Friday, June 28, 2019

Lemon polenta cake with lemon verbena syrup

It was a beautiful sunny winters day when we visited Lake George over the June long weekend. It was also my mums birthday.

I made her this cake.

The recipe came from a magazine in the waiting room at the doctors clinic. It sparked my interest so I took a photo with my phone back in March. I found it a couple days before mums birthday while looking through photos and decided it was the perfect time to make it.

The cake travelled well on the dash of the car. While it's supposed to be served with yogurt, on this occasion I threw a can of cream in the esky. The kids were happy, and so was everyone else, the cake went down well after our BBQ lunch.

Lemon polenta cake with lemon verbena syrup

Lemon polenta cake                                                              Lemon verbena syrup

125 gr butter                                                                           100ml lemon juice

2/3 cup caster sugar                                                              ¼ cup caster sugar

2 eggs + 1 egg yolk                                                                 lemon verbena sprig, leaves removed

100mls milk

1 cup SR flour

3 ½ tablespoons fine polenta

Rind of 1 lemon

Pinch salt

1 tablespoon icing sugar to dust + Greek yogurt to serve

Preheat oven to 175C. Grease a 26cm x 22cm tin.

Beat butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Beat well after each addition. Add egg yolk and mix until combined.

Stir in milk and flour alternatively, then polenta, lemon rind and salt. Pour into tin and bake for 20-25 minutes.

While cake is baking, place lemon juice, sugar and lemon verbena leaves with ½ cup water in a saucepan. Stir over medium heat to dissolve sugar. Boil for 3-4 minutes to thicken syrup. Strain syrup to remove leaves and keep warm.

Remove cake from oven and using a skewer poke about 20 holes in cake. Pour syrup over cake.

Serve warm or cold, dusted with icing sugar and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Because it was so delicious, I remade it for a lunch dessert at home with a friend a week later. This time I served it with a dollop of Greek yogurt, and threw a couple rosemary flowers about. Still delicious!

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Monday, June 24, 2019

Lake George, Beachport SA

We spent the best part of Sunday of the June long weekend at Lake George near Beachport. It was mums birthday, and she joined us for a barbeque lunch. Although it was cold, the sun was out which provided us with a beautiful day. Uncle George dropped in for a G'day as well.

The lake is salt water and is fed from a drain from the sea, when the drain is open. There are fish in the lake, known as Lake George mullet, and they are delicious!! We did have a go at fishing with rods, but the water in this part of the lake is not deep, so we weren't lucky this day. You can use nets on the lake if you have a permit.

The girls experienced their first kayaking adventure. Izzy is a real adventurer and went out with her dad. Summer went out with her sister later on, and did amazing after an unco start. 

The girls had a great day playing around the lake although I did bin their leggings at the end of the day and was grateful they wore rubber boots!

This section of the lake is about five kilometres out of Beachport on the Lake George road. There are toilets here, with a camp ground located nearby, which would make for a perfect camping getaway when the weather is good.

The birdlife is abundant, which is fantastic to see. The black Eurasian Coots are amazing the way they pitter patter along the surface of the water when they are startled. It is one of their identifying traits along with their white beaks. There were black swans there as well. It was good to see seagulls at the lake, in their natural habitat, hovering above the water, before diving down for small fish. It is refreshing after experiencing them scabbing for chips and food in town.



Friday, June 21, 2019

Recycling soft plastics like a ninja

I am finding myself becoming a bin ninja, in that it annoys the hell out of me, when someone in the house puts rubbish in the wrong bin. IT IS NOT HARD. LIke the time Boggy put his old sneakers in the recycling bin, or when he puts a cardboard packet in the waste bin. 

Fair enough it is not hard when you are properly informed. I really should properly educate the people in my house before getting all bent out of shape. 

There's been an ad on telly lately that has me now separating my soft plastics, and depositing them in a bin at our local supermarket. This is saving something that can be recycled from going to landfill.

They say if you can scrunch your soft plastics up into a ball it can be recycled. For example potato chip packets, bread bags, biscuit packets or snack bar wrappers, not forgetting to mention, the plastic bags you bring your fruit and veggies home in from the supermarket.

Furthermore, it has me repeating "Luuucyy!", complete with accent (which is clever by ad execs, think 'gogomobile') anytime I put any plastics in the soft plastics bag I have on top of the fridge. I am sure the kids are over it, but to my surprise they happily put their zooper dooper wrappers in there, so it's a case of teaching them young to recycle.

While the Which Bin campaign is South Australian initiative, you can visit the website to see which soft plastics you can recycle and where your closest soft plastics recycling bin is located.

Waste is a global problem, but you can start small, with what you can do at home. Think global, act local people.

How is your recycling game?

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Thursday, June 20, 2019

ICAD 2019 - Week 2

Still going strong in week 2 with the creativity, however I am finding it hard some days to fit it in, so have been doing catch ups. Not finding it a chore at all, I am enjoying the opportunity to create.

I love the freedom to be able to use any medium I have on hand and just go with what comes into mind with the days prompt. I am finding things around the house or garden for that matter to help me be creative, like autumn leaves or things from the kids toy box!

Paint chips, sharpies and water colour paint are again featuring this year. My stash of wool and fabric are coming in handy also. 

I wonder what the next week will bring!

Day 8 Goggles - Sharpie and coloured pencil

Day 9 - Macaron Water colour paint, paint chip cards and pencil

Day 10 Sapphire - Water colour paint using a cutter from the kids playdoh tub
Day 11  Palm - Water colour paint and sharpie

Day 12 Tapestry - water colour paint and wool embroidery

Day 13 Balcony - water colour paint

Day 14 Thread - raided the fabric box and got busy on the sewing machine

Friday, June 14, 2019

ICAD 2019 - Week 1

Just like the last time I took part in the Index Card a Day challenge, I am letting the daily prompts lead my creativity each day.

Title card for 2019

I used an old calendar picture of the Tantanoola cottage gardens for the background. Drew a picket fence, complete with letter box and gate on plain paper, then used a stanley knife for cutting out.

Lyric from the Peppermint twist song painted onto card

I achieved this fabulous colour by finely slicing a beetroot and dragging it across the card. Then grating the beetroot to make the pattern. 
Watercolour paint. I splotched on some runny paint on the top half of the card, then folded it to make a reflected impression.
Fine sharpie and red texta. 
There's a palette of autumn leaves in the garden. I picked some and drew them in 6B pencil onto autumny coloured paint chips, then glued to index card.

Watercolour paint. I used black for 'cherry baby', then wiped the paint off so it faded. I found some of the kids stencils among the mess that is their play shelves and added the cherries.

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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Fungi of the Mt Burr forest

In an attempt to get out into beautiful nature, I visited the Mt Burr forest last week. This patch of forest is only about 8km from my home.

I was looking for the elusive ghost mushrooms which glow in the dark at night. I did find a few, but they were a little worse for wear, but in hindsight I still should have taken photos of them! Darn hindsight! I did capture lots of other interesting specimens of fungi on the forest floor.

Ghost mushrooms are quite the drawcard in our area, with self and tour guided night walks through the forest near Mount Gambier. It has featured on The Living Room on TEN, and as recent as this week, being visited by Cosi for South Aussie with Cosi on Channel 9. We did the self guided tour last year as a family, and it is worth rugging up for. Don't forget your torch!

The forest is so peaceful during the day, the echoing chirp of birds and the crackling of the forest underfoot. Looking forward to bringing the kids back during the night, to see if we can see any of the glow in the dark ghost mushies.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Three ways to beat the winter blues

Mushrooms thrive in the Autumn, the wet of winter with a hint of sun.

The leaves turn the colour of ochre, holding on by a thread. The southerly winds set in.

The promise of early bulbs arise from the humus earth. Jonquils, daffodils and snow drops.

While there's lots to appreciate about Autumn, it's a slow realisation of what is to come.

Winter is not my favourite season. While somethings thrive, I don't. We all have our seasons, and winter is not mine.

I am mindful now as winter brings a cloud over my thoughts. The need to get outdoors, to connect with nature instead of retreating. To connect with friends instead of hibernating within myself.

There are things I can do to make it easier, until the sunshine returns.

1. Get out for walks in nature - Breathe in the fresh crisp air and recharge Vitamin D. There is always something to appreciate in nature.

2. Meet a friend for lunch and stroll through the shops or volunteer your time in the community - Human interaction is so important, even when being social is the last thing on my mind.

3. Bring nature inside your home - whether it's a bunch of flowers, those last straggling roses, a few sprigs of lavender, some autumn leaves or feathers found it can freshen up a dreary day.

Basically exercise, socialise and appreciate the little things.

Do you have a season where you flourish?
How do  you get through the seasons where you struggle?

"Don't confuse your path with your destination. Just because it's stormy now, doesn't mean you aren't headed for sunshine." - unknown

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