Spring brights: emerald green

Another spring/summer favourite of mine, not least due to my preference for dyeing my hair red, is emerald green. It seemed everywhere a month or so ago, but is sadly easing its way out of stores for the moment. It’s a pity, as there really is little more uplifting than a splash of emerald.

I currently have my eye on the following:

https://i2.wp.com/www.frockaholics.com/images/products/127e8dfe5752eb86d3df53ff58740166-main_image-large.jpg

Collette Dinnigan Venice Dress AUD $299 at David Jones

David Lawrence, AUD $39

Jigsaw, AUS $189

David Lawrence, AUD $139

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Shabby Apple, USD$86

Spring brights: Cobalt

It’s midwinter here in Canberra, which of course has me longing for spring brights. Since spotting (and buying) a fabulous bright blue work skirt (with pockets) on sale from Veronika Maine, I’ve been seeing cobalt everywhere. Here are a few of my current faves:

David Lawrence, AUD $449

Jigsaw, AUD $199 (I love the feel & look of this one, but the neckline just doesn’t work on yours truly. Shame – it would be outstanding with the pants & skirts that follow!)

Cropped Jean

Trenery, AUD $99

Image 1 of ASOS Laptop Case With Metal Bar

ASOS, AUD$22.83

David Lawrence, AUD $119

Image 1 of Coast Pleat Bandeau Dress

Coast at ASOS, AUD $189.20

Image 1 of Hybrid Plunge Neck Peplum Pencil Dress

Hybrid at ASOS, AUD $138.64

MANIAC

Betts, AUD $39.99

Isn’t this colour delightfully fresh?

I’m very much in love with my cobalt skirt, as it really brightens a cold winters’ day. I’m currently styling it with a black linen blazer (similar to this one) and crisp white shirt (and patterned black stockings), but the blazer and shirt combo would look equally clean with the more relaxed cobalt jeans.

Food for thought!

Orange and star anise duck on roast beetroot & shallots

Last week I mentioned my dislike of Canberra cold to a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) aficionado. This gentleman kindly infomed me that I should eat more beetroot to warm my blood. As I rather like beetroot, and haven’t eaten any for a while, I thought it worth a shot. If nothing else, I’d get a good dose of antioxidants and delicious beetroot-y goodness!

My favourite beetroot recipes are roast beetroot, orange, walnut and feta salads, usually with some flat-leaf parsley. But to mix it up tonight, I wanted something heartier and warmer… and settled on orange and star anise duck on a bed of roast beetroot and shallots.

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Recipe via SBS Food, substituting duck marylands with duck breast and adding shallots to the roasting pan when adding the duck. Delicious! Next time, I’ll add green beans with flaked almond for a pop of green on the plate.

Lessons in breadmaking – part two, yeast fix results

In yesterday’s post, after fixing the failed yeast, the bread had risen to about halfway up the bowl (from under 1/3 in the first place). Within a few hours, the bowl was full. And it’s not exactly a small bowl!

 

In accordance with the recipe, once the bread had risen it was time to pop it in the fridge. I baked a few lovely bread rolls this evening, and this was the result (two eaten before I had the chance to take the picture):

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Rye, caraway and delicious.

Lessons in breadmaking

About a month ago,  via Steamy Kitchen, I (belatedly) discovered the fabulous peasant bread from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  No knead bread so easy a four-year-old can make it? Sign me up!

After experimenting with a few versions, due to my love of rye I made the Pete Bakes! version my go-to, and bought the book online. (It’s still in the mail, but should be here any day for more delicious bready goodness.) Delicious bread was had.

Until today! I was in a hurry this afternoon, wanting to get the dough made before the sun escaped from the sky. With Canberra’s cold weather (and water), I knew I’d need a bit of warmth in the water and so boiled a little while I was mixing the flours. To make it lukewarm instead of boiling, I topped up the rest of the jug with cold water, but didn’t think to test it first. Alas, dear reader, the water was still reasonably hot!  To make things worse, I’d thought I’d save time by adding the salt to the water with the yeast. Two major mistakes. The result, that I’m sure keen bakers will have picked up already, is that my poor yeast did not survive. The bread steadfastly refused to rise, even when placed in a warm room.

I now had a large volume of less-than-ideal bread dough, and a diagnosis (courtesy of WikiHow): overheated, salted yeast. I could continue winging it, or I could do the sensible thing: ask the internet for help. Instinct said I should add another dose of yeast dissolved in water, with some flour in proportion to the water. But instinct hadn’t quite worked out earlier. Since the internet had provided me with the recipe, surely it could provide a solution.

eHow advised me that while the instinct of adding more yeast, water and flour was correct, I should also add sugar to help things along. This time I followed instructions, ensured that the yeast was active by waiting for a foam to rise on the water/sugar/yeast mix, then let things run their course.  The bread dough went to rest in my lovely warm lounge room, and puffed up right away. Success!

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Don’t be fooled, it’s a giant bowl!

Of course, the proof of the pudding (or bread, in this case) is in the eating, so I’ll have to bake & eat it to truly be successful. Photos to come!