Saturday, May 30, 2009

Savoury Pinwheel Scones

You can't say better than I am sitting on my comfy couch, writing a post listening to Chris Moyles on my brand spanking new laptop! AND the kids are out with their Dad getting some fresh air. Now I have just sat down after 1 1/2 hours of clearing up the dump that was my house. So I do feel quite justified having a bit of space for myself. Oh and did I say I was drinking a very yummy cup of coffee. Since my friend Kate has returned from the UK - she has introduced a love of real coffee! Naughty but nice!

Well as you can see by the title of my post and if you take a little glimpse of the photo below, you'll realise I've been a-busy a-baking again. Thanks to Liz who camp up trumps with the recipe for me after putting up with me for a good couple of months of badgering her for it. I tasted her lovely cheesey hamy scrolly delights at the school's local teddy bears picnic and I new I had to have this recipe for myself. I have struggled with making scrolls in past and this is my best attempt to date.

2 cups flour
2 heaped tsp baking powder
1 tsp mustard powder
salt n pepper
4 tsp butter
50g tasty (mature) cheddar
3/4 cup trim milk
filling: 100g ham, 100g tasty (mature) cheddar
  • set oven for 220C
  • sift flour, baking powder, mustard powder and s n p
  • rub in butter and cheese
  • gradually add milk using knife
  • knead gently
  • roll out to form rectangle
  • slice ham into ribbons and spread over scone mixture and cover with cheese
  • roll up and cut into 8
  • place on greased oven tray and bake for 20m or until golden
  • ENJOY!!!

My three monkeys loved them! These are great lunch box fillers! I'm thinking of substituting the ham with marmite as we are a family of marmite lovers. Hope you all are having a fab weekend!

PS - I hope you're trying some of these recipes Carina. After getting your cups you've got no excuse honey!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Baby Eva

I just had to share these photos of my gorgeous little niece. She lives with her Mummy and Daddy in the UK with the rest of our family. I was chuffed to bits to receive these photos of baby Eva wearing the gifts I knitted. Isn't she gorgeous!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Cornish Knitting and Tomato Relish

Life is just so busy. I can't imagine how some of you Mums get time to produce so much. This weekend was full of a mass organisation of childrens' clothing. The weather seems to have skipped autumn and it's now winter for sure! So it's time to dig out the winter clothes.
Now, clothes really annoy me, I know we need them and all that. Perish the thought of walking around starkers. But washing them, hanging them out, bringing them back in again, discovering and treating stains, folding them, ironing them (doesn't happen often in my house), putting them away, putting them in storage - GOSH!!!! Anyway I spent my 'me-time' sorting the childrens' wardrobe. Making piles for the Plunkett sale (children's clothes/toys bring and buy type thing), piles of summer clothes for the UK (we have a 6 week holiday back there mid June), piles for the opp shop and piles for storage for next summer. JOY!

Today I've thought a lot about my lovely Gran from Cornwall who taught me to knit and crochet. It would have been her 92nd birthday today. Well here's the progress made on my Cornish jumper for little E. I'm determined to finish it this week.

Tomato Relish

Some slightly over-ripe tomatoes caught my eye at the fruit and vege shop and I remembered Monique's tomato relish recipe. So I bought up large and spent yesterday evening simmering up the above ingredients (plus white vinegar) in a big pot. And it is truly YUMMY!!!!! Had some with cheese and crackers this afternoon and was really pleased with the outcome. Do pop over to her lovely blog and check out the recipe.

Off to enjoy an evening of knitting while watching Desperate Housewives and Brothers and Sisters - excellent.
PS - did anyone else think that Adam from American Idol was totally robbed?
PPS - What is it with the spacing in blogger - I cannot change my linespacing. arrrghhhh!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I actually won something really cool!

I can't believe it.....I won the giveaway on Sue's hilarious blog "Dollytub Cottage". You must stop by and treat yourself to giggle or two,- my visits there truly brighten my day. I am going to be the proud owner of one of these...

...a Cath Kidston Tesco shopping bag. As an English gal living down under, I am chuffed beyond measure! I soooo miss Tescos (sad I know!) and Cath Kidston stuff is kinda hard to come by here in NZ. So I'm made up! Thank you Sue!!!

Well - I've amended my dodgy looking flower, sorry about the glarey photo. I'm currently in a knitting frenzy trying to finish the Cornish Style Jumper before E is too big to wear it.

Oh and guess who arrived to join the family today?

This adorable mini lop-eared bunny sits in the palm of your hand. He is currently adjusting to his new environment, so eager Es has to wait before she can handle him. I will post more cute pictures of this bundle of fluff very soon. He hasn't been given his name yet...but the contenders are...Skippy, Pixie, Thumper and Ziggy. Anyone have any ideas?
Thanks for all your comments - I do love to read them!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Flowery Fun!

With the cold, dark evenings drawing in I am enjoying some crochet snuggled under a fluffy blanket in front of the tellie. The flower pattern is from Luce's colourful blog at attic 24 and the hearts are from here. I'm thinking of making a bunting for Es' bedroom with these. I've used up left over cotton, but am running out. So will have to add that to my shopping list. Do you think I should keep to the same sort of palette of pastels or do you think I could throw in some brights? The flowers are not actual fact I've just realised why the purple flower looks slightly odd. There are only 5 inner petals and there should be 6. Oh well, will have to fix that otherwise it'll annoy me.

I have actually used this crochet flower pattern before. Remember this?

With the cold, dark evenings drawing in I am enjoying some crochet snuggled under a fluffy blanket in front of the tellie. The flower pattern is from Luce's colourful blog at attic 24 and the hearts are from here. I'm thinking of making a bunting for Es' bedroom with these. Well off to sort out that rather sad looking purple flower....ho hum!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Eye Spy - What am I reading now?

Thanks to Cindy for hosting this 'Eye Spy - what I am reading now thingy-me-bob' and Monique for the theme of reading. Pop over to Cindy if you want to join in.

I found this book in a thrift store and have been highly recommended it by my friend Megan. I've never read Jodi Picoult and am actually really enjoying her style! On reading the blurb on the cover, I nearly didn't bother. It is about a 13 year old girl who has been conceived to be a match and donor to her sister who has leukemia (depressing?). But I took the plunge and am loving it. What I like about this book is that it makes you consider the value of human life and question the rights of others. What should you do when two of your morals seem to conflict one another? It also puts life into perspective. My heart goes out to all those parents who have children who are seriously unwell. Makes my little problems seem so trivial. Here's a quote which I earmarked to read to my bookclub...

"...maybe who we are isn't so much about what we do, but rather what we're capable of when we least expect it."

I love books that set me thinking and move me out of my 'comfort zone' and force me to evaluate life's fundamental questions and deeper meaning. Whoooo steady on.....need to drink my milo and head for bed.....too much thinking makes my nappy brain ache! ...nightie night...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Baking and some more Baking!

Now that the bunting, balloons and cards are down - life can return to it's normal (still rather fast) pace.

And after all of that sewing I returned to some baking. After receiving a dinner invitation from my good friend Glenda, I decided to take another shot at my Cinnamon Raisin Plait. The children are always so famished after school/kindy and I thought this would hit the spot for afternoon tea. I remembered to let it prove for only the recommended 30m (not 2 hours!) and got a much better result.

Although - there are a few more amendments I would make (less yeast, more fruit and cinnamon). So when I'm happy with this recipe, I will post it.

Notice Little S' small bun he made especially for Glenda's youngest daughter. Very sweet!

Es and I attended a Mother's Day Breakfast at her school yesterday. It was a mad dash at 7am and it was rather crazy with long queues for food and tea/coffee and too many tables, chairs and bodies in one hall. But it was lovely to do be with Es - just the two of us. I tried to block out the chaos of it all and enjoy being with her. The mother's received some gifts (hand cream pilates vouchers and flowers and I actually won something....lippy and some pop socks on the rather large size).

Look what I ate for breakfast this morning. I hate breakfast and always try and force something down as it's "good for you". But somehow, this slips down a treat with a lovely cup of tea. I made this yesterday. It is 'Chocolate Caramel Slice' from the same Foodtown Mag that the Plait came from. I've always been quite a fan of this magazine, the recipes are relatively simple and use ingredients you already have in the cupboard - bonus! 'Simple but delicious' is always a winner for me. I wouldn't change anything about this recipe it was totally divine! Little S is allergic to egg and nut, so it is nice to have a yummy recipe for a slice that doesn't have 'crushed biscuits' (which always have 'trace of nuts' warning).
150g butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
395g tin condensed milk
2 tbsp golden syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
75g butter
  • oven temp 180 C - line 20cm x 20cm tin
  • cream butter and sugar, stir in vanilla essence
  • add sifted flour, cocoa and baking powder and mix together until combined
  • press two-thirds of mixture in tin ( I needed to add 2 tbsp of water to make mixture more moist)
  • place condensed milk, golden syrup, brown sugar and butter into a saucepan. Stir over a medium heat until combined and thickened. Pour caramel over the base
  • sprinkle remaining mixture over the caramel. Bake for 20-25 m. Cool in tin before cutting.
The kids absolutely scoffed this down as did everyone I offered some to. But as always - I ate the most!

My sister visited 6 months ago (from UK) and left me her most favourite skirt. She had it made in Vietnam whilst she was back-packing and she describes it as the perfect shape/size etc. However, she had worn so much the zip had fallen out and the black had faded to a charcoal colour. So I offered to try and make another one. I unpicked it all completely so I could get the best measurements and use it as a pattern. Since photographing this I have actually nearly finished it - so I'll get a finished shot for you tomorrow!
Thanks for popping by.........go on make yourself some chocolate caramel slice....I bet you've got all the ingredients in your pantry already, if not put - condensed milk on your shopping list!

Monday, May 4, 2009

party bags, tablecloths, beads

My little girlie is whizzes by. But I can hardly remember life before she popped into our world. Well, I did manage to zip together some party bags. I actually started them at 9.30 the night before. Yes - how stupid can you get. I know, but I really didn't have time to do it before then - honestly. I number of cheeky friends of mine commented that they were disappointed I didn't embroider each child's name. Well if I start now, I may be able to complete bags for next year.....and include their middle and last names too! NOT!!!

I have to apologise for my photography, everything was so frantic that I didn't take proper photos of the bags. We had a Bead Party for Es, and it was wonderful! And in the bag, was some chocolate, the necklace and bracelet made by each child and one of these...

....little bunny biscuits with lemon icing. Es is getting a bunny for her birthday, it's currently four weeks old and with it's Mummy. There will be photos of the new member of our family real soon.

I made some afternoon tea for the party little guests - shortbread, chicken sandwiches, meringues (first time I've made these), marshmallows dipped in chocolate and a giant cupcake cake which didn't look like cupcake-ish at all....but it still looked like it had been transported from fairyland (so Gary says!). Note the tablecloth I made (stupidly made the morning of the party - as if I didn't have enough to do!). But I say - why miss out on all the fun things about being a Mum? It's the small things in life isn't it?

The bead party was a massive success! The bead lady turned up with 3 caseloads of colourful beads, she gave a demonstration and off the little girlies went to choose their selection. Brilliant! They were quiet as mice for nearly one and a half hours - RESULT! Some wonderful creations came into being and it was fascinating to watch each child's unique style. Some of the girls said they were making the bracelet for their Mum for Mother's Day, which is this Sunday here in NZ. How sweet is that - without any prompting at all!

This is Es threading her bracelet, she is already wearing the necklace she made. How cute does it look? She chose such gorgeous colours! She made the bracelet to match her dress - vibrant purples and blues!

I was so exhausted the following day and out of the blue our friends called us and invited us to spend the day out on their launch. Awesome - just what the doctor ordered!