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I Love This and That: November 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

ronella's tim tam's

Ronel, a dear friend of mine introduced me to this way of eating Tim Tams.

Tim Tams is an Australian cookie, manufactured by Arnott's. Consists of two layers of malted biscuits, separated by a chocolate cream filling, and covered in chocolate. You get them in most supermarkets.

To start, you bite tiny corners off your cookie, opposite corners!

You need a cup of steaming coffee. Put the one "bit off corner" in the coffee and the other one in your mouth, now suck till you taste the coffee. You then take the whole cookie and put it in your mouth...FAST! Otherwise the cookie will disintegrate :-)

You will repeat this over and over and over again.... :-)

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quick and easy nachos

Nacho's can be served as a snack or a meal, especially when you add meat to the dish.  It can be messy, but it's all worth it :-) so be sure to serve serviettes with your nacho's. 

Chef Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya threw together a dish using leftover ingredients he had on hand. In 1943, Anaya was the head cook at the Victory Club in the Mexican city of Coahuila. One day after the restaurant had closed, several American wives from the nearby US military base came in for dinner. Thinking quickly, Anaya cut a few tortillas into triangles and fried them. He then topped these with cheese and jalapenos. And Voila Nachos were born. (http://www.yumsugar.com/Brief-History-My-Beloved-Nachos-763889)

What you need:
1 packet of nacho chips
1 packet of thick tomato pasta sauce
mozzarella cheese (about 200g)
cheddar cheese (about 200g)
jalapeno's (optional)
chicken pieces (optional)
guacamole, sour cream, and salsa (with chilli if you like it hot) for serving

I find these products work nicely :-)

Spread the nacho's in a ovenproof platter

Then pour over the thick tomato pasta sauce

If you want to add chicken, cut the chicken into strips and fry in a pan

Now add the chicken and jalapeno's

and then loads of cheese on the top

Put in the oven under the grill until the cheese is melted and golden brown.

Serve with dollops of guacamole, sour cream and a good helping of chilli salsa 

This serves about 4 to 6 people

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

felt rose brooch

Here is another brooch, for on your jacket or to dolly up a plain old top. I love it in red, but you can make it in any colour you wish.  Depending on the size of your circle, you can make small or big ones.

Felt is used everywhere from the automotive industry, to musical instruments and home construction.
 It is often used as a damper. Many musical instruments use felt. Felt is used extensively in pianos; for example, piano hammers are made of wool felt around a wooden core. The density and springiness of the felt is a major part of what creates a piano's tone. As the felt becomes grooved and "packed" with use and age, the tone suffers.
A felt-covered board can be used in storytelling to small children. Puppets can also be made with felt.
In the early part of the 20th century, felt hats, such as fedoras, trilbies and homburgs, were worn by many men in the western world.
Art and crafts. 3-D needle-felted sculptures (such as animals and humans) and 2-D needle-felted wall-hangings. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felt)

What you need: 
a wine glass
felt (one square)
needle and floss
brooch pin

Use the wine glass to draw circles on the felt with the pencil.  You need eight circles of the same size, and one that is slightly smaller.

Put the smaller one on the table. Now take the other circles, fold it in half and twist it in to form a cone. Using the needle and floss give it a stitch at the bottom, to keep the cone secure, then sew it onto the small circle. Repeat until five of the circles are sewed onto the small circle (only sew in the bottom third of the cone, you still want it to open up at the top). 

Continue with the other three cones and sew it on top of the bottom five. Pull and push the cones a bit till you get the desired shape and sew a few more stitches to keep it in place.

To sew on the brooch pin, turn the rose around and sew onto the small circle at the back.

There you have a beautiful rose brooch!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

hot chocolate balls

I know the South-African winter has come to an end, but for those of you in the Northern hemisphere, these are for you for now! :-) They are something different and decadent.

what you need: (this makes about 3 - 4 balls)
160 - 200g (about 2 slabs) chocolate (dark or milk or one of each)
1/2 cup of cream
pinch of salt
teaspoon of vanilla essence
cocoa powder to roll balls in
sticks (optional)

Break the chocolates into small pieces and put in a double boiler.  I use a glass mixing bowl that fits onto a pot, then boil water in the pot and the heat of the water then melts the chocolate.

Add the cream, salt and vanilla essence, and keep on stirring the mixture.  You'll see that the chocolate looks like it doesn't want to melt at first, but keep on stirring and you'll see that it becomes a smooth mixture.

Once everything is melted and well mixed remove from the heat for about 10 min.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for two to three hours, until mixture is smooth and scoopable.

Use a desert spoon and scoop big blobs of the chocolate ganache onto a wax paper lined baking sheet, and place in the freezer for about 15 min.

Roll the balls into circles using your hands, but work fast so that your hands don't melt the mixture. Then roll in the cocoa, and push a ice cream stick in. You can use the ice cream stick to stir the hot chocolate with.

When done cover with plastic to keep or serve immediately with boiling hot milk. When you put the chocolate ball into mug with hot milk, stir until everything is mixed well.

To store them you can freeze the balls till you need them.

Sure you'll enjoy this one!

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

fun paper windmills

These are fun and easy to make.

You can use them for kiddies parties, baby showers, kitchen teas, weddings, Christmas parties, or just for fun... choose your paper according to your theme!

I'm making a few of these for a friends coffee shop... to give a bit of a festive feel over the Christmas season.

What you need:

  • Paper (I find that scrap booking paper work very nice. You get the paper that's printed both sides, that the one you should get! It's square so you get 4 squares out of one sheet unless you want to make a huge windmills)
  • Stick (kebab sticks work perfect, if you make small ones)
  • Split pins
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil

Cut the piece of scrap booking paper into four smaller squares.

Now fold the small square corner to corner, open and fold the other corner to corner.

You now have lines that cross the square diagonally. Cut along these lines till about one centimeter from the center of the square.

I prick a hole about half a centimeter from the point of every second flap (these are the ones being folded in) and a prick in the center of the square.

You can then fold the pricked corners in and push the split pin through each corner, then through the center. Open the pin at the back, and wrap it around the kebab stick (a drop of glue will help to secure this)

And there you have a paper windmill.  Now stick it into a pot plant, a bottle, into cupcakes... just anywhere you can find to stick them in :-)

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

petite sugar cubes

It is always nice to have sugar cubes or sugar sticks for a tea, instead of the usual sugar, but they can be costly.  So here is how to make your own :-) and they make lovely gifts too.

You can make them in any form, white or brown sugar, and adding a drop of food colouring to your white sugar you can make beautiful coloured cubes that will matches your theme of your tea party.

What you need:
mini ice cube trays
sugar (1 cup)
water (tablespoon)
a drop of food colouring (optional)

Combine the sugar and the water in a mixing bowl using a fork until its mixed through.

[For every cup of sugar use one tablespoon of water]

Spoon the sugar mixture into the mini ice cube tray

Compress the sugar into the trays using the back of the spoon

Then turn the mold over onto a dry, flat surface and gently tap the the sugar cubes out

Do not touch them, as they will crumble while still moist

Allow them to dry for at least a hour, when dry turn them over and dry for another half hour or so

And voila... ready to put into a packet as a gift or in a bowl for tea time

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011


This recipe makes about 90 cookies. They are easy to make and you can get your kids to help you cut the cookies and decorate them. 

The temperature of the ingredients has a lot to do with how the cookies turn out. If you put a warm, melty dough into the oven, your cookies will spread before they begin to set up. Too often they'll run into one another, becoming a single crisp, crunchy mess on your cookie sheet. The cooler the dough when it goes into the oven, the less it will spread. (http://www.ochef.com)

The Cookies
What you need:
450g           butter (not marg it's just not that nice)
1 cup           castor sugar
1t                 vanilla essence
1 tin             condensed milk
5 cups         cake flour
4t                 baking powder
½ t              salt

Heat the oven to 180°C

Cream the butter and the castor sugar together
Then add the vanilla and condensed milk and mix well

Sift the flour, baking powder, and the salt

Then mix with the butter mixture until it forms smooth dough

With your hands form dough into a ball and cover with plastic
Put the dough in the fridge for about 30min or more

First remove half of the dough and roll out, leaving the rest of the dough in the fridge till you are done with the first half

Cut out different forms and place on baking tray

Bake for about 8 min or till golden brown

Put on cooling racks and allow to cool down

Now for the fun part :-) here you must use your imagination and enjoy.

The icing

What you need:
2            egg whites (room temperature)
500g     icing sugar sifted (you will only need some of it)
1t           lemon juice

Combine the egg whites and the lemon juice in a bowl
Add some of the sifted icing sugar to the eggs and start the mixer

Keep adding icing sugar little at a time
When you can pull out small stiff peaks of icing it’s ready

Cover icing with cling wrap or wet cloth and put it in the fridge till you use it

If you want to make runny icing to flood the cookies add a drop of water and mix till you get thinner liquid  (if full of bubbles allow to rest for a few minutes)

This icing is called "royal icing" and hardens up after it's dried, and looks very nice!

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

ribbon brooch

I love this... looks so pretty on a jacket, just brightens it up!

FYI: A Brooch was also known as a fibula in ancient times (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/brooch)

What you need:
About half meter of pretty ribbon
Off cut material (atleast 30cm by 2-3cm)
Brooch pin
Needle and thread

First we have to start with the "inside" rose
Choose a material that will look good with the ribbon you have chosen, and cut it into a strip of about 2-3 cm's by 30cm's

Then fold the strip both ends in... so that the ends are tucked away.

To start off you will make about three circles with the one end, then you twist the material.  So now make three circles twisting once with each circle (not at the same place in the circle), then another three... twisting twice and continue in this way will desired size is reached, and the bigger the circle the more you need to twist. You will need a needle with thread of a similar color as the material and continuously stitch the material so it will stay together, the more you stitch the easier it is making this rose.  You will do about 2 to 4 stitches per circle depending on how big the circle it is, and remember to keep it pulled tight all the time!

Once you have reached the desired size you can twist and tuck in the end of the material and sew it to the edge.

Now for the ribbon.

Make six loops, leaving about a 10cm piece of ribbon on both sides.

You then put the needle neatly in the middle of the loops and spread the loops out evenly.  Sew it together once  the loops are spread out nicely.

Almost done!

Sew the brooch needle to the back and the material rose to the front.

Then cut the ends of the ribbon neatly....

There you have a awesome brooch, takes about half hour to make!

Play around with colors! You can even put a button in the middle instead of the material rose. Possibilities are endless...!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pin it...

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard, which lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web.  People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes and organize their favorite recipes. (http://pinterest.com)

Have a look, you'll have so much fun! WARNING you need to have loads of time... you get so lost in all the pinboards... so many pretty things and inspiring ideas!