Tag Archives: Fiesta Friday

A Little Slice of Australia… for FF#28!

We have such unique and varied wildlife here in Australia, so this week for a change I thought I’d share a few photos at Fiesta Friday instead. These were all taken either within our own garden or while camping/holidaying not too far from home.

Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo | Gather and GrazeSulphur-Crested Cockatoo – intelligent… animated… raucous!

 

Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo | Gather and GrazeSulphur-Crested Cockatoo – so beautiful in flight

 

Brush-Tail Possums | Gather and GrazeBrush-Tail Possums at night – mother and child (who really looks a little too old to be hitching a ride with Mum!)

 

Kookaburra | Gather and GrazeKookaburra – renowned for their incredible laugh

 

Echidna | Gather and GrazeEchidna – our amazing monotreme (egg laying mammal)!

 

Koala | Gather and GrazeKoala – looking a little sleepy as usual

 

Magpie | Gather and GrazeMagpie – notorious for their aggressive swooping ability in the spring

 

Kangaroo | Gather and GrazeKangaroo – ahhh, need I say more…

 

Kangaroo with Joey | Gather and GrazeKangaroo with a Joey in her pouch

 

Kangaroo | Gather and GrazeKangaroo

Please come along and join us at Fiesta Friday #28 this week. The fabulous Saucy Gander and I have been invited back for an encore performance of co-hosting (despite due to our ridiculously glamourous Dame Edna get-up from last week).

Angie @ The Novice Gardener, who is the brainchild behind this ever-growing, dynamic online party, deserves both gratitude and admiration from us all for the effort that goes into hosting FF each and every week. I don’t know how she does it… I’m exhausted after just co-hosting for 1 week! You’re amazing Angie! Thank you for all that you do!

So to join in the fun, link your post by clicking on the colourful logo here below. Within your post, please remember to link to the FF#28 posts of ‘The Novice Gardener’, as well as to Saucy and myself (to notify us of your arrival at the party). If you’re new to Fiesta Friday, the guidelines can be perused here… Such a lot of fun and inspiration, bringing together bloggers from around the world and providing the opportunity for your post to shine and be seen.

Happy Fiesta Friday to all and a fabulous weekend!

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Layered Chocolate Cheesecake – Fiesta Friday #27!

Layered Chocolate Cheesecake | Gather and Graze

It wasn’t easy, but I’ve removed my full-length Ugg Boots that have been firmly entrenched on my feet for the past two months and they’ve been replaced by a rather stylish set of heels. My Dame Edna frock has been donned, hair coiffed and coloured to the most beautiful lilac you’ve ever seen and my face made glamorous by a set of fancy, bejewelled glasses! I look a little something like this… Continue reading

Lemon White Chocolate Cookies

Lemon White Chocolate Cookies | Gather and Graze

For those who I’ve managed to catch (just in the nick of time!) with their hand reaching out… hovering in guilty indecision… I ask you very kindly to leave that packet of cookies/biscuits on the supermarket shelf… step away from the cookie aisle… and gather up the ingredients listed below instead.  Continue reading

Roasted Honey and Walnut Figs

Roasted Honey & Walnut Figs | Gather and Graze

For a classic autumn dessert that embraces two stellar seasonal delicacies, this simple yet heart-warming dish is an absolute must. The lemon zest and sea salt work perfectly to create a balance with the sweet succulence of the figs and honey, while the walnuts provide textural crunch and a rich earthiness. This is not so much a recipe, but a celebration of seasonal ingredients while they’re at their peak. Continue reading

Oh those Starbucks Memories… Lemon Pound Cake

Iced Lemon Pound Cake | Gather and Graze

Rituals allow us to feel somewhat secure in this crazy world of ours. I’m sure that many of you will agree that the simple act of preparing a cup of tea or coffee and taking the time to sit down and truly enjoy it, can be therapy for the soul. If brewed just right and sipped in either pure solitude or alongside a dear friend it can be more rejuvenating than any available medicine on Earth. Continue reading

Enlighten 2014 – Canberra, Australia

It was the perfect evening last night for wandering amongst some of our city’s landmarks that have been lit up beautifully for Canberra’s annual ‘Enlighten’ Festival. The selection of images and artwork relate in some way to the particular buildings that they are being projected onto. Street performers entertained as we made our way between the various locations. Museums and galleries stayed open late with food, drinks and entertainment. It really was a wonderful evening out!

For a number of you who may be unaware, Canberra is in fact the Capital of Australia. Sydney is our largest city, but Canberra is where our parliamentarians debate, where you’ll find our High Court, along with our National Museums and Galleries. It is not a huge city… about 380,000 people… often feeling more like a large country town. We’ve lived in many cities over the years and if asked, I usually struggle to answer the question of “Where is home?”, however as time goes by, increasingly my answer to this is Canberra.

Enlighten 2014, Canberra, Australia | Gather and Graze

Street Performer (Max of ‘Dan & Max’) with her flaming hula-hoop!

Enlighten Festival 2014, Canberra, Australia, Gather and Graze

Horse, Street Performer

Enlighten 2014, Canberra, Australia | Gather and Graze

Fountain on Fire

Enlighten 2014, Canberra, Australia, Gather and Graze

National Gallery | images linked to Inca Exhibition

Enlighten 2014, Canberra, Australia, Gather and Graze

Flames

Enlighten 2014, Canberra, Australia, Gather and Graze

Questacon Building

Enlighten 2014, Canberra, Australia | Gather and Graze

Questacon Building | Fiesta Friday!

Enlighten 2014, Canberra, Australia, Gather and Graze

Old Parliament House | Guys & Polls

Enlighten 2014, Canberra, Australia, Gather and Graze

Old Parliament House

Enlighten 2014, Canberra, Australia, Gather and Graze

Old Parliament House | Rudd Vs Abbott

Enlighten 2014, Canberra, Australia, Gather and Graze

National Library | images linked to Mapping Exhibition

Enlighten 2014, Canberra, Australia, Gather and Graze

Street Performer (Dan of ‘Dan & Max’)

I’m linking this post to Angie’s Fiesta Friday, particularly as one of the images projected onto the Questacon building made me think of her. There appeared to be a little Fiesta dancing and happiness going on (see the 7th photo down)! 🙂

Thai Chicken Meatballs

Thai Chicken Meatballs | Gather and Graze

Our evenings have begun to cool off. Evidence that Autumn is well and truly on it’s way. Rain in it’s various shapes and forms has been welcomed, regardless of whether it bucketed down like there was no tomorrow or drizzled finely in silver threads (as it’s doing right now). It’s brought a shade of green back to the landscape that is so much more pleasing to the eye than the brittle straw-brown that we’re all too used to in this part of the country. Summer has been harsh, as usual, yet we’ve made it through and slip fluidly into the delights of Autumn, without even a second thought.

During this change of seasons (welcomed perhaps in both hemispheres), a warm appetiser such as the one to follow can be a truly wonderful thing. Full of flavour and the perfect size for nibbling on between sips of chilled white wine. Or beer… they would certainly go well with a pale ale as well.

My offering for Angie’s Fiesta Friday extravaganza this week are these scrumptious Thai-infused appetisers – the perfect party food to share with friends at The Novice Gardener… or nibblies for a family of four on a cool drizzly afternoon!

Thai Chicken Meatballs | Gather and Graze

  • Servings: Makes about 30-34 Meatballs
  • Print

  • 500g Free-Range Chicken Mince
  • 75g/¾ Cup (Seaweed or Plain) Rice Crackers (crushed in the food processor)
  • 1 Large Clove of Garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 Thumb-size Piece of Fresh Ginger (finely grated)
  • 2 Shallots/Scallions (finely chopped)
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Coriander (finely chopped)
  • 1 Small Red Chilli (finely chopped and seeds removed)
  • 1 Free-Range Egg White
  • 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • ¼ Teaspoon Sesame Oil
  • A few good grindings of Black Pepper
  • ¼ Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • Vegetable Oil (for frying)

Place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and using a spoon (or your hands) mix until well combined. Roll mixture into balls (approximately 3cm in diameter).

Place enough oil into a medium-sized frying pan to be able to shallow fry and place the pan over medium heat.

When the oil is hot enough, fry the chicken meatballs in batches, turning them all the time for even cooking. When they are golden brown (and cooked through), remove to a plate lined with some absorbent paper to sit for a few minutes.

Serve while warm/hot with some sweet chilli sauce for dipping.

Thai Chicken Meatballs | Gather and Graze

Notes on Cooking:

  • The crushed rice crackers can always be substituted with bread crumbs (panko would be my preference).

No Bake Lemon and Coconut Slice

Lemon and Coconut No-bake Slice | Recipe | Gather and Graze

When life gets a little busy and you need a fast, easy pick-me-up to accompany a morning or afternoon cuppa, this Lemon and Coconut Slice is the perfect solution! It’s zingy, light and just that little bit moreish. What can be more simple than a no-bake slice? Let’s leave the Tim Tams on the shelf this weekend and make a little home-made zesty goodness instead.

Variations of this recipe can be found on numerous Australian and New Zealand websites (and perhaps even further afield). Slices containing condensed milk and crushed biscuits have been very popular in this part of the world over the years and thankfully they still taste as wonderful as they used to!

Once again I’m linking up this week with my friend Angie at The Novice Gardener for Fiesta Friday. Last weekend the party went off… the food was mouth-watering, the company was electric and for the first time in my life I was labelled as ‘rowdy and raucous’ (along with another gorgeous Australian girl, from the blog Saucy Gander)! Woohoo, it must have been a good party! Or perhaps I just indulged in one too many cocktails? I do remember the very stylish Johnny showing up in his magenta onesie… or is that the alcohol talking too? 😉

I’m hoping Angie will let me back in again this week… I promise to be on my best behaviour!

Lemon and Coconut No-Bake Slice | Gather and Graze

  • Servings: Makes Approx 20 Squares
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 250g Packet of Marie Biscuits (or Plain Sweet Biscuits)
  • 85g (1 Cup) Desiccated Coconut
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice
  • 395g Can of Condensed Milk
  • 80g (1/3 Cup) Unsalted Butter (diced)

For the Icing:

  • 240g (2 Cups) Pure Icing (Powdered) Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 15g (1 Tablespoon) Unsalted Butter (softened)
  • Shredded Coconut (for sprinkling over the top)

Instructions

Crush the biscuits using a food processor (or alternatively place them in a ziploc bag and bash them with a rolling pin) until you have a reasonably fine crumb. Transfer the crushed biscuits to a large bowl and mix together with the desiccated coconut and lemon zest.

Lemon and Coconut No-Bake Slice | Gather and Graze

Into a small saucepan, place the condensed milk and butter. Stir over gentle heat until the butter has melted and the mixture is well combined.

Lemon and Coconut No-Bake Slice | Recipe | Gather and Graze

Add the butter/condensed milk mixture to the dry ingredients, along with 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice and stir to combine with a wooden spoon.

Press the mixture nice and evenly into a slice tin (I like to line the tin first with cling wrap, for easy removal).

Lemon and Coconut No-Bake Slice | Recipe | Gather and Graze

For the lemon icing, sift the icing sugar into a mixing bowl, along with 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and the softened butter and beat well with a wooden spoon until smooth. Spread the icing over the top of the base and sprinkle with some shredded coconut. Refrigerate for approximately an hour until the icing has set.

Remove from the tin and slice into squares.

* Store the Lemon and Coconut Slice refrigerated in an airtight container for 4-5 days (if it lasts that long!)

Lemon and Coconut No-Bake Slice | Recipe | Gather and Graze

Profiteroles with Dark Chocolate Sauce

Profiteroles | Gather and Graze

As some of you may well know, I’m a little on the quiet side. On occasions I require varying degrees of gentle coercion to prise me from the house, to be social. I always have a fabulous time when I get there, but given the choice I would almost certainly opt for a calming cup of tea and a good book.

My friend Angie, over at The Novice Gardener must have sensed this when she sent out the invitations to come along to ‘Fiesta Friday’ (an online party!) which she holds each week with inimitable style. Her somewhat subtle reminders to join in have recently been playing on my mind… so here I am, ready (with bells on!) for my first Fiesta Friday!

Funnily enough though, due to the time-zone difference between Australia and the USA, it looks like I might be partying on my own for about 16 hours, until midnight ticks over in America! Hmmm, perhaps I’ll make myself a cuppa and sit down with a good book while I wait. 😉

My sweet offering for Fiesta Friday is a rather indulgent French dessert, that needs little by way of introduction. Classic Profiteroles! The recipe I use and adore comes from the cookbook of a stunning French restaurant in New York City called Balthazar. A few years ago a friend and I had breakfast there while on a girl’s weekend in NYC and I’ve been dreaming of going back for dinner ever since!

Wishing you all a fun Fiesta Friday, a Happy Valentine’s Day and a very relaxing weekend!

Profiteroles with Dark Chocolate Sauce | Gather and Graze

  • Servings: 40 Choux Puffs
  • Print

  • 125ml/½ Cup Whole Milk
  • 125ml/½ Cup Water
  • 130g/½ Cup Unsalted Butter
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • 150g/1 Cup Plain Flour (sifted)
  • 5 Large Free-Range Eggs

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, water, butter and salt until it just comes to the boil. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until it all comes together into a dough. Continue to stir over medium heat for about 3 minutes (being careful that nothing starts burning on the base of the saucepan).

Place the hot dough into an electric mixer and mix at low speed for a few minutes to allow the dough to cool down a little. Then one at a time, add the eggs, mixing on medium speed between each addition to ensure they’ve been incorporated well. After the last egg goes in, mix for about 4 more minutes until a smooth dough forms.

Use either a piping bag, or a soup spoon to form small puffs on the baking trays. Each should be approximately 5 cm in diameter.

Place the trays into the oven and bake for about 35 – 40 minutes or until golden brown. If you are placing 2 trays in at once, remember to swap them around at the halfway mark.

Allow the choux puffs to cool on a wire rack.

When you are ready to serve, slice each profiterole in half with a serrated knife (like a hamburger bun), place a scoop of vanilla bean ice-cream on each base and place the tops back on. Drizzle with dark chocolate sauce (recipe to be found here…), decorate with berries/fruit if you wish and serve without delay.

Profiteroles | Gather and Graze

Cooking Notes:

  • If you make the choux pastry without an electric mixer, be sure to allow the hot dough from the saucepan to cool down enough in a mixing bowl before you begin to beat in the eggs. This will avoid a nasty case of scrambled egg choux puffs…
  • The choux puffs can be made in advance and kept for a day or two in an airtight container. Re-crisp them a little before serving, in a 180°C oven for approx 5 minutes.
  • I’ve decided to try freezing a batch to see how they fare… I’ll let you know in the next week or two if they still taste great.

* Recipe from “Balthazar” cookbook