Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Healesville Sanctuary

I really, really liked the Healesville Sanctuary. It's an Australian native animal zoo, set in bushland. It's entertaining and educational. Lot's of walking and getting close up to the animals. You can get up close and personal for an extra fee, but we didn't. It was still cool.

There's extinction fighting superheroes, and if you find yourself perched on the loo at any time, you'll hear a voice over from someone called Crap Man, informing you about the benefits of using recycled dunny paper. They really push that here.

The bird show is a must see. There's Kevin the talking bird, a Corella, and loads of other fabulous birds who do cool stuff.

My Little Drummer Boys

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Cinnamon poached pears with a cream sauce

 ’This post is an entry into the Nuffnang ‘Fresh Recipe’ Network Competition, thanks to BRITA. Check out for inspiration and exclusive recipes by Gary Mehigan’.

I am a filtered water convert. Up until a few months ago, I was always a tap water girl.

Brett would be forever complaining about the taste of the kettle water, and now, being a black tea drinker, I have to agree with him and finally get it.

I no longer use the town tap water to fill my water bottle, or the kettle, something I thought I'd never do. I use the water from the filtered rain water tap that he installed, right at the kitchen sink. Just secretly, I am loving it.

Here's a recipe that I use my filtered water for, using delicious, in season, Beurre Bosc pears. It's easy, you probably already have all the ingredients in your pantry.

Using filtered water in this recipe ensures that the you get the most out of the flavours in your dish, without the added, tainted taste, of unfiltered water.

Cinnamon poached pears

2 beurre bosc pears
400 ml filtered water
200 grams sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon lemon juice
100 mls cream

Place water, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla essence and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Turn down the heat to a simmer.

Peel the pears and lower into the saucepan. If they are not submerged in the liquid, lay them down and occasionally turn so they cook evenly. Cook for 10-15 minutes. 

Take the pears out and drain on a wire rack.

Reserve 100 mls of the poaching liquid. 

Place the reserved liquid back in the saucepan with 100 mls of cream. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes.

Drizzle over the plated pears. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream(and some of my lime and poppy seed biscotti).

Monday, August 25, 2014

Lemon butter tarts, three ways

Thursday I posted my recipe for Lemon Butter. Here are some easy tarts made using that butter. I bought the tart shells ready made from the bakery section in the supermarket, which makes life a lot easier. Heck if you don't want to make the lemon butter, you can even buy that in a jar at the supermarket!

Lemon tarts
This tart is the easiest. Just spoon in some lemon butter and put some whipped cream on top.

Lemon yogurt tart
This one is my favourite. Use half a cup of vanilla yogurt, mix it with half of cup of lemon butter. Spoon into the tart cases and top with mixed berries.

Lemon Butter cheesecakes 
For every 100 grams of cream cheese, add in a good tablespoon of lemon butter. Beat until fluffy. Spoon into tart cases and top with a sliced strawberry. Place a dab of cheesecake mix on top and place a blueberry to top it off.

Fancy wancy for not much effort.

Open Slather