Friday 27 January 2012

a good dough...

Do you make bread? Do you make it how I do? It's super easy and really doesn't take that much effort at all. I decided I wanted to push my dough a little further, to see what it could become. So last night as my dough mixed itself about in Willow (my kitchenaid), I thought some thoughts and this is what I came up with.
Whenever I make dough, I make enough for two loaves. One is gobbled up that day & the next and the other is often sliced and frozen. But that's not all that exciting is it? So last night, I released half the dough into a seperate bowl and to the other half I added sunflower and flax seeds. This morning I settled the seedy dough atop sesame seeds instead of my usual polenta and ta da! A perfectly tasty, seedy loaf. Lookout John Dench! (The main reason I make my own bread, is because I sadly do not live around the corner from Dench anymore and no other bread has ever won my heart... until now of course.)
The other half of the dough became cinnamon scrolls. I rolled it out into a long rectangle, liberally coated it with melted butter, cinnamon and sugar. I then rolled it up, cut the log into 4cm pieces and squashed them into a buttered baking dish. I winged all the quantities here. I just threw them on and stopped when it looked right. I baked these for just over half an hour. A simple icing was drizzled over while they were still hot. This was made using icing sugar, milk and vanilla extract. You want the icing to ooze down the cracks and sides. Were they delicious? Yep! 
The good thing about these too, is that because they use my usual bread dough, they're denser and more wholesome (thanks to the wholemeal and rye) than the cinnamon scrolls you can buy at most bakeries. But yes, they still fall into the "treat" category, thanks to the sugar and icing.
What do you think? Will you make some? They're so good, we've almost finished them. Piglets, I know.

Note: The recipe in the link makes just one loaf, but the quantities are easily doubled.

Tuesday 24 January 2012

feeling a little quilty...

My DSLR is giving me grief at the moment, so I've been capturing life on my iphone using Instagram. You can find me at kittyspeer, or over here on Webstagram. Are you on Instagram? Leave me a comment if you are, so I can find you.
I've been sneaking out to the studio a few nights a week for a little sewing therapy. I'm currently quilting away at a few different projects. The first being a sweet custom order for a friends niece. I pinned it all up last night and started quilting only to run into some walking foot issues. I think I need to loosen the foot tension a bit, as there's a lot of puckering happening. I'm on the mad hunt for one of my three quick-un-picks to undo it and start again. 
Meanwhile, I've got this little lovely on the go. I've called it the happy farmer. It's only teeny at 60cm x 70cm, but that's perfect for the carseat or pram. The farm fabric was a gift my sister brought back from Paris, the cherries and red gingham are both vintage, the rest are a mix of new brights. I'm debating whether to keep it or sell it... I'll keep you posted.
Forever one step ahead of myself, I've got two more bundles ready to go. Both of these will most likely become teeny quilts too. Both of these bundles are all recent fabrics, but I do like the vintage feel they create when together.
I particularly like this one below.
I'm off to stitch some more. Have a delightful evening, whatever you're up to.

Friday 20 January 2012

an offering to the birds...

Huckle loves to make nests for the birds. I think it's so sweet, I just had to document it.
Often he will find bark off the stringy bark gums, or big gum leaves to create his nests. But after three acres of metre high grass had been slashed, it was decided that grass cuttings would make a fine nest indeed. 
He set about gathering his grass and placed it on a log stool, he added gum leaves and flowers for a homely welcome. After building the nest, he called the birds (all birds are called ducks in Huckle language), "Duck duck, duck duck!" If after a certain while the birds still do not come, he employs the use of the mighty bird calling stick. His little (big) voice ringing out across the yard as he beats his stick upon a log.
What do you like to do, when out amongst nature? Do you build nests for birds? Or dens for wombats? Me, I like to sit back and observe my little man on his great adventures.

Thursday 19 January 2012

23 weeks...

Finally, the big reveal! Meet me and my bump.
23 weeks today. It's very busy in there, rolling over and kicking about. We had a scan last week and everything is looking great. It was so much fun to watch it kicking both it's legs so fast and rolling over and over. The ultrasonographer was pleased to see such movement, but really had to coax it to keep still long enough for the pictures.
Just so you know, I really don't like my photo being taken and can never figure out what to do with my extra long wingspan (arms). The first pic I'm pretending to focus on Huckle rather than the lens. Second pic, I thought gazing off into the distance might work. Third and fourth pics, I've thrown in the towel and shown my ability to be quite silly. 
There were a lot of deleted shots that involved the blur of my wingspan across the frame, whilst I tried to find a good spot for my limbs to rest. I could never be a model, I think the photographer would bop me one.  

Wednesday 18 January 2012

finding rhythm in the kitchen...

I feel like I've been chasing my tail a bit of late, which is why I haven't been about here much. Most of the time, I'm flat out exhausted. This bubba in the belly is really making me work. I spent a good few hours on the couch this morning, whilst Huckle busied himself with drawing, trains and whatnot. 
This seems to be happening regularly. Our days seem to go like this... Rise and make breakfast; Mama rest, whilst Huckle plays; mosey about for a bit; make and eat lunch; Huckle has a nap whilst Mama mosies about or has another rest; play outside; then four o'clock comes around and Mama freaks out "what on earth are we going to have for dinner!"; convince Huckle to come inside; rush about like a mad woman to get dinner on the table in an hour.
Let's say I'm not enjoying this last minute craziness and after reading Kate's latest post, I've decided it's high time to get back into the swing of menu planning. I make the majority of our food from scratch, which doesn't really lend itself to last minute crazy town. So tonight, I have a date with my cookbooks, a cup of tea and the couch. I'm aiming to write a fortnight of meals. I like to get a vague idea for lunches and snacks too, as we have 3 meals at home as a family pretty much every day. 
This does mean a lot of time in the kitchen, but I love cooking and have a few tricks up my sleeve to lighten the load. Some of my tricks are...
:: cook double amounts of dinner for lunch leftovers or to freeze for another meal
:: bake double quantity of biscuits or muffins to freeze and defrost when needed
:: use left over cooked vegies in omelettes 
:: make and freeze pizza dough for quick pizza nights
:: bake two loaves of bread at a time, slice the second loaf and freeze to use for toast
:: make big batches of pesto, pasta sauce and pizza sauce and freeze in portions
Do you menu plan at your place? What tricks are up your sleeve?

I've had a little helper in the kitchen most days, which has been both fun and a little stressful. But the outcomes have been delicious. We've mixed bread dough, made bikkies, grape pikelets (as seen below), sweet potato chips (below) and salmon patties. He loves to try anything along the way and is particularly fond of bread dough. Mmmm.
I'm off to boil the kettle and fetch me some cookbooks. I hope your week is coming along just fine and you're eating delicious things.

Tuesday 10 January 2012


Let's hope you're full of blue skies and grant us smooth sailing. 
One can dream, can't they?
Thank you for your kind words on my last post. It was hard to sum up all that has been going on. To find that fine balance between grief and joy, life passed and life to come. 
As a young family, Huckle and Bump are the centre of our world and their constant needs and beauty have kept us well planted in the present. As that's what children do best isn't it?
This clearly wasn't today's sky, Summer is taking a little break around these parts. I do hope blue sky reappears tomorrow, for there's 3 acres of metre high lawn that needs a good slashing. Let's not mention the gum trees growing in the gutters! It's working bee day to get two months of growth under control.
My fingers are crossed.

Friday 6 January 2012


2011 wasn't our best year. Life just kept throwing us hurdles and all we could do was try our very best to jump them. 
Just when we thought the winds were changing we learnt that Sam's Dad Peter was terminally ill with cancer. Sam spent a good part of October looking after him in Queensland, but the distance was just too much between us. So November saw us all drive up to care for him. Sam cared full time for Peter and it became clear that his condition was deteriorating faster than anyone could have predicted. He passed away on the 6th of December, just 8 weeks after being diagnosed. It was all very sudden.
December was spent dealing with estate matters. Such an overwhelming task.
It wasn't all bad though. We got to spend a lot of time hanging out with my Brother, Sister and Brother in law and in mid December we were joined by my Mum, Dad, 2nd Sister and 3 year old Nephew. 
We celebrated my Sister's engagement and a Christmas full of good food and laughter. 
We also celebrated a pregnancy... my pregnancy! I'm 21 weeks along and due sometime in May. How I managed to keep that a secret for so long on the blog, I don't know. I promise a bump shot soon, it's already so very round.
Well, that's all I can think of right now to tell you, so I leave you with my favourite instragrams of our summer adventures.
Happy Sunday to you.

Thursday 5 January 2012

home again...

We're finally home after an unexpected two months in Queensland. Life has been crazy, hectic and at times quite overwhelming. Too hectic and overwhelming to find words or photos, hence the absence.
I'll catch you all up in the next few posts, but for now I'll share the first pics I've clicked in a long time (not counting instagram of course).
I hope your festive season was full to the brim of love, laughter and lots of good food.
We came home to metre high grass! Sheesh.
One lonely chook survived the foxes.
Our passionfruits are in bloom & fruiting. Hooray!