Thursday, 28 February 2013

Toddler Art: 102 Cookie Cutters

I got 102 cookie cutters on Freecycle! Seriously, that's a lot of cookie cutters. We've got letters and numbers, animals, dinosaurs, festive, food, punctuation, shapes, transport, sport, the obligatory gingerbread man, a map of the USA...

We made playdough and tried them out. Miss 2 has a duck obsession, so she was fairly committed to using two of the cutters only. Miss 2.5 was more flexible, but had a tough time deciding which cutter to use. So much choice!

We made some gingerbread biscuits too. I always underestimate the levels of stress that I will encounter when I suggest to the girls that we make cookies. It's a constant battle to stop them from eating the pastry and the decorations, but they do enjoy it so much (perhaps that's part of the problem?).

Chubby little hands are so cute!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Weekly Recipe: Tortilla

This is my mum's recipe for tortilla, or Spanish omlette. It's a big hit at picnics as it is just as nice cold as it is hot. Collect potatoes and onions (for this recipe I used six potatoes and three onions).

Dice the vegetables up, put them in a microwave safe bowl, drizzle with olive oil and salt, and then microwave until soft, stirring every five minutes (mine took 15 minutes).

Then add some diced salami (leave it out if you want a vegetarian dish) and some frozen peas and stir through.

Cool. Lightly beat together eight eggs and stir these through the potato mix.

Lightly grease a fry pan and then pour the potato mix into the pan. Fry until the base is set (read close to burning).

Then put the fry pan under the grill to cook the top.

Invert the pan onto a plate or chopping board and cut the tortilla into slices. Serve with salad.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Toddler Art: Rabbit

On Saturday morning, we found a domestic rabbit under our car. She was very tame, so we took her inside to keep her safe and started looking for her owners by door knocking and putting up posters.

We didn't find the owners until Monday night, so we had three days of rabbit excitement. Miss 2 was over the moon and we were lucky that the rabbit was very tolerant of small children.

To give the rabbit (we now know her name is Penny) a break from being patted and fed apples, Miss 2 and I made some paper rabbits. I drew rabbit bodies (they look like unfortunate seals) on construction paper and cardboard and cut them out.

Miss 2 picked three clothes pegs for each rabbit (a great lesson in colour matching).

We put the pegs on the rabbits, one for each pair of legs and one for the ears.

The paper rabbits didn't stand up, but the cardboard ones did.

We played walking them around the room and feeding them and then Miss 2 de-constructed them.

She took great pleasure in ripping their heads off, which made me glad that the real rabbit was taking a rest in the bathroom.

After Penny left, we had a day of misery because Miss 2 had fallen a bit in love with her. She seems to be okay with it now, but won't let me throw her paper rabbits in the bin.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Weekly Recipe: Lactose-Free Chicken, Bacon and Leek Pie

We had friends over for chicken pie. My usual recipe has milk in it and one of my friends is lactose-free, so I found this recipe on I heated up a slurp of olive oil in the fry pan and added two chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces.

When it was browned, I took the chicken out of the pan and added 250 g chopped bacon, one sliced leek, two garlic cloves and several summer squashes, cut into pieces, which my mother-in-law had given me from her garden.

That was cooked for 5 min or so and then I added 1/3 cup of flour, stirred that through, and then two cups of stock. The chicken and four sprigs of thyme went back into the pan and I cooked the whole lot for another 10 min, until it was thickened.

Then I put it in a bowl to cool and stirred in some chopped parsley.

Then I had five toddlers and their parents over for a few hours and things were crazy until about half an hour before my dinner guests were going to arrive. In the whirlwind of cleaning up toys and cake dishes, washing dishes, entertaining Miss 2, pre-heating the oven to 220°C, cutting out circles of puff pastry, filling ramekins with pie filling, placing the pastry on top, brushing with lightly whipped egg, putting the pies in the oven, and making a salad, I failed to take photos. Slacker.

My oven is slow, so they baked for about 45 min. Then they were delicious.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

'From Madeit With Love' Fundraiser

211 items sold overnight in the 'From Madeit With Love' fundraiser for the Boorer family. You can see what sold here. There are still more items, including mine (!), for sale until March 13th; you can check them out by searching for madeit with love over at Madeit. Here are some of my favourites of the remaining donations.
Handmade Heart Garland by Chookin.

Sterling Silver Drop Earrings by Get Silvered.

New Style "Perfect Summer" Girls Dip-Dye Dress by Mozzie & Mac.

Pack 4 Blank Cards by Gina H. Design.

Quilt by Monkeys In My Pocket.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Weekly Recipe: Vegetarian Arancini

I had some friends over for dinner and made them arancini rice balls by combining a couple of different recipes. Easy and tasty. I cooked two cups of arborio rice in vegetable stock in my rice cooker (I know, lazy).

Then I added a lightly beaten egg, with an extra egg yolk, 50 g grated Parmesan cheese and some chopped herbs from my garden and mixed it all together

I shaped the rice into balls with my hands and put some flour in one bowl and two more lightly beaten eggs into another bowl. I made some breadcrumbs, first with left-over white bread and then with left-over sour dough bread. The sour dough didn't work.

I first dipped the balls in the flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs.

The balls were fried in vegetable oil.

We ate them with chutney and marinated olives, semi-dried tomatoes, mushrooms and capsicum from the deli.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

From Madeit With Love

On January 23, Tammy Booer and her family were travelling to Hervey Bay for a camping holiday when their car was hit by another car travelling the wrong direction on the dual carriageway near the Nambour-Bli Bli exit at Kulangoor. Tammy and her husband, Nathan, were trapped in the front seats, but told their children, Zac, aged nine and Lilli, aged five, to get out of the car. After the children had left the car, it was struck by a truck. Tammy and her unborn baby died as a result on 25 January. Nathan is still in a critical but stable condition in hospital. Zac and Lilli received only minor injuries.

Tammy had been a seller on Madeit and Etsy since 2009 - her store, Boorah Designs (now closed, but her Blog and Facebook are still around if you want to investigate), sold children's clothing and accessories.


The Madeit community is running a "From Madeit With Love" fundraising event for the Boorer family.

How does it work? From 8 pm on 13 February until midnight 13 March 2013, there will be handmade items donated by the entire Madeit community available on Madeit with the words madeit with love in the title. Search for these words to find the items. The proceeds from the sale of all of these items will go directly to the Ipswich Presbyterian Church, who will be assisting the Boorer Family.

Alternatively you can make a donation directly to the family using the following direct debit details:
BSB 034189
Number: 196363
Name: Central Presbyterian Church Ipswich
REF: Boorer Fund

More information is provided by the Ipswich Presbyterian Church:

Images in this post are provided by the Madeit fundraising group, or from the Boorah Designs Facebook page.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Miss 2's Room Makeover



Looking sea-sidey!

Friday, 1 February 2013

Weekly Recipe: Jelly Slice

Another recipe from Miss 2's birthday party. This one is for jelly slice from Sew Spunky's Blog. Very easy and very adaptable to all sorts of themes. Just make sure that you leave plenty of time for each layer to set (I did this over several days).

Spray a deep dish (I used a deep Perspex baking tray) with spray oil. Put one packet of jelly and one tablespoon of gelatine in a bowl and add a cup of boiling water. Whisk out the lumps with a fork and then pour into the greased dish and put in the fridge to set.

When that layer has set, mix a tablespoon of gelatine with a cup of boiling water. Whisk out the lumps and then stir in half a tin of condensed milk. Let it cool down to about room temperature, then gently pour it over the jelly layer (I aim for the corner of the dish so as not to disrupt the layer below). Put in the fridge.

Repeat, alternating layers of jelly and condensed milk and letting the liquid cool before pouring it over. If you forget it and the liquid sets, you can always microwave it to make it liquid again (or just eat it and make a new batch...).

When you've done enough layers (I had four of jelly and three of condensed milk, make sure that there is jelly on both the top and the bottom), tip the whole slice out onto a flat surface.

Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes.

Enjoy :-)