Sunday, April 26, 2009

I love Apple Tea Cake!

Ooohhh the recipe is included below.

It is cold in Melbourne today. I have bought the change table padded thingee and I have the material to make a cover for it. Lucky for us Darn Cheap Fabric had a pretty aqua terry towelling material this time. The last time for the nappy change mat we had to use bright pink. I was afraid people might start to think that I am trying to turn Pork Chop into Carson off Queer Eye.

I have stumbled on the best apple cake recipe! I followed Tobie Puttock Apple & Cinnamon Cake recipe once but I did not like how the apples were on top of the cake. Not that I ate any!! This is the usual situation. I bake, look and admire and force poor Mick to eat the entire cake. He demanded no more buttery and sugary goodness so I started looking for an apple cake recipe that did not use 200g of butter. LOL!

So I improvised it, I diced a granny smith apple and caramelised it instead of layering slices on top of the cake batter. Mick just pointed out that I did not dice the apple, he did... So correction, get a hot male to dice the apple while you flutter your eyelashes at him. The cake would have a nice crunch baked top and soft apples are embedded inside.

The recipe is for an 8 inch round tin. I used a springform pan as it called for sugar and cinnamon to be sprinkled on top. I thought it would be the easiest way to get the cake out without spillage of sugar and cinnamon.

So here it goes...

95g butter
½ cup castor sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 egg
1¼ cups self raising flour
½ cup milk
1 granny smith apple, diced
Knob of butter - I think I used about 30 to 40g?
Dessert spoon of dark brown sugar

Cream butter and sugar. Beat the egg and vanilla essence into the mix.

Sift flour into the batter (recipe says to do it in 3 parts, s'if I did), mix briefly with spatula. Pour in the milk and mix together.

Cook diced apples until just soft and add to batter. I did not add the additional liquid into the cake batter as it would be too runny. Just take care when throwing in the apples not to add in too much of the brown sugar/butter liquid.

Bake for 180C.... The recipe said 30 to 35 mins. But quite honestly I did not time it. Pull it out when it looks cooked and test that it is cooked through. Sprinkle with caster sugar and cinnamon. Take springform off and yummmyyyyyyy cake awaits. As it was so cold, I think I only cooled it for about 15mins. And I was salivating! I am not a cake fan and tonight my husband and I shared two slices with cream on the side. It is soooo goood and a definite keeper!
I apologise for the bad picture, could not wait to take the digital SLR camera out to start eating this cake!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

PinkLizzy Sew's Blog Giveaway!

Oooooohhh to anyone who has a little girl - you have to visit this Etsy shop!


She is based in Brisbane, Australia and is running a blog giveaway on her adult sized Arty Skirt. Girls, back off as I want my own. I am deprived buying all things pink and cute as I am having a boy. Let me have some joy! Winners are announced on the 3rd of May! Hurry up and sign up.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mary Jane Baby Booties

I am feeling quite sad this weekend. Apparently I am too small and my womb is too tight. Other than chowing down 2 Big Macs plus a KFC tower burger a day I don't know how else I am suppose to get bigger???? So it took until Sunday 4pm to get in the mood to finish the second nappy change mat and these booties for him.

So here is my second attempt at sewing the baby booties. Of course, I got a little too cocky this time and though oh yeah I know how it's done now. Read on for the big boo boo that I made. I did this pair using the remmants of the baby pouch sling that I made. 8 by 9 inch square is all that I required, that would be a TON of booties! :) So I decided that I would line it with cotton instead of wool felt. Perhaps this is not the best result as it was rather thin.

Thank goodness for fusible web, it is a lifesaver! So here's the little booties before top stitching. They look so cute already just look at the little soles.

Topstitching had been done and I proceeded to sew on the little ribbons. Once again, I am using the leftovers of the grosgrain ribbon from the bear booties. After sewing the ribbons on, I put them together to take a picture. Sigh... I had not flipped one of the tops on when cutting it. I had placed both of the right sides facing up! I made two of the same sides! DOH! What a boo boo, I had it correct at first but I flipped it over just as I was cutting it! Duh...
Anyway, I thought that's fine, he will not know his left from right for ages. Another sad Ling attempt at bootie making.

This time it was much easier to sew the soles to the tops as they were not interfaced. Thank goodness for getting the right materials. So check out the two right side booties. You just have to laugh!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Amy Butler Change Mat - Nappy Bag Pattern

I was a woman on a mission yesterday, I went to not one but TWO fabric stores to get the items for this change mat. I had bought the Amy Butler Nappy bag pattern as I wanted to make the change mat. Silly I know, but I have a fear of Amy Butler patterns as I have heard experienced sewers say that the bags are hard to sew. It was a hike up to South Morang Spotlight as I had to buy cotton batts. The pattern called for 2 panels of batts (19 x 25inches). When I was there, there were 10 people ahead of me and I was confused as heck with cotton batts. Who knew there were so many different ones?? I forgot to get terry toweling material and it was too late, I was the next customer. So off to Darn Cheap fabrics in Heidelberg to get terry toweling. Before people think that I am pink overloading my son, I have to add that it was the only colour that they had!

We got home with Heidelberg Pie shop pies (YUM! Chunky pepper) and guess what, I fell asleep. Who knew you could get so tired in the 3rd trimester? I snoozed for 4 hours until 7pm and awoke in a complete daze. So no sewing for me yesterday and I felt absolutely guilty!

This morning I had the best breakfast. Mick made eggs benedict with hollandaise sauce. Mmm free range eggs from the farmers market in Hurstbridge and butter. Lazed around a little to watch Sopranos marathon on W Channel. Picked up a lemon tree from The Greenery nursery on Banksia Road before I got down to some hard sewing. I rummaged in my box of cotton materials that my mum had given me and told Mick to pick one fabric that he liked. He picked a blue and white gingham material. In my head I was thinking that would look great against hot pink. LOL...

The pattern said to use two panels of cotton batts (19x25inch). I pinned two panels of batts to the terry towel material (19x25inch) and the top cotton material (19x25inch). It was too thick and I removed one layer of the batt. Sewed it together much easier this time. Turned it around, did the strap and sewed that on. I would trim the edges next time to 0.5cm if I do another one of these. It became too thick at the edges. This pattern is awesome and I have enough material for another one. One will stay in the car and the other we can leave it in his Orbit Baby pod bag. I was surprised that the pink and blue does go together!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Hot Cross Buns minus the cross

Poor Mick has not had one hot cross bun this Easter season. I came across a post for Donna Hay's recipe on the Vogue forums. I thought it would be easier to make chocolate chip ones instead of the traditional buns, no mixed peel and I can use the rest of the chips for something else. It is also Good Friday and no shops are suppose to be opened. I needed something from Spotlight before starting my portable change mat. So it was baking for today instead of sewing!

I had set up the trusty KitchenAid dough hook and I was pumped. When I mixed the warm milk and yeast together with sugar, I kept thinking that I have managed to stuff it up and kill the yeast with milk that is too hot. Mick helped with the KitchenAid mixer - I am not used to mixing dough! Lucky he did or flour would have been flying out the bowl. This machine is awesome, it takes no time to mix the dough and Mick kneaded it slightly .. ta da it was ready to sit and rise! So sat it did for ages. Then we rolled them out to little balls for the tray ... and waited some more!

We decided not to make the traditional cross on top of the buns. Ok so they are just buns not Hot Cross. After 30 minutes in the oven at 160 degrees.. Mmmmmm HOT CROSS BUNS minus the cross! Now some more waiting... glazed buns have to cool.. mmmm we could not wait that long for them to cool. We have scoffed down 2 of these babies. A contented Pork Chop who slept through most of the day and very happy Mick. Snowy does not do buns, only kibble but she is looking really happy between us now.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

My First Pouch Sling

OMG how easy is it to sew this sling. I went to Baby Bunting yesterday to suss out Peanut Shell slings. I have been wondering how a AUD$100 pouch sling would be different from one that I am about to sew. And most of all, I wanted to know how to wear it. So I forced one on a very willing Mick and I was slightly disappointed that it was one layered and not reversible. For some reason, I thought they were reversible pouch slings (double sided with a lining).

I had picked up $2 per metre cotton fabric from Darn Cheap Fabric in Heidelberg last weekend. I am so happy that this cheap fabric store is near me ... and next to the Saturday lunch Heidelberg Pie Shop. Having been used to only buy girly fabric, I failed to notice it was neon pink and not exactly boy colours - he will have to live with that.

Following this youtube video of how to sew a pouch sling by Leah, I cut my fabric down and stil have a heap leftover for another sling plus A LOT of baby booties. I will have to find something to do with this fabric as it is gorgeous. I measured Mick's shoulder to hip length as I think I will make my own post pork chop. Read... when I erm get my size 6 figure back.. uh huh. Sewed both side seams very quickly, turned inside out and french seamed the curve where baby Pork Chop's bum is suppose to rest. It does not take long and I am very glad that I have chosen smallish projects so far to get done within the day. I think folding, cutting and sewing only took 1 hour if that!

Check out Marsupial Mick and our stand in baby - a vase. LOL Snowy was hiding under the deck outside and I could not grab her to test out the sling. I think she sensed embarrassment and deep humiliation if she came back into the house.

Here is a look at the reversible fabric. I think it is one hot sling and proves Peanut Shell is cough rip off cough. I found Peanut shell slings not as deep as this one. Marsupial Mick was concerned that Pork Chop would outgrow it very quickly.
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