365 Project

400d

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!!

IMG_1264

(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 itΒ  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 πŸ™‚

Marinated Tomato And Goat’s Cheese Salad

xmas 003

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 πŸ˜‰

Christmas

tree

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!

Vintage Floral Cupcakes

ba6d129c391611e2979f22000a1f8ae3_7

Hey guys πŸ™‚

Just wanted to show you the most recent order. These beautiful vintage floral cupcakes were for a kitchen tea, requested by a beautiful beautiful girl I met at work.

They’re white chocolate cupcakes with a light, sweet buttercream, topped with fondant roses, daisies and little blossoms. I’m going to post a tutorial on how to make a quick Duff Goldman rose very shortly, so keep your eyes peeled!

4d4c1b7c388a11e2851922000a9e084f_7

Fluffy Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

Okay guys. First post! I’m really excited. For the first time, I’ve started a blog that really resonates with who I am. To kick things off, I’m porting in a couple posts from this bloggie’s short lived predecessor. Enjoy!

22a32974113411e2b55e22000a1c865b_7

The boy and I have recently been flirting with a sort of low carb, sort of paleo diet. And it was going really quite well! We were feeling healthy, refreshed and happy. And then I saw one delicious looking pile of pancakes over on the Kitchn and started obsessively craving. It was all over.

The good new is, they tasted really really good.

I’m committed to not feeling guilty about eating these. So I’m going to say they were made in the name of blogging. And that those fresh blueberries were too lovely to leave in the supermarket refrigerator.
Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

Dry ingredients:

  • 2 cups plain flour (AP flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Wet ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

Other:

  • 125g blueberries
  • extra butter for the pan
  • 1 cup cream, for whipping

What to do:

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients to combine. Add the wet ingredients and whisk to combine.
  2. Add the blueberries to the batter and stir.
  3. Heat non-stick griddle or frypan over a medium heat and melt a small glob (technical term) of butter.
  4. Ladle your pancake batter into the pan until desired size is reached. I usually make them about 5 inches across. If you are using a large enough griddle to do a few at a time, keep them about 2 inches away from each other.
  5. Cook the pancakes for about 2 minute, flipping when bubbles appear on the surface and they appear a little dry around the edges).
  6. Cook for a further minute or so, or until golden brown on the bottom.
  7. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  8. Serve pancakes with cream or ice-cream.

Tips

  • If your eggs are straight from the fridge, keep them away from the melted butter in your bowl to prevent the butter from solidifying.
  • Small lumps are fine, take care not to over-beat the mixture, as this can lead to tough pancakes.
  • The blueberries may hinder the standard bubbles from appearing on the surface. This is not an issue, just cook for about 2 minutes, and until the bottom is nice and golden brown.
  • I like to use salted butter for pancakes, but feel free to use unsalted if you prefer.
  • For the blueberries on top as a garnish, reserve some berries from the batter and heat in a small saucepan with a teaspoon or so of water until the berries become soft, ready to burst, and ready to give up their juices. You will know they are done when the liquid in the pan goes all purple and syrupy.
  • I like to freeze buttermilk in measured amounts in zip-lock bags, as I usually have trouble getting through a full carton in one go. Just defrost in the fridge before using.
  • The dry mix can be premixed ahead of time, just add the wet ingredients on the day.
  • And, if you’re feeling really really lazy (as I do sometimes), just use a buttermilk pancake mix from your supermarket and add in some blueberries before cooking. I won’t tell.