Sunday, March 11, 2012

Dutch Apple Tart

This is one of my favourite recipes from mum's collection of dutch treats. Taste triggers such strong memories, and this is no exception. I have great memories of going to Oma's for Christmas, Easter or her birthday when I was a kid, and now we go there with our own kids. Visits to Oma on these days are an open house affair. My mum is one of 12 children, so when they all get together, it's quite a crowd! Usually there would be upwards of a dozen people squished into Oma's small lounge room, all talking loudly and at the same time. Dutch people are very energetic, lively people. I always joke that if you made me sit on my hands, I would probably be rendered mute!

When I was younger, the aunties would usually bring a plate of something to be shared over a coffee. Oma would bake a half dozen different types of biscuits, and there would be various other cakes arrayed on the table, including the Dutch Apple Tart. This is lovely served warm with icecream, but also equally as delicious cold with fresh cream poured over it. It is such an easy recipe to make, if you like a sweet apple tart you should definitely give this a try. My favourite part of this recipe is the pastry case as it doesn't involve any rolling or blind baking. You simply press the dough into the base of the tin and up the sides. I have included the recipe in the recipe page for you too.

Friday, March 9, 2012

DIY Ceiling Light Shade

I have been spending some time online recently, researching DIY sites to figure out how to make my own ceiling light shades. I am impressed with the amount of information there is out there. There are some seriously talented people! Anyway, I found a few that I really liked the look of, and decided that it was something I would like to try. I don't like spending money on things like light fixtures as I think they are heavily overpriced, and at the moment, not a necessity.

So with the thought in mind that I would make my own, I set off to our local op shops (Salvation Army, Vinnies, Family Life, etc) to see if I could find any preloved lamp shades or ceiling lights that I could work with. I was in luck too, as I found the perfect shade for $5 at my favourite shop! It was a tacky terracotta colour, but I looked beyond that to the perfect frame underneath.

The original shade - yucky terracotta!
After a good strip down and scrub, a workable frame for my shade.
Once I pulled away the terrible original coverings and cleaned all the dried glue off the frame, I was ready to cover it. Another stroke of luck for me, my mum has cupboards full of fabric that she has bought over the years and she had the perfect piece for what I had in mind. It is white, sheer and covered in little hearts. So with the pattern from the old covering, I was able to cut out the 6 pieces I would need to make the cover. I spent the morning at mum's, cutting, stitching and then gluing with her hot glue gun. I put the sewn cover over the top of the frame, glued down the seams, and then glued them shut again on the inside of the frame. At the bottom of the shade I added a little white frilled trim for a cute finishing touch. I am really happy with how it turned out!

Working with the hot glue gun, I stretched the fabric around the frame.

Pretty little hearts.

Finished project. Hanging in my youngest daughter's room.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Family Recipes

Well we have been back from the cruise for two weeks now and life is starting to find it's rhythm again. I'm yet to start working in my new role as a Family Day Care "Educator" as they now like to call all the carers. This means that I am home alone, with no kids or job to distract me, possibly for another week still. I have been doing all the usual chores associated with being a mum of three kids, but that isn't enough to keep me from going stir crazy. Casting around for ideas for things to do, I suddenly realised that I haven't finished my photo book from albumworks.

Last May I won a competition for my photo of my Cookie Monster Cupcakes and the prize included a $100 voucher to get my own photo book printed. I decided that I would use this voucher to make a cookbook/photo book of my favourite family recipes that I have been collecting over the years. These are recipes from my Grandma, Oma, mum, mother-in-law, and a few aunties. I have them all handwritten in a notebook that is well thumbed and coated in flour and fingerprints. I am hoping that this project will turn into a book that my kids will love to look through and will be able to keep as a memory of all the great food that we have baked together over the years.

Anyway, when I went to the albumworks program on my laptop and started to put together the photos and recipes that I have already taken over the last 9 months, I could see that I didn't have any where near as many photos as I thought I did. Obviously I got distracted from my goal as I know I have been doing plenty of baking and cooking - just not the "right" recipes. So I have spent the past two weeks looking over the notebook and working my way through these recipes again. I'm making good headway now and I am getting more excited about it with each photo I take.

Here are the latest photos of recipes I have been whipping up:

Short stack of Pancakes with Vanilla Ice-Cream, Golden Syrup and Apricot Jam

Linda's Boiled Pineapple Fruit Cake

Scones with Apricot Jam and Cream

Grandma's Cupcakes

Dutch Poffertjes
I haven't put the recipes in the other page yet, as I'm not sure which ones I should do. If you would like one of these recipes, leave me a comment and I will post it for you. Cheers!