Live Below The Line 2014

Live Below The Line 2014.

Live Below The Line 2014.

This week I signed up for Live Below the Line, which is a campaign where thousands of Australians eat on $2 a day for five days to support people living in extreme poverty. This amazing initiative helps raise funds for quality education for people in East Timor, Cambodia and Papua New Guinea.

At first I was hesitant to participate because I love eating. I spend a lot of my time eating and a considerable portion of my income is spent on food. The minimal budget of $10 over 5 days is a definite challenge considering I would probably spend about that amount on one meal alone. I was thinking it would be too difficult for me, but then I realised this is actually a challenge that some people face everyday without the option to do or not to do. The suffering of people in poverty is unimaginable and the determination these people have to lead their communities out of poverty is admirable.

Help the fight against extreme poverty!

Help the fight against extreme poverty!

I read this article in ‘The Weekly Review’ on Viv Benjamin from Live Below The Line and Chief Executive of the Oaktree Foundation, and this was something that hit home for me, she said:

“We have more than enough food in the world, we have more than enough money in the world, but the distribution of both is out of whack. We have the resources to end this, we just need to be the generation that says it’s not acceptable.”

This rang true to me and so I decided to join the campaign to raise funds for this amazing cause. It starts on May 5th-9th so If you want to take part and make a difference you can sign up or donate here https://www.livebelowtheline.com.au/me/olivesundays

Check out this video, it gives you a visual overview on Live Below the Line https://www.livebelowtheline.com.au/#viv-video

Now to organise a meal plan for the five days. Any suggestions? My bf thought he’d help plan but his idea seemed a little too repetitive. This was his plan: Our pizza place does a special deal of $10 for 2 large pizzas. 2 large pizzas means 16 slices of pizza (3 slices per day) plus one bonus slice for when I’m really struggling. So that means each day I would eat one pizza for breakfast, one for lunch, one for dinner and one slice to eat in case of an emergency. It was a good suggestion but hmm just not for me.

Stay tuned for meal plans and updates.

Thanks for your support!

Olives x

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Happy Easter – Choc Cross Scones

Easter Pup and the Choc Cross Scones.

Easter Pup and the Choc Cross Scones.

Happy Easter! Hope you’ve had a lovely day filled with chocolate, family and fun stuff.

This year for Easter I decided to make Choc Cross Scones. Sort of like hot cross buns but a scone version. Good for those who don’t particularly like spiced bread or sultanas. I personally love hot cross buns (with tons of butter) myself, but this is a fun change to the old favourite. This recipe is so simple. Best Choc Cross Scones ever!

Ingredients 
3 cups of self-raising flour
1 cup of lemonade
1 cup of cream (and a little more to glaze the tops)
1 cup of chocolate chips (plus half a cup extra for the crosses)
A pinch of salt

Method
1. Preheat oven to 220C
2. Sift self raising flour about 3 times (makes them lighter) and add the salt.
3. Make a well in the middle and add the lemonade, cream and chocolate chips.
4. Mix together with a knife, knead gently until smooth (try not to handle the mix too much so they stay fluffy).
5. Cut the mixture into rounds (you can cut the circles using the top of a drinking glass) and place them on a lightly greased tray or on tray lined with baking paper.
6. Brush the tops with cream (to give them that golden colour)
7. Bake for 10-12 mins at 220C or until golden
8. Melt extra chocolate chips and pipe crosses over the top of the baked scones.

So simple and super delicious!

This is what they look like in the making. These are the little chocolate scones getting ready to go into the hot oven.

Choc Cross Scones in the making.

Easter – Choc Cross Scones in the making.

Here is the after oven shot. Yum! These Choc Cross Scones are delicious and can you see how they sort of look like hot cross buns. So cute and so Easter. This is a great after Easter recipe too. When you have too many chocolate eggs leftover, you can break up your chocolate Easter eggs into pieces and use them instead of chocolate chips. You can also melt down some chocolate eggs for the chocolate on top.

Easter - Choc Cross Scones.

Easter – Choc Cross Scones.

Here is me wanting to eat all of the Choc Cross Scones myself but I decided it’s best to share, since its Easter and all. They are best eaten fresh out of the oven. Yum!

Easter Mel - This Easter bunny likes chocolate and lots of it.

Easter Mel – This Easter bunny likes chocolate and lots of it.

And here is young Max feeling a little deflated after realising the Choc Cross Scones are ready for departure and will not be shared with him today. I’ve tried to tell him that chocolate is one of those ‘not for dogs’ foods but he doesn’t want to hear it.

Easter Max - Choc Cross Scones ready for departure.

Easter Max – Choc Cross Scones ready for departure.

Hope you had a fantastic Easter!

DId you make yummy treats this Easter?

I heart Easter!

Olives x

Red Spice Road

Red Spice Road - QV.

Red Spice Road – QV.

Last night we went to Red Spice Road to celebrate my mum’s birthday, we had a fantastic night. The décor was modern with a bit of funk, the staff were friendly and attentive and the food was amazing. We went to the QV location, which was quite a large venue. It’s perfect for a birthday dinner or a corporate lunch or anything really. The restaurant is dimly lit and these beautiful red lights are hung around the bar, which created a chilled ambience.

On the menu they had a list of entrées where you order per piece. I like that because everyone who wants one can order one. You can avoid that situation where there are three people at the table and there is a serve of four pieces. Who gets that forth piece?  You can also avoid that ‘you have it, no you have it’ conversation. First world problems, i know.

Red Spice Road - Bahn mi with Bia Ha Noi battered flathead, fennel slaw and siracha mayo.

Red Spice Road – Bahn mi with Bia Ha Noi battered flathead, fennel slaw and siracha mayo.

So for starters we ordered the ‘Bahn mi with Bia Ha Noi (Vietnamese beer) battered flathead, fennel slaw and siracha mayo.’ It was presented as an adorable little burger, the fish was soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside, it was tasty.

Red Spice Road - Scallop with corn puree, cucumber, green chilli and soya beans.

Red Spice Road – Scallop with corn puree, cucumber, green chilli and soya beans.

I also had a onesie ‘scallop with corn puree, cucumber, green chilli and soya beans.’ It was incredible!! The scallop was cooked perfectly, the corn puree was smooth and creamy, the cucumber and soya beans gave it a freshness and added texture and the green chilli packed a punch. It was a really great start to the meal. Highly recommend.

Red Spice Road - Chilli salt drunken chicken w pineapple, tamarind dipping sauce.

Red Spice Road – Chilli salt drunken chicken w pineapple, tamarind dipping sauce.

We shared a bowl of ‘chilli salt drunken chicken with pineapple, tamarind dipping sauce.’ The chicken was delicious and crunchy and when dipped in the sauce it was a sweet, sour, salty explosion. Yum! And it wasn’t very spicy, so for those who can’t handle too much heat, you can probably handle these.

Red Spice Road - Pork belly w apple slaw, chilli caramel and black vinegar.

Red Spice Road – Pork belly w apple slaw, chilli caramel and black vinegar.

For main we ordered the ‘pork belly w apple slaw, chilli caramel and black vinegar’ and it was sensational. The pork belly melted in your mouth, the apple slaw gave the dish crunch, lots of coriander gave it freshness, the chilli caramel was sweet and spicy and the black vinegar helped cut through the fat and sweetness. It was a showstopper, definitely one of my favourite dishes of the night. Yum! Yum! Yum!

Red Spice Road - Wagyu shin slow-cooked in five-spice w mushrooms and smoked eggplant.

Red Spice Road – Wagyu shin slow-cooked in five-spice w mushrooms and smoked eggplant.

We also got the ‘Wagyu shin slow-cooked in five-spice w mushrooms and smoked eggplant.’ The beef was falling apart and the mushrooms were gorgeous. The sauce was good, it had a really intense beef flavour without being too salty.

Red Spice Road - Dessert Tasting Plate.

Red Spice Road – Dessert Tasting Plate.

For dessert we tried the dessert tasting plate. It was spectacular! To think we almost skipped dessert because we were full. Lesson learnt. We got to try a little bit of everything.  There was a deep fried sticky-rice dumpling, which had bits of banana and toasty sesame seeds sitting in a palm sugar caramel. This was yummy but a little heavy with the rice and the deep friedness. Then there was the ‘chocolate delice with praline,’ which was a smooth and decadent chocolate mousse with a hint of chilli. It was yum and the chilli  didn’t go unnoticed in fact after the mousse I went straight for the peppermint ice-cream to cool my palette. The scoop of ice cream was sitting on a bed of toasted coconut, so pretty.  Then there was caramelised pineapple, butter cake and Sang Som (Thai rum) ice-cream which sort of tasted like a pineapple bread and butter pudding which was nice. In a cup there was sago pudding (yum!) with mango bits and granite on top and last but not least a yummy salted caramel macaron.

We had a really great experience from the moment we walked in to the moment we walked out. The food was absolutely delicious and the service was outstanding. Definitely a restaurant I’ll be visiting again.

I heart Red Spice Road!

Olives x

Address: 37 Artemis Lane, Melbourne VIC (QV near the grass strip next to Papa Rich)
Website: http://qv.redspiceroad.com
Phone: 03 8660 6300
Trading Hours: Mon-Fri: 12-3pm (lunch), 6pm-late (dinner) Sat: 6pm-late Sun: closed

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