Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Blog 95

Wow I am nearly up to 100 posts. I am impressed with myself. I have the flu again or still I am not sure which. Anyway I am on anti-biotics and off work. I spent most of today on the lounge. Bronwyn did some shopping for me and dropped in with hot chips for lunch and the GKids which was a nice surprise but I was exhausted by the time they went.
I have done some work on the Embroiderers Guild piece and would have given you a photo but the batteries were flat so I am charging them now. Next time.
I also typed out the recipe for the Sour Cream Banana Cake I used for Matt's wedding for Leanne (SIL)so I thought you can never have enough easy recipes that taste fantastic so here it is for you guys too. For the wedding I got straight sided patty papers from a kitchen supplies shop they were made out of brown paper and I didn't grease those. I then covered each cake with white or dark chocolate ganache and before the chocolate set stuck shards of white or dark chocolate around the sides. My Mum made 74 mini icing roses and we put them on the top. When the cakes were served at the wedding they had Orange and Passionfruit sauce and fresh cream with them. All the guests were really impressed and I told the caterers they could eat the extras and they told me that they were YUM.

Sour Cream Banana Cake

100mls sunflower or macadamia oil
¾ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
½ cups (225 g) self raising flour
1 teaspoon bi-carb soda
1 cup mashed banana (about 2-3) – bananas should be over ripe.
½ teaspoon mixed spice
2/3 cup sour cream

Tin – 21 cm baba tin or 25cm ring tin or makes 10 -12 muffin size.
Decide on tin size and brush with melted butter and flour.
Combine all ingredients in bowl of mixer or food processor and beat on low speed until combined and then on medium speed until mixture is smooth and changes in colour. Spoon in to chosen tin.
Bake in 180° C oven for
Muffins 15 – 20 minutes - Tin 40 – 45 min or until skewer inserted comes out clean.
Cool in tin for 5 minutes and then turn out onto cooling rack.
When cool top with ganache.

200 grams dark chocolate buttons
100 ml cream (Not lite)
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon caster sugar

Place cream, butter, sugar in a pot and stir over low heat until butter melts then raise heat and bring to a boil stirring constantly.

Place chocolate in a stainless steel bowl. When the cream boils pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for a couple of minutes and then stir until smooth. If the chocolate has not fully melted place bowl over a pot of simmering water and heat gently until it melts.
After the chocolate cream mix is smooth beat for a couple of minutes. Then spread over the top of the cake and let it run down the sides.

While not vital if the ganache is refrigerated overnight then placed over a pot of simmering water and gently heated until smooth it will be much shinier than if used on the day it is made. This also means you can make sure it is thick enough to set.
If white chocolate is used then increase the amount of chocolate by 50 grams.

Orange and Passionfruit sauce.
Juice two oranges and 1 passionfruit. Place in saucepan. Dissolve 2 teaspoons cornflour in 1/2 cup water. Mix with juice and bring to boil stirring constantly. You might need a bit more cornflour or to add a bit more juice or water to get it to your favoured consistency.

We had 6 liters of sauce at the wedding which was a lot of oranges and passionfruit. I couldn't have done it without my cousin Lauren and Mum and Dad all helping.
Hope you enjoy this let me know if you do.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My friend Lorell of Not all faeries are beautiful asked for a pumpkin pie recipe for Halloween. Our house doesn't do Halloween but Lorell loves it nearly as much as Christmas which is saying something because she LOVES Christmas. So here is my favourite. Pumpkin Pie which is nothing like my mother in law or my mother used to make.
Make a shortcrust pastry enough to line a 9 -10" pie plate. 120g butter, ( I always use butter because I strongly believe that margarine is a vile poison hoax forced onto the world by ... I'll leave that rant for another time but anyway butter tastes better.) 250 g plain flour 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder, 2 tablespoons caster sugar, 2 tablespoons cornflour, 1 egg. Rub the butter into the flour. I use a food processor. Throw in everything else egg last. you might have to put in a bit of water to get it together. Depends on how old the flour is and how much you swear at it. Pulse it together or mix it.
Knead it very lightly just to get it together. Put pastry in the fridge to rest wrapped in freezer bag (The pastry not the fridge.)
While it is resting get a pumpkin, butternut, jap or kent. I like Jap. You will need about 3 cups of cooked pumpkin.
Cut it up, peel it. take out the seeds. STEAM IT until just cooked. It is better if it is steamed but if you boil it you still want it just cooked.
Put the cooked pumpkin in a bowl with 50 grams of butter, a 1/2 teaspoon of mixed spice or nutmeg or both. Grated rind of a lemon. Mix it together. Let it cool a bit.
Get the pastry out of the fridge roll it out to fit a greased or bakepaper lined 9 - 10 " pie plate. Jab it all over with a fork put in a piece of bake paper and a couple of cups of rice. Cook it in a 180 degree oven for ten minutes. Take the pastry out and take out the paper and the rice. (You can still cook the rice like normal. It doesn't affect it too use it for this.)
Beat up two eggs then mix it into the pumpkin really well. Pour pumpkin into the pastry (at this stage if you have enough pastry or made more than you needed you could put a top on it but I don't put a pastry top on it. )
Put it into the oven and cook it until the pumpkin is just firm.( If it starts to colour to much you might have to put a bit of foil over it. ) About twenty minutes depending on your oven.
Now for my favourite bit. Take about a cup of full fat sour cream (The light stuff doesn't work) mix in a tablespoon of brown sugar and a tablespoon of brandy or rum spread this over the pumpkin and put it back into the oven for ten minutes or until set.
This is yum sometimes I sprinkle flaked almonds over the top of the sour cream too.
I cook the pastry shell a bit longer now cause my oven is crap.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Vanity Cards and Weltschmerz

What are these I hear you ask?
Vanity cards are the words that appear at the end of some shows such as "Greg and Dharma, Big bang theory and Two and a half men" Three of my favorite sitcoms.
I ended up on a website that takes you to all the vanity cards of Dharma and Greg. I have just spent some time reading them and my favourite of the five I read is this one below which will explain the meaning of "Weltschmerz".


Well, once again I'd like to thank you for not only watching, but videotaping "Dharma & Greg." I know you're busy, so this shows a wonderful commitment on your part and I want you to acknowledge that commitment with a big ol' Chuck Lorre vanity card hug. Okay, with that done let's get on with why you're here, to learn more of my personal beliefs. I believe that this episode, which on the surface deals with a funny Valentine's adventure, in fact grapples with the weighty issue of Weltschmerz. Weltschmerz is a German word which loosely means "world suffering deriving from the inevitability of reality to never match up with our expectations." Boy, only the Germans could come up with a word like that. Anyway, in this episode Greg is in Weltschmerz hell as he discovers that life is never quite like the brochure. Dharma, on the other hand, recognizes that life is a flowing river and happiness exists only when one embraces its ever-changing nature. From this dilemma we draw the comedic essence of our story. Finally, I believe that when I retire and teach sitcom writing at a community college, I'll use this theme for one of my classes to impress the kids.

Another Day

I have spent Thursday and Friday this week sick in bed. I had the same symptoms I did a couple of months ago. Aching all over, sore throat and then a rapid onset high fever. Last time it went on for nearly a week and I was diagnosed with Influenza A and Chicken pox. Back in the early 1990's I had Ross River Fever and the symptoms of that are similar to this. I hope it isn't that again.
This time I just slept through it but I have had to use two more days of my rapidly shrinking sick leave. In the past I have saved my sick leave for important things like Embroiderers Guild Meetings Etc but in the last 18 months I have had to waste them on being sick.
Anyway I am out of bed and back to work tonight. I have been using my new walking machine though not as much as I would like to. I am not very fit.
I have managed to finish half of the new doll I am working on and I am about to start the other half. I am using someone else's pattern enlarged. I am going to stick the enlarged photocopied pieces onto a sheet of cardboard to make the templates. Colours are sorted and enthusiasm found. I will do this.
I am taking the other piece I am working on to work with me tonight with a bit of luck I will get a little time to work on it. I have had it out on the table beside my chair looking at me. I know what to do now. I knew how I wanted it to look but wasn't sure how to start. I have it now.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Things to do

I am nearly finished a full 8 day week at work. My first since the wedding. Everyday is a busy one but I have also managed to tidy up my Library and most of my studio. I was hoping to have next weekend off to go to a landscape workshop with the Embroiderers Guild but no such luck so I am going to do an Alison Cole workshop instead as I now have that day off instead. I have had a triptych I made a couple of years ago hanging on the wall in the hall way looking unfinished and I thought months ago that I should put some insects on it to finish it off a bit and some leaves etc, so I have emailed Alison Cole to bring me one of her Golden insects kits to add to it.
I also have too finish my bit of the group project for my No limits group at SAEG.
I have been yearning for a comfy rocker recliner but couldn't talk Greg into it. A wonderful friend sadly lost his Dad recently and dropped in yesterday to see if we would like 2 rocker recliners that the family didn't want. I am in heaven they are so comfy. I sat in mine last night and vegged in front of the TV. I am also resigning from the gym and buying myself a walking machine. Someone from work has one they don't use and I am buying it. Didn't even try to talk Greg into that one just told him I am doing it.
I have my doll for our next exhibition all planned out. I just need to do some creative stuff with a photocopier and I am ready to start. I am hoping for 2 days off and I am going to just do the doll. It has to fit into the theme "A Doll riding something". I have made the doll and just need to finish off the thing being ridden.
Hi Susie I think my doll will appeal to you.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Create or Perish

I know it should be publish or perish and I do have a secret dream to be published at some stage. I am not sure in what area as I have tried my hand at writing fiction and I do not think that I am particularly talented there. I will create, though the limit of my creation lately has been the center pieces for the wedding which did turn out lovely. I also created the newsletter for my doll group which was well received. I also cleared up some work stuff which created a bit of peace of mind. I am now ready to create something for the upcoming Craft and Quilt Show. I have decided to do my blog entries more regularly too.

More Wedding photos

Here are a couple of more wedding photos. I have just about recovered. Apart from baby sitting for a few days. I was exhausted after that. Our granddaughters look like little angels and are really hyperactive whirlwinds who don't stop for two seconds. We love them dearly but boy was I tired after the babysitting.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Wedding

Well The Wedding is come and gone. It went beautifully. We did the table decorations and the dessert. Wow we are exhausted. Three weeks before the wedding and I had chicken pox which threw the timetable into chaos. But we got there. Greg made bases for candle holders and I made patchwork panels for under the candle holders. I was lucky enough to find a whole bolt of the same colour that the bridesmaids wore in chiffon. that was the bottom layer, then the patchwork and then the candle holders. I got coloured stones from the pet shop (aquarium stones) and purple candles from the candle shop in Hahndorf. The desserts were individual banana cakes coated in chocolate ganache and chocolate shards. I am sick of the sight of ganache. But it looked beautiful. My mum did the flowers for the wedding cake and I made the fruit cake that is under the icing.
The last of the relatives went home today. It was lovely to see them and we had a wonderful time. I haven't seen my brothers since no 3 brothers wedding about 5 years ago. I need a rest. I am going to have a day off soon. Just not yet. I am inspired to make a doll.