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Dayna Hoskin really knows how to bake up a storm.
~Best Recipes

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Strawberry and Pear Shortcake

Japan is home to many an exotic fruit.... however while I was there in 2016, I was REALLY craving Pears and couldn't find any ANYWHERE!

Then... just as all hope seemed lost, this magnificent little shortcake appeared in the window of a cute little bakery in Kyoto. The heavens parted, angels sang and a halo of light surrounded it. My eyes lit up like a kid a candy store or a baker in a bakery. It was the best thing I've ever tasted! Or maybe I just wanted Pears so badly that no matter what it tasted like I would have thought it was the best thing ever... well, we're about to find out!

Here is my Strawberry and Pear Shortcake, to pay homage to that wonderful creation that saved my sanity in Kyoto.

#1 Grease the base and sides of your cake tin, then place a circle of parchment paper in the base and strips around the edges. The butter under the parchment paper will hold it in place and prevent it from slipping when you pour in your batter.

If yo…

Ballarat White Night

What a spectacular night! It has been many years since felt this sense of wonder and magic, the last time probably being when I was a young girl completely overjoyed by the magic of Christmas, the decorated houses, the lit up Christmas trees.. *ahh those were the days* 

White Night definitely delivered.. it exceeded any and all expectations I had for the night. They went so far beyond just animating and lighting up buildings, Sturt street turned into an interactive exhibition of brightly coloured and magical artworks and entrancing performances. Before we had even stepped beyond the concrete barriers outlying the event, I was off down the rabbit hole,  an eagle of  light flew off into the distance, food trucks lined the streets, and a pagoda covered in lit up bottles housed those with sore feet. There were drag queens singing and dancing on the balcony of the Mechanics Institute, puppeteers walked giant skeleton bird/dinosaurs deigned by a Dutch artist for the event down the road surrounded by hundreds of onlookers, a DJ entertained onlookers from atop a robot bee with light up wings, neon dogs were being walked by kids and adults alike in the neon dog park, the Myer windows sported some very quirky and very glamourous new fashion, modeled by our stunning Australian wildlife,  I got lost in a garden of magical cacoons that changed colour with touch, and a band of acentric giant (electric) bell ringers belted out some songs down one of the side streets.

I was already exhausted from a long day and a previous night of very little sleep (thanks to our dogs *sigh*) so I didn't originally intend to stay out long.. two hours later and my husband was practically dragging me away from the lights. The only word that does this night justic is magical!
Thank-you Ballarat for putting on such a wonderful display, I've been searching for that childish sense of wonder and amusement for years, and I found it, right here on Sturt Street.