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Friday, 28 February 2014

Cooking & Baking Challenge - Session 8: The Recipes!

Hi everybody, let's see what we have for our monthly Cooking & Baking Challenge!

* Us: Baozi 
* Steph: Meatballs

Cooking & Baking Challenge - Session 8: Baozi

And back again for my recipe of the month! It wasn't me cooking but my husband, and not a recipe from a book... well, not quite!
He read a book  "Eine Himmels Reise" by Markus Hernig and in there were talks about food, among them "Baozi". He decided he wanted to try them out and looked for recipes. I think he used mostly this website,  not following it completely.

Here is what it looked like:
Filling in the making.
 Making the baozis 
Before cooking.
After cooking.
It was difficult to take them out of the bamboo basket, they stuck to the bottom. But once we had them in our plates and could taste them, we just found them DE-LI-CI-OUS! Little N. wasn't a big fan, it was maybe a little too gingery for her. On the other hand Baby T. kept asking for more! I definitely recommend this dish!!

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Loop scarf and headband

In Summer I made two things for my sister who lives in Ireland: a loop scarf out of jersey fabric and a headband out of old t-shirts. Of course all in green! I finally have some pics to show you. The scarf needed only one small seam and the hairband was a no-sew job! Only cutting and glue. 

I think it looks pretty good on her, even more so now that she has short hair ^^

Monday, 24 February 2014

Small present for a baby

A blogging friend of mine has had a baby last month. He looks soooo beautiful! I quickly made a small present (based on this go an read the story!). It was really easy to make and I hope the baby will enjoy it ^^.
Welcome to the world Baby N.!

Monday, 17 February 2014

English breakfast

Because it is Monday morning and the children are filling my ears with screams, cries, laughter and demands when it is only 9h20. Because I miss weekend already and my husband's presence at home. Because I love it when he gets up a bit earlier than I do to cook us a delicious breakfast. 

Because of all of this, I am now showing you what he made for us:
I must say that the baked beans are only to be found on my plate.
Somewhere online he read about "breakfast muffins" (I think) and that what he made with our eggs: a layer of bread, bacon all around the edges and in the centre an egg. In the oven just long enough for the bacon to get a little brown (although I think he pre-cooked it in the pan first), for the egg to get the right consistency and then you can enjoy it with the rest of your breakfast and a lovely cup of tea. Earl Grey in my case.
It is the perfect way to start a weekend day!


Baby T. and Little N. are only truly happy when I sit in their room, doing nothing but looking at them while they play. If I have the unfortunate idea of doing some sewing or some reading, or even a need for the bathroom, they will complain and start playing ON me instead of playing at their small kitchen for instance.
Sitting on the ground isn't ideal for my back though, so I decided to see how much would a Beanbag (I think that's what it's called in English) cost. Depending on the size, quality and whether it has a zipper, it does cost a fortune!
Instead I ordered a bag of 400L (yes you did read properly... it is huge!) of polystyrene beads, an Vilene case with zipper (both on Amazon) and with some left-over fabrics from Ikea I made the outer case. 
Size of the inner case: 80 x 100 cm. Size of the outer case: 85 x 110 cm (roughly).
Now to close the case, I didn't use a zipper, buying one of the right size would have been expensive. I used plastic snaps instead. I bought  KAM pliers with a set of colourful snaps. They are just great! I am just missing the tool to make a hole first so it took me longer than it should have to set up my snaps.
 Within just about two hours I had the beanbag ready! It fits under N.'s bed for storage at night, and during the day we all use it. The children love it, especially since it can be used in any position:
Completely flat. T. likes to sit on it, N. tends to lie on her belly.
Standing on its wide side. N. can play horses!
As a seat.

I probably need to make a second one! Despite its comfortable size, N. and T. manage to argue as to who should be using it! ;)

Friday, 14 February 2014

Cakes, carrots and more...

Three years ago I acquired a mechanical spool-knitting tool. It is just brilliant, you turn the handle at a regular speed and you get a long cord to do whatever you want with it ^^. Back then I got a little carried away and made meters and meters of cords. I still now haven't used all of it!
Last week I decided to finally use the orange one to make some carrots for the children's kitchen. On top I added some green felt. I managed to make four which is enough for now.
Last week still, I got on trying to finish the felt set that my sister asked for her daughters. Here are the two small cakes (6cm diameter, 6cm height):
And just because I really like my tiny strawberry, here is a close-up of it:

There is a lot more to come, but I am waiting to be finished and to have sent everything before showing more pictures. 

While watching me work for her cousins, Little N. has been begging me to make her:
- a cake
- a pizza
- strawberries

I need a little more time before I get round to doing this for her, but in the meantime she got:
Mini Sponge-cakes
Small chocolates (I replaced the real chocolate by cardboard and then glued the paper back!)

N. ran to her kitchen on getting those cakes and put them straight in the oven. Then asking for more!
A set of four fish.
N. and T.' s kitchen is starting to be rather full of various ingredients. It is fun to watch them use them all in different ways. Sugar cake is N.'s current favourite, while T. likes to use the frying pan.
Keep an eye on the blog for more felt food soon!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Baking afternoon with the little ones

Last week the children and I didn't feel like going outside, so we had a baking afternoon instead!
The children made cornflakes coated in chocolate.
Baby T. is now a year old and Little N. almost two and a half. T. was extremely interested in watching his sister but also in smashing the cereals in the small box I gave him. I must say that the ground was all covered with them! But at least he had fun. N. was very seriously mixing everything, also kindly giving out cornflakes to her brother :)
And since they were so nicely and quietly busy on their own, I did some baking on my own ^^
Little N. then was concentrated on making small piles. In the end I had to help her because she was eating more chocolate than she was putting on the baking sheet. You can see below the difference between her work and mine ;)
And that was my baking: some Madeleines with raisins. Both children really liked them and we had a lovely time in the kitchen together.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Coming a little late: Christmas presents!

I know it is early February and talking about presents I got at Christmas is a little late, but well... I am a little behind on everything I want to make and show!

At Christmas we (my siblings, mother and I) did a lot of home-made presents. It was great! It was also special because we were all together for the first time in a long time.

I got an apron from my mother for instance:
It is one of my favourite colours. I had given her the idea because without an apron I can hardly keep my trousers clean more than 1 hour! My two children always seem to find something to make them dirty ^^

For my sister B., I made rice hand-warmers. They are really small and keep the heat about 30 minutes (in the open on a table) which is about the time she needs to go to work.
Funnily it was also in my mother's plans with my youngest brother. Aged 7, he really wanted to make something for his brother and his sisters. Hand-warmers was a very accessible option for him. Here they are:
He chose to make both sides in a different fabric for four of them. He had started cutting fleece, but I had read that they can melt in the micro-wave... So instead he used the fleece to sew a doll blanket for his niece, Little N.:

Little N. was really happy! Not only did she get this lovely blanket for her doll, but she also got a special bag from her grand-ma: a changing mat with nappies and wipes!
She also got play-dough from her aunt B. She had never played with some, but since she has discovered it, she is a big fan! Plus I feel safe as it is made out of cooking ingredients!
One of my other sisters, M., is doing a lot of "deco-patch" (using paper napkins and gluing them on wooden objects for instance). And from her I got this very nice tissue box:
I, we, received a lot more both presents and love. The best of all as I said before was that we were all together. My children got to spend time with their grand-parents, all their uncles and aunts, and their cousins. We all live quite far from each other, so we cherish those times spent together!
And I am quite proud to see what everybody in the family can do and is keen on making for each other ^^ 

Monday, 3 February 2014

A Game on Facebook!

Are you on Facebook? Do you live in Europe? Do you like photography and enjoy a Challenge as well as potentially winning lovely presents? 

If you have answered yes to those questions then take a look at the game offered by Méo~photos. Just ask if you need help with understanding the rules (in French).

Theme of the pictures to be sent for participation: "Close to the Ground". I am already wondering what picture I could take with that theme, how interesting and challenging!