What Your Coffee Order Says About You

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Mocha: There comes a time in a boys life where he has to put down the hot chocolate and become a man.

Flat White: My ugly haircut and I need to speak to your manager.

Tea/Hot Chocolate (I Don’t Drink Coffee): It’s been several years since I started puberty, but I still can’t grow a beard. Even my grandma has more facial hair than I do.

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Extra Hot: I like poetry, long walks on the beach, and drinking things that taste like death.

Decaf: People really misunderstand Pauline Hanson. She’s the best thing for this country when you think about it. Not that I can actually think about it, as my IQ is only 66.

DARE Iced Coffee: I’m not ready for the real world.

Almond/Soy Milk: My yoga pants are made from ethically sourced cotton and the proceeds support vegan children in Africa. And my farts are organic.

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Decaf Coffee with Soy Milk: There is a special place in Hell for people like me.

Cappuccino: There’s nothing wrong with me, I’m really quite normal. Except for the fact that all of my friends are cats.

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Long Black: Feel that? Even my chest hairs have chest hair.

Starbucks Coffee: I have more Snapchat followers than brain cells, LOL! #pumpkinspicedunicornfrappe #whitegirlz #squadgoals #yassskween

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Chai Latte: When I finish my Cert III in Makeup Artistry, I want to backpack around India for a year.

Chai Latte with Almond Milk: I’m not like other girls. I have a nipple piercing and a Sylvia Plath quote for everything.

Piccolo Latte: I haven’t actually come out of the closet yet. I just need to acquire more glitter and several pink elephants.

Sunshine Coast 101

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed that I recently went to Caloundra. A small break from reality (and uni) was something I’ve needed for a little while, and it was nice to relax and have some little adventures.
The Sunshine Coast is one of my favourite places in Queensland. It’s a place I’ve been visiting since childhood, so there’s always an element of nostalgia wherever I go.
If you’re wondering what to do for your next weekend holiday on the Sunny Coast, I’ve made a little list of all the best places to visit.

Montville
Noteworthy places in Montville include the Clock Shop, Poet’s Cafe, The Chapel, local art galleries, the Montrose water wheel, and the local pub. There’s also some fantastic local parks and nearby bush walking locations, as well as a gorgeous view of the Blackall Ranges.

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Son of a Beach 
Caloundra is home to several kickass beaches, but my personal favourites are King’s Beach, Moffat Beach, and Dicky Beach. Kings Beach is one of Caloundra’s most popular beaches, due to all the cool stuff it has (rock pools, water fountains, kick arse playground, cafes, saltwater pools, great waves). Get there early for a good spot on the beach. Dicky Beach is more humble than King’s Beach, but it’s far less crowded. And Moffat Beach isn’t much of a swimming beach, but it has a great view of the ocean and some great cafes (and an awesome playground).

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The cure for Hump Day
One of the best coffee spots is Coffee Cat on Kings Beach. Not only is the coffee excellent, but the food and customer service are impeccable. Get onto it, pronto!

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Fifteen Minutes Into Noosa and Chill…
There is so much to do in Noosa. The beaches are fantastic, and the cafes and restaurants on Hastings Street are superb. You can pick up some ice cream at Copenhagen, grab a burger from Betty’s Burgers, and wash it all down with a beer at the Surf Club. Another great place in Noosa is The River Read. It’s a gorgeous bookstore and cafe, and you should definitely go there and buy a book (and a coffee).

Time for Pie 
Meat pies are the classic Australian staple, and if I was Prime Minister, we’d all be required to eat at least one meat pie every day. To experience what are definitely the BEST MEAT PIES EVER, head over to Beefy’s and grab one of their Signature Steak pies. The pies at Beefy’s will change your life.

These Boots Are Made For (bush)Walking
Sometimes, the best way to reconnect with nature is by walking through it. The Glass House Mountains loom over one of the most beautiful areas of the Sunshine Coast, and there’s plenty of walking tracks on offer. Or you can take a walk through the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve and immerse yourself in the beauty of the rainforest.

Eumundi
It’s a given that no trip to the Sunshine Coast is complete without a visit to the Eumundi Markets. One of the best things about the Eumundi Markets is the wide range of food on offer. Try some of the locally made produce, grab a coffee, eat a cheese kransky, indulge in some hot doughnuts… Just eat a bit of everything, and you can’t go wrong.

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Other noteworthy places on the Sunshine Coast include Mooloolaba, Maleny, Australia Zoo, The Curry Bowl, The Big Pineapple, and the humongous shopping centre at Maroochydore.
If you can recommend any other places on the Sunshine Coast, or if you have any suggestions for future posts, or if you would like to know the meaning of life, leave me a comment.

Much love,
Pear and Ivy x

The A to Z Guide to Brisbane

For our 1st birthday, the Pear and Ivy team decided to release one of the best posts that (we think) we’ve ever written. This comprehensive guide to Brisbane is our gift to you. Enjoy it and share it with your imaginary friends.

A is for Australia’s Third-Largest City
We’ve got cheaper housing prices than Sydney and fewer hipsters than Melbourne. Winner winner, chicken dinner.

B is for Bookshops
The top 3 bookshops in Brisbane include Bent Books in West End, the two-storey Dymocks in Queen Street and Archives Fine Books on Charlotte Street. Other great places for books and literary discussion include the Lifeline Bookfest and the Brisbane Writer’s Festival.

C is for City Cycles
Real Brisbane locals know better than to ride a City Cycle. They’re just not cool. There have been families that were torn apart because someone experimented with City Cycles.

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D is for Doughnut Time
Doughnut Time was founded in Brisbane. So it’s technically a great way to eat more ‘locally’ sourced food.

E is for Eat Street Markets
The bustling agora of the Eat Street Markets is a delight for local foodies and hipsters. Home to cronuts, street food from every culture, Japanese pizzas, crêpes, cheesecake sundaes, gourmet sausages and other delightful creations, it’s one of the best places to visit in Brisbane.

F is for Food and Coffee Scene
Suburbs like Paddington, West End, Fortitude Valley and South Bank boast some of the most amazing restaurants and cafes in Brisbane. Places like Bean, Coffee Iconic, the Cat Cuddle Cafe, Atticus Finch Cafe, Brew and John Mills Himself are some of the best places to go to for quality coffee. There’s also places like Abode Cafe, Arriva Italian Restaurant, Chop Chop Sushi, Seoul Bistro (Sunnybank), Soul Bistro (Milton), and The Victory Hotel (their parmigiana is awesome). And the Brisbane kebab scene is pretty nifty (especially the 24/7 kebab shop on George Street. The halal snack packs are a gift from the gods).

G is for GOMA
You’ve recreated the ‘flying’ scene from Titanic on the City Cat. You’ve bought her dinner at the Jamie Oliver restaurant. What else is there to do in this relationship, you ask. Just take your beloved to GOMA for the day. Not only does it have air-conditioning and free entry, but she’ll think you’re so intellectual and cultured.

H is for History 
Our local history is humble, but it features things like the Manning murder conspiracy, heaps of local legends and plenty of ghost stories. Places like the Boggo Road Gaol, Toowong Cemetery, Wolston House, Old Government House, St Helena Island and Newstead House are perfect for your local history fix. There’s also the remains of the Woogaroo Lunatic Asylum, but they’re always monitored by the police.

I is for Ibis
Brisbane is home to many bin chicken colonies. Places like South Bank, the CBD, QUT Kelvin Grove and the City Botanic Gardens are infested with trash turkeys.

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J is for Jazz
The Brisbane Jazz Club is an amazing place to check out if you’re into jazz music. It’s described as being ‘the only venue totally dedicated to live jazz’ and it has a fantastic view of the Brisbane River, the Story Bridge and the city.

K is for Kangaroo Point
The cliffs at Kangaroo Point are an amazing place for rock climbing, jogging and taking in the scenery of the Brisbane River. It’s also a great place for a picnic.

L is for Local Music Scene
Brisbane has been the starting point of established bands like Ball Park Music, Savage Garden, The Veronicas, Violent Soho and Powderfinger. But there’s also many emerging musicians on the scene, including Belrose, Johanna and Jayden, Port Royal, Whalehouse, and The Jumpkicks. Head to places like Ric’s Bar, Sonny’s House of Blues, The Zoo, The Brisbane Jazz Club, Black Bear Lodge, The Milk Factory and The Foundry to get a glimpse of what the local music scene has to offer.

M is for Mt Coot-tha
The Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens are one of the most beautiful places in Brisbane. It’s the most serene place to have a picnic, but you can also visit the planetarium or walk to the top of Mt Coot-tha to check out a fantastic view of the Brisbane city skyline, or the sunrise if you’re hardcore.

N is for New Farm Park
New Farm Park has amazing gardens, excellent views of the city and the river, and it’s right next to the Brisbane Powerhouse. It also happens to have one of the most kickass playgrounds in Brisbane. You should definitely have your next picnic at New Farm Park.

O is for “Oh my God, the ibis have ruined our picnic”
Those feathery bastards are persistent. They will not rest until they’ve ruined your life and stolen your chips.
P is for Pear and Ivy
Out of all the food/lifestyle blogs in Australia, Pear and Ivy is clearly the one blog that deserves to rule the world.

Q is for QPAC
You can’t call yourself a true local if you’ve never seen at least one performance at QPAC. It’s the hub of sophistication and culture in Brisbane. Even if you go there to watch the ballet with your Nan, it’s something that will ensure your status as a true-blue Brisbanite.

R is for Retail Therapy
Even though online shopping is one of the marvels of the 21st century, there’s nothing like actually going shopping for some new shoes or another dress. Places like Queen Street Mall, Westfield Chermside and Indooroopilly are my go-to places for a bit of retail therapy.

S is for South Bank
If not for the 1988 World Expo, we wouldn’t have South Bank’s sprawling cultural hub. Sites of interest include the Nepalese Pagoda, the Wheel of Brisbane, Street’s Beach, the Maritime Museum (the current home of Jessica Watson’s boat)… and thousands of ibis.

T is for Theatre Scene
Brisbane has an amazing theatre scene. Companies like Queensland Theatre, Brisbane Arts Theatre, Brisbane Musical Theatre and La Boite Theatre frequently produce fantastic performances from local actors and performers.

U is for “yoU going to the Ekka?”
The Ekka is one of the most exciting events of the year. It heralds a time of show bags, strawberry sundaes, petting cute animals and exchanging the ‘Ekka flu.’ It is a sacred custom for locals to ask each other “you going to the Ekka?” and “what show bags are you gonna get?” prior to the beginning of the Ekka season.

V is for Valley
Fortitude Valley is not only home to Brisbane’s best pubs and clubs, but it also features some great cafes, restaurants and kebab shops.
TIP: Try the poutine (chips, gravy and cheese) from 5 Dogs Hotdogs. It’s amazing!

W is for Wax
Of course, there’s no point checking out any of these amazing places if your eyebrows look terrible. Before you resign yourself to a lifetime of wearing a paper bag, get in touch with Perfect Brow Design and book a brow wax and tint. The service and attention to detail (not to mention the final result) are amazing.

X is for I’m not eXaggerating, there are ibises everywhere
Some of the good picnic spots in Brisbane (South Bank and New Farm Park) are infested with bin chickens. You can either avoid these areas altogether, or you can make the most of it and try to coexist with the garbage geese.

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Y is for whY even bother trying to shoo away the ibis?
Of course, no matter how much you try to shoo away the ibis, some of them are incredibly persistent. Scientific studies have proven that the ibis at QUT Kelvin Grove are some of the most persistent bin chickens on the planet.

Z is for Ziggy
Ziggy the Bag Man is one of Brisbane’s most intriguing local celebrities. Apparently, if you buy him his favourite ice cream, he’ll do an interview with you.

 

If you have any suggestions for future posts, please leave a comment! And if you thoroughly enjoyed this post or if you definitely enjoyed this post, share it with everyone you know.

Much love,
Pear and Ivy x

 

Hidden Gems of the CBD

When you’re out and about in Queen Street Mall, there are all sorts of wonderful things to experience: the jazzy tunes from the saxophone dude, the gorgeous aroma of LUSH bath bombs, and the two-storey Dymocks. All of these things can be seen with the naked eye, but there are some fantastic hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. And we’ve rounded up the best places so you don’t have to look for them yourself!

Archives Fine Books
Book lovers of Brisbane need to add Archives Fine Books to their bucket list. This bookstore is home to some gorgeous old books, as well as the gorgeous smell of the aforementioned old books. According to the owners, there is a seven-year curse for those who dare to steal one of their books… Whether you believe in curses or not, you can’t deny there’s something magical about Archives.

John Mills Himself
By day, it’s a cafe hidden beneath Archives Fine Books. By night, it’s a bustling cocktail bar. John Mills Himself is a tiny establishment that is home to some fantastic coffee and craft spirits. It is the living embodiment of the quote “good things come in small packages.”

Coffee Iconic
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Melbourne is the coffee capital of Australia. But rather than fly there to get a good coffee, head over to Coffee Iconic, which is a small slice of Melbourne (according to the staff). The food is delicious, the coffee is excellent, and there’s a charming garden to sit in. I plan on doing a more extensive review of Coffee Iconic, so watch this space!

Brew
If you’ve ever walked past the alley next to the 7-Eleven on Albert Street, you’ve missed out on an amazing bar/cafe. Brew not only has an awesome selection of food, alcohol and coffee (the best things in life), but they have a meal/drink deal for every day of the week!

Showroom 
Featuring home decor and fashion accessories from local entrepreneurs and web-based designers, Showroom is the perfect place to look at all the things that you’d put in your dream house. The aesthetic is marvellous, and when you’ve finished shopping, you can go to Le Bon Choix next door for a macaron!
(PS: If you click the link above, you can check out the Showroom collection online!)

Bean. 
This is the cafe that I have always recommended to my friends. I’ve bean frequenting Bean since 2014, as not only is the coffee divine and the hipster aesthetic charming, but the staff are some of the loveliest people you will ever meet. Bean also features a selection of board games and great food. It will be your new go-to coffee stop.

In exciting news, this Saturday (May 27) will mark the first anniversary of Pear and Ivy‘s inception. Our birthday plans involve cake, coffee and publishing a really kick-arse blog post. We’d like to ask our dearly beloved readers (that’s you!) to suggest ideas for this really kick-arse blog post, as we’d love to know what you want us to write about. It can be a food review, a recipe, Donald Trump’s tax returns… whatever you’re all secretly keen to see!

Much love,
Pear and Ivy xx

PS: The Instagram picture from Showroom is not mine. I included it in this post because it looked nice, but also to encourage y’all to follow them on Instagram. Cheers xx

The Ten Commandments of Skincare

Skin care is a sacred and beautiful ritual. It’s cleaner than human sacrifice and less scandalous than Catholicism. But like all religions/cults, there are a few rules one has to follow in order to receive God’s/the gods’ stamp of approval. The Pear and Ivy team, being experts in skin care, have devised ten simple commandments you can follow in order to get divine skin (just like us). After all, there is no point in buying expensive makeup if you’ve got lousy skin. Would an artist paint a portrait on a shitty canvas?

Thou shalt not leave the house without wearing sunscreen
Flared jeans, butterfly hair clips, and colour-coordinated tracksuits have, at some stage in human history, been trendy and fashionable, but the one thing that will never come into fashion is skin cancer and premature ageing. I personally don’t leave the house unless I’m wearing SPF 50 on my face, neck and chest, and I wish I’d started doing this earlier in my life.
TIP: Zoë Foster-Blake (our skincare guru and girl crush) says that “your face stops at your boobs.” So when applying your daily sunscreen (or any moisturiser and serum, really) always put some on your neck and all the way down to your Vikings.

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Thou shalt not use products with microbeads
Microbeads are plastic beads that are commonly found in toothpaste, shower gels, and many facial exfoliants and body scrubs. They’re really bad for the oceans as they’re non-biodegradable and small marine animals eat the beads. Quit using these evil scrubs and start using products that are more eco-friendly (such as the gorgeous coffee body scrubs from Frank Body or anything from LUSH). You could even try using a chemical exfoliant if you really want to smooth away those pesky dead skin cells.
This commandment also includes not using any skin care products or cosmetics that have been tested on animals. Studies have shown that people who care for the welfare of animals have better skin than people who don’t.

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Thou shalt always cleanse thy face before sleeping
Even if you have to use makeup wipes, don’t go to bed without cleansing your face! If you’ve worn makeup and/or sunscreen during the day, you need to cleanse. If you’ve been breaking a sweat, you definitely need to cleanse your face. If you’ve been in the city, where the air is full of carbon monoxide and germs, you need to cleanse. Heck, if you’ve been living inside a plastic bubble for 35 years, you still need to cleanse!

Thou shalt not use coconut oil as a facial moisturiser
Coconut oil is a comedogenic product. In layman’s terms, it’s a product that clogs up your pores. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that clogged pores lead to blackheads and pimples, so why use something that does more harm than good? Go and invest in a non-comedogenic facial moisturiser and put the coconut oil in the bin.

Thou shalt not touch thy face 
Incessantly touching your face during the day spreads germs onto places like your chin and cheeks. Germs clog your pores, which leads to pimples! To avoid spreading germs from your hands to your face, just don’t touch it!
Also, thou shalt not squeeze or pick at your zits. I picked at my zits and blackheads when I was younger, and that was a bad move. The little pockmarks and scars on my face will be with me forever. LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES AND DO NOT PICK YOUR GODDAMN PIMPLES.

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Thou shalt not smoke
Nothing ruins your body quite like smoking: your risk of developing cancer increases, your breathing becomes shitty, your teeth go yellow and your clothes smell like an ashtray. And on top of all that, your skin suffers dryness and premature ageing. It’s not a good look to have dry, aged skin. If you need any motivation to quit smoking, go to Google Images and search ‘what Brigitte Bardot looks like now.’ You’ll never light up a durry again.3515c04ec57389458b9c925b08449cb0.gif

Thou shalt change thy pillowcase regularly
Even though you’ve been a good boy/girl and you’ve been cleansing your face every night, your pillowcase still accumulates dirt, sebum and various nasties. Yup, your hair transmits oils, dandruff, hair spray and dry shampoo onto your pillow. By sleeping on dirty pillows, your pores can be clogged, which leads to zits. One way to say good night to zits is by changing your pillow case every 2-3 days.
Keeping your clothes clean also really works for shaking off body pimples. A dirty old bra can give you a surprising amount of unwanted bacne.

Thou shalt tan responsibly
The healthiest way to get a tan is by faking it. Trying to get the real deal will result in premature ageing or skin cancer. A natural, golden glow isn’t worth your life.

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Even though this did not suit me AT ALL, it was still healthier than lying under the sun

Thou shalt acknowledge if thy diet sucks
Let’s face it, we are what we eat. Even though acne isn’t directly caused by the packets of Tim Tams you scoff, the appearance of your skin is still influenced by what goes into your mouth. If you don’t drink enough water, your skin will reflect it by being dull and dry. And if you eat like a vegan, your personality will reflect your transformation into a lettuce junkie with glowing skin.

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Thou shalt use products that suit thy skin type
When you know your skin type (combination, oily, dry, ageing) it’s easier to figure out the skincare products that will suit you. And if you use products that suit your skin type, your skin will thank you by being healthy looking and magical.
After all, a wise person once said “We all have different skin types. We all react differently to certain products. Your friend might have normal skin and is using a product best suited to people of that skin type. You might have oily skin, and your Random Magic Serum might be too harsh for your friend. Figure out your skin type and look for products that will work for your skin type.” That wise person was known as Pear and Ivy.

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Other cheeky tips that almost made it into our Ten Commandments include ‘thou shalt not share thy makeup with other people, thou shalt not wear makeup every day, and thou shalt follow Pear and Ivy on Facebook and Instagram.’ By following us on social media and sharing our posts with everyone you know, your skin will instantly look 150% better than what it does now. Pinky promise.

Much love,
Pear and Ivy xx

Recipe: Butter Chicken

Autumn is a season of cold nights and comfort food. In our opinion, nothing says ‘comfort food’ quite like a hot bowl of butter chicken. While we’re well aware of the stigma of butter chicken being a cop-out curry, you can’t deny that it is pretty damn tasty. So the Pear and Ivy team decided to let you all in on our favourite recipe for butter chicken. This recipe can be adjusted to suit dairy-free/vegetarian diets.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-3 diced chicken breasts
  • Olive oil
  • Spices (Turmeric, garam masala, ground cumin, cinnamon, ginger, paprika, curry powder, chilli powder)
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 diced garlic clove/1 tsp. of garlic paste
  • 4 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 tin of coconut milk (you can also use 1 cup of Greek yoghurt)
  • OPTIONAL: tandoori paste
  • OPTIONAL: a dash of lime juice
  • OPTIONAL: Instead of using ground ginger powder, you may want to be fancy and use freshly grated ginger

Dice the chicken breasts and put them into a large bowl. Pour olive oil over the top of the chicken and scatter a generous layer of spice (turmeric, garam masala, cinnamon, cumin, curry powder, et cetera) over the top. Combine them all together until your kitchen is filled with a pleasant, exotic aroma. You’ll then need to cover the bowl with a large plate or a sheet of cling wrap, and then place the spicy raw chicken in the fridge to marinate for a few hours.

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While the chicken is marinating, dice the onion and the garlic (or cheat by using garlic paste) and place them into a large pan with a generous splash of olive oil. Heat the onions and garlic on a medium temperature until the onions are golden brown. Then add the chicken. Cook the chicken and then add your tomato paste. Feel free to add more spices and tandoori paste according to taste (We’re a poet and we didn’t know it!).

Let everything simmer for a little while and then pour in the coconut milk. You can also add the dash of lime juice if you like. Heat the curry over a very low heat for about 10-20 minutes. While your curry is simmering away, you can prepare your rice. Health nuts may want to use diced cauliflower instead of eating rice, but the team at Pear and Ivy have been proudly pro-carbs since 1997. There are people who eat their curry with rice and there are people that are wrong.

Once the rice is ready, serve your dinner and post a photo of it onto Instagram. Use #pearandivy so we can see what you create. Scattering parsley over the top of your curry is perfect for that extra-photogenic touch, but you can also just devour it heartily and skip taking a photo. Whatever floats your boat. This is a recipe that could feed 3-5 people (depending on how much chicken you use) or it could feed 3-5,000 people if you’re Jesus.

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If you would like us to post more of our favourite recipes or share the secret to the meaning of life, let us know with a cheeky comment on Facebook.

Much love,
Pear and Ivy x

Recipe: ANZAC Biscuits

Hey everyone!
Before beginning our second recipe post, I wanted to share some facts about Anzac biscuits that you may not know:

  • In order to make official Anzac biscuits, you need to follow the original list of ingredients as used during the war. There’s also a lot of restrictions set in place by the Minister of Veteran’s Affairs concerning the integrity of the word ‘ANZAC,’ to the point where referring to Anzac biscuits as ‘Anzac cookies’ is not approved.
  • The alleged history behind Anzac biscuits is that they were sent as a gift to soldiers from their wives back at home. But this is only a partial truth. Anzac biscuits were sold during fetes and fundraisers to raise money for World War I. At the time, they were dubbed ‘soldiers biscuits’  but it wasn’t until after the events at Gallipoli and the beginning of the ANZAC legend that the name of these biscuits changed forever.
  • The Anzac biscuit recipe was mentioned in a cookbook for the first time in 1921. One of the most interesting things about the recipe is that it does not contain eggs. This is partly due to the price of eggs during the war (as many poultry farmers were fighting abroad), but allegedly because the biscuits needed to be non-perishable to survive the long journey to Gallipoli.

Because of the lack of eggs involved in baking Anzac biscuits, the recipe can be adapted to suit a vegan diet if you use a dairy-free margarine instead of butter. But then again, this isn’t a vegan blog.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup of desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • 1 cup of caster sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons of golden syrup
  • 125g of butter
  • 2 teaspoons of boiling water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of bicarb soda (or ‘bicarbonate of soda’ if you want to be correct)

Preheat your oven to 140-160° Celsius. Anzac biscuits need to be baked at a fairly low temperature so that they don’t burn. Combine all the dry ingredients (oats, flour, sugar, coconut, bicarb soda) into a large mixing bowl.

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In a saucepan, add the butter, golden syrup and boiling water. Gently stir over a low heat until the butter has melted and all the ingredients have combined. Pour the buttery liquid into the mixing bowl and mix all the ingredients together.

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Scoop the biscuit dough onto a baking tray (greased or lined with baking paper). I’d suggest leaving room for the biscuits to spread. You can shape the biscuits to suit your preference (crunchy and thin vs. large and chewy). Personally, I prefer my Anzac biscuits to be chewy, so I rolled mine into large balls and flattened them slightly.

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Bake them for about 10-15 minutes or until they’re golden brown. Unfortunately, my batch of Anzac biscuits all melted together into a big square biscuit. But they tasted good, and I guess that’s the important thing with anything you cook: as long as it tastes good, it’s OK. You can’t make Instagram-worthy food all the time, right?

 

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#nofilter #socialmediaisnotusuallyreallifebuttodayisanexception

 

You can eat your Anzac biscuits on their own or with a cup of black tea. I’ve even heard that they’re a great biscuit to use in ‘ice cream sandwiches’ if you use either vanilla or caramel hokey-pokey ice cream. Whatever way you choose to eat them, sit back and enjoy them.

 

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Here are some that I prepared earlier (I wish)

 

On this day, it’s important to reflect on the legacy of the ANZAC soldiers and of our veterans who are still alive today. Regardless of your personal opinions of war, it is vital that we all show respect for the dead and celebrate the bravery that was shown (Lest we Forget).
It’s also my mum’s birthday today, which is another excuse to celebrate today. To celebrate, I made the Anzac biscuits with gluten-free flour (she’s gluten intolerant). Perhaps that’s why my biscuits turned into a grotesque blob. Sigh.
I hope that you’re all having a great day. More posts will be coming soon. Pinky promise.

Much love,
Pear and Ivy x

Recipe: Apple + Cinnamon Muffins

Autumn is upon us. For people in the UK and the US, autumn/fall is a time of pumpkin spice lattes, falling into piles of leaves, preparing for Halloween and wearing scarves and jumpers. However, for everyone who lives in the land Down Under, it means humidity, the brown colour of dead leaves and being up-shit-creek if you left your umbrella at home. But that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the opening act for winter!

This is a special occasion for Pear and Ivy because this is our first ever recipe post! We’ve decided to kick things off with apple and cinnamon muffins, which are an autumnal classic (apparently) and really delicious.

 

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Fun Fact: I’m really good at balancing things on my head, but not good at taking selfies that aren’t blurry. Sigh. 

 
After finding the original recipe on Taste.com, I decided to try making it with some modifications to the original recipe, especially the one about adding sultanas. As a personal rule, the only time I will eat anything with sultanas/raisins in it is raisin toast. Everything else containing sultanas is the work of the devil.

  • 2 cups of self-raising flour
  • A lot of cinnamon (adjust according to taste) 
  • 1 cup brown sugar 
  • 2 peeled and chopped apples (you can use Granny Smith, but I opted for Pink Lady) 
  • 125g melted butter
  • 2 free range eggs (because you’re surely not a horrible person who uses caged eggs, right?)
  • 3/4 cup of milk 

Before you get started, you’ll want to preheat your oven to 180° Celsius and get your ingredients together. Arrange them on the table in an Instagram-worthy manner.

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Add the flour, cinnamon and brown sugar together in a large mixing bowl, gently stirring it all together. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, milk and butter together with a whisk (or your KitchenAid if you’re a rich wanker).

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Tip the eggy mixture into the main bowl and gently combine everything, adding the apple pieces as you go. Once everything has combined into a nice, gloopy batter, I like to give it a quick taste test. I found that I needed to add more sugar and cinnamon, but feel free to adjust things according to your own tastes.

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Divide the muffin batter up into muffin pans. This recipe makes enough batter for 10-12 muffins or one muffin the size of a small island. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown-ish in colour. Eat the entire batch once it cools down. Leave no survivors.

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Taking ‘unicorn’ to a new level. Watch this space. 

 

The apple and cinnamon muffins turned out to be quite delicious. The apple pieces became very soft and sweet in the oven, and the muffins were delicate and fluffy. A batch of these would be a perfect addition to a picnic, tea party or even as a part of your lunchbox.
You might be wondering why we’ve deviated from our usual review/satire posts (or not). It’s because I’ve been thinking about posting recipes on Pear and Ivy for a little while now, and I felt that there was no better time than the present to try it out. Because if you don’t post occasional recipes, are you a proper food/lifestyle blog? So if anyone liked the post and would like to suggest a recipe/kitchen experiment for me to try, please let me know! Your feedback is always awesome!

Much love,
Pear and Ivy xx

Review: Cat Cuddle Cafe

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you might have noticed that I recently visited the Cat Cuddle Cafe in Red Hill. The experience was so amazing, I had to write a review (for the first time in over a month) about it.

The upper level of the Cat Cuddle Cafe is alive with the vibrant colours and greenery of beautiful bouquets and plants from the Rose & Heart florist. Cat related accessories, gifts and clothes are also for sale, and there are cat-themed board games on the tables to play with. It’s a cosy retreat from reality: you wouldn’t believe that the hustle and bustle of Musgrave Road is right on their doorstep.

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The coffee served at the Cat Cuddle Cafe is divine. Not only are the coffees named things like ‘catuccino’ and sourced from organic and free trade beans, the baristas and staff are really friendly and will happily chat with you about cats. The CCC also has plenty of scrumptious baked goods on offer, including vegan options that don’t taste like rabbit food. Vegan pies, ham + cheese croissants and cupcakes have never been so delicious.

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This is a vegan chai cupcake. It was super delicious and would look really cute on your Instagram. Go get one!

The CCC is divided into two levels: on the upper level is their cafe and gift shop, but the lower level is the cat area, which is home to several rescue cats. Bookings are essential, should you want to hang out with up to 15 cats. According to a sneaky tip from a staff member, the best times to book your visit to the cat area are 10 am and 5 pm, when most of the cats are awake. On Thursday nights, the CCC hosts fundraising events to support the work that they do for their rescue cats. People can book in for meditation with cats, yoga with cats, knitting with cats, and even a singles event! And if you fall in love with a furry friend, you can even adopt a cat (or 20)! Since its establishment in 2015, the CCC has provided homes for over 300 rescue cats. If that doesn’t melt your heart, you probably don’t have one.

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TBH, my phone camera didn’t capture all the beauty and colour of the Rose & Heart florist. You’ll have to go see it for yourself (and buy a bouquet).

If you’re looking for a new coffee spot, look no further than the Cat Cuddle Cafe. It’s the purrfect place for cat ladies and coffee snobs. Whether you choose to pop in for a coffee or to chill with the cats, it’s a great way to support a good cause and a local business.

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Coffee: 9/10
Food: 8/10
Overall Rating: 9/10 

The only reason I can’t give the Cat Cuddle Cafe a 10/10 rating is because I can’t take all the cats home with me. But this shouldn’t stop you from trying. For heaps of cute cat pictures and more information about the CCC, give them a ‘Like’ on Facebook.

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Sometimes I lie awake at 3 am, thinking of all the cats that I want to adopt.

I haven’t been making as many reviews/satirical posts as I’d like because I’ve been pretty busy with other writing projects and transitioning into uni. I’ve been writing some reviews for MyCityLife, catching up on the new season of Broadchurch, reading some really good books, and dealing with a persistent case of bronchitis. But if you ever need to indulge your Pear and Ivy addiction, you can stalk me on Instagram (@pearandivy) or send me a message telling me to get off my arse and write a review.

If you think the Cat Cuddle Cafe is the best thing since sliced bread, or if you think that the Sliced Bread Cafe* is the best thing since cuddling cats, let me know by giving me a nice, big comment on Facebook.

Much love,
Pear and Ivy xx

* The Sliced Bread Cafe, as far as we’re aware, is not an actual cafe or location. Please feel free to make this a genuine thing. 

Fun Size Review: ‘Macbeth’ by The Danger Ensemble

I began my Thursday night thinking I’d be endlessly scrolling through Facebook or catching up on I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!
Scrolling idly through my newsfeed, I stopped only to read the latest post from Amanda Palmer (aka God):

BRISBANE!!! TONIGHT!!!! The Danger Ensemble is going to give 20 tickets away to their performance of MACBETH … yes, TONIGHT!!!! first 20 people to respond to this post needing tix will get a message from the producer. GO!!! I AM SO JEALOUS I COULDN’T SEE THIS.

I left a comment on the post because not only will I do anything that Amanda Palmer tells me to do, but my all-time favourite Shakespearian play is the infamous ‘Scottish Play.’ Heck, playing Lady Macbeth is on my bucket list!
Not thinking I’d claim the prize, I was astonished to see the message saying that I had won 2 free tickets to that night’s performance of Macbeth. Although it was relatively short notice, I jumped at the chance to go along and see it. Free tickets are free tickets, right?

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Macbeth featured excessive strobe lighting, smoke machines and obnoxiously loud sound effects, all of which served to compensate for the lacklustre acting of the cast. Had the director (Steven Mitchell Wright) chosen to focus more on managing the conflict and motivation of the characters, the show wouldn’t have had to rely so heavily on its aesthetic and soundscapes to be somewhat entertaining.

To give Macbeth some credit, it featured the most innovative uses of set design as well a really interesting soundtrack. And notable acting performances were given by Sally McKenzie (Macduff), Thomas Hutchins (Banquo) and Elle Mickel (Lady Macbeth). However, the remainder of the cast portrayed one-dimensional characters, most of whom had comedic timing that was painful to watch.

In most instances when Shakespeare is retold in modern settings or adapted with new concepts, the fusion of contemporary culture and Elizabethan culture is something intriguing and wonderful. But in a garish turn of events, the innuendo and the drama from the original Macbeth text were replaced with pop culture references, unnecessary karaoke and foot kissing/licking. I’m not lying, feet were licked.

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Two hours into the performance, the intermission period began. Macbeth was so chaotic, cacophonous and uninspired that I skipped Act 2 and went home, repeatedly apologising to my boyfriend for having dragged him along and wasted two hours of our lives. If you’re a fan of bad karaoke, excessive screaming, poorly placed comedy and overcompensating strobe lights, The Danger Ensemble’s adaptation of Macbeth is the play for you. If not, stay at home and catch up on 19 things you know if you’re kind of bogan.

‘Macbeth’ is running until the 25th of February @ the QACI Theatre, Kelvin Grove. Ticket prices begin at $34.