Thursday, December 29, 2011

Chocolate Chippie Biscuits

Blair has been "complaining" about the biscuits I have been making. He really wants chocolate chippie biscuits and I didn't have a recipe. I know, for something so common! Well I most likely have but not here with me. So when I came across the "Women's Weekly Macaroons and biscuits" cook book/magazine, and the first recipe was the biscuits I knew I HAD to buy it. There was a small grumbling about why did I need another book, but once I made them all was forgiven. So of the batch there is only two left so I am guessing they are popular. I used chocolate and just broke up a huge bar of dark chocolate. I just love dark chocolate!
Chocolate Chippie Biscuits:
250 grams butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar (the recipe says caster sugar, I just used normal and it was ok)
1 egg
2 and 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
375 gram of chocolate (I used a king size bar which is 250 grams and that was plenty)
Cream butter and sugar, mix in everything else. The mix is quite sticky and gooey. They spread quite a bit, so when putting on the trays give them room to grow. Oven about 180 degrees, bake for about 15 mins. Yum!!!!!!!!! They are very soft them they first come out, but they sort of harden up after a few minutes of cooling.
The best thing about being over at the beach is we always have people popping in to say hi, so the baking doesn't last too long, so I have to keep making stuff. And baking makes me pretty happy!
It is completely bucketing with rain today. I feel a bit sorry for the people camping in the section next to us. I am sure they will be wet as. Our bach is a tiny wee thing but at least it keeps this horrible weather out and right now we are pretty grateful. I am pretty confident it will be a stay at home and TV day.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Nutella Biscuits

I can across this amazing recipe the other night. It meant a special trip to the supermarket as we cant keep nutella in the pantry because I cant stop myself from pretty much eating it all in one go. When I walked in with it even Blair commented on how dangerous it was and did he need to buy more bread. Yes, ha ha smarty pants! Once they are out of the oven they need to cool, so the nutella doesn't run off, but Blair and a few of our family couldn't wait and ate a whole bunch so I don't have too many left to make into the layered biscuits. They are a bit messy to eat, but hey, nothing wrong with licking nutella off your fingers!
Nutella Biscuits:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essences
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Cream butter and sugar and essence. Add egg, mix, add the rest of the ingredients. Make dough into a ball, wrap in gladwrap and put in the fridge for about 30 mins. Make small, even biscuits, place on tray. I made mine a lot small than I would make a normal biscuit. I thought since I was putting two together I didn't need such a big biscuit to start with.
Bake for about 10 - 15 in an oven on about 170 degrees.
Try and resist!
My sister-in-law is getting married in about a month and she wants buntings as part of the decorating. I made the first of 6 10 metre lengths she needs. It took me quite a bit longer than I thought. I was taking it nice and slow but still, wow! But I am rather happy with the outcome. One or two have a corners that didn't get as trapped between the tape as they should, but over all I am pleased. The best thing about this bunting was I used scraps from my bin. As I used each piece I though of where it came from, what I made, how it looked. So that was nice. And after the wedding I am getting this one back, I am going to hang it around Adele's room. I think that will be quite nice.
Well weather is turning today, forecast is for rain. It is rather windy at the moment with big dark clouds around. I am not too worried, a day out of the sun is probably a good thing. And!!!!! I ended up buying good old white for my quilt and I have put two whole rows together! I am finding it rather tricky making the 15 inch white squares as my cutting board is only 12 inch by 18 inch. So not a lot of room. Just taking it nice and slow. My plan is two rows a night. AND I brought the contrasting fabric for another quilt I am planning.
Nutella and quilt, what more could I wish for!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas and a bit of quilting

Merry Christmas to every one! I hope you had a wonderful few days. We had two days of Christmas and they were just fantastic. Great food, great company and all four of us were very spoilt. I feel very lucky.

Plus a few days before Christmas my "Make it Perfect" book arrived. HEAVEN! My friend has it, I have borrowed it a number of times. So I thought it was time to get my own. The author, Toni, does a great range of easy patterns. Perfect for the beginner sew. Simple yet explain every step so well. And still great for the more advanced sewer as they patterns are just so cool! I have quite a few. Plus, because I am such a geek, she was selling off the clothes used in the book, so I brought Adele the dress from the front cover. Bottom right. It looks very cute.

AND, now we are on holiday I have been doing some work on my, well our, quilt. I have finally sewn all the patterned blocks together. All 15 of them. On Wednesday I am heading into Spotlight to get the plain cotton to do the contrast blocks. All along I was planning white, but now I am thinking navy or another colour. I guess when I am standing in front of all the rows of fabric something will jump out at me. Well hopefully. We are away on holiday for two weeks, just over at the beach. I am planning on a bit of sewing, I usually bring my sewing machine with me, set up a wee corner and when I get the time quickly do a couple of rows. It is amazing how quickly something can come together even with a few minutes here and there. I want to get my quilt top done, maybe start this other one I have half cut out and make a few pieces of clothing for Adele. Not that she really needs anything but what they heck!

Right bring on New Years!!!!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Cake

Finally, I have made my Christmas cake. Lucky they keep so well and this one is so tasty that it really can be a New Years cake. We have been making this cake for a few year now, I am not a big fan of standard Christmas cakes. This one has chocolate and tastes a bit more like a fruit cake. I think because you don't soak the fruit for weeks the brandy flavour isn't so strong. I don't really like brandy. I also leave out the cherries and the walnuts. Don't like them either. So I am sounding a bit fussy, but hey it is my Christmas cake!
The recipe came from Dish magazine, 2009! Dish is great. It is NZ based so the ingredients are seasonal to New Zealand and there really isn't anything too strange. So most of the time the bulk of the ingredients are in the pantry. Sometime I find recipes and the ingredients are a little out there and you have to go and spends loads on stuff you may never use again. We had a subscription for Dish and it was awesome. I keep saying I must get another one but so far I haven't. I buy it all the time though. It is sort of like a sewing book, provides inspiration and lots of it!.
Brandied Fruit, Chocolate and Spice Christmas Cake:
500 grams dried fruit cake mix
250 grams pitted prunes
1 cup of grated apple
2 tablespoons of golden syrup
1 cup of brandy.
Leave in a bowl, turning every som often for up to three weeks. We usually leave it for a couple of days. But you can use it straight away. I think we did that last year and it still was yummy.
175 grams butter
3/4 cups of raw sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and mixed spice
250 gram of dark chocolate
zest of one orange
3 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, beat. Combine all the other ingredients. Line a baking tin with three layers of baking paper and the pour mixture in. Place over the top a sheet of paper and press it into the mix.
The the baking tray just below half way, oven at 150 degrees and bake for approx two hours. Check at 1 and 1/2 hours. Cool in tin.
I am planning on putting together home make "sampler" boxes. So a bit of this, some fudge and a couple of types of biscuits. So today I want to make two batches of biscuits. Not too challenging I think. Oh and then house work, tidying, sorting, wrapping. Plenty of time!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

Still using my Christmas Kids baking book and now it is getting so close to Christmas I made Chocolate Peppermint Fudge. It smells so yummy. Currently in the fridge setting, I really cant wait to taste this. I licked the spoon of course and that was tasty. So guessing once hard it will so good. There is a lot of chocolate in it. I used all the correct amounts this time. I have to wait three hours!!!!!!!!!!!!
Chocolate Peppermint Fudge:
50 grams butter
395 grams (one tin) condensed milk
250 gram dark chocolate
100 gram of peppermint chocolate
Candy Canes for the top. I used about 6 small ones
Line your tin with paper. In a pot, on a very very low heat melt butter into the condensed milk. Stir, stir stir! Once the butter is all melted add in all the chocolate and stir until completely melted and combined. Pour into tin. Sprinkle over the tip crushed up candy canes. Done. Simple!

We have finished all our Christmas shopping, mostly likely have to do one more shop at the supermarket. But feeling pretty relaxed about it all. Only three sleeps to go! Wahoo!!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Tree cookies

I had a busy afternoon and made a forest of Christmas trees. AND I was very good and let the kids help me. Baking is one of those activities I know I should let the kids help me with, but because it is something I do to chill out, I find it hard to let the kids help me. Or else I am quickly chucking together something and want to do it fast. But I made an effort to let the kids help, cutting out the trees and icing them.
I used my book again. Certainly getting my money's worth from this book. It makes a whole heap, even not including the tray that I may have completely burnt. Oh dear! It was tray 5 I think, I just forgot about them.
Gingerbread Cookie dough:
125 grams of butter (I have made this twice and both times I have added extra butter, just a wee bit, it seems a bit dry otherwise)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup golden syrup
1 egg
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Beat butter and sugar, add egg and golden syrup and mix. Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well. Wrap in glad wrap and put in the fridge for a couple of hours. Roll dough out between two pieces of baking paper. I break mine into smaller pieces, Much easier to control. Cut with a cookie cutter. Bake in the oven for 175 degrees for bout 10 mins. Once cool, ice!
So I got up this morning to find the silver balls I put on the top of the trees missing, I believe a wee mouse aka Ryan came out of his room last night and took them.
I had a rest from sewing yesterday, I have managed to hurt my shoulder. This morning though it is feeling much better so I will get back into it today. Kids have a play date and then I have to work tonight so not a lot of free time.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

WHite Chocolate Rocky Road

Oh My Gosh, this is amazing! This is meant to last until Saturday, Christmas with my family, but you know I just don't think it will!
It is from my Christmas Cooking for Kids book I brought a while back. Now I didn't quite make it to the recipe and to be fair it is melted chocolate with stuff in it. So I didn't have everything in the pantry and I really didn't feel like going to the shops. AND I thought I had the right amount of chocolate, but I didn't and whilst I would never so no to adding more chocolate, it still has come out mighty fine.
So this is my version
250 grams of Whitaker's White chocolate
1/3 cup of cranberries
1/2 cup of raisins
1 cup of white marshmallows cut into quarters
1/2 cup of cashew nuts
Melt into one big white chocolaty mess. Pour into a lined tin, put in fridge to set and try your best to wait for it to set
The real recipe had 400 grams of white chocolate and other dried fruits instead of the cashews up to a 1/2 cup. Oh and 6 mint leaf lollies. So I think that will be pretty fantastic too.
Poor Ryan, Adele is so happy to have him home she wont leave him alone. She is constantly hugging him and wanting to be with him. He on the other hand, wants to play with his toys and just have a bit of time to himself. The joy of a little sister!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas table runner

I hope this connected the link. I was randomly looking at various things on you tube, as you seem to do and I came across a quilt as you go table runner. Of course I thought a perfect project for some left over Christmas fabric. So by default it matches my Christmas bunting, how perfect!!!!! I have used this quilt as you go method before on a baby size quilt and it is pretty quick and simple. By watching this, it sort of reminded me about it. Last night I was up late (yes rock and roll on a Saturday night here) sewing the strips on my runner. It is not the straightest thing in the world, adds to its charm. This morning I did the binding, good old machine binding. All done! I love it.
Still loving my machine and trying to think of something to make tonight...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Another Party, new machine and Christmas Sewing

On the second to last day of school, Ryan received another party invitation. Just when I thought all the parties were over and done with. I asked Ryan what sort of things she like and straight away came back with fairies. So I made a peak-a-boo storage bag out of fantastic fairy fabric. The fabric looked pretty much the same as the party invite, so that was a pretty good fluke.
I then made a bunting. Just a small one. The "string" is only a width of fabric. I got the bunting size template from
And I fussy cut the fairies so they didn't end up headless of anything nightmare inducing!
Also on Friday I was allowed to go and pick up my Christmas present, my new sewing machine!!!!!!!! Gosh I love it so much. Is it o.k to love something so much without sound materialistic. But I really love it. So o.f course I had to try it out, and since I was in a bit of a bunting mood...
I spent the night making this. It is three metres long, used my template, needed twenty flags I think. It is very cute, hangs under the TV but above the fire place. When the kids woke up this morning and saw it they were rather excited. Well maybe not as much as me, but still, it is Christmas!
I am feeling right in the Christmas mood now. I want to make a couple of more things and then the kids Christmas outfits and then I can just play! I am just so excited about my new machine, have I said it enough!!!! But I really am!!!!!!
We have our coffee group Christmas BBQ tomorrow lunch time. This is our 6th Christmas BBQ now. So tomorrow there will be four of the original seven families. I think that is a pretty good group after that length of time.
Right must go sew!!!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Finished and bound

So again, up early, I made a good start on binding Adele's quilt. I thought I would have a go at machine binding.
Crazymomquilts is a great source of information on all things quilt like. As well as her, there is the, and the tutorials are all little you-tube clips. The presenter lady is a good southern belle. I could listen to her accent all night. O.k. well I sort of did. Anyway, great tutorials.
So you can kind of see what I was up to last night, watching and reading all about quilting, as well as watching x-factor!
Right back to Adele's quilt, I found this red and white fabric tucked away in my fabric bin. I think it looks great, but I don't quite have enough so I had the quilt on the kitchen floor, I would look at it, pull other fabrics, put them away, look at it again. I came to the conclusion I have to wait til Spotlight opens and get some more of the fabric. Now the machine binding, it is way faster and I think it really will be a personal preference to as you like it or not. I like both ways and I think I will chop and change between the two. The key is to go very slow and steady.
Taking the kids to see Santa today, well if they behave, been right terrors this morning.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I think I can go back to bed

I have been up since about 6. This is pretty normal and does suit us quite well. With Christmas looming it is amazing how much I can get done now with no school run. Also having Ryan home from school means Adele has a play buddy.
So this morning I have made the above wrap, an order that came through late last night. I am loving the stripes! She is taking it over to Aust and they leave Sunday so it really was do it now or not at all. Whew!
I iced the cupcakes for Adele's kindy teachers. I did make them last night so I am not that amazing. We made our Christmas cards out of a picture from Ryan's numerous Santa pictures. They had him up until the third term so I hope they like that little touch. I was meant to make chocolate ones, but I have run out of cocoa and only noticed this once I had started, so a bit of a mess up. They taste good, and that is all that really counts.
AND I made my friends dress for her daughter. I had it all cut out and ready to go. This one is much better than Adele's. Just finished a bit nicer. Second time round always goes so much smoother.
I now have a bit of a sore shoulder, the plans for the afternoon though involve binding Adele's quilt which I have picked up. It might be the last one I get quilted in a while. It cost a lot. It does look amazing! But really I can keep spending money on quilting like this. I need to learn how to do a basic quilt. I have tried in the past but I found wrangling the quilt and the machine so frustrating and I could never get the back nice. But I have since noticed a lot of blogger who I think are amazing "just" so straight lines and have a few wrinkles and I still think they are amazing. Also I am making more and more quilts and rather quickly. It is starting to get out of control!
So, Blair you have it in writing, this is the last one! Well except the one I am doing for our bed. But any gift quilts, random ones made for fun or anything else, I will work out how to do it myself!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Dress

It is hard to believe Christmas is almost here. I haven't done as much Christmas crafting as I would have liked. Adjusting to having a school kid and a kindy kid, learning new time management for this and trying to keep on top for my Silly Goose orders. But this morning Blair was home and I had a couple of hours to "whip" up a dress for Adele. I went to Spotlight yesterday, a friend wanted me to make her daughter a dress, so we got sort of matching fabric and am going to make the same dress. Adele's is just trees, the friends has trees and owls. Of course this caused a very heated debate this morning when Adele changed her mind. She didn't win, she has trees.
The pattern is New Look 6796, I made dress B. Instead of a contrasting band I put a ruffle. I really like it. It is quite roomy so I expect it will be a tunic next year. Especially as it has the ties, there will be ample room next year. I hope.
Adele had her kindy show yesterday, Ryan has his chapel/carol evening tonight, just full on at the moment.
And of course I am my own worst enemy, I am planning on Christmas cookies for his class, a new dress for me and another sneaky quilt for next year. he he he

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Tonight I am having a sale over on my Facebook page.
Kids and adult merino, plus a few other bits and pieces.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Madeline Skirt

I made one of these skirts, skirt C not shown, last summer and I have had so many compliments on it. One of my friends liked it so much she wanted one of her own. The other day a fabric store, that we quite like, was having a big sale. A couple of texts later we had plans to head there and buy the fabric for her skirt. She found a really lovely one, so lovely that myself and our other friend tried hard to talk her out of buying it so we could have it. (Joking of course)
The skirt is pretty simple, just a standard A-line. But it is the cute little pockets and the ruffle that make it look so lovely. The yoga band top makes it super comfortable. Especially this time of the year where all I seem to be doing it eating!
So that is all finished and ready to go to its new home. I hope she likes the finished product.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

More Biscuits

I love Christmas! We have most of the shopping done, quilt being quilted, so now it is time for the food.
I came across this book and I had to buy it. Lots of great simple ideas for a bit of festive baking. So last night, after a day at work and kids tucked away in bed I started baking. Blair was watching the cricket and I was baking. I can't make biscuits without making a huge mess so once I had all the trays with their pretty little biscuits on them, I had about an hour to clean but all the flour and butter EVERYWHERE. I am mostly happy with how they have turned out. I should have used a bigger hole in the middle because as they cooked and rose a small bit, the hole closed in. The one I put a much bigger hole turned out the best.
Stained Glass Biscuits:
125 grams butter
1/2 cup caster sugar (I used standard sugar, was all I had and it was ok)
1 egg
1/2 cup golden syrup (I used honey)
3 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
boiled lollies
Beat the butter and sugar, add egg. Add syrup, mix.. Then the flour and baking powder.
Tear off two pieces of baking paper, put the dough between the two sheets and roll the dough out til about 5mm thick. Cut the biscuits, I did circles but you really could do any shape. Cut out a
small shape out of the middle. I did circles, I didn't have many shapes. The book does stars and they look really cute. Put the tray with the biscuits on it into the fridge for about 30 mins.
Right after 30 mins, put crushed up boiled lollies into the hole, pop in the oven for about 10 mins, oven at 180 degrees.
On a different note, from my scraps I managed to get nearly all the squares I needed. I just need two more! I am pretty impressed. So now I am going to cut out the white squares and then do the wonky cutting. But first we have today. Blair's work puts on a great kids Christmas party and then my brother randomly asked if him and his girl-friend could take the kids to a show in Auckland. So that is this afternoon. So over tonight and tomorrow I want to finish my friends skirt (can't wait to share that because she has picked the most amazing fabric) and make Ryan a pair of shorts and well there is always projects to do!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Scrap busting!

I am like many other crafters out there and have a silly amount of fabric. I always intend to use it all. But some time it is the patterns fault and not mine. Some time they do ask for a heck of a lot more that is required, sometimes it is fabric I just must have and sometimes it is stuff I have brought for a project and just never made it. I was looking through my fabric chest and found some I had planned to make myself a dress out of, I still like it, but that was about two years ago. Still sitting there. Maybe this summer.
Anyway, I also buy too many books. I do take inspiration from them and hence this new idea I have for a quilt is a combination from two of my books. "Scrap Republic" and "Block Party". I have always wanted to make the wonky nine patch quilt, but being this close to Christmas I can't justify buying specific fabric for it. So I pulled out my fabric bins and I think I might just have enough to make a whole, rather large, scrappy, wonky nine patch quilt! Some of the fabrics are not what I would have put together by choice, but I am trying to be a bit adventurous with it as well. So a bit of a mix of colours and styles. I am going to team them with white. I am really liking the colours and white at the moment. I am doing the blocks a little smaller than the book. She did hers 12 inch to start, I am going to go with a 10 inch to start. I may have to make a couple of extras to make it a similar size. I am quite excited about it. I feel thrifty! lol. I was explaining it all to Blair, I am not sure if he heard a word I said, but he nodded his head and make the correct listening noises. Bless
Right time to get cutting!