Sunday, January 29, 2012

Parsnip Cake

The hubby has told me I have to make this cake lots.  He loves it.  It is very much like carrot cake, but has quite an amazing taste from the parsnip caramelising while it cooks.  Devine.

This is a recipe I have had for so many years I have forgotten where it came from.  I typed it out when I was around 20 (ahem, that may of been 13 years ago - shhhhhh), so who knows where I got it!

1 cup caster sugar
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 large eggs
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
4 cups grated parsnip
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup currants
2 TBS ground cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 160 degrees and grease a deep 20cm cake tin.

Whisk together the sugar, oil and vanilla until combined.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, until mixture is creamy.  Stir in the pineapple.

Place the grated parsnip, flour, salt, baking soda, currants and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Pour in the wet mixture and stir to combine.  Pour mixture into prepared cake tin.

Bake for 75 - 90 minutes or until cooked.  When cold ice with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing.  I used the Edmond's recipe and just added the grated rind and juice of one lemon into it.  It was rather runny though - you will need to compensate for the extra liquid of the lemon with more icing sugar.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

White Chocolate and Custard Biscuits

I had an apprentice chef in the kitchen today.  Danger Mouse rolled out most of them, which as you will see from the last photo, left me with some interesting looking biscuits.  I think he did well though for a 2 year old, and I managed to salvage some to get a semi decent photo.  But really, does it matter too much what they look like when they have been made with love and taste amazing!

125g butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup custard powder
2/3 cup of white chocolate buttons or melts

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line two baking trays.

Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg and beat until combined.  Stir in sifted flour, baking powder and custard powder and stir into butter mixture with chocolate bits.  Mix well.

Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls.  Place onto an oven tray, leaving room to spread, and press down gently with a fork.

Bake for approx 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Cool slightly before moving onto a cooling rack till completely cool.

Not such a bad start for a 2 year old!

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Quilting Addiction?....

I wasn't going to reveal any of my New Years resolutions.  One reason being that I hadn't really made that many, and the second reason being that when you reveal resolutions, you are accountable for sticking to them.  And I am not that good at that.

But here I am ..... revealing one of my resolutions, which is to complete the 4 quilt kits that I have sitting in my cupboard, and to buy and sew the 2 quilt kits I want to do for the boys.  Here I am being accountable.  I am going to do it!!

So the first to be completed is The Girls single bed quilt, of which I have cut out and now need to place and sew:

The next two are quilts for myself.  I know, shock horror, something for myself!!  Now the photo below just does not do the colours in this quilt justice.  I saw this in Donna's Quilt Studio and I dreampt about it for days until I went back and brought the kit.  Its beautiful.

And this one, for me, feels so romantic, I can't wait to snuggle up in it over winter and drink alot of tea, eat alot of chocolate and read alot of books.

And the last one is another one for The Girl.  I love girly things, and I struggle to hold back now we have been blessed with a girl.  But don't worry, there are some neat things coming up for the special little men in my life. 

I came across this on Pinterest and instantly fell in love.  Its amazing.  A ruffled vintage sheet quilt. 

Check out the Under Construction blog here.  I am so in love.  I have done a spot of shopping the last week in Napier, Taupo, Rotorua and Hamilton and so far these are the sheets I have found.  I also have some sheets being shipped up from Queenstown.  So excited.

And for my boys I am wanting to make them a Dr Suess quilt each.  I like the one sold here at Cushla's Village Fabrics.  They used to do a few different kits, but I see there is only one now, so I might have to do a bit of searching to find a second one.

And there you have it.  I am now accountable for sewing a minimum of 4 quilts this year, if not 6.  Am I mad ...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The First Birthday

First birthdays are so special.  Its the first milestone birthday for your precious bundle, and means as parents you have survived the first year!  My childrens first birthdays all bring about a lot of reflection, emotion and reminiscing of both the labour, birth and first few months.  Birthdays are also an excuse to get those creative juices flowing and have some creating fun!

Happy Birthday my beautiful girl xx

Pink and Green Dessert Buffet

Pink Lemonade - yum - made using the Martha Stewart Recipe found here

Food table .... obviously before all the food was laid out!

Pink and Green Ladybug cake - my first fondant birthday cake!

Blowing out the candle with mummy

The happy birthday girl in her birthday dress - of which by now was rather dirty...

And those of you with children will probably recognise this photo .... the impossibility of getting a decent family photo!!  Doesn't help that mummy forgot to put makeup on that morning ... haha

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ribbon Bookmarks

I have found another reason to trawl the op-shops (sick of me talking about them yet?).  Ribbon Bookmarks!  I saw these on Pinterest and as an avid book reader knew I could put half a dozen of these to good use.  So all I need to do now is find some old pendants/costume jewellery to adorn them with. 

This is where I got my inspiration - Andrea Singarella

I did struggle to find the ribbon crimp ends.  Spotlight had them in smaller sizes and I managed to find a mixed size pack of 10 which had 3 of the size I was after, but its not very cost efficient.  I am either going to have to use a smaller ribbon, or purchase my crimps from Etsy.

Ohhh can't wait to make more!

Op Shopping .... again ....

I may of gone op shopping again today.  I swear that wasn't my original intention when I looked up some new op shops to visit and then got in my car and drove purposely to them .... I did mention in my previous post that I was an addict, didn't I? 

I promise this is the last time this week I go.  I will be able to stick to that promise, as tomorrow I have no car (in for servicing) and Friday I will be too busy preparing for The Girls birthday.

Todays treasures were:

Pillowcase to be made into a dress for The Girl and a cute Sesame Street book - $1 for both

2 x patterns - $1 for both

6 items of clothing for $2.  A jumpsuit for Danger Mouse for winter, a cord skirt for The Girl, 2 x denim skirts to be upcycled, a shirt to be turned into a toddler dress and an old pink cotton nighty to be used as dress lining.

I love this.  Cost $8, and I am going to use it on the dessert table, filled with pink and green macaroons for The Girls birthday.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The First Birthday Dress

The birthday dress - in green and pink of course!  I used the New Look pattern 6097, in a size large.  This took me a couple of nights to make, and for a reasonably new clothes sewer, I found it really easy.  At least this time I understood the pattern instructions.  Still trying to convince the hubby I need to invest in an overlocker, which would of made things alot tidier, but I love it.  Roll on Saturday!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Op Shopping Addict

Today's confession.  I LOVE to op shop.  I decided this year to start featuring my op shop purchases on my blog, so you can see some of the wonderful things you can find while rummaging through second hand stores.  One of the things in particular I like to purchase is fabric as it is so much cheaper second hand and you can find some real vintage gems if you are lucky.  I would also like to try and up-cycle some pre-loved clothing this year for myself.  I am not sure I have the eye for it, but the passion is there so that has to count for something, right?

I love to garage sale as well, but my children don't much like being dragged out of the house at 7am on a Saturday morning ...

So today, I quickly popped into my local Salvation Army (which is on the pricier side, but always has great things!), and for the grand total of $8 I came home with:

2 metres of dark denim and approx 1 and a half metres of pretty floral fabric - perfect for a winter pinafore for The Girl - $4 for the lot

On the pricier side for $3.50, but one of Paullina Simons that I haven't read yet.

A Hot Wheels car mat for .50 cents, and some eager 2 year old feet waiting to play with his new mat.  These retail for around $22 and I have always liked the look of them.  So far today since having it home the boys have spent around 2 hours playing with it.  They've taken a break to go jump on the trampoline and try to catch the tree branches, but I have had strict instructions from both boys that the baby is not allowed near their new car mat ... .50 cents very well spent!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tissue Paper Pom Poms

I LOVE these!  They are going to look awesome strung throughout our trees on The Girls birthday, along with matching paper lanterns. 

These cost me $1 each (I am making 10) and I followed the Martha Stewart tutorial here. I saw these for sale in Spotlight yesterday and I think they were around $27 for 3, so making them yourself from scratch is the thrifty way.  The only difference I did from the tutorial was I used 10 sheets of tissue and just used the size they came at, straight from the packet.

In the meantime, they are hanging from the lights over our dining room table, which is causing the boys much amusement!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Paper Garlands

A certain wee someone in our house is turning one next week.  I am so excited!   

I have never thrown a themed party for either of the boys (we have been more into experiences for their birthdays as opposed to full on parties), but my goal this year is to have themed parties for all three kids.  So The Girl is first, with her Green and Pink themed First Birthday.  I am in total preparation mode this week, with the paper garlands and tissue pom poms to make, along with her pink and green dress.  Then next week its all about the food.

I saw these paper garlands on the internet somewhere and thought they looked great, so have made a few strings to adorn the wall behind our food table on the day.

Easy peasy to make, and they look great.  And whats even better is afterwards I can string them up around her bedroom as a cute decoration.

I found some scrapbooking paper (cheap from the Warehouse Stationery) in my colour theme and brought a circle punch. 

In front of the TV one night I punched circles to my hearts content. No set amount, I just punched until I was sick of it.

Then, using two circles of the same patterned paper, with right sides facing out (so when the string turns the pattern is on both sides) I sewed them all together by feeding through the sewing machine.  No order at all, just picked them up and whipped them through using a see through nylon thread that I already had.

You can make them as long or as short as you want.  Alternate the size of the circles.  Use felt or other materials other than paper, or a combination of both.  They would look great in shorter lengths, dangling from the ceiling above your food table.  Have fun!  I am off to attempt to make tissue paper poms poms now!