a tasty housewarming

I went to a housewarming on the weekend and my gift was this replica of the house itself! The effort of baking on  35C day was worth as the cake was a total hit (people actually cheered it after eating) and it tasted like butter! What did you get up to?

Music for Mondayitis

I'm undertaking a writing project at the moment and to set the mood as I write I'm listening to Australian pop. Here's a few currently on high rotation.

1. Cameo Lover by Kimbra.
2. Sunday Best by Washington.
3. Turn Me On by The Grates.

When can I put up my tree?

This Christmas will be the first time in 10 years that I can have a proper Christmas tree. By 'proper' I don't mean real, I just mean bigger than 30cm. I am very excited.

So excited that I want it up NOW! But I can hear my mother in the back of my head telling me not to put it up til Dec 1, just like I hear her saying you shouldn't whenever I open a birthday present early.

When do you think is the best time to put up your tree and decorations? What as made you pick that particular date?

If you've been lurking around here and haven't commented yet, please comment on this post. It would be great to hear your thoughts. I am looking at you.


Tree above by A Merry Mishap and seen on my Christmas Pinterest Board.

Food I love to make

Within a blink of an eye I could probably write 1000 words on baking cakes, cupcakes and other sweet treats. I just love to bake. Cooking on the other hand, not so much. To me, cooking is so tediously about 'balancing flavours' and for all the time and effort you put in, you get, what? One meal? No thank you. Baked treats last a fews days or at least easily manage to feed 8 people. Have you tried cooking dinner for 8 people? That's tough work.

Over the past year though, especially since moving into a flat with a decent kitchen, I have found it enjoyable to cook dinner about once a week. This is big news!

The blog Smitten Kitchen has been the biggest help with this. I used to just look on there for posts about cakes and sweets, and never found a fault with any of the recipes, so I decided to give a few dinner recipes ago.

The first was the beef chili and sour cream biscuits. Oh-Em-Gee - My husband loved it so much - I've remade this 5 times this year (that's a BIG number ok!). The other night I even experimented (gasp!) and used turkey mince to make it healthier and Bang! it was a big success. I even had to draw on my baking knowledge on what to do when I realised I didn't have sour cream for the biscuits (the substitute is to put the same amount of cows milk in a cup, squeeze in a wedge of lemon and let it sit for 10 minutes, then use as normal).

The true success of this recipe is that I once made 2 batches of it for a dinner party of 8 people. One batch was as per the recipe, the other was adapted to be vegetarian. All was going well until I burned the bottom of the vegetarian pot. BUT it was all fine as it ended up having a 'smokey' flavour which I tried to pretend was intentional, but after a glass of wine I confessed to my guests.

The second awesome recipe from Deb that I'd recommend is the silky cauliflower soup. It's a creamy looking soup without cream! tah dah!

I hope you enjoy them too.

Nicki Minaj's biggest fans

One of the high moments of my day (and a direct result of working from home) is watching some of Ellen as a pre-lunch break. I'm so glad I do because this is just so sweet and amazing. 

This post is a belated Music for Mondayitis I guess.