Wednesday, July 31, 2013

How to - cook risotto {with just about anything}

Risotto is one of my "go-to" dishes when I don't know what the heck I'm going to have for dinner.
I do try not to have it more than once a week though!

Risotto is easy-peasy!

You just need short grain rice - I use arborio rice, just the ordinary old kind from the supermarket.
And you need some vegetables.
Also useful is some wine for cooking {and maybe slurping as you cook!} and some stock {I use vegeta stock powder}

Tonight I rummaged around to see what veggies I had - there was some sweet potato {or kumera as it is sometimes called} and bit of cauliflower that needed using up and I had a tin of corm kernels.

And here's what I did -

Cut the sweet potato into roughly 2cm cubes and the cauliflower into mini florets.
Doused them in some olive oil and roasted them for about 20 mins in a moderate oven, giving them a stir after 10 mins.

While that was cooking I chopped half an onion and sauted that in my wok pan until it was translucent, I added a squishes clove of garlic and 1 cup of arborio rice.
Gave everything a good stir.

Put the kettle on.

Stir the rice and onion until the rice also goes a bit translucent.
Add 1/4 cup of white wine {you can have a slug as well at this stage if you like}.
When the wine has disappeared from the pan add 1 cup of boiling water from the kettle, give it all a good stir. You can add your stock cube or powder now as well.

Traditionally you are supposed to stir risotto continuously but this is a bit of a bother and I normally find it's ok to just give it a stir now and again as you pass by.

When the water has all been absorbed add another cup of boiling water and stir as before....after that has all gone add another 1/2 cup of water which might be enough...if the rice still isn't cooked add another 1/2 cup of water.

Pop in the corn kernels.
By now the sweet potato and cauliflower should be cooked - take it out of the oven and stir in as well.

Finally add a quarter of a cup of grated parmesan cheese.


Other risotto options -
roast pumpkin, leek and peas.
mushroom and aparagus.

What is your favorite?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ansel Adams - my favorite photographer

I do do do love black and white photography - good black and white photographs that is.

What is it that makes black and white so appealing?
Is it the simplification of colour?
The contrast of light and dark?
The shades of grey in between?

I'm sure there are art students out there who could answer these questions, but I'll just show you a few of Ansel Adams' photos so that you can see for yourself.

moonrise, hernandez, new mexico

The Maritime Museum in Sydney has an exhibition of Ansel Adams' photographs - "Photography from the Mountains to the Sea". A selection of his work featuring water.

the tetons and the snake river

He made a lot of his photographs in spectacular parts of the US and portrayed Yosemite National Park, Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons.
His images helped to argue a case for the preservation of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National parks.

[ A ] Ansel Adams - Winter Storm in Yosemite Valley (1938)
winter storm in yosemite valley

There at are also spectacular photos of places in the Southwest USA, in the pueblos of New Mexico and Arizona.

Ansel Adams - Church, Taos Pueblo
church, taos pueblo

Ansel Adams: The Mural Project 1941-1942
walpi, arizona

These are my favorite two photos from the exhibition today.
This one was spectacular in large format.

sun and fog, point arena, california

And this one is almost Japenesey - so beautiful.

submerged trees, slide lake, teton area
If you are in Sydney and you love photography I highly recommend that you pay a visit to the Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Makin' it Monday - how to make earwires

He's a great little tute from Gretchen over at Fusion Beads on how to make different shaped ear wires.

Pop on over there are lots more tips and tricks.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday Snippets - bike riding in South Western Sydney

What a delightful ride along bike paths through parks, alongside creeks at past a large reclaimed lake.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

An ace new coffee haunt in my 'hood

Coffee is a very personal thing isn't it?
One man's delight is another man's dishwater!

So I'm delighted to find a great new little coffee shop a stone's throw away.

It's tucked underneath, down-the-back of a little strip of shops.

But they've done a great job of making it welcoming.

It's only tiny - 4 or 5 tables.
It has some quirky elements.

It had lovely chairs.

And also did I say that it has fab coffee!
Well I think so anyway.
They actually roast their own coffee beans right next door, so it smells divine.

I can imagine that I will be getting quite a few take-aways from there are I have to drive past it to go anywhere!

The place?
Euphoric Coffee at East Blaxland.

Friday, July 26, 2013

All good things are wild and free* - Five faves

Today I'm finding inspiration from the lovely illustrations by The Wheatfield.
For some reason this quote by *Henry David Thoreau just speaks to me!

print by the wheatfield
So I've searched for some other bits and bobs to fit this theme.
I just love tea bowls.
These are just adorable.

teacups by aquartzylife
This pick could be a bit controversial because foxes are a pest here in Australia but the design is so cute!

pocket mirror by MsSpanner
You can never have too many tote bags, right?!

tote bag by eGwendoline
 And of course you will need some jewellery to continue the theme.

silk bracelet by hfgifts
Have a great weekend and make sure that at least some of it involves being wild and free!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Rocks and seeds - my creative space

I got my mojo
I got my rocks out!

And some seeds -

and here's what developed -

A series of simple long necklaces.

Look out for them soon in my etsy shop or at The Nook Leura.

Monday, July 22, 2013

How to - make a jewellery display for yourself.

I'm always looking for great ways to store jewellery.

Here's a great tutorial on how to make a jewellery display from scratch by Tanya from Dans le Townhouse.

Doesn't it look fabulous?
You could hang it on a wall or sit it on your dressing table or a shelf. If you did that then it would also be portable.

It's filled with Tanya's own gorgeous creations. (She is a clever-clogs!)

I'm also thinking that you could repurpose something for the same use - a drawer perhaps?
What do you think?
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