I debuted this dress yesterday at Wardrobe Wednesday. I made it on Sunday afternoon/evening after my sister inspired me by suggesting a maxi.
I often respond emotionally to fabric and this is one of those purchases. These colours are ones I can’t seem to go past – blues, greens and some purple – ahhhhh. It actually has white, yellow and brown in it too which I hadn’t really realised.
The fabric is one of those awful types that always stuffs up the stretch on my machine and makes all the stitches skip. So as an experiment I decided to keep a sharp needle on rather than changing to a stretch needle which has a blunt point. Completely successful.
I had totally lost my way with this fabric I couldn’t think of what to do with it. Naomi came up with the maxi idea and pushed me away from a navy sash towards the yellow to pull out the yellow in the fabric. I like the way I can tie it front or back.
I got rather a lot of comments on it – I always find people comment a lot on colour when I wear it, maybe it’s because us kiwi’s wear a lot of black or maybe it’s just the shining sun that makes people more likely to enjoy colour and give others encouragement.
I can see this dress is going to get a heap of wear it is super stretchy and comfy, it is a good hairy-leg cover-up option for summer and the colours make me smile!
I also made another batch of super simple muesli. This is a family recipe and it is so easy and quick. I promised a recipe if someone asked and lovely Bec did.
5-6 c rolled oats
2 cups bran
2 cups wheat germ (wheat germ is the best - we used to have it on our porridge as kids)
I also add 1 cup of coconut as well – let’s call that optional
1 cup liquid honey (or heat your normal honey in the microwave to soften it like I did)
1 cup skim milk (or whatever you have – I’m sure non dairy would work too if you roll that way)
mix it all together in a roasting dish – I find a wooden spoon and hands successful – and bake at 150 degrees C for about 40 mins. (adjust according to your crunch preference!)
If you want a nice even toast, mix it a bit during baking time. If you are lazy like me you will have a toastier top.
Add in any fruit or nut combinations you like and enjoy. Sweet but not sickly so and no oil/fat or processed sugar as well as being a complete doddle to make. My boys love it.
Kind of a random Make My Week combination this week. To see other creative happenings click on Our Creative Spaces on the right.
or something similar!
It’s Friday again. Day for reflecting on the week that was and the joys that have accompanied it.
Favourite images of the week are these 2 friends at the kindy ‘breakfast, wear your PJs’ party.
This week I’ve also loved catching up with friends and sharing special moments of life together. I definitely measure friendships in the levels of sharing given and received. When people share the journey’s of their hearts with me I feel that deep sense of privilege and joy in their trust.
I’ve also loved making this bread for the first time. For kiwi’s I’d say very similar to vogel’s bread. It has 2 cups of seeds in it (I used Chia, Sunflower and Pumpkin) and it is a no knead bread as well! Whoop! One loaf did explode rather ungraciously in the oven but I can forgive it for that. Make again? Yes. Online recipe here. I also managed to stab myself with a sharp piece of crust on the edge of one loaf (check out those mean jagged edges!) and I drew blood! I kid you not – blood people.
I also picked myself up some very 80s? pumps in orange from an op-shop this week, they called out to me and I don’t think Deb would have wanted them!
Oh and before I go all missing my ‘planned giveaway each month’ here is one for June. This is a beautiful long oblong/rectangle shaped 100% silk scarf from Trade Aid – which means not only is it gorgeous it is also ethically made and the makers receive fair wages.
What isn’t to love? Enter by leaving a comment and if you are a follower by email or google or some other way leave me another comment and you’ll get 2 entries. Happy to send it anywhere in the world – I’m not sure about inter-galactic postage it seems too unpredictable!
Entries close 10th of July. Winner chosen out of a hat by one of my delicious children
What has made you smile this week?
and just to make me happy and hopefully inspire me for some creative endeavour what is your favourite colour combination?
Joining in gratefully
Okay so just in case you really wanted a DIY here it is:
Last week Flip and I made these gorgeous marshmallow pops
To start with I gave some wooden kebab skewers a quick spray with cooking oil to help the marshmallows not to stick too much
Thread on a marshmallow and very quickly dip in water
Shake off excess water
Dip in jelly crystals (hey I never said they were healthy!) and pop in a jar or similar to allow them to dry
** You do need to shake off the excess water or it makes the jelly crystals wet and lumpy**
We used lemon and raspberry and they had a slightly sherbert/sour taste on the outside which complimented the marshmallow beautifully.
OR – thread the marshmallows and dip in melted chocolate and then in sprinkles (or not) which is one of my all time favourite combos chocolate and marshmallow – oh.so.good
It seems to be a peculiarly kiwi thing – pineapple lumps, pinky bars, perky nanas, marshmallow Easter eggs, mallowpuffs….. I missed them all in the UK.
I love these for a party or just to make an exciting-looking and easy treat.
As you may be aware I’m always a little reluctant to share recipes from a book people can buy unless I can find the recipe on-line but in this case I know the book is kind of hard to find/buy and if you are a calorie lover, like I am – it’s a good buy so I hope I will be encouraging you to get it by sharing the recipe.
The recipe is from a book called ‘Wicked-sweet indulgences’ by the Australian Women’s Weekly
360g white choc
1/2 c smooth peanut butter
400g dark choc
grease and line a 20x30cm line and have the paper extending over on 2 sides (for lifting)
melt white choc over simmering water
cool for 5 mins then add peanut butter – stir until smooth
melt dark choc
drop spoonfuls of alternating mixture into the pan and tap/shake lightly to level (see the first pic on my blog)
move a skewer back and forwards through mix to marble
stand at room temp for 2 hours until set – cut into small pieces
Their instructions are obviously much more thorough than this.
SO easy!! not really fudge but similar and it looks so lovely with the marbling
Well just when I thought I had no show and tell…. I remembered my buns, oh hush now you know I am teasing!!
I’ve just completed my 2nd round of Hot Cross Buns for the tasting.
We are having 11 children and 12 adults for an Easter Egg hunt and Hot Cross Buns over on Sunday morning before church (as you do!)
My original batch was the delightful Mrs Cake’s recipe – renders 16 buns
and these ones are from Jo Seagar (click for the recipe) – renders 32 buns
As a bun lover The Atlas (who is definitely Hot! but hardly ever Cross) will make the final decision.
And just to keep it real – here’s an Easter fail – homemade egg that cracks as you take it out of the mold? Not cool. However it still tastes okay – which leads me to another Easter fail – Lent without sugar? Not so successful.
I love trying new recipes – sweet ones in particular.
On Tuesday night I had a dessert evening at my place and on Wednesday an office shout to do as a favour.
I’m never sure what the rules are for publishing recipes on-line that you got from a book but I got three of mine online.
Licorice Truffles – mmmmm dipped in white or dark or milk chocolate. Found here at domestic princess Paisley Jade.
Mini Baked Oreo Cheesecakes another one found at PJ’s place. (Check out her recipe tab for all sorts of great recipes)
And from Little Poppa a simple homemade icecream which I have made Lemon Curd (Sophie Gray’s) and folded through.
To go with these I have made Dark Chocolate and Cream Cheese Brownies a variation on an SG recipe.
Gooey Lemon Slice from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook
and Coconut and Pineapple Cupcakes also from there.
Add to that a few dried apricots dipped in chocolate and you have a pretty good dessert evening and office shout I think.
What’s your favourite impressive dessert/baking recipe? Don’t forget to enter my giveaway – there is a link on Friday’s post.
On Saturday night The Atlas and I had the pleasure of an Asian-themed birthday dinner party.
I was given dessert as my course and the host gave me a clearance to just do any dessert. Whilst I am an international food lover the Asian dessert section doesn’t inspire me.
So I made a chocolate and raspberry brownie but I did want a nod to Asia so I decided to buy some Green Tea Ice Cream.
None to be found in the supermarket. What’s a girl to do but make her own??
So I made a green tea syrup and stirred it through a softened (but not melted) tub of Tip Top Vanilla Ice Cream and it tasted very genuine! Next time I would add a little more syrup to strengthen the flavour but I would definitely do it again.
The syrup I made was: (there are several versions on line this is a bit of one of them)
Bring this to the boil and add 2tsp of green tea (straight from the bag if it is 100% green tea).
Stir well. Remove from heat and let it cool.
Strain I did this through a muslin cloth.
Stir in. All good. (You could also add some green colour if you want it to look more genuine)
It was also a dress up event. I wore my Yukata and The Atlas went as a Korean footballer. Gladly, or perhaps apologies – there is a photo of the shorts he wore – lets just think: too white,too tight, too short…. a winning combination for
Heidi Klum no-one!
Bounce and Flip were both very impressed with my make-up. Bless them.
I was inspired to take these ‘self portraits’ by a post of WidgetLucy’s.
This is for you Paisley Jade and anyone else who wants to have a go.
I buy a budget bag of peanuts with their skin on and nothing done to them. (About $5)
Then I ‘dry roast’ the peanuts until the skins go a nice dark colour and they smell nutty. They are much nicer to eat like this too. Dry roasting is just spreading them out in a roasting pan so they are 1 layer all over and roasting them say 160 degrees C or somewhere about that. You don’t need to add anything else.
Once they have cooled put some (you’ll have to judge that for yourself I’m no measurer folks!) in the food processor – you can add salt if you like it at this point.
Get the processor going and add a little oil at a time – I used peanut oil – until it reaches a nice consistency and your required level of smoothness. It’s never going to be totally like smooth peanut butter they sell, just in case you were wondering.
Be warned you will eat more of this because it tastes SO good! You may also need to try a spoonful or so just to make sure it meets your standards.
The peanut butter will be much darker than a shop bought one because of the roasting.
Put in a jar/jars and enjoy. x
The thing about packing in my case is that you pack things you still need!
Today we had some exciting news that labour has begun for some very special friends. Exciting for us anyway. I can’t say I ever used the word exciting to describe my own labours!
So I decided a new mama needs biscuits for keeping her strength up only I had packed the recipe books with biscuits in them so I improvised and created my own – very simple – recipe. It was so good. New best recipe.
200g butter softened
1.5c of brown sugar
2 c of plain flour
1 tsp of baking powder
Heaps of chocolate chips!
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in flour and balking powder (sift if you’re that kind of baker). Add the chocolate chips. Make into balls the size you like them. Flatten with a fork. Bake at about 180 degrees celsius for about 10 minutes. EAT.
I also had to do some improvising with my sewing project. It is a puppet theatre that you can hang in a doorway complete with curtains. I got the idea from the Bend the Rules sewing book, which I own and love. But as I packed the book and had nothing to work with I made up my own pattern.
I am quite pleased.
One is for the boys for Christmas so I can enter it in Deb’s present a week thing.
The other is a gift for Master 4′s kindy to say thanks for taking such good care of my baby. We leave at the end of the week in anticipation of the big move. Or at least half a move to no permanent abode!
There is something about that phrase that makes me excited. I think the eternal optimist in me thinks ‘It’s going to be me!’ even when it is my own blog! Yes obviously I am also blonde with the optimism!Thanks to all those who entered and indeed to everyone who reads my blog it makes me feel very precious. Here are the awesome words people picked for describing a good parent. (Thankfully no-one picked sporty or I’d be out of luck!)
Loving – pure and unconditional
Thanks to random.org the winning number is 6
Congratulations to Jenny
Also coming at you all for the lovely Jodi who read my blog and was hungry and felt sad because there were no recipes!
I feel a bit funny about publishing recipes that are in regular, up-to-date books because I would hate to discourage anyone from supporting any ‘artist’ at work (especially you Sophie Gray!). However happily 4 of the recipes I used this week are ancient! I.e they are the kind that start with ‘Grandma Joyce’s Chocolate Slice’ (we love Grandma Joyce she makes morning tea for our music group!), or Margaret Livingstone’s Bumble bees (from my mama’s handwritten recipe book I don’t think even she knows who Margaret is).
So Jodi just for you and anyone else with the urge to don an apron and be surprised by how easy these recipes are – enjoy! I suggest several taste tests along the way you’d hate to feed anyone something that wasn’t perfect now!
In a saucepan melt – 90g of butter, 2 Tbs of golden syrup, 1/2 tin of condensed milk, and 1/2 tsp of vanilla essence.
Bring to the boil. Remove from heat and stir in a packet of plain crushed biscuits and 1/2c of sultanas (healthy fruit!!)
Roll into balls and then roll in coconut (also kind of healthy)
Little side note – love these! – if the mixture is too tacky pop in the fridge for a few minutes. Not going to take away the kitsch but it will make the mixture easier to deal with. I also keep mine in the fridge because I like them a little firm.
3/4c oil 2c flour 4 eggs 1.5 tsp baking soda 1.5c sugar
4 c grated carrot (most tedious!) 1tsp vanilla essence 1tsp salt 2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon 0.5c crushed walnutsMix all together and bake for 45mins at 180 degrees C in a 9×9 inch tin
Ice with cream cheese icing
Joyce’s Caramel Slice
1 c flour 1 c brown sugar 1 tsp baking powder 1 c cornflakes 1 c coconut
Mix together the ingredients and add 150g of butter and 1 dsp (normal sized spoon) of golden syrup melted together.
Bake for about 20mins at 180 degrees C. Don’t overcook. Ice while warm but not hot.
Joyce’s Chocolate Slice
1/2 c sugar 1/2c coconut 1 c flour 2 generous tsps of cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder 175g of melted butter
Mix dry ingredients, add melted butter, stir well. Press into a slice tin bake at 180 degrees C for about 20mins.
Icing - no quantities here sorry I work by sight! I like my icing dark and thick so that it sticks to your teeth in a very undignified manner.
Mix icing sugar and cocoa. Add a small amount of water (about a spoonful at a time) until it gets to a spreadable texture. Add a few drops of vanilla essence and peppermint essence to your desired flavour. So you’re really only eating it to make sure it is perfect!75/100 complete