Tag Archives: green

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

21 Mar

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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.

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1. Gather your materials

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

2. Cut out a simple bunny shape

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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.

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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.

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7. String them up somewhere in your home

8. Enjoy them!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Under whelmed by eggs

2 Mar

The Easter bunny has ambitious plans this year. After seeing so many beautiful ideas for dying, painting and decorating eggs, I decided that I would try a few, but then I thought “What kid wants a bunch of hard boiled eggs for Easter?”the answer of course is none. So then, thanks to Martha Stewart, I have found a recipe for filling egg shells with chocolate. So this is my ambitious plan, and Mr 4, who helped me decorate some eggs thinks the Easter Bunny is coming to pick them up and will return them to us filled with goodness, so lets hope that I can pull it off. I chose two different styles of decorating the eggs, a marbled style and a stripey dyed style. You could choose to to this to boiled eggs, but due to my future plans for these eggs I blew out the insides of them. To do this you just pierce the top and bottom and blow. I also then boiled them in vinegar and water to sterilise them which also took of the brown layer of egg shell to reveal a lighter colour.

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We started with 6 eggs, 3 for each style. for the marbled ones we used food colour and shaving cream.

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We spread the shaving cream over a plastic plate and dropped some food colouring onto it, then Mr 4 swirled the colours around with a skewer to create the marbled pattern.

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Then we rolled the eggs around in the shaving cream to transfer the pattern onto the shell, we then placed them on a clean plastic plate to dry, you need to leave the foam on the egg to give the shell a chance to soak in the dye.

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For the stripey ones we used food colouring and plastic cups.

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We put some dye in the bottom of the cups and at several intervals we added water to the cups until the eggs were covered. This, apparently is meant to give a stripey, graduated colour effect.

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I added these eggs to the plastic plate with the others to dry out. During the drying two eggs were blown off the bench by a gust of wind and met their demise.

Here is the final product

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To be honest I Cant tell the difference between the two styles, the stripey eggs did not turn out the way I had envisioned. Although I am a little less than pleased with the way they turned out, Mr 4 was more than happy with them and I guess that is what is important, maybe it will just take some more practice to perfect them.

Now the Easter bunny just has to come to collect them, lets hope she has success carrying out her ambitious plans.

Goodbye Summer

1 Mar

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Yesterday marked the end of summer here in Australia, so I chose to mark the event by baking some lovely summery watermelon inspired cupcakes. All the recipes I found were American, so either the measurements needed translating eg. a stick of butter? We measure butter in grams so I am  not sure what a stick is or they contain packet mix, which from an earlier post you may remember is against my baking ethics. I did , however, find an interesting way to add flavour and colour to cakes…jelly crystals.

So I turned to baking bible …Women’s Weekly BakeImage

and found a simple butter cake recipe that I intended to add watermelon flavoured jelly crystals to, but watermelon jelly crystals don’t seem to exist in Australia, despite me standing in the jelly section of the supermarket staring at the jelly and willing them to appear, so I used the next best thing…strawberries and cream flavour.

The ingredients for this recipe were;

250g unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups of caster sugar (I only used one though as I added the jelly crystals)

3 eggs
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1 tsp vanilla

2 1/4 cups of self raising flour

3/4 cup of milk

Method

Cream butter, sugar, vanilla and jelly crystals until light and fluffy, beat in eggs, stir in flour and milk. I also added some extra red food colouring to get just the right watermelony pink. I also added some dark choc chips to imitate the seeds. I then put them in regular sized patty papers and baked for 15-20 minutes on 160 degrees celsius (around 350 F I think)

This is how they looked straight out of the oven

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Then to complete the watermelon look I topped them with bright green icing made with 125g butter, 2 cups icing sugar a splash of milk and of course lots of green colouring.

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They turned out to be a big hit with the fam bam…between hubby and Mr 4 they ate 10 last night while I was at work!

So…watermelon cupcakes, a perfect end to a great Summer!

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