Saturday, March 31, 2012

Toot Toot

Here's something I was playing around with this past week.

It's amazing what a little cardboard train, bought on eBay, a couple of cans of white spray paint, some card stock from Lincraft, some little white cut out trains, thanks to a seller on ETSY and an IKEA frame can do

I know a certain little boy who's going to love this

Friday, March 30, 2012

Pinterest. Do you?

Do you pin? On Pinterest?

If so it may be a good idea to have a look at this from the Yvestown Blog

It certainly is food for thought, especially if some of your images are being pinned and then re-pinned time and time again with no attribution to their original source

image from

It got me thinking about Social Media in general and how so many people use it to get connected but not necessarily "in touch".

I must admit I was a little amused when I started getting notifications that someone was "following" me on Pinterest, especially seeing I haven't actually pinned any images to it, although I have seen some of the images from my blog have been pinned and then re-pinned.

I think Pinterest could become quite addictive. But my question is, where do you find the time?

image from
I'm battling to find extra time through the day to get everything done and keep up with news, let alone spend more time on the computer, as pleasurable as it is.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Breakfast Super Slice

I've just posted a recipe for a great "slice" over  here  at  Live Laugh Love and Cook

It's from "River Cottage Everyday" and it's lovely.

It's easy and quick.

Great for an energy hit at breakfast....

Or with a cuppa in the afternoon

It's all thanks to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and River Cottage...with a slight variation from me.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Spray it

Thought I'd have a play with a couple of cans of spray paint and a candle stick/holder that turned up at home recently.

I'm not sure where this came from. I don't remember bringing it home so I'm guessing MONT found it somewhere. Funny...he's always having a go at me for being a "magpie" but then brings home lots of bits and pieces just in case I can put them to good use.

That's one of the reasons I love him...anyway, I discovered it came I un-screwed it then put it outside for a bit of a makeover

A couple of sprays of undercoat...

...and then a top coat of gloss and this is it

I got a battery powered candle and an etched dome from the spare room...and voila

I think it'll look better with a larger candle and no dome, but this'll do for the time being

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chrome vs brass - Chrome wins

The change over from brass to chrome is well underway at Number 10.

In fact one part of the job's done and it looks terrific. I've replaced all of the brass door knobs through the place and am really happy with the result

I can't believe how such a small change can make such a huge difference. It just feels like the place has been transformed!

We've also changed over one of the ceiling rods

MONT was sceptical but is now a convert.

We could only get one from the lighting store to see how it looked so tried it out in the main bedroom. The rest are on order and should be in Friday...

The only things left to change are the brass door handles on the french doors in the dining room and study
They'll be done in the next few weeks.

I'm a very happy vegemite.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happiness is......

A job!

Yep, some good news this week.  I got myself a part time job.

I have an old friend to thank. He started up a business a couple of years ago and when he heard about my job situation, he asked me to come on board.

It's only a couple of hours a week to begin with, but it has the potential to expand and while some weeks it could be just 2 or 3 hours, other weeks could see me working 20... so I'm very happy with that.

What's even better... I work from home! No traffic wrangling or wondering what to wear to work. I just walk from the bedroom to the study and get on with it.

As my friend "G" said the other're too young and have too much to contribute to retire right now.

She's right.  Time to get back into it!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Change in the air

This little silver and black contraption represents a lot more than just a door stop to protect the walls at Number 10.

It represents a big change here.

There are only 3 door stops in the house and, until yesterday, all were brass.

Now they are silver/chrome. I purchased new ones yesterday and MONT replaced them for me last night.

I also plan to change over all the internal door knobs.

At the moment they're just the run-of-the-mill passage sets with brass plates.

They'll be changed to chrome

I tried to buy new chrome backing plates, but was told they'd cost almost as much as complete new passage sets. Crazy huh?

I also plan to change over the brass rods on our light fittings, which may all seem like an unnecessary or even extravagant change, but I'm over brass and want to freshen things up a little and I figure this is an inexpensive way of doing it.

The brass fittings won't go to waste. I'll sell them (or try to) so they'll get a new life somewhere else.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

They said it wouldn't really, they did

MONT and I celebrated our wedding anniversary yesterday

It was our 8th and while we didn't go out for dinner or exchange gifts, I made a special dinner for us and we did crack open a bottle of champagne that we'd been keeping for the occasion...

That "thing" in the glass is a Wild Hibiscus flower that MONT brought home for me to try. It was OK, but I only had it in a small taste of the Veuve Clicquot...I don't get to drink Veuve very often and I didn't want to spoil my favourite drop.

Monday, March 5, 2012


Not sure what's happening but I seem to be posting a lot of  recipes at the moment. I'm sure it'll pass and I'll get back to other "stuff" around here...but baking makes me happy and that's what's going on at Number 10 at the moment

This weekend it was Panettone.

Panettone's a cross between bread and cake. It has eggs like a cake, but also has yeast, like thing they both have...deliciousness.

It's pretty easy, a little time consuming because you have to let it sit and rise...but it is worth the effort
I found a couple of recipes on-line and sort of merged them to come up with my own concoction

You'll need

1 tablespoon dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
5 tablespoons caster sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
500 gr plain flour
1/3 cup currants
1/3 cup sultanas
1/4 cup candied orange peel
1 tablespoon icing sugar

Preheat oven to 170c

In a medium bowl, combine yeast, water and caster sugar, then stir and cover and let stand for 10 minutes until it starts to foam. In another bowl, combine yoghurt, eggs, vanilla, zest and salt and mix together, then add to the yeast mixture. Let it sit for about 10 minutes until it foams and bubbles

Stir in the flour, a little at a time until a dough starts to form into a manageable ball. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 to 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary, until dough is soft and pliable, but not sticky

Place the ball of dough into a lightly greased bowl and cover with a tea towel.

It'll take about an hour for the dough to double it's size

Lightly grease a round 20cm cake tin and place two layers of baking paper in the bottom, then in a small bowl, mix the dried fruit with the icing sugar. Punch down the dough, transfer to a floured surface again and knead in the fruit

Put the dough into the cake tin and let is rise again...for about half an hour

Then bake for about 35-40 minutes,

That's all there is to it really...easy but time consuming...absolutely delicious though if you like something a little different for breakfast...or afternoon tea for the matter.

The original recipe had the oven at 180 deg and a baking time of 45 minutes. I tried it a little lower as my oven is fan forced. I also tested the Panettone after 35 minutes and it was fine, although some of the fruit on the top was a little crispy, as you can see.
But as one of the recipes stated, the more you make it the better it'll be because you'll adapt it to suit your oven and taste.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Something easy for dinner

I've had a lot more time on my hands since losing my job late last year so I thought I'd put some of that time to good use and start cooking some interesting and different meals.

...and I've been inspired by this month's Delicious Magazine. Sometimes you buy a magazine or cookbook for a particular recipe and sadly, that's all you make out of it.

Not this month's Delicious.

It's been fabulous.

A case in point.....Thai Chicken Risotto

It's tasty and very easy because you kick things off on top of the stove, then plonk it in the oven for about half an hour to finish it off.

Quantities are for 6
You need:

Peanut oil
500 gr chicken thigh fillets, cut into 2cm pieces
1 onion finely chopped
1 red chilli, chopped and de-seeded
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 kaffir lime leaves finely shredded
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/4 cup Thai red curry paste
2 cups chicken stock  (I used water)
1 cup coconut cream
2 tbsp fish sauce
200 gr green beans, trimmed and chopped
Coriander, fried Asian shallots and lime wedges (to serve)

Preheat oven to 180 c
Heat oil in flame proof casserole dish and add the chicken in batches and fry until browned. Remove the chicken and add the onion, chilli, garlic and half the kaffir lime leaves and fry for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly then add the rice and curry paste and stir to coat the grains
Return the chicken to the dish with the stock and half a cup of water. Let it simmer then cover with the lid and cook in the oven for about 25 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the oven and stir in the coconut cream, fish sauce and beans then cover and let stand for 10 minutes.

Top the risotto with the chopped coriander, fried Asian shallots and remaining kaffir lime leaves and serve with lime wedges.

Hope you like's easy and delicious for dinner on a cool night.

Friday, March 2, 2012


I headed out yesterday to do my weekly shop of fruit and vegetables and thought I'd pick up a few plums so I could make another Plum cake for MONT to take to Bonnie Doon this weekend...and maybe another, just in case someone drops into Number 10

Unfortunately though, I couldn't find any plums on the usual tables, but was told if I wanted some, they had them up the back

In a box...

Now....what can I do with 7kgs of plums, aside from making jam and chutney?

Any ideas?