A new love

Ok, I'll clear this up straight away - no I haven't got rid of Noel and found someone else.....lol, what a laugh!  No, we've only acquired a new (old) kitchen cupboard, and I truly do love her!

This gorgeous girl came to us via a straight out and out swap, and I couldn't be happier - my old kitchen dresser for a friend's kitchen dresser!  Unbeknown to the both of us we had secretly been coveting each others kitchen dressers for quite a while.  Then one day while my friend was visiting she said, god I love your kitchen dresser! I looked at her like as if she was speaking some strange language - yes, our kitchen dresser was OK, and very much needed as we have no storage, but I didn't like it - I wasn't in love.

Always one to jump at an opportunity I quickly said, well I love yours!  Ha, ha what funny things we are.  So subsequently 'the deal' was made over a cup of tea and something sweet. Yep, that's it, that's how I'll be doing all my future dealings from now on, over tea and donuts!

It didn't take long for the exchange to happen, with some slight modifications we had her in place looking neat and tidy. We'll see how long that lasts for, but in the meantime I had fun selecting some favourite pieces to dress her up with.

First and foremost some of my favourite cookbooks and flowers!

Gifts from friends, something handmade and something vintage.....well actually there's quite a bit of vintage!

My vintage ladder offers a place for some fresh rosemary to hang, filling the kitchen with its fragrance.

This little view gets me very excited, I can't wait to show you the rest of the kitchen, but not yet, it's nowhere near finished....or for that fact, even started!  I know that this type of kitchen isn't everyone's cup of tea, but it speaks straight to my heart and that can only be good, right?!

Now I have this new love in my life, it was a great opportunity for me to tidy up and celebrate by making a tart.  

NOT the most attractive Italian tart in the world, but hopefully my food styling using these old wallpapered wooden panels has distracted you long enough for me to tell you how absolutely scrumptious it was! Soft and caramelly (is that a word?) and yummy and crunchy and burnt and did I say yummy?!

Recipe - Homemade Strawberry and Vanilla Bean Jam Crostata

1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup self-raising flour
1 cup caster sugar
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
180g butter, softened
300g jam (use any sort you like, home made is the nicest, this jam was made by one of my lovely customers)
Icing sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 180c.  Place flours in a large bowl and whisk to combine.  Make a well in the centre of the flour mix and place caster sugar, butter and eggs in the well.

Using a fork, combine ingredients by gently mixing the dry ingredients into the wet.  When the dough has come together, knead by hand until smooth.  Form a ball and wrap in cling wrap.  Place in fridge for 30 mins.

Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface.  Using 2/3 of the dough, roll to a 27cm round and line a 23cm tart tin. Spread the jam evenly over the pastry base.  Roll out the remaining dough and cut into strips (just don't do them thick like I have, nice a thin looks much better)  Place the strips in a lattice pattern over the jam layer.  Press the edges of the pastry to seal and cut any excess away with knife.

Bake for 40 mins or until golden brown. Cool and dust with pure icing sugar.

By jingo, not half bad!

As I enjoy another slice and flick through the pages of my favourite magazines searching for kitchen styles, I wish you a relaxing Sunday and hope you get a chance to try this recipe, it's lovely. x Julie