Friday, February 27, 2009

Welcome....

The past week has seen the completion of a couple of knitting projects that I've had on the go... Firstly there was a little 'Debbie Bliss' shrug...I love this pattern it's such a great simple knit. I made the 3-6 month old size for Little Millie and it's HUGE!!!! Hopefully it fits her come Winter.Next was a Shrug for Miss Connie (original pattern from here but I changed the rib and the sleeves quite a bit this time around...) in a gorgeous sky blue coloured yarn...And then there were these....A super cute little pair of leg warmers for Little Millie.


This week also welcomes a new member to the 'Darling Downs' family....'Puppy Lucy' She was a gift from my Mum and is already so very loved, can't you tell????

That now brings the total of animals, or should I say cats and dogs, running around the place to 8, you must be thinking I'm CRAZY, right??? Thank goodness I live on a farm and can accommodate them all... :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Doodling.....

I love to sit and watch my Miss Connie as she 'doodles' away... She'll sit with a bunch of pencils and a big wad of blank paper scribbling away for hours some days, not usually producing too much that you can recognise. That was until the other day when it all started coming together for her.... She started to draw her 'mummy' and boy did my heart melt.....
As you can probably tell I was pretty excited!!!! So the sewing machine came out and I whipped up a very special roll to put her most precious pencils ('draws' as she likes to call them) in....

She feels so very grown up now and has to have her pencil roll with her everywhere she goes, just in case she needs to do some 'draws' while she's on the go....

We also celebrated with a yummy baked treat.... This cake is DELICIOUS, and now one of Miss Connie's favourites!!!! It's only the second time that I've made it since I got the recipe off my sister last week.

Bran Cup Cake....

1 cup bran, 1 cup milk, 1 cup sugar (any kind is fine, e.g. raw, brown, white), 1 cup dried fruit (I used sultanas and chopped dried apricots but you could use ANYTHING!!! I also added 1/4 cup of desiccated coconut which wasn't in the original recipe. You could add anything here, the variations are endless, I added macadamia nuts with my fruit last time too, YUMMO)....

Combine all of these ingredients and allow to soak for a good hour.... Next, add 1 cup SR flour, give it a good stir and spoon the mixture into a well greased loaf tin. Bake at 180C for 45-60 mins, or until lovely and golden brown....

I iced this cake with a lemon butter icing but it tastes just as delicious without icing.... (Let me know if you'd like the recipe for the lemon butter icing too, if so I'll post that up too)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

In the garden.........

At this time of year I always seem to have an abundance of sweet basil growing in my herb garden... Last year I made oodles of pesto to use it up and this year I thought I'd give 'freezing' a go...
After a few different experiments over the past week I realised that the most easiest way to freeze basil (well for me anyway) that gave the best results once thawed was this.....
Blitz up a big bucket full of basil leaves (about 3 cups)....

Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to make it all come together like so (water works just as well here too).....

Then simply spoon the mixture into ice cube trays and pop in the freezer.Once they set I pop them out and put them in freezer bags... When a dish calls for me to use fresh basil I just pop a couple of these cubes in instead and it tastes and looks just as good as it did the day I picked it.


I'd love to hear of any other basil preserving ideas if you have them.....


As most of you were aware it was Valentine's Day on saturday so for DH I made one of these washcloths.....

And a big batch of the most DELICIOUS biscuits ever (or so he tells me anyway)....

The biscuit recipe is an old one that my Mum use to make when I was younger, here it is.....

Monte Creams...

biscuits - 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup milk, 1/2 cup S/R flour, 1/4 cup custard powder, 1/3 cup desiccated coconut.

cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add milk and beat until combined. Stir in remaining ingredients to form a soft dough. Roll teaspoons of mixture into balls, press down flat with a fork dipped in custard powder, this will stop it from sticking to the dough. Bake at 180'C for 10-15 mins or until just golden. Cool completely on wire rack before adding filling.

filling - 1/4 cup butter, 2/3 cup icing sugar, 2 teaspoons milk, 1/3 cup jam.

Cream butter and icing sugar, add milk and beat well. Spread one biscuit with about 1/2 teaspoon of butter mixture and one with about 1/2 teaspoon of jam of your choice (I used homemade strawberry jam), sandwich together.

ENJOY!!!!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Special B'day and a Giveaway.....

Thanks for all of the great 'keeping cool' tips from the last post.... Thank goodness the mercury has dropped quite a bit since I wrote that but I'm sure it won't be long before it's back up to where it was....
My most favourite tips were from Donna and Lissa Jane... The cool washer on the back of the neck is fantastic!!! Cooling it for a while in the freezer really does help too, thanks Lissa Jane..... Email me through your address's and a special little Jelly package will be on its way to you both...
In between running around after my adventurous 2 year old and feeding my gorgeous newborn I've some how had the chance to craft a little something up for my Mum for her B'day.....
Seen as though the main colour in her kitchen is maroon and her most favourite teapot is blue I decided to use these two colours for my inspiration and this is what I came up with.....
A knitted lined tea cosy (from this book)..... We just love to drink our tea from a pot, how about you?????
It's complete with a Jelly Wares label, so very professional, don't you think??? :)
A couple of table runners... One for her kitchen table.....
and one for her dining room table.....
Both were backed with some fabric that I salvaged from some pld bread flour bags....
And last but not least a little crochet bookmark in her favourite colour, blue.....

Happy B'day Mum!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Keeping Cool....

Even though the temps here are well truly up and over 40 at the moment I just can't seem to stop knitting (again).....
This last week has seen the creation of a little pair of cutie pie slippers/shoes for Miss Connie.And a teeny tiny shrug for Little Millie......
The pattern I used for the shoes/slippers was from this book (thanks for loaning it to me Mum, it's going to be REALLY hard giving it back this weekend when I come to visit) and the shrug pattern can be found here (a free download on Raverly)....

Now, time for a question and seen as though it's been a while since I had a giveaway I might just have to do one of those too....
What do you do to keep cool when the temps start to sky rocket where you are???
The best 'keeping cool' tip will get a special little Jellywares package in the mail. I can't wait to see what you come up with, I sure could use a few good suggestions on how to cool down at the moment.... :)