Thursday, December 28, 2006

Lucky lucky me

Back from my mum's for Christmas - spent just a little while (ok, hours!) catching up on my blogreading last night and this morning - and had a lovely surprise. The talented Belinda decided to share the joy that is Malabrigo through a giveaway and I am the lucky winner! Yay for me! Yay for Belinda's generosity (have I mentioned I love knitters!! Thanks Belinda!)

I've been turning some ideas around in my head for my own little giveaway/celebration - more on that when I'm back from New York...

On the knitting front, I did manage to finish my nephew C's beanie, and my niece S's cushion. Husby got his socks on the sticks and Mum got about 2/3 of her bag. My brother A will wait until his socks are finished. Had a good knitting day on Boxing Day and then driving back to Sydney yesterday, so Husby's socks are all but done (just have to graft the toe and sew in the ends) and Mum's bag finished entirely on Boxing Day (crochet is sooooo quick!) (except I'm a bit cross with myself, I forgot to take a picture...). Brother A's socks almost done - about an inch of the foot and then the toe. So, all in all, pretty happy with the outcome. Might be less optimistic or more organised next year!!

And most pleasingly, everyone loved their knitted gifts! It was even cold enough for the boys to actually wear their beanies!! (I can't believe it snowed in Victoria - on Christmas Day - in Australia! It's supposed to be hot!!!) I've read a few blog entries or comments from people who have relatives or significant others who don't appreciate or understand the thought and time that goes into a hand-made gift, and I really do feel lucky that both my family and my husband's family, as well as lots of friends, "get" it. And those that don't, well that's ok, they don't receive handmade gifts from me (and really, that just means more time to make things for myself or others like me!)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Crochet edge handkerchief

Earlier this year, while our new laundry was being built (and our old demolished), I took the washing to my mother-in-law's to put through her machine. I have a lot of crochet edge handkerchiefs, some made by me but most given to me by my mum - she doesn't use them and knew I like them so gifted them to me (I know, I know, it's a bit grandma-ish, but I like them - dainty and elegant, I think). My mil loved them and said all she wanted for Christmas was a handkerchief of her own (we didn't listen - there are other gifts too!)

But how could I disappoint her?

I used an Irish linen handkerchief, I'm not entirely sure but I may have actually purchased this in Ireland! They really are the best handkerchiefs!


Thread: DMC number 20 crochet cotton, white

Hook: 1.25mm steel hook, well-used - I think I need a new one

Pattern: Myart edge 125 from Myart's Crochet Edge Designs, Book 2 - it's a nice easy one, very quick as it is mostly chain loops - not too fussy or big, but big enough to be noticed!

Time: 13 December - 19 December

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


With 5 more days to Christmas, I'm feeling slightly strained about my Christmas projects. Here's where I'm at:
  • Beanie for nephew T - done
  • Cushion for nephew L - done
  • Crochet edge handkerchief for mother-in-law - done (photos tomorrow!)
  • Beanie for nephew C - 10%
  • Husby's secret socks - 75% done
  • Odd socks for brother A - 65% done
  • Crochet bag for mum - 20% done
  • Cushion for niece S - 95% done

Ok, now I'm feeling quite a bit more stressed...the plan is to sew up the cushion tonight and work away on the rest in between wrapping presents, finishing Christmas shopping, writing the last few Christmas cards and some more baking. The 6 hour drive to my mum's on Sunday will be vital finishing time as well!!! And if worse comes to worse, Husby and brother A will get their unfinished socks on the sticks!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Finally, I bit the bullet

Finally on Sunday I bit the bullet and put up the Christmas tree. I did have some thoughts on Saturday about how it was an hour or so I could be knitting and that since we wouldn't be home for Christmas day I shouldn't worry. But I banished Scrooge and I'm glad I did. It is good to have the tree up and decorations around - it does make it feel more festive. Hopefully I will take it down before the end of January (not like last year...)!
If only the tree lights hadn't blown after I tested them and then put the rest of the decorations on...oh well, no lights this year.

I love this cat garland - I bought it from Recollections in the UK a few years ago - it just goes with the rest of the room really nicely. Usually I hang it over the fireplace but since I've put the tree in front of the fireplace this year (we really
don't have a good spot for it.) I've hung the cats over the door instead - still works pretty well, I think. Would be even better if we had stairs - the cats could be climbing up or down the stairs with their little puddings and jaunty bows!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Just in case

When creating this blog, I was careful to not give too much away about myself (name, picture, friend's names etc). There were a few reasons for that which weren't related to my perhaps irrational fear that anyone out there could steal my identity (because, you know, knitters and other crafters - they're a dab hand at creating fake credit cards and passports, not to mention computer hackers extraordinaire!) (come to mention it, doesn't Sandra Bullock knit???)

But I think it's probably time to come clean, stop clowning around and show my real face to the world (or at least, the maybe dozen or so people who read my blog!!!)

So, just in case anyone is really really curious about what I look like, I thought now would be the time to provide some satisfaction... Even though it's not the best photo in the world, as you can see I'm having a slightly bad hair day (it just kept flopping even though I really tried with the curling iron)...

Keep scrolling - a little bit more suspense won't kill you, you know...

Just a bit more...

One more bit...

Ok, you asked for it (well, you didn't but it's the traditional thing to say)...

Now you all know the real reason I haven't shown my face before...

If it's Monday...

If it's Monday, it must be time to post something about baking...

Yesterday we had afternoon tea with friends, for a Christmas catch-up. As I usually do, I promised something sweet. Flipping through my old favourite standby, Nigella (which very usefully has a whole section on Christmas baking) I found a recipe for Christmas cupcakes. They look chocolately, but are also a little spicy (mixed spice) with a hint of coffee. They were delicious! The icing was a bit ordinary, I just couldn't get it thick enough, but I think they look suitably Christmas pudding-y with icing drizzled over the top.
Nigella also offers a recipe for Snickerdoodles (heh). So I made a batch to give to each group of friends. Since there weren't enough, I just had to make chocodoodles as well...

Here's the before/after shot:
They are ok - not as dough-nutty as Nigella promised but ok. And very easy to make. And they look pretty good in Christmas-y (it's a "y" kind of day) boxes...

Friday, December 15, 2006

Of droughts and flooding rains

It's raining in Sydney at the moment (just...very lightly). We have water restrictions but we do get relatively enough rain - especially, it seems, on weekends in January - just when you wouldn't mind a bit more sun.

Others in Australia are doing it a lot harder. I saw a link to this on WhipUp the other day and it really appealed to me - being from the country originally and being a knitter - so now I am the proud sponsor of a mother ewe named Gwen, in honour of my own mother. I hope that it will take off and other farmers can also benefit.

Some Friday eye candy to finish with:
Some people think agapanthus are weeds but I quite like them - they are very hardy (I never water them!), always green and produce lots of flowers every year. Ours are all blue with the exception of one lonely white flower, which you can't see in this picture (it's up the other end).

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Colour choices

A while back, my mum requested a crochet bag like mine, but a bit bigger (about 30cm/12" wide). I bought the yarn months ago but only started on the weekend - yep, just in time for Christmas. It's a very easy and quick pattern so should have it done by Christmas - except that I've discovered that I don't have enough yarn... And to make it worse, no more of this colour to be had at my LYS (unless I order it, I guess, which probably won't work in time for Christmas). I'll have enough to finish one side piece, so I thought I might do the other side piece in a contrasting colour, so in effect it is a reversible bag - I may have enough purple left to stripe it.

(by the way, the colour in these photos is not true to life - the yarn is quite a bright purple!)

But what colour? I'm thinking red (I quite like red and purple together but it is a bold choice). Other options? Black? Cream? Olive or forest green? A striped combination of any of these? What do you think?

(Added: Thanks for suggestion Nora - it is Lana Gatto Jaipur, colour 3885 - I'd happily buy and pay costs etc if anyone has any of this unwanted lying around in their stash - would need at least 2 balls...might be a needle in a haystack search!)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Fabulous Miss F's Raspberry Scarf

My friend Miss F is, as you know, going to the UK for Christmas. I couldn't let her go with a cold neck and so the Raspberry Scarf was born:
Yarn: Eki Riva Natal 8ply, 4 x 50g balls (used double stranded) - a lovely soft alpaca/silk/polyamide (or something) blend - so as not to be too scratchy for Miss F's delicate neck. This is an interesting yarn - very lose weave (is that the right technical term??) so there are bits which are quite thin and bits which are thicker. The store had a sample knitted up in stocking stitch which was a lovely fabric.
Pattern: the Yarn Harlot's reversible scarf - in this yarn, looks a lot like raspberries!
Sticks: 8mm bamboo - I wanted this to be a quick knit, hence the doubled yarn and big sticks. Big sticks are hard on the wrists though...
Time: 20 Nov 06 - 8 Dec 06 (with a break when I needed some "quiet time" after the yarn tangled and knotted hideously and the knitting was thrown across the room...)
What I learnt: Sometimes the answer to a hideously tangled knotty ball of yarn is just to leave it for a day...rather than throwing it across the room.

Here is the lovely Miss F modelling her scarf - yes, it doesn't really go with her outfit or with the summer weather but you get the picture - good width - enough to cover the chin but let the bling earrings show (if you wish) and long enough to wrap round once and knot if you want. Hurrah for another FO!
And in case you didn't know, Tapestry Craft is having a pre-Christmas sale - 20% off all yarn and knitting accessories, plus full packets of yarn on sale too! Hurrah for pre-Christmas sales! Hurrah for being able to buy on-line (should you need that option). Hurrah for the internet!

Monday, December 11, 2006

It's baking Monday!

Yet again - my baking exploits for the weekend - I had a Christmas party on Saturday night and (apparently) offered to make chocolate macaroon thingys. Lucky I was reminded of this during the week or it would not have been done.

Quite frankly, better that it hadn't been done.

So far, so good (painstakingly piped by hand when really I should have just dropped the mix using a spoon, for all the good the piping with the fancy nozzle did!):
But getting them off the baking sheet - not so much. Out of 32 potential rounds, I managed to get 21 off the sheet in one piece. The rest just stuck or split.

Second round, not so much good:
Thought maybe baking paper might make it easier to remove the rounds (which, by the way, turned out better than the first lot, in looks anyway). Heh. See how those upside down ones have a white base. Yeah. That's the baking paper. Stuck firmly to each one. So, all 20 or so of this lot in the bin.

So after much cursing effort, I ended up with 10 macaroon thingys (sandwiched with chocolatey goodness). At least they tasted gooooood.
And I can safely say I will never be making this recipe again!

Sunday, December 10, 2006


You Are Mexican Food

Spicy yet dependable.
You pull punches, but people still love you.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

One beanie down, one to go...

Christmas "Roosters" beanie for my nephew T - I'd forgotten how quick beanies are to make - hurrah! Seen here reluctantly fetchingly modeled by husby (who needs a haircut):

Pattern: my own - hey, it's just a stocking stitch beanie with a rib edge. Used the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Rules - I've said it before - it's great! Love the decrease pattern, made following the Rules.
Yarn: Red Zara 8ply from the stash, white Zara 8ply, had to buy, navy Jo Sharp Classic DK (no navy Zara)
Sticks: 4.5mm bamboo circular, 40cm
Time: 28 November - 2 December
What I learnt: 1. Do my maths better - I cast on 110 stitches for a 2x2 rib. Anyone see the problem here? 2. I need to practice the whole "try to avoid the jump in the stripes knitted in the round" - my attempts here were woeful. 3. Don't leave finished beanie on the lounge where the cat might will sleep on it, unless of course you like the covered in cat hair knitwear look (it's all the rage in my household!)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Hey, I've finished something else!

Wow - two things in two weeks (in fact, three - just wait til tomorrow!). This Christmas thing is working, I say, working! (did that sound convincing? inside I'm starting to freak out ever so slightly...)

Here is my nephew L's cushion:

Pattern: from Erika Knight's Simple Knits for Cherished Babies. It is about 45cm x 45cm, which is a good size for a child's cushion I think.
Yarn: Rowan all seasons cotton 5x50g balls. Can't remember the shade - the photos are fairly true to colour. Lovely to knit with.
Sticks: 4.5mm straights (pattern recommended 4mm, but you know, the tension issue)

Time: This is a quick knit - the Rowan really zips along. But I finished the knitting back at Easter (I think it took about 2 weeks), finally blocked it about a month ago, and then sewed up on Sunday night.
What I learnt on this project: Very straightforward project, no modifications - although now that I've sewn it up, I might have made the flap at the back crossover more, I think it will gape a bit. I'm also thinking about adding some type of tie or button closure just to be sure - the flap is not as tight as I'd like it to be. But overall, I'm very happy with this.

The verdict?

And she baked a ricotta cheesecake and it was goooooooood!

For your enjoyment, the post-tin and the post-ravenous hordes shots:

*in case you were wondering, those are sultanas and other mixed fruit...
There was even less left over after a couple of people had seconds! Hurrah for a successful cake!

Monday, December 04, 2006

More baking

I've always loved to bake (not so much to cook) but over the last few months I haven't done very much (might have been knitting instead...). Until my birthday came around and since then I've got my baking mojo back! I'ven been turning a little project around in my mind, for the new year - will tell you about it then!

But in the meantime, here's the progress shots of an Italian Ricotta Cheesecake I whipped up last night. Yes that's 1 kg of ricotta cheese (low fat of course, that makes it soo much healthier, 5 eggs, 1 cup castor sugar, lemon juice, lemon rind and a bit of vanilla.

I've never made a ricotta cheesecake before, and haven't made a baked one for years, so hope this eats ok!

There - that looks better, all nicely blended together (I do love the magimix!!)

I also love licking the bowl (well, clearly I did not lick it, I used a scraper thingy. Mainly because my head wouldn't fit into the processor bowl...)

Yep. Tastes pretty good.

Here's the before-and-after baking shots. I cooked it a bit longer than the pattern recipe recommended as it still looked a little soft in the middle. It rose up beautifully but dropped as it cooled (I hope it is supposed to do that, the picture in the book looked a bit flat, so fingers crossed...)

The reason for this baking? One of our work colleagues has returned from her honeymoon today (Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes not only copied her wedding day, but also her honeymoon venue!!) - and since she's also Italian, I thought this would be a good choice for a welcome back afternoon tea.
Knitting tomorrow - I promise!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

By popular demand - Golden Syrup Dumplings

(well, one or two of you anyway!!)

Golden Syrup Dumplings
45 grams butter
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup golden syrup
2-1/2 cups water

1-1/2 cups self-raising flour
30 grams butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup
approx 1/2 cup milk

Make dumplings first: sift flour into bowl, rub in butter, add golden syrup and enough of the milk (gradually) to mix to a soft dough. Roll tablespoons of dough into ball with floured hands. Should make 10 dumplings

Then: combine butter, sugar, golden syrup and water in large saucepan, stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Place dumplings into saucepan slowly (eg using spoon). Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 mins or until dumplings are well-risen and cooked through. Serve hot with whipped cream or ice cream.

Cook as close to serving time as possible.


Thursday, November 30, 2006


Earlier this year my two nephews (aged 12 and 9) requested beanies in the colours of their (and their father's) favourite football team, the Roosters. I think they had in mind that I would make them immediately and in time for winter. Oh well. They are getting them for Christmas - in time for next winter!
The great thing about beanies is that they are such a quick knit - especially on a circular stick. I'm using a combination of Zara (red that I had in stash plus white which I had to buy) and Jo Sharp DK in navy - there was no Zara navy. The Jo Sharp is not as soft or sproingy as the Zara but I think they work together ok. Helen Mirren in Prime Suspect makes a great knitting companion - I reckon the second part on Friday night should see me finished this (or just about, anyway!).

I'm making up the pattern as I go along (it's only a beanie, after all!) using the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Rules - all sorts of extremely useful info (for hats, scarves, socks etc), like, for me, average head sizing for babies, toddlers, children, small and large adults, and lots of very interesting proportions info - did you know that your hand, from wrist to fingertip, is about the same size as your head (from ears up) - or something like that - just buy the book!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Of sweets and shoes

these are two of my favourite things...

It's all about the desserts at the moment - and all the US blogs with their thanksgiving feasts (and photos!) are not helping! My brother M and his family visited on the weekend (they still live in my home town). M loves his golden syrup dumplings. It is a running joke in the family that he was hardly done by as a child because mum "never" made them for him! I have mum's recipe and was very easily prevailed upon by him to make them for him this weekend.
This is the last one (makes 10) - served warm with lots of the sauce and ice-cream - mmmmmm a real winter pud (yes, I know it is summer here now, well almost anyway, ok then an all year round pud!). Cakey sweet deliciousness. (If anyone wants the pattern recipe, let me know!)

And since there's been a dearth of shoe posts here's my latest acquisition:
Not purchased with my DJ's voucher (not for lack of trying, let me assure you, just that nothing has been superfantastic enough for that yet!), but purchased at the urging of my very bad influence shoe fiend friend, J. A good pair of summer wedges (for those who remember, I always have to add "wedges, weginald!")

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

First (and only?) FO of the month!

Ta da! It's the "ohmythecottonis2differentshadesIcantbelieveIdidntnoticethatearlier" cardi, for my friend L's baby - a boy, born last Thursday (Thanksgiving!) weighing 10lb 9oz (she was pretty thankful for the epidural and the gas, I can tell you!).

I went with green cotton thread, mainly because that's what I had in the stash. My stitching is a bit uneven - unique and handmade, I say! I did cross stitch on the front and diagonals on the back (can you tell I got sick of the sewing...?). But thankfully, you really can't tell there are two different shades now (thanks Carson and others for your advice!).

I'm not sure what size this turned out to be - it was meant to fit him at 6-9 months (winter) but it is a lot bigger than the navy cardi I finished recently which is also meant to be 6-9 month size, so I don't know if this is too big or the other too small...oh well, it's cotton so is transeasonal!

Pattern: Rosebud Cardigan from Erika Knight's Simple Knits for Cherished Babies
Yarn: Rowan 4ply cotton - 2.5 x 50g balls
Sticks: 3.5mm addi circular and 3.5mm addi dpns for the sleeves - I converted the pattern to do the fronts and back in one piece to the armholes, and to the sleeves circular rather than flat - much less seaming! Why aren't more patterns (especially for babies) written to minimise seaming! The pattern called for 2.75mm sticks but this would be just tooo tight. As it is, I may have done a little loose, but I still quite like the outcome.
Time: started on 13 October 2006, finished 25 November 2006.
What I learnt on this project: 1. Check the yarn colour VERY carefully!! especially if you buy from eBay or secondhand and some doesn't have labels...
2. converting to circular knitting is great and relatively easy, although on reflection I think I could have done it differently (I think I need to learn top-down construction)
3. need to get some stitchmarkers...

Monday, November 27, 2006

Sunday drive

Every so often, we go for a Sunday drive, in convoy with friends who also have a convertible (except theirs is a very cool, but loud, Mustang, left hand drive - always odd to see someone driving on the "wrong" side!).

This, of course, is a great opportunity to feel the wind in our hair, and more importantly for me, to get lots of knitting done!

This is the before shot (had to take at least 3 projects - my hands get sore if I do the same knitting for an extended period, particularly with very small or very big sticks - well, that's my excuse anyway!):
After driving to Terrigal for lunch, then through the Yarramalong valley to a macadamia farm for afternoon tea - mmm macadamia scones with jam and cream (and the macadamia farm is for sale, by the way, if anyone is interested...) and then eventually back onto the old Pacific Highway and then the freeway back to Sydney (with a little power nap along the way), this is my progress (I think I'm a slow knitter...):
The Yarramalong valley is lovely to drive through - so lush and green - a lot different from my home town in central west NSW. Even the North Shore is lush and green - they must do a lot of watering despite the water restrictions!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Flashin' the stash

Inspired by Little Jenny Wren's post last week, I thought I might take some time to flash my stash (well, parts of it anyway...hope husby isn't reading this...). (sorry Jenny my stash is not as beautifully sorted and displayed as yours - I'm freaky scared about moths...!)

This little group is in the loungeroom - the Mountain Colours skeins (thanks eBay) were removed from their little safe baggie for the purposes of the pic. This basket mainly holds UFOs, sticks (in the long pencil case and side pocket) and some inspiration yarn.
This group is in my "study" (aka the junk room - although not nearly as junky as it used to be) . Rowan all seasons cotton for a baby aran style cardi from Knitty (so cute!), some Regia and Trekking sock yarn, lots of 4ply baby wool (I do love my baby knitting!) plus the Rowan 4ply cotton in the two different shades of the same colour that caused my knitting error (see yesterday's post!!). You can see the frogged bits in the bag - thought it might make good doll hair (should I ever make any knitted dolls...) (did I mention that I'm a hoarder?)
These are two drawers from the cedar chest of drawers in the spare bedroom (and they are DEEP drawers too! The red Rowan Big Wool is for a baby blanket, the blue-ish Rowan Yorkshire Tweed is for a cardi for me from Rowan's Vintage Style and the Jaeger cashmerino - well, I've got a few ideas for that but none finalised yet...

And of course with all that yarn you need some implements. Here are my nice sticks (the random metal and plastics are hidden away). Yes, you can also see I'm a bit of a sudoku freak. Underneath the sticks is a mat "fancyworked" by my mum - more to my taste than hers, I think. The fat cat holds some notions (lovely quaint word) - row counters, stitch markers, point protectors and the like. The cupboard underneath also hold more yarn...I forgot to take a picture!

You can see my books here (of course, there have been a few additions since then...)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Much better, thanks

Remember this? In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to all for your advice on this problem - I know I've said it before, but I LOVE the knit-blogging community.

I decided to go with the majority and frog back to the armhole and re-knit the front in the darker shade - I put it off for a while but in the end it only took an evening to re-do (I think I am a very slow knitter!). This pic doesn't show it as well, but the colours line up on both sides now!

I still haven't decided on colour to do the top-stitching over the join - am waiting on the baby to arrive - if a boy I'll probably do navy and if a girl then red (or I just might do red anyway). Or perhaps an olive green might go well with the tones. And with the buttons (I haven't actually sewn them on yet, I might still change my mind on those too). They are a bit blurry in this pic but they are little teddy heads (yes, more teddy heads!). Happy to receive any views on colour for topstitching and button style/colour too!

Hopefully baby will arrive soon - s/he was due a week ago! Poor mother in this heat!

I'll do a proper FO post once I've actually finished it properly!! I think I'm getting my knitting mojo back though - hurrah!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


There's something about raspberries for me at the moment - since the success of the gooey chocolate stack I'm seeing raspberries everywhere (and I don't even like to eat them that much, except of course with choc custard and meringue...).

Case in point: My friend, the Fabulous Miss F, is going to the UK in December and so of course needs a warm scarf. Notwithstanding that this project is not on my COP* schedule, I couldn't not make one for her.

Something quick, fairly big sticks, just the right length (about 160cm) and the right width. I found this Eki Riva Natal (alpaca/silk/polyamide mix - mainly alpaca) and as it is an 8ply, am knitting it double - wound two balls into one centre pull ball (oddly, discovered that one ball was a bit longer than the other - on reflection, this makes sense given the slightly uneven nature of the ply on this yarn). I'm using the Yarn Harlot one row reversible pattern - to me, the nubbliness of the yarn combined with the textured pattern brings to mind the (sortof) bubbly nature of raspberries - delicious! (The colour is a bit more like the first photo than the second - a lovely pink toned red - hope she likes it!)

*COP - Christmas and Other Projects


In other news, the weather yesterday (about 35 deg celsius) was perfect for drying socks - of course, I'm not sure that it will get cold enough again this year to actually wear them, but isn't it good to know that they are clean if we need them! Had a pic to post but bl*gger won't do it. Oh well - at least there is finally some knitting content!! Hurrah! Get set for more...

And in answer to Little Jenny Wren's question on Monday's post - yes I am a country girl originally (or should that be "lady", Nora?!!) - moved to Sydney to go to uni and stayed ever since - but haven't lost my "roots"!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Still no knitting content

Looking back over last week I realised there was no real knitting content there. Despite my aim to work on only a couple of things to get them finished, there hasn't been as much knitting happening as I'd like. But there will be soon - I promise! But right now, this post will not change the lack of knitting content issue.

But look at this - how can this not delight!

It is the Gooey Chocolate Stack from Nigella's How to be a Domestic Goddess - 3 layers of chocolate meringue with chocolate creme patissiere (I think that's how you spell it!) layered in between. I subbed the pistachio slivers on top for raspberries - so right with chocolate! Made for BBQ lunch yesterday to celebrate my and the Fabulous F's birthdays.

I've never watched her cooking show but from what I know, this is absolutely typical of her style of cooking - gooey, rich, a little messy, requires much finger licking, full of good bad things like 300ml cream, 300ml full cream milk, 100g dark choc, 5 tbsp dutch cocoa, 6 eggs, 400g caster sugar (do I need to go on...). But oh my, it was GOOD - we all had seconds.

This was all that was left (before husby and I put it out of its misery and finished it off).

Neither of us needed dinner last night ...

Friday, November 17, 2006

More pretties

I think these probably qualify for Eye Candy Friday...

Remember my mum's "fancy work"? Here is the finished product (close-up below), in time for my birthday.

I bought the pillowslips (they are full-sized - folded in half in the first pic above) (with the pattern already traced) from eBay - it was meant to be done in blue shades but of course red suited me better so I bought mum a heap of embroidery thread in various shades of red. She decided to add green as well which I think was a good call.

We have antique wardrobes and dressing table and a faux cast iron bed - I think these will be beautiful on the bed - especially with the red (what else?!) sheets and cream quilt. One of life's simple pleasures I think is getting into a freshly laundered and made bed at the end of the day. Mmmm sleepy now...

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Saw this on Mimknits (yesterday). Agree wholeheartedly with her intro - "it’s easy enough for my dull brain today, and enigmatic enough to be interesting" - and I have to add - in some cases quite hard to limit yourself to one word (do hyphenated words count??). The rules:

Here goes...
1. Yourself: Tired
2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend (spouse): Lovely
3. Your hair: Brown
4. Your mother: Underappreciated
5. Your Father: Missed
6. Your Favorite Item: iPod
7. Your dream last night: zzzzzz
8. Your Favorite drink: Champagne
9. Your Dream Car: MX5
10. The room you are in: Office
11. Your Ex: Who?
12. Your fear: Loneliness
13. What you want to be in 10 years? Happy
14. Who you hung out with last night? Husby
15. What You’re Not? Thin
16. Muffins: Banana
17. One of Your Wish List Items: Shoes!
18. Time: 8.15am
19. The Last Thing You Did: Email
20. What You Are Wearing: Red
21. Your Favorite Weather: Spring
22. Your Favorite Book: Well-read
23. The Last Thing You Ate: Chocolate
24. Your Life: Comfortable
25. Your Mood: Optimistic
26. Your best friend: Caring
27. What are you thinking about right now? Eating
28. Your car: MX5
29. What are you doing at the moment? Thinking
30. Your summer: Coming
31. Your relationship status: Married
32. What is on your TV? Foxtel
33. What is the weather like? Cold
34. When is the last time you laughed? Yesterday

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Eye candy Wednesday

I've noticed a webring (or whatever you call it - posting circle??) for people to post some "eye candy" on Fridays. Well, it's not Friday, but here's some eye candy, to get me through "hump day".

Flowers for my birthday last week - the lillies from a work friend E (who finished up yesterday, I will miss her a lot) and roses from husby (2 dozen!!!). I don't think I've ever seen such large lillies, they are amazing and have such a beautiful scent (need smell-o-vision/internet). And enough roses for every room in the house!