Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I Love Canberra

For the second year in a row I have ventured down the Hume to stop over in Canberra on the way to Thredbo. It's a good idea for a few reasons: it's a great way to break up the trip being only about three hours south of Sydney; it's a really pretty town; culturally exciting; and the food is amazing.

We stayed at the Hyatt Hotel which is such a lovely way to remind your senses that you are on holidays. It oozes classic old world charm and I always request to stay in the heritage part of the hotel where the walls in the hallways leading to your room are adorned with photographs of past politicians. If the walls could talk it would be very interesting.

We booked a table at the highly recommended Italian & Sons and were not disappointed. What a meal, and so professionally executed both from the kitchen and the wonderfully informed and friendly people on the floor.

We started with garfish and the most lovely peperonata, dotted with toasted pine nuts and plump little currants. With a squeeze of lemon to spike things up it was a perfect way to start.


Next up we ordered a salad of witlof, cos, apple, and house smoked ricotta di Buffalo. So fresh and crisp.

For the main we shared a couple of dishes, although, the one that stood out for me was the beef short ribs cooked slowly in wine and served with polenta.

Dessert was the bomb! Italian ricotta doughnuts rolled in cinnamon with a nice scoop of mascarpone ice cream on the side.

The next morning on our way to visit a couple of local wineries, we dropped in on the Londsale Street Eatery.

They served brekky all day and are roasting their own coffee beans on site. We had a large brekky of braised beans, poached eggs, bacon, and sausage with a nice piece of pissaladiere bumped up on the side which I thought was a groovy idea. The coffee was outstanding too.

On the way to the snowy, we diverted west to visit one of my favourite wineries Helm Winery. The 2014 1/2 dry Riesling is my pick at the moment. Quite fruit driven, made in the style of many of the famous German and Austrian wines, and just fab served alongside a spicy Thai curry dish.

Well stocked and happy, we head off down the road with bellies full and a boot full of wine to Thredbo vowing to return on our way back to town.


Happy eating,
Simmone x



Monday, June 2, 2014

Sunday Roast

I chose the first day of winter to launch my Sunday roast at my Double Bay store and it went down an absolute treat!
We set the store up beautifully with a lovely new timber table from Elements I Love perched out on the street with an old champagne bucket full with my favourite roses. In true Simmone Logue style, I set the scene for what was a wonderful afternoon. Although the sun wasn't shining, the rain stayed away and it was the type of weather that made us all want to tuck into a hearty plate of goodness.
I cooked the lamb shoulders for 5 hours in a little bit of stock, lots of fresh herbs, red wine, and aromatic vegies. The lamb ticked along on 150°C until the meat was almost falling off the bone. The vegies caramelised up nicely with whole garlic cloves bumped up alongside kumera, Queensland blue pumpkin, onion, and baby carrots.
To finish off the dish - a tossed bright green sweet as sweet peas in mint relish with lashings of butter. What a treat this meal was with a generous ladle of rosemary jus.
I also served my famous bread and butter pudding which made me feel quite sentimental as it was one of the first desserts I baked when I started my business. People even came back for seconds!
Sorry to the people who missed out last week as it's important to book. This Sunday I will be stuffing organic chickens with spec and sage, and serving them with tarragon jus and roast vegies. I also plan to bake a big apple crumble and serve it with vanilla bean ice cream.

See you all there, and don't forget to book on (02) 9327 5700.

Simmone x

Monday, May 5, 2014

Spoil Your Mum on Mother's Day

We love to look after our mums at Simmone Logue and that's why we are cooking up a storm for the special weekend ahead.

Why not spoil your mum with one of our beautiful banana cakes with passionfruit icing, or a lovely hummingbird cake with cream cheese icing and fresh mango. All of our beautiful cakes will come with a complimentary pastel rose, tied with a soft coloured organza ribbon.
In store over the weekend I will be baking fresh scones and serving Devonshire tea with my homemade preserves and whipped cream.
We have a gorgeous selection of teas to accompany the scones and, of course, we are renowned for the quality of our coffee too. Brekky will be served all day, as well as your favourites the entire weekend at both the Simmone Logue stores in Double Bay and Cammeray.
I spent the last couple of days picking mushrooms in the pine forest near Oberon. I will be serving them as a special brekky tossed in a pan with garlic, lots of parsley, and a squeeze of lemon on hot buttered sourdough toast.
Come into store and indulge your mum with a box of tempting and delicately prepared little cakes and tarts. I will be in store all weekend so I look forward to seeing you all. Or just call our office to place your order.
Happy Mother's Day to all our mums,


Simmone x





Monday, March 10, 2014

Somewhere on the South Coast

Every now and then I just have to cut out and head to a quiet place close to the ocean where I can sleep, cook, eat, drink, and breathe in a whole lot of fresh sea scented air.

I jumped in the car with my fishing rods, tackle box, and a case of beautiful wine and headed south about 5hrs from Sydney.

The reason for why I'm being so cagey about the location of this spot is because my newfound fishing friends are very protective of their special spot. They made me promise only to refer to this place as somewhere on the south coast. This place is true paradise……
It was around magic hour when I crossed an old rickety timber bridge with sandy flat waterways on each side. Bird life and fisherman abundant, I knew this place was for me.

When I spotted the little beach house, which was going to be my home for a week, feelings from my childhood stirred. This was the archetypal fibro beach house, just like the one I spent my holidays in when I was a kid. Those days are truly my fondest memories growing up.

Salty air, wet sandy dogs, the smell of stinky bait and diesel, bare feet, curly sun beached hair, sunburn, and fish & chips. All this represents holidays and relaxation - that is what I needed and that is what I got.
I woke the next day to sunshine and the most beautiful white sandy beach. This was paradise. I ventured to the fisherman's wharf to make some new friends and see what possibilities there were for dinner.

I met Alan… he has the only licence to dredge for clams on this part of the coast and I marvelled at his great catch that day. I bought two kilos of his prize flame clams to cook up that night for dinner, straight off the wharf. Couldn't get fresher than that!
I had so many questions for Alan. I was just so excited to see these glistening nets of freshness being heaved onto the wharf. He explained how he only brings in one size, throwing the little ones back so they can grow into big ones and through the big ones back 'cause they make the little ones… sweet!!! I love how fishermen are looking after the sustainability of our ocean these days. He doesn't throw the empty shells back, which he brings up from the ocean floor. Instead he tips them on his driveway at home…. 800 metres of it evidently!!!
My clams with garlic, white wine and tomato… heaven!
The next day my new fishing buddy Rainer took me out on his boat. We trawled off the beach for kingfish and then went out further hoping for flathead. We came home with both.
That night I prepared sashimi with the kingfish and we cooked the sweet flathead tails up on the barbie bumped up alongside a very yummy potato salad.
Each night as the clock struck six I mixed a cocktail with gin, elderflower, and the piquant and mouth-popping finger limes.
Sadly, my week seemed to pass too quickly as most holidays do, and on my last day as I drove out of my new favourite place in the universe, I dropped into their farmers market. Could it have been any more perfect..? No!!!!

I purchased a beautiful big bunch of organic beetroot, a kilo of local honey, and a bucket of the sweetest and reddest little cherry tomatoes, which I roasted.
Slow roasted cherry tomatoes… great folded through piping hot spaghetti with olives, basil, and goats cheese.
Whoops…!
Happy fishing,
Simmone x

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Weekend In The Country

A weekend in the country was all I needed to get my culinary juices flowing. A walk in the garden to collect pine cones is a great way to get a good gulp of country air and stock a big basket by the fire. They make the best fire starters and look really pretty too.
I created a beautiful rustic roasted beet and Dutch carrot salad with goats cheese and a balsamic drizzle. It accompanies a roasted organic chook stuffed with lots of preserved lemon and bay.
We sat in our formal dining room for a sense of drama and pomp!
On the Sunday we drove to Orange for a day of wine tasting. I packed little chicken and walnut pesto finger sambos, gorgeous baby crème pâtissière tarts with strawberry, banana and figs, and a thermos of English breakfast tea for a picnic down by a bubbling stream. What a lovely day we had.
On the way home we stopped by the side of the road for free range eggs for our brekky the next day. I love the way the honesty box works so well in the country.
When we arrived home from Orange we fired up our bush barbie and cooked up my salmon fillets with preserved lemon and herbs from the garden.
We then moseyed down the mountain on Monday morning leaving the farm behind but still wearing our Akubras.


Happy cooking,
Simmone x