Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ten thousand biscuits!

O.K well not 10 thousand but close to it! I found a recipe on a blog, and do you think I can find it now, but on their page they said it was a pretty common biscuit recipe, I am going to post it but it isn't mine and I can't give credit, sorry. It did say it will make about 100 biscuits and usually I am a bit sceptical, maybe I make mine bigger than they should be or something. These pictures were all taken at the same time, so as you can see, about 100 biscuits! I had a bit of a feeling once I started making this that it could be a bit closer to the truth, the 4 and a half cups of flour sort of gave it away! I am feeling pretty pleased to have a double oven!
So here it is:
Sour Cream Biscuits
1 cup butter
1 and a half cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream
Cream all together
4 and a half cups of flour (I did this in a couple of goes, I didn't think it would all fit in, it did but a close fit)
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Now it said to roll into a log and put in the fridge. I had mine in for about two hours and it didn't really change so if I make these again I am just going to tray the mix up straight away. About a teaspoon of mix into balls and on the tray. About 10 mins at 180 degrees. They should be nice and golden.
They are so light and fluffy and so many of them!!! Ryan has had about 4 already so they must taste pretty OK.
My machine is playing up again! I have been trying to fix a dress I made last summer but really I have made no head way as my machine is jumping and missing stitches. Very frustrating! Off to Spotlight to get new needles and if that doesn't work it is going no the trailer to the dump!!!! Yeah I may be a bit cross with it.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Almost finished one quilt, so starting another

Next block of the quilt a long, only two months to catch up on, one is three blocks and the other two, so I don't think will be too tricky to catch up on now. Weird though, this row was loads longer than the other rows, by about a block. No idea why, so looks like I will have to un-pick one and just make it a row of nine. Lets just say mine will be original.
A while back I talked about joining up the quilt a long. Surprise, surprise I am running a little behind. With forgetting my quilting foot and while back and maybe getting a little side tracked last weekend with friends, I am busy today trying my best to catch up. I have cut up my layer cake, just have to do a whole bunch of white squares and with any luck will get on to sewing them all together tomorrow (or tonight...I CAN do it). The layer cake I picked is "Flurry" by Kate Spain and I brought it from The Fat Quarter Shop. I think they are dot com. But I am sure you can easily find them on google. So Flurry is Christmas fabric!!!!!! Only two months until Christmas and I have heaps of stuff I want to make. Christmas crafts is the only thing I can handle before December. I don't like seeing loads of adverting or malls decorated. Call me a bit of a Grinch, but come 1 December we go all out. With kids it is just too hard!
This quilt a long is so quick! Week one was all the cutting, week two is heaps of sewing, I think it is all done in a month! Whew! Hopefully I can get it into the quilter and have it back by 1 December! See how little waste there was from the layer cake. Rachel, the organiser, is so great at using every last bit. My postage Stamp quilt was done following her instructions too. I may just be a wannabe groupie!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

And another one

I had intended this one to be for Adele, but I think I like it a little too much for her to do nothing with it. So I will make her another one and I will keep this one for myself. I am planning on storing some thing sewing like in it. I just "love" it so much.... ha ha yes in reference to the fabric being Amy Butler's Love range.
I would love to say how much Ryan loved his one, but no. He didn't notice it and when I pointed it out to him it was given a "Is that all". The smurfs are still sort of living in it, but they are in the bag, in the box. Not really what I had hoped for. I really want to put his Lego in one, but that is in another box and at the moment that might be a battle that is a little big.
So here they are on their first day of school/kindy. So far it has been a good transition for them, they look forward to it and I had to explain to Ryan that he got to go back to school after the weekend as he was most upset when I said it was the last day of school today. I miss them greatly when they are at school, but it seems to be going good at the moment. Long may it last.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Peek a boo storage bags

In the quest to try and tidy up the kids rooms I came across these bags with a clear, see through panel. Again by the very clever Toni at Make it Perfect. The instructions are so simple and even though this was my first one, I think maybe an hour to make, maybe a little more. I am so happy with them. So now that Ryan is at school I have been slowly working through his room, tyring to work out the storage requirements. This one is housing all his smurfs, well until he gets over these and moves on to the next thing.
I hope he notices that I have made this for him.
So I still have this fabric left over, so Adele is getting one made out of this. I am really trying to use what I have, OK well maybe some times I am trying to use what I have. She is more excited about the dark purple than the lovely Amy Butler fabric. Maybe I will keep it for myself!
Ryan is now at school and Adele at afternoon kindy. We live quite a way out of town, but I still get about an hour, if I do come home, to chill out. Yesterday, being the first day, I did nothing and that was grand. Today I have been invited out for lunch and that is pretty grand too. Adele's kindy is only three afternoons a week so Friday will be me and her all afternoon. Life is ever changing so it is going to be just getting used to our new set up. Oh and both of the kids are loving their new places. It did feel so stange leaving kindy though with no kids to hang out with. I am sure it just means I will get more crafting done!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A couple of photos

Another one done, only three to go now! This block had so many little pieces in it, it seemed to take for ever to get done!
And did a little bit more of this one too.
Ryan starts school tomorrow. I can't believe it is finally here. He is my big boy now. I think he is excited but I am not sure. It is a big step for wee ones. I know he will be o.k.
Thats all folks, just a few progress photos, it was the final last night, which we won!!!!!!! So every one is a little slow and tired in our house this morning. I had to go into the kitchen for the last 5 minutes, I just couldn't watch it. It was so close!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A little bit more

Next month is the big unveiling of the finished quilt a long quilts. I have three rows to do by then. Really it isn't that much, well o.k it sort of is. But the aim (in theory) is to have them all done this weekend. I know I could, but like normal we do have a heck of a lot on. I am pretty sure if I can get the next row cut today and started to be sewed together I could. But I have to go and do my clean up job at Play Centre this morning, then pack to head over to the beach. Then we have friends staying. They have no kids so they will more than likely sleep in a little, so I could do some then. At the end of the day I really HAVE to get it finished, there is no option what so ever!
So above is the next row. I really like it. I was trying to imagine a whole quilt of it though, might be super busy. Then again I do seem to like super busy, so I am sure it would work for me.
There it is joined to the last row. It really is a quilt of learning new techniques than a pretty quilt. I love all the bright colours. Still not sure what to do with it. Might be a good play quilt. The sort that gets dragged outside, panic's on the lawn and turned into tents.
Oh I just remembered I also need to pick up dry cleaning and a toy Adele left at a fabric store. Of course they are both on opposite sides of town. I might just need another coffee.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Storage Sacks

I am over the mess two kids make, I cant even begin to imagine how much mess three or four kids would make. There are toys EVERYWHERE in our house and at times it drives me crazy! I had read on the Make it Perfect blog about these sacks and I had seen a couple at my son's kindy. So that was it, I was going to make some. So both Adele and Ryan have one now and I have plans for at least another one each. Plus she did some cool bags with a clear peephole so WHEN I make some of the them I will post about that too. It will be a when as I have the clear vinyl already.
That is the link to her tutorial.

So we did a trip out to Spotlight, managed to pick up fabric on sale for the outsides. The inside layer is old baby sheets. I figure since we aren't having anymore babies they would be perfect! They were just sitting in the cupboard doing nothing. It felt quite therapeutic cutting them up for some reason. Maybe a bit closure or something. Anyways....
I think they have had more use as Santa sacks at the moment than keeping the toys tidy.

So it is the BIG final this weekend, we might be the World Champs or the first loser. The final is on Sunday night so a few friends and us are planning on getting together, eating loads of yummy food and cheering so loud the All Blacks will hear us! Yes I really hope we win

Friday, October 14, 2011

Coffee Cake

Blair had to get up early yesterday morning and head back to go to work. Since it was only for the day the kids and I stayed at the beach and Blair came back that night. Really he didn't miss that much as the weather wasn't that flash. We did manage to get down to the beach for a short play. The kids built a sandcastle and got swooped at by sea gulls. But I did have a large number of hours to try and fill in. Tv was used but I really tried hard to keep it to a minimum.
So we made cake and as you can see we ate cake too! It is a coffee cake. I had never made coffee cake before and next time I will add more coffee. You can't really taste it all that much. Maybe it is because we drink too much coffee. Anyway the kids and I love it. We did make it for Blair but he is yet to have a piece to pass his judgment on. He better like it, the kids went to a lot of effort..... I am sure he will or at the least say all the right tings, we is a bit like that!
Coffee Cake.
1 teaspoon of instant coffee
1 tablespoon of hot water
175 grams butter
3/4 cups of caster sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
3 eggs
1 and 1/2 cup of flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons of milk.
Dissolve coffee in the hot water. Cream butter, sugar, vanilla and coffee mix. Add eggs, one at a time, beating between each one. The the remaining ingredients. Mix well. Bake for 25 - 30 mins at 190 degrees. Yum!
Today is looking like an amazing day, still, sun already shining and my cousin has come down to stay the night with us. And there is rugby on tonight. Oh and, and, and Blair is cooking his yummy roast lamb. Life is good!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A bit of progress

I have been doing a few hours on this each night and slowly making a little progress. It is starting to take shape, I am sure some super keen eagle eyes can work out what it is now. The weather over here at the beach has been pretty poor, so lots of time spent in doors. The kids are going crazy and there has been a lot of refereeing. But it is always nice to get away and today Blair had to head back to go to work. He will be back later tonight but for now the kids and I are here, no car and well I think I can see a bit of blue sky. I find it rather amusing the kids can find a puddle and play for hours with it, or a random bowl or anything small and that will be them. But with their toys they get bored with them have a few minute's. As I write they are playing on the double pram. This poor pram has provided hours on play, a rocket ship, a boat, right now I think it is a pirate ship. No, I have just been told it was part of the jungle. And they saw a monkey.
I didn't end up buying another quilting foot. Without the foot has meant I have been doing my cross stitch or reading! Wow it had been a while since I have been able to read. I sort of walk around the house with my book in my hand while trying to get things sorted.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A bit of cross stitch and a bit of quilting

When Ryan was a baby I made him three rather big cross stitch pictures, hung them on his wall and made his room look fantastic. Poor Adele, well, life was rather busy with two kids and she sort of missed out. I have done her one, but it is un-framed in a box. It is finished, I really need to get it framed. The other day my brothers girl-friend wanted to look through my cross stitch stuff and I found a whole heap I had brought for Adele and never done. I feel rather guilty. So I have pulled one out and started it. I haven't done any in such a long time, but I have really enjoyed starting this one. Can you guess what it is. I will put updates as I go along, it is a really basic one, so hoping to get through it pretty fast. As it turns out we are away for a few days and I brought a whole heap of quilting stuff to do and I managed to forget to pack my quilting foot. I am going to have a bunch of time to work on it.
I did manage to cut out the next bunch of fabrics, so if I do get one I have some stuff that I can whip up. We are over at Whiritoa, a tiny beach place which has no shops. We went into Whangamata thinking the craft shop there would have one but no luck. Tomorrow I think we will head into Waihi, I know there is a great fabric shop and another craft shop so hopefully they will have one. The above quilt is my quilt along. It is coming to an end and I am miles behind. So that was the plan for this week. I have joined up to do one with so I really want to get this one up to date so I don't feel bad. And this one I think finishes this month. So really I need to get myself sorted.
And the semi finals are this weekend, NZ is playing Australia so a pretty big game. Distraction is every where at the moment.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Coffee Group cake

My coffee group is my ante natal group. We met about 5 and half years ago now and have been meeting every week since about a month or two after our first babies were born. We are proud of our achievement as we know that lots of groups stop meeting after time or have some serious issues. We are truly now friends first, who happen to have kids at the same age. We have some similar ideas and likes, one being baking. It is a lot of healthy competition on the baking front. It really makes us look for and time new recipe's all the time. So the other day it was going to be my turn to host and it had been a while since I tried anything new. There are loads of lemons at the moment and we had been given a huge bag of them and they just needed to be used. So while I did find a great looking chocolate thingee, I also found a yummy sounding lemon thing. It was pretty yummy but my gosh the baking time was so so so wrong!!!!!! I had two pieces. One at the wrong baking time, it was rather runny, but still quite yummy. Then when it was cooked one of the girls and I had another piece. Again yummy, but very different tasting. And it had cranberries in it, I thought that they would be a bit tart, but the cooking sweetens them or something because they really went well with the lemon. I have made it again today, still yummy, but I want to try and work out how to cook it quicker and I think I will double the lemon mixture. I might to that with lemon meringue pie too.
Lemon Cranberry Slice.
1 and 1/2 cups of plain flour
3/4 cups of caster sugar
200 grams of butter.
Mix all together. Bake at 180 degree for about 20 - 25 mins. I put mine into a large cake tin, I like the base quite thick.
3 eggs
1 cup of caster sugar
zest of 3 lemons
juice of one lemon
3 tablespoons plain flour
100 grams of cranberries, I used dried.
Beat eggs and sugar for about 10 mins.It should be thick and pale. Add the remanding ingredient's. Sprinkle the cranberries on the cook base evenly.
Bake in oven at 140 degrees, the recipe said about 40 mins, I have for about an hour, really check it. It feels firm at 40 mins, but once I cut it, it was still very runny.
So tonight we are going to be having it with ice-cream as a pudding. More rugby tonight!!!! Loving the World Cup!!!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Shorts for Ryan

I brought this a while back, I am pretty sure I was pleased with myself about this purchase that I blogged about it. It is a nice, medium weight cotton, perfect for young boys. They can play rough and hopefully not wear the knees out too fast. I am finding with boys fabrics it is army prints or pirates. Not that I mind either, but he has three pairs of pirate shorts (not including one that have gone to shorts heaven) and a a couple of army pants. I am keeping an eye out for "other" prints at the moment, I think he needs a couple more pairs.
So I used my trusty old Burda 9641 pattern. These shorts still need the elastic, but heading out into town a little later today. Ryan already wants to wear them as soon as the elastic is in them. I guess a good sign that he likes them. I am going to buy a new pattern. I know it wont be much different but I feel bad that i have been making him the same shorts for three summers now. I don't think he has noticed, funny how mum's and dad's are the ones that notice and feel guilty about it.
We have been up crazy early today and becasue of this Adele is screaming down the house already. There was no reason for her to wake up so early, just one of those days. I have a feeling it is going to be a long, coffee filled day.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The no sew tutu

Ryan had his last day of kindy today. It was a wee bit sad, but since I know he is so looking forward to school and Adele is starting afternoon kindy next term it was also not as bad as I thought. I think because it is not a complete good bye yet. So as a thank you to the kindy for being so amazing I made them a couple of new costumes. It is one of those things that isn't expected or asked for, but they really appreciate it, and it is a great excuse to do another project. The kids an I went shopping together and Ryan picked out the colours for the tutus.
There are loads of no sew tutus on the Internet. It is just knotting the netting on to elastic or in my case ribbon. I cut the netting to half a metre strip and 2 inches wide. You need 1.5 metres to make one that will fit most 2 - 4 year olds. Of course you can mix up the colours and all that, but Spotlight had a very small range of netting, I was hoping to make them old of three shades in each skirt, but they didn't have any different shades. I was pretty pleased with how they turned out. I think I might make some for our Playcentre too. I had made one a while back and forgot how easy they were. Adele has her own one but she never plays with it, but these ones, she was pretty sad to see them go.
So kindy is now over for Ryan, two weeks of school holidays and then school. Wow, big changes. Of course we also have Adele heading off to afternoon kindy. That is pretty exciting for her too. It is going to be a crazy busy last term with both of them having some pretty exciting changes. Thank goodness it is only 8 weeks. I think at the end of that I am going to be pretty shattered too.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My bight red skirt

I have been a little lacking in the clothes department of late. A few weeks back I looked at my wardrobe and came to the conclusion everything was either falling apart, or far too dressy. I had nothing for nice, every day wear. I am aiming/trying to put together a few bits so I can look a bit nicer. Nothing wrong with trying to look respectable. Especially as I can sew, it can be reasonably price to make a few "things".
When Blair and I head over to the beach we always stop and buy a magazine each. Just one of those things we do. He usually gets a fishing one and I get the Burda sewing magazine or a patch work one. Very much living up to stereotypes! This seasons Burda magazine had quite a few nice things to make and this skirt was the first of the hopefully many things I will make. It is a pretty simple knit skirt, with a stretch waist band. I made it from a lovely heavy merino. I had this red for a while now and no-one has been interested in purchasing it. I think I made a couple of singlets, but no one else wanted it and I loved it so it quickly became the merino of choice for this skirt. It is super comfortable. I wore it with boots and stocking and I think looked dressy and then today with a plain black tee. Starting to feel like a lady! The Burda magazine, I like it, has some great patterns and ideas. But man alive, tracing the pattern pieces can be so hard, there must be a million patterns on each piece and they don't have seam allowances. It is a bit of a pet hate, so of course this frustrates me no end. I have been using the next size up instead of trying to do a seam allowance. I know it is not totally correct but it seems to work for me. I am not sure it would work so well for something that had a bit more structure to it.
Ryans last day of kindy tomorrow, so about to make the last tutu for the farewell gift. I made a purple one last night and about to start the blue one. I was also going to make prince crowns, but I cannot find my stash of felt. So I have had to promise Ryan that after the holidays we will drop some in to the kindy. He is most upset we are only giving girl presents.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Yummy, scrummy cheesecake

We went over to the beach for the weekend and asked a couple of friends if they wanted to join us. The weather was going to be terrible, but we have just brought a new BBQ and really wanted to try it out. And you know, a trip away is always fun. The weather was o.k, on Sunday we went for a big walk to the Blow Hole. It was a full tide so it looked really amazing. You could hear the thumping quite a distance away. We were all rather excited about that. The Saturday was pretty grim. Rather cold and windy. Our wee bach is behind a massive house and surrounded by heaps of trees, so often the weather is windy, but we are so sheltered that we don't even notice it.
Our friends arrived on the Saturday so I had spent the morning making a cheese cake. I know, I should have made it the night before as it is a baked cheesecake, so when we got round to eating it, it was still warm in the middle and a bit runny. It still tasted yummy though. The three ladies there all bake and we had a good giggle about cheesecake. Now no word of a lie, cheesecake is the easiest thing to make! Especially this one. The hardest thing is waiting for it to be cooled enough to eat. So if you have ever wanted to make one, make this!!!!!!!
Gordon Ramsey Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake
150 grams digestive biscuits
15 grams flaked almonds, toasted
60 grams butter
75 grams of dark chocolate (darker the better)
150 grams caster sugar
250 grams sour cream
600 grams cream cheese
2 large eggs, I used size 7
1 teaspoon on vanilla extract
Put the biscuits into a food processor along with the almonds and pulse until fine crumbs. Add the butter, completely melted. Whizz. Spread into a round tin, 23 cm round. Bake for 10 mins at 170 degrees.
In another bowl put ALL the ingredients in (except the chocolate). Beat together until smooth and creamy. Pour mix over the biscuit base. Melt the chocolate and pour over the cheesecake mix. Now once I sort of messed it up and the chocolate ended up completely mixed in too. So a chocolate cheesecake, well that was very yummy too.
Bake for about 30 mins at 140 degrees. It will be firmish around the sides but still a bit jiggly in the middle. Leave in the oven over night. This will cool it slowly and finish cooking the middle and hopefully wont crack as it cools. YUM!!!!!!! I made this with the low fat sour cream and cream cheese and for this you couldn't even tell. If it changes the taste I wont change to a lower fat option but this one is fine.
So that was out weekend, hanging with friends, eating waaaaaay too much and may be the odd wine ;