Monday, December 14, 2015

175 - Oh So Much Baking

If I was to pick out a smell that says 'Christmas' to me, it would be the smell of fruit, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves bubbling away on the stove. I am ever grateful to the lovely workmate who gave me the recipe for this boiled fruit cake - I don't even like fruit cake but this one... oh my... at somewhere between a cake and a pudding it's just so moist and delicious! So I thought, rather than just tease with photos this time, I'll share the recipe!
Letty's Boiled Fruit Cake

125g Butter
1 Cup White Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Milk
750g Mixed Fruit
3 Teaspoons Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/2 Teaspoon Cloves
2 Eggs
1 Cup Self Raising Flour
1 Cup Dry Sherry
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

Place butter, sugar, milk, fruit and spices in a saucepan over a high heat. Stir until boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. 

Let fruit cool. Add sherry and baking soda. Beat eggs and add to the fruit mixture. 

Sift flour into mixture and stir until combined. 

Pour mixture into a deep round cake tin and bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees Celsius, 350 degrees Fahrenheit) for 1 hour 10 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. 

As a finishing touch I usually poke some holes in the cake with a skewer while its still warm and drizzle a little more sherry over the top.


Monday, December 7, 2015

174 - Tradition

My Nanna's shortbread is one of those things that I remember from a very early age as a special indicator that Christmas was nearly here. When she was younger, she would spend a few weeks every festive season busting out a huge number of cakes for gifts that were eagerly anticipated by the ones lucky enough to receive them. As time went on, my Aunty and I were let in on the secret recipe and we would spend one big day each year baking with Nanna to get them all made. I adored my Nan, and treasured our annual bake-off. She may no longer be with us (although I feel her with me every single day), but we've managed to keep the tradition alive - and it's still one that I very much look forward to every year. This year we had the added pleasure of bringing in the kids of the family to make their own special shortbread cookies. Many little hands scrunching batter - what a joyous way to spend the day!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

173 - Emma-Cake

You may notice as Christmas draws ever nearer that a solid amount of baking related photos start to creep their way onto the blog... I can't help it, it's just what I do. This cake however, was for a very special non-Christmas related purpose. My beautiful little cousin Sophie turned 4 and being that she is yellow Wiggle Emma's number 1 fan - of course a super bright Wiggles cake was needed. A vanilla cake was requested but I couldn't quite resist adding some sprinkles to the mix. A plain white cake just seemed too well... plain!
It seemed a shame to cut it! But I noticed at least one little mouth couldn't quite resist taking an early bite out of that bow... I can't talk though - I couldn't resist taking a bite of my slice before I got a photo either! 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

172 - Christmas Elves

Friday evening... after everyone else had gone home... the Christmas Elves came out to play in our office! Unfortunately photos just don't seem to do this style of decorating justice. But as you walk around the corner now its definitely a BAM! CHRISTMAS! situation. Looking forward to the reactions on Monday morning!!
Today I'm linking in with Weekend Reflections. Check the link to see more fun stuff reflected in things!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

171 - it's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

A stroll around Hillarys Marina at night is always a pretty affair with all of the lights and reflections, but with the addition of the Christmas tree things get extra magical! I'm a big ol' sucker for Christmas and am looking forward to a Friday night this week spent filling my house with fairy lights and tinsel and shiny baubles and a Saturday of baking many cakes of shortbread. How do you guys get into the Christmas spirit?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

170 - Piratefest

And now for something a little bit different. If you know me, you know that I like all things theatrical or quirky. And most things metal. And if you've seen the tattoo on my right calf you know I'm also a fan of pirates. So Pirate Metal is pretty high on my list of 'things that are awesome'. Last Tuesday at the Amplifier Bar, Perth's metalheads were treated to a fabulous night of pirate fun and of course I was all over it.
Wollongong band Troldhaugen opened the night with... well... I found their stage show pretty hard to describe actually. Apparently they call themselves 'progressive folk metal' but a couple of our attempts included 'life saving sexy sailor disco metal' and 'mega seizure party metal'. Fun times no matter what you call it.
Next up were Brisbane boys Lagerstein and suddenly the small amplifier stage was full of pirates and rum. And drinking beer out of boots. Because of course. Awesome stage presence and energy all around!
Last but certainly not least, Scottish 'Bacon Powered Pirate Core' band Alestorm were up for an hour and a half of fun that made this little pirate very happy. I hope you're all having a great week so far!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

169 - Purple Haze

Another day, another marketplace! The Jacaranda Festival just sounded too pretty to miss and as it turns out that was right. I don't trek over the other side of the river very often but it was totally worth it. You guys know I'm a sucker for bright colours and pretty flowers, throw a decent sized marketplace in there and I'm a happy camper!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

168 - Agapanthus and Arachnids

Funny that we went to the Jacaranda festival and I end up with my camera pointed down the petals of an agapanthus. But apparently I just can't resist a photo of a spider. Even when editing them gives me the full on creeps.
Speaking of spiders and things that will haunt my nightmares...
Sorry for the low quality shot - this giant hornet from hell was dragging the poor (and also quite large) spider by the face so fast that I didn't have time to get the right lens going. Why do I feel the need to photograph these things?!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

167 - Twilight Twinkling Lights

A balmy summer evening, cute markets and twinkling Christmas lights. Good times! The Joondalup Twilight Markets are an annual event running every Friday night for the next 5 weeks. Compared to some of the ones coming up, they are quite small, but it's great to see so many people out and about in Joondalup, and it's nice to have one of these events so close to home. I actually managed to pick up some cute Christmas presents here (and some amazing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle hair bows for me!!!) so it was a big win all round!

Monday, November 23, 2015

166 - Mary Street

I love when I go for a walk and stumble across unexpected prettiness. This is Mary Street in Highgate, known to me almost exclusively for the FABULOUS bakery located on the corner of Beaufort Street (previously seen here). I love this natural archway of trees (I'm big on archways...). On this warm sunny day with the leaves raining down with each puff of wind I couldn't resist pulling out the camera!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

165 - Just a Few More...

This is my last post on the Beaufort Street Festival, I promise! (I already have some shots from different markets to post!) I think the big police heads by local artist Steve Berrick were my favourite part. You just don't get chased by big heads on wheels every day!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

164 - Gloves and Googly Eyes

I love this time of the year - There are so many festivals and markets to wander around in the bright sunshine. For me, the Beaufort Street Festival always feels like the start of Summer (and at 42 degrees I'm pretty sure it did for everyone else too!! There are always some interesting quirky things to see as you mosey along... big googly eyes, weird moving sculptures... definitely my kinda event.