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Sew Is Life

Sew is Life is written by E. It is a little space of blogging bliss inspired by art, design, craft, fashion, beauty and wellness. Based in Perth, Western Australia. Read about the daily ramblings of me being a mother of three and wife to an amazing creative man. The second me makes fresh skincare at SELF Organics. These are my stories sewn together with love.

 

 
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Posts tagged "baking"

Was your street filled with children dressed up as little scary monsters, witches and vampires this year? I had a little fairy princess, Ness from Earthbound and Wonderwoman in my house. Hubz dressed up as a vampire and I was a witch. It all started 3 years ago and it has since been a yearly tradition for our family. 

 

Little Miss S went trick or treating for the first time with a big group of kindy friends, parents and siblings. The look on her face was priceless, so much excitement for one lil lady!

Lil man’s first encounter with a jack-o-lantern. All he wanted to do was to peer inside to check out how it works..

I was actually looking forward to dressing up in my Artoo swim that I bought from Blackmilk a month ago, but it was a really chilly night (I didn’t want to risk any headlights!) so I decided to go as a witch instead :) The makeup and costume was pretty freaky gauging from the reaction I received from the kids that stopped by my house. They were impressed though by my efforts because no one else had dressed up and tried to scare the pants off them! It was worth it, seeing their faces light up with excitement. 

Leo dressed up as a Nintendo character, Ness, from Earthbound (Hubz was proud!)

Here is Lil Luna posing as Wonderwoman for the night, as you can see…she is totally loving it! Poking her tongue out for the camera.

I decorated the outside of my doorway with cotton cob webs and my DIY Halloween bunting (you can read more about it here). This was purposely left outside to lure trick or treaters and I managed to get four groups of kids come through, some accompanied by parents and some were teenagers. It was nice to see the street come alive at night! 

Yummy cake pops I received from Pops!byEve ready to be gobbled up!

So deliciously moist in the centre…*nom nom*…seeing this picture makes me want more!

To top off Halloween, I received a package of cake pops that I ordered from Pops!byEve. A cake business run by my cousin, Eve. She specially made these Halloween cake pops by hand and decorated them herself. She is amazing, just looking at the beautiful baked treats, I can tell that Eve puts her heart into each and every one of her creations to make her customers happy.

 

'Scary' pops, I didn't mind chomping into an eye ball or mummy

At first I wasn’t aware that she spends hours designing these cake pops until she told me she doesn’t use the mass produced cake pop machines that are selling in department stores. She makes them all by HAND!! The process of baking a whole cake first, crumbing it and mixing it with icing, then mould them into individual shapes…phew that’s a lot of effort and hard work on her part! To finish off, she dips them into ganache and draws little faces on them. 

No wonder it is so deliciously moist like mud cake, rather than dry and bready. We ordered chocolate ones, at first I didn’t want to eat them because they were so cute! BUT of course I couldn’t help myself and they were da absolute BOMB! It was even more satisfying to see Sofia’s and Leo’s faces light up and their grins stretch as wide as their ears :)

Little Miss S and her black cat cake pop

The little man tucked into the Frankenstein monster, which kinda resembled his face lol

Pops!byEve has kindly offered Sewislife readers 15% off orders placed in November. The cake pops can be sent via express post Australia Wide, if you do not live in the Melbourne area. The cake pops are individually wrapped in small plastic bags and can last up to one week when kept in the fridge. Cake pop flavours come in 3 choices - chocolate, vanilla or lemon.

Here is an idea of the pricing (per piece):

Classic $3

Mini Cupcakes (with chocolate base) $3.30

Ice Cream Cones - $4

Custom pops - $3.50

Cake Truffles - $2.80

*Terms: Minimum order of 1 dozen (1 flavour per dozen). Minimum 1 week’s notice required. 2 weeks notice for custom orders, interstate orders and orders over 50 pops. Delivery charges apply.

If you wish to place an order or find out more information, please contact Eve on 0412 830 617 or you can email contact@popsbyeve.com

Please visit the Pops!byeve Facebook page to like the page and view more pictures. My cousin will be happy to make your next celebration unique and special.

Thanks Cous for making our night that little bit more magical with your cake pops :)    

Enjoy your Sunday off everyone! I can’t believe we are in November already…7 weeks till Christmas! OMG, my heart just skipped a beat!

Did you celebrate Halloween this year? How many trick or treaters came by your place?

E x 

In goes my choc fudge cake, come back in an hour and I’ll show you the finished product #baking #chocolatefudge #cake #fudge #cooking #chocolatecake (Taken with Instagram)

Happy Birthday to my Mini-Me, sweetie Sofia. Sofia has been one very patient little girl, her birthday was actually at the beginning of August but due to her party venue being so popular, it was only available towards the end of August. This is year at Kindy she made a class full of friends. Sofia has discovered a lot about herself, that she is more resilient, adventurous, she likes to lead, a keen learner and also helpful towards the younger ones. She has really shown her ‘big sister’ skills and is a great influence on her little brother Leo.

Although it has also been a month of ups and downs. She was extremely welcoming to her new little sister Luna and is very proud of her. Sofia enjoys showing her off and is very happy to have company of another girl. For her birthday I made her a ‘Cinderella’ cake, which was a first for me. I was so surprised, it is actually easier than it looks! I made a strawberry flavoured butter cake and swirled in some pink colouring. And covered it in strawberry flavoured butter cream and Sofia helped with the decorations.

 

However, this month, Sofia also lost her best friend to an illness, a week before her birthday party. She is coping well, but then she doesn’t completely understand the concept of death. Just before her party she asked 'Why isn't T coming to my party?', it was heartbreaking for me to hear her say that. I had to explain to her that T got very sick and passed away, and he is no longer in this world. But we should never forget him.

She did have a ball at her party though, I booked a kids’ gym for 2 hours and they all went nuts! It was quite a sight to behold. Children climbing, running around, swimming in the ball pit, and then sweat matted on to their foreheads. Just watching them depleted me of my energy! I cooked too, I made some home made sausage rolls, home made chicken nuggets, popcorn and jelly cups. I bought a birthday cake from Woolworths and that was it! I was so happy I didn’t have to break the bank with this party…by the end of the day I was ready to retire from party planning. But imagine…all my kid’s birthday within the same month! I have the work cut out for me for the next few years. 

As long as I can see the big grin on my child’s face at the end of the day I know all the effort was worth it :)  Thank you to everyone who made it such a memorable day for my little girl, for all the lovely presents and ending her week on a high. xx

Do you have any tips on how to run a child’s party smoothly? 

E x

Sofia’s 5th birthday cake done and dusted. Happy birthday to my sweet princess :) (Taken with Instagram)

I baked a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies, but look at the difference in the two trays! My personal tasters will be happy with amount of choc chips that are in the first tray :)

Does this happen to you when you bake chocolate chip cookies?

E x

If you haven’t been hiding out under a rock somewhere you would have heard that the ‘cake pop’ sensation has landed! Ok ok…if you seriously don’t know what they are, they are simply mud cake/sponge cake dipped in ganache and decorated with lollies, sprinkles etc. and they sit on a lollipop stick. Why is it so popular? Well…most people love lollipops right? And cake!!

Not too long ago, I received a package in the mail from my cousin, Eve who has recently started her very own cake pop business called Pops! by Eve. She is located in Melbourne, but creates her cake pops and sends them nationally around Australia.

I live in Perth which is at the opposite side of the country and I was surprised how these babies managed to stay in one piece! The cake pops arrived safely by express post and they were arranged beautifully. Opening the box smelt delicious of freshly baked goods.

My two munchkins eyes widen with excitement at the ice-cream cone cake pops. These were such a hit! I can imagine myself handing these out at my children’s birthday party and to all their little friends…I wouldn’t have to worry about baking or washing up any dishes. Because I would give them a cake pop each and they would be happy! Therefore making me HAPPY too ;)

Pops! by Eve has their very own Facebook Page so you can hop on over and get in touch with Eve if you are planning a party or celebration and she will sort you out with her delicious cake pops.

Have you had your first cake pop experience? If yes, what did you think of them?

E x

Photo courtesy of Cake Decorations 

It’s really strange how all my children’s birthdays are gathered together during the same time of year. My little boy’s comes first on the 23rd July, then my baby is expected soon after that and my oldest is on the 5th August. My husband and I always joke about this ‘fertile’ period.

For the rest of my life I will be planning 3 birthdays at the same time! And hopefully when they are older, they will be used to the idea of sharing their birthday celebrations together…hahaha I’m just dreaming…

Here are some tips on how to plan a kids birthday party:

1. Book your venue at least a month in advance, popular places get snapped up very quickly! And you will most likely have to pay a deposit. 

2. Give out invitations early, at least 2-3 weeks before the date to allow for timely responses from invitees and for you to confirm numbers for venues

3. Order a cake at least a week before, depending on your cake maker. If you are adventurous and want to make the cake yourself plan this out a week in advance, so you can purchase ingredients and decorations. Bake the day/night before the party (buying a cake will definitely help you save time)

4. Buy decorations and lolly bags. Stock up on cheap lollies from supermarket sales or go to a store that sells these in bulk.

5. Plan your child’s birthday clothes and footwear, depending on the weather and activity. And possibly a change of clothes (there is no guarantee against spills and food smears! No point stressing, it will happen!) 

6. Have your child’s favourite toy or blanket ready for those tearful moments. Having a birthday can be HARD WORK for a little one!

7. Cater for the adults too, parents will often accompany their child to the birthday party if they are still under the age of 6. 

8. And of course presents! I like to buy little things and wrap them up individually because kids love the thought of having a lot of gifts to open :)

Here are some of my favourite venues and places to shop for birthday things around Perth:

Cakes

Michels patisserie - http://onlineorders.michels.com.au

Cutting Edge Cakes - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cutting-Edge-Cakes/109764185786545

Pops! by Eve (for cake pops! Easy to eat, no mess to clean) - http://www.facebook.com/PopsByEve

Cake Factory, Malaga - http://www.cakefactory.com.au/

My Delicious Cakes (Cake making supplies), Bibra Lake http://www.mydeliciouscakes.com.au/

Venues

Tumblers Gym, Riverton

Flying Teapot, Fremantle (for children 7 to 12 years) http://www.pickledfairy.com.au/flying-teapots.htm

The beach house, Osbourne Park http://www.thebeachhouse.org.au/

Lollies

World of Treats http://www.worldoftreats.com/contact/

Cash & Carry Canning Vale - http://www.cashandcarrywa.com.au/

Decorations/Invitations

Lombards http://www.lombard.com.au

Osbourne Party World http://www.osbornepartyworld.com.au/shop_online.asp

Spotlight - https://www.spotlight.com.au/departments/spartys/

Most importantly, have fun with your child. Take lots of photos and videos because moments like these do not come very often in life. There isn’t anything else more satisfying than seeing your little one happy and enjoying themselves.

Do you have any other party planning tips to share?

Cake turned into cupcakes…turned into muffins? They are all a part of the same baked-goods family anyway! A few weeks ago I was invited to a work friend’s BBQ and it was my culinary task to bring along a ‘sweet’. And you know how I love to make sweets! So I thought of making a Berry Coconut Macaroon cake with what ingredients I had in the kitchen.

I thought about little people who will also be eating the cake, so I used the same recipe but split them up into cupcakes/muffins instead. You should have seen their messy but happy faces!

It came out really delicious! A sweet crunchy meringue-like top with warm, gooey berries in the middle surrounded by a coconut sponge. Perfect with a cup of coffee or tea. Here is the recipe if you wish to win your friends over!

Berry and Coconut Macaroon Cupcakes

Preparation Time: 35 Minutes

Cooking Time: 1 Hour

Serves: 10

200g unsalted butter, diced and softened at room temperature

175g  caster sugar

3 free-range eggs (I used 4 because they were smallish eggs) beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

250g self-raising flour, sifted

1 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

2 tbsp ground almonds

4 tbsp milk

100g mixed berries, fresh or frozen

Macaroon topping

3 free-range egg whites

100g caster sugar

90g desiccated coconut 

2 tbsp ground almonds

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celcius. Prepare a 12-hole cupcake pan with paper muffin cases
  2. Place the butter and sugar in the electric mixer and mix on medium speed for 7-8 minutes or until pale and fluffy. Reduce the speed and gradually add the beaten egg to the mixture, beating well in between. 
  3. Place mix into large bowl, using a metal spoon fold in vanilla. Then fold in the flour, baking powder, salt and ground almonds alternatively with the milk. Fold in the desiccated coconut. Spoon the batter into the individual muffin cases (about 3/4 full).
  4. To make the topping, whisk the egg whites with electric mixer until they form firm peaks. Then reduce the speed and slowly add the sugar, beating until all the sugar has been added. The meringue should be firm and shiny. Fold in the ground almonds.
  5. Top the batter with some mixed frozen berries, pressing down lightly. Carefully spread the meringue topping over the berries.
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cover the cupcakes with foil a few minutes after putting them into the oven to ensure the tops don’t brown too quickly. 
  7. Cool the cupcakes on a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

What dish would you bring along to a BBQ if you had to cook for friends?

Happy Cooking and more importantly EATING!

E x

It certainly feels like Winter has arrived early this year and with that comes the urge to cook warm, delicious, comfort food! I bought a frozen pack of blueberries the other week at the supermarket because they were on special and these guys are pack full of antioxidants that I thought would be great for the baby and the rest of the clan. So I found this recipe for a Spanish Blueberry Custard Pie.

Most custard pies are infused with vanilla flavouring, whereas this used cinnamon. Cinnamon is one of my all time favourite spices. It is quite sexy on the senses. Makes cooking so enticing to be able to smell freshly baked pie wafting through the house. Could be the next ‘American Pie’, or let’s just leave that thought at the door ;)

Here is the recipe is you are interested in making it for yourselves, courtesy of About.com:

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups berry filling/topping (see recipe link below)
  • vegetable shortening to coat pan
  • 2 sheets puff pastry – (1 pkg 17 oz frozen puff pastry)
  • 2 cups (1/2 liter) milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup (125 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (32 gr) corn starch
  • 1/4 cup (31 gr) unbleached white flour
  • 2 egg whites

Preparation:

This Custard and Berry-Filled Tart Recipe makes 8-10 servings.

Prepare the Berry Topping Recipe using berries of your choosing, such as blueberries, blackberries or raspberries. The topping will be added to tart just before baking and should not be refrigerated or too hot, but just at room temperature.

Remove puff pastry sheets from freezer and allow to thaw 10-15 minutes. Using a paper towel, coat 8-inch springform cake pan with vegetable shorteningl. Line the cake pan with puff pastry, trimming edges to fit pan and pressing pastry into corners. Prick bottom with a fork.

Set aside pan and second sheet until ready to cut. (Rather than a top crust, the other pastry sheet will be cut into strips approximately 1-1.5-inches to form a lattice on top.)

Measure and sift flour and corn starch for custard and set aside on plates.

Heat oven to 360F (180C).

While the oven is heating, prepare the custard filling. Pour all but 1/4 cup (30 ml) of the milk into a medium-size, heavy-bottom sauce pan and add the cinnamon stick. Bring milk just to the boiling point, then remove from heat and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until mixture turns light yellow and has a smooth texture. Add flour and corn starch to the egg mixture and beat with a hand mixer on medium-high speed. Add the reserved 1/4 cup milk and continue to mix until smooth and creamy.

Remove cinnamon stick from milk. While stirring constantly, pour about a third of the warm milk into the egg mixture. Once milk has mixed thoroughly with eggs, slowly pour in the rest of the milk, while constantly stirring. Transfer the mixture into a large sauce pan and heat on medium, stirring continuously. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for just 30 seconds, then remove from heat immediately and pour into spring form pan with puff pastry crust.

Note: If lumps begin to form in the custard while heating, use a hand mixer on low speed to break up the lumps.

Pour berry topping over custard filling and spread evenly. Cut the other pastry sheet into strips about 1 to 1.5-inches wide and lay across top in lattice pattern. Beat the egg whites in a small bowl. Brush beaten egg whites over top crust.

Place in pre-heated oven in middle rack. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. If tart will not be eaten within 2 hours, refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Post me a picture of your culinary creation!

E x

A few weeks back I made a little apron for my little miss because she has been such a keen cook and a great helper in the kitchen. Sofia really enjoys the sensory element of cooking, the smells and the tastes. She particularly likes to eat the raw ingredients such as dipping her finger into the flour, butter and sugar. Then proudly tasting the end result of freshly baked strawberry and white chocolate muffins. By the time the baking is done it’s like a bomb had gone off in the kitchen and Sofia is covered in flour appearing more like a ghost than a little girl. So that gave me the idea of sewing her a little apron of her own, see the cute model below:

It is even more fun to play in the kitchen if you have the right tools to help you. I have seen my husband go through many meltdowns in the kitchen just because he couldn’t find the right spatula for his perfect pancakes (And my they are sooo amazing, could be one of the reasons why I love him…). I enjoy a bit of designer flair and innovation in the kitchen, it makes the task of preparing a meal over a hot stove much more inviting! 

Alessi, a leading name in designer home wares and kitchen accessories is currently offering Free Worldwide Shipping on any orders placed in their online shop BEFORE the end of August. There is only one week left so start filling up that shopping cart with designer goodies for your kitchen nook now! 

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