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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 "cooking"

Time for a foodie post! I have been staying up most nights working on my Tessuti Awards submission, but I haven’t really achieved much sewing ground work. With an infant crying in the other room, the project is far from complete and I have less than 12 days!

My body is in sleep-deprivation mode and I have dark holes where my eyes used to be. There is no better time to start a health kick than NOW!! I am six weeks post partum and my body still has some squishy bits that need tightening. Though I am fitting into my jeans and my legs are looking more presentable (minus varicose veins and water retention). I’m looking forward to the Summer days ahead where I will most likely to be expected to participate in water activities of some sort which means I will have to put on a swimming cossie (swimming costume).

So I have jumped on the craze that is ‘green smoothies’. And surprisingly got my kids and hubz on it too. Green smoothies is such a cheats way to eat your greens and enjoy them. My toddler doesn’t know what hit him, he guzzles it all down and asks for my share too. Although it is a little hard to work on my 5 year old who takes one look at it, without even a taste, to say ‘Yuck!’. Just one glass is enough to fulfill half your daily intake of fruit and veg.

With their powers combined they are ‘super green smoothie juice team’…errr…it’s just amazing stuff :)

Here is my recipe for a simple green smoothie:

- a handful of baby spinach leaves

- 1 stalk of celery

- half a handful of blueberries (frozen is ok too)

- a teaspoon of wheatgerm

- a teaspoon of LSA (Linseed, Sunflower and Almond)

- 2 tablespoons light agave syrup

- 1 pear (diced up, to allow blender to chop easily)

- organic orange juice (just enough to cover the ingredients in the blender)

Put it all in a blender and blend till smooth.

This should make 2 and a half glasses of green smoothie. Drink it straight away!! I try to do this every second day, some chose to have a glass a day which is even better! Doesn’t matter when you have it, you can have it for brekky, lunch or dinner.

It may not look delicious in this photo, but trust me it is!! 

There are so many other combinations you can try - maybe add some kale, honey banana or strawberries. Or add some quinoa or spirulina for extra goodness! My Hubby said it tasted just as good as those smoothies you buy from the commercial stores! It is made fresh and not blended with ice, which dilutes the flavour and reduces the quality of the smoothie in terms of having all that healthy stuff in there.

So why not try out this recipe for yourself and your family and get your body into shape and energy levels peaking for the Summer season!!

Have you tried green smoothies before? Please share some recipes here in the comments section :)

Have a fun-filled weekend!

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)

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

There is a tradition that goes back a long way into Chinese Malaysian history that a mother who has just recently given birth must go through a ‘confinement’ period of at least 30 days. They believe that a mother’s body is at its weakest and most vunerable and needs to be restored after the birth.

During this time the mother is cooked various nutritional foods consisting mainly of ginger, sesame seed oil, wine (DOM), chicken and chinese herbs. The purpose of eating these types of food is to expel the ‘wind’ from the body and warm and nourish the mother’s body. If the mother does not do this, her body will be susceptible to future ailments such as arthritis, pain in the feet, colds etc. 

Ginger chicken wine

Ginger chicken with wine

Photo courtesy of 101healthyeasyfoodrecipes.com

Then there is the other not so fun traditions of not touching water or not touching cold surfaces for the 30 days. This includes:

- No bathing or washing of the hair or body (this step is especially difficult for me!)

- No washing of laundry, dishes or even bathing baby

- Must cover up the body with layers of clothing

- Cannot turn on the fan or airconditioner

- Cannot go outside of the house, especially when there is wind

- Should wear socks and slippers to avoid feet touching cold surfaces

- The mother is not even allowed to drink plain water but drink chinese herbal tonics

- No ‘cold’ foods such as fruit and certain vegetables, definitely no ice-cream, yogurts and juice.

Jizi Scallop Porridge

Scallop, ginger and goji berry congee/porridge

Photo Courtesy of cookingstudio1.blogspot.com

Red Date drink

Red date tea

Photo Courtesy of ilovebakingncooking.blogspot.com

Ok, it hasn’t been too bad, I’m trying to remain positive here. Since I had my baby during Winter I am not sweating as much. Though, my hair gets soooo itchy I had to beg my Mum to wash it after the first week. She helped me boil some ginger cut offs in water and washed my hair in the basin. I like the smell of ginger so this didn’t bother me. My husband, who is not Chinese is extremely understanding and has been through this twice before. I bought a few cans of dry shampoo, so this has been my saving grace (review to follow shortly)

I’m half way through my confinement period, and it doesn’t seem to get any easier. I’m the type of person who can’t sit still or stay at home for too long, I need to go out and meet people and I feel most independent and useful when I can do things for myself and my family. Now I rely on others to grab something for me down at the shops, or take my daughter to school. 

In Malaysia they have hired help, women who are specially trained in the art of ‘confinement’, who will cook meals for the Mother and look after the baby to allow her to rest. How I wish I could hire a ‘confinement’ lady, my Mother helps me a lot but this is a specialized occupation that is a full-time job. Mum still has her day job to go to. So I find myself breaking the ‘no touching water’ rule, such as bathing my kids, cooking meals etc.

I’m so glad I have understanding friends. It annoys me that I can’t go out and catch up with them, but they come and visit me which I appreciate so much! I miss adult conversation and interaction! But maybe…it is best to wait until I am less smellier (phoar!) 

Just another 19 days…and I’m starting the count down…

Do you follow any traditions past down through generations? 

Have a great weekend you lovely smellin’ people, I’m so jealous that you are having your warm showers!

E x

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

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

Another reblog from Hubby. Yes it has been 2 years, but nothing much has changed between me and my buddies Cat and John from DIAC. We had a great catch up session last Sunday with the cheeky lil kids running a muck in the background. Food was fresh, healthy and full of flavour! I’m so thankful for being able to keep my friendship with these two amazing people…because when someone touches my life it is so hard to let go of them! :)

E x

usenowayasway:

“Catch up with friends” Part 1

It’s been awhile since E-von has caught up with her work friends. So what better way to meet-up at one’s place for a BBQ. It was an awesome afternoon. We brought ourselves and the little monsters over, and had a great catch-up sesh.

I have been going on and on about eating healthier for the past 7 months but for some reason this pregnancy is not agreeing with me! All my body wants to do is go towards the lollies, the biscuits, the chocolate, the white bread, the cake…obviously the complex sugars. *smack my hand* This usually means the body is crying out for nutrients that it is currently lacking! To stop the sugar addiction I had to eat more protein and green veg such as broccoli, nuts and fresh fruit.

So I decided to make some home made protein bars, packed with all the good stuff to curb my cravings. I don’t like the thought of buying supermarket ones, because they could be packed with preservatives. Fresh is best in my book :) Plus Hubz is working out now and without a doubt, he will come home looking for something to eat…even if it is a piece of white bread.

I found a recipe for home made protein bars at Money Saving Mom but I decided to change the recipe up a little. It is such a simple recipe, even the kids can help out! No cooking or baking involved! There isn’t a lot of sugar either, so this will keep you feeling fuller for longer. Click 'Read more' for recipe and photos.

Read More

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

Mother’s Day is just around the corner! What plans do you have to celebrate this day with your mum? What would be the perfect gift to honour this special lady in your life? Aside from flowers and chocolates…buy her something she will use, cherish and keep. Mums love a bit of sentimentality. Here are just some gift ideas I thought would be perfect for Mums on Mother’s Day.

Ruched blue striped maternity top

For the ‘expecting’ mother, when she constantly suffering from ‘There is nothing to wear’ syndrome.

Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer Pink

For the ‘chef’ mum who loves to bake cakes, cookies, tarts etc. Maybe you could use it too, and bake her a few treats!

Clarisonic Plus Pink

For the ‘pampering’ mum. Clarisonic is the next best way to cleanse the face, it uses micro-massage action to gently and effectively loosen dirt and oil to clear pores. 

Napoleon Perdis Mother’s Day pack

For the ‘beauty addict’ Mum, The Napoleon Perdis Mother’s Day Pack includes:

Limited Edition Prismatic Palette

Devine Goddess Lipstick in Gia

Deluxe Auto Pilot Pre Foundation Skin Primer 15ml

Mini Long Black Mascara 4.5ml

Floral Cosmetics Bag

House Rules Decal

For the ‘interior decorator’ mum, house rules decal for her home so everyone who lives under her roof abides by it.

Brewster Square Butlers Tray

For breakfast in bed or a place where she can leave her tea cup and her knitting at the same time.

Teasub tea infuser

For the ‘tea-enthusiast’ Mum, something a lil quirky than your normal tea-ball diffuser. 

PeepToe - Woven Chain and Jewel Turquoise

For the ‘Fashionista’ Mum, spoil her with a gorgeous embellished necklace.

What are you planning for your Mum on Mother’s Day?

E x