Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gathering bits and pieces

It's been a while since I used my sewing machine - it's sitting there in the sewing room looking very forlorn and neglected. As I'm booked into the September craft market I need to get creating!!! I have been gathering bits and pieces though and I have a hankering to make scarves. Have lots of interesting bits of Japanese fabric, lace bits, and yo-yo's I've been making with my new yo-yo contraption but still need more. It's all very well to have an idea in mind but if you can't find the right fabrics and bric-a-brac the idea can sort of fall short, which reinforces my old theory that it's far better to get your inspiration from your materials - rather than have an idea and then try to find the materials to make your idea work - well especially in Hobart.

Sha-sha asked me yesterday for my favourite vegetarian meals and I looked in my cooking diary last night for some of the vego meals we make. Rediscovered some we haven't made for a while, like Bill's White Bean Soup. I like it because you can be serving it up within half an hour of being home from work. Here's the recipe:

Bill Granger’s white bean soup with bay leaves and pancetta
Serves 4

2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs butter
2 onions chipped
1 tsp salt
2 bay leaves
3 x 400 g tins cannellini beans, drained
1 litre chicken stock

To serve: Extra virgin olive oil

50 gm pancetta in thin strips, pan-fired until crisp

Melt olive oil and butter in large saucepan. Add onion, salt and bay leaves and cook until onion is soft. Add beans and stock and simmer 10 minutes.

Remove bay leaves and puree the soup. Ladle into bowls, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and top with crispy pancetta.

It's also good with left over rice thrown in – provides extra bulk for that winter comfort food feeling. PS The photo above has nothing to do with anything. It's one I took in Vietnam last year and I thought it looked pretty.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Happy birthday little miss Izzie

Eliza is one year old today! Gosh how the year has flown and what a gorgeous little girl she is.

Here's a pic of some festive lanterns to celebrate.

Party party party tomorrow!!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What will I make next?

Saw some interesting scarves in Cromwell NZ that might provide the inspiration for new sewing project...very girly and 'spring' themed - stretchy coffee material layer below loose weaved linen flowery layer and then netty textured overlay - all a bit 'stringy' and interesting soft muted layers. Noella also has some big ideas too on an ecofriendly product that might be a goer... stay tuned....

Here's some pics I can put up now of things I made for family in NZ - rattles and teething squares for Emily and Van der Linden bub to be, a treasure roll cum pen wrap for James and quilt for Zach. Loved making them all.

Friday, July 3, 2009

While in NZ feed the gal red meat...

Gosh for someone who hardly ever eats red meat I am now on a steady diet of it. But how can one resist South Otago homegrown lamb, venison and beef - and Liz's superb cooking? Meat so tender there's hardly a chew involved. Last night's fare was a superb lamb roast (I was honoured to be given a shank) plus so many plates of vegies I never thought we'd get through them all - but of course we did. All followed by a great mound of hokey pokey icecream drowned in Baileys. The others all then had great slices of banana cake with choc icing while I felt virtuous. Next week this girl has got to diet!

The photo here is of the remnants of a hoar frost on the road from Hawea towards Tarras.

Apart from the food I have a new appreciation of NZ wines. Loving the pinot noirs and chardonnays. On Wednesday Alan and I went to the Big Picture Wine Experience outside of Alexandra and enjoyed the aroma room experience and wine tastings while watching a big screen movie of the Central Otago vineyards. Of course had to buy some wine.

But now back to practical boring health matters, here's Liz's gluten free no-fail flour mix:

Flour mix (Makes 1.28 kg (I cup mixture weighs 160gm)

1 cup maize flour
2 cups rice flour
2 cups soy flour
3 cups potato flour

Mix together and store in airtight container. Another tip from Liz - use Arrowroot as a thickener instead of cornflour or flour.

We are off for a walk into Tapanui town now to get our steps up (Global Walkie Talkies I haven't been letting you down) and to build up the appetite for the next onslaught of food. A is talking about making cheese scones on our return to try and recreate the ones he had yesterday en route home from Wanaka. Yes it is all about the food.

I am rugged up nice and warm for our outing, wearing my new possum and merino jacket under coat with gloves, head gear etc. Snow on all the mountains around us. Hi ho, hi ho off we go...