Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Another bread book, this one very easy to read, great diagrams and enriched doughs that come up beautifully smooth and elastic without having doctor the measurements much at all.

Sticky buns today - work tomorrow, so the challah will have to wait for Saturday!


I first saw one of Angie Lewin's prints a couple of years ago in a home deco magazine. I made a note of it and hoped one day to buy one for our walls. I haven't done so yet, although they aren't completely out of reach, just more than a spur of the moment purchase.

After trying to decide on my next sewing challenge (because I need more than one thing on the go at any given time), I decided that I would do an applique and needlepoint interpretation of one of her works. I've chosen this image, which is called Green Bank. You can see more of her works and the items for sale here.

First step is to scale up the image and then grid it to transfer to a pattern sheet. Not sure exactly how I'm going to do this as I'm not great with the pc in terms of manipulating images, so I think perhaps I'll start with an A3 sheet of paper, a grey lead, a ruler and a rubber. If anyone else has a better idea - please yell! I think this will take me a while.


I'm sharing a sneak peek with you, as Kate from Tea & Jam has done with us.

The session on Sunday was completely painless and I'm very happy with this teaser. It's amazing how vibrant and clear everything is and I love the way our kitchen looks! If you're interested you should get along to Mathilda's Market this weekend, as they're offering 50% off their session prices.

Monday, May 24, 2010


A cold wet afternoon calls for orange, sultana and cranberry muffins. I wish I had time to sit and enjoy with a cup of tea reading my current book. In reality I'm grabbing three, running out into the rain, gobbling one down in the car, the second still warm for Ella at school pick up and the third for Leila at kinder pick up. I'm still imagining it with tea!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I feel better when I'm organised, but I don't often find time to be as much so as I'd like.

One thing I try and do is write a menu plan every week. I do it because of finances and to save myself the daily torture of deciding what to make. I certainly spend a lot less on groceries if I'm only buying to a menu or a list, rather than to my fancy on any particular day. The downside, I find the effort put into writing a menu/list challenging some days/weeks and I also like cooking what I fancy on any given day.

For now, my weekly menu/shopping list, and I write for the amount of days deciding on the day what I fancy, is:

1. New York steaks (marinated sirloins) with potato & spinach dauphenoise & garlic g/beans
2. Italian meatballs (already in the freezer) on linguini with fennel and orange salad
3. Homemade chicken parmas with brown rice and green salad
4. Zucchini and feta fritters with roasted cauliflower salad
5. Caesar salad with pancett and a poached egg

For the record, no, my children won't eat all of this - theirs will be a modified version of most of them, decidedly plainer. One day though, one day, we'll all eat everything together, without modification.

Now, I'm starving, I have to go eat ..... a bagel!

Friday, May 21, 2010


I'm constantly amazed and delighted by the wonders of yeast doughs. You wouldn't think that different applications of pretty much the same ingredients could yield such amazingly different results.

As I said earlier, I wasn't sure they'd taste like bagels, but they really do. The boiling part is amazing, the way the dough changes in both appearance and feel - looking more like a donut. Pop them in the oven and the smell is a bagel smell (I used to live across the road from Glicks in St Kilda so I know that smell) and the taste, the texture, the external shine, it's a win, win!

Run to your kitchens, check your cupboards to see if you have all you need and make bagels. You simply must!


I'm not sure about this one. Do you know what it is?

I have Leila home sick today and as she's having a really good sleep rather than nap, I decided to make two things that have been on my "must try to make" list for a long time. This is the first of them. Mole. A spicy Mexican sauce that includes chocolate and cocoa in its list of ingredients. I'm reserving judgement until it's eaten with a spice rubbed chicken stripped and laid on fresh tortillas, topped with some chopped cucumber, lettuce and coriander, then with some mole spooned over the top. Perhaps using Lindt dark chocolate was the mistake, it smells like Lindt to me. There are many layers of spices and a lot of heat, but I don't think it stands well alone. I'll reserve judgement and let you know.

The second I'm more confident about. Bagels. I'm using this recipe and we'll see. The dough has a lovely feel to it, but we'll see if they actually taste like bagels in texture, or whether they're more like funny shaped rolls. Again, more to follow.

Monday, May 17, 2010


You must, simply must, make this cake. If you lived close by I'd say you must come and taste this cake with a cup of tea, at mine, but failing that, you must make your own.

The recipe came from Honey and Jam and it's a good one. I always hold my breath when using this cake tin as there have been as many cakes that haven't wanted to come out as those that just slid on out. Luckily today very generous greasing of the tin meant this was a success.

Can you believe I've never eaten rhubarb? I've always meant to but as Geoff has an aversion (he grew up being served extremely overstewed rhubarb on icecream) I've just never got around to it. After seeing this recipe and then yesterday buying rhubarb at the shops, how could I not? I used lime instead of lemon and normal full cream rather than butter milk, oh and I cut back the sugar by 1/2 a cup as I find some US recipes VERY sweet.

I think even Geoff will like this one!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Autumn jewels from the tree in Nan and Pa's garden. The sweetest fruit I've ever tasted from what I think is the most beautiful of trees.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Clearly taking pictures of furnishings is not my thing!

I took these photos a few weeks ago now, but couldn't share because I waiting for my dear Lena to receive her very delayed package. This was my first attempt at this pattern of mine and there are things I'd change second time round. I would add more spacing between the panels so it didn't appear so busy. I would also have a wider border as the plumping of the cushion means that the rounding hides most of it. As I explained to Lena though, every piece was stitched with love and happy thoughts and I hope she likes it. I'm also sharing these photos in case, my dear friend, you wondered what the empty fabric pocket was for!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Another project on the go. Following on from my first smaller piece using a similar pattern, this is set to become a queen sized summer quilt for our bed. I love the freshness of the greens, each piece, albeit it a leaf or petal appliqued on by hand, roll stitched around the edges. They will be joined in panels from top to bottom, one long vine, with yet another contrasting green stem to join each pairing of leaves from top to bottom. Between each vertical panel there will be white spacing panel and a broad frame around the external edge in the same fabric as the stems, which may well tie into the backing. Binding, who knows.

It's very laborious, but I find it so pleasing and such relaxing work. Clearly I'll need quite a few panels, around 18 from memory, so it will keep me busy for quite some time.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I love this little guy. It's not my idea, but borrowed from here. I did figure out the pattern myself though, a little tweeking here and there and I think he's pretty cute. I've made a few now for various babes that have entered our world and this is one of two that will go to a colleague who is expecting twins very soon.

These soon to be first time parents have had quite a few concerns during the pregnancy and are likely to be induced this week, about 6 weeks early. So many worries at what should be an exciting time, I thought a gift that celebrates the children about to arrive would be a nice distraction.

Sunday, May 09, 2010


Happy Mother's Day to everyone out there, whether a mother yourself or the child of one, which I know you all are!

We've had a lovely family day, admittedly it didn't feature too highly on sleep ins or quiet time, but I do feel appreciated and appreciative. We tried for a nice photo of the three girls, but confess it never works out just so and most often I'm the gormless one pulling a funny face although sadly rarely on purpose! We're having a family portrait taken by these guys in a few weeks and I confess that I'm a little anxious. The only thing that reassures me is that everyone looks great in their photos, so I'm hoping that amongst the closed eye, double chin shots, there may be one absolute gem!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010


I'm not normally into sharing pet photos, but honestly, he couldn't have looked cosier inside the shopping bags on the kitchen floor!

Sunday, May 02, 2010


Nan's birthday on Friday and today a celebratory lunch. Too much food, luckily only a moderate amount of wine, but enough so I feel like going to bed at 3pm!

Geoff's roast chicken (Keller style), roast potatoes, garlic beans and rocket salad. Dessert a new recipe to me (from the current Gourmet Traveller) of an almond crostate with roasted pears, which I loved.

Pears are the fruit I like most in desserts, in cakes and I do love them baked. I also just love their form, raw and cooked, so pretty and womanly too.

Saturday, May 01, 2010


I'm bread obsessed at the moment, I'm sorry. I'm sure it's very uninteresting for those of you not similarly inclined. Me carrying on about the holes and texture in this particular loaf will hold no interest, but it is an achievement. It's quite easy to make a dense, finely crumbed loaf, but it's more effort to get a real sourdough style texture, a wetter dough, longer proofing time, not necessarily more effort, but more thought.

I'm loving this book I've discovered. Learning theory behind breadmaking, again to me at least, is fascinating and a little information really helps to understand how to achieve certain results.

There is other crafting non bread related going on around here, I'll try and share my focus a little more!