Nov 24, 2010


I have been quiet with the posts the past few days as packing and getting ready for our move has kept me rather busy. Our current apartment is small but boy do we know how to fill every nook and cranny with 'things'! What you accumulate over time is pretty amazing. So unfortunately there will be no food posts for a little while as all my cooking bits and pieces are packed away and silly me packed my camera battery charger in one of the boxes and now my camera needs charging. I think I've learnt I'm not the worlds most smartest packer! On an exciting note, yesterday we bought dining chairs. They are rustic, vintage and have an interesting story to them so I can't wait to receive them when we move. I will be sure to share.

The shots above are from Bloom magazine, a magazine focussing on trends in horticulture including flowers, plants, seeds and garden. They are up to issue 19 - 'Farm of the future' and the issues are filled with some really interesting and beautiful photos.

{ via frolic }

Nov 19, 2010

Chocolate panforte

Christmas is just a little over a month away now (eek!). I love getting in the kitchen and baking things for Christmas. One sweet I've never made before is Italian Panforte. Traditionally it's more of a fruit cake but I decided to try Martha Stewarts chocolate version. A piece of this and a cup of coffee and I'd be very happy.

Chocolate panforte

• 3/4 cup hazelnuts
• Soft butter for pan
• 1/2 cup dried cherries
• 2 tbsp brandy
• 1 cup good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
• 1 cup plus 1/2 tbsp plain flour
• 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
• 2/3 cup honey
• 2/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
• 1/2 tsp cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 176˚C. Spread nuts on a baking tray lined with paper. Bake until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and rub in a clean tea towel to remove skins. Set aside. Reduce oven heat to 148˚C. Brush a 9-inch springform pan with soft butter and line with baking paper. Combine cherries, hazelnuts, brandy and dark chocolate in a medium bowl, set aside. Sift 1 cup flour and 1/2 tsp cinnamon in a bowl, set aside. Combine honey and brown sugar in a saucepan. Stir and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 2 minutes. Combine with the fruit and nut mixture, stirring until combined. Fold in flour and mix to combine. Pour into prepared pan. With a spatula, press the mixture to form a level layer. Combine the remaining 1/2 tbsp flour, 1 tsp cinnamon and cocoa. Sift over unbaked cake. Bake until set, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Gently brush off flour coating before serving.

Nov 17, 2010

Restaurant interior inspiration

I'm surrounded by a wall of boxes at the moment as we're due to move out in 2 weeks. 2 weeks! Very excited and looking forward to a change in scenery. I've been thinking and flipping through magazines a lot looking for ideas for furniture and interior looks. I came across these pictures this morning via Le voyage créatif of a restaurant in Milano called U Barba. The mix of old timber and industrial lights is something I'm definitely leaning towards for our place and being that we will no longer have a balcony a stool like the above could look good by the window. I better start saving my pennies!

Nov 12, 2010

Glen Proebstel

Another wee purchase I made today (seems I make a lot of wee purchases) was the latest issue of Inside Out magazine. Inside there was a Christmas feature called 'made with love' showcasing Bourke Street Bakery recipes. I was instantly drawn to the mood of the photographs and styling and tonight had a look at stylist Glen Proebstel's folio. It's pretty impressive. I think it's fairly obvious to say that I'm drawn to all things rustic and his folio demonstrates just that. Both his interior and food work is impressive and worth a look.

For those interested to know more about Glen and how he got to where he is today there is an interview with him on The Design Files.

Honeymoon abroad

I came across the wedding of photographers Julia & Yurly tonight and absolutely loved it. It looks like it was such a sweet and romantic day. Not only are the wedding photos stunning but they set off to travel the world immediately after their wedding and have kept a blog called Mr & Mrs Globe Trot filled with photos from their journey. The sites and people they have captured are amazing. What an exciting and perfect way to start the rest of your lives together.

Facing fears and hearty meals

I can't believe Friday has arrived already. I've had a week of pondering and planning my next moves in terms of what I'm doing creatively and work wise. Now we have a mortgage to pay off bringing in more work is a must so I've faced fears and put myself out there a bit. I'm sure any creative can relate to the fears you face with putting your work out there to be criticised and judged! Not the most pleasant feeling in the world. But, the only way to move forward.

I did make a wee little purchase this week on this book called Grillhouse. The food is so homely and rustic and I absolutely love the styling. For the past few nights I've taken it to bed drooling over the photography and delicious looking recipes. I love the paper stock as well (nerdy graphic designer talk I know). A nice one to refer to for those hearty meals like beef & guinness pie and bourbon & raisin pudding with butterscotch sauce. Yum.

Nov 9, 2010

Baby shower stationary

Today I worked on a little baby shower stationary set which I thought I'd share. The kit includes an invitation, registry card and envelope that are sent to guests and cupcake flags and pinspinners for the shower. Apologies for the first shot not being completely crisp, I can't seem to figure out why it isn't showing correctly.

Nov 7, 2010

The ultimate burger

I've been suffering from a head cold this weekend so I have spent most of it sleeping on the couch and watching too much tv. I did drag myself up however to put together an early dinner since the other half will be away for a while for work. The request - burgers (of course). I've always wanted to try making tomato relish so gave that a go and I'm really happy with how it tasted and surprised at how easy it is to make.

Tomato relish

• 500g truss tomatoes, chopped
• 1/2 apple; peeled, cored and chopped
• 185ml white vinegar
• 125g caster sugar
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 1 clove garlic
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp mustard powder
• 1 tsp curry powder
• 1 tsp cornflour
• 1/8 cup white vinegar, extra

Place tomato, onion, apple, garlic, 185ml vinegar, salt, mustard, curry powder and sugar into a medium pot. Bring to boil, stir and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Mix the cornflour to a paste with remaining 1/8 cup of vinegar, add the the tomato mixture and stir until thickened. Store in a sterilised jar and seal. Fills 1 medium size jar.

The ultimate burger

• 700g minced beef
• 1 tbsp tomato paste
• 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
• 1 egg
• 1/4 cup bread crumbs
• 6 sprigs Italian parsley, chopped
• Sea salt & cracked black pepper
• 2 onions, sliced into rings
• 4 hamburger buns, halved
• 12 baby cos lettuce leaves
• 8 slices truss tomato
• Tomato relish (recipe above)

Combine beef, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, egg, bread crumbs, Italian parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. Divide mixture into 4 and shape into flat patties. Cook the onion rings in a frying pan over medium-high heat for 3 minutes each side. Remove and keep warm. Add the patties to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes each side or until cooked through. Lay a slice of cheese over each and let melt. Brown buns under grill and on serving plates top buns with lettuce, a patty with cheese, tomato, onion rings and tomato relish. Makes 4 large burgers.

Nov 5, 2010

Thank you and welcome

It has been quite an eventful and exciting week with signing the contract on our new apartment on Monday and being interviewed on Daily Imprint yesterday. Thank you Natalie for the nice feature and a big welcome to those visiting my blog. I woke up this morning to see some really nice comments and emails so it's nice to know there are things on here that inspire not only myself but others.

Tonight I revisited a few photographers sites which I have always loved. One of these is Jen Altman and I noticed these pictures which I hadn't seen before. Jen has a polaroid section on her site filled with a beautiful collection of children's portraits. I also read this week that Amanda from Mocking Bird is collaborating with Jen Altman and Susannah Conway and writing a book about polaroid photography. Really looking forward to seeing that one in 2010.

Nov 4, 2010

Relaxed hair knot

When it comes to styling my hair, I'm pretty hopeless. I have long hair but goodness knows how I turn it into something a little more interesting than wearing it down all the time. Looking at this style I love how relaxed and effortless it looks and wonder if it's something easy enough to achieve. Here is a brief description by hair stylist Orlando Pita on how to get the look. I might have to give it a try this weekend.

{ via honestlywtf }

Nov 2, 2010

Mango with yoghurt and almond praline

It's that time of year when mangoes are in season. Mangoes are delicious on there own but add some greek yoghurt and almond praline and it makes an easy sweet dessert.

Mango with yoghurt and almond praline

• 2 large mangoes, peeled, cut into 8mm-thick slices
• 1/4 cup passionfruit pulp
• 1 cup greek yoghurt
• 1/4 cup slithered almonds
• 1/2 cup caster sugar

Almond praline - Heat oven to 200˚C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and spread almond slithers evenly across the paper. Toast almond slithers in oven watching them so they don't burn and remove when just golden. Place sugar into a saucepan over medium heat and shake rather than stir until sugar begins to melt and dissolves completely. Remove from heat when sugar is an amber colour. Stir in almonds and pour out onto the baking paper to form a thin layer. Let cool completely.

To serve - Share mango slices among 4 glasses and spoon passionfruit pulp between them. Top with yoghurt and break up almond praline into small pieces to top.

Nov 1, 2010

Woolstore residents

Well it's official! Today we signed the contract for a Woolstore apartment in Teneriffe. Brick feature wall, high ceilings, cafes downstairs, right near the river and New Farm Park. We're both feeling pretty good and excited right about now. I'm trying to hold back from planning in my head what we will do to it until the settlement period is over but I can't wait. Today we had a look in Coco Republic and fell in love with a few pieces which we can't afford and then had a really nice French dinner at Montrachet to celebrate. I'm still lusting over their Tarte au Poire. A really good start to the week.