Wednesday, 28 December 2016

WOW: Phew!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
Phew, it's over! Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas but when it's scorching hot and there's so much going on, it's easy to lose track of things - like time for instance. I had no idea it was Wednesday today. I only just realized a few moments before blogging this post which is why it's so late. Perhaps I shouldn't admit that I've lost track of the days, but it's true.

How was your Christmas?

Ours was hot. We had turkey and were hoping right until the last minute to do everything inside, but a forecast of 36c meant that we decided to cook everything outside on the BBQ. It was the only way to go. In my household, Christmas is always hectic, for right after the day itself it's straight into preparations for my youngest DD's birthday and it's a super busy time all round. The stinking heat just makes everything seem harder. Mind you, we have air conditioning so I shouldn't complain, but we do all feel fatigued and I can't wait for this hot spell to pass.

Hope you're all having a beautifully calm, family focused break. As for me, I'm grateful that my DH stocked up well before Christmas which means we don't have to venture out into the crazy sales and rush that's going on right now.

It's the last Wednesday for the year! 
What are you up to today?


Saturday, 24 December 2016

A Very Hot Christmas Eve

The wafers are made and resting (below), and the dough for our once a year 'mlinci' is finally done too. I'll post the full recipes later in the week. 
Today I've been cleaning and setting the table for what will be a scorching Christmas Day - 36c!
Today was also 36c although our outside house thermometer, which is always more accurate that the news report, reached a reading of 38c. Yes, it's going to be a very hot Christmas!

There are some dishes we only make and eat at Christmas which I always look forward to making with my DDs in the week leading up to the day, but this year we scaled back our cooking plans at the last minute to just the essentials. We have air conditioning and it's fine inside our house, but I find the weather makes cakes and other baked goods misbehave. So we're keeping it as low key as we can this Christmas.
With the temperature soaring, we've decided to bake our Turkey on the BBQ rather than indoors, and will keep our oven working to a minimum.

Now I'm off to water the poinsettias before bed, I don't want them expiring before Christmas Day lunch !

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

WOW: Christmas Baking

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
Wow, what a year it's been! I'm surprised that it's Christmas time already and even more surprised that it's Christmas baking time. It just doesn't feel like December to me. Oh well, there's no doubt it is and I just have to mentally catch up to start 2017 feeling like it really is a New Year.

Many years ago, we moved to gift free Christmases as we realized that we had everything we needed and wanted. In the years since, Christmas time has been free of any shopping frenzy and we usually spend the week leading up to Christmas together at home, baking and talking about the year ahead.

Some years, it's simply too hot to bake in Australia and other years, like this year, we're doing more assembling than 'baking' itself. Today I'll be making Wafers with my youngest DD who finished work yesterday, my other DD finishes work on Friday so she'll just enjoy our wafers and miss out on our kitchen gathering this year. We'll be talking lots of photos for her and no doubt I'll post the recipe here once we've finished. The yearly recipe cycle is an important one on my blog because no matter how many times I write my recipes out, or how many times my DDs watch and join me in making it, they always want the recipe again. Now, they just check out my blog! Are you ready for Christmas? Is it just me or does the Festive Season feel different this year?

What's Your WOW?

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Peach Biscuits for Christmas

***This is a re-post from 2010***

I first posted this recipe in 2008, it's one of those recipes that's just always been in the family, always impresses and is a real treasure to share. And I always re-post this blog entry in the week before Christmas each year, as about now is the time when people start calling me for the recipe! There are a few versions around, but they all end up at the same place: an almost too cute to eat peach. Perfect with tea and delightful in the afternoon....or anytime. It's fun to make with children and a wonderful classic to introduce into your 'what to bring?' repertoire. With December fast upon us, if you haven't made a peach before...why not try one now?

I'm always being asked about this recipe and make a point of making them at Easter and Christmas. They have a very special place in my family and have become a family favourite. I have tried a few different versions in all the years I've been making them and they were all delicious (except for the shortbread version which completely crumbled - what was I thinking??) but this recipe below is the staple I keep returning to. 

Feel free to experiment and make it your own. You have extra liberty with the filling - my favourite is firmly nuts, leftover crushed biscuit and condensed milk with a splash of rum. But I've enjoyed nutells mixed into crushed nuts, a paste of dried raisins and rum and even lindt chocolate balls softened in the microwave and then squashed between the two sides. You can really do anything as long as it holds and keeps. Another nice touch is to add a sprig of stem to the peaches (break off a piece of pretzel) and add mint leaves immediately before serving. 

I was planning on making an extra large batch this year, but it's been too hot down my way. It's over 41c today and Christmas day is forecast for 37c with hot days all between - the worst weather for biscuit making, so it looks like I'll be giving my baking a miss this year. Still, for those of you able to bake and interested in trying out this traditional, charming biscuit - here it is:



click the read more tab below to view the full recipe and instructions.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

My Sweet Bee Background!

I'm still going on with my new background idea. I will be removing the aqua border as it just doesn't work. I added an extra 1.5 inches to my background measurement, but after stitching lines, it shrunk more than I expected and I am now running short for the border.
Can you even believe it? Such basic mistakes! What am I doing?!
 So it looks like I will have to mix up my borders between the black and yellow. 
 Like so:
With Christmas next week, I was hoping to get this wall hanging done, but I no longer think this will be possible. For one thing, I'm not 100% about my background yet! I think I will pause for now and watch and see what everyone over in the Sweet 2016 Group is opting for on their backgrounds...I need some perspective!

Friday, 16 December 2016

Sweet 2016: Choosing a New Background !

Nope, those lovely plates just don't work! Seeing my last Sweet 2016 background fabric on screen confirmed to me that it wasn't right. The lovely plates were lost behind the domes and the beautiful cake domes were lost in all the visual activity going on. I guess I got lost because of my love for the plate print fabric. I will put it away and use it some place else. Perhaps a table runner.. but that's a whole different project.
I've had numerous background ideas - from red velvet, to charcoal, to aqua, to floral prints. I've been completely spoilt for choice and ideas. But now it's time to narrow it down and commit - and I've been really struggling with this.Which is no good because I did plan on finishing this wall hanging by Christmas but I'll never get there without deciding on the background fabric first. 
After even more playing around, I've been taken by the idea of a bold yellow and black background (without the light aqua print border you can see in the first image above, that will go and be replaced by a yellow or black border.)
I've stitched strips of black and yellow together to create the top and I plan on stitching yellow lines over the black and black lines over the yellow and I'll let you know how I get on..

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

WOW: A Mystery No More!

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
This month I released Part 11 & 12 of Sweet 2016 together to everyone who started this BOM on it's launch - allowing original starters to get their blocks in order before the end of year. And this means, it's not a Mystery anymore! I always feel a little sad when a BOM ends, which is silly, but I do miss the monthly excitement of revealing each new part. Now it's time to put my domes over my chosen background and I must admit. I'm in two minds about it. First I loved it, then I didn't. Now I'm not sure. The lovely border is a bit washed out in this pic above, it looks better in real life (as below)
The problem is, I'm so in love with the fabric, but is it too crowded? I think so. Then again, maybe that's OK? I need fresh eyes. so I'll put this aside for a week before I take a final critical look. What do you think? And have you selected your own background fabric yet??

What's Your WOW?