I’ve decided that I need to add a little bit of Australia into my blog. I included the wattle in my blog here, but that’s not enough! So starting now, there will be a category of recipes which scream Australiana to me. I’m not promising any kangaroo burgers or emu pies, because I don’t have the slightest interest in eating our national symbols. What I do mean is recipes that taste like my childhood, or my parents childhood – many of these sweets (think lamingtons, cream buns), but I’ll do some research to find other dishes that are Australian. Continue reading
The job applying is about to start. I’ve updated my Linkedin, my CV and I’ve had my hair done. I am interview ready…I just need to apply for jobs now! It is with great trepidation that I throw myself (yet again) into the world of job seeking. I would happily stay unemployed in order to bake all day and blog all night, but one needs to have some form of income! I want a job, I am excited about the prospect of a new job…I just don’t like this initial part where I have to put myself out there to be rejected or worse, ignored.
Ever wake up on a Sunday morning craving something super delicious, but can’t be bothered to put loads of effort into whipping up bacon and eggs or pancakes? This is your solution! It’s a little bit hard to resist eating the raw dough when it’s filled with cinnamon butter, but I promise you it is worth the wait. The whole process will take about 50 minutes to an hour to make it from hunger to plate.
I don’t even usually like cinnamon scrolls, I often think they’re too doughy or bland. These little beauties are soft and cinnamon-packed, with the perfect balance of dough and filling. Yum!
I was nominated by A Pug in the Kitchen and I appreciate it so much! Awards are a great way to share your favourite blogs with other people. I’m new to blogging and there are many other bloggers much more established than me, but everyone is so lovely and positive! A Pug in the Kitchen’s posts are honest, entertaining and delicious, go and check her out!
This punch doesn’t need much explanation because it is so simple. You can adjust it to suit your needs as well. I made this punch alcohol-free (although Pimms was added to it as the tea party wore on!), so it would be perfect for a child’s or an adult’s party. The Mint and berries add a vibrant splash of colour, but they also give it a great flavour.
I hinted last week that there was a friend’s birthday coming up soon. It was on Tuesday. So on Wednesday we threw an unbirthday party. She’s not a fan of birthdays (crazy, I know), but she loves Alice in Wonderland – how could I resist an unbirthday/Mad Hatter’s themed party?!
Recipes in this blog have all been posted before, click the name to get the recipe!
It’s not you, it’s me.
Today I was on the receiving end. Unexpectedly too.
The probationary period at my fab new job came to an end and that was it. I’m not as experienced a worker as she needs – and that’s okay. Small businesses need to be as efficient as possible and I’m not the right employee for the company. There are no ill feelings, no bitter words.
It just sucks slightly.
Re-evaluation will start tomorrow. A call to Centrelink may or may not be on the cards. But today I’m embracing the change.
I cried in the car (that was a first), I went to the supermarket in my pretty work dress with my stripey orange runners on (hopefully that’s a first and a last) and I bought a tea set that was irresponsibly expensive given that I started being unemployed this afternoon. And I felt slightly better.
I moped about the house and watched Gossip Girl to escape, but I decided that wasn’t enough.
So Mother and I took Norman for a drive…and I can thoroughly recommend this is treatment for sadness.
Feeling blue? Force your dog to go for a drive with you. I promise it is an instant mood lifter.
We drove to a local park where the wattle is overgrown. And we stole some.
I have had dried lavender in my pantry for an eternity – I bought it when I was feeling particularly adventurous and it has sat there, unused ever since. I love the idea of it, and I have a fantastic recipe for lavender shortbread that I want to try…but something always holds me back.
I worry that people won’t eat lavender infused food, that they will think I’ve turned away from my normal approach to baking, which is making food that anyone can replicate and enjoy. I bit the bullet today. I had delicious leftover lemon curd which I’ve been dying to use and lavender and lemon are notoriously good bedfellows. Continue reading
I’ve got a friend’s birthday coming up soon and I’m trying to put together a few recipes to make her party special. It will be a high tea style thing because she’s not a big fan of birthdays. I can’t understand why she doesn’t love birthdays, but I’m loving the challenge of finding recipes that will impress her without seeming too celebratory.
I’m keeping plans a little bit secret, so I won’t blab too much. Keep an eye out for her birthday post later this week, I have a feeling that it’s going to be great!
Before you start the recipe, ensure you’ve got a syringe. Like the ones you give kids medicine with. It sounds odd, but it’s a really simple decorating tool.
I appropriated this recipe from one I found at Cooking Classy.
- 2 sheets shortcrust pastry
- 300g cream cheese
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg white
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 ½ tsp lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- ¼ cup cold water
Grease six tart tins. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Put your frozen raspberries in a small saucepan over a medium heat and sprinkle the sugar in. When the raspberries start to defrost, add the cornflour and water. Stir it often so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. When the raspberries have broken down fully, allow the mixture to come to a boil and thicken for about two minutes. Remove your puree from the heat and put it through a strainer to get rid of all the seeds.
It’s going to look a little bit like something from a bad horror film – all red and gloopy, but it’s delicious. Set your puree aside, you’ll need it in about ten minutes.
Cut your pastry into squares and fit them into your tart tins. You’ll need to do this in two batches, the recipe makes about 12. Pop them into the oven for 10 minutes so that the pastry cooks slightly – you may want to weight them down with baking weights to stop it from bubbling up.
While the tarts cook, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until fluffy in a large mixing bowl (this will take about one minute.) Mix in your egg and egg white, then the vanilla and lemon juice. Melt your white chocolate and stir the cream into the chocolate. When the chocolate and cream are completely combined, add them to the cream cheese mixture and mix thoroughly. It should be a similar consistency to whipped cream – don’t worry, it will cook into a more cheesecakey consistency.
Remove the tart cases from the oven and allow them to cool. Take them out of their cases and put your second batch of cases in to cook. When your second lot of tart dough has come out of the oven and cooled, prepare to put your cheesecake mixture in.
Spoon the mixture so that the tart cases are about ¾ full (the mixture will rise slightly as it cooks.) Get out your syringe and prepare to get crafty! Grab your bowl of raspberry puree and suck up as much as you can into the syringe. I’d advise you to keep the nozzle moving so you don’t suck up much air, because air bubbles are annoying. Ensure that the tops of your tarts are as smooth as possible and inject small circles of raspberry into them. Don’t crowd the circles because you’ll elongate them later to make the hearts. Once you’ve put circles in all of them, get a toothpick and run it through the centre of each circle in a continuous line. You may want to wipe the toothpick after each tart to make cleaner lines.
Don’t worry if they’re not completely neat, as long as you run your toothpick through the centre of each circle, they’ll look heart-like. Little tricks like using the syringe or a piping bag may seem fiddly, but get easier with practice, and give your baked goods a professional finish.
Bake tarts back in the oven for 15-20 mins. Take them out of the oven and allow them to cool completely before serving. They’ll set more as they cool, so don’t rush them by eating them warm!
My dad is a pretty good guy. He put up with me in my argumentative years when I was annoying and stubborn (actually, I don’t think much has changed) and he still loves me despite the way we’re prone to disagree on matters.
The thing that many people notice about my dad is his beard. He’s a beardy man, always has been.
I was 16 before I knew what my father’s top lip looked like.
He raised money for Shave for a Cure and promised that he would shave his head and beard in return for donations. I don’t think he, or anyone else for that matter, honestly realised how big a deal this was!
He raised his money and the night dawned. His time for the clippers came with much excitement,. The clippers started at the head, skipped the eyebrows(!), devoured his beard, and finally munched up his moustache.
I spoke to him immediately afterwards and was fixated by the funny flap of skin that now resided below his nose. It was pink and fleshy, comically paler than the rest of his face. I watched the flap stretch and wriggle as dad laughed and chatted. I wondered what he was thinking – was his face cold without all of that covering? I can only assume it was.
He’s grown the beard and moustache back. I haven’t seen that flap since I was 16, and I kind of like it that way. Familiarity is comfortable, right?
In honour of my dad’s facial hair, this year, seven years after I laid eyes upon his top lip, I am making him moustachioed cupcakes.
All you need is 150g of chocolate and a piping bag (which you can craft yourself if you don’t own one!) It can get a little bit fiddly, but these surreal little beauties are so worth it! They reminded me of a Magritte, so I set them against his clouds to heighten the surrealness.
Get some skewers and chop them into 2-3 cm pieces, depending on how tall you want your moustaches to be (what an odd sentence!) When you’re piping make sure that you leave enough space below each piece to put the skewer pieces in. Line a flat baking tray with baking paper.
Break up your chocolate pieces and pop them in the microwave until they’re melted. Stir it every 20 seconds or so to avoid burning it. Once it’s all glossy and melted, scoop it into your piping bag and pipe loose ‘m’ shapes onto the baking paper for the moustache. For the tophats, start with a line, then pipe a square on top of it. It’s easiest if you work quickly – the chocolate will be running out of the piping bag quickly, so try to beat it! Don’t worry if it’s a bit messy, you can always eat the reject ones, or melt them down and try again. Once you’ve filled your tray with moustaches and tophats that you’re sufficiently proud of, pop the skewer pieces into the centre of the chocolate. Don’t let them go in wonky or you’ll end up with wonky decorations.
Put them in the fridge for about 20 minutes then stick them into your cupcakes and prepare to impress dad! I used my chocolate and vanilla cupcakes – my dad is a traditional man, so chocolate cupcakes with vanilla icing suit his tastebuds perfectly. These decorations will suit any cupcakes though, don’t limit yourself!