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For the past few weeks, we’ve been spending our Saturday running around -amazing race style- doing inspection marathon. What a stressful activity! with all the adrenalin,finding the right address, got lost, got pissed, arguing about which way to go, catching another tram to the next house / flat..pheeww..! Each inspection only lasts 15 – 30 min, and if the property located in popular suburb and close to public transport, there always at least 10 people looking as well. I found that inspection is kinda funny in a way, you can see in people’s eyes, when they see another couple arrived at the property, they look slightly pissed. And they try to limit interaction with each other, I think, in their mind would be sort of like “hmmm, we’re competing for this house.., better avoid eye contact!” (or, maybe not, I probably just imagining it).

Last Saturday, we went out around 9am, fully charged with coffee, and half a croissant (we share 1 croissant, we’ve got nothing else at that time). About 3 hours, 3 properties and 2 blisters later, (I stupidly wear my new shoes – NEVER wear new pair of shoes for inspection marathon, stick to your havaianas) we were famished and cranky.

We decided to go to A1 bakery, because other breakfast places must be really busy at that time, and we didn’t have any energy left to wait longer. It was quite busy when we got there, but luckily, there were still some empty tables around. The scene was different form other cafes we usually go to, most of the customers are families, or locals. We ordered the same stuff, spinach and cheese pastry, $3.50 each (how uncreative, I know, but low blood sugar level shut down our creativity). while we’re waiting for our pastry reheated, we couldn’t resist to buy the baklavas ($1 each, but if I bought $5, I always get 1 extra 🙂 ). I ended up eating the pastry, and saved the baklava for dessert. My hubby, has interesting way of eating them, he had 1 bite of pastry, and then 1 bite of his baklava, and his pastry again..weird! his tastebuds must be soooo confused..  The spinach and cheese pastry were really good, stuffed with generous salty chunks of feta, and fresh spinach, wrapped in crisp golden pastry. The spinach and cheese pastry was a huge triangle, sliced in three smaller triangles.The amount of cheese was just right, not overpowering the spinach, yet still satisfying.

The baklava – sheets of filo pastry, nuts, drizzle with syrup, and sprinkled with crushed pistachio. Very sweet, rich, and sticky (in a good way). I try to be good, and resisted the temptation to buy baklava to take home, because we still had some tiramisu left in the fridge. (I wil post the recipe later). On the way out, we saw a couple sharing a huge plate of pizza, automatically we exchanged glance, and telepathically said “we got to try that one!”

A1 Bakery – 645-645 Sydney Road, Brunswick, (9386 0440)


My husband has a tomato paste sensitivity, every time he eats something with tomato paste in it, he would have a sore and burning feeling on his tongue. Strangely, he’s not reacting to fresh tomato, tomato sauce, or sundried tomato.  Therefore, I tried to find a good lasagna recipe that has no tomato paste in the recipe. This tomato-less lasagna recipe is taken from vegie food cookbook, with a little changes. The original recipe was actually a free-form lasagna, meaning that you assemble the lasagna individually, I decided to bake it in the a baking dish, and I also add grated mozzarella cheese on top. Next time, I will mashed the pumpkin, and place it on the upper layer, cause what happened was, when I tried to slice and transfer a piece, it just disintegrate, which is not pretty, but still yummy though. I will not skimp on the mozzarella cheese either to glue the layers properly. I had the lasagna with some baked kipfler potato wedges, and broad beans salad with some ricotta, olive oil, and lemon juice dressing (oh my God,  peeling the broad beans shell was such a ‘fun’ chore!). The lasagna was alright, I will definitely perfecting it in the future. I’m still in search of a perfect vegie lasagna recipe, if anyone has one, please share.. ;). By the way, this is the recipe..

ingredients :

  • 4 fresh lasagna sheets
  • 1 package frozen chopped spinach
  • 350 g pumpkin, diced
  • 500 g / 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

place pumpkin in baking dish, drizzle with olive oli and bake for 20 min in the oven or until tender

defrost the spinach in the microwave, and squeeze excess water

mix in ricotta and parmesan cheese to the spinach, season with salt and pepper

boil about 4 cups of water in a big pot

oil a baking dish

cook 1 lasagna sheets in boiling water for a few seconds until tender (don’t overcook, or the lasagna will rip, and that’s really annoying..!)

place in baking dish, spread with spinach mixture, sprinkle with grated mozzarella cheese

cook another sheet of lasagna, and put no top of spinach

arrange the baked pumpkin on top of it, and add some more grated mozzarella

repeat with another sheet of lasagna, and top with the spinach mix, mozzarella, and the last sheet.

sprinkle with the remaining of grated cheese, or add some more mozzarella cheese to cover all surface.

bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and browning a little bit.