Saturday, June 30, 2012

Quick Fix Fresh Salad



Cherry tomatoes.
Cucumber.
Red capsicum.
Red onion.


Mix them together and then dress with these...



Mixed together to make this...


Smells good, and tastes good too!
I mixed some cold pasta into mine to bulk it up a bit for my dinner...

Then I popped the leftovers in a bowl in the fridge for lunch the next day...

 It's delicious, fast, and healthy!







Friday, June 29, 2012

A Little Lady Visitor

Guess who popped in to see me today?
I was picking the last of my basil leaves from my bush and when I was bout to give them a good wash I saw something...

I said hello, introduced myself and she jumped on over to explore the new territory...










I took these quick snaps and rushed her back outside to be free again, back in the fresh air, the green leaves and exploring the blue sky.
:)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sewing for Baby (No, not mine!)

Some amazing ladies I know are preggers, up the duff, with child, impregnated.
Yep, they are pregnant.
Of course I get clucky.
But no more children for us, my nerves barely manage through a day with the two I already have!
So what do I do?
I make things!
Baby things.
Cute things.
Like blankets...


I used these fancy little disc thingies....


In particular this one...



 To make a pretty little stitching detail all around the edge...



I love it.
Then I made a cute little whale...

 Pattern can be found HERE









Cute, yes?
Then I made some bibs, not your ordinary ones, but those super cool bandana bibs!

 Pattern can be found HERE.

 I had a helpful little guy want to model for me.
He stayed very still, unlike my usual models!



































Oh and so sorry for the words just scattered around everywhere.... This new way of adding and editing photos stuffs everything up and makes me so frustrated when it just won't work for me. :S

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Banana Bread, An Addictive Substance.

You may know by now that I love a good banana bread.
I have written about the glorious sweet stuff over here, and here.
Two very different recipes I have tried, but only one wins...


Doesn't it look delicious?





My little guy seems to like it...

Anyway, a long time ago I shared the link to the recipe, but I figured I may as well pop it over here to make things easier....

Best Banana Bread

   Ingredients:

55g (1/4 cup) firmly packed brown sugar
30g (1/4 cup) almonds, chopped
375ml sour cream
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
125g unsalted butter, melted
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 3/4 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 ripe bananas, mashed

Method:

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line two 10 x 18cm loaf tins with baking paper. In a bowl, mix together the brown sugar and almonds and put aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the sour cream and bicarbonate of soda, set aside for 5 minutes then stir in the melted butter, sugar and eggs. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Gradually fold in the sour cream mixture, followed by the bananas.
Pour the mixture equally into the prepared tins and sprinkle the brown sugar mixture on top.
Bake for 1-11/2 hours or until a skewer comes out clean. Set aside and cool in tins for about 20 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!






Tuesday, June 26, 2012

It's All About The Crochet

I can't help myself...
I'm hooked!
(Oh dear, I am sorry the the total and utter lameness of that little pun)
But I really am falling in love with crocheting again.
I find myself staring at pages of patterns, wanting to start something new while my hands are busy finishing something else off.
But how can I resist so many things?






Where do I begin??

Monday, June 25, 2012

Crochet and Coffee

I can't remember the last time I crocheted anything....
I know it has been a while.
A long, long while.
I did a quick search and found this post here...
*Gasp*
Surely, April 2010 could not be the last time I picked up a hook!
Sadly, I think it was.
It makes sense though, way back when I had only one child. 
Eve would have been 1 year old by then, she was a good little sleeper by this stage, my evenings were free for crafting.
Though mostly I chose to sleep.
But now I have found myself with a little (and I mean little) time in the evenings to do some crafting.
Since my girl is usually in our bed, my sewing machine is a little loud.
I found the simplest of joys.
Sitting in front of the heater, rugged up all snug and warm, pushing that yarn in and out, round and round.


I have always wanted to make a big granny square blanket, and now I am finally doing it!



 I even managed to snag myself a few minutes during the day *gasp* with both kids temporarily distracted.



 And this, is when coffee and crochet, go hand in hand.




Sunday, June 24, 2012

Parker House Rolls {Recipe}

See this giant bag of bread flour?


It makes the best bread.
See this book?
(I mentioned it way back here)


It is fantastic.
Every recipe has simple, easy to follow steps and they produce the most delicious breads.
I could sit here all day and rave about how much I love it, but I'll just show you something instead...


You know it's going to taste good when it has a "9/10 Yummy!!" scribbled on the page!
(Yes, I have a complex system of marking down good recipes)

So yesterday we got out all our ingredients, and began the messy fun.


We mixed...


Did some kneading...


Then poked it to check it was bouncy enough (technical terms there!)...


Left it to rise...


Then baked into deliciousness!


I didn't shape then as the recipe says, I just make some rough rectangles and folded in half. A rushed, rustic look.
They are so soft and dense inside, with the perfect crispy, crunch crumb. Perfect for soup (find some recipes here) or spread with some butter and jam, fresh from the oven.


It is a bit of a process, but one that has a delicious reward!

Parker House Rolls

Ingredients:

2 1/2 tsp dry yeast
1 cup milk
4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 tbsp sugar
2 eggs, beaten
4 1/4 cups bread flour
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp melted butter to glaze, plus extra to grease bowl and baking tray

Method:

  • Sprinkle yeast into 1/2 cup of the milk in a bowl. Let stand for 5mins, stir to dissolve. Warm the remaining milk in a saucepan (or microwave, just go slow!) with the butter and sugar, Stir until the butter has melted. Cool until lukewarm, then beat in the eggs until evenly combined.
  • Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the dissolved yeats mixture and the egg mixture. Mix to make a soft, sticky dough.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10mins. Knead in extra flour, 1 tbsp at a time if the dough is too sticky. 
  • Put the dough in s greased bowl and cover lightly with a cloth or cling wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, 1-1 1/2 hrs. Punch down, then let rest for 10mins.
  • Divide the dough into two pieces. Roll out each piece to form a 8x16" rectangle. Cut each rectangle lengthwise into four strips, each 2" wide. Cut each strip into four rectangles, each 4" long. Brush half of each rectangle with melted butter, then fold in half, leaving a 1/2" flap.
  • Place the rolls on a baking tray so that each roll overlaps slightly with the one next to it. Cover with a dish towel and proof until doubled in size, about 30mins. Preheat oven to 425*F (220*C).
  • Brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20mins until golden and hollw sounding when tapped underneath. Cool on a wire rack.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Falling Into The Dr Who Abyss

My new obsession....
Dr Who!
I have had the first 5 seasons sitting, waiting for me to watch and finally I did it. I watched an episode.
One episode turned into two, then three. 
I was hooked!


It is nothing like what I was expecting.
They manage to combine mystery solving along with alien disasters but with no gruesome violence. That, I like. 
Now it appears I am not the only one obsessed (no surprise there!). 
I got my husband hooked as well.
And while browsing through the internet I found some things that I must have...



They won't make much sense to you if you haven't seen the tv show, but trust me, they are super cool!
So on these cold Winter nights, I snuggle up in bed with my crochet hook, some yarn and usually a sleepy little girl and I watch. Such a nice way to end a busy day!



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Baking for a Birthday!

I can't resist making a cake.
Making a birthday cake, with a theme, is too much fun for me.
I love it!

So when my awesome brother answered my probing cake questions, he requested a Minecraft cake.
I have seen these boys of mine play this game.
I've never played it.
Thank God for Pinterest and good old Google!
I came up with a plan, then changed it, and then again...
I played with some melted chocolate...



Baked two cakes, mud cakes, and let the creativity loose...


A lot of patience required when baking two mud cakes using the same baking tin!
But, after a few hours....








I had planned on setting the pick/axe thingy standing up on top of the cake, but the sunshine softened it in the car ride over to my brother's place....



But I think he was pretty happy with it that way anyway! 






It tasted so rich, so dense...




Of course the little sweet-toothed munchkins loved it...




Perfect mud cakes!




He wanted to explore, but have his cake too!




A piece for me...




The density of the cake made it perfect to cut into blocks...




Didn't you know sugar can make people a little silly?



Happy (belated) birthday dear brother!