Renovation Woes, Fun Loom, A Book Launch And April 2014 Favourites

Fun Loom - Cook Republic
 
Last week my Mac died. It gave a loud bang and took out power to a section of the house. This one lasted 5 years and went through three operating systems. RIP dear Mac. A sleek new Macbook Pro replaced it. It is still finding its feet as I slowly set it up amidst email woes, book launches and moving 3 meter long couches on a 1 meter long trolley into the garage. A lot is happening and every night I thankfully pass out on my trusty old pillow.
 
 
Kitchen Renovation - Cook Republic
 
 
 
 
 
You remember the kitchen I won at Voices Of Australia last year? That is soon to become a reality thanks to The Good Guys. But before that happens, we have some massive renovations to do on our own. This includes knocking down walls in three quarters of the house, ripping out the kitchen and laundry and building a new bedroom and deck. This started a week ago. And while our walls are being knocked down and ceiling is being ripped off we have been living in the garage amongst a mad chaos of furniture and random items perched haphazardly one on top of the other like a shop in Diagon Alley. Loving it. For the most bit. Except when it comes to doing laundry and washing dishes. Now we don’t have a laundry or kitchen. But our clever builder has managed to connect our washing machine and dishwasher to our garden hose out in the yard under a temporary lego shack. 
 
A series of actions must be completed in a rigid order to get either of the appliances working. Like turning off water, then screwing the hose on, then turning back water and then the power. But there is no hot water so we are really living it old school by boiling water in a kettle and hand washing most of our dishes in the yard in a tub. As I said. Loving it. For the most bit.
 
I had a lovely little book launch over the weekend at a dear little space called Grosgrain. Lisa, the owner is my style hero and she gave me the best little book launch a girl could dream of. Between working all week through the renos and prepping launch tasting dishes in the garage to rushing at two soccer games on the day of the launch, I completely ran out of time to prepare for the big moment. But all the familiar smiling faces and the lovely bloggers, friends, family and readers who turned up on the day took my fears away. It was an intimate gathering and I was so happy that Nick and the boys were there with me too. Thank you to Lisa, my publicist Jo and everyone who came to show their support.
 
I have an author talk coming up soon and will be speaking on a blogger panel at The School tomorrow for Voices OF Australia 2014. Hope I have time to prepare for that tonight!
 
 
Tasty Express Book launch - Cook Republic
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
lead picture is of my hand all decked up in some intricate weaving projects on the fun loom that my boys have been obsessed with lately. I am particularly fond of the triple fish tail at the base. Aren’t they gorgeous?
 
 
And now a quick roundup of my current favourites. Happy weekend all!
 
 
Make mascarpone at home with Emiko’s cool tips.
 
– Repurpose big bottomed milk cartons for these cute kitty planters? Yes!!
 
– Note to self :  Make these Thai drunken noodles. And this gorgeous raw cauliflower dish. And these millet meatballs wrapped in eggplant.
 
– Loving Loving Earth’s Coco Choc Butter. Want to give it a whirl at home.
 
– A story on changing dreams. And life.
 
– Love house plants? Apparently you can’t kill these.
 
– A buttery bread with garlic, spinach and smoked cheese! yes!
 
– I want these hot pockets. Now. With some tea. (Gosh I sound like a Texan mama with a fancy British streak)
 
– Why don’t we gather people, pitch tents, hang buntings and make massive amounts of tomato sauce together? Why? Kate Berry you are genius. Also loving the concept behind Lunch Lady.
 
– Lately crushing on this blog. And this one.
 
 

Books I am stuck in right now. 

Tasty Express by me!! (I am reading and re-reading it, remembering what went into each page. And really enjoying cooking from it purely as a cookbook)

My Darling Lemon Thyme By Emma Galloway – A heartfelt compilation of stories and honest recipes with heaps of useful information.

The 20/20 Diet Cookbook by Lola Berry – A rainbow of fast and wholesome recipes in a book that will liberate you and set you free.

The Feast Goes On by Monday Morning Cooking Club – An emotional collection of recipes and stories steeped in history and culture.

Rick Stein’s India by Rick Stein – Makes me immensely nostalgic and I can almost smell the aromas and hear the bustling sounds of Incredible India.

Local Is Lovely by Sophie Hansen – A comforting collection of homely recipes and gorgeous little treats for tea.

I Quit Sugar For Life by Sarah Wilson – Loved her first book and love this one even more. Fun, playful with tasty recipes. I just finished shooting for a new I Quit Sugar cookbook and excited to see some of my shots in her books in the future.