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February 2012
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April 2012

March 2012

Quick children's pyjamas

There are two things I have a lot of in my studio: t-shirts and fabric.  Put the two together and you have a pair of children's pyjamas in no time at all.

PJs

Corrie has been making pyjama pants for her little ones.  She inspired me to do the same.  This pattern I use for the pyjama bottoms in my range.  The pants are super easy.  I did away with the side seams to make the making that little bit quicker.

PJs on

I whipped up these pants in under 8 minutes.  Yes, they're that quick.  My tip is to stitch the waistband elastic into a circle before you sew it into the pants.  That way you don't need to pass it through the waistband channel on a safety pin (like most commercial patterns tell you to).  Simply fold the top of the pants over the elastic to form the waistband channel, enclosing the elastic as you go.  This way is a little harder to master, as you have to wrestle with the elastic a little, but it's super quick.

Adelaide is excited about her new pyjamas.  After this little try-on this morning she laid them out on her bed all ready for this evening.


Gluten free, dairy free Sunday baking

In a family where 4 of the 6 of us have various food intolerances I'm always looking for healthy treats that I can put into the children's school lunches that don't leave them with sore tummies or grumpy dispositions.

Pine nut cookies

These pine nut cookies hit the double jackpot as they are both gluten and dairy free.

The children (including a few 'ring-ins' from down the street) have given them the thumbs up.  Here is the recipe:

200 g flaked almonds 
100 g pine nuts
100 g rice flour
225 g caster sugar
zest of 1 lemon
2 medium egg whites at room temp
pinch of cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
icing sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 180 celsius.  Line a baking tray with baking paper.  Place the almonds and pine nuts on the lined tray (separately), and brown them well in the oven for 8-10 minutes.  The almonds will brown slightly quicker.  Once browned, remove from the oven and cool.  Reduce the oven temp to 160 celsius.

Once cooled, place the almonds and rice flour in a food processor and blitz until you have a fine mix. Place into a medium mixing bowl, add the pine nuts, 115 g of the sugar and the lemon zest, and mix well.

Whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar until light and foamy, then add the remianing caster sugar and whisk until creamy and glossy, but do not overbeat.  Mix the nut mixture into the egg whites, along with the vanilla essence.

Mould the mixture into small mounds, patting each one down slightly.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until they turn light golden, keeeping an eye on them as they brown quickly.  Remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Sprinkle with icing sugar. Makes about 25.


Rural escape

We have just spent the weekend at a rather pretty country house.

Garden2

This property was bought last year by an overseas business colleague of Will's.  Will is helping with the management of the property - putting staff in place to run the farming side of the business, and ensuring that the house and garden are in good care while the owners are overseas.

Garden1

The gardens are spectacular in a "Wow that's stunning.  I'm glad it's not mine to maintain" kind of way.

Garden6

These espaliered trees were a rather impressive sight.

Garden5

We stayed in the stables, which have been converted into further accommodation; and very comfortable accommodation at that.

Garden4

Most importantly, there were yabbies in the dam, a pretty river running through the back of the property, and a farm 4WD to explore the paddocks on.  The boys weren't swayed by the showy garden, but they can't wait to go back with yabbie bait next time.