Thursday, April 29, 2010

Shiny



I first saw images of Donna Marcus' "Re-entry" over at The Design Files. I had to see the sculptures for myself. Aluminum kitchen ware has never looked so good as it hangs from The Atrium at Federation Square.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

This week in the garden



I couldn't help but make the most of being in the Botanic gardens. I need to add a visit in spring to my list of things to do. But just the short walk we took was enough to be privy to some gorgeous flora.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Guilfoyle's Volcano



This garden is situated in the Royal Botanic Gardens at the top of Anderson st. Running regularly around 'the Tan' I watched this develop and was keen to check it out. It was a vision that started in 1876 and was only finished recently. It's a water reservoir that's surrounded by low-water use plants and is really quite striking.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Looking back


A couple of images from this weekend. Plenty to come. It's been a productive one. But with enough down time to start the short week refreshed.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A new addition



On Friday in amongst the maintenance, I managed a little retail therapy too. Thanks to one of the beautiful women I work with I was gifted a voucher to Dinosaur Designs for my birthday last year. I decided it was time to redeem. It took me forever to decide, but in the end opted for small and bright. I couldn't be happier.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

ANZAC biscuits

The whole reason for our long weekend is ANZAC day that falls on Sunday, this year we get Monday off in lieu. ANZAC day means footy if you're a Collingwood (or Essendon) supporter. In preparation for tomorrow ANZAC biscuits have been baked for half time.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Maintenance


Thanks to flexi-time for my super long weekend. Today included a hair cut, manicure and pedicure. An indulgent way to ease into the weekend for sure.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Reassurance from the boulevard

Perfect for this week, because after all the celebrations I've felt a little flat.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

And so say all of us

Just a few of these consumed during birthday week. Mr T turned the big 3-0 and it's the reason for my absence over the last few days. Well that, and trying to catch up on Masterchef.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

This week in the garden


I harvested a Passionfruit early. I can't even begin to express my disappointment as I went out to the garden to find three of my slowly ripening passionfruit taken from the vine before their time. To later find that they'd been thrown into my neighbour's yard.

This one was a little tart, but still pretty good. I didn't want to risk leaving it on the vine to sweeten only to have it disappear into grubby thieving hands!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Keen-wa" /Quinoa


This is my version of 101 Cookbooks Warm and Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa. Generally I cook up a the quinoa and freeze it in batches for the week. Then I add whatever fruit I have on hand. This week strawberries and stewed apples. Tried toasted nuts, dried fruits, berries, stewed rhubarb, sliced banana etc. I use maple syrup as the sweetener.

As a mostly vegetarian it's sometimes difficult to get enough protein day to day. The quinoa certainly helps boost those levels and helps me feel satiated for longer.

Monday, April 12, 2010

High brow



After seeing Kick Ass (funnily inappropriate) on Saturday we opted for some high brow on Sunday. Enter the Ron Mueck exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria. A thoroughly moving experience. The emotion he captures in his sculptures is palpable. The detail remarkable.

If you're in Melbourne you have until the 18th of April - that's next weekend! New Zealanders count yourself lucky, the exhibition travels there next.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

10 things in 2010: 6-10 update

6. Rack up 10 hours of windsurfing - So I got to 3:15 before I did myself a back injury (the physio mentioned possibility of a herniated disc which hasn't been a whole lot of fun). Don't windsurf when overtired! I'm still keen to get better, I just think I need to find a teacher that isn't my partner and work on some back strength.
7. Engage a personal trainer/run coach or join a running group - Who knew running could be fun? I do it for the challenge, it's a bonus that for an hour each week, with my new running group I actually enjoy it!!
8. Continue Botanical Illustration classes - Term 1 done. The gum leaves were my last attempt. I'm going to sit out term 2 due to work commitments but plan to go back in term 3.
9. >Insert Financial goal here<. Savings lots of them. This is going really well, even with budgeting for some big (boring) expenses later in the year. Paris is looking good too!
10. Master 5 fish dishes - including a whole fish - Sadly as good as Miso glazed fish tastes, it doesn't photograph so well, or maybe I need to work on my styling! I'm a couple of fish dishes down and hoping to cook a whole Salmon sometime soon.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Finer



Over the Easter weekend it was nice to be able to stop and take the time to take in the finer details on the Summit.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Mountain air



One must question the 'fun' in fun run when it involves running up the Mt Buller summit. Hands down the hardest 5km I've ever run. Thankfully we had a chance to return and take in the sights without the labored breathing, pounding chest and tunnel vision.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sawmill



With a record number of words in yesterday's post, I thought I'd share some images of our Easter weekend spent with a bunch of good friends in the high country. It was stunning. I particularly enjoyed the varied vegetation.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sweet kitchen adventure


Macarons. Where do I start? Up until last week I'd never had one. But I certainly had a craving. I remember seeing the contestants on Masterchef struggle with them and thinking I wanted to have a go. And finally two weekends ago now, I had an inkling to bake and some time up my sleeve.

I used a Donna Hay recipe for the Macaron and a Gourmet Traveller ganache recipe.

Some tips, an Australian 20c piece is a pretty good size indicator for macaroons. I traced this onto the baking paper, but be sure to pipe onto the non penciled side or your biscuits will have pencil on them!

- Apparently older egg whites are better than fresh.
- The biscuits without ganache kept well for a week in an air tight container.
- This recipe says it makes 10 complete biscuits - it made far more for me.

Onto the recipe

Ingredients
• 1 cup almond meal • 2 cups icing sugar • 1 tbs plain flour • 4 egg whites • 2 tbs caster sugar

To bake
Heat the oven to 160C/320F (not fan forced). Sift together the almond meal, icing sugar and flour. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the caster sugar and beat until smooth. Stir in the almond meal mixture until smooth.

Pipe onto trays lined with baking paper (note: the mixture will spread, so smaller may be better) and bake for 12-14 mins. Cool and then sandwich with ganache.

White Chocolate & Raspberry Ganache
• 50ml pouring cream • 100g white chocolate •45g frozen raspberries, pushed through a sieve
• pink food colouring - optional.

Bring cream just to the boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, add chocolate, stand until melted (5 minutes), stir until smooth and glossy. Cool slightly and add raspberries. Cool further. Pipe mix or use a teaspoon to add ganache to one side of biscuit then sandwich together gently. Macarons will keep for 1-2 days refrigerated in an airtight container.

These were a delicious sweet treat, I got the thumbs up from 12 taste testers who said they enjoyed them. I'm not too sure how they stack up against others (might have to investigate!) They did develop a shell that was a little hollow, but did retain some chewiness.