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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tuesday Tune - Tommy Emmanuel

Hello friends! Welcome to this week's #TuesdayTune post!

This week has been another busy one at our place so I have decided that today's post is going to be totally devoted to relaxation!


I am going to sit back with a cup of tea on a comfy chair and spend time relaxing and recharging my batteries!


If you have five minutes to spare I hope you can sit back and relax with me too!




Come in and make yourself at home....



Would you like to sit in the living room?



Have a seat on the comfy couch and let's take in the view...







Would you like to have some tea and cake!



Or if you'd prefer we can can sit by the pool and have a nice cool drink.


How about we listen to some music while we relax? I know a lovely guitar piece that you might enjoy. Have you heard of the Australian two-time Grammy nominee Tommy Emmanuel?


"Tommy" Emmanuel is an Australian guitarist who received his first guitar in 1959 at the age of 4 and was taught by his mother to accompany her playing lap steel guitar. At the age of 7 he heard Chet Atkins on the radio and he became fascinated by Atkins’ musical style of playing bass with the thumb and melody parts with the first two or three fingers at the same time. Tommy's style is akin to playing guitar the way a pianist plays piano, using all ten fingers. Rather than using a whole band for melody, rhythm, bass, and drum parts, Tommy plays all of that on one guitar.



As a young man in Australia, Tommy wrote to his hero Chet Atkins in Nashville. Eventually Atkins replied with words of encouragement and a longstanding invitation to drop by to visit. In July 1999, at the 15th Annual Chet Atkins Appreciation Society Convention, Chet presented Tommy with a Certified Guitar Player award, an honor Atkins has bestowed on other guitarists. This award gains its fame from being bestowed by Atkins himself, a widely recognized leader in guitar music.




Throughout his career he has played with many other notable artists including, Eric Clapton, Sir George Martin, Air Supply, John Denver, Les Paul and Doc Watson. Eric Clapton, Chet Atkins, Les Paul, and Joe Satriani all say that he is the best they have ever heard! Source

I hope you enjoy listening to the very relaxing tune, "Angelina" from his 2002 album Endless Road.




Ahhh....now that was relaxing!

Have you ever posted songs on your blog? I love listening to all kinds of music and I absolutely love listening to the music that my blogging friends from all over the world share on their blogs. Please leave a comment below if you have shared some music on your blog and I will come and check it out!

Thank you my dear bloggy friends, for spending time with me today. I feel so relaxed now and I hope that you do too!

See you on Saturday for the Say G'day Saturday Linky Party!



Best wishes for a fabulous week,

Natasha In Oz 


Please join me each weekend for the Say G'day Saturday Linky Party!
You can also visit me at PINTERESTTWITTER, GOOGLE+

Friday, July 30, 2010

Olive Oil Cake Recipe & the Benefits of Olive Oil

Hello sweet friends! Thanks so much for dropping by to say g'day. It's so lovely to see you.

Now, I have a very important question to ask....Do you like Olive Oil?
Olive Oil Cake Recipe & the Benefits of Olive Oil



I am sure you already know by now that Olive Oil is good for you due to both its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and its high content of antioxidative substances. Clinical studies have shown that olive oil may reduce cardiovascular risk factors by decreasing plasma triglycerides, total and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, platelet activation, inflammation and oxidative damage, and increase high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and antioxidant status. (Better Health Victoria)


Courtesy of: HomeTipsWorld.com


Studies have also shown that olive oil offers protection against heart disease by controlling LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels while raising HDL (the "good" cholesterol) levels.




Other studies have also shown that EXTRA VIRGIN olive oil, from the first pressing of the olives, contains higher levels of antioxidants, particularly vitamin E and phenols, because it is less processed.





Research suggests that olive oil may also have a role in lowering the risk of several types of cancers, including breast, colon, lung, ovarian and skin cancers. Chemical compounds specific to olive oil, known as phenolics, appear to combat the build-up of free radicals in the body and may be able to reduce oxidative damage to DNA. (source)



Olive oil may also help reduce or manage blood pressure, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis and immune function.
Olive Oil Cake Recipe & the Benefits of Olive Oil
Olive oil has been used for thousands of years in cooking and is one of the cornerstones of the Mediterranean diet. It is very versatile and, with its unique flavor and aroma, has become a must-have in all kitchens.


Williams Sonoma

Good oil, like good wine, is a gift from the gods. The grape and the olive are among the priceless benefactions of the soil, and were destined, each in its way, to promote the welfare of man. George Ellwanger (1848-1906) 

Different olive oils complement different foods and uses. Here is the gorgeous Curtis Stone to tell us more about the different varieties of Olive oil!




Olive oil can be used for sautéing, browning, stir-frying, deep frying, as an ingredient in marinades and sauces such as mayonnaise or pesto and as a condiment, drizzled over various dishes.


Olive oil is graded into several different types for sale, the most common of which is extra virgin

It is of course always appreciated as a bread dipper or simply dabbed on a toasted piece of country bread that has been scratched with a clove of garlic.


Another way to get a serve of this healthy oil is to try it in sweet foods, like cakes!

I recently stumbled across a recipe for Ina Garten's Lemon Yoghurt cake and decided to substitute the vegetable oil for olive oil and the end result was just delicious!

Olive Oil Cake Recipe & the Benefits of Olive Oil, Natasha in Oz


The cake is rich, fruity, moist and just plain YUMMY!

Olive Oil Cake

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (I used a rich and creamy Greek Yoghurt)
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3 extra-large eggs (I used organic and the bright yellow yolk coloured the cake beautifully!)
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest ( about 2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup oil (I used an extra fruity Extra-Virgin Olive Oil)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice.

For the glaze:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Olive Oil Cake Recipe & the Benefits of Olive Oil, Natasha in Oz


Preheat the oven to 180C or 350F . Grease your desired pan. Ina Garten suggests using a loaf pan but I used a round cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and the grease and flour the pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla.


Olive Oil Cake Recipe & the Benefits of Olive Oil, Natasha in Oz




Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the oil into the batter, making sure it's all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake.

Olive Oil Cake Recipe & the Benefits of Olive Oil, Natasha in Oz


I hope you enjoy this fruity, sweet and lemony cake!

Thank you so much for visiting me today my dear friends.

Best wishes for a wonderful weekend,

Natasha In Oz 

Please join me each weekend for the Say G'day Saturday Linky Party!
You can also visit me at PINTERESTTWITTERGOOGLE+,

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My messy kitchen!

I haven't joined in with the RAW(e) linky for a while but I just couldn't miss out on this week's fun idea! This weeks Raw(e) theme is 2(6) ....here is the idea....on the 26th day of the month we are to go into our photos on our computer and choose the  2nd folder and the 6th photo in that folder and post it... not matter how bad or embarrassing!




Well this is my 6th picture from my second album. It is an unedited picture of my messy kitchen! The dishrag is on the sink, the coffee filter hasn't been cleaned, the kettle is waiting to be filled with water so I assume I am desperate for a cup of tea and I see a pan on the stove but there is nothing in it. I guess dinner had to wait until I had finished my cuppa!


To see more fun 6th pictures head on over to Sailor & Company!


CLICK HERE TO LINK UP


Best wishes for a fabulous day,
Natasha.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tuesday Tune: Christmas in July-Part II.

Since it is nearly the end of July I thought I might share some pictures and memories from our annual Christmas in July luncheon! (Please click here if you would like to read Part 1 where I talk about the origins of Christmas in July)




We had a wonderful time eating lots of Christmas food like fruit mince pies, roasted chicken and turkey and cranberry sauce, mulled wine (Jamie Oliver's recipe) and we even enjoyed Brussels sprouts! It was a great afternoon!



I hope you enjoy this little movie I made of our Christmas luncheon. In the background you might recognize the beautiful Troika or "Sleigh Ride" music from Lieutenant Kije by Sergei Prokofiev.



Have you ever posted a song on your blog? If so, then I would love it if you could link up with me each Tuesday-you can link with an older post too! I love listening to all kinds of music and I love listening to the music that my blogging friends from all over the world share at the Tuesday Tune Linky Party.




Thank you for visiting today. I hope that you all have a wonderful week!

Best wishes,
Natasha In Oz 
Christmas...is not a date.  It is a state of mind.  Mary Ellen Chase

Sunday, July 18, 2010

#TuesdayTune -Summer Days in Wintry Australia.

Hello friends! Welcome to NatashaInOz.com, my little blog about life in my little corner of the world!


This week has been a busy one in our household. The kids are back at school and I am also working part-time this term. We have all been busy settling into new routines, doing homework and waking up early. These busy days have also meant that I have had less time to blog and I am really missing it! I did find some time over the weekend to download my holiday photos that I took when we were at the beach so I hope you don't mind if I share a few with you now?



Thursday, July 15, 2010

Zebra Cake Recipe

Welcome friends to Natasha in Oz! I am so happy that you dropped by to say G'day. If you are new visitor to my blog, welcome!

Tell me, have you ever made a zebra cake? 

Foodie Friday, Natasha In Oz, Recipe, Zebra Cake, Zebra cake recipe,


A Zebra Cake is just like a marble cake but the zebra pattern is created by pouring alternate cupfuls of vanilla and chocolate cake batter on top of one another.

Foodie Friday, Natasha In Oz, Recipe, Zebra Cake, Zebra cake recipe,

The great thing about a zebra cake is that it looks so fancy and intricate but it's really so simple. It's the perfect cake to show off your baking skills and impress your friends at your next afternoon tea!

Foodie Friday, Natasha In Oz, Recipe, Zebra Cake, Zebra cake recipe,

The zebra cake starts with vanilla batter that is divided in half and has cocoa powder added to 1/2 of it. The batters are then alternately spooned into the center of a prepared baking pan to form a bullseye design.

Foodie Friday, Natasha In Oz, Recipe, Zebra Cake, Zebra cake recipe,


You are going to love this Zebra Cake Recipe!

Foodie Friday, Natasha In Oz, Recipe, Zebra Cake, Zebra cake recipe,






print recipe

Zebra Cake
This delicious Zebra Cake Recipe is fun because of the zebra striped effect on the inside of the cake.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 4 (large) Eggs
  • 1 cup plus 1 tbsp White sugar
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 cup Flavourless oil (I like Light Olive Oil)
  • 1 tbs Vanilla extract
  • 2 tbs Unsweetened cocoa powder
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-inch round cake pan with a circle of parchment paper and lightly grease the bottom and sides of the pan.In a large bowl, mix together eggs and sugar until mixture is light and creamy and the sugar has mostly been dissolved. Stir in milk, oil and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture and mix just until blended. The batter will be of pouring consistency but not thin. Now pour half of the batter into another bowl. Add the cocoa powder to one portion and stir lightly to blend. Place the baking pan in front of you and then place the bowl of white cake batter to the left of the pan and the bowl of chocolate batter to the right of the pan. Using a 1/4 measuring cup for each of the batters, pour a cupful of the white cake batter onto the center of the pan. Then, pour a cupful of the chocolate batter directly at the center of the cupful of white cake batter. Alternate between the two batters and repeat the technique until all the batter has been used up. By the way, there is no need to wait for the batter to spread before pouring in the next cupful. Bake for about 40-50 minutes, until the cake is light gold and a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Wait for about 10 minutes, invert onto a cake plate and enjoy this delicious and very pretty cake!Because of the oil content, this cake will stay moist and delicious for 2-3 days.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 10 servings

Visual Tutorial

Mix the wet ingredients.
Foodie Friday, Natasha In Oz, Recipe, Zebra Cake, Zebra cake recipe,

Using a 1/4 measuring cup for each of the batters, pour a cupful of the white cake batter onto the center of the pan. Then, pour a cupful of the chocolate batter directly at the center of the cupful of white cake batter. 
Foodie Friday, Natasha In Oz, Recipe, Zebra Cake, Zebra cake recipe,

Alternate between the two batters and repeat the technique until all the batter has been used up.
Foodie Friday, Natasha In Oz, Recipe, Zebra Cake, Zebra cake recipe,

Foodie Friday, Natasha In Oz, Recipe, Zebra Cake, Zebra cake recipe,

We enjoyed eating this yummy zebra cake straight out of the oven but, because of the oil content, it will stay moist and delicious for 2-3 days.

Foodie Friday, Natasha In Oz, Recipe, Zebra Cake, Zebra cake recipe,


I am sure you will love Zebra Cake!

I love it so much I am off to go and have a 2nd piece...well, maybe it's my 3rd but don't tell anyone!

By the way, if you would like to join in with this week's Say G'Day Linky Party just click here or the picture below! I'd be so honoured if you could link up your favourite recipes, crafts, DIY, decorating tips, instagram pictures...anything that you would like to share!

Say Gday Linky Party, Natasha in Oz


Happy Day and best wishes always,

Natasha In Oz 


Please join me each weekend for the Say G'day Saturday Linky Party!
You can also visit me at PINTERESTTWITTER, GOOGLE+

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Christmas in July and a Tuesday Tune ~ Part 1

Every July, on the Sunday that is closest to the 25th, I host a Christmas in July party for my family. If you would like read about our Christmas in July Luncheon please click here for Part 2! and if you would like to visit my new Christmas blog please click here! Some people thought it was a bit weird at first but these days it seems that many people who live in the Southern Hemisphere celebrate Christmas in July, which is normally our coldest month of the year.





The earliest reference for the phrase 'Christmas in July' was in July 1933 at a girl's summer camp in North Carolina USA. The term later gained momentum with the release of the Hollywood movie comedy 'Christmas in July' in 1940.



Then in 1942, the Calvary Baptist Church in the USA celebrated 'Christmas in July' featuring a sermon 'Christmas Presents in July' and a Christmas tree. By the end of the sermon, the tree was covered with donations and gifts from the congregation. The donations and gifts were then distributed to missions worldwide. By 1946 this annual service began to be broadcast over local radio.

Today many Churches across the world celebrate Christmas in July with services, fund raising and activities.

The Lakewood United Methodist Church hosted a Christmas in July public festival. They gave away snowcones, treated everyone to a free concert, gathered donations for the Gardner Food Pantry and helped Central Arkansas Rescue Effort (CARE).

"Christmas in July" festivities are said to have started here in Australia in July, 1980 when a group of Irish tourists asked the proprietor of a hotel in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales to hold a party called "Yulefest". Scandinavian languages translate the word "Christmas" as Jul (literally, Yule), which happens to be the abbreviation for July in English.




My Christmas in July party usually includes a few Christmas decorations (I don't put up my tree!), Christmas candles, bonbons, Christmas hats and small toys for the kids.







Images from BHG

I have had no problem finding yummy recipes to try, as one of my favourite Australian recipe sites has got a whole section devoted to Christmas in July! Have a look at some of these yummy recipes!









Despite the fact that Christmas in July has become very commercialized in many places, I think that it is an occasion to remember the spirit of Christmas, which, according to Washington Irving, is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart. It is also a fun way for people in the northern Hemisphere to satisfy a craving for cooler weather (I hear it is terribly hot over there at the moment!) and it is a fun way for us in the South to experience what a Northern Hemisphere Christmas would be like.

Best wishes for a wonderful weekend,
Natasha In Oz 
I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.  
Charles Dickens

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