About Me

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The past two years have been all about adjusting to motherhood and finding my way through it via craft. The out pouring of this came in the form of my blog Aunty Mum. Now I'm finally finding my feet, the children are growing, I'm getting some independence and my interests are morphing . . . into cooking. Join me in exploring creativity in many forms, food, fabric, frowns and laughter.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Having So Much Fun

This week has been one of those that’s just flowed creativity and overwhelmed with fun.

It started on Sunday when my friend Janet took myself and another friend to a secret location for a secret workshop. It turned out to be a day making soap, hand cream, body cream and balms. Wow, I’m in love with all this and Janet and I intend to make more of these so watch this space.

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I’ve also got my cooking mojo well and truly back and have been making all sorts of delicious treats. I have churned out about four batches of macaron this week. Thankfully they’ve all left the home and been given to others so I haven’t had to eat them. However, the fact that I can now make them without a recipe is a little frightening.

This picture of Janae is priceless and was very much the icing on the cake, so to speak. She’d just got out of the bath in time to lick the bowl from my first ever chocolate mousse making. By the time she’d finished she needed to get back into the bath, but that’s all part of the fun of bowl licking.

The mousse was fabulous and will be featuring on the Christmas day menu this year.

Finally, I’ve been making a wee suit for my cousin who will be having a baby in January.

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This pattern comes from one of my vintage knitting pattern books. I have a hatred for baby blue or baby pink as I feel it’s such a cliché, so imagine my delight when I found this lovely yarn. It’s merino and the colour combinations are fabulous. I did worry how the patterned yarn would work with the seed stitch section, but it’s fine.

Now another friend, who saw this yesterday, wants me to make one in lemon shades for a friend of hers.

You know, there’s always a wee part of me that’s completely surprised when a garment I’ve made is complete and it looks like something someone who knows what they’re doing has made. Sounds silly I know, but the completed object is always just a little surprising.

And do you know what I made today??? Did you ever have that chocolate sauce that goes hard on ice-cream? It used to be a special treat when I was growing up.

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Well, I found a recipe on Pinterest a while back and I made some today. Needless to say I was obliged to test run the sauce and low and behold it works perfectly and tastes just like the stuff in the bottle. You can find the recipe here. I did use dark, unsweetened chocolate and added a teaspoon of honey when melting the coconut oil and chocolate. YUM!!

Now I’m wondering what exciting things next week has in store!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Macaroon Making

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I would consider myself a minor foodie. I love to cook and I especially love to make all things sweet and delicious (eating them comes a close second). So, way before all the cooking shows (which I also love) made the macaron fashionable again, I had made my first batch.

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When I made them I had no idea they were supposed to be very difficult to make. I’ve made countless batches now and have never had an issue so when my friends all described the disasters they’d had making them I decided it would be fun to have a “tutorial”.

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So this morning we gathered in my kitchen and I demonstrated just how easy they are to make. Here you can see the almond meal, icing sugar and egg whites all carefully folded together.

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I piped them out onto the trays. I wasn’t terrible good at this as I had a bit of performance anxiety being around women who use piping bags like experts when it comes to cake decorating. But they came out almost uniform in size and shape.

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One of the things I love most about baking and cooking is that it’s a constant learning curve. I was concerned that time was marching on and reduced the resting time of the macraoons and put them in the oven with still about seven minutes left. Interestingly these were the ones that cracked while baking and the second tray, that had sat forming a nice crust longer didn’t crack. Note to self: don’t skimp on macraroon resting.

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Then I decided I’d show off a bit and whipped up a French buttercream filling.

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Making sugar syrup is one of life’s truly fun things to do. Dangerous though as I gave myself a nice burn the other day.

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And the final result. These are blueberry. I added whole blueberries and blueberry juice to the buttercream. Yum!! I had planned on making two batches today but just ran out of time so I may do some more tomorrow as I sort of promised the kindy teachers some for their morning tea!

Thanks ladies for a fun morning and hopefully you’ve seen that not all “pastry” techniques are too difficult to attempt!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Hectic Hols

It’s been a hectic first week of the school hols. I had been hoping for a quiet time, just the four of us. However, we’ve been out every day, we haven’t been to bed before eight pm and we’re all at a very grouchy, grumbly, over-tired place.

I have, however, found time to have lots of fun creating. I’m not sure where this time has come from, but I managed to give my mother three hand-made gifts today.

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I had hoped to have this finished before she left for Australia. Unfortunately that just wasn’t possible. But I did get it finished the day she flew out . . . then procrastinated on sewing the ends in until this morning.

I’m really pleased with the outcome, although I don’t think I’ll make another.

So what did I procrastinate on?

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This shawl. I was cruising through Pinterest the other day and saw a lovely shawl. Following the links through I couldn’t find an actual pattern. So I pulled apart a jumper I had started (and never finished) for myself and got started. I had a couple of false starts realising I hadn’t increased frequently enough and then I trawled through Pinterest again looking for an edging. I came across this on Ravelry. Strangely enough it’s very similar to my own shawl so I can’t have been doing too much wrong. It is my intention to write a pattern, but please don’t hold your breath because it could be some time in coming.

And now I’m working on . . .

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Gloves. Apologies for the terrible picture. If you click this link you’ll see what they’re supposed to look like. I cannot tell you how much fun I’m having. However, I’m finally at the part where I need to make the fingers and I’m so shattered I can’t understand the pattern. I’ve now put them down and will look at them again tomorrow.

Finally, I got Janae’s mermaid skirt finished.

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It’s so far from perfect that it’s almost shameful sharing it with you. However, one of the benefits of being four (I mean four and a half) is that anything sparkly, made my mum and loosely resembling a mermaid is the very best thing in the whole world. She even tried to wear it to bed. Now she has a little sarong and pretty pink t-shirts all the way from Australia (thank  you Nanny) that this skirt is all but forgotten, but it got her through the first week of the hols so I won’t complain. She will be five in eight weeks so I have a couple of projects up my sleeve to make up part of her birthday gifts, hopefully they’ll be as gratefully received.