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Berry yoghurt cake

2014 August 31
by emma

This cake doesn’t rise much but the crumb is so soft and rich (I guess this is what happens when you throw in an extra egg and more butter).  It’s one of those every-day, not overly sweet cakes you can make from ingredients you’d have around, like frozen berries and Greek yoghurt.  It’s super easy to whip up as there’s no icing or waiting for the cake to cool completely.  I served this with some Greek yoghurt and smashed berries and the yoghurt’s sourness was a nice foil for the berry-sweet cake.

berry and yoghurt cake
fruit yoghurt

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    2014 August 29
    by emma


    the catcher in the rye

    I always feel like a cliché saying The Catcher in the Rye is one of my favourite novels as a gen Xer, however I truly did love this novel when I read it at school and the several times I read it until I was around 20.  I tried reading it a few years ago and while I still consider it one of my favourite books, it wasn’t quite the same as the first time I read it.  I’ve always thought you had to be an adolescent to appreciate the moody, sort of angry character of Holden Caulfield, unlike Franny and Zooey, which is still relatable.  Like a lot of kids, reading Catcher made me feel like somebody else understood how hard it all was.

    Anyway, nostalgia aside, the other day I watched Salinger, a documentary on JD Salinger’s life and relationships.  Peppered with anecdotes and recollections from over a hundred subjects including Salinger’s friends, colleagues, acquaintances and even actors including Ed Norton and John Cusack, it’s a dark and really interesting look at a man I’d never really thought much about, despite loving his books so much.  I always knew he was reclusive but had no idea of his personality, his life experiences or what drove him.  I’ve read previously that Salinger always said the only person who could play Holden Caulfield was himself.

    It’s true that the movie has a sort of tabloid appeal; yes it’s a documentary but it was also released after Salinger’s death and he’s not here to defend himself from the more negative, quite invasive commentary (he would have hated all the fuss, no doubt about it, but then who wouldn’t!).  Still, it’s a fascinating look at an interesting person in a different time.

    Disturbing trivia uncovered in this; three well-known violent crimes are discussed which supposedly have a connection with the novel.  That made me really think about the book’s content and Holden’s depression; I guess being a young adult in the 80s/90s I didn’t question it too much and I’ve never really thought movies and books lead to violent crime anyway.  And how odd that this novel was likely not even intended as a book for young adults or teens and yet has such a huge following from several generations’ school curriculum.

    Five new Salinger works are apparently being released from 2015-2020.


    Video from: Salinger Official Trailer

      Flickr love – Laura U

      2014 August 27
      by emma

      These dreamy film photos caught my eye the other day on Flickr; simplicity in photography is something I really appreciate.  Go to Laura’s stream to check out more.

      Laura U
      Laura U
      Laura U
      Laura U
      Laura U
      Laura U

      All images belong to: Laura U

        Roast pumpkin, herb & walnut pasta bake

        2014 August 24
        by emma

        A pasta bake’s always a welcome, comforting dish.  I made a pumpkin pasta & walnut bake a few weeks ago, threw in some fresh herbs and roasted the vegies beforehand to give them that sweet, caramelised taste.  The roast pumpkin slightly breaks down into the pasta and cream, making this dish super creamy and delicious with garlic and onion flavours.

        pumpkin pasta bake
        pumpkin pasta bake
        pumpkin pasta bake

        pumpkin pasta bake
        pumpkin pasta
        pumpkin pasta bake pumpkin pasta bake
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          For the love of books (and places in Brisbane you can read them)

          2014 August 23
          by emma

          I’m always heartened to see so many folks loving books as I do.   Two lovely places to go in Brisbane are pictured below:

          The Clarence Corner Book Shop and Café in Woolloongabba; and
          The Annerley Community Book Shop and Neighbourhood Centre

          So turn off your devices and visit them for a bit if you enjoy a read.  Happy weekend all!


          (1) Juliette Tang, Flickr

          (2) All you need are books and tea print (Etsy)

          (3) Annerley Community Book Shop Neighbourhood Centre

          (4) Beach Baby Blues vintage books (Etsy)

          (5) Clarence Corner Book Shop & Café, Woolloongabba


          Images belong to/via:

          (1) Flickr, Juliette Tang (used with permission)
          (2) My Retro Nest, Etsy
          (3) Annerley Community Book Shop
          (4) Beach Baby Blues, Etsy
          (5) Clarence Corner Book Shop
          (lower 3 photos are mine)

            Father Rabbit (New Zealand)

            2014 August 21
            by emma

            I just wanted to feature my enamel milk pan and porcelain ice cream bowl with spoon I purchased recently (I really am the worst spontaneous shopper but have been wanting a milk/porridge pan for ages) from Father Rabbit, a beautiful online homewares store from New Zealand.

            Their products are simple yet aesthetically very pleasing and practical, they have speedy delivery (3 days from NZ to Brisbane), they ship to most countries and everything’s wrapped nicely and tied up with string.

            (not a sponsored post or anything, just my own thoughts)

            Father Rabbit

            Father RabbitFather Rabbit

            Father Rabbit

              Oh Deer vintage boutique

              2014 August 18
              by emma

              How sweet are these dresses!  So nice and flirty for our impending spring I think, with some adorable shades to go with.

              Spotted via Daydream Lily and more can be seen online at their vintage boutique store; they are true vintage though, so there’s only one of each.  Click on the images to get to the original source/page.


              All images from: Oh Deer Boutique

                Jerk chicken with spicy rice

                2014 August 17

                This is a spicy and flavourful Jamaican dish which is a combination of a fresh and dry rub over hearty chicken legs.  If you buy chicken with the skin on, you’ll get a crispy skin thing happening however I prefer not to eat chicken skin.  I also roasted it in the oven; I have eaten Jerk chicken barbecued or cooked on a skillet previously and it was pretty awesome, so cook it as you wish, just make sure the chicken is cooked completely.

                The marinade is spicy, obviously, but also slightly sweet and fragrant with a fresh herb flavour coming through.  I paired this with a quick fried rice, a squeeze of lime and watercress.

                jerk chicken
                jerk chicken
                jerk chicken ingredients
                jerk chicken
                jerk chicken
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                  Bowies Flat Wetland, Coorparoo

                  2014 August 15

                  This man-made wetland down the road from us is a lovely little calm hideaway right in the middle of our suburb.  With friendly quacking ducks, birds, butterflies and greenery and featuring a boardwalk, I love wondering down there, taking photos and just sitting in the sun.  If anyone lives near me, it’s a sweet little place!  Although contrary to what it says online, you can’t feed the ducks (sadly).  Understandable I guess, since they really should know how to find their own lunch for survival.

                  bowies wetlands
                  bowies wetlands
                  Bowie's wetlands
                  bowies wetlands
                  bowies wetlands
                  bowies wetlands trees
                  duck bowie wetlands]
                  bowies wetlands
                  bowies wetland herons
                  bowies wetlands

                    ANZAC Girls (ABC series)

                    2014 August 13
                    by emma

                    ANZAC Girls

                    I’m really enjoying the new ABC historical drama series ANZAC Girls, based on true stories from war nurses’ experiences at Gallipoli and depicting a group of Australian and New Zealand nurses in WWI, their war work and personal lives.  As an ex-registered nurse I still love watching anything nurse related and this is so out of the realm of my reality it’s really interesting.  The first episode on Sunday night started with the first landing of our troops at Gallipoli on 25th April 1915.

                    I really like that for once we have a show which recognises nursing personnel in war time!  These were mostly young women who volunteered for active service; leaving their homes to travel across the world, putting themselves in danger to perform physically, spiritually and mentally demanding tasks for young men with devastating injuries and with no specific combat medical training or support.  Those were the days of just getting on with it, I suppose it was either sink or swim.

                    I think they were very special people and should be remembered more.  Apart from formal recognition which they now receive, I’m not sure that medical personnel back then (or any subsequent war for that matter) were eligible for the same health and social benefits that war veterans had and that’s just plain wrong.

                    Anyway, I really recommend this show if you’re sort of a history buff like me.

                    Australian nurse with a kangaroo mascot in WWI

                    Images from:
                    ANZAC Girls TV series, ABC, Australia, 2014
                    Australian War Memorial via Flickr