Christmas

Projects, Sewing
Fabric Paint on Calico

Christmas Tree – Fabric Paint on Calico

I realise we are well past Christmas but I want to share with you the Christmas presents I made. I love roaming the internet for new ideas of things to make so hopefully this inspires you.

There is a leather theme to my presents as we have a new sewing machine at home that makes sewing leather a breeze. For my sister I made her a beautiful green leather manicure roll-up and a rectangle purse with bronze notions.

Leather Manicure Roll-Up and Purse

I then perfected my roll-up pattern when I made a black leather roll-up with silver notions for Dad’s iPad accessories. It fits the plug, cable and the SD and USB plugs.

Leather iPad Accessories Roll-Up

Ages ago I found the tutorial for a leather lunch bag and thought this would be perfect for my Uncle. The only rule being no pies are allowed in it.

Leather Lunch Bag

To fit the pattern onto my piece of leather I did have to cut the main part of the lunch bag in three parts, but it still holds its shape.

All leather and notions are from Lapco.

For my Grananne and Aunties I made linen azuma bags that I filled with various goodies.

Linen Azuma Bag

And lastly I made my cousin the comfiest pair of pants. I first made this pattern last year with some merino knit and they are my favourite at home pants. I say at home pants because, well, it looks like you are wearing a nappy which is not my usual style. I think I have convinced one person of how amazing they are though.

Merino 'Nappy' Pants

The pattern is by Lela Jacobs and is featured in ‘Home Sewn’ by New Zealand Fashion Museum; a brilliant book containing patterns from New Zealand fashion designers. This time around I added cuffs on the bottom of each leg using the same width as the waistband. I need to make myself a pair with the cuffs as it hangs much better when using merino knit.

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Leather Bag

Projects, Sewing

Crop Top + Leather Bag

Instead of making Christmas presents (which was the plan) I made myself a bag. Like the cotton voile I made the crop top out of, I had a little bit of steel grey nappa leather saved to make something for myself. And when I saw the leather next to the cotton voile I decided that I just had to have a bag to go with it.

Leather Bag Close Up

Leather and hardware from Lapco and the lining is from The Fabric Store which I used to make my crop top and dress.

Leather Bag Side View

Leather Bag Inside

Leather Bag

Cotton Voile Crop Top + Dress

Projects, Sewing

Cotton Voile Crop Top + Dress

I bought this gorgeous cotton voile from The Fabric Store last year. Since then I have been saving it until I found a worthy pattern. Enter Yoshiko Tsukiori and her ‘Stylish Dress Book‘.

Box Crop Top

These two garments are made from the ‘Box Dress with Boat Neck’ pattern (minus the pockets) gracing the front cover of this book. I first made this dress in a tartan cotton as a practice run. When I did make it up in the cotton voile I altered the neckline, added french seams and used binding around the neckline instead of facing. Now, all I need to do is make a slip so I can wear my dress out!

Box Dress


11

Meal Plan

Butterflied Leg of Lamb + Orange Kumara Salad + Green Salad – gluten free

Lemon Fish + Fries + Green Salad – gluten free

The recipe for the lemon fish is here.

Mushroom + Lentil Burgers w/ Cashew Aioli + Salad – gluten free, vegan

The recipe for the burgers and cashew aioli is here.

Tacos w/ Coriander, Lime + Avocado Dressing – gluten free, vegan

Salmon + Roast Vegetable + Lentil Salad – gluten free

This will be something like this recipe here.

Steak w/ Bean Mash + Greenery – gluten free

The recipe for the bean mash is here.

Spiced Apple + Chocolate Loaf

Recipes, Sweet

Spiced Apple + Chocolate Loaf

120 grams unsalted butter, melted

2 large apples, peeled and diced (pears work too)

1 cup brown sugar, loosely packed

2 eggs

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 1/4 cup wholemeal spelt flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon salt

a big handful of sultanas or raisins

a big handful of sunflower seeds

a big handful of pumpkin seeds

2 big handfuls of dark chocolate, chopped

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line a loaf tin with baking paper.

Combine the butter, apples, brown sugar, eggs and apple cider vinegar.

Sieve together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt. Add the liquid ingredients, along with the sultanas, seeds and chocolate, and mix until just combined.

Spread the mixture into a loaf tin. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when poked into the loaf.

Sumac Lamb + Roast Aubergine + Orange Salsa + Quinoa

Recipes, Savoury

Sumac Lamb + Roast Eggplant + Orange Salsa + Quinoa

ROAST AUBERGINE

1 AUBERGINE, CUT INTO ROUNDS 1CM WIDE

2 TABLESPOONS OLIVE OIL

1/2 TEASPOON SUMAC

QUINOA

1/2 CUP QUINOA, RINSED

2 TEASPOONS OLIVE OIL

JUICE OF 1 LEMON

1/2 TEASPOON GROUND CUMIN

1/2 TEASPOON GROUND CORIANDER

1/2 TEASPOON PAPRIKA

1/2 TEASPOON SUMAC

SALSA

2 ORANGES, PEELED AND CUT INTO CHUNKS

1 SMALL RED ONION, FINELY CHOPPED

JUICE OF 1 LEMON

2 TEASPOONS EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

1/2 TEASPOON GROUND CUMIN

1/2 TEASPOON GROUND CORIANDER

1/2 TEASPOON PAPRIKA

1/2 TEASPOON SUMAC

SUMAC LAMB

2 LAMB MEDALLIONS

1 TABLESPOON SUMAC

2 TEASPOONS EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

PREHEAT oven to 180ºC and a heavy-based frying pan over a medium-low. In a large pot, bring a pot of lightly salted water to the boil.

1 Grease a baking tray with olive oil and line up the aubergine slices on the tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sumac. Bake for 30 minutes so they are soft and turning a golden brown.

2 Add the quinoa to the pot of boiling water and turn down to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Drain to remove the excess liquid. Stir through the olive oil, lemon juice, ground cumin and coriander, paprika and sumac.

3 Coat the lamb with sumac and olive oil. Increase the heat of the frying pan to a medium-high heat. Cook the medallions for 3-4 minutes per side. Once cooked, place on a warm plate, cover and leave to rest for a few minutes.

4 Mix the orange, onion, lemon juice, olive oil, ground cumin and coriander, paprika and sumac together.

TO SERVE, spoon the quinoa onto a plate. Add a lamb medallion, place the aubergine on the side and top with a dollop of salsa.

SERVES 2

10

Meal Plan

Pie Night – gluten free, vegetarian

We had a birthday dinner for my cousin last week so I wasn’t able to make this meal when I had planned, but I am going to make it tonight! There will be a beef pie and a mushroom, thyme, lentil and kale pie.

Ratatouille + Steak – gluten free

repeat from last week.

Eggplant Involtini – gluten free, vegan

Click over to this fabulous recipe that includes soft strips of eggplant wrapped around a big dollop of cashew cheese, all topped with a rich tomato, mushroom and lentil sauce.

Slow-cooked Lemon Zucchini + Chicken – gluten free

Click here for the recipe.

Carrot + Black Bean + Coriander Soup – gluten free, vegan

This recipe is from Nigel Slater’s ‘Eat’ – a brilliant “little book of fast food”. I’ll be having some homemade rye bread with this soup; I am trying out this recipe from Petite Kitchen.

Ratatouille + Steak

Recipes, Savoury

Ratatouille + Steak

This ratatouille was so good that I plan on having it next week too! It was a little disappointing that the full tray of raw vegetables shrunk to half a tray once cooked though; no leftovers.

Ratatouille 

a few tablespoons of olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

leaves of 1 sprig of thyme

1 aubergine, thinly sliced by hand or with a mandolin

1 or 2 courgettes, thinly sliced by hand or with a mandolin

2 capsicum, deseeded and thinly sliced

4-6 tomatoes, cut into quarters

salt + pepper

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a frying pan and gently fry the garlic, onion and thyme leaves until the onion is translucent. Add in the aubergine and continue cooking for 5 minutes so the aubergine becomes soft.

Add all of the ingredients into a large roasting dish, mixing it all together. Bake for one hour. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil to serve.

We had this with lentils and steak. Delicious.

1 sprig of thyme

09

Meal Plan

Smoked Salmon + Lentil + Asparagus Salad – gluten free

Ratatouille + Steak – gluten free

I am using Rachel Khoo’s recipe for the ratatouille, from ‘The Little Paris Kitchen’. I like the way she cuts her vegetables with a mandolin to make a ribbon ratatouille.

Quinoa Chapatis + Spinach Dal + Sweet Potato Curry – gluten free, vegetarian

All of these recipes come from a recipe book called ‘The Tastes of Ayurveda’, by Amrita Sondhi, and it is a very interesting read!

Lentil + Nut Loaf + Chutney + Salad

The recipe for the lentil and nut loaf is from Jenny Chandler’s ‘Pulse’ cookbook, another favourite at the moment.

Pie + Salad – gluten free, vegetarian

Well, one of the pies is vegetarian. I will be making a red wine, rosemary and beef pie for Dad, and a mushroom, lentil, kale and thyme pie for myself; both with a buckwheat crust.

Smoked Fish Cakes – gluten free

Again. You can find the recipe here.

Steak + Root Vegetable Almond Fries + Salad – gluten free

The fries are another recipe from Rachel Khoo’s ‘The Little Paris Kitchen’.

Slow Cooked Lemon Chicken + Zucchini

Recipes, Savoury

Slow cooked lemon chicken and zucchini

The recipe for the slow cooked lemon zucchini is from Petite Kitchen. On top of the zucchini we had shredded, slow cooked chicken. It was delicious, and I look forward to making this again and again.

For the chicken:

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1/2-1 preserved lemon, finely chopped

2 brown onions, thinly sliced

2 chicken breasts, skin removed

Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil, onions and garlic. Once translucent add the preserved lemon and mix through. Bury the chicken breast in the onion mixture, turn the heat down to low and put the lid on and leave to cook through, approximately 40 minutes. Once cooked, either leave whole or pull apart. Serve on the zucchini.