Valentine Heart Biscuits

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Ingredients
115g butter
55g caster sugar
Few drops of vanilla extract
150g plain flour
25g cornflour

Icing
4 tbsp water
250g icing sugar
Food colouring, to decorate

Method
Mix the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract until just evenly mixed. Stir in the flour and cornflour. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for about 30 minutes.
Roll out to the thickness of a $1 coin and cut out different sized heart shapes. Bake at 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4 for 10 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Make the icing sugar and divide into small bowls to add pink and red food colouring to the mixture. Now it’s time to decorate your heart biscuits!

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To give biscuits as a gift, pack in a DIY box, which you can print here. To make the box more interesting you could decorate it or print it out on some pretty card.

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Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Rosewater & Lychee Icy Poles

Rosewater and Lychee Icy Poles

Rosewater and Lychee Icy Poles

I was inspired to make these simply by the recent hot weather. Enjoy!

Makes four Icy Poles
Ingredients
1 cup of Lychee Juice (this will depend on the size of your icy pole moulds and how much fruit and petals you put in)
1/2 teaspoon of rosewater
Handful of red rose petals
Halved strawberries

– Icy poles moulds

Method
In a jug mix the rosewater and lychee juice together. Place the rose petals and strawberries in your empty icy pole moulds, don’t be too fussy about this because they will change when you add the juice mix. Pour in the lychee and rosewater mix, the rose petals and strawberries will float to the top. To stop this happening add more fruit.
Put in icy pole sticks and place in the freezer until frozen.

Rosewater and Lychee Icy Poles

Rosewater and Lychee Icy Poles

Origami Bird Mobile

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA origami mobile

Materials
Embroidery ring (Inside ring)
Embroidery thread
Scissors
Needle
Assorted origami birds – I found out how to make these birds here, here and here.

Instructions
Step One:
Cut three pieces of embroidery thread, long enough to meet in the middle of the circle, about 25 cm (depending on the size of your embroidery ring.) This will be the top of the mobile where you hang it up.
Step Two: Work out the positioning of the origami birds – where you want them to hang.
Step Three: Measure how far you want the birds to hang down. Mine vary in length, the longest is about 25 cm.
Step Four: Attach birds to embroidery thread by making a small hole with your needle in their wings (somewhere the knot will be hidden.)

origami mobile

Mini Pear and Cinnamon Pies

Mini Pear and Cinnamon Pies

Mini Pear and Cinnamon Pies

Mini Pear and Cinnamon Pies

This is a perfect treat for dessert on Christmas Day.

Makes six mini pies

Ingredients
1 sheet of puff pastry
Butter for greasing muffin pan
2 pears
1/2 a cup of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of water
Sprig of rosemary
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
Milk for glazing

Method
Preheat oven 180°C. Grease muffin pan with butter. Thaw puff pastry. You will need something to make a round shape, a cookie cutter or a glass. Cut out six circles of pastry and push them into your muffin pan. Place in the oven for 15 mins or until the pastry is puffed. Take out of the oven and let settle.
To make pie filling, put water, diced pear, brown sugar and rosemary into a small saucepan on a low – medium heat. Stir regularly. Cook until the pear is soft and sugar syrupy.
Spoon pie filling into the base of your pies. Create a lid for the pies with the left over puff pastry. I made a criss cross pattern. Glaze pastry with milk.
Put pies into the oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until pastry has puffed and golden brown.
Serve with extra rosemary and honey-sweetened Greek yogurt.

Mini Pear and Cinnamon Pies

Mini Pear and Cinnamon Pies

Twelve Days of Christmas Heart Garland

12 days of xmas

12 days of xmas

12 days of xmas

Materials
White Card
Red Marker
Pencil
Scissors
String
Tape
Heart shape cookie cutter

Instructions
Step One:
Take your white card and draw twelve hearts using a heart cookie cutter or something that will give you a heart shape.
Step Two: Cut out the hearts.
Step Three: Write on your hearts with the red marker. I used a typewriter font from my computer and traced it onto my hearts.
The words are: a partridge in a pear tree, two turtle doves, three french hens, four colly birds, five golden rings, six geese-a-laying, seven swans-a-swimming, eight maids-a-milking, nine ladies dancing, ten lords-a-leaping, eleven pipers piping, twelve drummers drumming.
Step Four:
To get the right length of string, lay out your twelve hearts on the floor and position how far apart you would like them. Measure your string and cut!
Step Five: Now tape the string to the back of the hearts and your done!

12 days of xmas

12 days of xmas

Homemade Herbal Tea Bags

homemade herbal tea bags

Now that it’s autumn and the weather’s getting cooler, I’ve been feeling run down. So I decided to make homemade herbal tea. Instead of putting the herbs into a tea pot, I thought it would be a nice idea to make herbal tea bags.

homemade herbal tea bags

homemade herbal tea bags

Materials:
Red cotton
Embroidery thread
Calico
Scissors
Paper

homemade herbal tea bags

Ingredients:
Ginger
Sage
Rosemary
Thyme
Honey & Lemon (optional)

homemade herbal tea bags

Step One: Sew tea bag
Step Two: Collect ingredients and chop up finely

homemade herbal tea bags Step Three: Put the herbs into the tea bag

homemade herbal tea bags

Step Four: Close up the bag by folding the corners in

homemade herbal tea bags

Step Five: Place part of the embroidery thread underneath a folded flap and staple into place

homemade herbal tea bags

homemade herbal tea bags

Add honey & lemon and enjoy!

Painted Egg Cartons

Painted Egg Cartons

Painted Egg Cartons

This is a nice idea to put chocolate eggs in, decorated eggs as show here, or even to add some colour to your fridge instead of boring cardboard.

Painted Egg Cartons

Materials:
Egg Carton
Paint
Paint Brushes
Shredded Paper (optional)

Painted Egg Cartons

Step One: Paint the carton any colour you like. I painted mine turquoise and coral with gold dots for one and gold stripes for the other.

Painted Egg Cartons

Step Two: Place the shredded paper in the carton

Painted Egg Cartons

Done!

Painted Egg Cartons

Peppermint Chocolate Cake

Peppermint Chocolate Cake

Peppermint Chocolate Cake   Peppermint Chocolate Cake

Cake 
Three tablesoons of butter
One cup of self-raising flour
One cup of sugar
Two eggs
Two tablespoons of cocoa powder
Half a cup of milk
Half a teaspoon of vanilla essence

Icing
One cup of icing sugar
One heaped tablespoon of cocoa powder
Two tablespoons melted butter
Two drops peppermint essence

To make cake, preheat oven to 180°C. Grease or line a cake tin with baking paper.

Place butter in a saucepan. Melt butter over heat. Next, combine all remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add the melted butter to flour mixture. Beat hard for 3 minutes.

Pour batter into cake tin. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Do not overcook, as it will become dry.

To make icing, sift icing sugar and cocoa. Add melted butter and combine until a paste forms. Add peppermint essence to taste. Ice completely cooled cake with a hot knife.

Peppermint Chocolate Cake

Seaside Soap

Seaside Soap

Sea Side Soap 4

This is a great idea for a travelling soap, gifts or maybe just to remind you of the sea.
I’ve used the same recipe as this accept I didn’t add any colouring, seeds or scent and I halved the recipe. It ended up making three fish, three larger shells and two smaller shells. You can add colouring, seeds or scent but I think they look quite elegant as plain white. I used a plastic mould for the fish and real shells to mould the shells.

Step One – Measure and mix – as shown here
Step Two – Put the soap mixture into the moulds with a spoon or you may find using your fingers easier.

Sea Side Soap 2

Step Three – Before taking them out of the moulds leave them for a few minutes to firm up.
Step Four – Getting the mixture out of the shells is quite tricky. I used a butter knife to push it out gently from the bottom. If there is a bit of soap left in the shell mould, just work it into the rest of the soap with your fingers.

Done!
Display, use or give away.

Sea Side Soap 3

Lip Balm

This is a basic lip balm recipe. You can add any kind of essence, flavour or colour you like. The best thing is no petroleum has been used, as in commercial lip balms!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup of olive oil
10 grams of beeswax
1 tsp of honey
Beetroot (for colour – optional)

Things you’ll need:

Empty lip balm stick or small container

Collect Ingredients.


Tip: Grate the beeswax so that it is easier to melt, then weigh.
Put the beeswax, honey and olive oil into a Pyrex jug, in a medium saucepan half filled with water. Have the whisk ready.


Heat the saucepan on medium. Whisk now and again, to help combine the ingredients. Once the beeswax is half melted. juice a small piece of beetroot and add that into the mixture for some colour on your lips. It’s great plain too!
Tip: You can try scraping some of your favourite coloured lipstick in for a subtle colour.
Once it has all melted take it off the heat.

Melted!

Get an electric beater and put it on the lowest setting. It doesn’t need long, just make the mixture creamy.

Carefully pour it into your containers, and you’re done!