Friday, December 31, 2010

Hello 2011

An image from our New Year's celebration in Kyneton. Wishing you all a fantastic 2011!

Back soon. janis x

Monday, December 27, 2010

Baked (in Kyneton) - Orange Blossom Friands

Have you all survived Christmas? Anyone brave the boxing day sales? I'm not one for boxing day shopping...I think I'd lose it ;)

We're having a fantastic time, just hanging out with family, but this morning I felt the need to bake. After flipping through my mother-in-law's Australian Women's Weeklys, I came across these Orange Blossom Friands. Holy delicious, and really easy to make.

Orange Blossom Friands - makes about 28

butter for greasing
6 egg whites
185g unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon orange blossom water
1 cup ground almonds
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup flaked almonds

Honey syrup
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons orange blossom water

Preheat oven to 180c/350f. Grease patty tin with butter.
Place egg whites in a medium bowl; whisk lightly with a fork, until combined. Add butter, honey, orange blossom water, ground almonds, sifted flour and icing sugar, and stir until combined. Fill each patty cup with about a tablespoon of mixture. Top with flaked almonds.

Bake for about 12 minutes. Let stand in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining mixture and flaked almonds.

Honey syrup: combine the honey and water in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Remove from heat and stir in the orange blossom water. Cool.

Serve friands drizzled with Honey Syrup. I might add that these are delicious paired with champagne! Enjoy.

Back in a few days with some images of Victoria! Have a lovely day.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Silent Night in Kyneton

It's Christmas Eve, all is quiet and I have a moment on my own. A few images of a very warm and sunny day here in Kyneton....

I hope you're all having a fabulous time with friends and family, and eating heaps! Catch up again soon. Merry Christmas!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Baked - Coconut and Pistachio White Christmas Tarts

I'm off to Australia today! It's been a very busy week and, as usual, I got almost no shopping done. Good thing Melbourne and Kyneton have fantastic shops.

My last post before, well, I'm not quite sure when, is a little tart. A fabulous coconut, pistachio and white chocolate tart. Pretty easy to make and they are perfect for an impromptu tea party!

Coconut and Pistachio White Christmas Tarts - makes about 20

1 cup dessicated coconut
1 egg white
1/4 berry/caster/super fine sugar
6 oz/180g chopped white chocolate
1 tablespoon cream (I used 10% coffee cream)
1/3 cup pistachios, chopped

Preheat oven to 210f/100c. Combine the coconut, egg white, and sugar and mix well. Press two teaspoons of the mixture into a well greased 1 1/2 tablespoon capacity muffin tins to form a miniature tart shell. Use a teaspoon to measure the mixture accurately. Push the mixture down, then make a small dent in the centre. Flatten out the base of the shell and push the mixture up the sides to make a neat tart shell. Cover the tray with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes or until crisp. Carefully remove from tins and cool on wire racks.

Place the chocolate and cream in a heat proof bowl over simmering water and stir until melted and smooth, then stir in pistachios. Spoon the chocolate mixture into tart shells. Place on tray and refrigerate until chocolate is set. These are impossible to leave alone. Enjoy!

I leave you with a little 1966 Olivia Newton John singing "Christmas Down Under". Funny.

I'll be back within a week, with happenings in Australia. I hope to be able to catch up soon with you lovely bloggers. Take care everyone, and have a happy Christmas!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Shelves or Stacks?

How's your week going? Hope it's been all sparkly and festive!

I've been trying to find things that I need to take to Australia next week, and all I've been doing is tripping over loose piles of books and magazines. My New Years resolution really should be to get book shelves built or, at least, stack them tall and neatly. It should be my husband's resolution too. Until then, I've pulled out a few stacks and shelves that I've shot for various magazines. Are you a stacker or a shelfer (new word)?

 This is designer Nancy Riesco's way of stacking. I like her style.

Even this young girl has her books neatly organized. Her parents are the owners of Stepback, a fantastic shop here in Vancouver. 

Olive's dad, Clinton Cuddington, designed this mini library located at the top of their stairs.

Perfectly stacked books on a desk, by Catherine Radcliffe.

Simple white shelving in a minimal space is the way to go. 

I would love to do something like this in our living room, as it would be double as extra seating. 

Well, back to my search. I might even stack some books while I'm at it. Have a lovely night...or day depending on where you are!

Back soon.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Baked (formerly known as Baked On Monday!)

Hi All! I've decided that I'm still going to share some fantastic recipes with you, but on no particular day.  I chose Mondays, at the beginning, as I always tried to have a "work at home day" on that day, as I needed to ease into the week and I find baking very calming. Turns out I'm shooting on most Mondays now, and that's just the way it goes. I'll just have to adapt ;)

I found a perfect recipe for a cocktail party in Chatelaine magazine. Gruyere Cheese Puffs. Enough said?

Gruyere Cheese Puffs - makes about 2 dozen

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
3/4 finely grated Gruyere cheese (about 100 grams)
1 tablespoon snipped chives
pinch of cayenne

Preheat oven to 400˚f. Arrange racks in top and bottom thirds of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Pour 1/2 cup of water into a saucepan and set over high heat. Add the butter, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, then remove from heat.
Using a wooden spoon, add all the flour at once, beating briskly until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan.

Scrape dough into a medium bowl. Let dough cool for about 2 minutes. Then beat on low speed, adding 1 egg at a time, letting it be combined into the dough before adding the next one.
Stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese, chives and cayenne. Divide dough into 24 mounds, 1 inch apart on sheets. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of cheese.

Bake for 10 minutes. Rotate and switch sheets, then reduce heat to 350˚f. Continue baking until tops are golden, 7 to 10 more minutes. Remove puffs to a cooling rack.
Puffs will keep well, frozen in an air tight container, for up to 1 month. To reheat, place in centre of 400˚f oven until warm, about 5 minutes.

These cheesy puffs are the perfect cocktail snack (and with a little Prosecco), but they will disappear quickly so maybe double the batch! They're incredibly light and airy, not heavy at all. Deeelicious.

Back soon! Have a lovely day.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Shop I Could Live In - Old Faithful

How's everyone doing? If you're into the Christmas thing, I hope you've wrapped up your shopping (literally), and are now just enjoying the season. I've got to get on to this part. ;)

I thought I'd share a fabulous Vancouver shop with you. I shot this place a couple of months ago for House and Home - it's in the current issue.

I love shops that sell great product, but that also have an interior that I could live in. Old Faithful is exactly that. It's full of reclaimed wood goodness. One of the owners, Walter, also makes a lot of what you see in terms of furniture. They're located in Gastown, in a heritage building. Beautiful. By the way, you can now shop online. Whoohoo!

 The owners, Walter and Savannah.

This office chair is perfect! You may not think it looks too comfortable, but it is. Love the laptop pouch as well. 

The perfect doorstop. 

Jean Pierre makes shopping at Old Faithful even better. I love him.

Have a good Thursday! Back soon.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Baked (late) on Monday! - Estelle's Whipped Shortbread

Hi Everyone! Had a baking day planned with my friend, Tamara (Modern Mommy), but we got off to a bit of a late start so it's now "Baked On Tuesday" for some of you! We've both had "one of those days" ;)

This delicious, and very easy, recipe comes from Tamara's Grandma, Estelle. Here is an early 70's photo her, proudly displaying her cupcakes. Love it.

Estelle's Whipped Shortbread - makes about 24 (we made a combo of trees with my cookie press and Estelle's simple dollops)

1/2 pound of softened butter
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup icing sugar (powdered)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325f.
Place butter in a mixing bowl, and beat for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the cornstarch, icing sugar and flour, and beat for another 3-4 minutes.

For little pillow shapes, just place tablespoons of batter onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until just golden on edges.


For trees, we used a cookie press, and added dragees for the tree "ornaments". Very festive! These baked for about 12 minutes.

These cookies really couldn't be easier to make. Thank you Estelle! A good, basic shortbread recipe that you can add to if you like. Enjoy!

PS: check out  great, and fairly new blog, Lost and Fawned for a fun gift guide.  Thanks Lindsey! That picture of me is a touch massive, but I still love you. ;)

Back again soon. Have a great evening...or day!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Decorating for a Great Cause

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of checking out the 6th annual "Homes for the Holidays" tour to benefit the Kids Help Phone, an organization providing counseling 24 hours a day to kids. If you're stuck for a Christmas gift, think of a donation to a organization like Kids Help Phone. A huge thank you to Lauren Davies for taking me on the tour. Here's a peek....

A very formal setting, designed by Red Umbrella.

All shades of white, designed by Darci Ilich of The Cross

Location, Carrington Stables and designed by Lin Hepner. Love that truck. 

The 4 sets of images, above, are from the home that Kelly Deck designed. Kelly and her team made the 2 different advent calendars - so cute. I want this yellow chair. Badly. 

 Last but not least, a beautiful home designed by Mandy Clark of Tandem Lanehouse Company.
Beautiful house, flowers, and all the little details. Some of the styling was done by Leo Santana.

Job well done to all the designers and volunteers that took part.  Each home was completely different, so I'm curious to know which one you like. Let me know!

By the way, I did a little tutorial over at Eat. Live. Shop. and a gift guide at PoppyTalk - take a look when you have a moment!

Back soon. Have a lovely day!