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There is something wonderful about early mornings.

 Don’t get me wrong, I like getting out of bed as much as the next person but once I’m up and awake  I really enjoy the quiet and still of the early morning.

 I got up early this morning as I had to drop B off at the airport. He’s off to Melbourne for a few days while I stay home and pack. We’re moving house next weekend.

 I hate packing but I like getting to move to a new place and re organise everything. I’m especially looking forward to having a bigger kitchen.

 I have a massive sweet tooth and pavlova has been one of my favourite deserts as long as I can remember. It is because of this the Meringue became my procrastibaking go to during high school. Many a weekend I have spent attempting to form the perfect peaks in my egg whites, waiting for the slow baking process to work its magic, smelling the sweet sent of caramelising sugar wafting through the house and artfully arranging cream, chocolate, fruit and/or nut atop my creations.

And its just so worth it.

To me eating Meringue is akin to floating on a cloud.

So today I am sharing one of my recipes for this delightful sweet.

Meringue kisses are just small peaks of meringue sandwich together with something sweet. I’ve used caramel and lemon curd in todays recipe but you can use ganache, jam, curd, whipped cream, or whatever else takes your fancy.

My general rule for all meringue is 50g castor sugar to 1 egg white.

For these you will need 2 egg whites and 100g castor sugar.

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In a clean mixing bowl whisk the egg whites on medium with an electric mixer until they form soft peaks.

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Add in sugar 1 tbs at a time. Once all the sugar has been added turn the mixer up to high and whisk for 10-15 mins or until the meringue is smooth and not grainy. to test this rub some of the meringue between your fingers.

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Once your meringue is ready use a spatular to move the meringue into a piping bag or large zip lock bag with the corner cut off.

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 pipe small peaks (1-2cms in diameter)of meringue onto a baking paper lined baking sheet.

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Place in a 100-130 C  oven and allow to bake of at least an hour.

The outside should be crisp.

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Turn off the oven and allow to cool.

Once they have cooled you can store them in an airtight container until you are ready to serve them.

 To serve match up evenly sized meringues. Sandwich together with half a teaspoon of caramel or lemon.

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Sorry for the lateness of todays post, as you may (or may not) have notice we moved! As I learn to work my way around WordPress the look around here will probably change to. I’ve also been busy photographing and testing some new recipes so that i’m ready for the next few weeks as I am actually moving too.

This is usually our go to meal when we need to top up our veggie intake.
It started as an easy ratatouille recipe and somewhere along the line merged with my stew recipe. Its fantastic served with couscous or even just toast be we like to have it with polenta and sausages. This recipe serves 8-10 as I like to have left overs for lunches or easy dinner during the week. It can be done over the stove or in the crockpot.

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1 Eggplant

2 Capsicums

2 Zucchinis

4-5 Tomatos

1 tin Diced Tomatos

1 cup White wine

2 tbs Vegetable Stock Powder

2 tbs herbs or spices of your choice (I sometimes use an Italian herb mix or when I want to spice it up I use Cajun Spice mix)

Dice the vegetables and place in a large pot.

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Add the tin tomatoes, wine, stock powder & herbs or spices then mix through.

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Place on a medium heat for a minimum of 30 mins.

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You can now serve up your Ratastewie or turn down the heat and leave until its to your liking/you’re ready.

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I like to serve my Ratastewie with Polenta and sausages. Its also good with fruit & nut loaded couscous or just with crusty bread.

This project was my valentines day gift to Ben. My inspiration came from trolling through the many pins for valentines gifts and cards on Pinterest. I first came across some pins for making your own teabags and since we love drinking various flavors of tea at our house I thought this would be a great gift. Then I found this post for a card and I decided to combine these ideas. This was the result. 

Tea

To make this you will need 
Coffee filters 

Scissors 

Sewing machine 

Tea 

Teaspoon 

Cooking string 

Stapler 

Brown paper 

Stickers 

Pens and pencils 


Method 
Cut filters into rectangles as shown below 

Sew up the 2 long sides and one short side. Trim the edges and excess string.  
Fill each tea bag 1 teaspoon of tea into each bag.  


I made 3 different types.  

Prepare 1 length of string per bag (10-15cm) 


Fold the corners of the open end to the middle of the bag creating a triangle at the top. Loop 1 end of the string around in a small circle. Place on the middle edge of the triangle. 


Fold top of triangle to bottom and staple.   


Pull string slightly to ensure it doesn’t come loose. 


Cut 4.5 x 8 cm rectangles out of brown paper. 


Fold each in half and decorate one side as you wish. 

Write a message or the name of the tea on the other side. Tape the loose end of the string inside the fold of paper then staple the edges together. 
To make the individual wrappings 
 for each bag cut 16 x 9.5 cm rectangles out of brown paper. Fold in half and sew up the 2 sides.  

Trim extra string. Write tea type on the bag then place tea bag inside the bag. Fold over the edge and secure with a sticker (or tape) 

Darrell Lea’s Dark chocolate covered ginger was the stock standard gift for Dad on every occasion until it started getting to hard to get a hold of. So what were we to do? Trying to find gifts for Dad is hard enough without losing our standard gift. Showing the usual Gammie spirit I thought ‘I can make that.’ and so I did.  You can use dark or milk chocolate for this its up to you but our favourite is dark chocolate. 
Ingredients 
1 Bag (200g) uncrystallised or “natural” Ginger 
100g Melting Chocolate 
place chocolate in a small metal or glass bowl, place over a bowl of boiling water. stir occasionally until entirely melted.  
Place ginger pieces (a few at a time) in bowl of chocolate. use chopsticks or a fork to roll the ginger pieces around until covered with chocolate.  
  
 
once covered place on  sheet of baking paper to dry.  
 
  
 
 
repeat until you have run out of ginger.  
allow to dry for 15-30 mins or until chocolate hardens. 
 
 

Happy Australia Day!
I am spending the day with the rest of the Gammie Creative & co. And like a lot of Aussies out there we are listening to triple j’s hottest 100. We have lamingtons, pies, banana lollies, 2 different types of damper, and bbq for later. As for what we’re drinking, we are haveing our favourite cocktail – Mango Champs!
To make this delicious drink all you need is mango sorbet, champagne (or more likely a cheep bubbly) and a blender or bar mix.
We use a rough ratio of 1L of sorbet to 1 bottle of bubbly.
Blend together and enjoy.
Well I’m off to play squatter. An Australian board game about sheep stations (not even kidding).
I hope you are all haveing a fantastic Australia Day !
lil


By far my favorite meal to serve to friends is Tea. Morning or afternoon tea It doesn’t matter but I like getting out my nice teapot/s and tea cups and making a range of small nibbles to eat. So one day I made some small serviettes to go with my tea set. These serviettes are very easy to make and don’t take a lot of fabric. They are also easy to embellish to make them your own. you could add matching lace or ribbon around the edges or even some buttons or beads in the corners. I made 4 small square serviettes using 1 fat quart but if you have more fabric and want bigger ones you can use the same method on any size square or rectangular piece of fabric.  
Makes 4 Small Serviettes: 
1 Fat quart fabric, (54×46 cm) 
Matching thread 
Iron 
Scissors 
Sewing machine or needle 
Ruler  or card with cm measurements marked on it.  
Iron flat your fabric. Fold then cut into quarters.  

One edge at a time fold the edge in 1cm and iron flat. To do this I use a piece of card from the middle of a fat quart marked with 1 cm apart lines from 1 edge.  


Unfold the edges and cut the corners off where the folds meet (pictured below). This will make your corners much neater and not to thick. 


Fold each edge under itself and iron flat creating a rolled edge.  

Stitch around the edge, keeping on the hems. If using a sewing machine, start at 1 corner stitch along the edge in the middle of the hem and just before you reach the edge stop the machine with the needle in the fabric. 

 lift the foot and turn your serviette so that it is in position to stich the next edge.  

place the foot down then repeat until you come back to the first corner add a couple of back stiches before cutting your threads.  

Cut of any excess threads. you can leave the serviette as is or add any embellishments you like at this point.  (e.g. Lace or ribbon around the edge or beads, buttons, or embroidery to the corners.)

Many years ago I found an article that explained the different effects of the various ingredients in brownies on the end texture of them. Using this article as a guideline, I set about putting together my own recipe. After a couple of tests I got it just to my liking. And I used that recipe for quite a while but then life and work got in the way and I forgot the recipe and reverted to using boxed mixes.
One day my parents were over for afternoon tea and I had made some brownies (from a box) filled with marshmallows. They were lovely and chewy (because of the marshmallows) and Dad raved about them. I had to admit then that I’d just tweaked a box recipe.  Later that night Ben suggested I make my own recipe.
So I started looking up recipes and reading them reminded me of my old recipe. So the next time I made some brownies I used my old recipe and I haven’t looked back.I Hope you enjoy them
Lil

Base Brownie Mix
200g Cooking Chocolate
125g Butter
1 cup White Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup Plain Flour
2 Tbs Cocoa
Place butter and chocolate in a large glass or metal bowl and place over medium saucepan 1/3 filled with boiling water (alternatively use a double boiler).
Stir occasionally until all melted and combined.
Stir in sugar then remove bowl from the heat (caution the bowl will be quite hot.)
Once off the heat add eggs and vanilla and stir until combined and smooth.
Sift flour and cocoa over the chocolate mix then gently fold in until just combined.
Line a square baking tin (22 cm sides) with baking paper,  fold in corners if needed to make it sit nicely.
Pour mixture into lined tin and let it spread out to the edges.
 Place in oven on the top rack.
Bake until the middle dosen’t wobble when you shake the tin (around 45 mins).
Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 5 mins then move to a cooling rack.