Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Friday, October 26, 2007

How good is your vocabulary?

It gives rice to a good cause, but it's also a great time waster.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

We must weather the weather, whatever the weather...

It's humid, the grass is crunchy and I'm woken in the morning because of the heat. I'd call it summer except that it will, of course, get much worse. Perhaps we need another season between spring and summer.

On that note I am tossing up between New Year's in Melbourne and taking a couple extra days in the coolness down south. If I don't book my tickets soon, they'll be gone...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Prepare to be poked...

As with the post that got me restarted with this blog this year, Josh has read my mind. I will probably join the dark side soon.

That said, I'm hanging out for something very similar - but with a knitting theme.

* You signed up on August 23, 2007
* You are #27950 on the list.
* 5982 people are ahead of you in line.
* 10811 people are behind you in line.
* 56% of the list has been invited so far

Saturday, September 22, 2007


While watching Thank God You're Here on Wednesday, I noticed that a banner with my high school's crest was draped over a lectern in one of the pre-recorded segments. The setting itself was not my school. I wonder where they got it.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Stress Baking

Clearly the end of semester stress is getting to me. In the past week I have inflicted the following on my housemates:
Choc/peanut cupcakes:
Using a basic pound cake recipe (see below), add peanut butter (maybe half a cup) and chocolate chips to the cake batter just before putting it in the cases. Use 2:1 peanut butter to butter when making the icing, and fold through chocolate chips once you've beat in icing sugar to the desired consistency. Sinfully rich. Possibly best made as mini-cupcakes.

Burgers a la Bill Granger:
Distinctive features: they were made from pork and served with sweet potato oven baked chips (cut batons, toss in oil, paprika, pepper and salt, bake in hot oven). I do like a nice hamburger, I should make such things more often...

Choc-chunk peanut cookies:

Another offering from Bill. Firm but not crispy - I would make them a little smaller next time as they were still a little soft in the middle.

Did I mention I was focussing on Bill Granger's Every Day book? Last night's dinner was from there too. It's one of those ones you can cook in the time it takes the pasta to cook, which is always a plus:
While your spaghetti is cooking, gently fry a lot of garlic (I used about 8 small to medium cloves) and chilli in a decent amount of olive oil for about 5 minutes. Just before adding the cooked pasta, throw in some white wine and let cook for about 20 seconds. Add pasta and a lot of spinach (remember it cooks down to almost nothing), and serve immediately with lots of parmesan.

Conceivably one could use other vegetables, possibly chopped fine and added to the pasta in its last few minutes of cooking if they are too tough to cook in the last few seconds as spinach does. Of course, I had to complicate things somewhat, and served it with garlic bread.

See how this baking thing is great? It's relaxing, fuels my procrastination efforts - doubly so when I blog about it, and lets me fill up time thinking about what to bake next. Doesn't actually get the study done, strangely enough. It's crunch time 'til the end of the month, so I suppose I'd better go be productive. Have I mentioned before that this Post-Grad Dip thing is taking up more of my time than my Honours year? I don't even manage to watch day time tv anymore!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


When your housemate does your food blogging for you, it's probably time to get blogging again.

The cake in question is a Lemon Pound Cake from "Every Day With Bill Granger", a book I heartily recommend. The premise behind a pound cake is very simple - equal weights of butter, flour, sugar and eggs. This time with a little vanilla essence and half a lemon's worth of rind to add flavour.


You beat the butter and sugar together until they're fluffy, add flavourings, beat in the eggs one at a time, and fold in the flour. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius 'til lightly browned and springy to touch (45-50 minutes).

To ice, again start by beating a few tablespoons of butter, adding in icing sugar, the rest of the lemon rind and some of its juice. I firmly believe icing is a matter of personal taste, so monkey around with amounts until it looks and tastes right to you. Just remember to add liquid a teaspoon at a time, unless you want Lemon Drizzle Cake.

Enjoy with a nice cup of tea.


In this case the magic number was 250g, technically making it a Lemon Slightly-Larger-Than-Half-a-Pound Cake. I weighed four eggs from the same carton, and they came in at approximately 275g (they're free range from Vic Market, I can't remember which size I bought), raising (not begging) the question of whether the original conception of a pound cake involves egg shells on or off in the weigh-up. Feel free to exercise your Google-fu on this, but I doubt the difference is significant.

Texturally, the cake had a coarser grain than I was hoping for, and a slight greasiness that I've also encountered in some of my pound cake based cup cake
endeavours. I suspect that this is from not beating the butter enough. The butter in question is Safeway's house brand unsalted Tasmanian butter, which I've noticed tends to stay quite firm at room temperature. Sadly our current beating apparatus (handheld, electric), probably isn't up to the task unless I take the butter to a little above room temperature.

The cake has quite a mild flavour. I used more lemon juice than recommended in the recipe (about half a lemon), and should probably have sacrificed the rind of another lemon to beef up the content in both the cake and the icing.