Canberra

02.09.15

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIn the middle of spending a week at my parents house on the south coast last week, Mark and I had a quick 2 hour road trip  to Canberra, while Sunday stayed busy back at the ranch with her Nanny and Poppy. We crammed a lot in to 36 hours.. Here’s a wrap up – as seen through my iPhone. And, it’s official…Canberra is cool!

We stayed at the fairly new and very hip Hotel Hotel – which is in the middle of the NewActon village. We had a light dinner (after a big lunch – see below) at the very close A. Baker and enjoyed a yummy breakfast at Monster kitchen and bar (I highly recommend the home made crumpets). Definitely a great area to bunker down when visiting our nation’s capital, there is just so much happening in this precinct.

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The big lunch I mentioned above was a decedent spread at the delicious Asian fusion restaurant, Akiba. We chose the ‘just feed me’ option where the kitchen selects 8 of their favourite dishes. We weren’t disappointed. Pictured above are the kimchi pancakes and the pork belly bun with slaw. Hooly dooly – these dishes are worth a trip to Canberra alone.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetCulture came to us in spades with visits to the following landmarks:
Australian War Memorial – pictured above is the beautiful domed ceiling in the tomb of the unknown soldier.
Old Parliament House
National Gallery of Australia – pictured above is my favourite painting of the day, the sweet work by Margaret Preston, ‘For a little girl’, 1929
National Portrait Gallery – just a short stroll from the National Gallery.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThere wasn’t a huge amount of time for shopping, but after a tip off from a lovely Instagram follower, I’m so glad I managed to visit Tip You’re It – a brand new kids lifestyle store in Braddon (just up from the restaurant I mention next). It was stocked to the gills with all my favourite brands, and all styled so beautifully – definitely worth stopping by (the store will be also online soon too).

4A definite highlight was the delectable meal we enjoyed right at the end of our whirlwind visit….a traditional italian feast from Italian + Sons. I want to go back!!

I hope you are all having a great week,

Briar x

 

Rhubarb + Custard Tart

30.08.15

RhubarbWe’ve just spent a lovely and relaxing week holidaying at my parents house on the south coast of NSW (with a short visit to Canberra in between, more on that on my next blog post). One of the highlights was definitely enjoying my Mum’s fantastic cooking. Les is also a very keen gardener, so when she spotted this recipe in the latest Country Style magazine, it was a perfect excuse to use some of her abundant rhubarb supply in the garden. Here’s the delicious recipe:

Rhubarb Tart with Custard Serves 6
Ideally you want to time your custard to be ready just as the tart shell finishes blind baking, so the hot custard goes into the hot shell–this is how you ensure a crisp bottom of the tart.

Ingredients
1 kg rhubarb, cut to the width of tart tin
1 orange, rind finely grated, juiced
2 tablespoons of caster sugar
2 sheets of Pampas Puff Pastry
1/2 cup roasted pistachio kernels, to serve
Double cream or ice cream, to serve

Custard
1/2 cup pouring cream
1/2 cup caster sugar
6 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cornflour
1 1/2 cups milk

Method
Preheat oven to 190°C. Line rectangular tart tin (my Mum used a slice tin which makes a slightly wider version) with pastry, pressing pastry in to corners, trim edges or leave for a rustic look. To blind bake pastry: line pastry case with baking paper and weight it down with pie weights. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until sides are set. Remove pie weights and baking paper and bake for 10 minutes or until golden.
Meanwhile, place rhubarb, orange rind, juice and sugar in a bowl. Stir to combine and set aside to macerate.
To make custard, place cream in a bowl and whisk to very soft peaks. Set aside in fridge. Place sugar, egg yolks and cornflour in a separate bowl and whisk together until thick and pale. Place milk in a small saucepan and heat over a medium heat until almost boiling. Pour into egg mixture whisking as you go. Return mixture to pan. Cook over a medium heat, whisking constantly. When custard starts to thicken, reduce heat to a medium-low and keep whisking until custard looks glossy and player, and start to pull away from edge a little. Remove from heat, fold through cream and pour into the hot tart case.

Reduce oven to 170°C. Arrange rhubarb in a line over custard. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until rhubarb is tender. Scatter with pistachios. Serve slices with double cream or ice cream. Delicious!

Briar x

Think Flowers Company

25.08.15

ThinkFlowers1 ThinkFlowers2There’s big love for fresh flowers in our house. I’ve usually always got something in a vase, and I’m loving that Sunday is showing interest in new varieties that she hasn’t seen before (although poppies are a strong favourite lately). Excitement levels were high for the three year old when a delivery from Think Flowers Company arrived late last week. It’s a new online flower market that’s launching soon for Sydney folk. Growing up with a garden obsessed mother (much like myself), Jane Schofield is the woman behind the new concept. It wasn’t until Jane left the family home—and missed her mother’s penchant for placing cut flowers in every room—that she realised how flowers and foliage can make or break a serene and stylish space.

ThinkFlowersYou name the variety and Think Flowers Company will fix the need to schlep around town hunting for the best bunch, thanks to same-day delivery, a flat rate shipping fee of $5 for most of Sydney and easy online ordering. You can let them do the leg-work: they’ll hand pick the highest-quality seasonal blooms for you to arrange in your own space.

Think Flowers Company also offer a subscription service delivering hassle-free flowers on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis (love this idea)! I’m also loving Jane’s beautifully curated Instagram feed – check it out @thinkflowerscompany.

ThinkFlowers4Briar x

Sunday wears dress by new local label Minouche

A good weekend

17.08.15

Weekend3 Weekend2Weekend1The sun was shining in Sydney over the weekend, which was perfect for my darling Grandma’s 90th birthday celebration in my Aunt + Uncle’s garden. In my family, Enid May is everything to all of us – she’s a woman who has always inspired us through her intelligence, humour and strength. Her life has had it’s fair share of hardship (asking for a banana from Santa Clause one year – as that’s all her family could afford, having to permanently bunk out on a fold out bed in the living area of her tiny family home, and leaving school at 13 to join the work force are just some of the stories). These memories are equaled with ones of huge amounts of joy. She’s traveled far and wide, became quite the property mogul later in life and has always been an incredibly dedicated and fiercely protective grandma, all the while impressing us with a very up to date knowledge on current affairs (she still completes most of her grandchildren’s tax returns every year). As my cousin said on Sunday, she has also always had the knack of making each of her 8 grandchildren feel like ‘the favourite’. Big, unconditional love for the original wonder woman. We enjoyed delicious catering by Simon Ekas and listened to live tunes from a local jazz band my Aunt organised. But most importantly, the family all spent time together, and laughter was the main sound heard on the day.

Weekend5Weekend4In addition to family, friends are the other joy in life – and I was surrounded by some of my nearest and dearest girls at a Hen’s Lunch on Saturday. We dined at a favourite restaurant, The Apollo in Potts Point. The Taramasalata with flat bread and Saganaki cheese with honey and oregano make the visit worth it alone…I’m having those annoying food flashbacks where I just want to eat it all again.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend,

Briar x

 

Online Photography Course

16.08.15

Visual+Storytelling+-+An+online+class+by+LIFE-CAPTURED+Inc+(The+modern+school+of+memory+keeping)The older I get, the desire to learn and study is in the back of my mind more and more. I look back at my time in Year 11 and 12, followed by my 3 years at Design Centre Enmore and I can’t help but feel that had I been a more mature student (with more self control), I would have gained so much more. You see, I was a bit of a chatter box – some may even say the class clown in High School (which I’m not proud of). I like to think I’ve grown up quite a bit – and on reflection, I wish I had been so much more focused.

With work and motherhood keeping me busy these days, I’m trying to make an effort to do short courses here and there (and look at more long term courses in a few years time when Sunday is at school).  I’ve signed up for the Life Captured Inc  Visual Storytelling online course. It’s a 5-week course that starts on Sunday 7th September that is perfect for those of us wanting to gain a solid grasp of manual mode on our SLR camera.  The course aims to teach both the technical elements of understanding light and composition as well as exploring emotional connections to create meaningful images and to tell your story through the lens. It’s approximately 2 hours of ‘homework’ per week for the 5 weeks, which I like the sound of too – as it’s not a unachievable  commitment, time wise.

The really cool news is that my readers and Instagram followers can get $50.00 off the course (that is normally $195.00) with the code Sunday at the checkout.

Hope you have all had a great weekend.

Briar x

PS. Congratulations to Leah Wilmot, a blog newsletter subscriber and winner of the original illustration by Rebecca from Lagomstyle. I’ll be in touch via. email!

 

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