Sunday, September 30, 2012
Saturday, September 29, 2012
I've been wanting to re-design my blog for a while now - I liked the old design, but it felt like time for a change.
So I've gone, well, not-quite minimalist, but with a simpler, cleaner look. I thought that since what you actually visit a blog for is the content - & I post lots of photos - a clean, bright space was the way to go.
I also felt my sidebar was getting a bit long, so I've gotten rid of some of the things that were on it & shifted others. Rather than having all the blogs I follow showing, I have a short list (which will change every so often) & a link to a longer list.
It's probably not finished - I'm sure I'll be tweaking it for ages yet - but I think the dramatic stuff has happened (for now anyway).
So, what do you think?
Thursday, September 27, 2012
I finished my first piece from the silver course - a simple silver ring. I measured, cut, annealed, shaped, soldered, pickled, sanded & polished my oval silver wire. Originally I was going to give it a brushed finish, but I've decided I like it shiny (plus I spent ages making it shiny, I don't want to undo all my hard work, lol). It's not perfect, but I'm really happy with it anyway.
Currently I'm working on some design ideas for my next piece - we're going to learn to rivet :)
I've also been enjoying the beginnings of some warmer weather - warm enough for sandals even. Although it will be cold again for the next few days - the joys of spring.
& been baking again - Sticky Gooey Lemon Brownies this time (a Pinterest find). Although given the lack of chocolate, we've decided to call them Lemon Blondies. They were pretty popular - let's just say I didn't need to find a very big container to store them in!
Monday, September 24, 2012
Kathryn has started posting about her Melbourne trip & it has inspired me to have another look at the photos I took when I went last year & start posting some again.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
'twas my birthday last week & my lovely family was very good to me yet again. My big present (& the one I knew I was getting) is a seven week introductory silversmithing course, run by/at the Jam Factory. The first class was this week & although I don't have anything to photograph yet, it was good fun.
My sneaky family did sneak in a couple of surprises too - a lovely notebook from ShePinTea & a beautiful dish by Creativewithclay. Plus of course another awesome card, drawn by my brothers :)
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
When I saw these gorgeous cupcake over on Raspberri Cupcakes, I knew they had to go on my 'to-bake' list (which is alarmingly long, darn you pinterest). As we've never quite gotten the cookie-dough obsession in this house, I felt quite safe leaving that part of the recipe out. And sadly, my cupcakes are much less fancy than the ones Steph made.
I did make the condensed milk icing & even had a go at piping it on. Although the icing did taste awesome, the general consensus was that it was a bit much in piped quantities, so I only did one each like that - the rest I spread a smaller amount on.
Even without the icing the cupcakes were delicious - next time I'll probably just make them & not do the icing at all. I doubled the cupcake recipe (adding an extra egg), which made 30 cupcakes. I only did a single batch of icing, which made a nice amount per cupcake - even with the piped ones.
choc chip cupcakes with milk icing
from raspberri cupcakes
(makes 12-15 cupcakes)
For the cupcakes:
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g self-raising flour + 1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Optional: 1/2-2/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (or finely chopped chocolate)
For the icing:
350g unsalted butter, chopped into cubes
400g icing/confectioner's sugar, sifted
1/2 can (200g/7 oz) sweetened condensed milk
Make the chocolate chip cupcakes; Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer at high speed. Beat in eggs one at a time and then fold milk, flour, salt into the mixture until smooth.
Stir chocolate chips into the mixture and then spoon into a 12-hole cupcake tray lined with papers.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until cupcakes are golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool in tin for 5 minutes and then cool completely on a wire rack.
Prepare the icing; remove the butter from the fridge about 30 mins before starting.
Place butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on high until smooth and fluffy, then reduce speed and gradually add icing sugar. Beat again on high until well combined. Add condensed milk and beat on high until fluffy.
Place in a piping bag fitted with a 1cm round tip and pipe swirls on top of cupcakes. Or spread generously with a knife. Can be served immediately or stored in the fridge in an airtight container for several days. Remove from the fridge 30 mins before serving.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Friday, September 7, 2012
I'm battling another cold, which combined with a couple of trips to Adelaide has made for a not very productive week. Hopefully the cold won't hang around much longer, as I have far more interesting things to do than hang around coughing.
On a more positive note I've caught up with my godmother a couple of times - she's been living in the US for many years now & we don't get to see her very often. Also caught up with some family friends & collected some weary travellers from the airport - there will be a post or three about that here very shortly, I'm sure.
I've been featured by the lovely Shelley on her blog Spinatomy.
And spring has well & truly sprung, at least in the garden...