Thursday, 13 December 2018

Christmas Shortbread Jars

Today I quickly made some homemade little gifts for my friends.  I altered my shortbread recipe until it fit into these little jars I got from Ikea  called Korken

IKEA KORKEN jar with lid

For my wedding favours I did the same but in mini milk bottles and they worked out really well so I just copied this but had to work out how the recipe would fit in different jars.  As usual I just guessed until I got it right 🤣

For the Ikea size of jar I needed 50g of plain flour, 25g of caster sugar and 25g of cornflour.

First I weighed out the plain flour and poured this in to the glass jars followed by the caster sugar and finished off with the cornflour.  

 I love how white they are and the cornflour is so smooth it feels like snow 🌨 

I tried to print off labels but as usual there was an issue with my printer when I needed it isn't that always the case?!  So I handwrote the instructions on brown card.  All you need is to add 50g of salted butter.  By hand or in a food processor mix everything together, roll out thinly and cut using a festive cookie cutter for Christmas biscuits.  Bake for 30 mins at 150°C or Gas Mark 2 (they will still be very pale) then immediately sprinkle with caster sugar.  Allow to cool completely before eating them.  Yum!! 

I rolled the instructions up and put them through the little metal handles.   For my wedding milk bottles I hung them with string and used vintage fabric cut into circles for the top of the bottles.

I finished the Christmas jars off with some green and white twine.  Lovely festive little gifts when it's just the thought that counts.  I think I will give my neighbour one of these too.  I gave my daughter's teacher something similar one year also.  I do love a homemade gift and these are really easy to make and equally easy for the recipient to bake.  I am not sure how many biscuits this mix will make as it depends on the size of cutter you use but enough for you to eat with your festive cuppy! 

Let me know if you make these shorties yourself this year and who you would give them to!

For more recipes see my other posts here

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Kitchen Games Room

We finally decided on a kitchen table!  We had been using the Dining Room to eat in but although the table was left to us with the house it felt wrong to use it every day it is so beautiful.

The room off the kitchen was just a dumping ground to begin with because we didn't know what we wanted to do with it.  When we bought our living room suite we moved the old couches through to the kitchen room - it still doesn't really have a name I call it the back kitchen room I am not sure what it should be called.  

It was ok but I didn't like sitting in it and as we use the back door all the time this is the first room everyone sees.  My washing was also in here on rainy days on the airer and it was just an embarressment to me.  The kids were liking it for playing in - Eliza on the xbox or watching tv and Sturrock playing with his cars and toys.  It was also great to use for a sleepover - right next to the kitchen for helping themselves to food though 😟  We also have two budgies and this is where they have free rein so under the couches was very difficult to keep clean of feathers and mess because the couches are so heavy and the gap is very small the hoover doesn't fit underneath.

I woke up one Saturday and we were sitting having breakfast in the room when I told Grant I hate the room so much I want to change it and bin the couches.  He quickly agreed!

We didn't want to spend too much on the room because it would still be used in the same way - somewhere to eat and play.  Ikea online it was!

 Waiting for the delivery of furniture while the couches were gone - this seemed a long few days for Eliza not having a couch to lounge on playing the Switch!

 Grant went away for a week so me and my little helper built the Poangs from Ikea

 He needed a lot of little breaks though!

 Next we built the bookcase - wanted to move a lot of the books out of the bedrooms because with baby number 4 on the way we are having a shift around upstairs too!

 Eliza was a great helper
 The cabinet at the left is a shoe unit because they kept ending up in a heap in this room too.  The Trofast toy storage we have had since our last house but it works great in this room to keep Sturrock's toys together for playing downstairs.   Two comfy Poangs we have not been fighting over yet!
 The essential TV for gaming and watching Friends reruns...
 Our table we got from Great Furniture Trading Co and came with 2 benches and 2 chairs - we went for the bigger table because of our growing famiy and also I look after my nephews two days a week so this gives them all plenty of space to eat.

 I love how the bookcase has made us sit and read more books downstairs - we always read before bed but now we include it more as part of our day.  On top of the bookcase is some of the handmade wooden items I sell through Wairoa Wishes on Facebook or Instagram (Teepee, Clouds, Mountains and Name blocks).  There are rainbows on the photo before at the window also.

I am so happy with how the room has turned out and I use it much more now and want to be in it.  It also helps keep the rest of downstairs tidy because there are homes for everything that used to get left lying around. 

Here are a few pics of when we first moved in and how the room has transformed

                             Still our little helper ❤

Oh my god the sawdust was unreal here when all the work was getting done! 

 The couple who owned the house before us used the room in a similar way.  We closed off a door into the kitchen as there were two (where our tv sits now) and it meant in the kitchen we could fit a fridge freezer.  I am glad we did this - one of those decision you question and it keeps you from sleep!  We couldn't decide which door to keep open but this way works really well for us.  We are waiting on getting new windows fitted this month hopefully then we can decide about whether to get curtains or blinds.  We are lucky the house is really private so we have not had anything for over a year of living here but I think it would finish this room off nicely and be cosy for the winter.  Can picture me sitting feeding the new baby in the Poang reading to Sturrock....dream on!  What I can actually picture is Sturrock demanding me to put the baby down so he has my full attention.  He is a needy little 2 year old whose world will be totally shaken by the arrival of a baby brother or sister!  Wish me luck! 

Monday, 20 August 2018

Pool Party Hawaiian Luau

Another birthday party to report on!  Eliza had a great 8th birthday - we had the best summer weather Scotland has ever seen in the weeks leading up to her party so we planned a paddling pool Hawaiian themed luau.  Typically it wasn't as warm as every other day we had but the girls all still braved the cold paddling pool water and had fun running in and out of the house with their music blaring.

Crepe paper background and wooden crates, lots of umbrellas and a few buckets this was an easy theme
 The usual savoury selection hotdogs, pizzas    and sausage rolls.

                                                                            Cocktail sausages

  Salt and vinegar fish and chip                    crisps 

 Beach theme: Rice krispie bars dipped in blue candy melts with an umbrella and a sweety frog

                   Pink dipped marshmallows

                                Foam shrimps and bananas

Rubicon sugar free juice - a token gesture really as there were a lot of sweets on the table this time!  I laid this on top of a tray of sand which went with the theme but also helped with the drips we always get using the juice dispenser at parties.  Will need to accomodate a sand tray in every party theme!  

Pineapple and strawberry mini biscuit cookies.  These took so long to decorate I don't usually put in so much effort but they fit the theme so well.  You can imagine my disappointment when my 2 year old found these and loaded them up as a 5 high sandwich and bit through them all before the guests arrived....never mind! 

He couldn't have selected the very dodgy flip flop biscuits I made that were a total flop could he?!  Can't fault his good taste 🤣

He also particularly liked the dipped marshmallows

 Mars bar krispies with token umbrellas

Sweety kebabs didn't work very well sweets all fell apart :(
 The cake this year was a last minute decision - I am pregnant with my 4th child and I really lacked motivation so I am really happy this party all came together.  Watermelon cake didn't completely fit the colour theme  I was going for but I was happy with how it turned out.

All the guests were given a grass skirt and lei to wear as well as star sunglasses but you really get what you pay for the lenses in the glasses all popped out and they were not a good fit on the 8 year olds who came to celebrate.

 Party bags this year of course involved felt - watermelon keyrings.  But I made them in advance no last minute sewing!

Inside I put a little hula dancing girl - she is so cute!  She has a solar panel and she does get pretty irritating because she ticks all day while dancing but she is addictive to watch!  Also a family stamp set, a tiny purse, a highlighter nail polish pen, pencil, flip flop keyring and some fruity sweets.

 All the hula dancers having a great time to their music

We had lots of inflatables for this party - will need to use this theme again so we can use them all again.  I'm sure an inflatable flamingo will come in handy some day??!!

The next day we flew to France - had to leave all the leftover cake to my sister!  Gutted.  I love eating birthday leftovers for days later but this was our last chance for a holiday before the baby here so off we went Eurocamping!  It was great fun and I'm glad we did.  Now it's the middle of August and the sun seems a distant memory........