Friday, November 27, 2015

Intern Lady

Hello :) I feel like every time I write a post now, it's to make a life announcement (haha) and today is no different. You'll probably remember that I graduated from uni a few months ago and have since been on the lookout for possible job opportunities. Well to be honest, there has been a lot of thinking about what I can actually do and what I want to do. So when I saw the application for this particular internship - it sounded perfect.

As of a few weeks ago, I'm the new Recipe Developer intern for I Quit Sugar (IQS). Woop! So pleased to find an internship that brings together my skills and experiences ... nutrition science, food market work, blogging, recipe writing and just getting excited about food! As you can imagine, it is seriously cool to go behind-the-scenes of a website and program that only started a few years ago.

I'm interning with the lovely Meg, who is the Recipe Developer - and we're currently developing and testing lots of recipes for the 8 week program next year. It really is such a thrill to be doing something I love - and meet lots of like-minded people. Oooohh and working in a hip Surry Hills office with so many good coffee shops on the same street ain't so bad ;)

Yep, everyone brings lots of awesome lunches to work! As there's a proper kitchen, a lot of people are often roasting veggies or heating up leftovers. The other day I brought some leftover marinated lamb with veggies. 

Since starting, I've been wanting to try some more recipes from the IQS books. A week ago I made this simple fennel tart with macadamias and cinnamon from the IQS for Life book. It really is so easy - a winner!

And today I decided to try out some sour kiwi fruit gummies using the new IQS gelatin - made from pasture-fed beef in Australia. I've never really played around with gelatin before and was really surprised how easy it was, they are so moreish!! The recipe literally has gelatin, water, kiwi fruit, lemon juice and a touch of rice malt syrup. Will definitely be playing around with flavours ... 

Some of you may be wondering ... if I've quit sugar? I suppose the short answer is no ... though interestingly since working there I haven't actually eaten sugar. I'm not going to say no to the occasional cake, and Adrian and I are having a little engagement party next week - I'm sure people are going to bring cake!

Have a lovely weekend everyone ...

Hannah x

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Twenty Three

Hello :) So, about time I made another post! Seems rather relevant to do a post about my twenty-third birthday, though it was almost four weeks ago - as it was an exciting and eventful few days!!!

Birthday picnic ... 

So in the morning (we both took the day off work, how indulgent!), Adrian and I went to blues point to have a picnic around lunch time. So thankful the weather was perfect.

Treats from bourke st bakery in north sydney and we made little rolls with brie and cucumber and proscuitto ... 

The Westin ... 

Ok so after lazing in the sun for a little while, we headed off to the city. I knew we were staying in a fancy hotel, but didn't know which one. Turns out it was The Westin at martin place! When we arrived around 3pm - we were told at the front desk we had been upgraded to the presidential suite aka the fanciest room in the hotel !!!

First up, a quick coffee in the lounge before we took the lift to level 31 ... 

The suite had seven rooms and we felt like a super posh couple for the day!!!

The largest bathroom ever ...

A very luxurious bedroom ... 

Billy Kwong ...

For dinner, I'd booked billy kwong in potts point - which I have wanted to go to for a while. Sharing a few entrees and one main was perfectly enough.

Crispy prawn wontons. Really lovely!

Steamed lamb buns with picked celery 

Rice noodle rolls with braised beef and black beans. Our fav entree!

For the main I already knew we had to have the duck with mandarin and plum, as I'd heard so many good things about it. It really was so good with lots of crispy skin - and steamed rice and chinese greens was the perfect accompaniment. 

An engagement ... 

Ok, so a bit of an announcement ... Adrian and I are engaged !!!

Around the time of my birthday, we were already having conversations about getting married, as we've been dating for almost 5 years - we already knew we were going to be staying together. So rather than some big surprise, it was more a mutual decision - which suited us and was very nice!

A few days after my birthday we went into the city and bought the first ring I tried on at Tiffany & Co. It has a rose gold band with a lovely diamond that I think is very elegant. 

Sipping champagne at Tiffanys (at about 11am!)

After buying the ring we went to the botanical gardens so Adrian could properly propose ...  

Very happy indeed! It definitely feels nice being engaged :)

Soooo that sums up quite the eventful birthday! Apart from that I have had a pretty good few weeks, enjoying my intern with Em from depths of beauty - writing blogposts such as this one and assisting on an upcoming beauty workshop. 

I must admit I have been eating out a few too many times lately, but getting back into cooking more now - especially having just purchased the new Cornersmith cookbook and Near & Far by Heidi Swanson. 

Oh and also if you'd like to follow me on instagram where I post most days, my username is: hannahfong_

Hannah x

ps. hi Lyfina, sorry I took so long to post! ;)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Favourite Face Oils

Hello :) You know it's funny, ever since graduating with a nutrition degree a few weeks, it's almost as if I've been wanting to pursue other interests! It probably has something to do with the fact that in the nutrition industry nowadays there are so many opinions (many of them not very scientific!) that I'm still figuring out where I fit in or exactly what kind of job I want to have. 

Bachelor of Nutrition Science, tick!

One of my other interests of late has been all things skincare and makeup. I think it was spurred on by an interview I read with beauty columnist and author Sali Hughes in the latest dumbo feather magazine, and really enjoyed reading about her honest and thoughtful ideas around beauty. I've since watched many of her youtube videos, bought her beauty book pretty honest which is excellent and have been to mecca a few too many times. 

About a month ago I even applied for a short internship involving blogging and writing for a natural makeup artist and got it - really thrilled! So thought I'd do a skincare-themed post to celebrate ... let's talk face oils!

I really love using oils in my skincare routine! For a little bit more on the benefits of facial oils I like this straightforward post from Sarah Wilson and this one for more recommendations on which one to use. I have probably been using face oils for about two years, since I used to sell Araucana rosehip oil at my marrickville market stall until a year ago.

Here are three of my favourite face oils ... 

1. Araucana rosehip oil. This is a really fantastic and organic rosehip oil which is made in small batches - and perfect to use in the evening and you can even mix 2-3 drops in a night cream if you want a bit more nourishment. Rosehip oil is anti-inflammatory, a dry oil (which means it won't leave an oily residue) and I like that it is just the one pure ingredient.

2. Face Hero from go-to skincare. I bought this about a month ago, as I love using the cleanser, exfoliating swipeys and moisturiser from the range. Having a bit of a girl crush on the owner Zoe Foster helped with the purchasing decisions, but, more importantly, the products really do what they claim. The cleanser actually cleans really well, the swipeys leave your skin really smooth and fresh and I really love the thick texture of the moisturiser, which I find acts as a nice primer under tinted moisturiser. 

Anyway, the face oil is really light, hydrating and absorbs into the skin really well. Sometimes I'll even mix a drop of it into my moisturiser in the morning. Even if it's a bit pricier than other face oils (well, compared to pure rosehip oil), it does come in a 30mL bottle, which is 10mL more than most face oils.

3. Sukin hydration booster. I kept using the tester at my pharmacy job, so finally I just bought a bottle a little while ago. It is a mix of jojoba, almond oil, argan and immortelle, with a light scent of rose. This one is really well priced and I think it feels quite similar to the go-to skincare face oil. 

I find when I use one of these oils in the evening, my skin looks a lot more plump and nourished in the morning. To be honest though, I'd say they all produce similar outcomes - so it probably just depends on the price and scent as to which one you'd like! Jojoba is another fantastic oil (well, it is actually a wax!) and does a fantastic job at removing eye makeup and is lovely as a body moisturiser post shower. Almond oil is also very light and soothing - which I've used in the past as a face moisturiser and makeup remover.

Bonus tip - keep your face oil in a cool, dark place as sunlight can oxidise the product and it may go off a lot quicker!

Another bonus tip - when applying a face oil, don't forget to give yourself a little massage! My favourite youtube clips to watch about facial massage is this from into the gloss and this one from lisa eldridge. It creates a nice, little evening routine.

Do you love using facial oils ? 

Hannah x

Monday, August 3, 2015

Green salad + batch cooking

Hello :) I went to Marrickville markets on Sunday for the first time in about two months, and came back with lots of fresh produce - excited to cook! At the moment I find myself eating out a bit, working till late and generally not getting home all that often so it's so nice to take time to visit the markets (as a customer) and spend a Sunday getting grounded and back into the swing of healthy eating!

I ended up buying two cabbages (a savoy and green one), a whole bag of avocados, locally made organic brown rice miso (lovely in hot water with chives instead of tea), fresh turmeric, flax crackers that were on sale, lemonade lemons (that you eat like oranges, they're so sweet!) and a plethora of other greens ... 

As I'd bought two cabbages, I decided to make some simple sauerkraut in a big glass jar (I'd have used my fermenter bucket but there's fermenting kimchi in there!) and had the idea of making a big batch of green salad to have for the next few days. I definitely need more veggies in my life! I added finely chopped cabbage, cucumber, fennel, kale, red onion and dill to a bowl and gave it a good mix with some peppery olive oil and sea salt ... 

For lunch we had some of the salad with marinated lamb ribs baked in the oven with brussels sprouts and some turmeric potato bread on the side (from the Irish soda bread stall). 

Then for a quick breakfast today I had a big handful of the salad with two boiled eggs, some feta and fermented beetroot. Salad for brekky ain't that weird, promise!

I even decided to have some salad for lunch with some avocado and fennel seeds on toast. 

Now I know meal planning or batch cooking isn't all that new, but after making a big batch of the salad on Sunday and popping it in a container - I realised just how easy it was to eat more vegetables if I have a nice, fresh salad already prepared! 

Does anyone batch cook or do lots of meal planning? Maybe I should try making a big batch of falafels next ....

Hannah x

Monday, July 13, 2015

Making Fermented Vegetables + Perception

Hello :) I've been selling fermented vegetables at Eveleigh markets since the start of the year now and it's been a really interesting, rewarding job to have. Firstly, as a nutrition student (graduating in just over a week!) it obviously helps me to apply my nutrition knowledge to a practical job - having conversations with people about gut health, probiotics and recipe ideas for their kimchi! What has also been interesting is learning and thinking about the idea of perception when it comes to cooking and how some things that seem hard to make aren't really!

At the markets we sell a DIY fermenter kit, which is basically a 5L bucket that comes with a tap, out gasser, muslin cloth and depending on what you want to make (i.e. sauerkraut, kimchi or beetroot/apple) we also give you the right instructions and recipe (i.e. the weight of the vegetables to buy etc) and a packet with the correct ratio of salt, spices and a probiotic sachet. Well for weeks I'd been encouraging people to buy one (so economical! so easy!) without really considering it myself (so difficult! not enough time!) - when really it was the perception of it all that stopped me.

So about 6 weeks ago I decided to finally give it a go myself - I bought a bucket and packet for sauerkraut making, which is a good one to start off with because all you literally need to buy is a cabbage (though I added purple kale and garlic too). Essentially all you do is wash the equipment, mix the salt and spices with the shredded vegetables, wait an hour, wrap in a muslin cloth, pop in the bucket, mix in some water with the probiotics, add a weight, fill the water lock halfway and voila! Well, then you just need to wait 3-4 weeks - the not so fun part. There are of course different ways to make fermented vegetables, and you don't necessarily need a probiotic sachet (it just adds more lactobacillus bacteria).

fermenter bucket, cabbage, purple kale - ready for sauerkraut!

sauerkraut mixture ready to ferment 

I suppose what I’m trying to say is in the end what I perceived to be too complicated (making sauerkraut) was actually really quite easy and for the past two weeks I’ve been eating the finished sauerkraut most days now for breakfast and dinner. I added some extra chopped garlic and it really is quite delicious!

sprouted toast, boiled eggs, pesto and sauerkraut

Last Saturday I bought another cabbage and some carrots and decided to make kimchi. Exciting times ahead!

Cabbage for kimchi!

Kimchi mixture - I added extra fresh turmeric and ginger, yum!!

So learn to make bread, whip cream to make butter – and maybe even ferment your own vegetables … you can do it! 

Hannah x

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Oh hi blog!

Hello :) Long time no blog! I will get into more regular blogging but in the meantime here's a summary of what I've been up to inspired by this post ...

  • Thinking ... about what to do after I graduate with a Bachelor of Science (nutrition) degree at the end of the month! I'm still not entirely sure what I want to pursue yet ... but in the meantime am happy working at a few jobs and still having time to do a few yoga classes, bake a bit more, opshop and fun things like that!

(recipe from here, it was so good!!!)
  • Planning ... a little holiday to Melbourne soon and hopefully Japan at the end of the year!
  • Eating ... a lot of slow cooked soups and stews using homemade chicken broth, homemade sauerkraut, and porridge with cacao, homemade almond milk and toasted sunflower seeds 
  • Listening ... to sufjan stevens, tiny ruins, first aid kit + abc jazz 
  • Drinking ... aeropress coffee, white tea, rooibos with lemon 
  • Buying ... dark chocolate coffee beans (obsessed!), containers from Muji and polish pottery 
  • Wearing ... peach blush, berry lipstick and a lot of collared shirts - the shirt in the picture is a lover find from vinnies!
  • Reading ... far from the madding crowd (cause I want to see the film with carey mulligan)
  • Watching ... a lot of makeup videos on youtube from Sali Hughes, who I read about in the latest dumbo feather magazine
Hannah x

Monday, May 11, 2015

Spiced Spelt Biscuits

Hello :) Here's the recipe to some really nice biscuits that I've made twice already in the past few weeks. They have a base of spelt flour and almond meal, with lots of spices like ginger and cinnamon in there too. I love that it makes a big batch too - perfect for enjoying with cups of tea throughout the day and gifting to friends. Instead of galangal I used a mixture of grated ginger and crystallised ginger ... (obsessed with crystallised ginger, instant warmth!)

Recipe (here

Well I am currently at home finishing an assignment on zinc - looking forward to my coffee and biscuit break!

Hannah x

ps the blog I got the recipe from mostly saturdays is written in part by Maria who has a wonderful blog with beautiful photographs around Sydney and now Hamburg.