Author: stephanieradion

Sewing for a new bub

I recently gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. One of the things I was most excited about was all of the fun things that I could sew for her, after all, as a child all of my favourite dresses & outfits were things that my Mum had made for me. I also have a number of fabric scraps that I’d been saving over the years from past projects or from various family members collections that are really only big enough to make something for a baby or small child. These are the first two things I made for the new bub. The purple dress was made using a small scrap of corduroy I had from my husband’s grandmother’s fabric collection. I used Simplicity 1205 as a basis for this dress, however it was a pretty small scrap of fabric & I actually didn’t have enough to make the dress per the pattern, so I reduced the amount of gathers in the skirt, thereby reducing the width of the pattern piece. This ended up being …

Tropical Dream Cake

Do you ever bake a cake just to use up some odd ingredients you have left over from other recipes? I had a few egg whites left over after making the fruit mince pie pastry earlier in the week & wanted to make something to use them up. I also had a HEAP of tinned passionfruit pulp in the cupboard & some limes that were getting a little long in the tooth so decided to throw it all together in a tropical version of Flour & Stone’s Lemon Dream Cake, (you can find the base recipe for this cake here). There were a number of changes I made to the recipe. I added the following ingredients to the cake batter; – The juice & zest of one lime – 70g of desiccated coconut – An additional 20g of self raising flour I used a single 9×13 inch tray to bake the cake in rather than two 22cm diameter cake pans & once the cake batter was in the baking tin I drizzled a 170g tin of …

NYE 2017

For New Years this year we hosted a big dinner party at home. Because it was New Years I wanted to go all out & make it completely over the top. I decided that in order for a dish to make it onto the menu it had to be bloody hard or very time consuming to make. I think most of my friends thought I was pretty crazy (especially since I had a one year old running round the house) but they were happy to enjoy the results. There was a LONG list of possible dishes that I looked into trying to re-create at home from some of my favourite restaurants. I spent a few weeks researching them all. The criteria I ended up using to decide which dishes would make it was; 1. I could actually get the ingredients I needed for the dish (the Movida dish almost didn’t make it because I had a tough time finding a good quality dried beef) 2. I could make it without having to purchase any crazy …

Halloween 2017

This year was our first real opportunity to get dressed up as a family for Halloween. So of course, it had to be Star Wars! Our little one is still too young for trick or treating but we had a party to go to & couldn’t resist dressing up the whole family. I was super happy about how this costume turned out, especially since two of the three costumes took next to no time to make. The Ewok costume was crazy easy to make. I bought this teddy bear suit & removed the bow tie. Then I roughly cut out the shape of a t-shirt out of a bit of brown fabric I had lying round (I used a t-shirt of my husband’s as a guide) & sewed it together. To fit it, I put the bub in the teddy bear hat, the neckhole in the t-shirt became the opening for his face & his arms when through the arm holes. To hold the brown fabric in place all I had to do was cut slits …

Polish Honey Cake

Without a doubt this version of a Polish Honey cake of my favorite cakes to make when the weather starts to cool off. There is something so comforting about the flavour of spiced honey. When paired with a nice cup of tea it makes for the perfect afternoon tea on the weekend. The recipe for this cake comes from Belinda Jeffery in the Australian Delicious magazine (June 2010). You can find it online here. I’ve made this cake countless times over the last 7 years & it is consistently good. The texture is soft & moist, the flavour rich & the kitchen is filled with the most beautiful aroma when it’s cooking. The honey is clearly the star of the show yet the cake isn’t sickly sweet. Instead it allows you to really appreciate the different notes of the honey. The flavour changes with different types of honey & I’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with different types. My only problem is they’re all so good I can’t pick a favourite!

Pleating Fabric

Recently, I’ve been obsessed with fabric pleating. I don’t know how many videos I’ve watched of fabric pleaters making paper molds & pleating fabric. There’s something very calming about watching someone pleat fabric. I think it’s the precision & symmetry of it that appeals to me. After a while though, I started to think, this isn’t all that hard, surely I could do this at home. I had a skirt that I wanted a pleated panel for. I had a look in my local fabric store for pre-pleated panels but they didn’t stock many & I didn’t really like any of the colours or fabrics. Then I had a look online. There’s a lot of fabric pleaters out there, but I just didn’t want to pay a huge amount of money for a small panel of pleats. So I decided to give it a go myself. After all it’s just making a paper mold & baking it in an oven right? The first time I found out about the pleating process was in this blog …

Hot Cross Buns

I never made hot cross buns before moving to the US. There was no point really, they are quite a bit of hard work to make & the bakeries near me all sold versions that were better than anything I could make. Then I moved to Michigan & it turns out, there aren’t many places you can go to get a hot cross bun around Detroit at Easter. Some friends found one bakery that sells them at Easter but you have to get there crazy early to get them before they sell out. Now if I want to eat Hot Cross Buns at Easter, I have to make them myself. Every year for the past 3 years I’ve tried making hot cross buns. After a couple of years of making rock hard on the outside, doughy on the inside hot cross buns, I FINALLY made some this year that were close to the soft buns I remember from Australia. I use this recipe from Gourmet Traveller. The changes I’ve made so far are:- – I …