Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cake Tricks

© Kara Rosenlund

On a recent shoot I had the opportunity to work with some pretty serious foodies who opened my eyes to baking and how simple it can be. All you need are the right tools and a few tips and tricks.

One thing I didn't know about baking cakes was that those pretty shaped cake tins actually serve a purpose; I always thought those different shaped cake tins were just to keep home cooks entertained in the kitchen, "Should I bake a round one today... or a square one".... apparently not.

A Springform tin is best for fragile cakes, such as a mousse cake. Bundt tins are used for dense rich cakes; the hole in the centre allows the heat to penetrate from all sides, cooking the cake faster.

Fancy That!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Freedom!, I'm not talking about George Michael. Im talking about Furniture! Thought I would share with you some pieces that have caught my eye of late. They are all from Freedom's Autumn collection. By the looks of it the Freedom folk are trying really hard to grab our attention and boy have they caught mine! Pop over to their online store and have a look through. I'm loving the Industrial Ceiling Pendants!


Head in Clouds

Welcome back! Or perhaps I should be saying that to myself! After a two week hiatus where my head had a holiday in the clouds, I am back in the blogging hot seat. As many of you already know Timothy O ask me to marry him some two weeks ago, which I eagerly accepted. So you may find a few more 'wedding related' posts kicking around on my blog soon. Boy o Boy! Lots to share!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Country Head

© Kara Rosenlund

What a surprise trip away to the country will do to a girls head!
Ah, could of stayed forever; especially at this place:


Friday, March 11, 2011

Tarty Love

© Kara Rosenlund

You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, and know when to run...
So I run to Jocelyn's Provisions when I need a perfect Raspberry Tart.
Make your own?.. Pfff... not this time round sister; everyone know the tart always goes home with someone!

Don't tell them I sent you; I'm always a fumbling mess in there, who get way too excited and who wants one of everything, plus biscuits, plus pasta, plus really expensive pasta sauce to go with the pasta, plus one of those nice looking gathering baskets that aren't for sale and all I end up with is a nice fat parking ticket... plus an awesome tart... that sometimes I pretend I have made myself..... joking.... well...kinda!

Jocelyn's Provisions
Shop 8 Centro on James
James Street
Fortitude Valley 4006
3852 3799

Thursday, March 10, 2011

CIty Chick

© Kara Rosenlund

Ever wondered how to liven up your life? Get yourself some chickens folks! Seriously! Fresh eggs, low maintenance and that good old feeling of connecting with the earth and caring for something smaller than you.

I recently read an article from a famous French chef who migrated to Australia. She was shocked to see such large and small backyards going to waste, when people could easily use that land to feed themselves. I totally agree, thats why we have a little flock of pekin bantams ourselves - and we certainly don't live in the country.

If you are thinking about getting chickens I can point you in the right direction.


Golden Eggs Courtesy of our cheeky Bettina and clucky Gigi xx

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Saying it with Food - Potato Gratin

© Kara Rosenlund

Cream and Potatoes; they would have to be one of my favourite chilly night combinations!
Autumn makes everything better and this recipe for Potato Gratin is no exception! Ideal for entertaining large numbers or dividing into ramekins and making individual servings. Perfect for serving along side poultry, game or fish. Below is the luxury version of the humble potato bake.

Potato Gratin

300ml double cream
100ml milk
2 garlic cloves, crushed
800g potatoes, peel and cut into 2-3mm slices
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmasen cheese
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh thyme


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Place the cream, milk and crushed garlic into a pan and bring to the boil.

Season and add the potatoes, mixing well.

Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish, spreading it out so there is an even distribution of glorious cream.

Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 50 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

Remove the foil and sprinkle with the parmesan and fresh thyme and return to the oven for ten minutes, until brown on top!

Ode to Wooden Spoons

© Kara Rosenlund

Wooden Spoons - 'in or out' in your kitchen? They are definitely 'in' in our kitchen. Nothing says homely and safe more than a big collection of wooden spoons in a kitchen. Big ones, tall ones, small ones, burnt ones, they all serve a unique culinary service. The perfect spot to keep your wooden spoons is next to the stove, efficiently at arms reach for a quick stir and taste.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Saying it with Food - Chocolate and Stout Cake

© Kara Rosenlund

Who would of thought that chocolate and beer would be perfect for each other and a delicious combination. Rich and malty stout marries perfectly with bitter cocoa and topped with dreamy cream cheese frosting! This girl is a heavy one, so a small serving is recommended.... though sometimes ignored!

vR x


1 cup of stout
250g unsalted butter
3/4 cup cocoa, sifted
2 cups of raw sugar
2 + 1/4 cups of plain flour, sifted
2 medium free range eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking soda

300g cream cheese
150g confectioners sugar (which is icing sugar; not icing mixture!)
150ml cream, whipped

Preheat over to 180 degrees

Add the butter, sifted cocoa and stout to a saucepan over medium heat and stir to dissolve butter. Remove and set aside for 5 minutes to cool.

Add flour, baking soda and sugar to a large mixing bowl and mix together well. Pour in the stout/butter mixture, lightly combine, add the vanilla, eggs and sour cream and beat everything together until well combined.

Pour into a greased and lined 10" angel cake tin (the one with the hole in the middle) and bake for 45 minutes to one hour. Check with a skewer to see if it is ready. The cake is a moist one, so don't let it go dry.

Leave to cool completely on a wire rack before removing from the tin.

For the Frosting
Use a mixer to beat the cream cheese, otherwise if by hand use a whisk until cheese is smooth. Gradually add the sifted confectioners sugar and beat gently to combine for a few minutes.
Gently fold the whipped cream in.
Place the cake on your cake stand and spread the frosting over the top.

Ta Dah! x

Courtesy of Nigella Lawson from Feast

Monday, March 7, 2011

Saying it with Food - Mum's Birthday Lunch

© Kara Rosenlund

What a weekend of old fashioned fun! I had a lovely surprise visit from my good friend Miss M on Saturday as I was preparing for my mothers birthday lunch. An apron was immediately placed over her head and off we went together beating, simmering, stirring, glazing and laughing together for the next few hours. What an amazing autumn afternoon idled away in the kitchen; food, friendship and a lot of fun.

On the list to prepare for the surprise menu was Sand Crab Lasagne (mum's favourite), Chocolate Stout Cake (a new family favourite) and Sparkling Pink Jellies with Strawberry Gelato!

Glad to report that the family had a wonderful sunday on the deck, watching the age old trees dance in the autumn wind while eagerly anticipating the next course.

Here is the recipe for Sand Crab Lasagne; we only make this recipe when crab is in season; which my mother tells me are only the months which have an 'R' in them. I love a good old fashion rhyme!

Sand Crab Lasagne


600g crab meat
60g butter
1/3 cup flour
2 cups milk
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 diced onion
1 clove garlic crushed
800g can whole peeled tomatoes (2 cans)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp fresh basil
1 tsp italian parsley
1 tsp oregano
instant lasagne sheets
1 litre fish stock
120ml white wine
800 ml cream
3 tsp tomato paste


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Melt 60g of butter in a pot and stir in 1/3 cup flour and cook for 1 minute. Heat 2 cups of milk in a separate pot. Remove butter mixture from the heat and gradually whisk in the warmed milk. Stir over low heat until the mixture boils and thickens. Boil constantly for 1 minute. Set aside and cool for 5 minutes. Then stir in 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and season.

Heat olive oil in saucepan and add 1 diced onion and 1 clove crushed garlic over medium heat until soft. Add whole canned tomatoes, undrained and mash a little in the saucepan. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp freshly chopped basil, parsley and oregano and season.

Stir 2 tbsp of white sauce through the 600g of crab meat. Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce over the bottom of an ovenproof dish, top with instant lasagne sheets, crab mixture and white sauce. Repeat layers starting with the tomato sauce and then finally ending with white sauce.

Bake for 30 minutes on 180 degrees. While the lasagne is baking combine 1 litre of fish stock and 120ml of white wine in a pan and boil to reduce to a glaze. Add 800ml cream and reduce to a thick sauce. Whisk in 3 tsp tomato paste and season. Spoon over individual serves of lasagne.

This recipe is courtesy of Gillian Hirst from Il Centro fame.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Colour By Numbers

Its almost the weekend!
It was my mothers birthday on Wednesday and I have planned a weekend of feasting to celebrate her 59th year - more of that to come as it unfolds over the next few days! .... I stumbled across this earlier and wanted to share; I went through a phase of grouping my books based on their spine colour. looking at this little film it makes me laugh; genius!

vR x

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Subway Splash

A new chapter is unfolding this week within the walls of our little cottage - The Kitchen Splash Back - tiled in traditional white subway tiles.

I love the utilitarian and understated aesthetic of white subway tiles; they are as cheap as chips and are as chic as Chanel (well, sort of... in a kitchen way). They have always reminded me of butchers shops and old dairies - places where you roll your sleeves up high and do serious elbow work.

Without professional advice it can sometimes be overwhelming making decisions when it comes to kitchens. To achieve a good balance with materials, a combination of many different yet high quality surfaces will bring a feeling of warmth to the hard working area; materials such as tiles, zinc, wood and marble will do the trick.

vR x

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hoisting a Classic

© Kara Rosenlund

Growing up my childhood best friend and I would spent many a hot Queensland afternoon running through her backyard sprinklers in our togs, sucking on funny face ice blocks and having cartwheel competitions on the lawn; good old fashion fun.

One of our favourite things to do was to run towards her Hills Hoist clothes line and then jump onto one of its arms and go for a quick spin. I have never forgotten the beauty of the Hills Hoist, so when one became available recently I jumped at the opportunity to have one of my very own! Over the weekend we pulled out the plastic and cemented in the classic!
Thanks Dad xx

vR x
Related Posts with Thumbnails