Tag Archives: birthday

Menu Plan {06.15.2013} + Wonderful NZ Art piece

When we got back to work on Tuesday, I received a note from shipping that a personal parcel was waiting for me to pick up. Now, my Mum had mentioned she had to courier my birthday present to me, as it was big and flat. It sure was!!! This was what was inside (still not completely unpacked hence the tape on the bottom)….the fan-like art piece is made from New Zealand Flax. Isn’t it beautiful, the perfect composition of weaving at the bottom and then the long criss-crossed fanned strands. What a great gift, now we have to decide where to put it – I am thinking the bedroom in a simple wood frame.

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As we were in New York we did not have a meal plan for the week, but we are ready to plan this week.

DAY BREAKFAST DINNER
Saturday Granola + Fruit Grilled Chicken Breast + Salad
Sunday Strawberry + Banana Crepes Grilled Rissoles + Watermelon, Cucumber, Basil Salad
Monday English Muffin + Banana + Almond Butter Broccoli+ Cherry Tomato Fettuccine
Tuesday Bircher Muesli Chicken “Fried” Rice (Brown Rice)
Wednesday English Muffin + Banana + Almond Butter zPizza
Thursday Bircher Muesli Moroccan Lamb Shanks + Grilled Vegetables + Wheat Berries
Friday Berry + Banana + Spirulina Smoothie Toasted Sandwiches + Homemade Fries

We are usually spending ~$70 a week for our meals. Here is this weeks shopping list:

GROCERY LIST (NEW STOCK) IN THE CUPBOARD/FRIDGE
  • Watermelon (TJ)
  • Bananas (TJ)
  • Zucchini (TJ)
  • Cherry Tomatoes (TJ)
  • Basil (TJ)
  • Soy Milk (TJ)
  • Lamb Shanks (BJ)
  • Chicken (Meat House)
  • Soy Yoghurt (WF)
  • English Muffins (TT)
  • Bread (LaFarm)
  • Gluten Free Pasta (TT)
  • Brown Rice (TJ)
  • Oats (BJ)
  • Sultanas (TT)
  • Wheat Berries (WF)
  • Broccoli (our garden)
  • Carrots (our garden)
  • Bell Pepper (TJ)
  • Asparagus (TJ)
  • Onions (TJ)
  • Eggs (TJ)
  • Lettuce (TJ)
  • Tomatoes (TJ)
  • Granny Smith Apples (LF)
  • Mushrooms (TJ)
  • Frozen Corn (TJ)
  • Ground Beef (TJ)

NOTE: We shop majority at Trader Joe’s (TJ), Target (TT) with an occasional visit to Whole foods (WF), BJ’s , Harris Teeters (HT), Lowes Food (LF) and Fresh Market (FM).
NOTE: We do not typically use coupons mainly due to time.

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40 and Lotta’s Surface Printing Workshop

First off – this is a picture heavy post. Today, I am turning 40 and decided to embrace it!! I am celebrating it with a trip to New York to attend Lotta Jansdotter Surface Printing Workshop. We (I took the family along) started the trip out with delays from Tropical Storm Andrea, but thankfully we got to the hotel, even though it was midnight (4 hours late).

This morning, I couldn’t wait to get in that yellow cab and be driven to Brooklyn to Lotta’s workshop. One of those cab’s below will be mine!!

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The workshop was held in an amazing space that included the shop, workspace and office.  And yes, in the photo below those are shelves of fabric bolts. I made a purchase while I was there, of course – a strawberry journal, a table runner and the 1 yard of the dandelion fabric from her Echo line.

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The course, itself, was run by Lotta. I shared the experience with 11 other great people who helped me celebrate. The course took you through working with potatoes, rubber blocks and stencils on both paper and fabric.

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I loved Lotta’s teaching style. She made sure that the main goal of the course was just to experiment and go with the creative flow, which was very liberating and stress-free. The four hours flew by….I so wished the course was a weekend course (2 days) – I enjoyed it that much. I would highly recommend anyone coming to New York, to check out her shop at the very least, and if possible sign-up for a class. You will love it.

Potato printing

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Block Printing 

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Inspiration – Pohutukawa flower, the New Zealand Christmas Tree:PohutukawaRed PohutukawaOrangeRedPink

Inspiration – Pacific Island tapa clothes. Designs which are typically painted on woven flax sheets:TapaOrangeSilver BlackTapaPrint

Fabric Printing
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Final Products of Work
Stationary – Pohutukawa and Tapa Cloth Card Sets.
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Tote to carry all the goodies home with 🙂
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Never fail cupcakes

I am still recovering at home from my sinus surgery. This week has been a little more painful than usual, which makes it a little hard to do all the things I wanted to accomplish this week. I have wanted to make updates to posts, with regards to craft projects and the new backyard project, but first I have to finish them somewhat to take photos. After all a photo speaks a thousand words and that is not happening this week unfortunately.

So in the meantime, its been a week or so since I posted recipes. I have recently been trying out some recipes for cupcakes – one specifically for my son’s 5th birthday. Cupcakes, I find a lot of fun as you you can experiment a lot with them and usually end up something all will like.

I have a never-fail recipe I use as a batter starter and from there I get creative. This recipe is very easy to double if you want more than 12 cupcakes.

Vanilla Cupcake Batter (from New Zealand Edmonds Cookbook)

125g butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup milk

Cream butter, vanilla and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs  one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour and baking powder together. Fold into creamed mixture. Stir in milk. Place 12 paper cupcake cups in a muffin tray. Spoon mixture into the paper cups. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 C) for 15 minutes or until the cakes spring back when lightly touched. Transfer to a cooling rack. When cool decorate as desired.

Chocolate cup cakes
Omit 2 Tbsp of flour. Replace with 2 Tbsp of cocoa (unsweetened).

Here are some of my creations using this batter.

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Use the Vanilla Cupcake batter above. Once cupcakes have cooled, use a corer (like an apple corer) and take out the center. Fill the center with lemon curd. To make the Lemon cream cheese frosting:

Mix in a bowl, 2 Tbsp of melted butter, 1/4 cup cream cheese, 1 cup icing sugar (confectionary), 1/2 tsp grated lemon rind, 1 tsp lemon juice.

Frost the cupcake.

Dinosaur Cupcakes (my son’s 5th birthday party cupcakes)

For this recipe, I again used the vanilla cupcakes but I switched out the all purpose flour with white whole wheat flour and added 1 cup of milk chocolate chips. This made a chocolate chip cupcake.

 

From there I made vanilla frosting and sprinkled that with green sugar or chocolate frosting with hundred’s and thousands (colored sprinkles). I purchased little dinosaur cupcake toothpicks for decoration.

  

By the way, I loved this double cupcake tin from Crate and Barrel – it provides a way of carrying 24 cupcakes.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

For this recipe, I used the Chocolate flavored cupcake batter above. I placed the batter into the cupcake cups and before baking pushed a mini Reeses peanut butter cup into the center, then spooned ~1 tsp of batter over the peanut butter cup. Bake following the directions above.

Frost with Peanut Butter Frosting. Freeze 12 mini Reeses cups for 10 minutes. Use a fork or a rolling pin and break up the mini cups. Top each cupcake with one of the broken peanut butter cups.