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21  COOKING / Dessert / Carob Covered Marshmallow Cookies on: August 03, 2009 07:42:27 PM
These cookies were made as part of the Daring Bakers July Challenge.  They were super time consuming and took me a whole day to make.



I am allergic to chocolate so I covered mine in carob instead.



Then I ran out of melted carob and had to cover the rest in 100's & 1000's.



I took these to my sisters boyfriends 25th birthday and everyone loved them.

All comments welcome!
22  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Release Stitch Scarf on: August 03, 2009 07:34:28 PM


Pattern: Release Stitch Scarf from Creative Knitting Australia Issue 27
Wool: Moda Vera Mousse
Needles: 9mm



This was a super quick knit.  The pattern was really easy to memorise which made it quicker to knit.



Any comments welcome!
23  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Strawberry Dirndl Skirt on: August 02, 2009 03:01:47 PM
I started this skirt back in January but when I got to the part where I had to gather it I stopped and it sat on my sewing table until last week.  I finally decided to pick it up and finish it and boy am I glad I did.  I love love love this skirt!



The fabric is tiny little strawberries. From afar it just looks red but when you get close you can see the detail.



All comments welcome!
24  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Portrait Photography Workshop on: July 19, 2009 02:31:50 AM
I took part in a photography workshop this week that focused on portraiture using natural lighting.  These are a few of my favourite photos from the day.











Any comments and critiques would be very much appreciated.  Keep in mind that I am only a beginner.
25  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Pink Lace Scarf - 1st lace project on: July 10, 2009 12:39:15 AM
I finished my third knitting challenge today. I am powering through these challenges. It is so motivating to be doing something new.  The pattern I used is the Mustard Scarf by Jane Richmond (ravelry download). It was knitted using Spotlight Basics Pure Wool on 10mm needles.


I love the versatility of this scarf. It can be worn crossed over.



Or you can tuck the bottom layer under and make it a bit more triangular.



Or it can even be a head scarf!



Sorry about the crappy photos but I was a bit sick and my hair was in need of a wash!

Comments and crits welcome!
26  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / My Little Piksi Hat on: July 10, 2009 12:34:59 AM
I found the pattern for this hat via Ravelry as always.  It is called the Piksi Hat. For any knitter Ravelry is a great source of patterns and if you are not a member you should definately sign up...its free!



This was my first project knitting in the round and I am very happy with how it went. After figuring out the joining at the start everything was pretty easy from there on.

This hat has some great ridge detailing and a cute little pom pom which I think take it from just a basic beanie to something really cute!



I actually figured out halfway through knitting I was doing it single strand instead of double like the pattern asked. I am not sure how much this affected the hat as it still fits. It is not as loose as I was expecting. I think I might try it again soon double stranded just to see the difference.

27  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Knitted Hair Bow on: July 10, 2009 12:32:22 AM
I made this little hair bow clip this afternoon with the left over yarn from my piksi hat. It did not use very much yarn up at all and was super fast to knit.



I then sewed it onto a hair clip. I tried using a bobby pin but found that the bow was too heavy and flopped around once added to the pin. I am thinking that maybe a smaller bow will work for a bobby pin.





I have had the idea for these clips in mind for quite a while now. I searched around etsy and saw knit bow headbands but not hair clips like I wanted so I pulled out the needles and whipped something up myself.
28  COOKING / Dessert / Carob Brownies - I Can't Believe Its Not Chocolate! on: July 10, 2009 12:25:45 AM
I am allergic to chocolate and therefore have grown quite accustomed to carob. I thought I would share how I adapt chocolate recipes to carob for anyone else out there that might not be allowed chocolate. It is pretty simple you just substitute the cocoa powder for carob powder but halve the quantity that the recipe requires.

This brownie recipes is from a cook book my primary school put together for their fete one year. It is very simple and always turns out very tasty.

Ingredients

200g butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder (or 1/4 cup carob powder)
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Melt butter and cocoa or carob powder in a large pan. Make sure this is done on a low heat so you do not boil the mixture.



Add salt, sugar and vanilla and stir well



Stir in sifted flour

Add eggs and stir in. You will then have a nice glossy looking mixture.



Tip into a tray and bake at 180 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Once cooked let them cool a little to make them easier to get out off the pan. The recipe calls for them to be iced but I just dusted them with icing sugar. Team with a cup of chai tea and you have yourself a delicious afternoon tea!




29  COOKING / Dessert / Triple Caramel Cupcakes on: July 02, 2009 10:52:12 PM
I am a major fan of caramel (partly because I am allergic to chocolate and it is the next best thing) so when I saw this recipe for caramel cupcakes I just had to try them.

Caramel Cake

10 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/4 Cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 Cup caramel syrup
2 eggs
splash vanilla
2 Cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1C milk, room temp


Preheat oven to 350F
Butter one tall 9" cake pan. (or make cupcakes!)


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth.
Add sugar and salt & cream until light and fluffy.
Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl.
Scrape down bowl and increase speed. Add eggs/vanilla extract a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down bowl again, beat mixture until light and uniform.
Sift flour and baking powder.
Turn mixer to lowest speed, and add one third of the dries.
When incorporated, add half of the milk, a little at a time.
Add another third of the dries, then the other half of the milk and finish with the dries.
Take off mixer and by hand, use a spatula to do a few last folds. making sure batter is uniform.
Place cake pan on cookie sheet or 1/2 sheet pan. Set first timer for 30 minutes, rotate pan and set timer for another 15-20 minutes. Your own oven will set the pace. Bake until sides pull away from the pan and skewer inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool cake completely before icing it. Cake will keep for three days unrefrigerated.

Caramel Syrup


2 Cups sugar
1/2 Cup water
1 Cup water for "stopping"

In a small stainless steel saucepan, with tall sides, mix water and sugar until mixture feels like wet sand.
Brush down any stray sugar crystals with wet pastry brush.
Turn on heat to highest flame.
Cook until smoking slightly: dark amber.
When color is achieved, very carefully pour in one cup of water.
Whisk over medium heat until it has reduced slightly and feels sticky between two fingers.

Caramel Icing

2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
heavy cream

Cream butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy
Add vanilla
Slowly add cream until you reach your desired consistency.
This icing can even be heated slowly to make caramel topping for ice cream.


I stuffed the caramel syrup the first time I made it but second time around I got it right.



These are them fresh out of the oven.



With icing.



And I decided to take it one step further and put jersey caramel lollies on top for an extra caramel hit.



Comments and criticisms welcome!
30  COOKING / Dessert / Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes on: June 29, 2009 10:44:52 PM
Today I had the day of work so I made Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes.  The recipe is from Martha Stewart - http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/peanut-butter-cupcakes-with-peanut-butter-frosting-and-jelly.



They are quite a flat cupcake so you have to be careful not to fill the cases too much otherwise they spill over. 



I am a peanut butter lover and these cupcakes definately lived up to my expectations.  The jam I used was strawberry.  I recommend them for anyone who likes peanut butter.
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