2015 Christmas giveaway. Awesome food-related prize pack! (closed)

One Equals Two is Four! Every year on my blogiversary I host a Christmas Giveaway. This year’s prize pack is the bee’s knees, with one lucky winner scoring 9 fabulous food-related things (7 from Melbourne designers)! The competition is open to everyone, anywhere in the world, so get cracking! Official rules below the photo.
Here’s how to enter:
Head over to the Facebook competition link.
Submit your email address in the field provided (I don’t store or use email addresses, they’re just for contacting the winner). The winner will be randomly selected via woobox.
Entries close 7th December 2015 at 10.30pm (AEST). The winner will be contacted, and announced right here on the blog and on Facebook, on 8th December.
Here’s the list of loot:
1. Large enamel ice cream keyring in gift box by Bride & Wolfe, Melbourne. Fab keyring made from vitreous enamel, oven blasted and stone polished. The steel split-ring features Bride & Wolfe’s signature round charm. 12 x 4.5cm (4.7 x 1.8″).
2. ‘Notebook’ throw by Arro Home (Beci Orpin’s homeware range), Melbourne. 100% linen big, bold throw for the bedroom, lounge room or dining room – imagine it on the table for Christmas lunch! 130 x 180cm (51 x 70″).
3. ‘Travel Tips’ nougat nail polish by Obus, Melbourne. Vegan, high-shine, chip resistant formula containing only non-toxic ingredients. In mouth-watering creamy nougat shade. Made in Australia.
4. Pass It Down and Keep Baking! 
by Beth Ellen Wilkinson, Melbourne. Independently produced, beautifully designed cookbook featuring over 40 family recipes. The venture of sisters Laura Jean and Beth Ellen. See it here.
5. ‘Daisy’ apron by Arro Home (Beci Orpin’s homeware range), Melbourne. Very cute half-length retro-inspired polkadot apron! 100% cotton.
6. Tea towel by Wirely Home, Melbourne. Wirely collab with artist and costume designer Shio Otani. Designed and printed in Australia, made from a highly absorbent linen-cotton blend.
7. ‘Mouk in New York’ kids pouch by Marc Boutavant for Petit Jour, Paris. Featuring Mouk and his pals on the front, and a fab cookie and cake pattern on the back. Oilcloth with zip closure, 26 x 13cm (10 x 5″).
8. Hand-made vintage Christmas gift tags x 6 made by me from deceased Little Golden Books. Backed with kraft paper, with butchers twine for fastening.
9. Sweet Treats Kit by Meri Meri, London. Accessorize your home-made jams and cookies! This kit includes 18 decorative tags in 3 designs and twine to tie everything together.
Update 8/12/15: Huge congrats to Cecilia Warrick, the randomly-chosen winner! 

PS. This is not a sponsored post. I selected and paid for everything all by myself.
Please see official rules below photo.

2015 Christmas Giveaway. Everyone welcome! Via One Equals Two.
One Equals Two 2015 Christmas giveaway. Official rules.
Participation in this promotion is subject to the following terms and conditions.
One lucky winner will win the 9 items described and pictured above. The competition is open to everyone, worldwide. Shipping/delivery costs will be covered by One Equals Two.
Only one direct email entry, via the official entry form, per person is permitted. Each entrant may also be awarded 1 bonus entry if the competition is shared on the entrant’s Facebook timeline and a user clicks and enters from the entrant’s shared link.
The Competition starts on 26/11/2015 and ends on 7/12/2015 (10.30pm AEST).
This is a game of chance, and the winner will be randomly drawn via woobox on 8/12/2015. The winner’s name will be announced on the One Equals Two Facebook page and the One Equals Two website (right here).
To take part: please visit the official entry form link, and submit your email address via the field provided. Email addresses are required to contact the winner only and will not be stored or sold. One Equals Two will notify the winner using the email address provided. It is up to entrants to ensure the email address provided is accurate and valid! If the potential winner cannot be contacted or fails to respond to the winner notification within 7 days (by 15/12/15 at 9:00am AEST), One Equals Two reserves the right to then randomly choose a new winner.
You must be a member of facebook.com in order to enter this competition; however this promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You are providing your information to One Equals Two and not to Facebook. By participating in this promotion you agree to a complete release of Facebook from any claims.
Prizes are awarded ‘as is’ with no warranty or guarantee. One Equals Two is not liable for any damages or loss that may occur during shipping.
Good luck!

Christmas gift guide for foodies. All made in Melbourne!

Call me crazy but I started my Christmas gift buying months ago. Last-minute Chrissie shopping gives me the heebie jeebies! If you’d like to get in early too, here’s some inspiration. Everything below is food-related, and made with creativity and love in my home town, Melbourne.
 Let’s support artisans and small businesses instead of the soulless multi-nationals. Happy shopping! xx

2015 Christmas Gift Guide for foodies. Via One Equals Two.1. Aacute Soy candle with gingerbread scent. $22 USD. Hand poured 100% natural soy wax candle, packaged in a miniature retro oven box. Available on etsy, along with the full Bakery Range of 24 scents, including Hot Jam Doughnut, Choc Brownie, Buttery popcorn and Crème brulée!
2. EAT.ME.DO Tea Time socks. $18 AUD. 100% cotton socks featuring your fave Aussie bickies! Available here and at these stockists, along with other delectable wearable treats like jelly baby earrings, Iced Vovo brooches and Cheezel rings!
3. BrewSmith Bacon-making kit. $22 USD. Yes, bacon you can make at home (OMG)! Contains cure, salt, sugar, meat thermometer, recipes, curing bags and instructions. Available on etsy, along with homebrew beer and cider kits.
4. Lene Kuhl Jakobsen Round square bowls. $55 AUD for a set of 3. Small bowls, each hand-thrown from a cube of clay hence the beautiful uneven rims. More info here, available from these stockists.
5. Full Tilt Nanna Hand crocheted fortune cookie with custom message. $11 USD. These cute little cookies can carry announcements, secrets or any other special wishes. You could place one on each Christmas lunch plate! Available on etsy, along with crocheted carrot, eggplant and chill pepper baby rattles!
6. Neryl Winter Harvest (detail). Limited edition archival ink giclée print. A3 size $95 AUD. Original hand-drawn illustration inspired by Australian label Gorman’s Winter Harvest dress. Hand-numbered and signed, printed on natural cotton rag art paper. Created by artist Neryl Walker. Available here, along with more beautiful art, cushions and stickers.
7. Evie Barrow Tooth fairy pouch. $14.81 USD. Hand-made ode to the most important food-eating tool! Cotton/linen, hand embroidered and lined inside to keep teeth safe and easy for the Tooth Fairy to retrieve. Comes with a hand numbered booklet. Created by Melbourne maker Evie Barrow. Available on etsy, along with gorgeous original art, one-of-a-kind textile characters and gift tags.
8. Lucy Folk Taco friendship band. $65 – $75 AUD. Colourful bracelet with silver or gold taco, by Melbourne’s queen of wearable food. Sterling silver, yellow gold plate, rose gold plate and cotton. Available online here, at these world-wide stockists and in-store at 1A Crossley St, Melbourne.
9. Kitiya Palaskas Chicken drumstick brooch. $20 AUDDouble-layered laser cut acrylic, gold-plated pin back, packaged on a riso-printed backing card. Available online here, along with Kitiya’s fab felt-cut food art, stickers, patches and jewellery.
10. WirelyHome x Zin+Bert Concrete platter and side table. $48 USD (for platter only, stand sold separately). WirelyHome collab with concrete artist Erin Devenish (Zin+Bert). Concrete platter treated with food-safe honeydew wax that fits on Wirely’s plant stands, converting them into side tables. Available here, along with Wirely’s stylish candlesticks, oven door hooks and tea towels.
11. Kirsten Perry Hand-built ceramic jug. $200 AUD. Imperfectly perfect sculptural jug by Melbourne ceramic artist Kirsten Perry. Available here, along with Kirsten’s uniquely beautiful cups, planters and cushions.
12. Arteveneta Pasta measure. $33 AUD. Never cook too much or little pasta again! American oak or walnut pasta measure hand-crafted in Prahran by a father/son team. Available here, along with cheese boards, pepper mills and salt cellars.
13. Emma Dilemmas Emporium Nautical gingham reversible apron. $33.32 USD. Classic red gingham self-backed half apron made from vintage cotton, with appliquéd anchor and ric-rac trim. Available on etsy, along with cute cushions and lots more vintage-style aprons.
14. Esther Sandler Fruit salad stickers. $2.96 USD. Stickers printed from an original hand-embroidered piece. Use them to brighten up your snail mail or decorate your Christmas presents! Each pack features 7 fruits. Available on etsy along with Esther’s colourful bags, purses, cushion covers and magnets.
15. Takeawei Fried egg brekky plate. $35 AUD. Handmade in North Melbourne. Fried egg plate to make your mornings sunny side up. Perfect for toast! Hand-painted, food safe, dishwasher safe and microwave safe. Available online here, along with lovingly hand-crafted mugs, tumblers, and plant hangers.

Footnote: This is not a sponsored list. These are all items I genuinely love!
Be sure to check item availability with the sellers and stockists; and confirm that delivery is possible before Christmas.

Etsy shop prices are in USD. All other prices are in Australian dollars. Here’s a currency converter
.

2014 Christmas giveaway. 11 foodie prizes! (closed)

YAY! It’s my blogiversary – One Equals Two is now 3 years old. It’s also time for my annual Food-related Christmas Giveaway, and this year’s prize pack is the biggest and best yet! One lucky winner will score eleven fab items; including an Arro Home geometric apron, Gorman socks and some ace stuff for kids too!
This competition is open to everyone, anywhere in the world. See official rules below the photo.
Here’s how to enter:
Head over to the Facebook competition link.
Submit your email address in the field provided (PS. I don’t store or use email addresses, they’re just for contacting the winner). The winner will be randomly selected via woobox.
Entries close 7th December at 10.30pm (AEST). The winner will be contacted, and announced right here on the blog and on Facebook, on 8th December.
Here’s the list of loot:
1. Ice cream notepad by Poppies for Grace, Melbourne.
440 sheets (220 circles in 11 colours + 220 triangles in 6 colours). Ideal for place settings, bunting, a giant confetti wall or combined to make paper ice creams.
2. Geometric apron by Arro Home (Beci Orpin’s homeware range), Melbourne.
Cotton geometric print apron with contrasting coloured binding.
3. Eco shopping tote by Mogu Takahaski, Japan.
100% cotton silkscreened tote with handmade button sewn on the nose. Great for farmer’s markets! PS. The cat is saying ‘Who are you?’ in Japanese.
4. Mouk in Australia plate by Petit Jour Paris.
Melamine kids plate featuring Mouk and his pals on Kangaroo Island by Marc Boutavant.
5. Jam jar ‘chalkboard’ stickers by Cocobohème, France.
Reusable stickers for your jars of homemade jam and preserves. Write on them with chalk and wipe clean! Dishwasher-safe. 4 pack of labels, 16 labels total.
6. Ice cream girl art print by Emily Nelson, Brisbane.
Original ‘ice cream girl’ illustration, A4 print on archival paper.
7. Doodle Cake Crayon kit by Alex Toys, Italy.
Recycle your old crayon bits into cupcake crayons! Includes silicon baking mold, 8 colors of crayon crumbles, spoon, doily and easy instructions. Age: 6+
8. Hundreds and Thousands (nonpareils) socks by Gorman, Melbourne.
Nude-coloured bobby socks with embroidered coloured dots.
9. Sugar Skull DIY bag-tag craft kit by Re-sew-cool, Melbourne.
Includes pattern, instructions, sewing needle, recycled felt, recycled buttons, trim, natural fibre yarn and swivel clasp. Age: 10+
10. Citrus pencil/makeup purse by Kikki K, Melbourne.
Cute purse, fully-lined with light pink seed-patterned fabric.
11. Christmas tags by Emily Nelson, Brisbane.
3 gingerbread men and 3 candy cane Christmas gift tags with natural twine.
PS. This is not a sponsored competition. I paid for everything all by myself!
Please see official rules below photo.
Update 8/12/14: Huge congrats to Lisa Rafferty, the randomly-chosen winner!

2014 Christmas Giveaway. Everyone welcome!One Equals Two 2014 Christmas giveaway. Official rules.
Participation in this promotion is subject to the following terms and conditions.
One lucky winner will win the 11 items described and pictured above.
The competition is open to everyone, worldwide. Shipping/delivery costs will be covered by One Equals Two.
Only one direct email entry, via the official entry form, per person is permitted. Each entrant may also be awarded 1 bonus entry if the competition is shared on the entrant’s Facebook timeline and a user clicks and enters from the entrant’s shared link.
The Competition starts on 24/11/2014 and ends on 7/12/2014 (10.30pm AEST).
This is a game of chance, and the winner will be randomly drawn via woobox on 8/12/2014. The winner’s name will be announced on the One Equals Two Facebook page and the One Equals Two website.
To take part: please visit the official entry form link, and submit your email address via the field provided. Email addresses are required to contact the winner only and will not be stored or sold. One Equals Two will notify the winner using the email address provided. It is up to entrants to ensure the email address provided is accurate and valid! If the potential winner cannot be contacted or fails to respond to the winner notification within 7 days (by 14/12/14 at 10:30pm AEST), One Equals Two reserves the right to then randomly choose a new winner.
You must be a member of facebook.com in order to enter this competition; however this promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You are providing your information to One Equals Two and not to Facebook. By participating in this promotion you agree to a complete release of Facebook from any claims.
Prizes are awarded ‘as is’ with no warranty or guarantee. One Equals Two is not liable for any damages or loss that may occur during shipping.
Good luck!

Seasonings Greetings (3 ways with dukkah)

[Recipe 1] PISTACHIO and ALMOND DUKKAH transforms into
[Recipe 2] SPICED LAMB PIZZA (lahm bi ajine)
[Recipe 3] SPICED HONEY DUKKAH POPCORN
[Recipe 4] CHAR-GRILLED DUKKAH LAMB with TRAY-ROASTED VEGGIES

It seriously feels like we packed away the Christmas tree two months ago. I cannot BELIEVE we’re half-way through November. Yikes!
Every Christmas I make a massive batch of something sweet or spicy to pop into jars for teachers, family and friends. Za’atar was popular, and dukkah is equally tasty and a cinch to whip up and package; especially if you employ child labour in your home, as we do.
I buy my fabric pieces at Amitié – they have a huge basket of off-cuts, the perfect size for topping jars. The raw tangerine string is from Araliya. It’s handmade from coconut fibre, and it was a birthday pressie (thanks Chris)!
For a more substantial gift, a small spice bowl could be added – Ingrid Tufts makes beautiful little hand-thrown porcelain condiment bowls.
My dukkah is adapted from Greg Malouf’s recipe in one of my most thumbed-through, dog-eared cookbooks, Arabesque. I made a couple of adjustments, replacing the hazelnuts with toasted pistachios and almonds (I’m far too lazy to skin a bulk load of hazelnuts). I also used less salt, adding a touch of thyme. Dried thyme is great for adding a salt-like kick to spice blends.
Dukkah is a flavour explosion! It can be sprinkled with gay abandon on just about anything; including poached eggs, salad or veggies (eg. my roasted cauliflower and chestnuts with dukkah).
Here are three more great ways to use dukkah. You’ll find the recipes below.
Spiced lamb pizza is a traditional Lebanese treat which usually contains allspice and/or cumin. In my humble opinion dukkah tastes even better.
Spiced honey dukkah popcorn is salty, sweet, spicy and incredibly moreish. We had fun experimenting and taste-testing this recipe – four enormous bowls, now gone!
Char-grilled dukkah lamb is a family favourite, and quick to prepare. Served with tahini sauce and tray-roasted veggies, it makes a super-tasty, healthy meal. Leftover roasted veggies and lamb, if any, can be tossed through a simple rocket, freekeh or couscous salad, and dressed with tahini sauce. We often cook up double the lamb and veggies for this purpose. Enjoy!

Pistachio dukkah. One Equals Two.3 ways with dukkah. By One Equals Two. Home-made pistachio dukkah. One Equals Two.[Recipe 1] Pistachio and almond dukkah

Ingredients (bulk quantity – makes 23 cups, to fill 25–27 jars)
4½ cups (450g) ground coriander
4 cups (450g) ground cumin
½ cup (40g) dried thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
3 tablespoons (25g) fine white pepper
8 cups (1 kilo) sesame seeds, toasted
4 cups (575g) almonds, toasted (or store-bought unsalted dry roasted)
2½ cups (325g) pistachio kernels, toasted

Place coriander, cumin, thyme, salt, pepper and half the toasted sesame seeds into a large bowl and mix well. Blend almonds, pistachios and the remaining toasted sesame seeds in batches in a food processor, transferring to the bowl of dried spices as you go. Don’t grind them too fine or you’ll end up with a paste! Nuts should be chunky, and just broken.
Divide dukkah into sterilised jars, top the lids with a small square of fabric and seal with string. You can fashion your own funnel from cardboard, to make pouring into the jars easier. Reserve some dukkah for yourself, for the three recipes below!
Very loosely based on Greg Malouf’s recipe in Arabesque.

  • You can toast your own sesame seeds or buy them pre-roasted from Asian and Middle Eastern food stores.
  • Spices can be bought in bulk from Asian and Middle Eastern food stores. Mine were purchased, as always, from Oasis; where you can also find pre-shelled pistachios!
  • Most dukkah recipes call for whole coriander and cumin seeds, crushed in a spice or coffee grinder, or manually with a mortar and pestle. When making dukkah in bulk, pre-ground spices are recommended, as the crushing would take weeks! Incidentally, food processors aren’t great for seed-crushing as the seeds slip past the blades.
  • Dukkah should be stored in a cool dry place, and will keep for 3–6 months.

Spiced lamb pizza with tahini sauce. One Equals Two.

[Recipe 2] Spiced lamb pizza (lahm bi ajine)

Ingredients (serves 4):
1 quantity wholemeal (wholewheat) pizza dough
2 tablespoons olive oil for brushing
400g (14 oz) lamb backstraps, leg or fillets
3 teaspoons Pistachio and almond dukkah (see recipe above)
2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
1 small red (purple/Spanish) onion, finely diced
2 firm Roma or vine-ripened tomatoes, seeds and liquid scooped out, diced
To serve:
Tahini sauce
Fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley
Lemon wedges (these are a must)!
Tomato and cucumber salad

Preheat oven to 250°C (480ºF).
Place two pizza trays into the hot oven to warm up, for at least 10 minutes. This is an important step for crispy-based pizzas.
Divide wholemeal pizza dough into four. Sprinkle flour on work surface. Roll out each piece of dough into a log shape with your hands. With a rolling pin, roll each log into a large flat oval, approx. 12 x 30cm (5 x 12″). Lift the four bases onto two sheets of baking paper.
Place the chopped lamb, Pistachio and almond dukkah and pomegranate molasses into a food processor and process until minced.
Brush each pizza base lightly with olive oil.
Arrange the prepared lamb, onion and tomato over each base, leaving a 2cm (.8″) border.
Carefully slide pizzas and baking paper onto pre-heated pizza trays and bake for 10–12 minutes. Cook separately if they don’t fit side by side.
Remove from oven. Scatter with fresh parsley and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing; and Tomato and cucumber salad.
Recipe very loosely adapted from this one by Greg Malouf.

Honey-spiced dukkah popcorn. One Equals Two.

[Recipe 3] Spiced honey dukkah popcorn

Ingredients (makes 12 cups):
40g (1.5 oz) organic coconut oil
½ cup popcorn kernels
60 grams (2 oz/½ stick) butter
2 tablespoons honey
♦ 2 tablespoons Pistachio and almond dukkah (see recipe above)
½ teaspoon sea salt

Melt the coconut oil in your largest saucepan, over medium-high heat.
Add the popcorn kernels and cover.
When the kernels begin to pop, gently shake the pan now and again to prevent burning. Once the popping slows down to 2 or 3 seconds between each pop, remove the pan from the heat and tip popcorn into a large bowl.
Melt the butter and honey in a small saucepan. Add Pistachio and almond dukkah and salt and stir to combine.
Pour over the popcorn and stir to coat evenly. Tip into a large bowl and serve.

Dukkah lamb with tray-roasted veggies. One Equals Two.

[Recipe 4] Char-grilled dukkah lamb with tray-roasted veggies

Ingredients (serves 4):
2 x large lamb backstraps (approx. 500g/1.1 lb total)
¼ cup olive oil


⅓ cup Pistachio and almond dukkah (see recipe above), plus extra to serve
Vegetables for roasting:

650g (1.4 lb) kipfler potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed, halved

3 smallish sweet potatoes (approx. 500g/1.1 lb), unpeeled, scrubbed, cut into wedges

2 red (purple/Spanish) onions, peeled, quartered

2 medium zucchini, each halved lengthwise and cut into 4

⅓ cup olive oil

Sea salt flakes and freshly-cracked black pepper
To serve:
Tahini sauce
Fresh chopped coriander

Place lamb pieces in a non-metallic dish or bowl.
Combine olive oil and Pistachio and almond dukkah and spread over the lamb pieces. Cover and allow to marinate for at least one hour or overnight.
Preheat oven to 220°C (425°F).
Place halved potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, and simmer for 5 minutes, until just tender. Drain and pat dry with a clean tea towel.
Place par-boiled potatoes, sweet potato, onions, zucchini and oil into a large bowl. Toss to coat. Place into a large (preferably cast iron) baking pan, scatter with salt and pepper and roast for 45–50 minutes, turning every 10–15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside. Veggies can be served warm or at room temperature.
When you’re ready to serve, cook the lamb. Preheat a lightly-oiled barbecue or chargrill plate to medium–high heat. Cook lamb for 4 minutes each side, or until cooked to your liking. We like ours rare-ish. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
Slice lamb thickly across the grain. To serve, pile roasted veggies onto four plates. Top with sliced lamb, drizzle with tahini sauce and scatter with coriander and extra dukkah.

  • Char-grilled dukkah lamb is great for feeding a large crowd. To serve ten people, you’ll need 1.5 kilo (3.3 lb) lamb backstraps, ¾ cup olive oil and 1 cup Pistachio and almond dukkah. Cook the lamb on the BBQ, and serve with double quantity tahini sauce.
  • Veggies are a guide only. Feel free to toss unpeeled pumpkin wedges, carrot slices and/or halved firm Roma tomatoes into the roasting pan.
  • Char-grilled dukkah lamb is also delicious served with Farro salad.
  • Kid tip: Kids will love the char-grilled lamb in a wrap with tahini sauce (or smashed avocado), grated carrot and lettuce. Pluck some roast potato and sweet potato wedges from the roasting pan and call them ‘chips’.

2014 Food-related Christmas gift guide. Handmade in Melbourne!

May I just say, in caps, that CHRISTMAS IS LOOMING. Don’t panic! Here’s my annual food-related Christmas Gift Guide. Everything below is made with love in my home town, Melbourne. Buying handmade creates a domino-effect of happiness – for you, the gift recipient and the maker. Let’s ignore the sea of mass-produced crap trotted out every year by those greedy multinationals and support our local artisans!
Overseas readers – you can buy locally by checking out these fab foodie creations: jikits mini ice cream mobile (USA), misako mimoko’s apple wall hanger (Spain), Fine Little Day’s tomato poster (Sweden); or make your own 70s Supermarket Play Set with Alice Apple’s DIY fabric panel (UK).
OK, here we go…
1. Able and Game Butter tea towel. $19.70. Able and Game’s super cute hand-drawn designs feature on cards, totes, tea towels and calendars. Available on etsy, and at these worldwide stockists.
2. Hamb ‘Fish barbecue’ mens tee. $69. Hamb’s quirky limited edition tees, library bags and plywood clocks are hand-illustrated and screen-printed in Melbourne. Available online here, and at these stockists.
3. Sandra Eterovic ‘Italian ingredients’ original painting on paper. $85. Sandra’s beautiful work is hand-made with care, using the best quality sustainable materials. Available on etsy, along with fabulous cards, OOAK dolls, cushions, mirrors, prints, scarves and wooden art! Sandra was recently profiled on The Design Files and Handmade Life.
4. Re-sew-cool Watermelon brooch kit. $15. Kit contains pattern, instructions, sewing needle, ric-rac, recycled felt, recycled buttons, natural yarn and brooch clasp. Available here and at these stockists, along with 5 more fab brooch varieties, and other kits. Handmade in Melbourne by the talented Sister Outlaws.
5. Made by Mosey banana cushion. $66. Made by Mosey’s colourful range of cushions, garlands, soft mobiles and quilts are created by Madeleine Sargent. Available here and also at Craft Vic.
6. Rooftop Honey Test Tube Gift Set. $19.95. This calico gift bag from CBD beekeepers Rooftop Honey includes a bee-friendly seed pack, recipe postcard and set of three honey samples (harvested from Melbourne rooftops) in glass test tubes, hand wax dipped and labelled with origin. Available here.
7. Neryl ‘Pineapple Mary’ limited edition archival ink giclee print. Medium: $95, Large: $160. Music-lovin’ juice swiggin’ Mary would jazz up any kitchen, dining room or den! She’s available here, along with her lady friends. Created by clever chick Neryl Walker.
8. Takeawei Origami serving board. Large $105, small $85. Handmade by Chela Edmunds in North Melbourne, this platter features a satin glaze star pattern and is dishwasher/microwave safe. Perfect for antipasto, sushi or cheese! These have sold out in the Takeawei store, but are available online at Liberty Trading Company. Be quick before they vamoose!
9. KaPow Kids Harem-style kids ice cream shorties. $32.95. Matching headband also available! KaPow Kids threads are hand-made in limited quantities and sell out fast, so run! Available online here, and at these stockists.
10. Evie Barrow Miss Pudding. $11.20. Available on etsy. Evie makes playfully-illustrated creations and one-of-a-kind textile characters, including the delightful Miss Pudding. The perfect Christmas ornament, Miss Pudding is made from cotton and felt with hand-embroidered features and a cotton hanging loop. She also comes wrapped in special Christmas paper, designed by Evie!
11. Lucy Folk Sugar Cube Clutch (Musk Stick). $295. The ultimate lolly bag! Melbourne’s queen of wearable food has just released her sweetest collection yet, celebrating sugar! Available online here, at these world-wide stockists and at Lucy’s flagship shop at 1A Crossley St, Melbourne.
12. Bridget Bodenham Pestle and mortar. $200. Bridget lives and works in her studio in beautiful Hepburn Springs, an hour out of Melbourne. Her work is organic, textured and just lovely. Available at Mr Kitly and these stockists.
Footnote: This is not a sponsored list. These are all items I genuinely love.
Before ordering, be sure to check with the sellers that delivery is possible before Christmas! Etsy shop prices are in USD.

© Please note photos are the property of their respective owners.

2014 food-related Gift Guide. Handmade in Melbourne.

Glaze of glory

[Recipe 1] GLAZED HAM with ORANGE GINGER SAUCE transforms into
[Recipe 2] CAULIFLOWER, THYME and HAM SOUP (with leftover Christmas ham) and CROUTONS (from leftover Christmas bread)

If you celebrate Christmas, you’ll no doubt be way too busy for blog-reading, so I’m going to attempt to keep my preamble short and sweet. A difficult task for moi!
Hands up who has glazed and studded a ham. Me! Classic ham-glazing has been on my list of food techniques to try for years, and last Christmas I finally tackled it. I feel the need to drop a bold OMG here. OMG! It was sooo easy, looked impressive and was totally lip-smacking. I’m whipping up another one next Tuesday.
I hung onto this recipe, and the photos, knowing I’d have zero time for blogging this week. I’ve been rushing around like the proverbial headless chook; shopping, crafting, working, cooking and wrapping; but weirdly I love this pre-Christmas flurry. The boys are so excited, counting sleeps; and frankly, so am I.
Now, where was I? Ah yes, the ham! My tasty sticky glaze is a classic orange/mustard/brown sugar concoction, inspired by this one; and livened up with a dash of fresh ginger. One cup of the glaze is reserved for a beautiful (even if I do say so myself) Orange ginger sauce for serving.
After feasting, be sure to save the ham bone with all those flavoursome little bits of meat – it can be put to good use as a tasty base for hearty Cauliflower, thyme and ham soup. This is ridiculously easy to make, and is based on my friend Kym’s fab cauli and bacon soup. I’ve been making it on and off for the last couple of years and my boys love taking it to school in little thermoses for lunch. Swapping the bacon for leftover Christmas ham is just as delicious; and I’m sure you’d agree – everything tastes better with croutons.
You’ll find two further uses for leftover Christmas ham here; a lovely Pea, Zucchini and ham soup and our family favourite, 3-cheese macaroni.
Seasons Greetings to you all, lovely readers. See you next year! Mwah. xxxxx

How to prepare a Christmas hamGlazed Christmas ham[Recipe 1] Glazed ham with orange ginger sauce

Ingredients (serves approximately 18 people, plus leftovers):
1½ cups orange juice (from 2–3 oranges)
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
1 cup firmly packed (200g) brown sugar
½ cup (150g) honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon sea salt
Whole cloves, for studding
8kg (16 lb) cooked leg of free-range ham
Ingredients for orange ginger sauce:
1 cup reserved glaze (see recipe for instructions)
1 cup chicken stock
½ cup (125ml) dry white wine
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons corn flour

Glaze (note: you’ll be reserving 1 cup of glaze for the orange ginger sauce):
Combine orange juice, zest, ginger, brown sugar, honey, mustard and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 6–8 minutes. Strain. This recipe yields approximately two cups of glaze – reserve one cup for the Orange ginger sauce (recipe as follows). Refrigerate until required.
Orange ginger sauce:
Place one cup reserved glaze (see above) into a small saucepan. Add chicken stock, wine, allspice, pepper and corn flour. Bring to the boil, turn heat down to low, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring continuously. Strain. Allow to cool, and refrigerate until required (sauce will thicken slightly in the fridge).
Preparing and glazing the ham (see photos above):
1. Using a sharp knife, cut around the hock end of the ham, about 8cm (3”) along. At the other end of the ham, run your fingers (or a small wooden spoon if you’re squeamish) along the outer edge of the skin. Gently loosen and peel away the skin, leaving a layer of white fat. When you reach the scored hock end, pull the skin flap off in one piece and discard.
2. With a small sharp knife, score a shallow (5mm/¼” deep) diamond pattern into the fat, at 1.5cm (½”) intervals, taking great care not to cut down to the actual meat, or your diamonds will unattractively split apart. Push a clove into each diamond.
3. Brush the scored fat thickly with the prepared glaze.
Preheat oven to 180°C (350ºF). Place glazed ham on a rack in a large roasting pan. Pour 1 cup of water into the base of the roasting pan. Bake for 30–40 minutes, until golden brown. Baste ham with fresh glaze every 10–15 minutes.
Carefully remove ham from the oven and place onto a large plate. Tip: Wrap foil around your oven mitts and grasp the actual ham, rather than attempt to lift the baking pan full of splattering liquid and the ham all at once.
To carve, steady the ham with a large meat fork. Use a sharp carving knife to cut slices of ham away from the bone, following the grain of the meat. Transfer slices to a platter as you go. Continue slicing, working around the bone. Turn ham over and repeat on the other side.
Serve ham warm or at room temperature with a jug of warmed Orange ginger sauce on the side, and crusty sourdough bread.
Reserve ham bone and 1 cup ham for the cauliflower, thyme and ham soup.
Reserve uneaten Christmas bread for the croutons.

  • Glaze and Orange ginger sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead, and stored in the fridge.
  • To serve ham warm on Christmas day, you can score and stud with cloves the day before. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until ready to glaze and bake.
  • To serve ham cool or at room temperature on Christmas Day (my preference – far less stressful), ham can be baked and glazed the day before. Store glazed ham in the fridge, covered with a pillowcase rinsed in a solution of ¾ cup white vinegar and 1½ litres (3 pints) water.
  • If you’re celebrating Christmas in Summer, glazed ham is also delicious served with Mango and mint salsa on the side. Amelia’s Boxing Day mango chutney looks like a lovely accompaniment too.
  • Leftover ham on the bone can be covered in a vinegared pillowcase (see tip above) and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Rinse out your pillowcase every 3 days with prepared vinegar solution, to keep ham moist.
  • Leftover ham can be frozen, cut into pieces, for up to 6 weeks (cured meat can’t be frozen for as long as other meats).

Cauliflower and ham soup

[Recipe 2] Cauliflower, thyme and ham soup (with leftover Christmas ham)

Ingredients (serves 8–10):
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 small brown onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 heads cauliflower, florets removed and chopped
♦ 1 leftover Christmas ham bone
8 cups (2 litres) chicken stock, home-made or low-salt store-bought
3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or 1½ teaspoons dried, if unavailable)
♦ 1 cup (approx. 200g) chopped leftover Christmas ham (you may not need the full amount – see recipe)
1 cup (250ml) cream (I use light cooking cream)
Freshly cracked black pepper
Chopped parsley, to serve
Croutons:
♦ 3 slices leftover sourdough bread, crusts trimmed, cubed
1 tablespoon olive oil, extra

Heat oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over low–medium heat. Cook the onion for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Add cauliflower, ham bone, chicken stock and thyme. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is soft.
If time permits, allow soup to sit for one hour with the ham bone in.
Remove ham bone. Puree soup in a blender or with a stick blender.
Cut off any ham remaining on the bone, and return it to the soup with the cream, pepper and leftover Christmas ham. Stir well.
Note: If your ham bone is quite meaty, you may not need the extra cup of chopped ham.
To make croutons, preheat oven to 220°C (425ºF). Toss bread cubes and extra olive oil in a bowl until evenly coated. Spread cubes on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 10 minutes until crunchy and golden brown. Set aside.
Re-heat soup and serve, scattered with croutons and parsley.

  • Cauliflower, thyme and ham soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. If using fresh (not frozen) ham, the soup can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Croutons can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.
  • If you’re keen to try this soup, but don’t have a handy leftover Christmas ham bone lying around, you may be lucky to score one from your delicatessen or smallgoods store. Ham bones are often discarded, so if you ask nicely they may be quite happy to sell you one for a nominal price.

Food-related gift ideas [handmade in Melbourne]

18 SLEEPS ‘TIL CHRISTMAS! If you’re stressing over gift ideas, and are in dire need of inspiration, may I present my inaugural food-related Christmas Gift Guide! Everything below is available online and handmade in Melbourne. Just look at what these clever folks have created. I’m in awe.
For even more inspiration, check out the quirky/foodie/crafty gift guides at Craft Vic, Broadsheet, Simple Provisions and Meet me at Mikes. International readers should visit Kickcan and Conkers, Fine Little Day and of course, etsy. There is also a fab round-up of upcoming Melbourne craft markets at handmade life (a must-visit blog for news and views on everything crafty). OK, here we go…
1. Sandsmade Stix for Cooks. $14.95. Stix are ideal for stirring, blending and beating; made from satin box timber. They’re also kind to saucepans and bowls and naturally anti-bacterial. Made in Northcote and available here.
2. Sandra Eterovic ‘Ms Mortadella’. $88. Beautiful original artwork, hand-painted on recycled plywood, with a sturdy hanging device at the back. Available from Sandra’s etsy shop, along with her fab cards, mirrors and paintings.
3. The Hungry Girls’ Cookbook. $25 (special price – was $35). This is more like a work of art than a regular recipe book. Cloth-lined, hand-sewn and filled with scrumptious recipes, illustrations and photography; these books are the work of three friends – Rachel Pitts, Leah Holscher and Katherine Bird. Available here.
4. Neryl ‘Josephine’. $75/$95. Homage to Ms Baker, the queen of fruit. She would look fab in any kitchen! Original art by Neryl, available in A4 and A3 giclee prints. Limited edition of 50, printed on 300gsm natural cotton rag art paper using quality archival inks. Available here.
5. Kirsten Perry ‘tea and whatev’ mug. $60. Handmade ceramic mug that holds a massive amount of tea or coffee! Kirsten’s ace ceramics are available at Mr Kitley, Craft Vic and her online shop.
6. Penelope Durston oven mit. $32. Made from felted wool and finished with bright binding and a loop for hanging, by renowned Fitzroy textile-designer Penelope Durston. Available at Craft Vic.
7. Greg Mann Princess Me pin. $30. Greg fashions recycled cutlery into amazing jewellery. This pin is made from a vintage teaspoon. You’ll find Greg at Rose Street Market.
8. Lucy Folk Supreme Pizza bracelet. $88. No food-related gift guide would be complete without reference to Melbourne’s queen of wearable food! This flavour-packed bracelet is made from crochet metallic thread, mother of pearl, glass beads, powder coated steel, sterling silver and gold plating. Available here (along with Lucy’s pizza, bento, feast, spices and taqueria ranges)!
9. Urban Cartel handmade porcelain replica vintage milk bottle. $23. Glazed internally and left raw on the outside, these are perfect for holding liquid (food safe glaze) or a floral arrangement; or just displaying by themselves. Available from their etsy shop.
10. Vonda Retro leaves tea towel (detail). $20. Hand-printed on 100% cotton. Methinks this gorgeous Australian gumleaf design is the perfect gift for friends and family overseas. Available here.
11. Spinspin Tree Towel. $20. Designed and screen-printed in Melbourne using eco-friendly, water based ink on European linen. Available here.
12. Blank baked goodies packaging. Various prices. These gift boxes are the perfect size to package an entire batch of cookies. Blank also stock translucent wax paper glassine bags, wood berry boxes and all the tags and wrap you’ll need. Visit Blank here.
Footnote: This is not a sponsored list. These are all items I genuinely love. I must fess up though – some of these makers are my friends!
Etsy prices are in USD, so these have been rounded down to the nearest dollar.
If you’re buying from overseas, be sure to check with the sellers that delivery is possible before Christmas.

© Please note all photos are the property of their respective owners.

2013 Gift Guide

2013 Christmas giveaway (closed)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY 1=2! My blog is nearly two years old so it’s time for a Christmas Giveaway. This competition is open to everyone, anywhere in the world. Feel free to spread the word. I’ve loved putting this little prize pack together. One lucky winner will score seven fab food-related items; including a Gorman tea towel and Re-sew-cool gingerbread man craft kit. Yay!
Here’s how to enter:
Head over to the 1=2 Facebook page.
‘Like’ 1=2 on Facebook (if you don’t already)!
Leave a comment on the Facebook post about this competition, posted Monday 18th (pinned to the top of the Facebook page, above the other posts).
That’s it! I’ll drop all the names into randompicker and Voila!
Entries close 5pm Thursday 28th November AEST. The winner will be announced on the blog and Facebook on Friday 29th November.
Here’s the list of loot:
1. Hand-made vintage Christmas gift tags x 6, made by me from deceased Little Golden Books. Each is backed with kraft paper, and features butchers twine for fastening.
2. Gorman x Rhys Lee tea towel. What more can I say? Two of Melbourne’s best, Gorman and Rhys Lee, designed this beautiful linen tea towel for their collab range.
3. Derrière la porte picnic tote bag. Made in France. Holds 6 bottles! From French Bazaar.
4. Give What You Grow jam jar kit. Contains 20 lid covers in 3 designs, 20 coordinated tags in 4 designs (pictured), elastics and twine. From Lark.
5. L’épicerie des bidules child’s unisex gingham appliqued apron. Housed in a fab bag with appliqued fabric letters. Made in France. From French Bazaar.
6. Re-sew-cool make-your-own felt gingerbread man kit. Contains instructions, pattern, buttons, natural felt, yarn, needle and ric rac. Made from 99% recycled materials. This kit makes two gorgeous gingerbread men, and is suitable for beginners. By the fabulous Sister Outlaws.
7. Not Quite Nigella: the book! By the super talented Lorraine Elliott, one of Australia’s most popular food bloggers. Lorraine shares the story of her journey from corporate advertising job to full-time blogger; as well as reviews, recipes and tips, including the key to baking perfect macarons! Published April, 2013.
PS. This is not a sponsored competition. I shopped for this little lot all by myself!
Terms: Please check-in here, or on the 1=2 Facebook page, on 29th November to see if you’re the lucky winner! If prize is unclaimed after 2 weeks, I’ll re-draw the competition.
29th Nov 2013: Congratulations Yael Zalchendler. You are the randomly-chosen winner! 

2013 Christmas Giveaway

I want to hold your ham

[Recipe 1] PEA, ZUCCHINI and HAM SOUP (with leftover Christmas ham) and
[Recipe 2] 3-CHEESE MACARONI (with leftover Christmas ham)
……………..
Thought you might fancy a couple of recipes for using up your leftover Christmas ham next week. I typed up and photographed these earlier in the year, saving them for now in case I was too pooped to post anything this week. Well, as my mum would say (in her beautiful Dutch accent) Sanks god for dat. Apart from present-wrapping, shopping, baking, visiting the Myer windows, attending nightly Chrissie parties and squeezing in some work; I’ve been stung by a wasp on the bottom of my foot, slammed the car boot lid on my head (don’t ask) and dropped my new umbrella in a toilet. Pretty crazy (and occasionally embarrassing) week!
Anyhoo, back to cooking… I’ve made both these recipes many times, and they’re pretty excellent, even if I do say so myself!
If you’re having ham on Christmas day, don’t toss the bone with all those lovely bits of ham stuck on it – use it to flavour Pea, zucchini (courgette) and ham soup. This soup is beautiful, and perfect for freezing and taking with you on holidays. Soup is always exactly what I crave after gorging myself on Christmas day.
The 3-cheese macaroni is the ultimate mac n’ cheese. My boys just LOVE it. It’s full of veggies, and super tasty with the addition of Gruyère cheese. Gruyère is one of my favourites, so nutty and creamy – just a whiff of it casts me straight back to my childhood dinner table and the steaming pots of cheesey, winey fondue made by my dad.
Hope you all have a beautiful holiday season and New Year. I’m unplugging for a while, and looking forward to some serious relaxation. Ciao for now. See you next year. xx
PS: You’ll find my Glazed Christmas ham recipe here.

Pea, zucchini and ham soup[Recipe 1] Pea, zucchini and ham soup

Ingredients (serves 8–10):
500g (1 lb) dried green split peas, soaked overnight
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 brown onions, diced
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup frozen peas
2 large carrots, chopped into very small pieces
2 large zucchinis (courgettes), chopped into small pieces
2 full-length celery sticks, including leaves, chopped
1 large leftover Christmas ham bone, preferably double-smoked
8 cups (2 litres) water
2 bay leaves
♦ 1 cup (approx. 200g) chopped leftover Christmas ham (you may not need the full amount – see recipe)
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Fresh mint leaves, torn, to serve

Drain and rinse soaked split peas.
Heat oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Add soaked peas, frozen peas, carrot, zucchini, celery, ham bone, water and bay leaves. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes, or until dried peas are very tender. Stir occasionally.
Allow to cool for one hour (leave the ham bone in). Remove ham bone. Discard bay leaves. Puree soup in batches in a blender, or with a stick blender.
Cut off any ham remaining on the bone, and return it to the soup with the chopped leftover Christmas ham. Season well with salt and pepper. Stir.
Note: If your ham bone is quite meaty, you may not need the extra cup of ham.
Re-heat the soup and serve, scattered with mint.

  • You’ll find my Glazed Christmas Ham recipe here.
  • Leftover Christmas ham be diced and frozen, for up to 6 weeks (cured meat can’t be frozen for as long as other meats). Freeze it in 2-cup lots, then you can whip it out for these recipes later! Defrost overnight in the fridge.
  • Pea, zucchini and ham soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. If using fresh (not frozen) ham, the soup can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • The quality of your ham will make a big difference to the flavour of this soup. Taste the soup after pureeing – if your ham bone was well-stripped of meat or only lightly smoked, you may need to add a crumbled beef stock cube dissolved in a little hot water. 

Ham and cheese macaroni

[Recipe 2] 3-cheese macaroni

Ingredients (serves 6–8):
400g (14 oz) dried macaroni
2 corn cobs
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into very small cubes (about 6mm/¼”)
1 head broccoli, florets removed, chopped into small pieces
1 cup (125g) frozen peas (or fresh – see notes below recipe)
1 cup (approx. 200g) finely chopped leftover Christmas ham
4 tablespoons (60g) butter
⅓ cup (50g) flour
2½ cups (625ml) milk
2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
1 cup (100g) grated Gruyère
1½ cups (150g) grated extra-sharp cheddar
¾ cup (75g) grated mozzarella
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil for drizzling

Preheat oven to 200°C (390ºF).
Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add dried macaroni, corn cobs and carrot. Return to the boil and simmer for 8 minutes until macaroni is al dente (don’t overcook it, as it will continue to soften in the oven). Drain. Remove kernels from corn; and return to pan with macaroni and carrot. Set aside.
Steam broccoli and peas until just tender. Drain and add to the macaroni pot with the chopped leftover Christmas ham.
Place the butter in a medium saucepan and melt over a low heat. Add the flour. Cook over low heat for 1 minute, stirring often. Slowly stir in the milk, a cup at a time. Bring to the boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 4 minutes, until thickened and smooth. Stir in mustard. Remove from the heat and add Gruyère and cheddar. Stir until smooth, and season to taste. Add cheese sauce to the macaroni mixture and stir well.
Grease a 6cm (2″) deep, 32 x 22cm (12 x 9″) oven proof dish. Spoon in macaroni mixture.
Scatter mozarella over the macaroni, and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden. Stand for 5 minutes before serving.

  • Fresh peas can be used, instead of frozen. Drop them into the pot with the corn, macaroni and carrot, in the last 5 minutes simmering time.
  • Gruyère can be replaced with Swiss cheese or Jarlsberg if unavailable, although the overall flavour of your macaroni will be milder.
  • Leftover Gruyère can be grated and frozen in a ziplock bag for up to 2 months. It’s excellent on pizza or in fondue!
  • This recipe serves 8. Leftovers can be re-heated in the microwave, or in a low oven, covered with foil. If you’re using fresh ham (not frozen) you can cook two smaller macaroni dishes, and freeze one for later, for up to 2 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight, cover with foil and warm at 180°C (350ºF) for about 20 minutes.

8 sleeps

8 sleeps ’til Christmas. No time for cooking, so thought I’d share a little montage of Christmas bits and pieces at our house.
Our silver tree sets off our green elves rather nicely don’t you think? If you’re an elf-lover like me, and you’d like to know what they get up to when you’re asleep, check out the fab, slightly creepy, photos on Craft It Bake It. The second photo is of my fave tree decoration, a little elf, made in Japan, that I discovered last Saturday at the local Op Shop.
Our rocking deer has been in the boy’s bedroom since they were little. They’re way too big for him now, but we can’t bare to part with him. We gave him a wonky Christmas tail this year as he has no tail of his own. Over the years the boys have posted all manner of items in the empty tail hole, so he rattles when ridden. I found him at Mornington Op Shop – just about had a coronary when I spotted him in the window.
Made the stockings a few years ago. They were fairly tricky as they’re fully-lined. The typewriter-font letters are ironed-on and from Spotlight. I thought I was so clever maximizing the Santa fabric, and niftily cutting 4 stocking shapes out of a small piece. Didn’t notice that Louis’ Santas are upside-down! D’oh.

Found the skinny Santa candles at the local Op Shop last weekend too, in their original packet! Too cute.
Made the little Advent box years ago, from matchboxes. It starts on the 15th as I’m too lazy to do Advent stuff for 25 days. Each drawer contains two tiny chocolates and a little message, or suggested activity for the evening. I stole the message idea from Loobylu’s ace blog.
Vintage Christmas tags – made a mountain of these a while ago. I know vintage storybook tags are all over Pinterest, but they’re just so damn cute! I’m a confirmed hoarder (or ‘bag lady’ as the husband likes to call me) and have been snaffling Golden Books at School Fetes, Oppies and Garage Sales for years now. The idea of cutting up old books is a bit sacrilegious but some had been scribbled on, others were water-damaged, and others had great illustrations and crap stories; so I feel quite good about giving them a new lease on life. Bought a tag stencil from Spotlight, glued brown paper on the backs and my 8-year old helped with the guillotining, so they were quite an easy project. I reckon they look pretty ace! Especially love the alphabet book ones.
Seasons Greetings lovely readers, and a very Merry New Year.

Christmas at our houseVintage Christmas wrapping

Hot for teacher

[Recipe 1] ZA’ATAR (Middle Eastern spice mix) transforms into
[Recipe 2] MANOUSHE BI ZA’ATAR (Lebanese pizza with za’atar) 
……………..
Our house was like a mini spice market last weekend. We made an absolute mega batch of Za’atar, mainly for my boy’s teachers for Christmas. It was 37 degrees (99°F) outside on Saturday – blech – the perfect weather for indoor action. The boys were on filling and lid-application duty, and we had music blaring in the background. See two songs from our playlist* below.
I’ve based my Za’atar recipe on this one, and added cumin and cinnamon – not really authentic additions, but they make for a smoother tasting za’atar methinks.
Za’atar is my favourite Middle Eastern spice blend – it’s oh so versatile! You can scatter it on roast vegies, use it as a dry rub on meat, sprinkle it over fatoush or fetta salad, or stir it through Greek yogurt as a quick dip. One of my favourite brekkies is scrambled eggs sprinkled with za’atar, served in a wrap with fresh tomato and rocket (arugula). Honestly, when we have a batch in the cupboard, it gets scattered on just about anything!
Recipe 2 is another beautiful, simple way to use Za’atar, Manoushe bi za’atar (Lebanese pizza with za’atar). We buy this regularly from Oasis and A1 Bakery, but when time permits, we love making our own.
If you’re not particularly crafty, or you don’t have the time (understandable at this mental time of year) a jar of Za’atar is an easy, inexpensive home-made gift. I bought all the fabric scraps at the swoon-worthy Amitié Textiles – some were already cut to size! Popped down to Oasis to stock up on bulk spices and numerous other items. I always end up with a bulging basket there. The spice section is mind-boggling, and the baked goods and sweets are impossible to walk past. Well worth the drive. Have a lovely week folks.
*If you need some background music while you’re mixing and measuring, you could listen to the inspiration for my blog post title, the very bad (in a good way) Van Halen’s Hot for Teacher. The drum intro is the perfect accompaniment to frenzied spice pounding. Or… for something more exotic, and because she’s named after the main spice in Za’atar, you could try the absolutely fabulous Yma Sumac (her real name is actually Amy Camus, but she niftily reversed the letters).

Jar of home-made zaatarZaatar label[Recipe 1] Za’atar (Middle Eastern spice mix)

OPTION 1: Bulk quantity (makes 16–17 cups, to fill 16–17 average-sized jars)
3 cups (150g) thyme
3 cups (150g) marjoram
3 cups (150g) oregano
1½ cups (150g) sesame seeds, toasted
5 cups (600g) fine-blend sumac
¼ cup (6 tablespoons) cinnamon
¼ cup (6 tablespoons) cumin
¼ cup (6 tablespoons) fine sea salt

OPTION 2: Small quantity (makes 2½ cups)
2 tablespoons thyme
2 tablespoons marjoram
2 tablespoons oregano
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
¼ cup fine-blend sumac
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Place thyme, marjoram, oregano and sesame seeds into a large bowl and mix well. Blend in batches in a food processor or with a stick blender. Don’t blend it too fine, just break it up a bit. If you’re making the smaller quantity of Za’atar, you can use a mortar and pestle.
Add sumac, cinnamon, cumin and sea salt and mix well. Divide za’atar into sterilised jars.
♦ Reserve 4 tablespoons za’atar for the Manoushe bi za’tar (Lebanese pizza with za’atar).

  • Sumac is a dark reddish purple Middle Eastern spice, made from the berries of the Sumac shrub. It has a tart, tangy flavour. It’s available in large supermarkets, specialty food stores and Middle Eastern grocers.
  • You can toast your own sesame seeds, or cheat and buy them pre-roasted from Asian and Middle Eastern food stores. 
  • Za’atar should be stored in a cool dry place, and will keep for 3–6 months.
  • Glass jars and lids can be sterilised by running them through your dishwasher on the hottest cycle, on the top shelf.

Zaatar pizza

[Recipe 2] Manoushe bi za’atar (Lebanese pizza with za’atar)

1 quantity wholemeal (wholewheat) pizza dough, or 2 store-bought pizza bases
2 tablespoons olive oil
♦ 4 tablespoons reserved za’atar
Tomato, Persian fetta and mint salad, to serve (optional)

Preheat oven to 250°C (480ºF).
Place two pizza trays into the hot oven to warm up, for at least 10 minutes. This is an important step for crispy-based pizzas.
If using home-made wholemeal (wholewheat) pizza dough, sprinkle flour on a sheet of baking paper. Roll out each dough ball into a circle, roughly the same size as your baking tray. Make the dough as thin as you can, as it will puff up a bit in the oven.
Brush each pizza base with olive oil.
♦ Liberally sprinkle reserved za’atar over each pizza.
Carefully slide pizzas and baking paper onto pre-heated pizza trays and bake for 10–15 minutes until golden brown around the edges. Don’t overcook the pizza, or you’ll end up with a giant biscuit! Have a peep after 10 minutes, and pop it in for an extra 5 minutes only if absolutely necessary. You’ll need less time overall if using pre-cooked store-bought bases.
Remove from the oven and serve immediately with Tomato, Persian fetta and mint salad.

  • You can make smaller manoushe as hors d’oeuvres. Cut little rounds of pizza dough, about 7cm (2¾”) in diameter. A full quantity of wholemeal (wholewheat) pizza dough will yield about 40 mini pizzas. Bake at a lower temperature (220°C/425ºF) for 8–10 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn! You can see a picture of them here – they’re included in Bento box number 5.

Completely crackers!

DIY super-easy Christmas crackers 
……………..
I love this time of year. It’s completely crazy, in a good way. My boys are counting sleeps ’til Christmas already. Santa will have his work cut out for him this year – I do hope he shops on Ebay as one son has requested the entire set of back issues of a UK Make-your-own-robot magazine from the early 90s, and the other is coveting a rocket from the Thunderbirds. Sheesh, sorry Santa, no bikes or nerf guns required at our house.
The Silly Season is craft-a-palooza at our house. I hope you’ll indulge me sharing a few of our Christmas craft creations over the next few weeks.
If you’ve ever considered making your own Christmas crackers, these go off with a bang. They’re named too, so they make fab place holders at the table.
There’s no need to purchase a special kit. You’ll need a packet of cheap-as-chips ready-made crackers (ours were from Aldi). They’re simply deconstructed and re-wrapped. You can fill them with all manner of goodies – I do suggest you retain the crappy jokes and paper hats though. Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without them.
Using an alphabet stamp pad for the names looks great, and is the perfect task to give children (excellent incidental alphabet practise too)!
You can save the cracker off-cuts, and other scraps, for the kid’s craft box. The inner cardboard circles from the organza ribbon make great ‘car wheels’.
Are you making any special decorations, or doing anything exciting for Christmas? Do share!
PS. We have a winner for the 1=2 Christmas Giveaway. Congratulations Alicia Boarts!

DIY Christmas crackers tutorialDIY Christmas crackers bonbons step by stepMake-your-own Christmas crackers

FOR 20 CRACKERS:
20 store-bought inexpensive Christmas crackers
3 packets 50cm (20″) wide x 2 metres (80″) long, gold crepe paper
20 metres (65 ft) red organza ribbon, cut into 40 lengths of 50cm (20″)
20 patterned paper pieces (I used vintage wallpaper), 110 x 160 cm (43 x 63″) each, or as required
20 red shipping labels (available at craft stores, etsy or ebay)
Alphabet stamp pad (or you can hand-write the names)
2–3 goodies to stuff inside each cracker; such as chockies, tiny bags of sweets or Lego minifigures

1. Grab your ready-made cracker.
2. Carefully cut off the ends of your cracker, taking care not to cut the snap.
3. Re-position the snap in the centre of the cracker.
4. Push an extra couple of goodies into each cracker. You can customise them for adults and kids.
5. Roll a piece of crepe paper around your cracker, and glue the join. You can cut the paper short, but I like to leave them long as they look très elegant.
6. Tie organza ribbon around each end, and fasten your shipping labels.
7. Voila!

2012 Christmas Giveaway! (closed)

Happy birthday 1=2! My blog is nearly one year old so I figured a Christmas Giveaway was in order. This competition is open to everyone, anywhere in the world. Feel free to spread the word!
I’ve had so much fun putting this together. One lucky winner will score this pack featuring six fab items; including stuff from amazing Australian designers like Gorman and Third Drawer Down as well as a gorgeous Marimekko oven mitt and a make-your-own apron!
To enter, simply like 1=2 on facebook. That’s it! If you’re already a liker, you’re automatically entered, so there is no escape. I’ll drop all the names into http://www.randompicker.com and Voila! The winner will be announced on the blog.
Entries close on Sunday 25th November.
Here’s the list of loot. You can keep it all for yourself, or re-gift it for Christmas (your secret will be safe with me).
1. Third Drawer Down 100% linen screen-printed tea towel. Your true nature by Kevin Hooyman. 50cm x 70cm (20″ x 28″). Third Drawer Down are a brilliant Melbourne company who produce limited edition art tea towels. They also have a gorgeous shop in Fitzroy.
2. Gorman linen bird with wooden buttons. 17cm x 14cm (7″ x 5½”). The perfect Christmas tree ornament!
3. Tala (UK masters of baking and icing since 1899) vintage-style dotty jam/preserve label sealing set. Supplied in a pack with 10 red and 10 blue patterned covers and labels, 20 transparent covers, 20 waxed circles and 20 rubber bands.
4. Marimekko Mansikkavuoret oven mitt. Mansikkavuoret (Finnish for strawberry mountains), was designed in the 1960s by Maija Isola, head designer at Marimekko until 1987. OMG, Marimekko have launched in Australia! Be still my beating wallet.
5. Sassy by Sandy Gervais pre-printed make-your-own apron panel, from Quiltopia. Simply cut, sew, and wear! Supplied with orange backing fabric.
And last, but definitely not least…
6. Vonda Bird Girl cushion cover, featuring bird-headed vintage girl drawing embroidered onto fab chocolate brown pinstripe fabric. 41cm x 58cm (16″ x 23″). Vonda is actually my lovely friend Jacqui, who I introduced you to here.
Good luck! Have a lovely week folks. New recipes coming soon…

1=2 Christmas Giveaway!

All tarted up

[Recipe 1] CARAMELISED RED ONION JAM transforms into
[Recipe 2] CARAMELISED ONION and GOAT’S CHEESE TART
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Seasons Greetings! We had 18 family members at our place yesterday for Christmas lunch, and apart from the busted table leg, unidentified stains and mountains of wrapping paper in every nook; it was just ace. Today I’m officially pooped.
I whipped up a batch of sticky Caramelised red onion jam last week; a recipe originally based on this one. I’ve played with the ingredients over the years though, and now toss in red raisins and a good pinch of cloves. It’s beautiful dolloped on a hamburger or in a steak sandwich but my favourite use for it is in my Caramelised onion and goat’s cheese tart, which went down an absolute treat yesterday.
I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve made this tart. It’s a ripper – lightly sweet, full of fresh basil, and great for picnics. I’m also fairly certain it sufficiently distracted the four vegetarians from the large pink animal leg at the opposite end of the Christmas table.

Caramelised red onion jam

[Recipe 1] Caramelised red onion jam

Ingredients (makes 2 cups):
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 large red (purple/Spanish) onions (approx. 1 kilo/2.2 lb), halved, thinly sliced
50g (1.7 oz) brown sugar
¼ cup (60ml) red wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
6 thyme sprigs
50g (1.7 oz) large red raisins (or black if unavailable), roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan and cook the onions over a medium heat, uncovered; stirring regularly, for 20 minutes, until just starting to stick.
Add the sugar, vinegar, cloves, thyme sprigs and raisins. Stir to combine, cover, and simmer over a low heat for a further 20–25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is sticky and jammy. Remove the lid and cook for a further 5–10 minutes, if necessary, to ensure all liquid has evaporated. Take care not to burn the onions!
Season well with salt and pepper. Fish out the thyme sprigs and discard. Allow to cool.
Reserve 1 cup Caramelised red onion jam for the Caramelised onion and goat’s cheese tart.

  • The Caramelised red onion jam will keep in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for at least 2 weeks.
  • Caramelised red onion jam can also be spooned into hot sterilised jars, and will keep in the fridge for 2–3 months.
  • Caramelised red onion jam is a delicious accompaniment to roast beef or bangers and mash; and is fabulous with chopped roast chicken and grated sharp cheddar cheese in a wrap.
  • Red raisins are available from health food stores and add a lovely burst of pink to the jam.

Caramelised onion, roast tomato, basil tartCaramelised onion and roast tomato tart

[Recipe 2] Caramelised onion and goat’s cheese tart

Ingredients (serves 6):
1½ sheets store-bought shortcrust pastry, thawed (or ½ quantity home-made shortcrust pastry)

60g (2 oz) grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, or Parmesan if unavailable
♦ 1 cup reserved Caramelised red onion jam

5 eggs
150ml (5 fl oz) cream (I’ve used both light cooking cream and double cream – either is fine)

2 Roma tomatoes, roasted and quartered (see this recipe for technique)
8 large basil leaves, torn; plus extra for scattering
60g (2 oz) goat’s cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 180°C (350ºF).
Grease a 3cm (1-inch) deep, 25cm (10-inch) fluted tart tin, with removable base.
If using home-made pastry, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface (or between 2 sheets of baking paper) until 3mm (⅛-inch) thick. Working quickly, roll the dough into a circle (joining pieces together if necessary) about 4cm (1½-inch) wider in diameter than your tart tin.
Line the tart tin with pastry, gently pressing down into the edges, and trim to fit.
Blind bake the pastry to prevent it going soggy: cover pastry base with baking paper and fill with pastry weights (or uncooked rice). Bake for 15 minutes. Carefully remove paper and weights. Bake for a further 10 minutes or until light golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
Scatter the Parmigiano Reggiano over tart base.
Spoon reserved Caramelised red onion jam over Parmigiano Reggiano.
Whisk eggs and cream together and pour into tart case, followed by the tomatoes, basil and goat’s cheese. Push all the ingredients down into the egg mixture a little.
Bake for 30 minutes until filling is just set.
Serve at room temperature, scattered with extra basil.

  • You can make and blind bake the pastry case ahead and freeze for up to two months, or store in the fridge for up to 2 days.
  • Roasted Roma tomatoes can be replaced with 4 large well-drained sundried tomatoes, halved.
  • If you’re working with fresh pastry (not frozen) you can choose to freeze an extra pastry base too. I always make two, and freeze one for future use. Picnic season is upon us!
  • This recipe can also be used for a 2cm (.8″) deep, 30cm (11.8″) fluted tart tin, with removable base. No need to adjust the ingredients.

A spicy Christmas

[Recipe 1] FRUIT MINCE PIES with ORANGE AND CRANBERRIES
transform into [Recipe 2] FRUIT MINCE CRUMBLE SLICE
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Nothing beats a plate of slightly wonky, buttery home-made Fruit mince pies with orange and cranberries. Making fruit mince is surprisingly easy. My recipe contains no suet (shudder) and no alcohol; just lashings of dried fruit with a hint of orange zest, soaked in orange juice and spices. Yum.
Half the fruit mince is reserved as planned-overs (look for the orange diamonds) for recipe 2, my moreish Fruit mince crumble slice; which, if you have good self-control, you can put in the freezer for the kid’s lunchboxes in January!

Cranberry Christmas mince tarts

[Recipe 1] Fruit mince pies with orange and cranberries

Ingredients (makes 36 little pies, plus extra mince for Recipe 2):
½ cup (85g) craisins (sweetened dried cranberries)
2 cups (300g) raisins, chopped
1 cup (150g) sultanas (golden raisins)
1 cup (150g) pitted prunes, chopped
2 large green Granny Smith apples, peeled, grated
½ cup (100g) firmly-packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon orange zest, finely chopped (1 large orange)
½ cup (125ml) orange juice
1 quantity sweet shortcrust pastry
1 egg, whisked with 1 tablespoon milk, for brushing pastry
Icing sugar, to dust

Combine the craisins, raisins, sultanas, prunes, apple, brown sugar, spices, zest and juice in a bowl. Set aside, covered, in the fridge for at least 2 days (or up to one week) for flavours to develop. Stir once a day.
Remove 1½ cups of the fruit mince and blend until smooth, with a stick blender or food processor. Return to the bowl, and mix thoroughly into the fruit mince.
♦ Reserve half the fruit mince (1½ cups – about 450g/just under 1 lb) for the fruit mince crumble slice.
Preheat oven to 180°C (350ºF).
Roll out the shortcrust pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper until 3mm (⅛-inch) thick thick. Use a round 7cm (2¾-inch) diameter pastry cutter to cut 36 discs from the pastry. Lightly oil 3 x 12-hole shallow, round-based patty pans. Line the 36 patty pans with the pastry circles. Prick the bases with a fork. Bake for 8 minutes, until dry.
Re-roll leftover pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper until 2–3mm (⅛-inch) thick. Use a star-shaped 5cm (2-inch) diameter pastry cutter to cut 36 stars from the pastry. Spoon 1–2 heaped teaspoons of fruit mince into each pastry case. Top with pastry stars. Brush with egg wash. Bake for a further 12 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

  • Fruit mince can be stored for up to one month in the fridge.
  • Fruit mince tarts can be frozen for up to 3 months, layered between sheets of baking paper in an airtight container. Thaw overnight at room temperature. Make and freeze them in October and be well-prepared for Christmas!
  • 
If you run out of fruit mince filling, and are facing a few empty pastry shells, make little jam tarts. Simply spoon chunky jam into the empty pastry shells and top with pastry circles.

Christmas mince slice

[Recipe 2] Fruit mince crumble slice

Ingredients (makes 24 squares):
Oat base:

250 grams (8 oz/2 sticks) butter, melted
¾ cup (150g) firmly-packed brown sugar
2 cups (300g) plain flour
1 cup (100g) rolled oats
1½ cups (about 450g/just under 1 lb) reserved fruit mince
Crumble topping:
⅔ cups (185g) reserved oat base mixture (explained below)
¾ cup (75g) desiccated coconut
½ cup (70g) sunflower kernels, lightly crushed in mortar/pestle
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 180°C (350ºF).
Make the oat base by placing the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add the flour and rolled oats and mix well.
Reserve ⅔ cups (185g) oat base mixture for the crumble topping.
Press the oat base mixture firmly into a lined 23cm (9-inch) x 33cm (13-inch) slice tin. Bake for 15–20 minutes, or until light golden. Allow to cool slightly.
Spread the reserved fruit mince over the base.
To make the crumble topping, stir the coconut, egg and sunflower kernels into the reserved oat base mixture. Scatter the crumble topping over the fruit mince. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until golden. Cool in the tin.
Cut into squares, and store in the fridge.

  • Fruit mince crumble slice can be frozen for up to 3 months. Layer squares between sheets of baking paper in an airtight container. Thaw overnight at room temperature.
  • My boys love this slice for morning tea at school, and using sunflower kernels keeps the slice nut-free (our school has a no-nuts policy); whilst adding nutty flavour and texture. Sunflower seeds rock as they’re packed with protein, fibre and vitamin E.