Thursday, December 29, 2011

Focaccia for New Years

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and you are all looking forward to the New Year, I know I am and most of the people in Canterbury are hoping that 2012 is going to be a good one.

I have been posting a lot about food lately, but it's Christmas and New Year time, time for eating good food and lots of it. Plus I really enjoy photographing food, it doesn't move and it is patient. 
For those of you that have been asking I promise to do a fashion shoot in the New Year, now that I actually have more clothes to photograph.

I have made this Focaccia bread on a few occasions, it is fairly easy to make and nothing much beats the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven!

Dry active yeast

I used a high grade flour for the Focaccia






Recipe:

4 cups of  high grade flour or bread flour
2 Tablespoons of oil
2 teaspoons of iodised salt
2 teaspoons of dry active yeast
2 cups of lukewarm water
A sprinkle of mixed herbs
A few sprigs of chives
A couple of pinches of rock salt for the top of the bread

Knead together flour, yeast, mixed herbs, chives,  iodised salt, oil and water for about 2 minutes.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with glad wrap and sit in a warm place for an hour, I usually put mine in the hot water cupboard.

On a floured surface knead dough for a couple of minutes and roll out into a rectangle 2 inches thick.
Brush some oil on top and sprinkle with rock salt (you can also sprinkle some mixed herbs on top).

Place on a baking tray and cook in the oven on 180 degrees C. for 30-35 minutes.

You can substitute the herbs in this recipe for anything you desire, sometimes I like to add a bit of garlic.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Leaving dinner for a special friend

I had friends over for dinner on Sunday night to say bon voyage to a dear friend who is going to explore life overseas. I will be very sad to see her go, but I am also excited for her adventure ahead.

We decided to cook dinner rather than go out, it is much more intimate.

We made, bacon wrapped chicken stuffed with mushrooms that had been slightly cooked in red wine accompanied with fresh carrots and potato rostis. For dessert we made creme caramels, this is the first time I have attempted these. I was pretty excited when we lifted the ramekins up to see that they had worked perfectly. They tasted sooooo good!!






The start of the creme caramel, we attempted this part twice :}



Okay, it doesn't look the prettiest but trust me it was yummy



It was such a fun night, I will have to have dinner parties more often. 


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Offensive Christmas cards

I have a pretty awesome friend called Lauren, she has just finished her Design Degree and decided to put her mad skills to use and make some Christmas cards.

They are offensive, hilarious and creative.








Give these to people that have a sense of humour.
These cards are for sale and start at $10 each, please do bare in mind that they are one offs, pretty special right?

Email Lauren at dunell.lauren@gmail.com

Offend a family member this year.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Christchurch city's new pop up mall

A couple or weeks ago in Christchurch we were finally allowed into a small section of our city, as most of you that live in Christchurch will know.
For those of you not in Christchurch I decided to take a few photos and share them here.

It was pretty great being inside part of the city again and seeing it filled with people.

This little boy was amazing at playing his keyboard, plus he didn't even need to look at the keys!

The new ruby store 

People enjoying one of the cafes

I love all the colours they chose to use for the containers
It is such a great way to create a temporary shopping precinct using containers.

It was weird being inside the red zone, it was exciting but at the same time there was an eery feeling around.

And finally to the people that are trying to sue over these containers, fuck you (excuse my french) but seriously! Link here about this.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Strawberry Balsamic Flatbread

I came across this Strawberry balsamic flatbread a few weeks ago on the blog Joy the baker, you can find the recipe here.

I thought it was a pretty interesting combination of flavours, so I decided to give it a go.



I used frozen strawberries because that's all I had in the house, if you are going to give it a go I would suggest using fresh ones. The juices from the strawberries ran when I baked the bread it just doesn't look as pretty.


I had mixed reviews from friends and family that tried this, some loved it and others hated it. I have to say I'm on the fence with this one, the strawberry with the mint and the balsamic also with salt sprinkled on the top tasted strange to me. I am still unsure as to whether I liked it or not. I think if I had goats cheese on top as the original recipe has it could have been the key to these flavours working together.

I was babysitting my nephew at the time and I may have forgotten about the bread while it was baking, so I burnt it slightly oops!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hens high tea.

It has been a couple of weeks since I last posted, I'm sorry I have been a bit slack.

Last weekend it was my sister Sarahs wedding on the Sunday and her hens party on the Saturday.
It was a busy week leading up to the wedding with my other sister Lou and I organizing the hens party.
I wanted to share some photos of things that we did in order to make the hens party special.

We tried to get creative with the cupcake icing!

We got these flags for the cupcakes from The Pretty Blog here

We ended up with a purple and green theme, we have no idea how the colours just happened. We hung these lanterns above the food table.


My friend Carina made this Gluten free Chocolate cake, it is amazing and it was definitely a talking point.

Lou made these truffles using one of Nigellas recipes



Lou and I came across these printable tea tags on The Pretty Blog again it is a very useful and inspiring blog. You can print these tea tags here. We had Earl Grey, Ceylon and Rooibos teas.

We also had a sweet station
Thanks to everyone that either helped out or lent us stuff to borrow for Sarahs hens party, you all know who you are x

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Two course meal

I was feeling a bit adventurous the other night and decided to make a yummy dinner.

We started with Carrot, ginger and coconut soup, go here for the recipe.





This soup is amazing it has such a delicate taste. I never really follow recipes fully, it depends on what I have in my cupboards at the time. With this soup I added extra ginger and I didn't put in as much coconut milk as the recipe states. I find that the coconut milk dulls down the flavour slightly. I probably could have added more carrots in this particular batch.

Our second course was a pork roast. I had the pork in the oven for half an hour for every 500gms and I took it out when it was still slightly pink to rest. The pork will continue to cook while resting.



I also made apple sauce to go with the pork, for recipe go here






I wanted to do something a little different, so instead of just cutting up some carrots and boiling them I decided to make a carrot puree, go here for the recipe.

And the end result...


And it was bloody good.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Exciting!

There is something exciting coming to this site soon, keep those eyes peeled people!






Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Blouse

It's been too long.






This is my favourite blouse by far, I will forever be on the look out for more like it.
It is a great transitional piece for the changing seasons. Hurry up summer!