Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Auditions

The weather has been super gloomy here - wet and temperatures in the low teens. It is a bit sad to feel like we're back in the winter after some gorgeous warm sunny days, but I have to admit this weather is perfect for baking!

I'm auditioning new recipes to add to my Christmas favourites - starting with white chocolate shortbread from the free Coles Christmas Magazine (on p46), to which I also added cranberries.



It turned out ok, but I'm not really sure...
To start with, I have yet to find a white chocolate that bakes nicely as chocolate chips/chunks in a slice/brownie/biscuit - generally I just find it either kind of burns or melts and either disappears or sinks to the bottom,like it did in this recipe. Also, I'm pretty particular about my shortbread - I like it buttery, just a bit salty and really melt-in-your-mouth short. This didn't quite make it - I think perhaps the melted white chocolate had something to do with it, and maybe my oven was just a bit too low to start off with.

My favourite thing about the recipe was that I used the food processor I got for Christmas last year - this was my first food processor shortbread, and it was brilliant to just throw everything in there and watch it turn from butter and flour to something that looked like dry sand and then suddenly turned into a big ball of soft dough.

I have a couple of other new recipes to try out (like the brownies in the same magazine), but will happily take suggestions!

xo

Monday, November 29, 2010

weekend

We had a very productive weekend here!

I got my puddings done on Saturday (only 6 days late - I blame Saturday Christmas! ;o)), and 8 squares for my Christmas quilt, plus a few other crafty things that, being this time of year, I can't share ;o)



We also had a lovely visit to the Scandinavian Christmas Bazaar - we brought home some danish pastries (I took my lunch box!), some Swedish Christmas beer, and homemade chocolates, and I won a prize in the raffle!

Plus, it was nice to escape the cricket for a little while - what a disaster the last two days were!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Scandinavian Christmas Bazaar

Hooray - this Sunday is the Scandinavian Christmas Bazaar!

We went last year and had an excellent time - and some excellent danish pastry! ;o)



If you'd like to check it out this year too here are the details from the invite:

CHRISTMAS BAZAAR
SUNDAY 28 NOVEMBER 2010 FROM 1 TO 5 PM
at the ACT ATSI Cultural Centre, 245 Lady Denman Drive
Yarramundi Reach (between the Zoo and the National Museum) see map below
Entry by gold coin donation
Come and share the Scandinavian Christmas spirit, shop for Christmas presents and stock the fridge with
Scandinavian delicatessen!
• There will be stalls selling Scandinavian food, Swedish and Finnish home-baked delicacies as well as
traditional Christmas decorations, home-made candles and craft
• In the Art and Craft Corner both young and grown-ups can learn how to braid hearts and cut decorations for the
Christmas tree
• A fiskdamm, will be available during the afternoon
• The traditional Lucia procession and the Swedish Choir will sing Christmas songs and
string musicians will be performing traditional Scandinavian Christmas music
• A Raffle with Scandinavian prizes will be drawn every hour
• The Cafeteria will serve tea, coffee, glögg, cordial and freshly baked Wienerbrød - Danish pastries




(the invite is available online here - for a map to the venue)

If you have time on Sunday, do check it out - and save me one of those pastries ;o)

xo

Thursday, November 25, 2010

creative space :: catch-up!

Mmm - this week we've been getting creative with the bread mix we got started last week!



That lovely loaf was our first! We've also tried the dough for bread rolls and pizza base - absolutely delish! (go thick, not thin, for the pizza base!)

This week I'm trying to catch up on some of the many unfinished project (and fabulous new ideas!) that I have lying around - the house, and my brain, are really in quite a chaotic state at the moment!

Never mind - there's still one more weekend for some last minute spring-cleaning and pre-December organising!



This little stitchery is on of the guys at the top of my list!
I started it last year (I needed a project for our Christmas road-trip) and am super keen to finish it off soon!

xo

More creative spaces at kootoyoo!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

take me out to the ball game



Australia's new national baseball league (the ABL) kicked off this month, and last night we went to check out the local team - the Canberra Cavalry - who played their first home series this weekend.



It was so much fun - a gorgeous warm night, and the Cavalry won!



I also thought the atmosphere was great - there was a decent sized crowd, and there was lots of music and cheering to get the crowd going - my favourite was I wanna be in the Cavalry



The next home series is in two weeks, against Adelaide - can't wait =)

x

Thursday, November 18, 2010

my creative space :: bready or not!

My creative space this week is in a bucket in the fridge:



It's 5 minute bread!
Can't wait to bake some up and try it out tomorrow.

x

check out more creative spaces over at kootoyoo!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

freezer paper preview

We're freezer paper stencilling at Brown Owls this weekend, but after spending some time puttering around internet for inspiration I was just too excited to wait...

This bit is always nerve-wracking - fingers crossed it looks ok when I peel that paper back!

x

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

foxy!

Thanks for the recommendations yesterday!
It sounded like the Nigella recipe was a winner, so I just had to try it out - stat! - and, I have to say, the results were great!

I made a couple of squirrels to compare with yesterday's - check them out:

The Nigella recipe is the paler one on the left - much better definition, don't you think?

For the rest of the biscuits, I used another cutter from the same set as yesterday:
(I figured the fox was fitting for a Nigella recipe)

The recipe is available online here if you'd like to try them out too =)

x

Monday, November 15, 2010

cookie cutting

I came across a box of never been opened cookie cutters when I was looking for some fabric over the weekend, and I just couldn't resist whipping up a quick batch of biscuits to test them out. The problem is, I don't seem to have a good roll-and-cut-out type biscuit recipe that isn't Christmassy.



These were a gingerbready recipe from the Essential Baking Cookbook, and were ok, but I found that although they didn't spread a lot there was enough puffiness to lose the crisp definition of my cutters.
Does anyone have a good cookie-cuttering recipe they can recommend?

xo

Sunday, November 14, 2010

patch

Check out my strawberry patch!
(I meant to post these pics on Thursday, for 'my creative space' but I just don't know what has been happening to the days between Tuesday and Sunday lately!)


I have planted other bits and pieces of veg around the garden before, but these strawberries are growing better than any thing else so far.
I put half a dozen plants or so in the same spot last year and got nothing - the only plant that survived the summer didn't make any fruit at all, and I lost all the others in the heat before their fruit ripened.

Although the garden here was lovely when we moved in, I've found it difficult to get anything new growing at all - the soil is pretty shocking (pretty much just dust). I dug through manure and mulched heavily with sugar cane the past two years to improve where the strawberries are now - in fact when I was putting in the new plants was the first time I had seen a worm in our garden in two years!



As you can see, we've got loads of fruit growing now! So far we haven't had too much trouble with bugs/birds getting to them - hopefully that keeps up and we'll have home grown strawberries for our waffles!

xo

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

curiosity

This afternoon I popped outside to take some cupcakey pics to share (hurray for light in the evenings!), and (as usual) furry help wasn't far away! =)



I made the flowers from fondant - cherry blossoms for morning tea in honour of a colleague who has just returned from a holiday in Japan.

The cakes are my usual recipe, but I'm actually thinking about branching out in search of a recipe that will give me cupcakes with a more rounded/dome-y top - any recommendations?

xo

Monday, November 08, 2010

In November I am reading...

Probably not much, to be honest!!!
I have lots of crafty and almost even Christmassy things that I'd like to get into gear with this month, so reading will probably be pushed to the side a little.

What I am looking forward to reading though, as I've probably said a couple of times already, is the Millennium Trilogy.



The guy is reading the first one now, and really enjoying it - and if I don't get to them now I think they'll be perfect company on my pending trip to Europe =)

***

If you'd like to join our bloggy book club for November all you need to do is post on your blog about what your reading now, or what you're planning to get into next, and add your link below so we can pop around to visit!



If you don't have a blog we'd still love to hear from you - just leave a comment below! =)

Enjoy your reading!
x

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Horsey

You know it is just impossible for me to refrain from posting something horsey on the first Tuesday in November, so here are some of my equine etsy faves...

Vinyl wall stickers by WowWall


wood slice horse brooch by RuralMemories


Wild horses in a river stamp by rubberstamps


Hope you had a winner! =)

xo

Monday, November 01, 2010

cupcake stands

Oooh, look at these pretties!

petite cupcake stands from Mon Tresor

Paper stands just perfect for a single gorgeous cupcake!
Don't just make you want to get out a some lovely teacups have a fancy afternoon tea =)