Friday, March 27, 2009

I didn't do it...

I didn't give away Kangaruby and kangaroobaby... but not only because I fell in love with them. Because she wasn't strong enough and secure enough to withstand the playing of a 3 year old girl. And after I saw how much lovin' the platypi got, I was glad Kangaruby was safe at home on my shelf!

Did you know platypi make great lightsabers?

They also make great tools to whack your brother or sister accross the head with.

And they are great for cuddles! I think these platypi have found a very loving home!

Thankyou all for your lovely comments on Kangaruby. I neglected to mention that she was from a pattern from Homespun magazine (Vol 9, no 4) and was designed by Tone Finnanger of Tilda. The platypus were also from a pattern in Homespun (Vol 10, no 1) and were designed by the amazingly talented Kate of Two Little Banshees.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I've fallen in love...

I was making her as a gift to give away... but now I don't know if I can...

I love her!
I was making her (Kangaruby) for a very young girl, and now I am not sure if her parts are secure enough to withstand the playing of a little one... I was also making a platypus for the girls older brother and happened to make two...
I also finished the latest block from Gail's Christmas BOM too

Monday, March 23, 2009


I am just finishing off my latest projects tonight and will hopefully have some pictures to show you very soon - but for now I just wanted to share this sneak peek from the amazingly talented Natalie. I cannot wait to see the finished project. It looks like it will be absolutely gorgeous.

I must get moving on some of my WISPs as I feel that I might be wanting to start something new soon...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Taste of Sydney Festival

The Taste of Sydney Festival was on this weekend at Centennial Park, and boy, did we taste Sydney.

The Taste of Sydney website describes the festival as a "stunning celebration" of the city's best cuisine which showcased the signature dishes of the city's finest restaurants including Longrain, Danks Street Depot and Berowra Waters Inn.

It was hard to decide what to eat from the many dishes on the menu, so many things took my fancy. For entree, I chose the etli borek from Ottoman Cuisine while my husband had the Wagyu beef bourguignonne with truffled cauliflower and onion rings from Restaurant Balzac.

While I waited to be served for what seemed an eternity in the Ottoman Cuisine line, my husband had lined up, ordered, received his food and made it back to me where we ate his entree while still waiting in line. The beef bourguignonne was a wonderful dish, the truffled cauliflower was really sweet and heady with truffle.

When we finally made it to the front of the line and got our food, we realised it had so definitely been worth the wait.

The etli borek were fresh and crisp and the veal melted in your mouth. The contrast in textures was great. However, the highlight was the pomegranate and yoghurt sauces which really turned the dish into something truly special. One thing's for sure - we will definitely be visiting the Ottoman Cuisine restaurant in the near future!

Etli Borek - Crisp homemade filo rolls filled with braised veal shank, currants and pine nuts, served with pomegranate and yoghurt sauce. From Ottoman Cuisine

Next up I ordered the loin and crumbed belly of lamb with basil mayonnaise and tomato olive jus from Assiette. While the loin pieces were tender and flavoursome, the crumbed belly was overcooked and rather dry. There was only a smidgen of basil mayonnaise which was also a little disappointing.

To compound my disappointment, I got home and saw a picture of the same dish as served on Thursday night! The dish as served on Thursday looked amazing, the portions were bigger, the crumbed belly was thicker and the inside was soft rather than dry. Bummer!

Loin and crumbed belly of lamb with basil mayonaise and tomato olive jus. From Assiette

My husband ordered the roast Kurobuta pork neck with fennel and witlof salad. The serving was huge - much bigger than the 'taste' size portion we were expecting! The fennel and witlof salad was rather bitter, but teamed beautifully with the pork which was soft and tender - this dish was definitely a winner!

Roast Kurobuta pork neck with fennel and witlof salad. From Centennial Parklands Dining.

Finally came dessert - I ordered the sponge roulade of goat's curd with Persian figs poached in verjuice from Bird Cow Fish. It was so wonderful - I couldn't hold myself back when I first tasted it, so there are no photos! I picked this dish because I love goat's curd and I love figs. Together they were delicious.

My husband - a tiramisu fiend - ordered the Dolce Sardo from Pilu at Freshwater. He again picked a dish with a monster serve and we were given two big pieces to share. While it was a beautiful dessert - my dish certainly won (not that it was a competition at all!)

Dolce Sardo - Savoiardi biscuits layered with fresh ricotta, Amedei chocolate and mirto liqueur. From Pilu at Freshwater

Overall, we had a fantastic day - lots of sunshine, great food and some lovely beer from Redoak brewery too. But it was also a rather pricey outing - it was $25 per head, just to get in the door, and then we had to pay for all the food. We were being served by some of Sydney's best chefs so (apart from my disappointing dish from Assiette), I think it was worth it.
And on our way home, a lovely little girl pointed out this sweet fella to us!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Last minute rush

Do you leave things to the last minute? I am the queen of rushing things when I have almost no time left. For a little while, I have been thinking about the softies I planned to make for some friends children who are visiting Australia for the first time. Plus, my 2 little cousins have their 2nd birthdays around the same time and they need presents too. Last weekend I realised I only have about 2 weeks to make them all - eek!

I have one of my cousins presents done - the fabric basket in my previous post, and so far I have a body, a head and one leg on a kangaroo for our overseas visitors but that is it! I plan to make a platypus for our other visitor but I don't have any boy-friendly material to make it from. So this weekend I am off to spotlight to find some. And the the present for my other cousin - well I am a bit stuck on that one! Whatever it is, it will have to be a quick one!!
Instead of working on my presents - I have been working on some of my BOMs. I love this second block from Gail's A Christmas Wish BOM.
These patterns are great because they are so quick to stitch, but really effective.

And I got another angel finished - only 4 to go!!

I hope everyone in Melbourne is enjoying the Stitches and Craft Show!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

2 finishes and an angel

Our internet connection at home has been awful over the past 8 days. We keep getting disconnected, then reconnected and then disconnected again. Now we only have a dial-up connection which is oh... so.... slooooooow! What a pain!

Last Saturday I did finish a couple of little projects (2 finishes for February!), but I couldn't upload the photos until today. I finished the wall-hanging I made with Leanne's pincushion patterns (please excuse its un-ironed state).

I also put together a little basket for my cousin Yasmeen - who turns 2 later this month. Yasmeen's Mum liked the basket I put together for another cousin for Christmas so I thought this would be good for her birthday. I plan to put some little hairclips and headbands in it.

This week, I also finished another angel - well, I thought I had until I took these photos. I have forgotten to stitch the wand handle!


I hope everyone is having a good weekend!

Monday, March 2, 2009

in need of a caffeine hit...

Last week I got a new cookbook - "Baking, From My Home To Yours" By Dorie Greenspan. It was a gift from my sister - Thanks Annie! I've made some of the recipes from this book before, usually after finding the recipe on other blogs. However I could never quite understand how so many bloggers have committed to cooking one recipe from this book every single week (see Tuesdays with Dorie). That is, until now.

It is a wonderful book, much better than I anticipated. It is filled with lots of yummy looking recipes, however the downside is that it uses the imperial system of measurement. Thankfully all the Australian Women's Weekly cookbooks have conversion tables in them, so as long as I have one handy all will be good.

The dilemma came when trying to decide which recipe to try first. I really wanted to make the Caramel Crunch Bars after seeing them here. However the recipe asked for "Heath Toffee Bits" - something I discovered is made by Hershey's and is not sold readily in Australia. Bummer! I am going to look for some plain toffee soon and simply pummel it with a rolling pin to use as a substitute!

Instead, I made "Coffee Break Muffins" at my husbands request. This recipe uses black coffee instead of milk to moisten the batter. I also swapped the 1 tablespoon of instant coffee powder the recipe called for for 125g dark chocolate chunks. It probably wasn't really a fair substitute (!) - but I am so glad I did it! The resulting muffins were beautiful!

Coffee Break Muffins
From "Baking, From My Home To Yours" by Dorie Greenspan

2 cups plain flour
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon of instant coffee powder AND/OR 125g dark chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1/3 cup (packed) brown sugar
1 cup strong black coffee, cooled
113g (or 1 stick) of butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 200C (180C fan forced). Line a 12 cup muffin tray with liners.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, whitew sugar, instant coffee powder (if using), baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in the brown sugar and dark chocolate chunks (if using).

In another bowl, whisk together the black coffee, melted butter, egg and vanilla. Pour over the dry mixture and mix. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin pans and bake for 20mins or until cooked through (test with a skewer). Leave to stand for 5 mins before turning onto a wire rack to cool.