Thursday, 28 November 2013

A recipe, and food for a fortnight

I'll never be able to tell my kids not to play with their food.  It's just so much fun to come up with peary, hazelnutty yumminess such as these little muffins!  Which are, of course, sugar free.

Pear and Hazelnut Muffins

2 cups self-raising wholemeal flour
1 cup hazelnut meal
3 ripe pears, two finely chopped, 1 chopped a bit chunkier
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs, lightly whisked
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup Natvia

Preheat oven to 180C.  Grease well two muffin trays.  I like to use olive oil spray because it's convenient.

Mix flour, meal, Natvia and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl and mix to combine the ingredients.  Add the chopped pear and mix.  In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, sour cream, oil and vanilla extract and mix well.  Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, and add the wet ingredients.  Fold the wet and dry ingredients together, taking care not to over mix.

Divide mixture amongst muffin trays and bake for 15-20 minutes until just cooked and lightly browned.

Remove from oven and devour when cool enough not to burn the insides of mouth.

Now, I don't believe in New Year resolutions, but I do believe in getting your act together, which is why I'm trialling a fortnightly meal plan.  I'm also hoping it helps the ol' fundulations situation by making me more prepared, and therefore less likely to duck out for a couple of missing ingredients and come home with a trolley full of food.  It gets me every time.  Sheesh!

But, since the grand world of pre-planning meals is really very new to me (I may or may not normally glance into the freezer at 5.30pm wondering what I'm going to cook…), I couldn't decide what level of 'organisation' I want.

Do I want state library style organisation, where every day has it's meal and every meal must be cooked on that day?  Or do I want Ikea style organisation, where I can mix it up a little depending on my mood.      Decisions, decisions!

Ok, ok.  Ikea won.  No contest.  So here you go!  I hope it inspires you too.

Week One
Cauliflower crust grilled chicken and three cheese pizza
Spaghetti bolognese
Chicken pilaf with steamed vegetables
Ricotta fritters with tomato sauce and zucchini salad
Hot dogs

Week Two
Chickpea patties with Greek salad, tzatziki and flatbread (Donna Hay's No Time To Cook)
Pan-fried porterhouse steak with grilled haloumi and fennel salad (Donna Hay's No Time To Cook)
Chicken dim sum with coconut buns and steamed broccoli (Jamie Oliver's 15 Minute Meals)
Peppered pork with apple slaw (Donna Hay's No Time To Cook)
Sausages and salad

Pear and hazelnut muffins (recipe above)
Pumpkin fruit cake
Jam drops

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The past few weeks...

…have been hectic, to say the least.  But, today I managed to finish the binding on this scrappy little patchwork trivet.  It is my first foray into foundation paper piecing, and I really enjoyed it.

I used the pattern in Ayumi Takahashi's book 'Patchwork, Please!'.  I've been busting to make something out of it since I bought it.  It was a fast and easy project and I was able to use up some of my little scraps.  Next on my list is the pincushion.

Now, part of the reason for my busy few weeks is that I have been making a flower girl dress for a dear friend who got married last Saturday.  It involved dupion silk, sequins and tulle - all materials that I don't have much experience with.  Which is why it took me a while.  I've got a few sneaky pics to give you a bit of an idea, but I really want to wait and show you the professional photos.

It was fun to do something a bit different and challenging.  Sewing with sequins is interesting (insert raised eyebrows here).  My house will be sparkly for a while to come I think… ;)

Hopefully I'll be back soon - Christmas is fast approaching and I have a gazillion things on my sewing to do list!!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Jam Drops {Healthy style}

If you're a health nut, then in all your getting, get this recipe.  If you're not a health nut, you still need to get this recipe.  These little bikkies are delicious.

I've tried enough healthy recipes to know that healthy does not automatically mean tasty.  In fact, in my experience it's been quite the opposite.

But these little babies make up for all those other bad recipes out there.

Yes, they are that good.  Firstly, because it is a super fast recipe to throw together (and you literally just throw it together).  And secondly, because they are T-A-S-T-Y tasty!  And the worst thing in them is the tiny drop of jam on top (I used jam without added sugar).  I think these may even be paleo-friendly…?

I did a few swapsies - just obvious ones, like spelt flour instead of barley flour (didn't have), rice malt syrup instead of the natural maple syrup Gwyneth recommends (didn't have and probably can't afford), and almond meal from a pack instead of whizzing up raw almonds (couldn't be bothered).

Oh the buttery (without butter in them), jammy goodness!  I had to force myself to stop at three.  In one sitting.  I'm definitely gonna eat more tonight.

Recipe: Lalo's Famous Cookies
Source: Gwyneth Paltrow's "Notes from my kitchen table"
Yield: approximately 36 generously sized biscuits

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Have you noticed something different?

Well, you may (or may not) have noticed that the blog has had a bit of a makeover…  Things were looking a bit drab I thought, so it was time for a bit of a shake up - new logo, more colour - just a bit prettier all over I reckon!

Truth be known, I'm not really a neutrals kind of girl, although I do appreciate them in the right context.  It's just that my eye is naturally drawn more to colour.  Bright, bold, muted, pastel - doesn't matter what type of colour - just so long as there's colour!

A big thanks to Andrea of Studio 77 Design for my business logo.  Great work!  I love the softness of the image.  It's vintage pretty, with a dash of vibrant colour.  Me all over :)

Meanwhile, I've been working on a little pattern all of my own!

Drafting and fiddling with patterns isn't really my forte.  But I'm pretty happy with how these turned out.  I've named them Tiny Tutu Knickers.  An everyday kinda tutu for Tony Danza, I mean, tiny dancers ;)

Hold me closer, Tony Danza……  moving right along…

Here it is modelled by the ever lovely Rosebud.  Admittedly, the knickers are probably more 18-24M than 2.  She's little for her age, but still, they're small.

I only just noticed that she's holding her 'Sawah'.  Sawah is named after Cera, the Triceratop from The Land Before Time.  Sawah goes everywhere with Rosie.  They're besties.  When Sawah isn't with Rosie, Rosie's usually walking around saying "Where's Sawah?".

These little knickers will be going into a "Not So Obviously Christmas" Showcase, hosted by Melanie of Peach & Aubrey.  I used Christmas colours, but a floral all-year-round print.

See you soon, hopefully with some Christmas-related projects!