Wednesday, August 31, 2016

WCW- Gluten Free Lemon Loaf

I have been trying my hand at gluten free baking, and I have come up with a way to use my bounty of lemons at the same time.

This lemon loaf is perfect for those with coeliac disease or gluten sensitivity- but everyone who sampled this loaf did't realise it was made with gluten free flour. That is a win in my book!

Here is what is needed to make the lemon loaf. If you do not have lemon oil, feel free to substitute normal vegetable oil and add in one extra lemon.

The batter is so fluffy and yellow, with beautiful chunks of lemon zest shining through.

Out of the oven, it made my entire house smell delicious!

Most of this loaf was gone before I had the change to take a photo, but here you can see the lemon glaze and the light, moist inside.

Totally good with coffee, for 3pm nibbles or even for breakfast!

print recipe

Gluten Free Lemon Loaf
  • 1 2/3 cups gluten free self raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 lemons
  • 1/3 cup lemon flavoured oil (can sub with vegetable oil)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 150 grams lite sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups Chelsea lemon icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.Zest the three lemons and place in a mixing bowl with the salt, sugar and oil. Mix lightly then add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla extract. Add the sour cream and milk to the mixture, as well as the juice from the three zested lemons.Fold in the gluten free flour and pour into a loaf pan.Bake in the oven for 45-55 minutes.When the loaf is cool, mix together the icing sugar and hot water then spread over the top of the loaf.
Yield: 1 loaf

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Party Bag Bunting

This month's #30dayflip challenge was to make Something out of Nothing.

Now, I have lots of bits and pieces floating around at home just waiting for a project, but they all require some money (or my husband's handyman skills) in order to be finished.

I was sitting here pondering the challenge and then I got a message from my friend saying "I need some bunting tonight to use outdoors- can you help me?"

Well, this got my brain thinking. I didn't want to use cardstock as to me it would have been too flimsy for the outdoors, and my stash of vinyl was reduced to iron-on white, which wasn't appropriate either. My eyes then drifted to some leftover party bags from a craft show I had done a couple of weeks ago. They were a heavier feel than cardstock and coated to be damp-proof, plus they were lovely bright colours. So I set to work to make a bunting banner out of party bags!

I cut the sides out of each party bag, which gave me two seperate pieces to work with. I also cut out the handles of the bags.

I used my Cricut to cut the banner shape and got two pennants for each party bag rectangle. If you don't have a cutting machine, it would be easy enough to cut these using a template and add some holes with a hole punch.

Once I had my pennants, I arranged them into a pattern order of red and green. I am excited to use this again at Christmas by the way, how perfect will it be for my outdoor BBQs and festivities!

I attached each piece with some red and white twine I had in my craft stash. Depending on the occasion, you could use ribbon, wire or string to attach your bunting.

And here is the finished party bag bunting, ready to be hung up!

This got me thinking of all the possibilities- using extra goodie bags for bunting for a themed party would be the top of my list for trying this again! What would you use party bag bunting for?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

WCW- Pokeball Nutella Cheesecake

My husband recently celebrated his birthday, and instead of a birthday cake he requested a cheesecake.

Now, my boys have been getting into the current Pokemon trend, but I think my husband is the biggest fan in this household! I thought it would be easy to transform his cheesecake into a Pokeball for his birthday treat.

I gathered all of the ingredients together to create the cheesecake- looks delicious already!

I melted the butter and then added it to the crushed up Oreo biscuits to form the base of the cheesecake.

This is a baked cheesecake, so all of the other ingredients get mixed together and then bakes at a low temperature to set.

With the help of some food colouring and baking paper, I was able to transform a round cheesecake into a Pokeball.

Once the two sides have been spread with cream, you can add the black fondant for the finishing touch.

If you don't like Nutella, feel free to substitute melted chocolate or peanut butter instead!

print recipe

Pokeball Nutella Cheesecake
  • 255g packet Oreo biscuits
  • 70 grams melted butter
  • 200 grams Nutella
  • 400 grams Cream cheese
  • 80 grams plain yoghurt
  • 60 grams castor sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mixed with 60ml of hot water powdered gelatine
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 300ml cream
  • 1 teaspoon red food colouring gel
  • black fondant
Crush the Oreo biscuits and add to melted butter, stirring until mixed through. Push into the base of a circular spring form pan.In a mixer, beat together the Nuteela, cream cheese, yoghurt, prepared gelatine, sugars, vanilla essence and eggs. Pour onto the biscuit base and bake in the oven at 180 degrees C for one hour.Leave the cheesecake in the fridge for at least four hours to make sure it is cool and set before preparing the topping.Beat the cream in a cold, clean mixer. Divide in half and colour one bowl with the red food gel. Take a piece of baking paper and trace around the cheesecake pan base. Cut out the circle and fold in half. Spread the white cream on one side of the cheesecake, then spread the red cream on the other side, leaving a slight gap in the middle. Reserve a tablespoon of white cream.Cut the black fondant into a long strip and two circles, one slightly bigger than the other. Layer the strip across the middle where the cream meets. Add the larger circle to the middle, then add the leftover white cream to the middle of that circle. Top with the smaller circle.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 cheesecake

Friday, August 12, 2016

Space Themed Week for Preschoolers

I have been getting back into themed weeks for my 4 year old, and Space was one of the themes that came about as my 6 year old has been learning about planets at school.

We had a huge supply of Space themed books already on the bookshelf- including these gorgeous ones from the Elmo's Learning Adventure set we purchased a couple of years ago.

One of the first things we did was to make yellow Playdough to create stars for the counting mats- Adam insisted on using a large cookie cutter to make star shapes so we ended up stacking stars on top of one another.

We also decided to make our own galaxy in a jar. We got together a clean jar, some water, cotton balls, acrylic glitter paint and a paintbrush to create the galaxy.

We mixed some water with the acrylic paint to create a pourable consistency.

We then layered cotton balls in the jar and used one colour of paint at a time, mixed with the water, to soak in and create this galaxy.

Another simple cookie cutter activity also involving glitter paint was to stamp stars on a black background- Adam loved layering the stars and had to create three pages of them!

We talked about why we can only see stars at night and I showed Afam how a telescope works to view things in space. Adam wanted to make his own telescope so we stuck two toiler tolls together with washi tape and then decorated it with star stickers.

This was great for imaginative play, as Adam was walking around looking through his telescope and telling me what he could see.

Our snack was a planet of rice cake, banana and cheerios with peanut butter, surrounded by a cheese star and some smaller rice cracker and cherry tomato planets.

Adam also really loved this Lego game for building his own rocket ships. It was a great math lesson too!

Our Space week was a lot of fun and I cannot wait to share more preschooler themes with you in the coming months.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Organising my Bathroom Cabinet on a Budget

When I saw the Dollar Store challenge for the latest #30 Day Flip, I immediately started thinking of areas in my house that need revamping.

I am lucky that I have a bathroom all to myself, but it was getting a bit messy with all of my hair, makeup and skincare products.

I didn't have a place for everything, so my cupboards were full of product samples and my often used items were just sitting on my cabinet.

My drawers were in a shambles, with product everywhere, and I always had to rummage through the mess to find a lipstick or eye pencil.

Off I went to the local dollar store, and purchased some trays for kitchen cutlery, some bathroom tumblers, a soap dispenser and two wooden trays.

I then hunted in my scrapbooking supplies for some girly subtle patterned paper that I knew I wouldn't use in layouts.

I cut each piece to A4 size and then laminated each sheet.

I then cut each sheet to fit each tray-. I do not have exact measurements as everyone's trays will be different, but I managed to get the right shapes and sizes out of the four laminated sheets.

I then played around with placement of the trays in each drawer until I was happy with the arrangement.

Now, my hand soap, dental supplies, makeup brushes, nail polishes and daily use skincare products all have their place on the top of my vanity. You will notice I put my makeup brushes in one of the bathroom tumblers. I also used one of the wooden trays to place my daily skincare routine items, deodorant, eye makeup remover and eye cream within easy reach on the counter, as this way I can still get to them easily but they are tidy.

In my side draw I have the other wooden tray with my large makeup palettes, as well as my hair dryer and hair straightener.

The middle cabinet originally had two shelves, but there had been a leak in the cabinet and the top shelf was warped and ruined. I got my husband to remove the shelf, and in the bottom of the cabinet I have put my makeup bags, hand and body lotions, cleaners and perfumes.

The top right draw now has compartments for my hair ties, razors, bobby pins, hair care products and hair brushes. no more hunting in the draw for a hair tie!

In my middle draw I have organised my makeup into face, eye and lip segments. I don't have a lot of makeup but now I can find exactly what I am looking for.

My bottom drawer has my cleansing wipes, makeup tins, nail care items and Jamberry nail sheets.

Now I know exactly where everything is, and I can keep everything orgainsed thanks to my Dollar Store DIY cabinet tidy up.

Such an improvement- and it saves me so much time in the morning and at night having exactly what I need at my fingertips.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

WCW- Chocolate Chunk Scones

Everyone loves a good scone recipe, and chocolate is always popular! These Chocolate Chunk scones are very decedent and deliver a mouthful of chocolate in each bite.

The ingedients should already be in your baking cupboard- unless you are like me and use cooking chocolate as a late night snack!

It doesn't take long to mix the dry ingredients together, then add the butter and form a dough with the other ingredients.

I take the lazy way with scones and cook them as a whole round, then slice into wedges when cool.

Mmmm, look at all of this chocolate!

print recipe

Chocolate Chunk Scones
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup full fat milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 200g dark chocolate block
  • 4 tablespoons full fat milk
  • 3 tablespoons castor sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and prepare a large baking tray. Whisk together the sugar, flour, salt and baking powder. Add the cubed butter and work into the flour mixture until crumbly.Transfer the dough to a floured surface and shape it into an 8 inch circle. Place on the baking tray and brush the top with milk, then sprinkle the castor sugar over the top.Cook for 20 minutes, then cut into 12 wedges and serve.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 scones
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