Saturday, April 28, 2007

making pesto

My Japanese host family (father and daughter - mum is back home taking care of the bakeries) is coming over for dinner on Tuesday evening. My host sister Ayumi is vegetarian, so I'm making an Italian vegetarian dinner party. I've taken the recipes from this months Delicious. magazine, which has it's annual Italian special.

First up, homemade pesto, to make into a delicious looking pesto lasagne.

Pesto Sauce

200g of basil leaves

200g toasted pinenuts

3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

200ml fruity extra virgin olive oil, and a big pinch of sea salt or like I've used, lake salt.

Pop it all into a blender and mix together until lovely and creamy. Like the photo below.

Ready to serve as is over pasta or in a salad.

I'll be adding 100g grated pecorino (or parmasan) and 250g fresh ricotta and layering it between fresh lasagne sheets to make into the pesto lasagne. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes in a moderate oven until browned. I'll post a photo when it's done.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

It's ANZAC Day here

I've tried to give my Pa a call, but it's nice that he didn't answer the phone, because he's probably down at the club with his mates and Gram enjoying their company and telling old war stories.
ANZAC for the non Aussie/Kiwi's out there is Australia New Zealand Army Corp. It is a public holiday to remember our fathers who went to war and died for our country. It began with WW1 and the 25th April was the day they first landed. History buffs can read more on this anzac site.
It has been raining pretty constantly here today, so the dawn service looked funny on TV - just a huge sea of umbrella tops.
We made anzac biscuits. As I do every year.

My chief baker is our exchange student Hashi.

They don't look cooked in this picture, but they were. And they were yum!

Of course, we enjoyed them with some delicious organic chai.

Here's the recipe I use. There's lots out there, but these are lovely and chewy.
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plain flour
3/4 cup coconut
2/3 cup brown sugar (white is OK)

Mix all the dry ingredients together.

Dissolve 1tsp bicarb soda into 2tbsp of hot water.

Melt 125g (4oz) butter, stir through 2tbsp golden syrup (like molasses), then stir through the bicarb mixture.

Mix the butter mixture through the dry ingredients (it might look a little crumbly, but that's OK). Place teaspoonfuls on a greased tray. Bake in moderate slow oven (325F or 160C) for about 10 minutes. They're soft when you first take them out, but they harden up when they cool down. Eat whilst warm with a lovely hot cup of your favourite drink. And think of all the old blokes who were once young boys sent off to a war they had no idea would be so horrific.

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

S.P.R.I.N.G. pink and green swap

Yay! My parcel arrived from Peta yesterday. Here are the cool little things she put together so thoughtfully for me.

Check out Peta's pretty pink blog. (I think she likes pink).


you're my cuppa tea party

Picture of my party for one. For the virtual tea party organised by Flickr girls Maryann and Jo.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

where my shoes come from

Due to overwhelming public demand (2 comments - good enough for me) I am going to disclose the shops where I bought my SHUUUZ. In no particular order...

These are by a brand called Alino. I bought these in Perth from a shop in an arcade. My mum would have loved every pair of shoes in this shop. I just did a google search for them but couldn't find anything.

This pair is from another shop in a Perth arcade. This shop was called Shoeinc. They had the most funky gorgeous shoes. My sister would have loved every pair. I can't find them through searching either! They had this shoe with a tan background too. I was very tempted, but thought they'd get dirty too quickly.

This last pair is from Unique Shoes in Melbourne. I always buy shoes from here on my trips to Melbourne. They have shops all over - Balaclava, Chapel St Windsor, etc.

Peta in Perth is my current swap partner - maybe you could help with details on the Perth shoe shops?

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

shoes and swaps

new shoes. again. but I needed them. all three pairs of black shoes. They're replacing very very old black shoes (3 pairs) that are broken and split on the bottom so every time it rains my feet get wet. really. and when hubby saw the old shoes ready for trashing, he couldn't see the problem with them. but he wouldn't because he still has pieces of rags he wears to bed and calls tshirts, and he can't bear to throw away holey, threadbare socks when I buy him new ones to replace them. His sock drawer is full when he tells me he doesn't have any socks to wear! Well, throw them out! Anywhoo, I digress.


left: easy walking, can be dressed up or down. goes with just about everything.
middle: too cute to leave in the shop. flat and pretty with skirts.
right: smart and shiny and ready for work. or other occasions when pretty black shoes are required.

Next on the list would be swaps. I've sent off a couple of swaps lately, which have now arrived safely in their new homes...
First is the you're my cup of tea party and swap, sent to Mindy (also known as onewishworld). She took such a great photo of the stuff I sent her I'm going to borrow it! Hope you don't mind Mindy.

I was also part of the spring seasonal swap. My partner for this was Dawn (wolfmom2ac)- who was also one of the swap administrators (talk about pressure!) All the stuff safely arrived..

I love these little chicks! Just like the ones who star in Sloane Tanen's books.

Today I've just bundled up the next swap to be posted out. It's a Sweet Goodness spring swap with pink and green theme. Sending 6 items starting with the letters in S.P.R.I.N.G. Something had to be thrifted and something had to be handmade by me. So many challenges. I loved it! I can't show the contents yet, but here's everything wrapped. My partner is Peta in Perth, so I added something breakable (and therefore a little heavy). I REALLY hope it gets there in one piece because it's SO CUTE.

BTW Peta - Pretty in Pink is one of my favourite movies of all time. I was on the Amazon waiting list for years waiting for it to be released on DVD and have had the soundtrack on CD since FOREVER. Have you got it? DUCKY - oh what a cutie.

Last but by no means least, Jill from TX sent me a tea towel as part of the swap-bot tea towel swap I joined last yeah. It's so cute - I'm grateful she persisted and sent something through - for the second time! The first attempt didn't reach me! It looks very cute in my kitchen. Thanks again Jill!

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