Archive Page 2

vanilla risotto with roasted pears

disaster from hell. was rescued by an innovative mind. but not enough for me to feel anything but defeated. but mainly cranky. and now i got 4 roasty pears and nothing to do with them. so if you know of anything into which roasted pears could go, please contact my team at pears-r-us. thanking you in advance for your contributions. p.s. heres a closer look, because i cant hide behind photoshop for the rest of my life. i will own my failings. and sometimes, they me.

vanilla roasted pears

well its been a long time…and ive almost nearly forgotten what to do. i think generally it goes photo, bemoan something or someone, photo, recipe – self-congratulatory sentences peppered throughout. probably need a new formula. these are just pears. in an oven. butter. vanilla. sugar. i cant see how anything bad could possibly happen. any idiot can roast a pear but i will say this things: 1. they are good. 2. not any idiot can roast a pear because i looked up a recipe that called for too much sugar and so point 1 was in fact a lie and they were not good, they were sickeningly sweet. 3. im an ideas man and so i dont give to you recipes that are difficult – i just think of them for you so you dont have to sit around wondering what to bake. and i do it for free. out of love. love of all things baked. but mainly love of the validation you give in return. 4. these are step one in a two-tiered recipe and will be used tomorrow in my next trick. so here is an adapted recipe because the one i used was dishonest and shameful.


4 pears halved and cored

1-2 vanilla beans depending on you extravagance

1 tbsp sugar – or just a sprinkling. not a quarter of a cup – you’d have to be off your tree to use that much. or an overweight american.

squeeze of lemon juice

2tbsp water

2tbsp butter

preheat oven to 190degrees. scrape vanilla bean and mix it into the sugar. lay pears down onto baking tray cut side up. drizzle over lemon juice. dot with butter. sprinkle with vanilla sugar. put vanilla beans in and around and pour the water into the tray.

put into the oven for 30 minutes. take them out. turn them over. baste with the juices. put them back for another 30 minutes

looks kind of ugly. as an image. but knowing what you all know about pears, butter, vanilla and an hour in the oven im sure you’ll take my word that it is so far from ugly and as close to perfection as a girl can get.

nother post coming soon. using these very same pears. stay with me. and smoo, i thank you for the occasional nudge. cant think of the right hey dad joke and so im posting this off into the ether, feeling just a little bit defeated.

i hate….apple & rhubarb cobbler

cobblers are bad. and no one told me. no one bothered to tell me. and for some years now i have yearned to construct and consume the cobbler. because my brain was washed. and i thought that what id be getting is some kind of fruity-crumbly-buttery-cakey melange. but no sir. i will tell you this now – because no one ever told me and if i dont say it you will never know. the cakey looking thing on top of a cobbler is, in essence, a scone. and i do not like scones. not even with jam. i like them in theory of course. who doesnt. but when cake comes to scone – i dont like them. they taste like damper. and my increasingly sweet teeth dont care for it. it didnt achieve any kind of oneness with the fruit, and it seemed to be a stand alone scone, ruinously atop some perfectly good fruit. why, i asked myself, why would anyone want a cobbler? i suppose, the answer is, people like scones. and fruit. and the two together. so i post this for those of you who have a penchant for floury, undersweetened, overrated, (ill grant you fluffy) scone-like biscuit cakes. and i done some more tilt-shifting so i guess there’s something here for everyone.

ingredients (for 4-6 ramekins…you wouldnt want much more. me, i wanted less)

3 apples chopped/cubed

rhubarb cut into cm bits – or same size as the apple

tbsp sugar

for the dough:

1 1/2 cups flour

pinch salt

1 1/2tbsp sugar

2 1/4tsp baking powder

3/4 cup cream

6tbsp unsalted butter

first combine fruit with the sugar and stir to combine. i gave it a massive hit of vanilla. up to you really. put into respective baking dish(es?).

preheat the oven to 190 degrees. then make the dough. put all the dry ingredients into a bowl and with fingertips mix in the butter until it looks like coarse bread crumbs. then add the cream and mix until all its just wet. spoon lumps of the dough onto the fruit.

oven for 30-40 minutes. depending on an infinite number of things.

Guest Post – Stipple Effect talks Coffee

Stipple’s been grumbling lately, with just a hint of aggression. Quite frankly it had me worrying. So, taking a cue from our nation’s capital, I’ve offered him a more cooperative relationship. Herewith, my sacrifice in the search to stifle stipple:

Well, it is with no mere hint of trepidation that I make the transition from a humble reader to a contributing one on this fine ol’ bloggy. In fact, it is without any trepidation at all. And that’s not simply because of an excess of self-confidence, no. It’s because Mr. Tulk has got me all fired up. And it’s not the coffee, nor is it those cheeky toasted sandwiches, it may be the muffins, to all three of which we will soon come. But what it most certainly does have me fired up over is a little, deeply grating practice. It’s the old ‘whats ya name mate?’ trick. It began, I’m quite certain, with the vile temptress known as Bo*st Juice. It’s a ploy, a con and a sham. The business and customer engage in the most phony of phony performances. Both sides know it’s a crock and yet we all go in for it. How many dare to give the name “Maffington Basset-Stoke III?” Much though I’d love to, I’m never quite able. No, even I, in all my blinding awareness of late capitalism’s ability to reify the very search for authentic human relations beyond the sign of exchange value, fall prey to this horrid horrid lie.

And yet, and yet…

Tulk does demand your name. They demand it with all the faux-cheeriness of Tim Shaw. But I go back. And back. And back. So, the crux of this missive is not so much review as it is resolution to this problem. The name-game doesn’t seem to send me nor the rest of my horde of faultlessly trendy, oh-so-knowing, inner-urban elites back to our tastefully-but-minimally-decorated hovels to dig holes in the floor with the long nails we’ve grown because thats what Juan our flamenco-guitar teacher says we’ll need if “jou ever chwant to play coma a tocaores.” But why?

There are three reasons I can thus far detect, each compelling. And a smattering of incidentals, collateral benefits if you will.

1. We must to begin with the coffee: I’m no tilt-shifter, the best I can do is steal inter-web pictures. Take a goosey-gander at these here eye-stuffers.

A cappuccino de la Tulka – I prefer a jugacino, but what can you do?


One o’ dem latte’s with something what I don’t know next to it. Me constitution never took to milk, until I downed a Tulkist latte.

What I can’t show you lot is their espresso.  Oh, hang about, I just found…

Black gold

They aint quick, but they is good. Really good though. The espresso is quite wonderful when its average. When the temperature is just perfect and the best of their baristas are on deck, its so chocolatey and thick and, I hate to talk this way, but there is one hell of a berry note. They milk a coffee to a t*. I have always been of the opinion that milk is really a kind of coffee travesty. They convinced me otherwise. Of course, seven seeds’ll bang you out a top lattee, and the blogger who usually sits where I’m sitting is herself a dab hand. But at Tulk, you get some sort of one-ness of coffee and milk. Its terrific. But mainly its about those espressi. And it isn’t the hands alone, of course. They have one very very handsome La Marzocco machine. Those Bambi brothers knew what they were up in Florence all those years ago.

Not the one at Tulk, but the same thing - just elsewheres

The colour of Tulk’s is nicer. I’m quite sure its the FB/70. I’m not the kind of cafe investigator to ask, or to pop around and stick my head under the hood. Though I’d like to. Its a very pretty thing. So the coffee is right. It is, in fact, shit hot. Which segues nicely into

2. The women and men on their feet making it happen:  The boots on the ground. The grunt.  I have it on reliable authority that the boys and girls of RMIT have a league-table of attractiveness for the staff here. But there aint a bad looker in the joint. Its not relevant, it doesn’t make the coffee better, but I thought you might all like to know. There are some pictures if one searches one’s local interweb looking-motor, though I won’t put them up because that’d be kind of creepy. But it does relate to the problem of the name game. And the do seem to overcome it, somehow. They remember people. I’ve seen the 8am-9am rush, I’d estimate 50-60% of coffees are guessed by the staff. That’s impressive recall and that many regulars coming that regularly can only be good. I don’t know if the staff all come from other establishments, but they look pretty assured carrying four lattes and the best of ’em seem able to balance a breakfast on their heads all the while. I don’t care much for these sorts of details, but its impressive when you see it.

3. The thing these pretty-young-things carry, other than great coffee, is food: Tulk have a range of baguettes, which have nice things inside. Tuna is particularly good. There are cheaper places to buy a sandwich, but I think this is as affordable as you’ll find with such nice bits in. Look.

This is a chicken one. Nice too.

Then, there are the toasties. Now, I’m a sucker for a toasty. Always have been. A man I know toasties bananas and ice-cream. Thats too far, but he owned the house I grew up in so the information gives some context to the depth of my toasty love. Tulk have two that now hold special places in my heart: a standard but well-executed salami fella and a big hunk of a toasty known as the meatball & sugo. Its this

There aren’t words

They make other nice foods too. People who know about such things swear this is a very good soup. And they’re right. (The blog I stole the picture from claim the soup is overly filling. That position is wrong. I will admit to knowing not much about things beyond coffee but since when are lentils intended to anything other than fill one’s belly?)

Chicken and lentil soup.

So the foods good, the staff (more than) inoffensive and above all the coffee is too good. Oh, I have neglected a detail. A very important one. Its the muffins. Boy, do they bake a good muffin. Some days there is banana in them so don’t bother, but more or less every other variety they offer is flawless. The tops are crunchy as all-get-out and the innards are moist, sweet and berry-tastic. And as the fatb community know only too well, berries are central.

So, I still resent being asked for my name but there’s nice folk working hard, tasty food to eat and (if I’ve not be sufficiently clear) EFFIN’ TOPS COFFEE. I’ll hand over the portion of my soul that is twinned to my first name for that. I am both willing and able to fly the flag for Mr. Tulk. I like it.

Until next time I’m given the good opportunity to participate in such a substantial manner, I bid you adieu. See you in the comments field.

Stip. E.

*There are, I have noted, a plenum of grammatic pedants roaming the pastures of fatb. To you, all of you, I say this clause functions. Milk may be neither quite a proper gerund nor is it, I realise, a supine or non-finite verbal formation, but I knows what I likes. And likes ‘milk a coffee.’ Ha!

broadbean, pea, pecorino salad & tiltshift photography

the internet taught me how to do tiltshift photography. so from this day on everything will be tiltshifted. as evidenced in the above image, im still not quite sure what it is that i am doing, or meant to be doing, or, for that matter, what the result is. but, as far as i can see its pretty bright and thats pretty good. but enough about the technicalities of what i do. suffice to say, im a creative person and i see things from a slightly tiltshifted point of view. no ordinary photographer me. so onto beans and peas and all things green. im not big into community but it appears i have seamlessly and entirely unwittingly slipped into the david jones community. i chatted to a cheese maker about the weather and she told me, as we parted ways, to enjoy my weekend and my pecorino. i spoke at length with a large man about the joys of shelled peas and we both agreed, you just cant shell them fast enough. when i went to purchase my broadbeans i was given a recipe for felafel with broadbeans and was promised by a bright young thing that next time i was in the “neighbourhood” she would bring me some felafel mix made by her mother. and i left feeling somewhat of a more social, more human, and mainly more tired being. and thats what i am prepared to go though to make a salad the likes of this. tiltshifting this salad was only the icing on a very delicious cake.


bunch of rocket, or spinach or whatevs

bunch of basil

250g fresh peas

500g broad beans (peeled – only takes an hour or two – boiling water for a minute. then under ice cold water for a minute. then the skins will peel slowly and tediously off, one after another after another)

1 avocado sliced

1 clove of garlic

salt, pepper

olive oil

finely shaved pecorino

first mix peas and broad beans together in a bowl. i actually cooked about a third of them (in a pan with some butter and finely chopped garlic) and mixed it in with the fresh stuff. it makes for textual interest. tear off some basil and put it in the bowl. throw in the sliced avocado. mix together with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.

arrange some rocket on a plate –

place peas, beans and avocado atop

shave some pecorino over the top. and voila

heres a tiltshifted one – yes… i went too far. i always do.

strawberry, halloumi and basil salad

3 punnets of strawberries for 6 dollars. i had no choice. and besides a girl should always have a punnet or 3 of strawberries up her sleeve. but upon my arrival home i realised something would have to be done with them. they’re not so good. as two fat ladies once said they breed the flavour out of strawberries these days. apparently its the fault of the dutch…they breed flavour out of everything. and so to get them to delicious state, something had to be done. i saw jamie do this once with his strawberries and if nothing else, and for no other reason, the colours look pretty. strawberries apparently dont always need to be sweet. im not going to lie, sprinkling on the salt and pepper felt wrong and i had to close my eyes to eat one. but they were good. better than they were in their original form. and anything with halloumi will work – because as snow once said you cant really go wrong with fried cheese. so here it is. pretty as a picture.


350g strawberries chopped (little bite-sized choppings)

balsamic vinegar

olive oil

salt and pepper

handful of basil

250g halloumi

mixed salad leaves. the pretty ones.

first mix the strawberries in a bowl with a splash of olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. stir and let mascerate for a while while you do your other jobs.

cut up halloumi – into 6-8 thin slices. press a basil leaf onto each slice of halloumi.

put pan on heat with a few drops of olive oil and put halloumi in, with the basil facing down. cook for about a minute on either side. remove and put aside on a plate til you ready to go. keep away from any nearby halloumi loving mentalists.

finally toss the salad leaves into the bowl with strawberries and mix to combine. then assembly. halloumi onto plate like so:

leaves ontop

and strawberries to fin… with a final drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar because obviously.

apple and raspberry crumble

i cant come up with anything really coherent to say – about this crumble (which i felt to be disturbingly good and completely inspired) or anything else for that matter. i got broken by an unfortunate train of abuses, principally among them, physical exertion to the point of paralysis and because of, or perhaps as a result of that, intellectual stasis which has left me entirely unable to finish this sentence. so i will give to you this recipe which i made up – and i love love love it. and if my brain hadn’t melted i would tell you why. but as it is, i cannot and so i suggest you make it for yourself and see.


2 apples

1 punnet of raspberries

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

tsp vanilla extract

60g melted butter

100g chocolate chopped (either white – if youre using raspberries because obviously. or dark – dark with raspberries would also be a delight)

preheat oven to 190 degrees. melt the butter in a saucepan and set aside.

mix together the flour, salt, sugar, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl. add some cinnamon if you choose. i chose no.

pour over the melted butter. the original recipe had 85g melted butter but it was too much and it started to get too wet. i then had to add more flour. so i say 60g and i think thats probably right. but just check its consistency. should be like wet sand. not a wet mixture though.

then add chopped up chocolate.

put raspberries and apples into ramekins and fill to nearly the top.

crumble over the crumble.

bake for 20-30 minutes.