Thursday, June 30, 2011

{Veeeery Pinteresting}

So sorry for my quietness online here. It's been a big few weeks in our world and a lot going on so some bfrief time away from blogging was just what I needed for a few weeks.
I have a few new things to share soon, but I want to share something very cool with you tonight.

I have found two new outlets for creative sharing. One of them is the Instagram Ap on my phone that I have been using on my iPhone for a while now.
But the best new thing (that I am slightly addicted to) is
Pinterest. It has rocked my world and sent me on inspiration overload!!! Think of it as a 'virtual cork board' that you pin photos on. You can see what other people pin on their boards and everyone labels their boards into categories. You will find eye candy for everything you can imagine. Here are a few of the things i have "re-pinned":

A cool way to reuse crates

A family tree photo wall

Family Creed

Menu display

Scales + chopping board = OH MY!!!
Plenty of fashion eye candy

Ideas for kids crafts, activities and teaching ideas

Plenty of organisational ideas for OCD people like me who love order ;)

'apple' cupcakes

...and plenty of dessert tables and entertaining ideas.

I appologise for introducing you to this because there are many hours you can waste dreaming and laughing on here!



Saturday, June 11, 2011

{Poached Pear and Chocolate Pudding}

I baked this for a Saturday lunch with friends last weekend. It followed a roast on a rainy and cold Sydney day. Just. Perfect!

Serves 4
4 mini pears

185g good quality chocolate (dark or milk)
185g unsalted butter
4 eggs (seperated)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup of almond meal
3 tbl plain flour
3 tbls sugar, extra

Pre-heat oven to 180'C
1. Sit pears in a saucepan of water on a low heat. (I put them in there whilst making the pudding part and checked every so often).
2. Place chocolate and butter in a saucepan on a low heat and stir until melted and smooth. Set aside.
3. Place egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and mix until light and creamy.
4. Slowly add the chocolate mixture, almond meal and flour. Fold through.
5. Whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Add sugar slowly and keep whisking until glossy.
6. Fold a spoonful of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture gently with a metal spoon. Then keep adding the egg whites until combined, but be gentle not to take the air out of the mixture.
7. Gently pour the chocolate mixture into the dish (or individual ramekins). Then, when the pears are tender, place gently in the pudding dish(es).
8. Bake for about 20 mins or until the edges are cooked and its a little soft around the pear.

Friday, June 10, 2011

{Winter Warmers Wish List - Bargain Time!}

It is no secret to many of you how much I love supporting local crafters, artisans and buisness people. Many of which I have found at local markets and online on madeit.
So, since the weather is cooling down in Sydney, I thought I would go online and form my winter wish list from some local buisnesses. Shopping inside in the warmth - what more could you want in winter huh?!!?
Here are my top finds that I might just find being delivered here soon and all for $40 and under - BARGAIN!!! (attention hubby ;)

1. Hot Water Bottle Cover $15 from "notbyamber"
2. Bohemian Crochet Alpaca Wool Hat
$35 by "Mel P Designs"
3. Alice in Wonderland Teapot
$28 by "Zinnia Pea"
4. "Winter warmer" hand blended green tea $15 by "Precious Things"
5. Paradisi milk bath $12 by Rhasdala
6. Glittens - convertible gloves and mittens
$40 by "Shazzas Knits"
7. Ruffle Scarf - berry mad
$25 by "Cactus and Rose"
8. Tea for two playwood coasters
$35 by "snowfawn"

I hope you enjoy some of these bargains....pop over to the stores and browse around from the comfort of the couch in the warm ;)

Lauren x

Thursday, June 9, 2011

{A Quick Apple Crumble Dessert}

Want a really easy dessert to put together on a winters night? It's this easy:

Pre-heat oven to 180'C
1. Take a piece of raisin bread and push it gently into a ramekin dish to line it.
2. Core an apple and place it into the ramekin on top of the rasin bread.
3. Into the hole in the center of the apple, place a tsp of margarine (I use an olive oil spread), a dessert spoon of brown sugar and then dessert spoonful of museli and place a little dop of margarine on top of the museli. Pack down tightly as it will reduce during cooking (I actually topped it up half way through the cooking time).
4. Place on a tray in the oven for about 20 minutes or untill apple is soft when pierced with a skewer or knife.
5. Serve with a scoop of ice-cream for extra indulgence!


Lauren x

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

{Bread Roll Meal 3 ways : Cheap, Easy and Healthy}

Here is a concept that you can adapt to yoyur taste or what ingredients you have to work with. The best thing is, taht you can personalise each serving to their own liking so you can omit onions from "billy's" and make vegetarian ones for "lilly".
I have tried this many times in the last few months and it all starts with the same base.

1. Cut a 'lid' off the bread roll. Hollow out the soft insides, being careful not to make a hole in the base or sides.

* I like using wholemeal rolls to make it healthier.
** This is a great way to use up day old rolls as you are toasting them anyway.
*** Use the bread from the inside and blitz up to make bread crumbs. Freeze them to keep them fresh.

Baked Beans and Egg Breakky Rolls:
1. Place a spoonful of baked beans in the bottom of each bread roll. Use homemade beans for a nice touch.
2. Crack an egg on top.
3. Sprinkle some grated cheese on top and some salt and pepper.
4. Bake in oven for about 20 mins at 180'C or until egg is set.

Scrambled Egg Rolls
1. Lay a slice of ham/ turkey in the bottom of the bread roll. (optional for vegetarians)
2. Crack an egg into a cup and whisk. Add some chopped capsicum, tomato, onion or whatever else you have/ want.
3. Sprinkle some cheese and salt/ pepper on top.
4. Bake in the oven for 20 mins at 180'C or until the egg sets.

Garlic Bread Rolls with Roasted Pumpkin Soup
1. Make up some garlic butter mixture and spread inside the bread roll. Sprinkle parsley on top and bake until golden.
2. Roast a tray of chopped pumkin, garlic, onions.
3. Whilst in the oven, sautee celery, leek and carrot in a pot.
4. Add the pumkin mixture into the pot with sauteed veggies and blitz up with some stock with a stick blender until thick and creamy.
5. Spoon some soup into the garlic bread rolls and 'plop' (technical term I know) some sour cream, pepper and parmesan on top.

I hope you enjoy these ideas, as they have become quite a good fall back on a busy day in this house.
Lauren X

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

{A not so naughty sweet treat]

Earlier this week we had some very ordinary weather in Sydney and one afternoon at about 2:30 I felt like snuggling up out of the rain and having a cup of tea with something sweet, but not indulgent sweet. Something rustic looking, country style with ingredients I already have in the pantry. Insert Apple Tea Cake here :)


120g butter, chopped and softened

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
(2/3 if you like it sweeter)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 cup self-raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour

3/4 cup milk
3 small royal gala apples (any other kind will do)

2 tbls Demerara sugar (white sugar is suitable) or 3 tbls melted apricot jam.

**Optional: Ice cream or cream to serve**

1. Pre-heat oven to 180' C, grease and/ or line pan.

2. Place butter, sugar, vanilla in electric mixer for about 3 mins or until creamy. if you dont have one, wait till butter is very soft (or zap in microwave until very soft) and mix by hand with wooden spoon.
3. Add eggs one at a time.
4. Sift flours over the butter mixture and add milk. fold these through together until just combined.
5. Pour into pan and spread out flat.
6. Peel and cut up two apples (use more if you want to) into fine slices and arrange on top of the batter mixture.
7. Sprinkle demerara sugar on top of apples (can substitute white sugar or melted aproicot jam as a glaze).

Bake for about 35 mins or untill skewer comes out clean. YUM!

Apple-lutley Delicious!



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