Tea. Sleeping Kittens. The Smell of Old Books. Expensive Cheese. Painted Toenails. Lounging Around. Coffee Beans. Weddings. Poached Eggs. Napping. Candles. Secrets. Photographs. Harry Potter. Sex. Hand Holding. Fabulous Hair. Ribbons. Dinosaurs. Rage comics. Air Guitar. Montages. Swooning. Red Grapes. Sleeping. Paper Bags. Stockings. Canvas. Daydreaming. Piles of Book's. Cheap Dvd's. Cheeky Emails. Hand-made anythings. Whispering. Red Hair. Roller Derby. Jam. Laughing. Raspberry Lollies. Hugs. Letter's. Family. Batman. Flowers. Avocado. Art. Text's. Love.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hello all!

Almost the end of a most wonderful and hectic weekend.
Spomes and I rushed around like busy bees packing and sorting ourselves out for our Japan trip on Tuesday. There was piles of washing to be done, floors to be vacuumed and scrubbed, fridge and pantry to be emptied and sheets to be changed. We also had to slot this in between work, Amy's going-away night at The Grove and Diana's Housewarming wine and cheese night. Exhaust!

Amy's night at the Grove was wonderful, i chose to drive so i got to sample an amazing array of Mocktails. My favourite one tasting exactly like the inside of a cinnamon pie, it was glorious and only $3 (we named it a Cinnamonathan (after the bartender, Jonathan), or a BIG RED), i must of drank at least a litres worth. Unfortunately, due to the absurd amount of sugar in each of those drinks it was impossible to sleep that night, i was a fidgety mess.
Saturday night was Diana and Brendan's housewarming. It was so nice. SO much food! There was mountains of different cheeses and crackers and fresh sushi, banana bread, coconut cake, strawberries dipped in sugar.

Every time I'm near Kirk and his marvellous moustache, I'm so happy.

Sleevie and Lady Lauren. New favourite person.

Brendan NOMS.

We all lazed, well fed, fat and happy.

I made a Lemon Cheesecake with a Gingerbread crust.
It was my first ever cheesecake and although i didn't read the instructions completely beforehand, (i had no idea that cheesecakes take several million hours to set properly) it still turned out rather delicious. I was most pleased at how simple it was to make, i always thought cheesecakes were up in the league of a souffle, therefore i was never going to touch it.

I'll chuck in the recipe because i am pleased as punch with myself for pulling it off.
I will say, this recipe would be at least ten times harder if you do not have access to a food processor or electric mixer.

Lemon Cheesecake with Gingerbread crust.

Ingredients -

  • 250g gingernut biscuits
  • 125g butter, melted
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 3 x 250g softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • a drop of yellow food colouring (for looks)
Method -

Lightly grease a 22cm spring form pan.
Crush the biscuits until they are crumbly and then mix well with the melted butter.
Press the crumbs evenly into the greased tin, over base and slightly up the sides.
Refrigerate base for an hour (or cheat, and put it in the freezer)
Beat the eggs and sugar with a mixer until pale and thickened, it could take up to ten minutes, so patience because the lighter the mixture is, the lighter the cheesecake will be.
Add the cheese rind, lemon juice and colouring and beat until it is smooth and creamy.
Pour biscuit into the prepared tin and bake in the oven at 160 degrees for 45 minutes.
Take it slow, the cheesecake won't look baked at all, it will also still wobble slightly in the middle.
After 45 minutes and a few wobble checks, turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside, letting it cool with the door ajar.
Now refrigerate for several hours, or overnight.

I dusted mine with some cinnamon.

Now, back to packing.
Be back in a few weeks!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Roast Goodness.

Saturday afternoon I attempted my second ever Proper Roast Dinner.

For my first one i was lucky enought to have the watchful eyes of the Number 1 Roast dinner maker in the world, my Mum helping me along if i got stuck. She makes a killer roast, it's famous in our circle of family and friends. Every Sunday without fail a maginifcent feast of meat, potatoes, yorkshire puddings, gravy and a ridiculous range of vegetables would be piled up infront of us in the Good Dining Room on the Good China. It's one of my fondest memories.
Now, i was flying solo.

I picked up the most beautiful little organic leg of lamb from le shops. It was so cute and delicious looking, made for two. It was perfect. I had used a simple recipe from The Daily Cookbook for a garlic and rosemary lamb roast. You basically make insicions in the lamb and poke fresh rosemary and cooked cloves of garlic into them, then you rub a garlic and olive oil paste over the lamb and let it sit and marinate for a few hours. I just served it with steamed green beans and sweet and regular potatos cooked in the lamb juice.

My little roast, all marinated and waiting with potatoes for cooking.

Needless to say, it went down a treat with Spomes.

It was most delicious.

For dessert i made The Perfect Apple Crumble. It was AMAZING.
It tasted nutty and sweet and served with a big, dollop of yoghurt it was heaven.

Here's the recipe.


7 large green apples
1/2 cup caster sugar
1tsp cinnamon (ground)

1 cup plain flour
3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
3/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup coconut
1 tbsp cinnamon (ground)
2 tsp nutmeg (ground)
2/3 cup butter (melted)
2 tsp vanilla essence


For the Apples.

Peel and core apples, then cut into rough 1-2cm cubes.

Pop the apple chunks in a large saucepan and cover with water. Simmer covered with lid on high until apples are tender but not too soft (usually 5-10mins once water is simmering). Drain the apples and place in a seperate bowl to cool slightly.

Mix the castor sugar and the cinnamon through the cooked apples, make sure they are coverd evenly.

For the Crumble.

Combine flour, brown sugar, rolled oats, coconut, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl until evenly mixed through.

Melt butter (i'm lazy, i totally microwaved it) and add vanilla essence to butter, stir through.

Add butter mix gradually to dry ingredients and mix well using a fork.
Make sure all your ingredients are moist and mixture has a crumbly texture, try and crush all the big lumps.

Place apple mix evenly in a casserole dish or cake tin.
Spread crumble mix over top of apple and press down slightly so it's nice and flat.
Bake at 180 degrees C for 30-40minutes, or until crumble topping is slightly browned.

Serve with Ice cream, custard, anything really!

I hope you all had a weekend as wonderful as i did.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Spiced Pumpkin Butter

On the request of the wonderful Amy, i spent the afternoon making my Spiced Pumpkin Butter. I've been told that it tastes exactly the same as the inside of a hot cross bun, it can be used on toast, in pies, eaten from the jar with a spoon, poured over ice cream, mixed into roast vegetables. It's amazing. If sterilized properly, it will keep in glass jars for up to six months.

Here's what i did.

  • 2kg pumpkin, de-seeded, peeled and diced into chunks. (Use a Butternut pumpkin, although more expensive, it tastes buttery and divine when it is cooked - I promise)
  • 600g sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tbs nutmeg powder
  • 6 cloves
  • Finely grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of two lemons.

Peel, de-seed and chop up your pumpkin.

Put the pumpkin in a steamer and steam for about fifteen minutes, or until pumpkin is soft and mushy to touch.

When soft, mash the pumpkin until it resembles a mushy baby food like substance.

Transfer mush into a big pan and add the sugar.

Using a mortar and pestle, or a lot of effort, grind the cloves and the cinnamon into crumbs.

Add the mixed spice, the nutmeg and the extra tsp of ground cinnamon to make a spicy mix.

Zest and squeeze the two lemons.

Add the lemon juice, zest and spice mix to the pumpkin mix and stir thoroughly.

Let the mixture bubble away on low for at least an hour. Stir occasionally and be careful, it will spit at you!

Place your empty jar into a boiling pot of hot water to sterilize. Let it boil away for a few minutes to get rid of all the nasty germs. When ready, use tongs to remove from water and place on a cooling rack to dry. Try not to touch it with your hands to keep it sterile.

When your mixture is nice and thick, spoon it carefully into the still-hot jars. Screw on the lids tightly then put the jars back into the boiling water for a few minutes. This will seal them properly.

I only had two jars in the entire house, what an outrage! I just used two containers and put them straight in the fridge. They won't keep as long at the jars, but the mixture is so delicious, it won't last anyway!

This mixture is ridiculously easy to make, i recommend it. It also makes a perfect gift.
Amy, there is a GIANT jar with your name on it.