Bake: Cauliflower Soup

Once again, this is technically not a bake post, but it’s still in the cooking vicinity. Husband also works with cauliflowers, so we often have one or two cauliflower heads in the fridge and not enough hours in the day to consume them all. Making a soup out of them is certainly a great way to use them up and fulfil my soup cravings that I have whenever the weather turns cold and wet. I googled low-calorie cauliflower soup recipes and came across this one that had great reviews and I had all the additional ingredients, so I was chuffed.

- Another one-pot wonder -

- All pureed up -

I forgot to take a final photo to show the soup in the bowl, but I think you can use our imaginations a little bit -go on! The flavour was extraordinary. I had also roasted some garlic cloves and placed one of those on top of each bowl, with a sprig of parsley – divine!

What is your favourite way to eat cauliflower?

Alison

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Love: Three Things

Loving…

1.

- Feeling good after losing over 5 kgs on the 'program' -

2.

- Although it's been a hard slog, de-cluttering the house ready for sale is a great feeling -

3.

- Dinner at my favourite 'Mexican' restaurant with my gorgeous friend, Mel -

What are you loving right now?

Alison

Love: Fancy Grey Knits

Something has drawn me to these fancy grey knitted jumpers (or sweaters as they are also known). I do love grey tones, as they often compliment whatever colours they are put with; pale pinks and blues, black and I just adore grey and yellow (silver and yellow were the theme colours for my (our) wedding. As the weather starts to chill down, I am also attracted to the warmer, heavier clothing….cosy.

1.

- French Connection Lady Owl LS Long Knit in grey mel $99.95)

2.

- Glassons Text Front Jumper in Grey/Black $40.49 -

3.

- Sportsgirl Astrid Sweater in multi ($99.95) -

What are your favourite colours and styles for winter?

Alison

 

Bake: After Dinner Mint Macarons

The urge for baking has overpowered the urge to stay on this healthy eating plan (full time anyway) so I recently embarked upon a macaroon-baking adventure. After much research (and detailed discussions with my gorgeous foodie-friend, Victoria) I decided on choc-mint macaroons and white chocolate and raspberry macaroons. Something inside me was determined to try TWO different kinds, I have no idea why, but that’s how I roll. I have been to Brunetti (In Melbourne’s Carlton and The City) and tried various macarons – they always look so yummy and taste just as good. They are a such a perfect little delicacy that I wonder should be left to the experts?!?!

- Brunetti's gorgeous selection of macarons -

- Cute -

- The perfect gift! -

So I started with the After dinner mint macarons from the trusty Taste website. They were very straight forward, but as it was my first attempt, I was worried that if I chose a more complex recipe, they they wouldn’t turn out. I was pleasantly surprised. In fact I was chuffed, as they looked awesome (and tasted just as good). They are basically light and fluffy, chocolate-flavoured biscuits, sandwiched together with a choc-mint icing mixture. I will demonstrate how proud I am (and how good they looked) via a series of too many, large photographs…

- Starting off like a meringue -

- Resting time....about an hour to set their shape -

- How good do they look? -

- Up close it looks quite impressive -

- And yet another angle -

- Last one...I promise -

So then I got cocky and made (attempted) some white chocolate and raspberry macarons (from the Gourmet Traveller website) whilst drinking a glass of wine and chatting away to my gorgeous visiting friend, Holly. These are essentially pink-coloured light and fluffy biscuits, sandwiched together with a raspberry-flavoured icing mixture (made from real raspberries – yum!)

- Pink meringue -

- Resting time -

And I don’t have a final photo because these turned out to be a big fat failure. Their shapes were all strange, they tasted way too sweet and when I tried to pick one up, it just crumbled in my fingers. I was utterly disappointed, but I blame the wine and the chatting, not the recipe. I was able to put it behind me though, as the first attempt was so successful! Go on, go back and have another look at those awesome photos!!

Have you tried macarons? Where have you been when you ate your best macaron? What flavour was it?

Alison

Bake: Anzac Biscuits

As it is Anzac Day today, I decided that baking Anzac bickies for Husband and my desk-buddies at work, would be the way to go. There is a history behind the humble Anzac bicky, which is that they were part of the rations given to our brave World War 1 soldiers, as they were a food item that would last longer in their packs as they don’t have any eggs or dairy components. You can find more about the story behind the Anzac bicky here.

I baked them on Monday afternoon so I could take them to work yesterday and share them around (otherwise I would have eaten every last one). From what I could tell, there were a few different variations on the recipe, but I really just wanted the simplest, yet yummiest one. I decided on the Woolworth’s catalogue recipe that I had literally ripped out of the catalogue at the end of last week. I can be found on the internet here. Here’s how it is done…

- Wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix -

- Teaspoon-sized balls onto a tray (or two), flatten out a little -

- Yummy, yummy! -

- Ready to take to work and share -

I actually baked two batches on Monday night – the first one were in the oven about five minutes too long, and they were a stage before being burnt. Husband got these to take to work. He seemed ok with this. The second batch were lovely and sticky as I baked them for five minutes less. I got a lot of positive feedback from my desk-buddies and one lady even approached me for seconds – I love that as this is the biggest complement ever!

Have you ever made Anzac Biscuits? What is your favourite Anzac Bicky recipe?

Alison

Love: Joshua Radin

I have discovered some new music that I can’t help but listen to. The artist’s name is Joshua Radin and he’s an American singer, songwriter. He has released three albums, two of which I have recently purchased and am finding myself listening to over and over again. They aren’t new albums, but they are new to me.

- We Were Here (2006) -

- Simple Times (2008) -

After doing some research I have discovered his official website, which doesn’t really reveal too much about him. Wikipedia seems to have more information about his career and where his songs have been on television program soundtracks. This is where I discovered that he had numerous songs on Scrubs. It still amazes me how many great songs Zach Braff chose for many episodes of Scrubs. I guess it also helps that these two were college friends. I digress…

This music is mellow and relaxed and when I listen to it, I feel myself slowing down as he sings. My favourite tracks right now are ‘They Bring Me to You’, ‘I’d Rather Be You’, and ‘Brand New Day’ from Simple TImes and ‘Everything’ll Be Alright’ and “Winter’ from We Were Here. I love so many of his lyrics, but I think these are my favourite so far…

You looked like the sun, I was the only one,

who could stare until you were shining on me,

and as we drank our wine and let the world fade away,

the sunrise tried to end it while we tried to stay.

The rest of my life can’t compare to this night,

and only the heartaches have given me sight,

they bring me to you, they bring me to you.

Lyrics from ‘They Bring me to You’

- A bit cute -

This is one of his few video clips – ‘I’d Rather Be WIth You’…

Here’s a link to YouTube video where he performs two of my favourites, ‘Brand New Day’ and ‘I’d Rather be With You’ live…

What do you think? Have you ever heard of Joshua Radin? If not, what are your thoughts?

Alison

Love: Pretty Tea Cups

I have a thing for pretty tea cups. I don’t own many, but I love looking at them…online….in shops…..at people’s houses. There’s something just so special and beautiful about a pretty teacup.

1.

- Delicate -

T2 Camellia TCup ($12)

2.

- Pretty -

Maxwell & Williams Pink Ribbon Hope Rose Mug ($9.95)

3.

- Cute -

 Arthur Price Mugnificent Burleque Mug & Spoon Set ($14)

4.

- Gorgeous -

Ashdene Miss Peacock Babushka Pink Mug ($5.50)

5.

- Simple -

Wedgwood Night & Day Fluted Teacup ($26)

What is your favourite teacup? What do you love about it?

Alison