Panache Cafe and Creperie at Queenscliff, Victoria, Australia

Death by Chocolate pancake Panache January 2014

Every year during summer we go camping at Queenscliff in Victoria for a weekend. We always take some younger members of the family with us and over the years we have developed a routine of eating at Panache Cafe and Creperie, located in the main street of Queenscliff on the Saturday night of our visit.

 C ordered a savoury chicken kiev pancake, but she couldn’t finish it, so he who eats all of our leftovers helped out.

G and I both ordered Blueberry Kosciusko, which comes with a mountain of ice cream. He who eats all of our leftovers helped both of us out as we couldn’t manage to finish our ice cream.

M is too small to order, so we ordered a plain stack of pancakes with ice cream for him. He who eats all of our leftovers had to help him out as well.

 He who eats all of our leftovers ordered the pancake in the picture, ‘Death by Chocolate’ and didn’t need any help at all to finish it.

Our meals were around $15 each, but beware, Panache Cafe and Creperie don’t do EFTPOS.

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

Like most women of my age, I’ve happily cried my way through plenty of Nicholas Sparks books. Reading The Notebook took me to the gulping, hiccuping stage just before you actually sob, and don’t even talk to me about movie version. I left the cinema looking as if I had been to a funeral, completely wrung out with crying.

I stayed up later than I should have on a week night to finish The Longest Ride, but even though I yawned all of the next day, I wanted more from the book. Regardless,  I expect it will make a fantastic movie. (Anyone in Hollywood, are you listening?) I’d love to see that gorgeous guy from the tv show Supernatural play Luke, the young cowboy hero of this story.

The Longest Ride tells the story of two couples, Sophia and Luke, whose romance blossoms in the book and Ira and Ruth, who were married and loved each other for many years.

I’ve been sitting here as I write trying to think what it was about the book that left me feeling dissatisfied and have come up with three things.

1/ Sophia, the heroine, is 21. Maybe I’m getting too old (I’m in my mid forties) to give a rat’s tail about a 21 year old’s romances.

2/ Sophia is a university student studying art. Luke is a cowboy who rides bulls in rodeos. Their relationship blossoms as the book goes on and it was nice (by nice I actually mean sweet, but boring), but my feeling was, they were happy together now, but would they still be a couple in twenty years? What do they have in common? I just don’t see this one lasting.

3/ Ira and Ruth lived a full life (Ira is 91) filled with joys and happiness and sorrows, and I think if a bit more of the book had been about them (say a 60/40 split between the older and the younger couple) I would have enjoyed it more. Probably a younger reader would disagree, but hey, this is my review.

You won’t need tissues to get through The Longest Ride, but it is still an enjoyable read. I can’t wait to see the movie, that guy from Supernatural is going to look really good in a cowboy hat.

Apricot Ginger Slice

lasagne 2

My preference is usually for biscuits over slices, but when you really want some sweetened condensed milk, a slice is a good way to go.

125 gm butter

125 ml sweetened condensed milk

1 Tblspn golden syrup

375 gm ginger nut biscuits, finely crushed

60 gm pecans, finely crushed (you could use walnuts)

100 gm dried apricots, finely diced

Place the crushed biscuits, nuts and diced apricots into a large bowl.

Place the butter, sweetened condensed milk and golden syrup into a small , heavy saucepan and stir constantly over a medium heat until the mixture is smooth. Bring to the boil and then simmer until for approximately five minutes, until the mixture thickens slightly.

Mix the sweetened condensed milk mixture into the biscuit mixture, then press into a slice tray which has been greased and lined.

Refrigerate for 20 minutes before cutting.