Thursday, May 7, 2015

Weekend Baking: Cream Cakes

Hello again,

Its been quite cold here in Melbourne the past couple of days, so staying indoors and baking has kept us happy, fed and kept Percys hands busy!

I had a mountain of cream in my fridge, so thought I'd make cream cakes. The original recipe comes from my hubbys nana, and they are a family favourite. I didn't have all the right ingredients at home, but managed to bake something equally delicious with what I had!

Nana Elsie's Cream Cakes were one of the recipes we featured in issue 3 of Hundreds and Thousands magazine, and there are still copies left if you would like the original recipe for yourself, as well as the other yummy recipes, easy crafts, interviews, beautiful photos and inspiration. Just click here!

So here's my adapted recipe for cream cakes, perhaps something you might want to bake this weekend?

You will need:
1 cup cream
1 1/2 cups wholemeal spelt flour
3 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup rice malt syrup
1 tsp vanilla
50 gm salted butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
natural food colouring

Beat your eggs and rice malt syrup and vanilla in a bowl. Add the cream and stir. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl then gradually add this to your cream mixture. Mix. Pour into patty pans (I made 17 cakes) and bake at 180C for 10-15 min or until a skewer comes out clean. Let cool before icing.

For your icing, beat the butter, honey and vanilla until very light and fluffy. Divide between bowls and add a few drops of food colouring to each bowl. Spread onto your cooled cakes. Enjoy!

Once you've eaten a few, store in a air tight container for a couple of days. I opshopped this one, isn't it lovely!

To mums, sisters, aunties, friends, women everywhere, happy mothers day to you for sunday! Im off to the Ballarat Apron Festival which I am so excited about.

See you soon,


Monday, May 4, 2015

Home made necklaces: ideas, how to's and some for you to buy!


I've been getting crafty lately, this time, quick 5 minute makes. I thought id show you 6 necklaces I have made all from household objects. I do love wearing a necklace, and even better a handmade one! These use materials from around the home so they were pretty much free and totally one of a kind, making them literally home made necklaces.

First, a DIY necklace:

We were cutting branches off some trees a few days ago, and this little piece was asking to be used. It already had a hole running straight through the middle, so the hard work was done.

1. Find a piece of tree trunk
2. Paint it white
3. Paint or use markers to draw polka dots or anything really
4. Thread some bakers twine, wool or string through and close at the neck.
5. Wear!!

This next one is also very easy to make!

As a sewer, I end up with empty cotton reels when they are finished. Old wooden ones are too nice to throw out, so I turned this one into a necklace.

1. Take your wooden cotton reel and wrap some pretty paper or fabric around the middle.
2. Paint over with mod podge, including the parts not covered in paper.
3. Place a button on the bottom and thread your string through the reel, then through the holes of the button and back through the reel.
4. Close at the neck
5. Wear!!

This next one, I made for the latest issue of Hundreds and Thousands Magazine, (issue five) using a doily and string. Doilies are just so great for crafting with, and if ever I get over this one, the doily has not been cut, so can just undo the whole thing!

This next one I made with the beads off my sons high chair! You just thread some string through and  wear it! Obviously you can use any beads, I don't expect you to all have a high chair sitting around!

This one, similar to the other cotton reel one, is using smaller reels. Cover them the same way, or even wrap yarn around them. Then thread onto string, with some beads between each reel.

And the last necklace, I made using vintage tracing stencils. I made quite a few, and if you would like one, they are $7 from my shop. They can be worn as a necklace or brooch and have a hand covered button to close.

Hope you have a creative week! I'm so so excited about heading to Ballarat this weekend for their annual Apron Festival,! I made a apron for the competition so will share about my weekend next week! Oh and happy mothers day if I don't see you before Sunday!

taz xx

Monday, April 20, 2015

South African Crunchies: for Anzac Day.


If your looking for something to bake this week/weekend for Anzac day(I'm assuming an Anzac biscuit) then I thought I'd share my recipe for a South African crunchie. They are pretty much the same thing,  but this is a slice. I tried to look up the history of the crunchie, and didn't find much except it's been a long favourite for children for as long as people can remember. The history of the Anzac biscuit according to Wikipedia, is that the wives of the soldiers made the biscuits to send over to them. They knew the ingredients would keep well(mmm butter) and they would stay fresh and tasty for long time travelling! I'm going to assume the crunchie probably came from the same idea, that the ingredients used don't spoil and the slice can last a long time! Of course my recipe is slightly different not using sugar and adding coconut oil, but my South African family tried them, and loved them. You can't go wrong with a crunchie, how ever you make them!! My Aunty makes hers with added pecans and raisins which is just delicious!!

This recipe makes approx 20 squares( my pic has 16 but I had made 8 biscuits with some of the mixture before making the slice to see if biscuits worked). You can double the recipe but just bake it in a bigger tray. And you can also blob the mixture on a tray making biscuits. Watch them as cooking times will change.

You will need:
60 gm coconut oil
60 gm butter
1/4 cup rice malt syrup plus 1 tablespoon. 
1 tsp bicarb soda
1cup oats
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup spelt flour
Pinch salt

Place the oats, coconut, flour and salt in a large bowl. Melt the oil, butter and syrup together in a small pot. Add the bicarb and whisk till all the lumps are gone and its gets frothy. Pour this over the dry ingredients and mix. Grease a 20x28 cm tin(or similar) with coconut oil or line with baking paper. Pour the mixture in and spread out evenly. Bake at 160C for approx 10-15 min or until golden. Cool slightly then cut, then let them cool completely in the tray before taking out.
*if you plan to double the batch, bake in a tin twice as big. There's no right or wrong tin, just the thicker you want them, the smaller the tin, or the thinner you want them, the larger the tin.
* if making biscuits, use baking paper on your tray and blob the mixture a few cm apart as they spread. 

These are even better if you have them with some African rooibos, but any tea will be delicious!



Taz xx

Thursday, April 9, 2015

It's getting cold so I've made a new blanket!

As I type this, I'm sitting outside in the wonderful sun! I'm eating watermelon and feeling quite summery! But there's something about his sunshine that's so so lovey, and that is,  it only comes out between crisp cold mornings and long cold evenings. You know the sunshine will leave and at no point do I overheat! Autumn is here and I am loving every moment of it! But it was one of those cold evenings that inspired and pushed me to make myself a new blanket. I was quite cold. And the thought of crocheting or knitting one sounded so comforting but I knew it wouldn't be ready for this winter!

So, instead, I cut up some old jumpers and cardigans I don't wear anymore, and stitched them together to make our new blanket. The idea was originally from The Crafty Minx in one of her books I think years ago. But also from my desire t0 use these brightly coloured woollens I just don't wear anymore and make them practical again!



With another cardi that was too small to cut into a neat square, I made into a hot water bottle cover(left one) to go with our other one made from a jumper that we bought from a market a few years ago!
I'd love to know if you make your own blankets for the cold months...or any favourite ways to get ready and enjoy autumn or winter!?
See you soon,
Taz xx

Monday, March 23, 2015

Yay another maternity dress!

Wow, I'm on some sort of sewing frenzy. It so much fun cos things are actually working! And the patterns I'm choosing aren't proving too difficult yet! I made the next dress on my to do list and I love it! It will actually be wearable even when not pregnant as a comfy summer dress so at least I don't have to pack it away once Bub comes. I used a vintage sheet for this one, as well as an opshopped zipper. Here's some really professional pics of me wearing it!

This is the pattern I used to make the dress.

Now I just need to make this cute brown one.

Yay for handmade dresses! I'm so excited about all the ladies who have signed up to my handmade dress swap. Sign up is still open but I will be closing sooner than planned so if you want to sign up perhaps do it soon!

Ok, well this sunshine is amazing, we are going to go explore the seaside.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Making maternity dresses

I'm quite excited. I made myself another dress(yay)! It's a maternity dress(extra yay)! And I made it following a pattern(oh my goodness yay)!! First time ever! And it was actually quite simple. Instead of doing my usual throwing the pattern across the room or looking at the lines and getting stressed, I read everything slowly and carefully and it all made sense.

Like all my patterns, this one was opshopped and already cut from the previous owner! I like to imagine what theirs ended up looking like. What fabric and trimmings they used. Anyway, I didn't really know what size I was working with so didn't alter anything. The end result is a little loose but I think as my tummy grows, it will fill the dress more and probably be perfect later in my pregnancy. It's not bad now but I think I would have been better making a size smaller. Next time! 

I attempted this pattern first, as it is just a simple a-line dress. I think it's called maternity because it does have quite a loose fit to fit growing bellies. The pattern also asked for darts. I've always avoided them but this time tried to do it carefully reading the pattern and marking the fabric. They are actually very simple and straight forward! Anyway, with this new confidence and excitement that I can wear pretty dresses that fit, I hoping to make the other maternity patterns I have too. Here's the dress I made. Lovely autumn colours which I didn't plan but it's worked out wonderfully. 

If only I had the hair and face to match.

These are the patterns that I'm going to start next...

Love the pink dress

Just gonna whip up the blue one for a day pottering at home. Joking, hoping to make the middle brown one.

I'm loving this dress making phase I'm in at the moment. Looking forward to my Handmade Dress Swap, which if you would like to join, you can sign up hhere

See you soon, maybe with another handmade maternity dress!

Taz x

Monday, March 16, 2015

Chocolate and Banana cake

Hello again. 
I'm back with a recipe for you to try. It's a chocolate banana cake or a banana chocolate cake. It's basically a chocolate cake but sweetened with bananas. I wasn't sure if it would work but it did. I had 4 black bananas which I didn't want to throw out, plus I wanted chocolate cake!

The cake itself is sweet but not very, so I do recommend you use the icing or your own icing. But with the icing it's perfect. 


You will need:
4 very ripe bananas 
200 gm spelt flour or regular flour
75 gm coconut oil, melted
200 ml milk
2 eggs, beaten
40gm Cocoa powder
1tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 180C. Mash the bananas well and place in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Pour the mixture into a greased or lined cake tin. Bake for approx 30-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack.

While that's cooling, make your icing. 
Mix 100gm salted butter with 6 tablespoons rice malt syrup and 3 tablespoons cocoa powder over a low heat in a saucepan. Once melted and silky leave to cool. When cold and a fudgey texture, whip
with your electric beaters until light and fluffy. Ice the top and sides of your cooled cake.


If your swimming in ripe bananas, Lunchlady has a almost rotten banana cake with cream cheese icing recipe up on her blog. 

Taz x