Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sweet and Sweaty Weekend

This weekend has been salty and sweet, an important balance in the flavour of life I feel.
Saturday was definitely the sweet end of the spectrum as Jess, Mum and I attended a high tea with Mum's workmates at the Room with Roses in the city. The venue is in a building called the Brisbane Arcade which was built in the early 1900s and nowadays houses fine fashion houses and other speciality stores, amongst these the Room with Roses, a fine English tea house serving brunch, lunch and high tea to the people of Brisbane. I have been here before several times for tea and each time I have been more than happy with my meal and the service. Saturday was no exception, there were scones, savouries and petit fours a plenty, all chickpea friendly!
My favourite was definitely the raspberry scone topped with raspberry jam and vanilla whipped cream.
Beautiful Jess and Mum! Check out those scones in front!
It was lovely to share tea with some wonderful women and spend an afternoon enjoying a little leftover luxury from a bygone era.

This morning was the salty, sweaty section of the weekend's activities. Jess and I took part in the Brisbane Times 10km race. It was a lovely morning for a race with blue skies, unexpectedly hot weather for winter and a slight breeze off the river that the route followed.
Here we are before we got our sweat on!
I really enjoyed the race this morning. Although I still got my usual bout of nerves as we toed the line, as soon as Jess and I started running I forgot all about that and just enjoyed every moment of spending an hour with my little sister, doing something we both enjoy on a lovely Sunday morning. We chatted during the race, and just having her there was such a gift. As we get older and our lives become busier and take off in different directions it is nice to have that space where it is just the two of us again for a little while. I really treasure every moment I get to just have her as all mine again. Thanks Jess for such a wonderful morning!
Also thanks to our wonderful support crew, Mum and Dad, you definitely deserved your ice cream!

Salty demons!
Yes, one of our main motivations was race bling. This is Jess's first (of many I think!)
After the race the remainder of Sunday returned to the sweet spectrum, and whilst I promised a banana muffin recipe I'm sure you'll forgive me when you take a buttery, almondy, vanillary (all the -y words that make life worthwhile I think) bite of these biscuits.

White Chocolate Almond Fancies

1 1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon plain flour
3/4 cup icing sugar
155g butter
1/2 cup ground almonds
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
100g white chocolate
1/2 cup flaked almonds, toasted


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line two cookie sheets with baking paper.
  2. Sift flour and icing sugar into a medium bowl and using your finger tips rub in the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. 
  3. Add ground almonds, eggs yolks and vanilla bean paste and knead lightly with hands until it comes together in a firm dough.
  4. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until smooth. Roll out with a floured rolling pin to 4mm thickness. Cut out rounds with a 6cm fluted cookie cutter and place on lined cookie sheets about 3cm apart.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until just firm and lightly golden on the edges.
  6. Slide baking paper onto wire racks and leave cookies to cool completely.
  7. Once the biscuits are completely cool melt the white chocolate by placing in a microwave safe bowl and heating in short bursts (about 30 seconds) and removing between each to stir chocolate with a metal spoon. Spread chocolate onto biscuits using a small knife and press into flaked almonds.
  8. Set aside on wire racks until chocolate is completely set.
Ooh fancy!
This weekend has been the perfect melange of sweaty and sweet. I think in life it is that balance of saccharine and salt that makes life so interesting, and worthwhile. There are times when it seems we are living in a salt mine and the tears we cry are bitter and never ending. If you are patient, and you take the time to look you can find the sweet that balances the palate of life. Those moments so beautiful that they wipe the memory of the tears, and the trials away. I hope everyone had a sweet weekend, I can't wait to see what delights lay in store this week.


  1. Hi Amy! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog - yes it is great to have a fellow Aussie blogger out there. I'm vegetarian too (apart from eating fish), so I can definitely relate to your eating habits :) Actually this cookie recipe would be an easy one to do gluten-free I think, just mainly using almond flour.
    Looking forward to reading more through your blog, and it's lovely to 'meet' you.

    p.s. about time there was an Aussie food bloggers conference, don't you think? There seems to be one frequently in the US..

  2. Congrats on your race!!!!! Love the bling :)

  3. That does look like a great balance of a weekend! Racing, yummy cooking, and time with loved ones. All I could ask for. :)

  4. Congratulations on your race. Looks like a great day!

    Your almond fancies look gorgeous and delicious. Yum!

  5. hey thanks for the AWESOME high tea, it was in a word amaaaaaazing. :) i appreciate the tasty cookie treats and the lovely time it's at my house and there will be the napkin leaning tower of pisa and it will be leaning because on top will be mountains of chocolate chocolate chip cookies and a moat of tea. :)

    to be serious, looks like ur weekend was the perfect mix of salty and sweet and the pic with ur sis is just too cute...great job u too!

  6. oh, congrats on the race! Running with family is always fun!

  7. Glad you had a fun race! Race bling is always awesome. I hung up a small curtain rod for mine...dorky I know but it was less expensive than anything you can order online.

    Those almond fancies look great. I've pinned it for later :)