Tuesday, September 28, 2010

That's Entertainment!

It's a crazy busy time at work from today, so I'll say my goodbyes until the end of the week. I have a large function on Wednesday night - a formal dinner for 60 of my lovely clients with a guest speaker (who's on a plane to Adelaide from Washington DC as I write this!). The big bosses are coming down from Sydney to observe how a dinner like this SHOULD be organized, so I trust they'll take copious notes! I've done lots of these nights over the years, but always get a little tetchy during the run-up. I'll be glad when the guest speaker is at the podium sans jet lag, I've done my presentation, the evening has run smoothly, everyone's happy, I've put the big bosses on the plane back to Sydney & my heart rate returns to normal. Hope your week is lovely in every way.

Image: Epicure


Monday, September 27, 2010

On A Mission

....a Spanish Mission to be exact! The Architect's brief was to create an 'urban-beach feel, not so much beach-house or urban chic, but somewhere in between. A place to live, work, entertain & enjoy the beach-side living.' The client owned both upper & lower apartments of this Duplex, so one large space was created in the refurbishment. The internal redesign features clean, modern lines, while externally, the house was freshened up, while still retaining the original period features. The above view is from the front street entrance, with fabulous Sydney water views seen in the distance.

An original arched window in the entrance has been retained & highlighted. The Spanish Mission style of houses emerged in California during the period between the 2 World Wars & here in Austalia, we followed on very closely from the U.S. example. The style particularly suited our Mediterranean climate. Typically houses of this style often feature terracotta tiled roofs, stuccoed external surfaces, external spiral columns, parapets, loggias, timber window shutters, arched doorways & windows, ornamental metalwork & balconettes.This property has all those features in abundance.

The Living Room looking out to those captivating water vistas.

The Dining space & balcony with the same fabulous views.

Clean, simple lines in the Living Room.

Polished boards & simple cabinetry in the kitchen.

Love the bathroom!

And the curvy wall!

The rear aspect, with dress-circle views over Bondi Beach.

Images: Mac-Interactive


Friday, September 24, 2010

Sensational Semifreddo

Kneeling down, cleaning out the fire in the Sitting Room again this morning, lugging in the wood & resetting & lighting it, I had an overwhelming feeling that I'M OVER WINTER!!! I want to wear only one layer of clothing, chuck out the boots in favour of bare feet & eat light, summery food. And what I really want more than anything is icecream. I don't have a flash icecream maker, instead I just follow on from my Mum, who made delicious icecream each Summer in metal trays. She would lift them out of the freezer after a few hours, their yummy contents sitting happily in their glistening containers, with just a hint of ice starting to form on the sides. I remember standing in the kitchen, excitedly hopping around from one foot to the other, while Mum scooped the icecream into little square wafer icecream cups. These days Mum's creations are best described as Semifreddo, which literally means 'semi-cold.'

Gourmet Traveller magazine says about Semifreddo 'While ice-cream uses many of the same ingredients as semifreddo – egg yolks, sugar, cream – the technique for making it is different. For ice-cream, you make a crème anglaise, or custard, by creaming the yolks and sugar, then combining them with hot cream (and milk). This is cooked slowly, gently and with constant stirring until it thickens; the mixture is then cooled and frozen in an ice-cream machine.'

'In contrast, semifreddo doesn't require churning & consists of a sabayon and a roughly equal quantity of whisked cream. Its mousse-like texture means it doesn’t freeze as solidly as ice-cream. Semifreddo is typically presented as a frozen terrine, but it can just as easily be scooped as you would serve ice-cream.'

Here's their basic Semifreddo recipe.
Serves 10
Cooking Time/Prep Time 30 mins, cook 35 mins (plus freezing)
9 egg yolks
250gm caster sugar
Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla paste
600mls. thickened cream
250gm crème fraîche

1. Line a 2 litre-capacity mould with plastic wrap or baking paper.
2. Whisk yolks, sugar, vanilla seeds and 1 tbsp water in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until mixture is tripled in volume, thick and pale and holds a ribbon (4-5 minutes).
3. Transfer to an electric mixer and whisk until cooled to room temperature (2-3 minutes).
4. Meanwhile, whisk cream and crème fraîche in a bowl until soft peaks form.
5. Carefully fold into egg mixture.
6. Spoon into container, cover, freeze until firm (6 hours-overnight). Makes about 2 litres.

Once the sabayon is cooled, then the fun part can begin. Add your desired flavourings, these could be chocolate and hazelnut, or you could fold though some puréed fruit, or some spices.

While Mum's recipe was invariably vanilla, here's a few slightly more sophisicated ideas to whip you into a heavenly Semifreddo frenzy!

Turkish Delight Semifreddo with Fresh Strawberries & Raspeberries

Honey & Chocolate Semifreddo

Christmas Pudding Semifreddo

Passionfruit Semifreddo with Mango & Raspberries

Strawberries & Cream Semifreddo

Chocolate, Fig & Hazelnut Semifreddo

Pistachio Nougat Semifreddo

Double Chocolate Brownie Semifreddo

Raspberry Semifreddo

Caramel Semifreddo with Salted Maple Pecans

White Chocolate & Amaretto Semifreddo

Meyer Lemon Semifreddo

Tangerine Semifreddo with Salted Almond Brittle

Images 1 - 7 Gourmet Traveller
Images 8 - 11 Donna Hay
Image 12 - Martha Stewart
Images 13-14 Epicurious


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tazzy Goes To Work

Son # 5's gorgeous girl Miss Tazzy is now one & quite the work dog. She goes along with her boy every day to jobs & is loving it. Although MOTH came home the other day shaking his head & laughing, as he was helping Son #5 at a client's house & Tazzy spent the entire day running around the backyard trying to round up all the planes that were flying overhead (North Adelaide's right on the flight path into Adelaide Airport). That Border Collie instinct runs deep. I was delighted to get this pic of Taz with her very own reflective safety jacket. Good on her very conscientous Owner. Isn't she growing fast!


Dance 'Til You Drop!

The highlight of the blogging calendar each September is of course, Willow's Annual Willow Manor Ball. Willow is one of bloggy world's Superstars, a beautiful gal with the kindest of hearts, quickest of wits, sharpest of intellects & like moi, is a '56 vintage showing impeccable quality & great depth and richness. Her cyber Ball is attended by thousands of her dedicated fans & I warmly invite you to join us for a stellar night. Just drop by the Manor on the night, visit others who create a post especially for the occasion or join us by adding you own post via the Mr. Linky widget on the Manor's home page. I posted last year here & received visits from so many fellow party-goers, it was a grand night. Be prepared to spend at least a couple of hours hopping from post to post seeing what everyone else is wearing & most importantly, who they invited as their partner.

As dear Willow says 'Do some glamorous cyber shopping for that perfect gown or tuxedo and plenty of bling. Feel free to take the above poster to advertise on your blog. No need to brush up on those dance steps, since we all dance like Fred and Ginger in cyberspace.' For more information please visit Willow here. See you at the Manor next Thursday for another fabulous night of fun & frivolity!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Unexpected

A cute little Saltbox reproduction used as a beach-house on the Nantucket coast, probably filled with equally cutesie tootsie furnishings I reckon.

A covered breezeway connects the out buildings from the main house. Still thinking twee furnishings, maybe with a bit of a beachy, nautical feel.

DEAD WRONG silly Millie!!! Instead there are gorgeous sleek, low-maintenance, minimalist rooms to drool over.

Full of natural light, easy care surfaces & statement pieces to tie the design together.

A warm fire in the dining space.

And a simple setting.

A fabulous, yet very practical kitchen to feed those hungry beachgoers returning from a big day on the water. I think this would the perfect house to use MOTH's ideal house cleaning tool - his garden leaf blower! A quick wander around waving his best friend on high & every last bit of sand & beach detritus would be out the door pronto.

Images: Thornewill Designs


Monday, September 20, 2010

In Bed With Millie & MOTH

Here's my long-overdue post of our recent bedroom 'tweak'. My dodgy, on-its-last-legs camera plus a cold, grey Winter's day is responsible for the less than optimal images today, so apologies all round for the rubbishy definition.

The funny slopy ceilings & weird quirky window shapes are still there, but I've become so used to them I find them strangely attractive! There's nothing like a bit of 70's architecture for a good laugh.

I'm really happy with the new padded headboard & new linen. I'm still hunting for the right throw pillows for a bit of colour against the white damask. So it's a bit stark presently & MOTH reckons it's like being tucked up in a hospital bed!

A Before image. We said farewell to our beloved old brass & iron bed & the long expanse of bare wall at the end of the bed.

And now we are footless, with a lovely big, useful wardrobe covering the bare wall. We couldn't take the cabinetry flush up to the ceiling 'cos of its high raked, sloping nature. Que sera sera & all that. So who gets up the ladder with the vacuum cleaner occasionally to clean the top will be decided with the toss of a coin!

MOTH & I did have a bit of a 'discussion' as to how much space I he was allocated!

The wardrobes are surprisingly compact & still leave us plenty of room to walk around the bed. Golly I need a new camera!!

I had a tailored, box-pleated valance made out of the same fabric as the padded headboard. It wasn't a cheap exercise but I love the result.

Looking outside the bedroom window today. My favourite tree is showing its Winter face.

This the same tree as it is in Summer - so lush & shady.

I don't have a Before image of the Master Bedroom, it was so revolting I was too distraught to take one. However, think exposed red/brown brick walls, dark beams, brown varnished woodwork, green shantung spider-infested curtains, swirly multi-coloured carpet & a built-in wardrobe complete with olive green aluminium frame & brown smoked glass sliding doors on the day we moved in. Very similar to this Before pic of one of the other bedrooms. Truly hideous.

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