Sunday, March 24, 2013

Persian Love Cake

Yesterday we scattered my dear Aunt Cissy's ashes off the rocky little island near the end of the dog-end of Kingston Beach. A very magical little place.

My aunt and uncle's ashes have been scattered from there before and someone commented it is becoming our family's spot for such events. It was a moody afternoon - raining at first but then the sun came out and even a huge rainbow. I think Cissy would have been pleased with the occasion. It was a step up from the garbage bin request she'd first made!

We sang along (thank you too to Sarah on her mobile from Brunswick) with Frank Sinatra to 'Strangers in the Night' and then with Dusty Springfield to "I only want to be with you'.

Afterwards we had cakes (and whilst both mine and Micaela's had turned out a little flat they were delicious) and other afternoon treats. Everyone enjoyed my Persian love cake so a good recipe is always worth sharing. I've made it before at another family gathering and it's gone down well. 

Here's to you Cissy! 

Persian Love Cake

3 cups almond meal
1 cup raw sugar
1 cup brown sugar
120gm unsalted butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
250gm Greek yoghurt, plus extra to serve
1 tbsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Combine almond meal, sugars, butter and 1 tbsp salt in a bowl.  Rub with fingertips until coarse crumbs form.
Spoon half the mixture into a lightly buttered and baking-paper lined 26cm springform pan. Smooth out evenly.
Add egg, yoghurt and nutmeg to remaining crumble mixture and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy. Pour over prepared base. Smooth top and scatter pistachios around edge.
Bake until golden (30 - 35 minutes). Cool completely in pan on wire rack.  Will keep a week.  Serve with yoghurt.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Gridlock sewing competition

OOOhhh what fun - a sewing competition!  My fav online fabric shop is running the Gridlock sewing competition.  Great idea - everyone who enters has to use the same fabric, which is available for half price from the competition organisers, Tuessuti, until the competition closes on 3 April.  I like this - it reminds me that some of the best sewing I have done in the past is when I have found a fabric I love and then had to find a pattern to suit it. 

I love the fabric but it takes me slightly out of my comfort zone. I usually only sew cotton or linens. The weight of it though is perfect for Hobart where it can get a bit chilly even in the middle of summer.  It's a great in-between seasons kind of weight.   What to make, what to make... a skirt, trousers, a tunic?  In the end I decide on wide-legged trousers, using a pattern I've made before, because the blue sketchy texture and design on the fabric looks a bit Japanesey to me. 

I'm very pleased with the results.  Very easy to wear trousers - very me!

The waistband is made from the reverse of the fabric.

I'll be wearing these to the next book club dinner

The pattern is New Look No. 6656
I've already discovered that our new living space is perfect for cutting out!
Inside out - thankfully I didn't have any hiccups with the sewing of these
This goes with that - I can see I have lots of things in my wardrobe that are going to go with the pants!
With thanks to dozy husband who reluctantly got off the couch to be my photographer (take one) and to my lovely daughter Lilli (photographer and stylist take two) who told me I looked shapeless in the yellow top and advised my what to wear instead!


So we sew again

Hullo - I'm back.  A new year, a new house and a resolution to get back into creative stuff again - including sewing and blogging now that the long and exhausting process last year of selling our old house (aka endless housework) is over!
I must be feeling relaxed in the new house because I have just had a flurry of sewing. Two linen dresses made with the wonderful Lily pattern and fabrics from Tessuti.  With the first dress (the mushroom coloured linen) I made the same silly mistake I have made in the past: I doubted that the size I was planning on cutting out would be big enough so I moved the pattern out just a tad from the fold for the front and back to make it bigger.  Of course all I did (STOOPID girl!!) was make the neckline too wide, which meant I had to do some creative tucking at the front and back neckline to make it sit right.  Regardless of the tweaks it looks pretty fab and I received lots of compliments when I wore it to work.
I made the second one exactly to the pattern size and it worked out perfectly.  Even though this one is tickety-boo I still prefer the first - I think I like muddy colours on me the best.  It just goes to show that sometimes less than perfect can be a winner all the same.
Lily dress 1
Lily dress 2