Summary: Today I am sewing with this awesome margarita print fabric, so of course I was in the mood for a margarita! I am also a little raspberry mad at the moment. Combine the two for a girly, fruity, raspberry margarita – it’s even pink and pretty!!
I have been using a scrub made of equal parts oil and sugar on my legs and it’s been great but of course I wanted something easier to manage in the shower. So I created this solid scrub with sugar for exfoliation, coffee for cellulite and peppermint for a fresh start to the day! Please note that this recipe will vary greatly from others because I wanted to avoid soap and nut/seed oils that The Bestie is allergic to. I just love how easy to use this is, rub the scrub, wash it off and your legs will be soft and smooth. It’s almost scrub and lotion in one. I used wind up containers I found here, as this is not solid enough to set into a mould. You could also use an old wind up deodorant container that has been well washed. This made 6 wind up containers.
This really is very easy to make, the instructions and info seems long but I want to give you the benefit of my experience. If you google these sorts of things, they have few instructions because they are geared towards people who do this sort thing all the time. I’ve worked out the easiest ways to set up, clean up and keep things safe, so of course I want you to know those things too.
When I work with beeswax (or anything I don’t want to clean off my bench) I cover my bench with paper, I get mine from Ikea on a roll but newspaper works well to. I also like to write the recipe on the paper so I can tick them off as I go. It saves so much clean up time, I really recommend it. I never use food containers or spoons with beeswax either, so use dedicated containers or disposable ones. I use Popsicle sticks to stir and dedicated containers because I prefer them to have pouring lips but takeaway containers work fine. It’s really important to melt beeswax safely; there is a great article on it here. I have a professional leg wax pot I use as a sort of double boiler, I put the wax in a metal measuring cup and place that in the leg wax warmer. You might want to use gloves or take off your rings before you start this as it gets a little messy at the end.
300ml grapeseed oil
1 tsp vitamin E oil
1/4 tsp peppermint essential oil
35g ground coffee
1 cup castor sugar
Something to stir with
A container to melt in that will fit everything
Containers to fill
Set up your area with all the ingredients, measures, stirrers and containers, even the ones you will be filling. You are less likely to miss an ingredient if you have the recipe in front of you.
Melt the wax and add the grapeseed oil. The wax will start to solidify again, continue melting until everything is liquid.
Remove from the heat and add the vitamin E oil and peppermint and stir well.
Add the coffee and sugar and stir until smooth but work quickly as the mix will solidify very quickly.
Pour into the containers. Clean any drips from the outside and chill for an hour or so till set.
To clean your containers etc, wipe them out with paper towel, removing as much gunk as possible. Rinse the containers off with hot water, then fill with hot water and a squirt of dishwashing liquid. Allow to sit for a few minutes before washing as usual. I also like to do this after to keep my drains flowing nicely!
If you make this, please let me know what you thought xxxxx
Summary: Mr Ask has always said he doesn’t like lentils. I am a nice wife and never serve them, even though I love them. But the other day I really fancied lentils and Mr Ask sagely said, ‘My tastes seem to have changed since I met you’. So, with that invitation, I got cooking! Mr Ask was floored by this flavour packed dish, he felt it had an amazing balance of flavours, the freshness of salad but yet the depth of a cooked meal and was pleasingly filling. I too adored it and was thrilled when Mr Ask wanted this recipe in regular rotation. Lentil lovers and lentil sceptics will enjoy this as a side or dinner salad. I used tinned lentils but feel free to cook your own. If you are not into chilli heat, reduce the amount by all means but please don’t omit the chilli altogether.
2 (400g) tins lentils, drained
1/4 tsp chilli powder, more or less to taste
50ml olive oil
1 tblsp maple syrup
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 lemon, zested
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
250g haloumi, sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
1 bunch parsley, roughly chopped
Make the dressing by whisking together the oil, lemon zest & juice, garlic, chilli, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Place the drained lentils in a microwave container with 1/2 the dressing. Stir well and microwave for 2-3 mins or until hot through. Place the warm lentils in a salad bowl with the cranberries, onion and parsley and toss.
For the haloumi, heat a frying pan over a medium heat, add the haloumi and fry on each side until golden. Arrange the haloumi on the lentils, drizzle with remaining dressing and serve.
I wanted a pencil skirt. Badly. I wanted it to be high waisted, form fitting, pegged (narrower) at the hem and of course I wanted it to fit perfectly. I knew that I I would never find a ready to wear skirt that would do all of those things, especially with my unique figure variations (that is an absolutely for real sewing term for any body that does not look like a sewing mannequin)! In fact it’s pretty hard to find a non stretch plus size pencil skirt. So, I drafted a pattern and made one!
I drafted my pattern using this tutorial, I pegged the bottom of the skirt about 6cm. I wanted my zipper to be centre lapped because it’s neat and very easy. If you haven’t tried it, here is the tutorial. I decided I wanted a pretty interior so I used black satin bias binding to make nice, neat Hong Kong seams. If you are unfamiliar with Hong Kong seams , this is a great video tutorial. See, doesn’t the inside look pretty?
As the skirt was quite pegged, I left the two back seams open at the bottom, to create a vent. That was another reason I used Hong Kong seams, if you got a flash of the inside everything is neat. I was super happy with how this turned out, what do you think?
Summary: I’ve no idea why they name this cocktail a Champagne Cobbler. It is a little fruity but maybe it was just something the cobbled together? Either way, this is just what I needed after a day of cleaning out my wardrobe.
You know that favorite t shirt that you wish you had in every colour? Now you can! This method allows you to make a faithful reproduction of any tee you like. Being able to clone a much loved tee is fabulous and also fabulously easy. It works on any garment but the more complex the garment, the trickier it gets. If you are interested in learning more about this method, check out this craftsy course. To get started on your tee, you’ll need a surface you can pin right into. I used my ironing board because it’s really well padded and was wide enough, but foam core board from the news agent or even cardboard will do. I use Ikea paper that comes on a roll (in the kids department) for pattern drafting but brown craft paper, the white side of decent quality wrapping paper or even baking paper will do the job. Paper patterns tend to rip easily, so if I like it once I’ve sewn it, I trace my patterns onto McCalls pattern trace from Spotlight, most fabric shops will sell this or something similar.
Prep your favorite tee by first gently pressing it flat, being careful not to stretch it out of shape. Fold the tee in half, being sure to match all seams.
Lay the paper over the pinable surface, with the carefully folded tee on top of the paper. Pin all along the seam lines of the tee, sticking the pins just into the pinable surface so they stick upright.
It’s up to you how many pins you use. It’s wise to keep the pins pretty close together when pinning the curves and less on the straight lines. You’ll see I pinned underneath the neck band because I knew I would be adding my own neck band later. If you are not adding a neck band, just pin right on the edge.
Remove the pins. You now have little pin holes marking the shape your your tee front.
Join the dots with the smoothest line you can make – don’t stress too hard, there will be other chances to smooth them out.
Choose a seam allowance and add it on, I love this seam allowance ruler that makes adding seam allowance super quick. I didn’t add a seam allowance to my neckline because I knew that I would add a neckband to the top when I sew it. Don’t forget to mark the fold, name if pattern piece and what size seam allowance you’ve added.
Repeat for the back and sleeve pieces. You can leave the sleeve as cut on the fold or trace it out a second time and tape the two pieces into one sleeve piece. All that’s left to do is sew up your tee!
Once I had the pattern sorted out, I sewed up this stripey little tee from it. I think it turned out beautifully, what do you think?
Summary: I know that refried beans seem like something you wouldn’t bother to make but OMG these are good. No, really, really good. Imagine how good nachos with these beans, this salsa and this nacho cheese sauce would be. The idea makes me want to run down to the supermarket for corn chips! I know that black beans can be hard to find in Australia and pinto beans are traditional but kidney, navy or cannellini are fine choices too.
1 tblsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
2 (400g) can black beans, drained and rinsed or 3 cups cooked beans
1/2 cup vegetable stock
½ tsp salt
Heat oil in a fry pan adding onions, garlic and jalapeño, cook until onions are softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the salt, chili powder and cumin and cook until fragrant.
Add the beans and stock. Use a potato masher or the back of spoon, mash beans into liquid. Continue cooking until liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes.
Enjoy in tacos, enchiladas, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, toast….
Summary: You may have noticed my cheese addiction. I love fondue, cheese dips and con queso. Try this on nachos, you’ll be in heaven! This works really well with a fondue pot too but fondue pot or not you should really give this a try!
1/2 cup water
1 tsp taco seasoning
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
120g Colby or Cheddar cheese, grated
1 tblsp plain flour
spring onion, chopped to garnish
Add the water, seasoning and jalapeno to a small pot and bring close to the boil.
Toss the grated cheese in the flour, to coat.
Add small handfuls of cheese to the water and whisk till smooth before adding the next handful. Add hot sauce to taste.
Once everything is combined serve in a fondue pot or just in a bowl, top with spring onions and enjoy.
What better way to relax into the weekend that with a glass of wine? An International Wine Fair of course! Actually, this Wine Fair is more exciting than relaxing, I am super excited but since I can’t make it myself, I have two free tickets to giveaway, courtesy of my friends at Vintage Cellars. Before we get to the GIVEAWAY first, let me tell you all about this amazing event…..
With more than 45 wineries from nine countries, offering tastings of over 300 wines, the Vintage Cellars International Wine Fair is one of Sydney’s most important wine events. The experts at Vintage Cellars have travelled around the world and handpicked a stellar line up of international producers, who will come together for two days only at the Overseas Passenger Terminal, creating an event unlike any other in Australia. 2013 marks the fifth year of the Vintage Cellars International Wine Fair, and to celebrate, this year’s event will be bigger and better than ever before.
Whether you’re a genuine connoisseur, or just starting on your wine journey, this is an exciting way to discover new wines, experience emerging regions and meet the people behind the labels.
Now is your chance to secure tickets to the Vintage Cellars International Wine Fair.
Date: Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 May, 2013
Venue: Overseas Passenger Terminal, 110 Circular Quay W, Sydney
I love creamy casseroles, covered in golden, bubbling cheese but I loathe cleaning the dish. Well, I did until I worked this method out.This method works wonderfully for stuck on food in anything. Like congealed sauces in saucepans, soggy cereal that has adhered to the bowl and dough from mixing bowls.
Fill the offending dish with hot water and a squirt of dish washing liquid. Let it sit for a few minutes while you attend to other dishes.
Grab a spatula. The kind that are flexible but firm, made out of thin plastic work the best. More flexible or thicker spatulas are not a match for baked cheese. Use the spatula to scrape the crud off the dish. You may need to tip out the water and refill the dish so that you can see the stuck bits from the floating bits you’ve scraped off. Once all the chunky bits are dealt with, wash as normal.
It only takes a few seconds and it works a treat. I have a dedicated ‘dish spatula’ by the sink. As the spatula is plastic, it’s safe for almost every surface. This also reduces the problem of balled up cheese in scourer sponges (gross). Now you can feel free to cook up a storm without fearing the dishes!