Shopshoot -The Vegetable Connection

26 Feb 2010

When I last wrote I was just about to hop on tram 112 to Fitzroy. I first visited Fitzroy 7 years ago when I was in town attending a friends wedding. I stayed at a lovely bed and breakfast which unfortunately has since closed down. I enjoyed exploring Brunswick Street, looking in the shops and eating in the restaurants and since that visit I always drop by Fitzroy whenever I'm in town. 

I walked past the vegetable connection and the vegetable displays looked so appealling, I asked if I could take a few photos. When I was given the okay, I went to work.

The organic fruit and vegetables were thoughtfully arranged and were in beautiful condition.

I was not alone. For the first time ever I shared a shop with another person taking photos of vegetables! I couldn't resist and took a quick shot. Wouldn't it be funny if she were one of my blog readers.

It's been a long week so I'm about to do the dishes before plonking myself on the couch. I'll be back Monday with a shopshoot from Melbourne so I hope you'll come back then.

Let the weekend begin,



24 Feb 2010

Since my last post I've managed to edit all my photos from Melbourne. Expect a few more Melbourne posts during the next few weeks and a shopshoot as well.

Today I'm showing you some of the photos I took in downtown Melbourne. I literally ran through the Block Arcade, along Block Place, back through Howey Place where the Melbourne Bison store (sadly no longer lives) and onto Collins Street for a brisk walk to Parliament Station.

Isn't the Block Arcade a grand edifice? Whilst taking some photos I even bumped into Farmer Andrew, who was also visiting Melbourne for the weekend.

If you've visited the blog in the last few days you may have noticed I've added a google translate icon so my overseas readers can access the blog more easily. Unfortunately the icon doesn't appear if you're reading this through an RSS feed or through Google Reader, so you'll need to click onto the blog itself.

Next post will be my visit to a very glamorous organic vegetable emporium in Fitzroy so check back on Friday.


Plum Cake

22 Feb 2010

Every year when the stone fruits are in season I make this cake. Sometimes I use nectarines and sometimes I use plums. It's such a simple recipe - a butter cake or pound cake batter flavoured with lemon rind and topped with sugared, sliced fruit. Some of the fruit sinks to the bottom ensuring the cake is delightfully moist and you get a little surprise in every slice.

Something amazing happens to the plums whilst in the oven. The yellow fleshed plums turn a deep red after the hour cooking time.

This is always one of my most popular cakes and I have to snaffle a piece to photograph early in the day cos if I wait too long, there is nothing left, not even a crumb.

I'm sure this recipe will make it's way into the cookbook, one of these days.

I had a hectic weekend and I took many photos whilsy I was in Melbourne, all of which need to be edited. Hopefully I'll have something to show you if you check back again on Wednesday, so until then,


Friday Favourites - Melbourne

19 Feb 2010

Greetings from a hot and sunny Melbourne. What a pity I left my sunglasses behind in the car parked at Sydney Airport. I have been a busy little bee today with a 5.00 a.m. start in Sydney so I could catch an early morning flight to Melbourne. Since I arrived I've walked all over Melbourne and caught many a Melbourne tram.

I'm just about to head out to dinner so I'll leave you with an image I took today of the iconic Block Arcade in the heart of Melbourne.

I'll be back with plenty more photos of Melbourne next week so until then, have a great weekend,



17 Feb 2010

I wasn't sure what to post today. It's hump day and I'm going out for dinner tonight so I knew there wasn't going to be time for a long post. I wracked my brains and thought, Winter Olympics and Vancouver!

Vancouver is one of my favourite cities. I love the contrast between the harbour and the snow capped mountains. I think I've visited Vancouver 4 times so far and no doubt I'll return in the future. I attended a conference in Vancouver about 2 years ago and the city was a hive of activity with new projects for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Coming from Brisbane my snow and ice skills are severely limited. I tried ice skating, curling, and skiing when I lived in Canada. I managed to master skiing, couldn't quite fathom the purpose of curling and was a dismal failure at ice skating. That didn't stop me from loving ice hockey and after watching a few live games, I returned to Australia an avid ice hockey fan.

Sydney was a wonderful place to be during the 2000 Summer Olympic Games. Wouldn't it be fun to be in Vancouver right now?

I'll be in Melboune on Friday. I'm not sure what internet access I'll have so I can't promise I'll be able to post but if not then I'll be back next Monday, with lots of goodies for you.

Until then,



Chocolate Ganache and Raspberry Tarts

15 Feb 2010

This should be under the heading, Inspired Leftovers. I had some leftover chocolate pastry dough and decided to make a heart shaped dessert in honour of Valentine's Day. I had sufficient dough to make 3 tart shells but the pastry was so fragile, one of the tarts crumbled. I decided that was okay 'cos 3 is definitely a crowd on Valentine's Day.

I went to the fruit market last Saturday and raspberries were on special. I took that as a sign and bought 2 punnets to fill the heart shaped shells. The last thing I needed was a chocolate ganache recipe. I found this recipe for white chocolate and raspberry ganache in Gourmet Traveller and substituted the white chocolate with milk chocolate. I only used about half the quantity so the rest is waiting in the freezer for another occasion.

I decided to be selfish and chose not to take these little beauties into work and kept them for myself. So, the verdict? These are absolutely scrumptious and I have a feeling it's because I used milk chocolate rather than dark chocolate in the ganache.

If you made the recipe as 3 inch individual tarts, rather than heart shaped, they would be a perfect 'dessert to impress' at a dinner party. I'm off to Melbourne later this week so blogging my be a bit haphazard and out of order but I should have lots of goodies to share with you next week.

Until later,


Happy Valentine's Day

14 Feb 2010

Hi Every-one,

just a quick note to wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day. I'm leaving you with a sweet treat to enjoy, a chocolate ganache and raspberry tart. I'll be back tomorrow with the rest of the photos, meanwhile I'm off to watch the Winter Olympics on the telly.

Enjoy the rest of the day,



10 Feb 2010

Collector is such a sweet little place that time forgot. I drove through Collector last year so I could have lunch at the Lynwood Cafe 

As I'd had such a large breakfast that morning, I had no plans to lunch there on this occasion but I thought I'd take a few photos. When I drove past the restaurant it was shut but it had a look of finality about it. I figured it looked more shut down than 'we've taken the Long Weekend off' kind of shut down.

When I checked the website I discovered the Cafe closed for good last August, which means apart from 1 pub, Collector has no general store, no cafe, no petrol station, no nothing!

Undaunted, I roamed around the little village. I found 3 churches of differing denominations, with little graveyards attached. I didn't have time to visit them all but was enchanted by the Uniting Church. The graveyard was watched over by a beautiful apple tree.

I hope to return sometime soon so I can finish my ramble around the town but knowing my schedule it will probably be January 2011.

I'm not sure I'll be posting on Friday but check back on Sunday for a sweet little Valentine's Day treat,


Inspired Leftovers - Macadamia Caramel Tartlets

8 Feb 2010

Last weekend I was battling through my freezer and decided to use some of the leftovers stored therein. I found some frozen almond pastry and chocolate pastry, frozen caramel filling and macadamias and set to work. I baked some little tart shells and immediately put the chocolate tart shells aside for another project. Check back on Valentine's Day for that one.

I decided to combine the macadamia nuts with the caramel filling inspired by a recipe I found in Delicious Magazine by Philip Johnson of e'cco fame. I've tried to track down the recipe but without any luck. It involved making a shortcrust pastry using macadamia nuts, a filling of caramel and a topping of roasted macadamia nuts.

This is what I came up with.

Unfortunately I only had enough filling for 6 tarts so I didn't get the chance to try my creation.

Here's what my critics had to say.

I was happy with that.

I'm going to be in Melbourne next weekend and thought I might try and squeeze in a shopshoot whilst I'm down there. Do you have any suggestions for me? Either leave a comment or send an email to and I'll see what I can do.

I'll be back Wednesday with the last photos from my trip to Canberra, so until then,


The Lunchbox - small group practical photography workshops

7 Feb 2010

You asked for it and here they are - photography classes. I've called them lunchboxes, 3 hours packed with photographic information. As well as practical sessions covering lighting and exposure, we'll go through the nitty gritty of processing the images and creating lay-outs for blogging/collages or album design.

These are small group classes with limited numbers so it's first come first served. I'm starting with food photography but if there is sufficient interest I'll be adding a children and family photography lunchbox and a design/travel lunchbox.

As these are practical classes you must live in Sydney or be prepared to travel/have access to an SLR camera either film or digital/understand exposure/shutter speed and ISO and most importantly come along to have some fun and learn all of Jillian's secrets - well maybe not all of them but her photographic ones anyway!

Your place on the course is secured by full payment and once your place is confirmed I'll email you more specific details. If that date doesn't suit let me know and I'll try and get another class together.

I'd love you to join me so if you're interested please email me 


Friday Favourites - Postcards from Europe

5 Feb 2010

A while back I mentioned I had a deadline which required me to chain myself to my desk until the task was completed. What was I up to?

I went to Europe 18 months ago and I'm ashamed to say I didn't even start working on an album of those images until last November. Things kept getting in the way like weddings, work, christmas etc, etc and time marched on. It was partly my own fault. I always shoot in RAW but when I went away I'd underestimated the file size from my newly purchased Nikon d-300. I didn't bring enough memory cards with me so had to shoot in jpegs until I could buy a few more memory cards at a reasonable price.

When I came home the prospect of having to individually colour correct all those images got the better of me and I put the album into the too hard basket. A 20% off Thanksgiving special spurred me into action and I put together a book I've called 'Postcards from Europe'.

The album got caught up in the Christmas mail so it only arrived last month. Considering I slapped this together in 10 days with no time to proof it properly, I think it turned out pretty well.

I'm in the process of arranging my next trip to Scandinavia in June with a side trip to London, Glasgow, Paris and Zurich. Everything about Scandinavia looks so picturesque I know I shall go mad with my camera and this time will take a little hard drive with me so I never have to shoot jpegs ever again. I promise this time to design my album in less than 18 months.

In case you're wondering, the book is an 8x10 inch hardcover blurb book made using my own lay-outs and it has lots and lots of colour and black and white images.

Have a great weekend and I'll be back next Monday,



If you're interested in buying your own copy of 'Postcards from Europe' I've attached a link to the blurb bookstore, which you can see on the top right hand corner of the blog. If you click on the title 'Postcards from Europe' or 'preview' you can view some of the pages from the book and order one if you like. The books are available in either softcover or hardcover.


3 Feb 2010

Canberra always looks so dry and dusty in summer. My first stop was the Australian War Memorial. I've been before but it was many years ago and a new pavilion has opened since then. It was so busy inside and as I'm not very good with crowds I visited the Love and War exhibition and marvelled at the size of George, the Lancaster bomber, in the Anzac Hall.

I really loved the new Anzac Hall and how it hugged the land. When I did a bit of research I discovered it had been awarded an architectural award.

From the heat of Canberra it was off to locate my hotel, the Realm. As hot as the weather was, cool was the only way to describe my room.

Do you remember the shopshoot I did of Bison Ceramics? My room contained 3 pieces of Bison including the highly covetable sky blue dish you see on the coffee table. I managed to fight the urge to slip the dish into my luggage because I don't do that kind of thing (and it doesn't match my home colour scheme).

After a monster breakfast and a visit to the NGA I made my way back to Sydney via Collector. I haven't finished preparing the images yet so check back next week for part 2 of my trip to Canberra.

I'll be back on Friday with a Friday favourite so until then,


Chilewich Giveaway Winner

2 Feb 2010

The Style Council has spoken and Jennifer is the winner of the Chilewich pressed dot runner courtesy of allmodern.

Jennifer if you could send me an email to including your full name, your email address and contact phone number I'll pass your details onto the nice people at csnstores.

Thanks for your participation,


Banana Date and Walnut Muffins

1 Feb 2010

When I was in Canberra I stayed at the Hotel Realm - photos to follow later this week. They put on a really nice breakfast buffet and I took an apple muffin with me for the drive back to Sydney. I don't normally eat muffins, in fact I can't remember the last time I had one. When I returned to Sydney I'd already planned to make muffins using over ripe bananas I had in the fridge.

The apple muffins at the hotel were wrapped in baking paper and they looked far more appealling than the usual paper cases. I took one just so I could measure the dimensions of the paper and pinched their idea. The apple muffin tasted very good as well.

When it came time to make the muffins I realised I'd run out of raw sugar, a key ingredient in the recipe given to me by my friend Mandy. So I modified the recipe by using caster sugar, then substituting the oil with butter, replacing some of the wholemeal flour with regular flour, etc, etc. This is what I came up with.

I loved the little paper cases made from baking paper. I thought they looked a little like a nun's wimple.

I took the muffins into work last Monday but put mine in the freezer so I could take it home to photograph. I defrosted the muffin on Friday but didn't get a chance to taste it until yesterday. Even though the muffin was a few days old it still tasted pretty good though probably a little too sweet for my liking.

I'll be back on Wednesday with some photos from my trip to Canberra and Collector so until then,

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