Saturday, April 30, 2011

French Feast, C'est Bon!

It's been a long time since my last post, mostly because all I've been doing is cooking and sharing the delicious results with my friends on our Facebook group page, My Dinner Heros. It's quite an obsession, hence the lack of any activity here.

But I do have some pics to share of a lunch I cooked today for Tris' parents- part housewarming, part birthday celebration, part excuse for me to cook some recipes from my ever increasing cookbook library. Not to toot my own horn, but the meal was a hit and so fun to prepare. I know cooking is the 'in thing' at the moment, but I've always loved doing this!

Chicken Pate Ripalles recipe

Cauliflower Soup

Duck Leg Confit with braised lentils and toasted walnut salad

Incredible selection of macarons, a gift from tris' parents- amazeballs! Enjoyed with Trampoline Bloody Orange sorbet and a glass of chilled white. Perfect ending :)

One a side note, my mum has started her own cooking blog My Kitchen Table, she's been cooking and documenting her culinary adventures for years and is now sharing it online. I guess the apple doesn't fall that far from the tree.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

a few dollars worth spending on yourself




2011 is "me year" and one of the things I'm doing for myself is buying a bunch of cut flowers every week with a limit of $5 (or $10 if I've missed a week) and it seems that the cheaper, less popular choices are the most interesting. To me anyway. It's a simple way to do something nice for yourself and finding interesting receptacles to put them in makes them even more aesthetically pleasing. Last week was jam jar of strawberry roses, this week a weird stemmed blue tinted glass I've had for ages that I never knew what to do with (and was close to being thrown out) and these bright red blooms.
There's a certain satisfaction in saving something and putting it to a new use as well as having some pretty petals smiling back at you each week.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Pretty patterns+lazing around the house = A perfect match!




This recent obsession with kimonos was due to watching a few too many episodes of Boardwalk Empire while nursing a hang over. Seeing all the gorgeous night gowns/robes of the 1920's, I just had to have one! Sadly, I couldn't find anything close to those delicate silk night gowns, but I had stumbled upon some beautiful, silk, authentic Japanese kimonos. In the past 24 hours I have purchased 2 and eying off yet another! Because they are second hand, they're really affordable- the postage from Japan has been more or equal to the cost of the garment. Plus the strength of the Australian dollar does help a bit.

There are so many different kimono fabric patterns it's staggering. From delicate washes and incredibly small details, to big, bold, strong coloured prints- all meticulously made with impressive attention to the finest detail. Got to hand it to the Japanese! If only I had looked into this while holidaying there a few years ago.

The pics here are ones I've purchased/want and I can't wait to lounge around home in them, or even wear out :) Can't wait for their arrival, mister delivery man!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Winter Fun Times

Compiling my list of things I'd like to do while on holidays, mostly food related, but I'm sure there's lots to do to work off these many meals!

London Eats
16th Dec Michelin Star Lunch http://www.arbutusrestaurant.co.uk/
19th Dec Proper British fare, nose to tail eating http://www.stjohnrestaurant.com/
A day of cheap eating http://www.timeout.com/london/feature/633/cheap-days-out-in-london-foodie

London Galleries & Museums
http://www.vam.ac.uk/
http://www.tate.org.uk/
http://www.nhm.ac.uk/

Cosey Cinema to escape the cold http://www.everymancinema.com/cinemas/baker-street/about-us

Design Studio visit http://visual-editions.com/

I'll steal a kiss here http://www.coventgardenlondonuk.com/events-entertainment-culture/articles/merry-kissmas

Sweden Eats:
I've been hanging out for this http://www.saluhallen.com/
Swedish fare http://www.pelikan.se/
Dumpling reminiscing http://www.jinandpeeters.se/
Some casual Italian Cafe Nero

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Edible Xmas Gifts



I've had a very productive afternoon! After a quick bowl of pho for lunch I got cracking with the potted chicken liver pate and apple and tomato chutney, assisted by chief taster and jar inspector, Sarah. She also did a cracking job on chopping up the tomatoes- I think she's earned herself a jar.

I tweaked the chutney recipe a little from last year, using both apple cider and malt vinegar and splash of balsamic at the end. Hope the jars are as air tight as the ones I got last year- they don't seem to seal as well... I'm just hoping they taste so good that they won't need to be in storage for long! All I need to do now is print these sticker labels out for the tops and Christmas is all wrapped up! *very pleased with myself*

Fully fuctioning cape, complete with super powers



I asked Mel what Thomas wanted for Christmas and she said that he'd love a super hero cape and after a friend suggested I make one, I did- they're pretty easy to make (even with my minimal sewing prowess!)

Tris came up with the chocolate bar idea as the super hero emblem, like all kids it's pretty much their crack, but in Thomas' case he goes to extreme lengths to get his fix. I'm sure this cape will see him through the year on all his chocolate fueled adventures. Feeling quite chuffed with myself!

Friday, November 26, 2010

2011 Resolutions

I've been home all this week with a stupid virus which has literally forced me to not work, so I've done a lot of thinking about the year and what has changed which brings me to some New Year resos. I know these lists are bullshit and no one sticks to them (I recall drinking more water was one of the easiest promises of 2009 and I couldn't even manage that) but hey, it's the intention right? Plus my list is meant to improve my life, so not doing these things would just be cheating myself. And I hate being cheated.

Draw/collage/create/do other than on the computer.
I've found that I hate making a mess, what's with that? (My room is an exception) I even don't write things down anymore- terrible. Ever since I got myself an iPhone, my face and hand have been soldered to that tiny screen. No more screen! Less simulated experiences!

Read more.
I read 1 book this year (but if I count cookbooks, I've read many) and what's more pathetic is that it was Anthony Bourdain novel so it doesn't really count. How can I call myself a book designer when I don't even read- I'll say it again, pathetic! (Note to self: You need to get a pair of reading glasses, you lost them a few months ago now squinting will no longer get you by).

Ride my bike more.
I only ride it to work or the shops in Richmond- which is usually a 10 minute ride. I should get over the ickiness of arriving at the destination sweaty and with flat hair, I need the exercise too.

Stop being a hater.
It's my job to be critical and try to improve on things, but it can also make me a sour old bitch. Take the job hat off when you're not at work.

Slow down! Work less.
This year I worked all day, to go home and work all night. You know the saying.

Get out.
Let's face it, I've been a hermit and more than my usual crab self. Not good. Should see my friends more, if they remember who I am.

Be silly.
I've become too serious in past few years, I need to lighten up and get sense of humour! When did I become so boring? (This is not a prompt for you to tell me in the comments section).

Use less exclamation marks in my correspondence.
I've gone a little overboard with the ol !!! in 2010, I blame Trambampoline.

So that's it for the moment. If you see me sometime in 2011 ask me how I'm going with these and hopefully I'll be able to reply with an enthusiastic "Hells yeah*"

*The Susan in 2011 will also be more enthusiastic about things in general.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Love these ladies!


Let me introduce you to Anna and Britt of Visual Editions, the work these lovely ladies do is pretty much the ultimate in my books (pun unintentional). They see visuals a key part of storytelling, not there simply for decoration. Judging by their most recent project for Jonathan Safran Foer, they make books that you want to pick up and eat with your eyes.



Would love it if my books could get a similar reaction, even just a little! That short video is such a good example of how a book can engage and delight. It definitely puts a smile on my face. Perhaps I'll try and visit their toaster sized studio when I'm in London next... yeah maybe.