Captain Frank’s dessert pick for Christmas is a playful cheesecake that will go down a treat with both adults and kids – he’s never the one to make it… but he sure does love to eat it!
PEANUT BUTTER & POPCORN CHEESECAKE
“Include peanut butter and you have a winner dish!” – Captain Frank
Serves: 12 Prep: 45 mins Cooking Time: 10 mins
1¼ cups chocolate biscuit crumbs
80g butter melted
500g cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 tsp gelatine dissolved in ¼ cup boiling water
¾ cup peanut butter
1 cup thickened cream, softly whipped
1 cup sugar
1 cup thickened cream, extra
¼ cup popping corn, popped as per packet instructions
Combine biscuit crumbs and butter then press into the base of a greased and lined 22cm round springform pan. Chill.
Beat the cream cheese, caster sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in gelatine and peanut butter, then fold through cream. Pour mixture over prepared base. Chill for 3 hours or until set.
Heat sugar in a saucepan over a medium-high heat, without stirring, for 2 minutes or until sugar begins to melt. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Remove from heat and carefully add extra cream. Stir until smooth. Allow to cool.
Top cheesecake with popcorn and drizzle over sauce. Serve immediately.
SHARE YOUR DESSERT FAVOURITE
Do you have a dessert idea that you would love to share? We would love to see it as Captain Frank and the team enjoy tasty food both on land and on water! Share your dessert selections on Instagram.
Captain Frank invited a friend out on the Sydney Harbour Sunset & Sparkle Cruise upon the product’s initial launch… So we decided to share her write up!
BY ANNIE B.
As a Sydney-sider I am often treated to a spectacular sunset, with glorious pink and red hues being spread across the sky like a blanket of fire. To say I am spoilt with views is an understatement, as these amazing sunset displays come out for show.
With Sydney having such vivid sunsets, the next question is where is the best place to capture such a picturesque occasion from? Of course we want the best vantage point so we have the footage to share across social media.
Scrolling through the internet searching for the answer to this question… well it seems that such a discussion is open for debate, with many personal opinions being listed and with the images shared, it’s hard to say they are wrong. Put simply, Sydney has amazing sunsets and there seems to be a number of great spots to capture these from!
On this note, a common feature I did notice from the array of listed locations that I sifted through, was that many selected Sydney spots – Watsons Bay, Manly, Cockatoo Island, Sydney Opera House and a number of key harbour side hotels and restaurants – had one thing in common, Sydney Harbour. Thinking about it, the sun does look better glistening off the water.
Just when I thought the idea of a Sydney sunset could not get much better, the opportunity arose for me to experience a gorgeous sunset aboard a harbour cruise. Wow!! To say the least, this was like front row seats at the opera, side line seats at the footy grand final and rooftop seats for an eclipse. Not only did I view the gorgeous sunset from a prime location, but I enjoyed a cruise around the harbour, where I relaxed, grazed on some nibbles and enjoyed a glass of champagne.
For the keen photographer, the lover of relaxation, the explorer of Sydney – the sun setting over Sydney Harbour is definitely a dream setting; a blanket of fire and beauty.
The Sunset & Sparkle Harbour Cruise that I got to experience is certainly one to put into the schedule on your next visit to Sydney!
It’s the latest craze to hit the beaches, it’s cool and core-friendly – so we’ve decided it’s definitely time to jump (or paddle) on board! Our Captain’s been practising… and he’s not quite there yet, but I’m sure he will get the hang of it soon!
Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) boarding is an excellent way to bond with friends and family, while keeping active, fit and building core strength. Suitable for all fitness levels, it’s a fun water activity that is making waves – literally!
Sea Sydney Harbour has recently added two inflatable Stand-Up Paddle Boards to its portfolio and we’re so excited for the Summer season and fun activities to begin! These can be added to any daytime private charter booking for some additional fun, and fun is definitely what you will have!
Jump in the water for a swim, and enjoy the use of paddle boards, pool noodles and the fun of beach balls bouncing around! What better way to spend your Summer Sydney days!
Melissa (a relative of Captain Frank) shares her views of Sydney upon returning for a visit after a few years of life overseas. Here’s her story!
by melissa balzan
I arrived after a long separation – 9 months since we last met, and before that, we had parted for 12 months. My relationship with Sydney seems to be one of love and aversion: when I am here for too long, I wish to leave; and when I am away, I can only dream of my return. Though this time, there seems to be a new energy in the city of Sydney – within which I wish to indulge.
Sydney is known around the world for its beauty: its landmark Harbour Bridge and Opera House, its warm golden beaches, and its friendly and down-to-earth Aussies. But after I return from living and working overseas for a while, I appreciate so much more: the skies here are so blue, the air is so clean, and the city re-development works underway are set to rival some of the best in the world.
What has struck me particularly this time, is the public space that has been claimed back by the people and is free for Sydney siders and visitors to enjoy. Barangaroo Reserve is a shining example of this – set by the beautiful harbour with spectacular urban skyline views, and with native gardens, cycle tracks and walk (or stroll) ways – this place is perfect for an afternoon picnic; and on my visit I was also lucky enough to experience some excellent open-air sculptural installations. Other new sites in the heart of the city offer similar public experiences: Central Park Precinct at Ultimo and the Goods Line that connects Ultimo and Darling Harbour, for example.
Amongst these new iconic points, I also wonder among contemporary architectural gems by world-renowned superstars: One Central Park at Ultimo designed by Jean Nouvel with PTW Architects; and the Dr Chau Chak Wing building at University of Technology by Frank Gehry. And set to come is the reimagined International Convention Centre at Darling Harbour by joint venture Hassell + Populous, and also DUO at Central Park by Foster and Partners.
For the outdoor enthusiast, the design talent, the big city buzzer – Sydney truly offers it all.
In my time overseas, I have been asked of my home city hundreds of times. When I proudly respond with the name Sydney, the reaction is often, “Ahh .. a dream city.” And indeed, Sydney is a dream city, my dream city. I encourage everyone to just lose themselves in its beauty at least once in their life.
When I return next, as I fly in over the stunning Sydney Harbour, I will be looking forward to my further re-discovery of the city – perhaps this time on the water, with uninterrupted views of the beautiful harbour and cityscape.
With winter upon us, here are Captain Frank’s favourite winter warming recipes – hearty soups that are simple to make and will leave you wanting more.
PUMPKIN AND CHORIZO SOUP
“You just can’t have pumpkin soup without the addition of chorizo!! And lots of it!!” – Captain Frank
Serves: 4 Prep: 20 mins Cooking Time: 40 mins
1 tbsp olive oil
2 chorizos, finely diced
2 small brown onions, coarsely diced
900g Kent pumpkin, skin removed, seeded, cut into 2.5cm chunks
1 medium carrot, peeled, coarsely diced
3 gloves garlic, chopped
1 dried bay leaf
¾ tsp smoked paprika
¾ tsp ground cumin seeds
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
6 cups water
¼ cup thickened cream
2 tbsp pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted
Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and chorizo and cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes or until crisp on the outside. Transfer the chorizo on a plate and set aside.
Add the onions then pumpkin and carrot to the same pan and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the onions and pumpkin begin to soften. Add the garlic, bay leaf, smoked paprika and cumin and cook, stirring for 5 minutes, or until the pumpkin begins to caramelise.
Add the vinegar and cover with the water. Bring to boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender. Add the cream and bring back to a simmer. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Discard the bay leaf.
Working in batches, blend the soup in a blender until smooth. Pour batches back into the saucepan to reheat. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Ladle into four bowls. Top with cooked chorizo and pepitas.
Optional: Drizzle with extra virgin oil and serve with bread.
Alteration on recipe by Curtis Stone
PEA AND BROCCOLI SOUP WITH CHEESY CROUTONS
“This is a great vegetarian option and the cheesy croutons are the perfect addition to the dish.” – Captain Frank
Serves: 4 Prep: 15 mins Cooking Time: 20 mins
1 tbs olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 leek, coarsely chopped
1 potato, peeled, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 cups (1L) chicken or vegetable stock
1 small head broccoli, coarsely chopped
2 cups (240g) frozen peas
4 thick slices bread
2 slices tasty cheddar
Coarsely chopped chives
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, leek, potato and garlic. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until the onion softens. Add the stock and bring to boil. Add the broccoli and peas. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes or until broccoli is very tender.
Transfer the broccoli mixture to the jug of a blender and blend until smooth. Return to the saucepan over low heat and heat through.
Preheat a sandwich press or large frying pan over high heat. Spread the butter evenly over 1 side of each bread slice. Sandwich the cheddar, butter side out, between bread slices. Cook in sandwich press for 2 minutes or in frying pan for 2 minutes each side, or until cheddar melts and the bread is golden brown. Cut into 2cm wide croutons.
Divide the soup among serving bowls. Top with the croutons and sprinkle with chives to serve.
Recipe by Curtis Stone
Do you have a tasty winter warmer recipe that you would love to share? Share your winter recipe creations on Instagram.
Our favourite Captain Frank took some time out of his busy schedule to share his vision and thoughts on life on Sydney Harbour. We’ve created a special blog post to share his thoughts and words. Here’s what we discovered in 5 minutes (ok, it may have went a little over time):
What do you love most about being a skipper on Sydney Harbour?
Being able to do something that you love everyday can be hard to find in life. I just love what I do and the fact that I get to do it on one of the most beautiful harbours in the world and share it with others is amazing!
What is your most memorable experience on Sydney Harbour?
Hmmmmm… My most memorable experience would have to be… (long pause) New Years Eve. Spending New Years Eve out on Sydney Harbour every year amongst all the parties and celebrations. I couldn’t ask for a better view!
Have you always wanted to work in the boating industry? How did your passion and love for boats come about?
My passion for boats and the water started from a really young age, when I was out on my uncle’s boat up around Coffs Harbour. I developed a love for the water and I decided then and there I wanted to make a career out of it! I saved up and bought my first boat at the age of 12.
Talking about making a career out of your passion, you’re not just a skipper on the Harbour, but you actually own and drive your own charter boat. When did you establish this business and are there big plans for the near future?
Yes, this is correct. The business (Sea Sydney Harbour) was established in early 2015 when we purchased The Kirralee, our 10.5 metre catamaran. It is going well and so far we are really enjoying it and have already started to expand. I hope together with my wife we can build a strong and solid company. We have some exciting adventures lined up for 2016.
Kirralee is the name of your charter boat. If you could describe her in a single word what would it be?
What can we expect from an experience aboard Kirralee?
The opportunity to cruise Sydney Harbour like never before and create memories! If you charter Kirralee you get exclusive hire for you and your guests and you really explore, or shall I say “Sea Sydney Harbour” (pun intended). Any customer that comes on board receives service with a smile, punctuality, a crew that is willing to go above and beyond and of course use of our spacious, clean boat. Customers are exposed to great views and picture opportunities, while spending qt (quality time) with friends and family. It’s an intimate cruising experience!
Tell me how I go about booking your beautiful catamaran?
You can simply call me direct on +61 452 188 739 or send us an email at email@example.com. Our Customer Service team is great and will generally get back to you within 24 hours. You can also jump on our website or our Facebook page to browse through information on the service we provide and see pictures of the fun had aboard Kirralee. There is lots of it and we definitely hope to see you on board!!
Sea Sydney Harbour Sea Sydney Harbour operates 7 days a week and are happy to accommodate to customer requests for charter dates, times and pick up and drop off locations in Sydney Harbour. To make an enquiry or book your exclusive charter email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following post has been written by the Sea Sydney Harbour team to provide information on Vivid Sydney and promote their Vivid Sydney Harbour Cruises.
It’s back… bigger and brighter than ever!! +5 for the 5 stars that this festival deserves – a true 5 out of 5 star rating!! And +5 for the additional 5 nights that the festival will run for in 2016!!
The longest ever Vivid Sydney Festival will shine for 23 nights, illuminating Sydney Harbour, new and much-love precincts, and hosting vibrant music performances and big ideas talks. The festival runs from Friday 27th May through to Saturday 18th June 2016.
The sails of the Sydney Opera House will continue to be a key feature of the Vivid Lights festival and will transform into an animated canvas of the oldest Australian Indigenous art. Vivid Sydney’s brilliant lights also return to Chatswood, Central Park, Darling Harbour and the Australian National Maritime Museum, Martin Place and new precinct The Galeries, which becomes the festival’s first indoor precinct. Treasured attractions, yet new additions to the festival include Taronga Zoo and the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, which will light up during Vivid Sydney in celebration of the monumental anniversaries both celebrate in 2016.
Beyond Vivid Lights, Vivid Music will pulse through the city with new sounds and venues in the line up. Vivid LIVE at the Sydney Opera House will unleash a series of incredible acts and storytellers, shaping the creative landscape for upcoming artists, who will headline Vivid Ideas.
Vivid Sydney Harbour Cruises
Cruise with colour and creativity and experience the 5 star Vivid Sydney Festival from a prime location cruising Sydney Harbour. See the spectacular sights and sounds and enjoy the scenic views of Sydney’s enlightened buildings and landmarks. Aboard Kirralee, there are indoor and outdoor areas for viewing the light displays, so skip the crowds and experience the festival on a boat with Sea Sydney Harbour.
Ticketed cruises run for 1.5 hours and there are various departure times on each Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings throughout the festival. Cruises will also be running on the public holiday Monday 13th June.
Light refreshments and soft drink will be provided. Passengers can choose to BYO alcoholic beverages. No corkage fees apply.
Vivid Harbour Cruises are perfect to bring along the whole family and enjoy breathtaking views of Sydney and the spectacular light display!
• 1.5 hour charter aboard The Kirralee with an experienced skipper and deck hand/host. An intimate cruising experience with maximum passenger numbers of 30.
• Pick up and drop off at King Street Wharf
• Light refreshments and soft drink
Grab Your Ticket Today!
Named Australia’s best tourism event for 3 consecutive years, this festival is not to be missed!! Why not experience Vivid Sydney aboard a harbour cruise with Sea Sydney Harbour.
Cruise with colour and creativity and enjoy 5 star views of Sydney’s iconic buildings and landmarks bathed in bright lights and vibrant colours. Find Sea Sydney Harbour on Facebook, like our page and follow the ‘Vivid Sydney Festival 2016 Harbour Cruises’ event to discover the latest information and keep up to date on ticket availability. We can’t wait to hear from you!
The Summer holiday season is upon us Sydney siders, so there is no better time to be out and about exploring the beautiful city that we live in. The city is full of amazing key landmarks that are bustling with tourists who are visiting Australia and soaking up some Australian sun, but we’ve discovered some trendy nautical places that are a little lower key and that will allow you to spend your day or night having fun in a relaxed environment. This said, if you do want the full nautical experience you could always hire a catamaran and host an exclusive party on Sydney Harbour 😛
Here are Captain Frank’s and the team’s top picks of trendy nautical themed places in Sydney (not necessarily in order):
Nautica –Talk about making us feel like we are relaxing on a Greek Island! The styling of this café/bar is absolutely amazing! Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner this place is ideal for a relaxed beverage or morning coffee, and they do also serve food for all meals of the day. Located in Watson’s Bay just behind Robertson Park, Watsons Bay Beach promenade is just a short stroll away if you do fancy a swim or wish to jump on a ferry to move to your next location for the day.
Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel –While at Watson’s Bay, a perfectly relaxed atmosphere can be found at Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel, where there is an amazing beer garden with spectacular views. Whether you are looking for a place to have a meal, a drink or even a coffee or freshly squeezed juice, if you are in Watsons Bay you simply cannot go past this trendy venue. Looking for a place to stay overnight too? I’ve heard the rooms are fabulous, so why not spoil yourself, your friend or partner and book a room for the night. One of my favourite things about this place – the anchor signage on the bathroom doors that spell out MR and MRS!! Truly nautical and on trend… Love it!!
The Ivanhoe Hotel – The other side of town is home to a much-loved local pub set in the heart of Manly on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. The magnificent façade has a Hamptons-inspired coastal beach vibe, while cleverly maintaining the welcoming and relaxed atmosphere of Manly and a local pub. With the beach within walking distance, it is the perfect location to relax on a hot Summer’s day. Multi-level, with indoor and outdoor spaces, you are guaranteed to find a spot to relax and have a refreshing drink, and you won’t even feel like you left the beach. Both the food and drinks are amazing and the pub is open long hours so you can pop in at any time of the day.
The Island Bar – Located on Cockatoo Island and open only in the Summer months, the blue, yellow and white décor of this bar definitely fits in with the nautical theme. The bar is constructed from recycled shipping containers, giving it a funky industrial look and keeping with the history of Cockatoo Island as a shipbuilding yard and Commonwealth naval base. With deck chairs available for relaxing in the sun, this is a perfect choice for some daytime drinks and a bite to eat. While on the island why not take a brief tour and uncover some of the history of Sydney Harbour, or if you are up for the experience you can even camp overnight on the island. Alternatively if you hire #thekirralee for an exclusive charter, you can request the skipper stop over at the island while you and your guests can head to the bar.
Hello Sailor –After a trip from the East, to the North and to the middle of Sydney Harbour, we come back to a central location in the CBD – Darlinghurst. Hello Sailor is a great themed bar for the night time drinking session as it is open from 6pm-3am. It is a small bar that attracts a young crowd and trying the cocktails at this bar is a must! The atmosphere is fun and trendy and the nautical theme is far from subtle, with life rings, boat wheels, rope and oars spread across the venue – exactly what one would expect from a place called ‘Hello Sailor’ I guess. If you did wish to host a function at this venue, it would be best to call and make a booking as the bar does get very busy on some nights.
With the Christmas season fast approaching its time to start thinking about planning your office Christmas Party. Unwrap something new and fun this year and hire a catamaran to cruise around Sydney Harbour. Beside’s for meeting the Captain himself, here’s some top reasons why the phrase “I’m on a boat” will become the most popular saying in your office this Christmas!
Exclusive Venue – No more sharing restaurant space or a function centre with another party. This celebration is for your group only to celebrate all your hard work throughout the year and the holiday period. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
Amazing Atmosphere –Being in a new environment away from anywhere that has previously been associated with work meetings of functions brings about a different attitude. Make your Christmas Party an occasion to truly be enjoyed by all. Your colleagues will feel like they can let loose a little and will have waves of fun.
Customised Experience – Whether you are keen for a day or night cruise, a party cruise or a more relaxed cruise that includes a dip in the water, the experience is up to you. Your experienced Captain can certainly make some suggestions, but you can customise your boating experience to suit your specific group.
Unique – How many people do you know who hire a catamaran exclusively for their Christmas Party? Everyone will love it and the views are breathtaking!
BYO – No bar tabs and no specific catering services must be used! Do you need me to repeat that? No bar tabs and no specific catering services must be used! While Sea Sydney Harbour does have some catering and entertainment options that you can select from, it is purely to make your planning easier. BYO for all food and drinks is allowed!
On trend – There is nothing cooler this Summer than being on a boat and screaming “I’m on a boat” with your friends and work colleagues. #nothingmoretosay
Move over “Merry Christmas” because this year its “I’m on a boat”. The Summer holiday period is set to be a good one! Trust me, you don’t want to miss this!
Share your pictures capturing the fun on Sydney Harbour on Instagram.
When it comes to entertaining on a boat you may think your food options are limited, however let me assure you that your choices are many.
Sharing your food is another way to share the love – I mean they often say a way to a man’s heart (or Captain’s heart) is through his stomach – so why not opt for platters and finger food to satisfy hunger and love in one go?
We’ve trialed some simple savoury recipes and tested them for preparation time and hunger satisfaction. See what Captain Frank’s favourite finger food option was and why not make use of this recipe next time your planning a celebration!?!
MINI QUICHE LORRAINE
Great finger food that can be served hot or cold. Create your own flavour by mixing up the toppings you use – ideas include ham and cheese (as below), spinach and feta or sun-dried tomato and olive.
Makes: 32 Prep: 15 mins Cooking Time: 20 mins
½ cup milk
1 onion, diced
4 slices ham, diced
1 ½ cups cheese, grated
4 sheets short crust pastry
2 tsps. dried parsley
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
Cut each pastry sheet into 8 rounds using a scone cutter.
Lightly spray the patty tin. Place pastry in patty tin.
Place cheese, chopped onion and ham in the pastry shell.
Beat egg and milk. Add salt, pepper and parsley.
Pour mixture over the pastry shells and topping.
Sprinkle with extra cheese
Place tray in oven and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the filling is set.