Friday, April 27, 2012

A Most Important Market

Tomorrow, 9am-3pm. Please see poster for details. It's for a very worthy cause!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Basil Pesto

Nothing says summer like basil, even when it's already half way through autumn. While we are still having lovely warm days, the nights are getting cooler, and the basil was starting to look a little weary. Pesto is the perfect solution!

My recipe is done by feel:
A colander full of basil (or a bunch, if you've bought it)

Handful of pine nuts
Handful of Parmesan
A couple of cloves of garlic
Pinch of salt
Olive oil

Whiz your basil, nuts, cheese and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. I use a mini processor as there isn't much bulk, so it works a bit better. Add in some oil to get it to the consistency you want, and thrown in a pinch of salt.

If you aren't going to use it straight away, put it in a container or jar, and cover with a layer of olive oil to keep it green. Then put it in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to use it. It's a great back-up meal when you're in a bit of a hurry. Yum!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Jumping Jack Bunny

I've added a little boy bunny to the collection...he'll be at the Mulgrave Makers Market next Sunday.

Its the gorgeous Jumping Jack fabric from the Reunion range.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Shopping Locally in Beechworth

It's no secret that I like to spend my spare time in Beechworth. I'm usually up there for my christmas break, and the odd long weekend as well. Easter is one of the best times to visit; there are markets, festivals, and lots of yummy food to eat.

I thought I'd highlight a few of my favourite places; spending money at local businesses is so important these days.

These beautiful pieces of pottery come from Kirby's Flat Pottery, just outside Beechworth in Yackandandah. We've been visiting the studio for years and have a nice little collection now. John's work includes some beautiful decorative pieces as well as lots of tableware. He is also well known for having his work in a number of high-profile locations including the Federal Parliament.

 I love all the fresh food available in the region. In summer there are lots of berries, including the strawberries above. These come from a farm just on the outskirts of town, where you can pick your own, or buy them already picked. There is nothing fresher! I also came home with a ginormous bag of Pink Lady apples straight from the orchard.

Last but not least; the wineries! There are plenty of big-name wineries like Brown Brothers (which I love), but there are also lots of smaller wineries dotted around. The above wine is from Amulet, a family-run vineyard with a lovely Rose and some gorgeous anti-pasto platters. We've been visiting for so long that when we order the bottle of wine, the owner knows we're there!

So that's my little tour around one of my favourite towns; hope you enjoyed!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Fruit Cake

I spent my Friday being a bit of domestic queen. Mostly I emptied out the bathroom and got rid of years worth of old soaps that had gone funny, and tanning lotions that were past their use-by dates. I can actually open drawers without things falling everywhere!

But I also snuck in a little kitchen time and made a good, old-fashioned boiled fruit cake. This cake is so yummy when its still a little bit warm on the inside.

From The Australian Woman's Weekly cookbooks.

2 3/4 cups mixed dried fruit
1/2 cup water
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
125g butter, chopped
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp bicard soda
brandy (optional)
1 egg
1 cup plain flour
1 cup SR flour

Combine fruit, water, sugar, butter, spice and soda in a large saucepan. Stir over low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, then simmer covered for 5 min. Remove from heat and add a slug or two of brandy.
Cool to room temp (I often sit the pot in a sink of cold water if I'm in a hurry).
Preheat over to 160C/140C fan-forced. Grease deep 20cm cake tin and line with two layers of paper.
Add egg and flours to fruit mix, spread in pan, and cook for 90 mins or until cooked (I usually cut 10 mins off with my oven).