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November 28, 2012

Paper Doily Tree Ornaments

Easy & fun kids craft for Christmas ! Tree Ornaments made of Paper Doilies


These Paper Doily Tree Ornaments are so fun to make and the perfect Christmas craft for kids.

November 25, 2012

Passage Table Decorations



Today I am sharing with you a tiny piece of my passage, to be more specific, the small table between the bedroom doors of my kids.

Normally I have a gold statue of a Buddha, a tall maroonish color candle holder and a framed photo of the kids when Dimitri was less than 2 years old - feeding Cheri, about 2 weeks old, displayed on this table.

Above the table {see insert in the next pic}, hangs a canvas with a quote, which I love every word of - I bought this some years ago from a craft market.


I do believe they have taken the words of this quote to heart as they are very close!  Do not get me wrong... my kids can fight worse than a cat and a dog, but I know they love one another and are very protective of each other.

I used a decorative silver felt table place mat, added a small Christmas basket, some gift-box tree decorations, silver fairy hair and battery-operated lights inside the cloche {the lights can blink on and off or not}. Then I added a simple golden ribbon bow to the top of the cloche.

The small Christmas tree was supposed to go into the cloche...but, that looked much too busy and I decided to place it next to the cloche with a single snow-flake decoration as well.

A note about the table - I do not really like standard wood furniture, but the moment I saw this at a second hand store, I fell in love with it {and it only cost R 100 ! - that would be just over 10 US dollars} The table has a narrow drawer beneath the top, decorative legs to a lower top, with another narrow drawer, ending  with decorative feet.

Here is a photo when the lights are switched off:


I actually like this, and I am not really into home decor - especially putting colors together !

What do you think - fitting for a passage ? , which is one of the most used areas in the house... our house anyway...

Enjoy decorating your own home and do share with us !


Later,


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November 24, 2012

Pizza Bolognaise

Pizza Bolognaise

We love Spaghetti Bolognaise, but I felt like a change from the normal recipe and especially the spaghetti.... so, I give you Pizza Bolognaise !

Cold X-MAS Fruit Dessert



I had a couple of requests from some of my South-African friends, readers and family for Christmas pudding recipes.  

At first, I wanted to make a proper Fruit Cake - the kind which you make weeks in advance and once a week it gets a good dose of Brandy/Whisky or Rum.  That is the favorite type in South-Africa, a baked Fruit Cake - with or without the liquor.

But, if I make something like that, it will only go to waste in our house as it will most probably be only Roy and myself.  

I have been wanting to make this particular dessert for some time now, and thought I will give it a try and share if it is good enough.... obviously it was good, as the recipe follows. {I made mine using Apple Juice but you can use White Wine}.

Cold X-MAS Fruit Dessert

{recipe makes 2 large desserts but can easily be halved} source: from HUISGENOOT Magazine by a reader some years ago.

1/2 cup Raisins, seedless
1/2 cup Mixed Citrus Peel
1 cup Glace Cherries
2 1/2 cups Water, divided
2 cups Apple Juice or White Wine
6 TB Gelatin, plain
1 1/2 cups luke warm Water
6 Extra-Large Eggs, separated
2 cups Sugar
Pinch Salt
2 cups Fresh Cream
2 t Vanilla Essence
1/2 cup Almond Flakes

1.) Place the Raisins, Citrus Peel and Cherries in a large pot - add 2 cups of the Water and the Apple Juice(or White Wine) - heat to just under boiling point, remove from heat and keep aside.
2.) Sprinkle the Gelatin over the remaining 1/2 cup Water until spongy - add to the luke warm water to dissolve completely - set aside.
3.) Beat together the Egg Yolks and the Sugar until light and creamy - add the Salt and Cream, stir to mix - place in a bowl over a pot with boiling water - stir all the time until the mixture thickens - remove and keep aside to cool - add the dissolved Gelatin to the Egg Yolk mixture - add the Fruit mixture in step 1 - stir to mix - chill until just starting to set.
4.) Once the mixture starts to set, beat the Egg Whites stiff and fold into the mixture - add the Vanilla and Almond Flakes - stir well.
5.) Pour the mixture into two molds (1.5 liter capacity each) - Chill 4 - 5 hours to set completely.

This can be made a day or two in advance.

Hope you will enjoy - it is especially delightful in our hot Christmas weather.

Ciao for now,


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Fluffy Feta Omelette




Light, fluffy and thick, that is what I call a great omelette.  The toppings/fillings are extra's to compliment the omelette, or do I have it the wrong way around?  

This is the first "thick" omelette I have had - you can see how nicely I sliced it into a wedge ... placed on a slice of toast and Voila - breakfast or a light dinner is served. Okay, we had some sausages on the side as well... how often do you hear that "...the meat was on the side..."?

If you are not a fan of Feta, try your own topping, easy as that!

Fluffy Feta Omelette


{makes 1 Large Omelette - approx. 6 wedges, about 1/2 inch thick}

6 Extra-Large Eggs
1/4 cup Water
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1 TB Butter
1/2 TB Oil
Feta Cheese, cubed - handful or more
Fresh Parsley, chopped

1.) Switch on the top grill of your oven.
2.) Whisk together the Eggs and Water - season with Salt & Pepper.
3.) Melt the Butter in a large (oven-proof) pan and add the Oil - stir to mix - add the beaten Egg mixture, cook over low heat, do not stir much.
4.) As soon as the center of the omelette start to set, remove from the stove - add the cubed Feta.
5.) Place the pan under the oven grill until the Feta start to soften {the omelette will puff up}- remove from the oven and garnish with the chopped Parsley.

Serve immediately and enjoy!


Bye-bye now,


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Edible Mini X-MAS Trees



Christmas Trees to eat !!  These would make such cute and adorable center pieces at the kids' Christmas table - that is, if your kids have their own table ... if not, they are just fine for the adult table as well, don't you think?

As soon as I saw this idea in a magazine, I wanted to make them, so.. I made the three larger ones using standard size ice-cream cones and then I found some mini cones in my freezer as well.. they might even be cuter than the larger trees!

This is what I used :



Standard ice-cream cones
Mini cones
A variety of soft candy
Melting chocolate
Sprinkles and other cake decorations
Edible glitter

See how easy this was to make:

Standard size cones; Melt the chocolate and cover the cones - starting from the bottom, stick the candy to the chocolate {if the chocolate is still a bit runny.. hold the candy in place for 30 - 40 seconds} - round-round to the top. Sprinkle with edible glitter and chill a few minutes to set.

Mini cones; I rolled these in the melted chocolate and lightly sprinkled them with all sorts of cake decorations, chill to set.

Easy !

***A great idea which I did not do {as my kids are grown-ups and no grandkids, yet..} is to place a small toy or lolly pop inside the larger cones, use icing to "glue" the bottom to a round cookie and then start with the tree.  The mini cones can have a small piece of paper with a joke or game inside,.. or even filled with caramel or mini marshmallows and closed the same way with icing and cookies. ***

Do you like them?  Do your kids have their own table at Christmas or any other occasions?

Later,


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November 22, 2012

Island De-Luxe Dessert

Island De-Luxe Dessert ~ Bring the Island to your table with this delicious Peach dessert #Dessert #PeachDessert #LayeredDessert

Trifle ..??  No, way, not even close - not to my taste buds anyway. Delicious, oh yes!

This is such an easy and simple recipe... hard to believe it is so good.  It does remind one of a trifle, but besides the Swiss Roll pieces and fruit, that is where the similarity ends.

I made individual servings in fairly large glasses.  You can make one big dessert or 6 - 8 medium sized individuals.

Island De-Luxe Dessert


source: EENSKOTTELTREFFERS recipe book {slightly adapted by me}

1 Ready-made Swiss Roll, cut into slices{one large dessert}pieces {individuals}
1 can (397g) Sweetened Condensed Milk
250g Cottage Cheese, smooth-plain
1/4 cup Lemon Juice
1 cup Apricot Yoghurt
1 can (410g) Peach slices, drained

1.) Place the Swiss Roll slices or pieces at the bottom of your dish.
2.) Beat together the Condensed Milk, Cottage Cheese, Lemon Juice and Apricot Yoghurt until smooth and thicker - spoon over the Swiss Roll slices/pieces.
3.) Chill for 1 - 2 hours in the refrigerator.
4.) Arrange the peach Slices on top and serve.

A Quick and easy delicious dessert!

Enjoy,

Bacon & Rice + + Oven Bake



Weird name, I know !  But have a look at the photo... and the ingredients... Well, hence the + + in the dish's name - this is the first time I got stuck on naming a self-thought-up recipe.

I think it is much easier when making a dish, which has a name ... think, Spaghetti Bolognaise or Lasagna - easy right?  Okay, enough about the name.

This was awesomely delicious !  Even if I have to say it myself {whink}, and all of the family agreed.  There were no leftovers and all the plates were empty - now, that is something that can make me truly happy.

Before we get to the recipe :


Out of the oven and ready to be dished up !

Bacon & Rice + + Oven Bake


Oil, to fry
1 Large Onion, chopped
250g Bacon Bits
500g Ground Beef {Mince}  - Extra-Lean
Salt & Black Pepper
1 cup Rice, raw
250g Mushrooms, sliced
1 can (410g) Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/4 cup Water
1 can (410g) Beans in Tomato Sauce

1.) Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C (350 deg F) - Spray a large oven dish, with a lid, with Spray 'N Cook.
2.) Using a little Oil, saute the Onion until almost soft, add the Bacon Bits and stir-fry until done - place the mixture in the bottom of the prepared oven dish.
3.) Fry the Ground Beef, using the same pan, until done - season lightly with Salt and Black Pepper - add to the Bacon mixture in the oven dish and stir to mix it all.
4.) Sprinkle the raw Rice over the meat mixture, followed by the sliced Mushrooms.
5.) Mix the Mushroom Soup with the Water and pour over the Mushrooms - lastly add the can of Beans in Tomato Sauce on top.
6.) Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour until the Rice is cooked.

Serve with Garlic Bread and Salads.

Hope you enjoy this as much as we did !

Ciao for now,


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November 21, 2012

Mixed Media Brick Doorstop



I made this doorstop when I just started getting interested in crafting a couple of years ago.  Unfortunately, I do not have a step-by-step tutorial for you, as at the time I made this, blogging about this some day never even entered my mind !

It is actually very straightforward - when using Mixed Media, the possibilities are endless.  You can use just about anything you like.

Everything I have used (except the standard building brick) is available at large craft stores, especially stores specialising in mosaic tiles for crafting.

When I made this doorstop, I first used small square mirror tiles and glued {any strong glue - mirror silicone, wood glue or extra strength Bostik} my chosen word, which was LOVE, in the center of the brick.

Then, starting from the outer edges I adhered larger mosaic tiles - to the top {the doorstop is now on its side}, and all four sides.  Use tile grouting to fill the spaces in between the tiles as well as the far outer edges. This can be painted but I opted for the light grey natural shade of the grouting.

I applied glue to all the open areas - filled them with green glass sand and three cute little flowers, making sure to press everything into the glue and added a dash of glue here and there where extra were needed.

Lastly  :  IMPORTANT - I have laminated floors therefore I cut and glued a piece of felt to the same size as the bottom of the brick, now we just use our feet to shift the doorstop into place without scratching the floor!

Although I have used a standard size building brick, you can use a half size or even a stepping stone which is available at most gardening stores as well as building supply stores.

I have made stepping stones using mosaic tiles as well... I placed one or two in pot plants outside, where the sun's rays bounces off lovely.

Seeing as it is our gardening season, I will be making some more and share them with you - this time step-by-step.

Bye-bye now


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November 20, 2012

Coffee Cottage Cheese Triangle




This is perfect for any celebration or even as an everyday dessert.  It can be served chilled or frozen, but I prefer it chilled.

I always had a bit of a fear in assembling triangles, but this is extremely easy. It took me, to assemble, just over 10 minutes!

Use a good brand Lady Fingers as some of the cheaper brands does not absorb liquids as it should, and that is exactly what we want here - a biscuit which gets dunked, in-and-out quickly, absorbs some of the moisture, but does not go soggy immediately.

Coffee Cottage Cheese Triangle

{12 - 15 servings}

1/2 cup Butter, softened
1/2 cup Sugar
1 Egg, beaten
1 t Coffee Powder mixed with 2 t Boiling water, cooled
250g Cottage Cheese, plain - smooth
1 cup Milk
2 t Vanilla Extract
45 Lady Fingers {I used 2 packets of 125g each}
200g Brown Milk Chocolate
White Chocolate, optional - to decorate

1.) Beat the Butter until light and fluffy - add the Sugar and Egg, keep beating until smooth.
2.) Mix the Coffee mixture with the Cottage Cheese and add to the Butter mixture - fold in gentle - chill until a little firmer.
3.) Combine the Milk and Vanilla - dip each Lady Finger into this mixture as you assemble the triangle:

  

    1 - Place 5 biscuits in 3 rows as above on a large sheet of aluminium foil 
         {plus extra to cover the triangle when done assembling}
    2 - Spread some of the Cottage Cheese mixture over the biscuits
    3 - Now, place 4 biscuits in 3 rows on top
    4 - Spread some Cottage Cheese mixture
    5 - 3 biscuits in 3 rows
    6 - Spread some Cottage Cheese mixture
    7 - 2 biscuits in 3 rows
    8 - Spread the remaining Cottage Cheese mixture over and into the open sides {if any}
    9 - Top with 1 biscuit in 3 rows
  10 - Fold the aluminium foil from the bottom up over the triangle, pressing gently into a well-formed triangle
  11 - Chill for 30 minutes in the freezer compartment - remove and open the aluminium foil
  12 - You will now have a half-frozen triangle - do not worry if it is not too smooth - the chocolate must still be spread over...

4.) Melt the Brown Milk Chocolate and using the back of a table spoon, spread it over the sides and top of the triangle - place back in the freezer compartment for a couple of minutes.
5.) If using - Melt the White Chocolate and drizzle over the cold dessert.
6.) Either place back in the freezer {if you want frozen} or chill until firm.

Remove the aluminium foil and transfer, carefully, to a serving dish - cut into slices.

Enjoy!

Ciao for now,


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November 16, 2012

Granita Di Caffe {Iced Coffee}



I mentioned before that I am not really a big fan of coffee.  BUT, Iced coffee, or coffee in any cold way is totally my thing.

We had this Granita Di Caffe (I like the fancy name..) as a dessert after a rich meal served in small liqueur glasses, which was more than enough.

It is topped with a coffee flavored sweet cream !

Granita Di Caffe {Iced Coffee}


1/2 cup Sugar, divided
1/2 cup Water
1 1/4 cups Strong Espresso coffee (or any other strong coffee)
1 Vanilla Bean (pod)
1/4 cup Fresh Cream
2 t Espresso/Coffee Powder


1.) Place the Sugar (keep 1 TB aside) and the Water in a small pot - bring to the boil and let boil vigorously for 1 minute - add the Espresso/Coffee, scrape out the seeds and add together with the bean to the pot. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
2.) Strain the syrup mixture through a sieve into a shallow freezer-proof dish {an old Ice cream container works well} - place into the freezer for at least 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes to prevent any large crystals.  Stir once more before serving.
3.) Beat the Fresh Cream, remaining 2 TB Sugar and the Espresso/Coffee Powder until semi-stiff.

Spoon the Granita into 6 small glasses and top with the Whipped flavored cream !


Ciao for now,


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White Chocolate Tart




Chocolate lovers !!  Yes, I am calling you ....  Have I got the most delicious recipe here, and I am sharing it with you today!

This is definitely a "must-make-double-batch" tart. We could not stop eating until it was all gone {whink}

I know this will definitely be on our dessert table for Christmas .. think of all the possibilities on how to decorate this tart, or make a flat crust in a baking sheet add the filling and slice into small treats !

White Chocolate Tart

1 Roll Short-Crust Frozen Pastry, defrosted
300g White Chocolate {good quality}
1/4 cup Fresh Cream
1/2 cup Butter, softened
Dark Brown Chocolate, optional, to decorate

1.) Pre-heat the oven to 200 deg C (400 deg F) - Spray a pie oven dish with Spray 'N Cook.
2.) Roll out the pastry and fit into the pie-dish, cut away any excess - prick a few times with a fork - place a layer of baking paper on top and add beans to "blind-bake" - Bake for 20 minutes - remove from the oven, take out  the beans and baking paper and leave crust to cool.
3.) Whilst waiting for the crust to cool, make the filling - Melt the White Chocolate in a medium bowl - warm the Fresh Cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until just warm - stir into the melted White Chocolate - add the Butter and stir until all is well combined.
4.) Pour the filling into the crust - chill for 10 - 15 minutes before decorating with melted Dark Chocolate (if using), if not, chill 30 - 40 minutes before serving.

So simple - but sooo, good!

Hope you enjoy :-)


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November 13, 2012

Lemon Mousse




If you like zesty, then this is the perfect dessert for you.

This is an absolute gem after a heavy, rich main meal. The mousse is very much like a custard, but as I mentioned .. zesty!

I think they look kind of cute served this way.  

Lemon Mousse

Grated Peel of one Lemon
1 cup Fresh Lemon Juice
1 cup White Wine  {I used a dry white}, divided
3/4 cup Sugar, divided
4 TB Corn Flour
2 Egg Yolks
3 Egg Whites
4 Lemons
Mint Leaves to decorate, optional
Extra grated Lemon Peel, optional

1.) Place the Grated Lemon Peel, Lemon Juice, 1/2 cup White wine and 1/2 cup Sugar in a saucepan - simmer on medium heat.
2.) Meanwhile, mix the Corn Flour with the Egg Yolks and the remaining 1/2 cup White Wine, add to the saucepan, stir continuously until thick (2 - 3 minutes)
3.) Beat the Egg Whites until stiff - adding the remaining 1/4 cup Sugar gradually - fold into the warm mixture - transfer to a bowl, let the mousse cool and chill for at least 3 hours.
4.) Cut a lid off the tops of the Lemons and hollow out - Fill with the Mousse and add a Mint Leave and some extra grated Lemon Peel, if using.

Enjoy!

Later,


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November 12, 2012

Espresso And Chocolate Chip Slices

Sheet pan cake recipe ! Quick, easy and delicious ~ These Espresso and Chocolate Chip Slices are delicious, especially with a cup of freshly brewed coffee - teatime, dessert or with your morning cup of coffee

Espresso and Chocolate Chip Slices are such a delicious treat !  I found this book, Food Lovers {Desserts}, at our Crazy Store, it was the last one so I grabbed it immediately.

November 10, 2012

Lemon Bath Salts


Post number 200 !! (can not believe I made it this far...)


This is so easy to make, perfect idea for the kids to make their own gifts which they can give to a teacher or relative or even their friends.

But, I am not saying, you can not make it - this is just a simpler recipe than my Vanilla & Lavender Bath Salts, only 3 ingredients, really, I actually think most of you know this one.

I have decided on Lemon, as I haven't used my Lemon essential oil much, yet.  You can use any other essential oil instead, all depends on your taste or in the case of making it as a gift, what you have available or what the other person likes.

You can half, double, or triple this as you wish - this is the basics you will need:

- 1 cup Epsom Salts
- 1/2  t Lemon Essential Oil
- Few drops of Yellow Food Coloring

To get one color : Mix all the ingredients well

To layer colors : Mix the Epsom Salts and the Lemon Essential Oil - divide the mixture in two - add Food coloring to one half, mix well.

Pour the Salts into a nice container (I used an old Nutella bottle) - or if you are using two colors, do them by the table spoonful, layering (which I did).

Decorate your container with a label (I used PicMonkey to make mine), a golden-green leaf, some ribbon (I wanted some glittery stuff here as you can see), add a wooden scoop and you are done.

For the adventurers - how about making an Ombre Bath Salt in a larger bottle ? Adjust the colors as you go along...

Making the actual Bath Salts takes no more than 5 minutes.

Quick, easy, cheap craft !

Later,


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November 8, 2012

Cornish Pies {meat & vegs}



Filled with meat and vegetables - that is what a Cornish pie should be. I am sure there are certain requirements for it to be a real Cornish Pie, but this is my requirements.

As I mentioned the other day in my post Steak, Bacon & Beer Pies, we can not buy decent individual meat pies any more. Just the thought of what goes in them, makes me wonder these days. I do not want to spoil your appetite, so I will not share what I am wondering about ...

These are also great to make as cocktail pies, which has been a favorite for longer than I can remember, medium, large or cocktail size will be a great addition to a lunch box, as they are equally delicious warm or cold !

Feel free to add more of the sauces if you like a saucier meat pie.

Cornish Pies {meat & vegs}

recipe made 8 medium/large pies

1 TB Oil
1 Large Onion, peeled and chopped finely
700g Ground Beef {Mince}   -  I only use extra-lean
3/4 cup Fresh White Bread crumbs
2 cans (410g each) Mixed Vegetables, drained and rinsed
2 TB Parsley, chopped
2 TB Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 cup BBQ Sauce  
1/4 cup Tomato Sauce 
Salt & Pepper, to taste
2 Rolls Frozen Puff Pastry, defrosted
1 Egg, beaten

1.) Pre-heat the oven to 200 deg C (400 deg F) - line two baking sheets with baking paper.
2.) Heat the Oil in a large pan, saute the Onion until soft - add the Ground Beef - stir-fry until the meat is no longer pink.
3.) Add the White Bread crumbs, Mixed Vegetables and Parsley to the meat - stir well to combine.
4.) Add the Worcestershire Sauce, BBQ Sauce and Tomato Sauce - mix well - season with Salt & Pepper to taste - simmer 10 - 15 minutes over low heat - remove from heat and let cool completely.
5.) Roll out the Puff Pastry and cut each sheet into 4 rectangles - add filling to one half of each rectangle, leaving a small border to close - flip over the other half of the pastry and press all the sides using a fork to seal the edges - cut away excess pastry - brush the pastries with the beaten Egg.
6.) Bake 25 - 30 minutes until golden brown and puffed.

Serve with a salad or two.

I hope you will enjoy this as much as my family did.

Ciao for now,


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Cranberry Cottage Cheese Pie


The different flavors in this pie compliment one another 100%. I do not know a lot about cranberries, therefore this was a try or die... I made something else using dried cranberries and had almost a full bag left - what to do ?  

I took a chance on one of my "bright light ideas" and struck gold !  This pie does not set fully as it is very creamy - that was okay by me, cut and serve carefully and just enjoy ...

Tangerine (Naartjie) Juice was used in the sauce - I wanted Orange Juice, but had none and an almost full bottle of Tangerine, which ended up being used instead.

What will you taste .. Ginger / Tangerine / Cranberry  and a lot of sweetness !

Cranberry Cottage Cheese Pie


1 packet (200g) Ginger biscuits, crumbled finely
6 TB Butter, melted
1 can (397g) Sweetened Condensed Milk
250g Cottage Cheese, plain and smooth
1/2 cup Lemon juice
1 cup Fresh Cream, beaten stiff
1 cup Dried Cranberries, divided
1 cup Tangerine (Naartjie) Juice
3 TB Sugar
1 t Corn Flour, {mixed with 1 TB of the Tangerine Juice}


1.) Mix the Ginger biscuit crumbs with the melted Butter - press into a pie dish's sides and bottom - chill.
2.) Beat together the Condensed Milk, Cottage Cheese and Lemon juice.
3.) Gently fold in the beaten Fresh Cream to the Cottage Cheese mixture - add 3/4 cup of the Cranberries and stir through - pour into the crust and chill at least 4 hours.
4.) Over medium heat, simmer the Tangerine Juice (keep 1 TB aside to mix with the Corn Flour), Sugar and the remaining 1/4 cup dried Cranberries for 8 - 10 minutes - add the Corn Flour mixed with the 1 TB juice - simmer and stir until the sauce has thickened - remove from heat and cool completely.

Once the sauce has cooled, pour over the pie and serve !

Bye-bye now,


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Mushroom Burgers {meatless}



These Mushroom Burgers are great for a meatless Monday - and very tasty by the way {this is said by one of the biggest carnivores around ! } 

Roy and the kids even enjoyed this ... enough said.

I wanted the really large brown mushrooms, but, Murphy's Law ... we could only get medium large, however it turned out fine and delicious.

Mushroom Burgers


Olive Oil or Avocado Oil, to fry
1 Onion, sliced
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
6 Large Brown Mushrooms, wiped clean
1 Red Chilli, seeds removed and chopped finely
4 TB Plain Yoghurt
1 - 2 Avocados, peeled and sliced
6 Buns, toasted {I used Portuguese Hamburger Buns}
Rocket(Arugula), Basil or other leafy herbs, to serve

1.) Saute the Onion and Red Bell Pepper in a little Oil until soft and light brown.
2.) Meanwhile, brush the Brown Mushrooms with some Oil and fry in a separate pan, 2 - 3 minutes per side, until soft - drain on paper towel {they do get juicy and will make the bread soggy}.
3.) Mix the Red Chilli with the plain Yoghurt in a small bowl.

To assemble : - Spread some of the Chilli/Yoghurt mixture on the bottom side of the                             toasted bun.
                      - Place a few slices of Avocado on top of the Yoghurt mixture
                      - Now add a Brown Mushroom to each burger
                      - Add some Onion/Red Bell Pepper and top with a leafy herb

Serve immediately, with little cubed Fries and a Salad !

Later,


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FUN Fizzy Bath Bombs



I am sharing a recipe to make Bath Bombs today.  I remember when they had just arrived  in the stores - Cheri and I went crazy for this stuff.

In the collage you can see I made Bath Bombs shaped more suitable for kids or teenagers.  These will make great stocking fillers.

{Cheri and Dimitri quickly told me that I have used the incorrect spelling for Nokia - I know, that. was. the. idea!}  .. and Cheri is hinting for a new cellphone..lol..she might get her wish !

Use any mold you have - I still have the molds which I used for my Nutella Cheesecake Cellphones , so, I used them here as well. The "cupcake" molds was formed in the container in which I have bought my silicone molds some months ago.

You do not need any fancy molds - use what you have on hand. (I will be making more shapes, ..uhm, suitable for the more sophisticated generation as well..}

This is what you need to make BATH BOMBS;

1 cup Baking Soda
1/2 cup Citric Acid Crystals
1/2 cup Corn Starch
1/2 t Water {plus a little extra}
2 TB Almond Oil {you can use sunflower oil as well}
Few drops Essential Oil - quantity and scent to your liking {keep in mind this stuff is strong}
Few drops Food Coloring - again, your choice
1 t Borax

-  Mix the Baking Soda, Citric Acid and Corn Starch in a medium bowl.
- In a separate, small, bowl, mix the Water, Almond Oil, Essential Oil and Food Coloring* until combined - add the Borax and stir through.
- Add the Oil mixture in a thin stream, whilst stirring all the time, to the Baking Soda mixture.
- Use your hands to really get it all mixed up, it should feel like wet sand and able to hold together - if not, add a drop or two Water to the mixture - not more than a drop at a time, it will make it fizz away if you use too much at once.
- The mixture is now ready to be packed TIGHTLY into your mold - make sure to press it into all corners etc.
- Leave to harden at least 12 hours or overnight, do not remove it too soon - it will crumble away, wait and you will have rock hard bombs.

- Decorate as you wish :

   - I used edible ink pens on the cellphone shapes as well as the hand drawn Christmas Tree on the one cupcake shape
   - The other cupcake forms were sprinkled with hundreds-and-thousands sprinkles as well as edible food glitter, do not use ordinary glitter ! - unless you want to get out of the bath full of glitter ...

* Coloring: if you want to use different colors, divide the Oil mixture just before adding the Food Coloring, color, then divide the amount of Borax and add to each color - divide the Baking Soda mixture and add the colors as you wish.

Easy, right ?  I was sure mine will not go rock hard, ...surprise, surprise - it did !


I do realize I am not Picasso as I have mentioned a ton of times before ... - go mad, have FUN!


This is excellent for Christmas, draw trees, stars, anything you want to.
I have seen some "cupcake" Bath Bombs with "Swirled Icing" surfing the internet, but for the top piece, you will need a different recipe - unfortunately I did not go into that ... this time.

I hope you enjoyed this post and remember this is easy to make - I do not do difficult stuff, it tends to irritate me..

Ciao for now,


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November 6, 2012

Wine Glass Tea-Lamps




These little "lamps" are so cute !  I wanted to make some months ago and finally made a few today.  We have a bunch of celebrations coming up in November and December.

This could be used at an informal tea-party, or if you choose the correct paper/card and glasses it would even look lovely as part of a formal table setting.

Or scatter them on the sweets or snack tables.

This is all you need to make these pretty Lamp-shades:

Pretty paper/card or even paper doilies
Double sided Tape
Tea-light candles
A selection of Wine Glasses - different sizes and types looks very nice together 
The template which you can find at Good Housekeeping by clicking HERE
  

Cut out the template - if it is too big - cut some away, following the template's design
Use the double sided tape to close the two ends on the inside
Place a Tea-light candle into each glass
Light the candle (looks lovely even without using candles...)
Top with your "Lamp-shade"

Here are the lamps without the candles being lit:


Just as pretty !!

I tried them in pairs and they all look nice:


I love them ... and with all the pretty paper in the stores now, you can create any theme, or download some from the internet - there are loads of free printables.

You can add Wine Glass Charms, see my post HERE on how to make some the easy way.  I did not add any to these but you might want to, depending on the occasion. 

Something else you might consider - add a small piece of ribbon round the bottom of the shades or punch in some holes and hang a few small beads.

Hope you enjoyed the post !

Bye-bye now,


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November 5, 2012

Caramelised Banana with Yoghurt


I do not see a lot of Banana recipes (other than breads or muffins) around the net.  Bananas make a wonderful dessert and it is equally delicious hot or cold.

Next time you have some extra bananas leftover, try this quick recipe. Use firm, not bruised or over-ripe bananas in this dessert.

Caramelised Banana with Yoghurt

1 roll Frozen Puff Pastry, defrosted
3 - 4 Firm Bananas, sliced
1/2 cup Orange Juice
4 TB Muscovado Sugar
Milk, to brush pastry
Almond Slivers, to decorate
1 TB Redcurrant Jelly, to decorate and to add extra flavor
Plain Yoghurt, to serve

1.) Pre-heat the oven to 200 deg C (400 deg F) - Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
2.) Roll out the Puff Pastry into a rectangular or square shape - cut 1 centimeter off all the edges - brush a little water on the edges and the cut-off pieces - place the cut-off pieces on top of the large sheet - cut away any excess - you will now have a border.
3.) Place the pastry on the baking sheet - drizzle the Banana slices with the Orange Juice and arrange the slices on the pastry - sprinkle the Muscovado Sugar over the Banana and drizzle some more Orange Juice over.
4.) Brush the pastry with a little Milk and bake 20 - 25 minutes until golden brown and puffed.
5.) Immediately after removal from the oven - sprinkle over the Almond Slivers, and add drops of Redcurrant Jelly (the jelly will melt from the heat of the dish)

Serve warm with Plain Yoghurt !

Ciao for now,


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Chocolate SALAMI




Here is another homemade edible gift idea!  Chocolate Salami is a favorite among young and old {and all the in-betweeners ...} It is also highly priced in store - not really something a person would buy for themselves.

Well, with this recipe, you can make 2 logs - one for yourself and one as a gift !

I have sliced and eaten one of the logs so you can see all the goodies inside and the second log I wrapped as a gift - very Christmassy, don't you think?

If you want to make some to give as gifts, wrap the logs in baking paper first and then add whatever you like.  I packed mine in a double layer of baking paper, twisted the ends, added some ribbon to secure and lastly I added some gold tissue paper with punched-out shapes.  The wrapping possibilities are endless.

Chocolate SALAMI

makes 2 logs

200g Shortbread biscuits, roughly chopped
1/3 cup Dried Cranberries
50g Pecan Nuts, chopped
1/2 can (of a 397g) Sweetened Condensed Milk
80g Dark Chocolate of a good quality
50g Butter

1.) Mix the Shortbread biscuits, Cranberries and Pecan Nuts in a medium bowl.
2.) Heat the Condensed Milk, Dark Chocolate and Butter over low/medium heat until melted.
3.) Pour the Chocolate mixture over the Shortbread mixture - stir to combine well.
4.) Divide the mixture in half  - place each half on a baking sheet and roll up to form a log - chill until firm.

When firm, slice and enjoy or wrap as a gift !

Keep refrigerated.

For a chocolate lover, this is perfect on it's own or you can add a bottle of chocolate syrup/liqueur, chocolate spread or small chocolate truffles.

Bye-bye now,


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