Saturday, March 31, 2012

Photo Food Diary

I had a good cooking day...






Friday, March 30, 2012

Keeping Busy With A Bathroom Makeover

Our bathroom was dark....


Our bathroom was gloomy, with it's faded plastic fittings, and it's falling apart vanity...


Every single person who has come inside has commented on the dark walls.
After being given the go ahead to paint whatever we like, I started to hunt.
I found an amazing website, Design Seeds, which is where my inspiration came from...


In the beginning we were worried how we could tie in the old brown and cream tiles with the room, and how we could manage painting the ceiling as well as all four walls.

When I found this colour scheme I had a light bulb moment!
The dark brown is the ceiling, the creamy brown is the tiled floor, and the creamy colour the wooden panel walls and the concrete wall from ceiling to wood would be the lovely teal colour.

So I painted the wooden wall panels, and scraped off old glue and rotting wood from the vanity...


The room was instantly brightened!
Light floods inside and I love every time I walk in there.

I did some practice with my new drill and some scrap timber and whipped up this little shelving unit to go on the wall next to the toilet.


I LOVE how it turned out!

We headed off to our local Bunnings, and were excited to find they had great deals on paint.
Including one where you get a free 1.5kg tin of M&Ms!


One thing I forgot to get was paint stripper! Ooops!
The concrete wall has three very thick layers of paint, green, pink and then white. It has grown so much mould underneath and the paint has been flaking off the walls in huge chunks. So it must come off!!

I have been in there every single day but today the progress has halted. So instead I have been whipping up some cute matching pj pants for my hubby & son.
A little nerdy, but that's how we like it. :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Banana Bread, A New Recipe

Our fruit bowl was overflowing with ripe bananas.
My kids go through phases.
One week they will LOVE bananas, the next, they loathe them.
Of course they shake it up all the time just to keep me on my toes.

I decided it was time to make some banana bread.
I didn't have any sour cream.. Oh dear...
So I did a quick search and found a new one, which was highly rated, and thought I'd give it a go.


It came out alright, very dense, didn't rise much at all though... A bit gluggy for me.
But it looks fabulous in my new pretty cake keeper!


But if you make a nice cup of coffee, toast it up so it is nice and crispy and hot...


And of course melt some butter on top...


Yeah, then it tastes pretty good.

Here's the recipe:

Banana Bread

Ingredients:

1 cup (150g) plain flour
1/2 cup (75g) self-raising flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
125g butter, melted, cooled
2 eggs, whisked
3 ripe bananas, mashed

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180ƒC. Grease and line the base and side of an 11 x 21cm x 6cm deep (base) loaf pan.
2. Combine flours, sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl. Whisk butter and eggs together. Stir in banana.
Spoon into prepared pan. Smooth the surface.
3. Bake for 45-50 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside in the pan for 10
mins before turning out onto a wire rack. Serve warm spread with butter.

Happy baking!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Pumpkin Gnocchi {Recipe}

I have had a huge pumpkin staring at me.
What to do?
I chopped that giant up and steamed half then pureed it into silky smoothness.
My first intention was to use this puree to hide in foods, so my kids (and us adults) will get a little vegetable boost in our meals.
Then my mind wandered...
Maybe a nice creamy pumpkin sauce to go with the tortellini in the fridge?
Maybe make a vegetarian lasagne with pumpkin in the layers or bechamel sauce?

I was stumped.
I sat down to watch my favourite show, My Kitchen Rules (it's great, all about cooking!).
One of the teams was making gnocchi.
*Ding*
Pumpkin gnocchi!

So I trawled through the tone of recipes on Pinterest, and found this one, by a blog who I already follow and love: Closet Cooking.

So I followed the recipe...


Mine was most definitely not as neat as his, but I was juggling the phone and my almost 3yr old at the same time!

I accidentally overcooked it but decided to give it a quick pan fry in my special garlic basil pesto.


Oh....
My.....
INCREDIBLE!


And little miss decided to help herself to some dough!


Anyway, here's the recipe:

Ingredients:
2 cups pumpkin/squash puree
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 - 2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch nutmeg (optional, I did not add)

Directions:
1. If your pumpkin puree is really wet, simmer it in a sauce pan to dry it out a bit and then let it cool down.
2. Mix the egg yolk into the pumpkin puree.
3. Mix the salt and nutmeg into the flour.
4. Mix enough of the flour into the pumpkin puree to form a soft dough that is not too sticky to work with.
5. Knead the dough for a minute and then roll it out into 4 long thin rolls about 1/2 inch thick.
6. Cut the rolls into 1/2 inch pieces and then roll the pieces in flour lightly shaking off any excess.
7. Roll the pieces over a gnocchi board or a fork to give them the ridges.
8. Cook the gnocchi in boiling water in small batches until it floats to the surface, about 2-3 minutes, remove and set aside to drain.
9. Use as desired.

Source

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Playing With Power Tools

I have been bitten.
By the power drill bug.
I want to make something new every day.
The pull of my new toy is nipping at my toes every day, begging me to go outside and play.

I couldn't resist.
My brain had a light bulb moment, and my creative juices flowed.

I started with this:


Then turned it into this:


Grabbed a few other bits:


Did a bit of this:


And voila!


Oh and have a sneak peek at my photo ledge all finished and ready to mount on the wall:


I have already started a second, it's first coat of primer is drying, but alas, disaster has struck.
We are all sick!
I can't even remember the last time I was sick, maybe back when I was pregnant, over a year ago!
It started with Eve having a fever, then moved on to me too. Next day our throats were swollen and dry and we were so stuffy we could barely breathe. That day the boys got the start of it...
Almost to lure us indoors to snuggle and watch movies together, the weather is cold, rainy and windy.
I hope we get better soon!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I Like To Build It

Have you seen this amazing website, Ana White Homemaker?

Ana is such an inspiring woman!
She shows that anyone can make beautiful furniture, and more.
I love browsing through the tonnes of free projects and have so many on my to do list.

I wanted to get started, but had no idea where to begin.
Tools!
I needed a power drill.
We went to the shops and decided on this one:


It is part of a system which all share the same batteries so when I eventually get a few more tools, they can all share and I won't need to buy many more extras.
The battery is fully charged within one hour and it is so lightweight and easy to use.
I LOVE IT!

We zoomed around the shop and grabbed some basic supplies for my first project, Ten Dollar Ledges.

It was a learning experience, and it is definitely not perfect, but I am so happy with my efforts!


I did it a little different to hers, as I don't have a pocket hole jig, so I wanted to have all the screws underneath.

I had some scraps lying around so I made a quick basic frame which I have some grand plans for..... I will show you when I am finished!


Friday, March 16, 2012

I Am Sew Happy!


I love my mum.
She is so amazing.
I could go on forever and tell you everything I love about her...
But I won't (not today).
I'll just continue on with my story.

My sewing machine adventure ended with me without a machine, and waiting for the upcoming Mother's Day sales to snap up a bargain.
I'm not a patient person.
This taught me a lot!

After going through months of stress with my old machine and the repair failure, my mum was the only person who could understand how devastated I really was.
Generosity is one of my mums strong qualities.
She came down for a flying visit, and brought something for me...

It's an old clunker, but I love it.
It's the machine I learned to sew on, so many years ago.
Now I can finally SEW!!

Of course I have already made one thing...


I made myself a dress.
It was made from shirred fabric I had bought on sale a long time ago, so super easy one seam and finished!
I pulled out one of my many belts and voila, finished!


(It isn't easy taking photos of myself, I feel so awkward!)



But I couldn't resist when I saw the box of supplies for Eve's photo booth for her upcoming birthday party.

:)



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Classic Cob Loaf Dip

Remember me mention this amazing dip yesterday?


It is so delicious, I only have one photo of it.

It went so fast!

There are many cob loaf dip recipes out there, but this is the best, I assure you.
It is so easy, I'll tell you how you can make one for your next party, though I won't blame you for wanting to make one straight away and having it for lunch/dinner. It's nothing wqe haven't done before!

Cob Loaf Dip

Ingredients:

300mL sour cream
300mL whole egg mayonnaise
1 packet Continental Spring Vegetable Soup Mix
1 onion, brown, finely chopped
1 big handful (3/4 cup) grated cheese
1 packet frozen spinach, thawed and drained.
1 cob loaf, the top cut off and hollowed out. Keep bread for dipping!

Method:

Mix sour cream, mayonnaise, onion and vegetable soup mix in a big bowl. Put in the fridge for at least one hour, or even overnight.
Add grated cheese and spinach and stir well.
Pour into hollowed out cob loaf.
Dunk chunks of bread into dip and enjoy the deliciousness!



Monday, March 12, 2012

The First Birthday

Finally the day arrived.
My little boy's first birthday.
The day before the party was spent cooking, decorating and list writing, checking off and hurried cleaning.
Oh and I should mention the driveway being dug, levelled and concreted too!

After having torrential rains, the weather cleared up to a perfect sunny with a refreshing breeze.
Perfect.

I started by cleaning up our little verandah, and getting the food table ready...


Zoom out little and we had balloons dangling from the roof.
They looked awesome.
Thanks to the hubby and father in law for doing those!


Inside the house was the big number 1 made out of photos of Eli...


And over the dessert/present table was a caterpillar balloon display...



My super awesome (and great photographer) dad took some photos of the food and drink I made...


Cob loaf dip that went VERY fast!
I will definitely post the recipe soon, it was so delicious.


Tropical punch that was delish! I also made a mixed berry punch which was very popular also.
Both went very fast, very popular!

The food fir the Very Hungry Caterpillar book theme.
Every food in the book was on our table at some point.


Complete with cute little labels which everyone loved.




I will have more photos soon, my camera sd card was filled up very fast, so my dad pulled out his camera and took over snapping away for me while I was busy in the kitchen...


(Pulling silly faces while heating up the pear and vintage cheese gnocchi)

And then the dessert table!


Gluten free cupcakes came out son after this photo and then.....
....
..
THE CAKE!


I usually do test runs to practice what kind of icing technique, piping tips etc I want to use....
Not this one!
I just went for it!
I am so happy with how it turned out, everyone loved it and wanted to take photos of it.
The cake itself was amazing, a sour cream chocolate bundt cake.
It was rich chocolatey and fudge lie with choc chips floating inside.

And even after such a long day, and without having a single nap...
My little birthday boy, my ONE year old, was still a happy little guy...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Wonderful Wedding

The weather was cold, the rain was falling.
But we were excited.
Our close friend and his lovely fiance were finally tying the knot.

We arrived at the Nurses War Memorial Chapel right on time and started to mingle.
Inside had a beautiful large stained glass wall overlooking the amazing coast and ocean below.
We sat up the back, and waited in anticipation...


It was a beautiful ceremony, everything was perfect, everyone looked stunning.


After the ceremony we wandered outside and off towards our car, admiring the wedding car on the way.


We were stopped by an old familiar face.
A friend from years ago popped her head out of her car and called to my husband "Hey do you know much about cars? Mine won't start!"

This led us to finding the father of the groom and some other men and then....


Clutch start success!

We drove off to the reception venue and spotted this rather expensive car being towed away.... We had a giggle!




Inside was beautiful...


I love chandeliers!

We were early so I snapped a few photos while the place was quiet.



My seat...


My drink of choice...


Then the fun started!
A big buffet dinner which was amazing, a delicious dessert and all the usual wedding traditions.


Dancing, cutting of the cake and some very funny speeches.


We had so much fun.
And I photographed every moment!





The groom & I...


One of the most fun parts of the night..... They had a photo booth!!



Yeah, we had a great night out!
My amazing aunty and her sweet daughter babysat the kids all day & night for us, and we came home to a spotless house.
Eli had woken up for his bottle so I snuck in and fed him and popped him back to bed.
Eve had apparently woken just before we had arrived home, and had wandered out, tucked herself into our bed, and promptly fallen fast asleep!


We all collapsed into bed soon after!