Thursday, May 31, 2012

My husbands music, chocolate pikelets and a local business!

My husbands music, chocolate pikelets and a local business!

It's friday morning and I have the house to myself. This means listening to whatever music I wish! And iv'e picked my husbands music he has just finished recording. This is not because I miss him desperatly and needed to hear his voice, its because I actually really like his songs! I'm not going to start writing a review on him to hopefully get you to buy a cd, but I will put up the links to his albums. One of them was made quite professionally over a few years, getting it recorded and mastered with other peoples help and the other recorded in our hallway,by pete himself over a few days. If you have a moment, have a listen to the albums as its not typical radio music, its supporting a local handmade project and my husband just wants people to hear what makes him so happy!!

Speaking of supporting local and handmade, I recently came across a friend from school's little business page! Its called Dotti Ant. She makes unique, hand made childrens clothing and accessories. Her stuff is pretty darn cute and iv'e already mentioned our little boy coming along, so i'm excited to see what she makes so I can buy something that helps her and is one of a kind! I encourage you to have a look and support little businesses like this, rather than buying from big companies! You can find her website here!

And to finish this post off, a VERY easy recipe for chocolate pikelets that I made recently. You can have these ready at any time as they are super quick to make and soooo yummy!
The original recipe comes from one of my favourite cookbooks, Cookery the Australian Way, written by Shirley Cameron and Suzanne Russel. Ive had it since year 7 as it was a text book needed in our cooking class.

I have changed the recipe a little as I wanted to use spelt flour and chocolate. You can leave the chocolate out and have plain pikelets, yummy with jam and cream or cheese or you can throw into the mixture any fruit or flavourings you wish! This is what you will need:

I cup spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup milk
100gm fair trade chopped chocolate

First, chop your chocolate into little chuncks.

In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, milk and egg and add the chocolate. Mix well.
Heat some butter or coconut oil in a fry pan, and drop tablespoons of mixture into the oil.

When holes start to appear and the pikelets can move, flip over and fry the other side. Once golden on both sides, place on a plate. I recommend eating these soon after they are made as the warm chocolate is sooo good!

So Ive just sorted out your day for you! Eat a batch of freshly made pikelets while listening to some of my husbands music as you browse Dotti Ants website for a little retail therapy!


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Three Cardigans for $1!!

Three Cardigans for $1!!

Recently, I went opshopping and found a rack of winter specials and hanging on one hanger were 3 cardigans. They were a $1 for the lot as they had no buttons! This excited me, and I rushed home to get crafting to turn my sad looking cardis into one of a kind finds! Anybody can do a project like this! You can add anything you want to any item of clothing you want to give it new life.
First what you need is your plain or old items of clothing.

Go through your stash of buttons, lace, ribbon, collars, patches, bits and pieces etc to add  to your piece of clothing!

Choose what you want to add and start sewing your buttons on and pinning what items you want to sew on. Then using your sewing machine sew the other accessories onto your clothes.

I decided to sew buttons onto all my cardis. I think this cardi already looks better just with simple bright buttons. But no, I didnt stop there, I made my cardis the kind of cardi that if i saw it in a shop, I would probably squeal with excitment! Here are the finished cardis!

I added these granny squares as they mean something to me and ive wanted to use them somehow. I found them at a little garage sale in Kyoto, Japan last year on holiday!

I love collars and was so excited when I found this pretty collar at a opshop, and thought it suited the blue quite well!

This last cardi, uses some cute ribbon I found at a local market and different red buttons just to make things interesting!

Hope this little post encourages you to turn something you thought was old and boring into something unique and give things new life again rather than buying brand new clothes!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Homemade Muesli Bars!

Homemade Muesli Bars!

My husband can sometimes work very long days, and on those days, can get very hungry! Fair enough! And we usually buy muesli bars as they are convenient to take with and if a good brand, can be nourshing. But they can also cost a fair bit, so I decided to make some! The original recipe for these muesli bars comes from my sister in law's blog, which you can find here. I did change the recipe to suit what we had in the pantry and to cut out the cane sugar. These make around 16, so will last you a while!

You will need
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup puffed grains (I used puffed millet, quinoa and amaranth)
1/2 cup mixed nuts
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pepitas
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup goji berries
1 cup sultanas
50 gm butter
50 gm coconut oil
1/4 cup raw honey
1/4 cup palm sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

First crush the nuts into pieces but not a powder and add to all the other dry ingredients (the first 9) and fry over a medium heat, with no oil, till golden and toasted.

Allow to cool then add the sultanas and combine well.

Now to make the yummy buttery sweet syrup that makes everything stick! Bring the coconut oil, butter, honey, palm sugar and mayple syrup to the boil. Simmer for 7 minutes without stirring.

Now pour this mixture over the toasted muesli mixture and combine well! Pour into a lined slice tin and flatten as well as you can to ensure everything sticks together.

Allow to cool before transfering to a wooden chopping board and cutting! Keep these in a airtight container in the fridge!

If you make these, I hope you will enjoy them! We definatly are!


Friday, May 18, 2012

My new kitchen!

My new kitchen!

I love my kitchen! I love how big it is, how huge my pantry cupboard is, how colourful it is and how the sun shines through making it one of my favourite rooms in the house! But, there is one thing in my kitchen that can often get me down and that is our wooden trolley that is stained and quite frankly, looking very unloved! We use it to prepare our meals and make hot drinks so there is very good reason for it looking so sad! So today I decided to give it a makeover, and now i'm slightly addicted to what Ive done and am looking for more and more furniture to makeover!

So, to makeover your own trolley, wooden table, bar stools or anything else you think needs a bit of love, you will need your sad looking piece of wooden furniture, good strong waterproof oilcloth or vinyl so that you can wet it and wipe it and so it lasts over the many times it will be used, strong drawing pins and a hammer!

You will need to measure the vinyl so that it hangs over the trolley's edges and can tuck under neatly. Cut to size.

Then starting  one one side, hammer the drawing pin in.

Use enough drawing pins on each side to ensure the cloth doesnt hang or move. Pull the cloth tightly before hammering in each pin to ensure it is flat and strong. Space them apart to ensure even holding.

When you get to the corners, fold neatly and pull tightly as you fold before hammering in the pin. Make sure it holds the corders well.

Once your whole trolley/table/chair/stool is covered, check that their are no bubble bits or parts of the cloth that are not stuck and make sure it is tight.

Its amazing what this simple project has done for my kitchen! It looks lovely and colourful and now Im looking around to see what else I can cover!

Hope you enjoyed this post!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Chocolate Cake with stewed plums!

Chocolate Cake with stewed plums!

So this past week has been cold and wintery, and that means staying inside baking, doesn't it??!! Ive felt like chocolate alot lately too, and I am more than happy to fix this issue! I thought a good chocolate cake was necessary but added stewed plums in the centre and wow, it was delicious! I usually make cakes with two layers and spread a favourite homemade jam in the middle, so this was just a little bit more fancy and I used homemade stewed plums I had prepared when plums were in abundance and froze lots of portions for times like this!

Sorry for sloppy mess and bad photography!
You will need                                               
75 gm coconut oil or butter                          
200 ml honey                                                
200ml strong black coffee                             
(just to clarify, this is made up coffee,
 not just coffee powder/granules)
2 eggs                                    
40gm cocoa powder
1tbs coconut sugar
200 gm spelt flour
1 tsp baking soda
For the icing:
50gm butter, chopped
50gm coconut sugar
1-2 tbs cocoa powder

First, preheat oven to 190C and grease and line two round cake tins. Melt your coconut oil or butter and add to everything else in a bowl.


Make sure the mixture is combined well and pour the batter evenly into the prepared tins.

Place in oven and bake for roughly 20-25 min or until a skewer comes out clean.While the cakes are baking, you can use this time to defrost or make up some stewed plums for the centre. The coffee can make the cake look quite dark when it is baked so no need to stress that you've burnt it! Place on a cooling rack until cold.

Once cold, place one of the cake on the plate or container you will serve it from as it will be harder to move once all assembled. Spread your cold stewed plums generously on the bottom cake.

Then place the second cake ontop, with the rounded side facing up as its easier to spread icing on.

Make up the icing by placing the chopped butter in a bowl. Add the coconut sugar and cocoa powder and a drop of boiling water. Blend with an electric mixer until smooth, light and fluffy. Spread ontop of cake.

Please ignore the icing and plums spilt everywhere!!

Right, now to cut fat slices to eat, serve with some good quality cream and enjoy with a freshly brewed pot of tea! Enjoy!


Monday, May 14, 2012

Mothers Day Part 2!

Mothers Day Part 2!

Yesterday on my blog, I showed you what I made for my mum for mothers day,a new and much needed peg bag with hopefully simple instructions so you can make a peg bag too! Today I will show you what I made for my mother in law, and I know that you will be able to whip it up as it is soo easy! My mother in law loves anything to do with rainbows, ANYTHING! So when I saw some rainbow fabric in my stash I knew I needed to make something with it. And this is what I made!

A bunting with inspirational words stitched onto each flag! This project is so simple, to the point I feel guilty! But she loves it and I am happy with it so here are the instructions for how to make one yourself. The good thing about this project, is, once you have used a sewing machine to attatch the string or bias binding, its all done by hand so you can watch tv, take it out to brunch or ask your friends to help while at dinner, well thats what I did!
So, first, choose some fabric you want to use. Decide on how many flags you want and cut them out using fabric scissors that make a zig zag edge. If they are not all the same size, it's ok mine aren't!

Once your flags are cut, you need to pin the ribbon or bias binding to the top of the flags. This will be what they hang from. Make sure you leave some of the ribbon dangling on each end, so you can tie it to hooks or curtian rods or trees, whatever really!

Sew along the top, attatching the flags and bias binding! This then ends all sewing machine sewing and the rest can be done in the comfort of a comfy couch or bed, its all done by hand from here! Next is to choose what words you want to stitch onto the flags. Mine came from the Bible as it's something I knew my mum in law would appreciate, but you can stitch anything! Names of children, encouraging words, names of herbs or flowers, anything! Write on the fabric in pencil clearly and spaced out so that the final stitching can be read.

Choose what colour stiching you want. I went with green as it was nice and bright and matched the bias binding.

Once all the flags have their word stitched on you are done! At the back of the flag, make sure loose ends of the thread have a knot so they dont come out and there we go, another bunting to make for yourself or give to a mother in law!

The finished bunting hanging in mother in laws rainbow room!

Hope you find this enjoyable to make!