Thursday, December 29, 2011

Smocking in use

I don't often get to see my smocking being worn, so it's really nice to see it being handed down.
I made this for Miss Milla's biggest sister, but it looks divine on Milla!

Christmas Dress

I had to make myself a Christmas dress this year. I bought the fabric last year - it has Christmas trees in 16 different colours/patterns, plus random little robin redbreasts, which are so sweet.
The pattern is a vintage Butterick 2573, and is described as a 'dirndl frock'. I only made two changes - I increased the length of the zip, to make it easier to get into and out of, and I lined the skirt to make it non-see-through! To make it easier to insert the zip, I had my mother-in-law do it for me!
This was really nice to wear all day, though the sleeves don't allow as much movement as I'd like. I'm thinking of making this again, possibly without sleeves as I really liked the way it looked before I added them too. I love that it has pockets!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


My neighbour lent me his speculaas mould, so I had another go. Unfortunately, it was exceedingly hard to get them out of the mould without breaking, so after much frustration, I gave up and went back to plain round ones. We thing a bigger or thick mould might be easier

Friday, December 16, 2011

Some new biscuit recipes

 First some malt biscuits. This recipe was from Donna Hay (found in the Sunday Magazine that comes with the Herald Sun)
These have a subtle taste, but are quite morish. I do need to work on my rolling out skills.

Then some speculaas (Dutch spiced biscuits). This recipe came from the SBS Feast Magazine last month (the pink one, not the orange one that's out now). They don't look like speculaas because I don't have a proper mould, but they sure do taste like them!

If anyone knows where I can get a speculaas mould (I'm told by my Dutch neighbours that it's called a speculaas plank) for a reasonable price, I'd love to know.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Arancini Attempt #1

I used left over risotto from Monday, added egg and cheese, then rolled balls in breadcrumbs. I'd intended to add a piece of cheese to the middle but I didn't get around to acquiring some bocconcini, and the (ungrated) tasty cheese we had had to be thrown out. Still, I think that may have made my problems worse. They were tasty, but had flattened out and were rather gooey.
Some thoughts:
* Do not use Lemon Pepper breadcrumbs - they overwhelm the flavour of the risotto
* Frying may result in a more golden finish
* Maybe I should have double crumbed them?
*Why were they so gooey that they lost their shape? How can I fix this next time?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Beautiful Blueberries

I have wanted to make blueberry ice cream for years because I suspected that it would be an amazing colour, but blueberries were always too expensive. Until Michelle from Kitchen Shenanigans came to the rescue and provided me with a whole kilo of blueberries!
So I cooked them down,
Mushed them up,
Semi-froze them 
And added cream.

Look at how beautiful it looks next to the strawberry ice cream I made the day before!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A new project

And I swear this is the best pleating job I have ever done - it's actually straight!