Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Birthday Giveaway!

Today is my birthday! Being on a normal work Tuesday it doesn’t feel like a day for big celebrations, but I’m looking forward to a nice dinner with my family tonight and drinks with friends tomorrow.

Anyway I tend to love giving presents as much as receiving them, and thought it would be fun to have a little giveaway. So if you’d like one of my milk butter & eggs shoppers just leave a comment and I will draw the winner next Tuesday. Good luck!

Monday, 26 April 2010

This Weekend...

* I listened to the new jónsi album a LOT, its wonderful, I love Tornados and Go Do
* harassed my mum's cats by taking far more photographs of them than they like!
* found some fantastic japanese linen IN Hobart (amazing)
* am somewhat slightly disappointed that we don't get a long weekend!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Blue Bears

I really, really love these blue bear plates from etsy seller James Ward.
So sweet.

Autumn/Winter Survival List:

The cold and grey, short days last week made me realise that I am going to need a survival/project list to get through the next few months! Winter is definitely not my friend. Ideally this will include a little bit of a holiday somewhere, maybe a few days in Sydney, but that part of the plan has to wait for now.

Here's what I've come up with so far:

1. Take some classes – perhaps learn to knit and photography classes
2. Organise all my photo’s on my computer
3. Put together a reading list and work my way through it
4. Try to listen to as much new music as possible and that includes old new music (if that makes sense!)
5. Be sure to eat lots of fruit and veggies
6. Get some good hot chocolate and marshmallows for the cupboard - Yum!
7. Make some fabric coasters for my kitchen table
8. Clean out and organise my desk drawers
9. Try to be a bit more sociable, living alone can be a bit quiet in the wintertime
10. Go to see more films at the cinema on cold weekend days

Any other ideas on how best to survive winter? I'd love your suggestions!

Monday, 19 April 2010

This weekend

After what felt like a very long grey week, this weekend was warm, sunny and peacefully quiet. I’ve been feeling a bit blah lately and uninspired, but I’m determined to change that this week, starting with a bit more blogging.
Have a lovely week everyone!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Rhubarb and Orange Tarts

A few people have asked for the rhubarb and orange tart recipe, it was taken from the April/May edition of Jamie and so here it is! Strangely (for me) I followed the recipe exactly (omitting the ginger):

Butter for greasing
plain flour for dusting
375g ready-made sweet shortcrust pastry
300g rhubarb stems cut into 5cm pieces
juice of 1/2 an orange
2 tbsp golden caster sugar
2tbsp stem ginger finely chopped

290ml milk
2 large egg yolks55g golden caster sugar
20g cornflour
100ml double cream lightly whipped
1/2 tsp good-quality vanilla extract
grated zest of 1 orange

1. Grease 4 x 12cm loose-bottomed tart tins with butter. Dust a work surface with flour. Roll the pastry out to about 5mm thick. Line each tin with the pastry, easing it into the sides. Prick base of each tart with
a fork a couple of times, then refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Bake the pastry cases for 15–20 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool.
2. Place the rhubarb in a frying pan with the orange juice, sugar and ginger. Simmer gently for 12–15 minutes till softened and syrupy. Let cool, then chill until needed.
3. To make the custard, heat the milk in a pan to just below boiling. Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl. Mix in a little hot milk, then the cornflour. Mix in the remaining milk. Rinse out milk pan, then return the custard to the pan and bring slowly to the boil, stirring continuously.
Boil for 1 minute, stirring, to thicken, then pass through a sieve into a bowl. Place damp greaseproof paper directly on the surface to prevent a skin forming and allow to cool. Once cool, fold in the cream, vanilla extract and orange zest. Spoon custard into each tart case, top with rhubarb and drizzle over some juices.

They are really lovely but next time I would make the following changes:
*Use homemade shortcrust pastry, it's world’s better
*With the custard I don’t think mine needed to be put through the sieve, it was already smooth enough and it seemed like an added unnecessary step.
*The rhubarb could do with some orange zest in the mix as well as juice, for a bit more zing.
*The cream mix with the zest could use a little orange juice as well for extra flavour.

Monday, 12 April 2010

This weekend

Lots of red for some reason: rhubarb and orange tarts from the Jamie magazine (nice but could use some tweaking, including homemade pastry!), pineapple sage smells so good, and roasted tomato soup (my current favourite staple).
I hope everyone had a lovely weekend too!

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Attempt No. 2

On tuesday I had a lovely quiet day off at home and and since it was grey and a little cold decided to try macaron attempt number 2 (attempt no 1 is here). I think they were much better, they still need some tweaking and perhaps a little less colour but wow they tasted good....mmmm!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010


So finally here are some pictures of the work we did to decorate the shed for my cousin’s wedding! Sadly my camera seems to be having some focusing issues at the moment (apparently this is common with the cannon 450D…not happy!) so I didn’t get as many decent shots as I would have liked, but still…

Where to start…we made lots of large cream tissue paper pom poms and hung them from the rafters along with white Japanese lanterns, (hanging these was an experience that involved climbing into a cage that was lifted up on the fork lift, slightly scary!)

For the table settings we made individual mini pom poms with name tags attached to each, we had so many lovely tulips to work with but kept the table arrangements simple to allow for bottles. We hung some white fabric behind the bridal table with a string of fairy lights and also some bunting down near the dance floor (I didn't get a shot of that). Amelia painted the direction signs and I think they were my favourite, oh and we had some other flower arrangements around the place.

I'm afraid my photographs don't quite give the full picture, but I have to say I had the best few days being out of an office and in the fresh air walking around in gumboots/wellington. I even rather enjoyed having to clean all the chairs!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Catching Up

Hi there,

I hope everyone had a great relaxing easter break! I left for my cousin's wedding last thursday and since I've been home a day ago have been having a very quiet time involving lots of sleep, a few dvd's (I saw Adam and really enjoyed it) and chocolate hot cross buns. I'll post a few shots later of how we decorated the 100 year old shed, everything went so well and it was a wonderful night!

In the shots:
top: one of the gorgeous piles of tulips we had to work with
middle: two boy peacocks decided to make the farm their home, they look stunning wandering around
bottom: the little old first aid box in the shed