Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum

Do mothers still do this to their daughters?

During my trip down memory lane this week, I stumbled across this picture. Sassy (my dear aunty) was quite the sewing master and often prepared matching outfits for Mum and me.

Can you IMAGINE a 30 year old mother walking down the street in a matching outfit to their three year old daughter these days? Hilarious!

Monday, August 23, 2010

A free spirit

It's been a quiet few weeks on the blog front for me with my time focused on family and loved ones after the passing of my aunty, Sassy.

Sassy (a nickname that stuck after I struggled to get my tongue around 'Sally' as a toddler!) is my mum's younger sister and has battled with multiple sclerosis for the last 14 years. Last week, it all came to and end when she died peacefully in the nursing home where she'd spent the last six years.

I'm housesitting Mum and Dad's place at the moment and took the opportunity to go through some old family photos. Gosh, the memories . . . and the fashion faux pas! (Do love the fact my brother and my Dad are in matching navy boat shoes - classic!)

We were a very close family, sharing everything with our cousins over the years. I was the only girl cousin and loved the special attention I got from my aunty who had two boys of her own. She was always dressed well and together with Mum, they made for 'yummy mummys' back in the 80s!

Hair was always a sticking point for me as a little girl as Mum never let me grow it long - but Sassy had gorgeous long brown hair that I loved to play with. She played around with the Princess Di look, the Farrah Fawcett flick and the natural gentle wave.
Mum, on the other hand, was a fan of the perm . . .

Looking back, I can see where I got my passion for cooking and food - Sassy was a great cook and even started her own little catering company called 'Pampered Appetites'. She and Mum catered for my Granny's 60th birthday - complete with matching aprons!
Chicken finger sandwiches will just never go out of fashion, will they!? That green dress though, Mum? Hmm, another story all together!

And our crowning achievement - Sassy helped us make a croquembouche for Mum's birthday. I think I was about 9 or 10 - where was Junior Masterchef back then!?
PS. How cool is my Dad with his funky sunnies and stonewash jeans!?
Such good memories for a life cut far too short.
Sweet is the sleep that ends all pain xo

Saturday, August 7, 2010

What's your fortune?

What a fabulous weekend I have on the cards . . . coffee and walk with Mum on Saturday, lazy night in (with a box of lindt and a big bowl of tuna pasta) and Sunday, yum cha with JB and an art exhibition opening. Oh, then roast for dinner.
Can't wait to introduce JB to the world of little food! Those perfect little tiny morsels, the buzz and excitement of the Chinese restaurant and the mystery of what you'll find in your fortune cookie.
I've got my fingers crossed for the one above.
Happy weekend lovelies!
Pic from weheartit

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Perfect Match!

High-Heeled Foot in the Door is one of my new favey blogs. I love what she gets up to and took a special interest in her makeover of her sister's apartment.
I fell in love with the colour palette she used in the bedroom and gushed over this bedside table - how cool is that!

It is similar to the new table we picked up for a steal on our recent junk shopping adventure. I haven't bothered to paint it yet but am thinking either a gorgeous apple green or safe and sound white. Then I want to mix it up and put a round little nightstand on the other side - in a STUNNING HOT PINK.
Remember, I've got a new bedhead aswell - how does yellow sound? Too much?
Really like what Krista Ewart did here - think it's the look I'm going for. Lots of white and LOTS of colour!
PS. Love my new mirrored frame from Lib, care of The White Shed!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hello lover!

Oh how loved I feel to come home and be greeted by a special delivery in the letterbox.
Donna, you know how to make my day!

This calls for a night on the couch in my uggies with a cuppa tea (and Farmer Wants a Wife on the telly! Um, how old am I? Hello Nanna!)

Perhaps I'll find the perfect menu to celebrate Miss Emma's birthday with the girls.

Mmmm, did someone say pomegranate and meringue trifle?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My new love

I'm not usually one for gadgets in the kitchen, but I have a confession to make - I am obsessed with my new pizza maker.
It's one of those spacecraft looking pod things that are kind of like an oversized toasted sandwich maker. Mine is red, and I love it.
I've been perfecting my technique to try and work out a signature topping and I would have to say it's my margherita. Ah-mazing. Garlic and passata on the base, little bit of cheese, slices of fresh tomato, salt and pepper, cheese on top - bake and then sprinkle with fresh basil. It was out of this world. I even managed to get Tommy, my friend's husband who is a die-hard ham and pineapple fan, to come around to the dark side (that is, a pizza without meat!)
I took it up to the Barossa with me last Friday to knock the socks off Libby and Tommy, and they were impressed. Tommy went from 'You're all talk, Kate' to 'Lib, we're off to Wohlers to buy one tomorrow!'
The tandoori chicken was also a winner (well, for the girls anyway - Tommy couldn't be convinced - he was especially unimpressed with 'that green stuff on top' ie. rocket and don't get me started on the yoghurt!) while sweet potato and olives were a hit on the mediterranean special.
One lesson learnt - let the pizzas cool slightly before tucking in - I have three layers of skin peeling off the roof of my mouth. Tomato is a killer for burning!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tres chic

Emma doing her thing on my new navy coffee table (yes, it's simply a bookshelf turned upside down! Brilliant!)

While I've had Emma slaving away at my little pad over recent weeks, little did I know what magic she was working on her own little sanctuary up in the Adelaide Hills.

Go and check out more pics on her blog. I am LOVING her french nautical meets museum approach. It's beautiful and so unique - and complete with puppy!

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I recently house sat my Mum's friend's gorgeous house around the corner and was treated to a challenge like no other.

Everyone knows what a die hard MasterChef fan I am (apologies to all those purists out there I've let down!) and I was lost for words when I moved in to the new pad to be greeted with a note from the lovely Sue . . . outlining my Mystery Box challenge!

She had left me a tray of goodies in the fridge that I was to use to prepare a feast for my unsuspecting guests for dinner on Saturday night. It was a 'red' theme and she even left a red apron for me to get into the spirit!

Included in the mystery box was:
  • 1 whole duckling
  • tomatoes
  • beetroot
  • rhubarb
  • pears
  • free range eggs
  • ricotta
  • artichokes
I didn't know where to start so turned to dear Michelle for some inspiration (and anyone else for that matter - I was desperate for some inspiration and kept second guessing my own ideas).

Of course, Michelle delivered with the ideas and gave me some direction for my flavours. We settled on artichoke, olive, tomato and parmesan tarts for entree (they were a flop, this is what happens when I don't follow a recipe!).

Then, it was the big question of what to do with a whole duckling!? Do I go Asian inspired, or keep it traditional and head down a French path with orange influences?
I chose a Bill Granger recipe that looked easy peasy (it was as if I'd written the question to him myself!) and got stuck into work. Hmm, this is where it got interesting. Noone told me that ducks have necks. Gross, I had a major freak out moment which completely took me by surprise - I got all squirmy and wussy and kind of light headed. I've seen worse things, being the daughter of a meat wholesaler, but this was gross.
I managed to dispose of the neck and stuff the duck with ginger, cinnamon, red onion and orange - gorgeous flavours.
I think it turned out okay!
I've long wanted to roast my potatoes in duck fat and this was the perfect opportunity. They were ah-mazing. And you don't need heaps of fat for it to have impact - just a few teaspoons in the saucepan before you shake them to rough them up a bit and ensure a crispy outer and fluffy middle.
The roast beetroots came up a treat too - messy business with all that red/purple colour just wanting to leak everywhere, but they were worth the effort. Delish.
The glaze on the duck was divine and a gorgeous sauce topped it off and helped pull it all together.
I think my guests were impressed!

Dessert was yummy and oh so simple. Stewed rhubarb and pear with macadamia crumble. It was divine. Just wish I'd attempted a more decorative presentation!

The kitchen looked like a bomb had hit it, but the bare carcass hopefully was indicative of the fact my guests enjoyed their food.

Such a good idea and something I will do again for my friends - it made me think outside the square and try things I wouldn't normally.
Also went to show that I really need to experiment more without recipes - I really struggle to come up with an original thought of my own when under pressure. Gosh, imagine how stressful it is on TV!