excellent reading and excellent tea

Earth Garden and PiP magazine || cityhippyfarmgirl

Tea break with Earth Garden and PiP magazine.

Tea breaks are short lived around these parts, so I make sure it’s worth it. Excellent reading and excellent tea. (Not telling the small people where I’m going to hide with said mags and tea also helps.)

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What are you reading and drinking at the moment?

Lemon Ricotta and Almond Cake

Lemon and Almond Ricotta Cake || cityhippyfarmgirl

Lemon Almond and Ricotta Cake || cityhippyfarmgirl

If I’m lucky enough to get to 85 years old I’ll probably eat cake for breakfast.

Straight up. A big chunk of cake on my favourite plate and a extra large cup of chai on the side.

I was certainly encouraging for my grandmother to eat cake for breakfast on her birthday recently. Not just any cake but this one that I made for her. It’s got almonds, ricotta and low in sugar, with some careful thinking I would say this cake ticks quite a few boxes for a slight woman in her eighties and the first meal of the day.

It also happily ticked a few birthday cake boxes. The requirements were gluten free, low sugar, not chocolatey and not ‘eggy’. With the satisfying soft scent of lemon billowing done the hall, I’d say this simple cake was done and dusted, (and dusted with icing sugar that is.)

Lemon Almond Ricotta Cake || cityhippyfarmgirl

Lemon Almond and Ricotta Cake

150g softened butter

2/3 cup sugar

3 beaten eggs

zest of two lemons

200g almond meal

250g ricotta

icing sugar

Cream butter and sugar together. Add beaten eggs and zest of two lemons. Fold through almond meal and ricotta. Pour into a greased and lined springform pan. Bake at 180C for about 45-50 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

green with inspiration

artist as family

photo via Artist As Family

I first heard of Artist As Family on a day that had completely gotten me down in the dumps with well, pretty much everything.  Mass consumption, global environment woes, and a lengthy list of 100 other kinds of thoughts. I certainly had the ‘green blues’ that day.

Then up popped this amazing blog that had me breathing in hope, light and general excitement. I was so delightfully happy I couldn’t help but tell anyone and everyone that crossed my path that day, of this amazing journey this family I had just ‘found’ was embarking on.

In January this year they finished their epic journey riding from Daylesford, Victoria to Cape York, Queensland and back again. Living on mostly free foraged food, they cycled with two kids on the back, the cutest little dog on the front and countless people like me following along online with their story.

Later on in the year their book will come out, and I seriously. Can. Not. Wait.

(I dare you not to be inspired by reading their blog.)

Read here for a tiny snapshot of their amazing journey. “Living on road kill and bush tucker: One family’s epic cycling adventure”- ABC Ballarat

artist as family

Photo via Artist As Family

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Here’s a list of a few other people that combine their day to day workings with a rockin’ blog as well. All green tinged, and all inspiring for so many different reasons. Sit down, have a read. You’ll be so glad you did.

Kirsten, Nick and the Milkwood crew- inspiring people with their knowledge sharing and courses that encourage life skills.

Mel from Coal Valley View- watch this space as their amazing farm transforms.

Tricia from Little Eco Footprints- honesty and shared knowledge, that there is a beautiful combination.

James from The Upcyclist- upcycled furniture and tiny houses…all so damn good!

Pip from Meet Me At Mikes- Ethical Fashion pledge…everyone should be doing this. Everyone.

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How about you, want to share in the comments a green tinged blog that you love?

 

5 little lessons I’ve learnt from blogging

apples || cityhippyfarmgirl

This little blog is now five years old. I’ve been writing, musing, dropping kitchen crumbs, taking pictures and sitting under the name cityhippyfarmgirl for five years now. Now how did half a decade zip by while I sat next to my computer? Well to be honest, I’m not really sure. What I do know though, is that five years is a wonderful amount of time to have learnt lots of bloggy lessons…Lots of them!

If you would like to pull up a chair, grab an apple or perhaps a slice of shortcake and linger awhile, I’ll share with you five lessons I’ve learnt in that time.

1/ Always write down your thoughts or recipes as you go along.

For recipes, I will never, ever remember the quantities and cooking times of what ever I am making. For thoughts, that seem so clear and unforgettable, they seem to disappear without even an audible “poofff” (despite all the very best intentions.) Five years on, you think I would have had this one firmly embedded in my brain. Nope, it isn’t though, I still occasionally forget and think that my memory can’t honestly be that bad, and of course I will remember. (It is that bad, and I do forget.)

Note to self, don’t forget, that I…well, forget.

sourdough || cityhippyfarmgirl

2/ There is always more to learn with bread baking.

What an amazing thing bread baking can be. To be always learning from and tweaking something as simple as flour, water, salt. I still get bubbles of excitement bringing a loaf out of the oven. What will it look like, how much of a spring will it have? No loaf is ever the same. Never. Not a one.

Life gives different loaves. In ways of weather, timing, distractions, commitments, forgetfulness, ingredients, new flour- they all play a part in my sourdough being different every single time. And really, how awesome is that!

3/ Photography, another big lesson.

I look back on photos I thought were pretty much ok, and can’t help but chuckle. Cameras have been and gone, techniques have changed along with them and knowledge is still to be gained in abundance with my photography. What I do know is that I get a kick out of taking photos and I can’t imagine that changing for a long time. I don’t think this photo from my first month of blogging back in 2010 would have been pinned too often. I do know it was a delicious pie though (recipe here) and remember all of us eating it with much gusto.

cityhippyfarmgirl

1st edition Jan 2010

cityhippyfarmgirl

2nd edition Jan 2013

apple shortcake pie || cityhippyfarmgirl

3rd edition Feb 2015

4/ Which leads me to my next lesson. Remembering.

Now I’ve already established at times, I’m not so good at remembering things. This is where having a blog is truly wonderful. It does the remembering for you. It’s my online diary of a sort. It stores many more day to day things, words, pictures, memories than I would have ever thought to remember.

Not to mention my recipes. I cook and bake a lot. Before having a blog I would have countless scrappy bits of paper dotted about the place, usually being lost between other bits of paper. Now I have them all here. Sure It’s a little weird having to go to the internet for your own recipes but hey it seems to work. I usually put a lot of time and effort into my recipes, bringing a concept to life, tweaking, changing, experimenting until I’ve got it just right. Sometimes they can be months and months in the making. I still feel slightly uneasy about other people using those recipes and putting them up on their own site without any reference, words or thanks given, a recipe now it’s their very own- it seems a murky copyright world, with well pretty much everything these days. So all I can do is know that what I’m doing sits right with me, and that’s what matters right?

Another wonderful thing about having a blog to help you remember is the feelings and emotions that might have slipped between the metaphorical pages. Tiny moments captured, which in another time would have been swept away to live only in my own memory bank…or to simply slip between the cracks altogether.

community || cityhippyfarmgirl

5/ Community.

I’ve waxed lyrical about the online community many, many times before. It will never get old speaking enthusiastically of all the people who make up this always evolving digital community. It’s pretty wonderful to be a part of that. When digital names spill over to lovely long emails, or names on the backs of envelopes, plump packages from people half a world away. Or coffee and picnics with people who were once just a gravatar. That’s pretty darn wonderful.

Through the online community I’ve also discovered more and more small businesses and people who I want to support with my careful dollar. Conscious shopping the way it should be- Instead of those coins going to a blank face that means nothing to me. I will repeat these words a thousand times, as it really is incredibly important to me.

apple pie || cityhippyfarmgirl

6/ Evolve and make your own rules up.

Now wait a second, didn’t I say this was to be five? Yes, I did but this is the beauty of lesson number six. If I want to put six up I can, I can do that, I can make my own rules up here. Yes I can.

I’ve also learnt to roll with it all. If something is bugging me I’ll change it. If I don’t want to do something, I don’t. I’ve learnt over these five years that for a blog to evolve you really have to ride with it, social media is an ever evolving thing and with that, well you have to be as well.

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How about you, if you have a blog what lessons have you learnt as a blogger. Or, if you are a reader what lessons have you learnt from reading blogs?

Vanilla Plum Jam

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Making Jam || cityhippyfarmgirlOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Vanilla Plum Jam. It’s my all time favouritey-favourite kinda jam. It’s tarty, has vanilla tones and dollops particularly well onto, well anything that I match it with really.

Lucky for me I like it a lot as I’ve made batch after batch of these babies. It’s that time of year. Vanilla Plum Jam time.

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Have a read here if you are new to jam making or are a bit hit and miss with your jam making methods. It really is a wonderful skill to be able to preserve the season and have even just a little of that knowledge under your belt.

Go on, give it a whirl. Try your hand at jam making.

Creative Consumption

This weekend was a long time coming, and boy was it worth the wait. Those two days were an absolute cracker. You know what the excellent thing about social media is? Connecting with amazing people in an online environment all over the place kind of way. You know what the next best thing after that is? Meeting them in real life and hanging out doing things you are all interested in. Also throwing a delicious sprinkling of creativity into the mix to keep you going for quite awhile. Yep weekends like that? They rock. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The weekend originally came about over thinking of the multitude of wonderful creative courses that are available around the place, without the exceptional price tag. Everyone has something to offer and things for others to learn from. In a collaborative type environment, ideas, options, thoughts, creativity can be expanded on. All those things jumped on and most beautifully run with. (At the very least, encouragement from some like minded souls, and a little recharging of the batteries.)

cityhippyfarmgirl.com

How it all came together… A group of instagram and online buddies coming together in Sydney. Accommodation was through AirBnB, which served as a bed for our interstate friend and a place for us to gather during the day. Cameras? Yes, they were essential. Awesome food brought in for the first day, and awesome food sought for the second day. Win win there.

Creative challenges, sharing of knowledge, a wonderful goodie bag to be taken home each, and more laughs squashed into a two day period than I’ve had for a long time. So. Damn. Good.

For anyone else who has looked longingly at a seemingly unachievable course that they would love to do due to finances, where they live or just general unsureness.

Jump in, create your own course. Find some like minded people and bring it all together. Collaboration is a wonderful thing, create what you want rather than staring wistfully in from the side lines.

Like I said, this weekend was a long time coming, and there were rather a lot of speed humps along the way. But it was worth every bump, and there are already plans for another.

Wonderful places we went, and awesome things we utilised

AirBnB

Eveleigh Markets

Dumbo Feather

The Grounds, Alexandria

Salt Meats Cheese, Alexandria

Kitchen by Mike, Rosebery

Koskela, Rosebery

Mitchell Rd Antiques, Alexandria

Clovelly Beach

Three Blue Ducks, Bronte

Suzie Q, Surry Hills

Kitchen Creations

crackers || cityhippyfarmgirl

The last few months have seen a lot of these crackers being made. Dead easy to make, with only a handful of ingredients in them. My recipe is over on the forever wonderful Milkwood blog if you are interested. (Just quietly, you’ll never walk down the cracker aisle again…this is an excellent thing.)

tomatoes || cityhippyfarmgirl

Tomatoes in all shapes and sizes, forms and colours, (and just as they should be) are working their way on to my kitchen bench top. Some grown by me and some via my OOOOBY box.

rocky road  apple || cityhippyfarmgirl

Ahh, now what’s this beauty I hear you say? Which is pretty much what I said when I walked passed a particularly enticing window display that I hadn’t seen before. I quietly go to the chiropractor one evening with no expectations of purchasing anything besides ongoing good healthy (thank you chiropractic care) and come home with this divine little chocolate encased creature. I hadn’t seen apples done like this before…how on earth could I say no? (And yes, there was a crispy, crispy fresh apple under there.)

cream || cityhippyfarmgirl

There has also been some Eton Mess experimenting done. This experimenting shall continue as much like the apple above, I was impressed, oh yes I was.

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How about you? What’s been happening in your kitchen lately? Have you seen apples like this before? Are you a fan of Eton Mess? And crackers- do you make your own? (ps. If you would like to give this recipe a go and are on instagram tag them #supermarketcrackerspffft I’d love to see them!)

Linking in with Ms Celia today and lots of other amazing kitchen goodies.

this week…

back to school || cityhippyfarmgirltea || cityhippyfarmgirl


 This week…

I said farewell to Summer holidays and reluctantly got out school lunch boxes again. New school shoes made the transition entirely acceptable for the school ones…large cups of gulped tea made it acceptable for me.

This week…

I said hello again to a friend I hadn’t seen for a couple of years. For 34 years we have known each other, (that’s rather magnificent really.)

This week,

I said Happy 85th birthday to my Grandma, that is also completely magnificent, (just like her beautiful flower filled garden.)

garden flowers || cityhippyfarmgirl

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What have you been up to this week?