Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Vintage Retro String Sunburst Lightshade

"Sculptural Bling" is what we're calling this $5 find!. Found at Trash and Treasure this 1970's beauty was a must have despite the fact that none of our light fittings accommodate the weighty Lucite frame... thinking I'll up-cycle it into a Sunburst wall hung sculpture of sorts. I'm loving this piece!

The curvy vintage wine? bottle was a Salvos find and the industrial bud vases were from dearest mother.

Happy Thrifting

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Easy Bake Baklava Using Left Over Ingredients

Whenever I use filo pastry I always seem to have a chunk of off cut sheets leftover and despite my best efforts to wrap the leftovers and re freeze they always seem to become brittle and useless after a while and remain unused in the back of the freezer for months!. So today I decided to turn that stack into a small portion of Baklava using household ingredients.

Note: This recipe isn't super sweet and dripping with syrup you could possibly double the syrup if this is how you like it.
Here's my simple recipe:

-25 off cut sheets of filo pastry (for this recipe I used a small sized stack that measured about 15cm x 20cm approx for this recipe) Just under the base of an 8" cake pan.
-1/2 cup of melted butter or vegetable oil (if using veg. oil add a pinch or two of salt)
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (you can use whatever you have around the house ie. pistachios, walnuts, slithered almonds

1/4 cup sugar (I used raw)
2 tbs water
half tsp of rose water (optional)
dash of cinnamon (optional)


To make the syrup simply place the sugar, rose water and water in a small saucepan or skillet and let simmer for about 3 mins... the syrup should resemble warmed honey. If you have honey you could also add a tablespoon to the mixture. Then set aside

Using a non stick or lined 8" cake pan with a removable base place your first sheet of filo and brush with melted butter or oil. Then place the next layer on top and brush again - do this until you have a buttered / oiled stack of about 13 sheets. 

Then sprinkle your chopped nut mix over and continue layering the remaining sheets on top brushing between each layer with butter/oil as you did to begin.

Then bake in a moderate over till the filo is golden brown and crispy approx 15 mins.

Remove from the oven and pour over the cooled syrup while the pastry is hot. Then leave to cool and you are ready to enjoy!.


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Neopolitan Lamington Recipe

Here's a fun twist on the age old clouds of loveliness we know as Lamingtons. For those who haven't tried a Lamington before they are delicious sponge cake portions, covered in a chocolate sauce mixture and rolled in coconut.

I recently tried my hand at this Lamington recipe (for the sponge base) care of Beatrix in North Melbourne and it worked very well... I would definitely consider this a fail proof sponge recipe and the Neopolitan twist was achieved by making both caramel and raspberry sauces along side the traditional chocolate sauce.

Chocolate Sauce Recipe

Icing Sugar 300g
20g butter
80mls - 100mls Boiling Water
50g Cocoa

Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix.

To make the caramel and raspberry sauces simply omit the cocoa and add an extra 30g of icing sugar to the mix, then add a few drops of water based flavouring to taste.

Icing sugar 330g
20g butter
80mls boiling water
Flavouring to taste - a few drops

If you do follow Beatrix sponge recipe the following images may be a helpful reference

cooked sponge cooling on the bench
once cooled, cut your sponge into even portions
dip sponge squares in icing/sauce mixtures then roll in coconut
 leave on a tray to set and store in an air tight container till serving time


Saturday, 11 January 2014

Simple Tiramisu Inspired Cupcakes

I had coffee and cake on the mind last week and decided to kill two birds by baking a round of vanilla sponge cupcakes and then added a bit of tiramsu inspired goodness for a tasty and simple twist.

You will need:
cupcakes (vanilla preferably but chocolate would also work)
coffee syrup - 1-2 tbs coffee granules, 200 mls boiling water, 2 tsp sugar (optional) mixed
clotted cream or mascarpone
cocoa for sprinkling

Dip each cupcake in coffee syrup to the half way mark. Dollop with cream or mascarpone and sprinkle with cocoa (see images included).

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Super Thrifty DIY Flower Mural Wall Art

Here is a simple, thrifty and quick way to add some whimsy to your walls using those inexpensive faux flowers, we once thought were destined for nothing more then landfill!. My lovely niece introduced me to the super kitsch resurrection of faux flowers last year and while you won't find me wearing a floral crown (even though I think they are super cute) you will find the occasional pops of "floral faux-ness" in and around my home.

This mini mural requires only 10 minutes of your time, two bunches of flowers and some Blu Tack

1.If your flowers are bunched simply cut them loose using wire cutters or heavy duty scissors
2. Place Blue Tack under the bulb
3. Arrange on your wall in verticle stripes