Category: Blog

5 course degustation dinner with ben ungermann

Dinner with Ben Ungermann

Let’s start this off with me stating that I love, love, LOVE Masterchef. I love the challenges, and the food drama. Most of all, I love how each contestant has their own ‘thing’. By this, I mean the self-taught mama cook, or the adventurous up-and-comer, or the traveler that picked up recipes along the way. Ben Ungermann, runner up of series nine, was labelled as the creative cook who mixed unique flavours to end up with crazy concoctions that just worked.

Ben’s limited-ticket degustation was all about carrots. I’m a picky vegetarian, so this was music to my ears, and excitement to my tastebuds. The intimate evening was a great introduction to Ben beyond the screen. He started each course with detail around the dish, walking us through each element. This was a great touch, as his unique plating left some elements unrecognisable. I mean, carrot powder? Who would have thought!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so why am I even trying to explain it? Just scroll through…

  • Creamy carrot soup with mixed vegetables, microgreens, and blue cheese
  • Carrot Bloody Mary
  • Homemade hummus with feta, honey carrots and thyme, served with carrot leaf pesto
  • Sweet prawns (i got mushrooms!) marinated in carrot juice, with a chilli carrot puree, pickled carrots and baby carrots in orange juice
  • Carrot cake ice cream with carrot cake, walnut praline, carrot syrup, and salted carrot with carrot powder

We stuck around after to pick up some lavender ice cream to take home and had a chat with Mr Ungermann himself about his jetsetting ways, the family business, and cooking internationally.

All in all, it was a unique, and delicious evening. If you ever get the opportunity to do something similar, I highly recommend it!

Lemon Blueberry Cake with Lemon Buttercream

A person’s favourite cake flavour says a lot about them. In my family, the favourites range from outrageously decadent, to refreshing and light. It’s my dad’s birthday tomorrow, and he never celebrates. This year he asked to go to dinner, and I couldn’t pass the opportunity to make the day even sweeter for him. My dad is one of the refreshing-and-light dessert people, so I wanted to make something he’d actually be excited to try. I came across The College Housewife and her Lemon Blueberry Cake with Lemon Buttercream recipe, and I am hooked!

Let’s start off by saying I’m no pro in the kitchen. I follow recipes and follow them well. So, I was thankful that Elizabeth’s recipe was so simple and easy to read while helping execute a totally instagrammable birthday cake. If you haven’t made your own cake batter before, I highly recommend it. It’s really rewarding to see it all come together, and taste test along the way.

Tasting the batter for the first time was super exciting. The lemon juice and lemon zest were so refreshing, while the sugar and vanilla balanced it to create a fresh lemonade flavoured batter. Throwing in the blueberries was fun and made me feel like a ~bit~ of a MasterChef.

I baked the cake and split the layers, whipped up the buttercream and started decorating. Maybe my cake is a little wonky, but the buttercream and decorative fruits hide it well. What I loved about this recipe is that the expectation and reality were not that far at all. It was really satisfying to put something together that isn’t too far from the original.

Tomorrow after dinner, my parents and sister will come over for some birthday cake after dinner. I’m so excited to get to whip it out and taste more than dipping my finger in the mixture!

Until next time…

Barcelona: Beautiful, Brilliant, and Bright

Barcelona is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. There, I said it. It’s a big statement to make, but then again, Barcelona is all about big statements. A lot of that can be credited to Antoni Gaudi, who designed some of the city’s most recognisable, and unique, attractions. The became obsessed with Gaudi’s Barcelona the first time I visited. When coming back for my honeymoon, it became so important to me that Daniel fall in love with Barcelona as much as I had.


Paris: Our Honeymoon in the City of Love and Lights

Paris is served best with frost in the air and gray in the sky. Well, I think so anyway. There’s something about being rugged up, snuggling with your loved one, eating cheese and drinking wine. Paris was the last stop on our honeymoon, and ended our trip on a high.

feature image baklava

My First Time Making Baklava

Eid is almost among us! Being my first Eid as a married woman, I saw it as the perfect opportunity to make baklava. As my first time making baklava in a family of incredible cooks and bakers with generational family recipes, I wanted to add my own mix to the dinner table. Something new. Something fresh. That’s when I came across Cleobuttera‘s Pistachio Baklava recipe. As I’m a total beginner, this is the perfect opportunity to share my experience making baklava for the first time. So, here we go. My wins, challenges, did my husband, and even more, my mother, approve?

We Got Married!

We got married!

As I write this, I’m sitting in my apartment, kitten in lap, with Daniel doing some work around the place. Since last time (which was too long ago) we got married, moved into an apartment closer to the city, and adopted a kitten from the RSPCA. Living together has been so much fun, and our little family has been enjoying hosting dinners, making handmade pasta, and going for walks to the local park.

Life as been different, in a great way, and i can’t wait to re-introduce you to all the little details. There are more posts to come around wedding planning, the actual day, moving in together, and my super-obsessive hobby, cooking, and cooking everything from scratch!

Until then (won’t be so long, I promise)…

2018: A Life Update

2018: A Life Update

In typical New Years Resolution style, I set some goals to celebrate another 365 days around the sun then put them to the side and continued to live my life as if it never happened. This year was a big one, with so many things happening (hello, wedding!) so luckily for me, I guess I’m on track to achieving some of these goals anyway. Let’s reflect!

2018 new year resolution

Hello 2018! Goals and Resolutions

Happy New Year!

I’m jumping on the new year resolution bandwagon and am getting super sappy about 2018 already. Why? First and foremost, i get married this year! Daniel and I tie the knot on Saturday, 20 October and plan to jet off the day after to a European holiday. It’s been our big project the last year and a bit, and I’m really excited for it.

What is my New Year Resolution?

Fratelli Fresh: A Modern Italian Love Story

Fratelli Fresh: A Modern Italian Love Story

No love is truer than that between a girl and Italian food; except for the time I was introduced to Fratelli Fresh.

Not long after landing in Sydney, our AirBnB host told us that across from our cute studio apartment in Potts Point, we would find some of Sydney’s best pasta. Every Italian restaurant boasts the best something so I’d be lying if i said I wasn’t 100% sold on this ‘best of the best’ recommendation. Wrong!

Hello world!

Daniel and I near Parliament House in Delhi, India
Daniel and I near Parliament House in Delhi, India

My name is Mija, and welcome to my blog!

This is a new project I’ve started for myself to document and express all the great things in life, both my own, and in general.

I’m a 24 year old girl who works in marketing and sales, have an amaazzinnggg fiance named Daniel, spend my nights at gym and weekends eating out, and love to travel.

While a bit of a blank canvas right now, I hope to find my feet soon and start sharing more things that you find enjoyment in too.

littlelifethings xo mija signoff