Archive for July, 2010

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipie – Gluten Free

July 30, 2010

These are the best chocolate biscuits ever, no, I really mean it. Ever. They’re soft chewy, buttery, chocolaty, my ideal sort of biscuit. They have white and dark chocolate chunks in a chocolate cookie dough.

I’ve been making this recipe for about 20 years. Although it has really evolved over time to become the one listed below. Especially as it started out as normal non-gluten free, chocolate chip cookie dough. The one thing that hasn’t changed is the way they disappear within an hour of being taken out of the oven.

It makes a huge batch so I divide into thirds. Bake a third, shape the other two thirds into logs and wrap with cling wrap. I put one in the fridge (so we can have fresh baked cookies three days later) and put the other log into the freezer. I bring them to room temp before cutting up and baking as per normal.

Gluten Free Triple Chocolate Cookies

Gluten Free Triple Chocolate Cookies

250g butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup sugar

3 eggs

2 cups of gluten free plain flour (I use white wings)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup of cocoa powder

120g of dark chocolate chopped into chunks

120g of white chocolate chopped into chunks

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a standard biscuit tray with baking paper. Beat together butter and sugars. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Turn mixer to low and add flour, baking powder and cocoa powder, mix until combined. Stir in chopped chocolate. Place well spaced rounded tablespoons of the mixture onto the baking tray. If you are storing some for later place 10-12 biscuits on the tray and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned on top but still moist in the center. Remove from oven and allow to sit on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

While the biscuits are baking divide the rest of the mixture in half. Place each half on separate large sheets of cling wrap. Form into log shapes wrapping tightly. Place in fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for up to two months. (Don’t worry it wont stay there that long!) Enjoy!

Advertisements

Yellow in the kitchen

July 29, 2010

Right now I’m looking for ways to inject some yellow into my new kitchen

yellow stripes painted on a wall?

If only I could find some french bistro style stools like this in yellow and white

french bistro breakfast stool

french bistro breakfast stool

Where can I get these in Perth??! Could I possibly have some made with yellow woven into that white? Just like there is blue woven into the same seats here in this kitchen. Totally to die for isn’t it, there isn’t one thing I don’t like about this kitchen.

beautiful blue and white traditional kitchen

How about some yellow glass brick tiles to complete the look:

Yellow Glass Brick Tiles

Yellow Glass Brick Tiles - Crosby Tiles

These tiles are by an Australian tile manufacturer called Southern Cross Ceramics. I’ve used their mosaic tiles before in the bathroom and I love them. I’ve been looking for an excuse to use more brick style tiles!

What about one of these yellow wallpapers?

yellow and white wallpaper

yellow and white wallpaper

wisteria in yellow and white

yellow and white wallpaper - peony

peony in yellow and white

Ahhh yellow, how I love thee.

right now I’m loving

July 25, 2010

the unexpected Camellia blooming in our new backyard (on what appeared to be an almost dead bush)

Unexpected Camellias

isn’t it beautiful? I think I would have even chosen this one myself, if I knew its name!

and…

Our very first coffee on our new kitchen bench

formica cast concrete benchtop

and many more to come!

yes, we went with ‘cast concrete’, and it looks great. I’m looking forward to all the happy memories that will be made around this bench.

God is in the detail – Carpentry

July 23, 2010

Now this renovation is no van der Rohe. I’m also certainly not a huge fan of modernist architecture, although I still appreciate it. I do however love the idea of ‘less is more’ and ‘God [being] in the detail’. I think if you get your details right you’ll find that’s where the heart of your design comes together, where it sticks and finds its identity. Ideals and theory’s aside, here are the details thus far:

We’ve replaced all the doors with some solid wood doors. The doors were original but there was nothing special about them. They were hollow core doors and the top wood had warped over all the internal framing. They were split at the bottom and falling apart, not to mention hovering 10cm above the ground and no sound barrier what so ever. Sound proofing is very important in a small house with napping children!

new solid wood doors

I got at a great price from my window and door carpenter on some rejected custom made solid wood doors. If you go to the manufacturer of windows and doors or at the very least the guy who does their installing you’re likely to be able to pick up a great ‘mistake’. I got these custom made doors at a 1/3rd of the price. The customer the doors were originally made for thought they didn’t match the original doors in their house well enough. Seeing I only needed a few and I wasn’t trying to match anything I had the joy of flexibility.

We’ve repaired and replaced the damaged and missing windows. There were literally windows just boarded up.

boarded up windows

We fitted out the kitchen with the cheapest cabinets we could find which happened to be Ikea Applad. Yes plain plain white. That’s it. No frills. I’m actually really happy with how it turned out. Now its not my dream kitchen but its neat and simple, and that’s ok with me. It will certainly be more than ok for the next couple of years.

Building the kitchen, and some repaired windows in the background

I’m currently choosing bench top colours. I’ve been talked out of all white, so I’m just choosing which grey I should go with

Cast Concrete

or

Bliss Cinder

I’m leaning towards Cast Concrete because I was advised that the Cinder might show up scratches more easily. I’m also planning on incorporating some yellow details so I think they will go better with the Cast Concrete.

The floors which were treated with some sort of odd brown paint/stain now shine in all their jarrah glory after having a good sand and polish. I now have jarrah coloured dust everywhere. The boards were so old and unloved they were very dry which causes more dust than the sanding of newer wood. Eventually I’ll get rid of it all.

polished and unpolished jarrah boards

One of the final carpentry based things we’ve done is fit an access ladder to the attic. The attic is unconverted at this point but we find attics in old houses make great storage. The tradies have appreciated the easy access to the roof space too, so it was wise to fit in the beginning of the build process and not at the end. At some point we’ll put in some flooring nothing fancy, just a place to rest our boxes and baby paraphernalia!

access ladder all folded away

Yes that is a new ceiling and new paint, once the ladder is painted in it will hardly be noticed!

Access Ladder and matched in skirting boards

Aren’t the floors coming up beautifully?! Isn’t it amazing what paint can do, whilst there is still more to do, this hall already looks a world away from when we bought it. You can see some of the skirting is not painted in the back there, that’s a new section of wall, (the back of the bedroom wardrobe). Luckily when it came to replacing skirting we pretty much needed just as much as we ripped out! So by being careful in the demolition we could reuse all the original skirting that was either on walls we took down or stashed under the house. We just got the carpenter who installed the beading on the floors to put them back on for us. He was happy to do it as part of the job and it only took him about 10 extra minutes to do 4 small sections.

It’s really coming along at a great rate now.

the rebuild

July 20, 2010

Its been a while since I posted a decent update on the renovation, so look out there are a few posts coming in a hurry.

That’s the way it is with renovation, there are times of nothing, then times of lots happening, then before you know it, its done! If a renovation is going well your times of nothing shouldn’t be very long, but they are often necessary, sometimes in this fast paced world its good to remember to let things take the time they are supposed to. You’ll end up with a better product in the long run.

Well my last post showed all the demolition. So this one is about the rebuild.

In the master bedroom we blocked up the back of the wardrobe we’d created and patched a massive part of the damaged wall.

master bedroom with new robe and repaired wall

Actually I was impressed at how easy it was to repair the wall, we got someone to do it, but afterward I realised it would be quite a simple DIY job for someone with a bit of nous. Essentially you remove with a chisel and mallet the damaged plaster. Which should be pretty easy seeing its damaged. Then you fix a piece of plaster board to the brick work and patch with filler the join to the plaster. Hopefully we dont have more damaged walls but I think you could seriously repair one if you needed to.

In the kitchen we had the wall rebuilt and plastered.

kitchen wall rebuilt

The wall was built out into the laundry, which has a sloping ceiling (seeing its in part of the back verandah). So we chose to deal with the uneven ceiling by putting in a small bulk head. It will sit over the upper-cabinets nicely, and actually helps define the space a bit.

plastered walls and small bulk head

The plasters even put back the period rail detail. I love attention to detail.

Rail detail found in kitchens and bathrooms in period homes (turn of the century to the 60's)

The bathroom we extended into the hall has had a new floor put in and the walls repaired and re-plastered. I even spent several hours scraping layers and layers of paint off that window. The problem with paint is there is only one real way to strip it. Elbow grease and patience.

new plumbing and flooring in the extended bathroom

We had most of the ceilings removed and replaced.

ceilings removed

While we were at it we put back in some period details like deco-style ceiling roses.

deco style ceiling rose in the lounge

In the back enclosed veranda we sectioned off a small 2x2meter room as an Office/Sewing room!!!

new stud wall creating our study/sewing room

Doesn’t it already look better now that half the terrible purple wall is covered up!

Out the back all the dead trees have been removed and chipped. We had a pretty serious hiccup along the way when we figured out why all the trees were dead. Someone had killed them because they were interfering with the sewer. They did a dodgy DIY job which resulted in more damage to the sewer, and us having to replace the entire thing. I’m a great believer in DIY but sometimes its ok to call a trade. They know what they are doing.

backyard, in blank slate stage

Essentially we have the shell of the house back, now it’s on to the fitting and fixtures.

Oven Update

July 19, 2010

So I know I’ve devoted an entire post to ovens already but I thought I’d update you on the final result.

I love traditional ovens. Yes they are hard to find here in Perth and they can be expensive. I very nearly bought this oven:

Fratelli Onofri oven

I know it’s not white and silver (my dream combination) but I figured I could make it work. It was a good price for a period style oven with a great load of features. However, just before I bought it I read some reviews that pointed out the internal capacity of the oven was very small. So I panicked. The reviews suggested I go down to a show room and take all my favourite baking pans and try them in an oven.

There isn’t a show room for the Fratelli Onofri here in Perth but (like a crazy lady) I packed up my stuff and headed down to the ilve showroom in Osborne Park. Lo and behold the 60cm oven wouldn’t fit a rectangular sized biscuit tin or my large roasting pan. Now I have no problem buying new baking pans BUT I know that when I cook a roast for the family I fill up that roasting pan. I also know my recipes for biscuits use up all the space on my baking tray, so having to use smaller tins and trays is going to be a problem. I also figured out that you can’t fit anything in the 30cm oven. Not a muffin pan, slice tray, standard dinner plate. Nothing. Biiig problem. If you’re paying money for a second oven, you want to be able to use it right?! Sure I could still put my rotisserie chicken in it, but I don’t think its economical to pay extra for what would essentially be a rotisserie oven.

I actually own an old 90cm double oven (60cm, 30cm) I can easily fit Everything in the 60cm oven and I can fit muffin pans, plates, slice trays all kinds of things in the 30cm. After asking why I was having trouble achieving the same thing, I found out that the way they make ovens has changed. These days the insulation and internal workings take up more room, internal capacity of an old 90cm oven is much larger. So I realised whilst I still wanted a double oven I was going to need an even larger one, the problem was we’d just finished fitting the kitchen assuming I would choose one of the 90cm double ovens.

So we went to plan….um ‘e’? I bought the cheapest 90cm oven we could find and here she is:

Cheapest 90cm Oven we could find

(Ovens should be a she right?) She’s being fitted this week and as they say ‘we’ll be cooking with gas’ – literally. Ugh, look at the fingerprints all over it already. Why do people love stainless steel so???

In case you’re wondering what I will buy one day when we do our extension, I’ve got my eye on the ilve 100cm double oven, beautiful!

100cm Nostalgie 6burner double oven

Yes its beautiful, expensive and I can have it in ANY colour I want with silver trim (as long as I order it 16WEEKS before I want it!)…one day.

right now I’m loving

July 17, 2010

the way one tulip in my sunbathed bedroom leans towards the light:

purple tulip leaning

purple room purple tulips

one leaning purple tulip

Art Prints for my Babies Rooms

July 16, 2010

I’ve wanted to buy some Art or at least Art prints for my girls rooms for a while now. I blogged a while ago about the free art here. I still wanted something else. I think I’ve finally found the artist who’s drawing what’s in my mind.

Oh Happy Day!

I have some clear visions of sweet little girls playing and being happy. Sarah Jane is great at capturing just that.

When I was little I had Yellow Holly Hobbie in my room. The images still sit in my mind today

Yellow and Brown Holly Hobbie

I also was given a felt coloured drawing from my very dear friend, who made it for me.

Felt Drawing Made for me as a Child

She was my ‘big girl’ friend. We’ve all had one, the girl you look up to and love and want to be just like.

These two things are great memories of things that adorned my walls. I want my children to have the same kind of memories of something in their own room.

My trouble now is choosing which one:

May Flowers - So sweet and pretty

April Showers - We love Gumboots and Umbrellas in our house

just a reminder how much I love them

My eldest has a 'birdy friend' just like this one, aptly this is her birthday month

I'm always happy to encourage a love of reading

we love tea parties and have them daily!

seriously I could go on…. I’ll decide, eventually. I’ll aim for them as birthday presents…. 2 months to decide.

inspiring my new header

July 15, 2010

I was browsing and I came across this beautiful linen site Linea Carta

In particular this inspired me

Yellow Check Linen Tea towel

Gluten Free Lemon Pudding (self-saucing)

July 13, 2010

Winter is here, lemons are in great abundance. A trip to the farm on the weekend means a bagful of lemons sitting on my counter, fresh off the tree. There will be many more lemon recipes in the near future.

Gluten Free Lemon Pudding

This is the most delicious winter desert. It seems complicated but its not hard, just add the ingredients slowly as directed. You should follow the directions as listed but as I only have one mixer bowl for my Kitchen Aid so I whipped the egg whites first then put them in another bowl. While I quickly put together all the rest of the ingredients. It actually works fine if you can work quick enough to combine it all before the eggs loose their stiffness.

This is a very lemony desert. Which as big lemon fans we loved, but if you wanted to tone it down you could use the juice of Lemonade Lemons – a much milder lemon variety.

Ingredients

zest of one lemon

juice of 1-2 lemons (about a 1/4 of a cup)

50g of butter, softened

1 cup of castor sugar

1/4 cup of gluten free self-raising flour (I use white wings)

1 cup of milk

2 eggs separated

  1. Preheat oven to 180C, grease, with butter, a 1 ltr (4 cup) casserole dish or other oven proof dish.
  2. Using a mixer, beat butter, sugar and lemon zest together until combined, approx 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add egg yolks one at a time, then ad the lemon juice and beat well, remembering to scrape down the sides
  4. On a low speed add the flour then slowly pour in the milk to form a batter
  5. In a separate bowl mix egg whites until stiff peaks form, fold into the batter, and pour combined ingredients into the baking dish.
  6. Place the baking dish into a larger pan and put on oven shelf, then fill the larger pan with hot water (a jug filled from the tap is fine) until half way up the sides of the baking dish
  7. Bake for 45mins or until the top has set like the cake but there is still movement on the bottom.
  8. Rest for 5-10minutes, to allow the sauce at the base to thicken.

Forget the ice-cream this pudding is sweet enough, just serve with a bit of thick cream!

You can also cook this recipe in 4 1cup ramekins or 2 2cup smaller dishes, just check your puddings earlier than 45mins because they are likely to cook quicker this way.

I’ll quickly admit this photo is not mine! I ‘borrowed’ it from the BBC site, this is almost exactly what mine looked like. The first recipe I’ve posted without my own photo of the actual food, but ours got eaten so quickly I didn’t get the chance! I wanted to share it straight away because it’s just too good.