Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Textile Show Brisbane

I had such a fantastic time at the Textile Art Festival in Brisbane. Not only was it a wonderful chance to do something just for me, but I learnt such fantastic techniques in the classes I attended. On Saturday I attended Screen Printing with Procion Dyes by Louise Snook. She was a wonderful presenter and had such fabulous things to show us. I came away all inspired to incorporate some procion dye screen printing in our next range.

Sunday was the immensely talented Ken Smith for Machine Embroidery. Never having done any before I was a little apprehensive but had such a fantastic time. Although a time consuming venture, I can't wait to try out a few sections on our next range of clothes.

A very brief chance passing of Jacinta Leishman's demonstration of felting also inspired the desire to try out some felting.

A big thank-you to all the presenters for being so patient with me and the lovely people who sat next to me and helped me out.

Now I just need some time to put all these wonderful new skills into practice!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mushroom Mania

I just realised how long it has been since my last blog. Unfortunately with a house full of sick people the blog has been quite neglected. Not so for the vege garden though. After the initial build, we filled it up with mushroom compost, found for the fabulous price of 60c a bag on the Sunshine Coast.

After the mushroom compost rested for a couple of days it was time to go shopping for vegetables. My love of leeks and onions meant a punnet of each of these. Also beans, peas, zucchini's, eggplant, carrots, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower and many more. YUM!

The real winner so far has been the mushroom compost. After the initial 710grm mushroom we pulled out. The compost has yielded 20kilograms of mushrooms and still going strong.

This makes Mushrooms our vegetable of the month by a long shot and trying to find new recipes and ways to cook them has become a challenge but here is my favourite so far.

Tarragon Chicken and Mushroom Pie

800g of mushrooms sliced(you could decrease the quantity but we had sooo many yummy mushies)
4 chicken thigh fillets diced
a bunch of fresh tarragon
a bunch of fresh lemon thyme
one red onion finely diced
100g butter
50g plain flour
100ml milk
2 cups water
olive oil
salt and pepper
3 sheets of puff pastry ( you may need less depending on the pie dish you use but mine was particularly deep and I needed two for the bottom)

  • Brown the mushrooms and onions in a large fry pan using butter and olive oil. You only need a small amount of olive oil to stop the butter from burning. Once they have browned slightly, place them in a large cooking pot.
  • In a mortar and pestle, grind the tarragon, lemon thyme, a good amount of olive oil and salt and pepper into a smooth paste.
  • Brown the chicken in your fry pan. Once browned, add the tarragon paste and coat the chicken thoroughly. Add the chicken to the mushrooms in the large pot.
  • Make a rou using 50g butter and 50g plain flour by wisking the two together in the fry pan until they have a creamy texture. Add 100ml of milk slowly.
  • Once all the milk is added to the flour and butter, add this to the chicken and mushrooms in the pot.
  • Add a 2 cups of water and cook until the sauce thickens to a gravy consistency.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Grease a large pie dish and line with puff pastry.
  • Once the mixture has cooled slightly, add it to the pie dish and top with puff pastry. I weaved my pastry but you could just put a plain top on.
  • Cook in the oven at 180degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden.
  • Eat and Enjoy!