I think I got a bit prematurely excited when I thought that with the cruisy freelance lifestyle I've adopted, that I might actually get to enjoy a Sydney summer for a change. Well, life and work have conspired to be non-stop busy since the new year began and I spent 17 hours yesterday looking at my computer screen. But as I mentioned in my last post, this year is all about gratitude, and I truly am very grateful to be doing what I love, sometimes while still in my pj's. Here are a few other things that are making me smile these days...
• sunset gin & tonics • brainstorming dessert ideas • winning scrabble • T2's sencha quince tea • looking through childhood photos • this view (again) • solo lunches • spontaneous adventures • my plush zombie named benny • hot chocolate fuelled business planning sessions • bri's amazingly honest post about anxiety and insecurity • perfect summer days • my new chevron rug • breakfasts from room 10 • decluttering my closet (and donating a bunch of clothes) • dreaming about visiting palm springs • the best ever homemade mac & cheese • a garden full of hydrangeas • working on exciting, inspiring projects • eating summer fruits every single day!
Speaking of summer and fruit, Australia Day is just around the corner and I've got you covered for dessert. I love the very casual and laid back nature of our national holiday! No matter what your plans are - backyard BBQ or beach picnic - this patriotic pavlova no churn ice cream smash is made in jars, so just twist on the lids to make it perfectly portable. In my opinion, it tastes best when slightly softened and melty.
I layered the ice cream with a mixed berry compote, crumbled meringues (store bought is fine for this) and some fresh passionfruit pulp. The combination was sublime. I loved digging in and finding a juicy blueberry, or a piece of meringue that melted in your mouth. You can also experiment with other fruit in there as well. I think mango curd and kiwi fruit, or strawberry and rhubarb would be absolutely delicious too.
And for all of my readers and friends in Victoria, Canberra and South Australia, hope you're managing to stay cool in those crazy hot temperatures! And if you need a sweet treat to cool down, check out these refreshing recipes.
Pavlova Ice Cream Smash
- 2 cups (500ml) pouring cream
- 400ml can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- Store bought mini meringues or pavlova nests, crushed
- Pulp of 4 passionfruit
- 3/4 cup mixed berries (fresh or frozen)
- 2 tablespoons raw sugar
First make the berry compote by placing the mixed berries and raw sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Stir gently until the berries release some of their juices and soften. Allow to cool.
To make the ice cream, whip cream to soft peaks. Whisk the vanilla bean seeds into the condensed milk. Fold the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture. Stir through 3/4 of the crushed meringue. Layer the ice cream mixture with passionfruit pulp, cooled berry compote and extra crushed meringues, reserving some of each for the very top.
Freeze overnight. When frozen, you can twist on the lids and place in an esky with ice to transport. When ready to serve, add extra passionfruit, berries and crushed meringues to the top.