Monday, January 23, 2012

I scream, You Scream, We all scream for Ice Cream

We are in the final run up to the finish of school holidays, and I've scored a virus with a nasty cough.  I kept soldiering on all week last week.  I had work two days and social outings the other 3 days.  By the time I reached Friday afternoon I had to admit defeat, and I will admit that I've exposed all of my friends and coworkers.  I don't get this sick very often, and even then sometimes these things creep up on me because of my asthmatic lungs.

So enough of my whinging.   We've been having an ice cream fest going on here.  Yesterday I made some sorbet.  It was the Influenza RX Sorbet from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home.   Awesome book!  I also made vanilla bean and salty caramel.   You might ask yourself why am I making all of this ice cream?  Well, I bought myself an ice cream maker with a built in compressor.

the ice cream maker
I've wanted an ice cream maker with a built in compressor for ages.  I could never justify the expense plus I had one of those freeze the bowl machines.   So when I got my Thermomix, I was excited by the idea of how easy it would be to make custard based ice creams in the Thermomix.  I pulled out my freezer bowl from the cupboard to find that it had leaked coolant.  It was no good.   About a month later I was at the Castle Hill Homemaker Centre and walked past a shop that was advertising the machine at the cheapest price that I'd seen in Australia (it's even cheaper now!). Even then I dithered, so that when I went back, they were out of stock.  They took my name and promised to call when more came in.  They did, and I bought my machine a few days before Christmas.

Upon buying the machine I decided I needed some good ice cream books so I bought The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz, Making Artisan Gelato by Torrance Kopfer, and Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home.

new books
I know a few of the books are missing from the photo.  I also bought Paletas because I figured the Thermomix would be perfect for making up frozen treat bases!  And well, I've been meaning to buy The Homesick Texan book for ages.

I started using Jeni's bases before her booked arrived.  I just found recipes on the net.  I've really fallen in love with her method, and the funny thing is that I can't use the Thermomix to make her bases.   Her ice cream base does not use egg.  I highly recommend her book, and also David Lebovitz's book.  David's book is worth its weight in gold for all of the sauce and mix-in recipes.

I've made salty caramel, vanilla bean, darkest chocolate, milkiest chocolate, vanilla fudge swirl, lemon yogurt with blueberry swirl and roasted strawberry buttermilk from Jeni's book.  From David's book I made Vietnamese Coffee.  Next flavour planned is Black Coffee from Jeni's book.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Rainbows, Rainbows, Rainbows!

This month's theme over at Gossamer Dreams is Rainbow Connection.  I couldn't resist joining in the fun.  Here's a peak of what I will have on offer.

Rainbow Connection
1. redondo 5-6, 2. Star Mandala Silk/flannel Blanket - Blue, 3. Mareen 7-8 front, 4. Flower Mandala Silk/flannel Blanket - Pink, 5. Star Mandala Silk/flannel Blanket - Orange, 6. Rainbow Ruffle Lore top 7-8 front, 7. Flower Mandala Silk/flannel Blanket - Yellow, 8. Mareen 5-6 front

Previews of all of the lovely items up for offer will be from 8pm Queensland time tonight.  The shop will open at 8pm Sunday night for purchasing.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fun at Featherdale

On Wednesday a text message from my friend, Ed, meant that we had an impromptu trip to Featherdale Wildlife Park.  Ed's mom was visiting Sydney, and she wanted to see some kangaroos.  While Featherdale doesn't have the amazing views and diverse selection that Taronga has, it is very accessible.  It's flat, and there are opportunities to get up close to some of the animals.

Here's the obligatory "pet the koala" photo.

Featherdale - Kids patting Koala

Not sure about that Emu

Featherdale - kids hanging with an Emu

This emu wanted Ed's I-phone.

Featherdale - Emu fascinated with Iphone

The kids looking at the peacock or is the peacock looking at them.  I wish he would have shown us his tail feathers, but no luck. 

Featherdale -kids looking at peacock

The kids had the opportunity to feed the pelicans, but they didn't want to touch the pilchards.

Featherdale - Pelicans

I love the Tawny Frogmouths.  You can stand there right next to them.

Featherdale - Tawny Frogmouth

We saw a sleeping wombat.

Featherdale - sleeping wombat

And an cute!

Featherdale - echidna

The croc "smiled" for us.

Featherdale - croc

This sweet little roo liked licking Moo.

Featherdale - roo licking Moo

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

We spent our NYE with some good friends.
Will and his bestie eating sausages.   I just adore how the boys are sitting there on the stairs eating and having a chat.   I think the photo sums up the evening for the rest of us....lots of good food, plenty to drink and the fabulous company of friends.

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2012!