I'm Back!! Wooooopeee!

Ok, let's face it... it's been one heck of a long time in-between drinks... Finally ~ and after a somewhat unexpectedly longer hiatus than initially anticipated, I am delighted to announce WKA is back in action! *Happy dance*

The past 10 months have been a total full-on whirlwind for me. During most of this time I was working on my 2nd book ~ which I can now announce is titled 'What Katie ate, at the Weekend'.

It was a huge achievement for me to complete, as any author will tell you - and I personally found out sometimes the stressful way ~ your 2nd book is always your hardest to complete, (Hi Carla! ;) as you feel so much pressure to equal or better your first. The past 10 months also produced a few personal hurdles which I had to overcome, therefore I decided after throwing myself into the blog for the past 3+ years 24/7, it was time to give myself a long-overdue rest up to re-charge the creative batteries. However, it's super nice to be back and thank you all for being so patient.

The new book will go on sale in Australia on October 22nd and will follow in the US and UK and other Euro countries a few months later in the Spring of 2015. It's a gorgeous book, lighter and brighter than No. 1, with a very lifestyle-ish feel and centres around food which you can make and enjoy with friends and family at the weekends ~ be it a backyard BBQ; cosy Saturday night dinner party or a relaxed weekend brunch. The recipes will all work equally well mid-week too and are colourful, flavour-packed, some super healthy (some not 'quite' so much - but everything in moderation right? There are a few kale recipes for good measure ;)... They are easy to prepare and a lot are inspired by my travels over the past two years and the expanse of learning I gained through my journey with food over the past 2 years and working with the likes of Delicious Magazine (something I have ceased to do as of last March, but I had a ball working with such a great bunch of people and for a wonderful publication). It's bright, girly, graphic and I feel is a nice nod to my 1st book but different in it's own right and both myself and everyone at Penguin here in Aus and NYC are thrilled with it. I very much look forward to October and it going on sale and having a bit of a party... ;)

A few sneak peek pics...

All images © Katie Quinn Davies 2014

My plan for the blog going forward it to feature a lot more of other people's food which I have eaten and enjoyed, be it a fab restaurant or bar here in Sydney or in other parts of the country and abroad. I will be featuring a few of my own recipes but a lot of those will be saved for WKA book No. 3 which I will start working on in the next few months. I have 4 or 5 great stories lined up for the next few weeks, including a super story on a recent return trip to Qualia ~ aka 'paradise in QLD' and where I was most fortunate to be invited back to only a week or so ago to cover their inaugural 'Weekends of Wonderment' program. I also have a feature on Marque restaurant and a trip I did to South Australia to talk at Tasting Australia in Adelaide, including some lovely shots of the Barossa again and its surrounds.

But to kick off, I wanted to feature a few recipes and shots from a recent shoot at a long-standing and much loved restaurant of mine; A Tavola. It's located in Sydney's Darlinghurst and now also in Bondi on super trendy and upcoming Hall Street. A Tavola was established in 2007 in buzzing Darlinghurst on Victoria Street by chef owner Eugenio Maiale. A Tavola quickly earnt a reputation of being one of Sydney’s best places to go for authentic Italian pasta. The long marble table is filled with loyal and regular diners – all seduced by the simplicity and honesty of Eugenio’s food and especially his love of good pasta. I have shot Eugenio's food a few times now and it's honestly one of my most favourite places to eat in Sydney. I love it for it's cosy atmosphere, esp. the room upstairs at Darlinghurst which is ambient and romantic and has a super atmosphere on a Friday or Saturday night. If any one asks me what my favourite food is? I always reply "An amazing simple ragu and a good glass or two of Amarone wine" and if you are like me in this regard, you won't be disappointed in A Tavola. The Bondi restaurant has a slightly different feel, especially during the day, it's light and bright and is rapidly becoming one of the most popular spots for excellent Italian food in Bondi. The staff are great, fun, friendly and laid back.

Eugenio has kindly offered me three of his recipes to feature on the blog so you can try out some his recipes at home. Do try if you can to pop into the restaurant for yourself.

PAPPARDELLE CON RAGU DI MANZO ~ Recipe here

LINGUINI WITH SEAFOOD – RECIPE FROM THE TOWN OF VASTO IN ABRUZZO, ITALY ~ Recipe here

MEZZALUNE FILLED WITH ROASTED PUMPKIN AND AMERETTI ~ Recipe here

All images © Katie Quinn Davies 2014

Another thing I wanted to mention on the blog today is a really, really cool range of cards I stumbled across a few weeks ago. I used to own a greeting card company a few years ago ~ actually it was 10 years ago ~ God where does the time go to?! Anyway, I ran it for 3 or 4 years and let me say I think hats off to anyone who enters this tough industry, as it's really hard to compete with the big guns in the card publishing world who can sell 12 cards to shops for 10 cents (madness...). All that aside, I am super picky when it comes to greeting cards and normally spend about 2 hours painstakingly perusing the rows and rows of cards in a shop for anything decent that catches my eye, I find it tough most times to find anything half decent as I am so particular about all things cards and the message they send. So, I was quite taken-a-back when I saw this range of food recipe greeting cards. I think they are really unique and they are such a simple, yet obvious idea. I am not sure if anything similar exists at the moment but I thought they were very pretty, very striking and different and the illustrations are utterly gorgeous.

Luscious Sticky Date Pudding Recipe Greeting Card

Divine Lemon Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe Greeting Card

Speedy White Chocolate & Raspberry Cake Recipe Greeting Card

Chunky Choc Nut Cookies Recipe Greeting Card

All images © Rosie Handley

Each card features beautiful artwork by Rosie Handley who is a Sydney based Australian designer and illustrator, Rosie has a love for food and art, and her cards provide her with an outlet to express her passion for both. On the back of each card Rosie features recipes such as: Speedy White Chocolate and Raspberry Cake; Divine Lemon Chocolate Cheesecake and my fave the wickedly fab-sounding: Naughty Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding. A christmas range is currently being completed at present too. Cards come in packs of 4 or 8. They'd be perfect for birthdays; thank you notes; good luck cards etc etc etc... I too think they'd make a gorgeous range if framed and hung in a kitchen.

On an end note, Rosie also provides custom illustrations, as she says "anything’s possible!" Contact info and most importantly info on where to buy here at: tastyartcards.com

GIVEAWAY

I have 1 pack of Rosie beautiful cards to give away. To be sent anywhere in the world. To win, simply post a comment below letting me know by July 12, which of Rosie's cards from her site you like the most and which recipe you like the sound of most? Her full range can be seen here

Until next time and a lot of gloating about spending a weekend at one of the most beautiful resorts/places in Aus... K XX