Back in the saddle

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Super duper número uno

It’s great being back in the kitchen and luckily they eased us into it with a bit of Christmas cheer! A traditional ‘frenchy’ Yule log took out days 1 and 2 this week. A lot of time was spent making all of our components and creating the little meringue mushrooms for the top. The Ocean gang were the lucky recipients scoffing the delightful little number just before 5 o’clock drinkies.

Saturday rolled around quite quickly after that with the Opera cake’s fairer cousin The Brasilia on our agenda. Think layers of jaconde, salted caramel buttercream and tasty nougatine, oh yeah!

Fab marks all around this week with a few snaps to mark the occasion.


Superior pastry – watch this space

Not quite a post of something I’ve made but something I am about to make. Apart from my doodles today in the pic attached.

History? No? A new blanket? No … Well yes I will do that again soon. My dreams come true? Well kinda! An announcement? Yes!

After many months of learning and baking baking baking I’m into my final semester to become a pastry chef. Le petite patissier to start with of course! It’s pretty exciting but sad too as I love going to school and it’s almost over. Sigh.

So to remind me of the good times when it’s all done and dusted The Doily Grind will document my Superior semester showcasing the things I managed to make. Watch out for chocolate and sugar sculptures!


Welcome Ellie and Jaspen

Two fat wee babies came on the scene just before Christmas belonging to my good pals Nic and Melly – well done gals.  Now there’s a few things my friends know about me and that’s…

When you come for a visit I bake.

When I come visit you I bring baking.

When a new baby comes on the scene I get crafty!

With the earlier arrivals of Sam (my nephew), Sophie (my niece) and Cara (Margie’s wee Irish baabie) fairy bread blankets were the order of the day. With two new littlies on the scene and one with a crafty mama himself I tried out two new projects with great success – well their mums seemed to like em.

First up – Ellie and her mum Nic received a patchwork number to keep Ellie covered nicely in those in between season adventures in her buggy or when lounging at home.

Next – Jaspen and his mama Mel received an ode to Dumbo with an embroidered pillow teamed with a pompom fringe. Might I add a giant jar of jelly beans accompanied the pillow so my sweetie partner in crime could get her fix!

Watch this space for new baby projects to come as there are a few new babies on the scene who are making their debuts soon – congrats Jean and Gaz (UK), Bec and Kirk (Canada), and our good pals X and X (NZ) – who are slowly spreading the news!


Little adventures into the world of cookies

I’m all for giving something new a go, even if it might be quite technical or tricky. You don’t know if you’ll be any good or not if you don’t try. This post is a tribute to trying something new and being super pleased with the results!

This week I wanted to practice my piping skills for my course so I thought why not try to make my own version of the cool cookies made by the oh so talented peeps The Biscuiteers. My pal Nicola is a huge fan of theirs and put me onto them a wee while ago. Now mine are no way near as good as theirs (yet!) but they aren’t too shabby either aye.

Lets see what the kids out for Halloween think – that’s what we’ll be giving out should they ring the bell.

Tre bon deliciousness debuts!

Big changes have been afoot for me resulting in a little more time up my sleeve now that I’m not working full time – it’s awesome!

So what am I doing with my time? Training to be a Pastry Chef of course! Cool huh? So three days a week I get to make delicious treats which has ‘egged’ me on to creating a new category – Tre bon deliciousness! it’s really a chance to show what I’ve made in the nom nom classes I attend. I can’t eat it all as I’ll become a fatty boom-boom now won’t I. So best I share the real thing with my pals x

First up check out my Tarte au fruits and Florentines. So pretty and so tasty. Sigh, life is sweet.

Old jeans looking good

With less money in my pocket these days I’ve been super good at re-using or recycling to get some of the things I’d like. After many an evening eyeing up a sweet iPad case on Etsy I decided to bite the bullet and make one. Couldn’t be that hard aye, just a few squares of fabric and you’re sorted!

Waiting patiently in the crafty ‘hive’ was a pair of tim’s old jeans, just waiting to become something new! With a quick measure, a cuppa tea and a bit of trash talking, my little iPad cases came to life. It even has a pocket in the front for my charger and a trusty pen!

Sweet x

Sew Up-Lifting

Soon Wellington’s streets will be a-buzz with groups of sheilas commanding the footpaths by day, shopping up a storm, only to vacate them at night so they can go and swoon over the amazing creations at the 2012 World of Wearable Art (WOW). It’s almost tradition!

A fan for a long time I’ve often wondered what it would be like to enter. What does it really take to make it into the show, let alone be a front runner for one of the sought after prizes. Here’s hoping I find out. Well the first part mainly. I decided to enter the small Bizarre Bra section this year with a back to basics approach. Sewing, teamed with a bit of 1940s inspiration, and thoughts of my nana who influenced me to save ribbons, buttons, fabric and the like cause you never know when you might need it.

With a quick concept sketch (who’s been hanging out with the designers at work too long now..) I created Sew Up-Lifting. So far she’s made it through the first round of judging which means winging her way to Nelson to be reviewed further.  I hear she’s arrived safely so that’s a good start. Now I just need to send her all the luck to make it through to the show; the judges will now inspect her in person to decide if it’s an extended trip or back home. She’s a wee beauty (of course I am biased) so fingers crossed.


Chevrons are sooo O.T.T man

I love stripes. I love spots. Up until recently I’d heard of a zigzag and a chevron but it was a passing fancy. Nothing serious, until now. Furniture is one of those things that’s permanent… well as much as it can be these days. What I mean is it’s something you normally spend a little more money on so you want to love it right?

Tim and I aren’t the best team in the kitchen. He mixes my stuff, saying they’re burning when they are just fine. In turn I get stroppy and ban him from the kitchen. I hear you laugh out loud. What couples can cook together!  We decided to dial it up a notch and step away from the sharp knives and engage a circular saw and staple gun (leathal!) for our joint husband and wife project. The Ottoman.

With Tim’s nifty woodworking know how and dab-hand-ness at cutting out a lot of small circles to make the legs we were cooking with gas – wahoo! Once all our legs were ready it was a simple assembly using nails, some spray glue, wadding, foam, staples and oh the lovely teal chevron fabric. Sigh so wicked!

Now we have a super duper bit of us in our lounge to host the odd magazine, book, tasty tray of treats and pot of tea. Amazing! If only Imogen would give up on the fact that it’s her new bed for in front of the fire. It’s not. Note no Tims or Ings were hurt during the making of this ottoman.

Fairy bread… or is that bed?

Mmmm fairy bread. All dolled up, minding it’s own business sitting next to piles of chocolate crackles, bowls of chips and tasty cocktail sausages, it’s synonymous with kid’s parties surely everywhere. A simple recipe (the best ones always are) harkening from a relative of Nigella Lawson I am sure all it requires is a good sprinkle of hundreds and thousands applied very, very liberally to white bread slapped with butter. It really is a delight.

Always eying up my  next crafty pursuit I eagerly decided to whip up my very own fairy bread pram blanket from Pip Lincolne’s Sew La Tea Do for my nephew Sam. With a small number of supplies needed and a bit of straight line sewing the toughest thing to master was the beautiful French knot. Oh what an inspired little knot the Frenchy is; loved equally by Mel who some days may fancy them more than Ryan Gosling.

Dotted randomly across my fabric this wee blanket came together easily and in no time at all.  I’ve lined the back with a nice soft stripey jersey so it’s super snug for it’s recipient. Enjoy Sam!