shopshoot sneak peek

30 Mar 2011

Last Friday I did a shopshoot. I decided to reinstall some software on my computer Saturday night and have been trying to work my way through the process ever since. As a result I've not had time to prepare any lay-outs for you. I promise to get them done this weekend though and post in full next Wednesday.

So until then, I'll leave you with a sneak peek. Can you guess where I've been?

I'll be back on Friday with another pronto post,



almond cake 2011

28 Mar 2011

Where does the weekend go? Just a moment ago it was Friday morning and I was looking forward to a 3 day weekend and now Monday is over. Apart from doing a shopshoot, I met one of my friends for pizza at Pompei's down at Bondi, voted in the State election and made it to the gym twice. I have the aching muscles to prove it.

March is birthday month around here, including that of Farmer Andrew. He was in the city so we celebrated his birthday at my place with a lamb roast and a big helping of almond cake. Almond cake is our family celebration cake and it must have featured on the blog at least 3 times before.

As we're coming into autumn here, the hydrangea in the photo was the very last flower on the bush. Hydrangeas are one of my favourite flowers but then again as blue is my favourite colour that's hardly a surprise. 

It's a bit of a challenge trying to make the cake look a little different every time I photograph it, so this time I served the cake with blueberries and a big dollop of cream.

Farmer Andrew went home with what was left of the cake as his need was greater than mine.

I hope you all had lovely weekends. See you all again soon.

Bye for now,


bircher muesli with oven roasted pear and plum

25 Mar 2011

What do eat for breakfast? Well I'm a creature of habit, and this is what I eat 6 days a week, bircher muesli with oven roasted fruit and yoghurt. Sometimes the fruit is oven roasted strawberry with rhubarb, whilst at other times it's Brigitte Hafner's oven roasted plum with pear. The yoghurt doesn't vary though, it's very yummy organic raspberry yoghurt. What do I have on the 7th day? I treat myself to an eggy breakfast but that's for another pronto post.

I've increased the amount of brown sugar in the recipe and decreased the honey a little, as I'm not too keen on the taste of honey. I've tried many versions of Bircher muesli but this is the one I like the best.

The recipe is a Bill Granger recipe that I copied into the the back of my work diary a long time ago. I think I scribbled it down from one of his recipe books whilst browsing in a book store. I used to do that all the time before the magic of the internet.

Here's the recipe for you, from Bill's Sydney Food.

Fresh Bircher Muesli
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup apple juice
1 cup coarsely grated apple
½ cup natural yoghurt
juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons honey

Place oats and apple juice in a bowl and soak for 1 hour, or overnight. Add grated apple, yoghurt & lemon juice to oat mixture & mix well. Spoon into serving bowls & top with fruit. Drizzle with honey.

Did you have a good day today? My day off from work was a busy one, but I managed to finish editing my shopshoot images from today's shoot so I had time to whip up a pronto post for you.

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



23 Mar 2011

Have you heard about Berry? It's a small town on the highway south of Wollongong, and known for it's sourdough bakery and cute shops.

The day I visited, there was a queue for a table at the Berry Wood-fired Sourdough Bakery. Even the pooches were standing in line.

Berry is a popular weekend destination and as I walked around the town I saw loads of cafes and b&b's.

Then I spied this amazing house on the highway. It looked completely out of place amongst the cute wooden cottages but it was fabulous. It reminded me of images I'd seen of the Ace Hotel Palm Springs.

I'd love to know when this place was built, by whom and most importantly, why? It's currently on the market but just a little out of my price range and a bit too far from Sydney.

I hope the week's been kind to you. As I'm taking Friday off, I'm not sure if I'll be back again this week, so if I'm not, then have a great weekend.


passionfruit layer cookies

21 Mar 2011

As you know, I have a bit of a thing for cookies. My cookie jar was empty last week so when I had an attack of the munchies, I had to attack my hidden stash of chocolate. I've been baking this weekend, so the cookie jar is full again.

It's still passionfruit season here and when passionfruit are in abundance, I buy up big and freeze the pulp to use later in the year.

I adapted this Stephanie Alexander recipe to make these cookies. Instead of using passionfruit pulp in the cookie dough, I strained the pulp to make passionfruit juice. I sandwiched the cookies together with some cream cheese icing made using passionfruit pulp then iced the cookies with passionfruit icing.

It's a delicate cookie, so a few cracked during the whole process, but that just left more for the cook. The cookies are very yummy just iced and I'm not sure they're better sandwiched together with the filling.

It's birthday week at work so a chocolate cake is in the oven as I write this. Friday is my day off and I'm really looking forward to my 3 day weekend.

See you all again on Wednesday,


pronto - fettucine with cherry tomatoes, spinach and ricotta

18 Mar 2011

As you know I love Bill Granger recipes because they work. This is one of my favourite pasta recipes - fettucine with cherry tomatoes, spinach and parmesan cheese. As you can see, I made a few adaptations to the original recipe.

I now oven roast cherry tomatoes all the time as it intensifies their flavour. If you have any leftover roasted tomato mixture, it tastes great with ricotta and spinach as a sandwich filling the following day.   

I'm just about to make my way into the kitchen to put the dinner on, as I often make this pasta dish on Friday night. It's just so quick to put together.

I wish you all lovely weekends and I'll be back again on Monday.

Bye for now,


shopshoot - mud australia

16 Mar 2011

I've long been a fan of mud australia. A few pieces of their beautifully coloured porcelain have found their way into my food photography.

The lovely Claire was in the shop the day I visited.

The shop is located on Edgecliff Road in a sweet block of shops that includes White Home.

I love the pretty pink. I can see a batch of pink iced finger buns on one of those plates!

The porcelain is very fine and lustrous and comes in an amazing range of colours and shapes.

mud australia also stocks a few other products such as the chilewich range and cutlery from Portugal. I was particularly taken with the cutipol cutlery and one of the little spoons may or may not have come home with me.

I have one of the little red spice bowls and it appears in my photos all the time.

The Woollahra store is due to undergo renovations in April/May so I can't wait to return to see the new look. Thanks once again to James for letting me photograph mud australia

2016 edit - The Woollahra store has now moved to a new location in Double Bay.


chocolate bundt cake

14 Mar 2011

When I was home in Brisbane at Christmas time, I looked through some of the cookbooks I'd left behind at my parents place.

I pulled out an old Margaret Fulton cookbook and found a recipe for Chocolate Bundt cake, a cake I used to make all the time.

It's a rich butter cake with a layer of chocolate in the centre and a coating of almonds.

The cake was a little heavier in texture than I remembered so I have plans to tweak the recipe and try it again. It still went down a treat at work so it can't have been too bad - I just wanted it to be better. The bread board is one of the treasures from white home, in case you were wondering.

Another weekend and another natural disaster, the like of which I've never seen. I've truly run out of words to describe the horrors that have taken place in Japan. My heart goes out to all who've been affected.

In the meantime, I'll see you all again on Wednesday with another shopshoot.

Bye for now, 


Paperboat Press

11 Mar 2011

As you all know I love both ceramics and typography, which is why I love Kylie Johnson's work. When I received an email from Kylie asking if I'd take some headshots for her while in Brisbane at Christmas time, of course I agreed.

She let me in on a little secret that Anthropologie, which stocks her poetry books, had commissioned some of her designs. I managed to get a sneak peek of the 3 pieces and took a few photos.

They are really lovely - white Italian earthenware with blue lettering.

I think my favourite piece is the bowl.

Kylie included a link to the Anthro site here on her blog.  In other news Kylie is having a little sale at her shop. I'm sure if you bought one of the pieces they would make your heart sing.

Have a great weekend,


white home

9 Mar 2011

When I wandered along Edgecliff Road the other day, I dropped into White Home. White Home is a little jewel box of a store and I've put off photographing it in the past because it's so tiny. I bought some linen napkins and thought I'd throw caution to the wind and emailed the owner Isabelle asking if she'd like me to shoot her shop. 

There was so much to photograph and I did my best to show a range of what's in stock.

White home is a treasure trove of pretty things - beautiful mercury candle holders, cake platters, serving spoons, mirrors, bed linen and bracelets.

I put together a colour way that reflects what's in the shop at the moment - neutral colours, pewter tones and white tableware and loads of fringing.

It's all very tempting,

and of course I was tempted.

What did I come home with?

I came home with a beautiful bread board that you'll be seeing in my food photography during the next few weeks. That's the danger of doing these shopshoots!

I'll be back on Friday with a quick post before the weekend,

so until then,


Fig custard tart

7 Mar 2011

It's fig season in Sydney, so a few weeks ago when fig prices were reasonable I bought a dozen figs to take home with me. Then I thought, what am I going to do with them? I looked on the internet and found this recipe from Brigitte Hafner. Brigitte owns a restaurant in Melbourne, the Gertrude Street Enoteca and writes for Gourmet Traveller. I've collected quite a few of her recipes so was confident the tart recipe would work.

The custard recipe looked intriguing with it's combination of orange rind, fennel seeds and a bay leaf.

My oven is slow, so the tart took much longer to bake than the recommended time.

I took it into work, not quite sure the reception the tart would receive. One of the boys saw the figs and declined a slice immediately. Michael eats everything, so that wasn't a good sign.

I took a slice home to photograph and to taste. The custard was delicious with just a subtle hint of spice but the figs were a bit disappointing. They looked so pretty but were a bit lacking in flavour. Next time I'll sugar the figs first and maybe add an extra tablespoon of sugar to the custard mixture. 

I hope you all had great weekends. My own was seriously busy. I'll be back on Wednesday with my second shopshoot of the year so until then,


pronto - sicilian sweet and sour chicken

4 Mar 2011

Well it's Friday and the working week is over. I've just put a load of washing on and while I'm waiting for the load to finish, I thought I'd bring you another pronto post. This week's post is Sicilian Sweet and Sour Chicken. I first found the recipe in one of those little books that accompany Australian Gourmet Traveller every now and again. This recipe was in one of their Italian editions.

How does it fit into the pronto ethos? Well it doesn't take very long to make and it tastes pretty good.You can make it ahead and it reheats beautifully. The recipe suggests you serve the chicken with crusty bread but I often serve it with potato mash or pasta with a green vegetable like zucchini or broccolini.

I'd like to thank both Holly from decor8 and Kylie from Paperboat Press for featuring my photos on their blogs this week. Meanwhile, I better go and rescue the washing.

Have a great weekend,


cotton love home

2 Mar 2011

Welcome to my first shopshoot of the year. I decided it was time to look locally so I took a walk down Edgecliff Road, Woollahra. In recent years its morphed into a part fashion/part design street. Sambag, Little Jo and Joanie Loves Chachi live next to Cotton Love Home, No Chintz and Mud Australia.

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First stop was Cotton Love Home and I asked the owner Susan Sheller if she'd like to be part of the shopshoot experience. She kindly agreed, so my hunt was over.

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I've visited the shop a few times before when looking for gifts. Susan has her own line of beach towels, called Cotton Love Home and also stocks bed linen, clothing, jewellery and lots of beautiful glassware.The shop is filled with lots of gorgeous goodies that I could see in my home.

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I just love the deep buttoned upholstery on the chairs and the well worn bread boards.

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Blue is my favourite colour so I love this little collection.

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I have a bit of thing for beautiful lighting and Susan had so many great light fittings on display.

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I have a morbid fear of parking fines, so I raced to my car to check it was okay. That's the only reason I left the shop without clutching a bag of goodies!

Many thanks to Susan for letting me visit her beautiful store,

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