a wedding - tiffany and gareth

28 Sept 2011

It's been a while since I last photographed a wedding, so when my friend Bruce asked if I'd like to help out at this wedding, I jumped at the chance. Tiff and Gareth were married at Ravensthorpe, a beautiful old house at Albion Park near Wollongong.

Warning - there are quite a few photos in this post.

I'd not met Tiffany before but she was fairly easy to identify

Tiffany had 3 gorgeous bridesmaids on the day- her sister Mel and best friends Jess and Shelley.

Here's some of the secret women's business that went on before Tiff walked down the aisle.

Tiff looked absolutely gorgeous and I loved all the details she selected, especially the Badgley Mischka's!

There were lots of beautiful places to photograph around Ravensthorpe. How's this for a bridal party?

Tiff chose beautiful lavender coloured gowns for her bridesmaids.

The shoes deserved their own special photo.

Was there a more lovely bride than Tiff?

I was told Tiff had a smile that could light up a room and indeed she did.

My first look at the boys waiting to hear if the ceremony was going to take place in the rotunda.

The weather wasn't looking good but Tiff decided to go ahead with the outdoor ceremony.

It was a little bit damp.

Another view of the pretty bouquet.

Don't they look so excited?

Married at last.

I always like photographing the receiving line. Every-one is always so happy.

Then it was time for some photos of Tiffany and Gareth.

My favourite photo.

Whilst Bruce photographed Tiff and Gareth, I played with the bridesmaids and groomsmen.

Then it was time to have a peek inside the reception marquee.

I looked high and low for the cake, which was brought out just as I was about to leave. I'm sure it tasted as good as it looked.

I'd like to thank Tiffany and Gareth and their family and friends for allowing me to play a small part in their wedding day. Despite the wet feet, I had so much fun! I only take on a small select group of wedding clients each year. If you'd like to be one of those clients you can contact me here for the details.

See you all again next week,



carrot layer cake

26 Sept 2011

Can you remember when you first tried carrot cake? My first slice was a very long time ago. Carrot cake seems to have fallen out of favour but I'm determined to bring it back into the spotlight again because you know what, it's a really nice cake. 

I found this recipe a few years ago and modified the cake by using grated pumpkin instead of carrot. The cake was a runaway success but I always wondered if it would taste as good made with carrot. A few weeks ago, I gave it a try. I fancied the thought of a layer cake so I baked the mixture in two 8 inch layer pans then split each of the layers into two making a 4 layer cake.

I completely stole the idea of decorating the top of the cake from this site, Call Me Cupcake.

This cake is an absolute winner and even people who claimed they didn't like carrot cake managed to scoff 2 pieces of this little gem. I'm not sure why it's so delicious. Maybe it's the dates in the mixture but this very yummy cream cheese icing helps.

I had a very busy weekend and I'm aching all over. If you check back on Wednesday you'll be able to see the fruits of my labour. Meanwhile, I hope this post inspires you to retry this retro classic,



sweet and spicy souvenirs - rice pudding with oven roasted rhubarb

21 Sept 2011

When I went on my holidays, I had a wish list of things I wanted to buy - an antique wooden bread board, some ceramic spoons, a french milk bottle and some confit jars - all the things that are hard to find in Sydney or else just too expensive.

Well I managed to track down most of those goodies and I posted the items home to Sydney from Amsterdam, London and Paris. Everything arrived home in 1 piece and you should have seen me struggling home from the post office with all my parcels. In my new Wednesday feature, which hasn't got a title at this stageI thought I'd match food with my new purchases. As always if you have any bright ideas for a title, I'd love to hear them.

I bought these sweet little ice cream bowls from Le Petit de Atelier in Paris and as it was too cold to contemplate ice cream, I thought I'd match the bowls with some rice pudding using the basic recipe mentioned in the article.

I had some oven roasted rhubarb with strawberries left in the fridge, so I combined the two to make my new favourite winter pudding.

I managed to carry the bowls across Europe without any breakages, then disaster struck as I was doing the washing up. I dropped one of the little ice cream spoons and naturally it broke. I tried gluing it back together but it looks a bit dodgy. What a pity I can't just pop back to Paris to buy a replacement spoon.

I'll see you all again next week. Bye for now,


double chocolate sandwich biscuits

19 Sept 2011

The next few weekends will be busy and there'll be precious little time to spend in the kitchen. I seem to be doing nothing but baking at the moment and as a result, my tiny freezer is filled to bursting.

You had a little sneak peek of these biscuits last week. I think I've had this recipe tucked away since last Christmas and I've been dying to try it ever since. I even went out specially to buy the cookie cutters so I could replicate the recipe.

I followed the recipe to a 't' and they turned out pretty well. The cookies are sandwiched together with a wickedly good ganache made with both milk and dark chocolate. Unfortunately ganache is on the list of things I can't eat, so I wasn't able to try these cookies. 

I made 18 cookies and they disappeared in a flash, so I think they must have tasted okay. I've no idea how long the iced cookies stay fresh but judging by how quickly these babies disappeared, I don't think you'll ever be faced with that dilemma!

I hope you had lovely weekends. I'll be back on Wednesday with a new little feature I've been working on.

Bye for now,



gifts from the kitchen

14 Sept 2011

A few months ago I went to the Sydney Finders Keepers to say hello to some of my Brisbane friends including the lovely Kylie Johnson. Before I left, Kylie pressed a package into my hand which contained some of these sweet ornaments. Kylie wanted me to have the tags because she knew I'd use them.

Well it took little longer than I expected but here's what I did with some of the tags. For Christmas last year one of my friends gave me a pot of her home made tomato and chilli chutney. I liked it so much I asked for the recipe.

I spiced it up a bit with some extra chilli and now it's really hot, so much so I don't know if I can actually give it as a gift without attaching a health warning!

Kylie also included a packet of biscuit ornaments, so now you know what I did with the remaining biscuit dough from Monday's post.

I'll be back next week with some more photos of my holiday purchases and those double chocolate sandwich biscuits.

Many thanks again to Kylie for my lovely gift,

Bye for now,


sweet and spicy souvenirs - home made cookies

12 Sept 2011

I bought a few bits and pieces when I was overseas and today I'm going to feature one of my purchases, a cookie stamp. I actually bought my stamp at Merci but you can buy it online in Australia.

I had some leftover chocolate pastry in the freezer and tried out the stamp using the instructions that came with the stamp but I found I was left with very thick cookies. I played around and found I preferred to roll the dough out thinly first before using the stamp. I had a round cutter which pretty much matched the size of the cookie and although it was an extra step, I thought it was worth it.

I used this recipe from Canadian Living but only used half the dough and left out the cinnamon. I made 18 cookies from the dough and I'll show you what I did with the remaining half later in the week or next week.

The uncooked dough is delicious and the cookies disappeared in the blink of an eye. I kept 2 at home for the cook and I've only just eaten them. They're pretty nice and were still fresh after a week. I'll definitely make these again.

I can't believe another weekend has been and gone. Spring momentarily left us in Sydney and I shivered all weekend. I was back to using my electric blanket and wearing fluffy bed socks.

I hope you enjoyed your weekend,

Bye for now,


in the garden

7 Sept 2011

It's been a while since my last 'In the Garden' post but a few weekends back I drove up to Dungog for a special family birthday celebration.

The weekend was pretty miserable but I still made my way into the garden to see what was in bloom.

I found this pretty symphony of green. I also visited the chickens, known collectively as 'the girls', who'd freshly laid 5 eggs for me to collect on Sunday morning. It wasn't quite spring but the blossoms didn't seem to realise.

I was just leaving Dungog on Sunday when I saw this scene. I pulled over because I was sure I wouldn't see anything like it on the remainder of my drive back to Sydney.

P.S. I'm loving the new blogger makeover. Not only can I now check my stats, it's cut my blogging time in half!



lemon cake with passionfruit syrup II

5 Sept 2011

I made a version of this cake a few months ago and I wasn't happy with the result. I made the cake again, this time using my favourite lemon cake recipe (it's on the last page of the pdf) and making up my own recipe for passionfruit syrup.

The cake came out of the mould perfectly so I was pretty happy.

I poured half the syrup over the cake whilst it was still in the mould and poured the other half over the cake while it was cooling.

I took the cake into work and it was all gone by the end of the day. One of my workmates Michael dillied and dallied and missed out on a slice and you should have heard his grumbles. So many people came up to me complimenting me on the cake so I'll definitely be making this cake again.

I hope you all had lovely weekends. I went to see the movie 'Red Dog' which I thoroughly enjoyed but then again our family dog dog was a kelpie labrador cross, called Coco, so I'm a bit biased. Sometimes we called her by name but more often we called her 'naughtybadwicked' which was a truer reflection of her nature.

See you all again on Wednesday,

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