A desk warming and a cookie lucky dip

11 December 2017

Every now and then a silly idea takes hold. Years ago, it was an Easter egg hunt for my apartment block in Sydney. I set my alarm for 5.30am on Easter Sunday, roused Tony, and the two of us quietly hid eggs and put up posters in the common areas.

This week it was a desk warming party, because I've moved from one end of the newsroom to the other and closer to a window :) There was a cookie lucky dip (featuring gingerbread, my favourite choc chip cookies, and double choc macadamia cookies), filter coffee from my new machine - there was even an e-invite.

There hasn't been too much time for baking or silly projects for the last while (unlike 2016 when I made cakes in the shape of rubber ducks, owls and horses!), so this felt extra silly and festive.

If you want to host your own desk party - it's easy! Put up a bunting, brew some coffee, and bake or buy some sweets. Don't forget to invite your buds. To make a cookie lucky dip, wrap different combos of cookies in a layer of baking paper and then pretty wrapping paper, find a vessel to put them in and you're good to go.

Weekend links

08 December 2017

It's been a crazy busy week, with stops in Melbourne and Sydney and a few nights in Canberra too. Melbourne was a highlight - I bought a summer dress at Obus, picked up the Martha Stewart issue of Cherry Bombe at Magnation, had dinner with my friend Danie, and made it to a favourite breakfast spot too. That marks the end of work travel for 2017, it's been a whirlwind, and I'm so excited about sleeping in my own bed for a good while.

This weekend I'll be making a few Christmas plans - sketching out a menu, picking up a panettone, and putting a few last gifts in the post. On that note:

A simple tip for the festive season - just be there.

Christmas cookie inspiration.

Just finished this book, which is crazily my 22nd of the year!

Same-sex marriage is finally legal. Watch David Marr pay tribute to "those wonderful warriors" who paved the way. And this made me teary at my desk.

The two new Broadsheet books are beautiful - What to Eat & Where to Get It featuring Sydney and Melbourne.

And I'll be flicking through Sophie Hansen's Christmas Baking e-book. I've been really enjoying her happy and food-filled e-newsletters, perfectly timed for when that Monday feeling kicks in.

Catch you next week.

Presents in the post

04 December 2017

Every second year we spend Christmas at home, and this is one of those years. It's so nice to chill out at the end of the year, and not have to worry about travel or accommodation. This year I'm trying something new - instead of putting a big box of presents in the post, I'm mainly giving vouchers. They're super easy to mail and can be really fun. (Spoiler alert: if you're family - it's time to bail!)

My Dad is a sweet tooth, just like me. He's getting a voucher for Black Star Pastry in Sydney. It's a crazy gold token, which he can use to try their new mango cake. It should cover coffee and cake at one of their cafes, plus a few takeaway goodies too!

I'll still be buying presents for my niece and nephew. My friend Kristy recommended this beautiful book for my niece (it has the loveliest message and I especially like how multicultural it is). She's also getting a packet of bright markers that are part chalk, part crayon and part watercolour! I have my eye on this Thomas the Tank Engine wagon for my nephew, who has just found his feet and loves Thomas.

And I am sending two small presents overseas, to my brother and sister-in-law who moved to London this year. I thought it was important that they had proper gifts for their first Christmas away. I flipped through Michelle Mackintosh's Care Packages book before deciding on a few light but comforting items. There are two thick pairs of woollen socks (from the Big Merino, no less!). There's also a block of my favourite dark chocolate for my brother, and some clippings from The Good Weekend for my sister-in-law, who loves to read and write.

That's Christmas gifting pretty much done :)

Weekend links

01 December 2017

Happy December! We're hosting an early Christmas lunch tomorrow, and might even put up our tree. I'm serving mushroom burgers with sweet potato fries, followed by choc chip cookies and mangoes :) Then on Sunday I'm off to Melbourne for work. I hope most of the rain will have passed! I'm excited to see my friend Danie (we're going here!), and want to check out The Big Design Market too. To share:

You make your own paradise.

A new foodie and farm blog to love. Perfect pikelets please!

A funny podcast episode with a great take home message - to eat less sugar, bake a cake - featuring Yotam Ottolenghi.

A super cute Canberra wedding.

The New York Times coverage of Manus has been amazing.

Christmas gifts for kids and adults for less than $25.

And I've been cooking from The Savvy Cook this week, which I borrowed from the library. We've had fennel and lentil bolognese with tagliatelle, a veggie and haloumi bake, and brown rice bowls with miso broccoli. Yum.