Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
It's that time of year and this time Matt and I are sharing the season with our little light Lucia. She was here last Christmas but she was only 3.5 months old and I don't remember Christmas (sleep deprived and first time parent addled) and I'm pretty sure she doesn't. This year we have to decide how we start to talk to Lucy about Christmas. As athiests (Matthew born and bred and myself an avid convert ;)) I don't really want to peddle the 'Jesus is the Reason for the Season' vibe that I was brought up with. I don't even really like the Santa hoo-ha, why do we raise our kids lying through the teeth to them about all these supernatural beings that bring shit, why don't we just say 'hey here's some money for losing a tooth, what an awesome milestone'. However I love the pomp and circumstance that goes with Christmas, the foods, the decos and the presents. I like the smoke and mirrors, the ambience, the tradition, just like I enjoy eating sushi because I like mixing the wasabi into the soy sauce and nibbling pickled ginger and I still have a warm place in my heart for choirs singing sacred music. Just because I believe that Christmas is about some imaginary dude doesn't mean that I can't appreciate it's beauty. I don't want Lucy to miss out on something that other kids are experiencing and I don't want her to destroy anyone elses Christmas dream either! So where lies the middle ground. Not the biggest problem facing the world today I know but still one that I think about a lot at this time of year. However... there are presents under the tree from Santa this year and I guess we have a couple more years to iron it out before we have to decide one way or another. Any suggestions would be considered with due respect.
Until then, check out my freaking delicous Christmas fruit cake liberally doused with Cointreau which I got from a magazine that was lying around at work and our first real live Christmas tree which we got a bit discounted because it was a bit spesh (more round than Christmas tree shape) but I wanted to bring it home and give it some love because Matt and I like to embrace the slightly outside the square things in life.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
If you are venturing out to the Yarra Valley for a day then don't just go to the wineries make a detour to see the beautiful Alowyn Gardens near Yarra Glen. Even as locals it has taken us a LONG time to get to these gardens but they were worth the wait. The garden is seperated into different garden 'rooms' with the ubiquitous parterre garden, some foresty areas, great little windy paths that lead to sculpture and water features. Matt and I are always particularly interested in food gardens and Alowyn has a beautifully designed kitchen garden with avenues of apples, crabapples, quinces and what not. In the picture above Matt and Lucy are framed by the wisteria and rose covered arbor. A great place to go for a nice walk to burn off the winery indulgences.
Monday, October 10, 2011
We missed going on the weekend when it was family day, but having the place to ourselves held it's own charm and there was still a cute puppy bounding around, to Lucy's amusement and some stunt alpacas and a couple of alpaca breeders there to chat to about fleece and yarn.
There was awesome muzak duo (double bass/piano) playing for our amusement and they busted out into a bit of Wiggles and Bananas in Pyjamas for Lucy although she's not quite old enough to appreciate that they were for her and she was a little more interested in the jazz numbers they played before and after (and the ABBA too).
We brought some Peonies and Tuber Roses to start our own cottage garden so wish us luck.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
So we cooked it up and it was great, it's quite thick when it cools and I don't think that you would use it if you wanted to keep the paintings forever but for sheer fun and frivolity and some tactile learning I give it the big thumbs up and it's totally edible because lets face it, one year olds put EVERYTHING in their mouths.
If you wanted to go really au natural for your little bubba I did find a link for some Australian made natural food colours which I'll be trying out (they also make 100's and 1000's).
Saturday, August 6, 2011
So bring on the GIANT birthday and three cheers for not screwing up :)
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Anyway these muffins are delicious and they're adapted from this generic muffin recipe and they are simple, light and delicious.
Orangey Sultana Friands
Makes 12 large friands
- 250g (2 cups) self raising flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 155g (2/3rds cup) caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 125ml (1/2 cup) milk
- 125ml (1/2 cup) orange juice
- zest of 2 small oranges
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup sultanas
1. Preheat oven to 200 C
2. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl
3. Spoon the mixture between 12, well greased friand pans (or muffins whatever)
4. Bake for 25-30 mins or until golden brown and firm to touch
5. Nom them all with a cup of tea or for your lunchbox.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
We were at Mocha and Lime in Healesville, which is an amazing cafe I heartily endorse it if you want somewhere to eat when visiting. They buy the best produce, free range eggs and bacon, so you can eat without feeling bad for the animals. They have free wifi and a fireplace. Last weekend was market weekend and it was flat out and they had a band (TK and Rose) who were cheerful bedreaded guitarist/ukeleleists. When they first got up I thought we would have to leave because it would be too loud for Lucy, but they weren't and she LOVED it. Banging her spoon on the table in time with the music. So I'm keen to seek out more live music for her to enjoy.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Do you have a favourite biscuit recipe, point me in the right direction.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
We borrowed this awesome car toy from Ruby! I can tell that it is going to be a blessing when I need to duck into the loo or want ten minutes of handsfree time to make dinner when Lucy is getting tired. Tonight after practically no sleep all day she played in it so happily.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
For my first Mother's Day I got the best present EVER. A sleep in :) and then Matt made me my favourite breakfast of fried ham and eggs (usually saved for Christmas morning). Lucia is very sleepy today which I think is a combination of the weather (it's turned very cold) and fighting off a dreaded lurgy. I look forward to many Mother's Days of burnt breakfasts, early morning snuggles and crappy gifts from the school mother's day stall, because you can never have too many porcelain heart shaped containers with bad rose transfers on the top.
Our community supported agriculture co-op are producing a LOT of beetroots this year, we've had two or three beetroots every week for the last 3 months and that is a lot of beetroots sitting in the fridge. We've made sliced pickled beetroot and beetroot slaw (grated carrot, cheddar and raw beetroot with aged balsamic and unfiltered fruity olive oil YUM).
When we make it next year we might put a bit more spice in (double the amounts listed) but it's sweet earthy sourness (don't I sound like Nigella) is the perfect foil for rich game or salty meats (we had it with some free range ham and it was obscenely good).
Saturday, March 26, 2011
It is not however the most masculine design and only a fashion forward gentleman would wear it out and about. After I completed it Matt said that the pattern was a bit fussy :) but anything other than stockingette or plain 2 by 2 ribbing would be fussy as far as he was concerned. Since it's a match for his gaming gloves that I knitted earlier in the month I don't mind it can stay on his computer desk. Since we're coming into winter he's going to need it for those late night killing sprees.
This is the pattern designed by Gina House (Sleepy Eyes Knits). There's a more feminine version called the Amanda as well which I will for sure knit for myself (I may even pinch the Armando occaisionally) and it's knit in Cascade 220 Handpaints.
This machine is no doubt the sexiest stovetop coffee machine on the market and it's SMALL so I will get back a whole lotta bench space when I gleefully throw our sunbeam cafe series coffee machine out a window (trust me after 5 or more years of service that machine is DEAD).
Craig, who was demoing, is proud of his machine and rightly so it makes tasty unctuous espresso like coffee and it's made from high quality materials that will last a lot longer than our last machine did. This is one time that you should listen to the old adage that you get what you pay for (which also holds true for haircare products and shoes).
I know that you might look at this and think it's a bit wanky and expensive, and for sure there will be some people out there who are wanky and will buy it for it's looks rather than it's functionality but you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover this little machine isn't all style and no substance, it makes damn fine coffee! and it's small enough to take camping :)
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
We've cat patted, shopped, danced and sung. On Sunday we went to Lilydale Lake with Matt and hung out in the sun soaking up those precious warms which are promising to dissapear soon.
She's making a bunch of new sounds Ds, THs and Ss and Matt is getting very excited because sometimes it really sounds like she's going to bust out a Dadda.
(Just hanging out on the couch sitting up all by myself)
(Doing the grocery shopping)
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
I used to love makeing pikelets and one afternoon after school around about grade 5 I invited back some of the cool girls from school to my place. Mum wasn't home and I thought it would be a great idea to make pikelets. It must have been halloween or st pats day because we made them green. So I'm cooking away and being a smartarse and I say to one of the girls 'You have to put the handle of the pan in because it's dangerous when it sticks out, a little kid might grab it' and I smack the handle of the frypan and it spins around and collects this giant bowl of green pikelet mixture and flings it across the kitchen and we dissolve into fits of panicked laughter. At that exact moment my Mum walked in and I remember knowing that I was in the shit, probably not for making a mess because my Mum loved me being creative, but for cooking when she wasn't home (which was dangerous).
So enough of my tangenting. The point of my post is that I made these Orange Cookies. They're very tasty, although not quite orangey enough for my liking and they're very light, almost cakey. The delicious orange icing saves the day though.
The recipe is as follows incase you feel the urge.
2.5 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup soft butter
1 cup sugar
1 dessertspoon orange rind
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Additional icing sugar and orange juice for icing
Mix butter and sugar, add eggs and rind and beat until creamy. Stir in the flour, bakign powder and salt alternately with the orange juice. Lastly add chopped nuts. Drop teaspoonfulls about two inches apart onto a greased tray and bake until golden for about 11-13 mins at 200 degrees celcius. When cold frost with orange icing (made my mixing pure icing sugar with orange juice until a spreading consistancy is reached).
Made these gloves for my brother John's birthday, to wear to keep his fingers toasty when he's up late at night playing WoW with us to keep his hands warm (modelled by Matt). When Matt was wearing them for the pix he thought they were awesome and wanted a pair too, so I ended up knitting two pairs.
I got almost all four mitts out of one skein of Cascade Handpaints (100g ball)with the exception of about 4 rows of one thumb. So I might have enough for a matching beanie.
The pattern is Men's Fingerless Mitts by Kathy of Piece by Piece.
Monday, January 31, 2011
This is normally not my kettle of fish at all, but the pattern that came with it had an endearing story attached regarding snow flurries on Lake Michigan and so I started knitting them. When we were on summer holidays with my SIL Flick, she admired the colours and said they were right up her alley and voila, a grateful recipient was found. Here she is modelling her new footwear. The dog in the pic is her faithful hound Sam.
I have a secret... I love to knit socks but I don't like to wear them.
Friday, January 28, 2011
I have such great memories of going to the pool. When I was in grade two we would all line up beside the port racks and the boys would roll their towels on their legs and put them on their heads like they were sheiks. We would all trek across the road hand in hand to the pool to have our lessons.
As I was older maybe grade 5 or 6 I would head off to the pool on the weekends on my bike with a buck in my pocket, enough for entry and a delicious cold calippo. I would spend the entire day, swimming for hours, running around on the grass and playing with friends only to head home when the pool was closing.
I don't remember learning to swim but I know that we were living in Sydney (which was before I started school) and I have a certificate saying that I did a lap in doggy paddle. I want Lucia to learn to swim as soon as possible. Water is so much fun!
I met a girl from Peru who couldn't swim and when she came to Australia she took lessons. I told her I couldn't believe that she couldn't swim (she told me when we were on a ferry!). I said "In Australia we learn to swim before we can walk" and she said "In Peru we learn to dance" and I thought fair enough! It's a cultural thing :) and I wish I could dance better.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Saturday, January 1, 2011
I love the sleeves, because they don't have decreases they came out a little bell shaped. I did do a little decrease under the armpits as suggested on Ravelry by some others who have knitted this project.