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Hermosa

 Last week, my friend SR and I enjoyed a delightful meal at Hermosa Cantina on Cambridge a funky little Tapas restaurant located not far from our workplace.

Gosh, it was so delicious!  We usually pop in there every couple of weeks to have a catch-up and a yummy green juice (a Punch Love, which consists of apple, lemon, kale and ginger, plus some mint if you ask very nicely and flirt with the waiter ha ha), but this last week we decided to stay for dinner as well.  So glad we did – it was so enjoyable.  The flavours were fresh and clean, and each dish was presented so beautifully.

We started out with a complimentary dish (that we weren’t even expecting) that consisted of fingers of brioche toast with pickled beetroot, capers and other things we were too busy eating to take note of.  So YUMMY.  They actually brought us out something with meat on but immediately rectified that when we said we were both vegetarian.

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Next up, we had the oh-so-scrumptious roasted pumpkin, salt baked beetroot, pickled beetroot, marinated yoghurt (and I think a nut crumb).  Beautiful – so fresh and tasty, all the flavours were so distinct, yet all melded together perfectly.

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We also tried the josper roasted peppers, melted tetilla with  polenta chips, which was also delightful.  So flavourful and party-in-the-mouth good.

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As is usual for tapas, the dishes were small, but very filling and we felt as though we had eaten a full meal.  We didn’t even get dessert!  Maybe next time…

To make the evening even more enjoyable, when we went to pay, the owner forgot to charge us for the juices we had had.  When I reminded him, he simply smiled and said “That’s ok ladies – come and see us again and we’ll call it even…” So nice!  I guess we have been there a few times now so he recognised us, but even so, some places can be a bit funny about you just coming in for one non-alcoholic drink and not ordering food AND staying a long time (which is what we normally do).

So, if you’re in Perth, do try Hermosa – you won’t regret it.  We’re going again this week with some workmates – hope they like it too.  If they don’t, we’ll eat theirs for them 🙂
Check out their menu HERE.

Raspberry & Pear Loaf (a rewind-post)

Raspberry & Pear Loaf (a rewind-post)

[I found this post in my drafts folder from June…I don’t know why I didn’t publish it at the time…or maybe I did and it just isn’t coming up in my searches.  Weird.  It is quite likely I just didn’t like the photos of the finished loaf so I scrapped the whole thing.  Or I just forgot.  Or some crisis popped up and I lost my brain for a few days.  Who knows?  Anyway, here is a recipe for Raspberry and Pear Loaf.  It was alright from memory :)]

Ahhh…full tummy…can’t move…must digest…

Just got back from a very lovely dinner with some equally lovely friends of mine at one of our favourite restaurants nearby, The Dux.  So delicious.  L, K and I were co-workers for years and have remained good friends – L was actually my boss for quite some time but I think, even from the very start, we were friends and I sort of see her as a second Mum.  We try and catch up every couple of months, either for a lunch or a dinner, or sometimes just a quick coffee (and probably cake – let’s be honest!) and always have a good natter and share all our news and gossip.

We have been to the Dux before (I myself have been there LOTS of times, for breakfast mostly) and love their menu.  We always take forever to decide what to have but usually go for an entree rather than a main, so we can have dessert.  The entrees themselves are pretty substantial and filling enough on their own.  Tonight, K and I had the Caramelised Fig and Persian Feta Tart.  Oh so yummy.  It is served with a green salad and extra bits of feta and caramelised onion.  L had seared scallops which was served on a bed of pulled pork, with julienned pieces of apple.  It looked delicious, even to a non-meat-eater like me.  We also had some dips and different breads and some seasonal steamed veggies to share.  We always say we’re not going to overdo it and then we do anyway ha ha.

We also said we would be good and not get dessert tonight.  Pfft, who were we kidding?!  K and L just had a tiny serving of biscotti and house truffles.  Me, I went the whole hog and got the Peanut Butter Parfait with Salted Caramel Peanuts, Chocolate Sorbet and Goats Milk Yoghurt.  I mean, why wouldn’t you???  I didn’t eat the chocolate sorbet (no choccy for me – it was bad enough I was having peanuts) but the tiny bit I tasted on my spoon was so dark and bitter – it would have been lovely but it was just too much choccy for my little kidney to deal with.  The parfait though – oh Mylanta! – so scrumptious!  It was so yummy – I really just wanted the rest of the room to melt away and leave me and my tastebuds to be alone together.  It was heaven.  And I don’t feel a bit guilty.  Well, maybe a bit but it WAS delicious.  What made the meals even better was that we had a discount card for the restaurant and so we paid a paltry sum for our wonderful meal.  I hadn’t eaten much all day so my tummy was happy (though groaning ever so slightly).

I actually had to go to the dentist again today as my temporary crown had come loose in the night.  It’s been re-cemented on now and will hopefully hold on if I am careful.  Which I thought I had been, as I have been mostly having soft food and soups all week.  Oh well, hopefully my dentist isn’t psychic – he doesn’t need to know about the peanut butter…actually, don’t tell my renal specialist either.

On the weekend, I baked a Raspberry & Pear Loaf to take to my friend CW’s.  My oven is retarded.  I know you’re not supposed to use that word anymore, but, seriously, it is the only word that applies to my oven.  Things that should take 25 minutes (e.g. this loaf) take an hour.  Other things burn in half the time they should have taken to bake.  It’s rubbish.  But I persevere in the hope that I will figure it out one day or find a recipe that corresponds to its perverse and uncooperative nature.
(post script : I just re-read the recipe and it actually says “bake for 1 hour, 25 minutes…” so d’oh!  I am the mentally challenged one here, not my poor oven…)

I took the leftovers to work yesterday and they were gobbled up by everyone.  People said it was nice so I am including the recipe here.  If your oven works like an oven should do, the loaf will probably turn out even better than mine did.  It’s a fairly easy recipe (thanks, Australian Home Beautiful) and makes quite a large loaf.  Give it a try…

Raspberry & Pear Loaf

2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp bicarb soda
3/4 cup caster sugar
825g can pear halves, drained (juice reserved)
125g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 160 C.  Grease and line a deep loaf tin with baking paper.
Sift flours and bicarb into a large bowl.  Stir in sugar.  Puree half the pears in 1/2 cup of the reserved juice.
Put pear puree, butter, eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl and whisk until smooth.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and stir in puree mixture until just combined.
Roughly chop remaining pears and stir into batter with raspberries until just combined.
Spoon mixture into loaf tin.  Bake for 1hr and 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the loaf comes out clean.
Allow to stand in tin for 15 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack.
Cut into slices whilst still warm and serve with butter if desired.

Voila!

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