cheesecake 2011

28 Feb 2011

If you've been following my blog for a while, you'll notice I've made my Mum's cheesecake recipe quite a few times. The recipe uses a kilo of farm or cottage cheese and 8 eggs, so I've been working on simplifying it for quite some time.

This is my third attempt at simplifying the recipe and it's pretty close to what I'm hoping to achieve. Instead of a full pastry shell, I just made a shortbread base. It was a bit too thick for my taste, so I'm going to reduce the quantity next time I make the cheesecake.

I reduced the quantities, tweaked the ingredients a little and used a combination of cheeses - both farmers cottage cheese and cream cheese. I've not made this cheesecake for work before as it required too much effort and I thought it might be a bit too European in style. The cheesecake is not very sweet, slightly sour because of the cottage cheese and light in texture because of the beaten egg whites added to the mixture.

I needn't have worried. It was given the double thumbs up and there wasn't a crumb left when I returned to work the following day.

Cheesecake is a bit of a plain Jane so I prettied it up a bit with the addition of a few raspberries though the cake doesn't need anything much other than a spoon and an appetite!

See you all again on Wednesday,


sneak peek - edgecliff road 2025

25 Feb 2011

Today was my day off, so I spent it shooting shops. I've been saving my days off for my big holiday in June, so this was the first opportunity I've had to do a shopshoot for 2011. I'm waiting for the images to be approved before I can share them with you, so today I'm leaving you with a sneak peek.

I decided to go local and Edgecliff Road Woollahra is literally just around the corner from where I live.

First stop was Cotton Love Home, which is filled with lots of lovely goodies.

Second stop was Mud Australia for beautiful brightly coloured porcelain.

My final stop was White Home for beautiful linens and goodies for the home.

I took lots of photos, so I'll be doing an individual post on each of the stores during the coming weeks. I can't wait to share the images with you!

Have yourselves a lovely weekend,


something pretty

23 Feb 2011

I'm sure you've all heard about the devastating earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. Australia is a pretty isolated country and New Zealand is one of our closest neighbours. New Zealanders are known affectionately as kiwis and many New Zealanders have moved to Australia.

Even though we share an intense sporting rivalry (think Rugby Union and netball) kiwis are like family to us. We've been watching the events unfold on our televisions and it looks surreal - more like a Hollywood movie than reality.

In the past few weeks, we've experienced floods, fires, tornadoes, cyclones and now earthquakes. It all got a bit too much for me, so on my way home I bought a bunch of roses to inject a little something pretty into my day.


citrus pinkies

21 Feb 2011

Do you remember these from Valentine's Day? I found the citrus pinkie recipe in a free calendar that came with Australian House and Garden magazine. I thought they'd look kind of sweet as heart shaped cookies.

The cookie dough was hard to roll out so in the end I rolled it out between 2 sheets of greaseproof paper. I baked the cookies Saturday night, then iced them on the Sunday. I tried one of the uniced cookies and I was underwhelmed with the flavour.

I took them into work anyway because my test audience is diverse and what one doesn't like, another one will. They were very popular so I took an iced cookie home with me to have with my evening cup of tea. It's amazing the difference the icing made to the cookie. It added a whole new dimension of flavour.

The original link to the recipe has disappeared but another blogger baked the cookies and here's the link to her blog complete with recipe. 

I hope you all enjoyed your weekends,


Pizza Margherita

18 Feb 2011

One of my favourite Saturday night suppers, is home made pizza and in particular, pizza margherita. I visited Italy a few years ago and one night in Naples my room mate Chelsea and I split a pizza margherita made with fresh buffalo mozzarella, basil and fresh cherry tomatoes. I was instantly hooked and as soon as I returned home I starting my search for buffalo mozzarella. I didn't have to look very far as my local deli had it in stock.

If I make the pizza mid week, I prepare the pizza dough using this recipe from Marcella Hazan's book 'The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking'. I make the pizza dough in a food processor and leave it to do a slow rise in the fridge. That way the pizza dough is good to go when I get home. I follow the  margherita recipe with a few small changes. To speed up the process I use good quality bottled tomato sugo or tinned Polpa Fine di Pomodoro rather than going through the process of cooking down tomatoes. As it's such a simple dish, with only a few key ingredients -
  • cherry tomatoes
  • buffalo mozzarella
  • parmesan cheese
  • olive oil
  • fresh basil or oregano
  • tomato sugo
don't be tempted to skimp on the quality of the ingredients and please try the buffalo mozzarella - it is a revelation!

Have a great weekend and I'll see you all again on Monday,


Miss B, aged 5

16 Feb 2011

Miss B recently celebrated her 5th birthday so she was primed for her annual birthday portrait shoot.

Normally we take the photos outdoors but unfortunately after a week of blistering heat,  the rain decided to fall. Instead we adjourned to Miss. B's room.

Now that Miss. B. has started school, well she's very busy and far too busy to pose for photos. She gave me the cold shoulder, literally.

Now if you know me, you'll know I don't give up that easily. I managed to persuade her to give me a few moments of her time and the following images were the result.

Miss. B. demonstrated her mad ballet skills to me, then suddenly it was all over as she pirouetted off into the distance.

Before I left she gave me a small hot pink packet. When I opened it I found it contained 2 beautiful gum flowers. How sweet and what a perfect gift. She is such a character and I can't wait to see what her future holds.

I'll be back again on Friday so until then, 


Pecan Shortbread Layer Cookies

14 Feb 2011

What do you do with leftovers? I was looking for chillies in my freezer the other day and en route I discovered 3 batches of frozen ganache and something that looked like mashed banana but as it wasn't labelled, I'm not sure.

I also unearthed some salted caramel left over from these tartlets. I browsed the web looking for inspiration and found these cookies on the Canadian Living website. I used my own recipe which can be found here.

Now these cookies didn't ever make it into work. They were far too delicious, so I kept them all for myself.

I only used half the dough so whipped up another batch during the weekend. Once again, they won't be making their way into work as I brought in some of those Valentine's day cookies instead.

I hope you all enjoyed your Valentine's Day. See you back again on Wednesday,


Happy Valentine's Day

13 Feb 2011


waterloo 2017

11 Feb 2011

I've been hunting for shopshoot locations for 2011 and last weekend I visited Waterloo. I first discovered Danks Street Waterloo about 10 years ago when I was furnishing my apartment. I bought a few pieces of furniture from a store that closed long ago. When I was studying photography, I was a frequent visitor to Danks Street as it's home to one of the few film labs operating in Sydney.

Waterloo became seriously cool a few years back and it now houses well known restaurants such as Danks Street Depot and Sopra, art galleries, designer furniture emporia and Fratelli Fresh.

I found a new place, the PYD building, which houses this cute cafe called Patisse.

It was a stinking hot day last Saturday - I think it was about 39 degrees C, so I didn't stop for a bite to eat.  

Lots of my favourite furniture haunts have relocated to the building so I might be visiting Waterloo a bit more often in the future.

Have a great weekend and I'll see you all again on Monday.


Tobacco Road - Jeff Carter

9 Feb 2011

My Saturday's are always action packed as I struggle to fit in the week's domestic chores. Last Saturday I took a break from domesticity and went into the city to see a photographic exhibition at the State Library of NSW entitled Beach, Bush and Battlers.

The exhibition features iconic black and white images by Jeff Carter. Tobacco Road is one of his more famous images. If you live in Sydney and you have the time, please go to the exhibition and marvel at what life in Australia used to be like.

Every time I see well crafted black and white photos it reminds me why I first picked up a camera. Black and white film photography remains my first love.


pronto - red curry of atlantic salmon kaffir lime and zucchini

7 Feb 2011

As promised, today I'm going to tell you all about pronto. Do you remember a few weeks ago I mentioned I was working on a new blog feature and was looking for a name for it? I received a few suggestions from my blog readers which helped me focus on a title that reflected what the new feature will be about - uncomplicated food for busy people. I thought about pronto, then looked through the dictionary and decided that it's definition, 'promptly or quickly ' fitted the bill.

Now, not all the food I'm planning to feature is quick to prepare. Many items require long and slow cooking but don't take long to put together and then can be frozen and reheated at a later date. I'll also tell you how convenience foods, which I do use, fit into the picture. You may also notice the absence of cream, fried food, loads of cheese and the use of low fat products in the recipes.

If I can find a link to the recipe I'll include that in the post or I'll direct you to the cookbook and author. If I don't have access to either, I'll give you an idea of how to put the dish together. Work pressure and time constraints just don't allow me time to write up the recipes for you.

So here is the first pronto post, a thai red curry of atlantic salmon and zucchini.This recipe is really quick to prepare especially if you use a few convenience foods like prepared chicken stock/tinned coconut milk and thai red curry paste. Of course you could make your own from scratch but who has time to do that after a busy day at work? Best of all, it's really delicious.

I've altered the recipe a little. I prefer to added lightly cooked zucchini at the end of the cooking process rather than the beginning. I prefer the texture and it helps to speed up the whole process.

It's a lot harder plating hot food than cakes and pastries so my food styling is a work in progress.

I'd love to hear your feedback on my new feature.

Bye for now,



4 Feb 2011

Have I piqued your curiosity? I'll be back on Monday to reveal all!

Happy weekend,


a paperboat press xmas

2 Feb 2011

I've made a few friends in the blogosphere this past year, and one of them is poet and ceramicist Kylie Johnson. We met up for a cup of tea and some mince pies when I was home in Brisbane for Christmas.

Now the first time I met Kylie, she sent me home with a bag of goodies and this time it was no different. She has such a kind and generous soul.

I came home with a paperboat press paper bag which I opened on Christmas Day. Inside was a beautiful dotty red star and one of Kylie's journals. I plan to take the journal away with me on my trip to Europe in June.

Kylie also makes some lovely Christmas ornaments pictured here on her Christmas tree. When you have time, take a look at some of the pretty things that Kylie stocks in her shop,

I hope your working week is going well. If not, then not too many days to go before the next weekend rolls around.

Bye for now,

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