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In my last few weeks of work I continued to trial Sydney's macaron offerings. I decided to promote MakMak to the top of the list after reading about them on Jenius.com.au. MakMak are a small, macaron only business who supply macarons to selected cafes around Sydney as well as delivering them to customers for only $25 per dozen. I organised a lunch date with Caitlin and Andrew, my macaron partners in crime, at City Westfield foodcourt in order to taste and review MakMak's offerings. You can buy MakMak macarons from Via Del Corso in the food court.

MakMak fit into the Adriano Zumbo school of flavours rather than the traditional Ladurée flavours. That is, they have wacky out there flavours rather than your vanillas and chocolates. On our visit we tried strawberry shortcake, pavlova, gianduja and peppermint macarons.
Macarons: MakMak

So, what was the verdict? The pavlova had a surprise hit of passionfruit and mango jam inside but tasted more of coconut than meringue. The gianduja is a combination of Belgian dark chocolate, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts and peanuts. In other words, it was rich and over the top. The other flavours peppermint and strawberry shortcake weren't anything special. So at $3.50 a pop the macarons from MakMak didn't really do it for me. Granted, I didn't try the salted caramel which may have been more to my tastes.
Macarons: MakMak

I won't give up entirely on MakMak. Their macaron menu changes with the seasons so I know I'll be tempted to give the next lot a try. And they deliver! I might not be able to resist a dozen macarons delivered for a special occassion.

Caitlin has also posted about our MakMak visit on her blog, Roaming Tales

jess - 30th May 2011, 16:29 tags: macaron explore_sydney


Evie is going to be possibly the most photographed child ever. Enjoy!
Week 1

More photos (slideshow) on Flickr.

Photo inspiration from www.younghouselove.com

jess - 27th May 2011, 16:55 tags: evie kids growing_evie

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So if you haven't seen me for a bit, you might not have known that I was pregnant. We weren't actively telling people about our pregnancy as we didn't want to count our chucken before she hatched. We actually didn't announce it to our family and close friends until we hit 20 weeks. But just because we haven't been broadcasting it to the world doesn't mean that we haven't been recording our journey. Here are the bump photos from 17 weeks pregnant, when we were still hiding it until week 37, the week before Evie arrived into our lives.

Week 17: Hiding the Bump Week 17 Week 18 Week 20 Week 21 Week 22 Week 23 Week 24 Week 25 Week 26 Week 28 Week 30 Week 31 Week 32 Week 33 Week 34 Week 35 Week 36 Week 37

Week 17: Hiding the Bump Week 17 Week 18 Week 20 Week 21 Week 22 Week 23 Week 24 Week 25 Week 26 Week 28 Week 30 Week 31 Week 32 Week 33 Week 34 Week 35 Week 36 Week 37

More photos (slideshow) on Flickr.

jess - 24th May 2011, 20:29 tags: evie kids pregnancy bump weekly_pregnancy_photo growing_evie

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The badger motto: A good night at trivia is one where you do not leave empty handed. Last night, we scored a bottle of wine for 5th place and Carlie won a bottle of wine for Heads or Tails (the first time ever a Badger has won Heads or Tails. Carlie is a winner!). So officially a good night at trivia (the trivia wine rack is expanding but the kitty is a little underfed).

Your chance at this month's questions:
  1. Despite being nominated for 11 Academy Awards, which film did not win a single one in 2011?

  2. What word can be used to mean an adulterous affair and also something which is used as a thickening agent in sauces?

  3. How many former American presidents are still alive?

  4. Who lived in a land called Honalee?

  5. In which country is the source of the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers?

  6. What country has the world's longest reigning Monarch, reigning since 9 June 1946?

  7. Named after its inventor, which hat was created in the 1860s?

You know the rules...

jess - 23rd May 2011, 09:12 tags: trivia sydneyrowers badgers


So before chubbaloobykins arrived (her new nickname, all she does is eat and sleep), I manged to fit in a couple of rounds of baking. First up I made some cupcakes for Mother's Day. I used Martha Stewart's vanilla cupcake recipe.

Another important pre-baking lesson was learnt on this round. When I print out a new recipe, I usually sit down and write out all the conversions for weights and temperature etc. What I also need to do is circle the yield. This recipe makes 24 cupcakes which was way too many for 5 people. I really should have realised that 3 cups of flour was going to make more than 12 cupcakes.

Do you like the vintage plates I used for the photos? A gift from Auntie Gloria. With 24 cupcakes I went with two types of cupcake decoration as I ran out of marshmallows for the flowers.
Cupcakes: Mother's Day Cupcakes: Mother's Day Cupcakes: Mother's Day

Last weekend I also made a round of gluten-free cupcakes for lunch with Kylie and Brielle, since Brielle is gluten-free. The problem was, I went into labour on Saturday morning, so the cupcakes didn't quite make it to lunch. Instead we dropped them into a frisbee picnic at Marrickville on the way to the hospital. Last Saturday morning I was dancing in the kitchen rocking back and forth through contractions to Rage. Highly recommended as a way to work through contractions. Rainbow cupcake decorations idea from Pinterest.
Cupcakes: Rainbow
Cupcakes: Rainbow

jess - 21st May 2011, 17:48 tags: cupcakes baking


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