Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Melt-in-your-Mouth Dessert


This is one of our favorite desserts - summer, winter and all in between. 

I have served this with custard, ice-cream or whipped cream.

It's really a dessert which melts in your mouth and the main thing is - the ingredients is standard pantry stuff, so no need to rush out to get something to make this specially.

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Just one thing before we get on to the recipe ... did you know that one can BUY Pinterest followers?  If you do - what are your thoughts about that?

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Melt-in-your-Mouth Dessert

1/4 cup Golden Syrup
1/4 cup Butter or Margarine
1/4 cup Sugar
Pinch Salt
4 Extra-Large Eggs
3/4 cup Cake Flour
1 t Bicarbonate of Soda
1 cup Milk

1/2 cup Milk
1/2 cup Butter or Margarine
1/4 cup Sugar

1.) Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C (350 deg F). Spray a 20 x 20cm oven dish with Spray 'N Cook.
2.) Heat the Syrup, Butter or Margarine, Sugar and Salt until the butter and sugar are just melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
3.) Beat the Eggs in a medium bowl and add the Syrup mixture whilst beating continuously. Add the Flour and mix until well combined.
4.) Dissolve the Bicarbonate of Soda in a little of the Milk - Add the remaining Milk to the batter, followed by the dissolved Bicarbonate of Soda. Beat well. {The batter is more like a liquid }
5.) Pour into the prepared oven dish and bake for 45 minutes - Remove from oven.
6.) A few minutes before the dessert has done baking, heat the Milk, Butter or Margarine and the Sugar in a small saucepan until bubbly.
7.) As soon as the dessert is out of the oven, poke holes with a fork all over - Pour the Milk mixture over and let stand until all the liquid has been absorbed.

The Dessert and Liquid just getting on their merry way...


Serve with Custard, Ice-Cream or Whipped Cream ! (This dessert cuts very nicely into whatever shape you want and it lifts out easily)

Hope you'll enjoy this as much as we do.... also very nice cold.... 

Ciao for now,


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Monday, July 30, 2012

Bacon & Mushroom Pasta


I couldn't get enough of this pasta dish last night - it was soooo good!

The photo is of a full plate and I must have had at least two plates (and I went back later for some more!).

I am making a lot of pasta dishes lately as Dimitri and Jacobus are both into body building. Think it started sub-consciously, though ...

During the week, when Cheri is actually home, I try to make something a bit healthier but also filling enough for the men in the house.

I do not think I shared the news about Cheri getting her drivers licence a while ago..? No, I don't think I did - well, she is licensed and allowed (by law) to drive. When Dimitri received his licence, I did not worry as much as I do now that Cheri has hers. I know she drives well and won't do something stupid ... it's just, she's still our little girl ... {Deep down I'd still like it to be us to drive her around}

Anyhow, I worry about both of them, especially when they drive at night - I remember my late Mom used to tell me that the older her kids got, the bigger the worries became! Mom, I now understand what you meant...

Okay, enough - here is the recipe {as always - quick, easy and this particular dish...awesome}

Bacon & Mushroom Pasta

500g Screw Pasta (or your favorite)
Oil 
250g Bacon Bits
1 Large Onion, chopped
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
1 can Mushrooms, drained
1/4 cup Fresh Cream
Freshly ground Black Pepper

1.) Boil the Pasta according to the instructions on the pack.
2.) Meanwhile, fry the Bacon Bits and Onion until soft in a little Oil - Add the Cream of Chicken Soup, Cheddar cheese and Mushrooms - simmer until the cheese has completely melted.
3.) Add the Fresh Cream and Black Pepper to the Bacon mixture and simmer until just heated through.
4.) Drain the Pasta, place back in pot, add the Bacon mixture and gently mix.
5.) Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.

Start to finish - 20 minutes!

Ciao for now,


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Chocolate Almond Gateau


Feels good to be back and share another recipe with you!

This was my first try at a Gateau and it actually turned out quite well.  I knew it will taste good .. chocolate and sponge fingers ...

I used a standard loaf pan which of course is a bit smaller at the bottom and bigger towards the top. My sponge fingers did not line up 100% but I sliced it easily - next time I'll use a large rectangular plastic lunchbox or something similar.

There was a little leftover this morning, which Roy had for breakfast! I opted for a plain Nutella sandwich {I know, neither are very healthy as a breakfast, but very enjoyable...}

Chocolate Almond Gateau

175g (6 oz) Unsalted Butter, softened
75g (3 oz) Muscovado sugar (or any soft brown sugar)
175g (6 oz) Plain Chocolate
100g (4 oz) Ground Almonds
3 TB Brandy, divided
1 cup Fresh Cream, whipped, divided 
3 TB Water
24 - 28 Sponge Fingers

1.) Line the bottom and sides of a loaf pan with foil.
2.) Beat the Butter and Sugar until creamy.
3.) Melt the Chocolate and add to the Sugar mixture - Add the Almonds and one tablespoon of the Brandy as well - mix until well combined.
4.) Add half of the Whipped Cream to the Chocolate mixture and fold in gently.
5.) Mix the remaining two tablespoons of Brandy with the Water - Dip the un-sugared side of the Sponge Fingers in the Water mixture (just to moisten... not to saturate) - Arrange the moistened Sponge Fingers, sugared sides down on the bottom of the loaf pan - there should be room for 8 Fingers.
6.) Scoop half of the Chocolate mixture on top of the Fingers - spread out evenly. Add another layer of Fingers, followed with the remaining Chocolate mixture. End with a final layer of Fingers (sugared side up).
7.) Use foil to completely cover the top and refrigerate for an hour. (I put mine in the freezer for 40 minutes)
8.) Remove the Gateau from the loaf pan - peel off the foil lining. Use a dessert spoon (dip into hot water every now and then) to smooth the sides.

Decorate with the remaining Whipped Cream and serve.

Enjoy! 

Later,


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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Am I Back ?


For those of you following me for a while now, this might seem outright strange.

Not even a week ago I said goodbye ... and now I'm back ?

I'll try to keep my explanation short - After my Mom passed away in 2000, I had a few setbacks healthwise. It started with panic attacks, depression followed and then it was just downhill. I worked 15 years for the same company {with a few owner changes}, and was under tremendous pressure at work, which before, I handled quite well. Of course, I then had to resign as I could see it was no use, even after they hired an assistant for me.

The next ten years I spent seeing all kinds of specialists, which has put me on every imaginable combination of medications.  That brought some relieve, or so I thought ... At some stage I took 22 tablets, capsules and whatever else per day!  I was living in a cloud where there were no problems, everything was right and I was happy. Wrong - very wrong... I was missing out on life itself.

I was finally diagnosed at the end of 2010 - Bipolar, Schizo-Affective and then I already knew I  had Agoraphobia. In a sense, just knowing what was wrong, helped. I  read books, articles and everything I could find about the illness.

I decided to take it on "cold turkey" - Stopped the meds (most anyway) over a 3 month period. I could actually see and feel differences daily. 

Some days are better than others, sometimes I am happy but it might not last for the next hour, day or week. My moods can swing from the highest point to the lowest in seconds... it's not good, it's not nice and I always feel bad afterwards as the people closest to me get hurt.

Sometimes I think I should get back on the medication ... but I really do not want to live in a bubble, I also do not want to hurt people ... So, what to do ??

Last week I had one of my worst "attacks" ever - I stopped my blog, closed my Facebook account and tried to wipe myself from cyberspace entirely.

I did not count on missing With A Blast this much ! I miss the friends I made {as I can not handle people around me, this is perfect - friendships, without me leaving the house or having friends over}. 

Thanks to many e-mails and a few comments from bloggers all over the world, I am going to give With A Blast another go {I can not promise anything, though}

I also think Jessica from over at Jessica-Healthy Mommy Healthy Baby had a lot to do with my decision. This lovely girl wrote a post about my blog, which you can read HERE. When I read her post, I actually burst out in tears and slowly came out of my mood.

Thank you, Jessica !

I'll try my best this time round - if I disappear for a while, I'm sure to be back again.







Monday, July 23, 2012

Just a Goodbye

It is with a great sadness that I am writing this, as this will be my last post for With A Blast.

I had a very exciting time blogging and have made many friends over this short period of time.

Unfortunately, it is beyond my control to keep it up.

I will miss each and everyone I have come into contact with - whether by reading your blogs, commenting on each others blogs, all the fun link parties and of course all your wonderful recipes and crafts.

Love and Hugs

Linda

Friday, July 20, 2012

Red Wine Cream


If you like a glass of Red Wine, you will love this easy dessert. Even if you don't like Red Wine you'll like it.

I only have a glass or two of  alcohol a year - then I'll definitely have a good Dry Red Wine ! Roy will enjoy a beer or two maybe every few months and I'll take a sip from him - that's enough - not as if I don't like alcohol or have anything against it - it just doesn't work well when you're on certain medications.

Cheri absolutely hates it when I cook or bake anything with Wine, Beer or any other alcohol in it. She'll walk in the door, smell it, and tell me exactly what I've used and what she thinks about it ! Rude kid, yeah? But she'll eat whatever, otherwise it's bread and butter.

Now, don't get me wrong ... she likes a glass or two of Wine - just not in cooking.  

Same thing with Dimitri, he again believes the only place Peanut Butter belongs with, is on bread - I make my own PB Cups and various other recipes with Peanut Butter but he refuses to eat it if it's not a normal Peanut Butter sandwich. 

Can't please them all !


Very Creamy Mousse Dessert

Red Wine Cream

1 Packet (90g) Raspberry jelly (Jello)
300ml Boiling Water
150ml Red Wine (I used Dry)
250ml Fresh Cream
Extra Whipped Cream, slightly sweetened - to decorate

1.) Dissolve the Jelly in the Boiling Water and add the Red Wine - chill (but do not let it start to set)
2.) Whip the Fresh Cream until stiff peaks form - Fold in the cooled Jelly mixture until well combined
3.) Pour into individual serving dishes/glasses and chill for 3 - 4 hours until set.

Decorate with the Sweetened Whipped Cream (A Raspberry would look great with this, but I couldn't find any)

Ciao for now,

Linda

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BBQ Beef Baps


This is what I make when I am too lazy in a hurry or just don't feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen.

With Cheese or without - just as good!

Sometimes I will make this in the morning if I have a busy afternoon and just leave it till dinner time. A quick re-heat and all is fine (Does not dry out - as long as it is kept covered)

I like this recipe because it is not too saucy, but definitely not dry. 

BBQ Beef Baps

2 TB Butter
2 Onions, finely chopped
2 Green Bell Peppers, cored, seeded and sliced thinly
2 t Garlic,crushed
6 TB Dark Brown Sugar
2 TB Worcestershire Sauce
2 TB Mustard
3/4 cup Tomato Sauce
4 TB Cider Vinegar
Salt & Pepper, to taste
700g Cooked Ground Beef (Mince)

8 Baps or Hamburger Buns

1.) Saute the Onion, Green Bell Peppers and Garlic in the Butter until soft but not brown.
2.) Add the Dark Brown Sugar, Worcestershire Sauce, Mustard, Tomato Sauce and Cider Vinegar to the vegetables in the pan - Cook over low heat for 5 - 10 minutes.
3.) Add the Cooked Ground Beef to the sauce mixture in the pan - Season to taste.
4.) Stir well until combined and heat through gently.

Spoon the BBQ Beef mixture into the Hamburger buns - (Add cheese if preferred).

ps; I usually cook the Ground meat at the same time as cooking the sauce, then both are ready at the same time.

Later,

Linda

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Best Marinade in Existence



A Pinterest pin I tried, tested and was very happy with!  Oh, I sound like quite the food critic, don't I ?

I forgot about posting this even though I promised I'll do so many weeks ago. Sorry...

Anyhow, this is the way I like my steak done - medium, but well done on the edges (try explain THAT to your waiter..). This one was very slightly overdone, but then the Marinade must have compensated as it was sooo tender and tasty.

Great pin!

Best Marinade in Existence

originally pinned from PLAIN CHICKEN (I made no changes to the original recipe)

1/3 cup Soy Sauce
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/3 cup Lemon Juice
1/4 cup Worcester Sauce
1 1/2 TB Garlic Powder
3 TB Dried Basil
1 1/2 TB Dried Parsley Flakes
1 t White Pepper
Pinch Cayenne Pepper
1 t Minced Garlic

1.) Mix all ingredients - Pour over meat - refrigerate up to 8 hours (I marinated mine for 4 hours)



2.) Cook meat as desired

Later,

Linda

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Blanc-Mange with Stewed Fruit



I think this is the most delicious dessert I've ever made ! For some reason I always have a fear when making anything in a mould and have to turn it out - three reasons .. my stuff always break or it did not set properly or it sticks to the mould.

Years ago, must be about 10 or 12 years, I bought a Tupperware mould, quite fancy, with a lid and a smaller mould which made the "hole" in the middle (the smaller one can be used on it's own as well). Well, it was still brand new when I used it for the first time yesterday and it did the magic!

Must say, I think it's because of the recipe too {whink} as it really set nicely and took only about 3 hours of chilling.

The Blanc-Mange and the Glaze is a recipe which I gawked looked at for years as well. I found it in one of my favorite cookbooks Spyskaarte vir Elke Seisoen by Annette Human (available in English as SEASONAL MENUS).

The Fruit I stewed, as I think, my Granny used to do it - but I could be wrong. Anyhow, the whole dessert was delicious. Oh, I already said that ...

Blanc-Mange with Stewed Fruit

Stewed Fruit;

250g Mixed Dried Fruit (I used a pack containing: Peaches, Apples, Apricots, Prunes and Pears)
300ml Water
1 Cinnamon stick
3 TB Sugar

1.) Simmer all the ingredients for 20 minutes until soft. Remove from heat - drain and keep aside until completely cooled.

Blanc-Mange;

5 TB Cornflour
4 TB Sugar
1/4 t Salt
3 cups Milk
1 Egg
1 t Vanilla Essence

1.) Place 700ml of the Milk in a pot on medium heat.
2.) Meanwhile, mix the remaining 50ml Milk with the Cornflour, Sugar and Salt. Add the Egg and Vanilla and whisk well.
3.) As soon as the Milk in the pot reach boiling point - add the Cornflour mixture slowly, stirring continuously.
4.) Simmer until thick, stirring all the time (3 - 5 minutes)
5.) Remove from heat, let cool for about 2 minutes and pour into a mould which was rinsed in cold water (use the mould wet).
6.) Chill for 3 - 4 hours before turning out.

Glaze;  (make the Glaze shortly before serving)

1 1/2 t Cornflour
2 TB Water
1/4 cup Fine Apricot jam
1 t Butter or Margarine
2 TB Sherry (or any other sweet wine)

1.) Mix the Cornflour and Water until smooth in a small sauce pan - Add the Apricot jam, Butter or Margarine and simmer over medium heat until thick - Remove from the heat and add the Sherry - stir well.
2.) Let the Glaze cool completely before serving.

Serve the Blanc-Mange with the Stewed Fruit and some Glaze drizzled over.

Hope you enjoy!

Linda

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Best EVER Chicken Pie


I Must have made this Chicken Pie dozens of times over the years.  I don't think I ever tried another version, as this one is so good!

Yesterday, I did not feel well, I think I'm coming down with the flu.. ugh, yeah. Anyhow, Roy did most of the work - so, now he claims it was his dish last night. Okay, I'll give last night to him ... but not the recipe, I told him step by step what to do {mostly the cooking - whilst I did the chopping !}

Without further chit-chat .. here we are:

Best EVER Chicken Pie

slightly adapted from a recipe I found in an old HUISGENOOT Magazine

1/2 cup Flour
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
1 kg Chicken Fillets, cut into stir-fry strips
Oil, to fry
125g Bacon
250g Mushrooms
1 Onion, chopped 
1 Large Tomato, peeled and chopped
150g Spinach (about 3 handfulls), thick veins removed and chopped into thin slices
1 t Mixed Herbs (dry)
1/4 cup Fresh Cream
1 Roll Frozen Puff-Pastry, defrosted
1 Egg yolk mixed with a little milk, for glazing

1.) Pre-heat oven to 200 deg C (400 deg F) - Spray a 20 x 30cm oven dish with Spray 'N Cook.
2.) Mix the Flour, Salt and Pepper - Roll the Chicken strips in the Flour mixture and fry in the oil in batches until all the chicken are cooked and light brown. Remove Chicken from pan and set aside.
3.) Fry the Bacon in the same pan as used for the Chicken until crispy, remove from pan and cut into small pieces, add to the Chicken and keep aside.
4.) Using the same pan, fry the Mushrooms until soft - Add the Onion, fry until translucent - Add the Tomato and Spinach - Stir-fry until the Spinach has wilted.
5.) Add the Mixed Herbs and Fresh Cream to the Mushroom mixture in the pan - simmer 2 - 3 minutes.
6.) Remove the Mushroom mixture from the stove and stir in the Chicken and Bacon.
7.) Transfer to the prepared oven dish - wait till it has cooled down before covering the top with the puff Pastry (cut away any excess pastry and use to decorate, if so desired)
8.) Paint pastry with Egg yolk/milk - Bake 30 minutes until Pastry is puffed and lightbrown.

I served this pie with Cinnamon Butternut and a salad.

Ciao for now,

Linda

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Ginger Choc Truffles


Sooo, it's Madiba's birthday today - yes, the man is already in his 90's!

Happy Birthday Mr Mandela !!!

He is such a wonderful man who had so many dreams, visions and hopes for this country, but sadly not all {I should say "most"} did not come true - no I'm not going to talk politics - just want to make a point that everything is not what it seems in South-Africa.

I made these amazing truffles only twice, no reason other than I forgot about them !

After last night's batch, I'll definitely make them more often - it's now a family favorite... and of course quick and easy. This took about 10 minutes to make and another 10 - 15 minutes to set.


I used mini cupcake liners and the recipe made 40.

Ginger Choc Truffles

200g Ginger Biscuits, crumbed (as fine or coarse as you prefer)
300g Good quality Chocolate
1 t Ground Ginger
1 t Vanilla

1.) Mix the Ginger biscuit crumbs with the Ground Ginger.
2.) Melt the Chocolate and add to the crumb mixture - stir to combine
3.) Add the Vanilla to the mixture and mix well.
4.) Scoop a teaspoon full of the mixture into each cupcake liner.
5.) Chill until set and serve.

I dusted mine with a too much bit of Icing Sugar. VERY  ADDICTIVE !!!

Till later, {behind on my posts again}

Linda

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Caramel Yoghurt Dip


This day did not start off well. It's cold - okay, that's to be expected, we're smack-down in the middle of Winter, but I think it's an age related thing ... every Winter seems to be colder than the previous Winter ! 

Then, later this morning, I slipped and fell - haha.. yeah I know {picture the way someone steps on a banana peel and do the split} - that was me. Funny thing, whilst I'm there on the floor, agonising in pain, I think to myself " .. Gee Linda, you have the correct pose which athletes take when getting ready for the Ready .. Set .. when they are about to do the 100mt sprint.." Only- I never got to the GO part - however, I did miss falling into the open garbage bag ... suppose I must be thankful for at least that as you know what goes into the garbage!

This afternoon, I'm in the laundry, Roy in the lounge, when we heard a crash {seriously, the man thought I fell again ..}. Anyway, upon investigating, we found a candle, set in a wineglass, which were at the BACK of my craft case, broken on the floor - no draft, no one there, dogs outside and as I said it was in the back BEHIND other stuff ... Weird ..

Done laughing..?? Okay, this post is not exactly a recipe - 2 ingredients - 1 step ! but I'll write it down as a recipe, just because I feel like doing it right.

Caramel Yoghurt Dip

Enough dip for 5 individual servings {and leftover for 1 more, which I ate on it's own!}

1 cup Plain Greek Yoghurt
1/2 cup Caramel Condensed Milk

1.) Mix the two ingredients and serve with fruit.

Till next time

Linda

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

From TABLE to WALL


I had a patch of wall in my bedroom screaming for something.  First, I wanted to transfer the two pictures of Dimitri and Cheri onto canvas, but the resolutions weren't good enough - and I really like these specific photos. All of the pictures I used were printed from an inkjet printer.

Step by step : this started out as a cheap three-legged table, painted plain white, about 500mm in diameter.


I used PicMonkey to make the following {this was the opening song at our Wedding reception ! } I picked my favorite lines, our names and date of marriage  -  our bedroom has a beach theme, well sort of...we're getting there...


I ended up using this picture as well as 2 of the children with a separate picture above theirs {again done on PicMonkey} describing them as being the ANCHORS of our lives, which they are - xoxo to them!


When I'm working with Decoupage, Mod-Podge or any of their cousins, I always use a craft knife to cut out the edges {it gives a softer edge than when cutting with scissors, which in turn makes it easier to apply the coating as well as the blending - paper onto wood etc}


I started to paint "waves" {free-hand} roughly from top to bottom using ordinary craft paint -  dries within 10 minutes if thinly applied as I did.


Once I did all the wavy lines, I gently used sanding paper to make it look a little distressed - see bottom line.


I then started pasting the pictures {after I sprayed the fronts, with aerosol hairspray, to seal the ink from the inkjet printer} using Craft Varnish - works fine as a bonding, not only Sealing, and gently rolled all air bubbles out - starting from the middle outwards.


Repeated with all the other pictures and when I could feel all were dry, I started to apply the Craft Varnish, I did one coat - waited to dry about 20 minutes and repeated this process five times until smooth.


I wanted to use a thick rope around the sides {to fit in more with the beach-theme}, but decided to use what I had on hand, which was some blue/white nylon rope.  Not sure whether I am totally satisfied but I can always change that later. Thus far, I kinda like it.


Sooo, for the moment, this is what the wall looks like above our entertainment center - my MASTERPIECE hangs just a bit higher than eye-level.

We'll see whether I still like the blue/white Nylon rope next week, if not, I'll put a thick rope around {or I might be lucky and find an actual boat steering wheel ... }

Later,

Linda

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Liebster Blog Award



I have received, with a lot of love and appreciation, the Liebster Blog Award from Debi over at Adorned From Above !!

What a lovely surprise to think that someone else in the world would think that my very, very new blog is worthy of this Award.

Thank you again, Debi!


Liebster is German for dearest (Very close to our afrikaans word, LIEWE, which means the same). This Award is meant for blogs with less than 200 followers - as a way of encouraging them!

The Rules are:

1.) Link back to who gave you the award
2.) Post your award on your blog
3.) Pass the award on to 5 fellow bloggers with less than 200 followers
4.) Let them know you've nominated them

Here are the ladies, whose blogs I immensely enjoy, who I am nominating:

1. Kerry from Oh So Amelia
2. Christine from First Home Love Life
3. Sophie from My Happy Place
4. Yammie from Yammie's Noshery


Please visit these ladies' blogs - this is a versatile list, I am sure you'll find them interesting.

Have a nice Sunday {We're freezing our behinds off in South-Africa!)

Linda

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Stencilled Napkins


Noticed how expensive Napkins are these days? Especially for special occasions .. and I can never find exactly what I want.

Make your own! It's so easy (pre-schoolers can do this if using a ready-made stencil and not the ironing)

Buy a stencil (craft- hardware stores), DIY magazines like to share templates, or look for a picture (magazines, internet, books specializing in templates or draw your own) 

Use a large alphabet/numeric stencil for words or numbers. The possibilities are endless.

I usually make my own Napkins, cut to my preferred size, the type of fabric for the event - or jazz-up your old plain ones.

I have only included a few which I've made over time. Note, the silver Rose on the black fabric and the red Rose on the white fabric were made from the same stencil.

The gold Flower on the white fabric is only part of a bigger stencil which I chose to use here.


-You'll need a cutting mat and craft knife first of all if cutting your own stencils. 
-A picture
-Sheet of stencil plastic - craft- and stationery stores keep these in different thickeness' (Buy 2 or 3 different ones to find the one you best work with)  
-Fabric Paint (these are cheap and you can pick from a huge selection - or mix your own colour)
-Foam roller and pan - you can use a paint brush as well but I find a roller works much better
-Tic-Tac Glue - this is a non permanent glue and it will stick your stencil to the fabric without any residue afterwards (Usually you also only need to apply a small amount once, and it'll stay sticky for many projects)
-Fabric Napkins
-Iron (to set the paint permanently into the fabric)


Photo above - I used the picture on the left to cut out the stencil in the following photo. The template on the right was used to cut another stencil which I only used the far-right flower for the gold painted Flower.


I took the photo of this stencil after a few uses to make it easier to see what it looks like.


The fun part ! Paste a small amount of Tic-Tac Glue to the back of the stencil - use a small brush to make sure all parts are covered as well as at least 15mm (little less than 1/2 inch) around the edges of the picture. Wait 5 minutes for the Glue to get sticky - Place the stencil on the preferred area of the Napkin to be painted (glue side down on the fabric) - use the wooden/plastic end piece of a small brush and gently press down on all the areas of the stencil which has glue underneath.

Paint over the exposed (open) areas with either a roller or a paintbrush - Rather start with too little paint than too much - you can always go over the area again. Wait a minute or two and gently pull your stencil free from the fabric (you'll find the stencil is still sticky enough for many more uses). Depending on the thickness of your paint, wait until it is dry to the touch (Because I use a roller my paint is never too thick and it dries within 5 - 10 minutes)

Last, but very important, iron your masterpiece (between 2 sheets of paper or old fabric) on both sides. This will make it permanent and now you can use and wash them normally.

See HERE how I cut a stencil straight from wallpaper!

This is really a lovely, relaxing craft and I hope you'll try it (if you're new to this) and enjoy it as much as I do!

Ciao for now,

Linda

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Choc,Caramel & Ice Cream Mini Cones


For some or other reason Supermarkets know just how to get parents riled up!

You get to the pay-point, waiting (not always so patiently) and the kids start nagging for all the candy the supermarket decided to display right there .. after two or three NO! NO! shouts you finally tell them to just take something.

Although, I must admit, when my kids were still younger, they never over-estimated their luck with me .. they knew, right there and then I'll give them a whack on their little behinds (No, I'm not a monster, and it didn't happen a lot). And no tugging on me.. that's always been a no-no. 

Of course they loved going to the store with Roy, whatever they wanted, just magically ended in the basket! And Daddy paid! End of story. 

Right, to get to today's snack - {Don't like it, but I have to admit I am just as guilty as the kids here} - Most of our stores have a box of these little Caramel filled Mini Cones topped with chocolate and sprinkles, on the counter.  All of us love this little treat and will easily grab handfulls some when paying. Usually, before we even reach the car - they're all gone!

Whilst at the counter today, I gave the box a look {as did Roy...} but then I remembered I have ready-made mini cones at home - before we left the store, I had already decided how I'm going to give it a try on my own. No need to be a rocket scientist ...


Everything you need : Mini Cones (or regular, or the little ones which can be used for cupcakes) / Chocolate / Caramel / Marshmallows / Ice Cream / Topping - I used Rainbow Bubbles.


I used a square of polystyrene, Roy made some holes, then I covered it with foil and pressed the Mini Cones into the holes to stand upright. (Easiest way for me)


Melt the Chocolate and scoop a small amount into the bottom of each cone.


Next pipe in some Caramel up to about one centimeter (1/2 inch) from the top. (I used a plastic bag with a smallish hole as a teaspoon would've been too big)


Melt some Marshmallows {might well be the last time I work with sticky mallows!}, use a very small spoon to add a little to the top of each cone.


Soften the Ice-Cream slightly, pour into a piping bag and pipe over the top to look like a miniature ice-cream. I had to wiggle these hands and whatever else because it started to melt (remember these are tiny). Top with a Rainbow Bubble - quickly take a photo !! Quick! Quick ! and get it in the freezer until you're ready to serve.

I made 20 which I thought were plenty for only 4 adults but they lasted only 10 minutes! And I only had 2 !

Well, that's a rule in our house (ugh, I imposed this .. ) first come, first served - and well I got to my own party dessert too late...

Later {I have a little craft post coming up!}

Linda

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Apple & Pineapple Cake Tart



Tonight's dessert - Apple and Pineapple on a cake layer with a cream sauce poured over the hot dessert and back into the oven for another 5 - 8 minutes .. not a cake and not a tart, BOTH.

Another first for me {baking my own} .. I love Apple Tart, usually a little warm with ordinary cream, not whipped and I always had store-bought!

Must say, this was much better. The more I get into baking my own goodies, the less I want to pay a fortune for, well .. second or third rate goods from stores. Homemade is really much tastier, no denying that.



The cake kind of pushed up and over to the inside at the sides, but the cake layer was still at the bottom as well. I won't say this is a pretty dessert - but who cares, it was delicious!

Apple & Pineapple Cake Tart

1/4 cup Butter, softened
1/2 cup Sugar
2 Extra-Large Eggs, beaten
1 cup Cake Flour
2 t Baking Powder
Pinch Salt
1/4 cup Milk
1 can (765g) Unsweetened Pie Apples
1 can (410g) Pineapple Pieces, drained
Ground Cinnamon

1 cup Fresh Cream
1 cup Sugar
1 t Vanilla

1.) Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C (350 deg F) - Spray a 20 x 30cm oven dish with Spray 'N Cook.
2.) Beat the Butter and Sugar until creamy - add the Eggs, beat to combine.
3.) Sift together the Cake Flour, Baking Powder and Salt - Stir this into the Egg mixture and add the Milk - stir well till all ingredients are combined - Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared oven dish.
4.) Mix the Apples and Pineapple - cut into small pieces.
5.) Place the Apple and Pineapple onto the batter and using a spoon or fork, press into the batter. 
6.) Sprinkle the Cinnamon over and bake for 40 minutes.
7.) Simmer the Cream, Sugar and Vanilla until the Sugar has dissolved - Remove the tart from the oven, immediately poke with a fork and pour the hot Cream sauce over.
8.) Bake another 5 - 8 minutes until the sauce is bubbly and begins to brown.

Remove from oven and cool - Serve with Whipped Cream or Ice Cream.

Ciao

Linda

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Meat & Spinach Quiche


I have never made a quiche .. I also do not know whether this can be classified as one ? The only quiche I ever had was the favorite "Lorraine", at restaurants or from Woolies!

My version also do not have a crust, but I believe that is acceptable {whink}.

On the odd occasion when I actually go to the shops myself, I tend to buy stuff that's either on special or I'll buy something on the list but for some reason, you know that ".. just in case.." reason, take double of what I really need.

I looked in the fridge this morning and saw all these extras which, on it's own, will definitely need more stuff from the store, to turn it into a decent meal.

So after taking stock I had : 1 pack Bacon, 1 pack Cheese Grillers, Cheddar (lots) and  frozen Spinach. Just there and then I decided I'll use what I have, nothing from the store for today's dish.

This afternoon, I'm in the kitchen, busy at the stove, when Roy asked over my shoulder "..what are you making .." {more in that sing-song voice that's translated into "When will the food be ready?"} - I told him I haven't a clue, I think it will be a Quiche, but  I'm not sure. He's a cool dude, so he said it's okay, he is starving, so it WILL be eaten.

This is what it looked like when I just took it out of the oven - Not even sure it looks like a Quiche ...

Meat & Spinach Quiche

1 Large Onion, chopped
1 TB Oil
375g Frozen Spinach
250g Back Bacon, cooked and roughly chopped
375g Cheese Grillers, sliced
1 1/2 cups Cheddar Cheese, grated
8 Extra-Large Eggs, beaten
Salt & Pepper to taste

1.) Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C (350 deg F) - Spray a 20 x 30cm oven dish with Spray 'N Cook.
2.) Saute the Onion in the Oil until soft - add the Frozen Spinach - stir fry for 5 - 8 minutes until the Spinach is wilted and all the liquid has evaporated - let stand to cool a few minutes.
3.) Add the Bacon, Grillers and Cheddar cheese to the Spinach - stir to combine.
4.) Lastly, add the beaten Eggs, season to taste, stir well - bake for 35 - 40 minutes until puffy.
5.) Remove from oven and let stand at least 10 minutes before serving.

I served ours with a salad and garlic rolls.

The kids thought it had a little too much Spinach - Roy and I liked it as is.

Later,

Linda

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Bacon & Cheese Bread{mix & bake}


By now you should know I love "mix & bake" breads. Still haven't used the Breadmaker!

This awesome bread can be baked in a regular loaf pan or, as I do, in a round cake pan. Just looks better, different, you know - cut it in triangles, as you'd cut a cake or in squares ... 

It has a slightly sweet taste, but that makes it all the more of a taste sensation.

I found the recipe for this in my Springbok Kitchen cookbook. What's more, it is a recipe by Bakkies Botha ! .. I hear you, no idea who he is? Right, then you're not a Rugby fan - that's okay, but I am, as I've said tons a few times before, I AM A HUGE SUPPORTER and Bakkies did not only play for the Blue Bulls (my provincial team), but he played for the Springboks for many years.

Anyhow, I made this bread a couple of times already and it has never flopped. 


Straight out of the oven - can you smell it?? Bet you can ...


Bacon & Cheese Bread{mix & bake}

1 1/4 cup Self-raising Flour
1/2 t Salt
3 TB Sugar
250g Back Bacon, fried and roughly chopped
1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
1 TB Freshly chopped Parsley (or 1 1/2 t Dried)
2 TB Sunflower Oil           (Bakkies uses Canola - but I don't like Canola)
2 Extra-Large Eggs
3/4 cup Milk

1.) Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C (350 deg F) - Spray a cake pan or loaf pan with Spray 'N Cook and line the bottom with baking paper.
2.) Sift the Flour, Salt and Sugar together - Add the Bacon, Cheddar and Parsley and stir to combine.
3.) Beat the Oil, Eggs and Milk together in a separate bowl - Add to the Flour mixture and mix well.
4.) Place in the prepared pan and bake 50 - 60 minutes.

Remove from oven, leave to cool in pan for 5 minutes - Serve warm with butter!

Run along ... I know you're going to make it now!  ;-D

Till later,

Linda

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Apple,Cabbage & Cottage Cheese Salad


Delicious !  Delicious !  Delicious !  And it is great for dieters or if you want a healthy salad.

I think this is one of the first salads I made when we just got married and that is like 50 years almost 24 years ago, and it is still a family favorite. We had this tonight.. only a few hours ago .. and I'm craving for it AGAIN. But, not a good idea to have cabbage at 10pm - not for me anyway.

Best of all - Kids go crazy for this! Must be all the Apple ..

Try not to leave out the Dried Onion Flakes - it makes a huge difference in the taste.

If on a diet - use the tip in brackets next to the ingredient.

Apple,Cabbage & Cottage Cheese Salad




1 Red Apple, cored and sliced 
1 Green Apple, cored and sliced 
Lemon juice
2 cups Cabbage, grated or thinly sliced
250g Cottage Cheese Chunky & Plain  (Fat-free)
1/2 cup Mayonnaise (Light)
2 t Dried Onion Flakes

1.) Sprinkle the Apple slices with a little Lemon juice to prevent discoloration.
2.) Add the Apples, Cabbage, Cottage cheese, Mayonnaise and Onion Flakes to a large mixing bowl - Mix well.

Transfer to a serving bowl, chill or serve immediately.  Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Ciao for now,

Linda

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