Tag: homemade

Grain and Egg FREE -Chocolate and Coconut Cake

 

This cake is amazing, chocolate and coconut moist cake, and it’s grain and egg free!! Yes completely grain and egg free so perfect for people with intolerance’s! In our family we have my niece Phoebe who is anaphylactic to egg and nuts, we also have my mum who is wheat intolerant so it makes desserts hard, especially cakes.  But this cake ticks all the boxes, and it tastes great! Chocolate and coconut cake.

vegan chocolate cake
Chocolate Cake

GRAIN, EGG AND DAIRY FREE CHOCOLATE & COCONUT CAKE RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

400ml Coconut Cream

1/2 cup cocoa

1 1/4 cups brown sugar

200 ml vegetable oil

1 cup coconut four

3 teaspoons baking powder

METHOD

Pre-heat oven to 170 C

Blend together the coconut cream, brown sugar and cocoa.  Slowly add in the vegetable oil until combined.

Sift in coconut flour and baking powder, mix well until combined.

Pour into greased caking tin.  Bake at 170 C for 40 minutes.

Allow to cool in tin and then carefully turn out.

I used the icing from this recipe.  But it would be equally delicious without icing and eaten warm!

Note:  The coconut flour does make it a fragile cake, but it does not detract from the great flavour you just need to be careful!

Delicious as a birthday cake for the whole family - grain, dairy and egg free
Delicious as a birthday cake for the whole family – grain, dairy and egg free

 

 

 

Our Adventure Awaits themed Nursery

Before we got pregnant we knew we wanted a blue nursery with clouds, it was set in stone. Planes for boys, hot air balloons for girls – Done! So that part was easy setting it up was the hard part – considering the planes and balloons we liked we saw in New Orleans…

This was our vision

boy nursery
Our baby boy adventure awaits nursery mood board

We had a lot of work to do to make it meet our vision, but we both are pretty happy with the end result, Paddy hasn’t really told us yet if he likes it! But all the other little people in our lives seem to think that he does!

We painted the room ourselves and CJ’s mum painted the clouds – you can see how she did that here

baby boy nursery
Paddy’s adventure themed room

Paddy grown so much he has started this week sleeping in his cot in his room! He no longer fits in the bassinet in our room, he is 8 weeks old so I had a good run (I did contemplate moving his cot into our room.) But Paddy loves his room so much he sleeps better in there, so there he will stay ;-(

adventure themed nursery
adventure themed nursery

Our cot, drawers and cubes are from IKEA

Our plane and hot air balloon are AUTHENTIC MODELS HERE

Map, cloud cushion, cloud light and aqua baskets are KMART

Dream big cushion is from TARGET

Artwork above change tables from big cousins <3

Paddy loves his cloud onesie
Paddy loves it when his onesie matches his walls!

 

Chocolate Spiders Recipe

When  I was about 37 weeks pregnant I bought a range of ingredients that may or may not of been for the sole purpose of chocolate spiders.  However my need to have peanut butter and chocolate in my mouth was out weighed by my desire to sleep 20 hours a day.  So call it willpower or call it laziness but no chocolate spiders were made.  This week I tidied up my pantry (found 4 packets of M&M’S?!?!?!?!) and found the magical ingredients to realise my dream of chocolate spiders! So in celebration of the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup, I celebrated with chocolate and peanut butter!

Chocolate Haystacks
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Spider Recipe

If you haven’t made chocolate spiders – you’re missing out.  If you have made chocolate spiders but not recently – you’re missing out.  They are often left to the realm of children’s parties and christmas, when really they are just simple and delicious treats for every chocolate and peanut butter addict!  And the ingredients have a long shelf life if you have a strong will power – so they are a great stand by because its bring a plate day tomorrow at school/work/life and you forgot (again)!

 

chocolate haystack
Chocolate haystack recipe

 

 

 

 

CHOCOLATE SPIDER RECIPE

200 – 250 grams of melting chocolate

2 tablespoons of peanut butter

1 packet of fried egg noodles

Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir.

Add peanut butter, microwave again for 30 seconds, stir.

Keep putting in microwave in 30 second bursts until smooth.  (I normally find 1 1/2 minutes)

Stir in egg noodles, place in little haystacks or spiders on a tray with baking paper.

Refrigerate until had normally 2 hours in enough.

Store in the fridge!

chocolate haystacks
chocolate spiders ingredients
Chocolate Spiders
Chocolate Spiders

How I made this Wedding Dress – Part 3 Lace overlay

Part 3 of how I made this wedding dress – the lace overlay.

 

Jess on her big day
Jess on her big day

The lace overlay was probably the hardest part of the dress and definitely the part I dreaded the most! The thought of cutting in expensive lace and possibly making a mistake really got my heart pumping! But I managed (and sewed grandma slow!) and I think it was worth the effort! The lace fabric that Jess settled on, came from New Zealand! We searched high and low, but we didn’t find anything that we liked and was in our price range! But Grace and Lace had all the answers!

the wedding dress
Jess in her wedding dress

First of all, bust out the good scissors (this is what you have been saving them for) or at the very least get yours sharpened! If you are really nervous I suggest buying some very cheap curtain lace that is a similar width to your lace to practice cutting out so that you know if you have bought enough. Or which way to cut it out. Jess wanted lace with a scolloped border, which is understandable because it looks AMAZING! But that means that your cutting out needs to be perfect! For this dress we put the scollop around the neck and back and around the hem line to get the best look. The only problem with this was – this pattern connected two pieces of fabric to create the neckline – so I had to create new pattern piece for the the bodice to get the full affect of the scollop.

1. Using your original toile pattern pieces for the bust – roughly sew them back together so you can make a new pattern piece for the the lace. This is the only new pattern piece you will need to create. I laid out a large piece of paper, and put the toile bodice piece down, you want the straight edge of the paper in line with the neck line – this is how you will get the scollop edge to be neckline. Trace along the bottom of the bodice – move the toile neckline along the straight line. Trace where the toile ends – you will have a large pattern piece, to make this fit you will need to put a dart under the arms, but it is worth the trouble to get the scollop to become the neckline.

2. Roll out lace and start placing the pattern pieces down. I did each piece separately, but on my toile I took the time to label every piece which side was the right side and which was the edge we wanted the scollop on. Once every piece was pinned down, I cut each one out and left them attached to the toile pieces so I didn’t need to label the lace.

Cutting out the lace
Cutting out the lace

3. At this point you will need to change the needle on your machine to make sure that it is for fine fabrics such as lace, you will also need to use a scrap of lace and practice sewing on it. You may need to change the tension so you get a nice smooth stitch. You can see the massive difference changing the tension can make.

Sewing on lace before changing the tension
Sewing on lace before changing the tension
Changing the tension - makes the stitching so much cleaner and tighter.
Changing the tension – makes the stitching so much cleaner and tighter.

4. Sew together the skirt pieces first. I recommend sewing this with french seams – this means sewing your fabric with the WRONG sides together (opposite of the normal way) and then trimming the seams and folding them back so the the seam is enclosed in a seam and is neat. It is a good idea to do this with a fine lace because overlocking would be very obvious and it gives the seams extra strength and looks finished! Pin together the pieces starting at the bottom making sure that the scollop edges match up. Leave the side open – on the same side as the zip.

5. Start the bodice – start by putting the bodice on yourself (Pin at top of the shoulder) pin in a dart so that the scollop forms the neckline. Pin in darts on both sides – sew them. Try on again and make sure you are happy with the scollop placement and if you are – trim away excess fabric from the back of the dart.

5. Attach the bodice front with the back under the arm and at the shoulders. Leave one side open to get on and off.

6. Using the french seam method attach the bodice to the skirt – leaving on side open.

7. Roll the arm holes in onto themselves and hand or machine sew down. Alternatively you could make very thin bias binding from the satin and bind around the arm holes.

8. Place the nearly finished lace over the finished satin dress – mark where is zip ends with a pin on the lace. Sew using french seams the open side seam – up to the mark of the zip.

9. To get in and out of the lace dress I used clear plastic press studs hand sewn up the sides. I thought a zip would of been way too obvious. By hand I sewed 5 press studs up the opening.

10. Try on both dresses! Finally I marked by hand where I wanted more press studs to go. I put them on the shoulders so the lace wouldn’t slip off, at the back of the open back so to didn’t move, the neck line and lastly under the bodice so it would sit tightly on Jess’s rib cage so the lace didn’t just hang.

11. Once that hand sewing was complete the last thing was to do was make 2 small cuts in the lace at the centre back seam. This was so that the button and loop would poke through and the lace could also be hooked up at the back.

12. COMPLETE! Congratulations you have made your own wedding dress!!!!!!!

My big bro - pretty happy with his effort
My big bro – pretty happy with his effort
The perfect Day!
The perfect Day!

See all the steps for this wedding dress

Step 2

Step 1

You can check out Jess’s final dress

The Wedding!

How I made this wedding Dress – part 2 satin dress

Wedding Dress and Dress bag
Homemade wedding dress and dress bag – all ready on the big day

So this section covers how I made the under satin dress to this homemade wedding dress.
This part of the dress is was the easiest of all – After I made the pattern it was truly easy sailing. The pattern I had was for a bridesmaids dress but I made alterations to make it a wedding dress. I followed the basic dress instructions to finish the dress. I made it in two dresses – the satin dress first and then another dress from lining – then finished them by sewing them together.

1. Start with the bodice from satin, as you sew together the pieces of the bodice ensure that both your shoulders are the same width.
2. Once you sew together the top start on the back, again ensuring that the back straps match with the front straps. Sew together on one side – leave the other side open for the zip.
3. Construct the skirt, making sure that you leave the side seam open for you zip.
4. Sew together the bodice and the skirt of the dress – leaving one side open for the zip.
5. Finish all seams.
6. Do steps 1-5 again with the lining.
7. With both dresses right sides together – the satin dress inside the lining, carefully pin around the neck and back.
8. Sew around the neck and back, carefully turn back in and try on. you should have both seamed sided inside the dress, the right side should be outside (obviously) and lining against your body should be the right side of the lining so it is comfortable against your skin.
9. If you are happy with the neck and back line and it is even, turn back inside out. Once inside out clip and notch the back and neck line. (clip and notch means to cut out little triangles in the seam allowance – not cutting the seam. once you turn out the right way the neck line will sit flat instead of being bubbly)
10. Turn the right way out and admire your work! You are nearly done! At this point you need to work out if you want to keep your lining – because the bodice is sewn to the dress you can’t take it out and it looks much better with lining. But you don’t need to have it all the way to the ground! When Jess tried on this dress we found it was really hot with the lining to the floor, so we cut off the lining at the knee. It made a big difference!
11. Insert the zip in the side opening – I put in an invisible zip.
12. By hand fold in about 6 mm of both the satin and lining to the inside of the dress. Do this so they are not visible, pin as you move around the armhole. Top stitch around the armhole, starting and finishing under the arm. Repeat for the other arm.
13. Hem the dress, now I did this by hand because I wanted it to be as invisible as possible. If you are keeping your lining to the floor I would recommend you hem the lining into the dress especially at the back of the train. (If you aren’t going to clip up the back to dance then that’s not really necessary.
14. Jess did want to be able to clip up the back of the train so she could dance! So to do this I added a pearl button which I sewed onto the middle of the back seam about mid thigh.
The point of clipping up the back of your dress is so that you don’t ruin the back of the train but also so you can walk/dance easily. We did it so the dress skirt hung in a fan and covered the inside of the dress.
15. Have the dress hung up on a door and pinch the fabric up to match the button. You want the skirt of the dress to cover the folds and to fall in line with the rest of the hem line. Place a pin at the pinch make – this is where you will make you loop to go over the button.
16. To make the loop thread a needle and knot the end. Starting on the inside, create about 5 loops around your finger, all the same size. Starting at the base of the loop, tie a knot to tie all the loops together. Working your way around the loop and make the knots nice and tight. Once you are finished all around the loop, tie it off at the back of the of dress.

skirt button
Sewn button onto dress to hold up skirt for Dancing!

 

loop
Creating loops to go around button

 

knots
Creating knots around the loops to re-enforce the loop

 

The loop and button
The loop and button keeping the skirt up!

17. There you have it you are finished! If you are going to make an lace over view then I would leave step 11 -14 until you are finished the lace – that way you can be sure everything at the bottom sits properly.

wedding dress
The finished Dress ready for the Big Day

Please watch out for my Step 3 for how I made the lace overlay, it will be done shortly! But also check out these posts about the wedding dress too!

The beautiful wedding photos are from www.Thurtell.com

The other steps are here

Step 3

Step 1

Or the important sewing tips for the professional look

15 Hot Tips

 

 

 

The best chocolate brownie recipe!

Brownie
Brownie

This recipe comes from my sister – she uses this recipe for her son’s tuck-shop. It always sells out! It is an amazingly easy but delicious and moist recipe for brownies!

The moist inside of the delicious brownie
The moist inside of the delicious brownie

Recipe
4 eggs
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups plain flour
250 grams melted butter
3/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp bi-carb soda

Pre-heat oven
Melt butter, mix together all ingredients.
Pour into lined 20 x 20 cm tin. (I use a pyrex dish)
Bake 50-60 mins at 160 c
dust with icing sugar! EAT quickly before someone else does!

The whole baked slap - won't stay whole for long!
The whole baked slap – won’t stay whole for long!

I told you it was easy! and you won’t be disappointed! The best thing about this recipe is that it is so versatile, add nuts or choc chips or whatever you like! It is truly a lovely easy but moist recipe that you will keep coming back to! It makes for great school lunches but also great dessert with ice cream!

chocolate brownie dessert
chocolate brownie dessert

The Best potato salad EVER!

easy and delicious potato salad
easy and delicious potato salad
Best potato salad ever

Howdy! How are we all doing in the heat? After coming back from the USA, I was looking forward to the heat and now we are in the heat, hmmm not so much! But the one good thing about this weather it is perfect BBQ weather and that is where we are off to this afternoon! So I was going to share with you my boiled chocolate cake recipe which is amazing! But our oven is still broken so I had to buy a dessert instead, what a shame. I love heating up the whole house when its already in the high 30’s! haha. Anyway instead it is time that I am sharing my World Famous Potato Salad Recipe. World famous may be a stretch but it is by far the most asked for recipe in my repartee! And it is easy peasy, but rather filling! So here it is, it will change your life! This amount makes enough for about 20 people at a BBQ.

Potato Salad Recipe!
2 kg of potato (I use the cheapest ones on the day! But pontiac are good)
4 eggs
1 cup of good quality whole egg mayonnaise
1 cup of sour cream
2 tablespoons seeded mustard
200 grams of diced bacon
juice of a lemon
parsley to garnish

method
1. Put eggs into saucepan and cover with cold water, place onto stove on high, once boiling, continue to boil for 10 mins.
2. Clean potatoes (wash and/or peel depending on potato) cut into
1 1/2 cm pieces, it is a chunky potato salad.
3. Place potatoes into a large saucepan and cover with cold water, place onto the stove to boil, depending on potato size it will need to boil for at least 20 mins.

boiling
boiling eggs and potatoes

4. Once eggs have boiled, drain and place into bowl and place into the fridge.
5. Start making the sauce, mix together the mayonnaise and sour cream (you can use a different quantities but you want the end to yield the same amount eg 3/4 cup mayo and 1 1/4 cup sour cream). Add the lemon juice and mustard, stir until all combined.

sauce
Stir until combined

6. Place diced bacon in frypan and fry until crispy. Drain on paper towel if needed.
7. Once eggs have chilled, start to peel and cut into quarters.
8. Check potatoes, choose a larger piece of potato, pierce with fork – if it is easily inserted they are ready, if not allow to boil longer.
9. Drain potatoes well, place half into bowl that the salad will be served in.
10. Pour in a quarter of the sauce and stir through.
11. Add existing potatoes and sauce, stir until evenly combined.
12. Scatter cut up eggs on top, and finish with bacon! Add parsley if you have some on hand!

Finished potato salad
Finished and ready to eat!

Easy no-bake cheesecake

no-bake berry cheesecake

This recipe is easy to use and so versatile! you literally can use any fruit/filling that you have on hand to make it your recipe! But make sure you don’t add too much fruit juice (beside lemon) otherwise you will be upsetting the balance for the cake to set. So fruit such as frozen berries or mango pieces are perfect especially if you mix with another texture such as nuts or chocolate pieces!

Ingredients
1 pk of sweet biscuits
100 g butter
1 large lemon
500 g cream cheese
400 ml condensed milk
250 ml thickened cream
250 g frozen raspberries
200 g white chocolate chips

Method
1. Crush biscuits in a food processor or blender
2. Melt butter, and mix into the crushed biscuits, press into spring form tin
3. Put into fridge to set while making filling
4. Beat the cream until forms soft peaks
5. In a separate bowl beat together cream cheese and condensed milk until it becomes thick and smooth
6. Juice lemon and stir through the mixture.
7. Carefully fold through the cream into the cream cheese.
8. Add fruit or other flavours, stir through. I used frozen raspberries which I run under hot water to defrost and separate but also to help drain off any extra juice, which may cause the cake to not set.
9. Pour over crust and allow to set for 3-4 hours.

NB – please do not be tempted to substitute the lemon for lemon juice in the bottle or leave it out completely – the acid in the lemon helps the cheesecake to set.

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Personalised wedding dress bag (garment bag)

named wedding bag
Wedding dress bag
Personalised wedding dress bag

So as most of you already know, I made my sister in-law to be’s wedding dress. You can read about that here http://monaandolive.com/2013/09/30/tips-for-a-homemade-wedding-dress/ however, I thought it would also be nice for Jess to have her own garment bag (like you get when you buy a dress). But different! And you really shouldn’t store your wedding dress in a plastic type garment bag as it doesn’t let you dress breathe properly, which is especially bad for long term storage. So here is how I made a personalised wedding dress garment bag for the bride. But don’t stop there you could make one for the whole bridal party or your niece who is a dancer or actor! I chose to write “Mrs Tracey” on to Jess’s but after once I had finished I also thought “Happily every after” would of also been cool!

ANYWAY…

here is what you need,

1.5 – 2 metres of cotton fabric, at least 112 cm wide. (Depends on length of dress, I used 1.5 meters, but dress wasn’t pouffy)

a long zip, mine is 61 cm /24inch.

Matching thread

Approx. 20 cms iron on interfacing, (I didn’t have iron-on on hand, but it would of been easier!)

Approx. 20 cms of contrasting fabric (I used wedding dress scraps)

Decoration (I used scrap lace, also from the dress)

Scissors/pins/pencil/tailors chalk

Coat Hanger

Puffy paint (see bottom of post)

1. Wash and iron your bag fabric.

2. I wrote free hand onto the interfacing, but you could print off what you want to say and cut it out and pin that on. Write or pin onto the shiny side of your interfacing. Cut out the interfacing.

3. If you were smart (smarter than me!) and used iron on, iron your word onto the back of you fabric, shiny side down. If you didn’t use iron on, pin down each letter written on side down on to the back of the fabric. Cut each letter out.

Interfacing and fabric
Ready to cut out interfacing from the fabric

4. Lay out your bag fabric with selvedges meeting down the middle. This is the way your bag will go. lay your coat hanger on top of the bag, where it will sit. Use the side to mark approx. where you want the words to start, I marked 40 cm from the top of the fabric.
Bag layout
Lay the fabric out the way to match the way the bag will go

5. Turn fabric over and place flat. Position words and decorations on, move around until you are happy and start pinning down. Pin down only what you are immediately sewing down.
Wording onto the bag
Laying out the words onto the bag

6. Start to applique onto your fabric, once complete, lay flat again and pin on the next section. Continue until complete!

Finished Applique
Applique ready to be tied off

7. Turn back to form bag, with applique on the back. Pin in the zip, down the salvaged edge. Pin zip in as wanted, I pinned mine on the outside of the bag, for an exposed zip and because it was easier!

8. Sew zip in. Tie off threads and cut off.

9. Turn bag inside out with the zip down one side, sew the rest of that side together, from the end of the zip to the bottom of the bag. Unzip the zip!

10. While still inside out, sew together the bottom of the bag. (Check your zipper is down)

Bottom of bag
Sew together bottom of bag

11. Sew together the top of the bag, from one side to the middle, stop 1 cm short of middle, reverse. Do the same in on the other side of the top of the bag, stopping 1 cm short and reverse stitch. This hole is for your coat hanger!

12. Finish the coat hanger hole by either turning out the sides and sewing them down or by sewing bias-binding around the hole.

Zip sewn in
Zip sewn in

13. Turn bag through to the right side (this is why your zipper needed to be unzipped 😉 ) and iron.

14. Put your wedding dress in!

Finished bag
Finished bag

15. Wear on your wedding day and live happily ever after with your prince charming!!!

If this all applique seems too hard, you could also use puffy paints to customise your garment bag! I used a darker colour of the bridesmaids dresses to keep in the theme of the wedding but allow the writing to stand out!

If you love this idea, but can’t sew, message me and I can make one for you through my etsy store! xxx

If you’re interested here is the dress that I made for the bride! – http://wp.me/p3WXOW-4k
 

The Wedding Dress

the wedding dress

the wedding dress

 

Finally I can reveal the Wedding Dress that I made for my new Sister In Law!  As you can see Jess made a stunning bride.  It was a very special way of being part of the wedding! Very soon I will share with you how I made the dress  – now that the dress is out of the bag 😉 Hope you all had a lovely weekend – I sure did! xx

If you would like to see how I made this dress, check it out here –

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

back of the wedding dress
Jess in her wedding dress – Back view
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