Saturday, May 31, 2008
375 ml buttermilk
1 ½ cups self-raising flour, sifted
2 tblsp caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tblsp melted butter
Mix all ingredients together until smooth.
Cook in non-stick frypan over medium heat, turning when bubbles appear on the uncooked side.
Flip and cook further 1-2 mins.
Spread with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Or add blueberries, etc.
The recipe is adapted from the one on the buttermilk carton. They always turn out light and fluffy and they reheat well the next day (microwave).
And I took a picture of the pancakes because the top one sort of looks like a heart…
Friday, May 30, 2008
Anyhoo, for some weird reason, I got a few more smaller ones recently. And this is the result. They remind me of those pre-renaissance icons with the Madonna on them. You just won’t find mine in the Louvre, though.
The heart and felt birds are from Maya Road, and the chipboard scrolls are from Buzz and Bloom. The paint is just gold acrylic (sorry, I know you were expecting gold leaf...).
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
But really, it was too lovely for words, so here is the picture that paints a thousand of them…
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
As usual, it was so much fun (with a dash of frustration when things went awry). We were shown how to stamp using a two-step process, and (best of all) how to make a bog/bax (don’t ask, just look here). This is a card, stamped with a design and folded into the shape of a bag. Too clever.
Then, we each made a Christmas card. See my attempt below.
Thanks, Lin Mei, it was great. You can check out more of Lin Mei’s work here.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
I had a lot of fun deciding on the colours and backgrounds for this piece, not to mention the embellishments, because the frame is 12 x 12, so lots of room for bits and pieces.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
So, I made some matching partners for the girls.
Friday, May 23, 2008
This is one of The Missed.
It is called Bounty Hunter because it contains moist coconut and chocolate ganache in a crisp tart shell, just like a Bounty chocolate bar. It was pretty good, but also very sweet. Rates about a 7 on the Toothache Scale.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
I just settled for ‘hi’. This is a card I made to give to Tabitha’s former owners on the occasion of her signover to us. The felt bird is from Maya Road (love their stuff) and the velvet ribbon is from Stampin’ Up. Unfortunately, I placed the ribbon crooked the first time and had to redo it, so some of the flock came off. Don’t tell anyone!
Saturday, May 17, 2008
I coloured the girls using Tombow markers, added some glittery rub-ons and mounted them on cardboard over some scrap paper. They are set into shadow box frames that will eventually be placed up my staircase (when I get around to putting some hooks in the wall).
Here is a closer look...
Friday, May 16, 2008
But here is a late entry…Berrylicious. Is it berry season in autumn? It would appear so, as the fruits on this tart were so sweet and lush. That’s scarlet strawberries, ruby raspberries, garish grapes and beautiful blue blueberries (!). All sitting in a crisp pate sucre tart shell filled with mascarpone vanilla cream.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
So, even though I don’t normally eat bananas, the price makes me pick up a couple every time I see them in the supermarket. So, what do you do with them? One of my favorites is to make a hot caramel sauce to drizzle over. The other is to make…banana bread. Admittedly, the banana bread idea was spurred on by Not Quite Nigella’s brilliant banana bread bake off, so here is my entry.
And the result is fantastic – it is a mouth-watering bread that is not too heavy, studded with walnuts (can be substituted with craisins/cranberries). Straight out of the oven, it is great with more butter gently melting into it. Or it can be eaten cold (again with slatherings of butter - not exactly healthy, but all things in moderation, etc!).
1 3/4 cups (260g) plain flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2/3 firmly packed cup (150g) dark brown sugar
100g walnut crumbs or chopped walnuts
3 large over-ripe bananas
2 large eggs, lightly whisked
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g unsalted butter, melted, cooled
1. Preheat the oven to 175°C. Lightly grease an 11cm x 22cm loaf pan and line base and 2 long sides with a sheet of baking paper, leaving 2cm overhanging.
2. Sift flour, cinnamon, baking powder, soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a bowl with the brown sugar, then add the nuts.
3. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas with a fork or potato masher, then stir in the eggs, vanilla extract and cooled melted butter. Using a wooden spoon, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until they're just combined - don't overmix.
4. Pour cake batter into prepared pan. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour or until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool the loaf in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Cut into 8-10 slices.
This banana bread will keep in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days, or frozen in individual slices for up to 1 month.
Friday, May 9, 2008
The bf came along too, and he did his thing during the day (shopping for DVDs, visit to Queen Vic markets, Game On at the Aust Centre of Moving Images) while I slaved away at work. But come nighttime, we ate ourselves silly.
Why does Melbourne’s CBD have so many more (good) eateries than Sydney? Maybe our eyes are more open in a new environment, but there seems to be a quaint café or groovy bar in every laneway in Melbourne. We ate at Hanabishi (top Japanese), Bistro Vue (junior offshoot of Vue de Monde), and The Quarter, a café/bar in Degraves St (funky laneway).
The meal at Bistro Vue stands out because I had (among other yummy things) ‘two hour poached egg with wild mushroom puree Shimeji mushrooms’. It came served in open eggshells which sat in a paper carton, and the flavour was intense and amazing. You too can drool over the current menu here. A visit here is a must, especially if, like me, you don’t have an expense account to eat at Vue de Monde.
Also part of the little Vue empire is Café Vue, a casual breakfast and lunch place. The lunch box is the thing to order here, with its menu changed weekly. I had one lunch box on Monday, then bought another to have on the flight home on Thursday. The flight attendant was wishing she could have one as well… In this week’s lunch box were a scotch egg, a tuna, pea and risoni salad, pita bread with roast beef and rocket, and for dessert, a crème caramel. By the way, the scotch egg is actually a quail egg and it was incredddible!
The other attraction of Melbourne is the shopping. Though a lot of the chain stores can be found throughout Australia anyway, there are still some boutiques that are unique. One place I discovered is Little Salon, in Little Collins St. It has brilliant laser-cut jewellery and quirky clothes – see below what I got. I thought the cat top was a nice touch – reminds me of Tabby!