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.
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 !!!!
Anzac Day is April 25th so there are lots of promotional recipes around. I decided to try one so went ahead and purchased a pack of commercial Anzac cookies. The cookies become the tartlet shells after being softened in the oven . I made a caramel filling on the stove top using sweetened condensed milk and then topped this with melted dark chocolate. A sugary, decadent treat was born, not for the faint hearted !!
Today is our last long day. Tomorrow heralds the start of the evenings closing in too early for my liking and that very specific autum chill will be in the air. The sun will be low in the sky and the central heating will be turned on. The only plus for me is that it is the time for comfort food and the smells of baking will be wafting and the oven will be warming up the kitchen . So there is no time like the present to get into warming and rustic food like these glistening, baked cinnamon and date apples, slow cooked to perfection.
Suddenly , we are wearing jackets and eating soup !!
The Easter break is now behind us sadly and the dreaded winter is looming, early I fear !! Autumn seems to have been almost elusive. I have barely seen an autumn leaf. Luckily our summer seemed to linger but the dour greyness of winter has shrouded our Easter and seems set to stay.
Tonight's soup was a rustic melee of pumkin and minestrone, very autumnal !!