Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Homemade jams, and other things!

Here's a collection of some of the jams and other things we have made over recent months. Well, let's be honest, the jams Chris has made because I didn't do much of the cooking!! How I love having a husband who can cook! There is blackberrry, strawberry and apricot jam in this lot along with quince jelly and lemon butter. We've got quite a few jars of each type. I think it'll keep us going for at least a year (although we do give some of them away as presents so they are not all eaten by us!!)

Over the Summer, we went up to the farm and got a whole heap of fresh fruit: berries, strawberries and apricots. My Aunt and Uncle own a farm in Wandin and grow both berries and cherries. I have wonderful Summer memories of picking fruit to earn some money in my late teenage years ;) Then Chris was given some quinces by a work colleague a couple of weeks ago and thought he'd have a go making some quince jelly. According to him it's very yummy but I am yet to try it, the look and smell of those quinces as they were cooking hasn't done anything to tempt me! The lemon butter we usually make when our lemon tree is fruiting but as it hasn't started yet we had to steal them from elsewhere (not saying where ;))

Making Sushi

I'm a bit over all the usual lunches we have at the moment. It's not that they're unhealthy or anything but it was time for a bit of a change! So I decided to make some sushi (or nori-maki to be more accurate) for lunch. It was a bit of an experiment. I am well acquinted with sushi from my days in Japan but unfortunately never learned to make it myself! Jacob and I had a lot of fun trying though and I think they've turned out ok. The important thing is that they taste pretty yummy.

The start of our sushi. We chose to put carrot, cucumber, tuna and avocado in ours, with a little bit of mayonaise underneath. Then we rolled this up in some seaweed using our bamboo mat.

We laid out another piece of seaweed and spread it with some rice, probably about halfway up the seaweed sheet. We put the roll we'd already made in the middle and rolled it up again.

Voila! Fresh sushi. Oh so yummy! I'm very impressed with how they look!

Jacob was very proud of our efforts! His smile says it all I think!

Monday, April 26, 2010

More sewing creations for little girls!

Here's some more things I have been busy working on lately....(excuse the texta marks on the first top, Esme has already been at work ;))

And for a not so little girl (aka Alison)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Happy Easter!

Easter is all about family to us. Now that Jacob is that little bit older this year we had a great time with the whole Easter Bunny thing ;) Here's our Easter in pictures...

Easter Bunny liked the celery and drink we left out for him

And he even left footprints down the hall!

Jacob and Esme discovered the footprints in the morning (Esme liked to taste the footprints - yuk!)

Jacob discovered his present from Easter Bunny (not much chocolate left by Easter Bunny, he left a book for each of the kids and some plastic eggs filled with interesting things!)

Esme discovered a little chicken in one of the plastic eggs, she was so excited!

Jacob and Esme enjoyed having a little taste of chocolate (just a little ;))

And then we had an Easter egg hunt!! Hmmm, what strange places can the eggs be hiding?

We shared lunch with all our family, Nanna & Grandad, Nanny and Pa and Uncle Dave and Auntie Kara. This is the special Easter cake we make each year.

Green Eggs and Ham

Jacob's favourite book at the moment is 'Green Eggs and Ham' by Dr Seuss. He just loves it and chooses it religiously every evening at bedtime. This morning when we were talking about lunch he announced that he wanted 'green eggs and ham'. So, I thought I would humour him by actually attempting to make it! I ended up making scrambled eggs and cooking bacon and added just a bit of food colouring to make it green (although someone suggested afterwards that I could have used pesto to help colour it - probably a better option than food colouring!!) Jacob helped with the cooking process (he's getting so good at cracking eggs these days, I don't have to do a thing!) and was very chuffed with the results. His lunch disappeared in about two seconds! I, on the other hand, found it a tad off-putting eating green food ;)


The final product:
Taste testing:

Learning to Hop Scotch

It's school holidays here at the moment so we have a bit of spare time to do fun things at home (usually we're so busy running around to all our regular activities!) The other day we headed outside with some chalk to do some drawing on the driveway.

Jacob had a great time, although didn't actually do much drawing himself ('you draw a train, mummy!') I decided to draw him a Hop Scotch and see if he would play that. Both Esme and Jacob enjoyed it (it's funny watching an 18 month old jump with her feet off the ground lol). Jacob even taught himself to hop (well, kind of!)

After we'd played Hop Scotch for a while I decided to try something different and drew a whole heap of circles with the numbers 1-10. Jacob is very good with recognising his numbers so I'd tell him what number circle to jump into and he'd do it. Again, this kept both kids amused for ages!

Jacob decided he wanted to draw his own circles with numbers at the end. This is one of his circles with a number in it. He said it was a one but it looks more like a four to me!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Sorting out my fabric stash!

Today I cleared out the plastic drawers we have in our room for Esme's clothes and moved all her stuff to her cupboard in the other room so now I have a set of drawers for all my sewing stuff - yay! This has prompted me to start sorting out all the fabric and bits and pieces that I currently have on the kitchen table (which was starting to take over - can you guess that we don't have much storage space in this house?!!)

Anyway, this drawer is full of fabric that I purchased with projects in mind! Crazy, huh? I tend to visit fabric shops and see all these cute prints and get ideas for what I want to do with everything. Only problem is, I buy all the stuff and then I run out of time to actually do it and then, of course, I see more fabric that I want to do things with so buy more. And the fabric stash keeps growing!!

So, I thought I would set out a list of the things I want to make with all this material here so that whenever I have a moment I can refer to the list and do some creating! So here goes (most of these things will be made for Esme lol):

1. Two twirly skirts (one made from the blue daisy and blue dots material and one from the brown owl and flowery material)

2. Two appliqued tops to match each of the skirts. I got the cutest owl print fabric the other day (don't know if you can really see it in the photo!) that will make a very easy and cute appliqued top!

3. A pinafore dress made from the brown flowery cord.

4. A pair of pants made from the brown flowery cord.

5. A pair of jeans (one for Esme and one for Jacob) with cute prints on the cuffs (I'm thinking the brown owl material for Esme and the vehicles material for Jacob).

6. Appliqued top (for Jacob) to match the cuffs on his jeans.

7. Finish my skirt (make from the brown material with big flowers - all it needs is the button done!!)

That's it for now! I'll be very surprised if I get to the end of the list before Winter finishes (especially considering I'm sewing a whole bunch of felt vegies at the moment for birthday presents!!) but it's nice to dream!

Homemade Hot Cross buns

There's nothing better than homemade Hot Cross buns! With the lead up to Easter, Chris has been busy making lots of Hot Cross Buns and I have to say they are soooo good!! I think he has made about 4 dozen so far, both fruit and chocolate. Lots for the people at his work and lots for us too, of course! The photos above are of the chocolate Hot Cross buns (the fruit ones already disappeared before we had a chance to take a photo ;)) Just thought I'd post the recipe that we use to make them for all of you that are interested:



675g bread flour
14g instant yeast
chopped peel from 1 lemon
chopped peel from 1 orange
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt

437g warm milk
65g honey
2 eggs, warm

80g soft butter
1 cup sultanas

170gms flour
50gms oil
150gms water

1. Mix all the dry ingredients in the one bowl.
2. In a seperate bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together.
3. Combine the wet and dry and ingredients.
4. Knead for about 8 minutes.
5. Add butter and sultanas, knead until combined (warning: very sticky!)
6. Leave to rise for about an hour.
7. De-gas and shape into buns about 65gms each.
8. Arrange on tray and leave to proof for about an hour or until doubled in size.
9. Whilst proofing, preheat oven to 190C
10. Combine ingredients for crosses, add enough water for the mixture to be piped.
11. Pipe crosses onto buns.
12. Bake in oven for about 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Change these into chocolate hot cross buns by omitting peel and sultanas and adding a cup of chocolate chips (my favourite!!) Add a tablespoon of cocoa to the piping bag mixture to make chocolate crosses.

This recipe adapted from the Joe Pastry website.
Submitted to YeastSpotting

Thursday, April 1, 2010

To the Child in my Heart

Precious, tiny, sweet little one
You will always be to me
So perfect, pure and innocent
Just as you were meant to be.

We dreamed of you and your life
And all that it would be
We waited and longed for you to come
And join our family.

But now you're gone... but yet you're here
We sense you everywhere
You are our sorrow and our joy
There's love in every tear.

Just know our love goes deep and strong
We'll forget you never-
The child we had, but never had,
And yet will have forever.

Author unknown
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