Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Didn't I mention knitting in the title of this blog?
When I knit I kinda get carried away.
Case in point:
these adorable quick stash-busting baby booties.
Once I knit one pair I couldn't stop!
And I've already given some away.....

And then, the next flurry of knitting....
we've decided to go to the UK for a few weeks
and listening to the reports of cold snaps and snow on the BBC
I decided the whole family needs mittens.
Mine are boring plain old red, but I thought
the stripy ones for Noah and the pretty purple flowered ones for Ana
were cute enough to post.
Tomorrow..... I go crazy with sleep masks!

Monday, 14 December 2009

Hannukah Stars Recipe

You know how it goes:
You need to bake something for a Hannukah party
(at the last minute)
and the ingredients in the house are few and far between.
I did some
creative cookie recipe cobbling
and came up with this winner.....

Cranberry and Apple Cinnamon Hannukah Star Cookies
1/3 cup apple sauce
3 tablespoons ground nuts (I used walnuts and almonds)
1/4 cup chopped cranrasins
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon brown sugar
dash of salt
1 sheet of defrosted puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
a few tablespoons of light brown sugar with cinnamon

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius or according to puff pastry package instructions. Oil cookie sheet or use baking paper to avoid unwanted stickage.

Filling: Mix together applesauce, ground nuts, cinnamon, sugar and cranrasins. Add a dash of salt for extra flavor.

Using a star shape cut out cookies, 2 of each star per cookie.
Place one star on the baking tray, add 1 scant spoonful of filing in the center being careful not to spill over the edges. Take second star, dampen edges with water along the inner edge and gently lay on top of the star with filling. Carefully line up the points and tamp down the edges a bit so they'll swell and close as they bake.
Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
Bake 15-20 minutes, keeping a close eye so the pastry doesn't burn.

My one sheet of pastry produced 20 stars, and they went fast at our little building Hannukah lighting party, so these four stars were all I had to photograph.

(Kinda inspired by this vegalicious recipe but not really quite the same filling...)

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Pirate Ship Cake

No, the idea wasn't origional; I found inspiration here.
But the kid with the eye patch still was impressed!
So, I'm satisfied.
(We're dressed as pirates here, so don't make fun.)

The ocean is blue coconut
swimming with gummy sharks, starfish and turtles.
There is a lego pirate with a lego plank for any captives to walk.
The cannon balls are nearly as big as the pirate captain
but who is taking points?

HINT: I discovered a brilliant way of combating cake construction crumble and icing slippage, quite by accident. I was squashed for time, so I made the cakes earlier in the week and stuck them in the freezer. I made the frosting the day before, so it was chilled too. When I went to construct the cake, I took the cake straight out of the freezer, so when I cut it into diferent shapes they d i d n ' t c r u m b l e ! They were firm and easy to stack. Even better, seconds after I applied the frosting it cooled and hardened too!
No slippage.
I vow to do this with creative cakes (ie kids birthdays) from now on.