Addictive Antique Auctions

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Don’t you just love a spontaneous antique action!! Abso-freaking-lutelty!!

I traveled to the beautiful and very cold Bowral last weekend to celebrate my Mumma Bears birthday. Our plan for the day was to eat some good food, have  a little look through the shops and just enjoy the positive crisp (borderline freezing) Bowral air.

After a stunning breakfast at Biota (highly recommend any foodie to check this place out!) our first stop on our retail therapy trail was my favourite antique store of all time… Dirty Janes Antique Emporium. It is like a massive treasure chest of unique, interesting and beautifully eclectic antiques pieces, all neatly organised and presented in such a way that just makes me incredibly happy! Many hours of my life have been lost to this wonderful emporium. Upon arrival we were pleasantly surprised to discover that Dirty Janes was having one of their bi-monthly Antique actions (our lucky day or what!). Instantly my eyes lit up like a kid in a candy store at the sight of an entire car park scattered with miss matched, preloved bits and pieces. My other half’s eyes instantly lit up with fear and worry for what this was going to mean for our bank account or how on earth we would fit it all into the car!

Dirty Janes had a huge variety of items for auction from massive sets of antique doors, small antique tools, kitchen wears, furniture and the largest selection of antique bird cages you have ever seen! The auctioneer had to sell every single item in the carpark…(now this is where the dangerous part comes in)… so when I realised how cheap items were going for and I had my registered bidding card in my hand.. the fun really begun!

I managed to pick up two beautiful old ladders (I have a plan for these that  I will share with you shortly) and two more chairs to add to my mismatched dinning room chair collection. All up I spent about $60 which is an absolute bargain when you consider how beautifully made these items are and the rich history and memories they come with.

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Dirty Janes next Antique action is on the 13th September I will absolutely be there ready to find some more beautifully addictive antiques!

Happy Days!

Lots of Love,

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For the Love of France….

“La fête nationale”

Bastille DayHappy Bastille Day to all of those fellow French loving followers out there.. a day where France remembers one of the country’s bloodiest, yet most iconic, revolutions. Today “Bastille Day” is a colourful celebration of French culture and pride.

I can not help but feel my mind has been wondering off lately… wondering to those beautiful days spent with my love exploring in the warmth of summer, all that France has to offer.  My time in France was without a doubt the happiest time of my life. I love the french way life, the beauty in the culture and the passion they have for just about everything they do.

So in honour of a country I hold so dearly to my heart, here are a few  memories from my trip to la France magnificent.

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Picking some fresh raspberries at the Dijon Markets
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The most perfect  “Religious” pastry.
French Baguette

ohh baguettes

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I left my heart in France with an Orangina bottle!! The best drink on earth!

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Me in my absolute element at my favourite Parisian restaurant Jez Janou.. with a giant bowl of chocolate mousse!

Bastille Day

Bastille Day, July 14. What a perfect excuse to reminisce of my time in France and tonight to indulge in some French wine, and some beautiful elegant food with my love.

Avec amou
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Love in a Cup… My Individual Banoffee Parfaits

Love in a Cup

 “My Individual Banoffee Parfaits”

Banoffee Pie Parfait-1Buttery biscuit crumble, fresh banana custard, whipped vanilla cream and thick homemade caramel sauce… (take a moment to wipe the drool from your mouth please people!) oh the joy of that classic Banoffee flavour combination, it really is almost too good to be true!

This is a dessert that I came up with when having a dinner party for some very special friends of mine. They mean the absolute world to me and they do allot for me. I wanted to cook them dinner to say thank you and let them know just how much I appreciate their friendship. The thing is when I cook it is generally because I want to show the person eating my food just how much I love them. To me it is a way of expressing myself as I cook with my emotions (deep I know!.. but true). I wanted this special dinner party to end with a lasting memory and I knew dessert was going to be where I was going to pack the most sweet love in!!  I have had this dessert sitting in the back of my mind for years… probably ever since I bought these sweet little desert cups on sale from Ikea. I had an idea that this banoffee concoction was going to be yummy, however I didn’t quite expect it to be so good that my best friends (who have eaten more of my desserts than anyone else) would claim it to be my best dessert ever!! To be completely honest it almost feels a bit wrong how much attention and praise they gained considering how simple it was to make!…. maybe it was the secret ingredient LOVE.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can whip it up ahead of time. This is the secret to making your dinner party skills seem flawless.. when you return from the kitchen with a tray full of these bad boys your guests will be most impressed.

This desert really could not be any easier.

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Recipe

Ingredients:

Buttery biscuit crumble

1 packet digestive biscuits

100 g butter, melted

Fresh banana custard

2 large ripe bananas thinly sliced

I x packet of instant vanilla pudding

Whipped vanilla cream

250 ml thickened cream

1 tsp vanilla seed paste

Thick homemade caramel sauce

1 can sweetened condensed milk

½ cup Brown sugar

100 g butter

Method:

I like to take my time and make each component separate and then it is just a matter of layering all of the sweet goodness into your serving glasses and then retrieving from the fridge when the time is right.

For the buttery biscuit crumbs, process the digestive biscuits in a food processor until a rough crumb forms. You don’t want your crumbs too fine otherwise it will not give a great texture suited to soaking up the butter.  This is also the crunch element in the dessert. Mix the processed biscuits with the melted butter and then set aside. Don’t worry if you do not have a food processor.. just pop the biscuits in a ziplock bag and give them a good bash with a rolling pin!

For the fresh banana custard start by slicing your bananas as thin as possible. Mix up the instant vanilla pudding according to the packet instruction and then fold the fresh banana through. Chill in the fridge for about 5 minutes (just before it firms up) you still want to be able to spoon the custard into the parfait glasses.

For the whipped vanilla cream use a whisk attachment on your electric mixer to whip the thickened cream until soft peaks form. Stir in the vanilla seed paste. Set aside in the fridge.

Now for the best part!... the thick homemade caramel sauce!

In a saucepan combine the brown sugar and 3 tablespoons of water. Stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and bring to a boil without stirring, occasionally brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush (this prevents sugar crystals forming and gives a nice smooth caramel). Boil the mixture until a rich caramel colour is reached ( 5-6 minutes). Stir in the condensed milk and butter. Continue stirring for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. Allow the caramel to cool in the fridge before using.

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Once all of your elements are prepared it is just a matter of layering. I like to at least get two thin layers of each element in so that with each big spoonful you are getting a bit of everything! I finish my parfaits with a little piped whipped cream and a dusting of buttery biscuit crumbs.. delicious!

See I told you they are super easy!! But shhhhh do not let your dinner guest know!

Lots of sweet love always,

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My blogging may have taken a short break, however my creativity certainly has not…

Pink Camellia

I was taking a little time out the other day reading a very interesting article about the high percentage of young bloggers who fail within the first few months of staring a new blog.. I completely understand this figure as blogging is sometimes tough, discouraging and requires a large amount of time and effort. I often feel that I put hours of love and passion into a single post, only to feel that no one is even out there reading… Now I know that you have all probably been thinking that I have failed or that I have “chucked in the towel”, however this couldn’t be further from the truth. I know when I am onto a good thing and as long as I am living this pretty little life eating, cooking and creating you will be reading about it!

So… the real reason for my disappearance of late you ask?? Well it is because I have made a very big decision in my life, a massive move… I have spread my wings and flown from the safety of my family nest and started the life I have always dreamt of.. living with my love. It has been the most scary and exciting experience of my life. As I adjust and settle into my new surrounding living out of boxes and well learning to become friends with my new kitchen (I had a very big fail whilst cooking my first dinner that I am not proud of…. and do not want to talk about!!) I simply have not had a chance to share my great news with you all. I have also been without a laptop or internet in my new place which has made communicating with you all a little difficult.

The big move has meant lots of pretty redecorating and simple refurbishing of miss matched furniture that I cannot wait to share with you all. My blogging may have taken a short break, however my creativity certainly has not!

So tonight as I sit in my pretty new surroundings and listen to the sound of my man pottering around the house (this is bliss!) I have so much to write about and share with you all… starting with My Banoffee Parfaits… YUMM!!!

It is so good to be back my friends!! I will post some sugary goodness for y’all to drool over real soon!

Lots of Love

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Happy Mothers Day…

coconut cake 1Now I know nearly every child would say something along the same lines (especially on mothers day right!)… but my Mum really is the most incredible woman you will ever meet. She is the most inspiring woman and my absolute idol. I was only trying to explain to someone the other day how much I admire her ability to care and put her families needs over everything else in life. Some how she manages to capably juggle 100 things all at once, executed with absolute perfection all whilst wearing the prettiest shade of pink lippy! I often sit exhausted trying to hold my simple life together and look over at Mum.. who is usually in the kitchen whipping up a gourmet dinner for the family and wonder how on earth she does it all with such ease!…  I am hoping that it is some genetic super power I will get when I become a mum one day.IMG_6709

Mum is the kindest person you will ever meet, however has a wonderful strength that she uses to protect her loved one. She is open and honest yet so gentle and sweet. She is incredibly talented and pretty much perfects any craft, sewing or cooking project she sets her mind to… what I am trying to say is she is basically Martha Stewart!! (you are welcome Mumma!) I am absolutely honoured and blessed to be able to call her not only my Mum but my best friend… and often my partner in crime! We share and do pretty much everything by each others side. I look up to her more than anyone and hope to be just like her one day..

So in honour of my beautiful Mumma Bear today I thought I would flash back to the first cake I remember baking with her.

“Moist Coconut Cake with Coconut Ice Frosting”

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It is from our trusty and beloved Australian Women’s Weekly Cakes and Slices cookbook. Page 47 you can see is just a little more loved than the rest smeared with pink food colouring and splashed of cake batter. This cake was my specialty as a little girl as Mum taught me from a very young age how to perfect it.. it was my go to cake for birthdays or Mothers Day. I would spend hours in the kitchen whilst Mum was at work making this cake and trying to pour as much love into it as possible! Australina Womens Weekly cakes and sliceAustralian Womens Weekly Coconut cAKE

This really is my favourite cake to make and eat! It is so simple and has an incredibly dense and moist texture unlike any other cake as it is made using sour cream. The icing is the best part though.. it is just like coconut ice!! Yum.

If you are one of the few Australians to not own The Australian Women’s Weekly Cakes and Slices cookbook (I will try not to judge you), you can access the recipe here.

I really feel it is the perfect Mothers Day cake.

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I would like to wish all of the pretty little mothers out there the most incredible Mothers Day today.. I hope you spend the day relaxing, being spoilt rotten and hopefully indulging in a big slice of cake!

Lots of Love

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Pineapples, Polkadots… and Good People

Polkadots and Pineapples

It surely comes as no surprise to you that pineapple and polkadots are two of my all time favourite words! So when the opportunity comes along that I get to use them together in a sentence… well life is good!

This evening I was hoping to bring you a beautiful Mothers Day post.. however the sun has decided to spend the afternoon hiding from me, which meant I could not capture the perfect photograph to share with you all (fingers crossed tomorrow the sun will want to be my friend!).

I did however take a trip down to Coles to get a few ingredients for a cake that I was whipping up…. two great things happened on this trip:

The first was that I had the privilege to help a fellow cake decorating stranger who was attempting to deliver the most stunning cake whilst pushing a pram on her own. I stopped knowing the difficulty and anguish of delivering a cake (let alone balancing it on your hip whilst pushing a pram). The point to my story is not that I was a hero because I had no doubt that this determined woman would have successfully made that delivery…. but more that as I walked with a complete stranger and carried her cake, we spoke and realised how many wonderful things we had in common and how we connected as two cake decorators. She was a lovely spirit and it really made me realise that every day we pass strangers on the street not knowing (or wanting to know) a single thing about them. When life gives you the beautiful chance to cross paths and help a like minded soul, you can not help but feel it was simply meant to be! We shared some moans and groans about being cake decorators in this awful weather and then parted our separate ways once the cake was safely delivered… it wasn’t anything grand but it really made me head off to Coles with a little “spring” in my step and a smile on my face. I guess I have learnt that it ain’t so bad to every now and then talk to a stranger… you never know what you can learn from them.

The second thing was I became the proud new owner of this amazing apron!! Pineapples and Polkadots… what more could this pretty little life want! I probably don’t need another apron in my very extensive collection but well…. I was not letting this one go! I have spent the afternoon baking happily in my kitchen thanks to pineapples, polkadots and…. good people!

I hope you all had a beautiful weekend and I will catch up with you all during the week with my Mothers Day post.

Lots of Love

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Lest We Forget..

Anzac Day

Saturday 25th April 2015

Anzac Biscuit

What a special and proud day to be Australian. A day where we all come together as a nation to honour and remember all of those incredible Australian men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

We all celebrate Anzac Day in our own way… whether that be attending a dawn service or ex-servicemen march, wearing a sprig of rosemary as a symbol of that found on Gallipoli peninsula or just sharing a beer at the RSL amongst family, friends and local hero’s. It is a special day of remembrance and celebration.

My tradition on Anzac Day is to bake (surprise surprise!) a fresh batch of warm chewy Anzac Biscuits. I love the history they have as being a gift made by loved ones and sent to the soldiers fighting during World War One. They are unique, iconically Australian and 100 years on they are still god dam delicious!!

I tend to pick a different recipe every year in search of the perfect Anzac biscuit (I am still searching and will let you know when I find it) This year I also made a variation on tradition and sandwiched a few with a little chocolate icing to make little mini Anzac Kingstons… They are very yummy and the perfect companion for a cup of tea.

So tell me beautiful people how do you honour Anzac Day?… Oh and… if any one has the perfect Anzac biscuit recipes out there, I would very much appreciate it!!

Lots of Love

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