Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Prawn and Sweetcorn Chowder recipe

The whole premise of Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food book is to pass the recipe on. So Catherine, because you asked, I'm sharing the recipe.

Serves 4-6
• 1 large leek washed and chopped • 500g potatoes peeled and chopped into 2cm chunks • 1 stock cube (chicken/vegetable) dissolved in 1L water • Olive oil • 6 rashers of smoked streaky bacon sliced • 250g sweetcorn • 250g raw peeled prawns • 285ml pouring cream • sea salt and pepper • 1 fresh red chilli de-seeded and chopped• 6 cream crackers crushed (we use Sao)

To cook
Add bacon rashers to casserole type pan with olive oil, cook until golden and crispy. Using tongs transfer cooked bacon to a plate leaving the fat in the pan (Being pescatarian I omit this step, I can imagine the flavour it imparts, but the soup is still delicious without it).

Add the leek and potatoes to the pan and cook for 3-5 min.
Add sweetcorn and prawns. Add hot stock and cream.
Add a good pinch of salt and pepper. Stir.
Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 min until potatoes are tender.
Remove off heat and blend. Season again to taste.
Serve with chopped chilli, crackers and bacon if you're that way inclined.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Brown Owls

Last night the Yarraville chapter (sounds like a cult!) of the Brown Owls met for the first crafty time. Some of us had met a month earlier at the pub, but no one was game to bring out their current project there. Instead we made ourselves comfortable in the tea room of the new Yarraville Community Centre, while we got to know everyone a little bit better over cups of tea, brownies, lemon slice and a cheese platter.

Look at the handy work!

If you'd like to join us in the West, check out the link above, we'll meet again in a months time.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A long road and a farewell

I spent a lot of time in the kitchen and a lot of time on the bike over the weekend. More kitchen adventures to be shared later in the week, but Friday night called for some comfort food that fit the 'carbo loading' category as Saturday saw my brother and I complete the Great Ocean & Otway ride (145km). I think if I had lay down 100km in, I wouldn't have got back up!

Sunday we said goodbye to my Nana, who will be remembered (amongst other things) as the woman who liked to start her day with cake for breakfast. I wish!

Friday, March 26, 2010

10 things in 2010: 1-5 update

As March comes to a close, I thought I'd share where I'm at with my 10 things in 2010 list.
  1. Take French language lessons - Starting these now I risk being over stimulated during the week. Put on hold until later in the year.
  2. Read 12 books - Four down including One hundred years of Solitude: Gabriel Gracia Marquez, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency: Alexander McCall Smith, How to get a Job you Love: John Lees, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Steig Larsson. On my 'to read' list include the books above as well as The Angels Game: Carlos Ruiz Zafón.
  3. Climb the 1000 steps (left over from '09) - Anyone seen a free, dry weekend??
  4. Run something with 'marathon' in the title - I'm currently in training for July's Run Melbourne Half marathon and I'm seriously thinking of backing up Around the Bay in a Day (210km cycle event) with the Melbourne half marathon the weekend after.
  5. Finish the large cotton crochet blanket started last year - Still as slow progress as ever. Didn't help that I misplaced the crochet needle I was using for a couple of weeks.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

This week in the garden

The passionfruit vine is putting on quite a spread. I've got several flowers, quite a few young fruits and one that shows promise of ripening. I can't wait to try the first harvest.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


The weekend was near on perfect, it started Friday night with some late night shopping, seriously good dumplings at Hutong Dumpling Bar (Market Lane, Melbourne), an early Saturday morning run, a beautiful but relaxed Vineyard wedding, BBQ with friends and finally some Sunday cooking. I haven't cooked on a Sunday in what feels like forever, recently we've always been coming back late from the beach.

This week I had time to make Moroccan Sweet Potato, Carrot & Chickpea soup. I never add quite that much oil and always use vegetable stock and crushed whole cumin & coriander seeds. It really is delicious.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Vibrant night

Just some of the colour from last night's Hawker Market (as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival) at the Queen Victoria Market. The tickets were part of Mr T's Christmas present. I bought them back in November, it's hard to fathom how quickly the time has passed.

The warm night was filled with the sounds of drumming, good smells and tasty food - green tea pancakes! There's definitely motivation to get to another event before the festival ends next week.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The first soup of the season

It's been a little bit quiet on the blog front. So I thought I'd a meal with you from last week. A bowl of Jamie Oliver's Prawn and corn chowder sans bacon from his Ministry of Food cookbook. All the while gathering inspiration for my Autumn plantings reading through Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Companion.

The warmer weather this week as seen a multitude of new growth in the garden. I hope it's all the rocket that went to seed and not weeds.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Patterned light

Some people were curious about the grater in my creative space. I quite like the shadows it throws.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sketch Saturday

Art trying to imitate life. This caused me no end of frustration.

Friday, March 12, 2010

We have a winner!

Congratulations SusanL on winning my little giveaway. I shall be in touch! Thanks to all who took the time out to comment. I do appreciate it.

Have a fabulous weekend, I'm going to get on my bike and head to the beach to soak up the warm weather forecast. Such a change from last weekend!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My creative space still a work in progress, but the tidiest it's been in quite some time (perhaps ever?), thanks to the long weekend. Everything in it's place and a place for everything. This week anyway.

Check out the other far more creative spaces here.

PS The giveaway closes tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wet weekend

Melbourne received a deluge of rain over the long weekend. These were captured down the coast in the little time we did spend outdoors.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Name that bloom

A quick dash to the market on Friday saw me pick up this lovely bunch. After a few days in the house there's a lovely yet subtle perfume lingering. Unfortunately my flower recognition fails me and I have no idea what they actually are. Any ideas?

PS Giveaway here.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

City lights

Fun with focus, or lack thereof.

Enter my little giveaway here.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sketch Saturday

The Moleskin mini watercolour pad is proving to be worth its weight in gold. As you can see there was plenty of struggling with colour and texture in class this week.

The second image is a more experimental piece. As they all are really...

PS There's a giveaway going on back here.

Friday, March 5, 2010

200th post = give away!

If you ever get to Japan, you must take some time out to visit Tokyu Hands. It's a cross between Bunnings/Spotlight/Lincraft/Ikea but a whole lot better. No less than 8 levels of DIY heaven, each level having about 3 sub levels. A visit took up most of my morning, I was a happy Casie.

The little package above is for one of you, it includes a few things from Tokyu hands, some of my gift tags and a green tea Kit Kat. Oh yes!

Edited to add the stickers! I forgot to add the stickers, they're included too.

Blog land has been good to me, it's time to give back, for this I'll post worldwide. Come say 'Hi', I've been toying with increasing the image size. This picture size? A little bigger? Or leave as was, what do you think? Let me know in the comments feel free to leave any other feedback too. I'll draw a winner next Friday 4pm Melbourne time.

Good luck. And happy weekend. Ours is a long one and couldn't have come at a better time.

This giveaway is now closed.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A taste of things to come

Winter time in Japan.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Things are anything but grey around here. Melbourne is squeezing out the last few days of Summer in early Autumn. I'm enjoying it while it lasts.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

On the street

...there were many objects to keep one amused in Japan. Is it the same here? Or the fact that I had fresh eyes over there?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Would you like some colour with that?

One of the 'boring' things to do this year was update our manchester. You know when the elastic on the fitted sheet reaches the stretch of no return? Shamefully some of ours did just that a couple of months ago, but I hadn't got around to shopping for new sheets until the weekend just gone. Imagine my delight when I entered large department store to find Orla Kiely bedding on sale. And Mr T actually liked them. The stars must have aligned or something. I love that there's now a crazy amount of colour in our otherwise neutral bedroom.