Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Isn't this just one of the most gorgeous, natural, simple wedding photos you've ever seen? Snaps to Angie from Mink Studio, ah-mazing vision that woman!

JC and Schpinks, such lovely memories from the special day.

Check out Mink's website here

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

World's easiest Osso Buco

I'm pretty sure I've admitted to having a crush on Bill Granger before. He's just so cool, and his food is ah-mazing. Okay, so I've never eaten at his restaurant but I do have two of his cook books and am a serious addict of his TV series - so that counts!

This recipe has been a winner for me on many an occasion - I've converted it to the slow cooker and it's fabulous, just be sure not to overcook it otherwise the meat turns to mush and it all comes away from the bone, not making for the prettiest styling.

And it's SO easy.

This one's for the bobbed one.

Osso Buco

Serves 4
12 pieces veal shank, about 4cm thick (I think this is very generous, all depends how big your pieces are)
plain flour, to dust
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
60mL extra virgin olive oil
60g butter
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 white onion, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
250mL dry white wine
1 bay leaf
125mL veal or chicken stock (or more - I usually add more)

2 Tbspns finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1 Tbspn finely shredded lemon zest
1 garlic clove, crushed

Dust each veal shank with flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan or wide pan. Add the veal shanks and cook, turning as necessary, for 10 minutes or until well browned; you may need to do this in two batches. Remove and set aside. Add the butter, garlic, onion and celery to the pan and cook over a low heat for about five minutes until soft.

Arrange the veal shanks in the pan in a single layer. Pour in the wine and add the bay leaf. Bring to the boil, then cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the stock and simmer for a further 1.5 - 2 hours or until the meat is very tender and you can cut it with a fork. Check the liquid occasionally during simmering and add more stock or water if necessary.

Transfer the veal shanks to a plate. Discard the bay leaf. Increase the heat under the pan and cook the sauce for 1-2 minutes until thickened. Season to taste and return the veal shanks to the sauce. Cool and freeze in a suitable container at this stage, or if serving straight away, prepare the gremolate and finish as described below.

To reheat after freezing, defrost in the fridge for the day, or overnight, then place in a covered casserole in a preheated oven at 160C for 20-30 minutes, or until heated through.

For the gremolata, stir the chopped parsley, lemon zest and garlic together in a bowl. Stir half of the gremolata through the osso buco. Serve sprinkled with the remaining gremolatea and with mash, polenta or risotto.

Recipe: Bill Granger, Feed Me Now
Picture: SMH

Monday, June 28, 2010

Dessert decadence

Never have two words ever got me so excited.
'Dessert buffet'
Oh yes, how good does that sound? Miss Jo pulled out all guns to present the most gorgeous dessert buffet at her wedding - everything was themed and gorgeous and she even prepared takeaway packs for those with the munchies later in the night.
She had miniature banana caramel pies, lemon tarts, macarons, Haighs truffles and the piece de resistance - the most amazing wedding cake, handmade by groomie's chef mate. It was to-die-for. Layer upon layer of decadence with chocolate mud cake slathered with salted caramel sauce and chocolate mousse, topped with marzipan icing - I love that stuff! I had three pieces. Guilty.
There was a fight over the Lindt chocolate goody boxes, with a Senior Partner from my old work winning the battle. I consoled myself with sparkling, it only seemed fair!
Well done to Miss Jo and her special touches - it all came together perfectly xo

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Going to the chapel . . . or boathouse even!

Who doesn't love a wedding? I'm obsessed with them, love them, dream about them non stop. Just call me Katherine Heigl (we've already played this game, sometime last year I think!).

Well, I was completely touched to be included in the nuptials of two gorgeous people, JC and Schhhpinks and spent a lovely day with them on Saturday to celebrate their marriage.

The rain held off and we were able to walk along the Torrens from the Intercontinental where we got ready, towards Jolley's Boathouse for the beautiful ceremony and stunning reception. JC and her man walked down the aisle together which was a beautiful touch to the day - it was loveloy for them to be able to spend the day together and build up the excitement as a couple completely besotted in each other.

More pics to follow - can't wait to show you the ah-mazing dessert buffet. Did someone say salted caramel and chocolate mousse wedding cake?!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Today . . .

. . . I miss London. It's all I can think about. Another dear friend is heading off soon and I'm green with envy. I ache with jealousy!

Masterchef is to blame for this bout of homesickness - although you can't really call it homesickness when you are actually at home and want to send yourself to the other side of the world, miles from friends and family. It's more London-sickness. Or Portabello Pains. What about Marble Arch Migraine? It could even be Fulham Flu or Chelsea Cough or Notting Hill Nausea.

Whatever it is, I'm sick for the place, I know that much!

Pic from here

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Blackboard beauty

If only I had the guts to do something as drastic as this and paint all the cupboards!

Letitia's inspiration for my kitchen door. Love the way the door provides a self-frame for the blackboard.

This one is most like what I'm going for - my door too leads from the kitchen to the laundry. If only I had a glass panel in it though. Am tossing up whether I paint just a section of the door, or go the whole hog and paint the door completely. It could look kind of cool to hang a frame around a large square of paint?

I am giddy over how much I love this pic. That floral chair and gorgeous polka dot shopping trolley. Too much, I love it! Oh yes, and great blackboard panel - the white door frame and skirting board really helps it stand out.

This is a good option - maybe I could paint a separate panel of wood and then hang that up on the door?

Wow, what an impact!
I'm still on Cloud Nine after my brainstorming session with Letitia from The White Shed on Friday night. One of her fabulous ideas was the paint the plain old door in my kitchen with blackboard paint.
What a fab idea! I've been hunting for examples all night to help me decide whether to paint a small section or throw caution to the wind and paint the entire thing.
I think I'll take the plunge and do it all. Why not? It's a talking point, if nothing else! And with a new housemate moving in, it'll be an easy way to stay in touch, write lists, recipes and important phone numbers and dates.
I just need to work out where to buy it from now. Any ideas? Perhaps Lincraft?
Pics from here, here, here and here.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Picnic perfection

I'm not coping with this cold weather. At all. I've spent all day planning Spring events and revelling in the romance of gorgeous blooms and bubbles. Then I look out my window and it's pouring down, sheets of rain threatening the windows and deflating my spirit.

Then we got talking about picnics and how much fun they can be - dipping into a picnic basket to find all sorts of wonderful morsels of bite sized treats. The pic above is just my dream day out. Throw in a couple of mags (and a cricket bat and ball for the boys), and it's the perfect catch up with friends. The gorgeous Kim from Brown Button got me started - she asked for my mum's famous chicken sandwich recipe and now all I can think about is sun-kissed picnics and shoes off in the grass!

Time to share the love - we may be entering the depths of Winter but it's only fair to reveal my Mum's perfect picnic snack. They were a hit at my BBT Christmas Party and will fool you in to thinking it's Summer already.

Best ever chicken sandwiches

15 slices grain bread
90g butter, softened
1 1/2 cups (200g) finely chopped cooked chicken1 stick celery, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/3 cup chopped pistachios

  1. Spread 1 side of each bread slice with butter.
  2. Combine chicken, celery, sour cream, mayonnaise and nuts in bowl; mix well.
  3. Spread 5 slices of bread with half the chicken mixture, top with buttered bread, buttered side down.
  4. Spread with remaining chicken mixture, top with buttered bread, buttered side down.
  5. Cut crusts from sandwiches, cut sandwiches into thirds, cut each third into 2 pieces

Makes 30
Can be made 3 hours ahead
Storage: covered, in refrigerator
Freeze: suitable

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The White Shed

There is nothing better than discovering a new blog. All of a sudden, you find yourself spending hours online, delaying your bedtime and eyes sore from the glare. When that blog author is a local and turns out to know half of your friends, you are overcome with excitement and even a sense of pride!
Letitia Linke of The White Shed has injected some serious style into the Yorke Peninsula with her stunning collection of homewares and gifts. She has set up a beautiful store in the shed on her farm and opens once a week when fans from the land over travel from far and wide to delve in to her treasures.
But wait. The best bit. She's online and accessible to us mere mortals who live in the hustle and bustle of the city. Letitia has an online catalogue and order form and can organise delivery right to your door. She's also recently ventured into Blog-land and reveals some insightful tricks of the trade and projects she's been working on. To think, she runs a farmhouse (stunning! Unlike any farmhouse I've ever seen! Yep, that heaven of a home above is hers!), a business, and chases after her two little boys! Talk about inspiring!

I was over the moon to have Letitia stop by on Friday night for a little consultation. SO much fun! She was full of great ideas and got me thinking outside the square - conscious that I'm on a strict budget, she focused on how to work with what I've got and suggested simple things that I can do over a weekend to make massive changes to my little place.

I am SO excited to get started and am itching to move some key pieces around - lots of painting to do first - white is our best friend, Letitia! Small steps, but we'll get there.
In the meantime, I indulged in some retail therapy and bought a gorgeous flower necklace from The White Shed - see above. However did I get by without Mrs Linke?!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Kitchen heaven

I would lurve a kitchen like this. Big, open, full of light and great for entertaining. Writers Tom Dolby and Drew Frist open their doors to Lonny readers this month and share their STUNNING Hamptons weekend house with wannabes like me.

Can you just imagine the joy of cooking in a kitchen like this? To have your friends camped at the island bench, wine glass in hand, sharing tales over sticky balsamic and ah-mazing goats curd snacks. Bliss!

Off to Canberra this weekend for an engagement partay - as much as I love the e-friendly online Lonny, it's times like these I wish I could drool over the hard copy pages in the airport waiting lounge (not on the plane, oh no, not with my pathetic history of travel sickness!). Thank goodness for Masterchef Magazine x

PS. For all you lovelies with a relaxing long weekend planned, make sure you fit in some hard core Lonny indulging - new issue out now!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Oh la la!

Oh la la! Two of my favourite things - frills and France. I think I took it all for granted as a 21 year old. If only I was over there now . . . the things I'd do differently!

Pic from weheartit

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Seafood stew for Ad and Flavs x

I haven't shared any recipes lately - very slack of me, so I thought it was time to spread the love. This seafood broth was an absolute winner. I found half price seafood marinara mix at the shops and was determined to do something other than pasta. This broth was delicious with warm, crusty bread to soak up the juices. I gave the recipe to a guy from work - and he's made in twice in the two weeks since! Winner! (And brownie points for me, the new girl!)

The best bit is that you can prepare it before guests arrive, leave it simmering over a low low heat while you indulge in a glass of welcome vino, and then when you're ready to eat, chuck in the seafood and within five minutes, you've got a meal on the table! And all that during an ad break in Masterchef!

2 Tbspn olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 cups fish stock
250mL dry white wine
400g can whole peeled tomatoes
2 sprigs oregano
2 bulbs of fennel, trimmed (reserving leaves), cored and thinly sliced (I don't LOVE fennel, so replaced this with about half to one teaspoon of ground fennel)
1/2 tspn dried chilli flakes
1kg mixed seafood marinara mix
1 Tbspn flat leaf parsley

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan, add onions and garlic and cook over medium heat for 5-8 minutes or until soft. Stir in stock, wine, tomatoes and their juices and oregano and bring to the boil. Add fennel, chilli flakes and salt to taste and simmer, covered, over low-medium heat for 10 minutes. Add seafood and cook, covered for about 2-4 minutes or until the prawns just change colour. Don't overcook, otherwise your calamari will go chewy. Sprinkle with parsley then adjust seasoning to taste and serve immediately with crusty bread.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Love love love my new hessian shopping bag!

Monday, June 7, 2010

DIY fun!

I just love the idea of DIY bonbonieres! We had a ball at Fern and Scotty's with our red, black and white themed spread. And Michelle and Pete's . . . wow. It was stunning, a gorgeous end to the night.

Gathering momentum

It's all happening and I'm excited! I had my first potential new housemate come to look at my place tonight, she was lovely, I think she could be a winner. It's hard from a 10 minute meet and greet to work out if the person standing in front of you is the person you want to share your home with. Oh well, these experiences add to the funny tales to tell your grandkids one day!

This lovely girl did say she loved to cook, and considering I mentioned my slow cooker in my ad on, I think we'll make for great kitchen buddies!

So, in readiness for the new housemate, I've painted the family room, the spare room, my room and the little foyer. I've tidied and hung my mirror (which I think I'm going to dismantle and just rest on the mantlepiece instead - Dad's going to kill me for all the trouble he went to to hang it!) and have nearly finished collecting pieces for my cluster wall.

One of my next priorities I think is to get my Poppa's chairs recovered. They're still in great condition, but I'm not sure what to do with them. I was thinking pink and white thick stripes a la Black and Spiro style for one . . .

and black and white or green and white or mutlicolour floral for the other.

Kelly Green Interiors

Marilyn by Rubie Green


Loving Rubie Green and Oliveaux and Absolutely Fabulous Things and Kelly Green Interiors for inspiration!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A fab new find

Thank you to A-M who has introduced me to Kelly Green - gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous stuff! Now, this is one inspiration board to be inspired by!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

80 and fabulous

The guest of honour . . . my gorgeous Granny

Sam, me, Mum and Grandpa

Thank goodness for the Tupperware piping bag!

Here's to a colourful life . . . and lots more memories to come!
My gorgeous Granny recently celebrated her 80th birthday and we marked the occasion with a high tea at a local art gallery. It was such a special day, so lovely to have all her friends and family together.
She's a card, my Granny. Her speech was beautiful - heartfelt and touching, then she threw in the funniest line: "Now, please, there's only one thing I ask of you all, and that's to not talk about your ailments and illness, nor the funerals you've been to. This is a happy occasion and I want you to all be positive!"
Bless, it was the cutest thing ever!
Then, after a few glasses of Bird in Hand, Granny whispers in my ear "See that man over there? Mr 'X'? Well, I went to a party with him once . . . and came home with your grandfather!"
Pure gold!
I only hope I'm as happy and healthy as my Granny at her age. Here's to many more fun years ahead!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

So long, farewell!

The gorgeous Bree has left the building! Adelaide's favourite blonde bombshell has headed north to join her husband up in Darwin while he pursues his surgical career. I am DEVASTATED to have lost her, but she'll be back before we know it.
In true Bree style, her sister threw her a brunch like no other - check out these pics! We prepared a gorgeous two course brunch for nearly 20 friends - sparkling pink on arrival followed by muesli trifles and then corn fritters with salsa and sour cream. Ah-mazing! Our pink grapefruit Tiro drinks went down a treat and the pink macaroons care of From Scratch were the perfect finishing touch.
Loving my new glass bottles from One Rundle Trading - they came in a wire tray so can be used individually or grouped together for a feature centrepiece. Perfect with daisies. Thanks Shelly xo
Other special touches for the day included the painted NT letters (for Northern Territory!), stamped, pre-addressed Specklefarm postcards at each place setting so friends can stay in touch with the guest of honour, yellow and white striped wrapping paper used for a table runner and wrapping around the drinks. There wasn't a single aspect of the lunch that the theme didn't touch!

Well done to Kelly, you pulled off a truly magical day xo
PS. You might remember the talented Kelly from the gorgeous 1st birthday I featured a few months ago for little Zara - the bird theme? Stunning!