Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Spaghetti & Meatballs

   Theres just something about spaghetti that I love and if it comes served with meatballs thats even better ;)
1 brown onion, coarsely grated
500g mince (half beef half pork)
1 egg
1 cup (70g) fresh breadcrumbs (made from day old bread)
 4 slices pancetta finely chopped
1 tbs finely chopped oregano
1 tbs olive oil
1 brown onion, extra, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup (125ml) dry red wine
2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes
500g spaghetti
Shaved parmesan, to serve

Combine the grated onion, pork mince, egg, breadcrumbs, pancetta and oregano in a large bowl. Season well with freshly ground black pepper. Roll tablespoonsfull of the mince mixture into balls and place on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to set.
  1. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until brown all over. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Add the oil to the pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Add the wine and bring to the boil. Cook for 2 minutes or until wine reduces by half. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes or until heated through. Return the meatballs and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until heated through.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti following packet directions until al dente. Drain well.
  4. Divide the spaghetti among serving bowls. Top with meatballs and tomato sauce. Serve topped with shaved  parmesan
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Monday, April 30, 2012

Handmade earrings

I made these earrings over the weekend. I'm sorry I didn't write down exactly what I did or take step by step photos. I'm just getting used to posting what I do and I'll try to improve as I go along :)

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Mix It Up Monday


I love my camelia bush! the shade of pink the flowers have is just so pretty :) often when its cold and I'm sure nothing will be flowering I can be sure my camelia bush will surprise me with a bloom or two, so lovely.

Friday, April 27, 2012


I thought this sunrise  was so pretty and wanted to share. I love how the morning sun turns the sky a goldy pink :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Gemstone Decorated Bobby Pins

These little gemstone decorated bobby pins are so cute and so easy to make.  all you need to do is put a small amount of strong craft glue on the back of your chosen gem and then hold the front of the bobby pin steady against the gem for approx 60 seconds. you can use a hot glue gun if you prefer. make sure glue is completely dry before wearing.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

My Latest Thrift Finds

I love visiting thrift shops, or op (opportunity) shops as we call them here. whenever I pass one I just have to stop in and I rarely leave without at least a little something!

recently I found this lovely little glass bowl with lid, not sure but it might be a sugar bowl? not sure what I'll use it for but it was too pretty to leave behind. the glass sectioned tray came with it, the tray doesn't match the bowl but at  $5 for the both I thought it was a bargain. The little covered casserole dishes I found a while ago. they are so useful and I find many uses for them. they are especially handy for serving one of my favourite soups, french onion. there are six of them and they cost a dollar each!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ricotta Pancakes

I love pancakes! so quick & easy to whip up SO many things go SO well with pancakes.... golden syrup, jam, lemon & sugar, maple syrup, the list goes on! while these ricotta pancakes are perhaps a little different they are still delicious....whats your favourite way to have pancakes :D

  • 1 cup (150 gr)  self raising flour

  • 1 tsp bicarb of soda
    pinch of salt
    2 tbs (40g) caster sugar
    125g fresh ricotta
    1  cup (250ml) skim milk
    1 egg, beaten
    125g unsalted butter, melted
    11/2 lemon, rind grated, juiced
    Oil spray, to fry (or butter & oil)

    Sift the flour, soda and salt into a bowl and stir in sugar. In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta, milk, egg, melted butter, lemon rind and juice, beating well until smooth. Gradually whisk this into the dry ingredients to form a smooth batter.
    Heat a large heavy based, non-stick frying pan, spray lightly with oil and pour in 1/3 cup batter to form a 12cm pancake. Cook 2 pancakes at a time over medium heat for 3 minutes until bubbles appear over the surface, then flip over and cook for 1-2 minutes.
    Keep warm while, cooking the remaining  pancakes.

    I served them with golden syrup & sliced strawberries.
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    Full Plate Thursday

    A Special Teatime Tuesday.

    I'm joining Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage for a special tea to honour the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of The Titanic.

    on april 10th 1912 the Titanic began her maiden voyage, in the early hours of  april 15th 1912 she tragically sank in the Atlantic Ocean, having struck an iceberg late the previous evening. more than 1500 passengers and crew perished making the titanic one of the worst peace time disasters.

    she was the grandest ship and was fitted out in all finery.

    may they rest in peace

    The Lord is my shepherd,
    I shall not want;
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
    He leads me beside still waters;
    He restores my soul.
    He leads me in paths of righteousness
    for His name's sake.

    Even though I walk through the valley
    of the shadow of death,
    I fear no evil;
    for You are with me;
    Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

    Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life;
    and I shall dwell in the house of the
    Lord forever.

    first class bedroom on Titanic (google images)
    titanic dining room (google images) 
    Titanic menu for 14th april 1912 (google images)
    first class ticket for the Titanic (google images)

    for my tea I have made some English tea sandwiches to share, egg and also cucumber

    my tea cups are Royal Albert, Lady Carlyle (above)

    Royal Albert, Queens Messenger (above)

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    Sunday, April 15, 2012

    Maple & Mustard Glazed Pork Steaks

    Pork steaks or chops are one of my go to week night meals. convenient, easy and tasty. these glazed pork steaks are all that and more! try them, I think you'll enjoy them.
    4 pork steaks
    2 tablespoons seeded mustard
    1/4 cup maple syrup
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1/2 small cup dry white wine

    place pork in shallow dish, pour over combined mustard & syrup, stand 10 minutes. drain pork, reserving marinade.

    heat oil in pan, add pork and cook untill browned on both sides & done to your liking. remove and keep warm.

    deglaze the pan with half the wine. mix the other half wine with reserved marinade, pour it into the pan and bring to the boil. simmer uncovered untill slightly thickened. towards the end turn the heat down low & add the cream (I used about 1/4 cup).

    put the steaks back in the pan turn to coat with sauce, then serve with sauce poured over. crusty bread and mash goes nice with this, noodles would be good too

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    Sunday, April 8, 2012

    Sticky Orange Chicken

    These delicious chicken drumsticks require few ingredients and are quick & easy to prepare. they're great cooked on a BBQ too, perfect for the warmer weather.

    ingredients (serves 4)
    2/3 cup orange marmalade
    2 teaspoons dijon mustard
    1/4 cup chicken stock
    1 garlic clove, crushed
    8 chicken drumsticks
    olive oil cooking spray

    Place marmalade, mustard, stock and garlic in a large ceramic dish. Stir to combine. Add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight, if time permits, turning several times.
    Preheat oven to 220°C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Spray a wire rack with oil and place over tray .
    Drain chicken, reserving marinade. Place drumsticks on rack. Roast, brushing occasionally with marinade, for 30 to 45 minutes or until juices run clear when thickest part is pierced with a skewer.

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    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

    Date And Banana Loaf

    As I've said I'm not a fan of bananas but don't mind them in cakes ect, such as this yummy loaf. its quick and easy to mix up and bake and tastes good either spread with butter or left plain.

    Ingredients (serves 12)

    2 cups (300g) self-raising flour
    1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    1 tsp ground nutmeg
    125g pitted dates, chopped
    1/2 cup (115g) caster sugar
    1 cup (250ml) milk
    2 eggs
    1 cup mashed banana (about 2 large)
    Butter, to serve (optional)
    Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a 24 x 13.5cm loaf pan with non-stick baking paper. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and nutmeg into a large bowl. Stir through the dates and sugar.
    Combine the milk, eggs and banana in a separate bowl. Fold into the date mixture until well combined. Pour into the pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to completely cool, serve with butter if liked.

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    Homemade Bath Crystals

    I love a long soak in a hot bath and I especially love to add scented bath crystals. sure there are lots to buy in the shops but making your own is so easy & its fun too....not to  mention way less expensive. the things you need are simple

    sea salt
    essential oil
    mixing bowl
    spoon to mix
    decorative jar for storing  finished crystals

    pour salt into bowl, add colouring  (be careful as a little goes a long way, I've learnt the hard way) when desired colour leave to sit a while before adding scent/scents  of choice, I used rose & geranium in one jar and lemon & lime citrus in the other  (note adding the scents can cause the mix to become wet thus making the colour stronger more vibrant, don't panic it will settle. when satisfied with the colour/scent leave to dry before putting into decorative containers/jars

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    Friday, March 30, 2012

    Stunning Sunrise

    I just love the sky in this photo! I was sitting in my living room one morning and all of a sudden the room was bathed in a pink glow. I went outside and there was this beautiful mackeral sky. I just had to take some photos, hope you like them.

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    Wednesday, March 28, 2012

    Easy Delicious Steak Sandwich

    A good steak sandwich is one of my favourite things to eat and this is a very good steak sandwich! there's really no recipe.  you just grill or fry steak of your choice to cooked as you like, in same pan (or grill) cook onions untill softened & slightly browned. split and butter a crusty roll, top with rocket or lettuce leaves, onions, tomato and steak in any order you wish. add sauce of choice and its time to eat! yum!

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    Tuesday, March 27, 2012

    Coconut Ice Sponge

    This cake is quick & easy to make and never lasts long in our house as its a favourite. for such little work the results are oh so delicious! I call it coconut ice sponge as the pink iced topping sprinkled with coconut reminds me of the sweet (candy) coconut ice.

    1/3 cup (50g) cornflour
    1/3 cup (50g) plain flour
    1/3 cup (50g) self-raising flour
    4 x 60g eggs, at room temperature
    2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar

    Grease 2 x deep, 20cm round cake tins (or different tins, as directed in individual recipes) and line bases with baking paper. Sift flours and 1/4 tsp salt together three times to aerate.

    Preheat oven to 180C. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl on medium-high speed for 6 minutes, or until mixture is thick, pale and tripled in volume.

    Gradually sift flour mixture over egg mixture while simultaneously folding in with a large metal spoon until just combined. Divide mixture between prepared tins. To level batter, gently spin tins on kitchen counter. Bake for 20 minutes (or as directed in individual recipes), or until cakes have shrunk away from the sides slightly and spring back when gently touched.

    Turn out on to baking paper-lined wire racks. Carefully peel away baking paper, then leave to cool.
    fill with jam & cream & ice as desired!

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    Saturday, March 24, 2012

    Roses For Pink Saturday!

    I'm not much of a gardener but I do love flowers and enjoy spending time in the garden. earlier today I picked these beautiful pink roses which had  seemingly sprang up over night (I'm sure they were there but I just hadn't noticed them)  They're such a beautiful shade of pink that I thought would be perfect for Pink Saturday a fun blog event hosted by Beverly at How Sweet The Sound

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    Pink Saturday

    Wednesday, March 21, 2012


    I absolutely love pavlova, along with lemon meringue its my favourite dessert. I just loove the chewy meringue part, the fresh fruit toppings too, though you can leave banana out for me....whats your favourite pavlova topping? go on have some, its delicious

    4-6 egg whites
    pinch salt
    8oz castor sugar/sugar (equal parts)
    1 teaspoon white vinegar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
    2 level teaspoons cornflour

    (Please note the following equivalents:
    castor sugar or fine/super fine sugar
    corn flour or cornstarch)

    Preheat oven to 400F(200C).
    Lightly grease oven tray, line with baking paper or use non-stick cooking spray.

    Beat the whites of eggs with a pinch of salt until stiff (until peaks form).
    Continue beating, gradually adding sugar, vinegar and vanilla, until of thick consistency.
    Lightly fold in cornflour.

    Pile mixture into circular shape, making hollow in centre for filling.
    (Mixture will swell during cooking)
    Electric oven: turn oven to 250F (130C) and bake undisturbed for 1 1/2 hours.
    Gas oven: bake at 400F (200C) for ten minutes, then turn oven to 250F (130C) and bake a further hour.
    (Fan forced oven: temperature and time needs to be adjusted accordingly.)
    Turn oven off, leave pavlova in oven until cool.

    Top with whipped cream and decorate with fruit as desired.

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    Saturday, March 17, 2012

    You Won't Lose Em In The Dark Cupcakes!

    For St Patricks Day
    Well I'm laughing so hard at these cupcakes....think I over did the green just a tad! still like the title says, you won't lose em in the dark ;)  in fact they just might be visible from here in Melbourne to the Emerald Isle...they taste good which is the main thing.

    100g dark chocolate

    1 cup (250ml) water

    125g butter, softened

    1 1/4 cups (255g) brown sugar

    3 eggs

    1 1/2 cups (225g) self-raising flour

    1/2 cup (75) plain flour

    1/4 cup (30g) cocoa powder

    Preheat oven to 160°C. Line 18 x 1/3-cup (80ml) capacity muffin pans with paper cases. Combine the chocolate and water in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition, until just combined. Add the flours and cocoa powder and stir until just combined. Add the melted chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Spoon evenly among the lined muffin pans. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool

    ....Happy St Patricks Day

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    Cuisine Kathleen's 4th Annual St Patricks Day Blog Crawl

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

    Jam & Cream Topped Scones

    Here in Australia we make a more sweetened type of scone, often adding dried fruits such as sultanas or topping a plain scone with jam and cream. my favourite is strawberry or raspberry jam & whipped cream....yum! especially served warm from the oven. a nice cup of tea nicely rounds of a delicious afternoon tea!

      Scone recipe

    3 cups (450g) self-raising flour
    1 tsp caster sugar
    Pinch salt
    50g butter, chopped
    1 1/4 cups (310ml) milk
    Milk, extra, to glaze
    strawberry or raspberry jam, to serve
    Double cream, to serve

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    Saturday, March 10, 2012

    Strawberry & Choc Chip Muffins!

    I was a bit nervous about this combination, not sure how it would turn out.....but! let me tell you these muffins are SO yummy, no really trust me, you won't regret making and of course eating these beauties :)

    2 1/2 cups self raising flour
    90gr chopped butter
    1 cup sugar
    3/4 cup buttermilk
    1/4 cup cream
    1 beaten egg
    1 cup choc chips
    small punnet strawberries chopped

    pre-heat oven to moderate. prepare 12 hole muffin pan.
    place flour in a bowl, rub in butter,  stir in sugar, buttermilk,  cream, egg and choc chips. mix untill just combined, mix in strawberries,  don't over mix. divide mix between the prepared muffin holes & cook 20-25 minutes (approx) cool slightly in pan before putting on a wire rack.

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    Friday, March 9, 2012

    Cheats Sausage Rolls!

    These sausage rolls are so easy they really are like cheating but in a good way ;)
    really there's no recipe you just cook up some little chipolata sausages (I boil mine first as I dislike under done sausage meat) I then brown the sausages. when cooled I wrap them in puff pastry and cook them in a pre heated oven untill the pastry is  golden brown & the sausage inside is warmed through....so easy & so good :)

    Wednesday, March 7, 2012

    Colour In The Garden!

    It has turned rather cool quite quickly here and even though autumn has just started the garden is already starting to lose its summer colour.  I was surprised but happy to find these lovely roses recently :)

    Sunday, March 4, 2012

    So Pretty!

    Don't you just love strawberries or any kind of berries really, I know I do. I thought these looked so pretty in the black bowl that I just had to take a photo to show them.....now what to do with these delicious little fruits?? muffins or a tart...hhmm I think maybe a tart. but that will be for later, perhaps even tomorrow!


    Friday, March 2, 2012


    its just the second day of autumn here in Melbourne and as much as its my favourite season I sure will miss summer. I'm not one for extreme heat but there is something about summer that just seems....well different,  more free,  relaxed.  what do you think,  whats your  favourite season?