The Truth, The Hole Truth.....

This is Gilly's life with Hedy

Sometimes this is what Life feels like: you are just sitting there, minding your own business, and suddenly.... Hedy!!! And not just Hedy Lamarr, but Hedy Lamarr woofing in your ear and being very annoying.  Poor Lorelai Gilmore, but every night when we go up to The Forbidden Zone to do a wee before bed, Gilly comes in the gate herself and back down the steps leaving Hedy trapped by the dastardly gate, and when I ask where Hedy is, Gilly wags her tail and runs up the steps to show me where the puppy is. Gilly is all wriggly and I give her lots of pats, even though Hedy tries to muscle in, and she is as pleased as punch with herself for rescuing Hedy.

Gilly cooling off

It has been cool, warm, humid, raining and cold today. In that order. Gilly took some time to drink the paddle pool. Since only 1% of our $900 yearly water bill is for actual water, I don't mind filling up the paddle pool for The Labradors. There is no incentive to be water conscious. We don't go overboard, but a Labrador can't drink murky water that's been paddle in by paws that have been who-knows-where.

Hedy ate too much

Hedy is handy, today she stood up on her back legs and chewed open the new bag of dry dog food that was on top of the freezer in the laundry, and I imagine she and Gilly stood under the hole while dog food poured into their mouths as if manna from heaven. I worked this out, Sherlock style, by observing Hedy's very round belly after dinner. Celery and carrot doth not a round belly make. She's too sated with food to move.

I have been doing jobs with money: new tyres and servicing the car. Thank goodness, all my worry about something leaking under the car was not needed. My rear shock absorbers (???) may need replacing but they are not urgent. Gilly has a new appointment at the vet and I need to make one at the dentist. We feel very happy that ominous tasks have been completed and turned out not to be so bad.

101 bag zippy chip

Look!! Shopping bag #101, with Christmas Koalas, because of course when you think of Christmas you think of koalas!! And a new zippy chip bag. I have remembered not to press the lining before I top-stitch the zip, because it slightly melts the plastic and it is never the same again, no matter how careful I am.

Face washers

I have been watching many and various things: the new series of Sherlock, Travelers (sp is American), Murder She Wrote (totally up to date) and The Librarians. I'm watching lots of other things like Fringe, The West Wing, Designated Survivor, Frequency, Shannara Chronicles, Enterprise, Taxi Brooklyn, The Delivery Man, The Wrong Mans(not a typo), Billions, Ray Donovan, iZombie, Younger: when the show starts to get a little bit frightening or I don't like the way it seems to be going I stop watching and change to something happy and good. Later on when I feel ready, I go back and start watching again.

Whilst watching many and varied things I have been indulging in a little more knitting. Small things so as not to make myself hot underneath them. Three face washers, because that's what we call them here, not facecloths, and the third leaf I managed to eke out of the teal cotton. I used Cottonwood 8ply and it is lovely to knit with, it doesn't make my fingers hurt.

Three colours....

The hydrangeas at the dam are looking beautiful: pink, blue and pale blue/lavender.

Hydrangeas

All the colours are on the one plant, though I think each flower is actually hundreds of tiny flowers.

Tomorrow I am going to make some more boozy fudge with Kirsch and dried cranberries, because I can't find dried cherries. We don't go for a walk on Wednesday so we can sleep in and maybe read in bed for a while. No-dog is going to need a big breakfast after The Incident in the Laundry!!! The weather forecast is for 21 and 20 until the weekend. I heard a scientist talking about heat stress on the ABC Radio a few weeks ago, and realised that what I experience in Summer is not just hating the hot weather but heat stress: headache, nausea, dizziness, irritability, thirst, weakness- but not heavy sweating. Apparently, some people do not experience heat stress and this is why they enjoy the hot weather. They just don't feel the effects of heat stress. I am happier knowing that what I am feeling is a proper thing, that I am not just a hot weather Moaning Myrtle. This Summer has been much cooler, with fewer consecutive days of very hot temperatures. The hottest day was 31.5*C, mostly it has been around 25, which is just right!!

 


Friday Food: Banana Yoghurt & Apple Muffin Slice

Banana apple sliceI am very lucky to be able to have whatever I want for my lunch. At noon I think about what I would like to eat and set about making it. Not so when I was teaching: you had to prepare lunch the night before. Not all schools have a canteen, so tasty and efficient-to-eat food is a must. Over the next four weeks I am baking lunch box treats: savoury and sweet. This recipe is from the January issue of Super Food Ideas magazine.

It is the simplest of recipes, just combine wet and dry with spoon, and very generous too. If you are doing the whole no sugar thing, it uses maple syrup. Of course maple syrup is a sugar and you could substitute brown sugar in the recipe. I "may" have gone slightly overboard with my maple syrup drizzling over the oats!!!

I accidentally bought coconut yoghurt, so I added two teaspoons of vanilla extract. I didn't peel the apple, I like the skin, and I diced it finely instead of grating.  I only used one banana, because it was huge. The slice will freeze well and otherwise should be kept in the refrigerator if your weather is warm.

This is a delicious and moreish slice. It is not overly sweet and I like the maple syrup flavour. I shall definitely make this again.

 

Banana Yoghurt & Apple Muffin Slice    makes 20 pieces

 

  • 2 1/2 cups wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 3 tspn cinnamon
  • 1 tspn ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup vanilla yoghurt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 over ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, grated or finely diced
  • 1/2 cup traditional rolled oats
  • 40ml maple syrup extra

 

Preheat the oven to 180*C/160*C fan-forced and grease and line a 20 x 30cm tin. Mine was about 5cm high and the slice didn't rise higher than that.

Dry ingredients

Whisk the the flours and spices together.

Wet ingredients

In another bowl mix the maple syrup, eggs, oil, yoghurt, milk,

Add the fruit

apple and banana.

Combine wet and dry

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold together until just combined.

Bake and cool

Pour the batter into the tray, smooth the top and sprinkle over the oats and drizzle with maple syrup. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes in the tin and then cover the cooling rack with baking paper and turn the slice out onto it, right side down. Allow to cool completely and then cut into slices. Eat right now, or put it in your lunch box!!

Banana yoghurt apple muffin slice


Ten Things I Eight About You

Gilly is 8

Lorelai Gilmore is Eight years old!!! There are a bazillion things I love about her, too many to list. She is such a wonderful animal companion. Gilly is loving and loyal, sturdy and true. She loves to play with disposable plastic cups and to walk between your legs and have her back scratched. She makes me laugh. I was chuffed to see that when they are home alone, The Labradors sleep next to each other in the garage. Gilly has a good companion coming along nicely in Hedy Lamarr.

We sing this song about Gilly, now she is eight. I have always enjoyed Sesame Street King of 8 for Gilly.

We are so very happy that she has kept on living after her awful immune suppressed illness last year. She is still taking all her tablets, but she is as bright as a button, full of playfulness and every alert. She is teaching Hedy Lamarr to be alert as well. Hedy is a little bit afraid when Gilly barks, and this is not a bad thing: Hedy should go lower than Gilly. It is the way of the world.

Gilly and Hedy on night time alert

In celebration of Lorelai Gilmore's birthday and the fact that I have just sewn my hundredth shopping bag: Gilly and Hedy would like to give the hundredth bag away to someone. Just leave a comment and we will pick a winner next Thursday afternoon our time. The bag is made from some green quilting cotton and has a mosaic print of Gilly and Hedy on the front. I printed the fabric on The Spoonflower. It is a milestone, or a kilometrestone??, and now I have made one hundred bags in three and a half years the unit cost per bag for the pattern is just eight cents. That's as much as The ABC costs each Australian: Eight cents a day. I would pay more.

#100 bag

The bag is sewn, ironed and ready to post anywhere in the whole wide world. We will send it off to be used for shopping. It will do a good job. Even if you have never left a comment before, it will be fine if you'd like a chance to win!!

#99 bag cats

Here is bag #99, a cat bag. Though the material was cut carefully in the shop, when I tore it, it was quite wonky, and I ended up short. I used two blue jelly roll strips as an accent on the bottom. I think it looks as if it was meant to be. Roll on bag #101.

Sunflake dishcloth

Knitpicks is sending a free dishcloth pattern every week this year. I have knitted the first: Snowflake Dishcloth. Oh the agony of soooo many ends, and sewing ends into a cotton dishcloth is my idea of hell. Still, it will be very pretty, and if I can keep it up I will have fifty-two at the end of the year. Last year I was determined to sew The Splendid Sampler. I made it through about six blocks and then Hedy arrived.  I shall knit as many dishcloths as suits me and if I miss a week, I shall employ a devil-may-care attitude.

Cheese you've been a long time

We walked to the shop and I left The Labradors at the Dog Stop while I went to The Bakery. They waited: Gilly patiently, Hedy not so patiently. She woofed. Poor Lorelai Gilmore still has a fairly pink belly. Her fur is growing back every so slowly.

Hedy does rhythmic gymnastics..the stick

Hedy Lamarr is very athletic. She can leap and twist and turn and should be considered for The Dog Olympic Rhythmic Gymnastic team in three years!!

The new Donna Hay magazine has some recipes for icebox pies. Basically it is a base with flavoured ice-cream and maybe a topping. I made the Salted Coconut and Passionfruit Icebox Pie.

Ice box pie

The base is 135g shredded coconut, 75g caster sugar, 25g melted butter, 1/2 tspn salt flakes and an egg-white. You mix this together and press it into the base of a 20cm pie dish and bake for 25 minutes at 150*C. I used a flan tin with a removable base. Set aside to cool.

It would have cost $20 to buy the twelve passionfruit the recipe asked for, so I compromised with four real passionfruit and used some tinned passionfruit pulp. Bring the passionfruit pulp to a boil, add 55g of caster sugar and simmer for 6-8 minutes until it thickens. Set aside to cool.

Then Donna Hay mixes 40g shredded coconut with 1/2 tspn of salt flakes and bakes it for 1-2 minutes. It is meant to be sprinkled over the top of the icebox pie. I missed out this step as I felt it was a bit too trendy for the icebox pie recipient.

Soften 2 litres of vanilla ice-cream and fold in almost all the passionfruit. Spoon onto the base, swirl the extra passionfruit mixture over the top and then cover and freeze. Slice, top with softly whipped cream and enjoy.

There are five other icebox pies: blueberry cheesecake, pandan key lime, cherry chocolate, chocolate swirl & hazelnut and tiramisu.

We are expecting rain tomorrow, which is very exciting. The State has had to start up the gas-fired power station for the second Summer in a row. We really need some rain. I think we will cavort madly in the rain when it comes. And there will definitely be a Friday Food recipe tomorrow. I am baking back-to-school lunch box idea recipes.

Happy Birthday Lorelai Gilmore.

Baby Gilly

 

 


Friday (Food) Friday, Gotta Get Down On Friday.

I am being kind to myself after a tricky week and there is no Friday Food. This week:

  • The NBN came
  • The phone and internet did not initially
  • Nor did the silent number
  • The car is leaking some kind of fluid (sp edit)
  • We need new tyres
  • It has been hot and ever so humid

 

The actual man who installed The NBN was kind and very nice to The Labradors. Gilly was interested and sensible. Hedy was all yes I want a pat/no you are a stranger and had to be put in her little box for everyone's peace of mind. Ipad photos, so worse than usual. Hedy inspected the work.

The nbn has come

I am just treating myself a little carefully. After phone calls and emails - from MrsDrWho's mother's house because you can't email or phone if you don't have the internet or landline connected -  my ISP magically found it would not take up to twelve days (5-7 working days with two weekends in the mix) and they had enabled the internet and phone by the next day. I do despair, that I have to exert such effort, but it all ended up being sorted out and my number is silent again too.

Don't know what is leaking from under the car, I just noticed it yesterday, and we need new tyres desperately, so I am off to see what can be done about money. No point in having a car if it doesn't work. We spent all our money on Lorelai Gilmore last year and she is worth every cent!!!

Although it is hot and horridly humid, we have had a cooler summer and this morning it was cloudy so the sun didn't heat the front of the house: a boon.

So I am being grateful and telling people about what is happening. I am thinking today of James Hird. I am not an AFL fan, I only keep an ear on MrsDrWho's mother's team so I can chat to her about the games. I know only too well how easy it is to slip into a state where you believe people would be better off without you, that you are not worth very much and life seems a burden rather than a joy. I hope that whatever has happened, he can find the help and support he needs, anyone needs: BeyondBlue.

Gilly Hedy new summer beds

The Labradors have new Summer beds. They have a cool fabric outer and are squooshy but not warm, they feel airy. They are very popular, especially after the paddle pool. I think a wet cushion is a lovely cool sleeping place.

Cicadas potential friends or snacks

When my mum came to visit she came on our walk. The Labradors were astonished, as were the people, at the cicadas flying through the air. Gilly, and then Hedy, found the cicadas which had fallen to the ground but were still flapping, and they became potential friends or snacks: you guess which. They look like birds, but they aren't. The sound is almost unbearable, but to us it is the sound of Summer.

Christmas baking

I did some Christmas baking, and made cards. That's pretty much all I did. I made spiced shortbread mini biscuits, gingerbread with fondant snowflakes, vanilla pinwheel biscuits with peppermint candy cane iced on the edges, flourless chocolate biscuits, fruit cake and ganache truffles and lemon and white chocolate truffles. I am so pleased with the way they turned out and I purposefully made things that weren't covered in chocolate so they didn't melt in the heat.

Becca bag #1

Sweetpea bag #1

I bought a Craftsy course on sale for $24 and learned a new zip technique and sewed a Becca bag and a Sweetpea pouch. I am totally enamoured with the way the zip works. You cut the zipper ends off and then sew just one half to the bag and then re-attach the zipper pull. I feel very clever!!!

Bags 97 and 98

Grocery bags #97 and #98. I am almost to one hundred and I think I shall give #100 away on my blog. It is the very least I can do after subjecting readers to endless bag photos. I have some special material from Spoonflower printed with Gilly and Hedy and I shall use that!!!!

Xmas 2016 zippy chip bags

Last two zippy chip bags for the last two children at our Christmas gathering.

Hot bowl cosies xmas 2017

Also for Kris Kringle, hot bowl cosies. When you take a bowl out of the microwave, you pop it in the cosy to protect your hands.

And generally the rest of my craft for 2016: I am always amazed that I make so many things. I do sometimes think I waste my time sleeping and feeling not very well at all, but I look at all these things and I feel useful and productive. Of course I love making the shopping bags, but I like to try new things as well.

Knitted things 2016

Bags 2016

Hats 2016

Other bags 2016

Other things 2016

Gilly is trying new things, she joined in the Border Collie/Labrador Puppy chasing game. We are so pleased to see her being happy and enjoying herself. I wonder if she pined for Peri, after Peri died?

Gilly plays The Game

And Hedy is as happy as a pig in mud. She is silly happy, and extra pleased because Gilly stole a present bone from the Christmas bag and I gave half to Hedy Lamarr!!

Hedy is so happy

Here are The Labrador after the gardener whipper-snippered. They have the whole yard to play in and he even filled the paddle pool. He's a kind gardener.

Gilly and hedy after whipper snipper

Today I sat down and added one hundred and four books to my sidebar - you can only see the most recent twenty books I think. I hadn't added any last year. I think there are some I have missed. I usually take a photo as I put the book across the opening at The Library. I think there might be a few photos elsewhere. I've already read seven books this year so I hope to keep up-to-date with my list in 2017.

It is still too warm to sleep, and since we did sleep all day yesterday until 4-19pm and then all night again, perhaps we can stay up a little later. Tomorrow and Sunday are forecast to be 30*C so we should take the cool moments while we can.


Bark The Herald Labradors Sing: Auld Lang Syne and Everything.

Ahhh, quickest post ever. I sat down to write my blog and the whole jolly Typepad was down: 404 error and my blog had disappeared. Kind of like we did. December was kind of lost in translation and though I wanted to blog, other things took my attention: being sick again, too many social outings and things that HAD to be done and then a mini heat wave.

I stopped saying that I was poorly to the NBN people. MrsDrWho said other people think poorly is a bit of a cold, so I used the Leukaemia word and they backed off and gave me a date for next week and stopped ringing me every day.

Gilly and Hedy 2016's last walk

Lorelai Gilmore is exceedingly well and with much hard work and much less food this month, lost the two kilograms she gained in November. Hedy Lamarr continues to grow and is going through a The Naughtiest Puppy in The World phase. I know this too will pass, but please pass soon Naughty Phase.

I have caught up with almost all my friends, made and posted almost all my cards and given up almost entirely on and presents for people until 2017!!! Something's gotta give and presents was it.

Gilly keeping cool

Here's Gilly keeping cool in the pool. She love the paddle pool cooling her belly.

Hedy and some of her eight presents

Here's just a small portion of Hedy's Christmas presents. Hedy loves Christmas, but the heat?? Not so much.

2016 was a rough year at our house and though it seems to have ended happily for us, we were sad that both Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds died so unexpectedly in the last few days.

Happy New Year. (because damn, I missed the last year by "that" much)


Friday Food: White Choc Boozy Gin Fudge

Boozy gin choc fudgeWe are still a tad poorly at our house, so it was with great pleasure I remembered this recipe from The Decorated Cookie. In fact, there is a series of boozy fudges and I have made some with vodka and dark chocolate too. This white chocolate and gin fudge with lime is pretty fabulous. MrsDrWho sent me home with some Bailey's Irish Cream, Kirsch and Butterscotch Schnapps, so I am looking forward to some more boozy fudges. I am thinking about dark chocolate and kirsch with perhaps some dried cherries mixed through??

This is such an easy recipe: three or four ingredients and a few minutes of sifting, mixing and microwaving and maybe some zesting, and the fudge is done. This is definitely for adults only, as the alcohol is not cooked in any way and so it remains alcoholic. I used pure icing sugar which I sifted and ordinary eating chocolate, though I did find some posh chocolate with vanilla. The recipe calls for choc chips or buttons, but I checked, and they are just chocolate with nothing added and our choc chips have things added.  I sprinkled some lime zest over the top, but you could used lemon or even orange zest. They would all be good. I have converted the recipe to grams and I made 1/8 of the recipe quite easily, which yielded 9 2.5cm (1 inch) squares. As it is warm, I did pop it in the fridge to firm up.

The Decorated Cookie says it will keep for about a week in the fridge, and as it is not Winter at Christmastime here, that's where I will keep mine. I do think it will last for longer than a week, as there is nothing that will really deteriorate. I shall be making many, and varied, versions of this for Christmas gifts!!! This is a great recipe, and I can highly recommend it.

 

NB: I shall put the measurements for my 1/8 batch in brackets for each ingredient. I think it would be perfectly fine to round things up or down a little too!!!

 

Boozy White Chocolate and Gin Fudge        makes 60-72 pieces

  • 908g pure icing sugar, sifted     (112g)
  • 236ml gin   (30ml)
  • 340g good white eating chocolate     (42g)
  • zest of two limes    (zest of 1/4 lime)

 

Icing sugar and gin

Before you begin, line a 20x 30cm tin with baking paper. For 1/8 I used a small plastic container measuring about 7 x 11cm.

Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, make a well in the centre and add the gin. Mix to combine.

Melt chocolate

Gently melt the white chocolate in the microwave. Break chocolate into smaller pieces and microwave it in 20 second bursts on Medium or High depending on the microwave's strength. Stir thoroughly after each burst as the chocolate burns very easily. This batch took 60 seconds in all.

Combine

Mix the icing sugar and gin with the melted chocolate expeditiously, as it will set quite quickly.

Set add lime

Spoon the fudge into the container and distribute evenly, smoothing the top. Sprinkle over the lime zest and gently push it into the fudge. Let it sit for 30 minutes and if it is still soft, put it in the fridge for an hour or so before you cut into small squares. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container, especially in Summer!! And then enjoy your boozy fudge: remember, don't eat boozy fudge and drive.

Boozy gin and lime chocolate fudge


Friday Food: Adam Liaw's Easy Cheeseburger

Adam liaw easy cheeseburgerI have finally surfaced from the fog of being poorly, though we do still sleep most of the day. And I know this is hard to believe, but I am not very hungry. Today I remembered seeing Adam Liaw's easy cheeseburger and it was just what I fancied as some proper-ish food. I can't really justify the Heston method of making burgers: too complicated and too expensive to buy my own meat grinder, so this was an easy cheat.

The ingredients are readily available, and the cheeseburgers really are quick to prepare and cook. Do buy the cheapest beef mince: he explains that instead of trying to buy more expensive meat with a high fat content and then mincing it yourself, cheap mince has enough fat for the burger to stay moist. I think that just gently moulding the mince to form the burger, and not squashing or kneading it, also helps. There is nothing to bind the mince. When I was little we called dill pickles, gherkins. Now they have lots of names, but I still think of them as gherkins. Maybe they are something completely different?? I am not dill pickle/gherkin aware.

We don't have a BBQ or a griddle plate, and as I was only making one, I used a little cast iron frypan. It didn't really do a great job heating/toasting the buns, but they tasted perfectly fine. Though the burgers require at least 10 minutes in the refrigerator before they are cooked, they can be ready in about 20 minutes: maybe quicker than going to The Scottish Restaurant!!

The burgers were moist, flavourful and I could almost have eaten another one, well, in my mind. These are really great cheeseburgers: thanks Adam Liaw.

 

Adam Liaw's Easy Cheeseburgers        makes 4

  • 500g cheap beef mince
  • 2 tbspn (40ml) vegetable oil or dripping
  • 4 soft hamburger buns
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 onion, shaved into rings
  • 4 slices tasty cheddar cheese
  • gherkins or dill pickles
  • tomato sauce
  • American style mustard

 

Divide the mince into four equal parts and gently form into a burgers. I made mine and then put it between two pieces of Gladwrap and poked and prodded it until it was the same size as my hamburger bun. It was quite thin. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.

Mince and burger

Heat a grill or large frypan, I went to 5 on a scale of 6. Brush the pan or plate with oil. Cut the buns in half and place, cut side down, in the pan. Check to see they don't burn, season with salt and pepper and then set to the side if there is a cool spot.

Heat and toast buns

Take the burgers from the fridge and put into the pan. Press some of the shaved onion rings into the top. After just 1 minute, flip the burger and top with a cheese slice and the top of the bun. Cook for a further 1-2 minutes, the cheese should be melting. Because the burger is so thin, maybe less than 1/2 cm, it will be cooked through in a short time.

Burger and onion

Squeeze the mustard and tomato sauce onto the base of the bun. Flip the top of the bun with the burger and cheese onto the base and there you are. Your burger is ready to serve with a gherkin on the side.

Cheese, bun and condiments

It is totally delicious, and I interspersed my bites of burger with bites of gherkin: Yum.

Easy cheeseburger

 


Swollen Swollen Swollen, Though The Streams Are Swollen, Keep Them Doggies Rollin': Rawhide.

It is no wonder I have been feeling tired: I am officially sick. I actually feel a tad ( a tiny tad ) better when I know I am sick, and not imagining it. Not that I have ever imagined being sick.

There was a cancellation at the doctor on Monday, and I have swollen glands in my neck, a temperature and an infected throat. Oh, and now I have a raging cold and a gravelly voice.

Hedy and the water and the toy 1

Hedy and the water and the toy 2

Hedy Lamarr has run amok, all night and all day. I changed the water bowl, to no avail. Hedy still dips her toys in the water, swooshes them about and then runs about the house, shaking them.

Gilly trotting

Lorelai Gilmore is a perfect Labrador, lying on the bed and looking inquisitively at me when I cough my hacking cough.

Rafa Gilly Hedy Sandy

I did arise from my sick bed yesterday to go for a walk, but I was so pleased today is Wednesday and we don't walk on Wednesdays.

Sandy Rolypoly Hedy Gilly

Three dogs walking

Look, various photos of various combinations of dogs. I have been up for half an hour, it is time for bed again.

Super Moon.

Supermoon peeking through clouds


Friday Food: Oven-roasted Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart

Tomato tart with goat's cheeseThere are so many Christmas magazine issues, I feel overwhelmed: in a good way. I mainly focus on the sweet, but this savoury tart in the December 2016 Donna Hay Magazine caught my eye. It looks so scrumptious, I love the array of tomato slices, and it is so simple to make. It is indeed very delicious, because I have eaten it for early dinner and some more for supper!!! I really only needed to buy a couple of out-of-the-ordinary ingredients, and they were not too tricky to find.

I used goat cheese rather then the goat curd the recipe asks for, basically because I could put my hand right on it in the deli. I bought a small roll, 100g, and it was plenty. I could not find any white balsamic vinegar, instead I used a Moscato Glaze, which has a sharpish taste, on the same level as lemon juice. It works really well. I also used flat leaf parsley and spring onions, as I always have those in the fridge. Instead of olive oil, I used avocado oil. It was a gift, along with a few other special oils, and it worked perfectly with the tomatoes and the Moscato Glaze.

So, I adapted the recipe to what I had at home, mostly, and it worked perfectly well. I can see this as a delicious lunch, I ate mine with some broccolini, as a posh entrée or an upmarket side with chicken, fish or steak. This tastes just as good piping hot, warm or cool. I am not sure it will refrigerate well at all, but I don't mind. I will eat it slightly less crispy, and cold, tomorrow!!

 

 

Oven-roasted Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart       serves 4

  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, defrosted. I used butter puff.
  • 140g (1/2 cup) goat curd/cheese
  • 400g fresh tomatoes, sliced 1cm thick
  • salt and pepper
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dill sprigs
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  • 20ml (1 tbspn) white balsamic vinegar

 

Preheat the oven to 240*C.  I would also heat the tray. I usually do this, didn't this time, and wish I had. It just makes the base of the pastry crispier.

Puff pastry

Lay one sheet of the thawed puff pastry directly on top of the other and press firmly together. I also scored a 1cm border around the edge of the top sheet, as this gives more of a puffed crust.

Cheesy goodness

I left the goat cheese out of the fridge to soften, and then spread it out evenly over the pastry with the back of a spoon, which I dipped into some very hot water.

You say tomatoes

My 3 medium tomatoes were almost 500g, but that meant I could cut off the bottom and have nice uniform slices.

Top and bake

Array the slices of tomato atop the goat cheese and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. I had some nice sea salt flakes and some chilli cracked pepper. Drizzle over half the oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown, and the pastry is cooked through.

Top with your herbs of choice and drizzle with the remaining oil and the white balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!!

Tomato and goat cheese tart


That Touch Of Sink

Yesterday Hedy Lamarr had her first swim. In truth, she had her first sink: she ran full pelt toward the ducky she spied and leaped into the water and sank like a stone. There is no documentary evidence per se as I was in will-I-have-to-wade-in-and-save-her mode. I do have "after" photos:

Labradors not swimming

Hedy submerged totally, and after the beat when I wondered whether I would have to save her or not, she surfaced like a submarine, spluttering and dog paddling!!! I made sure to clean her ears and eyes before breakfast.

Gilly does not swim. She wades about doing a kind of canine water aerobics and gets wet up to her chin. Hedy is very vocal and is always making high pitched barks.

Lemon butter biscuits

I have been poorly on and off and spent more time sleeping. Not much else has happened at our house: a little more knitting and some baking. I baked some Jamie Oliver Lemon Butter biscuits for The Vet today. They tasted lemony and buttery but they were not very pretty and I had run out of icing sugar and I just glazed them with some lemon curd. The recipe did make twenty, though it refused to roll out without sticking. I just rolled 20g balls of dough instead.

New toy

As anyone reading my blog knows, I am the world's worst photographer. MrsDrWho bought The Labradors some soft toys at her school fair.  Gilly had the toy, and Hedy stole it. Gilly is chasing her trying to get it back. To no avail.

Lorelai Gilmore is very well. She stole Hedy's treat yesterday, much to Hedy's shock and horror. Gilly is bright eyed and interested in all sorts of things out the window now. She even sneaks into the kitchen if we forget to shut the baby gate.  We go to The Vet next week for more blood tests.

Gilly likes a good step

Hedy Lamarr is in denial. We weighed her at The Vet last week and she is a tad more then 23kg. Gilly is a tad under 27kg. Hedy thinks she is still a tiny puppy.

Hedy says her little box fits perfectly well

She is too big to lie sidie-waysie in her crate, or Little Box as I like to call it. She does not let this deter her.

Hedy is sure she fits

The lady at the wool shop gave me some banana passionfruit. I have frozen the pulp, mixed with a little sugar, in my new freezer. I love freezing things, I have two litres of freshly squeezed lemon juice and six take-away containers of raspberries and loganberries from MrsReno. There is still plenty of room for more frozen things!!!

Banana passionfruit

Last night I went with MrsDrWho, and other lovely people, to see Blackadder. Encore Theatre dramatised three of the Elizabethan episodes: Head, Money and Beer. It was very good, though the seats were uncomfortable. I was glad to go out as I had had a shock. I had had my heart set on something and my hopes were dashed. When I met MrsDrWho I burst into tears. After a lot of Blackadder and a commiseratory glass of wine I had things more in perspective. I did have to listen to Classic FM all day today though. I can only hope that in Australia we see what happens when a country is divided and we don't go down that path. I am glad to live here in a small city, on a small island, where in spite of all our differences, we manage to get along. Still, I Maintain The Rage from 1975, but maybe those Over There will instead maintain their hope in the face of adversity. I shall hope along with them. Together: we can.

Halloween here

Oh and we had a Halloween here, of sorts. There was a great letter in our letterbox inviting us to participate if we wished and a balloon to tie to the letterbox to show assent. The letter also acknowledged not everyone celebrates Halloween in Australia (which is as it should be) And although we didn't participate, I feel a lot happier about it than in years gone by. The Halloweeners were all rather older teenagers and the only interruption to the early evening was their laughter!!

I used my $10 Spotlight Christmas voucher wisely, and bought four sewing patterns and a 6B Wilton piping tip for just $10. I am love a bargain. I saw 8096 on The Curvy Sewing Collective and was smitten, and not just because it is green!! I shall make the third iteration, with the wider gathered shoulder straps. Not so sure about 1102, as it is made in knit fabric, but I might give the version modelled a try.

Patterns 1
I saw 8137 reviewed as well, and I am in search of a woven fabric wrap dress, so I will try a sleeveless short dress version. I just love the skirt on Butterick 5982. I am not sure about the dart in the centre front, but there is some discussion here about a full bust adjustment in the comments.

Patterns 2

The weather is very Springy: hot, cold, frosty, snowy, rainy and wind so strong I couldn't open the car door. It has not been terribly hot, but it was hot enough that I didn't want to take The Labradors in the car for a visit to The Vet this afternoon. We are also enduring mosquitoes the size of blow flies and bulbous, loud blow flies as well.

Labradors on the new bedding

The night is coolish, but we have a new woollen underlay and a new doona so we will be snuggling under the doona and sticking a foot out of bed to cool down. My mum very kindly gave me some money so I could pick up my lay-by early. It is technically too hot for the woollen doona, but I don't care. The old underlay was so old, I had turned it already from top to bottom and in many places there was No Wool Left!! This is a photo taken in a poorly lit room with the iPad, which doesn't have a flash. After disassembling the bed, and making it halfway again, I was too tired to find the camera. Gilly looks so happy, and Hedy sits up very straight to have her photo taken and is very interested in case there might be a treat afterwards.

I have also started answering my blog comments, slowly but surely, and they are not a task or a bother. I like to answer my comments, it is just they get away from me sometimes!! Gilly is lying on the almost finished quilt (and I let her, she's sick) and Hedy is squashed in her little box, so all is right with the world. Time for bed for all Labradors.