Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Wonderful World of Amy Schimler



There are a lot of lovely, delightful things to see on Amy Schimler's website and blog. I adore her surface design work especially her teddy bear friends, fun floral and fall garden patterns! There are also free quilt and fabric design patterns on her blog (lower right side) in case you're feeling crafty.

Weekend delights

An easy weekend snack/brunch recipe...

Welsh Cakes

Ingredients:

2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/2 cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter
1/3 cup (50 grams) currants or raisins
1/4 cup (40 grams) chopped mixed peel
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 - 4 tablespoons milk

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, and mace. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Stir in the currants and mixed peel. Add the beaten egg and enough milk to form a light dough.Knead the dough gently on a lightly floured surface and roll to a thickness of 1/4 inch (5 mm). Cut into rounds using a 2 1/2 inch (6 cm) cookie cutter.

Lightly butter a griddle, heavy frying pan, or electric frying pan and heat to medium hot. Cook the welsh cakes for about 5 minutes per side, or until they are golden brown, but still soft in the middle. Immediately after baking, sprinkle with granulated white sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Welsh cakes can also be eaten buttered or split in half and spread with jam. Makes about 20 - 2 1/2 inch cakes.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Creating a Gratitude Journal



"Gratitude is our most direct line to God and the angels. If we take the time, no matter how crazy and troubled we feel, we can find something to be thankful for. The more we seek gratitude, the more reason the angels will give us for gratitude and joy to exist in our lives."

--Terry Lynn Taylor



Last month, I started a gratitude journal and I feel so much the richer for it! Would you like to thank-a-long with me too? Here are some basic steps from Sarah Ban Breathnach on how to go about making one. Alternately, you can create an online one here.

Be well.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Storybook Heaven



I am in heaven looking at all the marvelous vintage storybook illustrations on Flamenconut's Flickr Photostream. Apparently, she must have this secret library filled with rare storybook treasures. I swear I can gaze at her Domestic Bliss photo set for hours! Look at all those home sweet home goodness! How excruciatingly charming and cute!

Have a cup of tea and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Crafts for Dad



Don't forget to head over to Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion website to download some wonderful Father's Day art prints! Save, print and collect these limited use artworks for your craft or gift ideas.

Links:

Father's Day Notepad
Craft Ideas from BHG

P.S. Hope you like the new, fresh picnic tablecloth ambiance of this blog! Have a fun Tuesday!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Print and pattern fun



Check out these lovely weekend downloads from the lovely Yasmine of A Print a Day . My favourite prints would have to be these, these and these.

Have a fabulous week everyone!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Happy cake

It's my mama's birthday and I made some sunshiny, happy orange chiffon cake. Recipe follows. Happy birthday mama!

Orange Chiffon Cake



2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup orange juice
7 egg yolks
3/4 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
8 egg whites
1 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

Sift together APF, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well and add 7 egg yolks, 3/4 cup oil, 1 cup orange juice, and 2 tsp vanilla. Mix together with wooden spoon. Blend well to remove lumps.

Put 8 egg whites in a bowl. Add 1 tsp cream of tartar and beat egg whites. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Cut and fold egg yolk batter into egg whites using spatula or balloon whisk. Blend well to remove lumps. Pour to oiled and paper lined baking pan.
Bake until done. Cool on wire rack and transfer to cake stand.

Orange Frosting

4 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp orange essence

Beat egg whites and add cream of tartar. Add 1/4 cup light corn syrup during soft peak stage.
Dissolve 1 cup sugar in 1/2 cup water to make syrup. Boil until solution becomes syrupy and thick. Immediately add to egg whites and continue beating stiff peak stage. Add 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp orange essence. Blend well. Add food colouring if desired. Frost cake.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Dreamtime



Here's my lavender, umm mocha baby. Get this sweet dreams stuffie tutorial from the unsinkable Molly Chicken!

Pattern and instructions here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Fruity inspiration


Pears are one of the most delightful still-life objects owing to their serene simplicity and organic beauty. For ages, they have been subjects of paintings and artworks. Imbue a sense of quiet tranquility to your home or office space with fabric pears. Make them in botanical, toile, calico, linen, floral or pastel prints to harmonise with your space.

You can find the lovely pear patterns here:

Small pear (and apple) pattern from UK Lass in US
Calico pear pattern from Scribd

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Loony over LoonaPix









Are you clueless about Photoshop? Now you can create those fancy photo trims like the best of them. With LoonaPix, can create cool effects, photo frames and photo trims for your blog photos and digital scrapbook pictures with the press of a button. Easy peasy!

Have a happy week everybody!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar, plus more for decorating
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon peel, plus thin strips of peel for garnish
  • 2 large eggs plus 2 egg whites, at room temperature
Directions:

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°. Line muffin pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk and lemon juice.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter on high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup sugar and the lemon peel and beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the 2 eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined, scraping down the sides between additions. On low speed, beat in a third of the dry ingredients, then a third of the buttermilk mixture. Repeat, alternating ingredients, until the batter is smooth.

3. Spoon the batter into each liner, about three-quarters full. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool on a rack.

Lemon Cream Filling
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated rind of one lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter
  • 1/2 cup water
Directions:
  1. Combine yolk, sugar, corn starch, 1/2 cup water, lemon juice, lemon peel and cook in double boiler for 15 minutes.
  2. Add butter.
  3. Spread lemon cream filling on cooled cupcakes.
Meringue Topping

In a heatproof bowl, whisk together 2/3 cup sugar and 2 egg whites. Pipe over cupcakes. Return cupcakes to oven and bake at 110 degrees until meringue is firm.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mother's Day Crafty Links

Brighten up mom's day with these sweet craft inspirations. Happy Mother's Day to all moms!

1. Birdie cards from Lizzy House






2. D.I.Y. Paper Wrapped Soaps from Creature Comforts


Image from Creature Comforts




Image from Molly Chicken


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Free printables


I've created a sweet little freebie using one of my favourite colour combinations-chocolate and brown. I hope you'll enjoy using these gift tags for craft gifts, cookie/candy packaging and so on.
You can download the PDF file here.

Awakened Doing


"Then what is the relationship between something that you do and the state of joy? You will enjoy any activity in which you are fully present, any activity that is not just a means to an end. It isn't the action you perform that you really enjoy, but the deep sense of aliveness that flows into it. That aliveness is one with who you are. This means that when you enjoy doing something, you are really experiencing the joy of Being in its aspect. That's why anything you enjoy doing connects you with the power behind all creation."
-Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth is the most life changing book I have ever read. It is impossible not to share the new light and awareness it has brought to my life. I am so excited and happy to share the joy and the awakening!

Explore A New Earth here.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Bonjour!



Hello from the Sweet Tidings Gang! Have a happy week everyone.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sweet Comfort



Here's a Leche Flan or Creme Caramel recipe when you're craving something rich, heavy and heavenly.

To caramelize sugar:

In a small pan over medium low heat, melt 1/3 cup sugar, taking care not to burn it. When sugar has melted and turned golden brown, vigorously stir in two tablespoons water to blend. Transfer to a small leche flan mold. Swirl caramelized sugar inside the mold. Set aside.

Flan Mixture:

6 eggs, beaten
1-1/2 cups evaporated milk
1 can condensed milk
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract


Prehaeat oven at 350 and fill a big pan with about 1/2-inch highwater. In a bowl, blend thoroughly flan mixture ingredients. Pour mixture into leche flan mold with caramelized sugar (see procedure above). Place mold on pan with water in oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until firm. Let cool. Chill before serving. Unmold from container to a serving dish.

Seves 4-5

Adapted from: Philippine Recipes Made Easy by Violeta A. Noriega