Sunday, February 28, 2010

corn fritters

Staring into the fridge yesterday, waiting for some lunchy inspiration to hit, I spotted the leftovers from a tin of can corn (thanks, Bertie ;o)) we had opened for dinner earlier in the week and remembered a friend's recommendation to try the corn fritters from the second CSIRO total wellbeing book
They don't look like much in the pan (actually, they do look like something, but its something unappetising, so I'm not going there)



but they cooked up beautifully!



We topped with cream cheese and ham, instead of the salmon used in the recipe, and two was a perfect portion for a weekend lunch.

xo

this month I'm cooking from the CSIRO total wellbeing diet books 1&2

Saturday, February 27, 2010

outrageous

Another little catch up post, this time it's baking.



A few weeks ago I made this Outrageous Oreo Crunch Brownie, from the Eat Me, Delicious blog.

To be honest, the reason I didn't post it at the time was probably that I wasn't really super impressed with the results.
The pan I used was the size specified in the recipe, but in hindsight I think I would have been better off using a slightly smaller on, as these turned out not quite as deep as I would have liked.

I wasn't quite sure about the cooking time either - I pulled them out at the suggested time, but they seemed far too soft, to bag in they went, and I think in the end they were probably a bit overcooked, and dry.
Heating for a few seconds in the microwave, and plonking some icecream on top definately improved them =)

Although it was probably my fault, rather than the fault of the recipe, that these didn't quite turn out as exquisite as I hoped, I'm not sure whether I'll try them again - especially since I think the easy cheesey brownie recipe is about as near to perfection as you'll get.

That said, there are certainly a couple of other recipes on Eat Me, Delicious that I'd like to try - like the snickerdoodle blondies and these choc mint cookies.

xo

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My creative space 2010:3!

It's been up there on the left hand side, mocking me, for almost a month now:
In February I am... learning to use my invisible zipper foot.
I have a pattern picked out, and fabric, but I still haven't quite got the courage up to put scissor to fabric, let alone foot to zip.
So, this week, I've moved it down into my creative space.



That beige racing car front, and blue lumpy plastic robot legs? That is my new invisible zipper foot, and I am determined to try it out for real this weekend.
Really try.
As in, more just googling you-tube clips on how to insert an invisible zip, saying ooooh that's how you do it! that really does look easy! and then walking away.

The pattern is this one from Burda.


ooh, and the plan is to knock off that last sock before the weekend too.

As always, you'll find heaps of creative peeps sharing their creative spaces over at kootoyoo!

xo

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Canadian Cuppies

It has been quite some time since I indulged in some cupcake baking, so I whipped up a batch to take along to Brown Owls on the weekend.



And what better excuse than Vancouver 2010 to crack open the maple leaf sprinkles, and make tiny green and gold Southern Crosses?

xo

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

chermoula lamb fillet

You'd be forgiven for suspecting that my cooking goal for the month might have gone the way of the Australian bobsleigh teams, what with all the excitement of the winter sport watching that's been going on around here, but fear not - over the weekend we managed to find time between the last end of one game and the first period of the next to whip up a recipe from the second CSIRO total wellbeing book: chermoula lamb fillet with avocado & coriander salsa.



Lamb is probably our favourite meat at the moment - it is fantastic from our local butcher and this recipe keeps it fairly simple: we whizzed up a paste from fresh herbs and lovely spices which was then massaged into the meat (we used lamb steak) and left to sit for about five minutes (or however long it takes to make your salsa) before grilling.



The sliced lamb is then served on top of a salsa of tomato, avocado, coriander parsley - and we threw in some corn we had leftover too.



It might seem a bit same same (what? another salad?) but, you know, its summer and it is so lovely to eat something that takes advantage of all the fresh local food around at the moment, and that doesn't require too much cooking time - the fact that it was fabulous in a wrap with some couscous for lunch the next day was an added bonus!

xo

this month I'm cooking from the CSIRO total wellbeing diet books 1&2

Monday, February 22, 2010

Catching up

Gosh, when I was looking back through my blog archive for some links for yesterday's post I realised that I have been rather a bad blogger - showing the start of things, then not following up with the result (which, less face, is really the interesting part!)

For example, it seems I never got around to showing you what became of this:


Taadaa!

(please excuse the crappy photo - this was in December and as I recall it was far to hot to leave the dappled shade of our garden room in search of better, more even lighting!)

The pattern is Boheme, which is available for free from here, and the yarn Bendigo Woolen Mills Cotton 8ply.

This was a lovely quick knit - the lace pattern is only repeated about 2 and a half times, so it stays interesting, and before you know it you're done.
The knitting only took a couple of days, and there is absolutely no seaming to be done, but some how it still took me a month (or so) to get around to adding the buttons (which are just from the sewing section at Big W).



I noticed today looking at the Ravelry entry for Boheme that the pattern is currently being reworked to include additional sizes, which is nice since I'd like to knit this up in about an 18 month next.

xo

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Brown Owls 2010

Hooray! Brown Owls is now officially back for 2010, after we met yesterday to kick off a new crafty year!

We had a BYO theme for this one, and it was really cool and inspiring to see what everyone else was working on - we do have some very clever crafty peeps in our midst!

I took along my latest knitting project:

Yep - I'm back on the baby socks!

These are for a friend overseas who had a baby boy recently.
The yarn is merino bambino - I love that it is available in some bright, strong colours, as well as the 'more traditional', soft colours.

I'm just finishing up the 2nd sock in the red pair, then I'll send off all three pairs, before the little guy has grown too much to fit them!

I might knit up a few extra pair while I'm at it, since I have another friend who was due this past week and it would be nice to be able to get something in the post right away.

Also, it is nice to be knitting something again, and I'm finding these are just the thing - they're portable, and easy to put down and pick up again a bit later, and SMALL, which is perfect, since I don't seem to have the concentration (or inclination) to dedicate more of myself to knitting lately.
That said, I do also have plans for another one of these soon (maybe two if my friend has a girl) =)

Oh, and FYI, here's the sock pattern, in case you're keen to try it out too! =)

xo

Friday, February 19, 2010

three things to love about the Olympics, so far

The Norwegian curlers' pants
Fashion forward or pant faux pant, these have been the talk of the town.


One of the members of the team is quoted on the Vancouver 2010 website as saying "There are no rules against the pants, but there may be after this," heehee

Stephen Colbert
I love this guy


From saving the US speedskating team and his Sports Illustrated cover, to interviewing athletes (and trying out to be one himself) and his global snow drive every bit that Colbert has done about the Olympics has been gold.

Torah Bright
Speaking of gold...


Gold.

Torah images from the age


Enough said!

xo

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

complete crepe

Any excuse to eat pancakes, in any of their forms, is a good excuse if you ask me, so it's hardly surprising that I like to take advantage of Shrove Tuesday! One year aforementioned housemate and I made a 3 course dinner, with pancakes the centre of each course. I think if we put our heads together now we could stretch that out to 5 courses, at least - maybe even seven. In any case, tonight we stuck with just the one - savoury filled crepes.



Before you ask, yes, traditionally speaking, Shrove Tuesday is held on, well, Tuesday, so we're running a day late with this one. But last night I had a dinner & movie date with a dear friend, so festivities had to wait. Incidentally, the movie was very enjoyable, the shallot pancake with dinner excellent
And, anyway, we're on Canada time, so we were really not late at all ;o)



I'm certainly no expert when it comes to crepes (you could probably check in with Suzy for that!) as is apparent from my wonky little pancake in the pan there, but these were pretty tasty.



For dinner we filled them with a bechamel-type sauce with spinach and cheese mixed through, some ham and a sprinkling of corn kernels.
But I just couldn't resist sneaking one after dinner with my very favourite topping of lemon and sugar. Yum!

xo

Monday, February 15, 2010

splish splash

We made it out to the footy yesterday, without the assistance of an ark, and not a drop of rain fell through the whole game.

But, gee, it was WET!



xo

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Cooking Canadian

You know, I love to prepare food around a theme.
Actually, when I lived with a friend who was equally enamoured of food and cooking we used to have fairly regular culinary theme nights - just because we could =)

So in January, with the Winter Olympics looming, I started researching suitable recipes for dinner on Opening Ceremony day.



My very favourite way to search the Internet for recipes is using Google blogs - I like to see people's results, and hear about their experiences with a recipe, instead of just a list of ingredients - and in my travels I found this excellent list of Canadian food blogs (I've added the link there on the left-hand sidebar).

A few of my favourites (so far) from this list are eat me, delicious, Closet Cooking, Cookin' Canuck and the Domestic Goddess.
Actually, it was at the Domestic Goddess blog that I found the recipe I eventually choose to make last night - maple mustard moose wings

At first I wasn't super keen to go with a maple syrup-y recipe - it seemed a bit obvious, and I wanted to find something less cliched. But as I clicked from blog to blog it became more and more apparent that, like in Australia, the beauty of Canadian Cuisine is in it's diversity - the food landscape is so multicultural that 'Canadian' food means something different to everyone.

So, cliched it was. Cliched and delicious! =)



I roasted my 'wings' - I think they would have cooked up a bit better on the bbq, but alas the weather was somewhat less than bbq friendly (I'm willing to forgive it on the grounds that my garden already looks about 10,000 times better than it did on Thursday, before the rain!). We served up the sticky sweet lovely drumsticks And with a big fat salad full of (homegrown!) cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, peach and maple candied walnuts (recipe for the nuts and dressing from the Closet Cooking)

I have a couple more 'Canadian' recipes up my sleeve for the next two weeks or so, and am absolutely open to any suggestions! =)

xo

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Opening Ceremony

It was perfect weather here today to enjoy the Winter Olympics opening ceremony - it started raining last night, and there have only been brief breaks since then

And enjoy we did...

... with a tall stack of fluffy pancakes, topped with crispy bacon and doused with maple syrup...

xo

of course, this weather is less than perfect for a late afternoon game of footy, so as much as I am enjoying it something drier and sunnier would be more than welcome tomorrow - at least from 4-ish!

Friday, February 12, 2010

sew much?

As usual, there is a lot of crafty action going on here, but without anything much getting finished =s

The purple dress that has popped up a couple of times over the past few weeks is almost finished (did I say that last time?), but the very last bit of finishing is on hold while I think over a wee problem.

Relative to my bust (and, well, the rest of me) my under-bust measurement is quite small. Even having sewn a smaller size, and making adjustments for a full bust, the midriff band is just a bit too big.

Being empire-ish, the extra ease makes it look all a bit maternity, but I'm not quite sure yet how to fix it up.

So it has been set aside in favour something else I cut out at the same time - a simple, cute trapezoidy dress with pockets on the front.

Ok, so the picture has come out sideways, and with super weird colours, but you get the idea, yeah? Oh, and there's a much better pic of the fabric here

Again, I'm a bit unsure about the shape (or lack thereof), but I figured I'd give it try, and put in a casing for some elastic either under the bust or at the waist for some shaping if I need.

And of course, despite the lack of finishing of current projects, there's also lots of planning going on.

I picked up this pattern last week, and am planning on sewing up view C or D in this cute red and white fabric (also on sale!) next =)



We're also planning on getting a bit Canadian tomorrow, for the opening ceremony - see you then!

xo

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

warm chicken salad


I guess it's no secret around here that I really don't mind cooking.
But sometimes having to decide what to cook for dinner is just enough to make me feel like it's all too much work!

So generally I'm more than happy to go alone with suggestions for dinner - especially when the suggestion is for something other than pizza, mexican or steak.

Like this warm chicken salad from the first CSIRO total wellbeing cookbook
- a suggestion which was made all the nicer by having an assistant in the kitchen to help out with the prep-work too ;o)

This was delicious and fresh - and quick too (you know I love that in an after work dinner) - just a light olive oil & balsamic dressing on the rocket and basil, with sliced avocado (oooh there were some good ones at the shops this week!) and cherry tomatoes.

We strayed a teeny bit from the recipe - using a bought mustard, honey and herb marinade - which was sooo tasty!

Also, we quickly fried off the Spanish onions - they were just a little bit too 'bitey' raw.

Yummmm!


The recipe serves 4 for dinner - and woulld be the perfect thing in a lunch box too =)

xo

this month I'm cooking from the CSIRO total wellbeing diet books 1&2

Monday, February 08, 2010

Window on Europe film festival



Also running in conjuntion with the Multicultural Festival Windows on Europe film festival , which is showing in Canberra from the 6th to the 14th of February, at Dendy.

We saw an excellent Swedish film The Swimsuit Issue, about a group of friends who decide to compete in the synchronised swimming world championships.



We definately have plans to see to see at least one more film this week - if you're interested but not in Canberra, don't worry! The WoE film festival is also headed to Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland and Melbourne over the next month or so.

If you see any I'd love to hear what you think =)

xo

Sunday, February 07, 2010

mmmmmmmmulticultural



Yesterday we went out to the Food and Dance Spectacular, which is one of the signature events at the National Multicultural Festival.


at the El Salvador stall


Of course, every year I make a beeline for the Scandinavian Australian Society!



They have all kind of lovely Scandinavian lollies, beer and other tasty treats, oh, and real danish pølser (hotdogs)

And this year, an extra bonus, they also had those same divine, to-die-for delicious wienerbrød we tasted at the Christmas Bizaar!

Two or three (or six) of these guys might have come home with us - for later - just a little something til kaffen =)

Besides the danish goodies, and a glass of Carlsberg, we tried empanadas, tortilla Española, macedonian and russian beer, and kransky from all over the world.

(Actually, we saw more kransky than I imagined we could see in one place!)



Nor did I imagine we would bump into our favourite first couple

Teehee - this was by the American stall - they were taking peoples' photos with these guys, apparently they will all be up on flickr, but I haven't been able to find any yet...

I just adore Multicultural Festival weekend (can you tell?)! It is reallyone of my very favourite annual Canberra events - it is so nice, everyone out in the streets and enjoying out city!

Now, speaking of enjoying...



xo

Saturday, February 06, 2010

CSIRO total wellbeing diet

Last month a friend and I went along to try out a couple of zumba classes, with Salsabor's holiday program.

We had such a good time and, since I've been thinking a bit lately about getting back to the gym, when I heard the local gym runs zumba classes I finally got organised and signed up.

So, when I was picking a book to cook this month I decided to go with the healthy theme and take the challenge to try out a few more recipes from the CSIRO total wellbeing diet books 1&2".



I have had these books for a while now, and there are a couple of recipes in there that we cook from time to time, like the delicious sang choy bow from book 1.

Whilst the books provide a diet plan, and are intended to assist in weight loss/maintenance, I have only ever been interested in them for the fresh, healthy and tasty recipes they offer - although I do know people have who succeeded in losing weight following their plan.

Now to narrow down the recipes - if you have a favourite recipe from these books that you'd recommend let me know! =)

xo

this month I'm cooking from the CSIRO total wellbeing diet books 1&2

Thursday, February 04, 2010

My creative space 2010:2!

Oooh, look!
It's that purpley fabric from last week (the colour here is truer)

- and it is well on its way to becoming a dress.

In fact, it was nearly all done - I had just sewed the skirt to the bodice, then when I tried it on I realised I had sewed it on inside-out =(

So, now it is unpicked, and you can see here the beginnings of my re-gathering effort.

Well, re-re-re-gathering really - I spent a whole episode of America's Next Top Model on Sunday trying to get the gathers just so!!.

Tomorrow I'm going for take-away and some trashy tv with a friend (you know, in case ANTM wasn't trashy enough!) - so tonight I'm getting a bit creative in the kitchen too!



I have something in the oven right now - I'll let you know if it turns out ok! =)

xo

click over for more creative spaces!