I have another new toy in the sidebar there - a wist (WishlIST) gadget.
I often come across cool things online, only to go back and not be able to find them again - this should help me keep track of pretty things I dream of owning, or just love.
Like these Stelton vacuum jugs, which I see from time to time in magazines then forget where they come from.
Not a lot else going on here this weekend - well, nothing interesting ;o) Lots of sport watching, and also some moving around of furniture - trying to get on top of things before the Easter long-weekend, when we're off to Melbourne.
But chez Kuka we're just glad to have our favourite boys back on the telly. And this year we're armed with a (not-so secret) weapon to help us get the maximum footy enjoyment out of the next 6 or so months =)
I just realised that I never shared my finished chili jelly - from last weekend. Isn't it pretty there on the window sill, in the morning autumn light?
I have to say, the simmering and draining and overnight dripping, which I thought would be just too fussy, was the least difficult part. What was really tricky, and demanded a LOT of patience, was the boiling off with the sugar - trying to get my jelly to gel. I can't even count the number of time I plonked a spoonful of the bubbling liquid onto a saucer and into the freezer then examined it for any reason to expect that it was at setting point.
On seeing these the next morning I figured I should have kept it on the boil a little longer - it seemed to move a lot like liquid when I tilted the jar - but when I dug a spoon in it came out super gel-like =)
The other trickiest part was deciding how much chilli to use - the recipe says "about 15" with no indication at all as to what sort of chillies were used. Similarly, other recipes give a weight measurement, but without knowing what sort of chillies it isn't super helpful. This tasted really quite spicy as a 'juice', but the addition of sugar and boiling down mellowed it out lots - I'd add more chilli next time.
I'd also halve the amount I made - that might make it easier for trial and error working out the flavours.
We had a wonderful embroidery tea party with the Brown Owls today! Here's my stitchy work in progress:
Wow! look at all those straight little backstitches!! hehe
Everyone brought along a plate of tea party goodies - of course I used this as an excuse to try my hand at some chocolate macarons:
mmmm they were delish - although perhaps you can see I had a little trouble with the filling. It's a chocolate ganache, but I just didn't give it enough time to set before I used it. The recipe is a definite winner though! I think I'll give them another shot later in the week - maybe with a passionfruit filling mmmmm
As promised, my latest lovelies (which makes it sound like I've baked hundreds of batches - these are really only my second =))
Peppermint macarons with chocolate buttercream
I think these are pretty good - although I have actually never tasted macarons except for the ones I've baked myself! So, all I know is that they should have those lovely lacey feet, a thin crispy shell and chewy insides - and these guys are three from three there. =)
I used this recipe here for the macaron shells, except I used peppermint essence in place of the lemon juice, and the chocolate buttercream recipe at the bottom of this page for the filling (well, it's based on that one =))
An incredibly quiet, normal, hanging about the house, doing the washing and watching re-runs of the Beverly Hillbillies and Law & Order kind of weekend. Bliss
It has been a very productive weekend in the kitchen which was also lovely - I find fussing about in the kitchen for an afternoon very relaxing.
The cupcakes there I made yesterday to take along to afternoon tea with a friend, and thought they looked so cute and cheerful stacked up like this that I just had to snap a shot.
Today I made this hearty chicken and vegetable soup - which was dinner tonight, lunch tomorrow and the rest will do us for another dinner sometime this week. It was really delicious and REALLY very hearty! I think it will be a favourite as we move into cooler weather.
I've also started a chilli apple jelly - there's one they sell at Food Lovers which we absolutely adore on cheese and cracker and I've been keen to give it a try myself for ages. I've boiled it all up and have the pulp straining overnight - tomorrow I'll add the sugar and bottle it =) I'm excited to see how it turns out.
And finally I've been baking more macarons. Green pepperminty ones with chocolatey buttercream filling - I'll shoot and share tomorrow =)
I was all excited and ready to get to stitching tonight on a couple of patterns I bought from the Floss Box yesterday, but look! - I'm missing the screw from my embroidery hoop =( bum
Since I don't have anything craft progressy to share, I thought I'd join in with this very unfortunate little meme I've seen around a few places lately. You just google “unfortunately, yourname” and see what comes up! Here are my five favourites:
Unfortunately Kuka said the angle that the tanker was position in made it impossible to pump the 9200 gallons of propane out
unfortunately Bronwyn spent the first 5-6 hours running up and down the stairs (we were on the top floor) to get the bathroom on time
unfortunately Bronwyn came down with a fever too
Unfortunately Bronwyn missed out by 7 cms
Unfortunately, Bronwyn is still in the "can I really approach that whip if it's laying on the ground?" stage
watching ice-hockey with the Boy, cheering like crazy for opposite teams, even though we have mostly no idea what's going on (we're training for the Winter Olympics)
kittens sleeping on my lap szr54a5555555555 (and walking across my laptop bhhbhb)
a cup of tea and my stitching
There are always lots of things at Etsy that make me happy too! Like the super cute "So Very Happy" print up there from Studio Mela. So, I've added a little widgie to my sidebar there so that you can see my latest Etsy favourites. Maybe they'll make you happy as well!
But they're so cute and colourful - who could resist??
These guys are by no means perfect (see, they aren't supposed to have nipples!), but were my first shot at what has been aptly described as a most "Persnickety Cookie", so I was quite pleased with them =)
Expect to see more in the not too distant future ;o)
I had such a lovely afternoon at the show today!!!
We saw lots of crafty goodies - and a number of prize ribbons won by some of my very clever friends!
After ooohing and aaahing over gorgeous knitting, crochet, sewing, quilting, beading and more in the craft pavilion, we moved on to the food. I love the baking at the show! We used to enter - pikelets and chocolate chip cookies, decorated Marie biscuits, chocolate crackles and cinnamon tea cakes - and it was so nice to have a look at those things today =)
It was also a lot of fun to check out the vegies - seeing all that home grown produce has me all inspired to work harder with my vegies for next season.
After the craft and the baking next stop was the animals! We sat and watched the pony clubbers for a while (more memories!)
And arrived at the main pavilion just in time for the Grand Parade!
We played the laughing clowns and then bought show bags - mmm Bertie Beetle!
And, whilst we went on 'all the rides' figuratively speaking, we certainly did not go on ALL the RIDES! - some of those rides are completely nuts!
Hope you had a lovely fun weekend too - maybe even with ponies!