Monday, August 27, 2012

rustic wreath

It's this time of the year again.  Here in Somerset West where I stay, in the heart of the Cape Winelands, a beautiful part of our country it's vineyard pruning time... and time for me to collect a few vine shoots to make a wreath.


My very first blog post I made a plain wreath.  But this year we will dolly it up a bit!

What you need:

  • A plain vine wreath as we made in post "in the vineyard"
  • burlap
  • white material
  • burlap tap
  • a glue gun
  • burlap rope

Firstly you need to fold a few flowers.  Different sizes, with the burlap tape and the white material.  Using the material fold the flowers as we did in the ribbon brooch post, but instead of using needle and thread, you can use your glue gun. Using the burlap tape follow the same technique using the glue gun.  First fold the end in and have a neat inside, then twist and turn the tape, while putting a small drop of glue every centimeter or so. And turn and twist till you have the desired size.




Next we cut the leaves. Every leave does not have to be the same shape and size, having different shapes and sizes makes it interesting by you should cut it in a leave shape with the bottom end flat.



To stick it on the wreath bring the two flat corners together and stick it down like that, to give the leave some shape.


The last part is the three loops which gives a nice rounding off to the creation.  If you have a wide burlap tape, cut it in have to make the loops.  Form three loops of the same sizesticking them together at the bottom and opening the loops at the top to make a pretty round loop.


And now to stick it all together using your glue gun...

Here you need to use a bit of imagination and laods of creative flair. :-)



Enjoy and have loads of fun making them!

Monday, August 13, 2012

tiramisu...

My first tiramisu I made a few weeks ago for a dinner party, but if I have to say so myself it wasn't the tastiest tiramisu I have tasted. It wasn't sweet enough, the biscuits were soaked too much, and the recipe used filter coffee and not espresso and it tasted watery.  

So, like I am, I've experimented with the recipe and come up with my own easy but yummy tiramisu recipe.




What you need:
double espresso
1/2 cup of frangelico (hazelnut liqueur) or marsala
a tablespoon castor sugar and a 1/2 cup of castor sugar
3 eggs separated
500g mascarpone
250 ml double cream, whipped
1 large packet of sponge finger biscuits
200g dark chocolate

Pour the espresso, frangelico and a tablespoon of castor sugar into a bowl and set aside to cool and allow for the sugar to dissolve.

Beat the egg yolks and the remaining sugar in a large bowl till pale and thick.

Add the mascarpone and whipped cream gently until just combined.

Beat the egg whites in a dish until soft peaks form.  Using a metal spoon, fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture.

Now quickly dip the biscuits in the espresso mixture (they must not be soaked) cover the base of the dish with the dipped biscuits.  (Enough for a 20cm x 30cm dish)

Cover biscuits with half mascapone mixture, then a layer of grated chocolate (only half).  Then repeat with a layer of biscuits, cream and end with chocolate layer.

Refrigerate for at least 2 to 4 hours, best is if made the previous day.

For a non-alcoholic option replace the frangelico with orange juice.

Enjoy!!!





Friday, August 3, 2012

bathsalts... so clever

When I take a bath, I light candles, and soak in a bubble bath or bath salts and just relax and enjoy.  

So here is a lovely bathsalts recipe... but one thing I don’t like about bath salts is those leaves and flowers and things that you need to try and scoop out before you get out so that it doesn’t clog up your drain  - now here is the perfect solution, it SO clever! :-)


What you need:
1 cup epsom salts
1/2 cup course sea salt
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup of dried lavender
8 drops of lavender oil (or any essential oil)
2 tablespoons of glycerine


Mix all the ingredients together, store in a air-tight container and use within 2 weeks.  

Add to water of hot bath and soak for about 30min - pure bliss!
epsom salts: flushes toxins, ease muscle pain, relieve stress
baking soda: cleansing ability, anti-fungal, leaving the skin soft
lavender essential oil: balancing, soothing, calming, relaxing and healing 
glycerine: moisturizing
tarrraaaaa.... And now for the clever part!

What you need:
your bath salt mix
non-iron on vilene (from your material store)
sewing machine
Cut into squares of about 5cm’s


Sew 3 sides of the square, fill with bath salts and sew the last side.
Voila... bath salt tea bags, and when you are done you just remove the tea bags, all the good stuff disolved and only the throw away goodies remain in the bags!


It makes a lovely gift!