Sunday, April 10, 2011

Red pretty things:

A few weeks back I was visiting William Topp with a friend, but due to the extreme heat that day, I think I had mild heat stroke when I was in there. As such I wasn't focusing too well, but my subconscious obviously took note, as just the other day I remembered that they sold bangles made out of knitting needles. As fate would have it, they had one red one left, which I promptly had put on hold for collection.

I heart it muchly and it's even better in that there is a llama on the back of the head of the needle.

While I was in the shop, I was taken in by all the other pretty things they sell and had to also have this ampersand brooch:
Ampersands have a special meaning for me, due to it being the name of a monkey in the graphic novel Y the Last Man, and the fact that I have a special Monkey too. (But in my case it's a person, not an actual monkey.)

It's a Kyoto coffee kind of morning.

(White Chocolate) Tim Tam Tarts:

I've already made these tarts once before, but this time I experimented and used white chocolate tim tams for the base and white chocolate buds for the filling. Aside from the fact they got stuck in the tins and came out looking rather squashed, they were very, very tasty indeed.

While overtly sweet, they were lighter (if that word can be used in the context of such things) than the dark chocolate ones. So while you certainly couldn't eat more than one at a time, these weren't quite so sickly. But they were close.

Next time I will round off the hat trick and try them with milk chocolate.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Some recent cooking adventures:

Last night I made baked ricotta with a dried fruit compote. It was healthy and diabetic-friendly, which suited the guests I was feeding. It was a really nice dessert, and very different from what I usually like, given it wasn't chocolatey or extremely sweet. But it was extremely yummy, and I'll definitely make it again. Another bonus was that it was so easy - put the ricotta in the oven on a tray, and stew up dried fruit in water, cinnamon & lemon rind. Plus, as it is served at room temperature, it's perfect to make for a dinner party, as you can do all the work before hand.

Flourless chocolate cake:
This cake is really tasty, but falls apart easily from being so moist, making presentation difficult. I made the cake for a girls' night I hosted, and was very keen to use my "cake" cake plates (which I bought in Kyoto, on a girls' day out - very fitting). Unfortunately I don't have a round cake tin at the moment and hence it was hard to try and cut the cake so that it suited the shape of the plates. But looks aside, the cake was delicious and quickly devoured, particularly when I brought out the raspberries that I initially neglected to put on the plate. The second photo down shows that everything was gobbled up.

Korma Chicken Rissoles:
I made these for a mid-week dinner for the munchkins, but didn't tell them there was korma curry paste in them until after they'd finished eating. I also told them that pappadums were like corn chips. Whatever works, as they both tucked in (though one of them had less gusto than the other). As they both love chicken, and especially chicken meatballs, it wasn't too hard a sell. They were surprised to know they had eaten Indian flavours but were happy enough. Aside from the pappadums which they politely said "just weren't their thing". Which is fine with me - at least they tried them. :-) And the rissoles themselves will definitely be made again, sans pappadums.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Knitting on display:

Cabin Fever cafe (who played host to a craft evening a few weeks ago) were happy for me to knit up some pieces to go on some of their pot plants, as they wanted some decorations to reference the craft night they had (and the ones they plan to have in the future).

I used quite thick yarn so each strip only took about half an hour to make up. I then stitched the ends together while in the cafe, sipping on some genmaicha green tea in the tea cup of my choice.

It's quite exciting to know that some of my work is on public display.

Afterwards I was strolling through town and found some 'yarn bombing'. (See last photo of this post.) Yarn bombing is when someone knits up a piece and decorates public property. While technically littering, most people who do it place the pieces where they will add to the urban environment in a positive way, not in a way that is detrimental to anyone.

Tim Tam Tarts:
Delicious magazine

These were incredibly rich but oh so yummy. The crust is made with a packet of tim tams whizzed in the food processor, then mixed with some melted unsalted butter.

I may have over-cooked them a little (as they weren't setting for ages and then all of a sudden they were really done) but they were still really good. The raspberries helped to balance out the extreme dark chocolate - next time I will try it with milk chocolate. Or as Monkey suggested, white chocolate tim tams and white chocolate filling.

Btw the yellow piles next to the tart are actually vanilla ice-cream, not mashed potato as they appear.