Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy Hydrangeas

© Kara Rosenlund

I bought these pretty hydrangeas Saturday morning at our local produce markets. A girlfriend and I headed in bright and early for a delightful morning of gourmet hunting and gathering.

I absolutely adore hydrangeas, I know I say that about a lot of things here, however these bulging beauties are high up on the list. I have attempted to grow hydrangeas countless times, however they always end up with the same dreadful fate - a crunchy dried shrivelled mess. Cut blooms suits my gardening repertoire far better. Each day fill the vase with icy water and spray with an atomiser - ta dah!

vR x

nB - let me know if you have any tips for growing happy hydrangeas!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ciao Bella

Happy Sunday!

Hope your Sunday is full of yummy delights as mine has been so far.
Timothy O and I popped into our favourite Italian patisserie Dolci Sapori at Clayfield for an expresso this morning. We decided to treat ourselves with a traditional summer Sicilian breakfast - 'gelato e brioche' as it was so hot. Amongst other things we also ordered a cheeky take home 1 litre tub of their 'pistacchio' gelato. You know what they say, you can tell the quality of gelateria by the quality of their pistachio.

Dolci Sapoi was born out of the need for an authentic Italian pasticceria; a place for a typical Italian breakfast - an on the run expresso with a freshly baked pastry and the results from last nights soccer game.

They make all their delicious sweet treats on site each day as well as their gelato. The line is often out the door, though don't be put off, it moves very fast!

Ciao Ciao

vR x
p.s their arancini is out of this world - fried fresh while you wait.

Random Act of Kindness

I wasn't going to post about this, however I have found myself pondering this over the last couple of days. Last week, much to our surprise Timothy O received a very handsome kraft box in the post from Australian skincare extraordinaires Aesop, of whom we adore and support. Inside was a generous selection of Aesop products and samples from their range.

Behind this very kind gesture to their loyal customers was to offer some respite from the recent QLD floods and all the trauma that has been associated with the disaster.

How special is it to have a brand that supports you in your time of need.
Thank you Aesop.

vR x

Friday, February 25, 2011

SO French

For Christmas just gone I received the wonderful cookbook and memoir 'SO French' by acclaimed restaurateur Dany Chouet and Trish Hobbs from my thoughtful parents. I absolutely adore french cuisine and this particular book hit the spot for me. Apart from sharing over 60 recipes the book details Dany Chouet's French beginnings, her arrival in Sydney in the early 1970's, and her adventures shaping French cuisine in Australia through her successful restaurants 'Upstairs', 'Au Chabrol' and 'Cleopatra'.

With the abundance of cherries at the moment, I'm planning on baking Cherry Clafoutis over the weekend; a simple fast family dessert - with an air of elegance... I hope!

Cherry Clafoutis Clafoutis aux cerises
500 grams pitted very ripe black cherries
1 tablespoon of kirsch
40 grams unsalted butter
3 eggs
55 grams caster sugar
35 grams of ground almonds
200 ml thick cream, plus extra to serve
1/4 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon natural almond extract
finely grated zest of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Place the cherries in a mixing bowl with the kirsch, let them marinate, tossing from time to time, for about 15 minutes or until the juices are released.

With some of the butter, grease a 25cm pie or flan dish and set aside in a cool place.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar, add the ground almonds, cream, extracts and lemon zest and mix well. Strain the cherries and add their juice to the cream mixture. Spread the cherries in the dish, pour over the cream mixture and dot the remaining butter over the surface.

Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25 - 30 minutes or until set and golden brown.

Serve warm or cold with extra cream.

vR x

Pool Pavilion

Unknown Source

Good friend of ours have asked me to help out with their recently purchased house here in Ascot. One aspect that I'm very excited about is their separate pool pavilion. I love an out building which has purpose, yet also a dash of glamour. Above are a small selection of elements I have gathered to start the ball rolling. Their backyard has an air of Hampton esque proportion about it, so you really can't go past the classic Adirondack Chair for comfort and style, paired with understated market umbrellas. Talking about understatements, I do hope to convince them to put in an outdoor fire pit!

vR x

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kitchenaid LOve

The time has finally come for this girl to become a Kitchen Goddess. Yes I'm talking about bringing home a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer. It is an object I have been lusting after for many a moon, however I could never fully commit to a colour..... until now!
I'll keep you updated on the pursuit.

vR x

Milkie White

One of my all time favourite things to do is to go treasure hunting in thrift shops. I do approach it like a sport and I do tend to take it a tad seriously apparently; there are rules, strict colour codes, objects of desire, route maps and there are even 'lucky charm' favourite car parks in each of my regular op shops to wish me luck upon embarking.

Just yesterday I came across a little handful/armful of delights; white vintage glazed china. I just can't get enough of it (as you can see from the above image); I love the crazing and the delicate unique creaminess of each piece.

A friendly fellow treasure hunter approached me to compliment my selection, she told me that if I wanted to strengthen the pieces to soak them in hot milk for a few hours.
I love ol' world kitchen tales

vR x

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Isle of White

White is often dubbed the 'safe option' when it comes to decorating which really surprises me, as she can often be one cranky stubborn mule to work with! What is often over looked is actually how complicated white is to get right.

A tip is to know your whites and to know which white is right for you!

Whites can be divided into two simple categories: cool whites and warm whites.

Cool whites have a subtle blue undertone and appear bright and cool. When used in a warm, bright area, cool whites feel tranquil and inviting rather than stark and clinical.

Warm whites have a subtle yellow or pink undertone. Many heritage or country style interiors feature warm whites as they work in harmony with rich timber finishes and other 'country' colours such as two of my personal favs dusky pink and duck egg blue.

As a cool white devotee I always recommend using a wide variety of different textures to add interest to an all white scheme. Choosing textured furnishings and decorative objects in several tonal variations adds layers depth to any room.

LOve White

Above is a collection of sample images from a recent kitchen project.
Kitchens and White go together like Salt and Pepper!

vR x

Why Hello....

... fancy seeing you around these parts....
Yes; I admit it.... I have been a naughty blogger, an absent blogger, a guilty blogger ... I committed the Number One Blogger Sin... I stepped away from the computer; I thought it was only going to be for a day or two, however it turned into a bit longer than that didn't it? Good news is I am back on the train and the steam is piping hot! Lots to share with you, so please stick around! Above is a divine sweet treat from Magpie Cakes and is edible would you believe!

vR x
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