Saturday, August 30, 2008

...a Hello Spring card

I made this spring-inspired card using almost all Stampin' Up! products. The stamps are from the In the Spotlight set, on Whisper White, Certainly Celery (I think) and Kraft notecard and the green Palette o' Prints paper. The ribbon is my favourite, Old Olive. Ink is Versamark, Colorbox chalk queue and Tombow markers. The little squares are clear heat embossed (though I should have inked the stamps a bit darker...).

I am hoping that this burst of inspiration will be the start of my Christmas card preparations. Will have to wait and see if Xmas cards eventuate in the next few weeks or (as usual) about 2 days before Xmas.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

More from designboom

Just the rest of the things I got at the designboom / young blood designers market:

This is actually a table centrepiece from Millicent and Frank, but looks good as a wall hanging, I think. It is made of black acrylic.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Healthy Caramel sauce!

This is a wonderful sauce to serve with bananas or drizzled (or poured) on ice cream. Make sure you keep stirring and use low heat, as it is sugar-based and it can stick to the pan.
And I've tried it using salted butter, but found that unsalted butter tastes better. This recipe serves 4.

If served with bananas, then the healthiness of the fruit cancels out the butter/sugar/cream-iness of the sauce (caveat: not medically proven!).

Friday, August 22, 2008

…I’m socially secure, I’m comfortably well off

…Well, not quite. But I can afford to have Zumbo cake once in a while! I got this one a few weeks ago but the photos I took were OOF (out of focus). Thankfully, the bf got another one, so here goes.

This is called Open Sesame, and has almond sesame biscuit, yoghurt mousse, and honey and date crèmeux. I found the yoghurt a bit much (very sour) and overall the cake was a too ‘herby’ for my liking (cinnamon, though I think that’s a spice?). But it did bring a flashback to that great Bugs and Daffy cartoon. Just as well he missed that left turn at Albequerque.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Not so quiet on the cake front…

Just because I’ve been a bit slack on the blogging doesn’t mean I’ve stopped eating (god forbid!!!). In fact, since my initial purchase from the new Adriano Zumbo range, I have, at last count, had 2 more Charlotte Guadeloupes, one more Cinque Terre, an additional Homie and a Marge, and an extra Ed knocked me up. And probably some others I've forgotten about.

But here’s another new one: a millefeuille consisting of caramelised puff pastry, lime mascarpone crème, wild strawberry jelly and biscuit jaconde. It is not as complicated as the other Zumbo creations, in fact it seems downright ‘plain’, though the strawberry jelly is beautiful in texture and taste.

And have you heard? A new Zumbo café, selling chocolates and macarons, is going to open a few doors down from the shop in Balmain. It will also have coffee and ‘plated desserts’. Come and see me there – I’ll be the one camped outside the front door waiting for opening day.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Design market goodies and a big dog

designboom marts are staged at design festivals around the world, in places such as New York, Tokyo and Seoul. This year, for the first time, there was a mart in Sydney at the Powerhouse Museum, as part of the 12th International Sydney Design Festival.

The marts are kind of like an upmarket market, showcasing the work of designers in the fields of lighting, furniture, ceramics, homewares, clothing and fabrics. Any shop at the end of an exhibition is a good shop, just point me in the right direction….

The range of goods for sale at the Sydney mart (promoted as Young Blood: Designers Market) was fantastic, quirky, beautifully designed and made. I picked up some things, and only my slender wallet stopped me from getting more.

My favourites included these adorable magnets from Korean designer Daniel Jo. The range (called ‘Promise’) includes salt and pepper shakers and candle holders.

I also got a length of owl fabric by Saffron Craig. Not sure what to do with it since I don’t sew much/at all, but it’s too cute to pass up.
Other things I got: some of the moss pencils (lead pencils covered in green ‘moss’) and a black acrylic table centrepiece by Millicent and Frank – again not sure what to do with it, maybe use it as a wall hanging. Pictures later, when I put it up.

I also wanted this dog, but he was not for sale.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tangy or sweet - you decide

This is one of my favourite cookie recipes, as the result is a very shortbread-y, sweet biscuit with the fantastic tang of craisins and lemon. In fact, I like to add some lemon juice to the mix, to make it even tangier. It is from the ‘Slice and Bake’ section of the AWW Cookies cookbook.

Lemon Craisin Cookies
makes approx 40

250g unsalted butter, softened
1¼ cups icing sugar
1 tbsp lemon zest, finely grated (plus about 1 tbls lemon juice if you like)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups plain flour, sifted
½ cup rice flour, sifted
¼ cup cornflour, sifted
¾ cup coarsely chopped craisins
1 egg, lightly beaten

Beat butter, icing sugar, vanilla extract and lemon zest in a bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Stir in sifted flours. Then add the egg.
Stir until the egg is incorporated and divide the mixture in half.
Knead each half on a lightly floured surface until smooth.
Roll each half into a log and wrap in baking paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 160°C.
Slice the logs into 1cm discs and place on a baking tray about 3cm apart.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until light golden in colour.
Cool on wire rack. Can be kept in an airtight container for about 4 days.

Recipe from ‘Cookies’ (The Australian Women's Weekly mini book 2007)