Spring Green

Over the weekend we had a night away catching up with family. On our way we came across this row of trees and had to stop. I still can’t get over how green the grass and new leaves on the trees were.

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PHOTOS BY MAYA PEARSON & KATHERINE SEPPINGS

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Winter Skies

We’re pretty much saying to goodbye to winter where I am, and these few days over twenty degrees have reminded me of the hot weather I dread. Can’t say I’m not looking forward to getting out the dresses I haven’t worn for seven months or warm evenings with ice cream. But the glory of summer wears off once it hits over 30 degrees. So here are a few images I took in the winter months which remind me of what I’m already starting to miss.

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PHOTOS BY Maya Pearson

Day at the Docklands

Last weekend we took a trip to the Docklands, Melbourne. After much confusion on how to get there, we made it! Even though it was cloudy, windy, sunny, confusing weather, I had a really lovely time and going on the Melbourne Star was definitely the highlight of the day. We could see the city, the dockyards, Port Phillip Bay with all its yachts and it was also nice to take in all the little things too. The view of Melbourne was beautiful and it put a smile on my face.

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PHOTOS BY Maya Pearson & Katherine E Seppings

Sweet French Toast

sweet french toast

sweet french toast

It’s Mother’s Day in two weeks and I thought French toast would be the perfect thing for a Mother’s Day breakfast in bed.

Serves Two

Ingredients
Two eggs
1/4 cup of milk
One teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence
4-6 slices of thick bread
Olive oil or Butter
Icing Sugar, raspberries & mint leaves (optional)

Method
Mix eggs, milk, cinnamon and vanilla in a bowl.
Heat frying pan to medium heat and drizzle with olive oil or grease with butter.
Dip bread in egg mixture on each side. Cook bread in frying pan for one minute on both sides or until golden brown.
Serve with icing sugar, raspberries and freshly squeezed OJ.

sweet french toast

sweet french toast

Orange and Poppy Seed Cake

Orange and Poppy Seed Cake_20140320_0001

Here is a simple recipe (with no butter!) for one of my favourite cakes.

Cake
2 cups of Cake flour [you can use plain flour and subtract 2 level tbsp’s of flour for each cup used in recipe]
1 tsp of Baking powder
1 tsp of Baking soda
1/4 tsp of Salt
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup of Caster sugar
Zest of 2 oranges
1/2 cup of Sunflower oil
300 ml of Sour cream
1/2 of Poppy seeds

Icing
150 g of Cream cheese
1 cup of Icing sugar
1 tbsp of orange juice

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter the base and sides of a 20cm round cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl and mix to combine.
In a large bowl beat the eggs, caster sugar and orange zest with an electric mixer for 5 minutes on high, until thick and pale. Turn the speed to low and add the oil and all dry ingredients. Mix until incorporated. Fold in the sour cream and poppy seeds.
Pour batter into cake tin. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

To make the icing, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the icing sugar a little at a time. Add enough orange juice to give you a spreadable consistency. I added 1/4 tsp of orange essence for more orange flavour.
Spread the icing over the cooled cake and you’re done!

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Valentine Heart Biscuits

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Ingredients
115g butter
55g caster sugar
Few drops of vanilla extract
150g plain flour
25g cornflour

Icing
4 tbsp water
250g icing sugar
Food colouring, to decorate

Method
Mix the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract until just evenly mixed. Stir in the flour and cornflour. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for about 30 minutes.
Roll out to the thickness of a $1 coin and cut out different sized heart shapes. Bake at 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4 for 10 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Make the icing sugar and divide into small bowls to add pink and red food colouring to the mixture. Now it’s time to decorate your heart biscuits!

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To give biscuits as a gift, pack in a DIY box, which you can print here. To make the box more interesting you could decorate it or print it out on some pretty card.

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Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Rosewater & Lychee Icy Poles

Rosewater and Lychee Icy Poles

Rosewater and Lychee Icy Poles

I was inspired to make these simply by the recent hot weather. Enjoy!

Makes four Icy Poles
Ingredients
1 cup of Lychee Juice (this will depend on the size of your icy pole moulds and how much fruit and petals you put in)
1/2 teaspoon of rosewater
Handful of red rose petals
Halved strawberries

– Icy poles moulds

Method
In a jug mix the rosewater and lychee juice together. Place the rose petals and strawberries in your empty icy pole moulds, don’t be too fussy about this because they will change when you add the juice mix. Pour in the lychee and rosewater mix, the rose petals and strawberries will float to the top. To stop this happening add more fruit.
Put in icy pole sticks and place in the freezer until frozen.

Rosewater and Lychee Icy Poles

Rosewater and Lychee Icy Poles

Origami Bird Mobile

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Materials
Embroidery ring (Inside ring)
Embroidery thread
Scissors
Needle
Assorted origami birds – I found out how to make these birds here, here and here.

Instructions
Step One:
Cut three pieces of embroidery thread, long enough to meet in the middle of the circle, about 25 cm (depending on the size of your embroidery ring.) This will be the top of the mobile where you hang it up.
Step Two: Work out the positioning of the origami birds – where you want them to hang.
Step Three: Measure how far you want the birds to hang down. Mine vary in length, the longest is about 25 cm.
Step Four: Attach birds to embroidery thread by making a small hole with your needle in their wings (somewhere the knot will be hidden.)

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Mini Pear and Cinnamon Pies

Mini Pear and Cinnamon Pies

Mini Pear and Cinnamon Pies

Mini Pear and Cinnamon Pies

This is a perfect treat for dessert on Christmas Day.

Makes six mini pies

Ingredients
1 sheet of puff pastry
Butter for greasing muffin pan
2 pears
1/2 a cup of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of water
Sprig of rosemary
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
Milk for glazing

Method
Preheat oven 180°C. Grease muffin pan with butter. Thaw puff pastry. You will need something to make a round shape, a cookie cutter or a glass. Cut out six circles of pastry and push them into your muffin pan. Place in the oven for 15 mins or until the pastry is puffed. Take out of the oven and let settle.
To make pie filling, put water, diced pear, brown sugar and rosemary into a small saucepan on a low – medium heat. Stir regularly. Cook until the pear is soft and sugar syrupy.
Spoon pie filling into the base of your pies. Create a lid for the pies with the left over puff pastry. I made a criss cross pattern. Glaze pastry with milk.
Put pies into the oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until pastry has puffed and golden brown.
Serve with extra rosemary and honey-sweetened Greek yogurt.

Mini Pear and Cinnamon Pies

Mini Pear and Cinnamon Pies

Twelve Days of Christmas Heart Garland

12 days of xmas

12 days of xmas

12 days of xmas

Materials
White Card
Red Marker
Pencil
Scissors
String
Tape
Heart shape cookie cutter

Instructions
Step One:
Take your white card and draw twelve hearts using a heart cookie cutter or something that will give you a heart shape.
Step Two: Cut out the hearts.
Step Three: Write on your hearts with the red marker. I used a typewriter font from my computer and traced it onto my hearts.
The words are: a partridge in a pear tree, two turtle doves, three french hens, four colly birds, five golden rings, six geese-a-laying, seven swans-a-swimming, eight maids-a-milking, nine ladies dancing, ten lords-a-leaping, eleven pipers piping, twelve drummers drumming.
Step Four:
To get the right length of string, lay out your twelve hearts on the floor and position how far apart you would like them. Measure your string and cut!
Step Five: Now tape the string to the back of the hearts and your done!

12 days of xmas

12 days of xmas