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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Toffee Bars

I can't believe I have never posted this recipe before (even on my old blog, which I've had since 2005). Love this one. It's a great alternative to choc chip cookies every. But I think I like it more than cookies, so I try not to make it too often. Here is the recipe. I've tried adding toppings, like score bits or nuts, but I like it plain the best. I am thinking this year, instead of the cookie baskets I gave out to friends for Christmas last year, I am going to make a selection of squares and bars to give out instead. This one will be on the well as another recipe I was finally able to try a few weeks ago...stay tuned...


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween Costume

This post was meant for last year. This is how organized I am...against my best intentions, I never post holiday posts on time!! So, I saved it for this year. And look at the date! Almost missed it!

I had this grand fun idea to be a bearded lady for Halloween. I have some fish net stockings, a cute black dress, 3" peep-toe sling backs, hot rollers for a 40's look, and some flowers for my hair. I was going to be as vintage glam and girly as possible, black eyes, bright red lips, perfect fake nails, everything...except...I would have a beard, like an old circus freak! So, I went to work on my beard...

Tie random length yarn onto some clear stretchy jewelry stringy-elasticy-rubbery stuff, and make loops to hook over your ears. I tied the pieces on with this simple knot. Create the ear loops by using those little crimping beads, if you have them. I did this because I have a ton of jewelry supplies, and also it makes the beard attachments as invisible as possible. But you could also use elastic, and tie it around your head. I went a little further, and used a toothpick and separated all the yarn strands for a more realistic look, if that's even possible.

After all my careful crafting, I came to the sad realization that my bearded lady circus freak idea was hinging on my being able to be very girly (except for the beard) to get the feel I was going for. The problem is that I cannot (could not, at the time) wear high-heeled shoes yet. I am still having problems with my heel, and therefore my 40's style sling backs are not going to agree with my physical condition of my foot. I thought I could just go barefoot, but I can't pull off the look I need without shoes! I am going as a burly Canadian. The very opposite, except for the beard. No gorgeous hot roller hair-do, but instead a pony tail under a hunting camo trucker hat. No gorgeous fish nets hooked onto a garder belt, but old ratty blue jeans instead. No black peep-toe sling backs, but instead my running shoes I have to wear to physio. And of course no make-up, no nail polish, no black dress, but instead a flannel and some dirt on my face. Oh well. Maybe next year I can be a circus freak.... (and it being next year already, I am too busy to have Halloween! I am so sad :( Plus Aussies don't really get into it either. Maybe NEXT year I'll be a bearded lady...I still wear the beard every so often, I LOVE it).


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cookie Craft

OK, here is another fab book I've bought myself recently. Cookie Craft. There is a Christmas version too, so you still have time to get it! I can't wait to try out some of the techniques in here. I've been so swamped with work, I have a laundry list of projects to get going with, so I hope I can share some samples soon here. This book has a lot of techniques for those who've never done much decorating before, but for those who have, it also has a lot of great ideas too. And I found it on ebay, brand new for $12.60 USD.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Chocolate Caramel Bites

Mmm, these were a treat! Best kept in the fridge, but enjoyable no matter what!

1/2 cup plain flour, sifted
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup ground almonds
65 g butter, melted

380 g can Top N Fill Caramel (see note)
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter

60 g butter
150 g dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease two, 12 x 1 1/2 tablespoon (30ml) mini muffin pans.
To make base: Combine flour, sugar, almonds and butter. Press 1 teaspoon of mixture into base of each muffin hole.

To make filling: Mix caramel filling and peanut butter together. Spoon over base so it is three-quarters full. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until firm. Remove from oven. Set aside to cool.

To make icing: Melt butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat and spoon over each caramel bite. Place in fridge to set. When set, use a flat-bladed knife to remove from muffin pans.

Notes and tips:
Note: Top N Fill Caramel is a pre-made, thick caramel filling. It can be found in the baking aisle of your supermarket [I'm not sure if it is in North America or not].
from "Super Food Ideas" - August 2003 , Page 69