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Cherry Varenya

Cherry Varenya

This Russian inspired cherry syrup will add a unique twist to your morning or afternoon tea.  Traditionally used to sweeten hot drinks, it can also be used to make an iced tea blend or play with some decadent cocktails.   Ingredients 1/2 cup water 1 cup sugar 1 cup Italian Amarena Cherries 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice   Instructions 1. Boil the water and sugar to make a simple sugar syrup.  When the liquid is clear, add the cherries and let it boil for a further 10 – 20 minutes until a thick syrup forms.  The time will depend on the thickness of the cherries and syrup to begin with. 2. Once boiled, add the lemon juice which will help preserve and brighten the syrup.  

lavender and honey cupcake recipe

lavender and honey cupcake recipe

Recently we hosted our first RSPCA Cupcake Day at Locale. It was a huge success and we had a lot of regular customers really making an effort to support us by eating cupcakes. Tough gig I know! I baked Lavender and Honey Cupcakes from the book 500 Cupcakes by Fergal Connolly and they were pretty awesome if I do say so myself. Laura and I are huge lavender fans and love using it in baking. This combined with access to some beautiful lavender culinary products in store and I knew I had to make them. A few people have asked for the recipe so here it is! If you are struggling to find culinary lavender or lavender honey you can find it in our online store.   Lavender & Honey Cupcakes   Yield – 1½ dozen Ingredients: For the cupcakes 2225g unsalted butter, softened 225 caster sugar 225g self-raising flour 4 eggs 1tsp vanilla essence For the icing 200g cream cheese, softened 175g icing sugar, sieved 75g Tasmanian French Lavender Honey blue food colouring 2 tbsp culinary lavender (French is best!)   Method 1. Preheat oven to 200ºC. 2. Place 18 cupcake cases in muffin tins. 3. Combine all the cupcake ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk with an electric beater until smooth and pale. This should take about 2-3 minutes. 4. Spoon the batter into the cases. 5. Bake for 2o minutes. 6. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before removing the cupcakes and cooling on a rack. 7. To make the icing, beat the cream cheese and icing sugar in a medium bowl with an electric beater until …

la vie en lavande

la vie en lavande

  Is there anything more Provençale than a cup of tea, the aroma of lavender wafting through the kitchen and perhaps a little Edith Piaf background music?  Possibly not, but that’s about as French as I get.  Unless you count my trusty pink Le Pliage bag and an expired passport which proudly boasts a French customs stamp when I visited circa 1996.  And whilst I have been dreaming of a week or two wandering through Parisian markets, galleries and eating at a local boulangerie and sipping wine at a bistro for almost two years now, it is my freshly baked lavender and almond biscotti and earl grey tea which allows me to continue to dream la vie en rose.   Follow my recipe here.      

things we’re loving right now

things we're loving right now

    • lemons.  The colour, the smell, the taste.  They’re the sunshine in the fruit family.  We’re loving lemons so much that they’re pretty much everywhere you turn in our HQ … piled up in a fruit bowl and vase as table decorations, lemon shortbread and italian biscuits, as the colour of my gorgeous new scarf given to me by my lovely cousin upon return from her european holiday.      Lemons are also a prominent feature on the menu at Mario’s restaurant – linguini with a creamy lemon and pea sauce, farefalle pasta with crab meat, lemon and herb infusion, barramundi fillet with a herb and citrus zest crumble and also as last night’s special dessert – warm lemon custard.  Yum.       I’m even contemplating buying a pair of lemon coloured jeans … is that a little obsessive?   • my daggy old tracksuit, circa 1994.  That combined with my comfy new wool lined boots.  No photo provided due to risk of causing blindness.   • italian honey.  It might sound snobby, luxurious and/or unpatriotic but I dare you to blind test your way through several different honeys and tell me what you think.  Unfortunately the bees here don’t seem to have discovered the same flowers that they have in liguria and sicily.       What are you loving right now?    

what not to do when you’re sick

what not to do when you're sick

  I was off sick last week.  Too infectious to work yet well enough to not be lying on the couch for 4 days straight.  There’s only so many movies, reality shows and cooking programs a girl can watch in a day! So needless to say, after catching up on all of my favourite blogs, tv shows and movies, finishing off my library book and having run out of drawers to reorganise, I was bored. 50 shades of bored. Bored with a capital B. O. R. E. D.     I rang in to work and got the voice mail, only to find out later they’d been in the kitchen trying out some new recipes of Mario’s.  That would be right!  Of all the days I’m not in the office, they decide to taste test their way through the new menu at Mario’s restaurant.  Hrmph.   Seeing green with envy, frustrated by boredom and spurred on by just enough energy to pull out a baking tray, wooden spoon and mixing bowl I decided that I needed to do something about it.  After all, surely I needed a little pick me up to go with my afternoon lemon and honey tea to help nurse me back to health?!   So there I was, all excited that I had the energy to do some cooking and that I had everything I needed right at home, with no need to go to the grocery store, to make a batch of … muesli bars.   muesli bars in the making?     I’d seen plenty of recipes in the past for muesli bars so I figured I’d ditch the …