29 January 2011

Things I'm Loving

Meeting up at Simoney's (from Greatfun4kids) house on a terrific day in Auckland. Sun was shining, had a couple of tired and shy girls with me, but all was fixed quickly enough with the playstation, dressups and iceblocks!
Thank you Simone, we had a lovely time. I sure did, sitting in your garden drinking virgin pina coladas and eating delicious cupcakes and drinking tea. Its nice to be on holidays hey? Hehe.

My baby gal doing dishes. With utter joy. And pink gloves.

More baking (for Simone and her Miss Fab). A lemon and polenta cake...post to come next week on that.

Giant vege growing in the garden...and cooking it for dinner.

Yikes the size of that is supposed to be this tiddler in front....they're a type of courgette. Not exactly pretty though.

but I let it grow...and grow...and grow.
Stuffed with herbs and veges and garlic and onion...Hmm mmm.

And this weekend, despite the rain I am being a photographers assistant on my first wedding shoot in Waiheke. Am so excited! (c'mon rain...go away!).

Check out all the other Things I'm Loving over at Paisley Jade's blog
Enjoy your weekend everyone!

25 January 2011

Now I'm 31...

Today I had my 7th cycle of Herceptin. Only 10 more to go. Physically these are easy appointments. I’m in and out in the space of an hour and a quarter. I get to see mum. I get a free lunch. I get to see some familiar faces when I see the wonderful staff. There’s no physical pain…although I do seem to be getting horrendous coldsores on my lips after every infusion and a horrible time weeing for a few days after. Apparently the drug can cause urinary tract irritation. Which is indeed very irritating.

But last night, I don’t know what it was…maybe one too many burritos for dinner…but I had the most ghastly dreams. I won’t bang on about them as I find other people recounting their dreams so incredibly boring, so I won’t do that. But they unsettled me badly. And every time I went back to sleep I had another. So I woke up feeling like I hadn’t rested at all.

Maybe that set the tone for the day. I feel like a zombie. Tears are constantly threatening to push through every time someone asks me how I am. If I start crying it won't stop easily so I fight it. I hate having to go back to hospital every 3 weeks. If I had it my way I wouldn’t ever go back. Next week I have an appointment with my surgeon and I have seriously been thinking about pushing for reconstruction as soon as possible – even though he said to wait 3-5 years. When I talked to my oncologist he agreed that I could, so I don’t see why not when the waiting list takes 12-18months to be seen anyway. I JUST WANT TO GET ON WITH MY LIFE.

Me at my 30th last year...oblivious. And a little tipsy.

I’m feeling like I should be enjoying myself, my body, my youth (cos YEAH its still there!) while I can. And at the moment I feel awfully limited and terribly unsexy, no matter how many times my husband tells me I am (sexy that is).

Ohhh all this stuff to work through. Grrr.

Lifes simple pleasures

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall would be proud.

Excuse me while I go scoff these down....

24 January 2011

Wild Weather Scones

Isn't this crazy weather for the middle of summer? It rained on my birthday for the first time since I think I was 10. Owen and I took a walk to the beach near high tide and it was wild - the neighbours were sandbagging their doors. I didn't take photos as I was sure I'd ruin my camera in this weather. I did get this one from the deck though.

Sunny Auckland...

This kind of weather gives me that wanna-be-indoors-eating-comfort-food kind of feeling. Scones hit the mark every time.

What's your favourite way to make scones? Mine is with the food processor and I love to add a wee pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg to the mix. Hmmm smells gooooood!

Basic Scone Recipe

3 cups plain flour
6 teaspoons baking powder
50g butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 milk

Cut up butter into small cubes and add to flour, salt and baking powder mix. Pulse in food processor until resembles fine breadcrumbs. Tip mixture into large mixing bowl and and make a well in the middle. Add milk and carefully fold until mixture is incorporated with milk. The key to a successful light fluffy scone is not to overmix so play with it as little as possible.
Using either a lightly dusted bench to cut out shapes or just straight from the bowl, place scones on a tray lined with baking paper close together (they rise better when snugly placed), brush tops with milk and bake for 10mins at 220 deg C.
Serve immediately with whipped cream and jam (isn't the Anathoth jam the best?).


This weekend was my birthday. AND for the first time in ages I didn't make my own cake. Hehe. I made A cake, but it wasn't a birthday cake.

Look at this...

Gorgeous! Delicious. Thank you Alison!

I also attempted a new recipe for a gluten free sponge cake which had interesting results. It wasn't so much a sponge as a mix between and angel food cake and a pavlova! Served with cream and macerated nectarines, it looked divine and summery.

My brother in law got there before I did with the camera. Hehe.

Recipe for gluten free sponge (which isn't really a sponge...)

3 egg whites
3/4 cup cornflour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sugar

Turn oven to 150deg C.
Whisk egg whites into soft peaks and add to sifted dry mixture and mix carefully so the mixture is just incorporated. Pour into 20cm springform tin, well greased and lined with baking paper.
Turn oven down to 120 deg C and bake for 20 mins. The mixture should rise beautifully and the cake should be slightly springy when touched.
Cool and serve with anything you like!
This is a great recipe if you want to make it smaller and turn the cake into lady finger sponge for a tiramisu or trifle. There are plenty of ways to work this, even perhaps adding ground almonds to the mix to give it an almost macaron taste/texture.

Anyway, I just want to say thank you to my gorgeous family and friends for a lovely weekend. I didn't expect to enjoy myself nearly that much. I had mixed feelings about this birthday. Not because of the age thing, but because last year I had a big blow out party, dressing up and having an awesome time celebrating everything fun about turning 30. And then I lost that year. I lost parts of myself and I'm still struggling to regain them. So I wasn't exactly in the mood really. I mean, its only 31 right?
But Owen made pancakes for breakfast, the kids made a fuss and a thousand cards and really they all spoiled me. After lunch friends started popping in for a casual drink, and these things happen...we had a party. Very unplanned and impromptu and exactly what I needed. So thank you family and friends for topping up my tank and making me feel so loved.

18 January 2011

All you need is LOVE

Ahhh Valentines Day. Not a day usually celebrated too a huge degree in our house. It's Valentines Day everyday. Well not really. But Owen and I have always been low key. It doesn't stop me eating sugary, chocolately treats.

Like these for example.

I have some exciting news. Not related to Valentines Day. But I'm starting back at the tennis club next month. Something I enjoyed so much last year before it all turned to custard with the cancer bombshell. So all next term, every Saturday, I will be whipping up cakes, slices, treats, scones, pies, muffins and a great coffee (or tea) to accompany. And if you want any of these featured treats then get your orders in and pick them up the Saturday before Valentines Day (which is on a Monday people).

So here's what's available prepackaged:

1. x4 small cookies (spell out LOVE) and 3 tiny baby heart cookies. $4.50
2. x3 small cookies (spell X O X) and 3 tiny baby heart cookies. $4.00 
3. x2 large cookies with cutout centre and 2 tiny baby heart cookies. $4.50

Available in espresso chocolate (round cookie) or plain chocolate (heart cookie).

All orders please email to delissimon at vodafone dot co dot nz or pop a message on the Delissimon Facebook page

17 January 2011

New Blog

I've started a new blog - SNAP - where I put all my non baking pictures as I can show them better (larger). Its a work in progress but its a good place for me to showcase my learning as I go further with my photography this year. Check it out if you like!

15 January 2011

Where the magic happens....

Or not. We all have our days.

The weekend just gone my parents came over and helped me sort out my pantry. It was kinda a mess after months and months of not really doing anything in the kitchen and things being put in all sorts of strange places. It got to the point where I couldn't find my cookie cutters, and with the tennis club baking starting soon I really need my kitchen in order. Mum hates organising her own pantry - but was a star at mine. Parents are great are they not?

Ooh there's me in the reflection....

So to go with the newly organised pantry I cleaned out the kitchen. This was also spurred by a potentially horrific accident involving a wobbly unbalanced child on a stool in the kitchen, a few bottles of liquor on a tray including a full bottle of Cointreau which smashed midair, sending 100 million tiny shards of glass and sticky booze ALL OVER THE KITCHEN. What a MESS and what a near disaster for Katie who luckily only received a few surface scratches to her legs.

So here's my tidy kitchen. I would love a new kitchen, as this one is a zillion years old with those kind of cupboards you can put your back out getting things out of. The cupboards are either too high or too low and the benches are uneven and falling apart slowly. But I love this space. It's the place I feel most relaxed. I've got a view of the beach, I can watch my children play outside, I can keep an eye on them in the lounge. It's the centre of our house where friends come and hang for a cuppa or something a bit stronger (sorry no Cointreau left though). One day when we have our dream house I'm gonna have a huge kitchen that I never have to leave.

My collection of photo props in the cabinet behind.
My favourite kitchen item

What's your favourite space?

04 January 2011


I hope all of you are enjoying the holiday period and if you are in the Southern Hemisphere then I hope you are enjoying the good weather (except perhaps if you are experiencing severe flooding...poor old Queenslanders). Here's some link love for the start of 2011.

The 10 best wedding cakes of 2010 as voted by Bride Magazine. Ah.maz.ing.

Some tips for food photography from Heather (of Sprinkle Bakes) for Pixiq.

This cake here is way sweet - perfect for a baby shower cake huh?

Honey Parfait on Green Apple Jelly? Sounds like a great summer dessert. Kris from Bake in Paris, is an incredible baker with the most beautiful food photography.

Mochi is something my kids love to bits. Here's a guide on how to make your own from The Food Librarian.

Like nesting dolls? Check out this site and these Saved By The Bell nesting dolls. I would totally buy these for my little brother.

Lastly, the tissue paper pom poms, or Mexican paper flowers we have all over our house and decorating the Christmas tree with are so easy to make. I've had so many people ask, so here's how. Thanks Martha.