Monday, 29 December 2014

another end; another beginning

H I G H   F I V E   2 0 1 4

You have been a wild adventure; An ongoing lesson; A whirl of unexpected events.

And in these last few days before you slip out of my life and become another file of memories, I want to reflect, smile, perhaps shed a tear, and thank you.

Thankyou for starting in Queensland; and ending in South Australia.

Thankyou for four months of funemployment.

Thankyou for my European Adventure.

Thankyou for all the stories I made with my sister, and partner in crime.

Thankyou for the lessons. And lessons. And lessons.

Thankyou for the friendships. Old and new.

Thankyou for allowing me to finally unveil the most authentic version of myself I have ever been.




T H A N K Y O U

Because when I look back - I can honestly say that 2014 was an incredible year.

And I'm ready for an equally unpredictable and fulfilling 2015.




xx


Friday, 19 December 2014

pies with nuts #notdirtystreetpie

Tis the season for delicious foods and Christmas parties.

It's also that time of the year when you've had enough of work; you're feeling a little fed up with the losers who can't navigate a shopping centre carpark; and you are struggling to find anything suitable for that one person you always struggle to buy for. 

And now you're scrambling to think of something to take to that neighbourhood barbecue or family gathering this weekend.

Don't worry. I've got your back.


M I N I   P E C A N   P I E S

Pecan Pies >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES
Mini Pecan Pies

These are the perfect, "easy to make, bite-sized so everyone gets a taste, but still delicious enough to impress" dessert. 

Can be served as they are; or with a dollop of cream or scoop of icecream.


To make pastry
200g (1 + 1/3 cups) plain flour
Pinch of salt
125g chilled unsalted butter, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten

Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Add butter and, using your fingers, rub into flour mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well in centre of flour mixture. Combine egg and 1 tablespoon iced water in a small bowl, then pour into well. Using a round-bladed knife, stir until mixture forms a dough.
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200C. Place dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll out
Use a cookie cutter (or a wine glass if you’re like me and didn’t have a cookie cutter handy!) to cut dough to fit muffin tin moulds.
Bake for 10 minutes or until light golden. Reduce oven to 175C.

To make the filling
50g unsalted butter, chopped
150g (2/3 cup firmly packed) brown sugar
160ml (2/3 cup) golden syrup
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
240g (2 cups) pecan halves


Place butter, sugar and golden syrup in a small saucepan over low–medium heat and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until butter melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly. Add eggs and vanilla, and whisk to combine. Fill mini pastry cases with pecans and pour over golden syrup mixture. Place on an oven tray and bake for 20 minutes or until filling is browned and firm to the touch. Cool in pan to room temperature.


Here's a little behind-the-scenes snapshot, including my ever diligent Supervisor - Miss Emmy.

Pecan Pies >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES
Miss Emmy supervising my photoshoot

xx

Thursday, 18 December 2014

how do you cope when it rains?

I am still buzzing from a Personal Development Workshop I was privileged to be a part of last night.

Twelve hours later I am bursting with inspiration and smiling about comments from women who, before our 3 hour gathering, were complete strangers.

The workshop was the FIRST EVER hosted by Nereeda of The Nereeda Network.

This post is not to promote her brand new business (although I believe in it 110% and absolutely encourage you to pop across to her website and facebook and insta accounts);
Or to disclose any detail of the Workshop itself.

No... this post is off the back of something I have been thinking about for a while; a topic which I was able to discuss openly with these perfect strangers last night.


W H O   A R E   Y O U R   P E O P L E  ? ?


They say "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with"
So we must choose these special people wisely.

After moving interstate last year; and then moving back again... I have come to learn about the importance of your inner circle. Those whom we surround ourselves with. The special people who get to share the BIG moments of your life; those from whom we seek support; and those with whom we can celebrate our victories.

Are your top five inspiring and challenging you?

As The Nereeda Network Workshop reminded me - "There is no rewind button on the game of life";
So it is our responsibility to choose/change/eliminate the main characters in our story to make sure we are living our best life.

There are endless motivational posters encouraging us to surround ourselves with positive people; But I think this one here says it all -

Daily Positive Quotes

And those perfect strangers? Well, I think the universe is very good at aligning people in the right place at the right time; and I have the feeling that this is just the beginning of some wonderful friendships. 


xx

Friday, 7 November 2014

wabi-sabi

"I'm a perfectionist"

That's the answer young Andie would give the prospective employers in interviews. As if I didn't have any other weaknesses than achieving perfection.

"Oh, Andie.. Such a perfectionist"

I became accustomed to hearing these words spoken about me, or to me, and I came to believe it was a compliment.

oh, how I was wrong.



- - -

P E R F E C T I O N   I S ,   B R O A D L Y ,  
A   S T A T E   O F   C O M P L E T E N E S S   A N D   F L A W L E S S N E S S


- Thanks wiki

- - -



Do you know what striving for perfection does to a girl's mind?

Well, it near sends her crazy.

As I grow and learn and discover new things about myself, I have come to realise that the quest for perfection is infact setting myself up for failure. 
[And while this isn't the first time I have blogged about this topic, I imagine it is probably not the last]

I can always look back on something and believe I should have done better; should have finished sooner; should should should.

Striving for perfection, much like adding salt to a batter instead of sugar, it looks like it will work, but it's a recipe for disaster.

So, I would like to introduce a new concept to you.
Or maybe not so new if you watched last season of the Australian TV show Wonderland?


W A B I - S A B I




It's a real thing! (I Wiki'd that too...)


Wabi-sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: 

nothing lasts;

nothing is finished; and 

nothing is perfect




Friday, 31 October 2014

the window

Sometimes I lie awake in bed at night and I wonder if certain events in my life are the direct result of  attracting bad luck from not forwarding those chain emails back in highschool. Am I being punished by the email Gods? Is this the reason I sometimes feel struck when I am down? One smite per email?

I'm just not an email forwarder. And I'm certainly not going to send it onto 227 of my bestest friends, just because it told me to. I'm a rebel like that..

BUT yesterday an email landed in my inbox, which I feel compelled to share. It didn't tell me I had to either, which is good, because nobody likes a bossy email.

So, here in my little blog corner, I have chosen to share a little a story courtesy of Moodscope with you, my friends; and maybe, just maybe, it will cancel out all that bad chain mail karma that's been haunting me for 15 years.


- - -

The view from my Paris apartment on my Great European Adventure




Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.


One was allowed to sit up in his bed each afternoon to help drain fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window.
The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.



They talked for hours. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service.


Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.


The other man began to live, for those short periods, where his world would be broadened and enlivened by the activity and colour of the world outside.


The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every colour. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and the city skyline was seen in the distance.


As the man by the window described this in exquisite detail, the other man would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. One afternoon the man by the window described a passing parade.
                                                                                                                                
Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it, in his mind's eye. Days and weeks passed.
                                  
One morning, the nurse arrived only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.
She was saddened and called the attendants to take the body away.
As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making him comfortable, she left.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the wonderful world outside.
Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it for himself. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.
It faced a blank wall.
The man later asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things. She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."
Epilogue...



There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.


Today is a gift, that's why it is called 'the present'.
How accepting of today's gift are you?



Who can you help today?


'Le Meow' : Parisian Cat


xx

Friday, 24 October 2014

bake it off

If you haven't seen this video yet - drop everything and watch it immediately.


[here]


I mean, what's not to love about a Taylor Swift / Jamie Oliver sing-a-long?!

And bless their cotton socks - It's all for charity, 
So they've cemented themselves as my favourite Pop Princess and my favourite Chef. 

Both would be invited to my 
C E L E B R I T Y   D I N N E R   P A R T Y 

You know the game - 
"If you were hosting a dinner party, which five people (alive or dead) would you invite?"  
Other potential guests on my exclusive list include Audrey Hepburn, Kloe Kardashian (that girl and I have a few things in common...); and Michael Buble.

Have a watch and a chuckle; maybe donate #standuptocancer and then tell me - Who's on your list??


xx

Thursday, 16 October 2014

speechless

Getting to know someone is like navigating a maze - alternating between skipping forward with excitement; and peaking cautiously around corners because you're just not sure what might be revealed.

Memories are shared; Stories are unraveled; Smiles light faces.

What I am learning is that asking me certain questions may yield undesirable results.




Is it expecting me to choose between brunch or dessert? No. Although.. this is exactly like asking a mother to choose which of her children she would rescue from a burning building.
If you happen to think that anything swimming in melted chocolate (ie crepes, waffles, pancakes) is suitable for either time of day - we will get along just fine :)

Is it about what I do for a job? Not at all. Let's chat.

Is it asking about my previous relationships? Nope. I am totally OK with laying it all on the table, as long as you're willing to do the same.


The questions I am struggling to answer in any kind of small-talk fashion are -

W H A T   M O V I E S   D O   I   L I K E ?

W H A T   M U S I C   D O   I   L I S T E N   T O ?

W H A T   K I N D   O F   B O O K S   D O   I   R E A D ?

Hey, you know what? If you want to kill the conversation a little faster, here's my tip :
Ask me -

C A N   Y O U   B E L I E V E   T H I S   W E A T H E R ?

Why??

Well, firstly - Getting to know someone is so much more than interrogation;
And secondly - for some reason, these questions render me speechless.

I just can't seem to give a reasonable answer to these questions that doesn't take five years of explanation; or have me come across as a trashy reality-tv-watching, pop-music-loving, teenager-at-heart, who (as a matter of fact) cannot believe this weather.


xx

Monday, 15 September 2014

the end of #funemployment

The past few months have been a whirl of fun and adventure.

But alas, voluntary funemployment* cannot last forever.

During my hiatus from the 'real' world, I have learnt the art of spontaneity and discovered the excitement of the unknown.




xx


*The condition of a person who takes advantage of being out of a job to have the time of their life.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

back to reality




"This is why once you've traveled for the first time all you want to do is leave again. They call it the travel bug, but really it's the effort to return to a place where you are surrounded by people who speak the same language as you. Not English or Spanish or Mandarin or Portuguese, but that language where others know what it's like to leave, to go home again and feel more lost in your hometown than you did in the most foreign place you visited."


xx

Monday, 7 July 2014

tres bien, merci




T R A V E L   S O L O


T A K E   A   P A T I S S E R I E   C O U R S E   I N   P A R I S


M A K E   A   W I S H   I N   T H E   F O N T A N A   D E   T R E V I


L E A R N   T O   C O O K   I N   T U S C A N Y



I don't like the term 'Bucket List'. Instead, I feel that such a list is more of a long-term To Do List. And these four items are just a sample of a list I wrote several years ago when I was trying to figure out 'what happens next'; When I was trying to convince myself that I could survive my very own New Beginning.

Now, these are all things I plan on doing in the next three weeks.

I am off to Europe (Paris and Italy) on my very own adventure.


xx

Saturday, 5 July 2014

banana caramel cake

I am super excited to announce a new functionality on my little piece of the blogosphere - 
My brand new 'In My Kitchen' page where I have indexed every recipe post for easy reference.
This addition was equally for my benefit as it is for yours; so now we can all find any recipe without too much stress. Easy peasy. 

And speaking of easy - this banana caramel cake is too.


B A N A N A   C A R A M E L   C A K E

banana caramel cake >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES
banana caramel cake; with caramel sauce and vanilla bean icecream


Ingredients
400 gr self raising flour
juice of 1 lemon
6 tbs sunflower oil
300 ml water
300 grames caster sugar
5 bananas sliced

Syrup
5 tbs sugar
1 tbs unsalted butter
4 tbs water 

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl
Add the oil, lemon juice and water - beat for 5 minutes.
In a small saucepan prepare the syrup with butter and sugar and when melted, add the water
When you have a syrup consistency - turn of the heat
Prepare the baking tin - I used a round pie dish lined with baking paper
Arrange the sliced bananas in the dish and pour the syrup over them
Pour the mixture over the syrup and bananas; and bake for about 35 minutes.
When it’s brown on the top it will be ready to remove from the oven.

Wait for 10 minutes and turn the cake out onto a serving plate.
Serve with extra syrup, ice cream, cream...


xx

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

four letters, starts with 'F'


F   E   A   R

That all-consuming, breath-taking, weight-in-your-stomach emotion that causes paralysis equivalent to catching a deer in the headlights.

I know you are familiar with this feeling.

If you're like me, you'll have experienced it before a job interview, or whilst giving a presentation to a room full of suit-and-tie clients, or even more simply (but equally as terrifying), opening up to someone new.

The one thing that has become increasingly clear to me is that so many people around me are making life choices based on their fears.

As in - "I can't do X because I am too scared".

I will be the first to admit that I have chosen a different (read 'easier') path on more than one occasion using this exact logic.

But I had a breakthrough moment yesterday after spending several hours with a friend's baby who is trying to walk before he can stand. As I sat on the floor watching him I began to really understand that fear is a learned emotion. It is a product of our own thoughts. We create our own fear based on past experiences or conjured in our over-active imaginations.

Time and time again, Baby O would pull himself up, steadying himself against the furniture, release his hands which were supporting him, and promptly fall to the ground.

He had no fear of falling. And when he did, someone would catch him. Or he would land on his well-padded butt. Occasionally, he would get a shock from the sudden downward motion and shed a tear. But he would soon get right back up and try again.

That's when I realised that as we get older, our fear overwhelms us because we lose perspective.
We are not afraid of standing - We have become fearful of the fall.
And sometimes, that fear stops us from getting back up and trying again.



Your fear may not be of falling (physically or emotionally) but the lesson here is that in many scenarios, the worst thing that can happen is usually not all that bad (or even particularly likely).

You will survive the interview; or rock the presentation; or form a closer bond with someone.

Recognise what it is you are truly fearful of. And do it anyway. Because, just like my friend's son, we get stronger each time we try. And eventually, standing unassisted and even taking that first step becomes easy, the fear is gone, and we can achieve something wonderful.

here

xx

easy to make; easy to eat

Confession Time - 

I have spent too much time already this winter baking and eating.

#sorrynotsorry

Most of my creations have been true winter comfort food. But if you're looking for something a little less guilt-inducing, give this recipe a go.


C H O C O L A T E   M U F F I N S 
G L U T E N   F R E E ,   D A I R Y   F R E E


Gluten Free Chocolate Muffins >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Muffins


1 ½  cups almond meal
¼ cup cacao
1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup macadamia nut or hazelnut oil
¼ cup rice milk
2 tablespoons maple syrup 
Preheat oven to 180 C 
Combine almond meal, cocoa powder and baking powder.
Add the eggs, oil, milk and honey then mix well to form a smooth batter.
Spoon into 12 small individual cupcake tins.
Bake for 25 minutes until puffed and cooked through.
Serve warm or cold.


xx

Friday, 9 May 2014

what if..

Let's jump straight in today...


- - - - -


'What if '  are two very powerful words..
What if instead of using them to haunt yourself with past regrets,you used them to build your future?
What if you changed your attitude and accomplished the impossible?

- - - - -


Did you feel it?


Goosebumps. Just. Happened.


I cannot explain to you how much I LOVE this quote. And what a timely reminder that I'm sure we can all resonate with on some level no matter what our current situation or circumstances.

Perspective is everything, my friends.

Oh possibilities!

Happy weekend.

what if..?!

xx

Monday, 5 May 2014

an Australian classic

The conversation (albeit one-sided) has been getting pretty serious around here lately.

For a little while, I was barely spending any time in the kitchen.

But in the past two weeks I've been back in a baking, cooking, creating zone - and I am loving it.

I made Anzac Cookies for (yep, you guessed it) Anzac Day - So here's the recipe...

Better late than never, isn't it?!

Anzac Cookies  >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES


A N Z A C   C O O K I E S

1 cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
3 tablespoons golden syrup or treacle
150g unsalted butter, chopped
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda



Preheat oven to 170°C. 
Place the flour, oats, sugar and coconut in a large bowl and stir to combine. 
In a small saucepan place the golden syrup and butter and stir over low heat until the butter has fully melted. 
Mix the bicarb soda with 1 1/2 tablespoons water and add to the golden syrup mixture. 
It will bubble whilst you are stirring together so remove from the heat. 
Pour into the dry ingredients and mix together until fully combined. 
Roll tablespoonfuls of mixture into balls and place on baking trays lined with non stick baking paper, pressing down on the tops to flatten slightly. 
Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.


xx

Friday, 2 May 2014

name one of your biggest regrets in life..

That's not a trick question.

Nor is it one on which you should spend too much time dwelling.

If you have any regrets, I think the thoughts/memories/emotion will flood you the moment you read the title of this post.

It can be an easy question to avoid.. 

Unless it is one of the questions you are asked to respond to in a job application, as I was.



N A M E   O N E   O F   Y O U R   B I G G E S T   R E G R E T S   I N   L I F E



*WOAH*


How does one answer that question to a potential employer?!

Well, right or wrong, I answered the exact same way I would if you asked me over a glass of vino at the bar...

~  ~  ~

For this question I looked up ‘regret’ because to me it is a very strong word that at first glance, I would answer with ‘I have no regrets’.
But Google tells me it is - a sense of loss, disappointment, dissatisfaction, etc.
To which I respond, ‘there are a few’…
But first let me set the scene for you… I met my ex-husband when I was 18. In my first semester of uni, at my first job out of high school. We met at Coles. I was a Check-Out Chick. Our story spans seven years - We met, we fell in love, we bought property, moved in together, got engaged, renovated our house, adopted a fur baby (Yup – Miss Emmy is a child of divorce), had a beautiful wedding, and lived a 'normal' married life.
I don’t regret the any of that. Infact, I try not to regret any of the things that I have done.
But I do regret things that I didn’t do.
And I didn’t travel.
I didn’t take a gap year after high school and backpack around Europe.
I didn’t do a Contiki Tour across America.
I didn’t participate in the exchange program at uni and spend a semester in Canada – skiing Whistler, making new friends, expanding my horizons.
I didn’t even go on spontaneous Girls Weekends within Australia.
I didn’t do any of these adventurous things, because I had  Fallen. In. Love.
My ex-husband and I didn’t travel overseas at all whilst we were together. As all our time and money was spent on things, rather than experiences.
And for that, I have a sense of loss, disappointment, dissatisfaction.... Regret.

~  ~  ~

Since writing that response in my job application, I came across this quote - 
Sums it up nicely, don't you think?


xx

Thursday, 10 April 2014

quitting vs giving up

Over the last four or so weeks, I have given this topic a lot of thought..

Disagree with me if you will, but atleast hear me out first.

It'll be like a one-sided debate.
(Unless you want to get involved by leaving a comment...)

Here's the topic -


There is a difference between 'quitting' and 'giving up'.


To give up is to surrender. To let adversity, or difficulty, or even a little challenge discourage you.
Giving up hurts (at least) twice - once when you do it; and again at a later date when you think back and wish you hadn't.

On the other hand - 

Quitting is empowering.
To quit is to make a choice to move on to something else; something better.

Quitting can be difficult, but in certain circumstances it is the right thing to do.


* * *

Society has taught us to perceive quitting with negative connotations. Nobody wants to be thought of as a 'quitter'. We often think of quitting as failure. We commend people for carrying on through difficulty. We fear judgement of our actions from family, friends and colleagues. So we stick with things that don’t make us happy because we feel we like we should.

We have been brought up with this focus on perseverance rather than purposefulness. 
If you're sticking with something just to prove something then it's a bit pointless...

Have you ever felt that feeling in your gut that the path you are on is now wrong for you?

It takes a lot of courage to admit that, even to yourself, let alone to the rest of the world. Sometimes you have to leave the current path and find a new one. Or, if there is no new path to be found, create a new one.

This can apply to so many aspects of life — home, work, education, family, friends, relationships, and habits.

It's the opposite of what we're all told.

Have you ever felt trapped?


Make a change in your life.

Don’t waste your time on a path that feels wrong; on something that is compromising your happiness.

Don’t fear the stigma.

QUIT.

Embrace the change.

Quitting does not make you weak. It means you are brave enough to change what isn't right.


xx

Friday, 4 April 2014

so... i'm jumping off the hamster wheel

This time next week I will be unemployed.

That sentence scares the pants off me and sends a rush of excitement through me all at the same time.

As I'm sure it does in any work environment, the news of my resignation spread through the office like wild fire, and soon after, I was faced with a number of questions from my colleagues, including the obvious -
"So, where are you going next?"

The thing is - I'm just not sure yet. My plan is sketchy at best.

I am met with many blank faces when I honestly admit the unknown.

And believe me - I would probably be a little too quick to judge if someone told me the same news with the same lack of conviction.

Because, let's face it - it is very rare for anyone to "simply" quit their job without a plan. Or a lotto windfall.

Since I have neither, let me be the first to admit that this was no simple decision.

I am still fighting my inner Logical Andie every single day. For a long time, she has been in charge around here. And she judges me more than anyone I know..

But my new plan is to have no plan.

I have had plans in the past, but these often come with expectations, and well, sometimes where there is expectation, there is disappointment.

The reasoning behind my decision to jump off the hamster wheel probably doesn't make sense to many people. But for once in my life, I have decided to leap into the unknown.

Wish me luck.



xx

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

why i read my horoscope daily

I think horoscopes are one of those things that you're either into, or you're not.

Much like sports, or animals, or tequila, they are either part of your life, or you have zero interest.

I like them.

I like that it's referred to as the 'Science of the Stars'

I like having the option to blame my crappy day on unfortunate planetary alignment

I like to believe in fate rather than coincidence

I like the concept of a crystal ball foreseeing my future

I like that for one moment, in a world where I like to be truly certain and always know the answer to the question before I ask it, I can put my faith in the complete unknown.

Don't get me wrong - I don't necessarily believe my horoscope 100% of the time.

I just like the idea.

OK, let's be honest - I like the idea today.

I like that my mind has the power to turn a vague generalisation into a wild possibility

Because today, I am told - 

You can't just do what you have always done. Well, you can - there is no law against it. But if you want to grow, to explore, to discover, to awaken your potential and to embrace all the marvellous opportunities life has to offer you, that may first require learning to look at the past with fresh eyes. It may also be necessary to find a willingness to innovate. The familiar is always reassuring. The new is always scary. Summon your courage and step into the unknown today. The time will soon be right for a brave move. 

________________________________________


Today, I like that optimism. That opportunity. That glimmer of hope that if I take a leap of faith, everything will be OK.


xx

Monday, 31 March 2014

cheaters strudel

Last week I craved comfort food. And I happened to have some apples in the fruit bowl.
Apple pie seemed like too much effort, so instead I made a 'cheaters' version of apple strudel.
I call it the 'cheaters' version because I used store-bought puff pastry, which is not my usual style.
But none the less, my first attempt at strudel was delicious (although, as it turns out, not so photogenic*)


C H E A T E R S   A P P L E   S T R U D E L

Cheaters apple strudel >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES
Cheaters Apple Strudel

2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 tablespoon plain flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons raisins (optional)
4 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg
Slivered almonds, for sprinkling
Icing sugar, to dust


Preheat oven to 190°C. Combine sugar, flour and cinnamon in a bowl. Add apples (raisons are optional). Toss to coat.

Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the pastry on a lightly floured sheet of non-stick baking paper. Dust the pastry lightly with flour. Spoon the apple mixture over the bottom half of the pastry. Roll the pastry into a large log. 

Place, seam side down, on the baking tray. Tuck the ends under the roll.

Combine the egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush with the egg mixture. Cut several 2cm-long slits, 2cm apart, into the top of the roll. Sprinkle with slivered almonds.

Bake for 35 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack lined with baking paper for 30 minutes to cool (if you can wait that long..) Dust with icing sugar and serve.


xx


[*Disclaimer : I may or may not have made, photographed, and eaten these after a glass (or two) of bubbles]
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