Sunday, July 27, 2014

Fable Table: Coconut Banana Pancakes with Cheat's Caramel Sauce

Something cheeky happens when I'm home alone and I get the baking-bug... 

something indulgent...

something selfish...

I eat my experiments.  

There's no one around to taste test, you see, so it's up to me.

There's no one home to ask 'Whatcha bakin'?' or 'Can I try some?'

There's no one here... to stop me.

There it is.  My secret is out.  It feels like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders (and funnily enough, piled onto my hips!).

In all honesty, I do usually have something left of the baked-kind for the kids when they get home.

I may just skate around the truth when it comes to original quantities, is all.

It feels lovely when they walk in the front door and say 'Mmm what's that delicious smell?'  

I get a little flutter in my belly and a smile in my heart.

It makes me feel very MamaBear.

Anyhoo, today's experiment is a little variation on one of our Fable Family Favourites, Pancakes with Caramel Bananas.  Instead of frying sliced bananas and using them as a topping, today I added the sliced bananas to the pancakes as they were cooking.  

Needless to say as there was caramel involved, it turned out very tasty!

If you'd like to have a go, here's how to do it:

Whisk together 1 cup of coconut cream with one egg then add 1 cup of self raising flour and 1tbs dessicated coconut.  Whisk with a fork until combined.

Melt 1 tbs butter over low-medium heat in a large frypan.

Dollop spoonfuls of pancake mix into pan (I usually fit three to four pancakes, depending on how much it spreads).

Place thin slices of banana onto each pancake (make the slices no thicker than about 3mm to ensure it gets the chance to cook through).

When bubbles start to appear in the batter, flip your pancakes over.

Cook for another minute or so then pop them onto a plate.

Now for the Cheat's Caramel Sauce:

Put 2tbs butter and 2tbs brown sugar in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 20 seconds.  Stir to combine then microwave for another 20 seconds.  Add 1tbs cream and stir thoroughly.  Voila!  

Pour sauce over your pancakes and serve with vanilla ice cream (or tear off giant chunks of pancake, ungracefully slosh them around in the bowl of caramel sauce and devour like it's your last meal  - whatever takes your fancy).

Now can you see why I eat my experiments?  Luckily for the rest of the Five, I'm watching my sugar intake (today, at least) so there is plenty left to share with them when they arrive home.

But if I didn't have any left, no one would be any the wiser.  Just saying ;)

Hush Little Baby

Our little Baby absolutely loves the lullaby Hush Little Baby.  

It's really very sweet. 

She can be all fussy and whiney but I can pick her up, hold her tight and start to sing, and if she is tired, she'll close her eyes and settle straight away.  

Then there are those times when she doesn't want to settle and nothing I do works.  

But this post is about the magical powers of the lullaby!

Sometimes I'll be singing it for quite some time and I get a little tired of repeating the same verses, so tend to make up my own.

Here's the original:

Hush little baby, don't say a word
Mama's gonna buy you a mockingbird

If that mockingbird don't sing
Mama's gonna buy you a diamond ring

If that diamond ring turns brass
Mama's gonna buy you a looking glass

If that looking glass gets broke
Mama's gonna buy you a billy goat

If that billy goat don't pull
Mama's gonna buy you a cart and bull

If that cart and bull fall over
Mama's gonna buy you a dog named Rover

If that dog named Rover don't bark
Mama's gonna buy you a horse and cart

If that horse and cart fall down
You'll still be the cutest little baby in town.

A baby's expectation of seamless singing makes you come up with some pretty interesting verses off-the-cuff, but after much practise I've removed most of the nonsensical lines from my repertoire and this is how it goes:

Hush little baby, don't you cry
Mama's gonna bake you an apple pie

If that apple pie's too tart
Mama's gonna build you a billy cart

If that billy cart don't race
Mama's gonna sew you a gown of lace

If that gown of lace gets torn
Mama's gonna you a spotty fawn

If that spotty fawn runs away
Mama's gonna find you a sweet blue jay

And if that sweet blue jay don't sing
Mama's gonna start at the beginning.

The lyics are prone to change... I heard Bobby McFerrin mention chocolate cake in his version - who wouldn't go to sleep for chocolate cake?!

If you need a reminder of the tune, click here for a lovely version by Peter, Paul and Mary.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

July Blues

Argh, so many half-written posts laying about!  You know when you get all inspired to write something then the inspiration gets interrupted (usually dinner time, a crying baby or arguing children)?!  It's school holidays here so there are interruptions aplenty but lots of inspiration too!  
We've squeezed a lot of fun into the last couple of weeks and the only real downer has been that BigBadWolf got really sick and had to go into hospital.  He's home now but looks like he'll be off work for another couple of weeks.  
I decided to snap some pics to lighten the mood in the hospital room and as it turns out they were all blue-ish so I continued the theme when we got home and made this lil' blue post :)

Apron and gloves.  Suggested attire when visiting the BigBadWolf in hospital.  That's the smiling patient up top there :)

The hills of home!  A nice view from said hospital room.

A card of good wishes from Berry and Bear

We decided that a dollhouse renovation would be a good school holiday project, starting with a new colour on the roof - aqua.

Crochet blanket, beautiful ombré

I've been admiring the ombré effect of this bag from for ages and it's had me playing with similar colours in an attempt to make something for Baby (a hat maybe? a jacket?)

I lurrrve this colour for a boy's room - rich, midnight tealy-blue. Found here

The Blues won in Round 16! Okay, so I exaggerated my own excitement, but seeing how happy it made Bear each time they kicked a goal, that made me happy.

There's a mixture of happy and not-so-happy amongst all those blues - here's hoping for more of the former in the coming days!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Crochet Baby Sherlock Hat Project

This would have to be one of the cutest hat patterns I've ever seen - stripes, earflaps, buttons - all the ingredients for a super fun beanie!  It's been on the 'to-crochet' list for a couple of years but as Bear is too big for 'cute' beanies, I hadn't had any reason to make it - then my nephew had his second birthday - Yippee!  
I think it's more of an Aviator style than a Sherlock style, but either way I love it!

The perfect little hat for winter outdoor adventures!
Flaps to keep little ears toasty warm

Sea tones pair nicely with wooden buttons

Long ties can be tied in a bow

Pattern: A freebie called Baby Sherlock Hat available from the Red Heart site.

Yarn: Heirloom Easycare 8 ply in teal and soft blue.

- To save time, I used a 6mm in place of the suggested 5mm and used half double crochet in place of single crochet (I did start out using sc but it was taking aaaages and I was in a rush so started again and whipped it up in a couple of hours!).  
- As I used a bigger hook, it required fewer increases to get to the right size which led to fewer stitches in the final round which meant that I had to fudge my way through the placement of earflaps and front flap.  This made it fiddly, but that was my fault.
- I used the soft blue contrast colour to stitch a single crochet border around the outside.  When I got to the centre of each ear flap, I did ch35 then sc into each st back to the ear flap and continued the sc border around the hat.
- The buttons are stitched straight onto the hat - no button holes!

Next time:
I'll allow myself more time and will make the hat in single crochet as the pattern reads.  This means less fussing over flap-placement as I should be able to follow the pattern verbatim.

Result: It's a simple and satisfying project which I will very likely make again :D

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Granny Stripe Snuggle Blanket

Crocheting a full-size blanket is a full-size commitment - one that I fear would bring more angst than joy!   But when I see all the lovely blankets made by fellow bloggers and crafters - Attic24, Coco Rose Diaries, Little Woollie to name a few - they are so inspiring!

You clever kittens, I think to myself.  

How lovely it must be to snuggle under something of your own making!
I want, I want, I want!

So last week after much ooohing and aaahing over countless Pinterest boards, I made a teensy commitment by beginning a 'snuggle blanket'. 

As long as it's big enough to snuggle under, it will be a success!  
Now that kind of vague commitment I can handle ;)

Berry will be the lucky recipient of this latest project and after much playing around with crepe samples from Bendigo Woollen Mills and a few Patons & Panda colours we had laying around, she chose this colour scheme consisting of beachy and flowery tones:

A rummage through the stash unearthed this surprisingly fitting selection:

(which meant that I could start straight away!)

We've called the colour scheme Mermaid Beach (because a colour scheme should have a name, yes?).

And here is a sneaky peek at the snuggle blanket so far (and a chubby lil baby hand)

I'm using Lucy's Granny Stripe Pattern available here (although I start and finish the rows a little differently...because I tend to get distracted and have to improvise!).

Berry has said she doesn't want any border on her blanket but that is prone to change so stay tuned for the final reveal!

PS. if you look closely at the first picture you can see that the yarn samples are stuck onto a white piece of paper with double-sided tape - it's a great way to keep track of your colour schemes :D

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Hello Winter!

A chilled southerly has brought grey skies up to the hills today

Outside it's barely nine degrees yet the garden is well and truly alive with winter-loveliness!

The lemon tree offers a bountiful supply - each crisp, citrus-y delight just begging to be baked into something warm and tangy 

- and is adorned with purple-white buds, the sign of a plentiful winter crop to come

Colourful blossoms are abundant on the azalea bushes, all dripping from their ice cold morning shower.

They are lovely bursts of brightness amongst a sea of green foliage... 

... bubblegum pink with a raspberry throat

... orchid purple with magenta edges

... lipstick red with wine-coloured throats

and soft, icy mauve

The tangled branches of young birch trees are almost bare, in preparation to hunker down through the coldest time of the year

Ivy is sending out fresh new shoots to cover a dead chestnut tree in a cloak of green

There is a scent of fresh pine in the air

One last blossom suns herself in the strawberry patch

There are plenty of flowers on the rosemary bush 

... for friendly bees to tend

Each individual flower looking like a dancing lady

Wet paws are always close by - attached to an even wetter dog...

Yes, the garden is alive today.  Hello Winter! x

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 shall receive

May I draw your attention to this part of yesterday's post for just one moment?

Needing: a few hours solid sleep

Well, guess what?

I got six hours sleep in a row!  

Maybe it was the Universe's way of saying 'I hear ya, Sister' or maybe Baby was just extra cosy... whatever the case, I woke at 4am feeling refreshed - and kinda stunned that Baby was still asleep.  She woke at 5am and snuggled in for a feed til we got up at 7am.  Now I'm feeling all happy and bouncy and productive - gotta love sleep!