Saturday, 18 February 2012

The Lecks

Today I got to hang out with the Lecks for the afternoon in Woolcock Park; twins, Georgie and all!. I think you'll agree that they are an amazing and beautiful family. Thanks for letting me play. 

Monday, 13 February 2012

La Tartine Gourmande's lemon tarts

Well, when I started this blog, I did promise food! An cooking certainly is one of those things that I love doing, and more importantly, eating! 

One of my recent discoveries in the website of 'la tartine gourmande' a french photographer, writer whose approach is to cook simple, locally-sourced produce in a way that lets the ingredients stand out. I particularly love her deserts. This is my attempt at her lemon and raspberry tarts. I've had a soft spot for lemon tarts since I was a tiny girl and my nana always made lemon curd for me. Funny what you remember from childhood. My fondest memory of my great aunt is also food related. As soon as you walked in the door, she'd whip up a bunch of pikelets. Who does that anymore?

Below is my first attempt at food photography. I've discovered it is significantly harder than it looks! The shots I've included are the only ones I could salvage from dozens I took. Either the focus was wrong, the light dull, or the food styling was a bit ordinary. One other thing I discovered is the tarts photographed a lot better BEFORE they were cooked. I'm sure the professionals use all sorts of tricks.  Either way, it was great fun trying, and I'm sure I will improve and have you salivating before too long. Believe me, even though I couldn't quite get it right in a photo, the tarts are divine!

Happy baking!

Here is the tart recipe if you want to have a go - thoroughly recommended. 

Basic pastry recipe (I cheated and used tart shells)
Raspberry sauce:
200g raspberries
2 tablespoons blonde cane sugar ( I used brown sugar)
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

Using a blender, puree the raspberries with sugar. Transfer to pot to simmer. Stir in cornstarch and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool. 

Lemon Cream:
3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
2/3 cup sugar
juice of 4 meyer lemons, plus lemon zest of 1
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, diced

in a bowl, beat the eggs, egg yolk, sugar and lemon zest/juice to combine. Transfer to pot and add butter. warm over low heat until the butter melts, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the cream thickens. 

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. our in lemon cream and drizzle with respberry sauce. Bake for 15 minutes.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012


Adelaide is the forgotten city of Australia, that ranks well below our other capitals in the thoughts of the world, or indeed most Australians. It barely ever rates a mention in East Coast news. It's image is of a sleepy, slightly boring town, hence the 'Radelaide' tag. It's a city of around 1million people set in one of the driest parts of Australia, isolated from the rest of the country, the closest capital city being at least 1000km away. Its seems to hold on to its pride in being the first non-convict settled history; a fact that the rest of the country has long since forgotten (or cared about).

Hence, I've never had any desire, or reason, to travel to Adelaide, until a short work-related trip last year. I was quite surprised to find myself warming to the place; it has a lot to offer, and in comparison to Brisbane has a couple of pretty cool things:

a) a beach about 15 min drive from the city centre
b) great old style pubs that haven't been 'modernised' or 'stainless steeled'
c) no traffic - a massive bonus
d) a wealth of old buildings that seem to have escaped being swallowed up by grey, box-like70's highrises so prevalent in other capital cities
e) flatness - no hills to climb (if you've seen the one I have to walk up every morning, you'll understand my enthusiasm for this
f) a vastly superior local beer (I'll take a coopers over a XXXX any day)

Whilst the lack of hustle and bustle was sometimes disconcerting, I think on some level it reminded me of the Brisbane of my childhood when shops were shut on Sundays and everyone was home in bed by 9pm, including weekends. Okay, so maybe that still happens in Brisbane. People find time to stop and have a chat and greet you, which can take a while to adjust to; I've become accustomed to the 'chip on the shoulder' standard of service that seems the norm in Brisbane. So maybe I'm being a bit nostalgic, and the charm would quickly wear off I had to live there.

So what are your thoughts on Radelaide? Love or hate? 

A few photos taken in the streets around our little cottage, at the Adelaide markets and in Glenelg. 

And that's it for Adelaide, folks