Monday, 16 July 2007

Transformers Movie

Wicked...... Harry Potter was sold out so Zac decided we should go and see Transformers instead. Glad we did - it was brilliant.

here's my favourite transformer - Bumble-bee.My favourite ad (Peugeot I think) is the car ad where the car turns into a robot and roller-blades so it was great to see it happen in the movie.

Of course, the goodies win in the end!!

Time-Worn Cat

Yep..know the feeling !!

Flowerpot Mini Quilt

A quick little wall quilt I put together a while back.

More Leunig Classics

Love Mr Curly's New Year Resolutions...

Hmm...Say no more...!
Dan and I were in fits of giggles over this just reminded us of someone...

Roasted Root Vegetable Soup

Another great recipe from 'A Cooks Year' by Bridget Jones. Vegetables roasted in olive oil give this winter soup a wonderful depth of flavour. Just use what you have and adapt quantities to suit.
You need;-
1/4 cup/50ml olive oil, 1 small butternut squash - peeled, seeded & cubed, 2 carrots - cut into thick rounds, 1 lge parsnip - cubed, 1 small swede - cubed, 1 x leek - thickly sliced, 1 onion - quartered, 3 bay leaves, 4 thyme sprigs, 3 rosemary sprigs, 1.2 ltrs/5 cups vegetable stock, seasoning, sour cream to serve.
You preheat the oven to 200 degrees c/400 deg f or gas 6. Put olive oil into large bowl, add prepared veg and toss until coated in the oil.
Spread out veg in a single layer on one large or two small baking sheets. Tuck the bay leaves and thyme & rosemary sprigs among the vegetables.
Roast veg for about 50 mins until tender, turning occasionally to make sure they brown evenly. Remove from oven, discard herbs and transfer the veg to a large pan.
Pour stock into the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, season to taste, then simmer for 10 mins. Puree with a stick blender or use food processor, until thick and smooth.
Heat through. Season and serve with a swirl of sour cream and garnish with sprig of thyme. I served it with hot bread - delicious.

Growing Old Gracefully

Couldn't resist this lovely birthday card for a friend - it reads;-
'I refuse to think of them as chin hairs. I think of them as stray eyebrows'...

Michael Leunig

Love Leunig's cartoons - he has to be Australia's best-known cartoonist, poet & artist. I will publish a few of my favourites over next few posts. Here's a great poem of his -
The Summer Palace

Make a little garden in your pocket
Plant your cuffs with radishes and rocket.
Let a passion fruit crawl up your thigh
Grow some oregano in your fly.

Make a steamy compost of your fears
Trickle irrigate your life with tears.
Let your troubled mind become a trellis
Turn your heart into a Summer Palace.

Bec's Yummy Brownies

Our little 'sweet' chef, Bec made these lovely Brownies the other day. Unfortunately she lost the ring off her finger in the process, so everyone was duly warned. It was eventually found - not in the Brownies though thank goodness...
You need;- 125g Butter - chopped, 100g Dark Choc broken into pieces, half cup brown sugar, half cup chopped pecans, 2 eggs - beaten, 3/4 cup plain flour, 1/4 cup cocoa.
You melt butter & choc together in a saucepan over a low heat. Remove from heat and blend in sugar and nuts.
Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Beat in eggs. Sift flour & cocoa together and fold gently into choc mix.
Spread mixture into lined square cake tin. Bake 180 deg celcius for 20-25 mins. Cool in tin after baking. Cut into squares and dust with icing sugar. Enjoy!

Bacon & Herb Rosti

Wanted to try something new this week, so found this recipe in 'A Cook's Year' by Bridget Jones. I first tried Rosti at our favourite German restaurant at The Forgotten Valley, near Wisemans Ferry, served as a side dish to a delicious Hungarian Goulash. This recipe IS the main dish, and is quick, cheap and tasty to make served with a mixed bean salad.
You need:- 500-600g potatoes - left whole & unpeeled, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 red onion - finely chopped, 4 lean rashers bacon - diced, 1 tbsp flour, 2 tbsp chopped fresh mixed herbs, seasoning and fresh parsley sprigs to garnish.
You lightly grease a baking sheet. Par-boil the potatoes in a pan of lightly salted, boiling water for about 6 mins. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.
Once cool enough to handle, peel and grate them coarsely into a bowl, set aside.
Heat 1 tbspn of oil in frying pan, add onion and bacon and cook gently for 5 mins, stirring occasionally. Preheat oven to 220 deg c (425 deg f) Gas 7.
Remove pan from heat. Stir onion mixture, remaining oil, flour herbs and seasoning into grated potatoes and mix well.
Divide mixture into 8 small piles and spoon them onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving a little space between each one. Bake for 20-25 mins until the rosti are crisp and golden brown. Serve immediately garnished with fresh sprigs of parsley, green salad and crusty bread.

New Recipe Book

Got a new recipe book - A Cook's Year by Bridget Jones.
(Not that one..I don't think)

Tried a few recipes, but there's lots more to go!

Spring Bulbs

Finally got around to planting some Spring bulbs - better late than never! Got lots of mixed daffodils, Freesia's and Dutch Iris. I was a bit too late for Ranunculus, but there's always next year...

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Hanging Baskets

I know this is something that you normally get around to in the warmer months, but I just had to have a spot more colour on the front verandah - something that I could look straight out of the kitchen window at. It was well worth the effort for the huge amount of joy that they bring!
Again, from the little nursery in Springwood - got these lovely colourful plants - might make a start on the sad-looking window boxes in the next couple of weeks...

Winter Garden

Well this is the terraced veggie patch that Gavin completed a few months ago - I planted a green manure crop to start it off (OK, I threw a handful of fenugreek seeds in to see what would happen...)
With all the rain we've had recently they took off really well - there's allsorts of odd vegies sprouting up aswell from the compost though - heaps of tomato plants.
Working very hard all week, so its lovely to relax with the sounds of the water fountain on the weekends. Bec and I even found these waterlilies at the garden centre (OK, I admit it, they're fake..) hopefully the productive veggie patch will make up for it!
I've finally made a start - got a heap of lucerne and bags of organic compost - as well as the small amount of my own compost that I've been able to make from all the veggie scraps - it was full of worms, so must be pretty good stuff. Should be very healthy soil by Spring-time.
The 'before' picture!
There's something so 'rustic' about a bale of hay - I wouldn't have minded just leaving it there as it was - just looking at it made me feel more in touch with nature...
The only butterflies around at the moment are these lovely ornamental ones that the guys brought me back from the Plaza the other day, made from glass.
The lavender has started to flower after a slow start - one of my favourite plants.
This is the 'Lady Diana' rose that mum & dad got me for my 40th Birthday last year. It flowered for the first time on my actual birthday which was very special; its just come into flower again and I can look out the kitchen window and see it. I loved the concert that Wills & Harry gave for their mum the other day on TV - you can't hide true beauty - no matter how much mud is thrown at it....
My violets are now in flower - what a beautiful colour!
The calendula is doing really well too. Despite the fact that its been snowing further up the mountain (and unfortunately, I'm now working up there 'bbrrhhhhh'...) the garden still has plenty of colour - I thought alot more stuff would die off, so its a nice surprise. Even most of the herbs are still hanging around, apart from the basil.