This is not just a birthday cake but an amazing red velvet checkerboard birthday cake with luscious cream cheese frosting. It was made by my nephew for A's 21st birthday dinner. He is not a chef but a paramedic student - maybe he is in the wrong profession !!
Foodies, I have sinned !! I took a cake to our Mother's Day afternoon tea that I did not cook and what's more I felt no guilt. I constructed a fabulous and delicious Citrus Torte from 4 store bought ingredients. It was so easy and so yummy I may well do it again too !
I drained a tin of mandarins and layered them on one half of a supermarket sponge cake, sliced horizontally. Over the fruit I generously slathered whipped cream mixed with a big swirl of lemon curd then put the on second sponge layer . I added more lemon cream on top and then adorned it with passionfruit and a gorgeous dessert was born !
I have a lovely friend who is a chef who has had years of professional experience. Even though he no longer works in this field he still cooks extensively at home in an innovative and health conscious way with the best and freshest ingredients, often bringing me samples. Lucky me !! We train together at gym with other foodies and in between squats and chest presses discuss food endlessly. He gave me this sublime slice of pork terrine yesterday, exquisite and perfectly formed. A fine layer of thin potato slices run through the middle and pistachios stud it like jewels. I could have eaten it there and then on the gym floor !!
I realize this will cause consternation if you are an authentic Italian cook !! Hey Presto and this fabulous polenta cooked in the microwave in a matter of minutes . It set enough to slice or scoop depending on your preference. I scooped and added cheese !!
I found an incredibly handy recipe today to make my own spice blend. It is called Scottish Mixed Spice Blend and was recommended to sprinkle on porridge. I think its uses go way further than sprinkling. I think it will be a great time saver as when baking cakes, loaves and crumbles this one stop blend can be used instead of locating a variety of small jars that may well be close to empty - in my house anyway !! The ingredients blended together are the usual old favourites of nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, cloves and ginger with an interesting newcomer added - ground black pepper.
My lovely old Pepper, aged 17, has gone to heaven. He lived with me for 15 years and then his holiday dogsitter adopted him . I received the very sad news from her today. He was part standard poodle and part border collie , was as stubborn as a mule and really had it in for cats , possums and postmen. But he loved a pat and would back onto the couch beside you and perch there in a perfect patting position. RIP Peppy, we all loved you so much and you have given us so many funny memories and "remember when" moments.
Mismatched retro couches, kitsch artwork and cheap meals and drinks are all staples of 1000 £ Bend. A venture of Jerome Borazio, owner of former bar St Jerome’s, 1000 £ Bend is appealing in the unpretentious, shabby-chic way Melburnians love so much.
There was a homemade goods market at this venue at the weekend. There were some fabulous stalls with gorgeous jewellery, scarves and even an "ice your own cupcake" stand. The market was held in the warehouse-y area beyond the red curtains in the photo. After our wander we sat in the cafe for coffee and I further indulged in a Bloody Mary. The food looked fabulous but on hearing there was a 30 minute wait we chose to just drink !! What caught my eye on the menu was a bowl of Coco Pops and milk !!!!
A friend of mine has a farm property up in the Mansfield/Howquadale region. Recently they moved some bee hives up there and this week I received a jar of their "homemade" honey.
The texture, colour and taste is sublime.
I used some of it in this golden Honey & Polenta Cake. The cake was lovely and not a bit dry. Often my use of cornmeal in cooking is a bit disappointing. If I make cornbread it is wonderful warm, right out of the oven but after that is tends to be like chomping on sandpaper !! But not this time !!
I replace my dog beds every year or so and as dog bed buyers know, they can be very, very expensive items especially if you go in for the very plush varieties. I shop around online trawling for plush dog bedding at a reasonable price. I found two wonderful ones, new on Ebay, located in New Zealand. They are fabulous and were incredibly cheap even considering the airmail postage rate. But then when I repeatedly see two dogs snuggled in one bed I do wonder why I just did not buy the one, just a single would suffice it seems !! Or I could get a third dog !!!