September 30, 2011

It is just over a month until Halloween and while we do not go all out here in Australia for Halloween my kids still love the idea of dressing up in something scary and heading out for some trick or treating (not sure what they would do if some said trick to them as the candy is all they want!).
There is some wonderful inspiration around for Halloween Parties so today a few of my favourites that I have found while doing the rounds.
Source 1. 2. & 3. here 4. here 5. here 6. & 7. here 
Have a lovely weekend everyone – it is a long weekend here in New South Wales so I am going to attempt a little time out and escape up the coast for a few days – see you next week.

Leanne

September 29, 2011

It is the Spring ABCD Bloggers Meet-Up tonight – always love catching up with the girls in real life and finding out what exciting things are happening for everyone.  
It is tradition to bring a little gift to put in the take home goodie bag – here is my contribution.
A mini glass pot with a stamped spoon and some delicious bon bons!
Hope everyone enjoys them.  If you want more info about the location and how to come along check the Facebook page here.
  

Leanne

September 27, 2011

I have had lots of success lately with mini pots of panacotta on my dessert tables.  They are super easy to make and taste delicious.  They have been really popular with both adults and the kids.
My recipe is one that my lovely friend Jacki from Blissfully Sweet Cakes gave me – Jacki has some wonderful and simple recipe’s up her sleeve so go forth and make this easy panacotta for your next party  (or just to eat when you feel like!) – the Balsamic Strawberries garnish recipe is also included below.

Vanilla Pannacotta
1 1/2 cups (375ml) cream
1 1/2 cups (375ml) milk
1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup (115g) caster sugar
3 tsp gelatine powder
1. Place the cream and milk in a saucepan.  Use a small sharp knife to split the vanilla bean lengthways, then scrape the seeds from inside the bean.  Add the seeds and bean to the saucepan.  Slowly bring to the boil over a medium heat.  Remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes.
2. Discard bean from cream mixture.  Add sugar and return to a a low heat.  Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves.
3. Place 2tbs of boiling water in a small heatproof bowl.  Sprinkle over gelatine and stir until dissolved.  Cool slightly, then stir into the cream mixture.
4. Sieve mixture and then pour directly into serving pots.  Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
Balsamic Strawberries for garnish
1 tub of fresh strawberries cut in half (or quarter if large)
2 tbs aged balsamic vinegar (can use normal balsamic, but the thick balsamic glass or syrup is great)
50g white sugar
1/4 cup water
1. Cut strawberries and place in a saucepan and combine with the sugar and water.
2. Place over a low heat and simmer until the sauce thickens but the strawberries are still holding their shape (the should be soft but not mushy).
3. Add in the balsamic vinegar, then taste for correct acid/sweet level.  Refrigerate until ready for serving.  Can be done a day ahead
To serve top the pannacotta cups with some strawberries and syrup
Enjoy!
Don’t forget you can find those cute little pots in the Sweet Style store here

Leanne

September 22, 2011

Life has been pretty hectic for me lately – Mr A has been overseas for work for 2 weeks meaning everything is left to me.  I have not had enough time to do all those creative things I so love to do *sigh*.  This morning I decided to pick up the camera and just go for a wander – take a little time to just take in what is going on around me – absorb – I am so very drawn to nature when out with my camera – showing the earth sign in me I guess.  
I am starting part two of Sheye Rosemeyer’s fantastic online photography course in just over a week and I can’t wait – I am ready to learn more.
Enjoy my morning wander with the sunshine, the bees and the spring flowers

Leanne

September 19, 2011

Saturday night was the annual Stillbirth Foundation Australia Fundraiser.
Silly me didn’t take my camera well because… too many other things to take and it was forgotten!  I did snap a few quick shots with my iPhone and instagram so this will have to do for my shots.  Late this afternoon Mick Toal our official photographer came to the rescue and sent me a few shots of the committee and the room so I have included them as well – our theme for the night was Alice in Wonderland – so much fun – the ballroom at the Hilton Hotel looked just fabulous!
Thanks to everyone who supported the evening – we had a wonderful night and raised lots of money for such an important cause – funding research into stillbirth.

 Great prizes and giveaways
Big props and little props to keep with the Alice in Wonderland theme
On the night we also launched a beautiful new booklet that has been proudly put together by the Stillbirth Foundation Australia – it is called “Stillbirth in Australia”.  This booklet is the first of it’s kind in the world and will be distributed to every maternity hospital within Australia – such an incredible achievement.
The booklet has been so well thought out and a long time in the planning and production – it is something that is very much needed by parents at the immediate time of the grief in losing a baby – something I so desperately wanted after losing Laura.
Order of Events and the new booklet “Stillbirth in Australia”

If you are interested in finding out more about the booklet or how you can become involved with the Stillbirth Foundation Australia please do not hesitate to contact me via email – I would love to hear from you.

 The SBF Committee with our patron former Premier Kristina Keneally

The three founding directors of the Stillbirth Foundation Australia – me, Emma McLeod and Dr Jonathan Morris

Leanne