This is what has been keeping me busy. Well, not the cake exactly, but the little-one for whom I made the cake. Yep, it is little-miss-e's first birthday this weekend and that comes on top of a very very busy month. So busy that in fact the present I've been crocheting for her birthday is not yet finished... (opps). Still at least the cake is, and gosh did she enjoy it! I had planned on a complicated cake, something out of the Women's Weekly Birthday Cake Book. Except I don't actually own the book as I am yet to convince my mum to pass on her copy. So we went for something much simpler (although the cake recipe is from an old Women's weekly cookbook), with my lovely husband suggesting the design.
We also have been having a bit of a chat about birthday traditions. Thinking about what kinds of birthday traditions we have grown up with and what traditions we want to have in our family. To be honest, we haven't really come up with much (other than cake and presents...). How about you? Do you have any interesting family birthday traditions?
Isn't it gorgeous! She even links across to a tutorial. I love love love it. This is absolutely going to be my next blanket project!
I've already added it to my 'stuff I want to make (when I get the time)' list which sits towards the bottom right of my blog. I keep the list there it as a place to store up fabulous ideas like this one that I am not able to start straight away. How 'bout you? Where do you keep your list of projects you want to make so they don't get lost? And how much do you love this blanket?
I saw ana over at i made it so post a recipe for granola bars the other day. She made them sound so easy. So after double checking that granola is the same thing as muesli (don't you love it that we supposedly speaking the same language), I decided to try them out.
ana talked about the princples of muesli bars before her recipe, so I just made it up from there. They were easy to convert to gluten free and basically mine went:
1 cup rolled oats*
a handful of sunflower seeds
a handful of pumpkin seeds
a handful of currents, then another for good measure
a handful of dessicated coconut
a drizzle of maple syrup
a couple of handfuls of gluten free plain flour
some raw cashews that I crushed in my mortar and pestle
an egg, then I decided it was too dry, so added another
now it was too wet, so I chucked in a handful of toasted muesli and a bit more flour.
Then in the oven at about 170 degrees for about 30 min.
Not an exact science, but they certainly turned out lovely, with a hint of cinnamon (from the toasted muesli I tossed in at the end). The only issue is that they have turned out a little on the hard side, so little-miss-e, being nearly 1 and only having 4 teeth found them tricky to manage. I am hoping they will soften up in the next few days (if they last that long...)
*note: there is some contention as the whether oats are gluten free - my lovely husband can eat them fine, so we seem to think that they are.
My lovely-(gluten-free)-husband is not from 'round these parts. The other day I had to explain to him the entire story of 'The Man from Snowy River' (though at least he did already know about Banjo Patterson - as in: "didn't he write some poems or something?"). Anyway, I digress...
My lovely-(gluten-free)-husband is not from 'round these parts. And as such, we expected some cross-cultural issues to crop up from time to time (see above). But there have also have been unexpected cross-cultural delights. These include being introduced to a whole cuisine, and for me, especially a whole new range of baking and dessert delights. Rusks are one example, and Malva pudding is another, (oh and milk tart, but I'll talk about that another day)
Malva (pronounced mulf-fah) pudding is fantastic! It is also known as brown pudding, and is easy and delicious, just the perfect winter dessert. This recipe here is adapted from some close family friend's. I've made it gluten free and reduced the sugar a bit (as it is quite a sweet dessert). I made this the other day as we were taking dessert to a friends, and everyone had seconds, some even had thirds - so there was none left for a pic!
So without any further ado: Gluten free malva pudding
1 cup Gluten Free Plain Flour
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup raw sugar
1 Tbs butter or margarine
1 1/2 Tbs apricot jam
300 ml milk
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
375ml evaporated milk (Ideal Milk)
1/2 cup sugar
125g butter or margarine
Oven at 180 °C
Mix Cake flour & salt together. Add Sugar and mix. Rub in butter.
Beat eggs and jam together and mix with milk.
Mix in flour mixture.
Mix bicarb and vinegar and mix into flour mix.
Put in pan and bake for 20-30 minutes. Sauce
Heat up all ingredients for syrup, until sugar and butter is melted, but do not boil.
Pour over hot pudding and leave to stand for syrup to draw in cake.
(Eat with cream or ice cream or custard or all three!)
Do you remember cup cosies? They were all the rage a couple of years back. You couldn't mosy 'round the blogosphere without running into one. At the time, I confess, I thought: what a silly idea. A cup cosy - I thought, why don't people just drink their tea!
Well, fast forward and these days I feel like I hardly ever get to finish my tea. I start a cup but then... well, things happen and life (and little-miss-e) gets in the way and before I know it, my tea is cold and I am contemplating whether it is worth trying to reheat it in the microwave again. And then the other night I remembered about cup cosies and I thought: what a brilliant idea!
So I crocheted myself a granny square cup cosy. And this morning enjoyed a whole hot cup of coffee.
We are not one of those families that have lovely sets of matching cups. We have a mish-mash of cups from all over, with different sizes, heights, widths and handle positions, so to try to make the cosy universal - I sewed the bottom edge together and made a drawstring for the top edge, so that I can tie the sides together.
So, here's to warm cups of tea and coffee*!
What about you? Is there something you used to think was silly that you are now converted to? What's your opinion of cup cosies? *My lovely husband is not sold on the brilliant-ness of the cup cosy. He thinks the issue of my cold tea and coffee is more to do with my distractedness and is less than convinced that a simple cosy will solve the problem. Needless to say when I offered to make him one too, he scoffed politely declined.