Archive | March, 2013

Ambitiousness pays off!

31 Mar

image

So, the time came to crack open the eggs.
The shell came off easily.
They looked perfect.
I cut them open and…..

image

They were better than I could ever have imagined!
They turned out exactly as I had envisioned…
And were they delicious?

You bet your sweet cotton tail they were.
I was going to advise not to do this, thinking the fiddlyness and mess was not worth it, but after opening them and being utterly delighted, I say give it a go!

If you want to see how I made these chocolate and ganache filled eggs see here, here and here.

Advertisements

An ambitious Easter Bunny, part 2

31 Mar

image

I finally finished filling the dyed eggs on Easter eve. Earlier this week I put some white chocolate ganache into the eggs.

To do this I used 250g white chocolate and 125ml of thickened cream

image

I melted it in the microwave and mixed together to make a smooth mixture.

image

I filled my piping bag and added the ganache into the eggs. This was extremely messy! I had ganache all over the kitchen! Martha made it look so easy….she lied!

Hence, there are no photos of the filling process. I then refrigerated them so that the ganache could set.

Then last night, after putting it off for the whole week  I finally topped them up with some melted milk chocolate, using the same melt and pipe technique I have used through out this project.

All that is left now is too crack them open and see what the final result will be…delight or disaster?

Happy Easter!

31 Mar

image

image

Happy Easter!
These are the Minimens baskets, featuring the eggs in cages and the dyed and filled eggs.

Impromptu Easter Bunny ears

29 Mar

image

Last night when I turned up at work I found everyone wearing bunny ears. So in true crafty minx style, I quickly fashioned some impromptu ears from the coloured paper conveniently located in the stationary cupboard, just for emergencies like these, I’m sure.

image

I particularly like the little chicks in grass that accent what otherwise could have just been some boring paper bunny ears.

image

This took me all of 5 minutes to create and provided me with some super cute one of a kind festive bunny ears.

Why don’t you have a go at making some for yourself or the kids!

Happy crafting and Happy Easter!

Pop, Pop, Pop….bubble painting

27 Mar

Image

Today, after asking Mr 4 which activity he would like to do, it was decided that we would try bubble painting. I hadn’t done this since I was his age so we had a little Google to get the method and here is our efforts.

                                               1. What you will need
Image

  • acrylic paint
  • detergent or bubble mix
  • straws
  • paper
  • water
  • plastic containers

2. Make a mix of water, paint and detergent.

Image

I found the best pictures came when there was a lot of paint and detergent and just enough water to make the mix liquid. If you make the paint too dilute with water the pictures will be very faint.

3. Blow through the straws to turn the mix into some lovely bubbles.

Image

  We got the best bubbles from the mix in the small container as it was deeper and we could really go to town with our blowing. The mix was shallower in the larger container and splattered a lot when we were blowing in them.Image

4. Gently press the paper onto the bubbles, I found we had to work quickly doing this as the  bubbles decreased quite rapidly.

5. Do it again with another colour!

Image

Image

 You could use this technique to decorate a variety of paper crafts, from wrapping paper to cut out shapes. It was fairly easy, a little messy and can be done quite quickly, which is good for kids as they sometimes don’t have the patients for longer craft activities.

A word of warning, this may not be suitable for younger children. I tried to involve Mr 1 in this activity also, with disastrous results…first he shoved his hands in the paint and spilt it everywhere and then to top it off he sucked through the straw rather than blowing and got a mouthful of paint and detergent. I think he ended up with more colour on him than the paper did!

Sneaky peak…

25 Mar

I have recently outsourced a project to my mum, the Crochet Genius, as I don’t have the patience for it, and I received the first pictures yesterday. I am so excited I just had to share this one picture!

Image Any guesses what these fabric balls are going to become?

Fruitsicles….perfect for hot weather

24 Mar

These week I made some delicious fruitsicles for the Minimen.

  I have been wanting to make home made ice blocks for a while. This week was the perfect opportunity as it has been stupid hot and the supermarket had these super cute ice block molds on sale.

Image

  I asked Mr4 which fruits he would like in the ice blocks and his reply was “strawberries, grapes and orange”

So this is what I used

  • about 6 strawberries cut in half
  • 9 grapes
  • 1 orange
  • apple juice

Image

I used my stick blender to puree the fruit.

First I did the strawberries and I added a small amount of juice, then I did the grapes, to which I also added a little bit of juice. You probably don’t need to add juice but I thought it would make the texture more suitable for ice blocks.

Then I juiced the orange.

When putting the fruit into the molds I tried to layer the fruits, but without freezing in between layers they weren’t very well defined.

I put them in the freezer until frozen. To free them from the mold just run them under warm water.

These were a big hit with both the Minimen. They are so easy to make and such a great alternative to store bought ice blocks which are full of sugar, flavours and colours.

Image

These will definitely be making a reappearance in our house!

A string of Bunnies….making a cute Easter garland.

21 Mar

Image

Today I had planned this fun activity for the Minimen and myself, however, Mr 1 fell asleep and Mr 4 was in a mood, and although Mr 1 did wake up in time to stomp on some bunnies and Mr 4’s curiosity got the better of him, and he did glue some bunny tails on, I did most of the work myself.

Image

1. Gather your materials

  • coloured paper or cardboard
  • paint
  • scissors
  • pom poms
  • string
  • hole punch

2. Cut out a simple bunny shape

Image

3. Paint a pattern on your bunnies. I used a skewer to make small spots and stripes and the end of a fat pencil to make large spots.

Image

4. Glue the pom poms on.

5. Using the hole punch, punch out a hole from each ear.

6. Thread your string through the holes.

Image

7. String them up somewhere in your home

8. Enjoy them!

Salty rainbow snakes

16 Mar

Image  The Minimen and I had seen these salty snake paintings on TV the other day and thought we would give them a go.

  • Image

All you need is

  • paper, black works best
  • salt
  • glue sticks
  • water colour paints

To make them smear the glue on the page in any design you like, we did snakes since they are easy for younger children.

Image

Sprinkle the salt over the paper and press it down with your hand to make sure it sticks well. Tip off the excess.

Image

Image

Using the water colour paint add colour to the salt. We started using a brushing action and found the salt was coming off the paper, so we switched to dabbing, which was better, but what worked best was to make the paints really watery and getting quite a bit on the brush and just holding the brush onto the salt. The salt soaked up the paint and stayed fixed to the paper.

Image

This activity was really great, both Mr 1 and Mr 4  were able to do it, so it would suit most age levels. It helps with fine motor skills, colour appreciation and sensory experiences, but most of all it was just fun!

Going green!

16 Mar

As it is St Patrick’s Day on Sunday, my friends from work and I decided to have a little green party last night (we pften have little themed parties, it makes working Friday nights bearable). My offering to the party was green velvet cupcakes. I googled green velvet cupcakes and couldn’t find a recipe that I liked, most of them used oil and I prefer butter for baking, I think the taste and texture are better when you use butter, so I adapted a red velvet cupcake recipe. Image The ingredients are

  • 300g (2 cups) plain flour
  • 30g (1/4 cup) cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 315g (1 1/2 cups) caster sugar
  • 250ml (1 cup) buttermilk
  • 200g unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1 tbs white vinegar
  • 1 bottle of green colouring
  • 1 tsp vanilla

I didn’t have buttermilk so I made my own, to do this you add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to 1 cup of milk and allow it to sit for a few minutes. The recipe couldn’t be easier, you combine dry ingredients in one bowl, wisk wet together in another then add wet to dry and mix until just combined.

Image

I was nervous about adding so much food colouring, but I just closed my eyes and poured! I mixed it well then filled my patty papers.

Image

I baked them for about 20 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. I had seen on Pinterest an easy alternative to icing where you placed a marshmallow on the cupcakes a few minutes before taking them out of the oven so they melted. I wanted to try this so I put white marshmallows on half of the cup cakes.

Image

Once they had cooled I iced the other half with just normal icing, I wanted it quite thick so I added a lot of icing mixture to a couple of spoons of butter and a splash of milk and piled it on top.

The ones at the top of the following picture are the ones with icing and the ones on the bottom are the marshmallow ones.

Image

So, the verdict…..they are light and fluffy which is great, like their cousin the red velvet cup cake I find them lacking in the taste department. I have never understood the obsession with red velvet cakes I find their flavour to be non-descript, quite sweet and not nearly chocolately enough, this is easily fixed with the addition of more cocoa though. The marshmallow icing, although easy is not pretty enough for me, while flavour is the most vital aspect of baking I do also love great presentation. Also not being the biggest fan of marshmallow I found the flavour to be a little overpowering, but if you like marshmallow you will love this. I much prefer the taste of the more traditional icing.

These have not disappeared as quickly as my watermelon cupcakes disappeared the other week either, I think the colour is too daunting for everyone.

I can’t see these making it into the regular baking rotation, they aren’t a bad cake just not to my taste, but if you like red velvet give them a go, they do have a wonderful texture.

Have a great St Patrick’s day tomorrow!

crochetlatte

Free Quality Crochet Patterns

Mingoocraft

A place where color and shape run wild

SewSquirrel

Sewing addict and indie pattern enabler (proprietress) of www.sewsquirrel.com.au

Salty*mom

Tutorials and Ideas for the love of DIY

Live Blissful

delicious plant-based recipes

HodgePodge Crochet

.....because crochet is what you live for.

Missy's Crafty Mess

Introverted ISTJ - knitting, crochet, yarn dyeing, cross stitch, books, essential oils, cats, coffee, tea, Coca Cola, sprint cars & NASCAR - RAVELRY:missyscraftymess

Tatie's world

Being in love with yarn

my year of cupcakes

A year to find the best cupcakes on Pinterest!

Confessions of a Frosting Fanatic

Life is Sweeter with Frosting

bettedesigns

Handmade fashion accessories and houseware

Reading Cookbooks

food,books.growing

Sunny District

Welcome to my happy place!

%d bloggers like this: