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Happy Friday

2014 August 8
by emma

I took these a while back at the start of winter and looking at them now brings back the warmth I felt after being in a cold house.

Get some sunshine this weekend all.

    The Nordic diet

    2014 August 6
    by emma


    Finally!  A diet I can get my head around which is basically all my favourite foods.  The (new) Nordic diet is a regional way of eating food which encompasses clean, fresh, natural and local produce such as oily fish, lean meat, whole grains, root vegetables, almonds, greens and berries; studies are saying it decreases your risk of disease and could even extend your lifespan.  Anyway, any diet which encourages you to eat salmon, potatoes, berries and bread is ok by me!

    I love to read about other cultures and their eating habits so thought I’d link some recipes I’ve made in the past which might be similar to those from the Nordic diet and you can click on them by the above images.  Mine are obviously more friendly to the region I live in (I don’t think I could eat reindeer, for example, ahem Rudolph, although I realise how hypocritical that is given I occasionally eat cute fluffy chickens).  Also the ‘wild’ components of the Nordic diet are a bit beyond me over here in the Southern hemisphere.

    We do have beautiful produce in Australia though, due to our warm climate, so I wouldn’t avoid healthy food like avocados or mangoes, for example, as I’m fairly sure they don’t grow for long, or at all, in some Scandinavian countries and aren’t typically included in this type of diet.  Basically, this lifestyle can be adapted to the region you live in (see also, the Mediterranean diet and Japanese diet, both incredibly healthy however both culturally and regionally appropriate).

    Some traditional Nordic recipes can be found here.

      Lemon coconut layer cake

      2014 August 3
      by emma

      lemon coconut cake

      I made a cake a while back for a birthday.  I don’t know how people can make those perfect looking layer cakes, I find it bizarrely stressful.  I tried ombré icing but failed at that however, it’s more my icing skills that were sub par, rather than the colours which looked quite pretty.  In the end, I gave up attempting to ombré it, lost patience and just slapped on all the icing in this sort of huffy way.  I also forgot to sprinkle the coconut on the cake and took a heap of photos then had to take more!  Talk about a comedy of errors.

      As much as I love to bake at home, I would sincerely prefer to return to nursing in a hospital ward than be a pastry chef, I think I’d have to lodge a claim for work related stress or something (kudos to those who do though).

      Anyway, this cake is soft and very lemony.  The coconut plays more of a supporting role really, but I loved the texture of the flakes on the icing and the flavour combined with the lemon.  It’s a lovely cake for a celebration and was worth all the drama because it’s so massive!  It also looks very tall and proud once it’s sliced.

      The best thing about making this cake is that you don’t have to do everything on the day.  I made the icing a few days in advance, you can buy lemon curd for the filling instead of making it from scratch (although home made lemon curd is amazing and you could of course, make this in advance also) and even bake the cakes beforehand, storing them tightly wrapped in the fridge for a day or two.

      Also, this makes a lot of icing.  I only used around 3/4 of it so keep that in mind if you’re not into mile high icing on your cakes or .. you could be braver than me and slice the cakes in half for a 4 layer cake and use some icing for the filling.

      lemon coconut cake
      lemon coconut cake

      lemon cake collage

      I had such high hopes …

      ombre icing
      read more…

        Host a Breast Ever Brunch campaign for Mater Chicks in Pink + Strawberry, lemon & white chocolate muffins

        2014 August 1

        White choc lemon strawberry muffins
        I made some fresh, sweet little muffins a while back, full of fruit, lemon and a bit of white chocolate.

        I thought they’d be perfect to promote the Mater Chicks in Pink, Host a Breast Ever Brunch campaign for breast cancer support in August.  Unfortunately I can’t hold my own brunch currently, however I wanted to have a chat about it in case any Brisbane readers are able to hold a brunch this year (it doesn’t have to be August, it can also be held throughout the year).  I’m willing to sponsor or make a donation to anyone who decides to hold a brunch and if you can’t, you can always make a tax deductable donation yourself if you prefer.  I’ve found in the past with morning teas for campaigns like this that it’s probably ideal to organise through work by asking a few co-workers to pitch in and help, however you can also hold a brunch at home or even in a local coffee shop or café.

        Mater Chicks in Pink provide practical, specialised and very real support for people diagnosed with breast cancer as well as contribute to medical research by organising fundraising activities in the way of campaigns, fun runs and providing merchandise for sale; the aim is to raise $100,000 from this campaign so they can continue their important work.  They are a wonderful, inspired group of people and should be supported!

        Information on easy ways to hold your brunch, including raising money, the host kit and setting up a host page can be found here and FAQ is here.  You can also download bunting, posters, handbooks and invitations to organise and hold your brunch.

        white choc strawberry muffinswhite choc strawberry muffins

        Go on, dig in.

        white choc strawberry muffins

        white choc strawberry muffins

        read more…

          Get On Up (2014)

          2014 July 31
          tags: ,
          by emma

          I’m waiting excitedly to see Get On Up, about the life of James Brown, produced by Mick Jagger and starring Dan Aykroyd (who also starred in The Blues Brothers so hello, another brilliant movie).  Like a lot of Gen Xers, mostly thanks to my parents, I love rhythm & blues artists like James, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles.  It’s where all the music we listen to comes from after all!  And rhythm & blues has so much historical and social relevance, modern music can’t compare.  And why is it that wherever I am, no matter how far before my time this music is, if I hear any of these songs, I know all the words?!

          Released in August (for the USA anyway, not sure about the rest of us although I did read somewhere it was early 2015 for Australia (come on!)).


          Image of James via: Get On Up movie

            Hannah and Landon

            2014 July 29
            by emma

            I love the dreamy, vintage and charming style of Hannah @ Hannah and Landon, a clothing designer and photographer who resides in New York and LA.  And there’s a shop!  A very very nice one called The Loved One so check it out via the links or images below.

            Oh and that kitty mask!




            Store items I covet:

            kitty mask

            kitty hood

            Ballet Pink Fuego Bottoms

            Sisal Hat with Orange Flowers

            Stealing Beauty Blouse

            All images belong to and used with kind permission from Hannah Metz

              Savoury & spicy pumpkin loaf (vegan)

              2014 July 27

              I often make sweet baked loaves, in fact, they’re a staple in our freezer for morning teas and things.

              But the other day I thought about making a savoury loaf, a type of quick bread, something spicy and warm to have on cold mornings with butter or with a bowl of steamy hot soup.  So because I’ve been cooking with pumpkin a lot lately (2 more recipes coming up), I whipped up a roast pumpkin loaf with chilli, a few spices and a decent hit of rosemary.  Soft yet fairly dense and a beautifully warm colour, I loved the spicy, savoury flavour with a hint of sweetness and the texture is substantial enough to have for a quick lunch with butter on it’s own.

              spicy pumpkin loaf

              spicy pumpkin loaf

              spicy pumpkin loaf

              spicy pumpkin loaf
              butternut pumpkin
              spicy pumpkin loaf
              read more…


                2014 July 25
                by emma

                Have a good weekend all ♥


                  Brown butter toasted cheese sandwiches

                  2014 July 23
                  by emma

                  I was reading a book in bed the other night and one of the characters made toasted cheese sarnies but in browned butter!  Genius.  It’s super tasty, even more so than a plain toasted cheese, which is one of my favourite things to eat in the whole world except for hot chips.

                  toasted sarnie

                  brown butter toasted sarnie


                  So I got to it.  It’s basically this: read more…

                    Chilli cheese burgers

                    2014 July 20
                    by emma

                    I love a good burger!  I don’t know if I’ve ever said on here (probably but then I have a tendency to repeat myself) but years ago, when I was in my late teens, I became a vegetarian for around 5 years.  I really didn’t miss meat at all except for the odd bit of fish, but one day I went out for lunch with my dad and the menu had a burger and chips with the works on offer.  I remember saying, I really feel like a burger dad!  So I ordered this massive burger bigger than my head, ate the whole thing and that was that.  Five years of vegetarianism down the drain!

                    Ok I still eat mainly vegie now (it’s healthy and like a lot of people, I prefer it) but can’t really commit to being a vegetarian completely as I’d miss those classics like burgers and roast chicken.

                    So these burgers are pretty basic although I like to add little bits and pieces like diced olives and sweet chilli sauce to step things up a bit; I made ours pretty thick and cooked them a bit slower so they turned out juicy and full of flavour.  One thing I’ve learned from making meatballs and rissoles is that you need to season really well, more than you usually would in this day and age of reducing salt intake.  The melted cheese and spicy tomato sauce with a few pieces of frilly lettuce on a fluffy burger bun was a hearty lunch on a recent long weekend.

                    chilli cheeseburgers

                    chilli cheese burgers

                    chilli cheeseburgers

                    chilli cheese burgers
                    read more…