Friday, 19 December 2014

pies with nuts #notdirtystreetpie

Tis the season for delicious foods and Christmas parties.

It's also that time of the year when you've had enough of work; you're feeling a little fed up with the losers who can't navigate a shopping centre carpark; and you are struggling to find anything suitable for that one person you always struggle to buy for. 

And now you're scrambling to think of something to take to that neighbourhood barbecue or family gathering this weekend.

Don't worry. I've got your back.


M I N I   P E C A N   P I E S

Mini Pecan Pies

These are the perfect, "easy to make, bite-sized so everyone gets a taste, but still delicious enough to impress" dessert. 

Can be served as they are; or with a dollop of cream or scoop of icecream.


To make pastry
200g (1 + 1/3 cups) plain flour
Pinch of salt
125g chilled unsalted butter, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten

Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Add butter and, using your fingers, rub into flour mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well in centre of flour mixture. Combine egg and 1 tablespoon iced water in a small bowl, then pour into well. Using a round-bladed knife, stir until mixture forms a dough.
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200C. Place dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll out
Use a cookie cutter (or a wine glass if you’re like me and didn’t have a cookie cutter handy!) to cut dough to fit muffin tin moulds.
Bake for 10 minutes or until light golden. Reduce oven to 175C.

To make the filling
50g unsalted butter, chopped
150g (2/3 cup firmly packed) brown sugar
160ml (2/3 cup) golden syrup
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
240g (2 cups) pecan halves


Place butter, sugar and golden syrup in a small saucepan over low–medium heat and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until butter melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly. Add eggs and vanilla, and whisk to combine. Fill mini pastry cases with pecans and pour over golden syrup mixture. Place on an oven tray and bake for 20 minutes or until filling is browned and firm to the touch. Cool in pan to room temperature.


Here's a little behind-the-scenes snapshot, including my ever diligent Supervisor - Miss Emmy.

Miss Emmy supervising my photoshoot

xx

Thursday, 18 December 2014

how do you cope when it rains?

I am still buzzing from a Personal Development Workshop I was privileged to be a part of last night.

Twelve hours later I am bursting with inspiration and smiling about comments from women who, before our 3 hour gathering, were complete strangers.

The workshop was the FIRST EVER hosted by Nereeda of The Nereeda Network.

This post is not to promote her brand new business (although I believe in it 110% and absolutely encourage you to pop across to her website and facebook and insta accounts);
Or to disclose any detail of the Workshop itself.

No... this post is off the back of something I have been thinking about for a while; a topic which I was able to discuss openly with these perfect strangers last night.


W H O   A R E   Y O U R   P E O P L E  ? ?


They say "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with"
So we must choose these special people wisely.

After moving interstate last year; and then moving back again... I have come to learn about the importance of your inner circle. Those whom we surround ourselves with. The special people who get to share the BIG moments of your life; those from whom we seek support; and those with whom we can celebrate our victories.

Are your top five inspiring and challenging you?

As The Nereeda Network Workshop reminded me - "There is no rewind button on the game of life";
So it is our responsibility to choose/change/eliminate the main characters in our story to make sure we are living our best life.

There are endless motivational posters encouraging us to surround ourselves with positive people; But I think this one here says it all -

Daily Positive Quotes

And those perfect strangers? Well, I think the universe is very good at aligning people in the right place at the right time; and I have the feeling that this is just the beginning of some wonderful friendships. 


xx

Sunday, 14 December 2014

you are not the lampshade




xx

Friday, 7 November 2014

wabi-sabi

"I'm a perfectionist"

That's the answer young Andie would give the prospective employers in interviews. As if I didn't have any other weaknesses than achieving perfection.

"Oh, Andie.. Such a perfectionist"

I became accustomed to hearing these words spoken about me, or to me, and I came to believe it was a compliment.

oh, how I was wrong.



- - -

P E R F E C T I O N   I S ,   B R O A D L Y ,  
A   S T A T E   O F   C O M P L E T E N E S S   A N D   F L A W L E S S N E S S


- Thanks wiki

- - -



Do you know what striving for perfection does to a girl's mind?

Well, it near sends her crazy.

As I grow and learn and discover new things about myself, I have come to realise that the quest for perfection is infact setting myself up for failure. 
[And while this isn't the first time I have blogged about this topic, I imagine it is probably not the last]

I can always look back on something and believe I should have done better; should have finished sooner; should should should.

Striving for perfection, much like adding salt to a batter instead of sugar, it looks like it will work, but it's a recipe for disaster.

So, I would like to introduce a new concept to you.
Or maybe not so new if you watched last season of the Australian TV show Wonderland?


W A B I - S A B I




It's a real thing! (I Wiki'd that too...)


Wabi-sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: 

nothing lasts;

nothing is finished; and 

nothing is perfect




Friday, 31 October 2014

the window

Sometimes I lie awake in bed at night and I wonder if certain events in my life are the direct result of  attracting bad luck from not forwarding those chain emails back in highschool. Am I being punished by the email Gods? Is this the reason I sometimes feel struck when I am down? One smite per email?

I'm just not an email forwarder. And I'm certainly not going to send it onto 227 of my bestest friends, just because it told me to. I'm a rebel like that..

BUT yesterday an email landed in my inbox, which I feel compelled to share. It didn't tell me I had to either, which is good, because nobody likes a bossy email.

So, here in my little blog corner, I have chosen to share a little a story courtesy of Moodscope with you, my friends; and maybe, just maybe, it will cancel out all that bad chain mail karma that's been haunting me for 15 years.


- - -

The view from my Paris apartment on my Great European Adventure




Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.


One was allowed to sit up in his bed each afternoon to help drain fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window.
The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.



They talked for hours. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service.


Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.


The other man began to live, for those short periods, where his world would be broadened and enlivened by the activity and colour of the world outside.


The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every colour. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and the city skyline was seen in the distance.


As the man by the window described this in exquisite detail, the other man would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. One afternoon the man by the window described a passing parade.
                                                                                                                                
Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it, in his mind's eye. Days and weeks passed.
                                  
One morning, the nurse arrived only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.
She was saddened and called the attendants to take the body away.
As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making him comfortable, she left.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the wonderful world outside.
Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it for himself. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.
It faced a blank wall.
The man later asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things. She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."
Epilogue...



There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.


Today is a gift, that's why it is called 'the present'.
How accepting of today's gift are you?



Who can you help today?


'Le Meow' : Parisian Cat


xx

Friday, 24 October 2014

bake it off

If you haven't seen this video yet - drop everything and watch it immediately.




I mean, what's not to love about a Taylor Swift / Jamie Oliver sing-a-long?!

And bless their cotton socks - It's all for charity, 
So they've cemented themselves as my favourite Pop Princess and my favourite Chef. 

Both would be invited to my 
C E L E B R I T Y   D I N N E R   P A R T Y 

You know the game - 
"If you were hosting a dinner party, which five people (alive or dead) would you invite?"  
Other potential guests on my exclusive list include Audrey Hepburn, Kloe Kardashian (that girl and I have a few things in common...); and Michael Buble.

Have a watch and a chuckle; maybe donate #standuptocancer and then tell me - Who's on your list??


xx

Thursday, 16 October 2014

speechless

Getting to know someone is like navigating a maze - alternating between skipping forward with excitement; and peaking cautiously around corners because you're just not sure what might be revealed.

Memories are shared; Stories are unraveled; Smiles light faces.

What I am learning is that asking me certain questions may yield undesirable results.




Is it expecting me to choose between brunch or dessert? No. Although.. this is exactly like asking a mother to choose which of her children she would rescue from a burning building.
If you happen to think that anything swimming in melted chocolate (ie crepes, waffles, pancakes) is suitable for either time of day - we will get along just fine :)

Is it about what I do for a job? Not at all. Let's chat.

Is it asking about my previous relationships? Nope. I am totally OK with laying it all on the table, as long as you're willing to do the same.


The questions I am struggling to answer in any kind of small-talk fashion are -

W H A T   M O V I E S   D O   I   L I K E ?

W H A T   M U S I C   D O   I   L I S T E N   T O ?

W H A T   K I N D   O F   B O O K S   D O   I   R E A D ?

Hey, you know what? If you want to kill the conversation a little faster, here's my tip :
Ask me -

C A N   Y O U   B E L I E V E   T H I S   W E A T H E R ?

Why??

Well, firstly - Getting to know someone is so much more than interrogation;
And secondly - for some reason, these questions render me speechless.

I just can't seem to give a reasonable answer to these questions that doesn't take five years of explanation; or have me come across as a trashy reality-tv-watching, pop-music-loving, teenager-at-heart, who (as a matter of fact) cannot believe this weather.


xx

Monday, 15 September 2014

the end of #funemployment

The past few months have been a whirl of fun and adventure.

But alas, voluntary funemployment* cannot last forever.

During my hiatus from the 'real' world, I have learnt the art of spontaneity and discovered the excitement of the unknown.




xx


*The condition of a person who takes advantage of being out of a job to have the time of their life.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

back to reality




"This is why once you've traveled for the first time all you want to do is leave again. They call it the travel bug, but really it's the effort to return to a place where you are surrounded by people who speak the same language as you. Not English or Spanish or Mandarin or Portuguese, but that language where others know what it's like to leave, to go home again and feel more lost in your hometown than you did in the most foreign place you visited."


xx

Monday, 7 July 2014

tres bien, merci




T R A V E L   S O L O


T A K E   A   P A T I S S E R I E   C O U R S E   I N   P A R I S


M A K E   A   W I S H   I N   T H E   F O N T A N A   D E   T R E V I


L E A R N   T O   C O O K   I N   T U S C A N Y



I don't like the term 'Bucket List'. Instead, I feel that such a list is more of a long-term To Do List. And these four items are just a sample of a list I wrote several years ago when I was trying to figure out 'what happens next'; When I was trying to convince myself that I could survive my very own New Beginning.

Now, these are all things I plan on doing in the next three weeks.

I am off to Europe (Paris and Italy) on my very own adventure.


xx
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