Saturday, November 20, 2010

A wonderful wednesday of sewing!

Ever since I met Elizabeth from Frolic in Fabric at the Bishop Druitt Fair I have wanted to do a workshop with her. Elizabeth makes gorgeous bags and outfits with lovely fabric. I contacted Elizabeth and she suggested we make a bag for our first workshop so on Wednesday morning after dropping my little ones at preschool I headed over to Elizabeth's studio.

It was a wonderful day and just what I needed! Tea, cakes, crafting and conversation! It actually took us a little while to get around to the crafting....we were too busy enjoying caramel slice, chocolate brownies and chocolate banana bread and chatting away.

We chose some wonderful fabric from IKEA to make my bag. Who would have thought that you could get such groovy stuff from IKEA!

Inside of the bag with contrasting pocket

Sewing the pocket with the Bernina
 The bag is fully reversible with a contrasting inner pocket AND a zippered pocket. I had never put a zipper in before and was very pleased with myself when I did this!
I am so happy with the finished product -

what a wonderful way to spend a day! I can't wait to spend another sewing day with Elizabeth...I know that we will have a wonderful time!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Almond and cranberry biscotti

This recipe is one that I make alot, and it is my favourite way to use the eggswhites that are left over when I make Spinach and Ricotta canneloni. It makes a nice little nibble to go with my evening cuppa too!

Almond and cranberry biscotti

3 large eggwhites or 4 small
1/2 cup of raw sugar
1 cup of plain flour
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup craisins (dried cranberries)

Preheat the oven to 180C
Beat the eggwhites and sugar together until smooth and thick and glossy. Stir in the flour, almonds and craisins.
Place the mix into a greased thin loaf tin and bake for 30-40minutes. Allow to cool in the tin.
when cool remove from the tin and slice thinly. Place slices on a baking tray and pop back into the oven until browned (10-15min).

* If you aren't a fan of craisins, just use a cup of almonds instead.
** feel free to use gluten-free flour as a substitute. I have done this many times and it doesn't effect the taste or the texture.

Friday, October 15, 2010

A little bit of Europe in my kitchen

It must be my Dutch heritage! I am oh so partial to cinnamon and spices...the aroma, the taste...just love it! So when I came across this recipe whilst flicking thru my stash of Delicious mags at lunchtime (multitasking - eating and reading!) I just had to give it a go.

so now my kitchen smells delightful...full of ginger, cinnamon and spice!

Gingerbread biscuits

1/2 cup golden syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup caster sugar
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
125g butter
1 egg
3 cups plain flour
1 1/2 cup icing sugar (sifted)

  • Preheat the oven to 170C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  • Place the golden syrup and the sugars in a small pan over very low heat, stirring until the sugars dissolve.
  • Add the spices and the soda. When the mixture starts to bubble, remove from the heat.
  • Place melted butter and hot syrup in a bowl and stir well. allow to cool slightly.
  • Add the egg and then gradually sift the flour in as you stir the mixture.
  • Roll the dough into walnut size balls and place on the trays. Flatten slightly with your hand and bake in the oven for 12-15minutes.Allow to cool.
To make the icing -

Dissolve icing sugar in 1 tblsp warm water or lemon juice ( add more if icing is too stiff). Drizzle tops of the biscuits with icing.

They were soooo yummy with a cuppa.  B even asked to try one and I got to explain to him a little about our family and that Oma was born in Holland.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Little butter biscuits

Well the biscuit tin was empty again so I thought I should do some baking. I much prefer my boys to be eating homemade biccies because at least I know what is in them when I make them myself. I rarely buy supermarket biscuits....although my hubby is rather partial to the Double Coat Timtams......

So I made some butter biscuits. This recipe is very simple and you can use it for a plain shortbready biscuit or decorate it with lollies or make jam drops (my favourite!)

Butter Biscuits

  • 125g butter

  • 1/3 cup caster sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 2 tsp milk

    1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
    2. Beat the butter, caster sugar and vanilla essence in a medium mixing bowl with electric beaters until pale and creamy. Sift the plain flour and baking powder together. Use a wooden spoon to mix the dry ingredients and milk into the butter mixture. Mix to a soft dough.
    3. Roll small balls of biscuit mixture with lightly floured hands and place on the prepared baking try about 5cm apart. Flatten each ball and decorate as you wish
    4. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until lightly golden and cooked through. Stand on the baking tray for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

    Smartie butter biscuits waiting for the oven

    Choc bud biccies

    Monday, September 27, 2010

    Ahoy there!

    Last weekend we were invited to a Pirate Birthday party for a gorgeous little boy who was turning 1. I was going through my fabrics and discovered that I still had some lovely red pirate cotton that I had used on one of B's quilts. I decided to make a pair of shorts for the birthday boy

    And I came up with a pirate ship design for a matching tee -

    And for Master T I whipped up a singlet for him to wear to the party. Ben was sorted with his Captain Feathersword outfit!

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    homemade muesli goodness

    My house smells like cinnamon! Have just been making a batch of homemade muesli and now there is this gorgeous smell wafting down the hall. Yum
    Trays cooling after some gentle roasting in the oven.
    The recipe I use is basically this one from Bountifully. I have found apple juice just as good to use as pear and I add some currants instead of pepitas. It is just lovely with some natural yoghurt and fruit for brekky.

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    pretty girly things

    I am having great fun trying my sewing hand at girly things. Today I was able to finish two lovely pieces.

    1. Lots of Lollies twirly skirt for Frances

    My beautiful friend Fiona gave me the fabric last weekend and asked me to see what I could make for her daughter Frances. This is what I came up with. I still have more of this and think there may be enough for a dress as well.

    2. Vintage Daisies ribbon tie dress

    I scored a bag of remnants at the Bishop Druitt Fair on Saturday and this big piece of vintage fabric was in it. Lots of pinks and thinking it is a 70's piece for sure. I love that I am able to give the fabric new life by making it into a lovely summer dress.

    I am having lots of fun with this....will see what tomorrow brings!

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    Little tunic dress

    My project for today....reversible tunic dress! I am still trying to perfect this pattern so I was playing around with it a bit. And because I was sans children this morning I was able to actually cut it out and finish it in one sitting!!

    This dress was made using maroon corduroy and a contrasting cotton with purple flowers. I like sewing little birdees on as a contrast so that the corduroy is broken up a little and then doesn't feel as heavy.

    Sunday, September 12, 2010

    A fresh start

    I have decided to start blogging again after a years hiatus. My last blog "A year in Rowlands Flat" was about my life in beautiful South Australia. Unfortunately we no longer live there and have made the move to the North coast of NSW for DH's work so my previous blog title is no longer relevant!
    I still love to bake...nothing has changed there! Cooking for others is something that gives me immense pleasure, and there is nothing better than enjoying a meal or a cuppa with good friends.
    I am also crafty. I enjoy quilting and am now starting to venture into unique pieces of childrens clothing....appliqued tees and dresses and skirts for girls.
    I am also a wife and mother. DH and I have been together for 12 years and married for 11. We have 2 beautiful boys who are 5 and 3. I enjoy being a mum and am very thankful to be able to be at home with my boys.
    I am looking forward to sharing my journeys with you.