Friday, May 29, 2009

Little Drops of Heaven

I have a confession . . . I love to bake. But even more than that I love to eat what I bake.

Usually I'm not really a fan of biscuits. Let's get real though, if someone puts a Tim Tam in front of me I'm not going to say no. But a home baked biscuit - now that is an entire different matter. I simply cannot get enough. Usually in our house it's double chocolate chip (which I will share another day). But this week it's Jam Drops.

Jam Drops with . . . wait for it . . . home made plum jam. Now before you go judging me as some 1950's stepford wife I totally cheated LOL. CHeck out this idiot proof recipe for super fast jam. I works equally well for any of the usual preserving fruits (I just happened to have plums that I wanted to use up). The secret is in the setting sugar.

Super Fast Jam

Crush 1kg cleaned fruit of your choice coarsely with a potato masher or blender.
Place fruit and
1kg CSR Jam Setting Sugar (1kg = 1 pack) into a large heavy based pot.
Heat mixture over low heat until sugar is dissolved – do not allow to boil.
knob of butter and increase heat, to bring to a full rolling boil (a boil that cannot be stirred down).
Boil for 4 minutes only. Remove from heat, skim off any foam and test for set. To test for a set: remove pot from heat; put a small amount of jam on a chilled plate or saucer. Allow to cool and gently push a finger through this. If the surface wrinkles, the setting point has been reached. If not, return to boil and retest at 2 minute intervals.
Once you are happy with the set, bottle in *pre-sterilised jars immediately
Recipe from CSR

* I sterilise my jars by putting them in the dishwasher :)

Jam Drops
180g Butter Softened
1 Cup Caster Sugar
1 Egg
2 Cups Plain Flour (sifted)
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
Jam to Decorate

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius
Place butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and fluffy
Add the egg and beat well
Stir through the flower and baking powder and mix to a dough
Roll two teaspoons of the mixture into balls
Place on a tray lined with non-stick baking powder, allowing room for the biscuits to spread and flatten slightly
Press a finger into the middle of the dough to make an indent.
Fill the hole with jam
Bake for 10 minutes or until golden
Add a little more jam to the holes while the cookies are hot
Cool on wire racks
Makes 60

I love that these bickies can be made up virtually out of the pantry. Most home bakers would have this stuff hanging around.

And although 3 and 5 year olds are not known for their discerning taste, I was pleased to hear my kidlets heaping praises on these cookies like: "Mmmm, these are so good!" and "Yeah, they're the best!". BEWARE though, the kids are not the only ones that will be begging for more :) You have been warned!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

New Obsession

I was given flowers for my birthday (Thanks Lee!) earlier in the month and since then I have been addicted to having fresh cut flowers in the house.

I can't believe what a difference they can make to a room. I feel like a total Domestic Goddess when my rooms look like this (see pics). Fresh flowers have the added bonus of bringing the outdoors in. I don't know about you, but I can't help but feel uplifted looking at something this beautiful several times a day. 

But apart from being soul food, cut flowers are such an economical way of adding some style to an otherwise lifeless room. Forget the paint brush and sack the interior decorator! 



No need to be a flower snob and spend a fortune at the florist. These orchids were $9 from Coles. Yes, Coles :) I always keep an eye out on the "chuck outs" as well. Sometimes you can get a real bargain and you will still get a few days out of your flowers.

Oh and that is not an expensive designer vase - it's our wine carafe!

OK so now the next thing is to get some pics on the wall, and then the room will look complete :P


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Scrapping Stuff

So here are a couple of my most recent projects. These are the ones that represent the"Breaking of the Great Scrapping Drought" LOL

Shopping List Holder

Totally for myself, in a style that I like and for a functional and practical purpose. I had a bit of a personal epiphany at Christmas time while packing up the spare (scrap) room in preparation for guests. I had a whole heap of off the page stuff that served no purpose at all except to look pretty. That in itself is not a bad thing, but how much stuff do I actually need. It was then that I vowed that the only stuff I would make from then on would have a practical purpose - and suit the modern stylings of our home.

So this shopping list holder is an attempt at organisation. That is I should now be jotting down items as I think of them, rather than wasting valuable "child free" time on the morning of shopping day trying to remember what in the world we need! Seems to be working so far. 

"If She Could Talk 2 The Animals"
A Layout for the fabulous White With 1 Challenge Blog. The concept is to create a LO using white as the main colour with one accent colour and one other special element. Could be a word, an embellie whatever. I love this blog, such a great idea - especially for someone like me that prefers to start with a white bg most of the time. This month was white with olive green and birdies.

"Discover: The Wonder of Nature"
And lucky last is a double LO for the Aussie Pub Calls Roadmaps Challenge Blog. This is a sketch blog which I find particularly inspiring. Here is the sketch that this LO was based on - A loose interpretation i think, but I had a lot of fun doing it.

Well, that's it for now. Hope you stop by again soon :)

Blogging Again . . .

So . . .Um  it's been a while right? Over a year actually. So I'm wondering if anyone is still out there? Hellllloooooooo? Hm, big, empty, cavernous echo.

Oh well, I'm back and I'm ready to share again. 

You may notice that the blog is no longer called "pip's scraps". After a year of no mojo I have decided that my life needs to be about more than just scrapping. Shocking, I know. So this blog is now dedicated to my life as a wife, mother, cook, cleaner, scrapper, choir singer and part-time employee. I want to share all the little things I find on life's journey. So away we go!