Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Have you heard the news . . .. .

it's pretty sad (from the Buzz and Bloom Blog)

Buzz and Bloom is Closing

Since it's beginnings in 2003, Buzz and Bloom has operated as a small part of a family-owned company. Over the years we've seen many 'versions' of the business. We've done many things... starting with albums, moving into unmounted rubber stamps, a retail webstore, introducing chipboard to our range, going wholesale only, taking our range to CHA and winning first prize in the Innovations Showcase for our denim and cord products and so much more...
It's time again for a change. Buzz and Bloom as we know it is currently closed. In the wake of the illness of one of our family members/directors of the company, we are focusing our resources into other areas of the company. So we're closing our manufacturing and wholesale business for now.
For me this signifies a bit of a life change. I know that may sound slightly dramatic, but for a while now, the only scrapbooking projects I have been doing are the ones for B&B DT. I have loved every minute of creating with all of the inspirational products and really want to thank Div for the opportunity to serve on the DT with those amazingly talented ladiesBut I feel the need to take a break from scrapping and follow some different creative pursuits. 
I really want to learn how to sew (properly and not just on scrapbooking layouts!) I want to concentrate on some home decorating ideas I've had bubbling away for a while now. And cooking! I'm hoping this blog will become a little bit of a home cooking inspiration site (well, that's rather ambitious I'll admit - but hey, we all gotta have dreams).
They say that when a door closes, somewhere a window opens so I choose to look for the window and climb out into the light :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Recipe Share - Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This seems to be our family's stand by for using up over-ripe bananas. In fact I suspect that some bananas get left to go bad just so that I have to make this :) The original recipe for the cake comes from Donna Hay Modern Classics 2. The cream cheese frosting is my own addition, and a rework on an old classic. The inclusion of vanilla makes this extra special and irresistible.
Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Cake
    • 125 g unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 cup caster sugar
    • ¼ cup brown sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • 2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • ¾ cup sour cream
    • 1 cup roughly mashed banana
For the Frosting
    • 60 g Cream cheese, softened
    • 30 g unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup icing sugar
    • 1-2 teaspoon lemon juice
    • lemon zest
For the Cake
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Place the butter, caster sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy. Gradually add the eggs and beat well. Sift the flour and baking powder over the mixture. Add the cinnamon, sour cream and banana and stir to combine. Spoon the mixture into a greased 26cm (10 in) fluted ring tin. Bake for 40 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool on a wire rack.

For the Frosting
In a small bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth and well combined. Add the vanilla. Gradually add the icing sugar, beating well between additions. Add enough lemon juice to bring the mixture to a smooth, but firm consistency.
Spread generously over the cooled cake, sprinkle with lemon zest and just try to resist!

(Serves 8)

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Recipe Share - Butter Tandoori Chicken with Wilted Garlic Baby Spinach

Wow, that's a mouthful! But you better believe a delicious mouthful :)
I first tried this when Meg made it for our cooking club. So delicious I had to get the recipe. The original recipe comes from taste.com.au, I have added the baby spinach to introduce some greens for a more balanced meal.

Butter Tandoori Chicken with Wilted Garlic Baby Spinach
For the Chicken
    • 1 tablespoon Welly Boot Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • 500g chicken thigh, cubed
    • 3 tablespoons Tandoori paste
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • 375ml can lite evaporated milk
    • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon cornflour
    • 15g butter
For the Spinach
    • 150g Baby Spinach, washed and drained
    • 1 clove garlic
    • ¼ cup water
    • 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
Heat oil in a frying pan, add chicken and cook for 2 minutes.
Add Tandoori paste and tomato paste and stir until chicken is coated.
Combine the evaporated milk, sugar and cornflour and pour over chicken, mixing well.
Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add butter and stir until melted.
Garnish with flaked almonds. Serve with steamed basmati rice.

While the chicken is simmering, place the water and garlic in a large pot  and bring to the boil. Add the spinach leaves, immediately cover the pot and turn off the heat. Leave for 3-5 minutes until just wilted. Squeeze lemon juice over wilted leaves, salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

(Serves 4)

The best tandoori paste I have found (and the one that Meg turned me on to) is "Maharaja's Choice" brand available from Coles.
This is pretty family friendly. But you can adjust the heat by adding more or less Tandoori paste. eg 1 tablespoon = mild, 2 tablespoons = medium, 3tablespoons = hot (for little kiddies anyway). Our kids like to mix in some plain yoghurt to turn the heat down if needed.

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