Posts categorized "food & cooking"

The Blue Ducks cookbook with a chocolate and beetroot brownie

The house is quite, everyone's returned to school, uni and work today. I'm back to work too, I'll be packing Ribbons Galore orders today.

But just before I get back into work, just wanted to share a little story.

FEC-three-blue-ducks-cookbook

My gorgeous 17 year old, who had a lovely few days in Byron Bay with friends last week, went to the Three Blue Ducks for lunch and, knowing how I love a photo of good food, sent me a beautiful image of her lunch. It looked so delicious, it made me want to jump in the car and drive to Byron to have lunch!! (see below, pork, crackling, apple… I was dissecting the photo when she sent it through)

Continue reading "The Blue Ducks cookbook with a chocolate and beetroot brownie" »


100% hands on fun food photography & styling workshop with Sneh Roy

A couple of weeks back I returned to Cook Republic HQ for another workshop with Sneh Roy. This time it was a practical food styling and photography workshop directed by Sneh. (You can read about my first Cook Republic workshop HERE).

We started the morning constructing our own morning refreshment. We were presented with table of delicious fruits, nuts, granola and yoghurts that we styled and then photographed.

Fiona Carter food photography

Sneh discussed several food styling methods and we were encouraged to style and photograph each one. Styling with only one prop was interesting…

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food writing + food photography/styling workshop with Katrina Meynink and Sneh Roy

Last week I attended a food writing and food photography/styling workshop taught by two very talented ladies, Katrina Meynink and Sneh Roy.

Before we started workshopping, writing, styling and photographing we were treated to a delicious morning tea prepared by Sneh.

Fiona Carter morning tea

Katrina lead the food writing discussion, giving us insights into the different food writing styles. Sneh chatted about food styling, lighting and photography before giving us full access to her kitchen and props.

This lead to our first assignment…. styling a scene with the focus on tomatoes. I used both my DSLR and iPhone to take the photos.

Fiona Carter tomato and basil food styling and photography

Continue reading "food writing + food photography/styling workshop with Katrina Meynink and Sneh Roy" »


Smoothie of the day

 

Smoothie of the day

This is the deliciously refreshing smoothie I made this afternoon. I usually make a cup of tea in the afternoon when I'm finishing up my work for the day, but today I felt like some thing a bit cooler (maybe something to do with daylight saving?).

I've been making a lot of smoothies lately, I'm finding them very nourishing, so I thought I'd start sharing some photos of what I've been making and drinking.


Hope you're having a great day.


Fiona x


Margin's Marinated Mushrooms

I bought a bag of little mushrooms from a stall at Eveleigh Farmer's Markets recently. They came from Margin's Mushrooms who grow their mushrooms in an old disused abattoir in Woy Woy, north of Sydney. 

Fiona Carter mushroom bowl

I saw a little sign on the stall, labelling these tiny mushrooms "marinating mushrooms". I had to try making the. A recipe guide was included with the little bag of mushrooms, along with some fresh herbs.

They were very quick and easy to make, and made a tasty little snack!

Fiona Carter Marinated Mushrooms

Marinated Mushrooms recipe

(adapted from the Margin's Marinated Mushrooms recipe)

Step 1 ingredients and method:

  • 200grms small mushrooms
  • 100mls apple cider vinegar
  • 350mls water

Bring the vinegar and water to the boil in a saucepan. Place the mushrooms into the liquid and boil for 2 minutes. Remove mushrooms and keep the liquid.

Step 2 ingredients and method:

  • 60mls olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • fresh herbs (for example thyme sprigs, bay leaves, sage)
  • a piece of lemon rind
  • salt and pepper

Heat a saucepan/frypan with the olive oil. Add the garlic, fresh herbs, lemon rind, salt and pepper. Cook this mixture for a few minutes to let the flavours infuse into the oil. Add the mushrooms to the pan with a small amount of the vinegar/water mixture, stir to coat the mushrooms in the oil. Remove the pan from the heat. Place the mushrooms, with the oil/garlic/herb mixture into a jar.

Enjoy

Thanks for visiting.

Cheers

Fiona x

PicMonkey Photo editing made of win


Raw cherry ripe slices and bounty bars

I have been increasingly interested in raw desserts and slices lately, and have been searching for recipes. One lovely blog which I've been following is Live Love Eat Raw. On her blog, Sharlene shares her raw food recipes.

I've made a few of her recipes, and two favourites so far are the raw cherry ripe slice and the raw bounty slice.

Raw cherry ripe made by Fiona Carter

The recipe for the raw cherry ripe slice can be found HERE. I used frozen sour cherries, which gave the cherry ripe slice a refreshing tartness. The tartness is deliciously complimented by the slight sweetness of the dates and raw cacao base and the raw cacao and coconut oil topping.

Raw bounty bar made by Fiona Carter

The recipe for the raw bounty bars can be found HERE. The bounty bars have a creamy texture with a yummy vanilla coconuty flavour encased between the date, coconut and almond meal base and the raw cacao and coconut oil topping.

I keep the slices in the freezer, taking them out for a few minutes prior to eating so they can soften slightly. They'd make a perfect treat for Easter next week!

Thanks for visiting...

Cheers

Fiona x

PicMonkey Photo editing made of win


raw Kahlua and walnut truffles

Here's another truffle recipe I've made recently. These are similar to the Rum and Raisin Balls, with no added sugar (except the sugar that's in the Kahlua).

FEC-raw-kahlua-walnut-truffles

Here's the recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup hazelnut meal
  • 1/4 cup chia bran (I use The Chia Co chia bran)
  • 8 tablespoons raw cacao powder (I use Power Super Foods raw cacao)
  • 6 tablespoons raw coconut oil (I use Niugini Organics coconut oil)
  • 4 tablespoons rice malt syrup (or to your taste)
  • 80mls Kahlua
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 2/3 cup roughly chopped walnuts
  • 70% dark chocolate, grated for coating the balls OR extra chopped walnuts OR both

INSTRUCTIONS

Place the dry ingredients (almond meal, hazelnut meal, chia bran, cacao powder, desicated coconut) into a food processor. Blend until ingredients look combined.

Add rice malt syrup and Kahlua, then the coconut oil. Make sure the coconut oil is soft, (in cold climates you may need to soften it prior to adding to the food processor).

Put the mixture into a bowl and mix through the chopped walnuts. Cover the bowl and put in the fridge to cool.

The mixture may separate a little. This is the reason I put it in the fridge to cool. You may find the coconut oil sets around the mixture. Just stir this through again before you start rolling.

Roll into small balls. I used a 1/2 tablespoon to measure the balls out. Roll the balls around in a bowl of grated dark chocolate or the chopped walnuts. You will find them quite sticky, the heat of your hands will melt the coconut oil a bit, but this helps the chocolate to stick to your rum balls.

Place them into the freezer until you are ready to eat them or package them up to give them away.

Hope you enjoy them...  If you like the sound of these, you might also like the rum and raisin balls I made at the end of last year.

Fiona Carter's rum balls collage blog

Thanks for visiting.

Cheers

Fiona x

 


rum balls recipe

Fiona Carter's rum balls collage blog

I have started many posts on this blog with "as a kid I loved making...."

Well today it's .... rum balls.

For many Christmas's I made rum balls, sweet and chocolatey rum balls flavoured with good old OP rum! They were made up of icing sugar, cocoa, copha, sultanas and rum. Made into little round balls and rolled in desiccated coconut. And I used to consume them in the masses (even though I was under legal drinking age for most of the years I made them). 

Forward many, many.... many years...

This year I decided to re-invent the rum balls. Of recent years, I've attempted to reduce the amount of sugar (fructose) that we consume, so the thought of making my old rum balls was not an option.

Fiona Carter's rum balls

I started looking around for recipes, experimented with my own ideas, and three attempts later, I came up with these. Now I know they are not completely "sugar-free" with the raisins and rum, but they are a whole lot healthier than my old childhood version!

Here's the recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup raisins (or sultanas if you prefer)
  • 40ml rum
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1/4 cup chia bran (I use The Chia Co chia bran)
  • 6-8 tablespoons raw cacao powder** (I use Power Super Foods raw cacao)
  • 10 tablespoons raw coconut oil (I use Niugini Organics coconut oil)
  • 4 tablespoons rice malt syrup (or to your taste)
  • 40mls rum (extra to the soaking rum above)
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • zest from 1 orange
  • PLUS the rum soaked raisins
  • EXTRA coconut for rolling the rum balls in

[** 6 tablespoons of raw cacao powder gives a nice chocolatey flavour, the 8 tablespoons of cacao powder gives a richer dark chocolate flavoured rum ball. The choice is yours, experiment with the amounts.]

INSTRUCTIONS

Soak the sultanas in the 40mls of rum for at least 24 hours. The raisins will plump up and most of the rum will be absorbed by the raisins.

[24 hours later]

Place the dry ingredients (almond meal, chia bran, cacao powder, desicated coconut) into a food processor. Blend until ingredients look combined.

Add rice malt syrup and orange zest, then rum, then the coconut oil. If the coconut oil is soft, you won't need to melt it.

Put the mixture into a bowl and mix through the rum soaked raisins. Cover the bowl and put in the fridge to cool.

The mixture may separate a little. This is the reason I put it in the fridge to cool. You will find the coconut oil may set around the mixture. Just stir this through again before you start rolling.

Roll into small balls. I used a 1/2 tablespoon to measure the balls out. Roll the balls around in a bowl of desiccated coconut. You will find them quite sticky, the heat of your hands will melt the coconut oil a bit, but this helps the desiccated coconut to stick to your rum balls.

Fiona Carter's rum balls 2

Place them into the freezer until you are ready to eat them or package them up to give them away.

In the Australian summer, they need to be kept in the fridge at least. I quite like eating them from the freezer :)

Hope you enjoy them... I'm now working on a Kahlua and walnut truffle/ball recipe. I will be back if they are successful with another recipe.

Thanks for visiting.

Cheers

Fiona x

Fiona Carter's rum balls collage blog


free double passes to the Better Homes and Gardens Live Sydney show

Better Homes and Gardens LIVE is coming to Sydney!

Sydney Showground

Friday 20 September – Sunday 22 September 2013

A Great Day Out For The Entire Family.

Australia’s favourite home magazine and television show is coming to life at Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park, from 20 – 22 September 2013 for Better Homes and Gardens LIVE.

Whether you are a renovator, foodie, DIY or craft lover, gardening or interiors addict, Better Homes and Gardens LIVE is the only place to go for all the latest products, advice and tips for your home.  Get inspired with live demonstrations and workshops from your favourite Better Homes and Gardens experts and shop for the latest gadgets and technology from more than 350 exhibitors at our one-stop home and garden product showcase.

Better Cooking

Fast Ed and Karen Martini will demonstrate their favourite recipes as well as some exciting new creations at the Better Cooking stage.

Fast Ed 1

Better Decorating and DIY

Rob Palmer will power up his toolkit at the Better Decorating and DIY stage and will inspire men and women to create great projects from the TV show at home whilst Tara Dennis will work her design magic on projects that tap into the latest trends in colour and interior design.

Tara Dennis 2

Better Craft & Skills Workshop & Make and Take Workshop

The Better Homes and Gardens magazine editors will be showcasing how to create amazing craft projects at the interactive Make and Take Workshop. And at the Better Craft & Skills workshop, discover the overwhelming satisfaction of creating something with your hands. 

Better Gardening and Pets

Dr Harry will share his incredible knowledge to help all pet owners and pet lovers to look after the furry, feathered or scaly member of the family at the Better Gardening and Pets stage.

Whether you are already a green thumb or a gardening novice, Australia’s eminent garden and landscaping gurus Graham Ross and Jason Hodges will be creating Australia’s most sought after gardens, whilst offering ample practical advice.

Jason Hodges 1

Plenty of Activities for the Kids!  Looking for things to do with the kids during the school holidays? Crafty kids will feel right at home at Better Homes and Gardens LIVE!  They’ll be spoilt for choice with face painting, balloon sculpting and sand art on offer.  And the little ones will love the petting zoo, getting hands-on with their favourite farmyard animals.

Make yourself at home at Better Homes and Gardens LIVE this September.

Visitor and Ticket Information

Venue:  Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park                       

When:  9am – 5pm, Friday 20 – Sunday 22 September, 2013

Who:  Johanna Griggs and the Better Homes and Gardens team: Tara Dennis, Fast Ed Halmagyi, Karen Martini, Dr Harry Cooper, Jason Hodges, Rob Palmer and Graham Ross.

Ticket Prices:

Buy Earlybird Tickets Online and Save at www.bhglive.com.au

Full priced tickets can be bought at the door of the event every day.

Standard Early Bird Ticket:  $15 (save $5 off the door price)

Standard Ticket on the Door:  $20

Concession Early Bird Ticket:  $10 (save $5 off the door price)        

Concession Ticket on the Door:  $15

 

Now, here's some exciting news..... 

I have 20 FREE double pass tickets to give away to the Sydney Better Homes and Gardens LIVE show. If you would like a double pass (that's two tickets) to this event, please send me an email (you can find the "email me" link in the top right column right here on this page). EDITED: ALL THE TICKETS HAVE BEEN GIVEN AWAY. THANKS FOR VISITING MY BLOG, AND I HOPE EVERYONE WHO RECEIVED TICKETS ENJOYS THE SHOW.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Cheers

Fiona


cake decorating with baby pom pom trim

The baby pom pom trim has been restocked at Ribbons Galore.

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I received a question regarding the pom pom trim via the Ribbons Galore Facebook page.... could the baby pom pom trim be used on a cake board? As it happens, I have used this trim to decorate a cake board, so thought I'd show some pictures here.

My daughter wanted a blue marbled iced cake for her birthday last year.

Image 8

The cake board was edged with the white baby pom pom trim. I used royal icing, which I piped onto the edge, then stuck the pom pom trim to that. Once the royal icing was set (dried) the trim stayed in place during the party.

Image 5

The cake board I used was approximately 4mm thick, and there was a thin layer of fondant icing covering the board. The baby pom pom trim fitted neatly on the edge.

Here are a few more close up shots...

Image 6

Image 7

Quite often you will see ribbon used to edge the cake boards, but the baby pom pom trim gives a different look, and adds a little fun to the cake.

Thanks for visiting...

Cheers

Fiona