Tuesday, 26 April 2011

From Andie's Kitchen

After a busy weekend seeing people and going places, I decided to stay at home today and spend some time in the kitchen.

First on the menu ?  Banana Choc Chip Muffins.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos of the first half of the process... But here they are baking in the oven

They smell Ah-Mazing

Yep - Guess what I'll be having for morning tea tomorrow!

When the muffins were finished, I decided to make some Passionfruit Melting Moments.
I love these biscuits. My Nanna, who lives in Melbourne, used to make them for us when we were little. It was a special treat and she used to bring them to us in an old Arnott's biscuit tin lined with baking paper. 
And with only 4 ingredients, they are super easy to make.

250g Butter
1/2 cup icing
1 1/2 plain flour
1/2 custard powder

Loving my bench space.
Some of the cookie dough didn't make it onto the baking tray...

These may also be eaten devoured for morning tea tomorrow!

Baking in my own kitchen is definately more enjoyable than trying to navigate around someone else's (on Saturday I baked Carrot and Walnut cake in my mum's kitchen. You can read about that here.)

Will have to start saving so that I can do a course at Planet Cake in the next 12 months.

In the meantime, Miss Emma is hosting a Royal Wedding party on Friday night so I will be taking a plate of sweet treats to celebrate. Any ideas ? Requests ?


Monday, 25 April 2011

Escape to the Country

Today I went on a road trip to Mount Compass to visit my Uncle David and his girlfriend Collette on their farm.

They don't make an income off of their land, but Collette has lived there for over 20 years and the garden surrounding her farm house is just stunning.

I made some new friends too..



Pretty Cows
While walking around the property, my cousin Katie and I decided I should sign-up for the next season of Farmer Wants A Wife.

Can you imagine ?  The other girls on the show could do the gross dirty tasks around the farm and I could win the Farmer's heart with cupcakes. The plan was practically fool-proof.  Except a quick Google search informed us that I have missed out on the auditions by a month. BOOO...


Cookie Knows Best

I caught up with a friend from uni last night and because I was feeling too lazy to be a good host, we ordered chinese take away.

Along with our fried rice, sweet and sour pork and vegies in oyster sauce, we also ordered a bag of fortune cookies.

I decided that the first fortune you choose from the bag is the one that is 'meant' for you. Because by the end of the night, there were no cookies left. We ate the WHOLE bag. Don't judge me.

Anyway, with my first cookie I put my future into the hands of the Fortune Cookie Gods and Goddesses.

Look for new horizons

What a smart cookie.

Believe me - I am looking.


Sunday, 24 April 2011

Bunny Convention

Moss Bunnies courtesy of Tynte St Flowers

Happy Easter Everyone.

I hope you are all enjoying the 5 day break with family and friends.


Saturday, 23 April 2011

Does Easter Bunny Like Carrot and Walnut Cake?

Easter Break. 5 days off. The perfect time to do some baking.

Today Mum made me an offer - She would cook me a roast dinner if I baked dessert. DEAL.

It only seemed fitting to bake a Carrot Cake for Easter. And after all the chocolate eggs I've eaten today, I just couldn't face anything else made from chocolate.

The trouble with baking in a foreign kitchen is that the entire process seems to take twice as long. I was playing an impromptu game of 'Hide and Seek' - Me versus various kitchen utensils and ingredients. (The quarter cup measuring cup wins... I never found it and had to guess 3/4 cups of oil).

As I was at mum's house, I didn't have any of my trusty recipe books to rely on. Instead, I put all my faith in Google and ended up using a recipe from Best Recipes.

2 carrots
1 cup self-raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1tsp bi-carb soda
1/2tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup golden syrup
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
3/4 cup walnuts

Preheat oven to 170
Sift the flours, bi-carb soda and cinnamon into a large bowl
Whisk brown sugar, oil, golden syrup, eggs and vanilla in separate bowl
Pour oil mixture into dry ingredients and combined gently
Add carrots and walnuts; mix
Pour into greased cake tin and cook for 1 hour

Now here's the embarassing part where I confess that as a kid I thought that when I grew up, I would have my own cooking show. I used to comentate as I baked, as if there was a camera filming my every measurement. Even now I talk out loud when I'm in the kitchen. But that's because Emmy my Miniature Schnauzer is usually at my feet and she is a huge fan of MasterChef...

Anyway... I took quite a few photos with my iphone as I measured and mixed, but so that you all don't fall asleep infront of the computer, here are a few summary snaps --

All the ingrediants required.
(Finding them in mum's pantry was probably the most time consuming step in the entire baking process.)

Combining the wet ingrediants with the dry.
(Everybody loves a good 'action' shot.)

2 grated carrots.

Ta-Dahh. The End Result.

Carrot and Walnut Cake >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES

The icing was a cream cheese icing made with 125g philly cheese, 50g unsalted butter and 300g icing sugar. I also mixed in some lemon juice and a pinch of vanilla sugar.

And the best part ?? It's CARROT cake, which means it's totally healthy. 

I'll be leaving some out for the Easter Bunny tonight, but if he doesn't eat it, I will be eating carrot cake for breakfast tomorrow. YUM.

Anyone else getting their bake on this Easter ?


Thursday, 21 April 2011

That Lamp is Literally Ba-Nanas

Late last year I bought myself a Replica Ferruccio Laviani Bourgie Lamp from Sokol.

I am in love with it.

Until recently, it lived on my bedside table. (It has since taken up residence on my new desk in the study and will most definately be coming with me to my new home).

Shortly after my new lamp came to live with me, I developed an unhealthy obsession for Rachel Zoe's reality TV show - The Rachel Zoe Project.

That woman is the most famous celebrity stylist in Hollywood.

So imagine my excitement when I was watching the show and noticed that Rachel Zoe herself has MY LAMP in her bedroom.

Insert happy squeal here.

OMG... I literally DIED.

If you don't understand that last reference (or this post title), then please get your hands on a copy of this TV Show and spend the weekend educating yourself on the many Rachel 'Zoe-isms'.
Her book - Style from A to Zoe - is also Ah-Mazing.

And yes, I did take a photo of the TV on pause for evidence.

(OK... Yes, she has two of them and yes, hers are probably real Kartell not replicas like mine, but this is a minor detail).

Can we focus our attention back to the lamp?!

So so pretty.

By the way, if you have been living under a rock like one Miss Pip - Rachel Zoe and Rodger Berman welcomed their son  Skyler Morrison into the world on 24 March 2011.

I'm not sure about that name for a boy. And i'm also confused by Rodger's 80's hairstyle. But here's the pic Rachel posted on her blog -


Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Comic Relief

Self Expression blog diary journal
I'm still trying to find my feet in blog-world.

There are a number of blogs that stalk follow on a regular basis - some are by people I know and others are perfect strangers who I've come to rely on for our daily 'catch-up'. It's like that connection you begin to feel towards TV characters when you've spent a weekend on the couch watching back to back episodes of one TV show. (sidenote : I love you, Lucas Scott...) 
Then there are other blogs that I drop in on occassionally when I've got time to relax. Often with the computer on my lap and a cup of tea in my hand.

Many of the blogs that I follow have a purpose. Renovation; Decoration; Food; Family.

Without knowing what my future holds, it is difficult to blog with a purpose. Or maybe my blog is about finding my future. Perhaps that is the purpose?

For now, I will be including things that make me happy. And compiling photos of beautiful spaces that will become my inspiration when I have a new home to renovate or decorate (whenever that may be).

Please bear with me on my new journey of self discovery. It's all very Eat Pray Love... minus Julia Roberts and her enormous mouth.


I found this image a few weeks ago and posted it on Facebook, but I think I need to print a copy to stick on my desk at work

Sidenote - Apparently my security settings were set Super High, which meant that noone could comment on the last few posts. I think I have fixed the problem now. Bear with me while I find my Blog-Legs.


Sunday, 17 April 2011

Retail Therapy

I have just returned from an amazing weekend in Sydney with my mum, my gorgeous big sister and her husband (of 1 year today).
A weekend away was just what I needed. Retail therapy at Pitt Street and Paddy's Markets, yummy food at Darling Harbour and even a margarita at Star City Casino.

This was the second weekend in a row that I have had the pleasure of spending time with my sister, who is currently freezing living in Canberra. I truly enjoy spending time with her and am now on a count down to the long weekend in June when she'll back back in Radelaide again (55 days to go...)

Here we are about to go to the Casino for cocktails (not sure what distracted mum, but we took a few snaps and this was the best of the bunch).

Now for the Retail Therapy part...
Can I say - I have no idea how I managed to fit everything into my carry-on bag, but I have never had such a successful weekend of shopping in my life.

Here are some highlights:

Knee-High boots

PINK 'Hoodies' for your feet.

And a new quilt cover for my new bedroom (when the time comes)

My favourite part of the weekend ??
Eating food at restaurants with a view.

Breakfast View at Darling Harbour

Muesli with yoghurt - Delicious

Morning Tea View at Circular Quay

Morning Tea - Creme Brulee
Oh! And we enjoyed fireworks during dinner on Saturday night = Perfection.

Such a wonderful weekend.  Wish we could do it all over again.

And finally to Bree and Brian - Happy 1st Wedding Anniversary.  xx

Cheers.  xx

Friday, 15 April 2011

It's In The Stars

I'm not the kind of person who can judge someone's personality by their star sign. But since getting my iphone, it has become something of a morning habit to open my Horoscopes App and reac what the day entails before getting out of bed.

Today's Lovescope ?

This seems like a week for breakups instead of hookups. Maybe you're angry with someone. Maybe his or her way is wrong for you. Don't take it personally if minds or actions change. Don't lash out if you weren't meant for each other. Take time alone and make peace with yourself. Once you calm your thinking and feelings, it will be easier to find someone who wants to be with you - and you want to be with.

Looks like the stars have much better plans for me than I could have ever dreamt of.

And now I'm off to Sydney for a much needed get away.  Happy weekend.


Starts With Cupcakes

Although this little bloggity includes cupcakes in the title, it is not my intention to post obsessively about these sweet treats.

Maybe sometimes.

But not ALL the time.

Except for today.

Here are some I prepared earlier..

Choc Caramel

Lemon Vanilla

Choc Mint

Baileys Choc Mud

One of these days I will attend a photography workshop and learn how to use my fancy new camera properly. Kimberlee.. It's on my To Do list.

I haven't spent much time in the kitchen of late, but I can hear it calling me.  Baking makes me happy. And right now, it's exactly what i need. There will definately be baking over the Easter Long Weekend. Watch this space.


Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Something Profound

The first post on a blog is supposed to be inspirational and humourous and honest.

Perhaps we can get to know each other a little better before I tell my life story?

In the meantime, allow me to share my new 'mantra'.  You'll have to forgive me for plagiarising...

"Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible;
and suddenly you are doing the impossible."

-- St. Francis of Assisi

I am Andie. Welcome to my little slice of cyber-land.

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