Easter eating

Easter represents a much-needed break for many. A shack up the river or over on Yorkes. Camping in the Flinders. Rugged up beach walks.

If you’re not one of the lucky, it’s an opportunity for stress-free entertaining, casual but tasty eating making the best of the autumn produce around.

I’m starting to think about Easter menus and dishes.

What would be on your shopping list?

Leg of lamb? Whole chicken. Seafood for Good Friday?

Rhubarb and new stone fruits such as plumbs? Oranges?

These Nigel Slater Easter recipes, while designed with the northern hemisphere’s Spring season in mind, got me thinking.

I think they’re transferable – sort of trans-seasonal – as they’re not too summery yet.

I’ve also discovered this young American chef, Amy Thielen; her cooking show and book are called Heartland Table. I like the sound of this recipe, Greens with Spiced Butter and Ricotta (although I think I might short-cut with good shop bought ricotta).

I usually make Honey and Orange Madeleines with chocolate sauce (thanks to chef Karen Martini) at some stage over the Easter weekend. Do you have favourites or traditions for your Easter cooking? Please share.

This weekend, I’m road-testing a new recipe for Easter – a plumb and almond tart made with polenta pastry. If it works, I’ll share it.

Honey and Orange Madeleines with chocolate sauce. Source: goodfood.com.au

Love's like a butterfly ......

J'adore butterflies. Live ones fluttering in the garden; dead ones pinned behind glass; metal ones - one of my favourite necklaces is a silver butterfly from Witchery, that I've had for years.

No surprise then I've a tad obsessed with this new season collection video from the house of Valentino. It might also have something to do with the soundtrack - Artie Shaw's Stardust. He was a legendary US clarinetist and big band leader. You'd know his recording of Cole Porter's Begin the Beguine. I'm partial to big band music from the 1930s-40s - Moonlight Serenade by Glenn Miller is a fave. Going to listen to Stardust all day.

Watch the video here - I'll have the olive satchel, please.

Valentino butterfly shoulder bag

Valentino shoulder/satchel bag SS2015



In the soup

Two kinds of gazpacho courtesy   The New York Times

Two kinds of gazpacho courtesy The New York Times

I love soup – making it and eating it. 

Almost all soups especially veggies (except pumpkin – cos it repeats on me unfortunately) but chicken, prawn and duck too.

Spicy, creamy or clear – really there’s never a wrong time to eat a soup.

So while we’re feeling chilly here in Adelaide, they’re feeling the heat in New York, which is why the New York Times Magazine has featured a food spread on cold soups. All variations on gazpacho

They’re so pretty to look at and sound so delicious. 

The best gazpacho I’ve eaten was for lunch in Madrid, the summer of ’89. The restaurant was not far from our hostal, the waiters wore traditional white and long aprons. It was bright red and served with crunchy fresh bread.

I plan to give all of these a go this coming summer. Check out the recipes here.

Left to right: Avocado and Pea; Cucumber, Grape & Hazelnut; and Kale and Olive.

Left to right: Avocado and Pea; Cucumber, Grape & Hazelnut; and Kale and Olive.

Left to right: Romesco Style; Grilled Gazpacho; and Tomato, Radish & Tortilla.

Left to right: Romesco Style; Grilled Gazpacho; and Tomato, Radish & Tortilla.

25 shades of yellow

J'adore jaune.  

I've been sitting on this post for a while but given there's a hint of sun and more to come, it seemed appropriate.

Friends and family would probably say my favourite colours are pink and red, when actually they're yellow followed closely by a colour with the official trademark name Tiffany Blue. It's close to a robin egg's colour and is a produced by Pantone exclusively for Tiffany the jewellery company. Shades of aqua and turquoise come close and they just happen to go well with yellow.

My love of yellow starts with my front door - which is a lemony shade of yellow. I am more attracted to citrus shades of yellow rather than the golden variety. As one of my favourite bloggers Mark D. Sikes wrote in June: "Nothing say hello like yellow! sunny, fresh, warm  and chic! Instantly lifts, instantly brightens, instantly welcomes! lemon yellow, golden yellow, mustard yellow- whatever shade, hello yellow!"

For some time I've been collecting images on yellow to create a picture gallery and have just seen street style photographer Bill Cunningham's latest video on the New York Times.

Bill who has a canny knack for noticing street trends on Manhatten streets, has picked up on the popularity of yellow as an autumn hue especially among those lucky enough to attend the latest Spring Summer '14 collections showing in New York Fashion Week. 

Watch Bill's vid and enjoy my gallery. Splash out on a bit of yellow this weekend.

Bill Cunningham of the  NY Times  says "joyous sunflower colours were a favourite of many women during Fashion Week, on shoes and print dresses"  

Bill Cunningham of the NY Times says "joyous sunflower colours were a favourite of many women during Fashion Week, on shoes and print dresses"

Apples and customised doppelgängers

Apple. A fruit. A record label. A computer used by graphic designers.

Remember the first time you saw, let alone touched an Apple product?

Do you remember why Apple computers are called Macs? As in Macintosh?


Cousin Sarah is a graphic designer and we shared a house for more than a decade from 1992. She used an Apple at work.

So did the graphic designers at Messenger, where I worked. We had PCs, they had Macs. Graphic artists or designers were the only people I knew who worked on an Apple/Macintosh product.

In the late ‘90s, Sarah brought her own Apple into our home – a turquoise iMac. I remember looking at it as if it was alien. But soooo pretty.

Now I’m sitting here writing this on my MacBook Pro; I’m on my third iPad and iPhone. I look at iTunes and the App store more often than my washing basket.

For a while I was mostly buying books iBooks (and Kindle) until I discovered Diesel and Booktopia.

In 2013, Adelaide finally joined every other reasonably sized city and got it’s own Apple store. An early 21st century mark of maturity.

Apple founder the late Steve Jobs is the subject of a new Hollywood biopic, and is portrayed by Aston Kutcher. I’m no orphan when it came to being surprised by the casting.

Aston Kutcher as Steve Jobs. 

Aston Kutcher as Steve Jobs. 

One of my favourite websites, Into the Gloss, sums it up really well. The trailer is enticing. And Kutcher looks the goods.

I must admit I’m also looking forward to seeing Naomi Watts portray Princess Diana and Nicole Kidman do Princess Grace.  

Check out Into the Gloss’ top 37 biopic players in this slideshow and Aston's trailer here. And the Diana trailer here.

How many of these films have you seen?


Naomi Watts as Diana.

Naomi Watts as Diana.