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An Aussie Daydream

No matter where you live in the country, I think we can all agree that this has been a cold, long and horrible winter. And what better way to make it through a cold, long and horrible winter than by dreaming of warm places and eating delicious dessert!

The best winter escape I’ve ever made was to Australia a few years ago when I need a break from the winter doldrums. Let's take a minute to daydream, shall we? Shabby Apple’s Aussie Afternoon Collection instantly takes me back with it's easy, breezy dresses and skirts.


It’s not too hard to imagine walking along a golden beach in the Aussie Gold Dress. It would make a perfect cover-up for a ferry ride over to Manly Beach, surf lessons and a day of lounging oceanside.


The Rocks neighborhood in Sydney is the perfect place to browse local vendors, pick up some Aboriginal art and enjoy a sunny lunch. And the Waltzing Matilda Ball Skirt is just the thing to wear while you do it!


Sometimes Sydney can start to feel like any other big city, until you duck into the Royal Botanical Gardens. Then, you remember that you are in a tropical wonderland with plants and flowers and trees you’ve never seen before and likely never will again--make these moments memorable in the Drover Denim Stripe Dress.


If cuddling a koala is on your bucket list (and why wouldn’t it be?), then Taronga Zoo is the place for you. The Uluru Dress is just the right wardrobe option. If you happen to get a peek at the notoriously shy duckbill platypus while you’re there, I will be forever jealous.


And, of course, no date night at the Sydney Opera House would be complete without the floaty, flowery Lollie Dress. If you take a tour of the Opera House, which you should, you are eligible for discounted opera tickets. This is another bucket list item you shouldn’t miss!


I’m feeling warmer already! How about you? We just need one more thing. A delicious, summery, melt-in-your-mouth dessert is a must. Pavlova, an Australian specialty, is just the ticket. It is a light, fluffy meringue that can chase away winter gloom.

Here’s a simple recipe to bring the warmth of summer right into your kitchen.

Australian Pavlova

photo via


4 egg whites

1 ¼ cups white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 pint heavy cream

fresh fruit to garnish


Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 9-inch circle on the parchment paper.

In a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gradually add in the sugar, about one tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until thick and glossy. Gently fold in vanilla extract, lemon juice and cornstarch.

Spoon mixture inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper. Working from the center, spread the mixture toward the outside edge, building edge slightly. This should leave a slight depression in the center.

Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack.

In a small bowl, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form; set aside. Remove the paper, and place meringue on a flat serving plate. Fill the center of the meringue with whipped cream, and top with kiwi slices. Other fresh fruit may be substituted for kiwi, like sliced strawberries, pineapple, mango, other berries or a combination. If you prefer sweetened whipped cream, you can add two teaspoons of sugar while you’re beating the cream. Or, add to taste.

Then sit back, close your eyes, and dream the rest of winter away.

Frances Johnson