Thursday, December 29, 2011

Smocking in use

I don't often get to see my smocking being worn, so it's really nice to see it being handed down.
I made this for Miss Milla's biggest sister, but it looks divine on Milla!

Christmas Dress

I had to make myself a Christmas dress this year. I bought the fabric last year - it has Christmas trees in 16 different colours/patterns, plus random little robin redbreasts, which are so sweet.
The pattern is a vintage Butterick 2573, and is described as a 'dirndl frock'. I only made two changes - I increased the length of the zip, to make it easier to get into and out of, and I lined the skirt to make it non-see-through! To make it easier to insert the zip, I had my mother-in-law do it for me!
This was really nice to wear all day, though the sleeves don't allow as much movement as I'd like. I'm thinking of making this again, possibly without sleeves as I really liked the way it looked before I added them too. I love that it has pockets!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


My neighbour lent me his speculaas mould, so I had another go. Unfortunately, it was exceedingly hard to get them out of the mould without breaking, so after much frustration, I gave up and went back to plain round ones. We thing a bigger or thick mould might be easier

Friday, December 16, 2011

Some new biscuit recipes

 First some malt biscuits. This recipe was from Donna Hay (found in the Sunday Magazine that comes with the Herald Sun)
These have a subtle taste, but are quite morish. I do need to work on my rolling out skills.

Then some speculaas (Dutch spiced biscuits). This recipe came from the SBS Feast Magazine last month (the pink one, not the orange one that's out now). They don't look like speculaas because I don't have a proper mould, but they sure do taste like them!

If anyone knows where I can get a speculaas mould (I'm told by my Dutch neighbours that it's called a speculaas plank) for a reasonable price, I'd love to know.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Arancini Attempt #1

I used left over risotto from Monday, added egg and cheese, then rolled balls in breadcrumbs. I'd intended to add a piece of cheese to the middle but I didn't get around to acquiring some bocconcini, and the (ungrated) tasty cheese we had had to be thrown out. Still, I think that may have made my problems worse. They were tasty, but had flattened out and were rather gooey.
Some thoughts:
* Do not use Lemon Pepper breadcrumbs - they overwhelm the flavour of the risotto
* Frying may result in a more golden finish
* Maybe I should have double crumbed them?
*Why were they so gooey that they lost their shape? How can I fix this next time?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Beautiful Blueberries

I have wanted to make blueberry ice cream for years because I suspected that it would be an amazing colour, but blueberries were always too expensive. Until Michelle from Kitchen Shenanigans came to the rescue and provided me with a whole kilo of blueberries!
So I cooked them down,
Mushed them up,
Semi-froze them 
And added cream.

Look at how beautiful it looks next to the strawberry ice cream I made the day before!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A new project

And I swear this is the best pleating job I have ever done - it's actually straight!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Homemade Pizza

Base and all! So tasty!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pick Me! Pick Me!

Excuse me, dear readers, while I use this to apply for a job!

Hi Yvonne,
                My name is Katie. Currently, I am a teacher, working as casual relief (ie emergency/substitute). I enjoy this, but casual teaching is not very stable, and full time teaching eats up your whole life.
You want me for this position because I am enthusiastic, cheerful and highly intelligent. I am good with people, but also good with computers, having grown up around them. I even studied Computer Systems/Software Systems Engineering for a while, before I decided I liked people too much to be an engineer. This means that I know some basic programming and HTML already. I use computers and the internet most days, both personally and professionally. Professionally, I search for teaching ideas, and create learning tasks. When I was teaching full time last year, I became a Lead User for the Ultranet and even ran a Professional Development day for around 20 people. Personally, I have this blog, and an Etsy store. I use email, Facebook and am an active member of several forums.
Prior to teaching, I worked in retail, predominantly selling jewellery at Zamel's Jewellers in Eastland. This means that you know that I can talk to people and help them to figure out what they want. Christmas time especially is pretty high pressure in jewellery, but I always dealt with it with a smile.
Please hire me. I strongly believe that I would be perfect for this job, and it would be perfect for me!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Steampunk Husband

 I made this shirt for my husband, using gorgeous steampunk design fabric from Spoonflower and a vintage pattern. I wasn't sure that there was a good reason for using a vintage pattern, since men's styles have not changed all that much, until I realised that the pattern taught me how to flat-fell seams!
I took about an inch out of the sleeve length, in order to fit it on the fabric, but it seems that was just as well. I really enjoyed this project and I love the finished product - the fabric feels divine, and there's not a single exposed seam! Andrew likes it too - he's wearing it right now.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Lasagne Pancakes?

What do you do when you have left over sauces from making lasagne? Wrap them in pancakes, of course! A cheap, simple dinner, and a great way to use up left overs!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Bunny in Pink Snow

As beautiful as the blossoms are, they don't last long, fluttering down to the bunnies like pink snow.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Our Daily Bread

Cheese and Vegemite scrolls, plus a loaf of good white,
served with fresh lemon butter.

Shirt dress

I am loving this dress. Made from a vintage pattern, with quilting cotton, it looks great and moves beautifully. It's so comfortable to wear!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

With a little help from my friends

My dear friend Michelle from Kitchen Shenanigans has been teaching me how to make bread. We had a little time on out hands on Sunday, so we decided to mix up a batch. Half became focaccia, while we decided to experiment with the other half and make cinnamon scroll. Experiment success!
Credit for all but the first couple of photos goes to Michelle too. The slightly darker toned hands in the second photo are hers, while the ghostly pale ones are mine.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Another Wedding

Not mine this time, of course, but my little brother's!
 The happy couple. They laughed all through the ceremony, I'm told. I didn't hear much of it because I was trying to soothe their son who screamed all through it.
 We finally got him sorted out just in time for his naming ceremony.

The family (well, most of us. The wedding was a rush job and my big brother couldn't make it from London)

I made my dress, and I promise that there will be more about it soon.