Monday, August 22, 2011

Coin Purse

My purse has a rather small coin compartment, and since I'm more of a cash rather than credit card kind of girl (well, I am Chinese after all), I needed a separate coin purse. I bought a couple of packs of cotton/linen fabric from The Rabbit and the Duck stall at Markit a few months ago so I finally put the fabric to good use. I didn't line the purse (I'm sure I'll regret it!) so I just used super strong interfacing. My zip attachment has improved so I'll be sure to whip up more of these handy pouches.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pariya's Persian Goodies

I adore browsing at David Jones' food court and discovered these goodies last week. We've had Pariya's Rose Fairyfloss and Saffron Nougat before (both absolutely delightful!) so I decided we needed to sample Persian Confetti Frosted Pistachios (which are pistachios sugarcoated with cardomon), and Sun Dried Persimmons (best served with cheese, or use in breads, biscuits and cakes). The pistachios are so yummy, and the flavour of the persimmon was mild though a little tart.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Maneki Neko Cross Stitch

I finished a Maneki Neko or "Beckoning Cat" cross stitch on the weekend from Japon Au Point De Croix by Anne Sohier-Fournel who is one of my favourite cross stitch designers. When the left paw is raised it attracts money, where as if the right paw is raised it retains money. I figured I'll rather have more money! I changed the eyes to have them open rather than closed as Mum said you should see the money coming in.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tote Bags

A girl can never have too many bags! I'm so pleased that my new tote bag has turned out well, i.e. symmetrical and has not fallen apart! I bought the cross stitch kit from Spotlight, a bargain find for just $3! I used beige cotton/linen fabric for the outer bag, and blue stripe cotton/linen fabric for the lining. We had discussed the importance of interfacing at one of my Sewing Meet Up groups so I used iron-on interfacing for each piece of fabric so hopefully it will be super sturdy.

I made the following Japanese shashiko tote last year from a kit which I bought from the Quilt and Craft fair 2010. The bag already had the handles sewn to it so all I had to do when I finished the embroidery was sew the sides.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Donna Hay's Vanilla Cupcake Kit

I'm a snob when it comes to pre-packaged cake mixes and don't consider it real baking, but the packaging of Donna Hay's new kits looked so appealing I just had to try it (I guess it's the lovely egg shell blue packaging which reminds me of Tiffany's... and who doesn't like Tiffany's?). The kit comes with a batter mixture, icing mixture and cupcake paper (hey, I only got 11!) so all I needed was butter, milk and eggs for the cake, and butter and milk for the icing.

I was pleasantly surprised with the end result. The cake's texture was light and fluffy with a delectable hint of vanilla. I've devoured 3 cupcakes so I'll try to have a healthy food week.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Butter Chicken Puffs

Mum and I made butter chicken puffs from the new Womens' Weekly Pies Savoury and Sweet cookbook we bought on Saturday morning. It was the first time we bought Patak's Butter Chicken paste and it sure was yummy (though a little sweet).

The recipe requires: 20g butter (but we used olive oil instead so I guess our butter chicken wasn't that buttery); 1 small brown onion; 250 grams of mince chicken, 1 small carrot grated; 2 tablespoons of butter chicken curry paste; 2 tablespoons of frozen peas; puff pastry and 1 egg.

Cook the filling by adding the butter (or oil), onion, mince chicken, carrot, curry paste and frozen peas. Cut the puff pastry into 11cm circles (I had to chuckle as I was using a Chinese bowl to cut French pastry to make an Indian style dish!).

Add about 1 tablespoon of filling to the pastry, fold the pasty in half making a crescent and use a fork to seal the crescent. I used my new silicon pastry brush (pink of course!) to apply the egg wash. Use a pair of scissors to make 3 snips to the pastry.

Pop the puffs into the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. How do you like my new piggy kitchen timer? Why do I need 8 timers (there is one on the fridge too)? Wellll... I sometimes have a couple of different things baking in the oven that requires two cooking times...but I guess that only justifies 2 timers right?

We ended up making 16 puffs rather than 12, but that just means more butter chicken puffs to go around. Besides Mum and I always do a "taste test" before we serve them to Dad, so officially we did make 12!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Recipes from Nigella Lawson's Kitchen

I only cook on the weekends, but I've been out and about the past few months so I haven't had time to try out new recipes. Mum however has tried a couple of recipes from Nigella Lawson's Kitchen, and made the 40 cloves of garlic chicken last night which was de-li-cious! We only had 20 cloves of garlic, couldn't find fresh thyme from the supermarket (it was probably an ingredient on Masterchef so there was a surge in demand) and used a sweet De Bortoli wine we bought at Fergusson Winery in 2009 (as you can tell we rarely drink alcohol!).

The other recipe Mum tried from the book was the bake custard which was equally yummy. The custard however was watery at the bottom, which according to various cooking sites means that it was over cooked. Nevertheless dessert is dessert, and as long as it taste good, it's good enough for me!