Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Snap it {soft}

Good news. Mum's surgery went really well, the best possible outcome actually. No need to remove lymph glands or follow up with other treatments. So we're all very relieved.

Today's Snap it theme is soft. You can't get much softer than Nigella's fur, especially that chestnut fluff on the top of her head. It's still as soft as puppy fur.

Playing along with Sarah here.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday's Menu

Thanks for all your comments and wishes for my Mum. She's staying positive and so am I.

This weeks menu:

Monday: Left over paella
Tuesday: Potato, pea and purple brussel sprout frittata (disturbingly the next day the brussel sprouts were blue!)
Wednesday: puttanesca pasta
Thursday: Soft-boiled eggs on rocket on sourdough toast
Friday: Chicken and mushroom pie with rocket
Saturday: Roast chicken with roasted potatoes, pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots, parsnips and the obligatory rocket salad.
Sunday: Chicken, vegetable and pasta soup.

A few other highlights included a lunch date to Tricycle for soup and still warm rye rolls for breakfast in bed yesterday with cumquat marmalade.
We're churning through the citrus at the moment, tangelos, mandarins, oranges and blood oranges, I'm loving it. What's your favourite winter citrus?


Friday, July 20, 2012

Winter garden

Sometimes it's good to remind myself of the good things in life, the beautiful things, the furry friends who make me smile.


Of blue sky and sunshine, and a perfect reflection in the dam in the middle of winter.

Or a puppy so keen to please you, knowing that she will get praised for jumping up onto the log and sitting.
These photos are a couple of weeks old, but the garden is not rapidly growing at the moment.
We are still harvesting rocket for salads a few days each week.
The golden shallots are looking promising, I imagine each plant with 6 fat little golden bulbs underneath, and look forward to the harvest in summer.
Our collection of Tasmanian eucalypts are starting to take off on the fence line, hopefully providing a screen one day.
This week has been a bit of a roller coaster ride for many reasons for me, but infinitely more so for my mother, who has had an unwelcome diagnosis and awaits surgery next week. Whilst I try never to take my life and family for granted, every so often something like this will jolt me into realising how lucky I am. That silly things like washing machines breaking down or cracked car radiators that need replacing really are not that bigger deal in the grand scheme of things. To make the most of every moment with those you care about.
I hope you have a relaxing weekend planned. I'm hoping to retreat to the hut, weed some garden beds and help Rob plant the nine new fruit trees we just picked up from here.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday's Menu

Rob and I had a long weekend, which was lovely. We headed up to Launceston to visit Rob's parents, and take them out for dinner (to belatedly celebrate his mother's birthday).

We had delivered some fresh oysters and a bottle of Champagne to have before dinner, (felt like teenagers prepping for a big night out with drinks at home!) We then headed to Novaro's, which is a small Italian restaurant. We enjoyed a bottle of Chianti, whilst snacking on some Ligurian olives. Rob and his mother had ordered a slow cooked lamb rump on a mushroom risotto, his father a Quail salad and I ordered the duck. I love duck, but we rarely cook it at home, so if it's on the menu it makes choosing quite easy.
The others meals came out first, they looked pretty good, but then mine arrived, it was half a duck! The duck was probably more Asian in style, flavoured with star anise and soy, it sat on a bed of red cabbage and apple, although I didn't think of as a common accompaniment to duck, was excellent. The duck meat was nice and moist, and after skipping lunch I managed (with a little help from Rob) to finish it all!

What else has been on the menu?
Monday: Fennel, rocket and orange salad, with leftover beef.
Tuesday: Tomato, vegetable and meatball soup.
Wednesday: Carbonara.
Thursday: Stir fried vegetables with noodles.
Friday: Dinner at Novaro's.
Saturday: Seafood paella and apple and fruit mince crumble.
Sunday: Beef short ribs with baked potatoes and rocket. I also made a big batch of cauliflower soup, which was really tasty- I will share that recipe later this week. Rob also treated me to pancakes with poached rhubarb and blood oranges for breakfast.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Flowers

We had a quick visit to the Botanical Gardens today. Rob needed to pick up some seed for a prac class next week. While I waited I wandered into the Conservatory. It was full of orchids. I used to visit the Orchid flower show, and buy a few plants each year. But I treat them terribly, and they haven't flowered in years. I'm scared of repotting them.
Anyway I enjoyed the ones today.
Happy weekend to you.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Snap it {yesterday}

Yesterday was chilly in Hobart. I worked in my office all day and only popped out at lunch time.
So the only photo from yesterday is this one I snapped whilst I waited for Rob to pick me up.
I wore quite an eclectic ensemble.

My tan boots from here.
My bargain raspberry red skirt when we visited Cygnet earlier this year.
A blue knit top from my new favourite online store.
My moleskin blazer (that is actually a mans jacket) from here.

Playing along over at Sarah's today.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday's Menu

Hello again.

I couldn't resist posting twice.

As you know I was at a conference all week, and as you do, I ate morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea all week. Oh I felt like I was going to explode. I'm terrible I can't walk away from those sweet treats. As a consequence our evening meals were more like snacks.

Monday: Left over roast pork, cabbage and apple, rocket toasted sandwiches.
Tuesday: Rocket salad, with soft boiled eggs, speck, croutons and black pudding (much to the horror of many on Instagram).
Wednesday: Cheese, crackers and olives
Thursday: Steamed broccoli with chilli, lemon oil and anchovies.
Friday: Pasta and meatballs.
Saturday: Roast short rib of beef with thyme, baked potatoes and rocket salad. Followed by the sticky maple pecan cake
Sunday: A big lunch out, at Fish Frenzy, Blue eye trevalla and chips for Rob, crumbed scallops and chips for me and grilled fish and chips for Rob's daughter. It was nice, but I ate far too many chips and definitely didn't need dinner.

What was on the menu at your place this week?


Bits and bobs {autumn colour}

I'm joining in a new post theme with the lovely Sarah from Molly's Maison.

She posted a perfect collection of neon pink objects.

I'm adding a collection of leaves from the deciduous pears that line our driveway (they're only just changing colour now!)

The colours were amazing, from green, burgundy, bright red, orange, and yellow.

At the moment the trees are only about 2m high, but they are going to look pretty impressive when they reach their full height (11m).


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sticky maple pecan cake

This cake proved popular last night on Instagram, I promised to post the recipe.

For the cake:
225g butter, at room temperature
210g caster sugar
5 eggs
210g self-raising flour
85g pecans, roughly chopped

For the icing:
220g butter, at room temperature
200ml maple syrup
4 tablespoons milk
340g icing sugar, sifted
Pecan halves, to decorate

Preheat the oven to 180degC. Grease two 20cm round cake tins and line the bottoms with grease proof paper.

Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Sift flour over the egg mixture, then fold in. Add the pecans and fold in. Spoon the mixture into the tins, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon. Bake for 25 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

To make icing beat together the butter, syrup, milk, and icing sugar until smooth and creamy. (Mine split, cause the butter was warm but the syrup was cold, so I warmed it in 10 second bursts in the microwave, whisking after each burst until it was smooth, of course then it was quite runny so had to sit in the fridge!)

I split the cakes in half, then built the cake up, spreading the icing between each layer, then decorated the top with the extra pecans.

Serves 8, best eaten on the day it was made.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Winter morning

I wasn't much better at blogging this week! A full on week at work, mostly good but the head cold is still lingering on, making me feel a bit weary.
Yesterday I managed to injure both my big toes with a pull-up banner, they're bruised, sore and puffy. The day was topped off with the realization that my electric blanket no longer works. First world problems I know.
A couple of glasses of Italian red and a plate of pasta and meatballs did soothe.

But today is a new day. The sky is an unbelievable blue. I can hear birds. The sun is streaming through our French doors onto our bed. Rob made me breakfast in bed (freshly baked sourdough rye rolls with jam). But best of all, I just captured a photo of this gorgeous Mr Robin who keeps tap tap tapping on my window.
Happy winter weekend to you.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Snap it {cold}

Better late than never.

We've had a few frosts over the last few weeks. This photo is from the most serious one so far.
Our car was covered in tiny little icicles. A few people thought this was carpet when I posted it on Instagram.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Monday's Menu, a little late

Hello. Sorry I'm late. I've flat out this week with the conference booth, so have only just got the chance to create my weekly menu photo collage.
We're both still recovering from this silly head cold, so neither of us has felt all that keen in the kitchen. But there were some highlights still:

Monday: leftover beef Bourguignon.
Tuesday: chicken and ramen noodle soup.
Wednesday: Pasta puttanesca .
Thursday: Baked beans and fried eggs on toast!
Friday: Spinach, fetta and mint pastry triangles.
Saturday: Roast loin of Mt Gnomon pork (Vermey's are stocking them now!) on a bed of savoy cabbage and apple with potato stacks. With a fruit mince and apple crumble for dessert.
Sunday: Rocket salad, with speck, soft boiled eggs and croutons.

I hope that next week is a little less frantic and I have some more time to write here. I miss it.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Window seat spruce up

When we finally got our new window seat upholstered last year, we bought two acrylic rugs to cover them up and didn't even buy proper cushions. Just bought some red pillowcases and put them out. After awhile I admit I don't notice these things, but it drives Rob nuts!
A few weeks ago we came up with an easy solution (not sure why we didn't come up with it sooner). We bought 3m of the red gingham fabric and the same length of red polar fleece. Then last weekend my personal seamstress (Rob) hand stitched the two together. I found some red themed cushion covers and we put it all together on Friday. We're pretty happy with the new look. The cover can be removed and washed in the machine easily.
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