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mosaic road
Melbourne, Australia
Interests: my dogs, my children, my vegie garden, my sister and her boys, my hopefully ongoing fitness, recipezaar, my ebay business, my renovations - all in equal order !!
Recent Activity
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Baking is a subject very close to my heart and I love to see how it is presented in other cultures and countries. Thankfully it is enjoyed worldwide so anywhere I go I can either gaze longingly through bakery windows or enjoy, with coffee, a local type of cake or pastry. Mostly I do a bit of both. Religion in Spain has been an important influence on Spanish baking and tortas are even mentioned in the Spanish translation of the Bible in the Book of Leviticus. The nuns of Spain have often sold a special cake locally made in their... Continue reading
Posted 15 hours ago at mosaic road
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I have had 3 days in Spain, 3 days of true camaraderie. We all experience many varied friendships over time, some steadfast and some come and go but some very special friendships are a wonderful combination of the two.The friends I met up with in Madrid come under just that heading . It is a friendship of longevity and one where we have followed separate life paths at times and been very involved at others. But come what may, our joy in sharing experiences, meals and confidences has never wavered. On meeting in Madrid, D and I spent many hours... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at mosaic road
We had a great time wandering ! Yes on the first night we ate supper at 11.30 pm !
Toggle Commented yesterday on A Little Loco at mosaic road
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I have had 3 days in Spain, 3 days of true camaraderie. We all experience many varied friendships over time, some steadfast and some come and go but some very special friendships are a wonderful combination of the two.The friends I met up with in Madrid come under just that heading . It is a friendship of longevity and one where we have followed separate life paths at times and been very involved at others. But come what may, our joy in sharing experiences, meals and confidences has never wavered. On meeting in Madrid, D and I spent many hours... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at mosaic road
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You can see we are in very good company - in fact this cafe was dotted with photos of famous people who have eaten there. We were at the Chocolatier San Gines in Madrid eating their world famous churros dipped in thick cups of their world famous hot chocolate. It has been in Madrid since 1894 and surprisingly has outlets in Osaka, Tokyo and Shanghai. It has the same sort of feel to it that my favourite Melbourne cafe Brunetti has. There is no menu and after queuing for 10 minutes or so it is presumed, when you get to... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at mosaic road
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When travelling often you see signage or a menu item that makes you smile or giggle a bit. It may be a typo or error of some sort . These caught my attention. Laminated suckling pig ?? I envisaged a whole roasted piglet with apple in mouth flattened and laminated like a plastic place mat. In reality the dish was very thin, thin shavings of pork served with hummus. Who would know whether it was originally a suckling pig or not ?? No apple was on the plate !! Trunk of whipped cream ?? Here my mind conjured up a... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at mosaic road
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The Mercado de San Miguel is an historical covered market located in the heart of Madrid’s old quarter. It dates back to well before 1835. This enormous central light fitting consists of dozens of blue bottles strung up seemingly precariously, appearing like a gigantic airborne pom pom. The market consist of masses of stalls where locals and tourists alike stand up at counters and eat and drink Spanish specialities. Each counter serves something different - seafood or sangria or olives or empanadas or pizza or mojitos or beans and on it endlessly goes. It is packed to the rafters with... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at mosaic road
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Nothing could be closer to the truth after seeing the food, glorious food in Madrid. And add to that the well known fact that we eat with our eyes and the Spaniards have got it all wrapped up ! Every food group is covered plus some. Colour, freshness, wow factor - all are inescapable - at every table, cafe and food store. Every on is out and about eating. I cannot wait for meal times and my wandering of the streets is slow progress as I have to stop and look in every window at the incredible food offerings -... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at mosaic road
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No green eggs, just ham. And it is to the left and to the right, everywhere you look in Madrid. And in many formats, shapes and sizes. Available for all meals. Delicioso for ham lovers, a porcine paradise in fact. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at mosaic road
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I thought I booked a room. I paid for a room but I got a mansion instead. AirBnB has certainly come through with the goods. The room I thought I was getting seems to be the Spanish steroids version. Not only is it central and beautiful, it has a art deco lift up to the 3 rd floor and is so crammed full with objets d'arts that would cause any interior designer to swoon. I could have 10 for dinner seated beneath a chandelier. Before being seated they could assemble in a vast foyer, admire the enormous desk in the... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at mosaic road
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A very, very grey windy day with patchy drizzle awaited me when I woke up in Madrid today. But such a truly classic European scene greeted me when I looked out the window. Shutters and wrought iron are such a perfect match. I will be spending four days sightseeing with friends from Australia. I have been very excited about this trip as I have never been to Spain before . Jambon , tapas and chocolate dipped churros are high on my agenda. And I will be very happy just wandering the very narrow streets, admiring the archetypal architecture and embracing... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at mosaic road
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Foodwise, I found it hard to choose. I am not a heavy lunch eater so I went contemporary American and ordered Rick's Special Hamburger and Rosemary Fries. So, not Moroccan and not 1940's but this choice satisfied some cravings for 'normal' food. And then of course came dessert - my downfall in life !! And they had an ice-cream menu !! Again so not Moroccan and so not 1940's but so, so delicious. Our lunch was such fun and like the movie, a classic experience. With any luck next time we will find Sam sitting at the piano...... You must... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at mosaic road
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The menu here was wide and varied, an interesting combination of local Moroccan specialities and some traditional international favourites and some surprises too. The Obama Family Chili made an appearance. Why, you may well ask - but I think , and don't take this as gospel, the owner is American and this might be just a tiny bit of homage being paid to Mr. President. I didn't order it. We discussed what might have been ordered in 1942 and decided that the lamb chops would have been a popular choice. It was easy to imagine Bogey propping up the bar... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at mosaic road
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The enormous Moroccan city of many millions is far cry from the movie Casablanca and any images that might bring to mind.. The one and only homage here to Bogart and Bergman is Rick’s !! The ceiling is swathed and draped with luxury fabrics, the lighting exquisite. Table service was impeccable and when I opened my mouth to utter a few solitary words in Darija - probably mispronounced - I became instant friends with the several waiters. It was great too that no one minded that we deserted out table and wandered around taking photos. As you can see by... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at mosaic road
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Well I came recently with a friend on a visa mission and we took a lunch break at Rick's Cafe and played make believe. I was expecting touristy and tacky. Not so ! Behind a totally unprepossessing street frontage lies a charming restaurant, a movie set cafe complete with cigar menu and grand piano. Wonderful service plus great food and ambience set the scene for an Oscar winning meal.. No sign of Sam !! Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2015 at mosaic road
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Is there anything better than a long lazy lunch in the sun ?? Recently I hosted such a lunch for 6 American guests. The weather was glorious as was the food and the venue Riad Mur Akush . The first course was the wonderful Moroccan aubergine salad and birouates [similar to a spring roll but triangular] followed by a chicken and olive tagine. So delicious !! Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2015 at mosaic road
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The Ben Youssef Madrasa was an Islamic school in Marrakech, Morocco. It is the largest Medrasa in all of Morocco. The college was founded during the 14th century and was closely connected to its neighbour Ben Youssef Mosque. It had seemingly fallen into disrepair as the madrasa was rebuilt by a Saadian Sultan in the mid 1550's. There is inscription in the prayer room marked 1565. There were 130 student dormitory cells around the big courtyard. Classic and era-typical carvings in cedar, marble and stucco can be seen on the building. The carvings, though beautiful, have no pictures of people... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2015 at mosaic road
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If the crowd clears a bit in the souks you will get to see some wonderful doorways and if you remember to look up you may see some very ancient arches. Much of the time these go unnoticed because most people are busy navigating their way through the busy alleys concentrating on their map or dodging speeding motorbikes and plodding donkeys, both totally understandable occupations if you are at all familiar with Marrakech. I count myself lucky as I can wander at off peak times but also I don't have the pressure of a tourist agenda. This city dates back... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2015 at mosaic road
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Marrakech is brimming with roof tops, views and cafes and this trio can usually be found in a winning combination and Cafe des Espices certainly has the lot. It is a very typical design in that the downstairs area spills out onto the street, then stairs, always narrow, lead to a couple of salons on different levels and then a final staircase goes up to the roof top. From there you can see more of the city and look down on the hustle and bustle of the market. It is a perfect spot when the sun is out and as... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2015 at mosaic road
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This little cafe is a very popular coffee stop in the middle of the Medina. You can eat and drink with a birdseye view of everything happening below in the heart of the souk. I usually have the Cafe Canelle which is a short black with heavy cinnamony overtones. Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2015 at mosaic road
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Anyone from Melbourne will tell you that every rug store you pass in any given suburb is having a permanent closing down sale. They don't actually ever close down, they just live in hope that their advertising lures in some buyers. The rug shops here in Marrakech never close either. You could buy a rug from someone, somewhere in the Medina 24/7. The competition is cut throat. This one lovely store has gone to great lengths with their display of rugs and runners and carpets. They hang from the roof and around the walls, drape over ground and decorate the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2015 at mosaic road
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Reading the weekend papers over coffee and breakfast is something so many of us take for granted. It is a chance for catching up on a week's worth of news, reading the inserts full of reviews on books and movies, perusing real estate we cannot afford and being inspired by celebrity chefs and their recipes. But here in Marrakech I am hard pressed to find a newspaper that I can read. There are plenty in French and Arabic but that rules me out as a reader. Sometimes I see the New York International Times as I pass [infrequently] through an... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2015 at mosaic road
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Convoluted alleyways and congested corridors make up the souks in the Medina of Marrakech. They are a cobblestoned maze with vendors selling all manner of items. I took a wander with a friend on Sunday and we veered a bit of the beaten track where there was a lessening of the madding crowd. Wonderful artisan goods and ancient architecture alike make a souk saunter a feast on many fronts not to mention the certain challenge of refraining from making a purchase. As in many marketplaces much persuasive pressure is bought to bare immediately you slow to admire the handicrafts. Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2015 at mosaic road
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Usually the term "a riot of colour" refers to an abundance of colourful blooms in a garden but it was what came to my mind immediately when I saw this display of confectionary. Chocolate, mini meringues and frosted cupcakes in pastels and primary colours looked almost too good to eat - but only almost !! Customers were lined up in droves to make their rainbow purchases when I was in Harvey Nichols in London. Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2015 at mosaic road
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Donna Hay is a household name in Australia and over the years I have loved her magazines and recipes. I have used her packaged cake and brownie mixes with delicious results and admired from a distance her beautiful range of cookware and utensils . I did exactly that again when I saw her magazine in London recently , selling sadly at an unjustifiable cost. This post is for M, a dear Melbourne gym buddy who is an aficionado of all, repeat all, things Donna Hay. Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2015 at mosaic road