Friday, 20 January 2017

Fika & Hygge 3

Still working my way through this fabulous book. I have set myself the goal of making every recipe from the book. My friends regard it as my own Julie and Julia  experience. I too am documenting my progress on my blog and instagram. There are sixty recipes in the book and so far twenty six have been made. I have previously written about it here , here and here . As with all cookbooks there are recipes that I have liked more than others and some that I will make over and over, however, so far have not made anything that I didn't like.  There are some that have ingredients not readily obtained or required tins that I either do not have or can easily substitute. Fortunately, a friend who is travelling to London was happy to visit the authors shop and purchase them, the special tins needed for the cake that I intend for my last have been ordered on line.

Coconut tops, page 18

Rum Treats, page 56

Rye Flat Rolls, page 171

Homemade Rye Crispbread, page 167

Othello Layer Cake, page 135

World's Best Cake page 136

Daim Cookies page 21

Sticky White Chocolate Cake, page 76

Medals, page 110

Custard Tarts, page 94

Mazarin Tart with Plums, page 80

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Fibre Arts Summer School

I am away in Ballarat at the Fibre Arts Summer School. The class that I am taking is called Threads of Meaning and is with Roxanne Lasky.   The class has a stitch focus, however, it is designed to be contemplative with a focus on making connections between the 'why and how' so that when the work has greater meaning and becomes a more personal statement and reflection of individual style. You can read about her here.

Words or text appear in much of her work and her practice has a strong emphasis on Journalling.

The front and back covers of one of Roxanne's recycled paper bag journals.

And some of the pages.

Another journal, this is the stitched cover. Turkey 'wishbones' arranged in a star or flower pattern are embedded into the appliqué layers. Stitch further emphasises the motif.

A page from the journal, the image says it all.

With so much inspiration it was time to get to work. I liked the idea of the journal and made the decision to restrict my palette to neutral colours. Each exercise would be worked to a scale that would fit in a large book. This is the cover of the book that I am making. The cover is made from a recycled placemat. The weaving was completed in response to the word woven appearing on my word list. The pages inside the book are coloured with an ink made by boiling plants and metals together, the ink applied with brushes made from assorted plants tied to the end of a stick.

This page was the result of the instruction to lay a few of our materials down on a page and then arranging them in a way test was meaningful to us.

This one a response to the quote 'Everything breaks, Things Fall apart. 

This is an old handkerchief that was ripped. I arranged the handkerchief pieces to form a heart shape and then stitched heavily around and in between the pieces. The underpinning idea for this is Mending a Broken Heart.

Another weaving, this one made to decorate the branch of a tree. 

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Stir Fried Pork with Noodles

My favourite go to quick dinner dish especially in Summer when the temperature makes me want to get in and out of the kitchen with minimal cooking time. The preparation can be done in advance and noodles boiled as the stir fry is being cooked. This is a very basic dish, add more garlic, chilli or ginger and some oyster sauce or sweet chilli for extra flavour.

How To

Cook the onion

Then the pork

Combine the onion, pork, cooked noodles and blanched broccoli

Toss ingredients together over low heat

Stir Fried Pork with Noodles
500 g thinly sliced pork
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small knob of green ginger grated
oil for stir frying.

1 red onion, sliced thickly
250 g green beans or 1-2 bunches broccolini
sliced and blanched/ cooked in microwave for 1 minute

1 mild large chilli or capsicum, thinly sliced/julienned (optional)

1/4 cup stock, water or sherry (optional)
1-2 teaspoons sesame oil

Cooked noodles of choice (drained and hot)

Combine pork, garlic, ginger, soy in a bowl and marinate. If possible refrigerate it overnight.

Heat pan/wok until very hot, add a little oil and then add onions. Toss/stir for a minute or two until starting to brown and nearly cooked. Remove to a clean plate or bowl.

Heat pan/wok again until very hot, add a little oil and then add marinated pork. Toss/stir for a minute or two until pork is brown and cooked. Return onion to the pan,

Combine the broccolini, cooked noodles and capsicum/chilli (if using) to the pork and onions and toss gently to mix. 

Add stock and sesame oil and  bring to boil. Check flavour, add a little soy sauce if needed.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

A Little Break

I have been taking a little break, not really a holiday away but taking some time to regroup, tidy up and get organised. My friends tell me that is is a staycation. Not very exciting, just day to day life at a very leisurely pace. In fact all my usual group activities are on holiday as well, no line dancing, limited water aerobics, no Textile Art or Patchwork groups and no printmaking. Luckily, the neighbour's dog is not on holidays and keen to go for walks.

One of my favourite cartoonists, Judy Horacek has summed it up perfectly.

There was a very special party and an opportunity to 'glam' up.

The engagement party was held in this very opulent marquee

that become quite magical by night.

It was a fabulous party, great food, dancing and a fabulous fireworks display.

Lots of cooking and baking from my new books.

Bonjour Brownies and Belgian Blondies from Brownies, Blondies and other Traybakes.

It is Summer and plenty of very hot days, too hot to bake, however, there are goodies that can be made without baking, like waffles.  These are the spinach waffles from the Fika & Hygge cookbook.

 The Christmas Pudding Trifle, from Layered Desserts.

It was a good opportunity to make a large batch of toasted muesli and package it up ready to give to those friends who have become as addicted as me.

There is always something to do in the garden, even if it is just watering, weeding and dead heading the flowering shrubs and perennials.

The remodelled front garden beds are coming along quite nicely, a mixture of ornamental and edible offerings. We will plant a few more things to fill in the spaces.

The nature strip /verge  also recently remodelled is struggling, however, the succulents are very tough and tolerant of dry conditions. Hopefully within the year they will grow and cover the ground.

committed to a new project, A Stitch a Day for a Year. We started on New Year's Day, a small group project that we photograph regularly (daily) and share with each other. This is Day 1

And Day 9. From time to time I will share my progress.

Morris, the borrowed dog, enjoys an outing

And like me, is happy to 'cool off' under the hose.

The final word, again from Judy Horacek.