Monday, 18 August 2014

Playing with Barbie dolls !!! - 02

I love shoes. Period.

I collect them and I do believe I have more than a hundred pairs... And still need more!

This thing I have for shoes is spreading....
My little one already has a nice collection (thanks to her mama) and of course her Barbie dolls!

You didn't think it was going to be any different for the dolls, did you?

 These boots also come in black (actually, I had two pairs and painted one in black with a permanent marker!)

There are shoe styles here that I would really like to have in my own closet! Especially those Mary Janes... Go figure ...

I would like to thank her cousin for them. She gave Ioanna so many pairs and still has more!!


Thursday, 7 August 2014

Playing with Barbie dolls !!! - 01

I love Barbie and thankfully Ioanna has about 5-6 dolls for me to play with.... Ha ha, I know, but I don't feel that old to play with them!!

I also like sewing! For me, for Ioanna, for the Barbies! It was inevitable that I would make Barbie clothes. After all I needed to use all the scrap fabric pieces I have!

I rarely use patterns. I simply measure the dolls and draw a rough picture and then I cut the fabric and sew it. I correct what I must right on the spot.

from left to right

black satin belt - red silk dress - pink muslin skirt - beige muslin dress - black gown with orange tulle.

black bell bottom pants - black mini dress - black capris - striped tube top - red dress with satin sash - black long fitted gown.

Burberry dress - water blue silk dress - white tube top - sky blue satin dress - black strapless top - white tube dress.

white apron - army fitted dress - white dress - army strapless top - skirt with red tulle - striped tube dress.

flower pants - blue dress - black and white dress with lace - muslin shorts - flower fitted dress - black tube top - muslin tube top.

blue pants - Burberry tube top - pink dress - Burberry skirt - plive green skirt - pink skirt - red long gown.

And now for some modelling ...

The black, the red and leopard print gowns are Ioanna's favorites (along with a long red gown with large skirt, not shown).
The leopard one was made from an old shower cap. Amazing full skirt, right?

I am going to try and make a coat!

Love playing with my little one and dress the Barbies!!!!


Friday, 1 August 2014

Peach upside down cake!

Peach and nectarines = summer!

I stand by this. These are a big favorite in our house and I use them in any way I think is tasty!

Since I like upside down cakes (here and here), I baked a simple cake, using my vanilla cake recipe, in which I grated 1 peach.

I used the peaches raw and covered the bottom of my pan.

So... I forgot to take pictures of the finished cake in its platter......
Please forgive me....
But you get the idea!


Sunday, 27 July 2014

Daring Bakers - July 2014!

This month our host was Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood. Her choise was a real surprise for us....

Surprise - Inside Cakes!

I love these cakes! I also love the reaction of my guests, when I cut into one!

I make these cake a lot, mainly during Christmas. I have also made cookie dough stuffed cupcakes.

This challenge, though, came at a perfect time, because I wanted to make a birthday cake for my little one for her school birthday party. The surprise is in the filling!

Surprise Inside Birthday Cake

I based the colors on the sprinkles, that I put on top of the cake.
I started piping the filling in concentric circles.

The left over filling was used to make the outside dots. .


When I bake/make/cook something, I always make a small sample, which I cut and taste.

This is how it looks inside when you cut the slices!
The cake layers are chocolate and the filling is white chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

For the cake layers I use the recipe by Summer at Cake Paper Party.
For the SMB I use the recipe by Rosie at Sweetapolita.
Both with excellent results every single time!

Amazing challenge!!!

Thank you Ruth!


Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Apricot - cinnamon jam!

After the fresh apricot upside-down cake I made, I still had a lot of fruit left.

We do eat apricots, but I wanted to preserve them as well, so I made a lovely apricot - cinnamon jam, using my KENWOOD Bread Maker!!!!

It is really easy to make.

I washed, pitted and cubed the apricots. Then I weighed them and added the same amount of sugar.
I also put 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon butter. I didn't add any water, though, because the apricots were very ripe and therefore, juicy enough!

Lastly, the most important step: I chose the jam programme and pressed the button......

The cinnamon is actually a helpfull addition, because it "breaks" a bit of the sweetness of the apricots.

This is a very fragrant jam and you can use it in a lot of ways. For example, I eat it by the spoonful right out of the jar (.......), we eat it on bread, but I also use it in cakes in between the layers and I also glaze cupcakes!

Note: Think toasted bread, cream cheese and this jam.... Heaven!!!


Monday, 14 July 2014

Fresh apricot upside - down cake!

Summer to me is a lot of things.....

One of them is apricots. Oh, I love them. Their smell, their texture, so so tasty!

So naturally, I used them in a cake!

Fresh apricot upside - down cake

for the pan:
110gr butter
150gr brown sugar
apricots, cut in fourths, as many as you need to cover the base of your pan

for the cake:
210gr all purpose flour
1,5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
120gr butter
150gr white sugar
1,5 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
150gr buttermilk

* Preheat the oven to 180oC.
* Heat the butter until melted and foamy.
* Add the brown sugar and cook it for a couple of minutes. If not all the sugar is dissolved don't worry.
* Pour into the cake pan and arrange the apricots on top.
* Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder. Add salt.
* Beat butter, sugar and vanilla, until light and fluffy.
* Beat in eggs one at a time.
* Add the flour, alternating it with buttermilk (3 times flour, 2 times buttermilk).
* Gently pour batter or spoon it over the apricots.
* Bake for 45 minutes.
* Once out of the oven, let it stand 5 minutes and then invert it on a serving platter.
* Let it cool a bit, then dig in!

This cake is not too sweet and the taste of the fresh fruit is amazing! It caramelizes beautifully!

I don't know if you can make it with canned apricots. But I don't think the taste will be this fresh.


Monday, 30 June 2014

Grapefruit jam with raw honey!

I had a few grapefruits in the fruit basket, that I wasn't eating. They were from a tree in my mother-in-law's back yard. Small and juicy!

So I decided to make something with them, since I hate throwing food away.

I admit I do not know the difference between jam and marmalade, so I call everything "jam". It doesn't matter to me really, any way you call this, IT IS DELICIOUS!

Oh, did I mention easy, too?

Grapefruit jam with raw honey
recipe by me

4 grapefruits
white sugar
1 tbsp butter
1/2 apple grated
4 tbsp honey

* Wash the grapefruits very well.
* Place them in a very large pot, cover them with water and boil them for a couple of hours, until they are tender and you can prick them easily with a skewer.
* Once they are ready and not so hot for you to handle, cut them in pieces.
* Put them all (juice s and fruit) in your mixer and mash them.
* Weigh the grapefruit mash and weigh the same amount of sugar.
* Put everything in a pot, except for the honey.
* Add a little water, maybe 1/2 cup.
* Cook the jam in moderate heat, stirring constantly and watching it so that it won't burn.
* Once it is thick and jam-like remove from the heat.
* Let it cool a bit and add the honey.
* Stir until combined and taste it. You might want to add a little more honey, if it is too sour for your taste.
* Put it in glass jars and when they are completely cold, place them in the fridge.

My plan for this is a sugar cookie base tart filled with this jam and some sugar cookie crumble on top!!!

The tanginess of grapefruits and the combined sweetness of sugar and honey make this jam truly divine!