Saturday, July 31, 2010

Donna's chocolate brownies

A few seconds in the microwave, served with strawberries and icecream...

...pretty delicious mine are still better, though

this month I'm cooking from Donna Hay Kids' Magazine

Friday, July 30, 2010


Last weekend when thinking over what to take along for brown owls arvo tea, I decided to try out Donna Hay's polka dotty bikkies, from the current kids issue.

These were pretty delish - the recipe is kind of shortbready, sweet and crisp.

I don't know how Donna managed to get so many dots on each bikkie - I squeezed 3 onto each, although they spread enough that more would have fit on once cooked.

I was really surprised to see how the lollies changed colour in the oven - look how the bright blue ones turned a lovely robin's egg blue!

I think I'd like to try these again, using m&ms instead of smarties - just to see how they bake up. If you would like to try them too, the recipe is currently available for free on the website.

I have one more sweetie recipe from the mag to share with you over the weekend, and I might just have to have a go at something savoury too.


this month I'm cooking from Donna Hay Kids' Magazine

Thursday, July 29, 2010

my creative space :: bobbin about

In my creative space this week I have all kinds of sewy bits and bobs... and bobbins

This is is one of my very favourite sewing 'accessories' - I just love it all filled with different lovely coloured cottons, like a pretty jewellery box.

more creative spaces at Kirsty's

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


At Brown Owls on Sunday we carved it up, with handmade eraser stamps.

There are HEAPS of tutorials around the internets - our Brown Owls blog post has a few good starters

Sorry for the not excellent photos - these are from my phone and taken at night)

It was a lot of fun, and the perfect little project for one of our afternoons - everyone had time to get a result. I think my little mushroom and cupcake turned out pretty cute - I have a few ideas for some more, and I can't wait to get some more carving done!


Sunday, July 25, 2010

new boots!

I ordered myself some new boots from Duo in the UK on Sunday, and was excited to have them arrive already on Friday!

These are the Malmo boot, which also comes in brown. The leather feels so soft, and have a nice plushy kind of lining, which feels nice and is pretty!

I have posted before about the trouble I have finding a boot to fit my (ahem) shapely calves - Duo's boots come in heaps of calf sizes (depending on the style, the calf widths go in one or two centimetre increments from 30cm to 50cm) and lots of different styles. Initially I was a bit put off by the cost, but at the current exchange rate it is similar to what I paid for the pair I bought a pair from Boots for Broads last year (I posted about them here - same skirt and all!).

The plan is to wear these guys in through the rest of our wintery season, and pending an appropriate coomfiness rating (and so far, so good - the sole feels quite springy to walk on), take them to wear on holidays in Europe and the UK in January =)

Now, for some new skirts to go with them! =)


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

books books books

I love books - ever since I could read it has been one of my very favourite things to do. When we were kids we would go to bed early because it meant mum would let us keep the light on and read for a half hour or so. At highschool I always had a novel with me - for the school bus or the playground or a warm corner of the library in the winter.

As an adult I have increasing found it is something that I 'don't have time for' - especially now I don't catch a bus to and from work. Ofcourse, the case is really more that I simply don't seem to be able to get it together to make time for.

To help get back into the habit of making the time, I'm bringing back the early bedtime = reading time rule

I'm starting with this one:

Jane Austen's Emma (my lovely Penguin clothbound classic edition.)

I've got a little note up in the top lefthand corner there of what I'm reading - I'll try to keep it up-to-date, in case you're interested, and I'd love any recommendations if you've read something totally ace recently =)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

the crackle low-down

So, remember my plan to cook from my many many cookbooks, at least one new recipe a week? Well, I swear I have been keeping it up with the Sally Wise slow cooker book - I use it at least once a week, sometimes twice. I have heaps of recipe reviews to share - but I fear it might be a bit boring. Perhaps I'll have one big round up post at some stage?

Anyway, as well as collecting books, I think I have mentioned before that I have a relentless urge for magazine purchases too - including the many foody mags available here. I have really tried to cute back on this habit, especially since most of the recipes turn up on anyway.

However, I do allow myself the occasional purchase for a special edition (I just can't say no to all the Christmassy specials!!!), and like my recipe book these volumes are often shelved unused. So, this month, I'm going to make 4 recipes from the Donna Hay kids magazine - starting, of course, with those crackles.

Really, there's probably not a whole lot more to say after yesterday's wrap - these were delicious, different from a traditional crackle, but probably better. Unlike the traditional recipe these are coconut-less, but if you miss it I'm sure they would still work fine if you just added it in with the rice bubbles.

They were super easy to make - just melt together the chocolate, butter and golden syrup, and add the rice bubbles (incidentally, I had no idea you could fit so many rice bubbles into 4 cups worth! ;o)).
I used smaller than cupcake sized patty pan papers, and the recipe made about 50 crackles.

Did I mention they were delicious?

If you'd like to try them yourself, the recipe is available free on the website.

this month I'm cooking from Donna Hay Kids' Magazine

Monday, July 19, 2010

crackle off

We held our crackle off today - donna hay's copha-less recipe (on the left) up against the traditional back of the rice bubble box recipe.

I had serious doubts about whether you could take the copha out of the crackle, but in a head to head taste test it was unanimous* - the donna hay recipe came out on top.
Lighter, sweet but less sickly sweet, a more even chocolateyness, and without that greasey feel the copha can leave you with.

I do love a good old fashioned crackle, but I have to say donna might just have turned me - this one is a winner!

*whilst donna's recipe was the winner, I was competing against a 7 year old, so we thought it only fair that my score was divided by 4... after the score adjustment I came in a brave second ;o)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

polka dot pinny

I had a lovely afternoon at home today - casserole in the slow cooker, brownies in the oven, my footy team handing out a good old-fashioned shellacking, and me on the couch putting the finishing touches on the reversible pinafore from Thursday's post =)

Here is the finished product...



The plain red is cotton corduroy, and both spotty fabrics are cottons.
The little girl this one is for has tights in purple and that same blue from the fabric, and i think she is just going to look super cute =)

The pattern is Vivienne, which is available free on the Burda website - to make it reversible I just made the two separately up to sewing up the sides, then sewed them together around the arms, neck and straps, then turned it inside out and used a bias binding around the skirt.

I have fabric for one more of these ready to cute, as soon as I get the ok from little E's mum that the size is just right.

For now though, I have plans for a new work skirt for myself =)


Thursday, July 15, 2010

creative space :: 15 July

Today in my creative space...

...some more pretty little reversible pinnies.

This one will be red corduroy with a lovely dotty cotton on one side and red and white polka dot on other.

I'm still deciding on whether to put a pocket on the red and white side, and whether to use purple or blue ric rac... ah decisions decisions!

Plenty more creative spaces at Kirsty's! =)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

cool for kids

Donna Hay's annual kids' magazine came out last week, and it is so pretty that I couldn't resist bringing home a copy of my own =)

The styling on every single page is gorgeous - pink and blue and green and polka dots - just exactly what I'm loving right now =)

I'm expecially excited to try the Copha-less chocolate crackle recipe - in fact, we're having a crackle off at work on Monday ;o)


The recipes for the goodies pictured here are both available on the dh website

Sunday, July 11, 2010

yarny goodness

Today was the Creative Fibre Day at the Old Bus Depot Market...

...a lovely way to spend an afternoon =)

these gorgeous yarns were all dyed by the lovely Carrie from Fibrewebs. I bought a pretty blue one - possibly the same one you can see there between the greens =)

Thursday, July 08, 2010

creative squares

In my creative space this week...

...a pile of half square triangles.

These are for something quilty, but not quite quilt-sized.

LOTS more creative spaces at kootoyoo

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


brrrr we've have some very wintry Canberra nights* the past few weeks!

Not great for my chilly nose and freezey toes, but perfect for a piping hot, fresh from the oven, lovely crunchy apple crumble and a cup of tea!

My current favourite recipe comes from Cookery the Australian Way, and combines roughly equal amounts of oats, self-raising flour, brown sugar, butter and coconut.

*Ok, I know what you're thinking! It's winter, it's cold right?! And how cold could it be in sunny Australia, anyway? My house, in the morning, 6 degrees! I'm breathing fog out over my muesli! COLD!

Monday, July 05, 2010

colour love

I am just completely smitten with the combination of red, white and bright lovely blue/aqua just now - as you can see from this shot at my sewing table on the weekend.

It is so fresh and cheerful!

For inspiration in the same gorgeous colours, visit Tasha Horsley and All Sorts - so much pretty! =)

Sunday, July 04, 2010


Whilst there's been quite a bit of action in the Kuka kitchen lately, there hasn't been a lot of baking.

A lovely Sunday afternoon tea was the perfect excuse to put that right with this batch of profiteroles.

The flowers and butterflies on top were inspired by these sweeties, in the latest issue of Bolig Liv.

And, whilst the baking is mine, I'm afraid I can't take credit for the gorgeous photography - this beautiful shot was taken by a very clever friend =)