Easter Recipe Roundup! 2014

I do love creating special treats for you at Easter time! I thought I’d put together a post with all of the past and present Easter posts. There’s delicious decorated cookies, cute cupcakes, marvellous mocha hot cross buns and this years Easter Bunny Bites….

Easter Recipe Roundup! 2014Nothing says Easter indulgence like these Mocha Hot Cross Buns!

Easter Recipe Roundup! 2014These Easter Egg Hunt Cookies are socute, in fact the were featured on Shari’s Berries.

Easter Recipe Roundup! 2014For those of you who love shiny things, try these Glitter Stenciled Cookies.

Easter Recipe Roundup! 2014Grannies Garden Cookies are sweet to look at and sweet to eat!

Easter Recipe Roundup! 2014Share some chocolatey goodness with these Easter Nest Cupcakes.

Recipe: Easter Bunny Bites {Rice Krispie Treat Carrots}And finally, Easter Bunny Bites, a rice krispie treat fit for any fluffy bunny!

Happy Easter Lovelies!

Recipe: Easter Bunny Bites {Rice Krispie Treat Carrots}

Recipe: Easter Bunny Bites {Rice Krispie Treat Carrots}

Summary: Aren’t these cute? This is part recipe, part craft project but definitely easy! Rice Krispie treats, or Rice Bubble Treats for us Aussies, are not something I grew up with but I’m sure children will love them! I really wanted mine to be bright orange and I did use an unholy amount of food dye in these, even though Mr Ask has worked some magic on this pic, they are this orange (see un edited pics below). I couldn’t find plain white marshmallows so I used the white and pink ones, which give you a pinky orange colour on their own. I added Wilton’s gel colours in copper and golden yellow to get this bright orange colour, in fact the marshmallow mix was quite a bit brighter because I knew the rice bubble would suck up colour. Feel free to use as little or as much dye as you like but remember it will stain so no wearing fancy clothes and be careful of light benches etc. This uses 4 disposable piping bags from the supermarket. I won’t lie, there’s a knack to getting the gooey mix in there! I used my method of putting the piping bag in a glass (this vid shows you what I mean), then once I had a good scoop in, I squished everything down to the tip of the bag. From there it’s add, squish until full enough. We used only two sheets of tissue paper from the local cheap shop and about 3-4mtrs of craft ribbon. There are some pics at the bottom that show how we assembled everything. This makes 4 carrots, if you wanted to make more, I would suggest making multiple batches rather than doubling the mix, it starts to set a bit towards the end. I think these are a super cute Easter treat that is nice and easy to make. Mummy Ask says I would have gone nuts over these as a child!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 380g marshmallows
  • 5 cups rice bubbles
  • Food colour
  • 4 clear plastic piping bags
  • 2 sheets green tissue paper
  • 4 rubber bands
  • Sticky tape
  • Green ribbon

Instructions

  1. Add the butter to a large, heavy based saucepan on low/medium heat. Once the butter melts, add the marshmallows and stir constantly with a silicon spoon or spatula.
  2. Once most of the marshmallows have melted, add the food colouring a little at a time until your desired colour is reached. Remember it will lighten off once you add the rice bubbles.
  3. When the marshmallows are completely melted, add the rice bubbles and stir well to combine. Allow to cool for a minute or two (not too long, or it will start to set!) before spooning into the piping bags.
  4. Once the ‘carrots’ have cooled completely, tie a rubber band around the top of the piping bag. Trim down the bag, add tissue paper leaves and attach them to the carrots with sticky tape. Add a ribbon bow and you’re ready to go!

Recipe: Easter Bunny Bites {Rice Krispie Treat Carrots}Recipe: Easter Bunny Bites {Rice Krispie Treat Carrots}Recipe: Easter Bunny Bites {Rice Krispie Treat Carrots}Recipe: Easter Bunny Bites {Rice Krispie Treat Carrots}Recipe: Easter Bunny Bites {Rice Krispie Treat Carrots}

 

 

Recipe: Red Jelly Bean Cocktail

Recipe: Red Jelly Bean CocktailSummary: For those of you who have been paying attention, I stitched up the Carmine Jacket from Cake Patterns this week (and posted a free headscarf pattern too). The carmine red and the sweetness of cake danced in my head, inspiring this cocktail, The Red Jelly Bean. Cake vodka can be hard to find in Oz but you can definitely find whipped cream vodka in the big chains like Dan Murphys.

Ingredients

  • 30 ml raspberry vodka
  • 30 ml cake or whipped cream vodka
  • 15 ml Maraschino liqueur
  • Splash of grenadine
  • Jelly beans for garnish, optional

Instructions

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, maraschino liqueur and grenadine, shake vigorously.
  2. Strain into a glass and ENJOY the weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sew: Fringe Wrap Up & FREE Headscarf Pattern

Sew: Fringe Wrap Up & FREE Headscarf PatternWell. I mean well. I know I promised to tell you guys all about my Fringe event but then I never did. This is partly because I have been asked to write about it for a popular sewing magazine (who me? Couldn’t be!) and I didn’t want spoilers. But I have posted the high points and a photo essay over on the Australian Sewing Guild (ASG) blog. I recommend heading over there for a look right after you read this. But I am taking you way back to the Fringe Launch. You know how we made the bunting? If you have no idea or you’d like the tutorial, here’s the post.

Sew: Fringe Wrap Up & FREE Headscarf PatternThe fab Fringe staff also asked the ASG to make some funky headscarves too. They wanted something the ladies could put in hair and the boyo’s could wear around the neck. It would help people work out who was who, scarf = staff/volunteer. The amazing Plympton ladies had 70 scarves to me in 3 days! How’s that for quick! Everyone sewed their stash so there was a huge variety of print and pattern. One of our members, Sandra, printed the ASG logo onto fabric (she used this stuff) and ironed it on to vlisoflex (double sided, sticky iron on stuff). That meant we could iron on little ASG logos to each scarf (that was my job).

 IMG_8989
The Fringe guys told us that when the scarves arrived, everyone rushed in to pick their scarf out. So many people came to the ASG stall to thank us and tell us how much the loved their scarf! During Fringe I was in the city with Juanita and I saw several of our headscarves in the mall. I saw two behind one of the sound desks at show. I guess they liked our scarves! But if you would like to make your own, I created this neat little pattern with some instructions too. I gave it away with every purchase at our Fringe event.
Sew: Fringe Wrap Up & FREE Headscarf Pattern
Never fear my Lovelies, even if you didn’t Fringe, you can download the Headscarf Pattern and the Pattern Instructions all for FREE! I have a love/hate relationships with headscarves. That is I love them but they hate me. I’ve given up on no pin methods (considered true vintage) and go for snap clips like these because I want that retro/vintage/rockkabilly look anyway. I do love wearing a cute headscarf and are so quick to make, you could make one for every outfit! Have fun, get the pattern, sew it up and  wear your scarf like you mean it xxx

Sew: Cake Patterns Carmine Jacket

Cake Patterns Carmine Jacket Cake Patterns Carmine Jacket I think Steph over at Cake Patterns can read my mind. I swear she designed Carmine just for me (and maybe Tiramisu too)!   I have been looking for something that will keep me warm in winter and will work with low key casual and dressier outfits. I really wanted something made out knit for comfort, so Carmine is perfect! It’s one of Stephs ‘Riff patterns’ which are designed to be sewn by intermediate to advanced sewers. The riff patterns have less involved instructions and are designed to be varied. I admit to being confused by how this ingenious pattern was supposed to work. Once I’d traced it off and I could make the pieces into 3D shapes it all clicked. This pic from the folded out pattern helps you understand how it works, the shaded section is the circle part and the unshaded is the body and sleeve gussets.

Cake Patterns Carmine Jacket I made my Carnine out of a polyester  sweater knit I found for $5/mtr in Spotlight. I can see why no one wanted it, it reminded me of 70′s curtains but I could see potential. I also used a poly/cotton/lycra on the collar section.I felt two layers of the sweater knit would make the whole thing too stiff and I wanted some drape. I was worried that it would be a challenge to get these two fabrics to fit together. The sweater knit has much less stretch than the lycra. It was fine except for the top stitching around the collar. It was hard to keep the lycra from buckling and pleating. In fact I’m still less than happy with the top stitching.

 Cake Patterns Carmine Jacket
The sweater knit was a pain to mark, pins fell out and chalk seemed to disappear, so I used tailor tacks to mark centre back and the other markings. This worked really well for my fabric. If you’re not familiar with tailor tacks, here’s a tutorial.
Cake Patterns Carmine Jacket I decided not to overlock most of the seams because they’re kind of awkward  and I didn’t trust myself to get it right. I think that someone confident with overlocking would be fine. I did overlock the main ‘circle’ seam. I think that seam might show and look messy otherwise. I pinned & basted the inner circle section, then sewed and overlocked. This shows the inner circle seam.
Cake Patterns Carmine Jacket I decided to use a press stud snap as my closure with a big faux button. I’m not great with button holes, especially on knits and I was worried such a big button hole might gape. I have to say a big ‘thank you’ to Mummy Ask for hand sewing my snaps & button, her hand finishing is ever so much neater than mine plus she kindly offered! We didn’t have the right size snaps on hand and made a mad dash to Janome Sewing Solutions for a card of 15mm snaps. They’re very close to where the Marion Sewing Group will be, so I forsee more mad dash trips there!
Cake Patterns Carmine Jacket I see a few more Carmine’s in my future, I would love a few more & both Mummy Ask and the Bestie fancy one too! I love the vintagey shape of this jacket. This sweater knit shows the shape off but I can see how lovely it would be in something with more drape. This still drapes (see below) but I can see how nice it would be in a jersey.
Cake Patterns Carmine Jacket
Carmine is super comfy and I’ve already been wearing mine! Mr Ask took these pics but didn’t tell me the back was all rucked up but you can see how nicely it sits in general. I think the curve at the back makes this perfect for wearing with circle skirts or full skirted dresses that can be hard to pair with jackets. It also looks pretty sweet with jeans.
Sew: Cake Patterns Carmine Jacket
Cake Patterns Carmine Jacket This was part of the Red Velvet Collection, which includes the Red Velvet Dress & Clutch, Espresso Leggings, Cocoa Shrug and Carmine Jacket & Shrug. Of course I pre ordered the set and have all of them in my stash! I give this pattern 5 stars and I suggest it to intermediate or advanced sewers. The curves can be a little tricky but I think you should definitely give it a go!Cake Patterns
Cake Patterns Carmine Jacket

Recipe: Dirty Girl Scout Cocktail

Recipe: Dirty Girl Scout CocktailSummary: Oh yes, I’m back to my cocktail book! I love this one because I always say that camping is a Best & Western motel. The notation for this says – It’s a lucky lady who has never been cajoled into spending the night in a sleeping bag in the godforsaken woods somewhere. But the Dirty Girl Scout is as at home around the campfire (no chilled cocktail glass required!) as she is in the living room. Don’t leave your tent without one!

Ingredients

  • 30 ml peppermint schnapps
  • 45 ml kahlua
  • 75 ml chocolate milk
  • Ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Shake the liquid ingredients vigorously with ice.
  2. Strain into an old fashioned glass and ENJOY the weekend!!!!!

Tip: Sneaky Ways To Give Your Dog A Pill

Tip: Sneaky Ways To Give Your Dog A PillMummy Asks beautiful dog Fang had some cysts removed recently. Poor Fangy! She’s healing beautifully but her surgery meant a course of antibiotics. Fang is not particularly food motivated and always senses something’s up when given a pill. Mummy Ask tried several approaches. Fang loves cheese, so for the first few days we buried the pill in a glob of cream cheese (peanut butter works well for some dogs too). But Fang tired of that approach.

 Tip: Sneaky Ways To Give Your Dog A Pill
Then we went with hot dog. We just cut a little slit in a small chunk of hot dog and shoved the pill into the slit. This proved the winner! Of course we followed up with a few extra pieces too. I think the hot dog smell covered up the antibiotics smell.
Tip: Sneaky Ways To Give Your Dog A Pill
I think it’s so hard to give medical treatment to your pets because you can’t explain that it’s for their own good! We would love to hear your tips on giving pets pills, if you’ve got a good one for cats or dogs, leave it in comments. Dogs definitely seem easier to pill than cats. It’s always easier if your pet is food motivated. The hot dog trick got Fang though her course of antibiotics. See, here she is…..
Tip: Sneaky Ways To Give Your Dog A Pill

Why You Should Spring Clean In Autumn

Why You Should Spring Clean In Autumn I was chatting with the Bestie about the recall on her washing machine (some Samsungs are catching on fire) the other day. It reminded me that I wanted to properly clear the lint traps on my washer dryer. And clean the filters in the reverse cycle aircon and clean the oven. Mr Ask washed the washable parts of the Dyson just this weekend. I use my heaters, dryer and  oven more in Winter and I don’t want them catching on fire. It’s my spring clean in Autumn!


I feel like I spend more time at home in Winter. I want home to feel luxurious and welcoming and warm. I want the house to be clutter free and organized so I can enjoy time spent on my hobbies. We’ve redone the lounge and made over the sewing room so they’re perfect for relaxing on a rainy day.

Let’s face it, Spring in Australia can be pretty hot. No one wants to do sweaty cleaning and de cluttering in the heat. Also, it’s quite dusty in Summer and I feel like all my work is hidden under a layer of dust! Getting on to the hard work while it’s cool but not yet rainy just works for me. I do have a spring clean checklist but here are my autumn jobs -
  • Clean air-conditioner & heating filters. It’s a good time to service these things too.
  • Dust & clean heaters to avoid that burning dust smell.
  • Clean your vacuum and replace or wash filters.
  • Put the electric blanket on the bed or bump up the heat on the water bed.
  • Air out your quilt on a sunny day.
  • Clear out the washer & dryer and give them a good wash.
  • Clean the oven and racks. Give your exhaust fan a good soak too.
  • I like to give the whole bathroom a scrub and wash the walls. Cleaning the walls helps to reduce the filth that rolls down the wall after hot steamy showers. A flat, microfiber mop makes this job an easy one.
  • Rearrange your wardrobe for the cooler weather.
  • Wash pet beds & blankets while they still have a chance to dry.
  • Replace or clean doormats in anticipation of muddy footprints!

I think Autumn is the perfect time to spritz the house up. Do find you seem to have a good clean up at set times in the year? I didn’t think I did but now I’ve thought about it, I clearly do! I know it doesn’t get super cold here but I like to be ready for spending time inside. I just love stitching away with the heater on while the day is cold and stormy. Even better if I have the smells of a soup bubbling the pot. Actually, I think I’m looking forward to winter, how odd!

Recipe: Nutella Peanut Butter Cookies {Only 4 Ingredients & Flourless}

Recipe: Nutella Peanut Butter Cookies {Only 4 Ingredients & Flourless}

Summary: These are a delicious variation of the peanut butter cookies I published waaay back in January 2011! As with that recipe it’s up to you – smooth or crunchy, both work just fine. These are amazing, soft, chocolate peanut buttery goodness. The first batch was eaten before they were even cooled!

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup Nutella
  • 2/3 cup castor sugar
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C.
  2. In a large bowl, mix everything together until well mixed.
  3. Roll the mix into 1 tablespoon sized balls. A cookie scoop makes this so much easier.
  4. Place well apart on a lined tray and bake for 10 mins or until browning at the edges.
  5. Cool on the tray for a few moments before transferring to a cooling rack, as the cookies are very soft till cooled.

Recipe: 3 AM on A School Night Cocktail

Recipe: 3 AM on A School Night Cocktail

Ingredients

  • Oh yeah! I’m back on my marvelous cocktail book. I’ve been writing ever so exciting budget spreadsheets – yeah! After my slog I can really feel the notation in the book – To that kind of girl there’s not too much, too many or too late!
  • 180 ml fruit punch
  • 45 ml light rum
  • 30 ml vodka
  • 10 ml amaretto
  • 10 ml apricot brandy
  • Ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Shake the liquid ingredients vigorously with ice and strain into a glass.
  2. Get a little drinky loud, protest the go to bed sensibility like a toddler and ENJOY the weekend!!!!!