Saturday, August 15, 2015

Homemade biscotti

2 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup and 2 tbs granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
3/4 cup and 2 tbsp all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup chocolate chunks

For the dip
1/2 cup chocolate chunks (for melting)
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
2. In a mixer, combine the oil and sugar, then add in the vanilla extract and beat in the egg.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder and gradually stir it into the egg mixture.
4. Gently stir in the chocolate chunks and chopped almonds.
5. Wet your hands with cold water and push the dough into a 2" x 12" 'log' on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
6. Bake for 35 mins and remove from the oven. Allow to cool for about 10 mins.
7. Cut log into 3/4" slices on the diagonal (approx 12 slices) and lay back onto the baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for a further 10 mins, flipping them over halfway through.
8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

For the dip:
1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over boiling water. Dip each cooled biscotti into the melted chocolate and sprinkle the shredded coconut on top. Allow to cool on a wire rack.


Monday, April 6, 2015

Doily gift tags

I attended Craftcation last week and had the chance to create a make and take project that I oversaw during one of the evening events. The gift tags were made were so bright and lovely that I thought it would be worth sharing them here too.

You'll need :
Colored cardstock
Adhesive spray
Colorful doilies
Fiskars Tag Maker

Cut a doily in half and spray the back of it with the adhesive spray. Stick it to the edge of your cardstock.

Insert the cardstock into the tag maker. I like to turn mine upside down so I can reposition it to where I want to cut.

Once you've cut your tag, insert the short end into the front slot on the tag maker and punch a hole for the twine.

Turn the tag maker around and insert the eyelet by pushing down on the orange lever.

Add your twine and you're done! Make up a few of these so that you always have some pretty gift tags on hand.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Zipper pouch

I'm the room parent for my daughter's second grade classroom this year and therefore I've had the opportunity to go in and take class pictures for our yearbook. I had this nice photo from a few months ago and since it's both our teachers' birthday month I decided to take the photo and make a little zipper pouch for pens and pencils.
I'd love to boast that I'm always organized enough to make handmade gifts for my kids' teachers but it  sadly isn't so. Sometimes a box of chocolates is just so much easier (and more delicious too). Last year I made these tea towels for my daughter's teacher and I know her teacher loved them so much that she can't bring herself to actually use them.
This zipper pouch is the perfect size for supplies and I'm hoping it'll give the teachers happy memories of a great group of kids for years to come.
I had my daughter personalize a little patch that I sewed onto the back for a finishing touch.

I adjusted the size of my photo before uploading it to Spoonflower who printed it onto a fat quarter of eco canvas. I was able to get 4 photos on the fat quarter so I've made one pouch for each teacher and just maybe I'll get around to making something for my daughter with one of the others.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tea party birthday cake

There was a birthday this week in our house (my husband's) and I made this cake for him. As you can see, I just about managed to snap a few photos before it got polished off. I'm sharing the recipe because it's so simple to make, and quick too. I decided to make this and less than 2 hours later we were eating it, still ever so slightly warm. It's a chocolate cake with chocolate chips that I adapted from a Jamie Oliver cake recipe and a butter frosting in between the layers and on the top.

3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
7 oz butter
3 eggs
1 2/3 cups self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Butter Frosting
1/2 cup butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line the bases of two 8" cake tins with brown paper or parchment paper.

Mix the cocoa powder into 5 tbsp of boiling water and stir thoroughly.

In a mixer, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the cocoa mixture, eggs, flour and baking powder. Fold in the chocolate chips and divide the mixture evenly between the two cake tins. Bake for about 30 mins and allow to cool.

For the butter frosting, beat the butter until light and fluffy and gradually add the sugar. Slowly add the milk and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Spread it between the two layers of cake and on the top. Add a few sprinkles to decorate.

Simple sketches to comfy cushions

Last month I had the chance to try out the new minky fabric that's available through Spoonflower and here I am belatedly sharing the project I made using it in case you missed it. I took my little girl's sketches, which were already impossibly cute if I do say so myself, and transformed them into cushions for her room. Full disclosure : they didn't ALL end up in her room. I accosted my favorite (the queen) and it's in the dining room, which is the center of our home, so I can see it every day.

A few simple steps and some very basic computer know-how can take you from this :

to this :

in very little time. I've outlined all the simple steps for you so that you can follow along and make your own. Read the full tutorial over on the Spoonflower blog here.

Monday, March 30, 2015

DIY Headboard

Spoonflower have recently added a lovely new fabric to their collection. It's called faux suede, and I had the chance to work with it for this headboard I made for our bedroom. We've lived without a headboard since buying a new bed about 18 months ago, for two reasons: 1. headboards are expensive!! We got a kingsize bed are those kingsize headboards are damn pricey 2. we never found an in-store headboard we liked. The wooden headboards we considered were too overwhelming in a room with a lot of wooden furniture already. The fabric headboards were too fancy or too plain, too tufted or  frankly, just too boring. Making your own is not only a much more economically viable option, it's a lot of fun and endlessly customizable. Ultimately, you end up with something that is completely unique.

You can read the full tutorial of how I made ours over on the Spoonflower blog. I also used the faux suede in a couple of contrasting prints to make the front of these cushions. The print I used for the headboard is a design by Jennifer Flannigan and I can't tell you how much I love it. I notice she has a gorgeous shop full of her artwork, as well as a colorful collection of fabrics on Spoonflower.

Copyright © 2014 Hello Beautiful