Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Dinner idea

Friday, May 15th, 2015

I made this for dinner tonight!!!





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But I made a few adjustments.

I added mushrooms. But not just any old mushrooms. I added MY favourite mushrooms in the whole wide world. Saffron Milk Caps. Hand picked by my in laws from Oberon, NSW.


Image source and more info of the mushrooms

I used smoked salmon instead of trout, as that is what I had on hand. I used about 4 tablespoons of thickened cream stirred through instead of creme fraiche as I didn’t have any. I used just ordinary green shallots. And I stirred through some parsley. MY GOD, It was yum!

Probably the best pasta I have made in a long time!

Do try it.

Have you tried saffron milk caps? Or pine mushrooms. They are seriously delicious.

Do you like mushrooms? I love them!

Iced sugar cookies

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

I made sugar cookies.

I have wanted to try making these since my first attempt. Which was over a year ago for my daughter’s christening.





This time I made the icing properly!

Except my piped border was a too thick is consistency making it hard to get smooth lines and it has visible edge. Never mind, there is always next time.

I used this recipe for the cookies

And this recipe for the royal icing

(pavlova magic in lieu of meringue powder)

There is still plenty of room left  for improvement!

And gee golly, the skies the limit in terms of what you can achieve on a cookie! I don’t think I will attempt any of that though.

xoxo Laura

Birthday Cake

Saturday, September 6th, 2014


Happy Birthday to my Husband!

The gift category was sparse so I tried to fill the void with a knock out cake!

I’ve been thinking about this cake for months.

I wanted to d0 a semi-naked cake because my husband isn’t the biggest fan of icing. He also isn’t into sickly sweet anything. So regular buttercream is out for him.

So I made swiss meringue buttercream. Not too sweet at all! Lighter in colour then buttercream and silky looking.

The cake is very pretty. Rather feminine. Better suited for a cake for Audrey, but I didn’t want to wait any longer to try this cake.

I knew no matter what I made it would be a chocolate cake. Husband loves chocolate cake. He also loves whipped cream and strawberries, so I did that in the centre of the layers.

I decorated it with a yellow ranunculus from my garden. The ONLY ranunculus I’ve got so far, well that is what I thought when I went to cut it off I cut another bulb too! D’oh! That is what happens in haste.

The other flowers are violas and pansies (I think . . . )

Raspberries and blueberries.

And lastly mint leaves from my garden.


It was a hit and I am beside myself with how it turned out!

I don’t want to toot my own horn (HA!) but this could be the front page of a food mag! Am I right?


A simple card I made.


Have you been baking anything?

What about craft? Any crafting?

Have a good day!

Audrey at 12 months

Friday, April 25th, 2014

a.k.a 1 YEAR OLD!

(this post is a bit late, but life goes on)


This is her on the morning of her birthday just before going to daycare.

As luck would have it, it was the day the reptile man came to visit the daycare centre!

She was born the day before my mum and sister in law. So we had a little group do at my in-laws place.

I made yet another cake.


This was a carrot cake requested by my sister in law.

She turned 20 something (count the candles LOL)


I didn’t get enough photos of her on her party day so I dress her up again and snapped some more.




Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

I have done my best to try and restore some work life balance.

My husband has made it abundantly clear that he does not want to do d.i.y/handiman jobs around the house on the weekend. I have made peace with it. He needs that time to unwind. He is also solo parenting with A.

So I have picked up some extra days of work to raise the funds to just PAY PEOPLE! Pay painters, pay carpenters etc.

Sounds odd. but more work to try and implement more work life balance for both of us.

And then hopefully I can take some weekend days off work here and there, because I lose income when I do that, but I will have these other days to carry me through.

My mum bought be a beautiful bracelet for my birthday!


I want to put charms on it, but everyone is telling me not to.


My sister got me this book because I really wanted it.


I can’t keep my nose out of it! It is fantastic.

So here are some things I have done in the past weeks.

I took Audie to my husbands work after I finished a freelance job for a press ad because I was nearby and it was close to 5pm.


We went to the beach for a walk and had fish and chips!

That was lovely but made me feel melancholy because summer has drawn to a close and daylight savings is right behind.


I think Audrey feels the same way!

I heard on the radio that this afternoon was probably the last evening with nice weather of daylight savings to get out and about. I picked up A from daycare and told my husband to meet us at the park so we could push Audrey on the swing set and slide down the slippery dip.

Then we did groceries together (That is considered a date right?)  To get a roast chook and other odds and ends.

I have been whipping up some great meals in the kitchen! I need to post them more so I don’t forget what I have made and what went into them.


Soba noodles, sautéed eggplant, spinach, bacon and julienned (with mandolin, makes quick work) zucchini. Oodles of parmesan and a quick vege packed meal on the table. I like the soba noodles. They take 4 mins to cook.


Again with the mandolin. (I seem to go through phases, we had the brussel sprouts phase, then the zucchini phase and now the everything with the mandolin phase.

Fennel, spanish onion, sliced thinly with mandolin. orange segments (surprising time consuming to cut), fresh mint from my garden. SULTANAS!!! My 2nd favourite sweet food to eat behind chocolate. For the dressing I made a mix of lemon and orange juice, olive oil and a little bit of kewpi mayonnaise.

THAT was so bloody fresh and YUMMY. I ate mine on toasted fresh ciabatta bread!


I also put my car in to be serviced and I FINALLY made it to The Grounds. FINALLY. (Only because I didn’t have to bother with parking.

WOW! I really enjoyed myself. I walked from the dealership in questionable skies (looked about the pour at any minute) for 20 mins with Audrey in the pram. By the time I got there and waited for a table, Audrey had fallen asleep. Then I was sat inside a VERY noisy cafe and I thought cripes. This isn;t going to end well. Tired bubba will wake in an almighty fit. . .

Totally slept right through it!


This croquette was delish. I had a meal, these croquettes as a side and a fresh juice. My bill was in EXCESS of $30. Oh Sydney.


I LOVED THIS DISH! So I tried the fennel raw. Now I wanted to try it roasted (Well I did try it recently at The Winery at Surry Hills for my friends hens party) But I mean, for myself. This is cous cous. Roasted fennel, capsicum, spanish onions and kalamata olives. Fresh cucumber and parsley. Lemon, olive oil, S&P drizzled over the top. YUMMERS. I had this again tonight but with the roast chook shredded into it. I am just a bit conscious of the carbohydrates in the cous cous. It is quite high. So I need something else to try. Anyone tried Freekah? It is low in carbs?


Also in another exercise to manage work life balance. I am embracing freezer meals. I had about 3 dozen eggs in the fridge thanks to my in laws chickens, so I needed to use them up. So I made fresh pasta. I rolled these into cannelloni. It had ricotta, home grown spinach, parsley and basil in it. With S&P and parmesan cheese. An Italian lady at work said I should have put an egg in the mix too! Oh well. I have 3 meals in the fridge of this. Pull the rolls out frozen place in a baking dish. Cover with pasata. Some fresh basil leaves and crush just with the back of the knife 2 cloves of garlic. Cook in oven. In the last 5 mins. Grate lashings on cheese on it! 1 pan dinner in about 25 mins! No defrosting either.


Made up some fettuccine. OMG so good. So silky. Takes 2 – 3 mins tops to cook!

The next day I came home from work and I had pulled out some mini meatballs that I had frozen and I was going to dish them up with some barilla penne out of a box and call it a day. But, Lord, I just couldn’t. I had the fresh pasta the day before and it has ruined me. So I started making fresh pasta. I thought to myself, if this takes too long I will draw a line in the sand. Wave the white flag and just cook the barilla dried pasta, but nope. I did it. Didn’t take long at all!

Fresh pasta for dinner on a day I have been to work and picked up my daughter from daycare! God I felt like I truly had my shit together. I was super mum and super wife.

Some of that also made its way into the freezer for another night when I possibly do not have my shit together.


I bought 2 of these lamps for cheap as chips off Just needed rewiring. I married a nerd. He did it for me! Super happy. I told him the flood gates are now opened. I predict many a US purchase, parcel forwarder housing lamps and light fittings for me. Poor guy! I just want to gold leaf the base and the finial.


Love this guy!

I need to be pointed in the direction of other freezer meal ideas that aren’t completely carb loaded like I gravitate towards.

I have outsourced my banquette/bench seat cushion cover out to an upholsterer so I can just get it finished. So hopefully I will be able to reveal that soon.

It is less that one week til my baby Audrey girl turns ONE!!! Wahhhhht? what?

We are having a party on Sunday. It is turning out to be bigger then Ben Hur.

The past couple of weeks

Friday, February 28th, 2014

How is everyone?

I am not normally a rain fan but since my interest in gardening has increased exponentially, I welcome it with open arms. Everything just looks better after a good rain. I am sitting by the window, with the back door open and I am basking in the sensory stimulation of it all!

Last weekend my very good friend got married! That explains the hiatus this blog has had. I spent a good chuck of the weeks leading up to it giving her a helping hand with the stationery and decor. It was good fun to spend time together.


My daughter was so well behaved and oh so cute. This was the unofficial photographer taking a pic of the official photographer taking a pic of little A.


I’m pretty sure she had a blast


It is about every 4 months or so that a photo gets taken of me and the little one.


The view. It was a glorious day. Just a pesky haze was hanging around. I am sure it will add a nice ambient moodiness to their professional photos.


These are the sort of things I was helping out with


I also did the invites too!

The venue was in Mosman and during the week we went there to drop stuff off and I am now aware there is a Jacadi Paris kids clothing shop there. . . my credit card knows it too! Heidi!!!!!!!!! I love ya, I hate ya!! heheheheh

I may have purchased Audrey’s 1st birthday dress and another pink dress for good measure. (Luckily they were both 50% off. . . but still more then I would wish to spend. Resistance is futile with this cutie though)

We had a great time too. Audrey fell asleep in the pram on the verandah, just outside. We covered her and the pram completely with a tablecloth. Husband and I took turns at eating our dinner and then we danced the night away!


The day after I was the lucky recipient of the wedding blooms. (HAHAHA I know someone who hates this lingo “blooms” my bad, flowers!)

I have 2 different light globes in those sconces. Hence why they look different.


I had a play with the flowers and did my own re-arranging.

My friend is getting married again today in Malaysia. If I were a wealthier woman I would be there! No doubt about it!!!

Such a shame that I am not. D’oh!


I made this salad through the week! Delish. I was on a brussel sprout salad kick, now it seems I am on a zucchini kick. I have done raw, I have done bbq’d. I have done grilled.


The figs are from my in laws garden. The parsley from mine.

Apart from all that. I am a total scatter brain. I have so much unfinished projects lying around and all these ideas and I don’t know what to work on. Overwhelmed.

Christmas Recap

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

Hi! How was your Christmas? Hope it was fabulous.


My Christmas took place prematurely on Christmas Eve. It felt so naughty opening the presents before Santa had time to come. But it was best because I was able to be involved.



Audrey Claus!!

I hosted both families for dinner.


In between dinner and dessert we opened Audrey’s presents with her. I got to say, My living room was transformed into a toy shop. I think they went overboard, but first grand kid on both sides would do that I think.


After dessert we opened the rest.


(How funny is this??? It was a gift from my Brother in law. Time to get into some serious gardening!)

Then after everyone had left hubby and I opened each others. There just wouldn’t have been time in the morning before I had to leave for work. And we wouldn’t have had time for the heartfelt “Oh you shouldn’t have. . .” Blushing, embracing etc.

And we got each other the same gift. Trivets. How RANDOM!!!!!! You can clearly see the difference in styles. We both like both.


In terms of the kitchen, I am pretty happy with how it is shaping up. I purchased a new cutlery set and I quite like it. But it is for 8 places and I hosted 11. How many place settings do you have at your place? Do you have 2 separate settings, Nice and everyday and just mix? Wondering if I should purchased another one so I have enough for 16!! That kind of seems excessive now.



(Husband went way out of his way to get me these mugs. They are so beautiful and exactly my style. So humbled by the effort he took upon himself)

I want to purchase another Christmas plate set. So I have enough for 12. We only had 8 for Christmas, and for all my lusting after it and obsessing, I wasn’t even fortunate enough to eat of it.


Audrey baked cookies for everyone! I loved this project. I designed the landscape scallop tags. I used my “Audrey” stamp, twine and a jingle bell.

I did Calligraphy on my envelopes partly because I need to practice and partly because the printer was snowed under. They served as place settings and I put Santa photos of Audrey inside them for the guests.

The place settings were my complete undoing.  For all my thought, hard work and stress rash, this still wasn’t enough to please some people. In fact piss them off completely, so much so, that simply sitting adjacent to the main table on the banquette would ruin the entire evening by someone constantly and unashamedly sulking. The only child in attendance was my daughter Audrey and we aren’t talking about her behaviour. Those antics placed a huge dark cloud over the evening and I never want to invite that person to my gatherings again.  I’m still waiting for an apology. (This isn’t the first or second time that this behaviour has surfaced)

I think now the only things my kitchen needs is a new dinner setting. But what?? I could never decide (And for how many for and what should be in it??). And a really nice glass pitcher for chilled water, ice tea, sangria etc. Ohhhh and I would LOVE crystal water goblets too. Got my eye on some. You can serve pretty much anything in them.


Villeroy & Boch Miss Desiree.

I didn’t get around to sewing the table cloth with my toile fabric  (nor the red ticking stripe table runner I was supposed to have. But I am not keen on that anymore, so wasn’t fussed)

But I did a really good iron job on it and folded it under and you couldn’t even tell.

It is so chic and I can use it year round.

I cooked lots of yummy food too!


A glazed ham! I have never done this before and have wanted to do it for the longest time. (I didn’t get an after shot. Bad me)


I made a fresh cherry clafoutis for dessert. Pretty easy dessert option. When it was in the oven cooking, I managed to sit down to a glass or two of bubbles.


So I am pretty obsessed about my kitchen and very pleased with my effort. Time to move my attention away from that and onto another part of my house, which will be our bedroom. Post on that coming soon.


Audrey enjoying cherries!


She looks like this baby! HAHAHAHH

Recipe – Something new from me.

Friday, September 13th, 2013

I really do enjoy cooking! Baking. . . err not so much, but cooking, yes, LOVE!

In an effort to clean up my diet, broaden my horizons (and my meat freak husband’s) and try new things.

I made this the other day.


It is the second time in fact that I have made it. (First time I swapped the pumpkin for avocado)

Raw Brussels Sprout Salad

  • Brussel Sprouts – sliced finely
  • Butternut Pumpkin – cubed and roasted
  • Shallots – sliced
  • Slivered Almonds – lightly toasted
  • Craisins – small handful
  • Parmesan Cheese – finely grated


  • Honey – tablespoon
  • Olive oil – depends on how much salad you make
  • Lemon – juiced
  • Masterfoods Dijonnaise – Found in my fridge. Works epic. Do try it!!! (Every time I say “Do try it” I say it exactly like the man in the Dilma commercials)
  • Salt & pepper – to taste

Served with home made hummus on Bourke Street Bakery Sourdough.


Totally yummers!

Happy Birthday hubby

Monday, September 9th, 2013

I have just been all over the shop, doing dumb things, being indecisive and forgetful.

On Friday was my husband’s birthday. I cleaned the house and set the table and spent ALL DAY IN THE BLOODY KITCHEN!!!

His family came over as well.

I made him a banana and strawberry cake with cream cheese icing.


(I designed and cut out my own “32” template, but stupid Woolworths and coles have steroided up there cachous/dragees! They are not as small as they use to be, so the result isn’t as good as I envisaged!)

And I roasted a leg of lamb. His parents live on a farm and they grow lots of food and it makes me SOO HAPPPY!!! Organic food, for FREEE!!!!!

Last time I was there I asked if I could take some beetroot. I wanted to try making a roast beetroot salad. It contained: roast beetroot, roast sweet potato and parsnip with honey walnuts, fetta cheese and salad leaves. DELISH!

His mother was most impressed, she only knows to boiling it and pickle it in vinegar, she said she would give that a go.

I scrubbed a bowl of kipfler potatoes but I ran out of room in my little oven to roast them and I don’t like mash (plus you can’t really do kipfler mash) so I gave up on those and in lieu I sliced up my whole loaf of Bourke St Bakery sourdough.

Everyone had had sufficient but I did feel inadequate because I didn’t put on the usual extreme over caterers that Europeans do (Particularly my in laws)

On the Saturday night I took the birthday boy to Chiswick Restaurant.

I didn’t do any reading about Chiswick. I just simply made a reservation and then showed up. I thought it would be like Aria, but it was its poor cousin.

Beautiful location but the service and atmosphere was VERY relaxed. No chair pull out, no napkin placed on lap, no bread and no table cloths.


(See what I mean? This is a margarita. . .  served in a tumbler. Call me old fashioned, but I was miffed. . . It was still delicious though)

I felt like we were having dinner with the people next to us. Our table was spaced apart by a hands span. The waiters couldn’t get past them to place our food down, so it was kind of passed over their heads to our waiting hands.

It was fast and the food delicious, but for the cost, I would have expected fine dining and not bistro.

I’ve been to Aria without my husband on a girls night out and my husband has been keen to try it. I thought I was going one better by giving him a different Matt Moran restaurant, unfortunately he wasn’t as impressed as I wanted him to be.

You really can’t compete with the harbour location of Aria. So it looks like I will still have to take him to Aria one day. . . . what a damn shame!!!


Then yesterday we had a first birthday party to attend.

Here is the wrapped gift, I do enjoy wrapping.


But in full disclosure.

I dropped the ball on my husband’s present. I designed his Father’s day card and his birthday card at the same time, I printed his Father’s day one and then I broke the printer and I didn’t get around to printing his birthday one. Come the night before his birthday and no presents wrapped and no card!! Yet I manage to wrap this one way in advance of the party.

So it came down to a panic rush while he was having a super fast man shower.

I grabbed a box and shoved all the gifts in there and then just wrapped the box. There was 2 items that didn’t fit into the box and they got shoved into a gift bag. Et voila


But before I did that, I HAVE A BIG BLOOOOODDDDYYY MOUTH and had to tell him that I hadn’t wrapped them! D’OH!!!

Oh well, come the morning of his birthday. I made him a tea and pancakes with berry compote and he opened wrapped presents and was grateful.


I got him a selection of things that I have been putting away for a few months deciding what would be Father’s day and what would be his birthday and he amassed a few items and it just got too much of a task to wrap and I over thought and it then, like I said, he was home from work the night before and they weren’t done.

On Thursday I went on a fabulous window shopping trip to Surry Hills. I went to visit the new Palm Beach Home shop that is where Chee Soon and Fitzgerald use to be where I worked for all of 2 days. (Ohh good memories)

The owner rung me a few days prior to tell him that he had more Astier De Villatte. He is my new best friend!!!

I went there and there was a handful of items that I wanted, but being the day before husbands birthday, I just couldn’t bring myself to swipe the ol’ cc.

The willpower I possessed that day was monstrous!

I visited Planet Furniture too. They have such a great range of ceramics there from Aussies. I love my Eva Solo oil carafe. I use it all the time.

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It has a lip and catches the drips, but sometimes things get hectic and I get a little Jamie Oliver and shit gets messy, hence my husband rests a folded up piece of paper towel underneath this. Ceramicist Kris Coad made this


And oil coaster to sit under your oil bottle! Form and function married perfectly. It is a beautiful glossy white hand made piece. I picked that up for my husband. I knew he would appreciate it.

Then I went to another favourite haunt to buy pinking shears. Bloody shop was closed for Jewish New Year!! ARHH

That is the second time I have gone to visit a shop to find it closed (And today was the third! I drove all the way to North Seaforth. It never even occurred to me to check, as it is Monday!!) So no pinking sheers and no red and black toile linen to get started on my Christmas crafts for this year!!)

I’ve also did another dumb thing.

I bought a copy of a magazine I have subscription for and I ended up with 2 copies!

That is the second time I have bought a magazine I already had. Took my forever to twig that I already had that copy.

I am a bit FOMO when it comes to magazines. I need to rein that in. I don’t buy real living or inside out though. DO NOT LIKE their aesthetics. No I don’t want neon, macrame, chevron or industrial!

I also went to Hub Furniture it check out Reichenbach’s taste range of ceramics. LOVE!! Ohh LOVE.

But my god, you can’t just buy what they have out on display. You have to order it. I wanted to buy a plate so I could put the cake on, but oh well. SO I need to decide on what I would like and put my order it.


How does one choose??? I have financial shortcomings that don’t allow the purchase of the entire range people!

While I was there I did see the $3,500 marble bowls that I once lusted after. They are really quite substantial and I can kinda sort of see why they command such a price. I also saw these lights


They are made of bone china in the UK. I love them for over my island bench, but for the life of me I can’t pick a coordinating light or the dining table. Or I can pick a dining table light but then not one for the dining table.


Oh yeah and in other kitchen news. WHERE THE EXPLETIVE IS OUR KITCHEN???? We paid the deposit over a month ago and cannot get the guy out to do the check measure before committing to paying half as per their terms and conditions. Thinking of starting all over again with a new company. If things don’t get rolling it will be bloody Christmas. I wanted this stupid thing in before Little A starts solids (too late) and before I go back to work (too late)

Father’s Day 2013

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Happy first father’s day to my husband!


Audrey dragged me out shopping weeks ago but asked me to help wrap it.

I made a clay tag and bundled it up with twine and Japanese washi paper that I lovingly brought home on my lap this time 2 years ago.


We went easy on the gifts as it my husband’s birthday this Friday.


I’m teaching Audrey from a young age, ‘The art of buying a gift for yourself but passing it off for another” I am so guilty of this.

I’m already plotting whether I can buy some more Astier de Villatte and gift it to my husband on Friday under the guise of “Ohh I thought you would just love it!!! It is soooo you!”

The budgies do have meaning to us. It is not just a cute top from Seed. I once illustrated a budgie my husband’s family owned and made it into a valentines day card, when I saw it, it reminded me of that.

Plus my husband loves birds!

There were other presents in addition to these two tops.


Next up was the obligatory big breakfast.

This is just what I usually make for him on the weekend. Sadly this will end very shortly with my return to work. I think husband will be begging me to stay home a little longer so he can eat this more.

The only special addition was home made basil pesto on the bread.

(We do have place mats, they aren’t attractive, so I removed it for the shot. I am on the hunt for new ones. Oh and new flat ware, would love that!! OHH and new plates as well.)


It was a beautiful sunshine filled day and we went to a park by the water to relax.


She smiles often and to anyone, yet capturing it on camera is mission impossible!


Do you like our cup holders? Isn’t my husband industrious?


I made a picnic spread.

Antipasto cob sandwich with hummus and carrots.


I’ve been wanting to make one of these for a while and this picnic was the perfect occasion.

It had home made basil pesto, artichokes, salami, char grilled capsicum, rocket and baby spinach.

That is also home made hummus too. I can never bring myself to buy pesto, hummus, baba ganoush or pasta sauce! NEVER.


Then we snacked on cookies. I made 80 cookies in stealth on Friday. It took me half a day. Then my friend came over and helped me taste test a few before we packed it all up and hid them.

I added white and milk choc chips, pecans, slivered almonds, macadamia nuts and hazelnuts.

My husband is patiently waiting for me to make him muffins, but without a muffin tray that fits in our little oven, this was the next best thing. Filled with lots of nuts as they are is fav. I cleaned out so many opened packets in the pantry baking these.


And lastly, he still has these cupcakes to go!


After the picnic we went and visited his parents and then mine, then BED!

We had a wedding on Saturday so we were a little tired from the get go. My husband was a groomsmen. Audrey’s first wedding and I was doing the gig solo basically! I did have help from some of his work buddies. Two ladies were fighting over who would give her a bottle! So cute. Friends also took turns of walking her in the pram outside so I could enjoy a boogie with my handsome hubby. Was such a beautiful wedding and lovely to have such nice friends.


Ha Ha. Bye bye husband’s face.

These days, it is not a wedding without a photo booth! Love it.

Hoping all the dads out there had a beautiful day yesterday!

Now to wrap it all up and start on preparations for husband’s Birthday. So excited.