Thursday, 30 April 2009

my creative space...

Now that the weather is getting cooler, I have great intentions of snuggling up on the couch in the evenings. Don't worry, I won't be just lazing about... I'll be getting back to my granny squares. Everyone else is doing it, you should do it too. These are my squares so far... I'm yet to start on my third colour, which is cream.
And a delightful package arrived in the post the other day, some ribbons from Amitie for an embellishment challenge. I haven't yet decided on my project, to the drawing board I go.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

prettiness at work...

I can't help but be happy at work this week. How awesome is the current flower arrangement, they're as big as my miniature head! And such a glorious colour too.


Oh gosh, my blog is turning into a foodie. I'll post some more tactile crafting tomorrow.
This was my breakfast this morning. I just love rice pudding.
Edit note for curlypops - I use 1 part rice to 4 parts milk, cook over medium heat & stir for 20 minutes or until soft. Sweeten with honey or sugar.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

at it again...

Cooking, that is. Tonights dinner, a roast veggie salad. Since the husband is a vego & I don't really cook meat at home, you'll only see vegetarian dishes on my blog. But they're all very tasty, I promise.
Because I love to cook, I try to cook interesting but healthy & fulfilling meals. Salads are so good & now that it's getting bloody cold, why not make them warm.

After roasting some carrots, potato & sweet potato, I added basil, spinach & fetta. To finish off I drizzled it with a dressing of honey, seeded mustard & white wine vinegar. It didn't need any oil as I had tossed the vegies in oil before roasting & there was plenty still about.
It was soo tasty (if I don't say so myself). Next time I think I'll add some roast onion & garlic for some more depth. The simplicity was good though.
Bad lighting makes funny colours... sorry bout that.

We finished off with a reheat of last nights desert... strawberry jalousie. Both times it was gobbled down so fast, I didn't get the chance to immortalise it on the camera. Oh well, I'll have to make it again soon. Then I can photograph it, post the recipe & eat it! Mmmm, deal!

mmm beans...

So, as promised here's the baked beans recipe for y'all. It comes from a UK cookbook called 200 Veggie Feasts. The original recipe was a bit too sweet for me, so below is my version.
Home Baked Beans

2 400g cans borlotti beans, drained
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 onion finely chopped
450ml vegetable stock
300ml passata
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt & pepper

Put all the ingredients in a flameproof casserole with a little salt & pepper. Cover & slowly bring to the boil.
Bake in a preheated oven at 160 degrees celsius for 1 & 1/2 hours. Remove lid & bake for a further 30 minutes until the sauce is syrupy.
Use in the many wonderful ways that you would the canned variety.

Monday, 27 April 2009

what does the early bird do again?...

Why, he catches the worm of course! Well it surely wasn't a worm I caught this morning, even though I did get out of bed at 6:30am. I've been rising super early lately & I must say for the first time in my life... quote these words mum... I might be turning into a morning person. I got so much done before going to work, all menial house worky stuff of course, but still. I had a cup of tea & breakfast, swept the kitchen & bathroom, cooked tonights dinner (scarecrow pie, yum!), caught up on some of my favourite blogs, researched some future craft projects, showered (well duh, plus I remembered to moisturise), visited Samuel at the workshop, paid bills at the post office & even arrived at work early.
I was cheered by this dapple of sunlight falling over my kitchen table this morning. The weather is not all doom & gloom, Mr Sun still loves us.

Oh & I almost forgot... I made the best baked beans on the weekend, I'll post the recipe next.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

back to cooking...

It's so good to be back in my kitchen again. It felt strange to go a full two weeks without cooking a single dish. And to make things even more pleasurable... all our gifts arrived from the wedding registry the day we came home. I'm now the proud owner of a kitchenaid, I feel very lucky, I've dreamt about owning one for so long. Samuel had even said he'd buy it for me if it wasn't purchased as a gift. He's a smart boy.
So I've been cooking up a storm the past few days. One of the stand out dishes was this pea & pasta soup I made for lunch yesterday. If you live in Melbourne, you should definately take lunch oneday at the Journal Canteen. I worked there the year before last with my friend Rosa, she's the brains behind the food there. Rosa has written a cookbook of her sicilian recipes & this month it hit the shelves. This soup is one of many in the book & it is simply delicious.
Pasta e Piselli

3 tbsp olive oil
3 spring onions
1kg frozen peas
500g pasta
extra virgin olive oil, to serve

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the spring onions & cook for about 2 minutes until translucent.
Meanwhile, rinse the frozen peas under cold water in a colander. Add the peas to the pan, add salt to taste & put the lid on. Turn heat to low & cook the peas slowly, stirring occasionally. When they start to dry out add a 1/2 cupful of water, but not too much at once. The secret to this recipe is to coo the peas in as little water as possible, so that they stew in their own juice. Only add enough water to stop them sticking. Carry on like this for about 30 minutes, until the peas are very soft, almost mushy & sweet.
Add 3 litres of water & turn up the heat to high. When it comes to the boil, add the pasta. (If you prefer more broth, add only half the pasta.)
Drizzle with oil to serve.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

back to craft...

This is the top of a quilt for our couch.
I purchased the fabric from the amitie sale before I went away
& while sitting on the beach in vanuatu, I drew up the pattern & made all calculations.
Today I cut & pieced the top together, I was so excited & couldn't wait any longer.
I think I'll back it with some japanese linen.
Sorry for the average pic, there's not alot of sun or warmth in Melbourne today.

back to reality...

Vanuatu was great! It was so wonderful to spend 2 weeks chilling out with my new husband. We read four books each, walked lots, slept lots, ate lots, swam lots, snorkeled lots, played uno lots, talked lots & laughed lots. We spent ten days on an island called Nguna & stayed in a shack on the beach with no running water or electricity. The ladies from the village fed us three times daily, breakfast was brioche-like bread with peanut butter, lunch & dinner we're rice with cucumber, fried banana, laplap, yam & a range of curry-like dishes.
We walked to watch the sunset.
Here's our little bungalow, also home to spiders, gecko's & mozzies. Often visited by a neighbourhood dog & a stray cat.
We played soccer with the village kids. We gave the village three soccer balls for the children.
Samuel hacked apart coconuts for us to eat. It was while I was trying to cut into one of them when I put a sharp serrated knife into the flesh of my palm. It hurt quite a bit, but don't worry it's pretty much healed now.
We walked to the top of a 470m hill to see the villages at the top, it was humid & sweaty. On the way back down the mountain the skies opened & torrential rain fell upon us. We had to protect the camera with a banana leaf, I wish I'd had a leaf for my head too.
Our last three days were spent at a luxury resort, to recover from our rural experience. We had a massage each, took hot showers & slept in comfy bed... luxury.
I must say, it's good to be home.
Thankyou for all your lovely messages in my last post.

Monday, 6 April 2009

it's official...

We're married!
We had the best day, perfect weather & not a single hiccup.
The involvement of friends & family in the setup, food, hair & makeup etc made it extra special.
Here are some photo's as promised, thank you all for your well wishes.
There's been so much going on, I have so much to post but I'm just taking it easy, so we'll catch up soon. See you when we get back from vanuatu.

here we are
very happy
so excited, giggling the whole way, mum & dad holding me upright
me, the boy, our truck & jim's bike
the girls
the boys and simon's mustang
at the bandstand
arriving at the reception
the food
in the vintage photobooth