Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sundays...

Well, today has been a VERY lazy Sunday for me - I was feeling a bit under the weather and speaking of the weather - it was a bit dreary so it was a perfect day to stay inside and work on uploading lots of new products to Robin Street Market.  I added some lovely iPad and kindle pouches - handmade with love in Thailand!

Now LAST Sunday was a different story.  The sun was shining - it was such a beautiful Autumn day! I asked my gorgeous Lola "Do you want to go for a walk?"
And who could deny that face??  So, Lola and I went for lovely long run together and then spent a bit of time lazing in the backyard with Ringo.  We all love the sunshine at my house...
And then, because it was such a lovely day I got out the camera and took some shots of the beautiful trees and plants in our yard.  That sky was just so lovely and blue...  Someone please remind me.  Why can't every day be sunny and sparkly?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

David Cosma: Gig At Veludo Bar Thursday 27th May

For those of you who don't know, my husband David Cosma is a wonderfully talented singer/songwriter.  Check out his website if you would like to hear a sample of his tunes.  Tomorrow night (Thursday May 27th) he is playing at Veludo Bar, 175 Acland Street St. Kilda. He is on stage at 9.15pm and along side him will be Nick Carrafa (vocals & percussion) & Jonathan Zion (bass).  If you are a Melbourne local, come along and experience a bit of the local music scene, it's going to be a great night.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Restaurant Review: Mamasita in Melbourne, Australia

I have been hearing murmurings from friends about Mamasita.  I've been hearing that this is the place to go and have authentic Mexican food.  It is located at the top end of Collins St (Level 1/11) and the outside of the restaurant at street level is just a glass door which opens up to a stair case which takes you up into the restaurant.

From that description you may think that there is a chance you will miss it if you're walking past, but trust me, the crowds of people queuing to get in will attract your attention. I had heard that they don't take bookings and that you need to get there early, so last Sat night, myself, David, my brother Matt and sis-in-law Sarah arrived at 5:50pm to beat the rush (it opened at 6pm).  Well, there was a queue of about 60 people lined up waiting patiently when we arrived and by the time 6pm rolled around another 60 people were lined up behind us.

David and Matt are two of the most impatient people that I know so Sarah and I had to placate them while we waited in line (only 10 mins or so until they opened the doors smack bang on 6pm), and as we worked our way slowly up the stairs. We were seated by about 6:15pm but we were almost the last of the first lot to get seated so ended up squishing around a table meant for 3, a very cozy distance away from the next table.

By this time, the boys were getting a tad cranky and talking about how the food had better be good, blah, blah, blah and that the drinks order better not be too far away. Well, they soon cheered up because our waitress was excellent, very switched on, quick to take our order and very helpful with explaining the menu. The menu lends itself to ordering food that you can share so we just picked 6 dishes to share and before long we were gnawing on a starter of street style char-grilled corn - and what a starter it was, YUM! We feasted on fish tostaditas, quesadillas de chorizo and lamb tacos amongst other delicious dishes. The flavours were amazing, the food was fresh and well cooked, and the serves were just big enough to allow us to taste lots of dishes without getting too full. And the food came out really quickly so putting that all together, you will not be surprised to know that the boys just got happier and happier as the night progressed.

Apparently Mamasita is open until 2am and by the look of the queue as we headed down the stairs at the end of the evening they were going to be very busy all night. We had a fantastic evening and will definitely be going back - we'll probably just get there either a little earlier or much later next time.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sugar & Spice Children's Market

We are very excited to announce that we will be running a stall at the first Sugar & Spice Children's Market on Sunday June 20th at St Ambrose Hall, Woodend, Victoria.  This will be the first time we have sold Robin Street Market products at a physical market (versus online), so we are really looking forward to the opportunity to show off some of our handmade children's products - like these!


Pop over and check out the Sugar & Spice Children's Market Blog and read all about the latest market news, - you can also find out about the fantastic cause that the market is supporting.  We hope to see you there!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Robin Street Market Launch Party & Showcase

Guess what? We are having a party! And we would love to see you there. See below for further details. If you would like to attend please register via email to customerservice@robinstreetmarket.com by Friday June 4th:

Monday, May 10, 2010

Recipe: Shepherd's Pie

Mum made shepherd's pie quite often when we were growing up. I have never been much of a meat eater but even still I used to gobble this meal down whenever it was served up. And it must be a bit of a winner with the men because it was always a big hit with my brothers and my dad when I was living at home and now that I am making it myself, David gets very excited whenever I mention I might make it for dinner. 

I always make sure I buy premium mince (not that you didn't mum but you know I am fussy as anything about these things...), and I put heaps of veggies in as well as red kidney beans - yum!

It only takes about 10 mins to prepare and roughly an hour to cook.  This recipe serves 4. Oh and I have also been known to make a veggie version of this recipe (much to the disgust of the men in my life) - you just leave out the lamb, and add lots of beans instead.


Ingredients
    •    1 tbs olive oil
    •    1 brown onion, halved, finely chopped
    •    1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped
    •    2 celery sticks, trimmed, finely chopped
    •    500g premium lamb mince
    •    1 tin of red kidney beans
    •    Frozen green peas (as many as you like)
    •    2 tbs plain flour
    •    500ml (2 cups) beef stock
    •    1 dried bay leaf
    •    1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
    •    1 tbs tomato paste
    •    Salt & freshly ground black pepper
    •    4 (about 200g each) desiree potatoes, peeled, chopped
    •    40g butter
    •    125ml (1/2 cup) milk
    •    Melted butter, to brush

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring, until they soften a bit, about 5 minutes. Add the lamb mince and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes (until lamb changes colour) - make sure you break up the lumps.

Add the flour and stir until combined. Add the stock, bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste. Bring to the boil. Pop in the tin of red kidney beans and reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring every now and then for about 30 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper and give it a taste. Preheat oven to 200°C.

While the lamb is cooking, cook the potato in salted boiling water until they are tender (usually about 15 - 20 mins). Drain the water and pop the potatoes back in the pan with the butter. Mash until smooth. Add the milk and use a wooden spoon to stir until combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Now put the frozen peas into the mixture and stir them around.  The peas don't need to cook on the stove top they will cook while the pie is in the oven. Spoon the lamb mixture into an ovenproof dish and then put the mashed potato on top and use a fork to spread over lamb mixture. Brush the potato with butter so that it goes nice and brown and use your fork to make swirly whirly patterns in the potato. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until mashed potato is golden brown and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Kyoto: May 2009

We were over in Japan this time last year, and we were lucky enough to visit Kyoto for the first time.  Unfortunately we only had a few days to explore and it was pouring with rain for a lot of the time but the rainy weather meant that we could spend our days wandering around the city, checking out all the interesting shops and exploring the bars and restaurants. 

This is David chilling out in a gorgeous little bar that we discovered - we just followed a little stairway off Pontocho which is one of the most sublime streets - it is a pedestrian only walkway and at night it comes alive with lanterns and traditional wooden exteriors. We snuck into the bar in the early evening and befriended the waiter who plied us with warm sake and red wine. This photo is outside the bar on Pontocho (it's a wonder I'm still standing after all that wine and sake).
Of course we ate like kings while we were there.  Ahh, the food...
And as for the shopping.  Such cute shops, selling wonderful unique things.  This shop below sold loads of beautiful woodblock prints - I could have spent absolutely hours looking through these prints, so gorgeous.  This one below is one of my faves.
We found this little shop and it's lovely owner Sanae Nishi and I fell in love with her handmade hairclips that she makes using the most gorgeous Japanese buttons (some of them antique kimono buttons). 

I could continue listing shops like these all night but I don't want to be a bore so I will mention one more shop - this one below is the tiniest little shop where they sell rows upon rows upon rows (get my drift?) of wonderful chopsticks, like this lovely children's chopstick set below.
David had to drag me away from this one kicking and screaming. Such a lovely few days in Kyoto, really can't wait to get back there soon.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

One Week To Go 'Til Mothers Day

If you are still yet to buy your mum that special something for her special day, and you know she would appreciate something unique, check out our Mothers Day Gift Guide - we have plenty of unique and handmade gift ideas that might just be the perfect solution. Here is just a small sample...
Handmade Cotton & Linen Envelope Clutch
Acrylic Painting On Slate
Clique Mug
Smoky Topaz Quartz Sterling Silver Bracelet