vegetables… I’d never cooked them before!) that might just turn you into a Brussels sprouts lover, if you aren’t one already of course:
Pan-Fried Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Almonds
- 500g small brussels sprouts, halved, outer leaves discarded
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 20g unsalted butter
- 8 bacon or pancetta slices, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 cup whole almonds
- 2 tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Blanch the brussels sprouts in boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes until fork-tender. Drain and refresh under cold water.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a frypan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until it begins to crisp. Add the garlic and almonds, then cook, stirring, for a further minute. Add the brussels sprouts and toss for 2-3 minutes to warm through. Remove from heat, stir in the parsley, then serve.
Paul’s pork dinner was a mystery box challenge – i.e. use what’s left in the fridge. Pan-seared then oven roasted, the tender pork was served with sauteed carrots, capsicum, garlic, rosemary, and a vinaigrette.
Natural Peanut Butter on Granny Smith Apple
aka My New Favourite Snack
I love peanut butter in all its variations: Reese’s PB Cups, PB cupcakes & PB buttercream, PB icecream…
However, sadly those are not things to be enjoyed too often.
Enter 100% natural peanut butter! I’ve always been a fan of it, it’s creamy and tastes of pure peanuts – no added salt or sugar, and no preservatives. But this natural PB love was taken to a whole new level recently. Amanda introduced me to natural PB on granny smith apple slices. I was blown away. I love it so much I had to post about it.
You can buy natural peanut butter from the supermarket, I like the Sanitarium brand, or often health food stores have fresh tubs of it, OR you can easily make your own. However you source it, make haste and spread some on a sliced granny smith apple for an awesome, healthy snack.
Are you a snacker? What are your favourite healthy snacks?