“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ....Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Fuchsia - pretty in pink

Who would have thought, just a day away from winter officially starting here in Australia, these little beauties would make such a picture. When I lived in the UK, fuchsia's were always a feature in my hanging baskets during summer, so its great to see that they grow so well here, especially in autumn/winter.
Although, maybe I've just been lucky or maybe its my green fingers, because when a friend saw them, she was very jealous, because she's never managed to grow them here.
These are in a large pot outside my door.  
They just remind me so much of a Ballerina's tutu...
I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised to see them do little pirouettes
They just make me smile.....the sun shining on them too might have had something to do with that.

They're very girlie all in pink...

Sunday, 29 May 2011


We've always loved the kitchen we have here at the moment - so much so that my OH called it 'a joyous kitchen' much to mine and my children's amusement. When he started to dabble and help with prep I knew it was a special kitchen. I'm just hoping that the next kitchen is as joyful....
After the last series of Masterchef, my son bought Dad a fitting apron for his BBQ's and KP duties....

He decided to try the Veal Osso Bucco from Friday nights episode....here's the recipe and link to the Masterchef website for anyone wishing to see or try it out.

Veal osso bucco with cannellini beans

and here's the latest contestant to enter the competition.....

Thankfully he's good at the cleaning duties too...which is just as well really.

 T'Dah dah....

This picture is taken from the Masterchef website because quite frankly by the time we came to actually eat the meal, it was rather late in the evening and I forgot to take the photo's of the finished product.
It was delicious and well worth the wait....plus my OH now thinks he's through to the next round!
Bring it on I say....

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

House Move 11 (Part 5) We've found it......

"Whoopdeedoo" sound the trumpets.....we've found our next home.....pop those corks!

It's been a stressful roller coaster ride, but I'm hoping that now we know where we're heading, we'll get some normality back into our lives. Well, as normal as 'we' can be.
It's getting late now, so this is just a quick post, but I wanted to let you know about the house.
I'm hoping now that we know what's next, we'll perhaps be able to actually sleep right through the night, instead of waking up at unearthly hours, to discuss potential properties.
 I've also just finished watching Masterchef and the first of Oprah's 3 last shows. so basically a really good day all round.
What will we do without Oprah????? :-(

Monday, 23 May 2011

'Arthur' an Individual Bear

What can I say about 'Arthur'? Well, he's been through nearly as many house moves as ourselves.
Maybe that's why he's wearing this expression?
I saw him many moons ago in a shop in Aberdeen, Scotland and just fell in love with him. It's funny because he's always on show wherever we're living, but I suppose I've really been neglecting him. I don't think I've even noticed him since I last unpacked, when we moved into our current home. He's just a reliable bear and always there.   

Here's some of 'Arthurs' personal details (well some of them) He's a Bohemian Bear
by award winning artist Amy Young. He has glass eyes, and a hand made nose.

I did intend to buy him a friend but we moved before I had a chance. Sorry 'Arthur'
Maybe if I move back to Scotland I'll be able to rectify that.

He just brings a smile to my face....

Friday, 20 May 2011

Red Sky at Night.....

Ahhh....its Friday night, at last. And what a spectacular finale to the week.

 Have a wonderful weekend everyone....

Thursday, 19 May 2011

House Move 11 (Part 4)

Yet more houses viewed today....but hey....(breath....breath.....) I think I may be getting near on the last viewing. Still questions and compromises to weigh up first, but I felt for the first time that I could possibly envisage myself living in the property. That's a first.
The garden is really what I would like, but I have to be careful that the house fits the bill too. I've still got a few properties on my list to view, but I've decided I'm going to make a decision by the end of this weekend!

Couldn't resist stopping off on route to take this photo. What a magnificent colour! It was so vibrant.

But maybe I won't have to decide....I've just heard that the world is supposed to end on Saturday! Eek :-(

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

House Move 11 (Part 3)

I've just viewed three houses today and I'm losing the will to live. I've lost count with how many I've seen so far. There always seems to be good points, but they come with compromises. I've just got to decide which compromises I'm will to live with....{sigh}...or without.
I decided I needed a little treat after the viewings, so I called in to the florist on my way home - it was my friends birthday yesterday, so I wasn't being totally self-indulgent, I bought her a bouquet too. One of my favourite flowers are freesia's, so that was my choice. I find their scent so intoxicating. Plus I needed a few chunks of chocolate....well, I have heard that it can be healthy for you??? Although probably not in the amounts I feel I need today. The sun has just come out and its wonderful to see after a few grey cold days. The kettles on for a cuppa...so basically I'm feeling much better. 

Tomorrow's a whole new day..... ;-)

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Winter warmers

Where did that last week go? Well, for me mostly sitting looking at potential new homes online or driving around with thankfully my GPS keeping me on track. I'm no further on with the house search and panic is beginning to set in. At times I'm exhausted even just thinking through the move, so some relief or something to distract me is gratefully received. My latest read is a great book and takes me back to the late 1920's and 30's in Victoria - Joy Dettman's 'Woody Creek Triolgy'. Some of the colourful characters and the hardships they endure really make me realise I'm living in sheer luxury.
I'm not able to spend too much time cooking at the moment, other than the main daily meal, but when I saw these veggies on my chopping board, I had to capture them. Mmmm....lovely roasted fresh veggies. Its my my favourite way to eat them.
 Its a real winter warmer as far as I'm concerned, although I'd eat them anytime.
And this week has been perfect with the temperatures dropping to some of the lowest so far this year. Some parts of Victoria and NSW even saw some snow! When you think of Australia and kangaroo's you don't really conjure up this kind of image......I wonder what he thought about it?
(photo courtesy of Google Image)

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Its Mother's Day here in Australia today and therefore to all the Mum's out there, I hope you have a wonderful day. I've just got back from being taken out for my breakfast. What a lovely treat.
I've had some wonderful Mother's Day celebrations over the years and feel very privileged. Unfortunately, I lost my mum last year so can't spoil her, but I thought I'd post this little tribute to both her and my grandmother, Nanny Pridd.
This photo is was taken waaaaaaaaaaaay back by my OH. For example, the little wee one in my arms is now 26 years old! I think its such a special captured moment in time. Four Generations of females in one family.
Many people have commented on how they wished they'd thought to do the same thing within their family.
This picture wasn't as set up as it initially looks, we were all gathered in my daughters bedroom, when my OH saw the moment and seized it.
 My Grandmother, Nanny Pridd (Right) as you can see she isn't looking into the camera...in fact she never did, but I'm not sure why?
Well, that was when I knew her, but by the photo below she wasn't always camera shy.... I'm  not sure what the occasions was for the studio session or how old she may have been, but I suspect she it could have been for her 21st Birthday.

There are so many memories....eagerly watching out of the window for her Sunday afternoon visits, bags of sweets produced from the depths of her handbag, treats galore, everyone calling into her kitchen for untold cup's of tea, no matter what time of day or night. The kettle never got a chance to go cold. When out walking with her, she'd tell me to walk tall and straight - shoulders back, putting toes down first before my heels when walking (this makes you walk like a palomino pony - I'm not sure why or what was the purpose for this) wonderful huge hugs as much as her corset would allow - keeping everything in trim and a fantastic Nigella waistline. Not bad when your in your late 70's, early 80's.
She's was the instigator of my plant passion and love of baking, which I'll always be grateful for. Her rose garden was such a treasure, and her little patch of grass was always so green (secret formula - the chamber pot kept on the landing overnight! - No inside toilet....oh them were the days.....NOT!
One tradition used to be having all the grandchildren gathered together to help with the Christmas ritual of baking mince pies for all the family and friends. Warm kitchen, beautiful smells, laughter, and wonderful memories....

Friday, 6 May 2011

Cheerful Chilli's

I know the time is flying by and I really should be knee deep in packing boxes, tape and tantrums, but I just saw these cheerful chilli's and thought I'd share them.
I love being able to just nip out onto the decking to pick my produce.

I also have my favourite flowers sprouting which I'm very pleased with so far.
I bought the bulbs at the Melbourne Flower and Garden Show. I popped them into pots as I don't want to leave them behind when I move.
They are one of my favourite flowers.

I'm hoping I get a bunch like these....(sniff)....ahhh...smell that perfume

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Chocolate Dessert Cake - chocolishiousness

As promised here's the chocolishiousness recipe....and remember if you bake it on a Tuesday there's no calories involved. Recipe below....

I know....but with that much chocolate whose going to be thinking about the butter???

 I have a theory that I like to bake because there's no one to fight over licking the spoon or cleaning the bowl...whoops did I really confess to that? I remember back when my kids were small and after a baking session I turned to them all excited and said "Who'd like to lick the spoon?" Their faces were a picture. Horror and shock as to why they would want to do that....their faces just said....."we'll just wait for the cake to come out of the oven thanks". Maybe its just a different era thing, but I remember fighting with my sister and brother over it and being the youngest I didn't often win....

Nowadays there's always bars of chocolate, and sweet things on hand whenever....so who needs to eat uncook baking mix?

Chocolate Dessert Cake (many many portions - its rich)
125g Butter, chopped,
375g Dark Chocolate, coarsely chopped or broken up
1 cup (175g) Brown Sugar
1/4 cup (35g) plain (all purpose) Flour - sifted
2 tablespoon Milk
1 cup (120g) Almond Meal - ground almonds
5 Eggs
Cocoa, for dusting

Preheat oven to 170 degree's C (325F)
Grease and line with non-stick baking paper (base and sides) a 22cm round spring form tin.
Place Butter and Chocolate into a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure that the bowl doesn't touch the water. Or use the microwave in short burst but I don't seem to be able to perfect this technique.
Add the sugar, flour, milk and almond meal and mix to combine.
Add the eggs and mix well.
Pour the mixture into a baking tin.

Cover the top of the tin with aluminium foil and bake for 40 minutes.
Uncover once removed from the oven and cool whilst still in the baking tin.
Remove baking paper and dust with cocoa and serve with cream and berries. Or whatever your preference might be.
I also bought these very girlie cupcakes for anyone who might not like chocolate :-O
 (not home baked I admit) 
So cute
Yum yum....may have to have another with a cuppa.
Well they won't keep!!!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Girlie Night Book Club

I need a break from all this moving madness...so I'm hosting tonight's book club. I thought it best to host this month, as heaven knows how long it may be before I'm straight or settled again.
I've baked too, but can't show you the outcome yet, because I can't cut into it before my guests get here.
I'm sure they won't finish it all off tonight...but you never know.
I must remember to tell them that this cake has NO calories because it was baked on a Tuesday!
The boys are banished whilst the girls are here - which is just as well, because all they talk about after the meeting is how loud, giggly and chatty we were. I don't understand - isn't that's what girlie nights are about?But we do take our books seriously, and settle down to the discussions, questions and answers sessions, and reviews etc but only once our catchup gossip is out of the way. The boys are only jealous anyway.

Here's a hint about today's baking....its chocoliciousness yet again. How good does this look....and the smell....Mmmmmmm...

I'll hopefully get back to blogging tomorrow to pass on the recipe...oh and obviously the verdict from the girls

Must get on, the wine needs chilling, final prep to complete etc.
Muffin's ready, she's bathed and conserving her energy for the time being, until her guests arrive, then it'll be full on 'Here I am to meet my guests' bring on the pampering!

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