Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Passionfruit Macarons

No recipe here just photos. With Harry being sick for the last 3 days I have been stuck in the house. Although I have made sure to do a lot of sorting etc, I have done a bit of baking to keep myself sane. I thought I would have another go at macarons as these are notoriously fickle and I have had some hits and misses in the past. I made these ones with a creamy passionfruit centre using my freeze dried passionfruit. All I can say is that I think they look pretty good and I love the little 'feet' I managed to achieve. AND they taste fantastic too!

Dons Birthday Part 2

Lamb Shanks, Creamy Potato Mash, Steamed Green Beans

Baked Egg Custard Tart

Table set by Pup with my Grandmothers crystal and china...he was also making a powerpoint thing with photos of him and Dons set to a song 'Love, Love, Love'

Mama and Pup

Dons looking like the Godfather

At Neighbourhood in Kingsland with Jules and Tarn

Seafood Platter- a bit overpriced for what it was I thought

Potatoes and sauces...potatoes tasted like they had been refried...not good!

Snapper Sliders

Pork and Beef Meatballs

Tarn, Dons and Porkchop
Tarn and Ante

As you can probably gather we tend to celebrate our birthdays over days rather than on just one day. On the day before Dons actual birthday Pup and I cooked a delicious dinner of Lamb Shanks (you have got to try this recipe by Chelsea Winter because I think it's the best I have ever made), a super creamy potato mash and simple steamed green beans. Dessert was one of Dons favourites which is Baked Egg Custard. Pup set the table using my Grandmothers china and crystal glasses and some of her knick-knacks as well as making a powerpoint photo display set to an Avalanche City song called Love, Love, Love.

The next day we went off to Neighbourhood in Kingsland for lunch with Dons sisters. The place is AMAZING! but the food could have been better. However because it is such a cool place to go we will return for a glass of wine and a seat in the courtyard in front of the fire.

Anyway whatever you do make this Lamb Shanks's a total winner and I have since got her book because I was so impressed with it.

Dons Birthday- Whanau Day Part 1

Dons' Gluten free Banana Cake with Passionfruit Buttercream 
Cake designed by Harry and decorated by Harry and Cuz Holls

Bex's Carrot Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Dons and Dion

Dad-am AKA Steptoe

Abbie, Tam, Kiwi, Ce-ce

Dons and I

Rochene (my sister) and my Mommy baby

Jack and Tia

Harry and Ante (Pup and Porkchop)

Bex at birthday cake time

Dons with Cuz Holls and Pup----love the glass of bubbles!

Billy and Tam
Just a wee photo selection from Dons birthday celebration with the whanau at the Gables in Herne Bay. It was our sister-in-law Bex birthday as well so I made a cake for each of them. Harry had designed Dons cake ages ago so after I put the white fondant he was able to decorate it as he wanted with some help form his Cuz Holls. I just piped roses over Bex's cake which I think looks pretty especially with a touch of edible glitter!

Harry's 3rd Ballet Competition

Classical Solo

Barefoot- 'Desert Sands'

As you can see by the date this competition was a good few weeks ago. It was held in Pukekohe for the South Auckland Performing Arts Competition. He was debuting his new costumes we had made as well as his Barefoot Dance. After a small tights disaster a few days beforehand (remedied by his lovely tights maker Beata whipping him up a brown pair), and a dog's breakfast Barefoot run through at ballet the night before, he got himself together to earn a VHC for his Classical Solo, a HC for his Barefoot and a 3rd for the Restricted Classical Solo. He was amazing and we were extremely proud of our baby. 

He met a lovely boy who is a year older than him and who loves ballet like he does. The nicest thing was that this little boy and his mum was also like us in that he wished everyone well and was happy for not only himself but all the other kids who competed.

Harry and Aiden---Harry in Classical costume and Aiden in Character 'Russian"

Golden Syrup Steamed Pudding

With custard and cream
I know I seem to post only sporadically but as I am so busy the last thing I think about is my blog. In fact I remember to take photos but because I leave it so long to post I forget where I got the recipe from! Believe you me it can get very very frustrating sometimes. This week I have been stuck in the house with a sick Harry. He has been so sick that he hasn't even done any ballet practice....and anyone who knows him would know that this is not usual for him. He has even had to miss ballet today much to his disappointment. Anyway because I have had this enforced time at home (it always feels way worse to be at home  when it isn't something you have planned), I have had time to do things I wouldn't normally have sort out my messy and far too full spare room. This bedroom is my overflow kitchen as I have too much stuff to keep in my kitchen.....signs of being a hoarder for cookware maybe? 

Anyway I digress. Because it has been winter here, (even though you wouldn't think that lately), I always feel like making stodgy steamed puddings and warming casseroles etc so this night I really felt like an old fashioned steamed pudding. I had tried one earlier in the week from Simon Gault's new cookbook. That recipe was your 'if it doesnt' sound right it probably isn't' kind of recipe. I knew it couldn't work yet I went ahead and followed it to the letter. BIG MISTAKE! It was awful...dense, stodgy in a bad way and downright disastrous  This recipe I found in Linda Hallinan's column in the Sunday Star Times magazine. It was delicious and all things that a good old fashioned steamed pudd should be. Try it whatever you do. You could make it with jam as well I would think but I love the caramely flavour golden syrup so I stuck with that.

Golden Syrup Steamed Pudding

Grease a 1 L pudding basin (I use a ceramic one) and put about 1/2 c golden syrup in the bottom (you could use less if you like).

Cream 100 g butter and 1/2 c sugar until light and fluffy then beat in 2 eggs and stir in 1/4 c apricot jam. Fold in 2 c flour, 2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt. Dissolve 1 tsp baking soda in 1 c warm milk and add to the mixture then spoon into the pudding basin. Cover with a couple of layers of greaseproof paper (put a pleat in the top), and tie string around the top. Steam about an hour but I found mine was a little undercooked so next time would go for a 1 1/4 hours. Make sure the pot doesn't run dry so add boiling water as you need it.