Salted Caramel Baked Cheesecake

I was trying to think of a clever title for this post but realised nothing could quite beat the description of the recipe itself.  Salted. Caramel. Baked. Cheesecake.  Need I say more?

I’ve been holding off on my baking a little lately, due to the fact that I was lucky enough to receive my very own Kitchenaid mixer as a combined Christmas and Birthday present from Adam and Jack.  It may sound a little crazy but I’ve been waiting for the perfect ‘first’ recipe.  No regular sponge would do for this beauty.  So when my parents returned from a dinner party on Australia day gushing about ‘the most amazing dessert ever’, I knew it was worthy and I made a point to hunt down the recipe.  And I can confirm that my parents weren’t over exaggerating.  Please do yourself a favour and try this recipe.  You’ll thank me, I’m sure of it.

Click here for the recipe>>>

Salted Caramel Baked Cheesecake | brownpaperbelle.comSalted Caramel Baked Cheesecake | brownpaperbelle.comSalted Caramel Baked Cheesecake | brownpaperbelle.comSalted Caramel Baked Cheesecake | brownpaperbelle.comSalted Caramel Baked Cheesecake | brownpaperbelle.com

Garden Share Collective: February

A new year and the first Garden Share Collective for 2014.   The biggest news I have to share is that we finally finished the chicken coop.  And we had two beautiful heritage hens (of the Barnevelder and New Hampshire variety) move in a few weeks ago.  We thought we’d start with two and see how they go but we’re so happy with them we’ll find another pair to move in shortly.

Harvest
We’ve been harvesting armfuls of delicious corn.  So delicious we’ve vowed to plant more corn whenever the time is right and we’ve planted 25 seedlings just this afternoon.   We’ve also been harvesting eggplants, both regular and some of the lebanese variety.  The ceylon climbing spinach keeps us in ample supply of greens for morning smoothies and salad lunches.  Our rocket and herbs have also been thriving in this sunny weather.  And our rosemary hedge is starting to look very hedge-like in appearance.

Plant
After a great season of zucchini and cucumber, I think the plants had exhausted their supply so we pulled them out, turned and fertilised the soil and have it prepped ready for planting.  As I mentioned above we’ve planted some corn, but also a few tomato seedlings.  Although we have a little possum friend who loves to eat tomatoes, we’re persisting and have hopefully planted a large enough supply to allow for possum and us too.  Adam has planted a watermelon vine amongst a bed of gardenias down the length of our backyard as a bit of a test so we’ll see how that goes.

To Do
 As always, we have a list of jobs to do in the backyard.  Most pressing, some landscaping around our deck area which in its present state is overrun with weeds.  We plan to use paver stepping stones and river stone as a pathway with some tiny flower beds against the retaining walls.
Garden Share Collective, February | brownpaperbelle.com IMG_0249Garden Share Collective, February | brownpaperbelle.comGarden Share Collective, February | brownpaperbelle.comGarden Share Collective, February | brownpaperbelle.comGarden Share Collective, February | brownpaperbelle.comGarden Share Collective, February | brownpaperbelle.comGarden Share Collective, February | brownpaperbelle.com

Garden Update: Summer

With incredibly hot weather of late and very little reprieve from the afternoon storms we usually experience this time of year, I thought the garden would be in worse shape than it is.  But I am pleased that it has fared ok, a soaker hose hooked up and turned on for a sprinkle for a quick ten minutes twice a day has worked magic for the growing vegetables.

We have growing at the moment:
Some very healthy corn plants that have just started
Ample climbing spinach
A continuing supply of zucchini and cucumbers
Always reliable bushes of peppery rocket
Four bushes brimming with eggplants
A new plant which is sprouting the first finger eggplants I’ve ever grown
The healthiest herb garden I’ve had in years {basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, chives, sage, mint and more rosemary than you could use in ten years}

Garden Update | brownpaperbelle.comGarden Update | brownpaperbelle.comGarden Update | brownpaperbelle.comGarden Update | brownpaperbelle.comGarden Update | brownpaperbelle.comGarden Update | brownpaperbelle.comGarden Update | brownpaperbelle.com

Before & After: Yellow Entry Cabinet

As you will know from previous posts of mine, I’m a firm believer that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.  Whenever the kerbside collection happens in our neighbourhood, Adam and I wander with Roo and Jack in the pram and see if there are any gems amongst the piles of furniture people have decided they no longer need to keep in their houses.  While we have honed our selection criteria over the years, there is still a real risk of becoming caught up in the emotion and ending up with a house full of broken furniture that ‘has potential’.  This cabinet, for example, we picked up over 12 months ago and it has been sitting under the house waiting for a moment of inspiration before it could be transformed.  But I finally made it a priority and after some heavy sanding and a few coats of yellow paint {Dulux Swedish Yellow} it has become a delightfully cheerful and welcoming piece on our front verandah.  A real treasure.

Before & After: Recycled Yellow CabinetBefore & After: Recycled Yellow CabinetBefore & After: Recycled Yellow CabinetBefore & After: Recycled Yellow CabinetBefore & After: Recycled Yellow CabinetBefore & After: Recycled Yellow CabinetBefore & After: Recycled Yellow Cabinet

Happy New Year

A very happy new year to you.  I thought I’d start the year with the simplest of recipes.  A recipe you can never go wrong with and one of the first I ever made – at school in home economics class.  Particularly handy when you have a garden full of zucchinis and a family who is a little bit tired of finding that I’ve managed to somehow include zucchini in every meal for the past few weeks.  I used this recipe and doubled it – we ate one delicious slice for a weekend picnic and the other has been sliced, wrapped and popped in the freezer for lunches and lazy dinners.

{I’d very much like to thank you all for your support in 2013.  Here’s to a wonderful 2014}

Zucchini Slice | brownpaperbelle.comZucchini Slice | brownpaperbelle.comZucchini Slice | brownpaperbelle.comZucchini Slice | brownpaperbelle.com

Ginge-reindeer

Last year I made gingerbread for the first time (here) and was so happy with the results I decided to include them in the yearly Christmas baking line up.   Lately I’ve been seeing these upside-gingerbread-men-turned-reindeer and have been intrigued so I thought I would give them a try.  This recipe from Exclusively Food is the best I’ve come across.  Thorough and instructive and worked well both times with the perfect gingerbread flavour throughout.  I used this picture as a guide for making the reindeer.  They look very cute all lined up.  Cute and ready for eating.

Gingerbread Reindeer | brownpaperbelle.comGingerbread Reindeer | brownpaperbelle.comGingerbread Reindeer | brownpaperbelle.comGingerbread Reindeer | brownpaperbelle.comGingerbread Reindeer | brownpaperbelle.com

Rosemary & Twine Christmas Gift Tags

I love this time of year.  Carols playing, Christmas baking, the giving of thoughtful and beautifully {simply} wrapped gifts with a handwritten card.   I recently created some gift tags with rosemary from the garden, a handful of luggage tags and red and white twine.  A simple combination of non-Christmas items which ended up creating something very festive.

Rosemary & Twine Christmas Gift Tags | brownpaperbelle.comRosemary & Twine Christmas Gift Tags | brownpaperbelle.comRosemary & Twine Christmas Gift Tags | brownpaperbelle.com