Recent Stuff. Namely Cakes.

Hellooooooooooooooo (in a Caribbean accent, just cos I feel like it)!!

I thought I’d share some recent cakey stuff 🙂 and just to let everyone I’ve not vanished. Yet.

pink ruffle cake with cabbage roses, a la Maggie Austin

pink ruffle cake with cabbage roses, a la Maggie Austin

 

Congrats S+E!!

white chocolate ruffle cake, for a beautiful wedding by the beach. congrats S+E!!

 

fondant piggy figurines, for 2 little piggies who turned 18 this year

 

 

Just as a personal crisis sort of update…I’ve come to the realisation that a career in cake may not work so well with a desire to be healthy. What to do?

On Passion, and a Sugar Anemone Cake

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I made this cake recently for a good friends birthday. A beautiful cake for a beautiful lady. Happy birthday Jackie! And may you never lose your smile.

I also recently read this post from Chris Guillebeau. For those of you that don’t know, I have long dallied in motivational stuff in general. Chris’s site is awesome. Check it out. And the TEDX is awesome. Also check that out. But the message in this particular post/talk really struck a cord with me.

Even though I’ve been to many seminars and read many books, I still haven’t found the courage to do what I love. What I’m really passionate about. Part of it is not knowing what I’m passionate about. But what I do know is that I don’t like what I’m doing now. I’m climbing the proverbial ladder. But I know, with a deep and horrible certainty, that it’s the wrong ladder.

Caking is the closest I’ve come. I want to start making cakes more often. I’m curious what it could lead to.

I’ve always operated with a faith that things will work out, a strange long-term optimism. Does anyone share this optimism? And how have you guys found your passion?

“Splendidly”

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As a blogger, I have history of long absences and erratic posting. I have tried, in the past, to set myself posting goals (twice a week, once a week, once a month…). They didn’t work.

When I started this blog, I agreed with myself that this would largely be for me. A recipe collection of all the things I love to eat. A random collection of articles and blog posts that resonated with me. A photo-log that defines my life. And if anyone else happened to read it, then so be it.

As such, I also agreed with myself not to be pressured into writing just for the sake of writing. When the words flow, they will flow. And when they don’t, ah well. I also gave myself express permission to write about nothing, should I feel like it. And today, I’m writing about nothing.

Sometimes I think I’m a much older lady in a 23 year old’s body. I often feel like I should be a housewife in the 50s. And I use words so foreign to my generation. Like Gosh. And Darn. And today, on the phone, Splendidly. Yeah…I’m weird.

365 Project

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I really don’t take enough photos.

One of my resolutions this year is to take more photos. I want to remember all the random little things that don’t seem important. And I want to get better at taking photos.

I got a new camera for Christmas this year. I love it. It’s amazing. And now my old 400D can be the back up, take-everywhere-and-not-worry-about camera.

So I’m kicking off my own 365 project. Well… 361, seeing as it’s the 4th today. I’ll be posting them in the 365 page up top. One photo. Every day. Expect some instagram abuse very soon.

Happy New Year!!

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(Yes, Jeffrey, this is your photo…)

I’m so proud that Sydney is famous for its new years fireworks each year. Stuff that ball. Harbour bridge is where it’s at! This year they went all out. $6.6M worth of explosives, and although it I didn’t see it myself, I imagine it was a pretty spectacular display.

2012 was a really big one for me. Huge actually, when I think about it. And boy, was it  good one! We found festivals, and with them, fell in love with music all over again. We discovered some of our city’s hidden gems. We discovered some gems abroad. Macarons were made. Turkeys were roasted. We bought an apartment! We renovated a kitchen. We made new friends, and reached out to old ones.

As wonderful as the year was, it wasn’t without its trying times. I lost my sweet, sweet Cavvy, who was with us for 15 years. Friendships fell apart. Recipes failed. Some weight was gained, and not yet shed…

But it really was a wonderful year.

And can I tell you? I’m hell excited for the next one.

And as far as resolutions go, I’m keeping it loose and easy this year. I failed all of last year’s, so I’m recycling them all. Move up a level in pole. Hit the splits. And snowboard down a blue run. And take more photos dammit! Fingers crossed 🙂

Marinated Tomato And Goat’s Cheese Salad

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We had our Christmas get together recently. There was food. And booze. Lots of booze. And I roasted my first ever turkey!! It was a 8.6kg monster. And it was not enough.

December in Australia is hot. So salads are a prerequisite of Christmas meals here. Especially as the turkey wasn’t stuffed. We had a couple of things this year, including some deviled eggs, a smoked salmon and cucumber thingy, a sorta-Greek salad, and a marinated tomato salad. With goats cheese. And a balsamic reduction. It was good. So good we made it again 2 days later. And then again the day after that (might also be due to having a Costco sized pack of goats cheese in my fridge).

This tomato salad disappeared pretty quickly. And if you can’t be bothered reducing the balsamic, or just feel like a little bit more zing with your salad, feel free to substitute with some red wine vinegar instead. We did.

Marinated Tomato and Goat’s Cheese Salad with Sweet Balsamic Reduction

    • 500g grape tomatoes (I used a tomato medley that had good color variations)
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 2tbsp olive oil
    • Pepper to taste
    • 1/2 cup chopped onion (spring or Spanish)

100-150g goat’s cheese

  1. Cut tomatoes (small ones in half, larger ones in quarters). Sprinkle salt over the top. Toss to combine. Cover and leave to rest for 30 minutes to overnight.
  2. Place the vinegar in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until reduced by half. It should be nice and syrupy. Leave to cool.
  3. By now the salt should have pulled out a lot of liquid from the tomatoes. Pour this off.
  4. Add the olive oil, pepper and onions to the tomatoes. Toss well.
  5. Put the tomatoes onto a dish and dot with crumbled goats cheese.

Note: If using red wine vinegar, I’d suggest adding the cheese before tossing. This gets the dressing all creamy 😉

Christmas

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So I really really love Christmas… When those twinkly lights go on a big smile lands on my face and I do an extended happy dance inside.

We put up our tree a couple of days ago, and Mum’s dotted the house with sparkly things and wreaths and poinsettias. This is first Christmassy Christmas at our house for a little while. And I’m excited man!

Jeff and I are going to have our favourite people over for a Friendsmas in a couple of weeks. There’s going to be Turkey. With a capital T. And punch. And cinnamon rolls. The whole she-bang. Most people pray for snow for Christmas. We’re hoping for a hot day with plenty of sun. Wish us luck!