Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I wish it was winter

Sorry to everyone in the northern hemisphere who is thinking the exact opposite to that thought, but I was not made for the heat. It was about 35 degrees today (celcius) and our aircon at work has broken down again, so it was stuffy and hot all day.

I'm hanging out for airconditioning man to call me this week to say that our delayed reverse-cycle airconditioning unit for home is off the ship and ready to install at home. It's my chrissy present from hubby! (He knows I won't quit bugging him til he caves anyway, so he's kindly relented before the real heat sets in (and the waiting time for installation grows by weeks).

OK enough whinging. I have other more important things to post about. Firstly - we had a bbq on the weekend (kind of for hubby's birthday, and kind of to celebrate a partially renovated courtyard). I made a few things - the most spectacular being my decorated PAVLOVA - topped with double cream, mango slices, lychees and fresh raspberries. YUMMO. But I didn't get a chance to take a photo! I was finishing it off when the first guests started to arrive. I did get a photo of a new tomato salad recipe I tried. Looked pretty good and was dead easy to make:

900g vine ripened tomatoes, sliced thick

200g marinated mixed olives

60g fresh Greek feta cheese

arrange the tomatoes starting from the outside edge and work your way in. sprinkle over the olives and the marinating oil. Then crumble over the feta in the middle area.

I've also been working madly to make a special pressie for Jo, my partner in the Handmade Holiday Swap over at gingillo. Jo's already been peeking at Flickr! She's not going to see any more than this until the parcle arrives on her cute doorstep!

I'm going to end this post with a photo of one of my favourite things - op shop finds! I've gotten right back into it recently, inspired by all these crafty and thrifty bloggers I've been looking at. These are some things I've found lately! I love the 1970 Aussie bird calendar tea towel I found recently (in the middle). It's brand new with original shop tag and everything. I'm waiting for the perfect swap opportunity for it. Contact me if you want to do a direct opshopswap...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Last weekend in Victoria

We had a great weekend in Victoria. Hired a car and spent Friday night in Healesville in the Yarra Valley wine region. It's really beautiful. Very different to the Hunter Valley. We stayed in a gorgeous cottage called Studio Evolving. I got loads of photos, which are all on my flickr, but I'll stick a couple here too.

The place is owned and operated by a couple, John and Marigold who also teach yoga and Alexander Technique - including learning to ride horses using Alexander Technique. So, the house had a really lovely zen feel.

They also supplied one of the best selection of foods for the cook-your-own-breakfast, that I think I have ever seen (no meat). Almost entirely organic produce, a large basket full of eggs from their own hens, delicious leaf teas, gourmet biscuits, the list goes on. And the kitchen had everything you needed to cook whatever took your fancy, if you'd been out and about and bought stacks of local produce during the day.

There horses were beautiful too. Especially young Heidi who walked straight over to us when we were out strolling in their grounds.

By the way, the beautiful flowers arranged throughout the house were from Marigold's garden.

We went down into Melbourne for the rest of the weekend. Staying with my sister Lauren. She wanted a mention here, even though we have proven she doesn't bother to read her big sister's blog! Lauren gave me a couple of CD's to listen to. I haven't stopped listening to Serge Gainsbourg yet. Especially today as I sit at home with a terrible cold that I'm pretty sure we got from the Hickey's...it was worth holding bubs though.

Finally - saved especially til last. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUM.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Bill's hotcakes

MmMmmmmm. I made Bill Granger's famous ricotta hotcakes for the first time on the weekend. The link goes directly to the recipe - which you must try. Of course, you must make sure you use good quality, fresh ricotta please!

I just realised I haven't uploaded the photo I took of my own 'interpretation'. Guess that'll have to wait.

Gotta love Bill.

Photos as promised.

I put loads of icing sugar on them because I didn't make the supersweet honeycomb butter to melt on the top.

Monday, November 06, 2006

It's meant to look like that

Ahh, dear. I'm really very pleased with myself. I used patterns from a Japanese craft book I own and made 2 different bags. One is a reversible bag, with the handle sporting a raw edge. I used it today (and yesterday) and felt I had to explain to everyone that "it's meant to look like that". Just because I made it myself and didn't buy it from a shop. People tend to think that I just haven't quite finished it off. Not my sister though, who thinks it looks quite fab.

Just to show what a 'real' one is supposed to look like, this is the sample one in the craft book. Isn't it gorgeous. I added creative license with the addition of a pocket on the 'inside',

This is it next to the other bag I made. I couldn't get a decent photo of it unfortunately.

Likewise with the book sample, I couldn't get a decent photo of it either. I made a little variation on this by making a fabric strap rather then a crocheted strap. I'm really looking forward to making more now. They turned out better than I could have hoped for really.

I have to finish this with a photo I took last Friday in the main quad on campus (where I work). The Jacaranda is in full bloom and looks magnificent. The campus is absolutely at it's best this time of year. The rain over the weekend has really made lots of the flowers drop, so it's almost all over for another year.