Lemon Curd Tea Cake

This was one of my mothers go-to recipes for afternoon tea with friends. She loved to serve in on the verandah overlooking the harbour when we lived at McMahons Point just behind the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Served with fresh whipped cream and a cup of hot Assam tea or good brewed coffee and watching the boats sail criss-cross up the harbour .. nothing better.

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DIY Coat Hanger and Feather Wreaths

Wire coat hangers are one of those things, like odd socks, that multiply in your wardrobe surreptitiously over time. This is a great use for at least one of them!

It’s a 30 minutes exercise and delivers an instant Christmas wreath… simple and easy for kids to make too.

You can tie the greenery or flowers to the wire or just twist it round and around, depending on how soft and bendy the flowers stalks are. It’s also a wonderful way to used fresh picked herbs which are soft enough twist around and add a lovely fragrance to the room.

And at the end of the post you’ll find a Found Feather Wreath which is also just as quick and easy if you already have a feather collection.

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Afternoon Tea Classics

I have such strong memory of mum inviting the “ladies” over for afternoon tea. Beautifully dressed women with powdered faces and smooth lipstick pressed on cheeks as they said hello. The strong smell of perfume, each with their own, creating a heady mix of scent in the dining room. A medley of fine china cups and saucers patiently waiting on the linen covered dining table. These are two of mums classic afternoon tea recipes; Date Cake and Shortbread Pecan Balls. They’re very easy to make .. even easier if you use a kitchen wizz.

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A Sicilian Food Odyssey

Sicily may seem a strange destination for someone who had been slowly transitioning away from wheat, pasta and dairy but there is undoubtedly a romance in the idea of living and learning in this simple rustic way and understanding the authentic roots of Sicilian cooking and farming and the wonder of bounty of their kitchen garden … tall artichokes, rows of fava beans hanging waiting to be picked, spinach, rainbow chard, tomatoes, olives, almonds, wild greens and honey. And it more than delivered.

Join me on my pilgrimage to the Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School in Sicily with this recipe for a delicious Almond and Olive Oil Torte, “Torta di Mandorie e Olio d’Oliva”

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“Easy-as” Country Style Table Runner

A vintage linen runner, simply stitched, which I recently purchased from Faded Emporium inspired this design for an “easy-as” DIY version.

Just stitch together linen tea towels and voila! For instance, for a French country look you might like striped red and white linen or for a more Australian look just the raw linen perhaps with a faint little stripe.

(as they are already hemmed you don’t even need to own a sewing machine!)

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Yammy Drops – no guilt

This recipe for Yammy Drops (yummy and jammy) is really a healthier version of the old fashioned jam drop. But don’t expect the same shortbread consistency, these are chock full of nutty flavours drawn from the sunflower seeds, tahini and almond meal and sweetened with maple syrup .. (the jam in the middle is a real treat). They’re great for school lunch boxes or to satisfy that 3pm low point when you’re normally seeking out chocolate!!

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Sweet Potato Pie Base – Boom!

Following on from our focus to transition slowly (the 20% rule) to healthier alternatives for the traditional ingredients we love … Here is a pastry-free crust for quiches or savoury tarts that really works a treat. You can prepare this sweet potato crust in the pie dish or tin and freeze it so you always have it on hand when you need a quick and tasty lunch or dinner. Especially good when you’re wanting the whole family to eat just a little bit healthier. Enjoy!

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Branch Weaving

Last year I had the joy of a experiencing a real slow living creative retreat in the hinterland of Byron Bay organised by an incredible team from Australia and abroad. This Local Milk Retreat was a mindfully created and curated 3 days photographic, styling, cooking and collaborative experience which provided the opportunity and luxury of slowing down and reconnecting with your creative passions.

It was such a treat to take time out to inhale the minutia of moments, the dappled light on a window, the texture of plate and linen, the color of fresh picked produce, the alchemy of a well crafted meal … in order to “speed up” your craftsmanship.

A highlight for me was learning branch weaving with Rebekah Seale from The Camellia Fiber Company in Tennessee. Follow the instructions and create your own.

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No Bake Raw Chocolate Bites

This simple no-bake Quick and Easy Raw Chocolate Bites recipe uses just three ingredients. Each ingredient has a traditional or healthier alternative depending on your lifestyle.

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