Who needs a plan? Well, if you know anything about me, you know I do! I keep a notepad with me at all times for random thoughts, notes, and blog post ideas, in addition to extensive to-do lists.
After a long first week in Australia which included six loads of laundry, sweeping floors, and cooking dinners I was ready for a fun weekend both with and without Ben. By the way, one of the dinners we cooked during the week was an amazing Spicy Prawn Pasta – I plan on writing that recipe up as soon as we make it again, I have a few changes and additions to make to the original.
Now if my week sounds a bit like a 1950’s housewife it’s because, well, it is. Don’t get me wrong, I did have fun last week working on the blog, eating lunch at Café Inu with my housemate Simon, late night grocery shopping, as well as picking up some essentials for my new place. Plus, being a house-girlfriend and working on my blog all day while Ben is at work isn’t a bad gig.
Saturday was our day for big plans! We were going shopping at the Homemakers Center. If a Homemakers Center sounds weird to you, trust me I was a bit confused as to what it was at first too, but I’ll explain that soon. Before we went shopping we needed to fuel up!
Ben planned on taking me to this small café close by, but when we pulled up the place looked a bit run down and not what he was really thinking in terms of “nice breakfast,” so we rerouted and went to Three Bean Espresso Bar. I’ll be the first to admit I am not, and don’t plan on ever being a coffee drinker, so the name of this café is a bit of a turnoff for me, but boy am I glad we went there.
I love a cup of tea, and a chia tea latte in the morning is the perfect way to start a day, and a great pick me up in the afternoon. The chai lattes at Three Beans was nothing short of amazing. The milk was foam, and there was a large dash of cinnamon across the top, so you had a little spice and foam in every sip.
I brought my new DSLR camera with me, although having never read the manual or fully setting it up in the first place, I only took one photo while we were there, and that is the picture of the latte above… Ok, I lied, I also too a really random picture of a glass of water, but I didn’t think you would want to see that.
One thing I love about cafes in Australia is that there’s usually a wall or rack of magazines and newspapers available for patrons to read before or after their meal. Servers don’t work off of tips like they do in America, so I don’t feel bad spending more time at a table reading, and have never felt rushed by a server while doing so. During breakfast Ben read The Weekender Newspaper, while I flipped through Gourmet Traveler Magazine and got some recipe ideas which I conveniently captured photos of… to trigger my memory of course.
The menu at Three Beans wasn’t extensive, but everything on it looked so good! I also loved their creativity in menu presentation, especially for a restaurant that changes their menus regularly. We got to the restaurant just as breakfast was changing to lunch, so we were lucky we got to take a look at both and opted for breakfast.
Typically when I go out to eat I am immediately drawn to the eggs benedict or a breakfast burrito. Three Beans didn’t have a burrito, and although they did have eggs benedict, did you look at that menu? The french toast just jumped out at me. It was basically highlighted, circled, starred, and said “Andrea Eat Me!”
Boy oh boy did I eat that right up!
The toast was tough on the edges and gooey in the center. The plums were big, juicy and warm. The anglaise mixed with the juices from the plums, and praline sprinkled on top gave I a sweet crunch. This satisfied every taste bud and kept me full for the rest of the day.
Ben got the Grilled Field Mushrooms on Toast. Have you ever seen Mushrooms this big in your life? Also, is that on one piece of bread or two? Because that is one mighty big piece of bread to hold those mushrooms.
I tried a bit of his, and it tasted like it was fresh off of the farm. It’s honestly hard to compare our two meals. I mean one was from a farm, the other from the sugar mill.
Breakfast = Expensive = Delicious
After we wrapped up in Hamilton, we drove out to the Homemakers Center. Now what is this center? Its essentially a shopping mall full of every store you would need when setting up a new home. Think: furniture, lighting, cookware, electronics, bed linens, storage all available in the different stores that make up the center. There are even home design consultation stores as well.
We poked around some of the shops checking out the different kitchen mixers. I am determined to buy one but still deciding between the Sunbeam, Breville, and KitchenAid Brands. I love my KitchenAid back in America, but here they are about $650-$700. I am trying to stay in the $300 range, and toying with the idea of buying used. If you have any pointers or suggestions let me know.
We also popped into a home accessories store – think Bed Bath & Beyond. I was so tempted to get a couple things for the kitchen, like new glass mixing bowls. Looking back on it I should have since I broke a glass mixing bowl this morning. Whoops.
Our last stop was store we had been waiting for: Bunnings. Bunnings is the Australian Home Depot. I was so excited to go because I was set on making these lights for food photography last weekend. I searched all around for the supplies I needed, and without any luck asked an employee for help. Unfortunately, Bunnings didn’t have the lights I needed for this project, and my plans of making them went out the window. At least we could find Ben’s weekend project here…
Until we couldn’t. Ben brought home a small pot of oregano from his bosses house Friday, and decided he wanted a mushroom kit as well so he could grow his own. He loves mushrooms – if you couldn’t tell. Again, we searched high and low for his kit, talked to an employee, and had no luck. There went his planned weekend project too.
We had an hour to kill before we needed to head home for Ben to get ready for a Bachelor Party – over here they are called Bucks Parties – for his college roommate. We poked around the mall, rarely stopping, but Ben pointed out a few stores that “slutty girls shop at” so I now know what stores to avoid. I also found these throwback 1990’s shoes in one of the (non-slutty) stores we stopped in.
I am hopeful to find a place like Barnes and Noble in Australia so I can sit in a big comfy chair and read Australian Women’s Weekly, and Aussie cookbooks. In the meantime the bookstore at the mall will have to do.
We finished off the afternoon of window shopping with a sushi roll in the food court before heading home.
Ben left for the bucks party right away, and I was home alone. I whipped out my new camera (that same one that caused me trouble that morning) and started taking photos of any and everything; reading the manual and clicking away!
Read on for part two!
What do you do when things don’t go as planned?