Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Stream

I hope everyone had a lovely few days over the weekend, and found plenty of time to relax.  It's starting to heat up at home, with the sun out all day, and the cold weather easing off.  I must admit, I love cold weather more than anything, but I am very muchly looking forward to feeling the sun on me (safely of course).

I had a really lovely weekend.  On Friday night, Jake, Shane and I sat around downstairs drinking some wine and listening to music.  I cooked some bruschetta, and after two bottles of wine decided to make a gourmet pasta dish with mushrooms sauteed in butter and truffle sauce.  Don't ask me how I managed this, but I didn't burn myself or anything in the house, and the bowls were met with, "This is the BEST meal I've ever had", by Jake and Shane. We had a really nice night, which like all the other nights with this pair, completely spiralled out of control.

On Saturday I went for a drive with my mum to do some shopping and grab a coffee.  It was a lovely morning out, shopping for plants, photo frames and cotton.

I had a Murder Mystery party that night to attend, and that was an absolute hoot.  We had some punch, and ate too many cupcakes, toblerone cheesecake and spinach and ricotta pastries, before we'd even solved the mystery.  It was very "Cluedo", and a really lovely night spent with friends, laughing and trying to pin one of the girls as the suspect.

We finished off the weekend on Sunday with Jake and I going for a drive out to the Weir for a morning of fishing. After we fueled up, bought some take away coffees and some bait we drove out to a quiet spot.  It was lovely, I threw my line out, and soaked up the sun on my very white legs. We just relaxed and potted around in the water before we drove back into town and spent the afternoon out in the yard.  I was reading magazines and browsing the internet, and Jake was busy at work on his 4wd, installing drawers in the back for our next camping adventure. 

I must admit, I love camping, and I can't wait for the car to be all kitted out with the bells and whistles for the trips we have on the horizon.  Jake is as proud as punch of his car, and is already planning trips to Fraser Island, Cape York and The Kimberley's.  Me, you ask? Well, I am stocking up on cute enamel cups and kaftans for my lazy days spent relaxing in all the different locations we travel to.  Sounds perfect to me.

What did you all get up to on your weekend? Fly any kites? Fire twirling or frog races?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Zoe & Morgan

Yes, they are very cute names, and yes they make very cute jewellery.

While gallivanting around Queenstown one morning, cupcake in hand, pastry on face and peanut butter cup stashed in my bag, I stopped into a very quaint little store in an alley way.

Seems very suspicious, but no, there were no bright lights and whips.  There was however fringing and tassels on shoes, fabulous designer wears, and a little bookcase with intricate pieces of jewellery placed on glass shelving.

I immediately spotted a ring in the shape of a knot, with rope detailing. I fell in love, tried it on, and took it to the eccentric lady at the counter to "wrap it up to go!!"

Zoe & Morgan, cha-ching!

image via here

*Bonus points for the New Zealand conversion rates

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Positive Post 3

1. Fresh flowers and a new wooden carrier
2. Jake and Shane amusing me by working on his car
3. Henry enjoying a red velvet cupcake
4. Fresh spinach from my sister's house
5. Oskar and Archie sloshing their Tonkas through the mud

What things have been making you smile lately?

Cats wearing pyjamas?

Breaking a scotchfinger in a clean snap?

*Or if your name is Amy Bird - finding a crochet female reproduction decoration on Etsy?

I heart red velvet

I was having a mini bake-off over the weekend. Yes, with myself. I have all these recipes that I want to try out of new cookbooks! I’m starting to feel like Julie Powell.

Anyhoo, I made Jake and I pot pies for dinner (beef for him, vegetables for me) and they were scrumptious; made in little ceramic dishes with mushrooms, roasted tomatoes and a gravy sauce.

I was definitely feeling the love over the weekend, so I made little puff pastry love hearts for the top (haha). I think this just stemmed from me trying to make Jake laugh. I also baked potatoes in the oven, with garlic butter. I love a good roasting!

I then topped the little feast of with a mini cake for dessert, in no other than my favourite cake batter – red velvet.

I am a big supporter of The Velvet. When Popcorn and I were in New York, I’m pretty sure I ate an average 3 cupcakes a day from Magnolia Bakery, and my favourite was definitely the red velvet with piped cream cheese icing. The taste is so different. It’s not chocolate, and it’s definitely not vanilla; it’s almost a mixture of both, with a deep red tinge. They are heaven in a patty cake paper.

So I busted out my red velvet recipe and made a love heart mini cake from my spring form tin, and iced it with cream cheese and a cocoa dusting.

We halved it. Awww

 *I had enough spare batter to make five cupcakes, so I took them over to my sister’s house. The three little cherubs and Sare and Russ loved the red velvet out of them! Crump (the very naughty sausage dog) even had a taste of one.

** Pet hate #567: People that ‘make’ red velvet cupcakes by just adding red food colouring to vanilla cupcake batter. These people tsk, tsk, tsk.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A coconut whisper and a cuppa?

This week I tried my hand at some traditional New Zealand baking, as I bought the most beautiful cookbook on my travels.

The book, "Ladies, a Plate", featured in Frankie numerous times, showcases a bevy of traditional baking ranging from biscuits and slices to cakes, featured on doilies, vintage plates and photographed to perfection, by none other than the author herself, (who also, cooked all of the recipes in her own kitchen and photographed them for the pages). 

I baked Afghans and Coconut Whispers from the lovely cookbook, and they turned out just like the photographs on the pages.   Everyone at work loved trying them!

I tried Afghans while we were travelling around New Zealand (afer a lovely lady I work with, told me they were heaven in biscuit form).  I was very much taken with these little bite sized biscuits.  They have a dry consistency, and the cocoa mixes with the cornflakes to create a dark and crunchy cookie, that isn't sugary.  The fudge icing adds the sweet flavour, and the walnut balances out all the different textures.  They are, amazing. 

I have very fond memories of sitting in cafes eating an afghan with a cappucino. 

You can read about, "Ladies, a plate" here.   

What recipes have you discovered whilst on travels?

* I added jam and a white chocolate ganache to the coconut whispers; they looked like mini scones.

**While I’m on the baking bandwagon, I also have a post which will be uploaded soon, on a special dessert I baked for Jake, over the weekend.