Saturday, February 26, 2011

High Tea

Thanks to my lovely girlfriends (and Mum) I spent this afternoon sipping tea and eating cakes at The Victoria Room. A very civilized way to celebrate this little baby girl coming in just over 3 weeks.

So many delicious cakes and sandwiches... endless cups of tea...

As a thank you, I got some gorgeous handmade chocolates, wrapped in tissue paper and sealed with a Cristina Re metallic seal, boxed in an aqua box with white ribbon and included a Thank You note I made using my new Cristina Re Butterfly hole punch and some lace paper.

Thank you gorgeous friends for a lovely afternoon.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Valentines Day

We made a promise no Valentine's Day presents (as we do every year) but I couldn't help myself. Dean deserves to be spoilt, he takes such good care of all of us, especially when I'm pregnant and have the energy of a sloth by the weekend.

LOVE Cross Stitch to be hung above our bed, Inspired by Robert Indiana's Love sculpture. Pattern by Jennifer Hoel.

"When I grow up I want to be an iPhone" Flex Frame case won from CurlyPops. Perfect for the man who REFUSED to by an iPhone cause he "doesn't need one" and only needs a phone to "make and end calls". Dean works in a huge IT Multi-national corporation where everyone has a Blackberry or iPhone, his poor phone must be so embarrassed. Cam is a genius, I love her fabric designs... get your own one here.

In the box, a new Timex watch to wear on the weekend and when he is out running.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fave Foods: Poffertjes/Little Dutch Pancakes

Back in the "old days" before we married, Dean lived in Melbourne and I lived in Sydney. Every fortnight I would fly down to spend the weekend together and most Sundays we would head to the Victoria Markets and have a great big plate of Poffertjes/Little Dutch Pancakes for brunch.

This Christmas, while I was shopping for everyone else's presents, I walked past an electric Poffertjes maker and quickly popped it in my shopping, telling Dean when I got home in a happy state what "he" bought me for Christmas.

A few days after Christmas we christened it with the recipe that came with the maker and quickly turfed all evidence of THAT attempt... holy moly they were terrible... and then did some research and experiments and found a MUCH better recipe, now we can indulge in them all the time. Yum yum.

Little Dutch Pancakes
makes a whole heap!

  • 2 cup self-raising flour
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 eggs
  1. preheat pancake maker and lightly grease indentations (I use spray oil)
  2. combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl
  3. add milk, water and eggs and mix/whisk until smooth
  4. add enough mixture until each indentation is just full
  5. cook until bubbles start to appear on the top, and flip over (should be just golden on the cooked side)
  6. cook for a further couple of minutes until golden brown on both sides.
I like mine with a bit of icing sugar and lemon juice or sometimes golden syrup, Dean likes maple syrup on his, and the kids love a little bit of honey dribbled over.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Petal Pillow

A new cushion, made for a girlfriend for a "thank you". After taking photos of it on our lounge with our other grey cushions, it may just end up staying here and I'll have to make another one for her once I restock on some felt.

(A certain feline was unimpressed I moved HER cushion off the lounge for the 30 seconds to take the photo so sabotaged all the photos except one)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fave Foods: Chicken & Mushroom Noodles

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My first "Fave Foods" post is definitely one top of the list for both the kids and us adults.

The sauces for the chicken marinade are originally from a Kylie Kwong recipe, but her recipe then uses dried mushroom and hokkein noodles etc. whereas we tweaked the recipe to use fresh Asian mushrooms, our favourite Asian greens and ramen or soba noodles.

Chicken & Mushroom Noodles
Serves family of 4 plus lunch for husband

  • 500g chicken, thickly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced ginger OR 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • dash of sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Packet of Ramen or Soba noodless or 600g fresh Hokkien noodles
  • 1 packet mixed fresh Asian Mushrooms (we love Oyster and Enoki)
  • 2 bunches baby bok choy OR any asian greens, trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 carrot, julienned (optional)
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
    1. Combine ginger, sherry, cornflour, sugar, sesame oil and 1/2 tablespoon of the soy sauce in a medium bowl with the sliced chicken and mix well. If you have time, cover and refrigerate for an hour.
    2. Cook noodles as per instructions on the packet. Drain, refresh in cold water, then thoroughly drain again.
    3. Heat peanut oil in a hot wok, add and cook the chicken for 2 minutes.
    4. Add mushrooms and stir-fry for 1 minute.
    5. Combine oyster sauce and water together then add and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
    6. Add noodles, carrot, baby bok choy, and remaining 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce and stir-fry for about 2 minutes, or until chicken is just cooked through and noodles are hot.
    7. Serve immediately.

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    Pimped Up Bibs

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    Last week I grabbed a pack of 10 bibs plain white bibs from BigW for $10, perfect for the little Miss. Clothes and furniture normally survive siblings, but bibs definitely don't so she needed her own.

    I couldn't just leave them plain of course, that's what a sewing machine and those few small hours between school drop off and pickup are for....

    Trefe Ribbon

    Bear Applique

    Patch Applique

    Aunty Cookie ribbon finished off with some pink binding

    Cross stitched applique

    I have a few other bears ones finished for some little babies we know and have some more plain bibs left for presents.

    PS. I made the initial cross stitch using this online generator...

    I Love Cross Stitch

    A cross stitched Matryoshka phone case, backed and lined with fabric from Kristen Doran for a dear friend who's birthday is coming up next month.

    Lavender sachets for the baby girl's drawers, stitched on linen and filled with lavender I bought home from the Blue Mountains last week. They smell so lovely, Isabella and Liam have asked for some for their drawers.

    (Matryoshka and flower pattern from the Made in France book)

    Saturday, February 5, 2011

    Felt Cushions

    Last week, the night before I headed to the Blue Mountains for a weekend of pampering, I made the kids a little cushion each with some lovely soft Wool Felt from Winterwood and a couple of small pillows we used to have on our old lounge.

    Liam's request was for a boat, and his name on it...

    Isabella wanted something "colourful" and her name on it to, so I sewed some felt bunting...

    I had a hexagon flower left from Sew It Together last year that I still hadn't found the right project to add it to, so it went on the back of Bella's cushion

    When they woke up in the morning to their new pillows they were very happy...

    Thursday, February 3, 2011

    Fave Foods & Bagels

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    Besides crafting, I love to cook. I love trying new recipes, and luckily everyone is more than keen to try new things, but there are always some meals that I know are winners and we can aways fall back on.

    Some are super quick dinners to make, so great for days Liam is at daycare (3 days a week this year) as he wants to eat the MINUTE he walks in the door (playing is hard work you know), then others are perfect for in Isabella's new lunch box or snacks and afternoon teas.

    So while there seems to be a lack of crafting happening around here (I do have some projects on the go, but somehow broke my quilting foot on the sewing machine and am waiting the new one to arrive) I have been preparing some posts on some of our "Fave Foods" around here. Tried, tested and approved by the Princess and the Monkey.

    So to start off sharing some of our Fave Foods... an oldie that I have posted before... Bagels, made using the breadmaker, taking all the hard work out of kneading. One of Isabella's favourite breakfasts and guaranteed to be asked for constantly.

    Makes 8 bagels

    • 1 1/4 cup warm water
    • 3 cups Plain Flour
    • 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • Large lightly oiled bowl
    • Cling wrap
    • 2 baking sheets, oiled
    1. Place all ingredients into your bread maker and run the dough cycle up to when the rising cycle begins.
    2. Take out the dough, shape into a ball and place in the large lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling wrap. Let rise for an hour.
    3. Take the dough out and cut into 8 equal pieces. Make each piece into a small smooth ball, flatten slightly and make a hole using 2 fingers to shape like a, well, bagel.
    4. Place all formed bagels onto the greased baking sheets and cover with a damp tea towel to allow to rise for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 240 degrees Celsius.
    5. Once the bagels have risen for 15 minutes, bring a large saucepan to the boil. Once the water is boiling drop 2 bagels at a time, allow to poach for 30 seconds one side, flip over and finish another 30 seconds on the other side. Remove, drain either on a slotted spoon or some paper towel then place on the oiled baking sheets again, well spaced apart.
    6. Once all bagels have been boiled, cook for 10-15 minutes. Check after 10 minutes though, they may be already golden and ready.

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011

    First Day at Soccer

    1 comment:
    Yesterday was Isabella's big day and today was Liam's... his first day at Soccer.

    Some fancy stepping... he shoots... he scores...

    And then they had a little game and my little man chased that ball non-stop and got a few kicks in...

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    First Day at School

    We had no tears (from anyone)
    When we reached the front gate, she found her Year 6 buddy and bolted away from us waving madly over her shoulder and calling "bye"
    We were repeatedly asked "when are you guys going home"
    Before we left the kindy room she had already bombarded the teacher with questions

    It's very quiet at home and not sure I like this whole 5 days a week business, but she is ready and was so happy to be at big school
    Liam meanwhile, is happily enjoying having total control over the TV Programs and toys while we attempt to keep cool inside