Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Last night we had some bible study friends over for a meal. We shared the meal preparation [they did main, I did dessert] but I couldn't decide what to make, so I made lemon meringue pie, cupcakes, and pecan pie.

It's been ages since I made pecan pie, and I'd forgotten just how easy [and delicious] it is. Here is my recipe, modified from an Australian Women's Weekly cookbook recipe:


1 cup plain flour [I used gluten free - of course]
90g butter
2 tablespoons water, approximately

3 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup golden syrup or glucose syrup
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
30g butter, melted
1 1/2 cups [the whiole 185g packet] pecans

Put flour and butter in food processor and process till it resembles fine breadcrumbs [or rub in butter by hand]. Add enough water to make ingredients cling together. Press dough into a ball, knead gently on floured surface until smooth.

Roll dough until large enough to line your pie dish/flan tin. Lift pastry into greased tin, trim edge. Blind bake in moderately hot oven 10 minutes, remove paper and weights, bake a further 10 mins. Allow to cool while you make the filling.

Combine all filling ingredients in bowl, mixing well. Pour into pastry case.

Bake in moderately slow oven 55 mins or until set. Cool.

This pie is delicious served with dollop cream.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Microwave Playdough

I've been promising a few friends this recipe but keep forgetting to give it to them so I thought I'd post it here. WAY easier than stirring playdough on the stove!


3 cups plain flour
1/2 cup salt
6 teaspoons cream of tartar
3 tablespoons oil
3 cups water
food colouring

Place all ingredients in large microwave safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 8-10 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time. Turn onto a hard surface and knead to finish.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Recent sewing projects

Despite my family [and myself] having gastro during this month, I have managed to do some sewing lately. We had Under 8's day at school this week, to which the children come dressed up. Miss 3 wanted to go as Sleeping Beauty and this is her dress: Miss 5 wanted to be a Fairy Queen. She also wore white fairy wings and carried a wand:

Miss 7 chose Sleeping Beauty too. Actually, Miss 3 only decided on Sleeping Beauty when she heard that's what Miss 7 wanted to dress up as. I really enjoyed making the standing up collar. The back of this dress is laced with pink ribbon much like the front of the white fairy dress:
They looked beautiful on the girls, complete with tiaras. But I forgot to take a photo of them in the dresses. I had such fun sewing these dresses!

Mastering the cupcake swirl

I've been practising at least once a week, and I think I'm finally happy with my cupcake swirls, both with fluted and smooth piping nozzles. In fact, I took cupcakes to playgroup yesterday and the girls thought they looked professional, so I'm happy.
Now to master the icing rose...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Another attempt at cake decorating

Sunday night I made another batch of cupcakes and attempted to decorate them with buttercream. All I wanted to do was a large swirl on the top... but I was very disappointed with my attempt. Remembering my promise to show you my next attempt I took some photos.
After all swirls completed, I spread the swirls out cause I was unhappy with my swirls.
Then piped a mini swirl on top with a purchased flower to hide my untidy swirl ending.

In the end the photos make them look better than I thought they were in real life. Perhaps the cupcakes I see on the internet aren't as perfect as I thought. Or perhaps I'll keep practising...

Mum's coffee & card morning

This morning I invited some of the Mums from my new playgroup over for morning tea & to make a card or two. They'd never stamped or made cards before so it was great fun showing them how easy it is. I am VERY thankful that Julie taught me so well, I learnt from her that having everything pre-cut and being prepared is the best way to go. The girls are keen to do it again another day, so I guess I'm running coffee & card mornings now!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I stumbled upon this recipe on Sunday by accident, and seeing we had spontaneous guests for afternoon tea [and very little in the pantry], thought I'd try it out on them. Wow. We managed to eat half the cake in one sitting, because I only cut up half, otherwise we would have kept going. The last piece went in a lunchbox this morning. So I'm about to go and make another one to prove to myself how simply wonderful this cake is. You can find the original recipe here, to which I've made some minor changes to ingredients and method.

I'm being honest with you here: 5-10 mins to measure and mix the ingredients, 15 mins to cook in the microwave. That's it.

1 kg mixed fruit
2 tablespoons whisky or other alcohol [or orange juice or essence]
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon mixed spice
125g [4 oz] butter
4 eggs, beaten
440g [14oz] tin unsweetened crushed pineapple
1 teaspoon xanthan gum OR guar gum
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 cup bought gluten free flour OR 1/2 cup soy, 1/4 cup rice & 1/4 cup potato flour

Cook the fruit and liqueur on HIGH for 5 mins in the microwave. I used the large deep base of my tupperware stack cooker and also cooked the cake in it.

Add the butter and spices, and stir together till butter melts. Tip this mixture into a large mixing bowl and stir in the rest of the ingredients.

Line the dish with baking paper, pour in the cake batter, cook on HIGH for 15 minutes, elevating the dish while cooking, by sitting it on a small upturned saucer/plate [or the stack cooker lid].

Test with a skewer.

Allow the cake to cool before removing from the container. You can remove the baking paper, put the cake back in the dish it was cooked in, put the lid on and pop it in the fridge. It can be stored like that too.

If you are on the lookout for gluten free recipes do check out the above link. Allan has some great recipes there.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A new cupcake icing/filling

Last night I made another batch of cupcakes. I am averaging two a week at the moment. Last weekend I was trying out my new cake decorating tips. This week I've been trying out a new icing/frosting I'd read about that sounded interesting. I've trialled it a couple of times now, and just use cornflour instead of standard flour to ensure it's gluten free. This icing is not sugary-sweet and doesn't have the grittiness of buttercream. I didn't realise how gritty buttercream is till I made this icing and buttercream on the same day and tasted them side by side. This is a soft, fluffy icing that I doubt you could pipe or decorate with. It is custard-like, and therefore probably won't freeze either. Mr E and I ate the leftover icing on spoons it was so yummy...


· 2 tablespoons flour
· 3/4 cup milk
· 180g butter
· 3/4 cup caster sugar [that's right, NOT icing or powdered sugar]
· 1 teaspoon vanilla
In a saucepan add a small amount of the milk to flour then stir to make a smooth paste. Add remaining milk. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens. Cool.
Cream butter using electric mixer. Gradually add sugar; beat well. Add cooled milk mixture. Beat until light and fluffy, this takes 5-10 minutes but it's worth it. Add vanilla.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


One reason I've been unable/unmotivated to craft lately has been that, since the move, I haven't been able to get my room sorted. I've dreamed of my craft room for a loooong time, and eventually we'll probably build it in, but not until I get the design right! I tackled it again last week, and after a number of hours of sorting/tidying/moving furniture etc. I think I'm ready to sew. A good thing too, cause I have to make a character skirt, and a few other things asap.

My papercraft area is still needs a little work...