Saturday, February 22, 2014

Love in my kitchen

I think you will understand what I mean when I say love often originates in the kitchen.  From a simple cup of tea, a nourishing weekday breakfast or more elaborate baking projects, good food makes us all feel loved.

While we are talking love, on Valentine’s Day supermarket red roses and smiling soft toys are really not my thing.  However, when I discovered our kitchen almost completely covered in heart shaped sticky notes I had to smile and count my lucky stars.  Theses hearts then transformed into a spontaneous artwork above our coffee machine.  Who would have thought a $3.00 packet of sticky notes could create so much fun and love.

Candied fennel seed from Herbie's were also a gift from my love.  What is not to love about a man who knows his way around the spice section and isn't afraid to buy something different?

Few things fill the kitchen with love more than a batch of homemade biscuits.  I do not claim to bake super healthy biscuits but I am happy knowing they contain the basic ingredients of proper butter, flour, sugar, eggs from our chooks, and homemade vanilla extract.  A teaspoon or two of cocoa or a handful of sultanas helps to keep things interesting.

Are you feeling a little love in your kitchen?

What are you cooking or loving at the moment?

Happy weekend friends x

Monday, February 10, 2014


Daily things: Relentless heat, dust and flies.  It sounds like a clichĂ© line from an Aussie outback novel but at the moment this is our reality.  There are times when I wonder about the grass being greener somewhere else.  But then I remember that our children have almost unlimited freedom to ride horses and motorbikes and to dig in the dirt.  They know where their food comes from and are immersed in every aspect of life on a sheep station. At the end of the day they wash it all off in the great outdoors surrounded by the unruly foliage in our garden.  We live in a unique part of the world and as Francesca recently said so beautifully on her blog…beauty comes at a price.  

We have resumed another year of distance education through School of the Air.  This year I am teaching both of our children and I am constantly reflecting on my dual role as mother and teacher.  It can be a balancing act.

New things: My friend Summa has just opened a gorgeous cafĂ© called The Caff.  This vibrant space is a little slice of the city in our outback town.  Congratulations Summa, you are amazing and you had me at the iced coffee, made just the way I like it.  

Old things: Do you remember Footrot Flats books and cartoons?  My children have discovered an old family collection and are currently obsessed with them.  Although they are based in New Zealand and possibly a little too mature for the 4-7 reading age group, it seems farming humour is universal.

Green things: My mother in law gave me this bunch of asparagus which felt like a bunch of green gold.  With very little happening in my own vegetable garden it made me so happy.  

Bread things: How much bread equipment can a girl have?  A lot I think.  These bread tins are large, heavy duty and some are brand new.  My friend Paula has a husband who has a slight tendency to buy in bulk at catering equipment auctions.  Fortunately for me, after a recent spring clean they generously gave me these tins along with some proving equipment.  More on the proving bits later.

Are you balancing or reading or making?

Have a lovely week friends x

Sunday, February 2, 2014

In My Kitchen, February 2014

Here we are, back in my kitchen with the blinds mostly down and air conditioner turned on. Although we sweltered our way through January with some careful planning I still managed some baking.

My first attempt at croissants.  Starting with the croissant ferment the process took several days of mixing, chilling, laminating, folding more chilling and finally shaping, cooking and taste testing.  I am sure that technically I need a lot of practice at this incredible pastry art form, but for a first attempt I was happy. 

Australia Day is low key at our place.  Although we acknowledge the day it is normally business as usual.  But, I do love a lamington and so this year decided to bake this recipe thank you to the lovely Brydie.  I made the little gum tree flag only to be called away to the paddock for smoko.  The cake was served to my farming family on the back of the ute, sans flag.  It doesn't get much more Australian than that I suppose. 

I am slow to jump on board the cider trend as normally I steer clear of sweet drinks.  I must admit it was the cute apple label that persuaded me to buy this South Australian made cider from McLaren Vale Orchards.  At the end of a hot day this is certainly a refreshing beverage.

A big bunch of fragrant basil heading for a batch of pesto.

In my mind, adding naturally dried sultanas and organic rolled oats to any back to school snack makes them feel instantly healthy and wholesome.

Lastly, these two sweet little vintage toast racks have found a place in my kitchen.  We don’t use a toast rack, perhaps now would be a good time to start?

What is happening in your kitchen?
Do you use a toast rack?

Linking up with my friend Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial