Monthly Archives: September 2011

Flowers Not Football

Tomorrow my friend Mel and I are reclaiming Grand Final Day and doing a “Flowers Not Football”  Flower Arranging Workshop instead of watching the Grand Final.  The Workshop is at Prunella the most stunning Flower Shop in Kyneton, Victoria.  The girls who own the shop were featured in last months Country Style magazine… I’m really looking forward to it and can’t wait to see what we create.

I will post some pictures of our creations on Monday but in the meantime here is some photos of the Spring Workshop they held last weekend.  Have a lovely weekend everyone and enjoy the match tomorrow!

Images: Prunella


Country Road Kids

I love getting the Paula Joye Lifestyled newsletter every Friday and today it featured this Chocolate Cake from the Country Road Kids Video celebrating their 10th Birthday.

See the video here, it’s just to cute.

Country Road is one of my biggest inspirations I love the minimal clean lines of their homewares and this table setting with the cupcakes and chocolate cake is simply gorgeous.   Paula posted the recipe for the chocolate cake so I just had to share it with you also.

Country Road Chocolate Cake

Ingredients- Cake
2 tablespoons butter
2 heaped tablespoons good quality cocoa
1 cup self raising flour
1 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup milk
2 eggs
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla essence

Ingredients- The Icing
2 tablespoons butter 90g best quality dark chocolate 1 cup icing sugar 1⁄4 cup crème fraiche 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla essence

Method – Cake
Pre-heat the oven to 175C°.
Grease a 20cm round cake tin with butter and line the bottom of the tin with baking paper.
Melt the butter slowly in a small saucepan or in the microwave.
Put the sifted flour, cocoa and sugar into a bowl, then add the eggs, melted butter and milk.
Beat for 3 minutes or until all elements are mixed well to a smooth consistency and colour.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
Bake for 40-45 minutes. To test if the cake is cooked, poke a skewer through the centre, if it comes out clean, it’s cooked. Cooking time may vary depending on your oven. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes then remove from the tin and place on a rack to continue cooling.

Method – Icing
Melt the butter and chocolate in a good-sized bowl over a pan of simmering water. While the chocolate and butter are cooling a little, sieve the icing sugar into another bowl.
Add the crème fraiche and vanilla essence to the cooled chocolate mixture, when all this is combined whisk in the sieved icing sugar. To adjust the consistency, you may need to add a little boiling water – about a teaspoon or so – it should be liquid enough to coat the cake easily, but thick enough not to drip off.
Spoon about a third of the icing on to the top of the cake and spread with a spatula until covered. Spread the sides of the cake with the remaining icing and leave a few minutes until set.
If desired you can make a two tiered cake by cutting the cake in half through the middle to create two layers and spread a generous amount of icing between the two layers.
Alternatively double the cake mix quantities and use two cake tins. Either way, you need to double the icing quantities.



I’ve never cooked Orecchiette pasta before so when I was getting a coffee last Saturday morning after my daughters netball match I spied a packet in my local deli and had to give it a try.  I cooked Cherry Tomato Pasta from Pete Evans book My Table.

It was a delicious rustic mid week dinner served with some bread and a glass of whatever you fancy. My husband loved it and so did the children it made me feel like I was eating out but at home.

Here is the recipe:

Cherry Tomato Pasta

150ml extra virgin olive oil, 10 garlic cloves thinly sliced, 2 birds eye chillies finely chopped,6 anchovies, 1 TBLSP capers, 2 punnets cherry tomatoes halved, 2 TBLSP white wine,
small handful basil leaves, 400g orecchiette or any pasta you like, juice of 1/2 lemon, parmesan cheese to serve

Combine the oil, garlic, chilli and anchovies in a pan over medium low heat until the garlic starts to turn a light brown colour (takes a while).  Break down the anchovies with a wooden spoon.

Add the capers, tomatoes and white wine and season with salt & pepper.  Cook for another 3 minutes, then stir in the basil.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling salted water according the the packet instructions, then drain.  Add to the sauce and toss well.  Stir in the lemon juice and serve with the shaved parmesan.

NOTES:  I thought 150mls was to much oil but could see at the end that it created a sauce. If you don’t like anchovies don’t worry they melt into the oil, garlic and chilli mixture creating a beautiful flavour you won’t even know they are there.

I’d love to know how it turned out if you decide to give it a try!



Salad Bowl with Recipe Card

The Sophia Shallow Bowl now comes with this unique recipe card…part of a map of Italy on one side and a recipe for Caprese Salad on the other…perfect for Spring entertaining….and so easy to put together.

This is what Caprese Salad looks like…




Spruce Up Your Home For Spring

Seeing it’s such a lovely day here in Melbourne I thought I’d post pictures of the fresh colourful cushions we have in the online store right now…very Country Road (one of the stores that inspires me). Why not buy a couple to bring some Spring freshness to your home? I’m buying some for our study and loungeroom as I realised the other day our current cushions are looking very tired.

Enjoy your weekend everyone. Hope you’re doing something fab.


Tiramisu means pick me up

Today I had Carol from Itchy Bird come over and do some crafting with me. The things we made today I plan to put in my shop so stay tuned.

I wanted to make Carol a nice lunch for helping me out so made a risotto and this Tiramisu
(my favourite all time dessert) can’t resist the creaminess of the mascarpone and the coffee soaked biscuits. Here are some pictures of how it turned out.

I made the Tiramisu in the Farmhouse Home Sophia Salad Bowl which is not just for salads…you can make anything in it…Trifle, Fruit Salad or a savoury Salad and it looks so modern and fresh on your table.  If you’d like to buy one click here.  Here’s the recipe it’s from Bills Basics by Bill Granger.


500ml (2 cups) very strong coffee
(if you only have instant use 4 tablespoons coffee powder at room temperature)
60ml (1/4 cup) Marsala
60ml (1/4 cup) Tia Maria
3 eggs separated
110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
400g mascarpone
300g savoiardi biscuits
125ml (1/2 cup) cream lightly whipped
grated dark chocolate

Mix together the coffee, Marsala and Tia Maria in a shallow bowl and set aside.

Beat the egg yolks and 80g of the sugar with electric beaters until thick and pale.
Beat in the mascarpone until just combined.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form.
Gradually add the remaining sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture with a large metal spoon.

Soak a savoiardi biscuit in the coffee for a few seconds, then lay in the base of a 2 litre (8 cup) dish.  Use half the biscuits to cover the base of the dish, trimming the biscuits if necessary so they fit snugly.  Spread the mascarpone mixture over the biscuits.

Make a second layer of biscuits in the same way as before.  Top with the whipped cream, cover the dish with clingfilm and chill, preferably overnight.  When ready to serve, dust with grated chocolate.

Serves 8-10

My Kitchen

Yesterday I picked up a copy of “My Kitchen, Casual Home Cooking” by Pete Evans and it is a fabulous cookbook.  I have Pete’s “My Table” and a number of the recipes have become family favourites – butter chicken and meatballs to name a few.

This latest cookbook is full of recipes I can’t wait to try… Mango & Rosewater Mascarpone Pastries,  Pear, Apple & Cinnamon Pan Souffle, Bo Sam which is pork belly wrapped in lettuce served with a delicious korean sauce and the bucatini with chilli and pancetta.

The book was photographed by Katie Quinn Davies of the What Katie Ate blog.  I love Katie’s blog and  haved loved her food styling and photography for a long time so as you can imagine the pictures are gorgeous.

I also love the food styling which was done by David Morgan, to quote Pete Evans himself he says in the back of the book “I love how you can make the simplest dishes look absolutely mouth watering.”
The book design is also beautiful by Reuben Crossman.

They are selling the book at Big W for $24 at the moment which is where I picked up my copy.


This morning my daughter commented on how gorgeous the red strawberries looked in this yellow bowl in our fridge….strawberries are delicious at the moment, so big juicy and red.

Include them in a fruit salad, dip them in chocolate and put in the fridge to set, halve them and mix with some balsamic vinegar and sugar and serve with a good vanilla ice cream or use this mixture to top a pavlova or cheesecake.

Do you have any other ideas?