Tuesday, 29 January 2013

and 28 days since the start

Days 15-28

Well I am happy to say that I have made it almost a whole month without missing a photo. As well as my DSLR I have a little hand held Canon Ixus, which can easily fit in my hand bag or in the back of my bike. So at the moment I don't leave the house without a camera.

Day 15:
I went for a dinner ride with a group of ladies. It was a lovely night for it.

Day 16:
I brought and potted a plant for my work space. Happy to announce that it is still alive.

Day 17:
My first day back to boxing after the holidays.

Day 18:
Furniture and decor shopping. The mummy is actually a moneybox we are using
to help save for our Japan holiday!

Day 19:
I took Dallas for a walk and allowed her to practice her modelling for me.

Day 20:
A beautiful horse I met on a morning pushbike breakfast ride.

Day 21:
Our fighting fish decide to pose for me next.

Day 22:
My first attempt at Candy Cane Vodka. Still to taste it.

Day 23:
I booked flights to see my friend in Brisbane. I have never been there before.

Day 24:
I went on a site visit during work and it was a stunning day.

Day 25:
Evening pushbike ride with friends from Fremantle to Perth.

Day 26:
Australia Day! I spent the day on a friends boat in Matilda Bay.

Day 27:
Recovery day. Lots of chocolate and doggy chocolate was involved.

Day 28:
I went on an afternoon ride with a friend through the hills.

Well I am almost 1/12th of the way through the challenge and I am still excited about it! I may not feel the same in a few months time. We will have to wait and see.

Love, love Elle.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

and Chocolate and Jelly Lamingtons

the day to be Australian
Australia Day 2013

I hope every Australian had a great Australia Day. I know I did. I spent the day on a friends boat anchored at Matilda Bay. We watched the day go by on the boat and then enjoyed the fireworks in the distance over the City. For my contribution to the food for the day I made Lamingtons. A couple of years ago I brought the 'Blue Ribbon Recipe' book which is produced by 'The Royal Agricultural Society'. I learnt last year that traditionally Lamingtons were made using a butter cake and not a sponge cake, so I thought for my first attempt I would try to make them like the old days. The Blue Ribbon Recipe book provided the perfect version for me.


Cake: 20 mins plus 1 nights cooling.
Decoration: 30 mins plus drying time


  • 185g butter
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g self-raising flour

  1. Preheat the oven to 140C fan forced. Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Beat sugar and butter to a cream.
  3. In another bowl whisk eggs until combined and then add to butter mixture.
  4. Add milk and vanilla extract, fold in sifted flour.
  5. Mix well then pour into prepared cake tin.
  6. Bake for 15 mins then increase temperature to 160C. This helps to produce a flatter cake.
  7. Bake for another 25-45 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.
  8. Turn onto a wire rake to cool before refrigerating overnight in an airtight container.
  9. Cut the cake into desired size and decorate as per below.

For the best fit, cut the corners and over lap them.

Butter and sugar.

Lightly whisk eggs until combined.

Mix in milk and vanilla. Then add flour

Pour into tin. Shake the tin gently and those lumps will smooth out.

Tadaaa! I shook it a little more to get it even smoother.

  • 3 tsp butter
  • 3 Tbs cocoa
  • 6 Tbs boiling water
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • desiccated coconut
  1. Melt the butter and mix with the boiling water.
  2. Stir in cocoa then add the well sifted icing sugar. Mix well.
  3. Using a carving fork (I used 2 skewers) spoon the icing over the cake, coating all sides, allowing the excess to fall back into the bowl.
  4. Roll in coconut or spoon coconut over each side.
  5. Stand on wire rack to dry.
All lined up and ready to go.

2 skewers help stop the cake from turning over.

Add coconut.

My first lamington! Have something under the rack to catch any drops.

  • If your cake pieces are small, up the icing mixture by using 4 in lieu of 3 and 8 in lieu of 6.
  • The icing may stick to the rack. Push the Lamingtons from underneath to help lift them up and reduce the amount of icing left behind.
  • Use soft icing not pure icing.

Jelly Lamingtons:

  • 1 85g pack of your favourite jelly flavour. (Raspberry and Strawberry are the most common)
  • 400ml of boiling water
  • desiccated coconut

  1. Empty the jelly crystals into a bowl and pour boiling water on top.
  2. Stir until combined and refrigerate for about an hour or until jelly is the consistency of egg whites or runny jam.
  3. Using a carving fork or skewers spoon the mixture over the cake and roll in or spoon over coconut.
  4. Stand on rack to dry.
I went for Strawberry.

Pour over jelly

Time for the coconut.

Onto the rack.

  • If your pieces are small, 2 packs maybe required. Double the water to suit.
  • You want the mixture to stay on top of the cake, not soak into it. Test a small amount on a cake if you would like to be sure.

Don't they look pretty together?

They wen't down fabulously  The butter cake added so much more to the dish over the sponge cake. Don't get me wrong, I love sponge cake, but for me, I am not a convert to the butter cake lamington!

 Love, love Elle.

Monday, 21 January 2013

and Leapfrog Cafe - Joondalup

and I fed a horse
Leapfrog Cafe

On Sunday we put our bikes in the back of the car and drove up to meet my plus ones parents for an easy morning ride. We started from a carpark by Lake Joondalup and rode an easy but lovely 5km to Leapfrog Cafe, which is apart of the Wanneroo Botanical Garden and Mini Golf. Most of the path was through parkland or through bush and only the very last section was on a path by the road. We sat down and I ordered my favourite breakfast, pancakes!

Pancake berry compote, poached pear, maple syrup, 

At the moment I am really loving Frappes so I had a chocolate one to help cool me down. The pancakes were quite crumbly but still very delicious and I loved the pear on top. The plus one ordered his standard Eggs Benedict but wasn't overwhelmed by it. 


Lovely sunflowers

On the way to the cafe I saw a few things I wanted to take some photos of, so I cycled ahead so I could stop and take some snaps.

Rundown house

Gorgeous horse

I stopped both ways to give him some green grass.

Some kids built timber forts in the pine forest

The ride was only a short one because my plus ones mum is only just starting to ride again after 30ish years. She is a bit wobbly and lacks confidence. But we cracked the double digit mark with this 10km and after a few more like that we will slowly increase the distance.

After the ride we went to a friends house for a barbecue and to play with their puppy Stirling. He is starting to resemble a Staffy more and more with his wide hind leg stance. He is adorable but likes to bite a little too much!


Until next time.
Love, love Elle.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

and Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

and I browned the butter
Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Preparation: 30 minutes plus 1 hour cooling
Cooking: 10 minutes for each tray

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla paste/extract
  • 2 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chocolate of choice (chopped up chocolate buttons, choc chips, chocolate blocks)
  1. Place the butter in a saucepan. Simmer on medium heat until the butter begins to brown, 4-5 minutes. Transfer into a measuring jug. I scooped the melted butter from the top to leave the brown sediment behind. Leave to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer or using your stand mixer, beat the browned butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add egg, egg yolk, milk, and vanilla. Beat on low speed until well blended.
  3. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients (sifted flour, baking soda, and salt) together with wire whisk. Gradually add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until a soft dough forms. Scraping the bowl a few times. Stir in the chocolate chips. Cover and chill for 1 hour.(If it chills for longer it will have to thaw a bit before it is soft enough to be scooped but still firm.)
  4. Heat oven to 190°C Fan-forced. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Drop rounded tablespoons of cookie dough 5cm apart on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack. 
Notes. Uncooked cookie dough can be frozen. The easiest way is to freeze in prepared cookie balls.

For this recipe I used left over store brought truffles chopped up as well as left over white choc chips and a block of 70% dark chocolate. I doubled the recipe and this fitted nicely into my stand mixer. I used several cooling racks and 4 cooking trays of varying sizes. It was a production line. I brought them into work and they went down a treat. I am very pleased with the lovely taste browning the butter creates. It adds a nutty depth to the cookies.

Love, love Elle.

and it's been only 2 weeks

Days 1-14

This year myself and a bunch of my friends are attempting 'Project 365'. On new years eve last year I asked on my Facebook for people to join me on the project. I need to complete 'Project 365' for my 30 before 30 list and I am hoping that having my friends do it with me will help me keep on top of it. For those who don't know what 'Project 365' is, it is a personal quest to take a photo, every day, for a whole year. Some of my friends are just posting a photo everyday to document what happened that day, such as getting a friend to take of photo with them in it. I personally am taking each photo myself. I am hoping that this will help me improve my photography skills. Trying to keep it interesting for so long will be part of the challenge.

Day 1:
A pedestrian sign in the city after dinner with friends.

Day 2:
I was sick so I finally put together our holiday album.

Day 3:
We spent the day redoing the front garden. Working on my macro.

Day 4:
My plus one and I baked a Crusty Italian Herb loaf each.

Day 5:
Trip to Penguin Island with the family.

Day 6:
Friends leaving lunch at Clancy's Fishbar.

Day 7:
Some random things on my work desk for the first day back.

Day 8:
My gorgeous Dallas.

Day 9:
The stairs to my Kickboxing gym.

Day 10:
An abandoned warehouse near my work.

Day 11:
Surprise earrings from Etsy, sent to my work from the plus one.

Day 12:
A photo of Fremantle taken on a breakfast pushbike ride.

Day 13:
Our friends brand new puppy, Stirling. A staffy x pug.

Day 14:
Choc Chip biscuits for work.

I have a long way to go and many more photos to take. I will just have to keep doing and seeing interesting things!

Love, love Elle.

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