Monday, 29 June 2009

Raspberry Chocolate Brownies Recipe

I tempted you last week with a photo of the delish Raspberry Chocolate Brownies I had for my birthday and how I altered the recipe to use almond meal in place of the flour.

Well, what better way to start off a week than with a new recipe you can cook all week long! I would be cooking it every day if my waistline would let me get away with it!! I'd love to be able to tell you where the recipe originated from, but I don't know!! Sorry about that but I'm going on record saying I don't claim this recipe as my own.

Raspberry Chocolate Brownies
200g chocolate (I use choc melts)
250g butter
1 3/4 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
1 1/3 cups plain flour ( I replace this with same amount of almond meal)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup cocoa, sifted
1 1/2 cups raspberries

Preheat oven to 180C. Place butter and chocolate in small saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Place in a bowl with sugar and eggs and stir until well combined.

Add flour (or almond meal), baking powder and cocoa. Mix to combine. Pour into 23cm greased square cake tin lined with baking paper. Top brownie mix with raspberries and bake 30-35 mins.

***Note, if you use almond meal instead of flour, the baking time will be longer. A lot longer. I haven't ever timed it but about 50mins - 1 hour in total. You'll know when it's ready when the centre is still a bit jiggly when you shake it but not set like stone/the outside of the brownies.***

Take brownie out of tin after 5 - 10 mins and remove baking paper.

End result? A crunchy brownie on the outside with a gooey runny center. Serve warm or cold with icecream.

Oh and try not to eat the uncooked brownie mix before you put it in the oven. It's really hard to resist. Really hard!

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

What I'd like to be when I grow up...

Amongst all the things I've tried so far in my little old 35 years, one thing that has been simmering on the back boiler for the last 3 years is that I would love to start photographing the birth of a child or two or fifteen.

Capturing dignified, emotional, evocative, heart wrenching photography of all the moments that a third party is privy to when they stand in the background during a birth. A photographer at a birth can record all those little details that the birthing mother and her partner might miss... the glances between the parents, the mood of the room, hand clenches and reassuring touches, patient waiting in hallways, tiny bundles being cradled for the first time... I could go on but we'd be here all night!

Photography, to me, is a opportunity to see all sorts of different angles of an event and the amazing opportunity of being allowed in a birthing room to record that for the parents and their families would be an honour and a privilege.

So that's another thing I'll add to the list of things I'd love to do when I grow up. Having birthed my own child and not being able to remember much of it, birth photography is something that given the benefit of hindsight I should have done but... too late now! Best I offer the opportunity to someone else.....

photo credit: Dave Morris

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

35 is the new black

I participated in a Vintage Swap organised by the lovely Crafty Librarian. She used SwapBot which is a whizz bang online doo-dad for organizing swaps. I received this lovely package of vintage rick rack, bias and buttons all the way from the USA.

Now loyal readers don't, as I did in a recent blonde moment, have a 'oh my golly gosh, I haven't cleared out my bobbin section and now it's blocked to buggery' moment when my trusty sewing machine stopped working.

I got the screwdriver out, used a dry paintbrush and dusted out all the fluff, fibres and thread that had accumulated in and around the bobbin case over the last six months. Feeling very virtuous, I took above photo as a wise warning to those of you who, like me, had forgotten that you need to do this very speedy and easy maintenance on your machine. All that fluff on the right was in there clogging up all the workings.

Don't then, as I did, turn your machine back on and then swear (out of kiddie hearing distance of course) because your machine still isn't working. Then swear some more and slap your own forehead when you realise that all along it was just the bobbin winding lever was switched over to stop the needle going up and down..............................


It's also a week of celebration in our house. Yes, a week, not a day, of celebrations for my birthday. I'm very happy to be 35 today and quite bemusingly see it as the downhill slide to 40. After the novelty of today has worn off, I'll feel quite happy to be 35 and not see 40 as the end of the world. But just for today, it's boggling my brain cells.

Got the hubby to snap a birthday portrait last night on the kitchen floor, in the style of her majesty. Doesn't the queen sit on the kitchen floor too for her birthday portrait??


We had a lovely dinner last night with the family and enjoyed a gorgeous lamb roast, roast veggies and chocolate raspberry brownies with icecream for dessert. Here's a tip. If you like chocolate raspberry brownies, make them with almond meal instead of flour. They'll stay gooey and runny in the middle and the result is divine. I might share my recipe for that in another post.

After dinner my fluffy sidekick Ella was posing just like the queen's corgies must for all those magazine shoots. Here's some official canine portraits I snapped last night.



I designed today's menu weeks ago. Is it bad to organise one's birthday around the meals?? Pancakes, maple syrup and icecream for breakfast. Left over gooey choc and raspberry brownies for morning tea. Yum cha for lunch. Haighs choclates for afternoon tea. Thai prawn and basil stirfry and champange for dinner, and decadent chocolate pudding for dessert.
I want to turn 35 every day....

Saturday, 20 June 2009

That dang crafty black hole...

It seems to come along every month and swallow me for a little while. Perhaps a week each month. I do lots of crafty blog reading. Lots of facebook.. lol... and just lots of little bits of crafty things.

So here I am hopefully on the flipside of the void, with just a couple pics for your perusal. No photos of any crafty progress as the progress is so minimal on all the many projects!

I've been busy like a bee working on my big wet bag order, on the home stretch now! Lots of felting woollen jumpers found at op shops, started a new knitted hat for poppet head which will be felted, almost finished a dressing gown for poppet head, started buying fabric for test sewing kits of the gingerbread house, decided to clear out all the 'stuff' in my studio I don't need and sell it.... As I mentioned lots of little bits of lots of big things.

Surely I'll settle on finishing some projects this week....

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Soggy wet cloth nappy... Now what??

In all my spare time which miraculously appears now and then I've been busy whipping up a few wholesale orders for some lovely fellow business partners.

One of those partners is Donna from Cinderella's Stash. Donna has recently listed some Silly Gilly wet bags and Daycare Wetbags for sale on her website.

Wet bags are great to use for soiled cloth nappies when you are out and about, looking for a no-leak and hopefully no-smell solution to hold them safe until you get home to the washing machine! These bags are a great size and fit multiple nappies, and Donna's new product, the Daycare Wetbags comes with a handy shoulder strap, zippered closure and is large enough to hold a full day's worth of nappies. The Daycare Wetbags are also very handy for carrying wet bathers and towels after swimming lessons!!

So if you, like me, use cloth nappies on your kidlets, head on over to Cinderella's Stash and have a browse!

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Bloggy linky update

Updating the things I've been writing about lately....

I'm currently part way through writing the pattern for the Gingerbread House
The camera I think I'm leaning toward is the Nikon D5000
The dressing gown is not even cut out yet, despite my poppets current dressing gown being waaaay too short
Carolyn Slater won the Be A Fan of Silly Gilly on Facebook competition - your brooch is on it's way soon Carolyn!
More books, patterns and general vintagey crafty things will be up for sale here soon...

I'm completely inspired by Fi of dearfii fame... she's just been published in Homespun with a gorgeous matryoska style doll called Pepper. If Fi can do it, design and write a pattern, then so can I. Look out Hansel and Gretel... here I come!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Let's go shopping!

One doesn't hear me say that very often. Let's go op shopping yes, let's go shopping for items costing over $10... no.

But I have the delicious dilemma of purchasing a new digital SLR camera for my early birthday present. The dilemma part of it is that I have no blimmin' idea of which one to choose!!!

  • must be able to interchange lenses
  • one of those lenses needs to be one with a fantastic macro ability
Simple criteria... but there are so many options out there, I thought I'd throw it to you loyal readers. Do you have a camera with which you are absolutely in love? Are you able to take photos with the background completely blurry and the fore or mid ground sharply in focus? Are you able to take cracker close up shots of still items, such as jewelery or small items?

If so, let me know what your camera and lens set is. Pretty please.
And to finish this photography based post, here's one of my favourite shots of my little poppet, when she was quite young.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Home for lost sewing machines

I seem to have a knack for finding lost dogs and homeless sewing machines.

Visiting the op shop on Friday, I was leaving with my purchases, when outside the front door I spotted a old case someone had dropped off outside. Thinking it was a old typewriter, I got excited and opened the cover. Of course, it was an old Husqvarna Zig Zag class 20 sewing machine. I popped my head back into the op shop and told the lady in there it was out there, attempting to pass it to her. She asked me if I wanted the machine, as they don't accept electrical goods.

And of course I said yes. How could I leave a poor abandoned 1950's sewing machine to sit out in the cold and perhaps be thrown in the bin???





She runs. Quite nicely but there is a catch. The needle doesn't go up and down. Dang.

Complete with most of the attachments and the instruction book, she's a ripper of a find. Now.... what to do with her....

Monday, 1 June 2009

Who needs crafting time when you've got this

Whilst driving to kindy this afternoon, my little poppet was saying "Happy" over and over again.

Wondering if she was feeling happy because she was going to kindy, I asked, "What's making you happy?"

She replied, "Being with you.".