Mango lemonade and Summer drinks

ice cubesSummer is definitely here. After a bit of a stormy start, Summer has reared it’s glorious head. I got burnt yesterday at the beach; I applied sunscreen (patchily, as it turns out) and have awkward sunburn patches on my back and legs.

On top of the 30+ degree weather, this sunburn makes me feel like I’m melting! I had a box of quickly ripening mangoes and was in need of something refreshing, speedy and healthy to ease the pain of the sunburn. This mango lemonade ticks all of these boxes and it tastes like a little bit of heaven. I’m in love with it.

Mini mango cupcakes and Summer flavours

Mango is Summer to me. It is impossible to imagine one without the other. When I was at school I always knew that the holidays were close when mango prices had fallen enough for us to buy a box of them. To this day, the thrill of buying a box full of mangoes brings me a ridiculous amount of joy.

image2Which is why long road trips up (or down) the NSW coast also bring me great joy – there are countless roadside fruit vendors! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen my mango haul.

We bought them about four hours into our trip, and the sweet, syrupy smell filled our warm car, becoming increasingly enticing over the remaining two hours.

Strawberry rhubarb bundt and miniatures

closeI am a fan of all things miniature. Norman is a testament to this – my family joke that if we had three Normans and stacked them one on top of the other, we’d have a real dog. I love that mini old-fashioned milk bottles are in vogue at the moment, I’ve used mine in various photo shoots. (You can see them in my chocolate milkshakes post.)

It’s  rather funny that I made mini cakes out of the rhubarb I purchased, which was ginormous

Choc chai melting moments and routine

closeEvery now and then it’s good to shake up your routine. I’ve been in a bit of a baking rut because I’d been so intent on using up leftover pears. Don’t get me wrong, pears are delicious (I’ve baked them, caked them, poached them and more), but I was lacking inspiration.

So I went back to an old recipe and jazzed it up a little with some of mydelicious chocolate chai fudge. Nom.

The original chocolate melting moments were dense and deliciously dark, so the addition of chai fudge is a welcome gooiness.

Norman and superstardom

side viewThe moment has arrived. The blog is going to take off.

Norman has been immortalised.

He is now bound for superstardom. He will, no doubt, shed me once he’s famous enough to do a solo Norman act. For now I’ll ride on his coattails.

I’m sort of kidding. Norman would never leave me, just as long as I promise to keep feeding him off-cuts of pastry and brushing him so his fur stays unmatted.

And he has been immortalised. Unfortunately it wasn’t because he was scouted on the street and noticed for his handsomeness. I requested he have his likeness made into a cupcake topper.

Chocolate coconut slice and decadence

yumThis slice is not for the faint of heart. It’s not hard to make, despite being split into three parts – the making it is the easy part… the problem is that this slice is decadent and delicious and pretty addictive too. So when you find yourself slicing of a little slither before breakfast, don’t act like I didn’t warn you!

If chocolate was at all appropriate to give to dogs, Norman could have used some of this Floormanslice yesterday. It was super windy here and he was scared. He moped around the house for so long that I had to force him to go outside and be adventurous for ten minutes. He mostly just hid behind shrubs, trees, flowers – whatever he thought might shield him from the wind. He was not a happy pup!

Lavender shortbread and excitement

previewThis recipe was my first contribution to a website that wasn’t my own – I know, super exciting, right?! I was stoked when the Geelong Blabbertiser said that they wanted me a contributor! I already wrote an introduction for the post (which can be found here), but I’m going to write a second one. That’s right, a double-barreled introduction. I hope you’re sitting down.

Today was a day of great excitement! My first post on the Geelong Blabbertiser went up (I had first post jitters!) and Norman got a hair cut (before and after photos!) While I was waiting for Norman I also ate at a patisserie that I’d never been to (see the amazing picture here.) You underestimate how exciting all of these things were! Norman’s haircut also lead to the discovery of a hernia which is kind of sucky, but that will hopefully be sorted out in the coming weeks. 

Simple Sunday cinnamon scrolls

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!

Weekends away and baking

The weekend just gone was fantastic. I ate too much, window-shopped and caught up on some reading, but most of all I enjoyed being in the country. I spent every Easter until I was about 15 at my cousins’ farm in Orange, so it has a special allure for me. There is so little going on there that you can see the Milky Way at night and you can’t see any neighbours! People are friendlier, the air is cleaner and I swear the sky is bluer there.

gate

bench

farm sun set

sheds

The farm has always just been “the Farm” to me. As though it was the only one in existence, like no other farms could live up to the one that my cousins owned. It is expansive and beautiful in its own rugged way. It was greener than I’ve seen it in the past, which was good for the cows and my photo shoot! Said cows took a keen interest in the picnic photo shoot.

gathered

rocks

cpwas watching

I used my brownie recipe posted previously (which is an adaptation of a Donna Hay brownie and a Gordon Ramsay  brownie), I just baked it in jars and topped it with strawberries and Milky Way infused cream. I’m still perfecting the consistency of the Milky Way cream, I’ll post that recipe up soon.

starwbs in jar

brownie in a jar

close jar

cute spoon

done

My mother darling’s fantastic new bag featured in this shoot. She bought it without knowing that I had planned a picnic-themed photo shoot! She hadn’t used it once and she still let me take it away for the weekend. And I bought super cute picnic spoons – feel free to admire them!

basket

spoons

There was also Bentley. The photos don’t do his character justice. He came to live on the farm after Snag, guardian sausage dog of the farm died. Bentley is a tiny sausage of energy, affection and adventure. He wouldn’t stay still long enough for me to get a good photo!

bentley walks

bentley

bentley 2

spot the doxie

fire

There was a cow traffic jam which made me laugh. I was like the ultimate tourist as we drove through it. It reminded me how country life moves at a different pace. We took our time getting past them, willing them to not run in front of the car and ruin our planned trip to find delicious food.

cows

cpws 2

I baked a few things, but mostly enjoyed food made by local cafes and restaurants or by my relatives. We visited the Old Mill Café, which was fantastic (both the conversation and the food) and bought some locally-sourced products from A Slice of Orange, which I’ll use in the blog in the coming weeks.

alcohol

apples

lemon

stand

sweeties