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…with bonus “spot the difference” puzzles.

With the a.n.t. problem in Dianella, I’ve decided having my bed up against the window sill sans headboard is a no go because I really don’t like finding the occasional stray ant on my pillows. This may seem unreasonable to you, but that is just how it is in my house. (Plus it’s SUPER cold in winter.)

This bit didn’t change much.

So the first night of my 2017 Xmas leave was spent rearranging my bedroom from this, to this:

Puzzle 1…

Can you spot the difference between ^ that pic, and this one:

Puzzle #2: it’s very subtle, I know.

Obviously, the perspective is slightly difference…but there might be something else:

Distance can sometimes help…

Do you need a hint?

#hint

Now that I have the bed against the wall, I’ve started thinking about my perfect headboard again #sigh.

A headboard is #commitment

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I ❤ these placemats. They were my 2017 birthday treat to myself, and they only come out on very special occasions.

…even if they are unscented.

Yes that is an ikea watering can being used to hold a floral arrangement.

The shot glasses holding the smaller tulips were my Nana and Poppa’s (Australian grandparents). They have history.

Simple, yet sexy.

Words fail me, because this ice-cream is the bomb. I’m calling it mango “lassi” ice-cream because although it contains mango puree and yoghurt, it also contains cream so it’s not a proper Lassi. Liberties have been taken. Apologies to all the Lassi connoisseurs #sorrynotsorry.

Ingredients: Mango “Lassi” Ice-cream

You’ll need an ice-cream machine for this and ideally a hand mixer,

On ice-cream makers: I thoroughly recommend the self-chilling ones (Breville make a good ‘un). Yes: they are more expensive, and they are bulky but they are a lot less laborious and there’s a lot less fiddle-faddling around plus for Western Australian summers: they are really the only sensible option.

  • 800-850gm tin of Mango Puree
  • 1L of Greek Yoghurt
  • 300-500mL whipping cream (thin cream)

Pop your mango puree and yoghurt into a large bowl, plonk in your hand mixer and mix until well combined. Add in your thin cream to taste, then mix again with your hand mixer until the cream is well aerated (it should be starting to increase in size, but not be actually whipped).

Pour into your ice-cream maker and churn. I had enough to do two batches in mind. Once churned and at soft-serve consistency, decant into your preferred ice-cream storage vessels (two #reused plastic takeaway containers did the trick for me) and pop in your freezer until needed.

Ideally consume within 3 months.

Deluxe Dessert Idea: Lime soaked berries with mango “lassi” icecream topped with pistachio and white chocolate crumble

For those days when you want to amp up your mango “lassi” ice-cream and impress somebody. Ideal post-Indian feast dessert.

How YOU doin’?

Ingredients

  • Mango “lassi” ice-cream: 2 scoops per person
  • Strawberries, hulled and quartered. 3 per person
  • Raspberries: 4 per person
  • 1 quarter of a lime
  • Pistachio and white chocolate crumble (recipe follows)
  • Gold shimmer powder (edible)

Pop your raspberries and strawberries in a bowl and keep them in the fridge until immediately before serving. When you are ready to serve, squeeze the lime over them and mix then spoon into your dessert receptacles. Top with 2 scoops of the ice-cream, then 1 dessert spoon of the pistachio and white chocolate crumble (recipe to follow), and then a dusting of gold shimmer powder. Prepare to receive compliments.

Pistachio and white chocolate crumble

You’ll need a mini food processor (like the ones you attach to your stick mixer).

  • 2-3 tbsp pistachios
  • 1-2 tbsp white chocolate (I used the melting chocolate)
  • Gold shimmer powder (edible)
  • 1 meringue (white) crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp matcha powder
  • A couple of drops of green food colouring (optional)

Pop all the ingredients (except the food colouring) in to the food processor, process in bursts until really fine crumb. Consider the colouring for your aesthetic appeal, if you think it should be a little greener then pop in your food colouring drops and process a little bit more to mix through. Store in a jar, in the fridge. Use within a month (I pulled that number out of the air, but it seems eminently sensible).

Why have egg and cress sandwiches, when you can be totally extra and have egg and two cress sandwiches?

Is it egg and two cress, or egg and two cresses?

It’s all very Famous Five, but these are absolutely delish sandwiches to serve at a high tea (or to take on a picnic where you solve mysteries accompanied by potted meat sandwiches, seed cake and lashings of ginger beer).

Substantial high tea, artfully photographed.

Embarrassingly: the reason why I purchased the lebanese cress is because I saw Shane Delia’s cooking show and decided I simply must grow lebanese cress… Now that I have grown it successfully: I’ve been struggling to find recipes to include it in. Luckily a shortage of home grown watercress, a surplus of lebanese cress and an impending high tea led to this recipe-spiration 😉

Note to self: find time to search for Shane Delia and locate his recipes using lebanese cress.

Sandwiches hiding behind neverfail chocolate cake

I cut my sandwiches into 4 triangles, and people will generally eat 2-3 triangles per person. I’ve written this recipe so you can easily make as much as you need for your high teas, picnics and assorted mystery-solving adventures.

Aerial perspective.

Ingredients

  • 1 hard boiled egg per sandwich (peeled, obvs)
  • 1 spring onion, green part only chopped finely (0.5 of an end per sandwich is a good ratio but it does depend on how long your spring onion is)
  • 4-5 sprigs of lebanese cress per sandwich, leaves only (cut the leaves off the stalk)
  • 2-3 tbsp of watercress leaves (or land cress leaves) per sandwich, leaves only (cut the leaves off the stalk)
  • 1 dessert spoon of egg mayonnaise per sandwich
  • 2 slices of white sandwich bread, buttered (or nuttelexed, or margarined: whatever your preference)
  • Salt and pepper to season

Mash your boiled egg(s) in a bowl: I like to use a potato masher to break them up finely, and then a fork to stir. Add in the spring onion, lebanese cress leaves, water/land cress leaves and egg mayonnaise. Stir well with the fork to ensure the egg and other ingredients are completely and evenly mixed through.

Taste, and add salt and pepper to your liking.

You use about 1-2 dessert spoons of this mixture per sandwich, so pop your spoonfuls of egg-and-two-cress-mixture on one of the slices of bread and smooth out evenly to cover the whole slice of bread, then cover with the other slice of bread and THEN cut into 4 triangles.

#Chefsrecommendation

These sandwiches are so much more satisfying as triangles.

Triangles by supreme edict.

 

Moon at night

Everyone needs a little bit of magic in their life. And the moon is a magical thing.

Portrait of a new moon

I’ve wanted a 3d printed moon lamp for a while, but the larger ones can be quite costly. There are kickstarters for authentic moon lamps (where the moon is 3D printed with geographic accuracy, and the larger sized ones go for a couple of hundred dollars…plus expensive shipping to Australia).

View of the moon

Serendipitously, I remembered my desire for a 3D printed moon lamp while I was ebaying for present ideas for the Amazant Monsieur H. Turns out you can also find 3D printed moon lamps, albeit at a smaller size and possibly not as geographically mapped, on ebay. And some offer free or cheap shipping!

Moon with a view

The lamps are made of cornstarch (yay not plastic), powered by LED and have 4 settings: full moon, new moon, dimmed moon and off. You charge them via a USB cable to your computer/phone charger, so there are no unsightly cables to clutter the view and – once fully charged – can apparently last for up to 30 hours.

Portrait of a full moon

It’s making my house magical and cheers me up no end. I’d still like to get a very large one to have in a corner of my bedroom, but for now I am quite happy with the little moon in the corner of my living room. I utterly love the new moon colour:

Moon in a room

You’ll be happy to know that AMH also enjoyed his moon lamp present (yes I did buy one for him too!).

I’ve managed to not reference any “moon” songs in this post so far, so I feel it’s only right to indulge myself with just one song.

Do you notice anything missing in the photo above?

One of the other little changes I’ve made is to get some Powerline adapters so I can run my internet through the electric wiring in my house, rather than having additional cabling through my house. A much cheaper change than the other incremental improvements I’ve made recently, but such a difference.

Before this, I had a 15+m long RJ45 cable running from my modem to the other side of the house where my computer is. Although you can selectively ignore it, every time I vacuumed the vacuum cleaner would get caught up in it and often yank the modem out of the wall. Although I mostly photographed around it, you could see it in the background of many photos…

…or the foreground…

It photobombed many living room photos:

…on the left, just below the falcon chair

Like a horror movie villain, it was always lurking:

…it’s BEHIND you!

And it added visual noise and clutter:

During the great sewing adventures of 2016

One tiny change, and it’s so much more serene. I feel relaxed each time I walk into my living and dining room with that one tiny change:

Cable free

Front door, now with security screens on it

Another big ticket item that’s lead to a hardly noticeable change to my house, has been installing security screen doors to my front and back doors.

Prior to painting the windows and doors, there were old wooden screen doors on the front and back. But they were falling apart and weren’t secure, so I didn’t replace them when I painted the outsides of the doors summer before last.

Before shot: post-painting but pre-screen doors

I need screens both for security and also to keep flies and other insects out, especially the back door which I like to leave open when I am hope. It cools the house, but I really don’t enjoy the amount of flies and other insect visitors I was getting through it (This summer I had to wrangle about 15 lost bees out of my laundry because they flew in through the door, but were trying to get out through the closed window right next to it).

Before shot: post-painting but pre-screen door and window

It can get quite hot in summer, so having the option to securely leave the back door open while I am sleeping will make a noticeable difference to the temperature of the house during the super hot summers we get in Perth.

I got screens for both the window and the door in the laundry: since the initial quote, the price has come down by a couple of hundred dollars which was a bonus!

What’s behind the screened door?

So I can even leave the window open slightly, should I not want to leave the door open. That’s an added bonus! Plus now there’s also the option to securely leave the front door open too win-win!

Laundry door and window screens, looking good!