Thursday, May 19, 2011

Feeling a bit crafty

This is what I've been up to in the last week or so.

I made a wheat pack for a friend

Actually it's for his cats

I'm growing my hair at the moment and it's become rather feral and unruly (the curly hair curse), so I thought a few headbands were in order. This is my first attempt made from vintage sheets. I like it but found it a bit on the wide side. If you're interested here is the tutorial I used for the headband.

Headband number two, is a much better fit

Lastly a new jumper for Tony. I'm using a 12 ply wool angora blend, which is super quick to knit with it. I've had a massive knitting disaster recently, that will be a post in its self. This new project should restore my knitting self esteem, I hope!

What creative things have you been up to lately?
Cheers Lisa

Monday, May 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Michele

Today is my big sister's birthday. Sadly we don't see each other very often or even talk much on the phone these days. It's something I keep promising myself to rectify but before you know it, days have turned into weeks, then months. I guess we both have busy lives, Michele has her family and work and I have my life too. Living two thousand kilometers apart doesn't help either. Part of my gift to Michele is to keep in regular contact and to visit her more frequently.

I'm sure Michele won't appreciate having her picture plastered all over the net, so I'll share one of my favourites from when we were very young, 1968 I think. Mum made our dresses from Enid Gilchrist patterns. The dress Michele is wearing was made for my cousin's baptism, I had a matching one as well.

Michele and Lisa

Happy Birthday Shelly, I hope you've had a wonderful Lisa

Almost forgot, I'd better let her know about my blog so she can see this for herself.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Anzac biscuits - a healthy twist on a Aussie classic

A healthy alternative to an family favourite

1 cup rolled oats, 1 cup wholemeal spelt (you could use half plain flour), 2/3 cup dessicated coconut, 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, 2 tablespoons oilve oil (you could use sunflower or a similar oil), 1/3 cup rapadura sugar or raw sugar, 1 tablespoon molasses, 1 teaspoon bi-carb soda, 3 tablespoons boiling water.

Pre-heat oven to 150C, prepare baking trays, either grease or use baking parchment.
In a large bowl combine, oats, flour, coconut and sugar, mix well. Place oils and molasses in a saucepan and heat till warm. Oil and molasses does not combine in the same way as butter and golden syrup does when heated. Meanwhile boil your jug, mix the bi-carb and boiling water in a small bowl. Take the molasses and oil mix off the heat, add the bi-carb and water, mix well, watch out it dosen't bubble up and overflow the pan. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix well. Take heaped teaspoons of mix, roll into a ball, place on baking tray and flatten with your fingers. Don't place the biscuits too close together as the will spread a little. Bake in a slow oven for approximately 15 minutes or till golden. Allow to cool on trays for 10 minutes then cool completly on a cake rack. Makes about 32 biscuits.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Eco Stationary

How good is this!

A refillable fountain pen made from sustainable timber

I found this lovely little stall 'Gumnut Hill' in amongst the organic fruit and vegetable stalls at the Northey Street City Farm a few weeks ago. As a bit of a stationary lover I couldn't help but admire the beautiful products especially the fountain pens. I mumbled something to Tony about wanting one for my birthday (that's not until the end of the year). Last weekend we did our usual jaunt to the markets and Tony bought me the pen as an early Mother's Day gift from the fur kids.

I love writing with a fountain pen, something I picked up from my Mum and Dad I think. A while back Rose put the idea in my head of using a fountain pen as a sustainable instrument for writing. Why hadn't I thought of that! (Sorry guys I can't find Rose's post about fountain pens)

This is the link to Gumnut Hill Eco Stationary. If your ever in Brisbane and enjoy a bit of permaculture gardening you must drop into the Northey Street farm for a look see and a cuppa.

Have a lovely weekend


Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Dutch Windmill Biscuits

Do you remember eating these delectable biscuits? They were a favourite in our house when I was young. I also remember a piped shortbread being another favourite as well.

In February of last year, Carla, a lovely lady I met via the DTE forum gave me her recipe for Speculass. I've been wanting to try the recipe since then and finally made it on the weekend. Oh my goodness the taste and smell of the biscuits is divine, I don't know why I waited so long!

I'm sure Carla won't mind me sharing her recipe


250g softened butter, 250g brown sugar, 50g water, 2g salt, 15g Speculass powder (see below), 5g, baking powder, 500g plain flour, slivered or flaked almonds (optional)

Speculass Powder

10g cinnamon, 5g of each of the following spices - ground nutmeg, ground cloves, ground cardamon, ground white pepper, ground coriander seed, ground ginger, ground aniseed (I used star anise), ground mace.
Mix well, place in a jar with a screw top lid.


In a food processor combine all ingredients till it gathers into a ball. Knead until smooth with no tears in it. Wrap in cling film or foil and rest overnight in the fridge. This allows for the flavours to develop. The next day roll the dough out thinly, between two sheets of baking parchment till about 3mm thick, cut into shapes and place on a well greased or baking parchment lined trays. Lightly press a few slivers of almond on top of each biscuit. Bake for 18 minutes in a 180C oven. Leave on trays to cool.

The above is Carla's original directions, plus a few suggestions by me. As I am without a food processor at the moment, I mixed the dough by hand. This works well as long as your butter is soft.

Instead of rolling the dough out, I divided the dough in two and shaped them into logs, wrapped them in baking parchment or greaseproof and popped one in the freezer (I also wrapped it in foil) and the other in the fridge to use the next day.

I took the dough out of the fridge and let it warm up for about half and hour before cutting it into 3-4mm slices.

Once in the oven, turn your trays around and swap shelves if necessary part way through the cooking process. I did over cook one tray slightly. I'd say bake for 15 - 18 minutes.

The aromas in the kitchen while they bake is amazing. Not sure if they will appeal to young children with all the spices. You could leave out some of the stronger spices and just include the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.

Try stopping at one!