> m.e: November 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thank you


Thank you for leaving me such sweet birthday wishes and for making me smile and reconfirm what a big heart our blog community has.


We spent the week away in a magical place full of wonderful animals, nature, beaches and many giggles along the way


Just the thing needed to get the batteries re energised for the up coming next few weeks of workshops and markets


I was lucky enough to win a fabulous giveaway at one of the most sweetest places in the blogosphere,  Bluebird Notes and this time I thought of me first and got myself something to make me smile and wear close to my heart from the amazing The Rusted Chain.


So it has been a wonderful break and now back to reality and the washing...why does reality always include washing??!

I thank you for the virtual hugs and beautiful, beautiful sweet words.

Many hugs to you and I look forward to popping by to read your news.
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A year of reflection

 
When I was younger birthdays were all about presents, going out, having a few drinks and definitely all about m e .

Today it's not about all that or even about me, it's more about what I wake up to every morning and those faces that look up at me and make my heart melt when they smile.

I can't say it has been a great year for me mentally but I am getting by and remembering that losing a person in my life doesn't mean I can't enjoy life and smile.

Today I sit here and think about all the good in my life, I celebrate another year another few smile lines and the precious things that make my life what it is today.

Thank you for listening and visiting even when things haven't been full of sprinkles.  

You made the hurt and the fuzziness seem better with your sweet words.

Today my heart is full of sprinkles, colour and love.

See you in a few days as I enjoy some of those precious smiles and cuddles.

Many hugs ♥
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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Viennese Fingers


The cookie baking bug has really got me and these have been on my mental to try list for a while.

My mum used to make them for us when we were younger and she'd sandwich them together with jam and dip the tops in chocolate.

This is the first attempt at them and I couldn't believe how easy they were to make.

Viennese fingers
makes about 20


ingredients
  • 200g butter, softened
  • 80g icing sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 250g plain flour
  • 200g chocolate 
method
  • preheat oven to 180C/160C fan, line two baking trays with paper
  • beat butter and icing sugar together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes
  • add yolks one at a time and beat until well combined, add vanilla and continue mixing
  • sift in flour and continue beating just until combined
  • spoon mixture into a piping bag with a large start tip nozzle and pipe about 6cm lengths onto trays
  • bake for about 10-12 minutes until lightly golden
  • allow to cool then transfer to wire racks
  • place chocolate into a metal bowl over a saucepan of boiling water and stir until chocolate has melted
  • dip tops of biscuits into chocolate and sprinkle with nuts or sprinkles

I'd love to hear if you make them, they do look great and would make great Christmas cookies for friends and neighbours.
If you are interested in more cookie making techniques and are in Melbourne, I'll be running a Christmas cookie workshop here.

Happy Saturday friends ♥
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lebkuchen


I must admit that this Christmas spirit has yet to hit me but the baking has.
I am one of those people who like to give edible gifts to young and old and hope that it brings a smile to their faces.  
It's all about handmade and giving someone something you created is much more valuable for me than popping into a shop and grabbing something off the shelf.


I remember many years ago whilst studying I had given a friend a card I had made and another "friend" asked why I didn't have time to just buy one.  
It has been about 11 years and I still remember that like it was yesterday.  

The reason I thought of this again was because we were going to wrap a birthday present for one of Amelie's friends and I asked her to grab a painting of hers so we can wrap the present up in, she then asked me if we had "real" wrapping paper because everyone else uses real wrapping paper so why don't we.... a part of me was a little sad that she thought real wrapping paper was prettier that her artwork..



So back to handmade Christmas, here's a recipe for Lebkuchen which just made our house smell deliciously of Christmas.



makes about 30-40

ingredients
  • 100g butter at room temperature
  • 250g golden syrup (or a mixture of both golden syrup & treacle)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 350g plain flour
  • 60g cornflour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice*
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

method
  • preheat oven to 180C/160C fan and line baking trays with paper
  • place butter and golden syrup into a small saucepan and continuously stir over a low heat until smooth and melted.  remove from heat and add the milk
  • sift dry ingredients into a bowl and add butter mixture and mix until combined and mixture comes together
  • roll out onto baking paper about 7-8mm thick
  • cut out shapes and place onto prepared trays and bake for around 10-20 minutes depending on sizes, just until lightly browned.  a 6cm shape may take up to 20 minutes

  • cool slightly and place onto a wire rack to cool completely
  • you can decorate by dipping in chocolate or piping chocolate or icing words onto them 

If you are in Melbourne and would like to do a Christmas Cookie workshop with me on the 4th of December, details are here

 
Hope you enjoy the following weeks before the Christmas rush. 


*pumpkin spice
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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Today I am grateful for...


Getting my groove back


Playing in the park  
(won't tell you about falling off the slide head first)


Hanging out with special friends


Finding lovely giveaway gifts on my doorstep


Finally getting excited about Christmas baking and decorating with the help of sweet Canadian gifts from sweet friends


Some more grateful lists here.

Happy grateful weekend to you ♥

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Firsts


It feels like I haven't been around for such a long time and I really have missed you!

There has been alot going on in the m.e family but I am still camera challenged so for the first time in many years I feel unable to express myself.  

Unable to document moments in our family's life that are firsts and some that just need to be filed away and remembered.

kinder friends and their Diwali henna tattoos


The kids went on their first ever camel ride the other day at the Whittlesea show and I couldn't photograph it, I baked a cake and wanted to share it with you but I couldn't.

So while I await for my cameras return I have been using Amelie's camera and funnily enough...I have absolutely no idea how the functions work so things may still be a little quiet around here.


As for today, I tried so hard to control the tears as another first came around, Amelie's prep orientation.

After a little bit of hesitant start she was happy and excited and I even got a drawing of me done.

how cute am I


So for those of you who are going through this now, pleeeease let me know how you feel, I'd love to hear your experiences and I wish you luck.

Thank you also to the new friends joining along and I hope you can pop in to say hello.

Until I am back again, many hugs to you ♥
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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Flourless Orange and Almond Cake


I feel a bit lost, there is so much I want to show you but I can't.  
My camera is still at the shop and I feel a little naked without it.

For now I'll share this recipe with you, luckily there was a photo of it on my hard drive.  

You'll need a food processor for this as it uses whole oranges and they need to be whizzed up.

Flourless Orange and Almond Cake (gluten free)


ingredients
  • 2 oranges
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 250g almond meal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
method
  • wash oranges and place whole in a saucepan with water and slowly simmer for about 2 hours or until soft, drain an set aside to cool slightly
  • preheat oven to 180C/160C fan
  • grease and line the base of a 20cm spring form tin with paper
  • separate eggs and place yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk until pale and fluffy
  • meanwhile process oranges in food processor until smooth
  • add egg whites to yolk mixture and continue whisking until incorporated
  • add processed oranges and mix
  • add almond meal and baking powder and continue mixing until combined
  • pour into tin and bake for an hour until golden
  • dust with icing sugar to serve or brush with an orange sugar syrup and sprinkle with toasted flaked almonds
  • orange syrup - 1/2 cup squeezed orange juice & 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved, bring to the boil over high heat then reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes.

Thanks for popping by even though I don't have much to offer lately, it definitely is lovely to read your sweet words.

Happy November friends ♥
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