Friday, 30 January 2009

And we call this dinner

In our house this is a great dinner. I have just harvested some lovely beetroot from my vege garden, to make way for more plantings. All scrubbed up and peeled like this, they make such a lovely sight, almost art.

This is a lovely salad which I have adjusted from a Delicious recipe as I have tried to replicate a great salad served at one of my favourite child-friendly restaurants Mecca Bah (Docklands, Melbourne).

Served with some crusty bread and maybe sliced homegrown tomatoes and basil, my family happily calls this dinner. Oh, I love those salad munchers!

Beetroot Salad

3 Grated beetroots
2 Grated carrots
Tin chickpeas
Rocket or spinach leaves
Toasted pepitas

2 Lemons, juiced
2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp olive oil

Add dressing to grated beets, carrots and chickpeas. Layer on top of rocket and top with yoghurt and seeds. Yum.

I sometimes leave out the chickpeas if serving with another salad.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

More Aprons

Aprons are such a lovely present. Practical, pretty and personal.

As well as Julie's apron, which has made it's way safely to it's destination.(By the way when she tried it on her little girl said 'mummy that's not an apron, it's a skirt!) I made this apron through the year for one of Kitty's closest friends. A girl who loves a little bit of colour.

Being modelled by my co-operative, but not-happy-about-it Kitty.

Hey, would anyone be happy in this ridiculous weather (five days above 40'C 104'F and today it is 43'C 109'F). Our house is no longer cool, despite an air conditioner and keeping the curtains all closed (which I hate).I cannot belive there is another two days of it. Whinge, whinge whinge. Ah that feels better.

Me and the Post!

Or should I say the post and I?

One of my closest friends lives overseas. I have posted before about my terrible ability to send anything in the mail promptly. Her birthday gifts are no exception and every year they are late. Her birthday is in November. Last year I gave her a handmade bag in late December and this year I have finally managed to post her present in January. I am so sorry Julie.

I made a little apron this year out of a favourite fabric of mine. It is fully lined and reversible. I am loving the fabric combinations. I hope the fact that it is all handmade might make up for the fact that it is so late.

Next year I am putting a note in my diary in August to start planning and a reminder in October to post.

Or maybe you could move back home Jules!

Monday, 26 January 2009

The Salad of 2009

For those of you who having been following this blog since it's conception, almost two years ago, you might remember my post about the Salad of 2007. Well, this is the Salad of 2009.

Living in my house are four "salad munchers". It is definately a gene my husband has passed onto all three of our children....and a great one too.

At not many a table would the salad bowl be fought over, but at our house it is. At just two Eddie uttered the words "no more meat mama, more lettuce please!"

There was a salad of 2008 and there are plenty of other salad recipes too. If you show enough interest, I might post them too.

This salad, like many of my recipes was from a friend of a friend. So morish, even better the next day and perfect for a picnic.You have to try it!

Brown Rice, Mint and Pine Nut Salad

3 brown onions, halved and sliced
150 gm currants
red wine vinegar, to cover currants
2 cups brown rice, cooked and kept warm
½ bunch parsley, chopped
½ bunch mint, chopped
120 gm pine nuts, toasted
2 lemons, juiced
1 green chillies, sliced

Heat a little olive oil and cook onion slices until caramelized - about 30 min on very low heat.
Bring currants and red wine vinegar to a boil and simmer gently for 3 minutes, reserve liquid.
Add to onions and season
Combine rice, mint, parsley and chillies in a large bowl, add half the onions and pine nuts with 3tablespoon olive oil and the lemon juice
Top with remaining onions and pine nuts.

Sometimes if we are having this at home I will add other ingredients, to be a little healthier, like; celery, cabbage or beans.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Sew Sweet

My mum came out from England at the end of last year and spent December with us. If was so lovely to have her with us again. She brought these gorgeous books for the girls. How delightfull!

I have seen these books around on blogs, but when they actually arrived they were so much nicer and larger than I had thought. I was also thinking that they might be a little too young for my girls, especially Ella. Actually they were perfect for their ages; eight and six.

Here is a little preview of Look and Cook

Strawberry Shortcake - a favourite in our house (we call it Strawberry Shortkate)

And See and Sew

There is also another one in the series called Sow and Grow but it is written month by month and is for the Northern Hemisphere. They are all by Tina Davis and would make a lovely gift for any little craftsters you know!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Next Time...

Next time I make a quilt...

I will think twice about hand quilting

I will use Pearl cotton like everyone else

I will make myself finish it within twelve months

This time...
I took way too long to finish it - two years too long!

I was so excited to start that I didn't take the time out to get the proper thread

But, I did enjoy every stitch.
And I do think all that love is appreciated

Monday, 5 January 2009

The Art of Taking Tea

This story all begins with Alison from Lark. Allison used to live in Cambridge, England, near where my parents now live. When chatting to her at Magnolia Square about our then planned trip to visit my parents, she said we must go to the beautiful town of Stamford, and make sure we visit the George Hotel.

Well Stamford was a beautiful town, as you can see from these photos, and The George was a magnificent hotel. The most lovely I have seen. We had afternoon tea in the lounge, by the fire. The girls sat up, using their best manners, eating lovely treats and sipping their hot chocolates.

After this lovely experience I so wanted to take the girls again to a proper afternoon tea back in Melbourne. Finding such a place proved difficult. The Windsor and such hotels do a high tea but I thought that this was a little too much for two chilren. Recently, I discovered that Chateau Yerring serves tea in their beautiful lounge room. So, last month when my mum was visitng, we went to morning tea again.

The story now ends with yet another afternoon tea that we enjoyed whilst on holidays last week. Once again at the recommendation of Allison. This time at Miss Kitty's Emporium in Red Hill. Having a Kitty ourselves we had to visit this place, and it was all as lovely as Alison had said; the wares, the china tea cups and the scones and jam and even old fashioned lolly jars. A little boy even enjoyed it! Thanks Allison

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Little Birdies

A new header for the new year!

I had a version of this up at the end of last year, but it was pretty lame. I am much happier with this version, thanks to some helpful advice from Christie from Pigeon Pair and Michelle's post on her blog Leni and Rose.

As my little Ella and Kate business grows I have enlisted the help of two close friends to keep up with production. They both do an amazing job and I am so grateful to them for their commitment to Ella and Kate. Both these girls gave me these special treats last year...both know my love of birds.

From Janine, this gorgeous fabric. You know sometimes you see a creation that you feel is entirely a part of you, made for you? Well when I cast my eyes on this fabric I had that feeling. The colour, the bluebirds, the blossoms, I love it all and of course it has made the perfect header for my blog.

From Bec, this little bird house. I have so many places to put it, I thought hanging from the front porch would be lovely. Ella suggested a little birdie peeping through with a welcome sign in his beak...oh, I love that girl and her imagination. But for now, he sits on a cabinet with another little bird that I found in a gorgeous shop in Healesville called Morris and Brown.

And the last little birdie goodness to show you are these little Spool Sewing treasures, two are a gift from Kitty's wonderful teacher last year.

We had a wonderful beach break and are all totally relaxed and looking forward to the rest of the school holidays. Lots of posts buzzing around my head....stay tuned.