Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Humph Day Inspiration


Makes me happy.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I get so excited when I see Allie from hyperboleandahalf has posted something new. I discovered her through my blogsurfing. I actually woke T up from a lazy Sunday sleep-in. He thought I was crying, but really it was tears from uncontrollable giggling. Enjoy :)

This one about the fish is my fave, Also must read here, here and here. Oh what the heck just go ahead and read all 200 of em. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Does Australia have a population problem?

Well after having a look at the colour of Australia on this map, I think you would agree that compared to the US and parts of Europe, we're doing pretty well. Ok I apologise that the theme of this blog is becoming heavily weighted toward politics. I promise I will be more varied after the election this weeked. Its just that I keep learning all this stuff that I feel everyone should think about.

Recently I have heard a bit of talk on how population growth is a major cause of climate change. This is already playing out in federal politics, with Prime Minister Gillard dumping Rudds "Big Australia" policy in the name of sustainability. While this policy was far from perfect, we should be very careful in thinking about what Gillards "Little Australia" idea actually means, especially when this idea can justify the undermining of womens reproductive rights and fuel racist migration and border control agendas. We are getting into shakey territory now...

Click to

Population size, growth and movement is not the cause of climate change. Climate change is a complex global issue driven by over-consumption, unbridled economic growth and our dependence on fossil fuels, especially coal. Restricting the flow of people into Australia does not address any of these global root causes of climate change. Australia's coal industry is the single biggest carbon emitter in Australia, not to mention other nasty side effects such as the impact on scarce water resources and the heath of communities across Australia and around the world. Even the most drastic population control policies will not stop climate change, because it won't stop the coal industry.

The main reason some people are calling for a sustainable population, is that when migrants come to Australia they often adopt Australia's carbon-intensive lifestyles, which increases our emissions as a whole. This is a dangerous argument, firstly because restricting the movement of people into Australia does nothing to stop unsustainable levels of consumption by Australians that is the root cause of environmental damage. More importantly, we have to recognise that our way of living in Australia (a rich, "first world" nation) has created the very reason people want to escape poverty, labour exploitation and environmental problems (see previous post) in their "third world" home lands. We cannot turn our backs on the very people we have exploited to build or carbon intensive lifestyles: we must recognise our carbon debt and act in solidarity to stop the global problem of climate change.

What I'm really worried about is that the people in these countries know that it is us in the richer countries causing the turmoil in theirs, and from their point of view us turning our backs on them is worse than rubbing salt in their wounds. Looking back through history books, wars have been started for reasons much smaller.

Because of climate change, have every reason to confront over consumption and share the worlds resources. Instead controlling the movement of people, what we need to talk about is how to share the worlds resources equitably and sustainably.

As a movement, we should reject population control policies, and instead fight for solutions to climate change that are not only effective, but also just for the global community.
Thanks to Friends of the Earth Sydney for their amazingly well put together articles :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

If you think...

With the election on Saturday, there's ads every comercial break telling you to vote Labor or Liberal. It seems a shame to me that the other parties don't have access to funding to get their message out to a wider audience.

This ad got air Wednesday night on ABC's Gruen Nation.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Story of Cosmetics (2010)

Really interesting short vid on the chemicals we slather onto the biggest organ in our body.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Foreign Aid - Feeding starving kids in Ethiopia? Or the Packer kids?

A month or so ago I signed up for the independent online newspaper Crikey Daily Mail. Almost straight away, they ran a series of articles investigating into where exactly our foreign aid goes to. Now I would have thought most of our $4.3 billion worth of tax dollars for foreign aid funnels through companies such as Oxfam or World Vision to help poor countries. Is that what you would have thought too?

A lot of Australians would be surprised to know that for nearly a decade one of Australia's most successful, although little known, aid companies and it's biggest casino operator were owned by the same company.

Click to


40 to 50% of this aid budget is spent on "Technical assistance". This is quite clearly a billion-dollar business funded by tax payers, and a small number of Australian firms have done very well from this:
  • Coffey International, the Chatswood, Sydney-based "global professional services consultancy", took more than $300 million in contracts in 2009 alone (from AusAid records)
  • Cardno ACIL secured at least $270 million, as did GRM, "a leading international development management company"
  • Queensland companies GHD and JTA international, both reaped over $100 million.
The idea that most (over 60%) of our "foreign aid" ends up back in Australian's pockets is called "Boomerang Aid", and has long been a basis of criticism of AusAID. But one thing I found quite interesting is the company GRM International Pty Ltd

Until December last year, GRM was fully owned by the Bahamas-based company Consolidated Press International Holdings (CPIH)- a key company in the private empire of one of Australia's richest families, the Packers. Many large companies are set up in a similar way to how GRM is linked in with CPIH for tax reasons, but the question is whether this is acceptable for major recipients of Australian government contracts. There are a number of main points Crikey journalists found in their investigations:
  • GRM international handles hundreds of millions of dollars worth of government contracts each year, yet according to its most recent financial statements, GRM International pty Ltd doesn't make a profit (it hasn't reported a single cent in over a decade) and hasn't had any employees since 2005.
  • These accounts are surprising because according to government records, GRM secured more than a billion dollars worth of AusAID contracts between 2001 and 2010, as well as income from its agribusiness actuvities.
  • The contracts are for "technical assistance" in the form of short-term contracts for expert advisers. This form of aid is more common in Australia than in other OECD countries and has been criticised by a recent review of Australian aid to PNG as often ineffective, wasteful and lacking in accountability.
  • All these contracts are published on the 'federal government's tender data base' but details are often vague, such as over $350,000 over two years to "strengthen accountability" and another million for "governance and related activity"
Decide for yourself, but this sounds quite sus to me. Stay tuned, I'll let you know what I find out...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Thought for the day

{A disturbing reality}

Just a few days before Federal Parliament rose, the Gillard Government passed new Renewable Energy legislation that counts “waste” from woodchip mills as clean, green renewable energy. The Government refused to close this loophole that gives a huge subsidy to burn our forests for electricity. The Abbott Opposition was even worse; they tried to amend the legislation to make all forests available for power generation, bypassing even the woodchip mills.
Click to read more

In our trip around Aus, we went to these old growth forests that have been so hard hit by the logging companies. The tension between the workers in these towns, and the environmentalists that lobby to save the untouched beauty of south-western Tasmania is hard not to notice.

{Welcome sign to Maydena}

A year or so ago, the logging industry got it's cash from selling woodchips to the Japanese (among others) for very cheap. They didn't need to spend anything to plant or maintain these trees, they just bulldozed their way in and chopchopchopped it all down.

We managed to find trail maps leading us to some of the oldest and biggest trees in the world, that were saved from logging. We traveled along the roads built by the logging companies, freaking out when truckies in their massive semi-trailers overtook us along the narrow dirt roads. A few (very, very few) areas of the forest have been protected from the logging industry. We arrived at one, in the Styx valley, and found this amazingly well maintained trail that meanders past hundred year old ferns and eventually leads to the majestic tree that saved the little area from near destruction.

{Styx valley}

I find it so unbelieveable that the government doesn't protect more of these forests. For such a small amount of money, going to such few people, we are wasting a priceless part of Australia. Of the world. All I can think is that we are so fortunate we have these passionate people litterally putting their lives on the line to save such small areas of untouched, beautiful wilderness.

{the 'big tree' reserve}

{the 'chapel tree'}

The worst part of all is mapped out in the cartoon above. The problem is that more than 80% of all forests logged in NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia go straight to the woodchip mill. Officially this is “waste” from sawlog operations but the truth is that the woodchip industry controls native forest logging in Australia. The industry sees a new market for woodchips as their salvation at a time when woodchip exports for paper making are in serious decline because finally the Japanese and other buyers are starting to refuse woodchips from native forests.

As a result of the fall in export woodchips, major companies such as Gunns in Tasmania are now considering whether to abandon forest logging and make the transfer to plantations with the assistance of industry restructure funding from the Federal and State Governments. To make this happen in Tasmania and to extend it to the other States we have to keep up the pressure on the industry and the politicians throughout this election period

8 out of 10 Australians want a stop to logging our forests (Galaxy Poll May 2010). A stop will reduce Australia’s CO2 emissions by nearly 10% (not to mention other benefits) yet our Labor and Liberal politicians tell us it is too hard to even cut 5% without paying billions of dollars of "compensation" to the coal, steel and aluminium industries.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Movement of the people

Our political situation is in a depressing state. Australia watches in amazement as the two major parties bicker and rip into each other about their choice of fashion (getting paid our tax dollars), while the largest issue our generation has ever seen gets pushed aside. Labor's new climate change policy is appaling, and the alternative is an economically-illiterate party whose leader doesn't believe in climate change at all - who insists on wasting $3b on the most expensive possible means of addressing it. Neither of the parties have our best interests at heart.

All we can do is read up on as much as we can. Keep informed and try to make the best choices when it comes time.

Here's something to get us started.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Quick and easy dinners (part 1): Morroccan lamb cutlets

I'm starting this series for my gorgeous friend T who has convinced herself she is domestically challenged from a few traumatic (fiery) kitchen experiences. These chops are easy to prepare when you have a distractingly cute dinner guest, or if you need a quick meal for one after a busy day.

Fresh Ingredients
4 cloves of garlic
6 lamb chops
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt

Cupboard Ingredients
olive oil
2 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoon ground coriander seeds
1 tablespoon chili powder
1.5 cups couscous
2 tsp vegetable stock powder
1/2 cup lemon juice
small handful each of pine nuts and sultanas (optional)

Chop the garlic finely, put into a bowl and mix with with a drizzle of olive oil and half the cumin and coriander seeds. Rub this mixture into the lamb cutlets on both sides. Line your grill tray or an oven tray with a large piece of foil (you want to be able to wrap all the cutlets up in this later). Heat to med-high and put the cutlets on to cook.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, put 1 cup of water with the lemon juice, stock powder, chili powder and the rest of the cumin and coriander seeds and bring to a boil. Check on the cutlets. Turn them when the first side has gotten nice and brown.

When boiling, turn off the heat add the couscous and cover. Leave for at least 3 minutes. Keep watching the lamb. When both sides are brown, turn off the heat and fold up the foil so the cutlets can stay warm and moist and absorb the roast garlic and the other flavors.

When the 3 minutes is up, take off the lid, drizzle a little olive oil and fluff up all the couscous, adding the sultanas and pine nuts. Put the lid back on to keep it warm.

To serve, spoon the couscous onto the plates, top with the cutlets (making sure you don't waste the juices) and finish with a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Bonn appetite! (or whatever they say in Morocco...)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Squid salad with roast eggplant, baby carrots and rice wine vinagrette

{squid salad}

Whenever we make the trip out to the Pyrmont fish markets, we're never disappointed. There's always taste testing and various specials on really fresh seafood. Sometimes I buy salmon, kingfish and tuna sashimi thinly sliced so I can make lots of nigiri (my favorite). This time we picked up a few hoods of Australian squid, as well as the freshest Aussie tiger prawns they had.

This recipe was inspired by all the eggplant and baby carrots we found on special at the fruit and veg store. You can use whatever salad ingredients you have in your fridge. Cherry tomatoes, cucumber, roast zucchini or capsicum would also go really well.

Squid Salad

1 large squid hood, cleaned
1/4 cup plain flour
1 tablespoon chilli flakes
pinch of salt & black pepper
Oil for frying

1 medium eggplant, sliced thinly
10 baby carrots
salad greens (I used baby spinach and rocket)

juice of 1 large lemon
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil

Heat oven to med-hot. Rub salt and olive oil into the eggplant, and place on a baking tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning once.

Blanch carrots in boiling water for about 5 minutes until slightly tender but still bright orange.

Fill a supermarket fruit and veg bag with the flour, chilli flakes and S&P. Open up the squid tube by slicing length ways. Score the inside of the tube so it's all criss-crossy, then chop into pieces 1 by 2 inches. Put all the pieces in the bag and give it a good shake to coat.

Heat oil in a frying pan so it's nice and hot, and lay out the squid pieces (but don't overcrowd them). After about 3 minutes the pieces should be browned on one side, so turn them over. When the other side is brown, remove from the pan and place on a plate lined with paper towel.

For the vinaigrette, put all ingredients into a jar and shake well.

Assemble greens, eggplant, carrots, squid in a nice salad bowl, pour over the vinaigrette and enjoy!

Makes dinner for two big eaters!
Takes 30 mins
Cost $10

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bliss Balls

{blissed out}

These little truffles are so easy to make and make a good after dinner treat. And you know that blah feeling you get after downing half a block of cadbury? None of that here. All natural, vegan and so yum...

1 cup shredded coconut
7 dried dates chopped finely
1/3 cup walnuts chopped finely (i just use a mortar and pestle)
3 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons cocoa powder + more to coat
1 tablespoon brown sugar

You can substitute the walnuts with any other crushed nuts, and almond meal is a good addition. Sesame seeds would also go well in these. I added a bit of brown sugar because I love the taste, but you can replace with more honey or whatever you like best.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. If its too runny, add more dry ingredients like coconut and if its not moist enough then add more honey or tahini or even a bit of water.

Roll into little balls and then roll in extra cocoa powder. Allow to set on a plate in the fridge for 30 mins. Store in a container in the freezer for a yummy treat whenever.

Makes about 30
Takes 30 mins
Cost around $5

Friday, June 11, 2010

Clean, Green.


Two good mates S & N returned from Bolivia recently, in a trip that saw them attend the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth. They held a meeting last night in Sydney to report back to us on what they learned.

Click to read more on "Clean, Green"

In response to the failure of Copenhagen, the Bolivian government called this People's Conference, which ran over four days and was attended by over 35 thousand people. People came together from all over the world to discuss real action on the climate crisis. The end result was The World People's Agreement, a formal document being discussed at the Bonn UN climate negotiations right now, providing new hope for people fighting for global climate justice.

This isn't the first climate event I have attended, and it wont be the last. I always come away from them learning many things that I would never have had the chance to. A few points that I took away from S & N's experience was:

  • The people in Bolivia have been so adversely affected by the climate crisis that it has brought communities together in big conferences like the World People's Conference. Climate change is the topic of conversation daily in these people's lives.  
  • Glaciers are the life-force of many in South America and around the world. In Bolivia they have been worshipped for thousands of years and soon this will not be possible. In the last 40 years climate change has reduced these Glaciers by over 50%. Some have completely melted away during that time. For thousands of years the people in communities surrounding the Glaciers have lived off the melt in the dry seasons, and watched as the glaciers restored themselves yearly during the wet season. Now they watch helplessly as their remaining glaciers melt away rapidly with little or no hope of restoration.
  • Coal exports are Australia's biggest contribution to the climate crisis. The greenhouse pollution from our coal exports exceeds all of our domestic pollution combined. Every power station, every landclearing operation, every car, truck, train, and bus, every source of greenhouse pollution in Australia combined is eclipsed by the pollution from our coal exports. Burning a tonne of black coal produces 2.4 tonnes of greenhouse gases, and the mining, processing and transportation of coal contributes enormously to greenhouse gas production.

As Australians it is easy to be ignorant about climate change. It's hard to appreciate the perils of those whose lives are being so severely affected by the climate crisis when in the comfort of our homes we can control our environment. The majority of the world get to see the changes first-hand. My hope is the developed world change to a greener way of living before it's too late.

It's so inspiring to see that after the complete failure of Copenhagen people haven't lost hope. Through everyone sharing their knowledge and experiences we can build up more awareness and help us better handle this issue which will eventually affect our lives a great deal.

To read more about S & N's insights go here.

Kind Deeds

Check out our little friend growing on our windowsill:

{chilli plant - fully ripe}

Whenever I walk past this little pot, it reminds me of how powerful it is to do good things for people. Even random people. Like paying for the car behind you when you go through a toll. Or picking up rubbish by the ocean. Or letting a chef or a musician or host or taxi driver know that they made your night. Small things make a difference i reckon.   

Click to read more on "Kind Deeds"...

Last year T and I tried to grow some herbs and veggies in pots out the back of our apartment building. Its only a small block, with 8 units in total, and separate lock-up areas out the back for washing machines and dryers. Everyone we had met in the building and around the area were so lovely and friendly we felt like our new babies would have a safe environment to grow.

T spent so much time and energy getting these little plants into a happy space with roomy pots, lots of sunlight and fresh water every day.

One day, he went outside to give our green friends some water, and they were all gone! Someone had come into the backyard and stolen 8 (pretty substantial) pots! It would have taken a lot of effort on their behalf to complete this mission stealthily. We looked around to see if we could track the thieves but to no avail. Who could have done such a thing? It was a very sad day for us.

A girl living in the apartments next door is often seen tending to her plants which line the sides of the brick building, so we got worried there might be other victims. We got chatting to the neighbors, asking if they had anything stolen or if they saw anything. No one had.

Later that week we found a bunch of pots sitting on our doorstep. They were cuttings, placed in an assortment of containers. The girl next door had prepared them for us! Our faith in humanity had been restored! Happy days again.

So this little guy grew from one of the cuttings. A (very spicy) habanero plant. A reminder of the wonderful people on this earth.

{our garden with ripening chilli}

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ahh I understand now...

Some friendly office banter between the working parents here at a client I am working at, really enlightened me this morning about why the world has taken a very wrong turn somewhere along the timeline.

Click to

Two of the women were discussing how hard it is to have young children at home, juggling work and all of the kids activities as well as keeping up the house, when the boss here (a dad to a few teenage children) said its even harder as they get older. In response to their confused expressions, he explained that his wife has to cater to all the different dietary requirements of the picky teenagers, having dinner ready and on the table at all hours of the evening for everyone as they arrive home. Someone pointed out he should let them fend for themselves, maybe cook up a big pot of dinner and allow them to reheat whenever they like. Another women told him he needs to teach them to feed themselves, otherwise their future husbands/wives will have a tough job.

I just sat quietly not wanting to bring attention to myself (or my company), but inside I was making a mental note of what a man looks like when he's completely lost the plot.

He then goes on to say that his kids don't need to know how to cook or clean. That he and his wife are allowing their teenagers to focus all their energy on becoming "even more educated" than their parents, in order for them to earn so much money that they can pay for people to cook for, and clean up after them.

Hang on... Did I hear that right??!!
Now I get it.. I understand the booming popularity of take away food, the unwillingness of young people to do things for themselves, and the absurdly high expectations of 20-somethings to live to work in order to achieve this mostly unachievable, and highly unnecessary goal.

Some people have completely lost the big picture.

This makes me so mad. We should be teaching our children that to be rich is to have a tree full of avocadoes in the backyard, and friends to cook dinner for. Oh well. I guess this is what you get for living in a corporate world.

I promise I will be a lot more positive tomorrow.

Keeping in line with my thoughts of today, is my Hump Day cartoon:

What are your thoughts? Have you had a similar experience?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Nicely put.

{postsecret 31/5/10}

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The most amazing chocolate chip cookies ever.


These cookies are devine... They are everything I love in a cookie. Soft, melt-in-your-mouth, with nutty chunks and lots of chocolatey goodness.

1/2 cup butter
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 cup sugar (I use 3/4 brown sugar and 1/4 white for a more caramely taste)
1 egg
splash of a good vanilla essence
1 and 3/4 cup of plain flour (you can make part of this psyllium husk or wheat germ for a bit more texture)
good pinch of salt and baking powder
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (or more if you want it more chocolatey - who doesnt?!)

Preheat oven to hot (around 250 degrees).
Melt the butter and peanut butter so its nice and soft (I just pop it in the microwave if I dont have time), add the sugars and mix well with a hand-held beater. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for 5 minutes, or longer, until pale and fluffy.
Add flours and salt and baking powder, and with a wooden spoon, stir until just combined.
Mix in the walnuts and chocolate chips.
Scoop out about a tablespoon's worth of the cookie dough and place onto a tray lined with baking paper. If you want them to be pretty, shape into balls, and make sure there are choc chips on top. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

{ready to go}

This bit's the most important: Place the tray in your oven on the top shelf, and keep an eye on it. When the cookies become a little browned (mine takes about 8 mins), remove, place on the middle shelf, and put your next tray on the top shelf. Continue to watch them, and pull the first batch out when they are thoroughly browned, but not too dark. They will still be really very soft (its molten sugar and butter) so wait for them to cool, and in time they will harden up enough for you to cool on a rack, or just leave them to cool on the tray (or you could eat it warm with a bit of icecream - YUM!)

When cool, carefully place in a container. Or wrap them up in cellophane, tie a bow at the top and give to friends!


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Humph Day Inspiration

As it is Wednesday (aka hump day), and we all need a little something to get us through the rest of the week, I would like to share with you a drawing from one of my favorite artists.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Pizza with Italianos'

Excitement was building as we were approaching 5 pm Friday after a long week in the office, when plans for our beachside BBQ that evening were suddenly put off due to a thunderstorm warning. We were to have a farewell BBQ by Bondi Beach for a friend, R, who was scheduled to go back to Italy on Sunday. The evening's events were suddenly shifted to my tiny but very warm and cozy apartment a few beaches down the coast. All good except the apartment was an absolute mess, and we had no food in the house! Luckily, T was at home, so he could get onto the mess and pick up a few ingredients. So the frantic menu planning began.

What to cook for a bunch of Italian and Aussie friends on such short notice? I decided on a selection of dips and quesadillas with guacamole (recipe to come), and some home cooked pizza. T suggested we could take the easy option and just order in, but it didnt feel right to serve Italians their native dish out of a box. So home cooked it was. Since we needed to make it veggie and meat lover friendly, two pizzas were on the menu: feta and roasted butternut pumpkin pizza with pine nuts, and prosciutto and ricotta pizza.

I left the office as soon as I could, and I spent the bus ride going through my mental list of things to do before everyone arrived, so when I got home I jumped straight into it.

Pizza Ingredients

Dough*: Theres nothing better than a fresh, crispy yet soft and chewy, base for your pizza. I just pop the dough ingredients into our rickety old $4-from-a-garage-sale bread maker and it does the job nicely, or you can do it by hand. Check out this recipe. When the dough has risen enough, roll it out onto your pizza pan and bake until just crispy. Now its ready for toppings to be added.

* I've also seen some pretty decent ready made bases at the supermarket.

Caramelised onions: Thinly slice 5 brown onions into half-moons, and fry in a hot fry pan with a bit of oil. Turn it down to med-low when the onions become translucent and fragrant, add about a tablespoon of brown sugar and continue to cook, stirring for about 15 minutes.

Roasted Butternut Pumpkin: Peel and chop the pumpkin into inch sized cubes and put into a banking dish. Rub salt and olive oil into them well and bake until soft and golden

Garlicky Mushrooms: Thickly slice about a kilo of your favorite mushrooms, and put them in a fry pan. Coat them in olive oil, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring so they don't burn. You may need to add more olive oil if they look dry. When they have softened up a bit add your crushed, roughly chopped garlic, and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes on medium until the garlic is browned.

*I use a small to medium sized bulb (mushrooms looove garlic!), divide into cloves, crush with the side of a knife, pull the skin off and any hard bits, and chop.

Other toppings: The rest of the ingredients need no further prep than picking them up at the supermarket or deli - pesto, ricotta or feta, greens (i used rocket and baby spinach), pine nuts, and some lovely sliced prosciutto from our local deli.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Everyone arrived, bringing with them some delicious bottles of vino and warm cheery vibes despite the developing storm outside. All the ingredients were ready and waiting to be added to the pizzas. We snacked on the dips and quesidellas, and tasted the selection of wines while we chatted the night away. When everyone was ready for the pizzas, I quickly put it all together and popped it in the oven - so much better than takeaway!

Each pizza had a base coated with pesto, and then a layer of caramelised onion and garlicky mushrooms. A scattering of the greens, then the pumpin or procciutto. I found the butternut pumpkin needed the salty bite of the feta, while the prosciutto pared well with the mild creaminess in the dollops of ricotta. You could assemble these these ingredients in any combination you like. Just make sure you drizzle a good balsamic over your slice... Bellissimo!!

Photobucket {Leftover pizza}

Hiding in and staying dry from the awful weather outside we listened with full bellies to the talented muso's among us play us some tunes and conversation went well into the early hours of the morning.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Marshmallow and Caramel Slice

{marshmallow and caramel slice}

I was craving something deliciously rich and marshmallowy so I searched around the web for a marshmallow slice. None of the recipes I found were exactly what I wanted, so I did a bit of a combo and came up with this little beauty...

The trick with the marshmallow is to keep on beating it with your hand mixer even when you lose all hope its going to fluff up. Even better if you have one of those stand alone mixers.

This makes about 30 big slices.

Biscuit layer
4 Weetbix (or plain biscuits), crushed
1 cup dessicated coconut
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup SR flour
1/2 cup butter
1 egg, whisked

Mix dry ingredients together. Add butter, then egg and mix to combine. Press into slice tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 15 min in a moderate oven (or until browned).

Caramel Layer
2 cans condensed milk
tsp butter, melted
2 tbsp maple syrup (or brown sugar)

In microwave safe bowl, add all ingredients, mix around with a fork and microwave on high for 1 min. Pour over Biscuit Layer and bake until just golden.

Marshmallow Layer
1.5 cups boiling water
1.5 tbsp agar agar* (or gelatine)
3 cups caster sugar
vanilla essence

While the slice is cooling, make the marshmallow.

Disolve agar agar in the water. Add the sugar and beat with your mixer until it triples in size. Add vanilla essence.

Pour the marshmallow over the slice and refrigerate until set (about 1 hour).

{slicing the slice}

* vegetarian substitute for gelatine. You can get it in your asian supermarket.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

First Post

I've been meaning to start a blog for a while now. Trapped inside on a stormy midsummer's day seems like the best time to do such a thing.

I'll start with my favorite photo taken while I was travelling around Australia last year with T in our van.

{falls festival, Marion Bay}

This was taken at a music festival in Tasmania a bit over a year ago. How lucky were we to get not one, but two rainbows! The weather was so indecisive in Tassie - raining for 15 minutes, then scorching sun for the next 15. Makes it interesting though. Ours is the big white van on the right :)

As for the name of my blog, when I was a little girl I had a favorite dress that I absolutely wore to death - my watermelon dress.

This is a blog of my favorite things (and sometimes otherwise).