discovering a simpiler life

discovering a simpiler life

Sunday, 21 September 2014

These melting moments

A few months ago a friend of mine won a voucher for a local bookshop which she very, very generously gave to me :) You might be surprised to learn that I actually only have a small hoard of cookbooks.  The ususal suspects ~ Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Guy Grossi, Jamie, Nigella and other superstars, but I do adore my cookbooks from yester year.   My nan gave me her hardly touched copy of Margret Fultons cookery book, with a European section (very fancy for the 60's :) ) so when I went to the bookshop I picked a gorgeous vintage looking book by the Australian Women's Weekly called "Baking Day".  Every page is beautifully styled and just flicking through it and looking at the pictures gives me just as much pleasure as cooking the recipes.

It has so many great old school recipes, how to make an apron and the like and a few pages of etiquette.

One of my favourite's from the etiquette page is this ripper sure to make you smile.
The Kitchen
While it's important to look at home in your natural setting, remain careful to avoid looking unkempt.  Keep a collection of smart aprons pressed and ready to wear.  A half-sized frilly option is best for preparing tea or sandwiches.  A bright pinafore is lovely for baking and having a large butcher's apron on-hand for making pots of jam and the like.  Never fall into the ghastly habit of wearing sleepwear in the kitchen.

I've been slowly making my way through the recipes and made these cute melting moments.
Melting moments
250g butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (80g) icing (confectioners') sugar
1 1/2 cups (225g) plain flour (all-purpost)
1/2 cup (75g) corn flour (cornstarch)

butter cream
90g butter, softened
3/4 cup (120g) icing (confectioners') sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 160c/325F.  Line oven trays with baking paper.
  2. Beat butter, extract and icing sugar in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Transfer mixture to large bowl.  Stir in sifted flours in two batches.
  3. With floured hands, roll rounded teaspoons of mixture into balls; place about 2.5cm apart on trays.  Flatten slightly with a floured fork.
  4. Bake biscuits about 15 minutes.  Stand 5 minutes before lifting onto wire racks to cool.  
  5. Make butter cream.
  6. Sandwich biscuits with butter cream.  Dust with extra sifted icing sugar before serving (optional).
Butter cream: Beat butter, icing sugar and rind in small bowl with electric mixer until pale and fluffy; beat in juice.

prep + cook time 40 minutes.  Makes 25

Perfect with a pot of tea shared with a friend :)

Ciao, Jan x

Monday, 15 September 2014

In a holding pattern

I've been in a crochet holding pattern the last month.  I had asked one of my besties if she would like a blankie for her up coming birthday to which she said yes.  I did warn her to not just say yes to make me happy, it would be a lot of work for something someone didn't really like or want.  It was to be big enough for a snuggle on the couch and she didn't want granny squares.  So I started.....3 times!! I first started with single crochet but soon realised I'd be here until Christmas so I had to pull it all out, let me tell you that is heartbreaking!  I then tried 2 other ways until I finally found the look I thought would do the job best and the quickest as time wasn't on my side.  Enter the granny stripe! It is a fabulous stitch to use to make a big rectangle and not just a big square
The hardest part is chaining the start and hooking into them.  I did a boarder of granny stripe all the way around followed by a scalloped edge which helps to even out the rows.

Ta daaaaa!!! 

I've been working on more of the beanies and have taught myself how to crochet a flower and added a little pearl to the centre.

We have also had some gorgeous days here so it's been nice to get out and enjoy the sunshine and get some Vitamin D.

I hope the sun has been shining where ever you are :)

Ciao Jan x

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