Thursday, November 26, 2009

Candy Cane Chocolate Hearts

candy cane hearts

Here is a super easy (and tasty) treat you can make in minutes. I think these would be gorgeous bagged up little cellophane bags tied with pretty ribbon.
They would also be an easy activity to do with children on the school holidays.

What you will need:
Candy canes - if you want to make 10 hearts, you'll need 20 candy canes
White chocolate
Dark chocolate
Sprinkles or non-pareils

What to do:
Unwrap all your candy canes and place them in the shape of a heart on baking paper.
Heat chocolate and spoon into the centre of the hearts. Be sure to fill all the little nooks.
I made all of mine with dark chocolate base and topped some with white choc as well.
Sprinkle with your choice of non-pareils an let set. Note that white chocolate takes a little longer to set than dark choc.

Now, nibble on them with a friend with a good cup of coffee or give as a sweet gift this Christmas.

:: Candy Cane Chocolate Hearts ::


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gingerbread Cookies

For those readers who wanted a simple cookie recipe that tastes great, but doesn't need a whole lot of decoration, then have I got the cookie for you.

Let me introduce you to ......

Picture 3

Gingerbread Cookies


6 tablespoons of golden syrup

150 grams of butter

2 tablespoons of water

3 teaspoons of ginger

2 teaspoons of all spice

150 grams of sugar

1 teaspoon of baking soda

450 grams of flour


Pre heat oven to 180ยบ Celsius

In a large saucepan place golden syrup, sugar, water and spices. Using a wooden spoon, mix together over low heat. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly.

Remove from the element.

Add butter then baking soda and stir well.

Slowly add the flour, mixing together to form a dough.

Spread some flour thinly on a board and taking half the dough, roll it out thinly and cut into shapes.

Bake for approx. 15 minutes.


Recipe from Steph via Kathryn

Sunday, November 22, 2009

We have two winners!

Thanks to everyone that entered my giveaway. There were so many yummy Christmas recipes, I think I'll have to try them all.
I used Random Number Generator to pick two winners, and they are ...............
Mummy and The Cake Maker.
Could you please both email me your name and address and I'll post off right away. Email is

I'm hoping to have another giveaway before Christmas, so say tuned.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Christmas packaging giveaway!

If you would like the chance to win one of two Christmas gift packaging bundles, leave comment below and I'll pick two lucky random winners to be announced on Monday.

I have a stash of different Martha Stewart boxes, so I'll choose four different designs for each bundle. Please include your favourite holiday recipe in the comments section for your chance to win.

This giveaway is open to everyone, yes, I will post worldwide!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Freshly picked

I've said before how much satisfaction I get from picking flowers from my own garden. This time last year my hydrangeas looked like this

one of my fave flowers

and this morning I picked my first hydrangea stems and I placed them in our ensuite bathroom. I love them!

:: sweet indulgence ::

Oh what a difference a year makes in a young garden. And how indulgent it feels to have fresh flowers in my bathroom. I feel spoilt. What makes you feel spoilt?

:: bathroom beauties ::

Monday, November 16, 2009

My favourite girl toys for Christmas

I have a thing for anything wooden when it comes to children's toys. I've had an absolute ball researching what to give our children this year, so I thought I share with you some of my favourites.

I would say that the items I've selected would work for 2-7 year olds, depending on what they like to play with. Some items are available here in Australia, but alas ALOT of them are elsewhere in the world. This didn't stop me though!! I'm sure if you search hard enough you would find something similar in your country.

And no, I didn't buy all of these, just two of them! Let me know your favourites too.

Picture 6
Pretend ice-cream parlour. I am Olivia is going to have so much fun with this.

Picture 7

Mushroom Table and Stool set - I would have purchased this, if I didn't need to sell an organ to get it here.


Picture 4
Pink polka dot kitchen

Dress up centre


Market Shop Stand. I would have killed for this as a child. In a few shorts weeks time I'll be reliving my childhood. Woot woot!

I'll do a round up of my fave boys wooden toys tomorrow!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cheap and chic

Another really simple way to package your homemade treats is to place in cellophane or glassine bags. Cut rectangles out of card stock the width of the bags, fold them over the tops of the bag and staple shut. Affix a pretty label over the staples.

There are so many talented and giving people out there in blog land who share their artwork for things just like this. You just have to go looking and you'll find something that suits.



Image 1 - Martha, Image 2 - Bake it Pretty

Friday, November 13, 2009

Packaging ideas for Christmas treats

Amanda from Swish and Swanky suggested I share some ideas and resources for presenting your yummy homebaked treats in this Christmas.
Iced Cookie Boxes $12.99 for 6 from Martha Stewart Crafts

Picture 10

Tall Goodie Boxes $12.99 for 6 from Martha Stewart Crafts

Picture 7

Similar Noodle Boxes $8.80 for 25 from The Packaging Place


Set of six treat boxes for $4.75/$5.75 from Bake it Pretty

Picture 14
Red spot cake tins on eBay. Don't forget to line with a matching tea towel or co-ordinating tissue paper.

Picture 6
Burken Jar $3.99 from Ikea

Picture 12

Aspen Jar $29.95 from Brown Button Trading

Then tie a ribbon with a pretty ribbon. There are so many places to find gorgeous ribbons ...


Ribbons Galore


Details, Details

Last year I made these Cookie Jars as gifts (I used the Ikea jars). I filled them with dry Cookie premix and tied a cookie cutter to the lid. I also made up directions for how to mix, bake and decorate. They were a hit. A wonderful activity for children to do with Mum or Dad during the holidays.

Christmas Love with Cookie Mix

Hope I've inspired you to start your Christmas baking!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cappuccino Brownies

I made these tasty little treats a few years back. Found the recipe at good ol' Martha. Again, these are divine. They may not make their way to the intended recipient!

gifts of love for friends this Christmas
beautiful tissue packaging
Homebaked cuppuccino brownies

Cappuccino Brownies


Makes 16
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees, with rack in center. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan, and line the bottom with parchment or wax paper. Coat paper with butter. Set aside.
In a large heatproof bowl, combine the butter and unsweetened chocolate, and place over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until completely melted. Let cool slightly. Whisk in sugar, espresso powder, vanilla, and eggs.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add to the chocolate mixture, and stir until just combined (do not overmix). Fold in chocolate chips.
Pour into pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out slightly wet, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; cool completely. Remove from pan. Using a damp, warm knife, cut into 16 squares, wiping knife blade after each cut. Peel off parchment paper and serve.

Recipe from Lisa Kim of Brooklyn, New York. via Martha Stewart

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Homemade Christmas Treats

There's nothing I love more than baking for friends & family, teachers and neighbours during the holiday season.

I thought I would share with you some of my favourite homemade baked gift giving ideas over the next month. So without further adieu ....... (OMG, you are going to die when you taste these)

Picture 4

Custard Yo Yo's

If you are a fan of "Melting Moments" then you will LOVE these. Made with custard powder rather than cornflour it gives it a fabulous vanilla/custard taste.

Smooth shortbread filled with creamy custard icing.

250g soft butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 3/4 cups plain flour
1/2 cup custard powder

Preheat oven to 180c

Beat butter and icing sugar together until creamy.

Stir in sifted flour & custard powder.

Roll Tbsps into balls and flatten with a fork onto a baking tray (line with baking paper). I flatten in my hands as I like them smooth.

Bake 12-15mins until pale golden brown.

When cold sandwich together with custard icing.

Custard Icing:

Beat together 100g soft butter, 1 1/4 cups icing sugar, 1/4 cup custard powder and 2 drops of vanilla essence.

Now, to me, the way you present these is also very important. I would either fill up a glass cookie jar, find a pretty tin and line it with a matching teatowel, or you could purchase some premade boxes like these from Martha Stewart Crafts.

Hope you have fun making these tasty little treats.

Recipe courtesy of my gorgeous friend Kathryn.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Best idea ever!

From one of my fave blogs Stepmondo. Great for Halloween or Easter. Read it here.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

18 steps and counting

My Dad walked 18 (yes, 18!!) steps today!
You will be back on your favourite beach in no time Dad!

Moffat Beach, Sunshine Coast (my Dads home)
We all love you very much and are SO proud of you.

I would like to sincerely thank everyone that has sent their support via my blog too. You are all wonderful.