Monday, December 14, 2009

Hot and Not

Marmalade and Lizzy model there new shower caps

I am really late with H+N this week maybe I should have waited until next Wed...Na!
I was disappointed but just secretly, I was relieved that Loobylu had not posted any last Wednesday...shh! Sorry Claire.
Simply because I did not feel strongly compelled to fling together a post in this hectic time! Everything that was piling up got 1st priority. Phew.
After H+N's was up and running the next day...I have been moving like lightning to have some free time again...


Shower caps
I have had a serious assembly line going here, producing Fancy Shower Caps for adults, kids and even their dolls. I am hoping the recipients have water proof dolls! I also did a couple of Goth/Rock'n'Roll types for the seriously fashion conscious bathers - black of course with a flashy flower pinned on. Crap photo below.
Thank you to the sewing legend Liesl for the tute found here.

Lavender Hearts
And I admit it I have blatantly copied an idea for lavender hearts I saw somewhere and cannot find again...I hope I don't make any one cross doing this but, it was just too easy and too perfect not to make some for my 95 year old nan! (and then a few others, well lots of friends)
What do you think? Am I stealing? If you can see something once and then bang it out yourself should people be getting precious about products like these? Not that they are!
Anyway I am not selling them so I hope my view is a fair one.
I would love some opinions here though.

Lavender hearts

have some lovely pieces, my favorite has to be their gorgeous butterflies made from recycled saucers. Love them! They have lovely light shades too. I found them over here.

Lucy Renshaw Rocks my world...I love her use of special scraps.

Making your own decorations These are fantastic and quick!!

Really loving my new job and the training next year sounds delicious!!!!! Really Tough hey!


Christmas illness
Everybody in my house accept me are 'still' barking like dogs. I guess the fact that I have not come down with it too is a Hot especially given my new employment. I would hate to have a sickie just yet.

The short bursts of shopping I have done were enough to put me off for life! It is crazy out there at the moment - even more crazy than usual!

Maeve dressed for dinner

I will leave you with a photo from last year's advent activities, this my eldest on the 'dress fancy for dinner night'. Sadly, there is no advent activities this year, too busy and way too tired!

I hope everyone enjoys the greatest Christmas ever with their dearest friends and family!
Bring it on now, I am ready! (nearly)

I don't think I will be back for next Wednesday, so take care and I will catch up when I can. More Hots + Nots with our hostess with the mostest - the lovely Loobylu

Cheers!!! Many Many Many times!!

Michele xxxx

EDIT - I just wanted to add a link for Beck's lavender hearts...this is where I origionally saw the idea for Lavender Hearts.
Beck is a lovely lady and I felt bad about taking her idea, and making my own (even though I was not selling them)
I contacted Beck...she was lovely about it! She has a great blog called Dandelion where you can find out where to buy the Lavender Hearts.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Hot and Not

It has been crazy around here lately, so many things going on...good and bad...the Perfect Hot and Not material really. If you would like to read some other peoples Hot and Not's go and visit the lovely Loobylu there is a list of us joining in. And incidentally Claire (Loobylu) has been blogging for 10 years now, she was the first ever blog I looked at and is easily one of the very best personalities on the net!! Congratulations Claire and thank you so much for sharing your sweet humor, charming creations, honesty and inspiration!


New Job
WOO hooo and YAY! I finally heard I do have the job! I am absolutely rapt! I must admit not hearing for over a week I was thinking I might have missed out! I am really looking forward to trying lots of new food, learning as much as I can about the lovely products we sell and getting back out into a non-child orientated environment for 'some' of my time...yippee!

Parcels in the post
I received my lovely package of Christmas giveaway goodies from Lisa at Lil Sonny Sky What a lovely parcel of goodies too, I feel totally spoilt and it is making me extremely very happy.
I found lots of beautiful gift tags, super special Christmas cards and some lovely hand squeegeed prints - I am really loving the Red Riding Hood with the Big Bad Wolf print. Have a look at the wolf's tie, very stylish! Thank you so much Lisa - you are very generous and clever!

Lots of treasure from Lisa

Lots of treasure from Lisa

Lots of treasure from Lisa

Present production
Getting some shower caps, lavender hearts, Christmas cards and little dresses made for Christmas...and still time for some more!


Emergency Hospital Visit
Friday we went for an urgent ride in an ambulance and had a 'sleep'? over in Hospital...Fiann had really bad croup. After some Ventolyn puffs and a number of oral steroids, thankfully his breathing was much better but, due to the medication that was now racing through his system he was right off his tiny little dial. Poor Fi was going from super cuddly to pretty disturbed and aggressive...his behaviour was so erratic and very unlike him it was really tough to witness! We went home the next day but it has taken a couple of days for everything to settle down! Pretty rough going and definitely not hot!

Our hospital bed neighbour's mum complained within ear shot about Fiann's noise while we were staying in the emergency ward! How inconsiderate and selfish is least she could have been kind enough to complain somewhere private...I was uncomfortable enough without hearing we we were annoying anyone!

Have a really great week everybody! Stay calm!!!!

Oh yes...I think I might have found a theme to join in with once daily - I am of unusual food products and a quick low down on what they are and how to use...this will be a good way for me to learn too! Sweet. YUMMM!

Chele xx

Friday, December 4, 2009

Malai Kofta (and home made panir cheese)

Best Papadams, cute packets

Malai Kofta

Malai kofta is one of my all time favourite Indian dishes! It is a special, rich dish traditionally reserved for celebrations. The main ingredient in the kofta balls is a handmade panir cheese, mixed with cashew nuts, sultanas, coriander and chili, and I love to add a handful of toasted fennel seeds. These balls are then deep fried, drained and placed in a lightly spiced creamy tomato sauce. It is divine! Makes about 30 small kofta. It is perfect when accompanied by a cauliflower curry like a poriyal- with some yellow rice, a spinach raita and a truck load of papadams.
The Panir cheese is very easy and great fun to make, it can be used to make dips or simply slice, fry up and serve with some extra virgin olive oil or balsamic vinegar or you could make your own Palak Panir
This recipe comes c/o the inspirational Vegetarian Chef, Kurma Dasa.
You can find more of his amazing recipes here, and if you are feeling inspired why not do a cooking class in your home - details here.

Ingredients Kofta balls
curd cheese, panir, from 3-litres milk (recipe follows)
3 tablespoons sultanas
3 tablespoons slivered almonds
1 or 2 green chilies, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
*I love to add a big handful of toasted fennel seeds!!
ghee or oil for deep-frying

Ingredients Malai sauce
1 tablespoon ghee
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger
¼ teaspoon yellow asafetida powder
4 cups tomato puree
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
½ cup pouring cream
1 teaspoon garam masala
3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves

To make the Kofta balls:
Place the curd cheese in a food processor and process until creamy smooth. Alternatively you can knead with your hands.

Add the sultanas, almonds, chilies, salt, pepper and fresh coriander and mix roughly.

Roll the cheese mixture into thirty 1.5cm smooth balls. Heat the ghee or oil in a wide pan over moderate heat, test temperature is hot enough to deep fry. Gently place in a quantity of cheese balls. Fry the balls gently until they turn a rich, dark brown. Lift them out and drain them. Repeat for all the kofta.

To make the Malai Sauce:

Place 1 tablespoon ghee in a wide mouthed saucepan and apply moderate heat. When the ghee is hot, add the ginger and stir for a few moments. Sprinkle in the yellow asafetida powder and stir momentarily.

Add the tomato puree, salt and sugar. Bring the sauce to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 or 3 minutes.Mix in the garam masala, stir in the cream, then gently add the kofta balls. Simmer the kofta gently in the sauce for 5 to 10 minutes. Just before serving, sprinkle with the chopped, fresh coriander.

To make Home Made Panir Cheese

You need little by way of equipment to make curd cheese: a 2 – 6 litre pan, or larger (depending on the quantity of milk), a stirring paddle or wooden spoon, a colander, and some new cheesecloth. You will need the following ingredients for an easily manageable home batch of panir.

4 litres fresh milk
3-4 cups yogurt

Pour the milk into a heavy-bottomed pan that allows plenty of room for boiling. Set it over high heat and bring the milk to a full foaming boil, stirring often to prevent scorching and sticking. Reduce the heat to low, and, before the foam subsides and spoon in the yogurt.

Very gently and slowly move the spoon through the milk in one direction. After 10 or 15 seconds, remove the pan from the heat and continue to gently agitate the milk until large lumps of soft curd form. If the cheese has not formed after 1 minute, place the pan over the heat momentarily until the casein (milk protein) coagulates and leaves pale yellow-greenish whey. If necessary, add a little more acid agent.

As soon as the cheese has formed, remove the pan from the heat, cover it and set it aside for 10 minutes. If you want a very soft cheese, gently pour in 1 or 2 cups of hot water. When the cheese has settled under the surface of the whey, it is ready to drain.

Line a colander with 2 or 3 thicknesses of cheesecloth or some clean white cloth that has been dipped in water and wrung dry. Drape the corners and edges of the cloth over the sides of the colander.
Remove the large lumps of cheese with a slotted spoon and place them in a colander. Gently pour the smaller pieces and remaining whey into the colander. Gather up the corners of the cloth and twist it around. Hold the bag of cheese under a gentle stream of cold running water for 5 to 10 seconds. Gently twist the cloth to squeeze out the excess whey.

Place the bag of cheese under a weight until firm, I use my heavy mortar and Pestle. Unwrap the cheese and use as directed, or wrap in paper-towel-lined plastic wrap, zip-lock bags or plastic containers and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Thanks to Kurma for letting me share this recipe, if you give it a go, I would love to hear how it goes.

Chele xx

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mini Hot and Not

Shower cap 1

Shower cap 2

Loobylu invites you to feel comfy to join us over there or just to browse all the other Hot n Nots!

My HOT this week

Modeling some hand made shower caps is our very still and cooperative hobby horse. That is 2 more presents done, thank you Lisel at Hoppo Bumpo for the great tutorial here!
I have got her tute over in my side bar with a whole heap of other really great things I want to make...when I have time!

When I got a trial for the first job interview in 10+ years and was overwhelmed with the encouragement of good friends, family and blog land. The good vibes helped my confidence tremendously...even if I don't get this job, It will not feel that an interview or a trial is as bigger step again...unless I wait another 10 years until my next interview! :)


All the nervous energy pumping around because I am hear about the job! (either way) I just need to know where I will be and when etc....Especially because this is one Crazy time of year!

Hope everyone has a great week and is either prepared for Christmas or is blocking it out!!!
Chele xxx