Wednesday, February 14, 2007


AND Happy Birthday DAD! - who's not going out for dinner tonight to celebrate, because as he says - it's always a bum fight on Valentine's Day. Dad says that all the time, but now that I see it in writing - what the hell does it mean??

Back on the 4th Feb, I said I was going to post out a litte thank you surprise to an unexpected person, right? Well, I ended up getting to the post office finally TODAY. just 10 days later than expected. I think I'm going to send out a couple more of those - spread some good swap karma around and all.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Swap parcel extravaganza!!!

Yesterday I got home from work to find...
1. a large parcel from Kristen stuffed behind our stone house number

Can you see all the amazing things I received? It's awesome! I love it all - and even used the bag today. It got many compliments...


2. a fat parcel in the letterbox full of goodies from the oh-so-charming valentine ATC swap organised by the AMAZING and GENEROUS Mary Ann

Look at all the fantastic ATC's the were chosen for me! I got lucky - not to mention all the other things that were included in the post. I had no idea they were going to go to so much trouble. It was so wonderful to receive both these parcels.

Do I feel special? Yes, I do!

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Raspberry cheesecake brownies

Ooh lala!



The recipe is from my favourite magazine - delicious. The original recipe is right here.

I screwed it up of course - and put all the sugar in the brownie instead of saving the right amount for the cheesecake. I put less sugar in the cheesecake instead. In fact, it tasted good with less sugar, so next time I make it I'll use less sugar all round.

This is what I'll try:
# 200g best quality dark chocolate (I used black and green's organic 70% cocoa cooking chocolate)
# 200g unsalted butter
# 300g sugar (200g for brownie base, 100g for cheesecake)
# 5 eggs
# 110g plain flour, sifted
# 400g cream cheese
# 1 tsp vanilla extract
# 120g raspberries (I used frozen because fresh ones are too expensive here)

I'm going to try setting the oven at 160C. Grease and line a 20 x 30cm lamington pan.
# Place the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
# Cream the butter and 200g of the caster sugar until pale, then add 3 of the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the melted chocolate, then fold in the flour. Spread three-quarters of the mixture into the lined pan.
# In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese, remaining sugar and eggs and the vanilla extract until smooth, then spread over the chocolate base.
# Dollop the remaining chocolate mixture over the cream cheese layer and use a fork to swirl the chocolate. Poke the raspberries into the top and bake in the oven for about an hour or until it doesn't wobble when you jiggle it.
# Set aside to cool, then cut into squares and serve.

It was still good with too much sugar, but I'm sure it'll be heaps better next time...mmm.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

dinner scrum yum

This is tonight's dinner - using what was left over from the same thing Monday. It's really gooood...

Usually Taste has recipes from Delicious. magazine, but this one isn't there yet. Probably because it's from this months magazine.

The couscous is made with a chicken stock cube to add flavour and has chopped basil folded through.

The salad is shredded smoked chicken, and thinly sliced; marinated artichokes, roasted capsicum and marinated semi-dried tomatoes (which I bought at the local deli).

The salad dressing is 1/3 cup of whole egg mayonnaise mixed with a teaspoon of smokey paprika (pimenton) and 2 tbsp of water mixed together.

They suggest serving in whole lettuce cups, which looks gorgeous in their photos and probably worth it for a dinner party starter. Also serve with a thin wedge of lemon.



Sunday, February 04, 2007

I made another bag

This is for Pieta for her 30th Birthday. She'll get it tomorrow...It was her birthday last Friday, but I warned her it was going to be late.

This little bundle of goodies is going out in the post tomorrow to someone not expecting anything. It's a little thank you pressie with some cute stuff from my stash. Hopefully she'll enjoy using them in her sewing projects.. I really love the little yellow vintage buttons. I can never get enough buttons or ribbon. I don't seem to do anything with them but horde them. Is anyone else like that? I just like looking at them.

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Friday, February 02, 2007

I love rice pudding

...and all versions of it that I have tried so far....mmmm. Just had a tub (150g) of sticky black rice pudding with coconut cream. Please don't ask me about how my new diet is going.

Friggin unbelievable NEWS. GREAT news! I received a parcel from Sara. We exchanged some emails last year about it - it was postmarked 27th October 2006 and I got it on 31st January 2007. Ripped open and re-sealed with 'inspected' tape - yet again. With a brochure inside telling me that Australian customs had searched my parcel because they thought there was something suss inside, but didn't take anything because THERE WASN'T ANYTHING SUSS. Crafty people are victimised! Of course she's not stashing ice or coke inside the lovely craft magazine, or injecting something noxious into the m&m's that were a sweet addition and total surprise.

The parcel was worth the wait! Sara sent me such a lovely bundle of stuff, it's really made me feel bad for my general grumbling late last year, when I was feeling sorry for myself...

This pic shows inside the cute craft book AlternaCrafts. You can get it at Amazon here.

Here's the entire loot. I had to wait for a few days for time and light to take this photo - please note the mints were not eaten and the m&m packet is still sealed and full at time of photo (I can't necessarily say that's still the case). Again, don't mention the diet, please. I love the little crochet booklet, and this is my second copy of readymade magazine. Nice.

Turning to crafty inspiration, I just logged into google reader tonight after not looking all week - there's over 100 posts to read - lordy doody. I looked at a couple though. I can recommend checking out the instructions for gorgeous trim boxes here and look at all of Geninne's wonderful hand carved stamps here.

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