February 19th, 2015
Sometimes it takes a quiet moment to realise how wonderful it is to live in Australia. Turn off your TV’s and radios and don’t read your social media. Just take a big breath and look around you. Green grass, blue ocean, bright skies, happy people with plenty to eat, what more could you want? I felt like this on our recent trip to Byron Bay and the hinterland.
We had been wanting to visit Harvest Café in Newrybar, up behind Byron for a while now and decided this was the perfect excuse to have a night away. Harvest is a great establishment with a long history. I was so lucky, I arrived and was greeted by the owner Tristan Grier. I had not reserved a table so there was going to be a bit of a wait. This was fine with me as I was going to have a look around the little township but then Tristan offered to give me a tour of the place and tell me some of the history!
The wood fired oven was HUGE and Tristan told us about the renovations that had improved the baking facility and how the bricks were reused around the building. I have never seen such a big oven! Harvest bakes all it’s own bread in this oven. There is also a huge vegetable and herb garden that surrounds the restaurant and deli. They pride themselves in cooking, sourcing and running the restaurant as sustainably as possible.
We enjoyed lunch. I ordered roasted carrots with mixed grains, roasted baby eggplant, heirloom tomatoes, miso and basil and Sid had Burrawong Chicken, roast corn, spring onions and pearl barley. Absolutely delicious.
After lunch we drove to our accommodation at Byron called Atlantic Byron Bay. I had struggled a bit with finding a place to stay in Byron Bay. Of course if you have oodles of money you can always find something but if you are looking for a place in the mid range it’s not always so easy. Little did I know what a visual treat I was in for!
The place is absolutely beautiful and the décor is perfect for a beach holiday. There are several cottages and within those is your room. Each cottage has a shared dining room, living room and kitchen. So while you have the privacy of your own room you also have the opportunity to mix with other people and the space to go for a walk and read outside or inside. The kitchen is fully functional and you could easily cook up a great meal. I just loved the place. There is also an American Airstream that you can reserve. It sits in the garden and is the coolest silver caravan you have ever seen.
In the morning we walked to Byron Farmers Market and on the way stopped at Targa Cafe for breakfast. I ordered coffee and fruit toast and both were fantastic. Really good coffee, which is always a blessing for me and those around me as I NEED a good coffee in the morning. Targa serves lunch and dinner and the staff were very friendly so I will be returning.
It was starting to warm up now so we pressed on to the Byron Bay Farmers markets. These markets are on Thursdays mornings. There was a wonderful array of produce, lots of things you don’t see all the time. Some things I have never seen like Cashew Apples, which are the fruit that surrounds the cashew nut. The bright colours of all the produce were so beautiful.
We should have brought our trolley as we ended up with way too much to carry and struggled back to the Atlantic. How I wished I could have stayed another day or two but that was not how it was meant to be, this time.
When I returned home I baked a new sort of brownie. Dark Chocolate and Salted Peanut Brownies. They were delicious and you might like to try the recipe.
500 grams Milk or Dark Chocolate ( choose the best you can find, the highest cocoa value)
• 250 grams of unsalted butter
• 5 large eggs
• 1 cups of castor sugar
• 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
• 11/2 cup of almond meal
• 11/2 cups of salted peanuts grams of nuts
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Prepare the baking tin with baking paper. Melt chocolate and butter in the microwave or over double boiler until runny. Stir in vanilla essence and set aside to cool a little. Beat eggs and sugar until thick and stir in the chocolate mixture. Add the almond meal and then hand stir in the nuts. (or you can just decorate the top of the brownie)When mixture is well combined spread into the baking pan and bake for almost 30 mins. (My oven is hot so I take them out after 25 mins) The surface should be flaky in appearance. Take from the oven and put in the fridge to cool. Best left overnight Cut and serve when cooled.
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