Archive for the ‘Special guests’ Category

Peanut brittle

Posted on: December 18th, 2011 by admin 6 Comments

There is nothing more special to me than when someone shares a family recipe.  This time of year I especially love to know what people like to make for the holidays.  One of those recipes you just can’t imagine living without at this time.  One that was passed on from Grandparents.  A taste that brings you back to a certain memory the instant it touches your tongue.  Here’s one now from Alex in Australia, via Colorado – sweet, easy and irresistible.

Mama Chambers’ Peanut Brittle.

  • 1 c sugar
    1/2 c light corn syrup (Aussies look for light Karo in IGA)
    1/2 c water
    pinch salt
    1 c or so, raw peanuts
    1 Tbsp Butter
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 tsp baking soda

Cook the sugar, corn syrup, water and salt in a saucepan on med-high heat until hard ball stage, stirring occasionally (about 10+ minutes).  Add the peanuts and butter and cook until light brown, (another 5+ minutes, stirring occasionally so you don’t burn the peanuts) remove from heat, add vanilla and baking soda. (The soda will make the mixture expand and fizz.)

Pour immediately onto a buttered non stick baking tray, and pull thin and even with 2 buttered forks.  Set aside to cool. Once the brittle has cooled completely, snap it into pieces and store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.  This recipe is also great if you add a handful of macadamias.

YUMMO!!!  Thanks Alex!

Song for this recipe:

“Doin’ Time” – Sublime Doin' Time - Sublime (Deluxe Edition)

This album is like one of those familiar recipes for me – everyone has one like this.  Brings you back to certain memories in an instant.  In my early days of glass-blowing this album was a hot-shop fav.  Now every time I hear the reggae/ska beats and poor old Brad Nowell’s voice I am immediately directed back in time to fun school days when I spent time learning an awesome art with good friends like Alex.  Bring on the memories – and happy holidays my friends.

Special guest recipe – Blueberry grunt

Posted on: August 5th, 2011 by admin 11 Comments

One of the nicest things about having a blog is the interactions you get with other people, strangers and friends alike. A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of being contacted by Brooke Ali.  One of the co-authors of a fabulous book From Pemmican to poutine: A journey through Canada’s culinary history.  It’s wonderful to use a cookbook that is written in your area and to support local chefs and writers from your home country.  So for a real treat, here is a guest blog post from Brooke!

As a child growing up in Nova Scotia, blueberries were a common addition to sweet treats. Blueberries are one of the most prolific berries in the province and the low bush variety is indigenous to the area. I remember taking a plastic cup out to the woods behind my house every July to pick the tiny, tart-sweet low bush blueberries that grew wild there. I always said I was going to make a pie, but I inevitably ended up eating them long before they had a chance to become anything.

An excellent way to showcase these delicious blue orbs is in blueberry grunt. This dish was likely developed by early British settlers who adapted their own traditional cooked fruit desserts to be made with the indigenous offerings. The “grunt” part of the name comes from the sound the berries make as they are cooked down. My favourite way to enjoy blueberry grunt is as a Sunday breakfast, but throughout history it has also played a role as dessert and even main course.

Blueberry Grunt

  • 4 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup water


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • ½ cup 2% milk

In a large saucepan combine blueberries, nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar, lemon juice, and water and boil gently until well blended and cooked down.

In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in butter and add enough milk to make a soft biscuit dough.

Drop by spoonfuls into the hot berry sauce.

Cover tightly with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes. The dumplings should be puffed and cooked through.

Transfer cooked dumplings to serving dish. Ladle sauce over top and serve with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

Thanks to Brooke!  How good are dumplings, baked in juicy blueberry goodness?  I just love that the word grunt is in this recipe.

Original recipe: From Pemmican to poutine: A journey through Canada’s culinary history.  We didn’t receive any compensation for this post, but we will be buying a copy of this book very shortly!

Song for this recipe:

“Blue Velvet” – Bobby Vinton Blue Velvet - The Best of Bobby Vinton

Bobby Vinton was a band leader in the 60′s, who had a hard time getting hits to begin with.  He hired a girl to shop around his first single Roses are Red with a dozen red roses to all the local disc jockeys to try and get them to play it.  But when he released his covers album Blue on Blue, he lucked out with his version of Blue Velvet (originally a hit for Tony Bennett in the 50′s) that went to the top of the charts for weeks.  It is the perfect song for making dessert, I would recommend listening to the whole album while baking and eating this treat.

Lovely blog award

Posted on: June 2nd, 2011 by admin 3 Comments

It’s been months!  We have such poor blog etiquette, end of last year, Emma from Sunflower days, awarded us a lovely blog award and while we thanked her in a short note, we never properly did on the blog!  So thanks Emma, make sure you take a look at her lovely blog also, this award goes right back to you!

We’re sharing the love by passing on the award to just a few of our favorite blogs as well.  There are a lot of inspiring blogs around these days, but it’s always fun when you read a blog from friends you know.

Meredith Malloch Our wonderful friend makes some of the most beautiful things (mostly gifts!) you can imagine.  If you need tips on flowers, crafts, quilting, baking or general inspiration take a peek.

Bright red hoodie The lovely Nadyne keeps a sweet blog that cheers up my online day no end.  Visual inspiration, music and ideas.

Penny Dreadful Vintage The gorgeous Ms Dreadful has featured a couple of times on eatpress (Lady Grey)!  That was before her hugely successful and wonderfully entertaining foray into blogging herself.  Please take a look at her amazing blog full of style ideas, fashion tips, vintage inspirations and you can SHOP there too – treats for all!

Demelza Sherwood is an Australian artist who makes work from all kinds of inspirations, we particularly love her embroidered photographs.  Moments of time caught in stitches on delicate vintage fabrics that are rescued and remembered.  Her blog will show you tons of treats, be sure to purchase some (she’s amazing).

Blogumentionary is a wonderful blog that let’s you know the best blogs to check out.  Personally I find this very helpful as I can get lost down the blog rabbit hole quite easily and I would rather be visiting quality rather than sorting through tons to find new favorites.  I like the fact that things are summarised for me and I can pick and choose from the considered reviews.

Glasscentralcanberra is a pretty niche blog, I love it because of who writes it, she’s funny and informative.  But if you’re a glass artist in Canberra, or an artist in Canberra, in fact if you’re in South Eastern Australia, Ned’s blog is going to let you know all the gallery news, studio goss and Canberra/south coast/Australian/South East Asian happenings you’ll need.

Trotski and Ash is my favorite food blog and although I don’t know them personally like the others, I know friends of their friends so sometimes their stories sound familiar.  Their special recipes are always beautifully photographed and the stories that go along with them make you feel as though you’ve known them a long time.

Fancy a slice…

Posted on: October 7th, 2010 by admin 2 Comments

…Of chocolate nut fudge?  Eatpress’ favorite Aussie in Montreal, Ellen, is the special guest for this week.  With an easy slice recipe that anyone can make, no baking necessary. Ours is still setting in the fridge, so until we can cut it up for serving here’s what it looks like…

  • 1 c roasted macadamia nuts (or what ever roasted nuts you prefer – hazel are good too!)
  • 125 g (4.4 oz) butter, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp golden syrup (if you come from a country that doesn’t have this, you can use light corn syrup)
  • 400 ml (13 oz) condensed milk (mmmmm……)
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 150 g (5.3 oz) milk choc bits

Roast the nuts in an oven 200ºC (395ºF), keep an eye on ‘em – I burn this all the time!

Melt the butter on low heat in medium saucepan, add syrup, condensed milk and sugar.  Keep on heat for 10 minutes… Then take off the heat.   Add choc bits, off the heat and then the nuts and stir till the chocolate has just melted.  Spoon into prepared slice tray….  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before you go sticking your fingers in it!!!  Cut into squares and serve with a cup of tea.

Song for this recipe:

“Wake me, shake me” The Sonics Wake

Sunday sweets – Lamingtons

Posted on: September 12th, 2010 by admin No Comments

Our talented friends Trish and Bev were here for a visit and made these lamingtons as a treat for us all to enjoy one rainy evening.  They are wonderful, the classic cake with a delicious chocolate icing all bundled up in coconut, vegan style.  What champs, if you want to make yourself some comfort treats, try these.

Vegan lamingtons

  • 1/2 c Nuttelex (vegan margarine) or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 c flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 c soy milk
  • 3 c icing sugar
  • 1/3 c cocoa
  • 2 Tbsp Nuttelex or oil
  • 1/3 c soy milk (or hot water)
  • dessicated coconut – maybe 2-3 cups

Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Grease a square tin 20 x 20cm (8 x 8in).

Sift flour and baking powder together in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix Nuttelex/oil and sugar until light and creamy (unless you are using oil, in which case it just gets mixed), add the vanilla and mix well.
Add the soy milk and flour alternately, mixing well in between. Add about a third of each at a time, starting with the soy milk, don’t overmix.
Spread the mixture in the cake tin and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a knife in the centre comes out clean.  Leave to cool overnight (or at least 4 hours).

To make the icing:

Prepare a dish full of dessicated coconut, and have a clean plate or two ready to put the iced lamingtons on.

Cut the cake into squares of your desired size. You can trim off the top of the cake if you like, it helps the icing soak in.  In a large bowl, sift together the icing sugar and cocoa.  In a saucepan, melt the margarine or oil and add the soy milk until quite warm (not boiling) and then turn off the heat. Water works fine too, instead of soy.  Add a bit of the liquid at a time into the icing sugar mixture, stirring well each time until you get a nice consistency (a bit runny, but not too liquid).
Take one of the cakes and dip each side into the icing, then coat this with the dessicated coconut. If you have a friend to help you assembly-line style it is really helpful!  It’s good to let the icing cool (in the fridge)  before eating. Mmm, delicious!

Sunday sweets – White chocolate berry scones

Posted on: May 23rd, 2010 by admin 3 Comments

When lovely Meredith posted a picture of this recipe on her blog, I knew we had to have it!  English scones are traditionally a huge part of our family!  We have devonshire tea regularly.  But what about straying from traditional scones and making these beauties?  White chocolate and berries go so well together.  You can obviously use real chocolate if you prefer, and we call these berry scones, because you can put any kind of berry into the recipe.  Whatever you have fresh/growing/available.  We’ve been making them with cherries lately.  Amazing!

  • 3/4 c plain yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 3/4 c flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c low fat margarine (I use butter)
  • 1 c fresh raspberries (can use other berries too)
  • 1/2 c sugar (we half it if we’re making them for breakkie!)
  • 1/2 c white chocolate chips (use the high end kind, huge difference in taste)

Preheat oven to 190ºC (375ºF).

Mix yogurt and egg together in a small bowl and set aside.   Now mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Cut/rub the margarine into dry ingredients until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs and then add the sugar.  Add yogurt and egg and then add the berries and white chocolate.

Form into rough triangles about the size of the triangle you make when you touch your pointer fingers and thumbs together. (!)

Place on ungreased baking sheet and bake for 15 – 20 min or until a bit brown.

While warm brush with melted butter/margarine and sprinkle with sugar.

Or what I did this time is took real lemon juice, mixed in a few heaping table spoons of icing sugar and mixed in a bit of lemon rind. Then I drizzled it on the scones.

Enjoy. mm

Thanks Mere, don’t forget to check out Meredith’s entire blog for great gift ideas, craft know-how, inspiring quilts, gorgeous flowers and more delicious treats.  Impressive, considering she has a seriously busy full time job as well.

Song for this recipe:

“Black Cherry” Goldfrapp Goldfrapp - Black Cherry - Black Cherry

Sunday sweets – snickerwho?

Posted on: May 2nd, 2010 by admin No Comments

Why does a cookie sometimes get a name?  Because of something lost in translation or after the person who invented them, but Snickerdoodles, where did that come from?  I looked it up and no one seems to know.  Regardless, what makes these cookies great is the cinnamon, gives them a good crunch on the edges as you bite into the soft delicious middle.

This is Nigella’s recipe adapted via NYCase who sent this through with perfect timing.

  • 1 1/3 c of flour
  • 3/4 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2  tsp of ground nutmeg
  • 100g (1/2 c) of butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 c of sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • for rolling
  • 2 Tbsp of sugar
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) and line a baking tray.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.  I added about 1/4 tsp of cinnamon as well.  In a separate bowl cream butter and sugar and then add the egg and vanilla. Add the flour mix slowly until you have a cake like dough. Roll into walnut size balls and roll in the cinnamon and sugar mix. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes, until they are just golden, this means they will be crisp outside, but still chewy inside.  Snickerdoodles are a classic, and after you eat one you’ll know why.

You can replace 2 tbsp of flour with cocoa too for chocolaty ones.

Song for this recipe:

“Can’t buy me love” The Beatles