Last weekend I went to the flower market to help a friend pick out flowers for her wedding centrepieces. It involved getting up in the dark at crazy o’clock but was absolutely 100% worth it. We came home with many many bunches of flowers, there is so much choice and it is mega cheap. I spent around $30 and ended up with two bunches of roses, a huge bunch of lambs ear, sunflowers and a bunch of unidentified little white flowers – my friend also got heaps of roses, eucalyptus and some other bits and bobs. We were back at my place with a cup of tea by 8am and spent the next few hours having a major flower-splosion all over my living room.
posted by Claire.
I made these happy little ice cream squares for the ever fabulous A Subtle Revelry. If you would like to make some too, head over to Victoria’s site to get the instructions.
That’s all for today kids!
Last weekend we went camping down at Jervis Bay. It rained pretty much the whole weekend, but we had a great little set up with a tent and tarp. We cooked yummy food and had plenty of time to relax and swim as it was still pretty warm. Jervis Bay has some of the most beautiful beaches, and lovely calm water inside the bay – perfect for bobbing about. To make the trip even better, we just got lifeproof cases so were able to take our iphones into the ocean to take photos and videos – how rad is that!
posted by Claire and David.
p.s. Photos taken and edited with vsco cam. See more on our instagrams (Claire, David) and grids (Claire, David)
The first thing I do when I get home from work is take off all my jewellery, which usually means a little pile of gold and silver trinkets on the dining table, or the kitchen bench, or my chest of drawers, etc etc. After seeing so many cute ring bowls all over pinterest I decided to make my own and finally have a place to keep my bits and bobs. Inspired by these nail polish dipped lovelies over on Paper and Stitch, I’ve gone for marbled fimo with a gold trim.
Lets just take a moment and appreciate fimo. It was probably my all time favourite thing from the ages of seven to ten, tiny fimo roses were my speciality. I can’t believe it has taken me this long to get back on board! The colours are amazing and it is sooooo easy to work with. It’s not exactly the cheapest clay but a little goes a long way on small projects. I also have a small confession, the first version of this project resulted in fire alarms going off, a very smoky apartment and a big lump of brown fimo. It’s definitely worth paying attention when setting the temperature on your oven!!
You will need:
- one whole block of white fimo (number 0)
- half a block of grey fimo (number 80)
- half a block of peach fimo (number 43)
- rolling pin
- gold paint
Divide each fimo colour into four roughly equal chunks, no need to be too precise. Roll each chunk into a long thin sausage, and lay them out in four sets.
A quick word on colours. I have given you the numbers of the exact colours that I used, however there are so many options if these muted tones aren’t your cup of tea. I think that it would work best with colours that are quite close in shade, for example black, grey and navy could look amazing.
Take each set of three colours and twist them together tightly like a liquorice stick. Knead and roll each stick into a ball. To get a fine marble effect you will need to roll this ball back into a sausage, twist and then knead into a ball again. Repeat this until you have a marble effect that you like, I re-rolled and twisted mine two or three times.
Combine the four balls into one ball, kneading lightly until they are well combined – be careful not to over-mix the colours. Fimo works best when it is well warmed in your hands, so be prepared to spend some time on these first steps as it can be quite hard to shape at first.
Use a rolling pin to evenly roll the fimo ball into a rough circle about one centimetre thick. Carefully turn up the edges of the circle, try not to make fingerprints in the clay. The back of a spoon is a good tool for smoothing and shaping. Once you are happy with the shape bake the dish according to the instructions.
When the dish is baked and cooled, use a fine brush to paint the edge gold. Leave to dry and then it is ready to use.
posted by Claire.
Recently I took part in the second round of Nia Neve’s Post A Parcel. Nia paired us all with someone, and the idea is to swap a parcel containing five items, this time Christmas-themed. I was paired with Sarah, an Aussie girl who has just moved to Italy. As yet I don’t actually think my parcel has reached her despite being posted practically a month ago (big sadface) I really hope it gets there soon!
(Sarah, if you are reading this and don’t want to spoil the surprise, look away now!!!)
I decided to go down the diy route for the majority of the items, and kept in mind that this parcel would be winging it’s way all the way to Italy so needed to be fairly light and non-fragile. I also had a bit of fun with the wrapping. Here is what I put into my parcel:
- Diy mini paper ‘flat pack’ Christmas trees
- Diy clay grey and copper tree ornaments
- Small selection of lace ribbon and buttons
- Diy ‘Happy New Year’ bunting with a mini washi tape spool
- Diy glitter dot gift tags
I received Sarah’s beautiful parcel last week (pic below) – I can’t believe she had time to put together such a gorgeous selection when she has so recently emigrated with a young family. Thank-you, Sarah!!!!
posted by Claire.
What better way to start the new year than with a recipe that goes against everything you are meant to do in January… Sugar? Check. Cream? Check. Syrup? Check, check and check. The rosemary flavour is subtle and feels a bit fancy – and the sauce, well I could drink the sauce on it’s own for days. Here’s how to do it.
Ingredients for the ice cream:
- 1 cup of half fat milk
- 3/4 cup of white sugar
- 2 cups double cream
- 3 egg yolks
- a handful of fresh rosemary sprigs
- teaspoon of vanilla essence
Ingredients for the sauce:
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 75g of butter cut into smaller chunks
- 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
- 1 cup of double cream
- good pinch of sea salt
For the ice cream…
Inspired by David Lebovitz’s vanilla recipe.
Heat the milk, rosemary and sugar in a small pan over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and don’t let it boil. Once dissolved, cover and put aside for one to two hours. This will infuse the rosemary flavour into the milk.
Once your milk has infused, rewarm it slightly. Lightly mix the egg yolks together in a mixing bowl and then slowly pour in the milk mixture, keep stirring. Put it all back into the saucepan over a medium heat, always stirring. Don’t let it boil! The mixture will thicken slowly, once you have reached a custard-like consistency take it off the heat.
Pour the cream and vanilla essence into a large bowl and whip lightly. It should still be liquid and not stiffened, it just helps with the consistency of the ice cream to aerate it. Pour the custard mixture through a strainer into the cream and mix with a wooden spoon until fully combined. Chill this in the fridge, until thoroughly cooled, then churn in your ice cream maker.
Makes approx 1 litre.
For the sauce…
Have all of your ingredients prepared and to hand as you will need to move quickly on this one. Cook the sugar and maple syrup in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium heat until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved and getting darker in colour. It is a bit tricky to tell when this part is done, as using brown sugar means the mixture is already fairly dark. I just went by sight and smell. Try not to stir it too much once the sugar has dissolved, swishing the pan around is better. Once you’ve reached the perfect ‘caramelly’ state (I chose to do mine fairly dark), quickly add the butter chunks while constantly whisking. The butter will bubble and spit, so be careful and remember to protect your hands. Remove from the heat and pour in the cream, keep whisking! The cream will also spit. Once mixed, add salt flakes to taste. Store the sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Best to leave it out to warm and soften before drizzling.
Makes approx 200 ml, which is enough to go with the 1 litre of ice cream, and also a spoon every time you walk past the fridge.
This sauce is so delish you may want to marry it and have its salted gooey babies. Just saying.
We have gone pretty minimal on the Christmas decorations this year, just a small-ish tree with the usual baubles and trinkets, and some diy paper votives. I feel like less is more, especially in a fairly small apartment. Having said that, I thought I’d make one more little thing, a paper wreath. Instructions below!
You will need:
- white tissue paper
- thread or string
Bend your wire into a circle of any size you like. Mine is actually two smaller pieces of wire twisted together because that’s what I had on hand. To make a wreath the same size as mine, your circle should be around 15cm across. Next, cut your tissue paper into small strips. Mine were roughly 1.5cm x 10cm. Stack your strips into piles, and cut the ends so that they are curved (they should look like sausages). I used one whole sheet of tissue for this small wreath.
One by one, take each strip of paper and twist it around the wire. Twist tightly in the middle but leave the ends smooth so that the fluff out nicely. As you start to fill the circle the papers will hold themselves in place. Once you have filled the circle, tie some thread around the wire, and hang wherever you fancy.
You can’t really go wrong with a classic chocolate ice cream. This one is creamy, rich and the whole tub only lasted two days. When researching recipes I came across a few mentions of Dutch process cocoa powder. I was slightly skeptical at how much difference using a special cocoa powder would actually make, but decided to add it to this recipe and it was totally worth it! This ice cream has a true chocolate taste instead of just being sickly sweet. It is almost truffle-like.
I based it on this Jamie Oliver recipe, with a few tweaks and changes.
100g dark chocolate
300ml half fat milk
4 tablespoons of Dutch process cocoa powder
3 egg yolks
300ml whipped cream
1 teaspoon vanilla essence/extract
Over a medium heat, melt the chocolate into the milk, don’t let it boil. Once the chocolate has fully melted, remove from the heat, then add the cocoa powder and whisk until thoroughly mixed.
Beat the sugar and eggs together in a bowl, then add the chocolate milk. Use a strainer to transfer the mixture to a saucepan, and keep stirring over a low heat. Don’t let it boil. It is done when the mixture has thickened to the consistency of custard, mine took about five minutes. Add the vanilla essence, then transfer to a bowl in the fridge until cool. Stir in the whipped cream, cover and chill in the fridge. Try not to drink the whole mixture. This requires major will power.
Once it is nice and cold, churn in your ice cream maker. Then EAT. No accompaniments necessary with this one, but if you wanted to add something, fresh strawberries would be scrummy.
Last weekend I attended a gorgeous afternoon of delicious food and wreath-making organised by Erika and Emma in Centennial Park. We ate amazing food, drank bubbles and there was a whole table full of cake (CAKE!). They had chosen beautiful native flowers for the wreath-making, and we all went home with a huge wreath full of fragrant eucalyptus and bright blooms. Such a fun afternoon!
posted by Claire.