Sunday, 30 October 2011

Lorne: Nothing short of shabby

With a couple of days of R&R down in Lorne for the long weekend, we could not go past popping into The Bottle of Milk for one of Victoria's best burgers. That's a big claim to fame I know, but these are just the bees knees, but of course with the price tag to go with it! At $14 a pop, they're worth every penny. I don't even eat meat, but seem to make the exception for one of these at any cost.

The Bottle of Milk Classic Cheese Burger....Yum!

I have been coming to Lorne since I was a teenager and over the last fifteen years it would seem to have become one of the most vintage and shabby chic places around, especially when it comes to food. Where once the best thing you could get in Lorne was a chicken and avacado toastie from Kafe Kaos (before it turned uber trendy), now you are spoilt for choice with an array of new (but vintage) cafes and eateries, all rocking old school coffee machines and 1970's vinyl furniture.

The fashion and home wares stores seem to have caught on too, some with better finds in them than what you'd find in Melbourne. Where once upon a time the most vintage store in Lorne was the Lorne Opportunity Shop (which is still there mind you), you now have your pick of designer vintage clothing stores, rustic jewelery and shabby chic home ware and gifts. With the calibre of women visitors to this surf town, any of these business owners would be sitting on a gold mine selling this stuff. My favourite finds yesterday being at Vic & Bert, with their vintage laundry pales, old medicine bottles, shabby British flags and  original glass laundry jars (if only I was having a vintage laundry party for a bunch of British doctors!). We did however find an original French bakers bread board that we love love love!

But with the weather not being so great, we decided to dedicate these few days to working on the business making it our own little 'company getaway'. With our heads buried in spreadsheets, costings, menus and lolly bar sketches we have at least managed to get out and pick up some great vintage props for our business in some of these fab home wares stores (although I am still looking for an original gum ball machine for a circus party if anyone can help?!). Perhaps we should consider doing these getaways more frequently, if only to claim them as business trips at tax time! Hmmm, something to consider..........
 Happy Cup Day everyone!
x

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Memories of cake......


In cooking these sweet little rasberry crumble cakes last night it evoked lovely memories of visits to my beloved Grandparents' houses when I was a little girl. Especially the visit's to my Mum's parent's house, where Poppy, my Grandpa, used to sing me the Strawberry Shortcake song religiously on every visit. I remember sitting on his lap and begging him to sing it again and again. As an 80's baby I was right into my Strawberry Shortcake and her sweet smelling strawberry hair, although I'm sure I probably enjoyed the idea of eating strawberry shortcakes more than actually watching the cartoon or buying the paraphernalia. In fact, in googling images of her and You-Tubing the Strawberry Shortcake song just now, I oddly did not recognise her nor recall the song.....mind you I am twenty five years older these days!

These recent baking expeditions of mine remind me too of my Dad's Mum, Nanny, who could have been compared to the likes of Margaret Fulton. Her house always smelt like a bakery every time we visited, putting on the biggest of spreads for the family of scones with fresh jam and cream, teacakes and traditional fruit cake. I always wondered where she found the motivation to create such things each weekend, but as I get older I too seem to find it somehow and I actually enjoy it.....cripes I  must be getting old!! Speaking of which, I better hit the gym hard to counteract all these goodies I've been baking. Enjoy.

Madam MEKO
XX


1 cup plain flour
3/4 cup wholemeal flour
1 cup caster sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
300g packet frozen rasberries
1/3 cup olive oil
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsp grated lemon zest
Icing sugar to serve

Crumble topping
1/4 plain flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 ground nutmeg
1/2 cup walnuts
30g chopped unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Lay 12 patty pans within a muffin tray.
For the crumble topping, whiz up the flour, sugar and spices in a food processor. Add nuts and butter and pulse til butter is just incorporated. Tip into a bowl and chill.

Place dry ingredients in the processor and whiz up. Transfer to a large bowl. Put 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture in another bowl and toss with two thirds of the rasberries (still frozen is fine). Set aside.

Whiz oil, milk, egg, vanilla and zest in the processor.
Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add milk mixture. Stir til combined and then gently fold in rasberry mixture.
Spoon into patty pans and sprinkle the crumble over the top and press the remaining rasberries into the crumble.
Bake for 35-40 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.

Cool and dust with icing sugar.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Going off my na-na!

After hours spent in front of this laptop this afternoon preparing budgets and our business plan (BORING!), I decided enough was enough.....I needed to create something! Although I'm a PA by day, my weekends were supposed to be reserved for my creative outlets, not crunching numbers and analysing competitors.

Poking around the kitchen looking for inspiration, I spotted the browning bananas in the fruit bowl....perfect! It was banana cake time! But not just any banana cake, this was my yummy Mashed Banana and Crunchy Walnut Cake. The best medicine to take the edge off the number crunching I thought!

I thought I'd share with you all the recipe as it was so very simple and came out beautifully. We haven't been able to stop picking at all afternoon......there goes dinner!

Enjoy x



125g softened unsalted butter
1.5 cups of caster sugar
2 eggs
3 mashed bananas
250g self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ccinnamon
pinch of ground all spice
1/2 cup milk mixed with 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Walnut topping
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons self raising flour
1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
100g almost melted butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar

Lightly spray a loaf tin and line with baking paper and preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl. Beat in eggs and mashed banana.
Sift the flour and spices together adding to the bowl. Add milk to mixture and lightly beat all together. Pour into the loaf tin.  
Combine walnuts, remaining flour, cinnamon, brown sugar and butter in a bowl and scatter over the uncooked cake.

Bake for 1 hour or until skewer comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting and serving.

P.S If you feel like being super naughty, try a thick spread of butter.....
 just to die for!

MEKO
xx

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

It's a 30th Picnic Celebration!.....A vintage one......because I'm officially vintage!

So I turned the big 30 yesterday, horrific I know. Understandably I have had very mixed feelings about the whole thing. Usually I love being the centre of attention and what an occasion to be the centre of attention at! But as the time drew near I would much rather haven been curled up in a ball with a bottle of bubbly introducing myself to the next check box of 30-39 in a more subdued state of mind.
The nail in the coffin for me though was when the Prime Minister announced last week on her 50th birthday that she was not phased by turning 50, rather being more concerned at the age of 29 about turning 30! Hope she wasn’t trying to capture all those 29 year old voters out there.
Anyway, I opted for the more subdued celebration over the weekend, a lovely afternoon spent with good friends with a bit of finger food and champagne. We gave it a ‘Vintage Picnic’ theme to symbolize the fact I was becoming vintage. In true form it had MEKO written all over it - red and white gingham table cloths lined the kitchen bench with two white metal pales hosting an array of red flowers. Red and white noodle boxes and patty pans sat a top of two wooden fruit crates picked up at Supply and Demand. We sipped piccolos of French champagne and mini milk bottles of lemonade through red and white striped paper straws. We even went as far as to find an old school picnic basket and two vintage coca cola wooden fold up chairs, their paint all worn back and very loved.
As usual Matt out did him self with the food and the centre piece of red and white butter crème cupcakes each reminding me that I was 30.
Just what I needed!
Enough said. The pictures speak a thousand words, so enjoy!


XX
Matt and Eddie
MEKO

Sunday, 2 October 2011

In the beginning there was Nina's Baby Shower........

So here we go, the first blog for MEKO! And one of many to come :)

Matt and I thought you all might like to see what we created for our very special friend Nina for her recent Baby Shower. With an unknown sex we had our work cut out for us theming everything in baby blue and baby pink. We hosted 12 ladies for a garden afternoon tea and thankfully Melbourne put the weather on for us!

There were many trips to Lincraft, Spotlight and Riot Art to find all these little trinkets and decorations. Not to mention the countless hours spent in $2 shops, it's amazing the goodies you can find in there! At one point I thought maybe I had gone overboard with the polka dots, but it all seemed to tie in well when put with the gingham and stripes. I almost died when I found my baby bunting, it just seemed to tie everything in so nicely.
Pictures speak a thousand words, so I'll leave you to it.........


An early trip to the market to put together these floral centrepieces that were made up of white freesias, roses and spray roses

Guests were treated to coconut cupcakes and chocolate salted popcorn cups made by Matt, pregnancy friendly finger sandwiches and mini quiches by me, traditional lemonade in mini milk bottles, retro swirl lollipops and strawberries and cream macaroons by our wonderful friends at Cacao 
    

The garden was decorated with these great lanterns I found on line at the lanternshop.com.au



We spent the afternoon decorating bibs and singlets for the bubba.
We definitely had a few artists on our hands!

The very happy Mamma and Pappa!

Stay tuned for the next blog, I've just got to get my act together and upload all the pics from my Vintage Picnic themed 30th!

XX
Matt and Eddie
MEKO

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