Sorry for being blog-absent recently. I have been under the weather for about 3 weeks now - which has lead to not getting much done, and definitely not feeling creative. Hopefully the clouds of sickness will lift in the next few days.
I thought I would list all the things that are making the difference to me right now, those everyday luxuries that put the shine on your day:
I'm an avid coffee drinker, but have become a little caffeine sensitive in my old age. So I have a 'real' tea (English breakfast or similar) first thing in the morning, then a coffee when I'm out an about, but go herbal in the afternoon. My current fave is the Lemongrass & Ginger (thanks to Sydney Shop Girl for introducing me) with a dollop of raw organic honey. Served in a bodum pavina glass. The lemongrass and ginger give it a zing, and it feels oh so good for you. The cupboard also contains T2 Blue Mountain and Organic Chai, for those 'other' tea occasions.
How gorgeous are their matt black tins too!
Not sure how I have only just discovered this magazine! I think I thought it was more travel oriented, and all the sorts of hotels and trips that end up costing $30k or so for a few weeks holiday. This isn't necessarily false, but some destinations are definitely more accessible for those of us who still have bills and mortgages to worry about.
The food photography is stunning and very modern, but at the same time quite homey and not over styled. The meal settings are much more about cooking for family & friends, despite how time consuming many of the recipes can be.
I was given a subscription by my lovely parents for my birthday - this really will inspire me for the year to come. My bonus annual recipe book also arrived this week - I'm in love already!
The website is very comprehensive too - especially if you're looking for variations on the most traditional recipes. I made their shepherd's pie last weekend, so yummy. Which leads me to...
Want the perfect mash? Look no further. The potato ricer makes the job so easy, and the results are so much better than a hand held masher. I could eat creamy mash every night at the moment, maybe only alternating with pasta. During winter, carbs are where it's at.
I bought mine at Essential Ingredient - it's solid steel, with three different plates, in case you wanted more lumpy mash I guess????
Kitchen by Nigella Lawson
I could watch Nigella re-runs all day. I know so many people criticise her for being overtly sexy, but this goes over my head because she makes the food so appealing. She is so literate too, using the most wonderful expressions to describe food. There is no doubt she wrote this book, her voice comes through loud and clear.
Kitchen is almost like a basic food encyclopedia, providing info on the things that you really need in to invest in to set up your kitchen. It also divides the book into sections around key ingredients, or types of cooking (ie cooking with bones).
Kikki-k recipe adhesive notes
So useful for a recipe book fanatic like me! They are $6.95, and contain hundreds of little stickers to help you mark out your favourite recipes, or the ones you intend to try. With so many cook books at my disposal, menu planning can become really complicated and long winded - this is a great little helper.
Flowers & birthday cakes
Need I say more?