Wednesday, 23 May 2012

odds and ends #1: a few things I tried lately...
(goats cheese ravioli, cheese donut, kombucha, lemon myrtle yoghurt)

Too often, I try something here and there, take a few pictures... and then, regrettably, I let the memories languish in my camera.

Well, no more of that! Here's a post on what I've sampled lately, and hopefully this will be the first of many more to come.

I rarely mention product names and brands in my blog, so just to make it clear - since this post does break from the norm - as per everything else I've written about in my blog thus far, I purchased all these items with my own money, and I have not been paid to write about them.

Now, boring statements aside, let's get on to the FOOD.

Earlier this year, my capoeira group did a pasta drive to raise funds for our annual year-end festival. I was a little skeptical at first. Why is it called Alligator Brand and is it going to be any good? I soon realise my ignorance when I did a bit of research and find out that they actually have a pretty awesome reputation. I put in an order for 4 kilograms of pasta and 6 jars of napoli pasta sauce - it's all for a good cause, right? - and wait eagerly for the delivery.

Well, I can tell you that for days afterwards, Simon and I were both devouring pasta for lunch and dinner. And we weren't complaining one bit. On weekdays I would text Simon after work - "I'm coming over tonight. LET'S HAVE PASTA!" - and these pasta dates would inevitably end in debaucherous pasta weekends spent together in a pasta haze. We got the goats cheese & pesto ravioli, and the spinach & ricotta tortellini. They were both excellent, and quite similar, with a toothsome bite and sexy, creamy fillings. The goats cheese ravioli, in particular, despite the insufficient specks of pesto, was an utter joy of tender, pillowy goodness. The gentle tartness of the rich red napoli sauce pulled it all together with simple elegance.

Just in case any of my capoeira friends are reading this, can we do the pasta drive again? Pretty please? It's so much better than the chocolate drive. (Yes, I said it.)

fresh, fresh pasta - goats cheese and pesto ravioli and spinach and ricotta tortellini from Alligator brand.

As you may be able to tell, I could rave about pasta forever, but let's move on to something else. A month ago, I stumbled upon cheese store and laboratory La Latteria. My hands were full at the time, but I couldn't walk on without buying something from their fascinating array of specialty cheese and dairy products, so I got myself a cheese donut studded with delicious sun-dried tomato and basil. It's a little bit on the salty side, but also quite addictive. I hear their burrata (mozzarella filled with curd and cream) is drool-worthy and that's what I'll be getting next time, along with, perhaps, some of their very wholesome looking non-homogenised milk.

cheese donut with sundried tomato and basil, from La Latteria.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I went on a major shopping spree at Ripe the Organic Grocer, and got a bunch of things that caught my eye. One of them was a bottle of kombucha, a fermented tea beverage that is touted for it's health-giving properties. It reminds me of a diluted and slightly fizzy apple cider vinegar not just in its pungent, acidic taste but also in appearance, right down to the wispy bits of mother-culture in it. The one I got is by Mojo.

Mojo lemon citrus kombucha with living cultures.

I was also intrigued by a jar of Marrook Farm lemon myrtle yoghurt that day. One of my favourite soaps has the natural fragrance of lemon myrtle essential oils, so I have to admit, when I first tried this, the connection was a little unsettling. I got used to it after a while, though, and grew to rather enjoy that lemony herbal sharpness in the beautifully silky yoghurt  - an assertive yet gentle accompaniment to my morning muesli.

biodynamic full-cream lemon myrtle yoghurt from Marrook Farm.

So that's it for my first Odds and Ends post. I hope you have enjoyed reading about my latest finds, and I look forward to sharing more of my discoveries with you in the future. Till then, feel free to share some of your odds and ends with me, too, in the comments below...

37 comments:

  1. Mmm, soap yogurt. I bet I'd like it.

    What a nice collection of interesting things - hello cheese doughnut, I've never heard of the likes of you before! Pasta over chocolate? I might even agree with this bold proclamation! And kombucha... I miss my mushroom mother, I let her die:(

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    1. They certainly didn't skimp on the lemon myrtle in that yoghurt, I can tell you! The cheese donut was definitely new to me too. Our chocolate drive was just Cadbury stuff, therefore not quite of the gourmet calibre of the pasta, so it was destined to lose in this comparison. (I think I can still see myself choosing this pasta over fancier chocs, though...) Also, sorry to hear about your kombucha mushroom mother. :(

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    2. It was two years ago... I should stop mourning and just get myself a new mother already :D

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  2. I love odds and ends posts! offthespork does a weekly round up too and I started but then the camera on my phone flipped me the bird. Keep it up, they are my favourite blogs! I remember back in the early nineties, kombucha was THE RAGE. All of my friends had a disgusting looking mushroom in their fridge and we would swap little bits off the mushroom to restart new brews! It was only a matter of time before some one marketed it - didnt think it would take 20 years!
    T xx

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    1. Ha, nostalgia! It wasn't the rage where I came from, so this is the first time I've tried it. I think they have been around for awhile in health food shops though, particularly the ones with more of a hippie vibe.

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  3. I've bought some buffalo ricotta cheese from La Latteria before, and a tub of yoghurt. The ceese was yummy! Have also tried the Lemon Myrtle Yoghurt, for me I struggled with its flavour, it was like Im eating potpourri. Fakegf likes it though :).

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    1. I must try that cheese then! With the yoghurt, I was also a little taken aback by the lemon myrtle scent at first but got used to it later.

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  4. And I certainly have similar issues with you. I take random pics that may be of interest to my blog, but don't have context to place it into a post!

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  5. I love this style of post Leaf! Looking forward to more.

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  6. Ooooh, pasta and cheese - I'd take either of those over chocolate any day!

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    1. Yes! Though I may have chocolate after eating pasta and cheese...

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  7. Pasta drive, that is an awesome idea! Looks so good, I want pasta now!

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    1. It's pretty awesome, especially when the quality is so good!

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  8. Squee squee squee La Latteria!!! My friend/my brother's housemate works there, and she is a GEM A COMPLETE AND UTTER GEM! Next time you go, say hi to Tess for me :) :)

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    1. Excellent! I'll try to remember next time I pop by!

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  9. I'd heard of capoeira before but couldn't remember what it was... google to the rescue and WOW! That's so awesome! Must be lots of fun :D Also, I'd definitely choose pasta over chocolate! And that cheese... *drool*

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    1. It is fun! I'm still not good at it after all this time, though...
      And yeah, I can eat a few hundred grams of pasta a day for several days, but I don't think I can do that with chocolate. :p

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  10. I am so interested in kombucha but a little afraid of it too...however, that pasta I could buy!

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    1. If you can handle apple cider vinegar, then you can handle kombucha, I'd say. :)

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  11. I must get out more. I've never seen a cheese donut before. I haven't see La Latteria products up here either. argh.

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    1. Yeah, I'm not sure where else you can get their products other than at their own store...

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  12. I'm very intrigued by the burrata - looks swoon-worthy indeed...love mozzarella in the summertime. And the lemon myrtle yogurt; positively dreamy

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    1. That's actually the cheese donut! I cut it in half to show off the cross section... :)

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  13. This post is awesome, Leaf! I'm always inspired by you to open up my eyes and try new things from the things you always introduce. Those raviolis are DIVINE and the cheese donut is something that I must try! And hey, you know me, I'm all for supporting anything that involves eating for a good cause. Thanks for sharing with us a sneak peek of your recent discoveries and what you have in your pantry. So many things I've never tried before, I'm learning a lot haha

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    1. Thanks, Winston! The ravioli really was divine. You'll have to try it someday and let me know what you think! :)

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  14. That lemon myrtle yogurt sounds delicious, too bad we can't find it here.

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    1. That's right, I'd almost forgotten that lemon myrtle is a very Australian thing! I hope you get to try it someday.

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  15. Am pretty jealous about the lemon myrtle yogurt discovery. I'm thinking that could be a lot of fun.

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  16. A cheese donut?? YUM! Also, that pasta sounds fantastic. It's actually really nice to hear unbiased reviews of products that rock.

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    1. Thanks, SarahKate! It's fun to share the little discoveries I make here and there. :D

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  17. I'm going to have to hunt down Marrook Farm lemon myrtle yoghurt to have with my morning granola.
    We have a lemon myrtle bush in our community garden, and i'm quite besotted with the fragrance of the leaves. A yoghurt flavoured with its essence sounds immediately slurp-able.

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    1. Oh, let me know what you think when you hunt it down! I've since noted that there are other companies/farms that do lemon myrtle yoghurt, too, and I'm keen to try the rest and compare.

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  18. Oooooooh, cheese donut?! That sounds like the best thing ever! Totally paying a visit now... :)

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    1. It's really just cheese in a donut shape, but yes, it is pretty great! :)

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  19. Lovely odds and ends! Kudos for that kind of post, I also wondered what I could do with all the culinary leftovers and novelties that can't really make a blog post on their own... but combined together, huh, most interesting and yummy.
    Goat cheese ravioli is awesome, isn't it? =D

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