Category Archives: Eat

Sweet Swap for Santa

http://eepurl.com/cl7V4n

Can you believe Christmas is less than 7 weeks away?

I LOVE this time of the year. I know its crazy busy and life is hectic but Christmastime is definitely my favourite time of the year.

For me, Christmas really is about Love, Joy & Hope. It’s about sharing kindness, love and generosity with each other; it’s about spending quality time with family and friends; it’s about adorning your house with fairy lights and decorations; it’s about delicious home cooking and of course it’s about the hope that comes from Jesus.

This year I wanted create a little community of people who love Christmas, love being generous, love creating new friends and love baking. So I created a Sweep Swap! It runs like a Secret Santa but all of the gifts are home baked sweets. It’s so easy to play… Sign up, bake some sweets, package them, send them away to the person you have been allocated to, and then wait patiently for a parcel of sweetness to pop into your own mail box.  I’m so happy some other gorgeous businesses on Instagram have caught my vision and want to be involved. We’ll also be running a few giveaways throughout the swap, but really, everyone who plays is a winner anyway!

So if you are in Australia and you enjoy baking I would LOVE you to participate. Read more about it and sign up here… http://eepurl.com/c8y_ij

I think a lot of us like to be generous but we are convinced we need to be wealthy to be able to give. You can be generous and make people smile in so many ways; with your finances, time, skills, encouraging words etc.  This swapsie is just a simple little way to give of your time, talents and although there is a small cost financially (ingredients and postage) if you are anything like me you will rush off to the post office (possibly skipping and singing Christmas carols on the way) feeling all warm and fuzzy knowing in a few days you will be making someones day even sweeter. x

You make my heart melt!

image

Since it’s Valentines Day tomorrow I thought I would share my yummy Melting Moments recipe with you. You can easily whip these up to share with the people who make your life sweeter.

 

INGREDIENTS//

Biscuit
270g butter (softened to room temp)
1/2 cup cornflour
2/3 cup icing sugar
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon vanilla

Icing
80g butter (softened to room temp)
2 cups Icing sugar
Flavouring (eg 1 Passionfruit or 10 frozen raspberries or zest & juice of 1/2 lemon).

 

METHOD//
Biscuit

Set the oven to 160 degrees celsius.
Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and icing sugar until it’s light and fluffy.
Slowly add the cornflour and flour to the creamy butter mixture and beat at a low speed until combined and a dough has formed.
Use your hands to roll the dough into balls and place them about 4cm apart on a tray lined with baking paper.
Push the balls down slightly with a fork (dipped in flour to prevent it from sticking).
Bake in the oven for approx 16 minutes (depending on the size of your biscuits).
It’s best to take them out before they start to brown as this will make them softer and melt in your mouth.

Icing

While biscuits are cooling you can make the buttercream icing.
Beat butter and 1 cup of the icing sugar together for about 3 minutes until it’s fluffy.
Add in flavoring of choice. The fruit will add more liquid to the icing which will change the consistency. Start adding some of the remaining icing sugar (and perhaps a bit more) to bring the buttercream back to the original fluffy consistency.

Once biscuits are cool you can fill a piping bag and pipe a generous serve of buttercream onto 1/2 of the biscuits. (If you don’t have a piping bag it’s fine to use a spoon or knife to dollop the buttercream on). Gently place a similar sized biscuit on top to sandwich them together, pushing down slightly to secure it. Let biscuits sit for an hour before packaging to allow time for the icing to set. Dust biscuits with icing sugar.

 

These melting moments are oh so yummy and always get gobbled up fast so enjoy one while you can! x

Feb 14… The Day of LOVE?

hearts
What does Valentine’s Day actually mean to you? Is it just an excuse to do something sweet? Is it the freedom to make a big, huge romantic gesture to someone you have admired forever? Is it a day of pressure because the world is telling you to prove that you love someone? Or is it a bit of a depressing day because the whole world seems to be in love and it makes you sick?

All throughout my childhood on 14th February I would open my school lunchbox to find a special surprise my Mum had put in there.  Sometimes it was a handmade little treat, other times it was a small heart shaped chocolate. I remember even from a young age knowing it wasn’t about the gift itself, it was about the thought behind it.  Sometimes simple little gestures can have huge impacts.

This Valentine’s Day I will be sending surprise packages out to a few of my friends, which I will to continue to do around the 14th of each month for the duration of the year. I’ve created a range of Valentine’s Day cookies and although some of them are directed towards couples (ie: The perfect pair), others are just pretty, girlie and oh so lovely – so really they are perfect for anyone.  We should be sharing love, kindness and generosity each and every day; we should regularly be showing people that we care and that we place value on them. So this Valentine’s Day, my challenge to you is to make something sweet, write some cards, buy little gifts or just send a few emails or messages – whatever it is, use this day as an opportunity to remind the people in your life that you love them and appreciate them. x

love

The Perfect Pair

Paris in the Summertime

Last week I was in Paris (insert a huge smiley face because it’s one of my happy places. I actually think it owns part of my heart) and I consider myself VERY lucky that I had the chance to spend a few days in Montmartre, staying at the most incredible apartment. By incredible apartment I mean top floor apartment on the highest hill in Paris.  Seriously I was walking around trying to speak but the only word coming out of my mouth was ‘WOW’ (on repeat). Unfortunately my photos don’t really do it justice, but hopefully it gives you an idea. I had a view of Sacre Coeur from the dining room, a view of the Eiffel Tower from my bedroom window, and a private rooftop terrace with a 360degree view over all of Paris.

 

LoveBites - Sacre Coeur

 

Each time I discover a new area of Paris I fall in love with it a little bit more. Monmarte is the 18th arrondissement of Paris. It’s a busy area with lots of great restaurants and local artists; it’s also the home of Sacre Coeur & Moulin Rouge. I only had to walk down stairs, open the front door and take one step to be right in the middle of it all; People enjoying dinner, eating ice cream, listening to musicians, admiring paintings or posing while artists sketch them (which btw is just incredible to watch!  It’s such an exciting, inspiring place and definitely got the creative juices flowing).

 

LoveBites in Paris - Monmartelovebites paris night view

 

I spent most of my time wandering the streets of Paris, soaking up its beauty… But I also squeezed in a picnic under the Eiffel Tower, fireworks at Versallies, some bike riding around Paris, climbing the Arc de Triomphe, lunch along Champs Élysées, countless minutes staring at the Eiffel Tower sparkle, a visit to the antique markets, afternoon tea at Ladurée, a show at the theatre, a walking tour and of course multiple visits to boulangerie patisseries, cafés, crepe makers and chocolate shops.

 

LoveBites - Paris Antique MarketsLovebites - Paris Arc de TriompheLoveBites VersaillesLoveBites Versailles FireworksLovebites in Paris

 

Oh and yes, I am aware that the majority of the experiences listed above include food BUT each day also included a lot a walking – I actually walked 25km one day.  The reality is 1. I’m a foodie and 2. I’m in France! I love food. I love cooking it, creating with it, learning about it, eating it, sharing it and taking photos of it. I believe food can bring people together; it has the ability to enhance moments and create an even more memorable experience.

People who love to eat are always the best people ~ Julia Child

 

Lovebites in ParisLoveBites in Paris - Eiffel TowerLovebites in Paris - Champs Elysees

 

I could post many more photos of this super pretty place I don’t want to overload you (hopefully I haven’t already?)

I can not wait to spend more time in Paris. I’m already counting down the days until I get to walk it’s cobblestone paths, see it’s sparkling lights and eat some macaron delights all over again. x

 

 

Sweet as Pie

Last Sunday we headed up to the mountains (Vosges) to pick wild blueberries.  We found them, picked them, ate them, brought them home and baked them into a delicious pie…  So I would say it was a successful trip!

Blueberry picking

First we enjoyed a little picnic lunch and I sat in awe at the magnificent view (it snows here in winter and there are several small ski resorts located in other areas of the mountain), then once our bellies were full we got to work. After about 1.5 hours of picking blueberries we had all had enough so we packed up and drove to a restaurant on the top of the mountain (which is 1300 meters above sea level) and enjoyed a piece of blueberry pie for afternoon tea (which was delicious) but I was very pleased when the next night the girls told me that my pie was even better than the one we bought! YAY!

Blueberry Picking

Blueberry picking was not at all like I imagined.  We were in a paddock with cows, on a mountain, and I discovered the blueberries grow on the ground on bushes that look like tiny little shrubs or weeds. The blueberries were tiny but full of flavour and colour.  Note: Being tall is not an advantage when picking wild blueberries.

Blueberry Tart - Step 1

I’ve never made a blueberry pie before (I have however,  made quite a few mulberry pies from the tree in our backyard.  I have lovely [and messy] childhood memories involving those delicious berries!) but since I’ve never really cooked with fresh blueberries I googled pie recipes, had a quick read, then made it all up, tasting it along the way – which is how I cook most of the time.

 

RECIPE

Pastry…

125g Butter (softened)

1/2 cup Caster Sugar

250g  Plain Flour

1 x Egg

Combine the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl. Add the egg and mix in. Slowly add the flour and mix until a dough has formed. (I just used a wooden spoon for this process but if I was at home I would probably use the electric beaters). Tip the dough out of the bowl and give it a quick knead to ensure all ingredients are combined before rolling the pastry out evenly.  Your pastry will need to be rolled out thin enough to cover the base of the pie dish.  I used a 24cm pie dish.  Line the pie dish with butter and then flour to ensure the pastry doesn’t stick.  Cover the pie dish with the pastry and piece the bottom with a fork a few times. I also went around the edges with a fork to make a pretty little pattern. I baked this for about 20 minutes on 180 degrees Celsius (fan forced oven) or until it was slightly brown.

Blueberry Tart - Step 2

Blueberry filling…

5 cups of fresh blueberries

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

4 tablespoons cornflour

Put all the blueberries in a saucepan and mix in sugar and water.  Stir on heat until sugar is dissolved and blueberries have started cooking and are softening. Once the blueberries are hot they will release juices which will make the mixture quite runny. taste the mixture and make sure you are happy with the flavour. You might need to add a bit more sugar if you want it really sweet! Add in the cornflour one spoon at a time, stirring continuously. The cornflour will thicken up the warm blueberry mixture so keep adding until you have a consistency you are happy with.

Blueberry Tart - Step 3

Pour the blueberry mixture onto the pastry in the pie dish. It doesn’t need to be baked again but if you want to you can decorate it with strips of pastry like I did (if you have any left) and bake for about 10-15 minutes until cooked. If you want to decorate the top with pastry I would recommend not cooking the pastry as long in the beginning step.

Blueberry Tart -  Step 4

Serve with cream or ice cream.

Bon appetit. x

Blueberry Tart - Bon Appetit

I love you berry much

I love you berry much

 

I am addicted to berries. It doesn’t really matter what type – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, mulberries, boysenberries, cranberries etc…  I don’t care, I love them all and will take whatever I can get!  Luckily it’s easy to get my daily fix because I discovered that I have delicious raspberries growing amongst the weeds in my backyard!  SO EXCITING!  Going outside and picking the ripe ones to enjoy for morning tea has become part of my morning routine.  Delicious + fresh + healthy + free = best combination ever!

 

Fresh Raspberries

 

We also have red currants (which might actually be on the neighbours property but what’s a fence line between friends, right?) and I found a few wild strawberries growing which are tiny but so very flavoursome.

 

Berries

 

Strawberries from the supermarket look and taste amazing and I have been indulging in them each day. Of course I chose the ones in the cutest little basket because pretty packaging wins me over every time!

 

Strawberry basket

 

Speaking of berries, in a couple weeks time we plan to go strawberry picking and I have also been told that when we go to the mountains there will be wild blackberries growing everywhere.  I can imagine I’m going to look like a crazy person crawling through the bushes with a big smile on my face trying to pick as many as possible. I can’t wait to bake some berry tarts with this amazing fresh produce! Yum Yum!

Anyway, it’s time to eat these babies.  Have a happy day my loves x

 

Raspberries & Red Currents