12 May 2010

Illustration Friday - Fearless

'Fearless ' - watercolour pencil & collage

Watch out little birdie!

It's been several weeks since I participated in Illustration Friday and as I haven't had time this week to create something new, here's a little something I made a few months ago for an ATC swap with my blogging friend Mônica. I think this little bird looks quite fearless up there on his high branch with Tia eyeing him from below.

2 May 2010

I've been cooking!

I've been neglecting my blog a little... I've been cooking. Cooking up a website! Well, more to the point I've been revising my notes from the website building courses I did a while back! I started to build my website before leaving Hong Kong 20 months ago but really didn't get very far - what with the move to KL and starting the blog ... you know, excuses, excuses!! Well, I decided it was high time to take myself in hand and complete the task. Only to find that I couldn't really remember how to use all that HTML and CSS that I had learnt! So, over the past week I've been delving into my course files and books and revisiting all kinds of code. It's been quite a task, but I think that I may have cracked it and am starting to make sense of it all! So, hopefully, within the next week or so, I will be able to unveil my website... watch this space!!

At the same time, I've been cooking up a scumptious desert! Do you like Rhubarb? I LOVE it and couldn't resist the delicious pink stalks I spotted on the supermarket shelves this week. I made a Rhubarb and Sour Cream Cake and served it with the remaining rhubarb simmered gently with freshly squeezed orange juice, a little sugar and some grated fresh ginger. This moist cake is so moreish with its spicy, crunchy-nut topping and simply heavenly with a cup of

Marsala Chai to accompany it. Just steep a teaspoon or two of black tea leaves with 4 or 5 cardamom pods, two star anise, 3 whole cloves and a small stick of cinnamon for a few minutes. Strain and serve. Mmmm... delicious!

Herewith, the recipe for the cake - I'm not exactly sure where I found this, so if the author is reading this - thank you very much! I've adjusted the original slightly!

Sour Cream Rhubarb Cake

100g butter, softened
50g golden caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
100g of mixed nuts, roughly chopped (I used a mix of brazils, flaked almonds, pecans, & hazelnuts)
200g soft brown sugar (I mixed light and dark sugars)
1 egg
225g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
300ml light soured cream
150g rhubarb, chopped into 1cm piece
Grated rind of 1 orange

1) Melt 15g of the butter then stir in caster sugar, cinnamon and nuts. Set aside while you make the cake batter.

2) Preheat the oven to 180°C, then line a 33x23x5cm baking tin. Cream together the remaining butter with the soft dark brown sugar and egg. Then fold in flour, bicarb, soured cream, rhubarb and grated orange rind. Pour into tin.

3) Sprinkle the cake with the spicy nut mix. Bake for 35 min. Cool in tin. Serves 6 greedy or 12 normal portions, if you must share!


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