Friday, March 29, 2013

COOKING: Hot Cross Buns

I realised with horror that it was the day before Good Friday and I had not bought any Hot Cross Buns yet! So I jumped onto the ipad and did a search for an easy, foolproof recipe to try.

Yum Yum Yum!

I found this "5 star rated" recipe (the best kind) and was even more delighted to realise I could avoid most of the hard work and put my bread machine into use!

Here is the link:

I'll show you the steps.

First I put the dried yeast, plain flour, brown sugar, salt, nutmeg (and I added a teaspoon of cinnamon) sultanas, egg, margarine and water into the bread machine - then selected dough cycle. The dough really rose quite impressively - and this it it before I tipped it out onto the floured bench.

The recipe called for kneading until it is elastic and springs back when pressed. Only took about two minutes.

I tried to portion the dough evenly, but unless you weigh each portion - I think its hard to be exact.

Put them close but not touching on your tray/s.

Cover with clean tea towels and leave in a warm spot for 30 minutes. I chose my sunny outdoor table for the job.

After thirty minutes - they are now just touching.

The crosses are made with a paste of flour, sugar and water. Was like glue!

Pipe across all your buns, one way first,

Then the other.

Not a bad effort, a bit wonky - considering my piping bag was giving me a really hard time, and kept on exploding apart!!!

Baked and glazed.

Really happy - husband said they were very professional looking!

And they tasted really great too! This recipe is a keeper.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

CRAFTS: Mosaic Possums

When I was helping out in a friends craft shop, I ordered a gorgeous ceramic tile of two POSSUMS. I'm a big fan of the Possum, I think they are furry and cute. However, if you ask others who have them destroy their veggie gardens or pot plants, then run over their house rooves all night long - with what sounds like army boots on - they will tell you that they hate them. I have only encountered them in nature ..... and I'm a fan. I've been known to tempt them to come close with fruit and vegetables as my bribery - here is one which came the closest while hubs and I were touring Tasmania. He/she even rested its paws on my leg!

Thanks for the memories - Tassie Friend!

I'll always remember another little possum sleeping on the window sill of the ladies' shower/toilet block in our caravan park in Hervey Bay, Queensland. It slept all day, and put a huge smile on the faces of ladies using the facilities throughout the day. Of course, at sunset it was off to source some food and check out the outdoors. I fed that one some banana.

Finished and hanging on the outside wall.

The beginning of the grouting process. I had to wait for a cool day otherwise the grout dries too fast.

Your grout must be toothpaste consistency then you squoosh it inbetween all the tiles with a worn sponge.

When it is all squooshed in, you wait a bit, then start to use a damp sponge to clean the surface off.

Hello Possum. My ceramics friend Sandy makes and fires the gum leaves, gum nuts, and yellow rounds for the wattles too. A great time saver instead of cutting them out by hand from tiles!

This project has taken me over 6 months to complete, at a very leisurely pace. 

This wall faces our hillside views and the entrance to the gazebo. This is often where I will sit with my first coffee of the day with my mini schnauzer on her outdoor bed to my left. 

The mosaic table was my very FIRST mosaic project I made while taking classes.