Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Spring has begun

Although we briefly returned to winter weather yesterday with hail that turned everything white for a while, spring really has begun here. The weather has been warming up and was just stunning today. The daffodils are flowering and fruit trees are full of buds. I took a leisurely wander around the farm this afternoon (nearly unheard of activity for me but the small boy was otherwise occupied so I took the chance whilst I could) and took a few photos whilst I was at it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Another baby quilt finished!

Between growing baby 2, looking after our toddler whilst still working part time there hasn't been much time or energy for craft around here! However I am now officially on parental leave so have managed to summon some energy to finish a baby quilt that I started ages ago! The family is coming to stay with us for a few days next week so just in time! I even managed to start cutting out the fabric for our baby's quilt. Hope I finished it before baby arrives!

The family who is coming to visit has two older boys as well as the baby so it will be rally nice for my toddler to have some small boys about his age to play with for a few days and hopefully give him some frame of reference when we keep talking about him having a baby brother!!!!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Winter wonderland

About once a winter we get a good snowfall... We woke this morning to a winter wonderland! The boy was fascinated! The alpacas just looked cold...

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Grandma's Banana Cake in the Thermomix

We are having a quiet day at home today so perfect morning for a banana cake! My Grandma's recipe for banana cake is a lovely one that always gives good results so I decided it was a good first cake to try in the thermomix. We weren't disappointed! I'm usually terrible at icing but I'm really happy with the results for the icing in particular. As you can see, the mice (namely one toddler and pregnant mummy) couldn't wait for the cake to cool enough to ice before we tasted!

So here is both the thermomix and normal versions of this cake. I have no idea where this recipe originally came from so no idea if there should be further credit for this cake apart from my Grandma and Mother.

Grandma's Banana Cake in the Thermomix
2 eggs
100grams butter
220g sugar
310g SR Flour
2 bananas (approx 200g)
2T boiling milk
1 scant teaspoon bicarb soda
Pre-heat oven to moderate fan forced (180degC on my oven)
Prepare baking tin
Place bananas in the bowl and mix for 5 seconds on speed 5. Set aside.
Place butter and sugar in bowl and melt 50secs/70degC/speed5.
With blades rotating on speed 3 add eggs one at a time, scrape down sides of bowl.
Add SR flour and mix 10-20 secs speed 3, you might need to scrape down bowl in the middle.
Return bananas to bowl and mix 10 seconds speed 3.
Lastly stir in 1 scant teaspoon bicarb soda into boiling milk (I put the milk in a mug and heat in my very old microwave for 30-40 seconds on high). This should froth. Add to bowl and mix 5 seconds speed 6.
Pour mixture into baking tin (I find it works best in a ring tin) and bake approximately 25mins.
Leave in tin to cool for a while before turning out onto a cooling rack.

If you can wait long enough for it to cool to ice it… I made lemon icing.
15g butter
200g icing sugar
1 lemon
mix speed 5 for 15 seconds
add lemon juice a bit at a time whilst mixing for on speed 5 about 15 seconds, you may need to scrape down and mix again. The lemon I had wasn't particularly juicy so I ended up using most of it.

Grandma's banana cake without a thermomix
2 eggs
100 grams butter
1 cup sugar
1.5 cups SR Flour
2 bananas
3T boiling milk
1 scant teaspoon bicarb soda
Preheat oven to moderate,
Line the tin,
Cream together butter and sugar,
Add beaten eggs,
Stir thoroughly,
Add SR Flour
Mash bananas and add to mixture beating well,
Lastly stir in 1 scant teaspoon bicarb soda into boiling milk,
Bake approx 25mins in moderate oven.
Works well with lemon icing.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

homemade hand cream in the thermomix

Recently I purchased a thermomix and I'm slowing learning how to use it and what I can use it for. I have terrible troubles with skin allergies and even the hypoallergenic hand creams seem to have something in it that makes my hands worse. So I decided to find out if I could make a hand cream in the thermomix and found a recipe on the Quirky Cooking blog. I gave it a go and I love it! 
The variations I chose were beeswax from a candle from the beekeepers inn, macadamia oil, avocado oil, room temperature boiled water (rather than the scented waters) and about a teaspoon of vitamin E oil. It has a slight greenish colour from the avocado oil and a beautiful honey fragrance. I'm glad I didn't put any other scents in. The photo is terrible as the light in my kitchen at night is terrible but you get the idea!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

fabric cards for matching

It's been very quiet on the blog lately as we have been very busy at home! I'm pregnant with my second child and have been very tired and quite sick but starting to feel better now! 
So I'm starting to get back into some craft at nights... 

A friend of mine has a little one who is turning 1 this weekend so I wanted to make him something. My boy adores the fabric matching cards that I made him, he started out just loving the colours, then the pictures of animals and now likes to match them up. So hopefully this 1 year old will love them too.

And I decided it needed a drawstring bag! Looks so sweet as a gift now!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Some long awaited crafting time!

It has been crazy busy around here! Today has been my first chance to squeeze in some crafting time in ages! Even then it has been limited to the short sleep my 2.5yo decided on. (Only 40mins today... It's going to be a long afternoon!)
I managed to sew on the binding for the lap quilt I have been making for my husband. Just the hand sewing bit to go now!

I should also share a photo of the sea beanie I made in tux's fleece for my husband, finished it a while ago but hasn't managed to post a photo. It is so soft! I'm really pleased with this pattern too.

We have been getting some much needed rain here, hope it keeps coming!!!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Garden is surviving the heat... Just!

Our veggies garden is surviving the heat but only just! We moved to Orange 7 years ago and this is the hottest summer yet. Normally our climate is relatively mild with only a few hot days/weeks and those mainly in February. Hopefully the rumours of a cool change next week are true. 
The chickens and roosters sheltering during the hottest part of the day.
Various views if the veggie patch. Everything is growing bug taking a very long time to fruit. 
Bit hard to tell what is veggie plant and what is weed...
Strawberries are growing so well, so lunch green growth but no flowers or fruit. Not sure why yet?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

sea beanie a success!

Sea beanie with Bartok
I embarked on what felt like a rather ambitious project early in December and to my surprise the cables became easier and I finished it last night! Didn't take as long as I'd expected and once I got used to the cables I really started to make progress!
I had been looking for a project that had a nice pattern for a beanie that would suit our alpaca yarn. After some searching I settled on Sea Beanie by Elena Nodel. I really wanted to make it in Tux's cria yarn for Andrew but I only have a very small quantity of it so decided to test the pattern out in Julie in a size for me. Success!
Needless to say… I have already cast on the stitches to start Andrew's hat in Tux's yarn!

Sea beanie made in adagio alpacas Julie yarn