Good Stuff Holiday Guide Issue 2
find me hereâ€Ś
Pastel Rainbow Cake A double batch of butter cake mix : recipe here OR 2 boxes of vanilla cake mix (that’s what I did!) 2 x 25cm round cake tins Baking paper and butter for lining the tins A double batch of butter-cream icing : recipe here Food colouring Mix up your butter cake or vanilla cake mix and separate into 5 equal batches. Carefully tint each batch to your desired pastel shade, adding drops of food colouring slowly but surely. Take your time getting the right colour. Mix each drop of food colouring in thoroughly. Grease and line your cake tins very well. Bake two cakes at a time as per the box instructions (or if you are using a fromscratch butter mix, bake each cake for 20 minutes or until done when tested with a skewer.) Allow cake to cool for five minutes before turning onto a cooling rack. Continue like this, baking all five cakes. Allow the cakes to cool thoroughly (overnight is best!) Next, make your butter-cream icing. Recipe here! Cut the top and bottom from each cake and try to get each layer an even thickness. Removing the top and bottom ensure that you’ll get a nice ‘clean’ colour and that your cakes will stack neatly. (If you look at the photo of my cake, you can see that I didn’t do that, so there is a dark stripe between colours!) Take your first cake and apply a thin layer of icing to its entire surface. Make sure it’s nice and even. Pop the next cake on top and continue icing between layers and stacking until all five cakes are piled up neatly. Now ice the entire outside of your cake. Use a knife dipped in boiling water, if you’d like your icing to be smooth. Add sprinkles or other decorations. bunting too!? Or animal candles?)
(You could try cake
Your Best Angle Brooch one small plank of 5mm thick balsa wood (ours was 1m x 9.15cm) a cutting mat a sharp Stanley knife a metal ruler acrylic paints (I used cheap student paints!) small paint brush masking tape brooch backs super glue Makes 20 brooches at least! Use your Stanley knife and ruler to very carefully (please don’t hurt yourself!) cut your balsa wood into triangle shapes. The triangles don’t have to be perfect or equilateral unless you are a total geometry nut. They can be the same basic triangle shape, or you can go a bit wild. You could even make other shapes, if you are super fancy. Once you have cut all your shapes out, you need to get them ready to paint. Take your masking tape and apply tape to the triangle shape, so that the edge of the tape creates a ‘border’ for your paint. Paint your triangles in the colours you like. Allow to dry. Now flip them over and glue the brooch backs neatly into place. Don’t glue your fingers. Try and keep the brooch back nice and straight and avoid gluing the closing/opening mechanism. Ta-dah! You’re done! Gift them to rad people! :)
Dude Friendly Gifts
Tatty Devine Cufflinks
Teensy enamel gin bottles seem like the perfect boozy, boysie gift to me. It’s shockingly difficult to find cool cufflinks, so you should totally snap up some for your fave fella, quick smart. Tatty also does really cool ghostie ones. And some in the shape of ping pong bats or price tags.
This Is A Cookbook By Max & Eli Sussman This book is full of not-perfect, more-ish, super delicious recipes for the hungry foodie. Less about foams, composed salads and puffs of pork flutter, this book is ALL about hearty, real food minus the gimmicks. Pork flutter is not really a thing, so don’t ask for it at your local Foam-erie. Buy this book here
Iitala Sarjaton Glasses
Walter Bosse Bear Corkscrew
Do you love this glass? I really do. I love how it’s got little arrows telling you where to sip from.
Gosh. Do you love this? It’s a brass corkscrew, made in Austria and featuring a totally adorable bear drinking buddy.
Perhaps this IS one of those presents you buy for your other half or best pal, because you love it… But I KNOW that you’ll both be super grateful when you follow the arrows to your thirst quenching destination. Buy them here
It’s actually a reproduction of a midcentury piece and there are elephant corkscrews or monkey corkscrews if the bear does not take your fancy. Buy this here
Dude Friendly Gifts
Morrissey Bobble Head You will never find a more agreeable Smith than this bobble headed fella. I think he also looks a titch like David Morrissey, so you could kill two birds with one stone in the good looking English gent department.
Buy this here
Ernest Hemingway Write Drunk, Edit Sober Notebook Perfect for your neighbourhood wordsmith, or just someone that fancies themselves a bit of a writerly type… Ernest’s sage advice really does ring true and your pal will thank you as they scribble notes in this book betwixt pints and ponys. (Is a pony really a drink measure?) Buy this here
Tatty Devine Deluxe DIY Christmas Cracker Kit
Tinsel & Lights by Tracey Thorn
Festive Friends Paper Animals from Lark
This is a bit cool, right? All the bits and bobs you need to make your very own super-ace Tatty Crackers.
Everything But The Girl’s Tracey Thorn has just released this album jam packed with festive delights.
These are a bit cute and totally save you from drawing your own turkey or donkey or Christmas fox.
They come complete with pliers, findings and perspex shapes your crackers will be totes bespoke!
Do yourself a favour. Or just yank out last year’s Zooey Deschanel and M Ward album. That’s rad too.
(Don’t you fancy Christmas fox?)
(These also include a party hat and a joke, so WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!)
Buy them here
Buy Tracey here
Buy Zooey and M Ward here
These are made from recycled card and are designed by Mibo. I am quite in love with the donkey one… Buy them here
Vintage Christmas Birds
Oh La La Paper Christmas Postcard Set
Sometimes Christmas cards can be a bit off-putting, right? All those red faced Santas and ‘o’ mouthed angels are a bit samey samey.
I know. Christmas bees are not really a thing. Sigh. The thing IS, that these bees on wire absolutely WOULD make the most AMAZING decorations.
Start your own vintage collection by searching eBay or Etsy.
I think these postcards from Oh La La Paper are super nice and positively cry out for a jingle-y scribble and a stamp-ed good bye!
Imagine them sitting about your tree, looking positively fuzzy in the way only bumble-bees can.
These birds were found here
Buy them here
These ones are from here.
We had a whole lot of velvet-y, glittery decorations when I was growing up. Fawns, birds, lambs, angels. To me they were the most beautiful things I’d ever seen.
Corkboard Advent Calendar
You need: cute origami or patterned paper (I used 24 small sheets) template (see previous page) scissors corkboard (mine measures 40cm x 60cm) pins happy thoughts, jokes or quotes (see below) glue stick map pins
Cut out your template. Use this as a guide to cut out 25 ‘pocket’ pieces. Take your time with this, sit in front of the telly or with a friend. Cut and chat. Or cut and watch. Or cut and listen. But don’t cut yourself! Once you’ve cut out all your pocket shapes, fold them into a pocket. Fold the bottom UP. Fold the top overlap of the pocket down. Make it look cute and pocket-y. Now glue the sides of your pockets into place with a thin lick of glue stick. Don’t glue your pocket closed! Write or print out some happy thoughts or jokes or nice quotes or cute tasks, even. Cut them into slips, fold them up and put one in each pocket. That’s it! Hang your corkboard up on the 1st of December and start counting down the days! Pin your pockets to the board, using the map pins. Optional: Write the numbers 1 to 25 on round stickers. Pop them onto the pockets in random order. Add confetti or a little lolly to each pocket.
Kate Spade ‘Jewelbar’ Locket Necklace
Victoria Mason Houseplant Necklace
Michelle Mackintosh Bunyip Notecards
I’m a bit in love with all things Kate Spade at the moment. I really really want one of these necklaces in pink or yellow.
Succulents and cacti are not only hardy, they are totally hip. Did you know that? Yep. It’s true.
As beautiful as The Bunyip From Berkley’s Creek WAS, I am really totally in love with Michelle’s not-tooscary bunyip. He’s a bit more joyful and cheerful, don’t you think?
I would keep a picture of my kidlets inside. It would be a very tiny picture and only I would know it was them.
This Victoria Mason necklace will tap into her love of the sparkly and hip in one efficient purchase. (Not only that, but it’s totally cute, right?!)
Buy this here
Buy this here
The lady in your life would be totally chuffed putting pen to paper, if this bunyip is her pen-pal. Buy these here
CatRabbit Chief Hank Handkerchief
Gorman Systems of Space Skirt
Turquoise Saltwater Sandals
Everyone needs a nice hankie in their bag or tucked into the sleeve of their cardigan right?
I’m more of a dress girl than a skirt girl. I never know whether to tuck in or to not, so a dress clears that up for me in an instant. Unless I tuck it into my undies.
These are the cutest, comfiest summer shoe. They come in all kinds of colours (I love the metallic A LOT!)
Hank’s hankie is the very best kind of tear dryer. In fact I would go so far as to say this hankie is best not cried or sniffled on at all. I think it’s a good hankie to flap about like a flag and show off smugly.
Buy this here
This skirt is super gorgeous and if you buy it for the lady in your life she will raise her eyebrow and the corner of her mouth simultaneously… and give you a bit of a twinkly glare. (In a good way!) Buy this here
I particularly love this turquoise, but I also think that lime, orange, pastel blue or pastel pink are equally covetable. Check the size carefully as they are not a standard fit. I’m a 39 and I bought a size 7. Buy these here
Rad Kids Things…
Ingela P Arrhenius Melamine Sunshine Plate
Verdie Chamelon Watering Can
Penguin Australian Children’s Classics
I love Ingela’s work. Once I did a magazine swap with her. I sent her lots of rad mags like Frankie and Real Living. And she sent me a pile of awesome Swedish magazines.
Novelty teapots are my thing, but I think if I were a kidlet, I would be into novelty watering cans instead.
Buy the whole lot for a kid you love, or buy one every Christmas and birthday to build a collection that they will have for a lifetime.
This one is really cute and you also get the benefit of a helpful green thumb. (Or hair rinser, if you use this at bath time!)
These books are really beautiful and I would like it if someone did that for me, actually.
Buy this here
Buy this here
Of course, it’s not just her swappyness that is ace. She’s a wonderful illustrator and I think these cute plates encompass all that is cheery and wonderful about her work.
Buy these here
Foster literary love and help keep the classics alive!
Cath Kidston Floral Crayon Tin Of course your favourite kidlet wants to pluck crayons from a lovely Cath Kidston tin! These are super perfect for stowing in handbags or school bags, ready for café visits or just a really hardcore colouring in session.
Buy these here
Iitala Moomin Glasses Look at these. What could be better than slurping cordial out of Moomins & The Martians glasses? Nothing! (Unless you have a curly straw… that’s the only possible improvement. There are lots of other designs too..
Buy this here
Anne of Green Gables Stamp Set Wow. A set of stamps. Themed to Anne of Green Gables. In a little house which has green gables. Jeepers! This is so cute and would make such a gorgeous gift to any Anne fan. It includes a stamp pad and 17 uber-cute Anne-ish stamps. Buy this here
Dottie Angel 1: my clan home for the holidays, so I may feel whole for a while. 2: a large brown betty teapot, I had my gran’s for the longest time but the spout came a cropper and it had to be retired. I would like to make it a woolly jacket from Rachelle’s spiffy pattern in our Granny Chic book 3: a yoga mat, in a peachy jolly colour that speaks to me and makes me feel like I know what I am doing even if I don’t! 4: a nice pair of hand knitted mittens. I’ve always liked the look of Nordic mittens, but I do find mittens a little tricky so perhaps a pair with nice little flappy things, so you can use your fingers if need be. 5: chicks in the spring, we are down to only 2 chickie peas in our back yard and it just doesn’t feel quite right, so chicks in the spring would warm my mother hen heart
â€œI love Christmas, no two ways about it. Hands down it is my fabby fav time of year, for Christmas means family to me. When I was a small being, my folks went out of their way to make it magical, such was the success, it was only after I turned 40 I was actually able to sleep on Christmas Eve. For the anticipation of what lay ahead even into adulthood would keep me awake and yes why not, keep me awake listening out for sleigh bells despite knowing all the elf work had been done by me in the run up to the big day. 21 years ago this Christmas, on boxing day, we had our first child, 4 years later (and 1 child in-between) we had our third child born on the Â 27th, so for me, without a doubt, this time of year is all about family being together. Celebrating all that is good in our world and counting our blessings with 3 full days of joy. With half my clan living far far away, the joy of Christmas is even more so now. I may make a list, I may have a few wishes and wants. However nothing can top my wish for all my children home together
To me, Christmas means recreating a traditional North American wintery wonderholiday in my sub-tropical Queensland reality.
Sugar cookies. Handmade gifts. Eggnog. Stockings hung on my (nonexistent) fireplace. Home Alone on repeat. Licking the lid of the condensed milk tin. A gin before 7am on Christmas Day. Watching B-grade horror movies while decorating the tree. Learning to be Santa. Trying to outdo my sister in wrapping presents. Potato bake. Seeing my family all together. Sucking at backyard cricket. Christmas earrings. Hiding presents. Drunken sing-alongs. Dressing the babies in Christmas outfits. The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack as I’m wrapping gifts. Hating tinsel. Snowflake motifs. Carols in the stores. Feelings of goodwill. Mango daiquiris. Being made fun of at lunch because I’m vegetarian. Christmas movies on TV. Rum balls with no rum in them. Buying the perfect gift. Adding to the family tree decorations each year. High-fiving myself when I buy Royal Doulton ones at the Boxing Day sales for a quarter of the price. Re-reading my Christmas-themed magazines saved over the years. Driving to see the neighbourhood lights. Toy trains. The Christmas buzz in the air. Always forgetting at least one thing when the shops are closed. Getting cards in the mail. Secret Santa. Buying a present for my cat. Miniature Christmas villages. Leftovers. Christmas craft. Kid gifts made at daycare. Sneaky drunken Christmas pashes with the mister. Laughing so hard I can’t breathe.
Five things I want for Christmas: 1. A Wu-Tang ring from Windfall Jewellery. A chunky piece of handcrafted sterling silver awesomeness. 2. An Ocean Country porch swing and five minutes’ peace to read a book and have a cup of tea in the sunshine. 3. A sunshiny yellow daisy-print 1950s frock for summer days and flirty nights. 4. One of each of these painfully cute vintage animal cushions replicated from ‘60s decals. I’d like to say they’re for my kids… but they’re mostly for me. 5. For summer drinks on the deck, an embossed carafe and six tall glasses with swizzle sticks from Oxfam. Helping the Earth while I’m helping my thirst.
The holidays mean family, fun, paper hats and leisurely summer catch ups with good friends. Christmas has it all - the anticipation, the big moment and then relaxed downtime to cope with all the fun. I get such a thrill out of wrapping beautiful gifts to put under the tree and my kids can't breathe due to the anticipation of Christmas morning pressies. There's always a mad rush after the Christmas morning presents to get sorted for lunch and then that pleasant lull of post-Christmas eating. My favourite things about Christmas areâ€Ś
1. Watch my kids pretend to still believe in Santa, even though they don't: "Ye must believe to receive," I tell the children each year. Even if you're a wise-ass kid who denies Santa's existence, I am a brutal parent who insists on enforcing all the fun and corniness of putting out a carrot for the reindeers and a stocking for Santa to fill with an abundance of toys. 2. Play old-fashioned parlor games: Why is it only once a year that parlor games like charades and celebrity heads? 3. Baste a ham in Coca Cola, marmalade or something sickly sweet: There is something so once-a-year special about a baked ham. Especially a ham from AC Butchery. Scoring that criss-cross pattern into ham skin and pressing in cloves is utterly delightful, especially when the kids help. Pulling that crispy skinned ham out of an oven is even better. 4. Popping a Christmas cracker: I always buy the most outrageously expensive Christmas crackers - David Jones are my favourite - because the delight of a tacky gift, silly hat and bad joke is a tradition that's been with me since childhood and I would hate to break it. My grandad always wore the silly hat all day long. He loved announcing the bad jokes and breaking into peals of laughter at how bad they were, before making up his own - infinitely superior jokes to share with the family. 5. Fantasizing about making nice things for people: I like the idea of making things to give a gift that is truly handmade and from the heart, but never do it. In my fantasies, I make beautiful panforte or toffees for my friends. I also lovingly craft amazing Christmas cards, because in an age of email, I still love getting cards in the post. The final piece of this fantasy is the beautiful Christmas decorations my children and I create together to hang from our tree and - of course - an amazing Christmas wreath we put on the front door while we get more and more excited about the Christmas we are about to experience.
Roasted Tomato, Red Pepper & Cashew Pesto.
(Makes about 2 cups) one kilogram of ripe tomatoes (or you can use drained, tinned tomatoes) three-quarters of a cup of raw or roasted cashews fifty grams of parmesan cheese (I actually used pecorino!) one red pepper, deseeded and cut into rustic chunks one head of garlic half a cup of olive oil + an extra drizzle sea salt and freshly ground black pepper Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Pour a little oil on a large oven tray (or you can use two oven trays!) and spread it about. Now tumble on the tomatoes, pepper and the whole head of garlic. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until starting to caramelise. Allow to cool. In a food processor, blitz the cashews, parmesan and an extra drizzle of olive oil until processed, but still quite lumpy. Squeeze the garlic from the roasted head and add that to the food processor. Also add the tomatoes and pepper, a pinch of sea salt and some ground black pepper. Process until combined and pesto-ey.
Simple Tomato Salsa
two 440g cans of diced tomatoes (nice ones, not the super cheap ones) one bunch of spring onions, bottoms chopped off and cut to 4 inch (or about that!) lengths one bunch of coriander, washed VERY VERY well, roots trimmed off one clove of garlic, peeled one green chilli juice of one lime one tablespoon of red wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar is good too!) a few shakes of tabasco sauce (to taste) one teaspoon of sugar half a teaspoon of sweet paprika one quarter of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper salt and pepper to taste
In a food processor, blitz the spring onions, garlic, coriander and chilli until super diced (but not so much that it turns into pesto!) Now in a big bowl, mix the diced tomatoes (no need to drain!) with the just-processed green things. Add the vinegar, tabasco, lime juice, sugar, cayenne pepper and paprika. Thatâ€™s it! Adjust the flavours to suit you. If you want it spicy add more tabasco. Season well with salt and pepper and spoon into sterile jars or into a big bowl to eat today! Variations: add JalapeĂąos or oregano for an extra spicy flavour boost
Christmas Fish Bon-Bons
by Gourmet Girlfriend four 200g fillets of firm white fish (ask your fishmonger for advice!) one unwaxed lemon, sliced half a bunch of fresh coriander four tablespoons of dark brown sugar four tablespoons of fish sauce one finely sliced red chilli one cup of coconut milk four 30cm long pieces of baking paper (like Glad Bake) bakers twine jasmine rice to serve oven: pre-heat your oven to 200c how to make it: Pop one piece of the baking paper across a large shallow bowl. Place a single fillet of fish in the middle of the paper. Add Âź cup of coconut milk, one tablespoon of brown sugar, one tablespoon of fish sauce, some red chilli, some fresh coriander and two slices of Lemon. Gather up the edges of the paper and bunch together to make a bag. Tie the bag with string to enclose the Fish and ingredients inside Repeat with all fillets and place them onto a baking tray. Place in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Serve onto each plate that has some steamed jasmine rice on it so your guests can unwrap their own Xmas Fish Bon Bon Merry Xmas! X ruth Â
I love to eat Fish anytime but I especially love to see it on the Xmas table. Australia usually means a HOT Xmas day and I personally am not so much into the Traditional English style Xmas lunch and instead opt for Summery seafood options. This dish is served wrapped up like a personal Xmas lunch present on your plate. The bag helps contain all the delicious sauce which when opened spills onto your guests plate. Even if you are wee bit scared of cooking fish this dish is perfect! And your guests will be ever so impressed. Â
Soba Salad with Miso & Green Olive Pesto
1 packet of soba noodles 2 tbsp Pip’s Miso, Spinach and Green Olive Pesto (recipe on opposite page) 1 avocado, diced 1 cucumber, diced 1 bunch of spring onions, sliced (keep a little aside for garnish!) 10 green beans, sliced and blanched til tender 50g diced tofu (I used fried tofu!) OR some seared prawns OR a handful of BBQ chicken, sliced 1/2 cup of baby spinach, washed well 1 lemon optional : a few slices of pickled ginger Cook the soba noodles until tender (it just takes a few minutes) and then run under cold water to cool them down quickly. Drain very well. In a big bowl, place 2 tbsp of pesto. Add all other ingredients and toss very well and very carefully. Season with a tiny bit of sea salt and lots of freshly ground pepper. Garnish with chopped spring onions, a generous squeeze of lemon juice and some pickled ginger! Also : You can add anything you like to this salad! BBQ corn, cherry tomatoes, edamame beans, snow peas, roasted peppers… go crazy and make it your own! Eat it up!
Disco Icicle Ornaments Â
You need: A plank of 5mm balsa wood (ours was 1m x 9.15cm) a Stanley knife or blade PVA glue a small paint brush glitter in your fave colours metal ruler cutting mat fishing line and a heavy duty needle (a leather needle would work well!) Letâ€™s go: Using the ruler, blade and a cutting mat, carefully cut your balsa wood into long, triangular icicle shapes. You can make them any size you like. Go slowly and cut with the grain for best results. Once you have cut all your icicles out, paint the lower half of each triangle shape (the point end!) with PVA glue. Quickly sprinkle glitter on the wet glue. (Put loads on and tip the excess of when dry.) Allow to dry. Once dry, push a needle threaded with 20cm of fishing line through the top (non-pointy) end of the icicle. Tie your fishing line in a firm knot and then make a loop with the excess or tie straight on to your Christmas tree. OR: Thread a whole lot onto fishing line to make Disco Icicle Bunting!
Amanda: The Mirabel Foundation Ah Christmas time, I'm so glad you'll be back again. I just love how the build-up is so frenetic up to the day and then we get to reward ourselves with warming summer days at a more genteel, relaxed pace. Summer holidays used to start with a car trip from Melbourne to Queensland with a car boot full of presents and 3 children across the back seat. Mum would keep us entertained with songs, games and boiled lollies. We'd help dad to look out for kangaroos and try not to ask too many times "are we there yet?" Once we had arrived to my grandparents place in Qld, it took no time at all to get the festivities underway and unwrap those presents from Santa. Regardless of how early we awoke on Christmas day, Santa and his reindeers only had time to stop at our place for half a carrot and a glass of milk before they were on their way again. Our January days were spent dashing from the pirate ship to the waterslides with my Nan just a step or two behind. My siblings and I also loved sliding down grassy hills on cardboard boxes and doing our best to stay afloat on top of our boogie boards carrying us from the sea to shore. Christmas will come full circle for my family soon as we start adding little ones back into the mix. How much delight we will now take sharing the Christmas story for the first time with our children and putting out some carrots and a glass of milk again for Santa and his reindeers. Best wishes, Amanda xx
Five things for Christmas: I'm expecting my first baby next year and a gorgeous baby blanket from Miette Handmade is at the top of my wish list Christmas is a special time of year at my workplace and the 'Softies for the Mirabel' handmade toy drive lights up smiles on the crafters and children's faces A pretty dress from Yeojin Bae's 'YB J'AIME' collection will glide me through the parties and festivities Hearing the MSO play Handel's Messiah is a new joyful Christmas tradition for my family A weekend trip to Hobart to visit amazing the Museum of Old and New Art would be a perfect summer mini-break with my husband Â
Vinaigrette (this is SUPER easy and REALLY delish!) one third of a cup red or white wine vinegar Salt and pepper, to taste 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard two thirds of a cup olive oil 1. In a bowl, whisk the vinegar, salt, pepper, and mustard. 2. Whisk in the oil in a slow, steady stream; set aside. To Assemble The Salad 3 eggs 250g green beans, trimmed 6 small potatoes such as yellow creamers ½ shallot, finely chopped 1 tub of cherry tomatoes 1 cos lettuce 1 tin of tuna in olive oil, drained ½ cup olives a few anchovy fillets, drained 1/2 cup mixed herbs, such as tarragon, oregano, basil, or parsley1. 1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the eggs and cook for 10 minutes. Cool, peel and slice. 2. Salt the water. Add the green beans and cook for 2 minutes. Lift out with tongs and rinse with very cold water. 3. Return the water to a boil. Add the potatoes. Cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a small knife. Drain and transfer to a bowl. 4. As soon as the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and slice thickly. Add? cup of the vinaigrette and the shallot. With a rubber spatula, gently toss the warm potatoes with the dressing; set aside to cool. 5. In another bowl, toss the beans with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette to coat them. 6. In a third bowl, toss the tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette to coat them. 7. On a large platter, arrange the lettuce. Add the potatoes, beans, and tomatoes. Top with tuna, olives, and anchovies. Spoon some of the remaining dressing over the salad and sprinkle with the herbs. Peel the eggs, pat them dry, and halve them. Garnish the platter with the eggs. ? Adapted from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”
Picnic Quiche Lorraine
Shortcrust Pastry: Recipe will make TWO tart cases (30cm tart tin) 600g plain flour 300g diced butter a few of tablespoons of cold water a pinch of salt Put all ingredients into a food processor and blitz until they resemble breadcrumbs. Slowly add tablespoons of cold water (with the processor on) until the mixture comes together and forms a ball. I added 5 tablespoons and voila! Ball of pastry. Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and let it sit for at least half an hour so that it can do its magic. Flour your clean bench top. Roll out the pastry with a floured rolling pin. You want it to be quite thin, but not so thin that it breaks. I could KIND OF see the bench top through the pastry, so I knew it was thin enough. Line your WELL GREASED 30cm tart tin with the pastry. I usually plonk my rolling pin at the top edge of the pastry and roll the pastry BACK onto the pin. Then I slip the tart tin onto the bench where the pastry once was. And then I roll the pastry BACK over the tin. I hope that makes sense. It's easier than trying to lift it up with your hands or something equally perilous. Push the pastry gently into the corners of the tin. Trim the excess pastry off. Prick the base lightly with a fork a few times and let it rest for 15 minutes or so while the oven heats up. (Preheat oven to 360F/180C ish.) Blind Bake: Now, line the tart shell with foil. Fill it with rice or dried beans and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil/rice/beans carefully and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the bottom of the pastry shell feels cooked and dry.
Make the Quiche. 30g butter 200g bacon 1 diced onion 1/2 clove garlic 6 eggs 200ml cream 100g grated cheese (parmesan or cheddar or provolone or something yum) a handful of fresh herbs (I used parsley)
Melt the butter in frypan. Add the bacon, onion and garlic and fry gently for 10 minutes. Plonk all of that into the tart tin, spreading things out nicely. Beat the eggs with the cream and some salt and pepper. Pour into the tart case atop the bacon mixture. Sprinkle the cheese and herbs on top of all that. Press the cheese/herbs into the eggy mix with a spoon so its submerged. Season with black pepper.
Bake for 35 minutes or until golden and nicely set.
Eat it up with a nice green salad and a chilly glass of something.
Head here to print these labels A4 size
health creating & shaping
BHSc (WHM) Adv Dip (Nat) NHAA
has been a Complementary Health Practitioner since 2004 and now practices from the heart of the city of Melbourne. Having been an avid craft enthusiast for many years she combines scientific based health knowledged with a crafty nack for getting to the source of a health problem and a love for helping with the mending of it.
Crochet Some Stars You need: A 3 or 3.5mm crochet hook Some yarn in your favourite colours (4 or 8ply – DK or Baby Yarn) Scissors A yarn needle with a big eye Something good on telly PVA glue clean tea towel Let’s go: Chain 6 stitches and join with a slip stitch to form a ‘ring’. Then: chain 3 : crochet 17 treble stitches into the ring. Slip stitch the final stitch to the top of the ‘chain 3’ to form a round. Chain 8 stitches. *Double crochet one stitch into the third chain from the hook. Half treble one stitch into the next chain stitch. Treble crochet into the next TWO stitches Double treble into the next TWO stitches That’s your ‘point’ done! Skip two stitches and slip stitch into the next to ‘anchor’ the point.* Repeat pattern between stars until you have SIX points on your star. Bingo! Fasten off and use a yarn needle to stitch your loose yarn end in, so that you can’t see it. Stiffen your stars (so they don’t curl up!) by mixing equal parts water and PVA glue. Saturate your star in this mix, wring out excess gently and then lay it out neatly on a clean tea towel to dry overnight. Hang with fishing line, ribbon or wire. Felice Navidad!
For Christmas, I would like another week at Varuna Writers Centre in the Blue Mountains. OMG, it’s a bit like heaven. I want The Design Files Calendar, because I love it. Tell me she’s making it again? Oh she must! I want a subscription to any book released by ERM books Pip I want to send you on a holiday to Brunswick to my friend Kemi’s, where she just cooks for you and you just eat: I want an entire kitchen of Mud cups plates bowls vases, but this time in something creamish, or white even. Yeah.
The holidays for me are really about all the things that life should be about, which is taking things slowly, picnics, sun, people, splashing, chomping, and living in a holiday-ish fashion. They are also an awesome time of reflection, where I often look for and then find a unique white room or some other creative space where I can sit for a week with butchers paper and crayons and just dream about what the coming year will be. This next year is about Big Hearted Business, and that means more butchers paper and more crayon than ever before. All up, these holidays are going to be messy, good messy, fecund messy, and that's just the way I like it. Â
Christmas means Summer and Summer means long days, glorious sunsets, Beatbox Kitchen in park, sleeping with the window open, salads, salt in your hair, iced coffee, decorations, no-socks, no-cardigans, making lists, not having much money, not caring about having much money, cicadas chirping, Christmas lights, cake ... it also means working in retail, which can be HARD! Christmas retail can be like a sport. Sometimes you're winning, sometimes you're not, but either way you're running the whole way through December. Spare some sympathy and patience for your favourite shop workers this December, yeah?
Photo of gemma by Miso
Make a difference to some animals: 25 December is my cat's birthday! Cuby's real name is Nicholas as in Saint Nic, Yup. I ponder all the animals who die for Christmas feasts every year - and that bums me out. I wouldn't eat a cat, so why would I eat any other animal? Just asking. Of course, I would like a vegan world for Christmas, but I know that isn't gonna happen. But I would love it if people really thought about and considered compassionately the meat and animal products they consume on Christmas Day. This might mean eating slightly less meat. Opting for meat from a free range, organic farm. Having lots more meat-free options on your table. We should all consider the pets that are abandoned every Christmas for all the unjustifiable and horrible reasons that humans make up. DO :: make some vegan food this christmas BUY :: get and give a Tough Love calendar or three!
Make waves: I vividly remember Busselton beach circa 1979 and Santa in a dingy throwing sweets into the water to all the kids swimming that December day. Christmas-time totally means beachside. In my mind I'll go down to the beach this summer and it will be 1964 magically. Gidget's there, and Moondoggy too. There are wireless radios playing the Beach Boys. There are kids with white zinc on their noses. There are Kombie vans parked next to woodies. There are ladies drinking Passiona. And in my dreams I'm wearing something from Bikini Machine. DO :: go to Half Moon Bay BUY :: A pair of Bikini Machine bathers
Eat chocolate: Did you know that some vegan chocolate is way more delicious than your mind could comprehend? A lot of it is more chocolatey and less sugary (original Mesoamericans had their cacao without milk nor sugar). This Christmas I'm gonna make, share and eat chocolate. It's a no brainer and does not require further explanation. DO :: make some vegan chocolate bars BUY :: order some amazing vegan chocolate Â
Plant plants: I have a concrete yard. I like it. It suits me and my semi-industrial neighbourhood life. My yard has a smattering of cacti, succulents, agaves and euphorbias. Don't need much watering nor attention. Look amazing. Crazy sculptural, tough-as individuals. This year, I'm going to have a Cactus Christmas Tree. And this summer I'm going to cultivate my garden a little more. DO :: go to Collectorâ€™s Corner BUY :: give a cactus necklace Vintage crafts: I would really like to learn about making flibbers. I really would. DO :: make a flibber BUY:: collect some rad vintage craft books Â
1. Lila Zoo dachshund by Lisa Larson I have all the animals in Lila zoo, except this one. He's hard to find ... 2. A favourite thing to do is make a gingerbread house with my nieces. We use it for the centre piece of the table. 3. Putting up the christmas tree with Steve and Bronte. Bronte loves baubles 4. A special wish would be to one day spend Christmas in Miyajima, in the snow 5. I would love a pair of Dieppa Restrepo shoes. They are my favourite
I love Christmas time. Spending time with people you love, make delicious food, planning a late January trip, and holiday sleep ins. My favourite part is putting up the tree on the last weekend of November. We always make a lovely dinner, drink champagne and carefully take out our boxes of decorations from storage and arrange with care. Our cat Bronte loves joining in on the tree ceremony, baubles are batted along the floorboards, and there is a little bit of tree chewing, before things settle down. Our family has one special vintage decoration that belonged to our grandmother; it's a "Christmas Pixie". My sister and I take it turns to have Ms Pixie on our trees, this year it's my sister and my niecesâ€™ turn. As I don't eat meat, I like to make salads and desserts for Christmas day. It's a time to try out and perfect recipes, so that the Christmas food is something new and special. I like to use a Christmas pudding recipe from my father's mother, it's always delicious, and it reminds me of my father and being a child. My husband and I like to spoil each other. There are always a lot of packages arriving in the post in December, and a lot of closed doors and wrapping going on. We like to wrap in themes, so the presents under the tree look very distinguishable. We both collect particular vintage things, so the presents are often additions to our collections. Iâ€™m not fond of warm weather and have always dreamed of having Christmas in the snow. Japan or Scandinavia are on my wish list. I think comes from all the picture books I loved as a child. Each Christmas I miss the people in our lives who are no longer with us, and try and think of all the things we did together, and how lucky we were to have spend time together. It's a nice time to reflect and appreciate the special people who make life worth living. Michelle x
You need: Polymer clay : like Sculpey or Fimo in your chose colour and white A metal or wooden skewer A length of leather thonging or ribbon An oven A clean dinner plate Preheat your oven to 265 degrees F (130 degrees C) Start by mixing your colours, one by one. I used pink, so first I rolled a bead into a ball using the pink straight from the packet. I tried to make the ball as neat as possible. Then I used the skewer to put a hole in the bead, big enough for threading. The best way to make the whole is to gently ‘drill’ the skewer into the clay, twisting it around and around so it doesn’t squish your bead out of shape. Then I took another smaller bit of pink clay and kneaded a little bit of white clay into it. Once it was well combined I rolled another ball and skewered a hole in it as before. Continue on making your beads lighter and lighter shades and making holes big enough for threading. Once your beads are all done, put them on the plate and into the oven for 20 minutes. Now thread them onto your thonging or ribbon and tie a knot to secure the ends. Voila! Ombre!
Kate : Foxs Lane Â
Gosh I am looking forward to summer this year. To lazy, daisy days picnicking with my girls by the banks of the house dam. To dangling our legs in the water to cool off. To sharing yummy salads and fruit platters and icy poles and refreshing, cool drinks. To knitting a few rows or crocheting a few rounds while one of my girls reads to us or entertains us with stories or songs. To time. Yep, I think I am looking forward to having time the most of all. No school, no afterschool activities, no lunch boxes or uniforms. Just loooooong, lovely summery days. Â
1. Shrimp Salad Circus wooden buttons. Seriously, how cute are these buttons! I’m going to make mine out of wood from our farm and then sew them onto a cute little cardigan I’m going to knit.
2. Some LuluLoves crochet bunting. There’s a certain little spot where we like to picnic next to our house dam. I love the thought of making it a bit fancy with a string of bunting. 3. I am dying to do some KoKoKoKids type stamping with my girlies. This summer I want to stamp wrapping paper and tea towels and t-shirts and table clothes and cards and clothes and curtains and anything else that gets in my way. As we harvest a new fruit or veg on our farm I plan to stamp with it. What fun! 4. A Red Pepper Quilts postage stamp quilt.
I am not sure if I’m neat enough a stitcher to make something so glorious, but I am certainly going to give it a try. Vintage sheets or newer scraps from my scraps drawer? I guess I’ll decide come cutting day.
Kate : Foxs Lane
5. This summer I plan to grow and preserve more than ever before. Last summer we did pretty well with our bottling and freezing, but this year I plan to do even better. This year we ran out of plums and tomatoes in September and there are still months to go before we pick again. This season my plan is to make enough for the whole year. We will not have to ration or be careful; our pantry shelves will be groaning with the weight of preserves. Over winter, whenever we feel the need we can pop open a jar and enjoy all the flavours of summer and autumn. Yum! 6. This summer I plan to make and enjoy some fancy cocktails. No more bit of vodka, bit of mint and a slug of ginger beer. Nope. This year the cocktails will be fabulous and fun and fruity. I think I’ll start with Inside Out Summer Mojitos 6. This summer I plan to make and enjoy some fancy cocktails. No more bit of vodka, bit of mint and a slug of ginger beer. Nope. This year the cocktails will be fabulous and fun and fruity. I think I’ll start with Inside Out Summer Mojitos. 7. And I’d love to pack up our gorgeous caravan, hitch her up to the car and hit the road. To go on a road trip to a beach somewhere. To swap our forest life for some sand and surf. A change of scene would be all kinds of summery special.
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Kirsty : Kootoyoo Â
sand between your toes & in your hair too much food & too many bad jokes the Geelong Road & back again coffee on the beach & long waits pretty drinks in the sunshine & card games lazy days & BBQ meals running on the beach & evening walks along the sand family Â
. Ouchflower beads . Edison vase . Merchant and Mills Observations Oilskin Notebook . Handmade Large Ceramic Milk Bottle by One French Summer . Les Walkling Introduction To Digital Photography Course
Michelle: Hugo & Elsa A farmhouse Christmas in Tasmania Pink eye potatoes, cherries, cold smoked trout, free range ham from our friends’ farm, all washed down with a locally made apple cider. That spells Christmas in Tasmania for me. Yep, it’s nearly all about the food, watched over by a lovely tree from Killiecrankie Farm. It’s cool and quiet in our little white farmhouse at Christmas. And it’s the one time of year where we spend some down time with family and friends. Special times. It’s also a time to continue our ever-growing list of family traditions. Starting with the annual Chrimbo Eve Cocktails with dear friends’ the “DynsdalesSmitythes”, then home for Christmas Eve stories and candles, and exhausted little ones are put to bed. As always, the day starts very early with a breakfast of panetone and cherries amidst special treats and good cheer. A long lazy lunch in the garden follows, made from local goodies supplemented with stuff from the garden: rocket, strawberries and homemade sparkling pink rhubarb wine. An afternoon snooze is interrupted by a game of cricket on the lawn, and, in the evening we tootle off to the neighbours for supper :: more good food, good wine and good friends. It’s close to midnight when we stumble into bed, bellies full and bodies tired, and our hearts and minds filled with happy memories of another Christmas at the farmhouse. May your Christmas be filled with good times and good food shared with family and friends. xx
1. A vintage Rover, a bit like this one 2. Hunter boots – the perfect year round footwear in Tassie, great in the cold weather and in summer, they provide protection from snakes. And they always look great with frocks. 3. Tara Badcock All of Tara’s work is beautiful, but I would especially love a gardener’s rosette. Please. 4. Sensible Skirt and Rosen Hacking Jacket from Cabbages and Roses 5. A sweet little goat with three legs named Lilly. To eat all our long grass.
Ruth: Gourmet Girlfriend
Wowsers huh. Here we are at the pointy end of another year. Talking all things Christmas. I LOVE Christmas. For our family it is all about being together. Having time to just hang out. Our fave family pastime. We live away from our extended family and so it has become more about our own family over the years. The first sign of Christmas is always the decorating of the tree. The kids do it all. They make a new decoration each year and we keep them all as mementos of them at a particular age. When they were younger the top of the tree was always bare as they couldn’t reach the top. Then as the bigger ones got taller the tree was more full, but then the little ones would remove all the lower decorations (cause they are super sparkly and irresistible!) till the tree looked ringbarked. Super cute. I have photos of the tree when it looked like that to remember later. On Christmas day we loll out of bed together to open gifts and then, like most families, it is all about the feasting. We don’t and never have been traditional Christmas Fare eaters. A few days before Xmas there will be a family discussion about what people want to cook and eat & then a dawn trip to the Queen Vic market on Christmas eve. Everyone cooks one dish (or more if they want) and we eat a hotch potch of dishes from all over the globesome fancy, some not. It is TOTALLY about being together for the preparation and for the eating and not so much about WHAT we eat. Although it is always delicious because food always tastes delicious when it is made with LOVE. And that is what Christmas is all about at our place. The showing of LOVE.
Here are FIVE things I have on my Christmas list: 1). A gorgeous Cast Iron Japanese Nabe pot that I have been lusting after for some time you can find it at Chef’s Armoury 2). A pair of red clog boots, because I can’t actually have TOO many pairs of clogs you know! 3). Some Rob Ryan tiles for my new bathroom wall 4). To get the original John Coburn I bought this year framed because I would really like to see it up on my walls rather than tucked in behind the wardrobe where I can’t see it. 5). Last but not least I would like 45m2 of this amazing lino for my renovation.
Cathy: Anorak Magazine
Christmas at Anorak Towers Christmas for me, now, is all about being cosy and embracing the chintz! I love all the folklore, rituals and traditions associated with Christmas. Except mince pies. Yuck. But a definite big YES to decorating the tree, getting cosy on the sofa with granny blankets, going ice skating, gifting, the chocolate overdose, the fuss over what to leave on Santa’s plate and watching ELF or Faulty Towers for the 1000th time. I can’t say I have always felt that way, as my birthday happens to fall on Christmas Day! It’s rubbish for organizing a birthday party as everyone tends to be busy on that day, but it’s great if you want to forget how old you really are!! But nonetheless, I love it when Christmas is typically Christmassy, like, for example when I was 11 and my Dad managed to secure an exclusive interview with Santa, which we listened to, in awe, on his tape recorder. Or when, a few years ago, in the Swiss Alps, Santa surprised us by knocking on our door to drop toys and share a glass of warm wine with us. (See photo). Even our stay at home Christmas last year was lovely because it was cosy and simple. We spent the entire day building Lego stuff, doing puzzles, watching the Queen’s speech and eating our combined body weights in chocolate. Heavenly!
I have always wanted to visit Tivoli Gardens (Copenhagen) during Christmas and this year, yes, we are finally going! Canâ€™t wait! Iâ€™d be really happy if Santa could bring me books, books and more books, anything from the brilliant COS ,a new purse (these Comme des Garcons ones are , hint hint) and finally lots of peaceful and happy moments for everyone all around the world. Â
Sue: Crafting Health
A list of FIVE things I would like to do in the Holiday Season: 1. relax: its very important you know! I might like to do this by spending time in my hammock by my caravan or doing a spot of crochet in the sunshine 2. rejuvenate: its been a busy year, definitely necessary to re-pay some busy-ness stress debt - through some healthy living and lots of rest 3. get fitter: bush walks, hula hooping, ocean swims (or in the fabulous Fitzroy pool when the ocean is a little too far away) 4. go-go to Twistmas: Anna Go-Go is the best, I like dancing, a lot. 5. carol singing: with The Fitzroy Players – it’s great – so good to wander round the streets of Fitzroy and feel right good community spirit whilst singing a few carols with several hundred other carol’ers/
A list of FIVE things I would like for Christmas: 1. a star trek teleporter so I can go pop over and see family and friends in other parts of the world 2. a time travelling machine so I can re-live my wedding this October, because it was really fabulous and it was such a privilege to be in the company of so many wonderful family and friends who were there to share our super special day with us, I would like to re-live it again and again and then some 3. boundless energy and inspirations for 2013 and beyond 4. a new awning for my fabulous old Franklin caravan 5. a Terryâ€™s chocolate orange Â
Sue: Crafting Health
What Christmas Holidays mean for me: I really like the sharings at Christmas Holidays – the extra opportunities for gatherings with friends, family and the wider community; the opportunity to give, receive and appreciate. I like that it is a time of reflection too. Maybe this is a consequence of having a bit of rest time and time away from the normal everyday. Maybe it’s to do with the end of a year and the dawning of the next. One of my favourite things to do at Christmas is ’20 things’. This was inspired by a Frankie magazine article from a couple of years ago and I’ve done it ever since and want to do it every year forever more. I choose my favourite portrait image of the year and take time to think about some significant happenings and place the two together. It will become a fabulous record in years to come, one page for one year and I will treasure it. I really like it as a reminder and appreciation of achievements and occurrences – some silly, some stupid, some deeply meaningful. Last year I decided to distribute it to select friends and family, because I wanted to share with them some of my good, and not so good, human real life happenings. Some recipients laughed, some cried, some did both. Sometimes it takes a bit of courage to share parts of yourself that you might not usually share. It’s not always possible to share Christmas with everyone that you’d like and that can make me a little bit sad, people that I miss that I wish were nearer. Just a little bit sad, but that sadness also brings gratitude for those that now open their arms and welcome me in. Sharings and reflections – here and now I think that’s what Christmas Holidays are for me.
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Lyndsey: Mollie Makes Â
I love Christmas as it means going home to my parents snuggly cottage in Somerset. On Christmas Eve we love getting in the festive mood by going to the carol serviceâ€Ś followed by mince pies and mulled wine!
1. A Jamie Mitchell ‘Howard’ print 2. A subscription to Oh Deer’s T-Shirt Club. 3. Some foxy earrings 4. The Geek Chic Crochet book. 5. A gorgeous quilt 6. A Make Yourself At Home mat
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