Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Totem exhibition opening this thursday!

I have a doll featured in the Fringe Festival Totem Doll exhibition. The Totem dolls are all meaningful representations of the artists' notions of their self and inner soul. My doll details my experiences with bipolar and body image and was a thought provoking process to conceptualise and create. I've seen some of the other dolls are they are simply mindblowing, particularly the really large ones.

Opening night is on Thursday 25th September.@ fracture gallery (The Atrium) Federation Square, 5.30- 8.30pm. The exhibition will be featured for the duration of the festival (about 3 weeks) and will be open 24 hours a day, so there's plenty of time to pop along and look at some wonderful art.It would most lovely to see you there!

Polka Dot Rabbit loves Frankie magazine!

After chatting with Frankie, you have the opportunity to win your very own Polka Dot Rabbit gloves...perfect for planning christmas presents for friends in the northern hemisphere!http://frankie.com.au/index.php/win-stuff

Monday, September 15, 2008

Spring has sprung!

I had a wonderful summery spring weekend. The weather was sunny and warm and bright, just lovely after wearing many layers all the time-that said it's raining again today!

Saturday my folks took us to Bunnings to buy a garden table and chairs set and umbrella as a wedding present. Just lovely! We had friends over for dinner (Chris cooked with veggies fresh from our garden) then we went to an awesome house party around the corner. It was a big sharehouse with a tree house! Such a peaceful place, though I only went up to the first floor being rather pissed by the time I got to the party.

Here's Chris and I-I was really tanked!

Sunday morning we all went to Gluttony for a big hang over breakfast. My Russian Caravan tea was served in this lovely pink cup (the flash washed the pic out but you get the idea)

We then went to Collingwood College Community fete which was just awesome. The college is a Steiner school with huge gardens and landscapes. Here's some pics I took:

There was even a children's farm for the day:

Then in the evening, we went home, read the papers, ate pizza and watched telly. Lovely weekend!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A is for apples!

I've decided to include local fruit in my spring recipes so stay tuned for some lovely fruit and vegetable recipes over spring. It doesn't look particularly spring like here in Melbourne, there are dark clouds and it's been raining earlier. But anyhow....

Many different types of apples are in season at the moment: Jonathan, Golden and Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Fuji, Braeburn, pink lady, sundowner and Lady Williams. But my partner's favourite apple happens to be Braeburn and he was so delighted that it is now available in Australia that I'm dedicating these apple recipes to the Braeburn variety.

Apple Caramel Bars


* 2 cups flour
* 2 cups quick oats
* 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 egg
* 1 1/4 cups butter - cold
* 1 1/2 cups apple - peeled, chopped


* Preheat oven to 350° F.
* Grease the baking pan with butter or non-stick cooking spray, set aside.
* In large bowl, combine flour, quick oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and egg. Cut in the butter and mix well until ingredients are crumbly.
* Remove 1 1/2 cups of the mixture and set aside. Press the crumb mixture into the baking pan, bake for 15 minutes in the oven.
* While crust is baking, combine caramel topping and 1/4 cup flour in small bowl; mix well.
* Sprinkle the apples over the baked crust. Drizzle the caramel mixture over the top of the apples. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over the caramel.
* Place back in the oven for another 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
* Let cool completely before serving; approximately 2 hours.
* Cut into 2" squares and serve.

Baked Stuffed Apples

I'm trying these for breakfast!


1 Braeburn apple

2 g ground cinnamon

1 g ground nutmeg

10 g white sugar

30 g cream cheese

8 g dried cranberries


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

2. Cut the stem out of the apple and hollow out the center until it is about 1 1/2 inches wide without going through the bottom. In a small cup, stir together the cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. Set aside half of this mixture, and mix the rest with the cream cheese and dried cranberries.

3. Sprinkle some of the reserved cinnamon sugar into the apple's cavity. Fill with the cream cheese mixture, and sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar on the top. Place the apple in a small baking dish.

4. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the apple is tender enough to easily pierce with a fork.

Apple & Cucumber Sammy


1 slice of Bread (Organic White or Wheat)
1 TBSP Cream Cheese
1/2 Braeburn Apple, thinly sliced
1/4 English Cucumber, thinly sliced

Toast your bread, and spread a thin layer of cheese. Cut your slice of bread in half. Cover one half of the slice of bread with apple slices, and the other side with cucumber slices. Assemble sandwich. (Eat any leftover apples and cucumbers, cause they're good for you!)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Gardening shennigans

I bought these little birds at St Andrews Markets the other week:

Here they are protecting the lettuce and silverbeet:

Pretty flowers grown from seed:

Cabbages, garlic, chives and parsley are all going well:

Celery is ready to harvest!

And to celebrate, I'm making celery soup! We have lots of celery so stay tuned for more celery recipes...

Celery Soup Times Ten Recipe
  • 1 bunch celery (including leaves), chopped
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock or broth
  • 1 potato, peeled and finely shredded
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and ground white pepper
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream or half and half


In large saucepan, saute celery and onion in a small amount of olive oil just until vegetables begin to brown.
  1. Stir in stock or broth. Bring to a boil.
  2. Stir in potato, reduce heat and simmer 30 to 45 minutes.
  3. Cool slightly. Puree in food processor or blender.
  4. Return to saucepan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Stir in cream or half and half.
  6. Ladle into bowls to serve hot, garnished with a celery leaf.
  7. Chill if serving cold. Ladle into bowls and garnish with finely chopped celery and leaves for "crunch".
  8. Enjoy!
I won this little guy from the Softies for Mirabel Auctions. Here he is happy at home:

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

W is for watercress!

Today dear readers, is the 2nd day of spring! Woo! Stay tuned for recipes using spring vegetables. I hope you have enjoyed the recipes as much as I have :-)

I've not tried watercress recipes extensively, as I've found it hard to buy, particularly if you don't want to go to big supermarkets. If you can't find it and would like to try these recipes, I'd substitute salad greens of your choice.

Goat's Cheese and Watercress Quiche


  • 225g gluten-free flour , plus extra for rolling
  • 100g butter
  • 1 large egg , beaten, plus extra beaten egg for brushing


  • 1 medium onion , finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 100g watercress , roughly chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150ml milk
  • 150ml log soft rindless goat's cheese , in rough chunks
  • freshly grated nutmeg , optional


  1. Put the flour and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the egg and about 1-2 tbsp water to form a soft dough. Knead well then wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C. Knead the pastry again and roll it out to line a 20cm loose-bottomed flan tin (the pastry won't shrink, so no need to chill). Patch holes with spare pastry and brush the base and sides with egg.
  3. For the filling, fry the onion in the oil until just soft, add the watercress and cook until just wilted. Beat the eggs and milk and stir in the watercress mixture and goat's cheese.
  4. Season and if you like, add a pinch of nutmeg. Put the flan tin on a bakingsheet and bake the pastry blind for 5 minutes. Add the filling and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 180C/gas 4/ fan 160C and cook for 25-30 minutes or until lightly set

Watercress and Pinenut Mayonnaise


  • 1 bunch of watercress
  • 1 cup of fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup of cream
  • 2 tbsp of toasted pine nuts
  • 3 tbsp of plain mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper


Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Pick all the leaves from a bunch of watercress. Together with a cup of fresh parsley leaves, throw the watercress in the boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain well and mix the blanched leaves with 1/4 cup of cream. Puree and pass through a sieve.

Place in a saucepan and boil gently until only about 3 tablespoons of green paste is left. Puree 2 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts and add to the paste. Stir in 3 tablespoons plain mayonnaise and season.

T is for Turnip!

f the thought of greyish, mushy boiled turnip makes your stomach turn, then read again and see if you can gain a greater appreciation for the tastiness of the humble turnip.

According to wikipedia you might want to consider the swede, (yellow) turnip, swedish a root which originated as a cross between the cabbage and the turnip. Its leaves can also be eaten as a leaf vegetable. It looks like this:
My experience with turnips is most commonly seeing them packaged in a 'soup' vegetable packet at the supermarket containing carrots, turnips, parsnips, onion and celery. I've been determined to find tastier ways to cook and consume...

Turnip and Fennel Flan

  • 400g white turnips
  • 400g fennel, trimmed weight
  • 1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp mascarpone
  • 120g egg whites
  • 2 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 40g butter
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 baby turnips, very thinly sliced into rounds
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 6 tbsp chives, finely sliced


Peel the 400g of turnips and slice into 1/2 cm thick rounds. Trim outer leaves from fennel and cut into 1/2 cm slices.

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and plunge in turnips, fennel and onion for 3-4 minutes until tender. Drain, cool a little and roughly chop, then mix with mascarpone.

Beat egg whites and rosemary together lightly with a fork and mix with turnips, fennel and onion. Season well with salt and pepper.

Butter six 12cm diameter ramekins and fill with mixture to a depth of 2cm. Bake in a preheated 160C oven for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a frypan and fry baby turnip slices on both sides until golden.

Drain on absorbent paper. Serve flans with turnip slices on top as well as diced tomato and finish with chopped chives.

Serves 6

Turnip and Potato Patties


  • 1/2 pound turnips, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 6 oz potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp thinly sliced scallion green
  • 1 egg, beaten lightly
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Grapeseed oil, peanut oil, or canola oil (high smoke point vegetable oils)
  • Salt and pepper


1 In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the turnip and potato cubes for 15 to 17 minutes, until they are tender, and drain them. In a bowl, mash them with a fork and stir in the scallions, the egg, flour, and salt and pepper to taste.

2 Coat the bottom of a large, heavy bottomed skillet with about 1/4-inch of the oil. Heat the pan on medium high heat until the surface of the oil begins to shimmer, but not smoke. Spoon 1/4-cup mounds of the turnip potato batter into the pan, flattening them into 1/2-inch thick patties with the back of a spatula. Fry the patties until they are golden, turning them once, about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer the patties to paper towels to drain off excess oil.

Makes six patties.

Honey-Glazed Rutabaga or Turnip

Doesn't have a picture but it sounds good!

2 lb Rutabaga or turnips

2 tb Butter

1/4 c Liquid honey

1/4 ts Ground ginger

Salt and pepper


Peel rutabaga and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices; halve or quarter slices. In pot of boiling salted water, cook rutabaga for 15 minutes (turnips for 8 minutes) or just until tender; drain.

Stir in butter; cook over high heat, shaking pan often, for 1 minute or until coated. Stir in honey, ginger, and salt and pepper to taste; cook, stirring often, for 1 minute or until glazed. Makes 4 servings