Friday, August 10, 2012

Denim for a week dare

Fox in flats sent out a dare; a denim dare to wear denim for a week.   
 It was a really busy week (story of my life), with some glorious QLD winter days.
I was pleased to wear my new leopard print smoking slipper style shoe (try saying that after a few wines!) as well as some sweet navy satin ballet slippers.

Dark denim jeans, black top and waterfall cardigan and my gorgeous new shoes.

Softer colour jeans, white, pink & gold tee and fave cardigan.

For a christening I thought it best not to wear jeans, so my denim jacket met the dare.

A twinset in cashmere and my favourite bird scarf and another pair of jeans.

Ancient grey demin skirt, orange tee, orange and grey skirt teamed with boots.

Had to go the white denim, white tee and tangerine heart scarf and new navy satin ballets for only $10!
Last day, another pair of jeans that are a bit too big, khaki and black top and grey pasmina.

So, did you do the denim dare, or do you wear denim every day as your uniform?
Smiles and have a great week, whatever you wear!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

me....a fashion blogger? my new dresses from Seed

I can feel my blog evolving in all sorts of ways. It has been a place to display my scrapbook pages, a place to join in with a blog weight challenge and also a place for some recipes. I have been drawn to some new bloggers in the last few months, in particular Woogsworld and get a regular laugh from her funny blog. Recently, she found a great dress at Seed and instead of calling it the tube maxi dress as the designers did, she gave it the moniker of 'condom dress'!
When Seed Heritage had an online sale, that Mrs Woog alerted me to, I bit the bullet and ordered two online; a black and a camel marle. Inspired by pictures on Mrs Woog's blog and also Nikki over at Styling You, I have been wearing them to death! I love that I can drip dry the dresses and wear them without ironing.

Dressed in my long line cardigan for a day at home and then running around after school
The first time I wore the black dress, with a black top, cardigan and my new favourite scarf (also taken before I realised I could hold the camera down lower!)

 With my new blouse from Katies and the longline cardigan

Black again with the top and shoes I had for a morning wedding in March. Also featured is my new Jimmy Choo handbag with exact matching colours to the blouse!
smiles, Alannah

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Nina Proudman style outfits

Nina Proudman style has been featured over at Styling You. Nikki breaks down the outfits featured on Channel ten's Offspring's character Nina Proudman each week. I have been reading her posts and last week sent Nikki an email of some of my outfits in a 'Nina Style', which she included in a post.
While I do not have the actress' figure or the budget of her stylist, I have taken the basic elements and made them my own. I do love to wear long skirts, scarves and long necklaces, like Nina does. Here are some recent outfits I have worn, and thanks must go to my nine year old daughter photographer and stylist!

black jeans, black boots, blue tank, off white blouse, cream scarf and necklace from a friend
long skirt, white tee, long necklace and new butterfly print scarf from Katies yesterday
maxi skirt, favourite chocolate cardigan, double necklace
white blouse, draped scarf, long necklace, long skirt and knee length black boots
maxi skirt with my favourite Alannah Hill knit, Katies scarf
maxi skirt, chocolate tee under white blouse, scarf
smiles and hope you enjoy getting dressed this week, whatever your style.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Marvellous Macarons

This year my goal is to perfect the making of macarons. I have made a few batches and am still to perfect the skill, but it is fun to practice (and eat the results).

The recipe in Baked and Delicious magazine suggests:
3 large egg whites
25g granulated (caster) sugar
200g icing sugar
125g almond meal
food colouring (I like to use intense food colouring in a paste form although standard will work)

whip egg whites until stiff and then beat in the sugar until glossy. Combine almond meal and icing sugar and sieve over the meringue mix. Fold, along with food colouring, until mixture flows from spatula in a thick ribbon. Pipe 4cm circles of macarons onto baking paper and allow to rest for about a half hour. When the tops are not sticky and they have lost some shine, bake in a pre-heated oven at 150C for around fifteen minutes. Allow to cool and then gently peel from paper.

Fillings can be anything from chocolate ganache (my favourite) to flavoured custards or buttercreams.

caster sugar, icing sugar and almond meal

beat egg whites until stiff

gorgeous pink base

piped pink macarons
piped vanilla macarons

baked mauve macarons

pretty pink macarons
mauve with chocolate ganache filling

pistachio macarons

Monday, January 23, 2012

Almond Bread

Every December for the last twenty years, I have made almond bread. The recipe is my aunt's from the NMAA Cooks Red Cookbook. (NMAA is Nursing Mothers' Association Australia, now called Australian Breastfeeding Association.)

4 egg whites
125g (4oz) castor sugar
125g (4oz) plain flour
123 g (4oz) whole unblanched almonds.
I always add:
some help from a child

I usually quadruple the recipe. I used to buy frozen egg whites but can't anymore, so I separated 20 eggs to get about 16 unbroken yolks and therefore 16 egg whites!
Beat egg whites stiffly.Works best with young helper. I used my handheld mixer. I would love a KitchenAid Stand Mixer to make light of the beating.
Beat until peaks form.
Add sugar. Beat well. Again a KitchenAid Stand Mixer would make this easier!

Fold in flour and almonds
Pour into greased loaf tin/tins and cook in moderate oven at 180 degrees for 30 mins.
Once baked, allow to cool and wrap in alfoil and a tea towel.Place into pantry for a week.
After a week, slice loaf very thinly with either a sharp knife or electric knife.
Toast in moderate oven until light brown and crisp.
Store in airtight container, give as gifts or enjoy with coffee! For Christmas 2011 this is how I presented the almond bread as gifts.

So there you have it, my almond bread recipe. Usually only made at Christmas time. Smiles, Alannah

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas traditions and decorating at my place

As the countdown approaches to Christmas Day, I have been starting the traditions at our place. In the lead up to Christmas, I bake almond bread and make chicken liver pate. For many years, since Year 12 in 1984, I made apricot jam from dried apricots, but can't see that happening this year. Our Christmas tree seems to go up earlier and earlier each year. One year we might just leave it up. Last year it was up in September. This year it took until November to be found and 'erected'. This was because our eldest usually puts it up, however, she moved out of home this year and has a new tree at her new place. Last year the tree wasn't put into the tree box, but into the trampoline box, so remained hidden until I had a mother look! We open presents of new pyjamas on Christmas Eve after attending church and wear them to bed that night. Christmas morning is usually at my mum's, but she moved out of town this year, so bacon, eggs, fruit and champagne will be breakfast, then a late lunch of ham, turkey and vegetables followed by an afternoon snooze if we are lucky. The kids tend to be in and out of the pool all day.
Do you have family traditions at Christmas?
I have taken a few photographs of my Christmas decorating around my place. Enjoy.

You would be excused for thinking I was Santa's washing lady. The Santa hats and kid-sized Santa outfits were looking a bit on the grubby side. Now nice and fresh.

My nativity set that I sewed a few years ago.

My ancient old angel looks a little stunned at the top of our gorgeous white tree. This year the theme is pink, gold and white.

our beautiful white Christmas tree adorned in pink, gold and pearl coloured ornaments

The Christmas tree shaped arrangement of Christmas cards on the door of the cupboard in our entry foyer.
(Please excuse the angle of the photo. I can't seem to upload photos taken portrait sytle and then edited. This photo was taken landscape then cropped).

Joseph looking adoringly at Mary and baby Jesus.
Wishing you all the joys of Christmas and the fun of Christmas season decorating.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Chicken Liver Pate

One of my Christmas cooking recipes is chicken liver pate. It is delicious served with water crackers or toast triangles with quince paste. The recipe comes from the NMAA Cooks red cookbook. I have my own copy now, however the recipe came from my Aunt's copy many years ago. The cookbook was originally printed in 1975 and I have a 2002 copy. The cookbook is available by mail order from
250g chicken livers
125g butter
2 tbsp cream cheese or cream
1 tbsp brandy
1 tbsp snipped chives
1/4 teaspoon mixed herbs
salt and pepper
more butter for topping

chop livers and cook slowly in 1/4 of the butter.

until livers are nearly cooked 

add the rest of the butter to the pan along with the chopped herbs, cream or cream cheese, brandy, dash of nutmeg and salt & pepper

cook for about five minutes

decant into a container to blend the pate to your desired consistancy,
then pour into ramekins.

melt some more butter and pour onto top of ramekins. I like to add a sprig of fresh herbs. The butter will set and the pate will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks. I also cover with plastic wrap and freeze.