Friday, December 24, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas


With the impending OS trip, my family decided on a no presents year and Mr T and I decided that instead of Christmas gifts we'd treat ourselves to a night of decadent food and wines in the new year. Of course I'd bought a couple of gifts during the year before we'd made the arrangement, so there will be a present or two opened.

However in my household, no Christmas is complete without homemade food gifts. Beer & Chili peanut brittle and Irish Cream (sans almond essence).

I will not let the fact that on the eve of Christmas eve our olive tree was stolen for the third time (this time I reported it to the police). My neighbour noticed first thing this morning and gifted me another replacement tree.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Not long to go now...

It's been a big couple of weeks, sadly my Nan passed away, but we know she is in a much better place.
I caught up with the Girls for our Christmas breakfast and through a white elephant gift exchange I stole the gorgeous olive bowl.

I've clocked up over 10 years at work and while it would usually calm down at this time of year, it appears to be ramping up. Not helped by an office move. 20 years worth of stuff to be sorted and packed. It's daunting to say the least!

That said, from Thursday I have two and a half weeks off. And it's official, my long service leave has been approved. Six months leave starting mid February. It's no secret to those who know me that 2011 is the year of the new career! Exciting times ahead to say the least.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Stick 'o Hot Choc





These have totally done the blog rounds, but I thought I'd have a crack, because I think they make a nice little gift. I breakfasted with my girls this morning, and while we did do a Kris Kringle I wanted to give something a little extra.

Of course I had to taste test too. It makes for a pretty decadent hot chocolate.
I'm looking forward to experimenting with a more flavour additions (I added vanilla extract) but wouldn't mind trying cinnamon, orange, coffee and most of all chili.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Bubble tea




While shopping for wonton wrappers last weekend, I stumbled across dried tapioca pearls used in bubble tea. This household likes bubble tea. But making it yourself means you can dial down the sweetness.

First I made tea. Any black tea will do.
I prepared the tapioca pearls according to these directions.
For best results serve the tapioca pearls slightly warm or at room temperature. When cold they're hard in the middle, not soft like they should be.

• 1-2 tbs prepared tapioca pearls • 1 cup cold tea • 1 tsp sweetened condensed milk (low fat is fine) • 1 dash milk.
Add all to a glass and stir stir stir to dissolve the condensed milk. Drink the deliciousness wishing you had one of those fat straws to assist with eating of the pearls. Though a spoon will do and it's far more environmentally friendly!

Friday, December 3, 2010

More bunting


Oh and a little bit more bunting for the tree. Made with floss and Japanese making tape.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My creative space


A longer than anticipated visit to Bunnings on the weekend saw me come out with a stack of paint chips. I spray painted the back of them silver and they've been turned into bunting for our tree.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Beetroot wonton raviloi revisited


As requested, it's a little time consuming, but makes for a nice meal.

Start by roasting 200-250g beetroot wrapped in foil at 180C for ~50 mins.
At the 40 min mark, throw 2 cloves of garlic in the oven, still in their skin and a handful of hazelnuts. Roast these for 10 min.

Once done, process the beetroot, roasted garlic cloves, 200-205g ricotta, 30-40g Parmesan cheese, salt & pepper to a smooth paste.

Place a generous teaspoon of the beetroot mix onto a wonton and sandwich with another wonton wrapper, making sure to wet the edges so that they seal properly. I use a fork to press along the sides.

Cook 'ravioli' in rolling boiling water until they float. Or the wonton become translucent. It won't take long

Serve with a burnt butter and sage, and roasted hazelnuts

Hints and tips.
• You can use either yellow or white wrappers. I preferred the white, though they didn't seal as well as the yellow. Mr T preferred the yellow, he said they were richer.
• 4 per serve works pretty well, if you serve with a side of greens.
• They freeze beautifully, making for a super easy and speedy midweek meal

I might try steaming them next time. I'll update here if it works well.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Lemon passionfruit delicious


Oh yes. This will be made again. And again.
Two changes, I upped the flour to 1/3 cup and I cooked it in four ramekins for about 40 mins.
Light and fluffy on top, with a curd like consistency at the bottom. Delicious indeed.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Down time


Still loving the library. And making slow progress on my squares.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

At it again


With summer only rearing it's head during the week, leaving wet weekends, Mr T was getting itchy with idleness. The boy can't sit still and so the laundry was demolished. Downstairs is littered with instructions, bolts and half built cabinets. While the trailer is close to another trip to the tip. We had a hard rubbish collection and had a satisfying purge of unwanted/unusable/unrecyclable goods and we're getting ever closer to appointing a drafter to help with the plans for out the back. After the wet winter we've had we're longing for a water tight roof!

Friday, November 26, 2010

The week in green



We have 1000 thread count sheets, but I much prefer the feel of basic Ikea cotton sheets. We got a new set, there's something about the green that reminds me of my childhood.

The basil is sitting happily on the kitchen windowsill getting the morning sun, while the homegrown garlic behind it is four weeks away from use.

And sadly I ate the last of our green tea kit kat supply. Sweetness from the white/green 'chocolate' and the slight bitterness of green tea, a perfect combination!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Refreshing

Returning from overseas, Mr T thought that he'd spend his allocated duty free alcohol allowance on pear infused vodka. Sounds like an awesome idea, taste is another matter altogether. We finally stumbled on something appetizing and refreshing for stinking hot days; like today.

If you're (un)lucky enough to have a bottle of pear vodka hanging around try this:

Lots of ice
1 shot/30mls pear vodka
1 shot/30mls vermouth
top with plenty of soda
garnish with lemon, lime & pear slices.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The weekend


Late for a recap, I know. My weekend was about movies (Wild Target, The Hurt Locker), cabin fever due to all the rain, Mr T ripping out our laundry, a hellish trip to Ikea and highly coloured food.

The beetroot ravioli was delicious, I totally cheated and used won ton wrappers for the pastry, next time I'll hunt out the white ones though, these were a touch glutinous. For dessert it was all about the green tea macaron filled with a simple cream cheese based icing; passionfruit or chocolate flavoured. Personally I thought the chocolate let the green tea flavour come through better, but Mr T preferred the over powering passionfruit.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

This week in the garden

...I am lamenting another stolen olive tree. I bit the bullet and replaced the one pilfered previously, it had been in the ground for about a month before it was taken out on Saturday night. Again I'm left with a gaping hole in my garden.

That said, my snowpea plants are producing at a rapid rate and they're absolutely delicious.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Found

I've just had a very long weekend and am gradually easing back into a working week. With the weather on the improve I've been out running more and am a bit of a sucker for bringing things home. I could help myself with these pink seed pods.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday eats


It was just one of those Sunday's that called for pizza. I was happy to oblige. My weekend continues, until Tuesday.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The weekend

I was a bit of a sloth yesterday, it was kinda nice sleeping in, reading the paper and drinking cups of coffee in bed. I whipped up the store bought meringues pretty quickly for dinner/dessert with the girls. Mascarpone, sweetened with vanilla sugar, fresh strawberries and a home made & grown passionfruit sauce. A nice mix of sweet and tart.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The postman's been



My Frankie diary arrived in the mail yesterday. Even though I'm all tech'ed up I still like writing things down. Old school. There's a bit at the front that shows an overview of the month, then there's space to write something down each day. I likey.

Have a fab weekend. I'm going to hang out with my Girls and I couldn't be happier at the prospect.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I have the technology

I've spent the last couple of days recovering from Sunday. It was a big day. It took us eight and a bit hours to ride the 210km (with a little help from a ferry ride). I'd come down with a cold the week prior so I wasn't 100% fit. But in the end happy with the effort.

Today marks the arrival of my new phone. I've been out of contract for ages and with the slow demise and functionality of my old phone it was time to upgrade. I will now have a camera with a somewhat decent resolution on me at all times. This makes me happy. I just have to get over the fear of dropping it.

Your fave app suggestions are welcomed!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Indoor kinda weather


It's been an easy Saturday, after brunching with friends at St Ali, we popped into the South Melbourne Market for some supplies and I then proceeded to potter in the kitchen while Mr T spent quality time in his garage.

To fuel for tomorrow we'll be having baked homemade gnocchi.

I also made this broccoli slaw but with my go to dressing of horseradish & light whole egg mayo - thinned with a bit of water.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Couldn't resist


Because I just couldn't help myself, a few more photos from the festival, but this time ranunculus. Of course.

Have a fab weekend. We're resting up for a very early start on Sunday morning. There's a whole lot of riding to be done. There's going to be some exhausted bodies in this household come Sunday night.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The weekend part II




I couldn't convince Mr T to come along to the Tesslar Tulip Festival again. As much as he didn't mind it last year, Bunnings was calling his name. So after the 1000 steps, and popping into a few nurseries, Mum and I spent a gorgeous spring day admiring the tulips and the pretty countryside of Monbulk.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The weekend part I


Started with a hearty and healthy breakfast before climbing the 1000 steps at Ferntree Gully National Park. It's a workout! One that comes highly recommended and should definitely not be attempted with a hangover like I did last year (and failed miserably).

Another item crossed off the list. With a big thanks to my Mum for driving me out there, because hey, I deem it too far by scooter!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Promising

A whole free Saturday stretches before me. That my friends is a luxury not indulged in recently what with Grand Finals; a draw and the replay. Sunday sees 120+ km on the bike before next weekend's 210km for Around the Bay. The fact that the weather is going to be glorious helps tremendously.

Oh and if you ever wanted some bright colour in the garden, I highly suggest planting ranunculus. They really are super easy to grow.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Trash TV is good for something

I am resigned to the fact that there's no way I'll finish my cotton crochet blanket this year unless something amazing happens that involves me not working another day and seeing out the rest of 2010 with a whole lot of crochet. Unlikely at best. However there a two new time slots in which to get some hooking happening. Hello, Survivor: Nicaragua and to a much lesser extent, but in support of Mr T's infatuation, Amazing Race. This makes my little Virgo heart very happy as I multitask.