Chocolate slice, Cooking

Easy Chocolate Slice

Can’t go to the coffee shop? Why not make something yummy while you’re stuck indoors? These Chocolate Fudge Bars* are a great way to use up hoarded pantry ingredients and are very easy to make.

The slice base

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of plain flour (suitable for gluten free flour)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup of coconut (you can leave this out if you must, but add in some oats or fruit)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa (can use drinking chocolate)
  • 185g (6oz) butter (can use margarine or oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • Optional extras: You may wish to add in some dried fruit, rice bubbles, oats, lollies, chocolate, or whatever is to hand

Utensils

  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons (teaspoon & tablespoon)
  • Mixing spoon
  • Sieve (or wire strainer)
  • Biscuit tray (min 1cm heigh)
  • Cooling rack

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 180 Celsius (356 Fahrenheit)
  • Grease biscuit tin
  • Melt butter (in microwave or on stove top)
  • Sieve dry ingredients into the bowl
  • Add vanilla to the mix
  • Mix ingredients thoroughly
  • Press mix into the tin
  • Place in oven for 15-20 mins
  • Remove from oven (it may appear to be moist and uncooked but believe me it is)
  • Allow to cool
  • Ice and decorate as you see fit.

The icing

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa (can use drinking chocolate)
  • 30g (1oz) butter (can use margarine or oil)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of hot water

Utensils

  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons (teaspoon & tablespoon)
  • Mixing spoon

Method

  • Melt butter (in microwave or on stove top)
  • Sieve dry ingredients into the bowl
  • Mix well, adding hot water to thin the mixture as required

* This recipe is sourced from “The Big Book of Beautiful Biscuits” first published by The Australian Woman’s Weekly in 1982. 

Uncategorized

Self Isolation Craft Ideas 2 – Lavender Bags

Lavender Bags:

Another week at home, another craft project. Lavender bags are easy to assemble and make a lovely gift.

I grow and dry my own lavender (I recommend a traditional English Lavender for a strong and lasting scent) but you can buy packs from craft and fabric stores. If you don’t like lavender you can use any sort of potpourri mix, or use herbs like lime or lemon verbena, or my favourite Christmas mix – dried orange peel, cinnamon sticks and cloves (You can put the mixed herbs into a swatch of soft toy stuffing if you don’t want the crunchy feel).

What you need:

  • Fabric (preferably cotton, I use remnants or ‘fat quarters’)
  • Lavender (or filling of choice)
  • Sewing pins, Needle & Thread
  • Scissors
  • Cardboard or paper (for the stencil), ruler & a pencil
  • Ribbon

What to do:

  1. Make the stencil. draw a square on the cardboard. I’ve used an 8cm x8cm. Cut out the stencil and make the shape the shape out on your fabric (You need two pieces).
  2. Cut out the squares making sure that you allow at least 1cm seam allowance.
  3. Place the two top sides of the fabric together and pin them together.
  4. Take your needle and thread and sew the two pieces together using a basic running stitch. Make sure that you leave a gap of at least two centimetres on one side.
  5. Trim the edges, leaving the section around the gap. I’ve used pinking shears which create that triangle pattern pictured, but any scissors are fine.
  6. Turn the bag inside out.
  7. Fill the bag with lavender pieces. (not too full, just enough to make a nice pillow)
  8. Sew up the opening.
  9. Finish it off with a contrasting ribbon. (You may want to put it in a glaze gift bag instead, it’s up to you).

Using your bag:

  1. You can use it under your pillow – lavender is believed to be relaxing and can aide sleep.
  2. Hang it in your closet/linen press as an insect repellant.
  3. Pop it in your underwear drawer.
  4. Give it as a gift.

 

 

Craft, Easter

Looking for a self-isolation project? Try Easter Jars

Bored already? I am (and no, it’s not like I don’t have plenty to do) so I decided to get working on my Easter gifts for our family lunch. We are only five for lunch (assuming that everyone else interstate travel plans are allowed to go ahead).

Here are my Easter Gift Jars.

You will need:

  • Empty coffee jars (These are Moccona brand, but use what you have)
  • Assorted ribbon (mine’s recycled)
  • Felt, fabric, recycled bows
  • Easter themed decorations (I chose chicks, eggs, carrots and straw) *
  • Hot glue gun (or craft glue) **
  • Assorted chocolates, lollies and Easter eggs
  • Scissors
  • Easter themed cookie/biscuit cutters ***

How to assemble:

  1. Clean the jars. Remove the labels and glue residue, pull the plastic stopper off the lid (this is always going to smell like coffee). Wash all of the jar parts with soapy water and allow to dry.
  2. Fill jars with sweets
  3. Select decorations
  4. Fill the top part of the glass lids with decorations
  5. Place plastic stopper back on the lid, and seal the jars
  6. Glue chick on to the top of the lid
  7. Glue ribbon around the body of the jar
  8. Use cookie cutters and trace design on to a piece of felt/fabric. Cut out the shape.
  9. Glue the shape (or bow) to the ribbon
  10. Give as gifts or add to your table setting

* I bought mine from Lincraft, but you can get these from any party supplies, craft, fabric or haberdashery store

** Will I burn myself with the hot glue gun? I can almost guarantee it. Take care when using one and don’t allow children to use it unsupervised.

*** “WTF, you seriously have Easter shaped cookie cutters?” Yes, I do (and Xmas, bears, ginger bread men…). You can search and print shapes from the Internet. I can put up a PDF with stencils if you need them

Christmas, Easter, Planning, Things to do in March

Things to do in March

March is all about Easter planning , so unless you are an all-year-round Christmas crafter, most of your attention will be on the April Easter holiday.  So what should you be doing?

  • Make sure that all Christmas left overs are eaten or thrown out
  • Start buying Easter eggs and sweets
  • Complete Easter crafts
  • Plan Easter functions
  • Plan your Easter baking