Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Pink ....and orange

When we visited France two years ago the pastry shops and tea rooms were almost as much a treat for the eyes as a treat for the stomach. Laduree with their famous macaroons had my colour tastebuds going into overdrive.

I decided to attempt my own after reading this post on orange flower:sketchbook (a gorgeous blog if you haven't yet found it). She references this excellent article which gives lots of helpful hints on achieving the perfect macaroon.

Sitting in my pistachio coloured Kitchenaid, the pink macaroon mix looked divine.

One of the tips the article gives is to rest the freshly piped macaroon on the trays before cooking. This forms a nice little crust and helps to give that flat top.

Whilst my macaroons were resting on the bench a certain member of the family helped themselves to the fruit bowl, situated right near the resting macaroons, and whoops a plump orange rolled right through the tray.


At least it didn't wipe out all of macaroons. There were still plenty to make into these delightful little treasures and I kind of liked the colour combo of pink and orange!

The finished product. I love the little frilly base of each biscuit and I can assure you, they taste as good as they look!

Note: The recipe for the biscuit used in this article is almost the same as the recipe found in my Women's Weekly Cookies cookbook but with a lot more detail. The recipe for the fillings is different though and I used the recipe in the article which had more cream instead of chocolate as I think the texture created by the chocolate doesn't entirely complement the macaroon. The result though is a runnier filling which doesn't make the biscuits sit perfectly separated. I used the raspberry jam in the filling also and it gave a lovely flavour.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Slowing down and slow cooking

I Loooove school holidays and they are here! I let out a big hooray as we walked home this afternoon, two weeks of sleep-ins, free play, pancakes in the morning, no rousing kids out the door and just enjoying my three gorgeous kids.


I have this leg of lamb slow cooking in the oven (I ran out of bakers twine so I am hoping my quilting thread holds the garlic and rosemary in. And if you are vegetarian I am sorry, this pic probably makes your squeamy!), a bottle of red open and we're kicking back for a bit of R'n'R.

We are planning on celebrating Ella's birthday, a bit of sewing, lots of cooking and you might even see a post or two. No promises though, it's going to be two weeks of no commitment....bliss!

Are you on holidays? What are you folk all up to?

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Crazy Cousin Weekend...no. 2

Last weekend's blissful retreat was made possible by a great-big-cousin-swap. My husband (who prefers to be nameless on this blog!) has only one sibling (as opposed to me, who has three), but she has three children. Her three are the within months of the same age as my three and it has been so good watching them grow up together.

When we found some super-cheap flights to Adelaide, we knew the only way to get away without kids was this arrangement that we came to. We booked our flights for one weekend and their flights the next. Each alternate weekend the other couple had a crazy house of six kids...exhausting but fun.

I have produced masses of food this weekend, which the older girls have helped me with; roast chicken with Maggie's verjuice, pear tart,lasagna that the girls assembled and chocolate meringues and hubby just made a delicious risotto with homemade stock from the chickens. The six kids have really all entertained each other and it has been such a great weekend.

I think we will need to make this an annual event! Well worth the effort for all involved.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

We Are All About Food

I have always enjoyed cooking but just of late I am really really enjoying it.

Maybe it was the chaos of a house with toddlers or the nauseousness of pregnancies but over the past few years I kind of lost the passion for cooking. Well, over the past few months it has been reignited.

I have really been enjoying cooking dinners once again. And I can honestly say that most nights I enjoy the whole process of putting the meal on the table.

And, we are all loving Masterchef. It has become a whole family affair with all five of us sitting down to enjoy it. I think this is a wonderful thing for children. It certainly is sparking lots of new conversations with the girls about food and cooking. How good is that!

My little spark of passion is now in danger of burning down the kitchen after this weekend! Hubby and I spend the most indulgent weekend in the Barossa Valley. Not having travelled around South Australia before, I really didn't realise how beautiful it was. We kind of ate and tasted our way around the valley, breakfast here, lunch here and dinner at this place (with lots of lovely courses). I picked up a fantastic food magazine called Sumptuous, jam packed with healthy, delicious food and recipe books from Maggie Beer who captures that fresh, farm produce style of cooking so well.

image courtesy of Schutz Barossa

So I am really looking forward to trying new recipes, developing a few more food skills and getting my children a lot more involved in the preparation.

Yep, we're all about food round here.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Sunday Crafting

More crafting this Sunday!

A quick little project I have been wanting to do.


An Ikea storage solution

Some gorgeous papers (including Amy Butler)


Some mod podge and a lick of paint


I also found the lovely bird labels over at LollyChops The papers were already sitting on my desk when I pulled these labels out from the printer, the colours all just sung.

Lolly also has some gorgeous embroidery patterns here.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Wearing Their Clothes

It has begun. Ella and I are now swapping clothes....well, I am wearing hers!


I bought this gorgeous furry piece for her wardrobe, though I have to admit, it has spent more time on my back than hers. (It is a little, cropped version on me and I can't quite do it up in the middle)


And this skirt; Kate's. Or at least it was meant to be. I bought the fabric with her in mind but when I got it home I couldn't resist making this for myself. I pulled out a favourite skirt of mine, traced the yoke and wing-ed it the rest of the way.


Needless to say it's 'dodgy brothers' inside. I could show you but that would undo all the lovely comments on Edwards' coat about my 'amazing attention to detail'. At least from the outside no-one can tell.


The fabric is from Darn Cheap, Glenhuntly at $10 for the skirt, it's a steal.