Thursday, April 29, 2010

Recipe: Broccoli Pasta

I love this meal, we have it at least once a week, and it makes me feel so good because I get to have a big pasta fix and at the same time I feel like I'm being really healthy because I'm getting my greens.  And it is SO tasty!  Rosetta (David's mum) was the first person to introduce me to this recipe - she made the true Italian version with potato and broccoli and it was love at first eat. Over the years I've lost the potato and replaced it with pine nuts (and sometimes a bit of chilli too) but either way, it's always delicious.  And oh so easy.  Love it.

  • Pasta - We usually use spaghetti, but you can use anything really, penne, orecchiette etc
  • Pine nuts
  • Freshly grated parmesan
  • 1 Broccoli cut up into florets
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped (David would use 10 cloves if I let him but I think 1 is heaps)
  • Olive oil
Cook the pasta in salted water.  When the pasta is a few minutes away from being al dente (usually 15 minutes max - don't overcook it because it's better for you if it's al dente, it has a lower gi index), cook the broccoli in boiling water for few minutes (until JUST tender).

While all that is happening lightly toast some pinenuts in a pan (no oil needed).  They just need to be slightly brown to bring the flavour out.  Just pop them to one side when that's done. This will only take a few mins.

Heat the olive oil in a pan, and cook the garlic for 4-5 minutes until lightly brown.  Then add the pasta, broccoli and pine nuts and mix it all around.  Serve it up, season to taste and cover it in heaps of freshly grated parmesan, and you're good to go! YUM!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dream Travel Destination: The Drakensburg Mountains, South Africa

I thought I'd start doing a regular blog about my dream travel destinations (it's a long list!). And that way I have written it down and will therefore be one step closer to going! I have an awesome book called "1,000 Places To See Before You Die" by Patricia Schultz which I get out and flick through every now and then when the travel bug has bitten me.  This one is a destination that I read about in that book.

Apparently, Mpumalanga (where the Drakensburg Mountains are situated) is believed to be the inspiration behind the setting of Lord of the Rings, which was written by South African born JRR Tolkien.
These are South African highest mountains and they offer a whole host of activities including hiking, horseback riding, bird watching and fishing - and from the photos I think there would also be a lot of standing around looking gobsmacked at the spectacular views.
The Blyde River Canyon is a 15 mile long gorge which boasts "God Window" - a spectacular lookout point.  Definitely a place for the to-do list.

And if you have not yet had your fix of beautiful South Africa, check out Robin Street Market's "South Africa" page for handmade products directly from the beautiful country.  The products are colourful, unique and obviously handmade with lots of love and attention, like these gorgeous paper mache bowls.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Love For Boots (& Blogs!)

What is it about boots at the moment??  They are definitely my current love.  And what a brilliant photo that I came across on one of my favourite blogs, design is mine.
 untitled via holliefernando

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Recipe: Beef Salad With Lime Dressing

Watching Donna Hay on Masterchef last night inspired me to get out my "Off The Shelf" cook book by the wonderful lady herself and rifle through to find something interesting to cook for dinner tonight.  I settled on this recipe - Donna actually calls it "Beef Salad With Coconut Dressing" but I made some slight tweaks to it and came up with my own version which I must say was quite delicious, and also, it was really quick (15 mins) and easy (not much chopping)!

  • Eye fillet steak
  • Shredded celery
  • Baby roma tomatoes (cherry tomatoes would do)
  • Baby spinach leaves and rocket leaves
  • Handful of fresh coriander leaves
  • Handful of fresh mint
  • 1 lime
  • Olive oil
Heat a frypan, bbq or grill over high heat.  Cook the steak to your liking and put to one side.

Combine the celery, tomatoes, coriander and mint.  Dress with olive oil and lime juice from the lime (1/2 lime was enough for the 2 of us).  Slice the steak thinly and add to the salad, tossing it to combine.

That's it!  Ridiculously easy.  And VERY tasty too!  YUM.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

$5 Gift Voucher Giveaway!

Exciting news!  Everyone who joins our mailing list between now and 5pm next Friday 23rd April (AEST) will be lucky enough to be issued with a $5 gift voucher to spend on our unique and handmade goodies.

It's so easy, all you need to do is go to our home page and enter your details in our "Join Our Mailing List" section on the bottom right hand corner. And voila!  A $5 gift voucher will miraculously find it's way into your inbox. And then all you need to worry about is how you are going to spend it!

Here are some of the wonderful things that you might consider:

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Boots & Tights

This chilly weather has me thinking about boots & tights. LOVE this combo via Cocorosa.  It almost makes me look forward to Winter...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Recipe: Tuna Steaks & Cabbage Salad

Well, David thinks I have finally gone mad.  He has grown used to the fact that I love talking about food, shopping for food, cooking food and of course eating food, in fact I even dream it occasionally (who doesn't??).  But now I have started photographing and blogging about my food.  Ahh well, I have convinced him that it's just about me sharing the love :)

Tonight's meal is one of my recent faves.  I have managed to convert some non-tuna eaters to tuna LOVERS with this one, so if in doubt please give it a go, it really is delicious.  My presentation leaves a lot to be desired so if you are not convinced by the photos just trust me.

  • Tuna steaks 
  • Garlic
  • Fresh ginger
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Cabbage (I have used a bit of purple and a bit of green here but you can use one or the other)
  • A bunch of radishes
  • Big handful of fresh mint
  • 2-3 lemons
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • Green peas
  • Small red chilli

The first thing you do is to take your tuna steaks, chop up some ginger and garlic and pop it on top of the tuna, cover it in teriyaki sauce and pop it in the fridge for an hour or two.

Now, for the salad.  This salad is an absolute winner and we eat it all the time with various meals.  It's a great way to get some goodness into you and it is VERY tasty.  My friend Adles gave this recipe to me (thanks Adles x).

Ok, chop up the cabbage, thinly slice the radish, and pop it all in a salad bowl (after washing of course) with the mint, peas and chilli.  Sometimes I don't have all the ingredients and I just use what I have and it still tastes wonderful (eg tonight I didn't have peas and radishes so I just went without those and it was still YUM).

Once it's all in the bowl, put a nice lashing of olive oil over it and give it a good mix.  Then squeeze the lemons and add the freshly squeezed lemon juice in and mix again, then you grate up a heap of parmesan cheese and mix it all up.  Whatever you do, don't go light on the lemon juice or the parmesan, you need a lot of both to give it a good kick. 

Now, time to cook the tuna.  You just heat a bit of oil on a med/high heat and once it's nice and hot pop the tuna on and cook it for 2-3 mins on each side.  I like mine quite rare so if you want it well done leave it a bit longer.  The tuna does keep cooking even when taken off the heat so better to undercook it a little.  You'll get the hang of it anyway.

And that's as easy as it is!  Of course, if you are anything like me you will need to pour yourself a nice glass of white to enjoy with it.
Sometimes I have the tuna with wasabi coleslaw, also DELICIOUS.  If you would like that recipe, let me know and I'll go into blog mode next time I make it.  You will probably notice that I am a bit vague on the measurements etc of ingredients, just shoot me an email if you would like some more detail.

Happy cooking, and more importantly eating!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sunshine Coast, Queensland: My Favourite Things

Our second home in Australia is our little bush shack on the Sunshine Coast.  We managed to grab a few days up here over Easter.  Last year I was lucky enough to take 4 months off work and we spent 6 weeks of that time up here.  During that time I decided to get in touch with my artistic side and made this pot to plant our little xmas tree in.  I had heaps of fun, smashing tiles into little pieces, grouting, and just generally getting my hands dirty.
We also did some landscaping and replanting.  We put in this path which looks fantastic and is also very much appreciated when it rains and we don't have to slog from the car to the front door through the mud.  Love this plant.
Our trusty mode of transport while we are here is this amazing 64 EH Holden.  This car has been in David's family since '64.  It never let's us down even when we leave it garaged for a few months. What a car...
Another beautiful plant...

And of course, the most wonderful husband in the world snuggled up with the most angelic pooch ever to be born.  We are missing our beautiful cats Ringo and Oly, but we will be back to Melbourne to shower them with love very soon.  Meanwhile, Nonna Cosma is no doubt looking after them exceptionally well.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

"Wound Up" Cufflinks

These wonderful cufflinks made by Brent Dakis have been so popular that we thought it was about time we added some more to the nest. Made from reclaimed watch mechanisms, which date back as far as 1920, they really are the perfect present for that special someone. Especially love those cute, copper ones...