Sunday, November 20, 2011

Our first day was spent like this......

Making cake!
 And better still with my favourite fruit APRICOTS. 
Newly in season and what an incredible season it's proving to be.
I'm going to make Nonna's(Daniella's mum's) Apple cake using Apricots instead.
This is truly the best cake I've ever eaten - EVER!
I'm also going to whip up some vanilla yogurt, with the help of Tabitha and her glass bowl, which will be magic with my cake.
I can't recommend more, having this cake the original way with apples(which I'll make in an coming post) - but I'm madly in love with apricots and they are at their prime for the shortest time(organically),so I thought this cake would be the perfect place to show them off in all their glory!
I have named this cake....
Just because I can!
Apricot Sherbet Cake 
You'll need:
125g soft butter
125g caster sugar
1 egg
125g self raising flour
125g plain flour - I used spelt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch of fine salt
8-10 ripe apricots - organic ones taste way better than conventional!
Pre-heat your oven to 180c
You'll also need baking paper, pen or pencil and a ruler.
How this masterpiece was made:
Cream the butter and sugar together 
Add the egg, mix well
Then the flours,vanilla and cinnamon are sifted into the above(I added mine to the butter and sugar - but that was an accident)
Mix then together until they almost form a dough - this was pretty far off with my first go, but I managed to divide the dough in two Then I got my baking paper,ruler and pencil and traced the outline of my baking tin onto the paper
Then take half the dough and place it in middle of the piece of outlined baking paper(ink/pencil up)and a plan piece of baking paper under, and then carefully with a rolling pin roll the cake dough out evenly towards the lines
Then peel the top layer of baking paper off (this will have the outline on it)and slide the other with the dough rolled out into the baking tin - you might need to trim the edges before you transfer to the tin.
 Then do the same rolling out the top layer 
Exactly the same way as you did the bottom
Then assemble the cut up de-seeded apricots on the cake dough
When you put the top layer on, you will have to flip it on and peel back the paper - then simply tuck in the edges and fork that baby all over.
A sprinkling of sugar may be good before popping this in the oven - I didn't because I like my cakes a little less sugary these days.
Bake for 20 min until the top is golden at 180c
Let it cool or better still eat straight out of the fridge the next day - if it lasts that long

With a dollop of homemade Vanilla Yogurt
How to make the Vanilla Yogurt:
Get a tub of the best plain or greek yogurt you can find - Organic/Bio-dynamic whole milk with no added milk solids or powders is best
1/2 - 1 Vanilla bean with the seeds scrapped out
And agave or honey to sweeten
Pop the yogurt into you a bowl mixer
Add the vanilla and a little of your preferred sweetener - mix and then taste, adjust accordingly.
Make sure you eat this delicious cake with a couple of big spoonfuls of this yogurt.
There are a few things I do differently;
*I'd add an extra layer of apricots
*I'd divide the dough evenly
*I'd sprinkle a little sugar and cinnamon on the  top before baking - otherwise it was perfect!
Tabitha you made baking so much more fun, I look forward to spending many more, one on one moments with you in the future. 
I know I went a little OTT with the photo's but
 everything was so pretty I couldn't help 
©Michelle Schoeps 2013
All photos taken by Michelle Schoeps
 and recipe adapted from a recipe by Nonna.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I'd like to introduce you to the newest member of my family......
(that would be the hot pink metallic kitchenAid below)
Yes, some of you who know me will be saying, "Wasn't that the name of the daughter she thought she was pregnant with, before Wilco popped out?" and yes they'd be right. 
On Thursday my newest baby arrived on my door step and I thought it only fitting that I name her. 

After all she's so gorgeous she deserves a pretty name...and because I'm not having anymore kids, she gets the name I would have called my next daughter.
Oh my god, how I love you!
(and you don't answer back or wear nappies)

The story goes something like this....
Me:"OMG babe...come here!", "Accoutrement has special addition kitchenAids!"
Max:"Babe, don't you already have a white kitchenAid?"
Jemima:"DAD!!watch out mum's seen a hot pink metallic kitchenAid - she can't buy it, she's already got one!"
Me: "OMG, OMG!!!"

Max:"Don't even think about it babe.Unless you sell the one you've already got, there's no way you can buy another one!"
Next day a text goes out to all my girlfriends asking/begging that someone buys my beautiful year and a half old white one, because there's a hot pink one with my name on it?
I visit my friend Dee the next day....
Dee:"Honey, I'd love it but I can't pay you right away?"
Me:"Ever heard of Lay-by?"
Me:Jumping up and down - "YAY, YAY!!!"

I ring Max..."Want to hear the good news babe?"
Jemima:"God Dad, I can't believe it - sucked in again!"
Me:"I'd like to buy the Hot Pink Metallic KitchenAid!"

And that is how Tabitha arrived. And might I just add the girls squealed when they saw her almost as loud as their mother.
Tomorrow I will post how we spent our first day together and the magic we created.

©Michelle Schoeps 2013
All photos taken by Michelle Schoeps

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Boredom does strange things to me....

I'm always seeking out advice about my blog,
I believe it's called feedback? How do I get people to leave more comments? How do I broaden the viewers? And most importantly, How do I get the right people seeing what I do and what I love - when I'm not anyone special? 

*(By the way this post has nothing to do with food as I am banned from the kitchen - and have been told to rest, hence why I'm bored out of my brain and thinking about boring stuff like my ego - never a good sign).

 This was advice given to me re my blog, by my gorgeous friend Ms Heather Nette King - ex-PR and Uber blogger (see I name dropped), she had suggested that I need to bring my everyday life into my blog, all the cool stuff that goes on...(trust me, not many cool things go on in this house)
For example; my super cool boyfriend - huh!! And what interesting things he's been up to, and I'm always like - No way, that's humil - who in their right mind would give a flying donkey's what he's up too?
Well, today I have decided to do the unthinkable with my very own boyfriend, just because I'm really proud of him!
Have you all seen the latest issue of Australian Vogue? Well, if you haven't your probably the only one! 
Max took the photo on the cover.
 Actually he took all the photos in both of the incredible African stories, inside as well. Clever isn't he?

 Oh and the ipad app - have you downloaded it yet? If not, you can download it here.If you're wondering, Max is the handsome one with the meerkats climbing all over his head.

And the equally talented and handsome,(and popular in the Doyle household) Joshua Heath shot the extraordinary footage for the iPad app - you boys make an incredible team!

Please dear god, let some of these talents wear off on our children!

p.s on a foodie note the food we ordered from the 'Dinner Ladies' was so good. We've had the Lamb, pea and mint pie and Rogan josh curry and both are winners and I would definitely order them again.
Photo's courtesy of Vogue Australia - shot by Max Doyle - styled by the equally incredible Naomi Smith

©Michelle Schoeps 2013
All photos taken by Michelle Schoeps

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Nana salad

This salad came about from sheer laziness - sorry Nana, but that's the truth.
My in-laws recently spent a month in Sydney, which was a nice treat for my kids. And In their time here I cooked a few meals for them - one going down in the history books - Nana's words not mine.
"The best salad we've ever eaten!".
Maybe they were just really hungry? You know how things taste much better and are more memorable when your starving?
I had originally planned on making this salad and a broad bean,fresh pea, mint and pancetta salad - but as time started to creep up on me I just threw it all together(well arranged it)and hoped for the best.
And, did I have happy customers, or what!

So I've named this the 'Nana salad' in honour of you Glen, now you can make it for all your mates in New Zealand!
You'll need:
Either 1 bunch of larger Heirloom beetroots or 2 small bunches - steamed or baked in the oven then peeled and sliced finely
3 Heirloom tomatoes - different varieties - sliced the same width as the beets
Goats cheese - I use a chevre - crumbled
Activated walnuts and pecans - chopped or broken up roughly

Fresh broad beans - 1 paper bag full after being shelled, gives you roughly a small bowl full- then steam or boil them for a couple of minutes to remove the tough outer skin
The same amount of fresh peas - shelled and cooked for 2 or 3 minutes
150g of long flat pancetta( ask the deli to slice it thinly)- chopped up and fried till crispy
Fresh mint - torn
Balsamic vinegar
 salt and pepper
Nolan's Rd Olive Oil
Shake well
As simple as that.
This is how I layered mine
Finally drizzle the dressing over the top and eat it solo or with slow roasted lamb leg or shoulder (falling off the bone),a piece of John Dory or Roast Chicken

And FYI I survived my operation and have to say the general anesthetic I was so afraid of, was actually quite nice and I'm now being waited on hand and foot and enjoying every minute (and it's even Max's birthday today!) 
Happy Birthday Babe, you are definitely the catch of the century!xx

©Michelle Schoeps 2013
All photos taken by Michelle Schoeps

Friday, November 11, 2011


The end of year is nearing fast.
So many end of year school events,concerts, farewell's, Christmas shopping, organising trips home to Melbourne and, thrown in for good measure, a little operation on my finger - today.
I'm not very brave to say the least(actually I'm a major wuss), and the thought of having other people cooking for me kind of scars the bejesus out of me. Even more than going under and having someone remove my finger nail and the rest - I'll spare you the gory details.
So I've ordered some food from the 'Dinner Ladies'- thanks for that tip off Kaye.
And over the past week I've been cooking up a storm, so all Max has to do is make me brown rice and dinner is served.
My left hand will be out of action for 10 days, I hear you all saying..."Your lucky it's not your right",as I'm soon to find out, I think you need your left just as much as you need your right.
I've been run off my feet this week photographing as I cook and eat. And I will attempt to post what I've made in the next 10 days - but don't hold your breathe.
Fingers crossed I'll be back in the kitchen in 2 weeks time cooking up goodies in preparation for Christmas - Oh, and my 1 year anniversary of the start of my blog!

I will leave you with my kids new favourite drink.

Pineapple-Mango-Orange and Mint 

You'll need:
It's good if all your fruit is cold out of the  fridge.
1/2 large pineapple or 1 small pineapple skinned, cored and chopped into chunks
1 large mango - de-fleshed 
The juice of 1 large orange - minus the pips

As much or as little mint as you like
2 trays of ice - I used the Ikea moulds
Chuck everything into your blender and blend till smooth

So perfect for these super humid days Sydney is having, and the kids LOVE them!

©Michelle Schoeps 2013
All photos taken by Michelle Schoeps