I've decided I need to work on my food photography. Probably all photography for that matter! I even recently read some tips on taking great food photos and that hasn't helped - not that they weren't good tips, they were, but its made me realise that what I probably need is to work on my knowledge of a digital SLR camera.  But I digress.

I found this recipe handwritten on a piece of paper under my desk at work when I had to pack everything up for re-carpeting.  You could tell it was written quite some time ago or at least had been sitting where it was for some time, so I haven't tried to find the author.  I thank them however as this was delicious!  It is a little bit time consuming because there are a few steps so if you're in a hurry to prepare something for guests then this problaby isn't it.

With Mother's Day coming up, this might be perfect for an old fashioned afternoon tea.

Strudel slice with custard and plums

2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
180g chilled butter, chopped
2 tbs iced water
1/2 cup custard powder
1/2 cup caster sugar
3 cups milk
825g can plums
1/2 cup flaked almonds

Preheat oven to 180C.  Grease and line a 20cm cake pan with baking paper.  Allow the sides to overhang so you can easily lift the slice out.

Put the flour, brown sugar and butter in a food processor (gotta love that!) and process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add water and process until it all comes together.  Turn onto a floured surface and bring it all together.  Divide into two and put half into the freezer for later.

Press the dough into the base of the pan and smooth it out with the back of a spoon.  Dip the spoon into some hot water every so often to make it easier.  Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.

While the base is baking, combine the custard powder and caster sugar in a saucepan. Gradually pour in the milk while stirring to avoid lumps.  Stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture boils and thickens.  Pour over the prepared base and allow to cool slightly.

Cut the plums in half and remove the stone.  If the plums are on the bigger side, slice them again lengthways.  Arrange the plums evenly over the custard. Remove the remaining dough from freezer and either grate or crumble into a bowl.  You'll need to do this quickly or it will start to soften in your hands and be hard to work with.  Add the almonds and mix gently. Sprinkle evenly over the base.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. After the slice has completely cooled, place in the fridge for 1 hour to set. 

Serve dusted with icing sugar.


happy and safe | EASTER

I have a few belated posts I will share with you after the Easter break.  Its been a busy few weeks for me personally but I have my adorable niece's party to share with you
- extra special because we share our birthday -
(if only I was 3 again though!).

I wish you all a happy and safe Easter.



Three years ago on my birthday, my gorgeous niece Paris was born.  She is such a bundle of energy and character.  She always has a huge smile on her face and her forced smiles make me giggle every time I see one.  Her latest trick is to do the splits and she spent a good amount of time at her party showing us her technique!  Those photos however are not for public consumption...then again, they will come in VERY handy for her 21st!!  She loves her BFF Danielle (yes, apparently even 3 year olds already have BFFs) and had a fun afternoon eating lots of sugar and then bouncing it all off on the trampoline.

~ The birthday girl ~

The dessert table included donuts (courtesy of donut king - I certainly wasn't making these!), vanilla pink and orange cake and cupcakes, fresh fruit kebabs, pink and orange M&M cookies, Tim Tam Pops (these were a bigger hit with the parents than the kids), hershey's kisses and water and juice to wash it all down.  Rebecca made yummy hot food and sandwiches for the guests as well.

The birthday girl's beautiful mumma Rebecca and all her gorgeous girls.  Oh, plus the one still cooking.  Imagine what's in store if its a boy, with those four sisters.

Ha! Even the mums had fun working off the sugar!

A very special rendition of Happy Birthday from her big sister Nikki.

Things got very quiet and Paris disappeared towards the end of the party.  This is where we found her!  The sign of a good party when the birthday girl is asleep on the floor :)

The usual thanks. First to Rebecca for letting me indulge my passion and hold these parties for her girls.  To my Mum for calming me down when I think everything is going wrong.  To the wonderful ladies out is cyberspace who continue to inspire me, I really cannot believe the depth of talent out there!

And to Paris for being the absolutely adorable person she is becoming.  I hope you had a fun day!