Saturday, January 24, 2015

Upside down plum cake

Hello again.

I'm back and with another recipe. This time using home grown plums. My mother in law has a plum tree and on our last visit there, I was invited to pick as many as I wanted. For everyone I picked to take home, I ate another. They were so good. So, I thought I'd make a cake with some of the plums and this is the result. 


Upside down plum cake.

You will need:
75gm melted butter
200ml rice malt syrup or honey
2 eggs
200ml milk
2 generous splashes of vanilla extract
200gm spelt flour or regular flour
1tsp baking soda
1tsp ground ginger
1tsp ground cinnamon
about 10 fresh plums

Preheat oven to 180C. 
Line a round cake tin with baking paper. 
Cut your plums in half and remove the pips.
Lay the plums, cut side facing down, on the base of your tin, until covered.
Sift the baking soda and flour into a large bowl. 
Add all the other ingredients then the melted butter.
Mix well.
Pour this mixture over the plums and smooth.
Bake in the oven for 45 min or until a skewer comes out clean.
Let it sit in the tin for 30 minutes before turning onto a plate.
Eat warm or cold with lots and lots of cream!

So if you have a plum tree, a mother in law with a plum tree or know where to get good quality plums, this is a delicious way to use them. I'd love to know if you make this! 
What ways do you like to eat plums?? I'm thinking a plum ice cream will be next!

See you soon,


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Take time for tea.

I received some very useful advice today. I was told (in a lovely way), to take time for my tea. Tea drinking was supposed to be enjoyed as a ceremony, and its been a little forgotten. Tea is now as quick and instant as ever, and we usually have it on the go. There's always a half empty cup around the house, often left there because of how busy and distracted we are. Tea is such a healing thing, both physically and mentally. But only really when we take time for it.

I was told to take time choosing the type of tea you want to drink. There are hundreds of lovely herbal teas out there, or just your normal black tea, but take the time to choose.

Choose a teacup. Take a moment to find one that's dainty and sweet. One that makes the whole experience a bit more special.

Take time to make your tea in a pot rather than straight out of the kettle. The action of pouring and straining the tea from a teapot is part of the healing and relaxing experience. Even choose a tea cosy that you like. All of this takes a bit more time and effort, but your able to then experience tea for the wonderful thing it is.

And the best bit, drink the tea, sitting down, with your feet up. Don't walk around pottering, but make an effort to sit. Sounds funny, but its so hard these days to force ourselves to actually stop and sit. And putting your feet up just makes the experience even more wonderful!

So I did this today. I chose an organically grown loose leaf spearmint tea. Chose a lovely teacup and saucer and made a pot. I sat and sipped it slowly, with my feet up. I watched the tea as I strained it into the tea cup. I smelt the tea and tried (with a toddler running around) to focus on nothing but the tea. It was lovely and 1 hour later, found myself ready to get up. Im hoping to try do this a few ties a day. Maybe not as long, but choosing to stop and make the tea the only thing going on.

You may love the way you have your tea already, but if you find the time, even if for 5 minutes, try a few of these tips just so you can enjoy the tea a different way.

What's your favourite tea?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Pics from our annual seaside holiday.

I have finally gotten round to taking the photos off my camera from our Rosebud holiday so now I can share the summery pics with you! 


And here's some of my favourite finds from the trip..

this cute handmade brooch

this pretty handmade skirt made from linen, from a fab shop in Dromana called Felix

this opshopped dress

opshopped tins and cutlery.

Did you go away over new years or are you still planning to go anywhere? I love the seaside, so am always excited about heading to Rosebud each year with my family.

See you soon,


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Strawberry Sour Cream Cake

I've done my first bit of baking for the year, and it's delicious. I had strawberry jam and sour cream lying around, as well as really wanting to eat something sweet, so I got baking!

The original recipe comes from this website. But I changed the recipe, as I like to do, and came up with this one. I baked mine in a loaf tin but you can do a round cake tin if you like!

Strawberry Sour Cream Cake

You will need:
125 gm softened butter
1/2 cup rice malt syrup or honey
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups spelt flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
zest of one orange
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup strawberry jam plus a few extra dollops
a few fresh strawberries, sliced (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 160C fan-forced.
Grease and line your tin with baking paper so that it extends over the long sides.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and syrup together until smooth and creamy.
Add the eggs one at a time and beat them through then add the vanilla.
Scrape down the sides and beat again.
In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
Add ⅓ of the dry ingredients into the big bowl and mix on low.
Add ⅓ of the sour cream and mix on low.
Continue like this until the dry ingredients and sour cream have been mixed in.
Stir in the orange zest.
Spread a 1/3 of the batter in the tin. 
Spread half the jam over the batter.
Spread another 1/3 of cake batter, then the rest of the jam, then the last of the cake batter.
Dollop some jam ontop and with a skewer swirl around. 
Place slices of fresh strawberry ontop.
Bake the loaf for 60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Slice and enjoy!
P.S If you have some while it's still warm the jam is all gooey and sauce like. Its very good.

Have you done any baking this year yet?


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hello hello!

Oh my goodness, its been quite a while since my last post. I'm sorry! To both you if you read this blog and to me, as I really do enjoy this space. I hope to find more time and energy to blog here. I'm pretty excited about this post, and think for my first for 2015, its a wonderful way to start both the blogging and the year! We have just got back from our holiday in Rosebud(a post and pics to come) and I was delighted to see a package waiting for me. I knew who from, I've been expecting it. Zara and myself decided to do a dress swap with each other and it was her dress for me!!! How fabulous and exciting. We decided to basically, make each other a dress, and send it to one another. Lovely hey! Her dress for me is so pretty, and lovely Zara used a pattern which I think is just so clever. The style is perfect for summer both loose and belted up! It really is the perfect dress for me, and the fabric is wonderful. I knew it would be. She has a very good eye for vintage prettiness.

Love the vintage button!

Yay, giant pockets!

The card Zara sent me, a photo she took of her amazing vintage sheet stash!

Belted up..

Loose, perfect for hot days we are having!

I was pretty excited to make Zara's dress because I knew just how much she would love and appreciate the vintage sheet I chose! I'm pretty happy and proud!

Her little bundle of goodies in the mail!

So ive started the new year making, giving and wearing a one of a kind, handmade dress. I don't really think it can get much better than that. Its got me all excited and inspired to perhaps host a dress swap here on my blog! The joy of making and receiving something so personal, totally for the person is wonderful! Let me know if you think it would be something you would like to take part in! I will probably go ahead with it anyway haha, Zara and I already planning another swap together anyway, but the more ladies making, giving and wearing handmade, the better!

Happy new year to you all, and I hope yours can be a handmade one someway or the other!

Taz xx