Friday, November 26, 2010

Stuff - Clip Art

I have a long obsession with stuff. I love the term Ephemera which really is just another word for stuff. I am easily distracted and the Graphic Fairy is one such place. I saw this link to Pugly Pixel on there and sure enough more stuff.
so if you are looking for some clip art why not go take a look.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Re-new, Re-use, Re-Cycle

Great scott have a look at this Tissue box challenge.
Lots of great ideas but this was my favorite. Is it silver? No.

Top Tip for Gold work

I have finished the gold work on the cross I am doing to put on Matthews Stole. He is being ordained in a few weeks as an Uniting Church Minister. The stole had to be red and I dyed two scarves and a selection on pieces of silk at Fibre Forum back in April. Matthew designed the cross and I have embroidered it in double whipped running stitch. I still have to add it to the stole and then shape the scarves somehow. I'll show you when it is done.
I have a long love hate relationship with metallic threads. They split and shred and get hard to work with. No longer, now it is just a love relationship.
I did an Elizabethan Embroidery workshop with Maree Talbot recently and she recommended Dorothy Clark's book 'Exploring Elizabethan Embroidery'. this is an excellent book I sat down and read the book right through when I got it. It is peppered with hints and advice and there on page 11 under Handy Hints Dorothy said and I quote"When using DMC gold or silver thread I dab the cut end, where the threads have a tendency to seperate, on to my UHU glue stick."
Well how brilliant, how simple. Dorothy goes on to say that it won't hurt your embroidery because you are going to wash it and it will wash out.
I have a small acid free glue pen I bought from a scrapbooking shop and it was just the thing. I dabbed the glue on as soon as I cut it and then dabbed the cut end on the reel of butterfly gold thread I was using and good heavens, It works. No shredding no seperating like magic. I didn't waste a bit of thread. I am in love. Thanks Dorothy I'd send her an email but I couldn't find her address.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Peta Eats

I have decided to have two blogs. You might be thinking what is she thinking. Well I am thinking that I have two obsessions - Textiles and Food and my textiles blog is getting so overloaded with food and it is time to seperate them. So I hope you will join me there if you like my food stuff and I will be putting more textile stuff here on my textile one.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Blue Cheese and Mustard Souffle

Dave and Linda from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen chose Soufflés as our November 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge! Dave and Linda provided many of their own delicious recipes plus a sinfully decadent chocolate soufflé recipe adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe found at the BBC Good Food website.
I am late with the challenge as always. My excuse this time is we were on holidays.
Audax Artifex had heaps of advice too and I read it with great interest after I read Dave and Lindas advice. Of course I ignored most of it and well the result while not the prettiest however it rose like magic and tasted great.
My recipe is a bit of a mixup of both.

Blue Cheese and Seeded Mustard.

3 oz / 90 g blue cheese
3 tablespoons Milk
2 Tspns seeded Mustard
1 1/2 tsp corn or tapioca flour
Salt and pepper to taste
2 egg yolks
2 Egg whites
pinch cream of tartar
1 oz Butter

Prepare 2 1-cup soufflé dishes by buttering them, put them in the refrigerator while you do the rest.

Chop up or grate the cheese.

Heat the milk gently in a medium saucepan. Stir in the starch and stir to dissolve thoroughly. Add the cheese and mustard and stir until the cheese melts. Remove from heat. Keep beating with a spoon until it cools a bit then add the egg yolks,mix thoroughly and salt and pepper to taste.

Beat the egg whites and a pinch of cream of tartar until they are stiff peaks.
Scoop up a small amount of the egg whites with the beaters and mix it into the cheese mix with the beaters. With a metal spoon, fold the remaining egg whites through the cheese mix.

Remove your prepared soufflé cups from the refrigerator and gently spoon the soufflé mix into them. smooth the tops with a spatula and clean thoroughly around the rim – if you don’t do this last step the soufflés will rise at a rakish angle.

Bake 20 - 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

So what did I do that would cause one to be a little volcano? I thought the mixture was too thick and added a bit more water. It would have been perfect without this. Also as I hadn't spilt any of the mixture on the edge of the pot I didn't worry about wiping them. Another mistake. Oh well I'll know better next time. Infact I knew better this time but didn't worry about it. Still they were really good with ratatouille and a big glass of red wine. Yum.

Re-new, Re-use, Re-Cycle

We are home from holidays. Holidays ae lovely but home is best. We really missed our homemade yogurt and bread while away so last night I made yogurt and it was ready this morning for breakfast and I made bread after breakfast and it is just out of the oven and the whole house smells like fresh bread. There are two loaves, one is wholegrain and the other is the same dough with honey, almonds and cinnamon. The taste test proved it is delicious.

We spent the last ten days driving through Victoria. Australia is a great place we drove from the beautiful Great Ocean Rd beaches to the hills around Beechworth to the flat of Yarrawonga and Mulawala and along the Murray River and then home through the middle via Bendigo and Horsham. The sky was so beautiful yesterday and the clouds were amazing. I love clouds.

Have you ever noticed how many storage places there are now. We have become a race of hoarders. We are more affluent than ever yet for many our level of health and life expectancy is lower and the food many eat is of poorer nutritional value. Stress and depression is an epidemic that is killing thousands and the sale of prescription drugs has never been higher. It makes you sit back and wonder what the hell is going on.
Before we went on holidays I sorted through my wardrobe and I now have three garbage bags of clothes that I don't wear any more. They were bound for the op shop. But after thinking on it and walking through the local K-Mart looking for shorts for Greg I might keep them a bit longer and re-fashion some of them. I have the time and the skills to do it so why not. I was inspired by this blog called GrosGrain.
I bought all these clothes because I liked them so refashioning it is. As soon as I get a spare minute of course.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Creating something

I am on holidays in Mulwalah, it's on the Murray River and a very nice spot. My parents have a time share and got the place for a week and invited Greg and I to join them for a week. We didn't get here until Sunday because we came the long way. We drove through Victoria to Queenscliffe took the ferry to Sorrento and spent a couple of days in Mornington. I did a teddy bear class there and then we drove up here on Sunday. The week is over tomorrow and we are heading for home. I have been stitching Matthews Stole for his ordination as a Uniting Church Minister on December 5th and it is nearly finished. So I have been creating something, I also created the journal cover. I seem to be lacking in inspiration lately and the doing of these things is a good kick start. Anyway here are some thoughts from Permutations in Fibre please go and read the whole post it is very interesting my favorite bit was
" - Create! There is no substitute for actually doing the work and making something (many somethings).
- Make small studies. Working on many small samples at once can help if you get stuck on one piece. Just go on to the next one. These small pieces will teach you so much that can be applied to larger works."
this is from Ruths "Thirteen Rules to becoming a better Artist".
I have so many ideas and so few done I think it is time to shrink things. Smaller will be better

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Family favorite - Cat Biscuits

My husband and kids have a favorite biscuit, Cookies for my American friends. It is a recipe I got from my Mother-in-law a lot of years ago. Greg's family always called them Cat biscuits I am not really sure why and neither are they. In Greg's Mothers cook book they were called Foaming Biscuits.
It is a great recipe, easy to make and keeps really well in an airtight container. It doesn't have any eggs and can be made with any type of flour including almond or coconut. It can be made with margarine or butter (not oil) and changed really easily by adding chocolate chips, chopped nuts or dried fruit or flavorings such as spices or lemon or orange peel. Anything that takes your fancy.
This is the basic recipe it makes a lot. they are nice with some icing drizzled over.

Foaming Biscuits or Cat Biscuits.

4 cups plain flour
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup milk or water
1 teaspoon bi-carb soda (In USA it is called baking soda not baking powder)
1 tablespoon hot water.

1. Put the butter and flour into the food processor or rub the butter into the flour if you don't have a food processor.
2. Put the flour and butter mixture into a bowl. You can't leave it in the food processor trust me.
3. Place the milk and sugar into a pot and heat over a low heat until the sugar melts.
4. Dissolve the bi-carb soda in the hot water and add to the pot of sugar and milk.
5. Quickly pour it into the dry ingredients and mix it until it is smooth. It will look runny but will thicken up and it cools.
6. Either put it into the fridge in the bowl or once it has cooled roll it into logs wrapped in gladwrap. Chill in fridge or freezer until firm. It can be left in the freezer and used over the next month but this is not really required as they keep really well cooked and in an airtight container.
7. Once chilled and firm either roll 1 teaspoon size balls and squash with a fork or roll out and cut into shapes. Or cut the chilled logs into slices.
8. Place on trays that have been greased and floured or on trays lined with baking paper. Bake at 180 degrees C until golden. about 10 - 15 minutes.

For flavoured biscuits
- For chocolate add 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons cocoa at step 2 and top with a chocolate button just before cooking. If you want to add chocolate chips do it after the mixture has cooled or the chocolate melts and the biscuit are chewy

- Lemon and Currants - Use lemon juice instead of milk or water in step 3 and add grated lemon rind and 1 cup of currants at step 2. After cooked and cooled ice with lemon icing.

- Orange and almond - Use orange juice instead of water or milk in step 3 and add grated orange rind and 1 cup of chopped almonds at step 2.

- Coconut and Jam - At step 1 use only 3 and 1/2 cups of flour and add 1 cup dessicated coconut. At step 7 roll the chilled mixture into golf ball size balls and squash down a bit. Make a hole with the handle of a wooden spoon and put 1/2 teapsoon of your favorite jam or nutella in the hole and cook.

These are only a few of my favorite flavour combinations the sky is the limit.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Craft and quilt Fair

Well two posts in one day. Over the weekend was the Adelaide spending Spree. I mean the Adelaide Quilt and Craft Fair.
My favorite shop wasn't there and I haven't used the stuff I bought last year. I did manage to buy a few things.
I bought a flower stitcher and a curve master foot from Punch with Judy.

I also got some really unusual silk cocoons and the two balls of fibre, these are cotton and came with the pattern from Dairing
I could have spent a lot more but GOT A GRIP.
I bought three pieces of prefelt and did a journal cover class with Wendy Bailye

I did a fabric manipulating workshop with Sharyn Hall
and bought an embellishment pack in beautiful blues. A henna tattoo stencil and a monoprinting kit. and the green brooch in the photo if you can see it. I bought some folding scissors from the scissorman and five packets of hot fix crystals. They were 300 in a packet for $5 and you got 5 for $20 what could I do. I might need them, they were really cheap and my best reason was I wanted them.

You wouldn't believe how much money I didn't spend. I resisted the quilting machine with the biggest throat you ever saw and it's own quilt roller set up. I also didn't buy a fabric cutting thingey and I resisted thousands of balls of wool and millions of meters of fabric.


The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.
I had good intentions of getting this done in time but life keeps getting in the way. We are supposed to use the recipe provided but time and my pantry got in the way.
We went out for lunch and pigged out on beautiful seafood and then were still full at dinner time.
Now I knew that we needed at least something or we'd be awake at midnight with grumbling tummies so I thought AHAH doughnuts I have to make them so I looked up the recipes and didn't have the time or most of the ingredients so I used a tried and true recipe.

Doughnuts can be quite simple to make and really don’t require a lot of special equipment. However there are a large number of varieties and many cultures have some version of a tasty fried dough such as beignets, crullers, fritters, Sufganiot, and krapfen, just to name a few.
Doughnuts generally fall into two categories: yeast and cake. Yeast doughnuts take a little longer as naturally one has to allow for rising time, but they create a lovely, fluffy and airy doughnut. Cake doughnuts are also popular and the batter allows for many different variations.
Some people may be a little timid of deep frying. Don’t. The most important thing is to be sure that you have everything at hand and are ready to go. Preparation is key when making doughnuts. It is important the oil be the correct temperature so that your doughnut is nice and crispy on the outside. If the oil is not hot enough, your end product will be too greasy. If too hot, they’ll cook too quickly on the outside and you may have an uncooked doughy centre.

Nancy Silverton's Buttermilk Cake Doughnuts
Cake doughnuts are different from yeast-raised doughnuts in that they get their lift from baking soda and baking powder. Here, Nancy has used a bit of yeast for just a little extra rise. But don't worry, these still have the soft, moist interior you associate with the best cake doughnuts.
serves 15 doughnuts and holes
• 1/4 crème fraîche or sour cream
• 3 1/4 cups unbleached pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
• 3/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
• 1 teaspoon (0.3 ounce) packed fresh yeast or 1 1/8 teaspoons active dry yeast
• 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
• 1 extra-large egg
• 2 extra-large egg yolks
• 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
• For decorating
• 1/2 cup nonmelting icing sugar or powdered sugar
In a small stainless-steel bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water, heat the crème fraîche until just warm.
2.Heat the oil to 375°F.
3.Over a large mixing bowl, sift to combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg; make a large well in the center. Place the yeast in the well; pour the crème fraîche over it. Allow it to soften, about 1 minute.
4.Pour the buttermilk, whole egg, egg yolks, and vanilla extract into the well; whisk together the liquid ingredients. Using one hand, gradually draw in the dry ingredients. The mixture should be fairly smooth before you draw in more flour. Mix until it is completely incorporated and forms a very sticky dough. Wash and dry your hands and dust them with flour.
5.Sift an even layer of flour onto a work surface. Scrape dough out of bowl onto the surface; sift another layer of flour over dough. Working quickly, pat dough into an even 1/2-inch thickness. Dip cutter in flour and, cutting as closely together as possible, cut out the doughnuts and holes. Place holes and doughnuts on a floured surface. Working quickly, gather scraps of dough together, pat into 1/2-inch thickness, and cut out remaining doughnuts and holes.
6.Fry doughnuts and holes immediately according to these instructions.
7. Sift a layer of nonmelting icing sugar or powdered sugar over doughnuts and holes.

My version of Cake doughnuts.
2 cups self raising flour
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbs. oil - sunflower
1/4 to 1/2 cup milk (don't add it all at once you might not need it all)
1 egg, beaten

Heat oil. Heat about 1 – 2 inches oil in a large skillet over medium heat, or heat 2-3 inches of oil in a large Dutch oven. The oil needs to register 170˚C before you begin frying. Use a candy thermometer or an electric thermometer that can be attached to the pan to measure temperature while frying. Oil must stay hot to keep donuts from getting too greasy.
Heat oil in Dutch oven. Use a wire rack over a sheet pan for draining the oil off the donuts.
Make dough. While oil heats, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Add butter or margarine and beat until combined. Then add milk and egg until combined.
Shape and fry. Roll the dough out on a floured surface. You want the dough to be about ½-in. to 1-in. thick. Using a glass or scone cutter, cut out circles. Then, using a shot glass or similar small glass, cut out holes in the center of each circle. I went to the kitchen shop and bought a donut cutter.
Fry donuts about 3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Be careful to not overcrowd the skillet. The holes will fry up in about 2 minutes. Drain on wire metal rack on a sheet pan lined with paper towels.

This is a lovely recipe but don't make it too sloppy. You have to cut them one at a time and put them straight into the oil or they soften up and end up mishappen.
We ate them anyway. We drizzled them with real maple syrup and cream.

Monday, November 1, 2010


How can it be November already??? I thought we were still in well an earlier part of the year. It has been a busy year and now the granddaughters are counting down to Santa. No 1 GDaughter has had her ears peirced recently and wants diamond earrings... Yes she takes after her mother and No 2 granddaughter wants a purple My Little Pony to go with the blue one and the pink one. The purple one has wings which makes all the difference. We are off on holiday again soon and then back to a change of workplace for me and No 1 Son is being ordained as a Uniting Church Minister. So still lots to do. I have planned and started on a stole for him to wear. Actually I planned and started it in April as I didn't want to leave it until the last minute but I haven't gotten very far. Oh well I will finish it don't worry.