Homegrown tomatoes

29 Apr 2009

I flew home to Brisbane to spend Easter with my family. We are not known as a family of green thumbs, except for Farmer Andrew, though Mum and I both have a way with African Violets. Andrew gave Dad these tomato plants and they've gone a bit feral in the back garden.

When I was home the plant was in its last flowering for the season. Each morning Dad would collect the ripe tomatoes and place them on the kitchen table. How could I not photograph these little beauties?


Anzac Day - Anzac Biscuits

25 Apr 2009

April 25 is Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand, a day which commemorates the landing of Australian and New Zealand forces at Gallipoli in Turkey in 1915 and those soldiers who fought in the battles of the Somme. So what else could I bake today but Anzac biscuits?

I think this is one of the first recipes I ever made. Anzac Biscuits are an Australian tradition, which began during the first World War. Australian women would send parcels of Anzac biscuits to their sons, brothers, sweethearts and husbands serving overseas.

The biscuit recipe doesn't contain any eggs so could survive the long sea journey from home in Australia to the battlefields in Europe.

Hard as I try, I can never make it out of my warm bed to photograph the Dawn Service so baking a batch of Anzac Biscuits is my tribute to the day.

See you all again soon,


Friday Favourite - The Girls of San Juan la Laguna

24 Apr 2009

In 2007 I took 3 months off work to travel and to work on my website. I began my travels in Canada where I attended an International Physiotherapy Congress before flying down to Mexico. I joined a 3 week GAP trip around Guatemala, Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula. I travelled at the height of summer in June/July and boy was Mexico hot!

The image of the 3 girls was taken in the small village of San Juan La Laguna. Some of my friends commented how lucky I was to find the three girls running down the street but I admit to setting up the shot. Speaking no Spanish I used sign language and a few actions to get the girls to run towards me. They probably thought I was a crazy lady but they ran for me regardless. I was using my digital camera on that trip and when I showed the images to the girls they burst out laughing. They left arm in arm on their way to the ice cream seller, their original destination.

For those interested I was using my Nikon D-70S, 18-70mm lens, shot at f9,1/320 secs ISO 200.


Pecan Apple Crumble Cake

19 Apr 2009

I've had this recipe for ages though I don't remember ever making it. I even remember where I was when I copied it from a magazine. I was staying with my friend Natalie at the on a Hunter Valley wine tasting weekend.

It's the second of the three simple apple cake recipes I'm planning to taste test. The Pecan Apple Crumble Cake is a simple butter cake with grated apple folded through it with a surprise crumble layer in the middle consisting of brown sugar, chopped pecans and cinnamon. I snaffled a piece to photograph so you could see the surprise layer.

(Edit) I took the cake into work on Monday and it was all gone by lunch time. I think it passed the taste test with flying colours.

My piece of cake.

See you all again soon,


Friday Favourite - The Little Jewel

17 Apr 2009

I travelled to Sri Lanka in January 2003, about 18 months before the tsunami devastated the coastline. I really enjoyed my time there, the people and most importantly, the food.

After visiting Kandy, we headed to the hills to stay on a tea plantation. On our way to Nurya Eliya we stopped at a small village where the pongal festival was taking place. It was colourful and very noisy and we ended up daubed with flour paste.

I spied this little girl watching the fun and instantly dubbed her "The Little Jewel" as she was so sweet dressed in her prettiest party frock. The photo was shot using my favourite colour film, Fuji Reala 100.

There'll be a few more images of Sri Lanka in the coming weeks,


Passover Almond Cake

16 Apr 2009

I spent Easter with my family and as always it rained. There's no better way to spend a rainy day than baking. As it was also Passover, I decided to bake a cake that could be eaten at Passover.

I made my
Mum's Almond Cake and simply substituted the dried breadcrumbs for fine matzo meal.

I honestly don't think the cake looks or tastes any different from an almond cake made from the regular recipe. I've tracked down a photo I took last year so you can compare.

All cut and ready to eat!

See you all again soon.

Bye for now,



Cocoa Hazelnut Rochers

12 Apr 2009

Happy Easter/Passover, whichever festival you're celebrating. It's always a challenge looking for tasty morsels to bake which don't require flour. 

When I found a recipe for cocoa almond rochers in a 2008 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine, it filled the bill - a sweet morsel that combined nuts, chocolate but without flour.

As always I needed to tinker with the recipe so in my version, I halved all the ingredients but doubled the cocoa powder, used toasted hazelnuts instead of the almonds, lowered the cooking temperature substantially but doubled the cooking time! 

I think they taste and look pretty good. You could also substitute the nuts with the equivalent weight of chopped hazelnut chocolate.

Happy eating,



Friday Favourite - Scudamores

10 Apr 2009

When I started photography I was only 12 years old so of course my first camera was a film camera, a little agfamatic. I only began getting my film scanned when I started doing wedding photography in 2003. That means all my travel photography images taken prior to 2004 are stored as negatives in archival sleeves. I primarily shot film until about 3 years ago and only changed because my clients were asking for digital imagery coupled with the difficulties involved in getting film developed.

I still use black and white film at weddings and whenever I travel I always carry a few rolls of film with me. Last year I had some of my older film images scanned but have never posted them to my blog, although some of the black and white images do appear on my website. I've decided to do a Friday Favourite feature, where I pull out some of my favourite images, primarily travel and primarily shot on film.

I chose this photo which I shot early one morning in 1999 whilst visiting my brother who was living and studying in Cambridge. I don't have the negatives with me but I'm pretty sure I was shooting Ilford Delta 400 at the time. It's always been one of my favourite images. I love the position of the punts and the reflection of the chimneys in the corner of the image. During my last year studying photography at the Sydney Institute, I had to submit a portfolio of 10 images for review. My portfolio had the theme of places and faces and featured a combination of my travel and wedding images. This was one of the images I submitted.

My travel images are available for puchase either as prints or on canvas. Just email me for sizes and pricing,


Apple Almond Cake

8 Apr 2009

It's autumn here, although it's arrived a little later than usual. That means the fruit shop is filled with apples, pears and quince. When it came time to bake something for morning tea, I knew it had to be one of my many apple based cake recipes. I've always liked anything made with apples and my grandma used to make an apple cake for dessert nearly every Friday night.

I think I have at least 4 or 5 apple cake recipes in my recipe collection. I'm planning to bake them all, then do a taste test at work and see which one tops the poll before deciding which apple cake recipe makes the final cut for the book.

This recipe first appeared in Good Taste magazine 10 years ago, but it's years since I last made it. One of my work colleagues asked if I've developed all the recipes that I bake. I explained that most of my recipes are adaptations of original recipes. In this case I've increased the quantity of the mixture, added vanilla and ground macadamia nuts to the original mixture and almost doubled the cooking time. Does that make the recipe my own now? I'm not sure but I do know that it was wolfed down by the throng and some people even came back for second helpings.

Some of the apple photos on the blog were taken in Cambridge during my trip to the UK last year. My friend's house is built on what used to be an apple orchard and some of the original apple trees are still in their garden.

Enjoy the fruits of autumn,


Happy Birthday Mona

5 Apr 2009

One of my favourite brides from 2008 is celebrating a special birthday on April 6 so I've attached one of my favourite black and white film images from her wedding day.

Happy Birthday Mona,



Lime Poppyseed Cake

2 Apr 2009

I've been baking my way through all the cakes I've ever taken in to work. Monday was a special day for one of my colleagues who was celebrating one of those landmark birthdays that end in zero.

Somehow I remembered that Wendy likes the taste of lime, so I pulled out one of my old favourite recipes for lime poppyseed cake.

The touch that makes the cake so special is the simple lime and sugar syrup that's poured over the cake once it comes out of the oven. It's been years since I last made the cake so I'm keen to try a piece.

My own slice is resting in the freezer to be consumed after the Easter break - well I did have the little banoffee pies and a caramel chocolate tart to taste test as well.

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