Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What inspires you?

When I need to get enthused to sew, I pop on my favourite tunes and before you know it I'm singing aloud, and sewing up a storm.

Ive been listening to this CD for such a long time now, it never fails to make me feel good. I come up with all sorts of business and product ideas when listening to it. Now I just need to put them into practice.

My trusty Brother, my Nana's old machine, and isn't she a beauty!

A few tools of the trade, I love this work case. It takes me from my sewing table to the markets with everything I need to create.

Lets see if we can turn this fabric into something useful.

Ahh! Lunch Bags, nothing like the feeling you get when you finish a job. I still love to look at them.

Monday, September 28, 2009

What helps you clear your mind?

When ever I have something playing on my mind, I like to re-arrange the furniture in my house.

My poor husband never knows what to expect when he comes home from work. I must say it definitely works. It takes my mind off what ever is bugging me, and gives the house a fresh look.

What do you do to clear your mind?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The way to a man's heart is .............

Crackle Cookies, Sweet Food by Murdoch Books

How does that phrase go?
"The way to a man's heart is through his stomach."

I don't know about that but, my man is certainly a lot happier when greeted with "Chocolate Crackle Cookies", or as he likes to call them "Chocolate Earthquake Cookies".

Again this recipe comes from my all time favourite cook book, Sweet Food from Murdoch Books. They do need to be refrigerated for a couple of hours prior to baking, or even over night. So you may need to plan ahead for these ones.

You will need;
125g butter
370g soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 eggs
60g dark chocolate, melted
80ml milk
340g plain flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
85g chopped pecan nuts
icing sugar

Line two baking trays with baking paper, Beat the butter and sugar and vanilla until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs. Stir in the melted chocolate and milk.

Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, allspice and a pinch of salt into the batter and beat.
Stir through the Pecans, I didn't have any left, so I used Walnuts.

Refrigerate the mix for 3 hours or over night.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls and then roll them in a bowl of icing sugar to coat.

Bake in an oven for 20 -25 Min's or until lightly brown. Careful not to over cook or they will lose the great white crackle coating.

Try not to eat too many in one sitting, or just eat them all, what ever takes your fancy.....Oh do remember to save some for the man of your dreams.

Thanks to everyone that has posted a comment about my Retro Toes, if you havent already checked out the blog, please do.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Retro Toes have their own space

hi everyone,

Just thought I would let you know that I have started a
Retro Toes blog.

Poor little things where getting all upset because
they are not pencils, and the other pencil rolls wouldn't let them
join in their fun.

Anyway, I'd love you to pop over to the new Retro Toes blog and
add yourself as a follower. It's looking very lonely over there, and the Retro Toes
are feeling all left out.

Yes, I'm a little nuts.... but that's half the fun!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Super Easy Melting Moments

Try these super easy Lemon Melting Moments,
I whipped them up this morning to give to one of my
best girl friends for her birthday.

You will need;

250g butter
40g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
185g self raising flour
60g custard powder

60g butter
60g icing sugar
zest of 1 lemon

Here goes........preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius,
line baking trays with baking paper.

Beat the butter and the icing sugar in a bowl till creamy,
then add the vanilla essence. Beat till combined, then add flour and
custard powder. Mix into a soft dough.
Spoon level tablespoons of the mixture onto a tray
and then flatten with a floured fork.

Bake for 15 to 20 Min's until golden. Remove and let cool.

Filling; Beat the butter, icing sugar and lemon zest until creamy,
spoon onto a cooled biscuit and then stick your second
biscuit to the other side.

Refrigerate until the icing has set and then serve.
Yum, I'm going to have one right now with a coffee.

Happy Baking!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fabulously Fabricated!

We all know how busy Deb from Fabricated has been lately.
It is always difficult to balance family time with work,
especially when they are emotional times, and Deb has had
her fair share this last month.

So when she called me to say that Rose's special birthday bag was
ready, I was blown away at her commitment.
She is such a treasured soul.

We had arranged with Deb from Fabricated to take one of Rose's favourite pair of jeans
that no longer fit, and turn them into a beautiful keepsake.
A very functional keepsake.

And it is perfect, Rose opened it at her party with all of her
girlfriends present. And it was a huge hit.
Rose loves it, and her girlfriends will most likely be wanting
their very own Fabricated handbag.

Thank you Deb, your a dear friend, and I love your work.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mini Eclair Birthday Cake

With Rose's birthday upon us, it was time to get baking.

We always talk about baking a birthday cake, but honestly
when was the last time you only had to bake one birthday cake.

For our family, there is the cake for the classroom friends,
the birthday cake for family served on the actual day of the
birthday. And then the piece de resistance for the birthday
party. I'm sure I'm not alone in this.

So instead of cupcakes for the classroom friends, I decided
to make some mini eclairs and pile them together to make a
lusciously spectacular chocolate tower.

I had "needie" my little white dog helping in the kitchen. He was keeping
an eye on the temperature, as my oven has a tendency to go
all "furnace" on me without warning.
Anyway that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I suppose I should give the recipe, so it goes like this;

Mini Eclairs
60g unsalted butter, chopped
125g plain flour, sifted
4 eggs beaten
300mls whipping cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
50g dark chocolate, melted

(recipe found in my favourite cake cookbook,
Sweet Food by Murdock Books .
I found it in Freedom although I have seen it
in most good kitchen stores.)

Oven preheated to 200 degrees Celsius.
Line baking trays with baking paper, I found Alfoil was just
as good with some flour dusted to stop sticking.

Bring butter and water to boil over stove top, remove from heat
and beat in flour with a wooden spoon till smooth. I used a metal
spoon, so sue me.... they still turned out fine.

Return to heat and beat for 2 mins until the mixture forms a ball.
Remove from the heat and transfer to your mixing bowl.
Leave to cool for 5 mins.

Add the eggs a little at a time. Make sure you beat well. I used
the electric beaters for this part.

Spoon into a piping bag, or a zip lock sandwich bag and cut a
little hole in the corner of the bag. Works just fine for this job.

Pipe the mixture onto your trays, the recipe calls for 6cms long,
although you could make them shorter or longer.

Cook for 10 mins on 200 degrees Celsius, then reduce to
180 degrees Celsius and cook for 10mins or until golden.

Remove from the oven, and poke a whole in the side of each
eclair. You need to take the fluffy stuff from inside the
eclair out. Can get a little tricky here.

Return the eclairs to the oven for another 2 -3 mins. Remove and then cool on
a rack.

Whip Cream, Icing Sugar and Vanilla until thick. Pipe into the eclairs
through the whole you made when baking them.
Once each eclair is filled with cream, dip into your melted
chocolate and leave to set.

I placed mine into a pile whilst they were still sticky so
they would set together.

Ive been asked if I used the packet mix to make the eclair batter,
I can't see any point. They are pretty straight forward,
Butter, Water, Flour & Eggs.

I like to know that my flour is organic, australian
grown etc..... so its nice to make from scratch.
Also you get bragging rights...... Happy Baking.