Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Liesl Dress

It's pretty well known that I am a big fan of The Sound of Music. Aside from the story itself, some of the costumes are gorgeous. So I'm pretty thrilled to discover that someone has made a pattern for Liesl's dress. You know, the one she wears when she dances with Rolf?

It's from Edelweiss Patterns and I look forward to seeing more.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Finished at Last!

There are times when it bothers me that Andrew's family is so small next to me (mostly because it makes me feel freakishly large) Then there a times when I am glad of it. Like when I take an entire extra year to complete a dress for my niece's Christmas present. In any other family, she would have grown out of it by now, but not our Amy. It will fit her perfectly!


Look at that lacy sleeve

And the lace peeking out of the tuck!

And, of course, the smocking, even if it is a little rippled.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Chilli con Carne

I am sure that this is in no way traditional, but it's tasty anyway.

1 onion
1kg mince steak (approximately - I use anywhere between 750g-1kg or so)
1-2 tins tomatoes or 1kg pureed fresh tomatoes
2-3 heaped dessert spoons tomato paste
1 tin red kidney beans
1 tin chick peas (this is optional, but I'd use another tin of kidney beans if you're not using this)
salt, pepper, chilli powder to taste
You can also add a grated carrot and zucchini if you like.

1.  Empty kidney beans and chick peas into a strainer and rinse well (I find they tend to foam disturbingly...) Set aside to drain.
2. Cut onion finely (or however you like to chop your onion for these things) and sauté in a large saucepan until clear and tender. (You will need the saucepan as you add the other ingredients. You can fry the onion in a frying pan and transfer it, if you prefer, but that just makes more washing up)
3. Add the mince, and brown.If you're adding carrot and zucchini, do it now.
4. Add salt, pepper and chilli (go sparingly with the chilli. The flavour will become more intense as it cooks. I've made this mistake more than one - lucky my family is not overly sensitive to chilli!)
5. Add tomato paste and tinned tomatoes. Make sure tomatoes are broken up to your liking before adding beans and chick peas.
6. Simmer until there is very little liquid left (this does depend on how you are serving it). Serve. We like to serve with tortillas, cheese and salad, as shown below. Warm the tortillas as instructed on the packet (generally, 10 minutes at 180C wrapped in foil) When I was younger, my brothers ate theirs in taco shells, or with corn chips, while I had mine on pasta (like bolognaise) or with toast soldiers.

This is mine, ready to wrap.

All rolled up

This is what a normal person's looks like.

But then is much harder to wrap up.

And it's much messier towards the end!