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Archive for May, 2010

As a child I could never understand oldies displaying their plates and spoons on the wall. Could they not just eat from them?!

But now I adore the idea and will soon have my own display of plates adorning our walls. Taking inspiration from these snaps (love the recycled plates cut into butterflies from lightly.com)…

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Pretty paperie…

Oh how I love pretty stationary! Just found a very cool stationary brand called Upon A Fold (uponafold.com.au) and recognise some of their cards from my favourite stationary shop; Paper 2 in Surry Hills (paper2.com.au). I’ve also recently discovered a cute eco store near work called Shelf/Life which sells some very cute little greeting cards and the most gorgeous wrapping paper. New Zealanders, keep an eye on your mail box!

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The other night we were up until 1am baking cake and pavlova (wanted to do something a bit different and had leftover egg whites) for Nick’s birthday work shout. Still don’t understand why he had to bring his own cake but nevermind. I also don’t have photo’s of either. Oh well, will just need to make more….

Donna Hay’s Chocolate Truffle Cake

1/2 cup plain flour
2 tbs cocoa powder
1/3 cup caster sugar
4 eggs
80g butter, melted

Truffle filling
450g dark chocolate
2 cups pouring cream
6 egg yolks (save the whites for the pavlova recipe!)
1/3 cup caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Sift the cocoa and flour 3 times together and set aside. In a electric mixer beat the eggs for 8-10mins or until pale and thick and tripled in volume. Gently fold through the flour and cocoa and then the butter. Line the base of a 20cm non-stick tin with baking paper. Pour in the cake batter and bake for around 25 min or until the cake comes away from the side of the tin. Cool in the tin.

While the truffle cake is baking, make the truffle filling. Place the chocolate and cream in a saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth. Place the egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and beat for 6mins or until thick and creamy. Fold the chocolate mixture through the egg mixture and beat for 6mins or until cold. Refrigerate for 30mins.

Remove cake from the tin and cut in half horizontally. Place the bottom piece bake in the tin, and pour over half of the truffle filling. Place the top half back on, and cover with the remaining filling. Refrigerate for 5 hours or until set. To serve heat a tea towel under hot water and place around the tin. Carefully remove the cake from the tin and smooth the outside with a warm knife. Serves 10-12.

Donna Hay’s Pavlova (as seen on MasterChef)

4 egg whites (size 7 eggs)
1 cup caster sugar
3 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch), sifted
1 teaspoon white vinegar

Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F). Place the eggwhite in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, whisking well, until the mixture is stiff and glossy.
Add the cornflour and vinegar and whisk until just combined. Shape the mixture into an 18cm round on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Reduce oven to 120°C (250°F) and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow the pavlova to cool completely in the oven.  Serves 8–10.

We decorated ours with whipped cream, passionfruit pulp, sliced kiwifruit and strawberries. I won’t lie and say ours didn’t sink a wee bit under the weight of the fruit but looking back, using a whole punnet of strawberries probably was a little ambitious.

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The logical thing would have been for me to post this recipe before/on Anzac Day but there’s nothing logical about this blog so here goes…

ANZAC biscuits
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup dessicated coconut
2tbspn golden syrup
125g butter
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
1 tbspn hot water

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees. Place the oats, flour, sugar and coconut in a bowl (here also added 6 chopped dried apricots I had leftover). Place the golden syrup and butter in a saucepan over low heat and allow to melt. Mix the bicarbonate of soda with the water and add to the butter mixture. Pour the butter mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well.
Place tablespoonfuls of the mixture on baking trays lined with nonstick baking paper, allowing room for the biscuits to spread, and flatten slightly. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks. Makes 22.

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In no particular order….
1. White washed or bright secondhand furniture finds
2. Fresh flowers from Paddy’s markets (last week brought home a pot of tulips for $5!)
3. An organised and fully stoked pantry, preferably in glass storage jars
4. Teacups (thanks to Laura for constantly adding to my collection)
5. Weekend baking (more recipes to come!)
6. Have You Met Miss Jones homewares
7. Pops of colour
8. Bus scrolls
9. Ecoya candles
10. Homegrown fresh herbs

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Pesto Potato Salad with Green Beans
(Discovered on smittenkitchen.com. Tried and tested at home.)

1 cup of pre-made pesto OR
1 to 2 small garlic cloves, peeled
2 bunches of basil
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil

1.5kg small  potatoes, quartered
400g  green beans
6 tablespoons (or more to taste)  white wine vinegar
1/4 cup chopped spring onions
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
Parmesan cheese to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 10 minutes. Add beans; cook four minutes longer. Drain well and let cool, then transfer potatoes and beans to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, discard the stems from the basil and wash and dry the leaves. Puree them in a food processor with garlic, drizzling in enough olive oil that it gets saucy. Season the pesto with salt and pepper. (Alternately, you can swap this step with one cup of prepared pesto, but seriously, I think you’ll be missing out.)

Toss the beans and potatoes with pesto. Stir in vinegar, spring onions, pine nuts and season with salt, pepper and/or additional vinegar to taste. Finally, shave some wide flecks of parmesan over the salad with a vegetable peeler.

Serve immediately, or make this up to two hours in advance. It can be stored at room temperature.
Serves 10.

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Working in packaging design  I am constantly reading design magazines, researching on design blogs, checking our designers artwork and scanning the supermarket aisles for exciting new designs. This honey packaging is up there with my favourites from the last year. Packaged in a reusable clay flower pot – Stanley Honey asks you to plant more flowers to keep their bees busy. Innovative, delicious and eco-friendly. I love it. Now, if only they were sold in Australia…

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